Ex Libris Kirkland

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Subtitle A Nightmare
First Written 1908
Genre Fiction
Origin UK
My Copy paperback
First Read February 28, 2006

The Man Who Was Thursday

Chesterton always blurs together for me - except The Napoleon of Notting Hill and The Flying Inn, for which I have an abiding place in my heart. So it was a surprise to me to find that I had re-read this as recently as 2013.

Noted on July 6, 2017

I promised a poor fellow who was a real modern pessimist, on my word of honor not to tell the police. I'm no hand at casuistry, but I can't break my word to a modern pessimist. It's like breaking one's word to a child.

Quoted on July 6, 2017

Bad is so bad, that we cannot but think good an accident; good is so good, that we feel certain that evil could be explained.

Quoted on July 6, 2017

But I forgot that in your country you are not used to peasants being wealthy."

"He looks poor," said Dr. Bull doubtfully.

"Quite so," said the Colonel; "that is why he is rich."

Quoted on July 6, 2017

So you talk about mobs and the working classes as if they were the question. You've got that eternal idiotic idea that if anarchy came it would come from the poor. Why should it? The poor have been rebels, but they have never been anarchists; they have more interest than anyone else in there being some decent government. The poor man really has a stake in the country. The rich man hasn't; he can go away to New Guinea in a yacht. The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly; the rich have always objected to being governed at all.

Quoted on July 6, 2017

Through all this ordeal his root horror had been isolation, and there are no words to express the abyss between isolation and having one ally. It may be conceded to the mathematicians that four is twice two. But two is not twice one; two is two thousand times one. That is why, in spite of a hundred disadvantages, the world will always return to monogamy.

Quoted on July 6, 2017

[The anarchist says:] "We hate Rights and we hate Wrongs. We have abolished Right and Wrong!"

"And Right and Left," said Syme [ the policeman ] with a simple eagerness. "I hope you will abolish them too. They are much more troublesome."

Quoted on July 6, 2017

"There again," said Syme irritably, "what is there poetical about being in revolt? You might as well say it is poetical to be sea-sick. Being sick is a revolt. Both being sick and being rebellious may be the wholesome thing on certain desperate occasions, but I'm hanged if I can see why they are poetical. Revolt in the abstract is--revolting. It's mere vomiting."

Quoted on July 6, 2017

Yes, the modern world has retained all those parts of police work which are really oppressive and ignominious, the harrying of the poor, the spying upon the unfortunate. It has given up on its more dignified work, the punishment of powerful traitors in the State and powerful heresiarchs in the Church. The moderns say we must not punish heretics. My only doubt is whether we have a right to punish anybody else.

Quoted on April 10, 2013

Ex Libris Kirkland is a super-self-absorbed reading journal made by Matt Kirkland. Copyright © 2001 - .
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