October 11th, 2009

Montaigne Speaks From The Grave





From The Essays of Montaigne

Let us evermore, amidst our jollity and feasting, set the remembrance of our frail condition before our eyes, never suffering ourselves to be so far transported with our delights, but that we have some intervals of reflecting upon, and considering how many several ways this jollity of ours tends to death, and with how many dangers it threatens it. The Egyptians were wont to do after this manner, who in the height of their feasting and mirth, caused a dried skeleton of a man to be brought into the room to serve for a memento to their guests:

"Omnem crede diem tibi diluxisse supremum
Grata superveniet, quae non sperabitur, hora."


["Think each day when past is thy last; the next day, as unexpected,
will be the more welcome."—Hor., Ep., i. 4, 13.]





Collapse )

More From The Grave





From The Essays of Montaigne:

We are never present with, but always beyond ourselves: fear, desire, hope, still push us on towards the future, depriving us, in the meantime, of the sense and consideration of that which is to amuse us with the thought of what shall be, even when we shall be no more.—[Rousseau, Emile, livre ii.]

Collapse )