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Thus Spake Zarathustra - Part Four

61. The Honey Sacrifice

-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 gazes 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, "gaze you out perhaps for your 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 say you as one who has overmuch of good things. Lie you not in a sky-blue lake of happiness?"- "You wags," answered Zarathustra, and smiled, "how well did you choose the simile! But you know also that my happiness is heavy, and not like a fluid wave of water: it presses 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 you yourself always becomes yellower and darker, although your hair looks white and flaxen? Lo, you sit in your pitch!" – "What do you say, my animals?" said Zarathustra, laughing; "verily I reviled when I spoke of pitch. As it happens with me, so is it with all fruits that turn ripe. It is the honey in my veins that makes my blood thicker, and also my soul stiller." — "So will it be, O Zarathustra," answered his animals, and pressed up to him; "but will you not today ascend a high mountain? The air is pure, and today one sees more of the world than ever."- "Yes, my animals," answered he, "you 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 spoke thus:

That I spoke 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 hermits' 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 seems 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, you human abyss!

Open up, and throw to me your 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 to 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, here-drawing, upward-drawing, upbringing; a drawer, a trainer, a training-master, who not in vain counselled himself once on a time: "Become what you are!"

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 has even unlearnt patience,- because he no longer "suffers."

For my fate gives me time: it has forgotten me perhaps? Or does it sit behind a big stone and catch flies?

And verily, I am well-disposed to my eternal fate, because it does not hound and hurry me, but leaves me time for merriment and mischief; so that I have to-day ascended this high mountain to catch fish.
Did ever any one catch fish upon high mountains? And though it be a folly what I here seek and do, it is better so than that down below I should become solemn with waiting, and green and yellow-

-A posturing wrath-snorter with waiting, a holy howl-storm from the mountains, an impatient one that shouts 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 does it concern me? But on that account it is none the less sure to 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, to which all winds come, as to the storm-parting, asking Where? and Whence? and Where?

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

And whatever belongs to 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, you bait of my happiness! Drip your sweetest dew, you honey of my heart! Bite, my fishing-hook, into the belly of all black affliction!

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

62. The Cry of Distress

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 strangles." 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 recognize each other.

"Welcome here," said Zarathustra, "you soothsayer of the great weariness, not in vain shall you once have been my messmate and guest. Eat and drink also with me to-day, and forgive it that a cheerful old man sits with you at table!"- "A cheerful old man?" answered the soothsayer, shaking his head, "but whoever you are, or would be, O Zarathustra, you have been here aloft the longest time,- in a little while your bark shall no longer rest on dry land!"- "Do I then rest on dry land?"- asked Zarathustra, laughing.- "The waves around your mountain," answered the soothsayer, "rise and rise, the waves of great distress and affliction: they will soon raise your bark also and carry you away."- Then was Zarathustra silent and wondered.- "Do you still hear nothing?" continued the soothsayer: "does 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.

"You 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 does human distress matter to me! My last sin which has been reserved for me,- know you 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 you to your 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. "Hear you? Hear you, O Zarathustra?" called out the soothsayer, "the cry concerns you, it calls you: Come, come, come; it is time, it is the highest time!"-

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

"But you know it, certainly," answered the soothsayer warmly, "why do you conceal yourself? It is the higher man that cries for you!"

"The higher man?" cried Zarathustra, horror-stricken: "what wants he? What wants he? The higher man! What wants 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, "you do not stand there like one whose happiness makes him giddy: you will have to dance lest you tumble down!

But although you should dance before me, and leap all your side-leaps, no one may say to me: 'Behold, here dances 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 Blessed 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 Blessed isles!"- -

Thus sighed the soothsayer; with his last sigh, however, Zarathustra again became serene and assured, like one who has come out of a deep chasm into the light. "No! No! Three times No!" exclaimed he with a strong voice, and stroked his beard- "that do I know better! There are still Blessed isles! Silence then, you sighing sorrow-sack!

Cease to splash, you rain-cloud of the forenoon! Do I not already stand here wet with your misery, and drenched like a dog?

Now do I shake myself and run away from you, that I may again become dry: thereat may you not wonder! Do I seem to you 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, you are a rogue!

I know it well: you would rather be rid of me! Rather would you run into the forest and lay snares for evil beasts!

But what good will it do you? In the evening will you have me again: in your own cave will I sit, patient and heavy like a block- and wait for you!"

"So be it!" shouted back Zarathustra, as he went away: "and what is my in my cave belongs also to you, my guest!

Should you however find honey therein, well! Just lick it up, you growling bear, and sweeten your soul! For in the evening we want both to be in good spirits; —-In good spirits and joyful, because this day has come to an end! And you yourself shall 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 spoke Zarathustra.

63. Talk with the Kings


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 does this harmonize? Two kings do I see — and only one ass!"

Then 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 hermit who has lived too long among rocks and trees. For no society at all spoils 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 hermits and goat-herds, than with our gilded, false, over-rouged rabble- 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 rabble- I no longer allow anything to be imposed upon me. The rabble, however- that means, hodgepodge.

Rabble-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 knows 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 chokes 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 trafficks 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 does it now matter about us kings!"-

"Thine old sickness seizes you," said here the king on the left, "thy loathing seizes you, my poor brother. You know, however, that some one hears us."

Immediately then, Zarathustra, who had opened ears and eyes to this talk, rose from his hiding-place, advanced towards the kings, and thus began:

"He who hearkens to you, he who gladly hearkens to you, is called Zarathustra.

I am Zarathustra who once said: 'What does it now matter about kings!' Forgive me; I rejoiced when you said to each other: 'What does it matter about us kings!'

Here, however, is my domain and jurisdiction: what may you be seeking in my domain? Perhaps, however, you 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 recognized!

With the sword of your utterance severest you the thickest darkness of our hearts. You have discovered our distress; for behold, 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 becomes 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 says 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 has turned harlot and harlot-stew,
Rome's Caesar a beast, and God- has 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 you!

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 does it matter how he look!
We must hear him; him who teaches: 'You shall love peace as a means to new wars, and the short peace more than the long!'

No one ever spoke such warlike words: 'What is good? To be brave is good. It is the good war that hallows 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 thirsts to drink blood, and sparkles 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, "there leads the way, there lies the cave of Zarathustra; and this day is to have a long evening! At present, however, a cry of distress calls me hastily away from you.

It will honor my cave if kings want to sit and wait in it: but, to be sure, you will have to wait long!

Well! What of that! Where does one at present learn better to wait than at courts? And the whole virtue of kings that has remained to them- is it not called to-day: Ability to wait?"

Thus spoke Zarathustra.

64. The Leech

And Zarathustra went thoughtfully on, further and lower down, through forests and past moory bottoms; as it happens, however, to every one who meditates 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 dreams of remote things on a lonesome highway, runs unawares against a sleeping dog, a dog which lies 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 to 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 then 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 are you about" called out Zarathustra in alarm, for he saw a deal of blood streaming over the naked arm,- "what has hurt you? has an evil beast bit you, you unfortunate one?"

The bleeding one laughed, still angry, "What matter is it to you!" 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."

"You are mistaken," said Zarathustra sympathetically, and held him fast; "you are mistaken. Here you are not at home, but in my domain, and therein shall no one receive any hurt.

Call me however what you wilt- I am who I must be. I call myself Zarathustra.

Well! Up there is the way to Zarathustra's cave: it is not far,- will you not attend to your wounds at my home?

It has gone badly with you, you unfortunate one, in this life: first a beast bit you, and then- a man trod upon you!"- -

When however the trodden one had heard the name of Zarathustra he was transformed. "What happens to me!" he exclaimed, "who preoccupies me so much in this life as this one man, namely Zarathustra, and that one animal that lives on blood, the leech?

For the sake of the leech did I lie here by this swamp, like a fisher, and already had my outstretched arm been bitten ten times, when there bites 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 lives; praised be the great conscience-leech Zarathustra!"
Thus spoke the trodden one, and Zarathustra rejoiced at his words and their refined reverential style. "Who are you?" asked he, and gave him his hand, "there is much to clear up and elucidate between us, but already methinks 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: there can one stand. In the true knowing-knowledge there is nothing great and nothing small."

"Then you are perhaps an expert on the leech?" asked Zarathustra; "and you investigate the leech to its ultimate basis, you 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 finds expression, for here I have not my 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 lies my black ignorance.

My spiritual conscience requires from me that it should be so- that I should know one thing, and not know all else: they are a loathing to me, all the semi-spiritual, all the hazy, hovering, and visionary.

Where my honesty ceases, 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 you once said, O Zarathustra: 'Spirit is life which itself cuts into life';- that led and allured me to your doctrine. And verily, with my own blood have I increased my own knowledge!"

-"As the evidence indicates," 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 you strange fellow, how much does this very evidence teach me- namely, you yourself! And not all, perhaps, might I pour into your rigorous ear!

Well then! We part here! But I would rather find you again. Up there is the way to my cave: to-night shall you there by my welcome guest!

Fain would I also make amends to your body for Zarathustra treading upon you with his feet: I think about that. Just now, however, a cry of distress calls me hastily away from you."

Thus spoke Zarathustra.

65. The Magician


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 you pursued, my fancy!

Ineffable! Recondite! Sore-frightening!

You huntsman 'hind the cloud-banks! Now lightning-struck by you,

You mocking eye that me in darkness watches:

-Thus do I lie,

Bend myself, twist myself, convulsed

With all eternal torture,

And smitten

By you, cruel huntsman,

You unfamiliar- God...

Smite deeper!

Smite yet once more!

Pierce through and rend my heart!

What mean'th this torture

With dull, indented arrows?

Why look'st you hither,

Of human pain not weary,

With mischief-loving, godly flash-glances?

Not murder will you,

But torture, torture?

For why- me torture,

You mischief-loving, unfamiliar God?-

Ha! Ha!

You stealest nigh

In midnight's gloomy hour?...

What will you?


You crowd me, pressest-

Ha! now far too closely!

You hearst me breathing,

You o'erhearst my heart,

You ever jealous one! -Of what, pray, ever jealous?

Off! Off!

For why the ladder?

Would you get in?

To heart in-clamber?

To mine own secretest

Conceptions in-clamber?

Shameless one! you unknown one!- Thief!

What seekst you by your stealing?

What seekst you by your hearkening?

What seekst you by your torturing?

You torturer!

You- hangman-God!

Or shall I, as the mastiffs do,

Roll me before you?

And cringing, enraptured, frantical,

My tail friendly- waggle!

In vain!

Goad further!

Cruel goader!

No dog- your game just am I,

Cruel huntsman!

Your proudest of captives,

You robber 'hind the cloud-banks...

Speak finally!

You lightning-veiled one! you unknown one! Speak!

What will you, highway-ambusher, from- me?

What will you, unfamiliar- God?



How much of ransom-gold? Solicit much- that bid'th my pride!

And be concise- that bid'th mine other pride!

Ha! Ha!

Me- wantst you? me?


Ha! Ha!

And torturest me, fool that you are,

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 most lonesome,

The ice (ah! seven-fold frozen ice

For very enemies,

For foes, do make one thirst).

Give, yield to me,

Cruel foe,

-Yourself!- -


There fled he surely,

My final, only comrade,

My greatest foe,

Mine unfamiliar-

My hangman-God!...


Come you back!

With all of your great tortures! To me the last of lonesome ones,

Oh, come you back!

All my hot tears in streamlets trickle

Their course to you!

And all my final hearty fervor-

Up-glow'th to you!

Oh, come you 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, you stage-player! you false coiner! you liar from the very heart! I know you well!

I will soon make warm legs to you, you evil magician: I know well how- to make it hot for such as you!"

-"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 belongs to my art. You yourself, I wanted to put to the proof when I gave this performance. And verily, you have well detected me!

But you yourself- have given me no small proof of yourself: you are hard, you wise Zarathustra! Hard strike you with your 'truths,' your cudgel forces from me- this truth!"

-"Flatter not," answered Zarathustra, still excited and frowning, "you stage-player from the heart! you are false: why speak you- of truth!
You peacock of peacocks, you sea of vanity; what did you represent before me, you evil magician; whom was I meant to believe in when you wailed in such wise?"

"The penitent in spirit," said the old man, "it was him- I represented; you yourself once created this expression-

-The poet and magician who at last turns his spirit against himself, the transformed one who freezes to death by his bad science and conscience.

And just acknowledge it: it was long, O Zarathustra, before you discovered my trick and lie! you believed in my distress when you held my head with both your hands,-

-I heard you lament 'we have loved him too little, loved him too little!' Because I so far deceived you, my wickedness rejoiced in me."

"You may have deceived subtler ones than I," said Zarathustra sternly. "I am not on my guard against deceivers; I have to be without precaution: so wills my lot.

You, however,- must deceive: so far do I know you! you must ever be equivocal, trivocal, quadrivocal, and quinquivocal! Even what you have now confessed, is not nearly true enough nor false enough for me!

You bad false coiner, how could you do otherwise! your very malady would you whitewash if you showed yourself naked to your physician.

Thus did you whitewash your lie before me when you said: 'I did so only for amusement!' There was also seriousness therein, you are something of a penitent-in-spirit!

I divine you well: you have become the enchanter of all the world; but for yourself you have no lie or artifice left,- you are disenchanted to yourself!

You have reaped disgust as your one truth. No word in you is any longer genuine, but your mouth is so: that is to say, the disgust that cleaves to your mouth."- -

-"Who are you at all!" cried here the old magician with defiant voice, "who dares to speak thus to 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 my arts, I am not great, why do I dissemble! But you know it well- I sought for greatness!

A great man I wanted to appear, and persuaded many; but the lie has 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 honors you," said Zarathustra gloomily, looking down with sidelong glance, "it honors you that you sought for greatness, but it betrays you also. You are not great.

You bad old magician, that is the best and the honestest thing I honor in you, that you have become weary of yourself, and have expressed it: 'I am not great.'

Therein do I honor you as a penitent-in-spirit, and although only for the twinkling of an eye, in that one moment wast you- genuine.

But tell me, what seek you here in my forests and rocks? And if you have put yourself in my way, what proof of me would you have?-

-Wherein did you put me to the test?"

Thus spoke Zarathustra, and his eyes sparkled. But the old magician kept silence for a while; then said he: "Did I put you 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!

Know you 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 there leads the way, there is the cave of Zarathustra. In it may you seek him whom you would rather find.

And ask counsel of my animals, my eagle and my serpent: they shall help you 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 rabble.

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 comes out at last.

At last bursts the frog which has inflated itself too long: then comes out the wind. To prick a swollen one in the belly, I call good pastime. Hear that, you boys!

Our today is of the popular: who still knows what is great and what is small! Who could there seek successfully for greatness! A fool only: it succeeds with fools.

You seek for great men, you strange fool? Who taught that to you? Is today the time for it? Oh, you bad seeker, why do you- tempt me?"- -

Thus spoke Zarathustra, comforted in his heart, and went laughing on his way.

66. Out of Service

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 sits disguised affliction; methinks 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 comes 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 overtakes, he sprang to his feet, and went straight towards Zarathustra.

"Whoever you are, you 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 hermit, who, alone in his forest, had not yet heard of what all the world knows at present."

"What does all the world know at present?" asked Zarathustra. "Perhaps that the old God no longer lives, in whom all the world once believed?"

"You say 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 becomes 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 spoke 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! you venerable one," said he then, "what a fine and long hand! That is the hand of one who has ever dispensed blessings. Now, however, does it hold fast him whom you seek, me, Zarathustra.
It is I, the ungodly Zarathustra, who says: 'Who is ungodlier than I, that I may enjoy his teaching?'"-

Thus spoke 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 has now also lost him most-:

-Lo, I myself am surely the most godless of us at present? But who could rejoice at that!"-

-"You served him to the last?" asked Zarathustra thoughtfully, after a deep silence, "you know 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 honors you that you speak only in praise of this dead one, yet you know 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, knows everything, and many a thing even which a master hides from himself.

He was a hidden God, full of secrecy. He did not come by his son otherwise than by secret ways. At the door of his faith stands adultery.

Whoever extolls him as a God of love, does not think highly enough of love itself. Did not that God want also to be judge? But the loving one loves 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 favorites.

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."- -

"You old pope," said here Zarathustra interposing, "have you seen that with your 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 my ears and eyes; worse than that I should not like to say against him.

I love everything that looks bright and speaks honestly. But he- you know it, you old priest, there was something of your 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, you are more pious than you believe, with such an unbelief! Some god in you has converted you to your ungodliness.

Is it not your piety itself which no longer lets you believe in a God? And your over-great honesty will yet lead you even beyond good and evil!

Behold, what has been reserved for you? you have eyes and hands and mouth, which have been predestined for blessing from eternity. One does not bless with the hand alone.

Near to you, though you profess to be the ungodliest one, I feel a hale and holy odour of long benedictions: I feel glad and grieved thereby.

Let me be your guest, O Zarathustra, for a single night! Nowhere on earth shall I now feel better than with you!"-

"Amen! So shall it be!" said Zarathustra, with great astonishment; "up there leads the way, there lies the cave of Zarathustra.

Gladly would I conduct you there myself, you venerable one; for I love all pious men. But now a cry of distress calls me hastily away from you.

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 your melancholy off your shoulders? For that I am too weak. Long, verily, should we have to wait until some one re-awoke your God for you.

For that old God lives no more: he is indeed dead."-

Thus spoke Zarathustra.

67. The Ugliest Man

-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, "has 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 gurgles and rattles 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 you back; here is smooth ice! See to it, see to it, that your pride does not here break its legs!

You think yourself wise, you proud Zarathustra! Read then the riddle, you hard nut-cracker,- the riddle that I am! Say then: who am I!"

-When however Zarathustra had heard these words,- what think you then took place in his soul? Pity overcame him; and he sank down all at once, like an oak that has 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 you well," said he, with a brazen voice, "you are the murderer of God! Let me go.

You could not endure him who beheld you,- who ever beheld you through and through, you ugliest man. You took revenge on this witness!"

Thus spoke 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 you to the ground: hail to you, O Zarathustra, that you are again upon your feet!

You have divined, I know it well, how the man feels 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 to you? Stay, sit down! Do not however look at me! Honor thus- my ugliness!

They persecute me: now are you my last refuge. Not with their hatred, not with their bailiffs;- Oh, such persecution would I mock at, and be proud and cheerful!

Has not all success hitherto been with the well-persecuted ones? And he who persecutes well learns 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 you. O Zarathustra, protect me, you, my last refuge, you sole one who divined me:

-You have divined how the man feels who killed him. Stay! And if you will go, you impatient one, go not the way that I came. That way is bad.

Are you angry with me because I have already racked language too long? Because I have already counselled you? 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 you passed me by in silence, that you blushed- I saw it well: thereby did I know you 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 did you divine.
For that I am too rich, rich in what is great, frightful, ugliest, most unutterable! your shame, O Zarathustra, honored me!

With difficulty did I get out of the crowd of the pitiful,- that I might find the only one who at present teaches that 'pity is obtrusive'- yourself, 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 rushes 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 looks over the backs of thronging flocks of sheep. They are petty, good-wooled, good-willed, grey people.

As the heron looks 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 spoke who himself sprang from them, that singular saint and advocate of the petty people, who testified of himself: 'I- am the truth.'

That shameless one has long made the petty people greatly puffed up,- he who taught no small error when he taught: 'I- am the truth.'

Has a shameless one ever been answered more courteously?- You, however, O Zarathustra, passed him by, and said: 'No! No! Three times No!'

You warned against his error; you warned- the first to do so- against pity:- not every one, not none, but yourself and your type.

You are ashamed of the shame of the great sufferer; and verily when you say: 'From pity there comes a heavy cloud; take heed, you men!'

-When you teach: 'All creators are hard, all great love is beyond their pity:' O Zarathustra, how well versed do you seem to me in weather-signs!

You yourself, however,- warn yourself also against your pity! For many are on their way to you, many suffering, doubting, despairing, drowning, freezing ones-

I warn you also against myself. You have read my best, my worst riddle, myself, and what I have done. I know the axe that fells you.

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 spoke the ugliest man. Zarathustra however got up, and prepared to go on: for he felt frozen to the very bowels.

"You nondescript," said he, "you warned me against your path. As thanks for it I praise my to you. Behold, up there is the cave of Zarathustra.

My cave is large and deep and has many corners; there finds 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.

You outcast, who have cast yourself out, you will not live amongst men and men's pity? Well then, do like me! Thus will you learn also from me; only the doer learns.

And talk first and foremost to my animals! The proudest animal and the wisest animal- they might well be the right counsellors for us both!"- -

Thus spoke 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 loves himself. Ah, how great must that self-love be! How much contempt is opposed to it!

Even this man has loved himself, as he has despised himself,- a great lover methinks 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 has to be overcome."- -

68. The Voluntary Beggar

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 once perhaps an impatient brook had made its bed, then he turned all at once warmer and heartier again.

"What has happened to me?" he asked himself, "something warm and living quickens me; it must be in the neighborhood.

Already am I less alone; unconscious companions and brothers rove around me; their warm breath touches 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 near to them, then did he hear plainly that a human voice spoke 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 do you seek here?" called out Zarathustra in astonishment.

"What do I here seek?" answered he: "the same that you seek, you mischief-maker; that is to say, happiness upon earth.

To that end, however, I would rather learn of these kine. For I tell you that I have already talked half a morning to them, and just now were they about to give me their answer. Why do you 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 has not at present his heart, his mouth and his eyes full of disgust? you also! you also! But behold these kine!"-

Thus spoke 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 overcomer of the great disgust, this is the eye, this is the mouth, this is the heart of Zarathustra himself."

And whilst he thus spoke he kissed with o'erflowing eyes the hands of him with whom he spoke, and behaved altogether like one to whom a precious gift and jewel has fallen unawares from heaven. The kine, however, gazed at it all and wondered.

"Speak not of me, you strange one; you amiable one!" said Zarathustra, and restrained his affection, "speak to me firstly of yourself! are you 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 give upon them his abundance and his heart? But they received him not."
"But they received me not," said the voluntary beggar, "you know it, forsooth. So I went at last to the animals and to those kine."

"Then learned you," interrupted Zarathustra, "how much harder it is to give properly than to take properly, and that giving 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 has become rebellious and exclusive and haughty in its manner- in the manner of the rabble.

For the hour has come, you know it , for the great, evil, long, slow mob-and-slave-insurrection: it extends and extends!

Now does 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 breaks the necks.

Wanton avidity, bilious envy, careworn revenge, rabble-pride: all these struck my 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 do you tempt me?" answered the other. "You know it yourself 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 stinks to heaven,

-At this gilded, falsified rabble, 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-

Rabble above, rabble 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 spoke 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.

"You do violence to yourself, you Preacher-on-the-Mount, when you use such severe words. For such severity neither your mouth nor your eye have been given you.

Nor, methinks, has your stomach either: to it all such rage and hatred and foaming-over is repugnant. Your stomach wants softer things: you are not a butcher.

Rather seem you to me a plant-eater and a root-man. Perhaps you grind corn. Certainly, however, you are averse to fleshly joys, and you love honey."

"You have divined me well," answered the voluntary beggar, with lightened heart. "I love honey, I also grind corn; for I have sought out what tastes sweetly and makes pure breath:

-Also what requires 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 created ruminating and lying in the sun. They also abstain from all heavy thoughts which inflate the heart."

-"Well!" said Zarathustra, "you should also see my animals, my eagle and my serpent,- their like do not at present exist on earth.

Behold, there leads the way to my cave: be tonight its guest. And talk to my animals of the happiness of animals,-

-Until I myself come home. For now a cry of distress calls me hastily away from you. Also, should you find new honey with me, ice-cold, golden-comb-honey, eat it!

Now, however, take leave at once of your kine, you strange one! you amiable one! though it be hard for you. For they are your warmest friends and preceptors!"-

-"One excepted, whom I hold still dearer," answered the voluntary beggar. "You yourself are good, O Zarathustra, and better even than a cow!"

"Away, away with you! you evil flatterer!" cried Zarathustra mischievously, "why do you 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.

69. The Shadow

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, O Zarathustra, myself, your shadow!" But Zarathustra did not wait; for a sudden irritation came over him on account of the crowd and the crowding in his mountains. "Where has my lonesomeness gone?" spoke 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 calls me? What matter about my shadow! Let it run after me! I- run away from it."

Thus spoke 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 hermits and saints?

My folly has grown big in the mountains! Now do I hear six old fools' legs rattling behind one another!

But does Zarathustra need to be frightened by his shadow? Also, methinks that after all it has longer legs thin mine."

Thus spoke 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 scrutinized him with his glance he was frightened as by a sudden apparition, so slender, swarthy, hollow and worn-out did this follower appear.

"Who are you?" asked Zarathustra vehemently, "what do you here? And why call you yourself my shadow? you are not pleasing to me."

"Forgive me," answered the shadow, "that it is I; and if I please you not- well, O Zarathustra! therein do I admire you and your good taste.
A wanderer am I, who have walked long at your 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, you have 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 takes from me, nothing gives; I become thin- I am almost equal to a shadow.

After you, however, O Zarathustra, did I fly and hie longest; and though I hid myself from you, I was nevertheless your best shadow: wherever you have sat, there sat I also.

With you have I wandered about in the remotest, coldest worlds, like a phantom that voluntarily haunts winter roofs and snows.

With you 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 you 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 you did I unlearn the belief in words and worths and in great names. When the devil casts his skin, does 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 has become clear to me: now it does not concern me any more. Nothing lives 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 wishes 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 knows where he sails, knows what wind is good, and a fair wind for him.

What still remains to me? A heart weary and flippant; an unstable will; fluttering wings; a broken backbone.

This seeking for my home: O Zarathustra, do you know that this seeking has been my home-sickening; it eats 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 spoke the shadow, and Zarathustra's countenance lengthened at his words. "You are my shadow!" said he at last sadly.

"Your danger is not small, you free spirit and wanderer! you have had a bad day: see that a still worse evening does not overtake you!

To such unsettled ones as you, seems at last even a prisoner blessed. Did you ever see how captured criminals sleep? They sleep quietly, they enjoy their new security.

Beware lest in the end a narrow faith capture you, a hard, rigorous delusion! For now everything that is narrow and fixed seduces and tempts you.

You have lost your goal. Alas, how will you forego and forget that loss? Thereby- have you also lost your way!

You poor rover and rambler, you tired butterfly! will you have a rest and a home this evening? Then go up to my cave!

There leads the way to my cave. And now will I run quickly away from you again. Already lies 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 spoke Zarathustra.

70. At Noontide

-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 aphorism of Zarathustra says: "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 spoke thus to his heart:

"Hush! Hush! has not the world now become perfect? What has happened to me?

As a delicate wind dances invisibly upon parqueted seas, light, feather-light, so- dances sleep upon me.

No eye does it close to me, it leaves my soul awake. Light is it, verily, feather-light.

It persuades me, I know not how, it touches me inwardly with a caressing hand, it constrains me. Yes, it constrains me, so that my soul stretches itself out:-

-How long and weary it becomes, my strange soul! has a seventh-day evening come to it precisely at noontide? has it already wandered too long, blissfully, among good and ripe things?

It stretches itself out, long- longer! it lies still, my strange soul. Too many good things has it already tasted; this golden sadness oppresses it, it distorts its mouth.

-As a ship that puts into the calmest cove:- it now draws up to the land, weary of long voyages and uncertain seas. Is not the land more faithful?

As such a ship hugs the shore, tugs the shore:- then it suffices 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! Will you perhaps sing, O my soul? you lie in the grass. But this is the secret, solemn hour, when no shepherd plays his pipe.

Take care! Hot noontide sleeps on the fields. Do not sing! Hush! The world is perfect.

Do not sing, you prairie-bird, my soul! Do not even whisper! Lo- hush! The old noontide sleeps, it moves its mouth: does it not just now drink a drop of happiness-

-An old brown drop of golden happiness, golden wine? Something whisks over it, its happiness laughs. Thus- laughs a God. Hush!-

-'For happiness, how little suffices for happiness!' Thus spoke 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 makes up the best happiness. Hush!

-What has befallen me: Hark! has time flown away? Do I not fall? Have I not fallen- hark! into the well of eternity?

-What happens to me? Hush! It stings me- alas- to the heart? To the heart! Oh, break up, break up, my heart, after such happiness, after such a sting!
-What? has not the world just now become perfect? Round and ripe? Oh, for the golden round ring- where does 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, "you sleeper! you noontide sleeper! Well then, up, you old legs! It is time and more than time; many a good stretch of road is still awaiting you-

Now have you slept your fill; for how long a time? A half-eternity! Well then, up now, my old heart! For how long after such a sleep may you- remain awake?"

(But then did he fall asleep anew, and his soul spoke against him and defended itself, and lay down again)- "Leave me alone! Hush! has not the world just now become perfect? Oh, for the golden round ball!-

"Get up," said Zarathustra, "you little thief, you sluggard! What! Still stretching yourself, yawning, sighing, failing into deep wells?

Who are you 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, "you gaze at me? you hearken to my strange soul?

When will you drink this drop of dew that fell down upon all earthly things,- when will you drink this strange soul-

-When, you well of eternity! you joyous, awful, noontide abyss! when will you drink my soul back into you?"

Thus spoke 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.

71. The Greeting

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.

Then 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 scrutinized 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 spoke thus:
"You despairing ones! You 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 my own cave sits 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 seems to me that you are badly adapted for company: you make one another's hearts fretful, you that cry for help, when you sit here together? There is one that must first come,

-One who will make you laugh once more, a good jovial fool, a dancer, a wind, a wild romp, some old fool:- what think ye?

Forgive me, however, you despairing ones, for speaking such trivial words before you, unworthy, verily, of such guests! But you do not divine what makes my heart wanton:-

-You yourselves do it, and your aspect, forgive it me! For every one becomes courageous who beholds a despairing one. To encourage a despairing one- every one thinks himself strong enough to do so.

To myself have you given this power,- a good gift, my honorable guests! An excellent guest's-present! Well, do not then upbraid when I also offer you something of mine.

This is my empire and my dominion: that which is mine, however, shall this evening and tonight be yours. My 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 you have that, then take the whole hand also, yes and the heart with it! Welcome here, welcome to you, my guests!"

Thus spoke 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 you have given us your hand and your greeting, we recognize you as Zarathustra. You have humbled yourself before us; almost have you hurt our reverence-:

-Who however could have humbled himself as you have done, with such pride? That uplifts 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 brightens 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 grows more pleasingly on earth than a lofty, strong will: it is the finest growth. An entire landscape refreshes itself at one such tree.

To the pine do I compare him, O Zarathustra, which grows up like you- 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 your tree, O Zarathustra, the gloomy and ill-constituted also refresh themselves; at your look even the wavering become steady and heal their hearts.

And verily, towards your mountain and your tree do many eyes turn to-day; a great longing has arisen, and many have learned to ask: 'Who is Zarathustra?'

And those into whose ears you have at any time dripped your song and your honey: all the hidden ones, the lone-dwellers and the twain-dwellers, have simultaneously said to their hearts:

'Do 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 does he not come who has so long announced himself?' thus do many people ask; 'has solitude swallowed him up? Or should we perhaps go to him?'

Now does it come to pass that solitude itself becomes fragile and breaks open, like a grave that breaks open and can no longer hold its dead. Everywhere one sees resurrected ones.

Now do the waves rise and rise around your mountain, O Zarathustra. And however high be your height, many of them must rise up to you: your boat shall not rest much longer on dry ground.

And that we despairing ones have now come into your cave, and already no longer despair:- it is but a prognostic and a presage that better ones are on the way to you,-

-For they themselves are on the way to you, 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 you, O Zarathustra, the great hope!"

Thus spoke 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 scrutinizing eyes, and said:

"My guests, you 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 sees he does not know the good Occidentals, this sage out of the Orient!

But he means 'blunt language and bluntly'- well! That is not the worst taste in these days!")

"You may, verily, all of you be higher men," continued Zarathustra; "but for me- you 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 you appertain to me, still it is not as my right arm.

For he who himself stands, like you, on sickly and tender legs, wishes 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 you be fit for my warfare?

With you I should spoil all my victories. And many of you would tumble over if you but heard the loud beating of my drums.

Moreover, you are not sufficiently beautiful and well-born for me. I require pure, smooth mirrors for my doctrines; on your surface even my own likeness is distorted.
On your shoulders presses many a burden, many a recollection; many a mischievous dwarf squats in your corners. There is concealed rabble also in you.

And though you 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.

You are only bridges: may higher ones pass over upon you! You signify steps: so do not upbraid him who ascends 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. You yourselves are not those to 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. You have come to 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 you call the remnant of God;

-No! No! Three times No! 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, you strange ones- have you yet heard nothing of my children? And that they are on the way to me?

Do speak to me of my gardens, of my Blessed isles, of my new beautiful race- why do you not speak to me thereof?

This guests'- present do I solicit of your love, that you speak to 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 spoke Zarathustra, and stopped suddenly: 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.

72. The Last Supper

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 say you yourself: well, one thing is now more necessary to me than all others.

A word at the right time: did you not invite me to table? And here are many who have made long journeys. You do not mean to feed us merely with speeches?

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 spoke 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 does water suit weary and withered ones: we deserve wine- it alone gives 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 spoke, "it is precisely bread that hermits have not. But man does 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 wishes 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: "do 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 wishes to do away with beggars."

"Be of good cheer," replied Zarathustra, "as I am. Abide by your customs, you excellent one: grind your corn, drink your water, praise your cooking,- if only it make you glad!

I am a law only for my own; I am not a law for all. Yet he who belongs to 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 belongs to 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 spoke 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 spoke the king on the right and wondered; the ass however, with ill-will, said you-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.

73. The Higher Man


WHEN I came to men for the first time, then did I commit the hermit folly, the great folly: I appeared on the market-place.
And when I spoke to all, I spoke to 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 to me a new truth: then did I learn to say: "Of what account to me are market-place and rabble and rabble-noise and long rabble-cars!"

You higher men, learn this from me: On the market-place no one believes in higher men. But if you will speak there, very well! The rabble, however, blinks: "We are all equal."

"You higher men,"- so blinks the rabble- "there are no higher men, we are all equal; man is man, before God- we are all equal!"

Before God!- Now, however, this God has died. Before the rabble, however, we will not be equal. You higher men, away from the market-place!


Before God!- Now however this God has died! You higher men, this God was your greatest danger.

Only since he lay in the grave have you again arisen. Now only comes the great noontide, now only does the higher man become- master!

Have you understood this word, O my brothers? You are frightened: do your hearts turn giddy? does the abyss here yawn for you? does the hell-hound here yelp at you?

Well! Take heart! you higher men! Now only travails the mountain of the human future. God has died: now do we desire- the Superman to live.


The most careful ask to-day: "How is man to be maintained?" Zarathustra however asks, as the first and only one: "How is man to be overcome?"

The Superman, I have at heart; that is the first and only thing to me- and not man: not the neighbor, not the poorest, not the sorriest, not the best.-

O my brothers, 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 makes me love and hope.

In that you have despised, you higher men, that makes me hope. For the great despisers are the great reverers.

In that you have despaired, there is much to honor. For you have not learned to submit yourselves, you have not learned petty policy.

For to-day 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 originates from the servile type, and especially the rabble-mishmash:- that wishes now to be master of all human destiny- O disgust! Disgust! Disgust!

That asks and asks and never tires: "How is man to maintain himself best, longest, most pleasantly?" Thereby- are they the masters of today.

These masters of today- overcome them, O my brothers- these petty people: they are the Superman's greatest danger!

Overcome, you 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 you know not today how to live, you higher men! For thus do you live- best!


Have you courage, O my brothers? Are you stout-hearted? Not the courage before witnesses, but hermit and eagle courage, which not even a God any longer beholds?

Cold souls, mules, the blind and the drunken, I do not call stout-hearted. He has heart who knows fear, but vanquishes it; who sees the abyss, but with pride.

He who sees the abyss, but with eagle's eyes,- he who with eagle's talons grasps the abyss: he has 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!


You higher men, think you that I am here to put right what you 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?

No! No! Three times No! Always more, always better ones of your type shall perish,- for you shall always have it worse and harder. Thus only-

-Thus only grows man aloft to the height where the lightning strikes and shatters 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!

You do not yet suffer enough for me! For you suffer from yourselves, you have not yet suffered from man. You would lie if you spoke otherwise! None of you suffers from what I have suffered.- -


It is not enough for me that the lightning no longer does harm. I do not wish to conduct it away: it shall learn- to work for me.-

My wisdom has accumulated long like a cloud, it becomes stiller and darker. So does all wisdom which shall one day bear lightnings.
To 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, you higher men! For nothing is more precious to me, and rarer, than honesty.

Is this today not that of the rabble? The rabble however knows not what is great and what is small, what is straight and what is honest: it is innocently crooked, it ever lies.


Have a good distrust today you, higher men, you enheartened ones! You open-hearted ones! And keep your reasons secret! For this today is that of the rabble.

What the rabble once learned to believe without reasons, who could- refute it to them by means of reasons?

And on the market-place one convinces with gestures. But reasons make the rabble distrustful.

And when truth has once triumphed there, then ask yourselves with good distrust: "What strong error has 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, does not know what truth is.


If you 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!

You have mounted, however, on horseback? you now ride briskly up to your goal? Well, my friend! But your lame foot is also with you on horseback!

When you reach your goal, when you alight from your horse: precisely on your height, you higher man,- then will you stumble!


You creators, you 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 neighbor? Even if you act "for your neighbor"- you still do not create for him!
Unlearn, I pray you, this "for," you creators: your very virtue wishes you to have naught to do with "for" and "on account of" and "because." Against these false little words shall you stop your ears.

"For one's neighbor," is the virtue only of the petty people: there it is said "like and like," and "hand washes hand":- they have neither the right nor the power for your self-seeking!

In your self-seeking, you creators, there is the foresight and foreseeing of the pregnant! What no one's eye has yet seen, namely, the fruit- this, shelters and saves and nourishes your entire love.

Where your entire love is, namely, with your child, there is also your entire virtue! Your work, your will is your "neighbor": let no false values impose upon you!


You creators, you higher men! Whoever has to give birth is sick; whoever has given birth, however, is unclean.

Ask women: one gives birth, not because it gives pleasure. The pain makes hens and poets cackle.

You creators, in you there is much uncleanliness. That is because you have had to be mothers.

A new child: oh, how much new filth has also come into the world! Go apart! He who has 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 has already walked! How would you rise high, if your fathers' will should not rise with you?

Yet he 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 you 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, does 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 has founded for himself a penance-house and refuge-house: much good may it do! But I do not believe in it.

In solitude there grows what any one brings into it- also the brute in one's nature. Thus is solitude inadvisable to many.

Has 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 has failed- thus, you higher men, have I often seen you slink aside. A cast which you made had failed.

But what does it matter, you dice-players! You 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 you yourselves therefore- been a failure? And if you yourselves have been a failure, has man therefore- been a failure? If man, however, has been a failure: well then! never mind!


The higher its type, always the seldomer does a thing succeed. You higher men here, have you not all- been failures?

Be of good cheer; what does it matter? How much is still possible! Learn to laugh at yourselves, as you ought to laugh!

What wonder even that you have failed and only half-succeeded, you half-shattered ones! Do 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 shatters! Learn to laugh at yourselves, as you ought to laugh! You higher men, Oh, how much is still possible!

And verily, how much has already succeeded! How rich is this earth in small, good, perfect things, in well-constituted things!

Set around you small, good, perfect things, you higher men. Their golden maturity heals the heart. The perfect teaches one to hope.


What has hitherto been the greatest sin here on earth? Was it not the word of him who said: "Woe to them that laugh now!"

Did he himself find no cause for laughter on the earth? Then he sought badly. A child even finds 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 does not love? That- seems to me bad taste. Thus did he, however, this absolute one. He sprang from the rabble.

And he himself just did not love sufficiently; otherwise would he have raged less because people did not love him. All great love does not seek love:- it seeks more.

Go out of the way of all such absolute ones! They are a poor sickly type, a rabble-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 betrays whether a person already walks on his own path: just see me walk! Yet he who comes nigh to his goal, dances.

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 has light feet runs even across the mud, and dances, as upon well-swept ice.

Lift up your hearts, my brothers, high, higher! And do not forget your legs! Lift up also your legs, you good dancers, and better still, if you 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 to-day potent enough for this.

Zarathustra the dancer, Zarathustra the light one, who beckons with his pinions, one ready for flight, beckoning to 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 loves leaps and side-leaps; I myself have put on this crown!


Lift up your hearts, my brothers, high, higher! And do not forget your legs! Lift up also your legs, you good dancers, and better still if you 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 endeavors 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, you higher men: even the worst thing has two good reverse sides,-

-Even the worst thing has good dancing-legs: so learn, I pray you, you higher men, to put yourselves on your proper legs!

So unlearn, I pray you, the sorrow-sighing, and all the rabble-sadness! Oh, how sad the fools of the rabble seem to me today! This today, however, is that of the rabble.


Do like to the wind when it rushes forth from its mountain-caves: to its own piping will it dance; the seas tremble and leap under its footsteps.

That which gives wings to asses, that which milks the lionesses:- praised be that good, unruly spirit, which comes like a hurricane to all the present and to all the rabble,-

-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 dances upon fens and afflictions, as upon meadows!

Which hates the consumptive rabble-dogs, and all the ill-constituted, sullen brood:- praised be this spirit of all free spirits, the laughing storm, which blows dust into the eyes of all the melanopic and melancholic!

You higher men, the worst thing in you is that you have none of you learned to dance as you ought to dance- to dance beyond yourselves! What does it matter that you have failed!

How many things are still possible! So learn to laugh beyond yourselves! Lift up your hearts, you good dancers, high! higher! And do not forget the good laughter!

This crown of the laughter, this rose-garland crown: to you, my brothers, do I cast this crown! Laughing have I consecrated; you higher men, learn, I pray you- to laugh!

74. The Song of Melancholy


WHEN Zarathustra spoke 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 my animals? Here, here, my eagle and my serpent!

Tell me, my 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, my animals."

-And Zarathustra said once more: "I love you, my animals!" The eagle, however, and the serpent pressed close to him when he spoke 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, you higher men- let me tickle you with this complimentary and flattering name, as he himself does- already does my 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 does it wish to beseech before you, it has just its hour; in vain do I struggle with this evil spirit.

To all of you, whatever honors you like to assume in your names, whether you call yourselves 'the free spirits' or 'the conscientious,' or 'the penitents of the spirit,' or 'the unfettered,' or 'the great longers,'-

-To all of you, who like me suffer from the great loathing, to whom the old God has died, and as yet no new God lies in cradles and swaddling clothes- to all of you is my evil spirit and magic-devil favorable.

I know you, you higher men, I know him,- I know also this fiend whom I love in spite of me, this Zarathustra: he himself often seems to me like the beautiful mask of a saint,

-Like a new strange mummery in which my evil spirit, the melancholy devil, delights:- I love Zarathustra, so does it often seem to me, for the sake of my evil spirit.
But already does it attack me and constrain me, this spirit of melancholy, this evening-twilight devil: and verily, you higher men, it has a longing-

-Open your eyes!- it has a longing to come naked, whether male or female, I do not yet know: but it comes, it constrains me, alas! open your wits!

The day dies out, to all things comes now the evening, also to the best things; hear now, and see, you higher men, what devil- man or woman- this spirit of evening-melancholy is!"

Thus spoke the old magician, looked cunningly about him, and then seized his harp.


In evening's limpid air,

What time the dew's soothings

To the earth downpour,

Invisibly and unheard-

For tender shoe-gear wear

The soothing dews, like all that's kind-gentle-:

Bethinkst you then, bethinkst you, burning heart,

How once you 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 you sported,

Blindingly sunny glow-glances, gladly-hurting?
"Of truth the wooer? You?"- so taunted they-

"No! Merely poet!

A brute insidious, plundering, grovelling,

That ayou must lie,

That wittingly, wilfully, ayou must lie:

For booty lusting,

Motley masked,

Self-hidden, shrouded,

Himself his booty-

He- of truth the wooer?

No! 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:

No! 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,
Greedily-longingly, sniffing,
That you, in wild forests,
'Mong the motley-speckled fierce creatures,
Shouldest rove, sinful-sound and fine-colored,
With longing lips smacking,
Blessedly mocking, blessedly hellish, blessedly blood-thirsty,
Robbing, skulking, lying—roving:—

Or to eagles like which fixedly,
Long adown the precipice look,
Adown their precipice:——
Oh, how they whirl down now,
Thereunder, therein,
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!

Even thus,
Eaglelike, pantherlike,
Are the poet's desires,
Are thine own desires 'neath a thousand guises.

You fool! you poet!

You who all mankind viewed-

So God, as sheep-:

The God to rend within mankind,

As the sheep in mankind,

And in rending laughing-

That, that is your 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 you still, bethinkst you, burning heart,

How then you thirstedest?-

That I should banned be

From all the trueness!

Mere fool! Mere poet!

75. Science

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! you make this cave sultry and poisonous, you bad old magician!

You seduce, you false one, you subtle one, to unknown desires and deserts. And alas, that such as you 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: you teach and tempt back into prisons,-

-You old melancholy devil, out of your lament sounds a lurement: you resemble those who with their praise of chastity secretly invite to voluptuousness!

Thus spoke 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. You, however, have perhaps understood but little of my song? In you there is little of the magic spirit.

"You praise me," replied the conscientious one, "in that you separate me from yourself; very well! But, you others, what do I see? You still sit there, all of you, with lusting eyes-:
You free spirits, where has your freedom gone! You almost seem to me to resemble those who have long looked at bad girls dancing naked: your souls themselves dance!

In you, you higher men, there must be more of that which the magician calls his evil spirit of magic and deceit:- we must indeed be different.

And verily, we spoke and thought long enough together before. Zarathustra came home to his cave, for me not to be unaware that we are different.

We seek different things even here aloft, you 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 totters, when all the earth quakes. You, however, when I see what eyes you make, it almost seems to me that you seek more insecurity,

-More horror, more danger, more earthquake. You long (it almost seems so to me- forgive my presumption, you higher men)-

-You long for the worst and dangerousest life, which frightens 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 seems 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 has been longest fostered in man, inclusive of the animal which he conceals and feares in himself:- Zarathustra calls it 'the beast inside.'
Such prolonged ancient fear, at last become subtle, spiritual and intellectual- at present, me thinks, it is called Science."-

Thus spoke the conscientious one; but Zarathustra, who had just come back into his cave and had heard and divined the last conversation, 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? it seems to me, you are a fool, or else I myself am one: and quietly and quickly will I Put your 'truth' upside down.

For fear- is an exception with us. Courage, however, and adventure, and delight in the uncertain, in the unattempted- courage seems to me the entire primitive history of man.

The wildest and most courageous animals has 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 seems 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, my 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 shows 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 looks with evil eye- just see him! he dislikes me-:

-Ere night comes will he again learn to love and laud me; he cannot live long without committing such follies.
He- loves his enemies: this art knows he better than any one I have seen. But he takes revenge for it- on his friends!"

Thus spoke 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 has 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.

76. Among Daughters of the Desert


"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 has that old magician given us of his worst for our good, and lo! the good, pious pope there has tears in his eyes, and has 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 wishes to speak, much evening, much cloud, much damp air!

You have nourished us with strong food for men, and powerful aphorisms: do not let the weakly, womanly spirits attack us anew at dessert!

You alone make the air around you strong and clear. Did I ever find anywhere on earth such good air as with you in your cave?

Many lands have I seen, my nose has learned to test and estimate many kinds of air: but with you 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.

You 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 spoke 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 tastes new foreign air. Afterward he began to sing with a kind of roaring.


The deserts grow: woe him who does 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,

You 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.

Wonderful, truly!

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 small 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,

You friendly damsels dearly loved! Selah.
Hail! hail! to that whale, fishlike,

If it thus for its guest's convenience

Made things nice!- (you 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 do any

Elderly married woman.

May the Lord improve it!


Here do I sit now,

In this the small 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,

Similar, all-too-similar,

Do I lie here; by little

Flying insects

Round-sniffled and round-played,

And also by yet littler,

Foolisher, and peccabler

Wishes and phantasies,
Environed by you,

You 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 do 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,
Do bow and bend and on its haunches bob,

-One does 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 has 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-

In the sanctified precincts,

Nigh her very dearest, very tenderest,

Flapping and fluttering and flickering skirting.

Yes, if you should, you 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 most lonesome 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 you not,

Gentle spirits!
Weep you not, ye

Date-fruit spirits! Milk-bosoms!

You sweetwood-heart


Weep you no more,

Pallid Dudu!

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! honor!

Moral honor! European honor!

Blow again, continue,

Bellows-box of virtue!


Once more your roaring,

Your moral roaring!

As a virtuous lion

Nigh the daughters of deserts roaring!

-For virtue's out-howl,

You very dearest maidens,

Is more than every

European fervor, European hot-hunger!

And now do I stand here,

As European,

I can't be different, God's help to me!


The deserts grow: woe him who do them hide!

77. The Awakening


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 spoke 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 spoke to his animals.

"Where has their distress now gone?" said he, and already did he himself feel relieved of his petty disgust- "with me, it seems that they have unlearned their cries of distress!

-Though, alas! not yet their crying." And Zarathustra stopped his ears, for just then did the you-A of the ass mix strangely with the noisy jubilation of those higher men.

"They are merry," he began again, "and who knows? 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; my ears have already endured worse and have not become peevish.

This day is a victory: he already yields, he flees, the spirit of gravity, my old arch-enemy! How well this day is about to end, which began so badly and gloomily!

And it is about to end. Already comes the evening: over the sea rides it here, the good rider! How it bobs, the blessed one, the home-returning one, in its purple saddles!
The sky gazes brightly there, the world lies deep. Oh, all you strange ones who have come to me, it is already worth while to have lived with me!"

Thus spoke 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 takes, there departs also from them their enemy, the spirit of gravity. Now do they learn to laugh at themselves: do I hear rightly?

My virile food takes effect, my strong and savory 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 persuades their bowels otherwise; I am not their physician and teacher.

The disgust departs from these higher men; well! that is my victory. In my domain they become assured; all stupid shame flees away; they empty themselves.

They empty their hearts, good times return to 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 before they create festivals, and put up memorials to their old joys.

They are convalescents!" Thus spoke Zarathustra joyfully to his heart and gazed outward; his animals, however, pressed up to him, and honored 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 vapor and incense-odour, as if from burning pine-cones.

"What happens? 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 honor and wisdom and thanks and praise and strength be to our God, from everlasting to everlasting!

-The ass, however, here brayed you-A.

He carried our burdens, he has taken upon him the form of a servant, he is patient of heart and never says No; and he who loves his God chastises him.
-The ass, however, here brayed you-A.

He speaks not: except that he ever says Yes to the world which he created: thus does he extol his world. It is his artfulness that speaks not: thus is he rarely found wrong.

-The ass, however, here brayed you-A.

Uncomely goes he through the world. Grey is the favorite color in which he wraps his virtue. Has he spirit, then does he conceal it; every one, however, believes in his long ears.

-The ass, however, here brayed you-A.

What hidden wisdom it is to wear long ears, and only to say Yes and never No! has he not created the world in his own image, namely, as stupid as possible?

-The ass, however, here brayed you-A.

You go straight and crooked ways; it concerns you little what seems straight or crooked to us men. Beyond good and evil is your domain. It is your innocence not to know what innocence is.

-The ass, however, here brayed you-A.

Lo! how you spurn none from you, neither beggars nor kings. You suffer little children to come to you, and when the bad boys decoy you, then say you simply, you-A.

-The ass, however, here brayed you-A.

You love she-asses and fresh figs, you are no food-despiser. A thistle tickles your heart when you chance to be hungry. There is the wisdom of a God therein.

-The ass, however, here brayed you-A.

78. The Ass Festival


AT THIS place in the litany, however, Zarathustra could no longer control himself; he himself cried out you-A, louder even than the ass, and sprang into the midst of his maddened guests. "Whatever are you about, you 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 most foolish old women, with your new belief!

And you yourself, you old pope, how is it in accordance with you, 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 you. 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, my exalted friend: you will 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!

My old heart leaps and bounds because there is still something to adore on earth. Forgive it, O Zarathustra, to an old, pious pontiff-heart!-"

-"And you," said Zarathustra to the wanderer and shadow, "you call and think yourself a free spirit? And you here practice such idolatry and hierolatry?
Worse verily, do you here than with your bad brown girls, you bad, new believer!"

"It is sad enough," answered the wanderer and shadow, "you are right: but how can I help it! The old God lives again, O Zarathustra, you mayst say what you wilt.

The ugliest man is to blame for it all: he has reawakened him. And if he say that he once killed him, with Gods death is always just a prejudice."

-"And you," said Zarathustra, "you bad old magician, what did you do! Who ought to believe any longer in you in this free age, when you believe in such divine donkeyism?

It was a stupid thing that you didst; how could you, a shrewd man, do such a stupid thing!"

"O Zarathustra," answered the shrewd magician, "you are right, it was a stupid thing,- it was also repugnant to me."

-"And you even," said Zarathustra to the spiritually conscientious one, "consider, and put your finger to your nose! does nothing go against your conscience here? Is your 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 does good to my conscience.

Perhaps I dare not believe in God: certain it is however, that God seems 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 has so much time takes his time. As slow and as stupid as possible: thereby can such a one nevertheless go very far.

And he who has too much spirit might well become infatuated with stupidity and folly. Think of yourself, O Zarathustra!

You yourself- verily! even you could well become an ass through superabundance of wisdom.
Do not the true sage willingly walk on the crookedest paths? The evidence teaches it, O Zarathustra,- your own evidence!"

-"And you yourself, 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, you nondescript, what have you been about!

You seem to me transformed, your eyes glow, the mantle of the sublime covers your ugliness: what did you do?

Is it then true what they say, that you have again awakened him? And why? Was he not for good reasons killed and made away with?

You yourself seem to me awakened: what did you do? why did you turn round? Why did you get converted? Speak, you nondescript!"

"O Zarathustra," answered the ugliest man, "you are a rogue!

Whether he yet lives, or again lives, or is thoroughly dead- which of us both knows that best? I ask you.

One thing however do I know,- from yourself did I learn it once, O Zarathustra: he who wants to kill most thoroughly, laughs.

'Not by wrath but by laughter does one kill'- thus spoke you once, O Zarathustra, you hidden one, you destroyer without wrath, you dangerous saint,- you are 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 you wags, all of you, you fools! Why do you dissemble and disguise yourselves before me!

How the hearts of all of you convulsed with delight and wickedness, because you had at last become again like little children- namely, pious,-

-Because you at last did again as children do- namely, prayed, folded your hands and said 'good God'!

But now leave, I pray you, this nursery, my own cave, where today all childishness is carried on. Cool down, here outside, your hot child-wantonness and heart-tumult!

To be sure: except you become as little children you 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,- "you strange ones, you higher men, how well do you now please me,-

-Since you have again become joyful! You have, verily, all blossomed forth: it seems 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, you higher men! That did you create when with me, that do I take as a good omen,- such things only the convalescents create!

And should you 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 spoke Zarathustra.

79. The Drunken Song


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 closer and closer 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 my 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, has taught me to love the earth.

'Was that- life?' will I say to death. 'Well! Once more!'

My friends, what think ye? Will you not, like me, say to death: 'Was that- life? For the sake of Zarathustra, well! Once more!'"- -

Thus spoke 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, honoring, 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 aphorism of Zarathustra says: "What does 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 stands 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 honoring 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!


You higher men, it is getting on to midnight: then will I say something into your ears, as that old clock-bell says it into my ear,-

-As mysteriously, as frightfully, and as cordially as that midnight clock-bell speaks it to me, which has experienced more than one man:

-Which has already counted the smarting throbbings of your fathers' hearts- ah! ah! how it sighs! how it laughs 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 has become still,-

-Now does it speak, now is it heard, now does it steal into overwakeful, nocturnal souls: ah! ah! how the midnight sighs! how it laughs in its dream!

-Hear you not how it mysteriously, frightfully, and cordially speaks to you, the old deep, deep midnight?

O man, take heed!


Woe to me! Where has time gone? Have I not sunk into deep wells? The world sleeps-

Ah! Ah! The dog howls, the moon shins. Rather will I die, rather will I die, than say to you what my midnight-heart now thinks.

Already have I died. It is all over. Spider, why spin you around me? Will you have blood? Ah! Ah! The dew falls, the hour comes-The hour in which I frost and freeze, which asks and asks and asks: "Who has sufficient courage for it?

-Who is to be master of the world? Who is going to say: Thus shall you flow, you great and small streams!"

-The hour approaches: O man, you higher man, take heed! this talk is for fine ears, for your ears- what says deep midnight's voice indeed?


It carries me away, my soul dances. 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 you already flown high enough? You have danced: a leg, nevertheless, is not a wing.

You good dancers, now is all delight over: wine has become lees, every cup has become brittle, the sepulchres mutter.

You have not flown high enough: now do the sepulchres mutter: "Free the dead! Why is it so long night? does not the moon make us drunken?"

You higher men, free the sepulchres, awaken the corpses! Ah, why does the worm still burrow? There approaches, there approaches, the hour,-

-There booms the clock-bell, there thrills still the heart, there burrows still the wood-worm, the heart-worm. Ah! Ah! The world is deep!


Sweet lyre! Sweet lyre! I love your tone, your drunken, ranunculine tone!- how long, how far has come to me your tone, from the distance, from the ponds of love!
You old clock-bell, you sweet lyre! Every pain has torn your heart, father-pain, fathers'-pain, forefathers'-pain; your speech has become ripe,-

-Ripe like the golden autumn and the afternoon, like my hermit heart- now say you: The world itself has become ripe, the grape turns brown,

-Now does it wish to die, to die of happiness. You higher men, do you not feel it? There wells 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 sings: the world is deep, and deeper than the day could read!


Leave me alone! Leave me alone! I am too pure for you. Touch me not! has not my world just now become perfect?

My skin is too pure for your hands. Leave me alone, you 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, you grope for me? you feel for my happiness? For you am I rich, lonesome, a treasure-pit, a gold chamber?

O world, you want me? Am I worldly for you? Am I spiritual for you? Am I divine for you? But day and world, you are too coarse,-

-Have cleverer hands, grasp after deeper happiness, after deeper unhappiness, grasp after some God; grasp not after me:

-My unhappiness, my happiness is deep, you strange day, but yet am I no God, no God's-hell: deep is its woe.


God's woe is deeper, you 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 understands, but which must speak before deaf ones, you higher men! For you do not understand me!

Gone! Gone! O youth! O noontide! O afternoon! Now have come evening and night and midnight,- the dog howls, the wind:

-Is the wind not a dog? It whines, it barks, it howls. Ah! Ah! how she sighs! how she laughs, how she wheezes and pants, the midnight!

How she just now speaks soberly, this drunken poetess! has she perhaps overdrunk her drunkenness? has she become overawake? does she ruminate?

-Her woe does 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.


You grape-vine! Why do you praise me? Have I not cut you! I am cruel, you bleedest-: what means your praise of my drunken cruelty?

"Whatever has become perfect, everything mature- wants to die!" so say you. Blessed, blessed be the vintner's knife! But everything immature wants to live: alas!

Woe says: "Hence! Go! Away, you woe!" But everything that suffers wants to live, that it may become mature and lively and longing,
-Longing for the further, the higher, the brighter. "I want heirs," so says everything that suffers, "I want children, I do not want myself,"-

Joy, however, does not want heirs, it does not want children,- joy wants itself, it wants eternity, it wants recurrence, it wants everything eternally-like-itself.

Woe says: "Break, bleed, you heart! Wander, you leg! you wing, fly! Onward! upward! you pain!" Well! Cheer up! O my old heart: Woe says: "Hence! Go!"


You 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 you it not? Smell you it not? Just now has my world become perfect, midnight is also mid-day,-

Pain is also a joy, curse is also a blessing, night is also a sun,- go away! or you will learn that a sage is also a fool.

Said you ever Yes to one joy? O my friends, then said you Yes also to all woe. All things are enlinked, enlaced and enamoured,-

-Wanted you ever once to come twice; said you ever: "You please me, happiness! Instant! Moment!" then wanted you all to come back again!

-All anew, all eternal, all enlinked, enlaced and enamoured, Oh, then did you love the world,-

-You eternal ones, you love it eternally and for all time: and also to woe do you say: Hence! Go! but come back! For joys all want- eternity!


All joy wants the eternity of all things, it wants honey, it wants lees, it wants drunken midnight, it wants graves, it wants grave-tears' consolation, it wants gilded evening-red-

-What does not joy want! it is thirstier, heartier, hungrier, more frightful, more mysterious, than all woe: it wants itself, it bites into itself, the ring's will wriths in it,-

-It wants love, it wants hate, it is over-rich, it gives, it throws away, it begs for some one to take from it, it thanks the taker, it would rather be hated,-

-So rich is joy that it thirsts for woe, for hell, for hate, for shame, for the lame, for the world,- for this world, Oh, you know it indeed!

You higher men, for you does it long, this joy, this irrepressible, blessed joy- for your woe, you failures! For failures, longs all eternal joy.

For joys all want themselves, therefore do they also want grief! O happiness, O pain! Oh break, you heart! You higher men, do learn it, that joys want eternity.

-Joys want the eternity of all things, they want deep, profound eternity!


Have you now learned my song? Have you divined what it would say? Well! Cheer up! You higher men, sing now my roundelay!

Sing now yourselves the song, the name of which is "Once more," the signification of which is "To all eternity!"- sing, you higher men, Zarathustra's roundelay!
O man! Take heed!

What says 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 says: 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.

"You great star," spoke he, as he had spoken once before, "you deep eye of happiness, what would be all your happiness if you had not those for whom you shine!

And if they remained in their chambers whilst you are already awake, and come and give and distribute, how would your 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 drinks 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. My animals are awake, for I am awake.

My eagle is awake, and like me honors the sun. With eagle-talons does it grasp at the new light. You are my proper animals; I love you.

But still do I lack my proper men!"-

Thus spoke 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 pours upon a new enemy. But behold, here it was a cloud of love, and showered upon a new friend.

"What happens to 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 comes," 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 finds 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 spoke 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 to 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 to-day. "Here is indeed the stone," said he, and stroked his beard, "on it sat I yester-morn; and here came the soothsayer to me, and here heard I first the cry which I heard just now, the great cry of distress.

O you higher men, your distress was it that the old soothsayer foretold to me yester-morn,-

-To your distress did he want to seduce and tempt me: 'O Zarathustra,' said he to me, 'I come to seduce you to your last sin.'

To my last sin?" cried Zarathustra, and laughed angrily at his own words: "what has 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- has 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 has come, my children are nigh, Zarathustra has grown ripe, my hour has come:-

This is my morning, my day begins: arise now, arise, you great noontide!"- -

Thus spoke Zarathustra and left his cave, glowing and strong, like a morning sun coming out of gloomy mountains.