Gilbert Keith Chesterton

conservative English writer of the Roman Catholic persuasion; in addition to volumes of criticism and polemics he wrote detective novels featuring Father Brown (1874-1936)

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A good novel tells you the truth about its hero but a bad novel tells you the truth about its author.
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.
All architecture is great architecture after sunset perhaps architecture is really a nocturnal art, like the art of fireworks.
Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.
Art consists of limitation. The most beautiful part of every picture is the frame.
Coincidences are spiritual puns.
Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die.
Democracy means government by the uneducated, while aristocracy means government by the badly educated.
Dogmatism does not mean the absence of thought, but the end of thought.
Don't ever take a fence down until you know the reason why it was put up.
Education is the period during which you are being instructed by somebody you do not know, about something you do not want to know.
Every man has his own courage, and is betrayed because he seeks in himself the courage of other persons.
Happy is he who still loves something he loved in the nursery He has not been broken in two by time he is not two men, but one, and he has saved not only his soul, but his life.
Hell is God's great compliment to the reality of human freedom and the dignity of human choice.
I do not believe in a fate that falls on men however they act but I do believe in a fate that falls on them unless they act.
I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.
If I can put one touch of rosy sunset into the life of any man or woman, I shall feel that I have worked with God.
It is not funny that anything else should fall down only that a man should fall down. Why do we laugh Because it is a gravely religious matter it is the Fall of Man. Only man can be absurd for only man can be dignified.
It is the test of a good religion whether you can joke about it.
It isn't that they can't see the solution. It's that they can't see the problem.
Marriage is an adventure, like going to war.
Materialists and madmen never have doubts.
Men feel that cruelty to the poor is a kind of cruelty to animals. They never feel that it is an injustice to equals nay it is treachery to comrades.
Merely having an open mind is nothing. The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.
Never invoke the gods unless you really want them to appear. It annoys them very much.
People who make history know nothing about history. You can see that in the sort of history they make.
The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and left untried.
The men who really believe in themselves are all in lunatic asylums.
The only words that ever satisfied me as describing Nature are the terms used in fairy books, charm, spell, enchantment. They express the arbitrariness of the fact and its mystery.
The soul goes round upon a wheel of stars and all things return....Good and evil go round in a wheel that is one thing and not many. Do you not realise in your heart, do you not believe behind all your beliefs, that there is but one reality and we are its shadows and that all things are but aspects of one thing a centre where men melt into Man and Man into God 'No,' said Father Brown.
The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost.
There is something to be said for every error but, whatever may be said for it, the most important thing to be said about it is that it is erroneous.
Thieves respect property. They merely wish the property to become their property that they may more perfectly respect it.
Truth must necessarily be stranger than fiction for fiction is the creation of the human mind and therefore congenial to it.
We make our friends we make our enemies but God makes our next door neighbour.
You can only find truth with logic if you have already found it without it.

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