Page:Thus Spake Zarathustra - Thomas Common - 1917.djvu/167

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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!