Ecce Homo Complete Works, Volume Seventeen

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 50

it cost me
some pains to prevent my indignant friends in Bâle from taking action
against it. Only a few old gentlemen decided in my favour, and for
very diverse and sometimes unaccountable reasons. Among them was one,
Ewald of Göttingen, who made it clear that my attack on Strauss had
been deadly. There was also the Hegelian, Bruno Bauer, who from that
time became one of my most attentive readers. In his later years he
liked to refer to me, when, for instance, he wanted to give Herr von
Treitschke, the Prussian Historiographer, a hint as to where he could
obtain information about the notion "Culture," of which he (Herr von
T.) had completely lost sight. The weightiest and longest notice of my
book and its author appeared in Würzburg, and was written by Professor
Hoffmann, an old pupil of the philosopher von Baader. The essays made
him foresee a great future for me, namely, that of bringing about a
sort of crisis and decisive turning-point in the problem of atheism,
of which he recognised in me the most instinctive and most radical
advocate. It was atheism that had drawn me to Schopenhauer. The review
which received by far the most attention, and which excited the most
bitterness, was an extraordinarily powerful and plucky appreciation of
my work by Carl Hillebrand, a man who was usually so mild, and the last
_humane_ German who knew how to wield a pen. The article appeared in
the _Augsburg Gazette,_ and it can be read to-day, couched in rather
more cautious language, among his collected essays. In it my work was
referred to as an event, as a decisive turning-point, as the first sign
of an awakening, as an excellent symptom, and as an actual revival
of German earnestness and of German passion in things spiritual.
Hillebrand could speak only in the terms of the highest respect, of
the form of my book, of its consummate taste, of its perfect tact in
discriminating between persons and causes: he characterised it as the
best polemical work in the German language,--the best performance in
the art of polemics, which for Germans is so dangerous and so strongly
to be deprecated. Besides confirming my standpoint, he laid even
greater stress upon what I had dared to say about the deterioration of
language in Germany (nowadays writers assume the airs of Purists[1]
and can no longer even construct a sentence); sharing my contempt for
the literary stars of this nation, he concluded by expressing his
admiration for my courage--that "greatest courage of all which places
the very favourites of the people in the

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