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   44. GRATITUDE AND REVENGE   Next Section

GRATITUDE AND REVENGE.  The reason why the powerful man is grateful is this: his benefactor, through the benefit he confers, has mistaken and intruded into the sphere of the powerful man, now the latter, in return, penetrates into the sphere of the benefactor by the act of gratitude.  It is a milder form of revenge.  Without the satisfaction of gratitude, the powerful man would have shown himself powerless, and would have been reckoned as such ever after.  Therefore every society of the good, which originally meant; the powerful, places gratitude amongst the first duties.  Swift propounded the maxim that men were grateful in the same proportion as they were revengeful.  
 

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