The Genealogy of Morals The Complete Works, Volume Thirteen, edited by Dr. Oscar Levy.

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 40

was not yet ashamed of its cruelty, life in the world was
brighter than it is nowadays when there are pessimists. The darkening
of the heavens over man has always increased in proportion to the
growth of man's shame _before man_. The tired pessimistic outlook,
the mistrust of the riddle of life, the icy negation of disgusted
ennui, all those are not the signs of the _most evil_ age of the human
race: much rather do they come first to the light of day, as the
swamp-flowers, which they are, when the swamp to which they belong,
comes into existence--I mean the diseased refinement and moralisation,
thanks to which the "animal man" has at last learnt to be ashamed of
all his instincts. On the road to angelhood (not to use in this context
a harder word) man has developed that dyspeptic stomach and coated
tongue, which have made not only the joy and innocence of the animal
repulsive to him, but also life itself:--so that sometimes he stands
with stopped nostrils before his own self, and, like Pope Innocent the
Third, makes a black list of his own horrors ("unclean generation,
loathsome nutrition when in the maternal body, badness of the matter
out of which man develops, awful stench, secretion of saliva, urine,
and excrement"). Nowadays, when suffering is always trotted out
as the first argument _against_ existence, as its most sinister
query, it is well to remember the times when men judged on converse
principles because they could not dispense with the _infliction_ of
suffering, and saw therein a magic of the first order, a veritable
bait of seduction to life.

Perhaps in those days (this is to solace the weaklings) pain did not
hurt so much as it does nowadays: any physician who has treated negroes
(granted that these are taken as representative of the prehistoric
man) suffering from severe internal inflammations which would bring
a European, even though he had the soundest constitution, almost to
despair, would be in a position to come to this conclusion. Pain has
_not_ the same effect with negroes. (The curve of human sensibilities
to pain seems indeed to sink in an extraordinary and almost sudden
fashion, as soon as one has passed the upper ten thousand or ten
millions of over-civilised humanity, and I personally have no doubt
that, by comparison with one painful night passed by one single
hysterical chit of a cultured woman, the suffering of all the animals
taken together who have been put to the question of the knife, so as
to give scientific answers, are simply negligible.) We may perhaps
be allowed to

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