once more become “infinite” to us: in so far we cannot dismiss the possibility that it contains infinite interpretations. Once more the great horror seizes us—but who would desire forthwith to deify once more this monster of an unknown world in the old fashion? And perhaps worship the unknown thing as the “unknown person” in future? Ah! there are too many ungodly possibilities of interpretation comprised in this unknown, too much devilment, stupidity and folly of interpretation,—our own human, all too human interpretation itself, which we know. . . .
Why we Seem to be Epicureans.—We are cautious, we modern men, with regard to final convictions, our distrust lies in wait for the enchantments and tricks of conscience involved in every strong belief, in every absolute Yea and Nay : how is this explained? Perhaps one may see in it a good deal of the caution of the “burnt child,” of the disillusioned idealist; but one may also see in it another and better element, the joyful curiosity of a former lingerer in a corner, who has been brought to despair by his nook, and now luxuriates and revels in its antithesis, in the un- bounded, in the “open air in itself” Thus there is developed an almost Epicurean inclination for knowledge, which does not readily lose sight of the questionable character of things; likewise also a repugnance to pompous moral phrases and attitudes, a taste that repudiates all coarse, square contrasts, and is proudly conscious of its habitual