William Cobbett: A Biography, Volume 1

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S. Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington, 1878

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Page 173 - Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence, (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens,) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake; since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government.
Page 173 - Excessive partiality for one foreign nation, and excessive dislike of another, cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots, who may resist the intrigues of the favorite, are liable to become suspected and odious ; while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people to surrender their interests.
Page 231 - When I returned to England, in 1800, after an absence from the country parts of it, of sixteen years, the trees, the hedges, even the parks and woods, seemed so small ! It made me laugh to hear little gutters, that I could jump over, called Rivers! .The Thames was but a
Page 232 - I had learnt before, the death of my father and mother. There is a hill, not far from the town, called Crooksbury Hill, which rises up out of a flat in the form of a cone, and is planted with Scotch fir-trees. Here I used to take the eggs and young ones of crows and magpies. This hill was a famous object in the neighbourhood. It served as the superlative degree of height. " As high as Crooksbury Hill " meant, with us, the utmost degree of height.
Page 29 - I learned grammar when I was a private soldier on the pay of sixpence a day. The edge of my berth or that of the guard-bed was my seat to study in, my knapsack was my bookcase, a bit of board lying on my lap was my writing-table, and the task did not demand anything like a year of my life.
Page 5 - I had read before, it was something so new to my mind, that, though I could not at all understand some of it, it delighted me beyond description; and it produced what I have always considered a sort of birth of intellect I read on till it was dark, without any thought about supper or bed.
Page 29 - The whole of the money, not expended for us at market, was two-pence a week for each man. I remember, and well I may ! that, upon one occasion I, after all absolutely necessary expenses, had, on a Friday, made shift to have a half-penny in reserve, which I had destined for the purchase of a...
Page 14 - ... known any other ambition than that of surpassing my brothers in the different labours of the field ; but it was quite otherwise now ; I sighed for a sight of the world ; the little island of Britain, seemed too small a compass for me. The things in which I had taken the most delight were neglected ; the singing of the birds grew insipid, and even the heart-cheering cry of the hounds, after which I formerly used to fly from my work, bound o'er the fields, and dash through the brakes and coppices,...
Page 27 - ... pains I took cannot be described: I wrote the whole grammar out two or three times ; I got it by heart ; I repeated it every morning and every evening, and, when on guard, I imposed on myself the task of saying it all over once every time I was posted sentinel. To this exercise of my memory I ascribe the retentiveness of which I have since found it capable, and to the success with which it was attended, I ascribe the perseverance that has led to the acquirement of the little learning of which...

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