Inder's Reviews > The Complete Essays

The Complete Essays by Michel de Montaigne
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Have you heard of www.dailylit.com? Well, in 400+ email installments, I'll be done rereading/reading this (I read an abridged version ages ago, but I'm sure there are many here I haven't read yet). Check back in a year and a half.

Oh yeah, and did I mention that it's mostly free? Especially if, like me, your literary loves live in the public domain.

Words I've learned so far:

certes = indeed, certainly

close-stool = chamber pot; as in, "but had withal a humour very contrary to that of other princes, who for the despatch of their most important affairs convert their close-stool into a chair of State, which was, that he would never permit any of his bedchamber, how familiar soever, to see him in that posture, and would steal aside to make water as religiously as a virgin, shy to discover to his physician or any other whomsoever those parts that we are accustomed to conceal" - I would say that the cost of the book was worth it for this phrase alone, except the book didn't actually cost me anything.

contemn = treat with contempt (as distinguished from condemn)

contumelious = belligerent; disagreeable; offensive

praetor = an elected magistrate (Ancient Rome)

Punic = (1) Of or relating to ancient Carthage, its inhabitants, or their language; (2) Perfidious, treacherous, faithless.

quaere = query

sepulture = intern, as in a tomb

vaticination = prophecy
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Quotes Inder Liked

Michel de Montaigne
“I had rather complain of ill-fortune than be ashamed of victory.”
Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays

Michel de Montaigne
“Such as are in immediate fear of a losing their estates, of banishment, or of slavery, live in perpetual anguish, and lose all appetite and repose; whereas such as are actually poor, slaves, or exiles, ofttimes live as merrily as other folk.”
Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays


Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Thanks for reminding me about dailylit. Turns out they even do an RSS feed! I'm now a proud subscriber to:
Democracy in America (205 installments)
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (a bargain at 89 installments)

I have not learned any new words yet, but points for best use of the verb "to vegetate" go to Mr. De Tocqueville:
"Soon, however, the political power of the clergy was founded, and began to exert itself: the clergy opened its ranks to all classes, to the poor and the rich, the villein and the lord; equality penetrated into the Government through the Church, and the being who as a serf must have vegetated in perpetual bondage took his place as a priest in the midst of nobles, and not infrequently above the heads of kings."


message 2: by Inder (new) - added it

Inder Right back at ya:

"Man (in good earnest) is a marvellous vain, fickle, and unstable subject, and on whom it is very hard to form any certain and uniform judgment." - Montaigne



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