The other day somebody, turning over my tablets, found a memorandum of something I wished to be done after my death. I told him, what was true, that being but a league’s distance from my house, and healthy and robust, I had hastened to write it down on the spot, because I could not be certain even of reaching home. Continually brooding over my thoughts and turning inwardly as I do, I am every moment about as prepared as I can ever be.
– Montaigne (Essays,
‘That to Philosophize
is to Learn to Die’)1
With its charming examination of the nature of pleasure (though of course it does use the ever-noxious tactic of claiming the virtuous life is more pleasurable than the life of voluptuousness) and the uselessness of worry, this is perhaps one of my favorite essays so far.
- Favorite running header: ‘MONTAIGNE EVER PREPARED’. [↩]