of two or of three women.
And if he founded monasteries, and inscribed over their portals: "The
way to holiness,"--I should still say: What good is it! it is a new
He hath founded for himself a penance-house and refuge-house: much good
may it do! But I do not believe in it.
In solitude there groweth what any one bringeth into it--also the brute
in one's nature. Thus is solitude inadvisable unto many.
Hath there ever been anything filthier on earth than the saints of
the wilderness? AROUND THEM was not only the devil loose--but also the
Shy, ashamed, awkward, like the tiger whose spring hath failed--thus, ye
higher men, have I often seen you slink aside. A CAST which ye made had
But what doth it matter, ye dice-players! Ye had not learned to play and
mock, as one must play and mock! Do we not ever sit at a great table of
mocking and playing?
And if great things have been a failure with you, have ye yourselves
therefore--been a failure? And if ye yourselves have been a failure,
hath man therefore--been a failure? If man, however, hath been a
failure: well then! never mind!
The higher its type, always the seldomer doth a thing succeed. Ye higher
men here, have ye not all--been failures?
Be of good cheer; what doth it matter? How much is still possible! Learn
to laugh at yourselves, as ye ought to laugh!
What wonder even that ye have failed and only half-succeeded, ye
half-shattered ones! Doth not--man's FUTURE strive and struggle in you?
Man's furthest, profoundest, star-highest issues, his prodigious
powers--do not all these foam through one another in your vessel?
What wonder that many a vessel shattereth! Learn to laugh at yourselves,
as ye ought to laugh! Ye higher men, O, how much is still possible!
And verily, how much hath already succeeded! How rich is this earth in
small, good, perfect things, in well-constituted things!
Set around you small, good, perfect things, ye higher men. Their golden
maturity healeth the heart. The perfect teacheth one to hope.
What hath hitherto been the greatest sin here on earth? Was it not the
word of him who said: "Woe unto them that laugh now!"
Did he himself find no cause for laughter on the earth? Then he sought
badly. A child even findeth cause for it.
He--did not love sufficiently: otherwise would he also have loved
us, the laughing ones! But he hated and hooted us; wailing and
teeth-gnashing did he promise us.
Must one then curse immediately, when one doth not love? That--seemeth
to me bad taste. Thus did he, however,
Fairbanks, AK, 99712.Page 1
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