Quotes Categories

Walter Bagehot Quotes

(1826-1877), British Economist, Critic

Strong beliefs win strong men, and then make them stronger.

Category: Belief

A bureaucracy is sure to think that its duty is to augment official power, official business, or official members, rather than to leave free the energies of mankind; it overdoes the quantity of government, as well as impairs its quality. The truth is, that a skilled bureaucracy is, though it boasts of an appearance of science, quite inconsistent with the true principles of the art of business.

Category: Bureaucracy

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

Category: Conquest

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

Category: Despotism

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

Category: Diplomacy

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.

Category: Exaggeration

The most intellectual of men are moved quite as much by the circumstances which they are used to as by their own will. The active voluntary part of a man is very small, and if it were not economized by a sleepy kind of habit, its results would be null.

Category: Free Will

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.

Category: Government

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

Category: Innovation

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

Category: Institutions

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.

Category: Law And Lawyers

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.

Category: Luxury

We must not let daylight in upon the magic.

Category: Magic

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

Category: Men And Women

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

Category: Mind