The Olympian vice. - In spite of that philosopher who, as a genuine Englishman, tried to make laughing a defamation of character among all thinking men - "Laughter is a serious infirmity of human nature which every thinking man will strive to overcome" (Hobbes) - I would really allow myself to order the ranks of philosophers according to the rank of their laughter - right up to those who are capable of golden laughter.4 And assuming that the gods also practise philosophy, a fact which many conclusions have already driven me to - I don't doubt that in the process they know how to laugh in a superhuman and new way - and at the expense of all serious things! Gods delight in making fun: even where sacred actions are concerned, it seems they cannot stop laughing.
4. What Nietzsche offers here in German as a quotation from Hobbes is not, according to Walter Kaufmann, found in any of Hobbes' works, although Hobbes does discuss laughter on a number of occasions (see Kaufmann's translation of Beyond Good and Evil, 231).