The hours of eloquence. In order to speak well, one person needs someone who is definitely and admittedly superior to him; another person can speak completely freely and turn a phrase with eloquence only in front of someone whom he surpasses; the reason is the same in both cases: each of them speaks well only when he speaks sans gêne,6 the one because he does not feel the stimulus of rivalry or competition vis à vis the superior man, the other for the same reason vis à vis the lesser man.
Now, there is quite another category of men who speak well only when they speak in competition, intending to win. Which of the two categories is the more ambitious: the one that speaks well when ambition is aroused, or the one that, out of precisely the same motives, speaks badly or not at all?

6. without embarrassment

Friedrich Nietzsche - Human, All Too Human
Section Six: Man in Society - Aphorism # 367

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