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Public domain books are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover.
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I had to guard, not only against a sentiment like my own, which I found extensively diffused, but also against the eagerness occa- sioned by a very general curiosity to see in print every literary relic, however imperfect, of so distinguished a writer.
Being aware how disgracefully authors of eminence have been often treated, by an indiscreet posthumous publication of fragments and 'careless effusions ; when I had selected those papers which to myself appeared the Digitized by Google INTEODUCTORY EEMARKS.
Those slight variatic Mjs of character, which naturally arose in the progress of his Kfe, will be unfolded in a 0eries of Letters, selected from a correspondence between him and rayselfi which continued fall thirty years, and ended with his death. Gibbon is entered at Westminster School, - 36 CHAPTER Vn. The Author's Tour in Switzerland, 91 Digitized by Google CONTENTS. Mademoiselle Curchod— afterwards Madame Neckert - . Gibbon publishes his firet Work, - - .115 CHAPTER XIV. Our calmer judgment will rather tend to moderate, than to suppress, the pride of an ancient and worthy race.A public domain book is one that was never subject to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired.Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country.My hesitation in giving these Memoirs to the world, arose principally from the circumstance of Mr. My own amusement is my motive, and will be my reward ; and if these sheets are communicated to some discreet and indulgent friends, they will be seoreted from the public eye till the author shall be removed beyond the reach of criticism or ridicule.* * This passage is found in one only of the six sketches, and in that which seems to have been the first written, and which was laid aside among loose Digitized by Google MEMOIRS OF MY LIFE AND WRITINGS.Gibbon's appearing, in some respect, not to have been satisfied with them, as he had so frequently varied their form : yet, notwithstanding this difiidence, the compositions, though unfinished, are so excellent, that they may justly entitle my friend to appear as his own biographer, rather Digitized by Google INTRODUCTORY REMARKS. A lively desire of knowing and of recording our ances- tors so generally prevails, that it must depend on the influ- ence of some common principle in the minds of men.
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