Stove on Chesterton

In his essay, The Intellectual Capacity of Women, philosopher David Stove refers to a famous line from Chesterton:

[T]his theory now begins to reminds us of a supremely silly thing which G. K. Chesterton once said: that Christianity has not been tried and found wanting, but was found difficult, and never properly tried. Now, I ask you: Christianity not had a fair trial? Why, at this rate, nothing has ever had a fair trial, and we can know, or even rationally believe, nothing whatever about the capacities of anything: brown snakes, brown bread … anything.

Stove’s assertion about women’s intellectual capacity having been well and variously tried is fair, but he misread or misremembered the Chesteron line:

The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.

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