Ecce Homo Complete Works, Volume Seventeen

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 31

Over the glittering rim away.
Music, gondolas, lights--
Drunk, swam far forth in the gloom....

A stringed instrument, my soul,
Sang, imperceptibly moved,
A gondola song by stealth,
Gleaming for gaudy blessedness.
--Hearkened any thereto?


In all these things--in the choice of food, place, climate, and
recreation--the instinct of self-preservation is dominant, and this
instinct manifests itself with least ambiguity when it acts as an
instinct of defence. To close one's eyes to much, to seal one's ears to
much, to keep certain things at a distance--this is the first principle
of prudence, the first proof of the fact that a man is not an accident
but a necessity. The popular word for this instinct of defence is
_taste._ A man's imperative command is not only to say "no" in cases
where "yes" would be a sign of "disinterestedness," but also to say
"no" _as seldom as possible._ One must part with all that which compels
one to repeat "no," with ever greater frequency. The rationale of this
principle is that all discharges of defensive forces, however slight
they may be, involve enormous and absolutely superfluous losses when
they become regular and habitual. Our greatest expenditure of strength
is made up of those small and most frequent discharges of it. The act
of keeping things off, of holding them at a distance, amounts to a
discharge of strength,--do not deceive yourselves on this point!--and
an expenditure of energy directed at purely negative ends. Simply by
being compelled to keep constantly on his guard, a man may grow so weak
as to be unable any longer to defend himself. Suppose I were to step
out of my house, and, instead of the quiet and aristocratic city of
Turin, I were to find a German provincial town, my instinct would have
to brace itself together in order to repel all that which would pour in
upon it from this crushed-down and cowardly world. Or suppose I were
to find a large German city--that structure of vice in which nothing
grows, but where every single thing, whether good or bad, is squeezed
in from outside. In such circumstances should I not be compelled to
become a hedgehog? But to have prickles amounts to a squandering of
strength; they even constitute a twofold luxury, when, if we only chose
to do so, we could dispense with them and open our hands instead....

Another form of prudence and self-defence consists in trying to
react as seldom as possible, and to keep one's self aloof from those
circumstances and conditions wherein one would be condemned, as it
were, to suspend one's "liberty" and one's initiative, and become

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Text Comparison with Human, All-Too-Human: A Book for Free Spirits, Part 1 Complete Works, Volume Six

Page 7
Thou shouldst learn how to take the proper perspective of every valuation--the shifting, distortion, and apparent teleology of the horizons and everything that belongs to perspective; also.
Page 15
But how does it happen that the mind of.
Page 48
But the rich man does not estimate so highly the value of a _single_ possession, because he is accustomed to have many; hence he cannot imagine himself in the poor man's place, and does not commit nearly so great a wrong as the latter supposes.
Page 71
Page 75
Now if the Christian, as we have said, has fallen into the way of self-contempt in consequence of certain errors through a false, unscientific interpretation of his actions and sensations, he must notice with great surprise how that state of contempt, the pricks of conscience and displeasure generally, does not endure, how sometimes there come hours when all this is wafted away from his soul and he feels himself once more free and courageous.
Page 101
The happiest fate is that of the author who, as an old man, is able to say that all there was in him of life-inspiring, strengthening, exalting, enlightening thoughts and feelings still lives on in his writings, and that he himself now only represents the gray ashes, whilst the fire has been kept alive and spread out.
Page 119
The great task of the Renaissance could not be brought to a termination, this was prevented by the protest of the contemporary backward German spirit (which, for its salvation, had had sufficient sense in the Middle Ages to cross the Alps again and again).
Page 125
Now if Science goes on giving less pleasure in herself, and always takes more pleasure in throwing suspicion on the consolations of metaphysics, religion and art, that greatest of all sources of pleasure, to which mankind owes almost its whole humanity, becomes impoverished.
Page 137
Meanwhile, to cast a glance, in simile at least, on a solution of this difficulty, it may be remembered that _dancing_ is not the same as a dull reeling to and fro between different impulses.
Page 140
--Whoever earnestly desires to be free will therewith and without any compulsion lose all inclination for faults and vices; he will also be more rarely overcome by anger and vexation.
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In short, one should not so readily speak in favour of haughty solitude.
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The latter are the more dangerous, for they have the belief and the good conscience of disinterestedness.
Page 173
--The recipe for what the masses call a great man is easily given.
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