Monday, May 23, 2011

Mondays with Montaigne (on delaying duties beyond death)

From I:7. That our deeds are judged by the intention

I have seen many men in my time smitten in conscience for having withheld other men's goods who arrange in their testaments to put things right after they are dead. But it is valueless to fix a date for so urgent a matter or to wish to right wrongs without feeling or cost. They must pay with something which is truly theirs: the more burdensome and onerous their payment the more just and meritorious their atonement. Repentance begs for burdens.

Worse still are they who reserve for their last will and testament some hate-ridden provision affecting a near one, having concealed it during their lifetime. By stirring up against their memory the one they have offended they show scant regard for their reputations; and they show even less for their consciences since they cannot, even out of respect for death, make their animosities die, prolonging the life of them beyond their own. They are iniquitous judges, postponing judgement until they can no longer take cognizance of the case.

If I can, I will prevent my death from saying anything not first said by my life.

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About Me

I'm Rachel's husband and Darcy's daddy. I'm a Hoosier, an accountant, and an Episcopalian. Politically, I'm a progressive who believes in the preferential option for the poor. I use the blog as a sort of journal - to interact with my reading and sketch out ideas.