Friday, October 30, 2009

Essay. "Of the Art of Conversing" (1). Montaigne.

10-second review: Montaigne wanders all over the subject, using historical references and quotes, analogies and aphorisms.


“If I disclose and publish my imperfections, some will learn to fear them.”

“The horror of cruelty impels me to clemency than any model of clemency could draw me on.”

“The study of books is a feeble and languid action which does not warm us, whilst conversation instructs and exercises us at the same time.”

“I love to discuss and dispute, but in a small company of men, and in private.”

“Opinions than that are opposed to mine do not offend or estrange me; they only arouse and exercise my mind.”

“When a man opposes me, he arouses my attention, not my anger….”

“And, as long as it does not come with too overbearing a schoolmasterly a mien, I encourage criticism of my writing.”

“How frequently I make remarks and replies every day that appear foolish to myself; therefore how much more commonly and frequently they must appear so to others.”

“So in conversation the gravity, the gown, and the fortune of the speakers often gain credit for his empty and foolish remarks.”

“If their travels and their experience in office have improved them, they should make it apparent in the product of their intelligence.”

To be continued.

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