I cannot allow of our way of establishing the duration of life. I see that the wise shorten it very much in comparison of the common opinion. “What,” said the younger Cato to those who would prevent him from killing himself, “am I now of an age to be reproached that I go out of […]
Michel De Montaigne
Michel De Montaigne (1533-1592), one of France’s most famous literary figures and a pioneering force on the essay, or <em>essai</em>, was raised speaking Latin, studied law, and was twice elected mayor of Bordeaux before retiring in 1571 to his family estate. There, during some of the most tumultuous and bitter religious wars in Europe’s history, he dedicated his life to reading, thought and reflection. His essays “On Experience,” “On the Cannibals,” and “An Apology For Raymond Sebond” influenced Shakespeare and most all prose writing that followed his legacy.