In 1572, Montaigne retired to his estates in order to devote himself to leisure, reading and reflection. There he wrote his constantly expanding essays, inspired by the ideas he found in books from his library and his own experience. He discusses subjects as diverse as war-horses and cannibals, poetry and politics, sex and religion, love and friendship, ecstasy and experience. Above all, Montaigne studied himself to find his own inner nature and that of humanity. The Essays are among the most idiosyncratic and personal works in all literature. An insight into a wise Renaissance mind, they continue to engage, enlighten and entertain modern readers. This is a high quality book of the original classic edition. This is a freshly published edition of this culturally important work, which is w, at last, again available to you. Enjoy this classic work. These few paragraphs distill the contents and give you a quick look inside: ...The title of Gentleman in Ordinary to the King, which he assumes, in a preface, and which Henry II. gives him in a letter, which we print a little farther on; what he says as to the commotions of courts, where he passed a portion of his life; the Instructions which he wrote under the dictation of Catherine de Medici for King Charles IX., and his ble correspondence with Henry IV., leave doubt, however, as to the part which he played in the transactions of those times, and we find an unanswerable proof of the esteem in which he was held by the most exalted personages, in a letter which was addressed to him by Charles at the time he was admitted to the Order of St. ...However it may be as to these conjectures, our author, having arrived at his thirty-eighth year, resolved to dedicate to study and contemplation the remaining term of his life; and on his birthday, the last of February 1571, he caused a philosophical inscription, in Latin, to be placed upon one of the walls of his chateau, where it is still to be seen, and of which the translation is to this effect: ?In the year of Christ . . . in his thirty-eighth year, on the eve of the Calends of March, his birthday, Michel Montaigne, already weary of court employments and public hours, withdrew himself entirely into the converse of the learned virgins where he intends to spend the remaining moiety of the to allotted to him in tranquil seclusion. ...A mind like his, full of grand classical reflections, could t fail to be profoundly impressed in the presence of the ruins at Rome, and he has enshrined in a magnificent passage of the Journal the feelings of the moment: He said, writes his secretary, that at Rome one saw thing but the sky under which she had been built, and the outline of her site: that the kwledge we had of her was abstract, contemplative, t palpable to the actual senses: that those who said they beheld at least the ruins of Rome, went too far, for the ruins of so gigantic a structure must have commanded greater reverence-it was thing but her sepulchre. The world, jealous of her, prolonged empire, had in the first place broken to pieces that admirable body, and then, when they perceived that the remains attracted worship and awe, had buried the very wreck itself.?[Compare a passage in one of Horace Walpoles letters to Richard West, 22 March 1740 (Cunninghams edit. i. 41), where Walpole, speaking of Rome, describes her very ruins as ruined.]?As to those small fragments which were still to be seen on the surface, twithstanding the assaults of time and all other attacks, again and again repeated, they had been favoured by fortune to be some slight evidence of that infinite grandeur which thing could entirely extingish.