l'homme dans la lune qu'à la femme.
Il est vrai qu'il est très peu homme lui aussi, ce timide noctambule.
En vérité, il passe sur les toits avec une mauvaise conscience.
Car il est plein de convoitise et de jalousie, ce moine dans la lune;
il convoite la terre et toutes les joies de ceux qui aiment.
Non, je ne l'aime pas, ce chat de gouttières; ils me dégoûtent, tous
ceux qui épient les fenêtres entr'ouvertes.
Pieux et silencieux, il passe sur des tapis d'étoiles: - mais je
déteste tous les hommes qui marchent sans bruit, et qui ne font pas
même sonner leurs éperons.
Les pas d'un homme loyal parlent; mais le chat marche à pas furtifs.
Voyez, la lune s'avance, déloyale comme un chat. -
Je vous donne cette parabole, à vous autres hypocrites sensibles, vous
qui cherchez la "connaissance pure"! C'est vous que j'appelle -
Vous aimez aussi la terre et tout ce qui est terrestre: je vous ai bien
devinés! - mais il y a dans votre amour de la honte et de la mauvaise
conscience, - vous ressemblez à la lune.
On a persuadé à votre esprit de mépriser tout ce qui est terrestre,
mais on n'a pas persuadé vos entrailles: pourtant _elles_ sont ce
qu'il y a de plus fort en vous!
Et maintenant votre esprit a honte d'obéir à vos entrailles et il suit
des chemins dérobés et trompeurs pour échapper à sa propre honte.
"Ce serait pour moi la chose la plus haute - ainsi se parle à lui-même
votre esprit mensonger - de regarder la vie sans convoitise et non
comme les chiens avec la langue pendante.
"Être heureux dans la contemplation, avec la volonté morte, sans
rapacité et sans envie égoïste - froid et gris sur tout le corps, mais
les yeux enivrés de lune.
"Ce serait pour moi la bonne part - ainsi s'éconduit lui-même celui qui
a été éconduit - d'aimer la terre comme l'aime la lune et de ne toucher
sa beauté que des yeux.
"Et voici ce que j'appelle _l'immaculée_ connaissance de toutes choses:
ne rien demander aux choses que de pouvoir s'étendre devant elles,
ainsi qu'un miroir aux cent regards." -
Hypocrites sensibles et lascifs! Il vous manque l'innocence dans le
désir: et c'est pourquoi vous calomniez le désir!
En vérité, vous n'aimez pas la terre comme des créateurs, des
générateurs, joyeux de créer!
Où y a-t-il de l'innocence? Là où il y a la volonté d'engendrer. Et
celui qui veut créer au-dessus de lui-même, celui-là possède à mes yeux
la volonté la plus pure.
Où a-t-il de la beauté?
And, in view of the difficulties of my task and the limited time at my disposal, to such listeners, alone, in my audience, shall I be able to make myself understood--and even then, it will be on condition that they shall guess what I can do no more than suggest, that they shall supply what I am compelled to omit; in brief, that they shall need but to be reminded and not to be taught.Page 7
_) Ladies and Gentlemen,--The subject I now propose to consider with you is such a serious and important one, and is in a sense so disquieting, that, like you, I would gladly turn to any one who could proffer some information concerning it,--were he ever so young, were his ideas ever so improbable--provided that he were able, by the exercise of his own faculties, to furnish some satisfactory and sufficient explanation.Page 10
In a moment we were in the refreshing.Page 11
The shadows were already lengthening, the sun still shone steadily, though it had sunk a good deal in the heavens, and from the green and glittering waves of the Rhine a cool breeze was wafted over our hot faces.Page 20
The first-named would, for various reasons, spread learning among the greatest number of people; the second would compel education to renounce its highest, noblest and sublimest claims in order to subordinate itself to some other department of life--such as the service of the State.Page 22
Thus, wherever I hear the masses raise the cry for an expansion of education, I am wont to ask myself whether it is stimulated by a greedy lust of gain and property, by the memory of a former religious persecution, or by the prudent egotism of the State itself.Page 31
Here a pompous form of diction is taught in an age when every spoken or written word is a piece of barbarism.Page 38
of ruins; one must love it so that one is not ashamed of it in its stunted form, and one must above all be on one's guard against confounding it with what now disports itself proudly as 'Up-to-date German culture.Page 40
Our solitary thinkers were perturbed by two facts: by clearly perceiving on the one hand that what might rightly be called "classical education" was now only a far-off ideal, a castle in the air, which could not possibly be built as a reality on the foundations of our present educational system, and that, on the other hand, what was now, with customary and unopposed euphemism, pointed to as "classical education" could only claim the value of a pretentious illusion, the best effect of which was that the expression "classical education" still lived on and had not yet lost its pathetic sound.Page 41
Just because we take this matter so seriously, we should not take our own poor selves so seriously: at the very moment we are falling some one else will grasp the banner of our faith.Page 43
_ all those who hold fast to the aristocratic nature of the mind; for, at bottom, they regard as their goal the emancipation of the masses from the mastery of the great few; they seek to overthrow the most sacred hierarchy in the kingdom of the intellect--the servitude of the masses, their submissive obedience, their instinct of loyalty to the rule of genius.Page 48
The public schools may still be seats of learning: not, however of _the_ learning which, as it were, is only the natural and involuntary auxiliary of a culture that is directed towards the noblest ends; but rather of that culture which might be compared to the hypertrophical swelling of an unhealthy body.Page 54
The question now is to what extent a man values his ego in comparison with other egos, how much of his strength he uses up in the endeavour to earn his living.Page 55
It may be freely admitted that for the great majority of men such a course of instruction is of the highest importance; and the more arduous the struggle is the more intensely must the young man strain every nerve to utilise his strength to the best advantage.Page 60
This hour was so well-timed for us, and our minds were so well prepared, that we sat there like empty vessels, and now it seems as if we were filled to overflowing with this new wisdom: for I no longer know how to help myself, and if some one asked me what I am thinking of doing to-morrow, or what I have made up my mind to do with myself from now on, I should not know what to answer.Page 62
" At this point the old philosopher could not control his anger, and shouted to his companion: "Oh, you innocent lamb of knowledge! You gentle sucking doves, all of you! And would you give the name of arguments to those distorted, clumsy, narrow-minded, ungainly, crippled things? Yes, I have just now been listening to the fruits of some of this present-day culture, and my ears are still ringing with the sound of historical 'self-understood' things, of over-wise and pitiless historical reasonings! Mark this, thou unprofaned Nature: thou hast grown old, and for thousands of years this starry sky has spanned the space above thee--but thou hast never yet heard such conceited and, at bottom, mischievous chatter as the talk of the present day! So you are proud of your poets and artists, my good Teutons? You point to them and brag about them to foreign countries, do you? And because it has given you no trouble to have them amongst you, you have formed the pleasant theory that you need not concern yourselves further with them? Isn't that so, my inexperienced children: they come of their own free will, the stork brings them to you! Who would dare to mention a midwife! You deserve an earnest teaching, eh? You should be proud of the fact that all the noble and brilliant men we have mentioned were prematurely suffocated, worn out, and crushed through you, through your barbarism? You think without shame of Lessing, who, on account of your stupidity, perished in battle against your ludicrous gods and idols, the evils of your theatres, your learned men, and your theologians, without once daring to lift himself to the height of that immortal flight for which he was brought into the world.Page 68
For as a rule he is punctual, as we old.Page 71
It was not for our own sakes, not to show our tender feelings towards each other, or to perform an unrehearsed act of friendship, that we decided to meet here; but that here, where I once came suddenly upon you as you sat in majestic solitude, we might earnestly deliberate with each other like knights of a new order.Page 77
from the standpoint of culture is answered.Page 80
In all the annals of our universities we cannot find any trace of a second attempt, and he who would impressively demonstrate what is now necessary for us will never find a better example.