The Essays of Montaigne, Complete
by Michel de Montaigne
Previous Part     1 ... 15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

For what concerns our affairs and pleasures, it is much more commodious, as the ancients did, to lose one's dinner, and defer making good cheer till the hour of retirement and repose, without breaking up a day; and so was I formerly used to do. As to health, I since by experience find, on the contrary, that it is better to dine, and that the digestion is better while awake. I am not very used to be thirsty, either well or sick; my mouth is, indeed, apt to be dry, but without thirst; and commonly I never drink but with thirst that is created by eating, and far on in the meal; I drink pretty well for a man of my pitch: in summer, and at a relishing meal, I do not only exceed the limits of Augustus, who drank but thrice precisely; but not to offend Democritus rule, who forbade that men should stop at four times as an unlucky number, I proceed at need to the fifth glass, about three half-pints; for the little glasses are my favourites, and I like to drink them off, which other people avoid as an unbecoming thing. I mix my wine sometimes with half, sometimes with the third part water; and when I am at home, by an ancient custom that my father's physician prescribed both to him and himself, they mix that which is designed for me in the buttery, two or three hours before 'tis brought in. 'Tis said that Cranabs, king of Attica, was the inventor of this custom of diluting wine; whether useful or no, I have heard disputed. I think it more decent and wholesome for children to drink no wine till after sixteen or eighteen years of age. The most usual and common method of living is the most becoming; all particularity, in my opinion, is to be avoided; and I should as much hate a German who mixed water with his wine, as I should a Frenchman who drank it pure. Public usage gives the law in these things.

I fear a mist, and fly from smoke as from the plague: the first repairs I fell upon in my own house were the chimneys and houses of office, the common and insupportable defects of all old buildings; and amongst the difficulties of war I reckon the choking dust they made us ride in a whole day together. I have a free and easy respiration, and my colds for the most part go off without offence to the lungs and without a cough.

The heat of summer is more an enemy to me than the cold of winter; for, besides the incommodity of heat, less remediable than cold, and besides the force of the sunbeams that strike upon the head, all glittering light offends my eyes, so that I could not now sit at dinner over against a flaming fire.

To dull the whiteness of paper, in those times when I was more wont to read, I laid a piece of glass upon my book, and found my eyes much relieved by it. I am to this hour—to the age of fifty-four—Ignorant of the use of spectacles; and I can see as far as ever I did, or any other. 'Tis true that in the evening I begin to find a little disturbance and weakness in my sight if I read, an exercise I have always found troublesome, especially by night. Here is one step back, and a very manifest one; I shall retire another: from the second to the third, and so to the fourth, so gently, that I shall be stark blind before I shall be sensible of the age and decay of my sight: so artificially do the Fatal Sisters untwist our lives. And so I doubt whether my hearing begins to grow thick; and you will see I shall have half lost it, when I shall still lay the fault on the voices of those who speak to me. A man must screw up his soul to a high pitch to make it sensible how it ebbs away.

My walking is quick and firm; and I know not which of the two, my mind or my body, I have most to do to keep in the same state. That preacher is very much my friend who can fix my attention a whole sermon through: in places of ceremony, where every one's countenance is so starched, where I have seen the ladies keep even their eyes so fixed, I could never order it so, that some part or other of me did not lash out; so that though I was seated, I was never settled; and as to gesticulation, I am never without a switch in my hand, walking or riding. As the philosopher Chrysippus' maid said of her master, that he was only drunk in his legs, for it was his custom to be always kicking them about in what place soever he sat; and she said it when, the wine having made all his companions drunk, he found no alteration in himself at all; it may have been said of me from my infancy, that I had either folly or quicksilver in my feet, so much stirring and unsettledness there is in them, wherever they are placed.

'Tis indecent, besides the hurt it does to one's health, and even to the pleasure of eating, to eat greedily as I do; I often bite my tongue, and sometimes my fingers, in my haste. Diogenes, meeting a boy eating after that manner, gave his tutor a box on the ear! There were men at Rome that taught people to chew, as well as to walk, with a good grace. I lose thereby the leisure of speaking, which gives great relish to the table, provided the discourse be suitable, that is, pleasant and short.

There is jealousy and envy amongst our pleasures; they cross and hinder one another. Alcibiades, a man who well understood how to make good cheer, banished even music from the table, that it might not disturb the entertainment of discourse, for the reason, as Plato tells us, "that it is the custom of ordinary people to call fiddlers and singing men to feasts, for want of good discourse and pleasant talk, with which men of understanding know how to entertain one another." Varro requires all this in entertainments: "Persons of graceful presence and agreeable conversation, who are neither silent nor garrulous; neatness and delicacy, both of meat and place; and fair weather." The art of dining well is no slight art, the pleasure not a slight pleasure; neither the greatest captains nor the greatest philosophers have disdained the use or science of eating well. My imagination has delivered three repasts to the custody of my memory, which fortune rendered sovereignly sweet to me, upon several occasions in my more flourishing age; my present state excludes me; for every one, according to the good temper of body and mind wherein he then finds himself, furnishes for his own share a particular grace and savour. I, who but crawl upon the earth, hate this inhuman wisdom, that will have us despise and hate all culture of the body; I look upon it as an equal injustice to loath natural pleasures as to be too much in love with them. Xerxes was a blockhead, who, environed with all human delights, proposed a reward to him who could find out others; but he is not much less so who cuts off any of those pleasures that nature has provided for him. A man should neither pursue nor avoid them, but receive them. I receive them, I confess, a little too warmly and kindly, and easily suffer myself to follow my natural propensions. We have no need to exaggerate their inanity; they themselves will make us sufficiently sensible of it, thanks to our sick wet-blanket mind, that puts us out of taste with them as with itself; it treats both itself and all it receives, one while better, and another worse, according to its insatiable, vagabond, and versatile essence:

"Sincerum est nisi vas, quodcunque infundis, acescit."

["Unless the vessel be clean, it will sour whatever you put into it."—Horace, Ep., i. 2, 54.]

I, who boast that I so curiously and particularly embrace the conveniences of life, find them, when I most nearly consider them, very little more than wind. But what? We are all wind throughout; and, moreover, the wind itself, more discreet than we, loves to bluster and shift from corner to corner, and contents itself with its proper offices without desiring stability and solidity-qualities not its own.

The pure pleasures, as well as the pure displeasures, of the imagination, say some, are the greatest, as was expressed by the balance of Critolaiis. 'Tis no wonder; it makes them to its own liking, and cuts them out of the whole cloth; of this I every day see notable examples, and, peradventure, to be desired. But I, who am of a mixed and heavy condition, cannot snap so soon at this one simple object, but that I negligently suffer myself to be carried away with the present pleasures of the, general human law, intellectually sensible, and sensibly intellectual. The Cyrenaic philosophers will have it that as corporal pains, so corporal pleasures are more powerful, both as double and as more just. There are some, as Aristotle says, who out of a savage kind of stupidity dislike them; and I know others who out of ambition do the same. Why do they not, moreover, forswear breathing? why do they not live of their own? why not refuse light, because it is gratuitous, and costs them neither invention nor exertion? Let Mars, Pallas, or Mercury afford them their light by which to see, instead of Venus, Ceres, and Bacchus. These boastful humours may counterfeit some content, for what will not fancy do? But as to wisdom, there is no touch of it. Will they not seek the quadrature of the circle, even when on their wives? I hate that we should be enjoined to have our minds in the clouds, when our bodies are at table; I would not have the mind nailed there, nor wallow there; I would have it take place there and sit, but not lie down. Aristippus maintained nothing but the body, as if we had no soul; Zeno comprehended only the soul, as if we had no body: both of them faultily. Pythagoras, they say, followed a philosophy that was all contemplation, Socrates one that was all conduct and action; Plato found a mean betwixt the two; but they only say this for the sake of talking. The true temperament is found in Socrates; and, Plato is much more Socratic than Pythagoric, and it becomes him better. When I dance, I dance; when I sleep, I sleep. Nay, when I walk alone in a beautiful orchard, if my thoughts are some part of the time taken up with external occurrences, I some part of the time call them back again to my walk, to the orchard, to the sweetness of that solitude, and to myself.

Nature has mother-like observed this, that the actions she has enjoined us for our necessity should be also pleasurable to us; and she invites us to them, not only by reason, but also by appetite, and 'tis injustice to infringe her laws. When I see alike Caesar and Alexander, in the midst of his greatest business, so fully enjoy human and corporal pleasures, I do not say that he relaxed his mind: I say that he strengthened it, by vigour of courage subjecting those violent employments and laborious thoughts to the ordinary usage of life: wise, had he believed the last was his ordinary, the first his extraordinary, vocation. We are great fools. "He has passed his life in idleness," say we: "I have done nothing to-day." What? have you not lived? that is not only the fundamental, but the most illustrious, of your occupations. "Had I been put to the management of great affairs, I should have made it seen what I could do." "Have you known how to meditate and manage your life? you have performed the greatest work of all." In order to shew and develop herself, nature needs only fortune; she equally manifests herself in all stages, and behind a curtain as well as without one. Have you known how to regulate your conduct, you have done a great deal more than he who has composed books. Have you known how to take repose, you have done more than he who has taken empires and cities.

The glorious masterpiece of man is to live to purpose; all other things: to reign, to lay up treasure, to build, are but little appendices and props. I take pleasure in seeing a general of an army, at the foot of a breach he is presently to assault, give himself up entire and free at dinner, to talk and be merry with his friends. And Brutus, when heaven and earth were conspired against him and the Roman liberty, stealing some hour of the night from his rounds to read and scan Polybius in all security. 'Tis for little souls, buried under the weight of affairs, not from them to know how clearly to disengage themselves, not to know how to lay them aside and take them up again:

"O fortes, pejoraque passi Mecum saepe viri! nunc vino pellite curas Cras ingens iterabimus aequor."

["O brave spirits, who have often suffered sorrow with me, drink cares away; tomorrow we will embark once more on the vast sea." —Horace, Od., i. 7, 30.]

Whether it be in jest or earnest, that the theological and Sorbonnical wine, and their feasts, are turned into a proverb, I find it reasonable they should dine so much more commodiously and pleasantly, as they have profitably and seriously employed the morning in the exercise of their schools. The conscience of having well spent the other hours, is the just and savoury sauce of the dinner-table. The sages lived after that manner; and that inimitable emulation to virtue, which astonishes us both in the one and the other Cato, that humour of theirs, so severe as even to be importunate, gently submits itself and yields to the laws of the human condition, of Venus and Bacchus; according to the precepts of their sect, that require the perfect sage to be as expert and intelligent in the use of natural pleasures as in all other duties of life:

"Cui cor sapiat, ei et sapiat palatus."

Relaxation and facility, methinks, wonderfully honour and best become a strong and generous soul. Epaminondas did not think that to take part, and that heartily, in songs and sports and dances with the young men of his city, were things that in any way derogated from the honour of his glorious victories and the perfect purity of manners that was in him. And amongst so many admirable actions of Scipio the grandfather, a person worthy to be reputed of a heavenly extraction, there is nothing that gives him a greater grace than to see him carelessly and childishly trifling at gathering and selecting cockle shells, and playing at quoits,

[This game, as the "Dictionnaire de Trevoux" describes it, is one wherein two persons contend which of them shall soonest pick up some object.]

amusing and tickling himself in representing by writing in comedies the meanest and most popular actions of men. And his head full of that wonderful enterprise of Hannibal and Africa, visiting the schools in Sicily, and attending philosophical lectures, to the extent of arming the blind envy of his enemies at Rome. Nor is there anything more remarkable in Socrates than that, old as he was, he found time to make himself taught dancing and playing upon instruments, and thought it time well spent. This same man was seen in an ecstasy, standing upon his feet a whole day and a night together, in the presence of all the Grecian army, surprised and absorbed by some profound thought. He was the first, amongst so many valiant men of the army, to run to the relief of Alcibiades, oppressed with the enemy, to shield him with his own body, and disengage him from the crowd by absolute force of arms. It was he who, in the Delian battle, raised and saved Xenophon when fallen from his horse; and who, amongst all the people of Athens, enraged as he was at so unworthy a spectacle, first presented himself to rescue Theramenes, whom the thirty tyrants were leading to execution by their satellites, and desisted not from his bold enterprise but at the remonstrance of Theramenes himself, though he was only followed by two more in all. He was seen, when courted by a beauty with whom he was in love, to maintain at need a severe abstinence. He was seen ever to go to the wars, and walk upon ice, with bare feet; to wear the same robe, winter and summer; to surpass all his companions in patience of bearing hardships, and to eat no more at a feast than at his own private dinner. He was seen, for seven-and-twenty years together, to endure hunger, poverty, the indocility of his children, and the nails of his wife, with the same countenance. And, in the end, calumny, tyranny, imprisonment, fetters, and poison. But was this man obliged to drink full bumpers by any rule of civility? he was also the man of the whole army with whom the advantage in drinking, remained. And he never refused to play at noisettes, nor to ride the hobby-horse with children, and it became him well; for all actions, says philosophy, equally become and equally honour a wise man. We have enough wherewithal to do it, and we ought never to be weary of presenting the image of this great man in all the patterns and forms of perfection. There are very few examples of life, full and pure; and we wrong our teaching every day, to propose to ourselves those that are weak and imperfect, scarce good for any one service, and rather pull us back; corrupters rather than correctors of manners. The people deceive themselves; a man goes much more easily indeed by the ends, where the extremity serves for a bound, a stop, and guide, than by the middle way, large and open; and according to art, more than according to nature: but withal much less nobly and commendably.

Greatness of soul consists not so much in mounting and in pressing forward, as in knowing how to govern and circumscribe itself; it takes everything for great, that is enough, and demonstrates itself in preferring moderate to eminent things. There is nothing so fine and legitimate as well and duly to play the man; nor science so arduous as well and naturally to know how to live this life; and of all the infirmities we have, 'tis the most barbarous to despise our being.

Whoever has a mind to isolate his spirit, when the body is ill at ease, to preserve it from the contagion, let him by all means do it if he can: but otherwise let him on the contrary favour and assist it, and not refuse to participate of its natural pleasures with a conjugal complacency, bringing to it, if it be the wiser, moderation, lest by indiscretion they should get confounded with displeasure. Intemperance is the pest of pleasure; and temperance is not its scourge, but rather its seasoning. Euxodus, who therein established the sovereign good, and his companions, who set so high a value upon it, tasted it in its most charming sweetness, by the means of temperance, which in them was singular and exemplary.

I enjoin my soul to look upon pain and pleasure with an eye equally regulated:

"Eodem enim vitio est effusio animi in laetitia quo in dolore contractio,"

["For from the same imperfection arises the expansion of the mind in pleasure and its contraction in sorrow." —Cicero, Tusc. Quaes., iv. 31.]

and equally firm; but the one gaily and the other severely, and so far as it is able, to be careful to extinguish the one as to extend the other. The judging rightly of good brings along with it the judging soundly of evil: pain has something of the inevitable in its tender beginnings, and pleasure something of the evitable in its excessive end. Plato couples them together, and wills that it should be equally the office of fortitude to fight against pain, and against the immoderate and charming blandishments of pleasure: they are two fountains, from which whoever draws, when and as much as he needs, whether city, man, or beast, is very fortunate. The first is to be taken medicinally and upon necessity, and more scantily; the other for thirst, but not to, drunkenness. Pain, pleasure, love and hatred are the first things that a child is sensible of: if, when reason comes, they apply it to themselves, that is virtue.

I have a special vocabulary of my own; I "pass away time," when it is ill and uneasy, but when 'tis good I do not pass it away: "I taste it over again and adhere to it"; one must run over the ill and settle upon the good. This ordinary phrase of pastime, and passing away the time, represents the usage of those wise sort of people who think they cannot do better with their lives than to let them run out and slide away, pass them over, and baulk them, and, as much as they can, ignore them and shun them as a thing of troublesome and contemptible quality: but I know it to be another kind of thing, and find it both valuable and commodious, even in its latest decay, wherein I now enjoy it; and nature has delivered it into our hands in such and so favourable circumstances that we have only ourselves to blame if it be troublesome to us, or escapes us unprofitably:

"Stulti vita ingrata est, trepida est, tota in futurum fertur."

["The life of a fool is thankless, timorous, and wholly bent upon the future."—Seneca, Ep:, 15.]

Nevertheless I compose myself to lose mine without regret; but withal as a thing that is perishable by its condition, not that it molests or annoys me. Nor does it properly well become any not to be displeased when they die, excepting such as are pleased to live. There is good husbandry in enjoying it: I enjoy it double to what others do; for the measure of its fruition depends upon our more or less application to it. Chiefly that I perceive mine to be so short in time, I desire to extend it in weight; I will stop the promptitude of its flight by the promptitude of my grasp; and by the vigour of using it compensate the speed of its running away. In proportion as the possession of life is more short, I must make it so much deeper and fuller.

Others feel the pleasure of content and prosperity; I feel it too, as well as they, but not as it passes and slips by; one should study, taste, and ruminate upon it to render condign thanks to Him who grants it to us. They enjoy the other pleasures as they do that of sleep, without knowing it. To the end that even sleep itself should not so stupidly escape from me, I have formerly caused myself to be disturbed in my sleep, so that I might the better and more sensibly relish and taste it. I ponder with myself of content; I do not skim over, but sound it; and I bend my reason, now grown perverse and peevish, to entertain it. Do I find myself in any calm composedness? is there any pleasure that tickles me? I do not suffer it to dally with my senses only; I associate my soul to it too: not there to engage itself, but therein to take delight; not there to lose itself, but to be present there; and I employ it, on its part, to view itself in this prosperous state, to weigh and appreciate its happiness and to amplify it. It reckons how much it stands indebted to God that its conscience and the intestine passions are in repose; that it has the body in its natural disposition, orderly and competently enjoying the soft and soothing functions by which He, of His grace is pleased to compensate the sufferings wherewith His justice at His good pleasure chastises us. It reflects how great a benefit it is to be so protected, that which way soever it turns its eye the heavens are calm around it. No desire, no fear, no doubt, troubles the air; no difficulty, past, present, or to, come, that its imagination may not pass over without offence. This consideration takes great lustre from the comparison of different conditions. So it is that I present to my thought, in a thousand aspects, those whom fortune or their own error carries away and torments. And, again, those who, more like to me, so negligently and incuriously receive their good fortune. Those are folks who spend their time indeed; they pass over the present and that which they possess, to wait on hope, and for shadows and vain images which fancy puts before them:

"Morte obita quales fama est volitare figuras, Aut quae sopitos deludunt somnia sensus:"

["Such forms as those which after death are reputed to hover about, or dreams which delude the senses in sleep."—AEneid, x. 641.]

which hasten and prolong their flight, according as they are pursued. The fruit and end of their pursuit is to pursue; as Alexander said, that the end of his labour was to labour:

"Nil actum credens, cum quid superesset agendum."

["Thinking nothing done, if anything remained to be done. —"Lucan, ii. 657.]

For my part then, I love life and cultivate it, such as it has pleased God to bestow it upon us. I do not desire it should be without the necessity of eating and drinking; and I should think it a not less excusable failing to wish it had been twice as long;

"Sapiens divitiarum naturalium quaesitor acerrimus:"

["A wise man is the keenest seeker for natural riches." —Seneca, Ep., 119.]

nor that we should support ourselves by putting only a little of that drug into our mouths, by which Epimenides took away his appetite and kept himself alive; nor that we should stupidly beget children with our fingers or heels, but rather; with reverence be it spoken, that we might voluptuously beget them with our fingers and heels; nor that the body should be without desire and without titillation. These are ungrateful and wicked complaints. I accept kindly, and with gratitude, what nature has done for me; am well pleased with it, and proud of it. A man does wrong to that great and omnipotent giver to refuse, annul, or disfigure his gift: all goodness himself, he has made everything good:

"Omnia quae secundum naturam sunt, aestimatione digna sunt."

["All things that are according to nature are worthy of esteem." —Cicero, De Fin., iii. 6.]

Of philosophical opinions, I preferably embrace those that are most solid, that is to say, the most human and most our own: my discourse is, suitable to my manners, low and humble: philosophy plays the child, to my thinking, when it puts itself upon its Ergos to preach to us that 'tis a barbarous alliance to marry the divine with the earthly, the reasonable with the unreasonable, the severe with the indulgent, the honest with the dishonest. That pleasure is a brutish quality, unworthy to be tasted by a wise man; that the sole pleasure he extracts from the enjoyment of a fair young wife is a pleasure of his conscience to perform an action according to order, as to put on his boots for a profitable journey. Oh, that its followers had no more right, nor nerves, nor vigour in getting their wives' maidenheads than in its lesson.

This is not what Socrates says, who is its master and ours: he values, as he ought, bodily pleasure; but he prefers that of the mind as having more force, constancy, facility, variety, and dignity. This, according to him, goes by no means alone—he is not so fantastic—but only it goes first; temperance with him is the moderatrix, not the adversary of pleasure. Nature is a gentle guide, but not more sweet and gentle than prudent and just.

"Intrandum est in rerum naturam, et penitus, quid ea postulet, pervidendum."

["A man must search into the nature of things, and fully examine what she requires."—Cicero, De Fin., V. 16.]

I hunt after her foot throughout: we have confounded it with artificial traces; and that academic and peripatetic good, which is "to live according to it," becomes on this account hard to limit and explain; and that of the Stoics, neighbour to it, which is "to consent to nature." Is it not an error to esteem any actions less worthy, because they are necessary? And yet they will not take it out of my head, that it is not a very convenient marriage of pleasure with necessity, with which, says an ancient, the gods always conspire. To what end do we dismember by divorce a building united by so close and brotherly a correspondence? Let us, on the contrary, confirm it by mutual offices; let the mind rouse and quicken the heaviness of the body, and the body stay and fix the levity of the soul:

"Qui, velut summum bonum, laudat animac naturam, et, tanquam malum, naturam carnis accusat, profectd et animam carnatiter appetit, et carnem carnaliter fugit; quoniam id vanitate sentit humans, non veritate divina."

["He who commends the nature of the soul as the supreme good, and condemns the nature of the flesh as evil, at once both carnally desires the soul, and carnally flies the flesh, because he feels thus from human vanity, not from divine truth." —St. Augustin, De Civit. Dei, xiv. 5.]

In this present that God has made us, there is nothing unworthy our care; we stand accountable for it even to a hair; and is it not a commission to man, to conduct man according to his condition; 'tis express, plain, and the very principal one, and the Creator has seriously and strictly prescribed it to us. Authority has power only to work in regard to matters of common judgment, and is of more weight in a foreign language; therefore let us again charge at it in this place:

"Stultitiae proprium quis non dixerit, ignave et contumaciter facere, quae facienda sunt; et alio corpus impellere, alio animum; distrahique inter diversissimos motus?"

["Who will not say, that it is the property of folly, slothfully and contumaciously to perform what is to be done, and to bend the body one way and the mind another, and to be distracted betwixt wholly different motions?"—Seneca, Ep., 74.]

To make this apparent, ask any one, some day, to tell you what whimsies and imaginations he put into his pate, upon the account of which he diverted his thoughts from a good meal, and regrets the time he spends in eating; you will find there is nothing so insipid in all the dishes at your table as this wise meditation of his (for the most part we had better sleep than wake to the purpose we wake); and that his discourses and notions are not worth the worst mess there. Though they were the ecstasies of Archimedes himself, what then? I do not here speak of, nor mix with the rabble of us ordinary men, and the vanity of the thoughts and desires that divert us, those venerable souls, elevated by the ardour of devotion and religion, to a constant and conscientious meditation of divine things, who, by the energy of vivid and vehement hope, prepossessing the use of the eternal nourishment, the final aim and last step of Christian desires, the sole constant, and incorruptible pleasure, disdain to apply themselves to our necessitous, fluid, and ambiguous conveniences, and easily resign to the body the care and use of sensual and temporal pasture; 'tis a privileged study. Between ourselves, I have ever observed supercelestial opinions and subterranean manners to be of singular accord.

AEsop, that great man, saw his master piss as he walked: "What then," said he, "must we drop as we run?" Let us manage our time; there yet remains a great deal idle and ill employed. The mind has not willingly other hours enough wherein to do its business, without disassociating itself from the body, in that little space it must have for its necessity. They would put themselves out of themselves, and escape from being men. It is folly; instead of transforming themselves into angels, they transform themselves into beasts; instead of elevating, they lay themselves lower. These transcendental humours affright me, like high and inaccessible places; and nothing is hard for me to digest in the life of Socrates but his ecstasies and communication with demons; nothing so human in Plato as that for which they say he was called divine; and of our sciences, those seem to be the most terrestrial and low that are highest mounted; and I find nothing so humble and mortal in the life of Alexander as his fancies about his immortalisation. Philotas pleasantly quipped him in his answer; he congratulated him by letter concerning the oracle of Jupiter Ammon, which had placed him amongst the gods: "Upon thy account I am glad of it, but the men are to be pitied who are to live with a man, and to obey him, who exceeds and is not contented with the measure of a man:"

"Diis to minorem quod geris, imperas."

["Because thou carriest thyself lower than the gods, thou rulest." —Horace, Od., iii. 6, 5.]

The pretty inscription wherewith the Athenians honoured the entry of Pompey into their city is conformable to my sense: "By so much thou art a god, as thou confessest thee a man." 'Tis an absolute and, as it were, a divine perfection, for a man to know how loyally to enjoy his being. We seek other conditions, by reason we do not understand the use of our own; and go out of ourselves, because we know not how there to reside. 'Tis to much purpose to go upon stilts, for, when upon stilts, we must yet walk with our legs; and when seated upon the most elevated throne in the world, we are but seated upon our breech. The fairest lives, in my opinion, are those which regularly accommodate themselves to the common and human model without miracle, without extravagance. Old age stands a little in need of a more gentle treatment. Let us recommend that to God, the protector of health and wisdom, but let it be gay and sociable:

"Frui paratis et valido mihi Latoe, dones, et precor, integra Cum mente; nec turpem senectam Degere, nec Cithara carentem."

["Grant it to me, Apollo, that I may enjoy my possessions in good health; let me be sound in mind; let me not lead a dishonourable old age, nor want the cittern."—Horace, Od., i. 31, 17.]


["Grant it to me, Apollo, that I may enjoy what I have in good health; let me be sound in body and mind; let me live in honour when old, nor let music be wanting."]

APOLOGY: [In fact, the first edition of the Essays (Bordeaux, 1580) has very few quotations. These became more numerous in the edition of 1588; but the multitude of classical texts which at times encumber Montaigne's text, only dates from the posthumous edition of 1595] he had made these collections in the four last years of his life, as an amusement of his "idleness."—Le Clerc. They grow, however, more sparing in the Third Book.


A well-governed stomach is a great part of liberty Affirmation and obstinacy are express signs of want of wit Alexander said, that the end of his labour was to labour All actions equally become and equally honour a wise man As we were formerly by crimes, so we are now overburdened by law At the most, but patch you up, and prop you a little better have none at all than to have them in so prodigious a num Both kings and philosophers go to stool Cannot stand the liberty of a friend's advice Cleave to the side that stood most in need of her Condemnations have I seen more criminal than the crimes Customs and laws make justice Dignify our fopperies when we commit them to the press Diversity of medical arguments and opinions embraces all Every man thinks himself sufficiently intelligent Excuse myself from knowing anything which enslaves me to others First informed who were to be the other guests Go out of ourselves, because we know not how there to reside Got up but an inch upon the shoulders of the last, but one Hate remedies that are more troublesome than the disease itself He who fears he shall suffer, already suffers what he fears How many and many times he has been mistaken in his own judgment "I have done nothing to-day."—"What? have you not lived?" If it be a delicious medicine, take it Intelligence is required to be able to know that a man knows not Intemperance is the pest of pleasure Language: obscure and unintelligible in wills and contracts Last death will kill but a half or a quarter of a man Law: breeder of altercation and division Laws keep up their credit, not for being just—but as laws Lay the fault on the voices of those who speak to me. Learn my own debility and the treachery of my understanding Life of Caesar has no greater example for us than our own Long sittings at table both trouble me and do me harm Made all medicinal conclusions largely give way to my pleasure Man after who held out his pulse to a physician was a fool Man must learn that he is nothing but a fool More ado to interpret interpretations More books upon books than upon any other subject Never did two men make the same judgment of the same thing None that less keep their promise (than physicians) Nor get children but before I sleep, nor get them standing Nothing so grossly, nor so ordinarily faulty, as the laws Our justice presents to us but one hand Perpetual scolding of his wife (of Socrates) Physician: pass through all the diseases he pretends to cure Plato angry at excess of sleeping than at excess of drinking Plato: lawyers and physicians are bad institutions of a country Prolong your misery an hour or two Put us into a way of extending and diversifying difficulties Resolved to bring nothing to it but expectation and patience Scratching is one of nature's sweetest gratifications Seek the quadrature of the circle, even when on their wives So weak and languishing, as not to have even wishing left to him Soft, easy, and wholesome pillow is ignorance and incuriosity Study makes me sensible how much I have to learn Style wherewith men establish religions and laws Subdividing these subtilties we teach men to increase their doub That we may live, we cease to live The mean is best There is none of us who would not be worse than kings Thinking nothing done, if anything remained to be done Thinks nothing profitable that is not painful Thou diest because thou art living Tis so I melt and steal away from myself Truth itself has not the privilege to be spoken at all times Truth, that for being older it is none the wiser We must learn to suffer what we cannot evade We ought to grant free passage to diseases Whoever will call to mind the excess of his past anger Why do we not imitate the Roman architecture? Wrangling arrogance, wholly believing and trusting in itself Yet do we find any end of the need of interpretating?


A child should not be brought up in his mother's lap A gallant man does not give over his pursuit for being refused A generous heart ought not to belie its own thoughts A hundred more escape us than ever come to our knowledge A lady could not boast of her chastity who was never tempted A little cheese when a mind to make a feast A little thing will turn and divert us A man may always study, but he must not always go to school A man may govern himself well who cannot govern others so A man may play the fool in everything else, but not in poetry A man must either imitate the vicious or hate them A man must have courage to fear A man never speaks of himself without loss A man should abhor lawsuits as much as he may A man should diffuse joy, but, as much as he can, smother grief A man's accusations of himself are always believed A parrot would say as much as that A person's look is but a feeble warranty A well-bred man is a compound man A well-governed stomach is a great part of liberty A word ill taken obliterates ten years' merit Abhorrence of the patient are necessary circumstances Abominate that incidental repentance which old age brings Accept all things we are not able to refute Accommodated my subject to my strength Accursed be thou, as he that arms himself for fear of death Accusing all others of ignorance and imposition Acquiesce and submit to truth Acquire by his writings an immortal life Addict thyself to the study of letters Addresses his voyage to no certain, port Admiration is the foundation of all philosophy Advantageous, too, a little to recede from one's right Advise to choose weapons of the shortest sort Affect words that are not of current use Affection towards their husbands, (not) until they have lost them Affirmation and obstinacy are express signs of want of wit Affright people with the very mention of death Against my trifles you could say no more than I myself have said Age imprints more wrinkles in the mind than it does on the face Agesilaus, what he thought most proper for boys to learn? Agitated betwixt hope and fear Agitation has usurped the place of reason Alexander said, that the end of his labour was to labour All actions equally become and equally honour a wise man All apprentices when we come to it (death) All defence shows a face of war All I aim at is, to pass my time at my ease All I say is by way of discourse, and nothing by way of advice All judgments in gross are weak and imperfect All over-nice solicitude about riches smells of avarice All things have their seasons, even good ones All think he has yet twenty good years to come All those who have authority to be angry in my family Almanacs Always be parading their pedantic science Always complaining is the way never to be lamented Always the perfect religion Am as jealous of my repose as of my authority An advantage in judgment we yield to none "An emperor," said he, "must die standing" An ignorance that knowledge creates and begets Ancient Romans kept their youth always standing at school And hate him so as you were one day to love him And we suffer the ills of a long peace Anger and hatred are beyond the duty of justice Any argument if it be carried on with method Any old government better than change and alteration Any one may deprive us of life; no one can deprive us of death Anything appears greatest to him that never knew a greater Anything becomes foul when commended by the multitude Anything of value in him, let him make it appear in his conduct Appetite comes to me in eating Appetite is more sharp than one already half-glutted by the eyes Appetite runs after that it has not Appetite to read more, than glutted with that we have Applaud his judgment than commend his knowledge Apprenticeship and a resemblance of death Apprenticeships that are to be served beforehand Apt to promise something less than what I am able to do Archer that shoots over, misses as much as he that falls short Armed parties (the true school of treason, inhumanity, robbery) Arrogant ignorance Art that could come to the knowledge of but few persons "Art thou not ashamed," said he to him, "to sing so well?" Arts of persuasion, to insinuate it into our minds As great a benefit to be without (children) As if anything were so common as ignorance As if impatience were of itself a better remedy than patience As we were formerly by crimes, so we are now overburdened by law Ashamed to lay out as much thought and study upon it Assurance they give us of the certainty of their drugs At least, if they do no good, they will do no harm At the most, but patch you up, and prop you a little Attribute facility of belief to simplicity and ignorance Attribute to itself; all the happy successes that happen Authority of the number and antiquity of the witnesses Authority to be dissected by the vain fancies of men Authority which a graceful presence and a majestic mien beget Avoid all magnificences that will in a short time be forgotten Away with that eloquence that enchants us with itself Away with this violence! away with this compulsion! Bashfulness is an ornament to youth, but a reproach to old age Be not angry to no purpose Be on which side you will, you have as fair a game to play Bears well a changed fortune, acting both parts equally well Beast of company, as the ancient said, but not of the herd Beauty of stature is the only beauty of men Because the people know so well how to obey Become a fool by too much wisdom Being as impatient of commanding as of being commanded Being dead they were then by one day happier than he Being over-studious, we impair our health and spoil our humour Belief compared to the impression of a seal upon the soul Believing Heaven concerned at our ordinary actions Best part of a captain to know how to make use of occasions Best test of truth is the multitude of believers in a crowd Best virtue I have has in it some tincture of vice Better at speaking than writing—Motion and action animate word better have none at all than to have them in so prodigious a num Better to be alone than in foolish and troublesome company Blemishes of the great naturally appear greater Books go side by side with me in my whole course Books have many charming qualities to such as know how to choose Books have not so much served me for instruction as exercise Books I read over again, still smile upon me with fresh novelty Books of things that were never either studied or understood Both himself and his posterity declared ignoble, taxable Both kings and philosophers go to stool Burnt and roasted for opinions taken upon trust from others Business to-morrow But ill proves the honour and beauty of an action by its utility But it is not enough that our education does not spoil us By resenting the lie we acquit ourselves of the fault By suspecting them, have given them a title to do ill "By the gods," said he, "if I was not angry, I would execute you" By the misery of this life, aiming at bliss in another Caesar: he would be thought an excellent engineer to boot Caesar's choice of death: "the shortest" Can neither keep nor enjoy anything with a good grace Cannot stand the liberty of a friend's advice Carnal appetites only supported by use and exercise Cato said: So many servants, so many enemies Ceremony forbids us to express by words things that are lawful Certain other things that people hide only to show them Change is to be feared Change of fashions Change only gives form to injustice and tyranny Cherish themselves most where they are most wrong Chess: this idle and childish game Chiefly knew himself to be mortal by this act Childish ignorance of many very ordinary things Children are amused with toys and men with words Cicero: on fame Civil innocence is measured according to times and places Cleave to the side that stood most in need of her cloak on one shoulder, my cap on one side, a stocking disordered College: a real house of correction of imprisoned youth Coming out of the same hole Commit themselves to the common fortune Common consolation, discourages and softens me Common friendships will admit of division Conclude the depth of my sense by its obscurity Concluding no beauty can be greater than what they see Condemn all violence in the education of a tender soul Condemn the opposite affirmation equally Condemnations have I seen more criminal than the crimes Condemning wine, because some people will be drunk Confession enervates reproach and disarms slander Confidence in another man's virtue Conscience makes us betray, accuse, and fight against ourselves Conscience, which we pretend to be derived from nature Consent, and complacency in giving a man's self up to melancholy Consoles himself upon the utility and eternity of his writings Content: more easily found in want than in abundance Counterfeit condolings of pretenders Courageous in death, not because his soul is immortal—Socrates Courtesy and good manners is a very necessary study Crafty humility that springs from presumption Crates did worse, who threw himself into the liberty of poverty Cruelty is the very extreme of all vices Culling out of several books the sentences that best please me Curiosity and of that eager passion for news Curiosity of knowing things has been given to man for a scourge "Custom," replied Plato, "is no little thing" Customs and laws make justice Dangerous man you have deprived of all means to escape Dangers do, in truth, little or nothing hasten our end Dearness is a good sauce to meat Death can, whenever we please, cut short inconveniences Death conduces more to birth and augmentation than to loss Death discharges us of all our obligations Death has us every moment by the throat Death is a part of you Death is terrible to Cicero, coveted by Cato Death of old age the most rare and very seldom seen Deceit maintains and supplies most men's employment Decree that says, "The court understands nothing of the matter" Defence allures attempt, and defiance provokes an enemy Defend most the defects with which we are most tainted Defer my revenge to another and better time Deformity of the first cruelty makes me abhor all imitation Delivered into our own custody the keys of life Denying all solicitation, both of hand and mind Depend as much upon fortune as anything else we do Desire of riches is more sharpened by their use than by the need Desire of travel Desires, that still increase as they are fulfilled Detest in others the defects which are more manifest in us Did my discourses came only from my mouth or from my heart Did not approve all sorts of means to obtain a victory Die well—that is, patiently and tranquilly Difference betwixt memory and understanding Difficulty gives all things their estimation Dignify our fopperies when we commit them to the press Diogenes, esteeming us no better than flies or bladders Discover what there is of good and clean in the bottom of the po Disdainful, contemplative, serious and grave as the ass Disease had arrived at its period or an effect of chance? Disgorge what we eat in the same condition it was swallowed Disguise, by their abridgments and at their own choice Dissentient and tumultuary drugs Diversity of medical arguments and opinions embraces all Diverting the opinions and conjectures of the people Do not much blame them for making their advantage of our folly Do not to pray that all things may go as we would have them Do not, nevertheless, always believe myself Do thine own work, and know thyself Doctors: more felicity and duration in their own lives? Doctrine much more intricate and fantastic than the thing itself Dost thou, then, old man, collect food for others' ears? Doubt whether those (old writings) we have be not the worst Doubtful ills plague us worst Downright and sincere obedience Drugs being in its own nature an enemy to our health Drunkeness a true and certain trial of every one's nature Dying appears to him a natural and indifferent accident Each amongst you has made somebody cuckold Eat your bread with the sauce of a more pleasing imagination Education Education ought to be carried on with a severe sweetness Effect and performance are not at all in our power Either tranquil life, or happy death Eloquence prejudices the subject it would advance Emperor Julian, surnamed the Apostate Endeavouring to be brief, I become obscure Engaged in the avenues of old age, being already past forty Enough to do to comfort myself, without having to console others Enslave our own contentment to the power of another? Enters lightly into a quarrel is apt to go as lightly out of it Entertain us with fables: astrologers and physicians Epicurus Establish this proposition by authority and huffing Evade this tormenting and unprofitable knowledge Even the very promises of physic are incredible in themselves Events are a very poor testimony of our worth and parts Every abridgment of a good book is a foolish abridgment Every day travels towards death; the last only arrives at it Every government has a god at the head of it Every man thinks himself sufficiently intelligent Every place of retirement requires a walk Everything has many faces and several aspects Examine, who is better learned, than who is more learned Excel above the common rate in frivolous things Excuse myself from knowing anything which enslaves me to others Executions rather whet than dull the edge of vices Expresses more contempt and condemnation than the other Extend their anger and hatred beyond the dispute in question Extremity of philosophy is hurtful Fabric goes forming and piling itself up from hand to hand Fame: an echo, a dream, nay, the shadow of a dream Fancy that others cannot believe otherwise than as he does Fantastic gibberish of the prophetic canting Far more easy and pleasant to follow than to lead Fathers conceal their affection from their children Fault not to discern how far a man's worth extends Fault will be theirs for having consulted me Fear and distrust invite and draw on offence Fear is more importunate and insupportable than death itself Fear of the fall more fevers me than the fall itself Fear to lose a thing, which being lost, cannot be lamented? Fear was not that I should do ill, but that I should do nothing Fear: begets a terrible astonishment and confusion Feared, lest disgrace should make such delinquents desperate Feminine polity has a mysterious procedure Few men have been admired by their own domestics Few men have made a wife of a mistress, who have not repented it First informed who were to be the other guests First thing to be considered in love matters: a fitting time Flatterer in your old age or in your sickness Follies do not make me laugh, it is our wisdom which does Folly and absurdity are not to be cured by bare admonition Folly of gaping after future things Folly satisfied with itself than any reason can reasonably be Folly than to be moved and angry at the follies of the world Folly to hazard that upon the uncertainty of augmenting it Folly to put out their own light and shine by a borrowed lustre For fear of the laws and report of men For who ever thought he wanted sense? Fortune heaped up five or six such-like incidents Fortune rules in all things Fortune sometimes seems to delight in taking us at our word Fortune will still be mistress of events Fox, who found fault with what he could not obtain Friend, it is not now time to play with your nails Friend, the hook will not stick in such soft cheese Friendships that the law and natural obligation impose upon us Fruits of public commotion are seldom enjoyed Gain to change an ill condition for one that is uncertain Gave them new and more plausible names for their excuse Gentleman would play the fool to make a show of defence Gently to bear the inconstancy of a lover Gewgaw to hang in a cabinet or at the end of the tongue Give but the rind of my attention Give me time to recover my strength and health Give the ladies a cruel contempt of our natural furniture Give these young wenches the things they long for Give us history, more as they receive it than as they believe it Giving is an ambitious and authoritative quality Glory and curiosity are the scourges of the soul Go out of ourselves, because we know not how there to reside Good does not necessarily succeed evil; another evil may succeed Good to be certain and finite, and evil, infinite and uncertain Got up but an inch upon the shoulders of the last, but one Gradations above and below pleasure Gratify the gods and nature by massacre and murder Great presumption to be so fond of one's own opinions Greatest apprehensions, from things unseen, concealed Greatest talkers, for the most part, do nothing to purpose Greedy humour of new and unknown things Grief provokes itself Gross impostures of religions Guess at our meaning under general and doubtful terms Happen to do anything commendable, I attribute it to fortune Hard to resolve a man's judgment against the common opinions Haste trips up its own heels, fetters, and stops itself Hate all sorts of obligation and restraint Hate remedies that are more troublesome than the disease itself Have ever had a great respect for her I loved Have more wherewith to defray my journey, than I have way to go Have no other title left me to these things but by the ears Have you ever found any who have been dissatisfied with dying? Having too good an opinion of our own worth He cannot be good, seeing he is not evil even to the wicked He did not think mankind worthy of a wise man's concern He felt a pleasure and delight in so noble an action He judged other men by himself He may employ his passion, who can make no use of his reason He may well go a foot, they say, who leads his horse in his hand He must fool it a little who would not be deemed wholly a fool He should discern in himself, as well as in others He took himself along with him He who fears he shall suffer, already suffers what he fears He who is only a good man that men may know it He who lays the cloth is ever at the charge of the feast He who lives everywhere, lives nowhere He who provides for all, provides for nothing He who stops not the start will never be able to stop the course He will choose to be alone Headache should come before drunkenness Health depends upon the vanity and falsity of their promises Health is altered and corrupted by their frequent prescriptions Health to be worth purchasing by all the most painful cauteries Hearing a philosopher talk of military affairs Heat and stir up their imagination, and then we find fault Help: no other effect than that of lengthening my suffering High time to die when there is more ill than good in living Hoary head and rivelled face of ancient usage Hobbes said that if he Had been at college as long as others— Hold a stiff rein upon suspicion Home anxieties and a mind enslaved by wearing complaints Homer: The only words that have motion and action Honour of valour consists in fighting, not in subduing How infirm and decaying material this fabric of ours is How many and many times he has been mistaken in his own judgment How many more have died before they arrived at thy age How many several ways has death to surprise us? "How many things," said he, "I do not desire!" How many worthy men have we known to survive their reputation How much easier is it not to enter in than it is to get out How much it costs him to do no worse How much more insupportable and painful an immortal life How uncertain duration these accidental conveniences are Humble out of pride Husbands hate their wives only because they themselves do wrong I always find superfluity superfluous I am a little tenderly distrustful of things that I wish I am apt to dream that I dream I am disgusted with the world I frequent I am hard to be got out, but being once upon the road I am no longer in condition for any great change I am not to be cuffed into belief I am plain and heavy, and stick to the solid and the probable I am very glad to find the way beaten before me by others I am very willing to quit the government of my house I bequeath to Areteus the maintenance of my mother I can more hardly believe a man's constancy than any virtue I cannot well refuse to play with my dog I content myself with enjoying the world without bustle I dare not promise but that I may one day be so much a fool I do not consider what it is now, but what it was then I do not judge opinions by years I do not much lament the dead, and should envy them rather I do not say that 'tis well said, but well thought I do not willingly alight when I am once on horseback I enter into confidence with dying I ever justly feared to raise my head too high I every day hear fools say things that are not foolish I find myself here fettered by the laws of ceremony I find no quality so easy to counterfeit as devotion I for my part always went the plain way to work I grudge nothing but care and trouble I had much rather die than live upon charity I had rather be old a brief time, than be old before old age I hail and caress truth in what quarter soever I find it I hate all sorts of tyranny, both in word and deed I hate poverty equally with pain I have a great aversion from a novelty "I have done nothing to-day"—"What? have you not lived?" I have lived longer by this one day than I should have done I have no mind to die, but I have no objection to be dead I have not a wit supple enough to evade a sudden question I have nothing of my own that satisfies my judgment I honour those most to whom I show the least honour I lay no great stress upon my opinions; or of others I look upon death carelessly when I look upon it universally I love stout expressions amongst gentle men I love temperate and moderate natures I need not seek a fool from afar; I can laugh at myself I owe it rather to my fortune than my reason I receive but little advice, I also give but little I scorn to mend myself by halves I see no people so soon sick as those who take physic I speak truth, not so much as I would, but as much as I dare I take hold of, as little glorious and exemplary as you will I understand my men even by their silence and smiles I was always superstitiously afraid of giving offence I was too frightened to be ill "I wish you good health"—"No health to thee" replied the other I would as willingly be lucky as wise I would be rich of myself, and not by borrowing I write my book for few men and for few years Idleness is to me a very painful labour Idleness, the mother of corruption If a passion once prepossess and seize me, it carries me away If I am talking my best, whoever interrupts me, stops me If I stand in need of anger and inflammation, I borrow it If it be a delicious medicine, take it If it be the writer's wit or borrowed from some other If nature do not help a little, it is very hard If they can only be kind to us out of pity If they chop upon one truth, that carries a mighty report If they hear no noise, they think men sleep If to philosophise be, as 'tis defined, to doubt Ignorance does not offend me, but the foppery of it Impotencies that so unseasonably surprise the lover Ill luck is good for something Imagne the mighty will not abase themselves so much as to live Imitating other men's natures, thou layest aside thy own Immoderate either seeking or evading glory or reputation Impose them upon me as infallible Impostures: very strangeness lends them credit Improperly we call this voluntary dissolution, despair Impunity pass with us for justice In everything else a man may keep some decorum In ordinary friendships I am somewhat cold and shy In solitude, be company for thyself—Tibullus In sorrow there is some mixture of pleasure In the meantime, their halves were begging at their doors In this last scene of death, there is no more counterfeiting In those days, the tailor took measure of it In war not to drive an enemy to despair Inclination to love one another at the first sight Inclination to variety and novelty common to us both Incline the history to their own fancy Inconsiderate excuses are a kind of self-accusation Inconveniences that moderation brings (in civil war) Indiscreet desire of a present cure, that so blind us Indocile liberty of this member Inquisitive after everything Insensible of the stroke when our youth dies in us Insert whole sections and pages out of ancient authors Intelligence is required to be able to know that a man knows not Intemperance is the pest of pleasure Intended to get a new husband than to lament the old Interdict all gifts betwixt man and wife Interdiction incites, and who are more eager, being forbidden It (my books) may know many things that are gone from me It happens, as with cages, the birds without despair to get in It is better to die than to live miserable It is no hard matter to get children It is not a book to read, 'tis a book to study and learn It is not for outward show that the soul is to play its part It's madness to nourish infirmity Jealousy: no remedy but flight or patience Judge by justice, and choose men by reason Judge by the eye of reason, and not from common report Judgment of duty principally lies in the will Judgment of great things is many times formed from lesser thing Justice als takes cognisance of those who glean after the reaper Killing is good to frustrate an offence to come, not to revenge Knock you down with the authority of their experience Knot is not so sure that a man may not half suspect it will slip Knowledge and truth may be in us without judgment Knowledge is not so absolutely necessary as judgment Knowledge of others, wherein the honour consists Known evil was ever more supportable than one that was, new Ladies are no sooner ours, than we are no more theirs Language: obscure and unintelligible in wills and contracts Lascivious poet: Homer Last death will kill but a half or a quarter of a man Law: breeder of altercation and division Laws (of Plato on travel), which forbids it after threescore Laws cannot subsist without mixture of injustice Laws do what they can, when they cannot do what they would Laws keep up their credit, not for being just—but as laws Lay the fault on the voices of those who speak to me Laying themselves low to avoid the danger of falling Learn my own debility and the treachery of my understanding Learn the theory from those who best know the practice Learn what it is right to wish Learning improves fortunes enough, but not minds Least end of a hair will serve to draw them into my discourse Least touch or prick of a pencil in comparison of the whole Leave society when we can no longer add anything to it Leaving nothing unsaid, how home and bitter soever Led by the ears by this charming harmony of words Lend himself to others, and only give himself to himself Lessen the just value of things that I possess "Let a man take which course he will," said he; "he will repent" Let him be as wise as he will, after all he is but a man Let him be satisfied with correcting himself Let him examine every man's talent Let it alone a little Let it be permitted to the timid to hope Let not us seek illusions from without and unknown Let us not be ashamed to speak what we are not ashamed to think Let us not seek our disease out of ourselves; 'tis in us Liberality at the expense of others Liberty and laziness, the qualities most predominant in me Liberty of poverty Liberty to lean, but not to lay our whole weight upon others Library: Tis there that I am in my kingdom License of judgments is a great disturbance to great affairs Life of Caesar has no greater example for us than our own Life should be cut off in the sound and living part Light griefs can speak: deep sorrows are dumb Light prognostics they give of themselves in their tender years Little affairs most disturb us Little knacks and frivolous subtleties Little learning is needed to form a sound mind—Seneca Little less trouble in governing a private family than a kingdom Live a quite contrary sort of life to what they prescribe others Live at the expense of life itself Live, not so long as they please, but as long as they ought Living is slavery if the liberty of dying be wanting Living well, which of all arts is the greatest Llaying the fault upon the patient, by such frivolous reasons Lodge nothing in his fancy upon simple authority and upon trust Long a voyage I should at last run myself into some disadvantage Long sittings at table both trouble me and do me harm Long toleration begets habit; habit, consent and imitation Look on death not only without astonishment but without care Look upon themselves as a third person only, a stranger Look, you who think the gods have no care of human things Lose what I have a particular care to lock safe up Loses more by defending his vineyard than if he gave it up Love is the appetite of generation by the mediation of beauty Love shamefully and dishonestly cured by marriage Love them the less for our own faults Love we bear to our wives is very lawful Love, full, lively, and sharp; a pleasure inflamed by difficulty Loved them for our sport, like monkeys, and not as men Lower himself to the meanness of defending his innocence Made all medicinal conclusions largely give way to my pleasure Making their advantage of our folly, for most men do the same Malice must be employed to correct this arrogant ignorance Malice sucks up the greatest part of its own venom Malicious kind of justice Man (must) know that he is his own Man after who held out his pulse to a physician was a fool Man can never be wise but by his own wisdom Man may say too much even upon the best subjects Man may with less trouble adapt himself to entire abstinence Man must approach his wife with prudence and temperance Man must have a care not to do his master so great service Man must learn that he is nothing but a fool Man runs a very great hazard in their hands (of physicians) Mark of singular good nature to preserve old age Marriage Marriage rejects the company and conditions of love Melancholy: Are there not some constitutions that feed upon it? Memories are full enough, but the judgment totally void Men approve of things for their being rare and new Men are not always to rely upon the personal confessions Men as often commend as undervalue me beyond reason Men make them (the rules) without their (women's) help Men must embark, and not deliberate, upon high enterprises Men should furnish themselves with such things as would float Mercenaries who would receive any (pay) Merciful to the man, but not to his wickedness—Aristotle Methinks I am no more than half of myself Methinks I promise it, if I but say it Miracle: everything our reason cannot comprehend Miracles and strange events have concealed themselves from me Miracles appear to be so, according to our ignorance of nature Miserable kind of remedy, to owe one's health to one's disease! Miserable, who has not at home where to be by himself Misfortunes that only hurt us by being known Mix railing, indiscretion, and fury in his disputations Moderation is a virtue that gives more work than suffering Modesty is a foolish virtue in an indigent person (Homer) More ado to interpret interpretations More books upon books than upon any other subject More brave men been lost in occasions of little moment More solicitous that men speak of us, than how they speak More supportable to be always alone than never to be so More valued a victory obtained by counsel than by force Morosity and melancholic humour of a sour ill-natured pedant Most cruel people, and upon frivolous occasions, apt to cry Most men are rich in borrowed sufficiency Most men do not so much believe as they acquiesce and permit Most of my actions are guided by example, not by choice Mothers are too tender Motive to some vicious occasion or some prospect of profit Much better to offend him once than myself every day Much difference betwixt us and ourselves Must for the most part entertain ourselves with ourselves Must of necessity walk in the steps of another My affection alters, my judgment does not My books: from me hold that which I have not retained My dog unseasonably importunes me to play My fancy does not go by itself, as when my legs move it My humour is no friend to tumult My humour is unfit either to speak or write for beginners My innocence is a simple one; little vigour and no art My mind is easily composed at distance My reason is not obliged to bow and bend; my knees are My thoughts sleep if I sit still My words does but injure the love I have conceived within Natural death the most rare and very seldom seen Nature of judgment to have it more deliberate and more slow Nature of wit is to have its operation prompt and sudden Nature, who left us in such a state of imperfection Nearest to the opinions of those with whom they have to do Negligent garb, which is yet observable amongst the young men Neither be a burden to myself nor to any other Neither continency nor virtue where there are no opposing desire Neither men nor their lives are measured by the ell Neither the courage to die nor the heart to live Never any man knew so much, and spake so little Never did two men make the same judgment of the same thing Never observed any great stability in my soul to resist passions Never oppose them either by word or sign, how false or absurd Never represent things to you simply as they are Never spoke of my money, but falsely, as others do New World: sold it opinions and our arts at a very dear rate Nnone that less keep their promise(than physicians) No alcohol the night on which a man intends to get children No beast in the world so much to be feared by man as man No danger with them, though they may do us no good No doing more difficult than that not doing, nor more active No effect of virtue, to have stronger arms and legs No evil is honourable; but death is honourable No excellent soul is exempt from a mixture of madness No great choice betwixt not knowing to speak anything but ill— No man continues ill long but by his own fault No man is free from speaking foolish things No man more certain than another of to-morrow—Seneca No necessity upon a man to live in necessity No one can be called happy till he is dead and buried No other foundation or support than public abuse No passion so contagious as that of fear No physic that has not something hurtful in it No use to this age, I throw myself back upon that other No way found to tranquillity that is good in common Noble and rich, where examples of virtue are rarely lodged Nobody prognosticated that I should be wicked, but only useless Noise of arms deafened the voice of laws None of the sex, let her be as ugly as the devil thinks lovable Nor get children but before I sleep, nor get them standing Nor have other tie upon one another, but by our word Nosegay of foreign flowers, having furnished nothing of my own Not a victory that puts not an end to the war Not being able to govern events, I govern myself Not believe from one, I should not believe from a hundred Not certain to live till I came home Not conceiving things otherwise than by this outward bark Not conclude too much upon your mistress's inviolable chastity Not for any profit, but for the honour of honesty itself Not having been able to pronounce one syllable, which is No! Not in a condition to lend must forbid himself to borrow Not melancholic, but meditative Not to instruct but to be instructed Not want, but rather abundance, that creates avarice Nothing can be a grievance that is but once Nothing falls where all falls Nothing is more confident than a bad poet Nothing is so firmly believed, as what we least know Nothing is so supple and erratic as our understanding Nothing noble can be performed without danger Nothing presses so hard upon a state as innovation Nothing so grossly, nor so ordinarily faulty, as the laws Nothing tempts my tears but tears Nothing that so poisons as flattery Number of fools so much exceeds the wise O Athenians, what this man says, I will do O my friends, there is no friend: Aristotle O wretched men, whose pleasures are a crime O, the furious advantage of opportunity! Obedience is never pure nor calm in him who reasons and disputes Obliged to his age for having weaned him from pleasure Observed the laws of marriage, than I either promised or expect Obstinacy and contention are common qualities Obstinacy is the sister of constancy Obstinancy and heat in argument are the surest proofs of folly Obstinate in growing worse Occasion to La Boetie to write his "Voluntary Servitude" Occasions of the least lustre are ever the most dangerous Occupy our thoughts about the general, and about universal cause Of the fleeting years each steals something from me Office of magnanimity openly and professedly to love and hate Oftentimes agitated with divers passions Old age: applaud the past and condemn the present Old men who retain the memory of things past Omit, as incredible, such things as they do not understand On all occasions to contradict and oppose One door into life, but a hundred thousand ways out One may be humble out of pride One may more boldly dare what nobody thinks you dare One may regret better times, but cannot fly from the present One must first know what is his own and what is not Only desire to become more wise, not more learned or eloquent Only secure harbour from the storms and tempests of life Only set the humours they would purge more violently in work Open speaking draws out discoveries, like wine and love Opinions they have of things and not by the things themselves Opinions we have are taken on authority and trust Opposition and contradiction entertain and nourish them Option now of continuing in life or of completing the voyage Order a purge for your brain, it will there be much better Order it so that your virtue may conquer your misfortune Ordinances it (Medicine) foists upon us Ordinary friendships, you are to walk with bridle in your hand Ordinary method of cure is carried on at the expense of life Others adore all of their own side Ought not only to have his hands, but his eyes, too, chaste Ought not to expect much either from his vigilance or power Ought to withdraw and retire his soul from the crowd Our extremest pleasure has some sort of groaning Our fancy does what it will, both with itself and us Our judgments are yet sick Our justice presents to us but one hand Our knowledge, which is a wretched foundation Our qualities have no title but in comparison Our will is more obstinate by being opposed Over-circumspect and wary prudence is a mortal enemy Overvalue things, because they are foreign, absent Owe ourselves chiefly and mostly to ourselves Passion has a more absolute command over us than reason Passion has already confounded his judgment Passion of dandling and caressing infants scarcely born Pay very strict usury who did not in due time pay the principal People are willing to be gulled in what they desire People conceiving they have right and title to be judges Perfect friendship I speak of is indivisible Perfect men as they are, they are yet simply men Perfection: but I will not buy it so dear as it costs Perpetual scolding of his wife (of Socrates) Petulant madness contends with itself Philopoemen: paying the penalty of my ugliness Philosophy Philosophy has discourses proper for childhood Philosophy is nothing but to prepare one's self to die Philosophy is that which instructs us to live Philosophy looked upon as a vain and fantastic name Phusicians cure by by misery and pain Physic Physician worse physicked Physician: pass through all the diseases he pretends to cure Physician's "help", which is very often an obstacle Physicians are not content to deal only with the sick Physicians fear men should at any time escape their authority Physicians were the only men who might lie at pleasure Physicians: earth covers their failures Pinch the secret strings of our imperfections Pitiful ways and expedients to the jugglers of the law Pity is reputed a vice amongst the Stoics Plato angry at excess of sleeping than at excess of drinking Plato forbids children wine till eighteen years of age Plato said of the Egyptians, that they were all physicians Plato says, that the gods made man for their sport Plato will have nobody marry before thirty Plato: lawyers and physicians are bad institutions of a country Plays of children are not performed in play Pleasing all: a mark that can never be aimed at or hit Pleasure of telling (a pleasure little inferior to that of doing Possession begets a contempt of what it holds and rules Practical Jokes: Tis unhandsome to fight in play Preachers very often work more upon their auditory than reasons Preface to bribe the benevolence of the courteous reader Prefer in bed, beauty before goodness Preferring the universal and common tie to all national ties Premeditation of death is the premeditation of liberty Prepare ourselves against the preparations of death Present Him such words as the memory suggests to the tongue Present himself with a halter about his neck to the people Presumptive knowledge by silence Pretending to find out the cause of every accident Priest shall on the wedding-day open the way to the bride Proceed so long as there shall be ink and paper in the world Profession of knowledge and their immeasurable self-conceit Profit made only at the expense of another Prolong his life also prolonged and augmented his pain Prolong your misery an hour or two Prudent and just man may be intemperate and inconsistent Prudent man, when I imagine him in this posture Psalms of King David: promiscuous, indiscreet Public weal requires that men should betray, and lie Puerile simplicities of our children Pure cowardice that makes our belief so pliable Put us into a way of extending and diversifying difficulties Pyrrho's hog Quiet repose and a profound sleep without dreams Rage compelled to excuse itself by a pretence of good-will Rage it puts them to oppose silence and coldness to their fury Rash and incessant scolding runs into custom Rather be a less while old than be old before I am really so Rather complain of ill-fortune than be ashamed of victory Rather prating of another man's province than his own Reading those books, converse with the great and heroic souls Reasons often anticipate the effect Recommendation of strangeness, rarity, and dear purchase Refusin to justify, excuse, or explain myself Regret so honourable a post, where necessity must make them bold Remotest witness knows more about it than those who were nearest Represented her a little too passionate for a married Venus Reputation: most useless, frivolous, and false coin that passes Repute for value in them, not what they bring to us Reserve a backshop, wholly our own and entirely free Resolved to bring nothing to it but expectation and patience Rest satisfied, without desire of prolongation of life or name Restoring what has been lent us, wit usury and accession Revenge more wounds our children than it heals us Revenge, which afterwards produces a series of new cruelties Reverse of truth has a hundred thousand forms Rhetoric: an art to flatter and deceive Rhetoric: to govern a disorderly and tumultuous rabble Richer than we think we are; but we are taught to borrow Ridiculous desire of riches when we have lost the use of them Right of command appertains to the beautiful-Aristotle Rome was more valiant before she grew so learned Rowers who so advance backward Rude and quarrelsome flatly to deny a stated fact Same folly as to be sorry we were not alive a hundred years ago Satisfaction of mind to have only one path to walk in Satisfied and pleased with and in themselves Say of some compositions that they stink of oil and of the lamp Scratching is one of nature's sweetest gratifications Season a denial with asperity, suspense, or favour See how flexible our reason is Seek the quadrature of the circle, even when on their wives Seeming anger, for the better governing of my house Send us to the better air of some other country Sense: no one who is not contented with his share Setting too great a value upon ourselves Setting too little a value upon others Settled my thoughts to live upon less than I have Sex: To put fools and wise men, beasts and us, on a level Shake the truth of our Church by the vices of her ministers Shame for me to serve, being so near the reach of liberty Sharps and sweets of marriage, are kept secret by the wise She who only refuses, because 'tis forbidden, consents Shelter my own weakness under these great reputations Short of the foremost, but before the last Should first have mended their breeches Silence, therefore, and modesty are very advantageous qualities Silent mien procured the credit of prudence and capacity Sins that make the least noise are the worst Sitting betwixt two stools Slaves, or exiles, ofttimes live as merrily as other folk Sleep suffocates and suppresses the faculties of the soul Smile upon us whilst we are alive So austere and very wise countenance and carriage—of physicians So many trillions of men, buried before us So much are men enslaved to their miserable being So that I could have said no worse behind their backs So weak and languishing, as not to have even wishing left to him Socrates kept a confounded scolding wife Socrates: According to what a man can Soft, easy, and wholesome pillow is ignorance and incuriosity Solon said that eating was physic against the malady hunger Solon, that none can be said to be happy until he is dead some people rude, by being overcivil in their courtesy Some wives covetous indeed, but very few that are good managers Sometimes the body first submits to age, sometimes the mind Souls that are regular and strong of themselves are rare Sparing and an husband of his knowledge Speak less of one's self than what one really is is folly Spectators can claim no interest in the honour and pleasure Stilpo lost wife, children, and goods Stilpo: thank God, nothing was lost of his Strangely suspect all this merchandise:

Previous Part     1 ... 15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29     Next Part
Home - Random Browse