The agreeable eye

an eudæmonistarchives

Montaigne 1.8

When lately I withdrew to my own home, resolved, as far as in me lay, to think only of spending in rest and retirement the little time I still have to live, it seemed to me that I could do my mind no greater favour than to allow it, in idleness, to entertain itself, to dwell and settle in itself, which I hoped that thenceforth it might be able to do more easily, having in course of time become more steady and mature; but I find that, ‘as idle days breed wandering thoughts’ on the other hand, like a horse that has escaped into freedom, it will run a hundred times more for itself than it did for others; that it brings forth so many chimeras and fantastic monsters, the one on top of the other, without order or design, that, in order to contemplate at my leisure their strangeness and absurdity, I have begun to set them down in writing, hoping in time to make it ashamed of them.

—Montaigne (Essays, ‘Of Idleness’)


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