Citations Edward Gibbon


„In every deed of mischief he had a heart to resolve, a head to contrive, and a hand to execute.“

—  Edward Gibbon
Vol. 1, Chap. 48. Compare: "He had a head to contrive, a tongue to persuade, and a hand to execute any mischief", Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon (on Hampden), History of the Rebellion, Vol. iii, Book vii, Section 84.

„It has been calculated by the ablest politicians that no State, without being soon exhausted, can maintain above the hundredth part of its members in arms and idleness.“

—  Edward Gibbon
Vol. 1, Chap. 5"It+has+been"+"calculated+by+the+ablest+politicians+that+no+State+without+being+soon+exhausted+can+maintain+above+the+hundredth+part+of+its+members+in+arms+and+idleness"&pg=PA106#v=onepage

„The reign of Antoninus is marked by the rare advantage of furnishing very few materials for history, which is indeed little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind.“

—  Edward Gibbon
Vol. 1, Chap. 3. Compare: "L'histoire n'est que le tableau des crimes et des malheurs" (translated: "History is but the record of crimes and misfortunes"), Voltaire, L'Ingénu, chap. x.

„I saw and loved.“

—  Edward Gibbon
Vol. i. p. 106. Compare: "None ever loved but at first sight they loved", George Chapman, The Blind Beggar of Alexandria.

„In the end, more than freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all – security, comfort, and freedom. When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for most was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free and was never free again.“

—  Edward Gibbon
This quotation appeared in an article by Margaret Thatcher, "The Moral Foundations of Society" ( Imprimis, March 1995, which was an edited version of a lecture Thatcher had given at Hillsdale College in November 1994. Here is the actual passage from Thatcher's article: <blockquote>[M]ore than they wanted freedom, the Athenians wanted security. Yet they lost everything—security, comfort, and freedom. This was because they wanted not to give to society, but for society to give to them. The freedom they were seeking was freedom from responsibility. It is no wonder, then, that they ceased to be free. In the modern world, we should recall the Athenians' dire fate whenever we confront demands for increased state paternalism.</blockquote> The italicized passage above originated with Thatcher. In characterizing the Athenians in the article she cited Sir Edward Gibbon, but she seems to have been paraphrasing statements in "Athens' Failure," a chapter of classicist Edith Hamilton's book The Echo of Greece (1957), pp. 47–48

„Antoninus diffused order and tranquility over the greatest part of the earth. His reign is marked by the rare advantage of furnishing very few materials for history; which is, indeed, little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind.“

—  Edward Gibbon
Vol. 1, Ch. 3 "Of the Constitution of the Roman Empire, in the Age of the Antonines" This has often been paraphrased: History is indeed little more than the register of crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind.

„Amiable weaknesses of human nature.“

—  Edward Gibbon
Vol. 1, Chap. 14. Compare: "Amiable weakness", Henry Fielding, Tom Jones, Book x, Chapter viii.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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