His father Thomas belonged to a family of engineers who had built many of the deep-sea lighthouses around the rocky coast of Scotland. His mother, Margaret Isabella Balfourcame from a family of lawyers and church ministers.
George opposite the large Waterworks Tower that dominated that ridge. I do not allege any significance in the relation of the two buildings; and I indignantly deny that the church was chosen because it needed the whole water-power of West London to turn me into a Christian.
Nevertheless, the great Waterworks Tower was destined to play its part in my life, as I shall narrate on a subsequent page; but that story is connected with my own experiences, whereas my birth as I have said is an incident which I accept, like some poor ignorant peasant, only because it has been handed down to me by oral tradition.
And before we come to any of my own experiences, it will be well to devote this brief chapter to a few of the other facts of my family and environment which I hold equally precariously on mere hearsay evidence. Of course what many call hearsay evidence, or what I call human evidence, might be questioned in theory, as in the Baconian controversy or a good deal of the Higher Criticism.
The story of my birth might be untrue. I might be the long-lost heir of The Holy Roman Empire, or an infant left by ruffians from Limehouse on a door-step in Kensington, to develop in later life a hideous criminal heredity.
Some of the sceptical methods applied to the world's origin might be applied to my origin, and a grave and earnest enquirer come to the conclusion that I was never born at all. But I prefer to believe that common sense is something that my readers and I have in common; and that they will have patience with a dull summary of the facts.
I was born of respectable but honest parents; that is, in a world where the word "respectability" was not yet exclusively a term of abuse, but retained some dim philological connection with the idea of being respected.
It is true that even in my own youth the sense of the word was changing; as I remember in a conversation between my parents, in which it was used with both implications. My father, who was serene, humorous and full of hobbies, remarked casually that he had been asked to go on what was then called The Vestry.
At this my mother, who was more swift, restless and generally Radical in her instincts, uttered something like a cry of pain; she said, "Oh, Edward, don't!
You will be so respectable! We never have been respectable yet; don't let's begin now. Bennet about my father; though there was certainly nothing of Mrs.
Bennet about my mother. Anyhow, what I mean here is that my people belonged to that rather old-fashioned English middle class; in which a business man was still permitted to mind his own business.
They had been granted no glimpse of our later and loftier vision, of that more advanced and adventurous conception of commerce, in which a business man is supposed to rival, ruin, destroy, absorb and swallow up everybody else's business. My father was a Liberal of the school that existed before the rise of Socialism; he took it for granted that all sane people believed in private property; but he did not trouble to translate it into private enterprise.
His people were of the sort that were always sufficiently successful; but hardly, in the modern sense, enterprising.
My father was the head of a hereditary business of house agents and surveyors, which had already been established for some three generations in Kensington; and I remember that there was a sort of local patriotism about it and a little reluctance in the elder members, when the younger first proposed that it should have branches outside Kensington.
This particular sort of unobtrusive pride was very characteristic of this sort of older business men. I remember that it once created a comedy of cross-purposes, which could hardly have occurred unless there had been some such secret self-congratulation upon any accretion of local status.
The incident is in more ways than one a glimpse of the tone and talk of those distant days. My grandfather, my father's father, was a fine-looking old man with white hair and beard and manners that had something of that rounded solemnity that went with the old-fashioned customs of proposing toasts and sentiments.
He kept up the ancient Christian custom of singing at the dinner-table, and it did not seem incongruous when he sang "The Fine Old English Gentleman" as well as more pompous songs of the period of Waterloo and Trafalgar.
And I may remark in passing that, having lived to see Mafeking Night and the later Jingo lyrics, I have retained a considerable respect for those old and pompous patriotic songs.The difficulty of dealing with St.
Thomas Aquinas in this brief article is the difficulty of selecting that aspect of a many-sided mind which will best suggest its size or scale. Dorothy Leigh Sayers (/ s ɛər z /; 13 June – 17 December ) was a renowned English crime writer and poet.
She was also a student of classical and modern languages. She is best known for her mysteries, a series of novels and short stories set between the First and Second World Wars that feature English aristocrat and amateur sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey, which remain popular to this day.
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Autobiography, by G.K. Chesterton, free ebook. IV.—HOW TO BE A LUNATIC.
I deal here with the darkest and most difficult part of my task; the period of youth which is full of doubts and morbidities and temptations; and which, though in my case mainly subjective, has left in my mind for ever a certitude upon the objective solidity of Sin.
Bacon, Francis () British statesman and philosopher. Beecher, Henry Ward () American politician. Carlyle, Thomas () British historian and essayist. Chesterton, Gilbert Keith () British journalist, novelist and poet. Churchill, Winston () British politician. Cicero, Marcus Tulius () Writer, politician and great roman orator.
Disraeli, Benjamin () British politician and author. G. K. Chesterton Home Page. Provides information and resources about Gilbert Keith Chesterton.
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