2 – Of Change

(Found Poem in Michel de Montainge’s “Of Solitude” translated by George B. Ives)

Let us answer on behalf of ambition who gives us a taste for solitude.

It is not that the wise man can not live content everywhere,
aye, and alone, in the throng of a palace.
But we do not always intelligently seek the pathway to this end.

          (Often we think that we have abandoned affairs
          when we have only changed them.)

Consequently, because we are quit of the court and the marketplace,
we are not quit of the chief torments of our life.

Ambition, avarice, irresolution, fear, and all greedy desires,
do not desert us when we change our abiding-place.

     (Socrates was told that a certain person had not changed
     for the better in his travels.  "I must believe it," said he,
     "for he carried himself with him.")

We carry our fetters with us;
it is not complete liberty;
we still turn our eyes toward what we have left;
our thoughts are full of it.

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