Friedrich Nietzsche, The Wanderer and His Shadow (Der Wanderer und sein Schatten).

The Wanderer and his Shadow, the second supplement to Human, All Too Human, first published in 1880.


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Et in Arcadia Ego.  I looked down, over waves of hills, to a milky green lake, through firs and pines austere with age; rocky crags of all shapes about me, the soil gay with flowers and grasses.  A herd of cattle moved, stretched, and expanded itself before me; single cows and groups in the distance, in the clearest evening light, hard by the forest of pines; others nearer and darker; all in calm and eventide contentment.  My watch pointed to half past six.  The bull of the herd had stepped into the white foaming brook, and went forward slowly, now striving against, now giving way to his tempestuous course; thus, no doubt, he took his sort of fierce pleasure.  Two dark brown beings, of Bergamasque origin, tended the herd, the girl dressed almost like a boy.  On the left, overhanging cliffs and fields of snow above broad belts of woodland; to the right, two enormous ice covered peaks, high above me, shimmering in the veil of the sunny haze — all large, silent, and bright.  The beauty of the whole was awe inspiring and induced to a mute worship of the moment and its revelation.  Unconsciously, as if nothing could be more natural, you peopled this pure, clear world of light (which had no trace of yearning, of expectancy, of looking forward or backward) with Greek heroes.  You felt it all as Poussin and his school felt — at once heroic and idyllic.  So individual men too have lived, constantly feeling themselves in the world and the world in themselves, and among them one of the greatest men, the inventor of a heroic-idyllic form of philosophy — Epicurus.  

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