Quotes by Walter Bagehot


The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.
– Walter Bagehot
A constitutional statesman is in general a man of common opinions and uncommon abilities.
– Walter Bagehot
A great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.
– Walter Bagehot
A Parliament is nothing less than a big meeting of more or less idle people.
– Walter Bagehot
A princely marriage is the brilliant edition of a universal fact, and, as such, it rivets mankind.
– Walter Bagehot
A schoolmaster should have an atmosphere of awe, and walk wonderingly, as if he was amazed at being himself.
– Walter Bagehot
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.
– Walter Bagehot
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
All the best stories in the world are but one story in reality - the story of escape. It is the only thing which interests us all and at all times, how to escape.
– Walter Bagehot
An ambassador is not simply an agent; he is also a spectacle.
– Walter Bagehot
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
An inability to stay quiet is one of the conspicuous failings of mankind.
– Walter Bagehot
An influential member of parliament has not only to pay much money to become such, and to give time and labour, he has also to sacrifice his mind too - at least all the characteristics part of it that which is original and most his own.
– Walter Bagehot
Conquest is the missionary of valor, and the hard impact of military virtues beats meanness out of the world.
– Walter Bagehot
Dullness in matters of government is a good sign, and not a bad one - in particular, dullness in parliamentary government is a test of its excellence, an indication of its success.
– Walter Bagehot
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 gave a chance for it.
– Walter Bagehot
Honor sinks where commerce long prevails.
– Walter Bagehot
I started out by believing God for a newer car than the one I was driving. I started out believing God for a nicer apartment than I had. Then I moved up.
– Walter Bagehot
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
It is good to be without vices, but it is not good to be without temptations.
– Walter Bagehot