The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 1

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Page xxxii - What recks it them? What need they? They are sped; And, when they list, their lean and flashy songs Grate on their scrannel pipes of wretched straw; The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed, But, swoln with wind and the rank mist they draw, Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread : Besides what the grim wolf with privy paw Daily devours apace, and nothing said: But that two-handed engine at the door Stands ready to smite once, and smite no more.
Page 41 - 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.
Page viii - The secrets of the hoary deep; a dark Illimitable ocean, without bound, Without dimension, where length, breadth, and height, And time, and place, are lost; where eldest Night And Chaos, ancestors of Nature, hold Eternal anarchy, amidst the noise Of endless wars, and by confusion stand.
Page 41 - I wrote the last lines of the last page, in a summer house in my garden. 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.
Page 9 - I arrived at Oxford with a stock of erudition that might have puzzled a doctor, and a degree of ignorance of which a school-boy would have been ashamed.
Page 67 - The various modes of worship which prevailed in the Roman world were all considered by the people as equally true, by the philosopher as equally false, and by the magistrate as equally useful...
Page 45 - ... and experience of the sage Fontenelle. His choice is approved by the eloquent historian of nature, who fixes our moral happiness to the mature season, in which our passions are supposed to be calmed, our duties fulfilled, our ambition satisfied, our fame and fortune established on a solid basis.
Page 23 - It was at Rome, on the 15th of October 1764, as I sat musing amidst the ruins of the Capitol, while the barefooted friars were singing vespers in the temple of Jupiter,* that the idea of writing the decline and fall of the city first started to my mind.
Page 5 - Their conversation stagnated in a round of college business, Tory politics, personal anecdotes, and private scandal : their dull and deep potations excused the brisk intemperance of youth...

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