He wrote no new chapters but made countless additions - about one-quarter of the whole work in total length - in the marlins of a copy of the edition now known as the "Bordeaux Copy.
That is madness: instead of changing into angels, they change into beasts. Everyone recognizes me in my book, and my book in me" III: 5, p. Rather we talk about our hopes and fears, what has happened to us, what we have seen, heard, or read that has interested us, how we assess our own actions and those of others.
His mayoralty ended during a plague in Bordeaux that killed nearly half the inhabitants.
Montaigne strives repeatedly in his final pages to compress this into a formula: 'There is nothing so beautiful and legitimate as to play the man well and properly.
Often Montaigne exemplifies ideas, with the same effect: complacency in the man who, after making a stupid speech, was heard in the lavatory muttering conscientiously that the credit belonged to God, not to himself; dogmatism in the donkey, earnest, contemplative, disdainful, resolute, cocksure; the narcissism of the creative artist in the friend who kept his diary by his daily chamber pots, and in whose nostrils all conversation on other subjects stank.
It took him five or six years of thinking and writing to develop fully the concept of the Essays as a self-portrait, as the trials or tests of his judgment and his natural faculties. Finding to his delight that life was still bearable, he now felt he had nothing to fear.
Self-sufficient though he was, he had an imperious need to communicate. To accept the human condition is to accept our two parts, body and soul, not as slave and master but as relatively equal parts that should be friends.
Or again, on the theme that small learning makes for presumption, great learning for humility: "To really learned men has happened what happens to ears of wheat: they rise high and lofty, heads erect and proud, as long as they are empty; but when they are full and swollen with grain in their ripeness, they begin to grow humble and lower their horns" 12, p.