People who make history know nothing about history. You can see that in the sort of history they make.
Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die.
I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.
When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.
Hope is the power of being cheerful in circumstances which we know to be desperate.
Hope means expectancy when things are otherwise hopeless.
Against a dark sky, all flowers look like fireworks.
Against a dark sky all flowers look like fireworks. There is something strange about them, at once vivid and secret, like flowers traced in fire in the phantasmal garden of a witch.
Exactly at the instant when hope ceases to be reasonable it begins to be useful.
The best kind of giving is thanksgiving.
I believe in getting into hot water; it keeps you clean.
It is always the secure who are humble.
Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.
To be simple is the best thing in the world.
To be simple is the best thing in the world; to be modest is the next best thing. I am not sure about being quiet.
The paradox of courage is that a man must be a little careless of his life even in order to keep it.
Brave men are all vertebrates; they have their softness on the surface and their toughness in the middle.
To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.
The only defensible war is a war of defense.
A man who says that no patriot should attack the war until it is over is saying no good son should warn his mother of a cliff until she has fallen.
Monotony has nothing to do with a place; monotony, either in its sensation or its infliction, is simply the quality of a person. There are no dreary sights; there are only dreary sight seers.
Tradition does not mean that the living are dead, but that the dead are living.
Tradition does not mean a dead town; it does not mean that the living are dead but that the dead are alive. It means that it still matters what Penn did two hundred years ago or what Franklin did a hundred years ago; I never could feel in New York that it mattered what anybody did an hour ago.
Tradition may be defined as an extension of the franchise. Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead.
We are Christians and Catholics not because we worship a key, but because we have passed a door and felt the wind that is the trumpet of liberty blow over the land of the living.
When you break the big laws, you do not get liberty; you do not even get anarchy. You get the small laws.
Atheism is indeed the most daring of all dogmas ... for it is the assertion of a universal negative.
ONCE remove the old arena of theological quarrels, and you will throw open the whole world to the most horrible, the most hopeless, the most endless, the most truly interminable quarrels; the untheological quarrels.
Here ends another day, during which I have had eyes, ears, hands and the great world around me. Tomorrow begins another day. Why am I allowed two?
There are no wise few. Every aristocracy that has ever existed has behaved, in all essential points, exactly like a small mob.
Men spoke much in my boyhood about restricted or ruined men of genius: and it was common to say that many a man was a Great Might-Have-Been. To me it's a more solid and startling fact that any man in the street is a Great Might-Not-Have-Been.
The great misfortune of the modern English is not at all that they are more boastful than other people (they are not); it is that they are boastful about those particular things which nobody can boast of without losing them.
There is no better test of a man's ultimate chivalry and integrity than how he behaves when he is wrong... A stiff apology is a second insult.
It is not bigotry to be certain we are right; but it is bigotry to be unable to imagine how we might possibly have gone wrong.
A cosmic philosophy is not constructed to fit a man; a cosmic philosophy is constructed to fit a cosmos. A man can no more possess a private religion than he can possess a private sun and moon.
What are we going to do? asked the Professor. At this moment, said Syme, with a scientific detachment, I think we are going to smash into a lamppost.
But since he stood for England And knew what England means, Unless you give him bacon You must not give him beans.
The human race is always trying this dodge of making everything entirely easy; but the difficulty which it shifts off one thing it shifts to another.
The humorous look of children is perhaps the most endearing of all the bonds that hold the Cosmos together.
Poetry is sane because it floats easily in an infinite sea; reason seeks to cross the infinite sea and so make it finite. The result is mental exhaustion. To accept everything is an exercise, to understand everything a strain.
The man who lives in contact with what he believes to be a living Church is a man always expecting to meet Plato and Shakespeare tomorrow at breakfast. He is always expecting to see some truth that he has never seen before.
The more truly we can see life as a fairytale, the more clearly the tale resolves itself into war with the dragon who is wasting fairyland.
He must not merely cling to life, for then he will be a coward, and will not escape. He must not merely wait for death, for then he will be a suicide, and will not escape. He must seek his life in a spirit of furious indifference to it.
The ignorant pronounce it Frood To cavil or applaud The well-informed pronounce it Froyd But I pronounce it Fraud.
For us who live in cities Nature is not natural. Nature is supernatural. Just as monks watched and strove to get a glimpse of heaven, so we watch and strive to get a glimpse of earth. It is as if men had cake and wine every day but were sometimes allowed common bread.
We are learning to do a great many clever things. The next great task will be to learn not to do them.
I tell you naught for your comfort, Yea, naught for your desire, Save that the sky grows darker yet And the sea rises higher.
Education is implication. It is not the things you say which children
respect; when you say things, they very commonly laugh and do the opposite.
It is the things you assume which really sink into them. It is the things
you forget even to teach that they learn.
Every work of art has one indispensable mark ... the center of it is simple, however much the fulfillment may be complicated.
Ingratitude is surely the chief of the intellectual sins of man. He takes his political benefits for granted, just as he takes the skies and the seasons for granted.
What we call emancipation is always and of necessity simply the free choice of the soul between one set of limitations and another.
Savages and modern artists are alike strangely driven to create something uglier than themselves. but the artists find it harder.
Nothing can ever overcome that one enormous sex (female) superiority that even the male child is born closer to his mother than to his father.
Be careful how you suggest things to me. For there is in me a madness which goes beyond martyrdom, the madness of an utterly idle man.
Every remedy is a desperate remedy. Every cure is a miraculous cure. Curing a madman is not arguing with a philosopher; it is casting out a devil.
It is a mathematical fact that if a line be not perfectly directed towards a point, it will actually go further away from it as it comes nearer to it.
I have myself a poetical enthusiasm for pigs, and the paradise of my fancy is one where pigs have wings. But it is only men, especially wise men, who discuss whether pigs can fly; we have no particular proof that pigs ever discuss it.
When a woman puts up her fists to a man she is putting herself in the only posture in which he is not afraid of her.
And pray where in earth or heaven are there prudent marriages-Might as well talk about prudent suicides.
In our time the blasphemies are threadbare. Pessimism is now patently, as it always was essentially, more commonplace than piety. Profanity is now more than an affectation -- it is a
convention. The curse against God is Exercise I in the primer of minor poetry.
It is quite an old-fashioned fallacy to suppose that our objection to scepticism is that it removes the discipline from life. Our objection to scepticism is that it removes the motive power. Materialism is not a thing which destroys mere restraint. Materialism itself is the great restraint.
Marxism: The theory that all the important things in history are rooted in an economic motive, that history is a science, a science of the search for food.
It's not that we don't have enough scoundrels to curse; it's that we don't have enough good men to curse them.
If we want to give poor people soap we must set out deliberately to give them luxuries. If we will not make them rich enough to be clean, then empathically we must do what we did with the saints. We must reverence them for being dirty.
The State did not own men so entirely, even when it could send them to the stake, as it sometimes does now where it can send them to the elementary school.