puzzled ears, and ask in complete astonishment and

puzzled ears, and ask in complete astonishment and complete embarrassment, “Through what
have we in point of fact just lived ? ” further, ” Who
are we in point of fact ? ” and count, after they have struck, as I have explained, all the twelve throbbing beats of the clock of our experience, of our life, of our being—ah !—and count wrong
in the endeavour. Of necessity we remain
; \strangers to ourselves, we understand ourselves
^\ not, in ourselves we are bound to be mistaken,
li for of us holds good to all eternity the motto, ” Each
1 one is the farthest away from himself”—as far
‘ as ourselves are concerned we are not ” knowers.”
My^ thoughts concerning^ the^(»«ea:/i:7g2′ of our moral prejudices—for they constitute the issue
in this polemic—have their first, bald, and provisional expression in that collection of aphorisms
entitled Human, all-too-Human, a Book for Free Minds, the writing of which was begun in Sorrento, during a winter which allowed me to gaze over the broad and dangerous territory through which my mind had up to that time wandered. This took place in the winter of 1876-77 ; the thoughts themselves are older. They were in their substance already the same
thoughts which I take up again in the following
treatises :—we hope that they have derived
benefit from the long interval, that they have grown riper, clearer, stronger, more complete. The fact, however, that I still cling to them evenPREFACE. 3
now, that in the meanwhile they have always
held faster by each other, have, in fact, grown
out of their original shape and into each other,
all this strengthens in my mind the joyous
confidence that they must have been originally neither separate disconnected capricious nor sporadic phenomena, but have sprung from a common
root, from a fundamental “^fiat” of knowledge, whose empire reached to the soul’s depth, and
that ever grew more definite in its voice, and more definite in its demands. That is the only
state of affairs that is proper in the case of a
philosopher. We have no right to be “disconnected” ; we must
neither err ” disconnectedly ” nor strike the truth “disconnectedly.” Rather with the necessity with which a tree bears its fruit, so do our
thoughts, our values, our Yes’s and No’s and If’s and Whether’s, grow connected and interrelated, mutual witnesses of one will, one health, one kingdom, one sun—as to whether they are to your taste, these fruits of ours?—But what
matters that to the trees? What matters that
to us, us the philosophers ?
Owing to a scrupulosity peculiar to myself, which I confess reluctantly,—it concerns indeed
morality,—a scrupulosity, which manifests itself in my life at such an early period, with so much
spontaneity, with so chronic a persistence and
so keen an opposition to environment, epoch,4
PREFACE.
precedent, and ancestry that I should have been
almost entitled to style it my ” A priori”—my
curiosity and my suspicion felt themselves betimes bound to halt at the question, of what in point of actual fact was the origin of our ” Good ”^ndU)f our ” Evil.” Indeed, at-t4ie boyish age of thirteen the problem of the origin of Evil already haunted me: at an age “when games and God divide one’s heart,” I devoted to that problem my first childish attempt at the literary game, my first philosophic essay—and as regards my infantile solution of the problem, well, I gave quite properly the honour to God, and made him^tB^-
father of evil. Did my own ” & priori ” demand
that precise solution from me ? that new, immoral,
or at least “amoral” “dpriori” and that “categorical imperative” which was its voice (but oh! how hostile to the Kantian article, and how
pregnant with problems !), to which since then
I have given more and more attention, and
indeed what is more than attention. Fortunately
I soon learned to separate theological from moral prejudices, and I gave up looking fo_r a^ supernatural origin of evil. A certain amount
of historical “a[n3” pHiIoiogical education, to say notHng~’6r an innate faculty of psychological
discrimination par excellence succeeded in trans- forming almost immediately my original. problem
into the following one :-^Under what conditions did Man invent for himself .those judgments
of values, “Good” and “Evil”? And what
intrinsic value do they possess in themselves^ Have they up to the present hindered or advancedPREFACE. 5 human well-being ? Are they a symptom of the
distress, impoverishment, and degeneration of Human Xife ?
“” Or, conversely, is it in them that
is’maiillested the fulness, the strengthj^ and the wiTT of Life,” its “t^urag^ its ‘self-confidence. Jts
future? On this point I found and hazarded in
rayTIfflid the most diverse answers, I established
distinctions in periods, peoples, and castes, I became a specialist in my problem, and from my
answers grew new questions, new investigations, new conjectures, new probabilities ; until at last
I had a land of my own and a soil of my own,
a whole secret world growing and flowering, like hidden gardens of whose existence no one could have an inkling—oh, how happy are we, we
finders of knowledge, provided that we know how
to keep silent sufficiently long.
My first impulse to publish some of my
hypotheses concerning the origin of morality I owe to a clear, well-written, and even precocious
little book, in which a perverse and vicious kind
of moral philosophy (your real English kind) was
definitely presented to me for the first time; and
this attracted me—with that magnetic attraction, inherent in that which is diametrically opposed and
antithetical to one’s own ideas. The title of the book was The Origin of the Moral Emotions ; its author, Dr. Paul R^e ; the year of its appearance, 1877. I may almost say that I have never read6 PREFACE.
anything in which every single dogma and conclusion has called forth from me so emphatic a negation as did that book ; albeit a negation untainted by either pique or intolerance. I referred accordingly both in season and out of season in the previous works, at which I was then working,
to the arguments of that book, not to refute them
. for what have I got to do with mere refutations —but substituting, as is natural to a positive mind,
for an improbable theory one which is more probable, and occasionally no doubt for one philosophic
error another. In that early period I gave, as I have said, the first public expression to those
theories of origin to which these essays are devoted, but with a clumsiness which I was the
last to conceal from myself, for I was as yet cramped, being still without a special language for these special subjects, still frequently liable to relapse and to vacillation. To go into details, compare what I say in Human, all-too-Human, part i., about the parallel early history of Good and Evil, Aph. 45 (namely, their origin from the castes of the aristocrats and the slaves) ; similarly, Aph. 136 et seq., concerning the birth and value of ascetic morality ; similarly, Aphs. 96, 99, vol. ii., Aph. 89, concerning the Morality of Custom, that
far older and more original kind of morality which
is toto ccelo different from the altruistic ethics (in which Dr. R^e, like all the English moral philo- sophers, sees the ethical ” Thing-in-itself “) ; finally, Aph. 92. Similarly, Aph. 26 in Human, all-too- Human, part ii., and Aph. 112, the Dawn of Day, concerning the origin of Justice as a balancePREFACE. 7
between persons of approximately equal power
(equilibrium as the hypothesis of all contract, consequently of all law) ; similarly, concerning the
origin of Punishment, Human, ail-too-Human, part
ii., Aphs. 22, 23, in regard to which__the_^tfii:rent object is neither essentiaT” nnr—oriflrinaJ-, (as Dr. KSeTKir^s :—rather is it that this object is only
imported, under certain definite conditions, and
always as something extra and additional).
In reality I had set my heart at that time on
something much more important than the nature of
the theories of myselfor others concerning the origin of morality (or, more precisely, the real function from my view of these theories was to point an end to which they were one among many means). The issucfbrme was the jvalue of^ morality, ana]
on Jhat subject Lhad. to ,place_.myself . in a state” oLabfitraction, in which I was almost alone with my great teacher Schopenhauer, to whom that book, with all its passion and inherent contradiction (for that book also was a polemic), turned
for present help as though he were still alive^ The issue was, strangely enough, the value of the
” unegoistic ” instincts, the instincts of pity, self- denial, and self-sacrifice which Schopenhauer had
so persistently painted in golden colours, deified and etherealised, that eventually they appeared
to him, as it were, high and dry, as ” intrinsic values in themselves,” on the strength of which8 PREFACE.
he uttered both to Life and to himself his own
negation. But against these very instincts there voiced itself in my soul a more and more funda- mental mistrust, a scepticism that dug ever deeper and deeper : and in this very instinct I saw \h& great danger of mankind,its most sublime temptation and
seduction—seduction to what ? to nothingness ?

Tin these very instincts I saw the beginning of the
/ end, stability, the exhaustion that gazes back-
( wards, the will turning against Life, the last illness announcing itself with its own mincing melancholy : I realised that the morality of pity which spread wider and wider, and whose grip infected even
philosophers with its disease, was the most sinister symptom of our modern European civilisation ; I realised that it was the route along which that
civilisation slid on its way to—a new Buddhism ? —a European Buddhism ?

Nihilism f This ex- aggerated estimation in which modern philosophers have held pity, is quite a new phenomenon : up to that time philosophers were absolutely unanimous
as to the worthlessness of pity. I need only mention Plato, Spinoza, La Rochefoucauld, and Kant—four minds as mutually different as is possible, but united on one point ; their contempt
of pity.
6. This problem of the value of pity and of_Jthe P’&-BPiLality (I’ am an opponent of the modern
infamous emasculation of our emotions) seems at the first blush a mere isolated problem, a note^ihPREFACE.
interrogation for itself ; he, however, who once halts
at this problem, and learns how to put questions,
will experience what I experienced :—a new and immense vista unfolds itself before him, a sense
of potentiality seizes him like a vertigo, every
species of doubt, mistrust, and fear springs up, the belief in morality, nay, in all morality, totters, —finally a new demand voices itself. Let us” speak out this new demand: we need a critique of moral values, the value of these Ualues is tor Thg
‘flfst time to be called mto question

and for this purpose a^knavdedge.ia.necessary of the conditions and circumstances out of which these values grew, and untfenrfatd’i lliey exueiieiiced”TEeir~evolurion and„tbeir distortion (morality as a result, as a symptom, as a mask, as Tartuttism, as disease, as a misunderstanding ; but also morality as a cause,
as a remedy, as a stimulant, as a” fetter,”as a drug),
especially as suchalcnowreageTiaslnelther existed up to the present time nor is even now generally
clesired. The value of these ” values ” was taken
for granted as an indisputable fact, which was
beyond all question. No one has, up to the
present, exhibited the faintest doubt or hesitation
in judging the ” good man ” to be of a higher
value than the ” evil man,” of a higher value with
regard specifically to human progress, utility, and
prosperity generally, not forgetting the future. What? Suppose the converse were the truth! What ? Suppose there lurked in the ” good man ” a symptom of retrogression, such as a danger, a
temptation, a poison, a narcotic, by means of which
the present battened on the future \ More com-lO PREFACE.
fortable and less risky perhaps than its opposite, but also pettier, meaner! So that morality would really be saddled with the guilt, if the maximum potentiality of the power and splendour of the human species were never to be attained? So that really morality would be the danger of dangers ?
Enough, that after this vista had disclosed
itself to me, I myself had reason to search for learned, bold, and industrious colleagues (I am
doing it even to this very day). It means travers- ing with new clamorous questions, and at the same
time with new eyes, the immense, distant, and
completely unexplored land of morality—of a morality which has actually existed and been
actually lived ! and is this not practically equivalent to first discovering that land ? If, in this context, I thought, amongst others, of the aforesaid Dr. Rde, I did so because I had no doubt that from the very nature of his questions he would be compelled to have recourse to a truer method, in order to obtain his answers. Have I deceived myself on that score ? I wished
at all events to give a better direction of vision to an eye of such keenness, and such impartiality.
I wished to direct him to the real history of
morality, and to warn him, while there was yet time, against a world of English theories that culminated in the blue vacuum of heaven. Other
colours, of course, rise immediately to one’s mindPREFACE. 1
1
as being a hundred times more potent than blue
for a genealogy of morals :—for instance, grey, by
which I mean authentic facts capable of definite proof and having actually existed, or, to put it shortly, the whole of that long hieroglyphic script (which is so hard to decipher) about the past
history of human morals. This script was un- known to Dr. R^e ; but he had read Darwin :

and so in his philosophy the Darwinian beast and
that pink of modernity, the demure weakling and
dilettante, who ” bites no longer,” shake hands
politely in a fashion that is at least instructive, the latter exhibiting a certain facial expression of
refined and good-humoured indolence, tinged with a touch of pessimism and exhaustion ; as if it really did not pay to take all these things—
I
mean moral problems—so seriously. I, on_ the other han^think that there are no subjects which, pay better for being^_^Jtak£n.^-sedQusly ;_part of
this payment is, that perhaps eventually they admit of being taken gaily. This gaiety indeed,
or, to use my own language, this joyful wisdom, is a payment; a payment for a protracted, brave,
laborious, and burrowing seriousness, which, it goes without saying, is the attribute of but a few. But on that day on which we say from the full- ness of our hearts, ” Forward ! our old morality
too is fit material for Comedyl’ we shall have
discovered a new plot, and a new possibility for the Dionysian drama entitled The Soul’s Fate—
and he will speedily utilise it, one can wager
safely, he, the great ancient eternal dramatist of the comedy of our existence.12 PREFACE.
8.
If this writing be obscure to any individual, and jar on his ears, I do not think that it is necessarily I who am to blame. It is clear enough, on the hypothesis which I presuppose, namely, that the reader has first read my previous
writings and has not grudged them a certain amount of trouble: it is not, indeed, a simple matter to get really at their essence. Take, for instance, my Zarathustra ; I allow no one to pass muster as knowing that book, unless every single word therein has at some time wrought in him a profound wound, and at some time exercised on him a profound enchantment: then and not till then can he enjoy the privilege of participating reverently in the halcyon element, from which
that work is born, in its sunny brilliance, its distance, its spaciousness, its certainty. In other cases the aphoristic form produces difficulty, but
this is only because this form is treated too casually. An aphorism properly coined and
cast into its final mould is far from being
” deciphered ” as soon as it has been read ; on the contrary, it is then that it first requires to be ex- pounded—of course for that purpose an art of exposition is necessary. The third essay in this book provides an example of what is offered, of what in such cases I call exposition : an aphorism
is prefixed to that essay, the essay itself is its commentary. Certainly one quality which nowa- days has been best forgotten — and that is why it will take some time yet for my writingsPREFACE. 13
to become readable—is essential

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puzzled ears, and ask in complete astonishment and

puzzled ears, and ask in complete astonishment and complete embarrassment, “Through what
have we in point of fact just lived ? ” further, ” Who
are we in point of fact ? ” and count, after they have struck, as I have explained, all the twelve throbbing beats of the clock of our experience, of our life, of our being—ah !—and count wrong
in the endeavour. Of necessity we remain
; \strangers to ourselves, we understand ourselves
^\ not, in ourselves we are bound to be mistaken,
li for of us holds good to all eternity the motto, ” Each
1 one is the farthest away from himself”—as far
‘ as ourselves are concerned we are not ” knowers.”
My^ thoughts concerning^ the^(»«ea:/i:7g2′ of our moral prejudices—for they constitute the issue
in this polemic—have their first, bald, and provisional expression in that collection of aphorisms
entitled Human, all-too-Human, a Book for Free Minds, the writing of which was begun in Sorrento, during a winter which allowed me to gaze over the broad and dangerous territory through which my mind had up to that time wandered. This took place in the winter of 1876-77 ; the thoughts themselves are older. They were in their substance already the same
thoughts which I take up again in the following
treatises :—we hope that they have derived
benefit from the long interval, that they have grown riper, clearer, stronger, more complete. The fact, however, that I still cling to them evenPREFACE. 3
now, that in the meanwhile they have always
held faster by each other, have, in fact, grown
out of their original shape and into each other,
all this strengthens in my mind the joyous
confidence that they must have been originally neither separate disconnected capricious nor sporadic phenomena, but have sprung from a common
root, from a fundamental “^fiat” of knowledge, whose empire reached to the soul’s depth, and
that ever grew more definite in its voice, and more definite in its demands. That is the only
state of affairs that is proper in the case of a
philosopher. We have no right to be “disconnected” ; we must
neither err ” disconnectedly ” nor strike the truth “disconnectedly.” Rather with the necessity with which a tree bears its fruit, so do our
thoughts, our values, our Yes’s and No’s and If’s and Whether’s, grow connected and interrelated, mutual witnesses of one will, one health, one kingdom, one sun—as to whether they are to your taste, these fruits of ours?—But what
matters that to the trees? What matters that
to us, us the philosophers ?
Owing to a scrupulosity peculiar to myself, which I confess reluctantly,—it concerns indeed
morality,—a scrupulosity, which manifests itself in my life at such an early period, with so much
spontaneity, with so chronic a persistence and
so keen an opposition to environment, epoch,4
PREFACE.
precedent, and ancestry that I should have been
almost entitled to style it my ” A priori”—my
curiosity and my suspicion felt themselves betimes bound to halt at the question, of what in point of actual fact was the origin of our ” Good ”^ndU)f our ” Evil.” Indeed, at-t4ie boyish age of thirteen the problem of the origin of Evil already haunted me: at an age “when games and God divide one’s heart,” I devoted to that problem my first childish attempt at the literary game, my first philosophic essay—and as regards my infantile solution of the problem, well, I gave quite properly the honour to God, and made him^tB^-
father of evil. Did my own ” & priori ” demand
that precise solution from me ? that new, immoral,
or at least “amoral” “dpriori” and that “categorical imperative” which was its voice (but oh! how hostile to the Kantian article, and how
pregnant with problems !), to which since then
I have given more and more attention, and
indeed what is more than attention. Fortunately
I soon learned to separate theological from moral prejudices, and I gave up looking fo_r a^ supernatural origin of evil. A certain amount
of historical “a[n3” pHiIoiogical education, to say notHng~’6r an innate faculty of psychological
discrimination par excellence succeeded in trans- forming almost immediately my original. problem
into the following one :-^Under what conditions did Man invent for himself .those judgments
of values, “Good” and “Evil”? And what
intrinsic value do they possess in themselves^ Have they up to the present hindered or advancedPREFACE. 5 human well-being ? Are they a symptom of the
distress, impoverishment, and degeneration of Human Xife ?
“” Or, conversely, is it in them that
is’maiillested the fulness, the strengthj^ and the wiTT of Life,” its “t^urag^ its ‘self-confidence. Jts
future? On this point I found and hazarded in
rayTIfflid the most diverse answers, I established
distinctions in periods, peoples, and castes, I became a specialist in my problem, and from my
answers grew new questions, new investigations, new conjectures, new probabilities ; until at last
I had a land of my own and a soil of my own,
a whole secret world growing and flowering, like hidden gardens of whose existence no one could have an inkling—oh, how happy are we, we
finders of knowledge, provided that we know how
to keep silent sufficiently long.
My first impulse to publish some of my
hypotheses concerning the origin of morality I owe to a clear, well-written, and even precocious
little book, in which a perverse and vicious kind
of moral philosophy (your real English kind) was
definitely presented to me for the first time; and
this attracted me—with that magnetic attraction, inherent in that which is diametrically opposed and
antithetical to one’s own ideas. The title of the book was The Origin of the Moral Emotions ; its author, Dr. Paul R^e ; the year of its appearance, 1877. I may almost say that I have never read6 PREFACE.
anything in which every single dogma and conclusion has called forth from me so emphatic a negation as did that book ; albeit a negation untainted by either pique or intolerance. I referred accordingly both in season and out of season in the previous works, at which I was then working,
to the arguments of that book, not to refute them
. for what have I got to do with mere refutations —but substituting, as is natural to a positive mind,
for an improbable theory one which is more probable, and occasionally no doubt for one philosophic
error another. In that early period I gave, as I have said, the first public expression to those
theories of origin to which these essays are devoted, but with a clumsiness which I was the
last to conceal from myself, for I was as yet cramped, being still without a special language for these special subjects, still frequently liable to relapse and to vacillation. To go into details, compare what I say in Human, all-too-Human, part i., about the parallel early history of Good and Evil, Aph. 45 (namely, their origin from the castes of the aristocrats and the slaves) ; similarly, Aph. 136 et seq., concerning the birth and value of ascetic morality ; similarly, Aphs. 96, 99, vol. ii., Aph. 89, concerning the Morality of Custom, that
far older and more original kind of morality which
is toto ccelo different from the altruistic ethics (in which Dr. R^e, like all the English moral philo- sophers, sees the ethical ” Thing-in-itself “) ; finally, Aph. 92. Similarly, Aph. 26 in Human, all-too- Human, part ii., and Aph. 112, the Dawn of Day, concerning the origin of Justice as a balancePREFACE. 7
between persons of approximately equal power
(equilibrium as the hypothesis of all contract, consequently of all law) ; similarly, concerning the
origin of Punishment, Human, ail-too-Human, part
ii., Aphs. 22, 23, in regard to which__the_^tfii:rent object is neither essentiaT” nnr—oriflrinaJ-, (as Dr. KSeTKir^s :—rather is it that this object is only
imported, under certain definite conditions, and
always as something extra and additional).
In reality I had set my heart at that time on
something much more important than the nature of
the theories of myselfor others concerning the origin of morality (or, more precisely, the real function from my view of these theories was to point an end to which they were one among many means). The issucfbrme was the jvalue of^ morality, ana]
on Jhat subject Lhad. to ,place_.myself . in a state” oLabfitraction, in which I was almost alone with my great teacher Schopenhauer, to whom that book, with all its passion and inherent contradiction (for that book also was a polemic), turned
for present help as though he were still alive^ The issue was, strangely enough, the value of the
” unegoistic ” instincts, the instincts of pity, self- denial, and self-sacrifice which Schopenhauer had
so persistently painted in golden colours, deified and etherealised, that eventually they appeared
to him, as it were, high and dry, as ” intrinsic values in themselves,” on the strength of which8 PREFACE.
he uttered both to Life and to himself his own
negation. But against these very instincts there voiced itself in my soul a more and more funda- mental mistrust, a scepticism that dug ever deeper and deeper : and in this very instinct I saw \h& great danger of mankind,its most sublime temptation and
seduction—seduction to what ? to nothingness ?

Tin these very instincts I saw the beginning of the
/ end, stability, the exhaustion that gazes back-
( wards, the will turning against Life, the last illness announcing itself with its own mincing melancholy : I realised that the morality of pity which spread wider and wider, and whose grip infected even
philosophers with its disease, was the most sinister symptom of our modern European civilisation ; I realised that it was the route along which that
civilisation slid on its way to—a new Buddhism ? —a European Buddhism ?

Nihilism f This ex- aggerated estimation in which modern philosophers have held pity, is quite a new phenomenon : up to that time philosophers were absolutely unanimous
as to the worthlessness of pity. I need only mention Plato, Spinoza, La Rochefoucauld, and Kant—four minds as mutually different as is possible, but united on one point ; their contempt
of pity.
6. This problem of the value of pity and of_Jthe P’&-BPiLality (I’ am an opponent of the modern
infamous emasculation of our emotions) seems at the first blush a mere isolated problem, a note^ihPREFACE.
interrogation for itself ; he, however, who once halts
at this problem, and learns how to put questions,
will experience what I experienced :—a new and immense vista unfolds itself before him, a sense
of potentiality seizes him like a vertigo, every
species of doubt, mistrust, and fear springs up, the belief in morality, nay, in all morality, totters, —finally a new demand voices itself. Let us” speak out this new demand: we need a critique of moral values, the value of these Ualues is tor Thg
‘flfst time to be called mto question

and for this purpose a^knavdedge.ia.necessary of the conditions and circumstances out of which these values grew, and untfenrfatd’i lliey exueiieiiced”TEeir~evolurion and„tbeir distortion (morality as a result, as a symptom, as a mask, as Tartuttism, as disease, as a misunderstanding ; but also morality as a cause,
as a remedy, as a stimulant, as a” fetter,”as a drug),
especially as suchalcnowreageTiaslnelther existed up to the present time nor is even now generally
clesired. The value of these ” values ” was taken
for granted as an indisputable fact, which was
beyond all question. No one has, up to the
present, exhibited the faintest doubt or hesitation
in judging the ” good man ” to be of a higher
value than the ” evil man,” of a higher value with
regard specifically to human progress, utility, and
prosperity generally, not forgetting the future. What? Suppose the converse were the truth! What ? Suppose there lurked in the ” good man ” a symptom of retrogression, such as a danger, a
temptation, a poison, a narcotic, by means of which
the present battened on the future \ More com-lO PREFACE.
fortable and less risky perhaps than its opposite, but also pettier, meaner! So that morality would really be saddled with the guilt, if the maximum potentiality of the power and splendour of the human species were never to be attained? So that really morality would be the danger of dangers ?
Enough, that after this vista had disclosed
itself to me, I myself had reason to search for learned, bold, and industrious colleagues (I am
doing it even to this very day). It means travers- ing with new clamorous questions, and at the same
time with new eyes, the immense, distant, and
completely unexplored land of morality—of a morality which has actually existed and been
actually lived ! and is this not practically equivalent to first discovering that land ? If, in this context, I thought, amongst others, of the aforesaid Dr. Rde, I did so because I had no doubt that from the very nature of his questions he would be compelled to have recourse to a truer method, in order to obtain his answers. Have I deceived myself on that score ? I wished
at all events to give a better direction of vision to an eye of such keenness, and such impartiality.
I wished to direct him to the real history of
morality, and to warn him, while there was yet time, against a world of English theories that culminated in the blue vacuum of heaven. Other
colours, of course, rise immediately to one’s mindPREFACE. 1
1
as being a hundred times more potent than blue
for a genealogy of morals :—for instance, grey, by
which I mean authentic facts capable of definite proof and having actually existed, or, to put it shortly, the whole of that long hieroglyphic script (which is so hard to decipher) about the past
history of human morals. This script was un- known to Dr. R^e ; but he had read Darwin :

and so in his philosophy the Darwinian beast and
that pink of modernity, the demure weakling and
dilettante, who ” bites no longer,” shake hands
politely in a fashion that is at least instructive, the latter exhibiting a certain facial expression of
refined and good-humoured indolence, tinged with a touch of pessimism and exhaustion ; as if it really did not pay to take all these things—
I
mean moral problems—so seriously. I, on_ the other han^think that there are no subjects which, pay better for being^_^Jtak£n.^-sedQusly ;_part of
this payment is, that perhaps eventually they admit of being taken gaily. This gaiety indeed,
or, to use my own language, this joyful wisdom, is a payment; a payment for a protracted, brave,
laborious, and burrowing seriousness, which, it goes without saying, is the attribute of but a few. But on that day on which we say from the full- ness of our hearts, ” Forward ! our old morality
too is fit material for Comedyl’ we shall have
discovered a new plot, and a new possibility for the Dionysian drama entitled The Soul’s Fate—
and he will speedily utilise it, one can wager
safely, he, the great ancient eternal dramatist of the comedy of our existence.12 PREFACE.
8.
If this writing be obscure to any individual, and jar on his ears, I do not think that it is necessarily I who am to blame. It is clear enough, on the hypothesis which I presuppose, namely, that the reader has first read my previous
writings and has not grudged them a certain amount of trouble: it is not, indeed, a simple matter to get really at their essence. Take, for instance, my Zarathustra ; I allow no one to pass muster as knowing that book, unless every single word therein has at some time wrought in him a profound wound, and at some time exercised on him a profound enchantment: then and not till then can he enjoy the privilege of participating reverently in the halcyon element, from which
that work is born, in its sunny brilliance, its distance, its spaciousness, its certainty. In other cases the aphoristic form produces difficulty, but
this is only because this form is treated too casually. An aphorism properly coined and
cast into its final mould is far from being
” deciphered ” as soon as it has been read ; on the contrary, it is then that it first requires to be ex- pounded—of course for that purpose an art of exposition is necessary. The third essay in this book provides an example of what is offered, of what in such cases I call exposition : an aphorism
is prefixed to that essay, the essay itself is its commentary. Certainly one quality which nowa- days has been best forgotten — and that is why it will take some time yet for my writingsPREFACE. 13
to become readable—is essential

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