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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DECEPTIVE AND YET DEFENSIBLE.  Just as in order to pass by an abyss or to cross a deep stream on a plank we require a railing, not to hold fast by, for it would instantly break down with us, but to give the notion of security to the eye, so in youth we require persons who unconsciously render us the service of that railing.  It is true they would not help us if we really wished to lean upon them in great danger, but they afford the tranquillising sensation of protection close to one (for instance, fathers, teachers, friends, as all three usually are).  
 

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All works are unique editions by Lexido of public domain texts provided by kind permission of Project Gutenberg

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