To be clever enough to get all that money, one must be stupid enough to want it.
There is nothing the matter with Americans except their ideals. The real American is all right; it is the ideal American who is all wrong.
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.
Love means to love that which is unlovable; or it is no virtue at all.
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.
Journalism is popular, but it is popular mainly as fiction. Life is one world, and life seen in the newspapers is another.
If you do not understand a man you cannot crush him. And if you do understand him, very probably you will not.
In matters of truth the fact that you don't want to publish something is, nine times out of ten, a proof that you ought to publish it.
All architecture is great architecture after sunset; perhaps architecture is really a nocturnal art, like the art of fireworks.
A yawn is a silent shout.
All conservatism is based upon the idea that if you leave things alone you leave them as they are. But you do not. If you leave a thing alone you leave it to a torrent of change.
The honest poor can sometimes forget poverty. The honest rich can never forget it.
Education is the period during which you are being instructed by somebody you do not know, about something you do not want to know.
You can never have a revolution in order to establish a democracy. You must have a democracy in order to have a revolution.
People who make history know nothing about history. You can see that in the sort of history they make.
Half a truth is better than no politics.
The whole order of things is as outrageous as any miracle which could presume to violate it.
Happiness is a mystery, like religion, and should never be rationalised.
Man is an exception, whatever else he is. If he is not the image of God, then he is a disease of the dust. If it is not true that a divine being fell, then we can only say that one of the animals went entirely off its head.
I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite.
A man does not know what he is saying until he knows what he is not saying.
It is as healthy to enjoy sentiment as to enjoy jam.
To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.
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.
People generally quarrel because they cannot argue.
Without education we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously.
Fable is more historical than fact, because fact tells us about one man and fable tells us about a million men.
All slang is metaphor, and all metaphor is poetry.
The man who throws a bomb is an artist, because he prefers a great moment to everything.
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 that arrogant oligarchy who merely happen to be walking around.
Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another.
The cosmos is about the smallest hole that a man can hide his head in.
A teacher who is not dogmatic is simply a teacher who is not teaching.
The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.
Those thinkers who cannot believe in any gods often assert that the love of humanity would be in itself sufficient for them; and so, perhaps, it would, if they had it.
True contentment is a thing as active as agriculture. It is the power of getting out of any situation all that there is in it. It is arduous and it is rare.
And they that rule in England, in stately conclaves met, alas, alas for England they have no graves as yet.
The true object of all human life is play. Earth is a task garden; heaven is a playground.
Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair.
Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die.
'My country, right or wrong' is a thing no patriot would ever think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying 'My mother, drunk or sober.'
Science in the modern world has many uses; its chief use, however, is to provide long words to cover the errors of the rich.
Women prefer to talk in twos, while men prefer to talk in threes.
The only way of catching a train I have ever discovered is to miss the train before.
When we really worship anything, we love not only its clearness but its obscurity. We exult in its very invisibility.
Buddhism is not a creed, it is a doubt.
If I had only one sermon to preach it would be a sermon against pride.
I regard golf as an expensive way of playing marbles.
A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.
What affects men sharply about a foreign nation is not so much finding or not finding familiar things; it is rather not finding them in the familiar place.
More Gilbert K. Chesterton Quotations (Based on Topics)
Man - Life - Education - God - Money & Wealth - Art - Love - Truth - Mind - People - Vice & Virtue - Happiness - Books - Democracy - Courage - Adventure - War & Peace - Literature - Architecture - View All Gilbert K. Chesterton Quotations
Pablo Neruda - Paul Davies - Karen Armstrong - Joseph Addison - Ivo Andric - Dr. Seuss - Catherine Crowe - Bram Stoker - Bill Bryson - Anne Frank