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ELEGANT EXTRACTS,

FROM THE MOST

EMINENT PROSE WRITERS.

BOOK VII.

HISTORICAL:

CONSISTING CHIEFLY OF CHARACTERS.

ON THE GREAT HISTORICAL AGES.

EVERY age has produced heroes and politicians; all nations have experienced revolutions; and all histories are nearly alike, to those who seek only to furnish their memories with facts; but whoever thinks, or, what is still more rare, whoever has taste, will find but four ages in the history of the world. These four happy ages are those in which the arts were carried to perfection; and which, by serving as the era of the greatness of the human mind, are examples for posterity.

The first of these ages, to which true glory is annexed, is that of Philip and Alexander, or that of a Pericles, a Demosthenes, an Aristotle, a Plato, an Apelles, a Phidias, and a Praxiteles; and this honour has been confined within the limits VOL. IV.

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