Oxblog today has a quotation from Douglas Adams that reminded me of one of my favorite Chesterton quotations:
It really is more natural to believe a preternatural story, that deals with things we don't understand, than a natural story that contradicts things we do understand. Tell me that the great Mr Gladstone, in his last hours, was haunted by the ghost of Parnell, and I will be agnostic about it. But tell me that Mr Gladstone, when first presented to Queen Victoria, wore his hat in her drawing-room and slapped her on the back and offered her a cigar, and I am not agnostic at all. That is not impossible; it's only incredible. But I'm much more certain it didn't happen than that Parnell's ghost didn't appear; because it violates the laws of the world I do understand.
This is from "The Curse of the Golden Cross" in the third collection, entitled (appropriately enough) The Incredulity of Father Brown. Thanks to the University of Adelaide, the whole story is on the web here: search for 'Gladstone' to locate the passage quoted.Posted by Dr. Weevil at December 04, 2003 07:24 PM