Thus Spake Zarathustra
Part 4 out of 8
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
Willing emancipateth: but what is that called which still putteth the
emancipator in chains?
"It was": thus is the Will's teeth-gnashing and lonesomest tribulation
called. Impotent towards what hath 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 lonesomest tribulation.
Willing emancipateth: what doth Willing itself devise in order to get free
from its tribulation and mock at its prison?
Ah, a fool becometh every prisoner! Foolishly delivereth itself also the
That time doth not run backward--that is its animosity: "That which was":
so is the stone which it cannot roll called.
And thus doth it roll stones out of animosity and ill-humour, and taketh
revenge on whatever doth not, like it, feel rage and ill-humour.
Thus did the Will, the emancipator, become a torturer; and on all that is
capable of suffering it taketh revenge, because it cannot go backward.
This, yea, this alone is REVENGE itself: the Will's antipathy to time, and
its "It was."
Verily, a great folly dwelleth in our Will; and it became a curse unto all
humanity, that this folly acquired spirit!
THE SPIRIT OF REVENGE: my friends, that hath hitherto been man's best
contemplation; and where there was suffering, it was claimed there was
"Penalty," so calleth itself revenge. With a lying word it feigneth a good
And because in the willer himself there is suffering, because he cannot
will backwards--thus was Willing itself, and all life, claimed--to be
And then did cloud after cloud roll over the spirit, until at last madness
preached: "Everything perisheth, therefore everything deserveth to
"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
"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 ye know, my brethren, 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 saith thereto: "But thus would I have it."--
Until the creating Will saith thereto: "But thus do I will it! Thus shall
I will it!"
But did it ever speak thus? And when doth this take place? Hath the Will
been unharnessed from its own folly?
Hath the Will become its own deliverer and joy-bringer? Hath it unlearned
the spirit of revenge and all teeth-gnashing?
And who hath taught it reconciliation with time, and something higher than
Something higher than all reconciliation must the Will will which is the
Will to Power--: but how doth that take place? Who hath taught it also to
--But at this point in his discourse 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 spake 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 doth Zarathustra speak otherwise unto us than unto 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 doth Zarathustra speak otherwise unto his pupils--than unto
XLIII. MANLY PRUDENCE.
Not the height, it is the declivity that is terrible!
The declivity, where the gaze shooteth DOWNWARDS, and the hand graspeth
UPWARDS. There doth the heart become giddy through its double will.
Ah, friends, do ye divine also my heart's double will?
This, this is MY declivity and my danger, that my gaze shooteth towards the
summit, and my hand would fain clutch and lean--on the depth!
To man clingeth my will; with chains do I bind myself to man, because I am
pulled upwards to the Superman: for thither doth mine 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 wisheth 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 spake I often to myself for consolation: "Courage! Cheer up! old
heart! An unhappiness hath failed to befall thee: enjoy that as thy--
This, however, is mine 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 groweth up something better than pride.
That life may be fair to behold, its game must be well played; for that
purpose, however, it needeth 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 neighbourhood I
like to look upon life--it cureth 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 conceiveth the full depth of the modesty of the vain man!
I am favourable to him, and sympathetic on account of his modesty.
From you would he learn his belief in himself; he feedeth upon your
glances, he eateth praise out of your hands.
Your lies doth he even believe when you lie favourably about him: for in
its depths sigheth 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 hatcheth: tigers and palms and
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, ye rattle-
Verily, 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 superdragon 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, ye good and just! In you there is much to be laughed at, and
especially your fear of what hath hitherto been called "the devil!"
So alien are ye in your souls to what is great, that to you the Superman
would be FRIGHTFUL in his goodness!
And ye wise and knowing ones, ye would flee from the solar-glow of the
wisdom in which the Superman joyfully batheth his nakedness!
Ye highest men who have come within my ken! this is my doubt of you, and my
secret laughter: I suspect ye 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: thither, where Gods are ashamed of all clothes!
But disguised do I want to see YOU, ye neighbours 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 spake Zarathustra.
XLIV. THE STILLEST HOUR.
What hath happened unto me, my friends? Ye see me troubled, driven forth,
unwillingly obedient, ready to go--alas, to go away from YOU!
Yea, once more must Zarathustra retire to his solitude: but unjoyously
this time doth the bear go back to his cave!
What hath happened unto me? Who ordereth this?--Ah, mine angry mistress
wisheth it so; she spake unto me. Have I ever named her name to you?
Yesterday towards evening there spake unto me MY STILLEST 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 ye know the terror of him who falleth asleep?--
To the very toes he is terrified, because the ground giveth way under him,
and the dream beginneth.
This do I speak unto you in parable. Yesterday at the stillest 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 unto me without voice: "THOU KNOWEST IT,
And I cried in terror at this whispering, and the blood left my face: but
I was silent.
Then was there once more spoken unto me without voice: "Thou knowest it,
Zarathustra, but thou dost not speak it!"--
And at last I answered, like one defiant: "Yea, I know it, but I will not
Then was there again spoken unto me without voice: "Thou WILT not,
Zarathustra? Is this true? Conceal thyself not behind thy 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 unto me without voice: "What matter about
thyself, Zarathustra! Speak thy word, and succumb!"
And I answered: "Ah, is it MY word? Who am _I_? I await the worthier
one; I am not worthy even to succumb by it."
Then was there again spoken unto me without voice: "What matter about
thyself? Thou art not yet humble enough for me. Humility hath the hardest
And I answered: "What hath not the skin of my humility endured! At the
foot of my height do I dwell: how high are my summits, no one hath yet
told me. But well do I know my valleys."
Then was there again spoken unto me without voice: "O Zarathustra, he who
hath to remove mountains removeth also valleys and plains."--
And I answered: "As yet hath my word not removed mountains, and what I
have spoken hath not reached man. I went, indeed, unto men, but not yet
have I attained unto them."
Then was there again spoken unto me without voice: "What knowest thou
THEREOF! The dew falleth on the grass when the night is most silent."--
And I answered: "They mocked me when I found and walked in mine own path;
and certainly did my feet then tremble.
And thus did they speak unto me: Thou forgottest the path before, now dost
thou also forget how to walk!"
Then was there again spoken unto me without voice: "What matter about
their mockery! Thou art one who hast unlearned to obey: now shalt thou
Knowest thou not who is most needed by all? He who commandeth great
To execute great things is difficult: but the more difficult task is to
command great things.
This is thy most unpardonable obstinacy: thou hast the power, and thou
wilt not rule."--
And I answered: "I lack the lion's voice for all commanding."
Then was there again spoken unto me as a whispering: "It is the stillest
words which bring the storm. Thoughts that come with doves' footsteps
guide the world.
O Zarathustra, thou shalt go as a shadow of that which is to come: thus
wilt thou command, and in commanding go foremost."--
And I answered: "I am ashamed."
Then was there again spoken unto me without voice: "Thou must yet become a
child, and be without shame.
The pride of youth is still upon thee; late hast thou become young: but he
who would become a child must surmount 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 unto me for the last time: "O Zarathustra, thy fruits
are ripe, but thou art not ripe for thy fruits!
So must thou go again into solitude: for thou shalt 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 ye heard all, and why I have to return into my solitude.
Nothing have I kept hidden from you, my friends.
But even this have ye 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 unto you! I should
have something more to give unto you! Why do I not give it? Am I then a
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.
"Ye look aloft when ye long for exaltation, and I look downward because I
"Who among you can at the same time laugh and be exalted?
"He who climbeth on the highest mountains, laugheth at all tragic plays and
tragic realities."--ZARATHUSTRA, I., "Reading and Writing."
XLV. THE WANDERER.
Then, when it was about midnight, Zarathustra went his way over the ridge
of the isle, that he might arrive early in the morning at the other coast;
because there he meant to embark. For there was a good roadstead there, in
which foreign ships also liked to anchor: those ships took many people
with them, who wished to cross over from the Happy Isles. So when
Zarathustra thus ascended the mountain, he thought on the way of his many
solitary wanderings from youth onwards, and how many mountains and ridges
and summits he had already climbed.
I am a wanderer and mountain-climber, said he to his heart, I love not the
plains, and it seemeth I cannot long sit still.
And whatever may still overtake me as fate and experience--a wandering will
be therein, and a mountain-climbing: in the end one experienceth only
The time is now past when accidents could befall me; and what COULD now
fall to my lot which would not already be mine own!
It returneth only, it cometh home to me at last--mine own Self, and such of
it as hath been long abroad, and scattered among things and accidents.
And one thing more do I know: I stand now before my last summit, and
before that which hath been longest reserved for me. Ah, my hardest path
must I ascend! Ah, I have begun my lonesomest wandering!
He, however, who is of my nature doth not avoid such an hour: the hour
that saith unto him: Now only dost thou go the way to thy greatness!
Summit and abyss--these are now comprised together!
Thou goest the way to thy greatness: now hath it become thy last refuge,
what was hitherto thy last danger!
Thou goest the way to thy greatness: it must now be thy best courage that
there is no longer any path behind thee!
Thou goest the way to thy greatness: here shall no one steal after thee!
Thy foot itself hath effaced the path behind thee, and over it standeth
And if all ladders henceforth fail thee, then must thou learn to mount upon
thine own head: how couldst thou mount upward otherwise?
Upon thine own head, and beyond thine own heart! Now must the gentlest in
thee become the hardest.
He who hath always much-indulged himself, sickeneth at last by his much-
indulgence. Praises on what maketh hardy! I do not praise the land where
butter and honey--flow!
To learn TO LOOK AWAY FROM oneself, is necessary in order to see MANY
THINGS:--this hardiness is needed by every mountain-climber.
He, however, who is obtrusive with his eyes as a discerner, how can he ever
see more of anything than its foreground!
But thou, O Zarathustra, wouldst view the ground of everything, and its
background: thus must thou mount even above thyself--up, upwards, until
thou hast even thy stars UNDER thee!
Yea! To look down upon myself, and even upon my stars: that only would I
call my SUMMIT, that hath remained for me as my LAST summit!--
Thus spake Zarathustra to himself while ascending, comforting his heart
with harsh maxims: for he was sore at heart as he had never been before.
And when he had reached the top of the mountain-ridge, behold, there lay
the other sea spread out before him: and he stood still and was long
silent. The night, however, was cold at this height, and clear and starry.
I recognise my destiny, said he at last, sadly. Well! I am ready. Now
hath my last lonesomeness begun.
Ah, this sombre, sad sea, below me! Ah, this sombre nocturnal vexation!
Ah, fate and sea! To you must I now GO DOWN!
Before my highest mountain do I stand, and before my longest wandering:
therefore must I first go deeper down than I ever ascended:
--Deeper down into pain than I ever ascended, even into its darkest flood!
So willeth my fate. Well! I am ready.
Whence come the highest mountains? so did I once ask. Then did I learn
that they come out of the sea.
That testimony is inscribed on their stones, and on the walls of their
summits. Out of the deepest must the highest come to its height.--
Thus spake Zarathustra on the ridge of the mountain where it was cold:
when, however, he came into the vicinity of the sea, and at last stood
alone amongst the cliffs, then had he become weary on his way, and eagerer
than ever before.
Everything as yet sleepeth, said he; even the sea sleepeth. Drowsily and
strangely doth its eye gaze upon me.
But it breatheth warmly--I feel it. And I feel also that it dreameth. It
tosseth about dreamily on hard pillows.
Hark! Hark! How it groaneth with evil recollections! Or evil
Ah, I am sad along with thee, thou dusky monster, and angry with myself
even for thy sake.
Ah, that my hand hath not strength enough! Gladly, indeed, would I free
thee from evil dreams!--
And while Zarathustra thus spake, he laughed at himself with melancholy and
bitterness. What! Zarathustra, said he, wilt thou even sing consolation to
Ah, thou amiable fool, Zarathustra, thou too-blindly confiding one! But
thus hast thou ever been: ever hast thou approached confidently all that
Every monster wouldst thou caress. A whiff of warm breath, a little soft
tuft on its paw--: and immediately wert thou ready to love and lure it.
LOVE is the danger of the lonesomest one, love to anything, IF IT ONLY
LIVE! Laughable, verily, is my folly and my modesty in love!--
Thus spake Zarathustra, and laughed thereby a second time. Then, however,
he thought of his abandoned friends--and as if he had done them a wrong
with his thoughts, he upbraided himself because of his thoughts. And
forthwith it came to pass that the laugher wept--with anger and longing
wept Zarathustra bitterly.
XLVI. THE VISION AND THE ENIGMA.
When it got abroad among the sailors that Zarathustra was on board the
ship--for a man who came from the Happy Isles had gone on board along with
him,--there was great curiosity and expectation. But Zarathustra kept
silent for two days, and was cold and deaf with sadness; so that he neither
answered looks nor questions. On the evening of the second day, however,
he again opened his ears, though he still kept silent: for there were many
curious and dangerous things to be heard on board the ship, which came from
afar, and was to go still further. Zarathustra, however, was fond of all
those who make distant voyages, and dislike to live without danger. And
behold! when listening, his own tongue was at last loosened, and the ice of
his heart broke. Then did he begin to speak thus:
To you, the daring venturers and adventurers, and whoever hath embarked
with cunning sails upon frightful seas,--
To you the enigma-intoxicated, the twilight-enjoyers, whose souls are
allured by flutes to every treacherous gulf:
--For ye dislike to grope at a thread with cowardly hand; and where ye can
DIVINE, there do ye hate to CALCULATE--
To you only do I tell the enigma that I SAW--the vision of the lonesomest
Gloomily walked I lately in corpse-coloured twilight--gloomily and sternly,
with compressed lips. Not only one sun had set for me.
A path which ascended daringly among boulders, an evil, lonesome path,
which neither herb nor shrub any longer cheered, a mountain-path, crunched
under the daring of my foot.
Mutely marching over the scornful clinking of pebbles, trampling the stone
that let it slip: thus did my foot force its way upwards.
Upwards:--in spite of the spirit that drew it downwards, towards the abyss,
the spirit of gravity, my devil and arch-enemy.
Upwards:--although it sat upon me, half-dwarf, half-mole; paralysed,
paralysing; dripping lead in mine ear, and thoughts like drops of lead into
"O Zarathustra," it whispered scornfully, syllable by syllable, "thou stone
of wisdom! Thou threwest thyself high, but every thrown stone must--fall!
O Zarathustra, thou stone of wisdom, thou sling-stone, thou star-destroyer!
Thyself threwest thou so high,--but every thrown stone--must fall!
Condemned of thyself, and to thine own stoning: O Zarathustra, far indeed
threwest thou thy stone--but upon THYSELF will it recoil!"
Then was the dwarf silent; and it lasted long. The silence, however,
oppressed me; and to be thus in pairs, one is verily lonesomer than when
I ascended, I ascended, I dreamt, I thought,--but everything oppressed me.
A sick one did I resemble, whom bad torture wearieth, and a worse dream
reawakeneth out of his first sleep.--
But there is something in me which I call courage: it hath hitherto slain
for me every dejection. This courage at last bade me stand still and say:
"Dwarf! Thou! Or I!"--
For courage is the best slayer,--courage which ATTACKETH: for in every
attack there is sound of triumph.
Man, however, is the most courageous animal: thereby hath he overcome
every animal. With sound of triumph hath he overcome every pain; human
pain, however, is the sorest pain.
Courage slayeth also giddiness at abysses: and where doth man not stand at
abysses! Is not seeing itself--seeing abysses?
Courage is the best slayer: courage slayeth also fellow-suffering.
Fellow-suffering, however, is the deepest abyss: as deeply as man looketh
into life, so deeply also doth he look into suffering.
Courage, however, is the best slayer, courage which attacketh: it slayeth
even death itself; for it saith: "WAS THAT life? Well! Once more!"
In such speech, however, there is much sound of triumph. He who hath ears
to hear, let him hear.--
"Halt, dwarf!" said I. "Either I--or thou! I, however, am the stronger of
the two:--thou knowest not mine abysmal thought! IT--couldst thou not
Then happened that which made me lighter: for the dwarf sprang from my
shoulder, the prying sprite! And it squatted on a stone in front of me.
There was however a gateway just where we halted.
"Look at this gateway! Dwarf!" I continued, "it hath two faces. Two roads
come together here: these hath no one yet gone to the end of.
This long lane backwards: it continueth for an eternity. And that long
lane forward--that is another eternity.
They are antithetical to one another, these roads; they directly abut on
one another:--and it is here, at this gateway, that they come together.
The name of the gateway is inscribed above: 'This Moment.'
But should one follow them further--and ever further and further on,
thinkest thou, dwarf, that these roads would be eternally antithetical?"--
"Everything straight lieth," murmured the dwarf, contemptuously. "All
truth is crooked; time itself is a circle."
"Thou spirit of gravity!" said I wrathfully, "do not take it too lightly!
Or I shall let thee squat where thou squattest, Haltfoot,--and I carried
"Observe," continued I, "This Moment! From the gateway, This Moment, there
runneth a long eternal lane BACKWARDS: behind us lieth an eternity.
Must not whatever CAN run its course of all things, have already run along
that lane? Must not whatever CAN happen of all things have already
happened, resulted, and gone by?
And if everything have already existed, what thinkest thou, dwarf, of This
Moment? Must not this gateway also--have already existed?
And are not all things closely bound together in such wise that This Moment
draweth all coming things after it? CONSEQUENTLY--itself also?
For whatever CAN run its course of all things, also in this long lane
OUTWARD--MUST it once more run!--
And this slow spider which creepeth in the moonlight, and this moonlight
itself, and thou and I in this gateway whispering together, whispering of
eternal things--must we not all have already existed?
--And must we not return and run in that other lane out before us, that
long weird lane--must we not eternally return?"--
Thus did I speak, and always more softly: for I was afraid of mine own
thoughts, and arrear-thoughts. Then, suddenly did I hear a dog HOWL near
Had I ever heard a dog howl thus? My thoughts ran back. Yes! When I was
a child, in my most distant childhood:
--Then did I hear a dog howl thus. And saw it also, with hair bristling,
its head upwards, trembling in the stillest midnight, when even dogs
believe in ghosts:
--So that it excited my commiseration. For just then went the full moon,
silent as death, over the house; just then did it stand still, a glowing
globe--at rest on the flat roof, as if on some one's property:--
Thereby had the dog been terrified: for dogs believe in thieves and
ghosts. And when I again heard such howling, then did it excite my
commiseration once more.
Where was now the dwarf? And the gateway? And the spider? And all the
whispering? Had I dreamt? Had I awakened? 'Twixt rugged rocks did I
suddenly stand alone, dreary in the dreariest moonlight.
BUT THERE LAY A MAN! And there! The dog leaping, bristling, whining--now
did it see me coming--then did it howl again, then did it CRY:--had I ever
heard a dog cry so for help?
And verily, what I saw, the like had I never seen. A young shepherd did I
see, writhing, choking, quivering, with distorted countenance, and with a
heavy black serpent hanging out of his mouth.
Had I ever seen so much loathing and pale horror on one countenance? He
had perhaps gone to sleep? Then had the serpent crawled into his throat--
there had it bitten itself fast.
My hand pulled at the serpent, and pulled:--in vain! I failed to pull the
serpent out of his throat. Then there cried out of me: "Bite! Bite!
Its head off! Bite!"--so cried it out of me; my horror, my hatred, my
loathing, my pity, all my good and my bad cried with one voice out of me.--
Ye daring ones around me! Ye venturers and adventurers, and whoever of you
have embarked with cunning sails on unexplored seas! Ye enigma-enjoyers!
Solve unto me the enigma that I then beheld, interpret unto me the vision
of the lonesomest one!
For it was a vision and a foresight:--WHAT did I then behold in parable?
And WHO is it that must come some day?
WHO is the shepherd into whose throat the serpent thus crawled? WHO is the
man into whose throat all the heaviest and blackest will thus crawl?
--The shepherd however bit as my cry had admonished him; he bit with a
strong bite! Far away did he spit the head of the serpent--: and sprang
No longer shepherd, no longer man--a transfigured being, a light-surrounded
being, that LAUGHED! Never on earth laughed a man as HE laughed!
O my brethren, I heard a laughter which was no human laughter,--and now
gnaweth a thirst at me, a longing that is never allayed.
My longing for that laughter gnaweth at me: oh, how can I still endure to
live! And how could I endure to die at present!--
Thus spake Zarathustra.
XLVII. INVOLUNTARY BLISS.
With such enigmas and bitterness in his heart did Zarathustra sail o'er the
sea. When, however, he was four day-journeys from the Happy Isles and from
his friends, then had he surmounted all his pain--: triumphantly and with
firm foot did he again accept his fate. And then talked Zarathustra in
this wise to his exulting conscience:
Alone am I again, and like to be so, alone with the pure heaven, and the
open sea; and again is the afternoon around me.
On an afternoon did I find my friends for the first time; on an afternoon,
also, did I find them a second time:--at the hour when all light becometh
For whatever happiness is still on its way 'twixt heaven and earth, now
seeketh for lodging a luminous soul: WITH HAPPINESS hath all light now
O afternoon of my life! Once did my happiness also descend to the valley
that it might seek a lodging: then did it find those open hospitable
O afternoon of my life! What did I not surrender that I might have one
thing: this living plantation of my thoughts, and this dawn of my highest
Companions did the creating one once seek, and children of HIS hope: and
lo, it turned out that he could not find them, except he himself should
first create them.
Thus am I in the midst of my work, to my children going, and from them
returning: for the sake of his children must Zarathustra perfect himself.
For in one's heart one loveth only one's child and one's work; and where
there is great love to oneself, then is it the sign of pregnancy: so have
I found it.
Still are my children verdant in their first spring, standing nigh one
another, and shaken in common by the winds, the trees of my garden and of
my best soil.
And verily, where such trees stand beside one another, there ARE Happy
But one day will I take them up, and put each by itself alone: that it may
learn lonesomeness and defiance and prudence.
Gnarled and crooked and with flexible hardness shall it then stand by the
sea, a living lighthouse of unconquerable life.
Yonder where the storms rush down into the sea, and the snout of the
mountain drinketh water, shall each on a time have his day and night
watches, for HIS testing and recognition.
Recognised and tested shall each be, to see if he be of my type and
lineage:--if he be master of a long will, silent even when he speaketh, and
giving in such wise that he TAKETH in giving:--
--So that he may one day become my companion, a fellow-creator and fellow-
enjoyer with Zarathustra:--such a one as writeth my will on my tables, for
the fuller perfection of all things.
And for his sake and for those like him, must I perfect MYSELF: therefore
do I now avoid my happiness, and present myself to every misfortune--for MY
final testing and recognition.
And verily, it were time that I went away; and the wanderer's shadow and
the longest tedium and the stillest hour--have all said unto me: "It is
the highest time!"
The word blew to me through the keyhole and said "Come!" The door sprang
subtlely open unto me, and said "Go!"
But I lay enchained to my love for my children: desire spread this snare
for me--the desire for love--that I should become the prey of my children,
and lose myself in them.
Desiring--that is now for me to have lost myself. I POSSESS YOU, MY
CHILDREN! In this possessing shall everything be assurance and nothing
But brooding lay the sun of my love upon me, in his own juice stewed
Zarathustra,--then did shadows and doubts fly past me.
For frost and winter I now longed: "Oh, that frost and winter would again
make me crack and crunch!" sighed I:--then arose icy mist out of me.
My past burst its tomb, many pains buried alive woke up--: fully slept had
they merely, concealed in corpse-clothes.
So called everything unto me in signs: "It is time!" But I--heard not,
until at last mine abyss moved, and my thought bit me.
Ah, abysmal thought, which art MY thought! When shall I find strength to
hear thee burrowing, and no longer tremble?
To my very throat throbbeth my heart when I hear thee burrowing! Thy
muteness even is like to strangle me, thou abysmal mute one!
As yet have I never ventured to call thee UP; it hath been enough that I--
have carried thee about with me! As yet have I not been strong enough for
my final lion-wantonness and playfulness.
Sufficiently formidable unto me hath thy weight ever been: but one day
shall I yet find the strength and the lion's voice which will call thee up!
When I shall have surmounted myself therein, then will I surmount myself
also in that which is greater; and a VICTORY shall be the seal of my
Meanwhile do I sail along on uncertain seas; chance flattereth me, smooth-
tongued chance; forward and backward do I gaze--, still see I no end.
As yet hath the hour of my final struggle not come to me--or doth it come
to me perhaps just now? Verily, with insidious beauty do sea and life gaze
upon me round about:
O afternoon of my life! O happiness before eventide! O haven upon high
seas! O peace in uncertainty! How I distrust all of you!
Verily, distrustful am I of your insidious beauty! Like the lover am I,
who distrusteth too sleek smiling.
As he pusheth the best-beloved before him--tender even in severity, the
jealous one--, so do I push this blissful hour before me.
Away with thee, thou blissful hour! With thee hath there come to me an
involuntary bliss! Ready for my severest pain do I here stand:--at the
wrong time hast thou come!
Away with thee, thou blissful hour! Rather harbour there--with my
children! Hasten! and bless them before eventide with MY happiness!
There, already approacheth eventide: the sun sinketh. Away--my
Thus spake Zarathustra. And he waited for his misfortune the whole night;
but he waited in vain. The night remained clear and calm, and happiness
itself came nigher and nigher unto him. Towards morning, however,
Zarathustra laughed to his heart, and said mockingly: "Happiness runneth
after me. That is because I do not run after women. Happiness, however,
is a woman."
XLVIII. BEFORE SUNRISE.
O heaven above me, thou pure, thou deep heaven! Thou abyss of light!
Gazing on thee, I tremble with divine desires.
Up to thy height to toss myself--that is MY depth! In thy purity to hide
myself--that is MINE innocence!
The God veileth his beauty: thus hidest thou thy stars. Thou speakest
not: THUS proclaimest thou thy wisdom unto me.
Mute o'er the raging sea hast thou risen for me to-day; thy love and thy
modesty make a revelation unto my raging soul.
In that thou camest unto me beautiful, veiled in thy beauty, in that thou
spakest unto me mutely, obvious in thy wisdom:
Oh, how could I fail to divine all the modesty of thy soul! BEFORE the sun
didst thou come unto me--the lonesomest one.
We have been friends from the beginning: to us are grief, gruesomeness,
and ground common; even the sun is common to us.
We do not speak to each other, because we know too much--: we keep silent
to each other, we smile our knowledge to each other.
Art thou not the light of my fire? Hast thou not the sister-soul of mine
Together did we learn everything; together did we learn to ascend beyond
ourselves to ourselves, and to smile uncloudedly:--
--Uncloudedly to smile down out of luminous eyes and out of miles of
distance, when under us constraint and purpose and guilt steam like rain.
And wandered I alone, for WHAT did my soul hunger by night and in
labyrinthine paths? And climbed I mountains, WHOM did I ever seek, if not
thee, upon mountains?
And all my wandering and mountain-climbing: a necessity was it merely, and
a makeshift of the unhandy one:--to FLY only, wanteth mine entire will, to
fly into THEE!
And what have I hated more than passing clouds, and whatever tainteth thee?
And mine own hatred have I even hated, because it tainted thee!
The passing clouds I detest--those stealthy cats of prey: they take from
thee and me what is common to us--the vast unbounded Yea- and Amen-saying.
These mediators and mixers we detest--the passing clouds: those half-and-
half ones, that have neither learned to bless nor to curse from the heart.
Rather will I sit in a tub under a closed heaven, rather will I sit in the
abyss without heaven, than see thee, thou luminous heaven, tainted with
And oft have I longed to pin them fast with the jagged gold-wires of
lightning, that I might, like the thunder, beat the drum upon their kettle-
--An angry drummer, because they rob me of thy Yea and Amen!--thou heaven
above me, thou pure, thou luminous heaven! Thou abyss of light!--because
they rob thee of MY Yea and Amen.
For rather will I have noise and thunders and tempest-blasts, than this
discreet, doubting cat-repose; and also amongst men do I hate most of all
the soft-treaders, and half-and-half ones, and the doubting, hesitating,
And "he who cannot bless shall LEARN to curse!"--this clear teaching dropt
unto me from the clear heaven; this star standeth in my heaven even in dark
I, however, am a blesser and a Yea-sayer, if thou be but around me, thou
pure, thou luminous heaven! Thou abyss of light!--into all abysses do I
then carry my beneficent Yea-saying.
A blesser have I become and a Yea-sayer: and therefore strove I long and
was a striver, that I might one day get my hands free for blessing.
This, however, is my blessing: to stand above everything as its own
heaven, its round roof, its azure bell and eternal security: and blessed
is he who thus blesseth!
For all things are baptized at the font of eternity, and beyond good and
evil; good and evil themselves, however, are but fugitive shadows and damp
afflictions and passing clouds.
Verily, it is a blessing and not a blasphemy when I teach that "above all
things there standeth the heaven of chance, the heaven of innocence, the
heaven of hazard, the heaven of wantonness."
"Of Hazard"--that is the oldest nobility in the world; that gave I back to
all things; I emancipated them from bondage under purpose.
This freedom and celestial serenity did I put like an azure bell above all
things, when I taught that over them and through them, no "eternal Will"--
This wantonness and folly did I put in place of that Will, when I taught
that "In everything there is one thing impossible--rationality!"
A LITTLE reason, to be sure, a germ of wisdom scattered from star to star--
this leaven is mixed in all things: for the sake of folly, wisdom is mixed
in all things!
A little wisdom is indeed possible; but this blessed security have I found
in all things, that they prefer--to DANCE on the feet of chance.
O heaven above me! thou pure, thou lofty heaven! This is now thy purity
unto me, that there is no eternal reason-spider and reason-cobweb:--
--That thou art to me a dancing-floor for divine chances, that thou art to
me a table of the Gods, for divine dice and dice-players!--
But thou blushest? Have I spoken unspeakable things? Have I abused, when
I meant to bless thee?
Or is it the shame of being two of us that maketh thee blush!--Dost thou
bid me go and be silent, because now--DAY cometh?
The world is deep:--and deeper than e'er the day could read. Not
everything may be uttered in presence of day. But day cometh: so let us
O heaven above me, thou modest one! thou glowing one! O thou, my happiness
before sunrise! The day cometh: so let us part!--
Thus spake Zarathustra.
XLIX. THE BEDWARFING VIRTUE.
When Zarathustra was again on the continent, he did not go straightway to
his mountains and his cave, but made many wanderings and questionings, and
ascertained this and that; so that he said of himself jestingly: "Lo, a
river that floweth back unto its source in many windings!" For he wanted
to learn what had taken place AMONG MEN during the interval: whether they
had become greater or smaller. And once, when he saw a row of new houses,
he marvelled, and said:
"What do these houses mean? Verily, no great soul put them up as its
Did perhaps a silly child take them out of its toy-box? Would that another
child put them again into the box!
And these rooms and chambers--can MEN go out and in there? They seem to be
made for silk dolls; or for dainty-eaters, who perhaps let others eat with
And Zarathustra stood still and meditated. At last he said sorrowfully:
"There hath EVERYTHING become smaller!
Everywhere do I see lower doorways: he who is of MY type can still go
therethrough, but--he must stoop!
Oh, when shall I arrive again at my home, where I shall no longer have to
stoop--shall no longer have to stoop BEFORE THE SMALL ONES!"--And
Zarathustra sighed, and gazed into the distance.--
The same day, however, he gave his discourse on the bedwarfing virtue.
I pass through this people and keep mine eyes open: they do not forgive me
for not envying their virtues.
They bite at me, because I say unto them that for small people, small
virtues are necessary--and because it is hard for me to understand that
small people are NECESSARY!
Here am I still like a cock in a strange farm-yard, at which even the hens
peck: but on that account I am not unfriendly to the hens.
I am courteous towards them, as towards all small annoyances; to be prickly
towards what is small, seemeth to me wisdom for hedgehogs.
They all speak of me when they sit around their fire in the evening--they
speak of me, but no one thinketh--of me!
This is the new stillness which I have experienced: their noise around me
spreadeth a mantle over my thoughts.
They shout to one another: "What is this gloomy cloud about to do to us?
Let us see that it doth not bring a plague upon us!"
And recently did a woman seize upon her child that was coming unto me:
"Take the children away," cried she, "such eyes scorch children's souls."
They cough when I speak: they think coughing an objection to strong winds
--they divine nothing of the boisterousness of my happiness!
"We have not yet time for Zarathustra"--so they object; but what matter
about a time that "hath no time" for Zarathustra?
And if they should altogether praise me, how could I go to sleep on THEIR
praise? A girdle of spines is their praise unto me: it scratcheth me even
when I take it off.
And this also did I learn among them: the praiser doeth as if he gave
back; in truth, however, he wanteth more to be given him!
Ask my foot if their lauding and luring strains please it! Verily, to such
measure and ticktack, it liketh neither to dance nor to stand still.
To small virtues would they fain lure and laud me; to the ticktack of small
happiness would they fain persuade my foot.
I pass through this people and keep mine eyes open; they have become
SMALLER, and ever become smaller:--THE REASON THEREOF IS THEIR DOCTRINE OF
HAPPINESS AND VIRTUE.
For they are moderate also in virtue,--because they want comfort. With
comfort, however, moderate virtue only is compatible.
To be sure, they also learn in their way to stride on and stride forward:
that, I call their HOBBLING.--Thereby they become a hindrance to all who
are in haste.
And many of them go forward, and look backwards thereby, with stiffened
necks: those do I like to run up against.
Foot and eye shall not lie, nor give the lie to each other. But there is
much lying among small people.
Some of them WILL, but most of them are WILLED. Some of them are genuine,
but most of them are bad actors.
There are actors without knowing it amongst them, and actors without
intending it--, the genuine ones are always rare, especially the genuine
Of man there is little here: therefore do their women masculinise
themselves. For only he who is man enough, will--SAVE THE WOMAN in woman.
And this hypocrisy found I worst amongst them, that even those who command
feign the virtues of those who serve.
"I serve, thou servest, we serve"--so chanteth here even the hypocrisy of
the rulers--and alas! if the first lord be ONLY the first servant!
Ah, even upon their hypocrisy did mine eyes' curiosity alight; and well did
I divine all their fly-happiness, and their buzzing around sunny window-
So much kindness, so much weakness do I see. So much justice and pity, so
Round, fair, and considerate are they to one another, as grains of sand are
round, fair, and considerate to grains of sand.
Modestly to embrace a small happiness--that do they call "submission"! and
at the same time they peer modestly after a new small happiness.
In their hearts they want simply one thing most of all: that no one hurt
them. Thus do they anticipate every one's wishes and do well unto every
That, however, is COWARDICE, though it be called "virtue."--
And when they chance to speak harshly, those small people, then do _I_ hear
therein only their hoarseness--every draught of air maketh them hoarse.
Shrewd indeed are they, their virtues have shrewd fingers. But they lack
fists: their fingers do not know how to creep behind fists.
Virtue for them is what maketh modest and tame: therewith have they made
the wolf a dog, and man himself man's best domestic animal.
"We set our chair in the MIDST"--so saith their smirking unto me--"and as
far from dying gladiators as from satisfied swine."
That, however, is--MEDIOCRITY, though it be called moderation.--
I pass through this people and let fall many words: but they know neither
how to take nor how to retain them.
They wonder why I came not to revile venery and vice; and verily, I came
not to warn against pickpockets either!
They wonder why I am not ready to abet and whet their wisdom: as if they
had not yet enough of wiseacres, whose voices grate on mine ear like slate-
And when I call out: "Curse all the cowardly devils in you, that would
fain whimper and fold the hands and adore"--then do they shout:
"Zarathustra is godless."
And especially do their teachers of submission shout this;--but precisely
in their ears do I love to cry: "Yea! I AM Zarathustra, the godless!"
Those teachers of submission! Wherever there is aught puny, or sickly, or
scabby, there do they creep like lice; and only my disgust preventeth me
from cracking them.
Well! This is my sermon for THEIR ears: I am Zarathustra the godless, who
saith: "Who is more godless than I, that I may enjoy his teaching?"
I am Zarathustra the godless: where do I find mine equal? And all those
are mine equals who give unto themselves their Will, and divest themselves
of all submission.
I am Zarathustra the godless! I cook every chance in MY pot. And only
when it hath been quite cooked do I welcome it as MY food.
And verily, many a chance came imperiously unto me: but still more
imperiously did my WILL speak unto it,--then did it lie imploringly upon
--Imploring that it might find home and heart with me, and saying
flatteringly: "See, O Zarathustra, how friend only cometh unto friend!"--
But why talk I, when no one hath MINE ears! And so will I shout it out
unto all the winds:
Ye ever become smaller, ye small people! Ye crumble away, ye comfortable
ones! Ye will yet perish--
--By your many small virtues, by your many small omissions, and by your
many small submissions!
Too tender, too yielding: so is your soil! But for a tree to become
GREAT, it seeketh to twine hard roots around hard rocks!
Also what ye omit weaveth at the web of all the human future; even your
naught is a cobweb, and a spider that liveth on the blood of the future.
And when ye take, then is it like stealing, ye small virtuous ones; but
even among knaves HONOUR saith that "one shall only steal when one cannot
"It giveth itself"--that is also a doctrine of submission. But I say unto
you, ye comfortable ones, that IT TAKETH TO ITSELF, and will ever take more
and more from you!
Ah, that ye would renounce all HALF-willing, and would decide for idleness
as ye decide for action!
Ah, that ye understood my word: "Do ever what ye will--but first be such
as CAN WILL.
Love ever your neighbour as yourselves--but first be such as LOVE
--Such as love with great love, such as love with great contempt!" Thus
speaketh Zarathustra the godless.--
But why talk I, when no one hath MINE ears! It is still an hour too early
for me here.
Mine own forerunner am I among this people, mine own cockcrow in dark
But THEIR hour cometh! And there cometh also mine! Hourly do they become
smaller, poorer, unfruitfuller,--poor herbs! poor earth!
And SOON shall they stand before me like dry grass and prairie, and verily,
weary of themselves--and panting for FIRE, more than for water!
O blessed hour of the lightning! O mystery before noontide!--Running fires
will I one day make of them, and heralds with flaming tongues:--
--Herald shall they one day with flaming tongues: It cometh, it is nigh,
THE GREAT NOONTIDE!
Thus spake Zarathustra.
L. ON THE OLIVE-MOUNT.
Winter, a bad guest, sitteth with me at home; blue are my hands with his
I honour him, that bad guest, but gladly leave him alone. Gladly do I run
away from him; and when one runneth WELL, then one escapeth him!
With warm feet and warm thoughts do I run where the wind is calm--to the
sunny corner of mine olive-mount.
There do I laugh at my stern guest, and am still fond of him; because he
cleareth my house of flies, and quieteth many little noises.
For he suffereth it not if a gnat wanteth to buzz, or even two of them;
also the lanes maketh he lonesome, so that the moonlight is afraid there at
A hard guest is he,--but I honour him, and do not worship, like the
tenderlings, the pot-bellied fire-idol.
Better even a little teeth-chattering than idol-adoration!--so willeth my
nature. And especially have I a grudge against all ardent, steaming,
Him whom I love, I love better in winter than in summer; better do I now
mock at mine enemies, and more heartily, when winter sitteth in my house.
Heartily, verily, even when I CREEP into bed--: there, still laugheth and
wantoneth my hidden happiness; even my deceptive dream laugheth.
I, a--creeper? Never in my life did I creep before the powerful; and if
ever I lied, then did I lie out of love. Therefore am I glad even in my
A poor bed warmeth me more than a rich one, for I am jealous of my poverty.
And in winter she is most faithful unto me.
With a wickedness do I begin every day: I mock at the winter with a cold
bath: on that account grumbleth my stern house-mate.
Also do I like to tickle him with a wax-taper, that he may finally let the
heavens emerge from ashy-grey twilight.
For especially wicked am I in the morning: at the early hour when the pail
rattleth at the well, and horses neigh warmly in grey lanes:--
Impatiently do I then wait, that the clear sky may finally dawn for me, the
snow-bearded winter-sky, the hoary one, the white-head,--
--The winter-sky, the silent winter-sky, which often stifleth even its sun!
Did I perhaps learn from it the long clear silence? Or did it learn it
from me? Or hath each of us devised it himself?
Of all good things the origin is a thousandfold,--all good roguish things
spring into existence for joy: how could they always do so--for once only!
A good roguish thing is also the long silence, and to look, like the
winter-sky, out of a clear, round-eyed countenance:--
--Like it to stifle one's sun, and one's inflexible solar will: verily,
this art and this winter-roguishness have I learnt WELL!
My best-loved wickedness and art is it, that my silence hath learned not to
betray itself by silence.
Clattering with diction and dice, I outwit the solemn assistants: all
those stern watchers, shall my will and purpose elude.
That no one might see down into my depth and into mine ultimate will--for
that purpose did I devise the long clear silence.
Many a shrewd one did I find: he veiled his countenance and made his water
muddy, that no one might see therethrough and thereunder.
But precisely unto him came the shrewder distrusters and nut-crackers:
precisely from him did they fish his best-concealed fish!
But the clear, the honest, the transparent--these are for me the wisest
silent ones: in them, so PROFOUND is the depth that even the clearest
water doth not--betray it.--
Thou snow-bearded, silent, winter-sky, thou round-eyed whitehead above me!
Oh, thou heavenly simile of my soul and its wantonness!
And MUST I not conceal myself like one who hath swallowed gold--lest my
soul should be ripped up?
MUST I not wear stilts, that they may OVERLOOK my long legs--all those
enviers and injurers around me?
Those dingy, fire-warmed, used-up, green-tinted, ill-natured souls--how
COULD their envy endure my happiness!
Thus do I show them only the ice and winter of my peaks--and NOT that my
mountain windeth all the solar girdles around it!
They hear only the whistling of my winter-storms: and know NOT that I also
travel over warm seas, like longing, heavy, hot south-winds.
They commiserate also my accidents and chances:--but MY word saith:
"Suffer the chance to come unto me: innocent is it as a little child!"
How COULD they endure my happiness, if I did not put around it accidents,
and winter-privations, and bear-skin caps, and enmantling snowflakes!
--If I did not myself commiserate their PITY, the pity of those enviers and
--If I did not myself sigh before them, and chatter with cold, and
patiently LET myself be swathed in their pity!
This is the wise waggish-will and good-will of my soul, that it CONCEALETH
NOT its winters and glacial storms; it concealeth not its chilblains
To one man, lonesomeness is the flight of the sick one; to another, it is
the flight FROM the sick ones.
Let them HEAR me chattering and sighing with winter-cold, all those poor
squinting knaves around me! With such sighing and chattering do I flee
from their heated rooms.
Let them sympathise with me and sigh with me on account of my chilblains:
"At the ice of knowledge will he yet FREEZE TO DEATH!"--so they mourn.
Meanwhile do I run with warm feet hither and thither on mine olive-mount:
in the sunny corner of mine olive-mount do I sing, and mock at all pity.--
Thus sang Zarathustra.
LI. ON PASSING-BY.
Thus slowly wandering through many peoples and divers cities, did
Zarathustra return by round-about roads to his mountains and his cave. And
behold, thereby came he unawares also to the gate of the GREAT CITY. Here,
however, a foaming fool, with extended hands, sprang forward to him and
stood in his way. It was the same fool whom the people called "the ape of
Zarathustra:" for he had learned from him something of the expression and
modulation of language, and perhaps liked also to borrow from the store of
his wisdom. And the fool talked thus to Zarathustra:
O Zarathustra, here is the great city: here hast thou nothing to seek and
everything to lose.
Why wouldst thou wade through this mire? Have pity upon thy foot! Spit
rather on the gate of the city, and--turn back!
Here is the hell for anchorites' thoughts: here are great thoughts seethed
alive and boiled small.
Here do all great sentiments decay: here may only rattle-boned sensations
Smellest thou not already the shambles and cookshops of the spirit?
Steameth not this city with the fumes of slaughtered spirit?
Seest thou not the souls hanging like limp dirty rags?--And they make
newspapers also out of these rags!
Hearest thou not how spirit hath here become a verbal game? Loathsome
verbal swill doth it vomit forth!--And they make newspapers also out of
this verbal swill.
They hound one another, and know not whither! They inflame one another,
and know not why! They tinkle with their pinchbeck, they jingle with their
They are cold, and seek warmth from distilled waters: they are inflamed,
and seek coolness from frozen spirits; they are all sick and sore through
All lusts and vices are here at home; but here there are also the virtuous;
there is much appointable appointed virtue:--
Much appointable virtue with scribe-fingers, and hardy sitting-flesh and
waiting-flesh, blessed with small breast-stars, and padded, haunchless
There is here also much piety, and much faithful spittle-licking and
spittle-backing, before the God of Hosts.
"From on high," drippeth the star, and the gracious spittle; for the high,
longeth every starless bosom.
The moon hath its court, and the court hath its moon-calves: unto all,
however, that cometh from the court do the mendicant people pray, and all
appointable mendicant virtues.
"I serve, thou servest, we serve"--so prayeth all appointable virtue to the
prince: that the merited star may at last stick on the slender breast!
But the moon still revolveth around all that is earthly: so revolveth also
the prince around what is earthliest of all--that, however, is the gold of
The God of the Hosts of war is not the God of the golden bar; the prince
proposeth, but the shopman--disposeth!
By all that is luminous and strong and good in thee, O Zarathustra! Spit
on this city of shopmen and return back!
Here floweth all blood putridly and tepidly and frothily through all veins:
spit on the great city, which is the great slum where all the scum frotheth
Spit on the city of compressed souls and slender breasts, of pointed eyes
and sticky fingers--
--On the city of the obtrusive, the brazen-faced, the pen-demagogues and
tongue-demagogues, the overheated ambitious:--
Where everything maimed, ill-famed, lustful, untrustful, over-mellow,
sickly-yellow and seditious, festereth pernicious:--
--Spit on the great city and turn back!--
Here, however, did Zarathustra interrupt the foaming fool, and shut his
Stop this at once! called out Zarathustra, long have thy speech and thy
species disgusted me!
Why didst thou live so long by the swamp, that thou thyself hadst to become
a frog and a toad?
Floweth there not a tainted, frothy, swamp-blood in thine own veins, when
thou hast thus learned to croak and revile?
Why wentest thou not into the forest? Or why didst thou not till the
ground? Is the sea not full of green islands?
I despise thy contempt; and when thou warnedst me--why didst thou not warn
Out of love alone shall my contempt and my warning bird take wing; but not
out of the swamp!--
They call thee mine ape, thou foaming fool: but I call thee my grunting-
pig,--by thy grunting, thou spoilest even my praise of folly.
What was it that first made thee grunt? Because no one sufficiently
FLATTERED thee:--therefore didst thou seat thyself beside this filth, that
thou mightest have cause for much grunting,--
--That thou mightest have cause for much VENGEANCE! For vengeance, thou
vain fool, is all thy foaming; I have divined thee well!
But thy fools'-word injureth ME, even when thou art right! And even if
Zarathustra's word WERE a hundred times justified, thou wouldst ever--DO
wrong with my word!
Thus spake Zarathustra. Then did he look on the great city and sighed, and
was long silent. At last he spake thus:
I loathe also this great city, and not only this fool. Here and there--
there is nothing to better, nothing to worsen.
Woe to this great city!--And I would that I already saw the pillar of fire
in which it will be consumed!
For such pillars of fire must precede the great noontide. But this hath
its time and its own fate.--
This precept, however, give I unto thee, in parting, thou fool: Where one
can no longer love, there should one--PASS BY!--
Thus spake Zarathustra, and passed by the fool and the great city.
LII. THE APOSTATES.
Ah, lieth everything already withered and grey which but lately stood green
and many-hued on this meadow! And how much honey of hope did I carry hence
into my beehives!
Those young hearts have already all become old--and not old even! only
weary, ordinary, comfortable:--they declare it: "We have again become
Of late did I see them run forth at early morn with valorous steps: but
the feet of their knowledge became weary, and now do they malign even their
Verily, many of them once lifted their legs like the dancer; to them winked
the laughter of my wisdom:--then did they bethink themselves. Just now
have I seen them bent down--to creep to the cross.
Around light and liberty did they once flutter like gnats and young poets.
A little older, a little colder: and already are they mystifiers, and
mumblers and mollycoddles.
Did perhaps their hearts despond, because lonesomeness had swallowed me
like a whale? Did their ear perhaps hearken yearningly-long for me IN
VAIN, and for my trumpet-notes and herald-calls?
--Ah! Ever are there but few of those whose hearts have persistent courage
and exuberance; and in such remaineth also the spirit patient. The rest,
however, are COWARDLY.
The rest: these are always the great majority, the common-place, the
superfluous, the far-too many--those all are cowardly!--
Him who is of my type, will also the experiences of my type meet on the
way: so that his first companions must be corpses and buffoons.
His second companions, however--they will call themselves his BELIEVERS,--
will be a living host, with much love, much folly, much unbearded
To those believers shall he who is of my type among men not bind his heart;
in those spring-times and many-hued meadows shall he not believe, who
knoweth the fickly faint-hearted human species!
COULD they do otherwise, then would they also WILL otherwise. The half-
and-half spoil every whole. That leaves become withered,--what is there to
lament about that!
Let them go and fall away, O Zarathustra, and do not lament! Better even
to blow amongst them with rustling winds,--
--Blow amongst those leaves, O Zarathustra, that everything WITHERED may
run away from thee the faster!--
"We have again become pious"--so do those apostates confess; and some of
them are still too pusillanimous thus to confess.
Unto them I look into the eye,--before them I say it unto their face and
unto the blush on their cheeks: Ye are those who again PRAY!
It is however a shame to pray! Not for all, but for thee, and me, and
whoever hath his conscience in his head. For THEE it is a shame to pray!
Thou knowest it well: the faint-hearted devil in thee, which would fain
fold its arms, and place its hands in its bosom, and take it easier:--this
faint-hearted devil persuadeth thee that "there IS a God!"
THEREBY, however, dost thou belong to the light-dreading type, to whom
light never permitteth repose: now must thou daily thrust thy head deeper
into obscurity and vapour!
And verily, thou choosest the hour well: for just now do the nocturnal
birds again fly abroad. The hour hath come for all light-dreading people,
the vesper hour and leisure hour, when they do not--"take leisure."
I hear it and smell it: it hath come--their hour for hunt and procession,
not indeed for a wild hunt, but for a tame, lame, snuffling, soft-
treaders', soft-prayers' hunt,--
--For a hunt after susceptible simpletons: all mouse-traps for the heart
have again been set! And whenever I lift a curtain, a night-moth rusheth
out of it.
Did it perhaps squat there along with another night-moth? For everywhere
do I smell small concealed communities; and wherever there are closets
there are new devotees therein, and the atmosphere of devotees.
They sit for long evenings beside one another, and say: "Let us again
become like little children and say, 'good God!'"--ruined in mouths and
stomachs by the pious confectioners.
Or they look for long evenings at a crafty, lurking cross-spider, that
preacheth prudence to the spiders themselves, and teacheth that "under
crosses it is good for cobweb-spinning!"
Or they sit all day at swamps with angle-rods, and on that account think
themselves PROFOUND; but whoever fisheth where there are no fish, I do not
even call him superficial!
Or they learn in godly-gay style to play the harp with a hymn-poet, who
would fain harp himself into the heart of young girls:--for he hath tired
of old girls and their praises.
Or they learn to shudder with a learned semi-madcap, who waiteth in
darkened rooms for spirits to come to him--and the spirit runneth away
Or they listen to an old roving howl--and growl-piper, who hath learnt from
the sad winds the sadness of sounds; now pipeth he as the wind, and
preacheth sadness in sad strains.
And some of them have even become night-watchmen: they know now how to
blow horns, and go about at night and awaken old things which have long
Five words about old things did I hear yester-night at the garden-wall:
they came from such old, sorrowful, arid night-watchmen.
"For a father he careth not sufficiently for his children: human fathers
do this better!"--
"He is too old! He now careth no more for his children,"--answered the
"HATH he then children? No one can prove it unless he himself prove it! I
have long wished that he would for once prove it thoroughly."
"Prove? As if HE had ever proved anything! Proving is difficult to him;
he layeth great stress on one's BELIEVING him."
"Ay! Ay! Belief saveth him; belief in him. That is the way with old
people! So it is with us also!"--
--Thus spake to each other the two old night-watchmen and light-scarers,
and tooted thereupon sorrowfully on their horns: so did it happen yester-
night at the garden-wall.
To me, however, did the heart writhe with laughter, and was like to break;
it knew not where to go, and sunk into the midriff.
Verily, it will be my death yet--to choke with laughter when I see asses
drunken, and hear night-watchmen thus doubt about God.
Hath the time not LONG since passed for all such doubts? Who may nowadays
awaken such old slumbering, light-shunning things!
With the old Deities hath it long since come to an end:--and verily, a good
joyful Deity-end had they!
They did not "begloom" themselves to death--that do people fabricate! On
the contrary, they--LAUGHED themselves to death once on a time!
That took place when the unGodliest utterance came from a God himself--the
utterance: "There is but one God! Thou shalt have no other Gods before
--An old grim-beard of a God, a jealous one, forgot himself in such wise:--
And all the Gods then laughed, and shook upon their thrones, and exclaimed:
"Is it not just divinity that there are Gods, but no God?"
He that hath an ear let him hear.--
Thus talked Zarathustra in the city he loved, which is surnamed "The Pied
Cow." For from here he had but two days to travel to reach once more his
cave and his animals; his soul, however, rejoiced unceasingly on account of
the nighness of his return home.
LIII. THE RETURN HOME.
O lonesomeness! My HOME, lonesomeness! Too long have I lived wildly in
wild remoteness, to return to thee without tears!
Now threaten me with the finger as mothers threaten; now smile upon me as
mothers smile; now say just: "Who was it that like a whirlwind once rushed
away from me?--
--Who when departing called out: 'Too long have I sat with lonesomeness;
there have I unlearned silence!' THAT hast thou learned now--surely?
O Zarathustra, everything do I know; and that thou wert MORE FORSAKEN
amongst the many, thou unique one, than thou ever wert with me!
One thing is forsakenness, another matter is lonesomeness: THAT hast thou
now learned! And that amongst men thou wilt ever be wild and strange:
--Wild and strange even when they love thee: for above all they want to be
Here, however, art thou at home and house with thyself; here canst thou
utter everything, and unbosom all motives; nothing is here ashamed of
concealed, congealed feelings.
Here do all things come caressingly to thy talk and flatter thee: for they
want to ride upon thy back. On every simile dost thou here ride to every
Uprightly and openly mayest thou here talk to all things: and verily, it
soundeth as praise in their ears, for one to talk to all things--directly!
Another matter, however, is forsakenness. For, dost thou remember, O
Zarathustra? When thy bird screamed overhead, when thou stoodest in the
forest, irresolute, ignorant where to go, beside a corpse:--
--When thou spakest: 'Let mine animals lead me! More dangerous have I
found it among men than among animals:'--THAT was forsakenness!
And dost thou remember, O Zarathustra? When thou sattest in thine isle, a
well of wine giving and granting amongst empty buckets, bestowing and
distributing amongst the thirsty:
--Until at last thou alone sattest thirsty amongst the drunken ones, and
wailedst nightly: 'Is taking not more blessed than giving? And stealing
yet more blessed than taking?'--THAT was forsakenness!
And dost thou remember, O Zarathustra? When thy stillest hour came and
drove thee forth from thyself, when with wicked whispering it said: 'Speak
--When it disgusted thee with all thy waiting and silence, and discouraged
thy humble courage: THAT was forsakenness!"--
O lonesomeness! My home, lonesomeness! How blessedly and tenderly
speaketh thy voice unto me!
We do not question each other, we do not complain to each other; we go
together openly through open doors.
For all is open with thee and clear; and even the hours run here on lighter
feet. For in the dark, time weigheth heavier upon one than in the light.
Here fly open unto me all being's words and word-cabinets: here all being
wanteth to become words, here all becoming wanteth to learn of me how to
Down there, however--all talking is in vain! There, forgetting and
passing-by are the best wisdom: THAT have I learned now!
He who would understand everything in man must handle everything. But for
that I have too clean hands.
I do not like even to inhale their breath; alas! that I have lived so long
among their noise and bad breaths!
O blessed stillness around me! O pure odours around me! How from a deep
breast this stillness fetcheth pure breath! How it hearkeneth, this
But down there--there speaketh everything, there is everything misheard.
If one announce one's wisdom with bells, the shopmen in the market-place
will out-jingle it with pennies!
Everything among them talketh; no one knoweth any longer how to understand.
Everything falleth into the water; nothing falleth any longer into deep
Everything among them talketh, nothing succeedeth any longer and
accomplisheth itself. Everything cackleth, but who will still sit quietly
on the nest and hatch eggs?
Everything among them talketh, everything is out-talked. And that which
yesterday was still too hard for time itself and its tooth, hangeth to-day,
outchamped and outchewed, from the mouths of the men of to-day.
Everything among them talketh, everything is betrayed. And what was once
called the secret and secrecy of profound souls, belongeth to-day to the
street-trumpeters and other butterflies.
O human hubbub, thou wonderful thing! Thou noise in dark streets! Now art
thou again behind me:--my greatest danger lieth behind me!
In indulging and pitying lay ever my greatest danger; and all human hubbub
wisheth to be indulged and tolerated.
With suppressed truths, with fool's hand and befooled heart, and rich in
petty lies of pity:--thus have I ever lived among men.
Disguised did I sit amongst them, ready to misjudge MYSELF that I might
endure THEM, and willingly saying to myself: "Thou fool, thou dost not
One unlearneth men when one liveth amongst them: there is too much
foreground in all men--what can far-seeing, far-longing eyes do THERE!
And, fool that I was, when they misjudged me, I indulged them on that
account more than myself, being habitually hard on myself, and often even
taking revenge on myself for the indulgence.
Stung all over by poisonous flies, and hollowed like the stone by many
drops of wickedness: thus did I sit among them, and still said to myself:
"Innocent is everything petty of its pettiness!"
Especially did I find those who call themselves "the good," the most
poisonous flies; they sting in all innocence, they lie in all innocence;
how COULD they--be just towards me!
He who liveth amongst the good--pity teacheth him to lie. Pity maketh
stifling air for all free souls. For the stupidity of the good is
To conceal myself and my riches--THAT did I learn down there: for every
one did I still find poor in spirit. It was the lie of my pity, that I
knew in every one,
--That I saw and scented in every one, what was ENOUGH of spirit for him,
and what was TOO MUCH!
Their stiff wise men: I call them wise, not stiff--thus did I learn to
slur over words.
The grave-diggers dig for themselves diseases. Under old rubbish rest bad
vapours. One should not stir up the marsh. One should live on mountains.
With blessed nostrils do I again breathe mountain-freedom. Freed at last
is my nose from the smell of all human hubbub!
With sharp breezes tickled, as with sparkling wine, SNEEZETH my soul--
sneezeth, and shouteth self-congratulatingly: "Health to thee!"
Thus spake Zarathustra.
LIV. THE THREE EVIL THINGS.
In my dream, in my last morning-dream, I stood to-day on a promontory--
beyond the world; I held a pair of scales, and WEIGHED the world.
Alas, that the rosy dawn came too early to me: she glowed me awake, the
jealous one! Jealous is she always of the glows of my morning-dream.
Measurable by him who hath time, weighable by a good weigher, attainable by
strong pinions, divinable by divine nut-crackers: thus did my dream find
My dream, a bold sailor, half-ship, half-hurricane, silent as the
butterfly, impatient as the falcon: how had it the patience and leisure
to-day for world-weighing!
Did my wisdom perhaps speak secretly to it, my laughing, wide-awake day-
wisdom, which mocketh at all "infinite worlds"? For it saith: "Where
force is, there becometh NUMBER the master: it hath more force."
How confidently did my dream contemplate this finite world, not new-
fangledly, not old-fangledly, not timidly, not entreatingly:--
--As if a big round apple presented itself to my hand, a ripe golden apple,
with a coolly-soft, velvety skin:--thus did the world present itself unto
--As if a tree nodded unto me, a broad-branched, strong-willed tree, curved
as a recline and a foot-stool for weary travellers: thus did the world
stand on my promontory:--
--As if delicate hands carried a casket towards me--a casket open for the
delectation of modest adoring eyes: thus did the world present itself
before me to-day:--
--Not riddle enough to scare human love from it, not solution enough to put
to sleep human wisdom:--a humanly good thing was the world to me to-day, of
which such bad things are said!
How I thank my morning-dream that I thus at to-day's dawn, weighed the
world! As a humanly good thing did it come unto me, this dream and heart-
And that I may do the like by day, and imitate and copy its best, now will
I put the three worst things on the scales, and weigh them humanly well.--
He who taught to bless taught also to curse: what are the three best
cursed things in the world? These will I put on the scales.
VOLUPTUOUSNESS, PASSION FOR POWER, and SELFISHNESS: these three things
have hitherto been best cursed, and have been in worst and falsest repute--
these three things will I weigh humanly well.
Well! Here is my promontory, and there is the sea--IT rolleth hither unto
me, shaggily and fawningly, the old, faithful, hundred-headed dog-monster
that I love!--
Well! Here will I hold the scales over the weltering sea: and also a
witness do I choose to look on--thee, the anchorite-tree, thee, the strong-
odoured, broad-arched tree that I love!--
On what bridge goeth the now to the hereafter? By what constraint doth the
high stoop to the low? And what enjoineth even the highest still--to grow
Now stand the scales poised and at rest: three heavy questions have I
thrown in; three heavy answers carrieth the other scale.
Voluptuousness: unto all hair-shirted despisers of the body, a sting and
stake; and, cursed as "the world," by all backworldsmen: for it mocketh
and befooleth all erring, misinferring teachers.
Voluptuousness: to the rabble, the slow fire at which it is burnt; to all
wormy wood, to all stinking rags, the prepared heat and stew furnace.
Voluptuousness: to free hearts, a thing innocent and free, the garden-
happiness of the earth, all the future's thanks-overflow to the present.
Voluptuousness: only to the withered a sweet poison; to the lion-willed,
however, the great cordial, and the reverently saved wine of wines.
Voluptuousness: the great symbolic happiness of a higher happiness and
highest hope. For to many is marriage promised, and more than marriage,--
--To many that are more unknown to each other than man and woman:--and who
hath fully understood HOW UNKNOWN to each other are man and woman!
Voluptuousness:--but I will have hedges around my thoughts, and even around
my words, lest swine and libertine should break into my gardens!--
Passion for power: the glowing scourge of the hardest of the heart-hard;
the cruel torture reserved for the cruellest themselves; the gloomy flame
of living pyres.
Passion for power: the wicked gadfly which is mounted on the vainest
peoples; the scorner of all uncertain virtue; which rideth on every horse
and on every pride.
Passion for power: the earthquake which breaketh and upbreaketh all that
is rotten and hollow; the rolling, rumbling, punitive demolisher of whited
sepulchres; the flashing interrogative-sign beside premature answers.
Passion for power: before whose glance man creepeth and croucheth and
drudgeth, and becometh lower than the serpent and the swine:--until at last
great contempt crieth out of him--,
Passion for power: the terrible teacher of great contempt, which preacheth
to their face to cities and empires: "Away with thee!"--until a voice
crieth out of themselves: "Away with ME!"
Passion for power: which, however, mounteth alluringly even to the pure
and lonesome, and up to self-satisfied elevations, glowing like a love that
painteth purple felicities alluringly on earthly heavens.
Passion for power: but who would call it PASSION, when the height longeth
to stoop for power! Verily, nothing sick or diseased is there in such
longing and descending!
That the lonesome height may not for ever remain lonesome and self-
sufficing; that the mountains may come to the valleys and the winds of the
heights to the plains:--
Oh, who could find the right prenomen and honouring name for such longing!
"Bestowing virtue"--thus did Zarathustra once name the unnamable.
And then it happened also,--and verily, it happened for the first time!--
that his word blessed SELFISHNESS, the wholesome, healthy selfishness, that
springeth from the powerful soul:--
--From the powerful soul, to which the high body appertaineth, the
handsome, triumphing, refreshing body, around which everything becometh a
--The pliant, persuasive body, the dancer, whose symbol and epitome is the
self-enjoying soul. Of such bodies and souls the self-enjoyment calleth
With its words of good and bad doth such self-enjoyment shelter itself as
with sacred groves; with the names of its happiness doth it banish from
itself everything contemptible.
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