This chapter addresses the seventeenth-century vogue of distilling Montaigne's Essays into aphoristic form, assimilating Montaignian thought into vernacular-wisdom literature. It relies not only on early modern commonplace books and study notes which extract and condense ideas from Montaigne's Essays as translated by Florio, but also upon a previously-unknown anonymous English translation of portions of Montaigne which dates from the mid-seventeenth century. Aphoristic adaptation provides an exceptionally clear instance of Montaignian reception among early modern English readers. But the impulse toward compressed extraction also helps significantly to explain the gradual demise of Florio's translation and the appearance, in 1685, of Cotton's tighter, plainer, more thoroughly censored, and far less exuberant rendering of the Essays.
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