Wednesday, 2 February 2011

The hidden charms of stepping aside (Part 3 of 3)


While his neighbours in the south of France took sides passionately in favour of some ideological faction or other, Montaigne always called for moderation, pleaded for peace, and recommended tolerance as the best policy to ensure prosperity and maintain human dignity.

Montaigne's essays were published in successive compilations, which he corrected and edited further, until he was happy with the result. The principles of common sense, prudence, tolerance, moderation, and learning from experience, permeate his whole writings, from beginning to end.

Since the 16th century, other thinkers have tried to establish the principles of the good life, but few have equalled Montaigne's erudition and literary skills. For those who, in our age, seek to learn how to live in accordance with Nature, Montaigne's essays are, more than four centuries after his death, still a delight to read.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by Crispin Swan under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]