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Jacques Barzun (From Dawn to Decadence) on Walter Bagehot:

The first thing to know about him is how to pronounce his name. It is Badjet. And the next is that his singular genius derives from his double vision. In any conflict of persons or of ideas he was always able to see that neither side was perverse or stupid, but had reasons for militancy; and he entered not only into these reasons but also into the feelings attached. This is a rare talent, especially when it does not lead to shilly-shallying in the double-viewer’s own course of action. Bagehot could always state the reasons for his choices with the utmost clarity.