Friedrich Nietzsche, Human All Too Human (Menschliches, Allzumenschliches), subtitled A Book for Free Spirits (Ein Buch für freie Geister).

First published in 1878.   A second part, Assorted Opinions and Maxims (Vermischte Meinungen und Sprüche), was published in 1879, and a third part, The Wanderer and his Shadow (Der Wanderer und sein Schatten), followed in 1880.

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Previous Section   266. THE UNDERVALUED EFFECT OF PUBLICSCHOOL TEACHING   Next Section

THE UNDERVALUED EFFECT OF PUBLICSCHOOL TEACHING.  The value of a public school is seldom sought in those things which are really learnt there and are carried away never to be lost, but in those things which are learnt and which the pupil only acquires against his will, in order to get rid of them again as soon as possible.  Every educated person acknowledges that the reading of the classics, as now practised, is a monstrous proceeding carried on before young people are ripe enough for it by teachers who with every word, often by their appearance alone, throw a mildew on a good author.  But therein lies the value, generally unrecognised, of these teachers who speak the abstract language of the higher culture, which, though dry and difficult to understand, is yet a sort of higher gymnastics of the brain: and there is value in the constant recurrence in their language of ideas, artistic expressions, methods and allusions which the young people hardly ever hear in the conversations of their relatives and in the street.  Even if the pupils only hear their intellect is involuntarily trained to a scientific mode of regarding things.  It is not possible to emerge from this discipline entirely untouched by its abstract character, and to remain a simple child of nature.  
 

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