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Thus Spake Zarathustra - A Book for All and None
by Friedrich Nietzsche
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A dance-song and satire on the spirit of gravity my supremest, powerfulest devil, who is said to be "lord of the world."—

And this is the song that Zarathustra sang when Cupid and the maidens danced together:

Of late did I gaze into thine eye, O Life! And into the unfathomable did I there seem to sink.

But thou pulledst me out with a golden angle; derisively didst thou laugh when I called thee unfathomable.

"Such is the language of all fish," saidst thou; "what THEY do not fathom is unfathomable.

But changeable am I only, and wild, and altogether a woman, and no virtuous one:

Though I be called by you men the 'profound one,' or the 'faithful one,' 'the eternal one,' 'the mysterious one.'

But ye men endow us always with your own virtues—alas, ye virtuous ones!"

Thus did she laugh, the unbelievable one; but never do I believe her and her laughter, when she speaketh evil of herself.

And when I talked face to face with my wild Wisdom, she said to me angrily: "Thou willest, thou cravest, thou lovest; on that account alone dost thou PRAISE Life!"

Then had I almost answered indignantly and told the truth to the angry one; and one cannot answer more indignantly than when one "telleth the truth" to one's Wisdom.

For thus do things stand with us three. In my heart do I love only Life—and verily, most when I hate her!

But that I am fond of Wisdom, and often too fond, is because she remindeth me very strongly of Life!

She hath her eye, her laugh, and even her golden angle-rod: am I responsible for it that both are so alike?

And when once Life asked me: "Who is she then, this Wisdom?"—then said I eagerly: "Ah, yes! Wisdom!

One thirsteth for her and is not satisfied, one looketh through veils, one graspeth through nets.

Is she beautiful? What do I know! But the oldest carps are still lured by her.

Changeable is she, and wayward; often have I seen her bite her lip, and pass the comb against the grain of her hair.

Perhaps she is wicked and false, and altogether a woman; but when she speaketh ill of herself, just then doth she seduce most."

When I had said this unto Life, then laughed she maliciously, and shut her eyes. "Of whom dost thou speak?" said she. "Perhaps of me?

And if thou wert right—is it proper to say THAT in such wise to my face! But now, pray, speak also of thy Wisdom!"

Ah, and now hast thou again opened thine eyes, O beloved Life! And into the unfathomable have I again seemed to sink.—

Thus sang Zarathustra. But when the dance was over and the maidens had departed, he became sad.

"The sun hath been long set," said he at last, "the meadow is damp, and from the forest cometh coolness.

An unknown presence is about me, and gazeth thoughtfully. What! Thou livest still, Zarathustra?

Why? Wherefore? Whereby? Whither? Where? How? Is it not folly still to live?—

Ah, my friends; the evening is it which thus interrogateth in me. Forgive me my sadness!

Evening hath come on: forgive me that evening hath come on!"

Thus sang Zarathustra.



XXXIII. THE GRAVE-SONG.

"Yonder is the grave-island, the silent isle; yonder also are the graves of my youth. Thither will I carry an evergreen wreath of life."

Resolving thus in my heart, did I sail o'er the sea.—

Oh, ye sights and scenes of my youth! Oh, all ye gleams of love, ye divine fleeting gleams! How could ye perish so soon for me! I think of you to-day as my dead ones.

From you, my dearest dead ones, cometh unto me a sweet savour, heart-opening and melting. Verily, it convulseth and openeth the heart of the lone seafarer.

Still am I the richest and most to be envied—I, the lonesomest one! For I HAVE POSSESSED you, and ye possess me still. Tell me: to whom hath there ever fallen such rosy apples from the tree as have fallen unto me?

Still am I your love's heir and heritage, blooming to your memory with many-hued, wild-growing virtues, O ye dearest ones!

Ah, we were made to remain nigh unto each other, ye kindly strange marvels; and not like timid birds did ye come to me and my longing—nay, but as trusting ones to a trusting one!

Yea, made for faithfulness, like me, and for fond eternities, must I now name you by your faithlessness, ye divine glances and fleeting gleams: no other name have I yet learnt.

Verily, too early did ye die for me, ye fugitives. Yet did ye not flee from me, nor did I flee from you: innocent are we to each other in our faithlessness.

To kill ME, did they strangle you, ye singing birds of my hopes! Yea, at you, ye dearest ones, did malice ever shoot its arrows—to hit my heart!

And they hit it! Because ye were always my dearest, my possession and my possessedness: ON THAT ACCOUNT had ye to die young, and far too early!

At my most vulnerable point did they shoot the arrow—namely, at you, whose skin is like down—or more like the smile that dieth at a glance!

But this word will I say unto mine enemies: What is all manslaughter in comparison with what ye have done unto me!

Worse evil did ye do unto me than all manslaughter; the irretrievable did ye take from me:—thus do I speak unto you, mine enemies!

Slew ye not my youth's visions and dearest marvels! My playmates took ye from me, the blessed spirits! To their memory do I deposit this wreath and this curse.

This curse upon you, mine enemies! Have ye not made mine eternal short, as a tone dieth away in a cold night! Scarcely, as the twinkle of divine eyes, did it come to me—as a fleeting gleam!

Thus spake once in a happy hour my purity: "Divine shall everything be unto me."

Then did ye haunt me with foul phantoms; ah, whither hath that happy hour now fled!

"All days shall be holy unto me"—so spake once the wisdom of my youth: verily, the language of a joyous wisdom!

But then did ye enemies steal my nights, and sold them to sleepless torture: ah, whither hath that joyous wisdom now fled?

Once did I long for happy auspices: then did ye lead an owl-monster across my path, an adverse sign. Ah, whither did my tender longing then flee?

All loathing did I once vow to renounce: then did ye change my nigh ones and nearest ones into ulcerations. Ah, whither did my noblest vow then flee?

As a blind one did I once walk in blessed ways: then did ye cast filth on the blind one's course: and now is he disgusted with the old footpath.

And when I performed my hardest task, and celebrated the triumph of my victories, then did ye make those who loved me call out that I then grieved them most.

Verily, it was always your doing: ye embittered to me my best honey, and the diligence of my best bees.

To my charity have ye ever sent the most impudent beggars; around my sympathy have ye ever crowded the incurably shameless. Thus have ye wounded the faith of my virtue.

And when I offered my holiest as a sacrifice, immediately did your "piety" put its fatter gifts beside it: so that my holiest suffocated in the fumes of your fat.

And once did I want to dance as I had never yet danced: beyond all heavens did I want to dance. Then did ye seduce my favourite minstrel.

And now hath he struck up an awful, melancholy air; alas, he tooted as a mournful horn to mine ear!

Murderous minstrel, instrument of evil, most innocent instrument! Already did I stand prepared for the best dance: then didst thou slay my rapture with thy tones!

Only in the dance do I know how to speak the parable of the highest things:—and now hath my grandest parable remained unspoken in my limbs!

Unspoken and unrealised hath my highest hope remained! And there have perished for me all the visions and consolations of my youth!

How did I ever bear it? How did I survive and surmount such wounds? How did my soul rise again out of those sepulchres?

Yea, something invulnerable, unburiable is with me, something that would rend rocks asunder: it is called MY WILL. Silently doth it proceed, and unchanged throughout the years.

Its course will it go upon my feet, mine old Will; hard of heart is its nature and invulnerable.

Invulnerable am I only in my heel. Ever livest thou there, and art like thyself, thou most patient one! Ever hast thou burst all shackles of the tomb!

In thee still liveth also the unrealisedness of my youth; and as life and youth sittest thou here hopeful on the yellow ruins of graves.

Yea, thou art still for me the demolisher of all graves: Hail to thee, my Will! And only where there are graves are there resurrections.—

Thus sang Zarathustra.



XXXIV. SELF-SURPASSING.

"Will to Truth" do ye call it, ye wisest ones, that which impelleth you and maketh you ardent?

Will for the thinkableness of all being: thus do I call your will!

All being would ye MAKE thinkable: for ye doubt with good reason whether it be already thinkable.

But it shall accommodate and bend itself to you! So willeth your will. Smooth shall it become and subject to the spirit, as its mirror and reflection.

That is your entire will, ye wisest ones, as a Will to Power; and even when ye speak of good and evil, and of estimates of value.

Ye would still create a world before which ye can bow the knee: such is your ultimate hope and ecstasy.

The ignorant, to be sure, the people—they are like a river on which a boat floateth along: and in the boat sit the estimates of value, solemn and disguised.

Your will and your valuations have ye put on the river of becoming; it betrayeth unto me an old Will to Power, what is believed by the people as good and evil.

It was ye, ye wisest ones, who put such guests in this boat, and gave them pomp and proud names—ye and your ruling Will!

Onward the river now carrieth your boat: it MUST carry it. A small matter if the rough wave foameth and angrily resisteth its keel!

It is not the river that is your danger and the end of your good and evil, ye wisest ones: but that Will itself, the Will to Power—the unexhausted, procreating life-will.

But that ye may understand my gospel of good and evil, for that purpose will I tell you my gospel of life, and of the nature of all living things.

The living thing did I follow; I walked in the broadest and narrowest paths to learn its nature.

With a hundred-faced mirror did I catch its glance when its mouth was shut, so that its eye might speak unto me. And its eye spake unto me.

But wherever I found living things, there heard I also the language of obedience. All living things are obeying things.

And this heard I secondly: Whatever cannot obey itself, is commanded. Such is the nature of living things.

This, however, is the third thing which I heard—namely, that commanding is more difficult than obeying. And not only because the commander beareth the burden of all obeyers, and because this burden readily crusheth him:—

An attempt and a risk seemed all commanding unto me; and whenever it commandeth, the living thing risketh itself thereby.

Yea, even when it commandeth itself, then also must it atone for its commanding. Of its own law must it become the judge and avenger and victim.

How doth this happen! so did I ask myself. What persuadeth the living thing to obey, and command, and even be obedient in commanding?

Hearken now unto my word, ye wisest ones! Test it seriously, whether I have crept into the heart of life itself, and into the roots of its heart!

Wherever I found a living thing, there found I Will to Power; and even in the will of the servant found I the will to be master.

That to the stronger the weaker shall serve—thereto persuadeth he his will who would be master over a still weaker one. That delight alone he is unwilling to forego.

And as the lesser surrendereth himself to the greater that he may have delight and power over the least of all, so doth even the greatest surrender himself, and staketh—life, for the sake of power.

It is the surrender of the greatest to run risk and danger, and play dice for death.

And where there is sacrifice and service and love-glances, there also is the will to be master. By by-ways doth the weaker then slink into the fortress, and into the heart of the mightier one—and there stealeth power.

And this secret spake Life herself unto me. "Behold," said she, "I am that WHICH MUST EVER SURPASS ITSELF.

To be sure, ye call it will to procreation, or impulse towards a goal, towards the higher, remoter, more manifold: but all that is one and the same secret.

Rather would I succumb than disown this one thing; and verily, where there is succumbing and leaf-falling, lo, there doth Life sacrifice itself—for power!

That I have to be struggle, and becoming, and purpose, and cross-purpose—ah, he who divineth my will, divineth well also on what CROOKED paths it hath to tread!

Whatever I create, and however much I love it,—soon must I be adverse to it, and to my love: so willeth my will.

And even thou, discerning one, art only a path and footstep of my will: verily, my Will to Power walketh even on the feet of thy Will to Truth!

He certainly did not hit the truth who shot at it the formula: 'Will to existence': that will—doth not exist!

For what is not, cannot will; that, however, which is in existence—how could it still strive for existence!

Only where there is life, is there also will: not, however, Will to Life, but—so teach I thee—Will to Power!

Much is reckoned higher than life itself by the living one; but out of the very reckoning speaketh—the Will to Power!"—

Thus did Life once teach me: and thereby, ye wisest ones, do I solve you the riddle of your hearts.

Verily, I say unto you: good and evil which would be everlasting—it doth not exist! Of its own accord must it ever surpass itself anew.

With your values and formulae of good and evil, ye exercise power, ye valuing ones: and that is your secret love, and the sparkling, trembling, and overflowing of your souls.

But a stronger power groweth out of your values, and a new surpassing: by it breaketh egg and egg-shell.

And he who hath to be a creator in good and evil—verily, he hath first to be a destroyer, and break values in pieces.

Thus doth the greatest evil pertain to the greatest good: that, however, is the creating good.—

Let us SPEAK thereof, ye wisest ones, even though it be bad. To be silent is worse; all suppressed truths become poisonous.

And let everything break up which—can break up by our truths! Many a house is still to be built!—

Thus spake Zarathustra.



XXXV. THE SUBLIME ONES.

Calm is the bottom of my sea: who would guess that it hideth droll monsters!

Unmoved is my depth: but it sparkleth with swimming enigmas and laughters.

A sublime one saw I to-day, a solemn one, a penitent of the spirit: Oh, how my soul laughed at his ugliness!

With upraised breast, and like those who draw in their breath: thus did he stand, the sublime one, and in silence:

O'erhung with ugly truths, the spoil of his hunting, and rich in torn raiment; many thorns also hung on him—but I saw no rose.

Not yet had he learned laughing and beauty. Gloomy did this hunter return from the forest of knowledge.

From the fight with wild beasts returned he home: but even yet a wild beast gazeth out of his seriousness—an unconquered wild beast!

As a tiger doth he ever stand, on the point of springing; but I do not like those strained souls; ungracious is my taste towards all those self-engrossed ones.

And ye tell me, friends, that there is to be no dispute about taste and tasting? But all life is a dispute about taste and tasting!

Taste: that is weight at the same time, and scales and weigher; and alas for every living thing that would live without dispute about weight and scales and weigher!

Should he become weary of his sublimeness, this sublime one, then only will his beauty begin—and then only will I taste him and find him savoury.

And only when he turneth away from himself will he o'erleap his own shadow—and verily! into HIS sun.

Far too long did he sit in the shade; the cheeks of the penitent of the spirit became pale; he almost starved on his expectations.

Contempt is still in his eye, and loathing hideth in his mouth. To be sure, he now resteth, but he hath not yet taken rest in the sunshine.

As the ox ought he to do; and his happiness should smell of the earth, and not of contempt for the earth.

As a white ox would I like to see him, which, snorting and lowing, walketh before the plough-share: and his lowing should also laud all that is earthly!

Dark is still his countenance; the shadow of his hand danceth upon it. O'ershadowed is still the sense of his eye.

His deed itself is still the shadow upon him: his doing obscureth the doer. Not yet hath he overcome his deed.

To be sure, I love in him the shoulders of the ox: but now do I want to see also the eye of the angel.

Also his hero-will hath he still to unlearn: an exalted one shall he be, and not only a sublime one:—the ether itself should raise him, the will-less one!

He hath subdued monsters, he hath solved enigmas. But he should also redeem his monsters and enigmas; into heavenly children should he transform them.

As yet hath his knowledge not learned to smile, and to be without jealousy; as yet hath his gushing passion not become calm in beauty.

Verily, not in satiety shall his longing cease and disappear, but in beauty! Gracefulness belongeth to the munificence of the magnanimous.

His arm across his head: thus should the hero repose; thus should he also surmount his repose.

But precisely to the hero is BEAUTY the hardest thing of all. Unattainable is beauty by all ardent wills.

A little more, a little less: precisely this is much here, it is the most here.

To stand with relaxed muscles and with unharnessed will: that is the hardest for all of you, ye sublime ones!

When power becometh gracious and descendeth into the visible—I call such condescension, beauty.

And from no one do I want beauty so much as from thee, thou powerful one: let thy goodness be thy last self-conquest.

All evil do I accredit to thee: therefore do I desire of thee the good.

Verily, I have often laughed at the weaklings, who think themselves good because they have crippled paws!

The virtue of the pillar shalt thou strive after: more beautiful doth it ever become, and more graceful—but internally harder and more sustaining—the higher it riseth.

Yea, thou sublime one, one day shalt thou also be beautiful, and hold up the mirror to thine own beauty.

Then will thy soul thrill with divine desires; and there will be adoration even in thy vanity!

For this is the secret of the soul: when the hero hath abandoned it, then only approacheth it in dreams—the superhero.—

Thus spake Zarathustra.



XXXVI. THE LAND OF CULTURE.

Too far did I fly into the future: a horror seized upon me.

And when I looked around me, lo! there time was my sole contemporary.

Then did I fly backwards, homewards—and always faster. Thus did I come unto you, ye present-day men, and into the land of culture.

For the first time brought I an eye to see you, and good desire: verily, with longing in my heart did I come.

But how did it turn out with me? Although so alarmed—I had yet to laugh! Never did mine eye see anything so motley-coloured!

I laughed and laughed, while my foot still trembled, and my heart as well. "Here forsooth, is the home of all the paintpots,"—said I.

With fifty patches painted on faces and limbs—so sat ye there to mine astonishment, ye present-day men!

And with fifty mirrors around you, which flattered your play of colours, and repeated it!

Verily, ye could wear no better masks, ye present-day men, than your own faces! Who could—RECOGNISE you!

Written all over with the characters of the past, and these characters also pencilled over with new characters—thus have ye concealed yourselves well from all decipherers!

And though one be a trier of the reins, who still believeth that ye have reins! Out of colours ye seem to be baked, and out of glued scraps.

All times and peoples gaze divers-coloured out of your veils; all customs and beliefs speak divers-coloured out of your gestures.

He who would strip you of veils and wrappers, and paints and gestures, would just have enough left to scare the crows.

Verily, I myself am the scared crow that once saw you naked, and without paint; and I flew away when the skeleton ogled at me.

Rather would I be a day-labourer in the nether-world, and among the shades of the by-gone!—Fatter and fuller than ye, are forsooth the nether-worldlings!

This, yea this, is bitterness to my bowels, that I can neither endure you naked nor clothed, ye present-day men!

All that is unhomelike in the future, and whatever maketh strayed birds shiver, is verily more homelike and familiar than your "reality."

For thus speak ye: "Real are we wholly, and without faith and superstition": thus do ye plume yourselves—alas! even without plumes!

Indeed, how would ye be ABLE to believe, ye divers-coloured ones!—ye who are pictures of all that hath ever been believed!

Perambulating refutations are ye, of belief itself, and a dislocation of all thought. UNTRUSTWORTHY ONES: thus do I call you, ye real ones!

All periods prate against one another in your spirits; and the dreams and pratings of all periods were even realer than your awakeness!

Unfruitful are ye: THEREFORE do ye lack belief. But he who had to create, had always his presaging dreams and astral premonitions—and believed in believing!—

Half-open doors are ye, at which grave-diggers wait. And this is YOUR reality: "Everything deserveth to perish."

Alas, how ye stand there before me, ye unfruitful ones; how lean your ribs! And many of you surely have had knowledge thereof.

Many a one hath said: "There hath surely a God filched something from me secretly whilst I slept? Verily, enough to make a girl for himself therefrom!

"Amazing is the poverty of my ribs!" thus hath spoken many a present-day man.

Yea, ye are laughable unto me, ye present-day men! And especially when ye marvel at yourselves!

And woe unto me if I could not laugh at your marvelling, and had to swallow all that is repugnant in your platters!

As it is, however, I will make lighter of you, since I have to carry what is heavy; and what matter if beetles and May-bugs also alight on my load!

Verily, it shall not on that account become heavier to me! And not from you, ye present-day men, shall my great weariness arise.—

Ah, whither shall I now ascend with my longing! From all mountains do I look out for fatherlands and motherlands.

But a home have I found nowhere: unsettled am I in all cities, and decamping at all gates.

Alien to me, and a mockery, are the present-day men, to whom of late my heart impelled me; and exiled am I from fatherlands and motherlands.

Thus do I love only my CHILDREN'S LAND, the undiscovered in the remotest sea: for it do I bid my sails search and search.

Unto my children will I make amends for being the child of my fathers: and unto all the future—for THIS present-day!—

Thus spake Zarathustra.



XXXVII. IMMACULATE PERCEPTION.

When yester-eve the moon arose, then did I fancy it about to bear a sun: so broad and teeming did it lie on the horizon.

But it was a liar with its pregnancy; and sooner will I believe in the man in the moon than in the woman.

To be sure, little of a man is he also, that timid night-reveller. Verily, with a bad conscience doth he stalk over the roofs.

For he is covetous and jealous, the monk in the moon; covetous of the earth, and all the joys of lovers.

Nay, I like him not, that tom-cat on the roofs! Hateful unto me are all that slink around half-closed windows!

Piously and silently doth he stalk along on the star-carpets:—but I like no light-treading human feet, on which not even a spur jingleth.

Every honest one's step speaketh; the cat however, stealeth along over the ground. Lo! cat-like doth the moon come along, and dishonestly.—

This parable speak I unto you sentimental dissemblers, unto you, the "pure discerners!" You do I call—covetous ones!

Also ye love the earth, and the earthly: I have divined you well!—but shame is in your love, and a bad conscience—ye are like the moon!

To despise the earthly hath your spirit been persuaded, but not your bowels: these, however, are the strongest in you!

And now is your spirit ashamed to be at the service of your bowels, and goeth by-ways and lying ways to escape its own shame.

"That would be the highest thing for me"—so saith your lying spirit unto itself—"to gaze upon life without desire, and not like the dog, with hanging-out tongue:

To be happy in gazing: with dead will, free from the grip and greed of selfishness—cold and ashy-grey all over, but with intoxicated moon-eyes!

That would be the dearest thing to me"—thus doth the seduced one seduce himself,—"to love the earth as the moon loveth it, and with the eye only to feel its beauty.

And this do I call IMMACULATE perception of all things: to want nothing else from them, but to be allowed to lie before them as a mirror with a hundred facets."—

Oh, ye sentimental dissemblers, ye covetous ones! Ye lack innocence in your desire: and now do ye defame desiring on that account!

Verily, not as creators, as procreators, or as jubilators do ye love the earth!

Where is innocence? Where there is will to procreation. And he who seeketh to create beyond himself, hath for me the purest will.

Where is beauty? Where I MUST WILL with my whole Will; where I will love and perish, that an image may not remain merely an image.

Loving and perishing: these have rhymed from eternity. Will to love: that is to be ready also for death. Thus do I speak unto you cowards!

But now doth your emasculated ogling profess to be "contemplation!" And that which can be examined with cowardly eyes is to be christened "beautiful!" Oh, ye violators of noble names!

But it shall be your curse, ye immaculate ones, ye pure discerners, that ye shall never bring forth, even though ye lie broad and teeming on the horizon!

Verily, ye fill your mouth with noble words: and we are to believe that your heart overfloweth, ye cozeners?

But MY words are poor, contemptible, stammering words: gladly do I pick up what falleth from the table at your repasts.

Yet still can I say therewith the truth—to dissemblers! Yea, my fish-bones, shells, and prickly leaves shall—tickle the noses of dissemblers!

Bad air is always about you and your repasts: your lascivious thoughts, your lies, and secrets are indeed in the air!

Dare only to believe in yourselves—in yourselves and in your inward parts! He who doth not believe in himself always lieth.

A God's mask have ye hung in front of you, ye "pure ones": into a God's mask hath your execrable coiling snake crawled.

Verily ye deceive, ye "contemplative ones!" Even Zarathustra was once the dupe of your godlike exterior; he did not divine the serpent's coil with which it was stuffed.

A God's soul, I once thought I saw playing in your games, ye pure discerners! No better arts did I once dream of than your arts!

Serpents' filth and evil odour, the distance concealed from me: and that a lizard's craft prowled thereabouts lasciviously.

But I came NIGH unto you: then came to me the day,—and now cometh it to you,—at an end is the moon's love affair!

See there! Surprised and pale doth it stand—before the rosy dawn!

For already she cometh, the glowing one,—HER love to the earth cometh! Innocence and creative desire, is all solar love!

See there, how she cometh impatiently over the sea! Do ye not feel the thirst and the hot breath of her love?

At the sea would she suck, and drink its depths to her height: now riseth the desire of the sea with its thousand breasts.

Kissed and sucked WOULD it be by the thirst of the sun; vapour WOULD it become, and height, and path of light, and light itself!

Verily, like the sun do I love life, and all deep seas.

And this meaneth TO ME knowledge: all that is deep shall ascend—to my height!—

Thus spake Zarathustra.



XXXVIII. SCHOLARS.

When I lay asleep, then did a sheep eat at the ivy-wreath on my head,—it ate, and said thereby: "Zarathustra is no longer a scholar."

It said this, and went away clumsily and proudly. A child told it to me.

I like to lie here where the children play, beside the ruined wall, among thistles and red poppies.

A scholar am I still to the children, and also to the thistles and red poppies. Innocent are they, even in their wickedness.

But to the sheep I am no longer a scholar: so willeth my lot—blessings upon it!

For this is the truth: I have departed from the house of the scholars, and the door have I also slammed behind me.

Too long did my soul sit hungry at their table: not like them have I got the knack of investigating, as the knack of nut-cracking.

Freedom do I love, and the air over fresh soil; rather would I sleep on ox-skins than on their honours and dignities.

I am too hot and scorched with mine own thought: often is it ready to take away my breath. Then have I to go into the open air, and away from all dusty rooms.

But they sit cool in the cool shade: they want in everything to be merely spectators, and they avoid sitting where the sun burneth on the steps.

Like those who stand in the street and gape at the passers-by: thus do they also wait, and gape at the thoughts which others have thought.

Should one lay hold of them, then do they raise a dust like flour-sacks, and involuntarily: but who would divine that their dust came from corn, and from the yellow delight of the summer fields?

When they give themselves out as wise, then do their petty sayings and truths chill me: in their wisdom there is often an odour as if it came from the swamp; and verily, I have even heard the frog croak in it!

Clever are they—they have dexterous fingers: what doth MY simplicity pretend to beside their multiplicity! All threading and knitting and weaving do their fingers understand: thus do they make the hose of the spirit!

Good clockworks are they: only be careful to wind them up properly! Then do they indicate the hour without mistake, and make a modest noise thereby.

Like millstones do they work, and like pestles: throw only seed-corn unto them!—they know well how to grind corn small, and make white dust out of it.

They keep a sharp eye on one another, and do not trust each other the best. Ingenious in little artifices, they wait for those whose knowledge walketh on lame feet,—like spiders do they wait.

I saw them always prepare their poison with precaution; and always did they put glass gloves on their fingers in doing so.

They also know how to play with false dice; and so eagerly did I find them playing, that they perspired thereby.

We are alien to each other, and their virtues are even more repugnant to my taste than their falsehoods and false dice.

And when I lived with them, then did I live above them. Therefore did they take a dislike to me.

They want to hear nothing of any one walking above their heads; and so they put wood and earth and rubbish betwixt me and their heads.

Thus did they deafen the sound of my tread: and least have I hitherto been heard by the most learned.

All mankind's faults and weaknesses did they put betwixt themselves and me:—they call it "false ceiling" in their houses.

But nevertheless I walk with my thoughts ABOVE their heads; and even should I walk on mine own errors, still would I be above them and their heads.

For men are NOT equal: so speaketh justice. And what I will, THEY may not will!—

Thus spake Zarathustra.



XXXIX. POETS.

"Since I have known the body better"—said Zarathustra to one of his disciples—"the spirit hath only been to me symbolically spirit; and all the 'imperishable'—that is also but a simile."

"So have I heard thee say once before," answered the disciple, "and then thou addedst: 'But the poets lie too much.' Why didst thou say that the poets lie too much?"

"Why?" said Zarathustra. "Thou askest why? I do not belong to those who may be asked after their Why.

Is my experience but of yesterday? It is long ago that I experienced the reasons for mine opinions.

Should I not have to be a cask of memory, if I also wanted to have my reasons with me?

It is already too much for me even to retain mine opinions; and many a bird flieth away.

And sometimes, also, do I find a fugitive creature in my dovecote, which is alien to me, and trembleth when I lay my hand upon it.

But what did Zarathustra once say unto thee? That the poets lie too much?—But Zarathustra also is a poet.

Believest thou that he there spake the truth? Why dost thou believe it?"

The disciple answered: "I believe in Zarathustra." But Zarathustra shook his head and smiled.—

Belief doth not sanctify me, said he, least of all the belief in myself.

But granting that some one did say in all seriousness that the poets lie too much: he was right—WE do lie too much.

We also know too little, and are bad learners: so we are obliged to lie.

And which of us poets hath not adulterated his wine? Many a poisonous hotchpotch hath evolved in our cellars: many an indescribable thing hath there been done.

And because we know little, therefore are we pleased from the heart with the poor in spirit, especially when they are young women!

And even of those things are we desirous, which old women tell one another in the evening. This do we call the eternally feminine in us.

And as if there were a special secret access to knowledge, which CHOKETH UP for those who learn anything, so do we believe in the people and in their "wisdom."

This, however, do all poets believe: that whoever pricketh up his ears when lying in the grass or on lonely slopes, learneth something of the things that are betwixt heaven and earth.

And if there come unto them tender emotions, then do the poets always think that nature herself is in love with them:

And that she stealeth to their ear to whisper secrets into it, and amorous flatteries: of this do they plume and pride themselves, before all mortals!

Ah, there are so many things betwixt heaven and earth of which only the poets have dreamed!

And especially ABOVE the heavens: for all Gods are poet-symbolisations, poet-sophistications!

Verily, ever are we drawn aloft—that is, to the realm of the clouds: on these do we set our gaudy puppets, and then call them Gods and Supermen:—

Are not they light enough for those chairs!—all these Gods and Supermen?—

Ah, how I am weary of all the inadequate that is insisted on as actual! Ah, how I am weary of the poets!

When Zarathustra so spake, his disciple resented it, but was silent. And Zarathustra also was silent; and his eye directed itself inwardly, as if it gazed into the far distance. At last he sighed and drew breath.—

I am of to-day and heretofore, said he thereupon; but something is in me that is of the morrow, and the day following, and the hereafter.

I became weary of the poets, of the old and of the new: superficial are they all unto me, and shallow seas.

They did not think sufficiently into the depth; therefore their feeling did not reach to the bottom.

Some sensation of voluptuousness and some sensation of tedium: these have as yet been their best contemplation.

Ghost-breathing and ghost-whisking, seemeth to me all the jingle-jangling of their harps; what have they known hitherto of the fervour of tones!—

They are also not pure enough for me: they all muddle their water that it may seem deep.

And fain would they thereby prove themselves reconcilers: but mediaries and mixers are they unto me, and half-and-half, and impure!—

Ah, I cast indeed my net into their sea, and meant to catch good fish; but always did I draw up the head of some ancient God.

Thus did the sea give a stone to the hungry one. And they themselves may well originate from the sea.

Certainly, one findeth pearls in them: thereby they are the more like hard molluscs. And instead of a soul, I have often found in them salt slime.

They have learned from the sea also its vanity: is not the sea the peacock of peacocks?

Even before the ugliest of all buffaloes doth it spread out its tail; never doth it tire of its lace-fan of silver and silk.

Disdainfully doth the buffalo glance thereat, nigh to the sand with its soul, nigher still to the thicket, nighest, however, to the swamp.

What is beauty and sea and peacock-splendour to it! This parable I speak unto the poets.

Verily, their spirit itself is the peacock of peacocks, and a sea of vanity!

Spectators, seeketh the spirit of the poet—should they even be buffaloes!—

But of this spirit became I weary; and I see the time coming when it will become weary of itself.

Yea, changed have I seen the poets, and their glance turned towards themselves.

Penitents of the spirit have I seen appearing; they grew out of the poets.—

Thus spake Zarathustra.



XL. GREAT EVENTS.

There is an isle in the sea—not far from the Happy Isles of Zarathustra—on which a volcano ever smoketh; of which isle the people, and especially the old women amongst them, say that it is placed as a rock before the gate of the nether-world; but that through the volcano itself the narrow way leadeth downwards which conducteth to this gate.

Now about the time that Zarathustra sojourned on the Happy Isles, it happened that a ship anchored at the isle on which standeth the smoking mountain, and the crew went ashore to shoot rabbits. About the noontide hour, however, when the captain and his men were together again, they saw suddenly a man coming towards them through the air, and a voice said distinctly: "It is time! It is the highest time!" But when the figure was nearest to them (it flew past quickly, however, like a shadow, in the direction of the volcano), then did they recognise with the greatest surprise that it was Zarathustra; for they had all seen him before except the captain himself, and they loved him as the people love: in such wise that love and awe were combined in equal degree.

"Behold!" said the old helmsman, "there goeth Zarathustra to hell!"

About the same time that these sailors landed on the fire-isle, there was a rumour that Zarathustra had disappeared; and when his friends were asked about it, they said that he had gone on board a ship by night, without saying whither he was going.

Thus there arose some uneasiness. After three days, however, there came the story of the ship's crew in addition to this uneasiness—and then did all the people say that the devil had taken Zarathustra. His disciples laughed, sure enough, at this talk; and one of them said even: "Sooner would I believe that Zarathustra hath taken the devil." But at the bottom of their hearts they were all full of anxiety and longing: so their joy was great when on the fifth day Zarathustra appeared amongst them.

And this is the account of Zarathustra's interview with the fire-dog:

The earth, said he, hath a skin; and this skin hath diseases. One of these diseases, for example, is called "man."

And another of these diseases is called "the fire-dog": concerning HIM men have greatly deceived themselves, and let themselves be deceived.

To fathom this mystery did I go o'er the sea; and I have seen the truth naked, verily! barefooted up to the neck.

Now do I know how it is concerning the fire-dog; and likewise concerning all the spouting and subversive devils, of which not only old women are afraid.

"Up with thee, fire-dog, out of thy depth!" cried I, "and confess how deep that depth is! Whence cometh that which thou snortest up?

Thou drinkest copiously at the sea: that doth thine embittered eloquence betray! In sooth, for a dog of the depth, thou takest thy nourishment too much from the surface!

At the most, I regard thee as the ventriloquist of the earth: and ever, when I have heard subversive and spouting devils speak, I have found them like thee: embittered, mendacious, and shallow.

Ye understand how to roar and obscure with ashes! Ye are the best braggarts, and have sufficiently learned the art of making dregs boil.

Where ye are, there must always be dregs at hand, and much that is spongy, hollow, and compressed: it wanteth to have freedom.

'Freedom' ye all roar most eagerly: but I have unlearned the belief in 'great events,' when there is much roaring and smoke about them.

And believe me, friend Hullabaloo! The greatest events—are not our noisiest, but our stillest hours.

Not around the inventors of new noise, but around the inventors of new values, doth the world revolve; INAUDIBLY it revolveth.

And just own to it! Little had ever taken place when thy noise and smoke passed away. What, if a city did become a mummy, and a statue lay in the mud!

And this do I say also to the o'erthrowers of statues: It is certainly the greatest folly to throw salt into the sea, and statues into the mud.

In the mud of your contempt lay the statue: but it is just its law, that out of contempt, its life and living beauty grow again!

With diviner features doth it now arise, seducing by its suffering; and verily! it will yet thank you for o'erthrowing it, ye subverters!

This counsel, however, do I counsel to kings and churches, and to all that is weak with age or virtue—let yourselves be o'erthrown! That ye may again come to life, and that virtue—may come to you!—"

Thus spake I before the fire-dog: then did he interrupt me sullenly, and asked: "Church? What is that?"

"Church?" answered I, "that is a kind of state, and indeed the most mendacious. But remain quiet, thou dissembling dog! Thou surely knowest thine own species best!

Like thyself the state is a dissembling dog; like thee doth it like to speak with smoke and roaring—to make believe, like thee, that it speaketh out of the heart of things.

For it seeketh by all means to be the most important creature on earth, the state; and people think it so."

When I had said this, the fire-dog acted as if mad with envy. "What!" cried he, "the most important creature on earth? And people think it so?" And so much vapour and terrible voices came out of his throat, that I thought he would choke with vexation and envy.

At last he became calmer and his panting subsided; as soon, however, as he was quiet, I said laughingly:

"Thou art angry, fire-dog: so I am in the right about thee!

And that I may also maintain the right, hear the story of another fire-dog; he speaketh actually out of the heart of the earth.

Gold doth his breath exhale, and golden rain: so doth his heart desire. What are ashes and smoke and hot dregs to him!

Laughter flitteth from him like a variegated cloud; adverse is he to thy gargling and spewing and grips in the bowels!

The gold, however, and the laughter—these doth he take out of the heart of the earth: for, that thou mayst know it,—THE HEART OF THE EARTH IS OF GOLD."

When the fire-dog heard this, he could no longer endure to listen to me. Abashed did he draw in his tail, said "bow-wow!" in a cowed voice, and crept down into his cave.—

Thus told Zarathustra. His disciples, however, hardly listened to him: so great was their eagerness to tell him about the sailors, the rabbits, and the flying man.

"What am I to think of it!" said Zarathustra. "Am I indeed a ghost?

But it may have been my shadow. Ye have surely heard something of the Wanderer and his Shadow?

One thing, however, is certain: I must keep a tighter hold of it; otherwise it will spoil my reputation."

And once more Zarathustra shook his head and wondered. "What am I to think of it!" said he once more.

"Why did the ghost cry: 'It is time! It is the highest time!'

For WHAT is it then—the highest time?"—

Thus spake Zarathustra.



XLI. THE SOOTHSAYER.

"-And I saw a great sadness come over mankind. The best turned weary of their works.

A doctrine appeared, a faith ran beside it: 'All is empty, all is alike, all hath been!'

And from all hills there re-echoed: 'All is empty, all is alike, all hath been!'

To be sure we have harvested: but why have all our fruits become rotten and brown? What was it fell last night from the evil moon?

In vain was all our labour, poison hath our wine become, the evil eye hath singed yellow our fields and hearts.

Arid have we all become; and fire falling upon us, then do we turn dust like ashes:—yea, the fire itself have we made aweary.

All our fountains have dried up, even the sea hath receded. All the ground trieth to gape, but the depth will not swallow!

'Alas! where is there still a sea in which one could be drowned?' so soundeth our plaint—across shallow swamps.

Verily, even for dying have we become too weary; now do we keep awake and live on—in sepulchres."

Thus did Zarathustra hear a soothsayer speak; and the foreboding touched his heart and transformed him. Sorrowfully did he go about and wearily; and he became like unto those of whom the soothsayer had spoken.—

Verily, said he unto his disciples, a little while, and there cometh the long twilight. Alas, how shall I preserve my light through it!

That it may not smother in this sorrowfulness! To remoter worlds shall it be a light, and also to remotest nights!

Thus did Zarathustra go about grieved in his heart, and for three days he did not take any meat or drink: he had no rest, and lost his speech. At last it came to pass that he fell into a deep sleep. His disciples, however, sat around him in long night-watches, and waited anxiously to see if he would awake, and speak again, and recover from his affliction.

And this is the discourse that Zarathustra spake when he awoke; his voice, however, came unto his disciples as from afar:

Hear, I pray you, the dream that I dreamed, my friends, and help me to divine its meaning!

A riddle is it still unto me, this dream; the meaning is hidden in it and encaged, and doth not yet fly above it on free pinions.

All life had I renounced, so I dreamed. Night-watchman and grave-guardian had I become, aloft, in the lone mountain-fortress of Death.

There did I guard his coffins: full stood the musty vaults of those trophies of victory. Out of glass coffins did vanquished life gaze upon me.

The odour of dust-covered eternities did I breathe: sultry and dust-covered lay my soul. And who could have aired his soul there!

Brightness of midnight was ever around me; lonesomeness cowered beside her; and as a third, death-rattle stillness, the worst of my female friends.

Keys did I carry, the rustiest of all keys; and I knew how to open with them the most creaking of all gates.

Like a bitterly angry croaking ran the sound through the long corridors when the leaves of the gate opened: ungraciously did this bird cry, unwillingly was it awakened.

But more frightful even, and more heart-strangling was it, when it again became silent and still all around, and I alone sat in that malignant silence.

Thus did time pass with me, and slip by, if time there still was: what do I know thereof! But at last there happened that which awoke me.

Thrice did there peal peals at the gate like thunders, thrice did the vaults resound and howl again: then did I go to the gate.

Alpa! cried I, who carrieth his ashes unto the mountain? Alpa! Alpa! who carrieth his ashes unto the mountain?

And I pressed the key, and pulled at the gate, and exerted myself. But not a finger's-breadth was it yet open:

Then did a roaring wind tear the folds apart: whistling, whizzing, and piercing, it threw unto me a black coffin.

And in the roaring, and whistling, and whizzing the coffin burst up, and spouted out a thousand peals of laughter.

And a thousand caricatures of children, angels, owls, fools, and child-sized butterflies laughed and mocked, and roared at me.

Fearfully was I terrified thereby: it prostrated me. And I cried with horror as I ne'er cried before.

But mine own crying awoke me:—and I came to myself.—

Thus did Zarathustra relate his dream, and then was silent: for as yet he knew not the interpretation thereof. But the disciple whom he loved most arose quickly, seized Zarathustra's hand, and said:

"Thy life itself interpreteth unto us this dream, O Zarathustra!

Art thou not thyself the wind with shrill whistling, which bursteth open the gates of the fortress of Death?

Art thou not thyself the coffin full of many-hued malices and angel-caricatures of life?

Verily, like a thousand peals of children's laughter cometh Zarathustra into all sepulchres, laughing at those night-watchmen and grave-guardians, and whoever else rattleth with sinister keys.

With thy laughter wilt thou frighten and prostrate them: fainting and recovering will demonstrate thy power over them.

And when the long twilight cometh and the mortal weariness, even then wilt thou not disappear from our firmament, thou advocate of life!

New stars hast thou made us see, and new nocturnal glories: verily, laughter itself hast thou spread out over us like a many-hued canopy.

Now will children's laughter ever from coffins flow; now will a strong wind ever come victoriously unto all mortal weariness: of this thou art thyself the pledge and the prophet!

Verily, THEY THEMSELVES DIDST THOU DREAM, thine enemies: that was thy sorest dream.

But as thou awokest from them and camest to thyself, so shall they awaken from themselves—and come unto thee!"

Thus spake the disciple; and all the others then thronged around Zarathustra, grasped him by the hands, and tried to persuade him to leave his bed and his sadness, and return unto them. Zarathustra, however, sat upright on his couch, with an absent look. Like one returning from long foreign sojourn did he look on his disciples, and examined their features; but still he knew them not. When, however, they raised him, and set him upon his feet, behold, all on a sudden his eye changed; he understood everything that had happened, stroked his beard, and said with a strong voice:

"Well! this hath just its time; but see to it, my disciples, that we have a good repast; and without delay! Thus do I mean to make amends for bad dreams!

The soothsayer, however, shall eat and drink at my side: and verily, I will yet show him a sea in which he can drown himself!"—

Thus spake Zarathustra. Then did he gaze long into the face of the disciple who had been the dream-interpreter, and shook his head.—



XLII. REDEMPTION.

When Zarathustra went one day over the great bridge, then did the cripples and beggars surround him, and a hunchback spake thus unto him:

"Behold, Zarathustra! Even the people learn from thee, and acquire faith in thy teaching: but for them to believe fully in thee, one thing is still needful—thou must first of all convince us cripples! Here hast thou now a fine selection, and verily, an opportunity with more than one forelock! The blind canst thou heal, and make the lame run; and from him who hath too much behind, couldst thou well, also, take away a little;—that, I think, would be the right method to make the cripples believe in Zarathustra!"

Zarathustra, however, answered thus unto him who so spake: When one taketh his hump from the hunchback, then doth one take from him his spirit—so do the people teach. And when one giveth the blind man eyes, then doth he see too many bad things on the earth: so that he curseth him who healed him. He, however, who maketh the lame man run, inflicteth upon him the greatest injury; for hardly can he run, when his vices run away with him—so do the people teach concerning cripples. And why should not Zarathustra also learn from the people, when the people learn from Zarathustra?

It is, however, the smallest thing unto me since I have been amongst men, to see one person lacking an eye, another an ear, and a third a leg, and that others have lost the tongue, or the nose, or the head.

I see and have seen worse things, and divers things so hideous, that I should neither like to speak of all matters, nor even keep silent about some of them: namely, men who lack everything, except that they have too much of one thing—men who are nothing more than a big eye, or a big mouth, or a big belly, or something else big,—reversed cripples, I call such men.

And when I came out of my solitude, and for the first time passed over this bridge, then I could not trust mine eyes, but looked again and again, and said at last: "That is an ear! An ear as big as a man!" I looked still more attentively—and actually there did move under the ear something that was pitiably small and poor and slim. And in truth this immense ear was perched on a small thin stalk—the stalk, however, was a man! A person putting a glass to his eyes, could even recognise further a small envious countenance, and also that a bloated soullet dangled at the stalk. The people told me, however, that the big ear was not only a man, but a great man, a genius. But I never believed in the people when they spake of great men—and I hold to my belief that it was a reversed cripple, who had too little of everything, and too much of one thing.

When Zarathustra had spoken thus unto the hunchback, and unto those of whom the hunchback was the mouthpiece and advocate, then did he turn to his disciples in profound dejection, and said:

Verily, my friends, I walk amongst men as amongst the fragments and limbs of human beings!

This is the terrible thing to mine eye, that I find man broken up, and scattered about, as on a battle- and butcher-ground.

And when mine eye fleeth from the present to the bygone, it findeth ever the same: fragments and limbs and fearful chances—but no men!

The present and the bygone upon earth—ah! my friends—that is MY most unbearable trouble; and I should not know how to live, if I were not a seer of what is to come.

A seer, a purposer, a creator, a future itself, and a bridge to the future—and alas! also as it were a cripple on this bridge: all that is Zarathustra.

And ye also asked yourselves often: "Who is Zarathustra to us? What shall he be called by us?" And like me, did ye give yourselves questions for answers.

Is he a promiser? Or a fulfiller? A conqueror? Or an inheritor? A harvest? Or a ploughshare? A physician? Or a healed one?

Is he a poet? Or a genuine one? An emancipator? Or a subjugator? A good one? Or an evil one?

I walk amongst men as the fragments of the future: that future which I contemplate.

And it is all my poetisation and aspiration to compose and collect into unity what is fragment and riddle and fearful chance.

And how could I endure to be a man, if man were not also the composer, and riddle-reader, and redeemer of chance!

To redeem what is past, and to transform every "It was" into "Thus would I have it!"—that only do I call redemption!

Will—so is the emancipator and joy-bringer called: thus have I taught you, my friends! But now learn this likewise: the Will itself is still a prisoner.

Willing emancipateth: but what is that called which still putteth the emancipator in chains?

"It was": thus is the Will's teeth-gnashing and lonesomest tribulation called. Impotent towards what hath been done—it is a malicious spectator of all that is past.

Not backward can the Will will; that it cannot break time and time's desire—that is the Will's lonesomest tribulation.

Willing emancipateth: what doth Willing itself devise in order to get free from its tribulation and mock at its prison?

Ah, a fool becometh every prisoner! Foolishly delivereth itself also the imprisoned Will.

That time doth not run backward—that is its animosity: "That which was": so is the stone which it cannot roll called.

And thus doth it roll stones out of animosity and ill-humour, and taketh revenge on whatever doth not, like it, feel rage and ill-humour.

Thus did the Will, the emancipator, become a torturer; and on all that is capable of suffering it taketh revenge, because it cannot go backward.

This, yea, this alone is REVENGE itself: the Will's antipathy to time, and its "It was."

Verily, a great folly dwelleth in our Will; and it became a curse unto all humanity, that this folly acquired spirit!

THE SPIRIT OF REVENGE: my friends, that hath hitherto been man's best contemplation; and where there was suffering, it was claimed there was always penalty.

"Penalty," so calleth itself revenge. With a lying word it feigneth a good conscience.

And because in the willer himself there is suffering, because he cannot will backwards—thus was Willing itself, and all life, claimed—to be penalty!

And then did cloud after cloud roll over the spirit, until at last madness preached: "Everything perisheth, therefore everything deserveth to perish!"

"And this itself is justice, the law of time—that he must devour his children:" thus did madness preach.

"Morally are things ordered according to justice and penalty. Oh, where is there deliverance from the flux of things and from the 'existence' of penalty?" Thus did madness preach.

"Can there be deliverance when there is eternal justice? Alas, unrollable is the stone, 'It was': eternal must also be all penalties!" Thus did madness preach.

"No deed can be annihilated: how could it be undone by the penalty! This, this is what is eternal in the 'existence' of penalty, that existence also must be eternally recurring deed and guilt!

Unless the Will should at last deliver itself, and Willing become non-Willing—:" but ye know, my brethren, this fabulous song of madness!

Away from those fabulous songs did I lead you when I taught you: "The Will is a creator."

All "It was" is a fragment, a riddle, a fearful chance—until the creating Will saith thereto: "But thus would I have it."—

Until the creating Will saith thereto: "But thus do I will it! Thus shall I will it!"

But did it ever speak thus? And when doth this take place? Hath the Will been unharnessed from its own folly?

Hath the Will become its own deliverer and joy-bringer? Hath it unlearned the spirit of revenge and all teeth-gnashing?

And who hath taught it reconciliation with time, and something higher than all reconciliation?

Something higher than all reconciliation must the Will will which is the Will to Power—: but how doth that take place? Who hath taught it also to will backwards?

—But at this point in his discourse it chanced that Zarathustra suddenly paused, and looked like a person in the greatest alarm. With terror in his eyes did he gaze on his disciples; his glances pierced as with arrows their thoughts and arrear-thoughts. But after a brief space he again laughed, and said soothedly:

"It is difficult to live amongst men, because silence is so difficult— especially for a babbler."—

Thus spake Zarathustra. The hunchback, however, had listened to the conversation and had covered his face during the time; but when he heard Zarathustra laugh, he looked up with curiosity, and said slowly:

"But why doth Zarathustra speak otherwise unto us than unto his disciples?"

Zarathustra answered: "What is there to be wondered at! With hunchbacks one may well speak in a hunchbacked way!"

"Very good," said the hunchback; "and with pupils one may well tell tales out of school.

But why doth Zarathustra speak otherwise unto his pupils—than unto himself?"—



XLIII. MANLY PRUDENCE.

Not the height, it is the declivity that is terrible!

The declivity, where the gaze shooteth DOWNWARDS, and the hand graspeth UPWARDS. There doth the heart become giddy through its double will.

Ah, friends, do ye divine also my heart's double will?

This, this is MY declivity and my danger, that my gaze shooteth towards the summit, and my hand would fain clutch and lean—on the depth!

To man clingeth my will; with chains do I bind myself to man, because I am pulled upwards to the Superman: for thither doth mine other will tend.

And THEREFORE do I live blindly among men, as if I knew them not: that my hand may not entirely lose belief in firmness.

I know not you men: this gloom and consolation is often spread around me.

I sit at the gateway for every rogue, and ask: Who wisheth to deceive me?

This is my first manly prudence, that I allow myself to be deceived, so as not to be on my guard against deceivers.

Ah, if I were on my guard against man, how could man be an anchor to my ball! Too easily would I be pulled upwards and away!

This providence is over my fate, that I have to be without foresight.

And he who would not languish amongst men, must learn to drink out of all glasses; and he who would keep clean amongst men, must know how to wash himself even with dirty water.

And thus spake I often to myself for consolation: "Courage! Cheer up! old heart! An unhappiness hath failed to befall thee: enjoy that as thy—happiness!"

This, however, is mine other manly prudence: I am more forbearing to the VAIN than to the proud.

Is not wounded vanity the mother of all tragedies? Where, however, pride is wounded, there there groweth up something better than pride.

That life may be fair to behold, its game must be well played; for that purpose, however, it needeth good actors.

Good actors have I found all the vain ones: they play, and wish people to be fond of beholding them—all their spirit is in this wish.

They represent themselves, they invent themselves; in their neighbourhood I like to look upon life—it cureth of melancholy.

Therefore am I forbearing to the vain, because they are the physicians of my melancholy, and keep me attached to man as to a drama.

And further, who conceiveth the full depth of the modesty of the vain man! I am favourable to him, and sympathetic on account of his modesty.

From you would he learn his belief in himself; he feedeth upon your glances, he eateth praise out of your hands.

Your lies doth he even believe when you lie favourably about him: for in its depths sigheth his heart: "What am I?"

And if that be the true virtue which is unconscious of itself—well, the vain man is unconscious of his modesty!—

This is, however, my third manly prudence: I am not put out of conceit with the WICKED by your timorousness.

I am happy to see the marvels the warm sun hatcheth: tigers and palms and rattle-snakes.

Also amongst men there is a beautiful brood of the warm sun, and much that is marvellous in the wicked.

In truth, as your wisest did not seem to me so very wise, so found I also human wickedness below the fame of it.

And oft did I ask with a shake of the head: Why still rattle, ye rattle-snakes?

Verily, there is still a future even for evil! And the warmest south is still undiscovered by man.

How many things are now called the worst wickedness, which are only twelve feet broad and three months long! Some day, however, will greater dragons come into the world.

For that the Superman may not lack his dragon, the superdragon that is worthy of him, there must still much warm sun glow on moist virgin forests!

Out of your wild cats must tigers have evolved, and out of your poison-toads, crocodiles: for the good hunter shall have a good hunt!

And verily, ye good and just! In you there is much to be laughed at, and especially your fear of what hath hitherto been called "the devil!"

So alien are ye in your souls to what is great, that to you the Superman would be FRIGHTFUL in his goodness!

And ye wise and knowing ones, ye would flee from the solar-glow of the wisdom in which the Superman joyfully batheth his nakedness!

Ye highest men who have come within my ken! this is my doubt of you, and my secret laughter: I suspect ye would call my Superman—a devil!

Ah, I became tired of those highest and best ones: from their "height" did I long to be up, out, and away to the Superman!

A horror came over me when I saw those best ones naked: then there grew for me the pinions to soar away into distant futures.

Into more distant futures, into more southern souths than ever artist dreamed of: thither, where Gods are ashamed of all clothes!

But disguised do I want to see YOU, ye neighbours and fellowmen, and well-attired and vain and estimable, as "the good and just;"—

And disguised will I myself sit amongst you—that I may MISTAKE you and myself: for that is my last manly prudence.—

Thus spake Zarathustra.



XLIV. THE STILLEST HOUR.

What hath happened unto me, my friends? Ye see me troubled, driven forth, unwillingly obedient, ready to go—alas, to go away from YOU!

Yea, once more must Zarathustra retire to his solitude: but unjoyously this time doth the bear go back to his cave!

What hath happened unto me? Who ordereth this?—Ah, mine angry mistress wisheth it so; she spake unto me. Have I ever named her name to you?

Yesterday towards evening there spake unto me MY STILLEST HOUR: that is the name of my terrible mistress.

And thus did it happen—for everything must I tell you, that your heart may not harden against the suddenly departing one!

Do ye know the terror of him who falleth asleep?—

To the very toes he is terrified, because the ground giveth way under him, and the dream beginneth.

This do I speak unto you in parable. Yesterday at the stillest hour did the ground give way under me: the dream began.

The hour-hand moved on, the timepiece of my life drew breath—never did I hear such stillness around me, so that my heart was terrified.

Then was there spoken unto me without voice: "THOU KNOWEST IT, ZARATHUSTRA?"—

And I cried in terror at this whispering, and the blood left my face: but I was silent.

Then was there once more spoken unto me without voice: "Thou knowest it, Zarathustra, but thou dost not speak it!"—

And at last I answered, like one defiant: "Yea, I know it, but I will not speak it!"

Then was there again spoken unto me without voice: "Thou WILT not, Zarathustra? Is this true? Conceal thyself not behind thy defiance!"—

And I wept and trembled like a child, and said: "Ah, I would indeed, but how can I do it! Exempt me only from this! It is beyond my power!"

Then was there again spoken unto me without voice: "What matter about thyself, Zarathustra! Speak thy word, and succumb!"

And I answered: "Ah, is it MY word? Who am I? I await the worthier one; I am not worthy even to succumb by it."

Then was there again spoken unto me without voice: "What matter about thyself? Thou art not yet humble enough for me. Humility hath the hardest skin."—

And I answered: "What hath not the skin of my humility endured! At the foot of my height do I dwell: how high are my summits, no one hath yet told me. But well do I know my valleys."

Then was there again spoken unto me without voice: "O Zarathustra, he who hath to remove mountains removeth also valleys and plains."—

And I answered: "As yet hath my word not removed mountains, and what I have spoken hath not reached man. I went, indeed, unto men, but not yet have I attained unto them."

Then was there again spoken unto me without voice: "What knowest thou THEREOF! The dew falleth on the grass when the night is most silent."—

And I answered: "They mocked me when I found and walked in mine own path; and certainly did my feet then tremble.

And thus did they speak unto me: Thou forgottest the path before, now dost thou also forget how to walk!"

Then was there again spoken unto me without voice: "What matter about their mockery! Thou art one who hast unlearned to obey: now shalt thou command!

Knowest thou not who is most needed by all? He who commandeth great things.

To execute great things is difficult: but the more difficult task is to command great things.

This is thy most unpardonable obstinacy: thou hast the power, and thou wilt not rule."—

And I answered: "I lack the lion's voice for all commanding."

Then was there again spoken unto me as a whispering: "It is the stillest words which bring the storm. Thoughts that come with doves' footsteps guide the world.

O Zarathustra, thou shalt go as a shadow of that which is to come: thus wilt thou command, and in commanding go foremost."—

And I answered: "I am ashamed."

Then was there again spoken unto me without voice: "Thou must yet become a child, and be without shame.

The pride of youth is still upon thee; late hast thou become young: but he who would become a child must surmount even his youth."—

And I considered a long while, and trembled. At last, however, did I say what I had said at first. "I will not."

Then did a laughing take place all around me. Alas, how that laughing lacerated my bowels and cut into my heart!

And there was spoken unto me for the last time: "O Zarathustra, thy fruits are ripe, but thou art not ripe for thy fruits!

So must thou go again into solitude: for thou shalt yet become mellow."—

And again was there a laughing, and it fled: then did it become still around me, as with a double stillness. I lay, however, on the ground, and the sweat flowed from my limbs.

—Now have ye heard all, and why I have to return into my solitude. Nothing have I kept hidden from you, my friends.

But even this have ye heard from me, WHO is still the most reserved of men—and will be so!

Ah, my friends! I should have something more to say unto you! I should have something more to give unto you! Why do I not give it? Am I then a niggard?—

When, however, Zarathustra had spoken these words, the violence of his pain, and a sense of the nearness of his departure from his friends came over him, so that he wept aloud; and no one knew how to console him. In the night, however, he went away alone and left his friends.



THIRD PART.

"Ye look aloft when ye long for exaltation, and I look downward because I am exalted.

"Who among you can at the same time laugh and be exalted?

"He who climbeth on the highest mountains, laugheth at all tragic plays and tragic realities."—ZARATHUSTRA, I., "Reading and Writing."



XLV. THE WANDERER.

Then, when it was about midnight, Zarathustra went his way over the ridge of the isle, that he might arrive early in the morning at the other coast; because there he meant to embark. For there was a good roadstead there, in which foreign ships also liked to anchor: those ships took many people with them, who wished to cross over from the Happy Isles. So when Zarathustra thus ascended the mountain, he thought on the way of his many solitary wanderings from youth onwards, and how many mountains and ridges and summits he had already climbed.

I am a wanderer and mountain-climber, said he to his heart, I love not the plains, and it seemeth I cannot long sit still.

And whatever may still overtake me as fate and experience—a wandering will be therein, and a mountain-climbing: in the end one experienceth only oneself.

The time is now past when accidents could befall me; and what COULD now fall to my lot which would not already be mine own!

It returneth only, it cometh home to me at last—mine own Self, and such of it as hath been long abroad, and scattered among things and accidents.

And one thing more do I know: I stand now before my last summit, and before that which hath been longest reserved for me. Ah, my hardest path must I ascend! Ah, I have begun my lonesomest wandering!

He, however, who is of my nature doth not avoid such an hour: the hour that saith unto him: Now only dost thou go the way to thy greatness! Summit and abyss—these are now comprised together!

Thou goest the way to thy greatness: now hath it become thy last refuge, what was hitherto thy last danger!

Thou goest the way to thy greatness: it must now be thy best courage that there is no longer any path behind thee!

Thou goest the way to thy greatness: here shall no one steal after thee! Thy foot itself hath effaced the path behind thee, and over it standeth written: Impossibility.

And if all ladders henceforth fail thee, then must thou learn to mount upon thine own head: how couldst thou mount upward otherwise?

Upon thine own head, and beyond thine own heart! Now must the gentlest in thee become the hardest.

He who hath always much-indulged himself, sickeneth at last by his much-indulgence. Praises on what maketh hardy! I do not praise the land where butter and honey—flow!

To learn TO LOOK AWAY FROM oneself, is necessary in order to see MANY THINGS:—this hardiness is needed by every mountain-climber.

He, however, who is obtrusive with his eyes as a discerner, how can he ever see more of anything than its foreground!

But thou, O Zarathustra, wouldst view the ground of everything, and its background: thus must thou mount even above thyself—up, upwards, until thou hast even thy stars UNDER thee!

Yea! To look down upon myself, and even upon my stars: that only would I call my SUMMIT, that hath remained for me as my LAST summit!—

Thus spake Zarathustra to himself while ascending, comforting his heart with harsh maxims: for he was sore at heart as he had never been before. And when he had reached the top of the mountain-ridge, behold, there lay the other sea spread out before him: and he stood still and was long silent. The night, however, was cold at this height, and clear and starry.

I recognise my destiny, said he at last, sadly. Well! I am ready. Now hath my last lonesomeness begun.

Ah, this sombre, sad sea, below me! Ah, this sombre nocturnal vexation! Ah, fate and sea! To you must I now GO DOWN!

Before my highest mountain do I stand, and before my longest wandering: therefore must I first go deeper down than I ever ascended:

—Deeper down into pain than I ever ascended, even into its darkest flood! So willeth my fate. Well! I am ready.

Whence come the highest mountains? so did I once ask. Then did I learn that they come out of the sea.

That testimony is inscribed on their stones, and on the walls of their summits. Out of the deepest must the highest come to its height.—

Thus spake Zarathustra on the ridge of the mountain where it was cold: when, however, he came into the vicinity of the sea, and at last stood alone amongst the cliffs, then had he become weary on his way, and eagerer than ever before.

Everything as yet sleepeth, said he; even the sea sleepeth. Drowsily and strangely doth its eye gaze upon me.

But it breatheth warmly—I feel it. And I feel also that it dreameth. It tosseth about dreamily on hard pillows.

Hark! Hark! How it groaneth with evil recollections! Or evil expectations?

Ah, I am sad along with thee, thou dusky monster, and angry with myself even for thy sake.

Ah, that my hand hath not strength enough! Gladly, indeed, would I free thee from evil dreams!—

And while Zarathustra thus spake, he laughed at himself with melancholy and bitterness. What! Zarathustra, said he, wilt thou even sing consolation to the sea?

Ah, thou amiable fool, Zarathustra, thou too-blindly confiding one! But thus hast thou ever been: ever hast thou approached confidently all that is terrible.

Every monster wouldst thou caress. A whiff of warm breath, a little soft tuft on its paw—: and immediately wert thou ready to love and lure it.

LOVE is the danger of the lonesomest one, love to anything, IF IT ONLY LIVE! Laughable, verily, is my folly and my modesty in love!—

Thus spake Zarathustra, and laughed thereby a second time. Then, however, he thought of his abandoned friends—and as if he had done them a wrong with his thoughts, he upbraided himself because of his thoughts. And forthwith it came to pass that the laugher wept—with anger and longing wept Zarathustra bitterly.



XLVI. THE VISION AND THE ENIGMA.

1.

When it got abroad among the sailors that Zarathustra was on board the ship—for a man who came from the Happy Isles had gone on board along with him,—there was great curiosity and expectation. But Zarathustra kept silent for two days, and was cold and deaf with sadness; so that he neither answered looks nor questions. On the evening of the second day, however, he again opened his ears, though he still kept silent: for there were many curious and dangerous things to be heard on board the ship, which came from afar, and was to go still further. Zarathustra, however, was fond of all those who make distant voyages, and dislike to live without danger. And behold! when listening, his own tongue was at last loosened, and the ice of his heart broke. Then did he begin to speak thus:

To you, the daring venturers and adventurers, and whoever hath embarked with cunning sails upon frightful seas,—

To you the enigma-intoxicated, the twilight-enjoyers, whose souls are allured by flutes to every treacherous gulf:

—For ye dislike to grope at a thread with cowardly hand; and where ye can DIVINE, there do ye hate to CALCULATE—

To you only do I tell the enigma that I SAW—the vision of the lonesomest one.—

Gloomily walked I lately in corpse-coloured twilight—gloomily and sternly, with compressed lips. Not only one sun had set for me.

A path which ascended daringly among boulders, an evil, lonesome path, which neither herb nor shrub any longer cheered, a mountain-path, crunched under the daring of my foot.

Mutely marching over the scornful clinking of pebbles, trampling the stone that let it slip: thus did my foot force its way upwards.

Upwards:—in spite of the spirit that drew it downwards, towards the abyss, the spirit of gravity, my devil and arch-enemy.

Upwards:—although it sat upon me, half-dwarf, half-mole; paralysed, paralysing; dripping lead in mine ear, and thoughts like drops of lead into my brain.

"O Zarathustra," it whispered scornfully, syllable by syllable, "thou stone of wisdom! Thou threwest thyself high, but every thrown stone must—fall!

O Zarathustra, thou stone of wisdom, thou sling-stone, thou star-destroyer! Thyself threwest thou so high,—but every thrown stone—must fall!

Condemned of thyself, and to thine own stoning: O Zarathustra, far indeed threwest thou thy stone—but upon THYSELF will it recoil!"

Then was the dwarf silent; and it lasted long. The silence, however, oppressed me; and to be thus in pairs, one is verily lonesomer than when alone!

I ascended, I ascended, I dreamt, I thought,—but everything oppressed me. A sick one did I resemble, whom bad torture wearieth, and a worse dream reawakeneth out of his first sleep.—

But there is something in me which I call courage: it hath hitherto slain for me every dejection. This courage at last bade me stand still and say: "Dwarf! Thou! Or I!"—

For courage is the best slayer,—courage which ATTACKETH: for in every attack there is sound of triumph.

Man, however, is the most courageous animal: thereby hath he overcome every animal. With sound of triumph hath he overcome every pain; human pain, however, is the sorest pain.

Courage slayeth also giddiness at abysses: and where doth man not stand at abysses! Is not seeing itself—seeing abysses?

Courage is the best slayer: courage slayeth also fellow-suffering. Fellow-suffering, however, is the deepest abyss: as deeply as man looketh into life, so deeply also doth he look into suffering.

Courage, however, is the best slayer, courage which attacketh: it slayeth even death itself; for it saith: "WAS THAT life? Well! Once more!"

In such speech, however, there is much sound of triumph. He who hath ears to hear, let him hear.—

2.

"Halt, dwarf!" said I. "Either I—or thou! I, however, am the stronger of the two:—thou knowest not mine abysmal thought! IT—couldst thou not endure!"

Then happened that which made me lighter: for the dwarf sprang from my shoulder, the prying sprite! And it squatted on a stone in front of me. There was however a gateway just where we halted.

"Look at this gateway! Dwarf!" I continued, "it hath two faces. Two roads come together here: these hath no one yet gone to the end of.

This long lane backwards: it continueth for an eternity. And that long lane forward—that is another eternity.

They are antithetical to one another, these roads; they directly abut on one another:—and it is here, at this gateway, that they come together. The name of the gateway is inscribed above: 'This Moment.'

But should one follow them further—and ever further and further on, thinkest thou, dwarf, that these roads would be eternally antithetical?"—

"Everything straight lieth," murmured the dwarf, contemptuously. "All truth is crooked; time itself is a circle."

"Thou spirit of gravity!" said I wrathfully, "do not take it too lightly! Or I shall let thee squat where thou squattest, Haltfoot,—and I carried thee HIGH!"

"Observe," continued I, "This Moment! From the gateway, This Moment, there runneth a long eternal lane BACKWARDS: behind us lieth an eternity.

Must not whatever CAN run its course of all things, have already run along that lane? Must not whatever CAN happen of all things have already happened, resulted, and gone by?

And if everything have already existed, what thinkest thou, dwarf, of This Moment? Must not this gateway also—have already existed?

And are not all things closely bound together in such wise that This Moment draweth all coming things after it? CONSEQUENTLY—itself also?

For whatever CAN run its course of all things, also in this long lane OUTWARD—MUST it once more run!—

And this slow spider which creepeth in the moonlight, and this moonlight itself, and thou and I in this gateway whispering together, whispering of eternal things—must we not all have already existed?

—And must we not return and run in that other lane out before us, that long weird lane—must we not eternally return?"—

Thus did I speak, and always more softly: for I was afraid of mine own thoughts, and arrear-thoughts. Then, suddenly did I hear a dog HOWL near me.

Had I ever heard a dog howl thus? My thoughts ran back. Yes! When I was a child, in my most distant childhood:

—Then did I hear a dog howl thus. And saw it also, with hair bristling, its head upwards, trembling in the stillest midnight, when even dogs believe in ghosts:

—So that it excited my commiseration. For just then went the full moon, silent as death, over the house; just then did it stand still, a glowing globe—at rest on the flat roof, as if on some one's property:—

Thereby had the dog been terrified: for dogs believe in thieves and ghosts. And when I again heard such howling, then did it excite my commiseration once more.

Where was now the dwarf? And the gateway? And the spider? And all the whispering? Had I dreamt? Had I awakened? 'Twixt rugged rocks did I suddenly stand alone, dreary in the dreariest moonlight.

BUT THERE LAY A MAN! And there! The dog leaping, bristling, whining—now did it see me coming—then did it howl again, then did it CRY:—had I ever heard a dog cry so for help?

And verily, what I saw, the like had I never seen. A young shepherd did I see, writhing, choking, quivering, with distorted countenance, and with a heavy black serpent hanging out of his mouth.

Had I ever seen so much loathing and pale horror on one countenance? He had perhaps gone to sleep? Then had the serpent crawled into his throat—there had it bitten itself fast.

My hand pulled at the serpent, and pulled:—in vain! I failed to pull the serpent out of his throat. Then there cried out of me: "Bite! Bite!

Its head off! Bite!"—so cried it out of me; my horror, my hatred, my loathing, my pity, all my good and my bad cried with one voice out of me.—

Ye daring ones around me! Ye venturers and adventurers, and whoever of you have embarked with cunning sails on unexplored seas! Ye enigma-enjoyers!

Solve unto me the enigma that I then beheld, interpret unto me the vision of the lonesomest one!

For it was a vision and a foresight:—WHAT did I then behold in parable? And WHO is it that must come some day?

WHO is the shepherd into whose throat the serpent thus crawled? WHO is the man into whose throat all the heaviest and blackest will thus crawl?

—The shepherd however bit as my cry had admonished him; he bit with a strong bite! Far away did he spit the head of the serpent—: and sprang up.—

No longer shepherd, no longer man—a transfigured being, a light-surrounded being, that LAUGHED! Never on earth laughed a man as HE laughed!

O my brethren, I heard a laughter which was no human laughter,—and now gnaweth a thirst at me, a longing that is never allayed.

My longing for that laughter gnaweth at me: oh, how can I still endure to live! And how could I endure to die at present!—

Thus spake Zarathustra.



XLVII. INVOLUNTARY BLISS.

With such enigmas and bitterness in his heart did Zarathustra sail o'er the sea. When, however, he was four day-journeys from the Happy Isles and from his friends, then had he surmounted all his pain—: triumphantly and with firm foot did he again accept his fate. And then talked Zarathustra in this wise to his exulting conscience:

Alone am I again, and like to be so, alone with the pure heaven, and the open sea; and again is the afternoon around me.

On an afternoon did I find my friends for the first time; on an afternoon, also, did I find them a second time:—at the hour when all light becometh stiller.

For whatever happiness is still on its way 'twixt heaven and earth, now seeketh for lodging a luminous soul: WITH HAPPINESS hath all light now become stiller.

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