…Rousseau maintained that a person’s attitude to cats was a vital test of character. Those of a despotic nature “do not like cats because the cat is free and will never consent to become a slave.” A relationship with a dog, too should not be one of ruler and subject. [...] Rousseau wrote, “My dog himself was my friend, not my slave: we always had the same will, but it was not because he obeyed me.”
About the book:
You’ll enjoy this book if you like celebrity love matches gone wrong or enjoy office politicking. After a “break-up” in the 18th century, celebrated individuals, in this case David Hume and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, waged war via news print (consider it early PR), which were plentiful in that day.
Their tiff at times was tiresome. I couldn’t help wondering why two profoundly intelligent men would bother which such silliness, but it all had to do with manners and being perceived a proper gentleman. I found myself longing for a duel or for one man to slap the other man’s cheek (with kid gloves would have been a nice touch).
Despite the tediousness of the wrong and the righting of it (which neither man ever perceived the wrong being righted), I enjoyed learning of the development of their individual ideas and of their personal alliances.
BTW – you’ll have to read the book to learn of the wrong!