Beyond Good and Evil

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 113

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
conceal themselves.

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
"Wagnerite";

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