Distribution Automatique

Wednesday, February 18

"...And if no one reads me, have I wasted my time,
entertaining myself for so many idle hours with such
useful and agreeable thoughts? In modeling this picture
upon myself, I have had to fashion and compose myself
so often to bring myself out, that the model itself has to
some extent.grown firm and taken shape. Painting myself
for others, I have painted my inward self with colors clearer
than my original ones. I hve no more made my book than
my book has made me- a book cosubstantial with its author,
concerned with my own self., an integral part of my life, not
concerned with some third-hand, extraneous purpose, like
all other books. Have I wasted my time by taking stock
of myself so continually, so carefully? For those who go over
themselves only in their minds and occasionally in speech
do not penetrate to essentials in their examination as does
a man who makes that his study, his work, and his trade, who
binds himself to keep an enduring account, with all his faith,
with, with all his strength.

Indeed, the most delightful pleasures are digested inwardly,
avoid leaving any trace, and avoid the sight not not only of
the public but of any other person....

In order to train my fancy even to dream with some order
and purpose, and in order to keep it from losing its way
and moving with the wind, there is nothing like embodying
and registering all the little thoughts that come to it. I
listen to my reveries because I have to record them."

from *The Complete Essays of Montaigne*
translated by Donald A. Frame
Stanford, 1965
p. 504-505