But that has always been the prudence of cowards. Yes! cowards are wise!
They think much about you with their petty souls- you are always suspect to them! Whatever is much thought about is at last thought suspicious.
They punish you for all your virtues. They pardon you entirely- for your errors.
Because you are gentle and of honest character, you say: "Guiltless are they for their small existence." But their petty souls think: "Guilty is every great existence."
Even when you are gentle towards them, they still feel themselves despised by you; and they repay your beneficence with secret maleficence.
Your silent pride is always counter to their taste; they rejoice if once you are humble enough to be vain.
What we recognize in a man, we also irritate in him. Therefore be on your guard against the small ones!
In your presence they feel themselves small, and their baseness gleams and glows against you in invisible vengeance.
You did not see how often they became silent when you approached them, and how their energy left them like the smoke of an waning fire?
Yes, my friend, you are the bad conscience of your neighbors, for they are unworthy of you. Therefore they hate you, and would rather suck your blood.
Your neighbors will always be poisonous flies; what is great in you- that itself must make them more poisonous, and always more fly-like.
Flee, my friend, into your solitude- and there, where a rough strong breeze blows. It is not your lot to shoo flies.-
Thus spoke Zarathustra.