Thoughts Out of Season, Part II

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 35

workers who sift and cast together the
material because they can never become great historians. They must,
still less, be confounded with them, for they are the necessary
bricklayers and apprentices in the service of the master: just as the
French used to speak, more naïvely than a German would, of the
"historiens de M. Thiers." These workmen should gradually become
extremely learned, but never, for that reason, turn to be masters.
Great learning and great shallowness go together very well under one

Thus, history is to be written by the man of experience and
character. He who has not lived through something greater and nobler
than others, will not be able to explain anything great and noble in
the past. The language of the past is always oracular: you will only
understand it as builders of the future who know the present. We can
only explain the extraordinarily wide influence of Delphi by the fact
that the Delphic priests had an exact knowledge of the past: and,
similarly, only he who is building up the future has a right to judge
the past. If you set a great aim before your eyes, you control at the
same time the itch for analysis that makes the present into a desert
for you, and all rest, all peaceful growth and ripening, impossible.
Hedge yourselves with a great, all-embracing hope, and strive on.
Make of yourselves a mirror where the future may see itself, and
forget the superstition that you are Epigoni. You have enough to
ponder and find out, in pondering the life of the future: but do not
ask history to show you the means and the instrument to it. If you
live yourselves back into the history of great men, you will find in
it the high command to come to maturity and leave that blighting
system of cultivation offered by your time: which sees its own profit
in not allowing you to become ripe, that it may use and dominate you
while you are yet unripe. And if you want biographies, do not look
for those with the legend "Mr. So-and-so and his times," but for one
whose title-page might be inscribed "a fighter against his time."
Feast your souls on Plutarch, and dare to believe in yourselves when
you believe in his heroes. A hundred such men--educated against the
fashion of to-day, made familiar with the heroic, and come to
maturity--are enough to give an eternal quietus to the noisy sham
education of this time.


The unrestrained historical sense, pushed to its logical extreme,
uproots the future, because it destroys illusions and robs existing

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with The Joyful Wisdom

Page 17
_For Consideration.
Page 42
_Unconditional Duties.
Page 83
"What should I do with the child," he asked, "it is wretched, deformed, and has not even enough of life to die.
Page 85
Page 86
_Art and Nature.
Page 109
Page 123
But in the primitive period of the human race, the latter and the former propositions were identical, the first were not generalisations of the second, but the second were explanations of the first.
Page 138
_—The first musician for me would be he who knew only the sorrow.
Page 163
It is especially terrifying to him that the hardest is here demanded, that the best is done without the reward of praise or distinction; it is rather as among soldiers—almost nothing but blame and sharp reprimand _is heard_; for doing well prevails here as the rule, doing ill as the exception; the rule, however, has, here as everywhere, a silent tongue.
Page 179
"_Life as a means to knowledge_"—with this principle in one's heart, one can not only be brave, but can even _live joyfully and laugh joyfully_! And who could know how to laugh well and live well, who did not first understand the full meaning of war and victory! 325.
Page 189
—That from which we suffer most profoundly and personally is almost incomprehensible and inaccessible to every one else: in this matter we are hidden from our neighbour even when he eats at the same table with us.
Page 204
It should be taken as symptomatic when individual philosophers, as for example, the consumptive Spinoza, have seen and have been obliged to see the principal feature of life precisely in the so-called self-preservative instinct:—they have just been men in states of distress.
Page 207
The European disguises himself _in morality_ because he has become a sick, sickly, crippled animal, who has good reasons for being "tame," because he is almost an abortion, an imperfect, weak and clumsy thing.
Page 220
circumstances a _nobler_ institution than the State.
Page 235
Page 246
As 'neath a shady tree I sat After long toil to take my pleasure, I heard a tapping "pit-a-pat" Beat prettily in rhythmic measure.
Page 247
"Yes, yes, good sir, you are a poet," Chirped out the pecker, mocking me.
Page 248
"Yes, yes, good sir, you are a poet," Chirped out the pecker, mocking me.
Page 255
Pinching sore, in devil's mood, Love doth plague my crupper: Truly I can eat no food: Farewell, onion-supper! Seaward sinks the moon away, The stars are wan, and flare not: Dawn approaches, gloomy, grey, Let Death come! I care not! .
Page 256
Ah, what I wrote on board and wall With foolish heart, in foolish scrawl, I meant but for their decoration! Yet say you, "Fools' abomination! Both board and wall require purgation, And let no trace our eyes appal!" .