Beyond Good and Evil

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 23

comedy-writers--Lessing loved also free-spiritism in the TEMPO,
and flight out of Germany. But how could the German language, even
in the prose of Lessing, imitate the TEMPO of Machiavelli, who in his
"Principe" makes us breathe the dry, fine air of Florence, and cannot
help presenting the most serious events in a boisterous allegrissimo,
perhaps not without a malicious artistic sense of the contrast he
ventures to present--long, heavy, difficult, dangerous thoughts, and
a TEMPO of the gallop, and of the best, wantonest humour? Finally, who
would venture on a German translation of Petronius, who, more than any
great musician hitherto, was a master of PRESTO in invention, ideas, and
words? What matter in the end about the swamps of the sick, evil world,
or of the "ancient world," when like him, one has the feet of a wind,
the rush, the breath, the emancipating scorn of a wind, which makes
everything healthy, by making everything RUN! And with regard to
Aristophanes--that transfiguring, complementary genius, for whose
sake one PARDONS all Hellenism for having existed, provided one has
understood in its full profundity ALL that there requires pardon and
transfiguration; there is nothing that has caused me to meditate more on
PLATO'S secrecy and sphinx-like nature, than the happily preserved petit
fait that under the pillow of his death-bed there was found no
"Bible," nor anything Egyptian, Pythagorean, or Platonic--but a book of
Aristophanes. How could even Plato have endured life--a Greek life which
he repudiated--without an Aristophanes!

29. It is the business of the very few to be independent; it is a
privilege of the strong. And whoever attempts it, even with the best
right, but without being OBLIGED to do so, proves that he is probably
not only strong, but also daring beyond measure. He enters into a
labyrinth, he multiplies a thousandfold the dangers which life in itself
already brings with it; not the least of which is that no one can see
how and where he loses his way, becomes isolated, and is torn piecemeal
by some minotaur of conscience. Supposing such a one comes to grief, it
is so far from the comprehension of men that they neither feel it, nor
sympathize with it. And he cannot any longer go back! He cannot even go
back again to the sympathy of men!

30. Our deepest insights must--and should--appear as follies, and under
certain circumstances as crimes, when they come unauthorizedly to
the ears of those who are not disposed and predestined for them. The
exoteric and the esoteric, as they were formerly distinguished by
philosophers--among the Indians, as among the Greeks, Persians, and

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night! 'Tis early for your pealing, ere the dome Sparkle in roseate glory, gold-bedight While yet 'tis day, there's time For strolling, lonely muttering, forging rhyme— My bliss! My bliss! COLUMBUS REDIVIVUS.
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----- Footnote 15: This poem is a parody of the "Chorus Mysticus" which concludes the second part of Goethe's "Faust.