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   367. OCCASIONS OF ELOQUENCE   Next Section

OCCASIONS OF ELOQUENCE.  In order to talk well one man needs a person who is decidedly and avowedly his superior to talk to, while another can only find absolute freedom of speech and happy turns of eloquence before one who is his inferior.  In both cases the cause is the same; each of them talks well only when he talks sans gene the one because in the presence of something higher he does not feel the impulse of rivalry and competition, the other because he also lacks the same impulse in the presence of something lower.  Now there is quite another type of men, who talk well only when debating, with the intention of conquering.  Which of the two types is the more aspiring: the one that talks well from excited ambition, or the one that talks badly or not at all from precisely the same motive?  
 

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