Beyond Good and Evil

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 112

he has all the
MORE NEED of Christianity. To finer nostrils, this English Christianity
itself has still a characteristic English taint of spleen and alcoholic
excess, for which, owing to good reasons, it is used as an antidote--the
finer poison to neutralize the coarser: a finer form of poisoning is
in fact a step in advance with coarse-mannered people, a step towards
spiritualization. The English coarseness and rustic demureness is still
most satisfactorily disguised by Christian pantomime, and by praying
and psalm-singing (or, more correctly, it is thereby explained and
differently expressed); and for the herd of drunkards and rakes who
formerly learned moral grunting under the influence of Methodism (and
more recently as the "Salvation Army"), a penitential fit may really be
the relatively highest manifestation of "humanity" to which they can
be elevated: so much may reasonably be admitted. That, however, which
offends even in the humanest Englishman is his lack of music, to speak
figuratively (and also literally): he has neither rhythm nor dance in
the movements of his soul and body; indeed, not even the desire for
rhythm and dance, for "music." Listen to him speaking; look at the most
beautiful Englishwoman WALKING--in no country on earth are there more
beautiful doves and swans; finally, listen to them singing! But I ask
too much...

253. There are truths which are best recognized by mediocre minds,
because they are best adapted for them, there are truths which only
possess charms and seductive power for mediocre spirits:--one is pushed
to this probably unpleasant conclusion, now that the influence of
respectable but mediocre Englishmen--I may mention Darwin, John
Stuart Mill, and Herbert Spencer--begins to gain the ascendancy in the
middle-class region of European taste. Indeed, who could doubt that it
is a useful thing for SUCH minds to have the ascendancy for a time? It
would be an error to consider the highly developed and independently
soaring minds as specially qualified for determining and collecting many
little common facts, and deducing conclusions from them; as exceptions,
they are rather from the first in no very favourable position towards
those who are "the rules." After all, they have more to do than merely
to perceive:--in effect, they have to BE something new, they have to
SIGNIFY something new, they have to REPRESENT new values! The gulf
between knowledge and capacity is perhaps greater, and also more
mysterious, than one thinks: the capable man in the grand style, the
creator, will possibly have to be an ignorant person;--while on the
other hand, for scientific discoveries like those of Darwin, a certain
narrowness, aridity, and industrious carefulness (in short, something
English) may not

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with Der tolle Mensch

Page 0
Page 1
Corrected _editions_ of our eBooks replace the old file and take over the old filename and etext number.