no sorer misfortune in all human destiny, than when the mighty
of the earth are not also the first men. Then everything becometh false
and distorted and monstrous.
And when they are even the last men, and more beast than man, then
riseth and riseth the populace in honour, and at last saith even the
populace-virtue: 'Lo, I alone am virtue!'"--
What have I just heard? answered Zarathustra. What wisdom in kings! I
am enchanted, and verily, I have already promptings to make a rhyme
--Even if it should happen to be a rhyme not suited for every one's
ears. I unlearned long ago to have consideration for long ears. Well
then! Well now!
(Here, however, it happened that the ass also found utterance: it said
distinctly and with malevolence, Y-E-A.)
'Twas once--methinks year one of our blessed Lord,--Drunk without wine,
the Sybil thus deplored:--"How ill things go! Decline! Decline! Ne'er
sank the world so low! Rome now hath turned harlot and harlot-stew,
Rome's Caesar a beast, and God--hath turned Jew!
With those rhymes of Zarathustra the kings were delighted; the king on
the right, however, said: "O Zarathustra, how well it was that we set
out to see thee!
For thine enemies showed us thy likeness in their mirror: there lookedst
thou with the grimace of a devil, and sneeringly: so that we were afraid
But what good did it do! Always didst thou prick us anew in heart and
ear with thy sayings. Then did we say at last: What doth it matter how
We must HEAR him; him who teacheth: 'Ye shall love peace as a means to
new wars, and the short peace more than the long!'
No one ever spake such warlike words: 'What is good? To be brave is
good. It is the good war that halloweth every cause.'
O Zarathustra, our fathers' blood stirred in our veins at such words: it
was like the voice of spring to old wine-casks.
When the swords ran among one another like red-spotted serpents, then
did our fathers become fond of life; the sun of every peace seemed to
them languid and lukewarm, the long peace, however, made them ashamed.
How they sighed, our fathers, when they saw on the wall brightly
furbished, dried-up swords! Like those they thirsted for war. For a
sword thirsteth to drink blood, and sparkleth with desire."--
--When the kings thus discoursed and talked eagerly of the happiness of
their fathers, there came upon Zarathustra no little desire to mock at
their eagerness: for evidently they were very peaceable kings whom he
saw before him, kings with old and
I am, moreover, convinced that the numerous alterations which have been introduced into these institutions within recent years, with the view of bringing them up-to-date, are for the most part but distortions and aberrations of the originally sublime tendencies given to them at their foundation.Page 6
Albeit, between those who take everything for granted and these anchorites, there stand the _fighters_--that is to say, those who still have hope, and as the noblest and sublimest example of this class, we recognise Schiller as he is described by Goethe in his "Epilogue to the Bell.Page 7
FOOTNOTES:  Selbstverstaendlich = "granted or self-understood.Page 10
It was, however, with some difficulty that we were able to carry our plans into execution; for, on the very day we had selected for our excursion, the large and lively students' association, which always hindered us in our flights, did their utmost to put obstacles in our way and to hold us back.Page 12
to the lofty trees at our feet, we were unable to catch a glimpse of the valley of the Rhine below.Page 13
And when such a man begs----" "Well, his request is generally granted," the old man interjected, surveying us sternly.Page 19
Tell me,--what was that principle?" "I remember," replied the scolded pupil, "you used to say no one would strive to attain to culture if he knew how incredibly small the number of really cultured people actually is, and can ever be.Page 20
In the quarter now under consideration culture would be defined as that point of vantage which enables one to 'keep in the van of one's age,' from which one can see all the easiest and best roads to wealth, and with which one controls all the means of communication between men and nations.Page 27
' "In accordance with the spirit of this address, the teacher of German at a public school would be forced to call his pupil's attention to thousands of details, and with the absolute certainty of good taste, to forbid their using such words and expressions, for instance, as: '_beanspruchen_,' '_vereinnahmen_,' '_einer Sache Rechnung tragen_,' '_die Initiative ergreifen_,' '_selbstverstaendlich_,' etc.Page 31
Who, having seen all these effects at _one_ glance, could any longer doubt whether all the faults of our public, literary, and artistic life were not stamped upon every fresh generation by the system we are examining: hasty and vain production, the disgraceful manufacture of books; complete want of style; the crude, characterless, or sadly swaggering method of expression; the loss of every aesthetic canon; the voluptuousness of anarchy and chaos--in short, the literary peculiarities of both our journalism and our scholarship.Page 34
It is painful to see how awkwardly and heavily one foot is set before the other, and one dreads that one may not only be unable to learn the new way of walking, but that one will forget how to walk at all.Page 38
Let any one who wishes to see the full force of this contrast compare our most noted novelists with the less noted ones of France or Italy: he will recognise in both the same doubtful tendencies and aims, as also the same still more doubtful means, but in France he will find them coupled with artistic earnestness, at least with grammatical purity, and often with beauty, while in their every feature he will recognise the echo of a corresponding social culture.Page 44
On the other hand, I fully understand what you have said about the surplus of public schools and the corresponding surplus of higher grade teachers; and in this regard I myself have collected some information which assures me that the educational tendency of the public school _must_ right itself by this very surplus of teachers who have really nothing at all to do with education, and who are called into existence and pursue this path solely because there is a demand for them.Page 45
One of them makes verses and takes care to consult Hesychius' Lexicon.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 52
never comes into contact with this true German spirit: with that spirit which speaks to us so wondrously from the inner heart of the German Reformation, German music, and German philosophy, and which, like a noble exile, is regarded with such indifference and scorn by the luxurious education afforded by the State.Page 53
But when its slow, painful tones of woe resound through the desert of the present, then the.Page 64
Why were we making this old man walk up and down with us between the rocks and trees at that time of the night? And, since he had yielded to our entreaties, why could we not have thought of a more modest and unassuming manner of having ourselves instructed, why should the three of us have contradicted him in such clumsy terms? For now we saw how thoughtless, unprepared, and baseless were.Page 67
Of this discipline and submission, however, the present institutions called by courtesy 'educational establishments' know nothing whatever, although I have no doubt that the public school was originally intended to be an institution for sowing the seeds of true culture, or at least as a preparation for it.Page 81
On returning to the university, and finding that he was breathing heavily, he became conscious of that oppressive and contaminated air which overhung the culture of the university.