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

The Rolling English Road

Before the Roman came to Rye or out to Severn strode,
The rolling English drunkard made the rolling English road.
A reeling road, a rolling road, that rambles round the shire,
And after him the parson ran, the sexton and the squire;
A merry road, a mazy road, and such as we did tread
The night we went to Birmingham by way of Beachy Head.

I knew no harm of Bonaparte and plenty of the Squire,
And for to fight the Frenchman I did not much desire;
But I did bash their baggonets because they came arrayed
To straighten out the crooked road an English drunkard ...

Read the full of The Rolling English Road

The Great Minimum

It is something to have wept as we have wept,
It is something to have done as we have done,
It is something to have watched when all men slept,
And seen the stars which never see the sun.

It is something to have smelt the mystic rose,
Although it break and leave the thorny rods,
It is something to have hungered once as those
Must hunger who have ate the bread of gods.

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