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Montaigne's Essays Volume III

Source: Michel Montaigne. The Essays of Michael Lord of Montaigne, 1580, 1597. Translated by John Florio, 1603. World's Classics edition. 3 volumes, Vol. 3. London:  Frowde, 1904. Before using any portion of this text in any theme, essay, research paper, thesis, or dissertation, please read the disclaimer.

Transcription conventions: Volume I page numbers in angle brackets refer to the edition cited as the source. Words or phrases singled out for indexing are marked by plus signs. In the index, numbers in parentheses indicate how many times the item appears. A slash followed by a small letter or a number indicates a footnote at the bottom of the page. Only notes of historical, philosophical, or literary interest to a general reader have been included. I have allowed Greek passages to stand as the scanner read them, in unintelligible strings of characters.

Archaic spellings: If you are puzzled by the spelling of a word, try these remedies.

  • Replace u with v (giue = give
  • Replace i with j (obiect = object
  • Replace y with i (Englyshe = English)
  • Remove the final e (Englyshe = English)

Table of Contents:  3.I+ Of Profit and Honesty | 3.II+ Of Repenting | 3.III+ Of Three Commerces or Societies | 3.IV+ Of Diverting and Diversions | 3.V+ Upon some Verses of Virgil | 3.VI+ Of Coaches | 3.VII+ Of the Incommoditie of Greatnesse | 3.VIII+ Of the Art of Conferring | 3.IX+ Of Vanitie 3.X+ How one ought to governe his Will | 3.XI+ Of the Lame or Crippel | 3.XII+ Of Phisiognomy | 3.XIII+ Of Experience 
IMDEX 1560+(1) | 1582_age_49+(1) | 1585_age_52+(1) | 60sradical+(1) | action+(1) | amateur+(1) | ambition+(2) | amitie+(2) | amity+(1) | ancients_moderns+(1) | anger+(2) | Antonio+(2) | avarice+(1) | bashfulnesse+(1) | Bassanio+(1) | benefit+(3) | benefits+(1) | Benefits+(1) | blabbing+(2) | boasting+(1) | Brutus+(3) | Burke+(3) | Caesar+(1) | Caliban+(3) | carelesnesse+(3) | careless+(1) | carelesse+(1) | Cato+(2) | Catoes+(1) | cheere+(1) | clemency+(1) | common+(3) | common_places+(1) | constancie+(1) | constancy+(2) | contract+(1) | Cordelia+(5) | Cornwall+(1) | courage+(1) | courtesie+(1) | cowardice+(1) | cruelty+(1) | Cuckold+(1) | death+(10) | Death+(2) | dialectic+(1) | diffidence+(7) | diffident+(1) | discretion+(1) | dissolution+(1) | Donne+(1) | Dorimant+(1) | duel+(1) | effeminate+(1) | Eliot+(1) | empire+(1) | Epictetus+(1) | Eton+(1) | exemples+(1) | expenditure+(1) | family+(1) | Faulkner+(1) | feminism+(1) | flies+(2) | foppery+(1) | formalities+(1) | fortitude+(1) | fortuna+(1) | fortune+(10) | Fortunes+(1) | Freud+(1) | friend+(4) | friendship+(2) | gentlenesse+(1) | gift+(3) | give+(1) | glory+(2) | goodnesse+(1) | grace_of_God+(1) | gratitude+(1) | Gratitude+(1) | Hal+(10) | history+(1) | honest_man+(1) | honestie+(1) | honor+(2) | honour+(5) | Hotspur+(4) | Iago+(1) | ingenuity+(1) | innocency+(1) | innovation+(1) | instructions+(1) | interpretations+(1) | justice+(1) | Kent+(3) | king+(1) | King+(1) | kings_duty+(1) | Laputa+(1) | law+(3) | Lawes+(1) | lawing+(1) | lawyers+(1) | Lawyers+(1) | Lear+(6) | learning+(1) | liberality+(2) | licentiousnesse+(1) | list+(1) | love+(2) | magnificence+(1) | Mahomet+(1) | man_of_honor+(1) | manly+(1) | marriage+(2) | military+(1) | Millamant+(1) | mirth+(1) | Man_of_Mode+(1) | modestie+(1) | money+(2) | Mrs_Frail+(1) | nature+(1) | nobilitie+(2) | Non_nobis+(1) | obligation+(1) | Oswald+(1) | ought+(1) | Pages+(1) | patience+(1) | peasant+(1) | plague+(1) | PlainDealer+(19) | plaine+(1) | Plaine_wordes+(1) | plainely+(1) | plainenesse+(1) | Plutarch+(1) | Plutark+(2) | Pompey+(2) | Pope+(1) | posterity+(2) | potlach+(1) | profit+(1) | promise+(1) | Prospero+(1) | public_serevice+(1) | publike_societie+(1) | purged+(1) | Regulus+(1) | reputation+(1) | revenge+(1) | Revenge+(1) | revolution+(1) | ring+(1) | Rome+(3) | royal_duty+(1) | selfcrit+(1) | Seneca+(1) | service+(2) | sexism+(1) | Shylock+(2) | simple+(3) | simplicitie+(1) | simplicity+(3) | sociall+(1) | Socrates+(3) | Souldier+(1) | sprezzatura+(1) | stoicism_pays+(1) | stone_arch+(3) | Swift+(1) | Thoreau+(1) | trueth+(1) | trust+(2) | usthem+(7) | utility+(1) | valor+(1) | valour+(1) | VANITIE+(1) | Venus+(1) | Vertue+(1) | warlike+(1) | wel_borne+(1) | wit+(1) | word+(1) | Yahoo+(2) 



No man living is free from speaking foolish things; the ill lucke is to speake them curiously:

Nae iste magno conatu magnas nugas dixerit./1

This fellow sure with much a doe,
Will tell great tales and trifles too.

That concerneth not me; mine slip from me with as little care as they are of smal worth: whereby they speed the better.  I would suddenly quit them, for the least cost were in them:  Nor do I buy or sell them but for what they weigh.  I speake unto paper as to the first man I meete.  That this is true, marke well what followes.  To whom should not treachery be detestable, when Tiberius refused it on such great interest?  One sent him word out of Germany, that if he thought it good, Ariminius should be made away by poison.  He was the mightiest enemy the Romans had, who had so vilely used them under Varus, and
1 TER.  Heaut. act iv. sc. 1.

<Mont3-2>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

who onely empeached the encrease of his domination in that country. His answer was, that the people of Rome were accustomed to be revenged on their enemies by open courses, with weapons in hand; not by subtill sleights, nor in hugger mugger: thus left he the profitable for the honest. He was (you will say) a cosener.  I beleive it; that's no wonder in men of his profession.  But the confession of virtue is of no less consequence in his mouth that hateth the same, forsomuch as truth by force doth wrest it from him, and if he will not admire it in him, at least, to adorne himselfe he will put it on.  Our composition, both publike and private, is full of imperfection; yet is there nothing in nature unserviceable, no not inutility it selfe; nothing thereof hath beene insinuated in this huge universe but holdeth some fit place therein.  Our essence is cymented with crased qualities; ambition, jealosie, envy, revenge, superstition, dispaire, lodge in us, with so naturall a possession, as their image is also discerned in beasts: yea and cruelty, so unnatumll a vice: for in the middest of compassion, we inwardly feele a kinde of bitter-sweet-pricking of malicious delight to see others suffer; and children feele it also:

Suave mari magno turbantibus aequora ventis,
E terra magnum alterius spectare laborem./1

'Tis sweet on graund seas, when windes waves turmoyle,
From land to see an others greevous toyle.

The seed of which qualities, who should roote out of man, should ruine the fundamental conditions of our life:  In matter of policy likewise some necessary functions are not onely base, but faulty: vices finde therein a seate and employ themselves in the stitching up of our frame; as poysons in the preservations of our health. {Yahoo+} If they become excusable because wee have neede of them, and that common necessity effaceth their true property; let us resigne the acting of this part to hardy Citizens, who sticke not to sacrifice their
1 LUCR. 1. ii. 1. 
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honours and consciences, as those of old, their lives, for their Countries availe and safety.  We that are more weake had best assume taskes of more ease and lesse hazard.  The Common-wealth requireth some to betray, some to lie, and some to massaker: leave we that commission to people more obedient and more pliable.  Truly, I have often beene vexed to see our judges, by fraude or false hopes of favour or pardon, draw on a malefactor, to bewray his offence; employing therein both cousenage and impudencie.  It were fit for justice, and Plato himselfe, who favoureth this custome, to furnish me with meanes more sutable to my humour. 'Tis a malicious justice, and in my conceit no lesse wounded by it selfe then by others.  I answered not long since, that hardly could I betray my Prince for a particular man, who should be very sory to betray a particular man for my Prince.  And loath not onely to deceive, but that any be deceived in me; whereto I will neither furnish matter nor occasion.  In that little busines I have managed betweene our Princes, amid the divisions and subdivisions which at this day so teare and turmoile us, I have curiously heeded, that they mistake me not, nor muffled themselves in my maske.  The professors of that trade hold themselves most covert; pretending and counterfeiting the greatest indifference and neernes to the cause they can.  As for me, I offer my selfe in my liveliest reasons, in a forme most mine owne:  A tender and young Negotiator, and who had rather faile in my businesses then in my selfe.  Yet hath this been hitherto with so good hap (for surely fortune is in these matters a principal actor) that few have dealt betwene party and party with lesse suspition and more inward favour.  I have in all my proceedings an open fashion, easie to insinuate and give itselfe credit at first acquaintance.  Sincerity, plainenesse, and naked truth, in what age soever, finde also their opportunitie and employment. {PlainDealer+!!} Besides, their liberty is little called in question, or subject to hate, who deale without respect of their owne interest.  And they may truely 

<Mont3-4>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

use the answer of Hyperides unto the Athenians, complaining of his bitter invectives and sharpenesse of his speech:  Consider not, my masters whether I am free, but whether I be so, without taking ought, or bettering my state by it.  My liberty also hath easily discharged me from all suspition of faintnesse, by it's vigor (for forbearing to speake any thing, though it bit or stung them; I could not have said worse in their absence) and because it carrieth an apparant show of simplicity+ and carelesnesse+.  I pretend no other fruit by negotiating then to negotiate; and annex no long pursuites or propositions to it.  Every action makes his particular game, win he if he can.  Nor am I urged with the passion of love or hate unto great men; nor is my wil shackled with anger+, or particular respect.  I regard our Kings with an affection simply lawfull and meerely civil, neither mooved nor unmoov'd by private interest: for which I like my selfe the better. The generall and just cause bindes me no more then moderately, and without violent fits.  I am not subject to these piercing pledges and inward gages. Choller and hate are beyond the duty of justice, and are passions fitting only those whose reason is not sufficient to hold them to their duty, Utatur motu animi, qui uti ratione non potest: 'Let him use the motion of his minde that cannot use reason.' All lawfull intentions are of themselves temperate: if not, they are altered into sedicious and unlawful.  It is that makes me march every where with my head aloft, my face and heart open. Verily (and I feare not to avouch it) I could easily for a neede bring a candle to Saint Michaell, and another to his Dragon, as the good old woman.  I will follow the best side to the fire, but not into it, if I can choose.  If neede require, let Montaigne my Mannor-house be swallowed up in publike ruine: but if there be no such necessity, I will acknowledge my selfe beholding unto fortune if she please to save it; and for it's safety employ as much scope as my endevours can affoord me.  Was it not Atticus, who, cleaving to the right (but losing 

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side), saved himself by his moderation, in that generall Shipwracke of the world, amidst so many changes and divers alterations?  To private men, such as he was, it is more easie.  And in such kinde of businesse I think one dealeth justly not to be too forward to insinuate or invite himselfe. To hold a staggering or middle course, to beare an unmooved affection, and without inclination in the troubles of his country and publike divisions, I deeme neither seemely nor honest:  Ea non media, sed nulla via est, velut eventum expectantium, quo fortunae consilia sua applicant: 'That is not the mid-way, but a mad way, or no way, as of those that expect the event with intent to apply their dessignes as fortune shall fall out.' That may be permitted in the affaires of neighbours.  So did Gelon, the tyrant of Siracusa, suspend his inclination in the Barbarian wars against the Greeks, keeping Ambasdours at Delphos, with presents, to watch on what side the victory would light, and to apprehend the fittest occasion of reconcilement with the victors.  It were a kind of treason to do so in our owne affaires and domesticall matters, wherein of necessity one must resolve and take a side; but for a man that hath neither charge nor expresse commandement to urge him, not to busie or entermedle himselfe therein, I holde it more excusable: (Yet frame I do not this excuse for my selfe), then in forraine and strangers wars, wherewith, according to our laws, no man is troubled against his will.  Neverthelesse, those who wholly ingage themselves into them, may carry such an order and temper, as the storme (without offending them) may glide over their head.  Had wee not reason to hope as much of the deceased Bishop of Orleans, Lord of Morvilliers?  And I know some who at this present worthily bestirre themselves, in so even a fashion or pleasing a manner, that they are likely to continue on foote, whatsoever iniurious alteration or fall the heavens may prepare against us.  I holde it onely fit for Kings to to be angry with Kings:  And mocke at those rash spirits, who from the braverie 

<Mont3-6>           MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

of their hearts offer themselves to so unproportionate quarrels.  For one undertaketh against a Prince, in marching couragiously for his honour, and according to his duty:  I hee love not such a man, hee doth better: at least he esteemeth him.  And the cause of lawes esoecially, and defence of the auncient state, hath ever found this priviledge, that such as for their owne interest disturbe the same, excuse (if they honour not) their defenders.  But wee ought not terme duty (as now a dayes wee do) a sower rigour and intestine carbbednesse, proceeding of private interest and passion: nor courage a treacherous and malicious proceeding.  Their disposition to frowardnesse and mischiefs, they entitle Zeale:  That's not the cause doth heate them, 'tis their owne interest:  They kindle a warre, not because it is just, but because it is warre.  Why may not a man beare himselfe betweene enemies featly and faithfully?  Doe it, if not altogether with an equall (for it may admit different measure at least with a sober affection, which may not so much engage you to the one, that he looke for al at your bands. Content your selfe with a moderate proportion of their favour, and to glide in troubled waters without fishing in them.  Th' other manner of offering ones uttermost endevours to both sides, implyeth lesse discretion then conscience.  What knows he to whom you betray another, as much your friend as himselfe, but you will do the like for him, when his turne shall come. He takes you for a villaine: whilst that hee heares you, and gathers out of you, and makes his best use of your disloyalty.  For double fellowes are onely beneficiall in what they bring, but we must looke they carry away as little as may be.  I carry nothing to the one which I may not (having opportunity) say unto the other, the accent only changed a little: and report either but indifferent or knowne or common things.  No benefit can induce mee to lye unto them: what is entrusted to my silence I conceale religiously, but take as little in trust as I can.  Princes secrets are 

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a troublesome charge to such as have nought to do with them.  I ever by my good will capitulate with them, that they trust mee with very little: but let them assuredly trust what I disclose unto them.  I alwayes knew more than I womd. {Kent+!!!} An open speach opens the way to another, and draws all out, even as Wine and Love. {trust+} Philippedes, in my minde, answered King Lysimachus wisely when hee demaunded of him, what of his wealth or state hee should empart unto him:  Which and what you please (quoth hee) so it be not your secrets.
I see every one mutinie, if another conceale the deapth or mysterie of the affaires from him, wherein he pleaseth to employ him, or have but purloyned any circumstance from him.  For my part, I am content one tell me no more of his businesse then he will have me know or deale in; nor desire I that my knowledge exceede or straine my word.  If I must needs be the instrument of cozinage it shall at least be with safety of my conscience. I will not be esteemed a servant, nor so affectionate, nor yet so faithfull, that I be judged fit to betray any man. {Oswald+} Who is unfaithfull to himselfe may be excused if hee be faithlesse to his Master.  But Princes entertaine not men by halfes, and despise bounded and conditionall service. What remedy?  I freely tell them my limits; for a slave I must not be but unto reason, which yet I cannot compasse; And they are to blame, to exact from a free man the like subjection unto their service, and the same obligation, which they may from those they have made and bought, and whose fortune dependeth particularly and expresly on theirs.  The lawes have delivered mee from much trouble; they have chosen mee a side to followe, and appointed mee a maister to obey; all other superiority and duty ought to bee relative unto that, and bee restrained.  Yet, may it not be concluded, that if my affection should otherwise transport mee, I would presently afforde my helping band unto it.  Will and desires are a lawe to themselves, actions are to receive it of publike institutions:  All these procedings of mine are 

<Mont3-8>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

somewhat dissonant from our formes.  They should produce no great effects, nor holde out long among us.  Innocencie itselfe could not in these times nor negotiate without dissimulation, nor trafficke without lying.  Neither are publike functions of my diet; what my profession requires thereto, I furnish in the most private manner I can.  Being a childe, I was plunged into them up to the eares, and had good successe; but I got loose in good time.  I have often since shunned medling with them, seldome accepted, and never required; ever holding my back toward ambition; but if not as rowers, who goe forward as it were backeward:  Yet so, as I am lesse beholding to resolution, then to my good fortune, that I was not wholly embarked in them.  For there are courses lesse against my taste, and more comfortable to my carriage, by which, if heretofore it had called mee to the service of the common-wealth, and my advancement unto credit in the world:  I know that in following the same I had exceeded the reason of my conceite.  Those which commonly say against my profession that what I terme liberty, simplicity+ and plainenesse+ in my behaviour, is arte, {Cornwall+} cunning and subtilty; and rather discretion then goodnesse, industry then nature, good wit then good hap, doe mee more honour then shame.  But truely they make my cunning overcunning.  And whosoever hath traced mee and nearely looked into my humours, Ile loose a good wager if hee confesse not that there is no rule in their schoole, could, a midde such crooked pathes and divers windings, square and report this naturall motion, and maintaine an apparance of liberty and licence so equall and inflexible: and that all the attention and wit is not of power to bring them to it.  The way to trueth is but one and simple, that of particular profit and benefit of affaires a man hath in charge, double, uneven and accidentall.  I have often seene these counterfet and artificiall liberties in practise, but most commonly without successe. They favour of Aesopes Asse, who in emulation of the dogge, layde his two fore-feete very jocondly upon his masters shoulders 

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but looke how many blandishments the prety dogge received, under one, so many bastinadoes were redoubled upon the poore Asses backe. Id maxime quemque decet: quod est cuiusque suum maxime:/1  'That becomes every man especially which is his owne especially.'  I will not deprive cousinage of her ranke, that were to understand the world but ill:  I know it hath often done profitable service, it supporteth, yea and nourisheth the greatest part of mens vacations.  There are some lawfull vices: as many actions, or good or excusable, unlawfull.  Iustice in it selfe naturall and universall is otherwise ordered, and more nobly distributed, then this other especiall and nationall justice, restrained and suted to the neede of our pollicie: Veri juris germanaeque iustitiae solidam et excess effigiem nullam tenemus: umbra et imaginibus utimur:/2 'Wee have no lively nor life-like portraiture of upright law and naturall justice: wee use but the shaddowes and colours of them.' So that wise Dandamys, hearing the lives of Socrates, Pythagoras and Diogenes repeated, in other things judged them great and worth men, but overmuch subjected to the reverence of the lawes: which to authorize and second, true vertue is to decline very much from his naturall vigor: and not onely by their permission, but perswasions, divers vicious actions are committed and take place.  Ex Senatus consultis plebisque scitis scelera exercentur: 'Even by decrees of counsell and by statute-laws are mischiefes put in practise.' I follow the common phrase, which makes a difference betweene profitable and honest things: terming some natural] actions which are not only profitable but necessary, dishonest and filthy.  But to continue our examples of treason.  Two which aspired unto the kingdome of Thrace were falne into controversie for their right.  The Emperor hindred them from falling together by the eares: the one, under colour of contriving some friendly accord by an enterview inviting the other to a feast in his house, imprisoned and murthred him.
1 CIC.  Off. 1. 1. 2 CIC.  Off. 1. 8. 

<Mont3-10>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

Justice required that the Romanes should be satisfied for this outrage: some difficulties empeached the ordinary course.  What they could not lawfully doe without warre and hazard, they attempted to accomplish by treason; what they coulde not honestly atchieve, they profitably compassed.  For exployting whereof, Pomponius Flaccus was thought most fitte; who trayning the fellow into his Nettes by fained wordes and sugred assurances, in liew of the favour and honour hee promised him, sent him bound hand and foote to Rome.  One traytor over-reached another against common custome; For, they are all full of distrust, and 'tis very hard to surprize them in their owne arte: witnesse the heavy and dismall experience we have lately felt of it.  Let who liste bee Pomponius Flaccus; and there are too-too many that will bee so.  As for my part, both my word and faith are as the rest, pieces of this common body; their best effect is the publicke service: that's ever presupposed with mee.  But as if one should command mee to take the charge of the Rolles or Recordes of the Pallace, I would answere, I have no skill in them; or to bee a leader of Pioners, I would say, I am called to a worthier office.  Even so, who would goe about to employ mee, not to murther or poyson, but to lye, betraye and forsweare my selfe, I would tell him, If I have robbed or stolne any thing from any man, send mee rather to the Gallies.  For a Gentleman may lawfully speake, as did the Lacedemonians, defeated by Antipater, upon the points of their agreement: 'You may impose as heavy burdens, and harmfull taxes upon us as you please, but you lose your time to command us any shamefull or dishonest things.' Every man should give himselfe the oath, which the Aegyptian Kings solemnly and usually presented to their judges:  Not to swarve from their consciences, what command soever they should receive from themselves to the contrary. In such commissions there is an evident note of ignominie and condemnation. And whosoever gives them you, accuseth you; and if you conceive 

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them right, gives you them as a trouble and burthen.  As much as the publike affaires amend by your endevours, your owne empaireth; the better you do, so much the worse doe you.  And it shall not bee newe, nor peradventure without shadowe of justice, that hee who setteth you a worke, becommeth your ruine.  If treason bee in any case excusable, it is onely then, when 'tis employed to punish and betray treason.  Wee shall finde many treacheries to have beene not refused, but punished by them, in whose favour they were undertaken.  Who knowes not the sentence of Fabritius against Pyrrus his Physition?  And the commaunder hath often severely revenged them on the partie bee employed in them, refusing so unbridled a credite and power, and disavowing so lewde and so vile an obedience.  Iaropelc, Duke of Russia, sollicited an Hungarian Gentleman to betraye Boleslaus, King of Polonia, in contriving his death or furnishing the Russians with meanes to work him some notable mischiefe.  This gallant presently bestirres him in it, and more than ever applying himselfe to the Kings service, obtained to bee of his counsell, and of those hee most trusted.  By which advantages, and with the opportunity of his masters absence, hee betrayed Vicilicia, a great and rich citie, to the Russians: which was whollie sakt and burnt by them, with a generall slaughter, both of the inhabitans, of what sexe or age soever, and a great number of nobility thereabouts, whom to that purpose be had assembled.  Iaropelc, his anger thus asswaged with revenge, and his rage mitigated (which was not without pretext, for Boleslaus had mightily wronged and in like manner incensed him) and glutted with the fruite of treason, examining the uglinesse thereof, naked and alone, and with impartiall eyes beholding the same, not distempered by passion, conceived such a remorse, and tooke it so to heart that hee forthwith caused the eyes of his instrumentall executioner to be pulled out, and his tongue and privy parts to be cut off.  Antigonus perswaded the Argiraspides soldiers to betray Eumenes their generall, and 

<Mont3-12>           MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

his adversaries unto him, whom when they had delivered, and he had caused to be slaine, himselfe desired to be the Commissary of divine justice, for the punishment of so detestable a trecherie: and resigning them into the hands of the Governor of the Province, gave him expresse charge, in what manner soever it were, to rid himselfe of them, and bring them to some mischievions end.  Whereby, of that great number they were, not one ever after sawe the smoake of Macedon.  The better they served his turne, the more wicked hee judged them, and the more worthie of punishment.  The slave that betraied the corner wherein his master P.  Sulpicius lay hid, was set at liberty, according to the promise of Syllas proscription: but according to the promise of common reason, being freed, hee was throwne headlong from off the Tarpeyan rocke.  And Clovis, King of France, in liew of the golden armes he had promised the three servants of Cannacre, caused them to be hanged, after they had by his sollicitation betraide their maister unto him.  They hang them up with the purse of their reward about their neckes.  Having satisfied their second and speciall faith, they also satisfie the generall and first.  Mahomet the second, desirous to rid himselfe of his brother (through jealousie of rule, and according to the stile of that race) employed one of his officers in it; who stifled him, by in much water powred downe his throate all at once: which done, in expiation of the fact, he delivered the murtherer into the hands of his brothers mother (for they were brethren but by the father's side) shee, in his presence, opened his bosome, and with hir owne revenging handes searching for his heart, pluckt it out and cast it unto dogges to eate.  Even unto vile dispositions (having made use of a filthy action) it is so sweete and pleasing, if they may with security, as it were, in way of recompence and holy correction, sowe one sure stitch of goodnesse and justice unto it.  Besides, they respect the ministers of such horrible crimes as people that still upbraide them with them, and covet by their deaths to smother the knowledge 

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and cancell the testimony of their practises.  Now if, perhaps, not to frustrate the publike neede of that last and desperate remedy, one rewarde you for it: yet hee who doth it (if hee bee not as bad himselfe), will hould you a most accursed and execrable creature.  And deemeth you a greater traytor than he whom you have betrayed; for with your owne handes hee touched the lewdnesse of your disposition, without disavowing, without object. But employeth you, as we do out-cast persons in the executions of justice; an office as profitable as little honest.  Besides the basenesse of such commissions, there is in them a prostitution of conscience.  The daughter of Sejanus could not in Rome, by any true formall course of lawe, bee put to death, because shee was a virgine: that lawes might have their due course, shee was first deflowred by the common hang-man and then strangled.  Not his hand onely, but his soule is a slave unto publike commodity.  When Amurath the first to agravate the punishment of his subjects who had given support unto his son's unnatural rebellion, appointed their neerest kinsmen to lend their hands unto this execution:  I finde it verie honest in some of them, who rather chose unjustly to bee held guiltie of anothers parricide then to serve justice with their owne.  And whereas in some paltrie townes forced in my time, I have seene base varlets for the savegard of their owne lives, yeild to hang their friends and companions, I ever thought them of worse condition then such as were hanged.  It is reported that Witoldus Prince of Lituania, introduced an order with that nation, which was that the party condemned to die should, with his owne hands, make himselfe away; finding it strange that a third man, being guiltlesse of the fact, shoulde bee employed and charged ta commit a murther.  When an urgent circumstance, or any violent and unexpected accident, induceth a Prince for the necessitie of his estate, or as they say for state matters, to breake his worde and faith, or otherwise forceth him out of his ordinary duty, hee is to ascribe, that necessity unto a lash of Gods rod.  It is no vice, 

<Mont3-14>           MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

for hee hath quit his reason unto a reason more publike and more powerfull, but surely 'tis ill fortune.  So that to one who asked mee what remedy? I replyde, none; were hee truely rackt betweene these two extreames (Sed videat ne quaeretur latebra periurio:/1  'But let him take heede he seeke not a starting hole for perjurie') hee must have done it; but if hee did it sans regret or scruple, if it greeved him not to doe it, 'tis an argument his conscience is but in ill tearmes.  Now were there any one of so tender or cheverell a conscience, to whome no cure might seeme worthy of so extreame a remedy, I should prise or regard him no whit the lesse. He cannot loose himselfe more handsomely nor more excusablie.  We cannot doe every thing, nor bee in every place.  When all is done, thus and thus must wee often, as unto our last Anker and sole refuge, resigne the protection of our vessell unto the onely conduct of heaven.  To what juster necessity can hoe reeerve himselfe?  What is lesse possible for him to do, then what he cannot effect, without charge unto his faith, and imputation to his honour? things which peradventure should bee dearer to him then his owne salvation and the safety of his people.  When with enfoulded armes hee shall devoutly call on God for his ayde, may hee not hope that his fatherlie mercie shall not refuse the extraordinary favour and sinne-forgiving grace of his all powerfull hand, unto a pure and righteous hand?  They are dangerous examples, rare and crased exceptions to our naturall rules: wee must yeelde unto them, but with great moderation and heedie circumspection.  No private commodity may any way deserve we should offer conscience this wrong; the common-wealth may, when it is most apparant and important.  Timoleon did fitlie warrant and ward the strangenes of his exploite by the teares he shed, remembering it was with a brothierlie hand he slew the tyrant.  And it neerely pinched his selfe gnawne conscience that he was compelled to purchas the common good at the rate of his honestie.  The
1 CIC.  Off. 1. iii. 

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sacred Senate itselfe, by his meanes delivered from thraldome, durst not definitively decide of so haughtie an action and rend in two so urgent and different semblances.  But the Siracusans having opportunely and at that very instant sent to the Corinthians to require their protection, and a governour able to reestablish their towne in former majestie, and deliver Sicilie from a number of pettie tyrants, which grievously oppressed the same, they appointed Timoleon, with this new caveat and declaration: That according as hee should well or ill demeane himselfe in his charge, their sentence should incline either to grace him as the redeemer of his country or disgrace him as the murtherer of his brother. {Brutus+} The fantasticall conclusion hath some excuse upon the danger of the example and importance of an act so different, and they did well to discharge their judgement of it, or to embarke him some where else, and on their considerations. Now the proceedings of Timoleon in his renowned journie did soone yeelde his cause the cleerer, so worthily and vertuously did hee every way beare himselfe therein.  And the good hap which ever accompanied him in the encombrances and difficulties hee was to subdue in the atchievement of his noble enterprise, seemed to bee sent him by the Gods, conspiring to second, and consenting to favour his justification.  This mans end is excusable, if ever any could bee.  But the encrease and profit of the publike revenues, which served the Roman Senate for a pretext of the ensuing-foule conclusion I purpose to relate, is not of sufficient force to warrant such injustice.  Certaine cities had by the order and permission of the Senate, with mony purchased their libertie at the hands of L.  Sylla.  The matter comming in question againe, the Senate condemned them to be fineable and taxed as before; and the mony they had employed for their ransome should bee deemed as lost and forfeited.  Civill warres do often produce such enormous examples, That we punish private men, for so much as they have beleeved us when wee were other then now wee are.  And one same magistrate doth 

<Mont3-16>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

lay the penalty of his change on such as cannot do withal.  The scboole- master whippeth his scholler for his docility, and the guide striketh the blind man he leadeth.  A horrible image of justice. {Lear+} Some rules in philosophy are both false and faint.  The example proposed unto us of respecting private utility before faith given, hath not sufficient power by the circumstance they adde unto it.  Theeves have taken you, and on your oath to pay them a certaine sum of money, have set you at liberty againe.  They erre that say an honest man is quit of his worde and faith without paying, beeing out of their hands.  There is no such matter.  What feare and danger hath once forced mee to will and consent unto, I am bound to will and performe, being out of danger and feare.  And although it have but forced my tongue and not my will, yet am I bound to make my word good and keepe my promise. For my part, when it hath sometimes unadvisedly over-runne my thought, yet have I made a conscience to disavowe the same.  Otherwise wee should by degrees come to abolish all the right a third man taketh and may challenge of our promises.  Quasi vero forti viro vis possit adhiberi:/1 As though any force could be used upon a valiant man.' 'Tis onely lawfull for our private interest to excuse the breache of promise, if wee have rashlie promised things in themservles wicked and unjust.  For, the right of vertue ought to overrule the right of our bond. {ring+} I have heretofore placed Epaminondas in the first ranke of excellent men, and now recant it not. Unto what high pitch raised hee the consideration of his particular duty? who never slew man hee had vanquished, who for that unvaluable good of restoring his country hir liberty, made it a matter of conscience to murther a Tyrant or his complhces, without a due and formall course of lawe: and who judged him a bad man, how good a citizen soever, that amongst his enemies and in the fury of a battle, spared not his friend or his hoste.  Loe here a minde of a rich composition.  Hee matched unto the most
1 CIC.  Off. 1. iii. 

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violent and rude actions of men, goodnesse and courtesie, yea and the most choise and delicate that may be found in the scboole of Philosophie. This so high-raised courage, so swelling and so obstinate against sorow, death and povertie, was it nature or arte made it relent, even to the utmost straine of exceeding tendernesse and debonarety of complexion?  Being cloathed in the dreadfull livery of steele and blood, he goeth on crushing and brusing a nation, invincible to all others but to himselfe: yet mildely relenteth in the midst of a combat or confusion, when he meets with his host or with his friend+.  Verily this man was deservedly fit to command in warre, which in the extremest furie of his innated rage, made him to feele the sting of courtesies and remorse of gentlenesse+ then when, all inflamed, it foamed with furie and burned with murder. 'Tis a miracle to be able to joyne any shew of justice with such actions.  But it onIy belongeth to the unmatched courage of Epaminondas, in that confused plight, to joyne mildnesse and facility of the most gentle behaviour that ever was unto them, yea, and pure innocency+ it selfe.  And whereas one told the Mamertins, that statutes were of no force against armed men: another to the Tribune of the people, that the time of justice and warre were two: a third, that the confused noise of warre and clangor of armes bindred him from understanding the sober voice of the lawes:  This man was not so much as empeached from conceiving the milde sound of civilitie and kindnesse.  Borroived hee of his enemies the custome of sacrificing to the muses (when he went to the warres) to qualifie by their sweetnesse and mildnesse that martiall furie and hostile surlinesse?  Let us not feare, after so great a master, to hold that some things are unlawfull, even against our fellest enemies: that publike interest ought not to challenge all of all against private interest: Manente memoria etiam in dissidio publicorum foederum privati juris:  'Some memorie of private right continuing even in disagreement of publike contracts.' 

<Mont3-18>           MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES
     -----et nulla potentia vires
Praestandi, ne quid peccet amicus, habet:/1

No power hath so great might,
To make friends still goe right.

And that all things be not lawfull to an honest man, for the service of his King, the generall cause and defence of the lawes.  Non enim patria praestat omnibus officiis, et ipsi conducit pios habere cives in parentes:/2 'For our countrey is not above all other duties: it is good for the country to have her inhabitans use pietie toward their parents.' 'Tis an instruction befitting the times: wee need not harden our hearts with these plates of iron and steele; it sufficeth our shoulders be armed with them: it is enough to d'ipe our pens in inke, too much to die them in blood.  If it be greatnesse of courage, and th' effect of a rare and singular vertue, to neglect friendship+, despise private respects and bonds; ones word and kindred, for the common good and obedience of the Magistrate: it is verily able to excuse us from it, if we but alledge that it is a greatnesse unable to lodge in the greatnesse of Epaminondas his courage.  I abhorre the enraged admonitions of this other unruly spirit.
     ----- dum tela micant, non vos pietatis imago
Ulla, nec adversa conspecti fronte parentes
Commoveant, vultus gladio turbante verendos./3

While swords are brandisht, let no shew of grace
Once moove you, nor your parents face to face,
But with your swords disturb their reverend grace.

Let us bereave wicked, bloodie and traiterous dispositions of this pretext of reason: leave we that impious and exorbitant justice, and adhere unto more humane imitations.  Oh, what may time and example bring to passe!  In an encounter of the civill warres against Cinna, one of Pompeyes souldiers, having unwittingly slaine his brother, who was on the other
1 OVID.  Pont. 1. i.  El. viii. 37. 2 CIC.  Off. 1. iii. 3 LUCAN. 1. vii. 320. 
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side, through shame and sorrow presently killed himselfe; And some yeeres after, in another civill warre of the said people, a souldier boldly demanded a reward of his Captaines for killing his owne brother.  Falsly doe wee argue honour, and the beautie of an action, by it's profit+: and conclude as ill, to thinke every one is bound unto it, and that it is honest if it be commodious.

Omnia non pariter rerum sunt omnibus apta./1

All things alike to all
Do not well-fitting fall.

Choose we out the most necessary and most beneficiall matter of humane society, it will be a mariage; yet is it that the Saints counsell findeth and deemeth the contrary side more honest, excluding from it the most reverend vocation of men; as wee to our races assigne such beasts as are of least esteeme.
1 OVID.  Epist. 1. iii.  El. viii. 7. 



OTHERS fashion man, I repeat him; and represent a particular one, but ill made; and whom were I to forme a new, he should be far other than he is; but he is now made.  And though the lines of my picture change and vary, yet loose they not themselves.  The world runnes all on wheeles.  All things therein moove without intermission; yea, the earth, the rockes of Caucasus, and the Pyramides of Aegypt, both with the publike and their own motion. Constancy it selfe is nothing but a languishing and wavering dance.  I cannot settle my object; it goeth so unquietly and staggering, with a naturall drunkennesse; I take it in this plight as it is at the instant I ammuse my selfe about it, I describe not th' essence but the passage; not a passage from age to age, or as the people reckon, from seaven yeares to seaven, but from day to day, from minute to minute.  My history must be fitted to the present.  I may soone change, not onely fortune, but intention.  It is a counter-roule of divers and variable accidents or irresolute imaginations, and sometimes contrary; whether it be that my selfe am other, or that I apprehend subjects by other circumstances and considerations.  Howsoever, I may perhaps gaine-say my selfe, but truth (as Demades said) I never gaine- say.  Were my mind setled, I would not essay, but resolve my selfe:  It is still a Prentise and a probationer.  I propose a meane l;ife and without luster; 'Tis all one.  They fasten all Morall Philosophy as well to a popular and private life as to one of richer stuffe.  Every man beareth the whole stampe of humane condition.  Authors communicate thenselves unto the world by

THE THIRD BOOKE                     <Mont3-21>

some speciall and strange marke; I the first, by my de Montaigne, not as a Grammarian, or a Poet or a Lawyer.  If the world complaine I speake too much of my selfe. , I complaine it speakes no more of it selfe.  But is it reason, that being so private in use, I should pretend to make my selfe publike in knowledge?  Or is it reason I should produce into the world, where fashion and arte have such sway and command, the raw and simple effects of nature, and of a nature as yet exceeding weak?  To write bookes without learning is it not to make a wall without stone or such like thing?  Conceits of musicke are directed by arte, mine by hap.  Yet have I this according to learning, that never man handled subject he understood or knew better then I doe this I have undertaken, being therein the cunningest man alive.
     Secondly, that never man waded further into his matter, nor more distinctly sifted the parts and dependances of it, nor arrived more exactly and fully to the end he proposed unto himselfe. To finish the same, I have neede of naught but faithfulnesse ; which is therein as sincere and pure as may be found.  I speake truth, not my belly-full, but as much as I dare ; and I dare the more the more I grow into yeares, for it seemeth, custome alloweth old age more liberty to babbel, and indiscretion to talke of it selfe.  It cannot herein be, as in trades, where the Crafts-man and his worke doe often differ.  Being a man of so sound and honest conversation, writ he so foolishly?  Are such learned writings come from a man of so weake a conversation? who hath but an ordinary conceit, and writeth excellently, one may say his capacitio is borrowed, not of himselfe.  A skilfull man is not skilfull in all things; But a sufficient man is sufficient every where, even unto ignorance.  Here my books and my selfe march together, and keepe one pace.  Else-where one may commend or condemne the worke without the worke- man, heere not; who toucheth one toucheth the other.  He who shall judge of it without knowing him shal wrong himself more then me, he 

<Mont3-22>           MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

that knows it hath wholly satisfied mee.  Happie beyond my merite, if I get this onely portion of publike approbation, as I may cause men of understanding to thinke I had beene able to make use and benefit of learning, had I beene endowed with any, and deserved better helpe of memorie; excuse wee here what I often say that I seldome repent my selfe, and that my conscience is contented with it selfe; not of an Angels or a horses conscience, but as of a mans conscience.  Adding ever this clause, not of ceremonie, but of true and essentiall submission; that I speake enquiring and doubting, meerely and simply referring my selfe, from resolution, unto common and lawfull opinions.  I teach not; I report:  No vice is absolutely vice, which offendeth not, and a sound judgement accuseth not:  For, the deformitie and incommoditie thereof is so palpable, as peradventure they have reason who say it is chiefly produced by sottishnesse and brought forth by ignorance; so hard is it to imagine one should know it without hating it.  Malice sucks up the greatest part of her owne venome, and therewith impoysoneth herselfe. Vice leaveth, as an ulcer in the flesh, a repentance in the soule, which still scratcheth and bloodieth it selfe.  For reason effaceth other griefes and sorrowes, but engendereth those of repentance: the more yrkesome because inward: as the colde and heate of agues is more offensive then that which comes outward.  I account vices (but each according to their measure) not onely those which reason disalowes and nature condemnes, but such as mans opinion hath forged as false and erroneous, if lawes and custome authorize the same.  In like manner there is no goodnesse but gladdeth an honest disposition. There is truely I wot not what kinde or congratulation of well doing which rejoyceth in ourselves, and a generous jollitie that accompanieth a good conscience.
A minde couragiously vicious may happily furnish it selfe with security, but shee cannot be fraught with this selfe-joyning delight and satisfaction. It is no smal pleasure for one to feele himselfe preserved 

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from the contagion of an age so infected as ours, and to say to himselfe; could a man enter and see even into my soule, yet shold he not finde me guilty either of the affliction or ruine of any body, nor culpable of envie or revenge, nor of publike offence against the lawes, nor tainted withinnovation+, trouble or sedition; nor spotted with falsifying of my word: and although the libertie of times slowed and taught it every man, yet could I never be induced to touch the goods or dive into the purse of any French man, and have alwayes lived upon mine own as wel in time of war as peace: nor did I ever make use of any poore mans labor without reward. These testimonies of an unspotted conscience are very pleasing, which naturall joy is a great benefit unto us: and the onely payment never faileth us. To ground the recompence of vertuous actions upon the approbation of others is to undertake a most uncertaine or troubled foundation, namely in an age so corrupt and times so ignorant as this is: the vulgar peoples good opinion is is injurious.  Whom trust you in seeing what is commendable? God keepe me from being an honest man, according to the description I dayly see made of honour, each one by himselfe.  Quae fuerant vitia, mores sunt. 'What earst were vices are now growne fashions.' Some of my friends have sometimes attempted to schoole me roundly, and sift me plainly, either of their owne motion, or envited by me, as to an office, which to a well composed minde, both in profit and lovingnesse, exceedeth all the duties of sincere amity.  Such have I ever entertained with open armes of curtesie and kinde acknowledgement.  But now to speake from my conscience I often found so much false measure in their reproaches and praises, that I had not greatly erred if I had rather erred then done well after their fashion. Such as we especially, who live a private life not exposed to any gaze but our owne, ought in our hearts establish a touch-stone, and there to touch our deedes and try our actions; and accordingly, now cherish and now chastise ourselves.  I have my owne lawes and tribunall, to judge of mee, 

<Mont3-24>           MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

whither I addresse my selfe more then any where els.  I restraine my actions according to other, but extend them according to my selfe.  None but yourself knows rightly whether you be demiss and cruel, or loyal and devout.  Others see you not, but ghesse you by uncertaine conjectures.  They see not so much your nature as your arte.  Adhere not then to their opinion, but hold unto your owne.  Tuo tibi judicio est utendum, Virtutis et viciorum grave ipsius conscientiae pondus est: qua sublata jacent omnia:/1  'You must use your owne judgement.  The weight of the very conscience of vice and vertues is heavy: take that away and al is downe.' But whereas it is said that repentance neerely followeth sin, seemeth not to imply sinne placed in his rich aray, which lodgeth in us as in his proper mansion. One may disavow and disclaime vices that surprise us, and whereto our passions transport us; but those which by long habite are rooted in a strong and ankred in a powerfull will, are not subject to contradiction.  Repentance is but a denying of our will, and an opposition of our fantasies which diverts us here and there.  It makes some disavow his former vertue and continencie.

Quae mens est hodie, cur eadem non puero fuit,
Vel cur his animis incolumes non redeunt genae?/2

Why was not in a youth same mind as now?
Or why beares not this mind a youthfull brow?

That is an exquisite life which even in his owne private keepeth it selfe in awe and order.  Every one may play the jugler and represent an honest man upon the stage; but within, and in bosome, where all things are lawfull, where all is concealed; to keepe a due rule or formall decorum, that's the point.  The next degree is to be so in ones owne home, and in his ordinary actions, whereof we are to give accoumpt to nobody, wherein is no study, nor art; and therefore Bias describing the perfect state of a family whereof (saith he)
1 CIC.  Nat.  Deor. 1. iii. ù HOR.  Car. 1. iv.  Od. x. 7. 
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the maister be such inwardly by himselfe, as he is outwardly, for feare of the lawes, and respect of mens speaches.  And it was a worthy saying of Iulius Drusus to those worke-men, which for three thousand crownes offered so to reforme his house that his neighbours should no more over looke into it.  I will give you sixe thousand (said he) and contrive it so that on all sides every man may looke into it.  The custome of Agesilaus is remembred with honour, who in his travaile was wont to take up his lodging in churches, that the people and Gods themselves might pry into his private actions. Some have beene admirable to the world, in whom nor his wife, nor his servants ever noted anything remarkeable. 'Few men have beene admired of their familiars. No man hath beene a Prophet, not onely in his house, but in his owne country,' saith the experience of histories.  Even so in things of nought.  And in this base example is the image of greatnesse discerned.  In my climate of Gascoigne they deeme it a jest to see mee in print.  The further the knowledge which is taken of mee is from my home, of so much more woorth am I.  In Guienne I pay Printers, in other places they pay mee.  Upon this accident they ground, who living and present keepe close-lurking, to purchase credit when they shall be dead and absent.  I had rather have lesse.  And I cast not my selfe into the world, but for the portion I draw from it.  That done I quit it.  The people attend on such a man with wonderment, from a publike act, unto his owne doores; together with his roabes hee leaves of his part: falling so much the lower by how much higher hee was mounted.  View him within, there all is turbulent, disordered and vile.  And were order and formality found in him, a lively, impartiall and well sorted judgement is required to perceive and fully to discerne him in these base and private actions.  Considering that order is but a dumpish and drowsie vertue: to gaine a Battaile, perfourme an Ambassage, and governe a people, are noble and woorthy actions; to chide, laugh, sell, pay, love, hate, and mildely and justly to converse 

<Mont3-26>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

both with his owne and with himselfe; not to relent, and not gaine-say himselfe, are thinges more rare, more difficult and lesse remarkeable. Retired lives sustaine that way, whatever some say, offices as much more crabbed and extended than other lives doe.  And private men (saith Aristotle) serve vertue more hardly and more highly attend her, then those which are magistrates or placed in authority.  Wee prepare ourselves unto eminent occasions, more for glory then for conscience.  The nearest way to come unto glory were to doe that for conscience which wee doe forglory+.  And me seemeth the vertue of Alexander representeth much lesse vigor in her large Theater then that of Socrates in his base and obscure exercitation. I easily conceive Socrates in the roome of Alexander; Alexander in that of Socrates I cannot.  If any aske the one what hee can do, he will answer, 'Conquer the world': let the same question bee demanded of the other, he will say, 'Leade my life conformably to its naturall condition'; A science much more generous, more important, and more lawfull.
The woorth of the minde consisteth not in going high, but in marching orderly.  Her greatnesse is not exercised in greatnesse; in mediocritye it is.  As those which judge and touch us inwardely make no great accoumpt of the brightnesse of our publique actions, and see they are but streakes and poyntes of cleare Water surging from a bottome otherwise slimie and full of mud: {Yahoo+} So those who judge us by this gay outward apparance conclude the same of our inward constitution, and cannot couple popular faculties as theirs are, unto these other faculties, which amaze them so farre from their levell.  So do we attribute savage shapes and ougly formes unto divels.  As who doeth not ascribe high-raised eye-browes, open nostrils, a sterne frightfull visage and a huge body unto Tamberlaine, as is the forme or shape of the imagination we have fore- conceived by the bruite of his name? had any heretofore shewed me Erasmus, I could hardly had bin induced to think but whatsover he had said to 

THE THIRD BOOKE                     <Mont3-27>

his boy or hostes, had been Adages and Apothegmes.  We imagine much more fitly an Artificer upon his close stoole or on his wife, then a great judge, reverend for his carriage and regardfull for his sufficiencie; we think, that from those high thrones they should not abase themselves so low, as to live.  As vitious mindes are often incited to do well by some strange impulsion, so are vertuous spirits mooved to do ill.  They must then be judged by their settled estate, when they are neare themselves, and as we say, at home, if at any time they be so; or when they are nearest unto rest, and in their naturall seate.  Naturall inclinations are by institution helped and strengthned, but they neither change nor exceed.  A thousand natures in my time have a thwart, a contrary discipline escaped toward vertue or toward vice.

Sic ubi desuetae silvis in carcere clausae
Mansuevere ferae, et vultus posuere minaces,
Atque hominem didicere pati, si torrida parvus
Venit in ora cruor, redeunt rabiesque furorque,
Admonitaeque tument gustato sanguine fauces,
Fervet, et a trepido vix abstinet ira magistro./1

So when wilde beasts, disused from the wood,
Fierce lookes laid-downe, grow tame, closde in a cage,
Taught to beare man, if then a little blood
Touch their hot lips, furie returnes and rage;
Their jawes by taste admonisht swell with vaines,
Rage boyles, and from faint keeper scarse abstaines.

These originall qualities are not grubd out, they are but covered and hidden. The Latine tongue is to me in a manner naturall; I understand it better then French: but it is now fortie yeares I have not made use of it to speake, nor much to write; yet in some extreame emotions and suddaine passions, wherein I have twice or thrice falne, since my yeares of discretion, and namely once, when my father being in perfect health, fell all along upon me in a swoune, I have ever, even from my very hart uttered my first words in latine: nature rushing and by force expressing it selfe, against
1 LUCAN. 1. iv. 287 
<Mont3-28>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

so long a custome; the like example is alleadged of divers others.  Those which in my time have attempted to correct the passions of the world by new opinions, reforme the vices of apparance; those of essence they leave untouched if they encrease them not.  And their encrease is much to be feared. We willingly protract al other well-doing upon these externall reformations of lesse cost and of greater merit; whereby we satisfie good cheape, other naturall consubstantiall and intestine vices.  Looke a little into the course of our experience.  There is no man (if he listen to himselfe) that doth not discover in himselfe a peculiar forme of his, a swaying forme, which wrestleth against the institution, and against the tempests of passions, which are contrary unto him.  As for me, I feele not my selfe much agitated by a shocke; I commonly finde my selfe in mine owne place, as are sluggish and lumpish bodies.  If I am not close and neare unto my selfe, I am never farre-offe; My debauches or excesses transport me not much.  There is nothing extreame and strange; yet have I sound fits and vigorous lusts.  The true condemnation, and which toucheth the common fashion of our men, is that their very retreate is full of corruption and filth.  The Idea of their amendment blurred and deformed; their repentance crazed and faultie very neere as much as their sinne.  Some, either because they are so fast and naturally joyned unto vice, or through long custome have lost all - ense of its uglinesse.  To others (of whose ranke I am) vice is burthenous, but they counter-ballance it with pleasure or other occasions, and suffer it, and at a certaine rate lend themselves unto it though basely and viciously. Yet might happily so remote a disposition of measure bee imagined, where with justice, the pleasure might excuse the offence, as we say of profit. Not onely being accidentall, and out of sinne, as in thefts, but even in the very exercise of it, as in the acquaintance or copulation with women; where the provocation is so violent, and as they say, sometime unresistible. In a towne of a kinsman of mine, the other day, being 

THE THIRD BOOKE          <Mont3-29>

in Armignac, I saw a country man, commonly sirnamed the Theefe, who himselfe reported his life to have beene thus.  Being borne a begger, and perceiving that to get his bread by the sweate of his browe and labour of his bands, would never sufficiently arme him against penury, he resolved to become a Theefe; and that trade had employed all his youth safely, by meanes of his bodily strength: for he ever made up Harvest and Vintage in other mens grounds: but so farre off, and in so great heapes, that it was beyond imagination one man should in one night carry away so much upon his shoulders: and was so carefull to equall the pray and disperce the mischiefe he did, that the spoile was of lesse import to every particular man.
     Hee is now in old yeares indifferently rich; for a man of his condition (Godamercy his trade) which he is not ashamed to confesse openly.  And to reconcile himselfe with God, he affirmeth; to be dayly ready, with his gettings, and other good turnes, to satisfie the posterity of those hee hath heretofore wronged or robbed; which if himselfe bee not of abilitie to performe (for hee cannot do all at once) hee will charge his heires withall, according to the knowledge he hath of the wrongs by him done to every man.  By this description, bee it true or false, he respecteth theft, as a dishonest and unlawfull action, and hateth the same: yet lesse then pinching want:  He repents but simply; for in regard it was so counterballanced and recompenced, he repenteth not.  That is not that habit which incorporates us unto vice, and confirmeth our understanding in it; nor is it that boysterous winde, which by violent blastes dazeleth and troubleth our mindes, and at that time confoundes and overwhelmes both us, our judgement, and all into the power of vice.  What I doe is ordinarily full and compleate, and I march (as wee say) all in one pace:  I have not many motions, that hide themselves and slinke away from my reason, or which very neare are not guided by the consent of all my partes, without 

<Mont3-30>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

division, or intestine sedicion: my judgement hath the whole blame or commendation; and the blame it hath once, it hath ever: for almost from it's birth it hath beene one of the same inclination, course and force. And in matters of generall opinions, even from my infancy, I ranged my selfe to the point I was to hold.  Some sinnes there are outrageous, violent and suddaine; leave we them.
     But those other sinnes, so often reassumed, determined and advised upon, whether they be of complexion, or of profession and calling, I cannot conceive how they should so long be settled in one same courage, unlesse the reason and conscience of the sinner were thereunto inwardly privie and constantly willing.  And how to imagine or fashion the repentance thereof, which, he vanteth, doth some times visit him, seemeth somewhat hard unto me.  I am not of Pythagoras Sect, that men take a new soule, when to receive Oracles they approach the images of Gods, unlesse he would say with all, that it must be a strange one, new, and lent him for the time: our owne, giving so little signe of purification, and cleanesse worthie of that office.  They doe altogether against the Stoycall precepts, which appoint us to correct the imperfections and vices we finde in our selves, but withall forbid us to disturbe the quiet of our minde.  They make us beleeve they feele great remorse, and are inwardly much displeased with sinne; but of amendment, correction or intermission, they shew us none.  Surely there can be no perfect health, where the disease is not perfectly remooved.  Were repentance put in the scale of the ballance, it would weigh downe sinne.  I find no humour so easie to be counterfeited as Devotion: If one conforme not his life and conditions to it, her essence is abstruse and concealed, her apparance gentle and stately.
     For my part, I may in generall wish to be other then I am; I may condemne and mislike my universall forme, I may beseech God to grant me an undefiled reformation, and excuse my naturall weakenesse: but 

THE THIRD BOOKE                     <Mont3-31>

meeseemeth I ought not to tearme this repentance, no more then the displeasure of being neither Angell nor Cato.  My actions are squared to what I am and confirmed to my condition.  I cannot doe better:  And repentance doth not properly concerns what is not in our power; sorrow doth.  I may imagine infinite dispositions of a higher pitch, and better governed then myne, yet doe I nothing better my faculties; no more then mine arme becommeth stronger, or my wit more excellent, by conceiving some others to be so. If to suppose and wish a more nobler working then ours, might produce the repentance of our owne, wee should then repent us of our most innocent actions: for so much as we judge that in a more excellent nature, they had beene directed with greater perfection and dignity; and our selves would doe the like.  When I consult with my age of my youthes proceedings, I finde that commonly (according to my opinion), I managed them in order. This is all my resistance is able to performe.  I flatter not myselfe: in like circumstances, I should ever be the same.  It is not a spot, but a whole dye that staynes me.  I acknowledge no repentance, this is superficiall, meane, and ceremonious.  It must touch me on all sides before I can terme it repentance.  It must pinch my entrailes, and afflict them as deepely and throughly as God himselfe beholds mee.  When in negotiating, many good fortunes have slipt me for want of good discretion, yet did my projects make good choice, according to the occurrences presented unto them.  Their manner is ever to take the easier and surer side.  I finde that in my former deliberations, I proceeded, after my rules, discreetely for the subjects state propounded to mee; and in like occasions, would proceede alike a hundred yeares hence.  I respect not what now it is, but what it was, when I consulted of it.  The consequence of all dessignes consists in the seasons; occasions passe, and matters change uncessantly.  I have in my time runne into some grosse, absurde, and important errors; not for want of good advise, but of good happe.  There 

<Mont3-32>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

are secret and indivinable parts in the objects men doe handle, especially in the nature of men and mute conditions without shew, and sometimes unknowne of the very possessors, produced and stirred up by suddaine occasions. If my wit could neyther finde nor presage them, I am not offended with it; the function thereof is contained within it's owne limits.  If the successe beare me, and favour the side I refused, there is no remedy; I fall not out with my selfe:  I accuse my fortune, not my endevour: that's not called repentance.  Phocion had given the Athenians some counsell, which was not followed: the matter, against his opinion, succeeding happily: 'How now, Phocion (quoth one), art thou pleased the matter hath thrived so well?' 'Yea (said hee) and I am glad of it; yet repent not the advise I gave.'
     When any of my friends come to me for counsell, I bestow it francklie and clearelie, not (as well-nigh all the world doth) wavering at the hazard of the matter, whereby the contrary of my meaning may happen that so they may justly finde fault with my advise for which I care not greatly.  For they shall doe me wrong, and it became not mee to refuse them that dutie.  I have no body to blame for my faults or misfortunes but my self.  For in effect I seldome use the advise of other unlesse it be for complement sake, and where I have need of instruction or knowledge of the fact.  Marry in things wherein nought but judgement is to be employed; strange reasons may serve to sustaine, but not to divert me.  I lend a favourable and courteous care unto them all.  But (to my remembrance) I never beleeved any but mine owne.  With me they are but Flyes and Moathes, which distract my wil.  I little regard mine owne opinions, other mens I esteeme as little: Fortune payes mee accordingly.  If I take no counsell I give as little. I am not much sought after for it, and lesse credited when I give it:  Neither know I any enterprise, either private or publike, that my advise hath directed and brought to conclusion.  Even those whom fortune had 

THE THIRD BOOKE          <Mont3-33>

some-way tyde thereunto, have more willingly admitted the direction of others conceits then mine.  As one that am as jealous of the rights of my quiet, as of those of my autthority; I would rather have it thus.
     Where leaving me, they jumpe with my profession, which is wholly to settle and containe me in my selfe.  It is a pleasure unto mee to bee disinteressed of other mens affayres, and disingaged from their contentions.  When sutes or businesses bee over-past, howsoever it bee, I greeve little at them.  For, the imagination that they must necessarily happen so, puts mee out of paine; Behould them in the course of the Universe, and enchained in Stoycall causes, Your fantazie cannot by wish or imagination remoove one point of them, but the whole order of things must reverse both what is past and what is to come.  Moreover, I hate that accidentall repentance which olde age brings with it.  Hee that in ancient times said be was beholden to yeares because they had ridde him of voluptuousnesse, was not of mine opinion.  I shall never give impuissance thankes for any good it can do me:  Nec tam aversa unquam videbitur ab opere suo providential ut debilitas inter optima inventa sit: 'Nor shall fore-sight ever bee seene so averse from hir owne worke, that weakenesse bee found to bee one of the best things.' Our appetites are rare in olde-age: the blowe overpassed, a deepe saciety seazeth upon us: therein see no conscience.  Fretting care and weakenesse imprint in us an effeminate and drowzie vertue.
Wee must not suffer our selves so fully to bee carried into naturall alterations as to corrupt or adulterate our judgement by them.  Youth and pleasure have not heretofore prevailed so much over me, but I could ever (even in the midst of sensualities) discerne the ugly face of sinne: nor can the distaste which yeares mee from discerning that of voluptuousnesse in in vice.  Now I am no longer in it, I judge of it as if I were still there.  I who lively and attentively examine my reason, finde it to be the same that possessed me in my most dissolute 

<Mont3-34>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

and licentious age; unlesse, perhaps, they being enfeebled and empayred by yeares, doe make some difference:  And finde, that what delight it refuseth to affoorde me in regarde of my bodilie health, it would no more denie mee, then in times past, for the health of my soule.  To see it out of co-mb'ate, I holde it not the more couragious.  My temptations are so mortified and crazed as they are not worthy of it's oppositions: holding but my hand before me, I becalme them.  Should one present that former concupiscence unto it, I feare it would be of lesse power to sustaine it than heretofore it hath beene.  I see in it, by it selfe no increase of judgement, nor accesse of brightnesse; what it now judgeth, it did then.  Wherefore if there be any amendment, 'tis but diseased.  Oh miserable kinde of remedie to bee beholden unto sicknesse for our health.  It is not for our mishap, but for the good successe of our judgement to performe this office.  Crosses and afflictions make me doe nothing but curse them.  They are for people that cannot bee awaked but by the whip, the course of my reason is the nimbler in prosperity.  It is much more distracted and busied in the digesting of mischiefes than of delights.  I see much clearer in faire weather.  Health forewarneth me as with more pleasure, so to better purpose than sicknesse. I approached the nearest I could unto amendment and regularity, when I should have enjoyed the same; I should be ashamed and vexed that the misery and mishap of my old age could exceede the health, attention, and vigor of my youth: and that I should be esteemed, not for what I have beene, but for what I am leaft to be.  The happy life (in my opinion), not (as said Antisthenes) the happy death+, is it that makes mans happinesse in this world.
I have not preposterously busied my selfe to tie the taile of a Philosopher unto the head and bodie of a varlet: nor that this paultrie end should disavow and belie the fairest, soundest, and longest part of my life.  I will present my selfe and make a generall muster of 

THE THIRD BOOKE          <Mont3-35>

my whole, every where uniformally.  Were I to live againe it should-be as I have already lived.  I neither deplore what is past, nor dread what is to come: and if I be not deceived, the inward parts have neerely resembled the outward.
It is one of the chiefest points wherein I am beholden to fortune, that in the course of my bodies estate, each thing hath beene carried in season.  I have seene the leaves, the blossomes, and the fruit; and now see the drooping and withering of it.  Happily, because naturally.  I beare my present miseries the more gently because they are in season, and with greater favour make me remember the long bappinesse of my former life. In like manner my discretion may well bee of like proportion in the one and the other time: but sure it was of much more performance, and had a better grace, being fresh, jolly, and full of spirit, then now that it is worne, decrepite, and toylesome.
I therefore renounce these casuall and dolourous reformations.  God must touch our heartes; our conscience must amende of it selfe, and not by re-inforcement of our reason, nor by the enfeebling of our appetites. Voluptuousnesse in it selfe is neither pale nor discoloured to bee discerned by bleare and troubled eyes.  Wee should affect temperance and chastity for it selfe, and for Gods cause, who hath ordained them unto us: that which Catars bestow upon us, and which I am beholden to my chollicke, is for neither temperance nor chastitie:  A man cannot boast of contemning or combating sensuality if hee see her not, or know not her grace, her force, and most attractive beauties.  I know them both, and therefore may speake it.  But mee thinks our soules in age are subject unto more importunate diseases and imperfections then they are in youth.  I said so, being young, when my beardlesse chinne was upbraided me; and I say it againe now that my gray beard gives me authority.  We entitle wisdome, the frowardnesse of our humours, and the distaste of present things; but in truth wee abandon not vices so much as we change them; and in mine 

<Mont3-36>           MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

opinion for the worse.  Besides a sillie and ruinous pride, combersome tattle, wayward and unsotiable humours, superstition, and a ridiculous carking for wealth, when the use of it is well-nigh lost, I finde the more envie, injustice, and leaudnesse in it.  It sets more wrinckles in our minds then on our foreheads: nor are there any spirits, or very rare ones, which in growing old taste not sowrely and mustily.  Man marcheth entirely towards his increase and decrease.  View but the wisedome of Socrates, and divers circumstances of his condemnation.  I dare say he something lent himselfe unto it by prevarication of purpose: being so neere, and at the age of seventy, to endure the benumming of his spirits richest pace and the dimming of his accustomed brightnesse, What Metamorphoses have I seene it daily make in divers of mine acquaintances.
It is a powerfull maladie which naturally and imperceptibly glideth into us:  There is required great provision of study, heed, and precaution to avoid the imperfections wherewith it chargeth us; or at least to weaken their further progresse.  I finde that notwithstanding all my entrenchings, by little and little it getteth ground upon me:  I hold out as long as I can, but know not whither at length it will bring me.  Happe what happe will, I am pleased the world know from what height I tumbled. 



WE must not cleave so fast unto our humours and dispositions.  Our chiefest sufficiency is to apply our selves to divers fashions.  It is a being, but not a life, to bee tied and bound by necessity to one onely course.  The goodliest mindes are those that have most variety and pliablenesse in them. Behold an honourable testimony of old Cato. Huic versatile ingenium sic pariter ad omnia fuit, ut natum ad id unum diceres, quodcunque ageret:/1 'He had a wit so turneable for all things alike, as one would say hee had beene onely borne for that hee went about to do.' Were I to dresse my selfe after mine owne manner, there is no fashion so good whereto I would be so affected or tied as not to know how to leave and loose it.  Life is a motion unequall, irregular, and multiforme.  It is not to bee the friend (lesse the master) but the slave of ones selfe to follow uncessantly, and bee so addicted to his inclinations, as hee cannot stray from them, nor wrest them.  This I say now, as being extreamly pestred with the importunity of my mind, forsomuch as shee cannot ammuse her selfe, but whereon it is busied; nor employ it selfe, but bent and whole.  How light soever the subject is one gives it, it willingly amplifiethl and wire-drawes the same, even unto the highest pitch of toile.  It's idlenesse is therefore a painefull trade unto mee, and offensive to my health.  Most wits have neede of extravagant stuffe, to un-benumme and exercise themselves: mine hath neede of it rather to settle and continue it selfe.
1 LIV.  Bel.  Mac. 1. ix.

<Mont3-38>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

Vitia otii negotio discutienda sunt:/1  'The vices of idlenesse should be shaken off with businesse.' For, the most laborious care and principall studie of it is to studie it selfe.  Bookes are one of those businesses that seduce it from studie.  At the first thoughts that present themselves, it rouzeth up and makes proofe of all the vigour it hath.  It exerciseth it's function sometimes toward force, sometimes towards order and comelinesse, it rangeth, moderates and fortifieth.  It hath of it selfe to awaken the faculties of it:  Nature having given it, as unto all other, matter of it's owne for advantage, subjects fit enough whereon to devise and determine.  Meditation is a large and powerfull study to such as vigorously can taste and employ themselves therein.  I had rather forge then furnish my minde.
     There is no office or occupation either weaker or stronger then that of entertaining of ones thoughts according to the mind, whatsoever it be.  The greatest make it their vacation, Quibus vivere est cogitate, to whom it is all one to live and to meditate.  Nature hath also favoured it with this priviledge, that there is nothing we can do so long, nor action whereto we give our selves more ordinarily and easily. It is the worke of Gods (saith Aristotle) whence both their happinesse and ours proceedeth.  Reading serves mee especially to awake my conceit by divers objects: to busie my judgement, not my memory.  Few entertainements then stay mee without vigour and force. 'Tis true thatcourtesie+ and beautie possesse mee as much or more then waight and depth.  And because I slumber in all other communications, and lend but the superficiall parts of my attention unto them, it often befalleth mee in such kinde of weake and absurd discourses (discourses of countenance) to blurt out and answer ridiculous toies and fond absurdities, unworthy a childe; or wilfully to hold my Peace; therewithall more foolishly and incivilly.  I have a kind of raving fancie-full behaviour, that retireth mee
1 SEN.  Epist. lvi. 

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into my selfe; and on the other side, a grosse and childish ignorance of many ordinary things; by meanes of which two qualities, I have in my daies committed five or six as sottish trickes as any one whosoever; which to my derogation may bee reported.  But to follow my purpose, this harsh complexion of mine makes me mee nice in conversing with men (whom I must picke and cull out for the nonce) and unfit for common actions.  Wee live and negotiate with the people:  If their behaviour importune us, if wee disdaine to lend our selves to base and vulgar spirits, which often are as regular as those of a finer mould; and all wisedome is unsavourie that is not conformed to common insipience.  Wee are no longer to inter-meddle either with our or other mens affaires; and both publicke and private forsake such kinde of people.
     The least wrested and most naturall proceedings of our minde are the fairest; the best occupations, those which are least forced.  Good God, how good an office doth wisedome unto those whose desires she squareth according to their power!  There is no science more profitable. As one may, was the burden and favoured saying of Socrates:  A sentence of great substance.  We must addresse and stay our desires to things most easie and neerest.  Is it not a fond-peevish humour in mee to disagree from a thousand to whom my fortune joineth mee, without whom I cannot live, to adhere unto one or two that are out of my commerce and conversion; or rather to a fantasticall conceit, or fanciefull desire, for a thing I cannot obtaine?  My soft behaviours and milde manners, enemies to all sharpenesse and foes to all bitternesse, may easily have discharged mee from envie and contention:  To bee beloved, I say not, but not to be hated, never did man give more occasion.  But the coldnesse of my conversation hath with reason robd mee of the good will of many; which may bee excused if they interpret the same to other or worse sense.  I am most capable of getting rare amities, and continuing exquisite acquaintances.  For so as with so greedie hunger I snatch at 

<Mont3-40>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

such acquaintances as answer my taste and square with my humour.  I so greedily produce and headlong cast my selfe upon them, that I do not easily misse to cleave unto them, and where I light on, to make a steady impression; I have often made happie and successefull trial of it.
     In vulgar worldly friendships, I am somewhat cold and barren: for my proceeding is not naturall, if not unresisted and with hoised-full sailes.  Moreover, my fortune having enured and allured mee, even from my infancie, to one sole singular and perfect amitie, hath verily, in some sort, distasted mee from others: and over deeply imprinted in my fantasies that it is a beast sociable and for companies and not of troupe, as said an ancient writer.  So that it is naturally a paine unto mee to communicate my selfe by halves and with modification: and that servile or suspicious wisedome which in the conversation of these numerous and imperfect amities, is ordained and proposed unto us:  Prescribed in these dayes especially, wherein one cannot speake of the world but dangerously or falsely.  Yet I see, that who (as I do) makes for his ende, the commodities of his life (I meane essentiall commodities) must avoide as a plague these difficulties and quaintnesse of humour.
     I should commend a high-raysed minde, that could both bende and discharge it selfe: that where-ever hir fortune might transport hir, shee might continue constant: that could discourse with hir neighbours of all matters, as of hir building, of hir bunting and of any quarrell; and entertaine with delight a Carpenter or a Gardiner.  I envie those which can be familiar with the meanest of their followers, and vouchsafe to contract friendship and frame discourse with their owne servants.  Nor do I like the advise of Plato, ever to speake imperiously unto our attendants, without blithnesse and sance any familiarity: be it to men or women servants.  For, besides my reason, it is inhumanity and injustice to attribute so much unto that prerogative of fortune and the governement: where lesse inequality is permitted betweene the servant and master, is in my 

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conceite the more indifferent.  Some other study to rouze and raise their minde, but I to abase and prostrate mine: it is not faulty but in extension. Narras et genus Aeaci, Et pugnata sacro bella sub Ilio.  Quo Chium pretio eadum Mercemur, quis aquam temperet ignibus, Quo praebente domum, et quota Pelignis caream frigoribus, taces./1 You tell of Aeacus the pedegree - The warres at sacred Troye you do display.  You tell not at what price a hogs-head we May buy of the best Wine; who shall allaye Wine-fire with water, at whose house to holde.  At what a-clock I may be kept from colde.
     Even as the Lacedemonian valour had neede of moderation and of sweet and pleasing sounds of Flutes, to flatter and allay it in time of warre, least it should runne head-long into rashnesse and fury: whereas all other nations use commonly pearcing sounds and strong shouts, which violently excite and enflame their souldiers courage: so thinke I (against ordinary custome) that in the employment of our spirit, wee have for the most part more need of leade then wings; of coldnesse and quiet, then of heate and agitation.  Above all, in my mind, the onely way to play the foole well is to seeme wise among fooles: to speake as though ones tongue were ever bent to Favelar' in punta di forchetta:/2 'To syllabize or speake minsingly.' One must lend himself unto those hee is with, and sometimes affect ignorance.  Set force and subtiltie aside; In common employments 'tis enough to reserve order; dragge your selfe even close to the ground, they will have it so.  The learned stumble willingly on this blocke: making continuall muster and open show of their skill, and dispersing their bookes abroade:  And have in these dayes so filled the closets, and possessed the eares of Ladyes, that if they retaine not their substance, at
1 HOR.  Car. 1. ii. 3, Od. xix. 2 Italian proverb. 

<Mont3-42>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

least they have their countenance: using in all sorts of discourse and subject how base or popular soever, a newe, an affected and learned fashion of speaking and writing.

Hoc sermone pavent, hoc iram, gaudia, curas,
Hoc cuncta effundunt animi secreta, quid ultra?
Concumbunt docte./1

They in this language feare, in this they fashion
Their joyes, their cares, their rage, their inward passion;
What more? they learned are in copulation.

And alledge Plato and Saint Thomas for things, which the first man they meete would decide as well, and stand for as good a witnesse.  Such learning as could not enter into their minde, hath staid on their tongues.{PlainDealer+} If the well-borne will give any credit unto me, they shall be pleased to make their own and naturall riches to prevaile and be of worth:  They hide and shroud their formes under forraine and borrowed beauties:  It is great simplicity for any body to smoother and conceale his owne brightnesse, to shine with a borrowed light:  They are buried and entombed under the Arte of CAPSVLA TOTAE.  It is because they do not sufficiently know themselves: the world containes nothing of more beauty:  It is for them to honour artes, and to beautifie embellishment.  What neede they more then to live beloved and honoured:  They have, and know but too much in that matter.  There needes but a little rouzing and enflaming of the faculties that are in them.
     When I see them medling with Rhetoricke, with Law, and with Logicke, and such like trash, so vaine and unprofitable for their use, I enter into feare that those who advise them to such things, doe it that they may have more law to governe them under that pretence. For what other excuse can I devise for them?  It is sufficient, that without us, they may frame, or roule the grace of their eyes, unto cheerefulnesse, unto severity, and unto mildnesse: and season a 'No' with
1 JUVEN.  Sat. vi. 189. 
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frowardnesse, with doubt and with favour; and require not an interpreter in discourses made for their service.  With this learning they command without controule, and over-rule both Regents and Schooles.  Yet if it offend them to yeeld us any preheminence, and would for curiosity sake have part in bookes also:  Poesie is a study fit for their purpose, being a wanton, ammusing, subtill, disguised, and pratling Arte; all in delight, all in shew, like to them-selves.  They may also select divers commodities out of History. In Morall Philosopby they may take the discourses which enable them to judge of our humours, to censure our conditions, and to avoid our guiles and treacheries; to temper the rashnesse of their owne desires, to husband their liberty: lengthen the delights of life, gently to beare the inconstancy of a servant, the peevishnesse of rudenesse of a husband, the importunity of yeares, the unwelcomnesse of wrinkles, and such like minde-troubling accidents.  Loe here the most and greatest share of learning I would assigne them.  There are some particular, retired and close dispositions.
     My essentiall forme is fit for communication and proper for production:  I am all outward and in apparance; borne for society and unto friendship.  The solitude I love and commend is especially but to retire my affections and redeeme my thoughts unto my selfe to restraine and close up, not my steppes, but my desires and my cares, resigning all forraigne solicitude and trouble, and mortally shunning all manner of servitude and obligation; and not so much the throng of men as the importunity of affaires.  Locall solitarinesse (to say trueth) doth rather extend and enlarge me outwardly; I give my selfe to State-businesse and to the world more willingly when I am all alone.  At the court, and in presse of people, I close and slinke into mine owne skinne.  Assemblies thrust mee againe into my selfe.  And I never entertaine my selfe so fondly, so licentiously, and so particularly, as in places of respect and ceremonious discretion.  Our follies make mee not laugh, but our wisdomes doe.  Of mine owne 

<Mont3-44>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

complexion, I am no enemy to the agitations and stirrings of our Courts: I have there past great part of my life and am inured to bee merry in great assemblies so it be by intermission, and sutable to my humour.
     But this tendernesse and coinesse of judgement (whereof I speake) doth perforce tie me unto solitarinesse.  Yea even in mine owne house, in the middest of a numerous family and most frequented houses, I see people more then a good many, but seldome such as I love to converse or communicate withall.  And there I reserve, both for my selfe and others, an unaccustomed liberty; making truce with ceremonies, assistance, and invitings, and such other troublesome ordinances of our courtesies (O servile custome and importunate manner) there every man demeaneth himselfe as hee pleaseth, and entertaineth what his thoughts affect: whereas I keepe my selfe silent, meditating and close, without offence to my guests or friends.
     The men whose familiarity and society I hunt after, are those which are called honest, vertuous, and sufficient: the image of whom doth distaste and divert mee from others.  It is (being rightly taken) the rarest of our formes; and a forme or fashion chiefly due unto nature.
     The end or scope of this commerce is principally and simply familiarity, conference and frequentation: the exercise of mindes, without other fruite.  In our discourses all subjects are alike to me:  I care not though they want either waight or depth; grace and pertinency are never wanting; all therein is tainted with a ripe and constant udgement, and commixt with goodnesse, liberty, cheerefulnesse, and kindnesse.  It is not onely in the subject of Laws and affaires of Princes, that our spirit sheweth it's beauties grace and vigor:  It sheweth them as much in private conferences.  I know my people by their very silence and smyling, and peradventure discover them better at a Table then sitting in serious counsell.
     Hippomacus said, hee discerned good Wrestlers but 

THE THIRD BOOKE          <Mont3-45>

by seeing them march through a Street.  If learning vouchsafe to step into our talke, shee shall not be refused; yet must not shee bee sterne, mastring, imperious and importunate, as commonly shee is; but assistant and docile of hirselfe. {PlainDealer+} Therein wee seeke for nothing but recreation and pastime: when we shall looke to be instructed, taught and resolved, we will go seeke and sue to hir in hir throne.  Let hir if she please keepe from us at that time; for, as commodious and pleasing as shee is.  I presume that for a neede we could spare hir presence, and doe our businesse well enough without hir.  Wits well borne, soundly bred and exercised in the practise and commerce of men, become gracious and plausible of themselves. {sprezzatura+} Arte is but the Checke-roule and Register of the Productions uttered and conceites produced by them.
The company of faire and society of honest women is likewise a sweet commerce for me: Nam nos quoque oculos eruditos habemus:/1 'For we also have learned eyes.' If the minde have not so much to solace hirselfe as in the former, the corporall sences, whose part is more in the second, bring it to a proportion neere unto the other: although in mine opinion not equall.  But it is a society wherein it behooveth a man somewhat to stand upon his guard: and especially those that are of a strong constitution, and whose body can do much, as in me.  In my youth I heated my selfe therein and was very violent: and indured all the rages and furious assaults which Poets say happen to those who, without order or discretion, abandon them-selves over-loosly and riotously unto it.  True it is indeed, that the same lash hath since stood me instead of an instruction.

Quicunque Argolico de classe Capharea fugit,
Semper ab Euboicis vela retorquet aquis./2

Greeke Sailers that Capharean Rockes did fly
From the Euboean Seas their sailes still ply.
1 CIC.  Parad. 2 OVID.  Trist. 1. i.  El. i. 83.

<Mont3-46>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

It is folly to fasten all ones thoughts upon it, and with a furious and indiscret affection to engage himselfe unto it:  But on the otherside, to meddle with it without love or bond of affection, as Comedians do, to play a common part of age and manners, without ought of their owne but bare-conned words, is verily a provision for ones safety: and yet but a cowardly one; as is that of him who would forgoe his honour+, his profit or his pleasure, for feare of danger; for it is certaine that the practisers of such courses cannot hope for any fruite able to moove or satisfie a worthy minde.
     One must very earnestly have desired that whereof he would enjoy an absolute delight.  I meane, though fortune should unjustly favour their intention: which often hapneth, because there is no woman, how deformed or unhandsome soever, but thinkes hir selfe lovely, amiable and praiseworthy, either for hir age, hir haire or gate (for there are generally no more faire then foule ones): and the Brachmanian maides wanting other commendations, by Proclamation for that purpose, made shew of their matrimoniall parts unto the people assembled, to see if thereby at least they might get them husbands.  By consequence there is not one of them, but upon the first oath one maketh to serve her, will very easily be perswaded to thinke well of her selfe.  Now this common treason and ordinary protestations of men in these dayes must needs produce the effects experience already discovereth: which is, that either they joyne together, and cast away themselves on themselves to avoid us, or on their side follow also the example wee give them; acting their part of the play without passion, without care, and without love, lending themselves to this entercourse: Neque affectui suo, aut alieno obnoxiae: 'Neither liable to their own nor other folkes affection.' Thinking, according to Lysias perswasions in Plato, they may so much the more profitably and commodiously yield unto us, by how much lesse we love them:  Wherein it will happen as in Comedies, the spectators shall have as much or 

THE THIRD BOOKE                     <Mont3-47>

more pleasure as the Comedians.  For my part, I no more acknowledge Venus without Cupid, then a mother-hood without an off-spring:  They are things which enterlend and enter-owe one another their essence.  Thus doth this cozening rebound on him that useth it, and as it cost him little, so gets he not much by it.  Those which made Venus+ a goddesse, have respected that her principall beautie was incorporeall and spirituall.  But shee whom these kinde of people hunt after is not so much as humane, nor also brutall; but such as wilde beasts would not have her so filthy and terrestriall. We see that imagination enflames them, and desire or lust urgeth them, before the body:  We see in one and other sex, even in whole heards, choise and distinctions in their affections, and amongst themselves, acquaintances of long continued good-will and liking:  And even those to whom age denieth bodily strength, doe yet bray, neigh, roare, skip and wince for love+. Before the deed we see them full of hope and heat; and when the body hath plaid his part, even tickle and tingle themselves with the sweetenesse of that remembrance: some of them swell with pride at parting from it, others all weary and glutted, ring out songs of glee and triumph.  Who makes no more of it but to discharge his body of some naturall necessitie, hath no cause to trouble others with so curious a preparation.  It is no food for a greedy and clownish hunger.  As one that would not be accounted better than I am, thus much I will display of my youths wanton-errors:  Not onely for the danger of ones health that followes that game (yet could I not avoid two, although light and cursorie assaults) but also for contempt, I have not much beene given to mercenarie and common acquaintances.  I have coveted to set an edge on that sensuall pleasure by difficultie, by desire, and for some glory.  And liked Tiberius his fashions, who in his amours was swaied as much by modesty and noblenesse as by any other quality.  And Floras humour, who would Prostitute her selfe to none worse then Dictators, Consuls, or Censors, and tooke delight 


in the dignitie and greatnesse of her lovers, doth somewhat sute with mine.  Surely glittering pearles and silken cloathes adde some-thing unto it, and so doe titles, nobilitie and a worthie traine.  Besides which, I made high esteeme of the minde, yet so as the body might not justly be found fault withall:  For, to speake my conscience, if either of the two beauties were necessarily to be wanting, I would rather have chosen to want the mentall, whose use is to be emploied in better things.  But in the subject of love, a subject that chiefly hath reference unto the two senses of seeing and touching, some thing may be done without the graces of the minde, but little or nothing without the corporall.  Beautie is the true availefull advantage of women:  It is so peculiarly theirs, that ours, though it require some features and differeni allurements, is not in her right kue or true bias, unlesse confused with theirs: childish and beardlesse. It is reported that such as serve the great Turke under the title of beautie (whereof the number is infinite) are dismissed at furthest when they once come to the age of two and twenty yeeres.  Discourse, discretion, together with the offices of true amitie+, are better found amongst men: and therefore governe they the worlds affaires.  These two commerces or societies are accidentall and depending of others; the one is troublesome and tedious for it's raritie, the other withers with old age: nor could they have sufficiently provided for my lives necessities.  That of bookes, which is the third, is much more solid-sure and much more ours, some other advantages it yeeldeth to the two former, but hath for her share constancie and the facilite of her service.  This accosteth and secondeth all my course, and every where assisteth me:  It comforts me in age and solaceth me in solitarinesse; It easeth mee of the burthen of a weary- some sloth and at all times rids me of tedious companies: it abateth the edge of fretting sorrow, on condition it be not extreme and over-insolent.  To divert me from any importunate imagination or insinuating conceit, there is no better way then to have recourse unto 

THE THIRD BOOKE          <Mont3-49>

books; with ease they allure mee to them, and with facility they remoove them all.  And though they perceive I neither frequent nor seeke them, but wanting other more essential, lively, and more naturall commodities, they never mutinie or murmur at mee; but still entertaine mee with one and selfe-same visage.  He may well walke a foote that leades his horse by the bridle, saith the proverbe.  And our James king of Naples and Sicili, being faire, young, healthy and in good plight, caused himselfe to be caried abroad in a plaine wagon or skreene, lying upon an homely pillow of course feathers, cloathed in a sute of home spunne gray, and a bonet of the same, yet royally attended on by a gallant troupe of Nobles, of Litters, Coches, and of all sorts of choice led-horses, a number of gentlemen and officers, represented a tender and wavering austerity.  The sicke man is not to be moaned that hath his health in his sleeve.  In the experience and use of this sentence, which is most true, consisteth all the commoditie I reape of bookes.  In effect I make no other use of them then those who know them not.  I enjoy them, as a miser doth his gold; to know that I may enjoy them when I list, my mind is setled and satisfied with the right of possession.  I never travel without bookes, nor in peace nor in warre: yet doe I passe many dayes and moneths without using them.  It shall be anon, say I, or to-morrow, or when I please; in the meane while the time runnes away, and passeth withont hurting me.  For it is wonderfull what repose I take, and how I continue in this consideration, that they are at my elbow to delight me when time shall serve; and in acknowledging what assistance they give unto my life. This is the best munition I have found in this humane peregrination, and I extremely bewaile those men of understanding that want the same.  I accept with better will all other kindes of ammusements, how slight soever, forsomuch as this cannot faile me.  At home I betake me somewhat the oftner to my library, whence all at once I command and survey all my houshold.  It is seated in the chiefe 

<Mont3-50>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

entrie of my house, thence I behold under me my garden, my base court, my yard, and looke even into most roomes of my house.  There without order, without method, and by peece-meales I turne over and ransacke, now one booke and now another.  Sometimes I muse and rave; and walking up and downe I endight and enregister these my humours, these my conceits.  It is placed on the third storie of a tower.  The lowermost is my Chapell; the second a chamber with other lodgings, where; I often lie, because I would be alone. Above it is a great ward-robe.  It was in times past the most unprofitable place of all my house.  There I pass the greatest part of my lives dayes, and weare out most houres of the day.  I am never there a nights.  Next unto it is a handsome neat cabinet, able and large enough to receive fire in winter, and very pleasantly windowen.  And if I feared not care more then cost (care which drives and diverts me from all businesse), I might easily joyne a convenient gallerie of a hundred paces long and twelve broad on each side of it, and upon one floore; having already, for some other purpose, found all the walles raised unto a convenient height.  Each retired place requireth a walke.  My thoughts are prone to sleepe if I sit long.  My minde goes not alone, as if ledges did moove it.  Those that studie without bookes are all in the same case.  The forme of it is round, and hath no flat side, but what serveth for my table and chaire:  In which bending or circling manner, at one looke it offereth me the full sight of all my books, set round about upon shelves or desks, five rancks one upon another.  It hath three bay-windowes of a farre-extending, rich and unresisted prospect, and is in diameter sixteene paces void.  In winter I am lesse continually there: for my house (as the name of it importeth) is pearched upon an over-pearing hillocke; and hath no part more subject to all wethers then this: which pleaseth me the more, both because the accesse unto it is somwhat troublesome and remote, and for the benefit of the exercise which is to be respected; and that I may the better seclude 

THE THIRD BOOKE                     <Mont3-51>

my selfe from companies and keepe incrochers from me:  There is MY seat, that is my throne.  I endevour to make my rule therein absolute, and to sequester that only corner from the communitie of wife, of children and of acquaintance.  Else-where I have but a verball authoritie, of confused essence.  Miserable in my minde is he who in his owne home hath no where to be to himselfe; where hee may particularly court, and at his pleasure hide or with-draw selfe.  Ambition paieth her followers well to keepe them still in open view, as a statue in some conspicuous place. Magna servitus est magna fortuna:/1 'A great fortune is a great bondage.'  They cannot bee private so much as at their privie.  I have deemed nothing so rude in the austerity of the life which our Church-men affect as that in some of their companies they institute a perpetuall societie of place, and a numerous assistance amongst them in anything they doe.  And deeme it somewhat more tolerable to be ever alone, then never be able to be so. If any say to me, It is a kind of vilifying the Muses to use them only for sport and recreation, he wots not as I do, what worth, pleasure, sport and passe-time is of:  I had well nigh termed all other ends rediculous. I live from hand to mouth, and, with reverence be it spoken, I live but to my selfe: there end all my designes.  Being young I studied for ostentation ; then a little to enable my selfe and become wiser; now for delight and recreation, never for gaine.  A vaine conceit and lavish humour I had after this kind of stuffe; not only to provide for my need, but somewhat further to adorne and embellish my selfe withall:  I have since partlie left it. Bookes have and containe divers peasing qualities to those that can duly choose them.  But no good without paines; no Roses with out prickles.  It is a pleasure not absolutely pure and neate; no more then all others; it hath his inconveniences attending on it, and sometimes waighty ones:  The minde is therein exercised, but the body (the care whereof I have not yet forgotten) remaineth
1 SEN.  Cons. ad Pel. c. xxvi. p. 

<Mont3-52>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

there-whilst without action, and is wasted, and ensorrowed.  I know no excesse more hurtfull for me, nor more to be avoided by me, in this declining age.  Loe here my three most favoured and particular employments.  I speake not of those I owe of dutie to the world. 



I WAS once employed in comforting of a truely-afflicted Ladie: the greatest part of their discourses are artificial and ceremonious,

Uberibus semper lachrimis, semperque paratis,
In statione sua, atque expectantibus illam
Quo jubeat manare modo/1
With plenteous teares; still readie in their stand,
Expecting still their Mistresses commaund,
How they must flow, when they must goe.
Men do but ill in opposing themselves against this passion; for opposition doth but incense and engage them more to sorrow and quietnesse:  The disease is exasperated by the jealousie of dchate.  In matters of common discourse we see that what I have spoken without heede or care, if one come to contest with me about it, I stifly maintaine and make good mine owne, much more if it be a thing wherein I am interessed.  Besides, in so dooing you enter but rudely into your matter, whereas a Physitions first entertainment of his patient should be gracious, cheereful, and pleasing.  An uglie and froward Physition wrought never any good effect.  On the contrary then, we must at first assist and smoothe their laments, and witnesse some approbation and excuse thereof.  By which meanes you get credit to go on, and by an easie and insensible inclination you fall into more firme and serious discourses and fit for their amendment.  But I, who desired chiefly to gull the assistants, that had their eyes cast on me, meant to salve their mischiefe:  I
JUVEN.  Sat. vi. 273. <Mont3-53>


verily finde by experience that I have but an ill and unfruitfull vaine to perswade.  I present my reasons either too sharpe, or too drie, or too stirringly, or too carelesly. {PlainDealer+} After I had for a while applyed myself to hir torment, I attempted not to cure it by strong and lively reasons: either because I want them, or because I suppose I might otherwise effect my purpose the better.  Nor did I cull out the severall fashions of comfort prescribed by philosophy:  That the thing lamented is not ill, as Cleanthes: or but a little ill, as the Peripatetikes: that to lament is neither just nor commendable, as Chrysippus:  Nor this Epicurus, most agreeing with my manner, to translate the conceit of yrkesome into delightsome things:  Nor to make a loade of all this masse, dispensing the same, as one hath occasion, as Cicero.  But faire and softly declining our discourses, and by degrees bending them unto subjects more neare, then a little more remote, even as shee more or lesse enclined to mee.  I unperceivably remooved those dolefull humours from hir: so that as long as I was with her, so long I kept her in cheerefull countenance and untroubled fashion, wherein I used diversion.  Those which in the same service succeeded mee, found her no whit amended; the reason was, I had not yet driven my wedge to the roote.  I have peradventure else where glaunced at some kindes of publike diversions.  And the militairie customes used by Pericles in the Peloponesian warre, and a thousand others else where, to divert or withdrawe the armie of an enemie from their owne country, is too frequent in histories.  It was an ingenious diverting wherewith the Lord of Himbercourt saved both himself and others in the towne of Liege, into which the Duke of Burgondie, who beleagred the same, had caused him to enter, to performe the covenante of their accorded yeelding.  The inhabitants thereof, to provide for it, assembled by night, and began to mutinie against their former agreement, determining upon this advantage to set upon the Negotiators, now in their power.  Hee perceiving their intent, and noise of this shoure readie 

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to fall upon him, and the danger his lodging was in, forth-with rushed out upon them two cittizens (whereof he had divers with him furnished with most plausible and new offers to be propounded to their counsell but indeed forged at that instant to serve his turne withall, and to ammuse them. These two stayes the first approaching storme, and carryed this incensed Hydra-headed- monster multitude backe to the townehouse, to heare their charge, and accordingly to determine of it.  The conclusion was short, when loe a second tempest came rushing on, more furiously inraged then the former; to whom he immediately dispatched foure new and semblable intercessors, with protestations that now they were in earnest to propose and declare new and farre more ample conditions unto them, wholly to their content and satisfaction; whereby this disordered rout was againe drawne to their Conclave and senate-house.  In summe, he by such a dispensation of amusements, diverting their headlong fury, and dissipating the same with vaine and frivolous consultations, at length lulled them into so secure a sleep, that he gained the day, which was his chiefest drift and only aymed scope. This other storie is also of the same predicament.  Atalanta, a maid of rare surpassing beautie and of a wondrous strange disposition, to ridde herselfe from the importunate pursuit of a thousand amorous sutors, who sollicited her for mariagr prescribed this law unto them, that she would accept of him that should equall her in running; on condition those she shold overcome might lose their lives.  Some there were found who deemed this prize worthie the hazard, and who incurred the penaltie of so cruell a match.  Hippomenes comming to make his assay after the rest, addressed himself to the divine protectress of all amorous delights, earnestly invoking her assistance, who gently listening to his hearty prayers, furnished him with three golden Apples, and taught him how to use them.  The scope of the race being plaine, according as Hippomenes perceived his swift-footed mistresse to approch his heeles, he let fall (as 

<Mont3-56>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

at unawares) one of his Apples: the heedlesse maiden gazing and wondring at the alluring beautie of it, failed not to turne and take it up.

Obstupuit virgo, nitidique cupidine pomi,
Dectinat cursus, aurumque volubile tollit./1

The maid amaz'd, desiring that faire gold,
Turnes by her course, takes it up as it rold.

The like he did (at his need) with the second and third, untill by this disgressing and diverting, the goale and advantage of the course was judged his.  When Physitians cannot purge the rheume, they divert and remoove the same unto some lesse dangerous part.  I also perceive it to be the most ordinary receit for the mindes diseases.  Ab ducendus etiam nonnunquam animus est ad aliena studia, sollicitudines, curas negotia:  Loci denique mutatione, tanquam aegroti non convalescentes, saepe curandus est: 'Our minde also is sometimes to be diverted to other studies, cogitations, cares, and businesses: and lastly to be cured by chance of place, as sicke folkes use that otherwise cannot get health.' We make it seldome to shocke mischiefes with direct resistance; we make it neither to beare nor to break, but to shun or divert the blow.  This other lesson is too high and over-hard.  It is for him of the first ranke meerely to staye upon the thing it selfe, to examine and judge it.  It belongth to one onely Socrates, to accost and entertains death+ with an undaunted ordinary visage, to become familiar and play with it. He seeketh for no comfort out of this thing it selfe.  To die seemeth unto him a naturall and indifferent accident: thereon be wishly fixeth his right, and thereon he resolveth without looking else where.  Hegesias his disciples, who with hunger starv'd themselves to death, incensed thereunto with the perswading discourses of his lessons; and that so thicke as King Ptlomey forbad him any longer to entertaine his schoole with such murtherous precepts. Those considered not death in it selfe they judged it not:  This
1 OVID.  Met. 1. x. 666. 
THE THIRD BOOKE                     <Mont3-57>

was not the limit of their thoughts, they run on, and ayme at another being.  Those poore creatures we see on scaffolds, fraught with an ardent devotion, therein to the uttermost of their power, employing al their sences; their eares attentive to such instructions as Preachers give them, their hands and eyes lift up towards heaven; their voice uttering loud and earnest praiers: all with an eager and continuall ruth-mooving motion; doe verily what in such an unavoydable exigent is commendable and convenient.  One may well commend their religion, but not properly their constancy.  They shunne the brunt, they divert their consideration from death; as we use to dandle and busie children, when we would lance them or let them bloud. I have seen some, who if by fortune they chanced to cast their eyes towards the dreadful preparations of death which were round about them, fal into trances, and with fury cast their cogitations else where.  Wee teech those that are to passe over some steep downefall or dreadfull abisse, to shut or turne aside their eies.  Subrius Flavius, being by the appointment of Nero to be put to death by the hands of Niger, both chiefe commanders in war: when he was brought unto the place where the execution should be performed, seeing the pit Niger had caused to be digged for him uneven and unhandsomely made: "Nor is this pit (quoth he to the souldiers that stood about him) according to the true discipline of war': and to Niger, who willed him to hold his head steddy, 'I wish thou wouldest stricke as steddily.' He guessed right; for Nigers arme trembling, he had divers blowes at him before be could strike it off.  This man seemed to have fixed his thoughts surely and directly on the matter.  He that dies in the fury of a battle, with weapons in band, thinkes not then on death, and neither feeleth nor considereth the same: the heate of the fight transports him.  An honest man of my acquaintance, falling downe in a single combate, and feeling himselfe stab'd nine or ten times by his enemy, was called unto by the 

<Mont3-58>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

by standers to call on God and remember his conscience: but be told me after, that albeit those voices came unto his eares, they had no whit mooved him, and that be thought on nothing but how to discharge and revenge himselfe.  In which combat be vanquished and slew his adversary.
     He who brought E.  Syllanus his condemnation, did much for him, in that when he heard him answer he was prepared to die, but not by the hands of base villaines, ran upon him with his souldiers to force him; against whom obstinately defending himself, though unarmed, with fists and feet, he was slaine in the conflict; dispercing with a ready and rebellious choller the painefull sence of a long and fore-prepared death to which he was assigned.  We ever thinke on somewhat else: either the hope of a better life doth settle and support us, or the confidence of our childrens worth, or the future glory of our name, or the avoyding of this lives mischieves, or the revenge banging over their heads that have caused and procured our death+:

Spero equident mediis, si quid pia numina possunt,
Supplcia hausurum scopulis, et nomine Dido
Saepe vocaturum.
Audiam, et haec manes veniet mihi fama sub imos./1

I hope, if powers of heaven have any power,
On rockes he shall be punisht, at that houre
He oft on Didoes name shall pittilesse exclaime,
This shall I heare, and this report,
Sall to me in my grave resort.

Xenophon sacrificed with a crowne on his head, when one came to tell him the death of his sonne Gryllus in the battell of Mantinea.  At the first hearing whereof he cast his crowne to the ground, but finding upon better relation how valiantly he died, he tooke it up and put it on his head againe. Epicurus also at his death comforted himselfe in the eternitie and worth of his writings. Omnes clari et nobilitati
1 VIRG.  Aen. 1. iv. 282, 387. 
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labores fiunt tolerabiles:/1 'All glorious and honourable labours are made tolerable.' And the same wound and the same toile (saith Xenophon) toucheth not a Generall of an armie as it doth a private souldier.  Epaminondas tooke his death much the more cheerefully, being informed that the victorie remained on his side.  Haec sunt solatia, haec fomenta summorum dolorum:/2 'These are the comforts, these the eases of most grievous paines.' And such other like circumstances ammuse, divert and remoove us from the consideration of the thing in it selfe.  Even the arguments of Philosophie, at each clappe wrest and turne the matter aside, and scarcely wipe away the scabbe thereof. The first man of the first Philosophicall Schoole and Superintendent of the rest, that great Zeno, against death cried out: 'No evill is honourable; death is: therefore is death no evill.' Against drunkennesse: 'No man entrusts his secrets to a drunkard; every one to the wise: therefore the wise will not be drunke.' Is this to hit the white?  I love to see that these principall wits cannot rid themselves of our company.  As perfect and absolute as they would be, they are still but grosse and simple men.  Revenge+ is a sweet-pleasing passion, of a great and naturall impression:  I perceive it well, albeit I have made no trial of it.  To divert of late a young prince from it, I told him not, he was to offer the one side of his cheeke to him who had strooke him on the other, in regard of charity; nor displaid I unto him the tragicall events Poesie bestoweth upon that passion.  There I left him, and strove to make him taste the beautie of a contrary image; the honour, the favour and the good-will he should acquire by gentlenesse and goodnesse: I diverted him to ambition.  Behold how they deale in such cases.  If your affection in love be over-powerfull, disperse or dissipate the same, say they; and they say true, for I have often, with profit, made triall of it:  Breake it by the vertue of severall desires, of which one may be Regent or chiefe Master, if you
1 CIC.  Tusc. 1. ii. 1 Ibid. 

<Mont3-60>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

please; but for fear it should misuse or tyrannize you, weaken it with dividing, and protract it with diverting the same.

Cum morosa vago singultiet inguine vena,
Conjicito humorem collectum in corpora quaeque./1

When raging lust excites a panting tumor,
To divers parts send that collected humor.

And looke to it in time, lest it vex you, if it have once seized on you.
Si non prima novis conturbes vulnera plagis,
Volgivagaque vagus Venere ante recentia cures./2
Unlesse the first wounds with new wounds you mix, And ranging cure the fresh with common tricks.  I was once neerely touched with a heavy displeasure, according to my complexion, and yet more just then heavie:  I had peradventure lost my selfe in it, had I only relied upon mine owne strength.  Needing a vehement diversion to with-draw me from it.  I did by Arte and studie make my selfe a Lover, whereto my age assisted me; love discharged and diverted me from the inconvenience which good-wil and amitie had caused in me.  So is it in all things else.  A sharpe conceit possesseth, and a violent imagination holdeth me; I finde it a shorter course to alter and divert, then to tame and vanquish the same: if I cannot substitute a contrary unto it, at least I present another unto it.  Change ever easeth, Varietie dissolveth, and shifting dissipateth.  If I cannot buckle with it, I flie from it: and in shunning it, I stray and double from it.  Shifting of place, exercise and company, I save my selfe amid the throng of other studies and ammusements, where it loseth my tracke, and so I slip away.  Nature proceedeth thus, by the benefit of inconstancy: for the iime it hath bestowed on us, as a sovereigns physition of our passions chiefly obtaines his purpose that way, when fraughting our conceits wifh other and different affaires, it dissolveth and corrupteth that first apprehension, how forcible soever it be.  A wise man
1 PERS.  Sat. vi. 73; LUCR. 1. iv. 1056. 2 LUCR. 1. iv. 1061. 
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seeth little lesse his friend dying at the end of five and twenty yeeres, then at the beginning of the first yeere; and according to Epicurus, nothing lesse: for he asscribed no qualification of perplexities, either to the foresight or antiquitie of them.  But so many other cogitations crosse this that it languisheth, and in the end groweth weary.  To divert the inclination of vulgar reports, Alcibiades cut off his faire dogs eares, and so drove him into the market place; that giving this subject of prattle to the people, they might not meddle with his other actions.  I have also seen some women, who to divert the opinions and conjectures of the babling people, and to divert the fond tatling of some, did by counterfet and dissembled affections overshadow and cloak true affections.  Amongst which I have noted some, who in dissembling and counterfeiting have suffered themselves to be intrapped wittingly and in good earnest; quitting their true and originall humour for the fained: of whom I learne that such as finde themselves well seated are very fooles to yeelde unto that maske.  The common greetings, and publike entertainements being reserved unto that set or appointed servant, beleeve there is little sufficiency in him, if in the end he usurpe not your roome and send you unto his.  This is properly to cut out and stitch up a shoe for another to put on.  A little thing doth divert and turne us; for a small thing holds us.  We do not much respect subjects in grosse and alone: they are circumstances, or small and superficiall images that moove and touch us; and vaine rindes which rebound from subjects.

Folliculos ut nunc teretes aestate cicadas

As grasse-hoppers in summer now forsake
The round-grown sheafes, which they in time should take.

Plutarke himselfe bewailes his daughter by the fopperies of his childehood. The remembrance of a farewell, of an action, of a particular grace, or of a last
1 LUCR. iv. 812. 
<Mont3-62>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

commendation, afflict us.  Caesars gowne disquieted all Rome, which his death had not done:  The very sound of names, which gingleth in our eares, as, 'Oh, my poore master; or 'Alas, my deare friend;' 'Oh, my daughter.' When such like repetitions pinch me, and that I looke more nearely to them, I finde them but grammaticall laments, the word and the tune wound me. Even as Preachers exclamations do often move their auditory more then their reasons: and as the pittifull groane of a beast yerneth us though it be killed for our use: poising or entring there-whilest into the true and massie essence of my subject.

His se stimulis dolor ipse lacessit./1

Griefe by these provocations,
Puts it selfe in more passions.

They are the foundations of our mourning.  The conceipt of the stone, namely in the yard, hath sometime for three or foure dayes together so stopped my urine, and brought me so neare deaths-doore, that it had beene meere folly in me to hope, nay to desire, to avoyd the same, considering what cruell pangs that painefull plight did seaze me with.  Oh how cunning a master in the murthering arte or hangmans trade was that good Emperour who caused malefactors yards to bee fast-tide, that so hee might make them dye for want of pissing.  In which ill plight finding my selfe, I considered by how slight causes and frivolous objects, imagination nourished in me the griefe to lose my life: with what atomes the consequence and difficulty of my dislodging was contrived in my minde: to what idle conceits and frivolous cogitations we give place in so waighty a case or important affaire.  A Dogge, a Horse, a Hare, a Glasse, and what not, were corrupted in my losse. To others, their ambitious hopes, their purse, their learning:  In my minde as sottishly.  I view death carelessely when f behould it
1 LUCAN. 1. ii. 42 
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universally as the end of life.  I overwhelme and contemne it thus in great, by retayle it spoiles and proules me.  The teares of a Lacquey, the distributing of my cast sutes, the touch of a knowne hand, an ordinary consolation, doth disconsolate and intender me.  So do the plaints and fables of trouble vex our mindes: and the wailing laments of Dydo and Ariadne passionate even those that beleeve them not in Virgill nor in Catullus: It is an argument of an obstinate nature and indurate hart, not to be moved therewith: as for a wonder, they report of Polemon: who was not so much as appaled at the biting of a Dog, who tooke away the braun or calfe of his leg.  And no wisedome goeth so far, as by the due judgement to conceive aright the evident cause of a Sorrow and griefe, so lively and wholly, that it suffer or admit no accession by presence, when eies and eares have their share therein: parts that cannot be agitated but by vaine accidents. Is it reason that even arts should serve their purposes, and make their profit of our imbecillity and naturall blockishnes?  An Orator (saith Rhetorick) in the play of his pleading, shall be moved at the sound of his owne voice, and by his fained agitations: and suffer himself to be cozoned by the passion he representeth: imprinting a lively and essentiall sorrow, by the jugling he acteth, to transferre it into the judges, whom of the two it concerneth lesse:  As the persons hired at our funerals who to aide the ceremony of mourning make sale of their teares by measure, and of their sorrow by waight. For although they strive to act it in a borrowed forme, yet by habituating and ordering their countenance, it is certaine they are often wholly transported into it, and entertaine the impression of a true and untamed melancholly. I assisted, amongst divers others of his friends, to convay the dead corpes of the Lord of Grammont from the siege of Laffere, where be was untimely slaine, to Soissons.  I noted that every where as we passed along we filled with lamentation and teares all the people we met, by the onely shew of our convoies mourning attire; for the deceased mans name 

<Mont3-64>           MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

was not so much as known or beard of about those quarters.  Quintilian reporteth to have seene Comedians so farre ingaged in a sorrowfull part, that they wept after being come to their lodgings: and of himselfe, that having undertaken to move a certaine passion in another, he had found himselfe surprised not only with shedding of tears, but with a palenesse of countenance, and behaviour of a man truly dejected with griefe.  In a country neare our Mountaines the women say and unsay, weepe and laugh with one breath, as Martin the Priest; for, as for their lost husbands, they encrease their waymentings by repetition of the good and gracefull parts they were endowed with, there withall under one they make publike relation of those imperfections, to work, as it were, some recompence unto themselves and transchange their pitty unto disdaine; with a much better grace then we, who when we loose a late acquaintance, strive to loade him with new and forged prayses, and to make him farre other, now that we are deprived of his sight, then hee seemed to be when we enjoied and beheld him; as if mourning were an instructing party, or teares cleared our understanding by washing the same.  I renounce from this time forward all the favourable testimonies any man shall affoord me, not because I shall deserve them, but because I shall be dead.  If one demand that fellow, what interest he hath in such a siege, The interest of example (will he say) and common obedience of the Prince; I nor looke nor pretend any benefit thereby, and of glory I know how small a portion commeth to the share of a private man such as I am.  I have neither passion nor quarrell in the matter.  Yet the next day shall you see him all changed, and chafing, boiling, and blushing with rage in his ranke of battaile, ready for the assault.  It is the glaring reflecting of so much steele, the flashing thundering of the Canon, the clang of trumpets, and the ratling of Drummes, that have infused this new fury, and rankor in his swelling vaines.  A frivolous cause, will you say.  How a cause?  There needeth 

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none to excite our minde.  A doating humour without body, without substance, overswayeth and tosseth it up and downe.  Let me thinke of building Castles in Spayne, my imagination will forge me commodities and afford me meanes and delights wherewith my minde is really tickled and essentially gladded. How often do we pester our spirits with anger or sadnesse by such shaddowes, and entangle our selves into fantasticall passions which alter both our mind and body?  What astonished, flearing, and confused mumpes and mowes doth this dotage stirre up in our visages? what skippings and agitations of members and voice, seemes it not by this man alone, that he hath false visions of a multitude of other men with whom he doth negotiate; or some inwarde Goblin that torments him?  Enquire of your selfe where is the object of this alteration?  Is there any thing but us in nature, except subsisting nullity, over whom it hath any power?  Because Cambyses dreamed that his brother should be King of Persia, he put him to death: a brother whom be loved and ever trusted.  Aristodemus, King of the Messenians, killed himselfe upon a conceite he tooke of some ill presage, by I know not what howling of his Dogs.  And King Midas did as much, being troubled and vexed by a certaine unpleasing dreame of his owne.  It is the right way to prize ones life at the right worth of it to forgo it for a dreame.  Here notwithstanding our mindes triumph over the bodies weakenesses and misery: in that it is the prey and marke of all wrongs and alterations to feede on and aime at. It hath surely much reason to speak of it.

O prima infoelix fingenti terra Prometheo:
Ille parum cauti pectoris egit opus.
Corproa disponens, mentem non vidit in arte:
Recta animi primum debuit esse via./1

Unhappy earth first by Promethens formed,
Who of small providence a worke performed.
He framing bodies saw in arte no minde:
The mindes way first should rightly be assign'd.

1 PROPERT. 1. iii.  Eleg. v. 7.



PROFITABLE thoughts, the more full and solide they are, the more combersome and heavy are they; vice, death, poverty, and diseases, are subjects that waigh and grieve.  We must have our minde instructed with meanes to sustaine and combate mischiefes, and furnished with rules how to live well and believe right: and often rouze and exercise it in this goodly study.  But to a mind of the common stampe it must be with intermission and moderation; it groweth weake by being continually over-wrested.  When I was young I had neede to be advertised and sollicited to keepe my selfe in office:  Mirth and health (saies one) sute not so well with these serious and grave discourses.  I am now in another state.  The conditions of age do but over-much admonish, instruct, and preach unto me.  From the excesse of jollity, I am falne into the extreame of severity: more peevish and more untoward.  Therefore, I do now of purpose somewhat give way unto licentious allurements; and now and then employ my minde in wanton and youthfull conceits, wherein she recreates hir selfe.  I am now but too much setled; too heavy and too ripe. My yeares read me daily a lesson of coldnesse and temperance.  My body shunneth disorder and feares it: it hath his turne to direct the minde toward reformation; his turne also to rule and sway; and that more rudely and imperiously. Be I awake or a sleepe, it doth not permit me one houre but to ruminate on instruction, on death, on patience, and on repentance.  As I have heretofore defended my selfe from pleasure, so I now ward my selfe from temperance: it haleth me too far back, and even to

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stupidity.  I will now every way be master of my selfe.  Wisdome hath hir excesses, and no lesse need of moderation then follie.  So that least I should wither, I varnish and over cloy my selfe with prudence, in the intermissions my evils afoord mee;

Mens intenta suis ne siet: usque malis./1

Still let not the conceit attend,
The ils that it too much offend.

I gently turne aside, and steale mine eyes from viewing that tempestuous and cloudy skie I have before me; which (thankes be to God) I consider without feare, but not without contention and study.  And ammuse my selfe with the remembrance of past youth-tricks:
     -----animus quod perdidit, optat,
Atque in praeterita se totas imagine versat./2

The minde, what it hath lost, doth wish and cast,
And turne and winde in Images forepast.

That infancy looketh forward, and age backward was it not that which Janus his double visage signified? yeares entrains me if they please: but backward. As far as mine eyes can discerne that faire expired season, by fits I turne them thitherward.  If it escape my bloud and veines, yet will I not roote the image of it out of my memory:
          ------ hoc est,
Vivere bis, vita posse priore frui,/3

This is the way for any to live twise,
Who can of former life enjoy the price.

Plato appoints old men to be present at youthfull exercises, dances, and games, to make them rejoice at the bodies agility and comlinesse of others, which is now no longer in them, and call to their remembrance the grace and favour of that blooming age; and willeth them to give the h honour of the victory to that young-man
1 OVID.  Trist. 1. iv.  El. i. 4. 2 PETRON.  Arb.  Sat. 3 MART. 1. x.  Epig. xxiii. 7. 
<Mont3-68>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

who hath gladded and made most of them mery.  I was heretofore wont to note sullen and gloomy daies as extraordinary: now are they my ordinary ones: the extraordinary are my faire and cleere dayes.  I am ready to leape for joy, as at the receaving of some unexspected favour, when nothing grieveth me.  Let me tickle my selfe, I can now hardly wrest a bare smile from this wretched body of mine.  I am not pleased but in conceite an dreaming, by sleight to turne aside the way-ward cares of age: but sure there is need of other remedies then dreaming.  A weake contention of arte against nature. It is meere simplicity, as most men do, to prolong and anticipate humane incommodities.  I had rather be lesse while olde, then old before my time. I take hold even of the least occasions of relight I can meet withall. I know now by heare-say divers kindes of wise, powerfull and glorious pleasures: but opinion is not of sufficient force over me to make me long for them. I would not have them so stately, lofty, and disdainfully as pleasant, gentle, and ready. A natura diseedimus; populo nos damus, nullius rei bono auctori:/1 'We forsake nature; Wee follow the people author of no good.' My Philosophy is in action, in naturall and present, little in conceit.  What if I should be pleased to play at cob-nut or whip a top?

Non ponebat enim rumores ante salutem./2

He did not prize what might be said,
Before how all might safe be laid.

Voluptuousnesse is a quality little ambitious; it holds it selfe rich enough of it selfe without any accesse of reputation; and is best affected where it is most obscured.  That young man should deserve the whip who would spend his time in choosing out the neatest Wine and best sauces.  There is nothing I ever knew or esteemed lesse: {PlainDealer+} I now beginne to learne it. I am much ashamed of it, but what can I do with all? and
1 SEN.  Epist. xcix. 2 ENNIUS. 
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am more ashamed and vexed at the occasions that compell me to it.  It is for us to dally, doate, and trifle out the time; and for youth to stand upon nice reputation, and hold by the better end of the staffe.  That creepeth towards The world and marcheth toward credite; we come from it. Sibi arma, sibi equos, sibi hastas, sibi clavam, sibe pilam, sibi nationes et cursus habeant: nobis senibus, ex lusionibus multis, talos relinquant, et tesseras:/1 'Let them keeps theie armor, their horses, their lances, their polaxes, their tennis, their swimming, and their running; and of their many games, let them put over to us old men the tables an the cardes.' The very lawes send us home to our lodgings.  I can do no lesse in favour of this wretched condition, whereto my age forceth mee, then furnish it with somewhat to dandle and ammuse it selfe, as it were childehood, for when all is done we fall into it againe.  And both wisedome and folly shall have much a do, by enterchange of offices to support and succour me in this calamity of age.

Misce stultitiam conciliis brevem./1

With short-like-foolish tricks,
Thy gravest counsels mixe.

Withal I shun the lightest pricklings; and those which heretofore could not have scratcht me, do now transpearce me. So wilingly my habite doth now begin to apply it selfe to evil; in fragili corpore odiosa omnis offensio est:/3 'all offence is yrkesome to a crased body.'
Mensgue pati durum sustinet aegra nihil./4

A sicke minde can endure,
No hard thing for hir cure.

I have ever beene ticklish and nice in matters of offence; at this present I am more tender and every where open.
1 CIC.  De Sene. 2 HOR. 1. iv.  Od. xii. 27. 3 CIC De Sene. 4 OVID.  Pont. 1. i.  El. vi. 18. 
<Mont3-70>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

Et minimae vires frangere quassa valent./1

Least strength can breake
Things worne and weake.
Well may my judgement hinder me from spurning and repining at the inconveniences which nature allots me to indure: from feeling them it cannot.  I could finde in my heart to runne from one ende of the world to another, to searche and purchase one yeare of pleasing and absolute tranquillity; I who have no other scope then to live and be mery.  Drouzie and stupide tranquillity is sufficiently to be found for me, but it makes me drouzy and dizzie, therefore I am not pleased with it.  If there be any body or any good company in the cuntry, in the citty, in France, or any where els, resident, travelling, that likes of my conceites, or whose humours are pleasing to me, they neede but hold up their hand, or whistle in their fiste, and I will store them with Essayes of pithe and substance, with might and maine.  Seeing it is the mindes priviledge to renew and recover it selfe on old age, I earnestly advise it to do it; let it bud, blossome, and flourish if it can as Misle-toe on a dead tree.  I feare it is a traitor; so straightly is she clasped, and so hard doth she cling to my body, that every hand-while she forsakes me; to follow hir in hir necessities.  I flatter her in private, I urge hir to no purpose, in vaine I offer to divert hir from this combination, and bootlesse it is for me to present hir Seneca, or Catullus, or Ladies, or stately dances: if hir companion have the chollicke, it seemes she also hath it.  The very powers or faculties that are particular and proper to hir, cannot then rouze themselves: they evidently seeme to be enrheumed: there is no blithnes in hir productions, if there be none in the body. Our schollers are to blame, who serching the causes of our mindes extraordinary fits and motions, besides they ascribe some to a divine fury, to love, to warre-like fiercenesse, to Poesie, and to Wine, if they have not also allotted health her share: a health,
1 OVID.  Trist. 1. iii.  El. xi. 22. 
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youthfull, lusty, vigorous, full, idle, such as heretofore the Aprill of my yeares and security offered me by fittes.  That fire of jocondnesse stirreth up lively and bright sparkles in our mind beyond our naturall brightnesse and amongst the most working, if not the most desperate Enthusiasmes or inspirations.  Well, it is no wonder if a contrary estate clogge and naile my spirit, and drawe from it a contrary effect.

Ad nullum consurgit opus, cum corpore languet./1

It to no worke doth rise,
When body fainting lyes.

And yet would have me beholden to him for lending consent then beareth the ordinary custome of men.  Let us at least, whilst we have time, chase and expell all difficulties from our society.
Dum licet obducta solvatur fronte senectus;/2

With wrinckled wimpled forhead let old yeares,
While we may, be resolv'd to merrie cheere.

Tetrica sunt amaenanda jocularibus: 'Unpleasant things and sowre matters should be sweetned and made pleasant with sportefull mixtures.' I love a lightsome and civill discretion, and loathe a roughnes and austerity of behaviour: suspecting every peevish and way ward countenance.
Tristemque vultus tetrici arrogantiam./5

Of austere countenance,
The sad soure arrogance.

Et habet tristis quoque turba cynaedos.
Fidlers are often had,
Mongst people that are sad.

I easily beleeve Plato, who saieth that easie or hard humors are a great prejudice unto the mindes
1 COR.  GAL.  El. i. 125. 2 HOR.  Epod. xiii. 7. 3 MART. 1. vii.  Epig. lvii. 9. 
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goodnesse or badnesse.  Socrates had a constant countenance, but light-some and smyling; not frowardly constant, as old Crassus, who was never seene to laugh.  Vertue is a pleasant and buxom quality.  Few I know will snarle at the liberty of my writings, that have not more cause to snarle at their thoughts- loosenes.  I conforme my-selfe unto their courage, but I offend their eies.  It is a well ordered humour to wrest Plateo writings and straine his pretended negotiations with Phedon, Dion, Stella, Archeanassa.  Non pudeat dicere, quod non pudeat sentire. 'Let us not bee ashamed to speake what we shame not to thinke.' I hate a way ward and sad disposition, that glided over the pleasures of his life, and fastens and feedes on miseries. As flyes that cannot cleave to smooth and sleeke bodies, but seaze and holde on rugged and uneven places; or as Cupping glasses, that affect and suck none but the worst bloud.  For my part I am resolved to dare speake whatsoever I dare do:  And am displeased with thoughts not to be published. The worst of my actions or condicions seeme not so ugly unto me as I finde it both ugly and base not to dare to avouch them.  Every one is wary in the confession; we should be as heedy in the action+.  The bouldnes of offending is somewhat recompensed and restrained by the bouldnes of confessing.  He that should be bound to tell all, should also bind himself to do nothing which one is forced to conceale.  God graunt this excesse of my licence draw men to freedom, beyond these cowardly and squeamish vertues, sprung from our imperfections; that by the expence of my immoderation I may reduce them unto reason.  One must survay his faultes and study them, ere he be able to repeat them.  Those which bide them from others, commonly conceal them also from themselves; and esteme them not sufficiently hidden if themselves see them.  They withdraw and disguise them from their owne consciences. Quare vicia confitetur?  Quia etiam nunc in illis est, somnium narrare vigilantes est:/1 'Why doth no man confesse his faults?
1 SEN.  Epist. 53 m. 

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Because hee is yet in them: and to declare his dreame, is for him that is waking.'  The bodies evils are discerned by their increase.  And now we find that to be the gout which we termed the rheume or a bruse. The evils of the mind are darkened by their own force; the most infected feeleth them least:  Therefore is it that they must often a day be handled, and violently be opened and rent from out the hollow of our bosome.  As in the case of good, so of bad offices, only confession is sometimes a satisfaction.  Is there any deformity in the error which dispenseth us to confesse the same?  It is a paine for me to dissemble, so that I refuse to take charge of other men's secrets, as wanting hart to disavow my knowledge. I can conceale it; but deny it I cannot, without much ado and some trouble. To be perfectly secret, one must be so by nature, not by obligation.  It is a small matter to be secret in the Princes service, if one be not also a liar.  He that demanded Thales Milesius, whether he should solemnly deny his lechery; had he come to me, I would have answered him, he ought not do it, for a ly is in mine opinion worse than lechery.{PlainDealer+} Thales advised him otherwise, bidding him sweare, thereby to warrant the more by the lesse.  Yet was not his counsell so much the election as multiplication of vice.  Whereupon we sometimes use this by-word, that we deale wel with a man of conscience, when in counterpoise of vice we propose some difficulty unto him: but when he is inclosed betweene two vices, he is put to a hard choise.  As Origen was dealt with al, either to commit idolatry, or suffer himself to be Sodomatically abused by a filthy Egiptian slave that was presented unto him, he yeilded to the first condition, and viciously, saith one.  Therefore should not thsoe women be distasted according to their error, who of late protest that they had rather charge their conscience with ten men then one Masse.  If it be indiscretion so to divulge ones errors, ther is no danger though it come into example and use; for Ariston said, that 'The winds men feare most are those which discover them.' Wee must tuck 

<Mont3-74>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

up this homely rag that cloaketh our manners.  They send their conscience to the stews, and keepe their countenance in order.  Even traitors and murtherers observe the laws of complements, and thereto fixe their endevors.  So that neither can injustice complaine of incivility nor malice of indiscretion. Tis pitty a bad man is not also a foole, and that decency should cloak his vice.  These pargettings belong only to good and sound wals, such as deserve to be whited, to be preserved.  In favour of Hugonots, who accuse our auricular and private confession, I confesse my selfe in publike, religiously and purely.  Saint Augustine, Origine, and Hippocrates have published their errors of their opinions; I likewise of my maners.  I greedily long to make my selfe knowne, nor care I at what rate, so it be truly; or, to say better, I hunger for nothing; but I hate mortally to be mistaken by such as shall happen to know my name.  He that doth all for honor and glory, what thinks he to gaine by presenting himselfe to the world in a maske, hiding his true being from the peoples knowledge?  Commend a crook- back for his comely stature, he ought to take it as an injury: if you be a coward, and one honoreth you for a valiant man, is it of you be speaketh? you are taken for another:  I should like as well to have him glory in the courtesies and lowtings that are shewed him, supposing himselfe to be ring- leader of a troupe when he is the meanest folower of it.  Archelaus, King of Macedon, passing through a street, som body cast water upon him, was advised by his followers to punish the party. 'Yea, but,' quoth he, 'who ever it was, he cast not the water upon me, but upon him he thought I was.' Socrates to one that told him he was railed upon and ill spoken of: 'Tush,' said he, 'there is no such thing in me.' For my part, should one commend me to be an excellent Pilote, to be very modest, or most chaste, I should owe him no thanks.  Likewise should any man call me traitour, theefe or drunkard, I would deeme my selfe but little wronged by him.  Those who misknow themselves may feed themselves with false 

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approbations; but not I, who see and search my selfe into my very bowels, and know full well what belongs unto me.  I am pleased to be lesse commended, provided I be better knowne.  I may be esteemed wise for such conditions of wisedome that I account meere follies.  It vexeth me that my Essayes serve Ladies in liew of common ware and stuffe for their hall; this Chap. wil preferre me to their cabinet:  I love their society somewhat private, their publike familiarity wants favor and savor.  In farewels we heate above ordinary our affections to the things we forgo.  I here take my last leave of this worlds pleasures: loe here our last embraces.  And now to our theame. Why was the acte of generation made so naturall, so necessary and so just, seeing we feare to speake of it without shame, and exclude it from our serious and regular discourses we prononce boldly to rob, to murther, to betray and this we dare not but betweene our teeth.  Are we to gather by it, that the lesse we breath out in words the more we are allowed to furnish our thoughts with?  For words least used, least writen, and least concealed should best be understood, and most generally knowne.  No age, no condition are more ignorant of it then of their bread.  They are imprinted in each one, without expressing, without voice or figure.  And the sexe that doth it most, is most bound to suppresse it.  It is an action we have put in the precincts of silence, whence to draw it were an offence: not to accuse or judge it.  Nor dare we beare it but in circumlocution and picture.  A notable favour, to a criminal offender, to be so execrable, that justice deem it injustice to touch and behold him, freed and saved by the benefit of this condemnations severity.  It is not herein as in matters of books, which being once called- in and forbidden, become more saleable and publik? As for me, I will take Aristotle at his word, that bashfallnesse is an ornament to youth, but a reproach to age.  These verses are preached in the old schoole, a schoole of which I hold more then of the moderne: her vertues seem greater unto me, her vices lesse. 

<Mont3-76>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

Deux qui par trop fuiant Venus estrivent
Faillent autant que ceux qui trop la suivent.

Who strive ore much Venus to shunne, offends
Alike with him that wholy hir intends.

Tu dea, tu rerum naturam sola gubernas,
Nec sine te quicquam dias in luminis oras
Exoritur, neque fit laetum, nec amabile quicquam,/1

Goddesse, thou rul'st the nature of all things.
Without thee nothing into this light springs,
Nothing is lovely, nothing pleasures brings.

I know not who could set Pallas and the Muses at oddes with Venus, and make them cold and slow in affecting of love; as for me, I se no Deities that better sute together, nor more endebted one to another.  Who-ever shal go about to remove amourous imaginations from the Muses, shall deprive them of the best entertainement they have, and of the noblest subject of their work and who shall debarre Cupid the service and conversation of Poesie, shall weaken him of his best weapons.  By this meanes they caste upon the God of acquaintance, of amitie and goodwill; and upon the Goddesses, protectresses of humanity and justice, the vice of ingratitude, and imputation of churlishnesse.  I have not so long beene cashiered from the state and service of this God, but that my memory is still acquainted with the force of his worth and valour.
------ agnosco veteris vestigia flammae./2

I feele, and feeling know,
How my old flames regrow.

There commonly remaine some reliques of shivering and heate after an ague:
Nec mihi deficiat color hic, hyemantibus annis.

When Winter yeares com-on,
Let not this heate be gon.

As drie, as sluggish and unwieldy as I am.  I feele yet some warme cinders of my passed heate.
1 LUCR. 1. i. 22. 2 VIRG.  Aen. 1. iv. 23. 
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Qual l'alto Aegeo, perche Aquiloneo Noto Cessi, che tuto prima il volse e scosse, Non s'accheta ei pero, ma il suono e 'l moto, Ritien deli onde anco agitate e grosse.  As grannd Aegean Sea, because the voice Of windes doth cease, which it before enraged Yet doth not calme, but stil retaines the noise And motion of huge billowes; unasswaged.
     But for so much as I know of it, the power and might of this God are found more quick and lively in the shadowe of the Poesie then in their owne essence.

Et versus digitos habet./1

Verses have full effect.
Of fingers to erect.

It representeth a kinde of aire more lovely then love it selfe.  Venus is not so faire, nor so alluring, all naked, and quick panting, as she is here in Virgill.
Dixerat, et niveis hinc atque hinc diva lacertis
Cunctantem amplexu molli fovet:  Ille repente
Accepit solitam flammam, notusque medullas
Intravit calor, et labe facta per ossa cucurrit
Non secus atque olim tonitru cum rupta corusco
Ignea rima micans percurrit lumine nimbos./2

So said the Goddesse, and with soft embrace
Of Snow-white arms, the grim-fire doth enchase,
He straight tooke wonted fire, knowne heate at once
His marrow pearc't, ranne through his weakned bones;
As fierie flash with thunder doth divide,
With radient lightning through a storme doth glide.

------ ea verba loquutus,
Optatos dedit amplexus, placidumque petivit
Conjugis infusus gremio per membra soporem./3

A sweet embrace, when he those words had said,
He gave, and his lims pleasing-rest he praid
To take in his wives bosome lolling laid.

     What therein I finde to be considered is, that he depainteth her somewhat stirring for a maritall Venus.
1 JUV.  Sat. iv. 197. 2 VIRG.  Aen. 1. viii. 387. 3 Ibid. 404

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In this discreete match, appetites are not commonly so fondling, but drowsie and more sluggish.  Love disdaineth a man should hold of other then himselfe, and dealeth but faintly with acquaintances begun and entertained under another title as marriage+ is.  Alliances, respects and meanes, by all reason, waigh as much or more as the grace and beauty.  A man doth not marry for himselfe, whatsoever he aleageth, but as much or more for his posteritie and families.  The use and interest of mariage concerneth our offspring a great way beyond us.  Therefore doth this fashion please me, to guide it rather by a third hand, and by anothers sence, then our owne: All which, how much doth it dissent from amorous conventions?  Nor is it other then a kinde of incest in this reverend alliance and sacred bond to employ the efforts and extravagant humor of an amorous licentiousness as I thinke to have said else- were.  One should (saith Aristotle) touch his wife soberly, discreetly and severely, least that tickling too lasciviously pleasure transport her beyond the bounds of reason.  What he speaketh for conscience, Phisitions alledge for health: saying that pleasure excessively whotte, voluptuous and continuall, altereth the seede and hindereth conception. Some other say, besides, that to a languishing congression (as naturally that is) to store it with a convenient and fertile heat, one must but seldome and by moderate intermissions present himselfe unto it.

Quo rapiet sitiens venerem, interjusque recondant./1

Thirsting to snatch a fit,
And inly harbour it.

I see no mariages faile sooner or more troubled then such as are concluded for beauties sake, and hudled up for amorous desires.  There are required more solide foundations and more constant grounds, and a more warie marching to it: this earnest youthly heate serveth to no purpose.  Those who thinke to honour
1 VIRG.  Geor. 1. iii. 137. 
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marriage by joyning love unto it (in mine opinion) doe as those who, to doe vertue a favour, holde that nobilitie+ is no other thing then Vertue+. Indeed, these things have affinitie, but therewithall great difference: their names and titles should not thus be commixt; both are wronged so to be confounded.  Nobilitie is a worthy, goodly quality, and introduced with good reason, but inasmuch as it dependeth on others, and may fall to the share of any vicious and worthlesse fellowe, it is in estimation farre shorte of vertue.  If it be a vertue, it is artificiall and visible; relying both on time and fortune; divers in forme, according unto countries living and mortall; without birth, as the river Nilus genealogicall and common; by succession and similitude; drawne along by consequence, but a very weake one.  Knowledge, strength, goodnesse, beauty, wealth and all other qualities fall within compasse of commerce and communication; whereas this consumeth it selfe in it selfe, of no emploiment for the service of others.  One proposed to one of our Kings the choice of two mentors in one office, the one a Gentleman, the other a Yeoman: hee appointed that without respect unto that quality, he who deserved best shold be elected; but were their valour or worth fully alike, the Gentleman should be regarded, this was justlie to give nobilitie her right and ranke.  Antigonus, to an unknowne young-man who sued unto him for his fathers charge, a man of valour and who was lately deceased: 'My friend (quoth hee) in such good turnes I waigh not my souldiers noble birth so much as their sufficiencie.' Of truth it should not be herein as with the officers of Spartan kings; Trumpeters, Musitions, Cookes, in whose roome their children succeeded, how ignorant soever, before the best experienced in the trade.  Those of Calicut make of their nobility a degree above humane.  Marriage is interdicted them, and all other vocations saving warre.  Of Concubines they may have as many as they list, and women as many lechardes, without Jealousie one of another. But it is a capital crime and unremissible offence to contract or 

<Mont3-80>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

marry with any of different condition:  Nay, they deeme themselves disparaged and polluted if they have but touched them in passing by:  And as if their honour were much injured and interressed by it they kil those who approach somewhat too neare them.  In such sort that the ignoble are bound to cry as they walke along, like the Gondoliers or Water men of Venice along the streetes, least they should jostle with them: and the nobles command them to what side of the way they please.  Thereby do these avoyde an obloquie which they esteeme perpetual, and those an assured death.  No continuance of time, no favour of Prince, no office, no vertue, nor any wealth can make a clown to become a gentleman; which is much furthered by this custome, that marriages of one trade with another are strictly forbidden.  A Shoo-maker cannot marry with the race of a Carpenter, and parents are precisely bound to traine up orphanes in their fathers trade, and in no other.  Thereby the difference, the distinction and continuance of their fortune is maintained. A good marriage+ (if any there be) refuseth the company and conditions of love; it endevoureth to present those of amity+.  It is a sweete society of life, full of constancy, of trust, and an infinite number of profitable and solid offices, and mutuall obligations:  No woman that throughly and impartially tasteth the same,

(Optato quamjunxit lumine taeda/1

Whom loves-fire joyned in double band,
With wished light of marriage brand)

would foregoe her estate to be her husbands master.  Be she lodged in his affection as a wife, she is much more honourably and surely lodged.  Be a man passionately entangled in any unlawfull lust or love, let them then be damned on whom he would rather have some shame or disgrace to alight; eyther on his lawfull wife, or on his lechard mistris, whose misfortune would afflict him most, and to whom he wisheth
1 CATUL.  Com.  Ber. 79. 
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greater good or more honour.  These questions admit no doubt in an absolute sound.  The reason we see so few good, is an apparant signe of it's worth, and a testimony of it's price.
Perfectly to fashion and rightly to take it, is the worthiest and best part of our societie.  We cannot be without it, and yet we disgrace and vilifle the same.  It may be compared to a cage, the birds without dispaire to get in, and those within dispaire to get out.  Socrates being demanded whether was most commodeous to take or not to take a wife: 'Which soever a man doth (quoth he), he shall repent it.' It is a match wherto may well be applied the common saying, Homo homini aut Deus, aut lupus: 'Man unto man is either a God or a Wolfe,' to the perfect erecting whereof are the concurrences of divers qualities required.  It is, now a dayes, found most fit or commodious for simple mindes and popular spirits whom dainties, curiosity and idleness do not so much trouble.  Licentious humours, debaushed conceits (as are mine), who hate all manner of duties, bondes, or observances are not so fit, so proper, and so sutable for it.

Et mihi dulce magis resoluto vivere collo./2

Sweeter it is to me,
With loose necke to live free.

Of mine owne disposition, would wisdome it selfe have had me, I should have refused to wed her.  But we may say our pleasure; the custome and use of common like overbeareth us.  Most of my actions are guided by example, and not by election; yet, did I not properly envite my selfe unto it, I was led and brought thereunto by strange and unexpected occasions; for, not onely incommodious things, but foule, vicious and inevitable, may by some condition and accident become acceptable and allowed.  So vaine is mans posture and defence; and truely I was then drawne unto it, being but ill prepared and more backe
1 ERAS.  Chil. i. cent. i. 69, 70. 2 COR.  GAL.  El. i. 61. 
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ward then now I am that have made triall of it.  And as licencious as the world reputes me, I have (in good truth) more stricktly observed the lawes of wedlock then either I had promised or hoped.  It is no longer time to wince when one hath put on the shackles.  A man ought wisely to husband his liberty, but after he hath once submitted himselfe unto bondage, he is to stick unto it by the lawes of common duty, or at least enforce himselfe to keepe them.  Those which undertake that covenant to deale therein with hate and contempt, do both injustly and incommodiously; and that goodly rule I see passe from hand to hand among women, as a sacred oracle,

Sers ton mary con maistre:
Et t'en garde comme un traistre.

Your husband as your master serve yee:
From him as from false friend preserve yee.

which is as much to say, Beare thy selfe toward him with a constrained enemy and distrustfull reverence (a stile of warre, and cry of defiance) is likewise injurious and difficult.  I am to milde for such crabbed dessignes. To say truth, I am not yet come to that perfection of sufficiency and quaintnesse of wit, as to confound reason with injustices and laugh or scoffe at each order or rule that jumps not with my humour.  To hate superstition, I do not presently cast my selfe into irreligion.  If one do not alwaies discharge his duty, yet ought he at least ever love, ever acknowledge it.  It is treason for one to marry unless he wed.  But go we on.  Our Poet describeth a marriage full of accord and good agreement, wherein notwithstanding there is not much loyalty.  Did he meane it was not possible to performe loves rights, and yet reserve some rights toward marriage; and that one may bruse it, without altogether breaking it?  A servant may picke his masters purse, and yet not hate him.  Beauty, opportunity, destiny (for destiny, hath also a hand therin) 
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     ----- fatum est in partibus illis.
Quas sinus abscondit; nam si tibi sidera cassent, Nil faciet longi mensura incognita nervi./1

In those parts there is fate, which hidden are;
If then thou be not wrought-for by thy starre,
The measure of long nerves unknowne to nothing serves.

have entangled a woman to a stranger, yet peradventure not so absolutely, but that some bond may be left to hold her to her husband.  They are two dissignes, having severall and unconfounded pathes leading to them.  A woman may yeeld to such a man whom in no case she would have married.  I meane not for the conditions of his fortune, but for the qualities of his person. Few men have wedded their sweet hearts, their paramours or mistresses, but have come home by Weeping Crosse, and ere long repented their bargaine. And even in the other world, what an unquiet life leades Jupiter with his wife, whom before he had secretly knowen and lovingly enjoyed?  This is as they say, 'to beray the panier, and then put it on your head.' My selfe have seene in some good place love shamefully and dishonestly cured by mariage, the considerations are too much different.  We love without disturbance to our selves; two divers and in themselves contrary things.  Isocrates said, that the towne of Athens pleased men, even as Ladies doe whom wee serve for affection.  Every one loved to come thither, to walke and passe away the time, but none affected to wed it; that is to say: to endenison, to dwell and habituate himselfe therein.  I have (and that to my spight and griefe), seene husbands hate their wives, onely because themselves wronged them.  Howsoever, wee should not love them lesse for our faults; at least for repentance and compassion they ought to be dearer unto us. These are different ends (saith he), and yet in some sort compatible.  Wedlocke hath for his share, honour, justice, profit and constancie, a plaine but more generall delight.  Love melts in onely pleasure
1 JUV.  Sat. ix. 32. 
<Mont3-84>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

and truly it hath it more ticklish, more lively, more quaint, and more sharpe, a pleasure inflamed by difficulty; there must be a kinde of stinging, tingling and smarting.  It is no longer love, be it once without Arrowes or without fire.  The liberality of Ladies is to profuse in marriage, and blunts the edge of affection and desire.  To avoide this inconvenience, see the punishment inflicted by the lawes of Lycurgus and Plato.  But Women are not altogether in the wrong, when they refuse the rules of life prescribed to the World, forsomuch as onely men have established them without their consent. {sexism+} There is commonly brauling and contention between them and us; and the nearest consent we have with them is but stormy and tumultuous. In the opinion of our Authour, we heerin use them but inconsiderately. After we have knowen, that without comparison they are much more capable and violent in Loves-effects then we, as was testified by that ancient Priest who had beene both man and woman, and tried the passions of both sexes.

Venus huic erat utraque nota:/1

Of both sortes he knew venery.

We have moreover learned by their owne mouth, what tryall was made of it, though in divers ages, by an Emperour and an Empresse of Rome, both skilful and famous masters in lawlesse lust and unruly wantonnesse; for he in one night deflowred ten Sarmatianvirgines that were his captives; but shee really did one night night also answer twenty severall assaults, changing her assailants as she found cause to supply her neede to fit her taste, ------adhuc ardens rigidae tentigine vulvae Et lassata viris, nondum satiata necessit./2 and that upon the controversie happened in Catalogne betweene a wife and a husband; shee complaining on his over-violence and continuance therein not so much in my conceit, because she was thereby over-labored,
1 OVID.  Met. 1. iii. 323.  Tiros. 2 JUVEN.  Sat. vi. 127. 
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(for but by faith I beleeve not miracles), as under this pretext, to abridge and bridle the authority of husbands over their wives, which is the fundamental part of marriage: and to show that their frowning, sullennesse and peevishnesse exceede the very nuptiall bed, and trample under-foote the very beauties, graces and delights of Venus (to whose complaint her husband, a right churlish and rude fellow answered, that even on fasting dayes he must needes do it ten times at least) was by the Queene of Aragon given this notable sentence: by which after mature deliberation of counsel, the good Queen to establish a rule and imitable example unto all posterity, for the moderation and required modesty in a lawfull marriage, ordained the number of sixe times a day as a lawfull, necessary and competent limit. Releasing and diminishing a great part of her, sexes neede and desire, to establish (quoth she) an easie forme, and consequently permanent and immutable.  Hereupon doctors cry out; what is the appetite and lust of women, when as their reason, their reformation and their vertue, is retailed at such a rate? considering the divers judgement of our desires: for Solon, master of the lawiers schoole alloweth but three times a month because this matrimoniall entercourse should not decay or faile.  Now after we beleeved (say I) and preached thus much, we have for their particular portion allotted them continency, as their last and extreame penalty.  There is no passion more importunate then this, which we would have them only to resist; not simply as a vice in it self, but as abbomination and execration, and more then irreligion and parricide; whilst we our selves without blame or reproach offend in it at our pleasure.  Even those amongst us who have earnestly labored to overcome lust, have sufficiently viewed what difficulty, or rather unresistable impossibilitie they found in it, using neverthelesse materiall remedies, to tame, to weaken and coole the body.  And we on the other side would have them sound, healthy, strong, in good liking, welfed and chaste together, that is to say, both hot and 

<Mont3-86>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

colde.  For marriage, which we averre should hinder them from burning, affords them but smal refreshing, according as our manners are.  If they meet with a husband whose force by reason of his age is yet boyling, he will take a pride to spend it else-where.

Sit tandem pudor, aut eamus in ius,
Multis mentula millibus redempta,
Non est haec tua, Basse, vendidisti./1
The philosopher Polemon was iustly called in question by his wife, for sowing in a barren fielde the fruit due to the fertile.  But if they match with broken stuffe in ful wedlocke, they are in worse case then either virgins or widowes.  Wee deeme them sufficiently furnished if they have a man lie by them.  As the Romans reputed Clodia Leta a vestall-virgin defloured, whom Caligula had touched, although it was manifestly prooved he had but approached her; But on the contrary, their need or longing is thereby encreased; for but the touch or company of any man whatsoever stirreth up their heate, which in their solytude was husht and quiet, and lay as cinders raked up in ashes.  And to the end, as it is likely, to make by this circumstance and consideration their chastitie more meritorious:  Boleslaus and Kinge his wife, King and Queene of Poland, lying together, the first day of their mariage vowed it with mutuall consent, and in despight of all wedlocke commoditie of nuptiall delightes maintained the same.  Even from their infancy wee frame them to the sports of love: their instruction, behaviour, attire, grace, learning and all their words aimeth onely at love, respects onely affection.  Their nurces and their keepers imprint no other thing in them, then the lovelinesse of love, were it but by continually presenting the same unto them, to distaste them of it: my daughter (al the children I have) is of the age wherein the lawes excuse the forwardest to marry.  She is of a slowe, mee and milde complexion, and hath accordingly beene brought up by hir mother in a
1 MART. 1. xii.  Epig. xcix. 10. 
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retired and particular manner: so that shee beginneth but now to put-off childish simplicitie.  She was one day reading a French booke before me, an obscene word came in her way (more bawdie in sound then in effect, it signifieth the name of a Tree and another thing), the woman that lookes to hir staid her presently, and somwhat churlishly making her step over the same:  I let hir alone, because I would not crosse their rules, for I medle nothing with this government: womens policie hath a mysticall proceeding, we must be content to leave it to them.  But if I be not deceived, the conversation of twenty lacqueis could not in six moneths have setled in her thoughts, the understanding, the use and consequences of the sound belonging to those filthy sillables as did that good olde woman by her checke and interdiction.

Motus doceri gaudet Ionicos.
Matura virgo, et fingitur artubus
Jam nunc, et incestos amores
De tenero? neditatur ungui./1

Maides mariage-ripe straight to be taught delight
Ionique daunces, fram'de by arte aright
In every joynt, and ev'n from their first haire
Incestuous loves in meditation beare.

Let them somwhat dispence with ceremonies, let them fal into free libertie of speach; we are but children, we are but gulles, in respect of them, about any such subject.  Heare them relate how we sue, how we wooe, how we sollicitie, and how we entertaine them, they will soone give you to understand that we can say, that we can doe, and that we can bring them nothing but what they already knew, and had long before digested without us.  May it be (as Plato saith) because they have one time or other beene themselves wanton, licentious and amorous lads?  Mine eares hapned one day in a place, where without suspicion they might listen and steale some of their private, lavish and bould discourses; O why is it not lawful for 1 HOR.  Car. 1. iii.  Od. vi. 21. 
<Mont3-88>         MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

me to repeate them?  Birlady (quoth I to my selfe), It is high time indeed for us to go studie the phrases of Amadis, the metaphors of Aretine, and eloquence of Boccace, thereby to become more skilfull, more ready and more sufficient to confront them: surely we bestow our time wel; there is nor quaint phrase nor choise word, nor ambiguous figure, nor patheticall example, nor love-expressing gesture, nor alluring posture, but they know them all better then our bookes: it is a cunning bred in their vaines and will never out of the flesh,

Et mentem Venus ipsa dedit./1

Venus her selfe assign'de
To them both meanes and minde,

which these skill infusing Schoole-mistresses nature, youth, health and opportunitie, are ever buzzing in their eares, ever whispering in their minds: they need not learn, nor take paines about it; they beget it, with them it is borne.
Nec tantum niveo gavisa est nulla columbo
Compar, vel si quid dicitur improbius,
Oscula mordenti semper decerpere rostro:
Quantum praecipue multivola est mulier./2

No pigeons hen, or paire, or what worse name
You list, makes with hir Snow-white cock such game,
With biting bill to catch when she is kist,
As many-minded women when they list.

Had not this naturall violence of their desires beene somwhat held in awe by feare and honor, wherewith they have beene provided, we had all beene defamed.  All the worlds motions bend and yeeld to this conjunction, it is a matter every-where infused; and a Centre whereto all lines come, all things looke.  The ordinances of ancient and wise Rome, ordained for the service, and instituted for the behoofe of love, are yet to be seene: together with the precepts of Socrates to instruct courtizans.
1 VIRG.  Geor. 1. iii. 267. 2 CATUL.  Eleg. iv. 125. 
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Nec non libelli Stoici inter sericos
Iacere paluillos amant./1

Ev'n Stoicks books are pleas'd
Amidst silke cushions to be eas'd.

Zeno among other laws, ordered also the struglings, the opening of legges, and the actions, which happen in the deflowring of a virgin.  Of what sense was the book of Strato the philosopher, of carnall copulation?  And whereof treated Theopbrastus in those he entitled, one The Lover, the other Of Love?  Whereof Aristippus in his volume Of ancient deliciousnesse or sports? What implied or what imported the ample and lively descriptions in Plato, of the loves practised in his dayes?  And the lover of Demetrius Phalereus? And Clinias, or the forced lover of Heraclides Ponticus?  And that of Antisthenes, of the getting of children, or of weddings?  And the other, Of the Master, or of the lover?  And that of Aristo Of amorous exercises?  Of Cleanthes, one of love, another of the Art of love?  The amorous dialogues of Spherus? And the filthy intolerable, and without blushing not to be uttered fable of Iupiter and luno, written by Chrysippus?  And his so lascivious fifty Epistles?  I will oinit the writings of some Philosophers who have followed the sect of Epicurus, protectresse of all maner of sensuality and carnall pleasure.  Fifty severall Deities were in times past allotted to this office. And there hath beene a nation found, which to allay and coole the lustfull concupiscence of such as came for devotion, kept wenches of purpose in their temples to be used; and it was a point of religion to deale with them before one went to prayers.  Nimirum propter continentiam incontinentia necessaria est, incendium ignibus extinguitur: 'Belike we must be incontinent that we may be continent, burning is quenched by fire.' In most places of the world that part of our body was deified.  In that same province some flead it to offer, and consecrated a peece thereof; others offred and consecrated their seed:  In
1 HOR.  Epod. viii. 15. 
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another the young men did publikely pierce and in divers places open their yard between flesh and skin, and thorow the holes put the longest and biggest stickes they could endure, and of those stickes made afterwards a fire, for an offring to their Gods, and were esteemed of small vigour and lesse chastity if by the force of that cruell paine they shewed any dismay.  Else- where the most sacred magistrate was reverenced and acknowledged by those parts.  And in divers ceremonies the portraiture thereof was carried and shewed in pompe and state, to the honour of sundry Deities.  The AEgyptian dames in their Bacchanalian feasts wore a wodden one about their necks, exquisitely fashioned, as huge and heavy as every one could conveniently beare: besides that which the statue of their God represented, which in measure exceeded the rest of his body.  The maried women here-by, with their Coverchefs frame the figure of one upon their forheads; to glory, themselves with the enjoying they have of it; and comming to be widowes, they place it behind, and hide it under their quoifes.  The greatest and wisest matrons of Rome were honoured for offring flowers and garlands to God Priapus. And when their Virgins were maried, they (during the nuptials) were made to sit upon their privities.  Nor am I sure whether in my time I have not seene a glimps of like devotion.  What meant that laughter-moving, and maids looke-drawing peece our fathers wore in their breeches, yet extant among the Switzers?  To what end is at this present day the shew of our formall under our Gascoine hoses? and often (which is worse) above their naturall greatnesse, by falshood and imposture?  A little thing would make me believe that the said kinde of garment was invented in the best and most upright ages, that the world might not be deceived, and all men should yeeld a publike account of their sufficiency.  The simplest nations have it yet somewhat resembling the true forme.  Then was the worke-mans skill instructed, how it is to be made, by the measure of the arme or foot.  That good-meaning 

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man, who in my youth, thorowout his great city, caused so many faire, curious and ancient statues to be guelded, lest the sense of seeing might be corrupted, following the advice of that other good ancient man

Flagitii principium est nudare inter cives corpora./1

Mongst civill people sinne,
By baring bodies we beginne,

should have considered, how in the mysteries of the good Goddesse, all apparance of man was excluded; that he was no whit neerer, if he did not also procure both horses and asses, and at length nature her selfe to be guelded.
Omne adeo qenus in terris, hominumque ferarumque, Et genus aequoreum, pecuaes, pictaeque volucres, Infurias ignemque ruunt./2

All kindes of things on earth, wilde beast, mankinde,
Field-beasts, faire-fethered fowle, and fish (we finde) Into loves fire and fury run by kinde.

The Gods (saith Plato) have furnished man with a disobedient, skittish, and tyraniiicall member; which like an untamed furious-beast, attempteth by the violence of his appetite to bring all things under his becke.  So have they allotted women another as insulting, wilde and ferce; in nature like a greedy, devouring, and rebellious creature, who if when he craveth it, hee bee refused nourishment, as inpatient of delay, it enrageth; and infusing that rage into their bodies stoppeth their conduicts, hindreth their respiration, and causeth a thousand kindes of inconveniences; untill sucking up the fruit of the generall thirst, it have largely bedewed and enseeded the bottome of their matrix.  Now my law-giver should also have considered that peradventure it were a more chaste and commodiously fruitfull use betimes to give them a knowledge and taste of the quicke, then according to the liberty and heate of their fantasies suffer them to ghesse and imagine the same.  In lieu of true essentiall parts they by desire surmise and by hope substitute others,
1 CIC.  Tusc. 1. iv.  En. 2 VIRG.  Georg. 1. iii. 244.
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three times as extravagant.  And one of my acquaintance was spoiled by making open shew of his in place, where yet it was not convenient to put them in possession of their more serious use.  What harme cause not those huge draughts or pictures, which wanton youth with chalke or coales draw in each passage, wall, or staires of our great houses, whence a cruell contempt of our natural store is bred in them?  Who knoweth whether Plato, ordaining amongst other well-instituted Commonwealths, that men and women, old and yoong, should in their exercises or Gymnastickes present themselves naked one to the sight of another, aimed at that or no?  The Indian women, who daily without interdiction view their men all over, have at least wherewith to assuage and coole the sense of their seeing.  And whatsoever the women of that great kingdome of Pegu say, who from their waist downward, have nothing to cover themselves but a single cloth slith before; and that so straight that what nice modestie or ceremonious decencie soever they seem to affect, one may plainly at each step see what God hath sent them: that it is an invention or shift devised to draw men unto them, and with-draw them from other men or boies, to which unnaturall brutish sinne that nation is wholly addicted: it might be said, they lose more than they get: and that a full hunger is more vehement then one which hath beene glutted, be it but by the eyes.  And Livia said, that to an honest woman a naked man is no more then an Image.  The Lacedemonian women, more virgin-wives then are our maidens, saw every day the young men of their citie naked at their exercises: themselves nothing precise to hide their thighes in walking, esteeming themselves (saith Plato) sufficiently cloathed with their vertue, without vardingall.  But those of whom S.  Augustine speaketh, have attributed much to nakednesse, who made a question, whether women at the last day of judgement should rise againe in their proper sex, and not rather in ours, lest even then they tempt us in that holy state.  In summe, we lure and every way flesh 

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them: we uncessantly enflame and encite their imagination: and then we cry out, But oh, but oh, the belly.  Let us confesse the truth, there are few amongst us that feare not more the same they may have by their wives offences, than by their owne vices; or that cares not more (oh wondrous charity) for his wives, then his own conscience; or that had not rather be a theefe and church-robber, and have his wife a murderer and an heretike, then not more chaste than himselfe.  Oh impious estimation of vices!  Both wee and they are capable of a thousand more hurtfull and unnaturall corruptions then is lust or lasciviousnesse.  But we frame vices and waigh sinnes, not according to their nature, but according to our interest; whereby they take so many different unequall formes.  The severity of our lawes makes womens inclination to that vice more violent and faulty then it's condition beareth; and engageth it to worse proceedings then is their cause.  They will readily offer rather to follow the practise of law, and plead at the barre for a fee, or go to the warres for reputation, then in the midst of idlenesse and deliciousnesse be tied to keepe so hard a Sentinell, so dangerous a watch.  See tbey not plainly, how there is neither Merchant, Lawyer, Souldier, or Church-man, but will leave his accounts, forsake his client, quit his glory and neglect his function, to follow this other businesse. {Lear+} And the burden-bearing porter, souterly cobbler and toilefull labourer, all harassed, all besmeared and all bemoiled through travell, labour and trudding, will forget all, to please himselfe with this pleasing sport.

Num tu quae tenuit dives Achaemenes,
Aut pinguis Phryqiae Mygdonias opes,
Permutare velis crine Liciniae,
Plenas aut Arabum domos,
Dum fragrantia detorquet ad oscula
Cervicem aut facili saevitia negat,
Quae poscente magis gaudeat eripi,
Interdum rapere occupet?/1
1 HOR.  Car. 1. ii.  Od. xii. 21.
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Would you exchange for your faire mistresse haire,
All that the rich Achaemenes did hold,
Or all that fertill Phrygias soile doth beare,
Or all th'Arabians store of spice and gold?
Whilst she to fragrant kisses turnes her head,
Or with a courteous coinesse them denies;
Which more then he that speeds she would have sped,
And which sometimes to snatch she formost hies?
     I wot not whether Caesars exploits, or Alexanders atchivements exceed in hardinesse the resolution of a beauteous young woman, trained after our manner in the open view and uncontrolled conversation of the world, sollicited and battered by so many contrary examples, exposed to a thousand assaults and continuall pursuits, yet still holding her selfe good and unvanquished.  There is no point of doing more thorny nor more active then this of not doing.  I finde it easier to beare all ones life a combersome armour on his backe then a maiden-bead.  And the vow of virginity is the noblest of all vowes, because the hardest.  Diaboli virtus in lumbis est:/1  'The divel's master-point lies in our loines,' saith St.  Jerome. Surely we have resigned the most difficult and vigorous devoire of mankinde unto women, and quit them the glory of it, which might stead them as a singular motive to opinionate themselves therein, and serve them as a worthy subiect to brave us, and trample under feet that vaine preheminence of valour and vertue we pretend over them.  They shall finde (if they but heed it) that they shall thereby not only be highly regarded, but also more beloved.  A gallant undaunted spirit leaveth not his pursuits for a bare refusall; so it bee a refusall of chastitie, and not of choise.  Wee may sweare, threaten and wailingly complaine; we lie, for we love them the better.  There is no enticing lure to wisdome and secret modestie; so it be not rude, churlish, and froward.  It is blockishnesse and basenesse to be obstinately willfull against hatred and contempt.  But against a vertuous and constant resolution matched
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with an acknowledging minde, it is the exercise of a noble and generous minde. {Millamant+} They may accept of our service+ unto a certaine measure, and make us honestly perceive how they disdaine us not, for the law which enjoineth them to abhorre us because we adore them, and hate us forsomuch as love them, is doubtlesse very cruell, were it but for it's difficultie. Why may they not listen to our offers and not gaine-say our requests, so long as they containe themselves within the bounds of modestie?  Wherefore should we imagine they inwardly affect a freer meaning?  A Queene of our time said wittily, that 'to refuse mens kinde summons is a testimony of much weaknesse, and an accusing of ones own facility; and that an unattempted Lady could not vaunt of her chastitie.' Honours limits are not restrained so short; they may somewhat be slacked, and without offending somewhat dispensed withall.  At the end of his frontiers there is left a free, indifferent, and newter space.  He that could drive and force his mistresse into a corner and reduce her into her fort, hath no great matter in him if he be not content with his fortune.  The price or honor of the conquest is rated by the difficultie.  Will you know what impression our merits, your services and worth have made in her heart?  Iudge of it by her behaviour and disposition.
     Some one may give more that (all things considered) giveth not so much.  The obligation of a benefit hath wholly reference unto the will of him that giveth; other circumstances which fall within the compasse of good-turnes, are dumbe, dead and casuall.  That little she giveth may cost her more then all her companion hath.  If rarenesse be in any thing worthy estimation, it ought to be in this.  Respect now how little it is, but how few have it to give.  The value of money is changed according to the coine, stampe or marke of the place.  Whatsoever the spight or indiscretion of some may upon the excesse of their discontentment make them say:  Vertue and truth doe ever recover their advantage.  I have knowen some whose reputation hath long time beene impeached by wrong 

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and interessed by reproach, restored unto all mens good opinion and generall approbation without care or art, onely by their constancie, each repenting and denying what he formerly beleeved.  From wenches somewhat suspected, they now hold the first ranke amongst honourable ladies.  Some told Plato that all the world spake ill of him: 'Let them say what they list,' quoth hee, 'I will so live that Ile make them recant and change their speeches.' Besides the feare of God and the reward of so rare a glory which should incite them to preserve themselves, the corruption of our age enforceth them unto it, and were I in their clothes, there is nothing but I would rather doe then commit my reputation into so dangerous hands. In my time the leasure of reporting and blabbing what one hath done (a pleasure not much short of the act it selfe in sweetnesse) was only allowed to such as had some assured, trustie, and singular friend; whereas now-a-daies the ordinary entertainements and familiar discourses of meetings and at tables are the boastings of favours received, graces obtained, and secret liberalities of Ladies.  Verily, it is too great an abjection and argueth a basenesse of heart, so fiercely to suffer these tender, daintie, delicious joyes to be persecuted, pelted, and foraged by persons so ungratefull, so undiscreet, and so giddy-headed. {blabbing+} This our immoderate and lawlesse exasperation against this vice, proceedeth and is bred of jealousie; the most vaine and turbulent infirmitie that may afflict mans minde.

Quis vetat apposito lumen de lumine sumi?
Dent licet assidue, nil tamen inde perit./1

To borrow light of light, who would deny?
Though still they give, nothing is lost thereby.

That, and Envie her sister, are (in mine opinion) the fondest of the troupe. Of the latter, I cannot say much; a passion which how effectuall and powerfull soever they set forth, of her good favour she medleth
1 OVID.  Art.  Amand. 1. iii. 93. 
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not with me.  As for the other I know it only by sight.  Beasts have some feeling of it.  The shepheard Cratis being fallen in love with a shee Goat, her Bucke for jealousie beat out his braines as hee lay asleepe.  Wee have raised to the highest straine the excesse of this moodie feaver, after the example of some barbarous nations:  The best disciplines have therewith beene tainted, it is reason, but not carried away by it

Ense maritali nemo confossus adulter,
Purpureo stygias sanguine tinxit aquas.

With husbands sword yet no adulter slaine,
With purple blood did Stygian waters staine.

     Lucullus, Caesar, Pompey, Anthony, Cato, and divers other gallant men were Cuckolds, and know it, though they made no stirre about it.  There was in all that time but one gullish coxcombe Lepidus, that died with the anguish of it.
Ah tum te miserum malique fati,
Quaem attractis pedibus patente porta.
Percurrent mugilesque raphanique./1

Ah thee then wretched, of accursed fate,
Whom Fish-wives, Redish-wives of here estate,
Shall scoffing over-runne in open gate.

And the God of our Poet, when he surprised one of his companions napping with his wife, was contented but to shame them:
Atque aliquis de iis non tristibus optat,
Sic fieri turpis./2

Some of the merier Gods doth wish in heart
To share their shame, of pleasure to take part.

And yet forbeareth not to be enflamed with the gentle dalliances and amorous blandishments she offereth him, complaining that for so slight a matter he should distrust her to him deare-deare affection
1 CATUL.  Lyr.  Epig. xv. 17. 2 OVID.  Met. 1. iv. 187. 
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Quid causes petis ex alto? fiducia cessit
Quo tibi Diva mei/1

So farre why fetch you your pleas pedigree?
Whither is fled the trust you had in mee?
And which is more, she becomes a suiter to him in the behalfe of a bastard of hers,
Arma rogo genitrix nato./2

A mother for a sonne, I crave,
An armor he of you may have.

Which is freely granted her: and Vulcan speakes honourably of Aeneas,
Arma acri facienda viro./3

An armour must be hammered out,
For one of courage sterne and stout.

In truth with an humanity more then humane.  And which excesse of goodnesse by my consent shall onely be left to the Gods
Nec divas hominis componier aequum est./4

Nor is it meet, that men with Gods
Should be compar'd, there is such ods.

As for the confusion of children, besides that the gravest law-makers appoint and affect it in their Common-wealths, it concerneth not women with whom this passion is, I wot not how in some sort better placed, fitter seated. Saepe etiam Iuno maxima coelicolum Conjugis inculpa flagravit quotidiana./5 Ev'n Juno, chiefe of Goddesses, oft-time, Hath growne hot at her husbands daily crime.  When jealousie once seazeth on these silly, weake, and unresisting soules, 'tis pitiful to see how cruelly it
1 VIRG.  Aen. 1. viii. 395. 2 VIRG.  Aen. 1. viii. 382. 3 Ib. 441. 4 CATUL.  Eleg. iv. 141. 5 Ib. 138. 
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tormenteth, insultingly it tyrannizeth them.  It insinuateth it selfe under colour of friendship; but after it once possesseth them, the same causes which served for a ground of good-will, serve for the foundation of mortall hatred.  Of all the mindes diseases, that is it, whereto most things serve for sustenance, and fewest for remedy.  The vertue, courage, health, merit and reputation of their husbands are the firebrands of their despight, and motives of their rage.

Nullae sunt inimicitiae nisi amoris acerbae./1

No enmities so bitter prove
And sharpe, as those which spring of love.

This consuming feaver blemisheth and corrupteth all that otherwise is good and goodly in them.  And how chaste or good a huswife soever a jealous woman is, there is no action of hers but tasteth of sharpnesse and smaks of importunity. It is a furious perturbation, a moody agitation, which throwes them into extremities altogether contrary to the cause.  The successe of one Octavius in Rome was strange, who, having layen with and enjoied the love of Pontia Posthumia, increased his affection by enjoying her, and instantly sued to mary her; but being unable to perswade her, his extreme passionate love precipitated him into effects of a most cruell, mortall and inexorable hatred., whereupon he killed her.  Likewise the ordinary Symptomes or assions of this other amorous disease are intestine hates, slie Monopolies, close conspiracies:
Notumque, furens quid foemina possit./2

It is knowne what a woman may,
Whose raging passions have no stay.

And a raging spight, which so much the more fretteth it self by being forced to excuse it selfe under pretence of good-will.  Now the duty of chastitie hath a large extension and farre-reaching compasse.  Is it
1 PROPERT. 1. ii.  El. viii. 3. 2 VIRG.  Aen. 1. v. 6. 
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their will we would have them to bridle?  That's a part very pliable and active.  It is very nimble and quick-rolling to bee staied.  What?  If dreames do sometimes engage them so farre as they cannot dissemble nor deny them; It lieth not in them (nor perhaps in chastitie it selfe, seeing she is a female) to shield themselves from concupiscence and avoid desiring. If only their will interesse and engage us, where and in what case are we?  Imagine what great throng of men there would bee in pursuit of this privilege, with winged speed (though without eies and without tongue) to be conveied upon the point of every woman that would buy him.  The Scythian women were wont to thrust out the eies of all their slaves and prisoners taken in warre, thereby to make more free and private use of them.  Oh what a furious advantage is opportunitie!  He that should demand of me what the chiefe or first part in love is, I would answer, To know how to take fit time; even so the second, and likewise the third.  It is a point which may doe all in all.  I have often wanted fortune, but sometimes also enterprise. God shield him from harme that can yet mocke himselfe with it.  In this age more rashnesse is required; which our youths excuse under colour of heat.  But should our women looke neerer unto it, they might finde how it rather proceedeth of contempt.  I superstitiously feared to offend; and what I love I willingly respect.  Besides that, who depriveth this merchandize of reverence, defaceth all luster of it.  I love that a man should therein somewhat play the childe, the dastard and the servant.  If not altogether in this, yet in some other things I have some aires or motives of the sottish bashfulnesse+, whereof Plutarch speaketh; and the course of my life hath diversly beene wounded and tainted by it: a qualitie very ill beseeming my universall forme.  And what is there amongst us but sedition and jarring? Mine eyes be as tender to beare a refusall as to refuse; and it doth so much trouble me to be troublesome to others, that where occasions force me or dutie compelleth me to trie 

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the will of any one, be it in doubtfull things, or of cost unto him, I do it but faintly and much against my will but if it be for mine owne private businesse (though Homer say most truly, that in an indigent or needy man, bashfulnesse is but a fond vertue) I commonly substitute a third party, who may blush in my roome: and direct them that employ mee, with like difficulty: so that it hath sometimes befallen me to have the will to deny when I had not power to refuse.  It is then folly to go about to bridle women of a desire so fervent and so naturall in them.  And when I heare them bragge to have so virgin-like a will and cold mind, I but laugh and mocke at them.  They recoile too farre backward.  If it be a toothlesse beldame or decrepit grandame, or a young drie pthisicke starveling; if it be not altogether credible, they have at least some colour or apparence to say it.  But those which stirre about and have a little breath left them, marre but their market with such stuffe: forsomuch as inconsiderate excuses are no better then accusations.  As a Gentleman my neighbour, who was suspected of insufficiencie,

Languidior tenera cui pendens sicula beta,
Nunquam se mediam sustulit ad tunicam,/1
to justifie himselfe, three or foure dayes after his mariage, swore confidently that the night before he had performed twenty courses, which oath hath since served to convince him of meere ignorance, and to divorce him from his wife.  Besides, this allegation is of no great worth; for there is nor continencie nor vertue where no resistance is to the contrary.  It is true, may one say, but I am not ready to yeeld.  The Saints themselves speake so.  This is understood of such as boast in good earnest of their coldnesse and insensibility, and would be credited with a serious countenance: for, when it is from an affected looke (where the eyes give words the lie) and from the faltring speech of their profession (which ever workes against
1 CAT.  Eleg. iii. 21. 
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the wooll) I allow of it.  I am a duteous servant unto plainnesse, simplicity and liberty; {PlainDealer+} but there is no remedie, if it be not meerely plaine, simple, or infantine; it is fond, inept and unseemely for Ladies in this commerce; it presently inclineth and bendeth to impudence.  Their disguisings, their figures and dissimulations cozen none but fooles; there lying sitteth in the chaire of honour; it is a by-way, which by a false posterne leads us unto truth.  If we cannot containe their imaginations, what require we of them? the effects?  Many there be who are free from all strangers communication, by which chastitie may be corrupted and honestie defiled.

Illud saepe facit, quod sine teste facit/1

What she doth with no witness to it,
She often may be found to do it.

And those whom we feare least are peradventure most to be feared; their secret sins are the worst.
Ofendor moecha simpliciore minus./2

Pleas'd with a whores simplicity.
Offended with her nicitie.

There are effects which without impuritie may lose them their pudicitie, and which is more, without their knowledge.  Obstetrix virginis cuiusdam integritatem manu velut explorans, sive malevolentia, sive inscitia, sive casu, dum inspicit, perdidit: 'A Midwife searching with her finger into a certaine maiden's virginity, either for ill will, or of unskilfulnesse, or by chance, whilest shee seekes and lookes into it, shee lost and spoiled it.' Some one hath lost or wronged her virginity in looking or searching for it; some other killed the same in playing with it.  Wee are not able precisely to circumscribe them the actions we forbid them:  Our law must be conceived under generall and uncertaine termes.  The very Idea we forge unto their chastity is
1 MART. 1. vii.  Epiq. lxi. 6. 2 MART. 1. vi.  Epig. vii. 6. 
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ridiculous.  For amongst the extremest examples or patternes I have of it, it is Fatua, the wife of Faunas, who, after shee was maried, would never suffer her selfe to be seene of any man whatsoever.  And Hierons wife, that never felt her husbands stinking breath, supposing it to be a quality common to all men.  It were necessary, that to satisfie and please us, they should become insensible and invisible.  Now let us confesse that the knot of the judgement of this duty consisteth principally in the will.  There have beene husbands who have endured this accident, not only without reproach and offence against their wives, but with singular acknowledgment, obligation and commendation to their vertue.  Some one that more esteemed her honestie then she loved her life, hath prostituted the same unto the lawlesse lust and raging sensuality of a mortall hatefull enemy, thereby to save her husbands life; and hath done that for him which she never could have beene induced to do for her selfe. {Man_of_Mode+} This is no place to extend these examples; they are too high and over-rich to be presented in this luster: let us therefore reserve them for a nobler seat.  But to give you some examples of a more vulgar stampe.  Are there not women daily seene amongst us, who for the only profit of their husbands, and by their expresse order and brokage, make sale of their honesty?  And in old times Phaulius the Argian, through ambition offred his to King Philip.  Even as that Galba, who bestowed a supper on Mecenas, perceiving him and his wife beginne to bandy eie-trickes and signes, of civility shrunke downe upon his cushion, as one expressed with sleepe, to give better scope unto their love: which he avouched as pretily: for at that instant a servant of his, presuming to lay hands on the plate which was on the table, he cried outright unto him: 'How now varlet? seest thou not I sleepe only for Mecenas?' One may be of loose behaviour, yet of purer will and better reformed then another who frameth her selfe to a precise apparance.  As some are seene complaine because they vowed chastitie before yeeres of discretion or knowledge, so have I seene 

<Mont3-104>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

others unfainedly bewaile and truly lament that they were vowed to licentiousnesse and dissolutenes before the age of judgement and distinction.  The parents leaudnesse may be the cause of it; or the force of impulsive necessity, which is a shrewd counsellor and a violent perswader.  Though chastity were in the East Indias of singular esteeme, yet the custome permitted that a maried wife might freely betake her selfe to what man soever did present her an Elephant: and that which some glory to have been valued at so high a rate.  Phedon the philosopher, of a noble house, after the taking of his country Elis, professed to prostitute the beauty of his youth to all commers, so long as it should continue, for money to live with and beare his charges. And Solon was the first of Grece (say some), who by his lawes gave women liberty, by the price of their honestie, to provide for their necessities: A custome which Heroditus reporteth to have beene entertained before him in divers commonwealths.  And moreover, what fruit yeelds this carefull vexation?  For, what justice soever be in this passion, yet should we note whether it harrie us unto our profit or no.  Thinkes any man that he can ring them by his industrie?

Pone seram, cohibe; sed quis custodiet ipsos
Custodes? cauta est, et. ab illis incipit uxor./1

Keepe her with locke and key: but from her who shall keepe
Her Keepers?  She begins with them, her wits so deepe.

What advantage sufficeth them not in this so skilfull age?  Curiosity is everywhere vicious, but herein pernicious.  It is meere folly for one to seeke to be resolved of a doubt, or search into a mischiefe, for which there is no remedie, but makes it worse, but festereth the same: the reproach whereof is increased, and chiefely published by jealousie; and the revenge whereof doth more wound and disgrace our children then it helpeth or graceth us.  You waste away and die in pursuit of so concealed a mysterie, of so obscure a
1 JUVEN.  Sat. vi. 247. 
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verification.  Whereunto how piteously have they arrived, who in my time have attained their purpose?  If the accuser or intelligencer present not withall the remedy and his assistance, his office is injurious, his intelligence harmefull, and which better deserveth a stabbe then doth a lie.  Wee flout him no lesse that toileth to prevent it, then laugh at him that is a Cuckold+ and knowes it not.  The character of cuckoldrie is perpetuall; on whom it once fastneth it holdeth for ever.  The punishment bewraieth it more then the fault.  It is a goodly sight to our private misfortunes from out the shadow of oblivion or the dungeon of doubt, for to blazon and proclaimes them on Tragicall Stages; and misfortunes which pinch us not, but by relation. For (as the saying is) she is a good wife, and that a good marriage, not that is so indeed, but whereof no man speaketh.  Wee ought to be wittly-wary to avoid this irksome, this tedious and unprofitafile knowledge.  The Romans were accustomed, when they returned from any journey, to send home before, and give their wives notice of their comming, that so they might not surprize them.  And therefore hath a certaine nation instituted the Priest to open the way unto the Bridegroome, on the wedding day, thereby to take from him the doubt and curiosity of searching in this first attempt, whether shee come a pure virgin to him, or be broken and tainted with any former love.  But the world speakes of it.  I know a hundred Cockolds which are so honestly and little undecently.  An honest man and a gallant spirit is moaned, but not disesteemed by it.  Cause your vertue to suppresse your mishap, that honest- minded men may blame the occasion and curse the cause; that he which offends you may tremble with onely thinking of it.  And, moreover, what man is scot- free, or who is not spoken of in this sense, from the meanest unto the highest?

------ tot qui legionibus imperitavit, Et melior quam tu multis fuit, improbe, rebus./1
1 LUCR. 1. iii .1070

<Mont3-106>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES
He that so many bands of men commanded,
Thy better much, sir knave, was much like branded.
     Seest then not how many honest men, even in thy presence, are spoken of and touched with this reproach?  Imagine then they will be as bold with thee, and say as much of thee else-where.  For no man is spared.  And even Ladies will scoffe and prattle of it.  And what do they now adaies more willingly flout at, then at any wel composed and peaceable mariage?  There is none of you all but hath made one Cuckold or other.  Now nature stood ever on this point, Kae mee Ile kae thee, and ever ready to bee even alwaies on recompences and vicissitude of things, and to give as good as one brings.  The long-continued frequence of this accident should by this time have seasoned the bitter taste thereof:  It is almost become a custome.  Oh miserable passion, which hath also this mischiefe, to be an incommunicable.
Fors etiam nostris invidit quaestibus aures./1

Fortune ev'n eares envied,
To heare us when we cried.

For to what friend dare you entrust your grievances, who, if hee laugh not at them, will not make use of them, as a direction and instruction to take a share of the quarie or bootie to himselfe?  As well the sowrenesse and inconveniences, as the sweetnesse and pleasures incident to mariage, are secretly concealed by the wiser sort.  And amongst other importunate conditions belonging to wedlocke, this one, unto a babling fellow as I am, is of the chiefest; that tyrannous custome makes it uncomely and hurtfull for a man to communicate with any one all hee knowes and thinkes of it. {blabbing+} To give women advice to distaste them from jealousies were but time lost or labour spent in vaine.  Their essence is so infected with suspicion, with vanity and curiosity, that we may not hope to cure them by
1 CATUL.  Her.  Argon. 170. 
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any lawfull meane.  They often recover of this infirmitie by a forme of health, much more to be feared then the disease it selfe.  For even as some inchantment cannot ridde away an evill but with laying it on another, so when they lose it, they transferre and bestow this maladie on their husbands.  And to say truth, I wot not whether a man can endure anythinly at their hands worse then jealousie; of all their conditions it is most dangerous, as the head of all their members.  Pittacus said, that every man had one imperfection or other, his wives curst pate was his;' and but for that, he should esteeme himselfe most happy.  It must needs be a weightie inconvenience, wherewith so just, so wise and worthy a man, felt the state of his whole life distempered: what shall we petie fellowes doe then?  The Senate of Marceille had reason to grant and enroll his request who demanded leave to kill himselfe, thereby to free and exempt himselfe from his wives tempestuous scolding humor; for it is an evill that is never cleane rid away but by removing the whole peece: and hath no other composition of worth, but flight or sufferance; both too-too hard, God knowes.  And in my conceit, he understood it right that said, a good mariage might be made betweene a blinde woman and a deafe man.  Let us also take heed, lest this great and violent strictnesse of obligation we enjoine them, produce not two effects contrary to our end: that is to wit, to set an edge upon their suiters stomacks, and make women more easie to yeeld.  For, as concerning the first point, enhancing the price of the place, we raise the price and endeare the desire of the conquest.  Might it not be Venus her selfe, who so cunningly enhanced the market of her ware by the brokage or pandarizing of the lawes? knowing how sottish and tasteless a delight it is, were it not enabled by opinion and endeared by dearnes.  To conclude, it is all but hogges flesh, varied by sauce, as said a roguish Flaminius his hoast. Cupid is a roguish God; his sport is to wrestle wit] devotion and to contend with justice.  It is his glory, that his power checketh and 

<Mont3-108>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

copes all other might, and that all other rules give place to his.

Materiam culpae prosequiturque suae./1

He prosecutes the ground,
Where he is faulty found.

And as for the second point; should wee not be lesse Cuckolds if we lesse feared to be so; according to womens conditions: whom inhibition inciteth, and restraint inviteth.
Ubi velis folunt, ubi nolis volunt ultro:/2

They will not when you will,
When you will not, they will;

Concessa pudet ire via./3

They are asham'd to passe
The way that granted was.

What better interpretation can we finde concerning Messalinas demeanor? In the beginning she made her silly husband Cuckold secretly and by stealth (as the fashion is) but perceiving how uncontrolled and easily she went on with her matches, by reason of the stupidity that possessed him, shee presently contemned and forsooke that course, and began openly to make love, to avouch her servants, to entertaine and favour them in open view of all men; and would have him take notice of it, and seeme to be distasted with it: but the silly gull and senselesse coxcombe awaked not for all this, and by his over-base facility, by which hee seemed to authorize and legitimate her humours, yeelding her pleasures weerish, and her amours tastelesse: what did shee?  Being the wife of an Emperour, lustie in health and living; and where?  In Rome, on the worlds chiefe theater, at high noone-day, at a stately feast, in a publike ceremonie; and which is more, with one Silius, whom long time before she had freely enjoied, she was solemnly maried one day that her
1 OVID.  Trist.El. i. 34. 2 TER.  Eunuc. act iv. sc. 6. 3 LUCAN. 1. ii. 445. 
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husband was out of the Citie.  Seemes it not that she tooke a direct course to become chaste, by the retchlesnesse of her husband? or that she sought another husband, who by jealousie might whet her appetite, and who insisting might incite her?  But the first difficultie she met with was also the last.  The drowzie beast rouzed himselfe and suddenly started up. One hath often the worst bargaines at the hands of such sluggish logger heads.  I have seene by experience, that this extreme patience or long-sufferance, if it once come to be dissolved, produceth most bitter and outragious revenges: for, taking fire all at once, choller and fury hudling all together, becomming one confused chaos, clattereth foorth their violent effects at the first charge.

Irarumque omnes effundit habenas./1

It quite lets loose the raine,
That anger should restraine.

He caused both her and a great number of her instruments and abettors to be put to death; yea such as could not doe withall, and whom by force of whipping she had allured to her adulterous bed.  What Virgill saith of Venus and Vulcan, Lucretius had more sutably said it of a secretly-stolne enjoying betweene her and Mars,
     -----belli fera munera Mavors
Armipotens regit, in gremium qui saepe tuum se
Reiicit, aeterno devinctus vulnere amoris:
Pascit amore aridos inhians in te Dea visus,
Eque tuo endet resupini spiritus ore:
Hunc tu Diva tuo recubantem corpore sancto
Circumfusa super, suaveis ex ore loquelas

Mars, mighty arm'd, rules the fierce feats of armes,
Yet often casts himselfe into thine armes,
Oblig'd thereto by endlesse wounds of love,
Gaping on thee feeds greedy sight with love,

1 VIRG.  Aen. 1. xii. 499. 2 LUCR. 1. i. 38.
<Mont3-110>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES
His breath hangs at thy mouth who upward lies,
Goddesse thou circling him, while he so lies,
With thy celestiall body, speeches sweet
Powre from thy mouth (as any Nectar sweet).  When I consider this, reiicit, pascit, inhians, molli, fovet, medullas, labefacta, pendet, percurrit, and this noble circumfusa, mother of gentle infusus, I am vexed at these small points and verball allusions, which since have sprung up.  To those well-meaning people there needed no sharpe encounter or witty equivocation: their speech is altogether full and massie, with a naturall and constant vigor: they are all epigram, not only taile, but head, stomacke, and feet.   There is nothing forced, nothing wrested, nothing limping; all marcheth with like tenour.  Contextus totus virilis est, non sunt circa flosculos occupati.  The whole composition or text is manly+, they are not bebusied about Rhetorike flowers.  This is not a soft quaint eloquence, and only without offence; it is sinnowie, materiall, and solid; not so much delighting, as filling and ravishing, and ravisheth most the strongest wits, the wittiest conceits.  When I behold these gallant formes of expressing, so lively, so nimble, so deepe, I say not this is to speake well, but to think well. It is the quaintnesse or livelinesse of the conceit that elevateth and puffes up the words.  Pectus est quod disertum facit: 'It is a mans owne brest that makes him eloquent.' Our people terme judgement, language; and full conceptions, fine words.  This pourtraiture is directed not so much by the hands dexterity as by having the object more lively printed in the minde.  Gallus speakes plainly {PlainDealer+} because he conceiveth plainly. Horace is not pleased with a sleight or superficiall expressing, it would betray him; he seeth more cleere and further into matters: his spirit pickes and ransaketh the whole store of words and figures, to shew and present himselfe; and he must have them more then ordinary, as his conceit is beyond ordinary.  Plutarch saith that he discerned the Latine tongue by things. Here likewise the sense enlighteneth and 
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produceth the words: no longer windy or spongy, but of flesh and bone. They signifie more then they utter.  Even weake ones shew some image of this.  For, in Italie, I spake what I listed in ordinary discourses, but in more serious and pithy I durst not have dared to trust to an Idiome which I could not winde or turne beyond it's common grace or vulgar bias. I will be able to adde and use in it somewhat of mine owne.  The managing and emploiment of good wits endeareth and giveth grace unto a tongue: not so much innovating as filling the same with more forcible and divers services, wresting, straining and enfolding it.  They bring no words unto it, but enrich their owne, waigh downe and cramme-in their signification and custome; teaching it unwonted motions; but wisely and ingenuously.  Which skill how little it is given to all, may plainly bee discerned by most of our moderne French Writers.  They are over-bold and scornefull, to shunne the common trodden path: but want of invention and lacke of discretion looseth them. There is nothing to be seene in them but a miserable strained affectation of strange Inke-pot termes; harsh, cold and absurd disguisements, which in stead of raising, pull downe the matter.  So they may gallantize and flush it in novelties they care not for efficacies To take hold of a new farre-fetcht word, they neglect the usuall, which often are more significant, forcible and sinnowie. {PlainDealer+} I finde sufficient store of stuffs in our language, but some defect of fashion.  For there is nothing but could be framed of our Hunters gibbrish words or strange phrases, and of our Warriours peculiar tearmes; a fruitfull and rich soile to borrow of.  And as hearbes and trees are bettered and fortified by being trans-planted, so formes of speach are embellished and graced by variation.  I finde it sufficiently plenteous, but not sufficiently plyable and vigorous.  It commonly faileth and shrinketh under a pithy and powerfull conception.  If your march therein be far extended, you often feele it droope and languish under you, unto whose default the Latine doth now and then present 

<Mont3-112>           MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

his helping hand, and the Greeke to some others.  By some of these words which I have culled out, we more hardly perceive the Energie or effectuall operation of them, forsomuch as use and frequencie have in some sort abased the grace and made their beauty vulgar.  As in our ordinary language we shall sometimes meete with excellent phrases and quaint metaphors, whose blithenesse fadeth through age, and colour is tarnish by too common using them.  But that doth nothing distaste those of sound judgement, nor derogate from the glory of those ancient Authors, who, as it is likely, were the first that brought these words into luster, and raised them to that straine. The sciences handle this over finely with an artificiall maner, and different from the vulgar and naturall forme.  My Page makes love, and understands it feelingly; Read Leon Hebraeus or Ficinus unto him; you speake of him, of his thoughts and of his actions, yet understands he nothing what you meane.  I nor acknowledge nor discerne in Aristotle the most part of my ordinary motions.  They are clothed with other robes, and shrouded under other vestures for the use of Academicall schooles.  God send them well to speed; but were I of the trade, I would naturalize Arte as much as they Artize nature. [Farewell,] Benbo and Equicola.  When I write I can well omit the company, and spare the remembrance of books; for feare they interrupt my forme.  And in truth good Authours deject me too-too much, and quaile my courage.  I willingly imitate that Painter who, having bungler-like drawne and fondly represented some Cockes forbad his boies to suffer any live Cocke to come into his shop.  And to give my selfe some luster or grace have rather neede of some of Antinonides the Musicians invention; who, when he was to play any musick, gave order that before or after him, some other bad musicians should cloy and surfet his auditory.  But I can very hardly be without Plutark+, he is so universall and so full, that upon all occasions, and whatsoever extravagant subject you have undertaken, he intrudeth himselfe into your 

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work, and gently reacheth you a helpe-affording hand, fraught with rare embelishments and inexhaustible of precious riches.  It spights me that he is so much exposed unto the pillage of those which haunt him.  He can no sooner come in my sight, or if I cast but glance upon him, but I pull some legge or wing from him.  For this my dissignement, it much fitteth my purpose that I write in mine owne house, in a wild country, where no man belpeth or releeveth me; where I converse with no body that understands the Latine of his Pater noster, and as little of French.  I should no doubt have done it better else where, but then the worke had beene lesse mine, whose principall drift and perfection is to be exactly mine.  I could mend an accidentall errour, whereof I abound in mine unwary course; but it were a kinde of treason to remove the imperfections from me, which in me are ordinary and constant. {PlainDealer+} When any body else, or my selfe have said unto my selfe:  Thou art too full of figures or allegories; here is a word meerely- bred Gaskoyne; that's a dangerous phrase: (I refuse none that are used in the frequented streets of France, those that will combat use and custome by the strict rules of Grammar do but jest) there's an ignorant discourse, that's a paradoxicall relation: or there's a foolish conceit: thou doest often but dally: one will thinke thou speakest in earnest what thou hast but spoken in jest.  Yea (say I), but I correct unadvised, not customarie errors.  Speake I not so every where?  Doe I not lively display my selfe?  That sufficeth:  I have my will:  All the world may know me by my booke, and my booke by me: but I am of an Apish and imitating condition. When I medled with making of verses (and I never made any but in Latine), they evidently accused the poet I came last from reading.  And of my first Essayes, some taste a little of the stranger.  At Paris I speake somewhat otherwise then at Montaigne.  Whom I behold with attention, doth easily convay and imprint something of his in me.  What I heedily consider, the same I usurpe: a 

<Mont3-114>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

foolish countenance, a crabbed looke, a ridiculous manner of speach. And vices more: because they pricke mee, they take fast bold upon mee, and leave nice not, unlesse I shake them off.  I have more often beene heard to sweare by imitation then by complexion.  Oh injurious and dead-killing imitation: like that of those huge in greatnesse and matchlesse in strength Apes, which Alexander met withall in a certaine part of India: which otherwise it had beene hard to vanquish.  But by this their inclination to counterfeit whatsoever they saw done, they afforded the meanes.  For, thereby the Hunters learn't in their sight to put on shooes, and tie them with many strings and knots; to dresse their heads with divers strange attires, full of sliding- knots and dissemblingly to rub their eyes with Glew or Bird-lime; so did those silly harmlesse beasts indiscreetly employ their Apish disposition. They ensnared, glewed, entrameled, haltred and shackled themselves.  That other faculty of Extempore and wittily representing the gestures and words of another, which often causeth sport and breedeth admiring, is no more in me then in a blocke.  When I sweare after mine owne fashion, it is onely by God; the directest of all oathes.  They report that Socrates swore by a Dogge; Zeno by that interjection (now a daies used amongst the Italies) Capari; and Pithagoras by water and by aire.  I am so apt at unawares to entertaine these superficiall impressions, that if but for three daies together I use myselfe to speake to any Prince with your Grace or your Highnesse, for eight daies after I so forget my selfe, that I shall still use them for your Honour or your Worship: and what I am wont to speake in sport or jest, the next day after I shall speake in good serious earnest. Therefore in writing I assume more unwillingly much beaten arguments, for feare I handle them at others charges.  All arguments are alike fertile to me.  I take them upon any trifle.  And I pray God this were not under-taken by the commandement of a minde as fleeting.  Let me begin with that likes me best, for all matters 

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are linked one to another.  But my conceit displeaseth me, for somuch as it commonly produceth most foolish dotages from deepest studies, and such as content me on a suddaine, and when I least looke for them; which as fast fleete away, wanting at that instant some holde fast.  On horse-backe, at the table, in my bed; but most on horse-backe, where my amplest meditations and my farthest reaching conceits are.  My speach is somewhat nicely jealous of attention and silence; if I be in any earnest talke, who interrupteth me, cuts me off.  In travell, even the necessity of waies breakes off discourses. Besides that I most commonly travell without company, which is a great helpe for continued reasonings: whereby I have sufficient leasure to entertaine my selfe.  I thereby have that successe I have in dreames:  In dreaming I commend them to my memory (for what I dream I doe it willingly), but the next morning I can well call to minde what colour they were of, whether blith, sad or strange; but what in substance, the more I labour to finde out, the more I overwhelme them in oblivion.  So of casuall and unpremeditated conceits that come into my braine, nought but a vaine image of them remaineth in my memory; so much only as sufficeth unprofitably to make me chafe, spight and fret in pursuite of them.  Well, then, leaving bookes aside, and speaking more materially and simply, when all is done I find that love is notthing else but an insatiate thirst of enjoying a greedily desired subject.  Nor Venus that good huswife, other then a tickling delight of emptying ones seminary vessels: as is the pleasure which nature giveth us to discharge other parts, which becommeth faulty by immoderation and defective by indiscretion.  To Socrates love is an appetite of generation by the mediation of beauty.  Now, considering oftentimes the ridiculous tickling or titilation of this pleasure, the absurd giddy, and hare-braind motions wherwith it tosseth Zeno and agitates Cratippus: that unadvised rage, that furious and with cruelty enflamed visage in loves lustfull and sweetest effects: and then a grave, 

<Mont3-116>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

sterne, severe, surly countenance in so fond-fond an action, that one hath pell-mell lodged our joyes and filthes together, and that the supremest voluptuous-nesse both ravisheth and plaineth, as doth sorrow:  I beleeve that which Plato saies to be true, that man was made by the Gods for them to toy and play withall. {flies+}

     ----- quaenam ista jocandi Saeuitia?

What cruelty is this, so set on jesting is?

And that Nature in mockery left us the most troublesome of our actions, the most common: thereby to equall us, and without distinction to set the foolish and the wise, us and beasts all in one ranke; no barrel better Hering. {common+} When I imagine the most contemplative and discreetly-wise- men in these tearmes in that humour, I hold him for a cozener, for a cheater to seeme either studiously contemplative or discreetly wise.  It is the foulenesse of the peacockes feete which doth abate his pride, and stoope his gloating-eyed tayle:
-----ridentem dicere verum,
Quid vetat?/1



What should forbid thee sooth to say, yet be as mery as we may.

Those which in playes refuse serious opinions, do as one reporteth, like unto him who dreadeth to adore the image of a Saint, if it want a cover, an aprone or a tabernacle.  We feed full well and drinke like beasts; but they are not actions that hinder the offices of our mind.  In those we hold good our advantage over them, whereas this brings each other thought under subjection, and by it's imperious authority makes brutish and dulleth all Platoes philosophy and divinity of it.  In all other things you may observe decorum and maintaine some decency: all other operations admit some rules of honesty; this cannot onely be imagined, but vicious or ridiculous.
1 HOR.  Ser. 1. i.  Sat. ii. 24. 
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See whether for example sake you can but find a wise or discreete proceeding in it.  Alexander said that he knew himselfe mortall chiefly by this action and by sleeping; sleepe doth stifle and suppresseth the faculties of our soule, and that both endevoureth and dissipates them.  Surely it is an argument not onely of our originall corruption, but a badge of our vanity and deformity. On the one side nature urgeth us unto it; having thereunto combined, yea fastned the most noble, the most profitable, and the most sensually-pleasing of all her functions; and on the other sutereth us to accuse, to condemne and to shunne it, as insolent, as dishonest and as lewde, to blush at it, and allow, yea and to commend abstinence.  Are not we most brutish to terme that worke beastly which begets and which maketh us?  Most people have concurred in divers ceremonies of religion, as sacrifices, luminaries, fastings, incensings, offrings, and amongst others, in condemnation of this action. All opinions agree in that, besides the so farre-extended use of circumcision. Wee have peradventure reason to blame our selves for making so foolish a production as man, and to entitle both the deed and parts thereto belonging shamefull (mine are properly so at this instant).  The Esseniens, of whom Plinie speaketh, maintained themselves a long time without nurces or swathling clothes by the arrival of strangers that came to their shoares, who seconding their fond humor, did often visit them.  A whole nation hazarding rather to consume then engage themselves to feminine embracements, and rather lose the succession of all men then forge one.  They report that Zeno never dealt with woman but once in all his life, which be did for civility, least he should over obstinately seeme to contemne the sex.  Each one avoideth to see a man borne, but all runne hastily to see him dye.  To destroy him we seeke a spacious field and a full light, but to construct him we hide our selves in some darke corner and worke as close as we may.  It is our dutie to conceale our selves in making him; it is our glory, and the originall of many vertues 

<Mont3-118>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

to destroy him being framed.  The one is a manifest injury, the other a greater favor, for Aristotle saith that in a certaine phrase, where he was borne, to bonifie or benefit was as much to say as to kill one.  The Athenians, to eqnall the disgrace of these two actions, being to cleanse the Ile of Delos and justify themselves unto Apollo forbad within that precinct all buriall and births, Nostri nosmet poenitet;/1  'We are weary of our selves.' There are some nations that when they are eating they cover themselves.  I know a Lady (yea one of the greatest) who is of opinion that to chew is an unseemly thing, which much empaireth their grace and beauty, and therefore by hir will she never comes abroad with an appetite; And a man that cannot endure one should see him eate, and shunneth all company more when he filleth then when he emptieth himselfe.  In the Turkish Empire there are many who to excell the rest will not be seene when they are feeding, and who make but one meale in a weeke, who mangle their face and cut their limmes, and who never speake to anybody, who think to honour their nature by disnaturing themselves: oh fantasticall people that prize themsefves by their contempt and mend their empairing.  What monstrous beast is this that maks himselfe a horror to himselfe, whom his delights displease, who tyes himselfe unto misfortune?  Some there are that conceale their life,

Exilioque domos et dulcia limina mutant,/2

They change for banishment,
The places that might best content,

and steale it from the sight of other men; That eschew health and shunne mirth as hatefull qualities and harmefull.  Not onely divers Sects but many people curse their birth and blesse their death.  Some there be that abborre the glorious Sunne and adore the hidious darkenesse.  We are not ingenious but to our own vexation; It is the true foode of our spirits force; a dangerous and most unruly implement.
1 TER.  Phor. 2 VIRG.  Geor. 1. ii. 511 
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O miseri quorum gaudia crimen habent./1

O miserable they, whose joyes in fault we lay.

Alas, poore silly man, thou hast but too-too necessary and unavoidable incommodities, without increasing them by thine owne invention, and are sufficiently wretched of condition without any arte; thou aboundest in reall and essentiall deformities, and need not forge any by imagination. Doest thou find thy selfe too well at ease, unless the moiety of thine ease molest thee?  Findest thou to have supplied or discharged al necessary offices wherto nature engageth thee, and that she is idle in thee, if thou bind not thy selfe unto new offices?  Thou fearest not to offend hir universall and undoubted lawes, and art mooved at thine owne partiall and fantasticall ones.  And by how much more particular, uncertaine, and contradicted they are, the more endevours thou bestowest that way.  The positive orders of thy parish tie thee, those of the. world do nothing concerne thee.  Runne but a little over the examples of this consideration, thy life is full of them.  The verses of these two poets, handling lasciviousnesse so sparingly and so discreetly as they do in my conceit, seeme to discover and display it nearer; ladies cover their bosome with networke, priests many sacred things with a vaile, and painters shadow their workes to give them the more luster and to adde more grace unto them.  And they say that the streakes of the Sunne and force of the winde are much more violent by reflection then by a direct line.  The Egyptian answered him wisely that asked him what he had hidden under his cloake? 'It is,' quoth he, 'hidden under my cloake that thou maiest not know what it is.' But there are certaine other things which men conceale to shew them.  Hear this fellow more open:
Et nudam pressi corpus ad usque meum,/2

My body I applide, Even to her naked side,

1 COR.  GAL.  El. i. 188. 2 OVID.  Am. i.  El. v. 24.
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Methinkes he baffles me.  Let Martiall at his pleasure tuck-up Venus he makes her not by much appeare so wholly.  He that speakes all he knows, doth cloy and distaste us.  Who feareth to expresse himselfe, leadeth our conceite to imagine more then happily he conceiveth.  There is treason in this kind of modesty, and chiefly as these do in opening us so faire a path unto imagination.  Both the action and description should taste of purloyning.  The love of the Spaniards and of the Italians pleaseth me; by how much more respective and fearefull it is, the more nicely close and closely nice it is, I wot not who in ancient time wished his throat were as long as a Cranes neck that so hee might the longer and more leasurely taste what he swallowed.  That wish were more to purpose than this suddaine and violent pleasure:  Namely, in such natures as mine, who am faulty in suddainenesse.  To stay her fleeting and delay her with preambles, with them all serveth for favour, all is construed to be a recompence, a wink, a cast of the eye, a bowing, a word, or a signe, a becke is as good as a Dew guard.  Hee that could dine with the smoake of roste-meat, might he not dine at a cheape rate? would he not soone bee rich?  It is a passion that commixeth with small store of solide essence, great quantity of doating vanity and febricitant raving: it must therefore be requited and served with the like.  Let us teach Ladies to know how to prevaile, highly to esteeme themselves, to ammuse, to circumvent and cozen us.  We make our last charge the first; we shew our selves right French men, ever rash, ever headlong. Wire-drawing their favours and enstalling them by retaile, each one, even unto miserable old age, findes some listes end, according to his worth and merite.  He who hath no jovissance but in enjoying, who shootes not but to hit the marke, who loves not hunting but for the prey; it belongs not to him to entermedle with our Schoole.  The more steps and degrees there are, the more delight and honour is there on the top.  We should bee pleased to bee brought unto it as unto stately Pallaces by divers 

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porches, severall passages, long and pleasant Galleries, and well contrived turnings.  This dispensation would in the end redound to our benefite; we should stay on it, and longer love to lie at Racke and Manger, for these snatches and away marre the grace of it.  Take away hope and desire, we grow faint in our courses, we come but lagging after.  Our mastery and absolute possession is infinitely to bee feared of them.  After they have wholy yeelded themselves to the mercy of our faith and constancy+, they have hazarded something.  They are rare and difficult vertues: so soone as they are ours, we are no longer theirs.

     -----postquam cupidae mentis satiata libido est.
Verba nihil metuere, nihil perjuria curant./1

The lust of greedy minde once satisfied,
They feare no words; nor reke othes falsified.

And Thrasonides, a young Grecian, was so religiously amorous of his love, that having after much suit gained his mistris hart and favour, he refused to enjoy hir, least by that jovissance he might or quench, or satisfie, or languish that burning flame and restlesse heat wherwith be gloried, and so pleasingly fed himselfe.  Things farre fetcht and dearly bought are good for Ladyes.  It is the deare price makes viands savour the better. See but how the forme of salutations, which is peculiar unto our nation, doth by its facility bastardize the grace of kisses, which Socrates saith, to be of that consequence, waight and danger, to ravish and steale our hearts.  It is an unpleasing and injurious custome unto Ladies, that they must afford their lips to any man that hath but three Lackies following him, how unhandsome and lothsome soever he be:
Cuius livida naribus caninis,
Dependet glacies, rigetque barba?
Centum occurrere malo culilingis./2

From whose dog-nosthrils black-blew Ise depends,
Whose beard frost-hardned stands on bristled ends, &c.

1 CATUL.  Arg. v. 147. 2 MART. 1. v.  Epig. xciv. 10.
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Nor do we our selves gaine much by it: for as the world is divided into foure parts, so for foure faire ones we must kisse fiftie foule: and to a nice or tender stomack, as are those of mine age, one ill kisse doth, surpay one good.  In Italy they are passionate and languishing sutors to very common and mercinarie women; and thus they defend and excuse themselves, saying, That even in enjoying there be certaine degrees, and that by humble services they will endevour to obtaine that which is the most absolutely perfect.  They sell but their bodyes, their willes cannot be put to sale; that is too free, and too much it's owne.  So say these, that it is the will they attempt, and they have reason:  It is the will one must serve and most solicite.  I abhor to imagine mine, a body voide of affection. And me seemeth this frenzie hath some affinity with that boyes fond humor, who for pure love would wantonize with that fayre Image of Venus which Praxiteles had made; or of the furious Aegyptian who lusted after a dead womans corpes, which he was embaulming and stitching up: which was the occasion of the lawe that afterward was made in Aegypt, that the bodies of faire, young, and nobly borne women should be kept three dayes before they should be delivered into the hands of those who had the charge to provide for their funerals and burials.  Periander did more miraculously, who extended his conjugall affection (more regular and lawfull) unto the enjoying of Melissa his deceased wife.  Seemes it not to be a lunatique humor in the Moone, being otherwise unable to enjoy Endimion her favorite darling, to lull him in a sweete slumber for many moneths together; and feed hirselfe with the jovissance of a boye, that stirred not but in a dreame?  I say likewise, that a man loveth a body without a soule when be loveth a body without his consent and desire.  All enjoyings are not alike. There are some hecticke, faint and languishing ones.  A thousand causes, besides affection and good will, may obtaine us this graunt of women.  It is no sufficient testimony of true affection: therein may lurke treason, 

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as elsewhere: they sometime goe but faintly to worke, and as they say with one buttocke

Tan quam thura inerumque parent;/1

As though they did dispense
Pure Wine and Frankincense.

Absentem marmoreamve putes,/2

Of Marble you would thinke she were,
Or that she were not present there.

I knowe some that would rather lend that then their coach, and who empart not themselves, but that way: you must also marke whether your company pleaseth them for some other respect or for that end onely as of a lustie-strong grome of a stable: as also in what rank and at what rate you are there lodged or valued
     -----tibi si datur uni;
Quo lapide illa diem candidiore notet./3

If it afforded be to thee alone,
Whereby she counts that day of all dayes one.

What if she eate your bread with the sauce of a more pleasing imagination?
Te tenet, absentes alios suspirat amores./4

Thee she retaines, yet sigheth she
For other loves that absent be.

What? have we not seene some in our dayes to have made use of this action for the execution of a most horrible revenge, by that meanes murthering and empoysoning (as one did) a very honest woman? such as know Italie will never wonder if for this subject I seeke for no examples elsewhere.  For the said nation may in that point be termed Regent of the world.  They have commonly more faire women, and fewer foule then we; but in rare and excellent beauties I thinke we match them.  The like I judge of their wits, of the vulgar sort they have evidently many more.  Blockishnes is without all comparison more rare
1 MART. 1. xi.  Epig. xiv. 5. 12. 2 Ib. lxi. 8. 3 CATUL.  Eleg. iv. 147. 4 TIBUL. iv.  Eleg. v. 11. 
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amongst them: but for singular wits, and of the highest pitch, we are no whit behinde them.  Were I to extend this comparison, I might (me thinkes) say, touching valor+, that on the other side, it is in regard of them popular and naturall amongst us: but in their hands one may sometimes finde it so compleate and vigorous, that it exceedeth all the most forcible examples we have of it.  The mariages of that countrie are in this somewhat defective.. Their custome doth generally impose so severe observances and slavish lawes upon wives, that the remotest acquaintance with a stranger is amongst them as capitall as the nearest.  Which law causeth that all aproaches prove necessarily substanciall; and seeing all commeth to one reckoning with them, they have an easie choise: and have they broken downectheir hedges?  Beleeve it, they will have fire:  Luxuria ipsis vinculis, sicut fera bestia, irritata, deinde emissa: 'Luxurie is like a wild beast, first made fiercer with tying, and then let loose.' They must have the reynes given them a little.

Vidi ego nuper equum contra sua frena tenacem
Ore reluctante fulminis ire modo./1

I saw, spite of his bit, a resty colt,
Runne head-strong headlong like a thunder-bolt.

They allay the desire of company by giving it some liberty.  It is a commendable custome with our nation that our children are entertained in noble houses there, as in a schoole of nobility to be trained and brought up as Pages+. And 'tis said to be a kinde of discourtesie to refuse it a gentleman.  I have observed (for so many houses so many severall formes and orders) that such Ladies as have gone about to give their waiting women the most austere rules, have not had the best successes.  There is required more then ordinary moderation: a great part of their government must bee left to the conduct of their discretion:  For, when all comes to all, no discipline can bridle them in each point.  True it is that
1 OVID.  Am. 1. iii.  Eleg. iv. 13. 
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she who escapeth safe and unpolluted from out the schoole of fredome, giveth more confidence of hirselfe than she who commeth sound out of the schoole of severity and restraint.  Our forefathers framed their daughters countenances unto shamefastnesse and feare (their inclinations and desires alwaies alike), we unto assurance.  We understand not the matter.  That belongeth to the Sarmatian wenches, who by their lawes may lie with no man, except with their owne hands they have before killed another man in warre.  To me that have no right but by the eares, it sufficeth if they retaine me to be of their counsell, following the priviledge of mine age, I then advise both them and us to embrace abstinence, but if this season bee too much against it, at least modestie and discretion.  For as Aristippus (speaking to some young men who blushed to see him go into a bawdy house) said, 'The fault was not in entring, but in not comming out again.' She that will not exempt hir conscience, let hir exempt hir name; though the substance bee not of worth, yet let the apparance hold still good.  I love gradation and prolonging in the distribution of their favours.  Plato sheweth that in all kindes of love, facility and readinesse is forbidden to defendants. 'Tis a trick of greedinesse which it behoveth them to cloake with their arte, so rashly and fond-hardily to yeeld themselves in their distributions of favours, holding a and moderate course, they much better deceive our desires and conceale theirs.  Let them ever be flying before us:  I meane even those that intend to bee overtaken as the Scithians are wont, though they seeme to runne away they heate us more, and sooner put us to route. Verily according to the lawe which nature giveth them, it is not fit for them to will and desire: their part is to beare, to obay, and to consent. Therefore hath nature bestowed a perpetual capacity; on us a seld and uncertaine ability.  They have alwaies their houre, that they may ever be ready to let us enter.  And whereas she hath willed our appetites should make apparant shew and declaration, she caused theirs to bee 

<Mont3-126>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

concealed and inward: and hath furnihed them with parts unfit for ostentation, and onely for defence.  Such prankes as this we must leave to the Amazonian liberty.  Alexander the great, marching through Hircania, Thalestris, Queen of the Amazones, came to meet him with thre hundred lances of her sex, all well mounted and compleately armed, having left the residue of a great armie, that followed hir, beyond the neighbouring mountaines.  And thus aloud, that all might heare, she bespake him:  That the farre-resounding fame of his victories and matchles valour had brought hir thither to see him, and to offer him hir meanes and forces for the advancing and furthering of his enterprises.  And finding him so faire, so young and strong, she, who was perfectly accomplished in all his qualities, advised him to lye with hir, that so there might be borne of the most valiant woman in the world, and only valiant man then living, some great and rare creature for posterity.  Alexander thanked hir for the rest, but to take leasure for hir last demands accomplishment, he staide thirteene daies in that place, during which be revelled with as much glee, and feasted with as great jollity, as possibly could be devised, in honour and favour of so courageous a Princess. Wee are well-nigh in all things parciall and corrupted Judges of their action, as no doubt they are of ours.  I allow of truth as well when it hurts me as when it helps me.  It is a foule disorder, that so often urgeth them unto change, and hinders them from setting their affection on any one subject: as wee see in this Goddesse, to whom they impute so many changes and severall friends.  But withall it is against the nature of love+ not to be violent, and against the condition of violence to be constant.  And those who wonder at it exclaime it against it, and in women search for the causes of this infirmity, as incredible and unnaturall: why see they not how often without any amazement and exclaiming, themselves are possessed and infected with it?  I might happily seeme more strange to find any constant stay in them.  It is not a passion meerely corporeall.  If no end be found in coveteousnesse, nor 

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limit in ambition, assure your selfe there is nor end nor limit in letchery. It yet continueth after saciety: nor can any man prescribe it or end or constant satisfaction.  It ever goeth on beyond it's possession, beyond it's bounds.  And if constancy be peradventure in some sort more pardonable in them then in us, They may readily alleage against us our ready inclination unto daily variety and new ware; And secondly alleage without us, that they buy a pigge in a poake.  Ione, Queene of Naples caused Andreosse her first husband to be strangled and hanged out of the barres of his window, with a corde of Silke and golde woven with her owne hands; because in bed businesse she found neither his members nor endevours answerable the hope shee had conceived of him, by viewing his stature, beauty, youth, and disposition, by which she had formerly beene surprised and abused.  That action hath in it more violence then passion; so that on their part at least necessity is ever provided for: on our behalfe it may happen otherwise.  Therefore Plato by his lawes did very wisely establish, that before marriages, the better to decide it's opportunity, competent Judges might be appointed to make view of young men which pretended the same, all naked: and of maidens but to the waste: in making triall of us, they happily find us not worthy their choise:  Experta latus, madidoque simillima loro Inguina, nec lassa stare coacta manu Deserit imbelles thalamos./1 It is not sufficient that will keepe a lively course: weakenesse and incapacity may lawfully breake wedlock:  Et quaerendum aliunde foret neruosius illud Quod posset Zonam soluere virgineam./2
     Why not, and according to measure, an amorous intelligence, more licentious and more active?
1 MART. 1. vii.  Epig. lvii. 8. 2 CATUL.  Eleg. iii. 27. 

<Mont3-128>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES
Si blando nequeat superesse labori./1

If it cannot outlast, labor with pleasure past.

     But is it not great impudency to bring our imperfections and weakenesse, in place where we desire to please, and leave good report and commendation behind us? for the little I now stand in need of,            ------ ad unum
Mollis opus.
Unable to hold out, one onely busie bout,
I would not importune any one whom I am to reverence.

     -----fuge suspicari,
Cuius undenum trepidavit aetas
Claudere lustrum./2

Him of suspition clears,
Whom age hath brought well neare
To five and fifty yeare.

Nature should have beene pleased to have made this age miserable, without making it also ridiculous. {usthem+} I hate to see one for an inch of wretched vigor, which enflames him but thrice a week, take-on and swagger as fiercely as if he hath some great and lawfull dayes-worke in his belly; a right blast or puffe of winde: and admire his itching, so quick and nimble, all in a moment to be lubberly squat and benummed.  This appetite should only belong to the blossom of a prime youth.  Trust not unto it, thogh you see it second that indefatigable, full, constant and swelling heate, that is in you: for truly it will leave you at the best, and when you shall most stand in neede of it.  Send it rather to some tender, irresolute and ignorant girle, which yet trembleth for feare of the rod, and that will blush at it, Indum sanguineo veluti violaverit ostro Si quis ebur, vel mista rubent ubi lilia, multa Alba rosa./3
1 VIRG.  Geor. 1. iii. 127. 2 HOR..  Car. 1. ii.  Od. iv. 22. 3 VIRG. Aen. 1. xii. 67. 
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As if the Indian Ivory one should taint With bloody Scarlet-graine, or Lillies paint, White entermixt with red with Roses enter-spred.  Who can stay untill the next morrow, and not die for shame, the disdaine of those love sparkling eyes, privie to his faintnesse, dastardise and impertinencie: El taciti fecere tamen conuitia vultus:/1 The face though silent, yet silent upbraydes it: he never felt the sweet contentment, and the sense-mooving earnestness to have beaten and tarnished them by the vigorous exercise of an officious and active night.  When I have perceived any of them weary of me, I have not presently accused her lightnes: but made question whether I had not more reason to quarrell with nature, for handling me so unlawfully and uncivilly, Si non longa satis, si non bene mentula crassa:  Nimirum sapiunt videntque paruam Matronae quoque mentuiam illibenter,/2 and to my exceeding hurt.  Each of my pieces are equally mine, one as another: and no other doth more properly make me a man then this.  My whole pourtraiture I universally owe unto the world.  One wisedome and reach of my lesson is all in truth, in liberty, in essence: disdaining in the catalogue of my true duties, these easie, faint, ordinary and provincial] rules.  All naturall; constant and generall; whereof civility and ceremonie are daughters, but bastards.  We shall easily have the vices of apparance, when we shall have had those of essence.  When we have done with these, we run upon others, if we finde need of running.  For there is danger that we devise new offices, to excuse our negligence toward naturall offices, and to confound them. That is so, we see that in places where faults are bewitchings, bewitchings are
1USVID.  Amor. 1. i.  El. vii. 21. 2 Lus.  Priap. penul. i. ib. viii. 4. 

<Mont3-130>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

but faults.  That among nations, where lawes of seemelinesse are more rare and slacke, the primitive lawes of common reason are better observed: The innumerable multitude of so manifold duties, stifling, languishing and dispersing our care.  The applying of our selves unto sleight matters, with- draweth us from such as be just.  Oh how easie and plausible a course do these sperficiall men undertake, in respect of ours.  These are but shadowes under which we shroud, and wherwith we pay one another.  But we pay not, but rather heape de on debt, unto that great and dreadfull judge, who tucks up our clouts and rags from about our privie parts, and is not squeamish to view all over, even to our most inward and secret deformities: a beneficiall decencie of our maidenly bashfulnesse, could it debar him of this tainted discovery.  To conclude, he that could recover or un-besot man, from so scrupulous and verball a superstition, should not much prejudice the world. Our life consisteth partly in folly and partly in wisedome.  Hee that writes of it but reverently and regularly, omits the better moitie of it.  I excuse me not unto my selfe, and if I did, I would rather excuse my excuses then any fault else of mine:{selfcrit+} I excuse my selfe of certaine humors, which in number I hold stronger then those which are on my side:  In consideration of which I will say thus much more (for I desire to please all men, though it be a hard matter:  Esse unum hominem accommodatum ad tantam morum ac sermonum et voluntatum varietatem: 'That one man should be applyable to so great variety of manners, speeches and dispositions') that they are not to blame me, for what I cause auctorities received and approved of many ages, to utter: and that it is not reason, they should for want of ryme deny me the dispensation; which ever some of our churchmen usurpe and enjoy in this season, whereof behold here two, and of the most pert and cocket amongst them:  Rimula dispeream, ni mono qramma tua est.  Un vit d'amy la contents et rien traitte. 

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How many others more?  I love modestie+; nor is it from judgement that I have made choise of this kinde of scandalous speech: 'tis nature hath chosen the same for me; I commend it no more then all formes contrary unto received custome: onely I excuse it: and by circumstances as well generall as particular, would qualifie the imputation.  Well, let us proceed.  Whence commeth also the usurpation of soveraigne auctority, which you assume unto your selves, over those that favour you to their cost and prejudice,

Si furtiva dedit nigra munuscula nocte,/1

If she have giv'n by night,
The stolne gift+ of delight,

that you should immediately invest withall the interest, the coldness and a wedlock authority?  It is a free bargaine, why do you not undertake it on those termes you would have them to keepe?  There is no prescription upon voluntarie things.  It is against forme, yet it is true that I have in my time managed this match (so farre as the nature of it would allow) with as much conscience as any other whatsoever, and not without some colour of justice: and have given them no further testimony of mine affection then I sincerely felt: and have lively displaide unto them the decllnation, vigor and birth of the same; with the fits and deferring of it:  A man cannot alwayes keepe an even pace, nor ever go to it alike.  I have bin so sparing to promise+, that (as I thinke) I have paid more then either I promised or was due. {Kent+} They have found mee faithfull, even to the service of their inconstancy:  I say an inconstancy avowed, and sometimes multiplied. I never broke with them, as long as I had any hold, were it but by a threds- end: and whatsoever occasion they have given me by their ficklenes, I never fell off unto contempt and hatred: for such famliarities, though I attaine them on most shamefull conditions, yet do
1 CATUL.  Eleg. iv. 145. 
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they bind me unto some constant good-will.  I have sometime given them a taste of choller and indiscret impatience, upon occasions of their wiles, sleights, close-convayances, controversies and contestations betweene us; for, by complexion, I am subject to hastie and rash motions, which often empeach my traffick, and marre my bargaines, though but meane and of small worth.  Have they desired to essay the liberty of my judgement, I never dissembled to give them fatherly counsell and biting advise, and shewed myselfe ready to scratch them where they itched.  If I have given them cause to complaine of me, it hath bin most for finding a love in me, in respect of our moderne fashion, foolishly conscientious.  I have religiously kept my word in things that I might easily have bin dispensed with.  They then yeelded sometimes with reputation, and under conditions, which they would easily suffer to bee infringed by the conqueror.  I have more then once made pleasure in hir greatest efforts strike saile unto the interest of their honor+: and where reason urged me, armed them against me, so that they guided themselves more safely and severely by my prescriptions, if they once freely yeelded unto them, then they could have done by their owne.  I have as much as I could endevored to take on my selfe the charge and hazard of our appointments, therby to discharge them from all imputation; and ever contrived our meetings in most hard, strange and unsuspected manner, to be the lesse mistrusted, and (in my seeming) the more accessible.  They are opened, especially in those parts where they suppose themselves most concealed.  Things lest feared are lest defended and observed.  You may more securely dare what no man thinks you would dare, which by difficulty becometh easie.  Never had man his approches more impertinently genitale. {Dorimant+} This way to love is more according to discipline.  But how ridiculous unto our people, and of how small effect, who better knowes then I?  I will not repent me of it:  I have no more to lose by the matter. 

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     -----me tabula sacer
Votiva paries, indicat uvida,
Suspendisse potenti
Vestimenta maris Deo./1

By tables of the vowes which I did owe
Fastened thereto the sacred wall doth showe;
I have hung up my garments water-wet,
Unto that God whose power on seas is great.

It is now high time to speake plainely of it.  But even as to another, I would-perhaps say:  My friend thou dotest, the love of thy times hath small affinity with faith and honesty:
     -----haec si tu postules
Ratione certa facere, nihilo plus agas,
Quam si des operam; ut cum ratione insanias./2

If this you would by reason certaine make,
You do no more then if the paines you take
To be starke mad, and yet to thinke it reason fit.

And yet if I were to beginne anew, it should bee by the very same path and progresse, how fruitlesse soever it might proove unto me, Insufficiency and sottishnesse are commendable in a discommendable action.  As much as I separate my selfe from their humour in that, so much I approach unto mine owne.  Moreover, I did never suffer my selfe to be wholly given over to that sport; I therewith pleased, but forgot not my selfe.  I ever kept that little understanding and dis-cretion which nature hath bestowed on me, for their service and mine; some motion towards it, but no dotage. My conscience also was engaged therein, even unto incontinency and excesse, but never unto ingratitude, treason, malice, or cruelty.  I bought not the pleasure of this vice at all rates, and was content with it's owne and simple cost. Nullum intra se vitium est:/3 'There is no vice contained in it selfe.' I hate almost alike a crouching and dull lasinesse and a toilesome
1 HOR.  Car. 1. i.  Od. v. 13. 2 TER.  Eunuc. act i. sc. 3 SEN.  Epist. xcv. 
<Mont3-134>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

and thorny working.  The one pincheth, the other dulleth mee.  I love wounds as much as bruses, and blood wipes as well as dry-blowes.  I had in the practice of this solace, when I was fitter for it, an even moderation betweene these two extremities.  Love is a vigilant, lively, and blithe agitation:  I was neither troubled nor tormented with it; But heated and distempred by it.  There wee must make a stay; It is only hurtfull unto fooles.  A young man demanded of the Philosopher Panetius, whether it would beseeme a wise man to be in love; Let wise men alone (quoth be) but for thee and me that are not so, it were best not to engage our selves into so stirring and violent a humour, which makes us slaves to others and contemptible unto our selves.  He said true, for we ought not entrust a matter so dangerous unto a minde that hath not wherewith to sustaine the approaches of it, nor effectually to quaile the speach of Agesilaus, That wisedome and love cannot live together.  It is a vaine occupation ('tis true), unseemely, shamefull and lawlesse:  But using it in this manner, I esteeme it wholsome and fit to rouze a dull spirit and a heavy body: and as a physitian experienced, I would prescribe the same unto a man of my complexion and forme, as soone as any other receipt to keepe him awake and in strength, when he is well in yeares; and delay him from the gripings of old age.  As long as we are but in the suburbes of it, and that our pulse yet beateth, Dum nona canines, dum prima et recta senectus, Dum superest Lachesi quod torqueat, et pedibus me Porto meis, nullo dextram subeunte bacillo,/1 While hoarie haires are new, and ould-age fresh and straight, While Lachesis hath yet to spin, while I my waight Beare on my feete, and stand, without staffe in my hand, We had need to bee solicited and tickled, by some biting agitation, as this is.  See but what youth, vigour and jollity it restored unto wise Anacreon. And Socrates, when hee was elder then I am, speaking of an
1 Juv.  Sat. iii. 26. 

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amourous object: leaning (saies bee) shoulder to shoulder, and approaching my head unto his, as were both together looking upon a booke, I felt, in truth, a sudden tingling or prickling in my shoulder, like the biting of some beast, which more then five daies after tickled mee, whereby a continuall itching glided into my heart.  But a casuall touch, and that but in a shoulder, to enflame, to distemper and to distract a minde, enfeebled, tamed and cooled through age; and of all humane mindes the most reformed.  And why not I pray you?  Socrates was but a man, and would neither be nor seeme to bee other.  Philosophie contends not against naturall delights, so that due measure bee joyned therewith; and alloweth the moderation, not the shunning of them.  The efforts of her resistance are employed against strange and bastard or lawlesse ones.  She saith that the bodies appetites ought not to be encreased by the minde; and wittily adviseth us, that we should not excite our hunger by saciety; not to stuffe, insteed of filling our bellies: to avoide all jovissance that may bring us to want: and shunne the meat and drink which may make us hungry or thirstie.  As in the service of love, shee appoints us to take an object that onely may satisfie the bodies neede without once moving the mind, which is not there to have any doing, but only to follow and simply to assist the body.  But have I not reason to thinke that these precepts, which (in mine opinion are elsewhere somewhat rigorous) have reference unto a body which doth his office; and that a dejected one, as a weakned stomack, may be excused if he cherish and sustaine the same by arte, and by the entercouse of fantazie, to restore it the desires, the delights and blithnesse, which of it selfe it hath lost.  May we not say that there is nothing in us, during this earthly prison, simply corporall, or purely spirituall? and that injuriously we dismember a living man? that there is reason we should carrie our selves in the use of pleasure, at least as favourably as we do in the pangs of griefe?  For example, it was vehement, even unto 

<Mont3-136>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

perfection, in the soules of Saints, by repentance.  The body had naturally a part therein, by the right of their combination, and yet might have but little share in the cause: and were not contented that it should simply follow and assist the afflicted soule: they have tormented the body it selfe with convenient and sharpe punishments; to the end that one with the other, the body and the soule might a vie plunge man into sorrow so much the more saving, by how much the more smarting.  In like case, in corporal pleasures, is it not injustice to quaile and coole the minde, and say, it must thereunto be entrained, as unto a forced bond or servile necessity? She should rather hatch and cherish them, and offer and invite it selfe unto them; the charge of swaying rightly belonging to her.  Even as in my conceit, it is her part, in her proper delights, to inspire and infuse into the body all sense or feeling which his condition may beare, and indevour that they may be both sweet and healthy for him.  For, as they say, 'tis good reason, that the body follow not his appetites to the mindes prejudice or dammage.  But why is it not likewise reason that the minde should not follow hers to the bodies danger and hurt?  I have no other passion that keeps mee in breath.  What avarice, ambition, quarels, sutes in law, or other contentions worke and effect in others who as my selfe have no assigned vacation or certaine leisure, love would performe more commodiously: it would restore me the vigilancy, sobriety, grace and care of my person; and assure my countenance against the wrinckled frowns of age (those deformed and wretched frownes) which else would blemish and deface the same; it would reduce me to serious, to sound and wise studies, whereby I might procure more love, and purchase more estimation: it would purge my minde from despaire of it selfe, and of its use, acquainting the same againe with it selfe:  It would divert me from thousands of irksome tedious thoughts, and melancholy carking cares, wherewith the doting idlenesse and crazed condition of our age doth charge 

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and comber us:  It would restore and heat, though but in a dreame, the blood which nature forsaketh:  It would uphold the drooping chinne, and somewhat strengthen or lengthen the shrunken sinewes, decaied vigour, and dulled lives-blithenesse of silly wretched man, who gallops apace to his ruine.  But I am not ignorant how hard a matter it is to attaine to such a commodity: through weakenesse and long experience, our taste is growne more tender, more choise, and more exquisite.  We challenge most when we bring least; we are most desirous to choose when we least deserve to be accepted:  And knowing our selves to bee such, we are lesse hardy and more distrustfull:  Nothing can assure us to be beloved, seeing our condition and their quality.  I am ashamed to be in the companie of this greene, blooming and boyling youth; Cujus in indomito constantior inguine nervus, Cum nova collibus arbor inhaeret:/1 Why should we present our wretchednesse amid this their jollity?

Possint ut juvenes visere fervidi
Multo non sine risu,
Dilapsam in cineres facem,/2

That hot young men may go and see,
Not without sport and mery glee,
Their fire-brands turn'd to ashes be.

They have both strength and reason on their side; let us give them place: we have no longer holde fast.  This bloome of budding beauty loves not to be handled by such nummed and so clomsie bands, nor would it be dealt-with by meanes purely materiall or ordinary stuffe.  For, as that ancient Philosopher answered one that mocked him because hee could not obtaine the favour of a yongling, whom he suingly pursued: 'My friend,' quoth be, 'the hooke bites not at such fresh cheese.' It is a commerce needing relation and mutuall correspondency: other pleasures that we
1 HOR.  Epod. xii. 19. 2 HOR.  Car. 1. iv.  Od. xiii. 26. 
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receive may be requitted by recompences of different nature; but this cannot be repaid but with the very same kinde of coyne.  Verily, the pleasure I do others in this sport doth more sweetly tickle my imagination then that is done unto me.  Now if no generous minde can receive pleasure where he returneth none, {gift+} it is a base minde that would have all duty and delights to feed with conference those under whose charge he remaineth. There is no beauty, nor favour, nor familiarity so exquisite, which a gallant minde should desire at this rate.  Now, if women can do us no good but in pittie, I had much rather not to live at all then to live by almes.  I would I had the priviledge to demande of them, in the same stile I have heard some beg in Italy:  Fate beno per voi. 'Do some good for your selfe'; or after the manner that Cyrus exhorted his souldiers: 'Whosoever loveth mee, let him follow mee.' Consort your selfe, will some say to me, with those of your owne condition, whom the company of like fortune will yeeld of more easie accesse.  Oh sottish and wallowish composition!            -----nolo
Barbam vellere mortito leoni./1

I will not pull (though not a fearde),
When he is dead, a Lion's beard.
Xenophon useth for an objection and accusation against Menon, that in his love he dealt with fading objects.  I take more sensuall pleasure by onely viewing the mutuall, even-proporcioned and delicate commixture of two yong beauties; or onely to consider the same in mine imagination, then if my selfe should be second in a lumpish, sad and disproporcioned conjunction. I resigne such distasted and fantasticall appetites unto the Emperour Galba, who medled with none but cast, worne, hard-old flesh; And to that poore slave,
O ego dii faciant talem te cernere possim,
Charaque mutatis oscula ferre comis,
Amplectique meis corpus non pingue lacertis./2
1 MART. 1. x.  Epig. xc. 9. 2 OVID.  Pont. 1. i.  Eleg. v. 49.
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Gods graunt I may beholde thee in such case,
And kisse thy chang'd locks with my dearest grace,
And with mine armes thy limmes not fat embrace.
And amongst blemishing-deformities, I deeme artificial] and forced beautie to bee of the chiefest.  Emanez, a young lad of Chios, supposing by gorgeous attires to purchase the beauty which nature denied him, came to the philosopher Arcesilaus, and asked of him whether a wise man could be in love or no. 'Yes, marrie,' quoth he, 'so it were not with a painted and sophisticate beauty, as thine is.' The fowlenesse of an old knowne woman is, in my seeming not so aged or so ill-favoured as one that's painted and sleeked.  Shall I bouldly speake it, and not have my throate cut for my labour?  Love is not properly nor naturally in season but in the age next unto infancy.
Quam si puellarum insereres choro,
Mire sagaces falleret hospites.
Discrimen obscurum solutis
Crinibus, ambiguoque vultu./1

Whom if you should in crue of wenches place,
With haire loose-hanging, and ambiguous face,
Strangely the undiscern'd distinction might
Deceive a thousand strangers of sharpe sight.

No more is perfect beauty.  For, whereas Homer extends it untill such time as the chinne begins to bud, Plato himselfe hath noted the same for very rare, and the cause for which the Sophister Dion termed youthes budding hayres, Aristogitons and Harmodii is notoriously knowne.  In man-hoode I finde it already to bee somewhat out of date, much more in old age.
Importunus enim transuolat aridas

Importune love doth over flie
The Okes with withered old-age drie.

1 HOR.  Car. 1. ii.  Od. v. 12. 2 Ib. 1. iv.  Od. xiii. 9. 
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And Margaret, Queen of Navarre, lengthens much (like a woman) the priviledge of women; Ordaining thirty yeares to be the season for them to change the title of faire into good.  The shorter possession we allow it over our lives the better for us.  Behold it's behaviour.  It is a princock boy, who, in his schoole, knows not how far one proceeds against all order: study, exercise, custome and practise, are paths to insufficiency: the novices beare all the sway.  Amor ordinem nescit: 'Love knowes or keeps no order.' Surely it's course hath more garbe when it is commixt with unadvisednes and trouble: faults and contrary successes give it edge and grace: so it be eager and hungry, it little importeth whether it bee prudent.  Observe but how he staggers, stumbleth and fooleth; you fetter and shackle him when you guide him by arte and discretion, and you force his sacred liberty when you submit him to those bearded, grim, and tough-hard hands.  Moreover, I often heare them display this intelligence as absolutely spiritual, disdaining to draw into consideration the interest which all the sences have in the same. All serveth to the purpose.  But I may say that I have often seen some of us excuse the weaknesse of their minds in favour of their corporall beauties; but I never saw them yet, that in behalfe of the mindes-beauties, how sound and ripe soever they were, would afford an helping hand unto a body that never so little falleth into declination.  Why doth not some one of them long to produce that noble Socraticall brood; or breed that precious gem between the body and the mind, purchasing with the price of her thighes a Philosophicall and spirituall breed and intelligence, which is the highest rate she can possibly value them at?  Plato appointeth in his laws that he who performeth a notable and worthy exploite in warre, during the time of that expedition, should not be denied a kisse or refused any other amorous favour of whomsoever be shall please to desire it, without respect either of his ill-favourdnes, deformity, or age.  What he 

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deemeth so just and allowable in commendation of Military valour, may not the same be thought as lawfull in commendation or some other worth? and why is not some one of them possessed with the humor to preoccupate on hir companions the glory of this chaste love? chaste I may well say:

     -----nam si quando ad praelia ventum est,
Ut quondam stipulis magnus sine viribus ignis
In cassum furit./1

If once it come to handy-gripes; as great,
But forcelesse fire in stubble; so his heate
Rageth amaine, but all in vaine.

Vices smothered in ones thought are not the woorst.  To conclude this notable commentarie, escaped from me by a flux of babling, a flux sometimes as violent as hurtfull,
Ut missum sponsi furtivo munere malum,
Procurrit casto virginis e gremio:
Quod miserae oblitae molli sub veste locatum,
Dum adventu matris prosilit, excutitur,
Atque illud prono praeceps agitur decursu,
Huic manat tristi conscius ore rubor./2

As when some fruit by stealth sent from hir friend,
From chaste lap of a virgin doth descend,
Which by hir, under hir soft aprone plast,
Starting at mothers comming thence is cast:
And trilling downe in haste doth head-long go,
A guilty blush in hir sad face doth flo.

I say that both male and female are cast in one same moulde; {feminism+} instruction and custome excepted, there is no great difference betweene them.  Plato calleth them both indifferently to the society of all studies, exercises, charges and functions of warre and peace in his Commonwealth. And the Philosopher Antisthenes took away al distinction betweene their vertue and ours.  It is much more easie to accuse the one sexe then to excuse the other.  It is that which some say proverbially:  Ill may the Kill call the Oven burnt
1 VIRG.  Geor. 1. iii. 98 2 CATUL.  Eleg. i. 19. 



IT is easie to verifie, that excellent authors' writing of causes, do not only make use of those which they imagine true, but eftsoones of such as themselves beleeve not: always provided they have some invention and beautie.  They speake sufficiently, truly and profitably, if they speake ingeniously.  We cannot assure our selves of the chiefe cause: we hudle up a many together, to see whether by chance it shall be found in that number:

Namque unam dicere causam,
Non satis est, verum plures, unde una tamen sit./1

Enough it is not one cause to devise,
But more, whereof that one may yet arise.

Will you demand of me whence this custome ariseth, to blesse and say God helpe to those that sneese?  We produce three sortes of winde: that issuing from belowe is too undecent; that from the mouth implieth some reproach of gourmandise; the third is sneesing: and because it commeth from the head, and is without imputation, we thus kindly entertains it: smile not at this subtilty, it is (as some say) Aristotles.  Me seemeth to have read in Plutarch+ (who of all the authors I know, hath best commixt arte with nature, and coupled judgement with learning), where he yeeldeth a reason why those which travell by sea do sometimes feele such qualmes and risings of the stomack, saying, that it proccedeth of a kinde of feare: having found-out some reason by which he prooveth that feare may
1 LUCR 1. vi. 700.
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cause such an effect.  My selfe, who am much subject unto it, know well that this cause doth nothing concerne me.  And I know it, not by argument, but by necessary experience without alleaging what some have tolde me, that the like doth often happen unto beasts, namely, unto swine, when they are farthest from apprehending any danger: and what an acquaintance of mine hath assured me of himselfe, and who is greatly subject unto it, that twice or thrice in a tempestous storme, being surprised with exceeding feare, all manner of desire or inclination to vomit had left him.  As to that ancient good fellow; Peius vexabat quam ut periculum mihi succurreret: 'I was worse vexed then that danger could helpe me.' I never apprehended feare upon the water, nor any where else (yet have I often had just cause offred me, if death it selfe may give it) which either might trouble or astony me.  It proceedeth sometimes as well from want of judgement as from lacke of courage.  All the dangers I have had have beene when mine eyes were wide-open, and my sight cleare, sound and perfect.  For even to feare, courage is required.  It hath sometimes steaded me, in respect of others, to direct and keepe my flight in order, that so it might be, if not without feare, at least without dismay and astonishment.  Indeed, it was moved, but not amazed nor distracted.  Undanted mindes march further, and represent flight, not onely temperate, setled and sound, but also fierce and bold. Report we that which Alcibiades relateth of Socrates his companion in armes. I found (saith he) after the rout and discomfiture of our armie, both him and Lachez in the last ranke of those that ranne away, and with all safety and leasure considered him, for I was mounted upon an excellent good horse, and he on foote, and so had we combated all day.  I noted first, how in respect of Lachez, he shewed both discreet judgement and undanted resolution: then I observed the undismaide bravery of his march, nothing different from his ordinary pace: his looke orderly and constant, duly observing and heedily judging what ever passed 


round about him: sometimes viewing the one, and sometimes looking on the other both friends and enemies, with so composed a manner, that he seemed to encourage the one and menace the other, signifying, that whosoever should attempt his life must purchase the same or his blood at a high-valued rate; and thus they both saved themselves, for men do not willingly graple with these, but follow such as shew or feare or dismay.  Lo here the testimony of that renowned Captaine, who teacheth us what wee daily finde by experience, that there is nothing doth sooner cast us into dangers then an inconsiderate greedinesse to avoide them.  Quo timoris minus est, eo minus ferme periculi est: 'The lesse feare there is, most commonly the lesse danger there is.' Our people is to blame to say such a one feareth death, when it would signifie that he thinkes on it and doth foresee the same.  Foresight doth equally belong as well to that which concerneth us in good as touch us in evill. To consider and judge danger is in some sort not to be danted at it.  I doe not find my selfe sufficiently strong to withstand the blow and violence of this passion of feare, or of any other impetuosity; where I once therewith vanquished and deterred, I could never safely recover my selfe.  He that should make my minde forgoe her footing could never bring her unto her place againe.  She doth over lively sound and over deepely search into her selfe, and therefore never suffers the wound which pierced the same to be throughly cured and consolidated.  It hath beene happy for me that no infirmity could ever yet displace her.  I oppose and present myselfe in the best ward I have against all charges and assaults that beset mee.  Thus the first that should beare me away would make me unrecoverable.  I encounter not two which way soever spoile should enter my hold, there am I open and remedilesly drowned.  Epicurus saith that a wise man can never passe from one state to its contrary.  I have some opinion answering his sentence, that he who hath once beene a very foole shall at no time proove 


verie wise.  God sends my cold answerable to my cloths, and passions answering the meanes I have to indure them.  Nature having discovered mee on one side, hath covered mee on the other.  Having disarmed me of strength, she hath armed me with insensibility, and a regular or soft apprehension. I cannot long endure (and lesse could in my youth) to ride either in coach or litter, or to go in a boat; and both in the citty and country I hate all manner of riding but a horse-back; And can lesse endure a litter then a coach, and by the same reason more easily a rough agitation upon the water, whence commonly proceedeth feare, then the soft stirring a man shall feele in calme weather.  By the same easie gentle motion which the oares give, convaying the boat under us, I wot not how I feel both my head intoxicated and my stomacke distempered, as I cannot likewise abide a shaking stoole under me.  Whenas either the saile, or the gliding course of the water doth equaly carry us away, or that we are but towed, that gently gliding and even agitation doth no whit distemper or hurt me.  It is an interrupted and broken motion that offends mee, and more when it is languishing.  I am not able to display its forme.  Phisitions have taught mee to bind and gird my selfe with a napkin or swath round about the lower part of my belly as a remedy for this accident, which as yet I have not tride, beeing accustomed to wrestle and withstand such defects as are in mee, and tame them by my selfe.  Were my memory sufficiently informed of them, I would not thinke my time lost heere to set down the infinite variety which histories present unto us of the use of coaches in the service of warre; divers according to the nations, and different according to the ages, to my seeming of great effect and necessity.  So that it is wondrously strange how we have lost all true knowledge of them; I will onely aleadge this, that even lately in our fathers time, the Hungarians did very availefully bring them into fashion, and profitably set them a work against the Turks; every one of them containing a Targattier and 

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a Muskettier, with a certaine number of harquebuses or calivers, ready charged, and so ranged that they might make good use of them, and all over covered with a pavesado after the manner (if a Galliotte.  They made the front of their battaile with three thousand such coaches, and after the Cannon had playd, caused them to discharge and shoote off a volie of small shott upon their enemies before they should know or feele what the rest of the forces could doe, which was no small advancement; or if not this, they mainely drove those coaches amidde the thickest of their enemies squadrons, with purpose to breake, disroute, and make waie through them.  Besides the benefit and helpe they might make of them in any suspicious or dangerous place, to flanke their troupes marching from place to place; or in hast to encompasse, to embarricado, to cover or fortifie any lodgement or quarter. In my time, a gentleman of quality in one of our frontiers, unwealdie and so burly of body that hee could finde no horse able to beare his waight, and having a quarrell or deadly fude in hand, was wont to travaile up and down in a coach made after this fashion, and found much ease and good in it.  But leave we these warlike coaches, as if their nullity were not sufficiently knowne by better tokens; The last Kings of our first race were wont to travell in chariots drawne by foure oxen.  Mark Antoni was the first that caused himselfe, accompanied with a minsterell harlot, to be drawne by Lyons fitted to a coach.  So did Heliogabalus after him, naming himselfe Cibele, the mother of the Gods; and also by Tigers, counterfeiting God Bacchus; who sometimes would also bee drawne in a coach by two Stagges, and another time by foure mastive dogs; and by foure naked wenches, causing himselfe to bee drawne by them in pompe and state, hee being all naked. The emperour Firmus made his coach to bee drawne by Estriges of exceeding greatnesse, so that hee rather seemed to flye then to roule on wheeles. The strangenesse of these inventions doth bring this other thing unto my fantasie, That it is a kinde of pusilanimity 

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in Monarkes, and a testimony that them doe not sufficiently know what they are when they labour to shew their worth, and endeavour to appeare unto the world by excessive and intolerable expences.  A thing which in a strange country might somewhat bee excused, but among his native subjects where hee swayeth all in all, he draweth from his dignity the extreamest degree of honour that hee may possibly attaine unto.  As for a gentleman in his owne private house to apparrel himselfe richly and curiously, I deeme it a matter vaine and superfluous; his house, his houshold, his traine and his kitchin doe sufficiently answere for him. {foppery+} The counsell which Isocrates giveth to his King (in my conceite) seemeth to carry some reason, when hee willeth him to be richly-stored and stately adorned with mooveables and household-stuffe, forsomuch as it is an expence of continuance, and which descendeth even to his posterity or heires; And to avoyde all magnificences which presently vanish both from custome and memory.  I loved when I was a yonger brother to set my selfe foorth and be gaye in cloathes, though I wanted other necessaires, and it became mee well:  There are some on whose backes their rich Robes weepe, or as wee say their rich cloathes are lyned with heavy debts.  We have divers strange tales of our auncient Kings frugalitie about their owne persons, and in their gifts: great and farre renouned Kings both in credit, in valour, and in fortune.  Demosthenes mainely combates the law of his Citie, who assigned their publique money to be imployed about the stately setting forth of their playes and feasts. He willeth that their magnificence+ should bee seene in the quantity of tall ships well manned and appointed, and armies well furnished.  And they have reason to accuse Theophrastus, who in his booke of riches established a contrarie opinion, and upholdeth such a quality of expences to be the true fruit of wealth and plenty.  They are pleasures (saith Aristotle) that onely touch the vulgar and basest communalty, which as soone as a man is satisfied with them, vanish out of minde; and whereof no man of sound 

<Mont3-148>           MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

judgement or gravity can make any esteeme.  The imployment of it, as more profitable, just and durable, would seeme more royall, worthy and commendable, about ports, havens, fortifications and walles; in sumptuous 'buildings, in churches, hospitals, colledges, mending of heighwayes and streetes, and such like monuments; in which things Pope Gregory the thirteenth shall leave aye-lasting and commendable memory onto his name; and wherein our Queene Catherine should witnes unto succeeding ages her naturall liberality and exceeding bounty, if her meanes were answerable to her affection.  Fortune hath much spighted mee to hinder the structure and breake-off the finishing of our new-bridge in our great Citty, and before my deathto deprive mee of all hope to see the great necessity of it set forward againe.  Moreover, it appeareth unto subjects, spectators of these triumphs, that they have a show made them of their owne riches, and that they are feasted at their proper charges; For the people do easily presume of their kings as wee doe of our servants that they should take care plenteously to provide us of whatsoever wee stand in neede of, but that on their bebalfe they should no way lay hands on it. {royal_duty+} And therefore the Emperor Galba sitting at supper, having taken pleasure to heare a musitian play and sing before him, sent for his casket, out of which be tooke a handful of Crowns and put them into his hand, with these wordes: 'Take this, not as a gift of the publique money but of mine owne private store.' So is it, that it often commeth to passe, that the common people have reason to grudge, and that their eyes are fedde with that which should feede their belly.  Liberality it selfe, in a soveraigne hand, is not in her owne luster: private men have more right, and may challenge more interest in her.  For, taking the matter exactly as it is, a King hath nothing that is properly his owne; hee oweth even himselfe to others.  Authority is not given in favour of the authorising, but rather in favour of the authorised.  A superiour is never created for his owne profit, but rather for the benefit of the inferiour; {kings_duty+

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and a Physition is instituted for the sicke, not for himselfe.  All Magistracie, even as each arte, rejecteth her end out of her selfe.  Nulla ars in se versatur: 'No arte is all in it selfe.' Wherefore the governours and overseers of Princes' childhood or minority, who so earnestly endeavor to imprint this vertue of bounty and liberality+ in them, and teach them not to refuse any thing, and esteeme nothing so well imployed as what they shall give (an instruction which in my dayes I have seene in great credit) either they preferre and respect more their owne profit than their masters, or they understand not aright to whom they speake.  It is too easie a matter to imprint liberality in him that hath wherewith plenteously to satisfie what be desireth at other men's charges.  And his estimation being directed not according to the measure of the present, but according to the quality of his meanes that exerciseth the same, it commeth to prove vaine in so puissant hands.  They are found to bee prodigall before they be liberall. Therefore it is but of small commendation, in respect of other royall vertues; and the onely (as said the tyrant Dionysius) that agreed and squared well with tyrannie it selfe.  I would rather teach him the verse of the ancient labourer

T,- ' Wkjdhdsl%__()&% /1

Not whole sackes, but by the hand
A man should sow his seed i' the land.

That whosoever will reape any commodity by it must sow with his hand, and not powre out of a sacke; that corne must be discreetly scattered, and not lavishly dispersed; and that being to give, or, to say better, to pay and restore to such a multitude of People, according as they have deserved, he ought to be a loyall, faithfull, and advised distributer thereof.  If the liberality of a Prince be without heedy discretion and measure, I would rather have him covetous and sparing.  Princely vertue seemeth to consist most in justice; and of all parts of justice that doth best and most belong to
1 PLUT. de Athen.  ERAS.  Chil. iii. cent. i. ad. 32. 
<Mont3-150>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

Kings which accompanieth liberality; for they have it particularly reserved to their charge; whereas all other justice they happily exercise the same by the intermission of others.  Immoderate bounty is a weake meane to acquire them good will: for it rejecteth more people than it obtaineth:  Quo in plures usus sis, minus in multos uti possis.  Quid autem est stultius, quam, quod libenter facias, curare ut id diutius facere non possis?/1  'The more you have used it to many, the lesse may you use it to many more; and what is more fond than what you willingly would doe, to provide you can no longer doe it?' And if it be emploied without respect of merit, it shameth him that receiveth the same, and is received without grace.  Some Tyrants have been sacrificed to the peoples hatred by the very hands of those whom they had rashly preferred and wrongfully advanced: such kinde of men, meaning to assure the possession of goods unlawfully and indirectly gotten, if they shew to hold in contempt and hatred him from whom they held them, and in that combine themselves unto the vulgar judgement and common opinion. The subjects of a Prince rashly excessive in his gifts become impudently excessive in begging: they adhere, not unto reason, but unto example.  Verily we have often, just cause to blush for our impudency.  We are overpaid according to justice, when the recompence equaleth our service; for doe we not owe a kinde of naturall duty to our Princes?  If he beare our charge, he doth overmuch; it sufficeth if hee assist it: the over-plus is called a benefit+ which cannot be exacted; for the very name of liberality implyeth liberty. After our fashion we have never done; what is received is no more reckoned of: onely future liberality is loved:  Wherefore the more a Prince doth exhaust himselfe in giving, the more friends he impoverisheth.  How should be satisfie intemperate desires which increase according as they are replenished? Whoso hath his minde on taking, hath it no more on what he hath taken. Covetousnesse hath nothing so proper as to bee ungratefull. {gratitude+}
1 CIC.  Off. 1.i. 

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The example of Cyrus shal not ill fit this place, for the behoofe of our kings of these daies, as a touch-stone, to know whether their gifts be wel or ill employed: and make them perceive how much more happily that Emperour did wound and oppresse them than they doe.  Whereby they are afterward forced to exact and borrow of their unknowne subjects, and rather of such as they have wronged and aggrieved than of those they have enriched and done good unto; and receive no aids, where any thing is gratitude, except the name.  Croesus upbraided him with his lavish bounty, and calculated what his treasure would amount unto if he were more sparing and close-banded. A desire surprised him to justifie his liberality+, and dispatching letters over all parts of his dominions to such great men of his estate whom hee had particularly advanced, entreated every one to assist him with as much money as they could for an urgent necessitie of his, and presently to send it him by declaration; when all these count-bookes or notes were brought him, each of his friends supposing that it sufficed not to offer him no more than they had received of his bounteous liberality, but adding much of their owne unto it, it was found that the said summe amounted unto much more than the niggardly sparing of Croesus.  Whereupon Cyrus said: 'I am no lesse greedy of riches than other Princes, but I am rather a better husband of them.  You see with what small venture I have purchased the unvaluable treasure of so many friends, and how much more faithfull treasurers they are to mee than mercenary men would be, without obligation and without affection; and my exchequer or treasury better placed than in paltery coafers; by which I draw upon me the hate, the envy and the contempt of other Princes.' The ancient Emperours were wont to draw som excuse, for the superfluity of their sports and publike shewes, for so much as their authority did in some sort depend (at least in apparance) from the will of the Romane people; which from all ages are accustomed to be flattered by such kirne of spectacles and excesses 

<Mont3-152>           MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

But they were particular ones who had bred this custome to gratifie their con-citizens and fellowes; especially by their purse, by such profusion and magnificence.  It was cleane altered when the masters and chiefe rulers came once to imitate the same. Pecuniarum translatio a justis dominis ad alienos non debet liber alis videri:/1 'The passing of money from right owners to strangers should not seeme liberality.' Philip, because his sonne indeavoured by gifts to purchase the good will of the Macedonians, by a letter seemed to be displeased, and chid him in this manner: 'What, wouldest thou have thy subjects to account thee for their purse-bearer, and not repute thee for their King?  Wilt thou frequent and practise them? Then doe it with the benefits of thy vertue, not with those of thy cofers.' Yet was it a goodly thing to cause a great quantity of great trees, all branchie and greene, to bee far brought and planted in plots yeelding nothing but dry gravell, representing a wilde shady forrest, divided in due seemely proportion; And the first day to put into the same a thousand Estriges, a thousand Stagges, a thousand wilde Boares, and a thousand Buckes, yeelding them over to bee hunted and killed by the common people: the next morrow in the presence of all the assembly to cause a hundred great Lions, a hundred Leopards, and three hundred huge Beares to be baited and tugged in pieces: and for the third day, in bloody manner and good earnest, to make three hundred couple or Gladiators or Fencers to combate and murder one another, as did the Emperour Probus.  It was also a goodly shew to see those huge Amphitheaters all enchased with rich marble, on the outside curiously wrought with curious statues, and all the inner side glittering with precious and rare embellishments:

Balteus en gemmis, en illita porticus auro

A belt beset with gemmes behold,
Behold a walke bedawb'd with gold.

1 MART. 1. x.  Epig. xc. 9. 2 OVID.  Pont. 1. i.  Eleg. v. 49.
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All the sides round about that great void, replenished and invironed from the ground unto the very top with three or foure score rankes of steps and seates, likewise all of marble covered with faire cushions            ----- exeat, inquit,
Si pudor est, et de pulvino surgat equestri,
Cujus res legi non sufficit,/1

If shame there be, let him be gone, he cries,
And from his knightly cushion let him rise,
Whose substance to the law doth not suffice.
Where might conveniently bee placed an hundred thousand men, and all sit at ease.  And the plaine-ground-worke of it, where sports were to be acted, first by Art to cause the same to open and chap in sunder with gaps and cranishes representing hollow cavernes, which vomited out the beasts appointed for the spectacle; that ended, immediately to overflow it all with a maine deepe sea, fraught with store of sea-monsters and other strange fishes, all over-laid with goodly tall ships, ready rigd and appointed to represent a Sea-fight; and thirdly, suddenly to make it smooth and drie againe for the combate of Gladiators; and fourthly, being forthwith cleansed, to strewe it over with Vermilion and Storax, insteade of graven, for the erecting of a solemne banket for all that infinite number of people: the last act of one onely day.
     ----- quoties nos descendentis arenae
Vidimus in partes, ruptaque voraqine terrae
Emersisse feras, et ijsdem saepe latebris
Aurea cum croceo creuerunt arbuta libro.
Nec solum nobis silvestria cernere monstra
Contigit equoreos; ego cum certantibus ursis
Spectani vitulos, et equorum nomine dignum,
Sed deforme pecus.
How oft have we beheld wild beasts appeare
From broken gulfes of earth, upon some parte
Of sande that did not sinke? how often there
And thence did golden boughs ore saffron'd starte?
1 JUVEN.  Sat. iii. 153.
<Mont3-154>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES
Nor onely saw we monsters of the wood,
But I have seene Sea-calves whom eares withstood
And such a kinde of beast as might be named
A horse, but in most foule proportion framed.
     They have sometimes caused ail high steepy mountaine to arise in the midst of the sayd Amphitheaters, all over-spred with fruitfull and flourishing trees of all sortes, on the top whereof gushed out streames of water as from out the source of a purling spring.  Other times they have produced therein a great tall Ship floating up and downe, which of it selfe opened and split a sunder, and after it had disgorged from out it's bulke foure or five hundred wild beasts to bee baited, it closed and vanished away of it selfe, without any visible helpe.  Sometimes from out the bottome of it they caused streakes and purlings of sweete water to spoute up, bubling to the highest top of the frame, and gently watring, sprinkling and refreshing that infinite multitude.  To keepe and cover themselves from the violence of the wether, they caused that huge compasse to be all over-spred, sometimes with purple sailes, all curiously wrought with the needle, sometimes of silke and of some other colour in the twinkling of an eye, as they pleased they displaid and spred, or drewe and pulled them in againe.
Quamvis non modico caleant spectacula sole
Vela reducuntur cum venit Hermogenes.

Though fervent Sunne make't hotte to see a play,
When linnen thieves come, sailes are kept away.

The nets likewise, which they used to put before the people to save them from harm and violence of the baited beasts, were woven with golde.
     ----- auro quoque torta refulgent

Nets with gold enterlaced,
Their shewes with glittring graced.

If any thing bee excusable in such lavish excesses it is where the invention and strangenesse breedeth 
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admiration, and not the costlie charge.  Even in those vanities, wee may plainely perceive how fertile and happy those former ages were of other manner of wittes then ours are.  It hapneth of this kinde of fertilitie as of all other productions of nature.  Wee may not say what nature employed then the utmost of hir power.  We goe not, but rather creepe and stagger here and there: we goe our pace.  I imagine our knowledge to bee weake in all senses: wee neither discerne far-forward, nor see much backward.  It embraceth little and liveth not long:  It is short both in extension of time and in amplenesse of matter or invention. {ancients_moderns+}

Vixere fortes ante Agamemnona
Multi, sed omnes illachrymabiles
Urgentur, ignotique longa

Before great Agamemnon and the rest
Many liv'd valiant, yet are all supprest,
Unmoan'd, unknowne, in darke oblivious nest.

Et supera bellum Troianum et funera Troiae, Multi alias alii quoque res cecinere poetae./2 Beside the Trojan warre, Troyes funerall night, Of other things did other poets write.  And Solons narration concerning what he had learned of the Aegyptian Priests of their states, long-life and manner how to learne and preserve strange or forraine histories, in mine opinion is not a testimony to bee refused in this consideration. Si interminatant in omnes partes magnitudinem regionum videremus, et temporum in quam se iniiciens animus et intendens, ita late longeque peregrinatur, ut nullam oram ultimi videat in qua possit insistere:  In haec immensitate infinita vis innumerabilium appareret formarum:/3 'If we behold an unlimited greatnesse on all sides both of regions and times, whereupon the mind casting it selfe and intentive doth travell farre and neare, so as it sees
1 HOR.  Car. 1. iv.  Od. ix. 25. 2 LUCR. 1. v. 326. 3 CIC.  Nat.  Deo. l. i. 
<Mont3-156>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

no bounds of what is last, whereon it may insist; in this infinite immensity there would appeare a multitude of innumerable formes.' If whatsoever hath come unto us by report of what is past where true and knowne of any body, it would be lesse then nothing, in respect of that which is unknowne.  And even of this image of the world, which whilest we live therein, glideth and passeth away, how wretched, weake and how short is the knowledge of the most curious?  Not onely of the particular events which fortune often maketh exemplar and of consequence; but of the state of mighty commonwealths, large Monarkies and renowned nations, there escapeth our knowledge a hundred times more then commeth unto our notice.  We keepe a coile and wonder at the miraculous invention of our artilerie, and amazed at the rare devise of Printing; when as unknowne to us, other men, and an other end of the world named China, knew and had perfect use of both a thousand yeares before. If we sawe as much of this vaste world as wee see but a least part of it, it is very likely we should perceive a perpetuall multiplicity and over-rouling vicissitude of formes.  Therein is nothing singular and nothing rare, if regard bee had unto nature, or to say better, if relation bee had unto our knowledge; which is a weake foundation of our rules, and which doth commonly present us a right-false Image of things.  How vainely do we now-adayes conclude the declination and decrepitude of the world, by the fond arguments wee drawe from our owne weaknesse, drooping and declination:

Jamque adeo afecta est aetas, effaetque tellus:/1

And now both age and land
So sicke affected stand.

And as vainly did another conclude it's birth and youth by the vigour he perceiveth in the wits of his time, abounding in novelties an invention of divers Arts
1 LUCR,. 1. ii. 1159. 
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Verum ut opinor, habet novitatem summa, recensgue Natura est mundi, neque pridem exordia cepit;
Quare etiant quaedam nunc artes expoliuntur,
Nunc etiam augescunt, nunc addita navigiis sunt Multa./1

But all this world is new, as I suppose,
Worlds nature fresh, nor lately it arose
Whereby some arts refined are in fashion
And many things now to our navigation
Are added, daily growne to augmentation.

Our world hath of late discovered another (and who can warrant us whether it be the last of his brethren, since both the Damons, the Sibylles, and all we have hitherto been ignorant of this?; no lesse-large, fully- peopled, all-things-yeelding, and mighty in strength than ours; neverthelesse so new and infantine, that he is yet to learne his A B C.  It is not yet full fifty yeeres that he knew neither letters, nor waight, nor measures, nor apparell, nor corne, nor vines; But was all naked, simply-pure, in Natures lappe, and lived but with such meanes and food as his mother-nurce affoorded him.  If wee conclude aright of our end, and the foresaid Poet of the infancie of his age, this late-world shall but come to light when ours shall fall into darknesse.  The whole Universe shall fall into a palsey or convulsion of sinnowes: one member shall be maimed or shrunken, another nimble and in good plight.  I feare that by our contagion we shall directly have furthered his declination and hastened his ruine and that we shall too dearely have sold him our opinions, our new-fangles and our Arts.  It was an unpolluted, harmelesse, infant world; yet have we not whipped and submitted the same unto our discipline, or schooled him by the advantage of our valour or naturall forces; nor have wee instructed him by our justice and integrity, nor subdued by our magnanimity.  Most of their answers, and a number of the negotiations we have had with them, witnesse that they were nothing short of us, not beholding to us for any excellency of
1 LUCR. 1. v. 330. 
<Mont3-158>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

naturall wit or perspicuitie concerning pertinency.  The wonderfully, or as I may call it, amazement-breeding magnificence of the riever-like scene cities of Cusco and Mexico, and amongst infinite such like things, the admirable Garden of that King, where all the Trees, the fruits, the Hearbes and Plants, according to the order and greatnesse they have in a Garden, were most artificially framed in gold; as also in his Cabinet; all the living creatures that his Countrey or his Seas produced, were cast in gold; and the exquisite beauty of their workes, in precious Stones, in Feathers, in Cotton and in Painting, shew that they yeelded as little unto us in cunning and industrie.  But concerning unfained devotion, awefull observance of lawes, unspotted integrity, bounteous liberality, due loyalty and free liberty, it hath greatly availed us that we had not so much as they:  By which advantage they have lost, castaway, sold, undone and betraied themselves.
     Touching hardinesse and undaunted courage, and as for matchlesse constancie+, unmooved assurednesse, and undismaied resolution against paine, symrting, famine and death it selfe, I will not feare to oppose the examples which I may easily finde amongst them, to the most famous ancient examples we may with all our industrie discover in all the Annales and memories of our knowen old World. {Caliban+} For as for those which have subdued them, let them lay aside the wiles, the policies and stratagems which they have emploied to cozen, to cunny-catch, and to circumvent them; and the just astonisbment which those nations might justly conceive, by seem so unexpected an arrivall of bearded men, divers in language, in habite, in religion, in behaviour, in forme, in countenance, and from a part of the world so distant, and where they never heard any habitation was: mounted upon great and unknowen monsters, against those who had had never so much as seene any horse, and lesse any beast whatsoever apt to beare, or taught to carry either man or burden; covered with a shining and harde skinne, and armed with slicing-keene weapons and glittering armour: against them, 


who for the wonder of the glistring of a looking-glasse or of a plaine knife would have changed or given inestimable riches in Gold, Precious Stones and Pearles; and who had neither the skill nor the matter wherewith at any leasure they could have pierced our steele: to which you may adde the flashing-fire and thundring roare of shotte and Harguebuses; able to quell and daunt even Caesar himselfe, had he beene so sodainely surprised and as little experienced as they were; and thus to come unto and assault silly- naked people, saving where the invention of weaving of Cotton cloath was knowne and used; for the most altogether unarmed, except some bowes, stones, staves and woodden bucklers; unsuspecting poore people, surprised under colour of amity and well-meaning faith overtaken by the curiosity to see strange and unknowne things: {Caliban+} I say, take this disparity from the conquerors, and you deprive them of all the occasions and cause of so many unexpected victories.  When I consider that sterne-untamed obstinacy and undanted vehemence wherewith so many thousands of men, of women and children, do so infinite times present themselves unto inevitable dangers, for the defence of their Gods and liberty:  This generous obstinacy to endure all extremities, all difficulties and death, more easily and willingly, then basely to yeelde unto their domination, of whom they have so abhominably beene abused: some of them choosing rather to starve with hunger and fasting, being taken, then to accept food at their enemies handes, so basely victorious: I perceive, that whoseever had undertaken them man to man, without ods of armes, of experience or of number, should have had as dangerous a warre, or perhaps more, as any we see amongst us.
     Why did not so glorious a conquest happen under Alexander, or during the time of the ancient Greekes and Romanes? or why befell not so great a change and alteration of Empires and people under such hands as would gently have polished, reformed and incivilized what in them they deemed to be barbarous and rude: 

<Mont3-160>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

or would have nourished and fostered those good seedes which nature had there brought foorth: adding not onely to the manuring of their grounds and ornaments of their cities such artes as we had, and that no further then had beene necessary for them, but there-withall joyning unto the originall vertues of the country those of the ancient Grecians and Romanes?  What reputation and what reformation would all that farre spredding world have found, if the examples, demeanors and pollicies wherewith we first presented them had called and allured those uncorrupted nations to the admiration and imitation of vertue, and bad hstablished betweene them and us a brotherly society and mutuall correspondency? {Caliban+} How easie a matter had it beene profitably to reforme and christianly to instruct minds yet so pure and new, so willing to bee taught, being for the most part endowed with so docile, so apt and so yeelding naturall beginnings?  Whereas, contrarywise, we have made use of their ignorance and inexperience, to drawe them more easily unto treason, fraude, luxurie, avarice and all manner of inhumanity and cruelty, by the example of our life and patterne of our customes.  Who ever raised the service of marchandize and benefit of traffick to so high a rate?  So many goodly citties ransacked and raged; so many nations destroyed and made desolate; so infinite millions of harmelesse people of all sexes, states and ages, massacred, ravaged and put to the sword; and the richest, the fairest and the best part of the world topsiturvied, ruined and defaced for the traffick of Pearles and Pepper.  Oh mechanicall victories, oh base conquest.  Never did greedy revenge, publik wrongs or generall enmities, so moodily enrage and so passionately incense men against men, unto so horrible hostilities, bloody dissipation, and miserable calamities.  Certaine Spaniardes, coasting alongst the Sea in search of mines, fortuned to land in a very fertile, pleasant and well peopled country, unto the inhabitants whereof they declared their intent and shewed their accustomed perswasions; saying, That they were quiet 

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and well-meaning men, comming from farre-countries, being sent from the King of Castile, the greatest King of the habitable earth, unto whom the Pope, representing God on earth, had given the principality of all the Indies.  That if they would become tributaries to him, they should bee most kindly used and courteously entreat They required of them victualles for their nourishment, and some gold for the behoofe of certaine Physicall experiments.  Moreover, they declared unto them the beleeviiig in one onely God and the trueth of our religion, which they perswaded them to embrace, adding thereto some minatorie threates.  Whose answer was this:  That happily they might be quiet and well meaning, but their countenance shewed them to be otherwise:  As concerning their King, since be seemed to beg, he shewed to be poore and needy; And for the Pope, who had made that distribution, he expressed himselfe a man loving dissention, in going about to give unto a third man a thing which was not his owne, so to make it questionable and litigious amongst the ancient possessors of it.  As for victualles, they should have part of their store; And for gold, they had but little, and that it was a thing they made very small accoumpt of, as meerely unprofitable for the service of their life; whereas all their care was but how to passe it happily and pleasantly, and therefore, what quantity soever they should finde, that onely excepted which was employed about the service of their Gods, they might bouldly take it.  As touching one onely God, the discourse of him had very well pleased them; but they would by no meanes change their religion under which they had for so long time lived so happily; and that they were not accustomed to take any counsell, but of their friends and acquaintance.  As concerning their menaces, it was a signe of want of judgement to threaten those whose nature, condition, power and meanes was to them unknowne.  And therefore they should with all speed hasten to avoid their dominions (forsomuch as they were not wont to admit or take in good part the kindnesses and 

<Mont3-162>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

remonstrances of armed people, namely, of strangers) otherwise they would deale with them as they had done with such others, shewing them the heads of certaine men sticking upon stakes about their Citie, which had lately beene executed.  Loe here an example of the stammering of this infancy.
     But so it is, neither in this nor in infinite other places, where the Spaniards found not the merchandise they sought for, neither made stay or attempted any violence whatsoever other commodity the place yeelded: witnesse my Canibales.  Of two the most mighty and glorious Monarkes of that world, and peradventure of all our Westerne parts, Kings over so many Kings, the last they deposed and overcame; He of Peru, having by them been taken in a battell, and set at so excessive a ransome that it exceedeth all beliefe, and that truely paide: and by his conversation having given them apparant signes of a free, liberall, undanted, and constant courage, and declared to be of a pure, noble, and well composed understanding; a humour possessed the conquerors, after they had most insolently exacted from him a Million three hundred five and twenty thousand, and five hundred waights of golde, besides the silver and other precious things, which amounted to no lesse a summe (so that their horses were all shood of massive gold), to discover (what disloyalty or treachery soever it might cost them) what the remainder of this Kings treasure might be, and without controlment enjoy whatever he might have bidden or concealed from them.  Which to compasse, they forged a false accusation and proofe against him, that hee practised to raise his provinces, and intended to induce his subjects to some insurrection, so to procure his liberty.  Whereupon, by the very judgement of those who had complotted this forgery and treason against him, hee was condemned to be publikely hanged and strangled; having first made him to redeeme the torment of being burned alive by the baptisme which at the instant of his execution in charity they bestowed upon him; a horrible and the 

THE THIRD BOOKE          <Mont3-163>

like never heard of accident, which neverthelesse he undismaiedly endured with an unmoved manner and truly-royall gravity, without ever contradicting himselfe either in countenance or speech.  And then, somewhat to mitigate and circumvent those silly unsuspecting people, amazed and astonished at so strange a spectacle, they counterfeited a great mourning and lamentation for his death, and appointed his funeralls to bee solemnely and sumptuously celebrated.
The other King of Mexico, having a long time manfully defended his besieged city, and in the tedious siege shewed whatever pinching-sufferance and resolute-perseverance can effect, if ever any courageous Prince or warre-like people shewed the same; and his disastrous successe having delivered him alive into his enemies hands, upon conditions to bee used as beseemed a King: who during the time of his imprisonment did never make the least shew of any thing unworthy that glorious title.  After which victory, the Spaniards, not finding that quantitie of gold they had promised themselves, when they had ransacked and ranged all corners, they by meanes of the cruellest tortures and horriblest torments they could possibly devise, beganne to wrest and draw some more from such prisoners as they had in keeping.  But unable to profit any thing that way, finding stronger hearts than their torments, they in the end fell to such moody outrages, that, contrary to all law of nations and against their solemne vowes and promises, they condemned the King himselfe and one of the chiefest Princes of his Court, to the Racke, one in presence of another: the Prince, environed round with hot burning coales, being overcome with the exceeding torment, at last in most pitious sort turning his dreary eyes toward his Master, as if hee asked mercy of him for that hee could endure it no longer; The king, fixing rigorously and fierce his lookes upon him, seeming to upbraid him with his remisnesse and pusilanimity, with a sterne and setled voyce uttered these few words unto him: 'What, supposest then I am in a cold hath? am I at more ease 

<Mont3-164>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

than thou art?' Whereat the silly wretch immediately fainted under the torture, and yeelded up the ghost.  The king, half rosted, was carried away: Not so much for pitty (for what ruth could ever enter so barbarous mindes, who upon the furnished information of some odde piece or vessell of golde they intended to get, would broyle a man before their eyes, and not a man onely, but a king, so great in fortune and so renowned in desert? ), but for as much as his unmatched constancy did more and more make their inhumane cruelty ashamed, they afterwards hanged him, because he had couragiously attempted by armes to deliver himselfe out of so long captivity and miserable subjection; where he ended his wretched life, worthy an high minded and never danted Prince.  At another time, in one same fire, they caused to be burned all alive foure hundred common men and threescore principall Lords of a Province, whom by the fortune of warre they had taken prisoners. These narrations we have out of their owne bookes, for they do not onely avouch, but vauntingly publish them.  May it bee they doe it for a testimony of their justice or zeale toward their religion?  Verily they are wayes over-different and enemies to so sacred an ende.  Had they proposed unto themselves to enlarge and propagate our religion, they would have considered that it is not amplified by possession of lands, but of men; and would have beene satisfied with such slaughters as the necessity of warre bringeth, without indifferently adding thereunto so bloody a butchery as upon savage beasts, and so universall as fire or sword could ever attaine unto having purposely preserved no more than so many miserable bond-slaves, as they deemed might suffice for the digging, working and service of their mines: So that divers of their chieftains have beene executed to death, even in the places they had conquered, by the appointment of the Kings of Castile, justly offended at the seld-seene horror of their barbarous demeanours, and well nigh all disesteemed, contemned and hated.  God hath meritoriously permitted that many of their 

THE THIRD BOOKE                    <Mont3-165>

great pillages and ill-gotten goods have either beene swallowed up by the revenging Seas in transporting them, or consumed by the intestine warres and civill broiles wherewith themselves have devoured one another; and the greatest part of them have been overwhelmed and buried in the bowels of the earth, in the very places they found them, without any fruit of their victory.  Touching the objection which some make, that the receipt, namely in the hands of so thrifty, wary and wise a Prince, doth so little answer the foreconceived hope which was given unto his predecessors, and the said former aboundance of riches, they met withall at the first discovery of this new- found world (for although they bring home great quantity of gold and silver, we perceive the same to be nothing, in respect of what might be expected thence), it may be answered, that the use of money was there altogether unknowne; and consequently that all their gold was gathered together, serving to no other purpose than for shew, state and ornament, as a moovable reserved from father to sonne by many puissant Kings, who exhausted all their mines to collect so huge a heape of vessels or statues for the ornament of their Temples, and embellishing of their Pallaces; whereas all our gold is employed in commerce and trafficke betweene man and man.  Wee mince and alter it into a thousand formes; wee spend, wee scatter and disperse the same to severall uses.  Suppose our King should thus gather and heape up all the gold they might for many ages hoard up together, and keepe it close and untouched.  Those of the kingdome of Mexico were somewhat more encivilized, and better artists, than other nations of that world.  And as wee doe, so judged they, that this Universe was neare his end, and tooke the desolation wee brought amongst them as an infallible signe of it.  They beleeved the state of the world to bee divided into five ages, as in the life of five succeeding Sunnes, whereof foure had already ended their course or time; and the same which now shined upon them was the fifth and last.  The first perished together with all 

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other creatures, by an universall inundation of waters.  The second by the fall of the heavens upon us, which stifled and overwhelmed every living thing: in which age they affirme the Giants to have beene, and shewed the Spaniards certaine bones of them, according to whose proportion the stature of men came to bee, of the height of twenty handfuls.  The third was consumed by a violent fire, which burned and destroyed all.  The fourth by a whirling emotion of the ayre and windes, which with the violent fury of it selfe remooved and overthrew divers high mountaines: saying that men dyed not of it, but were transformed into Munkeis. (Oh what impressions doth not the weakenesse of mans beliefe admit?) After the consummation of this fourth Sunne, the world continued five and twenty yeares in perpetnall darkenesse, in the fifteenth of which one man and one woman were created, who renewed the race of man-kinde.  Ten yeares after, upon a certaine day, the Sunne appeared as newly created, from which day beginneth ever since the calculation of their yeares.  On the third day of whose creation, died their ancient Gods, their new ones have day by day beene borne since.  In what manner this last Sunne shall perish, my aucthor could not learne of them.  But their number of this fourth change doth jumpe and meete with that great conjunction of the Starres which eight hundred and odde yeares since, according to the Astrologians supposition, produced divers great alterations and strange novelties in the world.  Concerning the proud pompe and glorious magnificence by occasion of which I am fallen into this discourse, nor Grece, nor Rome, nor Aegipt, can (bee it in profit, or difficultie or nobility) equall or compare sundrie and divers of their workes.  The cawcy or high-way which is yet to bee seene in Peru, erected by the Kings of that countrie, stretching from the city of Quito unto that of Cusco (containing three hundred leagues in length), straight, even, and fine, and twentie paces in breadth curiously paved, raysed on both sides with goodly high masonrie-walles, all along which, 

THE THIRD BOOKE                     <Mont3-167>

on the inner side, there are two continuall running streames, pleasantly beset with beauteous trees, which they call Moly.  In framing of which, where they mette any mountaines or rockes, they have cut, raised and levelled them, and filled all below places with lime and stone.  At the ende of every dayes journey as stations, there are built stately great pallaces, plenteously stored with all manner of victuals, apparrell and armes, as well for dayelie wayfaring men as for such armies that might happen to passe that way.  In the estimation of which work I have especially considered the difficulty, which in that place is particularly to bee remembred.  For they built with no stones that were lesse then ten foote square: they had no other meanes to cary or transport them then by meere strength of armes to draw and dragge the carriage they needed: they had not so much as the arte to make scaffolds, nor knew other devise then to raise so much earth or rubbish against their building according as the worke riseth, and afterward to take it away againe. But returne we to our coaches.  In steade of them and of all other carrying beastes, they caused themselves to be carryed by men, and upon their shoulders. This last King of Peru, the same day hee was taken, was thus carried upon rafters or beames of massive Golde, sitting in a faire chaire of state, likewise all of golde, in the middle of his battaile.  Looke how many of his porters as were slaine to make him fall (for all their endevour was to take him alive) so many others, and as it were avye, tooke and underwent presently the place of the dead: so that they could never be brought down or made to falle, what slaughter soever was made of those kinde of people, untill such time as a horseman furiously ranne to take him by some part of his body, and so pulled him to the ground. 



SINCE we cannot attaine unto it, let us revenge our selves with railing against it: yet is it not absolute railing to finde fault with any thing: There are defects found in all things, how faire soever in show and desirable they be.  It hath generally this evident advantage, that whenever it pleaseth it will decline, and hath well-nigh the choise of one and other condition. For a man doth not fall from all heights; divers there are whence a man may descend without falling.  Verily, me seemeth that we value it at too high a rate, and prize over-deare the resolution of those whom we have either seene or heard to have contemned, or of their owne motion rejected the same.  Her essence is not so evidently commodious but a man may refuse it without wonder.  Indeed I finde the labour very hard in suffering of evils; but in the contentment of a meane measure of fortune and shunning of greatnesse, therein I see no great difficillty.  In my conceit it is a vertue whereunto my selfe, who am but a simple+ ninny, might easily attaine, and without great contention.  What shall they doe who would also bring into consideration the glory which accompanieth this refusall, wherein may fall more ambition then even in the desire and absolute enjoying of greatnesse?  Forsomuch as ambition is never better directed according to it selfe then by a straying and unfrequented path.  I sharpen my courage toward patience, and weaken the same against desire.  I have as much to wish for as another, and leave my wishes as much liberty and indiscretion; but yet it never came into my minde to wish for Empire, for Royalty, or eminency


of high and commanding fortunes.  I aime not that way:  I love my selfe too well.  When I thinke to grow, It is but meanly, with a forced and coward advancement, fit for me; yea in resolution, in wisedome, in health, in beauty, and also in riches.  But this credite, this aspiring reputation, this overswayinc authority, suppresseth my imagination.  And cleane opposite to some other, I should peradventure love my selfe better to be the second or third man in Perigot then the first in Paris; At least, without faining, I had rather be the third man in Paris then the first in charge.  I will neither contend with an Usher of a doore, as a silly unknowen man; nor with gaping and adoration make a Lane through the throng as I passe.  I am enured to a meane calling; mediocrity best fitteth me, as well by my fortune as by mine owne humor. {diffidence+} And I have shewed by the conduct of my life and course of my enterprises, that I have rather sought to avoid then otherwise to embrace beyond the degree of fortune that at my birth it pleased God to call me unto.  Each naturall constitution is equally just and easie.  My minde is so dull and slowe that I measure not good fortune according to her height, but rather according to her facility.  And if my hart be not great enough, it is ratably free and open, and who biddeth me bouldly to publish my weaknesse.  Should any will me, on the one part, to conferre and consider the life of L.  Thurius Balbus, a worthy gallant man, wise, faire, goodly, healthy, of good understanding, richly plenteous in all maner of commodities and pleasures, leading a quiet easefull life, altogether his owne, with a minde armed and well prepared against death, superstition, griefes, cares and other encombrances of humane necessity; dying in his old age in an honourable battell, with his weapons in his hand, for the defence of his countrie; and on the other side the life of M.  Regulus+, so high and great, as all men know, together with his admirable and glorious end: the one unmentioned and without dignity, the other exemplare and wonderfull renouned: truly I would say what Cicero saith of it, 

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had I the gift of well-speaking as hee had.  But if I were to sute them unto mine, I would also say that the former is as much agreeing to my qualitie, and to the desire I endevour to conforme my quaiity unto, as the second is farre beyond it.  That to this I cannot attaine but by veneration; and to the other I would willingly attaine by custome.  But returne we to our temporall greatnesse, whence we have digressed.  I am distasted of all mastry, both active and passive.  Otanes, one of the seaven that by right might chalenge the crowne or pretend the Kingdome of Persia, resolved upon such a resolution as I should easily have done the like, which was, that he utterly renounced all maner of claime he might in any sort pretend unto that crowne to his fellow competitores, were it either by election or chance: alwayes provided that both himselfe and all his might live in that Empire free from all subjections and exempted from all maner of commandement, except that of the ancient lawes, and might both challenge all liberty and enjoy all immunities that should not prejudice them: being as impacient to command as to be commanded.  The sharpest and most dificile profession of the world is (in mine opinion) worthily to act and play the king+.  I excuse more of their faults then commonly other men doe; and that in consideration of the downe- bearing waight of their immense charge, which much astonisheth me, It is a very hard task to keep a due measure in so unmeasurable a power. Yet is it, that even with those that are of a lesse excellent nature it is a singular incitation to vertue to be seated in such a place where you shall doe no maner of good that is not registred and recorded, and where the least wel- dooing extendeth to so many persons, and where your sufficiency (as that of Preachers) is principally directed to the people; a weake and partiall judge, easily to be beguiled, and easie to be pleased.  There are but few things of which we may give a sincere judgement; for there be very few wherein in some sort or other we are not partcularly interessed.  Superiority and inferiority, 

THE THIRD BOOKE                     <Mont3-171>

maistry and subjection, are joyntly tied unto a naturall kinde of envy and contestation; they must perpetually enter-spoile one another.  I beleeve neither the one nor the other concerning hir companions rights: let us suffer reason to speake of it) which is inflexible and impassible, when or how we shall make an end.  I was not long since reading of two Scottish bookes striving upon this subject.  The popular makes the King+ to be of worse condition then a Carter; and he that extolleth, Monarchy placeth him both in power and soveraignty many steps above the Gods.  Now the incommodity if greatnesse, which here I have undertaken to note and to speak of (upon some occasion lately befalne mee), is this:  There is peradventure nothing more pleasing to the commerce of men then the Essayes which we through jealousie of honour+ or valour make one against another, be it in the exercise of the body or minde wherein soveraigne greatnesse hath no true or essentiall part.  Verily, it hath often seemed unto me, that through over- much respect Princes are therein used disdainefully and treated injuriously; For the thing whereat (in my youth) I was infinitely offended was, that those which were trained and schooled with mee, should forbeare to doe it in good earnest, because they found me unworthy to bee withstood or to resist their endevours. It is that we dayly see to happen unto them; every man finding himselfe unworthy to force himselfe against them.  If one perceive them never so little affected to have the victory, there is none but will strive to yeeld it them, and that will not rather wrong his glory then offend theirs: no man imployeth more diligence then needs he must to serve their honour. What share have Princes in the throng, where all are for them?  Mee thinks I see those Paladines of former ages presenting themselves in joustes, tiltings and combates, with bodies and armes enchanted.  Brisson running against Alexander, counterfeited his course; Alexander chid him for it; but he should have caused him to be whipt.  For this consideration was Carneades wont to say, that 'Princes 

<Mont3-172>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

children learn't nothing aright but to mannage and ride horses; forsomuch as in all other exercises every man yeeldeth and giveth them the victory; but a horse who is neyther a flatterer nor a Courtier, will as soone throw the child of a King as the son of a base porter.' Homer hath beene forced to consent that Venus (so sweet a saint and delicate a Goddesse) should be hurt at the siege of Troy, thereby to ascribe courage and hardinesse unto her, qualities never seene in those that are exempted from danger. The Gods themselves are fained to be angry, to feare, to be jealous, to grieve, to shew passion, and be subject to mortall sense, thereby to honour them with the vertues which the Poets and Philosophers invent amongst us: Nay, they are supposed to runne away, and to have a feeling of all our imperfections.  Who doth not participate both hazard and difficulties, cannot justly pretend interest in the honor+, or challenge share in the pleasure that followeth dangerous actions or hazardous attempts. it is pitty a man should be so powerfull, that all things must yeeld and give place unto him.  Such as are in so high eminency of greatnesse, their fortune rejects society and conversation too farre from them: she placeth them in over remote and uncouth places.  This easefull life and plausible facility to bring all under, and subject mens mindes, is an enemy to all manner of Pleasure.  It is a kinde of sliding, and not a going:  It is to sleepe and not to live.  Conceive man accompanied with ominpotency, you overwhelme him: he must in begging manner crave some empeachment and resistance of you.  His being and his food is in want and indigence.  Their good qualities are dead and lost, for they are not heard but by comparison, and they are excluded: they have little knowledge of true praise, being beaten with so continuall and uniforme an approbation.  Have they to doe with the simplest of their subjects?  They have no meane to take advantage of him if he but say, It is because he is my King, he supposeth to have sufficiently expressed, and you must understand that in so saying he hath lent a helping hand 


to overthrow himselfe.  This qualitie suppresseth and consumetb all other true and essentiall qualities: they are even drowned in the Royaltie; which gives them no leave to make the offices of their charge to prevaile, except in such actions as directly concerne and stead the same.  To be a King is a matter of that consequence, that onely by it he is so.  That strange glimmering and eye-dazeling light which round about environeth, overcasteth and hideth from us: or weake sight is thereby bleared and dissipated, as beeing filled and obscured by that greater and further-spreddiiig brightnesse.  The Senate allotted the honour and prize of eloquence unto Tiberius; he refused it, supposing that if it had beene true, he could not revenge himselfe of so limited and partiall judgement.  As we yeeld Princes all advantages of bonor, so we aucthorize their defects and sooth-up their vices; not onely by approbation, but also by imitation.  All Alexanders followers bare their heads sideling, as he did.  And such as flattered Dionysius in his owne presence did run and jostle one another, and either stumbled at or over-threw what ever stood before their feete, to inferre that they were as short-sighted or spur-blinde as he was.  Naturall imperfections have sometimes served for commendation and favour.  Nay, I have seene deafnesse affected.  And because the maister hated his wife, Plutarch hath seen courtiers to sue a divorce of tbeirs, whom they loved very well.  And which is more, paillardise and all maner of dissolution hath thereby beene held in credit; as also disloyalty, blasphemy, cruelty, heresie, superstition, irreligion, wantonnesse, and worse, if worse may be.  Yea, by an example more dangerous then that of Mithridates his flatterers, who for so much as their master pretended to have skill in phisick and aspired to the honor of a good Physition, came to him to have their members incized and cauterized.  For these others suffer to have their soules cauterized; a much more precious and nobler part then the body.  But to end where I began :  Adrian the Emperor, debating with Favorinus the Philosopher about the interpretation of 

<Mont3-174>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

some word, Favorinus did soone yeeld the victory unto him, his friends finding fault with him for it: 'you but jest, my masters' (quoth he); 'would you not have him to be much wiser than I, who hath the absolute command over thirty legions?' Augustus writ some verses against Asinius Pollio, which Pollio hearing, he said, 'I will bold my peace; for it is no wisedome to contend in writing with him who may proscribe.' And they had reason; for Dionysius, because be could not equall Philoxenus in poesie, nor match Plato in discourse, condemned the one to the stone-quarries, and sent the other to bee sold as a slave in the Ile of Aegina. 



IT is a custome of our law to condemne some for the warning of others. To condemne them because they have misdone were folly, as saith Plato. For what is once done can never be undone: but they are condemned to the end that they should not offend againe, or that otherr, may avoide the example of their offence. 'He who is hanged is not corrected, but others by him.' Even so doe I.  My errors are sometimes naturall, incorrigible, and remedilesse.  But whereas honest men profit the Common wealth in causing themselves to be imitated, I shall happily benefit the same in making my selfe to be evitated. {diffidence+}

Nonne vides Albi ut male vivat filius, utque
Barrus inops magnum documentum, ne patriam rem
Perdqe quis velit./1

Doe you not see how that mans sonne lives badly,
That man's a beggar by his spending madly?
A lesson great, that none take joy:  His patrimony to destroy.

By publishing and accusing my imperfections, some man may peradventure learne to feare them.  The parts I most esteeme in my selfe, reape more honor by accusing then by commending my selfe. {diffidence+} And that's the cause I more often fall into them againe and rest upon them.  But when all the cardes be told, a man never speakes of himselfe without losse. A mans own condemnations are ever increased: praises ever decreased.  There may be some of my complexion, who am better instructed by contrariety then by similitude; and more by escaping then by following.  Cato
1 HOR.  Ser. 1. i. sect. iv. 109. <Mont3-175>

<Mont3-176>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

senior had a speciall regard to this kind of discipline when he said that wisemen have more to learne of fooles then fooles of wisemen.  And that ancient player on the Lyra, whom Pausanias reporteth to have beene accustomed to compell his schollers sometimes to goe heare a bad Player, who dwelt right over-against him, where they might learne to hate his discords and false measures.  The horror of cruelty draws me neerer unto clemency+ then any patterne of clemency can possibly win me.  A cunning rider or skilfull horseman doth not so properly teach me to sit well on horsebacke, as doth one of our Lawyers, or a Venetian by seeing him ride.  And an ill manner of speech doth better reforme mine then any well polished forme of speaking. The sottish countenance of another doth daily advertise and forewarne me; that which pricketh, toucheth, and rouzeth better, then that which delighteth. These times are fit to reforme us backward, more by dissenting then by consenting more by difference then by accord.  Being but little instructed by good examples, I make use of bad; the lesson of which is ordinary.  I have endeavoured, nay I have laboured, to yeeld my selfe as pleasing and affable as I saw others peevish and froward; as constant, as I saw others variable; as gentle and milde, as I perceived others intractable and wild; and as good and honest, as I discerned others wicked and dishonest. {list+} But I proposed certaine invincible measures unto my selfe.  The most fruitfull and naturall exercise of our spirit is, in my selfe-pleasing conceit, conference. {dialectic+} The use whereof I finde to be more delightsome then any other action of our life:  And that's the reason why, if I were now forced to choose (being in the minde I now am in), I would rather yeeld to lose my sight then forgoe my bearing or my speech.  The Athenians and also the Romans did ever hold this exercise in high honor and reputation, namely, in their Academies.  And at this day the Italians doe yet keepe a kinde of forme and trace of it, to their great profit, as may apparently be discerned by comparing their wits unto ours.  The study 

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and plodding on bookes is a languishing and weake kinde of motion, and which heateth or earnesteth nothing; whereas conference doth both learne, teach and exercise at once.  If I conferre with a stubborne wit and encounter a sturdy wrestler, he toucheth me to the quicke, hits me on the flanks, and pricks me both on the left and right side; his imaginations vanquish and confound mine.  Jelousie, glory and contention drive, cast and raise me above my selfe.  And an unison or consent is a quality altogether tedious and wearisome in conference.  But as our minde is fortified by the communication of regular and vigorous spirits, it cannot well be expressed how much it loseth and is bastardized by the continuall commerce and frequentation we have with base, weake and dull spirits.  No contagion spreds it selfe further then that.  I know by long experience what an ell of it is worth. I love to contest and discourse, but not with many, and onely for my selfe. For to serve as a spectacle unto great men, and by way of contention for one to make a glorious shew of his ready wit and running tongue.  I deeme it a profession farre unfitting a man_of_honor+.  Sottishnes is an ill quality, but not to be able to endure it, and to fret and vex at it, as it hapneth to me, is another kinde of imperfection which in opportunity is not much behind sottishnes; and that's it I will now accuse in my selfe.  I doe with great liberty and facility enter into conference and disputation; forsomuch as opinion findes but a hard soile to enter and take any deepe roote in me.  No propositions amaze me, no conceit woundeth me, what contrariety soever they have to mine.  There is no fantazie so frivolous or humor so extravagant, that in mine opinion is not sortable to the production of humane wit.  Wee others, who debarre our judgement of the right to make conclusions, regard but negligently the diverse opinions: and if we lend it not our judgement, we easily affoord it our eares.  Where one scale of the ballance is altogether empty, I let the other waver too and fro, under an old wives dreames.  And me 

<Mont3-178>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

seemeth I may well be excused if I rather except an odde number than an even:  Thursday in respect of Friday, if I had rather make a twelfth or fourteenth at a table, then a thirteenth; if when I am travelling I would rather see a Hare coasting then crossing my way; and rather reach my left then my right foote to be shod.  All such fond conceits, now in credit about us, deserve at least to be listned unto.  As for me, they onely beare away inanity, and surely they do so.  Vulgar and casuall opinions are yet of some waight, which in nature are something els then nothing. And who wadeth not so far into them to avoid the vice of superstition, falleth happily into the blame of wilfulnesse.  The contradictions then of judgements doe neither offend nor move, but awaken and exercise me. We commonly shunne correction, whereas we should rather seeke and present our selves unto it, chiefly when it commeth by the way of conference, and not of regency.  At every opposition we consider not whether it be just, but be it right or wrong, how we may avoide it; In stead of reaching our armes, we stretch forth our clawes unto it.  I should endure to bee rudely handled and checked by my friends, though they should call me foole, coxecombe, or say I raved.  I love a man that doth stoutly expresse himselfe amongst honest and worthy men, and whose words answere his thoughts. {PlainDealer+} We should fortifie and harden our hearing against the tendernesse of the ceremonious sound of words.  I love a friendly society and a virile and constant familiarity; An amitie+ which in the earnestnesse and vigor of it's commerce flattereth it selfe: as love in bitings and bloody scratchings. It is not sufficiently generous or vigorous, except it be contentious and quarrelous; if she be civilised and a skilfull artist; if it feare a shocke or free encounter, and have hir starting holes or forced by-wayes.  Neque enim disputari sine reprehensione potest: 'Disputation cannot be held without reprehension.' When I am impugned or contraried, then is mine attention and not mine anger stirred 

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up.  I advance my selfe toward him that doth gainesay and instruct me. The cause of truth ought to be the common cause both to one and other. What can he answer?  The passion of choller hath already wounded his judgement: before reason hath seized upon it.  It were both profitable and necessary that the determining of our disputations might be decided by way of wagers, and that there were a materiall marke of our losses; that we might better remember and make more accompt of it; and that my boy might say unto me.: Sir, if you call to minde your contestation, your ignorance, and your selfe- wilfulnesse, at severall times, cost you a hundred crownes the last yeare: I feast, I cherish and I embrace truth, where and in whom soever I finde it, and willingly and merily yeeld my selfe unto her, as soone as I see but her approach, though it be a farre-off, I lay downe my weapon and yeeld my selfe vanquished.  And alwayes provided one persist not or proceede therein, with an over-imperious stiffnesse or commanding surlinesse, I am well pleased to be reprooved.  And I often accommodate my selfe unto my accusers more by reason of civility then by occasion of amendment: loving by the facility of yeelding to gratifie and foster their libertie, to teach or advertise me.  It is notwithstanding no easie matter to draw men of my times unto it.  They have not the courage to correct, because they want the heart to endure correction; and ever speake with dissimulation in presence one of another.  I take so great a pleasure to be judged and knowne, that it is indifferent to me in whether of the two formes I be so.  Mine owne imagination doth so often contradict and condemne it selfe, that if another do it, all is one unto me; especially seeing I give his reprehension no other authority then I list.  But I shall breake a straw or fall at ods with him, that keepes himselfe so aloft; as I know some that will fret and chafe if their opinions be not believed, and who take it as an injury, yea and fall out with their best friends, if they will not follow it.  And that 

<Mont3-180>           MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

Socrates, ever smiling, made a collection of such contradictions as were opposed to his discourse, one might say his force was cause of it, and that the advantage being assuredly to fall on his side, he tooke them as a subject of a new victory; neverthelesse we see on the contrary that nothing doth so nicely yeeld our sense unto it as the opinion of preheminence and disdaine of the adversary.  And that by reason it rather befits the weakest to accept of opposition in good part, which restore and repaire him.  Verily I seeke more the conversation of such as curbe me, then of those that feare me.  It is an unsavory and hurtful pleasure to have to doe with men who admire and give us place.  Antisthenes commanded his children never to be beholding unto or thanke any that should commend them.  I feele my selfe more lusty and cranke for the victory I gaine over my selfe, when in the heate or fury of the combate I perceive to bend and fall under the power of my adversaries reason, then I am pleased with the victory I obtain of him by his weakenesse.  To conclude, I receive all blowes and allow all attaints given directly, how weake soever; but am very impatient at such as are strucken at randan and without order.  I care but little for the matter, and with me opinions are all one, and the victory of the subject in a manner indifferent:  I shall quietly contest a whole day, if the conduct of the controversie be followed with order and decorum.  It is not force nor subtilty that I so much require, as forme and order.  The forme and order dayly seene in the altercations of shepheards, or contentions of shop-prentise boyes; but never amongst us.  If they part or give one another over, it is with incivilitie; and so doe we.  But their wrangling, their brawling and impatience, cannot make them to forgoe or forget their theame.
Their discourse holds on his course.  If they prevent one another, if they stay not for, at least they understand one another.  A man doth ever answere sufficiently well for me if he answere what I say.  But when the disputation is confounded and orderlesse, I quit the

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matter and betake me to the forme, with spight and indiscretion; and embrace a kinde of debating, teasty, headlong, malicious and imperious, whereat I afterward blush.  It is impossible to treate quietly and dispute orderly with a foole.  My judgement is not onely corrupted under the hand of so imperious a maister, but my conscience also.  Our disputations ought to be forbidden and punished, as other verball crimes.  What vice raise they not, and heape up together, being ever swayed and commanded by choller? First we enter into enmity with the reasons, and then with the men.  We learne not to dispute, except it be to contradict; and every man contradicting and being contradicted, it commonly followeth that the fruit of disputing is to loose and to disanull the trueth.  So Plato in his common wealth forbiddeth foolish, unapt and base-minded spirits to undertake that exercise.  To what purpose goe you about to quest or enquire that which is with him who hath neither good pace nor proceeding of woorth?  No man wrongs the subject when he quits the same for want of meanes to treat or mannage it.  I meane not a scholasticall and artist meane, but intend a naturall meane, and of a sound understanding.  What will the end be? one goeth Eastward and another Westward:  They loose the principall, and stray it in the throng of incidents. At the end of an houres wrangling they wot not what they seeke for: one is high, another low, and another wide.  Some take hold of a word, some of a similitude.  Some forget what was objected against them, so much are they engaged in the pursuite, and thinke to follow themselves, and not you.  Some finding themselves weake-backt, feare all, refuse all, and at the very entrance mingle the subject and confound the purpose; or in the heate of the disputation mutine to hold their peace altogether: through a spightfull ignorance, affecting a proud kinde of contempt, or a foolish modesty avoyding of contention.  Provided that one strike and hit, he careth not how open he lye.  Another compteth 

<Mont3-182>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

his words, and wayeth them for reasons; Another employeth nothing but the advantage of his voyce and winde.  Here one concludeth against himselfe; here another wearyeth you with idle prefaces and frivolous digressions. Another armeth himselfe afore hand with injuries, and seekes after a Dutch quarrell, to rid himselfe of the society and shake off the conference of a spirit that presseth and overbeareth his.  This last hath no insight at all in reason, but still beleagreth you with the dialecticall or logicall close of his clause, and ties you to the rule of his arte or forme of his skill.  Now who doth not enter into distrust of sciences, and is not in doubt, whether in any necessity of life he may reape solid fruit of them, if he consider the use we have of them?  Nihil sanantibus literis:  Since learning doth not cure.  Who hath learnt any wit or understanding in Logique? Where are her faire promises?  Nec ad melius vivendum, nec ad commodius disserendum:  Neither to live better or to dispute fitter.  Shall a man beare more brabling or confusion in the tittle-tattle of fish wives or scoulding sluts, then in the publike disputations of men of this profession?  I had rather my child should learne to speake in a Taverne then in the schooles of well-speaking Art. {PlainDealer+} Take you a maister of arts, and conferre with him, why doth hee not make us perceive his artificiall excellency, and by the admiration of his reasons-constancy, or with the beauty of his quaint order and grace of his method, ravish silly women, and bleare ignorant men as we are?  Why doth he not sway, winde and perswade us as hee list? Why should one so advantageous in matter and conduct entermixe injuries, indiscretion and chollericke rage with his fence?  Let him pull of his two-faced hoode, his gowne and his latine, let him not fill our eares with meerely beleeved Aristotle, you will discover and take him for one of us, and worse if may be.  Me thinks this implication and entangling of speech, wherewith they doe so much importune us, may fitly be compared unto juglers play 

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of fast and loose; their nimblenesse combats and forceth our sences, but it nothing shaketh our beliefe:  Take away their jugling, what they doe is but base, common and slight.  Though they be more witty and nimble spirited, they are not tthe lesse foolish, simple and unapt.  I love wit and honour wisedome as much as them that have it.  And beeing rightly used, it is the noblest, the most forcible, yea and richest purchase men can make.  But in such (of which kinde the number is infinit) that upon it establish their fundamentall sufficiency and worth: that from their wit refer themselves to their memory, sub aliena umbra latentes: reposing them under another mans protection, and can do nothing but by the booke (if I may be bold to say so) I hate the same a little more then sottishnes.  In my country and in my dayes learning and bookishnes doth much mend purses, but minds nothing at all.  If it chance to finde them empty, light and dry, it filleth, it overburthens and swelleth them: a raw and indigested masse; if thinne, it doth easily purifie, clarifie, extenuate and subtilize them even unto exinanition or evacuation.  It is a thing of a quality very neare indifferent: a most profitable accessory or ornament unto a wel_borne+ mind, but pernicious and hurtfully damageable unto any other or rather a thing of most precious use, that will not basely be gotten nor vily possessed.  In some hands a royall scepter, in other some a rude mattocke.  But let us proceed.  What greater or more glorious victory can you expect, then teach your enemy that hee cannot withstand you?  When you gaine the advantage of your proposition, it is Truth that winneth; when you get the advantage of the order and conduct, it is you that winne.  I am of opinion that both in Plato and in Xenophon, Socrates disputeth more in favour of the disputers then in grace of the disputation; and more to instruct Euthydemus and Protagoras with the knowledge of the impertinency of their art.  He takes hold of the first matter, as who hath a more profitable end, then to cleare it; that is, to cleare the spirits 

<Mont3-184>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

he undertaketh to manage and to exercise.  Agitation, stirring and hunting, is properly belonging to our subject or drift; wee are not excusable to conduct the same ill and impertinently, but to misse the game and faile in taking, that's another matter.  For wee are borne to quest and seeke after trueth+; to possesse it belongs to a greater power.  It is not (as Democritus said) hidden in the deepes of abisse; but rather elevated in infinite height of divine knowledge.  The world is but a Schoole of inquisition. The matter is not who shall put in, but who shall runne the fairest courses. As well may hee play the foole that speaketh truely as hee that speaketh falsely; for wee are upon the manner and not upon the matter of speaking. My humour is, to have as great a regard to the forme as to the substance; as much respect to the Advocat as to the cause; as Alcibiades appointed we should doe.  And I dayly ammuse my selfe to read in authors, without care of their learning; therein seeking their manner, not their subject. Even as I pursue the communication of some famous wit, not that he should teach me, but that I may know him; and knowing him (if he deserve it) I may immitate him.  Every one may speake truely, but to speake orderly, methodically, wisely and sufficiemtly, few can doe it.  So falsehood proceeding from from ignorance doth not offend me; ineptnesse and trifling doth.  I have broken off divers bargaines, that would have beene very commodious unto me, by the impertinency of their contestation, with whom I did bargaine.  I am not mooved once a yeare, with the faults or oversights of those over whom I have power: but touching the point of the sottishnesse and foolishnes of their allegations, excuses, and defences, rude and brutish, we are every day ready to goe by the eares.  They neither understand what is said nor wherefore, and even so they answer; a thing able to make one despaire. I feele not my head to shocke hard but by being hit with another.  And I rather enter into composition with my peoples vices, then with their rashnesse, importunity and foolishnesse.  Let them doe 

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lesse, provided they be capable to doe.  You live in hope to enflame their will.  But of a blocke there is nothing to be hoped for, nor any thing of worth to bee enjoyed.  Now, what if I take things otherwise the n they are?  So it may bee; and therefore I accuse my impatience.  And first Ihould that it is equally vicious in him who is in the right as in him that is in the wrong; For it is ever a kinde of tyrannicall sharpenesse not to be able to endure a forme different from his; and verily, since there is not a greater fondnesse, a more constannt gullishnesse, or more heteroclite insipidity then for one to move or vex himselfe at the fondnesse, at the gullishnesse, or insipidity of the world:  For it principally formalizeth and moveth us against our selves; and that Philosopher of former ages should never have wanted occasion to weepe so long as he had considered himselfe. {common+} Miso, one of the seaven sages (a man of a Timonian disposition and Democraticall humour) being demanded where-at he laughed alone, be answered, because I laugh alone; how many follies doe I speake and answer every day, according to my selfe; and then how much more frequent according to others?  And if I bite mine owne lips at them, what ought others to doe? In fine, wee must live with the quicke, and let the water runne under the bridge, without any care, or at least without alteration to us.  In good sooth, why meet we sometimes with crooked, deformed, and in body mishapen men, without falling into rage and discontent, and cannot endure to light-upon a froward, skittish, and ill-ranged spirit, without falling into anger and vexation?  This vicious austerity is rather in the Judge then in the fault.  Let us ever have that saying of Plato in our mouthes:  What I find unwholsome, is it not to be unhealthy my selfe?  Am not I in fault my selfe? May not mine owne advertisement be retorted against my selfe?  Oh wise and divine restraint, that curbeth the most universall and common error of men.  Not onely the reproches wee doe one to another, but our reasons, our arguments and matter controversed, 

<Mont3-186>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

are ordinarily retortable unto us; and we pinch our selves up in our owne armes.  Whereof antiquity hath left me divers grave examples.  It was ingeniously spoken and fit to the purpose by him that first devised the same:

Stercus cuique suum bene olet./1

Ev'ry mans ordure well,
To his owne sense doth smell.

Our eyes see nothing backward.  A hundred times a day we mocke our selves upon our neigbbours subject, and detest some defects in others that are much more apparent in us; yea, and admire them with a strange impudency and unheedinesse.  Even yesterday I chanced to see a man of reasonable understanding, who no lesse pleasantly then justly flouted at anothers fond fashion, and yet upon every silly occasion doth nothing but molest all men with the impertinent bedrowle and register of his pedigrees, genealogies and alliances, more then halfe false and wrested in (for it is the manner of such people commonly to undertake such foolish discourses, whose qualities are more doubtfull and lesse sure); who if be had impartially considered and looked upon himselfe, should doubtlesse have found himselfe no lesse intemperate, indiscreet, and tedious, in publishing and extolling the prerogative of his wives pedigree and descent.  Oh importunate presumption, wherewith the wife seeth her selfe armed by the hands of her own husband.  If he understand Latin, a man should say to him,
Age, si haec non insanit satis sua sponte, instiga./2

Goe too, if of her owne accord before,
She were not mad enough, provoke her more.

I say not that none should accuse except hee bee spotlesse in himselfe; For then none might accuse: no not spotlesse in the same kinde of fault. But my
1 ERAS.  Chil. iii. cent. iv. ad. 2. 2 TER.  And. act. iv. sc. 2. 
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meaning is, that our judgement charging and blaming another, of whom there is then question, spareth us nothing of an inward and severe jurisdiction. It is an office of charity, that bh who cannot remove a vice from himselfe, should neverthelesse endevour to remove it from others, where it may have a lesse hurtfull and froward seed.  Nor doe I deeme it a fit answer for him that warneth me of my fault, to say the same is likewise in him.  But what of that?  Well meaning warning is alwayes true and profitable.  Had we a good and sound nose, our owne ordure should he more unsavor unto our selves, forasmuch as it is our owne.  And Socrates is of opinion that he who should find himselfe, and his son, and a stranger guilty of any violence or injury, ought first begin by himselfe, and present himselfe to the sentence and condemnation of the law, and for his owne discharge and acquital implore the assistance of the executioners hand: secondly, for his son, and lastly, for the stranger.  If this recept take his tune somewhat too high, it should at lest be first presented to the punishment of one's owne conscience. Our senses are our proper and first judges, who distinguish not things, but by externall accidents; and no marvell, if in all parts of the service belonging to our society there is so perpetuall and universall commixture of ceremonies and superficiall apparances; so that the best and most effectuall part of policies consists in that.  It is man with whom we have alwayes to doe, whose condition is marvellously corporall.  Let those who in these latter dayes have so earnestly laboured to frame and establish unto us an exercise of Religion and Service of God, so contemplative and immateriall, ponder nothing at all if some be found who thinke it would have escaped and moultred away betweene their fingers, if it had not held and continued amongst us, as a marke, a title, and instrument of division and faction, more then by it selfe.  As in conference, The gravity, the gowne, and the fortune of him that speaketh, doth often adde and winne credit unto vaine, trifling, and absurd discourses.  It is not to bee 

<Mont3-188>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

presumed that one of these gowne-Clarkes or quoifed Serjants, so followed and so redoubled, have not some sufficiency within him more then popular: and that a man so sullen, so grim, and so disdainfull, to whom so many commissions, charges, and authorities are given, be not more sufficient and worthy then another who saluteth and vaileth to him so farre-off, and whom no man employeth.  Not onely the words, but the powtings of such people are considered and registred, every one applying himselfe to give them some notable and solide interpretation.  If they stoope to common conference, and that a man affoord or shew them other then reverence and approbation, they overthrow you with the autority of their experience: they have read, they have heard, seene, and done goodly things, you are cleane overwhelmed with examples.  I would faine tell them that the fruit of a Chirurgion's experience is not the story of his practises, or the remembrance that hee hath cured foure who had the Plague, and healed as many that had the Goute, except hee know and have the wit, from his use and experience, to draw a methode how to frame his judgements, and by his skill and practise make us perceave hee is become wiser in his art.  As in a consort of instruments, one heares not severally a Lute, a Vyol, a Flute, or a paire of Virginalles, but a perfect-full harmony: the assembly and fruit of all those instruments in one.  If their travels and charges have amended them, it is in the production of their understanding to make it appeare.  It sufficeth not to number the experiments; they ought to bee well poised and orderly sorted: and to extract the reasons and conclusions they containe, they should be well disgested and thorowly distilled.  Ther- were never so many Historians.  It is ever good and profitable to heare them; for out of the magazin of their memory they store us with divers good instructions and commendable documents.
Verily a chiefe part, for the assistance of our life.  Aut now a dayes wee seeke not after that, but rather whether the Collectors and reporters of them be praise worthy and directing 

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themselves.  I hate al manner of tyranny both verball and effectuall. I willingly band and oppose my selfe against these vaine and frivolous circumstances, which by the sences delude our judgement; and holding my selfe aloofe of from these extraordinary greatnesses, have found that for the most part they are but men as others be:

Rarus enim ferme sensus communis in illa

For common senre is seldome found
In fortunes that so much abound.

They are, peradventure, esteemed and discerned lesse then they bee, forsomuch as they undertake more, and so shew themselves; they annwer not the charge they have taken.  There must necessarily be more vigour and strength in the bearer then in the burden.  He who is not growne to his full strength, leaves you to ghesse whether he have any left him beyond that, or have beene tried to the utmost of his power.  He who fainteth under his burden bewrayeth his measure and the weaknesse of his shoulders.  Thats the reason why amongst the wiser sort there are so many foolish and unapt minds seene, and more then of others.  They might happily have beene made good husbandmen, thriving merchants, and plodding artificers.  Their naturall vigour was cut out to this proportion.  Learning is a matter of great consequence: they faint under it.  To enstall and distribute so rich and so powerfall a matter, and availefully to employ the same, their wit hath neither sufficient vigour, nor conduct enough to manage it.  It hath no prevailing vertue but in a strong nature, and they are very rare; and such as are weake (saith Socrates) corrupt and spoilingly deface the dignity of Philosophy in handling the same.  She seemeib faulty and unprofitable, being ill placed and unorderly disposed.  Loe here how they spoile and entangle themselves.
1 JUV.  Sat. viii. 73. 
<Mont3-190>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES
Huntani qualis simulator simius oris,
Quem puer arridens, pretioso stamine serum
Velavit, nudasque nates ac terga reliquit,
Ludibrium mensis./1
Such counterfeits as Apes are of mans face,
Whom children sporting at, featly incase
In coastly coates, but leave his backeside bare
For men to laugh at, when they feasting are.
To those likewise who sway and command us, and have the world in their owne bands, 'tis not sufficient to have a common understanding, and to be able to doe what we can effect.  They are farre beneath us, if they be not much above us.  As they promise more, so owe they more.  And therefore silence is in them, not only a countenance of respect and gravitie, but often of thrift and profit.  Megabysus going to visite Apelles in his worke-house, stood still a good while without speaking one word, and then began to discourse of his workes.  Of whom he received this rude and nipping cheke:  So long as thou holdest thy peace, by reason of thy garish clothes, goodly chaines and stately pompe, thou seemedst to be some worthy gallant; but now thou hast spoken, there is not the simplest boy of my shop but scorneth and contemns thee.' That great state of his, those rich habiliments and goodly traine did not permit him to be ignorant with a popular ignorance, and to speak impertinently of painting.  He should have kept mute and concealed his externall and presuming sufficiency.  Unto how many fond and shallow minds hath in my dayes a sullen, cold, and silent countenance served as a title of wisedome and capacity?  Dignities, charges and places are necessarily given more by fortune then by merit; and they are often to blame that for it lay the blame on Kings.  Contrariwise it is a wonder that, being so untoward, they should therein have so good lucke:  Principis est virtue maxima nosse suos: 'Chiefe vertue it is knowne, In Kings to know their owne.' For Nature hath not given them so perfect
1 CLAUD.  Eutrop. 1. i. 803. 
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a sight that it might extend it selfe and overlooke so many people, to discerne their pre-excellency; and enter their breasts where lodgeth the knowledge of our will and better worth.  It is by conjectures, and as it were groping they must try us; by our race, alliances, dependences, riches, learning, and the peoples voice: all over-weake arguments.  He that could devise a meane how men might be judged by law, chosen by reason and advanced by desert, should establish a perfect forme of a commonwealth. Yea but hee hath brought that great businesse unto a good passe.  It is to say something, but not to say sufficiently.  For this sentence is justly received, That counsels ought not to be judged by the events.{Cordelia+} The Carthaginians were wont to punish the ill counsels of their Captaines, although corrected by some fortunate successes And the Roman people hath often refused triumphes to famous, successfull and most profitable victories, forsomuch as the Generals conduct answeared not his good fortune.
     It is commonly perceived by the worlds actions that fortune+, to teach us how farre hir power extendeth unto all things, and who taketh pleasure to abate our presumption, having not bin able to make silly men wise, she hath made them fortunate in envy of vertue; and commonly gives hir selfe to favour executions, when as their complot and devise is meerly hirs.  Whence we dayly see that the simplest amongst us compass divers great and important affaires, both publike and private. And as Sirannez, the Persian Prince, answered those who seemed to wonder how his negotiations succeeded so ill, his discourses being so wise, that he was onely maister of his discourses, but fortune mistris of his affaires successes.  These may answer the like; but with a contrary bias.  Most things of the world are made by themselves.

Fata viam inveniunt./1
Fates finde and know which way to goe.
1 VIRG.  Aen. 1. iii. 356.
<Mont3-192>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

The issue doth often aucthorize a simple conduct.  Our interposition is in a manner nothing els but an experience, and more commonly a consideration of use and example then of reason.  And as one amazed at the greatnesse of some businesses I have sometimes understood by those who had atchieved them, both their motives and addresses: wherein I have found but vulgar advises: and the most vulgar and used are peradventure the surest and most commodious for the practice, if not for the shew.  And what if the plainest reasons, are the best seated, the meanest, basest and most beaten, are best applied unto affaires?  To maintaine the authority of our Kings counsell it is not requisite that prophane persons should be partakers of it, and looke further into it then from the first barre.  To uphold it's reputation, it should be reverenced upon credit, and at full.  My consultation doth somewhat roughly hew the matter, and by it's first shew, lightly consider the same: the maine and chiefe point of the worke I am wont to resigne to heaven.

Permitte, divis caetera./1

How all the rew shall goe,
Give leave to Gods to know.

Good and bad fortune+ are in my conceit two soveraigne powers. 'Tis folly to thinke that humane wisdome may act the full part of fortune.  And vaine is his enterprise that presumeth to embrace both causes and consequences, and lead the progresse of his fact by the hand.  And above all, vainest in military deliberations.  There was never more circumspection and mililary wisedome then is sometimes seene amongst us: may it be that man feareth to lose himselfe by the way, reserving himselfe to the catastrophe of that play?  I say, moreover, that even our wisdome and consultation for the most part followeth the conduct of bazard.  My will and my discourse is sometimes mooved by one ayre and sometimes by another; and
1 HOR. 1. i.  Od. ix. 9. 
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there be many of these motions that are governed without me.  My reason hath dayly impulsions and casuall agitations:

Vertuntur species animorum, et pectora motus
Nunc alios, alios dum nubila ventus agebat,

The showes of mindes are chang'd, and brests conceave
At one time motions which anon they leave,
And others take againe, As winds drive clouds amaine.

Let but a man looke who are the mightiest in Cities and who thrive best in their businesse: he shall commonly find they are the siliest and poorest in wit.  It hath bapned to simple women, to weake children, and to mad men to command great states, as well as the most sufficient Princes.  And the gullish or shallow-pated (saith Thucidides) doe more ordinarily come unto them then the wisest and subtilest.  We ascribe their good fortunes effects unto their prudence.
------ ut quisque fortuna utitur,
Ita praecellit: atque exinde sapere illum omnes dicimus./2

As men their fortune use, so they excell,
And so we say, they are wise and doe well.

Wherefore I say well that howsoever events are but weake testimonies of our worth and capacity.  I was now upon this point that we need but looke upon a man advanced to dignity; had we but three daies before knowne him to bee of little or no worth at all: an image of greatnesse and an Idea of sufficiency doth insensibly glide and creepe into our opinions; and we perswade our selves that increasing in state and credit and followers, hee is also increased in merit.  We judge of him, not according to his worth, but after the maner of casting-counters, according to the prerogative of his ranke.  But let fortune turne her wheele, let him againe decline and come down amongst the vulgar multitude; every one with admiration
1 VIRG.  Geo. 1. iv. 20. 2 PLAU.  Pse. act v. 4.
<Mont3-194>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES enquireth of the cause and how he was raised so high. Good Lord, is that he? will some say.  What, knew he no more? had be no other skill when he was so aloft?  Are Princes pleased with so little?  Now in good sooth we were in very good hands, will others say.  It is a thing my selfe have often seene in my dayes.  Yea the very maske of greatnesse or habit of Majesty represented in Tragedies doth in some sort touch and beguile us.  The thing I adore in Kings is the throng of their adorators. All inclination and submission is due unto them, except the mindes.  My reason is not framed to bend or stoope: my knees are.  Melanthius, being demanded what be thought of Dionysius his tragedy answered, I have not seene it, so much was it over-clouded with language.  So should those say that judge of great mens discourses:  I have not understood his discourse, so was it overdarkned with gravity, with greatness and with Majesty.  Antisthenes one day perswaded the Athenians to command that their asses should as well be employed about the manuring of grounds as were their horses who answered him that the asse was not borne for such service:  That's all one (quoth he), there needs but your allowance for it: for the most ignorant and incapable men you imploy about the directing of your warres leave not to become out of hand most worthy onely because you employ them.  Whereupon depends the custome of so many men, who canonize the King, whom they have made amongst them, and are not contented to honor him, unlesse they also adore him. Those of Mexico, after the ceremonies of his consecration are finished, dare no more looke him in the face; but as if by his Royalty they had deified him, they afterward deeme him to bee a God: amongst the oathes, they make him sweare to maintaine their Religion, to keepe their Lawes, to defend their liberties, to be valiant, just and debonaire; he is also sworne to make the Sun march in his accustomed light; in time of need to cause the clouds showre downe their waters; to enforce rivers to runne in 
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their right wonted chanels; and compell the earth to produce all necessary things for his people.  I differ from this common fashion, and more distrust sufficiency, when I see it accompanied with the greatnes of fortune, and lauded by popular commendation.  Wee should speedfully marke of what consequence it is for a man to speake in due time, to choose fit opportunity, to breake or change his discourse with a magistrate authority; to defend himselfe from others oppositions, by a nod or moving of the head, by a smile, a shrug, or a silence, before an assembly trembling with reverence and respect. A man of monstrous fortune, chancing to shoote his boult, and give his opinion upon a frivolous subject, which but jestingly was tossed too and fro at his table, began ever thus: he cannot choose but be a lyer, or an ignorant asse, that will say otherwise then, &c.  Follow this Philosophicall point, out commeth a dagger, and there is some mischiefe.  Loe here another advertisement, from whence I reape good use; which is, that in disputations and conferences all good seeming words ought not presently to be allowed and accepted.  Most men are rich of a strange sufficiency.  Some may chance to speake a notable saying, to give a good answere, to use a witty sentence, and to propound it, without knowing the force of it.  That a man holdeth not all he borroweth, may peradventure be verified in my selfe.  A man should not alwayes yeeld, what truth or goodnes soever it seemeth to containe. A man must either combat the same in good earnest, or draw back, under colour of not understanding the matter: to try on all parts, how it is placed in it's author.  It may fortune that we shut our selves up and further the stroake, beyond its caring.  I have sometimes in necessity and throng of the combat employed some reviradoes or turnings, which beyond my intent have prooved false offers.  I but gave them by tale, and they were received by waight.  Even as when I contend with a vigourous man, I please my selfe to anticipate his conclusions; I ease 

<Mont3-196>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

him the labour to interpret himselfe; Inndevour to prevent his imperfect and yet budding imagination; the order and pertinency of his understanding forwarneth and menaceth a farre off.  Of these others I do cleane contrary; a man must understand or presuppose nothing but by them.  If they judge in generall termes:  This is is good, that's naught: and that they jump right, see whether it be fortune that jumpeth for them.  Let them a little circumscribe and restraine their sentence wherefore it is, and which way it is.  These universall judgements I see so ordinarily say nothing at all. They are men that salute a whole multitude in throng and troupe.  Such as have true knowledge of the same, salute and marks it by name and particularly. But it is a hazardous enterprise.  Whence I have oftner and daily seene to happen that wits weakly grounded, intending to shew themselves ingenious by observing in the reading of some work the point of beauty, stay their admiration with so bad a choise, that in lieu of teaching us the authors excellency, they shew us their owne ignorance.  This maner of exclamation is safe:  Loe this is very excellent:  Surely this is very good; having heard a whole page of Virgil.  And that's the shift whereby the subtill save themselves. But to undertake to follow him by shrugs and crinches, and with an expresse selected judgement to goe about to marke which way a good author surmounteth himselfe; pondring his words, his phrases, his inventions, and his severall vertues one after another:  Away, goe by:  It is not for you.  Videndum est non modo, quid quisque loquatur, sed etiam quid quisque sentiat, atque etiam qua de causa quisque sentiat: 'Man must take heed not onely what he speakes, but what he thinkes, and also why he thinkes.' I dayly heare fooles utter unfoolish words.  Speake they any good thing; let us understand whence they know it, bow farre they understand and wherebv they hold it. Wee helpe them to employ this fine word and this goodly reason, which they possesse not, and have but in 


keeping; they have happily produced the same by chance and at random, our selves bring it in credit and esteeme with them.  You lend them your hand what to doe? to konne you no thankes, and thereby become more simple and more foolish.  Doe not second them: let them goe-on: they will handle this matter as men affraid to bewray themselves, they dare neither change her seats or light, nor enter into it.  Shake it never so little, it escapeth them; quit the same how strong and goodly soever it be.  They are handsome weapons, but ill hafted.  How often have I seene the experience of it!  Now if you come to expound and confirme them, they take hold of you, and presently steale the advantage of your interpretation from you.  It was that which I was about to say:  It was just my conceit; If I have not so exprest it, it is but for want of speech.  Handy-dandy, what is this?  Malice it selfe must be employed to correct this fierce rudenesse.  Hegesias his position, that a man must neither hate nor accuse, but instruct, hath some reason else where.  But here it is injustice to assist, and inhumanity to raise him up againe, that hath nothing to doe with it, and is thereby of lesser worth.  I love to have them entangle and bemire themselves more then they are, and if it be possible to wade so deepe into the gulphe of error, that in the end they may recall and advise themselves.  Sottishnesse and distraction of the senses is no disease curable by a tricke of advertisment.  And we may fitly say of this reparation, as Cyrus answered one who urged him to exhort his army in the nicke when the battell should begin: 'That men are not made warlike and courageous in the field by an excellent oration, no more then one becommeth a ready cunning Musition by hearing a good song.' They are prentisages that must be learned a forehands by long and constant institution.  This care we owe to ours, and this assiduity of correction and instruction; but to preach to him that first passeth by, or sway the ignorance or fondnesse of him we meete next, is a custome l cannot well away with.  I seldome 

<Mont3-198>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

use it, even in such discourses as are made to me; and I rather quit all, then come to these far-fetcht and magistrate instractions.  My humour is no more proper to speake then to write, namely for beginners.  But in things commonly spoken, or amongst others, how false and absurd soever I judge them, I never crosse or gibe them, neither by word nor signe.  Further, nothing doth_more spight me in sottishnesse then that it pleaseth it selfe more then any reason may justly bee satisfied.  It is ill lucke that wisedome forbids you to please and trust your selfe, and sends you alwayes way discontented and fearefull; whereas wilfulnesse and rashnesse fill their guests with gratulation and assurance.  It is for the simplest and least able to looke at other men over their shoulders, ever returning from the combat full of glory and gladnesse.  And most often also, this outrecuidance of speech and cheerefulnesse of countenance giveth them the victory over the bystanders, who are commonly weake, and incapable to judge a right and discerne true advantage.  Obstinacy and earnestnesse in opinion is the surest tryall of folly and selfe conceit.  Is there any thing so assured, so resolute, so disdainfull, so contemplative, so serious and so grave, as the Asse?  May we not commixe with the title of conference and communication the sharpe and interrupted discourses whichmirth+ and familiarity introduceth amongst friends, pleasantly dallying and wittily jesting one with another?  An exercise to which my naturall blithnesse makes me very apt.  And if it be not so wire-drawne and serious as this other exercise I now speake of, yet is it no lesse sharpe or ingenious, no lesse profitable, as it seemed to Lycurgus. For my regard I bring more liberty then wit unto it, and have therin more lucke then invention; but I am perfect in sufferance; for I endure the revenge, not onely sharpe but also indiscreete, without any alteration. And to any assault given me, if I have not presently or stoutly wherewith to worke mine owne amends, I ammuse not my selfe to follow that ward or point, with a tedious and selfe-wil'd contestation, enclining to 


pertinacy:  I let it passe, and hanging downe mine eares, remit my selfe to a better houre to right my selfe.  He is not a marchant that ever gaineth. Most men change both voice and countenance, where might faileth them:  And by an importunate rage, instead of avenging themselves, they accuse their weaknesse and therewith bewray their impacience.  In this jollity we now and then harpe upon some secret strings of our imperfections, which setled or considerate we cannot touch without offence, and we profitably enter- advertize our selves of our defects.  There are other handy-sports indiscreete, fond and sharpe, just after the French maner, which I hate mortally; I have a tender and sensible skinne:  I have in my daies seene two Princes of our Royall blood brought to their graves for it.  It is an ill seeming thing for men in jest to hitte, or in sport to strike one another.  In other matters, when I shall judge of any body, I demaund of him how farre or how much he is contented with himselfe; how farre his speach or his worke pleaseth him.  I will avoyd these goodly excuses, I did it but in jest:

Ablatum mediis opus est incudibus istud,/1

This worke away was brought,
Halfe hammered, halfe wrought.

I was not an houre there:  I have not seene him since.  Now I say, let us then leave these partes; give me one that may represent you whole and entire, by which it may please you to be measured by another.  And then, what finde you fairest in your owne worke?  Is it that or this part?  The grace or the matter, the invention, the judgement, or the learning?  For I ordinarily perceive that a man misseth as much in judging of his owne worke as of anothers.  Not onely by the affection he therein imployeth, but because be hath not sufficiencie to know, nor skill to distinguish it.  The worke of it's owne power and fortune may second the workeman, and transport him beyond his invention and
1 OVID.  Trist. 1. i.  Eleg. vi. 29. 
<Mont3-200>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

knowledge.  As for me, I judge not the worth of anothers worke more obscurely then of mine owne; and place my Essayes sometime lowe, sometimes high, very unconstantly and doubtfully.  There are divers bookes profitable by reason of their subjects, of which the author reapeth no commendations at all; And good bookes, as also good workes, which make the workeman ashamed. I shall write the manner of our bankets and the fashion of our garments, and I shall write it with an ill grace:  I shall publish the Edicts of my time, and the letters of Princes that publikely passe from hand to hand: I shall make an abridgement of a good booke (and every abridgement of a good booke is a foole abridged), which booke shall come to be lost, and such like things.  Posterity shall reape singular profit by such compositions; but I, what honour except by my good fortune?  Many famous bookes are of this condition.
     When I read Philip de Commines (now divers yeares since), a right excellent author, I noted this speech in him as a saying not vulgar:  That a man should carefully take heed how be do his master so great or much service, that he thereby be hindred from finding his due recompence for it.  I should have commended the invention, but not him. After that I found it in Tacitus:  Beneficia eo usque lata sunt dum videntur exolvi posse , ubi multum antevenere pro gratia odium redditur:/1  ' Benefits+ are so long wel-come, as wee thinke they may be requited, but when they much exceede all power of recompence, hate is returned for thankes and good will.' Seneca very stoutly:  Nam qui putat esse turpe non reddere, non vult esse cui reddat:/2  'For he that thinkes it a shame not to requite, could wish he were not whom he should requite.' Q.Cicero with a looser byas:  : 'He that thinkes he doth not satisfie, can by no meanes be a friend.' The subject according as it is may make a man be judged learned,
1 CORN.  TACIT.  Annal. 1. iv. 2 SEN.  Epist. lxxxi. 

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wise, and memorious; but to judge in him the parts most his owne and best worthy, together with the force and beautie of his minde, 'tis very requisite we know first what is his owne, and what not; and in what is not his owne, what we are beholding to him for, in consideration of his choise, disposition, ornament, and language be hath thereunto furnished. What if he have borrowed the matter and empaired the forme? as many times it commeth to passe.  Wee others that have little practise with bookes are troubled with this, that when wee meet with any rare or quaint invention in a new Poet, or forcible argument in a Preacher, we dare not yet commend them untill we have taken instruction of some wise man, whether that art be their owne or another bodies, And untill then I ever stand upon mine owne guard.  I come lately from reading over (and that without any intermission) the story of' Tacitus (a matter not usual] with me; it is now twenty yeares, I never spent one whole houre together upon a booke), and I have now done it at the instant request of a gentleman whom France holdeth in high esteeme, as well for his owne worth and valour as for a constant forme of sufficiencie and goodnes apparently seene in divers brethren of his.  I know no author that in a publike register entermixeth so many considerations of manners and particular inclinations.  And I deeme cleane contrary to what hee thinketh; who being especially to follow the lives of the Emperours of his time, so divers and extreme in all manner of forme, so many notable and great actions, which namely their cruelty produced in their subjects, he had a more powerfull and attractive matter to discourse and relate, then if hee had beene to speake or treat of battels and universall agitations. So that I often find him barren, sleightlie running-over those glorious deaths, as if he feared to attediate and molest us with their multitude and continuance.  This forme of historie is much more profitable:  Publike innovations depend more on the conduct of fortune+; private on ours.  It is rather a judgement then a deduction of 

<Mont3-202>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

an history: therein are more precepts then narrations.  It is not a booke to reade, but a volume to study and to learne; it is so fraught with sentences, that right or wrong they are hudled up.  It is a seminary of morall and a magazine of pollitique discourses, for the provision and ornament of those that possesse some place in the managing of the world.{history+} He ever pleadeth with solid and forcible reasons, after a sharpe and witty fashion; following the affected and laboured stile of his age.  They so much loved to raise and puffe themselves up, that where they found neither sharpnesse not subiility in things, they would borrow it of wordes.  He draweth somewhat neare to Seneca's writing.  I deeme Tacitus more sinnowy, Seneca more sharpe.  His service is more proper to a crazed troubled state, as is ours at this present; you would often say, he pourtrayeth and toucheth us to the quicke.  Such as doubt of his faith doe manyfestly accuse themselves to hate him for somewhat else.  His opinions be sound, and enclining to the better side of the Romane affaires.  I am neverthelesse something greeved that be hath more bitterly judged of Pompey then honest men's opinions, who lived and conversed with him, doe well allow off: to have esteemed him altogether equall to Marius and Silla, saving that he was more close and secret.  His intention and canvasing for the government of affaires hath not beene exempted from ambition nor cleared from revenge+; and his owne friends have feared that had he gotten the victory, it would have transported him beyond the limits of reason, but not unto an unbridled and raging measure.  There is nothing in his life that hath threatned us with so manifest a cruelty and expresse tyranny.  Yet must not the suspition be counterpoised to the evidence:  So doe not I beleeve him.
     That his narrations are naturall and right might happily be argued by this, that they doe not alwaies exactly apply themselves to the conclusions of his judgement, which hee pursueth according to the course he hath taken, often beyond the matter he showeth us, 

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which be hath dained to stoope unto with glance.  He needeth no excuse to have approoved the religion of his times according to the lawes which commanded him, and beene ignorant of the true and perfect worship of God, That's his ill fortune, not his defect.  I have principally considered his judgement, whereof I am not everywhere throughly resolved.  As namely these words contayned in the letter, which Tiberius, being sicke and aged, sent to the Senate: 'What shall I write to you my masters, or how shall I write to you, or what shall I not write to you in these times?  May the gods and goddesses loose me worse then I dayly feele myselfe to perish, if I can tell.' I cannot perceive why he should so certainly apply them onto a stinging remorse, tormenting the conscience of Tiberius; At least when my selfe was in the same plight, I saw it not.  That hath likewise seemed somwhat demisse and base unto me, that having said how he exercised a certaine honourable magistracy in Rome, he goeth about to excuse himselfe that it is not for ostentation he spake it.  This one tricke, namely in a minde of his quality, seemeth but base and course unto me; For not to dare speake roundly of himselfe, accuseth some want of courage.  A constant, resolute, and high judgement, and which judgeth soundly and surely, every hand while useth his owne examples, as well as of any strange thing, and witnesseth as freely of himselfe as of a third person: a man must overgoe these populare reasons of civility in favour of truth and liberty.  I dare not onely speake of my selfe, but speake alone of my selfe.  I stragle when I write of any other matter, a nd digresse from my subject.  I doe not so indiscreetly love my selfe, and am so tied and commixt to my selfe as that I can not distinguish and consider my selfe a part, as a neighbour, as a tree; it is an equall error either not to see how farre a mans worth stretcheth, or to say more of it then one seeth good cause.  We owe more love to God then to our selves, and know him lesse, and yet we talke our fill of him. If his writings relate any thing of his conditions, 

<Mont3-204>           MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

be was a notable man, upright and courageous, not with a superstitious vertue, but Philosophicall and generous:  He may be found over-hardy in his testimonies.  As where he holdeth that a souldier carrying a burden of wood, his hands were so stifly benummed with cold that they stucke to his wood, and remained so fast unto it, that as dead flesh they were divided from his armes.  In such cases I am wont to yeeld unto the authority of so great testimonies.  Where he also saith that Vespasian, by the favour of the God Serapis, healed in the citie of Alexandria a blinde woman with the rubbing and anointing her eyes with fasting spettle, and some other miracles, which I remember not well now, he doth it by the example and devoire of all good historians.  They keepe a register of important events; among publike accidents are allso popular reports and opinions.  It is their part to relate common conceits, but not to sway them.  This part belongeth to Divines and Philosophers, directors of consciences.  Therefore, that companion of his, and as great a man as hee, said most wisely:  Equidem plura transcribo quam credo:  Nam nec affirmare sustineo de quibus dubito nec sub ducere quae accepi: 'I write out more then I beleeve: for neither can I bide to affirm what I doubt of, nor to withdrawe what I have heard.' And that other:  Haec neque affirmare neque refellere operae precium est: famae rerum standum est: 'It is not worth the talke, or to avouch, or to refute these things wee must stand to report.' And writing in an age wherein the beliefe of prodigies began to decline, he saith he would notwithstanding not omit to insert in his Annals and give footing to a thing received and allowed of so many honest men, and with so great reverence by antiquity. It is very well said:  That they yeelde us the history, more according as they receave then according as they esteeme it.  I, who am king of the matter I treat of, and am not to give accompt of it to any creature living, doe neverthelesse not altogether beleeve my selfe for it:  I often hazard upon certaine outslips of my minde for which I distrust my selfe; and certaine verball 

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wilie-beguilies, whereat I shake mine eares; but I let them runne at hab or nab, I see some honour them selves with such like things: 'Tis not for me alone to judge of them.  I present my selfe standing and lying before and behinde, on the right and left side, and in all by naturall motions. Spirits alike in force are not ever alike in application and taste.  Loe here what my memory doth in grose, and yet very uncertainely present unto me of it.  In breefe, all judgments are weake, demisse and imperfect. 



THERE is peradventure no vanity more manyfest then so vainely to write of it.  What Divinity hath so divinely expressed thereof unto us, ought of all men of understanding to be diligently and continually meditated upon.  Who seeth not that I have entred so large a field, and undertaken so high a pitch, wherein so long as there is either Inke or Paper in the world, I may uncessantly wander and fly without encombrance?  I can keepe no register of my life by my actions: fortune placeth them to lowe:  I hould them of my fantasies.  Yet have I seen a gentleman who never communicated his life but by the operations of his belly; you might have seene in his house, set out for a show, a row of basins for seaven or eight dayes.  It was all his study, it was all his talke:  All other discourses were unsavory to him.  These are somewhat more civile, the excrements of an ould spirit, sometimes hard, sometimes laxative; but ever indigested.  And when shall I come unto an end of representing a continuall agitation or uncessant alteration of my thoughts, what subject soever they happen; since Diomedes filled six thousand bookes onely with the subject of Grammar?  What is idle babling like to produce, since faltring and liberty of the tongue hath stuft the world with so horrible a multitude of volumes?  So many words onely for words.  Oh Pythagoras, why didst not thou conjure this tempest? One Galba, of former ages, being accused for living idlie, answered that 'all men ought to give an account of their actions, but not of their abiding.' He was deceived; for justice hath also knowledge and animadversion over such as gather stubble (as the common

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saying is) or looke about for gape-seed.  But there should be some correction appointed by the lawes against foolish and unprofitable writers, as there is against vagabonds and loiterers; so should both my selfe and a hundred others of our people be banished.  It is no mockerie:  Scribling seemeth to be a Symthome or passion of an irregular and licentious age.  When writ we ever so much as we have done since our intestine troubles, or when filled the Romans so many volumes as in the times of their ruine?  Besides that, the refining of wits in a common wealth doth seldome make them the wiser; this idle working proceedeth of this, that all men doe over slowly give themselves to the office of their function, and are easily withdrawne from it.  The corruption of the times we live in is wrought by the particular contribution of every one of us: some conferre treason unto it, some injustice, other some irreligion, tyranny, avarice and cruelty, according as they are more or lesse powerfull; the weaker sort, whereof I am one, imparte foolishnesse, vanity and idlenesse unto it.  It seemeth to bee the season of vaine things when the domageable presse us.  In a time where to doe evill is common, to doe nothing profitable is in a manner commendable.  One thing comforts me, that I shall be of the last that shall be attached; whilst they shall provide for the worser sort and the most hurtfull, I shall have leasure to amend my selfe; for mee thinkes it would bee against reason busily to insist and pursue petty inconveniences, when great ones infect us.  And the Physition Philotimus, to one that offred his finger to dresse, by whose face, looke and breath he apparently perceaved that he had an impostume in his loonges: 'My friend (quoth he), it is now no fit time to busie your selfe about your nayles.' Yet concerning this purpose, I saw not many yeares since a friend of mine, whose name and memory (for divers respects) I hould in singular account, who in the midst of our troublous mischiefes, when no more then at this time neither lawe, nor justice, nor magistrate was executed or did his office, published certaine silly 

<Mont3-208>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

reformations concerning the excesse of aparell, gluttony and dyet, and abuses committed among pettyfogging lawiers.  They be ammusings wherewith a people in a desperate taking is fed, that so men may say they are not cleane forgotten.  Even so doe these others who mainely apply themselves to forbid certaine manners of speach, dances and vaine sports, unto a people wholy given over to all licenciousnesse and execrable vices.  It is then no convenient time for a man to wash and netifie himselfe when he is assailed by a violent fever.  It onely belongs to Spartans to tricke, to combe and wash themselves at what time they are ready to cast themselves into some extreame hazard of life.  As for me, I am subject to this ill custome, that if but a pump fit not handsomlly upon my foot, I shall also neglect my shirt and my cloake; for I disdaine to correct my selfe by halfes when I am in bad estate, I flesh my selfe on evill and abandon my selfe through despaire, and run to downefall, and (as the saying is) cast the haft after the batchet.  I grow obstinate in empairing; and esteeme my selfe no more worthy of my care, eyther all well or all evill.  It is a favour to me that the desolation of our state doth sutably meet with the desolation of my age:  I rather endure that my evills should thereby be surcharged then if my goods had thereby beene troubled.  The words I utter against misfortune are words of spite.  My courage, insteed of yeelding, doth grow more obstinate; and contrary to others, I finde my selfe more given to devotion in prosperous then adverse fortune; according to Xenophons rule, if not according to his reason.  And I rather looke on heaven with a chearefull eye, to thanke it, then to begge any thing.  I am more carefull to enerease my health when it smiles upon me, then to recover it when I have lost it.  Prosperities are to me as discipline and instruction, as adversities and crosses are to others.  As if good fortune+ were incompatible with a good conscience, men never become honest but by adverse and crosse chances.  Good fortune is to me a singular motive unto 

THE THIRD BOOKE         <Mont3-209>

moderation and forcible spurre unto modesty.  Prayers winne me, menaces reject me, favours relent me, feare imperverseth me.  Amongst humane conditions this one is very common, that we are rather pleased with strange things then with our owne; we love changes, affect alterations, and like innovations.

Ipsa dies ideo nos grato perluit hanstu,
Ouod permutatis hora recurrit equis.

Times therefore us refresh with welcome ayre,
Because their houres on chang'd horse doe repayre.

And my share is therein.  Such as follow the other extremity, onely to bee well pleased with and in themselves, and selfe-conceitedly to over-esteeme what they possesse above others, and acknowledge no forme fayrer then that they see, if they be not more advised then we, they are indeed more happy. I envie not their wisedome, but grudge their good fortune.  This greedy humour of new and unquenchable desire of unknowns things dooth much increase and nourish in me a desire to travell; but divers other circumstances conferre unto, it.  I am well pleased to neglect and shake of the government of mine owne household.  It is some pleasure to command, were it but a mole- hill, and a delight to be obaied.  But it is a pleasure over-uniforme and languishing. Besides that it is ever necessarily intermixed with troublous cares and hart-wearing thoughts.
Sometimes the indigence and oppression of your owne people, sometimes the contentions and quarels of your neighbours, and othertimes their insulting and usurpation over you, doth vexe, doth trouble and afflict you:
Aut verberatae grandine vineae,
Fundusque mendax, arbore nunc aquas
Culpante nunc torrentia agros
Sydera, nunc hyemes iniquas./1

Or Vinevards beate and wet with haile and raine,
Or grounds defrauding hope, while trees complaine,
Sometime of waters, sometime of those starres
That scorch the fields, sometime of wintere warres.

1 HOR.  Car. 1. iii.  Od. i. 29.
<Mont3-210>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

And that God will hardly once in halfe a yeare send you a season that shall Throughly please your Bayly and content your Receaver; and that if it be good for your vines, it be not hurtfull for your meddowes.

Aut nimiis torret fervoribus aetherius Sol,
Aut subiti perimunt imbres, gelidaeque pruinae
Flabraque ventorum violento turbine vexent./1

Or with excessive heate heavens
Sunne doth toast,
Or sodaine stormes do kill, and chilling frost,
Or violent whirle-wind blasts doe vexe the coast.

As that new and well-shapen shoe of that man of former ages, which hurts and wrings your foote and that a stranger knowes not what it costes you and what you contribute to maintains the show of that order which is seene in your housholde, and which peradventure you purchase at too high a rate. It was very late before I betooke my selfe to husbandrie.  Those whom nature caused to be borne before mee have long time ridde mee of that carefull burthen:  I had already taken another habite more sutable to my complexion. Neverthelesse by that I have observed therein, I finde it to be rather a troublesome then a hard occupation.  Whosoever is capable of any other thing may easily discharge that.  If I would seeke to grow rich, that way would seeme over-long and tedious to mee:  I would then have served our kings, a trade more beneficiall then all others, since I pretend but to get the reputation that as I have gotten nothing, so have I not wasted any thing; sutable to the rest of my life; as unfit to affect any good, as improper to worke any evill of consequence; and that I onely seeke to weare out my life, I may (God bee thanked) doe it without any great attention: if the worst come to passe, before poverty assaile you, seeke by prevention to cut of your charges, and by husbanding your expences keepe aforehand with it; that is it I trust unto, and hope to reforme my selfe before it come neare or enforce me to it.  As for other matters, I
1 LUCR. 1. v. 216. 
THE THIRD BOOKE                    <Mont3-211>

have forestalled many degrees and established sundry wayes in my minde, to live and rubbe out with lesse then I have.  I say to live with contentment. Non estimatione census, verum victu atque cultu, terminatur pecuniae modus:/1 'The measure of money is lymited not by the estimate of wealth or place, but by the manner of living and other furniture.' My very neede doth not so precisely possesse my whole estate, but that without touching to the quick or empairing the maine, fortune shall finde something to play upon or take hold of.  My very presence, as ignorant and grim as it is, affordeth much helpe to my houshould affaires:  I apply my selfe thereunto but somewhat dispightfully, considering the manner of my house, which is, that severally to burne my candle at one end, the other is thereby nothing spared.  Travels do not much hurt me, were it not for the charges, which are exceeding great and beyond my ability, having ever beene accustomed to journey not only with necessary, but also decent equipage; and that's the reason I make but short journeis and travel not to often; wherein I imploy but the scumme and what I can well spare, temporising and differing according as it commeth more or lesse.  I will not have the pleasure of my wandring to corrupt the delight of my retiring.  Contrary-wise, my intent is that they nourish and favor one another.  Fortune hath steaded me in this, that since my chiefest profession in this life was to live delicately and quietly, and rather negligently then seriously, it hath deprived me of need to hoard up riches to provide for the multitude of my heires.  For one, if that be not sufficient for him, wherewith I have lived so plenteously, at his owne perill be it. His indiscretion shall not deserve that I wish him more.  And every man (according to the example of Phocion) provideth sufficiently for his children that provideth they be not unlike to him.  I should by no meanes be of Crates his mind, or commend his proceedings.  He left his money with a banquier upon this CONDITION,
1 CIC.  Parad. 

<Mont3-212>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

That if his children were fooles be should deliver it them; but prooving wise and able to shift for themselves, he should distribute the same amongst the greatest fooles.  As if fooles, being least capable to make a shift without it, were more capable to use riches.  So it is that the hurt proceeding from my absence doth not (in mine opinion) deserve, so long as I shall have meanes to beare it, I should refuse to accept the occasions that offer themselves to distract mee from this toylesome assistance.  There is ever some peece out of square.  Sometimes the businesse of one house, and other times the affaires of another, doe hurry you.  You pry too neare into all things; herein, as well as elsewhere, your perspicuity doth harme you. I steale from such occasions as may move me to anger, and remoove from the knowledge of things that thrive not; yet can I not so use the matter, but still I stumble (being at home) upon some inconvenience which displeaseth me.  And slight knaveries that are most hidden from mee are those I am best acquainted with.  Some there are which to avoyd a further mischiefs a man must helpe to conceale himselfe: vaine prickings (vaine sometimes), but yet ever prickings.  The least and sleightest hindrances are the sharpest. And as the smallest letters hurt our eyes most, so the least affaires grieve us most:  A multitude of slender evils offendeth more then the violence of one alone, how great soever.  Even as ordinary thornes, being small and sharpe, pricke us more sharpely and sans threatning, if on a sudden we bit upon them.  I am no Philosopher:  Evils oppresse me according as they waigh, and waigh according to their forme, as wel as according to the matter, and often more.  I have more insight in them then the vulgar sort; and so have I more patience.  To conclude, if they hurt me not, they lie heavie upon me.  Life is a tender thing and easie to pebdistempered.  Since I began to grow towards peevish age, and by consequence toward frowardnes, nemo enim resistit ubi cum ceperit impelli:/1  'For no man stayes himselfe when
1 SEN.  Epist. i. 13 f. 

THE THIRD BOOKE                     <Mont3-213>

he is set on going.' What ever fond cause hath brought me to it, I provoke the humour that way, which afterward by his owne motion is fostred and exasperated, attracting and heaping up one matter upon another, to feede it selfe withall.

Stillicidii casus lapidem cavat.

By often falling on,
Even water breakes a atone.

These ordinary distilling drops consume and ulcerate me.  Ordinary inconveniences are never light.  They are continuall and irreparable if they continually and inseperatly aryse from the members of husbandry.  When I consider my affaires a farre off and in grosse, I finde, be it because I have no exact memory of them, that hitherto they have thrived beyond my reasons and expectation. Me thinks I draw more from them then there is in them: their good successe betraieth me.  But am I waded into the businesse?  See I all these parcels march?
Tum vero in curas animum deducimus omnes./1

Then we our minde divide,
To cares on every side.

A thousand things therein give me cause to desire and feare.  Wholy to forsake them is very easie unto me; without toyling, and vexation altogether to apply my selfe unto them is most hard.  It is a pittyfull thing to be in a place where whatsoever you see doeth set on a worke and concerne you; And me thinkes enjoy more blithly and taste more choisely the pleasures of a stranger house then of mine owne, and both my minde and taste runne more freely and purely on them.  Diogenes answered according to my humor, when being demanded what kinde of Wine he liked best, 'Another mans,' said he.  My father delighted to build at Montaigne, where he was borne; and in al this policy of domestick affaires, I love to
1 VIRG.  Aen. 1. v. 720. 
<Mont3-214>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

make use of his examples and rules, unto which I will as much as possibly I can tie my successors.  Could I doe better for him, I would performe it. I glory his will is at this day practised by mee, and doth yet worke in me.  God forbid I should ever suffer any image of life to perish under my hands, that I may yeeld unto so good and so kinde a father.  If I have undertaken to finish any old peece of wall, or repare any building either imperfect or decaied, it hath certainly beene because I had rather a respect to his intention then a regard to my contentment.  And I blame my negligence or lithernesse that I have not continued to perfect the foundations he had laid, or beginnings he had left in his house; by so much the more because I am in great likelihood to be the last possessor of it, namely of my race, and set the last hand unto it.  For concerning my particular Application, neither the pleasure of building, which is said to be so bewitching, nor hunting, nor hawking, nor gardens, nor such other delights of a retired life, can much embusie or greatly ammuse me.  It is a thing for which I hate my selfe, as of all other opinions that are incommodious to me.  I care not so much to have them vigorous and learned as I labour to have them easie and commodious unto life.  They are indeed sufficiently true and sound, if they be profitable and pleasing.  Those who hearing mee relate mine owne insufficiencie in matters pertaining to husbandry or thrift, are still whispering in mine eares that it is but a kinde of disdaine, and that I neglect to know the implements or tooles belonging to husbandry or tillage, their seasons and orders; how my wines are made, how they graft, and under stand or know the names and formes of hearbes, of simples, of fruits, and what belongs to the dressing of meats wherewith I live and whereon I feede; the names and prices of such stuffes I cloath my selfe withall, onely because I doe more seriously take to heart some higher knowledge; bring me in a manner to deaths doore.
This is meere sottishnesse, and 

THE THIRD BOOKE                     <Mont3-215>

rather brutishnesse then glory:  I would rather be a cunning horseman then a good Logician. {PlainDealer+}

Quin tu aliquid saltem potius quorum indiget usus,
Viminibus Monique paras detexere junco?/1

Why rather with soft wings make you not speed,
To worke- up something whereof there is need?

Wee hinder our thoughts from the generall and maine point, and from the causes and universall conducts, which are very well directed without us, and omit our owne businesse, and Michael, who concernes us neerer then man.  Now I most commonly stay at home, but I would please my selfe better there then any where else.
Sit mea sedes utinam senectae,
Sit modus lasso maris, et viarum,
. . .  Militiaeque./2

Some repaire and rest to mine old age I crave
Journying, failing, with a weary warring,
O let an end have.

I wot not whether I shall come to an end of it.  I would that in lieu of some other part of his succession, my father had resigned that passionate love and deare affection which in his aged yeeres he bare unto his houshold husbandry.  He was very fortunate in conforming his desires unto his fortune, and knew how to be pleased with what be had.  Politike Philosophy may how it list accuse the basenesse and blame the sterilitie of my occupation, if, as he did, I may but once finde the taste of it. I am of this opinion, that the honorablest vacation is to serve the Commonwealth, and be profitable to many. {service+} Fructus enim ingenii et virtutis, omnisque praestantiae, tum maximus accipitur, quum in proximum quemque confertur:/3 'For then is most fruit reaped, both of our wit and vertue and all other excellencie, when it is bestowed upon our neighbours.' As for me, I depart from it,
1 VIRG.  Buc.  Ecl. ii. 71. 2 HOR.  Car. 1. ii.  Od. vi. 6. 3 CICER.  Amic. 
<Mont3-216>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

partly for conscience sake (for whence I discern the waight concerning such vacations, I also discover the slender meanes I have to supply them withall; And Plato, a master workeman in all politike government, omitted not to abstaine from them), partly for lithernesse.  I am well pleased to enjoy the world without troubling or pressing my selfe with it; to live a life onely excusable, and which may neither bee burthensome to mee nor to any other.  Never did man goe more plainly and carelesly to worke in the care and government of a third man, then I would, had I a ground to worke upon.  One of my wishes at this instant should be to finde a sonne in law that could handsomely allure and discreetly beguile my old yeeres, and lull them asleepe; into whose hands I might despose and in all soveraignity resigne the conduct and managing of my goods, that he might dispose of them as I doe, and gaine upon them what I gaine; alwaies provided he would but carry a truely thankfull and friendly minde.  But what? we live in a world where the loyalty of our owne children is not knowen.  Whosoever hath the charge of my purse when I travell hath it freely and without controll; as well might he decive me in keeping of reckonings.  And if he be not a Divell, I bind him to deale well and honestly by my carelesse+ confidence. {trust+} Multifallere docuerunt, dum timent falli, et aliis jus peccandi suspicando fecerunt: 'Many have taught others to deceive while themselves feare to be deceived, and have given them just cause to offend by suspecting them unjustly.' The most ordinary assurance I take of my people is a kinde of disacknowledge or neglect; I never presume vices but after I have seene them; and trust more yoong men such as I imagine to be the least debaushed and corrupted by ill examples.  I had rather heare at two months end that I have spent foure hundred crownes, then every night when I should goe to my quiet bed have mine eares tired and my minde vexed with three, five, or seven.  Yet in this kinde of stealing have I had as little stolne from mee as any other; 

THE THIRD BOOKE                     <Mont3-217>

True it is, I lend a helping hand to ignorance.  I wittingly entertaine a kinde of troubled and uncertaine knowledge of my money; untill it come to a certaine measure I am content to doubt of it.  It is not amisse if you allow your boy or servant some small scope for his disloyalty and indiscretion. If in grosse we have sufficiently left to bring our matters to passe, this excesse of fortunes-liberalitie, let us somewhat more suffer it to stand to her mercie, It is the gleaners fee.  After all, I esteeme not so much my peoples fidelity as I disesteeme their injuries.  Oh base and absurd study, for a man to study his money+, and please himselfe with handling and counting the same; for that's the way whereby covetousnesse maketh her approches.  Since eighteene yeeres that I have had the full disposing of my goods in my owne hands, I could never yet be brought to overlooke neither titles nor bookes, no not so much as the principall affaires that should necessarily passe thorow my knowledge and care.  It is no Philosophicall contempt to neglect worldly and transitorie things: my taste is not so exquisitely mee, for I value them according to their worth at least: but truly it is all inexcusable slothfulnesse and childish negligence.  Wbat would I not rather doe then reade a contract+?  And more willingly, as a slave to my businesses with carke to overlooke and care to survay a company of old-dusty bookes, and plod upon musty writings? and which is worse, other mens, as so many doe daily for money?  I have nothing so deare as care and paine; and I only endeavour to become carelesse and retchlesse. I had, in mine opinion, been fitter (if it might be) to live by others fortune, without bounden duty or bondage.  And yet I wot not (the matter being thorowly sifted) whether, according to my humour and fortune, what I must endure with my affaires, and pocket up at my servants and familiars hands, hath not more abjection, importunitie and sharpenesse, then the following of another man should have better borne then my selfe, and who should give me somewhat at mine ease. 

<Mont3-218>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

Servitus obedientia est fracti animi et abjecti, arbitrio carentis suo: 'Service is an obedience of an abject, broken heart, that cannot dispose of it selfe.' Crates did worse who voluntarily cast himselfe into liberties of povertie, only to ridd himselfe of the inconveniences, indignities and cares of his house; which I would not doe.  I hate povertie as much as griefe; yet could I finde in my heart to change this manner of life with another lesse glorious and not so troublesome.  Being absent, I discharge my selfe of all such carefull thoughts, and should lesse feele the ruinous downe-fall of a Towne, then, being present, the fall of a Tile:  Alone my minde is easily freed, but in company it indureth as much as a Plough-mans.  My horse uncurb'd, his reines misplaced, or a stirrup or a strap hitting against my legge, will keepe me in a checke a whole day long.  I rouze my courage sufficiently against inconvenience; mine eies I cannot,

Sensus o superi sensus!
At home I am ever answerable for whatsoever is amisse.  Few masters (I speake of meane condition, as mine is; whereof if any be, they are the more haepic) can so fully rely upon a second, but still a good part of the burden shall lie upon them.  That doth peradventure take something from my fashion, in entertaining of guests or new commers; and happily I have beene able to stay some, more by my kitchin then by my behaviour or grace, as doe the peevish and fantasticall; and I greatly diminish the pleasure I should take in my house by the visitations and meetings of my friends.  No countenance is so foolish or so ill beseeming a gentleman in his owne house, as to see him vexed or troubled about his houshold or domesticke affaires; to see him whisper one of his servants in the eare, and threaten another with his looke.  It should insensibly glid on, and represent an ordinary course. And I utterly dislike that a man should entertains his guest with either
1 CIC.  Parad. v. 
THE THIRD BOOKE                     <Mont3-219>

excusing or boasting+ of the entertainment he affoordeth them.  I love order and cleanlinesse -

------ et cantharus et lanx,
Ostendunt mihi me./1

My dish, my drinking kanne,
Shew me what kinde of man -

well nigh as much as plentie:  In mine owne house I exactly looke unto necessities, little unto state, and lesse unto ornament.  If your neighbours servant be fighting with his companion, if a dish be overthrowen, you but laugh at it, you sleepe quietly whilst Sir such a one is busie casting up of accounts, and over-seeing his stocke with his steward, and all about your provision for tomorrow.  I speake according to mine opinion, omitting not in generall to thinke how pleasing an ammusement it is to certaine natures to see a quiet and prosperous houshold directed by a formall and guided by a regular order.  But not intending to fasten mine owne errours and inconveniences to the matter:  Nor to gainesay Plato, who deemeth that the happiest occupation any man can follow, is, to apply himselfe to his owne private businesse without injustice.  When I journey, I have nothing to care for but my selfe, and how my money is laid out, which is disposed with one onely precept. Over-many parts are required in hoarding and gathering of goods:  I have no skill in it.  In spending I have some knowledge, and how to give my expences day [play?]: which indeed is it's principall use. {expenditure+} But I attend it over ambitiously, which makes it both unequall and deformed; and besides that immoderate in one and other usage.  If it appeare and make a good shew, if it serve the turne, I indiscreetly goe after it; and as indiscreetly restraine my selfe, if it shine or smile not upon mee.  Whatsoever it bee, either Art or nature, that imprints this condition of life into us, by relation to others, it doth us much more hurt then good.  In going about to frame apparances according to the common opinion, wee defraud our selves of our
1 HOR. i.  Epist. v. 23. 
<Mont3-220>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

owne profits.  Wee care not so much what our state or how our being is in us, and in effect, as wee doe how and what it is, in the publike knowledge of others.  Even the goods of the minde, and wisedome it selfe, seeme fruitlesse unto us, if onely enjoyed by us; except it be set forth to the open view and approbation of strangers.  There are some whose gold runnes by streames in places under ground, and that imperceptible; others extend the same in plates and leaves.  So that to some pence are worth crownes, to others the contrary; the world judging the employment and value according to the outward shew.  All over-nice care and curious heed about riches hath a touch or a taste of avarice+.  Even their dispending and over regular and artificiall liberalities are not worth a warie heed taking, and countervaile not a painefull diligence.  Who so will make his expence even and just, makes it strict and forced; either close-keeping or employing of money+ are in themselves things indifferent, and admit no colour of good or evill but according to the application of our will.  The other cause that drawes me to these Journeyes or Vagaries is the dissent or disparitie in the present manners of our state.  I could easily comfort my selfe with this corruption in regard of the publike interest;

     -----pejoraque secula ferri,
Temporibus, quorum sceleri non invenit ipsa
Nomen, et a nullo posuit natura metallo./1

Times worse then times of Iron, for whose bad frame
And wickednesse even nature findes no name,
Nor hath from any metall set the same.

But not for mine owne:  I am in particular over-pressed by it.  For round about where I dwell we are, by the over-long licentiousnesse of our intestine civill warres, almost growen old, in so licentious and riotous a forme of state,
Quippe ubi fas versum atque nefas/2

As where of good and bad,
There is no difference had -

1 JUVEN.  Sat. xiii. 28. 2 VIRG.  Geor. 1. i. 605. 
THE THIRD BOOKE                     <Mont3-221>

That in good truth it were a wonder if it should continue and maintaine it selfe.

Armati terram exercent, semperque recentes
Convectare juvat praedas, et vivere rapto./1

They armed plow the land, and joy to drive,
And draw new booties, and on rapine live.

To conclude, I see by our example that the societie of men doth hold and is sewed together, at what rate soever it be; where ever they be placed, in mooving and closing, they are ranged and stowed together, as uneven and rugged bodies, that orderlesse are hudled in some close place, of themselves finde the way to be united and joyned together one with another; and many times better then Art could have disposed them. {stone_arch+} King Philip assembled a rabble of the most leaud, reprobate and incorrigible men be could finde out, all whch he placed in a Citie which of purpose he had caused to be built for them, of whom it bare the name.  I imagine that even of their vices they erected a politike contexture amongst themselves, and a commodious and just societie.  I see not one action, or three, or a hundred, but even divers manners, admitted and commonly used; so ex-travagant (namely, in disloyalty) and so barbarous in inhumanities which in my conceit are the worst and most execrable kinde of vices, that I have not the heart so much as to conceive them without horrour:  All which I in a manner admire as much as I detest.  The exercise of these egregious villanies beareth a brand of vigour and hardinesse of minde as much as of error and irregular confusion. {Iago+} Necessitie composeth and assembleth men together.  This casuall combining is afterward framed into lawes.  For there have beene some as barbarously-savage as humane opinion could possibly produce, which notwithstanding have kept their bodies in as good health and state, in long life, as those of Plato or Aristotle could doe.  And to say true, all these descriptions of policie, fained by Art and supposition,
1 VIRG.  Aen. 1. ix. 612. 
<Mont3-222>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

are found ridiculous and foolish to bee put in practise.  These great and long continuing altercations about the best forme of societie and most commodious rules to unite us together, are altercations onely proper for the exercise of our wit:  As in arts divers subjects are found that have no essence but in agitation and disputing, without which they have no life at all.  Such an Idea of policie, or picture of government, were to be established in a new world; but we take a world already made and formed to certaine customes; wee engender not the same as Pyrrha, nor beget it as Cadmus. By what meanes soever we have the privilege to re-erect and range the same anew, we can very hardly wrest it from the accustomed habit and fold it hath taken, except we breake all. {revolution+} Solon being demanded whether hee had established the best lawes he could for the Athenians: answered, yea of those they would have received: with such a shift doth Varro excuse himselfe, saying, that if he were newly to beginne to write of religion, he would plainly tell what his beleefe were of it:  But being alreadie received, he will speake more of it according to custome then to nature.  Not to speake by opinion, but consonant to truth, the most excellent and best policie for any nation to observe, is that under which it hath maintained it selfe. {Burke+} It's forme and essentiall commoditie doth much depend of custome. We are easily displeased with the present condition; yet doe I hold that to wish the government of few in a popular estate, or in a Monarchie another kinde of policie, it is a manifest vice and meere follie.

Ayme l'estat tel que tu le vois estre,
S'il est royall, ayme la royaute,
S'il est de peu, ou bien Communaute,
Ayme l'aussi, car Dieu a faict naistre./1

Love thou the state as thou seest it to be:
If it be Regall, love the royall race,
If of a few or Common-weale, embrace
It as it is, borne there God pointed thee.

THE THIRD BOOKE          <Mont3-223>

So was the good Lord of Pibrac wont to speake of it, whom we have lately lost, a man of so quaint and rare wit, of so sound judgement, and of so milde and affable behaviour.  The untimely losse of whom, with that of the Lord of Foix, both fatally happning to us at one time, are surely losses of great consequence unto our crowne.  I wot not well, whether France, amongst all the men it hath left, is able to affoord us two such other Gentlemen as may, either in sincerity and woorth, or in sufficiencie and judgement for the counsell of our Kings match these two Gascoynes.  They were two mindes diversly faire, and verily, if we respect the corrupted age wherein we live, both rare and gloriously-shining, every one in her forme.  But alas! what destiny had placed them on the Theater of his age, so dissonant and different in proportion from our deplorable corruption, and so farre from agreeing with our tumultuous stormes?  Nothing doth so neerely touch and so much overlay an estate as innovation:  Onely change doth give forme to injustice and scope to tyranny. {Burke+} If some one peece be out of square, it may be underpropt: one may oppose himselfe against that which the alteration incident and corruption naturall to all things doth not too much elonge and draw us from our beginnings and grounded principles. But to undertake to re-erect and found againe so huge a masse, and change or remoove the foundations of so vast a frame, belongeth onely to them who, instead of purging deface, and in liew of cleansing scrape out; that will amend particular faults by an universall confusion and cure diseases by death:  Non tam commutandarum quam evertendarum rerum cupidi: 'Not so desirous to have things altered as overthrowen.' {60sradical+} The world is fondly unapt to cure it selfe:  So impatient with that which vexeth or grieveth it, that it only aimeth to ridd it selfe of it, never regarding at what rate.  Wee see by a thousand examples that it doth ordinarily cure it selfe at its owne charges:  To be freed from a present evill is no perfect cure, except there be a generall amendment of condition.  The end 

<Mont3-224>           MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

of a skilfull Chirurgion is not to mortifie the bad flesh, it is but the beginning and addressing of his cure: he aimeth further, that is, to make the naturall to grow againe, and reduce the partie to his due being and quality.  Who ever proposeth onely to remoove what gnaweth him shall be to seeke: for good doeth not necessarily succeed evill: another, yea a worse evill may succeed it.  As it hapned unto Cesars murderers, who brought the commonwealth to so distresfull a plunge that they repented themselves they ever medled with the same. {Brutus+} The like hath since fortuned to divers, yea in our daies.  The French that live in my times know very well what to speake of such matters.  All violent changes and great alterations, disorder, distemper and shake a state very much.  He that should rightly respect a sound recovery or absolute cure, and before all other things thorowly consult about it, might happily grow slacke in the businesse, and beware how he set his hand unto it.  Pacuvius Calavius corrected the vice of this manner of proceeding by a notable example.  His fellow Citizens had mutinied against their magistrates; He being a man of eminent authority in the cittie of Capua, found one day the meanes to shut up the Senate in the Guildhall or Palace; then calling the people together in the market place, told them that the day was now come wherein with full and unresisted liberty they might take vengeance of the tyrants that had so long and so many wayes oppressed them, all which he had now at his mercy, and unarmed. His opinion was, that orderly by lots they should be drawne out one after another; which done they might particularly dispose of every one, and whatsoever should be decreed of them, shold immediately be executed upon the place; provided they should therewithall presently advise and resolve to nominate and establish some honest and undetected man to supply the roome of the condemned, lest their cittie should remaine void of due officers.  To which they granted, and heard no sooner the name of a Senatour read, but a loud exclamation of a generall 

THE THIRD BOOKE                     <Mont3-225>

discontent was raised against him; which Pacuvius perceiving, he requested silence, and thus bespake them. 'My countrymen, I see very well that man must be cut off, hee is a pernicious and wicked member but let us have another sound good man in his place and whom would you name for that purpose?' This unexpectded speech bred a distracted silence, each one finding himselfe to seeke and much confounded in the choise.  Yet one, who was the boldest impudent amongst them, nominated one whom be thought fittest; who was no sooner heard but a generall consent of voices, louder than the first, followed, all refusing him, as one taxed with a hundred imperfections, lawfull causes, and just objections, utterly to reject him.  These contradicting humours growing more violent and hot, every one following his private grudge or affection, there ensued a farre greater confusion and hurly-burly in drawing of the second and third Senatour, and in naming and choosing their successours, about which they could never agree.  As much disorder and more confusion about the election, as mutuall consent and agreement about the demission and displacing.  About which tumultuous trouble when they had long and to no end laboured and wearied themselves, they began some here, some there, to scatter and steale away from the assemblies every one with this resolution in his minde, that the oldest and best knowen evill is ever more tolerable then a fresh and unexperienced mischiefs.{Burke+} By seeing our selves piteously tossed in continuall agitation: for what have we not done?

Eheu cicatricum et sceleris pudet,
Fratrumque: quid nos dura refugimus
Aetas?  Quid intactum nefasti
Liquimus? unde manus juventus
Metu Deorumt eontinuit? quibus
Pepercit aris/1

Alas for shame of wickenuesse, and scarres,
Of brother-country-men in civill warres.

1 HOR.  Car. 1. i.  Od. xcv. 33.
<Mont3-226>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES
We of this hardned world, what doe we shunne?
What have we execrable left undone?
To set their hand whereto hath youth not dared
For feare of Gods? what altars hath it spared?
I am not very sudden in resolving or concluding.
Ipsa si velit salus,
Servare prorsus non potest hanc familiam:/1

This faniilie if safetie would
Keepe safe, I doe not thinke it could.

Yet are we not peradventure come unto our last period.  The preservation of states is a thing in all likelihood exceeding our understanding.  A civill policie (as Plato saith) is a mighty and puisant matter, and of very hard and difficult dissolution; it often endureth against mortall and intestine diseases, yea, against the injury of unjust lawes, against tyrannie, against the ignorance and debordement of Magistrates, and against the licentiousnesse and sedition of the people.  In all our fortunes we compare our selves to that which is above us, and looke toward those that are better.  Let us measure our selves by that which is beneath us; there is no creature so miserably wretched but findes a thousand examples to comfort himselfe withall. It is our fault that we more unwillingly behold what is above us then willingly what is beneath us.  And Solon said, that should a man heape up in one masse all evils together, there is none that would not rather chuse to carry back with him such evils as he alreadie hath, then come to a lawfull division with other men of that chaos of evils, and take his allotted share of them. Our Common-wealth is much crazed and out of tune.  Yet have divers others beene more dangyerously sicke, and have not died.  The gods play at hand-ball with us, and tosse us up and downe on all hands. {flies+} Enim vero dii nos homines quasi pitas habent:/2 'The gods perdie doe reckon and racket us men as
1 TER.  Adel. act iv. sc. 7. 2 PLAUT.  Capt.  Prol. 
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their tennis-balles.' The destinies have fatally ordained the State of Rome for an exemplar patterne of what they can doe in this kinde.  It containeth in it selfe all formes and fortunes that concerne a state, whatsoever order, trouble, good or bad fortune may in any sort effect in it.  What man may justly despaire of his condition, seeing the agitation, troubles, alterations, turmoiles, and motions wherewith it was tossed to and fro, and which it endured?  If the extention of rule and far-spreading domination be the perfect health of a state, of which opinion I am not in any wise (and Isocrates doth greatly please me, who instructeth Nicocles not to envie those Princes who have large dominations, but such as can well maintaine and orderly preserve those that have beene hereditarily escheated unto them) that of Rome was never so sound as when it was most sicke and distempered. {empire+} The worst of its forme was to it the most fortunate.  A man can hardly distinguish or know the image of any policie under the first Emperors; it was the most horrible and turbulent confusion that could be conceaved, which notwithstanding it endured and therein continued, preserving, not a Monarchie bounded in her limits, but so many nations, so different, so distant, so evill affected, so confusedly commanded, and so unjustly conquered.

     -----nec gentibus ullis
Commodat in populum terrae pelagigue potentem, Invidiam fortuna suam.

Fortune doth to no other nation lend
Envie, against that people force to bend,
Which both by land and sea their force extend.

All that shaketh doth not fall:  The contexture of so vast a frame holds by more then one naile.  It holds by it's antiquity, as olde buildings which age hath robbed of foundation, without loame or morter, and neverthelesse live and subsist by their owne waight.
1 LUCRET. 1. i. 82. 
<Mont3-228>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES
------ nec jam validis radicibus haerens
Pondere tuta suo est./1
Though now to no strong roote it sticke so fast
Yet is it safe by selfe-waight, and will last.
Moreover, he goes not cunningly to worke, that onely survayes the flankes and dykes; to judge well of the strength of a place, he must heedily marke how and view which way it may be approached, and in what state the assailant stand.  Few vessels sinke with their owne waight, and without some extraordinary violence.  Cast we our eyes about us and in a generall survay consider all the world; all is tottring, all is out of frame.  Take a perfect view of all great states by in Christendome and where ever else we have knowledge of, and in all places you shall finde a most evident threating of change and ruine:
Et sua sunt illis incommoda, pargue per omnes

heir discommodities they know:
One storme alike oer all doth grow.

Astrologers may sport themselves with warning us, as they doe, of imminent alterations and succeeding revolutions; their divinations are present and palpable; wee need not prie into the heavens to finde them out.  Wee are not only to draw comfort from this universall aggregation of evill and threats, but also some hope for the continuance of our state; forsomuch as naturally nothing falleth where all things fall; a generall disease is a particular health:  Conformitie is a qualitie enemie to dissolution+. As for me, I nothing despaire of it, and me thinks I already perceive some starting holes to save us by:
Deus haec fortasse benigna
Reducet in sedem vice./2

It may be, God with gracious entercourse
Will reestablish these things in their course.

Who knowes whether God hath determined it shall happen of them as of bodies that are purged+, and by
1 LUCRET. 1. i. 138. 2 HOR.  Epod. xiii. 10. 
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long grievous sicknesses brought to a beter and sounder state; which thorowly purged diseases do afterward yeeld them a more entire and purely-perfect health then that they tooke from them?  That which grieveth me most is, that, counting the symptomes or affects of our evill, I see as many meerely proceeding of nature, and such as the heavens send us, and which may properly be termed theirs, as of those that our owne surfet, or excesse, or misse- diet, or humane indiscretion confer upon us.  The very Planets seeme orderly to declare unto us that we have continued long enough, yea and beyond our ordinary limits.  This also grieves me, that the neerest evill threatinng us is not a distemper or alteration in the whole and solide masse, but a dissipation and divulsion of it - the extreamest of our feares.  And even in these fantasticall humors or dotings of mine, I feare the treason of my memory, least unmanly it have made me to register somethings twise. I hate to correct and agnize my selfe, and can never endure but grudgingly to review and repolish what once hath escaped my pen.  I heere set downe nothing that is new or lately found out.  They are vulgar imaginations, and which peradventure having beene conceived a hundred times, I feare to have already enrolled them.  Repetition is ever tedious, were it in Homer: But irkesome in things that have but one superficiall and transitorie shew. I am nothing pleased with inculcation or wresting-in of matters, be it in profitable things, as in Seneca+.  And the maner of his Stoike schoole displeaseth me, which is, about every matter, to repeat at large, and from the beginning to the end such principles and presuppositions as serve in generall: and every hand-while to re-allege anew the common arguments and universall reasons.  My memorie doth daily grow worse and worse, and is of late much empaired:

Pocula lethaeos ut si ducentia somnos,
. . .  Arente fauce traxerim/1
1 HOR.  Epod. xiv. 3.
<Mont3-230>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES
As though with drie lips I had drunke that up,
Which drawes oblivious sleepe in drowsie cup.
I shall henceforward be faine (for hitherto, thankes be to God, no capitall fault hath hapned), whereas others seeke time and occasion to premeditate what they have to say, that I avoid to prepare my selfe, for feare I should tie my selfe to some strict bond, on which I must depend.  To be bound and tied doth somewhat distract me: namely, when I am wholly to rely and depend on so weake an instrument as is in my memory.  I never read this story, but I feele a certaine proper and naturall offence.  Lyncestes being accused of a conspiracie against Alexander, the very same day that, according to custome, he was led forth in presence of all the armie to be heard in his owne defence, had in his minde a premeditated oration, which he had studiously learnt by rote, whereof, stammering and faltring, having uttered some words: And wrestling with his memory, and striving to run-it over againe, he was sodainly charged by the souldiers that were about him, and slaine with pikes, as they. who held him to be convicted.  His amazement and silence served them as a confession; for they supposed that having had so long leasure in prison to prepare himselfe, it was not (as they thought) his memory failed him, but his guilty conscience bridled so his tongue and deprived him of his wonted faculties.  It was truly wel spoken.  The very place, the company and expectation astonieth a man when he most aimeth at an ambition of well-speaking.  What can a man doe when a meere oration shall bring his life into consequence?  As for mee, if I bee tide unto a prescript kinde of speaking, what bindes me to it dooth also loose me from it, when I have committed and wholly assigned my selfe unto my memory, I so strongly depend on the same that I overwhelme it: she faints under her owne burthen.  So much as I refer my selfe unto her, so much am I divided from selfe, untill
1 HOR.  Epod. xiv. 3. 
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make tryall of in countenance.  And I have some times beene in paine in concealing the bondage whereunto I was engaged: whereas my dessigne, in speaking, to represent a maine carelesnesse of accent and countenance, suddaine and unpremeditated, or casuall motions as rising of present occasions; rather loving to say nothing of any worth, then make shew I came provided to speake well: a thing above all unseemely to men of my profession, and of over strict an obligation to one that cannot hold much. {PlainDealer+} Preparation gives more to hope then it brings with it.  A man doth often strip himselfe into his doblet, to leape shorter then he did in his gowne. Nihil est his, qui placere volunt, tam adversauum, quam expectatio: 'There is none so great an enemy to them that would please as expectation.' It is written of Curio the Orator, that when be proposed the distribution of the parts of his oration into three or foure, or the number of his arguments and reasons, it was his ordinary custome either to forget some one, or adde one or two more unto it.  I have ever shunned to fall into such an inconvenience, as one hating these selfe-promises and prescriptions:  Not onely for the distrust of my memory, but also because this form drawes over neare unto an artiste.  Simpliciora militates decent: ' Plaine_wordes+ and manners become Martialists.' Sufficeth, I have now made a vow unto my selfe, no more to undertake the charge to speake in any place of respect: For to speake in reading what one hath written, besides that it is most foolish and absurde, it is a matter of great disadvantage to such as by nature were interressed or might do any thing in the action.  And wholy to rely or cast my selfe to the mercy of my present invention, much lesse: I have it by nature so dulle and troubled, that it cannot in any wise supply me in sudaine and stead me in important necessities.  May it please the gentle reader to suffer this one part of Essay to run on, and this third straine or addition of the rest of my pictures peeces.  I adde, but I correct not; First, because he who hath hypothekised or engaged his 

<Mont3-232>           MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

labour to the world, I finde apparance that he hath no longer right in the same; let him, if hee be able, speake better els where, and not corrupt the worke he hath already made sale off; Of such People a man should buy nothing but after they are dead: let them throughly thinke on it before they produce the same.  Who hastens them?  My booke is alwaies one, except that according as the Printer goes about to renew it, that the buyers depart not altogether empty-handed, I give my selfe law to adde thereto (as it is but uncoherent checky, or ill joined in laid worke) some supernumerall embleme.  They are but over-waights, which disgrace not the first forme, but give some particular price unto every one of the succeeding, by an ambitious pety subtility.  Whence, notwithstanding, it may easily happen that some transposition of chronology is thereto commixt: my reports taking place according to their opportunity, and not ever according to their age. Secondly, forsomuch as in regard of my selfe I feare to loose by the exchange: My understanding doth not alwaies goe forward, it sometimes goes also backeward: I in a manner distrust mine owne fantasies as much, though second or third, as I doe when they are the first, or present as past.  We many times correct our selves as foolishly as we taxe others unadvisedly.  I am growne aged by a number of yeares since my first publications, which were in a thousand five hundred and foure score. {1560+} But I doubt whether I be encreased one inch in wisedome.  My selfe now and my selfe anon are indeede two; but when better, in good sooth I cannot tell.  It were a goodly thing to bee old if wee did onely march towards amendment.  It is the motion of a drunkard, stumbling, reeling, giddie-brain'd, formeles, or of reedes, which the ayre dooth causually wave to and fro what way it bloweth.  Antiochus, in his youth, had stoutly and vehemently written in favor of the Academy, but being olde be changed copy, and writ as violently against it: which of the two I should follow, should I not ever follow Antiochus?  Having once established 

THE THIRD BOOKE                    <Mont3-233>

a doubt, to attempt to confirme the certainty of humane opinions, were it not an establishing of a doubt, and not of the certainty? and promise that had he had another age given him, with assurance to live, he should ever have beene in termes of new agitations, not so much better as other and different?  Publike favor hath given me some more boldnes then I hoped for; but the thing I feare most is to breed a glutting saciety:  I would rather spur then bee weary, as a wiseman of my time hath done.  Commendation is ever pleasing, from whom, from whence, or where-fore soever it come; yet ought a man to be informed of the cause, if he will justly please and applaud himselfe therewith.  Imperfections themselves have their meanes to be recommended.  Vulgar and common estimation is little happy if it come to encounter:  And I am deceived, if in my dayes the worst composition,; and absurdest bookes have not gained the credit of popular breath.  Verily I am much beholding to divers honest men, and I thanke them that vouchsafe to take my endeavours in good parte.  There is no place where the defects of the fashion doe so much appeare, as in a matter that in it selfe hath nothing to recommend it.  Good reader, blame not me, for those that passe here, either by the fantazie or unwarinesse of others; for every hand, each workeman brings his owne unto them.  I neither meddle with orthography (and would onely have them follow the ancient) nor with curious painting: I have small experience in either.  Where they altogether breake the sence, I little trouble my selfe therewith; for at least they discharge me.  But where they will wrest-in and substitute a false sence (as often they doe) and wyre-draw me to their conceits, then they spoyle me.  Neverthelesse, when the sentence is not strong or sinnowy according to my meaning, an honest man may reject it to be mine.  He that shall know how little laborious I am and how framed after mine owne fashion, will easily beleeve I would rather endite anew as many more other Essayes, then subject my selfe to trace 

<Mont3-234>         MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

these over againe, for this childish correction.  I was saving, erewhile that being plunged in the deepest mine of this new kinde of mettall, I am not onely deprived of great familiarity with men of different custome from mine, and other opinions, by which they holde together by a knot,{stone_arch+} commanding all other knots; but am not also without some hazard, amongst those with whom all things are equally lawfull, most of which cannot now adayes empaire their market towarde our justice, whence the extreme degree of licenciousnesse proceedeth.  Casting over all the particular circumstances that concerne mee, I finde no one man of ours to whome the inhibition of our lawes costeth any thing, eyther in gaine ceasing, or in losse appearing (as Lawyers say), more then onto my selfe. And some there be that in chollericke heate and humorous fury will cracke and vaunt much, that will performe a great deale lesse then my selfe, if once we come to an equall ballance.  As a house at all times freely open, much frequented, of great haunt and officious in entertaining all sorts of people (for I could never bee induced to make an implement of warre thereof; which I perceive much more willingly to bee sought-out and flocked unto where it is furthest from my neighbours) my house bath merited much popular affection:  And it were a hard matter to gourmandize my selfe upon mine owne dung-hill:  And I repute it a wonderfull and exemplar strangenesse, that having undergone so many stormy-wrackes, so divers changes and tumultuous-neighbour agitations, it doth yet this day continue free, and (as I may say) an undefiled virgin from shedding of blood, spoile, or sacking.  For, to say true, it was possible for a man of my disposition to escape from a constant and continuall forme, whatsoever it was.  But the contrary invasions, hostile incursions, alterations and vicissitudes of fortune round about me, have hitherto more exasperated then mollified the humour of the country, and recharge mee with dangers and invincible difficulties.  I have escaped. But it grieveth me that it is rather by 

THE THIRD BOOKE          <Mont3-235>

fortune+, yea and by my discretion, then by justice:  And it vexeth me to bee without the protection of the lawes and under any other safegard then theirs.  As things now stand I live more then halfe by the favour of others, which is a severe obligation+.  I would not be endebted for my safety neither to the goodnesse nor to the good will of our great men, which applaude themselves with my liberty and legalitie; nor to the facilitie of my predecessours or mine owne manners: for what if I were other then I am?  If my demeanour, the libertie of my conversation, or happilie alliance, binde my neighbours; It is a cruelty that they should acquit themselves of it in suffering me to live, and that they may say, wee give him a free and undisturbed continuation of divine service in the chaple of his house, whilst all other Churches round about are by us prophaned and deserted; and we freely allow and pardon him the fruition of his goods and use of his life, as hee maintaineth our wives, and in time of need keepeth our cattle. {stone_arch+} It is long since that in my house we have a share in Lycurgus the Athenians praise, who was the generall storier, depositary and guardian of his fellow-citizens goods and purses.  I am now of opinion that a man must live by law and authorities and not by recompence or grace.  How many gallant men have rather made choise to lose their life then be indebted for the same?  I shunne to submit my selfe to any manner of obligation.  But above all to which bindes me by duty of bonds of honour+.  I finde nothing so deare as what is given mee, and that because my will remaines engaged by a title of ingratitude:  And I more willingly receive such offices as are to be sold:  A thing easie to be beleeved, for these I give nothing but money, but for those I give my selfe.  The bond that holdes me by the law+ of honestie+ seemeth to me much more urgent and forcible then that of civill compulsion.  I am more gently tyed by a Notarie then by my selfe.  Is it not reason that my conscience bee much more engaged to that wherein she bath simply and onely beene trusted? Els my faith oweth nothing, for she 

<Mont3-236>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

hath nothing lent her.  Let one belpe himselfe with the confidence or assurance he hath taken from me.  I would much rather breake the prison of a wall or of the lawes, then the bond of my word+.  I am nicely scrupulous in keeping of my promises, nay almost superstitious, and in all subjects I commonly passe them uncertaine and conditionall.  To such as are of no weighty consequence I adde force with the jealousie of my rule: shee rackes and chargeth me with her owne interest.  Yea, in such enterprises as are altogether mine owne and free, if I speake the word or name the point, mee thinkes I prescribe the same unto me; and that to give it to anothers knowledge, it is to preordaine it unto himselfe.  Me seemes I absolutely promise when I speake.  Thus I make but small bragge of my propositions. The condemnation I make of my selfe is more mooving, forcible and severe, then that of the judges, who onely take me by the countenance of common obligation; the constraint of my conscience is more rigorous and more strictly severe; I faintly follow those duties to which I should bee haled if I did not goe to them. Hoc ipsum ita justum est quod recte fit, si voluntarium:/1 'This is so just, as it is well done, if it be voluntary.' If the action have no glimps of libertie, it hath neither grace nor honour.

Quid mejus cogit, vix voluntate intpetrent./2

What law+ enforceth me to doe,
By will they can scarce winne me to.

Where necessitie drawes me, I love to relent my will.  Qua quicquid imperio cogitur, exigenti magis, quam praestanti acceptum refertur. 'For whatsoever is enforced by command is more imputed to him that exacteth then in him that performeth.' I know some that follow this aire even unto injustice. They will rather give then restore; sooner lend then pay; and more sparingly doe good to him to whom they are
1 CIC.  Off. 1. i. 2 TER.  Ad. act iii. sc. 4. 
THE THIRD BOOKE                     <Mont3-237>

bound to doe it. {gift+} I bend not that way, but am mainely against it.  I love so much to disoblige and discharge my selfe, that I have sometimes esteemed as profit the ingratitudes, the offences, and indignities I had received of those to whom, either by nature or accidents, I was by way of friendship somewhat beholding; taking the occasion of their fault for a quittance and discharge of my debt.  Although I continue to pay them the apparent offices with common reason, I notwithstanding finde some sparing in doing that by justice which I did by affection; and somewhat to ease my self with the attention and diligence of my inward will.  Est prudentis sustinere ut cursum, sic impetum benevolentiae: 'It is a wisemans part to keepe a hand as on the course, so on the career of his goodwill.' Which where ever I apply my selfe, is in me too urgent and over pressing, at least for a man that by no meanes would be enthronged.  Which husbandrie stands mee in stead of some comfort, about the imperfections of those that touch me.  Indeed I am much displeased they should thereby be of lesse worth; but so it is that I also save something of my engagement and application towards them.  I allow of him that loves his childe so much the lesse by how much more he is either deformedly crooked or scald-headed.  And not onely when he is knavish or shrewd, but also being unluckie or ill borne (for God himselfe hath in that abated of his worth and naturall estimation) alwaies provided, that in such a cold and sleight affection hee beare himselfe with moderation and exact justice.  In mee proximitie of blood doth nothing diminish, but rather aggravate defects.  After all, according to the skill I have in the knowledge of benefits+ and thankfulnesse, which is a knowledge very subtill and of great use, I see no man more free and lesse indebted then hitherto I am my selfe.  What ever I owe, the same I owe simply to common and naturall obligations.  There is no man more absolutely quit and cleare else whence.
1 CIC.  De Amic. 

<Mont3-238>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES
----nec sunt mihi nota potentum
With gifts I am not much acquainted,
Of mighty men, and much lesse tainted.
Princes give mee sufficiently if they take nothing from me, and doe me much good if they doe me no hurt; it is all I require of them.  Oh how much am I beholding to God, forsomuch as it hath pleased him that whatsoever I enjoy I have immediately received the same from his grace; that he hath particularly reserved all my debt unto himselfe.  I most instantly beseech his sacred mercy that I may never owe any man so much as one essentiall God amercie.  Oh thrise fortunate libertie, that hath brought me so farr. May it end successefully.  I endeavour to have no mander of need of any man.  In me omnis sses egt mihi: 'All my bope for all my helpes is my selfe.' It is a thing that every man may effect in himselfe; but they more easily whom God hath protected and sheltred from naturall and urgent necessities. Indeed it is both lamentable and dangerous to depend of others.  Our selves, which is the safest and most lawfull refuge, are not very sure under our selves.  I have nothing that is mine owne but my selfe; yet is the possession thereof partly defective and borrowed.  I manure my selfe, both in courage (which is the stronger) and also in fortune, that if all things else should forsake me, I might finde something wherewith to please and satisfie my selfe. {Epictetus+} Eleus Hippias did not onely store himselfe with learning, that in time of need hee might joyfully withdraw himselfe amongst the Muses, and be sequestred from all other company; nor onely with the knowledge of Philosophie to teach his minde to be contented with her, and when his chance should so dispose of him, manfully to passe over such incommodities as exteriorlie might come unto him; but, moreover, he was so curious in learning to dresse his meat, to notte his haire, to make his cloathes, breeches and shoes, that as much as could possibly be he might wholly relie and 
THE THIRD BOOKE                     <Mont3-239>

trust to himself, and be freed from all forraine helpe.  A man doth more freely and more blithely enjoy borrowed goods when it is not a bounden jovissance and constrained through neede, and that a man hath in his will the power and in his fortune the meanes to live without them.  I know my selfe well.  But it is very hard for me to imagine any liberalitie of another body so pure towards me, or suppose any hospitalitie so free, so hartie and genuine, as would not seeme affected, tyrannicall, disgraced and attended-on by reproach, if so were that necessitie had forced and tied me unto it. As to give+ is an ambitious qualitie, and of prerogative, so is taking a qualitie of submission.  Witnes the injurious and pick-thanke refusall that Bajazeth made of the presents which Themir had sent him.  And those which in the behalfe of Soliman the Emperour were sent to the Emperour of Calicut, did so vex him at the heart that he did not only utterly reject and scornfully refuse them, saying that neither himselfe nor his predecessors before him were accustomed to take any thing, and that their office was rather to give; but beside he caused the Ambassadors, to that end sent unto him, to be cast into a deepe dungeon.  When Thetis (saith Aristotle) flattereth Jupiter, when the Lacedemonians flatter the Athenians, they doe not thereby intend to put them in minde of the good they have done them, which is ever hatefull, but of the benefits they have received of them.  Those I see familiarly to employ and make use of all men, to begge and borrow of all men, and engage themselves to all men, would doubtlesse never doe it, knew they as I doe, or tasted they as I have done, the sweet content of a pure and undepending libertie, and if therewithall (as a wiseman ought) they did duly ponder what it is for a man to engage himselfe into such an obligation, or libertie depriving bond.  It may happily be paid sometimes, but it can never be utterly dissolved.  It is a cruell bondage to him that loveth throughly and by all meanes to have the free scope of his libertie. {potlach+} Such as are best and mast 

<Mont3-240>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

acquainted with me know whether ever they saw any man living lesse soliciting, lesse craving, lesse importuning or lesse begging then I am, or that lesse employeth or chargeth others, which if I be, and that beyond all moderne example, it is no great wonder, sithence so many parts of my humours or manners contribute thereunto.  As a naturall kind of stubbornnesse, an impatience to be denied, a contraction of my desires and desseignes, and an insufficiencie or unto-wardlinesse in all manner of affaires; but above all, my most favoured qualities, lethall sloathfulnesse, and a genuine liberty, by all which meanes I have framed all habite mortally to hate, to be beholding to any creature els, or to depend of other then unto and of my selfe.  True it is, that before I employ the beneficence or liberality of an other, in any light or waighty occasion, small or urgent neede soever, I doe to the utmost power employ all that ever I am able to avoid and forbeare it.  My friends doe strangelie importune and molest me, when they solicite and urge me to entreate a third man.  And I deeme it a matter of no lesse charge and imputatiou to disengage him that is endebted unto me, by making use of him, {Bassanio+} then to engage my selfe unto him that oweth me nothing. Both which conditions being removed, let them not looke for any cumbersome, negotious and carefull matter at my hands (for I have denounced open warre unto all manner of carke and care); I am commodiously easie and ready in times of any bodies necessities and I have also more avoyded to receive, then sought to give, which (as Aristotle saith) is also more facile.  My fortune hath afforded me small meanes to benefit others, and that little she hath bestowed on me, the same hath she also meanely and indifferently placed.  Had shee made mee to be so borne that I might have kept some ranke amongst men, I would then have beene ambitious in procuring to be beloved, but never to be feared or admired.  Shall I expresse it more insolentlie? I would have had as much regard unto pleasing as unto profiting.  Cyrus 


doth most wiselie, and by the mouth of an excellent Captaine and also a better Philosopher, esteeme his bountie and praise his good deedes farre beyond his valour and above his warlike-conquests.  And Scipio the elder, wheresoever hee seeketh to prevaile and set forth himselfe, rateth his debonairitie and valueth his humanitie above his courage and beyond his victories, and hath ever this glorious saying in his mouth: 'That hee hath left his enemies as much cause to love him as his friends.' I will therefore say that if a man thus owe any thing, it ought to be under a more lawfull title then that whereof I speake, to which the law of this miserable warre doth engage me, and not of so great a debt, as that of my totall preservation and whole estate, which doth unreparablie overwhelme mee.  I have a thousand times gone to bed in mine house, imagining I should the very same night either have beene betrayed or slaine in my bed; compounding and conditioning with fortune that it might be without apprehension of feareful astonishment and languishment; And after my praiers have cried out,

Impius haec tam culta novalia miles habebit?/1

Shall these our grounds so deekt and drest,
By godles souldiers be possest?

What remedie?  It is the place where my selfe and most of my ancestors were borne: therein have they placed their affection and their name.  Wee harden our selves unto whatsoever wee accustome our selves.  And to a wretched condition, as ours is, custome hath beene a most favourable present, given us by nature, which enureth and lullefh our sense asleepe to the suffring of divers evils.  Civill warres have this one thing worse then other warres, to cause every one of us to make a watch-tower of his owne house.
Quam miserum, porta vitam muroque tueri,
Vixque suae tutum viribus esse domus!/2

How hard with gate and wall our life to gard,
And scarce be safe in our owne houses bard!

1 VIRG.  ECl. i. ii. 2 OVID.  Trist. 1. iv.  Eleg. i. 69.
<Mont3-242>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

It is an irkesome extremitie for one to be troubled and pressed even in his owne houshold and domesticall rest.  The place wherein I dwell is ever both the first and last to the batterie of our troubles, and where peace is ever absolutely discerned.

Tum quoque cum pax est, trepidant formidine belli,/1

Ev'n when in peace they are,
They quake for feare of warre.

-----quoties pacem fortuna lacessit,
Hac iter est bellis, melius fortuna, dedisses
Orbe sub Eoo sedem, gelidague sub Arcto,
Errantesque domos./2

As oft as fortune troubleth peace, their race,
Warres makes this way: fortune with better grace,
In th' Easterne world thou shouldst have giv'n them place,
Or wandring tents for warre, under the cold North-starre.

I sometimes draw the meanes to strengthen my selfe against these considerations, from carelesnesse and idlenesse, which also in some sort bring us unto resolution.  It often befalleth me, with some pleasure, to imagine what mortall dangers are, and to expect them.  I do even hood-winkt, with my head in my bosome and with stupidities, plunge my selfe into death, without considering or knowing it, as into a deep, hollow and bottomlesse abysse, which at one leape doth swallow me up, and at an instant doth cast me into an eternall slumber, full of insipiditie and indolencie.  And in these short, sudden or violent deaths, the consequence I fore-see of them affords me more comfort then the effect of feare.  They say, that even as life is not the best because it is long, so death+ is the best because it is short. I estrange not my selfe so much by being dead, as I enter into confidence with dying.  I enwrap and shrowd my selfe in that storme which shall blinde and furiously wrap me with a ready and insensible charge.  Yet if it hapned (as some
1 LUCAN. 1. i. 256. 2 Ibid. 252. 
THE THIRD BOOKE                     <Mont3-243>

gardners say) that those Roses and Violets are ever the sweeter and more odoriferous that grow neere unto Garlike and Onions, forsomuch as they sucke and draw all the ill savours of the ground unto them, so that these depraved natures would draw and sucke'all the venome of mine aire and infection of my climate, and by their neerenesse unto me make me so much the better and purer, that I might not lose all.  That is not, but of this, something may be, forsomuch as goodnesse is the fairer and more attracting when it is rare, and that contrarietie stifneth and diversitie encloseth well doing in it selfe, and by the jealousie of opposition and glory it doth enflame it.  Theeves and stealers (godamercie their kindnesse) have in particular nothing to say to me: no more have I to them.  I should then have to do with over- many sorts of men.  Alike consciences lurke under divers kinds of garments, Alike crueltie, disloialtie and stealing.  And so much the worse, by how much it is more base, more safe and more secret under the colour of lawes.  I hate lesse an open-professed injurie then a deceiving traiterous wrong, an hostile and war-like then a peacefull and lawfull. {Shylock+} Our feaver hath seased upon a body which it hath not much empaired.  The fire was in it, but now the flame hath taken hold of it.  The report is greater, the hurt but little.  I ordinarily answere such as demand reasons for my voiages:  That I know what I shunne, but wot not what I seeke.  If one tell mee there may be as little sound health amongst strangers, and that their manners are neither better nor purer then ours, I answere first, that it is very hard

Tam multae scelerum facies./1

The formes so manifold
Of wickednesse we hold.

Secondly, that it is ever a gaine to change a bad estate for an uncertaine. And that others evils should not touch us so neare as ours.  I will not forget this, that
1 VIRG.  Geor. 1. i. 506. 
<Mont3-244>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

I can never mutinie so much against France but I must needes looke on Paris with a favourable eye:  It hath my hart from my infancy, whereof it hath befalne me as of excellent things: the more other faire and stately cities I have seene since, the more hir beauty hath power and doth still usurpingly gaine upon my affection.  I love that Citie for her owne sake, and more in her onely subsisting and owne being then when it is full fraught and embellished with forraine pompe and borrowed garish ornaments:  I love her so tenderly that even hir spotts, her blemishes and hir warts are desire unto me.  I am no perfect Frenchman, but by this great-matchlesse Citie, great in people, great in e felicitie of her situation; but above al, great and incomparable in varietie and diversitie of commodities.  The glory of France, and one of the noblest and chiefe ornaments of the world.  God of his mercy free hir, and chase away all our divisions from hir:  Being entirely united to hir selfe, I finde hir defended from all other violence.  I forewarne hir, that of all factions, that shall be the worst which shall breed discord and sedition in hir.  And for hir sake, I onely feare hir selfe.  And surely I am in as great feare for hir as for any other part of our state.  So long as she shall continue, so long shall I never want a home or retreat to retire and shrowd my selfe at all times a thing able to make me forget the regret of all other retreates.  Not because Socrates hath said it, but because such is in truth my humour, and peradventure not without some excuse, to esteeme all men as my countrymen; and as I kindly. embrace a Polonian as a Frenchman, postponing this naturall bond to universall and common. I am not greatly strucken with the pleasantnesse of naturall aire.  Acquaintances altogether new and wholly mine doe in my conceit countervaile the worth of all other vulgar and casuall acquaintances of our neigbbours.  Friendships meerely acquired by our selves doe ordinarily exceed those to which wee are joyned either by communication of climate or affinity of blood.  Nature hath plac't us in the world free 

THE THIRD BOOKE                     <Mont3-245>

and unbound, wee emprison our selves into certaine straights:  As the Kings of Persia, who bound themselves never to drinke other water then of the river Choaspez, foolishly renouncing all lawfull right of use in all other waters, and for thelr regard dried up all the rest of the world. What Socrates did in his latter dayes, to deeme a sentence of banishment worse then a doome of death against himselfe, being of the mind I am now, I shall never be neither so base minded nor so strictly habituated in my country that I would follow him.  The celestiall lives have divers images which I embrace more by estimation then by affection.  And some too extraordinary, and so highly elevated, which because I am not able to conceive, I cannot embrace by estimation.  This humor was very tenderly apprehended by him who deemed all the wo'rld to be his city.  True it is he disdained peregrinations, and had not much set his foote beyond the territory of Athens.  What if he bewailed the mony his friend offred to lay out, to disengage his life, and refused to come out of prison, by the intercession of others, because he would not disobey the lawes in a time wherein they were otherwise so corrupted?  These examples are of the first kind for me.  Of the second there are others, which I could find in the very same man.  Many of these rare examples exceed the power of my action; but some exceed also the force of my judgement.  Besides these reasons, I deem travell to be a profitable exercise.  The minde hath therein a continuall excitation, to marke things unknowne, and note new objects.  And as I have often said: 'I know no better schoole to fashion a man's life then uncessantly to propose unto him the diversitie of so many other mens lives, customes, humors, and fantasies; and make him taste or apprehend one so perpetuall variety of our natures, shapes, or formes.  Therein the body is neither absolutely idle nor wholly troubled, and that moderate agitation doth put him into breath.' My selfe, as crazed with the collicke as I am, can sit eight, yea sometimes ten houres on horse-backe, without wearinesse or tyring. 

<Mont3-246>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES
res ultra sortemque seneVictae./1
Beyond strength ordinary,
Which old yeeres use to carry.
No weather is to me so contrary as the scorching heat of the parching Sunne. For, these Umbrels or riding canapies, which since the ancient Romans, the Italians use, doe more weary the armes then ease the head.  I would faine- faine know what industry it was in the Persians, so anciently, and even in the infancy of luxuriousnesse (as Xenophon reporteth) to fanne themselves, and at their pleasures to make cold shades.  I love rainy and durty weather as duckes doe.  The change either of aire or climate doth nothing distemper mee.  All heavens are alike to me, I am never vexed or beaten, but with internall alterations, such as I produce my selfe, which surprise and possesse me least in times of Wayfairing.  It is a hard matter to make me resolve of any journey; but if I be once on the way, I hold out as long and as farre as another.  I strive as much in small as I labour in great enterprises; and to prepare my selfe for a short journey or to visite a friend, as to undertake a farre set voiage.  I have learnt to frame my journeyes after the Spanish fashion, all at once and out-right, great and reasonable.  And in extreme heats I travell by night, from Sunne-set to Sunne rising.  The other fashion, confusedly and in haste to bait by the way and dine, especially in Winter, when the daies are so short, is both troublesome for man and incommodious for horse.  My Jades are the better, and hold out longer.  No horse did ever faile me that held out the first daies journey with me.  I water them in all waters, and only take care of their last watering, that before I come to mine Inne they have way enough to heat their water.  My slothfulnesse to rise in the morning alloweth such as follow mee sufficient leasure to dine before wee take horse.  As for me, I never feed over-late:  I commonly get an appetite in eating, and
1 VIRG.  Aen. 1. vi. 114. 
THE THIRD BOOKE                     <Mont3-247>

no otherwise:  I am never hungry but at the table.  Some complaine that being maried, and well strucken in yeares, I have enured my selfe, and beene pleased to continue this exercise.  They doe me wrong.  The best time for a man to leave his house is when he hath so ordered and settled the same that it may continue without him; and when he hath so disposed his affaires, that they may answere the ancient course and wonted forme.  It is much more indiscretion, and an argument of want of judgement, to goe from home and leave no trusty guard in his house, and which for lacke of care may be slow or forgetfull in providing for such necessities as in your absence it may stand in need of.  The most profitable knowledge and honourablest occupation for a matron or mother of a familie is the occupation and knowledge of huswiferie.  I see divers covetous, but few huswifes.  It is the mistresse- qualitie that all men should seeke after, and above all other endeavour to finde, as the onely dowry; that serveth either to ruine and overthrow, or to save and enrich our houses.  Let no man speake to me of it; according as experience hath taught me, I require in a maried woman the Oeconomicall vertue above all others.  Wherein I would have her absolutely skilfull, since by my absence I commit the charge and bequeat the full government of my houshold to her.
     I see (and that to my griefe) in divers houses the master or goodman come home at noone all weary, durty and dusty, with drudging and toiling about his businesse; when the mistresse or good-wife is either scarce up, or if shee bee, she is yet in her closet, dressing, decking, smugging, or trimming of her selfe.  It is a thing onely fitting Queenes or Princes; whereof some doubt might be made.  It is ridiculous that the idlenesse and unjust that the lithernesse of our wives should be fostered with our sweat and maintained by our travell.  No man (as neere as I can) shall fortune to have a more free and more absolute use, or a more quiet and more liquid fruition of his goods then I have.  If the husband bring matter, nature her selfe would 

<Mont3-248>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

have women to bring forme.  Concerning duties of wedlocke_friendship, which some happily imagine to be interessed or prejudiced by the husbands absence, I beleeve it not.  Contrariwise, it is a kinde of intelligence that easily growes cold by an over-continuall assistance, and decaieth by assiduitie; for to stand still at racke and manger breedeth a satietie. Every strange woman seemeth to us an honest woman:  And all feele by experience that a continuall seeing one another cannot possibly represent the pleasure men take by parting and meeting againe.  These interruptions fill mee with a new kinde of affection toward mine owne people, and yeeld me the use of my house more pleasing: vicissitude doth now and then en-earnest my minde toward one, and then toward another.  I am not ignorant how true amitie hath armes long enough to embrace, to claspe and holde from one corner of the world unto another; {Donne+} namely in this, where is a continuall communication of offices that cause the obligation and revive the remembrance thereof.  The stoickes say that there is so great an affinitie and mutual relation betweene wise men that he who dineth in France feedeth his companion in Aegypt; and if one of them doe but hould up his finger, where ever it bee, all the wise men dispersed upon the habitable land feele a kinde of aid thereby.  Jovissance and possession appertaine chiefly unto imagination. It embraceth more earnestly and uncessantly what she goeth to fetch, then what wee touch.  Summon and count all your daily ammusements, and you shall finde you are then furthest and most absent from your friend+ when he is present with you.  His assistance releaseth your attention, and giveth your thoughts libertie at all times and upon every occasion to absent themselves. If I be at Rome, or any where else, I hold, I survay, and governe my house and the commodities which I have left about and in it.  I even see my walles, my trees, my grasse, and my rents to stand, to grow, to decay, and to diminish, within an inch or two of that I should doe when I am at home. 

THE THIRD BOOKE          <Mont3-249>
Ante oculos errat domus, errat forma locorum.

My house is still before rnine eies,
There still the forms of places lies.

If we but onely enjoy what we touch, farewell our crownes when they are in our coffers, and adiew to our children when they are abroad or a hunting; we would have them neerer.  In the garden is it farre off? within halfe a daies journey?  What, within ten leagues, is it farre or neere?  If it be neere, what is eleven, twelve, or thirteene? and so step by step.  Verely that woman who can prescribe unto her husband how many steps end that which is neere, and which step in number begins the distance she counts farre, I am of opinion that she stay him betweene both.
------ excludat jurgia finis./1

Let the conclusion, Exclude confusion.

Utor permiso, caudaeque pilos ut equinae.
Paulatim vello: et demo unum, demo etiant unum
Dum cadat elusus ratione ruentis acervi./2

I use the grant, and plucke by one and one
The horse-taile haires, till when the bush is gone
I leave the Jade a curtall taile or none.

And let them boldly call for Philosophy to helpe them.  To whom some might reproach, since she neither discerneth the one nor other end of the joynt, betweene the overmuch and the little, the long and the short, the light and the heavie, the neare and the farre, since she neither knowes the beginning nor ending thereof, that she doth very uncertainly judge of the middle. Rerum natura nullam nobis dedit cognitionem finium: 'Nature hath affoorded us no knowledge of her endes.' Are they not yet wives and friendes of the deceased that are not at the end of this, but in the other world? wee embrace both those that have beene, and those which are not yet, not onely the absent.  We did not condition when we were maried, continually to keepe our selves close hugging one another as some, I wot
1 HoR. 1. ii.  Epist. i. 38. 2 Ibid. 45. 
<Mont3-250>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

not what little creatures doe we see daily; or as those bewitched people of Karenti, in a kinde of dogged manner.  And a woman should not have her eyes so greedily or so dotingly fixed on hir hushand's fore-part, that if neede shall require she may not view his hinderpartes.  But might not the saying of that cunning painter, who could so excellently set foorth their humours and pourtray their conditions, fitly bee placed heere, lively to represent the cause of their complaints?

Uxor, si cesses, aut te amare cogitat,
Aut tete amare, aut potare, aut animo obsequi, Et tibi bene esse soli, cum subi sit male./1

If you be slow, your wife thinkes that in love you are,
Or are belov'd, or drinke, or all for pleasure care,
And that you onely fare-well when she ill doth fare.

Or might it be that opposition and contradiction doe naturally entertaine, and of themselves nourish them; and that they are sufficiently accommodated, provided they disturbe and incommode you?  In truly perfect friendship wherein I presume to have well-grounded experience, I give my selfe more unto my friend+ than I draw him unto me.  I doe not onely rather love to do him good, then he should doe any to me, but also that he should rather doe good unto himselfe then unto me:  For then doth he me most good when be doth it to himselfe.  And if absence be either pleasing or beneficiall unto him, it is to me much more pleasing then his presence; and that may not properly be termed absence where meanes and waies may be found to enter-advertise one another.  I have heeretofore made good use and reaped commoditie by our absence and distance.  Wee better replenished the benefit and extended further the possession of life by being divided and farre- asunder: he lived, he rejoiced, and he saw for me and I for him, as fully as if he had beene present:  Being together, one partie was idle:  We confounded one another.  The separation of the place made the conjunction of our mindes and wills the
1 TER.  Adelph. act i. sc. 1. 
THE THIRD BOOKE                     <Mont3-251>

richer.  This insatiate and greedy desire of corporall presence doth somewhat accuse the weakenesse in the jovissance of soules.  Concerning age, which some allege against me, it is cleane contrary.  It is for youth to subject and bondage it selfe to common opinions, and by force to constraine it selfe for others.  It may fit the turne of both the people and it selfe: We have but overmuch to doe with our selves alone.  According as naturall commodities faile us, let us sustaine our selves by artificiall meanes. It is injustice to excuse youth in following her pIeasnres, and forbid age to devise and seeke them.  When I was yong I concealed my wanton and covered my youthfull passions with wit; and now being aged, I endeavour to passe the sadde and incident to yeeres with sport and debauches.  Yet doe Platoes lawes forbid men to travell abroad before they are forty or fifty yeares of age, that so their travell may sort more profitable and proove more instructive.  I should more willingly consent to this other second article of the said lawes, which forbiddeth men to wander abroad after they are once threescore.  Of which age few that travell farre journies returne home againe. {usthem+} What care I for that?  I undertake it not either to returne or to perfect the same.  I onely undertake it to be in motion:  So long as the motion pleaseth me, and I walke that I may walke. Those runne not that runne after a Benefice or after a hare.  But they runne that runne at barriers and to exercise their running.  My desseigne is every where divisible, it is not grounded on great hopes: each day makes an end of it.  Even so is my lifes voiage directed.  Yet have I seene divers farre countries where I would have beene glad to have beene staied.  Why not? If Chrysippus, Diogenes, Cleanthes, Antipater, and Zeno, with so many other wise men of that roughly-severe and severely-strict Sect, forsooke their Countries (without just cause to be offended with them), onely to enjoy another aire?  Truly the greatest griefe of my peregrinations is, that I cannot have a firme resolution to establish my abiding where I would.  And that I must 

<Mont3-252>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

ever resolve with my selfe to returne for to accommodate my selfe onto common humors, If I should feare to die in any other place then where I was borne, if I thought I should die lesse at my ease farre from mine owne people, I would hardly goe out of France; nay, I should scarcely goe out of mine owne parish without feeling some dismay. {Faulkner+} I feele death ever pinching me by the throat or pulling me by the backe:  But I am of another moulde; to me it is ever one, and at all times the same.  Nevertheles, if I were to chose, I thinke it should rather be on horsebacke than in a bed, from my home and farre from my friends.  There is more harts-sorrow than comfort in taking ones last farewell of his friends.  I doe easily forget or neglect these duties or complements of our common or civill courtesie. For, of Offices appertaining to unaffected amitie, the same is the most displeasing and offensive:  And I should as willingly forget to give a body that great adiew or eternall farewell.  If a body reape any commoditie by this assistance, he also findes infinite inconveniences in it.  I have seene divers die most piteously, compassed and beset round with their friends and servants:  Such multitudes and thronging of people doth stifle them. It is against reason and a testimony of smal affection, and little care they have that you should die at rest.  One offendeth your eies, another molesteth your eares, the third vexeth your mouth:  You have neither sense nor limme, or parte of your body, but is tormented and grieved.  Your hart is ready to burst for pittie to heare your friends moanes and complaints, and to rive asunder with spite to heare peradventure some of their wailings and moanes that are but fained and counterfet.  If a man have ever had a milde or tender nature, being weake and readie to die, he must then necessarily have it more tender and relenting.  It is most requisite that in so urgent a necessitie one have a gentle hand, and fitly applied to his senses, to scratch him where he itcheth, or else he ought not be clawed at all.  If wee must needs have the helpe of a Midwife to bring us into this world, 

THE THIRD BOOKE          <Mont3-253>

there is reason we should also have the aiding-hand of a wise man to deliver us out of the same.  Such a one, and therewithall a true friend, should a man before-hand purchase very deare, only for the service of such an occasion.  I am not yet come to that disdainfull vigor which so fortifieth it selfe that at such times nothing aideth nor nothing troubleth; I flie a lower pitch.  I seeke to squat my selfe and steale from that passage, not by feare, but by Art.  My intent is not in such an action to make either triall or shew of my constancy.  Wherefore?  Because then shall the right and interest I have in reputation+ cease.  I am content with a death united in it selfe, quiet and solitarie, wholly mine, convenient to my retired and private life.  Cleane contrary to the Roman superstition, where he was judged unhappy that died without speaking, and had not his nearest friends to close his eies.  I have much adoe to comfort my selfe, without being troubled to comfort others; cares and vexations enow in my minde without needing circumstances to bring me new; and sufficient matter to entertaine my selfe without borrowing any.  This share belongs not to the part of societie: It is the act of one man alone.  Let us live, laugh and be merry amongst our friends, but die and yeeld up the ghost amongst strangers and such as we know not.  He who hath money in his purse shall ever flnde some ready to turne his head, make his bedde, rubbe his feet, attend him, and that will trouble and importune him no longer than hee list, and will ever shew him an indifferent and well-composed countenance, and without grumbling or grudging give a man leave to do what be please, and complaine as he list.  I dayly endevour by discourse to shake off this childish humour and inhumane conceit, which causeth that by our griefes and paines we ever desire to moove our friends to compassion and sorrow for us, and with a kinde of sympathy to condole our miseries and passions.  We endeare our inconveniences beyond measure to exact teares from them:  And the constancy+ we so much commend in all others, 

<Mont3-254>           MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

undauntedly to endure all evill fortune, we accuse and upbraid to our neerest allies when they molest us; we are not contented they should have a sensible feeling of our calamities if they doe not also afflict themselves for them.  A man should, as much as be can, set foorth and extend his joy, but to the utmost of his power suppresse and abridge his sorrow.  He that will causelessly be moaned and sans reason, deserveth not to be pitied when he shall have cause and reason for it.  To be ever complaining and alwaies moaning is the way never to be moaned and seldome to be pitied; and so often to seeme over passionately pitifull is the meane to make no man feelingly ruthful towards others.  He that makes himselfe dead, being alive, is subject to be counted alive when be is dying.  I have seene some take pepper in the nose, forsomuch as they were told that they had a cheerefull countenance, that they looked well, that they had a temperate pulse; to force laughter because some betraied their recovery, and hate their health because it was not regreetable.  And which is more, they were no women. I for the most represent my infirmities such as they are:  And shunne such words as are of evill presage, and avoid composed exclamations.  If not glee and mirth, at least an orderly setled countenance of the bystanders and assistants is sufficiently-convenient to a wise and discreet sicke-man, who, though he see himselfe in a contrary state, he will not picke a quarell with health.  He is pleased to be told the same sound and strong in others, and at least for company-sake to enjoy his part of it.  Though he feele and finde himselfe to faint and sinke downe, he doth not altogether reject the conceits and imaginations of life, nor doth he avoid common entertainments. I will studie sicknesse when I am in health, when it comes it will really enough make her impression without the helpe of my imagination.  We deliberately prepare our selves beforehand for any voiage we undertake, and therein, are resolved; the houre is set when he wil take horse, and we give it to our company in whose favour we extend it.  I finde this unexpected 

THE THIRD BOOKE          <Mont3-255>

profit by the publication of my maners, that in some sort it serveth me for a rule.  I am sometimes surprised with this consideration not to betray the history of my life.  This publike declaration bindes me to keepe my selfe within my course, and not to contradict the image of my conditions, commonly lesse disfigured and gaine-said then the malignitie and infirmitie of moderne judgements doth beare.  The uniformitie and singlenesse of my manners produceth a visage of easie interpretation; but because the fashion of them is somewhat new and strange, and out of use, it giveth detraction to faire play.  Yet is it true, that to him who will goe about loyally to injure me, me thinkes I doe sufficiently affoord him matter whereby he may detract and snarle at my avowed and knowen imperfections, and wherewith hee may bee satisfied, without vaine contending and idle skirmishing.  If my selfe by preoccupating his discovery and accusation hee thinkes I barre him of his snarling, it is good reason hee take his right towards amplification and extension:  Offence hath her rights beyond justice:  And that the vices whereof I strew him the rootes in mee, hee should amplifie them to trees. Let him not only employ thereunto those that possesse mee, but those which but threaten me.  Injurious vices, both in qualitie and in number.  Let him beate me that way.  I should willingly embrace the example of Dion the Philosopher. Antigonus going about to scoffe and quip at him touching his birth and offspring, he interrupted him and tooke the worde out of his mouth:  I am' (said hee) 'the sonne of a bond slave, a butcher, branded for a rogue, and of a whoore, whom my father by reason of his base fortune tooke to wife.  Both were punished for some misdeede.  Being a child, an orator bought me as a slave, liking me for my beautie and comelinesse; and dying, left mee all his goods; which having transported into this citie of Athens, I have applied my selfe unto Philosophy.  Let not Historians busie themselves in seeking newes of mee; I will at large blazon my selfe, and plainely tell them the whole discourse.' 

<Mont3-256>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

A generous and free-minded confession doth disable a reproch and disarme an injurie.  So it is, that when all cards be told, me seemes that I am as oft commended as dispraised beyond reason.  As also me thinks, that even from my infancie, both in ranke and degree of honour, I have had place given me, rather above and more than lesse and beneath that which appertained to me.  I should better like to be in a countrie where these orders might either be reformed or contemned.  Among men, after that striving or altercation for the prerogative or upper hand in going or sitting exceedeth three replies, it becommeth incivill.  I neither feare to yeeld and give place, nor to follow and proceed unjustly, so I may avoid such irkesome and importunate contestations.  And never did man desire precedencie or place before me, but I quitted the same without grudging. {diffident+} Besides the profit I reape by writing of my selfe, I have hoped for this other, that if ever it might happen my humours should please or sympathize with some honest man, he would before my death seeke to be acquainted with me, or to overtake mee.  I have given him much ground:  For whatsoever a long acquaintance or continuall familiarity might have gained him in many wearisome yeares, the same hath hee in three dayes fully seene in this Register, and that more safely and more exactly.  A pleasant fantazie is this of mine, many things I would be loath to tell a particular man, I utter to the whole world.  And concerning my most secret thoughts and inward knowledge, I send my dearest friends to a Stationers shop.

Excutienda damus praecordia./1

Our very entrailes wee
Lay forth for you to see.

If by so good markes and tokens I had ever kriowen or heard of any one man that in this humour had beene answerable to me, I would assuredly have wandred very farre to finde him out:  For, the exceeding joy of
1 PERS.  Sat. v. 22. 
THE THIRD BOOKE                    <Mont3-257>

a sortable, and in one consent agreeing company, cannot (in mine opinion) be sufficiently endeared or purchased at too high a rate.  Oh God! who can expresse the value or conceive the true worth of a friend+?  How true is that ancient golden saying, that the use of a friend is more necessary and pleasing, then of the elements, water and fire.  But to returne to my former discourse.  There is, then, no greater inconvenience in dying farre from home and abroad.  Wee esteeme it a part of duty and decencie to withdraw our selves for naturall actions lesse hideous and lesse disgracefull then this.  But also those that come unto that in languishing manner to draw a long space of life should not happily wish with their miserie to trouble a whole family?  Therefore did the Indians of a certaine countrie deeme it just and lawfull to kill him that should fall into such necessitie. And in another of their Provinces they thought it meet to forsake him, and as well as hee could, leave him alone to seeke to save himselfe.  To whom at last proove they not themselves tedious and intolerable?  Common offices proceed not so farre.  Perforce you teach cruelty unto your best friends, obdurating by long use both wife and children, not to feele, nor to conceive, nor to moane your evils any longer.  The groanes and out-cries of my chollicke cause no more ruth and wailing in any body.  And should we conceive pleasure by their conversation (which seldome bapneth, by reason of the disparitie of conditions, which easily produceth either contempt or envy towards what man soever) is it not too-too much therwith to abuse a whole age?  The more I should see them with a good heart to straine themselves for me, the more should I bewaile their paine.  The law of curtesie alloweth us to leane upon others, but not so unmanerly to lie upon them and underpropt our selves in their ruine.  As he who caused little infants to be slaine, that with their innocent blood he might be cured of a malady he had.  Or another, who was continually stored with young tendrels or lasses to keepe his old frozen limbs warme a nights, and entermix the 

<Mont3-258>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

sweetnesse of their breath with his old-stinking and offensive vapours. Decrepitude is a solitary quality.  I am sociable even unto excesse, yet doe I thinke it reasonable at last to subtract my opportunity from the sight of the world, and hatch it in my selfe.  Let me shrowd and shrugge my self into my shell as a tortoise, and learne to see men without taking hold of them.  I should outrage them in so steepe a passage.  It is now high time to turne from the company.  But here will some say that in these farre journies you may pera-venture fall into some miserable dog-hole or poore cottage, where you shall want all needfull things.  To whom I answere, that for things most necessary in such cases I ever carry most of them with me:  And that where- ever wee are wee cannot possibly avoid fortune+ if she once take upon her to persecute us.  When I am sicke I want nothing that is extraordinary; what nature cannot worke in me I will not have a Bolus or a glister to effect.  At the very beginning of my agues or sicknesses that cast me downe, whilst I am yet whole in my senses and neere unto health, I reconcile my self to God by the last duties of a Christian, whereby I finde my selfe free and discharged, and thinke I have so much more reason and authority over my sicknesse.  I finde lesse want of notaries and counsell then of Physitians.  What I have not disposed of my affaires or setled of my state when I was in perfect health, let none expect I should doe it being sicke.  Whatever I will doe for the service of death is alwayes ready done.  I dare not delay it one onely day.  And if nothing be done it is as much to say that either some doubt hath delaide the choise:  For sometimes it is a good choice not to chose at all:  Or that absolutely I never intended to doe any thing.  I write my booke to few men and to few yeares.  Had it beene a matter of lasting continuance, it should have beene compiled in a better and more polished language:  According to the continuall variation that hitherto hath followed our French tongue, who may hope that it's present forme shall be in use fifty yeares hence?  It dayly changeth and slips 

THE THIRD BOOKE                     <Mont3-259>

our hands; and since I could speake the same it is much altred and wellnigb halfe varied.  We say it is now come to a full perfection.  There is no age but saith as much of hirs.  It lies not in my power, so long as it glideth and differeth and altereth as it doth, to keepe it at a stay.  It is for excellent and profitable compositions to fasten it unto them, whose credit shall either diminish or encrease according to the fortune of our state. For all that I feare not to insert therein divers private articles, whose use is consumed amongst men living now adayes, and which concerne the particular knowledge of some that shall further see into it, then with a common understanding. When al is done, I would not (as I often see the memory of the deceased tossed too and fro) that men should descant and argue, Thus and thus be judged, thus he lived, thus he ment; had he spoken when his life left him, be would have given I wot what:  There is no man knew him better than my selfe.  Now, as much as modestie and decorum doth permit me, I here give a taste of any inclinations and an essay of my affection, which I doe more freely and more willingly by word of mouth to any that shall desire to be throughly informed of them.  But so it is, that if any man shall looke into these memorialls, he shall finde that either I have said all or desseigned all.  What I cannot expresse, the same I point at with my finger.

Verum animo satis haec vestigia parva sagaci
Sunt, per quae possis cognoscere caetera tute./1

But this small footing to a quicke-sent minde
May serve whereby safely the rest to finde.

I leave nothing to bee desired or divined of mee.  If one must entertaine himselfe with them, I would have it to be truly and justly.  I would willingly come from the other world to give him the lie that should frame me other then I had beene; were it he meant to honour mee. {posterity+} I see that of the living, men never speake according to truth, and they are ever made to be
1 LUCR. i. 419. 
<Mont3-260>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

what they are not.  And if with might and maine I had not upheld a friend of mine whom I have lately lost, be had surely beene mangled and torne in a thousand contrary shapes.  But to make an end of my weake humours: I confesse that in travelling I seldome alight in any place or come to any Inne, but first of all I cast in my minde whether I may conveniently lie there, if I should chaunce to fall sicke, or dying, die at my ease and take my death quietly.  I will as nere as I can be lodged in some convenient part of the house, and in particular from all noise or stinking savours; in no close, filthy, or smoaky chamber.  I seeke to flatter death by these frivolous circumstances:  Or, as I may rather say, to discharge my selfe from all other trouble or encombrance, that so I may wholly apply and attend her, who without that shall happily lie very heavily upon me.  I will have her take a full share of my lives cases and commodities; it is a great part of it and of much consequence, and I hope it shall not belie what is past.  Death+ hath some formes more easie then others, and assumeth divers qualities according to all mens fantazies.  Among the naturall ones, that proceeding of weakenesse and heavy dulnesse, to me seemeth gentle and pleasant. Among the violent I imagine a precipice more hardly then a ruine that overwhelmes me, and a cutting blow with a sword then a shot of an harquebuse; and I would rather have chosen to drinke the potion of Socrates, then wound my selfe as Cato did.  And though it be all one, yet doth my imagination perceive a difference, as much as is betweene death and life to cast my selfe into a burning fornace or in the channell of a shallow river.  So foolishly doth our feare respect more the meane then the effect.  It is but one instant, but of such moment that to passe the same according to my desire, I would willingly renounce many of my lives dayes.  Since all mens fantazies finde either excesse or diminution in her sharpnesse, since every man hath some choise betweene the formes of dying, let us trie a little further whether we can finde out some one free from all sorrow and griefe. 

THE THIRD BOOKE                     <Mont3-261>

Might not one also make it seeme voluptuous, as did those who died with Anthonie and Cleopatra?  I omit to speake of the sharpe and exemplar efforts that Philosopby and religion produce.  But amongst men of no great fame some have beene found (as one Petronius and one Tigillinus at Rome) engaged to make themselves away who by the tendernesse of their preparations have in a manner lulled the same asleepe.  They have made it passe and glide away even in the midst of the security of their accustomed pastimes and wanton recreations.  Amongst harlots and good felowes no speech of comfort, no mention of will or testament, no ambitious affectation of constancie, no discourse of their future condition, no compunction of sinnes committed, no apprehension of their soules-health, ever trouling them, amid sports, playes, banketting, surfetting, chambering, jesting, musicke, and singing of amorous verses, and all such popular and common entertainements.  Might not wee imitate this manner of resolution in more honest affaires and more commendable attempts?  And since there are deaths good unto wise men and good unto fooles, let us find some one that may be good unto such as are betweene both.  My imagination presents me some easie and milde countenance thereof, and (since we must all die) to bee desired.  The tyrants of Rome have thought they gave that criminall offender his life to whom they gave the free choise of death.  But Theopbrastus, a Philosopher so delicate, so modest, and so wise, was he not forced by reason to dare to utter this verse, latinized by Cicero:

Vitam regit fortuna+ non sapientia./1

Fortune our life doth rule,
Not wisdome of the schoole.

Fortune giveth the facilitie of my lives-condition some aide, having placed it in such a time wherein it is neither needfull nor combersome unto my people.  It is a condition I would have accepted in all the
1 CIC.  Tusc.  Qu. 1. v.  Theoph.  Calisth. 
<Mont3-262>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

seasons of my age, but in this occasion to trusse my bag and baggage and take up my bed and walke.  I am particularly pleased that when I shall die, I shall neither breede pleasure nor cause sorrow in them.  Shee hath caused (which is the recompence of an artist) that such as by my death may pretend any materiall benefit, receive thereby elswhere jointly a materiall losse and hinderance.  Death lies sometimes heavie upon us, in that it is burthensome to others; and interesseth us with their interest almost as much as with ours, and sometimes more; yea altogether.  In this inconveniency of lodging that I seeke, I neither entermix pompe nor amplitude; For I rather hate it.  But a certaine simple and humble proprietie, which is commonly found in places where lesse Arte is, and that nature honoureth with some grace peculiar unto her selfe.  Non ampliter sed munditer convivium.  Plus sales quam sumptus./1  'Not a great, but a neat feast.  More conceit then cost.'
     And then it is for those who by their urgent affaires are compelled to travell in the midst of deepe Winter, and amongst the Grisons, to be surprized by such extreamities in their journies.  But I who for the most part never travell but for pleasure, will neither bee so ill advised nor so simply guided.  If the way be foule on my right hand, I take the left.  If I find my selfe ill at ease or unfit to ride, I stay at home.  Which doing, and observing this course, in very truth I see no place and come no where that is not as pleasant, as convenient, and as commodious as mine owne house.  True it is that I ever find superfluitie superfluous, and observe a kind of troublesomenesse in delicatenesse and plenty.  Have I omitted or left any thing behind me that was worth the seeing? I returne backe; It is ever my way, I am never out of it.  I trace no certaine line, neither right nor crooked.  Comming to any strange place, finde I not what was told mee?  As it often fortuneth that others judgements agree not with mine, and have most times found them false, I grieve

THE THIRD BOOKE                    <Mont3-263>

not at my labour; I have learned that what was reported to bee there is not.  I have my bodies complexion as free and my taste as common as any man in the world.  The diversity of fashions betweene one and other Nations concerneth me nothing, but by the varieties-pleasure.  Each custome hath his reason.  Bee the trenchers or dishes of wood, of pewter, or of earth; bee my meate boyled, rosted, or baked; butter or oyle, and that of Olives or of Wallnuts, hot or colde, I make no difference, all is one to me.  And as one that is growing old, I accuse the generous faculties and had need that delicatenesse and choise should stay the indiscretion of my appetite, and sometime ease and solace my stomacke.  When I have beene out of France, and that to do me curtesie some have asked me Whether I would be served after the French maner, I have jested at them, and have ever thrust-in amongst the thickest tables and fullest of strangers.  I am ashamed to see our men besotted with this foolish humor, to fret and chafe when they see any fashions contrary to theirs.  They thinke themselves out of their element when they are out of their Village.  Where ever they come they keepe their owne country and hate, yea and abhorre all strange manners.  Meet they a countriman of theirs in Hungary, they feast that good fortune.  And what doe they?  Marry close and joyne together, to blame, to condemne, and to scorne so many barbarous fashions as they see.  And why not Barbarous since not French?  Nay, happily they are the better sort of men that have noted and so much exclaimed against them.  Most take going out but for comming home.  They travell close and covered, with a silent and incommunicable wit, defending themselves from the contagion of some unknowne ayre.  What I speake of such puts mee in minde in the like matter of that I have heretofore perceived in some of your young Courtiers.  They onely converse with men of their coate, and with disdains or pitty looke upon us as if we were men of another world.  Take away their new fangled, mysterious, and affected courtly complements, 


and they are out of their byase.  As farre to seeke and short of us as we of them.  That saying is true; That An honest_man+ is a man compounded. Cleane contrary, I travell fully glutted with our fashions:  Not to seeke Gaskoines in Sicilie, I have left over many at home.  I rather seeke for Graecians and Persians.  Those I accost, Them I consider, and with such I endevour to be acquainted; to that I prepare and therein I employ my selfe.  And which is more, me seemeth I have not met with many maners that are not worth ours.  Indeed I have not wandred farre, scarsly have I lost the sight of our Chimnies.  Moreover, most of the casuall companies you meete withall by the way have more incommodity than pleasure, a matter I doe not greatly take hold of, and lesse now that age doth particularize and in some sort sequester me from common formes.  You suffer for other or others endure for you.  The one inconvenience is yrkesome, the other troublesome, but yet the last is (in my conceipt) more rude.  It is a rare chaunce and seld-seene fortune, but of exceeding solace and inestimable worth, to have an honest man of singular experience, of a sound judgement, of a resolute understanding and constant resolution, and of manners conformable to yours, to accompany or follow you with a good will.  I have found great want of such a one in all my voyages.  Which company a man must seeke with discretion and with great heed obtaine before he wander from home.  With me no pleasure is fully delightsome without communication, and no delight absolute except imparted.  I doe not so much as apprehend one rare conceipt, or conceive one excellent good thought in my minde, but me thinks I am much grieved and grievously perplexed to have produced the same alone and that I have no sympathizing companion to impart it unto.  Si cum hac exceptione detur sapientia, ut illam inclusam teneam, nec enunciem, rejiciam: 'If wisdome should be offered with this exception, that I should keepe it concealed and not utter it, I would refuse it.' The other strain'd it one note higher. Si contigerit ea vita sapienii, ut 

THE THIRD BOOKE                     <Mont3-265>

omnium rerum afluentibus copiis, quamvis omnia, quae cognitione digna sunt, summo otio secum ipse consideret et contempletur; tamen si solitudo tanta sit, ut hominem videre non possit, excedat e vita:/1 'If a wiseman might lead such a life, as in abundance of all things bee may in full quiet contemplate and consider all things worthy of knowledge, yet if he must be so solitary as he may see no man, he should rather leave such a life.' Architas his opinion is sutable to mine, which was that it would be a thing unpleasing to the very heavens, and distastefull to man, to survay and walke within those immense and divine and coelestiall bodies, without the assistance of a friend or companion; Yet is it better to be alone than in tedious and foolish company.  Aristippus loved to live as an alien or stranger every where:

Me si fata meis patereutur ducere vitam

If fates would me permit
To live as I thinke fit,

I should chose to weare out my life with my bum in the saddle, ever riding.
------ visere gestiens,
Qua parte debacchentur ignes,
Qua nebulae pluviique rores./3

Delighting much to goe and see
Where firy heats rage furiously,
Where clouds and rainy dews most be.

Have you not more easie pastimes?  What is it you want?  Is not your house well seated, and in a good and wholesome ayre?  Sufficiently furnished and more then sufficiently capable?  His Royall Majesty hath in great state beene in the same, and more then once taken his repast there.  Doth not your family in rule and government leave many more inferior to hir than above hir eminency?  Is there any locall thought or 1 CIC.  Offic. 1. ii. 2 VIRG.  Aen. 1. iv. 339. 3 HOR.  Car. 1. iii.  Od. iii. 54. 
<Mont3-266>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

care that as extrordinary doth ulcerate, or as indigestible doth molest you?

Quae te nunc coquat et vexet sub pectore fixa./1

Which now boyles in thy brest,
And let's thee take no rest.

Where doe you imagine you may bee without empeachment or disturbance?  Nunquam simpliciter fortuna indulger: 'Fortune never favours fully without exception.' You see then there is none but you that trouble and busie your selfe: and every where you shall follow your self, and in all places you shall complaine. For, Here below there is no satisfaction or content, except for brutall or divine mindes.  He who in so just an occasion hath no content , where doth he imagine to finde it?  Unto how many thousands of men doth such a condition as yours bound and stay the limits of their wishes?  Reforme but your selfe, by that you may doe all:  Whereas towards fortune you have no right or interest but patience. Nulla placida quies est, nisi quam ratio composuit:/2  'There is no pleasing setled rest, but such as reason hath made up.' I see the reason of this advertisement, yea I perceive it wel.  But one should sooner have done, and more pertinently, in one bare word to say onto me:  Be wise.  This resolution is beyond wisedome.  It is hir Worke and hir production.  So doth the Physition that is ever crying to a languishing, heart-broken sickeman, that he be merry and pull up a good heart; he should lesse foolishly perswade him if he did but bid him be healthy; as for me, I am but a man of the common stamp.  It is a certaine sound and of easie understanding precept:  Be content with your owne, that is to say, with reason, the execution wherof not-withstanding is no more in the wiser sort than in my self:  It is a popular word, but it hath a terrible far-reaching extension.  What comprehends it not?  All
1 ENNI.  CIC.  Senect. 2 SEN.  Epist. lvi. m. 
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things fall within the compasse of discretion and modification.  Wel I wot that being taken according to the bare letter, the pleasure of travell brings a testimony of unquietnesse and irresolution.  Which to say truth, are our mistrisse and predominant qualities.  Yea, I confesse it:  I see nothing, bee it but a dreame or by wishing whereon I may take hold.  Onely varietie and the possession of diversitie doth satisfie me, if at least any thing satisfie mee.  In travell this doth nourish mee, that without interest I may stay my selfe; and that I have means commodiously to divert my selfe from it.  I love a private life because it is by mine owne choice that I love it, not by a diffidence or dis-agreeing from a publike life, which peradventure is as much according to my complexion:  I thereby serve my Prince more joyfully and genuinely because it is by the free election of my judgement and by my reason, without any particular obligation.  And that I am not cast or forced thereunto, because I am unfit to be received of any other, or am not beloved, so of the rest.  I hate those morsels that necessitie doth carve mee.  Every commoditie of which alone I were to depend, should ever hold me by the throat:

Alter remus aquas, alter mihi radat arenas./1

Let me cut waters with one oare,
With the other shave the sandie shoare.

One string alone can never sufficiently hold me.  You will say there is vanitie in this ammusement.  But where not?  And these goodly precepts are vanitie, and Meere vanitie is all worldly wisedome. Dominus novit cogitationes sapientum, quoniam Dominus novit cogitationes sapientum, quoniam vanae sunt:/2 'The Lord knowes the thoughts of the wise that they are vaine.' Such exquisite subtilities are onely fit for sermons.  They are discourses that will send us into the other world on horsebacke.  Life is a materiall and corporall motion, an action imperfect and disordered by its owne essence; I employ or apply my selfe to serve it according to it selfe.
1 PROPERT. 1. iii.  Eleg. ii. 23. 2 Ps. xciii. 11. 
<Mont3-268>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

Quisque suos patimur manes./1

All of us for our merit,
Have Some attending spirit.
Sic est faciendum, ne contra naturam universam nihil contendamus, ea tamen conservata, propriam sequamur:/2 'We must so worke as we endevour nothing against nature in generall, yet so observe it as we follow our owne in speciall.' To what purpose are these heaven-looking and nice points of Philosophie, on which no humane being can establish and ground it selfe? And to what end serve these rules that exceed our use and excell our strength? I often see that there are certaine Ideaes or formes of life proposed unto us, which neither the proposer nor the Auditors have any hope at all to follow, or and which is worse, no desire to attaine.  Of the same paper whereon a Judge writ but even now the condemnation against an adulterer, hee will teare a scantlin thereon to write some love-lines to his fellow-judges wife. {Lear+} The same woman from whom you came lately, and with whom you have committed that unlawfull-pleasing sport, will soone after, even in your presence, raile and scold more bitterly against the same fault in her neighbour than ever Portia or Lucrece could. {Mrs_Frail+} And some condemne men to die for crimes that themselves esteeme no faults.  I have in my youth seen a notable man with one hand to present the people most excellent and well-written verses, both for invention and extreme licentiousnesse, and with the other hand, at the same instant, the most sharpe-railing reformation, according to Divinitie, that happily the World hath seen these many-many years.  Thus fgoes the world, and so go men.  We let lawes and precepts follow their way, but we keep another course; Not onely by disorder of manners, but often by opinion and contarary judgment.  Hear but a discourse of Philosophy read, the invention, the pertinencie, doth presently tickle your spirit and move you.  There is
1 VIRG.  Aen. 1. vi. 743. 2 CIC.  Off. 1. i.
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nothing tickleth or pricketh your conscience; it is not to her that men speake.  Is it not true?  Ariston said that Neither Bath nor Lecture are of any worth, except the one wash cleane and the other cleanse all filth away.  One may busie himselfe about the barke when once the pith is gotten out:  As when we have drunke off the Wine we consider the graving and workmanship of the cuppe.  In all the parts of ancient Philosophie this one thing may be noted, that one same worke-man publisheth some rules of temperance and therewithall some compositions of lobeand licentiousnesse. And Xenophon in Cliniaes bosome writ against the Aristippian vertue.  It is not a miraculous conversion that so doth wave and hull them to and fro. But it is that Solon doth sometimes represent himselfe in his owne colours, and sometimes in forme of a Law-giver; now he speaketh for the multitude and now for himselfe, And takes the free and naturall rules to himselfe; warranting himselfe with a constant and perfect sounduesse.

Curentur dubii medicis majoribus aegri./1

Let patients in great doubt,
Seeke great Physitians out.

Antisthenes alloweth a wise man to love and doe what he list, without respect of lawes, especially in things he deemeth needfull and fit:  Forasmuch as he hath a better understanding than they, and more knowledge of vertue.
His Disciple Diogenes said:  To perturbations we should oppose reason, to fortune, confidence, and to lawes nature; to dainty and tender stomacks constrained and artificiall ordinances.  Good stomackes are simply served with the prescriptions of their naturall appetite.  So do our Phisitions, who, whilst they tie their patients to a strik't diet of a panada or a sirope, feed themselves upon a melone, dainty fruits, much good meate, and drinke all maner of good Wine.  I wot not what Bookes are, nor what they meane by wisedome and philosophy (quoth the Curtizan
1 JUV.  Sat. xiii. 124. 
<Mont3-270>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

Lais), but sure I am those kinds of people knocke as often at my gates as any other men.  Because our licenciousnesse transports us commonly beyond what is lawfull and allowed, our lives-precepts and lawes have often been wrested or restrained beyond universall reason.

Nemo satis credit tantum delinquere, quantum,

No man thinkes it enough so farre t'offend
As you give lawfull leave (and there to end).

It were to be wished there were a greater proportion betweene commandement and obedience; And unjust seemeth that ayme or goale whereto one cannot possibly attaine.  No man is so exquisitely honest or upright in living but brings all his actions and thoughts within compasse and danger of the lawes, and that ten times in his life might not lawfully be hanged.  Yea happily such a man as it were pitty and dangerously-hurtfull to loose and most unjust to punish him.
     -----Olle, quid ad te,
De cute quid faciat ille, vel illa sua?/2

Foole, what hast thou to doe, what he or she
With their owne skinnes or themselves doing bee?

And some might never offend the lawes, that notwithstanding should not deserve the commendations of vertuous men, and whom philosophy might meritoriously and justly cause to be whipped; so troubled, dimme-sighted and partiall in this relation.  Wee are farre enough from being honest according to God, for wee cannot be such according to our selves.  Humane wisedome could never reach the duties or attaine the devoires it had prescribed unto it selfe. And had it at any time attained them, then would it doubtlesse prescribe some others beyond them, to which it might ever aspire and pretend.  So great an enemy is our condition unto consistence.  Man doth necessarily ordaine unto himselfe to bee in fault.  Hee is not very 1 JUV.  Sat. xiv. 233. 2 MART. 1. vii.  Epig. ix. 1.
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crafty to measure his duty by the reason of another being than his owne. To whom prescribes he that which hee expects no man will performe?  Is he unjust in not dooing that which be cannot possibly atchieve?  The lawes which condemne us not to be able, condemne us for that we cannot performe. If the worst happen, this deformed liberty for one to present him-selfe in two places, and the actions after one fashion, the discourses after an other, is lawfull in them which report things.  But it cannot be in them that acknowledge themselves as I doe.  I must walke with my penne as I goe with my feete.  The common high way must have conference with other wayes. Catoes+ vertue was vigorous beyond the reason of the age he lived in, and for a man that entermedled with governing other men destinated for the common service, it might be said to have beene a justice; if not unjust, at least vaine and out of season.  Mine owne manners, which scarse disagree one inch from those now current, make me notwithstanding in some sort strange, uncouth and unsociable to my age.  I wot not, whether it be without reason, I am so distasted and out of liking with the world wherein I live and frequent; but well I know I should have small reason to complaine, the world were distasted and out of liking with me, since I am so with it.  The vertue assigned to the worlds affaires, it is a vertue with sundry byases, turnings, bendings and elbowes, to apply and joyne it selfe to humane imbecilities mixed and artificiall; neither right, pure or constant, nor meerely innocent. Our Annales even to this day blame some one of our Kings to have over-simply suffered himself to be led or misled by the conscientious perswasions of his Confessor.  Matters of state have more bold precepts.

     ----- exeat aula,
Qui vult esse pius./1

He that will godly bee,
From Court let him be free.

1 LUCAN.  Bell.  Civ. 1. i 493.
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I have heretofore assayed to employ my opinions and rules of life as new, as rude, as impolished, or as unpolluted as they were naturally born with me, or as I have attained them by my institution: and wherewith, if not so commodiously, at least safely in particular, I serve mine owne turne unto the service of publike affaires and benefit of my Common-wealth.  A scholasticall and novice vertue, but I have found them very unapt and dangerous for that purpose.  He that goeth in a presse or throng of people must sometimes step aside, hold in his elbowes, crosse the way, advance himselfe, start backe, and forsake the right way according as it falls out:  Live he not so much as he would himselfe, but as others will, not according to that be proposeth to himselfe, but to that which is proposed to him: according to times, to men and to affaires, and as the skilfull Mariner saile with the winde. {Eliot+} Plato saith, that who escapes untainted and cleane- handed from the managing of the world, escapeth by some wonder.  He sayes also that when he instituteth his Philosopher as chiefe over a Common-wealth, he meanes not a corrupted or law broken common-wealth as that of Athens, and much lesse as ours, with which wisedome herselfe would be brought to a nonplus or put to her shifts.  And a good hearb, transplanted into a soile very diverse from her nature, doth much sooner conforme it selfe to the soile then it reformeth the same to it selfe.  I feelingly perceive that if I were wholly to enure my selfe to such occupations I should require much change and great repairing.  Which could I effect in me (and why not with time and diligence?) I would not.  Of that little which in this vocation I have made triall of, I have much distasted my selfe:  I sometimes finde certaine temptations arise in my minde towards ambition+, but I start aside, bandie and opinionate my selfe to the contrarie:

At tu Catulle obstinatus obdura./1
1 CATUL.  Lyr.  Epig. viii. 19.
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Be thou at any rate,
Obdurate, obstinate.
I am not greatly called, and I invite my selfe as little unto it.  Libertie and idlenesse, my chiefe qualities, are qualities diameterly contrarie to that mysterie.  We know not how to distinguish mens faculties.  They have certaine divisions and limits uneasie and over nice to be chosen.  To conclude by the sufficiency of a private life, any sufficiency for publike use it is ill concluded; Some one directs himselfe well that cannot so well direct others, and composeth Essayes that could not worke effects.  Some man can dispose and order a siege that could but ill command and marshall a battel; and discourseth well in private that to a multitude or a Prince would make but a bad Oration.  Yea, peradventure, tis rather a testimony to him that can doe one that he cannot doe the other, but otherwise.  I finde that high spirits are not much lesse apt for base things then base spirits are for high matters.  Could it be imagined that Socrates would have given the Athenians cause to laugh at his own charges, because he could never justly compt the suffrages of his tribe and make report thereof unto the counsell?  Truely the reverence I beare and respect I owe unto that mans perfections deserveth that his fortune bring to the excuse of my principal imperfections one so notable example.  Our sufficiencie is retailed into small parcells.  Mine hath no latitude, and is in number very miserable.  Saturninus answered those who had conferred all authority upon him, saying, 'Oh you, my fellow- souldiers, you have lost a good Captaine by creating him a bad Generall of an Armie.' Who in time of infection vanteth himselfe for the worlds-service to employ a genuine or sincere vertue, either knowes it not (opinions being corrupted with manners; in good sooth heare but them paint it forth, marke how most of them magnifie themselves for their demeanours, and bow they forme their rules; in liew of pourtraying a vertue they onely set forth meere injustice and vice, and thus false and adulterate they 
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present the same to the institution of Princes), or if he know it he wrongfully boasteth himselfe; and whatever be saith he doth many things whereof his owne conscience accuseth him.  I should easily believe Seneca of the experience he made of it in such an occasion, upon condition he would freely speake his minde of it unto me.  The honourablest badge of goodnesse in such a necessitie is ingeniously for a man to acknowledge both his owne and others faults; to stay and with his might hinder the inclination towards evill, and avie to follow this course to hope and wish better. {diffidence+} In these dismembrings or havocks of France and divisions whereinto we are miserably falne, I perceive every man travell and busie himselfe to defend his owne cause, and the better sort with much dissembling and falsehood.  Hee that should plainely+ and roundly write of it should write rashly and viciously.  Take the best and justest part, what is it else but the member of crased, worme-eaten and corrupted body?  But of such a body the member least sicke is called sound; and good reason why, because our qualities have no title but in comparison. {Swift+} Civill innocency is measured according to places and seasons.  I would be glad to see such a commendation of Agesilaus in Xenophon, who, being entreated of a neighbour Prince, with whom he had sometimes made warr, to suffer him to passe through his countrie, was therewith well pleased; granting him free passage through Peloponnese, and having him at his mercy did not only not emprison nor empoison him, but, according to the tenour of his promise, without shew or offence, or unkindenesse, entertained him with all courtesie and humanitie. To such humours it were a matter of no moment:  At other times and elsewhere the libertie and magnanimitie of such an action shall be highly esteemed. Our gullish Gaberdines would have mockt at it, so little affinity is there betweene the Spartan and the French innocencie.  We have, notwithstanding, some honest men amongst us; but it is after our fashion.  He whose manners are in 

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regularity established above the age he liveth in, let him either wrest or muffle his rules; or (which I would rather perswade him) let him withdraw himselfe apart and not medle with us.  What shall he gains thereby?

Eqregium sanctumque virum si cerno, bimembri
Hoc monstrum puero, et miranti jam sub aratro
Piscibus inventis et foetae comparo mulae./1

See I a man of holinesse and vertues rare,
To births bimembred, under wonderfull
Plowshare Fish found, or moiles with fole, this monster I compare.

One may bewaile the better times, but not avoide the present; one may desire other magistrates, but notwithstanding he must obey those he hath; And happily it is more commendable to obey the wicked than the good.  So long as the image of the received, allowed, and ancient lawes of this Monarchie shall be extant and shine in any corner thereof, there will I be, there will I abide.  And if by any disaster they shall chaunce to have contradiction or empeachment amongst themselves, and produce two factions, or doubtfull or hard choise; my election shall be to avoide, And, if I can, escape this storme.  In the meane while, either nature or the hazard of warre shall lend me that helping hand.  I should freely have declared my selfe betweene Caesar and Pompey.  But betweene those three theeves which came after, where either one must have hid himselfe or followed the winde: which I deeme lawfull, when reason swayeth no longer.
Quo diversus abis/2

Whither have you recourse,
So farre out of your course?

This mingle-mangle is somewhat beside my text.  I stragle out of the path; yet it is rather by licence then by unadvisednesse: my fantasies follow one
1 JUVEN.  Sat. xiii. 64. 2 VIRG.  Aen. 1. v. 166. 
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another, but sometimes a farre off, and looke one at another, but with an oblique looke.  I have heretofore cast mine eyes upon some of Platoes Dialogues, bemolted with a fantasticall variety; the first part treateth of love, all the latter of Rhetorick.  They feare not those variances, and have a wonderfull grace in suffering themselves to bee transported by the wind, or to seeme so.
The titles of my chapters embrace not allwayes the matter; they often but glance at it by some marke: as these others, Andria, Eunuchus; or these, Sylla, Cicero, Torquatus.  I love a Poeticall kinde of march, by friskes, skips, and jumps.  It is an arte (saith Plato) light, nimble, fleeting, and light braind.  There are some treatises in Plutarke where be forgets his theame, where the drift of his argument is not found but by incidencie and chaunce, all stuffed with strange matter.  Marke but the vagaries in his Daemon of Socrates.  Oh God! what grace hath the variation, and what beautie these startings and nimble escapes!  And then most, when they seeme to employ carelesnesse+ and casualtie.  It is the unheedie and negligent reader that loseth my subject, and not my life.  Some word or other shall ever be found in a corner that hath relation to it, though closely couched. I am indiscreetly and tumultuously at a fault; my stile and wit are still gadding alike.  A little folly is tolerable in him, that will not be more sottish, say our masters precepts, and more their examples.  A thousand Poets labour and languish after the prose-manner, but the best antient prose, which I indifferently scatter here and there for verse, shineth every where, with a poettical vigour and boldnesse, and representeth some aire or touch of it's fury:  Verily she ought to have the maistry and preheminence given her in matters of speech.  A Poet (saith Plato) seated on the Muses footestoole doth in a furie powre out whatsoever commeth in his mouth, as the pipe or cocke of a fountaine, without considering or ruminating the same: and many things escape him, diverse in colour, contrary in substance, and broken in course. 

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Antient Divinitie is altogether Poesie (say the learned) and the first Philosophie.  It is the original language of the Gods.  I understand that the matter distinguisheth it selfe.  It sufficiently declareth where it changeth, where it concludeth, where it beginneth, and where it rejoyneth; without enterlacings of words, joyning ligaments and binding seames wrested-in for service of weake and unattentive eares, and without glossing or expounding my selfe.  What is he that would not rather not be read at all, then read in a drowsie and cursorie manner:  Nihil est tam utile, quod in transitu prosit: 'There is nothing so profitable, that being lightly past over, will doe good.' If to take bookes in hand were to learne them, and if to see were to view them, and if to runne them over were to seize upon them, I should be too blame, to make my self altogether so ignorant as I say. Since I cannot stay the reader's attention by the weight, Manco male, if I happen to stay him by my intricate confusion; yea, but he will afterward repent that ever he ammused himselfe about it.  You say true, but hee shall have ammused himselfe upon it.  And there be humors to whom understanding causeth disdaine, who because they shall not know what I meane will esteeme mee the better, and will conclude the mystery and depth of my sense by the obscuritie, Which, to speake in good earnest, I hate as death, and would shunne it if I could avoid my selfe.  Aristotle vaunteth in some place to affect the same.  A vicious affectation.  Forsomuch as the often breaking of my chapters, I so much used in the beginning of my booke, seemed to interrupt attention before it be conceived, Disdaining for so little a while to collect and there seat it selfe; I have betaken my selfe to frame them longer, as requiring proposition and assigned leasure.  In such an occupation he to whom you will not grant one houre, you will allow him nothing; And you doe nought for him for whom you doe, but in doing some other thing.  Sithence peradventure I am particularly tied and precisely vowed to speake by halves, to 

<Mont3-278>           MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

speake confusedly, to speake discrepantly; I therefore hate this trouble- feast reason, and these extravagant projects, which so much molest man's life, and these so subtle opinions, if they have any truth; I deeme it over- deare, and find it too incommodious.  On the other side, I labour to set forth vanitie and make sottishnesse to prevaile, if it bring me any pleasure; And without so nicely controlling them, I follow mine owne naturall inclinations.  I have elsewhere seene some houses ruined, statues overthrowne, both of heaven and of earth; But men be alwaies one.  All that is true; and yet I can not so often survay the vast toombe of that Citie, so great, so populous, and so puissant, but I as often admire and reverence the same.  The care and remembrance of evills is recommended unto us.  Now have I from my infancie beene bred and brought up with these; I have had knowledge of the affaires of Rome+, long time before I had notice of those of my house.  I knew the Capitoll and its platforme, before I knew Louvre, the pallace of our Kings in Paris; and the River Tiber before Seyne.  I have more remembred and thought upon the fortunes and conditions of Lucullus, Metellus and Scipio, then of any of our country-men.  They are deceased, and so is my father as fully as they; and is as distant from me and life in eighteene yeeres as they were in sixteene hundred; Whose memorie, amitie, and societie I notwithstanding omit not to continue, to embrace and converse withall, with a perfect and most lively union.  Yea, of mine owne inclination I am more officious toward the deceased.  They can no longer helpe themselves, but (as me seemetlh they require so much the more my ayde, There is Gratitude+, and there appeareth she in her perfect lustre.  A benefit+ is lesse richly assigned where retrogradation and reflexion is.  Arcesilaus, going to visit Ctesibius that was sicke, and finding him in very poore plight, faire and softly thrust some money under his boulster, which he gave him; And concealing it fro,m him , left and gave him also a quittance for ever being beholding to him.  Such 

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have at any time deserved friendship+ or love thanks at my hands, never lost in the same by being no longer with me.  I have better paid and more carefull re warded them, being absent and when they least thought of it. I speake more kindely and affectionately of my friends when there is least meanes that ever it shall come to their eares.  I have heretofore undergone a hundred quarrels for the defence of Pompey+ and Brutus+ his cause.  This acquaintance continueth to this day betweene us.  Even of present things wee have no other holde but by our fantazie.  Perceiving my selfe unfit and unprofitable for this age, I cast my selfe to that other, and am so besotted with it that the state of the said ancient, free, just and florishing Rome+ (for I neither love the birth nor like the old age of the same), doth interest, concerne and passionate me.  And therefore can I not so often looke into the situation of their streets and houses, and those wondrous strange ruines, that may be said to reach down to the Antipodes, but so often mnst I ammuse my selfe on them.  Is it nature or by the error of fantasie, that the seeing of places wee know to have beene frequented or inhabited by men, whose memory is esteemed or mentioned in stories, doth in some sort move and stirre us up as much or more than the hearing of their noble deeds, or reading of their compositions?  Tanta vis admonitionis inest in locis: Et id quidem in hoc urbe infinitum; quacunque enim ingredimur, in aliquam historiam vestigium ponimus:/1 'So great a power of admonition is in the very place.  And that in this City is most infinite, for which way soever we walke, we set our foote upon some History.' I am much delighted with the consideration of their countenance, port and abilliments.  I ruminate those glorious names betweene my teeth, and make mine eares to ring with the sound of them.'{posterity+} Ego illos veneror, et tantis nominibus semper assurgo. 'I do reverence them, and at their names I do rise and make curtesie.' Of things but in some sort great, strange and admirable, I admire their
1 CIC. s.  De Fin. 

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common parts.  I could wish to see them walk and suppe together, and heare their discourses.  It were ingratitude to despise and impietie to neglect the reliques or images of so many excellent, honest good men, and therewithall so valiant, which I have seene live and die; And who by their examples, had we the wit or grace to follow them, affoord us so many notable instructions+.  And Rome as it stands now deserveth to be loved, Confederated so long since and sharing titles with our Crowne of France, Being the only common and universall Citie:  The Soveraigne Magistrate therein commanding is likewise knowne abroad in divers other places.  It is the chiefe Metropolitan Citie of all Christian nations; both French and Spaniards, and all men else, are there at home.  To be a Prince of that state, a man needs but be of Christendome, where ever it be seated.  There's no place here on earth that the Heavens have embraced with such influence of favors and grace, and with such constancie; Even her ruine is glorious with renowne, and swolne with glorie.

Laudandi spreciosior ruinis.
Ev'n made more honourable,
By ruines memorable.
Low-levelled as she lieth, and even in the tombe of hir glory, she yet reserveth the lively image and regardfull markes of Empire.  Ut palam sit uno in loco gaudentis opus esse naturae: 'So as it is cleare, in one place is set-forth the worke of nature in her jollity. ' Some one would blame himselfe, yea and mutinie, to feele himselfe tickled with so vaine a pleasure. Our humors are not overvaine that be pleasant.  Whatsoever they be that constantly content a man capable of common understanding, I could not finde in my heart to moane or pitty him.  I am much beholding to fortune+, inasmuch as untill this day she hath committed nothing outrageously against me, or imposed any thing upon me that is beyond my strength, or that I could not well beare.  Is it not haply her custome to suffer such as 
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are not importunate or over busie with hir to live in peace?

Quanto quisque sibi plura negaverit,
A Diis plura feret, nil cupientium
Nudus castra peto, multa petentibus
Desunt multa./1

The more that men shall to themselves denie,
The more the gods will give them: threadbare I Follow the campe of them that nought desire,
They still want much that still doe much require.

If she continue so, I shall depart very well content and satisfied.
     -----nihil supra,
Deos lacesso./2

More than will serve, to have
Of Gods I doe not crave.

But beware the shocke; Thousands miscary in the haven, and are cast away, being neerest home.  I am easily comforted with what shall happen here when I am gone.  Things present trouble me sufficiently, and set me thorowly a worke.
Fortunae caetera mando./3

The rest I doe commit
To Fortune (as is fit).

Besides, I am not tied with that strong bond which some say bindes men to future times, by the children bearing their names, and succeeding them in honors; And being so much to be desired, it may be I shall wish for them so much the lesse.  I am by myselfe but overmuch tied unto the world and fastned unto life; I am pleased to be in Fortunes hold by the circumstances properly necessary to my state, without enlarging her Jurisdiction upon me by other wayes; And I never thought that to be without children were a defect, able -- --- 1 HOR.  Car. 1. iii.  Od. xvi. 21, 42. 2 Ib. 1. ii. Od. xviii. 11. 3 OVID.  Metam. 1. ii. 140. 
<Mont3-282>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

to make mans life lesse compleat and lesse contented.  A barren state or sterill vacation have also their peculiar commodities.  Children are in the number of things that need not greatly bee desired; especially in corrupted daies, wherein it would be so hard a matter to make them good. Bona jam nec nasci licet ita corrupta sunt semina: 'We cannot now have good things so much as grow, the seeds are so corrupt.' Yet have they just cause to moane them, that, having once gotten, lose them untimely.  He who left me my house in charge, considering my humor, which was to stay at home so little, fore- saw I should be the overthrow of it.  He was deceived; I am now as I came unto it, if not somewhat better; and that without any Office or Churchliving, which are no small helps.  As for other matters, if Fortune have offred me no violent or extraordinary offence, so hath she not shewed me any great favour or extraordinary grace.  Whatsoever I have belonging to it that may properly be termed her gifts, was there before I came unto it; yea, and a hundred yeeres before.  I particularly enjoy no essentiall good, or possesse no solid benefit, that I owe unto her liberalitie. Indeed she hath bestowed some wind-pufft favours upon me, which may rather be termed titular and honourable in shew, then in substance or materiall; and which, in good truth, she hath not granted, but offered me, God he knowes, to me, who am altogether materiall; not satisfied but with realitie, which must also be massie and substantiall; And who, if I durst confesse it, would not think avarice much lesse excusable then ambition+, nor griefe lesse evitable then shame, nor health lesse desirable then learning, or riches lesse to be wished then nobilitie+.  Amongst her vaine favours I have none doth so much please my fond selfe-pleasing conceit as an authentic Bull, charter or patent of denizonship or borgeouship of Rome, which at my last being there, was granted me by the whole Senate of that Citie--garish and trimly adorned with goodly Seales, and written in faire golden letters--bestowed upon me 

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with all gracious and free liberalitie.  And forsomuch as they are commonly conferred in divers stiles more or lease favourable, and that before I had ever seene any I would have beene glad to have had but a paterne or formular of one, I will for the satisfaction of any, if be fortune to be possessed with such a curiositie as mine, here set down the true copy or transcript of it, and thus it is:-- Quod Horatius Maximus, Martius Cecius, Alexander Mutus, almae urbis
conservatores de illustrissimo viro Michaele Montano, Equite sancti
Michaelis, et a Cubiculo Regis Christianissimi, Romana civitate donando,
ad Senatum retulerunt, S.  P.  Q.  R. de ea re ita fieri censuit.
Cum veteri more et instituto cupide illi semper studioseque suscepti sint, qui virtute ac nobilitate praestantes, magno Reipublicae nostrae usui atque ornamento fuissent, vel esse aliquando possent:  Nos majorum nostrorum exemplo atque auctoritate permoti, preclarum hanc Consuetudinem nobis imitandam ac servandam fore censentus.  Quamobrem cum Illustrissimus Michael Montanus Eques sancti Michaelis, et cubiculo Regis Christianissimi; Romani nominis studiosissimus, et familiae laude atque splendore et propriis virtutum meritis dignissimus sit, qui summo Senatus Populique Romani judicio ac studio in Romanam Civitatem adsciscatur, placere Senatui P.  Q.  R.  Illustrissimum Hichaelem Montanum rebus omnibus ornatissimum, atque huic inclyto Populo charissimum, ipsum posterosque in Rom. civitatem adscribi, ornarique omnibus et premiis et honoribus, quibus illi fruuntur, qui Cives patritiique Romani natiaout jure optimo facti sunt.  In quo censere Senatum P.  Q.  R. se non tam illi Jus Civitatis largiri quam debitum tribuere, neque magis beneficium dare quam ab ipso accipere, qui hoc Civitatis munere accipiendo, singular Civitatem ipsam ornaments atque honore affecerit.  Quam quidem S.C. auctoritatem iidem Conservatores per Senatus P.  Q.  R. scribas in acta referri atque in Capitolii curia servar, privilegiumque hujusmodi fieri, solitogue urbis sigillo communiri, curarunt.  Anno ab urbe condito 

<Mont3-284>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

CX?CCXXXI. post Christum natum MDLXXXI.  III.  Idus Martii.  Horatius Fuscus sacri S.  P.  Q.  R. scriba, Vincent.  Martholus sacri S.P.  Q.  R. scriba.
     At the motion of Horatius Maximus, Martius Cecius, Alexander Mutus, who are Conservators of this beantifull Cittie concerning the endenizing and making cittizen of Rome the noble Gentleman Michael de Montaigne, Knight of the Order of Saint Michaell, and one of the Chamber of the most Christian King, the Senate and people of Rome thought good thereof thus to exact.  Whereas by the antient custome and good order, they have ever and with good will been entertained, who excelling in vertue and nobilitie have been, or at any time might be, of any great use or ornament unto our common-weale:  Wee, mooved by example and authoritie Of our Auncesters, decree, That this notable custome by us should be ensued and observed. Wherefore, sithence the right Noble Michael de Montaigne, Knight of Saint Michaels Order, and one of the Chamber of the most Christian King, both is most affectionate unto the Roman name, and by the commendations and splendor of his pedegree, as also by the merits of his proper vertues, most worthe to be adopted and inserted into the Romane Cittie with a speciall judgement and good will of the Senate and people of Rome.  It pleaseth the Senate and people of Rome that the right noble Michael de Montaigne, adorned in all complements and wellbeloved of this famous Communaltie, both himselfe and his successours should be ascribed and enfranchised into this Romane Cittie, and be graced with al rewards and honours which they enjoy who either have been borne or elected either Citizen or Noblemen of Rome.  Wherein the Senate and people doe decree that they doe not so much vouchsafe him the right of their Citie, as give him that is due unto him, nor doe they rather give him a benefite then receive it of him, who by accepting this gift of the Cittie doth countenance the Cittie with a singular ornament and honour.  Which Act and 

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authoritie of the Senates Decree the said Conservators caused by the Clearks of the Senate and people to be registred and laid-up in the Capitoll Court, and this Priviledge to be made and signed with the Cities usuall Seale.  In the yeare since the building of the Citie CX?CCXXXI. after the birth of Christ a thousand five hundred eighty and one: the Ides of March.
Horatius Fuscus, and Vincent Martholus, Clarks of the Sacred Senate and people of Rome+.
     Being neither Burgeois nor Denizen of any Citie, I am well pleased to bee so of the noblest and greatest that ever was heretofore, or ever shall be hereafter.  If others did so attentively consider and survay themselves as I doe, they shall, as I doe, finde themselves full of inanitie, fondnesse, or vanity.  I can not be rid of it, except I rid and quit my selfe.  Wee are all possessed and overwhelmed therewith, as well one as the other.  But such as have a feeling of it have somewhat the better bargaine; and yet I am not sure of it.  This common opinion and vulgar custome, to looke and marke elsewhere then on our selves, {diffidence+} hath well provided for our affaires.  It is an object full-fraught with discontent, wherein we see nothing, but miserie and vanitie.  To th' end we should not wholly be discomforted, Nature hath very fitly cast the action of our sight outward; Wee goe forward according to the streamer but to turne our course backe to our selves is a painefull motion; the sea likewise is troubled, raging and disquieted when t'is turned and driven into it selfe.  Observe (saith every one) the motions and bransles of the heavens: take a survay of all - the quarrell of this man, the pulse of that man, and anothers last testament: to conclude, behold and marke ever, high or low, right or oblique, before or behind you.  It was a paradoxall commandement which the God of Delphos laid heeretofore upon us; saying, 'View your selves within, know your selves and keepe you to your selves.' Your minde and your will, which elsewhere is 

<Mont3-286>           MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

consumed, bring it unto it selfe againe: you scatter, you stragle, you stray, and you distract yourselves; call your selves home againe; rowze and uphold your selves; you are betrayed, you are spoiled and dissipated; your selves are stolen and taken from your selves.  Seest thou not how all this universe holdeth all his sights compelled inward, and his eyes open to contemplate it selfe?  Both inward and outward it is ever vanitie for thee; but so much lesse vanitie by how much lesse it is extended.  Except thy selfe, Oh man (said that God) every thing doth first seeke and study it selfe, and according to it's neede hath limits to her travells and bounds to her desires.  There's not one so shallow, so empty, and so needy as thou art who embracest the whole world.  Thou art the Scrutator without knowledge the magistrate without jurisdiction, and when all is done, the vice of the play. 



IN regard of the common sort of men, few things touch me, or (to speake properly) sway me; for it is reason they touch, so they possesse-us not. I have great neede, both by study and discourse, to encrease this priviledge of insensibilitie, which is naturally crept farre into me.  I am not wedded unto many things, and by consequence not passionate of them.  I have my sight cleare, but tied to few objects; My senses delicate and gentle, but my apprehension and application hard and dull.  I engage my selfe with difficulty. As much as I can I employ my selfe wholly to my selfe.  And in this very subject I would willingly bridle and uphold my affection, lest it be too farre plunged therein; Seeing it is a Subject I possesse at the mercy of others, and over which fortune hath more interest then my selfe.  So as even in my health, which I so much esteeme, it were requisite not to desire, nor so carefully to seeke it, as thereby I might light upon intollerable diseases.  We must moderate our selves betwixt the hate of pain and the love of pleasure.  Plato sets downe a meane course of life betweene both. But to affections that distract me from my selfe, and divert me elsewhere, surely to such I oppose my selfe with all my force.  Mine opinion is, that one should lend himselfe to others, and not give himselfe but to himselfe. Were my wil easie to engage or apply it selfe, I could not continue:  I am over tender both by nature and customer

Fugax rerum, securaque in otia natus./1

Avoiding active businesse,
And borne to secure idlenesse.

1 OVID.  Trist. 1 iii.  Eleg. ii. 9.
<Mont3-288>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

Contested and obstinate debates, which in the end would give mine adversarie advantage, the issue which would make my earnest pursuit ashamed, would perchance torment mee cruelly.  If I vexed as other men, my soule should never have strength to beare th' alaroms and emotions that follow such as embrace much.  She would presently be displaced by this intestine agitation. If at any time I have beene urged to the managing of strange affaires, I have promised to undertake them with my hand, but not with my lungs and liver; to charge, and not to incorporate them into me, to have a care, but nothing at all to be overpassionate of them:  I looke to them, but I hatch them not.  I worke enough to dispose and direct the domesticall troubles within mine owne entrailes and veines, without harbouring, or importune my selfe with any forraine employments; and am sufficiently interessed with my proper, naturall and essentiall affaires, without seeking others businesses.  Such as know how much they owe to themselves, and how many offices of their owne they are bound to performe, shall finde that nature hath given them this commission fully ample and nothing idle.  Thou hast businesse enough within thy selfe, therefore stray not abroad; Men give themselves to hire.  Their faculties are not their own, but theirs to whom they subject themselves; their inmates, and not themselves, are within them.  This common humour doth not please me.  We should thriftily husband our mindes liberty, and never engage it but upon just occasions, which if we judge impartially, are very few in number.  Looke on such as suffer themselves to be transported and swayed, they doe it every where; in little as well as in great matters, to that which concerneth as easie as to that which toucheth them not.  They thrust themselves indifferently into all actions, and are without life if without tumultuary agitation.  In negotiis sunt negotii causa: 'They are busie that they may not be idle, or else in action for actions sake.' They seeke worke but to be working.  It is not so much because they will goe, as for that 

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they cannot stand still - much like to a rowling stone, which never stayes untill it come to a lying place.  To some men employment is a marke of sufficiencie and a badge of dignity.  Their spirits seeke rest in action, as infants repose in the cradle.  They may be said to be as serviceable to their friends as importunate to themselves, No man distributes his mony to others, but every one his life and time.  We are not so prodigall of any thing as of those whereof to be covetous would be both commendable and profitable for us.  I follow a cleane contrary course; I am of another complexion; I stay at home and looke to my selfe.  What I wish for I commonly desire the same but mildely, and desire but little; so likewise I seldome employ and quietly embusie my selfe.  Whatever they intend and act they do it with all their will and vehemency.  There are so many dangerous steps, that for the more security wee must somewhat slightly and superficially slide through the world, and not force it.  Pleasure it selfe is painefull in it's height.

------ incedis per ignes,
Subpositos cineri deloso./1

You passe through fire (though unfraid)
Under deceitfull ashes laid.

The towne counsell of Bourdeaux chose me Maior of their City, being farre from France, but further from any such thought.  I excused my selfe, and would have avoided it; but they told mee I was to blame, the more because the Kings commandement was also employed therein.  It is a charge should seeme so much the more goodly because it hath neither fee nor reward other than the honour in the execution.  It lasteth two yeares, but may continue longer by a second election, which seldome hapneth.  To me it was, and never had been but twice before: some yeares past the Lord of Lansac, and lately to the Lord of Biron, Marshall of France, in whose place I succeeded, and left mine to
1 HOR.  Car. 1. ii.  Od. i. 7.
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the Lord of Matigon, likewise Marshall of France, glorious by so noble an assistance.

Utergue bonus pacis bellique minister.

Both, both in peace and warre,
Right serviceable are.

Fortune would have a share in my promotion by this particular circumstance which shee of her owne added thereunto, not altogether vaine; for Alexander disdained the Corinthian Ambassadors who offred him the freedome and Burgeoise of their Citie, but when they told him that Bacchus and Hercules were likewise in their registers hee kindly thanked them and accepted their offer.  At my first arrivall I faithfully deciphered and conscientiously displaied my selfe such as I am indeede, without memorie, without diligence, without experience and without sufficiencie; so likewise without hatred, without ambition, covetousnesse and without violence; that so they might be duly instructed what service they might or hope or expect at my bands.  And forsomuch as the knowledge ihey had of my deceased father, and the honour they bare unto his memory, had mooved them to chuse me to that dignitie, I told them plainly I should be verie sorie that any man should worke such an opinion in my will as their affaires and Citie had done in my fathers, while be held the said government, whereunto they had called me.  I remembred to have seene him, being an infant and he an old man, his minde cruelly turmoiled with the publike toile, forgetting the sweet aire of his owne house, whereunto the weakenes of his age had long before tied him, neglecting the care of his health and family, in a maner despising his life, which as one engaged for them, he much endangered, riding long and painefull journies for them. Such a one was he, which humor proceeded from the bountie and goodnesse+ of his nature.  Never was minde more charitable or more popular.  This course, which I commend in others, I love not to follow.  Neither am I without excuse. He had heard that a man must forget himselfe 
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for his neighbour; that in respect of the generall, the particular was not to be regarded.  Most of the worlds-rules and precepts bold this traine, to drive us out of our selves into the wide world, to the use ofpublike_societie+. They presumed to worke a goodly effect in distracting and withdrawing us from our selves, supposing wee were by a naturall Instinct too-too much tied unto it: and to this end have not spared to say any thing.  For to the wise it is no novelty to reach things as they serve, and not as they are.  Truth hath her lets, discommodities and incomparabilities with us. Wee must not often deceive others, lest we beguile our selves; and seele our eyes, and dull our understanding, thereby to repaire and amend them. Imperiti enim judicant, et qui frequenter in hoc ipsum fallendi sunt, ne errent: 'For unskilfull men judge, who must often even therefore be deceived, lest they erre and bee deceived.' When they prescribe us, to love three, foure, yea fifty degrees of things before our selves, they present us with the Arte of shooters, who to come neere the marke take their aime far above the same.  To make a crooked sticke straight, we bend it the contrary way. I suppose that in the times of Pallas, as we see in all other religions, they had some apparant mysteries, of which they made shew to all the people, and others more high and secret, to be imparted onely to such as were professed. It is likely that the true point of friendship, which every man oweth to himselfe, is to be found in these.  Not a false amitie, which makes us embrace glory+, knowledge, riches, and such like, with a principall and immoderate affection, as members of our being; nor an effeminate and indiscreet friendship, Wherein hapneth as to the Ivie, which corrupts and ruines the wals it claspeth; But a sound and regular amity, equally profitable and Pleasant.  Who so understandeth all her duties and exerciseth them, hee is rightly endenized in the Muses cabinet; Hee hath attained the type of humane Wisedome and the perfection of our happinesse.  This man, knowing exactly what hee oweth to himselfe, findeth 

<Mont3-292>           MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

that he ought to employ the use of other men and of the world unto himselfe; which to performe, he must contribute the duties and offices that concerne him unto publike societie.  He that lives not somewhat to others, liveth little to himselfe.  Qui sibi amicus est, scito hune amicum omnibus esse:/1 'He that is friend to himselfe, know, he is friend to all.' The principall charge we have is every man his particular conduct.  And for this onely wee live here.  As he that should forget to live well and religiously; and by instructing and directing others should thinke himselfe acquitted of his duty, would be deemed a foole; Even so, who forsaketh to live healthy and merrily himselfe, therwith to serve another, in mine opinion taketh a bad and unnaturall course.  I will not that in any charge one shall take in hand he refuse or thinke much of his attention, of his labour, of his steps, of his speech, of his sweat, and if need be of his blood. {public_serevice+}

     -----non ipse pro charis amicis,
Aut patria timidus perire./2

Not fearing life to end
For Country or deare friend.

But it is onely borrowed and accidentally, the minde remaining ever quiet and in health, not without action, but without vexation or passion; simply to moove or be dooing costs it so little that even sleeping it is mooving and dooing; but it must have it's motion with discretion+, for the body receiveth the charges imposed on him, justly as they are; But the spirit extendeth them, and often to his hinderance makes them heavy, giving them what measure it pleaseth.  Like things are effected by divers efforts and different contentions of will; the one may goe without the other, for how many men doe dayly hazard themselves in warre which they regard not, and presse into the danger of the battells, the losse whereof shall no whit breake their next sleepe?  Whereas some man in his own house, free from this danger, which he durst not so much as
1 SEN.  Epist. vi. f. 2 HOR.  Car. 1. iv.  Od. ix. 51. 
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have look't towards it, is for the wars issue more passionate, and therewith hath his minde more perplexed than the souldier that therin employeth his blood and life. {amateur+} I know how to deal in publike charges without departing from my selfe.  This sharpnesse and violence of desires hindreth more then steade the conduct of what we undertake, filling us with impatience to the events, either contrary or slow, and with bitternesse and jealousie toward those with whom we negotiate. {Hotspur+} Wee never governe that thing well wherewith we are possessed and directed.

------Male cuncta ministrat

Fury and haste doe lay all waste,
Misplacing all, disgracing all.

He who therein employeth but his judgement and direction, proceeds more cheerefully, he faines, he yeelds, he deferres at his pleasure according to the occasions of necessity; hee failes of his attempt without torment or affliction, ready and prepared for a new enterprise.  He marcheth alwaies with the reines in his hand.  He that is besotted with this violent and tyrannicall intention doth necessarily declare much indiscretion and injustice. The violence of his desire transports him.  They are rash motions, and if fortune helpe not much, of little fruit. {Hotspur+} Philosophie wills us to banish choller in the punishment of offences; not to the end revenge should be more moderate but contrary, more weighty and surely set on; wherunto this violence seemeth to bee a let.  Choller doth not onely trouble, but wearieth the executioners armes.  This passionate heat dulleth and consumes their force.  As in too much speede, festinatio tarda est: 'Hastinesse is slow.' Haste makes waste, and hinders and stayes it selfe: ipsa se velocitas implicat: 'Swiftnesse entangles it selfe.' As for example, according as by ordinary custome I perceive, covetousnesse hath no greater let then it selfe.  The more violent and extended it is, the lesse effectuall and 
<Mont3-294>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

fruitfull.  Commonly it gathers wealth more speedily, being masked with a shew of liberality.  A very honest Gentleman and my good friend was likely to have endangered the health of his body by an over passionate attention and earnest affection to the affaires of a Prince, who was his Maister. Which Maister hath thus described himselfe unto me:  That as another, he discerneth and hath a feeling of the burthen of accidents; but such as have no remedie, he presently resolveth to suffer with patience.  For the rest, after he hath appointed necessary provisions, which by the vivacitie and nimblenesse of his with hee speedily effects, hee then attends the event with quietnesse.  Verily, I have seene in him at one instant a great carelesnesse+ and libertie, both in his actions and countenance, even in important and difficult affaires.  I finde him more magnanimous and capable in bad then in good fortune.  His losses are to him more glorious than his victories, and his mourning than his triumphs.  Consider how in meere vaine and frivolous actions, as at chesse, tennis and such like sports, this earnest and violent engaging with an ambicious desire to winne, doth presently call both minde and limmes into disorder and indiscretion.  Wherein a man doth both dazle his sight and distemper his whole body.  Hee who demeaneth himselfe with most moderation both in winning and loosing is ever neerest unto himselfe, and hath his wits best about him.  The lesse he is moved or passionate in play, the more safely doth be governe the same, and to his greater advantage.  We hinder the minds seazure and holdfast by giving her so many things to seize upon.  Some wee should onely present unto her, others fasten upon her, and others incorporate into her.  Shee may see and feele all things, but must onely feede on hir selfe:  And bee instructed in that which properly concerneth her, and which meerely belongeth to her essence and substance.  The lawes of nature teach us what is just and fit for us.  After the wise-men have told us, that according to nature no man is indigent or wanteth, and that each one is poore but in his owne 

THE THIRD BOOKE          <Mont3-295>

opinion, they also distinguish subtilly the desires proceeding from nature, from such as grow from the disorders of our fantasie.  Those whose end may be discerned are meerely hirs; and such as flie before us, and whose end we cannot attaine, are properly ours.  Want of goods may easily be cured, but the poverty of the minde is incurable.

Nam si quod satis est homini, id satis esse potesset,
Hoc sat erat, nunc, quum hoc non est, qui credimus porro
Divitias ullas animum mi explere potesse?

If it might be enough, that is enough for man,
This were enough, since it is not, how thinke we can
Now any riches fill
My minde and greedy will?

Socrates seeing great store of riches, jewells, and pretious stuffe, carried in pompe through the City:  Oh Ihow many things (quoth he) doe not I desire! Metrodorus lived daily with the weight of twelve ounces of foode; Epicurus with lesse; Metrocles in winter lay with sheepe, and in summer in the Cloisters of Churches. Sufficit ad id natura, quod poscit:/1 'Nature is sufficient for that which it requires.' Cleanthes lived by his hands, and boasted that if Cleanthes would, he could nourish another Cleanthes. {Thoreau+} If that which nature doth exactly and originally require at our handes for the preservation of our being, is over little (as in truth what it is, and how good cheape our life may be maintained, cannot better be known or expressed than by consideration that it is so little, and for the smalnesse thereof, it is out of Fortunes+ reach, and she can take no hold of it) let us dispense something els unto our selves and call the custome and condition of every-one of us by the name of Nature.  Let us taxe and stint and feede our selves according to that measure; let us extend both our appurtenances and reckonings thereunto.
For so farre, mee seemes, we have some excuse.  Custome is a second Nature, and no lesse powerfull.  What is
1 SEN.  Epist. xc. 
<Mont3-296>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

wanting to custome, I hold it a defect; and I had well nigh as leefe one should deprive mee of my life, as refraine or much abridge me of my state wherein I have lived so long.  I am no more upon termes of any great alteration nor to thrust my selfe into a new and unusuall course, no not toward augmentation; it is no longer time to become other or be transformed; and as I should complaine if any great adventure should now befall me, and grieve it came not in time that I might have enjoyed the same.

Quo mihi fortuna, si non conceditur uti?/1

Whereto should I have much,
If I to use it grutch?

I should likewise bee grieved at any inward purchase.  I were better in a manner never, than so late, to become an honest man, and well practised to live when one hath no longer life.  I who am ready to depart this World could easily be induced to resigne the share of wisdome I have learn't concerning the World's commerce, to any other man new-come into the world. It is even as good as Mustard after dinner. {diffidence+} What neede have I of that good which I cannot enjoy?  Whereto serveth knowledge if one have no head?  It is an injury and disgrace of Fortune to offer us those presents, which forsomuch as they faile us when we should most neede them, fill us with a just spite.  Guide me no more; I can go no longer.  Of so many dismembrings that Sufficiency hath, patience+ sufficeth us.  Give the capacity of an excellent treble to a Singer that hath his lungs rotten, and of eloquence to a hermit confined into the Deserts of Arabia.  There needs no Arte to further a fall.  The end findes it selfe in the finishing of every worke. My world is at an end, my forme is expired.  I am wholly of the time past, and am bound to authorize the same, and thereto conforme my issue.  I will say this by way of example, that the eclipsing or abridging
1 HOR. 1. i.  Epist. v. 12. 
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of tenne dayes, which the Pope hath lately caused, hath taken me so low that I can hardly recover my selfe. {1582_age_49+{usthem+} I follow the yeares wherein we were wont to compt otherwise; so long and antient a custome doth challenge and recall me to it againe, I am thereby enforced to be somewhat an hereticke, Incapable of innovation though corrective. My imagination mauger my teeth runnes still tenne dayes before or tenne behinde, and whispers in mine eares:  This rule toucheth those which are to come.  If health it selfe, so sweetly pleasing, comes to me but by fittes, it is rather to give me cause of grief then possession of it selfe; I have no where left me to retire it.  Time forsakes me, without which nothing is enjoyed.  How small accompt should I make of these great elective dignities I see in the world, and which are onely given to men ready to leave the world, wherein they regard not so much how duely they shall discharge them, as how little they shall exercise them, from the beginning they looke to the end.  To conclude, I am ready to finish this man, not to make another. {death+} By long custome this forme is changed into substance and Fortune into Nature.  I say, therefore, that amongst us feeble creatures, each one is excusable to compt that his owne, which is comprehended under measure. And yet all beyond these limits is nothing but confusion.  It is the largest extension we can grant our rights.  The more we amplifie our neede and possession, the more we engage our selves to the crosses of fortune and adversities.
The cariere of our desires must be circumscribed, and tied to strict bounds of neerest and contiguous commodities.  Moreover, their course should be managed, not in a straight line having another end, but round, whose two points hold together, and end in our selves with a short compasse. The actions governed without this reflection, I meane a neere and essentiall reflection, as those of the covetous, of the ambitious, and so many others, that runne directly point- blancke, the course of which carrieth them away before them, are erroneous and 

<Mont3-298>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

crazed actions.  Most of our vacations are like Playes.  Mundus universus exercet histrioniam: 'All the world doth practise stage-playing.' Wee must play our parts duly, but as the part of a borrowed personage.{Antonio+} Of a visard and apparance wee should not make a reall essence, nor proper of that which is another.  Wee cannot distinguish the skinne from the shirt; it is sufficient to disguise the face without deforming the breast.  I see some tmnsforme and transubstantiate themselves into as many new formes and strange beings as they undertake charges; and who emprelate themselves even to the heart and entrailes; and entraine their offices, even sitting on their close stoole.  I cannot teach them to distinguish the salutations and cappings of such as regard them, from those that respect either their office, their traine, or their mule.{Lear+} Tantum se fortunae permittunt, etiam ut naturam dediscant: 'They give themselves so much over to Fortune, as they forget Nature.' They swell in minde and puffe up their naturall discourse according to the dignity of their office.  The Maior of Bourdeaux, and Michael, Lord of Montaigne, have ever beene two, by an evident separation. To be an advocate or a Treasurer one should not be ignorant of the craft incident to such callings.  An honest man is not comptable for the vice and folly of his trade, and therefore ought not to refuse the exercise of it.  It is the custome of his country, and there is profit in it.  We must live by the World, and such as we finde it, so make use of it.  But the judgement of an Emperour should be above his Empire, and to see and consider the same as a strange accident.  He should know how to enjoy himselfe apart, and communicate himselfe as James and Peter, at least to himselfe, I cannot so absolutely or so deepely engage my selfe. {Hal+} When my wil gives me to any party, it is not with so violent a bond that my understanding is thereby infected.  In the present intestine trouble of our State my interest hath not made me forget neither the commendable qualities of our adversaries, nor the reproachfull of 

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those I have followed.  They partially extoll whatever is on their side; I doe not so much as excuse the greater number of my friends actions.  A good Oratour loseth not his grace by pleading against me.  The intricatenesse of our debate remooved, I have maintained my selfe in equanimity and pure indifferency.  Neque extra necessitates belli, praecipuum odium gero: 'Nor beare I capitall hatred when I am out of the necessitie of warre.' Wherein I glory, for that commonly I see men erre in the contrary.  Such as extend their choller and hatred beyond their affaires (as most men doe) shew that it proceedes elsewhence, and from some private cause; even as one being cured of an ulcer, and his fever remaineth still, declareth it had another more hidden beginning.  It is the reason they beare none unto the cause in generall, and forsomuch as it concerneth the interest of all and of the state; But they are vexed at it, onely for this, that it toucheth them in private.  And therefore are they distempered with a particular passion, both beyond justice and publike reason.  Non tam omnia universi, quam ea, quae ad quemque pertinent, singuli carpebant: 'All did not so much finde fault with all, as every one with those that appertained to every one.' I will have the advantage to be for us, which though it be not I enrage not, I stand firmely to the sounder parts.  But I affect not to be noted a private enemy to others, and beyond generall reason I greatly accuse this vicious forme of obstinate contesting. {Prospero+} He is of the League because he admireth the grace of the Duke of Guise; or he is a Hugonote, forsomuch as the King of Navarres activitie amazeth him.  He finds fault in the Kings behaviours, therefore he is sedicious in his heart.  I would not give the magistrate my voice that he had reason to condemne a booke, because an hereticke was therein named and extolled to be one of the best Poets of this age.  Dare wee not say that a theefe hath a good leg if behave so indeed?  If she be a strumpet, must she needs have a stinking breath? In wiser ages revoked they the proud title of Capitolinus they had formerly given to 

<Mont3-300>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

Marcus Manlius as the preserver of religion and publike libertie?
Suppressed they the memory of his liberalitie, his deeds of armes and military rewards granted to his vertues, because to the prejudice of his countries lawes he afterwards affected a Royalty?  If they once conceive an hatred against an Orator or an advocate, the next day he becommeth barbarous and uneloquent.  I have elsewhere discoursed of zeale which hath driven good men into like errours.  For my selfe I can say, that he doth wickedly, and this vertuously.  Likewise, in prognostickes or sinister events of affaires, they will have every man blinde or dull in his owne cause, and that our perswasion and judgement serve not the truth but the project of our desires. I should rather erre in the other extremity?  So much I feare my desire might corrupt me.  Considering I somewhat tenderly distrust my selfe in things I most desire.  I have in my dayes seene wonders in the indiscreet and prodigious facilitie of people, suffering their hopes and beliefes to be led and governed as it hath pleased and best fitted their leaders, above a hundred discontents, one in the necke of another, and beyond their fantasies and dreames.  I wonder no more at those whom the apish toyes of Apollonius and Mahomet+ have seduced and blinded.  Their sense and understanding is wholly smothered in their passion.  Their discretion hath no other choise but what pleaseth them and furthereth their cause.  Which I had especially observed in the beginning of our distempered factions and factious troubles. This other which is growne since by imitation surmounteth the same.  Whereby I observe that it is an inseparable quality of popular errours.  The first beeing gone, opinions entershocke one another, following the winde as waves doe.  They are no members of the body, if they may renounce it, if they folow not the common course.  But truely they wrong the just parts when they seeke to helpe them with fraude or deceipts, I have alwaies contracted the same.  This meane is but for sicke braines; the healthy have surer and honester wayes to maintaine their resolutions and 

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excuse all contrary accidents.  The Heavens never saw so weighty a discord and so harmefull a hatred as that betweene Caesar+ and Pompey+, nor ever shall hereafter.  Mee seemeth, notwithstanding I see in those noble and Heroicall mindes an exemplar and great moderation of the one toward the other, It was a jelousie of honour and emulation of command which transported them, not to a furious and indiscreete hatred, without malice or detraction. In their sharpest exploites I discover some reliques of respect and cinders of well-meaning affection.  And I imagine that had it beene possible either of them desired rather to effect his purpose without overthrowing his competitour than by working his utter ruine.  Note how contrary the proceeding was betweene Sylla and Marius. {Plutark+} We must not run headlong after our affections and private interests.  As in my youth I ever opposed my selfe to the motions of love, which I felt to usurpe upon me, and laboured to diminish its delights, lesti in tibe end it might vanquish and captivate me to his mercy; So do I now in all other occasions which my will apprehendeth with an over great appetite.  I bend to the contrary of my disposition as I see the same plunged and drunke with it's owne Wine.  I shunne so farre foorth to nourish her pleasure as I may not revoke it without a bloody losse.  Those mindes which through stupidity see things but by halves enjoy this happinesse, that such as be hurtfull offend them least.  It is a spirituall leprosie that hath some shew of health, and such a health as Philosophy doth not altogether contemne.  But yet it may not lawfully be termed wisedome, as we often doe. And after this manner did in former times some body mocke Diogenes, who, in the dead of Winter, went all naked, embracing an image of Snow to try his patience, who, meeting him in this order, said thus unto him: 'Art thou now very colde?' 'Nothing, at all,' answered Diogenes. 'What thinkest thou to do then that is either hard or exemplar by standing in the colde?' replied the other. 'To measure constancy we must necessarily know sufferance.' But such minds 

<Mont3-302>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

as must behold crosse events and fortunes injuries in their height and sharpnesse, which must weigh and taste them according to their naturall bitternesse and charge, let them employ their skil and keep themselves from embracing the causes and divert their approaches.  What did King Cotys? He payed liberally for that godly and rich Vessell which one had presented unto him, but forsomuch as it was exceeding brittle be presently brake it himselfe, that so betimes be might remoove so easie an occasion of choller against his servants.  I have in like sort shunned confusion in my affaires, and sought not to have my goods contiguous to my neighbours, and to such as I am to be linked in strict friendshippe, Whence commonly ensue causes of alienation and unkindnesse.  I have heretofore loved the hazardous play of Cardes and Dice.  I have long since left it; onely for this, that notwithstanding any faire semblance I made in my losses I was inwardly disquieted.  Let a man of honour, who is to take a lie or endure an outrageous wrong, and cannot admit a bad excuse for paiment or satisfaction, avoid the progresse of contentious altercations.  I shunne melancholike complexions and froward men, as infected.  And in matters I cannot talke-of without interest and emotion, I meddle not with them, except duty constraine mee thereunto. Melius non incipient quam desinent: 'They shall better not beginne than leave off.' The surest way is then to prepare our selves before occasion. I know that some wisemen have taken another course, and have not feared to engage and vehemently to insinuate themselves into diverse objects. Those assure themselves of their own strength, under which they shrowd themselves against all manner of contrary events, making mischiefes to wrestle one against another by vigor and vertue of patience:

Velut rupes vastum quae prodit in aequor,
Obvia ventorum furiis, expostaque ponto.
Vim cunctam atque minas perfert caelique marisque,
. .. ipsa immota manens./1
1 VIRG.  Aen. 1. x. 693.
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Much like a rocke, which buts into the Maine,
Meeting with windes-rage, to the Sea laid plaine,
It doth the force of skies and Seas sustaine,
Endure their threats, yet doth uumoov'd remaine.
Let us not imitate these examples; we shall not attains them.  They opinionate themselves resolutely to behold, and without perturbation to be spectatours of their Countries ruine, which whilome possessed and commaunded their full will.  As for our vulgar mindes, therein is too much effort and roughnesse. Cato+ quit thereby the noblest life that ever was.  Wee seely ones must seeke to escape the storme further off:  We ought to provide for apprehension and not for patience, and avoid the blowes wee cannot withstand.  Zeno seeing Chremonides, a young man whom he loved, approach to sit neere him, rose up sodainIy.  Cleanthes asking him the reason?  I understand (saith hee) that Physitions above all things prescribe rest, and forbid emotion in all humors.  Socrates saith not:  Yeeld not to the allurements of beauty; maintaine it, enforce our selves to the contrary.  Shunne her (saith he), runne out of her sight and company, as from a violent poison that infecteth and stingeth farre-off. {effeminate+} And his good Disciple, faining or reciting, but in mine opinion rather reciting then faining, the matchles perfections of the great Cyrus, describeth him distrusting his forces to withstand the blandishments or allurings of the divine beautie of that famous Panthea his Captive, committing the visitation and guarde of her to an other, that had lesse libertie then himselfe.  And likewise the Holy-Ghost saith, ne nos inducas in tentationem:/1  'and lead us not into temptation.' We pray not that our reason be not encountred, and vanquished by concupiscence, but that it be not so much as assayed therewith; That we bee not reduced to an estate, where we should but suffer the approaches, sollicitations and temptations of sinne: and we entreat our Lord to keepe our conscience quiet, fully perfectly
1 Matth. vi. 13. 
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free from all commerce of evill.  Such as say they have reason for their revenging passion, or any other minde-troubling perturbation, say often truth, as things are, but not as they were.  They speake to us when the causes of their error are by themselves fostred and advanced.  But retire further backeward, recall their causes to their beginning: there you surprise and put them to a non-plus.  Would they have their fault be lesse because it is more ancient; and that of an unjust beginning, the progresse be just? He that (as I doe) shall wish his countries well-fare, without fretting or pining himselfe, shall be grieved, but not swoune, to see it threatning, either his own downefall, or a continuance no lesse ruinous.  Oh seely-weake barke, whom both waves, windes and Pilot, hull and tosse to so contrary desseignes:

     -----in tam diversa, magister,
Ventus et unda trahunt.

Maister the wave and winds
So divers wayes doe binde.

Who gapes not after the favour of Princes, as after a thing without which hee cannot live, nor is much disquieted at the coldnes of their entertainment or frowning countenance, nor regardeth the inconstancy of their will.  Who hatcheth not his children or huggeth not honours, with a slavish propension, nor leaves to live commodiously having once lost them.  Who doth good namely for his owne satisfaction, {benefit+} nor is much vexed to see men censure of his actions against his merit.  A quarter of an ownce of patience provideth for such inconveniences.  I find ease in this receit: redeeming my selfe in the beginning as good cheape as I can, by which meanes I perceive my selfe to have escaped much trouble and manifold difficulties.  With very little force I stay these first motions of my perturbations, And I abandon the subject which beginnes to molest me, and before it transport mee.  Hee that stops not the loose, shall hardly stay the course.  He 
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that cannot shut the doore against them shall never expell them being entred.  He that cannot attaine an end in the beginning, shall not come to an end of the conclusion; nor shall he endure the fall that could not endure the starts of it. Etenim ipsae se impellunt, ubi semel a ratione discessum est, ipsague ibi imbecillitas indulget, in altumque provehitur imprudens: nec resent locuni consistendi:/1 'For they drive themselves headlong, when once they are parted and past reason, and weaknesse soothes it selfe, and unawares is carried into the deepe, nor can it finde a place to tarry in.' {Lear+} I feele betimes the low windes which are forerunners of the storme, huzze in mine eares and sound and trie me within:

     -----ceu flamina prima
Cum deprensa fremunt sylvis, et caeca volutant Murmura, venturos nautis prodentia ventos./2

At first blasts in the woods perceiv'd to goe,
Whistle, and darkely speake in murmurs low,
Foretelling Marriners what windes will grow.

How often have I done myself an apparent injustice to avoid the the danger I should fall into by receiving the same, happily worse, from a world of troubles, and of foule and vile practises, more enemies to my naturall disposition then fire and torment?  Convenit a litibus quantum licet, et nescio an paulo plus etiam quam licet, abhorrentem esse; Est enim non modo liberale, paululum nonnunquam de suo jure decedere, sed interdum etiam fructuosum:/3  'As much as wee may, and it may be more then we may, we should abborre brabling and lawing+; for it is not onely an ingenious part, but sometimes profitable also at sometimes to yeeld a little of our right.' If we were wise indeede, we should rejoyce and glory, as I heard once a yong- gentleman, borne of a very_great house, very wittily and unfainedly rejoyce with all men that his mother had lost her sute; as if it had beene a cough, an ague, or any other yrksome
1 CIC.  Tusc.  Qu. 1. iv. 2 VIRG.  Aen. 1. x. 97. 3 CIC.  Off. i. 
<Mont3-306>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

burthen.  The favours which fortune might have given mee, as aliances and acquaintances with such as have Soveraigne authority in those things, I have in my conscience done much instantly to evoide imploying them to others prejudice, and not over-value my rights above their worth.  To conclude, I have so much prevailed by my endeavours (in a good houre I may speake it) that I am yet a virgin for any sutes in law which have notwithstanding not omitted gently to offer me their service, and under pretence of lawfull titles insinuate themselves into my allowance, would I but have given care unto them. {law+} And as a pure maiden from quarrels, I have without important offence, either passive or active, lingred out a long life, and never beard worse than mine owne name:  A rare grace of heaven.  Our greatest agitations have strange springs and ridiculous causes.  What ruine did our last Duke of Burgundy runne into for the quarrell of a cart-load of sheepes- skinnes? And was not the graving of a scale the chiefe cause of the most horrible breach and topsie-turvey that ever this worlds-frame endured?  For Pompey and Caesar are but the new buddings and continuation of two others.  And I have seene in my time the wisest heads of this realme assembled with great ceremony and publike charge about treaties and agreements, the true- deciding whereof depended in the meane while absolutely and soveraignely of the will and consultations held in some Ladies pate or cabinet, and of the inclination of some silly woman.  Poets have most judiciously look't into this, who but for an apple have set all Greece and Asia on fire and sword.  See why that man doth hazzard both his honour and life on the fortune of his rapier and dagger; let him tell you whence the cause of that contention ariseth; he can not without blushing, so vaine and so frivolous is the occasion.  To embarke him, there needes but little advisement, but being once-in, all parts doe worke.  There are greater provisions required, more difficult and important.  How farre more easie is it not to enter than to get forth?  We must proceed 

THE THIRD BOOKE                     <Mont3-307>

contrary to the brier, which produceth a long and straight stalke at the first springing; but after, as tired and out of breath, it makes many and thicke knots, as if they were pawses, shewing to have no more that vigor and constancy.  Wee should rather begin gentle and leasurely, and keepe our strength and breath for the perfection of the worke.  We direct affaires in the beginning, and hold them at our mercy, but being once undertaken, they guide and transport us, and we must follow them.  Yet may it not be said that this counsell hath freed me from all difficulties, and that I have not beene often troubled to controle and bridle my passions, which are not alwayes governed according to the measure of occasions, whose entrances are often sharpe and violent.  So is it that thence may be reaped good fruit and profit, except for those who in well doing are not satisfied with any benefit, if their reputation be in question.  For in truth such an effect is not compted of but by every one to himselfe.  You are thereby better satisfied, but not more esteemed, having reformed your selfe before you come into action or the matter was in sight; yet not in this onely, but in all other duties of life, their course which aime at honour+ is diverse from that which they propound unto themselves that follow order and reason. I finde some that inconsiderately and furiously thrust themselves into the lists, and grow slacke in the course.  As Plutarke saith, that 'Such as by the vice of bashfullnesse are soft and tractable to grant whatsoever is demanded, are afterward as proxie and facile to recant and breake their word.' In like manner, he that enters lightly into a quarrel is subject to leave it as lightly.  The same difficulty which keepes me from embracing the same should incite me, being once mooved and therein engaged, to continue resolute.  It is an ill custome.  Being once embarked, one must either goe on or sinke. 'Attempt coldly' (sayed Byas), 'but pursue hotly.' For want of judgement our hearts faile us, Which is also lesse tolerable.  Most agreements of our moderne quarrels are shamefull and false; We onely 

<Mont3-308>           MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

seeke to save apparances and therewhilst betray and disavow our true intentions.  We salve the deede; We know how wee spake it, and in what sence the by-standers know it; yea and our friends to whom we would have our advantages knowne.  It is to the prejudice of our liberty and interest of our resolutions honour that we dis-avow our thoughts and seeke for starting holes in falshood to make our agreements.  We bely our selves to salve a lye we have given to another.  We must not looke whether your action or word may admit another interpretation, but it is your owne true and sincere construction that you must now maintaine, whatsoever it cost you. {duel+} It is to your vertue and to your conscience that men speake; parts that ought not to be disguised.  Leave we these base courses, wrangling shifts and verball meanes, to petty-fogging Lawyers+.  The excuses and reparations, or satisfactions, which dayly I see made, promised and given to purge indiscretion, seeme to me more foule than indiscretion it selfe; Better were it for one to offend his adversary againe, than in giving him such satisfaction to wrong himselfe so much.  You have braved him mooved by choller, and now you seeke to pacifie and flatter him in your cold and better sense; Thus you abase yourselfe more than you were before exalted.  I find no speech so vicious in a Gentleman as I deeme any recantation hee shall make, dishonorable, especially if it be wrested from him by authority; Forsomuch as obstinacy is in him more excusable than cowardice+.  Passions are to me as easy to be avoyded as they are difficult to be moderated.  Excinduntur facilius animo, quam temperantur: 'They are more easily rooted out of the minde than brought to good temper.' He that cannot attaine to this noble Stoicall impassibility let him shrowd himselfe in the bosome of this my popular stupidity.  What they did by vertue I inure my selfe to doe by Nature.  The middle region harboureth stormes; the two extreames containe Philosophers and rurall men, they concurre in tranquility and good hap. 

THE THIRD BOOKE                    <Mont3-309>
Felix qui potuit rerum coqnoscere causas,
Atquee metus omnes et inexorabile fatum.
Subjecit pedibus, strepitumque Acherontis avari.
Fortunatus et ille, Deos qui novit aqrestes,
Pandaque, Silvantimque senem, Nymphasque sorores./1

Happy is he that could of things the causes finde,
And subject to his feete all fearefulnesse of minde,
Inexorable fate, and noyse of greedy Hell.
And happy he with Country Gods acquainted well,
Pan and old Sylvan knowes,
And all the sister shrowes.

The beginnings of all things are weake and tender.  We must therefore be cleare-sighted in beginnings; For, as in their budding we discerne not the danger, so in their full growth we perceive not the remedy.  I should have encountred a thousand crosses, daily more hard to be digested in the course of ambition, than it hath bin uneasie for me to stay the naturall inclination that led me onto them.
     ----- jure perhorrui,
Late conspicuum tollere verticem./2

I have beene much afraid for causes right,
To raise my foretop far abroad to sight.

All publike actions are subject to uncertaine and divers interpretations: For too many heads judge of them.  Some say of this my City-employment (whereof I am content to speake a word, not that it deserves it, but to make a shew of my manners in such things) I have demeaned my selfe like one that is too slowely moved and with a languishing affection; And they are not altogether void of reason.  I strive to keepe my minde and thoughts quiet.  Cum semper Natura, tum etiam aetate jam quietus: 'Both ever quiet by Nature, and now because of yeeres.' And if at any time they are debauched to some rude and piercing impression it is in truth without my consent, from which naturall slacknesse one must not therefore inferre any proofe of disability; For, Want of care and lacke
1 VIRG.  Geor. 1. ii. 490. 2 HOR.  Car. 1. iii. 16, 18. 
<Mont3-310>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

of judgement are two things; And lesse unkindnesse and ingratitude toward those Citizens who to gratifie me, employed the utmost of all the meanes they could possibly, both before they knew me and since; And who did much more for me in appointing me my charge the second time, then in choosing me the first.  I love them with all my heart, and wish them all the good that may be; And truly if occasion had beene offered I wold have spared nothing to have done them service.  I have stirred and laboured for them as I doe for my selfe.  They are good people, warlike+ and generous, yet capable of obedience and discipline and fit for good employment, if they be well guided.  They say likewise that I passed over this charge of mine without any deede of note or great shew.  It is true.  Moreover, they accuse my cessation, when as all the world was convicted of too much doing; I have a most nimble motion where my will doth carry me.  But this point is an enemy unto perseverance.  Whosoever will make use of me according to my selfe, let him employ me in affaires that require vigor and liberty; that have a short, a straight, and therewithall a hazardous course I may peradventure somewhat prevaile therein.  Whereas if it be tedious, crafty, laborious, artificiall and intricate, they shall doe better to address themselves to some other man. {PlainDealer+} All charges of importance are not difficult.  I was prepared to labour somewhat more earnestly if there had beene great neede.  For it lyes in my power to doe something more than I make shew of, and than I love to doe.  To my knowledge I have not omitted any motion that duty required earnestly at my hands.  I have easily forgotten those which ambition blendeth with duty and cloketh with her title.  It is they which most commonly fill the eyes and eares and satisfie men.  Not the thing it seIfe, but,; the apparance payeth them.  If they heare no noise they imagine we sleepe.  My humours are contrary to turbulent humors; I could pacifie an inconvenience or trouble without troubling my selfe, and chastise a disorder without alteration. 

THE THIRD BOOKE                     <Mont3-311>

     Have I neede of choller and inflammation, I borrow it and therewith maske my selfe; My maners are musty, rather wallowish then sharpe; I accuse not a Magistrate that sleepeth so they that are under it sleepe also.  So sleepe the lawes.  For my part I commend a gliding, an obscure and reposed life. Neque submissam et abjectam, neque se efferentem:/1 'Neyther too abject and submisse, nor vaunting it selfe too much.' But my fortune will have it so; I am descended of a family that hath lived without noise and tumult, and of long continuance particularly ambitious of integrity. Our men are so framed to agitation and ostentations that goodnesse, moderation, equity, constancy, and such quiet and meane qualities are no more beard of. {PlainDealer+} Rough bodies are felt, smooth ones are handled imperceptibly. Sickenesse is felt, health little or not at all; nor things that annoint us, in regard of such its sting us.  It is an action for ones reputation and private commodity, and not for the common good, to refer that to be done in the market place which a man may do in the counsel-chamber; and at noone day what might have beene effected the night before; and to be jealous to doe that himselfe which his fellow can performe as well.  So did some Surgeons of Greece shew the operations of their skill upon scaffolds in view of all passengers, thereby to get more practise and custome.  They suppose that good orders cannot be understood but by the sound of a trumpet. Ambition is no vice for petty companions, and for such endevours as ours. One said to Alexander: 'Your father will leave you a great commaund, easie and peacefull;' the boy was envious of his father's victories and of the justice of his government.  He would not have enjoyed the world's Empire securely and quietly.  Alcibiades in Plato loveth rather to die yong, faire, rich, noble, learned, and all that in execellence, then to stay in the state of such a condition.  This infirmity is happily excusable in so strong and full a minde.  When these petty wretched soules are therewith
1 CIC.  Off. 1. i. 

<Mont3-312>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

enveagled, and thinke to publish their fame, because they have judged a cause rightly, or continued the order in guarding of a Cities gates; by how much more they hoped to raise their head, so much more doe they shew their simplicity.  This petty well-doing hath neither body nor life. It vanisheth in the first moneth, and walkes but from one corner of a street to another.  Entertaine therewith your sonne and your servant, and spare not.  As that ancient fellow, who having no other auditor of his praises and applauding of his sufficiency, boasted with his chambermaids, exclaiming: 'Oh Perette! what a gallant and sufficient man thou hast to thy maister!' If the worst happen, entertaine your selves in your selves; As a Councellour of my acquaintance, having degorged a rable of paragraphes with an extreame contention and like foolishnesse, going out of the counsell chamber to a pissing place neere unto it, was heard very conscienciously to utter these words to himselfe: Non_nobis+, Domine, non nobis, sed nomini tuo da gloriam:/1  'Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us but unto thy name give the glory.' He that cannot otherwise, let him pay himselfe out of his owne purse.  Fame doth not so basely prostitute it selfe, nor so cheape.  Rare and exemplar actions, to which it duly belongeth, could not brooke the company of this innumerable multitude of vulgar petty actions. Well may a piece of marble raise your titles both as you list, because you have repaired a piece of an olde Wall, or cleansed a common ditch, but men of judgement will never doe it.  Report followeth not all goodnesse, except difficulty and rarietie be joyned thereunto.  Yea simple estimation, according to the Stoikes, is not due to every action proceeding from vertue. Neither would they have him commended, who through temperance abstaineth from an old blear-ey'd woman.  Such as have knowen the admirable qualities of Scipio the Affrican, renounce the glory which Panaetius ascribeth unto him, to have abstained from gifts, as a glory, not his, alone, but peculiar to that age.  We
1 Psalm cxv. 1. 

THE THIRD BOOKE                     <Mont3-313>

have pleasures sortable to our fortune; let us not usurpe those of greatnesse. Our owne are more naturall.  They are the more solide and firme by how much the meaner.  Since it is not for conscience, at least for ambition let us refuse ambition.  Let us disdaine this insatiate thirst of honour and renowne, base and beggerly, which makes us so suppliantly to crave it of all sorts of people: {Hotspur+} Quae est ista laus quae possite macello peti?/1  'What praise is this, which may bee fetcht out of the Shambles?' By abject meanes, and at what vile rate soever.  To be thus honoured, is meerely a dishonour.  Learne we to bee no more greedy of glory then we are capable of it.  To be proud of ever profitable and innocent action, is it fit for men to whom it is extraordinary and rare.  They will value it for the price it cost them.  According as a good effect is more resounding, I abate of it's goodnesse; the jealousie I conceive, it is produced more because it is so resounding than because it is good.  What is set out to shew is halfe solde.  Those actions have more grace which carelesly {Hal+} and under silence passe from the hands of a Workeman, and which some honest man afterward chuseth and redeemeth from darkenesse, to thrust them into the worlds light: Onely for their worth. Mihi quidem laudabiliora videntur omnia, quae sine venditatione, et sine populo teste fiunt:/2 'All things in sooth seeme to me more commendable that are performed with no ostentation, and without the people to witnesse,' said the most glorious man of the world. I had no care but to preserve and continue, which are deafe and insensible effects.  Innovation is of great lustre; But interdicted in times when we are most urged, and have to defend our selves but from novelties; Abstinence from doing is often as generous as doing, but it is not so apparant.  My small worth is in a manner all of this kinde.  To be short, the occasions in this my charge have seconded my complexion, for which I conne them harty thanks.  Is there any man that desireth to be sicke, to see his Physition set a
1 CIC.  De Fin. 1. ii. 2 CIC.  Tusc.  Qu. 1. ii. 

<Mont3-314>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

worke?  And should not that Pbysition be well whipped who to put his arte in practize would wish the plague to infect us?  I was never possessed with this impious and vulgar passion, to wish that the troubled and distempered state of this City might raise and honour my government.  I have most willingly lent them my hand to further and shoulders to aid their ease and tranquility. He that will not thanke me for the good order and for the sweet and undisturbed rest which hath accompanied my charge, cannot at least deprive me of that part which by the title of my good fortune belongeth unto me.  This is my humour, that I love as much to be happy as wise, And attribute my successes as much to the meere grace_of_God+ as to the meane furtherance of my operation. I had sufficiently published to the World my sufficiency in managing of such publike affaires; Nay, there is something in me worse than insufficiency, Which is, that I am not much displeased therewith, and that I endevour not greatly to cure it, considering the course of life I have determined to my selfe.  Nor have I satisfied my selfe in this employment, But have almost attainted what I had promised unto my selfe; Yet have I much exceeded what I had promised those with whom I was to negotiate, For I willingly promise somewhat lesse then I can performe or hope to accomplish. {Hal+} Of this I am assured, I have never left offence or hatred among them.  To have left either regret or desire of me, This know I certainly, I have not much affected it.

Mene huic confidere monstro?
Mene salis placidi vultum, fiuctdsque quietos

Should I this monster trust?  Should I not know The calme Seas counterfeit dissembling show
How quietly sometimes the flouds will go?

1 VIRG.  Aen. 1. v. 849



TWO or three yeares are now past since the yeere hath beene shortned tenne dayes in France. {1585_age_52+{usthem+} Oh how many changes are like to ensue this reformation!  It was a right remooving of Heaven and Earth together, yet nothing remooveth from it's owne place:  My Neighhours finde the season of their seede and Harvest time, the opportunity of their affaires, their lucky and unlucky dayes, to answer just those seasons to which they had from all ages assigned them.  Neither was the errour heretofore perceived, nor is the reformation now discerned in our use.  So much uncertainty is there in all things; So grosse, so obscure and so dull in our understanding. Some are of opinion this reformation might have bin redressed after a lesse incommodious maner; substracting according to the example of Augustus, for some yeares, the bissextile or leape day, Which in some sort is but a day of hinderance and trouble, Until they might more exactly have satisfied the debt, Which by this late reformation is not done, For wee are yet some dayes in arrerages; And if by such a meane we might provide for times to come, appoynting that after the revolution of such or such a number of yeares, that extraordinary day might for ever be eclipsed; so that our misreckoning should not henceforward exceeds foure and twenty houres.  Wee have no other computation of time, but yeares; The World ath used them so many ages; and yet is it a measure we have not untill this day perfectly established.  And such as wee daily doubt. what forme other Nations have diversely given the same; and which was the true use of it.  And if some day,

<Mont3-316>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

that the Heavens in growing olde compresse themselves towards us, and cast into an uncertainty of houres and dayes?  And as Plutarke saith of moneths, that even in his dayes Astrology could not yet limit the motion of the moone?  Are not we then well holp-up to keepe a register of things past!  I was even now plodding (as often I doe) upon this, what free and gadding instrument humane reason is.  I ordinarily see that men, in matters proposed them, doe more willingly ammuze and busie themselves in seeking out the reasons than in searching out the trueth of them.  They omit pre-suppositions, but curiously examine consequences.  They leave things, and runne to causes. Oh conceited discourses!  The knowledge of causes doth onely concerne him who hath the conduct of things; Not us that have but the sufferance of them.  And who according to our neede, without entering into their beginning and essence, have perfectly the full and absolute use of them.  Nor is wine more pleasant unto him that knowes the first faculties of it.  Contrariwise, both the body and the minde interrupt and alter the right which they have of the worlds use and of themselves, commixing therewith the opinion of learning.  The effects concerne us, but the meanes nothing at all.  To determine and distribute belongeth to superiority and regency as accepting, to subjection and apprentise-shippe.  Let us re-assume our custome.  They commonly beginne thus:  How is such a thing done?  Whereas, they should say:  Is such a thing done?  Our discourse is capable to frame an hundred other Worlds, and finde the beginnings and contexture of them.  It needeth neither matter nor ground. Let it but runne on; It will as well build upon emptinesse as upon fulnesse, and with inanity as with matter.

Dare pondus idonea fumo./1

That things which vanish straight
In smoke, should yet beare weight.

1 PERS.  Sat. v. 20.
THE THIRD BOOKE                    <Mont3-317>

     I finde that wee should say most times: 'There is no such thing.' And I would often employ this answer, but I dare not; for they cry:  It is a defeature reduced by ignorance and weakenesse of spirit.  And most commonly juggle for company sake, to treate of idle subjects and frivolous discourses, which I believe nothing at all.  Since truely, it is a rude and quarellous humour, flatly to deny a proposition.  And few misse (especially in things hard to be perswaded) to affirme, that they have seene it; Or to alleadge such witnesses as their authority shall stay our contradiction.  According to which use we know the foundation and meanes of a thousand things that never were.  And the world is in a thousand questions discanted and bandied too and fro, the pro and contra of which is meerely false. Ita finitima sunt falsa veris ut in praecipitem locum non debeat se sapiens committere:/1  'Falsehood is so neere Neighbour to trueth, that a wiseman should not put himselfe upon a slipperie downefall. Truth and falsehood have both alike countenances; their port, their taste, and their proceedings semblable.' Wee behold them with one same eyes.  I observe that we are not onely slow in defending our selves from deceipt, but that we seeke and sue to embrace it.  Wee love to meddle and entangle our selves with vanity, as conformable unto our being.  I have seene the birth of divers miracles in my dayes.  Although they be smoothered in the first growth, wee omit not to foresee the course they would have taken had they lived their full age.  The matter is to finde the end of the clue; that found, one may winde-off what he list; And there is a further distance from nothing to the least thing in the World, than betweene that and the greatest.  Now the first that are embrued with the beginning of strangenesse, comming to publish their history, finde by the oppositions made against them, where the difficulty of perswasion lodgeth, and goe about with some false patch to botch up those places.  Besides that, Insita hominibus libidine alendi
1 CIC.  Acad, Qu. 1. iv. 

<Mont3-318>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

de industria rumores./1  'Men having a naturall desire to nourish reports.' We naturally make it a matter of conscience to restore what hath been lent us, without some usury and accession of our encrease.  A particular errour doth first breed a publike errour; And when his turne commeth, a publike errour begetteth a particular errour.  So goeth all this vast frame, from hand to hand, confounding and composing it selfe, in such sort that the furthest-abiding testimonie, is better instructed of it then the nearest, and the last informed better perswaded then the first.  It is naturall progresse; for whosoever beleeveth any thing, thinkes it a deede of charity to perswade it unto another; Which that he may the better effect, he feareth not to adde something of his owne invention thereunto, so far as be seeth necessary in his discourse, to supply the resistance and defect, he imagineth to bee in anothers conception.  My selfe who make an especiall matter of conscience to lie, and care not greatly to add credit or authority to what I say, perceive, nevertheless by the discourses I have in hand, that being earnested, either by the resistance of another or by the earnestixesse of my naration, I swell and amplifie my subject by my voice, motions, vigor and force of wordes; as also by extension and amplification, not without some prejudice to the naked truth.  But yet I doe it upon condition that to the first that brings mee home againe, and enquireth for the bare and simple truth at my hands, I sodainly give over my hold, and without exaggeration, emphasis or amplification, I yeeld both my selfe and it unto him:  A likely, earnest and ready speech as mine, is easie transported into hyperboles.  There is nothing whereunto men are ordinarily more prone then to give way to their opinions.  Where ever usuall meanes faile us, we adde commandement, force, fire and sword.  It is not without some ill fortune to come to that passe, that the multitude of believers in a throng where fooles doe in number so far exceede the wise, should bee the best touchstone of truth. Quasi vero quidquam sit tam valde, quam nil sapere vulgare.  Sanitatis patrocinium 


est insanientium turba:/1  'As though any thing were so common as to have no wit.  The multitude of them that are mad is a defence for them that are in their wit.' It is a hard matter for a man to resolve his judgement against common opinions.  The first perswasion taken from the very subject seizeth on the simple: whence under th'authority of the number and antiquity of testimonies it extends it selfe on the wiser sort. As for me, in a matter which I could not believe being reported by one, I should never credit the same though affirmed by a hundred.  And I judge not opinions by yeares.  It is not long since one of our Princes, in whom the gowt had spoiled a gentle disposition and blith composition, suffered himsefe so far to bee perswaded or misled by the reports made unto him of the wondrous deedes of a Priest, who by way of charmes, spells and gestures cured all diseases, that be undertooke a long-tedious journy to finde him out; and by the vertue of his apprehension did so perswade, and for certaine houres so lull his legs asleepe, that for a while hee brought them to doe him that service which for a long time they had forgotten.  Had fortune heaped five or six like accidents one in the necke of another, they had doubtles beene able to bring this miracle into nature.  Whereas afterward there was so much simplicity and so little skill found in the architect of these works, that he was deemed unworthy of any punishment:  As likewise should be done,with most such-like things, were they throughly knowen in their nature.  Miramur ex intervallo fallentia: 'Wee wonder at those things that deceive us by distance.' Our sight doth in such sort, often represent us a farre-off with strange images, which vanish in approaching neerer. Nunquam ad liquidum fama perducitur: 'Fame is never brought to be cleare.' It is a wonder to see how from many vaine beginnings and frivolous causes, so famous impressions doe ordinarily arise and ensue.  Even that hindereth the information of them:  For while a man endevoureth to finde out
1 CIC.  De Div. 1. ii. 

<Mont3-320>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

causes, forcible and weighty ends, and worthy so great a name, hee loseth the true and essentiall.  They are so little that they escape our sight. And verily a right wise, heedy and subtle inquisitor is required in such questings -impartiall and not preoccupated.  All these miracles and strange events, are untill this day hidden from me:  I have seene no such monster or more expresse wonder in this world than my selfe.  With time and custome a man doth acquaint and enure himselfe to all strangenesse:  But the more I frequent and know my selfe the more my deformitie astonieth me, and the lesse I understand my selfe.  The chiefest priviledge to produce and advance such accidents is reserved unto fortune.  Travelling yesterday through a village within two leagues of my house, I found the place yet warme of a miracle that was but newly failed and discovered, wherewith all the country thereabout had for many months beene ammused and abused, and divers bordering Provinces began to listen unto it, and severall troupes of all qualities ceased not thicke and threefold to flocke thither.  A yong man of that towne undertooke one night in his owne house (never dreaming of any knavery) to counterfeit the voice of a spirit or ghost; but onely for sport, to make himselfe merry for that present, which succeeding better than be had imagined, to make the jest extend further and himselfe the merrier, he made a country maiden acquainted with his devise; who because she was both seely and harmelesse, consented to bee secret and to second him:  In the end they got another, and were now three, all of one age and like sufficiency; and from private spirit- talking, they beganne with hideous voices to cry and roare aloud, and in and about churches biding themselves under the chiefe Altar, speaking but by night, forbidding any light to be set up; From speeches tending the worlds subversion, and threatning of the day of judgement (which are the subiects by whose authority and abusive reverence imposture and illusion is more easily lurked) they proceeded to certaine visions and strange gestures, so foolish and ridiculous 

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that there is scarce any thing more grosse and absurd used among Children in their childish sports.  Suppose, I pray you, that fortune would have seconded this harmelesse devise or jugling tricke, Who knoweth how farre it would have extended, and to what it would have growen?  The poore seely three Divels are now in prison, and may happily e're long pay deere for their common sottishnesse, and I wot not whether some cheverell judge or other will be avenged of them for his. {Lear+} It is manifestly seene in this, which now is discovered, as also in divers other things of like quality, exceeding our knowledge; I am of opinion that we uphold our judgement as wel to reject as to receive.  Many abuses are engendered into the World, or, to speake more boldly, all the abuses of the World are engendered upon this, that wee are taught to feare to make profession of our ignorance, and are bound to accept and allow all that wee cannot refute.  Wee speake of all things by precepts and resolution.  The Stile of Rome did heare that even the same that a witnes deposed, because he had seen it with his own eyes, and that which a Judge ordained of his most assured knowledge, was conceived in this form of speech, 'It seemeth so unto me.' I am drawen to hate likely things, when men goe about to set them downe as infallible. I love these words or phrases which mollifie and moderate the temerity of our propositions: 'It may be:  Peradventure:  In some sort:  Some:  It is aside:  I thinke,' and such like:  And had I beene to instruct children, I would so often have put this manner of answering in their mouth, enquiring and not resolving: 'What meanes it?  I understand it not:  It may well bee: Is it true?' that they should rather have kept the forme of learners untill three score yeeres of age, than present themselves Doctors at ten, as many doe.  Whosoever will be cured of ignorance must confesse the same.  Iris is the daughter of Thaumantis; Admiration is the ground of all Philosopby; Inquisition the progresse; Ignorance the end.  Yea but there is some kinde of ignorance strong and generous, that for honor 

<Mont3-322>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

and courage is nothing beholding to knowledge.  An ignorance which to conceive r rightly there is required no less learning than to conceive true learning.
Being yong, I saw a law-case which Corras, a Counsellor Thoulouse, caused to be printed of a strange accident of two men, who presented themselves one for another.  I remember (and I remember nothing else so well) that me thought, he proved his imposture, whom he condemned as guilty, so wondrous strange and so far exceeding both our knowledge and his owne who was judge, that I found much boldnes in the sentence which had condemned him to be hanged.  Let us receive some forme of sentence that may say: 'The Court understands nothing of it more freely and ingenuously than did the Areopagites, who finding themselves urged and entangled in a case they could not well cleare or determine, appointed the parties to come againe and appeare before them a hundred yeares after.  The witches about my country are in hazard of their life upon the opinion of every new authour that may come to give their dreames a body.  To apply such examples as the holy Word of God offreth us of such things (assured and irrefragable examples) and ioyne them to our moderne events, since we neyther see the causes nor meanes of them, some other better wit than ours is thereunto required.  Peradventure it appertaineth to that onely most-mighty testimony to tell us, this here, and that there, and not this other are of them.  God must be beleeved, and good reason he should be so.  Yet is there not one amongst us that will be amazed at his owne narration (and he ought necessarily to be astonished at it, if be be not out of his wits) whether he employ it about others matters or against himselfe.  I am plaine+ and homely, and take hold on the maine point, and on that which is most likely, avoiding ancient reproches. Majorem fidem homines adhibent iis quae non intelligunt.  Cupidine humani ingenii libentius obscura creduntur: 'Men give more credit to things they understand not; Things obscure are more willingly beleeved through a strange 

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desire of mans wit.' I see that men will be angry, and am forbid to doubt of it upon paine of execrable injuries, A new manner of perswading. Mercy for God's sake.  My beliefe is not carried away with blowes.  Let them tyrannize over such as accuse their opinion of falsehood; I onely accuse mine of difficulty and boldnesse.  And equally to them I condemne the opposite affirmation, if not so imperiously.  He that with bravery and by commandement will establish his discourse declareth his reason to bee weake.  For a verball and scholastical altercation that they have as much apparance as their contradictors.  Videantur sane, non affirmentur modo: 'Indeede let them seeme, so they bee not avouched.' But in effectuall consequence they draw from it, these have great ods.  To kill men there is required a bright- shining and clears light.  And our life is over-reall and essentiall to warrant their supernaturall and fantasticall accidents.  As for drugges and poisons, they are out of my element; they are homicides, and of the worst kinde.  In which, neverthelesse, it is said that one must not alwayes rely upon the meere confession of those people:  For they have sometimes beene seene to accuse themselves to have made away men which were both sound and living.  In these other extravagant accusations I should easily say that it sufficeth what commendations soever he hath, a man be believed in such things as are humane, but of such as are beyond his conception and of a supernaturall effect, he ought then only be believed when a supernaturall approbation hath authorized him.  That priviledge if hath pleased God to give some of our testimonies ought not to be vilified, or slightly communicated. Mine eares are full of a thousand such tales.  Three saw him such a day in the east; three saw him the next day in the west, at such an houre, in such a place, and thus and thus attired; verily in such a case I could not beleeve my selfe.  How much more naturall and more likely doe I finde it, that two men should lie, then one in twelve houres pass with the windes from East to West?  How much more naturall 

<Mont3-324>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

that our understanding may by the volubility of our loose-capring minde be transported from his place? then that one of us should by a strange spirit, in flesh and bone, be carried upon a broome through the tunnell of a chimny?  Let us, who are perpetually tossed too and fro with domesticall and our owne illusions, not seeke for forrane and unknowen illusions.  I deeme it a matter pardonable not to beleeve a wonder, so far foorth at least as one may divert and exlude the verification by no miraculous way. And I follow Saint Augustine's opinion, that 'a man were better bend towards doubt than encline towards certaintie, in matters of difficult triall and dangerous beliefe.' Some yeares are now past that I travelled through the country of a soveraigne Prince, who in favour of mee, and to abate my incredulity, did mee the grace, in his owne presence and in a particular place, to make mee see tenne or twelve prisoners of that kinde, and amongst others an olde beldam witch, a true and perfect sorceresse, both by her ugliness and deformity, and such a one as long before was most famous in that profession. I sawe both proofes, witnesses, voluntary confessions, and some other insensible markes about this miserable olde woman.  I enquired and talked with her a long time, with the greatest heed and attention I could, yet am I not easily carried away by preoccupation.  In the end, and in in conscience, I should rather have appointed them Helleborum than Hemlocke.  Captisque res magis mentibus quam consceleratis similis visa. 'The matter seemed liker to mindes captivate than guiltie.' Law hath her owne corrections for such diseases.  Touching the oppositions and arguments that honest men have made unto mee, both there and often elsewhere, I have found none that tie mee, and that admit not alwaies a more likely solution than their conclusions. True it is that proofes and reasons grounded upon the fact and experience, I untie not, for indeede they have no end, but often cut them, as Alexander did his knot.  When al is done it is an overvaluing of ones conjectures by 

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them to cause a man to be burned alive.  It is reported by divers examples (and Prestantius saith of his father) that being in a slumber much more deeply then in a full sound sleepe, he dreamed and verily thought himselfe to be a Mare, and served certaine souldiers for a sumpter-horse, and was indeede what he imagined to bee.  If sorcerers dreame thus materially:  If dreames may sometimes be thus incorporated into effects, I cannot possibly believe that our will should therefore be bound to the lawes and justice; which I say, as one who am neither a Judge nor a Counsellor unto kings, and furthest from any such worthinesse; but rather a man of the common stamp, and both by my deedes and sayings borne and vowed to the obedience of publique reason.  Hee that should register my humours to the prejudice of the simplest law, or opinion, or custome of this village, should greatly wrong himselfe and injure me as much.  For in what I say, I gape for no other certainly but that such was then my thought.  A tumultuous and wavering thought.  It is by way of discourse that I speake of all, and of nothing by way of advise.  Nec me pudet, ut istos, fateri nescire quod resciam: 'Nor am I ashamed, as they are to confesse I know not that which I doe not know.'
     I would not be so hardy to speake if of duty I ought to bee believed; and so I answered a great man who blamed the sharpnesse and contention of my exhortations.  When I see you bent and prepared on one side, with all the endevour I can I will propose the contrary unto you, to resolve and enlighten your judgement, not to subdue or binde the same.  God hath your hearts in his hands, and hee will furnish you with choise.  I am not so malapert as to desire that my opinions alone should give sway to a matter of such importance.  My fortune hath not raised them to so powerfull and deepe conclusions.  Truely, I have not onely a great number of complexions, but an infinite many of opinions, from which, had I a sonne of mine owne, I would disswade him, and willingly make him to distaste them.  What?  If the truest are not ever the most 

<Mont3-326>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

commodious for man, he being of so strange and untamed a composition: Whether it be to the purpose, or from the purpose, it is no great matter. It is a common Proverbe in Italie, that 'He knowes not the Ferfect pleasure of Venus that hath not laine with a limping woman.' Either fortune or some particular accident have long since brought this by-saying in the peoples mouth; and it is as well spoken of men as of women, For the Queene of the Amazons answered the Scithian that wooed her to loves-embracements. dpiffta Xox@s ot'tpet, 'The crooked man doth it best.' In that feminine common- wealth of theirs, to avoyde the domination of men, they were wont in their infancy to maime them, both their armes, and legges, and other limmes, that might any way advantage their strength over them, and make onely that use of them that we in our World make of our Women.  I would have saide that the loose or disjoynted motion of a limping or crooke-backt Woman might adde some new kinde of pleasure unto that businesse or sweete sinne, and some un-assaid sensuall sweetnesse to such as make triall of it; but I have lately learnt that even ancient Philosophy hath decided the matter, Who saith that the legs and thighs of the crooked-backt or halting-lame, by reason of their imperfection, not receiving the nourishment due unto them, it followeth that the Genitall parts that are above them are more full, better nourished and more vigorous.  Or else, that such a defect hindring other exercise, such as are therewith possessed, do lesse waste their strength and consume their vertue and so much the stronger and fuller they come to Venus sports.  Which is also the reason why the Graecians described their Women-Weavers to bee more hotte and earnestly-luxurious than other Women; Because of their sittlng-trade without any violent exercise of the body. What cannot we dispute of according to that rate?  I might likewise say of these, that the same stirring which their labour so sitting doth give them, doth rouze and sollicite them, as the jogging and shaking of their Coache doth our Ladies. 

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Doe not these examples fit that whereof I spake in the beginning?  That our reasons doe often anticipate the effect, and have the extension of their jurisdiction so infinite, that they judge and exercise themselves in inanity, and to a not being?  Besides the flexibilitie of our invention, to frame reasons unto all manner of dreames; our imagination is likewise found easie to receive impressions from falsehood by very frivolous apparances. For, by the onely authoring of the antient and publike use of this word or phrase, I have heretofore perswaded my selfe to have received more pleasure of a Woman in that she was not straight, and have accompted hir crookednesse in the number of hir graces.  Torquato Tasso, in the comparison he makes between Italy and France, reporteth to have noted that we commonly have more slender and spiny legges than the Italian Gentlemen; and, imputeth the cause unto our continuall riding and sitting on horse-backe.  Which is the very same, from which Suetonius draweth another cleane contrary conclusion; For, be saith, that Germanicus had by the frequent use of this exercise brought his to be very big.  There is nothing so supple and wandering as our understanding.  It is like to Theramenez shooe, fit for all feet. It is double and diverse, and so are matters diverse and double.  Give me a Dragme of Silver, said a Cinicke Philosopher unto Antigonus.  It is not the present of a King answered he; Give then a talent:  It is not gift for a Cinicke, quoth he.  Seu plures calor ille vias, et caeca relaxat Spiramenta, novas veniat qua succus in herbas:  Seu durat magis, et venas astringit hiantes, Ne tenues pluviae. rapidive potentia solis Acrior, aut Boreae penetrabile frigus adurat.1 Whether the heate layes open holes unseene, Whereby the sappe may passe tohbearbs fresh-greene Or rather hardens and bindes gaping vaines, Lest sharpe power of hot sunne, or thinning raines Or piercing North-cold blaste, Should scortch, consume and waste.
1 VIRG.  Geor. 1. i. 89. 

<Mont3-328>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

Ogni medaglia ha il suo riverscio: 'Each outside hath his inside,' saith the Italian.  Lo, why Clitomachus was wont to say that Carneades had surmounted the labours of Hercules, because be had exacted consent from men; that is to say, opinion and temerity to judge.
     This fantasia of Carneades, so vigorous (as I imagine) proceeded antiently from the impudency of those who make profession to know, and from their excessive selfe-overweening.  Aesope was set to sale, together with two other slave; a Chapman enquired of the first what he could doe; he to endeare him selfe, answered, mountains and wonders, and what not?  For he knew and could doe all things.  The second answered even so for himselfe, and more too; But when he came to Aesope, and demaunded of him what be could doe, Nothing (said he), for these two have forestaled all, and know and can doe all things, and have left nothing for mee.  So hath it happened in the schoole of philosophy.  The rashnes of those who ascribed the capacity of all things to mans wit, through spight and emulation produced this opinion in others, that humane wit was not capable of any thing.  Some holde the same extremity in ignorance that others hold in knowledge. To the end none may deny that man is not immoderate in all and every where, and hath no other sentence or arrest than that of necessity, and impuissance to proceede farther. 



ALMOST all the opinions we have are taken by authority and upon credit: There is no hurt.  We cannot chuse worse then by our selves in so weake an age.  This image of Socrates+ his discourse, which his friends have left us, we onely approve it by the reverence of publicke approbation.  It is not for our owne knowledge: they are not according to our use.  Might such a man be borne now adayes, there are but few would now esteeme him.  Wee discerne not graces inly or aright; We onely perceive them by a false light set out and puft up with arte; Such as passe under their naturall purity and simplicity doe easily escape so weake and dimnme a sight as ours is. Tbey have a secret, unperceived and delicate beauty; he had neede of a cleere, farre- seeing and true-discerning sight that should rightly discover this secret light.  Is not ingenuity (according to us) cosin germaine unto sottishnesse, and a quality of reproach?  Socrates maketh his soule to moove, with a naturall and common motion.  Thus saith a plaine Country-man, and thus a seely Woman:  Hee never hath other people in his mouth than Coach-makers, Joyners, Coblers, and Masons.  They are inductions and similitudes, drawen from the most vulgar and knowen actions of men: every one understands him. Under so base a forme wee should never have chosen the noble worthinesse and brightnesse of his admirable conceptions; Wee that esteeme all those but meane and vile that learning doth not raise, and who have no perceiving of riches except set out in shew and pompe.  Our World is framed but unto ostentation.  Men are puffed up with winde, and <Mont3-329>

<Mont3-330>           MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

moved or handled by bounds, as Baloones.  This man proposeth no vaine fantasies unto himselfe.  His end was to store us with things and furnish us with precepts, which really more substantially and joyntly serve our life:

     -----servare modum, finemque tenere,
Naturamque sequi./1

To keepe a meane, to hold the end,
And natures conduct to attend.

So was he ever all one a like:  And raised himselfe to the highest pitch of vigor, not by fits, but by complexion.  Or to say better, he raised nothing, but rather brought downe and reduced all difficulties or sharpnesse to their originall and naturall state, and thereunto subdued vigor.  For in Cato+ it is manifestly seene to be an out-right proceeding, far-above and beyond the common; By the brave exploits of his life, and in his death, hee is ever perceived to be mounted upon his great horses.  Whereas this man keepes on the ground, and with a gentle and ordinary pace treateth of the most profitable discourses, and addresseth himselfe both unto death and to the most thorny and crabbed crosses, that may happen unto the course of humane life.  It hath indeede fortuned, that the worthiest man to be knowne, and for a patterne to be presented to the world, he is the man of whom we have most certain knowledge.  Hee hath beene declared and enlightned by the most cleare-seeing men that ever were; the testimonies wee have of him are in faithfulnesse and sufficiency most admirable.  It is a great matter that ever he was able to give such order unto the pure imaginations of a childe, that without altring or wresting them, he hath thence produced the fairest effects of our minde.  He neither represents it rich nor high raised, but sound and pure, and ever with a blithe and undefiled health. By these vulgar springs and naturall wards, by these ordinary and common fantasies, sans mooving or without urging himselfe,
1 LUCAN.  Bel.  Civ. 1. ii. 380. 
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hee erected not onely the most regular, but the highest and most vigorous opinions, actions, and customes that ever were.  He it is that brought humane wisedome from heaven againe, where for a long time it had beene lost, to restore it unto man; where her most just and laborious worke is.  See or heare him pleade before his judges; marke with what reasons he rouzeth his courage to the hazards of warre, what arguments fortifie his patience against detraction, calumniation, tyrranny, death, and against his wives peevish head; therein is nothing borrowed from art or from learning.  The simplest may there know their meanes and might; it is impossible to goe further backe or lower.  He hath done humane nature a great kindnesse to shew what and how much she can doe of her selfe.  We are every one richer than we imagine, but we are taught to borrow and instructed to shift; and rather to make use of others goods and meanes then of our owne.  There is nothing whereon man can stay or fix himselfe in time of his need.  Of voluptuousnesse, of riches, of pleasure, of power, he ever embraceth more than be can graspe or hold; His greedinesse is incapable of moderation.  The very same I finde to be in the curiosity of learning and knowledge; he cuts out more worke than he can well make an end of, and much more then be neede.  Extending the profit of learning as farre as his matter. Ut omnium rerum, sic literarum quoque intemperantia laboramus:/1 'We are sicke of a surfet, as of all things, so of learning also.' And Tacitus hath reason to commend Agricolaes mother, to have brideled in her sonne an over-burning and earnest desire of learning.  It is a good, being neerely looked unto, that containeih as other humane goods, much peculiar vanity and naturall weakenesse, and is very chargeable; The acquisition and purchase whereof is much more hazardous then of all other viands and beverage.  For whatsoever else we have bought, we carry home in some vessell or other, where we have law to examine
1 SEN.  Epist. cvi. f.

<Mont3-332>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

it's worth, how much and at what time we are to take it.  But Sciences, we cannot sodainly put them into any other vessell than our minde: wee swallow them in buying them, and goe from the market either already infected or amended.  There are some which insteade of nourishing doe but hinder and surcharge us; and other some which under colour of curing empoison us.  I have taken pleasure in some place to see men who for devotions sake have made a vow of ignorance, as of chastity, poverty and penitence.  It is also a kind of guelding of our inordinate appetites to muzzle this greedinesse, which provoketh us to the study of bookes, and depriveth the mind of that voluptuons delight which, by the opinion of learning doth so tickle us. And it is richly to accomplish the vow of poverty to joyne that of the minde unto it.  We neede not much learning for to live at ease.  And Socrates+ teacheth us that we have both it, and the way to finde and make use of it, within us.  All our sufficiency that is beyond the naturall is well nigh vaine and superfluous.  It is much if it charge and trouble us no more then it steads us. Paucis opus est literis, ad mentem bonam:/1 'We have neede of little learning+ to have a good minde.' They are febricitant excesses of our spirit, a turbulent and unquiet instrument.  Rowze up your selfe, and you shall finde forcible arguments against death+ to be in your selfe; most true and very proper to serve and steade you in time of necessity. 'Tis they which induce a peasant swaine, yea and whole nations, to die as constantly as any Philosopher.  Should I have died lesse merily {Hotspur+} before I read the Tusculanes?  I thinke not.  And when I finde my selfe in my best wits I perceive that I have somewhat enriched my tongue, my courage+ but little.  It is even as nature framed the same at first.  And against any conflict it shields it selfe, but with a naturall and common march. Bookes have not so much served mee for instruction as exercitation.  What if learning, assaying to arme us with new wards
1 SEN.  Epist. cvi. f.

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and fences against naturall inconveniences, hath more imprinted their greatnesse and weight in our fantasies then her reasons, quiddities, and subtilities, therewith to cover us?  They are subtilities indeed, by which she often awaketh us very vainely.  Observe how many sleight and idle arguments the wisest and closest authors frame and scatter about one good sound, which if you but consider neerely are but vaine and incorporall.  They are but verball wiles which beguile us.  But forsomuch as it may be profitable I will not otherwise blanch them.  Many of that condition are scattered here and there, in divers places of this volume, either borrowed or imitated. Yet should a man somewhat heed be call not that force which is but quaintness or terme that which is but quipping sharpe, solide; or name that good which is but faire: Quae magis gustata quam potata delectant:/1  'Which more delight us being but tasted, then swild and swallowed downe.' All that which pleaseth feedeth not:  Ubi non ingenii sed animi negocium agitur: 'Where it is no matter of wit, but of courage.' To see the strugling endevors which Seneca giveth himselfe to prepare himselfe against death; to see him sweate with panting; to see him bathe so long upon this pearch, thereby to strengthen and assure himselfe; I should have made question of his reputation had be not most undantedly maintained the same in his death.  His so violent and frequent agitation sheweth that himselfe was fervent, and impetuous. Magnus animus remissius loquitur, et securius,:  Non est alius ingenio alius animo color:/2 'A great courage speakes softly but securely.  Wit hath not one colour and courage another.' He must be convicted at his owne charges, and sheweth in some sort that he was pressed by his adversary.  Plutarkes maner by how much more disdainefull and farre-extending it is (in my opinion) so much more manlike and perswasive is it; I should easily beleeve that his soule had her motions more assured and more regular.  The one more sharpe, pricketh and sodainely starts us,
1 CIC.  Tusc.  Qu. 1. v. 2 SEN.  Epist. cxv.  Eleg. i. 

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toucheth the spirit more.  The other more solide, doth constantly enforme, establish and comfort us; toucheth more the understanding.  That ravisheth our judgement; this doth gaine it.  I have likewise seene other compositions and more reverenced, which in portraying the combate they endure against the provocations of the flesh, represent them so violent, so powerfull and invincible, that our selves, who are cast in the common mould of other men, have as much to admire the unknowne strangenesse and unfelt vigor of their temptation, as their constant resistance.  To what do we so arme and steele our selves with these labouring-efforts of learning?  Let us diligently survay the surface of the earth, and there consider so many seely-poore people as we see toyling, sweltring and drooping about their businesses which never heard of Aristotle nor of Plato, nor ever knew what exemples+ or precepts are.  From those doth nature dayly draw and afoord us effects of constancy and patternes of patience, more pure and forcible then are those we so curiously study-for in schooles.  How many do I ordinarily see that misacknowledge poverty; how many that wish for death, or that passe it without any alaram or affliction?  A fellow that dungeth my garden hath happily this morning buried his father or his childe.  The very names whereby they call diseases doe somewhat mylden and diminish the sharpnes of them.  With them a Phthysique or consumption of the lungs is but an ordinary cough:  A dysentery or bloody flix but a distemper of the stomacke; A pleurisie but a cold or murre; and as they gently name them so they easily endure them.  Grievous are they indeed when they hinder their ordinary labour or breake their usuall rest:  They will not take their beds but when they shall dy.  Simplex illa et aperta virtus in obscuram et solertem scientiam versa est: 'That plaine and cleare vertue is turned into obscure and cunning knowledge.' I was writing this about a time that a boistrous storme of our tumultuous broiles and bloody troubles did for many months space, with all it's might and horrour, 

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nang full over my head.  On the one side I had the enemies at my gates; on the other the Picoreurs or freebooters, farre worse foes.  Non armis sed vitiis certatur: 'We contend not with armour, but with vices.' And at one time felt and endured all manner of harme-bringinu military injuries:

Hostis adest dextra laevaque h parte timendus,
Vicinoque malo terret utrumque latus./1

A fearefull foe on left hand and on right
Doth with his neighbour harmes both sides afright.

Oh monstrous Warre:  Others worke without, this inwardly and against hir selfe, And with her owne venome gnaweth and consumes her selfe.  It is of so ruinous and maligne a Nature, that, together with all things els, she ruineth her selfe; and with spitefull rage doth rent, deface and massacre it selfe.  We doe more often see it, by and through hir selfe, to wast, to desolate and dissolve hir selfe, then by or through want of any necessary thing, or by enemies force.  All manner of discipline doth shunne and flie it.  She commeth to cure sedition, and hir selfe is througbly therewith infected; She goeth about to chastize dis-obedience, and sheweth the example of it; and being employed for the defence of Lawes entreth into actuall rebellion against her owne ordinances.  Aye me, where are we?  Our Phisicke bringeth infection.
Nostre mal s'empoisonne
Du secours qu'on luy donne.

Our evill is empoysond more
By plaister they would lay to th' sore.

----- exuperat magis aegrescitque medendo./2

It rises higher, quicker,
And growes by curing sicker.

Omnia fanda nefanda malo permista furore.
Justificam nobis'mentem avertere Deorum./3

Lawfull unlawfull deeds with fury blended,
Have turn'd from us the Gods just minde offended.

1 OVID.  Plont. 1.  Eleg. iv. 66. 2 VIRG.  Aen. 1. xii. 46. 3 CATUL.  Argon. v. 405.
<Mont3-336>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

In these popular diseases one may in the beginning distinguish the sound from the sicke; but if they chance to continue any time, as ours hath done and doth still, all the body, yea head and heeles, feele themselves the worse; no part is exempted from corruption; for there is no aire a man drawes so greedily, or sucks so gluttonously, and that more spreds it selfe or penetrates more deepely, then doth licentiousnesse+.  Our Armies have no other bond to tie them, or other eyment to fasten them, then what commeth from strangers.  It is now a hard matter to frame a body of a more compleate, constant, well-ordered and coherent Army of Frenchmen.  Oh, what shame is it?  We have no other discipline then what borrowed or auxiliar Souldiers shew us.  As for us, we are led-on by our owne discretion and not by the commanders; each man followeth his owne humour, and hath more to doe within then without.  It is the commandement should follow, court and yeeld unto, hee onely ought to obey; all the rest are free and loose.  I am pleased to see what remisnesse and pusilanimity is in ambition, and by what steps of abjection and servitude it must arrive unto it's end.  But I am displeased to see some debonaire and well-meaning minds, yea such as are capable of justice, dayly corrupted about the managing and commanding of this many-headed confusion.  Long sufferance begets custome; custome, consent and imitation. We had too- too many infected and ill-borne minds without corrupting the good, the sound, and the generous; so that, if we continue any time, it will prove a difficult matter to finde out a man unto whose skill and sufficiency the health or recovery of this state may be committed in trust, if fortune shall happily be pleased to restore it us againe.

Hunc saltem everso juvenem succurrere seclo,
Ne prohibete.

Forbid not yet this youth at least,
To aide this age more then opprest.

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     What is become of that ancient precept, That Souldiers ought more to feare their Generall than their enemy?  And of that wonderfull examplelesse example, That the Romane army, having upon occasion enclosed within her trenches, and round-beset an apple-orchard, so obedient was she to her Captaines, that the next morning it rose and marched away without entring the same or touching one apple, although they were full-ripe and very delicious; So that when the owner came he found the full number of his apples! {Hal+} I should be glad that our Youths, in steade of the time they employ about lesse profitable peregrinations, and lesse honourable apprentiships, would bestow one moity in seeing and observing the warres that happen on the sea under some good Captaine or excellent commander of Malta; the other moity in learning and surveying the discipline of the Turkish armies.  For it hath many differences and advantages over ours. This ensueih that here our Souldiers become more licentious in expeditions, that they prove more circumspect and fearfully wary.  For small offences and petty larcenies, which in times of peace are in the common people punished with whipping and bastonadoes, in times of warre are capitall crimes.  For an egge taken by a Turke without paying, be is by their law to have the full number of fifty stripes with a cudgell. {Hal+} For every other thing, how sleight soever, not necessary for mans feeding, even for very trifles, they are either thrust through with a sharpe stake, which they call Empaling, or presently beheaded.  I have beene amazed reading the story of Selim, the cruellest Conqueror that ever was, to see, at what time he subdued the country of Aegypt, the beauteous gardens round about Damasco, all open and in a conquered country, his maine army lying encamped about, those gardens were left untouched and unspoyled by the hands of his Souldiers, onely because they were commanded to spoyle nothing, and had not the watch-word of pillage.  But is there any malady in a Common-weale that deserveth to be combated by 

<Mont3-338>           MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

so mortall drugge?  No, saide Favonius, not so much as the usurpation of the tyranicall possession of a Commonwealth.  Plato likewise is not willing one should offer violence to the quiet repose of his Countrey, no not to reforme or cure the same; and alloweth not that reformation which disturbeth or hazardeth the whole estate; and which is purchased with the blood and ruine of the Citizens.  Establishing the office of an honest man, in these causes, to leave all there:  But onely to pray God to lend his extraordinary assisting hand unto it; And seemeth to be offended with Dyon his great friend, to have therein proceeded somewhat otherwise.  I was a Platonist on that side before ever I knew there had beene a Plato in the world.  And if such a man ought absolutely be banished our commerce and refused our society (he who for the sincerity of his conscience deserved by meane of divine favour, athwart the publique darknesse, and through the generall ignorance of the world wherein he lived, so farre to enter and so deeply to penetrate into Christian light), I doe not thinke that it befitteth us to be instructed by a Pagan.  Oh what impiety is it to expect from God no succour simply his, and without our cooperation.  I often doubt whether amongst so many men that meddle with such a matter, any hath beene found of so weake an understanding, that hath earnestly beene perswaded, he proceeded toward reformation by the utmost of deformations; that he drew toward his salvation by the most expresse causes, that we have of undoubted damnation; that overthrowing policy, disgracing magistrates, abusing lawes, under whose tuition God hath placed him; filling brotherly minds and loving hearts with malice, hatred and murther; calling the Divels and furies to his helpe; he may bring assistance to the most sacred mildnesse and justice of divine Law.  Ambition, avarice, cruelty and revenge have not sufficient proppes and naturall impetuousity; let us allure and serve them up by the glorious title of justice and devotion.  There can no worse estate of things be imagined than where 

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wickednesse commeth to be lawfull, And with the Magistrates leave to take the cloake of vertue:  Nihil in speciem fallicius, quam prava religio, ubi deorum numen praetenditur sceleribus: 'There is nothing more deceiptfull to shew than corrupt religion, when the power of Heaven is made a pretence and cloake for wickednesse.' The extreame kinde of injustice (according to Plato) is, that that which is unjust should be held for just.  The common people suffered therein greatly then, not onely present losses,

     -----undique totes
Usque adeo turbatur agris - Such revell and tumultuous rout
In all the country round about.
But also succeeding dammages.  The living were faine to suffer, so did such as then were scarce borne.  They were robbed and pilled, and by consequence so was I, even of hope; spoiling and depriving them of all they had to provide their living for many yeares to come.
Quae nequeunt secum ferre aut abducere, perdunt, Et cremat insontes turba scelesta casas
Muris nulla fides, squalent popularibus agri.

They wretch-lesse spoyle and spill what draw or drive they may not,
Guilty rogues to set fire on guilt-lesse houses stay not.
In wals no trust, the field
By spoyle growes waste and wilde.

Besides these mischiefes I endured some others.  I incurred the inconveniences that moderation bringeth in such diseases.  I was shaven on all hands.  To the Ghibelin I was a Guelf, to Guelf a Ghibelin.  Some one of my Poets expresseth as much, but I wot not where it is.  The situation of my house, and the acquaintance of such as dwelt round about me, presented me with one visage; my life and actions with another.  No formall accusations were made of it, for there was nothing to take hold of.  I never opposed my selfe against the lawes, and who had called me in 
<Mont3-340>           MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

question should have lost by the bargaine.  They were mute suspicions that ranne under hland, which never want apparance in so confused a burly-burly, no more than lacke of envious or foolish wits.  I commonly affoord ayde unto injurious presumption that fortune scattereth against me; by a fashion I never had, to avoid justifying, excusing, or interpreting my selfe; deeming it to be a putting of my conscience to compromise, to pleade for hir:  Perspicuitas enim, argumentatione elevatur: 'For the cleering of a cause is lessened by the arguing.' And as if every man saw into mee as cleare as I doe my selfe, in lieu of with-drawing, I advance my selfe to the accusation and rather endeare it by an erroneous and scoffing confession, except I flatly hold my peace as of a thing unworthy any answer.  But such as take it for an over-proud confidence, doe not much lesse disesteeme and hate me for it, then such as take it for weaknesse of an indefensible cause; Namely, the great, with whom want of submission, is the extreame fault.  Rude to all justice, that is knowne or felt; not demisse, humble, or suppliant, I have often stnmbled against that piller.  So it is, that by the harmes which befell mee, an ambitious man would have hanged himselfe; and so would a covetous churle.  I have no care at all to acquire or get.

Sit mihi quod nunc est, etiam minus, ut mihi vivam
Quod supereest aevi, si quid superesse volent dii./1

Let me have that I have, or lesse, so I may live
Unto my selfe the rest, if any rest God give.

But losses that come unto me by others injury, be it larceny or violence, pinch me in a manner as one sicke and tortured with avarice.  An offence causeth undoubtedly more griefe and sharpnesse than a losse.  A thousand severall kindes of mischiefes fell upon me one in the necke of another: I should more stoutly have endured them had they come all at once.  I bethought my selfe amongst my friends, to whom I might commit
1 HOR. 1. i.  Epist. xviii. 107. 
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a needy, a defective and unfortunate olde age; but after I had surveyed them all, and cast mine eyes every where, I found my selfe bare and far to seeke.  For one to sowse himselfe downe headlong, and from so great a height, he should heedily fore-cast that it may be in the armes of a solide, stedfast, vigorous and fortunate affection.  They are rare, if there be any.  In the end I perceived the best and safest way was to trust both my selfe and my necessity unto my selfe.  And if it should happen to be but meanly and faintly in Fortunes grace, I might more effectually recommend my selfe unto mine owne favour, more closely fasten and more neerely looke unto my selfe.  In all things men relie upon strange props, to spare their owne; onely certain and onely powerfull, know they but how to arme themselves with them.  Every man runneth out and unto what is to come, because no man is yet come into himselfe.  And I resolved that they were profitable inconveniences, forsomuch as when reason will not serve, we must first warne towards Scholars with the rod; as with fire and violence of wedges, we bring a crooked peece of wood to be straight.  It is long since I call to keepe my selfe unto my selfe, and live sequestered from alien and strange things, notwithstanding a daily start out and cast mine eyes aside.  Inclination, a great man's favorable word, a kind looke doth tempt me.  God he knows whether there be penury of them now-adayes, and what sense they beare.
I likewise, without frowning, listen to the subornings, framed to draw mee to some towne of merchandise or city of trafficke; and so coldly defend my selfe that it seemes I should rather endure to be overcome than not. Now to a spirit so indocile blowes are required; and this vessell, that of it selfe is so ready to warpe, to unhoope, to escape and fall in peeces, must be closed, hooped and strongly knockt with an adze.  Secondly, that this accident served me as an exercitation to prepare my selfe for worse, if worse might happen, if I, who both by the benefit of fortune and condition of my maners, hoped to bee 

<Mont3-342>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

of the last, should by this tempest be one of the first surprised; Instructing my selfe betimes to force my life, and frame it for a new state.  True-perfect liberty is for one to be able to doe and work all things upon himselfe. Potentissimus est qui se habet in potestate./1  'Hee is of most power that keepes himselfe in his owne power.' In ordinary and peacefull times a man prepares himselfe for common and moderate accidents; but in this confusion wherein we have beene these thirty yeeres, every French man, be it in generall or in particular, doth hourely see himselfe upon the point of his fortunes overthrow and downe-fall.  By so much more ought each one have his courage stored and his minde fraughted, with more strong and vigorous provisions.  Let us thanke Fortune, that hath not made us live in an effeminate, idle, and languishing age; Some, whom other meanes could never bring unto it, shall make themselves famous by their misfortune. As I reade not much in Histories, these confusions of other states, without regret, that I could not better them present; So doth my curiosity make me somewhat please my selfe with mine eyes to see this notable spectacle of our publike death; her symptomes and formes.  And since I could not hinder the same, I am content to be appointed as an assistant unto it, and therby instruct my selfe.  Yet seeke we evidently to know in shadowes and understand by fabulous representations upon Theaters, to shew of the tragicke revolutions of humane fortune.  It is not without compassion of that we heare, but we please our selves to rowze up our displeasure by the rarenesse of these pitifull events.  Nothing tickles that pincheth not; and good Historians avoid calme narrations, as a dead water or mort-mere, to retreeve seditions and finde out warres, whereto they know we cal them.  I doubt whether I may lawfully avow at how base a rate of my lifes rest and tranquility I have past it more than half, in the ruine of my Country.  In accidents that touch me not in my freehold I purchase patience very
1 SEN.  Epist. ix. 

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cheape; and to complaine to my selfe I respect not so much what is taken from mee, as what is left me both within and without.  There is comfort in sometimes eschewing one and sometimes another of the evills, that one in the necke of another surprise us, and elsewhere strike us round about. As matters of publike interrests, according as my affection is more universally scattered, she is thereby more enfeebled.  Since it is halfe true:  Tantum ex publicis malis sentimus, quantum ad privatas res pertinet. 'Wee feele so much of common harmes as appertaine to our private estate.' And that the health whence wee fell was such that her selfe solaceth the regret we should have for her.  It was health, mary but in comparison of the contagion, which hath followed the same.  Wee are not falen very high.  The corruption and the brigandage which now is in office and dignity seemes to me the least tolerable.  Wee are lesse injuriously robbed in the midst of a wood then a place of security.  It was an universall coherency of members spoiled avie one another, and most of them, with old-rankled ulcers, which neither admitted nor demaunded recovery.  Truely this shaking-fit did therefore more animate then deterre me, only by the aide of my conscience, which not onely quietly but fiercely carried it selfe; and I found no cause to complain of my selfe.  Likewise, as God never sends men either evils or goods absolutely pure, my health held out well for that time, yea against her ordinary; and as without it I can do nothing, so with it, there are few things I cannot doe.  She gave me meanes to summon and rouze up all my provisions, and to beare my hand before my hurt, which happily would have gone further; And proved in my patience that yet I had some hold against fortune+, and that to thrust me out of my saddle there was required a stronger counterbuffe.  This I speake not to provoke her to give me a more vigorous charge.  I am her servant, and yeeld my selfe unto her:  For Gods sake let her be pleased.  Demaund you whether I feele her assaults?  I doe indeede. As those whom sorrow 

<Mont3-344>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

possesseth and overwhelmeth doe notwithstanding at one time or other suffer themselves by intermissions to be touched by some pleasure, and now and then smile.  I have sufficient power over my selfe to make mine ordinary state quiet and free from all tedious and irkesome imaginations; but yet I sometimes suffer my selfe by starts to be surprised with the pinchings of these unpleasant conceits, which while I arme my selfe to expell or wrestle against them assaile and beate mee.  Loe here another huddle or tide of mischiefe, that on the necke of the former came rushing upon mee.  Both within and round about my house, I was overtaken, in respect of all other, with a most contagious pestilence.  For, as soundest bodies are subject to grievous diseases, because they onely can force them; so the aire about me being very healthy, wher in no mans memory infection (although very neere) could ever take footing, comming now to be poisoned, brought forth strange effects.

Mista senum et jurenum densantur funera; nullum
Saeva caput Proserpina fugit./1

Of old and young thicke funerals are shared
By cruell Proserpine no head is spared.

I was faine to endure this strange condition, that the sight of my house was irkesome unto me.  Whatever was therein lay all at randon, no man looked thereunto, and was free for any that had a minde unto it.  I who have so long beene a good housekeeper, and used to hospitality was much troubled and put to my shifts, how to finde out some retreate for my family+ - A dismaied and scattered family, making both her selfe and her friends afraide, and breeding horrour where it sought to retire for shelter, being now to shift and change her dwelling; so soone as any of the company beganne to feele his finger ake, all the rest were dismaied.  Every sicknesse is then taken for the plague: none hath leasure to consider them.  And the mischiefe
1 HOR.  Car. 1. i.  Od. xxviii. 19. 
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is, that according to rules of arte, what danger soever approcheth, a man must continue forty dayes in anxiety or feare of that evill; in which time your owne imagination doth perplex you as she list and infect your health.  All which had much lesse toucht mee, had I not beene forced to beare other mens burthens and partake all their grievances, and for six months space in miserable maner to be a woefull guide to so great-confused a Caravane.  For I ever carry my preservatives above me which are resolution and sufferance.  Apprehension doth not greatly presse me, which is particularly feared in this sicknesse.  And if, being alone I should have taken it, it had beene a stronger and further flight.  It is a death, in my opinion, not of the worst: it is commonly short and speeding, voide of lingring paine, comforted by the public condition; without ceremonie, without mourning, and without thronging.  But for the people about us, the hundreth part of soules cannot be saved. {plague+}

------ videas desertaque regna
Pastorum, et longe saltus latique vacantes.
Kingdomes of Shepherds desolate, forlorne,
Parkes farre and neere lie waste, a state all torne.
In that place my best revenue is manuall: what a hundred men laboured for me lay fallow for a long time.  What examples of resolution saw we not then in all this peoples simplicity?  Each one generally renounced all care of life.  The grapes (which are the countries chiefe commodities hung still and rotted upon the vines untouch't; all indifferently preparing themselves, and expecting death+ either that night or the next morrow; with countenance and voice so little daunted, that they seemed to have compromitted to this necessitie, and that it was an universall and inevitable condemnation. It is ever such.  But what slender hold hath the resolution of dying?  The difference and distance of some few houres; the onely consideration of the company yeelds the apprehension 
<Mont3-346>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

diverse unto us.  Behold these because they die in one same month, children, yong, old; they are no more astonied, they are no longer wept-for.  I saw some that feared to stay behinde, as if they had beene in some horrible solitude.  And commonly I knew no other care amongst them but for graves; it much grieved them to see the dead carcasses scattered over the fields, at the mercy of wilde beasts, which presently began to flocke thither. Oh how humane fantasies differ and are easily disjoined!  The Neorites, a nation whilome subdued by Alexander the Great, cast out their dead mens bodies into the thickest of their woods, there to be devoured, the grave onely esteemed happy among them.  Some in good health digged already their graves, othersome yet living did goe into them; And a day-labourer of mine, as be was dying, with his owne bands and feet pulled earth upon him, and so covered himselfe.  Was not this a lying downe in the shade to sleepe at ease?  An enterprise in some sort as highly noble as that of some Romane Souldiers, who, after the battel of Canna, were found with their heads'in certaine holes or pits, which themselves had made, and filled up with their hands, wherein they were smothered.  To conclude, a whole nation was presently by use brought to a march, that in undantednesse yeelds not to any consulted and fore-meditated resolution. {peasant+} The greatest number of learnings instructions to encourage us have more shew then force, and more ornament then fruit.  Wee have forsaken nature, and yet wee will teach her her lesson; Shee, that lead us so happily, and directed us so safely.  And in the means while, the traces of her instructions and that little which by the benefit of ignorance remaineth of her image, imprinted in the life of this rusticall troupe of unpolished men; learning is compelled to goe daily a borrowing, thereby to make her disciples a patterne of constancy, of innocency, and of tranquilitie.  It is a goodly matter to see how these men full of so great knowledge, must imitate this foolish simplicitie, yea in the first and chiefe actions of vertue.  And that our wisedome should learne of beasts 

THE THIRD BOOKE                     <Mont3-347>

the most profitable documents belonging to the chiefest and most necessary parts of our life.  How we should live and die, husband our goods, love and bring up our children, and entertain justice.  A singular testimonie of mans infirmitie, and that this reason we so manage at our pleasure, ever finding some diversitie and noveltie, leaveth unto us no maner of apparant tracke of nature+.  Wherewith men have done as perfumers do with oyle, they have adulterated her with so many argumentations and sofisticated her with so diverse farre-fetcht discourses, that she is become variable and peculiar to every man, and hath lost her proper, constant, and universall visage; whereof we must seeke for a testimony of beasts, not subject to favor or corruption, nor to diversity of opinions.  For it is most true that themselves march not alwaies exactly in natures path, but if they chance to stray, it is so little that you may ever the perceive the tracke; Even as horses led by band doe sometimes bound and start out of the way, but no further then their halters length, and neverthelesse follow ever his steps that leadeth them; And as a Hawke takes his flight but under the limits of hir cranes or twyne.  Exilia, tormenta, bella, morbos, naufragia, meditare, ut nullo sis malo tyro: 'Banishments, torments, warres, sicknesses, shipwracks, all these fore-cast and premeditate, that thou maiest seeme no novice, no freshwater souldier to any misadventure.' What availeth this curiosity unto us, to preoccupate all humane natures inconveniences, and with so much labour and toyling against them to prepare our selves, which peradventure shall nothing concern us? (Parem passis tristitiam facit, pati posse: 'It makes men as sad that they may suffer some mischiefs as if they had suffred it.' Not onely the blow, but the winde and cracke strikes us.) Or as the most febricitant, for surely it is a kinde of fever, now to cause your selfe to be whipped because fortune may one day chance to make you endure it; and at Mid-Sommer to put-on your furr'd Gowne, because you shall neede it at Christmas?  Cast your selves into the experience of all 

<Mont3-348>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

the mischiefes that may befall you, namely of the extreamest; there try your selfe (say they), there assure your selfe.  Contrariwise, the easiest and most naturall were even to discharge his thought of them.  They will not come soone enough, their true being doth not last us long enough, our spirit must extend and lengthen them, and before-hand incorporate them into himselfe, and therewith entertaine himselfe, as if they lay not sufficiently heavy on our senses.  They will weigh heavy enough when they shall be there (saith one of the maisters, not of a tender, but of the hardest Sect); meane while favour thy selfe; Beleeve what thou lovest best.  What availes it thee to collect and prevent thy ill fortune, and for feare of the future lose the present; and now to be miserable because in time thou maiest bee so?  They are his owne words.  Learning doth us willingly one good office, exactly to instruct us in the demensions of evils.

Curis acuens mortalia corda.

Mens cogitations whetting,
With sharpe cares inly fretting.

It were pity any part of their greatnesse should escape our feeling and understanding.  It is certaine that preparation unto death hath caused more torment unto most than the very sufferance.  It was whilome truely said of and by a most judicious Authour:  Minus afficit sensus fatigatio, quam cogitatio: 'Wearinesse lesse troubleth our senses then pensivenesse doth.' The apprehension of present death doth sometimes of it selfe animate us with a ready resolution no longer to avoide a thing altogether inevitable. Many Gladiators have in former ages beene seene, having at first fought very cowardly, most courageously to embrace death; offering their throate to the enemies sword, yea and bidde them make haste.  The sight distant from future death hath neede of a slowe constancy, and by consequence hard to bee found.  If you know not how to die, take no care for it; Nature her selfe will fully and sufficiently teach you in the nicke, she will exactly
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discharge that worke for you; trouble not your selfe with it.

Incertam frustlra, mortales, funeris horam
Quaeritis, et qua sit mors aditura via:
Poena minor certam subito preferre ruinam;
Quod timeas, gravius sutiniuisse diu./1

Of death th' uncertaine houre you men in vaine
Enquire, and what way death shall you destraine:  A certaine sodaine ruine is lesse paine,
More grievous long what you feare to

We trouble death with the care of life, and life with the care of death. The one annoyeth, the other affrights us.  It is not against death we prepare our selves, it is a thing too momentary.  A quarter of an houre of passion without consequence and without annoyance deserves not particular precepts. To say we prepare our selves against the preparations of death+.  Philosophy teacheth us ever to have death+ before our eyes, to fore-see and consider it before it come; Then giveth us rules and precautions so to provide, that such foresight and thought hurt us not.  So doe Phisitions, who cast up into diseases that they may employ their drugges and skill about them. If we have not known how to live, it is injustice to teach us how to die, and deforme the end from all the rest.  Have wee knowne how to live constantly and quietly, wee shall know how to die resolutely and reposedly.  They may bragge as much as they please.  Tota Philosophorum vita commentatio mortis est: 'The whole life of a Philosopher is the meditation of his death.' But me thinkes it is indeede the end, yet not the scope of life.  It is her last, it is her extremity, not her object.  Hir selfe must be unto hir selfe, hir aime, hir drift, and her designe.  Hir direct studie is to order, to direct, and to suffer hir selfe.  In the number of many other offices which the generall and principall Chapter to know how to live containeth, is this speciall Article, 'To know how to die.' And of
1 CATUL.  Eleg. i. 29. 16. 
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the easiest, did not our owne feare weigh it downe.  To judge them by their profit and by the naked truth, the lessons of simplicity+ yeeld not much to those which Doctrine preacheth to the contrary unto us.  Men are different in feeling and diverse in force; they must be directed to their good according to themselves, and by diverse waies:

Quo me cumque rapit tempestas, deferor hospes./1

Where I am whirld by winde and wether,
I guest-like straight am carried thether.

I never saw meane paisant of my neighbours, enter into cogitation or care with what assurance or countenance hee should passe this last houre.  Nature teacheth him never to muze on death but when be dieth.  And then hath he a better grace in it than Aristotle, whom death perpelexed doubly both by her selfe and by so long a premeditiation.  Therefore was it Caesars opinion that 'The least premeditated death was the happiest and easiest.' Plus dolet quam necesse est, qui ante dolet quam necesse est: 'He grieves more than be need, That grieves before he neede.' The sharpenesse of this imagination proceeds from our curiosity.  Thus we ever hinder our selves, desiring to fore-runne and sway naturall prescriptions.  It is but for Doctors being in health to fare the worse by it, and to frowne and startle at the Image of death.  The vulgar sort have neither neede of remedy nor comfort, but when the shock or stroke commeth.  And justly considers no more of it than he feeleth.  And is it not as we say, that the vulgars stupidity and want of apprehension affoorde them this patience in private evils, and this deepe carelesnes of sinister future accidents?  That their mind being more grosse, dull and blockish, is lesse penetrable and agitable?  In Gods name, if it be so, let us henceforth keepe a schoole of brutality.  It is the utmost fruit that Sciences promise unto us, to which she so gently bringeth her disciples.  We shall
1 HOR. 1. i.  Epist. i. 15. 
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not want good teachers, interpreters of naturall simplicity.  Socrates shall be one; For, as neare as I remember, be speaketh in this sense the Judges that determine of his life: 'I feare me, my Maisters' (saith hee), 'that if I entreate you not to make me die, I shall confirme the evidence of my accusers, which is, That I professe to have more understanding than others, as having some knowledge more secret and hid of things both above and beneath us.  I know I have neither frequented nor knowne death, nor have I seene any body that hath either felt or tried her qualities to instruct me in them.  Those who feare her presuppose to know; As for me, I neither know who or what she is, nor what they doe in the other world.  Death may peradventure be a thing indifferent, happily a thing desirable.  Yet it is to bee beleeved that if it be a transmigration from one place to another, there is some amendment in going to live with so many worthy famous persons that are deceased, and be exempted from having any more to doe with wicked and corrupted Judges.  If it be a consummation of ones being, it is also an amendment and entrance into a long and quiet night.  Wee finde nothing so sweete in life as a quiet rest and gentle sleepe, and without dreames. The things I know to be wicked, as to wrong or offend ones neighbour, and to disobey his superiour, be he God or man, I carefully shunne them; Such as I know not whether they be good or bad, I cannot feare them.  If I goe to my death, and leave you alive, The Gods onely see, whether you or I shall prosper best; and therefore, for my regarde, you shall dispose of it as it shall best please you.  But acccording to my fashion, which is to counsell good and profitable things, this I say, that for your owne conscience you shall doe best to free and discharge mee; except you see further into mine owne cause than my selfe.  And judging according to my former actions, both publike and private, according to my intentions; and to the profit, that so many of our Citizens, both young and olde, draw dayly from my conversation, and the fruit, all you reape by 

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me, you cannot more justly or duely discharge your selves toward my desertes than by appointing (my poverty considered) that I may live,and at the common charge bee kept, in the Prytaneo, which for much lesse reasons I have often seene you freely graunt to others.  Impute it not to obstinacy or disdaine in me, nor take it in ill part, that i, according to custome, precede not by way of intreatie, and moove you to commiseration.  I Lave both friends and kinsfolkes, being not (as Homer saith) begotten of a blocke or stone, no more than other men, capable to present themselves humbly suing with teares and mourning; and I have three desolate, wailing children to move you to pittie.  But I should make your Citie ashamed of the age I am in, and in that reputation of wisedome, as now I stand in prevention to yeeld unto so base an abject countenances.  What would the world say of other Athenians?  I have ever admonished such as have heard me speake, never to purchase or redeeme their life by any dishonest or unlawfull act. And in my countries warres, both at Amphipolis, at Potidea, at Delia, and others, in which I have beene, I have shewen by effects how farre I was from warranting my safety by my shame.  Moreover, I should interest your duty, and prejudice your calling, and perswade you to foule unlawfull things; for, not my prayers, but the pure and solid reasons of justice should perswade you.  You have sworne to the Gods so to maintaine your selves.  Not to beleeve there were any, might seeme I would suspect, recriminate, or retorte the fault upon you.  And my selfe should witnesse against my selfe, not to beleeve in them as I ought, distrusting their conduct, and not meerely remitting my affaires into their hands.  I wholly trust and relie on them, and certainely holde that in this they will dispose as it shall bee meetest for you and fittest for me.  Honest men, that neither live nor are dead, have no cause at all to feare the Gods.' Is not this a childish pleading of an unimaginable courage, and in what necessity employed?  Verily it was reason hee should preferre it

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before that which the great Orator Lysias had set downe in writing for him, excellently fashioned in a judiciary Stile, but unworthy of so noble a criminall.  Should a man have heard an humbly-suing voice out of Socrates his mouth?  Would that proud vertue have failed in the best of her shew? And would his rich and powerfull nature have committed her defence unto arte, and in her highest Essay renounced unto truth and sinceritie the ornaments of his speech, to adorne and decke himselfe with the embellishment of the figures and fictions of a fore-learn't Oration? {PlainDealer+} Hee did most wisely, and according to himselfe, not to corrupt the tenure of an incorruptible life, and so sacred an image of human forme, to prolong his decrepitude for one yeere, and wrong the immortall memory of so glorious an end.  He ought+ his life, not to himselfe, but to the worlds example. Had it not beene a publike losse if he had finished the same in some idle, base and obscure manner?  Truely so carelesse and effeminate a consideration of his death deserved posteritie should so much more consider the same for him; which it did.  And nothing is so just in justice as that which fortune ordained for his commendation.  For the Athenians did afterward so detest and abhorre those which had furthered and caused his death, that of all they were loathed and shunned as cursed and excommunicated men; what soever they had but touched was held to be polluted; No man would so much as wash with them in bathes or hot houses; no man affoord them a salutation, much lesse accost or have to doe with them; so that, being in the end no longer able to endure this publike hatred and generall contempt, they all hanged themselves.  If any man thinkes that amongst so many examples I might have chosen for the service of my purpose in Socrates his sayings, I have chosen or handled this but ill; and deemeth this discourse to be raised above common opinions, I have done it wittingly: for I judge otherwise, and hold it to bee a discourse in ranke and sincerity much shorter and lower then vulgar opinions.  It representeth in an unartificiall 

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boldnesse and infantine security, the pure impression and first ignorance of nature.  Because it is credible that we naturally feare paine, but not death, by reason of her.  It is a part of our being no lesse essentiall than life.  To what end would Nature have else engendred the hate and horror of it, seeing it holdes therein, and with it a ranke of most great profit, to foster the succession and nourish the vicissitude of her works?  And that in this universall Common-weale it steadeth and serveth more for birth and augmentation, then for losse, decay, or ruine.

Sic rerum summa novatur./1

So doth the summe of all,
By courses rise and fall.

Mille animas una necata dedit.
We thousand soules shall pay
For one soule made away.

The decay of one life is the passage to a thousand other lives.  Nature hath imprinted in beasts the care of themselves and of their preservation. They proceede even to the feare of their empairing, to shocke or hurt themselves, and that we should not shackle or beate them, accidents subject to their sense and experience.  But that we should kill them, they cannot feare it, nor have they the faculty to imagine or conclude their death.  Yet it is reported that they are not seene onely to embrace and endure the same joyfully (most Horses neigh in dying, and Swannes sing when it seiseth them), But, moreover, they seeke it when they neede it, as by divers examples may be prooved in the Elephants.  Besides, the manner of arguing which Socrates useth here, is it not equally admirable both insimplicitie+ and in vehemence? Verily, It is much easier to speake as Aristotle and live as Caesar, than speake and live as Socrates.  Therein consists the extreame degree of difficulty and perfection; arte cannot attaine unto it.  Our faculties are not now so addressed; We
1 LUCR. 1. ii. 73.
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neither assay nor know them; we invest our selves with others, and suffer our own to be idle.  As by some might be saide of me, that here I have but gathered a nosegay of strange floures, and have put nothing of mine unto it but the thred to binde them.  Certes, I have given unto publike opinion that these borrowed ornaments accompany me, but I meane not they should cover or hide me; it is contrary to mine intention, who would make shew of nothing that is not mine owne, yea mine owne by nature.  And had I believed my selfe, at all adventure I had spoken alone.  I dayly charge my selfe the more beyond my proposition and first forme, upon the fantasie of time, and through idlenesse.  If it mis-seeme me, as I thinke it doth, it is no great matter; it may be profitable for some other.  Some alleadge Plato, some mention Homer, that never saw them; or, as they say in English, many a man speakes of Robin Hood that never shot in his bow; And I have taken divers passages from others then in their spring.  Without paine or sufficiency, having a thousand volumes of bookes about mee where now I write, if I please I may presently borrow from a number of such botcherly-patchcotes (men that I plod not much upon) wherewith to enamell this treaty of Physiognomie. I need but the liminary epistle of a Germane to store me with allegations, and we goe questing that way for a fading greedy glory to cousin and delude the foolish world.  These rapsodies of common_places+, wherewith so many stuffe their study, serve not greatly but for vulgar subjects, and serve but to shew and not to direct us:  A ridiculous-fond fruite of learning that Socrates doth so pleasantly enveigh and exagirate against Euthydemus. I have seene bookes made of things neither studied nor ever understood, the author comming to divers of his learned and wise friends in the search of this and that matter, that so hee might compile them into a booke, contenting himselfe for his owne part to have cast the plot and projected the desseigne of it, and by his industry to have bound up the fagot of unknowne provisions; at least is the inke 

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and paper his owne.  This may bee saide to be a buying or borrowing and not a making or compiling of a booke.  It is to teach men, not that one can make a booke, but to put them out of doubt that hee cannot make it. A president of the law in a place where I was vanted himselfe to have hudled up together two hundred and od strange places in a presidentiall law-case of his:  In publishing of which he defaced the glory which others gave him for it:  A weake, childish and absurd boasting, in my opinion, for such a subject and for such a man.  I doe cleane contrary, and amongst so many borrowings am indeed glad to filch some one, disguising and altering the same to some new service.  On hazard, to let men say that it is for lacke of understanding its naturall use, I give it some particular addressing of mine own hand, to the end it may be so much lesse meerely strange; Whereas these put their larcenies to pubIike view and garish show; so have they more credit in the lawes then I.  We other naturalists suppose that there is a great and incomparable preference betweene the honour of invention and that of allegation; Would I have spoken according to learning, I had spoken sooner, I had written at such times as I was neerer to my studies, when I had more wit and more memory, and should more have trusted the vigor of that age then the imperfection of this had I beene willing to professe writing of bookes.  And what if this gratious favour, which fortune hath not long since offered me by the intermission of this worke, could have befalne me in such a season in liew of this, where it is equally desireable to possesse and ready to loose?
     Two of mine acquaintance (both notable men in this faculty) have, in my conceit, lost much because they refused to publish themselves at forty yeares of age, to stay untill they were three score.  Maturity hath her defects as well as greenenesse, and worse.  And as incommodious or unfit is old age unto this kinde of worke as to any other.  Whosoever puts his decrepitude under the presse committeth folly, if therby he hopes to wring out humors that shall not taste of aotdge, of foppery, 

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or of drousinesse.  Our spirit becommeth costive and thickens in growing old.  Of ignorance I speake sumptuously and plenteously, and of learning meagerly and pitiously; This accessorily and accidentally, that expressely and principally; And purposely I treat of nothing but of nothing, nor of any one science but of unscience.  I have chosen the time where the life I have to set forth is all before me, the rest holds more of death.  And of my death onely should I finde it babling, as others doe, I would willingly, in dislodging, give the World advise.  Socrates hath beene a perfect patterne in all great qualities, I am vexed that ever he met with so unhansome and crabbed a body as they say he had, and so dissonant from the beauty of his minde:  Himselfe so amorous and so besotted on beauty.  Nature did him wrong.  There is nothing more truely-semblable as the conformity or relation betweene the body and the minde.  Ipsi animi, magni refert, quali in corpore locati sint; multa enim e corpore existunt quae acuant mentem, multa quae obtundant: 'It is of great import in what body the minde is bestowed, for many things arise of the body to sharpen the minde, and many things to dull and rebate it.' This man speakes of an unnaturall ill-favourdnesse and membrall deformity, but we call ill-favourdnesse a kinde of unseemelinesse at the first sight, which chiefely lodgeth in the face, and by the colour worketh a dislike in us.  A freckle, a blemmish, a rude countenance, a sower looke, pro-ceeding often of some inexplicable cause, may be in well ordered, comely and compleate limmes.  The foulenesse of face which invested a beauteous minde in my deare friend La Boitie was of this predicament.  This superficiall ill-favourdnesse, which is notwithstanding to the most imperious, is of lesse prejudice unto the state of the minde, and hath small certainty in mens opinion.  The other, by a more proper name called a more substantiall deformity, beareth commonly a deeper inward stroke.  Not every shooe of smoothshining leather, but every well-shapen and hansome-made shoe, sheweth the inward and right shape of the 

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foote.  As Socrates said of his, that it justly accused so much in his mind had he not corrected the same by institution; But in so sayine I suppose, that according to his wonted use he did but jest, and so excellent mind did never frame it selfe; I cannot often enough repeate how much I esteeme beauty, so powerfull and advantageous a quality is she.  He named it a short tyranny, And Plato the priviledge of Nature.  We have none that exceeds it in credit; She possesseth the chiefe ranke in the commerce of society of men, She presents it selfe forward, she seduceth and preoccupates our judgement with great authority and wonderfull impression.  Phryne had lost her plea, though in the hands of an excellent lawyer, if with opening her garments, by the sodaine flashing of hir beauty she had not corrupted her judges; And I finde that Cyrus, Alexander, and Caesar, those three Masters of the World, have not forgotten or neglected the same in atchieving their great affaires; so hath not the first Scipio.  One same word in Greeke importeth faire and good; And even the Holy Ghost calleth often those good which be meaneth faire.  I should willingIy maintaine the ranke of the goods as imployed the song which Plato saith to have beene triviall, taken from some ancient Poet, Health, beauty and riches.  Aristotle saith that the right of commanding doth of duty belong to such as are faire and if haply any be found whose beauty approached to that of the Gods images, that veneration is equally due unto them.  To one that asked him why the fairest were both longer time and oftner frequented, 'This question,' quoth he, 'ought not to be mooved but by a blinde man.' Most and the greatest Philosophers paide for their schooling and attained unto Wisedome by the intermission of their beauty, and favour of their comlines.  Not onely in men that serve me, but in beasts also, I consider the same within two inches of goodnesse.  Yet me thinkes that the same feature and manner of the face, and those lineaments by which some argue certaine inward complexions and our future fortunes, is a thing that 

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doth not directly nor simply lodge under the Chapter of beauty and favourdnesse, no more than all good favours, or cleerenesse of aire doe not alwayes promise health: nor all fogges and stinkes infection in times of the plague.  Such as accuse Ladies to contradict the beauty by their manners, guesse not alwayes at the truth.  For in ill favourd and ill composed face may sometimes harbour some aire of probity and trust.  As on the contrary I have sometimes read between two faire eyes the threats of a maligne and dangerous ill-boding nature.  There are some favourable Physiognomies, For in a throng of victorious enemies you shall presently ammiddest a multitude of unknowne faces, make choise of one man more than of others to yeeld your selfe unto and trust your life, and not properly by the consideration of beauty.  A mans looke or aire of his face is but a weake warrant, notwithstanding it is of some consideration; And were I to whipe them I would more rudely scourge such as maliciously belie and betray the promises which Nature had charactred in their front; And more severely would I punish malicious craft in a debonaire apparance and in a mild promising countenance.  It seemeth there be some lucky and well boding faces, and other some unlucky and ill presaging; And I thinke there is some Art to distinguish gently-milde faces from nyaes and simple, the severe from the rude, the malicious from the froward, the disdainefull from the melancholike and other neighbouring qualities.  There are some beauties not onely fierce-looking, but also sharpe working, some others pleasing-sweet and yet wallowishly tastlesse.  To prognosticate future successes of them be matters I leave undecided.  I have (as elsewhere I noted) taken for my regard this ancient precept, very rawly and simply :  That We cannot erre in following Nature; and that the soveraigne document is for a man to conforme himselfe to her.  I have not (as Socrates), by the power and vertue of reason, corrected my natural complexions, nor by Art hindered mine inclination.  Looke how I came into the World, so I goe-on: I strive with nothing.  My 

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two Mistris parts live of their owne kindnesse in peace and good agreement; but my nurses milke hath (thankes be to God) been indifferently wholesome and temperate.  Shall I say thus much by the way?  That I see a certaine image of bookish or scholastical preud' hommie onely, which is in a maner in use amongst us, held and reputed in greater esteeme than it deserveth, and which is but a servant unto precepts, brought under by hope, and constrained by fear?  I love it such as lawes and religions make not, but over-make and authorize; that they may be perceived to have wherewith to uphold her selfe without other aide sprung up in us of her owne proper roots, by and from the seed of universall reason, imprinted in every man that is not unnaturall.  The same reason that reformeth Socrates from his vicious habite, yeelds him obedient both to Gods and men that rule and command his City; courageous in his death, not because his soule is immortall, but because he is mortall.  A ruinous instruction to all common-weales, and much more harmefull than ingenious and subtile, is that which perswadeth men that onely religious beliefe, and without manners, sufficeth to content and satisfie divine justice.  Custome makes us see an enormous distinction betweene devotion and conscience.  I have a favourable apparence, both in forme and in interpretation.

Quid dixi habere me?  Imo habui, Chreme:
Heu tantum attriti corporis ossa vides./1

I have; what did I say?
I had what's now away.
Alas, you onely now behold
Bones of a body worne and old.

And which makes a contrary shew to that of Socrates.  It hath often betided me that by the simple credit of my presence and aspect, some that had no knowledge of me have greatly trusted unto it, were it about their owne affaires or mine.  And even in forraine countries, I have thereby reaped singular and rare favours,
1 TER.  Heau. act i. sc. 1. 
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These two experiments are haply worthy to be particularly related.  A quidam gallant determined upon a time to surprise both my house and my selfe.  His plot was to come riding alone to my gate, and instantly to urge entrance.  I knew him by name, and had some reason to trust him, being my neigbbour and somwhat alide unto me.  I presently caused my gates to be opened, as I do to all men.  He comes-in all afrighted, his horse out of breath; both much harassed.  He entertaines me with this fable: that within halfe a league of my house he was sodainely set-upon by an enemy of his whom I knew well, and had heard of their quarrell; that his foe had wondrously put him to his spurres; that being surprised unarmed, and having fewer in his company than the other, he was glad to runne away, and for safety had made haste to come to my house, as to his sanctuary; That he was much perplexed for his men, all which he supposed to be either taken or slaine. I endevoured friendly to comfort and sincerely to warrant and refresh him. Within a while came galloping foure or five of his Souldiers, amazed, as if they had beene out of their wits, hasting to be let in.  Shortly after came others, and others, all proper men, well mounted, better armed, to the number of thirty or there abouts, all seeming distracted for feare, as if the enemy that pursued them had beene at their heeles.  This mystery beganne to summon my suspicion.  I was not ignorant of the age wherein I lived, nor how much my house might be envied; and had sundry examples of others of my acquaintance that had beene spoiled, beset and surprised thus and thus.  So it is, that perceiving with my selfe, there was nothing to be gotten though I had begun to use them kindly, if I continued not, and being unable to rid my selfe of them and cleare my house without danger and spoiling all; as I ever doe, I tooke the plainest and most naturall well meaning way, and commanded they should be let-in and bid welcome. And to say truth, I am by nature little suspicious or mistrustfull. {simple+}] I am easily drawen to admit excuses and encline to mild 

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interpretations.  I take men according to common order, and suppose everyone to meane as I doe, and beleeve these perverse and trecherous inclinations, except I be compelled by some authenticall testimony, no more then monsters or miracles.  Besides I am a man that willingly commit my selfe untofortune++, and carelesly cast my selfe unto her armes.  Whereof hitherto I have more just cause to commend my selfe than to complaine.  And have found her more circumspect and friendly-careful of my affaires than I am my selfe.  There are certaine actions of my life, the conduct of which may iustly be termed difficult, or if any be so disposed, prudent.  And of those, suppose the third part of them to be mine owne, truely the other two are richly hirs. We are to blame, and in my conceit we erre, that we doe not sufficiently and so much as we ought, trust the heavens with our selves. {Antonio+} And pretend more in our owne conduct {Shylock+} then of right appertaines unto us.  Therefore doe our desseignes so often miscarry, and our intents so seldome sort to wished effect.  The heavens are angry, and I may say envious of the extension and large priviledge we ascribe unto the right of humane wisedome, to the prejudice of theirs: and abridge them so much the more unto us by how much more we endevour to amplifie them.  But to come to my former discourse.  These gallants kept still on horsebacke in my court, and would not alight; their Captaine with me in my hall, who would never have his horse set-up, still saying that be would not stay, but must necessarily withdraw himselfe so soon as he had newes of his followers. He saw himselfe master of his enterprise, and nothing was wanting but the execution.  Hee hath since reported very often (for be was no whit scrupulous or afraid to tell this story) that my undaunted lookes, my undismaide countenance, and my liberty of speech made him reject all manner of treasonable intents or trecherous desseignes.  What shall I say more?  He bids me farewell, calleth for his horse, gets up, and offreth to be gone, his people having continually their eyes fixed 

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upon him, to observe his lookes and see what signe be should make unto them; much amazed to see him begone, and wondritig to see him omit and forsake such an advantage.  An other time, trusting to a certaine truce or cessation of armes that lately had beene published through our campes in France, as one suspecting no harme, I undertooke a journey from home, through a dangerous and very ticklish countrey.  I had not rid far but I was discovered, and behold three or foure troupes of horsemen, all severall wayes, made after me, with purpose to entrap me; One of which overtooke mee the third day, where I was round beset and charged by fifteene or twenty Gentlemen, who had all vizards and cases, followed a loofe-off by a band of Argoletiers.  I was charged; I yeelded; I was taken and immediately drawne into the bosome of a thicke Wood that was not far-off; there puld from my horse, stripped with all speed, my truncks and clokebags rifled, my box taken, my horses, my equipage, and such things as I had, dispersed and shared amongst them.  We continued a good while amongst those thorny bushes, contesting and striving about my ransome, which they racked so high that it appeared well I was not much knowne of them.  They had long contestation among themselves for my life.  And to say truth, there were many circumstances threatned me of the danger I was in.

Tunc animis opus, Aenea, tune pectore firmo./1

Of courage then indeed,
Then of stout brest is need.

I ever stood upon the title and priviledge of the truce and proclamation made in the King's name, but that availed not:  I was content to quit them what ever they had taken from me, which was not to be despised, without promising other ransome.  After we had debated the matter to and fro the space of two or three houres, and that no excuses could serve, they set
1 VIRG.  Aen. 1. vi. 
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me upon a lame jade, which they knew could never escape them, and committed the particular keeping of my person to fifteene or twenty harque-busiers, and dispersed my people to others of their crew, commanding we should divers wayes be carried prisoners, and my selfe being gone two or threescore paces from them,

Jam prece Pollucis, jam Castoris implorata,/1

Pollux and Castors aide,
When I had humbly praide,

behold a sodain and unexpected alteration took them.  I saw their Captaine comming towards me, with a cheerful countenance and much milder speeches than before, carefully trudging up and down through all the troops to find out my goods againe, which as be found al scattred he forced every man to restore them unto me; and even my boxe came to my hands againe.  To conclude, the most precious jewell they presented me was in liberty; as for my other things, I cared not greatly at that time.  What the true cause of so unlookt- for a change and so sodaine an alteration was, without any apparent impulsion, and of so wonderfull repentance, at such a time, in such an opportunity and such an enterprise, fore-meditated, consulted and effected without controlement, and which through custome and the impiety of times was now become lawfull (for at the first brunt I plainely confessed and genuinly told them what side I was of, where my way lay, and whither I was riding), I verily know not yet, nor can I give any reason for it.  The chiefest amongst them unmasked himselfe, told me his name, and repeated divers times unto me that I should acknowledge my deliverance to my countenance, to my boldnesse and constancy of speech, and be beholding to them for it, insomuch as they made me unworthy of such a misfortune; and demanded assurance of me for the like curtesie.  It may be that the inscrutable goodnesse of God would use this vaine instrument for my
1 CATUL.  Eleg. iv. 65. 
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preservation; For the next morrow it also shielded me from worse mischiefe or amboscadoes, whereof themselves gently forewarned me.  The last is yet living, able to report the whole successe himselfe; the other was slaine not long since.  If my countenance had not answered for me, if the ingenuity+{simple+} of mine inward intent might not plainely have been deciphered in mine eyes and voice, surely I could never have continued so long without quarrels or offences: with this indiscreete liberty, to speake freely (be it right or wrong) whatever commeth to my minde, and rashly to judge of things.  This fashion may in some sort (and that with reason) seeme uncivill and ill accommodated in our customary manners; but outrageous or malicious, I could never meete with any would so judge it, or that was ever distasted at my liberty if he received the same from my mouth. {PlainDealer+} Words reported againe have as another sound, so another sense.  And to say true, I hate no body; And am so remisse to offend, or slow to wrong any, that for the service of reason it selfe I cannot doe it.  And if occasion have at any time urged me in criminall condemnations to doe as others, I have rather beene content to be amearced then to appeare.  Ut magis peccari nolim, quam satis animi ad vindicanda peccata habeam: 'So as I had rather men should not offend, then that I should have courage enough to punish their offences.' Some report that Aristotle, being up-braided by some of his friends that he had beene over mercifnll toward a wicked man, 'I have indeede (quoth he) beene mercifull toward the man, but not toward his wickednesse.' Ordinary judgements are exasperated unto punishment by the horror of the crime; And that enmildens mee.  The horror of the first murther makes me feare a second; And the uglinesse of one cruelty induceth me to detest all maner of imitation of it.  To me, that am but a plaine fellow and see no higher than a steeple, may that concerne which was reported of Charillus, King of Sparta: 'He cannot be good, since he is not bad to the wicked.' Or thus; for Plutarke presents it two wayes, as he 

<Mont3-366>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

doth a thousand other things diversly and contrary; 'He must needs be good, since be is so to the wicked.' Even as in lawfull actions it grieves me to take any paines about them, when it is with such as are therewith displeased; So, to say truth in unlawfull, I make no great conscience to employ my selfe or take paines about them, being with such as consent unto them. 



THERE is no desire more naturall then that of knowledge.  We attempt all meanes that may bring us unto it.  When reason failes us, we employ experience.

Per varios usus artem experientia fecit,
Exemplo monstrante viam./1

By divers proofes experience art hath bred,
Whilst one by one the way examples led.

Which is a meane by much more weake and vile.  But truth is of so great consequence that wee ought not disdaine any induction that may bring us unto it.  Reason hath so many shapes that wee know not which to take hold of.  Experience hath as many.  The consequence we seeke to draw from the conference of events is unsure, because they are ever dissemblable.  No quality is so universall in this surface of things as variety and diversity. The Greekes, the Latines, and wee, use for the most expresse examples of similitude that of egs.  Some have neverthelesse beene found, especially one in Delphos, that knew markes of difference betweene egges, and never tooke one for another; And having divers hennes, could rightly judge which had laid the egge.  Dissimilitude doth of it selfe insinuate into our workes, no arte can come neere unto similitude.  Neither Perozet nor any other carde-maker can so industriously smoothe or whiten the backeside of his cardes, but some cunning gamester will distinguish them onely by seeing some other player handle or shuffle them.  Resemblance doth not so much make one as difference maketh another.  Nature
MANIL. 1. i Ast. 61. <

<Mont3-368>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

hath bound herselfe to make nothing that may not be dissemblable.  Yet doth not the opinion of that man greatly please mee, that supposed by the multitude of lawes to curbe the authority of judges in cutting out their morsels.  He perceived not that there is as much liberty and extension in the interpretation of lawes as in their fashion.  And those but mocke themselves who thinke to diminish our debates and stay them by calling us to the expresse word of sacred Bible.  Because our spirit findes not the field lesse spacious to controule and checke the sense of others then to represent his own, and as if there were as litle courage and sharpnesse to glose as to invent, Wee see how farre hee was deceived.  For we have in France more lawes then all the world besides; yea, more then were needefull to governe all the worlde imagined by Epicurus:  Ut olim flagitiis, sic nunc legibus laboramus: 'As in times past we were sicke of offences, so now are we of lawes.' As we have given our judges so large a scope to moote, to opinionate, to suppose, and decide, that there was never so powerfull and so licentious a liberty. What have our lawmakers gained with chusing a hundred thousand kinds of particular cases, and adde as many lawes unto them?  That number hath no proportion with the infinite diversity of humane accidents.  The multiplying of our inventions shall never come to the variation of examples.  Adde a hundred times as many unto them, yet shall it not follow that of events to come there be any one found that in all this infinite number of selected and enregistred events shall meete with one to which be may so exactly joyne and match it, but some circumstance and diversity will remaine that may require a diverse consideration of judgement.  There is but little relation betweene our actions that are in perpetuall mutation and the fixed and unmoveable lawes.  The most to be desired are the rarest, the simplest, and most generall.  And yet I believe it were better to have none at all then so infinite a number as we have.  Nature gives them ever more happy then those we give our selves. 

THE THIRD BOOKE                     <Mont3-369>

Witnesse the image of the golden age that Poets faine, and the state wherein we see divers nations to live, which have no other.  Some there are who to decide any controversie that may rise amongst them, will chuse for judge the first man that by chance shall travell alongst their mountaines: Others, that upon a market day will name some one amongst themselves who in the place without more wrangling shall determine all their questions. What danger would ensue if the wisest should so decide ours according to occurences and at the first sight, without being tied to examples and consequences? Let every foote have his owne shooe.  Ferdinando, King of Spaine, sending certaine Colonies into the Indies, provided wisely that no lawyers+ or students of the lawes should be carried thither, for feare lest controversies, sutes, or process should people that new found world.  As a Science that of her owne nature engendreth altercation and division, judging with Plato that Lawyers and Phisitions are an ill provision for any countrey.' Wherefore is that our common language, so easie to be understood in all other matters, becommeth so obscure, so harsh and so hard to bee understood in law-cases, bils, contracts, indentures, citations, wils, and testaments?  And that hee who so plainely expresseth himselfe, what ever he spake or writ of any other subject, in law matters findes no manner or way to declare himselfe his meaning that admits not some doubt or contradiction; Unlesse it be that the Princes of this art, applying themselves with a particular attention to iilve and chose strange, choise, and solemne words, and frame artificiall cunning clauses, have so plodded an poized every syllable, canvased and sifted so exquisitely every seame and quiddity, that they are now so entangled and so confounded in the infinity of figures an so severall-small partitions, that they can no mor come within the compasse of any order, or prescription or certaine understanding.  Confusum est quidquid usque in pulverem sectum est: 'Whatsoever is sliced into very powder is confused.' 

<Mont3-370>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

Whosoever hath seene children labouring to reduce a masse of quicke- silver to a certaine number, the more they presse and work the same and strive to force it to their will, so much more they provoke the liberty of that generous metall, which scorneth their arte, and scatteringly disperseth it selfe beyond all imagination.  Even so of lawyers, who in subdividing their suttleties or quiddities, teach men to multiply doubts, and by extending and diversifying difficufties, they lengthen and amplifie, they scatter and disperse them.  In sowing and retailing of questions they make the World to fructifie and abound in uncertainty, in quarrels, in sutes, and in controversies. As the ground the more it is crumbled, broken, and deeply removed or grupped up, becommeth so much more fertile.  Difficultatent fecit doctrine: 'Learning breeds difficulty.' We found many doubts in Ulpian, we finde more in Bartolus and Baldus.  The trace of this innumerable diversity of opinions should never have been used to adorne posterity and have it put in her head, but rather have beene utterly razed out.  I know not what to say to it; but this is seene by experience, that so many interpretations dissipate and confound all truth.  Aristotle hath written to bee understood:  Which, if he could not, much lesse shall another not so learned as he was; and a third, than he who treateth his owne imagination.  We open the matter, and spill it in distempering it.  Of one subject we make a thousand:  And in multiplying and subdividing we fal againe into the infinity of Epicurus his Atomes.  It was never seene that two men judged alike of one same thing: And it is impossible to see two opinions exactly semblable, not onely in divers men, but in any one same man at severall houres.  I commonly find something to doubt of, where the commentary happily never deigned to touch, as deeming it so plaine.  I stumble sometimes as much in an even smooth path, as some horses that I know who oftner trip in a faire plaine way than in a rough and stony.  Who would not say that glosses increase doubts and ignorance, since no booke is to be 

THE THIRD BOOKE                    <Mont3-371>

seene, whether divine or profane, commonly read of all men, whose interpretation dimmes or tarnisheth not the difficulty?  The hundred commentary sends him to his succeeder more thorny and more crabbed than the first found him. When agreed we amongst our selves to say, this booke is perfect; there's now nothing to be said against it?  This is best seene in oar French-pedling Law.  Authority of Law is given to infinite Doctors, to infinite arrests, and to as many interpretations.  Finde we for all that any end of need of interpreters?  Is there any advancement or progresse towards tranquillity seene therein?  Have we now lesse need of Advocates and Judges than when this huge masse of Law was yet in hir first infancy?  Cleane contrary: we obscure and bury understanding.  We discover it no more but at the mercy of so many Courts, Barres, or Plea-benches.  Men misacknowledge the naturall infirmity of their minde.  She doth but quest and firret, and uncessantly goeth turning, winding, building, and entangling her selfe in hir owne worke, as doe our silke-wormes, and therein stifleth hir selfe.  Mus in pice: 'A mouse in pitch.' He supposeth to note a farre-off I wot not what apparance of cleerenesse and imaginary truth; but whilst he runneth unto it, so many lets and difficulties crosse his way, so many impeachments and new questings start up, that they stray loose and besot him.  Not much otherwise than it fortuned to Aesops Dogs who farre-off discovering some shew of a dead body to flote upon the Sea, and being unable to approach the same, undertooke to drinke up all the Water, that so they might drie up the passage, and were all stifeled To which answereth that which Crates said of Heraclitus his compositions, that they needed a Reader who should bee a cunning swimmer, lest the depth and weight of his learning should drowne and swallow him up.  It is nothing but a particular weakenesse that makes us contend with that which others or we our selves have found in this pursuite of knowledge.  A more sufficient man will not be pleased therewith. There is a place for a follower, 

<Mont3-372>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

yea and for our selves, and More wayes to the Wood than one.  There is no end in our inquisitions.  Our end is in the other World.  It is a signe his wits grow short when be is pleased, or a signe of wearinesse.  No generous spirit stayes and relies upon himselfe: he ever pretendtfh and goeth beyond his strength.  He hath some vagaries beyond his effects.  If hee advance not himselfe, presse, settle, shocke, turne, winde and front himselfe, he is but halfe alive; His pursuits are termelesse and formelesse.  His nourishment is admiration, questing, and ambiguity:  Which Apollo declared sufficiently, alwayes speaking ambiguously, obscurely, and obliquely unto us - not feeding, but busying and ammusing us.  It is an irregular, uncertaine motion, perpetuall, patternelesse, and without end.  His inventions enflame, follow, and enter-produce one another.

Ainsi voit-on en un ruisseau coulant,
Sans fin l'une eau, apres l'autre roulant,
Et tout de rang, d'un eternal conduict,
L'une suit l'autre, et l'une l'autre fuit.
Par cette-cy, celle-la est Poussee,
Et cette-cy, par I'autre est devancee:
Tousiours l'leau va dans l'eau, et tousjours est ce
Mesme ruisseau et tousjours eau diverse.

As in a running river we behold
How one wave after th' other still is rold,
And all along as it doth endlesse rise,
Th' one th' other followes, th' one from th' other flyes,
By this Wave that is driv'n; and this againe
By th' other is set forward all amaine:
Water in Water still, one river still,
Yet divers Waters still that river fill.

There's more adoe to enterpret interpretations+ than to interpret things, and more bookes upon bookes then upon any other subject.  We do but enter-glose our selves.  All swarmeth with commentaries; of Authors there is great penury. Is not the chiefest and most famous knowledge of our ages to know how to understand the wise?  Is it not the common and last scope of our study? Our opinions are grafted one upon an 
THE THIRD BOOKE          <Mont3-373>

other.  The first serveth as a stocke to the second, the second to the third.  Thus we ascend from steppe to steppe.  Whence it followeth that the highest- mounted hath often more honour than merit.  For hee is got-up but one inch above the shoulders of the last save one.  How often, and peradventure foolishly, have I enlarged my Booke to speake of himselfe?  Foolishly, if it were but for this reason:  That I should have remembred that what I speake of others they doe the like of me.  That those so frequent glances on their workes witnes their hart shivereth with the love they beare them, and that the disdainfull churlishnesse wherewith they beate them are but mignardizes and affectations of a motherly favour.  Following Aristotle, in whom, both esteeming and dis-esteeming himselfe arise often of an equall aire of arrogancy. For mine excuse, That in this I ought to have more liberty than others, forsomuch as of purpose I write both of my selfe and of my writings as of my other actions, that my theame doth turne into it selfe; I wot not whether every man will take it.  I have seene in Germany that Luther hath left as many divisions and altercations concerning the doubt of his opinions, yea, and more, than himselfe moveth about the Holy Scriptures.  Our contestation is verball.  I demaund what Nature, voluptuousnesse, circle, and substitution is?  The question is of words, and with words it is answered.  A stone is a body: but he that should insist and urge:  And what is a body? - A substance. And what is a substance? and so goe-on, should at last bring the respondent to his Calepine or wits end.  One word is changed for another word, and often more unknowne.  I know better what Homo is then I know what Animal is, either mortall or reasonable.  To answere one doubt they give me three: It is Hidraes head.  Socrates demanded of Memnon what vertue was. 'There is,' answered Memnon, 'the vertue of a Man, of a Woman, of a Magistrate, of a private Man, of a Childe, of an old Man.
     What vertue meane you?' 'Yea, marry. this is very well,' quoth Socrates; 'we were in search 


of one vertue, and thou bringest me a whole swarme.' We propose one question, and we have a whole huddle of them made unto us againe.  As no event or forme doth wholly resemble another, so doth it not altogether differ one from another.  Oh, ingenious mixture of Nature!  If our faces were not like, we could not discerne a man from a beast; If they were not unlike, we could not distinguish one man from another man.  All things hold by some similitude; Every example limpeth.  And the relation which is drawne from experience is ever defective and imperfect.  Comparisons are, neverthelesse, joyned together by some end.  So serve the Lawes, and so are they sorted and fitted to all our sutes or affaires by some wiredrawen, forced, and collateral interpretation.  Since the morall Lawes, which respect the particular duty of every man in himselfe, are so hard to be taught and observed as we see they are:  It is no wonder if those which governe so many particulars, are more bard.  Consider the forme of this Law by which we are ruled:  It is a lively testimony of humane imbecility, so much contradiction and so many errours are therin contained.  That which we thinke favour or rigour in Law (wherein is so much of either, that I wot not well whether we shall so often find indifferency in them), or crazed-infected parts and unjust members of the very body and essence of Law.  Certaine poore country- men came even now to tell me in a great haste, that but now in a forrest of mine they have left a man wounded to death, with a hundred hurts about him, yet breathing, and who for God's sake hath begged a little water and some helpe to raise himselfe at their hands; But that they durst not come neere him, and ran all away, for feare some officers belonging to the Law should meete and catch them, and as they doe with such as they find neere unto a murthered body, so they should has compelled to give an account of this mischance, to their utter undooing, having neither friends nor mony to defend their innocency.  What should I have said unto them?  It is most certaine that this Office of humanity had brought 

THE THIRD BOOKE          <Mont3-375>

them to much trouble.  How many innocent and guiltlesse men have we seene punished?  I say without the Judge's fault? and how many more that were never discovered?  This hath bapned in my time.  Certaine men are condemned to death for a murther committed; the sentence, if not pronounced, at least concluded and determined.  This done, the Judges are advertised by the Officers of a subalternall Court, not farre-off, that they have certaine prisoners in hold that have directly confessed the foresaid murther, and thereof bring most evident markes and tokens.  The question and consultation is now in the former Court, whether for all this they might interrupt or should deferre the execution of the sentence pronounced against the first.  They consider the novelty of the example and consequence thereof, and how to reconcile the judgement.  They conclude that the condemnation hath passed according unto Law, and therefore the Judges are not subject to repentance. To be short, these miserable Wretches are consecrated to the prescriptions of the Law.  Philip, or some other, provided for such an inconvenience in this manner: he had by an irrevocable sentence condemned one to pay another a round summe of money for a fine.  A while after, the truth being discovered, it was found he had wrongfully condemned him.  On one side was the right of the cause, on the other the right of judiciary formes.  He is in some sort to satisfie both parties, suffering the sentence to stand in full power, and with his owne purse recompenced the interest of the condemned. But hee was to deale with a reparable accident; my poore slaves were hanged irreparably.  How many condemnations have I seene more criminall than the crime it selfe?  All this put me in minde of those ancient opinions:  That Hee who will doe right in grosse must needs doe wrong by retaile; and injustly in small things, that will come to doejustice+ in great matters.  That humane justice is framed according to the modell of physicke, according to which, whatsoever is profitable is also just and honest; And of that the Stoickes hold that Nature her selfe, in most

<Mont3-376>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

of her workes, proceedeth against justice; And of that which the Cyreniaques hold, that there is nothing just of it selfe:  That customes and lawes frame justice.  And the Theodorians, who in a wise man allow as just all manner of theft, sacriledge, and paillardise, so he thinke it profitable for him. There is no remedy:  I am in that case as Alcibiades was, and if I can otherwise chuse, will never put my selfe unto a man that shall determine of my head, or consent that my honour or life shall depend on the industry or care of mine atturney more then mine innocency.  I could willingly adventure my selfe and stand to that Law that should as well recompence me for a good deed as punish me for a mis-deede, and where I might have a just cause to hope, as reason to feare.  Indemnitie is no sufficient coyne for him who doth better than not to trespasse.  Our Law presents us but one of her hands, and that is her left hand.  Whosoever goes to Law, doth in the end but lose by it.  In China, the policy, arts and government of which kingdome, having neither knowledge or commerce with ours exceed our examples in divers parts of excellency, and whose Histories teach me how much more ample and divers the World is than eyther we or our forefathers could ever enter into.  The Officers appointed by the Prince to visite the state of his Provinces, as they punish such as abuse their charge, so with great liberality they reward such as have uprightly and honestly behaved themselves in them, or have done any thing more then ordinary, and besides the necessity of their duty; There all present themselves, not onely to warrant themselves, but also to get something.  Not simply to be paid, but liberally to be rewarded. No judge hath yet, God be thanked, spoken to me as a judge in any cause Whatsoever, either mine or another mans, criminal or civill.  No prison did ever receive me, no not so much as for recreation to walke in.  The very imagination of one maketh the sight of their outside'seem irkesome and loathsome to mee.  I am so besotted unto liberty that should any man forbid me the accesse unto any one corner of the 

THE THIRD BOOKE                    <Mont3-377>

Indiaes I should in some sort live much discontented.  And so long as I shall finde land or open aire elsewhere, I shall never lurke in any place where I must bide my selfe.  Oh God how hardly could I endure the miserable condition of so many men confined and immured in some corners of this kingdome, barred from entring the chiefest Cities, from accesse into Courts, from conversing with men, and interdicted the use of common wayes, onely because they have offended our lawes.  If those under which I live should but threaten my fingers end, I would presently goe finde out some others, wheresoever it were.  All my small wisedome, in these civill and tumultuous warres wherein we now live, doth wholly employ it selfe, that they may not interrupt my liberty to goe and come where ever I list.  Lawes are now maintained in credit, not because they are essentially just, but because they are lawes. It is the mysticall foundation of their authority - they have none other - which availes them much: they are often made by fooles; more often by men who, in hatred of equality, have want of equity; But ever by men who are vaine and irresolute Authours.  There is nothing so grossely and largely offending, nor so ordinarily wronging as the Lawes+.  Whosoever obeyeth them because they are just, obeyes them not justly the way as he ought. Our French lawes doe in some sort, by their irregularity and deformity, lend a helping hand unto the disorder and corruption that is seene in their dispensation and execution.  Their behest is so confused, and their command so inconstant, that it in some sort excuseth both the disobedience and the vice of the interpretation, of the administration, and of the observation. Whatsoever then the fruit is we may have of Experience, the same which we draw from forraine examples will hardly stead our institution much; if we reape so small profit from that wee have of our selves, which is most familiar unto us, and truely sufficient to instruct us of what we want.  I study my selfe more than any other subiect.  It is my supernaturall Metaphisik, it is my naturall Philosophy. 

<Mont3-378>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES
Qua Deus hanc mundi temperet arte domum,
Qua venit exoriens, qua deficit unde coactis
Cornibus in plenum menstrua luna redit:
Unde salo superant venti, quid flamine captet
Eurus, et in nubes unde perennis aequa.
Sit venture dies mundi quae subruat arces./1
This Worlds great house by what arte God doth guide;
From whence the monethly Moone doth rising ride,
How wane, how with clos'd horns returns to pride,
How winds on seas beare sway, what th' Easterne winde
Would have, how still in clouds we water finde; I
f this worlds Towers to rase a day be signde.

Quaerite, quos agitat mundi labor:

All this doe you enquire
Whom this worlds travails tyre.

In this universality I suffer my selfe ignorantly and negligently to be managed by the generall law of the world.  I shall sufficiently know it when I shall feele it.  My learning cannot make her change her course; she will not diversifie her selfe for me; it were folly to hope it:  And greater folly for a man to trouble him selfe about it; since it is necessarily semblable, publicke, and common.  The governours capacity and goodnesse should throughly discharge us of the governments care.  Philosophicall inquisitions and contemplations serve but as a nourishment unto our curiosity.  With great reason doe philosophers addresse us unto natures rules; but they have nought to doe with so sublime a knowledge; They falsifie them, and present her to us with a painted face, too-high in colour and overmuch sophisticated; whence arise so many different pourtraits of so uniforme a subject.  As she hath given us feete to goe withall, so hath she endowed us with wisedome to direct our life.  A wisedome not so ingenious, sturdy, and pompous as that of their invention, but yet easie, quiet and salutairie. And that in him who hath the hap to know how to employ it orderly and sincerely, effecteth very well what the other saith, that is to say,
1 PROPERT. 1. iii.  Eleg. iv. 26. 
THE THIRD BOOKE                     <Mont3-379>

naturally.  For a man to commit himselfe most simply unto nature is to doe it most wisely.  Oh how soft, how gentle, and how sound a pillow is ignorance and incuriosity to rest a well composed head upon.  I had rather understand my selfe well in my selfe then in Cicero.  Out of the experience I have of my selfe I finde sufficient ground to make my selfe wise were I but a good proficient scholler.  Whosoever shall commit to memory the excesse or inconvenience of his rage or anger+ past, and how farre that fit transported him, may see the deformity of that passion better then in Arisiotle, and conceive a more just hatred against it.  Whosoever calleth to minde the dangers he hath escaped, those which have threatned him, and the light occasions that have remooved him from one to another state, doth thereby the better prepare himselfe to future alterations and knowledge of his condition.  Caesar's life hath no more examples for us then our owne; Both imperiall and popular, it is ever a life that all humane accidents regard.  Let us but give care unto it, we recorde all that to us that we principally stand in neede of.  He that shall call to minde how often and how severall times he hath beene deceived and mis-accompted his owne judgement, is he not a simple gull if he doe not for ever afterward distrust the same? When by others reason I finde my selfe convicted of a false opinion, I learne not so much what new thing hee hath told me; and this particular ignorance, which were but a small purchase, as in generall I learne mine owne imbecility and weakenesse, and the treason of my understanding, whence I draw the reformation of all the masse.  The like I doe in all my other errours, by which rule I apprehend and feele great profit for and unto my life.  I regarde not the species or individuum as a stone whereon I have stumbled; I learne every where to feare my going, and endevour to order the same.  To learne that another hath eyther spoken a foolish jest or committed a sottish act is a thing of nothing.  A man must learne that he is but a foole:{diffidence+} A much more ample and important instruction.  The false steps my 

<Mont3-380>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

memory hath so often put upon me at what time she stood most upon her selfe, have not idlely beene lost: she may sweare and warrant me long enough, I shake mine eares at her: the first opposition made in witnesse of her makes me suspect.  And I durst not trust her in a matter of consequence, nor warrant her touching others affaires.  And were it not that what I doe for want of memory, others more often doe the same for lacke of faith, I would even in a matter of fact rather take the truth from anothers mouth then from mine own.  Would every man pry into the effects and circumstances of the passions that sway him as I have done of that whereunto I was allotted, he should see them comming, and would somewhat hinder their course and abate their impetuosity; They doe not alwayes surprise and take hold of us at the first brunt there are certaine forethreatnings and degrees as forerunners.

Fluctus uti primo coepit cum albescere ponto,
Paulatim sese tollit mare, et altius undas
Erigit, inde imo consurgit ad aethera fundo.

As when at sea, floods first in whitenesse rise,
Sea surgeth softly, and then higher plies
In waves, then from the ground mounts up to skies.

Judgement holds in me a presidentiall seate, at least he carefully endevours to hold it; He suffers my appetits to keep their course, both hatred and love, yea and that I beare unto my selfe, without feeling alteration or corruption.  If he can not reforme other parts according to himselfe, at least he will not be deformed by them; he keepes his court apart.  That warning-lesson given to all men, to know themselves, must necessarily be of important effect, since that God of wisedome, knowledge, and light, caused the same to be fixed on the frontispiece of his temple, as containing whatsoever he was to counsell us.  Plato saith also that wisedome is nothing but the execution of that ordinance; And Socrates doth distinctly verifle the same in Zenophon.  Difficulties and obscurity are not 
THE THIRD BOOKE                     <Mont3-381>

perceived in every science, but by such as have entrance into them: For some degree of intelligence is required to be able to marke that one is ignorant, and wee must knocke at a gate to know whether it bee shutte. Whence ensueth this Platonicall subtilty, that neyther those which know have no further to enquire, forsomuch as they know already; nor they that know not, because to enquire it is necessary they know what they enquire after.  Even so in this for a man to know himselfe, that every man is seene so resolute and satisfied and thinks himselfe sufficiently instructed or skilfull doth plainely signifie that no man understands any thing, as Socrates teacheth Euthydemus.  My selfe, who professe nothing else, finde therein so bottomlesse a depth and infinite variety, that my apprentisage hath no other fruit than to make me perceive how much more there remaineth forme to learne.  To mine owne weaknesse so often acknowledged I owe this inclination which I beare unto modesty, to the obedience of beliefes prescribed unto me, to a constant coldnesse and moderation of opinions, and hatred of this importunate and quarrellous arrogancy, wholly beleeving, and trusting it selfe, a capitall enemy to discipline and verity.  Doe but heare them sway and talke.  The first fopperies they propose are in the stile that Religions and Lawes are composeth in. Nihil est turpius quam cognitioni et praeceptioni, assertionem approbationemque praecurrere:/1 'Nothing is more absurd than that avouching and allowance should runne before knowledge and praecept.' Aristarchus saide that in ancient times there were scarse seven wise men found in the world, and in his time hardly seven ignorant.  Have not we more reason to say it in our dayes than he had?  Affirmation and selfe-conceit are manifest signes of foolishnesse.  Some one, who a hundred times a day hath had the canvase and beene made a starke coxcombe, shall notwithstanding be seene to stand upon his Ergoes, and as presumptuously-resolute as before. You would say he hath since some
1 CIC.  Acad.  Quae. 1. i. f. 


now minde and vigor of understanding infused into him.  And that it betides him as to that ancient childe of the Earth, who by his falling to the ground and touching his Mother'still gathered new strength and fresh courage.

------ cui cum tetigere parentem,
Jam defecta vigent renovato robore membra./1

Whose failing limmes with strength renew'd regrow,
When they once touch his mother Earth below.

Doth not this indocile, blocke-headed asse thinke to reassume a new spirit by undertaking a new disputation?  It is by my experience I accuse humane ignorance, which (in mine opinion) is the surest part of the Worlds schoole. Those that will not conclude it in themselves by so vaine an example as mine or theirs, let them acknowledge it by Socrates, the Maister of Maisters. For the Philosopher Antisthenes was wont to say to his Disciples, 'Come on, my Maisters, let you and me goe to heare Socrates; There shall I be a fellow Disciple with you.' And upholding this Doctrine of the Stoickes Sect, that only vertue sufficed to make a life absolutely-happy, and having no need of any thing but of Socrates his force and resolution, he added moreover:  This long attention I employ in considering my selfe enableth me also to judge indifferently of others; And there are few things whereof I speake more happily and excusably.  It often fortuneth me to see and distinguish more exactly the conditions of my friends than themselves do.  I have astonied some by the pertinency of mine owne description, and have warned him of himselfe.  Because I have from mine infancy enured my selfe to view mine owne life in others lives; I have thereby acquired a studious complexion therein.  And when I thinke on it, I suffer few things to escape about me that may in any sort fit the same, whether countenances, humour, or discourses. I studiously consider all I am to eschew and
THE THIRD BOOKE                     <Mont3-383>

all I ought to follow.  So by my friends productions I discover their inward inclinations.  Not to marshall or range this infinit variety of so divers and so distracted actions to certaine Genders or Chapters, and distinctly to distribute my parcels and divisions into formes and knowne regions.

Sed neque quam multae species, et nomina quae sint,
Est numerus./1

But not how many kinds, nor what their names:
There is a number of them (and their frames).  I

The wiser sort speake and declare their fantasies more specially and distinctly: But I who have no further insight then I get from common use, without rule or methode generally present mine owne but gropingly.  As in this, I pronounce my sentence by articles, loose and disjoynted; it is a thing cannot be spoken at once and at full.  Relation and conformity are not easily found in such base and common minds as ours.  Wisedome is a solide and compleate frame, every severall piece whereof keepeth his due place and beareth his marke.  Sola sapientia in se tota conversa est: 'Onely wisedome is wholy turned into it selfe.' I leave it to Artists, and I wot not whether in a matter so confused, so severall and so casuall, they shall come to an end, to range into sides this infinit diversity of visages; and settle our inconstancy and place it in order.  I doe not onely find it difficult to combine our actions one unto another; but take every one apart, it is hard by any principall quality to desseigne the same properly, so double, so ambiguous and party-coloured, are they to divers lusters.  Which in Perseus the Macedonian King was noted for a rare matter, that his spirit fastning it selfe to no kinde of condition; went wandring through every kinde of life, and representing so newfangled and gadding maners, that he was neyther knowne of himselfe nor of others what kinde of man he was, me thinkes may well-nigh agree
1 VIRG.  Georg. 1. i. 103. 
<Mont3-384>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

and sute with all the world.  And above all, I have seene some other of his coate or humour, to whom (as I suppose) this conclusion might also more properly be applied.  No state of mediocrity being ever transported from one extreame to another, by indivinable occasions, no maner of course without crosse and strange contrarieties; no faculty simple, so that the likeliest a man may one day coclude of him, shall be that he affected and laboured to make himselfe knowne by being not to bee knowne.  A man had neede of long- tough eares to hear himselfe freely judged.  And because there be few that can endure to heare it without tingling, those which adventure to undertake it with us, shew a singular effect of true friendship. For that is a truely perfect love which, to profit and doe good, feareth not to hurt or offend. {Cordelia+} I deeme it absurd to censure him in whom bad qualities exceede good conditions.  Plato requireth three parts in him that will examine anothers minde:  Learning, goodwill, and boldnesse. I was once demanded what I would have thought my selfe fit-for, had any beene disposed to make use of me, when my yeares would have fitted service:

Dum melior vires sanguis dabat, aemula nec dum
Temporibus geminis canebat sparsa senectus./1

While better blood gave strength, nor envious old yeares
Ore-laid with wrinckled temples grew to hoary haires.

I answered, for nothing. {Kent+} And I willingly excuse my selfe that I can doe nothing which may enthrall me to others.  But had my fortune made me a servant, I would have told my maister all truths; {Cordelia+} and, had he so willd it, controled his maners:  Not in grosse, by scholasticall lessons, which I cannot doe: besides, I see no true reformation to ensue in such as know them but faire and softly, and with every opportunity observing them, and simply and naturally judging them distinctly by the eye.  Making him tp perceive 1 VIRG.  Aen. 1 v. 415. 
THE THIRD BOOKE                     <Mont3-385>

how and in what degree he is in the common opinion; opposing himselfe against his flatterers and sycophants.  There is none of us but would be worse then Kings if, as they are, we were continually corrupted with that rascally kinde of people.  But what? if Alexander, that mighty King and great Philosopher, could not beware of them?  I should have had sufficient fidelity, judgement and liberty for that.  It would be a namelesse office, otherwise it should lose both effect and grace; And is a part which cannot indifferently belong to all.  For truth it selfe hath not the priviledge to be employed at all times and in every kinde; Be her use never so noble, it hath his circumscriptions and limits.  It often commeth to passe, the world standing as it doth, that truth is whispered into Princes eares, not onely without fruit, but hurtfully and therewithall unjustly.  And no man shall make me beleeve but that an hallowed admonition may bee viciously applied and abusively employed; and that the interest of the substance should not sometimes yeeld to the interest of the forme. {Cordelia+} For such a purpose and mystery I would have an unrepining man and one contented with his owne fortune,

Quod sit, esse velit, nihilque malit:/1

Willing to be as him you see,
Or rather nothing else to be:

and borne of meane degree; Forsomuch as on the one side hee should not have cause to feare, lively and neerely to touch his maisters heart, thereby not to lose the cause of his preferment; And on the other side, being of a low condition, he should have more easie communication with all sorts of people.  Which I would have in one man alone; for, to empart the priviledge of such liberty and familiarity unto many would beget an hurtfull irreverence. Yea, and of that man I would above all things require trusty and assured silence.  A King is not to bee credited when for his
1 MART. 1. x.  Epig. xlvii. 12. 
<Mont3-386>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

glory he boasteth of his constancy in attending his enemies encounter, if for his good amendment and profit hee cannot endure the liberty of his friends words, which have no other working power then to pinch his learning; the rest of their effect remaining in his owne hands.  Now, there is not any condition of men that hath more neede of true, sincerely-free and open hearted advertisements then Princes.  They nndergoe a publike life, and must applaude the opinion of so many spectators, that if they be once enured to have that concealed from them which diverteth them from their course, they at unawares and insensibly finde themselves deepely engaged in the hatred and detestation of their subjects, many times for occasions, which had they beene forewarned, and in time gently reformed, they might no doubt have eschewed to no interest or prejudice of their private delights.  Favorits doe commonly respect themselves more then their masters.  And surely it toucheth their free-hold, forsomuch as in good truth the greatest part of true friendships-offices are towards their soveraigne in a crabbed and dangerous Essay.  So that there is not onely required much affection and liberty, but also an undanted courage.  To conclude, all this galiemafry which I huddle-up here is but a register of my lives-Essayes, which in regard of the internall health are sufficiently exemplary to take the instruction against the haire.  But concerning bodily health, no man is able to bring more profitable experience then my selfe, who present the same pure, sincere, and in no sort corrupted or altred, either by art or selfe-will'd opinion. Experience in her owne precinct may justly be compared to Physicke, unto which reason giveth place.  Tiberius was wont to say that whosoever had lived twenty yeares should be able to answer himselfe of all such things as were either wholesome or hurtfull for him, and know how to live and order his body without Phisicke.  Which he peradventure had learned of Socrates, who industriously advising his disciples (as a study of chiefe consequence) to study their health, told them, moreover, 

THE THIRD BOOKE         <Mont3-387>

that it was very hard if a man of understanding, heedfully observing his exercises, his eating and drinking, should not better than any Phisition discerne and distinguish such things as were either good or bad or indifferent for him.  Yet doth Physicke make open profession alwayes to have experience for the touchstone of her operation.  And Plato had reason to say that to be a good Pbysitian it were requisite that he who should undertake that profession had past through all such diseases as hee will adventure to cure, and knowne or felt all the accidents and circumstances he is to judge of.  It is reason themselves should first have the pox if they will know how to cure them in others.  I should surely trust such a one better then any else.  Others but guide us, as one who, sitting in his chaire paints seas, rockes, shelves and havens upon a board, and makes the modell of a tall ship to saile in all safety; But put him to it in earnest, he knowes not what to doe nor where to begin.  They make even such a description of our infirmities as doth a towne-crier, who crieth a lost horse, or dog, and describeth his haire, his stature, his eares, with other markes and tokens; but bring either unto him, he knowes him not.  Oh God, that physicke would one day affoord me some good and perceptible helpe, how earnestly would I exclaime:

Tandem efficaci do manus scientiae,

I yeeld, I yeeld at length,
To knowledge of chiefe strength.

The Arts that promise to keepe our body and minde in good health promise much unto us, but therewith there is done performeth lesse what they promise. And in our dayes such as make profession of these Arts amongst us doe lesse then all others shew their effects.  The most may be said of them is that they sell medicinable drugs; but that they are Physitians, no man can truly say it.  I have lived long enough to yeeld an account of the usage that hath brought mee to this day.  If any bee disposed to taste of it, as his taster I have 
<Mont3-388>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

given him an assay.  Loe here some articles, digested as memory shall store me with them.  I have no fashion, but hath varied according to accidents; I onely register those I have most beene acquainted with, and hitherto possesse me most.  My forme of life is ever alike, both in sicknesse and in health: one same bed, the same houres, the same meate, the same drinke doth serve me.  I adde nothing to them but the moderation of more or lesse, according to my strength or appetite.  My health is to keepe my accustomed state free from care and trouble.  I see that sicknesse doth on the one side in some sort divert me from it, and if I beleeve Physitians, they on the other side will turne me from it; So that both by fortune and by art I am cleane out of my right bias.  I beleeve nothing more certainly then this, that I cannot be offended by the use of things which I have so long accustomed.  It is in the hands of custome to give our life what forme it pleaseth, in that it can do all in all.  It is drinke of Circes diversifieth our nature as she thinkes good.  How many nations neere bordering upon us imagine the feare of the sereine or night-calme to be but a jest, which so apparently doth blast and hurt us? and whereof our Mariners, our watermen and our countrey men make but a laughing-stocke?  You make a Germane sicke if you lay him upon a matteras, as you distemper an Italian upon a fetherbed, and a Frenchman to lay him in a bed without curtaines, or lodge him in a chamber without a fire.  A Spaniard can not well brooke to feede after our fashion, nor we endure to drinke as the Swizzers.  A Germane pleased me well at Augusta to raile against the commodity of our chimnies, using the same reasons or arguments that wee ordinarily imploy in condemning their stoves.  For, to say truth, the same close-smoothered heate and the smell of that oft-heated matter whereof they are composed, fumeth in the heads of such as are not accustomed unto them; not so with me.  But on the other side, that heate being equally dispersed, constant and universall, without flame or blazing, without smoake, and without that 

THE THIRD BOOKE                     <Mont3-389>

wind which the tonnels of our chimnies bring us, may many wayes be compared unto ours.  Why doe we not imitate the Romanes architecture?
     It is reported that in ancient times they made no fire in their houses, but without and at the foote of them; Whence by tonnels, which were convaide through their thickest wals, and contrived neere and about all such places as they would have warmed; so that the heat was convaied into every part of the house.  Which I have seene manifestly- described in some place of Seneca, though I can not well remember where. This Germane, hearing me commend the beauties and commodities of this City (which truely deserveth great commendation), beganne to pity mee, because I was shortly to goe from it.  And the first inconvenience he urged me withall was the heavinesse in the head which Chimnies in other places would cause me.  He had heard some other body complaine of it, and therefore alleadged the same against me, being wont by custome to perceive it in such as came to him.  All heat comming from fire doth weaken and dull me; Yet said Evenus, that fire was the best sauce of life.  I rather allow and embrace any other manner or way to escape cold.  Wee feare our Wines when they are low; whereas in Portugall the fume of it is counted delicious, and is the drinke of Princes.  To conclude, each severall Nation hath divers customes, fashions and usages, which to some others are not onely onknowne and strange, but savage, barbarous, and wondrous.  What shall we doe unto that people that admit no witnesse except printed; that will not believe men if not printed in Bookes, nor credit truth unlesse it be of competent age?  We dignifie our fopperies when we put them to the presse.  It is another manner of weight for him to say, I have seene it, then if you say I have heard it reported. But I, who misbelieve no more the mouth than the hand of men, and know that men write as indiscreetly as they speake unadvisedly, and esteeme of this present age as of another past, alleadge as willingly a friend of mine as Aulus 

<Mont3-390>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

Gellius or Macrobius, and what my selfe have seene as that they have written.  And as they accompt vertue to be nothing greater by being longer, so deeme I truth to be nothing wiser by being more aged.  I often say it is meere folly that makes us runne after strange and scholasticall examples. The fertility of them is now equall unto that 'of Homer and Platoes times. But is it not that we rather seeke the Honour of allegations than the truth of discourses?  As if it were more to borrow our proofes from out the shop of Vascosan or Plantin, then from that we dayly see in our village.  Or verily that wee have not the wit to blanch, sift out, or make that to prevaile which passeth before us, and forcibly judge of it to draw the same into example.  For if we say that authority failes us to adde credit unto our testimony, we speake from the purpose.  Forsomuch as in my conceit, could we but finde out their true light, Natures greatest miracles and the most wonderfull examples, namely, upon the subject of humane actions, may be drawne and formed from most ordinary, most common and most knowne things. Now concerning my subject, omiting the examples I know by bookes, And that which Aristotle speaketh of Andron of Argos, that he would travell all over the scorching sands of Lybia without drinking:  A Gentleman, who hath worthily acquitted himselfe of many honourable charges, reported where I was, that in the parching heate of Summer hee had travelled from Madrid to Lisbone without ever drinking.  His age respected, he is in very good and healthy plight, and hath nothing extraordinary in the course or custome of his life saving (as himselfe hath told me) that be can very well continue two or three moneths, yea a whole yeere, without any manner of beverage. He sometimes finds himselfe thirsty, but let's it passe,and holds that it is an appetit which will easily and of it selfe languish away; and if he drinke at any time it is more for a caprice or humor than for any need or pleasure.  Loe here one of another key.  It is not long since that I found, one 

THE THIRD BOOKE          <Mont3-391>

of the wisest men of France (among those of so meane fortune) studying hard in the corner of a great Hall, which for that purpose was hung about with tapistry, and round about him a disordered rable of his servants, groomes and lackeis, pratling, playing and hoyting; who told me (as Seneca in a manner saith of himselfe) that he learn'd and profited much by that burly-burly or tintimare, as if beaten with that confused noyse he did so much the better recall and close himselfe into himselfe for serious contemplation; and that the said tempestuous rumours did strike and repercusse his thoughts inward.  Whilst he was a scholler in Padua his study was ever placed so neere the jangling of bels, the ratling of coaches, and rumbling tumults of the market place, that for the service of his study be was faine not onely to frame and enure himselfe to contemne, but to make good use of that turbulent noise.  Socrates answered Alcibiades, who wondered how he could endure the continuall tittle-tattle and uncessant scoulding of his Wife, even as those who are accustomed to heare the ordinary creaking of the squeaking wheeles of wells.  My selfe am cleane contrary, for I have a tender braine, and easie to take snuffe in the nose or to be transported. If my minde be busie alone, the least stirring, yea, the buzzing of a flie doth trouble and distemper the same.  Seneca in his youth, having earnestly undertaken to follow the example of Sextius, to feed on nothing that were taken dead, could with pleasure (as himselfe averreth) live so a whole yeere.  And left it onely because he would not be suspected to borrow this rule from some new religions that instituted the same.  He therewithall followed some precepts of Attalus, not to lie upon any kinde of carpets or bedding that would yeeld under one; and untill he grew very aged he never used but such as were very hard and unyeelding to the body.  What the custome of his dayes makes him accompt rudenesse, ours makes us esteeme wantonnesse.  Behold the difference betweene my varlets life and mine.  The Indians have nothing further from my forme and 

<Mont3-392>           MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

strength.  Well I wot that I have heretofore taken boyes from begging, and that went roaguing up and down to serve me, hoping to doe some good upon them, who have within a little while after left me, my fare and my livery, onely that they might without controule or checke follow their former idle loytring life.  One of which I found not long since gathering of muskles in a common sincke for his dinner, whom (doe what I could) I was never able, neyther with entreaty to reclaime, nor by threatning to withdraw from the sweetnesse be found in want, and delight he felt in roaguing lazinesse.  Even vagabondine roagues, as well as rich men, have their magnificences and voluptuousnesse, and (as some say) their dignities, preheminences and politike orders.  They are effects of custome and use; and what is bred in the bone will never out of the flesh.  Both which have power to enure and fashion us, not onely to what forme they please (therefore, say the wise, ought we to be addressed to the best, and it will immediately seeme easie unto us), but also to change and variation.  Which is the noblest and most profitable of their apprentisages?  The best of my corporall complexions is that I am flexible and little opiniative.  I have certaine inclinations, more proper and ordinary, and more pleasing than others.  But with small adoe and without compulsion, I can easily leave them and embrace the contrary. A yong man should trouble his rules to stirre-up his vigor, and take heed he suffer not the same to grow faint, sluggish, or teasty; For there is no course of life so weake and sottish as that which is mannaged by Order, Methode, and Discipline.  Ad primum lapidem vectari cum placet, hora Sumitur ex libro, si prurit frictus ocelli Angulus, inspecta genesi collyria quanerit./1 List he to ride in coach but to Mile-end, By th'Almanacke be doth the houre attend:  If his eye-corner itch, the remedy, He fets from calculation of nativity.
1 JUVEN.  Sat. vi. 477. 

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     If he beleeve me be shall often give himselfe unto all manner of excesse; otherwise the least disorder wil utterly overthrow him, and so make him unfit and unwelcome in all conversations.  The most contrary quality in an honest man is nice-delicatenesse, and to bee tied to one certaine particular fashion.  It is particular, if it be not supple and pliable.  It is a kinde of reproch, through impuissance, not to doe or not to dare what one seeth his other companions doe or dare.  Let such men keepe their kitchin.  It is undecent in all other men, but vitious and intolerable in one professing Armes, who (as Philopoemen said) should fashion himselfe to all manner of inequality and diversity of life.  I have (as much as might bee) beene inured to liberty and fashioned to indifferency, yet in growing aged I have through carelesnesse relied more upon certaine formes (my age is now exempted from institution, and hath not any thing else to looke unto but to maintaine it selfe) which custome hath already, without thinking on it, certaine things so wel imprinted her character in me, that I deeme it a kind of excesse to leave them.  And without long practise I can neither sleepe by day, nor eate betweene meales, nor break my fast, nor goe to bed without some entermission (as of three houres after supper), nor get children but before I fall asleepe, and that never standing, nor beare mine owne sweate, nor quench my thirst either with cleere water or wine alone, nor continue long bare-headed, nor have mine hair cut after dinner.  And I could as hardly spare my gloves as my shirt, or forbeare washing of my hands both in the mornng and rising from the table, or lye in a bed without a testerne and curtaines about it, as of most necessary things.  I could dine without a tablecloth, but hardly without a cleane napkin, as Germans commonly doe.  I foule and sully them more then either they or the Italians, and I seldome use eyther spoone or forke.  I am sory we follow not a custome which, according to the example of Kings, I have seene begunne by some, that upon every course 

<Mont3-394>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

or change of dish, as we have shift of cleane trenchers, so we might have change of cleane napkins.  We read that that laborious souldier Marius, growing olde, grew more nicely delicate in his drinking, and would taste no drincke except in a peculiar cuppe of his.  As for me, I observe a kinde of like methode in glasses, and of one certaine forme, and drinke not willingly in a common-glasse, no more than of one ordinary hand.  I mislike all manner of metall in regard of a bright transparent matter: let mine eyes also have taste of what I drinke according to their capacity.  I am beholding to custome for many such nicenesses and singularities.  Nature hath also on the other side bestowed this upon me, that I can not wel brooke two full meales in one day without surcharging my stomacker; nor the meere abstinence of one without filling my selfe with winde, drying my mouth, and dulling my appetite; And I doe finde great offence by a long serenie or night-calme.  For some yeeres since, in the out-roades or night-services that happen in times of warres, which many times continue all night, five or sixe houres after my stomacke beginnes to qualme, my head feeleth a violent aking, so that I can hardly hold-out till morning without vomiting.  When others goe to breakefast, I goe to sleepe, and within a while after I shall be as fresh and jolly as before.  I ever thought that the serein never fell but in the shutting in of night, but having in these latter yeeres long time frequented very familiarly the conversation with a Gentleman possessed with this opinion, that it is more sharpe and dangerous about the declination of the Sunne, an houre or two before it set, which he carefully escheweth and despiseth that which falls at night, he hath gone about to perswade and imprint into me, not only his discourse, but also his conceit.  What if the very doubt and inquisition woundeth our imagination and chanceth us?  Such as altogether yeelde to these bendings draw the whole ruine upon themselves.  And I bewaile divers Gentlemen, who being young and in perfect health, have by the ignorant foolishnes of 

THE THIRD BOOKE          <Mont3-395>

their Physitians brought themselves into consumptions and other lingering diseases, and, as it were, in Physicks fetters.  Were it not much better to be troubled with a rheume, than for ever through discustome, in an action of so great use and consequence, lose the commerce and conversation of common life?  Oh, yrkesome learning!  Oh, Science full of molestation, that wasteth us the sweetest houres of the day!  Let us extend our possession unto the utmost meanes.  A man shall at last, in opinionating himselfe, harden and enure himselfe for it, and so correct his complexion, as did Caesars the falling sicknesse, with contemning and corrupting the same. A man should apply himselfe to the best rules, but not subject himselfe unto them: except to such (if any there be) that duty and thraldome unto them be profitable.  Both Kings and Philosophers obey nature, and goe to the stoole, and so doe Ladies.  Publike lives are due unto ceremony; mine, which is obscure and private, enjoyeth all naturall dispensations.  To be a Souldier+ and a Gascoyne are qualities somewhat subject to indiscretion. And I am both.  Therefore will I say this much of this action, that it is requisite we should remit the same unto certaine prescribed night-houres, and by custome (as I have done) force and subject our selves unto it; But not (as I have done), growing in yeeres, strictly tie himselfe to the care of a particular convenient place, and of a commodious Ajax or easie close-stoole for that purpose, and make it troublesome with long sitting and nice observation. Neverthelesse, in homeliest matters and fowlest offices, is it not in some sort excusable to require more care and cleanliinesse? Natura homo mundum et elegans animi est:/1  'By nature man is a cleanely and neate creature.'
     Of all naturall actions, there is none wherein I am more loath to be troubled or interrupted when I am at it.  I have seene divers great men and souldiers much troubled and vexed with their bellies untune and disorder, when at untimely houres it calleth upon
1 SEN.  EPIST. xcii. 

<Mont3-396>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

them; whilst mine and my seife never misse to call one upon another at our appointment, which is as soone as I get out of my bed, except some urgent business or violent sicknesse trouble me.  Therefore, as I saide, I judge no place where sicke men may better seate themselves in security then quietly and wisht to hold themselves in that course of life wherein they have been brought up and habituated.  Any change or variation soever astonieth and distempereth.  Will any beleeve that Chestnuttes can hurt a Perigordin or a Luquois, or that milke or whit-meates are hurtfull unto a mountaine dwelling people? whom if one seeke to divert from their naturall diet, he shall not onely prescribe them a new but a contrary forme of life: A change which healthy man can hardly endure?  Appoint a Bretton of threescore yeeres of age to drinke water; put a sea-man or Mariner into a Stove; forbid a lackey of Baske to walke: you bring them out of their element, you deprive them of all motion, and in the end of aire, of light, and life.

------ an vivere tanti est ?

Doe we reckon it so deare,
Onely living to be here?

Coqimur a suctis animum suspendere rebus
Atque ut vivamus, vivere desinimus:/1

From things erst us'd we must suspend our minde, We leave to live that we may live by kinde.

Hos superesse reor quibus et spirabilis aer
Et lux quia regimur, redditur ipsa gravis.

Doe I thinke they live longer whom doth grieve
Both aire they breathe and light whereby they live.

If they doe no other good, at least they doe this, that betimes they prepare their patients unto death, by little undermining and cutting-off the use of life.  Both in health and in sicknesse I have willingly seconded and given my selfe over to those appetites that pressed me.  I allow great authority to my desires and propensions.  I love not to cure one evill
1 COR.  GAL.  Eleg. i. 155. 
THE THIRD BOOKE          <Mont3-397>

by another mischiefe.  I hate those remedies that importune more than sicknesse.  To be subject to the cholike, and to be tied to abstaine from the pleasure I have in eating of oysters, are two mischiefes for one.  The disease pincheth us the one side, the rule on the other.  Since we are ever in danger to misdoe, let us rather hazard our selves to follow pleasure. Most men doe contrary and thinke nothing profitable that is not painefull; Facility is by them suspected.  Mine appetite hath in divers things very happily accommodated and ranged it selfe to the health of my stomake.  Being yong, acrimony and tartnesse in sawces did greatly delight me, but my stomacke being since glutted therewith, my taste hath likewise seconded the same. Wine hurts the sicke; it is the first thing that with an invincible distaste brings my mouth out of taste.  Whatsoever I receive unwillingly or distastefully hurts me, whereas nothing doth it whereon I feed with hunger and rellish. I never received harme by any action that was very pleasing unto me.  And yet I have made all medicinall conclusions largely to yeeld to my pleasures. And when I was yong -

Quem circumcursans huc atque huc saepe Cupido
Fulgebat crocina splendidus in tunica./1

About whom Cupid running here and there,
Shinde in the saffron coate which he did weare.

I have as licentiously and inconsiderately as any other furthred al such desires as possessed me;
Et militavi non sine gloria./2

A Souldier of loves hoast,
I was not without boast.

More notwithstanding in continuation and holding out, then by snatches or by stealth.
Sex me vix mentini sustinuisse vices.
I scarce remember past
Six courses I could last.
1 CATUL.  Eleg. iv. 131. 2 HOR.  Car. 1. iii.  Od. xxvi. 2
<Mont3-398>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

It is surely a wonder accompanied with unhappinesse, to confesse how young and weake I was brought under it's subjection.  Nay., shall I not blush to tell it?  It was long before the age of choise or yeeres of discretion; I was so young, as I remember nothing before.  And fitly may my fortune bee compared to that of Quartilla, who remembred not her maydenhead.

Inde tragus celeresque pili, mirandaque matri Barba meae.  Thence goatishnesse, haires over-soone, a beard To make my mother wonder and afear'd.
Pbysitians commonly enfold and joyne their rules auto profit, according to the violence of sharpe desires or earnest longings, that incidently follow the sicke; No longing desire can be imagined so strange and vicious, but nature will apply herselfe unto it.  And then how easie is it to content ones fantasie?  In mine opinion, this part importeth all in all; at least more and beyond all other.  The most grievous and ordinary evils are those which fancy cbargeth us withall.  That Spanish saying dotb every way please me:  Deffienda me Dios de my: 'God defend me from my selfe.' Being sicke, I am sory I have not some desire may give me the contentment to satiate and cloy the same; Scarsly would a medicine divert me from it.  So doe I when I am in health:  I hardly see any thing left to be hoped or wished-for. It is pitty a man should bee so weakned and enlanguished that he hath nothing left him but wisbing.  The art of Physicke is not so resolute, that whatsoever wee doe, we shall be void of all authority to doe it Sbee cliangeth and she varieth according to climate; according to the Moones; according to Fernelius, and according to Scala.  If your Pbysitian thinke it not good that you sleepe, that you drinke wine, or eate such and such meates, Care not you for that, I will finde you another that shall not be of his opinion. The diversity of pbysicall arguments and medicinall opinions embraceth all manner of formes.  I saw a miserable sicke man, for the infinite desire he had to recover, ready to burst, yea and to die 
THE THIRD BOOKE                    <Mont3-399>

with thirst; whom not long since another Physitian mocked, utterly condemning the others counsell as hurtfull for him.  Had not bee bestowed his labour well?  A man of that coate is lately dead of the stone, who during the time of his sicknesse used extreame abstinence to withstand his evill; his fellowes affirme that, contrary, his long fasting had withered and dried him up, and so concocted the gravell in his kidnies.  I have found that in my hurts and other sicknesses, earnest talking distempers and hurts me as much as any disorder I commit.  My voice costs me deare, and wearieth me; for I have it lowd, shrill and forced, So that, when I have had occasion to entertaine the eares of great men about weighty affaires, I have often troubled them with care how to moderate my voice.  This story deserveth to be remembred and to divert me.  A certaine man in one of the Greeke schooles spake very lowde, as I doe; the maister of the ceremonies sent him word he should speake lower: let him (quoth he) send me the tune or key in which he would have me speake.  The other replied, that he should take his tune from his eares to whom he spake.  It was well said, so he understood himselfe:  Speake according as you have to doe with your auditory.  For if one say, let it suffice that he heareth you, or governe yourselfe by him; I do not thinke he had reason to say so.  The tune or motion of the voyce hath some expression or signification of my meaning.  It is in me to direct the same, that so I may the better represent my selfe.  There is a voyce to instruct, one to flatter, and another to chide.  I will not onely have my voyce come to him, but peradventure to wound and pierce him.  When I brawle and rate my lackey with a sbarpe and piercing tune, were it fit he should come to me and say, 'Master, speake softly, I understand and heare you very well? Est quaedam vox ad auditum accommodate non magnitudine sed proprietate: 'There is a kinde of voyce well applied to the hearing, not by the greatnesse of it, but by the proprietie.' The word is halfe his that speaketh and halfe his that harkeneth unto it. 

<Mont3-400>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

the hearer ought to prepare himselfe to the motion or bound it taketh. As betweene those that play at tennis, he who keepes the hazard doth prepare, stand stirre and march, according as he perceives him who stands at the house, to looke, stand, remoove and strike the ball, and according to the stroake.  Experience hath also taught me this, that we lose our selves with impatience.  Evils have their life, their limits, their diseases and their health.  The constitution of diseases is framed by the patterne of the constitution of living creatures.  They have their fortune limited even at their birth, and their dayes allotted them.  He that shall imperiously goe about, or by compulsion (contrary to their courses) to abridge them, doth lengthen and multiply them; and in stead of appeasing, doth harsell and wring them. I am of Crantors opinion, that a man must neither obstinately nor frantikely oppose himselfe against evils; nor through demissenesse of courage faintingly yeeld unto them, but according to their condition and ours naturally incline to them.  A man must give sickenesses their passage.  And I finde that they stay least with me, because I allow them their swinge, and let them doe what they list.  And contrary to common received rules, I have without ayde or art ridde my selfe of some that are deemed the most obstinately lingring and unremoovably-obstinate.  Let nature worke; Let hir have hir will; She knoweth what she hath to doe, and understands hir selfe better then we do.  But such a one died of it, wil you say; so shal you doubtlesse; if not of that, yet of some other disease.  And how many have wee seene die when they have had a whole Colledge of Pbysitians round about their bed, and looking in their excrements?  Example is a bright looking-glasse, universall and for all shapes to looke into.  If it be a lushious or taste- pleasing portion, take it hardly; it is ever so much present ease.  So it be delicious and sweetly tasting, I will never stand much upon the name or colour of it.  Pleasure is one of the chiefest kinds of profit.  I have 

THE THIRD BOOKE                     <Mont3-401>

suffered rheumes, gowty defluxions, relaxions, pantings of the heart, megreimes and other such-like accidents, to grow old in me, and die their naturall death; all which have left me when I halfe enured and framed my selfe to foster them.  They are better conjured by curtesie then by bragging or threats.  We must gently obey and endure the lawes of our condition. We are subject to grow aged, to become weake and to fall sicke, in spight of all physicke.  It is the first lesson the Mexicans give their children; When they come out of their mothers wombes, they thus salute them:  My childe, thou art come into the world to suffer; Therefore suffer and hold thy peace. It is injustice for one to grieve, that any thing hath befallen to any one, which may happen to all men. {cruelty+} Indignare, si quid in te inique proprie constitutum est:  Then take it ill, if any thing be decreed uniustl y against thee alone.' Looke on an aged man, who sueth unto God to maintaine him in perfect, full and vigorous health; that is to say, be will be pleased to make him yong againe:

Stulte quid haec frustra votis puerilibus optas?/1

Foole, why dost thou in vaine desire,
With childish prayers thus t' aspire?

Is it not folly?  His condition will not beare it.  The gowt, the stone, the gravell, and indigestion are symptomes or effects of long-continued yeares; as heats, raines and winds, are incident to long voyages.  Plato cannot beleeve that Aesculapius troubled himselfe with good rules and diet to provide for the preservation of life, in a weake, wasted, and corrupted body; being unprofitable for his country, inconvenient for his vocation, and unfit to get sound and sturdy Children; and deeme not that care inconvenient unto divine justice and heavenly Wisedome, which is to direct all things unto profit.  My good sir, the matter is at an end.  You cannot be recovered; for the most, you can be but tampered withall, and somewhat under propt, and for some houres have your misery prolonged.
1 OVID.  Trist. 1. iii.  Eleg. viii. 11. 
<Mont3-402>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES
Non secus instantem cupiens fulcire ruinan
Diversis contra nititur obicibus,
Donec certa dies, omni compage soluta,
Ipsum cum rebus subruat auxilium./1
So he that would an instant ruine stay
With divers props strives it underlay,
Till all the frame dissolv'd a certaine day,
The props with th' edifice doth oversway.
A man must learne to endure that patiently which he cannot avoyde conveniently. Our life is composed, as is the harmony of the World, of contrary things; so of divers tunes, some pleasant, some harsh, some sharpe, some flat, some low, and some high.  What would that Musition say that should love but some one of them?  He ought to know how to use them severally and how to entermingle them.  So should we both of goods and evils which are consubstantiall to our life.  Our being cannot subsist without this commixture, whereto one side is no lesse necessary than the other.  To goe about to kicke against natural necessity were to represent the folly of Ctesiphon, who undertooke to strike or wince with his mule.  I consult but little about the alterations which I feele:  For these kinde of men are advantagious when they hold you at their mercy.  They glut your eares with their Prognostications, and surprising me heretofore, when by my sicknesse I was brought very low and weake, they have injuriously handled me with their Doctrines, positions, prescriptions, magistrall fopperies, and prosopopeyall gravity; sometimes threatning me with great paine and smart, and other times menacing me with neere and unavoydable death; All which did indeede move, stirre and touch me neere, but could not dismay or remoove me from my place or resolution; If my judgement be thereby neither changed nor troubled, it was at least hindred; It is ever in agitation and combating.  Now I entreate my imagination as gently as I can, and were it in my power I would cleane discharge it of all paine and contestation.  A
1 COR.  GAL.  Eleg. clxxiii. 
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man must further, help, flatter, and (if he can) cozen and deceive it. My spirit is fit for that office:  There is no want of apparances every where.  Did he perswade as he preacheth hee should successefully ayde me. Shall I give you an example?  He tells me it is for my good that I am troubled with the gravell:  That the compositions of my age must naturally suffe some leake or flaw; It is time they begin to relent and gainesay themselves: It is a common necessity, And it had beene no new wonder for me.  That way I pay the reward due unto age, and I could have no better reckoning of it.  That such company ought to comfort me, being fallen into the most ordinary accident incident to men of my dayes.  I every where see some afflicted with the same kinde of evill, whose society is honourable unto mee, forsomuch as it commonly possesseth the better sort of men, and whose essence hath a certain nobility and dignity connexed unto it; That of men tormented therewith, few are better cheape quit of it, and yet it costs them the paine of a troublesome dyet, tedious regiment, and daily loathsome taking of medicinall drugges and physicall potions; Whereas I meerely owe it to my good fortune; For some ordinary broths made of Eringos or Sea-Holme, and Burstwort, which twice or thrice I have swallowed downe at the request of some Ladies, who, more kindely then my disease is unkind, offred me the moity of theirs, have equally seemed unto me as easie to take as unprofitable in operation.  They must pay a thousand vowes unto Aesculapius, and as many crownes to their Physition, for an easie profluvion or aboundant running of gravell, which I often receive by the benefit of nature.  Let mee be in any company, the decency of my countenance is thereby nothing troubled, and I can hold my water full tenne houres and if neede be as long as any man that is in perfect health.  The feare of this evill, saith he, did heretofore affright thee when yet it was unknowne to thee.  The cries and despaire of those who through their impatience exasperate the same, bred a horror of it in 

<Mont3-404>           MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

thee.  It is an evill that comes and fals into those limmes by and with which thou most most offended.  Thou art a man of concience:

Quae venit indigne poena, dolenda venit./1

The paine that comes without desart,
Comes to us with more griefe and smart.

Consider but how milde the punishment is in respect of others, and how favourable.  Consider his slowenesse in comming, hee onely incommodeth that state and encombreth that season of thy life which (all things considered) is now become barren and lost, having as it were by way of composition, given place unto the sensuall licenciousnesse and wanton pleasures of thy youth.  The feare and pitty men have of this evill may serve thee as a cause of glory; A quality whereof, if thy judgement be purified and thy discourse perfectly sound, thy friends doe notwithstanding discover some sparkes in thy complexion.  It is some pleasure for a man to heare others say of him, Loe there a patterne of true fortitude; loe there a mirroiir of matchlesse patience.  Thou art seene to sweate with labour, to grow pale and wanne, to wax red, to quake and tremble, to cast and vomit blood, to endure strange contractions, to brooke convulsions, to trill downe brackish and great teares, to make thicke, muddy, blacke, bloody, and fearefull urine, or to have it stopt by some sharpe or rugged stone, which pricketh and cruelly wringeth the necke of the yarde, entertaining in the meane while the bystanders with an ordinary and undanted countenance, by pawses jesting and by entermissions dallying with thy servants, keeping a part in a continued discourse, with words now and then excusing thy griefs and abating thy painefull sufferance. {stoicism_pays+} Dost thou remember those men of former ages, who, to keep their vertue in breath and exercise, did with such greedinesse seeke after evils?  Suppose Nature driveth and brings thee unto that glorious Schoole into which thou hadst
1 OVID.  Epist. v. 8. 
THE THIRD BOOKE                     <Mont3-405>

never come of thine owne accord and free will.  If thou tell me it is a dangerous and mortall evill, what others are not so?  For it is a kinde of physicall cousenage to except any, and so they goe directly unto death; what matter it is whether they goe by accident unto it, and easily slide on either hand toward the way that leadeth us thereunto?  But thou diest not because thou art sicke; thou diest because thou art living.  Death+ is able to kill thee without the helpe of any sicknesse; Sicknesses have to some prolonged their death, who have lived the longer, inasmuch as they imagined they were still dying; Seeing it is of wounds as of diseases, that some are medicinall and wholesome.  The chollike is often no lesse long-lived than you; Many are seene in whom it hath continued even from their infancy unto their extreamest age, who had they, not forsaken her company, she was like to have assisted them further.  You oftner kill her than she doth you.  And if she did present thee with the image of neer-imminent death, were it not a kinde office for a man of that age to reduce it unto the cogitations of his end?  And which is worse, thou hast no longer cause to bee cured; Thus and howsoever common necessity calls for thee against the first day.  Consider but how artificially and how mildely she brings thee in distaste with life and out of liking with the world, not forcing thee with a tyrannicall subjection as infinit other diseases doe, wherewith thou seest old men possessed, which continually hold them fettered and ensnared, and without release of weaknesse nor intermission of paines but by advertisements and instructions, reprised by intervalles, entermixiiig certaine pawses of rest, as if it were to give thee meane at thy ease to meditate and repeate her lesson; To give thee leasure and ability to judge soundly, and like a man of a courage to take a resolulution, she presents thee with the state of thy condition perfect, both in good and evill, and in one same day sometimes a most pleasing, sometimes a most intolerable life.  If thou embrace not death+, at least thou shakest her by the hand once a moneth; Whereby 

<Mont3-406>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

thou least more cause to hope that she will one aay surprise thee without threatning; And that being so often brought into the haven, supposing to be still in thy accustomed state, one morning at unawares, both thy selfe and thy confidence shall be transported over.  A man hath no reason to complaine against those diseases which so equally divide time with health.  I am beholding to Fortune that she so often assailes mee with one same kinde of weapon: she by long use doth fashion and enure mee unto it, harden and habituate me thereunto:  I now know within a little which way and how I shall be quit. For want of naturall memory I frame some of paper, And when some new symptome or accident commeth to my evill I set it downe in writing, whence it proceedeth that having now (in a manner) passed over and through all sorts of examples, if any astonishment threaten me, running and turning over these my loose memorialles (as Sibyllaes leaves) I misse no more to finde to comfort me with some favourable prognostication in my former past experience.  Custome doth also serve mee to hope the better hereafter; For the conduct of this distribution having so long beene constituted, it is to be supposed that Nature will not change this course, and no other worse accident shall follow then that I feele.  Moreover, the condition of this disease is not ill seeming to my ready and sodaine complexion.  When it but faintly assailes mee it makes mee afraid, because it is like to continue long; But naturally it hath certaine vigorous and violent excesses; It doth violently shake me for one or two dayes.  My reines have continued a whole age without alteration, an other is now well-nigh come, that they have changed state.  Evils as well as goods have their periods; this accident is happily come to his last.  Age weakneth the heat of my stomacke, his digestion being thereby lesse perfect hee sendeth this crude matter to my reines.  Why may not, at a certaine revolution, the heat of my reines be likewise infeabled, so that they may no longer putrifie my fleagme, and Nature addresse her selfe to finde some other 

THE THIRD BOOKE          <Mont3-407>

course of purgation?  Yeares have evidently made me drie up certaine rheumes, and why not these excrements that minister matter to the stone or gravell.  But is there anything so pleasant in respect of this sodaine change when by an extreaine paine I come by the voyding of my stone, to recover, as from a lightning, the faire Sunne-shine of health; so free and full, as it happeneth in our sodaine and most violent cholliks?  Is there anything in this paine suffered that may be counter poised to the sweet pleasure of so ready an amendment?  By how much more health seemeth fairer unto me after sicknesse, so neere and so contiguous, that I may know them in presence one of another, in their richest ornaments; wherein they attyre themselves avy, as it were confront and counterchecke one another. Even as the Stoickes say, that Vices were profitably brought in, to give esteeme and make head unto vertue; So may we with better reason and bold conjecture affirme that Nature hath lent us griefe and paine, for the honour of pleasure and service of indolency.  When Socrates (after he had his yrons or fetters taken from him) felt the pleasure or tickling of that itching which their weight and rubbing had caused in his legges, be rejoyced to consider the neere affinity that was between paine and pleasure; how they combined together by a necessary bond, so that at times they enter-engender and succeed one another; and cry out to good Aesope, that he should from that consideration have taken a proper body unto a quaint fable.  The worst I see in other diseases is, that they are not so grievous in their effect as in their issue.  A man is a whole yeare to recover himselfe; ever full of weaknesse, alwayes full of feare.
     There is so much hazard and so many degrees before one can be brought to safety, that hee is never at an end.  Before you can leave off your coverchiefe and then your nightcap, before you can brooke the ayre againe or leave leave to drinke Wine, or lye with your Wife or eate melons, it is much if you fall not into some relapse or new misery.  The gravell hath this 

<Mont3-408>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

priviledge, that it is cleane carried away; Whereas other maladies leave ever some impression and alteration, which leaveth the body susceptible or undertaking of some new infirmity, and they lend one an other their hands.  Such are to be excused, as are contented with the possession they have over us, without extending the same, and without introducing their sequell; But curteous, kind and gracious are those, whose passage brings some profitable consequence.  Since I have had the stone-chollike, I finde myselfe discharged of other accidents; more (as me thinks) then I was before, and never had ague since.  I argue that the extreame and frequent vomits I endure, purge mee; and on the other side, the distastes and strange abstinences I tolerate, disgest my offending humours; and Nature voydeth in these stones and gravell whatsoever is superfluous and hurtfull in her.  Let no man tell me that it is a medicine too deere sold; For, what availe so many loath-some pils, stincking potions, cauterizings, incisions, sweatings, setons, dyets, and so divers fashions of curing, which, because we are not able to undergoe their violence and brooke their importunity, doe often bring us unto our graves?  And therefore, when I am surprised, I take it as pbysicke; and when I am free, I take it as a constant and full deliverance.  Lo here an other particular favour of my disease, which is, that he in a manner keepes his play a-part, and lets me keepe mine owne; or else I want but courage to doe it.  In his greatest emotion I have held out tenne houres on Horse-backe with him.  Doe but endure, you neede no other rule or refgiment.  Play, dally, dyne, runne, be gamesome, do this, and if you can doe the other thing, your disorder and debauching will rather availe than hurt it.  Say thus much to one that hath the pox, or to one that hath the gowt, or to one that is belly- broken or cod-burst.  Other infirmities have more universall bonds, torment farre-otherwise our actions, pervert all our order, and engage all the state of mans life unto their consideration.  Whereas this doth only twitch and pinch the skin, it neyther medleth with 

THE THIRD BOOKE          <Mont3-409>

your understanding, nor with your will, tongue, feete, nor hands, but leaves them all in your disposition; it rather rouzeth and awaketh you, then deterre and drouzy you.  The mind is wounded by the burning of a feaver, suppressed by an Epilepsie, confounded by a migrane, and in conclusion astonied and dismayed by all the diseases that touch or wound the whole masse of his body and its noblest parts.  This never medleth with it.  If therefore it go ill with it, his be the blame she bewrayeth, she forsaketh, and she displaceth her selfe.  None but fools will be perswaded that this hard, gretty and massie body, which is concocted and petrified in our kidneis, maybe dissolved by drinks.  And there fore after it is stirred there is no way but to give it passage; For if you doe not he will take it himselfe. This other peculiar commodity I observe, that it is an infirmity wherein we have but little to divine.  We are dispensed from the trouble whereinto other maladies cast us, by the uncertainty of their causes, conditions, and progresses.  A trouble infinitly painfull.  We have no need of doctorall consultations or collegian interpretations.  Our senses tell us where it is and what it is.  By and with such arguments, forcible or weake (as Cicero doth the infirmity of his old- age), I endevour to lull asleepe and study to ammuse my imagination, and supple or annoint her sores.  If they grow worse, to morrow, to morrow we shall provide far new remedies or escapes. That this is true, loe afterward againe, haply the lightest motion wrings pure blood out of my reines.  And what of that?  I omit not to stirre as before, and with a youthfull and insolent heate ride after my hound.  And find that I have great reason of so important an accident, which costs me but a deafe heavinesse and dombe alteration in that part.  It is some great stone that wasteth and consumeth the substance of my kidneis and my life, which I avoyde by little and little; not without some naturall pleasure, as an excrement now superfluous and trouble-some.  And feele I something to shake?  Expect not that I ammuse my selfe to feele my pulse, or looke into my 

<Mont3-410>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

urine, thereby to finde or take some tedious prevention.  I shall come time enough to feele the smart, without lengthening the same with the paine of feare.  Who feareth to suffer, suffereth already, because he feareth. Seeing the doubt and ignorance of those who will and do meddle with expounding the drifts and shifts of nature, with her internall progresse; and so many false prognostications of their arte should make us understand her meanes infinitly unknowne.  There is great uncertainty, variety and obscurity in that shee promiseth and menaceth us.  Except old-age,{usthem+} which is an undoubted signe of deaths approching, of all other accidents, I see few signes of future things whereon we may ground our divination.  I onely judge my selfe by true-feeling sense, and not by discourse.  To what end? since I will adde nothing thereunto except attention and patience.  Will you know what I gaine by it?  Behold those who doe otherwise, and who depend on so many diverse perswasions and counsels, how oft imagination presseth them without the body.  I have divers times, being in safety and free from all dangerous accidents, taken pleasure to communicate them into Pbysitions, as but then comming upon me.  I endured the arrest or doome of their horrible conclusions, and remained so much the more bounden unto God for his grace, and better instructed of the vanity of this arte.  Nothing ought so much be recommended unto youth as activity and vigilancy.  Our life is nothing but motion, I am hardly shaken, and am slow in all things, be it to rise, to goe to bed, or to my meales.  Seaven of the clocke in the morning is to me an early houre; And where I may command, I neither dine before eleven, nor sup till after six.  I have heretofore imputed the cause of agues or maladies, whereinto I have falne, to the lumpish beavinesse or drowzy dulnesse which my long sleeping had caused me.  And ever repented mee to fall asleepe againe in the morning.  PIato condemnes more the excesse of sleeping then the surfet of drinking.  I love to lie hard and alone, yea and without a woman by me, after the 

THE THIRD BOOKE                     <Mont3-411>

kingly manner; somewhat well and warme covered.  I never had my bed warmed, but since I came to be an old man, if need require, I have clothes given me to warme my feete and my stomacke.  Great Scipio was taxed to bee a sluggard or heavy sleeper (in my conceit) for no other cause but that men were offended; hee onely should bee the man in whom no fault might justly bee found.  If there bee any curiosity in my behaviour or manner of life, it is rather about my going to bed then any thing else; but if neede bee, I generally yeeld and accommodate my selfe unto necessity, as well and as quietly as any other whosoever.  Sleeping hath possessed a great part of my life; and as old as I am I can sleepe eight or nine houres together.  I doe with profit withdraw myself from this sluggish propension and evidently find my selfe better by it.  Indeede, I somewhat feele the stroke of alteration, but in three dayes it is past.  And I see few that live with lesse (when need is), and that more constantly exercise themselves, nor whom toyling and labour offend lesse.  My body is capable of a firme agitation, so it be not vehement and sodaine.  I avoide violent exercises, and which induce mee to sweate; my limbs will sooner be wearied then heated.  I can stand a whole day long, and am seldome weary with walking.  Since my first age, I ever loved rather to ride then walke upon paved streets.  Going a foote, I shall durty my selfe up to my waste; and little men, going alongst our streets, are subject (for want of presentiall apparence) to be justled or elhowed.  I love to take my rest, be it sitting or lying-along, with my legs as high or higher then my seate.  No profession or occupation is more pleasing then the military+; A profession or exercise both noble in execution (for the strongest, most generous and prowdest of all vertues, is true valour+) and noble in it's cause.  No utility+, either more just or universall then the protection of the repose or defence of the greatnesse of ones country. {Hal+} The company and dayly conversation of so many noble, young, and active men, cannot but bee well-pleasing to you; the dayly 

<Mont3-412>           MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

and ordinary sight of so divers tragicall spectacles; the liberty and uncontroled freedome of that artelesse and unaffected conversation, masculine and ceremonilesse maner of life; {PlainDealer+} the hourely variety of a thousand ever changing and differing actions; the courageous and minde stirring harmony of warlike musicke, which at once entertaineth with delight and enflameth with longing, both your eares and your minde; the imminent and matchlesse honour+ of that exercise; yea the very sharpnesse and difficulty of it, which Plato esteemeth so little, that in his imaginary commonwealth he imparteth the same both to women and to children.  As a voluntary Souldier or adventurous Knight you enter the lists, the bands or particular hazards, according as your selfe judge of their successes or importance; and you see when your life may therein be excusably employed.

Pulchrumque mori succurrit in armis./1

And nobly it doth come in minde,
To die in armes may honor finde.

Basely to feare common dangers, that concerne so numberlesse a multitude, and not to dare what so many men dare, yea whole nations together, is only incident to base, craven, and milke-sop-hearts.  Company and good fellowshipp doth harten and encorage children.  If some chance to exceed and outgoe you in knowledge, in experience, in grace, in strength, in fortune, you have third and collaterall causes to blame and take hold-of; but to yeeld to them in constancy of minde and resolution of courage, you have none but your selfe to find fault with.  Death is much more abject, languishing, grisly, and paineful in a downe-bed, then in a field-combate; and agues, catarres or apoplexies, as painefull and mortall as an harquebusado.THE
 He that should be made undantedly to beare the accidents of common life, should not nee4 to bumbast his courage, to become a man at armes.
1 VIRG.  Aen. 1. iii [ii-Dan Taylor]. 317. 

THIRD BOOKE          <Mont3-413>

Vivere, mi Lucilli, militare est:/1  'Friend mine, to live is to goe on warre-fare.' I cannot remember that ever I was scabbed, yet is itching one of natures sweetest gratifications, and as ready at hand. But repentance doth over-importunately attend on it.  I exercise the same in mine eares (and by fits) which within doe often itch.  I was borne with al my senses sound, almost in perfection.  My stomacke is commodiously good, and so is my head; both which, together with my winde, maintaine themselves athwart my agues.  I have outlived that age to which some nations have not without some reason prescribed for a just end unto life, that they allowed not a man to exceede the same. {usthem+} I have notwithstanding some remyses or intermissions yet, though unconstant and short, so sound and neate that there is little difference between them and the health and indolency of my youth.  I speake not of youthly vigor and chearefull blithnesse; there is no reason they should follow me beyond their limits:

Non haec amplius est liminis, aut aquae
Coelestis, patiens latus./2

These sides cannot still sustaine
Lying without doores, showring raine.

My visage and eyes doe presently discover me.  Thence begin all my changes, and somewhat sharper then they are in effect.  I often move my friends to pity ere I feele the cause of it.  My looking-glasse doth not amaze me, for even in my youth it hath divers times befalne me so to put-on a dusky looks, a wan colour, a troubled behaviour and of ill presage, without any great accident; so that Physitions perceiving no inward cause to answer this outward alteration, ascribed the same to the secret minde or some concealed passion, which inwardly gnawed and consumed me.  They were deceived; were my body directly by me, as is my my minde, we should march a little more at our ease.  I had it then, not onely exempted from all trouble, but
1 SEN.  Epist. xcvi. 2 HOR.  Car. 1. iii.  Od. x. 15. 
<Mont3-414>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

also full of satisfaction and blithenesse, as it is most commonly, partly by it's owne complexion, and partly by it's owne desseigne

Nec vitiant artus aegrae contagia mentis,/1

Nor doth sicke mindes infection
Pollute strong joynts complexion.

I am of opinion that this her temperature hath often raised my body from his fallings: he is often suppressed, whereas she, if not lasciviously wanton, at least in quiet and reposed estate.  I had a quartan ague which held me foure or five moneths, and had altogether disvisaged and altered my countenance, yet my minde held ever out, not onely peaceably but pleasantly. So I feele no paine or smart; weakenesse and languishing doe not greatly perplex me.  I see divers corporall defailances the onely naming of which breede a kind of horror, and which I would feare lesse then a thousand passions and agitations of the mind which I see in use.  I resolve to runne no more; it sufficeth me to goe-on faire and softly; nor doe I complaine of their naturall decadence or empairing that possesseth me.
Quis tumidum guttur miratur in Alpibus?/2

Who wonders a swolne throate to see,
In those about the Alpes that be?

No more then I grieve that my continuance is not as long and sound as that of an oake.  I have no cause to finde fault with my imagination.  I have in my life had very few thoughts or cares that have so much as interrupted the course of my sleepe, except of desire to awaken without dismay or afflicting me.  I seldome dreame, and when I doe, it is of extravagant things and cbymeras, commonly produced of pleasant conceits, rather ridiculous then sorrowfull. And thinke it true that dreames are the true interpreters of our inclinations; {Freud+} but great skill is required to sort and understand them. 1 OVID. Trist. 1. iii.  Eleg. viii. 25. 2 JUVEN.  Sat. xiii. 152. 
THE THIRD BOOKE                     <Mont3-415>
Res quae invita usurpant homines, cogitant, curant, vident,
Quaeque agunt vigilantes, agitantque ea sicut in somno accidunt
Minus mirandum est.

It is no wonder if the things which we
Care-for, use, thinke, doe-oft, or waking see,
Unto us sleeping represented be.

Plato saith, moreover, that it is the office of wisedome to draw divining instructions from them against future times.  Wherein I see nothing but the wonderfull experience that Socrates, Xenophon, and Aristotle relate of them -men of unreproovable authority.  Histories report that the inhabitants of the Atlantique Iles never dreame, who feed on nothing that hath beene slaine.  Which I adde, because it is peradventure the occasion they dreame not.  Pythagoras ordained therefore a certaine methode of feeding, that dreames might be sorted of some purpose.  Mine are tender, and cause no agitation of body or expression of voice in me.  I have in my dayes seene many strangely stirred with them.
Theon the Philosopher walked in dreaming; and Pericles his boy, went upon the tiles and top of houses.  I stand not much on nice choice of meates at the table, and commonly begin with the first and neerest dish, and leape not willingly from one taste to another.  Multitude of dishes and variety of services displease me as much as any other throng.  I am easily pleased with few messes, and hate the opinion of Favorinus, that at a banquet you must have that dish whereon you feed hungerly taken from you, and ever have a new one set in the place:  And that it is a niggardly supper if all the guests be not glutted with pinions and rumps of divers kinds of fowle, and that onely the dainty bird beccafico or snapfig deserveth to bee eaten whole at one morsell.  I feede much upon salt cates, and love to have my bread somewhat fresh.  And mine owne Baker makes none other for my bord, against the fashion of my country.  In my youth my overseers had much a doe to reforme the refusall I made of such meats as youth 
<Mont3-416>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

doth commonly love best; as sweet meates, confets and marchpanes.  My Tutor was wont to find great fault with my lothing of such dainties, as a kinde of squeamish delicacy.  And to say truth, it is nothing but a difficulty of taste, where it once is applyed.  Whosoever remooveth from a child a certaine particular or obstinate affection to browne bread, to bakon, or to garlike, taketh friandize from him.  There are some that make it a labour and thinke it a patience to regret a good piece of pawdred beefe, or a good gemmon of bakon, amongst partridges.  Are not they wise men in the meane time?  It is the chiefe dainty of all dainties; It is the taste of nice effeminate fortune that wil be distasted with ordinary and usual things. Per quae luxuria divitiarum taedio ludit: 'Whereby the lavishnesse of plenty playes with tedious pleasure.' To for-beare to make good cheare, because another doth it, for one to have care of his feeding, is the essence of that vice.  Si modica caenere times olus omne patella./1 If in a sorry dish to sup You brooke not all th' hearbe pottage up.
     Indeede there is this difference, that it is better for one to tye his desires unto things easiest to be gotten, yet is it a vice to tie himselfe to any strictnesse.  I was heretofore wont to name a kinsman of mine over- delicate, because whilest hee lived in our Gallies, he had unlearn't and left to lie upon a bedde and to strippe himselfe to goe to bedde.  Had I any male children I should willingly wish them my fortune.  That good Father it pleased God to allot me (who hath nothing of mee but thankefulnesse for his goodnesse, which indeed is as great as great may be) even from my cradle sent mee to be brought-up in a poore village of his, where he kept me so long as I suckt, and somewhat longer, breeding me after the meanest and simplest- common fashion. Magna pars libertatis est moratus venter:/2  'A mannerly belly is a great
1 HOR. 1. i.Epist. v. 2. 2 SEN.  Epist. cxxiii,

THE THIRD BOOKE          <Mont3-417>

part of a mans liberty. ' Never take unto your selfe, and much lesse never give your wives the charge of your childrens breeding or education. Let fortune frame them under the popular and naturall lawes; Let custome enure them to frugality and breed them to hardnesse:  That they may rather descend from sharpenesse than ascend unto it. {Eton+} His conceipt aymed also at another end, To acquaint and ready me with that people and condition of men that have most need of us; And thought I was rather bound to respect those which extend their armes unto me than such as turne their backe toward me.  And that was the reason he chose no other gossips to hold me at the font than men of abject and base fortune, that so I might the more be bound and tied unto them. {Hal+} His purpose hath not altogether succeded ill. I willinglv give and accost my selfe unto the meaner sort, whether it be because there is more glory gotten by them, or through some naturall compassion, which in me is infinitely powerfull.  The faction which I condemne in our civill warres I shall more sharpely condemne when it prospers and flourisheth. I shall in some sort be reconciled unto it when I see it miserably-depressed and overwhelmed.  Oh how willingly doe I remember that worthy humour of Chelonis, daughter and wife to King of Sparta.  Whilest Cleombrotus, her husband, in the tumultuous disorders of his City, had the upper-hand of Leonidas - her father, she played the part of a good daughter, allying her selfe with her father in his exile and in his misery, mainely opposing hir selfe against the Conquerour.  Did fortune turne?  So changed she hir minde, courageously taking hir hushand's part:  Whom she never forsooke, whither-soever his ruine or distresse carryed him.  Having (in my seeming) no other choise than to follow that side where she might doe most good, {Cordelia+} where she was most wanted, and where she might shew her selfe most truely pittifull.  I doe more naturally encline toward the example of Flamineus, who more and rather yeelded to such as had need of him than to those 

<Mont3-418>           MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

who might doe him good, than I bend unto that of Pyrrhus, who was ever wont demissely to stoope and yeeld to the mighty and insolently to grow proud over the weake.  Long sitting at meales doth much weary and distemper me, for be it for want of better countenance and entertainment, or that I used my selfe unto it when I was a child, I feede as long as I sitte at the table.  And therefore, being in mine owne house, though my board be but short and that wee use not to sit long, I doe not commonly sit downe with the first, but a pretty while after others:  According to the forme of Augustus, yet I imitate him not in his rising before others.  Contrary, I love to sit a great while after, and to heare some discourse or table-talke. Alwayes provided I beare not a part my selfe, for if my belly bee full I shall soone be weary and hurt my selfe with talking, and I finde the exercise of lowde-speaking and contesting before meate very pleasant and wholesome.  The ancient Grecians and Romanes had better reason than wee, allotting unto feeding, which is a principall action of mans life (if any other extraordinary businesse did not let or divert them from it), divers houres, and the best part of the night, eating and drinking more leisurely than we doe, who passe and runne-over all our actions in posthaste, and extending this naturall pleasure unto more leisure and use, entermixing therewith divers profitable and mind-pleasing offices of civill conversation. Such as have care of me may easily steale from me what soever they imagine may be hurtfull for me, inasmuch as about my feeding I never desire or find fault with that I see not.  That Proverb is verified in me: what eye seeth not, the heart rueth not.  But if a dish or any thing else be once set before me, they lose their labour that goe about to tell me of abstinence; so that when I am disposed to fast I must be sequestred from eaters, and have no more set before me than may serve for a stinted and regular collation; for if I but sit downe at a set table I forget my resolution.  If I chance to bidde my cooke change the dressing of some 

THE THIRD BOOKE                     <Mont3-419>

kinde of meate or dish, all my men know I inferre my appetit is wallowish and my stomache out of order, and I shall hardly touch it.  I love all manner of flesh or fowle but greene rosted and raw sodden, namely, such as may beare it without danger, and love to have them thoroughly mortified, and in divers of them the very alteration of their smell.  Onely hardnesse or toughnesse of meate doth generally molest me, (of all other qualities I am as carelesse and can as well brooke them as any man that ever I knew,) so that (contrary to received opinion) even amongst fishes I shall finde some both too new and over-hard and firme.  It is not the fault or want of teeth, which I ever had as perfectly-sound and compleate as any other man, and which but now, being so olde, beginne to threaten me.  I have from my infancy learn'd to rubbe them with my napkin, both in the morning when I rise and sitting down and rising from the table.  God doth them a grace from which by little and little he doth substract from them their life. It is the only benefit of old age.  Their last death shall be so much the lesse full, languishing and painefull, it shal then kill but one halfe or a quarter of a man.  Even now I lost one of my teeth, which of it selfe fell out without strugling or paine: it was the naturall terme of it's continuance.  That part of my being with divers others, are already dead and mortified in mee, others of the most active, halfe dead, and which during the vigor of my age held the first ranke.  Thus I sinke and scape from my selfe.  What foolishnes will it be in my understanding to feele the start of that fall, already so advanced, as it were perfectly whole? I hope it not; verely I receive a speciall comfort in thinking on my death, and that it wil1 be of the most just and naturall, and cannot now require or hope other favor of destiny concerning that then unlawfull.  Men perswade themselves that, as heretofore they have had a higher stature, so their lives were longer; But they are deceived, for Solon, of those ancient times, though be were of an exceeding high stature, his life continued but seventy yeeres. 

<Mont3-420>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

Shal I, that have so much and so universally adored that &ptcrtop liltpoy, a meane is best, of former times, and have ever taken a meane measure for the most perfect, therefore pretend a most prodigious and unmeasureable life? whatsoever commeth contrary to Natures course may be combersome, but what comes according to her should ever please.  Omnia quae secundum naturam fiunt, sunt habenda in bonis: 'All things are to be accompted good that are done according to nature.' And therefore, (saith Plato), is that death violent which is caused either by wounds or sicknesses; but that of all others the easiest and in some sort delitious which surprizeth us by meanes of age.  Vitam adolescentibus vis aufert, senibus maturitas: 'A forcible violence takes their life from the young, but a ripe maturity from the old.' {usthem+} Death entermedleth and every where confounds it self with our life; declination doth preoccupate her houre and insinuate it selfe in the very course of our advancement.  I have pictures of mine owne that were drawne when I was five and twenty, and others being thirty yeeres of age, which I often compare with such as were made by me as I am now at this instant.  How many times doe I say I am no more my selfe; how much is my present image further from those then from that of my decease? It is an over-great abuse unto nature to dragge and hurry her so farre that she must be forced to give us over, and abandon our conduct, our eyes, our teeth, our legges and the rest, to the mercy of a forraine help and begged assistance; and to put our selves into the hands of art, weary to follow it.  I am not over-much or greedily desirous of sallets or of fruits, except melons.  My father hated all manner of sawces; I love them all.  Over-much eating doth hurt and distemper me, but for the quality I have yet no certaine knowledge that any meate offends me; I never observe either a full or waned Moone, nor make a difference betweene the Spring time or Autumne.  There are certaine inconstant and unknowne motions in us.  For (by way of example) I have heretofore 

THE THIRD BOOKE          <Mont3-421>

found redisb-rootes to be very good for mee, then very hurtfull, and now againe very well agreeing with my stomacke.  In divers other things I feele my appetit to change, and my stomacke to diversifie from time to time.  I have altred my course of drinking, sometimes from white to claret wine, and then from claret to white againe.
     I am very friand and gluttonous of fish, and keepe my shroving dayes upon fish dayes, and my feasts upon fasting-dayes. I believe as some others doe, that fish is of lighter digestion than flesh. As I make it a conscience to eate flesh upon a fish day, so doth my taste to eate fish and flesh together.  Tbe diversity betweene them seemes to mee over-distant.  Even from my youth I was wont now and then to steale some repast, either that I might sharpen my stomake against the next day; (for as Epicurus was wont to fast, and made but sparing meales, thereby to accustome his voluptuousnesse to neglect plenty; I, contrary to him, to enure my sensuality to speede the better, and more merrily to make use of plenty) or else I fasted, the better to maintaine my vigor for the service or performance of some bodily or mental action; for both are strangely dulled and ideled in me, through over-much fulnesse and repleatnesse. (And above all I hate that foolish combinmation of so sound and bucksome a Goddesse with that indigested and belching God, all puffed with the fume of his liquor) or to recover my crazed stomake, or because I wanted some good company.  And I say as Epicurus said, that A man should not so much respect what he eateth as with whom he eateth.  And commend Chilon, that be would not promise to come to Perianders feast before be knew certainely who were the other bidden guests.  No viands are so sweetly pleasing, no sauce so tastefull, as that which is drawne from conversable and mutuall society. I thinke it wholesome to eate more leisurely, and lesse in quality, and to feede oftner; But I will have appetit and hunger to be endeared.  I should finde no pleasure, after a phisicall maner, to swallow 

<Mont3-422>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

three or foure forced and spare meales a day.  Who can assure me, if I have a good taste or stomacke in the morning, that I shall have it againe at supper?  Let us old men, let us, I say, take the first convenient time that commeth; Let us leave hopes and prognostikes unto Almanacke-makers. The extreame fruit of my health is pleasure; Let us hold fast on the present, and to us knowne.  I eschew constancy in these Lawes of fasting.  Who so will have a forme to serve him, let him avoyd continuance of it; but we harden our selves unto it and thereunto wholly apply our forces: sixe moneths after, you shall finde your stomacke so enured unto it, that you shall have gotten nothing but this, to have lost the liberty to use it otherwise without domage.  I use to goe with my legges and thighs no more covered in Sommer than in Winter, for I never weare but one paire of single silke stockins.  For the easing of my rhume and helpe of my chollike, I have of late used to keepe my head and belly warme.  My infirmities did in few dayes habituate themselves thereunto, and disdained my ordinary provisions:  From a single night-cappe I came to a double coverchef, and from a bonnet to a lined and quilted hat.  The bumbasting of my doublet serves me now for no more use than a stomacher; it is a thing of nothing, unlesse I adde a hare or a vulture's skin to it, and some warme wrapping about my head. Follow this gradation, and you shall goe a faire pace.  I will doe no such thing.  If I durst I could find in my hart to revoke the beginning I have given unto it.  Fall you into any new inconvenience?  This reformation will no longer availe you.  You are so accustomed unto it that you are driven to seeke some new one.  So are they overthrowne that suffer themselves with forced formalities+ or strict rules to be intangled, and do superstitiously constraine themselves unto them: they have need of more, and of more after that: they never come to an end.  It is much more commodious both for our businesse and for our pleasure (as did our forefathers) to lose our dinner, and deferre making of good cheere 

THE THIRD BOOKE                     <Mont3-423>

onto the houre of withdrawing and of rest, without interrupting the day:  So was I wont to doe heretofore.  I have for my health found out since by experience, that on the contrary it is better to dine, and that one shall digest better being awake.  Whether I be in health or in sicknesse, I am not much subject to be thirsty; indeede my mouth is somewhat dry, but without thirst.  And commonly I use not to drinke, but when with eating I am forced to desire it, and that is when I have eaten well.  For a man of an ordinary stature I drinke indifferent much.  In Sommer, and at a hungry meale, I not onely exceede the limits of Augustus, who drunke but precisely three times; but, not to offend the rule of Democritus, who forbade us to stay at foure as an unlucky number, if need be, I come to five:  Three demisextiers, or thereabouts.  I like little glasses best; and I love to empty my glasse, which some others dislike, as a thing unseemely.  Sometimes and that very often, I temper my wine one halfe and many times three parts with water.  And when I am in mine owne house, from an antient custome which my fathers Physitian ordained both for him and himselfe, looke what quantity of Wine is thought will serve mee a meale, the same is commonly tempered two or three houres before it be served in, and so kept in the celler. It is reported that Cranaus, King of the Athenians, was the first that invented the mingling of Wine with Water.  Whether it were profitable or no, I will not now dispute or stand upon.  I thinke it more decent and more wholesome that children should drinke no Wine untill they be past the age of sixteene or eighteene yeares.  The most usuall and common forme of life is the best:  Each particularity doth in mine opinion impugne it.  And I should as much detest a Germane that should put Water in his Wine, as a French-man that should drinke it pure.  Publike custome giveth Law unto such things.  I feare a foggy and thicke ayre, and shunne smoke more than death (the first thing I began to repaire when I came to be maister of mine owne house, was the chimnies 

<Mont3-424>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

and privies, which in most of our buildings is a generall and intollerable fault); and mischiefes and difficulties attending on Warre, there is none I hate more than in hot-sweltring wether to ride up and downe all the day long in smoky dust, as many times our Souldiers are faine to doe.  I have a free and easie respiration, and doe most commonly passe over my murres and colds without offence to my lungs, or without coughing.  The soultry heate of sommer is more offensive to me than the sharpnesse of Winter; for, Besides the incommodity of heat, which is lesse to bee remedied than the inconvenience of cold, and besides the force of the Sunnes beames, which strike into the head, mine eyes are much offended with any kinde of glittring or sparkling light, so that I cannot well sit at dinner over against a cleare-burning fire.  To allay or dim the whiteness of paper, when I was most given to reading, I was wont to lay a piece of greene glasse upon my booke, and was thereby much eased.  Hitherto I never used spectacles, nor know not what they meane; and can yet see as farre as ever I could, and as any other man; true it is, that when night comes, I begin to perceive a dimnes and weakenesse in reading, the continuall exercise whereof, and specially by night, was ever somewhat troublesome unto mine eyes.  Loe here a steppe- backe, and that very sensible.  I shall recoyle no more from a second to a third, and from a third to a fourth, so gently, that before I feele the declination and age of my sight I must be starke blinde.  So artificially doe the Fates untwist our lives-threede.  Yet am I in doubt that my hearing is about to become thicke, and you shall see that I shall have lost it halfe when yet I shall finde fault with their voyces that speake unto me.  The minde must be strained to a high pitch to make it perceive how it declineth.  My going is yet very nimble, quicke, and stout; and I wot not which of the two I can more hardly stay at one instant, eyther my minde or my body.  I must like that preacher well that can tie mine attention to a whole sermon.  In places of 

THE THIRD BOOKE                    <Mont3-425>

ceremonies, where every man doth so nicely stand upon countenance, where I have seene Ladies bold their eyes so steady, I could never so hold out, but some part of mine would ever be gadding; although I be sitting there, I am not well settled.  As Chrysippus the Phylosophers chambermaide saide of hir Master, that he was never drunke but in his legges; for whersoever he sate, he was ever accustomed to be wagging with them; and this she saide at what time store of Wine had made his companions cuppe-shotten, and yet he felt no alteration, but continued sober in minde; It might likewise have beene said of me, that even from mine infancy I had either folly or quickesilver in my feete, so much stirring and naturall inconstancy have I in them where ever I place them.  It is unmannerlinesse and prejudiciall unto health, yea and to pleasure also, to feede grosely and greedily as I doe.  I shall sometimes through haste bite my tongue and fingers ends. Diogenes meeting with a childe that did eate so, gave his tutor a whirret on the eare.  There were men in Rome that as others teach youth to go with a good grace, so they taught men to chew with decency.  I doe sometimes lose the leisure to speake, which is so pleasing an entertainment at the table, provided they be discourses short, witty, and pleasant.  There is a kind of jelousie and envy betweene our pleasures, and they often shocke and hinder one another.  Alcibiades, a man very exquisitely-skilfull in making good cheere+, inhibited all manner of musicke at tables, because it should not hinder the delight of discourses, for the reason which Plato affords him, that it is a custome of popular or base men to call for minstrels or singers at feasts, and an areument they want witty or good discourses and pleasing entertainment, wherewith men of conceipt and understanding know how to enterfeast and entertaine themselves.  Varro requireth this at a banket, an assembly of persons, faire, goodly, and handsome of presence, affable and delightfull in conversation, (which must not be dumbe nor dull, sullaine nor slovenly), {wit+} cleanlinesse

<Mont3-426>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

and neatnesse in meates, and faire wether.  A good minde-pleasing table- entertainement is not a little voluptuous feast, nor a meanly artificiall banquet.  Neither great or sterne commanders in Warres, nor famous or strict Philosophers, have disdained the use or knowledge of it.  My imagination hath bequeathed three of them to the keeping of my memory onely, which fortune did at severall times yeeld exceedingly delightsome unto me.  My present state doth now exclude me from them.  For every one, according to the good temper of body or mind wherein he finds himselfe, addeth either principall grace or taste unto them.  My selfe, who but grovell on the ground, hate that kinde of human Wisedome which would make us disdainefull and enemies of the bodies reformation.  I deeme it an equall injustice either to take naturall sensualities against the hart, or to take them too neere the hart.  Xerxes was a ninny-hammer, who, enwrapped and given to all humane voluptuousnesse, proposed rewards for those that should devise such as he had never heard of.  And hee is not much behind him in sottishnesse that goes about to abridge those which nature hath devised for him.  One should neither follow nor avoyd them, but receive them.  I receive them somewhat more amply and graciously, and rather am contented to follow naturall inclination. We need not exaggerate their inanity, it will sufficiently be felt and doth sufficiently produce itselfe.  Godamercy our weake, crazed, and joy-diminishing spirit, which makes us distaste both them and himselfe.  Hee treateth both himselfe and whatsoever hee receiveth, sometimes forward and other times backeward, according as himselfe is either insaciate, vagabond, new fangled, or variable.

Sincerum est nisi vas, quodcanque infundis acescit./1

In no sweete vessell all you poure,
In such a vessell soone will sowre.

1 HOR. 1. i.  Epist. ii. 54.
THE THIRD BOOKE                     <Mont3-427>

     My selfe, who brag so curiously to embrace and particularly to allow the commodities of life, whensoever I looke precisely into it, I finde nothing therein but winde.  But what? we are nothing but winde.  And the very winde also, more wisely then we loveth to bluster and to be in agitation:  And is pleased with his owne offices, without desiring stability or solidity, qualities that be not his owne.  The meere pleasures of imagination, as well as displeasure (say some) are the greatest, as the ballance of Critolaus did expresse.  It is no wonder she composeth them at her pleasure, and cuts them out of the whole cloath.  I see dayly some notable presidents of it, and peradventure to be desired.  But I, that am of a commixt condition, homely and plaine, cannot so thorougbly bite on that onely and so simple object, but shall grosely and carelesly give myself over to the present delights of the generall and humane law, intellectually sensible and sensibly-intellectuall.  The Cyrenaique Philosophers are of the opinion that as griefes, so corporall pleasures are more powerfull, and as double, so more just.  There are some (as Aristotle saith) who, with a savage kinde of stupidity, will seeme distastefull or squemish of them. Some others I know that doe it out of ambition.  Why renounce they not also breathing? why live they not of their own, and refuse light, because it commeth of gratuity and costs them neither invention nor vigor?  That Mars, or Pallas, or Mercurie should nourish them to see, instead of Ceres, Venus, or Bacchus?  Will they not seeke for the quadrature of the circle even upon their wives?{Laputa+!!} I hate that we should be commanded to have our minds in the clouds whilst our bodies are sitting at the table; yet would I not have the minde to be fastned thereunto, nor wallow upon it, nor lie along thereon, but apply it selfe and sit at it.  Aristippus defended but the body, as if wee had no soule; Zeno embraced but the soule, as if we had no body.  Both viciously.  Pythagoras (say they) hath followed a Philosophie all in contemplation; Socrates altogether in manners and in action; Plato 

<Mont3-428>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

hath found a mediocrity between both.  But they say so by way of discourse. For the true temperature is found in Socrates, and Plato is more Socratical then Pythagorical, and it becomes him best.  When I dance, I dance; and when I sleepe, I sleepe.  And when I am solitarie walking in a faire orchard, if my thoughts have a while entertained themselve with strange occurrences, I doe another while bring them to walke with mee in the orchard, and to be partakers of the pleasure of that solitarinesse and of my selfe.  Nature hath like a kinde mother observed this, that such actions as shee for our necessities hath enjoyned unto us should also be voluptuous unto us. {Pope+} And doth not onely by reason but also by appetite envite us unto them; it were injustice to corrupt her rules.  When I behold Caesar and Alexander in the thickest of their wondrous great labours so absolutely to enjoy humane and corporall pleasures, I say not that they release thereby their minde, but rather strengthen the same, submitting by vigor of courage their violent occupation and alborious thoughts to the customary use of ordinarylife. Wise had they beene had they beleeved that that was their ordinary vocation and this their extraordinary.  What egregious fools are we?  Hee hath passed his life in idleness, say we; alas!  I have done nothing this day.  What, have you not lived?  It isnot only the fundamentall, but the noblest of your occupation.  Had I beene placed or thought fit for the managing of great affaires, I would have shewed what I could have performed.  Have you knowen how to meditate and mannage your life? you have accomplished the greatest worke of all.  For a man to shew and exploit himselfe nature hath no neede of fortune; she equally shewes herselfe upon all grounds, in all sutes, before and behinde, as it were without curteines, welt, or gard. Have you knowne how to compose your manners? you have done more than he who hath composed bookes.  Have you knowne how to take rest? you have done more than be who hath taken Empires and Citties.  The glorious masterpiece of man is to live to the repulse. 

THE THIRD BOOKE                     <Mont3-429>

All other things - as to raigne, to governe, to board up treasure, to thrive, and to build - are for the most part but appendixes and supports therunto.  It is to thee a great pleasure to see a Generall of an armie at the foote of a breach, which ere long intendeth to charge or enter, all whole, undistracted, and carelesly to prepae, himselfe, while be sits at dinner with his friends about him, to talke of any matter.  And I am delighted to see Brutus, having both heaven and earth conspired against him and the liberty of Rome, by stealth to take some houres of the night from his other cares, and walking of the round, in al security to reade, to note, and to abbreviate Polibius. {Hal+{careless+} It is for base and petty minds, dulled and overwhelmed with the weight of affaires, to be ignorant how to leave them, and not to know how to free themselves from them, nor how to leave and take them againe.

O fortes pejoraque passi,
Mecum saepe viri, nunc vino pellite curas,
Cras ingens iterabimus aequor./1

Valiant compeeres, who oft have worse endured
With me, let now with wine your cares be cured:
To morrow we againe
Will launch into the maine.

Whether it be in jest or earnest that the Sorbonicall or theologicall wine and their feasts or gaudy dayes are now come to bee proverbially jested at, I think there is some reason that by how much more profitably and seriously they have bestowed the morning in the exercise of their schooles, so much more commodiously and pleasantly should they dine at noone.  A cleare conscience to have well employed and industriously spent the other houres is a perfect seasoning and savoury condiment of tables.  So have wise men lived.  And that inimitable contention unto vertue which so amazeth us in both Catoes, their so strictly-severe humor, even unto importunity, hath thus mildly submitted my selfe, and taken pleasure in the lawes of humane condition
1 HOR.  Car. 1. i.  Od. vii. 30. 
<Mont3-430>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

and in Venus and Bacchus.  According to their Sects precepts, which require a perfectly wise man to be fully expert and skillfull in the true use of sensualities, as in other duties or devoires belonging to life. Cui cor sapiat ei et sapiat palatus:/1 'Let his palate be savoury whose heart is savoury.' Easie-yeelding and facility doth, in my conceit, greatly honour and is best befitting a magnanimos and noble minde.  Epaminondas thought it no scorne to thrust himselfe amongst the boyes of his citie and dance with them, yea, and to sing and play, and with attention busie himselfe, were it in things that might derogate from the honor and reputation of his glorious victories, and from the perfect reformation of manners that was in him. {Hal+} And amongst so infinite admirable actions of Scipio the grand father, a man worthy to be esteemed of heavenly race, nothing addeth so much grace unto him as to see him carelesly to dallie and childishly to trifle in gathering and chusing of cockle-shels, and play at cost castle along the seashoare with his friend Laelius; and if it were fowle weather, amusing and solacing himselfe to represent in writing and comedies the most popular and base actions of men.  And baving his heade continually busied with that wonderfull enterprise against Hanibal and Affricke, yet hee still visited the schooles in Cicily, and frequented the lectures of Philosopby, arming his enemies teeth at Rome with envy and spight.  Nor any thing more remarkeable in Socrates+, then when, being old and crazed, hee would spare so much time as to be instructed in the art of dancing and playing upon instruments, and thought the time well bestowed.  Who, notwithstanding, hath been seen to continue a whole day and night in an extasie or trance, yea ever standing on his feet in presence of all the Greeke armie, as it were surprised and ravished by some deep and minde-distracting thought.  He hath been noted to be the firts amaongst so infinite valiant men in the army headlong to rush out to helpe and bring-off Alcibiades, engaged and enthronged by his enemies, to cover him
1 CIC.  Fin. 1. ii. 

THE THIRD BOOKE                     <Mont3-431>

with his body, and by maine force of armes and courag e bring him off from the rout; And in the Deliane battell to save and disingage Xenophon, who was beaten from his horse.  And in the midst of all the Athenian people wounded, as it were, with so unworthy a spectacle, headlong present himselfe to the first man to recover Theramenes from out the bands of the officers and satelites of the thirty tyrants of Athens, who were leading him to his death, and never desisted from his hold attempt until hee met with Theramenes himselfe, though hee were followed and assisted with two more. He hath beene seene (provoked thereunto by a matchlesse beauty, wherewith he was richly endowed by nature) at any time of neede to maintaine severe continency. {fortitude+} Hee hath continually beene noted to march to the warres on foote, to breake the ice with his bare feete, to weare one same garment in summer and winter, to exceed all his companions in patience of any labour or travell, to eate no more or otherwise at any banquet then at his ordinary.  He hath beene seene seven and twenty yeares together, with one same ondismaid countenance, patiently to beare and endure hunger, poverty, the indocility and stubbornerse of his children, the frowardnes and scratchings of his wife; and in the end malicious detraction, tyranny, enprysonment, shakels, and poyson.  But was that man envited to drinke to him by duty of civility? he was also the man of the army to whom the advantage thereof remained?  And yet be refused not, nor dis-dained to play for nuts with children, nor to run with them upon a hobby-horse, wherein be had a very good grace; For all aciions (saith Philosophy) doe equally beseeme well and honour a wise man.  Wee have good ground and reason, and should never be weary to present the image of this incomparable man unto al patternes and formes of perfections.  There are very few examples of life absolutely full and pure.  And our instruction is greatly wronged in that it hath certaine weak, defective, and unperfect formes proposed unto it, scarcely good for any good use, which divert 

<Mont3-432>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

and draw us backe, and may rather be termed corrupters then correcters. Man is easily deceived.  One may more easily goe by the sides, where extremity serveth as bound, as a stay and as a guide, then by the midway, which is open and wide, and more according unto art then according unto nature, but therewithall lesse nobly and with lesse commendation.  The greatnesse of the minde is not so much to drawe up and hale forward, as to know how to range, direct, and circumscribe it selfe.  It holdeth for great whatsover is sufficient.  And sheweth her height in loving meane things better then eminent. {Hal+} There is nothing so goodly, so faire, and so lawfull, as to play the man well and duely; Nor Science so hard and difficult as to know how to live this life well.  And of all the infirmities we have the most savage is to despise our being.  Whoso will sequester or distract his minde, let him hardily doe it, if he can, at what time his body is not well at ease, thereby to discharge it from that contagion.  And elsewhere contrary, that shee may assist and favour him, and not refuse to be partaker of his naturall pleasures, and continually be pleased with them; adding thereunto, if shee be the wiser, moderation, lest through indiscretion they might be confounded with pleasure.  Intemperance is the plague of sensuality, and temperance is not her scourge, but rather her seasoning.  Eudoxus, who thereon established his chiefe felicity, and his companions that raised the same to so high a pitch by meanes of temperance, which in them was very singular and exemplar, savoured the same in her most gracious sweetnesse.I enjoyne my mind, with a looke equally regular, to behold both sorrow and voluptuousnesse; Eodem enim vitio est effugio animi in laetitia, quo in dolore contractio:/1 'As faulty is the enlarging of the minde in mirth, as the contracting it in griefe'; and equally constant:  But the one merrily and the other severely; And according to that shee may bring unto it, to be as carefull to extinguish the one, as diligent to quench the other.  To have a perfect insight into a
1 CIC.  Tusc.  Qu. 1. iv. 

THE THIRD BOOKE          <Mont3-433>

good, drawes with it an absolute insight into evil.  And sorrow hath in her tender beginnning something that is unavoydable, and voluptuousnesse in her excessive end something that is evitable.  Plato coupleth them together, and would have it to bee the equall office of fortitude to combat against sorrowes, and fight against the immoderate and charming blandishments of sensuality.  They are two fountaines at which whoso draweth, whence, when, and as much as he needeth, be it a city, be it a man, bee it a beast, he is very happy.  The first must be taken for physicke and necessity, and more sparingly; The second for thirst, but not unto drunkennesse.  Paine, voluptuousnesse, love and hate, are the first passions a childe feeleth; if reason approach, and they apply themselves unto it, that is vertue. I have a Dictionary severally and wholly to my selfe.  I passe the time when it is foule and incommodious; when it is faire and good I will not passe it.  I runne it over againe, and take hold of it.  A man should runne the badde, and settle himselfe in the good.  This vulgar phrase of passe time and to passe the time, represents the custome of those wise men who thinks to have no better account of their life then to passe it over and escape it; to passe it over and bawke it, and so much as in them lyeth to ignore and avoyd it, as a thing of an yrkesome, tedious, and to bee disdained quality.  But I know it to bee otherwise, and finde it to be both priseable and commodious, yea in her last declination, where I hold it.And Nature hath put the same into our hands, furnished with such and so favoumble circumstances that if it presse and molest us, or if unprofitably it escape us, we must blame our selves.  Stulti vita ingrata est, trepida est, tota in futurum fertur:/1  'A fooles life is all pleasant, all fearefull, all fond of the future.' I therefore prepare and compose my selfe to forgoe and lose it without grudging; but a thing that is loseable and transitory by its owne condition, not as troublesome and importunate. Nor beseemes it a man to bee grieved when he dieth,
1 SEN.  Epist. xv. 

<Mont3-434>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

except they be such as please themselves to live still.  There is a kinde of husbandry in knowing how to enjoy it.  I enioy it double to others.  For the measure in jovissance dependeth more or lesse on the application we lend it.  Especially at this instant, that I perceive mine to be short in time, I wil extend it in weight; I wil stay the readines of her flight by the promptitude of my holdfast by it, and by the vigor of custome recompense the haste of her fleeting.  According as the possession of life is more short, I must endeavour to make it more profound and full.  Other men feele the sweetnesse and contentment and prosperity.  I feele it as well as they, but it is not in passing and gliding; yet should it be studied, tasted and ruminated, thereby to yeeld it condigne thanks, that it pleased to grant the same unto us.  They enjoy other pleasures, as that of sleep without knowing them.  To the end that sleepe should not dully and unfeelingly escape me, and that I might better taste and be acquainted with it, I have heretofore found it good to bee troubled and interrupted in the same.  I have a kinde of contentment to consult with my selfe, which consultation I doe superficially runne over, but considerately sound the same, and apply my reason to entertaine and receive it, which is now become froward, peevish and distasted.  Doe I finde my selfe in some quiet moode? is there any sensuality that tickles me?  I doe not suffer the same to busie it selfe or dally about sences, but associate my mind unto it.  Not to engage or plunge it selfe therein, but therein to take delight; not to lose, but therein to finde it selfe. And for her part I employ her to view herselfe in that prosperous state, to ponder and esteeme the good fortune she hath, and to amplifle the same. She measureth how much she is beholding unto God, for that she is at rest with her conscience, and free from other testine passions, and hath in her body her natural disposition; orderly and competently enjoying certaine flattering and effeminate functions, with which it pleaseth him of his grace to recompence the griefes wherewith his 

THE THIRD BOOKE                     <Mont3-435>

justice at his pleasure smiteth us.  Oh, how availfull is it unto her to be so seated, that whatever she casteth her eyes, the heavens are calme round about her, and no desire, no feare, or doubt, troubleth the ayre before her; here is no difficulty, either past, or present, or to come, over which her imagination passeth nor without offence.  This consideration takes a great lustre from the comparison of different conditions.  Thus doe I in a thousand shapes propose unto my selfe those to whom either fortune or their owne errour doth transport and torment.  And these nearer, who so slackly-and incuriously receive their good fortune+.  They are men which indeed passe their time; they overpasse the present and that which they possesse, thereby to serve their hopes with shadowes and vaine images, which fancy sets before them,

Morte obita quales fama est volitare figuras
Aut quae sopitos deludunt somnia sensus./1

Such walking shapes we say, when men are dead, Dreames, whereby sleeping senses are misse-led.

which hasten and prolong their flight according as they are followed.  The fruit and scope of their pursuit is to pursue.  As Alexander said, 'The end of his Travell was to travell.' Nil actum credens cum quid superesset agendum./2 Who thought that nought was done When ought remain'd undone.
     As for me, then, I love my selfe and cherish it, such as it hath pleased God to graunt it us.  I desire not hee should speake of the necessity of eating and drinking.  And I would thinke to offend no lesse excusably, in desiring it should have it double. Sapiens divitiarum naturalium quaesitor acerrimus:/3  'A wise man is a most eager and earnest searcher of those things that are naturall.' Not that we should sustaine our selves
1 VIRG.  Aen. 1. x. 641. 2 LUCAN. 1. ii. 656. 3 SEN.  Epist. cxix. 
<Mont3-436>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

by only putting a little of that drugge into our mouth wherewith Epimenedes was wont to alay hunger, and yet maintained himselfe.  Nor that wee should insensibly produce children at our fingers endes or at our heeles, but rather (speaking with reverence) that wee might with pleasure and voluptuousnesse produce them both at our heeles and fingers endes.  Nor that the body should be voyde of desire and without tickling delight.  They are ungratefull and impious complaints.  I cheerefully and thankefully, and with a good heart, accept what nature hath created for me, and am there with well pleased and am proud of it.  Great wrong is offered unto that great and all-puissant Giver, to refuse his gift, which is so absolutely good; and disanull or disfigure the same, since hee made perfectly good. Omnia quae secundum naturam sunt, estimatione digna sunt:/1 'All things that are according to nature, are worthy to bee esteemed.' Of Philosophies opinions I more willingly embrace those which are the most solide, and that is to say such as are most humane and most ours.  My discourses are sutable to my manner - slow and humble.  She then brings forth a childe well pleasing me, when she betakes herselfe to her Quiddities and Ergoes, that it is a barbarous aliance to marry what is divine with that which is terrestrial; wedde reasonable with unreasonable; combine severe with indulgent, and couple honest with unhonest; that voluptuousness is a brutall quality, unworthy the taste of a wiseman.  The onely pleasure he drawes from the enjoying of a faire young bride is the delight of his conscience, by performing an action according unto order, As to put on his bootes for a profitable riding.  Oh that his followers had no more right, or sinewes, or pith, or juyce, at the dismaydening of their wives than they have in his Lesson.  It is not that which Socrates, both his and our Master, saith.  Hee valueth rightly as hee ought corporall voluptuousnesse; but he preferreth that of the minde, as having more force, more constancy, facility, variety and dignity.
1 CIC.  Fin.  Bon. 1. iii. 

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This according to him goeth nothing alone, he not so phantasticall, but onely first.  For him temperance is a moderatrix, and not an adversary of sensualities.  Nature is a gentle guide, yet not more gentle then prudent and just. Intrandum est in rerum naturam, et penitus quid ea postulet, pervidendum:/1 'Wee must enter into the nature of things, and throughly see what shee inwardly requiers.' I quest after her track; we have confounded her with artificiall traces.  And that Academicall and Peripateticall summum honum or soveraigne felicity, which is to live according to her rules by this reason becommeth difficult to be limited, and hard to bee expounded. And that of the Stoicks, cousin germane to the other, which is to yeeld unto nature, Is it not an errour to esteeme some actions lesse worthy forsomuch as they are necessary?  Yet shall they never remove out of my head that it is not a most convenient marriage to wedde Pleasure unto Necessity. With which (saith an antient Writer) the Gods doe ever complot and consent.
     To what end doe wee by a divorce dismember a frame contented with so mutuall, coherent and brotherly correspondency. Contrariwise, let us repaire and renue the same by enterchangeable offices, that the spirit may awake and quicken the dul heavinesse of the body, and the body stay the lightnesse of the spirit, and settle and fixe the same. Qui velut summum bonum, laudat animae naturam, et tanquam malum, naturam carnis accusat, profecto et animam carnaliter appetit, et carnem incarnaliter fugit; quoniam id vanitate sentit humana, non veritate divina:/2 'He that praiseth the nature of the soule as his principall good, and accuseth nature of the flesh as evill, assuredly he both carnally affecteth the soule and carnally escbeweth the flesh, since he is of this mind not by divine verity, but humane vanity.' There is no part or parcel unworthy of our care in that present which God hath bestowed upon us.  We are accoumptable even for the least haire of it.  And it is no commission for fashions sake
1 CIC.  Fin.  Bon. 1. v. 2 AUG.  Verb.  Apostol.  Ser. xiii. c. 6. 

<Mont3-438>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES

for any man to direct man according to his condition it is expresse, naturall, and principall:  And the Creator hath seriously and severely given the same unto us.  Onely authority is of force with men of common reach and understanding, and is of more weight in a strange language.  But here let us charge againe.  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 call it a property of folly to doe sloathfully and fro-wardly what is to be done, and one way to drive the body and an other way the minde, and himselfe to bee distracted into most divers motions?' Which the better to see let such a man one day tell you the ammusements and imaginations which he puts into his owne head, and for which he diverteth his thoughts for a good repast, and bewaileth the houre he imployeth in feeding himselfe; you shall finde there is nothing so wallowish in all the messes of your table as is that goodly entertainement of the minde (It were often better for us to bee sound a sleepe, than awake unto that we doe), and you shall find that his discourses and intentions are not worth your meanest dish.  Suppose they were the entrancings of Archimedes himself, and what of that?  I here touch not nor doe I blend with that rabble or raskality of men, as wee are, nor with that vanity of desires and cogitations which divert us, onely those venerable mindes which through a fervency of devotion and earnestnesse of religion, elevated to a constant and consciencious meditation of heavenly-devine things, and which, by the violence of a lively and vertue of a vehement hope, preoccupating the use of eternall soule-saving nourishment; the finall end, only stay and last scope of Christian desires; the onely constant delight and incorruptible pleasure; disdaine to rely on our necessitous, fleeting, and ambiguous commodities; and easily resigne the care and use of sensuall and temporall feeding unto the body.  It is a priviledged study.  Super-celestiall opinions and under- terrestriall manners are things that amongst us 

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I have ever seene to bee of singular accord.  Aesope, that famous man, saw his Master pisse as he was walking; What (said hee) must we not, etc., when we are running?  Let us husband time as well as wee can.  Yet shall we employ much of it both idely and ill.  As if our minde had not other houres enough to doe bir businesse without disassociating hir selfe from the body in that little space which shee needeth for her necessity.  They will be exempted from them and escape man.  It is meere folly; insteade of transforming themselves into Angels, they trans-cbange themselves into beastes; in lieu of advancing, they abase themselves.  Such transcending humours affright me as much as steepy, high, and inaccessible places.  And I finde nothing so hard to be disgested in Socrates his life as his extasies and communication with Daemones.  Nothing so humane in Plato as that which they say hee is called divine.  And of our sciences those which are raised and extolled for the highest seeme to me the most basest and terrestriall. I finde nothing so humble and mortall in Alexanders life as his concepts about his immortalization.  Philotas by his answer quipped at him very pleasantly and wittily.  Hee had by a letter congratulated with him, and rejoyced that the Oracle of Jupiter Hammon bad placed him amongst the Gods; to whom he answered, that in respect and consideration of him he was very glad; but yet there was some cause those men should be pittyed that were to live with a man and obay him who out-went others, and would not bee contented with the state and condition of mortall man.

     -----Diis te minorem quod geris, imperas./1
Since thou lesse then the Gods
Bear'st thee, thou rul'st with ods.
The quaint inscription wherewith the Athenians honored the comming of Pompey into their Citty agreeth well and is conformable to my meaning.
1 HOR.  Car. 1. iii.  Od. vi. 
<Mont3-440>          MONTAIGNE'S ESSAYES
D'autant es tu Dieu comme
Tu te recognois homme./1
So farre a God thou maiest accompted be
As thou a man doest reacknowledge thee.
It is an absolute perfection, and as it were divine for a man to know how to enjoy his being loyally.  We seeke for other conditions because we understand not the use of ours, and goe out of our selves forsomuch as we know not what abiding there is.  Wee may long enough get upon stilts, for be wee upon them, yet must we goe with our owne legges.  And sit we upon the highest throne of the World, yet sit we upon our owne taile.  The best and most commendable lives and best pleasing men are (in my conceit) those which with order are fitted, and with decorum are ranged to the common+ mould and humane model, but without wonder or extravagancy.  Now hath old age need to be handled more tenderly.  Let us recommend it unto that God who is the protector of Health and fountaine of all wisedome, but blithe and sociall+:
Frui paratis et valido mihi
Latoe dones; et precor integra
Cum mente, nec turpem senectam
Degere, nec cithara carentem./2

Apollo graunt enjoy the health I may
That I have got, and with sound minde, I pray;
Nor that I may with shame spend my old yeares,
Nor wantiug musicke to delight mine eares.

1 PLUT.  Vit.  Pomp. 2 HOR.  Car. 1. i.  Od. xxxi. 17.


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