man" applies to that which has to be fashioned, bruised, forged, stretched, roasted, annealed, refined--to that which must necessarily SUFFER, and IS MEANT to suffer? And our sympathy--do ye not understand what our REVERSE sympathy applies to, when it resists your sympathy as the worst of all pampering and enervation?--So it is sympathy AGAINST sympathy!--But to repeat it once more, there are higher problems than the problems of pleasure and pain and sympathy; and all systems of philosophy which deal only with these are naivetes. CHAPTER VII 117
226. WE IMMORALISTS.-This world with which WE are concerned, in which we have to fear and love, this almost invisible, inaudible world of delicate command and delicate obedience, a world of "almost" in every respect, captious, insidious, sharp, and tender--yes, it is well protected from clumsy spectators and familiar curiosity! We are woven into a strong net and garment of duties, and CANNOT disengage ourselves--precisely here, we are "men of duty," even we! Occasionally, it is true, we dance in our "chains" and betwixt our "swords"; it is none the less true that more often we gnash our teeth under the circumstances, and are impatient at the secret hardship of our lot. But do what we will, fools and appearances say of us: "These are men WITHOUT duty,"-- we have always fools and appearances against us! 227. Honesty, granting that it is the virtue of which we cannot rid ourselves, we free spirits--well, we will labour at it with all our perversity and love, and not tire of "perfecting" ourselves in OUR virtue, which alone remains: may its glance some day overspread like a gilded, blue, mocking twilight this aging civilization with its dull gloomy seriousness! And if, nevertheless, our honesty should one day grow weary, and sigh, and stretch its limbs, and find us too hard, and would fain have it pleasanter, easier, and gentler, like an agreeable vice, let us remain HARD, we latest Stoics, and let us send to its help whatever devilry we have in us:--our disgust at the clumsy and undefined, our "NITIMUR IN VETITUM," our love of adventure, our sharpened and fastidious curiosity, our most subtle, disguised, intellectual Will to Power and universal conquest, which rambles and roves avidiously around all the realms of the future--let us go with all our "devils" to the help of our "God"! It is probable that people will misunderstand and mistake us on that account: what does it matter! They will say: "Their 'honesty'--that is their devilry, and nothing else!" What does it matter! And even if they were right--have not all Gods hitherto been such sanctified, re-baptized devils? And after all, what do we know of ourselves? And what the spirit that leads us wants TO BE CALLED? (It is a question of names.) And how many spirits we harbour? Our honesty, we free spirits--let us be careful lest it become our vanity, our ornament and ostentation, our limitation, our stupidity! Every virtue inclines to stupidity, every stupidity to virtue; "stupid to the point of sanctity," they say in CHAPTER VII 118
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