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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Previous Section   91. SUCCESS SANCTIFIES THE INTENTIONS   Next Section

Success Sanctifies the Intentions.  We should not shrink from treading the road to a virtue, even when we see clearly that nothing but egotism, and accordingly utility, personal comfort, fear, considerations of health, reputation, or glory, are the impelling motives.  These motives are styled ignoble and selfish.  Very well, but if they stimulate us to some virtue — for example, self-denial, dutifulness, order, thrift, measure, and moderation — let us listen to them, whatever their epithets may be!  For if we reach the goal to which they summon us, then the virtue we have attained, by means of the pure air it makes us breathe and the spiritual well being it communicates, ennobles the remoter impulses of our action, and afterwards we no longer perform those actions from the same coarse motives that inspired us before.  Education should therefore force the virtues on the pupil, as far as possible, according to his disposition.  Then virtue, the sunshine and summer atmosphere of the soul, can contribute her own share of work and add mellowness and sweetness.  

Friedrich Nietzsche, "Ecce Homo" Ebook

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