Gilbert Keith Chesterton

(29 May 1874 – 14 June 1936 / London, England)

Gilbert Keith Chesterton Quotes

  • ''Boyhood is a most complex and incomprehensible thing. Even when one has been through it, one does not understand what it was. A man can never quite understand a boy, even when he has been the boy.''
    Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), British author. Autobiography, ch. 3 (1936).
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  • ''The only way of catching a train I have ever discovered is to miss the train before.''
    Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), British author. Tremendous Trifles, "The Prehistoric Railway Station," (1909).
  • ''The chief assertion of religious morality is that white is a colour. Virtue is not the absence of vices or the avoidance of moral dangers; virtue is a vivid and separate thing, like pain or a particular smell.''
    Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), British author. "A Piece of Chalk," Tremendous Trifles (1909).
  • ''You can never have a revolution in order to establish a democracy. You must have a democracy in order to have a revolution.''
    Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), British author. Tremendous Trifles, "The Wind and The Trees," (1909).
  • ''The most dangerous criminal now is the entirely lawless modern philosopher. Compared to him, burglars and bigamists are essentially moral men.''
    Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), British author. A policeman, in The Man Who Was Thursday, ch. 4 (1908).
  • ''The perplexity of life arises from there being too many interesting things in it for us to be interested properly in any of them.''
    Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), British author. "The Secret of a Train," Tremendous Trifles (1909).
  • ''Ritual will always mean throwing away something: destroying our corn or wine upon the altar of our gods.''
    Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), British author. "The Secret of a Train," Tremendous Trifles (1909).
  • ''Brave men are all vertebrates; they have their softness on the surface and their toughness in the middle.''
    Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), British author. "The Prehistoric Railway Station," Tremendous Trifles (1909).
  • ''A stiff apology is a second insult.... The injured party does not want to be compensated because he has been wronged; he wants to be healed because he has been hurt.''
    Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), British author. "The Real Dr. Johnson," The Common Man (1950).
  • ''Once I planned to write a book of poems entirely about the things in my pocket. But I found it would be too long; and the age of the great epics is past.''
    Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), British author. "A Piece of Chalk," Tremendous Trifles (1909).

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Best Poem of Gilbert Keith Chesterton

A Ballade Of Suicide

The gallows in my garden, people say,
Is new and neat and adequately tall;
I tie the noose on in a knowing way
As one that knots his necktie for a ball;
But just as all the neighbours--on the wall--
Are drawing a long breath to shout "Hurray!"
The strangest whim has seized me. . . . After all
I think I will not hang myself to-day.

To-morrow is the time I get my pay--
My uncle's sword is hanging in the hall--
I see a little cloud all pink and grey--
Perhaps the rector's mother will not call-- I fancy that I heard from Mr. Gall
That mushrooms could be ...

Read the full of A Ballade Of Suicide

The New Freethinker

John Grubby who was short and stout
And troubled with religious doubt,
Refused about the age of three
To sit upon the curate's knee;
(For so the eternal strife must rage
Between the spirit of the age
And Dogma, which, as is well known,
Does simply hate to be outgrown).
Grubby, the young idea that shoots,

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