As sort of an addendum to yesterday’s entry where it pertained to reading, I realized later that I forgot to mention another book I finished, namely, The Garden of Epicurus, by Anatole France. I do enjoy this man’s learnèd philosophic rambles. There is much to be said for growing up in your father’s antiquarian bookshop — almost as much, in fact, as there is for growing up in your father’s vineyard, as I did, or your mother’s kitchen (in keeping with more pleasantly nostalgic, aromatic examples).
Here is one brief sample:
The more I think over human life the more I am persuaded we ought to choose Irony and Pity for its assessors and judges, as the Egyptians called upon the goddess Isis and the goddess Nephtys† on behalf of their dead. Irony and Pity are both of good counsel; the first with her smiles makes life agreeable; the other sanctifies it to us with her tears. The Irony I invoke is no cruel deity. She mocks neither love nor beauty. She is gentle and kindly disposed. Her mirth disarms anger, and it is she teaches us to laugh at rogues and fools, whom but for her we might be so weak as to hate.