be unfavourable for arriving at them.--Finally, let
it not be forgotten that the English, with their profound mediocrity,
brought about once before a general depression of European intelligence.
What is called "modern ideas," or "the ideas of the eighteenth century,"
or "French ideas"--that, consequently, against which the GERMAN mind
rose up with profound disgust--is of English origin, there is no doubt
about it. The French were only the apes and actors of these ideas, their
best soldiers, and likewise, alas! their first and profoundest VICTIMS;
for owing to the diabolical Anglomania of "modern ideas," the AME
FRANCAIS has in the end become so thin and emaciated, that at present
one recalls its sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, its profound,
passionate strength, its inventive excellency, almost with disbelief.
One must, however, maintain this verdict of historical justice in
a determined manner, and defend it against present prejudices and
appearances: the European NOBLESSE--of sentiment, taste, and manners,
taking the word in every high sense--is the work and invention of
FRANCE; the European ignobleness, the plebeianism of modern ideas--is
ENGLAND'S work and invention.
254. Even at present France is still the seat of the most intellectual
and refined culture of Europe, it is still the high school of taste; but
one must know how to find this "France of taste." He who belongs to it
keeps himself well concealed:--they may be a small number in whom it
lives and is embodied, besides perhaps being men who do not stand upon
the strongest legs, in part fatalists, hypochondriacs, invalids, in
part persons over-indulged, over-refined, such as have the AMBITION to
They have all something in common: they keep their ears closed in
presence of the delirious folly and noisy spouting of the democratic
BOURGEOIS. In fact, a besotted and brutalized France at present sprawls
in the foreground--it recently celebrated a veritable orgy of bad taste,
and at the same time of self-admiration, at the funeral of Victor Hugo.
There is also something else common to them: a predilection to resist
intellectual Germanizing--and a still greater inability to do so!
In this France of intellect, which is also a France of pessimism,
Schopenhauer has perhaps become more at home, and more indigenous than
he has ever been in Germany; not to speak of Heinrich Heine, who has
long ago been re-incarnated in the more refined and fastidious lyrists
of Paris; or of Hegel, who at present, in the form of Taine--the FIRST
of living historians--exercises an almost tyrannical influence. As
regards Richard Wagner, however, the more French music learns to
adapt itself to the actual needs of the AME MODERNE, the more will it
_ Did I not turn, a rolling cask, Ever about myself, I ask, .Page 54
diligence; the youth is honoured and regretted who has "worn himself out by work," because one passes the judgment that "for society as a whole the loss of the best individual is only a small sacrifice! A pity that this sacrifice should be necessary! A much greater pity, it is true, if the individual should think differently, and regard his preservation and development as more important than his work in the service of society!" And so one regrets this youth, not on his own account, but because a devoted _instrument_, regardless of selfâa so-called "good man," has been lost to society by his death.Page 60
_âWhat does the self-renouncer do? He strives after a higher world, he wants to fly longer and.Page 68
_âOne makes a great mistake when one studies the penal laws of a people, as if they were an expression of its character; the laws do not betray what a people is, but what appears to them foreign, strange, monstrous, and outlandish.Page 69
To leave the ground for once! To soar! To stray! To be mad!âthat belonged to the paradise and the revelry of earlier times; while our felicity is like that of the shipwrecked man who has gone ashore, and places himself with both feet on the old, firm groundâin astonishment that it does not rock.Page 84
_âIt is not unknown to me that there is vulgarity in everything that pleases Southern Europeâwhether it be Italian opera (for example, Rossini's and Bellini's), or the Spanish adventure-romance (most readily accessible to us in the French garb of Gil Blas)âbut it does not offend me, any more than the vulgarity which one encounters in a walk through Pompeii, or even in the reading of every ancient book: what is the reason of this? Is it because shame is lacking here, and because the vulgar always comes forward just as sure and certain of itself as anything noble, lovely,.Page 90
_âThe lovers of the fantastic in man, who at the same time represent the doctrine of instinctive morality, draw this conclusion: "Granted that utility has been honoured at all times as the highest divinity, where then in all the world has poetry come from?âthis rhythmising of speech which thwarts rather than furthers plainness of communication, and which, nevertheless, has sprung up everywhere on the earth, and still springs up, as a mockery of all useful purpose! The wildly beautiful irrationality of poetry refutes you, ye utilitarians! The wish _to get rid of_ utility in some wayâthat is precisely what has elevated man, that is what has inspired him to morality and art!" Well, I must here speak for once to please the utilitarians,âthey are so seldom in the right that it is pitiful! In the old times which called poetry into being, people had still utility in view with respect to it, and a very important utilityâat the time when rhythm was introduced into speech, the force which arranges all the particles of the sentence anew, commands the choosing of the words, recolours the thought, and makes it more obscure, more foreign, and more distant: to be sure a _superstitious utility_! It was intended that a human entreaty should be more profoundly impressed upon the Gods by virtue of rhythm, after it had been observed that men could remember a verse better than an unmetrical speech.Page 92
" 107.Page 117
It was the reverse with the Greeks: their feeling towards Nature was quite different from ours.Page 199
We seek for words; we seek perhaps also for ears.Page 209
The very fact that our actions, thoughts, feelings and motions come within the range of our consciousnessâat least a part of themâis the result of a terrible, prolonged "must" ruling man's destiny: as the most endangered animal he _needed_ help and protection; he needed his fellows, he was obliged to express his distress, he had to know how to make himself understoodâand for all this he needed "consciousness" first of all, consequently, to "know" himself what he lacked, to "know" how he felt and to "know" what he thought.Page 224
A man who loves like a woman becomes thereby a slave; a woman, however, who loves like a woman becomes thereby a _more perfect_ woman.Page 225
Provided one comes to the table with the hunger of a wolf everything is easy ("the worst society gives thee _experience_"âas Mephistopheles says); but one has not got this wolf's-hunger when one needs it! Alas! how difficult are our fellow-men to digest! First principle: to stake one's courage as in a misfortune, to seize boldly, to admire oneself at the same time, to take one's repugnance between one's teeth, to cram down one's disgust.Page 242
That one does not thereby get into the depths, that one does not get deep enough _down_âis a superstition of the hydrophobic, the enemies of cold water; they speak without experience.Page 256
"SOULS THAT LACK DETERMINATION.Page 260
Thither I'll travel, that's my notion, I'll trust myself, my grip, Where opens wide and blue the ocean I'll ply my Genoa ship.