Thus Spake Zarathustra
Friedrich Nietzsche

Part 5 out of 8

Away from itself doth it banish everything cowardly; it saith: "Bad--THAT
IS cowardly!" Contemptible seem to it the ever-solicitous, the sighing,
the complaining, and whoever pick up the most trifling advantage.

It despiseth also all bitter-sweet wisdom: for verily, there is also
wisdom that bloometh in the dark, a night-shade wisdom, which ever sigheth:
"All is vain!"

Shy distrust is regarded by it as base, and every one who wanteth oaths
instead of looks and hands: also all over-distrustful wisdom,--for such is
the mode of cowardly souls.

Baser still it regardeth the obsequious, doggish one, who immediately lieth
on his back, the submissive one; and there is also wisdom that is
submissive, and doggish, and pious, and obsequious.

Hateful to it altogether, and a loathing, is he who will never defend
himself, he who swalloweth down poisonous spittle and bad looks, the all-
too-patient one, the all-endurer, the all-satisfied one: for that is the
mode of slaves.

Whether they be servile before Gods and divine spurnings, or before men and
stupid human opinions: at ALL kinds of slaves doth it spit, this blessed

Bad: thus doth it call all that is spirit-broken, and sordidly-servile--
constrained, blinking eyes, depressed hearts, and the false submissive
style, which kisseth with broad cowardly lips.

And spurious wisdom: so doth it call all the wit that slaves, and hoary-
headed and weary ones affect; and especially all the cunning, spurious-
witted, curious-witted foolishness of priests!

The spurious wise, however, all the priests, the world-weary, and those
whose souls are of feminine and servile nature--oh, how hath their game all
along abused selfishness!

And precisely THAT was to be virtue and was to be called virtue--to abuse
selfishness! And "selfless"--so did they wish themselves with good reason,
all those world-weary cowards and cross-spiders!

But to all those cometh now the day, the change, the sword of judgment, THE
GREAT NOONTIDE: then shall many things be revealed!

And he who proclaimeth the EGO wholesome and holy, and selfishness blessed,
verily, he, the prognosticator, speaketh also what he knoweth: "BEHOLD, IT

Thus spake Zarathustra.



My mouthpiece--is of the people: too coarsely and cordially do I talk for
Angora rabbits. And still stranger soundeth my word unto all ink-fish and

My hand--is a fool's hand: woe unto all tables and walls, and whatever
hath room for fool's sketching, fool's scrawling!

My foot--is a horse-foot; therewith do I trample and trot over stick and
stone, in the fields up and down, and am bedevilled with delight in all
fast racing.

My stomach--is surely an eagle's stomach? For it preferreth lamb's flesh.
Certainly it is a bird's stomach.

Nourished with innocent things, and with few, ready and impatient to fly,
to fly away--that is now my nature: why should there not be something of
bird-nature therein!

And especially that I am hostile to the spirit of gravity, that is bird-
nature:--verily, deadly hostile, supremely hostile, originally hostile!
Oh, whither hath my hostility not flown and misflown!

Thereof could I sing a song--and WILL sing it: though I be alone in an
empty house, and must sing it to mine own ears.

Other singers are there, to be sure, to whom only the full house maketh the
voice soft, the hand eloquent, the eye expressive, the heart wakeful:--
those do I not resemble.--


He who one day teacheth men to fly will have shifted all landmarks; to him
will all landmarks themselves fly into the air; the earth will he christen
anew--as "the light body."

The ostrich runneth faster than the fastest horse, but it also thrusteth
its head heavily into the heavy earth: thus is it with the man who cannot
yet fly.

Heavy unto him are earth and life, and so WILLETH the spirit of gravity!
But he who would become light, and be a bird, must love himself:--thus do
_I_ teach.

Not, to be sure, with the love of the sick and infected, for with them
stinketh even self-love!

One must learn to love oneself--thus do I teach--with a wholesome and
healthy love: that one may endure to be with oneself, and not go roving

Such roving about christeneth itself "brotherly love"; with these words
hath there hitherto been the best lying and dissembling, and especially by
those who have been burdensome to every one.

And verily, it is no commandment for to-day and to-morrow to LEARN to love
oneself. Rather is it of all arts the finest, subtlest, last and

For to its possessor is all possession well concealed, and of all treasure-
pits one's own is last excavated--so causeth the spirit of gravity.

Almost in the cradle are we apportioned with heavy words and worths:
"good" and "evil"--so calleth itself this dowry. For the sake of it we are
forgiven for living.

And therefore suffereth one little children to come unto one, to forbid
them betimes to love themselves--so causeth the spirit of gravity.

And we--we bear loyally what is apportioned unto us, on hard shoulders,
over rugged mountains! And when we sweat, then do people say to us: "Yea,
life is hard to bear!"

But man himself only is hard to bear! The reason thereof is that he
carrieth too many extraneous things on his shoulders. Like the camel
kneeleth he down, and letteth himself be well laden.

Especially the strong load-bearing man in whom reverence resideth. Too
many EXTRANEOUS heavy words and worths loadeth he upon himself--then
seemeth life to him a desert!

And verily! Many a thing also that is OUR OWN is hard to bear! And many
internal things in man are like the oyster--repulsive and slippery and hard
to grasp;-

So that an elegant shell, with elegant adornment, must plead for them. But
this art also must one learn: to HAVE a shell, and a fine appearance, and
sagacious blindness!

Again, it deceiveth about many things in man, that many a shell is poor and
pitiable, and too much of a shell. Much concealed goodness and power is
never dreamt of; the choicest dainties find no tasters!

Women know that, the choicest of them: a little fatter a little leaner--
oh, how much fate is in so little!

Man is difficult to discover, and unto himself most difficult of all; often
lieth the spirit concerning the soul. So causeth the spirit of gravity.

He, however, hath discovered himself who saith: This is MY good and evil:
therewith hath he silenced the mole and the dwarf, who say: "Good for all,
evil for all."

Verily, neither do I like those who call everything good, and this world
the best of all. Those do I call the all-satisfied.

All-satisfiedness, which knoweth how to taste everything,--that is not the
best taste! I honour the refractory, fastidious tongues and stomachs,
which have learned to say "I" and "Yea" and "Nay."

To chew and digest everything, however--that is the genuine swine-nature!
Ever to say YE-A--that hath only the ass learnt, and those like it!--

Deep yellow and hot red--so wanteth MY taste--it mixeth blood with all
colours. He, however, who whitewasheth his house, betrayeth unto me a
whitewashed soul.

With mummies, some fall in love; others with phantoms: both alike hostile
to all flesh and blood--oh, how repugnant are both to my taste! For I love

And there will I not reside and abide where every one spitteth and speweth:
that is now MY taste,--rather would I live amongst thieves and perjurers.
Nobody carrieth gold in his mouth.

Still more repugnant unto me, however, are all lickspittles; and the most
repugnant animal of man that I found, did I christen "parasite": it would
not love, and would yet live by love.

Unhappy do I call all those who have only one choice: either to become
evil beasts, or evil beast-tamers. Amongst such would I not build my

Unhappy do I also call those who have ever to WAIT,--they are repugnant to
my taste--all the toll-gatherers and traders, and kings, and other
landkeepers and shopkeepers.

Verily, I learned waiting also, and thoroughly so,--but only waiting for
MYSELF. And above all did I learn standing and walking and running and
leaping and climbing and dancing.

This however is my teaching: he who wisheth one day to fly, must first
learn standing and walking and running and climbing and dancing:--one doth
not fly into flying!

With rope-ladders learned I to reach many a window, with nimble legs did I
climb high masts: to sit on high masts of perception seemed to me no small

--To flicker like small flames on high masts: a small light, certainly,
but a great comfort to cast-away sailors and ship-wrecked ones!

By divers ways and wendings did I arrive at my truth; not by one ladder did
I mount to the height where mine eye roveth into my remoteness.

And unwillingly only did I ask my way--that was always counter to my taste!
Rather did I question and test the ways themselves.

A testing and a questioning hath been all my travelling:--and verily, one
must also LEARN to answer such questioning! That, however,--is my taste:

--Neither a good nor a bad taste, but MY taste, of which I have no longer
either shame or secrecy.

"This--is now MY way,--where is yours?" Thus did I answer those who asked
me "the way." For THE way--it doth not exist!

Thus spake Zarathustra.



Here do I sit and wait, old broken tables around me and also new half-
written tables. When cometh mine hour?

--The hour of my descent, of my down-going: for once more will I go unto

For that hour do I now wait: for first must the signs come unto me that it
is MINE hour--namely, the laughing lion with the flock of doves.

Meanwhile do I talk to myself as one who hath time. No one telleth me
anything new, so I tell myself mine own story.


When I came unto men, then found I them resting on an old infatuation: all
of them thought they had long known what was good and bad for men.

An old wearisome business seemed to them all discourse about virtue; and he
who wished to sleep well spake of "good" and "bad" ere retiring to rest.

This somnolence did I disturb when I taught that NO ONE YET KNOWETH what is
good and bad:--unless it be the creating one!

--It is he, however, who createth man's goal, and giveth to the earth its
meaning and its future: he only EFFECTETH it THAT aught is good or bad.

And I bade them upset their old academic chairs, and wherever that old
infatuation had sat; I bade them laugh at their great moralists, their
saints, their poets, and their Saviours.

At their gloomy sages did I bid them laugh, and whoever had sat admonishing
as a black scarecrow on the tree of life.

On their great grave-highway did I seat myself, and even beside the carrion
and vultures--and I laughed at all their bygone and its mellow decaying

Verily, like penitential preachers and fools did I cry wrath and shame on
all their greatness and smallness. Oh, that their best is so very small!
Oh, that their worst is so very small! Thus did I laugh.

Thus did my wise longing, born in the mountains, cry and laugh in me; a
wild wisdom, verily!--my great pinion-rustling longing.

And oft did it carry me off and up and away and in the midst of laughter;
then flew I quivering like an arrow with sun-intoxicated rapture:

--Out into distant futures, which no dream hath yet seen, into warmer
souths than ever sculptor conceived,--where gods in their dancing are
ashamed of all clothes:

(That I may speak in parables and halt and stammer like the poets: and
verily I am ashamed that I have still to be a poet!)

Where all becoming seemed to me dancing of Gods, and wantoning of Gods, and
the world unloosed and unbridled and fleeing back to itself:--

--As an eternal self-fleeing and re-seeking of one another of many Gods, as
the blessed self-contradicting, recommuning, and refraternising with one
another of many Gods:--

Where all time seemed to me a blessed mockery of moments, where necessity
was freedom itself, which played happily with the goad of freedom:--

Where I also found again mine old devil and arch-enemy, the spirit of
gravity, and all that it created: constraint, law, necessity and
consequence and purpose and will and good and evil:--

For must there not be that which is danced OVER, danced beyond? Must there
not, for the sake of the nimble, the nimblest,--be moles and clumsy


There was it also where I picked up from the path the word "Superman," and
that man is something that must be surpassed.

--That man is a bridge and not a goal--rejoicing over his noontides and
evenings, as advances to new rosy dawns:

--The Zarathustra word of the great noontide, and whatever else I have hung
up over men like purple evening-afterglows.

Verily, also new stars did I make them see, along with new nights; and over
cloud and day and night, did I spread out laughter like a gay-coloured

I taught them all MY poetisation and aspiration: to compose and collect
into unity what is fragment in man, and riddle and fearful chance;--

--As composer, riddle-reader, and redeemer of chance, did I teach them to
create the future, and all that HATH BEEN--to redeem by creating.

The past of man to redeem, and every "It was" to transform, until the Will
saith: "But so did I will it! So shall I will it--"

--This did I call redemption; this alone taught I them to call

Now do I await MY redemption--that I may go unto them for the last time.

For once more will I go unto men: AMONGST them will my sun set; in dying
will I give them my choicest gift!

From the sun did I learn this, when it goeth down, the exuberant one: gold
doth it then pour into the sea, out of inexhaustible riches,--

--So that the poorest fisherman roweth even with GOLDEN oars! For this did
I once see, and did not tire of weeping in beholding it.--

Like the sun will also Zarathustra go down: now sitteth he here and
waiteth, old broken tables around him, and also new tables--half-written.


Behold, here is a new table; but where are my brethren who will carry it
with me to the valley and into hearts of flesh?--

Thus demandeth my great love to the remotest ones: BE NOT CONSIDERATE OF
THY NEIGHBOUR! Man is something that must be surpassed.

There are many divers ways and modes of surpassing: see THOU thereto! But
only a buffoon thinketh: "man can also be OVERLEAPT."

Surpass thyself even in thy neighbour: and a right which thou canst seize
upon, shalt thou not allow to be given thee!

What thou doest can no one do to thee again. Lo, there is no requital.

He who cannot command himself shall obey. And many a one CAN command
himself, but still sorely lacketh self-obedience!


Thus wisheth the type of noble souls: they desire to have nothing
GRATUITOUSLY, least of all, life.

He who is of the populace wisheth to live gratuitously; we others, however,
to whom life hath given itself--we are ever considering WHAT we can best

And verily, it is a noble dictum which saith: "What life promiseth US,
that promise will WE keep--to life!"

One should not wish to enjoy where one doth not contribute to the
enjoyment. And one should not WISH to enjoy!

For enjoyment and innocence are the most bashful things. Neither like to
be sought for. One should HAVE them,--but one should rather SEEK for guilt
and pain!--


O my brethren, he who is a firstling is ever sacrificed. Now, however, are
we firstlings!

We all bleed on secret sacrificial altars, we all burn and broil in honour
of ancient idols.

Our best is still young: this exciteth old palates. Our flesh is tender,
our skin is only lambs' skin:--how could we not excite old idol-priests!

IN OURSELVES dwelleth he still, the old idol-priest, who broileth our best
for his banquet. Ah, my brethren, how could firstlings fail to be

But so wisheth our type; and I love those who do not wish to preserve
themselves, the down-going ones do I love with mine entire love: for they
go beyond.--


To be true--that CAN few be! And he who can, will not! Least of all,
however, can the good be true.

Oh, those good ones! GOOD MEN NEVER SPEAK THE TRUTH. For the spirit, thus
to be good, is a malady.

They yield, those good ones, they submit themselves; their heart repeateth,
their soul obeyeth: HE, however, who obeyeth, DOTH NOT LISTEN TO HIMSELF!

All that is called evil by the good, must come together in order that one
truth may be born. O my brethren, are ye also evil enough for THIS truth?

The daring venture, the prolonged distrust, the cruel Nay, the tedium, the
cutting-into-the-quick--how seldom do THESE come together! Out of such
seed, however--is truth produced!

BESIDE the bad conscience hath hitherto grown all KNOWLEDGE! Break up,
break up, ye discerning ones, the old tables!


When the water hath planks, when gangways and railings o'erspan the stream,
verily, he is not believed who then saith: "All is in flux."

But even the simpletons contradict him. "What?" say the simpletons, "all
in flux? Planks and railings are still OVER the stream!

"OVER the stream all is stable, all the values of things, the bridges and
bearings, all 'good' and 'evil': these are all STABLE!"--

Cometh, however, the hard winter, the stream-tamer, then learn even the
wittiest distrust, and verily, not only the simpletons then say: "Should
not everything--STAND STILL?"

"Fundamentally standeth everything still"--that is an appropriate winter
doctrine, good cheer for an unproductive period, a great comfort for
winter-sleepers and fireside-loungers.

"Fundamentally standeth everything still"--: but CONTRARY thereto,
preacheth the thawing wind!

The thawing wind, a bullock, which is no ploughing bullock--a furious
bullock, a destroyer, which with angry horns breaketh the ice! The ice

O my brethren, is not everything AT PRESENT IN FLUX? Have not all railings
and gangways fallen into the water? Who would still HOLD ON to "good" and

"Woe to us! Hail to us! The thawing wind bloweth!"--Thus preach, my
brethren, through all the streets!


There is an old illusion--it is called good and evil. Around soothsayers
and astrologers hath hitherto revolved the orbit of this illusion.

Once did one BELIEVE in soothsayers and astrologers; and THEREFORE did one
believe, "Everything is fate: thou shalt, for thou must!"

Then again did one distrust all soothsayers and astrologers; and THEREFORE
did one believe, "Everything is freedom: thou canst, for thou willest!"

O my brethren, concerning the stars and the future there hath hitherto been
only illusion, and not knowledge; and THEREFORE concerning good and evil
there hath hitherto been only illusion and not knowledge!


"Thou shalt not rob! Thou shalt not slay!"--such precepts were once called
holy; before them did one bow the knee and the head, and take off one's

But I ask you: Where have there ever been better robbers and slayers in
the world than such holy precepts?

Is there not even in all life--robbing and slaying? And for such precepts
to be called holy, was not TRUTH itself thereby--slain?

--Or was it a sermon of death that called holy what contradicted and
dissuaded from life?--O my brethren, break up, break up for me the old


It is my sympathy with all the past that I see it is abandoned,--

--Abandoned to the favour, the spirit and the madness of every generation
that cometh, and reinterpreteth all that hath been as its bridge!

A great potentate might arise, an artful prodigy, who with approval and
disapproval could strain and constrain all the past, until it became for
him a bridge, a harbinger, a herald, and a cock-crowing.

This however is the other danger, and mine other sympathy:--he who is of
the populace, his thoughts go back to his grandfather,--with his
grandfather, however, doth time cease.

Thus is all the past abandoned: for it might some day happen for the
populace to become master, and drown all time in shallow waters.

Therefore, O my brethren, a NEW NOBILITY is needed, which shall be the
adversary of all populace and potentate rule, and shall inscribe anew the
word "noble" on new tables.

For many noble ones are needed, and many kinds of noble ones, FOR A NEW
NOBILITY! Or, as I once said in parable: "That is just divinity, that
there are Gods, but no God!"


O my brethren, I consecrate you and point you to a new nobility: ye shall
become procreators and cultivators and sowers of the future;--

--Verily, not to a nobility which ye could purchase like traders with
traders' gold; for little worth is all that hath its price.

Let it not be your honour henceforth whence ye come, but whither ye go!
Your Will and your feet which seek to surpass you--let these be your new

Verily, not that ye have served a prince--of what account are princes now!
--nor that ye have become a bulwark to that which standeth, that it may
stand more firmly.

Not that your family have become courtly at courts, and that ye have
learned--gay-coloured, like the flamingo--to stand long hours in shallow

(For ABILITY-to-stand is a merit in courtiers; and all courtiers believe
that unto blessedness after death pertaineth--PERMISSION-to-sit!)

Nor even that a Spirit called Holy, led your forefathers into promised
lands, which I do not praise: for where the worst of all trees grew--the
cross,--in that land there is nothing to praise!--

--And verily, wherever this "Holy Spirit" led its knights, always in such
campaigns did--goats and geese, and wryheads and guyheads run FOREMOST!--

O my brethren, not backward shall your nobility gaze, but OUTWARD! Exiles
shall ye be from all fatherlands and forefather-lands!

Your CHILDREN'S LAND shall ye love: let this love be your new nobility,--
the undiscovered in the remotest seas! For it do I bid your sails search
and search!

Unto your children shall ye MAKE AMENDS for being the children of your
fathers: all the past shall ye THUS redeem! This new table do I place
over you!


"Why should one live? All is vain! To live--that is to thrash straw; to
live--that is to burn oneself and yet not get warm.--

Such ancient babbling still passeth for "wisdom"; because it is old,
however, and smelleth mustily, THEREFORE is it the more honoured. Even
mould ennobleth.--

Children might thus speak: they SHUN the fire because it hath burnt them!
There is much childishness in the old books of wisdom.

And he who ever "thrasheth straw," why should he be allowed to rail at
thrashing! Such a fool one would have to muzzle!

Such persons sit down to the table and bring nothing with them, not even
good hunger:--and then do they rail: "All is vain!"

But to eat and drink well, my brethren, is verily no vain art! Break up,
break up for me the tables of the never-joyous ones!


"To the clean are all things clean"--thus say the people. I, however, say
unto you: To the swine all things become swinish!

Therefore preach the visionaries and bowed-heads (whose hearts are also
bowed down): "The world itself is a filthy monster."

For these are all unclean spirits; especially those, however, who have no
peace or rest, unless they see the world FROM THE BACKSIDE--the

TO THOSE do I say it to the face, although it sound unpleasantly: the
world resembleth man, in that it hath a backside,--SO MUCH is true!

There is in the world much filth: SO MUCH is true! But the world itself
is not therefore a filthy monster!

There is wisdom in the fact that much in the world smelleth badly:
loathing itself createth wings, and fountain-divining powers!

In the best there is still something to loathe; and the best is still
something that must be surpassed!--

O my brethren, there is much wisdom in the fact that much filth is in the


Such sayings did I hear pious backworldsmen speak to their consciences, and
verily without wickedness or guile,--although there is nothing more
guileful in the world, or more wicked.

"Let the world be as it is! Raise not a finger against it!"

"Let whoever will choke and stab and skin and scrape the people: raise not
a finger against it! Thereby will they learn to renounce the world."

"And thine own reason--this shalt thou thyself stifle and choke; for it is
a reason of this world,--thereby wilt thou learn thyself to renounce the

--Shatter, shatter, O my brethren, those old tables of the pious! Tatter
the maxims of the world-maligners!--


"He who learneth much unlearneth all violent cravings"--that do people now
whisper to one another in all the dark lanes.

"Wisdom wearieth, nothing is worth while; thou shalt not crave!"--this new
table found I hanging even in the public markets.

Break up for me, O my brethren, break up also that NEW table! The weary-
o'-the-world put it up, and the preachers of death and the jailer: for lo,
it is also a sermon for slavery:--

Because they learned badly and not the best, and everything too early and
everything too fast; because they ATE badly: from thence hath resulted
their ruined stomach;--

--For a ruined stomach, is their spirit: IT persuadeth to death! For
verily, my brethren, the spirit IS a stomach!

Life is a well of delight, but to him in whom the ruined stomach speaketh,
the father of affliction, all fountains are poisoned.

To discern: that is DELIGHT to the lion-willed! But he who hath become
weary, is himself merely "willed"; with him play all the waves.

And such is always the nature of weak men: they lose themselves on their
way. And at last asketh their weariness: "Why did we ever go on the way?
All is indifferent!"

TO THEM soundeth it pleasant to have preached in their ears: "Nothing is
worth while! Ye shall not will!" That, however, is a sermon for slavery.

O my brethren, a fresh blustering wind cometh Zarathustra unto all way-
weary ones; many noses will he yet make sneeze!

Even through walls bloweth my free breath, and in into prisons and
imprisoned spirits!

Willing emancipateth: for willing is creating: so do I teach. And ONLY
for creating shall ye learn!

And also the learning shall ye LEARN only from me, the learning well!--He
who hath ears let him hear!


There standeth the boat--thither goeth it over, perhaps into vast
nothingness--but who willeth to enter into this "Perhaps"?

None of you want to enter into the death-boat! How should ye then be

World-weary ones! And have not even withdrawn from the earth! Eager did I
ever find you for the earth, amorous still of your own earth-weariness!

Not in vain doth your lip hang down:--a small worldly wish still sitteth
thereon! And in your eye--floateth there not a cloudlet of unforgotten
earthly bliss?

There are on the earth many good inventions, some useful, some pleasant:
for their sake is the earth to be loved.

And many such good inventions are there, that they are like woman's
breasts: useful at the same time, and pleasant.

Ye world-weary ones, however! Ye earth-idlers! You, shall one beat with
stripes! With stripes shall one again make you sprightly limbs.

For if ye be not invalids, or decrepit creatures, of whom the earth is
weary, then are ye sly sloths, or dainty, sneaking pleasure-cats. And if
ye will not again RUN gaily, then shall ye--pass away!

To the incurable shall one not seek to be a physician: thus teacheth
Zarathustra:--so shall ye pass away!

But more COURAGE is needed to make an end than to make a new verse: that
do all physicians and poets know well.--


O my brethren, there are tables which weariness framed, and tables which
slothfulness framed, corrupt slothfulness: although they speak similarly,
they want to be heard differently.--

See this languishing one! Only a span-breadth is he from his goal; but
from weariness hath he lain down obstinately in the dust, this brave one!

From weariness yawneth he at the path, at the earth, at the goal, and at
himself: not a step further will he go,--this brave one!

Now gloweth the sun upon him, and the dogs lick at his sweat: but he lieth
there in his obstinacy and preferreth to languish:--

--A span-breadth from his goal, to languish! Verily, ye will have to drag
him into his heaven by the hair of his head--this hero!

Better still that ye let him lie where he hath lain down, that sleep may
come unto him, the comforter, with cooling patter-rain.

Let him lie, until of his own accord he awakeneth,--until of his own accord
he repudiateth all weariness, and what weariness hath taught through him!

Only, my brethren, see that ye scare the dogs away from him, the idle
skulkers, and all the swarming vermin:--

--All the swarming vermin of the "cultured," that--feast on the sweat of
every hero!--


I form circles around me and holy boundaries; ever fewer ascend with me
ever higher mountains: I build a mountain-range out of ever holier

But wherever ye would ascend with me, O my brethren, take care lest a
PARASITE ascend with you!

A parasite: that is a reptile, a creeping, cringing reptile, that trieth
to fatten on your infirm and sore places.

And THIS is its art: it divineth where ascending souls are weary, in your
trouble and dejection, in your sensitive modesty, doth it build its
loathsome nest.

Where the strong are weak, where the noble are all-too-gentle--there
buildeth it its loathsome nest; the parasite liveth where the great have
small sore-places.

What is the highest of all species of being, and what is the lowest? The
parasite is the lowest species; he, however, who is of the highest species
feedeth most parasites.

For the soul which hath the longest ladder, and can go deepest down: how
could there fail to be most parasites upon it?--

--The most comprehensive soul, which can run and stray and rove furthest in
itself; the most necessary soul, which out of joy flingeth itself into

--The soul in Being, which plungeth into Becoming; the possessing soul,
which SEEKETH to attain desire and longing:--

--The soul fleeing from itself, which overtaketh itself in the widest
circuit; the wisest soul, unto which folly speaketh most sweetly:--

--The soul most self-loving, in which all things have their current and
counter-current, their ebb and their flow:--oh, how could THE LOFTIEST SOUL
fail to have the worst parasites?


O my brethren, am I then cruel? But I say: What falleth, that shall one
also push!

Everything of to-day--it falleth, it decayeth; who would preserve it! But
I--I wish also to push it!

Know ye the delight which rolleth stones into precipitous depths?--Those
men of to-day, see just how they roll into my depths!

A prelude am I to better players, O my brethren! An example! DO according
to mine example!

And him whom ye do not teach to fly, teach I pray you--TO FALL FASTER!--


I love the brave: but it is not enough to be a swordsman,--one must also
know WHEREON to use swordsmanship!

And often is it greater bravery to keep quiet and pass by, that THEREBY one
may reserve oneself for a worthier foe!

Ye shall only have foes to be hated; but not foes to be despised: ye must
be proud of your foes. Thus have I already taught.

For the worthier foe, O my brethren, shall ye reserve yourselves:
therefore must ye pass by many a one,--

--Especially many of the rabble, who din your ears with noise about people
and peoples.

Keep your eye clear of their For and Against! There is there much right,
much wrong: he who looketh on becometh wroth.

Therein viewing, therein hewing--they are the same thing: therefore depart
into the forests and lay your sword to sleep!

Go YOUR ways! and let the people and peoples go theirs!--gloomy ways,
verily, on which not a single hope glinteth any more!

Let there the trader rule, where all that still glittereth is--traders'
gold. It is the time of kings no longer: that which now calleth itself
the people is unworthy of kings.

See how these peoples themselves now do just like the traders: they pick
up the smallest advantage out of all kinds of rubbish!

They lay lures for one another, they lure things out of one another,--that
they call "good neighbourliness." O blessed remote period when a people
said to itself: "I will be--MASTER over peoples!"

For, my brethren, the best shall rule, the best also WILLETH to rule! And
where the teaching is different, there--the best is LACKING.


If THEY had--bread for nothing, alas! for what would THEY cry! Their
maintainment--that is their true entertainment; and they shall have it

Beasts of prey, are they: in their "working"--there is even plundering, in
their "earning"--there is even overreaching! Therefore shall they have it

Better beasts of prey shall they thus become, subtler, cleverer, MORE MAN-
LIKE: for man is the best beast of prey.

All the animals hath man already robbed of their virtues: that is why of
all animals it hath been hardest for man.

Only the birds are still beyond him. And if man should yet learn to fly,
alas! TO WHAT HEIGHT--would his rapacity fly!


Thus would I have man and woman: fit for war, the one; fit for maternity,
the other; both, however, fit for dancing with head and legs.

And lost be the day to us in which a measure hath not been danced. And
false be every truth which hath not had laughter along with it!


Your marriage-arranging: see that it be not a bad ARRANGING! Ye have
arranged too hastily: so there FOLLOWETH therefrom--marriage-breaking!

And better marriage-breaking than marriage-bending, marriage-lying!--Thus
spake a woman unto me: "Indeed, I broke the marriage, but first did the
marriage break--me!

The badly paired found I ever the most revengeful: they make every one
suffer for it that they no longer run singly.

On that account want I the honest ones to say to one another: "We love
each other: let us SEE TO IT that we maintain our love! Or shall our
pledging be blundering?"

--"Give us a set term and a small marriage, that we may see if we are fit
for the great marriage! It is a great matter always to be twain."

Thus do I counsel all honest ones; and what would be my love to the
Superman, and to all that is to come, if I should counsel and speak

Not only to propagate yourselves onwards but UPWARDS--thereto, O my
brethren, may the garden of marriage help you!


He who hath grown wise concerning old origins, lo, he will at last seek
after the fountains of the future and new origins.--

O my brethren, not long will it be until NEW PEOPLES shall arise and new
fountains shall rush down into new depths.

For the earthquake--it choketh up many wells, it causeth much languishing:
but it bringeth also to light inner powers and secrets.

The earthquake discloseth new fountains. In the earthquake of old peoples
new fountains burst forth.

And whoever calleth out: "Lo, here is a well for many thirsty ones, one
heart for many longing ones, one will for many instruments":--around him
collecteth a PEOPLE, that is to say, many attempting ones.

Who can command, who must obey--THAT IS THERE ATTEMPTED! Ah, with what
long seeking and solving and failing and learning and re-attempting!

Human society: it is an attempt--so I teach--a long seeking: it seeketh
however the ruler!--

--An attempt, my brethren! And NO "contract"! Destroy, I pray you,
destroy that word of the soft-hearted and half-and-half!


O my brethren! With whom lieth the greatest danger to the whole human
future? Is it not with the good and just?--

--As those who say and feel in their hearts: "We already know what is good
and just, we possess it also; woe to those who still seek thereafter!

And whatever harm the wicked may do, the harm of the good is the harmfulest

And whatever harm the world-maligners may do, the harm of the good is the
harmfulest harm!

O my brethren, into the hearts of the good and just looked some one once on
a time, who said: "They are the Pharisees." But people did not understand

The good and just themselves were not free to understand him; their spirit
was imprisoned in their good conscience. The stupidity of the good is
unfathomably wise.

It is the truth, however, that the good MUST be Pharisees--they have no

The good MUST crucify him who deviseth his own virtue! That IS the truth!

The second one, however, who discovered their country--the country, heart
and soil of the good and just,--it was he who asked: "Whom do they hate

The CREATOR, hate they most, him who breaketh the tables and old values,
the breaker,--him they call the law-breaker.

For the good--they CANNOT create; they are always the beginning of the

--They crucify him who writeth new values on new tables, they sacrifice
UNTO THEMSELVES the future--they crucify the whole human future!

The good--they have always been the beginning of the end.--


O my brethren, have ye also understood this word? And what I once said of
the "last man"?--

With whom lieth the greatest danger to the whole human future? Is it not
with the good and just?

BREAK UP, BREAK UP, I PRAY YOU, THE GOOD AND JUST!--O my brethren, have ye
understood also this word?


Ye flee from me? Ye are frightened? Ye tremble at this word?

O my brethren, when I enjoined you to break up the good, and the tables of
the good, then only did I embark man on his high seas.

And now only cometh unto him the great terror, the great outlook, the great
sickness, the great nausea, the great sea-sickness.

False shores and false securities did the good teach you; in the lies of
the good were ye born and bred. Everything hath been radically contorted
and distorted by the good.

But he who discovered the country of "man," discovered also the country of
"man's future." Now shall ye be sailors for me, brave, patient!

Keep yourselves up betimes, my brethren, learn to keep yourselves up! The
sea stormeth: many seek to raise themselves again by you.

The sea stormeth: all is in the sea. Well! Cheer up! Ye old seaman-

What of fatherland! THITHER striveth our helm where our CHILDREN'S LAND
is! Thitherwards, stormier than the sea, stormeth our great longing!--


"Why so hard!"--said to the diamond one day the charcoal; "are we then not
near relatives?"--

Why so soft? O my brethren; thus do _I_ ask you: are ye then not--my

Why so soft, so submissive and yielding? Why is there so much negation and
abnegation in your hearts? Why is there so little fate in your looks?

And if ye will not be fates and inexorable ones, how can ye one day--
conquer with me?

And if your hardness will not glance and cut and chip to pieces, how can ye
one day--create with me?

For the creators are hard. And blessedness must it seem to you to press
your hand upon millenniums as upon wax,--

--Blessedness to write upon the will of millenniums as upon brass,--harder
than brass, nobler than brass. Entirely hard is only the noblest.

This new table, O my brethren, put I up over you: BECOME HARD!--


O thou, my Will! Thou change of every need, MY needfulness! Preserve me
from all small victories!

Thou fatedness of my soul, which I call fate! Thou In-me! Over-me!
Preserve and spare me for one great fate!

And thy last greatness, my Will, spare it for thy last--that thou mayest be
inexorable IN thy victory! Ah, who hath not succumbed to his victory!

Ah, whose eye hath not bedimmed in this intoxicated twilight! Ah, whose
foot hath not faltered and forgotten in victory--how to stand!--

--That I may one day be ready and ripe in the great noontide: ready and
ripe like the glowing ore, the lightning-bearing cloud, and the swelling

--Ready for myself and for my most hidden Will: a bow eager for its arrow,
an arrow eager for its star:--

--A star, ready and ripe in its noontide, glowing, pierced, blessed, by
annihilating sun-arrows:--

--A sun itself, and an inexorable sun-will, ready for annihilation in

O Will, thou change of every need, MY needfulness! Spare me for one great

Thus spake Zarathustra.



One morning, not long after his return to his cave, Zarathustra sprang up
from his couch like a madman, crying with a frightful voice, and acting as
if some one still lay on the couch who did not wish to rise. Zarathustra's
voice also resounded in such a manner that his animals came to him
frightened, and out of all the neighbouring caves and lurking-places all
the creatures slipped away--flying, fluttering, creeping or leaping,
according to their variety of foot or wing. Zarathustra, however, spake
these words:

Up, abysmal thought out of my depth! I am thy cock and morning dawn, thou
overslept reptile: Up! Up! My voice shall soon crow thee awake!

Unbind the fetters of thine ears: listen! For I wish to hear thee! Up!
Up! There is thunder enough to make the very graves listen!

And rub the sleep and all the dimness and blindness out of thine eyes!
Hear me also with thine eyes: my voice is a medicine even for those born

And once thou art awake, then shalt thou ever remain awake. It is not MY
custom to awake great-grandmothers out of their sleep that I may bid them--
sleep on!

Thou stirrest, stretchest thyself, wheezest? Up! Up! Not wheeze, shalt
thou,--but speak unto me! Zarathustra calleth thee, Zarathustra the

I, Zarathustra, the advocate of living, the advocate of suffering, the
advocate of the circuit--thee do I call, my most abysmal thought!

Joy to me! Thou comest,--I hear thee! Mine abyss SPEAKETH, my lowest
depth have I turned over into the light!

Joy to me! Come hither! Give me thy hand--ha! let be! aha!--Disgust,
disgust, disgust--alas to me!


Hardly, however, had Zarathustra spoken these words, when he fell down as
one dead, and remained long as one dead. When however he again came to
himself, then was he pale and trembling, and remained lying; and for long
he would neither eat nor drink. This condition continued for seven days;
his animals, however, did not leave him day nor night, except that the
eagle flew forth to fetch food. And what it fetched and foraged, it laid
on Zarathustra's couch: so that Zarathustra at last lay among yellow and
red berries, grapes, rosy apples, sweet-smelling herbage, and pine-cones.
At his feet, however, two lambs were stretched, which the eagle had with
difficulty carried off from their shepherds.

At last, after seven days, Zarathustra raised himself upon his couch, took
a rosy apple in his hand, smelt it and found its smell pleasant. Then did
his animals think the time had come to speak unto him.

"O Zarathustra," said they, "now hast thou lain thus for seven days with
heavy eyes: wilt thou not set thyself again upon thy feet?

Step out of thy cave: the world waiteth for thee as a garden. The wind
playeth with heavy fragrance which seeketh for thee; and all brooks would
like to run after thee.

All things long for thee, since thou hast remained alone for seven days--
step forth out of thy cave! All things want to be thy physicians!

Did perhaps a new knowledge come to thee, a bitter, grievous knowledge?
Like leavened dough layest thou, thy soul arose and swelled beyond all its

--O mine animals, answered Zarathustra, talk on thus and let me listen! It
refresheth me so to hear your talk: where there is talk, there is the
world as a garden unto me.

How charming it is that there are words and tones; are not words and tones
rainbows and seeming bridges 'twixt the eternally separated?

To each soul belongeth another world; to each soul is every other soul a

Among the most alike doth semblance deceive most delightfully: for the
smallest gap is most difficult to bridge over.

For me--how could there be an outside-of-me? There is no outside! But
this we forget on hearing tones; how delightful it is that we forget!

Have not names and tones been given unto things that man may refresh
himself with them? It is a beautiful folly, speaking; therewith danceth
man over everything.

How lovely is all speech and all falsehoods of tones! With tones danceth
our love on variegated rainbows.--

--"O Zarathustra," said then his animals, "to those who think like us,
things all dance themselves: they come and hold out the hand and laugh and
flee--and return.

Everything goeth, everything returneth; eternally rolleth the wheel of
existence. Everything dieth, everything blossometh forth again; eternally
runneth on the year of existence.

Everything breaketh, everything is integrated anew; eternally buildeth
itself the same house of existence. All things separate, all things again
greet one another; eternally true to itself remaineth the ring of

Every moment beginneth existence, around every 'Here' rolleth the ball
'There.' The middle is everywhere. Crooked is the path of eternity."--

--O ye wags and barrel-organs! answered Zarathustra, and smiled once more,
how well do ye know what had to be fulfilled in seven days:--

--And how that monster crept into my throat and choked me! But I bit off
its head and spat it away from me.

And ye--ye have made a lyre-lay out of it? Now, however, do I lie here,
still exhausted with that biting and spitting-away, still sick with mine
own salvation.

AND YE LOOKED ON AT IT ALL? O mine animals, are ye also cruel? Did ye
like to look at my great pain as men do? For man is the cruellest animal.

At tragedies, bull-fights, and crucifixions hath he hitherto been happiest
on earth; and when he invented his hell, behold, that was his heaven on

When the great man crieth--: immediately runneth the little man thither,
and his tongue hangeth out of his mouth for very lusting. He, however,
calleth it his "pity."

The little man, especially the poet--how passionately doth he accuse life
in words! Hearken to him, but do not fail to hear the delight which is in
all accusation!

Such accusers of life--them life overcometh with a glance of the eye.
"Thou lovest me?" saith the insolent one; "wait a little, as yet have I no
time for thee."

Towards himself man is the cruellest animal; and in all who call themselves
"sinners" and "bearers of the cross" and "penitents," do not overlook the
voluptuousness in their plaints and accusations!

And I myself--do I thereby want to be man's accuser? Ah, mine animals,
this only have I learned hitherto, that for man his baddest is necessary
for his best,--

--That all that is baddest is the best POWER, and the hardest stone for the
highest creator; and that man must become better AND badder:--

Not to THIS torture-stake was I tied, that I know man is bad,--but I cried,
as no one hath yet cried:

"Ah, that his baddest is so very small! Ah, that his best is so very

The great disgust at man--IT strangled me and had crept into my throat:
and what the soothsayer had presaged: "All is alike, nothing is worth
while, knowledge strangleth."

A long twilight limped on before me, a fatally weary, fatally intoxicated
sadness, which spake with yawning mouth.

"Eternally he returneth, the man of whom thou art weary, the small man"--so
yawned my sadness, and dragged its foot and could not go to sleep.

A cavern, became the human earth to me; its breast caved in; everything
living became to me human dust and bones and mouldering past.

My sighing sat on all human graves, and could no longer arise: my sighing
and questioning croaked and choked, and gnawed and nagged day and night:

--"Ah, man returneth eternally! The small man returneth eternally!"

Naked had I once seen both of them, the greatest man and the smallest man:
all too like one another--all too human, even the greatest man!

All too small, even the greatest man!--that was my disgust at man! And the
eternal return also of the smallest man!--that was my disgust at all

Ah, Disgust! Disgust! Disgust!--Thus spake Zarathustra, and sighed and
shuddered; for he remembered his sickness. Then did his animals prevent
him from speaking further.

"Do not speak further, thou convalescent!"--so answered his animals, "but
go out where the world waiteth for thee like a garden.

Go out unto the roses, the bees, and the flocks of doves! Especially,
however, unto the singing-birds, to learn SINGING from them!

For singing is for the convalescent; the sound ones may talk. And when the
sound also want songs, then want they other songs than the convalescent."

--"O ye wags and barrel-organs, do be silent!" answered Zarathustra, and
smiled at his animals. "How well ye know what consolation I devised for
myself in seven days!

That I have to sing once more--THAT consolation did I devise for myself,
and THIS convalescence: would ye also make another lyre-lay thereof?"

--"Do not talk further," answered his animals once more; "rather, thou
convalescent, prepare for thyself first a lyre, a new lyre!

For behold, O Zarathustra! For thy new lays there are needed new lyres.

Sing and bubble over, O Zarathustra, heal thy soul with new lays: that
thou mayest bear thy great fate, which hath not yet been any one's fate!

For thine animals know it well, O Zarathustra, who thou art and must
become: behold, THOU ART THE TEACHER OF THE ETERNAL RETURN,--that is now
THY fate!

That thou must be the first to teach this teaching--how could this great
fate not be thy greatest danger and infirmity!

Behold, we know what thou teachest: that all things eternally return, and
ourselves with them, and that we have already existed times without number,
and all things with us.

Thou teachest that there is a great year of Becoming, a prodigy of a great
year; it must, like a sand-glass, ever turn up anew, that it may anew run
down and run out:--

--So that all those years are like one another in the greatest and also in
the smallest, so that we ourselves, in every great year, are like ourselves
in the greatest and also in the smallest.

And if thou wouldst now die, O Zarathustra, behold, we know also how thou
wouldst then speak to thyself:--but thine animals beseech thee not to die

Thou wouldst speak, and without trembling, buoyant rather with bliss, for a
great weight and worry would be taken from thee, thou patientest one!--

'Now do I die and disappear,' wouldst thou say, 'and in a moment I am
nothing. Souls are as mortal as bodies.

But the plexus of causes returneth in which I am intertwined,--it will
again create me! I myself pertain to the causes of the eternal return.

I come again with this sun, with this earth, with this eagle, with this
serpent--NOT to a new life, or a better life, or a similar life:

--I come again eternally to this identical and selfsame life, in its
greatest and its smallest, to teach again the eternal return of all

--To speak again the word of the great noontide of earth and man, to
announce again to man the Superman.

I have spoken my word. I break down by my word: so willeth mine eternal
fate--as announcer do I succumb!

The hour hath now come for the down-goer to bless himself. Thus--ENDETH
Zarathustra's down-going.'"--

When the animals had spoken these words they were silent and waited, so
that Zarathustra might say something to them: but Zarathustra did not hear
that they were silent. On the contrary, he lay quietly with closed eyes
like a person sleeping, although he did not sleep; for he communed just
then with his soul. The serpent, however, and the eagle, when they found
him silent in such wise, respected the great stillness around him, and
prudently retired.


O my soul, I have taught thee to say "to-day" as "once on a time" and
"formerly," and to dance thy measure over every Here and There and Yonder.

O my soul, I delivered thee from all by-places, I brushed down from thee
dust and spiders and twilight.

O my soul, I washed the petty shame and the by-place virtue from thee, and
persuaded thee to stand naked before the eyes of the sun.

With the storm that is called "spirit" did I blow over thy surging sea; all
clouds did I blow away from it; I strangled even the strangler called

O my soul, I gave thee the right to say Nay like the storm, and to say Yea
as the open heaven saith Yea: calm as the light remainest thou, and now
walkest through denying storms.

O my soul, I restored to thee liberty over the created and the uncreated;
and who knoweth, as thou knowest, the voluptuousness of the future?

O my soul, I taught thee the contempt which doth not come like worm-eating,
the great, the loving contempt, which loveth most where it contemneth most.

O my soul, I taught thee so to persuade that thou persuadest even the
grounds themselves to thee: like the sun, which persuadeth even the sea to
its height.

O my soul, I have taken from thee all obeying and knee-bending and homage-
paying; I have myself given thee the names, "Change of need" and "Fate."

O my soul, I have given thee new names and gay-coloured playthings, I have
called thee "Fate" and "the Circuit of circuits" and "the Navel-string of
time" and "the Azure bell."

O my soul, to thy domain gave I all wisdom to drink, all new wines, and
also all immemorially old strong wines of wisdom.

O my soul, every sun shed I upon thee, and every night and every silence
and every longing:--then grewest thou up for me as a vine.

O my soul, exuberant and heavy dost thou now stand forth, a vine with
swelling udders and full clusters of brown golden grapes:--

--Filled and weighted by thy happiness, waiting from superabundance, and
yet ashamed of thy waiting.

O my soul, there is nowhere a soul which could be more loving and more
comprehensive and more extensive! Where could future and past be closer
together than with thee?

O my soul, I have given thee everything, and all my hands have become empty
by thee:--and now! Now sayest thou to me, smiling and full of melancholy:
"Which of us oweth thanks?--

--Doth the giver not owe thanks because the receiver received? Is
bestowing not a necessity? Is receiving not--pitying?"--

O my soul, I understand the smiling of thy melancholy: thine over-
abundance itself now stretcheth out longing hands!

Thy fulness looketh forth over raging seas, and seeketh and waiteth: the
longing of over-fulness looketh forth from the smiling heaven of thine

And verily, O my soul! Who could see thy smiling and not melt into tears?
The angels themselves melt into tears through the over-graciousness of thy

Thy graciousness and over-graciousness, is it which will not complain and
weep: and yet, O my soul, longeth thy smiling for tears, and thy trembling
mouth for sobs.

"Is not all weeping complaining? And all complaining, accusing?" Thus
speakest thou to thyself; and therefore, O my soul, wilt thou rather smile
than pour forth thy grief--

--Than in gushing tears pour forth all thy grief concerning thy fulness,
and concerning the craving of the vine for the vintager and vintage-knife!

But wilt thou not weep, wilt thou not weep forth thy purple melancholy,
then wilt thou have to SING, O my soul!--Behold, I smile myself, who
foretell thee this:

--Thou wilt have to sing with passionate song, until all seas turn calm to
hearken unto thy longing,--

--Until over calm longing seas the bark glideth, the golden marvel, around
the gold of which all good, bad, and marvellous things frisk:--

--Also many large and small animals, and everything that hath light
marvellous feet, so that it can run on violet-blue paths,--

--Towards the golden marvel, the spontaneous bark, and its master: he,
however, is the vintager who waiteth with the diamond vintage-knife,--

--Thy great deliverer, O my soul, the nameless one--for whom future songs
only will find names! And verily, already hath thy breath the fragrance of
future songs,--

--Already glowest thou and dreamest, already drinkest thou thirstily at all
deep echoing wells of consolation, already reposeth thy melancholy in the
bliss of future songs!--

O my soul, now have I given thee all, and even my last possession, and all
my hands have become empty by thee:--THAT I BADE THEE SING, behold, that
was my last thing to give!

That I bade thee sing,--say now, say: WHICH of us now--oweth thanks?--
Better still, however: sing unto me, sing, O my soul! And let me thank

Thus spake Zarathustra.



"Into thine eyes gazed I lately, O Life: gold saw I gleam in thy night-
eyes,--my heart stood still with delight:

--A golden bark saw I gleam on darkened waters, a sinking, drinking,
reblinking, golden swing-bark!

At my dance-frantic foot, dost thou cast a glance, a laughing, questioning,
melting, thrown glance:

Twice only movedst thou thy rattle with thy little hands--then did my feet
swing with dance-fury.--

My heels reared aloft, my toes they hearkened,--thee they would know: hath
not the dancer his ear--in his toe!

Unto thee did I spring: then fledst thou back from my bound; and towards
me waved thy fleeing, flying tresses round!

Away from thee did I spring, and from thy snaky tresses: then stoodst thou
there half-turned, and in thine eye caresses.

With crooked glances--dost thou teach me crooked courses; on crooked
courses learn my feet--crafty fancies!

I fear thee near, I love thee far; thy flight allureth me, thy seeking
secureth me:--I suffer, but for thee, what would I not gladly bear!

For thee, whose coldness inflameth, whose hatred misleadeth, whose flight
enchaineth, whose mockery--pleadeth:

--Who would not hate thee, thou great bindress, inwindress, temptress,
seekress, findress! Who would not love thee, thou innocent, impatient,
wind-swift, child-eyed sinner!

Whither pullest thou me now, thou paragon and tomboy? And now foolest thou
me fleeing; thou sweet romp dost annoy!

I dance after thee, I follow even faint traces lonely. Where art thou?
Give me thy hand! Or thy finger only!

Here are caves and thickets: we shall go astray!--Halt! Stand still!
Seest thou not owls and bats in fluttering fray?

Thou bat! Thou owl! Thou wouldst play me foul? Where are we? From the
dogs hast thou learned thus to bark and howl.

Thou gnashest on me sweetly with little white teeth; thine evil eyes shoot
out upon me, thy curly little mane from underneath!

This is a dance over stock and stone: I am the hunter,--wilt thou be my
hound, or my chamois anon?

Now beside me! And quickly, wickedly springing! Now up! And over!--Alas!
I have fallen myself overswinging!

Oh, see me lying, thou arrogant one, and imploring grace! Gladly would I
walk with thee--in some lovelier place!

--In the paths of love, through bushes variegated, quiet, trim! Or there
along the lake, where gold-fishes dance and swim!

Thou art now a-weary? There above are sheep and sun-set stripes: is it
not sweet to sleep--the shepherd pipes?

Thou art so very weary? I carry thee thither; let just thine arm sink!
And art thou thirsty--I should have something; but thy mouth would not like
it to drink!--

--Oh, that cursed, nimble, supple serpent and lurking-witch! Where art
thou gone? But in my face do I feel through thy hand, two spots and red
blotches itch!

I am verily weary of it, ever thy sheepish shepherd to be. Thou witch, if
I have hitherto sung unto thee, now shalt THOU--cry unto me!

To the rhythm of my whip shalt thou dance and cry! I forget not my whip?--
Not I!"--


Then did Life answer me thus, and kept thereby her fine ears closed:

"O Zarathustra! Crack not so terribly with thy whip! Thou knowest surely
that noise killeth thought,--and just now there came to me such delicate

We are both of us genuine ne'er-do-wells and ne'er-do-ills. Beyond good
and evil found we our island and our green meadow--we two alone! Therefore
must we be friendly to each other!

And even should we not love each other from the bottom of our hearts,--must
we then have a grudge against each other if we do not love each other

And that I am friendly to thee, and often too friendly, that knowest thou:
and the reason is that I am envious of thy Wisdom. Ah, this mad old fool,

If thy Wisdom should one day run away from thee, ah! then would also my
love run away from thee quickly."--

Thereupon did Life look thoughtfully behind and around, and said softly:
"O Zarathustra, thou art not faithful enough to me!

Thou lovest me not nearly so much as thou sayest; I know thou thinkest of
soon leaving me.

There is an old heavy, heavy, booming-clock: it boometh by night up to thy

--When thou hearest this clock strike the hours at midnight, then thinkest
thou between one and twelve thereon--

--Thou thinkest thereon, O Zarathustra, I know it--of soon leaving me!"--

"Yea," answered I, hesitatingly, "but thou knowest it also"--And I said
something into her ear, in amongst her confused, yellow, foolish tresses.

"Thou KNOWEST that, O Zarathustra? That knoweth no one--"

And we gazed at each other, and looked at the green meadow o'er which the
cool evening was just passing, and we wept together.--Then, however, was
Life dearer unto me than all my Wisdom had ever been.--

Thus spake Zarathustra.



O man! Take heed!


What saith deep midnight's voice indeed?


"I slept my sleep--


"From deepest dream I've woke and plead:--


"The world is deep,


"And deeper than the day could read.


"Deep is its woe--


"Joy--deeper still than grief can be:


"Woe saith: Hence! Go!


"But joys all want eternity--


"Want deep profound eternity!"





If I be a diviner and full of the divining spirit which wandereth on high
mountain-ridges, 'twixt two seas,--

Wandereth 'twixt the past and the future as a heavy cloud--hostile to
sultry plains, and to all that is weary and can neither die nor live:

Ready for lightning in its dark bosom, and for the redeeming flash of
light, charged with lightnings which say Yea! which laugh Yea! ready for
divining flashes of lightning:--

--Blessed, however, is he who is thus charged! And verily, long must he
hang like a heavy tempest on the mountain, who shall one day kindle the
light of the future!--

Oh, how could I not be ardent for Eternity and for the marriage-ring of
rings--the ring of the return?

Never yet have I found the woman by whom I should like to have children,
unless it be this woman whom I love: for I love thee, O Eternity!



If ever my wrath hath burst graves, shifted landmarks, or rolled old
shattered tables into precipitous depths:

If ever my scorn hath scattered mouldered words to the winds, and if I have
come like a besom to cross-spiders, and as a cleansing wind to old charnel-

If ever I have sat rejoicing where old Gods lie buried, world-blessing,
world-loving, beside the monuments of old world-maligners:--

--For even churches and Gods'-graves do I love, if only heaven looketh
through their ruined roofs with pure eyes; gladly do I sit like grass and
red poppies on ruined churches--

Oh, how could I not be ardent for Eternity, and for the marriage-ring of
rings--the ring of the return?

Never yet have I found the woman by whom I should like to have children,
unless it be this woman whom I love: for I love thee, O Eternity!



If ever a breath hath come to me of the creative breath, and of the
heavenly necessity which compelleth even chances to dance star-dances:

If ever I have laughed with the laughter of the creative lightning, to
which the long thunder of the deed followeth, grumblingly, but obediently:

If ever I have played dice with the Gods at the divine table of the earth,
so that the earth quaked and ruptured, and snorted forth fire-streams:--

--For a divine table is the earth, and trembling with new creative dictums
and dice-casts of the Gods:

Oh, how could I not be ardent for Eternity, and for the marriage-ring of
rings--the ring of the return?

Never yet have I found the woman by whom I should like to have children,
unless it be this woman whom I love: for I love thee, O Eternity!



If ever I have drunk a full draught of the foaming spice- and confection-
bowl in which all things are well mixed:

If ever my hand hath mingled the furthest with the nearest, fire with
spirit, joy with sorrow, and the harshest with the kindest:

If I myself am a grain of the saving salt which maketh everything in the
confection-bowl mix well:--

--For there is a salt which uniteth good with evil; and even the evilest is
worthy, as spicing and as final over-foaming:--

Oh, how could I not be ardent for Eternity, and for the marriage-ring of
rings--the ring of the return?

Never yet have I found the woman by whom I should like to have children,
unless it be this woman whom I love: for I love thee, O Eternity!



If I be fond of the sea, and all that is sealike, and fondest of it when it
angrily contradicteth me:

If the exploring delight be in me, which impelleth sails to the
undiscovered, if the seafarer's delight be in my delight:

If ever my rejoicing hath called out: "The shore hath vanished,--now hath
fallen from me the last chain--

The boundless roareth around me, far away sparkle for me space and time,--
well! cheer up! old heart!"--

Oh, how could I not be ardent for Eternity, and for the marriage-ring of
rings--the ring of the return?

Never yet have I found the woman by whom I should like to have children,
unless it be this woman whom I love: for I love thee, O Eternity!



If my virtue be a dancer's virtue, and if I have often sprung with both
feet into golden-emerald rapture:

If my wickedness be a laughing wickedness, at home among rose-banks and
hedges of lilies:

--For in laughter is all evil present, but it is sanctified and absolved by
its own bliss:--

And if it be my Alpha and Omega that everything heavy shall become light,
every body a dancer, and every spirit a bird: and verily, that is my Alpha
and Omega!--

Oh, how could I not be ardent for Eternity, and for the marriage-ring of
rings--the ring of the return?

Never yet have I found the woman by whom I should like to have children,
unless it be this woman whom I love: for I love thee, O Eternity!



If ever I have spread out a tranquil heaven above me, and have flown into
mine own heaven with mine own pinions:

If I have swum playfully in profound luminous distances, and if my
freedom's avian wisdom hath come to me:--

--Thus however speaketh avian wisdom:--"Lo, there is no above and no below!
Throw thyself about,--outward, backward, thou light one! Sing! speak no

--Are not all words made for the heavy? Do not all words lie to the light
ones? Sing! speak no more!"--

Oh, how could I not be ardent for Eternity, and for the marriage-ring of
rings--the ring of the return?

Never yet have I found the woman by whom I should like to have children,
unless it be this woman whom I love: for I love thee, O Eternity!



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

Woe unto all loving ones who have not an elevation which is above their

Thus spake the devil unto me, once on a time: "Ever God hath 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 hath God died."--ZARATHUSTRA, II., "The Pitiful."


--And again passed moons and years over Zarathustra's soul, and he heeded
it not; his hair, however, became white. One day when he sat on a stone in
front of his cave, and gazed calmly into the distance--one there gazeth out
on the sea, and away beyond sinuous abysses,--then went his animals
thoughtfully round about him, and at last set themselves in front of him.

"O Zarathustra," said they, "gazest thou out perhaps for thy happiness?"--
"Of what account is my happiness!" answered he, "I have long ceased to
strive any more for happiness, I strive for my work."--"O Zarathustra,"
said the animals once more, "that sayest thou as one who hath overmuch of
good things. Liest thou not in a sky-blue lake of happiness?"--"Ye wags,"
answered Zarathustra, and smiled, "how well did ye choose the simile! But
ye know also that my happiness is heavy, and not like a fluid wave of
water: it presseth me and will not leave me, and is like molten pitch."--

Then went his animals again thoughtfully around him, and placed themselves
once more in front of him. "O Zarathustra," said they, "it is consequently
FOR THAT REASON that thou thyself always becometh yellower and darker,
although thy hair looketh white and flaxen? Lo, thou sittest in thy
pitch!"--"What do ye say, mine animals?" said Zarathustra, laughing;
"verily I reviled when I spake of pitch. As it happeneth with me, so is it
with all fruits that turn ripe. It is the HONEY in my veins that maketh my
blood thicker, and also my soul stiller."--"So will it be, O Zarathustra,"
answered his animals, and pressed up to him; "but wilt thou not to-day
ascend a high mountain? The air is pure, and to-day one seeth more of the
world than ever."--"Yea, mine animals," answered he, "ye counsel admirably
and according to my heart: I will to-day ascend a high mountain! But see
that honey is there ready to hand, yellow, white, good, ice-cool, golden-
comb-honey. For know that when aloft I will make the honey-sacrifice."--

When Zarathustra, however, was aloft on the summit, he sent his animals
home that had accompanied him, and found that he was now alone:--then he
laughed from the bottom of his heart, looked around him, and spake thus:

That I spake of sacrifices and honey-sacrifices, it was merely a ruse in
talking and verily, a useful folly! Here aloft can I now speak freer than
in front of mountain-caves and anchorites' domestic animals.

What to sacrifice! I squander what is given me, a squanderer with a
thousand hands: how could I call that--sacrificing?

And when I desired honey I only desired bait, and sweet mucus and mucilage,
for which even the mouths of growling bears, and strange, sulky, evil
birds, water:

--The best bait, as huntsmen and fishermen require it. For if the world be
as a gloomy forest of animals, and a pleasure-ground for all wild huntsmen,
it seemeth to me rather--and preferably--a fathomless, rich sea;

--A sea full of many-hued fishes and crabs, for which even the Gods might
long, and might be tempted to become fishers in it, and casters of nets,--
so rich is the world in wonderful things, great and small!

Especially the human world, the human sea:--towards IT do I now throw out
my golden angle-rod and say: Open up, thou human abyss!

Open up, and throw unto me thy fish and shining crabs! With my best bait
shall I allure to myself to-day the strangest human fish!

--My happiness itself do I throw out into all places far and wide 'twixt
orient, noontide, and occident, to see if many human fish will not learn to
hug and tug at my happiness;--

Until, biting at my sharp hidden hooks, they have to come up unto MY
height, the motleyest abyss-groundlings, to the wickedest of all fishers of

For THIS am I from the heart and from the beginning--drawing, hither-
drawing, upward-drawing, upbringing; a drawer, a trainer, a training-
master, who not in vain counselled himself once on a time: "Become what
thou art!"

Thus may men now come UP to me; for as yet do I await the signs that it is
time for my down-going; as yet do I not myself go down, as I must do,
amongst men.

Therefore do I here wait, crafty and scornful upon high mountains, no
impatient one, no patient one; rather one who hath even unlearnt patience,
--because he no longer "suffereth."

For my fate giveth me time: it hath forgotten me perhaps? Or doth it sit
behind a big stone and catch flies?

And verily, I am well-disposed to mine eternal fate, because it doth not
hound and hurry me, but leaveth me time for merriment and mischief; so that
I have to-day ascended this high mountain to catch fish.

Did ever any one catch fish upon high mountains? And though it be a folly
what I here seek and do, it is better so than that down below I should
become solemn with waiting, and green and yellow--

--A posturing wrath-snorter with waiting, a holy howl-storm from the
mountains, an impatient one that shouteth down into the valleys: "Hearken,
else I will scourge you with the scourge of God!"

Not that I would have a grudge against such wrathful ones on that account:
they are well enough for laughter to me! Impatient must they now be, those
big alarm-drums, which find a voice now or never!

Myself, however, and my fate--we do not talk to the Present, neither do we
talk to the Never: for talking we have patience and time and more than
time. For one day must it yet come, and may not pass by.

What must one day come and may not pass by? Our great Hazar, that is to
say, our great, remote human-kingdom, the Zarathustra-kingdom of a thousand

How remote may such "remoteness" be? What doth it concern me? But on that
account it is none the less sure unto me--, with both feet stand I secure
on this ground;

--On an eternal ground, on hard primary rock, on this highest, hardest,
primary mountain-ridge, unto which all winds come, as unto the storm-
parting, asking Where? and Whence? and Whither?

Here laugh, laugh, my hearty, healthy wickedness! From high mountains cast
down thy glittering scorn-laughter! Allure for me with thy glittering the
finest human fish!

And whatever belongeth unto ME in all seas, my in-and-for-me in all things
--fish THAT out for me, bring THAT up to me: for that do I wait, the
wickedest of all fish-catchers.

Out! out! my fishing-hook! In and down, thou bait of my happiness! Drip
thy sweetest dew, thou honey of my heart! Bite, my fishing-hook, into the
belly of all black affliction!

Look out, look out, mine eye! Oh, how many seas round about me, what
dawning human futures! And above me--what rosy red stillness! What
unclouded silence!


The next day sat Zarathustra again on the stone in front of his cave,
whilst his animals roved about in the world outside to bring home new
food,--also new honey: for Zarathustra had spent and wasted the old honey
to the very last particle. When he thus sat, however, with a stick in his
hand, tracing the shadow of his figure on the earth, and reflecting--
verily! not upon himself and his shadow,--all at once he startled and
shrank back: for he saw another shadow beside his own. And when he
hastily looked around and stood up, behold, there stood the soothsayer
beside him, the same whom he had once given to eat and drink at his table,
the proclaimer of the great weariness, who taught: "All is alike, nothing
is worth while, the world is without meaning, knowledge strangleth." But
his face had changed since then; and when Zarathustra looked into his eyes,
his heart was startled once more: so much evil announcement and ashy-grey
lightnings passed over that countenance.

The soothsayer, who had perceived what went on in Zarathustra's soul, wiped
his face with his hand, as if he would wipe out the impression; the same
did also Zarathustra. And when both of them had thus silently composed and
strengthened themselves, they gave each other the hand, as a token that
they wanted once more to recognise each other.

"Welcome hither," said Zarathustra, "thou soothsayer of the great
weariness, not in vain shalt thou once have been my messmate and guest.
Eat and drink also with me to-day, and forgive it that a cheerful old man
sitteth with thee at table!"--"A cheerful old man?" answered the
soothsayer, shaking his head, "but whoever thou art, or wouldst be, O
Zarathustra, thou hast been here aloft the longest time,--in a little while
thy bark shall no longer rest on dry land!"--"Do I then rest on dry land?"
--asked Zarathustra, laughing.--"The waves around thy mountain," answered
the soothsayer, "rise and rise, the waves of great distress and affliction:
they will soon raise thy bark also and carry thee away."--Thereupon was
Zarathustra silent and wondered.--"Dost thou still hear nothing?" continued
the soothsayer: "doth it not rush and roar out of the depth?"--Zarathustra
was silent once more and listened: then heard he a long, long cry, which
the abysses threw to one another and passed on; for none of them wished to
retain it: so evil did it sound.

"Thou ill announcer," said Zarathustra at last, "that is a cry of distress,
and the cry of a man; it may come perhaps out of a black sea. But what
doth human distress matter to me! My last sin which hath been reserved for
me,--knowest thou what it is called?"

--"PITY!" answered the soothsayer from an overflowing heart, and raised
both his hands aloft--"O Zarathustra, I have come that I may seduce thee to
thy last sin!"--

And hardly had those words been uttered when there sounded the cry once
more, and longer and more alarming than before--also much nearer. "Hearest
thou? Hearest thou, O Zarathustra?" called out the soothsayer, "the cry
concerneth thee, it calleth thee: Come, come, come; it is time, it is the
highest time!"--

Zarathustra was silent thereupon, confused and staggered; at last he asked,
like one who hesitateth in himself: "And who is it that there calleth me?"

"But thou knowest it, certainly," answered the soothsayer warmly, "why dost
thou conceal thyself? It is THE HIGHER MAN that crieth for thee!"

"The higher man?" cried Zarathustra, horror-stricken: "what wanteth HE?
What wanteth HE? The higher man! What wanteth he here?"--and his skin
covered with perspiration.

The soothsayer, however, did not heed Zarathustra's alarm, but listened and
listened in the downward direction. When, however, it had been still there
for a long while, he looked behind, and saw Zarathustra standing trembling.

"O Zarathustra," he began, with sorrowful voice, "thou dost not stand there
like one whose happiness maketh him giddy: thou wilt have to dance lest
thou tumble down!

But although thou shouldst dance before me, and leap all thy side-leaps, no
one may say unto me: 'Behold, here danceth the last joyous man!'

In vain would any one come to this height who sought HIM here: caves would
he find, indeed, and back-caves, hiding-places for hidden ones; but not
lucky mines, nor treasure-chambers, nor new gold-veins of happiness.

Happiness--how indeed could one find happiness among such buried-alive and
solitary ones! Must I yet seek the last happiness on the Happy Isles, and
far away among forgotten seas?

But all is alike, nothing is worth while, no seeking is of service, there
are no longer any Happy Isles!"--


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