It is much better to offend him once than myself every day, for it would be a perpetual slavery

From Montaigne’s Essais Book 1, XIII – Ceremonie de l’entreveu des Rois, The Ceremony of the Interview of Princes:

For my part, who as much as I can endeavour to reduce the ceremonies of my house, I very often forget both the one and the other of these vain offices [of receiving and seeing off guests]. If, peradventure, some one may take offence at this, I can’t help it; it is much better to offend him once than myself every day, for it would be a perpetual slavery.

Pour moy j’oublie souvent l’un et l’autre de ces vains offices, comme je retranche en ma maison toute ceremonie. Quelqu’un s’en offence: qu’y ferois-je? Il vaut mieux que je l’offence pour une fois, que à moy tous les jours: ce seroit une subjection continuelle.

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