Note on the e-text: this Renascence Editions text was provided by Ben R. Schneider, Lawrence University, Wisconsin. It is in the public domain. "Florio's Translation of Montaigne's Essays was first published in 1603. In 'The World's Classics' the first volume was published in 1904, and reprinted in 1910 and 1924." Content unique to this presentation is copyright © 1998 The University of Oregon. For nonprofit and educational uses only.
Y whilome father, a man who had no helpe but from experience and his owne nature, yet of an unspotted judgement, hath heretofore told me, that he much desired to bring in this custome, which is, that in all cities there should be a certaine appointed place to which, whosoever should have need of any thing, might come and cause his business to be registered by some officer appointed for that purpose: As, for example, if one have pearls to sell, he should say, I seeke to sell some pearls: and another, I seeke to buy some pearls. Such a man would faine have companie to travell to Paris; such a one enquireth for a servant of this or that qualitie; such a one seeketh for a master, another a workman; some this, some that; every man as he needed. And it seemeth that this meanes of enter-warning one another would bring no small commoditie into common commerce and societie; for there are ever conditions that enter-seeke one another, and because they understand not one another, they leave men in great necessities. I understand, to the infamous reproach of our age, that even in our sight two most excellent men in knowledge having miserably perished for want of food and other necessaries: Lilius Gregorius Giraldus in Italy, and Sebastianus Castalio in Germanie. And I verily beleeve there are many thousands who, had they knowne or understood their wants, would sither have sent for them, and with large stipends entertained them, or would have convaid them succour, where ever they had beene. The world is not so generally corrupted, but I know some that would earnestly wish, and with harty affections desire, the goods which their forefathers have left them, might, so long as it shall please fortune they may enjoy them, be emploied for the reliefe of rare and supply of excellent mens necessitie, and such as for any kind of worth and vertue are remarkable; many of which are daily seene to be pursued by ill fortune even to the utmost extremitie, and that would take such order for them, as, had they not their ease and content, it might only be imputed to their want of reason or lacke of discretion. In this economicke or houshold order, my father had this order, which I can commend, but no way follow: which was, that besides the day-booke of household affaires, wherein are registred at least expenses, paiments, gifts, bargains and sales, that require not a Notaries hand to them, which booke a receiver had the keeping of: he appointed another journall-booke to one of his servants, who was his clerke, wherein he should insert and orderly set downe all accidents worthy of the noting. and day by day register the memories of the historie of his house: a thing very pleasant to read when time began to weare out the remembrance of them, and fit for us to passe the time withall, and to resolve some doubts: when such a worke was begun, when ended, what way or course was taken, what accidents hapned how long it continued; all our voyages, where, and how long we were from home; our marriages, who died, and when; the receiving of good or bad tidings, who came, who went, changing or removing of household officers, taking of new or discharging of old servants, and such like matters. An ancient custome, and which I would have all men use and bring into fashion againe in their several homes: and I repent my selfe I have so foolishly neglected the same.