Miscellaneous Works of Edward Gibbon, Esquire: With Memoirs of His Life and Writings, Composed by Himself, Band 1

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Seite 171 - After laying down my pen, I took several turns in a berceau, or covered walk of acacias, which commands a prospect of the country, the lake, and the mountains. The air was temperate, the sky was serene, the silver orb of the moon was reflected from the waters, and all nature was silent.
Seite 146 - 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...
Seite 43 - I was never summoned to attend even the ceremony of a lecture; and, excepting one voluntary visit to his rooms during the eight months of his titular office, the tutor and pupil lived in the same college as strangers to...
Seite 146 - ... chapters have been reduced by three successive revisals from a large volume to their present size; and they might still be compressed without any loss of facts or sentiments. An opposite fault may be imputed to the concise and superficial narrative of the first reigns from Commodus to Alexander, a fault of which I have never heard except from Mr Hume in his last journey to London. Such an oracle might have been consulted and obeyed with rational devotion; but I was soon disgusted with the modest...
Seite 4 - The family of Confucius is, in my opinion, the most illustrious in the world. After a painful ascent of eight or ten centuries, our barons and princes of Europe are lost in the darkness of the middle ages ; but in the vast equality of the empire of China, the posterity of Confucius have maintained above two thousand two hundred years their peaceful honours and perpetual succession.
Seite 41 - ... modern theatres, was reduced to a dry and literal interpretation of the author's text. During the first weeks I constantly attended these lessons in my tutor's room ; but as they appeared equally devoid of profit and pleasure, I was once tempted to try the experiment of a formal apology.
Seite 16 - 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; and a philosopher must allow that he exposes, with equal severity and truth, the strange contradiction between the faith and practice of the Christian...
Seite 74 - I hesitate, from the apprehension of ridicule, when I approach the delicate subject of my early love. By this word I do not mean the polite attention, the gallantry, without hope or design, which has originated in the spirit of chivalry, and is interwoven with the texture of French manners. 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...
Seite 41 - I repeated the offence with less ceremony; the excuse was admitted with the same indulgence: the slightest motive of laziness or indisposition, the most trifling avocation at home or abroad, was allowed as a worthy impediment; nor did my tutor appear conscious of my absence or neglect.
Seite 31 - World, which exhibit the Byzantine period on a larger scale. Mahomet and his Saracens soon fixed my attention ; and some instinct of criticism directed me to the genuine sources. Simon Ockley, an original in every sense, first opened my eyes ; and I was led from one book to another, till I had ranged round the circle of Oriental history. Before I was sixteen, I had exhausted all that could be learned in English of the Arabs and Persians, the Tartars and Turks ; and the same ardour urged me to guess...

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