but they also call
him good who does not wish to be ahead of anybody in anything.
We possess a powerful store of moral _feelings,_ but we have no goal
for them all. They mutually contradict each other: they have their
origin in different tables of values.
There is a wonderful amount of moral power, but there is no longer any
goal towards which all this power can be directed.
All goals have been annihilated, mankind must give themselves a fresh
goal. It is an error to suppose that they had one: they gave themselves
all the goals they ever had. But the prerequisites of all previous
goals have been annihilated.
Science traces the course of things but points to no goal: what it does
give consists of the fundamental facts upon which the new goal must be
The profound sterility of the nineteenth century. I have not
encountered a single man who really had a new ideal to bring
forward. The character of German music kept me hoping longest, but
in vain. A stronger type in which all our powers are synthetically
correlated--this constitutes my faith.
Apparently everything is decadence. We should so direct this movement
of decline that it may provide the strongest with a new form of
The dissolution of morality, in its practical consequences, leads
to the atomistic individual, and further to the subdivision of the
individual into a quantity of parts--absolute liquefaction.
That is why a goal is now more than ever necessary; and love, but a new
I say: "As long as your morality hung over me I breathed like one
asphyxiated. That is why I throttled this snake. I wished to live,
consequently it had to die."
As long as people are still _forced to_ act, that is to say as long as
commands are given, synthesis (the suppression of the moral man) will
not be realised To be unable to be otherwise: instincts and commanding
reason extending beyond any immediate object: the ability to enjoy
one's own nature in action.
None of them wish to bear the burden of the commander; but they will
perform the most strenuous task if only thou commandest them.
We must overcome the past in ourselves: we must combine the instincts
afresh and direct the whole together to one goal:--an extremely
difficult undertaking! It is not only the evil instincts which have to
be overcome,--the so-called good instincts must be conquered also and
No leaps must be made in virtue! But everyone must be given a different
path! Not leading to the highest development of each! Yet everyone may
be a bridge and an example for
These philological aims were pursued sometimes with greater ardour and sometimes with less, in accordance with the degree of culture and the development of the taste of a particular period; but, on the other hand, the followers of this science are in the habit of regarding the aims which correspond to their several abilities as _the_ aims of philology; whence it comes about that.Page 1
Science has this in common with art, that the most ordinary, everyday thing appears to it as something entirely new and attractive, as if metamorphosed by witchcraft and now seen for the first time.Page 2
The reason of this want of piety and reverence must lie deeper; and many are in doubt as to whether philologists are lacking in artistic capacity and impressions, so that they are unable to do justice to the ideal, or whether the spirit of negation has become a destructive and iconoclastic principle of theirs.Page 3
Let us talk as we will about the unattainability of this goal, and even designate the goal itself as an illogical pretension--the aspiration for it is very real; and I should like to try to make it clear by an example that the most significant steps of classical philology never lead away from the ideal antiquity, but to it; and that, just when people are speaking unwarrantably of the overthrow of sacred shrines, new and more worthy altars are being erected.Page 4
The eyes of those critics were tirelessly on the lookout for discrepancies in the language and thoughts of the two poems; but at this time also a history of the Homeric.Page 5
"For who would wage war with the gods: who, even with the one god?" asks Goethe even, who, though a genius, strove in vain to solve that mysterious problem of the Homeric inaccessibility.Page 7
The more the first school looked for inequalities, contradictions, perplexities, the more energetically did the other school brush aside what in their opinion obscured the original plan, in order, if possible, that nothing might be left remaining but the actual words of the original epic itself.Page 8
But the newly-lighted flame also cast its shadow: and this shadow was none other than that superstition already referred to, which popular poetry set up in opposition to individual poetry, and thus enlarged the comprehension of the people's soul to that of the people's mind.Page 9
This much-abused contrast, therefore, is necessary only when the term _individual poem_ is understood to mean a poem which has not grown out of the soil of popular feeling, but which has been composed by a non-popular poet in a non-popular atmosphere--something which has come to maturity in the study of a learned man, for example.Page 10
But they forget that the _punctum saliens_, the indefinable individual characteristics, can never be obtained from a compound of this nature.Page 11
The infinite profusion of images and incidents in the Homeric epic must force us to admit that such a wide range of vision is next to impossible.Page 12
On the contrary, this design is a later product, far later than Homer's celebrity.Page 13
And that wonderful genius to whom we owe the _Iliad_ and the _Odyssey_ belongs to this thankful posterity: he, too, sacrificed his name on the altar of the primeval father of the Homeric epic, Homeros.Page 14
You honour the immortal masterpieces of the Hellenic mind in poetry and sculpture, and think yourselves so much more fortunate than preceding generations, which had to do without them; but you must not forget that this whole fairyland once lay buried under mountains of prejudice, and that the blood and sweat and arduous labour of innumerable followers of our science were all necessary to lift up that world from the chasm into which it had sunk.Page 15
Now, therefore, that I have enunciated my philological creed, I trust you will give me cause to hope that I shall no longer be a stranger among you: give me the assurance that in working with you towards this end I am worthily fulfilling the confidence with which the highest authorities of this community have honoured me.