Not the height, it is the declivity that is terrible!
The declivity, where the gaze shooteth downwards, and the hand graspeth upwards. There doth the heart become giddy through its double will.
Ah, friends, do ye divine also my hearts double will?
This, this is my declivity and my danger, that my gaze shooteth towards the summit, and my hand would fain clutch and leanon the depth!
To man clingeth my will; with chains do I bind myself to man, because I am pulled upwards to the Superman; for thither doth mine other will tend.
And therefore do I live blindly among men, as if I knew them not, that my hand may not entirely lose belief in firmness.
I know not you men; this gloom and consolation is often spread around me.
I sit at the gateway for every rogue, and ask: Who wisheth to deceive me?
This is my first manly prudence, that I allow myself to be deceived, so as not to be on my guard against deceivers.
Ah, if I were on my guard against man, how could man be an anchor to my ball! Too easily would I be pulled upwards and away!
This providence is over my fate, that I have to be without foresight.
And he who would not languish amongst men must learn to drink out of all glasses; and he who would keep clean amongst men must know how to wash himself even with dirty water.
And thus spake I often to myself for consolation: Courage! Cheer up, old heart! An unhappiness hath failed to befall thee; enjoy that as thyhappiness!
This, however, is mine other manly prudence: I am more forbearing to the vain than to the proud.
Is not wounded vanity the mother of all tragedies? Where, however, pride is wounded, there groweth up something better than pride.
That life may be fair to behold, its game must be well played; for that purpose, however, it needeth good actors.
Good actors have I found all the vain ones; they play, and wish people to be fond of beholding themall their spirit is in this wish.
They represent themselves, they invent themselves; in their neighbourhood I like to look upon lifeit cureth of melancholy.
Therefore am I forbearing to the vain, because they are the physicians of my melancholy, and keep me attached to man as to a drama.
And further, who conceiveth the full depth of the modesty of the vain man! I am favourable to him, and sympathetic on account of his modesty.
From you would he learn his belief in himself; he feedeth upon your glances, he eateth praise out of your hands.
|Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.|