This charming essay is a plea for simplicity in life--for "simple thoughts, simple words, simple needs, simple pleasures, simple beauty." Translated from the French by Mary Louise Hendee.
dge, been able to exempt him from care for the state of his inner life. The face of the world alters around us, its intellectual and material factors vary; and no one can arrest these changes, whose suddenness is sometimes not short of perilous. But the important thing is that at the center of shifting circumstance man should remain man, live his life, make toward his goal. And whatever be his road, to make toward his goal, the traveler must not lose himself in crossways, nor hamper his movements with useless burdens. Let him heed well his direction and forces, and keep good faith; and that he may the better devote himself to the essential--which is to progress--at whatever sacrifice, let him simplify his baggage.
THE ESSENCE OF SIMPLICITY
Before considering the question of a practical return to the simplicity of which we dream, it will be necessary to define simplicity in its very essence. For in regard to it people commit the same error that we have just denounced, confounding t