G. K. Chesterton – or Gilbert Keith Chesterton, to give him his full name – was born on this day in 1874. What better reason could one want for proffering ten of his finest one-liners?
There is no such thing on earth as an uninteresting subject; the only thing that can exist is an uninterested person. – Heretics (1905)
Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese. – Alarms and Discursions (1910)
Men do not differ much about what things they will call evils; they differ enormously about what evils they will call excusable. – Illustrated London News (1909)
To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it. – A Short History of England (1917)
Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction … for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it. – The Club of Queer Trades (1905)
A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author. – Heretics (1905)
To be clever enough to get all that money, one must be stupid enough to want it. – The Innocence of Father Brown (1911)
We make our friends; we make our enemies; but God makes our next-door neighbour. – Heretics (1905)
An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered. – All Things Considered (1908)
Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly. – Orthodoxy (1908)
Image: G. K. Chesterton at work, Wikimedia Commons, public domain.