Hilaire Belloc quotes

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Hilaire Belloc

Birthdate: 27. July 1870
Date of death: 16. July 1953
Other names: هیلیر بلاک, Joseph Hilaire Pierre René Belloc

Joseph Hilaire Pierre René Belloc was a British-French writer and historian and one of the most prolific writers in England during the early twentieth century. Belloc was also an orator, poet, sailor, satirist, writer of letters, soldier, and political activist. His Catholic faith had a strong impact on his works. He was President of the Oxford Union and later MP for Salford from 1906 to 1910. He was a noted disputant, with a number of long-running feuds, but also widely regarded as a humane and sympathetic man. Belloc became a naturalised British subject in 1902 while retaining his French citizenship.

His writings encompassed religious poetry and comic verse for children. His widely sold Cautionary Tales for Children included "Jim, who ran away from his nurse, and was eaten by a lion" and "Matilda, who told lies and was burned to death". He also collaborated with G. K. Chesterton on a number of works. Wikipedia

Photo: T. & R. Annan & Sons / Public domain

Works

„Awake, Ausonian Muse, and sing the vineyard song!“

—  Hilaire Belloc

Heroic Poem in Praise of Wine (1932)
Context: To exalt, enthrone, establish and defend,
To welcome home mankind's mysterious friend
Wine, true begetter of all arts that be;
Wine, privilege of the completely free;
Wine the recorder; wine the sagely strong;
Wine, bright avenger of sly-dealing wrong,
Awake, Ausonian Muse, and sing the vineyard song!

„When I am dead, I hope it may be said:
'His sins were scarlet, But his books were read.“

—  Hilaire Belloc

"On His Books"
Hilaire Belloc (1925)
Variant: When I am dead, I hope it may be said, 'His sins were scarlet, but his books were read.

„The Barbarian hopes — and that is the very mark of him — that he can have his cake and eat it too. He will consume what civilisation has slowly produced after generations of selection and effort but he will not be at pains to replace such goods nor indeed has he a comprehension of the virtue that has brought them into being.“

—  Hilaire Belloc

Ch. XXXII : The Barbarians , p. 282 https://books.google.com/books?id=EyrQAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA282
This and That and the Other (1912)
Context: The Barbarian hopes — and that is the very mark of him — that he can have his cake and eat it too. He will consume what civilisation has slowly produced after generations of selection and effort but he will not be at pains to replace such goods nor indeed has he a comprehension of the virtue that has brought them into being. Discipline seems to him irrational, on which account he is for ever marvelling that civilisation should have offended him with priests and soldiers.

„In a word, the Barbarian is discoverable everywhere in this that he cannot make; that he can befog or destroy, but that he cannot sustain; and of every Barbarian in the decline or peril of every civilisation exactly that has been true.“

—  Hilaire Belloc

Source: This and That and the Other (1912), Ch. XXXII : The Barbarians , p. 282
Context: In a word, the Barbarian is discoverable everywhere in this that he cannot make; that he can befog or destroy, but that he cannot sustain; and of every Barbarian in the decline or peril of every civilisation exactly that has been true.
We sit by and watch the Barbarian, we tolerate him; in the long stretches of peace we are not afraid.
We are tickled by his irreverence, his comic inversion of our old certitudes and our fixed creeds refreshes us: we laugh. But as we laugh we are watched by large and awful faces from beyond: and on these faces there is no smile.

„Nor have I met any man in my life, arguing for what should be among men, but took for granted as he argued that the doctrine he consciously or unconsciously accepted was or should be a similar foundation for all mankind. Hence battle.“

—  Hilaire Belloc

Source: The Cruise of the 'Nona (1925), pp. 48-9
Belloc writes that Cardinal Manning said this sentence to him "when I was but twenty years old" (p. 47), i.e. in 1890 or 1891.
Context: The profound thing which Cardinal Manning said to me was this: all human conflict is ultimately theological. […]This saying of his (which I carried away with me somewhat bewildered) that all human conflict was ultimately theological: that is, that all wars and revolutions, and all decisive struggles between parties of men arise from a difference in moral and transcendental doctrine, was utterly novel to me. To a young man the saying was without meaning: I would almost have said nonsensical, save that I could not attach the idea of folly to Manning. But as I grew older it became a searchlight: with the observation of the world, and with continuous reading of history, it came to possess for me a universal meaning so profound that it reached to the very roots of political action; so extended that it covered the whole.It is, indeed, a truth which explains and co-ordinates all one reads of human action in the past, and all one sees of it in the present. […] All tragedy is the conflict of a true right and a false right, or of a greater right and a lesser right, or, at the worst, of two false rights. Still more do men pretend in this time of ours, wherein the habitual use of the human intelligence has sunk to its lowest, that doctrine is but a private individual affair, creating a mere opinion. Upon the contrary, it is doctrine that drives the State; and every State is stronger in the degree in which the doctrine of its citizens is united. Nor have I met any man in my life, arguing for what should be among men, but took for granted as he argued that the doctrine he consciously or unconsciously accepted was or should be a similar foundation for all mankind. Hence battle.

„There's nothing worth the wear of winning,
But laughter and the love of friends.“

—  Hilaire Belloc

"Dedicatory Ode", stanza 22
Verses (1910)
Context: From quiet homes and first beginning,
Out to the undiscovered ends,
There's nothing worth the wear of winning,
But laughter and the love of friends.

„But as we laugh we are watched by large and awful faces from beyond: and on these faces there is no smile.“

—  Hilaire Belloc

Source: This and That and the Other (1912), Ch. XXXII : The Barbarians , p. 282
Context: In a word, the Barbarian is discoverable everywhere in this that he cannot make; that he can befog or destroy, but that he cannot sustain; and of every Barbarian in the decline or peril of every civilisation exactly that has been true.
We sit by and watch the Barbarian, we tolerate him; in the long stretches of peace we are not afraid.
We are tickled by his irreverence, his comic inversion of our old certitudes and our fixed creeds refreshes us: we laugh. But as we laugh we are watched by large and awful faces from beyond: and on these faces there is no smile.

„I have wandered all my life, and I have also traveled; the difference between the two being this, that we wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment.“

—  Hilaire Belloc

As quoted in Lifetime Speaker's Encyclopedia (1962) edited by Jacob Morton Braude, p. 829
As quoted in Traveling for Her: An Inspirational Guide (2008) by Amber Israelsen, p. 2
Variant: I have wandered all my life, and I have traveled; the difference between the two is this — we wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment.

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„Loss and Possession, Death and Life are one.
There falls no shadow where there shines no sun.“

—  Hilaire Belloc

"On the Same" (On a Sundial III)
Quoted by Kevin Smith's character in the film Catch and Release (2006)
Sonnets and Verse (1938)

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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