Selections from G.K.Chesterton
Daily News, December 21st, 1905
I am more and more convinced that we have to ask again the old question, ‘Is this a free country?’ It is still a very rich country; it will always, I think, be a great country; it is everywhere a humorous and in some patches a happy country; and anyhow, it is my country and that is enough for me. But it is not a free country. For some time past it has been losing, first slowly but now rapidly, the last vestiges of that particular thing called freedom.
Loyalty is the heart of the commonwealth; but liberty is its lungs. You find out the necessity of liberty as you find out the necessity of air — by not having enough of it and gasping.
Daily News, March 18th, 1911
Daily News, July 29th 1905
That poison is sin. And Prohibition perished because the spirit within it is sinful and has the quality of all the sins that destroy the soul. We pay the Prohibitionists far too high a compliment when we call them over-righteous or self-righteous or even Pharisaical. The evil was not really in any exaggeration of ethical seriousness; in the sense, for instance, in which the old Puritan might really be rather unbalanced in his horror at harlotry and the brazen profession of prostitution; or a sensitive person might go a little mad from the mere shock of encountering some madness of moral perversion. The evil of the thing lay much deeper, because it was not a narrowing of the moral sense; it was a violent dislocation and uprooting of the moral sense. The common conscience of sane people is a thing which I and others continue to call the voice of God; but anyhow it is the voice of Man. It is the healthy response of the universal human mind to certain ideas and it does not really differ very widely in its deliberate and conscious decisions; though of course it is modified by particular perils, particular duties of the moment, and the rest. Now if you take a normal person, a nice child, a reasonably trained man, a human being not falling short of the fulness of human nature, you will find that such a person knows that certain decisions are unjust, certain actions cruel, certain risks ordinary, certain matters a man’s own business, and so on. Only by perverting his conscience, only by making his mind crooked, can you induce him to believe that drinking beer is some thing like assassination or betrayal. And by the time that you have succeeded, you have ruined his moral sense. It is no longer a spontaneous spiritual thing; it is no longer a natural thing that can smell evil; it is only capable of repeating a dead, distorted lesson like something imposed by a mesmerist. That mesmerist is not a moralist. He is, in the most emphatic sense, an immoralist. He corrupts the conscience of the young.
Far too little attention has been paid to this point of very practical psychology. You wreck the tribunal of truth when you bribe or bully it into pronouncing the innocent guilty, just as you do when you similarly induce it to pronounce the guilty innocent. As it is with an innocent man, so it is with an innocent practice. You have to destroy all innocence to make anyone detest an innocent practice. By the time that you have persuaded a nice and normal child that it is wicked to fetch his poor old father a glass of ale, you have so bewildered the mind that it may end by saying it is not wicked to put prussic acid in the ale. The logical, mathematical, intellectually inevitable effect of doing this is a general loosening of all morality. It is also the actual effect; and there is the actual state of modern America to prove it. Begin with a heresy in morals, whether it be a negative or a permission, and it will ‘bid in the worst and wildest licence that could follow on the loosest permission. And if anyone doubts this psychological fact, which is also a theological truth, then let him explain the howling nightmare and hell of nonsense and anarchy that has actually followed in the track of the Prohibition Law.
True Temperance Quarterly, May, 1933
Therefore (without carrying the parallel, of course, to any lengths of literalism), I think we may speak of indecorum as an assault. In the matter of violations of traditional public decency (however plausibly defended) I am entirely with the Puritans. The ordinary argument that sex can be treated calmly and freely like anything else is the most loathsome cant in this canting epoch. The parallels from other crimes are insolently fallacious. A man reading about a burglary is not any more likely to commit a burglary. A man who has seen a pocket picked is not in the least likely to become a pickpocket. But there is one evil which, by its hold on the imagination (the creative and reproductive part of man), can reproduce itself even by report. We have a right to protect ourselves and especially our top-heavy and groping children against startling and uncivilized appeals to this instinct. Heretics have a legal claim to persuade human souls to err and sin like human souls; they have no business to make them jump like monkeys on a stick. I have no more right to give an unwilling citizen a sexual shock than to give him an electric shock. I have no more right to come behind him and inflame his passions than to come behind him and inflame his coattails....
The appeal to animal appetite may succeed by its very familiarity. Indecency is not wild and lawless. The danger of indecency is exactly that it is tame, dull, direct, inevitable; a mere law in the members. It is automatic evil. Pride makes a man a devil; but lust makes him a machine.
Daily News, February 19th 1910
Black and White, March 7th, 1903
Daily News, February 18th, 1905
The next great heresy is going to be simply an attack on morality; and especially on sexual morality. And it is coming, not from a few Socialists surviving from the Fabian Society, but from the living exultant energy of the rich resolved to enjoy themselves at last, with neither Popery nor Puritanism nor Socialism to hold them back. .... The roots of the new heresy, God knows, are as deep as nature itself, whose flower is the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eye and the pride of life. I say that the man who cannot see this cannot see the signs of the times; cannot see even the sky- signs in the street that are the new sort of signs in heaven. The madness of- tomorrow is not in Moscow but Manhattan — but most of what was in Broadway is already in Piccadilly.
Daily News, March 11th, 1911
For at present we all, tend to one mistake; we tend to make politics too important. We tend to forget how huge a part of a man’s life is the same under a Sultan and a Senate, under Nero or St Louis. Daybreak is a never-ending glory, getting out of bed is a never-ending nuisance; food and friends will be welcomed: work and strangers must be accepted and endured: birds will go bedwards and children won’t, to the end of the last evening. And the worst danger is that in our modern revolt against intolerable accidents we may have unsettled those things that alone make daily life tolerable. . . . There is danger that the social reformer may silently and occultly develop some of the madness of the millionaire whom he denounces. He may find that he has learnt how to build playgrounds, but forgotten how to play. He may agitate for peace and quiet, but only propagate his own mental agitation. In his long fight to get a slave a half-holiday he may an deny those ancient and natural ‘things, the zest of being, the divinity of man, the sacredness of simple things, the health and humour of the earth, which alone make a half-holiday even half a holiday or a slave even half a man.
There .is danger in that modern phrase ‘divine discontent’. There is truth in it also, of course; but it is only truth of a special and secondary kind. Much of the quarrel between Christianity and the world has been due to this fact; that there are generally two truths, as it were, at any given moment, the ingenious, paradoxical truth suitable to some moment of revolt or reaction, and the ancient underlying truism which is nevertheless true all the time. It is sometimes worth while to point out that black is not so black as it is painted; but black is still black, and not white. So with the merits of content and discontent. It is true that in certain acute and painful crises of oppression or disgrace, discontent is a duty, and shame should call us like a trumpet. But it is not true that man should look at life with an eye of discontent, however high-minded. It is not true that .in his primary, naked relation to the world, in his relation to sex, to pain, to comradeship, to the grave or to the weather, man ought to make discontent his ideal; it is black lunacy. Half his poor little hopes of happiness hang on his thinking a small house pretty, a plain wife charming, a lame foot not unbearable, and bad cards not so bad. The voice of the special rebels and prophets, recommending discontent, should, as I have said, sound now and then suddenly, like a trumpet. But the voices of the saints and sages, recommending contentment, should sound unceasingly, like the sea.
T. P.’s Weekly, Christmas Number, 1910
For the truth is that the one thoroughly bad sort of discontent is divine discontent. We can all sympathize with human discontent. For human discontent means discontent with inhuman conditions. But divine discontent must really mean discontent with divine conditions. And curiously enough, that is exactly what it did mean in the older and wiser theologies and philosophies, where it was rightly branded as the source of all our woe. I am astonished that this simple truth has not been more simply seen. Thus, Mr Bernard Shaw once wrote a little book on the Bible; full of rather crude criticisms, I think, about the Fall and the Flood and the fear of the devil and all the rest. He judges them, of course, in the light of his familiar evolutionary fancy, that the Creator progresses as well as the Creation; indeed, it looks as if the Creation really creates the Creator. I have noted that the moderns lack philosophy. But I do dislike seeing a very clever man so clumsily missing the point; and in the matter of the Bible, the Fall and the Devil and so on, he does entirely miss the point. He tries to apply to such things the general sentiment of revolt which he feels as a Socialist and which any man may quite reasonably feel as a social reformer. But revolt or righteous indignation of that sort is always a discontent with bad conditions. The whole point of the spiritual revolt, dealt with in the Bible, is that it is always a revolt against good conditions.
I am not now bothering about Mr Shaw’s belief in the Bible. But I repeat that there is such a thing as seeing the point; and this is the point of the old moralities about the rebel angels or the rebellion of Adam, The point of the story of Satan is not that he revolted against being in hell, but that he revolted against being in heaven. The point about Adam is not that he was discontented with the conditions of the earth, but that he was discontented with the conditions of the earthly paradise. That is a totally different idea (and I will add a much deeper idea) than the obvious reasonableness of revolt against gross tyranny. And until it is understood once more, people will go on being discontented even with contentment. The rich will be even more discontented than the poor. They will explain that theirs is a divine discontent; and divine discontent is the very devil. You will observe that I use the term in a serious theological sense.
New York American, December 15th, 1932
I have always done my best to claim for men this purely economic justice, though I would rather they had it with liberty in the Distributist way than with slavery in the Bolshevist way. But I never thought that filling their stomachs would stop all the movements of their minds. And their n still have to deal with two very terrible enemies of man, the one classed as a mere mood and the other as a cosmic conclusion; their names are Boredom and Despair.
New York American, April 1st, 1933
THE EVIL DAY
Anyone who wishes to do justice either to Imperialism or to Socialism should sharply remember the epoch in which they arose, I mean, of course, arose in this country, and recently. They are both as old as human error. Sparta was Socialistic and Babylon was Imperialist ... Now the great thing to be said for these two great exaggerations or heresies (and every heresy is a truth taught out of proportion) is that they were both rebellions against the age in which I was born. The society against which they raised their voices was a very intellectual and artistic society. I have felt its atmosphere and I truly think that if they had been silent, the very stones would have cried out.
This dark period began vaguely about 1870; that end of the great Liberal epoch, the year when Paris fell and when Dickens died. It spreads equally vaguely up to the retirement of Gladstone and the abandonment of Home Rule, the last Liberal crusade that was unmistakably Liberal and unmistakably dangerous. All that period was filled with emptiness. Oscar Wilde was justly its greatest man; because he alone could really do levity on a large scale. Its products include many men whom I count as my best friends — myself among others. But I can hardly think of one of them who would not have been both better and happier if he had been .born in any other period from the Stone Age to the Reign of Terror. For almost all other ages have set one enthusiasm against another; but of this brief and black age only can it be said that it sneered at enthusiasm simply for being enthusiastic. All men had dreaded the lightning because it was destruction; but these disdained the lightning because it was the light.
Daily News, June 26th, 1909
The Open Review, July, 1906
Daily News, April 10th, 1906
These are creeds. But all men know that they are men; all men know that they belong to a positive human society, with rules of justice and mercy, and that they cannot even conceive themselves belonging to anything else. We belong to a club which is so old that nobody knows anything about its origin. We only know that in this club alone we can get our meals; in this club alone we can meet our friends; in this club alone we can sleep or argue or organize or pray. This club holds endless debates about everything — stars, boots, biology, sacraments, Alps, origins. Among the many minor things our human club discusses (for the fun of the thing) is how the club itself arose. The question is all the more interesting because nobody can answer it; the origins are in the fog of the utterly forgotten. Still, it is amusing to guess, and this guess or that guess is fashionable at any given time. At one time the club accepts the view that it was founded by a Mr Adam. At another time it records a vote that it was probably an affiliated branch of the Monkey’s Club. But these discussions of the forgotten origins are meant to amuse the club. No one ever dreamt of their being allowed to destroy it. Yet they would certainly destroy the Human Club if once they meant that we were to be rude to the members or stingy to the waiters. This is the strongest instance I know of the big thing against the small; that Humanity is the huge house that I live in, while Evolution is the small but interesting animal which has quite recently asked to be domesticated in it.
Daily News, September 19th 1908
Pigs are not corrupted with the Higher Imperialism. Tigers have no spiritual pride. Whales never sneer. Crocodiles are not (despite a pleasing legend) in the least hypocritical. On examining their exterior, it is difficult to understand why anyone ever gave them credit for so vivacious and ingenious a quality. The worst sins of all are the purely human sins. You may move upwards, working out the brute, and not work them out in the least. Nay, you may work them in. The less beastly you grow, the more bad you may grow.
Daily News, February 3rd, 1906
Daily News, January i8th, 1908
The Speaker, September 9 1905
Illustrated London News, February 10th, 1906
Black and White, February 14th, 1903
The Speaker, December 15th, 1900
Black and White, February r 1903
THE HIPPOPOTAMUS AND THE CROCODILE
The Speaker, September 9 1905
Illustrated London News, July 10th, 1920
Now if this particularism always stubbornly recurs even in poetry, how can it be left out of philosophy? What is the meaning of this incurable itch to give to airy nothing, or still more airy everything, a local habitation and a name? Why is it always some thing at once odd and objective, a precious fruit or a flying cup or a buried key, that symbolizes the mystery of the world? Why should not the world symbolize the world? Why should not a sphere sufficiently symbolize universalism, so that the faithful might be found adoring a plum-pudding or a cannon-ball? Why should not a spiral sufficiently represent progress, and the pious bow down before a corkscrew? In practice we know that it would be impossible to dissociate a Christmas pudding from the sacramental specialism of Christmas; and the worship of the corkscrew, that hieratic serpent, would probably be traced to the mysteries of Dionysius. In a word, why are all mysteries concerned with the notion of finding a particular thing in a particular place? If we are to find the real meaning of every element in mythology, what is the real meaning of that element in it? I can see only one possible answer that satisfies the new more serious and sympathetic study of religion, even among sceptics, and that is that there really is something to which all these fancies are what forgeries are to a signature; that if the soul could be satisfied with the truth, it would find it a tale as particular, as positive and as personal; that the light which we follow first as a wide white star actually narrows as we draw nearer to it, till we find that the trailing meteor is something like a light in a window or a candle in a room.
New Witness, July 15th, I921
Illustrated London News, September 22nd, 1906
The Speaker, May 31st, 1902
The Speaker, November 17th, 1900
Now we might apply this principle of differentiation to each of the rival religions in turn. Each of them is not only in a different category from the Catholic Church, but in a different category from the others. Islam, if it is to go into a class at all, ought not to go into a class of Islam, Christianity, Confucianism and Brahminism, but rather into a class of Islam, Manicheeism, Pelagianism and Protestantism. In the same way, Buddha ought not really to go into a class of Buddha, Christ, Mahomet and the rest; but rather into some such class as Buddha, Pythagoras, Plato and so on. He belongs to that class of philosophical mystics for whom what we commonly call religion was really only symbolical, and the main matter was a metaphysical unification. He may have had some of the virtues of a saint, but he was in reality a sage. He may have been what we call an idealist; he was also something very like a pessimist. But anyhow he was not a Church and did not found a Church. To consider what he did found, we should have to go back to the foundations in Brahminism; and when we do so, we find that this in turn is not another variation of the same thing, but an utterly different sort of thing with variations of its own. It is rather an old popular mythology, like our own old pagan mythology. At the back of it Brahminism is probably nature-worship, and Buddhism is certainly the very opposite of nature-worship. It would be true to call it an iconoclasm directed to destroy the idol called nature.
Finally, it is fairly clear that Confucianism is not a religion, unless the English public-school system is a religion or the Kultur of imperial Germany was a religion. In a sense they may be so described, since everything rests on a conscious or unconscious religion, or negation of religion. But nobody would call any of them a Church; and nobody can compare them with a Church calling itself dogmatic and divine. All these disparate things, of which one is an imitation and another a doubt and another a book - of etiquette, have nothing in common except that they are none of them Churches; and that they are all examples of the various things in which man might be expected to experiment in the absence of a Church....
It is a simple and historical fact about the Catholic Church that its character is as extraordinary as its claim. It is not merely the only thing that deserves a particular kind of service; it is the only thing that asks for it. It is quite possible to be a pagan and hate the Church; it is equally possible to be a pessimist and hate the universe. But there is one Church exactly as there is one universe; and no wise man will wander about looking for another.
Blackfriars, March, 1923
Daily News, March 19th, 1910
There is a perfectly natural parallel between a religion that defies the world and a ritual that defies the weather. Heathenism in the sense of hedonism, the concentration of the mind on pure pleasure as such, would chiefly concentrate on the conception of a Summer Feast. But in winter even a rich man receives some faint hint of the problem of a poor man; he may avoid being hungry, but he cannot always avoid being cold. To choose that moment of common freezing for the assertion of common fraternity is, in its own intrinsic nature, a foreshadowing of what we call the Christian idea. It involves the suggestion that joy comes from within and not from without. It involves the suggestion that peril and the potentiality of pain are themselves a ground for gratitude and rejoicing. It involves the suggestion that even when we are merely Pagans, we are not merely Pantheists. We are not merely nature worshippers; because a man smiles when nature frowns. It has always involved, under varying limitations in varying societies, the idea of hospitality, especially hospitality to the stranger and generally to the poor. Of course there are perfectly natural reasons for wanting to drink wine or warm ourselves at the fire in winter; but that is not an answer, except to those who have the ill-informed prejudice that Christianity must be opposed to things merely because they are natural. The point is in making a point of it; the special interest is in the special occasion, in the fact that during the Winter Feast, whether Pagan or Christian, there always was in some degree the idea of extending the enjoyment to others, of passing round the wine or seating the wanderer by the hearth. It is no controversial point against the Christians that they felt they could take up and continue such traditions among the Pagans; it only shows that the Christians knew a Christian thing when they saw it.
The real history of Christmas is very relevant to the real crisis of Christendom. We live in a terrible time of war and rumour of war; with a barbaric danger of the real reaction that goes back, not to the old form, but to the old formlessness. International idealism in its effort to hold the world together in a peace that can resist wars and revolutions, is admittedly weakened and often disappointed. I should say simply that it does not go deep enough. Christianity could draw life out of the depths of Paganism; but mere Modernism cannot draw on the depths of either. Charity is too much of a manufactured article and too little of a natural product. The League of Nations is too new to be natural. The modern materialistic humanitarianism is too young to be vigorous. If we really wish to make vivid the horrors of destruction and mere disciplined murder, we must see them more simply as attacks on the hearth and the human family. If we want to talk about poverty, we must talk about it as the hunger of a human being, a pain as positive as toothache; and not as the fall in wages or the failure of imports or even the lowering of the economic standard of living. We must say first of the beggar, not that there is insufficient housing accommodation but that he has nowhere to lay his head. We must say first of the human family, not that there are no jobs for them in the factory, but that there is no room for them in the inn. That is, we must talk of the human family in language as plain and practical and positive as that in which mystics used to talk of the Holy Family. We must learn again to use the naked words that describe a natural thing, and dispense for a moment with all those sociological polysyllables with which an artificial society has learned to talk of it as an artificial thing. Then we shall draw on the driving force of many thousand years, and call up a real humanitarianism out of the depths of humanity.
G. K.’s Weekly, January 2nd, 1936
THE THREE GIFTS
G. K.’s Weekly, December 12th, 1931
To begin with, the more chilly are in the habit of reminding the poet that when Winter comes, Spring is at least a quarter of the year behind. But it will also strike the natural man (as distinct from that most unnatural man whom we call the nature-worship per) that it would be just as easy to turn the phrase from optimism to pessimism by taking another section of the year. It would be quite as sensible to say, ‘If summer comes, can autumn be far behind?’ And it is probably within the range of the intelligence, even of a pantheist surveying the whole universe, to foresee that Winter will not only come, but will certainly come again. There is nothing but nonsense, therefore, in all pretences that the mere round of Nature itself is the source of our highest hopes or could by itself have evolved all that is meant by Resurrection. It is the soul that has received an unspeakable secret from heaven which it can only express in images of the earth, and naturally expresses in terms of the temporary resurrections of the earth. In other words, it uses Spring as a symbol of Easter; not Easter as a symbol of Spring. Anyone who will compare the beautiful lines of Shelley with some equally beautiful lines in one of Mr Belloc’s sonnets will measure the difference made by a philosophy that happens to make sense.
For as you
pass, the natural life of things
Here the poet does not talk as if next spring would last for ever; on the contrary, he talks of last summer that is already dead. But he can sing over both because of something in him different which does not die.
In this Spring more than all the other Springs, in this Easter more than all other Easters, we have to face the awful exaltation of that truth. I mean the truth that Resurrection is of faith and not of any false analogy from the senses or the seasons. Three things at least, peculiar to the present time, prevent us from identifying that hope with a revival or riot of vegetation. First, the beautiful condition to which a few centuries of progress have reduced half the landscapes of the land. Remembered summer does not shine along the grass in Pudsey or Wigan, because there is no grass to shine. The natural life of things does not proclaim the Resurrection in Sheffield and Huddersfield, because the life of things is not natural. It is only the supernatural life that dares to proclaim it there. Poets cannot describe the town landscapes as changing with the spring. They cannot say that in the spring a brighter scarlet glows in the suburban pillar-box, or in the spring the wanton policeman gets himself another crest or even another helmet. It is only human hopefulness that can see any hope in the human institution of the pillar-box; and only by a great act of faith do we affirm that policemen shall rise again from the dead. Nature cannot help us now, even as a symbol; for industrialism has destroyed the natural, but it cannot destroy the supernatural.
Second, we shall not fall into the pantheist fallacy of Shelley because it is only too likely that Nature, in the sense of immediate material resourses, will take on a sterner aspect in later and darker days; the days in which nature-worshippers become devil-worshippers. Merely natural optimists will become very unnatural pessimists— and it will be quite natural.
Lastly, the very task before us is enough to prove that things begin in the mind and that the spirit must blow its trumpet before any resurrection. For we are trying to bring back a Spring that as yet only exists in the spirit; to create grass and green things which must exist in a dream before they can exist in a landscape; the growth of which will be a miracle in the sense of something turn ing back the whole trend and movement of the earth. A Revolution is a mild thing compared with a Resurrection; and nothing less can raise us from the dead.
G. K.’s Weekly, March 26th, 1932
‘Now, the thing that strikes me most about [the critic] is that he is wrong on the facts. He is especially wrong on the primary fact of what sort of person the Jesus of the Gospels appears to be. The whole of [his] contention is ultimately this; that when we look, so to speak, through the four windows of the Evangelists at this mysterious figure, we can see there a recognizable Jew of the first century, with the traceable limitations of such a man. Now this is exactly what we do not see. If we must put the thing profanely and without sympathy, what we see is this: an extraordinary being who would certainly have seemed as mad in one century as another, who makes a vague and vast claim to divinity, who constantly contradicts himself, who imposes impossible commands, who where he seems wrong to us would certainly have seemed quite as wrong to anybody else, who where he seems right to us is often in tune with matters not ancient but modern, such, for instance, as the adoration of children. For some of his utterances men might fairly call him a maniac; for others, men long centuries afterwards might justly call him a prophet. But what nobody can possibly call him is a Galilean of the time of Tiberius. That was not how he appeared to his own family who tried to lock him up as a lunatic. That is not how he appeared to his own nation, who lynched him, still shuddering at his earth-shaking blasphemies. The impression produced on sceptics, ancient and modern, is not that of limits, but rather of a dangerous absence of limits; a certain shapelessness and mystery of which one cannot say how far it will go. . . . The thing to say about Jesus, if you do not like Him, is that He was a megalomaniac like Nero or a mystagogue like Cagliostro. But whether or no He was small, it is plain that the Gospels are too small for Him. Whether or no He is large, He is too large for the stage....
If I take it for granted (as most modern people do) that Jesus of Nazareth was one of the ordinary teachers of men, then I find Him splendid and suggestive indeed, but full of riddles and outrageous demands, by no means so workable and everyday an adviser as many heathens and many Jesuits. But if I put myself hypothetically into the other attitude, the case becomes curiously arresting and even thrilling. If I say ‘Suppose the Divine did really walk and talk upon the earth, what should we be likely to think of it?’ — then the foundations of my mind are moved. So far as I can form any conjecture, I think we should see in such a being exactly the perplexities that we see in the central figure of the Gospels: I think he would seem to us extreme and violent; because he would see some further development in virtue which would be for us untried. I think he would seem to us to contradict himself; because, looking down on life like a map, he would see a connection between things which to us are disconnected. I think, how ever, that he would always ring true to our own sense of right, but ring (so to speak) too loud and too clear. He would be too good but never too bad for us: ‘Be ye perfect.’ I think would be, in the nature of things, some tragic collision between him and the humanity he had created, culminating in something that would be at once a crime and an expiation. I think he would be blamed as a hard prophet for dragging down the haughty, and blamed also as a weak sentimentalist for loving the things that cling in corners, children or beggars. I think, in short, that he would give us a sensation that he was turning all our standards upside down, and yet also a sensation that he had undeniably put them the right way up. So, if I had been a Greek sage or an Arab poet before Christ, I should have figured to myself, in a dream, what would actually happen if this earth bore secretly the father of gods and men. In the abstract, it may be that it is still only a dream. Between those who think it is a dream and those who do not, is to be waged the great war of our future in which all these frivolities will be forgotten.
Hibbert Journal, July, 1909
The Speaker, February 9th 1901
Reader, when you or I meet him [the dragon], under whatever disguise, and perhaps rescue a few captives from his black cavern, may we bear a brave lance and a spotless shield through the crashing mêlée of life’s narrow lists and may our wearied swords have struck fiercely on the painted crests of Imposture and Injustice when the Dark Herald comes to lead us to the pavilion of the King.
The Debater, March—April, 1891