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Walter Bagehot Quotes

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Walter Bagehot Quote: “The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.”

The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.

— Walter Bagehot



Walter Bagehot Quote: “Go ahead and do the impossible. It’s worth the look on the faces of those who said you couldn’t.”

Go ahead and do the impossible. It’s worth the look on the faces of those who said you couldn’t.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “No great work has ever been produced except after a long interval of still and musing meditation.”

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

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “Life is a compromise of what your ego wants to do, what experience tells you to do, and what your nerves let you do.”

Life is a compromise of what your ego wants to do, what experience tells you to do, and what your nerves let you do.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “The real essence of work is concentrated energy.”

The real essence of work is concentrated energy.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “All people are most credulous when they are most happy.”

All people are most credulous when they are most happy.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “Money is economic power.”

Money is economic power.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “We must not let daylight in upon the magic.”

We must not let daylight in upon the magic.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “One of the greatest pains to human nature is the pain of a new idea.”

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

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “A cabinet is a combining committee, a hyphen which joins, a buckle which fastens, the legislative part of the state to the executive part of the state. In its origin it belongs to the one, in its functions it belongs to the other.”

A cabinet is a combining committee, a hyphen which joins, a buckle which fastens, the legislative part of the state to the executive part of the state. In its origin it belongs to the one, in its functions it belongs to the other.

— Walter Bagehot



Walter Bagehot Quote: “Adventure is the life of commerce, but caution is the life of banking.”

Adventure is the life of commerce, but caution is the life of banking.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “A princely marriage is the brilliant edition of a universal fact, and, as such, it rivets mankind.”

A princely marriage is the brilliant edition of a universal fact, and, as such, it rivets mankind.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “In the faculty of writing nonsense, stupidity is no match for genius.”

In the faculty of writing nonsense, stupidity is no match for genius.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “The mystic reverence, the religious allegiance, which are essential to a true monarchy, are imaginative sentiments that no legislature can manufacture in any people.”

The mystic reverence, the religious allegiance, which are essential to a true monarchy, are imaginative sentiments that no legislature can manufacture in any people.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “Public opinion is a permeating influence, and it exacts obedience to itself; it requires us to drink other men’s thoughts, to speak other men’s words, to follow other men’s habits.”

Public opinion is a permeating influence, and it exacts obedience to itself; it requires us to drink other men’s thoughts, to speak other men’s words, to follow other men’s habits.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “The best reason why Monarchy is a strong government is, that it is an intelligible government. The mass of mankind understand it, and they hardly anywhere in the world understand any other.”

The best reason why Monarchy is a strong government is, that it is an intelligible government. The mass of mankind understand it, and they hardly anywhere in the world understand any other.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “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.”

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.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “The habit of common and continuous speech is a symptom of mental deficiency. It proceeds from not knowing what is going on in other people’s minds.”

The habit of common and continuous speech is a symptom of mental deficiency. It proceeds from not knowing what is going on in other people’s minds.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “The peculiar essence of our banking system is an unprecedented trust between man and man. And when that trust is much weakened by hidden causes, a small accident may greatly hurt it, and a great accident for a moment may almost destroy it.”

The peculiar essence of our banking system is an unprecedented trust between man and man. And when that trust is much weakened by hidden causes, a small accident may greatly hurt it, and a great accident for a moment may almost destroy it.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “The best security for people’s doing their duty is that they should not know anything else to do.”

The best security for people’s doing their duty is that they should not know anything else to do.

— Walter Bagehot



Walter Bagehot Quote: “The less money lying idle the greater is the dividend.”

The less money lying idle the greater is the dividend.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “So long as war is the main business of nations, temporary despotism – despotism during the campaign – is indispensable.”

So long as war is the main business of nations, temporary despotism – despotism during the campaign – is indispensable.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “A democratic despotism is like a theocracy: it assumes its own correctness.”

A democratic despotism is like a theocracy: it assumes its own correctness.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “Conquest is the missionary of valor, and the hard impact of military virtues beats meanness out of the world.”

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

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “No man has come so near our definition of a constitutional statesman – the powers of a first-rate man and the creed of a second-rate man.”

No man has come so near our definition of a constitutional statesman – the powers of a first-rate man and the creed of a second-rate man.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “What we opprobriously call stupidity, though not an enlivening quality in common society, is nature’s favorite resource for preserving steadiness of conduct and consistency of opinion.”

What we opprobriously call stupidity, though not an enlivening quality in common society, is nature’s favorite resource for preserving steadiness of conduct and consistency of opinion.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “The real essence of work is concentrated energy – people who really have that in a superior degree by nature are independent of the forms and habits and artifices by which less able and less active people are kept up to their labors.”

The real essence of work is concentrated energy – people who really have that in a superior degree by nature are independent of the forms and habits and artifices by which less able and less active people are kept up to their labors.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “Every banker knows that if he has to prove he is worthy of credit, in fact his credit is gone.”

Every banker knows that if he has to prove he is worthy of credit, in fact his credit is gone.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “The purse strings tie us to our kind.”

The purse strings tie us to our kind.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “Royalty is a government in which the attention of the nation is concentrated on one person doing interesting actions.”

Royalty is a government in which the attention of the nation is concentrated on one person doing interesting actions.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “The greatest mistake is trying to be more agreeable than you can be.”

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

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “Life is not a set campaign, but an irregular work, and the main forces in it are not overt resolutions, but latent and half-involuntary promptings.”

Life is not a set campaign, but an irregular work, and the main forces in it are not overt resolutions, but latent and half-involuntary promptings.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “Capital must be propelled by self-interest; it cannot be enticed by benevolence.”

Capital must be propelled by self-interest; it cannot be enticed by benevolence.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “History is strewn with the wrecks of nations which have gained a little progressiveness at the cost of a great deal of hard manliness, and have thus prepared themselves for destruction as soon as the movements of the world have a chance for it.”

History is strewn with the wrecks of nations which have gained a little progressiveness at the cost of a great deal of hard manliness, and have thus prepared themselves for destruction as soon as the movements of the world have a chance for it.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “The characteristic merit of the English constitutions is, that its dignified parts are very complicated and somewhat imposing, very old and rather venerable, while its efficient part, at least when in great and critical action, is decidedly simple and modern.”

The characteristic merit of the English constitutions is, that its dignified parts are very complicated and somewhat imposing, very old and rather venerable, while its efficient part, at least when in great and critical action, is decidedly simple and modern.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “The Sovereign has, under a constitutional monarchy such as ours, three rights – the right to be consulted, the right to encourage, the right to warn. And a king of great sense and sagacity would want no others.”

The Sovereign has, under a constitutional monarchy such as ours, three rights – the right to be consulted, the right to encourage, the right to warn. And a king of great sense and sagacity would want no others.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “The Ethiop gods have Ethiop lips, Bronze cheeks, and woolly hair; The Grecian gods are like the Greeks, As keen-eyed, cold and fair.”

The Ethiop gods have Ethiop lips, Bronze cheeks, and woolly hair; The Grecian gods are like the Greeks, As keen-eyed, cold and fair.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “We see but one aspect of our neighbor, as we see but one side of the moon; in either case there is also a dark half, which is unknown to us. We all come down to dinner, but each has a room to himself.”

We see but one aspect of our neighbor, as we see but one side of the moon; in either case there is also a dark half, which is unknown to us. We all come down to dinner, but each has a room to himself.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “To a great experience one thing is essential, an experiencing nature.”

To a great experience one thing is essential, an experiencing nature.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “A man’s mother is his misfortune, but his wife is his fault.”

A man’s mother is his misfortune, but his wife is his fault.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “The characteristic danger of great nations, like the Romans or the English which have a long history of continuous creation, is that they may at last fail from not comprehending the great institutions which they have created.”

The characteristic danger of great nations, like the Romans or the English which have a long history of continuous creation, is that they may at last fail from not comprehending the great institutions which they have created.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “The cardinal maxim is, that any aid to a present bad Bank is the surest mode of preventing the establishment of a future good Bank.”

The cardinal maxim is, that any aid to a present bad Bank is the surest mode of preventing the establishment of a future good Bank.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “Nations touch at their summits.”

Nations touch at their summits.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “Not only does a bureaucracy tend to under-government in point of quality; it tends to over-government in point of quantity.”

Not only does a bureaucracy tend to under-government in point of quality; it tends to over-government in point of quantity.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “Progress would not have been the rarity it is if the early food had not been the late poison.”

Progress would not have been the rarity it is if the early food had not been the late poison.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “What impresses men is not mind, but the result of mind.”

What impresses men is not mind, but the result of mind.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “Stupidity is nature’s favorite resource for preserving consistency of opinion.”

Stupidity is nature’s favorite resource for preserving consistency of opinion.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “Persecution in intellectual countries produces a superficial conformity, but also underneath an intense, incessant, implacable doubt.”

Persecution in intellectual countries produces a superficial conformity, but also underneath an intense, incessant, implacable doubt.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “When great questions end, little parties begin.”

When great questions end, little parties begin.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “We think of Euclid as of fine ice; we admire Newton as we admire the peak of Teneriffe. Even the intensest labors, the most remote triumphs of the abstract intellect, seem to carry us into a region different from our own-to be in a terra incognita of pure reasoning, to cast a chill on human glory.”

We think of Euclid as of fine ice; we admire Newton as we admire the peak of Teneriffe. Even the intensest labors, the most remote triumphs of the abstract intellect, seem to carry us into a region different from our own-to be in a terra incognita of pure reasoning, to cast a chill on human glory.

— Walter Bagehot

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