The Life of Thuanus: With Some Account of His Writings, and a Translation of the Preface to His History

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Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme, 1807 - France - 467 pages

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Page 296 - ... wars, followed by the plague, drove him from his snug retreat to Paris ; but he afterwards returned home, and died in 1592, with all the calmness of a genuine philosopher. Six kings had sat on the throne of France in the course of his not very long life ; and when we remark that these were Francis I., Henry II., Francis II., Charles IX., Henry III., and Henry IV., it seems an odd caprice of destiny to place the quietest of the human species in the stormiest of times. If the external vicissitudes...
Page 391 - It is the first law of history to fear to record what is false, and, in the next place, not to want courage in relating the truth.
Page 391 - I have said, to begin to write in camps, in the midst of sieges and the noise of arms, when my mind was engrossed by the variety and importance of events, and sought, in composition, a relief from public calamity. My work has been continued and completed in your Majesty's court, amongst the oppressive labours of the law, foreign journies, and other avocations...
Page 395 - Religion alone is not subject to command, but is infused into well prepared minds from a preconceived opinion of the truth, with the concurrence of divine grace. Tortures have no influence over her: in fact, they rather tend to make men obstinate, than to subdue or persuade them.
Page xviii - Thuanus does not equal, he approaches, in the excellencies of style, in dignity, and in copiousness, the best models of antiquity. One circumstance has contributed to diminish the graces of his style, which he could not well avoid. Modern names of places and of persons. must abound in a work of this kind. But modern names have in general a barbarous sound in a work written in Latin.
Page 381 - In raillery assume a gayer air, Discreetly hide your strength, your vigour spare; For ridicule shall frequently prevail, And cut the knot, when graver reasons fail.
Page 75 - Thuanus thus writes concerning himself, in the third person, in a memoir which he has left of his life : " .Besides the daily prayers, which every Christian ought to offer at his rising, he has told me that he made one applicable to his work, and never sat down to composition without first begging God to enlighten him with a knowledge of the truth, and enable him to follow its dictates without flattery or detraction.
Page xvii - The solemn declaration, in which he calls God and men to witness, that he wrote his history for the glory of God, and the good of mankind, without resentment or partiality ; the strong and repeated protestations that truth is his only guide, warmly interest the reader in his favour, and open his mind for the reception of all that follows.
Page 395 - Confiding in the support of God's grace, the religious man is content to suffer; and the ills, to which mortality is liable, he takes to himself without complaint. . . . Let the executioner stand before him ; let him prepare tortures, whet the knife, and kindle the pile ; he will still persevere...

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