Arthur Schopenhauer on the perils of exhibiting intelligence :
Was für ein Neuling ist doch Der, welcher wähnt, Geist und Verstand zu zeigen wäre ein Mittel, sich in Gesellschaft beliebt zu machen! Vielmehr erregen sie, bei der unberechenbar überwiegenden Mehrzahl, einen Haß und Groll, der um so bitterer ist, als der ihn Fühlende die Ursache desselben anzuklagen nicht berechtigt ist, ja, sie vor sich selbst verhehlet.
You can take a look at the original in . I find the Gothic font rather hard to read and, therefore, I cannot guarantee that I made no mistakes while copying.
Here is T. Bailey Saunders’ translation :
A man must be still a greenhorn in the ways of the world, if he imagines that he can make himself popular in society by exhibiting intelligence and discernment. With the immense majority of people, such qualities excite hatred and resentment, which are rendered all the harder to bear by the fact that people are obliged to suppress–even from themselves–the real reason of their anger.
It would most certainly be instructive to post a longer passage from Saunders’ translation in :
A man must be still a greenhorn in the ways of the world, if he imagines that he can make himself popular in society by exhibiting intelligence and discernment. With the immense majority of people, such qualities excite hatred and resentment, which are rendered all the harder to bear by the fact that people are obliged to suppress—even from themselves—the real reason of their anger.
What actually takes place is this. A man feels and perceives that the person with whom he is conversing is intellectually very much his superior.
He thereupon secretly and half unconsciously concludes that his interlocutor must form a proportionately low and limited estimate of his abilities. That is a method of reasoning—an enthymeme—which rouses the bitterest feelings of sullen and rancorous hatred. And so Gracian is quite right in saying that the only way to win affection from people is to show the most animal-like simplicity of demeanor—para ser bien quisto, el unico medio vestirse la piel del mas simple de los brutos.
To show your intelligence and discernment is only an indirect way of reproaching other people for being dull and incapable. And besides, it is natural for a vulgar man to be violently agitated by the sight of opposition in any form; and in this case envy comes in as the secret cause of his hostility. For it is a matter of daily observation that people take the greatest pleasure in that which satisfies their vanity; and vanity cannot be satisfied without comparison with others. Now, there is nothing of which a man is prouder than of intellectual ability, for it is this that gives him his commanding place in the animal world. It is an exceedingly rash thing to let any one see that you are decidedly superior to him in this respect, and to let other people see it too; because he will then thirst for vengeance, and generally look about for an opportunity of taking it by means of insult, because this is to pass from the sphere of intellect to that of will—and there, all are on an equal footing as regards the feeling of hostility. Hence, while rank and riches may always reckon upon deferential treatment in society, that is something which intellectual ability can never expect; to be ignored is the greatest favor shown to it; and if people notice it at all, it is because they regard it as a piece of impertinence, or else as something to which its possessor has no legitimate right, and upon which he dares to pride himself; and in retaliation and revenge for his conduct, people secretly try and humiliate him in some other way; and if they wait to do this, it is only for a fitting opportunity. A man may be as humble as possible in his demeanor, and yet hardly ever get people to overlook his crime in standing intellectually above them. In the Garden of Roses, Sadi makes the remark:—You should know that foolish people are a hundredfold more averse to meeting the wise than the wise are indisposed for the company of the foolish.
 Arthur Schopenhauer, Parerga und Paralipomena: kleine philosophische Schriften, Berlin, 1851.
 Arthur Schopenhauer, T. Bailey Saunders (translator), Counsels and Maxims by Arthur Schopenhauer, The Echo Library, 2006.
 Arthur Schopenhauer, T. Bailey Saunders (translator), Counsels and Maxims from the Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer, Project Gutenberg, 2004.