Friday, 11 April 2008

Decline and Fall

Gibbon's Decline & Fall. Title page of volume 1Today, I spent a pleasant hour enjoying the sonorous prose of Gibbon's Decline and Fall.

My own principate is described thus:
"The restless activity of Hadrian was not less remarkable when compared with the gentle repose of Antoninus Pius. The life of the former was almost a perpetual journey; ... But the tranquil life of Antoninus Pius was spent in the bosom of Italy; and, during the twenty-three years that he directed the public administration, the longest journeys of that amiable prince extended no farther than from his palace in Rome to the retirement of his Lanuvian villa."

Quite so.

(Incidentally, while seeking a suitable picture for this post, I discovered a useful resource in the Dusty Shelf web site's archive of antiquarian texts. Sadly, the site appears to have been abandoned before Rice Holmes was uploaded. The Questia web site seems to charge a subscription for access to this public domain text!)

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