To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton

Gilbert Keith Chesterton

Profession: Author
Nationality: British

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When there aren’t enough hats to go around the problem isn’t solved by lopping off some heads.

The true soldier fights.

But when first the two black dragons sprang out of the fog upon the small clerk, they had merely the effect of all miracles – they changed the universe. He discovered the fact that all romantics know – that adventures happen on dull days, and not on sunny ones. When the cord of monotony is stretched most tight, it it breaks with a sound like song.

Imagination does not breed insanity. Exactly what does breed insanity is reason. Poets do not go mad; but chess-players do.

Children are grateful when Santa Claus puts in their stockings gifts of toys or sweets. Could I not be grateful to Santa Claus when he put in my stockings the gift of two miraculous legs? We thank people for birthday presents of cigars and slippers. Can I thank no one for the birthday present of birth?

The big commercial concerns of to-day are quite exceptionally incompetent. They will be even more incompetent when they are omnipotent.

But nearly all of the people I have ever met in this western society in which I live would agree to the general proposition that we need this life of practical romance; the combination of something that is strange with something that is secure.

What people call impartiality may simply mean indifference, and what people call partiality may simply mean mental activity.

Men did not love Rome because she was great. She was great because they had loved her.

And it is always the humble man who talks too much; the proud man watches himself too closely.

Christianity got over the difficulty of combining furious opposites, by keeping them both, and keeping them both furious. The church was positive on both points. One can hardly think too little of one's self. One can hardly think too much of one's soul.

Modern masters of science are much impressed with the need of beginning all inquiry with a fact. The ancient masters of religion were quite equally impressed with that necessity. They began with the fact of sin—a fact as practical as potatoes.

The adventures may be mad, but the adventurer must be sane.

Modern man is staggering and losing his balance because he is being pelted with little pieces of alleged fact which are native to the newspapers; and, if they turn out not to be facts, that is still more native to newspapers.