Ecce Homo Complete Works, Volume Seventeen

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 11

one integral
block, which is hard, sweet, and fragrant as well. He enjoys that only
which is good for him; his pleasure, his desire, ceases when the limits
of that which is good for him are overstepped. He divines remedies for
injuries; he knows how to turn serious accidents to his own advantage;
that which does not kill him makes him stronger. He instinctively
gathers his material from all he sees, hears, and experiences. He is a
selective principle; he rejects much. He is always in his own company,
whether his intercourse be with books, with men, or with natural
scenery; he honours the things he chooses, the things he acknowledges,
the things he trusts. He reacts slowly to all kinds of stimuli, with
that tardiness which long caution and deliberate pride have bred in
him--he tests the approaching stimulus; he would not dream of meeting
it half-way. He believes neither in "ill-luck" nor "guilt"; he can
digest himself and others; he knows how to forget--he is strong enough
to make everything turn to his own advantage.

Lo then! I am the very reverse of a decadent, for he whom I have just
described is none other than myself.


This double thread of experiences, this means of access to two worlds
that seem so far asunder, finds in every detail its counterpart in my
own nature--I am my own complement: I have a "second" sight, as well
as a first. And perhaps I also have a third sight. By the very nature
of my origin I was allowed an outlook beyond all merely local, merely
national and limited horizons; it required no effort on my part to be
a "good European." On the other hand, I am perhaps more German than
modern Germans--mere Imperial Germans--can hope to be,--I, the last
anti-political German. Be this as it may, my ancestors were Polish
noblemen: it is owing to them that I have so much race instinct in my
blood--who knows? perhaps even the _liberum veto_[1] When I think of
the number of times in my travels that I have been accosted as a Pole,
even by Poles themselves, and how seldom I have been taken for a German,
it seems to me as if I belonged to those only who have a sprinkling
of German in them. But my mother, Franziska Oehler, is at any rate
something very German; as is also my paternal grandmother, Erdmuthe
Krause. The latter spent the whole of her youth in good old Weimar,
not without coming into contact with Goethe's circle. Her brother,
Krause, the Professor of Theology in Königsberg, was called

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Page 3
I still expect that a philosophical _physician,_ in the exceptional sense of the word--one who applies himself to the problem of the collective health of peoples, periods, races, and mankind generally--will some day have the courage to follow out my suspicion to its ultimate conclusions, and to venture on the judgment that in all philosophising it has not hitherto been a question of "truth" at all, but of something else,--namely, of health, futurity, growth, power, life.
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_The Crooked Nose.
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What does the ever new appearing of founders of morals and religions, of instigators of struggles for moral valuations, of teachers of remorse of conscience and religious war, imply? What do these heroes on this stage imply? For they have hitherto been the heroes of it, and all else, though solely visible for the time being, and too close to one, has served only as preparation for these heroes, whether as machinery and coulisse, or in the rôle of confidants and valets.
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I believe that the sound of the German language in the Middle Ages, and especially after the Middle Ages, was extremely rustic and vulgar; it has ennobled itself somewhat during the last centuries, principally because it was found necessary to imitate so many French, Italian, and Spanish sounds, and particularly on the part of the German (and Austrian) nobility, who could not at all content themselves with their mother-tongue.
Page 87
_The Element of Moral Scepticism in Christianity.
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The Will is to him a magically operating force; the belief in the Will as the cause of effects is the belief in magically operating forces.
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And Nature is evil! Let us therefore be natural!"--so reason secretly the great aspirants after effect, who are too often counted among great men.
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_On Meeting Again.
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Page 131
_ In truth, they are inordinately assured of their life and in love with it, and full of untold intrigues and subtleties for suppressing everything disagreeable, and for extracting the thorn from pain and misfortune.
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He wishes _to succour,_ and does not reflect that there is a personal necessity for misfortune; that terror, want, impoverishment, midnight watches, adventures, hazards and mistakes are as necessary to me and to you as their opposites, yea, that, to speak mystically, the path to one's own heaven always leads through the voluptuousness of one's own hell.
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" Thus there is developed an almost Epicurean inclination for knowledge, which does not readily lose sight of the questionable character of things; likewise also a repugnance to pompous moral phrases and attitudes, a taste that repudiates all coarse, square contrasts, and is proudly conscious of its habitual reserve.
Page 186
_--It is not a misanthrope who has written this book: the hatred of men costs too dear to-day.
Page 187
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Page 192
Like to an arrow, methinks, a verse is, See how it quivers, pricks and smarts When shot full straight (no tender mercies!) Into the reptile's nobler parts! Wretches, you die at the hand of the poet, Or stagger like men that have drunk too free.
Page 194
Yester-eve, when all things slept-- Scarce a breeze to stir the lane-- I a restless vigil kept, Nor from pillows sleep could gain, Nor from poppies nor--most sure Of opiates--a conscience pure.