Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Origins of Wednesday lxxxv: Réflexions sur la question Bush

I opened a much-too-young vintage from
Graves - a favorite appellation - the
other night, and I told my excellent
wine merchant that I'd spend a little
time revisiting the writings of one
of its earliest vignerons. My impetu-
osity in tampering with a 2012 was
only doubly edified, in samplings of
sound and balanced discernment.
Where possible, I take that style of
commentary on our time as a favorite.

Several days ago, in a country house where 
I was staying, I came upon two scholars who 
enjoy a wide reputation here. Their charac-
ter struck me as admirable. The conversa-
tion of the first, when properly weighed, 
came down to this: "What I said is true be-
cause I said it."  The conversation of the 
second dealt with other matters: "What I 
did not say is not true because I didn't 
say it."

I rather liked the first man: that a man 
should be opinionated doesn't bother me 
at all; but that he should be impertinent, 
that does bother me, and a lot. The first 
man defends his own ideas; they are his own 
wealth. The second attacks the opinion of 
others, and that constitutes the wealth of 

Oh, my dear Uzbek, how badly vanity serves 
men who have a stronger dose of it than 
they need for the preservation of nature. 
Those fellows seek to be admired by dint 
of displeasing. They strive to be super-
ior; they are not even equal.

Charles de Secondat
  Baron de la Brède et
  de Montesquieu
The Persian Letters
  144: Rica to Uzbek
J. Robert Loy
  editor & translator
World, 1961©

1    Château de la Brède

iii  5th Avenue
      from the St Regis

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