Montaigne, Pascal and La Rochefoucauld
inquired in a dream of mine, "What do you know?"
When I with a smile replied, "Je ne sais quoi,"
Pascal merely frowned while Montaigne cried out, "Ha!"
"So close to the mark of a motto of mine -
'Que sais-je', eh monsieur? - that is my little line!"
I meant no offense," said I, "oh contrare,"
but Pascal interrupted and asked with a stare,
"Your answer was clever enough on your part -
but did it come first from your head or your heart?"
no reply could I make, though at length I awoke
remembering the words which La Rochefoucauld spoke.
"He's learned to put vanity out of his way,
and as a result he has nothing to say!"
from: At the Water’s Edge
Copyright © 1997, 1998
by J.D. Deutschendorf