Lives of eminent and illustrious Englishmen, ed. by G. G. Cunningham

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Page 391 - Though equal to all things, for all things unfit : Too nice for a statesman ; too proud for a wit ; For a patriot too cool ; for a drudge disobedient ; And too fond of the rigid to pursue the expedient. In short, 'twas his fate, unemploy'd, or in place, sir — To eat mutton cold, and cut blocks with a razor.
Page 464 - I can say, and will say, that as a peer of Parliament, as speaker of this right honourable house, as keeper of the great seal, as guardian of his majesty's conscience, as lord high chancellor of England, nay, even in that character alone in which the noble duke would think it an affront to be considered...
Page 100 - Perhaps he was the most learned man in Europe. He was equally acquainted with the elegant and profound parts of science, and that not superficially but thoroughly. He knew every branch of history, both natural and civil; had read all the original historians of England, France, and Italy; and was a great antiquarian. Criticism, metaphysics, morals, politics, made a principal part of his study; voyages and travels of all sorts were his favourite amusements ; and he had a fine taste in painting, prints,...
Page 220 - It was on the day, or rather night, of the 27th of June 1787, between the hours of eleven and twelve, that 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 berccau, or covered walk of acacias, which commands a prospect of the country, the lake, and the mountains.
Page 227 - I had been for some days skulking from covert to covert, under all the terrors of a jail; as some ill-advised people had uncoupled the merciless pack of the law at my heels. I had taken the last farewell of my few friends; my chest was on the road to Greenock; I had composed the last song I should ever measure in Caledonia — "The gloomy night is gathering fast,
Page 228 - ... in the whole strain of his bearing and conversation, a most thorough conviction that in the society of the most eminent men of his nation, he was exactly where he was entitled to be; hardly deigned to flatter them by exhibiting even an occasional symptom of being flattered...
Page 224 - I shall bid an eternal adieu to all the pains, and uneasinesses, and disquietudes of this weary life ; for I assure you, I am heartily tired of it, and if I do not very much deceive myself, I could contentedly and gladly resign it. " The soul uneasy and confined at home^ " Rests and expatiates in a life to come.
Page 219 - It was at Rome, on the 15th of October 1764, as I sat musing amidst the ruins of the Capitol, while the bare-footed 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 90 - The first time I was in company with Foote was at Fitzherbert's. Having no good opinion of the fellow, I was resolved not to be pleased — and it is very difficult to please a man against his will. I went on eating my dinner pretty sullenly, affecting not to mind him. But the dog was so very comical, that I was obliged to lay down my knife and fork, throw myself back upon my chair, and fairly laugh it out. No, sir, he was irresistible.
Page 220 - I will not dissemble the first emotions of joy on the recovery of my freedom, and perhaps the establishment of my fame. But my pride was soon humbled, and a sober melancholy was spread over my mind, by the idea that I had taken an everlasting leave of an old and agreeable companion, and that whatsoever might be the future date of my History, the life of the historian must be short and precarious.

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