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A collection of quotes and thoughts by Walter Bagehot on inspirational, life, books, writing, pleasure, impossible, soldiers, reality, psychology and politics.

51 Insightful Quotes By Walter Bagehot That You Should Not Miss

Quick Facts

Famous As: Journalist, Economist, Political scientist, Writer, Sociologist

Born On: February 3, 1826

Died On: March 24, 1877

Born In: Somerset

Died At Age: 51

Walter Bagehot was an English businessman, journalist and essayist noted for his extensive writings on literature, governance and economics. Bagehot studied mathematics at University College London and then studied philosophy at the post graduate level, before joining ‘Stuckey’s Banking Company’. However, it was as a journalist, writer and essayist that he really made his name. In 1860, he went on to become the editor-in-chief of the celebrated newspaper ‘The Economist’. He had also been the founder of ‘National Review’ and authored the book ‘The English Constitution’ that explored the parliamentary system as well as the monarchy in the United Kingdom. Bagehot was a prolific writer and one of the most respected journalists of his time, and wrote books like ‘Lombard Street: A Description of the Money Market’ and ‘Physics and Politics’ among others. We bring to you a compilation of quotes and sayings by the distinguished author which have been curated from his writings, books, essays, work, thoughts and life. Let us browse through simple, sensible and inspirational quotes and thoughts by Walter Bagehot that hold a world of wisdom.

The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.

Walter Bagehot

The greatest mistake is trying to be more agreeable than you can be.

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

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

Walter Bagehot

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

Walter Bagehot

Life is a compromise of what your ego wants to do, what experience tells you to do, and what your nerves let you do.

Walter Bagehot

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

Walter Bagehot

Poverty is an anomaly to rich people; it is very difficult to make out why people who want dinner do not ring the bell.

Walter Bagehot

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

Walter Bagehot

The best reason why Monarchy is a strong government is, that it is an intelligible government. The mass of mankind understand it, and they hardly anywhere in the world understand any other.

Walter Bagehot

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

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

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

Walter Bagehot

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

Walter Bagehot

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

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

One of the greatest pains to human nature is the pain of a new idea.

Walter Bagehot

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

Walter Bagehot

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.

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

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

Walter Bagehot

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

Walter Bagehot

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

Walter Bagehot

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

Walter Bagehot

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

Walter Bagehot

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.

Walter Bagehot

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.

Walter Bagehot

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.

Walter Bagehot

Woman absent is woman dead.

Walter Bagehot

Honor sinks where commerce long prevails.

Walter Bagehot

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

Walter Bagehot

We must not let daylight in upon the magic.

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

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

Walter Bagehot

Writers like teeth are divided into incisors and grinders.

Walter Bagehot

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

Walter Bagehot

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

Walter Bagehot

The habit of common and continuous speech is a symptom of mental deficiency.

Walter Bagehot

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

Walter Bagehot

Writers, like teeth, are divided into incisors and grinders.

Walter Bagehot

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

Walter Bagehot

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

Walter Bagehot

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

Walter Bagehot

We see but one aspect of our neighbor, as we see but one side of the moon; in either case there is also a dark half, which is unknown to us. We all come down to dinner, but each has a room to himself.

Walter Bagehot

Life is a school of probability.

Walter Bagehot

The real essence of work is concentrated energy.

Walter Bagehot

What impresses men is not mind, but the result of mind.

Walter Bagehot

The greatest please in life is doing what people say you cannot do.

Walter Bagehot