And in all the forms of art which peculiarly belong to civilisation, [Alexander Pope] was supreme. In one especially he was supreme—the great and civilised art of satire. And in this we have fallen away utterly.
So Chesterton wrote in one of the finest essays from one of his best collections of essays: Varied Types—or, as it was known in England, Twelve Types. Varied Types represented a new direction for Chesterton. Where The Defendant had been a whimsical, often irreverent romp, the essays in Varied Types recalled the criticism he had brought to bear in writing reviews like “Velasquez and Poussin.” He scrutinized with an artist’s eye and a mind steeped in literature and literary understanding. It is one of Chesterton’s best books, and one that rewards rereading.