All people at all times have annals; but only some at a few times have history.
The obscurest epoch is today.
The past, like a mirror, is best gazed into from a middle distance; you can see nothing close up or far away.
Into every 1789 a little 1793 must fall.
The lives of desperation that most men lead at least used to be quiet.
We remember what we believe, and believe what we remember.
We are more like our contemporaries than we imagine, and less like our ancestors.
The historian imagines leaders who move nations by themselves, as the physicist imagines spherical cows of uniform density.
We call past ages unhappy with no better warrant than that we suppose we would have been unhappy in them.
Every contemporary freethinker would believe in Christianity if born in medieval England, and slavery if born in ancient Rome.
All agree that memory is fugitive, but few draw the necessary conclusion about identity.