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13 UG (Unter Grund)

 Bartle Library

Bartle Library, Binghamton University, New York


Yet in another life I was not merely Gilbert Keith Chesterton, a detective who pretended to be a poet; I was really a poet who had become a detective.


Nor was my hatred of anarchy hypocritical.


I was one of those who are driven early in life into too conservative an attitude by the bewildering folly of most revolutionists. I had not attained it by any compliant tradition.


My respectability was spontaneous and sudden, a rebellion against rebellion. I came from a family of cranks, in which all the oldest people had all the newest notions. One of my uncles always walked about without a hat, and another had made an unsuccessful attempt to walk about with a hat and nothing else.


My father cultivated art and self-realization; my mother went in for simplicity and hygiene. Hence, during my tender years, I became wholly unacquainted with any drink between the extremes of absinth and cocoa, of both of which I had a healthy dislike.


The more my mother preached a superfluous Puritan abstinence the more did my father expand into a further pagan latitude. By the time my mother had come to enforcing vegetarianism, my father had pretty well reached the point of defending cannibalism.



TOMORROW:  14 UG  (Unter Grund)