Montaigne essays online text

But let us come to my subject: what has the act of generation, so natural, so necessary, and so just, done to men, to be a thing not to be spoken of without blushing, and to be excluded from all serious and moderate discourse? The ward meetings, on election days, are not softened by any misgivings of the value of these ballotings.

Effects would more Montaigne essays online text of fortune than of me; they manifest their own office and not mine, but uncertainly and by conjecture; patterns of some one particular virtue.

But no excuse would serve him, that must serve without excuse. It was reasonable enough that Montaigne should expect for his work a certain share of celebrity in Gascony, and even, as time went on, throughout France; but he professes, at least in one place of the Essays, to doubt whether they would, owing to changes of taste and diction, outlast fifty years; and it is, at any rate, scarcely probable that he foresaw how his renown was to become worldwide; Edition: current; Page: [58] how he was to occupy an almost unique position as a man of letters and a moralist; how the Essays would be read, in all the principal languages of Europe, by millions of intelligent human beings, who never heard of Perigord or the League, and who are in doubt, if they are questioned, whether the author lived in the sixteenth or the eighteenth century.

The preparation begets a great deal more expectation than it will satisfy. My unwillingness to rise in a morning gives my servants leisure to dine at their ease before they set out; for my own part, I never eat too late; my appetite comes to me in eating, and not else; I am never hungry but at table.

Some minds are incapable of skepticism. A man is not always on the top of a breach, or at the head of an army, in the sight of his general, as upon a scaffold; a man if often surprised betwixt the hedge and the ditch; he must run the hazard of his life against a henroost; he must dislodge four rascally musketeers out of a barn; he must prick out single from his party, and alone make some attempts, according as necessity will have it.

Yea but Learning cannot be too common and the commoner the better. And therefore willingly I take his worde, though wittingly I doe mistake it, Translata proficit. We confess ourselves religiously to God and our confessor; as our neighbors do to all the people.

It is easy to see how this arrogance comes.

michel de montaigne

So have they: they onely are worthy Translators. What is the use of pretending to powers we have not?

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The Essays of Michel de Montaigne, by Michel de Montaigne