Human, All Too Human II
The Wanderer and His Shadow
8 In the night. -As soon as night falls, our feeling about the nearest of things is changed. There is the wind, which travels as if upon forbidden paths, whispering as if seeking something, annoyed because it does not find it. There is the lamplight, with a gloomy, reddish gleam, gazing wearily, striving unwillingly against the night, an impatient slave of wakeful human beings. There are the breaths of someone sleeping, their shuddering rhythm to which an ever-returning care seems to sound the melody-we do not hear it, but if the breast of the sleeper rises up, we feel our heart constricted and if the breath sinks down and almost dies into a deathly stillness, we say to ourselves, “rest a while, you poor, tormented spirit!” -we wish for an eternal peace for all living things, because they live so oppressed; night is persuasive about death. -If humans do without the sun and lead the battle against the night with moonlight and oil, what philosophy would wrap its veil around them! We already perceive how living half of their lives veiled by darkness and deprivation of sunlight casts a pall upon the whole of humans’ spiritual and psychic nature.