Sunday, December 19, 2010

"You're like a breath of April air, sir," he cried. " You're ozone after that fellow."

From the end of Chapter II of G.K. Chesterton's "The Ball and the Cross":

"Well, sir," said the editor of The Atheist, "where is the fight to be? Name the field, sir."

Evan stood thunderstruck. He stammered out something, he knew not what; he only guessed it by the answer of the other.

"Do I want to fight? Do I want to fight?" cried the furious Free-thinker. "Why, you moonstruck scarecrow of superstition, do you think your dirty saints are the only people who can die? Haven't you hung atheists, and burned them, and boiled them, and did they ever deny their faith? Do you think we don't want to fight? Night and day I have prayed—I have longed— for an atheist revolution—I have longed to see your blood and ours in the streets. Let it be yours or mine?"

"But you said ..." began MacIan.

"I know," said Turnbull, scornfully. "And what did you say? You damned fool, you said things that might have got us locked up for a year, and shadowed by the coppers for half a decade. If you wanted to fight, why did you tell that ass you wanted to? I got you out, to fight if you want to. Now, fight if you dare."

"I swear to you, then," said MacIan, after a pause. "I swear to you that nothing shall come between us. I swear to you that nothing shall be in my heart or in my head till our swords clash together. I swear it by the God you have denied, by the Blessed Lady you have blasphemed; I swear it by the seven swords in her heart. I swear it by the Holy Island where my fathers are, by the honour of my mother, by the secret of my people, and by the chalice of the Blood of God."

The atheist drew up his head. "And I," he said, "give my word."

For an extra read, here is my latest TIC post: "The Grotesque Iconography of Lady Gaga"

Happy Fourth Sunday of Advent-- Veni, Veni, Emmanuel!!


  1. Wow. I may need to go read me some Chesterton. Do you recommend one to begin with?

  2. The first GKC I ever read was 'The Man Who Was Thursday'- really good. You like poetry, so I can't recommend 'The Ballad of the White Horse' enough. 'The Ball and the Cross' isn't too thick; my copy is only 178 pages, sixe 11 TNR font (guess). He was a very prolific writer, though, so I am still working through him. I want to read more Belloc too- he and GKC were like peas and carrots! :) I recently bought his biographies of St. Francis and St. Thomas Aquinas and am so far impressed, not surprisingly.

  3. Chesterton, HE IS GOOD. I was introduced to his writing last summer at a home schooling conference. Thanks for the word of encouragement and book recommendations.

  4. Another vote for 'The Man Who Was Thursday!'