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did not go so far as death.[1] Yet it is to be feared that disgrace drives them to despair, and makes them not lukewarm simply, but foes.

(a) In the time of our fathers, the Seigneur de Franget, formerly lieutenant of the maréchal de Chastillon’s company, having been made governor of Fontarabia by the maréchal de Chabannes, in place of Monsieur de Lude, and having surrendered it to the Spaniards, was condemned to be deprived of his titles, and to be declared — and his posterity as well as himself — base-born, taxable, and incapable of bearing arms; and this harsh sentence was carried into effect at Lyons.[2] Later, a similar punishment was inflicted on all the gentlemen who were in Guise when the Comte de Nansau entered there,[3] and others still later.

However, if there should be either ignorance or cowardice so gross and so manifest that it surpassed all ordinary examples, there would be good ground for taking it as sufficient proof of knavery and evil intent, and for chastising it as such.



I sometimes wonder whether Montaigne wrote his title at the head of his sheet of paper, and then, pausing a moment and thinking of first one and then another thing in connection with it, caught suddenly a thought that he wished to put in words and began the Essay. Or did he sit with pen near at hand and jot down from time to time an interesting passage in the book he was reading, or the memory or fancy or reflection that came to his mind; and when a few pages were thus brokenly written, did he then choose his title from some one of the many last subjects touched upon?

At all events we hear nothing of ambassadors till half-way through the Essay, and then to very little purpose; but the first sentence of the first paragraph, and the second paragraph are of much interest, — much importance, one may say, — as furnishing some of those details

  1. See Livy, XXV, 7, 22; XXXVI, 1.
  2. See du Bellay, II.
  3. Ibid., VII. The Comte de Nansau led an army into Picardy in 1537, and the citizens of Guise showed both cowardice and pusillanimity.