Letters on the Study and Use of History ...

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J.J. Tourneisen, 1791 - 308 pages

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Page 115 - Till this happen, the profession of the law will scarce deserve to be ranked among the learned professions ; and whenever it happens, one of the vantage grounds, to which men must climb, is metaphysical, and the other historical knowledge.
Page 18 - 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.
Page 10 - The reason of this judgment, which I quote from one of Seneca's epistles in confirmation of my own opinion, rests, I think, on this ; that when examples are pointed out to us, there is a kind of appeal, with which we are flattered, made to our senses as well as our understandings. The instruction comes then upon our own authority : we frame the precept after our own experience, and yield to fact when we resist speculation.
Page 170 - Bigotry, and its inseparable companion, cruelty, as well as the tyranny and avarice of the court of Vienna, created in those days, and has maintained in ours, almost a perpetual diversion of the imperial arms from all effectual opposition to France.
Page 7 - 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.
Page 204 - I said above remained to be done, and if the Emperor put it out of our power to do another of them with advantage ; were we to put it still more out of our power, and to wait unarmed for the death of the king of Spain ? In fine, if we had not the...
Page 19 - I might likewise bring several other instances wherein history serves to purge the mind of those national partialities and prejudices that we are apt to contract in our education, and that experience for the most part rather confirms than removes ; because it is for the most part confined, like our education.
Page 11 - ... 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.
Page 107 - To teach and to inculcate the general principles of virtue, and the general rules of wisdom and good policy, which result from such details of actions and characters, comes for the most part, and always should come, expressly and directly into the design of those who are capable of giving such details ; and therefore whilst they narrate as historians they hint often as philosophers...
Page 115 - ... 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.

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