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 pity! 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 today ascend a high mountain? The air is pure, and today one seeth more of the world than ever."—"Yea, mine animals," answered he, "ye counsel admirably and according to my heart: I will today 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 today 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 men.
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 today 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 years—
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 today, 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!"—
Thus sighed the soothsayer; with his last sigh, however, Zarathustra again became serene and assured, like one who hath come out of a deep chasm into the light. "Nay! Nay! Three times Nay!" exclaimed he with a strong voice, and stroked his beard—"that do I know better! There are still Happy Isles! Silence thereon, thou sighing sorrow-sack!
Cease to splash thereon, thou rain-cloud of the forenoon! Do I not already stand here wet with thy misery, and drenched like a dog?
Now do I shake myself and run away from thee, that I may again become dry: thereat mayest thou not wonder! Do I seem to thee discourteous? Here however is my court.
But as regards the higher man: well! I shall seek him at once in those forests: from thence came his cry. Perhaps he is there hard beset by an evil beast.
He is in my domain: therein shall he receive no scath! And verily, there are many evil beasts about me."—
With those words Zarathustra turned around to depart. Then said the soothsayer: "O Zarathustra, thou art a rogue!
I know it well: thou wouldst fain be rid of me! Rather wouldst thou run into the forest and lay snares for evil beasts!
But what good will it do thee? In the evening wilt thou have me again: in thine own cave will I sit, patient and heavy like a block—and wait for thee!"
"So be it!" shouted back Zarathustra, as he went away: "and what is mine in my cave belongeth also unto thee, my guest!
Shouldst thou however find honey therein, well! Just lick it up, thou growling bear, and sweeten thy soul! For in the evening we want both to be in good spirits;
—In good spirits and joyful, because this day hath come to an end! And thou thyself shalt dance to my lays, as my dancing-bear.
Thou dost not believe this? Thou shakest thy head? Well! Cheer up, old bear! But I also—am a soothsayer."
Thus spake Zarathustra.
ERE Zarathustra had been an hour on his way in the mountains and forests, he saw all at once a strange procession. Right on the path which he was about to descend came two kings walking, bedecked with crowns and purple girdles, and variegated like flamingoes: they drove before them a laden ass. "What do these kings want in my domain?" said Zarathustra in astonishment to his heart, and hid himself hastily behind a thicket. When however the kings approached to him, he said half-aloud, like one speaking only to himself: "Strange! Strange! How doth this harmonise? Two kings do I see—and only one ass!"
Thereupon the two kings made a halt; they smiled and looked towards the spot whence the voice proceeded, and afterwards looked into each other's faces. "Such things do we also think among ourselves," said the king on the right, "but we do not utter them."
The king on the left, however, shrugged his shoulders and answered: "That may perhaps be a goat-herd. Or an anchorite who hath lived too long among rocks and trees. For no society at all spoileth also good manners."
"Good manners?" replied angrily and bitterly the other king: "what then do we run out of the way of? Is it not 'good manners'? Our 'good society'?
Better, verily, to live among anchorites and goat-herds, than with our gilded, false, over-rouged populace—though it call itself 'good society.'
—Though it call itself 'nobility.' But there all is false and foul, above all the blood—thanks to old evil diseases and worse curers.
The best and dearest to me at present is still a sound peasant, coarse, artful, obstinate and enduring: that is at present the noblest type.
The peasant is at present the best; and the peasant type should be master! But it is the kingdom of the populace—I no longer allow anything to be imposed upon me. The populace, however—that meaneth, hodgepodge.
Populace-hodgepodge: therein is everything mixed with everything, saint and swindler, gentleman and Jew, and every beast out of Noah's ark.
Good manners! Everything is false and foul with us. No one knoweth any longer how to reverence: it is that precisely that we run away from. They are fulsome obtrusive dogs; they gild palm-leaves.
This loathing choketh me, that we kings ourselves have become false, draped and disguised with the old faded pomp of our ancestors, show-pieces for the stupidest, the craftiest, and whosoever at present trafficketh for power.
We are not the first men—and have nevertheless to stand for them: of this imposture have we at last become weary and disgusted.
From the rabble have we gone out of the way, from all those bawlers and scribe-blowflies, from the trader-stench, the ambition-fidgeting, the bad breath:— fie, to live among the rabble;
—Fie, to stand for the first men among the rabble! Ah, loathing! Loathing! Loathing! What doth it now matter about us kings!"—
"Thine old sickness seizeth thee," said here the king on the left, "thy loathing seizeth thee, my poor brother. Thou knowest, however, that some one heareth us."
Immediately thereupon, Zarathustra, who had opened ears and eyes to this talk, rose from his hiding-place, advanced towards the kings, and thus began:
"He who hearkeneth unto you, he who gladly hearkeneth unto you, is called Zarathustra.
I am Zarathustra who once said: 'What doth it now matter about kings!' Forgive me; I rejoiced when ye said to each other: 'What doth it matter about us kings!'
Here, however, is my domain and jurisdiction: what may ye be seeking in my domain? Perhaps, however, ye have found on your way what I seek: namely, the higher man."
When the kings heard this, they beat upon their breasts and said with one voice: "We are recognised!
With the sword of thine utterance severest thou the thickest darkness of our hearts. Thou hast discovered our distress; for lo! we are on our way to find the higher man—
The man that is higher than we, although we are kings. To him do we convey this ass. For the highest man shall also be the highest lord on earth.
There is no sorer misfortune in all human destiny, than when the mighty of the earth are not also the first men. Then everything becometh false and distorted and monstrous.
And when they are even the last men, and more beast than man, then riseth and riseth the populace in honour, and at last saith even the populace-virtue: 'Lo, I alone am virtue!'"—
What have I just heard? answered Zarathustra. What wisdom in kings! I am enchanted, and verily, I have already promptings to make a rhyme thereon:—
Even if it should happen to be a rhyme not suited for every one's ears. I unlearned long ago to have consideration for long ears. Well then! Well now!
(Here, however, it happened that the ass also found utterance: it said distinctly and with malevolence, Y-E-A.)
'Twas once—methinks year one of our blessed Lord,—
Drunk without wine, the Sybil thus deplored:—
"How ill things go!
Decline! Decline! Ne'er sank the world so low!
Rome now hath turned harlot and harlot-stew,
Rome's Caesar a beast, and God—hath turned Jew!
With those rhymes of Zarathustra the kings were delighted; the king on the right, however, said: "O Zarathustra, how well it was that we set out to see thee!
For thine enemies showed us thy likeness in their mirror: there lookedst thou with the grimace of a devil, and sneeringly: so that we were afraid of thee.
But what good did it do! Always didst thou prick us anew in heart and ear with thy sayings. Then did we say at last: What doth it matter how he look!
We must hear him; him who teacheth: 'Ye shall love peace as a means to new wars, and the short peace more than the long!'
No one ever spake such warlike words: 'What is good? To be brave is good. It is the good war that halloweth every cause.'
O Zarathustra, our fathers' blood stirred in our veins at such words: it was like the voice of spring to old wine-casks.
When the swords ran among one another like red-spotted serpents, then did our fathers become fond of life; the sun of every peace seemed to them languid and lukewarm, the long peace, however, made them ashamed.
How they sighed, our fathers, when they saw on the wall brightly furbished, dried-up swords! Like those they thirsted for war. For a sword thirsteth to drink blood, and sparkleth with desire."—
When the kings thus discoursed and talked eagerly of the happiness of their fathers, there came upon Zarathustra no little desire to mock at their eagerness: for evidently they were very peaceable kings whom he saw before him, kings with old and refined features. But he restrained himself. "Well!" said he, "thither leadeth the way, there lieth the cave of Zarathustra; and this day is to have a long evening! At present, however, a cry of distress calleth me hastily away from you.
It will honour my cave if kings want to sit and wait in it: but, to be sure, ye will have to wait long!
Well! What of that! Where doth one at present learn better to wait than at courts? And the whole virtue of kings that hath remained unto them—is it not called today: Ability to wait?"
Thus spake Zarathustra.
AND Zarathustra went thoughtfully on, further and lower down, through forests and past moory bottoms; as it happeneth, however, to every one who meditateth upon hard matters, he trod thereby unawares upon a man. And lo, there spurted into his face all at once a cry of pain, and two curses and twenty bad invectives, so that in his fright he raised his stick and also struck the trodden one. Immediately afterwards, however, he regained his composure, and his heart laughed at the folly he had just committed.
"Pardon me," said he to the trodden one, who had got up enraged, and had seated himself, "pardon me, and hear first of all a parable.
As a wanderer who dreameth of remote things on a lonesome highway, runneth unawares against a sleeping dog, a dog which lieth in the sun:
—As both of them then start up and snap at each other, like deadly enemies, those two beings mortally frightened—so did it happen unto us.
And yet! And yet—how little was lacking for them to caress each other, that dog and that lonesome one! Are they not both—lonesome ones!"
—"Whoever thou art," said the trodden one, still enraged, "thou treadest also too nigh me with thy parable, and not only with thy foot!
Lo! am I then a dog?"—And thereupon the sitting one got up, and pulled his naked arm out of the swamp. For at first he had lain outstretched on the ground, hidden and indiscernible, like those who lie in wait for swamp-game.
"But whatever art thou about!" called out Zarathustra in alarm, for he saw a deal of blood streaming over the naked arm,—"what hath hurt thee? Hath an evil beast bit thee, thou unfortunate one?"
The bleeding one laughed, still angry, "What matter is it to thee!" said he, and was about to go on. "Here am I at home and in my province. Let him question me whoever will: to a dolt, however, I shall hardly answer."
"Thou art mistaken," said Zarathustra sympathetically, and held him fast; "thou art mistaken. Here thou art not at home, but in my domain, and therein shall no one receive any hurt.
Call me however what thou wilt—I am who I must be. I call myself Zarathustra.
Well! Up thither is the way to Zarathustra's cave: it is not far,—wilt thou not attend to thy wounds at my home?
It hath gone badly with thee, thou unfortunate one, in this life: first a beast bit thee, and then—a man trod upon thee!"—
When however the trodden one had heard the name of Zarathustra he was transformed. "What happeneth unto me!" he exclaimed, "who preoccupieth me so much in this life as this one man, namely Zarathustra, and that one animal that liveth on blood, the leech?
For the sake of the leech did I lie here by this swamp, like a fisher, and already had mine outstretched arm been bitten ten times, when there biteth a still finer leech at my blood, Zarathustra himself!
O happiness! O miracle! Praised be this day which enticed me into the swamp! Praised be the best, the livest cupping-glass, that at present liveth; praised be the great conscience-leech Zarathustra!"—
Thus spake the trodden one, and Zarathustra rejoiced at his words and their refined reverential style. "Who art thou?" asked he, and gave him his hand, "there is much to clear up and elucidate between us, but already methinketh pure clear day is dawning."
"I am the spiritually conscientious one," answered he who was asked, "and in matters of the spirit it is difficult for any one to take it more rigorously, more restrictedly, and more severely than I, except him from whom I learnt it, Zarathustra himself.
Better know nothing than half-know many things! Better be a fool on one's own account, than a sage on other people's approbation! I—go to the basis:
—What matter if it be great or small? If it be called swamp or sky? A handbreadth of basis is enough for me, if it be actually basis and ground!
—A handbreadth of basis: thereon can one stand. In the true knowing-knowledge there is nothing great and nothing small."
"Then thou art perhaps an expert on the leech?" asked Zarathustra; "and thou investigatest the leech to its ultimate basis, thou conscientious one?"
"O Zarathustra," answered the trodden one, "that would be something immense; how could I presume to do so!
That, however, of which I am master and knower, is the brain of the leech:—that is my world! And it is also a world!
Forgive it, however, that my pride here findeth expression, for here I have not mine equal. Therefore said I: 'here am I at home.'
How long have I investigated this one thing, the brain of the leech, so that here the slippery truth might no longer slip from me! Here is my domain!
—For the sake of this did I cast everything else aside, for the sake of this did everything else become indifferent to me; and close beside my knowledge lieth my black ignorance.
My spiritual conscience requireth from me that it should be so—that I should know one thing, and not know all else: they are a loathing unto me, all the semi-spiritual, all the hazy, hovering, and visionary.
Where mine honesty ceaseth, there am I blind, and want also to be blind. Where I want to know, however, there want I also to be honest—namely, severe, rigorous, restricted, cruel and inexorable.
Because thou once saidest, O Zarathustra: 'Spirit is life which itself cutteth into life';—that led and allured me to thy doctrine. And verily, with mine own blood have I increased mine own knowledge!"
—"As the evidence indicateth," broke in Zarathustra; for still was the blood flowing down on the naked arm of the conscientious one. For there had ten leeches bitten into it.
"O thou strange fellow, how much doth this very evidence teach me—namely, thou thyself! And not all, perhaps, might I pour into thy rigorous ear!
Well then! We part here! But I would fain find thee again. Up thither is the way to my cave: tonight shalt thou there by my welcome guest!
Fain would I also make amends to thy body for Zarathustra treading upon thee with his feet: I think about that. Just now, however, a cry of distress calleth me hastily away from thee."
Thus spake Zarathustra.
WHEN however Zarathustra had gone round a rock, then saw he on the same path, not far below him, a man who threw his limbs about like a maniac, and at last tumbled to the ground on his belly. "Halt!" said then Zarathustra to his heart, "he there must surely be the higher man, from him came that dreadful cry of distress,—I will see if I can help him." When, however, he ran to the spot where the man lay on the ground, he found a trembling old man with fixed eyes; and in spite of all Zarathustra's efforts to lift him and set him again on his feet, it was all in vain. The unfortunate one, also, did not seem to notice that some one was beside him; on the contrary, he continually looked around with moving gestures, like one forsaken and isolated from all the world. At last, however, after much trembling, and convulsion, and curling-himself-up, he began to lament thus:
Who warm'th me, who lov'th me still?
Give ardent fingers!
Give heartening charcoal-warmers!
Prone, outstretched, trembling,
Like him, half dead and cold, whose feet one warm'th—
And shaken, ah! by unfamiliar fevers,
Shivering with sharpened, icy-cold frost-arrows,
By thee pursued, my fancy!
Ineffable! Recondite! Sore-frightening!
Thou huntsman 'hind the cloud-banks!
Now lightning-struck by thee,
Thou mocking eye that me in darkness watcheth:
—Thus do I lie,
Bend myself, twist myself, convulsed
With all eternal torture,
By thee, cruellest huntsman,
Smite yet once more!
Pierce through and rend my heart!
What mean'th this torture
With dull, indented arrows?
Why look'st thou hither,
Of human pain not weary,
With mischief-loving, godly flash-glances?
Not murder wilt thou,
But torture, torture?
For why—me torture,
Thou mischief-loving, unfamiliar God?—
Thou stealest nigh
In midnight's gloomy hour?...
What wilt thou?
Thou crowdst me, pressest—
Ha! now far too closely!
Thou hearst me breathing,
Thou o'erhearst my heart,
Thou ever jealous one!
—Of what, pray, ever jealous?
For why the ladder?
Wouldst thou get in?
To heart in-clamber?
To mine own secretest
Shameless one! Thou unknown one!—Thief!
What seekst thou by thy stealing?
What seekst thou by thy hearkening?
What seekst thou by thy torturing?
Or shall I, as the mastiffs do,
Roll me before thee?
And cringing, enraptured, frantical,
My tail friendly—waggle!
No dog—thy game just am I,
Thy proudest of captives,
Thou robber 'hind the cloud-banks...
Thou lightning-veiled one! Thou unknown one! Speak!
What wilt thou, highway-ambusher, from—me?
What wilt thou, unfamiliar—God?
How much of ransom-gold?
Solicit much—that bid'th my pride!
And be concise—that bid'th mine other pride!
Me—wantst thou? me?
Ha! Ha! And torturest me, fool that thou art,
Dead-torturest quite my pride?
Give love to me—who warm'th me still?
Who lov'th me still?—
Give ardent fingers
Give heartening charcoal-warmers,
Give me, the lonesomest,
The ice (ah! seven-fold frozen ice
For very enemies,
For foes, doth make one thirst).
Give, yield to me,
There fled he surely,
My final, only comrade,
My greatest foe,
Come thou back!
With all of thy great tortures!
To me the last of lonesome ones,
Oh, come thou back!
All my hot tears in streamlets trickle
Their course to thee!
And all my final hearty fervour—
Up-glow'th to thee!
Oh, come thou back,
Mine unfamiliar God! my pain!
My final bliss!
—Here, however, Zarathustra could no longer restrain himself; he took his staff and struck the wailer with all his might. "Stop this," cried he to him with wrathful laughter, "stop this, thou stage-player! Thou false coiner! Thou liar from the very heart! I know thee well!
I will soon make warm legs to thee, thou evil magician: I know well how—to make it hot for such as thou!"
—"Leave off," said the old man, and sprang up from the ground, "strike me no more, O Zarathustra! I did it only for amusement!
That kind of thing belongeth to mine art. Thee thyself, I wanted to put to the proof when I gave this performance. And verily, thou hast well detected me!
But thou thyself—hast given me no small proof of thyself: thou art hard, thou wise Zarathustra! Hard strikest thou with thy 'truths,' thy cudgel forceth from me—this truth!"
—"Flatter not," answered Zarathustra, still excited and frowning, "thou stage-player from the heart! Thou art false: why speakest thou—of truth!
Thou peacock of peacocks, thou sea of vanity; what didst thou represent before me, thou evil magician; whom was I meant to believe in when thou wailedst in such wise?"
"The penitent in spirit," said the old man, "it was him—I represented; thou thyself once devisedst this expression—
The poet and magician who at last turneth his spirit against himself, the transformed one who freezeth to death by his bad science and conscience.
And just acknowledge it: it was long, O Zarathustra, before thou discoveredst my trick and lie! Thou believedst in my distress when thou heldest my head with both thy hands,—
I heard thee lament 'we have loved him too little, loved him too little!' Because I so far deceived thee, my wickedness rejoiced in me."
"Thou mayest have deceived subtler ones than I," said Zarathustra sternly. "I am not on my guard against deceivers; I have to be without precaution: so willeth my lot.
Thou, however,—must deceive: so far do I know thee! Thou must ever be equivocal, trivocal, quadrivocal, and quinquivocal! Even what thou hast now confessed, is not nearly true enough nor false enough for me!
Thou bad false coiner, how couldst thou do otherwise! Thy very malady wouldst thou whitewash if thou showed thyself naked to thy physician.
Thus didst thou whitewash thy lie before me when thou saidst: 'I did so only for amusement!' There was also seriousness therein, thou art something of a penitent-in-spirit!
I divine thee well: thou hast become the enchanter of all the world; but for thyself thou hast no lie or artifice left,—thou art disenchanted to thyself!
Thou hast reaped disgust as thy one truth. No word in thee is any longer genuine, but thy mouth is so: that is to say, the disgust that cleaveth unto thy mouth."—
"Who art thou at all!" cried here the old magician with defiant voice, "who dareth to speak thus unto me, the greatest man now living?"—and a green flash shot from his eye at Zarathustra. But immediately after he changed, and said sadly:
"O Zarathustra, I am weary of it, I am disgusted with mine arts, I am not great, why do I dissemble! But thou knowest it well—I sought for greatness!
A great man I wanted to appear, and persuaded many; but the lie hath been beyond my power. On it do I collapse.
O Zarathustra, everything is a lie in me; but that I collapse—this my collapsing is genuine!"—
"It honoureth thee," said Zarathustra gloomily, looking down with sidelong glance, "it honoureth thee that thou soughtest for greatness, but it betrayeth thee also. Thou art not great.
Thou bad old magician, that is the best and the honestest thing I honour in thee, that thou hast become weary of thyself, and hast expressed it: 'I am not great.'
Therein do I honour thee as a penitent-in-spirit, and although only for the twinkling of an eye, in that one moment wast thou—genuine.
But tell me, what seekest thou here in my forests and rocks? And if thou hast put thyself in my way, what proof of me wouldst thou have?—
Wherein didst thou put me to the test?"
Thus spake Zarathustra, and his eyes sparkled. But the old magician kept silence for a while; then said he: "Did I put thee to the test? I—seek only.
O Zarathustra, I seek a genuine one, a right one, a simple one, an unequivocal one, a man of perfect honesty, a vessel of wisdom, a saint of knowledge, a great man!
Knowest thou it not, O Zarathustra? I seek Zarathustra."
—And here there arose a long silence between them: Zarathustra, however, became profoundly absorbed in thought, so that he shut his eyes. But afterwards coming back to the situation, he grasped the hand of the magician, and said, full of politeness and policy:
"Well! Up thither leadeth the way, there is the cave of Zarathustra. In it mayest thou seek him whom thou wouldst fain find.
And ask counsel of mine animals, mine eagle and my serpent: they shall help thee to seek. My cave however is large.
I myself, to be sure—I have as yet seen no great man. That which is great, the acutest eye is at present insensible to it. It is the kingdom of the populace.
Many a one have I found who stretched and inflated himself, and the people cried: 'Behold; a great man!' But what good do all bellows do! The wind cometh out at last.
At last bursteth the frog which hath inflated itself too long: then cometh out the wind. To prick a swollen one in the belly, I call good pastime. Hear that, ye boys!
Our today is of the popular: who still knoweth what is great and what is small! Who could there seek successfully for greatness! A fool only: it succeedeth with fools.
Thou seekest for great men, thou strange fool? Who taught that to thee? Is today the time for it? Oh, thou bad seeker, why dost thou—tempt me?"—
Thus spake Zarathustra, comforted in his heart, and went laughing on his way.
NOT long, however, after Zarathustra had freed himself from the magician, he again saw a person sitting beside the path which he followed, namely a tall, black man, with a haggard, pale countenance: this man grieved him exceedingly. "Alas," said he to his heart, "there sitteth disguised affliction; methinketh he is of the type of the priests: what do they want in my domain?
What! Hardly have I escaped from that magician, and must another necromancer again run across my path,—
Some sorcerer with laying-on-of-hands, some sombre wonder-worker by the grace of God, some anointed world-maligner, whom, may the devil take!
But the devil is never at the place which would be his right place: he always cometh too late, that cursed dwarf and club-foot!"—
Thus cursed Zarathustra impatiently in his heart, and considered how with averted look he might slip past the black man. But behold, it came about otherwise. For at the same moment had the sitting one already perceived him; and not unlike one whom an unexpected happiness overtaketh, he sprang to his feet, and went straight towards Zarathustra.
"Whoever thou art, thou traveller," said he, "help a strayed one, a seeker, an old man, who may here easily come to grief!
The world here is strange to me, and remote; wild beasts also did I hear howling; and he who could have given me protection—he is himself no more.
I was seeking the pious man, a saint and an anchorite, who, alone in his forest, had not yet heard of what all the world knoweth at present."
"What doth all the world know at present?" asked Zarathustra. "Perhaps that the old God no longer liveth, in whom all the world once believed?"
"Thou sayest it," answered the old man sorrowfully. "And I served that old God until his last hour.
Now, however, am I out of service, without master, and yet not free; likewise am I no longer merry even for an hour, except it be in recollections.
Therefore did I ascend into these mountains, that I might finally have a festival for myself once more, as becometh an old pope and church-father: for know it, that I am the last pope!—a festival of pious recollections and divine services.
Now, however, is he himself dead, the most pious of men, the saint in the forest, who praised his God constantly with singing and mumbling.
He himself found I no longer when I found his cot—but two wolves found I therein, which howled on account of his death,—for all animals loved him. Then did I haste away.
Had I thus come in vain into these forests and mountains? Then did my heart determine that I should seek another, the most pious of all those who believe not in God,—my heart determined that I should seek Zarathustra!"
Thus spake the hoary man, and gazed with keen eyes at him who stood before him. Zarathustra however seized the hand of the old pope and regarded it a long while with admiration.
"Lo! thou venerable one," said he then, "what a fine and long hand! That is the hand of one who hath ever dispensed blessings. Now, however, doth it hold fast him whom thou seekest, me, Zarathustra.
It is I, the ungodly Zarathustra, who saith: 'Who is ungodlier than I, that I may enjoy his teaching?'"—
Thus spake Zarathustra, and penetrated with his glances the thoughts and arrear-thoughts of the old pope. At last the latter began:
"He who most loved and possessed him hath now also lost him most—
Lo, I myself am surely the most godless of us at present? But who could rejoice at that!"—
"Thou servedst him to the last?"asked Zarathustra thoughtfully, after a deep silence, "thou knowest how he died? Is it true what they say, that sympathy choked him;
—That he saw how man hung on the cross, and could not endure it;—that his love to man became his hell, and at last his death?"—
The old pope however did not answer, but looked aside timidly, with a painful and gloomy expression.
"Let him go," said Zarathustra, after prolonged meditation, still looking the old man straight in the eye.
"Let him go, he is gone. And though it honoureth thee that thou speakest only in praise of this dead one, yet thou knowest as well as I who he was, and that he went curious ways."
"To speak before three eyes," said the old pope cheerfully (he was blind of one eye), "in divine matters I am more enlightened than Zarathustra himself—and may well be so.
My love served him long years, my will followed all his will. A good servant, however, knoweth everything, and many a thing even which a master hideth from himself.
He was a hidden God, full of secrecy. Verily, he did not come by his son otherwise than by secret ways. At the door of his faith standeth adultery.
Whoever extolleth him as a God of love, doth not think highly enough of love itself. Did not that God want also to be judge? But the loving one loveth irrespective of reward and requital.
When he was young, that God out of the Orient, then was he harsh and revengeful, and built himself a hell for the delight of his favourites.
At last, however, he became old and soft and mellow and pitiful, more like a grandfather than a father, but most like a tottering old grandmother.
There did he sit shrivelled in his chimney-corner, fretting on account of his weak legs, world-weary, will-weary, and one day he suffocated of his all-too-great pity."—
"Thou old pope," said here Zarathustra interposing, "hast thou seen that with thine eyes? It could well have happened in that way: in that way, and also otherwise. When gods die they always die many kinds of death.
Well! At all events, one way or other—he is gone! He was counter to the taste of mine ears and eyes; worse than that I should not like to say against him.
I love everything that looketh bright and speaketh honestly. But he—thou knowest it, forsooth, thou old priest, there was something of thy type in him, the priest-type—he was equivocal.
He was also indistinct. How he raged at us, this wrath-snorter, because we understood him badly! But why did he not speak more clearly?
And if the fault lay in our ears, why did he give us ears that heard him badly? If there was dirt in our ears, well! who put it in them?
Too much miscarried with him, this potter who had not learned thoroughly! That he took revenge on his pots and creations, however, because they turned out badly—that was a sin against good taste.
There is also good taste in piety: this at last said: 'Away with such a God! Better to have no God, better to set up destiny on one's own account, better to be a fool, better to be God oneself!'"
—"What do I hear!" said then the old pope, with intent ears; "O Zarathustra, thou art more pious than thou believest, with such an unbelief! Some god in thee hath converted thee to thine ungodliness.
Is it not thy piety itself which no longer letteth thee believe in a God? And thine over-great honesty will yet lead thee even beyond good and evil!
Behold, what hath been reserved for thee? Thou hast eyes and hands and mouth, which have been predestined for blessing from eternity. One doth not bless with the hand alone.
Nigh unto thee, though thou professest to be the ungodliest one, I feel a hale and holy odour of long benedictions: I feel glad and grieved thereby.
Let me be thy guest, O Zarathustra, for a single night! Nowhere on earth shall I now feel better than with thee!"—
"Amen! So shall it be!" said Zarathustra, with great astonishment; "up thither leadeth the way, there lieth the cave of Zarathustra.
Gladly, forsooth, would I conduct thee thither myself, thou venerable one; for I love all pious men. But now a cry of distress calleth me hastily away from thee.
In my domain shall no one come to grief; my cave is a good haven. And best of all would I like to put every sorrowful one again on firm land and firm legs.
Who, however, could take thy melancholy off thy shoulders? For that I am too weak. Long, verily, should we have to wait until some one re-awoke thy God for thee.
For that old God liveth no more: he is indeed dead."—
Thus spake Zarathustra.
—AND again did Zarathustra's feet run through mountains and forests, and his eyes sought and sought, but nowhere was he to be seen whom they wanted to see—the sorely distressed sufferer and crier. On the whole way, however, he rejoiced in his heart and was full of gratitude. "What good things," said he, "hath this day given me, as amends for its bad beginning! What strange interlocutors have I found!
At their words will I now chew a long while as at good corn; small shall my teeth grind and crush them, until they flow like milk into my soul!"—
When, however, the path again curved round a rock, all at once the landscape changed, and Zarathustra entered into a realm of death. Here bristled aloft black and red cliffs, without any grass, tree, or bird's voice. For it was a valley which all animals avoided, even the beasts of prey, except that a species of ugly, thick, green serpent came here to die when they became old. Therefore the shepherds called this valley: "Serpent-death."
Zarathustra, however, became absorbed in dark recollections, for it seemed to him as if he had once before stood in this valley. And much heaviness settled on his mind, so that he walked slowly and always more slowly, and at last stood still. Then, however, when he opened his eyes, he saw something sitting by the wayside shaped like a man, and hardly like a man, something nondescript. And all at once there came over Zarathustra a great shame, because he had gazed on such a thing. Blushing up to the very roots of his white hair, he turned aside his glance, and raised his foot that he might leave this ill-starred place. Then, however, became the dead wilderness vocal: for from the ground a noise welled up, gurgling and rattling, as water gurgleth and rattleth at night through stopped-up water-pipes; and at last it turned into human voice and human speech:—it sounded thus:
"Zarathustra! Zarathustra! Read my riddle! Say, say! What is the revenge on the witness?
I entice thee back; here is smooth ice! See to it, see to it, that thy pride does not here break its legs!
Thou thinkest thyself wise, thou proud Zarathustra! Read then the riddle, thou hard nut-cracker,—the riddle that I am! Say then: who am I!"
—When however Zarathustra had heard these words,—what think ye then took place in his soul? Pity overcame him; and he sank down all at once, like an oak that hath long withstood many tree-fellers,—heavily, suddenly, to the terror even of those who meant to fell it. But immediately he got up again from the ground, and his countenance became stern.
"I know thee well," said he, with a brazen voice, "thou art the murderer of God! Let me go.
Thou couldst not endure him who beheld thee,—who ever beheld thee through and through, thou ugliest man. Thou tookest revenge on this witness!"
Thus spake Zarathustra and was about to go; but the nondescript grasped at a corner of his garment and began anew to gurgle and seek for words. "Stay," said he at last—
"Stay! Do not pass by! I have divined what axe it was that struck thee to the ground: hail to thee, O Zarathustra, that thou art again upon thy feet!
Thou hast divined, I know it well, how the man feeleth who killed him,—the murderer of God. Stay! Sit down here beside me; it is not to no purpose.
To whom would I go but unto thee? Stay, sit down! Do not however look at me! Honour thus—mine ugliness!
They persecute me: now art thou my last refuge. Not with their hatred, not with their bailiffs;—Oh, such persecution would I mock at, and be proud and cheerful!
Hath not all success hitherto been with the well-persecuted ones? And he who persecuteth well learneth readily to be obsequent—when once he is—put behind! But it is their pity—
Their pity is it from which I flee away and flee to thee. O Zarathustra, protect me, thou, my last refuge, thou sole one who divinedst me:
—Thou hast divined how the man feeleth who killed him. Stay! And if thou wilt go, thou impatient one, go not the way that I came. That way is bad.
Art thou angry with me because I have already racked language too long? Because I have already counselled thee? But know that it is I, the ugliest man,
—Who have also the largest, heaviest feet. Where I have gone, the way is bad. I tread all paths to death and destruction.
But that thou passedst me by in silence, that thou blushedst—I saw it well: thereby did I know thee as Zarathustra.
Every one else would have thrown to me his alms, his pity, in look and speech. But for that—I am not beggar enough: that didst thou divine.
For that I am too rich, rich in what is great, frightful, ugliest, most unutterable! Thy shame, O Zarathustra, honoured me!
With difficulty did I get out of the crowd of the pitiful,—that I might find the only one who at present teacheth that 'pity is obtrusive'—thyself, O Zarathustra!
—Whether it be the pity of a God, or whether it be human pity, it is offensive to modesty. And unwillingness to help may be nobler than the virtue that rusheth to do so.
That however—namely, pity—is called virtue itself at present by all petty people:—they have no reverence for great misfortune, great ugliness, great failure.
Beyond all these do I look, as a dog looketh over the backs of thronging flocks of sheep. They are petty, good-wooled, good-willed, grey people.
As the heron looketh contemptuously at shallow pools, with backward-bent head, so do I look at the throng of grey little waves and wills and souls.
Too long have we acknowledged them to be right, those petty people: so we have at last given them power as well;—and now do they teach that 'good is only what petty people call good.'
And 'truth' is at present what the preacher spake who himself sprang from them, that singular saint and advocate of the petty people, who testified of himself: 'I—am the truth.'
That immodest one hath long made the petty people greatly puffed up,—he who taught no small error when he taught: 'I—am the truth.'
Hath an immodest one ever been answered more courteously?—Thou, however, O Zarathustra, passedst him by, and saidst: 'Nay! Nay! Three times Nay!'
Thou warnedst against his error; thou warnedst—the first to do so—against pity:—not every one, not none, but thyself and thy type.
Thou art ashamed of the shame of the great sufferer; and verily when thou sayest: 'From pity there cometh a heavy cloud; take heed, ye men!'
—When thou teachest: 'All creators are hard, all great love is beyond their pity:' O Zarathustra, how well versed dost thou seem to me in weather-signs!
Thou thyself, however,—warn thyself also against thy pity! For many are on their way to thee, many suffering, doubting, despairing, drowning, freezing ones—
I warn thee also against myself. Thou hast read my best, my worst riddle, myself, and what I have done. I know the axe that felleth thee.
But he—had to die: he looked with eyes which beheld everything,—he beheld men's depths and dregs, all his hidden ignominy and ugliness.
His pity knew no modesty: he crept into my dirtiest corners. This most prying, over-intrusive, over-pitiful one had to die.
He ever beheld me: on such a witness I would have revenge—or not live myself.
The God who beheld everything, and also man: that God had to die! Man cannot endure it that such a witness should live."
Thus spake the ugliest man. Zarathustra however got up, and prepared to go on: for he felt frozen to the very bowels.
"Thou nondescript," said he, "thou warnedst me against thy path. As thanks for it I praise mine to thee. Behold, up thither is the cave of Zarathustra.
My cave is large and deep and hath many corners; there findeth he that is most hidden his hiding-place. And close beside it, there are a hundred lurking-places and by-places for creeping, fluttering, and hopping creatures.
Thou outcast, who hast cast thyself out, thou wilt not live amongst men and men's pity? Well then, do like me! Thus wilt thou learn also from me; only the doer learneth.
And talk first and foremost to mine animals! The proudest animal and the wisest animal—they might well be the right counsellors for us both!"—
Thus spake Zarathustra and went his way, more thoughtfully and slowly even than before: for he asked himself many things, and hardly knew what to answer.
"How poor indeed is man," thought he in his heart, "how ugly, how wheezy, how full of hidden shame!
They tell me that man loveth himself. Ah, how great must that self-love be! How much contempt is opposed to it!
Even this man hath loved himself, as he hath despised himself,—a great lover methinketh he is, and a great despiser.
No one have I yet found who more thoroughly despised himself: even that is elevation. Alas, was this perhaps the higher man whose cry I heard?
I love the great despisers. Man is something that hath to be surpassed."—
WHEN Zarathustra had left the ugliest man, he was chilled and felt lonesome: for much coldness and lonesomeness came over his spirit, so that even his limbs became colder thereby. When, however, he wandered on and on, uphill and down, at times past green meadows, though also sometimes over wild stony couches where formerly perhaps an impatient brook had made its bed, then he turned all at once warmer and heartier again.
"What hath happened unto me?" he asked himself, "something warm and living quickeneth me; it must be in the neighbourhood.
Already am I less alone; unconscious companions and brethren rove around me; their warm breath toucheth my soul."
When, however, he spied about and sought for the comforters of his lonesomeness, behold, there were kine there standing together on an eminence, whose proximity and smell had warmed his heart. The kine, however, seemed to listen eagerly to a speaker, and took no heed of him who approached. When, however, Zarathustra was quite nigh unto them, then did he hear plainly that a human voice spake in the midst of the kine, and apparently all of them had turned their heads towards the speaker.
Then ran Zarathustra up speedily and drove the animals aside; for he feared that some one had here met with harm, which the pity of the kine would hardly be able to relieve. But in this he was deceived; for behold, there sat a man on the ground who seemed to be persuading the animals to have no fear of him, a peaceable man and Preacher-on-the-Mount, out of whose eyes kindness itself preached. "What dost thou seek here?" called out Zarathustra in astonishment.
"What do I here seek?" answered he: "the same that thou seekest, thou mischief-maker; that is to say, happiness upon earth.
To that end, however, I would fain learn of these kine. For I tell thee that I have already talked half a morning unto them, and just now were they about to give me their answer. Why dost thou disturb them?
Except we be converted and become as kine, we shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven. For we ought to learn from them one thing: ruminating.
And verily, although a man should gain the whole world, and yet not learn one thing, ruminating, what would it profit him! He would not be rid of his affliction,
—His great affliction: that, however, is at present called disgust. Who hath not at present his heart, his mouth and his eyes full of disgust? Thou also! Thou also! But behold these kine!"—
Thus spake the Preacher-on-the-Mount, and turned then his own look towards Zarathustra—for hitherto it had rested lovingly on the kine:— then, however, he put on a different expression. "Who is this with whom I talk?" he exclaimed, frightened, and sprang up from the ground.
"This is the man without disgust, this is Zarathustra himself, the surmounter of the great disgust, this is the eye, this is the mouth, this is the heart of Zarathustra himself."
And whilst he thus spake he kissed with o'erflowing eyes the hands of him with whom he spake, and behaved altogether like one to whom a precious gift and jewel hath fallen unawares from heaven. The kine, however, gazed at it all and wondered.
"Speak not of me, thou strange one; thou amiable one!" said Zarathustra, and restrained his affection, "speak to me firstly of thyself! Art thou not the voluntary beggar who once cast away great riches,—
Who was ashamed of his riches and of the rich, and fled to the poorest to bestow upon them his abundance and his heart? But they received him not."
"But they received me not," said the voluntary beggar, "thou knowest it, forsooth. So I went at last to the animals and to those kine."
"Then learnedst thou," interrupted Zarathustra, "how much harder it is to give properly than to take properly, and that bestowing well is an art—the last, subtlest master-art of kindness.
"Especially nowadays," answered the voluntary beggar: "at present, that is to say, when everything low hath become rebellious and exclusive and haughty in its manner—in the manner of the populace.
For the hour hath come, thou knowest it forsooth, for the great, evil, long, slow mob-and-slave-insurrection: it extendeth and extendeth!
Now doth it provoke the lower classes, all benevolence and petty giving; and the overrich may be on their guard!
Whoever at present drip, like bulgy bottles out of all-too-small necks:—of such bottles at present one willingly breaketh the necks.
Wanton avidity, bilious envy, careworn revenge, populace-pride: all these struck mine eye. It is no longer true that the poor are blessed. The kingdom of heaven, however, is with the kine."
"And why is it not with the rich?" asked Zarathustra temptingly, while he kept back the kine which sniffed familiarly at the peaceful one.
"Why dost thou tempt me?" answered the other. "Thou knowest it thyself better even than I. What was it drove me to the poorest, O Zarathustra? Was it not my disgust at the richest?
—At the culprits of riches, with cold eyes and rank thoughts, who pick up profit out of all kinds of rubbish—at this rabble that stinketh to heaven,
—At this gilded, falsified populace, whose fathers were pickpockets, or carrion-crows, or rag-pickers, with wives compliant, lewd and forgetful:—for they are all of them not far different from harlots—
Populace above, populace below! What are 'poor' and 'rich' at present! That distinction did I unlearn,—then did I flee away further and ever further, until I came to those kine."
Thus spake the peaceful one, and puffed himself and perspired with his words: so that the kine wondered anew. Zarathustra, however, kept looking into his face with a smile, all the time the man talked so severely—and shook silently his head.
"Thou doest violence to thyself, thou Preacher-on-the-Mount, when thou usest such severe words. For such severity neither thy mouth nor thine eye have been given thee.
Nor, methinketh, hath thy stomach either: unto it all such rage and hatred and foaming-over is repugnant. Thy stomach wanteth softer things: thou art not a butcher.
Rather seemest thou to me a plant-eater and a root-man. Perhaps thou grindest corn. Certainly, however, thou art averse to fleshly joys, and thou lovest honey."
"Thou hast divined me well," answered the voluntary beggar, with lightened heart. "I love honey, I also grind corn; for I have sought out what tasteth sweetly and maketh pure breath:
—Also what requireth a long time, a day's-work and a mouth's-work for gentle idlers and sluggards.
Furthest, to be sure, have those kine carried it: they have devised ruminating and lying in the sun. They also abstain from all heavy thoughts which inflate the heart."
—"Well!" said Zarathustra, "thou shouldst also see mine animals, mine eagle and my serpent,—their like do not at present exist on earth.
Behold, thither leadeth the way to my cave: be tonight its guest. And talk to mine animals of the happiness of animals,—
Until I myself come home. For now a cry of distress calleth me hastily away from thee. Also, shouldst thou find new honey with me, ice-cold, golden-comb-honey, eat it!
Now, however, take leave at once of thy kine, thou strange one! thou amiable one! though it be hard for thee. For they are thy warmest friends and preceptors!"—
"One excepted, whom I hold still dearer," answered the voluntary beggar. "Thou thyself art good, O Zarathustra, and better even than a cow!"
"Away, away with thee! thou evil flatterer!" cried Zarathustra mischievously, "why dost thou spoil me with such praise and flattery-honey?
"Away, away from me!" cried he once more, and heaved his stick at the fond beggar, who, however, ran nimbly away.
SCARCELY however was the voluntary beggar gone in haste, and Zarathustra again alone, when he heard behind him a new voice which called out: "Stay! Zarathustra! Do wait! It is myself, forsooth, O Zarathustra, myself, thy shadow!" But Zarathustra did not wait; for a sudden irritation came over him on account of the crowd and the crowding in his mountains. "Whither hath my lonesomeness gone?" spake he.
"It is verily becoming too much for me; these mountains swarm; my kingdom is no longer of this world; I require new mountains.
My shadow calleth me? What matter about my shadow! Let it run after me! I—run away from it."
Thus spake Zarathustra to his heart and ran away. But the one behind followed after him, so that immediately there were three runners, one after the other—namely, foremost the voluntary beggar, then Zarathustra, and thirdly, and hindmost, his shadow. But not long had they run thus when Zarathustra became conscious of his folly, and shook off with one jerk all his irritation and detestation.
"What!" said he, "have not the most ludicrous things always happened to us old anchorites and saints?
Verily, my folly hath grown big in the mountains! Now do I hear six old fools' legs rattling behind one another!
But doth Zarathustra need to be frightened by his shadow? Also, methinketh that after all it hath longer legs thin mine."
Thus spake Zarathustra, and, laughing with eyes and entrails, he stood still and turned round quickly—and behold, he almost thereby threw his shadow and follower to the ground, so closely had the latter followed at his heels, and so weak was he. For when Zarathustra scrutinised him with his glance he was frightened as by a sudden apparition, so slender, swarthy, hollow and worn-out did this follower appear.
"Who art thou?" asked Zarathustra vehemently, "what doest thou here? And why callest thou thyself my shadow? Thou art not pleasing unto me."
"Forgive me," answered the shadow, "that it is I; and if I please thee not—well, O Zarathustra! therein do I admire thee and thy good taste.
A wanderer am I, who have walked long at thy heels; always on the way, but without a goal, also without a home: so that verily, I lack little of being the eternally Wandering Jew, except that I am not eternal and not a Jew.
What? Must I ever be on the way? Whirled by every wind, unsettled, driven about? O earth, thou hast become too round for me!
On every surface have I already sat, like tired dust have I fallen asleep on mirrors and window-panes: everything taketh from me, nothing giveth; I become thin—I am almost equal to a shadow.
After thee, however, O Zarathustra, did I fly and hie longest; and though I hid myself from thee, I was nevertheless thy best shadow: wherever thou hast sat, there sat I also.
With thee have I wandered about in the remotest, coldest worlds, like a phantom that voluntarily haunteth winter roofs and snows.
With thee have I pushed into all the forbidden, all the worst and the furthest: and if there be anything of virtue in me, it is that I have had no fear of any prohibition.
With thee have I broken up whatever my heart revered; all boundary-stones and statues have I o'erthrown; the most dangerous wishes did I pursue,—verily, beyond every crime did I once go.
With thee did I unlearn the belief in words and worths and in great names. When the devil casteth his skin, doth not his name also fall away? It is also skin.
The devil himself is perhaps—skin. 'Nothing is true, all is permitted': so said I to myself. Into the coldest water did I plunge with head and heart. Ah, how oft did I stand there naked on that account, like a red crab!
Ah, where have gone all my goodness and all my shame and all my belief in the good! Ah, where is the lying innocence which I once possessed, the innocence of the good and of their noble lies!
Too oft, verily, did I follow close to the heels of truth: then did it kick me on the face. Sometimes I meant to lie, and behold! then only did I hit—the truth.
Too much hath become clear unto me: now it doth not concern me any more. Nothing liveth any longer that I love,—how should I still love myself?
'To live as I incline, or not to live at all': so do I wish; so wisheth also the holiest. But alas! how have I still—inclination?
Have I—still a goal? A haven towards which my sail is set?
A good wind? Ah, he only who knoweth whither he saileth, knoweth what wind is good, and a fair wind for him.
What still remaineth to me? A heart weary and flippant; an unstable will; fluttering wings; a broken backbone.
This seeking for my home: O Zarathustra, dost thou know that this seeking hath been my home-sickening; it eateth me up.
Where is—my home?' For it do I ask and seek, and have sought, but have not found it. O eternal everywhere, O eternal nowhere, O eternal—in-vain!"
Thus spake the shadow, and Zarathustra's countenance lengthened at his words. "Thou art my shadow!" said he at last sadly.
"Thy danger is not small, thou free spirit and wanderer! Thou hast had a bad day: see that a still worse evening doth not overtake thee!
To such unsettled ones as thou, seemeth at last even a prisoner blessed. Didst thou ever see how captured criminals sleep? They sleep quietly, they enjoy their new security.
Beware lest in the end a narrow faith capture thee, a hard, rigorous delusion! For now everything that is narrow and fixed seduceth and tempteth thee.
Thou hast lost thy goal. Alas, how wilt thou forego and forget that loss? Thereby—hast thou also lost thy way!
Thou poor rover and rambler, thou tired butterfly! wilt thou have a rest and a home this evening? Then go up to my cave!
Thither leadeth the way to my cave. And now will I run quickly away from thee again. Already lieth as it were a shadow upon me.
I will run alone, so that it may again become bright around me. Therefore must I still be a long time merrily upon my legs. In the evening, however, there will be—dancing with me!"—
Thus spake Zarathustra.
—AND Zarathustra ran and ran, but he found no one else, and was alone and ever found himself again; he enjoyed and quaffed his solitude, and thought of good things—for hours. About the hour of noontide, however, when the sun stood exactly over Zarathustra's head, he passed an old, bent and gnarled tree, which was encircled round by the ardent love of a vine, and hidden from itself; from this there hung yellow grapes in abundance, confronting the wanderer. Then he felt inclined to quench a little thirst, and to break off for himself a cluster of grapes. When, however, he had already his arm out-stretched for that purpose, he felt still more inclined for something else—namely, to lie down beside the tree at the hour of perfect noontide and sleep.
This Zarathustra did; and no sooner had he laid himself on the ground in the stillness and secrecy of the variegated grass, than he had forgotten his little thirst, and fell asleep. For as the proverb of Zarathustra saith: "One thing is more necessary than the other." Only that his eyes remained open:—for they never grew weary of viewing and admiring the tree and the love of the vine. In falling asleep, however, Zarathustra spake thus to his heart:
"Hush! Hush! Hath not the world now become perfect? What hath happened unto me?
As a delicate wind danceth invisibly upon parqueted seas, light, feather-light, so—danceth sleep upon me.
No eye doth it close to me, it leaveth my soul awake. Light is it, verily, feather-light.
It persuadeth me, I know not how, it toucheth me inwardly with a caressing hand, it constraineth me. Yea, it constraineth me, so that my soul stretcheth itself out:—
How long and weary it becometh, my strange soul! Hath a seventh-day evening come to it precisely at noontide? Hath it already wandered too long, blissfully, among good and ripe things?
It stretcheth itself out, long—longer! it lieth still, my strange soul. Too many good things hath it already tasted; this golden sadness oppresseth it, it distorteth its mouth.
—As a ship that putteth into the calmest cove:—it now draweth up to the land, weary of long voyages and uncertain seas. Is not the land more faithful?
As such a ship huggeth the shore, tuggeth the shore:—then it sufficeth for a spider to spin its thread from the ship to the land. No stronger ropes are required there.
As such a weary ship in the calmest cove, so do I also now repose, nigh to the earth, faithful, trusting, waiting, bound to it with the lightest threads.
O happiness! O happiness! Wilt thou perhaps sing, O my soul? Thou liest in the grass. But this is the secret, solemn hour, when no shepherd playeth his pipe.
Take care! Hot noontide sleepeth on the fields. Do not sing! Hush! The world is perfect.
Do not sing, thou prairie-bird, my soul! Do not even whisper! Lo—hush! The old noontide sleepeth, it moveth its mouth: doth it not just now drink a drop of happiness—
An old brown drop of golden happiness, golden wine? Something whisketh over it, its happiness laugheth. Thus—laugheth a God. Hush!—
'For happiness, how little sufficeth for happiness!' Thus spake I once and thought myself wise. But it was a blasphemy: that have I now learned. Wise fools speak better.
The least thing precisely, the gentlest thing, the lightest thing, a lizard's rustling, a breath, a whisk, an eye-glance—little maketh up the best happiness. Hush!
—What hath befallen me: Hark! Hath time flown away? Do I not fall? Have I not fallen—hark! into the well of eternity?
—What happeneth to me? Hush! It stingeth me—alas—to the heart? To the heart! Oh, break up, break up, my heart, after such happiness, after such a sting!
—What? Hath not the world just now become perfect? Round and ripe? Oh, for the golden round ring—whither doth it fly? Let me run after it! Quick!
Hush—" (and here Zarathustra stretched himself, and felt that he was asleep.)
"Up!" said he to himself, "thou sleeper! Thou noontide sleeper! Well then, up, ye old legs! It is time and more than time; many a good stretch of road is still awaiting you—
Now have ye slept your fill; for how long a time? A half-eternity! Well then, up now, mine old heart! For how long after such a sleep mayest thou—remain awake?"
But then did he fall asleep anew, and his soul spake against him and defended itself, and lay down again)—"Leave me alone! Hush! Hath not the world just now become perfect? Oh, for the golden round ball!—
"Get up," said Zarathustra, "thou little thief, thou sluggard! What! Still stretching thyself, yawning, sighing, failing into deep wells?
Who art thou then, O my soul!" (and here he became frightened, for a sunbeam shot down from heaven upon his face.)
"O heaven above me," said he sighing, and sat upright, "thou gazest at me? Thou hearkenest unto my strange soul?
When wilt thou drink this drop of dew that fell down upon all earthly things,—when wilt thou drink this strange soul—
When, thou well of eternity! thou joyous, awful, noontide abyss! when wilt thou drink my soul back into thee?"
Thus spake Zarathustra, and rose from his couch beside the tree, as if awakening from a strange drunkenness: and behold! there stood the sun still exactly above his head. One might, however, rightly infer therefrom that Zarathustra had not then slept long.
IT WAS late in the afternoon only when Zarathustra, after long useless searching and strolling about, again came home to his cave. When, however, he stood over against it, not more than twenty paces therefrom, the thing happened which he now least of all expected: he heard anew the great cry of distress. And extraordinary! this time the cry came out of his own cave. It was a long, manifold, peculiar cry, and Zarathustra plainly distinguished that it was composed of many voices: although heard at a distance it might sound like the cry out of a single mouth.
Thereupon Zarathustra rushed forward to his cave, and behold! what a spectacle awaited him after that concert! For there did they all sit together whom he had passed during the day: the king on the right and the king on the left, the old magician, the pope, the voluntary beggar, the shadow, the intellectually conscientious one, the sorrowful soothsayer, and the ass; the ugliest man, however, had set a crown on his head, and had put round him two purple girdles,—for he liked, like all ugly ones, to disguise himself and play the handsome person. In the midst, however, of that sorrowful company stood Zarathustra's eagle, ruffled and disquieted, for it had been called upon to answer too much for which its pride had not any answer; the wise serpent however hung round its neck.
All this did Zarathustra behold with great astonishment; then however he scrutinised each individual guest with courteous curiosity, read their souls and wondered anew. In the meantime the assembled ones had risen from their seats, and waited with reverence for Zarathustra to speak. Zarathustra however spake thus:
"Ye despairing ones! Ye strange ones! So it was your cry of distress that I heard? And now do I know also where he is to be sought, whom I have sought for in vain today: the higher man:—
—In mine own cave sitteth he, the higher man! But why do I wonder! Have not I myself allured him to me by honey-offerings and artful lure-calls of my happiness?
But it seemeth to me that ye are badly adapted for company: ye make one another's hearts fretful, ye that cry for help, when ye sit here together? There is one that must first come,
—One who will make you laugh once more, a good jovial buffoon, a dancer, a wind, a wild romp, some old fool:—what think ye?
Forgive me, however, ye despairing ones, for speaking such trivial words before you, unworthy, verily, of such guests! But ye do not divine what maketh my heart wanton:—
—Ye yourselves do it, and your aspect, forgive it me! For every one becometh courageous who beholdeth a despairing one. To encourage a despairing one—every one thinketh himself strong enough to do so.
To myself have ye given this power,—a good gift, mine honourable guests! An excellent guest's-present! Well, do not then upbraid when I also offer you something of mine.
This is mine empire and my dominion: that which is mine, however, shall this evening and tonight be yours. Mine animals shall serve you: let my cave be your resting-place!
At house and home with me shall no one despair: in my purlieus do I protect every one from his wild beasts. And that is the first thing which I offer you: security!
The second thing, however, is my little finger. And when ye have that, then take the whole hand also, yea and the heart with it! Welcome here, welcome to you, my guests!"
Thus spake Zarathustra, and laughed with love and mischief. After this greeting his guests bowed once more and were reverentially silent; the king on the right, however, answered him in their name.
"O Zarathustra, by the way in which thou hast given us thy hand and thy greeting, we recognise thee as Zarathustra. Thou hast humbled thyself before us; almost hast thou hurt our reverence:—
—Who however could have humbled himself as thou hast done, with such pride? That uplifteth us ourselves; a refreshment is it, to our eyes and hearts.
To behold this, merely, gladly would we ascend higher mountains than this. For as eager beholders have we come; we wanted to see what brighteneth dim eyes.
And lo! now is it all over with our cries of distress. Now are our minds and hearts open and enraptured. Little is lacking for our spirits to become wanton.
There is nothing, O Zarathustra, that groweth more pleasingly on earth than a lofty, strong will: it is the finest growth. An entire landscape refresheth itself at one such tree.
To the pine do I compare him, O Zarathustra, which groweth up like thee—tall, silent, hardy, solitary, of the best, supplest wood, stately,—
In the end, however, grasping out for its dominion with strong, green branches, asking weighty questions of the wind, the storm, and whatever is at home on high places;
—Answering more weightily, a commander, a victor! Oh! who should not ascend high mountains to behold such growths?
At thy tree, O Zarathustra, the gloomy and ill-constituted also refresh themselves; at thy look even the wavering become steady and heal their hearts.
And verily, towards thy mountain and thy tree do many eyes turn today; a great longing hath arisen, and many have learned to ask: 'Who is Zarathustra?'
And those into whose ears thou hast at any time dripped thy song and thy honey: all the hidden ones, the lone-dwellers and the twain-dwellers, have simultaneously said to their hearts:
'Doth Zarathustra still live? It is no longer worth while to live, everything is indifferent, everything is useless: or else—we must live with Zarathustra!'
'Why doth he not come who hath so long announced himself?' thus do many people ask; 'hath solitude swallowed him up? Or should we perhaps go to him?'
Now doth it come to pass that solitude itself becometh fragile and breaketh open, like a grave that breaketh open and can no longer hold its dead. Everywhere one seeth resurrected ones.
Now do the waves rise and rise around thy mountain, O Zarathustra. And however high be thy height, many of them must rise up to thee: thy boat shall not rest much longer on dry ground.
And that we despairing ones have now come into thy cave, and already no longer despair:—it is but a prognostic and a presage that better ones are on the way to thee,—
For they themselves are on the way to thee, the last remnant of God among men—that is to say, all the men of great longing, of great loathing, of great satiety,
—All who do not want to live unless they learn again to hope—unless they learn from thee, O Zarathustra, the great hope!"
Thus spake the king on the right, and seized the hand of Zarathustra in order to kiss it; but Zarathustra checked his veneration, and stepped back frightened, fleeing as it were, silently and suddenly into the far distance. After a little while, however, he was again at home with his guests, looked at them with clear scrutinising eyes, and said: "
My guests, ye higher men, I will speak plain language and plainly with you. It is not for you that I have waited here in these mountains."
("'Plain language and plainly?' Good God!" said here the king on the left to himself; "one seeth he doth not know the good Occidentals, this sage out of the Orient!
But he meaneth 'blunt language and bluntly'—well! That is not the worst taste in these days!")
"Ye may, verily, all of you be higher men," continued Zarathustra; "but for me—ye are neither high enough, nor strong enough.
For me, that is to say, for the inexorable which is now silent in me, but will not always be silent. And if ye appertain to me, still it is not as my right arm.
For he who himself standeth, like you, on sickly and tender legs, wisheth above all to be treated indulgently, whether he be conscious of it or hide it from himself.
My arms and my legs, however, I do not treat indulgently, I do not treat my warriors indulgently: how then could ye be fit for my warfare?
With you I should spoil all my victories. And many of you would tumble over if ye but heard the loud beating of my drums.
Moreover, ye are not sufficiently beautiful and well-born for me. I require pure, smooth mirrors for my doctrines; on your surface even mine own likeness is distorted.
On your shoulders presseth many a burden, many a recollection; many a mischievous dwarf squatteth in your corners. There is concealed populace also in you.
And though ye be high and of a higher type, much in you is crooked and misshapen. There is no smith in the world that could hammer you right and straight for me.
Ye are only bridges: may higher ones pass over upon you! Ye signify steps: so do not upbraid him who ascendeth beyond you into his height!
Out of your seed there may one day arise for me a genuine son and perfect heir: but that time is distant. Ye yourselves are not those unto whom my heritage and name belong.
Not for you do I wait here in these mountains; not with you may I descend for the last time. Ye have come unto me only as a presage that higher ones are on the way to me,—
Not the men of great longing, of great loathing, of great satiety, and that which ye call the remnant of God;
—Nay! Nay! Three times Nay! For others do I wait here in these mountains, and will not lift my foot from thence without them;
—For higher ones, stronger ones, triumphanter ones, merrier ones, for such as are built squarely in body and soul: laughing lions must come!
O my guests, ye strange ones—have ye yet heard nothing of my children? And that they are on the way to me?
Do speak unto me of my gardens, of my Happy Isles, of my new beautiful race—why do ye not speak unto me thereof?
This guests'—present do I solicit of your love, that ye speak unto me of my children. For them am I rich, for them I became poor: what have I not surrendered.
What would I not surrender that I might have one thing: these children, this living plantation, these life-trees of my will and of my highest hope!"
Thus spake Zarathustra, and stopped suddenly in his discourse: for his longing came over him, and he closed his eyes and his mouth, because of the agitation of his heart. And all his guests also were silent, and stood still and confounded: except only that the old soothsayer made signs with his hands and his gestures.
FOR at this point the soothsayer interrupted the greeting of Zarathustra and his guests: he pressed forward as one who had no time to lose, seized Zarathustra's hand and exclaimed: "But Zarathustra!
One thing is more necessary than the other, so sayest thou thyself: well, one thing is now more necessary unto me than all others.
A word at the right time: didst thou not invite me to table? And here are many who have made long journeys. Thou dost not mean to feed us merely with discourses?
Besides, all of you have thought too much about freezing, drowning, suffocating, and other bodily dangers: none of you, however, have thought of my danger, namely, perishing of hunger—"
(Thus spake the soothsayer. When Zarathustra's animals, however, heard these words, they ran away in terror. For they saw that all they had brought home during the day would not be enough to fill the one soothsayer.)
"Likewise perishing of thirst," continued the soothsayer. "And although I hear water splashing here like words of wisdom—that is to say, plenteously and unweariedly, I—want wine!
Not every one is a born water-drinker like Zarathustra. Neither doth water suit weary and withered ones: we deserve wine—it alone giveth immediate vigour and improvised health!"
On this occasion, when the soothsayer was longing for wine, it happened that the king on the left, the silent one, also found expression for once. "We took care," said he, "about wine, I, along with my brother the king on the right: we have enough of wine,—a whole ass-load of it. So there is nothing lacking but bread."
"Bread," replied Zarathustra, laughing when he spake, "it is precisely bread that anchorites have not. But man doth not live by bread alone, but also by the flesh of good lambs, of which I have two:
—These shall we slaughter quickly, and cook spicily with sage: it is so that I like them. And there is also no lack of roots and fruits, good enough even for the fastidious and dainty,—nor of nuts and other riddles for cracking.
Thus will we have a good repast in a little while. But whoever wisheth to eat with us must also give a hand to the work, even the kings. For with Zarathustra even a king may be a cook."
This proposal appealed to the hearts of all of them, save that the voluntary beggar objected to the flesh and wine and spices.
"Just hear this glutton Zarathustra!" said he jokingly: "doth one go into caves and high mountains to make such repasts?
Now indeed do I understand what he once taught us: Blessed be moderate poverty!' And why he wisheth to do away with beggars."
"Be of good cheer," replied Zarathustra, "as I am. Abide by thy customs, thou excellent one: grind thy corn, drink thy water, praise thy cooking,—if only it make thee glad!
I am a law only for mine own; I am not a law for all. He, however, who belongeth unto me must be strong of bone and light of foot,—
Joyous in fight and feast, no sulker, no John o' Dreams, ready for the hardest task as for the feast, healthy and hale.
The best belongeth unto mine and me; and if it be not given us, then do we take it:—the best food, the purest sky, the strongest thoughts, the fairest women!"—
Thus spake Zarathustra; the king on the right however answered and said: "Strange! Did one ever hear such sensible things out of the mouth of a wise man?
And verily, it is the strangest thing in a wise man, if over and above, he be still sensible, and not an ass."
Thus spake the king on the right and wondered; the ass however, with ill-will, said YE-A to his remark. This however was the beginning of that long repast which is called "The Supper" in the history-books. At this there was nothing else spoken of but the higher man.
WHEN I came unto men for the first time, then did I commit the anchorite folly, the great folly: I appeared on the market-place.
And when I spake unto all, I spake unto none. In the evening, however, rope-dancers were my companions, and corpses; and I myself almost a corpse.
With the new morning, however, there came unto me a new truth: then did I learn to say: "Of what account to me are market-place and populace and populace-noise and long populace-cars!"
Ye higher men, learn this from me: On the market-place no one believeth in higher men. But if ye will speak there, very well! The populace, however, blinketh: "We are all equal."
"Ye higher men,"—so blinketh the populace—"there are no higher men, we are all equal; man is man, before God—we are all equal!"
Before God!—Now, however, this God hath died. Before the populace, however, we will not be equal. Ye higher men, away from the market-place!
Before God!—Now however this God hath died! Ye higher men, this God was your greatest danger.
Only since he lay in the grave have ye again arisen. Now only cometh the great noontide, now only doth the higher man become—master!
Have ye understood this word, O my brethren? Ye are frightened: do your hearts turn giddy? Doth the abyss here yawn for you? Doth the hell-hound here yelp at you?
Well! Take heart! ye higher men! Now only travaileth the mountain of the human future. God hath died: now do we desire—the Superman to live.
The most careful ask today: "How is man to be maintained?" Zarathustra however asketh, as the first and only one: "How is man to be surpassed?"
The Superman, I have at heart; that is the first and only thing to me—and not man: not the neighbour, not the poorest, not the sorriest, not the best.—
O my brethren, what I can love in man is that he is an over-going and a down-going. And also in you there is much that maketh me love and hope.
In that ye have despised, ye higher men, that maketh me hope. For the great despisers are the great reverers.
In that ye have despaired, there is much to honour. For ye have not learned to submit yourselves, ye have not learned petty policy.
For today have the petty people become master: they all preach submission and humility and policy and diligence and consideration and the long et cetera of petty virtues.
Whatever is of the effeminate type, whatever originateth from the servile type, and especially the populace-mishmash:—that wisheth now to be master of all human destiny—O disgust! Disgust! Disgust!
That asketh and asketh and never tireth: "How is man to maintain himself best, longest, most pleasantly?" Thereby—are they the masters of today.
These masters of today—surpass them, O my brethren—these petty people: they are the Superman's greatest danger!
Surpass, ye higher men, the petty virtues, the petty policy, the sand-grain considerateness, the ant-hill trumpery, the pitiable comfortableness, the "happiness of the greatest number"—!
And rather despair than submit yourselves. And verily, I love you, because ye know not today how to live, ye higher men! For thus do ye live—best!
Have ye courage, O my brethren? Are ye stout-hearted? Not the courage before witnesses, but anchorite and eagle courage, which not even a God any longer beholdeth?
Cold souls, mules, the blind and the drunken, I do not call stout-hearted. He hath heart who knoweth fear, but vanquisheth it; who seeth the abyss, but with pride.
He who seeth the abyss, but with eagle's eyes,—he who with eagle's talons graspeth the abyss: he hath courage.—
"Man is evil"—so said to me for consolation, all the wisest ones. Ah, if only it be still true today! For the evil is man's best force.
"Man must become better and eviler"—so do I teach. The evilest is necessary for the Superman's best.
It may have been well for the preacher of the petty people to suffer and be burdened by men's sin. I, however, rejoice in great sin as my great consolation.—
Such things, however, are not said for long ears. Every word, also, is not suited for every mouth. These are fine far-away things: at them sheep's claws shall not grasp!
6. Ye higher men, think ye that I am here to put right what ye have put wrong?
Or that I wished henceforth to make snugger couches for you sufferers? Or show you restless, miswandering, misclimbing ones, new and easier footpaths?
Nay! Nay! Three times Nay! Always more, always better ones of your type shall succumb,—for ye shall always have it worse and harder. Thus only—
Thus only groweth man aloft to the height where the lightning striketh and shattereth him: high enough for the lightning!
Towards the few, the long, the remote go forth my soul and my seeking: of what account to me are your many little, short miseries!
Ye do not yet suffer enough for me! For ye suffer from yourselves, ye have not yet suffered from man. Ye would lie if ye spake otherwise! None of you suffereth from what I have suffered.—
It is not enough for me that the lightning no longer doeth harm. I do not wish to conduct it away: it shall learn—to work for me.—
My wisdom hath accumulated long like a cloud, it becometh stiller and darker. So doeth all wisdom which shall one day bear lightnings.—
Unto these men of today will I not be light, nor be called light. Them—will I blind: lightning of my wisdom! put out their eyes!
Do not will anything beyond your power: there is a bad falseness in those who will beyond their power.
Especially when they will great things! For they awaken distrust in great things, these subtle false-coiners and stage-players:—
Until at last they are false towards themselves, squint-eyed, whited cankers, glossed over with strong words, parade virtues and brilliant false deeds.
Take good care there, ye higher men! For nothing is more precious to me, and rarer, than honesty.
Is this today not that of the populace? The populace however knoweth not what is great and what is small, what is straight and what is honest: it is innocently crooked, it ever lieth.
Have a good distrust today ye, higher men, ye enheartened ones! Ye open-hearted ones! And keep your reasons secret! For this today is that of the populace.
What the populace once learned to believe without reasons, who could—refute it to them by means of reasons?
And on the market-place one convinceth with gestures. But reasons make the populace distrustful.
And when truth hath once triumphed there, then ask yourselves with good distrust: "What strong error hath fought for it?"
Be on your guard also against the learned! They hate you, because they are unproductive! They have cold, withered eyes before which every bird is unplumed.
Such persons vaunt about not lying: but inability to lie is still far from being love to truth. Be on your guard!
Freedom from fever is still far from being knowledge! Refrigerated spirits I do not believe in. He who cannot lie, doth not know what truth is.
If ye would go up high, then use your own legs! Do not get yourselves carried aloft; do not seat yourselves on other people's backs and heads! Thou hast mounted, however, on horseback? Thou now ridest briskly up to thy goal? Well, my friend! But thy lame foot is also with thee on horseback! When thou reachest thy goal, when thou alightest from thy horse: precisely on thy height, thou higher man,—then wilt thou stumble!
Ye creating ones, ye higher men! One is only pregnant with one's own child.
Do not let yourselves be imposed upon or put upon! Who then is your neighbour? Even if ye act "for your neighbour"—ye still do not create for him!
Unlearn, I pray you, this "for," ye creating ones: your very virtue wisheth you to have naught to do with "for" and "on account of" and "because." Against these false little words shall ye stop your ears.
"For one's neighbour," is the virtue only of the petty people: there it is said "like and like," and "hand washeth hand":—they have neither the right nor the power for your self-seeking!
In your self-seeking, ye creating ones, there is the foresight and foreseeing of the pregnant! What no one's eye hath yet seen, namely, the fruit—this, sheltereth and saveth and nourisheth your entire love.
Where your entire love is, namely, with your child, there is also your entire virtue! Your work, your will is your "neighbour": let no false values impose upon you!
Ye creating ones, ye higher men! Whoever hath to give birth is sick; whoever hath given birth, however, is unclean.
Ask women: one giveth birth, not because it giveth pleasure. The pain maketh hens and poets cackle.
Ye creating ones, in you there is much uncleanliness. That is because ye have had to be mothers.
A new child: oh, how much new filth hath also come into the world! Go apart! He who hath given birth shall wash his soul!
Be not virtuous beyond your powers! And seek nothing from yourselves opposed to probability!
Walk in the footsteps in which your fathers' virtue hath already walked! How would ye rise high, if your fathers' will should not rise with you?
He, however, who would be a firstling, let him take care lest he also become a lastling! And where the vices of your fathers are, there should ye not set up as saints!
He whose fathers were inclined for women, and for strong wine and flesh of wildboar swine; what would it be if he demanded chastity of himself?
A folly would it be! Much, verily, doth it seem to me for such a one, if he should be the husband of one or of two or of three women.
And if he founded monasteries, and inscribed over their portals: "The way to holiness,"—I should still say: What good is it! it is a new folly!
He hath founded for himself a penance-house and refuge-house: much good may it do! But I do not believe in it.
In solitude there groweth what any one bringeth into it—also the brute in one's nature. Thus is solitude inadvisable unto many.
Hath there ever been anything filthier on earth than the saints of the wilderness? Around them was not only the devil loose—but also the swine.
Shy, ashamed, awkward, like the tiger whose spring hath failed—thus, ye higher men, have I often seen you slink aside. A cast which ye made had failed.
But what doth it matter, ye dice-players! Ye had not learned to play and mock, as one must play and mock! Do we not ever sit at a great table of mocking and playing?
And if great things have been a failure with you, have ye yourselves therefore—been a failure? And if ye yourselves have been a failure, hath man therefore—been a failure? If man, however, hath been a failure: well then! never mind!
The higher its type, always the seldomer doth a thing succeed. Ye higher men here, have ye not all—been failures?
Be of good cheer; what doth it matter? How much is still possible! Learn to laugh at yourselves, as ye ought to laugh!
What wonder even that ye have failed and only half-succeeded, ye half-shattered ones! Doth not—man's future strive and struggle in you?
Man's furthest, profoundest, star-highest issues, his prodigious powers—do not all these foam through one another in your vessel?
What wonder that many a vessel shattereth! Learn to laugh at yourselves, as ye ought to laugh! Ye higher men, Oh, how much is still possible!
And verily, how much hath already succeeded! How rich is this earth in small, good, perfect things, in well-constituted things!
Set around you small, good, perfect things, ye higher men. Their golden maturity healeth the heart. The perfect teacheth one to hope.
What hath hitherto been the greatest sin here on earth? Was it not the word of him who said: "Woe unto them that laugh now!"
Did he himself find no cause for laughter on the earth? Then he sought badly. A child even findeth cause for it.
He—did not love sufficiently: otherwise would he also have loved us, the laughing ones! But he hated and hooted us; wailing and teeth-gnashing did he promise us.
Must one then curse immediately, when one doth not love? That—seemeth to me bad taste. Thus did he, however, this absolute one. He sprang from the populace.
And he himself just did not love sufficiently; otherwise would he have raged less because people did not love him. All great love doth not seek love:—it seeketh more.
Go out of the way of all such absolute ones! They are a poor sickly type, a populace-type: they look at this life with ill-will, they have an evil eye for this earth.
Go out of the way of all such absolute ones! They have heavy feet and sultry hearts:—they do not know how to dance. How could the earth be light to such ones!
Tortuously do all good things come nigh to their goal. Like cats they curve their backs, they purr inwardly with their approaching happiness,—all good things laugh.
His step betrayeth whether a person already walketh on his own path: just see me walk! He, however, who cometh nigh to his goal, danceth.
And verily, a statue have I not become, not yet do I stand there stiff, stupid and stony, like a pillar; I love fast racing.
And though there be on earth fens and dense afflictions, he who hath light feet runneth even across the mud, and danceth, as upon well-swept ice.
Lift up your hearts, my brethren, high, higher! And do not forget your legs! Lift up also your legs, ye good dancers, and better still, if ye stand upon your heads!
This crown of the laughter, this rose-garland crown: I myself have put on this crown, I myself have consecrated my laughter. No one else have I found today potent enough for this.
Zarathustra the dancer, Zarathustra the light one, who beckoneth with his pinions, one ready for flight, beckoning unto all birds, ready and prepared, a blissfully light-spirited one:—
Zarathustra the soothsayer, Zarathustra the sooth-laugher, no impatient one, no absolute one, one who loveth leaps and side-leaps; I myself have put on this crown!
Lift up your hearts, my brethren, high, higher! And do not forget your legs! Lift up also your legs, ye good dancers, and better still if ye stand upon your heads!
There are also heavy animals in a state of happiness, there are club-footed ones from the beginning. Curiously do they exert themselves, like an elephant which endeavoureth to stand upon its head.
Better, however, to be foolish with happiness than foolish with misfortune, better to dance awkwardly than walk lamely. So learn, I pray you, my wisdom, ye higher men: even the worst thing hath two good reverse sides,—
Even the worst thing hath good dancing-legs: so learn, I pray you, ye higher men, to put yourselves on your proper legs!
So unlearn, I pray you, the sorrow-sighing, and all the populace-sadness! Oh, how sad the buffoons of the populace seem to me today! This today, however, is that of the populace.
Do like unto the wind when it rusheth forth from its mountain-caves: unto its own piping will it dance; the seas tremble and leap under its footsteps.
That which giveth wings to asses, that which milketh the lionesses:—praised be that good, unruly spirit, which cometh like a hurricane unto all the present and unto all the populace,—
Which is hostile to thistle-heads and puzzle-heads, and to all withered leaves and weeds:—praised be this wild, good, free spirit of the storm, which danceth upon fens and afflictions, as upon meadows!
Which hateth the consumptive populace-dogs, and all the ill-constituted, sullen brood:—praised be this spirit of all free spirits, the laughing storm, which bloweth dust into the eyes of all the melanopic and melancholic!
Ye higher men, the worst thing in you is that ye have none of you learned to dance as ye ought to dance—to dance beyond yourselves! What doth it matter that ye have failed!
How many things are still possible! So learn to laugh beyond yourselves! Lift up your hearts, ye good dancers, high! higher! And do not forget the good laughter!
This crown of the laughter, this rose-garland crown: to you, my brethren, do I cast this crown! Laughing have I consecrated; ye higher men, learn, I pray you—to laugh!
WHEN Zarathustra spake these sayings, he stood nigh to the entrance of his cave; with the last words, however, he slipped away from his guests, and fled for a little while into the open air.
"O pure odours around me," cried he, "O blessed stillness around me! But where are mine animals? Hither, hither, mine eagle and my serpent!
Tell me, mine animals: these higher men, all of them—do they perhaps not smell well? O pure odours around me! Now only do I know and feel how I love you, mine animals."
—And Zarathustra said once more: "I love you, mine animals!" The eagle, however, and the serpent pressed close to him when he spake these words, and looked up to him. In this attitude were they all three silent together, and sniffed and sipped the good air with one another. For the air here outside was better than with the higher men.
Hardly, however, had Zarathustra left the cave when the old magician got up, looked cunningly about him, and said: "He is gone!
And already, ye higher men—let me tickle you with this complimentary and flattering name, as he himself doeth—already doth mine evil spirit of deceit and magic attack me, my melancholy devil,
—Which is an adversary to this Zarathustra from the very heart: forgive it for this! Now doth it wish to conjure before you, it hath just its hour; in vain do I struggle with this evil spirit.
Unto all of you, whatever honours ye like to assume in your names, whether ye call yourselves 'the free spirits' or 'the conscientious,' or 'the penitents of the spirit,' or 'the unfettered,' or 'the great longers,'—
Unto all of you, who like me suffer from the great loathing, to whom the old God hath died, and as yet no new God lieth in cradles and swaddling clothes—unto all of you is mine evil spirit and magic-devil favourable.
I know you, ye higher men, I know him,—I know also this fiend whom I love in spite of me, this Zarathustra: he himself often seemeth to me like the beautiful mask of a saint,
—Like a new strange mummery in which mine evil spirit, the melancholy devil, delighteth:—I love Zarathustra, so doth it often seem to me, for the sake of mine evil spirit.—
But already doth it attack me and constrain me, this spirit of melancholy, this evening-twilight devil: and verily, ye higher men, it hath a longing—
Open your eyes!—it hath a longing to come naked, whether male or female, I do not yet know: but it cometh, it constraineth me, alas! open your wits!
The day dieth out, unto all things cometh now the evening, also unto the best things; hear now, and see, ye higher men, what devil—man or woman—this spirit of evening-melancholy is!
" Thus spake the old magician, looked cunningly about him, and then seized his harp.
In evening's limpid air,
What time the dew's soothings
Unto the earth downpour,
Invisibly and unheard—
For tender shoe-gear wear
The soothing dews, like all that's kind-gentle:—
Bethinkst thou then, bethinkst thou, burning heart,
How once thou thirstedest
For heaven's kindly teardrops and dew's down-droppings,
All singed and weary thirstedest,
What time on yellow grass-pathways
Wicked, occidental sunny glances
Through sombre trees about thee sported,
Blindingly sunny glow-glances, gladly-hurting?
"Of truth the wooer? Thou?"—so taunted they—
"Nay! Merely poet!
A brute insidious, plundering, grovelling,
That aye must lie,
That wittingly, wilfully, aye must lie:
For booty lusting,
Himself his booty—
He—of truth the wooer?
Nay! Mere fool! Mere poet!
Just motley speaking,
From mask of fool confusedly shouting,
Circumambling on fabricated word-bridges,
On motley rainbow-arches,
'Twixt the spurious heavenly,
And spurious earthly,
Round us roving, round us soaring,—
Mere fool! Mere poet!
He—of truth the wooer?
Not still, stiff, smooth and cold,
Become an image,
A godlike statue,
Set up in front of temples,
As a God's own door-guard:
Nay! hostile to all such truthfulness-statues,
In every desert homelier than at temples,
With cattish wantonness,
Through every window leaping
Quickly into chances,
Every wild forest a-sniffing,
That thou, in wild forests,
'Mong the motley-speckled fierce creatures,
Shouldest rove, sinful-sound and fine-coloured,
With longing lips smacking,
Blessedly mocking, blessedly hellish, blessedly blood-thirsty,
Robbing, skulking, lying- roving:—
Or unto eagles like which fixedly,
Long adown the precipice look,
Adown their precipice:—
Oh, how they whirl down now,
To ever deeper profoundness whirling!—
With aim aright,
With quivering flight,
On lambkins pouncing,
Headlong down, sore-hungry,
For lambkins longing,
Fierce 'gainst all lamb-spirits,
Furious-fierce all that look
Sheeplike, or lambeyed, or crisp-woolly,—
Grey, with lambsheep kindliness!
Are the poet's desires,
Are thine own desires 'neath a thousand guises.
Thou fool! Thou poet!
Thou who all mankind viewedst—
So God, as sheep:—
The God to rend within mankind,
As the sheep in mankind,
And in rending laughing—
That, that is thine own blessedness!
Of a panther and eagle—blessedness!
Of a poet and fool—the blessedness!—
In evening's limpid air,
What time the moon's sickle,
Green, 'twixt the purple-glowings,
and jealous, steal'th forth:
—Of day the foe,
With every step in secret,
The rosy garland-hammocks
Downsickling, till they've sunken
Down nightwards, faded, downsunken:—
Thus had I sunken one day
From mine own truth-insanity,
From mine own fervid day-longings,
Of day aweary, sick of sunshine,—
Sunk downwards, evenwards, shadowwards:
By one sole trueness
All scorched and thirsty:
—Bethinkst thou still, bethinkst thou, burning heart,
How then thou thirstedest?—
That I should banned be
From all the trueness!
Mere fool! Mere poet!
THUS sang the magician; and all who were present went like birds unawares into the net of his artful and melancholy voluptuousness. Only the spiritually conscientious one had not been caught: he at once snatched the harp from the magician and called out: "Air! Let in good air! Let in Zarathustra! Thou makest this cave sultry and poisonous, thou bad old magician!
Thou seducest, thou false one, thou subtle one, to unknown desires and deserts. And alas, that such as thou should talk and make ado about the truth!
Alas, to all free spirits who are not on their guard against such magicians! It is all over with their freedom: thou teachest and temptest back into prisons,—
Thou old melancholy devil, out of thy lament soundeth a lurement: thou resemblest those who with their praise of chastity secretly invite to voluptuousness!
Thus spake the conscientious one; the old magician, however, looked about him, enjoying his triumph, and on that account put up with the annoyance which the conscientious one caused him. "Be still!" said he with modest voice, "good songs want to re-echo well; after good songs one should be long silent.
Thus do all those present, the higher men. Thou, however, hast perhaps understood but little of my song? In thee there is little of the magic spirit.
"Thou praisest me," replied the conscientious one, "in that thou separatest me from thyself; very well! But, ye others, what do I see? Ye still sit there, all of you, with lusting eyes:—
Ye free spirits, whither hath your freedom gone! Ye almost seem to me to resemble those who have long looked at bad girls dancing naked: your souls themselves dance!
In you, ye higher men, there must be more of that which the magician calleth his evil spirit of magic and deceit:—we must indeed be different.
And verily, we spake and thought long enough together ere. Zarathustra came home to his cave, for me not to be unaware that we are different.
We seek different things even here aloft, ye and I. For I seek more security; on that account have I come to Zarathustra. For he is still the most steadfast tower and will.
—Today, when everything tottereth, when all the earth quaketh. Ye, however, when I see what eyes ye make, it almost seemeth to me that ye seek more insecurity,
—More horror, more danger, more earthquake. Ye long (it almost seemeth so to me—forgive my presumption, ye higher men)
—Ye long for the worst and dangerousest life, which frighteneth me most,—for the life of wild beasts, for forests, caves, steep mountains and labyrinthine gorges.
And it is not those who lead out of danger that please you best, but those who lead you away from all paths, the misleaders. But if such longing in you be actual, it seemeth to me nevertheless to be impossible.
For fear—that is man's original and fundamental feeling; through fear everything is explained, original sin and original virtue. Through fear there grew also my virtue, that is to say: Science.
For fear of wild animals—that hath been longest fostered in man, inclusive of the animal which he concealeth and feareth in himself:—Zarathustra calleth it 'the beast inside.'
Such prolonged ancient fear, at last become subtle, spiritual and intellectual—at present, me thinketh, it is called Science."—
Thus spake the conscientious one; but Zarathustra, who had just come back into his cave and had heard and divined the last discourse, threw a handful of roses to the conscientious one, and laughed on account of his "truths." "Why!" he exclaimed, "what did I hear just now? Verily, it seemeth to me, thou art a fool, or else I myself am one: and quietly and quickly will I Put thy 'truth' upside down.
For fear—is an exception with us. Courage, however, and adventure, and delight in the uncertain, in the unattempted—courage seemeth to me the entire primitive history of man.
The wildest and most courageous animals hath he envied and robbed of all their virtues: thus only did he become—man.
This courage, at last become subtle, spiritual and intellectual, this human courage, with eagle's pinions and serpent's wisdom: this, it seemeth to me, is called at present—"
"Zarathustra!" cried all of them there assembled, as if with one voice, and burst out at the same time into a great laughter; there arose, however, from them as it were a heavy cloud. Even the magician laughed, and said wisely: "Well! It is gone, mine evil spirit!
And did I not myself warn you against it when I said that it was a deceiver, a lying and deceiving spirit?
Especially when it showeth itself naked. But what can I do with regard to its tricks! Have I created it and the world?
Well! Let us be good again, and of good cheer! And although Zarathustra looketh with evil eye—just see him! he disliketh me:—
Ere night cometh will he again learn to love and laud me; he cannot live long without committing such follies.
He—loveth his enemies: this art knoweth he better than any one I have seen. But he taketh revenge for it—on his friends!"
Thus spake the old magician, and the higher men applauded him; so that Zarathustra went round, and mischievously and lovingly shook hands with his friends,—like one who hath to make amends and apologise to every one for something. When however he had thereby come to the door of his cave, lo, then had he again a longing for the good air outside, and for his animals,—and wished to steal out.
"GO NOT away!" said then the wanderer who called himself Zarathustra's shadow, "abide with us—otherwise the old gloomy affliction might again fall upon us.
Now hath that old magician given us of his worst for our good, and lo! the good, pious pope there hath tears in his eyes, and hath quite embarked again upon the sea of melancholy.
Those kings may well put on a good air before us still: for that have they learned best of us all at present! Had they however no one to see them, I wager that with them also the bad game would again commence,—
The bad game of drifting clouds, of damp melancholy, of curtained heavens, of stolen suns, of howling autumn-winds,
—The bad game of our howling and crying for help! Abide with us, O Zarathustra! Here there is much concealed misery that wisheth to speak, much evening, much cloud, much damp air!
Thou hast nourished us with strong food for men, and powerful proverbs: do not let the weakly, womanly spirits attack us anew at dessert!
Thou alone makest the air around thee strong and clear. Did I ever find anywhere on earth such good air as with thee in thy cave?
Many lands have I seen, my nose hath learned to test and estimate many kinds of air: but with thee do my nostrils taste their greatest delight!
Unless it be,—unless it be,—do forgive an old recollection! Forgive me an old after-dinner song, which I once composed amongst daughters of the desert:—
For with them was there equally good, clear, Oriental air; there was I furthest from cloudy, damp, melancholy Old-Europe!
Then did I love such Oriental maidens and other blue kingdoms of heaven, over which hang no clouds and no thoughts.
Ye would not believe how charmingly they sat there, when they did not dance, profound, but without thoughts, like little secrets, like beribboned riddles, like dessert-nuts—
Many-hued and foreign, forsooth! but without clouds: riddles which can be guessed: to please such maidens I then composed an after-dinner psalm."
Thus spake the wanderer who called himself Zarathustra's shadow; and before any one answered him, he had seized the harp of the old magician, crossed his legs, and looked calmly and sagely around him:—with his nostrils, however, he inhaled the air slowly and questioningly, like one who in new countries tasteth new foreign air. Afterward he began to sing with a kind of roaring.
The deserts grow: woe him who doth them hide!
In effect solemnly!
A worthy beginning!
Afric manner, solemnly!
Of a lion worthy,
Or perhaps of a virtuous howl-monkey—
But it's naught to you,
Ye friendly damsels dearly loved,
At whose own feet to me,
The first occasion,
To a European under palm-trees,
At seat is now granted. Selah.
Here do I sit now,
The desert nigh, and yet I am
So far still from the desert,
Even in naught yet deserted:
That is, I'm swallowed down
By this the smallest oasis:—
It opened up just yawning,
Its loveliest mouth agape,
Most sweet-odoured of all mouthlets:
Then fell I right in,
Right down, right through—in 'mong you,
Ye friendly damsels dearly loved! Selah.
Hail! hail! to that whale, fishlike,
If it thus for its guest's convenience
Made things nice!—(ye well know,
Surely, my learned allusion?)
Hail to its belly,
If it had e'er
A such loveliest oasis-belly
As this is: though however I doubt about it,
—With this come I out of Old-Europe,
That doubt'th more eagerly than doth any
Elderly married woman.
May the Lord improve it!
Here do I sit now,
In this the smallest oasis,
Like a date indeed,
Brown, quite sweet, gold-suppurating,
For rounded mouth of maiden longing,
But yet still more for youthful, maidlike,
Ice-cold and snow-white and incisory
Front teeth: and for such assuredly,
Pine the hearts all of ardent date-fruits. Selah.
To the there-named south-fruits now,
Do I lie here; by little
Round-sniffled and round-played,
And also by yet littler,
Foolisher, and peccabler
Wishes and phantasies,—
Environed by you,
Ye silent, presentientest
Dudu and Suleika,
—Round sphinxed, that into one word
I may crowd much feeling:
(Forgive me, O God,
All such speech-sinning!)
—Sit I here the best of air sniffling,
Paradisal air, truly,
Bright and buoyant air, golden-mottled,
As goodly air as ever
From lunar orb downfell—
Be it by hazard,
Or supervened it by arrogancy?
As the ancient poets relate it.
But doubter, I'm now calling it
In question: with this do I come indeed
Out of Europe,
That doubt'th more eagerly than doth any
Elderly married woman.
May the Lord improve it!
This the finest air drinking,
With nostrils out-swelled like goblets,
Lacking future, lacking remembrances,
Thus do I sit here, ye
Friendly damsels dearly loved,
And look at the palm-tree there,
How it, to a dance-girl, like,
Doth bow and bend and on its haunches bob,
—One doth it too, when one view'th it long!—
To a dance-girl like, who as it seem'th to me,
Too long, and dangerously persistent,
Always, always, just on single leg hath stood?
—Then forgot she thereby, as it seem'th to me,
The other leg?
For vainly I, at least,
Did search for the amissing
—Namely, the other leg—
n the sanctified precincts,
Nigh her very dearest, very tenderest,
Flapping and fluttering and flickering skirting.
Yea, if ye should, ye beauteous friendly ones,
Quite take my word:
She hath, alas! lost it!
Hu! Hu! Hu! Hu! Hu!
It is away!
For ever away!
The other leg!
Oh, pity for that loveliest other leg!
Where may it now tarry, all-forsaken weeping?
The lonesomest leg?
In fear perhaps before a
Furious, yellow, blond and curled
Leonine monster? Or perhaps even
Gnawed away, nibbled badly—
Most wretched, woeful! woeful! nibbled badly! Selah.
Oh, weep ye not,
Weep ye not, ye Date-fruit spirits!
Weep ye no more,
Be a man, Suleika! Bold! Bold!
—Or else should there perhaps
Something strengthening, heart-strengthening,
Here most proper be?
Some inspiring text?
Some solemn exhortation?—
Ha! Up now! honour!
Moral honour! European honour!
Blow again, continue,
Bellows-box of virtue!
Once more thy roaring,
Thy moral roaring!
As a virtuous lion
Nigh the daughters of deserts roaring!
—For virtue's out-howl,
Ye very dearest maidens,
Is more than every
European fervour, European hot-hunger!
And now do I stand here,
I can't be different, God's help to me!
The deserts grow: woe him who doth them hide!
AFTER the song of the wanderer and shadow, the cave became all at once full of noise and laughter: and since the assembled guests all spake simultaneously, and even the ass, encouraged thereby, no longer remained silent, a little aversion and scorn for his visitors came over Zarathustra, although he rejoiced at their gladness. For it seemed to him a sign of convalescence. So he slipped out into the open air and spake to his animals.
"Whither hath their distress now gone?" said he, and already did he himself feel relieved of his petty disgust—"with me, it seemeth that they have unlearned their cries of distress!
—Though, alas! not yet their crying." And Zarathustra stopped his ears, for just then did the YE-A of the ass mix strangely with the noisy jubilation of those higher men.
"They are merry," he began again, "and who knoweth? perhaps at their host's expense; and if they have learned of me to laugh, still it is not my laughter they have learned.
But what matter about that! They are old people: they recover in their own way, they laugh in their own way; mine ears have already endured worse and have not become peevish.
This day is a victory: he already yieldeth, he fleeth, the spirit of gravity, mine old arch-enemy! How well this day is about to end, which began so badly and gloomily!
And it is about to end. Already cometh the evening: over the sea rideth it hither, the good rider! How it bobbeth, the blessed one, the home-returning one, in its purple saddles!
The sky gazeth brightly thereon, the world lieth deep. Oh, all ye strange ones who have come to me, it is already worth while to have lived with me!"
Thus spake Zarathustra. And again came the cries and laughter of the higher men out of the cave: then began he anew:
"They bite at it, my bait taketh, there departeth also from them their enemy, the spirit of gravity. Now do they learn to laugh at themselves: do I hear rightly?
My virile food taketh effect, my strong and savoury sayings: and verily, I did not nourish them with flatulent vegetables! But with warrior-food, with conqueror-food: new desires did I awaken.
New hopes are in their arms and legs, their hearts expand. They find new words, soon will their spirits breathe wantonness.
Such food may sure enough not be proper for children, nor even for longing girls old and young. One persuadeth their bowels otherwise; I am not their physician and teacher.
The disgust departeth from these higher men; well! that is my victory. In my domain they become assured; all stupid shame fleeth away; they empty themselves.
They empty their hearts, good times return unto them, they keep holiday and ruminate,—they become thankful.
That do I take as the best sign: they become thankful. Not long will it be ere they devise festivals, and put up memorials to their old joys.
They are convalescents!" Thus spake Zarathustra joyfully to his heart and gazed outward; his animals, however, pressed up to him, and honoured his happiness and his silence.
All on a sudden however, Zarathustra's ear was frightened: for the cave which had hitherto been full of noise and laughter, became all at once still as death;—his nose, however, smelt a sweet-scented vapour and incense-odour, as if from burning pine-cones.
"What happeneth? What are they about?" he asked himself, and stole up to the entrance, that he might be able unobserved to see his guests. But wonder upon wonder! what was he then obliged to behold with his own eyes!
"They have all of them become pious again, they pray, they are mad!"—said he, and was astonished beyond measure. And forsooth! all these higher men, the two kings, the pope out of service, the evil magician, the voluntary beggar, the wanderer and shadow, the old soothsayer, the spiritually conscientious one, and the ugliest man—they all lay on their knees like children and credulous old women, and worshipped the ass. And just then began the ugliest man to gurgle and snort, as if something unutterable in him tried to find expression; when, however, he had actually found words, behold! it was a pious, strange litany in praise of the adored and censed ass. And the litany sounded thus:
Amen! And glory and honour and wisdom and thanks and praise and strength be to our God, from everlasting to everlasting!
—The ass, however, here brayed YE-A.
He carried our burdens, he hath taken upon him the form of a servant, he is patient of heart and never saith Nay; and he who loveth his God chastiseth him.
—The ass, however, here brayed YE-A.
He speaketh not: except that he ever saith Yea to the world which he created: thus doth he extol his world. It is his artfulness that speaketh not: thus is he rarely found wrong.
—The ass, however, here brayed YE-A.
Uncomely goeth he through the world. Grey is the favourite colour in which he wrappeth his virtue. Hath he spirit, then doth he conceal it; every one, however, believeth in his long ears.
—The ass, however, here brayed YE-A.
What hidden wisdom it is to wear long ears, and only to say Yea and never Nay! Hath he not created the world in his own image, namely, as stupid as possible?
—The ass, however, here brayed YE-A.
Thou goest straight and crooked ways; it concerneth thee little what seemeth straight or crooked unto us men. Beyond good and evil is thy domain. It is thine innocence not to know what innocence is.
—The ass, however, here brayed YE-A.
Lo! how thou spurnest none from thee, neither beggars nor kings. Thou sufferest little children to come unto thee, and when the bad boys decoy thee, then sayest thou simply, YE-A.
—The ass, however, here brayed YE-A.
Thou lovest she-asses and fresh figs, thou art no food-despiser. A thistle tickleth thy heart when thou chancest to be hungry. There is the wisdom of a God therein.
—The ass, however, here brayed YE-A.
AT THIS place in the litany, however, Zarathustra could no longer control himself; he himself cried out YE-A, louder even than the ass, and sprang into the midst of his maddened guests. "Whatever are you about, ye grown-up children?" he exclaimed, pulling up the praying ones from the ground. "Alas, if any one else, except Zarathustra, had seen you:
Every one would think you the worst blasphemers, or the very foolishest old women, with your new belief!
And thou thyself, thou old pope, how is it in accordance with thee, to adore an ass in such a manner as God?"—
"O Zarathustra," answered the pope, "forgive me, but in divine matters I am more enlightened even than thou. And it is right that it should be so.
Better to adore God so, in this form, than in no form at all! Think over this saying, mine exalted friend: thou wilt readily divine that in such a saying there is wisdom.
He who said 'God is a Spirit'—made the greatest stride and slide hitherto made on earth towards unbelief: such a dictum is not easily amended again on earth!
Mine old heart leapeth and boundeth because there is still something to adore on earth. Forgive it, O Zarathustra, to an old, pious pontiff-heart!—"
—"And thou," said Zarathustra to the wanderer and shadow, "thou callest and thinkest thyself a free spirit? And thou here practisest such idolatry and hierolatry?
Worse verily, doest thou here than with thy bad brown girls, thou bad, new believer!"
"It is sad enough," answered the wanderer and shadow, "thou art right: but how can I help it! The old God liveth again, O Zarathustra, thou mayst say what thou wilt.
The ugliest man is to blame for it all: he hath reawakened him. And if he say that he once killed him, with Gods death is always just a prejudice."
—"And thou," said Zarathustra, "thou bad old magician, what didst thou do! Who ought to believe any longer in thee in this free age, when thou believest in such divine donkeyism?
It was a stupid thing that thou didst; how couldst thou, a shrewd man, do such a stupid thing!"
"O Zarathustra," answered the shrewd magician, "thou art right, it was a stupid thing,—it was also repugnant to me."
—"And thou even," said Zarathustra to the spiritually conscientious one, "consider, and put thy finger to thy nose! Doth nothing go against thy conscience here? Is thy spirit not too cleanly for this praying and the fumes of those devotees?"
"There is something therein," said the spiritually conscientious one, and put his finger to his nose, "there is something in this spectacle which even doeth good to my conscience.
Perhaps I dare not believe in God: certain it is however, that God seemeth to me most worthy of belief in this form.
God is said to be eternal, according to the testimony of the most pious: he who hath so much time taketh his time. As slow and as stupid as possible: thereby can such a one nevertheless go very far.
And he who hath too much spirit might well become infatuated with stupidity and folly. Think of thyself, O Zarathustra!
Thou thyself—verily! even thou couldst well become an ass through superabundance of wisdom.
Doth not the true sage willingly walk on the crookedest paths? The evidence teacheth it, O Zarathustra,—thine own evidence!"
—"And thou thyself, finally," said Zarathustra, and turned towards the ugliest man, who still lay on the ground stretching up his arm to the ass (for he gave it wine to drink). "Say, thou nondescript, what hast thou been about!
Thou seemest to me transformed, thine eyes glow, the mantle of the sublime covereth thine ugliness: what didst thou do?
Is it then true what they say, that thou hast again awakened him? And why? Was he not for good reasons killed and made away with?
Thou thyself seemest to me awakened: what didst thou do? why didst thou turn round? Why didst thou get converted? Speak, thou nondescript!"
"O Zarathustra," answered the ugliest man, "thou art a rogue!
Whether he yet liveth, or again liveth, or is thoroughly dead—which of us both knoweth that best? I ask thee.
One thing however do I know,—from thyself did I learn it once, O Zarathustra: he who wanteth to kill most thoroughly, laugheth.
'Not by wrath but by laughter doth one kill'—thus spakest thou once, O Zarathustra, thou hidden one, thou destroyer without wrath, thou dangerous saint,—thou art a rogue!"
Then, however, did it come to pass that Zarathustra, astonished at such merely roguish answers, jumped back to the door of his cave, and turning towards all his guests, cried out with a strong voice:
"O ye wags, all of you, ye buffoons! Why do ye dissemble and disguise yourselves before me!
How the hearts of all of you convulsed with delight and wickedness, because ye had at last become again like little children—namely, pious,—
Because ye at last did again as children do—namely, prayed, folded your hands and said 'good God'!
But now leave, I pray you, this nursery, mine own cave, where today all childishness is carried on. Cool down, here outside, your hot child-wantonness and heart-tumult!
To be sure: except ye become as little children ye shall not enter into that kingdom of heaven." (And Zarathustra pointed aloft with his hands.)
"But we do not at all want to enter into the kingdom of heaven: we have become men,—so we want the kingdom of earth."
And once more began Zarathustra to speak. "O my new friends," said he,—"ye strange ones, ye higher men, how well do ye now please me,—
Since ye have again become joyful! Ye have, verily, all blossomed forth: it seemeth to me that for such flowers as you, new festivals are required.
—A little valiant nonsense, some divine service and ass-festival, some old joyful Zarathustra fool, some blusterer to blow your souls bright.
Forget not this night and this ass-festival, ye higher men! That did ye devise when with me, that do I take as a good omen,—such things only the convalescents devise!
And should ye celebrate it again, this ass-festival, do it from love to yourselves, do it also from love to me! And in remembrance of me!"
Thus spake Zarathustra.
MEANWHILE one after another had gone out into the open air, and into the cool, thoughtful night; Zarathustra himself, however, led the ugliest man by the hand, that he might show him his night-world, and the great round moon, and the silvery water-falls near his cave. There they at last stood still beside one another; all of them old people, but with comforted, brave hearts, and astonished in themselves that it was so well with them on earth; the mystery of the night, however, came nigher and nigher to their hearts. And anew Zarathustra thought to himself: "Oh, how well do they now please me, these higher men!"—but he did not say it aloud, for he respected their happiness and their silence.—
Then, however, there happened that which in this astonishing long day was most astonishing: the ugliest man began once more and for the last time to gurgle and snort, and when he had at length found expression, behold! there sprang a question plump and plain out of his mouth, a good, deep, clear question, which moved the hearts of all who listened to him.
"My friends, all of you," said the ugliest man, "what think ye? For the sake of this day—I am for the first time content to have lived mine entire life.
And that I testify so much is still not enough for me. It is worth while living on the earth: one day, one festival with Zarathustra, hath taught me to love the earth.
'Was that—life?' will I say unto death. 'Well! Once more!'
My friends, what think ye? Will ye not, like me, say unto death: 'Was that—life? For the sake of Zarathustra, well! Once more!'"—
Thus spake the ugliest man; it was not, however, far from midnight. And what took place then, think ye? As soon as the higher men heard his question, they became all at once conscious of their transformation and convalescence, and of him who was the cause thereof: then did they rush up to Zarathustra, thanking, honouring, caressing him, and kissing his hands, each in his own peculiar way; so that some laughed and some wept. The old soothsayer, however, danced with delight; and though he was then, as some narrators suppose, full of sweet wine, he was certainly still fuller of sweet life, and had renounced all weariness. There are even those who narrate that the ass then danced: for not in vain had the ugliest man previously given it wine to drink. That may be the case, or it may be otherwise; and if in truth the ass did not dance that evening, there nevertheless happened then greater and rarer wonders than the dancing of an ass would have been. In short, as the proverb of Zarathustra saith: "What doth it matter!"
When, however, this took place with the ugliest man, Zarathustra stood there like one drunken: his glance dulled, his tongue faltered and his feet staggered. And who could divine what thoughts then passed through Zarathustra's soul? Apparently, however, his spirit retreated and fled in advance and was in remote distances, and as it were "wandering on high mountain-ridges," as it standeth written, "'twixt two seas,
—Wandering 'twixt the past and the future as a heavy cloud." Gradually, however, while the higher men held him in their arms, he came back to himself a little, and resisted with his hands the crowd of the honouring and caring ones; but he did not speak. All at once, however, he turned his head quickly, for he seemed to hear something: then laid he his finger on his mouth and said: "Come!"
And immediately it became still and mysterious round about; from the depth however there came up slowly the sound of a clock-bell. Zarathustra listened thereto, like the higher men; then, however, laid he his finger on his mouth the second time, and said again: "Come! Come! It is getting on to midnight!"—and his voice had changed. But still he had not moved from the spot. Then it became yet stiller and more mysterious, and everything hearkened, even the ass, and Zarathustra's noble animals, the eagle and the serpent,—likewise the cave of Zarathustra and the big cool moon, and the night itself. Zarathustra, however, laid his hand upon his mouth for the third time, and said:
Come! Come! Come! Let us now wander! It is the hour: let us wander into the night!
Ye higher men, it is getting on to midnight: then will I say something into your ears, as that old clock-bell saith it into mine ear,—
As mysteriously, as frightfully, and as cordially as that midnight clock-bell speaketh it to me, which hath experienced more than one man:
—Which hath already counted the smarting throbbings of your fathers' hearts—ah! ah! how it sigheth! how it laugheth in its dream! the old, deep, deep midnight!
Hush! Hush! Then is there many a thing heard which may not be heard by day; now however, in the cool air, when even all the tumult of your hearts hath become still,—
Now doth it speak, now is it heard, now doth it steal into overwakeful, nocturnal souls: ah! ah! how the midnight sigheth! how it laugheth in its dream!
—Hearest thou not how it mysteriously, frightfully, and cordially speaketh unto thee, the old deep, deep midnight?
O man, take heed!
Woe to me! Whither hath time gone? Have I not sunk into deep wells? The world sleepeth—
Ah! Ah! The dog howleth, the moon shineth. Rather will I die, rather will I die, than say unto you what my midnight-heart now thinketh.
Already have I died. It is all over. Spider, why spinnest thou around me? Wilt thou have blood? Ah! Ah! The dew falleth, the hour cometh—
The hour in which I frost and freeze, which asketh and asketh and asketh: "Who hath sufficient courage for it?
—Who is to be master of the world? Who is going to say: Thus shall ye flow, ye great and small streams!"
—The hour approacheth: O man, thou higher man, take heed! this talk is for fine ears, for thine ears—what saith deep midnight's voice indeed?
It carrieth me away, my soul danceth. Day's-work! Day's-work! Who is to be master of the world?
The moon is cool, the wind is still. Ah! Ah! Have ye already flown high enough? Ye have danced: a leg, nevertheless, is not a wing.
Ye good dancers, now is all delight over: wine hath become lees, every cup hath become brittle, the sepulchres mutter. Ye have not flown high enough: now do the sepulchres mutter: "Free the dead! Why is it so long night? Doth not the moon make us drunken?"
Ye higher men, free the sepulchres, awaken the corpses! Ah, why doth the worm still burrow? There approacheth, there approacheth, the hour,—
There boometh the clock-bell, there thrilleth still the heart, there burroweth still the wood-worm, the heart-worm. Ah! Ah! The world is deep!
Sweet lyre! Sweet lyre! I love thy tone, thy drunken, ranunculine tone!—how long, how far hath come unto me thy tone, from the distance, from the ponds of love!
Thou old clock-bell, thou sweet lyre! Every pain hath torn thy heart, father-pain, fathers'-pain, forefathers'-pain; thy speech hath become ripe,—
Ripe like the golden autumn and the afternoon, like mine anchorite heart—now sayest thou: The world itself hath become ripe, the grape turneth brown,
—Now doth it wish to die, to die of happiness. Ye higher men, do ye not feel it? There welleth up mysteriously an odour,
—A perfume and odour of eternity, a rosy-blessed, brown, gold-wine-odour of old happiness.
—Of drunken midnight-death happiness, which singeth: the world is deep, and deeper than the day could read!
Leave me alone! Leave me alone! I am too pure for thee. Touch me not! Hath not my world just now become perfect?
My skin is too pure for thy hands. Leave me alone, thou dull, doltish, stupid day! Is not the midnight brighter?
The purest are to be masters of the world, the least known, the strongest, the midnight-souls, who are brighter and deeper than any day.
O day, thou gropest for me? Thou feelest for my happiness? For thee am I rich, lonesome, a treasure-pit, a gold chamber?
O world, thou wantest me? Am I worldly for thee? Am I spiritual for thee? Am I divine for thee? But day and world, ye are too coarse,—
Have cleverer hands, grasp after deeper happiness, after deeper unhappiness, grasp after some God; grasp not after me:
—Mine unhappiness, my happiness is deep, thou strange day, but yet am I no God, no God's-hell: deep is its woe.
God's woe is deeper, thou strange world! Grasp at God's woe, not at me! What am I! A drunken sweet lyre,—
A midnight-lyre, a bell-frog, which no one understandeth, but which must speak before deaf ones, ye higher men! For ye do not understand me!
Gone! Gone! O youth! O noontide! O afternoon! Now have come evening and night and midnight,—the dog howleth, the wind:
—Is the wind not a dog? It whineth, it barketh, it howleth. Ah! Ah! how she sigheth! how she laugheth, how she wheezeth and panteth, the midnight!
How she just now speaketh soberly, this drunken poetess! hath she perhaps overdrunk her drunkenness? hath she become overawake? doth she ruminate?
—Her woe doth she ruminate over, in a dream, the old, deep midnight—and still more her joy. For joy, although woe be deep, joy is deeper still than grief can be.
Thou grape-vine! Why dost thou praise me? Have I not cut thee! I am cruel, thou bleedest:—what meaneth thy praise of my drunken cruelty?
"Whatever hath become perfect, everything mature—wanteth to die!" so sayest thou. Blessed, blessed be the vintner's knife! But everything immature wanteth to live: alas!
Woe saith: "Hence! Go! Away, thou woe!" But everything that suffereth wanteth to live, that it may become mature and lively and longing,
—Longing for the further, the higher, the brighter. "I want heirs," so saith everything that suffereth, "I want children, I do not want myself,"—
Joy, however, doth not want heirs, it doth not want children,—joy wanteth itself, it wanteth eternity, it wanteth recurrence, it wanteth everything eternally-like-itself.
Woe saith: "Break, bleed, thou heart! Wander, thou leg! Thou wing, fly! Onward! upward! thou pain!" Well! Cheer up! O mine old heart: Woe saith: "Hence! Go!"
Ye higher men, what think ye? Am I a soothsayer? Or a dreamer? Or a drunkard? Or a dream-reader? Or a midnight-bell?
Or a drop of dew? Or a fume and fragrance of eternity? Hear ye it not? Smell ye it not? Just now hath my world become perfect, midnight is also midday,—
Pain is also a joy, curse is also a blessing, night is also a sun,—go away! or ye will learn that a sage is also a fool.
Said ye ever Yea to one joy? O my friends, then said ye Yea also unto all woe. All things are enlinked, enlaced and enamoured,—
Wanted ye ever once to come twice; said ye ever: "Thou pleasest me, happiness! Instant! Moment!" then wanted ye all to come back again!
—All anew, all eternal, all enlinked, enlaced and enamoured, Oh, then did ye love the world,—
Ye eternal ones, ye love it eternally and for all time: and also unto woe do ye say: Hence! Go! but come back! For joys all want—eternity!
All joy wanteth the eternity of all things, it wanteth honey, it wanteth lees, it wanteth drunken midnight, it wanteth graves, it wanteth grave-tears' consolation, it wanteth gilded evening-red—
What doth not joy want! it is thirstier, heartier, hungrier, more frightful, more mysterious, than all woe: it wanteth itself, it biteth into itself, the ring's will writheth in it,—
It wanteth love, it wanteth hate, it is over-rich, it bestoweth, it throweth away, it beggeth for some one to take from it, it thanketh the taker, it would fain be hated,—
So rich is joy that it thirsteth for woe, for hell, for hate, for shame, for the lame, for the world,—for this world, Oh, ye know it indeed!
Ye higher men, for you doth it long, this joy, this irrepressible, blessed joy—for your woe, ye failures! For failures, longeth all eternal joy.
For joys all want themselves, therefore do they also want grief! O happiness, O pain! Oh break, thou heart! Ye higher men, do learn it, that joys want eternity.
—Joys want the eternity of all things, they want deep, profound eternity!
Have ye now learned my song? Have ye divined what it would say? Well! Cheer up! Ye higher men, sing now my roundelay!
Sing now yourselves the song, the name of which is "Once more," the signification of which is "Unto all eternity!"—sing, ye higher men, Zarathustra's roundelay!
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!"
80. The Sign
IN THE morning, however, after this night, Zarathustra jumped up from his couch, and, having girded his loins, he came out of his cave glowing and strong, like a morning sun coming out of gloomy mountains.
"Thou great star," spake he, as he had spoken once before, "thou deep eye of happiness, what would be all thy happiness if thou hadst not those for whom thou shinest!
And if they remained in their chambers whilst thou art already awake, and comest and bestowest and distributest, how would thy proud modesty upbraid for it!
Well! they still sleep, these higher men, whilst I am awake: they are not my proper companions! Not for them do I wait here in my mountains.
At my work I want to be, at my day: but they understand not what are the signs of my morning, my step—is not for them the awakening-call.
They still sleep in my cave; their dream still drinketh at my drunken songs. The audient ear for me—the obedient ear, is yet lacking in their limbs."
—This had Zarathustra spoken to his heart when the sun arose: then looked he inquiringly aloft, for he heard above him the sharp call of his eagle. "Well!" called he upwards, "thus is it pleasing and proper to me. Mine animals are awake, for I am awake.
Mine eagle is awake, and like me honoureth the sun. With eagle-talons doth it grasp at the new light. Ye are my proper animals; I love you.
But still do I lack my proper men!"—
Thus spake Zarathustra; then, however, it happened that all on a sudden he became aware that he was flocked around and fluttered around, as if by innumerable birds,—the whizzing of so many wings, however, and the crowding around his head was so great that he shut his eyes. And verily, there came down upon him as it were a cloud, like a cloud of arrows which poureth upon a new enemy. But behold, here it was a cloud of love, and showered upon a new friend.
"What happeneth unto me?" thought Zarathustra in his astonished heart, and slowly seated himself on the big stone which lay close to the exit from his cave. But while he grasped about with his hands, around him, above him and below him, and repelled the tender birds, behold, there then happened to him something still stranger: for he grasped thereby unawares into a mass of thick, warm, shaggy hair; at the same time, however, there sounded before him a roar,—a long, soft lion-roar.
"The sign cometh," said Zarathustra, and a change came over his heart. And in truth, when it turned clear before him, there lay a yellow, powerful animal at his feet, resting its head on his knee,—unwilling to leave him out of love, and doing like a dog which again findeth its old master. The doves, however, were no less eager with their love than the lion; and whenever a dove whisked over its nose, the lion shook its head and wondered and laughed.
When all this went on Zarathustra spake only a word: "My children are nigh, my children",—then he became quite mute. His heart, however, was loosed, and from his eyes there dropped down tears and fell upon his hands. And he took no further notice of anything, but sat there motionless, without repelling the animals further. Then flew the doves to and fro, and perched on his shoulder, and caressed his white hair, and did not tire of their tenderness and joyousness. The strong lion, however, licked always the tears that fell on Zarathustra's hands, and roared and growled shyly. Thus did these animals do.—
All this went on for a long time, or a short time: for properly speaking, there is no time on earth for such things—. Meanwhile, however, the higher men had awakened in Zarathustra's cave, and marshalled themselves for a procession to go to meet Zarathustra, and give him their morning greeting: for they had found when they awakened that he no longer tarried with them. When, however, they reached the door of the cave and the noise of their steps had preceded them, the lion started violently; it turned away all at once from Zarathustra, and roaring wildly, sprang towards the cave. The higher men, however, when they heard the lion roaring, cried all aloud as with one voice, fled back and vanished in an instant.
Zarathustra himself, however, stunned and strange, rose from his seat, looked around him, stood there astonished, inquired of his heart, bethought himself, and remained alone. "What did I hear?" said he at last, slowly, "what happened unto me just now?"
But soon there came to him his recollection, and he took in at a glance all that had taken place between yesterday and today. "Here is indeed the stone," said he, and stroked his beard, "on it sat I yester-morn; and here came the soothsayer unto me, and here heard I first the cry which I heard just now, the great cry of distress.
O ye higher men, your distress was it that the old soothsayer foretold to me yester-morn,—
Unto your distress did he want to seduce and tempt me: 'O Zarathustra,' said he to me, 'I come to seduce thee to thy last sin.'
To my last sin?" cried Zarathustra, and laughed angrily at his own words: "what hath been reserved for me as my last sin?"
—And once more Zarathustra became absorbed in himself, and sat down again on the big stone and meditated. Suddenly he sprang up,—
"Fellow-suffering! Fellow-suffering with the higher men!" he cried out, and his countenance changed into brass. "Well! That—hath had its time!
My suffering and my fellow-suffering—what matter about them! Do I then strive after happiness? I strive after my work!
Well! The lion hath come, my children are nigh, Zarathustra hath grown ripe, mine hour hath come:—
This is my morning, my day beginneth: arise now, arise, thou great noontide!"—
Thus spake Zarathustra and left his cave, glowing and strong, like a morning sun coming out of gloomy mountains.