“I could wish to have a more perfect knowledge of things, but I will not buy it so dear as it costs. My design is to pass over easily, and not laboriously, the remainder of my life; there is nothing that I will cudgel my brains about; no, not even knowledge, of what value soever. I seek, in the reading of books, only to please myself by an honest diversion; or, if I study, 'tis for no other science than what treats of the knowledge of myself, and instructs me how to die and how to live well.
«Has meus ad metas sudet oportet equus.» [«My horse must work according to my step.» —Propertius, iv.]
I do not bite my nails about the difficulties I meet with in my reading; after a charge or two, I give them over.”