Quotations by Gibbon, Edward

[T]he laws of probability, so true in general, so fallacious in particular ….

Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) English historian
“Memoirs of My Life and Writings” (1787)


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I never make the mistake of arguing with people for whose opinions I have no respect.

Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) English historian
(Attributed)


Quoted in The Fra (May 1913) and Elbert Hubbard's Scrap Book (1923).
 
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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. And thus toleration produced not only mutual indulgence, but even religious accord.

Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) English historian
Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, ch. 2 (1776-88)
 
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Augustus … [was not] deceived in his expectation that the senate and people would submit to slavery, provided they were respectfully assured that they still enjoyed their ancient freedom.

Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) English historian
Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, ch. 3 (1776-88)
 
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Conversation enriches the understanding, but solitude is the school of genius.

Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) English historian
Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. 5, ch. 50 (1788)
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The first and indispensable requisite of happiness is a clear conscience.

Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) English historian
Memoirs of My Life and Writings (1796)
 
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I am indeed rich, since my income is superior to my expense, and my expense is equal to my wishes.

Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) English historian
Memoirs of My Life and Writings (1796)
 
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When I contemplate the common lot of mortality, I must acknowledge that I have drawn a high prize in the lottery of life … the double fortune of my birth in a free and enlightened country, in an honourable and wealthy family, is the lucky chance of an unit against millions.

Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) English historian
Memoirs of My Life and Writings (1796)
 
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The wind and waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators.

Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) English historian
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, ch. 68 (1776-88)
 
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Of the various forms of government which have prevailed in the world, an hereditary monarchy seems to present the fairest scope for ridicule.

Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) English historian
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, ch. 7 (1776-88)
 
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