Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Benefit of Publishing One's Imperfections

Michel de Montaigne, On Friendship.

My defects are becoming natural and incorrigible, but as fine gentlemen serve the public as models to follow, I may serve a turn as a model to avoid . . .

The act of publishing and indicting my imperfections may teach someone how to fear them. (The talents which I most esteem in myself derive more honor from indicting me than praising me.) That is why I so often return to it and linger over it. Yet, when all has been said, you never talk about yourself without loss: condemn yourself and you are always believed -- praise yourself and you never are.

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