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 :: 1826-1877, British Economist, Critic

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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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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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So long as war is the main business of nations, temporary despotism -- despotism during the campaign -- is indispensable.
~ Walter Bagehot - [Despotism]

 

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Strong beliefs win strong men, and then make them stronger.
~ Walter Bagehot - [Belief]

 

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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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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 cure for admiring the house of lords is to go and look at it.
~ Walter Bagehot - [Observation]

 

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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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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.
~ Walter Bagehot - [Free Will]

 

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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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The whole history of civilization is strewn with creeds and institutions which were invaluable at first, and deadly afterwards.
~ Walter Bagehot - [Institutions]

 

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

 

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What impresses men is not mind, but the result of mind.
~ Walter Bagehot - [Mind]

 

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

 

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Writers like teeth are divided into incisors and grinders.
~ Walter Bagehot - [Writers and Writing]

 

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