The agreeable eye

an eudæmonistarchives

Montaigne 1.18

William Blake: 'Fear & Hope are — Vision'

They who have had a good drubbing in a fight may be led back to the charge on the morrow, though still wounded and bleeding; but if they have been given a good fright by the enemy, you will not induce them even to look at them.

—Montaigne (Essays, ‘Of Fear’)

The consideration of fear has two parts: perception and consequence – the former begin a state in the mind, the latter a state in the world. We may say this is in part a matter of apprehension – for fear makes one apprehend what does not in reality exist, and as a result one seizes upon a course of action unsuitable for the world as it is and one’s duties such as they are; thus one observes the fear of the child who imagines hobgoblins and werewolves, or soldiers who see enemy legions in every distant tussock. Yet the fear is real, though the hobgoblins are (apparently) not – it is easy to forget this, as an impartial observer.


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