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Pascal, Blaise

  • This people are not eminent solely by their antiquity, but are also singular by their duration, which has always continued from their origin till now.  For, whereas the nations of Greece and of Italy, of Lacedaemon, of Athens and of Rome, and others who came long after, have long since perished, these ever remain, and in spite of the endeavors of many powerful kings who have a hundred times tried to destroy them , as their historians testify, and as it is easy to conjecture from the natural order of things during so long a space of years, they have nevertheless been preserved (and this preservation has been foretold); and extending from the earliest times to the latest, their history comprehends in its duration all our histories.

 by Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)
Encyclopedia Britannica, 1952 - Paragraph 620, p. 285