“There are no crowds of men”

Spreading around us upon every side to-day like a huge and radiating geometrical figure are the endless branches of the great city. There are times when we are almost stricken crazy, as well we may be, by the multiplicity of those appalling perspectives, the frantic arithmetic of that unthinkable population. But this thought of ours is in truth nothing but a fancy. There are no chains of houses; there are no crowds of men. The colossal diagram of streets and houses is an illusion, the opium dream of a speculative builder. Each of these men is supremely solitary and supremely important to himself. Each of these houses stands in the centre of the world. There is no single house of all those millions which has not seemed to some one at some time the heart of all things and the end of travel.

— Twelve Types (1903).

Published in: on February 25, 2015 at 4:56 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] G.K. Chesterton, “Twelve Types”, courtesy of the Hebdomarian at https://chesterton.wordpress.com/2015/02/25/there-are-no-crowds-of-men/ […]


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