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Page 174 - It was at .Rome, on the 15th of October, 1764, as I sat musing amidst the ruins of the capitol, while the barefooted 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 11 - 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.
Page 59 - Call," is still read as a popular and powerful book of devotion. His precepts are rigid, but they are founded on the gospel ; 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 19 - The style of an author should be the image of his mind, but the choice and command of language is the fruit of exercise. Many experiments were made before I could hit the middle tone between a dull chronicle and a rhetorical declamation...
Page 194 - I am at a loss how to describe the success of the work without betraying the vanity of the writer. The first impression was exhausted in a few days ; a second and third edition were scarcely adequate to the demand ; and the bookseller's property was twice invaded by the pirates of Dublin. My book was on every table, and almost on every toilette ; the historian was crowned by the taste or fashion of the day ; nor was the general voice disturbed by the barking of any profane critic.
Page 92 - To take up half on trust, and half to try, Name it not faith, but bungling bigotry. Both knave and fool the merchant we may call, To pay great sums, and to compound the small: For who would break with Heaven, and would not break for all?
Page 75 - Continuation of Echard's Roman History," which is indeed executed with more skill and taste than the previous work. To me the reigns of the successors of Constantine were absolutely new; and I was immersed in the passage of the Goths over the Danube, when the summons of the dinner-bell reluctantly dragged me from my intellectual feast.
Page 48 - Who builds a church to God, and not to Fame, Will never mark the marble with his name : Go, search it there, where to be born and die, Of rich and poor makes all the history ; Enough, that Virtue fill'd the space between ; Prov'd by the ends of being, to have been.
Page 11 - A rich banker of Paris, a citizen of Geneva, had the good fortune and good sense to discover and possess this inestimable treasure ; and in the capital of taste and luxury she resisted the temptations of wealth, as she had sustained the hardships of indigence. The genius of her husband has exalted him to the most conspicuous station in Europe.