At the beginning of the Duino Elegies, Rilke writes: ‘For Beauty is nothing / but the beginning of terror, which we are still just able to endure, / and we are so awed by it because it serenely disdains to annihilate us’ (trans. by Stephen Mitchell, slightly modified).
Tanner, Michael. Nietzsche: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (p. 19). OUP Oxford. Kindle Edition.
This book has helped me understand Nietzsche – someone very hard to understand. It also states:
It seems most likely that he contracted syphilis from a prostitute sometime in the late 1870s when he was in Italy, which led to his eventual insanity and paralysis.