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Books Online: The Essays of Montaigne. Page 1
by Michel de Montaigne
Montaigne’s wise, amusing examination of himself, and of human nature, launched the essay as a literary form. His remarkable modernity of thought has contributed to the sustained popularity of this celebrated work.
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Page 1 · Book 1. Chapter I. That men by various ways arrive at the same end.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Book 1. Chapter I. That men by various ways arrive at the same end. (Page 1)

Book 1. Chapter II. Of Sorrow. (Page 4)

Book 1. Chapter III. That our affections carry themselves beyond us. (Page 7)

Book 1. Chapter IV. That the soul discharges her passions upon false objects, where the true are wanting. (Page 12)

Book 1. Chapter V. Whether the governor of a place besieged ought himself to go out to parley. (Page 14)

Book 1. Chapter VI. That the hour of parley is dangerous. (Page 16)

Book 1. Chapter VII. That the intention is judge of our actions (Page 19)

Book 1. Chapter VIII. Of idleness. (Page 20)

Book 1. Chapter IX. Of liars. (Page 21)

Book 1. Chapter X. Of quick or slow speech. (Page 25)

Book 1. Chapter XI. Of prognostications. (Page 27)

Book 1. Chapter XII. Of constancy. (Page 31)

Book 1. Chapter XIII. The ceremony of the interview of princes. (Page 33)

Book 1. Chapter XIV. That men are justly punished for being obstinate in the defence of a fort that is not in reason to be defended. (Page 34)

Book 1. Chapter XV. Of the punishment of cowardice. (Page 35)

Book 1. Chapter XVI. A proceeding of some ambassadors. (Page 37)

Book 1. Chapter XVII. Of fear. (Page 41)

Book 1. Chapter XVIII. That men are not to judge of our happiness till after death. (Page 43)

Book 1. Chapter XIX. That to study philosophy is to learn to die. (Page 45)

Book 1. Chapter XX. Of the force of imagination. (Page 60)

Book 1. Chapter XXI. That the profit of one man is the damage of another. (Page 68)

Book 1. Chapter XXII. Of custom, and that we should not easily change a law received. (Page 68)

Book 1. Chapter XXIII. Various events from the same counsel. (Page 82)

Book 1. Chapter XXIV. Of pedantry. (Page 89)

Book 1. Chapter XXV. Of the education of children. (Page 101)

Book 1. Chapter XXVI. That it is folly to measure truth and error by our own capacity. (Page 131)

Book 1. Chapter XXVII. Of friendship. (Page 133)

Book 1. Chapter XXVIII. Nine-and-twenty sonnets of Estienne de la Boetie. (Page 145)

Book 1. Chapter XXIX. Of moderation. (Page 145)

Book 1. Chapter XXX. Of cannibals. (Page 151)

Book 1. Chapter XXXI. That a man is soberly to judge of the divine ordinances. (Page 162)

Book 1. Chapter XXXII. That we are to avoid pleasures, even at the expense of life. (Page 163)

Book 1. Chapter XXXIII. That fortune is oftentimes observed to act by the rule of reason. (Page 164)

Book 1. Chapter XXXIV. Of one defect in our government. (Page 167)

Book 1. Chapter XXXV. Of the custom of wearing clothes. (Page 168)

Book 1. Chapter XXXVI. Of Cato the Younger. (Page 170)

Book 1. Chapter XXXVII. That we laugh and cry for the same thing. (Page 174)

Book 1. Chapter XXXVIII. Of solitude. (Page 177)

Book 1. Chapter XXXIX. A consideration upon Cicero. (Page 187)

Book 1. Chapter XL. That the relish of good and evil depends in a great measure upon the opinion we have of them. (Page 191)

Book 1. Chapter XLI. Not to communicate a man’s honour. (Page 208)

Book 1. Chapter XLII. Of the inequality amongst us. (Page 209)

Book 1. Chapter XLIII. Of sumptuary laws. (Page 217)

Book 1. Chapter XLIV. Of sleep. (Page 219)

Book 1. Chapter XLV. Of the battle of Dreux. (Page 220)

Book 1. Chapter XLVI. Of names. (Page 221)

Book 1. Chapter XLVII. Of the uncertainty of our judgment. (Page 225)

Book 1. Chapter XLVIII. Of war-horses, or destriers. (Page 230)

Book 1. Chapter XLIX. Of ancient customs. (Page 238)

Book 1. Chapter L. Of Democritus and Heraclitus. (Page 242)

Book 1. Chapter LI. Of the vanity of words. (Page 245)

Book 1. Chapter LII. Of the parsimony of the Ancients. (Page 248)

Book 1. Chapter LIII. Of a saying of Caesar. (Page 248)

Book 1. Chapter LIV. Of vain subtleties. (Page 249)

Book 1. Chapter LV. Of smells. (Page 252)

Book 1. Chapter LVI. Of prayers. (Page 254)

Book 1. Chapter LVII. Of age. (Page 263)

Book 2. Chapter I. Of the inconstancy of our actions. (Page 265)

Book 2. Chapter II. Of drunkenness. (Page 271)

Book 2. Chapter III. A custom of the Isle of Cea. (Page 279)

Book 2. Chapter IV. To-morrow’s a new day. (Page 292)

Book 2. Chapter V. Of conscience. (Page 294)

Book 2. Chapter VI. Use makes perfect. (Page 296)

Book 2. Chapter VII. Of recompenses of honour. (Page 305)

Book 2. Chapter VIII. Of the affection of fathers to their children. (Page 308)

Book 2. Chapter IX. Of the arms of the Parthians. (Page 324)

Book 2. Chapter X. Of books. (Page 326)

Book 2. Chapter XI. Of cruelty. (Page 335)

Book 2. Chapter XII. Apology for Raimond Sebond. (Page 487)

Book 2. Chapter XIII. Of judging of the death of another. (Page 492)

Book 2. Chapter XIV. That the mind hinders itself. (Page 493)

Book 2. Chapter XV. That our desires are augmented by difficulty. (Page 498)

Book 2. Chapter XVI. Of glory. (Page 510)

Book 2. Chapter XVII. Of presumption. (Page 538)

Book 2. Chapter XVIII. Of giving the lie. (Page 541)

Book 2. Chapter XIX. Of liberty of conscience. (Page 544)

Book 2. Chapter XX. That we taste nothing pure. (Page 548)

Book 2. Chapter XXI. Against idleness. (Page 551)

Book 2. Chapter XXII. Of Posting. (Page 552)

Book 2. Chapter XXIII. Of ill means employed to a good end. (Page 555)

Book 2. Chapter XXIV. Of the Roman grandeur. (Page 556)

Book 2. Chapter XXV. Not to counterfeit being sick. (Page 558)

Book 2. Chapter XXVI. Of thumbs. (Page 558)

Book 2. Chapter XXVII. Cowardice the mother of cruelty. (Page 566)

Book 2. Chapter XXVIII. All things have their season. (Page 568)

Book 2. Chapter XXIX. Of virtue. (Page 575)

Book 2. Chapter XXX. Of a monstrous child. (Page 576)

Book 2. Chapter XXXI. Of anger. (Page 582)

Book 2. Chapter XXXII. Defence of Seneca and Plutarch. (Page 586)

Book 2. Chapter XXXIII. The story of Spurina. (Page 592)

Book 2. Chapter XXXIV. Means to carry on a war according to Julius Caesar. (Page 599)

Book 2. Chapter XXXV. Of three good women. (Page 604)

Book 2. Chapter XXXVI. Of the most excellent men. (Page 609)

Book 2. Chapter XXXVII. Of the resemblance of children to their fathers. (Page 633)

Book 3. Chapter I. Of Profit and Honesty. (Page 647)

Book 3. Chapter II. Of Repentance. (Page 658)

Book 3. Chapter III. Of Three Commerces. (Page 667)

Book 3. Chapter IV. Of Diversion. (Page 677)

Book 3. Chapter V. Upon Some verses of Virgil. (Page 677)

Book 3. Chapter VI. Of Coaches. (Page 728)

Book 3. Chapter VII. Of the Inconvenience of Greatness. (Page 745)

Book 3. Chapter VIII. Of the Art of Conference. (Page 749)

Book 3. Chapter IX. Of Vanity (Page 769)

Book 3. Chapter X. Of Managing the Will. (Page 816)

Book 3. Chapter XI. Of Cripples. (Page 837)

Book 3. Chapter XII. Of Physiognomy. (Page 847)

Book 3. Chapter XIII. Of Experience. (Page 870)

BOOK THE FIRST

CHAPTER I

THAT MEN BY VARIOUS WAYS ARRIVE AT THE SAME END.

The most usual way of appeasing the indignation of such as we have any way offended, when we see them in possession of the power of revenge, and find that we absolutely lie at their mercy, is by submission, to move them to commiseration and pity; and yet bravery, constancy, and resolution, however quite contrary means, have sometimes served to produce the same effect.–[Florio’s version begins thus: “The most vsuall waie to appease those minds wee have offended, when revenge lies in their hands, and that we stand at their mercie, is by submission to move them to commiseration and pity: Nevertheless, courage, constancie, and resolution (means altogether opposite) have sometimes wrought the same effect.”–] [The spelling is Florio’s D.W.]

Edward, Prince of Wales [Edward, the Black Prince. D.W.] (the same who so long governed our Guienne, a personage whose condition and fortune have in them a great deal of the most notable and most considerable parts of grandeur), having been highly incensed by the Limousins, and taking their city by assault, was not, either by the cries of the people, or the prayers and tears of the women and children, abandoned to slaughter and prostrate at his feet for mercy, to be stayed from prosecuting his revenge; till, penetrating further into the town, he at last took notice of three French gentlemen,–[These were Jean de Villemure, Hugh de la Roche, and Roger de Beaufort.–Froissart, i. c. 289. {The city was Limoges. D.W.}]–who with incredible bravery alone sustained the power of his victorious army. Then it was that consideration and respect unto so remarkable a valour first stopped the torrent of his fury, and that his clemency, beginning with these three cavaliers, was afterwards extended to all the remaining inhabitants of the city.

Scanderbeg, Prince of Epirus, pursuing one of his soldiers with purpose to kill him, the soldier, having in vain tried by all the ways of humility and supplication to appease him, resolved, as his last refuge, to face about and await him sword in hand: which behaviour of his gave a sudden stop to his captain’s fury, who, for seeing him assume so notable a resolution, received him into grace; an example, however, that might suffer another interpretation with such as have not read of the prodigious force and valour of that prince.

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