Page:Thus Spake Zarathustra - Alexander Tille - 1896.djvu/409

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OFF DUTY 375

"help one who hath gone astray, a seeker, an old man who may easily suffer injury here !

This world is strange and remote from me. Be- sides I heard wild beasts howl. And he who could have given me protection, liveth no more.

I was in search of the last pious man, a saint and hermit, who alone had not heard in his forest what all the world knoweth to-day."

" What knoweth all the world to-day ? " asked Zarathustra. " Is it that the old God liveth no more, in whom all the world once believed ? "

"Thou sayest it," answered the old man sadly. "And I served this old God until his last hour.

But now I am off duty, without a master, and yet neither free nor happy for a single hour, except in memory.

I have ascended these mountains, to arrange at last a festival for myself once more, as behoveth an old pope and church-father (for be it known unto thee : I am the last pope ! ) a festival of pious memories and services.

But now even he is dead, the most pious man, that saint in the forest who constantly praised his God with singing and humming.

Himself I found no more when I found his hut. But I found two wolves therein which howled because of his death. For all animals loved him. Then I hasted away.

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