Skepticism is an important historical tool. It is the starting point of all revision of hitherto accepted history.
Courses on historical methodology are not worth the time that they take up. I shall never give one myself, and I have observed that many of my colleagues who do give such courses refrain from exemplifying their methods by writing anything.
Any child knows that history can only be a reduced representation of reality, but it must be a true one, not distorted by queer lenses.
Intellectual honesty is the quality that the public in free countries always has expected of historians; much more than that it does not expect, nor often get.
Historical methodology, as I see it, is a product of common sense applied to circumstances.
Everyone agrees to that; but when we come to define truth, dissension starts.
With honesty of purpose, balance, a respect for tradition, courage, and, above all, a philosophy of life, any young person who embraces the historical profession will find it rich in rewards and durable in satisfaction.
If a lecturer, he wishes to be heard; if a writer, to be read. He always hopes for a public beyond that of the long-suffering wife.
So I have cultivated the vast garden of human experience which is history, without troubling myself overmuch about laws, essential first causes, or how it is all coming out.
A diplomat is a man who thinks twice before he says nothing.