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Thus Spake Zarathustra - Part Three

45. The Wanderer

Then, when it was about midnight, Zarathustra went his way over the ridge of the isle, that he might arrive early in the morning at the other coast; because there he meant to embark. For there was a good roadstead there, in which foreign ships also liked to anchor: those ships took many people with them, who wished to cross over from the Blessed isles. So when Zarathustra thus ascended the mountain, he thought on the way of his many solitary wanderings from youth onwards, and how many mountains and ridges and summits he had already climbed.

I am a wanderer and mountain-climber, said he to his heart. I love not the plains, and it seems I cannot long sit still.

And whatever may still overtake me as fate and experience—a wandering will be therein, and a mountain-climbing: in the end one experiences only oneself.

The time is now past when accidents could befall me; and what could now fall to my lot which would not already be my own!

It returns only, it comes home to me at last—my own Self, and such of it as has been long abroad, and scattered among things and accidents.

And one thing more do I know: I stand now before my last summit, and before that which has been longest reserved for me. Ah, my hardest path must I ascend! Ah, I have begun my most lonesome wandering!

Yet he who is of my nature does not avoid such an hour: the hour that says to him: Now only do you go the way to your greatness! Summit and abyss- these are now comprised together!

You go the way to your greatness: now has it become your last refuge, what was hitherto your last danger!

You go the way to your greatness: it must now be your best courage that there is no longer any path behind you!

You go the way to your greatness: here shall no one steal after you! your foot itself has effaced the path behind you, and over it stands written: Impossibility.

And if all ladders henceforth fail you, then must you learn to mount upon your own head: how could you mount upward otherwise?

Upon your own head, and beyond your own heart! Now must the gentlest in you become the hardest.

He who has always much-indulged himself, sickens at last by his much-indulgence. Praises on what makes hardy! I do not praise the land where butter and honey- flow!

To learn to look away from oneself, is necessary in order to see many things.- this hardiness is needed by every mountain-climber.

Yet he who is obtrusive with his eyes as a discerner, how can he ever see more of anything than its foreground!

But you, O Zarathustra, would view the ground of everything, and its background: thus must you mount even above yourself- up, upwards, until you have even your stars under you!

Yes! To look down upon myself, and even upon my stars: that only would I call my summit, that has remained for me as my last summit!
Thus spoke Zarathustra to himself while ascending, comforting his heart with harsh maxims: for he was sore at heart as he had never been before. And when he had reached the top of the mountain-ridge, behold, there lay the other sea spread out before him; and he stood still and was long silent. The night, however, was cold at this height, and clear and starry.

I recognize my destiny, said he at last, sadly. Well! I am ready. Now has my last lonesomeness begun.

Ah, this sombre, sad sea, below me! Ah, this sombre nocturnal vexation! Ah, fate and sea! To you must I now go down!

Before my highest mountain do I stand, and before my longest wandering: therefore must I first go deeper down than I ever ascended:

-Deeper down into pain than I ever ascended, even into its darkest flood! So wills my fate. Well! I am ready.

Whence come the highest mountains? so did I once ask. Then did I learn that they come out of the sea.

That testimony is inscribed on their stones, and on the walls of their summits. Out of the deepest must the highest come to its height.-

Thus spoke Zarathustra on the ridge of the mountain where it was cold: when, however, he came into the vicinity of the sea, and at last stood alone amongst the cliffs, then had he become weary on his way, and eagerer than ever before.

Everything as yet sleeps, said he; even the sea sleeps. Drowsily and strangely does its eye gaze upon me.

But it breaths warmly- I feel it. And I feel also that it dreams. It tosses about dreamily on hard pillows.

Hark! Hark! How it groans with evil recollections! Or evil expectations?
Ah, I am sad along with you, you dusky monster, and angry with myself even for your sake.

Ah, that my hand has not strength enough! Gladly, indeed, would I free you from evil dreams!-

And while Zarathustra thus spoke, he laughed at himself with melancholy and bitterness. What! Zarathustra, said he, will you even sing consolation to the sea?

Ah, you amiable fool, Zarathustra, you too-blindly confiding one! But thus have you ever been: ever have you approached confidently all that is terrible.

Every monster would you caress. A whiff of warm breath, a little soft tuft on its paw:- and immediately were you ready to love and lure it.

Love is the danger of the most lonesome one, love to anything, if it only live! Laughable, verily, is my folly and my modesty in love!-

Thus spoke Zarathustra, and laughed thereby a second time. Then, however, he thought of his abandoned friends- and as if he had done them a wrong with his thoughts, he upbraided himself because of his thoughts. And forthwith it came to pass that the laugher wept- with anger and longing wept Zarathustra bitterly.

46. The Vision and the Riddle


WHEN it got abroad among the sailors that Zarathustra was on board the ship- for a man who came from the Blessed isles had gone on board along with him,- there was great curiosity and expectation. But Zarathustra kept silent for two days, and was cold and deaf with sadness; so that he neither answered looks nor questions. On the evening of the second day, however, he again opened his ears, though he still kept silent: for there were many curious and dangerous things to be heard on board the ship, which came from afar, and was to go still further. Zarathustra, however, was fond of all those who make distant voyages, and dislike to live without danger. And behold! when listening, his own tongue was at last loosened, and the ice of his heart broke. Then did he begin to speak thus:

To you, the daring venturers and adventurers, and whoever has embarked with cunning sails upon frightful seas,-

To you the enigma-intoxicated, the twilight-enjoyers, whose souls are allured by flutes to every treacherous gulf:

-For you dislike to grope at a thread with cowardly hand; and where you can divine, there do you hate to calculate-

To you only do I tell the enigma that I saw- the vision of the most lonesome one.-

Gloomily walked I lately in corpse-colored twilight- gloomily and sternly, with compressed lips. Not only one sun had set for me.

A path which ascended daringly among boulders, an evil, lonesome path, which neither herb nor shrub any longer cheered, a mountain-path, crunched under the daring of my foot.

Mutely marching over the scornful clinking of pebbles, trampling the stone that let it slip: thus did my foot force its way upwards.

Upwards:- in spite of the spirit that drew it downwards, towards the abyss, the spirit of gravity, my devil and archenemy.

Upwards:- although it sat upon me, half-dwarf, half-mole; paralysed, paralysing; dripping lead in my ear, and thoughts like drops of lead into my brain.

"O Zarathustra," it whispered scornfully, syllable by syllable, "you stone of wisdom! you threw yourself high, but every thrown stone must- fall!

O Zarathustra, you stone of wisdom, you sling-stone, you star-destroyer! Yourself threw you so high,- but every thrown stone- must fall!

Condemned of yourself, and to your own stoning: O Zarathustra, far indeed threw you your stone- but upon yourself will it recoil!"

Then was the dwarf silent; and it lasted long. The silence, however, oppressed me; and to be thus in pairs, one is verily lonesomer than when alone!

I ascended, I ascended, I dreamt, I thought,- but everything oppressed me. A sick one did I resemble, whom bad torture wearies, and a worse dream reawakens out of his first sleep.-

But there is something in me which I call courage: it has hitherto slain for me every dejection. This courage at last bade me stand still and say: "Dwarf! Thou! Or I!"-

For courage is the best killer,- courage which attacks: for in every attack there is sound of triumph. Man, however, is the most courageous animal: thereby has he overcome every animal. With sound of triumph has he overcome every pain; human pain, however, is the sorest pain.

Courage kills also giddiness at abysses: and where does man not stand at abysses! Is not seeing itself- seeing abysses?

Courage is the best killer: courage kills also fellow-suffering. Fellow-suffering, however, is the deepest abyss: as deeply as man looks into life, so deeply also does he look into suffering.

Courage, however, is the best killer, courage which attacks: it kills even death itself; for it says: "Was that life? Well! Once more!"

In such speech, however, there is much sound of triumph. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.-


"Halt, dwarf!" said I. "Either I- or you! I, however, am the stronger of the two:- you knowest not my abysmal thought! It- could you not endure!"

Then happened that which made me lighter: for the dwarf sprang from my shoulder, the prying sprite! And it squatted on a stone in front of me. There was however a gateway just where we halted.

"Look at this gateway! Dwarf!" I continued, "it has two faces. Two roads come together here: these has no one yet gone to the end of.

This long lane backwards: it continues for an eternity. And that long lane forward- that is another eternity.

They are antithetical to one another, these roads; they directly abut on one another:- and it is here, at this gateway that they come together. The name of the gateway is inscribed above: 'This Moment.'

But should one follow them further- and ever further and further on, think you, dwarf, that these roads would be eternally antithetical?"-

"Everything straight lies," murmured the dwarf, contemptuously. "All truth is crooked; time itself is a circle."

"You spirit of gravity!" said I wrathfully, "do not take it too lightly! Or I shall let you squat where you squat, Haltfoot,- and I carried you high!"

"Observe," continued I, "This Moment! From the gateway, This Moment, there runs a long eternal lane backwards: behind us lies an eternity.

Must not whatever can run its course of all things, have already run along that lane? Must not whatever can happen of all things have already happened, resulted, and gone by?

And if everything has already existed, what think you, dwarf, of This Moment? Must not this gateway also- have already existed?

And are not all things closely bound together in such wise that This Moment draws all coming things after it? Consequently- itself also?

For whatever can run its course of all things, also in this long lane outward- must it once more run!-

And this slow spider which creeps in the moonlight, and this moonlight itself, and you and I in this gateway whispering together, whispering of eternal things- must we not all have already existed?

-And must we not return and run in that other lane out before us, that long weird lane- must we not eternally return?"-

Thus did I speak, and always more softly: for I was afraid of my own thoughts, and arrear-thoughts. Then, suddenly did I hear a dog howl near me.

Had I ever heard a dog howl thus? My thoughts ran back. Yes! When I was a child, in my most distant childhood:

-Then did I hear a dog howl thus. And saw it also, with hair bristling, its head upwards, trembling in the still midnight, when even dogs believe in ghosts:

-So that it excited my commiseration. For just then went the full moon, silent as death, over the house; just then did it stand still, a glowing globe- at rest on the flat roof, as if on some one's property:-

Thereby had the dog been terrified: for dogs believe in thieves and ghosts. And when I again heard such howling, then did it excite my commiseration once more.

Where was now the dwarf? And the gateway? And the spider? And all the whispering? Had I dreamt? Had I awakened? 'Twixt rugged rocks did I suddenly stand alone, dreary in the dreariest moonlight.

But there lay a man! And there! The dog leaping, bristling, whining- now did it see me coming- then did it howl again, then did it cry:- had I ever heard a dog cry so for help?

And verily, what I saw, the like had I never seen. A young shepherd did I see, writhing, choking, quivering, with distorted countenance, and with a heavy black serpent hanging out of his mouth.

Had I ever seen so much loathing and pale horror on one countenance? He had perhaps gone to sleep? Then had the serpent crawled into his throat- there had it bitten itself fast.

My hand pulled at the serpent, and pulled:- in vain! I failed to pull the serpent out of his throat. Then there cried out of me: "Bite! Bite!

Its head off! Bite!"- so cried it out of me; my horror, my my hatred, my loathing, my pity, all my good and my bad cried with one voice out of me.-

You daring ones around me! You venturers and adventurers, and whoever of you have embarked with cunning sails on unexplored seas! You enigma-enjoyers!

Solve to me the enigma that I then beheld, interpret to me the vision of the most lonesome one!

For it was a vision and a foresight:- what did I then behold in parable? And who is it that must come some day?

Who is the shepherd into whose throat the serpent thus crawled? Who is the man into whose throat all the heaviest and blackest will thus crawl?

-The shepherd however bit as my cry had admonished him; he bit with a strong bite! Far away did he spit the head of the serpent:- and sprang up.-

No longer shepherd, no longer man- a transfigured being, a light-surrounded being, that laughed! Never on earth laughed a man as he laughed!

O my brothers, I heard a laughter which was no human laughter,- and now gnaws a thirst at me, a longing that is never allayed.

My longing for that laughter gnaws at me: oh, how can I still endure to live! And how could I endure to die at present!-

Thus spoke Zarathustra.

47. Involuntary Bliss

WITH such enigmas and bitterness in his heart did Zarathustra sail o'er the sea. When, however, he was four day-journeys from the Blessed isles and from his friends, then had he overcame all his pain:- triumphantly and with firm foot did he again accept his fate. And then talked Zarathustra in this wise to his exulting conscience:

Alone am I again, and like to be so, alone with the pure heaven, and the open sea; and again is the afternoon around me.

On an afternoon did I find my friends for the first time; on an afternoon, also, did I find them a second time:- at the hour when all light becomes stiller.

For whatever happiness is still on its way 'twixt heaven and earth, now seeks for lodging a luminous soul: with happiness has all light now become stiller.

O afternoon of my life! Once did my happiness also descend to the valley that it might seek a lodging: then did it find those open hospitable souls.

O afternoon of my life! What did I not surrender that I might have one thing: this living plantation of my thoughts, and this dawn of my highest hope!

Companions did the creator once seek, and children of his hope: and lo, it turned out that he could not find them, except he himself should first create them.

Thus am I in the midst of my work, to my children going, and from them returning: for the sake of his children must Zarathustra perfect himself.
For in one's heart one loves only one's child and one's work; and where there is great love to oneself, then is it the sign of pregnancy: so have I found it.

Still are my children verdant in their first spring, standing nigh one another, and shaken in common by the winds, the trees of my garden and of my best soil.

And verily, where such trees stand beside one another, there are Blessed isles!

But one day will I take them up, and put each by itself alone: that it may learn solitude and defiance and prudence.

Gnarled and crooked and with flexible hardness shall it then stand by the sea, a living lighthouse of unconquerable life.

Yonder where the storms rush down into the sea, and the snout of the mountain drinks water, shall each on a time have his day and night watches, for his testing and recognition.

Recognized and tested shall each be, to see if he be of my type and lineage:- if he be master of a long will, silent even when he speaks, and giving in such wise that he takes in giving:-

-So that he may one day become my companion, a fellow-creator and fellow-enjoyer with Zarathustra:- such a one as writes my will on my law-tablets, for the fuller perfection of all things.

And for his sake and for those like him, must I perfect myself: therefore do I now avoid my happiness, and present myself to every misfortune- for my final testing and recognition.

And verily, it were time that I went away; and the wanderer's shadow and the longest tedium and the still hour- have all said to me: "It is the highest time!"

The word blew to me through the keyhole and said "Come!" The door sprang subtly open to me, and said "Go!"
But I lay enchained to my love for my children: desire spread this snare for me- the desire for love- that I should become the prey of my children, and lose myself in them.

Desiring- that is now for me to have lost myself. I possess you, my children! In this possessing shall everything be assurance and nothing desire.

But brooding lay the sun of my love upon me, in his own juice stewed Zarathustra,- then did shadows and doubts fly past me.

For frost and winter I now longed: "Oh, that frost and winter would again make me crack and crunch!" sighed I:- then arose icy mist out of me.

My past burst its tomb, many pains buried alike woke up:- fully slept had they merely, concealed in corpse-clothes.

So called everything to me in signs: "It is time!" But I- heard not, until at last my abyss moved, and my thought bit me.

Ah, abysmal thought, which are my thought! When shall I find strength to hear you burrowing, and no longer tremble?

To my very throat throbs my heart when I hear them burrowing! your muteness even is like to strangle me, you abysmal mute one!

As yet have I never ventured to call you up; it has been enough that I- have carried you about with me! As yet have I not been strong enough for my final lion-wantonness and playfulness.

Sufficiently formidable to me has your weight ever been: but one day shall I yet find the strength and the lion's voice which will call you up!

When I shall have overcame myself therein, then will I overcome myself also in that which is greater; and a victory shall be the seal of my perfection!
Meanwhile do I sail along on uncertain seas; chance flatters me, smooth-tongued chance; forward and backward do I gaze-, still see I no end.

As yet has the hour of my final struggle not come to me- or does it come to me perhaps just now? with insidious beauty do sea and life gaze upon me round about:

O afternoon of my life! O happiness before eventide! O haven upon high seas! O peace in uncertainty! How I distrust all of you!

Distrustful am I of your insidious beauty! Like the lover am I, who distrusts too sleek smiling.

As he pushes the best-beloved before him- tender even in severity, the jealous one-, so do I push this blissful hour before me.

Away with you, you blissful hour! With you has there come to me an involuntary bliss! Ready for my severest pain do I here stand:- at the wrong time have you come!

Away with you, you blissful hour! Rather harbor there- with my children! Hasten! and bless them before eventide with my happiness!

There, already approaches eventide: the sun sinks. Away- my happiness!-

Thus spoke Zarathustra. And he waited for his misfortune the whole night; but he waited in vain. The night remained clear and calm, and happiness itself came closer and closer to him. Towards morning, however, Zarathustra laughed to his heart, and said mockingly: "Happiness runs after me. That is because I do not run after women. Happiness, however, is a woman."

48. Before Sunrise

O HEAVEN above me, you pure, you deep heaven! you abyss of light! Gazing on you, I tremble with divine desires.

Up to your height to toss myself- that is my depth! In your purity to hide myself- that is my innocence!

The God veils his beauty: thus hide you your stars. You speak not: thus proclaim you your wisdom to me.

Mute o'er the raging sea have you risen for me to-day; your love and your modesty make a revelation to my raging soul.

In that you came to me beautiful, veiled in your beauty, in that you spoke to me mutely, obvious in your wisdom:

Oh, how could I fail to divine all the modesty of your soul! Before the sun did you come to me- the most lonesome one.

We have been friends from the beginning: to us are grief, gruesomeness, and ground common; even the sun is common to us.

We do not speak to each other, because we know too much-: we keep silent to each other, we smile our knowledge to each other.

Are you not the light of my fire? have you not the sister-soul of my insight?

Together did we learn everything; together did we learn to ascend beyond ourselves to ourselves, and to smile uncloudedly:-

-Uncloudedly to smile down out of luminous eyes and out of miles of distance, when under us constraint and purpose and guilt stream like rain.

And wandered I alone, for what did my soul hunger by night and in labyrinthine paths? And climbed I mountains, whom did I ever seek, if not you, upon mountains?

And all my wandering and mountain-climbing: a necessity was it merely, and a makeshift of the unhandy one:- to fly only, wants my entire will, to fly into you!

And what have I hated more than passing clouds, and whatever taints you? And my own hatred have I even hated, because it tainted you!

The passing clouds I detest- those stealthy cats of prey: they take from you and me what is common to us- the vast unbounded Yes- and Amen- saying.

These mediators and mixers we detest- the passing clouds: those half-and-half ones, that have neither learned to bless nor to curse from the heart.

Rather will I sit in a tub under a closed heaven, rather will I sit in the abyss without heaven, than see you, you luminous heaven, tainted with passing clouds!

And oft have I longed to pin them fast with the jagged gold-wires of lightning, that I might, like the thunder, beat the drum upon their kettle-bellies:-

-An angry drummer, because they rob me of your Yes and Amen!- you heaven above me, you pure, you luminous heaven! you abyss of light!- because they rob you of my Yes and Amen.

For rather will I have noise and thunders and tempest-blasts, than this discreet, doubting cat-repose; and also amongst men do I hate most of all the soft-treaders, and half-and-half ones, and the doubting, hesitating, passing clouds.

And "he who cannot bless shall learn to curse!"- this clear teaching dropt to me from the clear heaven; this star stands in my heaven even in dark nights.

I, however, am a blesser and a Yes-sayer, if you be but around me, you pure, you luminous heaven! you abyss of light!- into all abysses do I then carry my beneficent Yes-saying.

A blesser have I become and a Yes-sayer: and therefore strove I long and was a striver, that I might one day get my hands free for blessing.

This, however, is my blessing: to stand above everything as its own heaven, its round roof, its azure bell and eternal security: and blessed is he who thus blesses!

For all things are baptized at the font of eternity, and beyond good and evil; good and evil themselves, however, are but fugitive shadows and damp afflictions and passing clouds.

It is a blessing and not a blasphemy when I teach that "above all things there stands the heaven of chance, the heaven of innocence, the heaven of hazard, the heaven of wantonness."

"Of Hazard"- that is the oldest nobility in the world; that gave I back to all things; I emancipated them from bondage under purpose.

This freedom and celestial serenity did I put like an azure bell above all things, when I taught that over them and through them, no "eternal Will"- wills.

This wantonness and folly did I put in place of that Will, when I taught that "In everything there is one thing impossible- rationality!"

A little reason, to be sure, a germ of wisdom scattered from star to star- this leaven is mixed in all things: for the sake of folly, wisdom is mixed in all things!

A little wisdom is indeed possible; but this blessed security have I found in all things, that they prefer- to dance on the feet of chance.

O heaven above me! you pure, you lofty heaven! This is now your purity to me, that there is no eternal reason-spider and reason-cobweb:-That you are to me a dancing-floor for divine chances, that you are to me a table of the Gods, for divine dice and dice-players!-

But you blush? Have I spoken unspeakable things? Have I abused, when I meant to bless you?

Or is it the shame of being two of us that makes you blush!- do you bid me go and be silent, because now- day comes?

The world is deep:- and deeper than e'er the day could read. Not everything may be uttered in presence of day. But day comes: so let us part!

O heaven above me, you modest one! you glowing one! O you, my happiness before sunrise! The day comes: so let us part!-

Thus spoke Zarathustra.

49. Virtue That Diminishes


WHEN Zarathustra was again on the continent, he did not go straightway to his mountains and his cave, but made many wanderings and questionings, and ascertained this and that; so that he said of himself jestingly: "Lo, a river that flows back to its source in many windings!" For he wanted to learn what had taken place among men during the interval: whether they had become greater or smaller. And once, when he saw a row of new houses, he marvelled, and said:
"What do these houses mean? no great soul put them up as its simile!

Did perhaps a silly child take them out of its toy-box? Would that another child put them again into the box!

And these rooms and chambers- can men go out and in there? They seem to be made for silk dolls; or for dainty-eaters, who perhaps let others eat with them."

And Zarathustra stood still and meditated. At last he said sorrowfully: "There has everything become smaller!

Everywhere do I see lower doorways: he who is of my type can still go therethrough, but- he must stoop!

Oh, when shall I arrive again at my home, where I shall no longer have to stoop- shall no longer have to stoop before the small ones!"- And Zarathustra sighed, and gazed into the distance.-

The same day, however, he spoke on the virtue that makes small.


I pass through this people and keep my eyes open: they do not forgive me for not envying their virtues.

They bite at me, because I say to them that for small people, small virtues are necessary- and because it is hard for me to understand that small people are necessary!

Here am I still like a cock in a strange farm-yard, at which even the hens peck: but on that account I am not unfriendly to the hens.

I am courteous towards them, as towards all small annoyances; to be prickly towards what is small, seems to me wisdom for hedgehogs.
They all speak of me when they sit around their fire in the evening- they speak of me, but no one thinks- of me!

This is the new stillness which I have experienced: their noise around me spreads a mantle over my thoughts.

They shout to one another: "What is this gloomy cloud about to do to us? Let us see that it does not bring a plague upon us!"

And recently did a woman seize upon her child that was coming to me: "Take the children away," cried she, "such eyes scorch children's souls."

They cough when I speak: they think coughing an objection to strong winds- they divine nothing of the boisterousness of my happiness!

"We have not yet time for Zarathustra"- so they object; but what matter about a time that "has no time" for Zarathustra?

And if they should altogether praise me, how could I go to sleep on their praise? A girdle of spines is their praise to me: it scratches me even when I take it off.

And this also did I learn among them: the praiser does as if he gave back; in truth, however, he wants more to be given him!

Ask my foot if their lauding and luring strains please it! to such measure and ticktack, it likes neither to dance nor to stand still.

To small virtues would they rather lure and laud me; to the ticktack of small happiness would they rather persuade my foot.

I pass through this people and keep my eyes open; they have become smaller, and ever become smaller:- the reason thereof is their doctrine of happiness and virtue.

For they are moderate also in virtue,- because they want comfort. With comfort, however, moderate virtue only is compatible.
To be sure, they also learn in their way to stride on and stride forward: that, I call their hobbling.- Thereby they become a hindrance to all who are in haste.

And many of them go forward, and look backwards thereby, with stiffened necks: those do I like to run up against.

Foot and eye shall not lie, nor give the lie to each other. But there is much lying among small people.

Some of them will, but most of them are willed. Some of them are genuine, but most of them are bad actors.

There are actors without knowing it amongst them, and actors without intending it-, the genuine ones are always rare, especially the genuine actors.

Of man there is little here: therefore do their women masculinize themselves. For only he who is man enough, will- save the woman in woman.

And this hypocrisy found I worst amongst them, that even those who command feign the virtues of those who serve.

"I serve, you serve, we serve"- so chants here even the hypocrisy of the rulers- and alas! if the first lord be only the first servant!

Ah, even upon their hypocrisy did my eyes' curiosity alight; and well did I divine all their fly- happiness, and their buzzing around sunny window-panes.

So much kindness, so much weakness do I see. So much justice and pity, so much weakness.

Round, fair, and considerate are they to one another, as grains of sand are round, fair, and considerate to grains of sand.

Modestly to embrace a small happiness- that do they call "submission"! and at the same time they peer modestly after a new small happiness.

In their hearts they want simply one thing most of all: that no one hurt them. Thus do they anticipate every one's wishes and do well to every one.

That, however, is cowardice, though it be called "virtue."-

And when they chance to speak harshly, those small people, then do I hear therein only their hoarseness- every draught of air makes them hoarse.

Shrewd indeed are they, their virtues have shrewd fingers. But they lack fists: their fingers do not know how to creep behind fists.

Virtue for them is what makes modest and tame: therewith have they made the wolf a dog, and man himself man's best domestic animal.

"We set our chair in the midst"- so says their smirking to me- "and as far from dying gladiators as from satisfied swine."

That, however, is- mediocrity, though it be called moderation.-


I pass through this people and let fall many words: but they know neither how to take nor how to retain them.

They wonder why I came not to revile venery and vice; and verily, I came not to warn against pickpockets either!

They wonder why I am not ready to abet and whet their wisdom: as if they had not yet enough of wiseacres, whose voices grate on my ear like slate-pencils!

And when I call out: "Curse all the cowardly devils in you, that would rather whimper and fold the hands and adore"- then do they shout: "Zarathustra is godless."
And especially do their teachers of submission shout this;- but precisely in their ears do I love to cry: "Yes! I am Zarathustra, the godless!"

Those teachers of submission! Wherever there is anything puny, or sickly, or scabby, there do they creep like lice; and only my disgust prevents me from cracking them.

Well! This is my sermon for their ears: I am Zarathustra the godless, who says: "Who is more godless than I, that I may enjoy his teaching?"

I am Zarathustra the godless: where do I find my equal? And all those are my equals who give to themselves their Will, and divest themselves of all submission.

I am Zarathustra the godless! I cook every chance in my pot. And only when it has been quite cooked do I welcome it as my food.

And verily, many a chance came imperiously to me: but still more imperiously did my Will speak to it,- then did it lie imploringly upon its knees-

-Imploring that it might find home and heart with me, and saying flatteringly: "See, O Zarathustra, how friend only comes to friend!"-

But why talk I, when no one has my ears! And so will I shout it out to all the winds:

You ever become smaller, you small people! You crumble away, you comfortable ones! You will yet perish-

-By your many small virtues, by your many small omissions, and by your many small submissions!

Too tender, too yielding: so is your soil! But for a tree to become great, it seeks to twine hard roots around hard rocks!

Also what you omit weaves at the web of all the human future; even your naught is a cobweb, and a spider that lives on the blood of the future.
And when you take, then is it like stealing, you small virtuous ones; but even among knaves honor says that "one shall only steal when one cannot rob."

"It gives itself"- that is also a doctrine of submission. But I say to you, you comfortable ones, that it takes to itself, and will ever take more and more from you!

Ah, that you would renounce all half-willing, and would decide for idleness as you decide for action!

Ah, that you understood my word: "Do ever what you will- but first be such as can will.

Love ever your neighbor as yourselves- but first be such as love themselves-

-Such as love with great love, such as love with great contempt!" Thus speaks Zarathustra the godless.-

But why talk I, when no one has my ears! It is still an hour too early for me here.

My own forerunner am I among this people, my own cockcrow in dark lanes.

But their hour comes! And there comes also mine! Hourly do they become smaller, poorer, unfruitfuller,- poor herbs! poor earth!

And soon shall they stand before me like dry grass and prairie, and verily, weary of themselves- and panting for fire, more than for water!

O blessed hour of the lightning! O mystery before noontide!- Running fires will I one day make of them, and heralds with flaming tongues:-

-Herald shall they one day with flaming tongues: It comes, it is nigh, the great noontide!

Thus spoke Zarathustra.

50. The Mount of Olives

WINTER, a bad guest, sits with me at home; blue are my hands with his friendly hand-shaking.

I honor him, that bad guest, but gladly leave him alone. Gladly do I run away from him; and when one runs well, then one escapes him!

With warm feet and warm thoughts do I run where the wind is calm- to the sunny corner of my olive-mount.

There do I laugh at my stern guest, and am still fond of him; because he clears my house of flies, and quiets many little noises.

For he suffers it not if a gnat wants to buzz, or even two of them; also the lanes makes he lonesome, so that the moonlight is afraid there at night.

A hard guest is he,- but I honor him, and do not worship, like the tenderlings, the pot-bellied fire-idol.

Better even a little teeth-chattering than idol-adoration!- so wills my nature. And especially have I a grudge against all ardent, steaming, steamy fire-idols.

Him whom I love, I love better in winter than in summer; better do I now mock at my enemies, and more heartily, when winter sits in my house.

Heartily, verily, even when I creep into bed-: there, still laughs and wantons my hidden happiness; even my deceptive dream laughs.

I, a- creeper? Never in my life did I creep before the powerful; and if ever I lied, then did I lie out of love. Therefore am I glad even in my winter-bed.
A poor bed warms me more than a rich one, for I am jealous of my poverty. And in winter she is most faithful to me.

With a wickedness do I begin every day: I mock at the winter with a cold bath: on that account grumbles my stern house-mate.

Also do I like to tickle him with a wax-taper, that he may finally let the heavens emerge from ashy-grey twilight.

For especially wicked am I in the morning: at the early hour when the pail rattles at the well, and horses neigh warmly in grey lanes:-

Impatiently do I then wait, that the clear sky may finally dawn for me, the snow-bearded winter-sky, the hoary one, the white-head,-

-The winter-sky, the silent winter-sky, which often stifles even its sun!

Did I perhaps learn from it the long clear silence? Or did it learn it from me? Or has each of us created it himself?

Of all good things the origin is a thousandfold,- all good roguish things spring into existence for joy: how could they always do so- for once only!

A good roguish thing is also the long silence, and to look, like the winter-sky, out of a clear, round-eyed countenance:-

-Like it to stifle one's sun, and one's inflexible solar will: verily, this art and this winter-roguishness have I learned well!

My best-loved wickedness and art is it, that my silence has learned not to betray itself by silence.

Clattering with diction and dice, I outwit the solemn assistants: all those stern watchers, shall my will and purpose elude.

That no one might see down into my depth and into my ultimate will- for that purpose did I create the long clear silence.
Many a shrewd one did I find: he veiled his countenance and made his water muddy, that no one might see therethrough and thereunder.

But precisely to him came the shrewder distrusters and nut-crackers: precisely from him did they fish his best-concealed fish!

But the clear, the honest, the transparent- these are for me the wisest silent ones: in them, so profound is the depth that even the clearest water does not- betray it.-

You snow-bearded, silent, winter-sky, you round-eyed whitehead above me! Oh, you heavenly parable of my soul and its wantonness!

And must I not conceal myself like one who has swallowed gold- lest my soul should be ripped up?

Must I not wear stilts, that they may overlook my long legs- all those enviers and injurers around me?

Those dingy, fire-warmed, used-up, green-tinted, ill-natured souls- how could their envy endure my happiness!

Thus do I show them only the ice and winter of my peaks- and not that my mountain winds all the solar girdles around it!

They hear only the whistling of my winter-storms: and know not that I also travel over warm seas, like longing, heavy, hot south-winds.

They commiserate also my accidents and chances:- but my word says: "Suffer the chance to come to me: innocent is it as a little child!"

How could they endure my happiness, if I did not put around it accidents, and winter-privations, and bear-skin caps, and enmantling snowflakes!

-If I did not myself commiserate their pity, the pity of those enviers and injurers!
-If I did not myself sigh before them, and chatter with cold, and patiently let myself be swathed in their pity!

This is the wise waggish-will and good-will of my soul, that it conceals not its winters and glacial storms; it conceals not its chilblains either.

To one man, solitude is the flight of the sick one; to another, it is the flight from the sick ones.

Let them hear me chattering and sighing with winter-cold, all those poor squinting knaves around me! With such sighing and chattering do I flee from their heated rooms.

Let them sympathise with me and sigh with me on account of my chilblains: "At the ice of knowledge will he yet freeze to death!"- so they mourn.

Meanwhile do I run with warm feet here and there on my olive-mount: in the sunny corner of my olive-mount do I sing, and mock at all pity.-

Thus sang Zarathustra.

51. Passing By

THUS slowly wandering through many peoples and divers cities, did Zarathustra return by round-about roads to his mountains and his cave. And behold, thereby came he unawares also to the gate of the great city. Here, however, a foaming fool, with extended hands, sprang forward to him and stood in his way. It was the same fool whom the people called "the ape of Zarathustra:" for he had learned from him something of the expression and modulation of language, and perhaps liked also to borrow from the store of his wisdom. And the fool talked thus to Zarathustra:

O Zarathustra, here is the great city: here have you nothing to seek and everything to lose.

Why would you wade through this mire? Have pity upon your foot! Spit rather on the gate of the city, and- turn back!

Here is the hell for hermits' thoughts: here are great thoughts seethed alive and boiled small.

Here do all great sentiments decay: here may only rattle-boned sensations rattle!

Smell you not already the shambles and cookshops of the spirit? Steams not this city with the fumes of slaughtered spirit?

See you not the souls hanging like limp dirty rags?- And they make newspapers also out of these rags!

Hear you not how spirit has here become a verbal game? Loathsome verbal swill does it vomit forth!- And they make newspapers also out of this verbal swill.

They hound one another, and know not where! They inflame one another, and know not why! They tinkle with their pinchbeck, they jingle with their gold.

They are cold, and seek warmth from distilled waters: they are inflamed, and seek coolness from frozen spirits; they are all sick and sore through public opinion.

All lusts and vices are here at home; but here there are also the virtuous; there is much appointable appointed virtue:-

Much appointable virtue with scribe-fingers, and hardy sitting-flesh and waiting-flesh, blessed with small breast-stars, and padded, haunchless daughters.

There is here also much piety, and much faithful spittle-licking and spittle-backing, before the God of Hosts.
"From on high," drips the star, and the gracious spittle; for the high, longs every starless bosom.

The moon has its court, and the court has its moon-calves: to all, however, that comes from the court do the mendicant people pray, and all appointable mendicant virtues.

"I serve, you serve, we serve"- so prays all appointable virtue to the prince: that the merited star may at last stick on the slender breast!

But the moon still revolves around all that is earthly: so revolves also the prince around what is earthliest of all- that, however, is the gold of the shopman.

The God of the Hosts of war is not the God of the golden bar; the prince proposes, but the shopman- disposes!

By all that is luminous and strong and good in you, O Zarathustra! Spit on this city of shopmen and return back!

Here flows all blood putridly and tepidly and frothily through all veins: spit on the great city, which is the great slum where all the scum froths together!

Spit on the city of compressed souls and slender breasts, of pointed eyes and sticky fingers-

-On the city of the obtrusive, the brazen-faced, the pen-demagogues and tongue-demagogues, the overheated ambitious:-

Where everything maimed, ill-famed, lustful, untrustful, over-mellow, sickly-yellow and seditious, festers perniciously:-

-Spit on the great city and turn back!-

Here, however, did Zarathustra interrupt the foaming fool, and shut his mouth.-

Stop this at once! called out Zarathustra, long have your speech and your species disgusted me!
Why did you live so long by the swamp, that you yourself had to become a frog and a toad?

Flows there not a tainted, frothy, swamp-blood in your own veins, when you have thus learned to croak and revile?

Why went you not into the forest? Or why did you not till the ground? Is the sea not full of green islands?

I despise your contempt; and when you warned me- why did you not warn yourself?

Out of love alone shall my contempt and my warning bird take wing; but not out of the swamp!-

They call you my ape, you foaming fool: but I call you my grunting-pig,- by your grunting, you spoil even my praise of folly.

What was it that first made you grunt? Because no one sufficiently flattered you:- therefore did you seat yourself beside this filth, that you might have cause for much grunting,-

-That you might have cause for much vengeance! For vengeance, you vain fool, is all your foaming; I have divined you well!

But your fools'-word injures me, even when you are right! And even if Zarathustra's word were a hundred times justified, you would ever- do wrong with my word!

Thus spoke Zarathustra. Then did he look on the great city and sighed, and was long silent. At last he spoke thus:

I loathe also this great city, and not only this fool. Here and there- there is nothing to better, nothing to worsen.

Woe to this great city!- And I would that I already saw the pillar of fire in which it will be consumed!

For such pillars of fire must precede the great noontide. But this has its time and its own fate.
This precept, however, give I to you, in parting, you fool: Where one can no longer love, there should one- pass by!-

Thus spoke Zarathustra, and passed by the fool and the great city.

52. The Apostates


AH, LIES everything already withered and grey which but lately stood green and many-hued on this meadow! And how much honey of hope did I carry hence into my beehives!

Those young hearts have already all become old- and not old even! only weary, ordinary, comfortable:- they declare it: "We have again become pious."

Of late did I see them run forth at early morn with valorous steps: but the feet of their knowledge became weary, and now do they malign even their morning valor!

Many of them once lifted their legs like the dancer; to them winked the laughter of my wisdom:- then did they bethink themselves. Just now have I seen them bent down- to crawl before the cross.

Around light and liberty did they once flutter like gnats and young poets. A little older, a little colder: and already are they mystifiers, and mumblers and mollycoddles.

Did perhaps their hearts despond, because solitude had swallowed me like a whale? Did their ear perhaps hearken yearningly-long for me in vain, and for my trumpet-notes and herald-calls?

-Ah! Ever are there but few of those whose hearts have persistent courage and exuberance; and in such remains also the spirit patient. The rest, however, are cowardly.

The rest: these are always the great majority, the common-place, the superfluous, the all-too-many- those all are cowardly!-

Him who is of my type, will also the experiences of my type meet on the way: so that his first companions must be corpses and fools.

His second companions, however- they will call themselves his believers,- will be a living host, with much love, much folly, much unbearded veneration.

To those believers shall he who is of my type among men not bind his heart; in those spring-times and many-hued meadows shall he not believe, who knows the fickly faint-hearted human species!

Could they do otherwise, then would they also will otherwise. The half-and-half spoil every whole. That leaves become withered,- what is there to lament about that!

Let them go and fall away, O Zarathustra, and do not lament! Better even to blow amongst them with rustling winds,-

-Blow amongst those leaves, O Zarathustra, that everything withered may run away from you the faster!-


"We have again become pious"- so do those apostates confess; and some of them are still too pusillanimous thus to confess. To them I look into the eye,- before them I say it to their face and to the blush on their cheeks: You are those who again pray!

It is shameful to pray! Not for all, but for you, and me, and whoever has his conscience in his head. For you it is shameful to pray!

You know it well: the faint-hearted devil in you, which would rather fold its arms, and place its hands in its bosom, and take it easier:- this faint-hearted devil persuades you that "there is a God!"

Thereby, however, do you belong to the light-dreading type, to whom light never permits repose: now must you daily thrust your head deeper into obscurity and vapor!

And verily, you choose the hour well: for just now do the nocturnal birds again fly abroad. The hour has come for all light-dreading people, the vesper hour and leisure hour, when they do not- "take leisure."

I hear it and smell it: it has come- their hour for hunt and procession, not indeed for a wild hunt, but for a tame, lame, snuffling, soft-treaders', soft-prayers' hunt,-

-For a hunt after susceptible simpletons: all mouse-traps for the heart have again been set! And whenever I lift a curtain, a night-moth rushes out of it.

Did it perhaps squat there along with another night-moth? For everywhere do I smell small concealed communities; and wherever there are closets there are new devotees therein, and the atmosphere of devotees.

They sit for long evenings beside one another, and say: "Let us again become like little children and say, 'good God!'"- ruined in mouths and stomachs by the pious confectioners.

Or they look for long evenings at a crafty, lurking cross-spider, that preaches prudence to the spiders themselves, and teaches that "under crosses it is good for web-spinning!"

Or they sit all day at swamps with angle-rods, and on that account think themselves profound; but whoever fishes where there are no fish, I do not even call him superficial!

Or they learn in godly-gay style to play the harp with a hymn-poet, who would rather harp himself into the heart of young girls:- for he has tired of old girls and their praises.

Or they learn to shudder with a learned semi-madcap, who waits in darkened rooms for spirits to come to him- and the spirit runs away entirely!

Or they listen to an old roving howl- and growl-piper, who has learned from the sad winds the sadness of sounds; now pips he as the wind, and preaches sadness in sad strains.

And some of them have even become night-watchmen: they know now how to blow horns, and go about at night and awaken old things which have long fallen asleep.

Five words about old things did I hear last night at the garden-wall: they came from such old, sorrowful, arid night-watchmen.

"For a father he cares not sufficiently for his children: human fathers do this better!"-

"He is too old! He now cares no more for his children,"- answered the other night-watchman.

"Has he then children? No one can prove it unless he himself prove it! I have long wished that he would for once prove it thoroughly."

"Prove? As if he had ever proved anything! Proving is difficult to him; he lays great stress on one's believing him."

"Ay! Ay! Belief saves him; belief in him. That is the way with old people! So it is with us also!"
-Thus spoke to each other the two old night-watchmen and light-scarers, and tooted then sorrowfully on their horns: so did it happen last night at the garden-wall.

To me, however, did the heart writhe with laughter, and was like to break; it knew not where to go, and sunk into the midriff.

It will be my death yet- to choke with laughter when I see asses drunken, and hear night-watchmen thus doubt about God.

Has the time not long since passed for all such doubts? Who may nowadays awaken such old slumbering, light-shunning things!

With the old Deities has it long since come to an end:- and verily, a good joyful Deity-end had they!

They did not "twilight" themselves to death- that do people fabricate! On the contrary, they- laughed themselves to death once on a time!

That took place when the ungodliest utterance came from a God himself- the utterance: "There is but one God! you shall have no other gods before me!"-

-An old grim-beard of a God, a jealous one, forgot himself in such wise:-

And all the gods then laughed, and shook upon their thrones, and exclaimed: "Is it not just divinity that there are gods, but no God?"

He that has an ear let him hear.-

Thus talked Zarathustra in the city he loved, which is surnamed "The Pied Cow." For from here he had but two days to travel to reach once more his cave and his animals; his soul, however, rejoiced unceasingly on account of the nighness of his return home.

53. The Return Home

O SOLITUDE! My home, solitude! Too long have I lived wildly in wild remoteness, to return to you without tears!

Now threaten me with the finger as mothers threaten; now smile upon me as mothers smile; now say just: "Who was it that like a whirlwind once rushed away from me?-

-Who when departing called out: 'Too long have I sat with solitude; there have I unlearned silence!' That have you learned now- surely?

O Zarathustra, everything do I know; and that you were more forsaken amongst the many, you unique one, than you ever were with me!

One thing is forsakenness, another matter is solitude: that have you now learned! And that amongst men you will ever be wild and strange:

-Wild and strange even when they love you: for above all they want to be treated indulgently!

Here, however, are you at home and house with yourself; here can you utter everything, and unbosom all motives; nothing is here ashamed of concealed, congealed feelings.

Here do all things come caressingly to your talk and flatter you: for they want to ride upon your back. On every simile do you here ride to every truth.

Honestly and openly may you here talk to all things: and verily, it sounds as praise in their ears, for one to talk to all things- directly!

Another matter, however, is forsakenness. For, do you remember, O Zarathustra? When your bird screamed overhead, when you stood in the forest, irresolute, ignorant where to go, beside a corpse:-

-When you spoke: 'Let my animals lead me! More dangerous have I found it among men than among animals:'- That was forsakenness!

And do you remember, O Zarathustra? When you sat in your isle, a well of wine giving and granting amongst empty buckets, giving and distributing amongst the thirsty:

-Until at last you alone sat thirsty amongst the drunken ones, and wailed nightly: 'Is taking not more blessed than giving? And stealing yet more blessed than taking?'- That was forsakenness!

And do you remember, O Zarathustra? When your still hour came and drove you forth from yourself, when with wicked whispering it said: 'Speak and perish!'-

-When it disgusted you with all your waiting and silence, and discouraged your humble courage: That was forsakenness!"-

O solitude! My home, solitude! How blessedly and tenderly speaks your voice to me!

We do not question each other, we do not complain to each other; we go together openly through open doors.

For all is open with you and clear; and even the hours run here on lighter feet. For in the dark, time weighs heavier upon one than in the light.

Here fly open to me all beings' words and word-cabinets: here all being wants to become words, here all becoming wants to learn of me how to talk.

Down there, however- all talking is in vain! There, forgetting and passing-by are the best wisdom: that have I learned now!
He who would understand everything in man must handle everything. But for that I have too clean hands.

I do not like even to inhale their breath; alas! that I have lived so long among their noise and bad breaths!

O blessed stillness around me! O pure odours around me! How from a deep breast this stillness fetches pure breath! How it hearkens, this blessed stillness!

But down there- there speaks everything, there is everything misheard. If one announce one's wisdom with bells, the shopmen in the market-place will out-jingle it with pennies!

Everything among them talks; no one knows any longer how to understand. Everything falls into the water; nothing falls any longer into deep wells.

Everything among them talks, nothing succeeds any longer and accomplishes itself. Everything cackles, but who will still sit quietly on the nest and hatch eggs?

Everything among them talks, everything is out-talked. And that which yesterday was still too hard for time itself and its tooth, hangs today, outchamped and outchewed, from the mouths of the men of today.

Everything among them talks, everything is betrayed. And what was once called the secret and secrecy of profound souls, belongs to-day to the street-trumpeters and other butterflies.

O human hubbub, you wonderful thing! you noise in dark streets! Now are you again behind me:- my greatest danger lies behind me!

In indulging and pitying lay ever my greatest danger; and all human hubbub wishes to be indulged and tolerated.

With suppressed truths, with fool's hand and befooled heart, and rich in petty lies of pity:- thus have I ever lived among men.
Disguised did I sit amongst them, ready to misjudge myself that I might endure them, and willingly saying to myself: "You fool, you do not know men!"

One unlearns men when one lives amongst them: there is too much foreground in all men- what can far-seeing, far-longing eyes do there!

And, fool that I was, when they misjudged me, I indulged them on that account more than myself, being habitually hard on myself, and often even taking revenge on myself for the indulgence.

Stung all over by poisonous flies, and hollowed like the stone by many drops of wickedness: thus did I sit among them, and still said to myself: "Innocent is everything petty of its pettiness!"

Especially did I find those who call themselves "the good," the most poisonous flies; they sting in all innocence, they lie in all innocence; how could they- be just towards me!

He who lives amongst the good- pity teaches him to lie. Pity makes stifling air for all free souls. For the stupidity of the good is unfathomable.

To conceal myself and my riches- that did I learn down there: for every one did I still find poor in spirit. It was the lie of my pity, that I knew in every one.

-That I saw and scented in every one, what was enough of spirit for him, and what was too much!

Their stiff wise men: I call them wise, not stiff- thus did I learn to slur over words.

The grave-diggers dig for themselves diseases. Under old rubbish rest bad vapors. One should not stir up the marsh. One should live on mountains.

With blessed nostrils do I again breathe mountain-freedom. Freed at last is my nose from the smell of all human hubbub!

With sharp breezes tickled, as with sparkling wine, sneezes my soul- sneezes, and shouts self-congratulatingly: "Health to you!"

Thus spoke Zarathustra.

54. The Three Evils


IN MY dream, in my last morning-dream, I stood today on a promontory- beyond the world; I held a pair of scales, and weighed the world.

Alas, that the rosy dawn came too early to me: she glowed me awake, the jealous one! Jealous is she always of the glows of my morning-dream.

Measurable by him who has time, weighable by a good weigher, attainable by strong pinions, divinable by divine nutcrackers: thus did my dream find the world:-

My dream, a bold sailor, half-ship, half-hurricane, silent as the butterfly, impatient as the falcon: how had it the patience and leisure to-day for world-weighing!

Did my wisdom perhaps speak secretly to it, my laughing, wide-awake day-wisdom, which mocks at all "infinite worlds"? For it says: "Where force is, there becomes number the master: it has more force."

How confidently did my dream contemplate this finite world, not new-fangledly, not old-fangledly, not timidly, not entreatingly:-

-As if a big round apple presented itself to my hand, a ripe golden apple, with a coolly-soft, velvety skin:- thus did the world present itself to me:-

-As if a tree nodded to me, a broad-branched, strong-willed tree, curved as a recline and a foot-stool for weary travellers: thus did the world stand on my promontory:-

-As if delicate hands carried a casket towards me- a casket open for the delectation of modest adoring eyes: thus did the world present itself before me today:-

-Not riddle enough to scare human love from it, not solution enough to put to sleep human wisdom:- a humanly good thing was the world to me to-day, of which such bad things are said!

How I thank my morning-dream that I thus at today's dawn, weighed the world! As a humanly good thing did it come to me, this dream and heart-comforter!

And that I may do the like by day, and imitate and copy its best, now will I put the three worst things on the scales, and weigh them humanly well.-

He who taught to bless taught also to curse: what are the three best cursed things in the world? These will I put on the scales.

Voluptuousness, passion for power, and selfishness: these three things have hitherto been best cursed, and have been in worst and falsest repute- these three things will I weigh humanly well.

Well! Here is my promontory, and there is the sea- it rolls here to me, shaggily and fawningly, the old, faithful, hundred-headed dog-monster that I love!-

Well! Here will I hold the scales over the weltering sea: and also a witness do I choose to look on- you, the hermit-tree, you, the strong-odoured, broad-arched tree that I love!-

On what bridge goes the now to the hereafter? By what constraint do the high stoop to the low? And what enjoins even the highest still- to grow upwards?-

Now stand the scales poised and at rest: three heavy questions have I thrown in; three heavy answers carries the other scale.


Voluptuousness: to all hair-shirted despisers of the body, a sting and stake; and, cursed as "the world," by all the afterworldly: for it mocks and befools all erring, misinferring teachers.

Voluptuousness: to the rabble, the slow fire at which it is burnt; to all wormy wood, to all stinking rags, the prepared heat and stew furnace.

Voluptuousness: to free hearts, a thing innocent and free, the garden-happiness of the earth, all the future's thanks-overflow to the present.

Voluptuousness: only to the withered a sweet poison; to the lion-willed, however, the great cordial, and the reverently saved wine of wines.

Voluptuousness: the great symbolic happiness of a higher happiness and highest hope. For to many is marriage promised, and more than marriage,-

-To many that are more unknown to each other than man and woman:- and who has fully understood how unknown to each other are man and woman!

Voluptuousness:- but I will have hedges around my thoughts, and even around my words, lest swine and libertine should break into my gardens!-

Passion for power: the glowing scourge of the hardest of the heart-hard; the cruel torture reserved for the cruel themselves; the gloomy flame of living pyres.

Passion for power: the wicked gadfly which is mounted on the vainest peoples; the scorner of all uncertain virtue; which rides on every horse and on every pride.

Passion for power: the earthquake which breaks and upbreaks all that is rotten and hollow; the rolling, rumbling, punitive demolisher of whited sepulchres; the flashing interrogative-sign beside premature answers.

Passion for power: before whose glance man creeps and crouches and drudges, and becomes lower than the serpent and the swine:- until at last great contempt cries out of him-,

Passion for power: the terrible teacher of great contempt, which preaches to their face to cities and empires: "Away with you!"- until a voice cries out of themselves: "Away with me!"

Passion for power: which, however, mounts alluringly even to the pure and lonesome, and up to self-satisfied elevations, glowing like a love that paints purple felicities alluringly on earthly heavens.

Passion for power: but who would call it passion, when the height longs to stoop for power! nothing sick or diseased is there in such longing and descending!

That the lonesome height may not forever remain lonesome and self-sufficing; that the mountains may come to the valleys and the winds of the heights to the plains:-

Oh, who could find the right prenomen and honoring name for such longing! "Giving virtue"- thus did Zarathustra. Once name the unnamable.

And then it happened also,- and verily, it happened for the first time!- that his word blessed selfishness, the wholesome, healthy selfishness, that springs from the powerful soul:-

-From the powerful soul, to which the high body appertains, the handsome, triumphing, refreshing body, around which everything becomes a mirror:

-The pliant, persuasive body, the dancer, whose symbol and epitome is the self-enjoying soul. Of such bodies and souls the self-enjoyment calls itself "virtue."

With its words of good and bad does such self-enjoyment shelter itself as with sacred groves; with the names of its happiness does it banish from itself everything contemptible.

Away from itself does it banish everything cowardly; it says: "Bad- that is cowardly!" Contemptible seem to it the ever-solicitous, the sighing, the complaining, and whoever pick up the most trifling advantage.

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

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

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

Hateful to it altogether, and a loathing, is he who will never defend himself, he who swallows down poisonous spittle and bad looks, the all-too-patient one, the all-endurer, the all-satisfied one: for that is the mode of slaves. Whether they be servile before gods and divine spurnings, or before men and stupid human opinions: at all kinds of slaves does it spit, this blessed selfishness!

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

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

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

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

But to all those comes now the day, the change, the sword of judgment, the great noontide: then shall many things be revealed!

And he who proclaims the ego wholesome and sacred, and selfishness blessed, verily, he, the prognosticator, speaks also what he knows: "Behold, it comes, it is night, the great noontide!"

Thus spoke Zarathustra.

55. The Spirit of Gravity


MY MOUTHPIECE- is of the people: too coarsely and cordially do I talk for Angora rabbits. And still stranger sounds my word to all ink-fish and pen-foxes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

And verily, it is no commandment for today and tomorrow to learn to love oneself. Rather is it of all arts the finest, subtlest, last and patientest.

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

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

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

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

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

Especially the strong load-bearing man in whom reverence resides. Too many extraneous heavy words and worths loads he upon himself- then seems life to him a desert!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Neither do I like those who call everything good, and this world the best of all. Those do I call the all-satisfied.
All-satisfiedness, which knows how to taste everything,- that is not the best taste! I honor the refractory, fastidious tongues and stomachs, which have learned to say "I" and "Yes" and "No."

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

Deep yellow and hot red- so wants my taste- it mixes blood with all colors. Yet he who whitewashes his house, betrays to me a whitewashed soul.

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

And there will I not reside and abide where every one spits and spews: that is now my taste,- rather would I live amongst thieves and perjurers. Nobody carries gold in his mouth.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thus spoke Zarathustra.

56. Old and New Tablets


HERE do I sit and wait, old broken law-tablets around me and also new half-written law-tablets. When comes my hour?

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

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

Meanwhile do I talk to myself as one who has time. No one tells me anything new, so I tell myself my own story.


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

An old wearisome business seemed to them all talk of virtue; and he who wished to sleep well spoke of "good" and "bad" before retiring to rest.

This somnolence did I disturb when I taught that no one yet knows what is good and bad:- unless it be the creator!

-It is he, however, who creates man's goal, and gives to the earth its meaning and its future: he only effects it that anything is good or bad.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where all time seemed to me a blessed mockery of moments, where necessity was freedom itself, which played happily with the goad of freedom:
Where I also found again my old devil and arch-enemy, the spirit of gravity, and all that it created: constraint, law, necessity and consequence and purpose and will and good and evil:-

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


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

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

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

Also new stars did I make them see, along with new nights; and over cloud and day and night, did I spread out laughter like a gay-colored canopy.

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

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

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

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

Now do I await my redemption- that I may go to them for the last time.

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

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

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

Like the sun will also Zarathustra go down: now sits he here and waits, old broken law-tablets around him, and also new law-tablets- half-written.


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

Thus demands my great love to the remotest ones: be not considerate of your neighbor! Man is something that must be overcome.

There are many divers ways and modes of overcoming: see you thereto! But only a fool thinks: "man can also be overleapt."

Overcome yourself even in your neighbor: and a right which you can seize upon, shall you not allow to be given you!

What you do can no one do to you again. Lo, there is no requital.

He who cannot command himself shall obey. And many a one can command himself, but still sorely lacks self-obedience!
Thus wishes the type of noble souls: they desire to have nothing gratuitously, least of all, life.

He who is of the rabble wishes to live gratuitously; we others, however, to whom life has given itself- we are ever considering what we can best give in return!

And verily, it is a noble dictum which says: "What life promises us, that promise will we keep- to life!"

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

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


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

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

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

In ourselves dwells he still, the old idol-priest, who broils our best for his banquet. Ah, my brothers, how could firstlings fail to be sacrifices!

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


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

Oh, those good ones! Good men never speak the truth. For the spirit, thus to be good, is a malady.

They yield, those good ones, they submit themselves; their heart repeats, their soul obeys: yet he who obeys, does not listen to himself!

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

The daring venture, the prolonged distrust, the cruel No, the tedium, the cutting-into-the-quick- how seldom do these come together! Out of such seed, however- is truth produced!

Beside the bad conscience has hitherto grown all knowledge! Break up, break up, you discerning ones, the old law-tablets!


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

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

"Over the stream all is stable, all the values of things, the bridges and bearings, all 'good' and 'evil': these are all stable!"
Comes, however, the hard winter, the stream-tamer, then learn even the wittiest distrust, and verily, not only the simpletons then say: "Should not everything- stand still?"

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

"Fundamentally stands everything still"-: but contrary thereto, preaches the thawing wind!

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

O my brothers, is not everything at present in flux? Have not all railings and gangways fallen into the water? Who would still hold on to "good" and "evil"?

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


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

Once did one believe in soothsayers and astrologers; and therefore did one believe, "Everything is fate: you shall, for you must!"

Then again did one distrust all soothsayers and astrologers; and therefore did one believe, "Everything is freedom: you can, for you will!"

O my brothers, concerning the stars and the future there has hitherto been only illusion, and not knowledge; and therefore concerning good and evil there has hitherto been only illusion and not knowledge!


"You shall not rob! you shall not kill!"- such precepts were once called sacred; before them did one bow the knee and the head, and take off one's shoes.

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

Is there not even in all life- robbing and killing? And for such precepts to be called sacred, was not truth itself thereby- slain?

-Or was it a sermon of death that called sacred what contradicted and dissuaded from life?- O my brothers, break up, break up for me the old law-tablets!


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

-Abandoned to the favor, the spirit and the madness of every generation that comes, and reinterprets all that has been as its bridge!

A great potentate might arise, an artful prodigy, who with approval and disapproval could strain and constrain all the past, until it became for him a bridge, a harbinger, a herald, and a cock-crowing.
This however is the other danger, and my other sympathy:- he who is of the rabble, his thoughts go back to his grandfather,- with his grandfather, however, does time cease.

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

Therefore, O my brothers, a new nobility is needed, which shall be the adversary of all rabble and potentate rule, and shall inscribe anew the word "noble" on new law-tablets.

For many noble ones are needed, and many kinds of noble ones, for a new nobility! Or, as I once said in parable: "That is just divinity, that there are gods, but no God!"


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

-not to a nobility which you could purchase like traders with traders' gold; for little worth is all that has its price.

Let it not be your honor henceforth whence you come, but where you go! Your Will and your feet which seek to overcome you- let these be your new honor!

Not that you have served a prince- of what account are princes now!- nor that you have become a bulwark to that which stands, that it may stand more firmly.

Not that your family have become courtly at courts, and that you have learned- gay-colored, like the flamingo- to stand long hours in shallow pools:

(For ability-to-stand is a merit in courtiers; and all courtiers believe that to blessedness after death pertains- permission-to-sit!)

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

-And verily, wherever this "Holy Spirit" led its knights, always in such campaigns did- goats and geese, and wry-heads and guy-heads run foremost!-

O my brothers, not backward shall your nobility gaze, but outward! Exiles shall you be from all fatherlands and forefather-lands!

Your children's land shall you love: let this love be your new nobility,- the undiscovered in the remotest seas! For it do I bid your sails search and search!

To your children shall you make amends for being the children of your fathers: all the past shall you thus redeem! This new table do I place over you!


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

Such ancient babbling still passes for "wisdom"; because it is old, however, and smells mustily, therefore is it the more honored. Even mould ennobles.-

Children might thus speak: they shun the fire because it has burnt them! There is much childishness in the old books of wisdom.
And he who ever "threshes straw," why should he be allowed to rail at threshing! Such a fool one would have to muzzle!

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

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


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

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

For these are all unclean spirits; especially those, however, who have no peace or rest, unless they see the world from the backside- the afterworldly!

To those do I say it to the face, although it sound unpleasantly: the world resembles man, in that it has a backside,- so much is true!

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

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

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

O my brothers, there is much wisdom in the fact that much filth is in the world!


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

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

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

"And your own reason- this shall you yourself stifle and choke; for it is a reason of this world,- thereby will you learn yourself to renounce the world."-

-Shatter, shatter, O my brothers, those old law-tablets of the pious! Tatter the maxims of the world-maligners!-


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

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

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

Because they learned badly and not the best, and everything too early and everything too fast; because they ate badly: from thence has resulted their ruined stomach;
-For a ruined stomach, is their spirit: it persuades to death! For verily, my brothers, the spirit is a stomach!

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

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

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

To them sounds it pleasant to have preached in their ears: "Nothing is worth while! You shall not will!" That, however, is a sermon for slavery.

O my brothers, a fresh blustering wind comes Zarathustra to all way-weary ones; many noses will he yet make sneeze!

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

Willing emancipates: for willing is creating: so do I teach. And only for creating shall you learn!

And also the learning shall you learn only from me, the learning well!- He who has ears let him hear!


There stands the boat- there goes it over, perhaps into vast nothingness- but who wills to enter into this "Perhaps"?

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

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

Not in vain does your lip hang down:- a small worldly wish still sits on it! And in your eye- floats there not a little cloud of unforgotten earthly bliss?

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Now glows the sun upon him, and the dogs lick at his sweat: but he lies there in his obstinacy and preferrs to languish:-

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

Better still that you let him lie where he has lain down, that sleep may come to him, the comforter, with cooling patter-rain.

Let him lie, until of his own accord he awakens,- until of his own accord he repudiates all weariness, and what weariness has taught through him!

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

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


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

But wherever you would ascend with me, O my brothers, take care lest a parasite ascend with you!

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

And this is its art: it divines where ascending souls are weary, in your trouble and dejection, in your sensitive modesty, does it build its loathsome nest.
Where the strong are weak, where the noble are all-too-gentle- there builds it its loathsome nest; the parasite lives where the great have small sore-places.

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

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

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

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

-The soul fleeing from itself, which overtakes itself in the widest circuit; the wisest soul, to which folly speaks most sweetly:-

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


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

Everything of today- it falls, it decays; who would preserve it! But I- I wish also to push it!

Know you the delight which rolls stones into precipitous depths?- Those men of today, see just how they roll into my depths!
A prelude am I to better players, O my brothers! An example! Do according to my example!

And him whom you do not teach to fly, teach I pray you- to fall faster!-


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See how these peoples themselves now do just like the traders: they pick up the small advantage out of all kinds of rubbish!
They lay lures for one another, they lure things out of one another,- that they call "good neighborliness." O blessed remote period when a people said to itself: "I will be- master over peoples!"

For, my brothers, the best shall rule, the best also wills to rule! And where the teaching is different, there- the best is lacking.


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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

O my brothers, not long will it be until new peoples shall arise and new fountains shall rush down into new depths.

For the earthquake- it chokes up many wells, it causes much languishing: but it brings also to light inner powers and secrets.
The earthquake discloses new fountains. In the earthquake of old peoples new fountains burst forth.

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

Who can command, who must obey- that is there attempted! Ah, with what long seeking and solving and failing and learning and re-attempting!

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

The good and just themselves were not free to understand him; their spirit was imprisoned in their good conscience. The stupidity of the good is unfathomably wise.
It is the truth, however, that the good must be Pharisees- they have no choice!

The good must crucify him who creates his own virtue! That is the truth!

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

The creator, hate they most, him who breaks the law-tablets and old values, the breaker,- him they call the law-breaker.

For the good- they cannot create; they are always the beginning of the end:-

-They crucify him who writes new values on new law-tablets, they sacrifice to themselves the future- they crucify the whole human future!

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


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

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

Break up, break up, I pray you, the good and just!- O my brothers, have you understood also this word?


You flee from me? You are frightened? You tremble at this word?
O my brothers, when I enjoined you to break up the good, and the law-tablets of the good, then only did I embark man on his high seas.

And now only comes to him the great terror, the great outlook, the great sickness, the great nausea, the great seasickness.

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

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

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

The sea storms: all is in the sea. Well! Cheer up! You old seaman-hearts!

What of fatherland! There strives our helm where our children's land is! Therewards, stormier than the sea, storms our great longing!-


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

Why so soft? O my brothers; thus do I ask you: are you then not- my brothers?

Why so soft, so submissive and yielding? Why is there so much negation and abnegation in your hearts? Why is there so little fate in your looks?
And if you will not be fates and inexorable ones, how can you one day- conquer with me?

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

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

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

This new table, O my brothers, put I up over you: Become hard!-


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

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

And your last greatness, my Will, spare it for your last- that you may be inexorable in your victory! Ah, who has not perished to his victory!

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

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

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

-A star, ready and ripe in its noontide, glowing, pierced, blessed, by annihilating sun-arrows:
-A sun itself, and an inexorable sun-will, ready for annihilation in victory!

O Will, you change of every need, my needfulness! Spare me for one great victory!- -

Thus spoke Zarathustra.

57. The Convalescent


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

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

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

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

And once you are awake, then shall you ever remain awake. It is not my custom to awake great-grandmothers out of their sleep that I may bid them- sleep on!

You stir, stretch yourself, wheeze? Up! Up! Not wheeze, shall you,- but speak to me! Zarathustra calls you, Zarathustra the godless!

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

Joy to me! you come,- I hear you! My abyss speaks, my lowest depth have I turned over into the light!

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


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

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

"O Zarathustra," said they, "now have you lain thus for seven days with heavy eyes: will you not set yourself again upon your feet?

Step out of your cave: the world waits for you as a garden. The wind plays with heavy fragrance which seeks for you; and all brooks would like to run after you.

All things long for you, since you have remained alone for seven days- step forth out of your cave! All things want to be your physicians!

Did perhaps a new knowledge come to you, a bitter, grievous knowledge? Like leavened dough lay you, your soul arose and swelled beyond all its bounds.-"

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

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

To each soul belongs another world; to each soul is every other soul a back-world.

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

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

Have not names and tones been given to things that man may refresh himself with them? It is a beautiful folly, speaking; therewith dances man over everything.
How lovely is all speech and all falsehoods of tones! With tones dances our love on variegated rainbows.-

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

Everything goes, everything returns; eternally rolls the wheel of existence. Everything dies, everything blossoms forth again; eternally runs on the year of existence.

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

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

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

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

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

And you looked on at it all? O my animals, are you also cruel? Did you like to look at my great pain as men do? For man is the cruel animal.

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

When the great man cries-: immediately runs the little man there, and his tongue hangs out of his mouth for very lusting. Yet he calls it his "pity."
The little man, especially the poet- how passionately does he accuse life in words! Hearken to him, but do not fail to hear the delight which is in all accusation!

Such accusers of life- them life overcomes with a glance of the eye. "You love me?" says the insolent one; "wait a little, as yet have I no time for you."

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

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

-That all that is evil is the best power, and the hardest stone for the highest creator; and that man must become better and more evil:-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That I have to sing once more- that consolation did I create for myself, and this convalescence: would you also make another lyre-lay thereof?"

-"Do not talk further," answered his animals once more; "rather, you convalescent, prepare for yourself first a lyre, a new lyre! For behold, O Zarathustra! For your new lays there are needed new lyres.

Sing and bubble over, O Zarathustra, heal your soul with new lays: that you may bear your great fate, which has not yet been any one's fate!

For your animals know it well, O Zarathustra, who you are and must become: behold, you are the teacher of the eternal return,- that is now your fate!

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

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

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

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

And if you would now die, O Zarathustra, behold, we know also how you would then speak to yourself:- but your animals beseech you not to die yet!

You would speak, and without trembling, buoyant rather with bliss, for a great weight and worry would be taken from you, you patientest one!-

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

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

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

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

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

I have spoken my word. I break down by my word: so wills my eternal fate- as announcer do I perish!

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

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

58. The Great Longing

O MY soul, I have taught you to say "today" as "once on a time" and "formerly," and to dance your measure over every Here and There and Yonder.

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

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

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

O my soul, I gave you the right to say No like the storm, and to say Yes as the open heaven says Yes: calm as the light remain you, and now walk through denying storms.

O my soul, I restored to you liberty over the created and the uncreated; and who knows, as you know, the voluptuousness of the future?

O my soul, I taught you the contempt which does not come like worm-eating, the great, the loving contempt, which loves most where it contemns most.

O my soul, I taught you so to persuade that you persuade even the grounds themselves to you: like the sun, which persuades even the sea to its height.

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

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

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

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

O my soul, exuberant and heavy do you now stand forth, a vine with swelling udders and full clusters of brown golden grapes:
-Filled and weighted by your happiness, waiting from superabundance, and yet ashamed of your waiting.

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

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

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

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

Your fulness looks forth over raging seas, and seeks and waits: the longing of over-fulness looks forth from the smiling heaven of your eyes!

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

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

"Is not all weeping complaining? And all complaining, accusing?" Thus speak you to yourself; and therefore, O my soul, will you rather smile than pour forth your grief-

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

But will you not weep, will you not weep forth your purple melancholy, then will you have to sing, O my soul!- Behold, I smile myself, who foretell you this:
-You will have to sing with passionate song, until all seas turn calm to hearken to your longing,-

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

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

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

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

-Already glow you and dream, already drink you thirstily at all deep echoing wells of consolation, already reposes your melancholy in the bliss of future songs!- -

O my soul, now have I given you all, and even my last possession, and all my hands have become empty by you:- that I bade you sing, behold, that was my last thing to give!

That I bade you sing,- say now, say: which of us now- owes thanks?- Better still, however: sing to me, sing, O my soul! And let me thank you!-

Thus spoke Zarathustra.

59. The Second Dance Song


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

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

At my dance-frantic foot, do you cast a glance, a laughing, questioning, melting, thrown glance:

Twice only moved you your rattle with your little hands- then did my feet swing with dance-fury.-

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

To you did I spring: then fled you back from my bound; and towards me waved your fleeing, flying tresses round!

Away from you did I spring, and from your snaky tresses: then stood you there half-turned, and in your eye caresses.

With crooked glances- do you teach me crooked courses; on crooked courses learn my feet- crafty fancies!

I fear you near, I love you far; your flight allures me, your seeking secures me:- I suffer, but for you, what would I not gladly bear!

For you, whose coldness inflames, whose hatred misleads, whose flight enchains, whose mockery- pleads:

-Who would not hate you, you great bindress, in-windress, temptress, seekress, findress! Who would not love you, you innocent, impatient, wind-swift, child-eyed sinner!

Where pull you me now, you paragon and tomboy? And now fool you me fleeing; you sweet romp does annoy!
I dance after you, I follow even faint traces lonely. Where are you? Give me your hand! Or your finger only!

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

You bat! you owl! you would play me foul? Where are we? From the dogs have you learned thus to bark and howl.

You gnash on me sweetly with little white teeth; your evil eyes shoot out upon me, your curly little mane from underneath!

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

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

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

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

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

You are so very weary? I carry you there; let just your arm sink! And are you thirsty- I should have something; but your mouth would not like it to drink!-

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

I am verily weary of it, ever your sheepish shepherd to be. You witch, if I have hitherto sung to you, now shall you- cry to me!

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


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

"O Zarathustra! Crack not so terribly with your whip! You know surely that noise kills thought,- and just now there came to me such delicate thoughts.

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

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

And that I am friendly to you, and often too friendly, that know you: and the reason is that I am envious of your Wisdom. Ah, this mad old fool, Wisdom!

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

Then did Life look thoughtfully behind and around, and said softly: "O Zarathustra, you are not faithful enough to me!

You love me not nearly so much as you say; I know you think of soon leaving me.

There is an old heavy, heavy, booming-clock: it booms by night up to your cave:-

-When you hear this clock strike the hours at midnight, then think you between one and twelve thereon-

-You think thereon, O Zarathustra, I know it- of soon leaving me!"
"Yes," answered I, hesitatingly, "but you know it also"- And I said something into her ear, in amongst her confused, yellow, foolish tresses.

"You know that, O Zarathustra? That knows no one- -"

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

Thus spoke Zarathustra.



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!"


60. The Seven Seals

(or, The Yes and Amen Song)


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

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

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

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

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

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

For I love you, O Eternity!


If ever my wrath has burst graves, shifted landmarks, or rolled old shattered law-tablets into precipitous depths:

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

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

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

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

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

For I love you, O Eternity!


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

If ever I have laughed with the laughter of the creative lightning, to which the long thunder of the deed follows, grumbling, but obedient:

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

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

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

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

For I love you, O Eternity!


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

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

If I myself am a grain of the saving salt which makes everything in the confection-bowl mix well:
-For there is a salt which unites good with evil; and even the evilest is worthy, as spicing and as final over-foaming:-

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

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

For I love you, O Eternity!


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

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

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

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

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

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

For I love you, O Eternity!


If my virtue be a dancer's virtue, and if I have often sprung with both feet into golden-emerald rapture:
If my wickedness be a laughing wickedness, at home among rose-banks and hedges of lilies:

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

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

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

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

For I love you, O Eternity!


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

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

-Thus however speaks avian wisdom:- "Lo, there is no above and no below! Throw yourself about,- outward, backward, you light one! Sing! speak no more!

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

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

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

For I love you, O Eternity!