Thus Spake Zarathustra/Part Two

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Thus Spake Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche
Part Two

23. The Child with the Mirror[edit]

AFTER this Zarathustra returned again into the mountains to the solitude of his cave, and withdrew himself from men, waiting like a sower who has scattered his seed. His soul, however, became impatient and full of longing for those whom he loved: because he had still much to give them. For this is hardest of all: to close the open hand out of love, and keep modest as a giver.

Thus passed with the lonesome one months and years; his wisdom meanwhile increased, and caused him pain by its abundance.

One morning, however, he awoke before the rosy dawn, and having meditated long on his couch, at last spoke thus to his heart:

Why did I startle in my dream, so that I awoke? Did not a child come to me, carrying a mirror?

"O Zarathustra"- said the child to me- "look at yourself in the mirror!" But when I looked into the mirror, I shrieked, and my heart throbbed: for not myself did I see therein, but a devil's grimace and derision.

All too well do I understand the dream's portent and monition: my doctrine is in danger; tares want to be called wheat!

My enemies have grown powerful and have disfigured the likeness of my doctrine, so that my dearest ones have to blush for the gifts that I gave them.

Lost are my friends; the hour has come for me to seek my lost ones!-

With these words Zarathustra started up, not however like a person in anguish seeking relief, but rather like a seer and a singer whom the spirit inspires. With amazement did his eagle and serpent gaze upon him: for a coming bliss overspread his countenance like the rosy dawn.

What has happened to me, my animals?- said Zarathustra. Am I not transformed? has not bliss come to me like a whirlwind?

Foolish is my happiness, and foolish things will it speak: it is still too young- so have patience with it!

Wounded am I by my happiness: all sufferers shall be physicians to me!

To my friends can I again go down, and also to my enemies! Zarathustra can again speak and give, and show his best love to his loved ones!

My impatient love overflows in streams,- down towards sunrise and sunset. Out of silent mountains and storms of affliction, rushes my soul into the valleys.

Too long have I longed and looked into the distance. Too long has solitude possessed me: thus have I unlearned to keep silence.

Utterance have I become altogether, and the brawling of a brook from high rocks: downward into the valleys will I hurl my speech.

And let the stream of my love sweep into unfrequented channels! How should a stream not finally find its way to the sea! Forsooth, there is a lake in me, sequestered and self-sufficing; but the stream of my love beareth this along with it, down — to the sea!

New paths do I tread, a new speech comes to me; tired have I become — like all creators — of the old tongues. No longer will my spirit walk on worn-out soles.

Too slowly runs all speaking for me: — into thy chariot, O storm, do I leap! And even you will I whip with my spite!

Like a cry and an huzza will I traverse wide seas, till I find the Happy Isles where my friends sojourn; —

And mine enemies amongst them! How I now love every one to whom I may but speak! Even my enemies pertain to my bliss.

And when I want to mount my wildest horse, then does my spear always help me up best: it is my foot's ever ready servant:-

The spear which I hurl at my enemies! How grateful am I to my enemies that I may at last hurl it!

Too great has been the tension of my cloud: 'twixt laughters of lightnings will I cast hail-showers into the depths.

Violently will my breast then heave; violently will it blow its storm over the mountains: thus comes its assuagement.

Like a storm comes my happiness, and my freedom! But my enemies shall think that the evil one roars over their heads.

Yes, you also, my friends, will be alarmed by my wild wisdom; and perhaps you will flee therefrom, along with my enemies.

Ah, that I knew how to lure you back with shepherds' flutes! Ah, that my lioness wisdom would learn to roar softly! And much have we already learned with one another!

My wild wisdom became pregnant on the lonesome moun- -tains; on the rough stones did she bear the youngest of her young.

Now runs she foolishly in the arid wilderness, and seeks and seeks the soft sward- my old, wild wisdom!

On the soft sward of your hearts, my friends!- on your love, would she rather couch her dearest one!-


Thus spoke Zarathustra.

24. In the Happy Isles[edit]

THE figs fall from the trees, they are good and sweet; and in falling the red skins of them break. A north wind am I to ripe figs.

Thus, like figs, do these doctrines fall for you, my friends: imbibe now their juice and their sweet substance! It is autumn all around, and clear sky, and afternoon.

Lo, what fullness is around us! And out of the midst of superabundance, it is delightful to look out upon distant seas.

Once did people say God, when they looked out upon distant seas; now, however, have I taught you to say, Superman.

God is a conjecture: but I do not wish your conjecturing to reach beyond your creating will.

Could you create a God?- Then, I pray you, be silent about all gods! But you could well create the Superman.

Not perhaps you yourselves, my brothers! But into fathers and forefathers of the Superman could you transform yourselves: and let that be your best creating!- God is a conjecture: but I should like your conjecturing restricted to the conceivable.

Could you conceive a God?- But let this mean Will to Truth to you, that everything be transformed into the humanly conceivable, the humanly visible, the humanly sensible! Your own discernment shall you follow out to the end!

And what you have called the world shall but be created by you: your reason, your likeness, your will, your love, shall it itself become! And verily, for your bliss, you discerning ones!

And how would you endure life without that hope, you discerning ones? Neither in the inconceivable could you have been born, nor in the irrational.

But that I may reveal my heart entirely to you, my friends: if there were gods, how could I endure it to be no God! Therefore there are no gods.

Yes, I have drawn the conclusion; now, however, does it draw me.-

God is a conjecture: but who could drink all the bitterness of this conjecture without dying? Shall his faith be taken from the creator, and from the eagle his flights into eagle-heights?

God is a thought- it makes all the straight crooked, and all that stands reel. What? Time would be gone, and all the perishable would be but a lie?

To think this is giddiness and vertigo to human limbs, and even vomiting to the stomach: verily, the reeling sickness do I call it, to conjecture such a thing.

Evil do I call it and misanthropic: all that teaching about the one, and the plenum, and the unmoved, and the sufficient, and the imperishable!

All the imperishable- that's but a parable, and the poets lie too much.- But of time and of becoming shall the best parables speak: a praise shall they be, and a justification of all perishing!

Creating- that is the great salvation from suffering, and life's alleviation. But for the creator to appear, suffering itself is needed, and much transformation.

Yes, much bitter dying must there be in your life, you creators! Thus are you advocates and justifiers of all perishing.

For the creator himself to be the new-born child, he must also be willing to be the child-bearer, and endure the pangs of the child-bearer.

Through a hundred souls went I my way, and through a hundred cradles and birth-throes. Many a farewell have I taken; I know the heart-breaking last hours.

But so wills it my creating Will, my fate. Or, to tell you it more candidly: just such a fate- wills my Will.

All feeling suffers in me, and is in prison: but my willing ever comes to me as my emancipator and comforter.

Willing emancipates: that is the true doctrine of will and emancipation- so teaches you Zarathustra.

No longer willing, and no longer valuing, and no longer creating! Ah, that that great debility may ever be far from me!

And also in discerning do I feel only my will's procreating and evolving delight; and if there be innocence in my knowledge, it is because there is will to procreation in it.

Away from God and gods did this will allure me; what would there be to create if there were- gods!

But to man does it ever impel me anew, my fervent creative will; thus impels it the hammer to the stone.

Ah, you men, within the stone slumbers an image for me, the image of my visions! Ah, that it should slumber in the hardest, ugliest stone! Now rages my hammer ruthlessly against its prison. From the stone fly the fragments: what's that to me?

I will complete it: for a shadow came to me- the still and lightest of all things once came to me!

The beauty of the Superman came to me as a shadow. Ah, my brothers! Of what account now are- the gods to me!-


Thus spoke Zarathustra.


25. The Pitiful[edit]

MY FRIENDS, there has arisen a satire on your friend: "Behold Zarathustra! Walks he not amongst us as if amongst animals?"

But it is better said in this wise: "The discerning one walks amongst men as amongst animals."

Man himself is to the discerning one: the animal with red cheeks.

How has that happened to him? Is it not because he has had to be ashamed too oft?

O my friends! Thus speaks the discerning one: shame, shame, shame- that is the history of man!

And on that account does the noble one enjoin on himself not to abash: bashfulness does he enjoin himself in presence of all sufferers.

I like them not, the merciful ones, whose bliss is in their pity: too destitute are they of bashfulness.

If I must be pitiful, I dislike to be called so; and if I be so, it is preferably at a distance. Preferably also do I shroud my head, and flee, before being recognized: and thus do I bid you do, my friends!

May my destiny ever lead unafflicted ones like you across my path, and those with whom I may have hope and repast and honey in common!

I have done this and that for the afflicted: but something better did I always seem to do when I had learned to enjoy myself better.

Since humanity came into being, man has enjoyed himself too little: that alone, my brothers, is our original sin!

And when we learn better to enjoy ourselves, then do we unlearn best to give pain to others, and to contrive pain.

Therefore do I wash the hand that has helped the sufferer; therefore do I wipe also my soul.

For in seeing the sufferer suffering- thereof was I ashamed on account of his shame; and in helping him, sorely did I wound his pride.

Great obligations do not make grateful, but revengeful; and when a small kindness is not forgotten, it becomes a gnawing worm.

"Be shy in accepting! Distinguish by accepting!"- thus do I advise those who have naught to give.

I, however, am a giver: willingly do I give as friend to friends. Strangers, however, and the poor, may pluck for themselves the fruit from my tree: thus does it cause less shame.

Beggars, however, one should entirely do away with! it annoys one to give to them, and it annoys one not to give to them.

And likewise sinners and bad consciences! Believe me, my friends: the sting of conscience teaches one to sting. The worst things, however, are the petty thoughts. Better to have done evilly than to have thought pettily!

To be sure, you say: "The delight in petty evils spares one many a great evil deed." But here one should not wish to be sparing.

Like a boil is the evil deed: it itches and irritates and breaks forth- it speaks honorably.

"Behold, I am disease," says the evil deed: that is its honorableness.

But like infection is the petty thought: it creeps and hides, and wants to be nowhere- until the whole body is decayed and withered by the petty infection.

To him however, who is possessed of a devil, I would whisper this word in the ear: "Better for you to rear up your devil! Even for you there is still a path to greatness!"-

Ah, my brothers! One knows a little too much about every one! And many a one becomes transparent to us, but still we can by no means penetrate him.

It is difficult to live among men because silence is so difficult.

And not to him who is offensive to us are we most unfair, but to him who does not concern us at all.

If, however, you have a suffering friend, then be a resting-place for his suffering; like a hard bed, however, a camp-bed: thus will you serve him best.

And if a friend does you wrong, then say: "I forgive you what you have done to me; that you have done it to yourself, however- how could I forgive that!"

Thus speaks all great love: it overcomes even forgiveness and pity.

One should hold fast one's heart; for when one lets it go, how quickly does one's head run away!

Ah, where in the world have there been greater follies than with the pitiful? And what in the world has caused more suffering than the follies of the pitiful?

Woe to all loving ones who have not an elevation which is above their pity!

Thus spoke the devil to me, once on a time: "Even God has his hell: it is his love for man."

And lately, did I hear him say these words: "God is dead: of his pity for man has God died."-

So be you warned against pity: from thence there yet comes to men a heavy cloud! I understand weather-signs!

But attend also to this word: All great love is above all its pity: for it seeks- to create what is loved!

"Myself do I offer to my love, and my neighbor as myself"- such is the language of all creators.

All creators, however, are hard.-


Thus spoke Zarathustra.

26. The Priests[edit]

AND one day Zarathustra made a sign to his disciples and spoke these words to them:

"Here are priests: but although they are my enemies, pass them quietly and with sleeping swords!

Even among them there are heroes; many of them have suffered too much:- so they want to make others suffer.

Bad enemies are they: nothing is more revengeful than their meekness. And readily does he soil himself who touches them. But my blood is related to theirs; and I want withal to see my blood honored in theirs."-

And when they had passed, a pain attacked Zarathustra; but not long had he struggled with the pain, when he began to speak thus:

It moves my heart for those priests. They also go against my taste; but that is the small matter to me, since I am among men.

But I suffer and have suffered with them: prisoners are they to me, and stigmatised ones. He whom they call Saviour put them in fetters:-

In fetters of false values and fatuous words! Oh, that some one would save them from their Saviour!

On an isle they once thought they had landed, when the sea tossed them about; but behold, it was a slumbering monster!

False values and fatuous words: these are the worst monsters for mortals- long slumbers and waits the fate that is in them.

But at last it comes and awakes and devours and engulfs whatever has built tabernacles upon it.

Oh, just look at those tabernacles which those priests have built themselves! Churches, they call their sweet-smelling caves!

Oh, that falsified light, that mustified air! Where the soul- may not fly aloft to its height!

But so enjoins their belief: "On your knees, up the stair, you sinners!"

Rather would I see a shameless one than the distorted eyes of their shame and devotion!

Who created for themselves such caves and penitence-stairs? Was it not those who sought to conceal themselves, and were ashamed under the clear sky? And only when the clear sky looks again through ruined roofs, and down upon grass and red poppies on ruined walls- will I again turn my heart to the seats of this God.

They called God that which opposed and afflicted them: and verily, there was much hero-spirit in their worship!

And they knew not how to love their God otherwise than by nailing men to the cross!

As corpses they thought to live; in black draped they their corpses; even in their talk do I still feel the evil flavor of charnel-houses.

And he who lives near to them lives near to black pools, wherein the toad sings his song with sweet gravity.

Better songs would they have to sing, for me to believe in their Saviour: more! like saved ones would his disciples have to appear to me!

Naked, would I like to see them: for beauty alone should preach penitence. But whom would that disguised affliction convince!

Their saviours themselves came not from freedom and freedom's seventh heaven! they themselves never trod the carpets of knowledge!

Of defects did the spirit of those saviours consist; but into every defect had they put their illusion, their stop-gap, which they called God.

In their pity was their spirit drowned; and when they swelled and o'erswelled with pity, there always floated to the surface a great folly.

Eagerly and with shouts drove they their flock over their foot-bridge; as if there were but one foot-bridge to the future! those shepherds also were still of the flock!

Small spirits and spacious souls had those shepherds: but my brothers, what small domains have even the most spacious souls hitherto been!

Characters of blood did they write on the way they went, and their folly taught that truth is proved by blood.

But blood is the very worst witness to truth; blood taints the purest teaching, and turns it into delusion and hatred of heart.

And when a person goes through fire for his teaching- what does that prove! It is more, verily, when out of one's own burning comes one's own teaching!

Sultry heart and cold head; where these meet, there arises the blusterer, the "Saviour."

Greater ones, verily, have there been, and higher-born ones, than those whom the people call saviours, those rapturous blusterers!

And by still greater ones than any of the saviours must you be saved, my brothers, if you would find the way to freedom!

Never yet has there been a Superman. Naked have I seen both of them, the greatest man and the small man:-

All-too-similar are they still to each other. Even the greatest found I- all-too-human!-


Thus spoke Zarathustra.

27. The Virtuous[edit]

WITH thunder and heavenly fireworks must one speak to indolent and somnolent senses.

But beauty's voice speaks gently: it appeals only to the most awakened souls. Gently vibrated and laughed to me to-day my buckler; it was beauty's holy laughing and thrilling.

At you, you virtuous ones, laughed my beauty to-day. And thus came its voice to me: "They want- to be paid besides!"

You want to be paid besides, you virtuous ones! You want reward for virtue, and heaven for earth, and eternity for your to-day?

And now you upbraid me for teaching that there is no reward-giver, nor paymaster? And verily, I do not even teach that virtue is its own reward.

Ah! this is my sorrow: into the basis of things have reward and punishment been insinuated- and now even into the basis of your souls, you virtuous ones!

But like the snout of the boar shall my word grub up the basis of your souls; a ploughshare will I be called by you.

All the secrets of your heart shall be brought to light; and when you lie in the sun, grubbed up and broken, then will also your falsehood be separated from your truth.

For this is your truth: you are too pure for the filth of the words: vengeance, punishment, recompense, retribution.

You love your virtue as a mother loves her child; but when did one hear of a mother wanting to be paid for her love?

It is your dearest Self, your virtue. The ring's thirst is in you: to reach itself again struggles every ring, and turns itself.

And like the star that goes out, so is every work of your virtue: ever is its light on its way and travelling- and when will it cease to be on its way?

Thus is the light of your virtue still on its way, even when its work is done. Be it forgotten and dead, still its ray of light lives and travels.

That your virtue is your Self, and not an outward thing, a skin, or a cloak: that is the truth from the basis of your souls, ye virtuous ones! -

But sure enough there are those to whome virtue meaneth writhing under the lash: and ye have hearkened too much unto their crying!

And others are there who call virtue the slothfulness of their vices; and when once their hatred and jealousy relax the limbs, their "justice" becometh lively and rubbeth its sleepy eyes.

And others arre thre who are drawn downwards: their devils draw them. But the more they sink, the more ardently gloweth their eye, and the longing for their God.

Ah! their crying also hath reached your ears, ye virtuous ones: "What I am not, that, that is God to me, and virtue!" And others are there who go along heavily and creakingly, like carts taking stones downhill: they talk much of dignity and virtue - their drag they call virtue!

And others are there who are like eight-day clocks when wound up; they tick, and want people to call ticking - virtue.

Verily, in those have I mine amusement: whereever I find such clocks I shall wind them up with my mockery, and they shall even whirr thereby!

And others are proud of their modicum of righteousness, and for the sake of it do violence to all things: so that the world is drowned in their unrighteousness.

Ah! how ineptly cometh the word "virtue" out of their mouth! And when they say: "I am just," it always soundeth like: "I amd just - revenged!"

With their virtues they want to scratch out the eyes of their enemies; and they elevate themselves only that they may lower others.

And again there are those who sit in their swamp, and speak thus from among the bulrushes: "Virtue - that is to sit quietly in the swamp.

We bite no one, and go out of the way of him who would bite; and in all matters we have the opinion that is given us."

And again, there are those who love attitudes, and think that virtue is a sort of attitude.

Their knees continually adore, and their hands are eulogies of virtue, but their heart knoweth naught thereof.

And again there are those who regard it as virtue to say: "Virtue is necessary"; but after all they believe only that policemen are necessary.

And many a one who cannot see men's loftiness, calleth it virtue to see their basness far too well: thus calleth he his evil eye virtue -

And some want to be edified and raised up, and call it virtue: and others want to be cast down, - and likewise call it virtue.

And thus do almost all think that they participate in virtue; and at least every on claimeth to be an authority on "good" and "evil."

But Zarathustra came not to say unto all those liars and fools: "What do ye know of virtue! What could ye know of virtue!" -

But that ye, my friends, might become weary of the old words which ye have learned from the fools and liars:

That ye might become weary of the words "reward," "retrioution," "punishment," "righteous vengeance." -

That ye might become weary of saying: "That an action is good because it is unselfish."

Ah! my friends! That your very Self be in your action, as the mother is in the child: let that be your formula for virtue! Verily, I have taken from you a hundred formulae and your virtue's favorite playthings; and now you upbraid me, as children upbraid.

They played by the sea- then came there a wave and swept their playthings into the deep: and now do they cry.

But the same wave shall bring them new playthings, and spread before them new speckled shells!

Thus will they be comforted; and like them shall you also, my friends, have your comforting- and new speckled shells!-


Thus spoke Zarathustra.

28. The Rabble[edit]

LIFE is a well of delight; but where the rabble also drink, there all fountains are poisoned.

To everything cleanly am I well disposed; but I hate to see the grinning mouths and the thirst of the unclean.

They cast their eye down into the fountain: and now glances up to me their odious smile out of the fountain.

The holy water have they poisoned with their lustfulness; and when they called their filthy dreams delight, then poisoned they also the words.

Indignant becomes the flame when they put their damp hearts to the fire; the spirit itself bubbles and smokes when the rabble approach the fire.

Mawkish and over-mellow becomes the fruit in their hands: unsteady, and withered at the top, does their look make the fruit-tree. Mawkish and over-mellow becomes the fruit in their hands: unsteady, and withered at the top, does their look make the fruit-tree.

And many a one who has turned away from life, has only turned away from the rabble: he hated to share with them fountain, flame, and fruit.

And many a one who has gone into the wilderness and suffered thirst with beasts of prey, disliked only to sit at the cistern with filthy camel-drivers.

And many a one who has come along as a destroyer, and as a hailstorm to all cornfields, wanted merely to put his foot into the jaws of the rabble, and thus stop their throat.

And it is not the mouthful which has most choked me, to know that life itself requires enmity and death and torture-crosses:-

But I asked once, and suffocated almost with my question: What? Is the rabble also necessary for life?

Are poisoned fountains necessary, and stinking fires, and filthy dreams, and maggots in the bread of life?

Not my hatred, but my loathing, gnawed hungrily at my life! Ah, ofttimes became I weary of spirit, when I found even the rabble spiritual!

And on the rulers turned I my back, when I saw what they now call ruling: to traffic and bargain for power- with the rabble!

Amongst peoples of a strange language did I dwell, with stopped ears: so that the language of their trafficking might remain strange to me, and their bargaining for power.

And holding my nose, I went morosely through all yesterdays and todays: verily, badly smell all yesterdays and todays of the scribbling rabble!

Like a cripple become deaf, and blind, and dumb- thus have I lived long; that I might not live with the power-rabble, the scribe-rabble, and the pleasure-rabble.

Toilsomely did my spirit mount stairs, and cautiously; alms of delight were its refreshment; on the staff did life creep along with the blind one.

What has happened to me? How have I freed myself from loathing? Who has rejuvenated my eye? How have I flown to the height where no rabble any longer sit at the wells?

Did my loathing itself create for me wings and fountain-divining powers? to the loftiest height had I to fly, to find again the well of delight!

Oh, I have found it, my brothers! Here on the loftiest height bubbles up for me the well of delight! And there is a life at whose waters none of the rabble drink with me!

Almost too violently do you flow for me, you fountain of delight! And often emptiest you the goblet again, in wanting to fill it!

And yet must I learn to approach you more modestly: far too violently does my heart still flow towards you:-

My heart on which my summer burns, my short, hot, melancholy, over-happy summer: how my summer heart longs for your coolness!

Past, the lingering distress of my spring! Past, the wickedness of my snowflakes in June! Summer have I become entirely, and summer-noontide!

A summer on the loftiest height, with cold fountains and blissful stillness: oh, come, my friends, that the stillness may become more blissful!

For this is our height and our home: too high and steep do we here dwell for all uncleanly ones and their thirst.

Cast but your pure eyes into the well of my delight, my friends! How could it become turbid thereby! It shall laugh back to you with its purity. On the tree of the future build we our nest; eagles shall bring us lone ones food in their beaks!

No food of which the impure could be fellow-partakers! Fire, would they think they devoured, and burn their mouths!

No abodes do we here keep ready for the impure! An ice-cave to their bodies would our happiness be, and to their spirits!

And as strong winds will we live above them, neighbors to the eagles, neighbors to the snow, neighbors to the sun: thus live the strong winds.

And like a wind will I one day blow amongst them, and with my spirit, take the breath from their spirit: thus wills my future.

A strong wind is Zarathustra to all low places; and this counsel counsels he to his enemies, and to whatever spits and spews: "Take care not to spit against the wind!"-


Thus spoke Zarathustra.



29. The Tarantulas[edit]

LO, THIS is the tarantula's den! Would'st you see the tarantula itself? Here hangeth its web: touch this, so that it may tremble.

There comes the tarantula willingly: Welcome, tarantula! Black on your back is your triangle and symbol; and I know also what is in your soul. Revenge is in your soul: wherever you bite, there arises black scab; with revenge, your poison makes the soul giddy!

Thus do I speak to you in parable, you who make the soul giddy, you preachers of equality! Tarantulas are you to me, and secretly revengeful ones!

But I will soon bring your hiding-places to the light: therefore do I laugh in your face my laughter of the height.

Therefore do I tear at your web, that your rage may lure you out of your den of lies, and that your revenge may leap forth from behind your word "justice."

Because, for man to be redeemed from revenge- that is for me the bridge to the highest hope, and a rainbow after long storms.

Otherwise, however, would the tarantulas have it. "Let it be very justice for the world to become full of the storms of our vengeance"- thus do they talk to one another.

"Vengeance will we use, and insult, against all who are not like us"- thus do the tarantula-hearts pledge themselves.

"And 'Will to Equality'- that itself shall henceforth be the name of virtue; and against all that has power will we raise an outcry!"

You preachers of equality, the tyrant-frenzy of impotence cries thus in you for "equality": your most secret tyrant-longings disguise themselves thus in virtue-words!

Fretted conceit and suppressed envy- perhaps your fathers' conceit and envy: in you break they forth as flame and frenzy of vengeance.

What the father has hid comes out in the son; and oft have I found in the son the father's revealed secret.

Inspired ones they resemble: but it is not the heart that inspires them- but vengeance. And when they become subtle and cold, it is not spirit, but envy, that makes them so. 108 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA

Their jealousy leadeth them also into thinkers’ paths; and this is the sign of their jealousy-they always go too far: so that their fatigue hath at last to go to sleep on the snow. In all their lamentations soundeth vengeance, in all their eulogies is maleficenceg and being udge seemeth to them bliss. But thus do I counsel you, my friends: distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful! They are people of bad race and lineage; out of their countenances peer the hangman and the sleuth-hound. Distrust all those who talk much of their justice! Verily, in their souls not only honey is lacking. And when they call themselves "the good and just," forget not, that for them to be Pharisees, nothing is lacking but—-— power! My friends, I will not be mixed up and confounded with others. There are those who preach my doctrine of life, and are at the same time preachers of equality, and tarantulas. That they speak in favour of life, though they sit in their den, these poison-spiders, and withdrawn from life--—is be- cause they would thereby do injury. To those would they thereby do injury who have power at present: for with those the preaching of death is still most at home. Were it otherwise, then would the tarantulas teach other- wise: and they themselves were formerly the best world-maligners and heretic-burners. With these preachers of equality will I not be mixed up and confounded. For thus speaketh justice unto me: "Men are not equal." V And neither shall they become so! What would be my love to the Superman, if I spake otherwise?

On a thousand bridges and piers shall they throng to the future, and always shall there be more war and inequality among them: thus do my great love make me speak!

Inventors of figures and phantoms shall they be in their hostilities; and with those figures and phantoms shall they yet fight with each other the supreme fight!

Good and evil, and rich and poor, and high and low, and all names of values: weapons shall they be, and sounding signs, that life must again and again overcome itself!

Aloft will it build itself with columns and stairs- life itself into remote distances would it gaze, and out towards blissful beauties- therefore does it require elevation!

And because it requires elevation, therefore does it require steps, and variance of steps and climbers! To rise strives life, and in rising to overcome itself.

And just behold, my friends! Here where the tarantula's den is, rises aloft an ancient temple's ruins- just behold it with enlightened eyes!

He who here towered aloft his thoughts in stone, knew as well as the wisest ones about the secret of life!

That there is struggle and inequality even in beauty, and war for power and supremacy: that does he here teach us in the plainest parable.

How divinely do vault and arch here contrast in the struggle: how with light and shade they strive against each other, the divinely striving ones.-

Thus, steadfast and beautiful, let us also be enemies, my friends! Divinely will we strive against one another!-

Alas! There has the tarantula bit me myself, my old enemy! Divinely steadfast and beautiful, it has bit me on the finger!

"Punishment must there be, and justice"- so thinks it: "not gratuitously shall he here sing songs in honor of enmity!"

Yes, it has revenged itself! And alas! now will it make my soul also dizzy with revenge!

That I may not turn dizzy, however, bind me fast, my friends, to this pillar! Rather will I be a pillar-saint than a whirl of vengeance!

No cyclone or whirlwind is Zarathustra: and if he be a dancer, he is not at all a tarantula-dancer!-


Thus spoke Zarathustra.

30. The Famous Wise Men[edit]

THE people have you served and the people's superstition- not the truth!- all you famous wise ones! And just on that account did they pay you reverence.

And on that account also did they tolerate your unbelief, because it was a pleasantry and a by-path for the people. Thus does the master give free scope to his slaves, and even enjoys their presumptuousness.

But he who is hated by the people, as the wolf by the dogs- is the free spirit, the enemy of fetters, the non-adorer, the dweller in the woods.

To hunt him out of his lair- that was always called "sense of right" by the people: on him do they still hound their sharpest-toothed dogs.

"For there the truth is, where the people are! Woe, woe to the seeking ones!"- thus has it echoed through all time.

Your people would you justify in their reverence: that called you "Will to Truth," you famous wise ones!

And your heart has always said to itself: "From the people have I come: from thence came to me also the voice of God."

Stiff-necked and artful, like the ass, have you always been, as the advocates of the people.

And many a powerful one who wanted to run well with the people, has harnessed in front of his horses- a donkey, a famous wise man.

And now, you famous wise ones, I would have you finally throw off entirely the skin of the lion!

The skin of the beast of prey, the speckled skin, and the dishevelled locks of the investigator, the searcher, and the conqueror!

Ah! for me to learn to believe in your "conscientiousness," you would first have to break your venerating will.

Conscientious- so call I him who goes into God-forsaken wildernesses, and has broken his venerating heart.

In the yellow sands and burnt by the sun, he doubtless peers thirstily at the isles rich in fountains, where life reposes under shady trees.

But his thirst does not persuade him to become like those comfortable ones: for where there are oases, there are also idols.

Hungry, fierce, lonesome, God-forsaken: so does the lion-will wish itself.

Free from the happiness of slaves, redeemed from deities and adorations, fearless and fear-inspiring, grand and lonesome: so is the will of the conscientious.

In the wilderness have ever dwelt the conscientious, the free spirits, as lords of the wilderness; but in the cities dwell the well-foddered, famous wise ones- the draught-beasts.

For, always do they draw, as asses- the people's carts!

Not that I on that account upbraid them: but serving ones do they remain, and harnessed ones, even though they glitter in golden harness.

And often have they been good servants and worthy of their hire. For thus says virtue: "If you must be a servant, seek him to whom your service is most useful!

The spirit and virtue of your master shall advance by you being his servant: thus will you yourself advance with his spirit and virtue!"

And verily, you famous wise ones, you servants of the people! You yourselves have advanced with the people's spirit and virtue- and the people by you! To your honor do I say it!

But the people you remain for me, even with your virtues, the people with purblind eyes- the people who know not what spirit is!

Spirit is life which itself cuts into life: by its own torture does it increase its own knowledge,- did you know that before?

And the spirit's happiness is this: to be anointed and consecrated with tears as a sacrificial victim,- did you know that before?

And the blindness of the blind one, and his seeking and groping, shall yet testify to the power of the sun into which he has gazed,- did you know that before?

And with mountains shall the discerning one learn to build! It is a small thing for the spirit to remove mountains,- did you know that before?

You know only the sparks of the spirit: but you do not see the anvil which it is, and the cruelty of its hammer!

You know not the spirit's pride! But still less could you endure the spirit's humility, should it ever want to speak!

And never yet could you cast your spirit into a pit of snow: you are not hot enough for that! Thus are you unaware, also, of the delight of its coldness.

In all respects, however, you make too familiar with the spirit; and out of wisdom have you often made an alms-house and a hospital for bad poets.

You are not eagles: thus have you never experienced the happiness of the alarm of the spirit. And he who is not a bird should not camp above abysses.

You seem to me lukewarm ones: but coldly flows all deep knowledge. Ice-cold are the innermost wells of the spirit: a refreshment to hot hands and handlers.

Respectable do you there stand, and stiff, and with straight backs, you famous wise ones!- no strong wind or will impels you.

Have you ne'er seen a sail crossing the sea, rounded and inflated, and trembling with the violence of the wind?

Like the sail trembling with the violence of the spirit, does my wisdom cross the sea- my wild wisdom!

But you servants of the people, you famous wise ones- how could you go with me!-

Thus spoke Zarathustra.



31. The Night Song[edit]

'TIS night: now do all gushing fountains speak louder. And my soul also is a gushing fountain.

'Tis night: now only do all songs of the loving ones awake. And my soul also is the song of a loving one.

Something unappeased, unappeasable, is within me; it longs to find expression. A craving for love is within me, which speaks itself the language of love.

Light am I: ah, that I were night! But it is my lonesomeness to be begirt with light!

Ah, that I were dark and nightly! How would I suck at the breasts of light!

And you yourselves would I bless, you twinkling starlets and glow-worms aloft!- and would rejoice in the gifts of your light.

But I live in my own light, I drink again into myself the flames that break forth from me.

I know not the happiness of the receiver; and oft have I dreamt that stealing must be more blessed than receiving.

It is my poverty that my hand never ceases giving; it is my envy that I see waiting eyes and the brightened nights of longing.

Oh, the misery of all givers! Oh, the darkening of my sun! Oh, the craving to crave! Oh, the violent hunger in satiety!

They take from me: but do I yet touch their soul? There is a gap 'twixt giving and receiving; and the small gap has finally to be bridged over.

A hunger arises out of my beauty: I should like to injure those I illumine; I should like to rob those I have gifted:- thus do I hunger for wickedness.

Withdrawing my hand when another hand already stretches out to it; hesitating like the cascade, which hesitates even in its leap:- thus do I hunger for wickedness!

Such revenge does my abundance think of such mischief wells out of my lonesomeness.

My happiness in giving died in giving; my virtue became weary of itself by its abundance!

He who ever gives is in danger of losing his shame; to him who ever dispenses, the hand and heart become callous by very dispensing.

My eye no longer overflows for the shame of suppliants; my hand has become too hard for the trembling of filled hands.

Whence have gone the tears of my eye, and the down of my heart? Oh, the lonesomeness of all givers! Oh, the silence of all shining ones!

Many suns circle in desert space: to all that is dark do they speak with their light- but to me they are silent.

Oh, this is the hostility of light to the shining one: unpityingly does it pursue its course.

Unfair to the shining one in its innermost heart, cold to the suns:- thus travels every sun.

Like a storm do the suns pursue their courses: that is their travelling. Their inexorable will do they follow: that is their coldness.

Oh, you only is it, you dark, nightly ones, that extract warmth from the shining ones! Oh, you only drink milk and refreshment from the light's udders!

Ah, there is ice around me; my hand burns with the iciness! Ah, there is thirst in me; it pants after your thirst!

'Tis night: alas, that I have to be light! And thirst for the nightly! And lonesomeness!

'Tis night: now do my longing break forth in me as a fountain,- for speech do I long.

'Tis night: now do all gushing fountains speak louder. And my soul also is a gushing fountain.

'Tis night: now do all songs of loving ones awake. And my soul also is the song of a loving one.-


Thus sang Zarathustra.

32. The Dance Song[edit]

ONE evening went Zarathustra and his disciples through the forest; and when he sought for a well, lo, he lighted upon a green meadow peacefully surrounded by trees and bushes, where maidens were dancing together. As soon as the maidens recognised Zarathustra, they ceased dancing; Zarathustra, however, approached them with friendly mien and spoke these words:

Cease not your dancing, you lovely maidens! No game-spoiler has come to you with evil eye, no enemy of maidens.

God's advocate am I with the devil: yet he is the spirit of gravity. How could I, you light-footed ones, be hostile to divine dances? Or to maidens' feet with fine ankles?

To be sure, I am a forest, and a night of dark trees: but he who is not afraid of my darkness, will find banks full of roses under my cypresses.

And even the little God may he find, who is dearest to maidens: beside the well lies he quietly, with closed eyes.

In broad daylight did he fall asleep, the sluggard! Had he perhaps chased butterflies too much?

Upbraid me not, you beautiful dancers, when I chasten the little God somewhat! He will cry, certainly, and weep— but he is laughable even when weeping!

And with tears in his eyes shall he ask you for a dance; and I myself will sing a song to his dance:

A dance-song and satire on the spirit of gravity my supremest, powerfulest devil, who is said to be "lord of the world."—

And this is the song that Zarathustra sang when Cupid and the maidens danced together:


Of late did I gaze into your eye, O Life! And into the unfathomable did I there seem to sink.

But you pulled me out with a golden angle; derisively did you laugh when I called you unfathomable.

"Such is the language of all fish," said you; "what they do not fathom is unfathomable.

But changeable am I only, and wild, and altogether a woman, and no virtuous one:

Though I be called by you men the 'profound one,' or the 'faithful one,' 'the eternal one,' 'the mysterious one.'

But you men endow us always with your own virtues- alas, you virtuous ones!"

Thus did she laugh, the unbelievable one; but never do I believe her and her laughter, when she speaks evil of herself.

And when I talked face to face with my wild Wisdom, she said to me angrily: "You will, you crave, you love; on that account alone do you praise Life!"

Then had I almost answered indignantly and told the truth to the angry one; and one cannot answer more indignantly than when one "tells the truth" to one's Wisdom.

For thus do things stand with us three. In my heart do I love only Life- and verily, most when I hate her!

But that I am fond of Wisdom, and often too fond, is because she reminds me very strongly of Life!

She has her eye, her laugh, and even her golden angle-rod: am I responsible for it that both are so alike?

And when once Life asked me: "Who is she then, this Wisdom?"- then said I eagerly: "Ah, yes! Wisdom!

One thirsts for her and is not satisfied, one looks through veils, one grasps through nets.

Is she beautiful? What do I know! But the oldest carps are still lured by her.

Changeable is she, and wayward; often have I seen her bite her lip, and pass the comb against the grain of her hair.

Perhaps she is wicked and false, and altogether a woman; but when she speaks ill of herself, just then does she seduce most."

When I had said this to Life, then laughed she maliciously, and shut her eyes. "Of whom do you speak?" said she. "Perhaps of me?

And if you were right- is it proper to say that in such wise to my face! But now, pray, speak also of your Wisdom!"

Ah, and now have you again opened your eyes, O beloved Life! And into the unfathomable have I again seemed to sink.-


Thus sang Zarathustra. But when the dance was over and the maidens had departed, he became sad.

"The sun has been long set," said he at last, "the meadow is damp, and from the forest comes coolness.

An unknown presence is about me, and gazes thoughtfully. What! you live still, Zarathustra?

Why? Wherefore? Whereby? Where? Where? How? Is it not folly still to live?-

Ah, my friends; the evening is it which thus interrogates in me. Forgive me my sadness!

Evening has come on: forgive me that evening has come on!"


Thus sang Zarathustra.

33. The Grave Song[edit]

"YONDER is the grave-island, the silent isle; yonder also are the graves of my youth. There will I carry an evergreen wreath of life."

Resolving thus in my heart, did I sail o'er the sea.-

Oh, you sights and scenes of my youth! Oh, all you gleams of love, you divine fleeting gleams! How could you perish so soon for me! I think of you to-day as my dead ones.

From you, my dearest dead ones, comes to me a sweet savor, heart-opening and melting. It convulses and opens the heart of the lone seafarer.

Still am I the richest and most to be envied- I, the most lonesome one! For I have possessed you, and you possess me still. Tell me: to whom has there ever fallen such rosy apples from the tree as have fallen to me?

Still am I your love's heir and heritage, blooming to your memory with many-hued, wild-growing virtues, O you dearest ones!

Ah, we were made to remain near to each other, you kindly strange marvels; and not like timid birds did you come to me and my longing- no, but as trusting ones to a trusting one!

Yes, made for faithfulness, like me, and for fond eternities, must I now name you by your faithlessness, you divine glances and fleeting gleams: no other name have I yet learnt.

Too early did you die for me, you fugitives. Yet did you not flee from me, nor did I flee from you: innocent are we to each other in our faithlessness.

To kill me, did they strangle you, you singing birds of my hopes! Yes, at you, you dearest ones, did malice ever shoot its arrows- to hit my heart!

And they hit it! Because you were always my dearest, my possession and my possessedness: on that account had you to die young, and far too early!

At my most vulnerable point did they shoot the arrow- namely, at you, whose skin is like down- or more like the smile that dies at a glance!

But this word will I say to my enemies: What is all manslaughter in comparison with what you have done to me!

Worse evil did you do to me than all manslaughter; the irretrievable did you take from me:- thus do I speak to you, my enemies!

Slew you not my youth's visions and dearest marvels! My playmates took you from me, the blessed spirits! To their memory do I deposit this wreath and this curse.

This curse upon you, my enemies! Have you not made my eternal short, as a tone dies away in a cold night! Scarcely, as the twinkle of divine eyes, did it come to me- as a fleeting gleam!

Thus spoke once in a happy hour my purity: "Divine shall everything be to me."

Then did you haunt me with foul phantoms; ah, where has that happy hour now fled!

"All days shall be sacred to me"- so spoke once the wisdom of my youth: verily, the language of a joyous wisdom!

But then did you enemies steal my nights, and sold them to sleepless torture: ah, where has that joyous wisdom now fled?

Once did I long for happy auspices: then did you lead an owl-monster across my path, an adverse sign. Ah, where did my tender longing then flee?

All loathing did I once vow to renounce: then did you change my nigh ones and nearest ones into ulcerations. Ah, where did my noblest vow then flee?

As a blind one did I once walk in blessed ways: then did you cast filth on the blind one's course: and now is he disgusted with the old footpath.

And when I performed my hardest task, and celebrated the triumph of my victories, then did you make those who loved me call out that I then grieved them most.

It was always your doing: you embittered to me my best honey, and the diligence of my best bees.

To my charity have you ever sent the most impudent beggars; around my sympathy have you ever crowded the incurably shameless. Thus have you wounded the faith of my virtue.

And when I offered my holiest as a sacrifice, immediately did your "piety" put its fatter gifts beside it: so that my holiest suffocated in the fumes of your fat.

And once did I want to dance as I had never yet danced: beyond all heavens did I want to dance. Then did you seduce my favorite minstrel.

And now has he struck up an awful, melancholy air; alas, he tooted as a mournful horn to my ear!

Murderous minstrel, instrument of evil, most innocent instrument! Already did I stand prepared for the best dance: then did you kill my rapture with your tones!

Only in the dance do I know how to speak the parable of the highest things:- and now has my grandest parable remained unspoken in my limbs!

Unspoken and unrealised has my highest hope remained! And there have perished for me all the visions and consolations of my youth!

How did I ever bear it? How did I survive and overcome such wounds? How did my soul rise again out of those sepulchres?

Yes, something invulnerable, unburiable is with me, something that would rend rocks asunder: it is called my Will. Silently does it proceed, and unchanged throughout the years.

Its course will it go upon my feet, my old Will; hard of heart is its nature and invulnerable.

Invulnerable am I only in my heel. Ever live you there, and are like yourself, you most patient one! Ever have you burst all shackles of the tomb!

In you still lives also the unrealisedness of my youth; and as life and youth sit you here hopeful on the yellow ruins of graves.

Yes, you are still for me the demolisher of all graves: Hail to you, my Will! And only where there are graves are there resurrections.-


Thus sang Zarathustra.



34. Self-Overcoming[edit]

"WILL to Truth" do you call it, you wisest ones, that which impels you and makes you ardent?

Will for the thinkableness of all being: thus do I call your will!

All being would you make thinkable: for you doubt with good reason whether it be already thinkable.

But it shall accommodate and bend itself to you! So wills your will. Smooth shall it become and subject to the spirit, as its mirror and reflection.

That is your entire will, you wisest ones, as a Will to Power; and even when you speak of good and evil, and of estimates of value.

You would still create a world before which you can bow the knee: such is your ultimate hope and ecstasy.

The ignorant, to be sure, the people- they are like a river on which a boat floats along: and in the boat sit the estimates of value, solemn and disguised.

Your will and your valuations have you put on the river of becoming; it betrays to me an old Will to Power, what is believed by the people as good and evil.

It was you, you wisest ones, who put such guests in this boat, and gave them pomp and proud names- you and your ruling Will!

Onward the river now carries your boat: it must carry it. A small matter if the rough wave foams and angrily resists its keel!

It is not the river that is your danger and the end of your good and evil, you wisest ones: but that Will itself, the Will to Power- the unexhausted, procreating life-will.

But that you may understand my gospel of good and evil, for that purpose will I tell you my gospel of life, and of the nature of all living things.

The living thing did I follow; I walked in the broadest and narrowest paths to learn its nature.

With a hundred-faced mirror did I catch its glance when its mouth was shut, so that its eye might speak to me. And its eye spoke to me.

But wherever I found living things, there heard I also the language of obedience. All living things are obeying things.

And this heard I secondly: Whatever cannot obey itself, is commanded. Such is the nature of living things.

This, however, is the third thing which I heard- namely, that commanding is more difficult than obeying. And not only because the commander bears the burden of all obeyers, and because this burden readily crushes him:-

An attempt and a risk seemed all commanding to me; and whenever it commands, the living thing risks itself thereby.

Yes, even when it commands itself, then also must it atone for its commanding. Of its own law must it become the judge and avenger and victim.

How does this happen! So did I ask myself. What persuades the living thing to obey, and command, and even be obedient in commanding?

Hearken now to my word, you wisest ones! Test it seriously, whether I have crept into the heart of life itself, and into the roots of its heart!

Wherever I found a living thing, there found I Will to Power; and even in the will of the servant found I the will to be master.

That to the stronger the weaker shall serve- thereto persuades he his will who would be master over a still weaker one. That delight alone he is unwilling to forego.

And as the lesser surrenders himself to the greater that he may have delight and power over the least of all, so do even the greatest surrender himself, and stakes- life, for the sake of power.

It is the surrender of the greatest to run risk and danger, and play dice for death.

And where there is sacrifice and service and love-glances, there also is the will to be master. By by-ways do the weaker then slink into the fortress, and into the heart of the mightier one- and there steals power.

And this secret spoke Life herself to me. "Behold," said she, "I am that which must ever overcome itself.

To be sure, you call it will to procreation, or impulse towards a goal, towards the higher, remoter, more manifold: but all that is one and the same secret.

Rather would I perish than disown this one thing; and verily, where there is perishing and leaf-falling, lo, there does Life sacrifice itself- for power!

That I have to be struggle, and becoming, and purpose, and cross-purpose- ah, he who divines my will, divines well also on what crooked paths it has to tread!

Whatever I create, and however much I love it,- soon must I be adverse to it, and to my love: so wills my will.

And even you, discerning one, are only a path and footstep of my will: verily, my Will to Power walks even on the feet of your Will to Truth!

He certainly did not hit the truth who shot at it the formula: "Will to existence": that will- does not exist!

For what is not, cannot will; that, however, which is in existence- how could it still strive for existence!

Only where there is life, is there also will: not, however, Will to Life, but- so teach I you- Will to Power!

Much is reckoned higher than life itself by the living one; but out of the very reckoning speaks- the Will to Power!"-

Thus did Life once teach me: and thereby, you wisest ones, do I solve you the riddle of your hearts.

I say to you: good and evil which would be everlasting- it does not exist! Of its own accord must it ever overcome itself anew.

With your values and formulae of good and evil, you exercise power, you valuing ones: and that is your secret love, and the sparkling, trembling, and overflowing of your souls.

But a stronger power grows out of your values, and a new overcoming: by it breaks egg and egg-shell.

And he who has to be a creator in good and evil- verily, he has first to be a destroyer, and break values in pieces.

Thus does the greatest evil pertain to the greatest good: that, however, is the creating good.-

Let us speak thereof, you wisest ones, even though it be bad. To be silent is worse; all suppressed truths become poisonous.

And let everything break up which- can break up by our truths! Many a house is still to be built!-


Thus spoke Zarathustra.



35. The Sublime Ones[edit]

CALM is the bottom of my sea: who would guess that it hides droll monsters!

Unmoved is my depth: but it sparkles with swimming enigmas and laughters.

A sublime one saw I today, a solemn one, a penitent of the spirit: Oh, how my soul laughed at his ugliness!

With upraised breast, and like those who draw in their breath: thus did he stand, the sublime one, and in silence:

O'erhung with ugly truths, the spoil of his hunting, and rich in torn raiment; many thorns also hung on him- but I saw no rose. Not yet had he learned laughing and beauty. Gloomy did this hunter return from the forest of knowledge.

From the fight with wild beasts returned he home: but even yet a wild beast gazes out of his seriousness- an unconquered wild beast!

As a tiger does he ever stand, on the point of springing; but I do not like those strained souls; ungracious is my taste towards all those self-engrossed ones.

And you tell me, friends, that there is to be no dispute about taste and tasting? But all life is a dispute about taste and tasting!

Taste: that is weight at the same time, and scales and weigher; and alas for every living thing that would live without dispute about weight and scales and weigher!

Should he become weary of his sublimeness, this sublime one, then only will his beauty begin- and then only will I taste him and find him savory.

And only when he turns away from himself will he o'erleap his own shadow- and verily! into his sun.

Far too long did he sit in the shade; the cheeks of the penitent of the spirit became pale; he almost starved on his expectations.

Contempt is still in his eye, and loathing hides in his mouth. To be sure, he now rests, but he has not yet taken rest in the sunshine.

As the ox ought he to do; and his happiness should smell of the earth, and not of contempt for the earth.

As a white ox would I like to see him, which, snorting and lowing, walks before the plough-share: and his lowing should also laud all that is earthly!

Dark is still his countenance; the shadow of his hand dances upon it. O'ershadowed is still the sense of his eye.

His deed itself is still the shadow upon him: his doing obscures the doer. Not yet has he overcome his deed.

To be sure, I love in him the shoulders of the ox: but now do I want to see also the eye of the angel.

Also his hero-will has he still to unlearn: an exalted one shall he be, and not only a sublime one:- the ether itself should raise him, the will-less one!

He has subdued monsters, he has solved enigmas. But he should also redeem his monsters and enigmas; into heavenly children should he transform them.

As yet has his knowledge not learned to smile, and to be without jealousy; as yet has his gushing passion not become calm in beauty.

Not in satiety shall his longing cease and disappear, but in beauty! Gracefulness belongs to the munificence of the magnanimous.

His arm across his head: thus should the hero repose; thus should he also overcome his repose.

But precisely to the hero is beauty the hardest thing of all. Unattainable is beauty by all ardent wills.

A little more, a little less: precisely this is much here, it is the most here.

To stand with relaxed muscles and with unharnessed will: that is the hardest for all of you, you sublime ones!

When power becomes gracious and descends into the visible- I call such condescension, beauty.

And from no one do I want beauty so much as from you, you powerful one: let your goodness be your last self-conquest.

All evil do I accredit to you: therefore do I desire of you the good.

I have often laughed at the weaklings, who think themselves good because they have crippled paws!

The virtue of the pillar shall you strive after: more beautiful does it ever become, and more graceful- but internally harder and more sustaining- the higher it rises.

Yes, you sublime one, one day shall you also be beautiful, and hold up the mirror to your own beauty.

Then will your soul thrill with divine desires; and there will be adoration even in your vanity!

For this is the secret of the soul: when the hero has abandoned it, then only approach it in dreams- the super-hero.-


Thus spoke Zarathustra.



36. The Land of Culture[edit]

TOO far did I fly into the future: a horror seized upon me.

And when I looked around me, behold, there time was my sole contemporary.

Then did I fly backwards, homewards- and always faster. Thus did I come to you: you present-day men, and into the land of culture.

For the first time brought I an eye to see you, and good desire: verily, with longing in my heart did I come.

But how did it turn out with me? Although so alarmed- I had yet to laugh! Never did my eye see anything so motley-colored!

I laughed and laughed, while my foot still trembled, and my heart as well. "Here , is the home of all the paint-pots,"- said I.

With fifty patches painted on faces and limbs — so sat ye there to my astonishment, ye present-day men!

And with fifty mirrors around you, which flattered your play of colors, and repeated it!

Verily, ye could wear no better masks, ye present-day men, than your own faces! Who could — recognize you!

Written all over with the characters of the past, and these characters also pencilled over with new characters — thus have ye concealed yourselves well from all decipherers!

And though one be a trier of the reins, who still believeth that ye have reins! Out of colors ye seem to be baked, and out of glued scraps.

All times and peoples gaze divers-colored out of your veils; all customs and beliefs speak divers-colored out of your gestures.

He who would strip you of veils and wrappers, and paints and gestures, would just have enough left to scare the crows.

Verily, I myself am the scared crow that once saw you naked, and without paint; and I flew away when the skeleton ogled at me.

Rather would I be a day-laborer in the nether-world, and among the shades of the by-gone! — Fatter and fuller than ye, are the nether-worldlings!

This, yea this, is bitterness to my bowels, that I can neither endure you naked nor clothed, ye present-day men!

All that is unhomelike in the future, and whatever maketh strayed birds shiver, is verily more homelike and familiar than your "reality."

For thus speak you: "Real are we wholly, and without faith and superstition": thus do you plume yourselves — alas! even without plumes!

Indeed, how would ye be able to believe, you divers-colored ones!- you who are pictures of all that has ever been believed!

Perambulating refutations are you, of belief itself, and a dislocation of all thought. Untrustworthy ones: thus do I call you, you real ones!

All periods prate against one another in your spirits; and the dreams and pratings of all periods were even realer than your awakeness!

Unfruitful are you: therefore do you lack belief. But he who had to create, had always his presaging dreams and astral premonitions- and believed in believing!-

Half-open doors are you, at which grave-diggers wait. And this is your reality: "Everything deserves to perish."

Alas, how you stand there before me, you unfruitful ones; how lean your ribs! And many of you surely have had knowledge thereof.

Many a one has said: "There has surely a God filched something from me secretly whilst I slept? enough to make a girl for himself therefrom!

"Amazing is the poverty of my ribs!" thus has spoken many a present-day man.

Yes, you are laughable to me, you present-day men! And especially when you marvel at yourselves!

And woe to me if I could not laugh at your marvelling, and had to swallow all that is repugnant in your platters!

As it is, however, I will make lighter of you, since I have to carry what is heavy; and what matter if beetles and May-bugs also alight on my load!

It shall not on that account become heavier to me! And not from you, you present-day men, shall my great weariness arise.-

Ah, where shall I now ascend with my longing! From all mountains do I look out for fatherlands and motherlands.

But a home have I found nowhere: unsettled am I in all cities, and decamping at all gates.

Alien to me, and a mockery, are the present-day men, to whom of late my heart impelled me; and exiled am I from fatherlands and motherlands.

Thus do I love only my children's land, the undiscovered in the remotest sea: for it do I bid my sails search and search.

To my children will I make amends for being the child of my fathers: and to all the future- for this present-day!-


Thus spoke Zarathustra.


37. Immaculate Perception[edit]

WHEN yester-eve the moon arose, then did I fancy it about to bear a sun: so broad and teeming did it lie on the horizon.

But it was a liar with its pregnancy; and sooner will I believe in the man in the moon than in the woman.

To be sure, little of a man is he also, that timid night-reveller. With a bad conscience does he stalk over the roofs.

For he is covetous and jealous, the monk in the moon; covetous of the earth, and all the joys of lovers.

No, I like him not, that tom-cat on the roofs! Hateful to me are all that slink around half-closed windows!

Piously and silently does he stalk along on the star-carpets:- but I like no light-treading human feet, on which not even a spur jingles.

Every honest one's step speaks; the cat however, steals along over the ground. Behold, cat-like does the moon come along, and dishonestly.-

This parable speak I to you sentimental dissemblers, to you, the "pure discerners!" You do I call- covetous ones!

Also you love the earth, and the earthly: I have divined you well!- but shame is in your love, and a bad conscience- you are like the moon!

To despise the earthly has your spirit been persuaded, but not your bowels: these, however, are the strongest in you!

And now is your spirit ashamed to be at the service of your bowels, and goes in by-ways and lying ways to escape its own shame.

"That would be the highest thing for me"- so says your lying spirit to itself- "to gaze upon life without desire, and not like the dog, with hanging-out tongue:

To be happy in gazing: with dead will, free from the grip and greed of selfishness- cold and ashy-grey all over, but with intoxicated moon-eyes!

That would be the dearest thing to me"- thus do the seduced one seduce himself,- "to love the earth as the moon loves it, and with the eye only to feel its beauty.

And this do I call immaculate perception of all things: to want nothing else from them, but to be allowed to lie before them as a mirror with a hundred facets."-

Oh, you sentimental dissemblers, you covetous ones! You lack innocence in your desire: and now do you defame desiring on that account!

Not as creators, as procreators, or as jubilators do you love the earth!

Where is innocence? Where there is will to procreation. And he who seeks to create beyond himself, has for me the purest will.

Where is beauty? Where I must will with my whole Will; where I will love and perish, that an image may not remain merely an image.

Loving and perishing: these have rhymed from eternity. Will to love: that is to be ready also for death. Thus do I speak to you cowards!

But now does your emasculated ogling profess to be "contemplation!" And that which can be examined with cowardly eyes is to be christened "beautiful!" Oh, you violators of noble names!

But it shall be your curse, you immaculate ones, you pure discerners, that you shall never bring forth, even though you lie broad and teeming on the horizon!

You fill your mouth with noble words: and we are to believe that your heart overflows, you cozeners?

But my words are poor, contemptible, stammering words: gladly do I pick up what falls from the table at your repasts.

Yet still can I say therewith the truth- to dissemblers! Yes, my fish-bones, shells, and prickly leaves shall- tickle the noses of dissemblers!

Bad air is always about you and your repasts: your lascivious thoughts, your lies, and secrets are indeed in the air!

Dare only to believe in yourselves- in yourselves and in your inward parts! He who does not believe in himself always lies.

A God's mask have you hung in front of you, you "pure ones": into a God's mask has your execrable coiling snake crawled.

Verily you deceive, you "contemplative ones!" Even Zarathustra was once the dupe of your godlike exterior; he did not divine the serpent's coil with which it was stuffed.

A God's soul, I once thought I saw playing in your games, you pure discerners! No better arts did I once dream of than your arts!

Serpents' filth and evil odour, the distance concealed from me: and that a lizard's craft prowled thereabouts lasciviously.

But I came near to you: then came to me the day,- and now comes it to you,- at an end is the moon's love affair!

See there! Surprised and pale does it stand- before the rosy dawn!

For already she comes, the glowing one,- her love to the earth comes! Innocence, and creative desire, is all solar love!

See there, how she comes impatiently over the sea! Do you not feel the thirst and the hot breath of her love?

At the sea would she suck, and drink its depths to her height: now rises the desire of the sea with its thousand breasts.

Kissed and sucked would it be by the thirst of the sun; vapor would it become, and height, and path of light, and light itself!

Like the sun do I love life, and all deep seas.

And this means to me knowledge: all that is deep shall ascend- to my height!-

Thus spoke Zarathustra.



38. Scholars[edit]

WHEN I lay asleep, then did a sheep eat at the ivy-wreath on my head,- it ate, and said thereby: "Zarathustra is no longer a scholar."

It said this, and went away clumsily and proudly. A child told it to me.

I like to lie here where the children play, beside the ruined wall, among thistles and red poppies.

A scholar am I still to the children, and also to the thistles and red poppies. Innocent are they, even in their wickedness.

But to the sheep I am no longer a scholar: so wills my lot-blessings upon it!

For this is the truth: I have departed from the house of the scholars, and the door have I also slammed behind me.

Too long did my soul sit hungry at their table: not like them have I got the knack of investigating, as the knack of nut-cracking.

Freedom do I love, and the air over fresh soil; rather would I sleep on ox-skins than on their honors and dignities.

I am too hot and scorched with my own thought: often is it ready to take away my breath. Then have I to go into the open air, and away from all dusty rooms.

But they sit cool in the cool shade: they want in everything to be merely spectators, and they avoid sitting where the sun burns on the steps.

Like those who stand in the street and gape at the passers-by: thus do they also wait, and gape at the thoughts which others have thought.

Should one lay hold of them, then do they raise a dust like flour-sacks, and involuntarily: but who would divine that their dust came from corn, and from the yellow delight of the summer fields?

When they give themselves out as wise, then do their petty sayings and truths chill me: in their wisdom there is often an odour as if it came from the swamp; and verily, I have even heard the frog croak in it!

Clever are they- they have dexterous fingers: what does my simplicity pretend to beside their multiplicity! All threading and knitting and weaving do their fingers understand: thus do they make the hose of the spirit!

Good clockworks are they: only be careful to wind them up properly! Then do they indicate the hour without mistake, and make a modest noise thereby.

Like millstones do they work, and like pestles: throw only seed-corn to them!- they know well how to grind corn small, and make white dust out of it.

They keep a sharp eye on one another, and do not trust each other the best. Ingenious in little artifices, they wait for those whose knowledge walks on lame feet,- like spiders do they wait.

I saw them always prepare their poison with precaution; and always did they put glass gloves on their fingers in doing so.

They also know how to play with false dice; and so eagerly did I find them playing, that they perspired thereby.

We are alien to each other, and their virtues are even more repugnant to my taste than their falsehoods and false dice.

And when I lived with them, then did I live above them. Therefore did they take a dislike to me.

They want to hear nothing of any one walking above their heads; and so they put wood and earth and rubbish between me and their heads.

Thus did they deafen the sound of my tread: and least have I hitherto been heard by the most learned.

All mankind's faults and weaknesses did they put between themselves and me:- they call it "false ceiling" in their houses.

But nevertheless I walk with my thoughts above their heads; and even should I walk on my own errors, still would I be above them and their heads.

For men are not equal: so speaks justice. And what I will, they may not will!-


Thus spoke Zarathustra.



39. Poets[edit]

"SINCE I have known the body better"- said Zarathustra to one of his disciples- "the spirit has only been to me symbolically spirit; and all the 'imperishable'- that is also but a parable."

"So have I heard you say once before," answered the disciple, "and then you added: 'But the poets lie too much.' Why did you say that the poets lie too much?"

"Why?" said Zarathustra. "You ask why? I do not belong to those who may be asked after their Why.

Is my experience but of yesterday? It is long ago that I experienced the reasons for my opinions.

Should I not have to be a cask of memory, if I also wanted to have my reasons with me?

It is already too much for me even to retain my opinions; and many a bird flies away.

And sometimes, also, do I find a fugitive creature in my dovecote, which is alien to me, and trembles when I lay my hand upon it.

But what did Zarathustra once say to you? That the poets lie too much?- But Zarathustra also is a poet.

Believe you that he there spoke the truth? Why do you believe it?"

The disciple answered: "I believe in Zarathustra." But Zarathustra shook his head and smiled.-

Belief does not sanctify me, said he, least of all the belief in myself.

But granting that some one did say in all seriousness that the poets lie too much: he was right- we do lie too much.

We also know too little, and are bad learners: so we are obliged to lie.

And which of us poets has not adulterated his wine? Many a poisonous hotchpotch has evolved in our cellars: many an indescribable thing has there been done.

And because we know little, therefore are we pleased from the heart with the poor in spirit, especially when they are young women!

And even of those things are we desirous, which old women tell one another in the evening. This do we call the eternally feminine in us.

And as if there were a special secret access to knowledge, which chokes up for those who learn anything, so do we believe in the people and in their "wisdom."

This, however, do all poets believe: that whoever pricks up his ears when lying in the grass or on lonely slopes, learns something of the things that are between heaven and earth.

And if there come to them tender emotions, then do the poets always think that nature herself is in love with them:

And that she steals to their ear to whisper secrets into it, and amorous flatteries: of this do they plume and pride themselves, before all mortals!

Ah, there are so many things between heaven and earth of which only the poets have dreamed!

And especially above the heavens: for all gods are poet-symbolisations, poet-sophistications!

Ever are we drawn aloft- that is, to the realm of the clouds: on these do we set our gaudy puppets, and then call them gods and supermen:-

Are not they light enough for those chairs!- all these gods and supermen?-

Ah, how I am weary of all the inadequate that is insisted on as actual! Ah, how I am weary of the poets!


When Zarathustra so spoke, his disciple resented it, but was silent. And Zarathustra also was silent; and his eye directed itself inwardly, as if it gazed into the far distance. At last he sighed and drew breath.-

I am of today and heretofore, said he then; but something is in me that is of the morrow, and the day following, and the hereafter.

I became weary of the poets, of the old and of the new: superficial are they all to me, and shallow seas.

They did not think sufficiently into the depth; therefore their feeling did not reach to the bottom.

Some sensation of voluptuousness and some sensation of tedium: these have as yet been their best contemplation.

Ghost-breathing and ghost-whisking, seems to me all the jingle-jangling of their harps; what have they known hitherto of the fervor of tones!-

They are also not pure enough for me: they all muddle their water that it may seem deep.

And rather would they thereby prove themselves reconcilers: but mediaries and mixers are they to me, and half-and-half, and impure!-

Ah, I cast indeed my net into their sea, and meant to catch good fish; but always did I draw up the head of some ancient God.

Thus did the sea give a stone to the hungry one. And they themselves may well originate from the sea.

Certainly, one finds pearls in them: thereby they are the more like hard molluscs. And instead of a soul, I have often found in them salt slime.

They have learned from the sea also its vanity: is not the sea the peacock of peacocks?

Even before the ugliest of all buffaloes does it spread out its tail; never does it tire of its lace-fan of silver and silk.

Disdainfully does the buffalo glance thereat, nigh to the sand with its soul, closer still to the thicket, nighest, however, to the swamp.

What is beauty and sea and peacock-splendour to it! This parable I speak to the poets.

Their spirit itself is the peacock of peacocks, and a sea of vanity!

Spectators seeks the spirit of the poet- should they even be buffaloes!-

But of this spirit became I weary; and I see the time coming when it will become weary of itself.

Yes, changed have I seen the poets, and their glance turned towards themselves.

Penitents of the spirit have I seen appearing; they grew out of the poets.-


Thus spoke Zarathustra.

40. Great Events[edit]

THERE is an isle in the sea- not far from the Blessed isles of Zarathustra- on which a volcano ever smokes; of which isle the people, and especially the old women amongst them, say that it is placed as a rock before the gate of the under-world; but that through the volcano itself the narrow way leads downwards which conducts to this gate.

Now about the time that Zarathustra sojourned on the Blessed isles, it happened that a ship anchored at the isle on which stands the smoking mountain, and the crew went ashore to shoot rabbits. About the noontide hour, however, when the captain and his men were together again, they saw suddenly a man coming towards them through the air, and a voice said distinctly: "It is time! It is the highest time!" But when the figure was nearest to them (it flew past quickly, however, like a shadow, in the direction of the volcano), then did they recognize with the greatest surprise that it was Zarathustra; for they had all seen him before except the captain himself, and they loved him as the people love: in such wise that love and awe were combined in equal degree.

"Behold!" said the old helmsman, "there goes Zarathustra to hell!"

About the same time that these sailors landed on the fire-isle, there was a rumor that Zarathustra had disappeared; and when his friends were asked about it, they said that he had gone on board a ship by night, without saying where he was going.

Thus there arose some uneasiness. After three days, however, there came the story of the ship's crew in addition to this uneasiness- and then did all the people say that the devil had taken Zarathustra. His disciples laughed, sure enough, at this talk; and one of them said even: "Sooner would I believe that Zarathustra has taken the devil." But at the bottom of their hearts they were all full of anxiety and longing: so their joy was great when on the fifth day Zarathustra appeared amongst them.

And this is the account of Zarathustra's interview with the fire-dog:

The earth, said he, has a skin; and this skin has diseases. One of these diseases, for example, is called "man."

And another of these diseases is called "the fire-dog": concerning him men have greatly deceived themselves, and let themselves be deceived.

To fathom this mystery did I go o'er the sea; and I have seen the truth naked, verily! barefooted up to the neck.

Now do I know how it is concerning the fire-dog; and likewise concerning all the spouting and subversive devils, of which not only old women are afraid.

"Up with you, fire-dog, out of your depth!" cried I, "and confess how deep that depth is! Whence comes that which you snort up?

You drink copiously at the sea: that does your embittered eloquence betray! In sooth, for a dog of the depth, you take your nourishment too much from the surface!

At the most, I regard you as the ventriloquist of the earth: and ever, when I have heard subversive and spouting devils speak, I have found them like you: embittered, mendacious, and shallow.

You understand how to roar and obscure with ashes! You are the best braggarts, and have sufficiently learned the art of making dregs boil.

Where you are, there must always be dregs at hand, and much that is spongy, hollow, and compressed: it wants to have freedom.

'Freedom' you all roar most eagerly: but I have unlearned the belief in 'great events,' when there is much roaring and smoke about them.

And believe me, friend Hullabaloo! The greatest events- are not our noisiest, but our still hours.

Not around the inventors of new noise, but around the inventors of new values, does the world revolve; inaudibly it revolves.

And just own to it! Little had ever taken place when your noise and smoke passed away. What, if a city did become a mummy, and a statue lay in the mud!

And this do I say also to the o'erthrowers of statues: It is certainly the greatest folly to throw salt into the sea, and statues into the mud.

In the mud of your contempt lay the statue: but it is just its law, that out of contempt, its life and living beauty grow again!

With diviner features does it now arise, seducing by its suffering; and verily! it will yet thank you for o'erthrowing it, you subverters!

This counsel, however, do I counsel to kings and churches, and to all that is weak with age or virtue- let yourselves be o'erthrown! That you may again come to life, and that virtue- may come to you!-"

Thus spoke I before the fire-dog: then did he interrupt me sullenly, and asked: "Church? What is that?"

"Church?" answered I, "that is a kind of state, and indeed the most mendacious. But remain quiet, you dissembling dog! you surely know your own species best!

Like yourself the state is a dissembling dog; like you does it like to speak with smoke and roaring- to make believe, like you, that it speaks out of the heart of things.

For it seeks by all means to be the most important creature on earth, the state; and people think it so."

When I had said this, the fire-dog acted as if mad with envy. "What!" cried he, "the most important creature on earth? And people think it so?" And so much vapor and terrible voices came out of his throat, that I thought he would choke with vexation and envy.

At last he became calmer and his panting subsided; as soon, however, as he was quiet, I said laughingly:

"You are angry, fire-dog: so I am in the right about you!

And that I may also maintain the right, hear the story of another fire-dog; he speaks actually out of the heart of the earth.

Gold does his breath exhale, and golden rain: so does his heart desire. What are ashes and smoke and hot dregs to him!

Laughter flits from him like a variegated cloud; adverse is he to your gargling and spewing and grips in the bowels!

The gold, however, and the laughter- these does he take out of the heart of the earth: for, that you mayst know it,- the heart of the earth is of gold."

When the fire-dog heard this, he could no longer endure to listen to me. Abashed did he draw in his tail, said "bow-wow!" in a cowed voice, and crept down into his cave.-

Thus told Zarathustra. His disciples, however, hardly listened to him: so great was their eagerness to tell him about the sailors, the rabbits, and the flying man.

"What am I to think of it!" said Zarathustra. "Am I indeed a ghost?

But it may have been my shadow. You have surely heard something of the Wanderer and his Shadow?

One thing, however, is certain: I must keep a tighter hold of it; otherwise it will spoil my reputation."

And once more Zarathustra shook his head and wondered. "What am I to think of it!" said he once more.

"Why did the ghost cry: 'It is time! It is the highest time!'

For what is it then- the highest time?"-


Thus spake Zarathustra.



41. The Soothsayer[edit]

"-AND I saw a great sadness come over mankind. The best turned weary of their works.

A doctrine appeared, a faith ran beside it: 'All is empty, all is alike, all hath been!'

And from all hills there re-echoed: 'All is empty, all is alike, all hath been!'

To be sure we have harvested: but why have all our fruits become rotten and brown? What was it fell last night from the evil moon?

In vain was all our labor, poison has our wine become, the evil eye hath singed yellow our fields and hearts.

Arid have we all become; and fire falling upon us, then do we turn dust like ashes:- yea, the fire itself have we made aweary.

All our fountains have dried up, even the sea has receded. All the ground tries to gape, but the depth will not swallow!

'Alas! where is there still a sea in which one could be drowned?' so soundeth our plaint- across shallow swamps. Even for dying have we become too weary; now do we keep awake and live on- in sepulchres."


Thus did Zarathustra hear a soothsayer speak; and the foreboding touched his heart and transformed him. Sorrowfully did he go about and wearily; and he became like to those of whom the soothsayer had spoken.-

Said he to his disciples, a little while, and there comes the long twilight. Alas, how shall I preserve my light through it!

That it may not smother in this sorrowfulness! To remoter worlds shall it be a light, and also to remotest nights!

Thus did Zarathustra go about grieved in his heart, and for three days he did not take any meat or drink: he had no rest, and lost his speech. At last it came to pass that he fell into a deep sleep. His disciples, however, sat around him in long night-watches, and waited anxiously to see if he would awake, and speak again, and recover from his affliction.

And this is what Zarathustra said when he awoke; his voice, however, came to his disciples as from afar:

Hear, I pray you, the dream that I dreamed, my friends, and help me to divine its meaning!

A riddle is it still to me, this dream; the meaning is hidden in it and encaged, and do not yet fly above it on free pinions.

All life had I renounced, so I dreamed. Night-watchman and grave-guardian had I become, aloft, in the lone mountain-fortress of Death.

There did I guard his coffins: full stood the musty vaults of those trophies of victory. Out of glass coffins did vanquished life gaze upon me.

The odour of dust-covered eternities did I breathe: sultry and dust-covered lay my soul. And who could have aired his soul there!

Brightness of midnight was ever around me; lonesomeness cowered beside her; and as a third, death-rattle stillness, the worst of my female friends.

Keys did I carry, the rustiest of all keys; and I knew how to open with them the most creaking of all gates.

Like a bitterly angry croaking ran the sound through the long corridors when the leaves of the gate opened: ungraciously did this bird cry, unwillingly was it awakened.

But more frightful even, and more heart-strangling was it, when it again became silent and still all around, and I alone sat in that malignant silence.

Thus did time pass with me, and slip by, if time there still was: what do I know thereof! But at last there happened that which awoke me.

Thrice did there peal peals at the gate like thunders, thrice did the vaults resound and howl again: then did I go to the sate.

Alpa! cried I, who carries his ashes to the mountain? Alpa! Alpa! who carries his ashes to the mountain?

And I pressed the key, and pulled at the gate, and exerted myself. But not a finger's-breadth was it yet open:

Then did a roaring wind tear the folds apart: whistling, whizzing, and piercing, it threw to me a black coffin.

And in the roaring and whistling and whizzing, the coffin burst open, and spouted out a thousand peals of laughter.

And a thousand caricatures of children, angels, owls, fools, and child-sized butterflies laughed and mocked, and roared at me.

Fearfully was I terrified thereby: it prostrated me. And I cried with horror as I ne'er cried before.

But my own crying awoke me:- and I came to myself.-

Thus did Zarathustra relate his dream, and then was silent: for as yet he knew not the interpretation thereof. But the disciple whom he loved most arose quickly, seized Zarathustra's hand, and said:

"Your life itself interprets to us this dream, O Zarathustra!

Are you not yourself the wind with shrill whistling, which bursts open the gates of the fortress of Death?

Are you not yourself the coffin full of many-hued malices and angel-caricatures of life?

Like a thousand peals of children's laughter comes Zarathustra into all sepulchres, laughing at those night-watchmen and grave-guardians, and whoever else rattles with sinister keys.

With your laughter will you frighten and prostrate them: fainting and recovering will you demonstrate your power over them.

And when the long twilight comes and the mortal weariness, even then will you not disappear from our firmament, you advocate of life!

New stars have you made us see, and new nocturnal glories: verily, laughter itself have you spread out over us like a many-hued canopy.

Now will children's laughter ever from coffins flow; now will a strong wind ever come victoriously to all mortal weariness: of this you are yourself the pledge and the prophet!

They themselves did you dream, your enemies: that was your sorest dream.

But as you awoke from them and came to yourself, so shall they awaken from themselves- and come to you!

Thus spoke the disciple; and all the others then thronged around Zarathustra, grasped him by the hands, and tried to persuade him to leave his bed and his sadness, and return to them. Zarathustra, however, sat upright on his couch, with an absent look. Like one returning from long foreign sojourn did he look on his disciples, and examined their features; but still he knew them not. When, however, they raised him, and set him upon his feet, behold, all on a sudden his eye changed; he understood everything that had happened, stroked his beard, and said with a strong voice:

"Well! this has just its time; but see to it, my disciples, that we have a good repast; and without delay! Thus do I mean to make amends for bad dreams!

The soothsayer, however, shall eat and drink at my side: and verily, I will yet show him a sea in which he can drown himself!"-


Thus spoke Zarathustra. Then did he gaze long into the face of the disciple who had been the dream-interpreter, and shook his head.-



42. Redemption[edit]

WHEN Zarathustra went one day over the great bridge, then did the cripples and beggars surround him, and a hunchback spoke thus to him:

"Behold, Zarathustra! Even the people learn from you, and acquire faith in your teaching: but for them to believe fully in you, one thing is still needful- you must first of all convince us cripples! Here have you now a fine selection, and verily, an opportunity with more than one forelock! The blind can you heal, and make the lame run; and from him who has too much behind, could you well, also, take away a little;- that, I think, would be the right method to make the cripples believe in Zarathustra!"

Zarathustra, however, answered thus to him who so spoke: When one takes his hump from the hunchback, then does one take from him his spirit- so do the people teach. And when one gives the blind man eyes, then does he see too many bad things on the earth: so that he curses him who healed him. He, however, who makes the lame man run, inflicts upon him the greatest injury; for hardly can he run, when his vices run away with him- so do the people teach concerning cripples. And why should not Zarathustra also learn from the people, when the people learn from Zarathustra?

It is, however, the small thing to me since I have been amongst men, to see one person lacking an eye, another an ear, and a third a leg, and that others have lost the tongue, or the nose, or the head.

I see and have seen worse things, and divers things so hideous, that I should neither like to speak of all matters, nor even keep silent about some of them: namely, men who lack everything, except that they have too much of one thing- men who are nothing more than a big eye, or a big mouth, or a big belly, or something else big,- reversed cripples, I call such men.

And when I came out of my solitude, and for the first time passed over this bridge, then I could not trust my eyes, but looked again and again, and said at last: "That is an ear! An ear as big as a man!" I looked still more attentively- and actually there did move under the ear something that was pitiably small and poor and slim. And in truth this immense ear was perched on a small thin stalk- the stalk, however, was a man! A person putting a glass to his eyes, could even recognize further a small envious countenance, and also that a bloated little soul dangled at the stalk. The people told me, however, that the big ear was not only a man, but a great man, a genius. But I never believed in the people when they spoke of great men- and I hold to my belief that it was a reversed cripple, who had too little of everything, and too much of one thing.

When Zarathustra had spoken thus to the hunchback, and to those of whom the hunchback was the mouthpiece and advocate, then did he turn to his disciples in profound dejection, and said:

My friends, I walk amongst men as amongst the fragments and limbs of human beings!

This is the terrible thing to my eye, that I find man broken up, and scattered about, as on a battle- and butcher-ground.

And when my eye flees from the present to the bygone, it finds ever the same: fragments and limbs and fearful chances- but no men!

The present and the bygone upon earth- ah! my friends- that is my most unbearable trouble; and I should not know how to live, if I were not a seer of what is to come.

A seer, a purposer, a creator, a future itself, and a bridge to the future- and alas! also as it were a cripple on this bridge: all that is Zarathustra.

And you also asked yourselves often: "Who is Zarathustra to us? What shall he be called by us?" And like me, did you give yourselves questions for answers.

Is he a promiser? Or a fulfiller? A conqueror? Or an inheritor? A harvest? Or a ploughshare? A physician? Or a healed one?

Is he a poet? Or a genuine one? An emancipator? Or a subjugator? A good one? Or an evil one?

I walk amongst men as the fragments of the future: that future which I contemplate.

And it is all my poetisation and aspiration to compose and collect into unity what is fragment and riddle and fearful chance.

And how could I endure to be a man, if man were not also the composer, and riddle-reader, and redeemer of chance!

To redeem what is past, and to transform every "It was" into "Thus would I have it!"- that only do I call redemption!

Will- so is the emancipator and joy-bringer called: thus have I taught you, my friends! But now learn this likewise: the Will itself is still a prisoner.

Willing emancipates: but what is that called which still puts the emancipator in chains?

"It was": thus is the Will's teeth-gnashing and most lonesome tribulation called. Impotent towards what has been done- it is a malicious spectator of all that is past.

Not backward can the Will will; that it cannot break time and time's desire- that is the Will's most lonesome tribulation.

Willing emancipates: what does Willing itself create in order to get free from its tribulation and mock at its prison?

Ah, a fool becomes every prisoner! Foolishly delivers itself also the imprisoned Will.

That time does not run backward- that is its animosity: "That which was": so is the stone which it cannot roll called.

And thus does it roll stones out of animosity and ill-humor, and takes revenge on whatever does not, like it, feel rage and ill-humor.

Thus did the Will, the emancipator, become a torturer; and on all that is capable of suffering it takes revenge, because it cannot go backward.

This, yes, this alone is revenge itself: the Will's antipathy to time, and its "It was."

A great folly dwells in our Will; and it became a curse to all humanity, that this folly acquired spirit!

The spirit of revenge: my friends, that has hitherto been man's best contemplation; and where there was suffering, it was claimed there was always penalty.

"Penalty," so calls itself revenge. With a lying word it feigns a good conscience.

And because in the willer himself there is suffering, because he cannot will backwards- thus was Willing itself, and all life, claimed- to be penalty!

And then did cloud after cloud roll over the spirit, until at last madness preached: "Everything perishes, therefore everything deserves to perish!"

"And this itself is justice, the law of time- that he must devour his children:" thus did madness preach.

"Morally are things ordered according to justice and penalty. Oh, where is there deliverance from the flux of things and from the 'existence' of penalty?" Thus did madness preach.

"Can there be deliverance when there is eternal justice? Alas, unrollable is the stone, 'It was': eternal must also be all penalties!" Thus did madness preach.

"No deed can be annihilated: how could it be undone by the penalty! This, this is what is eternal in the 'existence' of penalty, that existence also must be eternally recurring deed and guilt!

Unless the Will should at last deliver itself, and Willing become non-Willing-:" but you know, my brothers, this fabulous song of madness!

Away from those fabulous songs did I lead you when I taught you: "The Will is a creator."

All "It was" is a fragment, a riddle, a fearful chance- until the creating Will says thereto: "But thus would I have it."-

Until the creating Will says thereto: "But thus do I will it! Thus shall I will it!"

But did it ever speak thus? And when does this take place? has the Will been unharnessed from its own folly?

Has the Will become its own deliverer and joy-bringer? has it unlearned the spirit of revenge and all teeth-gnashing?

And who has taught it reconciliation with time, and something higher than all reconciliation?

Something higher than all reconciliation must the Will will which is the Will to Power-: but how does that take place? Who has taught it also to will backwards?

-But at this point it chanced that Zarathustra suddenly paused, and looked like a person in the greatest alarm. With terror in his eyes did he gaze on his disciples; his glances pierced as with arrows their thoughts and arrear-thoughts. But after a brief space he again laughed, and said soothedly:

"It is difficult to live amongst men, because silence is so difficult- especially for a babbler."-


Thus spoke Zarathustra. The hunchback, however, had listened to the conversation and had covered his face during the time; but when he heard Zarathustra laugh, he looked up with curiosity, and said slowly:

"But why does Zarathustra speak otherwise to us than to his disciples?"

Zarathustra answered: "What is there to be wondered at! With hunchbacks one May well speak in a hunchbacked way!"

"Very good," said the hunchback; "and with pupils one may well tell tales out of school.

But why does Zarathustra speak otherwise to his pupils- than to himself?"-



43. Manly Prudence[edit]

NOT the height, it is the declivity that is terrible!

The declivity, where the gaze shoots downwards, and the hand grasps upwards. There does the heart become giddy through its double will.

Ah, friends, do you divine also my heart's double will?

This, this is my declivity and my danger, that my gaze shoots towards the summit, and my hand would rather clutch and lean- on the depth!

To man clings my will; with chains do I bind myself to man, because I am pulled upwards to the Superman: for there does my other will tend.

And therefore do I live blindly among men, as if I knew them not: that my hand may not entirely lose belief in firmness.

I know not you men: this gloom and consolation is often spread around me.

I sit at the gateway for every rogue, and ask: Who wishes to deceive me?

This is my first manly prudence, that I allow myself to be deceived, so as not to be on my guard against deceivers.

Ah, if I were on my guard against man, how could man be an anchor to my ball! Too easily would I be pulled upwards and away!

This providence is over my fate, that I have to be without foresight.

And he who would not languish amongst men, must learn to drink out of all glasses; and he who would keep clean amongst men, must know how to wash himself even with dirty water.

And thus spoke I often to myself for consolation: "Courage! Cheer up! old heart! An unhappiness has failed to befall you: enjoy that as thy- happiness!"

This, however, is my other manly prudence: I am more forbearing to the vain than to the proud.

Is not wounded vanity the mother of all tragedies? Where, however, pride is wounded, there there grows up something better than pride.

That life may be fair to behold, its game must be well played; for that purpose, however, it needs good actors.

Good actors have I found all the vain ones: they play, and wish people to be fond of beholding them- all their spirit is in this wish.

They represent themselves, they invent themselves; in their neighborhood I like to look upon life- it cures of melancholy.

Therefore am I forbearing to the vain, because they are the physicians of my melancholy, and keep me attached to man as to a drama.

And further, who conceives the full depth of the modesty of the vain man! I am favorable to him, and sympathetic on account of his modesty.

From you would he learn his belief in himself; he feeds upon your glances, he eates praise out of your hands.

Your lies does he even believe when you lie favorably about him: for in its depths sighs his heart: "What am I?"

And if that be the true virtue which is unconscious of itself- well, the vain man is unconscious of his modesty!-

This is, however, my third manly prudence: I am not put out of conceit with the wicked by your timorousness.

I am happy to see the marvels the warm sun hatches: tigers and palms and rattlesnakes.

Also amongst men there is a beautiful brood of the warm sun, and much that is marvellous in the wicked.

In truth, as your wisest did not seem to me so very wise, so found I also human wickedness below the fame of it.

And oft did I ask with a shake of the head: Why still rattle, you rattlesnakes?

There is still a future even for evil! And the warmest south is still undiscovered by man.

How many things are now called the worst wickedness, which are only twelve feet broad and three months long! Some day, however, will greater dragons come into the world.

For that the Superman may not lack his dragon, the super-dragon that is worthy of him, there must still much warm sun glow on moist virgin forests!

Out of your wild cats must tigers have evolved, and out of your poison-toads, crocodiles: for the good hunter shall have a good hunt!

And verily, you good and just! In you there is much to be laughed at, and especially your fear of what has hitherto been called "the devil!"

So alien are you in your souls to what is great, that to you the Superman would be frightful in his goodness!

And you wise and knowing ones, you would flee from the solar-glow of the wisdom in which the Superman joyfully baths his nakedness!

You highest men who have come within my ken! this is my doubt of you, and my secret laughter: I suspect you would call my Superman- a devil!

Ah, I became tired of those highest and best ones: from their "height" did I long to be up, out, and away to the Superman!

A horror came over me when I saw those best ones naked: then there grew for me the pinions to soar away into distant futures.

Into more distant futures, into more southern souths than ever artist dreamed of: there, where gods are ashamed of all clothes!

But disguised do I want to see you, you neighbors and fellowmen, and well-attired and vain and estimable, as "the good and just;"-

And disguised will I myself sit amongst you- that I may mistake you and myself: for that is my last manly prudence.-


Thus spoke Zarathustra.



44. The Stillest Hour[edit]

WHAT has happened to me, my friends? You see me troubled, driven forth, unwillingly obedient, ready to go- alas, to go away from you!

Yes, once more must Zarathustra retire to his solitude: but unjoyously this time does the bear go back to his cave!

What has happened to me? Who orders this?- Ah, my angry mistress wishes it so; she spoke to me. Have I ever named her name to you?

Yesterday towards evening there spoke to me my still hour: that is the name of my terrible mistress.

And thus did it happen- for everything must I tell you, that your heart may not harden against the suddenly departing one!

Do you know the terror of him who falls asleep?-

To the very toes he is terrified, because the ground gives way under him, and the dream begins.

This do I speak to you in parable. Yesterday at the still hour did the ground give way under me: the dream began.

The hour-hand moved on, the timepiece of my life drew breath- never did I hear such stillness around me, so that my heart was terrified.

Then was there spoken to me without voice: "You know it, Zarathustra?"-

And I cried in terror at this whispering, and the blood left my face: but I was silent.

Then was there once more spoken to me without voice: "You know it, Zarathustra, but you do not speak it!"-

And at last I answered, like one defiant: "Yes, I know it, but I will not speak it!"

Then was there again spoken to me without voice: "You will not, Zarathustra? Is this true? Conceal yourself not behind your defiance!"-

And I wept and trembled like a child, and said: "Ah, I would indeed, but how can I do it! Exempt me only from this! It is beyond my power!"

Then was there again spoken to me without voice: "What matter about yourself, Zarathustra! Speak your word, and perish!"

And I answered: "Ah, is it my word? Who am I? I await the worthier one; I am not worthy even to perish by it."

Then was there again spoken to me without voice: "What matter about yourself? you are not yet humble enough for me. Humility has the hardest skin."-

And I answered: "What has not the skin of my humility endured! At the foot of my height do I dwell: how high are my summits, no one has yet told me. But well do I know my valleys."

Then was there again spoken to me without voice: "O Zarathustra, he who has to remove mountains removes also valleys and plains."-

And I answered: "As yet has my word not removed mountains, and what I have spoken has not reached man. I went, indeed, to men, but not yet have I attained to them."

Then was there again spoken to me without voice: "What know you thereof! The dew falls on the grass when the night is most silent."-

And I answered: "They mocked me when I found and walked in my own path; and certainly did my feet then tremble.

And thus did they speak to me: you forgot the path before, now do you also forget how to walk!"

Then was there again spoken to me without voice: "What matter about their mockery! you are one who have unlearned to obey: now shall you command!

Know you not who is most needed by all? He who commands great things.

To execute great things is difficult: but the more difficult task is to command great things.

This is your most unpardonable obstinacy: you have the power, and you will not rule."-

And I answered: "I lack the lion's voice for all commanding."

Then was there again spoken to me as a whispering: "It is the still words which bring the storm. Thoughts that come with doves' footsteps guide the world.

O Zarathustra, you shall go as a shadow of that which is to come: thus will you command, and in commanding go foremost."-

And I answered: "I am ashamed."

Then was there again spoken to me without voice: "You must yet become a child, and be without shame.

The pride of youth is still upon you; late have you become young: but he who would become a child must overcome even his youth."-

And I considered a long while, and trembled. At last, however, did I say what I had said at first. "I will not."

Then did a laughing take place all around me. Alas, how that laughing lacerated my bowels and cut into my heart!

And there was spoken to me for the last time: "O Zarathustra, your fruits are ripe, but you are not ripe for your fruits!

So must you go again into solitude: for you shall yet become mellow."-

And again was there a laughing, and it fled: then did it become still around me, as with a double stillness. I lay, however, on the ground, and the sweat flowed from my limbs.

-Now have you heard all, and why I have to return into my solitude. Nothing have I kept hidden from you, my friends.

But even this have you heard from me, who is still the most reserved of men- and will be so!

Ah, my friends! I should have something more to say to you! I should have something more to give to you! Why do I not give it? Am I then a niggard?-

When, however, Zarathustra had spoken these words, the violence of his pain, and a sense of the nearness of his departure from his friends came over him, so that he wept aloud; and no one knew how to console him. In the night, however, he went away alone and left his friends.