inward confidence in his prophetic gift. We give credence to
the marvellous and irrational when it flatters our self-esteem.
A PROFESSION.--A profession is the backbone of life.
THE DANGER OF PERSONAL INFLUENCE.--Whoever feels that he exercises a
great inward influence over another person must give him a perfectly
free rein, must, in fact, welcome and even induce occasional
opposition, otherwise he will inevitably make an enemy.
RECOGNITION OF THE HEIR.--Whoever has founded something great in an
unselfish spirit is careful to rear heirs for his work. It is the sign
of a tyrannical and ignoble nature to see opponents in all possible
heirs, and to live in a state of self-defence against them.
PARTIAL KNOWLEDGE.--Partial knowledge is more triumphant than complete
knowledge; it takes things to be simpler than they are, and so makes
its theory more popular and convincing.
UNSUITABLE FOR A PARTY-MAN.--Whoever thinks much is unsuitable for a
party-man; his thinking leads him too quickly beyond the party.
A BAD MEMORY.--The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several
times the same good things for the _first_ time.
SELF-AFFLICTION.--Want of consideration is often the sign of a
discordant inner nature, which craves for stupefaction.
MARTYRS.--The disciples of a martyr suffer more than the martyr.
ARREARS OF VANITY.--The vanity of many people who have no occasion to
be vain is the inveterate habit, still surviving from the time when
people had no right to the belief in themselves and only begged it in
small sums from others.
_PUNCTUM SALIENS_ OF PASSION.--A person falling into a rage or into a
violent passion of love reaches a point when the soul is full like a
hogshead, but nevertheless a drop of water has still to be added, the
good will for the passion (which is also generally called the evil
will). This item only is necessary, and then the hogshead overflows.
A GLOOMY THOUGHT.--It is with men as with the charcoal fires in the
forest. It is only when young men have cooled down and have got
charred, like these piles, that they become _useful._ As long as they
fume and smoke they are perhaps more interesting, but they are useless
and too often uncomfortable. Humanity ruthlessly uses every individual
as material for the heating of its great machines; but what then is the
purpose of the machines, when all individuals (that is, the human race)
are useful only to maintain them? Machines that are ends in themselves:
is that the _umana commedia_?
THE HOUR-HAND OF LIFE.--Life consists of rare single moments of the
greatest importance, and of countless intervals during which, at best,
the phantoms of those moments hover
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