G.K. Chesteron The Trees of Pride

ISBN 13: 9781434450272

The Trees of Pride

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Squire Vane was an elderly schoolboy of English education and Irish extraction. His English education, at one of the great public schools, had preserved his intellect perfectly and permanently at the stage of boyhood. But his Irish extraction subconsciously upset in him the proper solemnity of an old boy, and sometimes gave him back the brighter outlook of a naughty boy. He had a bodily impatience which played tricks upon him almost against his will, and had already rendered him rather too radiant a failure in civil and diplomatic service. Thus it is true that compromise is the key of British policy, especially as effecting an impartiality among the religions of India; but Vane's attempt to meet the Moslem halfway by kicking off one boot at the gates of the mosque, was felt not so much to indicate true impartiality as something that could only be called an aggressive indifference. Again, it is true that an English aristocrat can hardly enter fully into the feelings of either party in a quarrel between a Russian Jew and an Orthodox procession carrying relics; but Vane's idea that the procession might carry the Jew as well, himself a venerable and historic relic, was misunderstood on both sides. In short, he was a man who particularly prided himself on having no nonsense about him; with the result that he was always doing nonsensical things. He seemed to be standing on his head merely to prove that he was hard-headed.

G K Chesterton has been described as one of the most unjustly neglected writers of our time. Born in 1874, he became a journalist and later began writing books and pamphlets. His work includes novels, literary and social criticism, political papers and spiritual essays in a style characterised by enormous wit, paradox, humility and wonder. He converted to Catholicism in 1922 and he explores the nature of spirituality in many of his books and essays, including the mighty Orthodoxy. Chesterton is one of the few authors who are genuinely timeless and whose work has as much relevance today as when it was written.

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