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Edward Gibbon Quotes

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Edward Gibbon
April 27, 1737 - January 16, 1794
Nationality: English
Category: Historian
Subcategory: English Historian

Of the various forms of government which have prevailed in the world, an hereditary monarchy seems to present the fairest scope for ridicule.


Fanaticism obliterates the feelings of humanity.


All that is human must retrograde if it does not advance.


Revenge is profitable, gratitude is expensive.


The pathetic almost always consists in the detail of little events.


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.


Conversation enriches the understanding, but solitude is the school of genius.


Style is the image of character.


The winds and the waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators.


Let us read with method, and propose to ourselves an end to which our studies may point. The use of reading is to aid us in thinking.


Our sympathy is cold to the relation of distant misery.


The laws of probability, so true in general, so fallacious in particular.


Hope, the best comfort of our imperfect condition.


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.


Every man who rises above the common level has received two educations: the first from his teachers; the second, more personal and important, from himself.


History is indeed little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind.


But the power of instruction is seldom of much efficacy, except in those happy dispositions where it is almost superfluous.


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