my voice
Note from 'Begin "Decline & Fall"' chapter from 'Memoirs Of My Life And Writing' by Gibbon

A French sketch of Mr. Gibbon's Life, written by himself, probably for the use of some foreign journalist or translator, contains no fact not mentioned in his English Life. He there describes himself with his usual candour.

'Depuis huit ans il a assisté aux déliberations les plus importantes, mais il ne s'est jamais trouvé; le courage, ni le talent, de parler dans une assemblée publique.'

This sketch was written before the publication of his three last volumes, as in closing it he says of his History:

'Cette enterprise lui demande encore plusieurs années d'une application soutenue; mais quelqu'en soit le succès, il trouve dans cette application même un plaisir toujours varié et toujours renaissant.'

— Lord Sheffield

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