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Page 204 - He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument.
Page 21 - My lot might have been that of a slave, a savage, or a peasant ; nor can I reflect without pleasure on the bounty of Nature, which cast my birth in a free and civilised country, in an age of science and philosophy, in a family of honourable rank, and decently endowed with the gifts of fortune.
Page 11 - It will be proved to thy face that thou hast men about thee that usually talk of a noun and a verb, and such abominable words as no Christian ear can endure to hear.
Page 94 - The discipline and evolutions of a modern battalion gave me a clearer notion of the phalanx and the legion ; and the captain of the Hampshire grenadiers (the reader may smile) has not been useless to the historian of the Roman empire.
Page 153 - History. At the outset all was dark and doubtful ; even the title of the work, the true era of the " Decline and Fall of the Empire," the limits of the introduction, the division of the chapters, and the order of the narrative ; and I was often tempted to cast away the labour of seven years.
Page 190 - It was on the day, or rather night, of the 27th of June 1787, between the hours of eleven and twelve, that I wrote the last lines of the last page in a summer-house in my garden. After laying down my pen, I took several turns in a berceau, or covered walk of acacias, which commands a prospect of the country, the lake, and the mountains.
Page 103 - I scarcely ever met with a better companion ; he has inexhaustible spirits, infinite wit and humour, and a great deal of knowledge ; but ,1 thorough profligate in principle as in practice, his life stained with every vice, and his conversation full of blasphemy and indecency. These morals he glories In — for shame is a weakness he has long since surmounted. He told us himself, that in this time of public dissension he was resolved to make his fortune.
Page 196 - Well, if the use be mine, can it concern one, Whether the name belong to Pope or Vernon?
Page 115 - It was at Rome, on the 15th of October 1764, as I sat musing amidst the ruins of the Capitol, while the bare-footed friars were singing vespers in the temple of Jupiter', that the idea of writing the decline and fall of the city first started to my mind.
Page 192 - Before my departure from England, I was present at the august spectacle of Mr. Hastings's trial in Westminster Hall. It is not my province to absolve or condemn the governor of India ; but Mr. Sheridan's eloquence demanded my applause ; nor could I hear without emotion the personal compliment which he paid me in the presence of the British nation.* From this display of genius, which blazed four successive days, I shall stoop to a very mechanical circumstance.