actually selected this peaceful spot, with its few benches in the
midst of the wood, for the meeting. It would really be most unpleasant
if, owing to your continual pistol-practice, we were to be subjected
to an unending series of shocks; surely your own feelings will tell
you that it is impossible for you to continue your firing when you
hear that he who has selected this quiet and isolated place for a
meeting with a friend is one of our most eminent philosophers."
This explanation only succeeded in perturbing us the more; for we saw
a danger threatening us which was even greater than the loss of our
shooting-range, and we asked eagerly, "Where is this quiet spot?
Surely not to the left here, in the wood?"
"That is the very place."
"But this evening that place belongs to us," my friend interposed. "We
must have it," we cried together.
Our long-projected celebration seemed at that moment more important
than all the philosophies of the world, and we gave such vehement and
animated utterance to our sentiments that in view of the
incomprehensible nature of our claims we must have cut a somewhat
ridiculous figure. At any rate, our philosophical interlopers regarded
us with expressions of amused inquiry, as if they expected us to
proffer some sort of apology. But we were silent, for we wished above
all to keep our secret.
Thus we stood facing one another in silence, while the sunset dyed the
tree-tops a ruddy gold. The philosopher contemplated the sun, his
companion contemplated him, and we turned our eyes towards our nook in
the woods which to-day we seemed in such great danger of losing. A
feeling of sullen anger took possession of us. What is philosophy, we
asked ourselves, if it prevents a man from being by himself or from
enjoying the select company of a friend,--in sooth, if it prevents him
from becoming a philosopher? For we regarded the celebration of our
rite as a thoroughly philosophical performance. In celebrating it we
wished to form plans and resolutions for the future, by means of quiet
reflections we hoped to light upon an idea which would once again help
us to form and gratify our spirit in the future, just as that former
idea had done during our boyhood. The solemn act derived its very
significance from this resolution, that nothing definite was to be
done, we were only to be alone, and to sit still and meditate, as we
had done five years before when we had each been inspired with the
same thought. It was to be a silent
_The Wanderer.Page 15
_Star Morality_ Foredoomed to spaces vast and far, What matters darkness to the star? Roll calmly on, let time go by, Let sorrows pass thee--nations die! Compassion would but dim the light That distant worlds will gladly sight.Page 20
It is very rarely that a higher nature has so much reason over and above as to understand and deal with everyday men as such; for the most part it believes in its passion as if it were the concealed passion of every one, and precisely in this belief it is full of ardour and eloquence.Page 28
To become satiated with a possession, that is to become satiated with ourselves.Page 30
A being who has not the free disposal of himself and has not got leisure,--that is not regarded by us as anything contemptible; there is perhaps too much of this kind of slavishness in each of us, in accordance with the conditions of our social order and activity, which are fundamentally different from those of the ancients.Page 31
It is accordingly, on the one part, the instrumental character in the virtues which is praised when the virtues are praised, and on the other part the blind, ruling impulse in every virtue which refuse to let itself be kept within bounds by the general advantage to the individual; in short, what is praised is the unreason in the virtues, in consequence of which the individual allows himself to be transformed into a function of the whole.Page 51
and _operates_ as the essence! What a fool he would be who would think it enough to refer here to this origin and this nebulous veil of illusion, in order to _annihilate_ that which virtually passes for the world--namely, so-called "reality"! It is only as creators that we can annihilate!--But let us not forget this: it suffices to create new names and valuations and probabilities, in order in the long run to create new "things.Page 57
_ 77.Page 59
Here nature _has to_ be contradicted! Here the common charm of illusion _has to_ give place to a higher charm! The Greeks go far, far in this direction--frightfully far! As they constructed the stage as narrow as possible and dispensed with all the effect of deep backgrounds, as they made pantomime and easy motion impossible to the actor, and transformed him into a solemn, stiff, masked bogey, so they have also deprived passion itself of its deep background, and have dictated to it a law of fine talk; indeed, they have really done everything to counteract the elementary effect of representations that inspire pity and terror: _they did not want pity and terror,_--with due deference, with the highest deference to Aristotle! but he certainly did not hit the nail, to say nothing of the head of the nail, when he spoke about the final aim of Greek tragedy! Let us but look at the Grecian tragic poets with respect to _what_ most excited their diligence, their inventiveness, and their emulation,--certainly it was not the intention of subjugating the spectators by emotion! The Athenian went to the theatre _to hear fine talking!_.Page 73
Let us be loyal to Wagner in that which is _true_ and original in him,--and especially in this point, that we, his disciples, remain loyal to ourselves in that which is true and original in us.Page 76
beside culture, as the masses beside the nobility, as the good-natured man beside the good and more than "good" man, as the visionary beside the artist, as the man needing comfort beside the comforted, as the man given to exaggeration and distrust beside the man of reason, as the crank and self-tormenter, as the foolishly enraptured, blessedly unfortunate, sincerely immoderate man! as the pretentious and awkward man,--and altogether as the "untamed man": it was thus that Goethe conceived and characterised him, Goethe, the exceptional German, for whom a music of equal rank has not yet been found!--Finally, let us consider whether the present continually extending contempt of melody and the stunting of the sense for melody among Germans should not be understood as a democratic impropriety and an after-effect of the Revolution? For melody has such an obvious delight in conformity to law, and such an aversion to everything evolving, unformed and arbitrary, that it sounds like a note out of the _ancient_ European regime, and as a seduction and guidance back to it.Page 77
For habituation to definite tones extends deeply into the character:--people soon have the words and modes of expression, and finally also the thoughts which just suit these tones! Perhaps they already write in the officers' style; perhaps I only read too little of what is at present written in Germany to know this.Page 81
There are no eternally enduring substances; matter is just another such error as the God of the Eleatics.Page 93
" Here a mighty being, an almighty being, and yet a revengeful being, is presupposed; his power is so great that no injury whatever can be done to him except in the point of honour.Page 98
"Truth" was conceived in quite a different manner, for the insane could formerly be regarded as its mouthpiece--a thing which makes _us_ shudder, or laugh.Page 104
_The Object of Punishment.Page 106
_ 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.Page 151
" Reversely, one could imagine a delight and a power of self-determining, and a _freedom_ of will, whereby a spirit could bid farewell to every belief, to every wish for certainty, accustomed as it would be to support itself on slender cords and possibilities, and to dance even on the verge of abysses.Page 197
her sins with anger's flail?" Pour poppies now, Pour venom, Fever, on my brain! Too long you test my hand and brow: What ask you? "What--reward is paid?" A malediction on you, jade, And your disdain! No, I retract, 'Tis cold--I hear the rain importune-- Fever, I'll soften, show my tact: Here's gold--a coin--see it gleam! Shall I with blessings on you beam, Call you "good fortune"? The door opes wide, And raindrops on my bed are scattered, The light's blown out--woes multiplied! He that hath not an hundred rhymes, I'll wager, in these dolorous times We'd see him shattered! MY BLISS.