My namesake lived during the Wars of Religion. An estimated three million people died in them; it must have seemed to Montaigne that the world was ending many, many times. Words of wisdom in such a time don’t come cheap; he didn’t write for likes or thumbs-up or to “go viral.” His wisdom came from a settled place of decency, conscience, a simple, honest morality, and an equanimity that few today could even hope to understand, let alone emulate.
I’ve been transcribing his Essays for more than twenty years. A few days ago I ran across this gem and thought I’d share.
Likewise there is no goodness which does not rejoice a well-born nature. There is an unutterable delight in acting well which makes us inwardly rejoice; a noble feeling of pride accompanies a good conscience. A soul courageous in its vice can perhaps furnish itself with composure but it can never provide such satisfaction and happiness with oneself. It is no light pleasure to know oneself to be saved from the contagion of a corrupt age and to be able to say to oneself: ‘Anyone who could see right into my soul would even then not find me guilty of any man’s ruin or affliction, nor of envy nor of vengeance, nor of any public attack on our laws, nor of novelty or disturbance, nor of breaking my word. And even though this licentious age not only allows it but teaches it to us, I have nevertheless not put my hand on another Frenchman’s goods or purse but have lived by my own means, in war as in peace; nor have I exploited any man’s labour without due reward.’ Such witnesses to our conscience are pleasant; and such natural rejoicing is a great gift: it is the only satisfaction which never fails us.
People of wisdom have always been rare; his age was no exception. But our age is exceptionally bereft of them. That spells catastrophe for all of us—as we can see.
Writing Start: 9:31
New Words (Including Blog): 500
Edited: 800 + 2400 + 1500 + 3200 = 7900
1. Melody Book III: First primary edit of chapter twenty-three
2. Dreamcatcher: Off
3. Cheapery St. Book III: Off
4. Angel Book III: Fourth primary edit of chapter nine
5. Stories from the Quiet: Off
6. Laurie: Off
7. LOTR: First secondary edit of chapter seven
8. Ant Story: Edited the prologue
(Every Day) Blog: 500 +
Other notions to consider, and which I may or may not elaborate further on tomorrow: If you admire Jeff Bezos in any way, you’re a tosser, and are no longer welcome to read this blog. Excuse yourself now. Thank you.
: No Wall Street executives went to jail for their massive role in the crash of 2008, and as a result Democrats got their asses handed to them in the 2010 midterms. That’s a fact.
If no insurrectionists go to jail, very much including those bottomfeeding fascist douche-clowns of Congress and the Senate who participated in the coup attempt January 6th, Democrats will face the same fate, except that when the shit hits the fan November of 2022, our nation will fall to an outright and permanent autocracy.
No more incrementalism. No more half-measures. No more bullshit.