Michel de Montaigne’s Essays: A Fresh Start ..
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How could it not have this effect? For, as Montaigne coolly notes, children in fact “have youth and strength in their hands, and consequently the breath and favour of the world, and do with mockery and contempt receive these churlish, fierce, and tyrannical countenances from a man that hath no lusty blood left him.”
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The best solution, Montaigne thought, was for the old and infirm to distribute most of their possessions to their children: “A father over-burdened with years and crazed through sickness and, by reason of weakness and want of health barred from the common society of men, doth both wrong himself injure his [childen] idly and to no use to hoard up and keep lose a great heap of riches and deal of pelf. He is in state good enough if he be wise to have a desire to put off his clothes to go to bed—I will not say to his shirt, but to a good warm night gown. As for other pomp and trash whereof he hath no longer use or need, he ought willingly to distribute and bestow them amongst those to whom by natural degree they ought to belong.”