G. K. Chesterton
Any time you pull down a fence, always ask why it was put there in the first place.
I believe in getting into hot water; it keeps you clean.
People in high life are hardened to the wants and distresses of mankind as surgeons are to their bodily pains.
There is a great deal of difference between an eager man who wants to read a book and the tired man who wants a book to read.
There are no wise few. Every aristocracy that has ever existed has behaved, in all essential points, exactly like a small mob.
A dead thing goes with the stream. Only a living thing can go against it.
The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.
You can never have a revolution in order to establish a democracy. You must have a democracy in order to have a revolution
Men always talk about the most important things to perfect strangers. In the perfect stranger we perceive man himself; the image of a God is not disguised by resemblances to an uncle or doubts of wisdom of a mustache.
His horror is wild, but it is a sane horror.
Journalism largely consists of saying 'Lord Jones is Dead' to people who never knew that Lord Jones was alive.
A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.
Truth must necessarily be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind and therefore congenial to it.
As regards moral courage, then, it is not so much that the public schools support it feebly, as that they suppress it firmly.
For in all legends men have thought of women as sublime separately but horrible in a herd.
Seemingly from the dawn of man all nations have had governments; and all nations have been ashamed of them.
An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered.
The men who really believe in themselves are all in lunatic asylums.
One must somehow find a way of loving the world without trusting it; somehow one must love the world without being worldly.
There is no such thing on earth as an uninteresting subject; the only thing that can exist is an uninterested person.
Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.
The honest poor can sometimes forget poverty. The honest rich can never forget it.
Music with dinner is an insult both to the cook and the violinist.
The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits.
"My country, right or wrong," is a thing that no patriot would think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying, "My mother, drunk or sober."
The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion.
The poor complain that they are governed badly. The rich complain that they are governed at all.
I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite.
By a curious confusion, many modern critics have passed from the proposition that a masterpiece may be unpopular to the other proposition that unless it is unpopular it cannot be a masterpiece.
If there were no God, there would be no Atheists.
It is not bigotry to be certain we are right; but it is bigotry to be unable to imagine how we might possibly have gone wrong.
I say that a man must be certain of his morality for the simple reason that he has to suffer for it.
Compromise used to mean that half a loaf was better than no bread. Among modern statesmen it really seems to mean that half a loaf is better than a whole loaf.
The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people.
Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong deisre to live taking the form of a readiness to die.
Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult, and not tried.
Don't ever take a fence down until you know the reason it was put up.
Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere.
The most astonishing thing about miracles is that they happen.
Man seems to be capable of great virtues but not of small virtues; capable of defying his torturer but not of keeping his temper.
If a rhinoceros were to enter this resteraunt now, there is no denying he would have great power here. But I would be the first to rise and assure him that he had no authority whatever.
He may be mad, but there's method in his madness. There nearly always is method in madness. It's what drives men mad, being methodical.
You can only find truth with logic if you have already found truth without it.
The people who are the most bigoted are the people who have no convictions at all.
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.
Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about.
Nietzche started a nonsensical idea that men had once sought as good what we now call evil; if it were so, we could not talk of surpassing or even falling short of them.
To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.
But a somewhat more liberal and sympathetic examination of mankind will convince us that the cross is even older than the gibbet, that voluntary suffering was before and independent of compulsory; and in short that in most important matters a man has always been free to ruin himself if he chose.