Skip to main content

Full text of "Thoughts from G. K. Chesterton"

See other formats

fioxiqfits fromo 

sf~* TT *~Urf^\ 1 -. 




C-. 7. 




C/ ; 


41. Rab and his Friends. Brown. 

42. Marjorie Fleming. Brown. 

43. Poems of the East. 

44. Gems from Balzac. 

45. Thoughts from Tolstoi. 

46. Thoughts from Jerome K. Jerome. 

47. Thoughts from H. G. Wells. 

48. Thoughts from E. F. Benson. 

49. Thoughts from Augustine Birrell. 
50 Thoughts from G. K. Chesterton. 




G. K. Chesterton 

Selected by 
Elsie E. Morton 

George G. Harrap & Co. 
3 Portsmouth St. London 

The Riveiside Press Ltd., Edinburgh 
Great Britain 

THE Compiler offers her cordial thanks to Mr 
G. K. Chesterton and to the following Pub- 
lishers for permission to print extracts from the 
books named : M-ssrs J. W. Arrowsmith 
Ltd. for The Man who was Thursday \ Messrs 
("J. Bell & Sons Ltd. for Introduction to 
" Thackeray" ; Messrs Cassell & Co. Ltd. for 
What's Wrong with tJie ll'orld; Messrs J. M. 
Dent & Sons Ltd. for The Defendant and 
TJie Wild Knight', Messrs Duckworth & 
Co. for William Blake and G, F. Watts ; 
Messrs Wells Gardner, Darton & Co. Ltd. for 
The Ball and the Cross ; Messrs Harper & 
lirothers and Messrs Hodder & Stoughton 
for A Club of Queer Trades ; Mr A. L. 
Humphreys for Twelve Types \ Mr John Lane 
for Heretics, Orthodoxy and The Napoleon 
of Nottin^ Hill; Messrs Macmillnn & Co. 
I -td. for Robert Browning ; and Messrs Thos. 
Nelson & Sons for Ulanalwe. 

Thoughts from G. K. 

TjlVERYONE on the earth 
J_J should believe that he 
has something to give to the 
world which cannot otherwise 
be given. 

Robert Browning 

Comradeship is at the most 
only one half of human life ; 
the other half is love, a thing 
so different that one might 
fancy it had been made for 
another universe. 

Whafs Wrong with the World 

We are too fond nowadays of 
committing the sin of fear and 
calling it the virtue of reverence. 

The Defendant 

Religious people speak of 
worldlings as gay and careless : 
but such religious people pay 
the worldlings far too high a 

Introduction to Thackeray 

When society is in rather 
a futile fuss about the sub- 
jection of women, will no one 
say how much every man owes 
to the tyranny and privilege 
of women, to the fact that 
they alone rule education until 
education becomes futile ? For 


a boy is only sent to be taught 
at school when it is too late 
to teach him anything. The 
real thing has been done 
already, and, thank God, it is 
nearly always done by women. 


When a man begins to think 
that the grass will not grow 
at night unless he lies awake 
to watch it, he generally ends 
either in an asylum or on the 
throne of an Emperor. 


The pride of a good mother 
in the beauty of her daughter 
is one of those adamantine 
tendernesses which are the 


touchstones of every age and 

What's Wrong with the World 

No one was ever in love 
without indulging in a positive 
debauch of humility. 

The Defendant 

It is absurd to call a man 
cynical whose object it is to 
show that goodness, even when 
it is silly, is a healthier thing 
than wickedness when it is 

Introduction to Thackeray 

Christianity is always out of 
fashion because it is always 
sane ; and all fashions are mild 
insanities. When Italy is mad 


on art the Church seems too 
Puritanical ; when England is 
mad on Puritanism the Church 
seems too artistic. 

The Ball and the Cross 

Love of humanity is the 
commonest and most natural of 
the feelings of a fresh nature, 
and almost everyone has felt 
it alight capriciously upon him 
when looking at a crowded 
park or on a room full of 

Robert Browning 

The way to lessen sorrow 
is to make a lot of it. The 
way to endure a painful crisis 

is to insist very much that it 
is a crisis. 

What's Wrong with the World 

The moment we really be- 
lieve in democracy, it will 
begin to blossom, as aristocracy 
blossomed, into symbolic colours 
and shapes. We shall never 
make anything of democracy 
until we make fools of our- 
selves. For if a man really 
cannot make a fool of himself 
we may be quite certain that 
the effort is superfluous. 

The Defendant 

The most dreadful and blood- 
chilling thing in this world is 
a tired kindness. 

Introduction to Thackeray 

The Church always seems 
to be behind the times, when 
it is really beyond the times ; 
it is waiting till the last fad 
shall have seen its last summer. 
It keeps the key of a permanent 

The Ball and the Cross 

The ridiculous theory thut 
men should have no noble 
passions or sentiments in public 
may have been designed to 
make private life holy and 
undefiled, but it has had very 
little actual effect except to 
make public life cynical and 
preposterously unmeaning. 

Robert Browning 

The average man has to be 
a specialist ; he has not only to 
learn one trade, but to learn 
it so well as to uphold him 
in a more or less ruthless 

What's Wrong with the World 

Humility is the luxurious 
art of reducing ourselves to 
a point, not to a small thing 
or a large one, but to a thing 
with no size at all, so that to 
it all the cosmic things are 
what they really are of im- 
measurable stature. 

The Defendant 

Caricature is a serious thing ; 
It is almost blasphemously 


serious. Caricature really means 
making a pig more like a pig 
than even God has made him. 

William Blake 

What is the difference be- 
tween Christ and Satan ? It 
is quite simple. Christ de- 
scended into hell : Satan fell 
into it. One of them wanted 
to go up and went down ; the 
other wanted to go down and 
went up. 

The Ball and the Cross 

Smoke, like the modern city 
that makes it, is not always 
dull or ugly, but it is always 
wicked and vain. 


If prosperity is regarded as 
the reward of virtue it will be 
regarded as the symptom of 

Preface to the Book of Job 

Not only life, but every de- 
tail of life is most a pleasure 
when it is studied with the 
gloomiest intensity. 

G. F. Watts 

The world is not a lodging 
house at Brighton, which we 
are to leave because it is miser- 
able. It is the fortress of our 
family, with flag flying on the 
turret ; and the more miserable 
it is the less we should leave 
it. The point is not that this 


world is too sad to love or too 
glad not to love ; the point is 
that when you do love a thing 
its gladness is a reason for 
loving it, and its sadness a 
reason for loving it more. 


I talk of every man being 
the image of God; and you 
talk of every man being a 
citizen, enlightened enough to 
govern. But if every man 
typifies God, there is God. If 
every man is an enlightened 
citizen, there is your en- 
lightened citizen. The first 
man one meets is always man. 
Let us catch him up. 

TJu Ball attd the Cross 
50-B [17] 

Men flee from the embrace 
of a great optimist as from the 
embrace of a bear. Nothing 
brings down more curses than 
a real benediction. 


The riddles of God are more 
satisfying than the solutions of 

Preface to the Book of Job 

The new art gallery is too 
like a museum of freaks, it is 
too wild and wonderful, like a 
realistic novel. 

G. F. Watts 

Progress should mean that 
we are always walking towards 
the New Jerusalem. It does 


mean that the New Jerusalem 
is always walking away from 
us. We are not altering the 
real to suit the ideal. We are 
altering the ideal : it is easier. 


A man will not reach 
eloquence if he is afraid of 
bombast, just as a man will not 
jump a hedge if he is afraid 
of a ditch. 

Twelve Types 

Babies are not always strong 
on the point of dignity, and 
grown-up men are quite un- 

Whaf s Wrong with the World 

This belief, that all would 
go right if we could only get 
the strings into our own hands, 
is a fallacy almost without ex- 
ception, but nobody can justly 
say that it is not public spirited. 

Robert Browning 

You need not strangle a man 
if you can silence him. The 
branded shoulder is less effec- 
tive and final than the cold 
shoulder: and you need not 
trouble to lock a man in when 
you can lock him out. - 

Whafs Wrong with the World 

The fundamental modern 
fallacy is that the public life 
must be an artificial life. It is 


like saying that the public 
street must be an artificial air. 
Men like all the great heroes 
only breathe in public. What 
is the use of abusing a man for 
publicity when he utters in 
public the true and the endur- 
ing things ? What is the use, 
above all, of prying into his 
secrecy, when he has cried his 
best from the housetops ? 

G. F. Watts 

Brevity may be the soul of 
wit ; but it would be quite as 
true to say in such cases that 
lengthiness is the soul of satire. 

Introduction to Thackeray 

You may come to think a 


blow bad because it humiliates. 
You may come to think a 
murder wrong, because it is 
violent and not because it is 

The Ball and the Cross 

A man's good work is 

effected by doing what he 

does, a woman's by being 
what she is. 

Robert Browning 

Education is violent ; because 
it is creative. It is creative 
because it is human. It is as 
ruthless as playing on the 
fiddle ; as dogmatic as drawing 
a picture ; as brutal as building 
a house. In short, it is what 


all human action is : it is an 
interference with life and 

What's Wrong luith the World 

Shutting out things is all 
very well, but it has one simple 
corollary that from everything 
we shut out, we are ourselves 
shut out. 

The Defendant 

Worldliness and the world- 
lings are in their nature solemn 
and timid. If you want care- 
lessness you must go to the 

Introduction to Thackeray 

The Cross cannot be de- 
feated, for it is defeat. 

The Ball and the Cross 

To anyone who thinks, the 
pleasures of life, trivial and 
soon tasteless, are bribes to 
bring us into a torture chamber. 


The modern habit of saying 
"This is my opinion, but I 
may be wrong" is entirely 
irrational. If I say that it may 
be wrong I say that it is not 
my opinion. 

Preface to the Book of Job 

The true task of culture to- 
day is not a task of expansion, 
but very decidedly of selection 
and rejection. 

Whafs Wrong with the World 

The great Free-thinker with 


his genuine ability does not in 
practice destroy Christianity, 
what he does destroy is the 
Free-thinker who went before. 

The Ball and the Cross 

A man can no more possess 
a private religion than he can 
possess a private sun or moon. 

Preface to the Book of Job 

There is no fact of life from 
the death of a donkey to the 
General Post Office, which has 
not its place to dance and sing 
in, in the glorious carnival of 

G. F. Watts 

Truth must necessarily be 
Stranger than fiction ; for 


fiction is the creation of the 
human mind and therefore 
congenial to it. 

A Club of Queer Trades 

Seriousness is not a virtue. 
It would be a heresy, but a 
much more sensible heresy, to 
say that seriousness is a vice. 
It is really a natural trend or 
lapse into taking one's-self 
gravely, because it is the 
easiest thing to do. It is 
much easier to write a good 
Times leading article, than a 
good joke in Punch. For 
solemnity flows out of men 
naturally, but laughter is a leap. 
It is easy to be heavy : hard to 


be light. Satan fell by the 
force of gravity. 


One does not permit beauty 
to pervade one's whole life, 
just as one does not pave all 
the roads with ivory or cover 
all the fields with geraniums. 


It is the idea that innocence 
has about it something terrible 
which in the long run makes 
and remakes empires and the 

Preface to the Book oj Job 

The back is the most awful 
and mysterious thing in the 
universe : it is impossible to 

speak about it. It is the part 
of man that he knows nothing 
of; like an outlying province 
forgotten by an Emperor. 

G. F. Watts 

"Tommy was a good boy" 
is a purely philosophical state- 
ment worthy of Plato or 
Aquinas. "Tommy lived the 
higher life" is a gross meta- 
phor from a ten-foot rule. 


The thing from which 
England suffers just now more 
than from any other evil is 
not the assertion of falsehoods, 
but the endless and irrepres- 
sible repetition of half truths. 

G. F. Watts 

With any recovery from 
morbidity there must go a 
certain healthy humiliation. 
There comes a certain point 
in such conditions when only 
three things are possible : first 
a perpetuation of Satanic pride, 
secondly tears, and third 

The Man w/io was Thursday 

I never said a word against 
eminent men of science. What 
I complain of is a vague popu- 
lar philosophy, which supposes 
itself to be scientific when it is 
really nothing but a sort of new 
religion and an uncommonly 
nasty one. When people 


talked about the Fall of Man, 
they knew they were talking 
about a mystery, a thing they 
didn't understand. Now they 
talk about the survival of the 
fittest : they think they do 
understand it, whereas they 
have not merely no notion, 
they have an elaborately false 
notion of what the words mean. 

A Club tf Queer Trades 

Marriage is a stage doubt- 
less a suitable stage in the 
long advance of mankind to- 
wards a goal which we cannot 
as yet conceive. 


Everyone on this earth should 


believe, amid whatever madness 
and moral failure, that his 
life and temperament have 
some object on the earth. 

Robert Bro~<uning 

There is a spirit abroad 
among the nations of the earth 
which drives men incessantly 
on to destroy what they cannot 
understand, and to capture 
what they cannot enjoy. 

G. F. Watts 

A man may just fail to be a 
gentleman ; and yet be the 
very opposite of a cad. 

Introduction to Thackeray 

Many modern Englishmen 
talk of themselves as the 

sturdy descendants of their 
sturdy Puritan fathers. As a 
fact they would run away from 
a cow. If you asked one of 
their Puritan fathers, if you 
asked Bunyan, for instance, 
whether he was sturdy he 
would have answered with 
tears that he was as weak as 
water. And because of this he 
would have borne tortures. 


Poetry can tell us whether 
the happiness is the happiness 
that sends a man to a restaurant, 
or the much richer and fuller 
happiness that sends him to 

Roltrt Browning 

Faith is always at a dis- 
advantage; it is a perpetually 
defeated thing which survives 
all its conquerors. 

C,. F. Watts 

To batter the worldly castle 
with the artillery of open 
derision is a much swifter task 
than to blow it up from within 
with one carefully constructed 
bomb of irony. 

Introduction to Thackeray 

Every detail points to some- 
thing, certainly, but generally 
to the wrong thing. Facts 
point in all directions, it seems 
to me, like the thousands of 
twigs on a tree. It is only the 

60-c [33] 

life of a tree that has unity and 
goes up only the green blood 
that springs, like a fountain, at 
the stars. 

A Club of Queer Trades 

From such books we can 
discover what a clever man can 
do with the idea of aristocracy. 
But from The Family Herald 
Supplement literature we can 
learn what the idea of aristoc- 
racy can do with a man who 
is not clever. And when we 
know that we know English 


It is always the humble 
man who talks too much ; the 


proud man watches himself" too 

The Man who was Thursday 

A philosopher cannot talk 
about any single thing down to 
a pumpkin, without showing 
whether he is wise or foolish ; 
but he can easily talk about 
everything without anyone 
having any views about him 
beyond gloomy suspicions. 

G. F. Watts 

The oldest thing in the 
universe is its energy. 

Introduction to Thackeray 

We had talked for about 
half an hour about politics and 
God; for men always talk 


about the most important things 
to total strangers. It is be- 
cause in the total stranger we 
perceive man himself; the 
image of God is not disguised 
by resemblances to an uncle or 
doubts of the wisdom of a 

mOUStache. A C lub of Queer Trades 

Human Nature simply cannot 
subsist without a hope and aim 
of some kind; as the sanity 
of the Old Testament truly 
said, where there is no vision 
the people perisheth. But it is 
precisely because an ideal is 
necessary to a man that the 
man without ideals is in per- 
manent danger of fanaticism. 


What we want most is to 
be lost : to find ourselves in 
untrodden paths, and to do 
unprecedented things; to break 
with the past and belong to the 

The rare strange thing is to 
hit the mark ; the gross obvious 
thing is to miss it. 

The Man who was Thursday 

There is, as a ruling element 
in modern life, in all life, this 
blind and asinine appetite for 
mere power. 

G, F. ll'af/s 

It is one of the simplest and 
silliest of the modern mistakes 

to connect the word "old" 
with the word "stale "or the 
word " weary." 

Introduction to Thackeray 

The evil of aristocracy is not 
that it leads to the infliction of 
bad things or the suffering of 
sad ones ; the evil of aristocracy 
is that it places everything in 
the hands of a class of people 
who can always- inflict what 
they can never suffer. 


"We are never free until some 
institution frees us, and liberty 
cannot exist till it is declared 
by authority. 


It is strange that men should 
see sublime inspiration in the 
ruins of an old church and see 
none in the ruins of a man. 

Twelve Types 

There is no such thing as 
fighting on the winning side; 
one fights to find out which is 
the winning side. 

Whafs Wrong with the World 

Men trust an ordinary man, 
because they trust themselves. 
But men trust a great man 
because they do not trust them- 
selves. And hence the worship 
of great men always appears in 
time of weakness and cowar- 
dice ; we never hear of great 

[39] . 

men until the time when all 
other men are small. 


The sin and sorrow of des- 
potism is not that it does not 
love men, but that it loves them 
too much and trusts them too 

Robert Browning 

Most modern freedom is at 
root fear. It is not so much 
that we are too bold to endure 
rules ; it is rather that we are 
too timid to endure responsi- 

What's Wrong -with the World 

Ordinary men will always 
be sentimentalists : for a senti- 


mentalist is simply a man who 
has feelings and does not 
trouble to invent a new way 
of expressing them. 

The Defendant 

The very definition of hell 
must be energy without joy. 

Introduction to Thackeray 

That is the awful thing 
about women they refuse to 
be emotional at emotional 
moments upon some such 
ludicrous pretext as there 
being some one else there. 

The Ball and the Cross 

When men begin to grow 
desperate in their love for the 
people, when they are over- 


whelmed with the difficulties 
and blunders of humanity, they 
fall back upon a wild desire to 
manage everything themselves. 

Robert Browning 

To anything worth calling a 
man nothing can be conceived 
more cold or cheerless than to 
be King of your Company. 

What's Wrong with the World 

Simple ignorance and indif- 
ference does not inflate the 
character with pride. A man 
does not walk down the street 
giving a haughty twirl to his 
moustaches at the thought of 
his superiority to some variety 
of deep-sea fishes. 

The Defendant 

Aristocracy does not have 
snobs any more than democracy. 
But we have neither securely 
closed our house nor boldly 
opened it. We have merely 
let it be whispered that a 
window is unbarred at the 
back : and a few burglars 
break in and are made peers. 

Introduction to Thackeray 

Insanity, like forgetfulness, 
is simply a quality which enters 
more or less into all human 
beings ; and for practical pur- 
poses it is more necessary to 
know whose mind is really 
trustworthy than whose has 
some accidental taint. 

The Ball and the Cross 

Our wisdom, whether ex- 
pressed in private or public, 
belongs to the world, but our 
folly belongs to those we love. 

Robert Browning 

A man cannot indulge in a 
sham joke, because it is the 
ruin of a joke to be unintelli- 

Twelve Types 

Most of us have suffered 
from a certain sort of lady 
who, by her perverse unselfish- 
ness, gives more trouble than the 
selfish ; who almost clamours 
for the unpopular dish and 
scrambles for the worst seat. 
Most of us have known parties 


or expeditions full of this 
seething fuss of self-effacement. 

What's Wrong with the World 

If you throw one bomb 
you are only a murderer; but 
if you keep on persistently 
throwing bombs, you are in 
awful danger of at last be- 
coming a prig. 

William Blake 

The vulgar people want to 
enjoy life just as they want to 
enjoy gin because they are 
too stupid to see that they are 
paying too big a price for it. 
That they never find happiness 
that they don't even know how 
to look for it is proved by the 


paralysing clumsiness and ugli- 
ness of everything they do. 


Many waters cannot quench 

Twelve Types 

Piety is one of the popular 
virtues, whereas soap and 
socialism are two hobbies of 
the upper middle class. 

Whafs Wrong with the World 

In a world without humour, 
the only thing to do is to eat. 
And how perfect an exception ! 
How can these people strike 
dignified attitudes, and pretend 
that things matter, when the 
total ludicrousness of life is 


proved by the very method by 
which it is supported ? A man 
strikes the lyre and says, " Life 
is real, life is earnest" and then 
goes into a room and stuffs alien 
substances into a hole in his 

The Napoleon oj Notting Hill 

The Saint with a tile loose is 
a bit too sacred to be parodied. 


It is the standing peculiarity 
of this curious world of ours 
that almost everything in it has 
been extolled enthusiastically, 
and invariably extolled to the 
disadvantage of everything else. 

Twelve Types 

"If Americans can be divorced 
for incompatibility of temper" 
I cannot conceive why they are 
not all divorced. I have known 
many happy marriages, but 
never a compatible one. The 
whole aim of marriage is to 
fight through and survive the 
instant when incompatibility be- 
comes unquestionable. For a 
.man and a woman, as such, are 

Whafs Wrong with the World 

The wise man will follow a 
star, low and large and fierce 
in the heavens, but the nearer 
he comes to it the smaller and 
smaller it will grow, till he 


finds it in the humble lantern 
over some little inn or stable. 
Not till we know the high 
things shall we know how 
lowly they are. 

William Blake 

The most rigid and ruthless 
woman can begin to cry, just 
as the most effeminate man can 
grow a beard. It is a separate 
sexual power, and proves 
nothing one way or the other 
about force of character. 


Workhouses and lunatic 
asylums are thronged with men 
who believe in themselves. 

Twelve Types 

I gravely doubt whether 
women were ever married by 
capture. I think they pre- 
tended to be ; as they do still. 

Whafs Wrong with the World 

There is more of the song 
and music^of mankind in a clerk 
putting on his Sunday clothes, 
than in a fanatic running down 

William Blake 

People talk of the pathos 
and failure of plain women; 
but it is a more terrible thing 
that a beautiful woman may 
succeed in everything but 


Politeness has indeed about 
it something mystical : like 
religion, it is everywhere 
understood and nowhere de- 

Twelve Types 

As a part of personal 
character, even the moderns 
will agree that many-sidedness 
is a merit and a merit that may 
easily be overlooked. 

What's Wrong -with the World 

The personal is not a mere 
figure for the impersonal : 
rather the impersonal is a 
clumsy term for something 
more personal than common 
personality God is not a 


symbol of goodness. Goodness 
is a symbol of God. 

William Blake 

So with the wan waste grasses 

on my spear, 
I ride for ever, seeking after 

My hair grows whiter than my 

thistle plume, 
And all my limbs are loose ; 

but in my eyes 
The star of an unconquerable 

praise : 
For in my soul one hope for 

ever sings, 
That at the next white corner 

of a road 
My eyes may look on Him. 

The Wild Knight 

Until we love a thing in all 
its ugliness we cannot make 
it beautiful. 

Twelve Types 

If we all floated in the air 
like bubbles, free to drift 
anywhere at any instant, the 
practical result would be that 
no one would have the courage 
to begin a conversation. 

Whafs Wrong with the World 

It is true that all sensible 
women think all sensible men 
mad. It is true for the matter 
of that, all women of any kind 
think all men of any kind mad. 
But they do not put it in 
telegrams any more than they 

wire to you that grass is green 
or God all-merciful. These 
things are truisms and often 
private ones at that. 

A Club of Queer Trades 

For human beings, being 
children, ha#e the childish 
wilfulness, the childish secrecy. 
And they never have from the 
beginning of the world done 
what the wise men have seen 
to be inevitable. 

The Napoleon of Netting Hill 

It is not enough for a 
prophet to believe in his 
message ; he must believe in 
its acceptability. 


Cleverness kills wisdom : 
that is one of the few sad and 
certain things. 

What's Wrong with the World 

Chaos is dull ; because in 
chaos the train might indeed go 
anywhere, to Baker Street or 
Bagdad. But man is a magician, 
and his whole magic is in this, 
that he does say "Victoria," 
and lo ! it is " Victoria." 

The Man ivho was Thursday 

That which is large enough 
for the rich to covet is large 
enough for the poor to defend. 

The Napoleon ofNotting Hill 

Why should I bow to the ages 


Because they were drear and 
; dry ? 
Slow trees and ripening 


For me go roaring by, 
A living charge, a struggle 
To escalade the sky. 

A Novelty (The Wild Knight) 

The man who is popular 
must be optimistic about some- 
thing, even if he is only 
optimistic about pessimism. 

Twelve TyJ>es 

In everything on this earth 
that is worth doing, there is a 
stage when no one would do it 
except for necessity or honour. 

Whafs Wrong with the World 

The women were of the kind 


vaguely called emancipated, 
and professed some protest 
against male supremacy. Yet 
these new women would 
always pay to a man the extra- 
ordinary compliment which no 
ordinary woman ever pays to 
him, that of listening while he 
is talking. 

The Man who was Thursday 

In this world of ours we do 
not go on and discover small 
things : rather we go on and 
discover big things. It is the 
detail that we see first : it is 
the design that we only see 
very slowly and some men die 
never having seen it at all. 

* William Blake 

The worst tyrant is not the 
man who rules with fearj the 
worst tyrant is he who rules 
by love and plays on it as on 
a harp. 

Robert Browning 

A self-conscious simplicity 
may well be far more intrinsi- 
cally ornate than luxury itself. 

Twelve Types 

Both men and women ought 
to face more fully the things 
they do or cause to be done ; 
face them or leave off doing 

Whafs Wrong with the World 

Thieves respect property. 
They may wish the property 


to become their property that 
they may more perfectly respect 
it. But philosophers dislike 
property as property ; they 
wish to destroy the very idea 
of personal possession. 

The Man who was Thursday 

Individually men may present 
a more or less rational appear- 
ance, eating, sleeping and 
scheming. But humanity as a 
whole is changeful, mystical, 
fickle, delightful. Men are 
men, but Man is a woman. 

The Napoleon ofNottins Hill 

There is one sin : to call a 

green leaf grey. 
Whereat the sun in heaven 



There is one blasphemy : for 

death to pray, 
For God alone knoweth the 

praise of death. 

Ecclesiastes (The Wild Knight) 

Rum idea, this is, that tidi- 
ness is a timid quiet sort of 
thing ; why tidiness is a toil 
for giants you can't tidy any- 
thing without untidying your- 
self Haven't you ever had a 
spring cleaning ? 


Ease is the worst enemy 
of happiness and civilisation, 
potentially the end of man. 

Twelve Tyj>es 

The keeper of a restaurant 


would much prefer that each 
customer should give his order 
smartly though it were for 
stewed ibis or boiled elephant ; 
rather than that each customer 
should sit holding his head in 
his hands, plunged in arith- 
metical calculations about how 
much food there can be on the 

Whafs Wrong with the World 

Modesty is too fierce and 
elemental a thing for the 
modern pedants to understand. 
I had almost said too savage 
a thing. It has in it the joy of 
escape, and the ancient shyness 
of freedom. 

William Blake 
[61] * 

Often and often the thing a 
whole nation can't settle is just 
the thing a family could settle, 


It is not the man of pleasure 
who has pleasure ; it is not the 
man of the world who ap- 
preciates the world. The man 
who has learnt to do all con- 
ventional things perfectly has 
at the same time learnt to do 
them prosaically. 

Twelve Types 

There are only three things 
in the world that women do 
not understand ; and they are 
Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. 

Whafs Wrong with the Werld 

Teetotalism is a simplifica- 
tion 5 its objection to beer is 
not really that beer makes a 
man a beast. On the contrary 
its real objection is that beer 
most unmistakably separates a 
man from a beast. 

William Blake 

The vision of a halved host 
That weep around an empty 

throne ; 
And aureoles dark and angels 

Man with his own life stands 


"I am" he says his bankrupt 

creed ; 
" I am" and is again a clod. 


The sparrow starts, the grasses 

For he has said the name of 


Ultimate ( The Wild Knight] 

Stick to the man who looks 
out of the window and tries to 
understand the world. Keep 
clear of the man who looks in 
at the window and tries to 
understand you.