The Fat Man With The Cape, Cigar and Cane

by joanabagano

Since it was the good ol’ man’s birthday yesterday, I decided to compile some of his photos plus a few quotes that I love to remember. I haven’t read all of his books yet and I know there are far better quotes in those I haven’t taken a hold of. Challenge me then to finish my GKC Reading Plan ASAP.

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Most of the photos were taken by his secretary, Dorothy Collins, while some others are from random places on the Internet (did I credit you enough? If not, just give me a heads up.)

At any innocent tea-table we may easily hear a man say, “Life is not worth living.” We regard it as we regard the statement that it is a fine day; nobody thinks that it can possibly have any serious effect on the man or on the world. And yet if that utterance were really believed, the world would stand on its head. Murderers would be given medals for saving men from life; firemen would be denounced for keeping men from death; poisons would be used as medicines; doctors would be called in when people were well; the Royal Humane Society would be rooted out like a horde of assassins. Yet we never speculate as to whether the conversational pessimist will strengthen or disorganize society; for we are convinced that theories do not matter. – Heretics

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There is no such thing on earth as an uninteresting subject; the only thing that can exist is an uninterested person. –Heretics

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We make our friends; we make our enemies; but God makes our next-door neighbour. – Heretics

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Shall I tell you the secret of the whole world? It is that we have only known the back of the world. We see everything from behind, and it looks brutal. That is not a tree, but the back of a tree. That is not a cloud, but the back of a cloud. Cannot you see that everything is stooping and hiding a face? If we could only get round in front… –The Man Who Was Thursday

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Thieves respect property; they merely wish the property to become their property that they may more perfectly respect it. – The Man Who Was Thursday

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The most incredible thing about miracles is that they happen. – The Innocence of Father Brown

I am a man, and therefore have all devils in my heart. – The Innocence of Father Brown

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The simplest truth about man is that he is a very strange being; almost in the sense of being a stranger on the earth. In all sobriety, he has much more of the external appearance of one bringing alien habits from another land than of a mere growth of this one.

He cannot sleep in his own skin; he cannot trust his own instincts. He is at once a creator moving miraculous hands and fingers and a kind of cripple. He is wrapped in artificial bandages called clothes; he is propped on artificial crutches called furniture. His mind has the same doubtful liberties and the same wild limitations. Alone among the animals, he is shaken with the beautiful madness called laughter; as if he had caught sight of some secret in the very shape of the universe hidden from the universe itself. Alone among the animals he feels the need of averting his thought from the root realities of his own bodily being; of hiding them as in the presence of some higher possibility which creates the mystery of shame. ~ The Everlasting Man

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If there is one fact we really can prove, from the history that we really do know, it is that despotism can be a development, often a late development and very often indeed the end of societies that have been highly democratic. A despotism may almost be defined as a tired democracy. As fatigue falls on a community, the citizens are less inclined for that eternal vigilance which has truly been called the price of liberty; and they prefer to arm only one single sentinel to watch the city while they sleep. – The Everlasting Man

The boldest plans for the future invoke the authority of the past; and that even a revolutionary seeks to satisfy himself that he is also a reactionary. – The Everlasting Man

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It is the nature of love to bind itself, and the institution of marriage merely paid the average man the compliment of taking him at his word. – A Defence of Rash Vows, The Defendant

The ‘Iliad’ is only great because all life is a battle, the ‘Odyssey’ because all life is a journey, the Book of Job because all life is a riddle. There is one attitude in which we think that all existence is summed up in the word ‘ghosts’; another, and somewhat better one, in which we think it is summed up in the words ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream.’ Even the vulgarest melodrama or detective story can be good if it expresses something of the delight in sinister possibilities–the healthy lust for darkness and terror which may come on us any night in walking down a dark lane. If, therefore, nonsense is really to be the literature of the future, it must have its own version of the Cosmos to offer; the world must not only be the tragic, romantic, and religious, it must be nonsensical also. – A Defence of Nonsense, The Defendant

The highest and most valuable quality in Nature is not her beauty, but her generous and defiant ugliness. A hundred instances might be taken. The croaking noise of the rooks is, in itself, as hideous as the whole hell of sounds in a London railway tunnel. Yet it uplifts us like a trumpet with its coarse kindliness and honesty, and the lover in ‘Maud’ could actually persuade himself that this abominable noise resembled his lady-love’s name. Has the poet, for whom Nature means only roses and lilies, ever heard a pig grunting? It is a noise that does a man good–a strong, snorting, imprisoned noise, breaking its way out of unfathomable dungeons through every possible outlet and organ. It might be the voice of the earth itself, snoring in its mighty sleep. – A Defence of Skeletons, The Defendant

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Reason is always a kind of brute force; those who appeal to the head rather than the heart, however pallid and polite, are necessarily men of violence. We speak of ‘touching’ a man’s heart, but we can do nothing to his head but hit it. – Twelve Types 

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder. – A Short History of England 

Much of our modern difficulty, in religion and other things, arises merely from this: that we confuse the word “indefinable” with the word “vague. – Charles Dickens

If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly. – What’s Wrong With the World
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