Never tell a young person that anything cannot be done. God may have been waiting centuries for someone ignorant enough of the impossible to do that very thing.
Education… has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading.
Every true history must force us to remember that the past was once as real as the present and as uncertain as the future.
The poetry of history lies in the quasi-miraculous fact that once, on this earth, once, on this familiar spot of ground, walked other men and women, as actual as we are today, thinking their own thoughts, swayed by their own passions, but now all gone, one generation vanishing into another, gone as utterly as we ourselves shall shortly be gone, like ghosts at cockcrow.
Since history has no properly scientific value, its only purpose is educative. And if historians neglect to educate the public, if they fail to interest it intelligently in the past, then all their historical learning is valueless except in so far as it educates themselves.
I have two doctors, my left leg and my right.
What is easy to read has been difficult to write. The labour of writing and rewriting, correcting and recorrecting, is the due exacted by every good book from its author, even if he knows from the beginning exactly what he wants to say. A limpid style is invariably the result of hard labour, and the easily flowing connection of sentence with sentence and paragraph with paragraph has always been won by the sweat of the brow.
One half who graduate from college never read another book.
A little man often cast a long shadow.
The best historian is he who combines knowledge of the evidence with the largest intellect, the warmest human sympathy and the highest imaginative powers.
History is the open Bible: we historians are not priests to expound it infallibly: our function is to teach people to read it and to reflect upon it for themselves.
Social history might be defined negatively as the history of a people with the politics left out
After a day’s walk everything has twice its usual value.
There is no orthodoxy in walking. It is a land of many paths and no-paths, where every one goes his own and is right.
And how fascinating history is – the long, variegated pageant of man’s still continuing evolution of this strange planet, so much the most interesting of all the myriads of spinners through space.
We are literally children of the earth, and removed from her our spirits wither or run to various forms of insanity. Unless we can refresh ourselves at least by intermittent contact with nature, we grow awry.
We are the children of the earth and removed from her our spirit withers.
I never knew a man go for an honest day’s walk for whatever distance, great or small, and not have his reward in the repossession of his soul.
History repeats itself and History never repeats itself are about equally true.
The best job goes to the person who can get it done without passing the buck or coming back with excuses.
Village cricket spread fast through the land. In those days before it became scientific, cricket was the best game in the world to watch, with its rapid sequence of amusing incidents, each ball a potential crisis!
Many who burnt heretics in the ordinary way of their business were otherwise excellent people.
I have two doctors, my left leg and my right. When body and mind are out of gear (and those twin parts of me live at such close quarters that the one always catches melancholy from the other) I know that I shall have only to call in my doctors and I shall be well again.
“History repeats itself” and “History never repeats itself” are about equally true … We never know enough about the infinitely complex circumstances of any past event to prophesy the future by analogy.
If one could make alive again for other people some cobwebbed skein of old dead intrigues and breathe breath and character into dead names and stiff portraits. That is history to me!