Que Sais-Je?

“We live now in days when Authority is said to be worn out and discredited. But never was Authority more numerously or more noisily represented. In the disintegration of the old social body every little worm that springs from its corruption into life comes forth exclaiming ‘I am He!’ Each clever youth who has just left school is in haste to found a school of his own. Every philosopher shouts ‘Eureka!’ Every politician has taken out a patent of his own for the creation of a new heaven and a new earth. Ask what question you will, someone is at hand to answer it with assurance. But from all these confident professors of conflicting certainties, what answer shall we take to the question Montaigne asked himself three hundred years ago, — Que sais-je?” (Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1883, An Essayist of Three Hundred Years Ago)