Page:Thus Spake Zarathustra - Thomas Common - 1917.djvu/216

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no one hurt them. Thus do they anticipate every one's wishes and do well to every one.

That, however, is cowardice, though it be called "virtue."-

And when they chance to speak harshly, those small people, then do I hear therein only their hoarseness- every draught of air makes them hoarse.

Shrewd indeed are they, their virtues have shrewd fingers. But they lack fists: their fingers do not know how to creep behind fists.

Virtue for them is what makes modest and tame: therewith have they made the wolf a dog, and man himself man's best domestic animal.

"We set our chair in the midst"- so says their smirking to me- "and as far from dying gladiators as from satisfied swine."

That, however, is- mediocrity, though it be called moderation.-


3.

I pass through this people and let fall many words: but they know neither how to take nor how to retain them.

They wonder why I came not to revile venery and vice; and verily, I came not to warn against pickpockets either!

They wonder why I am not ready to abet and whet their wisdom: as if they had not yet enough of wiseacres, whose voices grate on my ear like slate-pencils!

And when I call out: "Curse all the cowardly devils in you, that would rather whimper and fold the hands and adore"- then do they shout: "Zarathustra is godless."