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

When great questions end, little parties begin.

— Walter Bagehot



Walter Bagehot Quote: “The business of banking ought to be simple. If it is hard it is wrong. The only securities which a banker, using money that he may be asked at short notice to repay, ought to touch, are those which are easily saleable and easily intelligible.”

The business of banking ought to be simple. If it is hard it is wrong. The only securities which a banker, using money that he may be asked at short notice to repay, ought to touch, are those which are easily saleable and easily intelligible.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “A political country is like an American forest; you have only to cut down the old trees, and immediately new trees come up to replace them.”

A political country is like an American forest; you have only to cut down the old trees, and immediately new trees come up to replace them.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “The reason why so few good books are written is that so few people who can write know anything.”

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

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “The most melancholy of human reflections, perhaps, is that, on the whole, it is a question whether the benevolence of mankind does most good or harm.”

The most melancholy of human reflections, perhaps, is that, on the whole, it is a question whether the benevolence of mankind does most good or harm.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “Women – one half the human race at least – care fifty times more for a marriage than a ministry.”

Women – one half the human race at least – care fifty times more for a marriage than a ministry.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “Great and terrible systems of divinity and philosophy lie round about us, which, if true, might drive a wise man mad.”

Great and terrible systems of divinity and philosophy lie round about us, which, if true, might drive a wise man mad.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “Civilized ages inherit the human nature which was victorious in barbarous ages, and that nature is, in many respects, not at all suited to civilized circumstances.”

Civilized ages inherit the human nature which was victorious in barbarous ages, and that nature is, in many respects, not at all suited to civilized circumstances.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “But of all nations in the world the English are perhaps the least a nation of pure philosophers.”

But of all nations in the world the English are perhaps the least a nation of pure philosophers.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “The most intellectual of men are moved quite as much by the circumstances which they are used to as by their own will. The active voluntary part of a man is very small, and if it were not economized by a sleepy kind of habit, its results would be null.”

The most intellectual of men are moved quite as much by the circumstances which they are used to as by their own will. The active voluntary part of a man is very small, and if it were not economized by a sleepy kind of habit, its results would be null.

— Walter Bagehot



Walter Bagehot Quote: “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.”

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.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “Business is really more agreeable than pleasure; it interests the whole mind, the aggregate nature of man more continuously, and more deeply. But it does not look as if it did.”

Business is really more agreeable than pleasure; it interests the whole mind, the aggregate nature of man more continuously, and more deeply. But it does not look as if it did.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “The cure for admiring the House of Lords is to go and look at it.”

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

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “You may talk of the tyranny of Nero and Tiberius; but the real tyranny is the tyranny of your next-door neighbor.”

You may talk of the tyranny of Nero and Tiberius; but the real tyranny is the tyranny of your next-door neighbor.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “A constitutional statesman is in general a man of common opinions and uncommon abilities.”

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

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “Credit means that a certain confidence is given, and a certain trust reposed. Is that trust justified? And is that confidence wise? These are the cardinal questions. To put it more simply credit is a set of promises to pay; will those promises be kept?”

Credit means that a certain confidence is given, and a certain trust reposed. Is that trust justified? And is that confidence wise? These are the cardinal questions. To put it more simply credit is a set of promises to pay; will those promises be kept?

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “One cannot make men good by Act of Parliament.”

One cannot make men good by Act of Parliament.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “Under a Presidential government, a nation has, except at the electing moment, no influence; it has not the ballot-box before it; its virtue is gone, and it must wait till its instant of despotism again returns.”

Under a Presidential government, a nation has, except at the electing moment, no influence; it has not the ballot-box before it; its virtue is gone, and it must wait till its instant of despotism again returns.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “In my youth I hoped to do great things; now I shall be satisfied to get through without scandal.”

In my youth I hoped to do great things; now I shall be satisfied to get through without scandal.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “The whole history of civilization is strewn with creeds and institutions which were invaluable at first, and deadly afterwards.”

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

— Walter Bagehot



Walter Bagehot Quote: “The caucus is a sort of representative meeting which sits voting and voting till they have cut out all the known men against whom much is to be said, and agreed on some unknown man against whom there is nothing known, and therefore nothing to be alleged.”

The caucus is a sort of representative meeting which sits voting and voting till they have cut out all the known men against whom much is to be said, and agreed on some unknown man against whom there is nothing known, and therefore nothing to be alleged.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “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.”

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.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “In early times every sort of advantage tends to become a military advantage; such is the best way, then, to keep it alive. But the Jewish advantage never did so; beginning in religion, contrary to a thousand analogies, it remained religious.”

In early times every sort of advantage tends to become a military advantage; such is the best way, then, to keep it alive. But the Jewish advantage never did so; beginning in religion, contrary to a thousand analogies, it remained religious.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “In every particular state of the world, those nations which are strongest tend to prevail over the others; and in certain marked peculiarities the strongest tend to be the best.”

In every particular state of the world, those nations which are strongest tend to prevail over the others; and in certain marked peculiarities the strongest tend to be the best.

— Walter Bagehot


Walter Bagehot Quote: “I’m not the kind of writer who’s able to block out the world around me. I’m mindful of our own haves and have-nots, how our culture often blames and punishes the have-nots. I worry about our precarious economic and political climate.”

I’m not the kind of writer who’s able to block out the world around me. I’m mindful of our own haves and have-nots, how our culture often blames and punishes the have-nots. I worry about our precarious economic and political climate.

— Walter Bagehot

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