Sunday, November 16, 2008

Chesterton, Belloc and other English and French Catholics and other mystery writers

G. K. Chesterton

Works on the web

The Poem of Lepanto

G.K. Speaks - The Enemies of Property :

There is only one thing new that can be done under the sun; and that is to look at the sun. If you attempt it on a blue day in June, you will know why men do not look straight at their ideals. There is only one really startling thing to be done with the ideal, and that is to do it. It is to face the flaming logical fact, and its frightful consequences. Christ knew that it would be a more stunning thunderbolt to fulfil the law than to destroy it. It is true of both the cases I have quoted, and of every case. The pagans had always adored purity: Athena, Artemis, Vesta. It was when the virgin martyrs began defiantly to practice purity that they rent them with wild beasts, and rolled them on red-hot coals. The world had always loved the notion of the poor man uppermost; it can be proved by every legend from Cinderella to Whittington, by every poem from the Magnificat to the Marseillaise. The kings went mad against France not because she idealized this ideal, but because she realized it*. Joseph of Austria and Catherine of Russia quite agreed that the people should rule; what horrified them was that the people did. The French Revolution, therefore, is the type of all true revolutions, because its ideal is as old as the Old Adam, but its fulfilment almost as fresh, as miraculous, and as new as the New Jerusalem.
*Though, let it be added, the people ceased to rule as the King and the Church ceased to be free. Their supreme days were july 14th to 17th in 1789. Their decline began august 4th, same year.

Hilaire Belloc

Can It Be Mended? Part One :

It has been suggested that the auditing of the secret Party Funds might undermine the Party System. To inaugurate such a practice would certainly deal the Party System a heavy blow, but the success would not be final. Side by side with the officially audited Party Fund another secret fund would at once spring up. A drastic penalty might indeed be attached to any such form of secret bribery.

But the law would tend to be a dead letter in the absence of an alert public opinion behind it; for secret bribery, when it has become a national custom, is not so easy to eliminate. Nothing is less easy to prove, since all parties to the crime are concerned in defending it and in hiding it, and no one person can feel himself aggrieved. ...

Sometimes even a person who can feel himself aggrieved is not enough to eliminate national or multinational bad customs, though.

J. H. Cardinal Newman

François-René de Chateaubriand

Chateaubriand sur Wikipédia.:

Chargé en 1804 de représenter la France près de la République du Valais, il apprend l'exécution du duc d'Enghien : il donne immédiatement sa démission et passe dans l'opposition à l'Empire.

Il avait de la conscience!


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