April 26, 2008

And you think you have triumphed

From a Voltaire essay entitled 'Character', which I can't find online.
We perfect, we mitigate, we hide what nature has placed in us; but we place nothing in ourselves.

[...] one of your passions devours the others and you think you have triumphed over yourself. Do we not really all resemble the old general of ninety who, coming across some young officers who were causing a disturbance with some women of the town, said in a temper: 'Gentlemen, is this the example I give you?'

No comments: