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Walter Bagehot Quotes

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Honor sinks where commerce long prevails.

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.

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

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 excited states of the public mind they have scarcely a discretion at all; the tendency of the public perturbation determines what shall and what shall not be dealt with. But, upon the other hand, in quiet times statesmen have great power; when there is no fire lighted, they can settle what fire shall be lit. And as the new suffrage is happily to be tried in a quiet time, the responsibility of our statesmen is great because their power is great too.
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It is good to be without vices, but it is not good to be without temptations.

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.

Life is a school of probability.

Men who do not make advances to women are apt to become victims to women who make advances to them.

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

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

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

One of the greatest pains to human nature is the pain of a new idea.
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Poverty is an anomaly to rich people; it is very difficult to make out why people who want dinner do not ring the bell.

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

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.

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.

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

The being without an opinion is so painful to human nature that most people will leap to a hasty opinion rather than undergo it.

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.

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