Full Online Books
BOOK CATEGORIES
Authors Authors Short Stories Short Stories Long Stories Long Stories Funny Stories Funny Stories Love Stories Love Stories Stories For Kids Stories For Kids Poems Poems Essays Essays Nonfictions Nonfictions Plays Plays Folktales Folktales Fairy Tales Fairy Tales Fables Fables Learning Kitchen Learning Kitchen
LINKS
Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Free Classified Website Without Registration Free Classified Website Daniel Company
Twitter Twitter Add book
donate
Full Online Book HomeEssaysOf Idleness
Famous Authors (View All Authors)
Of Idleness Post by :joelmon Category :Essays Author :Montaigne Date :April 2011 Read :1506

Click below to download : Of Idleness (Format : PDF)

Of Idleness

(Translated by Charles Cotton)


As we see some grounds that have long lain idle and untilled, when grown rich and fertile by rest, to abound with and spend their virtue in the product of innumerable sorts of weeds and wild herbs that are unprofitable, and that to make them perform their true office, we are to cultivate and prepare them for such seeds as are proper for our service; and as we see women that, without knowledge of man, do sometimes of themselves bring forth inanimate and formless lumps of flesh, but that to cause a natural and perfect generation they are to be husbanded with another kind of seed: even so it is with minds, which if not applied to some certain study that may fix and restrain them, run into a thousand extravagances, eternally roving here and there in the vague expanse of the imagination--


"Sicut aqua tremulum labris ubi lumen ahenis,
Sole repercussum, aut radiantis imagine lunae,
Omnia pervolitat late loca; jamque sub auras
Erigitur, summique ferit laquearia tecti."


("As when in brazen vats of water the trembling beams of light, reflected from the sun, or from the image of the radiant moon, swiftly float over every place around, and now are darted up on high, and strike the ceilings of the upmost roof."-- AEneid, viii. 22.)

--in which wild agitation there is no folly, nor idle fancy they do not light upon:--


"Velut aegri somnia, vanae
Finguntur species."

("As a sick man's dreams, creating vain phantasms."--
Hor., De Arte Poetica, 7.)


The soul that has no established aim loses itself, for, as it is said--

"Quisquis ubique habitat, Maxime, nusquam habitat."

("He who lives everywhere, lives nowhere."--Martial, vii. 73.)


When I lately retired to my own house, with a resolution, as much as possibly I could, to avoid all manner of concern in affairs, and to spend in privacy and repose the little remainder of time I have to live, I fancied I could not more oblige my mind than to suffer it at full leisure to entertain and divert itself, which I now hoped it might henceforth do, as being by time become more settled and mature; but I find--

"Variam semper dant otia mentem,"

("Leisure ever creates varied thought."--Lucan, iv. 704)


that, quite contrary, it is like a horse that has broke from his rider, who voluntarily runs into a much more violent career than any horseman would put him to, and creates me so many chimaeras and fantastic monsters, one upon another, without order or design, that, the better at leisure to contemplate their strangeness and absurdity, I have begun to commit them to writing, hoping in time to make it ashamed of itself.


(The end)
Montaigne's essay: Of Idleness

If you like this book please share to your friends :
NEXT BOOKS

That The Intention Is Judge Of Our Actions That The Intention Is Judge Of Our Actions

That The Intention Is Judge Of Our Actions
(Translated by Charles Cotton)  'Tis a saying, "That death discharges us of all our obligations." I know some who have taken it in another sense. Henry VII., King of England, articled with Don Philip, son to Maximilian the emperor, or (to place him more honourably) father to the Emperor Charles V., that the said Philip should deliver up the Duke of Suffolk of the White Rose, his enemy, who was fled into the Low Countries, into his hands; which Philip accordingly did, but upon condition, nevertheless, that Henry should attempt nothing against the life of the said Duke; but
PREVIOUS BOOKS

Of Liars Of Liars

Of Liars
(Translated by Charles Cotton) There is not a man living whom it would so little become to speak from memory as myself, for I have scarcely any at all, and do not think that the world has another so marvellously treacherous as mine. My other faculties are all sufficiently ordinary and mean; but in this I think myself very rare and singular, and deserving to be thought famous. Besides the natural inconvenience I suffer by it (for, certes, the necessary use of memory considered, Plato had reason when he called it a great and powerful goddess), in my country, when
NEXT 10 BOOKS | PREVIOUS 10 BOOKS | RANDOM 10 BOOKS
LEAVE A COMMENT