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Inhuman Men as Survivals.—Men who are now inhuman must serve us as surviving specimens of earlier civilizations. The mountain height[80] of humanity here reveals its lower formations, which might otherwise remain hidden from view. There are surviving specimens of humanity whose brains through the vicissitudes of heredity, have escaped proper development. They show us what we all were and thus appal us; but they are as little responsible on this account as is a piece of granite for being granite. In our own brains there must be courses and windings corresponding to such characters, just as in the forms of some human organs there survive traces of fishhood. But these courses and windings are no longer the bed in which flows the stream of our feeling

Gratitude and Revenge.—The reason the powerful man is grateful is this. His benefactor has, through his benefaction, invaded the domain of the powerful man and established himself on an equal footing: the powerful man in turn invades the domain of the benefactor and gets satisfaction through the act of gratitude. It is a mild form of revenge. By not obtaining the satisfaction of gratitude the powerful would have shown himself powerless and have ranked as such thenceforward. Hence every society of the good, that is to say, of the powerful originally,[81] places gratitude among the first of duties.—Swift has added the dictum that man is grateful in the same degree that he is revengeful

Two-fold Historical Origin of Good and Evil.—The notion of good and bad has a two-fold historical origin: namely, first, in the spirit of ruling races and castes. Whoever has power to requite good with good and evil with evil and actually brings requital, (that is, is grateful and revengeful) acquires the name of being good; whoever is powerless and cannot requite is called bad. A man belongs, as a good individual, to the "good" of a community, who have a feeling in common, because all the individuals are allied with one another through the requiting sentiment. A man belongs, as a bad individual, to the "bad," to a mass of subjugated, powerless men who have no feeling in common. The good are a caste, the bad are a quantity, like dust. Good and bad is, for a considerable period, tantamount to noble and servile, master and slave. On the other hand an enemy is not looked upon as bad: he can requite. The Trojan and the Greek are in Homer both good. Not he, who does no harm, but he who is despised, is deemed bad. In the community of the good individuals [the quality of] good[ness] is inherited; it is impossible for[82] a bad individual to grow from such a rich soil. If, notwithstanding, one of the good individuals does something unworthy of his goodness, recourse is had to exorcism; thus the guilt is ascribed to a deity, the while it is declared that this deity bewitched the good man into madness and blindness.—Second, in the spirit of the subjugated, the powerless. Here every other man is, to the individual, hostile, inconsiderate, greedy, inhuman, avaricious, be he noble or servile; bad is the characteristic term for man, for every living being, indeed, that is recognized at all, even for a god: human, divine, these notions are tantamount to devilish, bad. Manifestations of goodness, sympathy, helpfulness, are regarded with anxiety as trickiness, preludes to an evil end, deception, subtlety, in short, as refined badness. With such a predisposition in individuals, a feeling in common can scarcely arise at all, at most only the rudest form of it: so that everywhere that this conception of good and evil prevails, the destruction of the individuals, their race and nation, is imminent.—Our existing morality has developed upon the foundation laid by ruling races and castes

Sympathy Greater than Suffering.—There are circumstances in which sympathy is stronger[83] than the suffering itself. We feel more pain, for instance, when one of our friends becomes guilty of a reprehensible action than if we had done the deed ourselves. We once, that is, had more faith in the purity of his character than he had himself. Hence our love for him, (apparently because of this very faith) is stronger than is his own love for himself. If, indeed, his egoism really suffers more, as a result, than our egoism, inasmuch as he must take the consequences of his fault to a greater extent than ourselves, nevertheless, the unegoistic—this word is not to be taken too strictly, but simply as a modified form of expression—in us is more affected by his guilt than the unegoistic in him

Hypochondria.—There are people who, from sympathy and anxiety for others become hypochondriacal. The resulting form of compassion is nothing else than sickness. So, also, is there a Christian hypochondria, from which those singular, religiously agitated people suffer who place always before their eyes the suffering and death of Christ

Economy of Blessings.—The advantageous and the pleasing, as the healthiest growths and[84] powers in the intercourse of men, are such precious treasures that it is much to be wished the use made of these balsamic means were as economical as possible: but this is impossible. Economy in the use of blessings is the dream of the craziest of Utopians

Well-Wishing.—Among the small, but infinitely plentiful and therefore very potent things to which science must pay more attention than to the great, uncommon things, well-wishing21 must be reckoned; I mean those manifestations of friendly disposition in intercourse, that laughter of the eye, every hand pressure, every courtesy from which, in general, every human act gets its quality. Every teacher, every functionary adds this element as a gratuity to whatever he does as a duty; it is the perpetual well spring of humanity, like the waves of light in which everything grows; thus, in the narrowest circles, within the family, life blooms and flowers only through this kind feeling. The cheerfulness, [85]friendliness and kindness of a heart are unfailing sources of unegoistic impulse and have made far more for civilization than those other more noised manifestations of it that are styled sympathy, benevolence and sacrifice. But it is customary to depreciate these little tokens of kindly feeling, and, indeed, there is not much of the unegoistic in them. The sum of these little doses is very great, nevertheless; their combined strength is of the greatest of strengths.—Thus, too, much more happiness is to be found in the world than gloomy eyes discover: that is, if the calculation be just, and all these pleasing moments in which every day, even the meanest human life, is rich, be not forgotten

21 Wohl-wollen, kind feeling. It stands here for benevolence but not benevolence in the restricted sense of the word now prevailing

The Desire to Inspire Compassion.—La Rochefoucauld, in the most notable part of his self portraiture (first printed 1658) reaches the vital spot of truth when he warns all those endowed with reason to be on their guard against compassion, when he advises that this sentiment be left to men of the masses who stand in need of the promptings of the emotions (since they are not guided by reason) to induce them to give aid to the suffering and to be of service in misfortune:[86] whereas compassion, in his (and Plato's) view, deprives the heart of strength. To be sure, sympathy should be manifested but men should take care not to feel it; for the unfortunate are rendered so dull that the manifestation of sympathy affords them the greatest happiness in the world.—Perhaps a more effectual warning against this compassion can be given if this need of the unfortunate be considered not simply as stupidity and intellectual weakness, not as a sort of distraction of the spirit entailed by misfortune itself (and thus, indeed, does La Rochefoucauld seem to view it) but as something quite different and more momentous. Let note be taken of children who cry and scream in order to be compassionated and who, therefore, await the moment when their condition will be observed; come into contact with the sick and the oppressed in spirit and try to ascertain if the wailing and sighing, the posturing and posing of misfortune do not have as end and aim the causing of pain to the beholder: the sympathy which each beholder manifests is a consolation to the weak and suffering only in as much as they are made to perceive that at least they have the power, notwithstanding all their weakness, to inflict pain. The unfortunate experiences a species of joy in the sense of superiority which the manifestation of sympathy entails; his imagination[87] is exalted; he is always strong enough, then, to cause the world pain. Thus is the thirst for sympathy a thirst for self enjoyment and at the expense of one's fellow creatures: it shows man in the whole ruthlessness of his own dear self: not in his mere "dullness" as La Rochefoucauld thinks.—In social conversation three fourths of all the questions are asked, and three fourths of all the replies are made in order to inflict some little pain; that is why so many people crave social intercourse: it gives them a sense of their power. In these countless but very small doses in which the quality of badness is administered it proves a potent stimulant of life: to the same extent that well wishing—(Wohl-wollen) distributed through the world in like manner, is one of the ever ready restoratives.—But will many honorable people be found to admit that there is any pleasure in administering pain? that entertainment—and rare entertainment—is not seldom found in causing others, at least in thought, some pain, and in raking them with the small shot of wickedness? The majority are too ignoble and a few are too good to know anything of this pudendum: the latter may, consequently, be prompt to deny that Prosper Mérimée is right when he says: "Know, also, that nothing is more common than to do wrong for the pleasure of doing it."


How Appearance Becomes Reality.—The actor cannot, at last, refrain, even in moments of the deepest pain, from thinking of the effect produced by his deportment and by his surroundings—for example, even at the funeral of his own child: he will weep at his own sorrow and its manifestations as though he were his own audience. The hypocrite who always plays one and the same part, finally ceases to be a hypocrite; as in the case of priests who, when young men, are always, either consciously or unconsciously, hypocrites, and finally become naturally and then really, without affectation, mere priests: or if the father does not carry it to this extent, the son, who inherits his father's calling and gets the advantage of the paternal progress, does. When anyone, during a long period, and persistently, wishes to appear something, it will at last prove difficult for him to be anything else. The calling of almost every man, even of the artist, begins with hypocrisy, with an imitation of deportment, with a copying of the effective in manner. He who always wears the mask of a friendly man must at last gain a power over friendliness of disposition, without which the expression itself of friendliness is not to be gained—and finally friendliness of disposition gains the ascendancy over him—he is benevolent


The Point of Honor in Deception.—In all great deceivers one characteristic is prominent, to which they owe their power. In the very act of deception, amid all the accompaniments, the agitation in the voice, the expression, the bearing, in the crisis of the scene, there comes over them a belief in themselves; this it is that acts so effectively and irresistibly upon the beholders. Founders of religions differ from such great deceivers in that they never come out of this state of self deception, or else they have, very rarely, a few moments of enlightenment in which they are overcome by doubt; generally, however, they soothe themselves by ascribing such moments of enlightenment to the evil adversary. Self deception must exist that both classes of deceivers may attain far reaching results. For men believe in the truth of all that is manifestly believed with due implicitness by others

Presumed Degrees of Truth.—One of the most usual errors of deduction is: because someone truly and openly is against us, therefore he speaks the truth. Hence the child has faith in the judgments of its elders, the Christian in the[90] assertions of the founder of the church. So, too, it will not be admitted that all for which men sacrificed life and happiness in former centuries was nothing but delusion: perhaps it is alleged these things were degrees of truth. But what is really meant is that, if a person sincerely believes a thing and has fought and died for his faith, it would be too unjust if only delusion had inspired him. Such a state of affairs seems to contradict eternal justice. For that reason the heart of a sensitive man pronounces against his head the judgment: between moral conduct and intellectual insight there must always exist an inherent connection. It is, unfortunately, otherwise: for there is no eternal justice

Falsehood.—Why do men, as a rule, speak the truth in the ordinary affairs of life? Certainly not for the reason that a god has forbidden lying. But because first: it is more convenient, as falsehood entails invention, make-believe and recollection (wherefore Swift says that whoever invents a lie seldom realises the heavy burden he takes up: he must, namely, for every lie that he tells, insert twenty more). Therefore, because in plain ordinary relations of life it is expedient to say without circumlocution: I want[91] this, I have done this, and the like; therefore, because the way of freedom and certainty is surer than that of ruse.—But if it happens that a child is brought up in sinister domestic circumstances, it will then indulge in falsehood as matter of course, and involuntarily say anything its own interests may prompt: an inclination for truth, an aversion to falsehood, is quite foreign and uncongenial to it, and hence it lies in all innocence

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