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   626. WITHOUT MELODY   Next Section

WITHOUT MELODY.  There are persons to whom a constant repose in themselves and the harmonious ordering of all their capacities is so natural that every definite activity is repugnant to them.  They resemble music which consists of nothing but prolonged, harmonious accords, without even the tendency to an organised and animated melody showing itself.  All external movement serves only to restore to the boat its equilibrium on the sea of harmonious euphony.  Modern men usually become excessively impatient when they meet such natures, who will never be anything in the world, only it is not allowable to say of them that they are nothing.  But in certain moods the sight of them raises the unusual question: "Why should there be melody at all?  Why should it not suffice us when life mirrors itself peacefully in a deep lake”?  The Middle Ages were richer in such natures than our times.  How seldom one now meets with anyone who can live on so peacefully and happily with himself even in the midst of the crowd, saying to himself, like Goethe, "The best thing of all is the deep calm in which I live and grow in opposition to the world, and gain what it cannot take away from me with fire and sword”.  
 

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