2 April 2012

Philosophers and Poets

Sébastien-Roch Nicolas de Chamfort, Oeuvres complètes de Chamfort, Vol. I (Paris: Chaumerot Jeune, 1824), p. 430. My own translation:
It is almost impossible for philosophers and poets not to be misanthropes. First of all, this is because their inclinations and talents lead them to observe society, which is a constantly heartrending study. Secondly, their talent is hardly ever rewarded by society (indeed, they are lucky not to be punished for it) and, subject to this affliction, their tendency towards melancholy only increases.