Letters on the Study and Use of History, Volume 1

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Pagina 143 - But human foul Muft rife from Individual to the Whole. Self-love but ferves the virtuous mind to wake, As the fmall pebble ftirs the peaceful lake ; The centre mov'd, a circle ftrait fucceeds, Another ftill, and ftill another fpreads ; Friend, parent, neighbour, firft it will embrace ; His country next ; and next all human race ; Wide and more wide, th...
Pagina 10 - The same principle in this instance carries us forward and backward, to future and to past ages. We imagine that the things which affect us must affect posterity ; this sentiment runs through mankind, from Caesar down to the parish-clerk in Pope's Miscellany.
Pagina 27 - There is scarce any folly or vice more epidemical among the sons of men, than that ridiculous and hurtful vanity by which the people of each country are apt to prefer themselves to those of every other; and to make their own customs, and manners, and opinions, the standards of right and wrong, of true and false.
Pagina 181 - ... the human heart, and become well acquainted with the whole moral world, that they may discover the abstract reason of all laws ; and they must trace the laws of particular states, especially of their own, from the first rough sketches to the more perfect draughts ; from the first causes or occasions, that produced them, through all the effects good and bad that they produced.
Pagina 232 - And Philip the fourth was obliged, at last, to conclude a peace, on terms repugnant to his inclination, to that of his people, to the interest of Spain, and to that of all Europe, in the Pyrenean treaty.
Pagina 97 - Demonftration ; in fine, how they were loft during the captivity, and how they were retrieved after it, are all matters of controverfy to this day.
Pagina 29 - I apprehend growing too prolix, and shall therefore conclude this head by observing, that though an early and proper application to the study of history will contribute extremely to keep our minds free from a ridiculous partiality in favour of our own country, and a vicious prejudice against others, yet the same study will create in...
Pagina 180 - There will be none such any more, till, in some better age, true ambition or the love of fame prevails over avarice; and till men find leisure and encouragement to prepare themselves for the exercise of this profession, by climbing up to the
Pagina 14 - Such is the imperfection of human understanding, such the frail temper of our minds, that abstract or general propositions, though ever so true, appear obscure or doubtful to us very often, till they are explained by examples...
Pagina 16 - ... never become so perfect a copy of Zeno, if he had not passed his life with him ; that Plato, Aristotle, and the other philosophers of that school, profited more by the example, than by the discourse of Socrates.

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