Friday, 13 July 2007

Montaigne Against Empty Learning

In Montaigne's essay, On the Education of Children, is found the following anecdote against prolixity and empty formalities:
The Samian ambassadors had come to Cleomenes, King of Sparta, prepared with a fine long speech urging him to declare war against the tyrant Polycrates. After hearing them to the end, the Spartan King gave them their answer: 'As for your introduction and exordium, I no longer remember them, or the middle of your speech either; and as for your conclusion, I will do nothing of the sort.'

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