French Motor

Only a man who knows reason talks of
reasoning – that or he is French, unfathomably
French, knowing the limits of reason as a
paradox of principles, a thinking man at the
same time, but without a thinking machine.
The method of his is clear and commonplace,
French. The French electrify the world with
French thought: a machine cannot motor without
petrol. Starting any paradox from such a naked
state – if he is a French man at the same time – he
is carrying modern fatalism as a truism of
commonplace French thought. Nothing of motors
talks to reason, for that is brainless. Intelligence
is French; the paradox of the truism is nescience.

(cut-up/found: The Innocence of Father Brown – G.K. Chesterton)

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