The Memoirs of the Life of Edward Gibbon with Various Observations and Excursions

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Methuen, 1900 - Historians - 360 pages
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Page 239 - If a man were called to fix the period in the history of the world during which the condition of the human race was most happy and prosperous, he would, without hesitation, name that which elapsed from the death of Domitian to the accession of Commodus.
Page 225 - I will not dissemble the first emotions of joy on the recovery of my freedom, and, perhaps, the establishment of my fame. But my pride was soon humbled, and a sober melancholy was spread over my mind, by the idea that I had taken an everlasting leave of an old and agreeable companion, and that whatsoever might be the future fate of my History, the life of the historian must be short and precarious.
Page 26 - 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 civilized country, in an age of science and philosophy, in a family of honourable rank, and decently endowed with the gifts of fortune.
Page vi - ... study, which I take to be my portion in- this life, joined with the strong propensity of nature, I might perhaps leave something so written to after-times, as they should not willingly let it die.
Page 167 - He, who would bring home the wealth of the Indies, must carry the wealth of the Indies with him.
Page 58 - I was admitted to the society of the fellows, and fondly expected that some questions of literature would be the amusing and instructive topics of their discourse. Their conversation stagnated in a round of college business, Tory politics, personal anecdotes, and private scandal : their dull and deep potations excused the brisk intemperance of youth; and their constitutional toasts were not expressive of the most lively loyalty for the house of Hanover.
Page 107 - After a painful struggle I yielded to my fate; I sighed as a lover, I obeyed as a son; my wound was insensibly healed by time, absence, and the habits of a new life. My cure was accelerated by a faithful report of the tranquillity and cheerfulness of the lady herself, and my love subsided in friendship and esteem.
Page 23 - Call, is still read as a popular and powerful book of devotion. His precepts are rigid, but they are founded on the gospel l ; his satire is sharp, but it is drawn from the knowledge of human life ; and many of his portraits are not unworthy of the pen of La Bruyere. If he finds a spark of piety in his reader's mind, he will soon kindle it to a flame...
Page 225 - 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 202 - Had I believed that the majority of English readers were so fondly attached even to the name and shadow of Christianity ; had I foreseen that the pious, the timid, and the prudent, would feel, or affect to feel, with such exquisite sensibility ; I might, perhaps, have softened the two invidious chapters, which Would create many enemies, and conciliate few friends.

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