Beyond Good and Evil HTML version

shattering and sinking down at the Christian cross (and with right and reason, for who of
them would have been sufficiently profound and sufficiently original for an ANTI-
CHRISTIAN philosophy?);--on the whole, a boldly daring, splendidly overbearing, high-
flying, and aloft-up-dragging class of higher men, who had first to teach their century--
and it is the century of the MASSES--the conception "higher man." . . . Let the German
friends of Richard Wagner advise together as to whether there is anything purely German
in the Wagnerian art, or whether its distinction does not consist precisely in coming from
SUPER- GERMAN sources and impulses: in which connection it may not be underrated
how indispensable Paris was to the development of his type, which the strength of his
instincts made him long to visit at the most decisive time--and how the whole style of his
proceedings, of his self-apostolate, could only perfect itself in sight of the French
socialistic original. On a more subtle comparison it will perhaps be found, to the honour
of Richard Wagner's German nature, that he has acted in everything with more strength,
daring, severity, and elevation than a nineteenth- century Frenchman could have done--
owing to the circumstance that we Germans are as yet nearer to barbarism than the
French;-- perhaps even the most remarkable creation of Richard Wagner is not only at
present, but for ever inaccessible, incomprehensible, and inimitable to the whole latter-
day Latin race: the figure of Siegfried, that VERY FREE man, who is probably far too
free, too hard, too cheerful, too healthy, too ANTI-CATHOLIC for the taste of old and
mellow civilized nations. He may even have been a sin against Romanticism, this anti-
Latin Siegfried: well, Wagner atoned amply for this sin in his old sad days, when--
anticipating a taste which has meanwhile passed into politics--he began, with the
religious vehemence peculiar to him, to preach, at least, THE WAY TO ROME, if not to
walk therein.--That these last words may not be misunderstood, I will call to my aid a few
powerful rhymes, which will even betray to less delicate ears what I mean --what I mean
COUNTER TO the "last Wagner" and his Parsifal music:--
--Is this our mode?--From German heart came this vexed ululating? From German body,
this self-lacerating? Is ours this priestly hand-dilation, This incense-fuming exaltation? Is
ours this faltering, falling, shambling, This quite uncertain ding-dong- dangling? This sly
nun-ogling, Ave-hour-bell ringing, This wholly false enraptured heaven-o'erspringing?--
Is this our mode?--Think well!--ye still wait for admission--For what ye hear is ROME--