The Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer; Religion, a Dialogue, Etc. eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 103 pages of information about The Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer; Religion, a Dialogue, Etc..
themselves to know how others have employed theirs.  The worst of it is that, as you will find, the more knowledge takes the direction of literary research, the less the power of promoting knowledge becomes; the only thing that increases is pride in the possession of it.  Such persons believe that they possess knowledge in a greater degree than those who really possess it.  It is surely a well-founded remark, that knowledge never makes its possessor proud.  Those alone let themselves be blown out with pride, who incapable of extending knowledge in their own persons, occupy themselves with clearing up dark points in its history, or are able to recount what others have done.  They are proud, because they consider this occupation, which is mostly of a mechanical nature, the practice of knowledge.  I could illustrate what I mean by examples, but it would be an odious task.

Still, I wish some one would attempt a tragical history of literature, giving the way in which the writers and artists, who form the proudest possession of the various nations which have given them birth, have been treated by them during their lives.  Such a history would exhibit the ceaseless warfare, which what was good and genuine in all times and countries has had to wage with what was bad and perverse.  It would tell of the martyrdom of almost all those who truly enlightened humanity, of almost all the great masters of every kind of art:  it would show us how, with few exceptions, they were tormented to death, without recognition, without sympathy, without followers; how they lived in poverty and misery, whilst fame, honor, and riches, were the lot of the unworthy; how their fate was that of Esau, who while he was hunting and getting venison for his father, was robbed of the blessing by Jacob, disguised in his brother’s clothes, how, in spite of all, they were kept up by the love of their work, until at last the bitter fight of the teacher of humanity is over, until the immortal laurel is held out to him, and the hour strikes when it can be said: 

  Der sehwere Panzer wird zum Fluegelkleide
  Kurz ist der Schmerz, unendlich ist die Freude.


That the outer man is a picture of the inner, and the face an expression and revelation of the whole character, is a presumption likely enough in itself, and therefore a safe one to go by; evidenced as it is by the fact that people are always anxious to see anyone who has made himself famous by good or evil, or as the author of some extraordinary work; or if they cannot get a sight of him, to hear at any rate from others what he looks like.  So people go to places where they may expect to see the person who interests them; the press, especially in England, endeavors to give a minute and striking description of his appearance; painters and engravers lose no time in putting him visibly before us; and finally photography, on that very account of such high value,

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The Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer; Religion, a Dialogue, Etc. from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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