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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 67 - My ardour, which soon became conspicuous, seldom failed of procuring me a ticket. The habits of pleasure fortified my taste for the French theatre, and that taste has perhaps abated my idolatry for the gigantic genius of Shakspeare, which is inculcated from our infancy as the first duty of an Englishman.
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 68 - 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 40 - 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 37 - ... the spirit of monopolists is narrow, lazy, and oppressive: their work is more costly and less productive than that of independent artists ; and the new improvements so eagerly grasped by the competition of freedom, are admitted with slow and sullen reluctance in those proud corporations, above the fear of a rival, and below the confession of an error.
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.