A martial nobility and stubborn commons, possessed of arms, tenacious of property, and collected into constitutional assemblies, form the only balance capable of preserving a free constitution against enterprises of an aspiring prince.
On the reign of Antoninus Pius, Gibbon said:
His reign is marked by the rare advantage of furnishing very few materials for history; which is, indeed, little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind.
…and also that this period was “possibly the only period of history in which the happiness of a great people was the sole object of government.”
Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 1, Chapter 3.
Thanks, dear reader, should you ever find me, for being my gadfly.