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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LAMENTATION.  It is, perhaps, the advantages of our epoch that bring with them a backward movement and an occasional undervaluing of the vita contemplative But it must be acknowledged that our time is poor in the matter of great moralists, that Pascal, Epictetus, Seneca, and Plutarch are now but little read, that work and industry formerly in the following of the great goddess Health sometimes appear to rage like a disease.  Because time to think and tranquillity in thought are lacking, we no longer ponder over different views, but content ourselves with hating them.  With the enormous acceleration of life, mind and eye grow accustomed to a partial and false sight and judgment, and all people are like travellers whose only acquaintance with countries and nations is derived from the railway.  An independent and cautious attitude of knowledge is looked upon almost as a kind of madness; the free spirit is brought into disrepute, chiefly through scholars, who miss their thoroughness and ant like industry in his art of regarding things and would gladly banish him into one single corner of science, while it has the different and higher mission of commanding the battalion rear guard of scientific and learned men from an isolated position, and showing them the ways and aims of culture.  A song of lamentation such as that which has just been sung will probably have its own period, and will cease of its own accord on a forcible return of the genius of meditation.  
 

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