nothing to occupy them, they are superfluous, they
do not feel themselves in possession of their superiority, and hence
readily show their displeasure.
THE RELATIVES OF A SUICIDE.--The relatives of a suicide take it in
ill part that he did not remain alive out of consideration for their
INGRATITUDE FORESEEN.--He who makes a large gift gets no gratitude; for
the recipient is already overburdened by the acceptance of the gift.
IN DULL SOCIETY.--Nobody thanks a witty man for politeness when he puts
himself on a par with a society in which it would not be polite to show
THE PRESENCE OF WITNESSES.--We are doubly willing to jump into the
water after some one who has fallen in, if there are people present who
have not the courage to do so.
BEING SILENT.--For both parties in a controversy, the most disagreeable
way of retaliating is to be vexed and silent; for the aggressor usually
regards the silence as a sign of contempt.
FRIENDS' SECRETS.--Few people will not expose the private affairs of
their friends when at a loss for a subject of conversation.
HUMANITY.--The humanity of intellectual celebrities consists in
courteously submitting to unfairness in intercourse with those who are
I not celebrated.
THE EMBARRASSED.--People who do not feel sure of themselves in society
seize every opportunity of publicly showing their superiority to close
friends, for instance by teasing them.
THANKS.--A refined nature is vexed by knowing that some one owes it
thanks, a coarse nature by knowing that it owes thanks to some one.
A SIGN OF ESTRANGEMENT.--The surest sign of the estrangement of the
opinions of two persons is when they both say something ironical to
each other and neither of them feels the irony.
PRESUMPTION IN CONNECTION WITH MERIT.--Presumption in connection with
merit offends us even more than presumption in persons devoid of merit,
for merit in itself offends us.
DANGER IN THE VOICE.--In conversation we are sometimes confused by the
tone of our own voice, and misled to make assertions that do not at all
correspond to our opinions.
IN CONVERSATION.--Whether in conversation with others we mostly agree
or mostly disagree with them is a matter of habit; there is sense in
FEAR OF OUR NEIGHBOUR.--We are afraid of the animosity of our
neighbour, because we are apprehensive that he may thereby discover our
DISTINGUISHING BY BLAMING.--Highly respected persons distribute even
their blame in such fashion that they try to distinguish us therewith.
It is intended to remind us of their serious interest in us. We
misunderstand them entirely when we take their blame literally and
protest against it; we thereby offend them and estrange ourselves from
History is for the few not the many, for the man not the youth, for the great not the small--who are broken and bewildered by it.Page 7
"History," he says, "is useful for one purpose, if studied in detail: that men may know, as the greatest and best spirits of our generation do not know, the accidental nature of the forms in which they see and insist on others seeing,--insist, I say, because their consciousness of them is exceptionally intense.Page 8
He has a divine insight into the original meaning of the hieroglyphs, and comes even to be weary of the letters that are continually unrolled before him.Page 10
And the way passes through.Page 13
They are connoisseurs of art, primarily because they wish to kill art; they pretend to be physicians, when their real idea is to dabble in poisons.Page 18
We stop too often at knowing the good without doing it, because we also know the better but cannot do it.Page 23
From the strong need the strong action may one day arise.Page 24
It is the same with the modern man, who is continually having a world-panorama unrolled before his eyes by his historical artists.Page 37
If that veil be taken away and a religion, an art, or a genius condemned to revolve like a star without an atmosphere, we must not be surprised if it becomes hard and unfruitful, and soon withers.Page 41
For mankind still keeps to its _memento mori_, and shows it by the universal need for history; science may flap its wings as it will, it has never been able to gain the free air.Page 43
The thought of being Epigoni, that is often a torture, can yet create a spring of hope for the future, to the individual as well as the people: so.Page 56
And in this kingdom of youth I can cry Land! Land! Enough, and more than enough, of the wild voyage over dark strange seas, of eternal search and eternal disappointment! The coast is at last in sight.Page 59
And being such a dead fabric of words and ideas, that yet has an uncanny movement in it, I have still perhaps the right to say _cogito ergo sum_, though not _vivo ergo cogito_.Page 77
not exist after death, and all our struggle to gain a possession that may follow us even to the grave is in vain.Page 80
The study of ancient or foreign history is valuable, if at all, for a correct judgment on the whole destiny of man; which must be drawn not only from an average estimate but from a comparison of the highest destinies that can befall individuals or nations.Page 88
really angry, it would be still better.Page 94
We understand this sometimes, as I say, and stand amazed at the whirl and the rush and the anxiety and all the dream that we call our life; we seem to fear the awakening, and our dreams too become vivid and restless, as the awakening draws near.Page 95
" In the first place, the new duties are certainly not those of a hermit; they imply rather a vast community, held together not by external forms but by a fundamental idea, namely that of _culture_; though only so far as it can put a single task before each of us--to bring the philosopher, the artist and the saint,.Page 103
their envy, secretiveness and impurity: he is troubled by their innate love of the false and the ignoble, their wretched mimicry and translation of a good foreign thing into a bad German one.Page 108
" On the other way he will find fewer companions; it is steeper and more tortuous.