> Author Index > B - Authors > Walter Bagehot Quotes

Walter Bagehot Quotes


A British businessman, essayist and journalist who wrote about literature, government and economics.
(1826 - 1877)

Pages: 123Next

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.
See quote detail

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

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

A great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.
 

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

A Parliament is nothing less than a big meeting of more or less idle people.
 

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.
See quote detail

A schoolmaster should have an atmosphere of awe, and walk wonderingly, as if he was amazed at being himself.
 

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.
 

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.
 

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.
 

An ambassador is not simply an agent; he is also a spectacle.
 

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 inability to stay quiet is one of the conspicuous failings of mankind.
 

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.
 

Business is really more agreeable than pleasure; it interests the whole mind . . . more deeply. But it does not look as if it did.
[Capitalism]
 

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

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?
See quote detail

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.
 

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.
See quote detail


Pages: 123Next