The winds and waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators.
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A heart to resolve, a head to contrive, and a hand to execute.
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The courage of a soldier is found to be the cheapest and most common quality of human nature.
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Truth, naked, unblushing truth, the first virtue of all serious history, must be the sole recommendation of this personal narrative.
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Beauty is an outward gift, which is seldom despised, except by those to whom it has been refused.
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My early and invincible love of reading I would not exchange for all the riches of India.
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Books are those faithful mirrors that reflect to our mind the minds of sages and heroes.
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The author himself is the best judge of his own performance; none has so deeply meditated on the subject; none is so sincerely interested in the event.
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The pathetic almost always consists in the detail of little events.
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Our sympathy is cold to the relation of distant misery.
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I sighed as a lover, I obeyed as a son.
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I am indeed rich, since my income is superior to my expenses, and my expense is equal to my wishes.
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Fanaticism obliterates the feelings of humanity.
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Revenge is profitable, gratitude is expensive.
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All that is human must retrograde if it does not advance.
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History is little more than the register of the crimes, follies and misfortunes of mankind.
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I understand by this passion the union of desire, friendship, and tenderness, which is inflamed by a single female, which prefers her to the rest of her sex, and which seeks her possession as the supreme or the sole happiness of our being.
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The laws of probability, so true in general, so fallacious in particular.
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Unprovided with original learning, unformed in the habits of thinking, unskilled in the arts of composition, I resolved-to write a book.
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Corruption, the most infallible symptom of constitutional liberty.
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I was never less alone than when by myself.
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My English text is chaste, and all licentious passages are left in the obscurity of a learned language.
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The urgent consideration of the public safety may undoubtedly authorize the violation of every positive law. How far that or any other consideration may operate to dissolve the natural obligations of humanity and justice, is a doctrine of which I still desire to remain ignorant.
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We improve ourselves by victories over ourselves. There must be contest, and we must win.
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Style is the image of character.
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The style of an author should be the image of his mind, but the choice and command of language is the fruit of exercise.
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It has always been my practice to cast a long paragraph in a single mould, to try it by my ear, to deposit it in my memory, but to suspend the action of the pen till I had given the last polish to my work.
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Gibbon, Edward

No biography at present.

27 quotations