Friedrich Nietzsche, Miscellaneous Maxims and opinions (Vermischte Meinungen und Sprüche).

Miscellaneous Maxims and Opinions, the first supplement to Human, All Too Human, first published in 1879.  A second supplement, The Wanderer and his Shadow (Der Wanderer und sein Schatten) followed in 1880.

  

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Previous Section   352. STAIRCASE HAPPINESS   Next Section

Staircase Happiness.  Just as the wit of many men does not keep pace with opportunity (so that opportunity has already passed through the door while wit still waits on the staircase outside), so others have a kind of staircase happiness, which walks too slowly to keep pace with swift-footed Time.  The best that it can enjoy of an experience, of a whole span of life, falls to its share long afterwards, often only as a weak, spicy fragrance, giving rise to longing and sadness — as if "it might have been possible" — some time or other — to drink one's fill of this element: but now it is too late.  
 

Friedrich Nietzsche, "Ecce Homo" Ebook

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