Chaos of thought and passion, all confused; Still by himself abused or disabused; Created half to rise, and half to fall; Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all; Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurled, The glory, jest, and riddle of the world.2
Vice is a monster of so frightful mien, As to be hated needs but to be seen;3 Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, We first endure, then pity, then embrace.
Essay on Man. Epistle ii. Line 217.
Note 1. La vray science et le vray étude de lhomme cest lhomme (The true science and the true study of man is man).Charron: De la Sagesse, lib. i. chap. 1.
Trees and fields tell me nothing: men are my teachers.Plato: Phædrus. [back]
Note 2. What a chimera, then, is man! what a novelty, what a monster, what a chaos, what a subject of contradiction, what a prodigy! A judge of all things, feeble worm of the earth, depositary of the truth, cloaca of uncertainty and error, the glory and the shame of the universe.Blaise Pascal: Thoughts, chap. x. [back]