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   49. IN THE MIRROR OF NATURE   Next Section

In the Mirror of Nature.  Is not a man fairly well described, when we are told that he likes to walk between tall fields of golden corn: that he prefers the forest and flower colours of sere and chilly autumn to all others, because they point to something more beautiful than Nature has ever attained: that he feels as much at home under big broad-leaved walnut trees as among his nearest kinsfolk: that in the mountains his greatest joy is to come across those tiny distant lakes from which the very eyes of solitude seem to peer at him: that he loves that grey calm of the misty twilight that steals along the windows on autumn and early winter evenings and shuts out all soulless sounds as with velvet curtains: that in unhewn stones he recognises the last remaining traces of the primeval age, eager for speech, and honours them from childhood upwards: that, lastly, the sea with its shifting serpent skin and wild-beast beauty is, and remains to him, unfamiliar?  Yes, something of the man is described herewith, but the mirror of Nature does not say that the same man, with (and not even "in spite of") all his idyllic sensibilities, might be disagreeable, stingy, and conceited.  Horace, who was a good judge of such matters, in his famous beatus ille qui procul negotiis puts the tenderest feeling for country life into the mouth of a Roman moneylender.  
 

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