D'Epinay and others, and while Mrs Macdonald's researches have done much to suggest a rehabilitation of Rousseau's veracity they have not definitely been accepted to an extent which would justify the rewriting of these other lives in her sense.
There we must figure to ourselves the philosopher, constantly referring to his autograph rolls; entering references and cross-references; correcting, rewriting, collecting and arranging them according to their subjects; showing as well as reading them to his pupils; with little thought of publication, but with his whole soul concentrated on being and truth.
No doubt, however, he went on writing and rewriting well into the last period of his life; for example, the recently discovered 'Ath i valwv 7roXtreia mentions on the one hand (c. 54) the archonship of Cephisophon (329-328), on the other hand (c. 46) triremes and quadriremes but without quinqueremes, which first appeared at Athens in 325-324; and as it mentions nothing later it probably received its final touches between 329 and 324.
He began to hope that his earlier work, if recast and lightened, might share the fortunes of its successor; and at intervals throughout the next four years he occupied himself in rewriting it in a more succinct form with all the literary grace at his command.
He spared no pains to acquire true style, frequently rewriting his chapters, and sometimes testing passages of philosophy and description in eight different forms. Yet to a certain extent he lacked the representative power and often failed to conceal his art, many pages ringing with artificial tones.