Friedrich Nietzsche, Daybreak:  Reflections on Moral Prejudice. Morgenröte: Gedanken über die moralischen Vorurteile (also could be translated as The Dawn).

Written and published in 1881.

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Whenever we love someone and venerate and admire him and afterwards come to know that he is suffering—which always causes us the utmost astonishment since we cannot but feel that the happiness we derive from him must flow from a superabundant source of personal happiness on his part— our feelings of love, veneration and admiration are essentially changed: they become more tender; that is, the gap that separates us seems to be bridged over and there appears to be a movement towards a shared identity.  It now seems possible to give him something in return whilst we had previously imagined him as being altogether above our gratitude.  Our ability to requite him for what we have received from him arouses in us feelings of much joy and pIeasure.  We try to discover what can best calm the grief of our friend and we give it to him; if he wishes for kind words, looks, attention, services or presents - we give them; but above all, if he would like to see us suffering from the sight of his suffering we pretend to suffer.  For all this we receive the enjoyment of active gratitude which is equivalent in a way to good natured revenge.  If he wants none of these things and refuses to accept them from us we depart from him chilled and sad - almost offended; it seems to us as if our gratitude had been refused and on this point of honour even the most benevolent of men is still somewhat touchy.  From all this it follows that even in the best case there is something humiliating in suffering and something elevating and superior in pitying—a fact which will separates the two feelings for all eternity.  
 

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