Ah, if I were on my guard against man, how could man be an anchor to my ball! Too easily would I be pulled upwards and away!
This providence is over my fate, that I have to be without foresight.
And he who would not languish amongst men, must learn to drink out of all glasses; and he who would keep clean amongst men, must know how to wash himself even with dirty water.
And thus spoke I often to myself for consolation: "Courage! Cheer up! old heart! An unhappiness has failed to befall you: enjoy that as thy- happiness!"
This, however, is my other manly prudence: I am more forbearing to the vain than to the proud.
Is not wounded vanity the mother of all tragedies? Where, however, pride is wounded, there there grows up something better than pride.
That life may be fair to behold, its game must be well played; for that purpose, however, it needs good actors.
Good actors have I found all the vain ones: they play, and wish people to be fond of beholding them- all their spirit is in this wish.
They represent themselves, they invent themselves; in their neighborhood I like to look upon life- it cures of melancholy.
Therefore am I forbearing to the vain, because they are the physicians of my melancholy, and keep me attached to man as to a drama.
And further, who conceives the full depth of the modesty of the vain man! I am favorable to him, and sympathetic on account of his modesty.