Page:Thus Spake Zarathustra - Thomas Common - 1917.djvu/296

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when both of them had thus silently composed and strengthened themselves, they gave each other the hand, as a token that they wanted once more to recognize each other.

"Welcome here," said Zarathustra, "you soothsayer of the great weariness, not in vain shall you once have been my messmate and guest. Eat and drink also with me to-day, and forgive it that a cheerful old man sits with you at table!"- "A cheerful old man?" answered the soothsayer, shaking his head, "but whoever you are, or would be, O Zarathustra, you have been here aloft the longest time,- in a little while your bark shall no longer rest on dry land!"- "Do I then rest on dry land?"- asked Zarathustra, laughing.- "The waves around your mountain," answered the soothsayer, "rise and rise, the waves of great distress and affliction: they will soon raise your bark also and carry you away."- Then was Zarathustra silent and wondered.- "Do you still hear nothing?" continued the soothsayer: "does it not rush and roar out of the depth?"- Zarathustra was silent once more and listened: then heard he a long, long cry, which the abysses threw to one another and passed on; for none of them wished to retain it: so evil did it sound.

"You ill announcer," said Zarathustra at last, "that is a cry of distress, and the cry of a man; it may come perhaps out of a black sea. But what does human distress matter to me! My last sin which has been reserved for me,- know you what it is called?"

-"Pity!" answered the soothsayer from an overflowing heart, and raised both his hands aloft- "O Zarathustra, I have come that I may seduce you to your last sin!"-

And hardly had those words been uttered when there sounded the cry once more, and longer and more alarming