Beyond Good and Evil

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 123

in reverence and devotion are the regular symptoms of an
aristocratic mode of thinking and estimating.--Hence we can understand
without further detail why love AS A PASSION--it is our European
specialty--must absolutely be of noble origin; as is well known, its
invention is due to the Provencal poet-cavaliers, those brilliant,
ingenious men of the "gai saber," to whom Europe owes so much, and
almost owes itself.

261. Vanity is one of the things which are perhaps most difficult for
a noble man to understand: he will be tempted to deny it, where another
kind of man thinks he sees it self-evidently. The problem for him is
to represent to his mind beings who seek to arouse a good opinion of
themselves which they themselves do not possess--and consequently also
do not "deserve,"--and who yet BELIEVE in this good opinion
afterwards. This seems to him on the one hand such bad taste and so
self-disrespectful, and on the other hand so grotesquely unreasonable,
that he would like to consider vanity an exception, and is doubtful
about it in most cases when it is spoken of. He will say, for
instance: "I may be mistaken about my value, and on the other hand
may nevertheless demand that my value should be acknowledged by others
precisely as I rate it:--that, however, is not vanity (but self-conceit,
or, in most cases, that which is called 'humility,' and also
'modesty')." Or he will even say: "For many reasons I can delight in
the good opinion of others, perhaps because I love and honour them,
and rejoice in all their joys, perhaps also because their good opinion
endorses and strengthens my belief in my own good opinion, perhaps
because the good opinion of others, even in cases where I do not share
it, is useful to me, or gives promise of usefulness:--all this, however,
is not vanity." The man of noble character must first bring it home
forcibly to his mind, especially with the aid of history, that, from
time immemorial, in all social strata in any way dependent, the ordinary
man WAS only that which he PASSED FOR:--not being at all accustomed to
fix values, he did not assign even to himself any other value than that
which his master assigned to him (it is the peculiar RIGHT OF MASTERS to
create values). It may be looked upon as the result of an extraordinary
atavism, that the ordinary man, even at present, is still always WAITING
for an opinion about himself, and then instinctively submitting himself
to it; yet by no means only to a "good" opinion, but also to a

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