Chapter IX Of Vanity By Michel De Montaigne

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Michel de Montaigne, French author and philosopher, was born February 28, 1533 near Bordeaux, France, into a family of administrative nobility and fortune that went back several generations. Montaigne 's father, a mayor of Bordeaux, home-schooled his son exclusively in Latin. When in college, Montaigne was not interested in the offered disciplines. In order to continue his family 's tradition, he studied law at a university. During his time in the French parliament, he befriended a distinguished scholar, who years later was an inspiration for his first essay on friendship. Montaigne was married at about thirty two years of age out of a sense of social duty. He started writing in 1569 and in 1570 decided to leave public office in order to immerse …show more content…
Then, he writes that he enjoys being away from home and its troubles, finding great pleasure in change. When he stays "at someone else 's house, even the wine tastes better." Montaigne writes that a man is fortunate not when he has a lot of things, rather when he may retire to be "with the muses" and enjoy his time not having to serve others, being dependant on things, or being obligated to anyone supporting him financially. Then, he writes that no matter where you are, you will find something to complain about. This unease that causes someone to be critical is because he or she is not content with oneself. Montaigne writes that he finds great pleasure in travel because of his personal unease. Then, Montaigne touches on the "human condition," writing that all humans have faults. For example, many law enforcers, themselves may occasionally deviate from those laws. Next, he writes that many politicians may be forced to act against their true beliefs because of what the "system" dictates them. He also writes about the freedom of choice, including a choice between privacy and public life, and that serving in the public office disgusts him. Montaigne confesses that, besides for being lazy and enjoying his freedom, he is a bad politician because he acts according to his beliefs, is not able to absorb the politics of the time and cannot force himself to change to fit the "system." Montaigne concludes by stating that some men are good at one thing and some at another; therefore, men should follow only what they do best in order to avoid a

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