Friday, June 09, 2006

Favorite One Line

Now that you've told me your favorite book, do you have a farovite one line? Maybe one that isn't so frequently quoted?

What is Chesterton's best one line? Or, what one line jumped out at you as Chesterton's most profound?


  1. "The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried." (What's Wrong With the World)

    Do I have to explain why I like this line so much?

  2. "And Mahomet shall answer out of the desert, the red whirlwind of the desert.... What was this thing, that thrust me back with all the energy of a thing alive; whose fanaticism could drive me from Sicily and tear up my deep roots out of the rock of Spain? What faith was theirs who thronged in thousands of every class and country crying out that my ruin was the will of God; and what hurled great Godfrey as from a catapault over the wall of Jerusalem; and what brought great Sobiesky like a thunderbolt to the gates of Vienna?"

    "The Witness of the Heretics," in The Everlasting Man

  3. It's a few lines, but it's an opening mood, let us say:

    "The two hundredth anniversary of Henry Fielding is very justly celebrated, even if, as far as can be discovered, it is only celebrated by the newspapers. It would be too much to expect that any such merely chronological incident should induce the people who write about Fielding to read him; this kind of neglect is only another name for glory."

    - "Tom Jones and Morality," All Things Considered

  4. This quote is from the excellent talk Fr. Schall gave at last year's ACS Conference entitled "Chesterton, the Real Heretic."

    "Some people hold the undemonstrable dogma of the existence of God. Other's hold the equally undemonstrable dogma of the existence of the man next door."

    In my "modern rationalist" days before being accepted into the Catholic Church, I was quite skeptical of "undemonstrable dogmas." It wasn't until I discovered GKC that I realized that I have always based my life on dogmas, many much more fantastic than I was willing to admit.

    The quote is from a tape of the lecture. I wish I could have been there to hear it and talk with Fr. Schall. While we are at favorite Chesterton things, how about a thread for favorite work about GKC? Any nominations for "Schall on Chesterton?"

  5. "There are souls more sick of pleasure than you are sick of pain" from his poem "The Aristocrat," which begins "The devil is a gentleman..."

    The last lines of the poem "The Donkey" are epiphanic.

  6. "Poets are strangely silent on the subject of cheese"


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