actually occurs? In the first place a noble taste is vanquished:
with dialectics the mob comes to the top. Before Socrates' time,
dialectical manners were avoided in good society: they were regarded
as bad manners, they were compromising. Young men were cautioned
against them. All such proffering of one's reasons was looked upon with
suspicion. Honest things like honest men do not carry their reasons
on their sleeve in such fashion. It is not good form to make a show
of everything. That which needs to be proved cannot be worth much.
Wherever authority still belongs to good usage, wherever men do not
prove but command, the dialectician is regarded as a sort of clown.
People laugh at him, they do not take him seriously. Socrates was a
clown who succeeded in making men take him seriously: what then was the
A man resorts to dialectics only when he has no other means to hand.
People know that they excite suspicion with it and that it is not
very convincing. Nothing is more easily dispelled than a dialectical
effect: this is proved by the experience of every gathering in which
discussions are held. It can be only the last defence of those who have
no other weapons. One must require to extort one's right, otherwise one
makes no use of it. That is why the Jews were dialecticians. Reynard
the Fox was a dialectician: what?--and was Socrates one as well?
Is the Socratic irony an expression of revolt, of mob resentment?
Does Socrates, as a creature suffering under oppression, enjoy his
innate ferocity in the knife-thrusts of the syllogism? Does he wreak
his revenge on the noblemen he fascinates?--As a dialectician a man
has a merciless instrument to wield; he can play the tyrant with it:
he compromises when he conquers with it The dialectician leaves it to
his opponent to prove that he is no idiot: he infuriates, he likewise
paralyses. The dialectician cripples the intellect of his opponent. Can
it be that dialectics was only a form of revenge in Socrates?
I have given you to understand in what way Socrates was able to repel:
now it is all the more necessary to explain how he fascinated.--One
reason is that he discovered a new kind of _Agon,_ and that he was the
first fencing-master in the best circles in Athens. He fascinated by
appealing to the combative instinct of the Greeks,--he introduced a
variation into the contests between men and youths. Socrates was also a
But Socrates divined still more. He saw right through his noble
Athenians; he perceived that his case, his
What a pity he did not know all this! What a shower of splendid additional sarcasms he would have poured over those flat-nosed Franks, had he known what I know now, that it is the eternal way of the Christian to be a rebel, and that just as he has once rebelled against us, he has never ceased pestering and rebelling against any one else either of his own or any other creed.Page 19
For the Germans have never known any lack of clear-sighted and heroic leaders, though these, often enough, probably, have lacked Germans.Page 29
On this occasion a second admission was made by the speaker: "It is not always strength of will, but weakness, which makes us superior to those tragic souls which are so passionately responsive to the attractions of beauty," or words to this effect.Page 35
Let us, however, avail ourselves of the fleeting moments during which we remain in those little rooms; there is just sufficient time to get a glimpse of the apotheosis of the Philistine--that is to say, the Philistine whose stains have been removed and wiped away, and who is now an absolutely pure sample of his type.Page 48
His business ought rather to have been, to take the phenomena of human goodness, such--for instance--as pity, love, and self-abnegation, which are already to hand, and seriously to explain them and show their relation to his Darwinian first principle.Page 51
He refers to Bismarck and Moltke, "whose greatness is the less open to controversy as it manifests itself in the domain of tangible external facts.Page 54
Curiously enough, our scholars never think of the most vital question of all--the wherefore of their work, their haste, and their painful ecstasies.Page 60
And with regard to the subject of the fourth chapter--marriage, republicanism, and capital punishment--Strauss himself seems to have been aware that they could only have been muddled and obscured by being associated with the Darwinian theory expounded in the third chapter; for he carefully avoids all reference to this theory when discussing them.Page 70
It will be remembered that he was so shamefully insulted there, owing to his quaint figure and lack of dorsal convexity, that a priest at last had to harangue the people on his behalf as follows: "My brethren, rather pity this poor stranger, and present thank-offerings unto the gods, that ye are blessed with such attractive gibbosities.Page 71
160); "Virtuosos in piety, in convents" (p.Page 72
For do we not all supply each other's deficiencies? If another is better informed as regards some things, I may perhaps be so as regards others; while yet others are known and viewed by me in a different light.Page 78
In the realm of art it signifies, so to speak, the first circumnavigation of the world, and by this voyage not only was there discovered an apparently new art, but Art itself.Page 79
What, for instance, must Alexander the Great have seen in that instant when he caused Asia and Europe to be drunk out of the same goblet? But what went through Wagner's mind on that day--how he became what he is, and what he will be--we only can imagine who are nearest to him, and can follow him, up to a certain point, in his self-examination; but through his eyes alone is it possible for us to understand his grand work, and by the help of this understanding vouch for its fruitfulness.Page 82
At this stage we bring the other side of Wagner's nature into view: but how shall we describe this other side? The characters an artist creates are not himself, but the succession of these characters, to which it is clear he is greatly attached, must at all events reveal something of his nature.Page 95
This means having _a sense for the tragic_.Page 97
a point is reached when the morbid accumulation of its means and forms attains to such tyrannical proportions that it oppresses the tender souls of artists and converts these into slaves, so now, in the period of the decline of language, men have become the slaves of words.Page 104
The mockery and perversity of the surrounding world only goad and spur it on the more.Page 105
We are conscious of a new feeling of security, as if we had found a road leading out of the greatest dangers, excesses, and ecstasies, back to the limited and the familiar: there where our relations with our fellows seem to partake of a superior benevolence, and are at all events more noble than they were.Page 109
The glances he then bends towards the earth are always rays of sunlight which "draw up water," form mist, and gather storm-clouds.