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 :: 1826-1877, British Economist, Critic

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An inability to stay quiet is one of the most conspicuous failings of mankind.
~ Walter Bagehot - [Silence]

 

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The habit of common and continuous speech is a symptom of mental deficiency. It proceeds from not knowing what is going on in other people's minds.
~ Walter Bagehot - [Talkativeness]

 

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A schoolmaster should have an atmosphere of awe, and walk wonderingly, as if he was amazed at being himself.
~ Walter Bagehot - [Teachers and Teaching]

 

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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 - [Third World]

 

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War both needs and generates certain virtues; not the highest, but what may be called the preliminary virtues, as valor, veracity, the spirit of obedience, the habit of discipline. Any of these, and of others like them, when possessed by a nation, and no matter how generated, will give them a military advantage, and make them more likely to stay in the race of nations.
~ Walter Bagehot - [War]

 

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A great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.
~ Walter Bagehot - [Pleasure]

 

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A constitutional statesman is in general a man of common opinions and uncommon abilities.
~ Walter Bagehot - [Politicians and Politics]

 

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The apparent rulers of the English nation are like the imposing personages of a splendid procession: it is by them the mob are influenced; it is they whom the spectators cheer. The real rulers are secreted in second-rate carriages; no one cares for them or asks after them, but they are obeyed implicitly and unconsciously by reason of the splendor of those who eclipsed and preceded them.
~ Walter Bagehot - [Politicians and Politics]

 

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When great questions end, little parties begin.
~ Walter Bagehot - [Politicians and Politics]

 

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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.
~ Walter Bagehot - [Poverty and The Poor]

 

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Under a Presidential government, a nation has, except at the electing moment, no influence; it has not the ballot-box before it; its virtue is gone, and it must wait till its instant of despotism again returns.
~ Walter Bagehot - [President]

 

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Progress would not have been the rarity it is if the early food had not been the late poison.
~ Walter Bagehot - [Progress]

 

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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 - [Public Opinion]

 

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A family on the throne is an interesting idea. It brings down the pride of sovereignty to the level of petty life.
~ Walter Bagehot - [Royalty]

 

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Royalty is a government in which the attention of the nation is concentrated on one person doing interesting actions.
~ Walter Bagehot - [Royalty]

 

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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 - [Royalty]

 

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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 - [Royalty]

 

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Our law very often reminds one of those outskirts of cities where you cannot for a long time tell how the streets come to wind about in so capricious and serpent-like a manner. At last it strikes you that they grew up, house by house, on the devious tracks of the old green lanes; and if you follow on to the existing fields, you may often find the change half complete.
~ Walter Bagehot - [Law and Lawyers]

 

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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 - [Luxury]

 

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We must not let daylight in upon the magic.
~ Walter Bagehot - [Magic]

 

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