Beyond Good and Evil

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 90

dance in our "chains" and betwixt our "swords"; it
is none the less true that more often we gnash our teeth under the
circumstances, and are impatient at the secret hardship of our lot. But
do what we will, fools and appearances say of us: "These are men WITHOUT
duty,"--we have always fools and appearances against us!

227. Honesty, granting that it is the virtue of which we cannot rid
ourselves, we free spirits--well, we will labour at it with all our
perversity and love, and not tire of "perfecting" ourselves in OUR
virtue, which alone remains: may its glance some day overspread like
a gilded, blue, mocking twilight this aging civilization with its dull
gloomy seriousness! And if, nevertheless, our honesty should one day
grow weary, and sigh, and stretch its limbs, and find us too hard, and
would fain have it pleasanter, easier, and gentler, like an agreeable
vice, let us remain HARD, we latest Stoics, and let us send to its
help whatever devilry we have in us:--our disgust at the clumsy
and undefined, our "NITIMUR IN VETITUM," our love of adventure,
our sharpened and fastidious curiosity, our most subtle, disguised,
intellectual Will to Power and universal conquest, which rambles and
roves avidiously around all the realms of the future--let us go with all
our "devils" to the help of our "God"! It is probable that people will
misunderstand and mistake us on that account: what does it matter! They
will say: "Their 'honesty'--that is their devilry, and nothing else!"
What does it matter! And even if they were right--have not all Gods
hitherto been such sanctified, re-baptized devils? And after all, what
do we know of ourselves? And what the spirit that leads us wants TO BE
CALLED? (It is a question of names.) And how many spirits we harbour?
Our honesty, we free spirits--let us be careful lest it become our
vanity, our ornament and ostentation, our limitation, our stupidity!
Every virtue inclines to stupidity, every stupidity to virtue; "stupid
to the point of sanctity," they say in Russia,--let us be careful lest
out of pure honesty we eventually become saints and bores! Is not life
a hundred times too short for us--to bore ourselves? One would have to
believe in eternal life in order to...

228. I hope to be forgiven for discovering that all moral philosophy
hitherto has been tedious and has belonged to the soporific
appliances--and that "virtue," in my opinion, has been MORE injured
by the TEDIOUSNESS of its advocates than by anything else; at the same
time, however, I would not wish to overlook their general usefulness.

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