Page:Complete works of Nietzsche vol 10.djvu/49

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THE JOYFUL WISDOM, I

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Noble and Ignoble. — To ignoble natures all noble, magnanimous sentiments appear inexpedient, and on that account first and foremost, as incredible : they blink with their eyes when they hear of such matters, and seem inclined to say, "there will, no doubt, be some advantage therefrom, one cannot see through all walls;" — they are jealous of the noble person, as if he sought advantage by back- stair methods. When they are all too plainly convinced of the absence of selfish intentions and emoluments, the noble person is regarded by them as a kind of fool : they despise him in his gladness, and laugh at the lustre of his eye. " How can a person rejoice at being at a disadvantage, how can a person with open eyes want to meet with dis- advantage ! It must be a disease of the reason with which the noble affection is associated " ;—so they think, and they look deprecatingly thereon; just as they depreciate the joy which the lunatic derives from his fixed idea. The ignoble nature is distinguished by the fact that it keeps its advantage steadily in view, and that this thought of the end and advantage is even stronger than its strongest impulse : not to be tempted to inexpedient activities by its impulses — that is its wisdom and inspiration. In comparison with the ignoble nature the higher nature is more irrational: — for the noble, magnanimous, and self-sacrificing person succumbs in fact to his impulses, and in his best moments his reason lapses altogether. An animal, which at the risk