The Will to Power, Book I and II An Attempted Transvaluation of all Values

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 130

so terrible that at
last one is obliged to run away from it in order to be rid of its
associations. This is the well-known case of Tannhäuser. Tannhäuser,
brought to his wits' end by Wagnerian music, cannot endure life any
longer even in the company of Mrs. Venus: suddenly virtue begins to
have a charm for him; a Thuringian virgin goes up in price, and what
is even worse still, he shows a liking for Wolfram von Eschenbach's


_The Patrons of Virtue._--Lust of property, lust of power, laziness,
simplicity, fear; all these things are interested in virtue; that is
why it stands so securely.


_Virtue_ is no longer believed in; its powers of attraction are dead;
what is needed is some one who will once more bring it into the market
in the form of an outlandish kind of adventure and of dissipation. It
exacts too much extravagance and narrow-mindedness from its believers
to allow of conscience not being against it to-day. Certainly, for
people, without either consciences or scruples, this may constitute
its new charm: it is now what it has never been before--a vice.


Virtue is still the most expensive vice: _let_ it remain so!


Virtues are as dangerous as vices, in so far as they are allowed to
rule over one as authorities and laws coming from outside, and not as
qualities one develops one's self. The latter is the only right way;
they should be the most personal means of defence and most individual
needs--the determining factors of precisely _our_ existence and growth,
which we recognise and acknowledge independently of the question
whether others grow with us with the help of the same or of different
principles. This view of the danger of the virtue which is understood
as impersonal and _objective_ also holds good of modesty: through
modesty many of the choicest intellects perish. The morality of modesty
is the worst possible softening influence for those souls for which it
is pre-eminently necessary that they become _hard_ betimes.


The domain of morality must be reduced and limited step by step; the
names of the instincts which are really active in this sphere must be
drawn into the light of day and honoured, after they have lain all
this time in the concealment of hypocritical names of virtue. Out of
respect for one's "honesty," which makes itself heard ever more and
more imperiously, one ought to unlearn the shame which makes one deny
and "explain away" all natural instincts. The extent to which one can
dispense with virtue is the measure of one's strength; and a height may
be imagined where the notion

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Text Comparison with On the Future of our Educational Institutions; Homer and Classical Philology Complete Works, Volume Three

Page 2
Indeed, I see a time coming when serious men, working together in the service of a completely rejuvenated and purified culture, may again become the directors of a system of everyday instruction, calculated to promote that culture; and they will probably be compelled once more to draw up sets of rules: but how remote this time now seems! And what may not happen meanwhile! It is just possible that between now and then all _Gymnasia_--yea, and perhaps all universities, may be destroyed, or have become so utterly transformed that their very regulations may, in the eyes of future generations, seem to be but the relics of the cave-dwellers' age.
Page 8
_) Ladies and Gentlemen,--The subject I now propose to consider with you is such a serious and important one, and is in a sense so disquieting, that, like you, I would gladly turn to any one who could proffer some information concerning it,--were he ever so young, were his ideas ever so improbable--provided that he were able, by the exercise of his own faculties, to furnish some satisfactory and sufficient explanation.
Page 15
A feeling of sullen anger took possession of us.
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Every one must be able to form some sort of estimate of himself; he must know how much he may reasonably expect from life.
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" The companion continued: "There are yet other reasons, besides this beloved economical dogma, for the expansion of education that is being striven after so valiantly everywhere.
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This can be clearly seen from the way in which German is taught.
Page 42
But we may surely be unanimous in recognising that by the very nature of things only an exceedingly small number of people are destined for a true course of education, and that a much smaller number of higher educational.
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"Just look at the younger generation of philologists: how seldom we see in them that humble feeling that we, when compared with such a world as it was, have no right to exist at all: how coolly and fearlessly, as compared with us, did that young brood build its miserable nests in the midst.
Page 50
What more can the State do for a surplus of educational institutions than bring all the higher and the majority of the lower civil service appointments, the right of entry to the universities, and even the most influential military posts into close connection with the public school: and all this in a country where both universal military service and the highest offices of the State unconsciously attract all gifted natures to them.
Page 57
In the public schools, however, there is very much less honesty and very much less ability too; for in them we find an instinctive feeling of shame, the unconscious perception of the fact that the whole institution has been ignominiously degraded, and that the sonorous words of wise and apathetic teachers are contradictory to the dreary, barbaric, and sterile reality.
Page 62
It may perhaps be a law of nature that only the later generations are destined to know by what divine gifts an earlier generation was favoured.
Page 63
And would you give the name of arguments to those distorted, clumsy, narrow-minded, ungainly, crippled things? Yes, I have just now been listening to the fruits of some of this present-day culture, and my ears are still ringing with the sound of historical 'self-understood' things, of over-wise and pitiless historical reasonings! Mark this, thou unprofaned Nature: thou hast grown old, and for thousands of years this starry sky has spanned the space above thee--but thou hast never yet heard such conceited and, at bottom, mischievous chatter as the talk of the present day! So you are proud of your poets and artists, my good Teutons? You point to them and brag about them to foreign countries, do you? And because it has given you no trouble to have them amongst you, you have formed the pleasant theory that you need not concern yourselves further with them? Isn't that so, my inexperienced children: they come of their own free will, the stork brings them to you! Who would dare to mention a midwife! You deserve an earnest teaching, eh? You should be proud of the fact that all the noble and brilliant men we have mentioned were prematurely suffocated, worn out, and crushed through you, through your barbarism? You think without shame of Lessing, who, on account of your stupidity, perished in battle against your ludicrous gods and idols, the evils of your theatres, your learned men, and your theologians, without once daring to lift himself to the height of that immortal flight for which he was brought into the world.
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and Romans?--for we need now no longer pretend, like our forefathers, to have any great regard for Greece and Rome, which, besides, sit enthroned in almost inaccessible loneliness and majestic alienation.
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"Have you ever, at a musical rehearsal, looked at the strange, shrivelled-up, good-natured species of men who usually form the German orchestra? What changes and fluctuations we see in that capricious goddess 'form'! What noses and ears, what clumsy, _danse macabre_ movements! Just imagine for a moment that you were deaf, and had never dreamed of the existence of sound or music, and that you were looking upon the orchestra as a company of actors, and trying to enjoy their performance as a drama and nothing more.
Page 87
Whilst philology as a whole is looked on with jealous eyes by these two classes of opponents, there are numerous and varied hostilities in other directions of philology; philologists themselves are quarrelling with one another; internal dissensions are caused by useless disputes about precedence and mutual jealousies, but especially by the differences--even enmities--comprised in the name of philology, which are not, however, by any means naturally harmonised instincts.
Page 88
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.
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We may even be ready to pronounce this synthetisation of great importance.
Page 99
We grant that philology is not the creator of this world, not the composer of that immortal music; but is it not a merit, and a great merit, to be a mere virtuoso, and let the world for the first time hear that music which lay so long in obscurity, despised and undecipherable? Who was Homer previously to Wolf's brilliant investigations? A good old man, known at best as a "natural genius," at all events the child of a barbaric age, replete with faults against good taste and good morals.
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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.