Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science.  Die fröhliche Wissenschaft.

First published in 1882.

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Benevolence.

Is it virtuous when a cell transforms itself into the function of a stronger cell?  It must do so.  And is it wicked when the stronger one assimilates the other?  It must do so likewise : it is necessary, for it has to have abundant indemnity and seeks to regenerate itself.  One has therefore to distinguish the instinct of appropriation and the instinct of submission in benevolence, according as the stronger or the weaker feels benevolent.  Gladness and covetousness are united in the stronger person, who wants to trans form something to his function: gladness and desire - to be coveted in the weaker person, who would like to become a function.  The former case is essentially pity, a pleasant excitation of the instinct of appropriation at the sight of the weak: it is to be remembered, however, that "strong" and "weak" are relative conceptions.  
 

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