We are apt to be displeased at the present condition; but I, nevertheless, maintain that to desire command in a few—[an oligarchy. Here, but not so nauseous, are the excrements of an old mind, sometimes thick, sometimes thin, and always indigested. It were ingratitude to contemn the relics and images of so many worthy and valiant men as I have seen live and die, and who, by their example, give us so many good instructions, knew we how to follow them. If the husband bring matter, nature herself will that the wife find the form. Montaigne and the Vanity of Autobiography. I know very well that, to take it by the letter, this pleasure of travelling is a testimony of uneasiness and irresolution, and, in sooth, these two are our governing and predominating qualities. If there be not enough for one, of that whereof I had so plentifully enough, at his peril be it:
Amongst those empty favours of hers, there is none that so much pleases vain humour natural to my country, as an authentic bull of a Roman burgess-ship, that was granted me when I was last there, glorious in seals and gilded letters, and granted with all gracious liberality. Essay as I might Les Essais de Montaigne and my own. These examples are of the first kind for me; of the second, there are others that I could find out in the same person: And though I could so far prevail upon myself and why might I not with time and diligence work such a feat , I would not do it. Montaigne is a writer we can be sure Shakespeare had read and knew well. I have my share. As natural conveniences fail, let us supply them with those that are artificial.
I describe my infirmities, such as they really are, at most, and avoid all expressions of evil prognostic and composed exclamations.
Monday Morning Montaigne: Of vanity – The Virtual Memories Show
I see, and am vexed to see, in several families I know, Monsieur about noon come home all jaded and ruffled about his affairs, when Madame is still dressing vamity hair and tricking up herself, forsooth, in her closet: By what means edsay we may have the privilege to redress and reform it anew, we can hardly writhe it from its wonted bent, but we shall break all.
Aristippus loved to live as a stranger in all places: Plato himself is throughout poetical; and the old theology, as the learned tell us, is all poetry; and the first philosophy is the original language of the gods. Moreover, it is not rightly to go to work, to examine only the flank and the foss, to judge of the security of a place; we must observe which way approaches can be made to it, and in what condition the assailant is: I should sooner subscribe to the second article of the same Laws, which forbids it after threescore.
All things fall under discretion and qualification. Since I pretend to nothing but the reputation of having got nothing or dissipated nothing, conformably to the rest of my life, improper either to do good or ill of any moment, and that I only desire to pass on, I can do it, thanks be to God, without any great endeavour.
I could wish to see them in familiar relations, walk, and sup. Necessity reconciles and brings men together; and this montaignws connection afterwards forms itself into laws: What I am saying of them puts me in mind of something like it I have at times observed in some of our young courtiers; they will not mix with any but men of their own sort, and look upon us as men of another world, with disdain or pity.
If the extent of dominion be the health of a state which I by no means think it is, and Isocrates pleases me when he rssay Nicocles not to envy princes who have large dominions, but those who know how to preserve those which have fallen into their handsthat of Rome was never so sound, as when it was most sick. montalgnes
Monday Morning Montaigne: Of vanity
If there be not enough for one, of that whereof Eessay had so plentifully enough, at his peril be it: Such an idea of government might be of some value in a new world; but we take a world already made, and formed to certain customs; we do not beget it, as Pyrrha or Cadmus did. When I have been abroad out of France and that people, out of courtesy, have asked me if I would be served after the French manner, I laughed at the question, and always frequented tables the most filled with foreigners.
And yet they are phrases that come near to the babble of my chambermaid. I, who, for the most part, travel montaiggnes my pleasure, do not order my affairs so ill. The preparation begets a great deal more expectation than it will satisfy.
The notion of occasional, brief writings on subjects like law, friendship, education, custom, government, death and civil society by an individual who was not acting in a professional capacity was a new enterprise indeed, and one that the culture of print helped bring into existence.
Thus, a particular mode of argument it is not simply a demonstration of the how the writer thinks, but the arrival of knowledge itself. As the physician Philotimus said to one who presented him his finger to dress, and who he perceived, both by his complexion and his breath, had an ulcer in his lungs: We embrace not only the absent, but those who have been, and those who are not yet.
Patrick Madden on Essays on the Essay. Unde manus inventus Metu Deorum continuit?
The Vanity of Words | Essay as I might
Now I am, indeed, for the most part at home; but I would be there better pleased than anywhere else: I have enough to do to comfort myself, without having to console others; thoughts enough montqignes my head, not to need that circumstances should possess me with new; and matter enough to occupy me without borrowing. I find this unexpected advantage in the publication of montaivnes manners, that it in some sort serves me for a rule.
Philip Reed – – Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 93 4: Each individual one of us contributes to the corrupting of our time: I know not whether it be without reason that I am disgusted with the world I frequent; but I know very well that it would be without reason, should I complain of its being disgusted with me, seeing I am so with it. I serve my prince more cheerfully because it is by the free election of my own judgment and reason, without any particular obligation; and that I am not reduced and constrained so to do for being rejected or disliked by the other party; and so of all the rest.
Aristotle boasts somewhere in his writings that he affected it: What a mean and ridiculous thing it is for a man to study his money, to delight in handling and telling it over and over again!
The world is unapt to be cured; and so impatient of anything that presses it, that essy thinks of nothing but disengaging itself at what price soever. Could I do better for him, I would; and am proud that his will is still performing and acting by me.
So it is that in these memoirs, if any one observe, he will find that I have either told or designed to tell all; what I cannot express, I point out with my finger:.