It is silent where I live
the hills and the trees absorb
all the noise you hear
I know what is going on out there
but also not
Human All too Human, The wanderer and his shadow
Et in Arcadia ego.I gazed below me, over rolling hills, toward a milky green lake, through fir trees and ancient, earnest spruces: all sorts of boulders around me, the ground brightly colored with flowers and grasses. A herd moved, stretched and spread out before me; farther off were individual cows and groups in the sharpest evening light, beside an evergreen wood; others were closer, darker; everything at peace in the satiety of evening. The clock showed about half past five. The herd’s bull had stepped into the white, foaming brook and plunged slowly along, now resisting, now giving way; he must have had his own sort of fierce pleasure in this. The cowherds were two darkbrown creatures, natives of Bergamo: the girl dressed almost like a boy. To the left, craggy slopes and fields of snow above wide belts of woods, to the right, two immense icy peaks high above me, floating in a veil of sunny vapor -everything grand, still and bright. All this beauty worked together to create a feeling of awe and of silent worship of the moment of its revelation; involuntarily, as though nothing were more natural, I inserted Greek heroes into this pure, sharp world of light (that had nothing at all of yearning, expectancy, of pro- and retrospectiveness about it); I must have been feeling as Poussin* and his students did: heroic and idyllic at the same time. -And individual human beings also lived in this way, persistently felt themselves to be in the world and the world in them, and among them one of the greatest human beings, the inventor of a heroic-idyllic form of philosophizing: Epicurus.
*Painter of the classical French Baroque style, Nietzsche probably had the painting you see underneath in mind.
Et in Arcadia ego (also known as Les bergers d’Arcadie or The Arcadian Shepherds) is a 1637–38 painting by Nicolas Poussin (1594–1665), the leading painter of the classical French Baroque style. It depicts a pastoral scene with idealized shepherds from classical antiquity, and a woman, possibly a shepherdess, gathered around an austere tomb that includes this inscription. It is held in the Louvre. Poussin painted two versions of the subject under the same title. His earlier version, painted in 1627, is held at Chatsworth House. An earlier treatment of the theme was painted by Guercino circa 1618–1622, also titled Et in Arcadia ego. See Wikipedia for more.