Michel Eyquem de Montaigne:
skeptical philosopher and
essayist, and a great writer and great mind. His motto was 'Que
sais-je?' i.e. 'What do I know?'.
There is a beautiful English translation of
his Essays in three volumes in 'Everyman's Library', that was made by John
Florio shortly after 1600, that Shakespeare also is supposed to have read.
The French edition of Montaigne's Essaies in the Pleiade-edition that I
have has the serious shortcoming of not containing
Etienne de la Boétie's
'Discours de la Service Volontaire' - in English: 'Discourse on voluntary
slavery' - that explains man's usual totalitarianism very well and
perceptively. De la Boétie was Montaigne's friend, and died young, but he was
very smart, wrote very well, and it was Montaigne's express desire that this
work was to be included in his own Essaies.