I do not trust my thoughts more because they are second or third, instead of first. Often we correct ourselves as stupidly as we correct others.
My first publication was in 1580. After a long stretch of time, I have become older, but certainly not an inch wiser. Me now and me then are two, but which is better I could not say at all. It would be great to be old if we always progressed toward improvement. It is like a drunken movement, tottering, vertiginous, shapeless, like reeds moved fortuitously by the wind.
--- From Les Essais
Michel de Montaigne
As reviewed by Charles Rosen in
The New York Review of Books
14 February 2008