Walter Bagehot Quotes

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

Walter Bagehot

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

If you have to prove you are worthy of credit, your credit is already gone.

Walter Bagehot

It is good to be without vices, but it is not good to be without temptations.

Walter Bagehot

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

Walter Bagehot

A highly developed moral nature joined to an undeveloped intellectual nature, an undeveloped artistic nature, and a very limited religious nature, is of necessity repulsive. It represents a bit of human nature a good bit, of course, but a bit only in disproportionate, unnatural and revolting prominence.

Walter Bagehot

The purse strings tie us to our kind.

Walter Bagehot

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

Walter Bagehot

The name London Banker had especially a charmed value. He was supposed to represent, and often did represent, a certain union of pecuniary sagacity and educated refinement which was scarcely to be found in any other part of society.

Walter Bagehot

The less money lying idle the greater is the dividend.

Walter Bagehot

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

Most men of business think "Anyhow this system will probably last my time. It has gone on a long time, and is likely to go on still."

Walter Bagehot

All the inducements of early society tend to foster immediate action; all its penalties fall on the man who pauses; the traditional wisdom of those times was never weary of inculcating that "delays are dangerous," and that the sluggish man the man "who roasteth not that which he took in hunting" will not prosper on the earth, and indeed will very soon perish out of it. And in consequence an inability to stay quiet, an irritable desire to act directly, is one of the most conspicuous failings of mankind.

Walter Bagehot

The great difficulty which history records is not that of the first step, but that of the second step. What is most evident is not the difficulty of getting a fixed law, but getting out of a fixed law; not of cementing (as upon a former occasion I phrased it) a cake of custom, but of breaking the cake of custom; not of making the first preservative habit, but of breaking through it, and reaching something better.

Walter Bagehot

The greatest enjoyment possible to man was that which this philosophy promises its votariesthe pleasure of being always right, and always reasoningwithout ever being bound to look at anything.

Walter Bagehot

Free government is self-government. A government of the people by the people. The best government of this sort is that which the people think best.

Walter Bagehot

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