1 To understand the laws of this continuous movement is the aim of history.
2 "It's ancient history," said another, guessing that it referred to a former war.
3 It needs no critical exertion to reduce utterly to dust any deductions drawn from history.
4 Moving troops in close proximity to an enemy is always dangerous, and military history supports that view.
5 Now here is a Lombard bond and a letter; it is a premium for the man who writes a history of Suvorov's wars.
6 The more we try to explain such events in history reasonably, the more unreasonable and incomprehensible do they become to us.
7 "But every time there have been conquests there have been conquerors; every time there has been a revolution in any state there have been great men," says history.
8 The highest wisdom is not founded on reason alone, not on those worldly sciences of physics, history, chemistry, and the like, into which intellectual knowledge is divided.
9 The Battle of Borodino, with the occupation of Moscow that followed it and the flight of the French without further conflicts, is one of the most instructive phenomena in history.
10 Every act of theirs, which appears to them an act of their own will, is in an historical sense involuntary and is related to the whole course of history and predestined from eternity.
11 But later on, to fit what had occurred, the historians provided cunningly devised evidence of the foresight and genius of the generals who, of all the blind tools of history were the most enslaved and involuntary.
12 To study the laws of history we must completely change the subject of our observation, must leave aside kings, ministers, and generals, and study the common, infinitesimally small elements by which the masses are moved.
13 While the sea of history remains calm the ruler-administrator in his frail bark, holding on with a boat hook to the ship of the people and himself moving, naturally imagines that his efforts move the ship he is holding on to.
14 The first method of history is to take an arbitrarily selected series of continuous events and examine it apart from others, though there is and can be no beginning to any event, for one event always flows uninterruptedly from another.
15 They were moved by fear or vanity, rejoiced or were indignant, reasoned, imagining that they knew what they were doing and did it of their own free will, but they all were involuntary tools of history, carrying on a work concealed from them but comprehensible to us.
16 He recalled his exertions and solicitations, and the history of his project of army reform, which had been accepted for consideration and which they were trying to pass over in silence simply because another, a very poor one, had already been prepared and submitted to the Emperor.
17 Each man lives for himself, using his freedom to attain his personal aims, and feels with his whole being that he can now do or abstain from doing this or that action; but as soon as he has done it, that action performed at a certain moment in time becomes irrevocable and belongs to history, in which it has not a free but a predestined significance.
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