Michel de montaigne essays on experience
His biographers are not agreed among themselves; and in the same degree that he lays open to our view all that concerns his secret thoughts, the innermost mechanism of his mind, he observes too much reticence in respect to his public functions and conduct, and his social relations. You put yourself voluntarily upon particular exploits and hazards, according as you judge of their lustre and importance; and, a volunteer, find even life itself excusably employed: Pulchrumque mori succurrit in armis.
First he points out failings in reason and then points out failings in experience.
Bouillhonnas, his uncle. I should also regret it on account of such as have, in my lifetime, valued me, and whose conversation I should like to have enjoyed a little longer; and I beseech you, my brother, if I leave the world, to carry to them for me an assurance of the esteem I entertained for them to the last moment of my existence.
Eloquence, rhetorical effect, poetry, were alike remote from his design. Evenus said that fire was the best condiment of life: I rather choose any other way of making myself warm.
The court of Muscovy had at that time such limited relations with the other powers of Europe, and it was so imperfect in its information, that it thought Venice to be a dependency of the Holy See.
One of his quotations is "Marriage is like a cage; one sees the birds outside desperate to get in, and those inside desperate to get out. Both the Greeks and the Latins and we, for the most express example of similitude, employ that of eggs; and yet there have been men, particularly one at Delphos, who could distinguish marks of difference amongst eggs so well that he never mistook one for another, and having many hens, could tell which had laid it.
Michel de montaigne of the power of the imagination summary
In short, I am indebted for all that I have to you, who have been to me as a parent; and therefore I have no right to part with anything, unless it be with your approval. Therefore the only remedy, the only rule, and the sole doctrine for avoiding the evils by which mankind is surrounded, whatever they are, is to resolve to bear them so far as our nature permits, or to put an end to them courageously and promptly. John, , 2 vols. Philosophy, in this classical view, involves a retraining of our ways of thinking, seeing and being in the world. Commentary As a study in fine style, clear and lively, none is better than Montaigne's essays. Pasquier, who has left us some details his last hours, narrates that he remained three days in full possession of his faculties, but unable to speak, so that, in order to make known his desires, he was obliged to resort to writing; and as he felt his end drawing near, he begged his wife to summon certain of the gentlemen who lived in the neighbourhood to bid them a last farewell. He lets us understand that in Italy they send up dishes without dressing, but in Germany they were much better seasoned, and served with a variety of sauces and gravies.
His Polyglot Dictionary became so famous, that Calepin became a common appellation for a lexicon] We exchange one word for another, and often for one less understood. His arguments are often supported with quotations from Ancient GreekLatinand Italian texts such as De rerum natura by Lucretius  and the works of Plutarch.
Indeed: We are great fools. The truth some time after being discovered, he found that he had passed an unjust sentence. Comparisons are ever-coupled at one end or other: so do the laws serve, and are fitted to every one of our affairs, by some wrested, biassed, and forced interpretation. Reason has so many forms that we know not to which to take; experience has no fewer; the consequence we would draw from the comparison of events is unsure, by reason they are always unlike. He had become worse; and his loss of blood from the dysentery, which reduced his strength very much, was largely on the increase. A representative quote is "I have never seen a greater monster or miracle than myself. On the other hand, Malebranche and the writers of Port Royal were against him; some reprehended the licentiousness of his writings; others their impiety, materialism, epicureanism. And there is more. My stomach is commodiously good, as also is my head and my breath; and, for the most part, uphold themselves so in the height of fevers. He thanked me for my kindness; and after a little reflection, as if he was resolving certain doubts in his own mind, he desired me to summon his uncle and his wife by themselves, in order that he might acquaint them with his testamentary dispositions. But is it not that we seek more honour from the quotation, than from the truth of the matter in hand? Between and an important incident occurred in the life of Montaigne, in the commencement of his romantic friendship with Etienne de la Boetie, whom he had met, as he tells us, by pure chance at some festive celebration in the town. No judge, thank God, has ever yet spoken to me in the quality of a judge, upon any account whatever, whether my own or that of a third party, whether criminal or civil; nor no prison has ever received me, not even to walk there.
Comparisons are ever-coupled at one end or other: so do the laws serve, and are fitted to every one of our affairs, by some wrested, biassed, and forced interpretation.
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