Montaigne's Essays MICHEL EYQUEM DE MONTAIGNE () Translation by John Florio (). Essays and Scholarly Articles on the Poetry and Prose Works of Renaissance Authors, including Donne, Bacon, Jonson, Herbert, Herrick, Milton, Wroth, Carew, Lovelace. Charlotte Mew Chronology with mental, historical and geographical connections linking with her own words, and listing her essays, stories, poems and friends. Founded in , Macmillan Publishers is one of the largest global trade book publishers and home to numerous bestselling and award-winning fiction, nonfiction, and children’s books, from St. Martin’s Press, Tor Books, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Henry Holt, Picador, Flatiron Books, Celadon Books, and Macmillan . All Nodin Press literary titles are distributed by ITASCA DISTRIBUTION Cedar Lake Rd Minneapolis, MN (EX ): (fax).
But to any in the right, it would be judged wrong, to disjoyne them in ought, who were neerer in kinde, then ever in kindnesse. None dearer dearest Ladies I have seene, and all may say, to your Honorable husbands then you, to you then your Honorable husbands; and then to other, then eyther is to th' other. So as were I to name but the one, I should surely intend the other: To my last Birth, which I held masculine, as are all mens conceipts that are thier owne, though but by their collecting; and this was to Montaigne like Bacchus, closed in, or loosed from his great Iupiters thigh I the indulgent father invited two right Honorable Godfathers, with the One of your Noble Ladyshippes to witnesse.
So to this defective edition since all translations are reputed femalls, delivered at second hand; and I in this serve but as Vulcan, to hatchet this Minerva from that Iupiters bigge braine I yet at least a fondling foster-father, having transported it from France to England; put it in English clothes; taught it to talke our tongue though many-times with a jerke of the French Iargon wouldset it forth to the best service I might; and to better I might not, then You that deserve the best.
Yet hath it this above your other servants: How nobly it is descended, let the father in the ninth Chapter of his third booke by letters testimoniall of the Romane Senate and Citty beare record: How rightly it is his, and his beloved, let him by his discourse in the eigh'th of his second, written to the Lady of Estissac as if it were to you concerning your sweete heire, most motherly- affected Lady Harrington and by his acknowledgement in this first to all Readers give evidence, first that ir is de bonne foy, then more than that, c'est moy: Heere-hence to offer it into your service, let me for him but do and say, as he did for his other-selfe, his peerlesse paire Steven de Boetie, in the Since as his Maister-Poet saide, mutato nomine, de te Fabula narratur: Do you but change the name, Of you is saide the same: So do hir attributes accord to your demerites; wherof to runne a long-breathed careere, both so faire and large a field might envite mee, and my in-burning spirits would encite mee, if I were not held-in by your sweete reining hand who have ever helde this desire, sooner to exceede what you are thought, then be thought what you are notor should I not prejudice my premonstration your assured advantage, When your value shall come to the weighing.
And yet what are you not that may excell? What weight would you not elevate in truest ballance of best judgements? More to be followed by glorie, since you fly-it; which yet many good follow: Most to be praised, for refusing all praises; which yet will presse on vertue; will she, nill she.
In which matter of fame and that exceeding good wel may you I doubt not use the word, which my Authour heere I feare usurpeth: The further that she goeth, The more in strength she groweth: Since as in the originall if of his vertue or glory, more of yours, his Arch-Poet might verifie.
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She great and good on earth doth move, Yet veiles hir head in heaven above: But being by your limit-lesse moderation lockt in limits who more desire, nothing may be said, than too much though I can never say too much; as he of Carthage, so I of your praise-worthinnesse, were better to say nothing, then too little.
For this in hand if it may be so honored to kisse your Honors gracious hand if any grace or good be either afforded to it, or deserved by it, all that by the father, foster-father, and all that are of kinne or kinde unto it, must be to your Honor, grace, and goodnesse imputed and ascribed. For that I may discharge me of all this, and charge you with your owne; pardon Madame my plainenesse when I with one Chapter found my selfe over-charged, whereto the charge or choise of an Honorable person, and by me not-to-be-denied Denefactor Noble and vertuous Sir Edward Wotton had engaged me, which I finished in your owne house your Honor having dayned to read it, without pitty of my failing, my fainting, my labouring, my languishing, my gasping for some breath O could so Honourable, be so pitty-lesse?
Madame, now doe I flatter you? Yet commaunded me on: I say not you tooke pleasure at shore as those in this Author to see me sea-tosst, wether-beaten, shippe-wrackt, almost drowned Mon. Nor say I like this mans Indian King, you checkt with a sower-sterne countenance the yerneful complaint of your drooping, neere-dying subject Lib. Nor say I as he alleadgeth out of others like an ironically modest Virgin, you enduced, yea commaunded, yea delighted to see mee strive for life, yet fall out of breath Lib.
Unmercifull you were, but not so cruell. Madame, now do I flatter you? Yet this I may and must say, like in this French-mans report, our third in name, but fist and chiefe in fame, K. Edward, you would not succour your blacke, not sonne, but servaunt, but bade him fight and conquere, or die Lib.
Like the Spartane imperious Mother, a shield indeede you gave mee, but with this Word. Aut cum hoc; aut in hoc Giou.
O Madame who then spake faire? As for mee, I onely say, as this mans embossed Hart out of hart Lib. Yet nor can you denie, nor I desseble, how at first I pleaded this Authors tedious difficultie, my selfe-knowne insufficiencie, and other more leisurefull abilitie. But no excuse would serve him, that must serve without excuse. Little power had I to performe, but lesse to refuse what you impos'de: Yet did your honoured name r'ally to my succour the forces of two deare friends, both devoted to your service, both obliged to your vertues: Who as he is happy in you, and you in him, that like Aristotle to Alexander, he may in all good learning, and doeth with all industrious attention, instruct, direct, adorne that noble, hopefull, and much-promising spirit of your beloved brother and house-heire Maister Iohn Harrington: So was he to me in this inextricable laberinth like Ariadnes threed: Had not he beene, I had not bin able to wade through: The other my onelie dearest and in love-sypathising friend, Maister Doctor Guinne, of whome I may justly say what my Authour saith of his second-selfe Steven de Boetie Lib.
Non so se meglior Oratore e Poeta, o Philospho e Medico. So Scholler-like did he undertake what Latine prose; Greeke, Latine, Italian or French Poesie should crosse my way which as Bugge-beares affrighted my unacquaintance with them to ridde them all afore me, and for the most part drawne them from their dennes: Wherein what indefatigable paines he hath undergone, and how successefully overgone, I referre to your Honor, I remit to the learned; for, who but he could have quoted so divers Authors, and noted so severall places?
So was hee to mee in this bundle of riddles an understanding Oedipus, in this perilous-crook't passage a monster-quelling Theseus or Hercules: With these two supporters of knowledge and friendship, if I upheld and armed have passt the pikes, the honor be all yours, since all by yours was done for your Honor. That all this is thus, the reply of that friend upon my answer to your ho: Then let none say I flatter, when I forbeare not to tell all.
Yet more I must needs say, if Poets be inspired by their muse, if souldiers take corage by the eie or memory of their mistrisses as both have made some long believe having already said, as Petrark to his mistris, In questo stato son Donna ver vui, Petr. By you, or for you, Madame, thus am I. I now rather averre as the Lyricke to his Melpomene.
That I doe breath and please, if please I doe, It is your grace, such grace proceed's from you. For, besides your owne inexplicable bounty first- mover of my good, La quale ritogli me peregrino errante, e fra gli scoglii e l'onde agitato, al furor do Fortuna, e benignamente guidi in porto di salute e pace Tasso Gior.
Yet more must I acknowledge joyned to this: And as if this river of benignitie did runne in a blood, your worthie Sonne in-law, and vertuous Daughter Chichester with like- sweete liquor have supplied my drie cisterns.
Relucent lustre of our English Dames, In one comprising all most priz'de of all, Whom Vertue hirs, and bounty hirs do call, Whose vertue honor, beauty love enflames, Whose value wonder writes, silence proclaimes, Though, as your owne, you know th'originall Of this, whose grace must by translation fall; Yet since this, as your owne, your Honor claimes, Yours be the honour; and if any good Be done by it, we give all thanks and praise For it to you, but who enough can give?
Aye-honor'd be your Honorable Blood; Rise may your Honor, which your merites raise: Live may you long, your Honor you out-live. To the noble-minded Ladie, Anne Harrington If Mothers love exceeding others love, If Honours heart excelling all mens hearts, If bounties hand with all her beauteous parts, Poets, or Painters would to pourtray prove, Should they seeke earth below, or heav'n above, Home, Court or Countrie, forraine moulds or marts, For Maister point, or modell of their artes, For life, then here, they neede no further move: Her picture lost, would Nature second her, She could not, or she must make her againe.
So vowes he, that himselfe doth hers averre. To the curteous Reader. Shall I apologize translation? Why but some holde as for their free-hold that such conversion is the subversion of Universities. God holde with them, and withholde them from impeach or empaire.
It were an ill turne, the turning of Bookes should be the overturning of Libraries. Yea but my olde fellow Nolano tolde me, and taught publikely, that from translation all Science had it's of-spring. And can the wel-springs be so sweete and deepe; and will the well-drawne water be so sower and smell? And were their Countries so ennobled, advantaged, and embellished by such deriving; and doth it drive our noblest Colonies upon the rockes of ruine?
And did they well? Why but Learning would not be made common. Yea but Learning cannot be too common and the commoner the better. Why but who is not jealous, his Mistresse should be so prostitute? Yea but this Mistresse is like ayre, fire, water, the more breathed the clearer; the more extended the warmer; the more drawne the sweeter. It were inhumanitie to coope her up, and worthy forfeiture close to conceale her. Why but Schollers should have some privilege of preheminence.
Why but the vulgar should not knowe at all. No, they can not for all this; nor even Schollers for much more: I would, both could and knew much more than either doth or can. Why but all would not be knowne of all. God only; men farre from God. Why but pearles should not be cast to swine: Why, but it is not wel Divinite should be a childes or old wives, a coblers, or clothiers tale or table-talke. There is use, and abuse: Why but let Learning be wrapt in a learned mantle.
Yea but to be unwrapt by a leaned nurse: Yea, and unlapt againe. Else, hold we ignorance the mother of devotion; praying and preaching in an unknowne tongue: If the best be meete for us, why should the best be barrd?
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Why but the best wrote best in a tongue more unknowne: Nay in a tongue more known to them that wrote, and not unknowne of them to whom they wrote. Why but more honour to him that speakes more learned. Yea such perhaps, as Quintillians Orator: Why but let men write for the most honour of the Writer. Nay, for most profit of the Reader: If to write obscurely be perplexedly offensive,as Augustus well judged: