Thoughts Out Of Season - Part One by Friedrich Nietzsche
THE COMPLETE WORKS OF
FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE The First Complete and Authorised English Translation
DR. OSCAR LEVY VOLUME ONE
THOUGHTS OUT OF SEASON PART ONE
Of the First Impression of One Thousand Copies this is
No. 1 FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE THOUGHTS OUT OF SEASON PART I
DAVID STRAUSS, THE CONFESSOR AND THE WRITER
RICHARD WAGNER IN BAYREUTH
ANTHONY M. LUDOVICI
CONTENTS. EDITORIAL NOTE
NIETZSCHE IN ENGLAND (BY THE EDITOR)
TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE TO DAVID STRAUSS AND RICHARD WAGNER IN REUTH
DAVID STRAUSS, THE CONFESSOR AND THE WRITER
RICHARD WAGNER IN BAYREUTH
THE Editor begs to call attention to some of the difficulties he had to encounter in preparing this edition of the complete works of Friedrich Nietzsche. Not being English himself, he had to rely upon the help of collaborators, who were somewhat slow in coming forward. They were also few in number; for, in addition to an exact knowledge of the German language, there was also required sympathy and a certain enthusiasm for the startling ideas of the original, as well as a considerable feeling for poetry, and that highest form of it, religious poetry.
Such a combination—a biblical mind, yet one open to new thoughts—was not easily found. And yet it was necessary to find translators with such a mind, and not be satisfied, as the French are and must be, with a free though elegant version of Nietzsche. What is impossible and unnecessary in French—a faithful and powerful rendering of the psalmistic grandeur of Nietzsche —is possible and necessary in English, which is a rougher tongue of the Teutonic stamp, and moreover, like German, a tongue influenced and formed by an excellent version of the Bible. The English would never be satisfied, as Bible-ignorant France is, with a Nietzsche l'Eau de Cologne—they would require the natural, strong, real Teacher, and would prefer his outspoken words to the finely-chiselled sentences of the raconteur. It may indeed be safely predicted that once the English people have recovered from the first shock of Nietzsche's thoughts, their biblical training will enable them, more than any other nation, to appreciate the deep piety underlying Nietzsche's Cause.
As this Cause is a somewhat holy one to the Editor himself, he is ready to listen to any suggestions as to improvements of style or sense coming from qualified sources. The Editor, during a recent visit to Mrs. Foerster-Nietzsche at Weimar, acquired the rights of translation by pointing out to her that in this way her brother's works would not fall into the hands of an ordinary publisher and his staff of translators: he has not, therefore, entered into any engagement with publishers, not even with the present one, which could hinder his task, bind him down to any text found faulty, or make him consent to omissions or the falsification or "sugaring" of the original text to further the sale of the books. He is therefore in a position to give every attention to a work which he considers as of no less importance for the country of his residence than for the country of his birth, as well as for the rest of Europe.
It is the consciousness of the importance of this work which makes the Editor anxious to point out several difficulties to the younger student of Nietzsche. The first is, of course, not to begin reading Nietzsche at too early an age. While fully admitting that others may be more gifted than himself, the Editor begs to state that he began to study Nietzsche at the age of twenty-six, and would not have been able to endure the weight of such teaching before that time. Secondly, the Editor wishes to dissuade the student from beginning the study of Nietzsche by reading first of all his most complicated works. Not having been properly prepared for them, he will find the Zarathustra abstruse, the Ecce Homo conceited, and the Antichrist violent. He should rather begin with the little pamphlet on Education, the Thoughts out of Season, Beyond Good and Evil, or the Genealogy of Morals. Thirdly, the Editor wishes to remind students of Nietzsche's own advice to them, namely: to read him slowly, to think over what they have read, and not to accept too readily a teaching which they have only half understood. By a too ready acceptance of Nietzsche it has come to pass that his enemies are, as a rule, a far superior body of men to those who call themselves his eager and enthusiastic followers. Surely it is not every one who is chosen to combat a religion or a morality of two thousand years' standing, first within and then without himself; and whoever feels inclined to do so ought at least to allow his attention to be drawn to the magnitude of his task.
NIETZSCHE IN ENGLAND: AN INTRODUCTORY ESSAY BY THE EDITOR. DEAR ENGLISHMEN,—In one of my former writings I have made the remark that the world would have seen neither the great Jewish prophets nor the great German thinkers, if the people from among whom these eminent men sprang had not been on the whole such a misguided, and, in their misguidedness, such a tough and stubborn race. The arrow that is to fly far must be discharged from a well distended bow: if, therefore, anything is necessary for greatness, it is a fierce and tenacious opposition, an opposition either of open contempt, or of malicious irony, or of sly silence, or of gross stupidity, an opposition regardless of the wounds it inflicts and of the precious lives it sacrifices, an opposition that nobody would dare to attack who was not prepared, like the Spartan of old, to return either with his shield or on it.
An opposition so devoid of pity is not as a rule found amongst you, dear and fair-minded Englishmen, which may account for the fact that you have neither produced the greatest prophets nor the greatest thinkers in this world. You would never have crucified Christ, as did the Jews, or driven Nietzsche into madness, as did the Germans—you would have made Nietzsche, on account of his literary faculties, Minister of State in a Whig Ministry, you would have invited Jesus Christ to your country houses, where he would have been worshipped by all the ladies on account of his long hair and interesting looks, and tolerated by all men as an amusing, if somewhat romantic, foreigner. I know that the current opinion is to the contrary, and that your country is constantly accused, even by yourselves, of its insularity; but I, for my part, have found an almost feminine receptivity amongst you in my endeavour to bring you into contact with some ideas of my native country—a receptivity which, however, has also this in common with that of the female mind, that evidently nothing sticks deeply, but is quickly wiped out by what any other lecturer, or writer, or politician has to tell you. I was prepared for indifference—I was not prepared for receptivity and that benign lady's smile, behind which ladies, like all people who are only clever, usually hide their inward contempt for the foolishness of mere men! I was prepared for abuse, and even a good fight—I was not prepared for an extremely faint-hearted criticism; I did not expect that some of my opponents would be so utterly inexperienced in that most necessary work of literary execution. No, no: give me the Germans or the Jews for executioners: they can do the hanging properly, while the English hangman is like the Russian, to whom, when the rope broke, the half-hanged revolutionary said: "What a country, where they cannot hang a man properly!" What a country, where they do not hang philosophers properly—which would be the proper thing to do to them—but smile at them, drink tea with them, discuss with them, and ask them to contribute to their newspapers!
To get to the root of the matter: in spite of many encouraging signs, remarks and criticisms, adverse or benevolent, I do not think I have been very successful in my crusade for that European thought which began with Goethe and has found so fine a development in Nietzsche. True, I have made many a convert, but amongst them are very undesirable ones, as, for instance, some enterprising publishers, who used to be the toughest disbelievers in England, but who have now come to understand the "value" of the new gospel—but as neither this gospel is exactly Christian, nor I, the importer of it, I am not allowed to count my success by the conversion of publishers and sinners, but have to judge it by the more spiritual standard of the quality of the converted. In this respect, I am sorry to say, my success has been a very poor one.
As an eager missionary, I have naturally asked myself the reason of my failure. Why is there no male audience in England willing to listen to a manly and daring philosophy? Why are there no eyes to see, no ears to hear, no hearts to feel, no brains to understand? Why is my trumpet, which after all I know how to blow pretty well, unable to shatter the walls of English prejudice against a teacher whose school cannot possibly be avoided by any European with a higher purpose in his breast?... There is plenty of time for thought nowadays for a man who does not allow himself to be drawn into that aimless bustle of pleasure business or politics, which is called modern life because outside that life there is—just as outside those noisy Oriental cities-a desert, a calmness, a true and almost majestic leisure, a leisure unprecedented in any age, a leisure in which one may arrive at several conclusions concerning English indifference towards the new thought.
First of all, of course, there stands in the way the terrible abuse which Nietzsche has poured upon the heads of the innocent Britishers. While France and the Latin countries, while the Orient and India, are within the range of his sympathies, this most outspoken of all philosophers, this prophet and poet-philosopher, cannot find words enough to express his disgust at the illogical, plebeian, shallow, utilitarian Englishman. It must certainly be disagreeable to be treated like this, especially when one has a fairly good opinion of one's self; but why do you take it so very, very seriously? Did Nietzsche, perchance, spare the Germans? And aren't you accustomed to criticism on the part of German philosophers? Is it not the ancient and time-honoured privilege of the whole range of them from Leibnitz to Hegel — even of German poets, like Goethe and Heine — to call you bad names and to use unkind language towards you? Has there not always been among the few thinking heads in Germany a silent consent and an open contempt for you and your ways; the sort of contempt you yourselves have for the even more Anglo-Saxon culture of the Americans? I candidly confess that in my more German moments I have felt and still feel as the German philosophers do; but I have also my European turns and moods, and then I try to understand you and even excuse you, and take your part against earnest and thinking Germany. Then I feel like telling the German philosophers that if you, poor fellows, had practised everything they preached, they would have had to renounce the pleasure of abusing you long ago, for there would now be no more Englishmen left to abuse! As it is, you have suffered enough on account of the wild German ideals you luckily only partly believed in: for what the German thinker wrote on patient paper in his study, you always had to write the whole world over on tender human skins, black and yellow skins, enveloping ungrateful beings who sometimes had no very high esteem for the depth and beauty of German philosophy. And you have never taken revenge upon the inspired masters of the European thinking-shop, you have never reabused them, you have never complained of their want of worldly wisdom: you have invariably suffered in silence and agony, just as brave and staunch Sancho Panza used to do. For this is what you are, dear Englishmen, and however well you brave, practical, materialistic John Bulls and Sancho Panzas may know this world, however much better you may be able to perceive, to count, to judge, and to weigh things than your ideal German Knight: there is an eternal law in this world that the Sancho Panzas have to follow the Don Quixotes; for matter has to follow the spirit, even the poor spirit of a German philosopher! So it has been in the past, so it is at present, and so it will be in the future; and you had better prepare yourselves in time for the eventuality. For if Nietzsche were nothing else but this customary type of German philosopher, you would again have to pay the bill largely; and it would be very wise on your part to study him: Sancho Panza may escape a good many sad experiences by knowing his master's weaknesses. But as Nietzsche no longer belongs to the Quixotic class, as Germany seems to emerge with him from her youthful and cranky nebulosity, you will not even have the pleasure of being thrashed in the company of your Master: no, you will be thrashed all alone, which is an abominable thing for any right-minded human being. "Solamen miseris socios habuisse malorum."*
[Footnote * : It is a comfort to the afflicted to have companions in their distress.]
The second reason for the neglect of Nietzsche in this country is that you do not need him yet. And you do not need him yet because you have always possessed the British virtue of not carrying things to extremes, which, according to the German version, is an euphemism for the British want of logic and critical capacity. You have, for instance, never let your religion have any great influence upon your politics, which is something quite abhorrent to the moral German, and makes him so angry about you. For the German sees you acting as a moral and law-abiding Christian at home, and as an unscrupulous and Machiavellian conqueror abroad; and if he refrains from the reproach of hypocrisy, with which the more stupid continentals invariably charge you, he will certainly call you a "British muddlehead." Well, I myself do not take things so seriously as that, for I know that men of action have seldom time to think. It is probably for this reason also that liberty of thought and speech has been granted to you, the law-giver knowing very well all the time that you would be much too busy to use and abuse such extraordinary freedom. Anyhow, it might now be time to abuse it just a little bit, and to consider what an extraordinary amalgamation is a Christian Power with imperialistic ideas. True, there has once before been another Christian conquering and colonising empire like yours, that of Venice—but these Venetians were thinkers compared with you, and smuggled their gospel into the paw of their lion.... Why don't you follow their example, in order not to be unnecessarily embarrassed by it in your enterprises abroad? In this manner you could also reconcile the proper Germans, who invariably act up to their theories, their Christianity, their democratic principles, although, on the other hand, in so doing you would, I quite agree, be most unfaithful to your own traditions, which are of a more democratic character than those of any other European nation.
For Democracy, as every schoolboy knows, was born in an English cradle: individual liberty, parliamentary institutions, the sovereign rights of the people, are ideas of British origin, and have been propagated from this island over the whole of Europe. But as the prophet and his words are very often not honoured in his own country, those ideas have been embraced with much more fervour by other nations than by that in which they originated. The Continent of Europe has taken the desire for liberty and equality much more seriously than their levelling but also level-headed inventors, and the fervent imagination of France has tried to put into practice all that was quite hidden to the more sober English eye. Every one nowadays knows the good and the evil consequences of the French Revolution, which swept over the whole of Europe, throwing it into a state of unrest, shattering thrones and empires, and everywhere undermining authority and traditional institutions. While this was going on in Europe, the originator of the merry game was quietly sitting upon his island smiling broadly at the excitable foreigners across the Channel, fishing as much as he could out of the water he himself had so cleverly disturbed, and thus in every way reaping the benefit from the mighty fight for the apple of Eros which he himself had thrown amongst them. As I have endeavoured above to draw a parallel between the Germans and the Jews, I may now be allowed to follow this up with one between the Jews and the English. It is a striking parallel, which will specially appeal to those religious souls amongst you who consider themselves the lost tribes of our race (and who are perhaps even more lost than they think),—and it is this: Just as the Jews have brought Christianity into the world, but never accepted it themselves, just as they, in spite of their democratic offspring, have always remained the most conservative, exclusive, aristocratic, and religious people, so have the English never allowed themselves to be intoxicated by the strong drink of the natural equality of men, which they once kindly offered to all Europe to quaff; but have, on the contrary, remained the most sober, the most exclusive, the most feudal, the most conservative people of our continent.
But because the ravages of Democracy have been less felt here than abroad, because there is a good deal of the mediaeval building left standing over here, because things have never been carried to that excess which invariably brings a reaction with it—this reaction has not set in in this country, and no strong desire for the necessity of it, no craving for the counterbalancing influence of a Nietzsche, has arisen yet in the British mind. I cannot help pointing out the grave consequences of this backwardness of England, which has arisen from the fact that you have never taken any ideas or theories, not even your own, seriously. Democracy, dear Englishmen, is like a stream, which all the peoples of Europe will have to cross: they will come out of it cleaner, healthier, and stronger, but while the others are already in the water, plunging, puffing, paddling, losing their ground, trying to swim, and even half-drowned, you are still standing on the other side of it, roaring unmercifully about the poor swimmers, screamers, and fighters below,—but one day you will have to cross this same river too, and when you enter it the others will just be out of it, and will laugh at the poor English straggler in their turn!
The third and last reason for the icy silence which has greeted Nietzsche in this country is due to the fact that he has—as far as I know—no literary ancestor over here whose teachings could have prepared you for him. Germany has had her Goethe to do this; France her Stendhal; in Russia we find that fearless curiosity for all problems, which is the sign of a youthful, perhaps too youthful nation; while in Spain, on the other hand, we have an old and experienced people, with a long training away from Christianity under the dominion of the Semitic Arabs, who undoubtedly left some of their blood behind,—but I find great difficulty in pointing out any man over here who could serve as a useful guide to the heights of the Nietzschean thought, except one, who was not a Britisher. I am alluding to a man whose politics you used to consider and whose writings you even now consider as fantastic, but who, like another fantast of his race, may possess the wonderful gift of resurrection, and come again to life amongst you—to Benjamin Disraeli.
The Disraelian Novels are in my opinion the best and only preparation for those amongst you who wish gradually to become acquainted with the Nietzschean spirit. There, and nowhere else, will you find the true heroes of coming times, men of moral courage, men whose failures and successes are alike admirable, men whose noble passions have altogether superseded the ordinary vulgarities and moralities of lower beings, men endowed with an extraordinary imagination, which, however, is balanced by an equal power of reason, men already anointed with a drop of that sacred and noble oil, without which the High Priest-Philosopher of Modern Germany would not have crowned his Royal Race of the Future.
Both Disraeli and Nietzsche you perceive starting from the same pessimistic diagnosis of the wild anarchy, the growing melancholy, the threatening Nihilism of Modern Europe, for both recognised the danger of the age behind its loud and forced "shipwreck gaiety," behind its big-mouthed talk about progress and evolution, behind that veil of business-bustle, which hides its fear and utter despair—but for all that black outlook they are not weaklings enough to mourn and let things go, nor do they belong to that cheap class of society doctors who mistake the present wretchedness of Humanity for sinfulness, and wish to make their patient less sinful and still more wretched. Both Nietzsche and Disraeli have clearly recognised that this patient of theirs is suffering from weakness and not from sinfulness, for which latter some kind of strength may still be required; both are therefore entirely opposed to a further dieting him down to complete moral emaciation, but are, on the contrary, prescribing a tonic, a roborating, a natural regime for him —advice for which both doctors have been reproached with Immorality by their contemporaries as well as by posterity. But the younger doctor has turned the tables upon their accusers, and has openly reproached his Nazarene colleagues with the Immorality of endangering life itself, he has clearly demonstrated to the world that their trustful and believing patient was shrinking beneath their very fingers, he has candidly foretold these Christian quacks that one day they would be in the position of the quack skin-specialist at the fair, who, as a proof of his medical skill, used to show to the peasants around him the skin of a completly cured patient of his. Both Nietzsche and Disraeli know the way to health, for they have had the disease of the age themselves, but they have—the one partly, the other entirely— cured themselves of it, they have resisted the spirit of their time, they have escaped the fate of their contemporaries; they therefore, and they alone, know their danger. This is the reason why they both speak so violently, why they both attack with such bitter fervour the utilitarian and materialistic attitude of English Science, why they both so ironically brush aside the airy and fantastic ideals of German Philosophy—this is why they both loudly declare (to use Disraeli's words) "that we are the slaves of false knowledge; that our memories are filled with ideas that have no origin in truth; that we believe what our fathers credited, who were convinced without a cause; that we study human nature in a charnel house, and, like the nations of the East, pay divine honours to the maniac and the fool." But if these two great men cannot refrain from such outspoken vituperation—they also lead the way: they both teach the divinity of ideas and the vileness of action without principle; they both exalt the value of personality and character; they both deprecate the influence of society and socialisation; they both intensely praise and love life, but they both pour contempt and irony upon the shallow optimist, who thinks it delightful, and the quietist, who wishes it to be calm, sweet, and peaceful. They thus both preach a life of danger, in opposition to that of pleasure, of comfort, of happiness, and they do not only preach this noble life, they also act it: for both have with equal determination staked even their lives on the fulfilment of their ideal.
It is astonishing—but only astonishing to your superficial student of the Jewish character—that in Disraeli also we find an almost Nietzschean appreciation of that eternal foe of the Jewish race, the Hellenist, which makes Disraeli, just like Nietzsche, confess that the Greek and the Hebrew are both amongst the highest types of the human kind. It is not less astonishing—but likewise easily intelligible for one who knows something of the great Jews of the Middle Ages—that in Disraeli we discover that furious enmity against the doctrine of the natural equality of men which Nietzsche combated all his life. It was certainly the great Maimonides himself, that spiritual father of Spinoza, who guided the pen of his Sephardic descendant, when he thus wrote in his Tancred: "It is to be noted, although the Omnipotent Creator might have formed, had it pleased him, in the humblest of his creations, an efficient agent for his purpose that Divine Majesty has never thought fit to communicate except with human beings of the very highest order."
But what about Christianity, to which Disraeli was sincerely attached, and whose creation he always considered as one of the eternal glories of his race? Did not the Divine Majesty think it fit then to communicate with the most humble of its creatures, with the fishermen of Galilee, with the rabble of Corinth, with the slaves, the women, the criminals of the Roman Empire? As I wish to be honest about Disraeli, I must point out here, that his genius, although the most prominent in England during his lifetime, and although violently opposed to its current superstitions, still partly belongs to his age—and for this very pardonable reason, that in his Jewish pride he overrated and even misunderstood Christianity. He all but overlooked the narrow connection between Christianity and Democracy. He did not see that in fighting Liberalism and Nonconformity all his life, he was really fighting Christianity, the Protestant Form of which is at the root of British Liberalism and Individualism to this very day. And when later in his life Disraeli complained that the disturbance in the mind of nations has been occasioned by "the powerful assault on the Divinity of the Semitic Literature by the Germans," he overlooked likewise the connection of this German movement with the same Protestantism, from the narrow and vulgar middle-class of which have sprung all those rationalising, unimaginative, and merely clever professors, who have so successfully undermined the ancient and venerable lore. And thirdly, and worst of all, Disraeli never suspected that the French Revolution, which in the same breath he once contemptuously denounced as "the Celtic Rebellion against Semitic laws," was, in spite of its professed attack against religion, really a profoundly Christian, because a democratic and revolutionary movement. 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.
But it is so easy for me to be carried away by that favourite sport of mine, of which I am the first inventor among the Jews—Christian baiting. You must forgive this, however, in a Jew, who, while he has been baited for two thousand years by you, likes to turn round now that the opportunity has come, and tries to indulge on his part also in a little bit of that genial pastime. I candidly confess it is delightful, and I now quite understand your ancestors hunting mine as much as they could—had I been a Christian, I would, probably, have done the same; perhaps have done it even better, for no one would now be left to write any such impudent truisms against me— rest assured of that! But as I am a Jew, and have had too much experience of the other side of the question, I must try to control myself in the midst of victory; I must judge things calmly; I must state fact honestly; I must not allow myself to be unjust towards you. First of all, then, this rebelling faculty of yours is a Jewish inheritance, an inheritance, however, of which you have made a more than generous, a truly Christian use, because you did not keep it niggardly for yourselves, but have distributed it all over the earth, from Nazareth to Nishni-Novgorod, from Jerusalem to Jamaica, from Palestine to Pimlico, so that every one is a rebel and an anarchist nowadays. But, secondly, I must not forget that in every Anarchist, and therefore in every Christian, there is also, or may be, an aristocrat—a man who, just like the anarchist, but with a perfectly holy right, wishes to obey no laws but those of his own conscience; a man who thinks too highly of his own faith and persuasion, to convert other people to it; a man who, therefore, would never carry it to Caffres and Coolis; a man, in short, with whom even the noblest and exclusive Hebrew could shake hands. In Friedrich Nietzsche this aristocratic element which may be hidden in a Christian has been brought to light, in him the Christian's eternal claim for freedom of conscience, for his own priesthood, for justification by his own faith, is no longer used for purposes of destruction and rebellion, but for those of command and creation; in him—and this is the key to the character of this extraordinary man, who both on his father's and mother's side was the descendant of a long line of Protestant Parsons—the Christian and Protestant spirit of anarchy became so strong that he rebelled even against his own fellow-Anarchists, and told them that Anarchy was a low and contemptible thing, and that Revolution was an occupation fit only for superior slaves. But with this event the circle of Christianity has become closed, and the exclusive House of Israel is now under the delightful obligation to make its peace with its once lost and now reforming son.
The venerable Owner of this old house is still standing on its threshold: his face is pale, his expression careworn, his eyes apparently scanning something far in the distance. The wind—for there is a terrible wind blowing just now—is playing havoc with his long white Jew-beard, but this white Jew-beard of his is growing black again at the end, and even the sad eyes are still capable of quite youthful flashes, as may be noticed at this very moment. For the eyes of the old Jew, apparently so dreamy and so far away, have suddenly become fixed upon something in the distance yonder. The old Jew looks and looks— and then he rubs his eyes—and then he eagerly looks again. And now he is sure of himself. His old and haggard face is lighting up, his stooped figure suddenly becomes more erect, and a tear of joy is seen running over his pale cheek into that long beard of his. For the old Jew has recognised some one coming from afar—some one whom he had missed, but never mentioned, for his Law forbade him to do this—some one, however, for whom he had secretly always mourned, as only the race of the psalmists and the prophets can mourn—and he rushes toward him, and he falls on his neck and he kisses him, and he says to his servants: "Bring forth the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet. And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it and let us eat and be merry!" AMEN.
LONDON, January 1909.
TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE. To the reader who knows Nietzsche, who has studied his Zarathustra and understood it, and who, in addition, has digested the works entitled Beyond Good and Evil, The Genealogy of Morals, The Twilight of the Idols, and The Antichrist,— to such a reader everything in this volume will be perfectly clear and comprehensible. In the attack on Strauss he will immediately detect the germ of the whole of Nietzsche's subsequent attitude towards too hasty contentment and the foolish beatitude of the "easily pleased"; in the paper on Wagner he will recognise Nietzsche the indefatigable borer, miner and underminer, seeking to define his ideals, striving after self-knowledge above all, and availing himself of any contemporary approximation to his ideal man, in order to press it forward as the incarnation of his thoughts. Wagner the reformer of mankind! Wagner the dithyrambic dramatist!—The reader who knows Nietzsche will not be misled by these expressions.
To the uninitiated reader, however, some words of explanation are due, not only in regard to the two papers before us, but in regard to Nietzsche himself. So much in our time is learnt from hearsay concerning prominent figures in science, art, religion, or philosophy, that it is hardly possible for anybody to-day, however badly informed he may be, to begin the study of any great writer or scientist with a perfectly open mind. It were well, therefore, to begin the study of Nietzsche with some definite idea as to his unaltered purpose, if he ever possessed such a thing; as to his lifelong ideal, if he ever kept one so long; and as to the one direction in which he always travelled, despite apparent deviations and windings. Had he such a purpose, such an ideal, such a direction? We have no wish to open a controversy here, neither do we think that in replying to this question in the affirmative we shall give rise to one; for every careful student of Nietzsche, we know, will uphold us in our view. Nietzsche had one very definite and unaltered purpose, ideal and direction, and this was "the elevation of the type man." He tells us in The Will to Power: "All is truth to me that tends to elevate man!" To this principle he was already pledged as a student at Leipzig; we owe every line that he ever wrote to his devotion to it, and it is the key to all his complexities, blasphemies, prolixities, and terrible earnestness. All was good to Nietzsche that tended to elevate man; all was bad that kept man stationary or sent him backwards. Hence he wrote David Strauss, the Confessor and Writer (1873).
The Franco-German War had only just come to an end, and the keynote of this polemical pamphlet is, "Beware of the intoxication of success." When the whole of Germany was delirious with joy over her victory, at a time when the unquestioned triumph of her arms tended rather to reflect unearned glory upon every department of her social organisation, it required both courage and discernment to raise the warning voice and to apply the wet blanket. But Nietzsche did both, and with spirit, because his worst fears were aroused. Smug content (erbrmliches Behagen) was threatening to thwart his one purpose—the elevation of man; smug content personified in the German scholar was giving itself airs of omniscience, omnipotence, and ubiquity, and all the while it was a mere cover for hidden rottenness and jejune pedantry.
Nietzsche's attack on Hegelian optimism alone (pp. 46, 53-54), in the first paper, fully reveals the fundamental idea underlying this essay; and if the personal attack on Strauss seems sometimes to throw the main theme into the background, we must remember the author's own attitude towards this aspect of the case. Nietzsche, as a matter of fact, had neither the spite nor the meanness requisite for the purely personal attack. In his Ecce Homo, he tells us most emphatically: "I have no desire to attack particular persons—I do but use a personality as a magnifying glass; I place it over the subject to which I wish to call attention, merely that the appeal may be stronger." David Strauss, in a letter to a friend, soon after the publication of the first Thought out of Season, expresses his utter astonishment that a total stranger should have made such a dead set at him. The same problem may possibly face the reader on every page of this fssay: if, however, we realise Nietzsche's purpose, if we understand his struggle to be one against "Culture-Philistinism" in general, as a stemming, stultifying and therefore degenerate factor, and regard David Strauss—as the author himself did, that is to say, simply as a glass, focusing the whole light of our understanding upon the main theme— then the Strauss paper is seen to be one of such enormous power, and its aim appears to us so lofty, that, whatever our views may be concerning the nature of the person assailed, we are forced to conclude that, to Nietzsche at least, he was but the incarnation and concrete example of the evil and danger then threatening to overtake his country, which it was the object of this essay to expose.
When we read that at the time of Strauss's death (February 7th, 1874) Nietzsche was greatly tormented by the fear that the old scholar might have been hastened to his end by the use that had been made of his personality in the first Unzeitgemsse Betrachtung; when we remember that in the midst of this torment he ejaculated, "I was indeed not made to hate and have enemies!"—we are then in a better position to judge of the motives which, throughout his life, led him to engage such formidable opponents and to undertake such relentless attacks. It was merely his ruling principle that, all is true and good that tends to elevate man; everything is bad and false that keeps man stationary or sends him backwards.
Those who may think that his attacks were often unwarrantable and ill-judged will do well, therefore, to bear this in mind, that whatever his value or merits may have been as an iconoclast, at least the aim he had was sufficiently lofty and honourable, and that he never shirked the duties which he rightly or wrongly imagined would help him to
Wagner paper (1875-1876) we are faced by a somewhat different problem. Most readers who will have heard of Nietzsche's subsequent denunciation of Wagner's music will probably stand aghast before this panegyric of him; those who, like Professor Saintsbury, will fail to discover the internal evidence in this essay which points so infallibly to Nietzsche's real but still subconscious opinion of his hero, may even be content to regard his later attitude as the result of a complete volte-face, and at any rate a flat contradiction of the one revealed in this paper. Let us, however, examine the internal evidence we speak of, and let us also discuss the purpose and spirit of the essay.
We have said that Nietzsche was a man with a very fixed and powerful ideal, and we have heard what this ideal was. Can we picture him, then,—a young and enthusiastic scholar with a cultured love of music, and particularly of Wagner's music, eagerly scanning all his circle, the whole city and country in which he lived—yea, even the whole continent on which he lived—for something or some one that would set his doubts at rest concerning the feasibility of his ideal? Can we now picture this young man coming face to face with probably one of the greatest geniuses of his age—with a man whose very presence must have been electric, whose every word or movement must have imparted some power to his surroundings—with Richard Wagner?
If we can conceive of what the mere attention, even, of a man like Wagner must have meant to Nietzsche in his twenties, if we can form any idea of the intoxicating effect produced upon him when this attention developed into friendship, we almost refuse to believe that Nietzsche could have been critical at all at first. In Wagner, as was but natural, he soon began to see the ideal, or at least the means to the ideal, which was his one obsession. All his hope for the future of Germany and Europe cleaved, as it were, to this highest manifestation of their people's life, and gradually he began to invest his already great friend with all the extra greatness which he himself drew from the depths of his own soul.
The friendship which grew between them was of that rare order in which neither can tell who influences the other more. Wagner would often declare that the beautiful music in the third act of Siegfried was to be ascribed to Nietzsche's influence over him; he also adopted the young man's terminology in art matters, and the concepts implied by the words "Dionysian" and "Apollonian" were borrowed by him from his friend's discourses. How much Nietzsche owed to Wagner may perhaps never be definitely known; to those who are sufficiently interested to undertake the investigation of this matter, we would recommend Hans Belart's book, Nietzsche's Ethik; in it references will be found which give some clue as to the probable sources from which the necessary information may be derived. In any case, however, the reciprocal effects of their conversations will never be exactly known; and although it would be ridiculous to assume that Nietzsche was essentially the same when he left as when he met him, what the real nature of the change was it is now difficult to say.
For some years their friendship continued firm, and grew ever more and more intimate. The Birth Of Tragedy was one of the first public declarations of it, and after its publication many were led to consider that Wagner's art was a sort of resurrection of the Dionysian Grecian art. Enemies of Nietzsche began to whisper that he was merely Wagner's "literary lackey"; many friends frowned upon the promising young philologist, and questioned the exaggerated importance he was beginning to ascribe to the art of music and to art in general, in their influence upon the world; and all the while Nietzsche's one thought and one aim was to help the cause and further the prospects of the man who he earnestly believed was destined to be the salvation of European culture.
Every great ideal coined in his own brain he imagined to be the ideal of his hero; all his sublimest hopes for society were presented gratis, in his writings, to Wagner, as though products of the latter's own mind; and just as the prophet of old never possessed the requisite assurance to suppose that his noblest ideas were his own, but attributed them to some higher and supernatural power, whom he thereby learnt to worship for its fancied nobility of sentiment, so Nietzsche, still doubting his own powers, created a fetich out of nis most distinguished friend, and was ultimately wounded and well-nigh wrecked with disappointment when he found that the Wagner of the Gotterdammerung and Parsifal was not the Wagner of his own mind.
While writing Ecce Homo, he was so well aware of the extent to which he had gone in idealising his friend, that he even felt able to say: "Wagner in Bayreuth is a vision of my own future.... Now that I can look back upon this work, I would not like to deny that, at bottom, it speaks only of myself" (p. 74). And on another page of the same book we read: "... What I heard, as a young man, in Wagnerian music, had absolutely nothing to do with Wagner: when I described Dionysian music, I only described what I had heard, and I thus translated and transfigured all that I bore in my own soul into the spirit of the new art. The strongest proof of this is my essay, Wagner in Bayreuth: in all decidedly psychological passages of this book the reader may simply read my name, or the name 'Zarathustra,' wherever the text contains the name 'Wagner'" (p. 68).
As we have already hinted, there are evidences of his having subconsciously discerned the REAL Wagner, even in the heyday of their friendship, behind the ideal he had formed of him; for his eyes were too intelligent to be deceived, even though his understanding refused at first to heed the messages they sent it: both the Birth of Tragedy and Wagner in Bayreuth are with us to prove this, and not merely when we read these works between the lines, but when we take such passages as those found on pp. 115, 149, 150, 151, 156, 158, 159 of this book quite literally.
Nietzsche's infatuation we have explained; the consequent idealisation of the object of his infatuation he himself has confessed; we have also pointed certain passages which we believe show beyond a doubt that almost everything to be found in The Case of Wagner and Nietzsche contra Wagner was already subconscious in our author, long before he had begun to feel even a coolness towards his hero: let those who think our interpretation of the said passages is either strained or unjustified turn to the literature to which we have referred and judge for themselves. It seems to us that those distinguished critics who complain of Nietzsche's complete volte-face and his uncontrollable recantations and revulsions of feeling have completely overlooked this aspect of the question.
It were well for us to bear in mind that we are not altogether free to dispose of Nietzsche's attitude to Wagner, at any given period in their relationship, with a single sentence of praise or of blame. After all, we are faced by a problem which no objectivity or dispassionate detachment on our parts can solve. Nietzsche endowed both Schopenhauer and Wagner with qualities and aspirations so utterly foreign to them both, that neither of them would have recognised himself in the images he painted of them. His love for them was unusual; perhaps it can only be fully understood emotionally by us: like all men who are capable of very great love, Nietzsche lent the objects of his affection anything they might happen to lack in the way of greatness, and when at last his eyes were opened, genuine pain, not malice, was the motive of even the most bitter of his diatribes.
Finally, we should just like to give one more passage from Ecce Homo bearing upon the subject under discussion. It is particularly interesting from an autobiographical standpoint, and will perhaps afford the best possible conclusion to this preface.
Nietzsche is writing about Wagner's music, and he says: "The world must indeed be empty for him who has never been unhealthy enough for this 'infernal voluptuousness'; it is allowable and yet almost forbidden to use a mystical expression in this behalf. I suppose I know better than any one the prodigies Wagner was capable of, the fifty worlds of strange raptures to which no one save him could soar; and as I stand to-day—strong enough to convert even the most suspicious and dangerous phenomenon to my own use and be the stronger for it—I declare Wagner to be the great benefactor of my life. Something will always keep our names associated in the minds of men, and that is, that we are two who have suffered more excruciatingly—even at each other's hands—than most men are able to suffer nowadays. And just as Wagner is merely a misunderstanding among Germans, so am I and ever will be. You lack two centuries of psychological and artistic discipline, my dear countrymen!... But it will be impossible for you ever to recover the time now lost" (p. 43).
ANTHONY M. LUDOVICI.
DAVID STRAUSS, THE CONFESSOR AND THE WRITER. DAVID STRAUSS
I. Public opinion in Germany seems strictly to forbid any allusion to the evil and dangeious consequences of a war, more particularly when the war in question has been a victorious one. Those writers, therefore, command a more ready attention who, regarding this public opinion as final, proceed to vie with each other in their jubilant praise of the war, and of the powerful influences it has brought to bear upon morality, culture, and art. Yet it must be confessed that a gieat victory is a great danger. Human nature bears a triumph less easily than a defeat; indeed, it might even be urged that it is simpler to gain a victory of this sort than to turn it to such account that it may not ultimately proxe a seiious rout.
But of all evil results due to the last contest with France, the most deplorable, peihaps, is that widespread and even universal error of public opinion and of all who think publicly, that German culture was also victorious in the struggle, and that it should now, therefore, be decked with garlands, as a fit recognition of such extraordinary events and successes. This error is in the highest degree pernicious: not because it is an error,—for there are illusions which are both salutary and blessed,—but because it threatens to convert our victory into a signal defeat. A defeat? —I should say rather, into the uprooting of the "German Mind" for the benefit of the "German Empire."
Even supposing that the fight had been between the two cultures, the standard for the value of the victor would still be a very relative one, and, in any case, would certainly not justify such exaggerated triumph or self-glorification. For, in the first place, it would be necessary to ascertain the worth of the conquered culture. This might be very little; in which case, even if the victory had involved the most glorious display of arms, it would still offer no warrant for inordinate rapture.
Even so, however, there can be no question, in our case, of the victory of German culture; and for the simple reason, that French culture remains as heretofore, and that we depend upon it as heretofore. It did not even help towards the success of our arms. Severe military discipline, natural bravery and sustaining power, the superior generalship, unity and obedience in the rank and file—in short, factors which have nothing to do with culture, were instrumental in making us conquer an opponent in whom the most essential of these factors were absent. The only wonder is, that precisely what is now called "culture" in Germany did not prove an obstacle to the military operations which seemed vitally necessary to a great victory. Perhaps, though, this was only owing to the fact that this "thing" which dubs itself "culture" saw its advantage, for once, in keeping in the background.
If however, it be permitted to grow and to spread, if it be spoilt by the flattering and nonsensical assurance that it has been victorious,—then, as I have said, it will have the power to extirpate German mind, and, when that is done, who knows whether there will still be anything to be made out of the surviving German body!
Provided it were possible to direct that calm and tenacious bravery which the German opposed to the pathetic and spontaneous fury of the Frenchman, against the inward enemy, against the highly suspicious and, at all events, unnative "cultivation" which, owing to a dangerous misunderstanding, is called "culture" in Germany, then all hope of a really genuine German "culture"—the reverse of that "cultivation"—would not be entirely lost. For the Germans have never known any lack of clear-sighted and heroic leaders, though these, often enough, probably, have lacked Germans. But whether it be possible to turn German bravery into a new direction seems to me to become ever more and more doubtful; for I realise how fully convinced every one is that such a struggle and such bravery are no longer requisite; on the contrary, that most things are regulated as satisactorily as they possibly can be—or, at all events, that everything of moment has long ago been discovered and accomplished: in a word, that the seed of culture is already sown everywhere, and is now either shooting up its fresh green blades, or, here and there, even bursting forth into luxuriant blossom. In this sphere, not only happiness but ecstasy reigns supreme. I am conscious of this ecstasy and happiness, in the ineffable, truculent assurance of German journalists and manufacturers of novels, tragedies, poems, and histories (for it must be clear that these people belong to one category), who seem to have conspired to improve the leisure and ruminative hours—that is to say, "the intellectual lapses"—of the modern man, by bewildering him with their printed paper. Since the war, all is gladness, dignity, and self-consciousness in this merry throng. After the startling successes of German culture, it regards itself, not only as approved and sanctioned, but almost as sanctified. It therefore speaks with gravity, affects to apostrophise the German People, and issues complete works, after the manner of the classics; nor does it shrink from proclaiming in those journals which are open to it some few of its adherents as new German classical writers and model authors. It might be supposed that the dangers of such an abuse of success would be recognised by the more thoughtful and enlightened among cultivated Germans; or, at least, that these would feel how painful is the comedy that is being enacted around them: for what in truth could more readily inspire pity than the sight of a cripple strutting like a cock before a mirror, and exchanging complacent glances with his reflection! But the "scholar" caste willingly allow things to remain as they are, and re too much concerned with their own affairs to busy themselves with the care of the German mind. Moreover, the units of this caste are too thoroughly convinced that their own scholarship is the ripest and most perfect fruit of the age—in fact, of all ages—to see any necessity for a care of German culture in general; since, in so far as they and the legion of their brethren are concerned, preoccupations of this order have everywhere been, so to speak, surpassed. The more conscientious observer, more particularly if he be a foreigner, cannot help noticing withal that no great disparity exists between that which the German scholar regards as his culture and that other triumphant culture of the new German classics, save in respect of the quantum of knowledge. Everywhere, where knowledge and not ability, where information and not art, hold the first rank,—everywhere, therefore, where life bears testimony to the kind of culture extant, there is now only one specific German culture—and this is the culture that is supposed to have conquered France?
The contention appears to be altogether too preposterous. It was solely to the more extensive knowledge of German officers, to the superior training of their soldiers, and to their more scientific military strategy, that all impartial Judges, and even the French nation, in the end, ascribed the victory. Hence, if it be intended to regard German erudition as a thing apart, in what sense can German culture be said to have conquered? In none whatsoever; for the moral qualities of severe discipline, of more placid obedience, have nothing in common with culture: these were characteristic of the Macedonian army, for instance, despite the fact that the Greek soldiers were infinitely more cultivated. To speak of German scholarship and culture as having conquered, therefore, can only be the outcome of a misapprehension, probably resulting from the circumstance that every precise notion of culture has now vanished from Germany.
Culture is, before all things, the unity of artistic style, in every expression of the life of a people. Abundant knowledge and learning, however, are not essential to it, nor are they a sign of its existence; and, at a pinch, they might coexist much more harmoniously with the very opposite of culture—with barbarity: that is to say, with a complete lack of style, or with a riotous jumble of all styles. But it is precisely amid this riotous jumble that the German of to-day subsists; and the serious problem to be solved is: how, with all his learning, he can possibly avoid noticing it; how, into the bargain, he can rejoice with all his heart in his present "culture"? For everything conduces to open his eyes for him—every glance he casts at his clothes, his room, his house; every walk he takes through the streets of his town; every visit he pays to his art-dealers and to his trader in the articles of fashion. In his social intercourse he ought to realise the origin of his manners and movements; in the heart of our art-institutions, the pleasures of our concerts, theatres, and museums, he ought to become apprised of the super- and juxta-position of all imaginable styles. The German heaps up around him the forms, colours, products, and curiosities of all ages and zones, and thereby succeeds in producing that garish newness, as of a country fair, which his scholars then proceed to contemplate and to define as "Modernism per se"; and there he remains, squatting peacefully, in the midst of this conflict of styles. But with this kind of culture, which is, at bottom, nothing more nor less than a phlegmatic insensibility to real culture, men cannot vanquish an enemy, least of all an enemy like the French, who, whatever their worth may be, do actually possess a genuine and productive culture, and whom, up to the present, we have systematically copied, though in the majority of cases without skill.
Even supposing we had really ceased copying them, it would still not mean that we had overcome them, but merely that we had lifted their yoke from our necks. Not before we have succeeded in forcing an original German culture upon them can there be any question of the triumph of German culture. Meanwhile, let us not forget that in all matters of form we are, and must be, just as dependent upon Paris now as we were before the war; for up to the present there has been no such thing as a original German culture.
We all ought to have become aware of this, of our own accord. Besides, one of the few who had he right to speak to Germans in terms of reproach Publicly drew attention to the fact. "We Germans are of yesterday," Goethe once said to Eckermann. "True, for the last hundred years we have diligently cultivated ourselves, but a few centuries may yet have to run their course before our fellow-countrymen become permeated with sufficient intellectuality and higher culture to have it said of them, it is a long time since they were barbarians."
II. If, however, our public and private life is so manifestly devoid of all signs of a productive and characteristic culture; if, moreover, our great artists, with that earnest vehemence and honesty which is peculiar to greatness admit, and have admitted, this monstrous fact—so very humiliating to a gifted nation; how can it still be possible for contentment to reign to such an astonishing extent among German scholars? And since the last war this complacent spirit has seemed ever more and morerready to break forth into exultant cries and demonstrations of triumph. At all events, the belief seems to be rife that we are in possession of a genuine culture, and the enormous incongruity of this triumphant satisfaction in the face of the inferiority which should be patent to all, seems only to be noticed by the few and the select. For all those who think with the public mind have blindfolded their eyes and closed their ears. The incongruity is not even acknowledged to exist. How is this possible? What power is sufficiently influential to deny this existence? What species of men must have attained to supremacy in Germany that feelings which are so strong and simple should he denied or prevented from obtaining expression? This power, this species of men, I will name—they are the Philistines of Culture.
As every one knows, the word "Philistine" is borrowed from the vernacular of student-life, and, in its widest and most popular sense, it signifies the reverse of a son of the Muses, of an artist, and of the genuine man of culture. The Philistine of culture, however, the study of whose type and the hearing of whose confessions (when he makes them) have now become tiresome duties, distinguishes himself from the general notion of the order "Philistine" by means of a superstition: he fancies that he is himself a son of the Muses and a man of culture. This incomprehensible error clearly shows that he does not even know the difference between a Philistine and his opposite. We must not be surprised, therefore, if we find him, for the most part, solemnly protesting that he is no Philistine. Owing to this lack of self-knowledge, he is convinced that his "culture" is the consummate manifestation of real German culture; and, since he everywhere meets with scholars of his own type, since all public institutions, whether schools, universities, or academies, are so organised as to be in complete harmony with his education and needs, wherever he goes he bears with him the triumphant feeling that he is the worthy champion of prevailing German culture, and he frames his pretensions and claims accordingly.
If, however, real culture takes unity of style for granted (and even an inferior and degenerate culture cannot be imagined in which a certain coalescence of the profusion of forms has not taken place), it is just possible that the confusion underlying the Culture-Philistine's error may arise from the fact that, since he comes into contact everywhere with creatures cast in the same mould as himself, he concludes that this uniformity among all "scholars" must point to a certain uniformity in German education—hence to culture. All round him, he sees only needs and views similar to his own; wherever he goes, he finds himself embraced by a ring of tacit conventions concerning almost everything, but more especially matters of religion and art. This imposing sameness, this tutti unisono which, though it responds to no word of command, is yet ever ready to burst forth, cozens him into the belief that here a culture must be established and flourishing. But Philistinism, despite its systematic organisation and power, does not constitute a culture by virtue of its system alone; it does not even constitute an inferior culture, but invariably the reverse—namely, firmly established barbarity. For the uniformity of character which is so apparent in the German scholars of to-day is only the result of a conscious or unconscious exclusion and negation of all the artistically productive forms and requirements of a genuine style. The mind of the cultured Philistine must have become sadly unhinged; for precisely what culture repudiates he regards as culture itself; and, since he proceeds logically, he succeeds in creating a connected group of these repudiations—a system of non-culture, to which one might at a pinch grant a certain "unity of style," provided of course it were Ot nonsense to attribute style to barbarity. If he have to choose between a stylish act and its opposite, he will invariably adopt the latter, and, since this rule holds good throughout, every one of his acts bears the same negative stamp. Now, it is by means of this stamp that he is able to identify the character of the "German culture," which is his own patent; and all things that do not bear it are so many enemies and obstacles drawn up against him. In the presence of these arrayed forces the Culture-Philistine either does no more than ward off the blows, or else he denies, holds his tongue, stops his ears, and refuses to face facts. He is a negative creature—even in his hatred and animosity. Nobody, however, is more disliked by him than the man who regards him as a Philistine, and tells him what he is—namely, the barrier in the way of all powerful men and creators, the labyrinth for all who doubt and go astray, the swamp for all the weak and the weary, the fetters of those who would run towards lofty goals, the poisonous mist that chokes all germinating hopes, the scorching sand to all those German thinkers who seek for, and thirst after, a new life. For the mind of Germany is seeking; and ye hate it because it is seeking, and because it will not accept your word, when ye declare that ye have found what it is seeking. How could it have been possible for a type like that of the Culture-Philistine to develop? and even granting its development, how was it able to rise to the powerful Position of supreme judge concerning all questions of German culture? How could this have been possible, seeing that a whole procession of grand and heroic figures has already filed past us, whose every movement, the expression of whose every feature, whose questioning voice and burning eye betrayed the one fact, that they were seekers, and that they sought that which the Culture-Philistine had long fancied he had found—to wit, a genuine original German culture? Is there a soil—thus they seemed to ask—a soil that is pure enough, unhandselled enough, of sufficient virgin sanctity, to allow the mind of Germany to build its house upon it? Questioning thus, they wandered through the wilderness, and the woods of wretched ages and narrow conditions, and as seekers they disappeared from our vision; one of them, at an advanced age, was even able to say, in the name of all: "For half a century my life has been hard and bitter enough; I have allowed myself no rest, but have ever striven, sought and done, to the best and to the utmost of my ability."
What does our Culture-Philistinism say of these seekers? It regards them simply as discoverers, and seems to forget that they themselves only claimed to be seekers. We have our culture, say her sons; for have we not our "classics"? Not only is the foundation there, but the building already stands upon it—we ourselves constitute that building. And, so saying, the Philistine raises his hand to his brow.
But, in order to be able thus to misjudge, and thus to grant left-handed veneration to our classics, people must have ceased to know them. This, generally speaking, is precisely what has happened. For, otherwise, one ought to know that there is only one way of honouring them, and that is to continue seeking with the same spirit and with the same courage, and not to weary of the search. But to foist the doubtful title of "classics" upon them, and to "edify" oneself from time to time by reading their works, means to yield to those feeble and selfish emotions which all the paying public may purchase at concert-halls and theatres. Even the raising of monuments to their memory, and the christening of feasts and societies with their names—all these things are but so many ringing cash payments by means of which the Culture-Philistine discharges his indebtedness to them, so that in all other respects he may be rid of them, and, above all, not bound to follow in their wake and prosecute his search further. For henceforth inquiry is to cease: that is the Philistine watchword.
This watchword once had some meaning. In Germany, during the first decade of the nineteenth century, for instance, when the heyday and confusion of seeking, experimenting, destroying, promising, surmising, and hoping was sweeping in currents and cross-currents over the land, the thinking middle-classes were right in their concern for their own security. It was then quite right of them to dismiss from their minds with a shrug of their shoulders the omnium gatherum of fantastic and language-maiming philosophies, and of rabid special-pleading historical studies, the carnival of all gods and myths, and the poetical affectations and fooleries which a drunken spirit may be responsible for. In this respect they were quite right; for the Philistine has not even the privilege of licence. With the cunning proper to base natures, however, he availed himself of the opportunity, in order to throw suspicion even upon the seeking spirit, and to invite people to join in the more comfortable pastime of finding. His eye opened to the joy of Philistinism; he saved himself from wild experimenting by clinging to the idyllic, and opposed the restless creative spirit that animates the artist, by means of a certain smug ease—the ease of self-conscious narrowness, tranquillity, and self-sufficiency. His tapering finger pointed, without any affectation of modesty, to all the hidden and intimate incidents of his life, to the many touching and ingenuous joys which sprang into existence in the wretched depths of his uncultivated existence, and which modestly blossomed forth on the bog-land of Philistinism.
There were, naturally, a few gifted narrators who, with a nice touch, drew vivid pictures of the happiness, the prosaic simplicity, the bucolic robustness, and all the well-being which floods the quarters of children, scholars, and peasants. With picture-books of this class in their hands, these smug ones now once and for all sought to escape from the yoke of these dubious classics and the command which they contained—to seek further and to find. They only started the notion of an epigone-age in order to secure peace for themselves, and to be able to reject all the efforts of disturbing innovators summarily as the work of epigones. With the view of ensuring their own tranquillity, these smug ones even appropriated history, and sought to transform all sciences that threatened to disturb their wretched ease into branches of history—more particularly philosophy and classical philology. Through historical consciousness, they saved themselves from enthusiasm; for, in opposition to Goethe, it was maintained that history would no longer kindle enthusiasm. No, in their desire to acquire an historical grasp of everything, stultification became the sole aim of these philosophical admirers of "nil admirari." While professing to hate every form of fanaticism and intolerance, what they really hated, at bottom, was the dominating genius and the tyranny of the real claims of culture. They therefore concentrated and utilised all their forces in those quarters where a fresh and vigorous movement was to be expected, and then paralysed, stupefied, and tore it to shreds. In this way, a philosophy which veiled the Philistine confessions of its founder beneath neat twists and flourishes of language proceeded further to discover a formula for the canonisation of the commonplace. It expatiated upon the rationalism of all reality, and thus ingratiated itself with the Culture-Philistine, who also loves neat twists and flourishes, and who, above all, considers himself real, and regards his reality as the standard of reason for the world. From this time forward he began to allow every one, and even himself, to reflect, to investigate, to astheticise, and, more particularly, to make poetry, rnusic, and even pictures—not to mention systems philosophy; provided, of course, that everything were done according to the old pattern, and that no assault were made upon the "reasonable" and the "real"—that is to say, upon the Philistine. The latter really does not at all mind giving himself up, from time to time, to the delightful and daring transgressions of art or of sceptical historical studies, and he does not underestimate the charm of such recreations and entertainments; but he strictly separates "the earnestness of life" (under which term he understands his calling, his business, and his wife and child) from such trivialities, and among the latter he includes all things which have any relation to culture. Therefore, woe to the art that takes itself seriously, that has a notion of what it may exact, and that dares to endanger his income, his business, and his habits! Upon such an art he turns his back, as though it were something dissolute; and, affecting the attitude of a. guardian of chastity, he cautions every unprotected virtue on no account to look.
Being such an adept at cautioning people, he is always grateful to any artist who heeds him and listens to caution. He then assures his protege that things are to be made more easy for him; that, as a kindred spirit, he will no longer be expected to make sublime masterpieces, but that his work must be one of two kinds—either the imitation of reality to the point of simian mimicry, in idylls or gentle and humorous satires, or the free copying of the best-known and most famous classical works, albeit with shamefast concessions to the taste of the age. For, although he may only be able to appreciate slavish copying or accurate portraiture of the present, still he knows that the latter will but glorify him, and increase the well-being of "reality"; while the former, far from doing him any harm, rather helps to establish his reputation as a classical judge of taste, and is not otherwise troublesome; for he has, once and for all, come to terms with the classics. Finally, he discovers the general and effective formula "Health" for his habits, methods of observation, judgments, and the objects of his patronage; while he dismisses the importunate disturber of the peace with the epithets "hysterical" and "morbid." It is thus that David Strauss—a genuine example of the satisfait in regard to our scholastic institutions, and a typical Philistine—it is thus that he speaks of "the philosophy of Schopenhauer" as being "thoroughly intellectual, yet often unhealthy and unprofitable." It is indeed a deplorable fact that intellect should show such a decided preference for the "unhealthy" and the "unprofitable"; and even the Philistine, if he be true to himself, will admit that, in regard to the philosophies which men of his stamp produce, he is conscious of a frequent lack of intellectuality, although of course they are always thoroughly healthy and profitable.
Now and again, the Philistines, provided they are by themselves, indulge in a bottle of wine, and then they grow reminiscent, and speak of the great deeds of the war, honestly and ingenuously. On such occasions it often happens that a great deal comes to light which would otherwise have been most stead-fastly concealed, and one of them may even be heard to blurt out the most precious secrets of the whole brotherhood. Indeed, a lapse of this sort occurred but a short while ago, to a well-known aesthete of the Hegelian school of reasoning. It must, however, be admitted that the provocation thereto was of an unusual character. A company of Philistines were feasting together, in celebration of the memory of a genuine anti-Philistine—one who, moreover, had been, in the strictest sense of the words, wrecked by Philistinism. This man was Holderlin, and the afore-mentioned aesthete was therefore justified, under the circumstances, in speaking of the tragic souls who had foundered on "reality"—reality being understood, here, to mean Philistine reason. But the "reality" is now different, and it might well be asked whether Holderlin would be able to find his way at all in the present great age. "I doubt," says Dr. Vischer, "whether his delicate soul could have borne all the roughness which is inseparable from war, and whether it had survived the amount of perversity which, since the war, we now see flourishing in every quarter. Perhaps he would have succumbed to despair. His was one of the unarmed souls; he was the Werther of Greece, a hopeless lover; his life was full of softness and yearning, but there was strength and substance in his will, and in his style, greatness, riches and life; here and there it is even reminiscent of AEschylus. His spirit, however, lacked hardness. He lacked the weapon humour; he could not grant that one may be a Philistine and still be no barbarian." Not the sugary condolence of the post-prandial speaker, but this last sentence concerns us. Yes, it is admitted that one is a Philistine; but, a barbarian?—No, not at any price! Unfortunately, poor Holderlin could not make such flne distinctions. If one reads the reverse of civilisation, or perhaps sea-pirating, or cannibalism, into the word "barbarian," then the distinction is justifiable enough. But what the aesthete obviously wishes to prove to us is, that we may be Philistines and at the same time men of culture. Therein lies the humour which poor Holderlin lacked and the need of which ultimately wrecked him.*
[Footnote * : Nietzsche's allusion to Holderlin here is full of tragic significance; for, like Holderlin, he too was ultimately wrecked and driven insane by the Philistinism of his age. —Translator's note.]
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. And this was said in the name of the assembled "We"; that is to say, the "superiors," the "superiors through weakness." Let us content ourselves with these admissions. We are now in possession of information concerning two matters from one of the initiated: first, that these "We" stand beyond the passion for beauty; secondly, that their position was reached by means of weakness. In less confidential moments, however, it was just this weakness which masqueraded in the guise of a much more beautiful name: it was the famous "healthiness" of the Culture-Philistine. In view of this very recent restatement of the case, however, it would be as well not to speak of them any longer as the "healthy ones," but as the "weakly," or, still better, as the "feeble." Oh, if only these feeble ones were not in power! How is it that they concern themselves at all about what we call them! They are the rulers, and he is a poor ruler who cannot endure to be called by a nickname. Yes, if one only have power, one soon learns to poke fun—even at oneself. It cannot matter so very much, therefore, even if one do give oneself away; for what could not the purple mantle of triumph conceal? The strength of the Culture-Philistine steps into the broad light of day when he acknowledges his weakness; and the more he acknowledges it— the more cynically he acknowledges it—the more completely he betrays his consciousness of his own importance and superiority. We are living in a period of cynical Philistine confessions. Just as Friedrich Vischer gave us his in a word, so has David Strauss handed us his in a book; and both that word and that book are cynical.
III. Concerning Culture-Philistinism, David Strauss makes a double confession, by word and by deed; that is to say, by the word of the confessor, and the act of the writer. His book entitled The Old Faith and the New is, first in regard to its contents, and secondly in regard to its being a book and a literary production, an uninterrupted confession; while, in the very fact that he allows himself to write confessions at all about his faith, there already lies a confession. Presumably, every one seems to have the right to compile an autobiography after his fortieth year; for the humblest amongst us may have experienced things, and may have seen them at such close quarters, that the recording of them may prove of use and value to the thinker. But to write a confession of one's faith cannot but be regarded as a thousand times more pretentious, since it takes for granted that the writer attaches worth, not only to the experiences and investigations of his life, but also to his beliefs. Now, what the nice thinker will require to know, above all else, is the kind of faith which happens to be compatible with natures of the Straussian order, and what it is they have "half dreamily conjured up" (p. 10) concerning matters of which those alone have the right to speak who are acquainted with them at first hand. Whoever would have desired to possess the confessions, say, of a Ranke or a Mommsen? And these men were scholars and historians of a very different stamp from David Strauss. If, however, they had ever ventured to interest us in their faith instead of in their scientific investigations, we should have felt that they were overstepping their limits in a most irritating fashion. Yet Strauss does this when he discusses his faith. Nobody wants to know anything about it, save, perhaps, a few bigoted opponents of the Straussian doctrines, who, suspecting, as they do, a substratum of satanic principles beneath these doctrines, hope that he may compromise his learned utterances by revealing the nature of those principles. These clumsy creatures may, perhaps, have found what they sought in the last book; but we, who had no occasion to suspect a satanic substratum, discovered nothing of the sort, and would have felt rather pleased than not had we been able to discern even a dash of the diabolical in any part of the volume. But surely no evil spirit could speak as Strauss speaks of his new faith. In fact, spirit in general seems to be altogether foreign to the book— more particularly the spirit of genius. Only those whom Strauss designates as his "We," speak as he does, and then, when they expatiate upon their faith to us, they bore us even more than when they relate their dreams; be they "scholars, artists, military men, civil employes, merchants, or landed proprietors; come they in their thousands, and not the worst people in the land either!" If they do not wish to remain the peaceful ones in town or county, but threaten to wax noisy, then let not the din of their unisono deceive us concerning the poverty and vulgarity of the melody they sing. How can it dispose us more favourably towards a profession of faith to hear that it is approved by a crowd, when it is of such an order that if any individual of that crowd attempted to make it known to us, we should not only fail to hear him out, but should interrupt him with a yawn? If thou sharest such a belief, we should say unto him, in Heaven's name, keep it to thyself! Maybe, in the past, some few harmless types looked for the thinker in David Strauss; now they have discovered the "believer" in him, and are disappointed. Had he kept silent, he would have remained, for these, at least, the philosopher; whereas, now, no one regards him as such. He no longer craved the honours of the thinker, however; all he wanted to be was a new believer, and he is proud of his new belief. In making a written declaration of it, he fancied he was writing the catechism of "modern thought," and building the "broad highway of the world's future." Indeed, our Philistines have ceased to be faint-hearted and bashful, and have acquired almost cynical assurance. There was a time, long, long ago, when the Philistine was only tolerated as something that did not speak, and about which no one spoke; then a period ensued during which his roughness was smoothed, during which he was found amusing, and people talked about him. Under this treatment he gradually became a prig, rejoiced with all his heart over his rough places and his wrongheaded and candid singularities, and began to talk, on his own account, after the style of Riehl's music for the home.
"But what do I see? Is it a shadow? Is it reality? How long and broad my poodle grows!"
For now he is already rolling like a hippopotamus along "the broad highway of the world's future," and his growling and barking have become transformed into the proud incantations of a religious founder. And is it your own sweet wish, Great Master, to found the religion of the future? "The times seem to us not yet ripe (p. 7). It does not occur to us to wish to destroy a church." But why not, Great Master? One but needs the ability. Besides, to speak quite openly in the latter, you yourself are convinced that you Possess this ability. Look at the last page of your book. There you actually state, forsooth, that your new way "alone is the future highway of the world, which now only requires partial completion, and especially general use, in order also to become easy and pleasant."
Make no further denials, then. The religious founder is unmasked, the convenient and agreeable highway leading to the Straussian Paradise is built. It is only the coach in which you wish to convey us that does not altogether satisfy you, unpretentious man that you are! You tell us in your concluding remarks: "Nor will I pretend that the coach to which my esteemed readers have been obliged to trust themselves with me fulfils every requirement,... all through one is much jolted" (p. 438). Ah! you are casting about for a compliment, you gallant old religious founder! But let us be straightforward with you. If your reader so regulates the perusal of the 368 pages of your religious catechism as to read only one page a day—that is to say, if he take it in the smallest possible doses-then, perhaps, we should be able to believe that he might suffer some evil effect from the book—if only as the outcome of his vexation when the results he expected fail to make themselves felt. Gulped down more heartily, however, and as much as possible being taken at each draught, according to the prescription to be recommended in the case of all modern books, the drink can work no mischief; and, after taking it, the reader will not necessarily be either out of sorts or out of temper, but rather merry and well-disposed, as though nothing had happened; as though no religion had been assailed, no world's highway been built, and no profession of faith been made. And I do indeed call this a result! The doctor, the drug, and the disease—everything forgotten! And the joyous laughter! The continual provocation to hilarity! You are to be envied, Sir; for you have founded the most attractive of all religions —one whose followers do honour to its founder by laughing at him.
IV. The Philistine as founder of the religion of the future—that is the new belief in its most emphatic form of expression. The Philistine becomes a dreamer—that is the unheard-of occurrence which distinguishes the German nation of to-day. But for the present, in any case, let us maintain an attitude of caution towards this fantastic exaltation. For does not David Strauss himself advise us to exercise such caution, in the following profound passage, the general tone of which leads us to think of the Founder of Christianity rather than of our particular author? (p. 92): "We know there have been noble enthusiasts—enthusiasts of genius; the influence of an enthusiast can rouse, exalt, and produce prolonged historic effects; but we do not wish to choose him as the guide of our life. He will be sure to mislead us, if we do not subject his influence to the control of reason." But we know something more: we know that there are enthusiasts who are not intellectual, who do not rouse or exalt, and who, nevertheless, not only expect to be the guides of our lives, but, as such, to exercise a very lasting historical influence into the bargain, and to rule the future;—all the more reason why we should place their influence under the control of reason. Lichtenberg even said: "There are enthusiasts quite devoid of ability, and these are really dangerous people." In the first place, as regards the above-mentioned control of reason, we should like to have candid answers to the three following questions: First, how does the new believer picture his heaven? Secondly, how far does the courage lent him by the new faith extend? And, thirdly, how does he write his books? Strauss the Confessor must answer the first and second questions; Strauss the Writer must answer the third.
The heaven of the new believer must, perforce, be a heaven upon earth; for the Christian "prospect of an immortal life in heaven," together with the other consolations, "must irretrievably vanish" for him who has but "one foot" on the Straussian platform. The way in which a religion represents its heaven is significant, and if it be true that Christianity knows no other heavenly occupations than singing and making music, the prospect of the Philistine, la Strauss, is truly not a very comforting one. In the book of confessions, however, there is a page which treats of Paradise (p. 342). Happiest of Philistines, unroll this parchment scroll before anything else, and the whole of heaven will seem to clamber down to thee! "We would but indicate how we act, how we have acted these many years. Besides our profession—for we are members of the most various professions, and by no means exclusively consist of scholars or artists, but of military men and civil employes, of merchants and landed proprietors;... and again, as I have said already, there are not a few of us, but many thousands, and not the worst people in the country;—besides our profession, then, I say, we are eagerly accessible to all the higher interests of humanity; we have taken a vivid interest, during late years, and each after his manner has participated in the great national war, and the reconstruction of the German State; and we have been profoundly exalted by the turn events have taken, as unexpected as glorious, for our much tried nation. To the end of forming just conclusions in these things, we study history, which has now been made easy, even to the unlearned, by a series of attractively and popularly written works; at the same time, we endeavour to enlarge our knowledge of the natural sciences, where also there is no lack of sources of information; and lastly, in the writings of our great poets, in the performances of our great musicians, we find a stimulus for the intellect and heart, for wit and imagination, which leaves nothing to be desired. Thus we live, and hold on our way in joy."
"Here is our man!" cries the Philistine exultingly, who reads this: "for this is exactly how we live; it is indeed our daily life."* And how perfectly he understands the euphemism! When, for example, he refers to the historical studies by means of which we help ourselves in forming just conclusions regarding the political situation, what can he be thinking of, if it be not our newspaper-reading? When he speaks of the active part we take in the reconstruction of the German State, he surely has only our daily visits to the beer-garden in his mind; and is not a walk in the Zoological Gardens implied by 'the sources of information through which we endeavour to enlarge our knowledge of the natural sciences'? Finally, the theatres and concert-halls are referred to as places from which we take home 'a stimulus for wit and imagination which leaves nothing to be desired.'—With what dignity and wit he describes even the most suspicious of our doings! Here indeed is our man; for his heaven is our heaven!"
[Footnote * : This alludes to a German student-song.]
Thus cries the Philistine; and if we are not quite so satisfied as he, it is merely owing to the fact that we wanted to know more. Scaliger used to say: "What does it matter to us whether Montaigne drank red or white wine?" But, in this more important case, how greatly ought we to value definite particulars of this sort! If we could but learn how many pipes the Philistine smokes daily, according to the prescriptions of the new faith, and whether it is the Spener or the National Gazette that appeals to him over his coffee! But our curiosity is not satisfied. With regard to one point only do we receive more exhaustive information, and fortunately this point relates to the heaven in heaven—the private little art-rooms which will be consecrated to the use of great poets and musicians, and to which the Philistine will go to edify himself; in which, moreover, according to his own showing, he will even get "all his stains removed and wiped away" (p. 433); so that we are led to regard these private little art-rooms as a kind of bath-rooms. "But this is only effected for some fleeting moments; it happens and counts only in the realms of phantasy; as soon as we return to rude reality, and the cramping confines of actual life, we are again on all sides assailed by the old cares,"—thus our Master sighs. 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. In truth, the opportunity we have here may prove instructive: let no one who happens to have fallen a victim to the confession-book lay it aside before having read the two appendices, "Of our Great Poets" and "Of our Great Musicians." Here the rainbow of the new brotherhood is set, and he who can find no pleasure in it "for such an one there is no help," as Strauss says on another occasion; and, as he might well say here, "he is not yet ripe for our point of view." For are we not in the heaven of heavens? The enthusiastic explorer undertakes to lead us about, and begs us to excuse him if, in the excess of his joy at all the beauties to be seen, he should by any chance be tempted to talk too much. "If I should, perhaps, become more garrulous than may seem warranted in this place, let the reader be indulgent to me; for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. Let him only be assured that what he is now about to read does not consist of older materials, which I take the opportunity of inserting here, but that these remarks have been written for their present place and purpose" (pp. 345-46). This confession surprises us somewhat for the moment. What can it matter to us whether or not the little chapters were freshly written? As if it were a matter of writing! Between ourselves, I should have been glad if they had been written a quarter of a century earlier; then, at least, I should have understood why the thoughts seem to be so bleached, and why they are so redolent of resuscitated antiquities. But that a thing should have been written in 1872 and already smell of decay in 1872 strikes me as suspicious. Let us imagine some one's falling asleep while reading these chapters—what would he most probably dream about? A friend answered this question for me, because he happened to have had the experience himself. He dreamt of a wax-work show. The classical writers stood there, elegantly represented in wax and beads. Their arms and eyes moved, and a screw inside them creaked an accompaniment to their movements. He saw something gruesome among them—a misshapen figure, decked with tapes and jaundiced paper, out of whose mouth a ticket hung, on which "Lessing" was written. My friend went close up to it and learned the worst: it was the Homeric Chimera; in front it was Strauss, behind it was Gervinus, and in the middle Chimera. The tout-ensemble was Lessing. This discovery caused him to shriek with terror: he waked, and read no more. In sooth, Great Master, why have you written such fusty little chapters?
We do, indeed, learn something new from them; for instance, that Gervinus made it known to the world how and why Goethe was no dramatic genius; that, in the second part of Faust, he had only produced a world of phantoms and of symbols; that Wallenstein is a Macbeth as well as a Hamlet; that the Straussian reader extracts the short stories out of the Wanderjahre "much as naughty children pick the raisins and almonds out of a tough plum-cake"; that no complete effect can be produced on the stage without the forcible element, and that Schiller emerged from Kant as from a cold-water cure. All this is certainly new and striking; but, even so, it does not strike us with wonder, and so sure as it is new, it will never grow old, for it never was young; it was senile at birth. What extraordinary ideas seem to occur to these Blessed Ones, after the New Style, in their aesthetic heaven! And why can they not manage to forget a few of them, more particularly when they are of that unaesthetic, earthly, and ephemeral order to which the scholarly thoughts of Gervinus belong, and when they so obviously bear the stamp of puerility? But it almost seems as though the modest greatness of a Strauss and the vain insignificance of a Gervinus were only too well able to harmonise: then long live all those Blessed Ones! may we, the rejected, also live long, if this unchallenged judge of art continues any longer to teach his borrowed enthusiasm, and the gallop of that hired steed of which the honest Grillparzer speaks with such delightful clearness, until the whole of heaven rings beneath the hoof of that galumphing enthusiasm. Then, at least, things will be livelier and noisier than they are at the present moment, in which the carpet-slippered rapture of our heavenly leader and the lukewarm eloquence of his lips only succeed in the end in making us sick and tired. I should like to know how a Hallelujah sung by Strauss would sound: I believe one would have to listen very carefully, lest it should seem no more than a courteous apology or a lisped compliment. Apropos of this, I might adduce an instructive and somewhat forbidding example. Strauss strongly resented the action of one of his opponents who happened to refer to his reverence for Lessing. The unfortunate man had misunderstood;—true, Strauss did declare that one must be of a very obtuse mind not to recognise that the simple words of paragraph 86 come from the writer's heart. Now, I do not question this warmth in the very least; on the contrary, the fact that Strauss fosters these feelings towards Lessing has always excited my suspicion; I find the same warmth for Lessing raised almost to heat in Gervinus—yea, on the whole, no great German writer is so popular among little German writers as Lessing is; but for all that, they deserve no thanks for their predilection; for what is it, in sooth, that they praise in Lessing? At one moment it is his catholicity— the fact that he was critic and poet, archaeologist and philosopher, dramatist and theologian. Anon, "it is the unity in him of the writer and the man, of the head and the heart." The last quality, as a rule, is just as characteristic of the great writer as of the little one; as a rule, a narrow head agrees only too fatally with a narrow heart. And as to the catholicity; this is no distinction, more especially when, as in Lessing's case, it was a dire necessity. What astonishes one in regard to Lessing-enthusiasts is rather that they have no conception of the devouring necessity which drove him on through life and to this catholicity; no feeling for the fact that such a man is too prone to consume himself rapidly, like a flame; nor any indignation at the thought that the vulgar narrowness and pusillanimity of his whole environment, especially of his learned contemporaries, so saddened, tormented, and stifled the tender and ardent creature that he was, that the very universality for which he is praised should give rise to feelings of the deepest compassion. "Have pity on the exceptional man!" Goethe cries to us; "for it was his lot to live in such a wretched age that his life was one long polemical effort." How can ye, my worthy Philistines, think of Lessing without shame? He who was ruined precisely on account of your stupidity, while struggling with your ludicrous fetiches and idols, with the defects of your theatres, scholars, and theologists, without once daring to attempt that eternal flight for which he had been born. And what are your feelings when ye think of Winckelman, who, in order to turn his eyes from your grotesque puerilities, went begging to the Jesuits for help, and whose ignominious conversion dishonours not him, but you? Dare ye mention Schiller's name without blushing? Look at his portrait. See the flashing eyes that glance contemptuously over your heads, the deadly red cheek—do these things mean nothing to you? In him ye had such a magnificent and divine toy that ye shattered it. Suppose, for a moment, it had been possible to deprive this harassed and hunted life of Goethe's friendship, ye would then have been reponsible for its still earlier end. Ye have had no finger in any one of the life-works of your great geniuses, and yet ye would make a dogma to the effect that no one is to be helped in the future. But for every one of them, ye were "the resistance of the obtuse world," which Goethe calls by its name in his epilogue to the Bell; for all of them ye were the grumbling imbeciles, or the envious bigots, or the malicious egoists: in spite of you each of them created his works, against you each directed his attacks, and thanks to you each prematurely sank, while his work was still unfinished, broken and bewildered by the stress of the battle. And now ye presume that ye are going to be permitted, tamquam re bene gesta, to praise such men! and with words which leave no one in any doubt as to whom ye have in your minds when ye utter your encomiums, which therefore "spring forth with such hearty warmth" that one must be blind not to see to whom ye are really bowing. Even Goethe in his day had to cry: "Upon my honour, we are in need of a Lessing, and woe unto all vain masters and to the whole aesthetic kingdom of heaven, when the young tiger, whose restless strength will be visible in his every distended muscle and his every glance, shall sally forth to seek his prey!"