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   373. ARROGANCE   Next Section

ARROGANCE.  There is nothing one should so guard against as the growth of the weed called arrogance, which spoils all one's good harvest; for there is arrogance in cordiality, in showing honour, in kindly familiarity, in caressing, in friendly counsel, in acknowledgment of faults, in sympathy for others,and all these fine things arouse aversion when the weed in question grows up among them.  The arrogant man that is to say, he who desires to appear more than he is or passes for always miscalculates.  It is true that he obtains a momentary success, inasmuch as those with whom he is arrogant generally give him the amount of honour that he demands, owing to fear or for the sake of convenience; but they take a bad revenge for it inasmuch as they subtract from the value which they hitherto attached to him just as much as he demands above the amount.  There is nothing for which men ask to be paid dearer than for humiliation.  The arrogant man can make his really great merit so suspicious and small in the eyes of others that they tread on it with dusty feet.  If at all, we should only allow ourselves a proud manner where we are quite sure of not being misunderstood and considered as arrogant; as, for instance, with friends and wives.  For in social intercourse there is no greater folly than to acquire a reputation for arrogance; it is still worse than not having learnt to deceive politely.  
 

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