Friedrich Nietzsche, Miscellaneous Maxims and opinions (Vermischte Meinungen und Sprüche).

Miscellaneous Maxims and Opinions, the first supplement to Human, All Too Human, first published in 1879.  A second supplement, The Wanderer and his Shadow (Der Wanderer und sein Schatten) followed in 1880.


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Foreignisms.  A foreigner who travelled in Germany found favour or the reverse by certain assertions of his, according to the districts in which he stayed.  All intelligent Suabians, he used to say.  are coquettish.  The other Suabians still believed that Uhland was a poet and Goethe immoral.  The best about German novels now in vogue was that one need not read them, for one knew already what they contained.  The native of Berlin seemed more good-humoured than the South German, for he was all too fond of mocking, and so could endure mockery himself, which the South German could not.  The intellect of the Germans was kept down by their beer and their newspapers: he recommended them tea and pamphlets, of course as a cure.  He advised us to contemplate the different nations of worn-out Europe and see how well each displayed some particular quality of old age, to the delight of those who sit before the great spectacle: how the French successfully represent the cleverness and amiability of old age, the English the experience and reserve, the Italians the innocence and candour.  Can the other masks of old age be wanting?  Where is the proud old man, the domineering old man, the covetous old man?  — The most dangerous region in Germany was Saxony and Thuringia: nowhere else was there more mental nimbleness, more knowledge of men, side by side with freedom of thought; and all this was so modestly veiled by the ugly dialect and the zealous officiousness of the inhabitants that one hardly noticed that one here had to deal with the intellectual drill-sergeants of Germany, her teachers for good or evil.  The arrogance of the North Germans was kept in check by their tendency to obey, that of the South Germans by their tendency — to make themselves comfortable.  It appeared to him that in their women German men possessed awkward but self-opinionated housewives, who praised themselves so perseveringly that they had almost persuaded the world, and at any rate their husbands, of their peculiarly German housewifely virtue.  When the conversation turned on Germany's home and foreign policy, he used to say (he called it "betray the secret ") that Germany's greatest statesman did not believe in great statesmen.  The future of Germany he found menaced and menacing, for Germans had forgotten how to enjoy themselves (an art that the Italians understood so well), but, by the great games of chance called wars and dynastic revolutions, had accustomed themselves to emotionalism, and consequently would one day have an imeute.  For that is the strongest emotion that a nation can procure for itself — The German Socialist was all the more dangerous because impelled by no definite necessity: his trouble lay in not knowing what he wanted; so, even if he attained many of his objects, he would still pine away from desire in the midst of delights, just like Faust, but presumably like a very vulgar Faust.  "For the Faust Devil” he finally exclaimed, "by whom cultured Germans were so much plagued, was exorcised by Bismarck; but now the Devil has entered into the swine, and is worse than ever”!  

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