Saturday, October 22, 2011

Michel de Montaigne: an observation

I generally consider Michel de Montaigne to be a realist, but at times I wonder if he is also a bit of a cynic.

It is well to be born in a very depraved age; for, in comparison with others, you are reckoned virtuous at small cost. He who, in our days, is merely a parricide and sacrilegious is withal a worthy and honourable man.

-- Michel de Montaigne --

from "Of Presumption"
The Essays of Montaigne

In our day, how many times have you heard someone attacking a politician and someone, in defense, will say: "Well, at least, he/she hasn't . . ."? It's sad when the best defense one can offer is that the individual could be worse.

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