of culture):—what does all this betoken, if not a disintegration of womanly instincts, a defeminising? Certainly, there are enough of idiotic friends and corrupters of woman among the learned asses of the masculine sex, who advise woman to defeminize herself in this manner, and to imitate all the stupidities from which “man” in Europe, European “manliness,” suffers,—who would like to lower woman to “general culture,” indeed even to newspaper reading and meddling with politics. Here and there they wish even to make women into free spirits and literary workers: as though a woman without piety would not be something perfectly obnoxious or ludicrous to a profound and godless man;—almost everywhere her nerves are being ruined by the most morbid and dangerous kind of music (our latest German music), and she is daily being made more hysterical and more incapable of fulfilling her first and last function, that of bearing robust children. They wish to “cultivate” her in general still more, and intend, as they say, to make the “weaker sex” Strong by culture: as if history did not teach in the most emphatic manner that the “cultivating” of mankind and his weakening—that is to say, the weakening, dissipating, and languishing of his force of will—have always kept pace with one another, and that the most powerful and influential women in the world (and lastly, the mother of Napoleon) had just to thank their force of will—and not their schoolmasters—for their power and ascendancy over men. That which inspires respect in woman, and often enough fear also, is her nature, which is more “natural” than that of man, her genuine, carnivora-like, cunning flexibility, her tiger-claws beneath the glove, her naivete in egoism, her untrainableness and innate wildness, the incomprehensibleness, extent, and deviation of her desires and virtues. That which, in spite of fear, excites one’s sympathy for the dangerous and beautiful cat, “woman,” is that she seems more afflicted, more vulnerable, more necessitous of love, and more condemned to disillusionment than any other creature. Fear and sympathy it is with these feelings that man has hitherto stood in the presence of woman, always with one foot already in tragedy, which rends while it delights—What? And all that is now to be at an end? And the disenchantment of woman is in progress? The tediousness of woman is slowly evolving? Oh Europe! Europe! We know the horned animal which was always most attractive to thee, from which danger is ever again threatening thee! Thy old fable might once more become “history”—an immense stupidity might once again overmaster thee and carry thee away! And no God concealed beneath it—no! only an “idea,” a “modern idea”!
PEOPLES AND COUNTRIES