Thrift is the really romantic thing; economy is more romantic than extravagance... thrift is poetic because it is creative; waste is unpoetic because it is waste... if a man could undertake to make use of all the things in his dustbin, he would be a broader genius than Shakespeare.
What's Wrong with the World, Part Three: Feminism, or The Mistake About Woman – Chapter 4: "The Romance of Thrift" (1910).
One of the deepest and strangest of all human moods is the mood which will suddenly strike us perhaps in a garden at night , or deep in sloping meadows, the feeling that every flower and leaf has just uttered something stupendously direct and important, and that we have by a prodigy of imbecility not heard or understood it. There is a certain poetic value , and that a genuine one, in this sense of having missed the full meaning of things. There is beauty , not only in wisdom , but in this dazed and dramatic ignorance .Gilbert Keith Chesterton
The rolling stone rolls echoing from rock to rock; but the rolling stone is dead. The moss is silent because the moss is alive.Gilbert Keith Chesterton
If you convey to a woman that something ought to be done, there is always a dreadful danger that she will suddenly do it.Gilbert Keith Chesterton
A fairly clear line separated advertisement from art. ... The first effect of the triumph of the capitalist (if we allow him to triumph) will be that that line of demarcation will entirely disappear. There will be no art that might not just as well be advertisement.Gilbert Keith Chesterton
The center of every man's existence is a dream . Death , disease , insanity , are merely material accidents, like a toothache or a twisted ankle. That these brutal forces always besiege and often capture the citadel does not prove that they are the citadel.Gilbert Keith Chesterton
Briefly, you can only find truth with logic if you have already found truth without it.Gilbert Keith Chesterton
The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists, as the mother can love the unborn child.Gilbert Keith Chesterton
It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged.Gilbert Keith Chesterton
It is only great men who take up a great space by not being there.Gilbert Keith Chesterton
The cause which is blocking all progress today is the subtle scepticism which whispers in a million ears that things are not good enough to be worth improving. If the world is good we are revolutionaries , if the world is evil we must be conservatives . These essays, futile as they are considered as serious literature, are yet ethically sincere , since they seek to remind men that things must be loved first and improved afterwards.Gilbert Keith Chesterton
There is always in the healthy mind an obscure prompting that religion teaches us rather to dig than to climb; that if we could once understand the common clay of earth we should understand everything. Similarly, we have the sentiment that if we could destroy custom at a blow and see the stars as a child sees them, we should need no other apocalypse. This is the great truth which has always lain at the back of baby-worship, and which will support it to the endGilbert Keith Chesterton
The truth is that it is our attitude towards children that is right, and our attitude towards grown-up people that is wrong. Our attitude towards our equals in age consists in a servile solemnity, overlying a considerable degree of indifference or disdain. Our attitude towards children consists in a condescending indulgence, overlying an unfathomable respect.Gilbert Keith Chesterton
An enormous amount of modern ingenuity is expended on finding defences for the indefensible conduct of the powerful. As I have said above, these defences generally exhibit themselves most emphatically in the form of appeals to physical science. And of all the forms in which science, or pseudo-science, has come to the rescue of the rich and stupid, there is none so singular as the singular invention of the theory of races.Gilbert Keith Chesterton
For my part, I should be inclined to suggest that the chief object of education should be to restore simplicity. If you like to put it so, the chief object of education is not to learn things; nay, the chief object of education is to unlearn things.Gilbert Keith Chesterton
Man is more himself, man is more manlike, when joy is the fundamental thing in him, and grief the superficial. Melancholy should be an innocent interlude, a tender and fugitive frame of mind; praise should be the permanent pulsation of the soul.Gilbert Keith Chesterton
Men may keep a sort of level of good, but no man has ever been able to keep on one level of evil.Gilbert Keith Chesterton
What though they come with scroll and pen, And grave as a shaven clerk, By this sign you shall know them, That they ruin and make dark.Gilbert Keith Chesterton
Literary men are being employed to praise a big business man personally, as men used to praise a king. They not only find political reasons for the commercial schemes that they have done for some time past they also find moral defences for the commercial schemers. ... I do resent the whole age of patronage being revived under such absurd patrons; and all poets becoming court poets, under kings that have taken no oath.Gilbert Keith Chesterton
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