Page:Thus Spake Zarathustra - Alexander Tille - 1896.djvu/218

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OF GREAT EVENTS

There is an island in the sea not far from the blissful islands of Zarathustra in which a volcano smoketh constantly. The folk, and especially the little old women among the folk, say that that island is set before the gate of the underworld. But through the volcano there is a narrow path down, which leadeth unto that gate of the underworld.

About that time when Zarathustra lived on the blissful islands it came to pass that a ship cast an- chor at that island on which the smoking mountain standeth ; and the sailors of that ship went ashore in order to shoot rabbits! But about the hour of noon, when the captain and his men had mustered again, they suddenly saw a man come through the air unto them, and a voice said distinctly : " It is time ! It is high time ! " But when that person was nighest unto them (he passed by them flying quickly like a shadow, in the direction in which the volcano was situated) they recognised with the greatest confusion that it was Zarathustra. For all of them, except the captain, had seen him before, and they loved him, as the folk love : blending love and awe in equal parts.

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