As for reading, he [Montaigne] could hardly read any book for more than an hour at a time, and his memory was so bad that he forgot what was in his mind as he walked from one room to another. Book learning is nothing to be proud of, and as for the achievements of science, what do they amount to? He had always mixed with clever men, and his father had a positive veneration for them, but he had observed that, though they have their fine moments, their rhapsodies, their visions, the cleverest tremble on the verge of folly. Observe yourself: one moment you are exalted, next a broken glass puts your nerves on edge. All extremes are dangerous. It is best to keep in the middle of the road, in the common ruts, however muddy. In writing choose the common words; avoid rhapsody and eloquence - yet it is true, poetry is delicious, the best prose is that which is most full of poetry.
Virginia Woolf, "Montaigne", The Common Reader, vol. I, Vintage Classics, 2003 (publicado pela primeira vez em 1925, edição revista publicada pela Hogarth Press em 1984).