But that hath always been the prudence of cowards. Yea! cowards are wise!
They think much about thee with their circumscribed souls—thou art always suspect to them! Whatever is much thought about is at last thought suspicious.
They punish thee for all thy virtues. They pardon thee in their inmsot hearts only—for thy errors.
Because thou art gentle and of upright character, thou sayest: "Blameless are they for their small existence." But their petty souls think: "Blamable is all great existence."
Even when thou art gentle towards them, they still feel themselves despised by thee; and they repay thy beneficence with secret maleficence.
Thy silent pride is always counter to their taste; they rejoice if once thou are humble enough to be frivolous.
What we recognize in a man, we also irritate in him. Therefore be on your guard against the small ones!
In thy presence they feel themselves small, and their baseness gleameth and gloweth against thee in invisible vengeance.
Sawest thou not how often they became dumd when thou approachedst them, and how their energy left them like the smoke of an extinguishing fire?
Yea, my friend, the bad conscience art thou of thy neighbours; for they are unworthy of thee. Therefore they hate thee, and would fain suck thy blood.
Thy neighbours will always be poisonous flies; what is great in thee—that itself must make them more poisonous, and always more fly-like.
Flee, my friend, into thy solitude—and thither, where a rough strong breeze bloweth. It is not thy lot to be a fly-flap.—
Thus spoke Zarathustra.