I read Chesterton and cannot understand the following places:
Dr Boyne was a big dark Irishman, one of those rather baffling Irishmen to be found all over the world, who will talk scientific scepticism, materialism, and cynicism at length and at large, but who never dream of referring anything touching the ritual of religion to anything except the traditional religion of their native land. It would be hard to say whether their creed is a very superficial varnish or a very fundamental substratum; but most probably it is both, with a mass of materialism in between.
[Taken from THE DAGGER WITH WINGS]
“Why, didn’t you notice,” answered Brown, “at that first meeting in the office, the lawyer played with a pen and not with a paper-knife; though he had a beautiful bright steel paper-knife in the pattern of a stiletto? The pens were dusty and splashed with ink; but the knife had just been cleaned. But he did not play with it. There are limits to the irony of assassins.”
[Taken from THE GREEN MAN]
I want to be explained the meaning of these quotes from Chesterton.
After translating the first quote to French and looking up in English-French dictionaries I thought that it means that if Dr Boyne has any respect for religions then it must be only the religion of his native land. While at the same time he has no respect for other religions.
As for second quote, it is the last sentence from the long passage in which Father Brown explains how the murderer of the story made a slip and allowed himself to be caught. As I understand it, it may mean that murderers cannot consider all little details and that's why they get caught.
I want to know if I understand these quotes correctly!