Liberal Arts


[Hammershoi]

From Montaigne's 'Of the Education of Children'

He will be told [...] what it is to know and what to be ignorant; what ought to be the end of study; what valor, temperance, and justice are; the difference between ambition and avarice, servitude and submission, license and liberty; by what token a man may know true and solid contentment; how far death, pain, and shame are to be feared, "How to avoid and how to endure each strain;" what springs move us, and the reason for so many different impulses in us. For, I think, the first lessons with which one should saturate his understanding ought to be those which regulate his habits and his common sense; that will teach him to know himself and how both to die well and to live well.

Among the liberal arts let us begin with that which makes us free. They all serve in some measure to the formation of our life and to the use made of life, as all other things in some sort do; but let us make choice of that which directly and professedly serves to that end.