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Page 46 - For, if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself for battle?
Page 36 - Imagine even that you are a boy again and engaged in a tug-of-war between French and English.' Shortly after saying this I left him; but I have no doubt at all that my words bore the best possible fruit. I have no doubt that every day of his life he hangs on to the handle of that drawer with a flushed face and eyes bright with battle, uttering encouraging shouts to himself, and seeming to hear all round him the roar of an applauding ring. So I do not think that it is altogether fanciful or incredible...
Page 213 - Well, can you tell me any man of intellect, great in science or philosophy, who accepted the miraculous?' I said, 'With pleasure. Descartes, Dr. Johnson, Newton, Faraday, Newman, Gladstone, Pasteur, Browning, Brunetiere — as many more as you please.' To which that quite admirable and idealistic young man made this astonishing reply: 'Oh, but of course they had to say that; they were Christians.' First he challenged me to find a black swan, and then he ruled out all my swans because they were black....
Page 172 - Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill: Did this in Caesar seem ambitious? When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept: Ambition should be made of sterner stuff: Yet Brutus says he was ambitious; And Brutus is an honourable man.
Page 12 - Orwell thought the dirty joke, at its best, "a sort of mental rebellion."29 Chesterton upped the paradoxical ante: "When you have got hold of a vulgar joke, you may be certain that you have got hold of a subtle and spiritual idea":30 a piously hopeful idea.
Page 96 - It is not only possible to say a great deal in praise of play ; it is really possible to say the highest things in praise of it. It might reasonably be maintained that the true object of all human life is play. Earth is a task garden ; heaven is a playground.
Page 266 - Men spoke of the sinner breaking the law; but it was rather the law that broke him. And what modern people call the foulness and freedom of Fielding is generally the severity and moral stringency of Fielding. He would not have thought that he was serving morality at all if he had written a book all about nice people. Fielding would have considered Mr Ian Maclaren extremely immoral; and there is something to be said for that view. Telling the truth about the terrible struggle of the human soul is...
Page 255 - If you really read the fairy tales, you will observe that one idea runs from one end of them to the other — the idea that peace and happiness can only exist on some condition. This idea, which is the core of ethics, is the core of the nursery tales.
Page 264 - We have grown to associate morality in a book with a kind of optimism and prettiness; according to us, a moral book is a book about moral people. But the old idea was almost exactly the opposite; a moral book was a book about immoral people. A moral book was full of pictures like Hogarth's " Gin Lane " or " Stages of Cruelty," or it recorded, like the popular broadsheet, "God's dreadful judgment " against some blasphemer or murderer.