This [...] was written in good faith, reader. It warns you from the outset that in it, I have proposed to myself no other than a domestic and private end. I have had no consideration at all either to your service or to my glory. My powers are inadequate for such a purpose. [...] If I had written to seek the world's favour, I should have bedecked myself better, and should present myself in a studied posture. I want to be seen here in my simple, natural, ordinary fashion, without the straining or artifice; for it is myself that I portray. Thus, reader, I myself am the matter of my book: there’s no reason that you should employ your leisure upon so frivolous and vain a subject. Therefore farewell. Montaigne, this first day of March, fifteen hundred and eighty.
Michel de Montaigne, "To the Reader", Book I of Essais (English translation by Donald M. Frame)