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Walter Bagehot Quotes

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Walter Bagehot quotes

No real English gentleman, in his secret soul, was ever sorry for the death of a political economist.

The reason that there are so few good books written is that so few people who write know anything.

The greatest mistake is trying to be more agreeable than you can be.

A family on the throne is an interesting idea. It brings down the pride of sovereignty to the level of petty life.

It is often said that men are ruled by their imaginations; but it would be truer to say they are governed by the weakness of their imaginations.

So long as there are earnest believers in the world, they will always wish to punish opinions, even if their judgment tells them it is unwise and their conscience that it is wrong.

A constitutional statesman is in general a man of common opinions and uncommon abilities.

The real essence of work is concentrated energy.

The whole history of civilization is strewn with creeds and institutions which were invaluable at first, and deadly afterwards.

An ambassador is not simply an agent; he is also a spectacle.

One of the greatest pains to human nature is the pain of a new idea.

A slight daily unconscious luxury is hardly ever wanting to the dwellers in civilization; like the gentle air of a genial climate, it is a perpetual minute enjoyment.

The best history is but like the art of Rembrandt; it casts a vivid light on certain selected causes, on those which were best and greatest; it leaves all the rest in shadow and unseen.

Nothing is more unpleasant than a virtuous person with a mean mind.

The cure for admiring the House of Lords is to go and look at it.

An element of exaggeration clings to the popular judgment: great vices are made greater, great virtues greater also; interesting incidents are made more interesting, softer legends more soft.

A severe though not unfriendly critic of our institutions said that the cure for admiring the House of Lords was to go and look at it.

Conquest is the missionary of valor, and the hard impact of military virtues beats meanness out of the world.

Honor sinks where commerce long prevails.

No great work has ever been produced except after a long interval of still and musing meditation.