Edward Gibbon (April 27, 1737 - January 16, 1794) was an English historian and Member of Parliament. His most important work, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, was published in six volumes between 1776 and 1788. (Click for full Wikipedia article.)
All that is human must retrograde if it does not advance.
As long as mankind shall continue to bestow more liberal applause on their destroyers than on their benefactors, the thirst of military glory will ever be the vice of the most exalted characters.
Books are those faithful mirrors that reflect to our mind the minds of sages and heroes.
Conversation enriches the understanding, but solitude is the school of genius.
Corruption, the most infallible symptom of constitutional liberty.
History is little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind.
I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know no way of judging of the future but by the past.
I make it a point never to argue with people for whose opinion I have no respect.
I was never less alone than when by myself.
It has been calculated by the ablest politicians that no State, without being soon exhausted, can maintain above the hundredth part of its members in arms and idleness.
Our sympathy is cold to the relation of distant misery.
Revenge is profitable, gratitude is expensive.
The end comes when we no longer talk with ourselves. It is the end of genuine thinking and the beginning of the final loneliness.
The most worthless of mankind are not afraid to condemn in others the same disorders which they allow in themselves; and can readily discover some nice difference in age, character, or station, to justify the partial distinction.
The winds and waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators.
To an active mind, indolence is more painful than labor.
Unprovided with original learning, unformed in the habits of thinking, unskilled in the arts of composition, I resolved to write a book.
War, in its fairest form, implies a perpetual violation of humanity and justice.
We improve ourselves by victory over our self. There must be contests, and you must win.
Where error is irreparable, repentance is useless.