“Per–mit me. I know what you would say: that the views you represent are not, of necessity, your own; that you have only chanced upon that one of all the possible ones there are, as it were, in the air, and you try it on without personal responsibility. It befits your time of life, thus to avoid the settled convictions of the mature human, and to make experiments with a variety of points of view. Placet experiri,” he quoted, giving the Italian pronounciation to the c. “That is a good saying. But what troubles me is that your experiment should lead you in just this direction.”

— Settembrini to young Castorp, from The Magic Mountain (1924) by Thomas Mann