Friedrich Nietzsche, The Wanderer and His Shadow (Der Wanderer und sein Schatten).

The Wanderer and his Shadow, the second supplement to Human, All Too Human, first published in 1880.

  

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Previous Section   283. THE TAX OF HOMAGE   Next Section

The Tax of Homage.  Him whom we know and honour, — be he physician, artist, or artisan, — who does and produces something for us, we gladly pay as highly as we can, often a fee beyond our means.  On the other hand, we pay the unknown as low a price as possible; here is a contest in which everyone struggles and makes others struggle for a foot's breadth of land.  In the work of the known there is something that cannot be bought, the sentiment and ingenuity put into his work for our own sake.  We think we cannot better express our sense of obligation than by a sort of sacrifice on our part.  The heaviest tax is the tax of homage.  The more competition prevails, the more we buy for the unknown and work for the unknown, the lower does this tax become, whereas it is really the standard for the loftiness of man's spiritual intercourse.  
 

Friedrich Nietzsche, "Ecce Homo" Ebook

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