Michel Eyquem De Montaigne, the founder of the modern Essay, was born February 28, 1533, at the chateau of Montaigne in Pirigord. He came of a family of wealthy merchants of Bordeaux, and was educated at the College de Guyenne, where he had among his teachers the great Scottish Latinist, George Buchanan. Later he studied law, and held various public offices; but at the age of thirty-eight he retired to his estates, where he lived apart from the civil wars of the time, and devoted himself to study and thought. While he was traveling in Germany and Italy, in 1580-81, he was elected mayor of Bordeaux, and this office he filled for four years. He married in 1565, and had six daughters, only one of whom grew up. The first two books of his "Essays" appeared in 1580; the third in 1588; and four years later he died. These are the main external facts of Montaigne's life: of the man himself the portrait is to be found in his book. "It is myself I portray," he declares; and there is nowhere in literature a volume of self-revelation surpassing his in charm and candor. He is frankly egotistical, yet modest and unpretentious; profoundly wise, yet constantly protesting his ignorance; learned, yet careless, forgetful, and inconsistent. His themes are as wide and varied as his observation of human life, and he has written the finest eulogy of friendship the world has known. Bacon, who knew his book and borrowed from it, wrote on the same subject; and the contrast of the essays is the true reflection of the contrast between the personalities of their authors. Shortly after Montaigne's death the "Essays" were translated into English by John Florio, with less than exact accuracy, but in a style so full of the flavor of the age that we still read Montaigne in the version which Shakespeare knew. The group of examples here printed exhibits the author in a variety of moods, easy, serious, and, in the essay on "Friendship," as nearly impassioned as his philosophy ever allowed him to become....
Translator names not noted above: John Florio and Thomas Kingsmill Abbott. Originally published between 1909 and 1917 under the name "Harvard Classics," this stupendous 51-volume set-a collection of the greatest writings from literature, philosophy, history, and mythology-was assembled by American academic CHARLES WILLIAM ELIOT (1834-1926), Harvard University's longest-serving president. Also known as "Dr. Eliot's Five Foot Shelf," it represented Eliot's belief that a basic liberal education could be gleaned by reading from an anthology of works that could fit on five feet of bookshelf. Volume XXXII features works of French, German, and Italian philosophy and literary criticism from the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries: [ "That We Should Not Judge of Our Happiness Until After Our Death," "That to Philosophize Is to Learn How to Die," "Of the Institution and Education of Children," "Of Friendship," and "Of Books," by Montaigne [ "Montaigne" and "What is a Classic?" by Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve [ "The Poetry of the Celtic Races" by Ernest Renan [ "The Education of the Human Race" by Cotthold Ephraim Lessing [ "Letters Upon the Aesthetic Education of Man" by J.C. Friedrich Von Schiller [ "Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals, and Transition From Popular Moral Philosophy to the Metaphysic of Morals" by Immanuel Kant [ "Byron and Goethe" by Giuseppe Mazzini
DigiCat Publishing presents to you this special edition of "Literary and Philosophical Essays: French, German and Italian" by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Schiller, Ernest Renan, Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve, Giuseppe Mazzini, Michel de Montaigne. DigiCat Publishing considers every written word to be a legacy of humankind. Every DigiCat book has been carefully reproduced for republishing in a new modern format. The books are available in print, as well as ebooks. DigiCat hopes you will treat this work with the acknowledgment and passion it deserves as a classic of world literature.
As part of the tried and true model of informal essay writing, Hume began publishing his Essays: Moral, Political and Literary in 1741. The majority of these finely honed treatises fall into three distinct areas: political theory, economic theory and aesthetic theory. Interestingly, Hume's was motivated to produce a collection of informal essays given the poor public reception of his more formally written Treatise of Human Nature in 1739. He hoped that his work would be interesting not only to the educated man, but to the common man as well. He passionately argues that essays provide a forum for discussing his philosophy of "common life." DAVID HUME (1711-1776) was a Scottish philosopher and historian. Educated at Edinburgh, he lived in France from 1734 to 1737, where he finished his first philosophical work, A Treatise of Human Nature (1739-40). His additional philosophical works include An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (1748), Political Discourses (1752), The Natural History of Religion (1755), and Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (1779).
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