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Quotation of the Day…

… is from William Robertson‘s 1791 An Historical Disquisition Concerning the Knowledge Which the Ancients Had of India, as quoted on page 61 of the 1993 Revised Edition of John Kenyon’s excellent 1983 volume, The History Men (punctuation corrected to conform to Robertson’s original):

It is a cruel mortification, searching for what is instructive in the history of past times, to find that the exploits of conquerors who have desolated the earth, and the freaks of tyrants who have rendered nations unhappy, are recorded with minute and often disgusting accuracy, while the discovery of useful arts, and the progress of the most beneficial branches of commerce, are passed over in silence, and suffered to sink into oblivion.

At least two-thirds of the statues, murals, and memorials that adorn Washington, DC, and other nations’ capitals are of people who are far more deserving of scorn and opprobrium rather than of admiration and applause.

(I thank George Selgin for recommending Kenyon’s book to me.)