Friedrich Nietzsche, Human All Too Human (Menschliches, Allzumenschliches), subtitled A Book for Free Spirits (Ein Buch für freie Geister).

First published in 1878.   A second part, Assorted Opinions and Maxims (Vermischte Meinungen und Sprüche), was published in 1879, and a third part, The Wanderer and his Shadow (Der Wanderer und sein Schatten), followed in 1880.

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Previous Section   248. THE CONSOLING SPEECH OF A DESPERATE ADVANCE   Next Section

THE CONSOLING SPEECH OF A DESPERATE ADVANCE.  Our age gives the impression of an intermediate condition; the old ways of regarding the world, the old cultures still partially exist, the new are not yet sure and customary and hence are without decision and consistency.  It appears as if everything would become chaotic, as if the old were being lost, the new worthless and ever becoming weaker.  But this is what the soldier feels who is learning to march; for a time he is more uncertain and awkward, because his muscles are moved sometimes according to the old system and sometimes according to the new, and neither gains a decisive victory.  We waver, but it is necessary not to lose courage and give up what we have newly gained.  Moreover, we cannot go back to the old, we have burnt our boats; there remains nothing but to be brave whatever happen.  March ahead- only get forward!  Perhaps our behaviour looks like progress; but if not, then the words of Frederick the Great may also be applied to us, and indeed as a consolation: "Ah, mon cher Sulzer, vous ne connaissez pas assez cette race maudite, a laquelle nous appartenons”.  

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