Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science.  Die fröhliche Wissenschaft.

First published in 1882.

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Ancient Pride.

The ancient savour of nobility is lacking in us, because the ancient slave is lacking in our sentiment.  A Greek of noble descent found such immense intermediate stages, and such a distance betwixt his elevation and that ultimate baseness, that he could hardly even see the slave plainly: even Plato no longer saw him entirely.  It is otherwise with us, accustomed as we are to the doctrine of the equality of men, although not to the equality itself.  A being who has not the free disposal of himself and has not got leisure, that is not regarded by us as anything contemptible; there is perhaps too much of this kind of slavishness in each of us, in accordance with the conditions of our social order and activity, which are fundamentally different from those of the ancients.  The Greek philosopher went through life with the secret feeling that there were many more slaves than people supposed that is to say, that everyone was a slave who was not a philosopher.  His pride was puffed up when he considered that even the mightiest of the eareh were thus to be looked upon as slaves.  This pride is also unfamiliar to us, and impossible; the word "slave "has not its full force for us even in simile.  
 

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