"I am a railing alongside the torrent; whoever is able to grasp me, may
grasp me! Your crutch, however, I am not." These two paragraphs are an
exhortation to higher men to become independent.
Here Nietzsche perhaps exaggerates the importance of heredity. As,
however, the question is by no means one on which we are all agreed,
what he says is not without value.
A very important principle in Nietzsche's philosophy is enunciated in
the first verse of this paragraph. "The higher its type, always the
seldomer doth a thing succeed" (see page 82 of "Beyond Good and Evil").
Those who, like some political economists, talk in a business-like way
about the terrific waste of human life and energy, deliberately overlook
the fact that the waste most to be deplored usually occurs among
higher individuals. Economy was never precisely one of nature's leading
principles. All this sentimental wailing over the larger proportion
of failures than successes in human life, does not seem to take into
account the fact that it is the rarest thing on earth for a highly
organised being to attain to the fullest development and activity of all
its functions, simply because it is so highly organised. The blind Will
to Power in nature therefore stands in urgent need of direction by man.
Pars. 16, 17, 18, 19, 20.
These paragraphs deal with Nietzsche's protest against the democratic
seriousness (Pobelernst) of modern times. "All good things laugh," he
says, and his final command to the higher men is, "LEARN, I pray you--to
laugh." All that is GOOD, in Nietzsche's sense, is cheerful. To be able
to crack a joke about one's deepest feelings is the greatest test of
their value. The man who does not laugh, like the man who does not make
faces, is already a buffoon at heart.
"What hath hitherto been the greatest sin here on earth? Was it not the
word of him who said: 'Woe unto them that laugh now!' Did he himself
find no cause for laughter on the earth? Then he sought badly. A child
even findeth cause for it."
Chapter LXXIV. The Song of Melancholy.
After his address to the higher men, Zarathustra goes out into the
open to recover himself. Meanwhile the magician (Wagner), seizing the
opportunity in order to draw them all into his net once more, sings the
Song of Melancholy.
Chapter LXXV. Science.
The only one to resist the "melancholy voluptuousness" of his art, is
the spiritually conscientious one--the scientific specialist of whom we
read in the discourse entitled "The Leech". He takes the harp from the
magician and cries for air,
" Now it is only in the spirit of the hope above mentioned that I wish to speak of the future of our educational institutions: and this is the second point in regard to which I must tender an apology from the outset.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 8
Let us now imagine ourselves in the position of a young student--that is to say, in a position which, in our present age of bewildering movement and feverish excitability, has become an almost impossible one.Page 9
On the occasion of a certain journey up the Rhine, which we had made together one summer, it happened that he and I independently conceived the very same plan at the same hour and on the same spot, and we were so struck by this unwonted coincidence that we determined to carry the plan out forthwith.Page 11
Our club servant happened to know the somewhat distant and elevated spot which we used as a range, and had carried our pistols there in advance.Page 17
Some time elapsed in this way, and while the glow of sunset grew steadily paler the recollection of our youthful undertaking in the cause of culture waxed ever more vivid.Page 18
out, I think, that in the eyes of the present age, which is so intolerant of anything that is not useful, such purposeless enjoyment of the moment, such a lulling of one's self in the cradle of the present, must seem almost incredible and at all events blameworthy.Page 19
One must be blessed with overflowing wealth in order to live for the good of all on one's own resources! Extraordinary youngsters! They felt it incumbent upon them to imitate what is precisely most difficult and most high,--what is possible only to the master, when they, above all, should know how difficult and dangerous this is, and how many excellent gifts may be ruined by attempting it!" "I will conceal.Page 23
In all matters of a general and serious nature, and above all, in regard to the highest philosophical problems, we have now already reached a point at which the scientific man, as such, is no longer allowed to speak.Page 24
_) LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,--Those among you whom I now have the pleasure of addressing for the first time and whose only knowledge of my first lecture has been derived from reports will, I hope, not mind being introduced here into the middle of a dialogue which I had begun to recount on the last occasion, and the last points of which I must now recall.Page 26
The universities can no longer lay claim to this importance as centres of influence, seeing that, as they now stand, they are at least, in one important aspect, only a kind of annex to the public school system, as I shall shortly point out to you.Page 30
Originality is demanded here: but the only shape in which it can manifest itself is rejected, and the 'formal' education that the system takes for granted is attained to only by a very limited number of men who complete it at a ripe age.Page 49
" "You are right, my friend," said the philosopher, "but whence comes the urgent necessity for a surplus of schools for culture, which further gives rise to the necessity for a surplus of teachers?--when we so clearly see that the demand for a surplus springs from a sphere which is hostile to culture, and that the consequences of this surplus only lead to non-culture.Page 53
" This spirit, linked to the Greeks by the noblest ties, and shown by its past history to have been steadfast and courageous, pure and lofty in its aims, its faculties qualifying it for the high task of freeing modern man from the curse of modernity--this spirit is condemned to live apart, banished from its inheritance.Page 61
And then, in the still night, under the peaceful light of hundreds of stars, we all broke out into a tirade which ran somewhat as follows:-- "You have told us so much about the genius," we began, "about his lonely and wearisome journey through the world, as if nature never exhibited anything but the most diametrical contraries: in one place the stupid, dull masses, acting by instinct, and then, on a far higher and more remote plane, the great contemplating few, destined for the production of immortal works.Page 69
A coloured flame, making a crackling noise for a few seconds, attracted our attention from the direction of the Rhine; and immediately following upon this we heard a slow, harmonious call, quite in tune, although plainly the cry of numerous youthful voices.Page 74
'Only by the ear,' we again reply.Page 75
His own experiences lead him most frequently to the consideration of these problems; and it is especially in the tempestuous period of youth that every personal event shines with a double.Page 78
In vain! for these supports give way, and he finds he has clutched at broken reeds.Page 84
Like Goethe, he afterwards freed himself from all patriotic trammels and prejudices, and aimed at a general European culture.