When I scold my valet I scold him with all my hear: my imprecations are real and not feigned; but when the fumes have passed over, let him but need my help, I willingly grant it him; I instantly turn the leaf. When I call him a silly fool, a calf, I have no intention of sewing those labels on him for ever; nor do I think I give myself the lie when presently after I call him an honest fellow.
There is no one quality that covers us purely and universally. If it were not that it makes one look like a madman to talk to oneself, I should confess that hardly a day passes on which I may not be heard growling to myself, ‘Confound the idiot!’ And yet I do not intend that to be my definition.
—Montaigne (‘How We Cry and Laugh for the Same Thing’, trans. E.J. Trechmann)