Basel, October 22, 1875:
Dear Doctor, I had too much pleasure from your psychological observations for me to take quite seriously your Dead Man-Incognito ("posthumous writings").1 I recently found your work while rummaging through all sorts of new books, and immediately recognized some of the thoughts as your property, and the same experience was had by Gersdorff,2 who just recently quoted to me this thought from former times: "To be able to be comfortable in silence with one another may indeed be a greater sign of friendship than to be able to comfortably talk with one another, as Ree said."3 You are, therefore, living on in me and my friends, and when I had your so highly esteemed manuscript in my hands, nothing was more regretable than to be forced by a serious eye condition to swear off writing letters completely.
Far be it from me to presume praising you, nor do I wish to vex you with any "hopes" that I place in you. No! If you never publish anything other than these spirit-forming maxims, if this work is and remains your actual legacy, then all is well and good: whoever lives and walks so independently has the right to request that one spare him from praise and hopes. In the event that you intend to publish anything else, I would just like to draw your attention to the fact that you can always count with certainty on my publisher, Mr. E. Schmeitzner4 in Schloss-Chemnitz. I say this especially because the only thing about your work I am not happy with is the last page, upon which the writings of Mr. E. von Hartmann5 parade back and forth; the work of a thinker, however, should not even on its posterior part remind one of the writings of a pseudo-thinker.
With very good wishes for your well-being and the request to kindly accept my gratitude for having given your maxims at all to the public — with which you demonstrate that you have the spiritual welfare of your fellow man at heart,
I am and remain
1. Nietzsche refers to the title of Paul Rée's
anonymously published work, Psychologische
Beobachtungen. Aus dem Nachlaß von * * *. [Psychological Observations. From the Postumous Writings of * * *.] Berlin: