THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
by Friedrich Nietzsche
translated by Thomas Common
WHEN Zarathustra was thirty years old, he left his home and the lake
of his home, and went into the mountains. There he enjoyed his
spirit and his solitude, and for ten years did not weary of it. But at
last his heart changed,- and rising one morning with the rosy dawn, he
went before the sun, and spake thus unto it:
Thou great star! What would be thy happiness if thou hadst not those
for whom thou shinest!
For ten years hast thou climbed hither unto my cave: thou wouldst
have wearied of thy light and of the journey, had it not been for
me, mine eagle, and my serpent.
But we awaited thee every morning, took from thee thine overflow,
and blessed thee for it.
Lo! I am weary of my wisdom, like the bee that hath gathered too
much honey; I need hands outstretched to take it.
I would fain bestow and distribute, until the wise have once more
become joyous in their folly, and the poor happy in their riches.
Therefore must I descend into the deep: as thou doest in the
evening, when thou goest behind the sea, and givest light also to
the nether-world, thou exuberant star!
Like thee must I go down, as men say, to whom I shall descend.
Bless me, then, thou tranquil eye, that canst behold even the
greatest happiness without envy!
Bless the cup that is about to overflow, that the water may flow
golden out of it, and carry everywhere the reflection of thy bliss!
Lo! This cup is again going to empty itself, and Zarathustra is
again going to be a man.
Thus began Zarathustra's down-going.
Zarathustra went down the mountain alone, no one meeting him. When
he entered the forest, however, there suddenly stood before him an old
man, who had left his holy cot to seek roots. And thus spake the old
man to Zarathustra:
"No stranger to me is this wanderer: many years ago passed he by.
Zarathustra he was called; but he hath altered.
Then thou carriedst thine ashes into the mountains: wilt thou now
carry thy fire into the valleys? Fearest thou not the incendiary's
Yea, I recognize Zarathustra. Pure is his eye, and no loathing
lurketh about his mouth. Goeth he not along like a dancer?
Altered is Zarathustra; a child hath Zarathustra become; an awakened
one is Zarathustra: what wilt thou do in the land of the sleepers?
As in the sea hast thou lived in solitude, and it hath borne thee
up. Alas, wilt thou now go ashore? Alas, wilt thou again drag thy body
Zarathustra answered: "I love mankind."
"Why," said the saint, "did I go into the forest and the desert? Was
it not because I loved men far too well?
Now I love God: men, I do not love. Man is a thing too imperfect for
me. Love to man would be fatal to me."
Zarathustra answered: "What spake I of love! I am bringing gifts
"Give them nothing," said the saint. "Take rather part of their
load, and carry it along with them- that will be most agreeable unto
them: if only it be agreeable unto thee!
If, however, thou wilt give unto them, give them no more than an
alms, and let them also beg for it!"
"No," replied Zarathustra, "I give no alms. I am not poor enough for
The saint laughed at Zarathustra, and spake thus: "Then see to it
that they accept thy treasures! They are distrustful of anchorites,
and do not believe that we come with gifts.
The fall of our footsteps ringeth too hollow through their
streets. And just as at night, when they are in bed and hear a man
abroad long before sunrise, so they ask themselves concerning us:
Where goeth the thief?
Go not to men, but stay in the forest! Go rather to the animals! Why
not be like me- a bear amongst bears, a bird amongst birds?"
"And what doeth the saint in the forest?" asked Zarathustra.
The saint answered: "I make hymns and sing them; and in making hymns
I laugh and weep and mumble: thus do I praise God.
With singing, weeping, laughing, and mumbling do I praise the God
who is my God. But what dost thou bring us as a gift?"
When Zarathustra had heard these words, he bowed to the saint and
said: "What should I have to give thee! Let me rather hurry hence lest
I take aught away from thee!"- And thus they parted from one
another, the old man and Zarathustra, laughing like schoolboys.
When Zarathustra was alone, however, he said to his heart: "Could it
be possible! This old saint in the forest hath not yet heard of it,
that God is dead!"
When Zarathustra arrived at the nearest town which adjoineth the
forest, he found many people assembled in the market-place; for it had
been announced that a rope-dancer would give a performance. And
Zarathustra spake thus unto the people:
I teach you the Superman. Man is something that is to be
surpassed. What have ye done to surpass man?
All beings hitherto have created something beyond themselves: and ye
want to be the ebb of that great tide, and would rather go back to the
beast than surpass man?
What is the ape to man? A laughing-stock, a thing of shame. And just
the same shall man be to the Superman: a laughing-stock, a thing of
Ye have made your way from the worm to man, and much within you is
still worm. Once were ye apes, and even yet man is more of an ape than
any of the apes.
Even the wisest among you is only a disharmony and hybrid of plant
and phantom. But do I bid you become phantoms or plants?
Lo, I teach you the Superman!
The Superman is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: The
Superman shall he the meaning of the earth!
I conjure you, my brethren, remain true to the earth, and believe
not those who speak unto you of superearthly hopes! Poisoners are
they, whether they know it or not.
Despisers of life are they, decaying ones and poisoned ones
themselves, of whom the earth is weary: so away with them!
Once blasphemy against God was the greatest blasphemy; but God died,
and therewith also those blasphemers. To blaspheme the earth is now
the dreadfulest sin, and to rate the heart of the unknowable higher
than the meaning of the earth!
Once the soul looked contemptuously on the body, and then that
contempt was the supreme thing:- the soul wished the body meagre,
ghastly, and famished. Thus it thought to escape from the body and the
Oh, that soul was itself meagre, ghastly, and famished; and
cruelty was the delight of that soul!
But ye, also, my brethren, tell me: What doth your body say about
your soul? Is your soul not poverty and pollution and wretched
Verily, a polluted stream is man. One must be a sea, to receive a
polluted stream without becoming impure.
Lo, I teach you the Superman: he is that sea; in him can your
great contempt be submerged.
What is the greatest thing ye can experience? It is the hour of
great contempt. The hour in which even your happiness becometh
loathsome unto you, and so also your reason and virtue.
The hour when ye say: "What good is my happiness! It is poverty
and pollution and wretched self-complacency. But my happiness should
justify existence itself!"
The hour when ye say: "What good is my reason! Doth it long for
knowledge as the lion for his food? It is poverty and pollution and
The hour when ye say: "What good is my virtue! As yet it hath not
made me passionate. How weary I am of my good and my bad! It is all
poverty and pollution and wretched self-complacency!"
The hour when ye say: "What good is my justice! I do not see that
I am fervour and fuel. The just, however, are fervour and fuel!"
The hour when we say: "What good is my pity! Is not pity the cross
on which he is nailed who loveth man? But my pity is not a
Have ye ever spoken thus? Have ye ever cried thus? Ah! would that
I had heard you crying thus!
It is not your sin- it is your self-satisfaction that crieth unto
heaven; your very sparingness in sin crieth unto heaven!
Where is the lightning to lick you with its tongue? Where is the
frenzy with which ye should be inoculated?
Lo, I teach you the Superman: he is that lightning, he is that
When Zarathustra had thus spoken, one of the people called out:
"We have now heard enough of the rope-dancer; it is time now for us
to. see him!" And all the people laughed at Zarathustra. But the
rope-dancer, who thought the words applied to him, began his
Zarathustra, however, looked at the people and wondered. Then he
Man is a rope stretched between the animal and the Superman- a
rope over an abyss.
A dangerous crossing, a dangerous wayfaring, a dangerous
looking-back, a dangerous trembling and halting.
What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal: what
is lovable in man is that he is an over-going and a down-going.
I love those that know not how to live except as down-goers, for
they are the over-goers.
I love the great despisers, because they are the great adorers,
and arrows of longing for the other shore.
I love those who do not first seek a reason beyond the stars for
going down and being sacrifices, but sacrifice themselves to the
earth, that the earth of the Superman may hereafter arrive.
I love him who liveth in order to know, and seeketh to know in order
that the Superman may hereafter live. Thus seeketh he his own
I love him who laboureth and inventeth, that he may build the
house for the Superman, and prepare for him earth, animal, and
plant: for thus seeketh he his own down-going.
I love him who loveth his virtue: for virtue is the will to
down-going, and an arrow of longing.
I love him who reserveth no share of spirit for himself, but wanteth
to be wholly the spirit of his virtue: thus walketh he as spirit
over the bridge.
I love him who maketh his virtue his inclination and destiny:
thus, for the sake of his virtue, he is willing to live on, or live no
I love him who desireth not too many virtues. One virtue is more
of a virtue than two, because it is more of a knot for one's destiny
to cling to.
I love him whose soul is lavish, who wanteth no thanks and doth
not give back: for he always bestoweth, and desireth not to keep for
I love him who is ashamed when the dice fall in his favour, and
who then asketh: "Am I a dishonest player?"- for he is willing to
I love him who scattereth golden words in advance of his deeds,
and always doeth more than he promiseth: for he seeketh his own
I love him who justifieth the future ones, and redeemeth the past
ones: for he is willing to succumb through the present ones.
I love him who chasteneth his God, because he loveth his God: for he
must succumb through the wrath of his God.
I love him whose soul is deep even in the wounding, and may
succumb through a small matter: thus goeth he willingly over the
I love him whose soul is so overfull that he forgetteth himself, and
all things are in him: thus all things become his down-going.
I love him who is of a free spirit and a free heart: thus is his
head only the bowels of his heart; his heart, however, causeth his
I love all who are like heavy drops falling one by one out of the
dark cloud that lowereth over man: they herald the coming of the
lightning, and succumb as heralds.
Lo, I am a herald of the lightning, and a heavy drop out of the
cloud: the lightning, however, is the Superman.-
When Zarathustra had spoken these words, he again looked at the
people, and was silent. "There they stand," said he to his heart;
"there they laugh: they understand me not; I am not the mouth for
Must one first batter their ears, that they may learn to hear with
their eyes? Must one clatter like kettledrums and penitential
preachers? Or do they only believe the stammerer?
They have something whereof they are proud. What do they call it,
that which maketh them proud? Culture, they call it; it distinguisheth
them from the goatherds.
They dislike, therefore, to hear of 'contempt' of themselves. So I
will appeal to their pride.
I will speak unto them of the most contemptible thing: that,
however, is the last man!"
And thus spake Zarathustra unto the people:
It is time for man to fix his goal. It is time for man to plant
the germ of his highest hope.
Still is his soil rich enough for it. But that soil will one day
be poor and exhausted, and no lofty tree will any longer be able to
Alas! there cometh the time when man will no longer launch the arrow
of his longing beyond man- and the string of his bow will have
unlearned to whizz!
I tell you: one must still have chaos in one, to give birth to a
dancing star. I tell you: ye have still chaos in you.
Alas! There cometh the time when man will no longer give birth to
any star. Alas! There cometh the time of the most despicable man,
who can no longer despise himself.
Lo! I show you the last man.
"What is love? What is creation? What is longing? What is a
star?"- so asketh the last man and blinketh.
The earth hath then become small, and on it there hoppeth the last
man who maketh everything small. His species is ineradicable like that
of the ground-flea; the last man liveth longest.
"We have discovered happiness"- say the last men, and blink thereby.
They have left the regions where it is hard to live; for they need
warmth. One still loveth one's neighbour and rubbeth against him;
for one needeth warmth.
Turning ill and being distrustful, they consider sinful: they walk
warily. He is a fool who still stumbleth over stones or men!
A little poison now and then: that maketh pleasant dreams. And
much poison at last for a pleasant death.
One still worketh, for work is a pastime. But one is careful lest
the pastime should hurt one.
One no longer becometh poor or rich; both are too burdensome. Who
still wanteth to rule? Who still wanteth to obey? Both are too
No shepherd, and one herd! Everyone wanteth the same; everyone is
equal: he who hath other sentiments goeth voluntarily into the
"Formerly all the world was insane,"- say the subtlest of them,
and blink thereby.
They are clever and know all that hath happened: so there is no
end to their raillery. People still fall out, but are soon reconciled-
otherwise it spoileth their stomachs.
They have their little pleasures for the day, and their little
pleasures for the night, but they have a regard for health.
"We have discovered happiness,"- say the last men, and blink
And here ended the first discourse of Zarathustra, which is also
called "The Prologue", for at this point the shouting and mirth of the
multitude interrupted him. "Give us this last man, O Zarathustra,"-
they called out- "make us into these last men! Then will we make
thee a present of the Superman!" And all the people exulted and
smacked their lips. Zarathustra, however, turned sad, and said to
"They understand me not: I am not the mouth for these ears.
Too long, perhaps, have I lived in the mountains; too much have I
hearkened unto the brooks and trees: now do I speak unto them as
unto the goatherds.
Calm is my soul, and clear, like the mountains in the morning. But
they think me cold, and a mocker with terrible jests.
And now do they look at me and laugh: and while they laugh they hate
me too. There is ice in their laughter."
Then, however, something happened which made every mouth mute and
every eye fixed. In the meantime, of course, the rope-dancer had
commenced his performance: he had come out at a little door, and was
going along the rope which was stretched between two towers, so that
it hung above the market-place and the people. When he was just midway
across, the little door opened once more, and a gaudily-dressed fellow
like a buffoon sprang out, and went rapidly after the first one. "Go
on, halt-foot," cried his frightful voice, "go on, lazy-bones,
interloper, sallow-face!- lest I tickle thee with my heel! What dost
thou here between the towers? In the tower is the place for thee, thou
shouldst be locked up; to one better than thyself thou blockest the
way!"- And with every word he came nearer and nearer the first one.
When, however, he was but a step behind, there happened the
frightful thing which made every mouth mute and every eye fixed- he
uttered a yell like a devil, and jumped over the other who was in
his way. The latter, however, when he thus saw his rival triumph, lost
at the same time his head and his footing on the rope; he threw his
pole away, and shot downward faster than it, like an eddy of arms
and legs, into the depth. The market-place and the people were like
the sea when the storm cometh on: they all flew apart and in disorder,
especially where the body was about to fall.
Zarathustra, however, remained standing, and just beside him fell
the body, badly injured and disfigured, but not yet dead. After a
while consciousness returned to the shattered man, and he saw
Zarathustra kneeling beside him. "What art thou doing there?" said
he at last, "I knew long ago that the devil would trip me up. Now he
draggeth me to hell: wilt thou prevent him?"
"On mine honour, my friend," answered Zarathustra, "there is nothing
of all that whereof thou speakest: there is no devil and no hell.
Thy soul will be dead even sooner than thy body; fear, therefore,
nothing any more!"
The man looked up distrustfully. "If thou speakest the truth,"
said he, "I lose nothing when I lose my life. I am not much more
than an animal which hath been taught to dance by blows and scanty
"Not at all," said Zarathustra, "thou hast made danger thy
calling; therein there is nothing contemptible. Now thou perishest
by thy calling: therefore will I bury thee with mine own hands."
When Zarathustra had said this the dying one did not reply
further; but he moved his hand as if he sought the hand of Zarathustra
Meanwhile the evening came on, and the market-place veiled itself in
gloom. Then the people dispersed, for even curiosity and terror become
fatigued. Zarathustra, however, still sat beside the dead man on the
ground, absorbed in thought: so he forgot the time. But at last it
became night, and a cold wind blew upon the lonely one. Then arose
Zarathustra and said to his heart:
Verily, a fine catch of fish hath Zarathustra made to-day! It is not
a man he hath caught, but a corpse.
Sombre is human life, and as yet without meaning: a buffoon may be
fateful to it.
I want to teach men the sense of their existence, which is the
Superman, the lightning out of the dark cloud- man.
But still am I far from them, and my sense speaketh not unto their
sense. To men I am still something between a fool and a corpse.
Gloomy is the night, gloomy are the ways of Zarathustra. Come,
thou cold and stiff companion! I carry thee to the place where I shall
bury thee with mine own hands.
When Zarathustra had said this to his heart, he put the corpse
upon his shoulders and set out on his way. Yet had he not gone a
hundred steps, when there stole a man up to him and whispered in his
ear- and lo! he that spake was the buffoon from the tower. "Leave this
town, O Zarathustra," said he, "there are too many here who hate thee.
The good and just hate thee, and call thee their enemy and despiser;
the believers in the orthodox belief hate thee, and call thee a danger
to the multitude. It was thy good fortune to be laughed at: and verily
thou spakest like a buffoon. It was thy good fortune to associate with
the dead dog; by so humiliating thyself thou hast saved thy life
to-day. Depart, however, from this town,- or tomorrow I shall jump
over thee, a living man over a dead one." And when he had said this,
the buffoon vanished; Zarathustra, however, went on through the dark
At the gate of the town the grave-diggers met him: they shone
their torch on his face, and, recognising Zarathustra, they sorely
derided him. "Zarathustra is carrying away the dead dog: a fine
thing that Zarathustra hath turned a grave-digger! For our hands are
too cleanly for that roast. Will Zarathustra steal the bite from the
devil? Well then, good luck to the repast! If only the devil is not
a better thief than Zarathustra!- he will steal them both, he will eat
them both!" And they laughed among themselves, and put their heads
Zarathustra made no answer thereto, but went on his way. When he had
gone on for two hours, past forests and swamps, he had heard too
much of the hungry howling of the wolves, and he himself became
hungry. So he halted at a lonely house in which a light was burning.
"Hunger attacketh me," said Zarathustra, "like a robber. Among
forests and swamps my hunger attacketh me, and late in the night.
"Strange humours hath my hunger. Often it cometh to me only after
a repast, and all day it hath failed to come: where hath it been?"
And thereupon Zarathustra knocked at the door of the house. An old
man appeared, who carried a light, and asked: "Who cometh unto me
and my bad sleep?"
"A living man and a dead one," said Zarathustra. "Give me
something to eat and drink, I forgot it during the day. He that
feedeth the hungry refresheth his own soul, saith wisdom."
The old man withdrew, but came back immediately and offered
Zarathustra bread and wine. "A bad country for the hungry," said he;
"that is why I live here. Animal and man come unto me, the
anchorite. But bid thy companion eat and drink also, he is wearier
than thou." Zarathustra answered: "My companion is dead; I shall
hardly be able to persuade him to eat." "That doth not concern me,"
said the old man sullenly; "he that knocketh at my door must take what
I offer him. Eat, and fare ye well!"-
Thereafter Zarathustra again went on for two hours, trusting to
the path and the light of the stars: for he was an experienced
night-walker, and liked to look into the face of all that slept.
When the morning dawned, however, Zarathustra found himself in a thick
forest, and no path was any longer visible. He then put the dead man
in a hollow tree at his head- for he wanted to protect him from the
wolves- and laid himself down on the ground and moss. And
immediately he fell asleep, tired in body, but with a tranquil soul.
Long slept Zarathustra; and not only the rosy dawn passed over his
head, but also the morning. At last, however, his eyes opened, and
amazedly he gazed into the forest and the stillness, amazedly he gazed
into himself. Then he arose quickly, like a seafarer who all at once
seeth the land; and he shouted for joy: for he saw a new truth. And he
spake thus to his heart:
A light hath dawned upon me: I need companions- living ones; not
dead companions and corpses, which I carry with me where I will.
But I need living companions, who will follow me because they want
to follow themselves- and to the place where I will. A light hath
dawned upon me. Not to the people is Zarathustra to speak, but to
companions! Zarathustra shall not be the herd's herdsman and hound!
To allure many from the herd- for that purpose have I come. The
people and the herd must be angry with me: a robber shall
Zarathustra be called by the herdsmen.
Herdsmen, I say, but they call themselves the good and just.
Herdsmen, I say, but they call themselves the believers in the
Behold the good and just! Whom do they hate most? Him who breaketh
up their tables of values, the breaker, the lawbreaker:- he,
however, is the creator.
Behold the believers of all beliefs! Whom do they hate most? Him who
breaketh up their tables of values, the breaker, the law-breaker-
he, however, is the creator.
Companions, the creator seeketh, not corpses- and not herds or
believers either. Fellow-creators the creator seeketh- those who grave
new values on new tables.
Companions, the creator seeketh, and fellow-reapers: for
everything is ripe for the harvest with him. But he lacketh the
hundred sickles: so he plucketh the ears of corn and is vexed.
Companions, the creator seeketh, and such as know how to whet
their sickles. Destroyers, will they be called, and despisers of
good and evil. But they are the reapers and rejoicers.
Fellow-creators, Zarathustra seeketh; fellow-reapers and
fellow-rejoicers, Zarathustra seeketh: what hath he to do with herds
and herdsmen and corpses!
And thou, my first companion, rest in peace! Well have I buried thee
in thy hollow tree; well have I hid thee from the wolves.
But I part from thee; the time hath arrived. 'Twixt rosy dawn and
rosy dawn there came unto me a new truth.
I am not to be a herdsman, I am not to be a grave-digger. Not any
more will I discourse unto the people; for the last time have I spoken
unto the dead.
With the creators, the reapers, and the rejoicers will I
associate: the rainbow will I show them, and all the stairs to the
To the lone-dwellers will I sing my song, and to the twain-dwellers;
and unto him who hath still ears for the unheard, will I make the
heart heavy with my happiness.
I make for my goal, I follow my course; over the loitering and tardy
will I leap. Thus let my on-going be their down-going!
This had Zarathustra said to his heart when the sun stood at
noon-tide. Then he looked inquiringly aloft,- for he heard above him
the sharp call of a bird. And behold! An eagle swept through the air
in wide circles, and on it hung a serpent, not like a prey, but like a
friend: for it kept itself coiled round the eagle's neck.
"They are mine animals," said Zarathustra, and rejoiced in his
"The proudest animal under the sun, and the wisest animal under
the sun,- they have come out to reconnoitre.
They want to know whether Zarathustra still liveth. Verily, do I
More dangerous have I found it among men than among animals; in
dangerous paths goeth Zarathustra. Let mine animals lead me!
When Zarathustra had said this, he remembered the words of the saint
in the forest. Then he sighed and spake thus to his heart:
"Would that I were wiser! Would that I were wise from the very
heart, like my serpent!
But I am asking the impossible. Therefore do I ask my pride to go
always with my wisdom!
And if my wisdom should some day forsake me:- alas! it loveth to fly
away!- may my pride then fly with my folly!"
Thus began Zarathustra's down-going.
1. The Three Metamorphoses
THREE metamorphoses of the spirit do I designate to you: how the
spirit becometh a camel, the camel a lion, and the lion at last a
Many heavy things are there for the spirit, the strong
load-bearing spirit in which reverence dwelleth: for the heavy and the
heaviest longeth its strength.
What is heavy? so asketh the load-bearing spirit; then kneeleth it
down like the camel, and wanteth to be well laden.
What is the heaviest thing, ye heroes? asketh the load-bearing
spirit, that I may take it upon me and rejoice in my strength.
Is it not this: To humiliate oneself in order to mortify one's
pride? To exhibit one's folly in order to mock at one's wisdom?
Or is it this: To desert our cause when it celebrateth its
triumph? To ascend high mountains to tempt the tempter?
Or is it this: To feed on the acorns and grass of knowledge, and for
the sake of truth to suffer hunger of soul?
Or is it this: To be sick and dismiss comforters, and make friends
of the deaf, who never hear thy requests?
Or is it this: To go into foul water when it is the water of
truth, and not disclaim cold frogs and hot toads?
Or is it this: To love those who despise us, and give one's hand
to the phantom when it is going to frighten us?
All these heaviest things the load-bearing spirit taketh upon
itself: and like the camel, which, when laden, hasteneth into the
wilderness, so hasteneth the spirit into its wilderness.
But in the loneliest wilderness happeneth the second
metamorphosis: here the spirit becometh a lion; freedom will it
capture, and lordship in its own wilderness.
Its last Lord it here seeketh: hostile will it be to him, and to its
last God; for victory will it struggle with the great dragon.
What is the great dragon which the spirit is no longer inclined to
call Lord and God? "Thou-shalt," is the great dragon called. But the
spirit of the lion saith, "I will."
"Thou-shalt," lieth in its path, sparkling with gold- a
scale-covered beast; and on every scale glittereth golden, "Thou
The values of a thousand years glitter on those scales, and thus
speaketh the mightiest of all dragons: "All the values of things-
glitter on me.
All values have already been created, and all created values- do I
represent. Verily, there shall be no 'I will' any more. Thus
speaketh the dragon.
My brethren, wherefore is there need of the lion in the spirit?
Why sufficeth not the beast of burden, which renounceth and is
To create new values- that, even the lion cannot yet accomplish: but
to create itself freedom for new creating- that can the might of the
To create itself freedom, and give a holy Nay even unto duty: for
that, my brethren, there is need of the lion.
To assume the ride to new values- that is the most formidable
assumption for a load-bearing and reverent spirit. Verily, unto such a
spirit it is preying, and the work of a beast of prey.
As its holiest, it once loved "Thou-shalt": now is it forced to find
illusion and arbitrariness even in the holiest things, that it may
capture freedom from its love: the lion is needed for this capture.
But tell me, my brethren, what the child can do, which even the lion
could not do? Why hath the preying lion still to become a child?
Innocence is the child, and forgetfulness, a new beginning, a
game, a self-rolling wheel, a first movement, a holy Yea.
Aye, for the game of creating, my brethren, there is needed a holy
Yea unto life: its own will, willeth now the spirit; his own world
winneth the world's outcast.
Three metamorphoses of the spirit have I designated to you: how
the spirit became a camel, the camel a lion, and the lion at last a
Thus spake Zarathustra. And at that time he abode in the town
which is called The Pied Cow.
2. The Academic Chairs of Virtue
PEOPLE commended unto Zarathustra a wise man, as one who could
discourse well about sleep and virtue: greatly was he honoured and
rewarded for it, and all the youths sat before his chair. To him
went Zarathustra, and sat among the youths before his chair. And
thus spake the wise man:
Respect and modesty in presence of sleep! That is the first thing!
And to go out of the way of all who sleep badly and keep awake at
Modest is even the thief in presence of sleep: he always stealeth
softly through the night. Immodest, however, is the night-watchman;
immodestly he carrieth his horn.
No small art is it to sleep: it is necessary for that purpose to
keep awake all day.
Ten times a day must thou overcome thyself: that causeth wholesome
weariness, and is poppy to the soul.
Ten times must thou reconcile again with thyself; for overcoming
is bitterness, and badly sleep the unreconciled.
Ten truths must thou find during the day; otherwise wilt thou seek
truth during the night, and thy soul will have been hungry.
Ten times must thou laugh during the day, and be cheerful; otherwise
thy stomach, the father of affliction, will disturb thee in the night.
Few people know it, but one must have all the virtues in order to
sleep well. Shall I bear false witness? Shall I commit adultery?
Shall I covet my neighbour's maidservant? All that would ill
accord with good sleep.
And even if one have all the virtues, there is still one thing
needful: to send the virtues themselves to sleep at the right time.
That they may not quarrel with one another, the good females! And
about thee, thou unhappy one!
Peace with God and thy neighbour: so desireth good sleep. And
peace also with thy neighbour's devil! Otherwise it will haunt thee in
Honour to the government, and obedience, and also to the crooked
government! So desireth good sleep. How can I help it, if power liketh
to walk on crooked legs?
He who leadeth his sheep to the greenest pasture, shall always be
for me the best shepherd: so doth it accord with good sleep.
Many honours I want not, nor great treasures: they excite the
spleen. But it is bad sleeping without a good name and a little
A small company is more welcome to me than a bad one: but they
must come and go at the right time. So doth it accord with good sleep.
Well, also, do the poor in spirit please me: they promote sleep.
Blessed are they, especially if one always give in to them.
Thus passeth the day unto the virtuous. When night cometh, then take
I good care not to summon sleep. It disliketh to be summoned- sleep,
the lord of the virtues!
But I think of what I have done and thought during the day. Thus
ruminating, patient as a cow, I ask myself: What were thy ten
And what were the ten reconciliations, and the ten truths, and the
ten laughters with which my heart enjoyed itself?
Thus pondering, and cradled by forty thoughts, it overtaketh me
all at once- sleep, the unsummoned, the lord of the virtues.
Sleep tappeth on mine eye, and it turneth heavy. Sleep toucheth my
mouth, and it remaineth open.
Verily, on soft soles doth it come to me, the dearest of thieves,
and stealeth from me my thoughts: stupid do I then stand, like this
But not much longer do I then stand: I already lie.-
When Zarathustra heard the wise man thus speak, he laughed in his
heart: for thereby had a light dawned upon him. And thus spake he to
A fool seemeth this wise man with his forty thoughts: but I
believe he knoweth well how to sleep.
Happy even is he who liveth near this wise man! Such sleep is
contagious- even through a thick wall it is contagious.
A magic resideth even in his academic chair. And not in vain did the
youths sit before the preacher of virtue.
His wisdom is to keep awake in order to sleep well. And verily, if
life had no sense, and had I to choose nonsense, this would be the
desirablest nonsense for me also.
Now know I well what people sought formerly above all else when they
sought teachers of virtue. Good sleep they sought for themselves,
and poppy-head virtues to promote it!
To all those belauded sages of the academic chairs, wisdom was sleep
without dreams: they knew no higher significance of life.
Even at present, to be sure, there are some like this preacher of
virtue, and not always so honourable: but their time is past. And
not much longer do they stand: there they already lie.
Blessed are those drowsy ones: for they shall soon nod to sleep.-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
ONCE on a time, Zarathustra also cast his fancy beyond man, like all
backworldsmen. The work of a suffering and tortured God, did the world
then seem to me.
The dream- and diction- of a God, did the world then seem to me;
coloured vapours before the eyes of a divinely dissatisfied one.
Good and evil, and joy and woe, and I and thou- coloured vapours did
they seem to me before creative eyes. The creator wished to look
away from himself,- thereupon he created the world.
Intoxicating joy is it for the sufferer to look away from his
suffering and forget himself. Intoxicating joy and self-forgetting,
did the world once seem to me.
This world, the eternally imperfect, an eternal contradiction's
image and imperfect image- an intoxicating joy to its imperfect
creator:- thus did the world once seem to me.
Thus, once on a time, did I also cast my fancy beyond man, like
all backworldsmen. Beyond man, forsooth?
Ah, ye brethren, that God whom I created was human work and human
madness, like all the gods!
A man was he, and only a poor fragment of a man and ego. Out of mine
own ashes and glow it came unto me, that phantom. And verily, it
came not unto me from the beyond!
What happened, my brethren? I surpassed myself, the suffering one; I
carried mine own ashes to the mountain; a brighter flame I contrived
for myself. And lo! Thereupon the phantom withdrew from me!
To me the convalescent would it now be suffering and torment to
believe in such phantoms: suffering would it now be to me, and
humiliation. Thus speak I to backworldsmen.
Suffering was it, and impotence- that created all backworlds; and
the short madness of happiness, which only the greatest sufferer
Weariness, which seeketh to get to the ultimate with one leap,
with a death-leap; a poor ignorant weariness, unwilling even to will
any longer: that created all gods and backworlds.
Believe me, my brethren! It was the body which despaired of the
body- it groped with the fingers of the infatuated spirit at the
Believe me, my brethren! It was the body which despaired of the
earth- it heard the bowels of existence speaking unto it.
And then it sought to get through the ultimate walls with its
head- and not with its head only- into "the other world."
But that "other world" is well concealed from man, that dehumanised,
inhuman world, which is a celestial naught; and the bowels of
existence do not speak unto man, except as man.
Verily, it is difficult to prove all being, and hard to make it
speak. Tell me, ye brethren, is not the strangest of all things best
Yea, this ego, with its contradiction and perplexity, speaketh
most uprightly of its being- this creating, willing, evaluing ego,
which is the measure and value of things.
And this most upright existence, the ego- it speaketh of the body,
and still implieth the body, even when it museth and raveth and
fluttereth with broken wings.
Always more uprightly learneth it to speak, the ego; and the more it
learneth, the more doth it find titles, and honours for the body and
A new pride taught me mine ego, and that teach I unto men: no longer
to thrust one's head into the sand of celestial things, but to carry
it freely, a terrestrial head, which giveth meaning to the earth!
A new will teach I unto men: to choose that path which man hath
followed blindly, and to approve of it- and no longer to slink aside
from it, like the sick and perishing!
The sick and perishing- it was they who despised the body and the
earth, and invented the heavenly world, and the redeeming blood-drops;
but even those sweet and sad poisons they borrowed from the body and
From their misery they sought escape, and the stars were too
remote for them. Then they sighed: "O that there were heavenly paths
by which to steal into another existence and into happiness!" Then
they contrived for themselves their bypaths and bloody draughts!
Beyond the sphere of their body and this earth they now fancied
themselves transported, these ungrateful ones. But to what did they
owe the convulsion and rapture of their transport? To their body and
Gentle is Zarathustra to the sickly. Verily, he is not indignant
at their modes of consolation and ingratitude. May they become
convalescents and overcomers, and create higher bodies for themselves!
Neither is Zarathustra indignant at a convalescent who looketh
tenderly on his delusions, and at midnight stealeth round the grave of
his God; but sickness and a sick frame remain even in his tears.
Many sickly ones have there always been among those who muse, and
languish for God; violently they hate the discerning ones, and the
latest of virtues, which is uprightness.
Backward they always gaze toward dark ages: then, indeed, were
delusion and faith something different. Raving of the reason was
likeness to God, and doubt was sin.
Too well do I know those godlike ones: they insist on being believed
in, and that doubt is sin. Too well, also, do I know what they
themselves most believe in.
Verily, not in backworlds and redeeming blood-drops: but in the body
do they also believe most; and their own body is for them the
But it is a sickly thing to them, and gladly would they get out of
their skin. Therefore hearken they to the preachers of death, and
themselves preach backworlds.
Hearken rather, my brethren, to the voice of the healthy body; it is
a more upright and pure voice.
More uprightly and purely speaketh the healthy body, perfect and
square-built; and it speaketh of the meaning of the earth.-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
4. The Despisers of the Body
TO THE despisers of the body will I speak my word. I wish them
neither to learn afresh, nor teach anew, but only to bid farewell to
their own bodies,- and thus be dumb.
"Body am I, and soul"- so saith the child. And why should one not
speak like children?
But the awakened one, the knowing one, saith: "Body am I entirely,
and nothing more; and soul is only the name of something in the body."
The body is a big sagacity, a plurality with one sense, a war and
a peace, a flock and a shepherd.
An instrument of thy body is also thy little sagacity, my brother,
which thou callest "spirit"- a little instrument and plaything of
thy big sagacity.
"Ego," sayest thou, and art proud of that word. But the greater
thing- in which thou art unwilling to believe- is thy body with its
big sagacity; it saith not "ego," but doeth it.
What the sense feeleth, what the spirit discerneth, hath never its
end in itself. But sense and spirit would fain persuade thee that they
are the end of all things: so vain are they.
Instruments and playthings are sense and spirit: behind them there
is still the Self. The Self seeketh with the eyes of the senses, it
hearkeneth also with the ears of the spirit.
Ever hearkeneth the Self, and seeketh; it compareth, mastereth,
conquereth, and destroyeth. It ruleth, and is also the ego's ruler.
Behind thy thoughts and feelings, my brother, there is a mighty
lord, an unknown sage- it is called Self; it dwelleth in thy body,
it is thy body.
There is more sagacity in thy body than in thy best wisdom. And
who then knoweth why thy body requireth just thy best wisdom?
Thy Self laugheth at thine ego, and its proud prancings. "What are
these prancings and flights of thought unto me?" it saith to itself.
"A by-way to my purpose. I am the leading-string of the ego, and the
prompter of its notions."
The Self saith unto the ego: "Feel pain!" And thereupon it
suffereth, and thinketh how it may put an end thereto- and for that
very purpose it is meant to think.
The Self saith unto the ego: "Feel pleasure!" Thereupon it
rejoiceth, and thinketh how it may ofttimes rejoice- and for that very
purpose it is meant to think.
To the despisers of the body will I speak a word. That they
despise is caused by their esteem. What is it that created esteeming
and despising and worth and will?
The creating Self created for itself esteeming and despising, it
created for itself joy and woe. The creating body created for itself
spirit, as a hand to its will.
Even in your folly and despising ye each serve your Self, ye
despisers of the body. I tell you, your very Self wanteth to die,
and turneth away from life.
No longer can your Self do that which it desireth most:- create
beyond itself. That is what it desireth most; that is all its fervour.
But it is now too late to do so:- so your Self wisheth to succumb,
ye despisers of the body.
To succumb- so wisheth your Self; and therefore have ye become
despisers of the body. For ye can no longer create beyond yourselves.
And therefore are ye now angry with life and with the earth. And
unconscious envy is in the sidelong look of your contempt.
I go not your way, ye despisers of the body! Ye are no bridges for
me to the Superman!-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
5. Joys and Passions
MY BROTHER, when thou hast a virtue, and it is thine own virtue,
thou hast it in common with no one.
To be sure, thou wouldst call it by name and caress it; thou wouldst
pull its ears and amuse thyself with it.
And lo! Then hast thou its name in common with the people, and
hast become one of the people and the herd with thy virtue!
Better for thee to say: "Ineffable is it, and nameless, that which
is pain and sweetness to my soul, and also the hunger of my bowels."
Let thy virtue be too high for the familiarity of names, and if thou
must speak of it, be not ashamed to stammer about it.
Thus speak and stammer: "That is my good, that do I love, thus
doth it please me entirely, thus only do I desire the good.
Not as the law of a God do I desire it, not as a human law or a
human need do I desire it; it is not to be a guide-post for me to
superearths and paradises.
An earthly virtue is it which I love: little prudence is therein,
and the least everyday wisdom.
But that bird built its nest beside me: therefore, I love and
cherish it- now sitteth it beside me on its golden eggs."
Thus shouldst thou stammer, and praise thy virtue.
Once hadst thou passions and calledst them evil. But now hast thou
only thy virtues: they grew out of thy passions.
Thou implantedst thy highest aim into the heart of those passions:
then became they thy virtues and joys.
And though thou wert of the race of the hot-tempered, or of the
voluptuous, or of the fanatical, or the vindictive;
All thy passions in the end became virtues, and all thy devils
Once hadst thou wild dogs in thy cellar: but they changed at last
into birds and charming songstresses.
Out of thy poisons brewedst thou balsam for thyself; thy cow,
affliction, milkedst thou- now drinketh thou the sweet milk of her
And nothing evil groweth in thee any longer, unless it be the evil
that groweth out of the conflict of thy virtues.
My brother, if thou be fortunate, then wilt thou have one virtue and
no more: thus goest thou easier over the bridge.
Illustrious is it to have many virtues, but a hard lot; and many a
one hath gone into the wilderness and killed himself, because he was
weary of being the battle and battlefield of virtues.
My brother, are war and battle evil? Necessary, however, is the
evil; necessary are the envy and the distrust and the back-biting
among the virtues.
Lo! how each of thy virtues is covetous of the highest place; it
wanteth thy whole spirit to be its herald, it wanteth thy whole power,
in wrath, hatred, and love.
Jealous is every virtue of the others, and a dreadful thing is
jealousy. Even virtues may succumb by jealousy.
He whom the flame of jealousy encompasseth, turneth at last, like
the scorpion, the poisoned sting against himself.
Ah! my brother, hast thou never seen a virtue backbite and stab
Man is something that hath to be surpassed: and therefore shalt thou
love thy virtues,- for thou wilt succumb by them.-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
6. The Pale Criminal
YE DO not mean to slay, ye judges and sacrificers, until the
animal hath bowed its head? Lo! the pale criminal hath bowed his head:
out of his eye speaketh the great contempt.
"Mine ego is something which is to be surpassed: mine ego is to me
the great contempt of man": so speaketh it out of that eye.
When he judged himself- that was his supreme moment; let not the
exalted one relapse again into his low estate!
There is no salvation for him who thus suffereth from himself,
unless it be speedy death.
Your slaying, ye judges, shall be pity, and not revenge; and in that
ye slay, see to it that ye yourselves justify life!
It is not enough that ye should reconcile with him whom ye slay. Let
your sorrow be love to the Superman: thus will ye justify your own
"Enemy" shall ye say but not "villain," "invalid" shall ye say but
not "wretch," "fool" shall ye say but not "sinner."
And thou, red judge, if thou would say audibly all thou hast done in
thought, then would every one cry: "Away with the nastiness and the
But one thing is the thought, another thing is the deed, and another
thing is the idea of the deed. The wheel of causality doth not roll
An idea made this pale man pale. Adequate was he for his deed when
he did it, but the idea of it, he could not endure when it was done.
Evermore did he now see himself as the doer of one deed. Madness,
I call this: the exception reversed itself to the rule in him.
The streak of chalk bewitcheth the hen; the stroke he struck
bewitched his weak reason. Madness after the deed, I call this.
Hearken, ye judges! There is another madness besides, and it is
before the deed. Ah! ye have not gone deep enough into this soul!
Thus speaketh the red judge: "Why did this criminal commit murder?
He meant to rob." I tell you, however, that his soul wanted blood, not
booty: he thirsted for the happiness of the knife!
But his weak reason understood not this madness, and it persuaded
him. "What matter about blood!" it said; "wishest thou not, at
least, to make booty thereby? Or take revenge?"
And he hearkened unto his weak reason: like lead lay its words
upon him- thereupon he robbed when he murdered. He did not mean to
be ashamed of his madness.
And now once more lieth the lead of his guilt upon him, and once
more is his weak reason so benumbed, so paralysed, and so dull.
Could he only shake his head, then would his burden roll off; but
who shaketh that head?
What is this man? A mass of diseases that reach out into the world
through the spirit; there they want to get their prey.
What is this man? A coil of wild serpents that are seldom at peace
among themselves- so they go forth apart and seek prey in the world.
Look at that poor body! What it suffered and craved, the poor soul
interpreted to itself- it interpreted it as murderous desire, and
eagerness for the happiness of the knife.
Him who now turneth sick, the evil overtaketh which is now the evil:
he seeketh to cause pain with that which causeth him pain. But there
have been other ages, and another evil and good.
Once was doubt evil, and the will to Self. Then the invalid became a
heretic or sorcerer; as heretic or sorcerer he suffered, and sought to
But this will not enter your ears; it hurteth your good people, ye
tell me. But what doth it matter to me about your good people!
Many things in your good people cause me disgust, and verily, not
their evil. I would that they had a madness by which they succumbed,
like this pale criminal!
Verily, I would that their madness were called truth, or fidelity,
or justice: but they have their virtue in order to live long, and in
I am a railing alongside the torrent; whoever is able to grasp me
may grasp me! Your crutch, however, I am not.-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
7. Reading and Writing
OF ALL that is written, I love only what a person hath written with
his blood. Write with blood, and thou wilt find that blood is spirit.
It is no easy task to understand unfamiliar blood; I hate the
He who knoweth the reader, doeth nothing more for the reader.
Another century of readers- and spirit itself will stink.
Every one being allowed to learn to read, ruineth in the long run
not only writing but also thinking.
Once spirit was God, then it became man, and now it even becometh
He that writeth in blood and proverbs doth not want to be read,
but learnt by heart.
In the mountains the shortest way is from peak to peak, but for that
route thou must have long legs. Proverbs should be peaks, and those
spoken to should be big and tall.
The atmosphere rare and pure, danger near and the spirit full of a
joyful wickedness: thus are things well matched.
I want to have goblins about me, for I am courageous. The courage
which scareth away ghosts, createth for itself goblins- it wanteth
I no longer feel in common with you; the very cloud which I see
beneath me, the blackness and heaviness at which I laugh- that is your
Ye look aloft when ye long for exaltation; and I look downward
because I am exalted.
Who among you can at the same time laugh and be exalted?
He who climbeth on the highest mountains, laugheth at all tragic
plays and tragic realities.
Courageous, unconcerned, scornful, coercive- so wisdom wisheth us;
she is a woman, and ever loveth only a warrior.
Ye tell me, "Life is hard to bear." But for what purpose should ye
have your pride in the morning and your resignation in the evening?
Life is hard to bear: but do not affect to be so delicate! We are
all of us fine sumpter asses and she-asses.
What have we in common with the rose-bud, which trembleth because
a drop of dew hath formed upon it?
It is true we love life; not because we are wont to live, but
because we are wont to love.
There is always some madness in love. But there is always, also,
some method in madness.
And to me also, who appreciate life, the butterflies, and
soap-bubbles, and whatever is like them amongst us, seem most to enjoy
To see these light, foolish, pretty, lively little sprites flit
about- that moveth Zarathustra to tears and songs.
I should only believe in a God that would know how to dance.
And when I saw my devil, I found him serious, thorough, profound,
solemn: he was the spirit of gravity- through him all things fall.
Not by wrath, but by laughter, do we slay. Come, let us slay the
spirit of gravity!
I learned to walk; since then have I let myself run. I learned to
fly; since then I do not need pushing in order to move from a spot.
Now am I light, now do I fly; now do I see myself under myself.
Now there danceth a God in me.-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
8. The Tree on the Hill
ZARATHUSTRA's eye had perceived that a certain youth avoided him.
And as he walked alone one evening over the hills surrounding the town
called "The Pied Cow," behold, there found he the youth sitting
leaning against a tree, and gazing with wearied look into the
valley. Zarathustra thereupon laid hold of the tree beside which the
youth sat, and spake thus:
"If I wished to shake this tree with my hands, I should not be
able to do so.
But the wind, which we see not, troubleth and bendeth it as it
listeth. We are sorest bent and troubled by invisible hands."
Thereupon the youth arose disconcerted, and said: "I hear
Zarathustra, and just now was I thinking of him!" Zarathustra
"Why art thou frightened on that account?- But it is the same with
man as with the tree.
The more he seeketh to rise into the height and light, the more
vigorously do his roots struggle earthward, downward, into the dark
and deep- into the evil."
"Yea, into the evil!" cried the youth. "How is it possible that thou
hast discovered my soul?"
Zarathustra smiled, and said: "Many a soul one will never
discover, unless one first invent it."
"Yea, into the evil!" cried the youth once more.
"Thou saidst the truth, Zarathustra. I trust myself no longer
since I sought to rise into the height, and nobody trusteth me any
longer; how doth that happen?
I change too quickly: my to-day refuteth my yesterday. I often
overleap the steps when I clamber; for so doing, none of the steps
When aloft, I find myself always alone. No one speaketh unto me; the
frost of solitude maketh me tremble. What do I seek on the height?
My contempt and my longing increase together; the higher I
clamber, the more do I despise him who clambereth. What doth he seek
on the height?
How ashamed I am of my clambering and stumbling! How I mock at my
violent panting! How I hate him who flieth! How tired I am on the
Here the youth was silent. And Zarathustra contemplated the tree
beside which they stood, and spake thus:
"This tree standeth lonely here on the hills; it hath grown up
high above man and beast.
And if it wanted to speak, it would have none who could understand
it: so high hath it grown.
Now it waiteth and waiteth,- for what doth it wait? It dwelleth
too close to the seat of the clouds; it waiteth perhaps for the
When Zarathustra had said this, the youth called out with violent
gestures: "Yea, Zarathustra, thou speakest the truth. My destruction I
longed for, when I desired to be on the height, and thou art the
lightning for which I waited! Lo! what have I been since thou hast
appeared amongst us? It is mine envy of thee that hath destroyed me!"-
Thus spake the youth, and wept bitterly. Zarathustra, however, put his
arm about him, and led the youth away with him.
And when they had walked a while together, Zarathustra began to
It rendeth my heart. Better than thy words express it, thine eyes
tell me all thy danger.
As yet thou art not free; thou still seekest freedom. Too unslept
hath thy seeking made thee, and too wakeful.
On the open height wouldst thou be; for the stars thirsteth thy
soul. But thy bad impulses also thirst for freedom.
Thy wild dogs want liberty; they bark for joy in their cellar when
thy spirit endeavoureth to open all prison doors.
Still art thou a prisoner- it seemeth to me- who deviseth liberty
for himself: ah! sharp becometh the soul of such prisoners, but also
deceitful and wicked.
To purify himself, is still necessary for the freedman of the
spirit. Much of the prison and the mould still remaineth in him:
pure hath his eye still to become.
Yea, I know thy danger. But by my love and hope I conjure thee: cast
not thy love and hope away!
Noble thou feelest thyself still, and noble others also feel thee
still, though they bear thee a grudge and cast evil looks. Know
this, that to everybody a noble one standeth in the way.
Also to the good, a noble one standeth in the way: and even when
they call him a good man, they want thereby to put him aside.
The new, would the noble man create, and a new virtue. The old,
wanteth the good man, and that the old should be conserved.
But it is not the danger of the noble man to turn a good man, but
lest he should become a blusterer, a scoffer, or a destroyer.
Ah! I have known noble ones who lost their highest hope. And then
they disparaged all high hopes.
Then lived they shamelessly in temporary pleasures, and beyond the
day had hardly an aim.
"Spirit is also voluptuousness,"- said they. Then broke the wings of
their spirit; and now it creepeth about, and defileth where it
Once they thought of becoming heroes; but sensualists are they
now. A trouble and a terror is the hero to them.
But by my love and hope I conjure thee: cast not away the hero in
thy soul! Maintain holy thy highest hope!-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
9. The Preachers of Death
THERE are preachers of death: and the earth is full of those to whom
desistance from life must be preached.
Full is the earth of the superfluous; marred is life by the
many-too-many. May they be decoyed out of this life by the "life
"The yellow ones": so are called the preachers of death, or "the
black ones." But I will show them unto you in other colours besides.
There are the terrible ones who carry about in themselves the
beast of prey, and have no choice except lusts or self-laceration. And
even their lusts are self-laceration.
They have not yet become men, those terrible ones: may they preach
desistance from life, and pass away themselves!
There are the spiritually consumptive ones: hardly are they born
when they begin to die, and long for doctrines of lassitude and
They would fain be dead, and we should approve of their wish! Let us
beware of awakening those dead ones, and of damaging those living
They meet an invalid, or an old man, or a corpse- and immediately
they say: "Life is refuted!"
But they only are refuted, and their eye, which seeth only one
aspect of existence.
Shrouded in thick melancholy, and eager for the little casualties
that bring death: thus do they wait, and clench their teeth.
Or else, they grasp at sweetmeats, and mock at their childishness
thereby: they cling to their straw of life, and mock at their still
clinging to it.
Their wisdom speaketh thus: "A fool, he who remaineth alive; but
so far are we fools! And that is the foolishest thing in life!"
"Life is only suffering": so say others, and lie not. Then see to it
that ye cease! See to it that the life ceaseth which is only
And let this be the teaching of your virtue: "Thou shalt slay
thyself! Thou shalt steal away from thyself!"-
"Lust is sin,"- so say some who preach death- "let us go apart and
beget no children!"
"Giving birth is troublesome,"- say others- "why still give birth?
One beareth only the unfortunate!" And they also are preachers of
"Pity is necessary,"- so saith a third party. "Take what I have!
Take what I am! So much less doth life bind me!"
Were they consistently pitiful, then would they make their
neighbours sick of life. To be wicked- that would be their true
But they want to be rid of life; what care they if they bind
others still faster with their chains and gifts!-
And ye also, to whom life is rough labour and disquiet, are ye not
very tired of life? Are ye not very ripe for the sermon of death?
All ye to whom rough labour is dear, and the rapid, new, and
strange- ye put up with yourselves badly; your diligence is flight,
and the will to self-forgetfulness.
If ye believed more in life, then would ye devote yourselves less to
the momentary. But for waiting, ye have not enough of capacity in you-
nor even for idling!
Everywhere resoundeth the voices of those who preach death; and
the earth is full of those to whom death hath to be preached.
Or "life eternal"; it is all the same to me- if only they pass
Thus spake Zarathustra.
10. War and Warriors
BY OUR best enemies we do not want to be spared, nor by those either
whom we love from the very heart. So let me tell you the truth!
My brethren in war! I love you from the very heart. I am, and was
ever, your counterpart. And I am also your best enemy. So let me
tell you the truth!
I know the hatred and envy of your hearts. Ye are not great enough
not to know of hatred and envy. Then be great enough not to be ashamed
And if ye cannot be saints of knowledge, then, I pray you, be at
least its warriors. They are the companions and forerunners of such
I see many soldiers; could I but see many warriors! "Uniform" one
calleth what they wear; may it not be uniform what they therewith
Ye shall be those whose eyes ever seek for an enemy- for your enemy.
And with some of you there is hatred at first sight.
Your enemy shall ye seek; your war shall ye wage, and for the sake
of your thoughts! And if your thoughts succumb, your uprightness shall
still shout triumph thereby!
Ye shall love peace as a means to new wars- and the short peace more
than the long.
You I advise not to work, but to fight. You I advise not to peace,
but to victory. Let your work be a fight, let your peace be a victory!
One can only be silent and sit peacefully when one hath arrow and
bow; otherwise one prateth and quarrelleth. Let your peace be a
Ye say it is the good cause which halloweth even war? I say unto
you: it is the good war which halloweth every cause.
War and courage have done more great things than charity. Not your
sympathy, but your bravery hath hitherto saved the victims.
"What is good?" ye ask. To be brave is good. Let the little girls
say: "To be good is what is pretty, and at the same time touching."
They call you heartless: but your heart is true, and I love the
bashfulness of your goodwill. Ye are ashamed of your flow, and
others are ashamed of their ebb.
Ye are ugly? Well then, my brethren, take the sublime about you, the
mantle of the ugly!
And when your soul becometh great, then doth it become haughty,
and in your sublimity there is wickedness. I know you.
In wickedness the haughty man and the weakling meet. But they
misunderstand one another. I know you.
Ye shall only have enemies to be hated, but not enemies to be
despised. Ye must be proud of your enemies; then, the successes of
your enemies are also your successes.
Resistance- that is the distinction of the slave. Let your
distinction be obedience. Let your commanding itself be obeying!
To the good warrior soundeth "thou shalt" pleasanter than "I
will." And all that is dear unto you, ye shall first have it commanded
Let your love to life be love to your highest hope; and let your
highest hope be the highest thought of life!
Your highest thought, however, ye shall have it commanded unto you
by me- and it is this: man is something that is to be surpassed.
So live your life of obedience and of war! What matter about long
life! What warrior wisheth to be spared!
I spare you not, I love you from my very heart, my brethren in war!-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
11. The New Idol
SOMEWHERE there are still peoples and herds, but not with us, my
brethren: here there are states.
A state? What is that? Well! open now your ears unto me, for now
will I say unto you my word concerning the death of peoples.
A state, is called the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly lieth it
also; and this lie creepeth from its mouth: "I, the state, am the
It is a lie! Creators were they who created peoples, and hung a
faith and a love over them: thus they served life.
Destroyers, are they who lay snares for many, and call it the state:
they hang a sword and a hundred cravings over them.
Where there is still a people, there the state is not understood,
but hated as the evil eye, and as sin against laws and customs.
This sign I give unto you: every people speaketh its language of
good and evil: this its neighbour understandeth not. Its language hath
it devised for itself in laws and customs.
But the state lieth in all languages of good and evil; and
whatever it saith it lieth; and whatever it hath it hath stolen.
False is everything in it; with stolen teeth it biteth, the biting
one. False are even its bowels.
Confusion of language of good and evil; this sign I give unto you as
the sign of the state. Verily, the will to death, indicateth this
sign! Verily, it beckoneth unto the preachers of death!
Many too many are born: for the superfluous ones was the state
See just how it enticeth them to it, the many-too-many! How it
swalloweth and cheweth and recheweth them!
"On earth there is nothing greater than I: it is I who am the
regulating finger of God."- thus roareth the monster. And not only the
long-eared and short-sighted fall upon their knees!
Ah! even in your ears, ye great souls, it whispereth its gloomy
lies! Ah! it findeth out the rich hearts which willingly lavish
Yea, it findeth you out too, ye conquerors of the old God! Weary
ye became of the conflict, and now your weariness serveth the new
Heroes and honourable ones, it would fain set up around it, the
new idol! Gladly it basketh in the sunshine of good consciences,-
the cold monster!
Everything will it give you, if ye worship it, the new idol: thus it
purchaseth the lustre of your virtue, and the glance of your proud
It seeketh to allure by means of you, the many-too-many! Yea, a
hellish artifice hath here been devised, a death-horse jingling with
the trappings of divine honours!
Yea, a dying for many hath here been devised, which glorifieth
itself as life: verily, a hearty service unto all preachers of death!
The state, I call it, where all are poison-drinkers, the good and
the bad: the state, where all lose themselves, the good and the bad:
the state, where the slow suicide of all- is called "life."
Just see these superfluous ones! They steal the works of the
inventors and the treasures of the wise. Culture, they call their
theft- and everything becometh sickness and trouble unto them!
Just see these superfluous ones! Sick are they always; they vomit
their bile and call it a newspaper. They devour one another, and
cannot even digest themselves.
Just see these superfluous ones! Wealth they acquire and become
poorer thereby. Power they seek for, and above all, the lever of
power, much money- these impotent ones!
See them clamber, these nimble apes! They clamber over one
another, and thus scuffle into the mud and the abyss.
Towards the throne they all strive: it is their madness- as if
happiness sat on the throne! Ofttimes sitteth filth on the throne.-
and ofttimes also the throne on filth.
Madmen they all seem to me, and clambering apes, and too eager.
Badly smelleth their idol to me, the cold monster: badly they all
smell to me, these idolaters.
My brethren, will ye suffocate in the fumes of their maws and
appetites! Better break the windows and jump into the open air!
Do go out of the way of the bad odour! Withdraw from the idolatry of
Do go out of the way of the bad odour! Withdraw from the steam of
these human sacrifices!
Open still remaineth the earth for great souls. Empty are still many
sites for lone ones and twain ones, around which floateth the odour of
Open still remaineth a free life for great souls. Verily, he who
possesseth little is so much the less possessed: blessed be moderate
There, where the state ceaseth- there only commenceth the man who is
not superfluous: there commenceth the song of the necessary ones,
the single and irreplaceable melody.
There, where the state ceaseth- pray look thither, my brethren! Do
ye not see it, the rainbow and the bridges of the Superman?-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
12. The Flies in the Market-Place
FLEE, my friend, into thy solitude! I see thee deafened with the
noise of the great men, and stung all over with the stings of the
Admirably do forest and rock know how to be silent with thee.
Resemble again the tree which thou lovest, the broad-branched one-
silently and attentively it o'erhangeth the sea.
Where solitude endeth, there beginneth the market-place; and where
the market-place beginneth, there beginneth also the noise of the
great actors, and the buzzing of the poison-flies.
In the world even the best things are worthless without those who
represent them: those representers, the people call great men.
Little, do the people understand what is great- that is to say,
the creating agency. But they have a taste for all representers and
actors of great things.
Around the devisers of new values revolveth the world:- invisibly it
revolveth. But around the actors revolve the people and the glory:
such is the course of things.
Spirit, hath the actor, but little conscience of the spirit. He
believeth always in that wherewith he maketh believe most strongly- in
Tomorrow he hath a new belief, and the day after, one still newer.
Sharp perceptions hath he, like the people, and changeable humours.
To upset- that meaneth with him to prove. To drive mad- that meaneth
with him to convince. And blood is counted by him as the best of all
A truth which only glideth into fine ears, he calleth falsehood
and trumpery. Verily, he believeth only in gods that make a great
noise in the world!
Full of clattering buffoons is the market-place,- and the people
glory in their great men! These are for them the masters of the hour.
But the hour presseth them; so they press thee. And also from thee
they want Yea or Nay. Alas! thou wouldst set thy chair betwixt For and
On account of those absolute and impatient ones, be not jealous,
thou lover of truth! Never yet did truth cling to the arm of an
On account of those abrupt ones, return into thy security: only in
the market-place is one assailed by Yea? or Nay?
Slow is the experience of all deep fountains: long have they to wait
until they know what hath fallen into their depths.
Away from the market-place and from fame taketh place all that is
great: away from the market-Place and from fame have ever dwelt the
devisers of new values.
Flee, my friend, into thy solitude: I see thee stung all over by the
poisonous flies. Flee thither, where a rough, strong breeze bloweth!
Flee into thy solitude! Thou hast lived too closely to the small and
the pitiable. Flee from their invisible vengeance! Towards thee they
have nothing but vengeance.
Raise no longer an arm against them! Innumerable are they, and it is
not thy lot to be a fly-flap.
Innumerable are the small and pitiable ones; and of many a proud
structure, rain-drops and weeds have been the ruin.
Thou art not stone; but already hast thou become hollow by the
numerous drops. Thou wilt yet break and burst by the numerous drops.
Exhausted I see thee, by poisonous flies; bleeding I see thee, and
torn at a hundred spots; and thy pride will not even upbraid.
Blood they would have from thee in all innocence; blood their
bloodless souls crave for- and they sting, therefore, in all
But thou, profound one, thou sufferest too profoundly even from
small wounds; and ere thou hadst recovered, the same poison-worm
crawled over thy hand.
Too proud art thou to kill these sweet-tooths. But take care lest it
be thy fate to suffer all their poisonous injustice!
They buzz around thee also with their praise: obtrusiveness is their
praise. They want to be close to thy skin and thy blood.
They flatter thee, as one flattereth a God or devil; they whimper
before thee, as before a God or devil; What doth it come to!
Flatterers are they, and whimperers, and nothing more.
Often, also, do they show themselves to thee as amiable ones. But
that hath ever been the prudence of the cowardly. Yea! the cowardly
They think much about thee with their circumscribed souls- thou
art always suspected by them! Whatever is much thought about is at
last thought suspicious.
They punish thee for all thy virtues. They pardon thee in their
inmost hearts only- for thine errors.
Because thou art gentle and of upright character, thou sayest:
"Blameless are they for their small existence." But their
circumscribed souls think: "Blamable is all great existence."
Even when thou art gentle towards them, they still feel themselves
despised by thee; and they repay thy beneficence with secret
Thy silent pride is always counter to their taste; they rejoice if
once thou be humble enough to be frivolous.
What we recognise in a man, we also irritate in him. Therefore be on
your guard against the small ones!
In thy presence they feel themselves small, and their baseness
gleameth and gloweth against thee in invisible vengeance.
Sawest thou not how often they became dumb when thou approachedst
them, and how their energy left them like the smoke of an
Yea, my friend, the bad conscience art thou of thy neighbours; for
they are unworthy of thee. Therefore they hate thee, and would fain
suck thy blood.
Thy neighbours will always be poisonous flies; what is great in
thee- that itself must make them more poisonous, and always more
Flee, my friend, into thy solitude- and thither, where a rough
strong breeze bloweth. It is not thy lot to be a fly-flap.-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
I LOVE the forest. It is bad to live in cities: there, there are too
many of the lustful.
Is it not better to fall into the hands of a murderer than into
the dreams of a lustful woman?
And just look at these men: their eye saith it- they know nothing
better on earth than to lie with a woman.
Filth is at the bottom of their souls; and alas! if their filth hath
still spirit in it!
Would that ye were perfect- at least as animals! But to animals
Do I counsel you to slay your instincts? I counsel you to
innocence in your instincts.
Do I counsel you to chastity? Chastity is a virtue with some, but
with many almost a vice.
These are continent, to be sure: but doggish lust looketh
enviously out of all that they do.
Even into the heights of their virtue and into their cold spirit
doth this creature follow them, with its discord.
And how nicely can doggish lust beg for a piece of spirit, when a
piece of flesh is denied it!
Ye love tragedies and all that breaketh the heart? But I am
distrustful of your doggish lust.
Ye have too cruel eyes, and ye look wantonly towards the
sufferers. Hath not your lust just disguised itself and taken the name
And also this parable give I unto you: Not a few who meant to cast
out their devil, went thereby into the swine themselves.
To whom chastity is difficult, it is to be dissuaded: lest it become
the road to hell- to filth and lust of soul.
Do I speak of filthy things? That is not the worst thing for me to
Not when the truth is filthy, but when it is shallow, doth the
discerning one go unwillingly into its waters.
Verily, there are chaste ones from their very nature; they are
gentler of heart, and laugh better and oftener than you.
They laugh also at chastity, and ask: "What is chastity?
Is chastity not folly? But the folly came unto us, and not we unto
We offered that guest harbour and heart: now it dwelleth with us-
let it stay as long as it will!"-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
14. The Friend
"ONE is always too many about me"- thinketh the anchorite. "Always
once one- that maketh two in the long run!"
I and me are always too earnestly in conversation: how could it be
endured, if there were not a friend?
The friend of the anchorite is always the third one: the third one
is the cork which preventeth the conversation of the two sinking
into the depth.
Ah! there are too many depths for all anchorites. Therefore, do they
long so much for a friend and for his elevation.
Our faith in others betrayeth wherein we would fain have faith in
ourselves. Our longing for a friend is our betrayer.
And often with our love we want merely to overleap envy. And often
we attack and make ourselves enemies, to conceal that we are
"Be at least mine enemy!"- thus speaketh the true reverence, which
doth not venture to solicit friendship.
If one would have a friend, then must one also be willing to wage
war for him: and in order to wage war, one must be capable of being an
One ought still to honour the enemy in one's friend. Canst thou go
nigh unto thy friend, and not go over to him?
In one's friend one shall have one's best enemy. Thou shalt be
closest unto him with thy heart when thou withstandest him.
Thou wouldst wear no raiment before thy friend? It is in honour of
thy friend that thou showest thyself to him as thou art? But he
wisheth thee to the devil on that account!
He who maketh no secret of himself shocketh: so much reason have
ye to fear nakedness! Aye, if ye were gods, ye could then be ashamed
Thou canst not adorn thyself fine enough for thy friend; for thou
shalt be unto him an arrow and a longing for the Superman.
Sawest thou ever thy friend asleep- to know how he looketh? What
is usually the countenance of thy friend? It is thine own countenance,
in a coarse and imperfect mirror.
Sawest thou ever thy friend asleep? Wert thou not dismayed at thy
friend looking so? O my friend, man is something that hath to be
In divining and keeping silence shall the friend be a master: not
everything must thou wish to see. Thy dream shall disclose unto thee
what thy friend doeth when awake.
Let thy pity be a divining: to know first if thy friend wanteth
pity. Perhaps he loveth in thee the unmoved eye, and the look of
Let thy pity for thy friend be hid under a hard shell; thou shalt
bite out a tooth upon it. Thus will it have delicacy and sweetness.
Art thou pure air and solitude and bread and medicine to thy friend?
Many a one cannot loosen his own fetters, but is nevertheless his
Art thou a slave? Then thou canst not be a friend. Art thou a
tyrant? Then thou canst not have friends.
Far too long hath there been a slave and a tyrant concealed in
woman. On that account woman is not yet capable of friendship: she
knoweth only love.
In woman's love there is injustice and blindness to all she doth not
love. And even in woman's conscious love, there is still always
surprise and lightning and night, along with the light.
As yet woman is not capable of friendship: women are still cats
and birds. Or at the best, cows.
As yet woman is not capable of friendship. But tell me, ye men,
who of you is capable of friendship?
Oh! your poverty, ye men, and your sordidness of soul! As much as ye
give to your friend, will I give even to my foe, and will not have
become poorer thereby.
There is comradeship: may there be friendship!
Thus spake Zarathustra.
15. The Thousand and One Goals
MANY lands saw Zarathustra, and many peoples: thus he discovered the
good and bad of many peoples. No greater power did Zarathustra find on
earth than good and bad.
No people could live without first valuing; if a people will
maintain itself, however, it must not value as its neighbour valueth.
Much that passed for good with one people was regarded with scorn
and contempt by another: thus I found it. Much found I here called
bad, which was there decked with purple honours.
Never did the one neighbour understand the other: ever did his
soul marvel at his neighbour's delusion and wickedness.
A table of excellencies hangeth over every people. Lo! it is the
table of their triumphs; lo! it is the voice of their Will to Power.
It is laudable, what they think hard; what is indispensable and hard
they call good; and what relieveth in the direst distress, the
unique and hardest of all,- they extol as holy.
Whatever maketh them rule and conquer and shine, to the dismay and
envy of their neighbours, they regard as the high and foremost
thing, the test and the meaning of all else.
Verily, my brother, if thou knewest but a people's need, its land,
its sky, and its neighbour, then wouldst thou divine the law of its
surmountings, and why it climbeth up that ladder to its hope.
"Always shalt thou be the foremost and prominent above others: no
one shall thy jealous soul love, except a friend"- that made the
soul of a Greek thrill: thereby went he his way to greatness.
"To speak truth, and be skilful with bow and arrow"- so seemed it
alike pleasing and hard to the people from whom cometh my name- the
name which is alike pleasing and hard to me.
"To honour father and mother, and from the root of the soul to do
their will"- this table of surmounting hung another people over
them, and became powerful and permanent thereby.
"To have fidelity, and for the sake of fidelity to risk honour and
blood, even in evil and dangerous courses"- teaching itself so,
another people mastered itself, and thus mastering itself, became
pregnant and heavy with great hopes.
Verily, men have given unto themselves all their good and bad.
Verily, they took it not, they found it not, it came not unto them
as a voice from heaven.
Values did man only assign to things in order to maintain himself-
he created only the significance of things, a human significance!
Therefore, calleth he himself "man," that is, the valuator.
Valuing is creating: hear it, ye creating ones! Valuation itself
is the treasure and jewel of the valued things.
Through valuation only is there value; and without valuation the nut
of existence would be hollow. Hear it, ye creating ones!
Change of values- that is, change of the creating ones. Always
doth he destroy who hath to be a creator.
Creating ones were first of all peoples, and only in late times
individuals; verily, the individual himself is still the latest
Peoples once hung over them tables of the good. Love which would
rule and love which would obey, created for themselves such tables.
Older is the pleasure in the herd than the pleasure in the ego:
and as long as the good conscience is for the herd, the bad conscience
only saith: ego.
Verily, the crafty ego, the loveless one, that seeketh its advantage
in the advantage of many- it is not the origin of the herd, but its
Loving ones, was it always, and creating ones, that created good and
bad. Fire of love gloweth in the names of all the virtues, and fire of
Many lands saw Zarathustra, and many peoples: no greater power did
Zarathustra find on earth than the creations of the loving ones-
"good" and "bad" are they called.
Verily, a prodigy is this power of praising and blaming. Tell me, ye
brethren, who will master it for me? Who will put a fetter upon the
thousand necks of this animal?
A thousand goals have there been hitherto, for a thousand peoples
have there been. Only the fetter for the thousand necks is still
lacking; there is lacking the one goal. As yet humanity hath not a
But pray tell me, my brethren, if the goal of humanity be still
lacking, is there not also still lacking- humanity itself?-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
YE CROWD around your neighbour, and have fine words for it. But I
say unto you: your neighbour-love is your bad love of yourselves.
Ye flee unto your neighbour from yourselves, and would fain make a
virtue thereof: but I fathom your "unselfishness."
The Thou is older than the I; the Thou hath been consecrated, but
not yet the I: so man presseth nigh unto his neighbour.
Do I advise you to neighbour-love? Rather do I advise you to
neighbour-flight and to furthest love!
Higher than love to your neighbour is love to the furthest and
future ones; higher still than love to men, is love to things and
The phantom that runneth on before thee, my brother, is fairer
than thou; why dost thou not give unto it thy flesh and thy bones? But
thou fearest, and runnest unto thy neighbour.
Ye cannot endure it with yourselves, and do not love yourselves
sufficiently: so ye seek to mislead your neighbour into love, and
would fain gild yourselves with his error.
Would that ye could not endure it with any kind of near ones, or
their neighbours; then would ye have to create your friend and his
overflowing heart out of yourselves.
Ye call in a witness when ye want to speak well of yourselves; and
when ye have misled him to think well of you, ye also think well of
Not only doth he lie, who speaketh contrary to his knowledge, but
more so, he who speaketh contrary to his ignorance. And thus speak
ye of yourselves in your intercourse, and belie your neighbour with
Thus saith the fool: "Association with men spoileth the character,
especially when one hath none."
The one goeth to his neighbour because he seeketh himself, and the
other because he would fain lose himself. Your bad love to
yourselves maketh solitude a prison to you.
The furthest ones are they who pay for your love to the near ones;
and when there are but five of you together, a sixth must always die.
I love not your festivals either: too many actors found I there, and
even the spectators often behaved like actors.
Not the neighbour do I teach you, but the friend. Let the friend
be the festival of the earth to you, and a foretaste of the Superman.
I teach you the friend and his overflowing heart. But one must
know how to be a sponge, if one would be loved by over-flowing hearts.
I teach you the friend in whom the world standeth complete, a
capsule of the good,- the creating friend, who hath always a
complete world to bestow.
And as the world unrolled itself for him, so rolleth it together
again for him in rings, as the growth of good through evil, as the
growth of purpose out of chance.
Let the future and the furthest be the motive of thy today; in thy
friend shalt thou love the Superman as thy motive.
My brethren, I advise you not to neighbour-love- I advise you to
Thus spake Zarathustra.
17. The Way of the Creating One
WOULDST thou go into isolation, my brother? Wouldst thou seek the
way unto thyself? Tarry yet a little and hearken unto me.
"He who seeketh may easily get lost himself. All isolation is
wrong": so say the herd. And long didst thou belong to the herd.
The voice of the herd will still echo in thee. And when thou sayest,
"I have no longer a conscience in common with you," then will it be
a plaint and a pain.
Lo, that pain itself did the same conscience produce; and the last
gleam of that conscience still gloweth on thine affliction.
But thou wouldst go the way of thine affliction, which is the way
unto thyself? Then show me thine authority and thy strength to do so!
Art thou a new strength and a new authority? A first motion? A
self-rolling wheel? Canst thou also compel stars to revolve around
Alas! there is so much lusting for loftiness! There are so many
convulsions of the ambitions! Show me that thou art not a lusting
and ambitious one!
Alas! there are so many great thoughts that do nothing more than the
bellows: they inflate, and make emptier than ever.
Free, dost thou call thyself? Thy ruling thought would I hear of,
and not that thou hast escaped from a yoke.
Art thou one entitled to escape from a yoke? Many a one hath cast
away his final worth when he hath cast away his servitude.
Free from what? What doth that matter to Zarathustra! Clearly,
however, shall thine eye show unto me: free for what?
Canst thou give unto thyself thy bad and thy good, and set up thy
will as a law over thee? Canst thou be judge for thyself, and
avenger of thy law?
Terrible is aloneness with the judge and avenger of one's own law.
Thus is a star projected into desert space, and into the icy breath of
To-day sufferest thou still from the multitude, thou individual;
to-day hast thou still thy courage unabated, and thy hopes.
But one day will the solitude weary thee; one day will thy pride
yield, and thy courage quail. Thou wilt one day cry: "I am alone!"
One day wilt thou see no longer thy loftiness, and see too closely
thy lowliness; thy sublimity itself will frighten thee as a phantom.
Thou wilt one day cry: "All is false!"
There are feelings which seek to slay the lonesome one; if they do
not succeed, then must they themselves die! But art thou capable of
it- to be a murderer?
Hast thou ever known, my brother, the word "disdain"? And the
anguish of thy justice in being just to those that disdain thee?
Thou forcest many to think differently about thee; that, charge they
heavily to thine account. Thou camest nigh unto them, and yet
wentest past: for that they never forgive thee.
Thou goest beyond them: but the higher thou risest, the smaller doth
the eye of envy see thee. Most of all, however, is the flying one
"How could ye be just unto me!"- must thou say- "I choose your
injustice as my allotted portion.
Injustice and filth cast they at the lonesome one: but, my
brother, if thou wouldst be a star, thou must shine for them none
the less on that account!
And be on thy guard against the good and just! They would fain
crucify those who devise their own virtue- they hate the lonesome
Be on thy guard, also, against holy simplicity! All is unholy to
it that is not simple; fain, likewise, would it play with the fire- of
the fagot and stake.
And be on thy guard, also, against the assaults of thy love! Too
readily doth the recluse reach his hand to any one who meeteth him.
To many a one mayest thou not give thy hand, but only thy paw; and I
wish thy paw also to have claws.
But the worst enemy thou canst meet, wilt thou thyself always be;
thou waylayest thyself in caverns and forests.
Thou lonesome one, thou goest the way to thyself! And past thyself
and thy seven devils leadeth thy way!
A heretic wilt thou be to thyself, and a wizard and a soothsayer,
and a fool, and a doubter, and a reprobate, and a villain.
Ready must thou be to burn thyself in thine own flame; how couldst
thou become new if thou have not first become ashes!
Thou lonesome one, thou goest the way of the creating one: a God
wilt thou create for thyself out of thy seven devils!
Thou lonesome one, thou goest the way of the loving one: thou lovest
thyself, and on that account despisest thou thyself, as only the
loving ones despise.
To create, desireth the loving one, because he despiseth! What
knoweth he of love who hath not been obliged to despise just what he
With thy love, go into thine isolation, my brother, and with thy
creating; and late only will justice limp after thee.
With my tears, go into thine isolation, my brother. I love him who
seeketh to create beyond himself, and thus succumbeth.-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
18. Old and Young Women
WHY stealest thou along so furtively in the twilight, Zarathustra?
And what hidest thou so carefully under thy mantle?
Is it a treasure that hath been given thee? Or a child that hath
been born thee? Or goest thou thyself on a thief's errand, thou friend
of the evil?-
Verily, my brother, said Zarathustra, it is a treasure that hath
been given me: it is a little truth which I carry.
But it is naughty, like a young child; and if I hold not its
mouth, it screameth too loudly.
As I went on my way alone today, at the hour when the sun declineth,
there met me an old woman, and she spake thus unto my soul:
"Much hath Zarathustra spoken also to us women, but never spake he
unto us concerning woman."
And I answered her: "Concerning woman, one should only talk unto
"Talk also unto me of woman," said she; "I am old enough to forget
And I obliged the old woman and spake thus unto her:
Everything in woman is a riddle, and everything in woman hath one
solution- it is called pregnancy.
Man is for woman a means: the purpose is always the child. But
what is woman for man?
Two different things wanteth the true man: danger and diversion.
Therefore wanteth he woman, as the most dangerous plaything.
Man shall be trained for war, and woman for the recreation of the
warrior: all else is folly.
Too sweet fruits- these the warrior liketh not. Therefore liketh
he woman;- bitter is even the sweetest woman.
Better than man doth woman understand children, but man is more
childish than woman.
In the true man there is a child hidden: it wanteth to play. Up
then, ye women, and discover the child in man!
A plaything let woman be, pure and fine like the precious stone,
illumined with the virtues of a world not yet come.
Let the beam of a star shine in your love! Let your hope say: "May I
bear the Superman!"
In your love let there be valour! With your love shall ye assail him
who inspireth you with fear!
In your love be your honour! Little doth woman understand
otherwise about honour. But let this be your honour: always to love
more than ye are loved, and never be the second.
Let man fear woman when she loveth: then maketh she every sacrifice,
and everything else she regardeth as worthless.
Let man fear woman when she hateth: for man in his innermost soul is
merely evil; woman, however, is mean.
Whom hateth woman most?- Thus spake the iron to the loadstone: "I
hate thee most, because thou attractest, but art too weak to draw unto
The happiness of man is, "I will." The happiness of woman is, "He
"Lo! "Lo! now hath the world become perfect!"- thus thinketh every
woman when she obeyeth with all her love.
Obey, must the woman, and find a depth for her surface. Surface is
woman's soul, a mobile, stormy film on shallow water.
Man's soul, however, is deep, its current gusheth in subterranean
caverns: woman surmiseth its force, but comprehendeth it not.-
Then answered me the old woman: "Many fine things hath Zarathustra
said, especially for those who are young enough for them.
Strange! Zarathustra knoweth little about woman, and yet he is right
about them! Doth this happen, because with women nothing is
And now accept a little truth by way of thanks! I am old enough
Swaddle it up and hold its mouth: otherwise it will scream too
loudly, the little truth."
"Give me, woman, thy little truth!" said I. And thus spake the old
"Thou goest to women? Do not forget thy whip!"-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
19. The Bite of the Adder
ONE day had Zarathustra fallen asleep under a fig-tree, owing to the
heat, with his arm over his face. And there came an adder and bit
him in the neck, so that Zarathustra screamed with pain. When he had
taken his arm from his face he looked at the serpent; and then did
it recognise the eyes of Zarathustra, wriggled awkwardly, and tried to
get away. "Not at all," said Zarathustra, "as yet hast thou not
received my thanks! Thou hast awakened me in time; my journey is yet
long." "Thy journey is short," said the adder sadly; "my poison is
fatal." Zarathustra smiled. "When did ever a dragon die of a serpent's
poison?"- said he. "But take thy poison back! Thou art not rich enough
to present it to me." Then fell the adder again on his neck, and
licked his wound.
When Zarathustra once told this to his disciples they asked him:
"And what, O Zarathustra, is the moral of thy story?" And
Zarathustra answered them thus:
The destroyer of morality, the good and just call me: my story is
When, however, ye have an enemy, then return him not good for
evil: for that would abash him. But prove that he hath done
something good to you.
And rather be angry than abash any one! And when ye are cursed, it
pleaseth me not that ye should then desire to bless. Rather curse a
And should a great injustice befall you, then do quickly five
small ones besides. Hideous to behold is he on whom injustice presseth
Did ye ever know this? Shared injustice is half justice. And he
who can bear it, shall take the injustice upon himself!
A small revenge is humaner than no revenge at all. And if the
punishment be not also a right and an honour to the transgressor, I do
not like your punishing.
Nobler is it to own oneself in the wrong than to establish one's
right, especially if one be in the right. Only, one must be rich
enough to do so.
I do not like your cold justice; out of the eye of your judges there
always glanceth the executioner and his cold steel.
Tell me: where find we justice, which is love with seeing eyes?
Devise me, then, the love which not only beareth all punishment, but
also all guilt!
Devise me, then, the justice which acquitteth every one except the
And would ye hear this likewise? To him who seeketh to be just
from the heart, even the lie becometh philanthropy.
But how could I be just from the heart! How can I give every one his
own! Let this be enough for me: I give unto every one mine own.
Finally, my brethren, guard against doing wrong to any anchorite.
How could an anchorite forget! How could he requite!
Like a deep well is an anchorite. Easy is it to throw in a stone: if
it should sink to the bottom, however, tell me, who will bring it
Guard against injuring the anchorite! If ye have done so, however,
well then, kill him also!-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
20. Child and Marriage
I HAVE a question for thee alone, my brother: like a
sounding-lead, cast I this question into thy soul, that I may know its
Thou art young, and desirest child and marriage. But I ask thee: Art
thou a man entitled to desire a child?
Art thou the victorious one, the self-conqueror, the ruler of thy
passions, the master of thy virtues? Thus do I ask thee.
Or doth the animal speak in thy wish, and necessity? Or isolation?
Or discord in thee?
I would have thy victory and freedom long for a child. Living
monuments shalt thou build to thy victory and emancipation.
Beyond thyself shalt thou build. But first of all must thou be built
thyself, rectangular in body and soul.
Not only onward shalt thou propagate thyself, but upward! For that
purpose may the garden of marriage help thee!
A higher body shalt thou create, a first movement, a spontaneously
rolling wheel- a creating one shalt thou create.
Marriage: so call I the will of the twain to create the one that
is more than those who created it. The reverence for one another, as
those exercising such a will, call I marriage.
Let this be the significance and the truth of thy marriage. But that
which the many-too-many call marriage, those superfluous ones- ah,
what shall I call it?
Ah, the poverty of soul in the twain! Ah, the filth of soul in the
twain! Ah, the pitiable self-complacency in the twain!
Marriage they call it all; and they say their marriages are made
Well, I do not like it, that heaven of the superfluous! No, I do not
like them, those animals tangled in the heavenly toils!
Far from me also be the God who limpeth thither to bless what he
hath not matched!
Laugh not at such marriages! What child hath not had reason to
weep over its parents?
Worthy did this man seem, and ripe for the meaning of the earth: but
when I saw his wife, the earth seemed to me a home for madcaps.
Yea, I would that the earth shook with convulsions when a saint
and a goose mate with one another.
This one went forth in quest of truth as a hero, and at last got for
himself a small decked-up lie: his marriage he calleth it.
That one was reserved in intercourse and chose choicely. But one
time he spoilt his company for all time: his marriage he calleth it.
Another sought a handmaid with the virtues of an angel. But all at
once he became the handmaid of a woman, and now would he need also
to become an angel.
Careful, have I found all buyers, and all of them have astute
eyes. But even the astutest of them buyeth his wife in a sack.
Many short follies- that is called love by you. And your marriage
putteth an end to many short follies, with one long stupidity.
Your love to woman, and woman's love to man- ah, would that it
were sympathy for suffering and veiled deities! But generally two
animals alight on one another.
But even your best love is only an enraptured simile and a painful
ardour. It is a torch to light you to loftier paths.
Beyond yourselves shall ye love some day! Then learn first of all to
love. And on that account ye had to drink the bitter cup of your love.
Bitterness is in the cup even of the best love; thus doth it cause
longing for the Superman; thus doth it cause thirst in thee, the
Thirst in the creating one, arrow and longing for the Superman: tell
me, my brother, is this thy will to marriage?
Holy call I such a will, and such a marriage.-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
21. Voluntary Death
MANY die too late, and some die too early. Yet strange soundeth
the precept: "Die at the right time!
Die at the right time: so teacheth Zarathustra.
To be sure, he who never liveth at the right time, how could he ever
die at the right time? Would that he might never be born!- Thus do I
advise the superfluous ones.
But even the superfluous ones make much ado about their death, and
even the hollowest nut wanteth to be cracked.
Every one regardeth dying as a great matter: but as yet death is not
a festival. Not yet have people learned to inaugurate the finest
The consummating death I show unto you, which becometh a stimulus
and promise to the living.
His death, dieth the consummating one triumphantly, surrounded by
hoping and promising ones.
Thus should one learn to die; and there should be no festival at
which such a dying one doth not consecrate the oaths of the living!
Thus to die is best; the next best, however, is to die in battle,
and sacrifice a great soul.
But to the fighter equally hateful as to the victor, is your
grinning death which stealeth nigh like a thief,- and yet cometh as
My death, praise I unto you, the voluntary death, which cometh
unto me because I want it.
And when shall I want it?- He that hath a goal and an heir,
wanteth death at the right time for the goal and the heir.
And out of reverence for the goal and the heir, he will hang up no
more withered wreaths in the sanctuary of life.
Verily, not the rope-makers will I resemble: they lengthen out their
cord, and thereby go ever backward.
Many a one, also, waxeth too old for his truths and triumphs; a
toothless mouth hath no longer the right to every truth.
And whoever wanteth to have fame, must take leave of honour betimes,
and practise the difficult art of- going at the right time.
One must discontinue being feasted upon when one tasteth best:
that is known by those who want to be long loved.
Sour apples are there, no doubt, whose lot is to wait until the last
day of autumn: and at the same time they become ripe, yellow, and
In some ageth the heart first, and in others the spirit. And some
are hoary in youth, but the late young keep long young.
To many men life is a failure; a poison-worm gnaweth at their heart.
Then let them see to it that their dying is all the more a success.
Many never become sweet; they rot even in the summer. It is
cowardice that holdeth them fast to their branches.
Far too many live, and far too long hang they on their branches.
Would that a storm came and shook all this rottenness and
worm-eatenness from the tree!
Would that there came preachers of speedy death! Those would be
the appropriate storms and agitators of the trees of life! But I
hear only slow death preached, and patience with all that is
Ah! ye preach patience with what is earthly? This earthly is it that
hath too much patience with you, ye blasphemers!
Verily, too early died that Hebrew whom the preachers of slow
death honour: and to many hath it proved a calamity that he died too
As yet had he known only tears, and the melancholy of the Hebrews,
together with the hatred of the good and just- the Hebrew Jesus:
then was he seized with the longing for death.
Had he but remained in the wilderness, and far from the good and
just! Then, perhaps, would he have learned to live, and love the
earth- and laughter also!
Believe it, my brethren! He died too early; he himself would have
disavowed his doctrine had he attained to my age! Noble enough was
he to disavow!
But he was still immature. Immaturely loveth the youth, and
immaturely also hateth he man and earth. Confined and awkward are
still his soul and the wings of his spirit.
But in man there is more of the child than in the youth, and less of
melancholy: better understandeth he about life and death.
Free for death, and free in death; a holy Naysayer, when there is no
longer time for Yea: thus understandeth he about death and life.
That your dying may not be a reproach to man and the earth, my
friends: that do I solicit from the honey of your soul.
In your dying shall your spirit and your virtue still shine like
an evening after-glow around the earth: otherwise your dying hath been
Thus will I die myself, that ye friends may love the earth more
for my sake; and earth will I again become, to have rest in her that
Verily, a goal had Zarathustra; he threw his ball. Now be ye friends
the heirs of my goal; to you throw I the golden ball.
Best of all, do I see you, my friends, throw the golden ball! And so
tarry I still a little while on the earth- pardon me for it!
Thus spake Zarathustra.
22. The Bestowing Virtue
WHEN Zarathustra had taken leave of the town to which his heart
was attached, the name of which is "The Pied Cow," there followed
him many people who called themselves his disciples, and kept him
company. Thus came they to a crossroads. Then Zarathustra told them
that he now wanted to go alone; for he was fond of going alone. His
disciples, however, presented him at his departure with a staff, on
the golden handle of which a serpent twined round the sun. Zarathustra
rejoiced on account of the staff, and supported himself thereon;
then spake he thus to his disciples:
Tell me, pray: how came gold to the highest value? Because it is
uncommon, and unprofiting, and beaming, and soft in lustre; it
always bestoweth itself.
Only as image of the highest virtue came gold to the highest
value. Goldlike, beameth the glance of the bestower. Gold-lustre
maketh peace between moon and sun.
Uncommon is the highest virtue, and unprofiting, beaming is it,
and soft of lustre: a bestowing virtue is the highest virtue.
Verily, I divine you well, my disciples: ye strive like me for the
bestowing virtue. What should ye have in common with cats and wolves?
It is your thirst to become sacrifices and gifts yourselves: and
therefore have ye the thirst to accumulate all riches in your soul.
Insatiably striveth your soul for treasures and jewels, because your
virtue is insatiable in desiring to bestow.
Ye constrain all things to flow towards you and into you, so that
they shall flow back again out of your fountain as the gifts of your
Verily, an appropriator of all values must such bestowing. love
become; but healthy and holy, call I this selfishness.-
Another selfishness is there, an all-too-poor and hungry kind, which
would always steal- the selfishness of the sick, the sickly
With the eye of the thief it looketh upon all that is lustrous; with
the craving of hunger it measureth him who hath abundance; and ever
doth it prowl round the tables of bestowers.
Sickness speaketh in such craving, and invisible degeneration; of
a sickly body, speaketh the larcenous craving of this selfishness.
Tell me, my brother, what do we think bad, and worst of all? Is it
not degeneration?- And we always suspect degeneration when the
bestowing soul is lacking.
Upward goeth our course from genera on to super-genera. But a horror
to us is the degenerating sense, which saith: "All for myself."
Upward soareth our sense: thus is it a simile of our body, a
simile of an elevation. Such similes of elevations are the names of
Thus goeth the body through history, a becomer and fighter. And
the spirit- what is it to the body? Its fights' and victories' herald,
its companion and echo.
Similes, are all names of good and evil; they do not speak out, they
only hint. A fool who seeketh knowledge from them!
Give heed, my brethren, to every hour when your spirit would speak
in similes: there is the origin of your virtue.
Elevated is then your body, and raised up; with its delight,
enraptureth it the spirit; so that it becometh creator, and valuer,
and lover, and everything's benefactor.
When your heart overfloweth broad and full like the river, a
blessing and a danger to the lowlanders: there is the origin of your
When ye are exalted above praise and blame, and your will would
command all things, as a loving one's will: there is the origin of
When ye despise pleasant things, and the effeminate couch, and
cannot couch far enough from the effeminate: there is the origin of
When ye are willers of one will, and when that change of every
need is needful to you: there is the origin of your virtue.
Verily, a new good and evil is it! Verily, a new deep murmuring, and
the voice of a new fountain!
Power is it, this new virtue; a ruling thought is it, and around
it a subtle soul: a golden sun, with the serpent of knowledge around
Here paused Zarathustra awhile, and looked lovingly on his
disciples. Then he continued to speak thus- and his voice had changed:
Remain true to the earth, my brethren, with the power of your
virtue! Let your bestowing love and your knowledge be devoted to be
the meaning of the earth! Thus do I pray and conjure you.
Let it not fly away from the earthly and beat against eternal
walls with its wings! Ah, there hath always been so much flown-away
Lead, like me, the flown-away virtue back to the earth- yea, back to
body and life: that it may give to the earth its meaning, a human
A hundred times hitherto hath spirit as well as virtue flown away
and blundered. Alas! in our body dwelleth still all this delusion
and blundering: body and will hath it there become.
A hundred times hitherto hath spirit as well as virtue attempted and
erred. Yea, an attempt hath man been. Alas, much ignorance and error
hath become embodied in us!
Not only the rationality of millennia- also their madness,
breaketh out in us. Dangerous is it to be an heir.
Still fight we step by step with the giant Chance, and over all
mankind hath hitherto ruled nonsense, the lack-of-sense.
Let your spirit and your virtue be devoted to the sense of the
earth, my brethren: let the value of everything be determined anew
by you! Therefore shall ye be fighters! Therefore shall ye be
Intelligently doth the body purify itself; attempting with
intelligence it exalteth itself; to the discerners all impulses
sanctify themselves; to the exalted the soul becometh joyful.
Physician, heal thyself: then wilt thou also heal thy patient. Let
it be his best cure to see with his eyes him who maketh himself whole.
A thousand paths are there which have never yet been trodden; a
thousand salubrities and hidden islands of life. Unexhausted and
undiscovered is still man and man's world.
Awake and hearken, ye lonesome ones! From the future come winds with
stealthy pinions, and to fine ears good tidings are proclaimed.
Ye lonesome ones of today, ye seceding ones, ye shall one day be a
people: out of you who have chosen yourselves, shall a chosen people
arise:- and out of it the Superman.
Verily, a place of healing shall the earth become! And already is
a new odour diffused around it, a salvation-bringing odour- and a
When Zarathustra had spoken these words, he paused, like one who had
not said his last word; and long did he balance the staff doubtfully
in his hand. At last he spake thus- and his voice had changed:
I now go alone, my disciples! Ye also now go away, and alone! So
will I have it.
Verily, I advise you: depart from me, and guard yourselves against
Zarathustra! And better still: be ashamed of him! Perhaps he hath
The man of knowledge must be able not only to love his enemies,
but also to hate his friends.
One requiteth a teacher badly if one remain merely a scholar. And
why will ye not pluck at my wreath?
Ye venerate me; but what if your veneration should some day
collapse? Take heed lest a statue crush you!
Ye say, ye believe in Zarathustra? But of what account is
Zarathustra! Ye are my believers: but of what account are all
Ye had not yet sought yourselves: then did ye find me. So do all
believers; therefore all belief is of so little account.
Now do I bid you lose me and find yourselves; and only when ye
have all denied me, will I return unto you.
Verily, with other eyes, my brethren, shall I then seek my lost
ones; with another love shall I then love you.
And once again shall ye have become friends unto me, and children of
one hope: then will I be with you for the third time, to celebrate the
great noontide with you.
And it is the great noontide, when man is in the middle of his
course between animal and Superman, and celebrateth his advance to the
evening as his highest hope: for it is the advance to a new morning.
At such time will the down-goer bless himself, that he should be
an over-goer; and the sun of his knowledge will be at noontide.
"Dead are all the Gods: now do we desire the Superman to live."- Let
this be our final will at the great noontide!-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
"-and only when ye have all denied me, will I return unto you.
Verily, with other eyes, my brethren, shall I then seek my lost
ones; with another love shall I then love you."- ZARATHUSTRA, I., "The
23. The Child with the Mirror
AFTER this Zarathustra returned again into the mountains to the
solitude of his cave, and withdrew himself from men, waiting like a
sower who hath scattered his seed. His soul, however, became impatient
and full of longing for those whom he loved: because he had still much
to give them. For this is hardest of all: to close the open hand out
of love, and keep modest as a giver.
Thus passed with the lonesome one months and years; his wisdom
meanwhile increased, and caused him pain by its abundance.
One morning, however, he awoke ere the rosy dawn, and having
meditated long on his couch, at last spake thus to his heart:
Why did I startle in my dream, so that I awoke? Did not a child come
to me, carrying a mirror?
"O Zarathustra"- said the child unto me- "look at thyself in the
But when I looked into the mirror, I shrieked, and my heart
throbbed: for not myself did I see therein, but a devil's grimace
Verily, all too well do I understand the dream's portent and
monition: my doctrine is in danger; tares want to be called wheat!
Mine enemies have grown powerful and have disfigured the likeness of
my doctrine, so that my dearest ones have to blush for the gifts
that I gave them.
Lost are my friends; the hour hath come for me to seek my lost
With these words Zarathustra started up, not however like a person
in anguish seeking relief, but rather like a seer and a singer whom
the spirit inspireth. With amazement did his eagle and serpent gaze
upon him: for a coming bliss overspread his countenance like the
What hath happened unto me, mine animals?- said Zarathustra. Am I
not transformed? Hath not bliss come unto me like a whirlwind?
Foolish is my happiness, and foolish things will it speak: it is
still too young- so have patience with it!
Wounded am I by my happiness: all sufferers shall be physicians unto
To my friends can I again go down, and also to mine enemies!
Zarathustra can again speak and bestow, and show his best love to
his loved ones!
My impatient love overfloweth in streams,- down towards sunrise
and sunset. Out of silent mountains and storms of affliction,
rusheth my soul into the valleys.
Too long have I longed and looked into the distance. Too long hath
solitude possessed me: thus have I unlearned to keep silence.
Utterance have I become altogether, and the brawling of a brook from
high rocks: downward into the valleys will I hurl my speech.
And let the stream of my love sweep into unfrequented channels!
How should a stream not finally find its way to the sea!
Forsooth, there is a lake in me, sequestered and self-sufficing; but
the stream of my love beareth this along with it, down- to the sea!
New paths do I tread, a new speech cometh unto me; tired have I
become- like all creators- of the old tongues. No longer will my
spirit walk on worn-out soles.
Too slowly runneth all speaking for me:- into thy chariot, O
storm, do I leap! And even thee will I whip with my spite!
Like a cry and an huzza will I traverse wide seas, till I find the
Happy Isles where my friends sojourn;-
And mine enemies amongst them! How I now love every one unto whom
I may but speak! Even mine enemies pertain to my bliss.
And when I want to mount my wildest horse, then doth my spear always
help me up best: it is my foot's ever ready servant:-
The spear which I hurl at mine enemies! How grateful am I to mine
enemies that I may at last hurl it!
Too great hath been the tension of my cloud: 'twixt laughters of
lightnings will I cast hail-showers into the depths.
Violently will my breast then heave; violently will it blow its
storm over the mountains: thus cometh its assuagement.
Verily, like a storm cometh my happiness, and my freedom! But mine
enemies shall think that the evil one roareth over their heads.
Yea, ye also, my friends, will be alarmed by my wild wisdom; and
perhaps ye will flee therefrom, along with mine enemies.
Ah, that I knew how to lure you back with shepherds' flutes! Ah,
that my lioness wisdom would learn to roar softly! And much have we
already learned with one another!
My wild wisdom became pregnant on the lonesome mountains; on the
rough stones did she bear the youngest of her young.
Now runneth she foolishly in the arid wilderness, and seeketh and
seeketh the soft sward- mine old, wild wisdom!
On the soft sward of your hearts, my friends!- on your love, would
she fain couch her dearest one!-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
24. In the Happy Isles
THE figs fall from the trees, they are good and sweet; and in
falling the red skins of them break. A north wind am I to ripe figs.
Thus, like figs, do these doctrines fall for you, my friends: imbibe
now their juice and their sweet substance! It is autumn all around,
and clear sky, and afternoon.
Lo, what fullness is around us! And out of the midst of
superabundance, it is delightful to look out upon distant seas.
Once did people say God, when they looked out upon distant seas;
now, however, have I taught you to say, Superman.
God is a conjecture: but I do not wish your conjecturing to reach
beyond your creating will.
Could ye create a God?- Then, I pray you, be silent about all
gods! But ye could well create the Superman.
Not perhaps ye yourselves, my brethren! But into fathers and
forefathers of the Superman could ye transform yourselves: and let
that be your best creating!-
God is a conjecture: but I should like your conjecturing
restricted to the conceivable.
Could ye conceive a God?- But let this mean Will to Truth unto
you, that everything be transformed into the humanly conceivable,
the humanly visible, the humanly sensible! Your own discernment
shall ye follow out to the end!
And what ye have called the world shall but be created by you:
your reason, your likeness, your will, your love, shall it itself
become! And verily, for your bliss, ye discerning ones!
And how would ye endure life without that hope, ye discerning
ones? Neither in the inconceivable could ye have been born, nor in the
But that I may reveal my heart entirely unto you, my friends: if
there were gods, how could I endure it to be no God! Therefore there
are no gods.
Yea, I have drawn the conclusion; now, however, doth it draw me.-
God is a conjecture: but who could drink all the bitterness of
this conjecture without dying? Shall his faith be taken from the
creating one, and from the eagle his flights into eagle-heights?
God is a thought- it maketh all the straight crooked, and all that
standeth reel. What? Time would be gone, and all the perishable
would be but a lie?
To think this is giddiness and vertigo to human limbs, and even
vomiting to the stomach: verily, the reeling sickness do I call it, to
conjecture such a thing.
Evil do I call it and misanthropic: all that teaching about the one,
and the plenum, and the unmoved, and the sufficient, and the
All the imperishable- that's but a simile, and the poets lie too
But of time and of becoming shall the best similes speak: a praise
shall they be, and a justification of all perishableness!
Creating- that is the great salvation from suffering, and life's
alleviation. But for the creator to appear, suffering itself is
needed, and much transformation.
Yea, much bitter dying must there be in your life, ye creators! Thus
are ye advocates and justifiers of all perishableness.
For the creator himself to be the new-born child, he must also be
willing to be the child-bearer, and endure the pangs of the
Verily, through a hundred souls went I my way, and through a hundred
cradles and birth-throes. Many a farewell have I taken; I know the
heart-breaking last hours.
But so willeth it my creating Will, my fate. Or, to tell you it more
candidly: just such a fate- willeth my Will.
All feeling suffereth in me, and is in prison: but my willing ever
cometh to me as mine emancipator and comforter.
Willing emancipateth: that is the true doctrine of will and
emancipation- so teacheth you Zarathustra.
No longer willing, and no longer valuing, and no longer creating!
Ah, that that great debility may ever be far from me!
And also in discerning do I feel only my will's procreating and
evolving delight; and if there be innocence in my knowledge, it is
because there is will to procreation in it.
Away from God and gods did this will allure me; what would there
be to create if there were- gods!
But to man doth it ever impel me anew, my fervent creative will;
thus impelleth it the hammer to the stone.
Ah, ye men, within the stone slumbereth an image for me, the image
of my visions! Ah, that it should slumber in the hardest, ugliest
Now rageth my hammer ruthlessly against its prison. From the stone
fly the fragments: what's that to me?
I will complete it: for a shadow came unto me- the stillest and
lightest of all things once came unto me!
The beauty of the superman came unto me as a shadow. Ah, my
brethren! Of what account now are- the gods to me!-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
25. The Pitiful
MY FRIENDS, there hath arisen a satire on your friend: "Behold
Zarathustra! Walketh he not amongst us as if amongst animals?"
But it is better said in this wise: "The discerning one walketh
amongst men as amongst animals."
Man himself is to the discerning one: the animal with red cheeks.
How hath that happened unto him? Is it not because he hath had to be
ashamed too oft?
O my friends! Thus speaketh the discerning one: shame, shame, shame-
that is the history of man!
And on that account doth the noble one enjoin on himself not to
abash: bashfulness doth he enjoin himself in presence of all
Verily, I like them not, the merciful ones, whose bliss is in
their pity: too destitute are they of bashfulness.
If I must be pitiful, I dislike to be called so; and if I be so,
it is preferably at a distance.
Preferably also do I shroud my head, and flee, before being
recognised: and thus do I bid you do, my friends!
May my destiny ever lead unafflicted ones like you across my path,
and those with whom I may have hope and repast and honey in common!
Verily, I have done this and that for the afflicted: but something
better did I always seem to do when I had learned to enjoy myself
Since humanity came into being, man hath enjoyed himself too little:
that alone, my brethren, is our original sin!
And when we learn better to enjoy ourselves, then do we unlearn best
to give pain unto others, and to contrive pain.
Therefore do I wash the hand that hath helped the sufferer;
therefore do I wipe also my soul.
For in seeing the sufferer suffering- thereof was I ashamed on
account of his shame; and in helping him, sorely did I wound his
Great obligations do not make grateful, but revengeful; and when a
small kindness is not forgotten, it becometh a gnawing worm.
"Be shy in accepting! Distinguish by accepting!"- thus do I advise
those who have naught to bestow.
I, however, am a bestower: willingly do I bestow as friend to
friends. Strangers, however, and the poor, may pluck for themselves
the fruit from my tree: thus doth it cause less shame.
Beggars, however, one should entirely do away with! Verily, it
annoyeth one to give unto them, and it annoyeth one not to give unto
And likewise sinners and bad consciences! Believe me, my friends:
the sting of conscience teacheth one to sting.
The worst things, however, are the petty thoughts. Verily, better to
have done evilly than to have thought pettily!
To be sure, ye say: "The delight in petty evils spareth one many a
great evil deed." But here one should not wish to be sparing.
Like a boil is the evil deed: it itcheth and irritateth and breaketh
forth- it speaketh honourably.
"Behold, I am disease," saith the evil deed: that is its
But like infection is the petty thought: it creepeth and hideth, and
wanteth to be nowhere- until the whole body is decayed and withered by
the petty infection.
To him however, who is possessed of a devil, I would whisper this
word in the ear: "Better for thee to rear up thy devil! Even for
thee there is still a path to greatness!"-
Ah, my brethren! One knoweth a little too much about every one!
And many a one becometh transparent to us, but still we can by no
means penetrate him.
It is difficult to live among men because silence is so difficult.
And not to him who is offensive to us are we most unfair, but to him
who doth not concern us at all.
If, however, thou hast a suffering friend, then be a resting-place
for his suffering; like a hard bed, however, a camp-bed: thus wilt
thou serve him best.
And if a friend doeth thee wrong, then say: "I forgive thee what
thou hast done unto me; that thou hast done it unto thyself,
however- how could I forgive that!"
Thus speaketh all great love: it surpasseth even forgiveness and
One should hold fast one's heart; for when one letteth it go, how
quickly doth one's head run away!
Ah, where in the world have there been greater follies than with the
pitiful? And what in the world hath caused more suffering than the
follies of the pitiful?
Woe unto all loving ones who have not an elevation which is above
Thus spake the devil unto me, once on a time: "Even God hath his
hell: it is his love for man."
And lately, did I hear him say these words: "God is dead: of his
pity for man hath God died."-
So be ye warned against pity: from thence there yet cometh unto
men a heavy cloud! Verily, I understand weather-signs!
But attend also to this word: All great love is above all its
pity: for it seeketh- to create what is loved!
"Myself do I offer unto my love, and my neighbour as myself"- such
is the language of all creators.
All creators, however, are hard.-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
26. The Priests
AND one day Zarathustra made a sign to his disciples and spake these
words unto them:
"Here are priests: but although they are mine enemies, pass them
quietly and with sleeping swords!
Even among them there are heroes; many of them have suffered too
much:- so they want to make others suffer.
Bad enemies are they: nothing is more revengeful than their
meekness. And readily doth he soil himself who toucheth them.
But my blood is related to theirs; and I want withal to see my blood
honoured in theirs."-
And when they had passed, a pain attacked Zarathustra; but not
long had he struggled with the pain, when he began to speak thus:
It moveth my heart for those priests. They also go against my taste;
but that is the smallest matter unto me, since I am among men.
But I suffer and have suffered with them: prisoners are they unto
me, and stigmatised ones. He whom they call Saviour put them in
In fetters of false values and fatuous words! Oh, that some one
would save them from their Saviour!
On an isle they once thought they had landed, when the sea tossed
them about; but behold, it was a slumbering monster!
False values and fatuous words: these are the worst monsters for
mortals- long slumbereth and waiteth the fate that is in them.
But at last it cometh and awaketh and devoureth and engulfeth
whatever hath built tabernacles upon it.
Oh, just look at those tabernacles which those priests have built
themselves! Churches, they call their sweet-smelling caves!
Oh, that falsified light, that mustified air! Where the soul- may
not fly aloft to its height!
But so enjoineth their belief: "On your knees, up the stair, ye
Verily, rather would I see a shameless one than the distorted eyes
of their shame and devotion!
Who created for themselves such caves and penitence-stairs? Was it
not those who sought to conceal themselves, and were ashamed under the
And only when the clear sky looketh again through ruined roofs,
and down upon grass and red poppies on ruined walls- will I again turn
my heart to the seats of this God.
They called God that which opposed and afflicted them: and verily,
there was much hero-spirit in their worship!
And they knew not how to love their God otherwise than by nailing
men to the cross!
As corpses they thought to live; in black draped they their corpses;
even in their talk do I still feel the evil flavour of charnel-houses.
And he who liveth nigh unto them liveth nigh unto black pools,
wherein the toad singeth his song with sweet gravity.
Better songs would they have to sing, for me to believe in their
Saviour: more! like saved ones would his disciples have to appear unto
Naked, would I like to see them: for beauty alone should preach
penitence. But whom would that disguised affliction convince!
Verily, their saviours themselves came not from freedom and
freedom's seventh heaven! Verily, they themselves never trod the
carpets of knowledge!
Of defects did the spirit of those saviours consist; but into
every defect had they put their illusion, their stop-gap, which they
In their pity was their spirit drowned; and when they swelled and
o'erswelled with pity, there always floated to the surface a great
Eagerly and with shouts drove they their flock over their
foot-bridge; as if there were but one foot-bridge to the future!
Verily, those shepherds also were still of the flock!
Small spirits and spacious souls had those shepherds: but, my
brethren, what small domains have even the most spacious souls
Characters of blood did they write on the way they went, and their
folly taught that truth is proved by blood.
But blood is the very worst witness to truth; blood tainteth the
purest teaching, and turneth it into delusion and hatred of heart.
And when a person goeth through fire for his teaching- what doth
that prove! It is more, verily, when out of one's own burning cometh
one's own teaching!
Sultry heart and cold head; where these meet, there ariseth the
blusterer, the "Saviour."
Greater ones, verily, have there been, and higher-born ones, than
those whom the people call saviours, those rapturous blusterers!
And by still greater ones than any of the saviours must ye be saved,
my brethren, if ye would find the way to freedom!
Never yet hath there been a Superman. Naked have I seen both of
them, the greatest man and the smallest man:-
All-too-similar are they still to each other. Verily, even the
greatest found I- all-too-human!-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
27. The Virtuous
WITH thunder and heavenly fireworks must one speak to indolent and
But beauty's voice speaketh gently: it appealeth only to the most
Gently vibrated and laughed unto me to-day my buckler; it was
beauty's holy laughing and thrilling.
At you, ye virtuous ones, laughed my beauty to-day. And thus came
its voice unto me: "They want- to be paid besides!"
Ye want to be paid besides, ye virtuous ones! Ye want reward for
virtue, and heaven for earth, and eternity for your to-day?
And now ye upbraid me for teaching that there is no reward-giver,
nor paymaster? And verily, I do not even teach that virtue is its
Ah! this is my sorrow: into the basis of things have reward and
punishment been insinuated- and now even into the basis of your souls,
ye virtuous ones!
But like the snout of the boar shall my word grub up the basis of
your souls; a ploughshare will I be called by you.
All the secrets of your heart shall be brought to light; and when ye
lie in the sun, grubbed up and broken, then will also your falsehood
be separated from your truth.
For this is your truth: ye are too pure for the filth of the
words: vengeance, punishment, recompense, retribution.
Ye love your virtue as a mother loveth her child; but when did one
hear of a mother wanting to be paid for her love?
It is your dearest Self, your virtue. The ring's thirst is in you:
to reach itself again struggleth every ring, and turneth itself.
And like the star that goeth out, so is every work of your virtue:
ever is its light on its way and travelling- and when will it cease to
be on its way?
Thus is the light of your virtue still on its way, even when its
work is done. Be it forgotten and dead, still its ray of light
liveth and travelleth.
That your virtue is your Self, and not an outward thing, a skin,
or a cloak: that is the truth from the basis of your souls, ye
But sure enough there are those to whom virtue meaneth writhing
under the lash: and ye have hearkened too much unto their crying!
And others are there who call virtue the slothfulness of their
vices; and when once their hatred and jealousy relax the limbs,
their "justice" becometh lively and rubbeth its sleepy eyes.
And others are there who are drawn downwards: their devils draw
them. But the more they sink, the more ardently gloweth their eye, and
the longing for their God.
Ah! their crying also hath reached your ears, ye virtuous ones:
"What I am not, that, that is God to me, and virtue!"
And others are there who go along heavily and creakingly, like carts
taking stones downhill: they talk much of dignity and virtue- their
drag they call virtue!
And others are there who are like eight-day clocks when wound up;
they tick, and want people to call ticking- virtue.
Verily, in those have I mine amusement: wherever I find such
clocks I shall wind them up with my mockery, and they shall even whirr
And others are proud of their modicum of righteousness, and for
the sake of it do violence to all things: so that the world is drowned
in their unrighteousness.
Ah! how ineptly cometh the word "virtue" out of their mouth! And
when they say: "I am just," it always soundeth like: "I am just-
With their virtues they want to scratch out the eyes of their
enemies; and they elevate themselves only that they may lower others.
And again there are those who sit in their swamp, and speak thus
from among the bulrushes: "Virtue- that is to sit quietly in the
We bite no one, and go out of the way of him who would bite; and
in all matters we have the opinion that is given us."
And again there are those who love attitudes, and think that
virtue is a sort of attitude.
Their knees continually adore, and their hands are eulogies of
virtue, but their heart knoweth naught thereof.
And again there are those who regard it as virtue to say: "Virtue is
necessary"; but after all they believe only that policemen are
And many a one who cannot see men's loftiness, calleth it virtue
to see their baseness far too well: thus calleth he his evil eye
And some want to be edified and raised up, and call it virtue: and
others want to be cast down,- and likewise call it virtue.
And thus do almost all think that they participate in virtue; and at
least every one claimeth to be an authority on "good" and "evil."
But Zarathustra came not to say unto all those liars and fools:
"What do ye know of virtue! What could ye know of virtue!"-
But that ye, my friends, might become weary of the old words which
ye have learned from the fools and liars:
That ye might become weary of the words "reward," "retribution,"
"punishment," "righteous vengeance."-
That ye might become weary of saying: "That an action is good is
because it is unselfish."
Ah! my friends! That your very Self be in your action, as the mother
is in the child: let that be your formula of virtue!
Verily, I have taken from you a hundred formulae and your virtue's
favourite playthings; and now ye upbraid me, as children upbraid.
They played by the sea- then came there a wave and swept their
playthings into the deep: and now do they cry.
But the same wave shall bring them new playthings, and spread before
them new speckled shells!
Thus will they be comforted; and like them shall ye also, my
friends, have your comforting- and new speckled shells!-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
28. The Rabble
LIFE is a well of delight; but where the rabble also drink, there
all fountains are poisoned.
To everything cleanly am I well disposed; but I hate to see the
grinning mouths and the thirst of the unclean.
They cast their eye down into the fountain: and now glanceth up to
me their odious smile out of the fountain.
The holy water have they poisoned with their lustfulness; and when
they called their filthy dreams delight, then poisoned they also the
Indignant becometh the flame when they put their damp hearts to
the fire; the spirit itself bubbleth and smoketh when the rabble
approach the fire.
Mawkish and over-mellow becometh the fruit in their hands: unsteady,
and withered at the top, doth their look make the fruit-tree.
And many a one who hath turned away from life, hath only turned away
from the rabble: he hated to share with them fountain, flame, and
And many a one who hath gone into the wilderness and suffered thirst
with beasts of prey, disliked only to sit at the cistern with filthy
And many a one who hath come along as a destroyer, and as a
hailstorm to all cornfields, wanted merely to put his foot into the
jaws of the rabble, and thus stop their throat.
And it is not the mouthful which hath most choked me, to know that
life itself requireth enmity and death and torture-crosses:-
But I asked once, and suffocated almost with my question: What? Is
the rabble also necessary for life?
Are poisoned fountains necessary, and stinking fires, and filthy
dreams, and maggots in the bread of life?
Not my hatred, but my loathing, gnawed hungrily at my life! Ah,
ofttimes became I weary of spirit, when I found even the rabble
And on the rulers turned I my back, when I saw what they now call
ruling: to traffic and bargain for power- with the rabble!
Amongst peoples of a strange language did I dwell, with stopped
ears: so that the language of their trafficking might remain strange
unto me, and their bargaining for power.
And holding my nose, I went morosely through all yesterdays and
todays: verily, badly smell all yesterdays and todays of the
Like a cripple become deaf, and blind, and dumb- thus have I lived
long; that I might not live with the power-rabble, the
scribe-rabble, and the pleasure-rabble.
Toilsomely did my spirit mount stairs, and cautiously; alms of
delight were its refreshment; on the staff did life creep along with
the blind one.
What hath happened unto me? How have I freed myself from loathing?
Who hath rejuvenated mine eye? How have I flown to the height where no
rabble any longer sit at the wells?
Did my loathing itself create for me wings and fountain-divining
powers? Verily, to the loftiest height had I to fly, to find again the
well of delight!
Oh, I have found it, my brethren! Here on the loftiest height
bubbleth up for me the well of delight! And there is a life at whose
waters none of the rabble drink with me!
Almost too violently dost thou flow for me, thou fountain of
delight! And often emptiest thou the goblet again, in wanting to
And yet must I learn to approach thee more modestly: far too
violently doth my heart still flow towards thee:-
My heart on which my summer burneth, my short, hot, melancholy,
over-happy summer: how my summer heart longeth for thy coolness!
Past, the lingering distress of my spring! Past, the wickedness of
my snowflakes in June! Summer have I become entirely, and
A summer on the loftiest height, with cold fountains and blissful
stillness: oh, come, my friends, that the stillness may become more
For this is our height and our home: too high and steep do we here
dwell for all uncleanly ones and their thirst.
Cast but your pure eyes into the well of my delight, my friends! How
could it become turbid thereby! It shall laugh back to you with its
On the tree of the future build we our nest; eagles shall bring us
lone ones food in their beaks!
Verily, no food of which the impure could be fellow-partakers! Fire,
would they think they devoured, and burn their mouths!
Verily, no abodes do we here keep ready for the impure! An
ice-cave to their bodies would our happiness be, and to their spirits!
And as strong winds will we live above them, neighbours to the
eagles, neighbours to the snow, neighbours to the sun: thus live the
And like a wind will I one day blow amongst them, and with my
spirit, take the breath from their spirit: thus willeth my future.
Verily, a strong wind is Zarathustra to all low places; and this
counsel counselleth he to his enemies, and to whatever spitteth and
speweth: "Take care not to spit against the wind!"-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
29. The Tarantulas
LO, THIS is the tarantula's den! Would'st thou see the tarantula
itself? Here hangeth its web: touch this, so that it may tremble.
There cometh the tarantula willingly: Welcome, tarantula! Black on
thy back is thy triangle and symbol; and I know also what is in thy
Revenge is in thy soul: wherever thou bitest, there ariseth black
scab; with revenge, thy poison maketh the soul giddy!
Thus do I speak unto you in parable, ye who make the soul giddy,
ye preachers of equality! Tarantulas are ye unto me, and secretly
But I will soon bring your hiding-places to the light: therefore
do I laugh in your face my laughter of the height.
Therefore do I tear at your web, that your rage may lure you out
of your den of lies, and that your revenge may leap forth from
behind your word "justice."
Because, for man to be redeemed from revenge- that is for me the
bridge to the highest hope, and a rainbow after long storms.
Otherwise, however, would the tarantulas have it. "Let it be very
justice for the world to become full of the storms of our
vengeance"- thus do they talk to one another.
"Vengeance will we use, and insult, against all who are not like
us"- thus do the tarantula-hearts pledge themselves.
"And 'Will to Equality'- that itself shall henceforth be the name of
virtue; and against all that hath power will we raise an outcry!"
Ye preachers of equality, the tyrant-frenzy of impotence crieth thus
in you for "equality": your most secret tyrant-longings disguise
themselves thus in virtue-words!
Fretted conceit and suppressed envy- perhaps your fathers' conceit
and envy: in you break they forth as flame and frenzy of vengeance.
What the father hath hid cometh out in the son; and oft have I found
in the son the father's revealed secret.
Inspired ones they resemble: but it is not the heart that
inspireth them- but vengeance. And when they become subtle and cold,
it is not spirit, but envy, that maketh them so.
Their jealousy leadeth them also into thinkers' paths; and this is
the sign of their jealousy- they always go too far: so that their
fatigue hath at last to go to sleep on the snow.
In all their lamentations soundeth vengeance, in all their
eulogies is maleficence; and being judge seemeth to them bliss.
But thus do I counsel you, my friends: distrust all in whom the
impulse to punish is powerful!
They are people of bad race and lineage; out of their countenances
peer the hangman and the sleuth-hound.
Distrust all those who talk much of their justice! Verily, in
their souls not only honey is lacking.
And when they call themselves "the good and just," forget not,
that for them to be Pharisees, nothing is lacking but- power!
My friends, I will not be mixed up and confounded with others.
There are those who preach my doctrine of life, and are at the
same time preachers of equality, and tarantulas.
That they speak in favour of life, though they sit in their den,
these poison-spiders, and withdrawn from life- is because they would
thereby do injury.
To those would they thereby do injury who have power at present: for
with those the preaching of death is still most at home.
Were it otherwise, then would the tarantulas teach otherwise: and
they themselves were formerly the best world-maligners and
With these preachers of equality will I not be mixed up and
confounded. For thus speaketh justice unto me: "Men are not equal."
And neither shall they become so! What would be my love to the
Superman, if I spake otherwise?
On a thousand bridges and piers shall they throng to the future, and
always shall there be more war and inequality among them: thus doth my
great love make me speak!
Inventors of figures and phantoms shall they be in their
hostilities; and with those figures and phantoms shall they yet
fight with each other the supreme fight!
Good and evil, and rich and poor, and high and low, and all names of
values: weapons shall they be, and sounding signs, that life must
again and again surpass itself!
Aloft will it build itself with columns and stairs- life itself into
remote distances would it gaze, and out towards blissful beauties-
therefore doth it require elevation!
And because it requireth elevation, therefore doth it require steps,
and variance of steps and climbers! To rise striveth life, and in
rising to surpass itself.
And just behold, my friends! Here where the tarantula's den is,
riseth aloft an ancient temple's ruins- just behold it with
Verily, he who here towered aloft his thoughts in stone, knew as
well as the wisest ones about the secret of life!
That there is struggle and inequality even in beauty, and war for
power and supremacy: that doth he here teach us in the plainest
How divinely do vault and arch here contrast in the struggle: how
with light and shade they strive against each other, the divinely
Thus, steadfast and beautiful, let us also be enemies, my friends!
Divinely will we strive against one another!-
Alas! There hath the tarantula bit me myself, mine old enemy!
Divinely steadfast and beautiful, it hath bit me on the finger!
"Punishment must there be, and justice"- so thinketh it: "not
gratuitously shall he here sing songs in honour of enmity!"
Yea, it hath revenged itself! And alas! now will it make my soul
also dizzy with revenge!
That I may not turn dizzy, however, bind me fast, my friends, to
this pillar! Rather will I be a pillar-saint than a whirl of
Verily, no cyclone or whirlwind is Zarathustra: and if he be a
dancer, he is not at all a tarantula-dancer!-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
30. The Famous Wise Ones
THE people have ye served and the people's superstition- not the
truth!- all ye famous wise ones! And just on that account did they pay
And on that account also did they tolerate your unbelief, because it
was a pleasantry and a by-path for the people. Thus doth the master
give free scope to his slaves, and even enjoyeth their
But he who is hated by the people, as the wolf by the dogs- is the
free spirit, the enemy of fetters, the non-adorer, the dweller in
To hunt him out of his lair- that was always called "sense of right"
by the people: on him do they still hound their sharpest-toothed dogs.
"For there the truth is, where the people are! Woe, woe to the
seeking ones!"- thus hath it echoed through all time.
Your people would ye justify in their reverence: that called ye
"Will to Truth," ye famous wise ones!
And your heart hath always said to itself: "From the people have I
come: from thence came to me also the voice of God."
Stiff-necked and artful, like the ass, have ye always been, as the
advocates of the people.
And many a powerful one who wanted to run well with the people, hath
harnessed in front of his horses- a donkey, a famous wise man.
And now, ye famous wise ones, I would have you finally throw off
entirely the skin of the lion!
The skin of the beast of prey, the speckled skin, and the
dishevelled locks of the investigator, the searcher, and the
Ah! for me to learn to believe in your "conscientiousness," ye would
first have to break your venerating will.
Conscientious- so call I him who goeth into God-forsaken
wildernesses, and hath broken his venerating heart.
In the yellow sands and burnt by the sun, he doubtless peereth
thirstily at the isles rich in fountains, where life reposeth under
But his thirst doth not persuade him to become like those
comfortable ones: for where there are oases, there are also idols.
Hungry, fierce, lonesome, God-forsaken: so doth the lion-will wish
Free from the happiness of slaves, redeemed from deities and
adorations, fearless and fear-inspiring, grand and lonesome: so is the
will of the conscientious.
In the wilderness have ever dwelt the conscientious, the free
spirits, as lords of the wilderness; but in the cities dwell the
well-foddered, famous wise ones- the draught-beasts.
For, always do they draw, as asses- the people's carts!
Not that I on that account upbraid them: but serving ones do they
remain, and harnessed ones, even though they glitter in golden
And often have they been good servants and worthy of their hire. For
thus saith virtue: "If thou must be a servant, seek him unto whom
thy service is most useful!
The spirit and virtue of thy master shall advance by thou being his
servant: thus wilt thou thyself advance with his spirit and virtue!"
And verily, ye famous wise ones, ye servants of the people! Ye
yourselves have advanced with the people's spirit and virtue- and
the people by you! To your honour do I say it!
But the people ye remain for me, even with your virtues, the
people with purblind eyes- the people who know not what spirit is!
Spirit is life which itself cutteth into life: by its own torture
doth it increase its own knowledge,- did ye know that before?
And the spirit's happiness is this: to be anointed and consecrated
with tears as a sacrificial victim,- did ye know that before?
And the blindness of the blind one, and his seeking and groping,
shall yet testify to the power of the sun into which he hath gazed,-
did ye know that before?
And with mountains shall the discerning one learn to build! It is
a small thing for the spirit to remove mountains,- did ye know that
Ye know only the sparks of the spirit: but ye do not see the anvil
which it is, and the cruelty of its hammer!
Verily, ye know not the spirit's pride! But still less could ye
endure the spirit's humility, should it ever want to speak!
And never yet could ye cast your spirit into a pit of snow: ye are
not hot enough for that! Thus are ye unaware, also, of the delight
of its coldness.
In all respects, however, ye make too familiar with the spirit;
and out of wisdom have ye often made an alms-house and a hospital
for bad poets.
Ye are not eagles: thus have ye never experienced the happiness of
the alarm of the spirit. And he who is not a bird should not camp
Ye seem to me lukewarm ones: but coldly floweth all deep
knowledge. Ice-cold are the innermost wells of the spirit: a
refreshment to hot hands and handlers.
Respectable do ye there stand, and stiff, and with straight backs,
ye famous wise ones!- no strong wind or will impelleth you.
Have ye ne'er seen a sail crossing the sea, rounded and inflated,
and trembling with the violence of the wind?
Like the sail trembling with the violence of the spirit, doth my
wisdom cross the sea- my wild wisdom!
But ye servants of the people, ye famous wise ones- how could ye
go with me!-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
31. The Night-Song
'TIS night: now do all gushing fountains speak louder. And my soul
also is a gushing fountain.
'Tis night: now only do all songs of the loving ones awake. And my
soul also is the song of a loving one.
Something unappeased, unappeasable, is within me; it longeth to find
expression. A craving for love is within me, which speaketh itself the
language of love.
Light am I: ah, that I were night! But it is my lonesomeness to be
begirt with light!
Ah, that I were dark and nightly! How would I suck at the breasts of
And you yourselves would I bless, ye twinkling starlets and
glow-worms aloft!- and would rejoice in the gifts of your light.
But I live in mine own light, I drink again into myself the flames
that break forth from me.
I know not the happiness of the receiver; and oft have I dreamt that
stealing must be more blessed than receiving.
It is my poverty that my hand never ceaseth bestowing; it is mine
envy that I see waiting eyes and the brightened nights of longing.
Oh, the misery of all bestowers! Oh, the darkening of my sun! Oh,
the craving to crave! Oh, the violent hunger in satiety!
They take from me: but do I yet touch their soul? There is a gap
'twixt giving and receiving; and the smallest gap hath finally to be
A hunger ariseth out of my beauty: I should like to injure those I
illumine; I should like to rob those I have gifted:- thus do I
hunger for wickedness.
Withdrawing my hand when another hand already stretcheth out to
it; hesitating like the cascade, which hesitateth even in its leap:-
thus do I hunger for wickedness!
Such revenge doth mine abundance think of such mischief welleth
out of my lonesomeness.
My happiness in bestowing died in bestowing; my virtue became
weary of itself by its abundance!
He who ever bestoweth is in danger of losing his shame; to him who
ever dispenseth, the hand and heart become callous by very dispensing.
Mine eye no longer overfloweth for the shame of suppliants; my
hand hath become too hard for the trembling of filled hands.
Whence have gone the tears of mine eye, and the down of my heart?
Oh, the lonesomeness of all bestowers! Oh, the silence of all
Many suns circle in desert space: to all that is dark do they
speak with their light- but to me they are silent.
Oh, this is the hostility of light to the shining one: unpityingly
doth it pursue its course.
Unfair to the shining one in its innermost heart, cold to the suns:-
thus travelleth every sun.
Like a storm do the suns pursue their courses: that is their
travelling. Their inexorable will do they follow: that is their
Oh, ye only is it, ye dark, nightly ones, that extract warmth from
the shining ones! Oh, ye only drink milk and refreshment from the
Ah, there is ice around me; my hand burneth with the iciness! Ah,
there is thirst in me; it panteth after your thirst!
'Tis night: alas, that I have to be light! And thirst for the
nightly! And lonesomeness!
'Tis night: now doth my longing break forth in me as a fountain,-
for speech do I long.
'Tis night: now do all gushing fountains speak louder. And my soul
also is a gushing fountain.
'Tis night: now do all songs of loving ones awake. And my soul
also is the song of a loving one.-
Thus sang Zarathustra.
32. The Dance-Song
ONE evening went Zarathustra and his disciples through the forest;
and when he sought for a well, lo, he lighted upon a green meadow
peacefully surrounded by trees and bushes, where maidens were
dancing together. As soon as the maidens recognised Zarathustra,
they ceased dancing; Zarathustra, however, approached them with
friendly mien and spake these words:
Cease not your dancing, ye lovely maidens! No game-spoiler hath come
to you with evil eye, no enemy of maidens.
God's advocate am I with the devil: he, however, is the spirit of
gravity. How could I, ye light-footed ones, be hostile to divine
dances? Or to maidens' feet with fine ankles?
To be sure, I am a forest, and a night of dark trees: but he who
is not afraid of my darkness, will find banks full of roses under my
And even the little God may he find, who is dearest to maidens:
beside the well lieth he quietly, with closed eyes.
Verily, in broad daylight did he fall asleep, the sluggard! Had he
perhaps chased butterflies too much?
Upbraid me not, ye beautiful dancers, when I chasten the little
God somewhat! He will cry, certainly, and weep- but he is laughable
even when weeping!
And with tears in his eyes shall he ask you for a dance; and I
myself will sing a song to his dance:
A dance-song and satire on the spirit of gravity my supremest,
powerfulest devil, who is said to be "lord of the world."-
And this is the song that Zarathustra sang when Cupid and the
maidens danced together:
Of late did I gaze into thine eye, O Life! And into the unfathomable
did I there seem to sink.
But thou pulledst me out with a golden angle; derisively didst
thou laugh when I called thee unfathomable.
"Such is the language of all fish," saidst thou; "what they do not
fathom is unfathomable.
But changeable am I only, and wild, and altogether a woman, and no
Though I be called by you men the 'profound one,' or the 'faithful
one,' 'the eternal one,' 'the mysterious one.'
But ye men endow us always with your own virtues- alas, ye
Thus did she laugh, the unbelievable one; but never do I believe her
and her laughter, when she speaketh evil of herself.
And when I talked face to face with my wild Wisdom, she said to me
angrily: "Thou willest, thou cravest, thou lovest; on that account
alone dost thou praise Life!"
Then had I almost answered indignantly and told the truth to the
angry one; and one cannot answer more indignantly than when one
"telleth the truth" to one's Wisdom.
For thus do things stand with us three. In my heart do I love only
Life- and verily, most when I hate her!
But that I am fond of Wisdom, and often too fond, is because she
remindeth me very strongly of Life!
She hath her eye, her laugh, and even her golden angle-rod: am I
responsible for it that both are so alike?
And when once Life asked me: "Who is she then, this Wisdom?"- then
said I eagerly: "Ah, yes! Wisdom!
One thirsteth for her and is not satisfied, one looketh through
veils, one graspeth through nets.
Is she beautiful? What do I know! But the oldest carps are still
lured by her.
Changeable is she, and wayward; often have I seen her bite her
lip, and pass the comb against the grain of her hair.
Perhaps she is wicked and false, and altogether a woman; but when
she speaketh ill of herself, just then doth she seduce most."
When I had said this unto Life, then laughed she maliciously, and
shut her eyes. "Of whom dost thou speak?" said she. "Perhaps of me?
And if thou wert right- is it proper to say that in such wise to
my face! But now, pray, speak also of thy Wisdom!"
Ah, and now hast thou again opened thine eyes, O beloved Life! And
into the unfathomable have I again seemed to sink.-
Thus sang Zarathustra. But when the dance was over and the maidens
had departed, he became sad.
"The sun hath been long set," said he at last, "the meadow is
damp, and from the forest cometh coolness.
An unknown presence is about me, and gazeth thoughtfully. What! Thou
livest still, Zarathustra?
Why? Wherefore? Whereby? Whither? Where? How? Is it not folly
still to live?-
Ah, my friends; the evening is it which thus interrogateth in me.
Forgive me my sadness!
Evening hath come on: forgive me that evening hath come on!"
Thus sang Zarathustra.
33. The Grave-Song
"YONDER is the grave-island, the silent isle; yonder also are the
graves of my youth. Thither will I carry an evergreen wreath of life."
Resolving thus in my heart, did I sail o'er the sea.-
Oh, ye sights and scenes of my youth! Oh, all ye gleams of love,
ye divine fleeting gleams! How could ye perish so soon for me! I think
of you to-day as my dead ones.
From you, my dearest dead ones, cometh unto me a sweet savour,
heart-opening and melting. Verily, it convulseth and openeth the heart
of the lone seafarer.
Still am I the richest and most to be envied- I, the lonesomest one!
For I have possessed you, and ye possess me still. Tell me: to whom
hath there ever fallen such rosy apples from the tree as have fallen
Still am I your love's heir and heritage, blooming to your memory
with many-hued, wild-growing virtues, O ye dearest ones!
Ah, we were made to remain nigh unto each other, ye kindly strange
marvels; and not like timid birds did ye come to me and my longing-
nay, but as trusting ones to a trusting one!
Yea, made for faithfulness, like me, and for fond eternities, must I
now name you by your faithlessness, ye divine glances and fleeting
gleams: no other name have I yet learnt.
Verily, too early did ye die for me, ye fugitives. Yet did ye not
flee from me, nor did I flee from you: innocent are we to each other
in our faithlessness.
To kill me, did they strangle you, ye singing birds of my hopes!
Yea, at you, ye dearest ones, did malice ever shoot its arrows- to hit
And they hit it! Because ye were always my dearest, my possession
and my possessedness: on that account had ye to die young, and far too
At my most vulnerable point did they shoot the arrow- namely, at
you, whose skin is like down- or more like the smile that dieth at a
But this word will I say unto mine enemies: What is all manslaughter
in comparison with what ye have done unto me!
Worse evil did ye do unto me than all manslaughter; the
irretrievable did ye take from me:- thus do I speak unto you, mine
Slew ye not my youth's visions and dearest marvels! My playmates
took ye from me, the blessed spirits! To their memory do I deposit
this wreath and this curse.
This curse upon you, mine enemies! Have ye not made mine eternal
short, as a tone dieth away in a cold night! Scarcely, as the
twinkle of divine eyes, did it come to me- as a fleeting gleam!
Thus spake once in a happy hour my purity: "Divine shall
everything be unto me."
Then did ye haunt me with foul phantoms; ah, whither hath that happy
hour now fled!
"All days shall be holy unto me"- so spake once the wisdom of my
youth: verily, the language of a joyous wisdom!
But then did ye enemies steal my nights, and sold them to
sleepless torture: ah, whither hath that joyous wisdom now fled?
Once did I long for happy auspices: then did ye lead an
owl-monster across my path, an adverse sign. Ah, whither did my tender
longing then flee?
All loathing did I once vow to renounce: then did ye change my
nigh ones and nearest ones into ulcerations. Ah, whither did my
noblest vow then flee?
As a blind one did I once walk in blessed ways: then did ye cast
filth on the blind one's course: and now is he disgusted with the
And when I performed my hardest task, and celebrated the triumph
of my victories, then did ye make those who loved me call out that I
then grieved them most.
Verily, it was always your doing: ye embittered to me my best honey,
and the diligence of my best bees.
To my charity have ye ever sent the most impudent beggars; around my
sympathy have ye ever crowded the incurably shameless. Thus have ye
wounded the faith of my virtue.
And when I offered my holiest as a sacrifice, immediately did your
"piety" put its fatter gifts beside it: so that my holiest
suffocated in the fumes of your fat.
And once did I want to dance as I had never yet danced: beyond all
heavens did I want to dance. Then did ye seduce my favourite minstrel.
And now hath he struck up an awful, melancholy air; alas, he
tooted as a mournful horn to mine ear!
Murderous minstrel, instrument of evil, most innocent instrument!
Already did I stand prepared for the best dance: then didst thou
slay my rapture with thy tones!
Only in the dance do I know how to speak the parable of the
highest things:- and now hath my grandest parable remained unspoken in
Unspoken and unrealised hath my highest hope remained! And there
have perished for me all the visions and consolations of my youth!
How did I ever bear it? How did I survive and surmount such
wounds? How did my soul rise again out of those sepulchres?
Yea, something invulnerable, unburiable is with me, something that
would rend rocks asunder: it is called my Will. Silently doth it
proceed, and unchanged throughout the years.
Its course will it go upon my feet, mine old Will; hard of heart
is its nature and invulnerable.
Invulnerable am I only in my heel. Ever livest thou there, and art
like thyself, thou most patient one! Ever hast thou burst all shackles
of the tomb!
In thee still liveth also the unrealisedness of my youth; and as
life and youth sittest thou here hopeful on the yellow ruins of
Yea, thou art still for me the demolisher of all graves: Hail to
thee, my Will! And only where there are graves are there
Thus sang Zarathustra.
"WILL to Truth" do ye call it, ye wisest ones, that which
impelleth you and maketh you ardent?
Will for the thinkableness of all being: thus do I call your will!
All being would ye make thinkable: for ye doubt with good reason
whether it be already thinkable.
But it shall accommodate and bend itself to you! So willeth your
will. Smooth shall it become and subject to the spirit, as its
mirror and reflection.
That is your entire will, ye wisest ones, as a Will to Power; and
even when ye speak of good and evil, and of estimates of value.
Ye would still create a world before which ye can bow the knee: such
is your ultimate hope and ecstasy.
The ignorant, to be sure, the people- they are like a river on which
a boat floateth along: and in the boat sit the estimates of value,
solemn and disguised.
Your will and your valuations have ye put on the river of
becoming; it betrayeth unto me an old Will to Power, what is
believed by the people as good and evil.
It was ye, ye wisest ones, who put such guests in this boat, and
gave them pomp and proud names- ye and your ruling Will!
Onward the river now carrieth your boat: it must carry it. A small
matter if the rough wave foameth and angrily resisteth its keel!
It is not the river that is your danger and the end of your good and
evil, ye wisest ones: but that Will itself, the Will to Power- the
unexhausted, procreating life-will.
But that ye may understand my gospel of good and evil, for that
purpose will I tell you my gospel of life, and of the nature of all
The living thing did I follow; I walked in the broadest and
narrowest paths to learn its nature.
With a hundred-faced mirror did I catch its glance when its mouth
was shut, so that its eye might speak unto me. And its eye spake
But wherever I found living things, there heard I also the
language of obedience. All living things are obeying things.
And this heard I secondly: Whatever cannot obey itself, is
commanded. Such is the nature of living things.
This, however, is the third thing which I heard- namely, that
commanding is more difficult than obeying. And not only because the
commander beareth the burden of all obeyers, and because this burden
readily crusheth him:-
An attempt and a risk seemed all commanding unto me; and whenever it
commandeth, the living thing risketh itself thereby.
Yea, even when it commandeth itself, then also must it atone for its
commanding. Of its own law must it become the judge and avenger and
How doth this happen! So did I ask myself. What persuadeth the
living thing to obey, and command, and even be obedient in commanding?
Hearken now unto my word, ye wisest ones! Test it seriously, whether
I have crept into the heart of life itself, and into the roots of
Wherever I found a living thing, there found I Will to Power; and
even in the will of the servant found I the will to be master.
That to the stronger the weaker shall serve- thereto persuadeth he
his will who would be master over a still weaker one. That delight
alone he is unwilling to forego.
And as the lesser surrendereth himself to the greater that he may
have delight and power over the least of all, so doth even the
greatest surrender himself, and staketh- life, for the sake of power.
It is the surrender of the greatest to run risk and danger, and play
dice for death.
And where there is sacrifice and service and love-glances, there
also is the will to be master. By by-ways doth the weaker then slink
into the fortress, and into the heart of the mightier one- and there
And this secret spake Life herself unto me. "Behold," said she, "I
am that which must ever surpass itself.
To be sure, ye call it will to procreation, or impulse towards a
goal, towards the higher, remoter, more manifold: but all that is
one and the same secret.
Rather would I succumb than disown this one thing; and verily, where
there is succumbing and leaf-falling, lo, there doth Life sacrifice
itself- for power!
That I have to be struggle, and becoming, and purpose, and
cross-purpose- ah, he who divineth my will, divineth well also on what
crooked paths it hath to tread!
Whatever I create, and however much I love it,- soon must I be
adverse to it, and to my love: so willeth my will.
And even thou, discerning one, art only a path and footstep of my
will: verily, my Will to Power walketh even on the feet of thy Will to
He certainly did not hit the truth who shot at it the formula: "Will
to existence": that will- doth not exist!
For what is not, cannot will; that, however, which is in
existence- how could it still strive for existence!
Only where there is life, is there also will: not, however, Will
to Life, but- so teach I thee- Will to Power!
Much is reckoned higher than life itself by the living one; but
out of the very reckoning speaketh- the Will to Power!"-
Thus did Life once teach me: and thereby, ye wisest ones, do I solve
you the riddle of your hearts.
Verily, I say unto you: good and evil which would be everlasting- it
doth not exist! Of its own accord must it ever surpass itself anew.
With your values and formulae of good and evil, ye exercise power,
ye valuing ones: and that is your secret love, and the sparkling,
trembling, and overflowing of your souls.
But a stronger power groweth out of your values, and a new
surpassing: by it breaketh egg and egg-shell.
And he who hath to be a creator in good and evil- verily, he hath
first to be a destroyer, and break values in pieces.
Thus doth the greatest evil pertain to the greatest good: that,
however, is the creating good.-
Let us speak thereof, ye wisest ones, even though it be bad. To be
silent is worse; all suppressed truths become poisonous.
And let everything break up which- can break up by our truths!
Many a house is still to be built!-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
35. The Sublime Ones
CALM is the bottom of my sea: who would guess that it hideth droll
Unmoved is my depth: but it sparkleth with swimming enigmas and
A sublime one saw I today, a solemn one, a penitent of the spirit:
Oh, how my soul laughed at his ugliness!
With upraised breast, and like those who draw in their breath:
thus did he stand, the sublime one, and in silence:
O'erhung with ugly truths, the spoil of his hunting, and rich in
torn raiment; many thorns also hung on him- but I saw no rose.
Not yet had he learned laughing and beauty. Gloomy did this hunter
return from the forest of knowledge.
From the fight with wild beasts returned he home: but even yet a
wild beast gazeth out of his seriousness- an unconquered wild beast!
As a tiger doth he ever stand, on the point of springing; but I do
not like those strained souls; ungracious is my taste towards all
those self-engrossed ones.
And ye tell me, friends, that there is to be no dispute about
taste and tasting? But all life is a dispute about taste and tasting!
Taste: that is weight at the same time, and scales and weigher;
and alas for every living thing that would live without dispute
about weight and scales and weigher!
Should he become weary of his sublimeness, this sublime one, then
only will his beauty begin- and then only will I taste him and find
And only when he turneth away from himself will he o'erleap his
own shadow- and verily! into his sun.
Far too long did he sit in the shade; the cheeks of the penitent
of the spirit became pale; he almost starved on his expectations.
Contempt is still in his eye, and loathing hideth in his mouth. To
be sure, he now resteth, but he hath not yet taken rest in the
As the ox ought he to do; and his happiness should smell of the
earth, and not of contempt for the earth.
As a white ox would I like to see him, which, snorting and lowing,
walketh before the plough-share: and his lowing should also laud all
that is earthly!
Dark is still his countenance; the shadow of his hand danceth upon
it. O'ershadowed is still the sense of his eye.
His deed itself is still the shadow upon him: his doing obscureth
the doer. Not yet hath he overcome his deed.
To be sure, I love in him the shoulders of the ox: but now do I want
to see also the eye of the angel.
Also his hero-will hath he still to unlearn: an exalted one shall he
be, and not only a sublime one:- the ether itself should raise him,
the will-less one!
He hath subdued monsters, he hath solved enigmas. But he should also
redeem his monsters and enigmas; into heavenly children should he
As yet hath his knowledge not learned to smile, and to be without
jealousy; as yet hath his gushing passion not become calm in beauty.
Verily, not in satiety shall his longing cease and disappear, but in
beauty! Gracefulness belongeth to the munificence of the magnanimous.
His arm across his head: thus should the hero repose; thus should he
also surmount his repose.
But precisely to the hero is beauty the hardest thing of all.
Unattainable is beauty by all ardent wills.
A little more, a little less: precisely this is much here, it is the
To stand with relaxed muscles and with unharnessed will: that is the
hardest for all of you, ye sublime ones!
When power becometh gracious and descendeth into the visible- I call
such condescension, beauty.
And from no one do I want beauty so much as from thee, thou powerful
one: let thy goodness be thy last self-conquest.
All evil do I accredit to thee: therefore do I desire of thee the
Verily, I have often laughed at the weaklings, who think
themselves good because they have crippled paws!
The virtue of the pillar shalt thou strive after: more beautiful
doth it ever become, and more graceful- but internally harder and more
sustaining- the higher it riseth.
Yea, thou sublime one, one day shalt thou also be beautiful, and
hold up the mirror to thine own beauty.
Then will thy soul thrill with divine desires; and there will be
adoration even in thy vanity!
For this is the secret of the soul: when the hero hath abandoned it,
then only approacheth it in dreams- the super-hero.-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
36. The Land of Culture
TOO far did I fly into the future: a horror seized upon me.
And when I looked around me, lo! there time was my sole
Then did I fly backwards, homewards- and always faster. Thus did I
come unto you: ye present-day men, and into the land of culture.
For the first time brought I an eye to see you, and good desire:
verily, with longing in my heart did I come.
But how did it turn out with me? Although so alarmed- I had yet to
laugh! Never did mine eye see anything so motley-coloured!
I laughed and laughed, while my foot still trembled, and my heart as
well. "Here forsooth, is the home of all the paint-pots,"- said I.
With fifty patches painted on faces and limbs- so sat ye there to
mine astonishment, ye present-day men!
And with fifty mirrors around you, which flattered your play of
colours, and repeated it!
Verily, ye could wear no better masks, ye present-day men, than your
own faces! Who could- recognise you!
Written all over with the characters of the past, and these
characters also pencilled over with new characters- thus have ye
concealed yourselves well from all decipherers!
And though one be a trier of the reins, who still believeth that
ye have reins! Out of colours ye seem to be baked, and out of glued
All times and peoples gaze divers-coloured out of your veils; all
customs and beliefs speak divers-coloured out of your gestures.
He who would strip you of veils and wrappers, and paints and
gestures, would just have enough left to scare the crows.
Verily, I myself am the scared crow that once saw you naked, and
without paint; and I flew away when the skeleton ogled at me.
Rather would I be a day-labourer in the nether-world, and among
the shades of the by-gone!- Fatter and fuller than ye, are forsooth
This, yea this, is bitterness to my bowels, that I can neither
endure you naked nor clothed, ye present-day men!
All that is unhomelike in the future, and whatever maketh strayed
birds shiver, is verily more homelike and familiar than your
For thus speak ye: "Real are we wholly, and without faith and
superstition": thus do ye plume yourselves- alas! even without plumes!
Indeed, how would ye be able to believe, ye divers-coloured ones!-
ye who are pictures of all that hath ever been believed!
Perambulating refutations are ye, of belief itself, and a
dislocation of all thought. Untrustworthy ones: thus do I call you, ye
All periods prate against one another in your spirits; and the
dreams and pratings of all periods were even realer than your
Unfruitful are ye: therefore do ye lack belief. But he who had to
create, had always his presaging dreams and astral premonitions- and
believed in believing!-
Half-open doors are ye, at which grave-diggers wait. And this is
your reality: "Everything deserveth to perish."
Alas, how ye stand there before me, ye unfruitful ones; how lean
your ribs! And many of you surely have had knowledge thereof.
Many a one hath said: "There hath surely a God filched something
from me secretly whilst I slept? Verily, enough to make a girl for
"Amazing is the poverty of my ribs!" thus hath spoken many a
Yea, ye are laughable unto me, ye present-day men! And especially
when ye marvel at yourselves!
And woe unto me if I could not laugh at your marvelling, and had
to swallow all that is repugnant in your platters!
As it is, however, I will make lighter of you, since I have to carry
what is heavy; and what matter if beetles and May-bugs also alight
on my load!
Verily, it shall not on that account become heavier to me! And not
from you, ye present-day men, shall my great weariness arise.-
Ah, whither shall I now ascend with my longing! From all mountains
do I look out for fatherlands and motherlands.
But a home have I found nowhere: unsettled am I in all cities, and
decamping at all gates.
Alien to me, and a mockery, are the present-day men, to whom of late
my heart impelled me; and exiled am I from fatherlands and
Thus do I love only my children's land, the undiscovered in the
remotest sea: for it do I bid my sails search and search.
Unto my children will I make amends for being the child of my
fathers: and unto all the future- for this present-day!-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
37. Immaculate Perception
WHEN yester-eve the moon arose, then did I fancy it about to bear
a sun: so broad and teeming did it lie on the horizon.
But it was a liar with its pregnancy; and sooner will I believe in
the man in the moon than in the woman.
To be sure, little of a man is he also, that timid night-reveller.
Verily, with a bad conscience doth he stalk over the roofs.
For he is covetous and jealous, the monk in the moon; covetous of
the earth, and all the joys of lovers.
Nay, I like him not, that tom-cat on the roofs! Hateful unto me
are all that slink around half-closed windows!
Piously and silently doth he stalk along on the star-carpets:- but I
like no light-treading human feet, on which not even a spur jingleth.
Every honest one's step speaketh; the cat however, stealeth along
over the ground. Lo! cat-like doth the moon come along, and
This parable speak I unto you sentimental dissemblers, unto you, the
"pure discerners!" You do I call- covetous ones!
Also ye love the earth, and the earthly: I have divined you well!-
but shame is in your love, and a bad conscience- ye are like the moon!
To despise the earthly hath your spirit been persuaded, but not your
bowels: these, however, are the strongest in you!
And now is your spirit ashamed to be at the service of your
bowels, and goeth in by-ways and lying ways to escape its own shame.
"That would be the highest thing for me"- so saith your lying spirit
unto itself- "to gaze upon life without desire, and not like the
dog, with hanging-out tongue:
To be happy in gazing: with dead will, free from the grip and
greed of selfishness- cold and ashy-grey all over, but with
That would be the dearest thing to me"- thus doth the seduced one
seduce himself,- "to love the earth as the moon loveth it, and with
the eye only to feel its beauty.
And this do I call immaculate perception of all things: to want
nothing else from them, but to be allowed to lie before them as a
mirror with a hundred facets."-
Oh, ye sentimental dissemblers, ye covetous ones! Ye lack
innocence in your desire: and now do ye defame desiring on that
Verily, not as creators, as procreators, or as jubilators do ye love
Where is innocence? Where there is will to procreation. And he who
seeketh to create beyond himself, hath for me the purest will.
Where is beauty? Where I must will with my whole Will; where I
will love and perish, that an image may not remain merely an image.
Loving and perishing: these have rhymed from eternity. Will to love:
that is to be ready also for death. Thus do I speak unto you cowards!
But now doth your emasculated ogling profess to be
"contemplation!" And that which can be examined with cowardly eyes
is to be christened "beautiful!" Oh, ye violators of noble names!
But it shall be your curse, ye immaculate ones, ye pure
discerners, that ye shall never bring forth, even though ye lie
broad and teeming on the horizon!
Verily, ye fill your mouth with noble words: and we are to believe
that your heart overfloweth, ye cozeners?
But my words are poor, contemptible, stammering words: gladly do I
pick up what falleth from the table at your repasts.
Yet still can I say therewith the truth- to dissemblers! Yea, my
fish-bones, shells, and prickly leaves shall- tickle the noses of
Bad air is always about you and your repasts: your lascivious
thoughts, your lies, and secrets are indeed in the air!
Dare only to believe in yourselves- in yourselves and in your inward
parts! He who doth not believe in himself always lieth.
A God's mask have ye hung in front of you, ye "pure ones": into a
God's mask hath your execrable coiling snake crawled.
Verily ye deceive, ye "contemplative ones!" Even Zarathustra was
once the dupe of your godlike exterior; he did not divine the
serpent's coil with which it was stuffed.
A God's soul, I once thought I saw playing in your games, ye pure
discerners! No better arts did I once dream of than your arts!
Serpents' filth and evil odour, the distance concealed from me:
and that a lizard's craft prowled thereabouts lasciviously.
But I came nigh unto you: then came to me the day,- and now cometh
it to you,- at an end is the moon's love affair!
See there! Surprised and pale doth it stand- before the rosy dawn!
For already she cometh, the glowing one,- her love to the earth
cometh! Innocence, and creative desire, is all solar love!
See there, how she cometh impatiently over the sea! Do ye not feel
the thirst and the hot breath of her love?
At the sea would she suck, and drink its depths to her height: now
riseth the desire of the sea with its thousand breasts.
Kissed and sucked would it be by the thirst of the sun; vapour would
it become, and height, and path of light, and light itself!
Verily, like the sun do I love life, and all deep seas.
And this meaneth to me knowledge: all that is deep shall ascend-
to my height!-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
WHEN I lay asleep, then did a sheep eat at the ivy-wreath on my
head,- it ate, and said thereby: "Zarathustra is no longer a scholar."
It said this, and went away clumsily and proudly. A child told it to
I like to lie here where the children play, beside the ruined
wall, among thistles and red poppies.
A scholar am I still to the children, and also to the thistles and
red poppies. Innocent are they, even in their wickedness.
But to the sheep I am no longer a scholar: so willeth my
lot-blessings upon it!
For this is the truth: I have departed from the house of the
scholars, and the door have I also slammed behind me.
Too long did my soul sit hungry at their table: not like them have I
got the knack of investigating, as the knack of nut-cracking.
Freedom do I love, and the air over fresh soil; rather would I sleep
on ox-skins than on their honours and dignities.
I am too hot and scorched with mine own thought: often is it ready
to take away my breath. Then have I to go into the open air, and
away from all dusty rooms.
But they sit cool in the cool shade: they want in everything to be
merely spectators, and they avoid sitting where the sun burneth on the
Like those who stand in the street and gape at the passers-by:
thus do they also wait, and gape at the thoughts which others have
Should one lay hold of them, then do they raise a dust like
flour-sacks, and involuntarily: but who would divine that their dust
came from corn, and from the yellow delight of the summer fields?
When they give themselves out as wise, then do their petty sayings
and truths chill me: in their wisdom there is often an odour as if
it came from the swamp; and verily, I have even heard the frog croak
Clever are they- they have dexterous fingers: what doth my
simplicity pretend to beside their multiplicity! All threading and
knitting and weaving do their fingers understand: thus do they make
the hose of the spirit!
Good clockworks are they: only be careful to wind them up
properly! Then do they indicate the hour without mistake, and make a
modest noise thereby.
Like millstones do they work, and like pestles: throw only seed-corn
unto them!- they know well how to grind corn small, and make white
dust out of it.
They keep a sharp eye on one another, and do not trust each other
the best. Ingenious in little artifices, they wait for those whose
knowledge walketh on lame feet,- like spiders do they wait.
I saw them always prepare their poison with precaution; and always
did they put glass gloves on their fingers in doing so.
They also know how to play with false dice; and so eagerly did I
find them playing, that they perspired thereby.
We are alien to each other, and their virtues are even more
repugnant to my taste than their falsehoods and false dice.
And when I lived with them, then did I live above them. Therefore
did they take a dislike to me.
They want to hear nothing of any one walking above their heads;
and so they put wood and earth and rubbish betwixt me and their heads.
Thus did they deafen the sound of my tread: and least have I
hitherto been heard by the most learned.
All mankind's faults and weaknesses did they put betwixt
themselves and me:- they call it "false ceiling" in their houses.
But nevertheless I walk with my thoughts above their heads; and even
should I walk on mine own errors, still would I be above them and
For men are not equal: so speaketh justice. And what I will, they
may not will!-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
"SINCE I have known the body better"- said Zarathustra to one of his
disciples- "the spirit hath only been to me symbolically spirit; and
all the 'imperishable'- that is also but a simile."
"So have I heard thee say once before," answered the disciple,
"and then thou addedst: 'But the poets lie too much.' Why didst thou
say that the poets lie too much?"
"Why?" said Zarathustra. "Thou askest why? I do not belong to
those who may be asked after their Why.
Is my experience but of yesterday? It is long ago that I experienced
the reasons for mine opinions.
Should I not have to be a cask of memory, if I also wanted to have
my reasons with me?
It is already too much for me even to retain mine opinions; and many
a bird flieth away.
And sometimes, also, do I find a fugitive creature in my dovecote,
which is alien to me, and trembleth when I lay my hand upon it.
But what did Zarathustra once say unto thee? That the poets lie
too much?- But Zarathustra also is a poet.
Believest thou that he there spake the truth? Why dost thou
The disciple answered: "I believe in Zarathustra." But Zarathustra
shook his head and smiled.-
Belief doth not sanctify me, said he, least of all the belief in
But granting that some one did say in all seriousness that the poets
lie too much: he was right- we do lie too much.
We also know too little, and are bad learners: so we are obliged
And which of us poets hath not adulterated his wine? Many a
poisonous hotchpotch hath evolved in our cellars: many an
indescribable thing hath there been done.
And because we know little, therefore are we pleased from the
heart with the poor in spirit, especially when they are young women!
And even of those things are we desirous, which old women tell one
another in the evening. This do we call the eternally feminine in us.
And as if there were a special secret access to knowledge, which
choketh up for those who learn anything, so do we believe in the
people and in their "wisdom."
This, however, do all poets believe: that whoever pricketh up his
ears when lying in the grass or on lonely slopes, learneth something
of the things that are betwixt heaven and earth.
And if there come unto them tender emotions, then do the poets
always think that nature herself is in love with them:
And that she stealeth to their ear to whisper secrets into it, and
amorous flatteries: of this do they plume and pride themselves, before
Ah, there are so many things betwixt heaven and earth of which
only the poets have dreamed!
And especially above the heavens: for all gods are
Verily, ever are we drawn aloft- that is, to the realm of the
clouds: on these do we set our gaudy puppets, and then call them
gods and Supermen:-
Are not they light enough for those chairs!- all these gods and
Ah, how I am weary of all the inadequate that is insisted on as
actual! Ah, how I am weary of the poets!
When Zarathustra so spake, his disciple resented it, but was silent.
And Zarathustra also was silent; and his eye directed itself inwardly,
as if it gazed into the far distance. At last he sighed and drew
I am of today and heretofore, said he thereupon; but something is in
me that is of the morrow, and the day following, and the hereafter.
I became weary of the poets, of the old and of the new:
superficial are they all unto me, and shallow seas.
They did not think sufficiently into the depth; therefore their
feeling did not reach to the bottom.
Some sensation of voluptuousness and some sensation of tedium: these
have as yet been their best contemplation.
Ghost-breathing and ghost-whisking, seemeth to me all the
jingle-jangling of their harps; what have they known hitherto of the
fervour of tones!-
They are also not pure enough for me: they all muddle their water
that it may seem deep.
And fain would they thereby prove themselves reconcilers: but
mediaries and mixers are they unto me, and half-and-half, and impure!-
Ah, I cast indeed my net into their sea, and meant to catch good
fish; but always did I draw up the head of some ancient God.
Thus did the sea give a stone to the hungry one. And they themselves
may well originate from the sea.
Certainly, one findeth pearls in them: thereby they are the more
like hard molluscs. And instead of a soul, I have often found in
them salt slime.
They have learned from the sea also its vanity: is not the sea the
peacock of peacocks?
Even before the ugliest of all buffaloes doth it spread out its
tail; never doth it tire of its lace-fan of silver and silk.
Disdainfully doth the buffalo glance thereat, nigh to the sand
with its soul, nigher still to the thicket, nighest, however, to the
What is beauty and sea and peacock-splendour to it! This parable I
speak unto the poets.
Verily, their spirit itself is the peacock of peacocks, and a sea of
Spectators seeketh the spirit of the poet- should they even be
But of this spirit became I weary; and I see the time coming when it
will become weary of itself.
Yea, changed have I seen the poets, and their glance turned
Penitents of the spirit have I seen appearing; they grew out of
Thus spake Zarathustra.
40. Great Events
THERE is an isle in the sea- not far from the Happy Isles of
Zarathustra- on which a volcano ever smoketh; of which isle the
people, and especially the old women amongst them, say that it is
placed as a rock before the gate of the nether-world; but that through
the volcano itself the narrow way leadeth downwards which conducteth
to this gate.
Now about the time that Zarathustra sojourned on the Happy Isles, it
happened that a ship anchored at the isle on which standeth the
smoking mountain, and the crew went ashore to shoot rabbits. About the
noontide hour, however, when the captain and his men were together
again, they saw suddenly a man coming towards them through the air,
and a voice said distinctly: "It is time! It is the highest time!" But
when the figure was nearest to them (it flew past quickly, however,
like a shadow, in the direction of the volcano), then did they
recognise with the greatest surprise that it was Zarathustra; for they
had all seen him before except the captain himself, and they loved him
as the people love: in such wise that love and awe were combined in
"Behold!" said the old helmsman, "there goeth Zarathustra to hell!"
About the same time that these sailors landed on the fire-isle,
there was a rumour that Zarathustra had disappeared; and when his
friends were asked about it, they said that he had gone on board a
ship by night, without saying whither he was going.
Thus there arose some uneasiness. After three days, however, there
came the story of the ship's crew in addition to this uneasiness-
and then did all the people say that the devil had taken
Zarathustra. His disciples laughed, sure enough, at this talk; and one
of them said even: "Sooner would I believe that Zarathustra hath taken
the devil." But at the bottom of their hearts they were all full of
anxiety and longing: so their joy was great when on the fifth day
Zarathustra appeared amongst them.
And this is the account of Zarathustra's interview with the
The earth, said he, hath a skin; and this skin hath diseases. One of
these diseases, for example, is called "man."
And another of these diseases is called "the fire-dog": concerning
him men have greatly deceived themselves, and let themselves be
To fathom this mystery did I go o'er the sea; and I have seen the
truth naked, verily! barefooted up to the neck.
Now do I know how it is concerning the fire-dog; and likewise
concerning all the spouting and subversive devils, of which not only
old women are afraid.
"Up with thee, fire-dog, out of thy depth!" cried I, "and confess
how deep that depth is! Whence cometh that which thou snortest up?
Thou drinkest copiously at the sea: that doth thine embittered
eloquence betray! In sooth, for a dog of the depth, thou takest thy
nourishment too much from the surface!
At the most, I regard thee as the ventriloquist of the earth: and
ever, when I have heard subversive and spouting devils speak, I have
found them like thee: embittered, mendacious, and shallow.
Ye understand how to roar and obscure with ashes! Ye are the best
braggarts, and have sufficiently learned the art of making dregs boil.
Where ye are, there must always be dregs at hand, and much that is
spongy, hollow, and compressed: it wanteth to have freedom.
'Freedom' ye all roar most eagerly: but I have unlearned the
belief in 'great events,' when there is much roaring and smoke about
And believe me, friend Hullabaloo! The greatest events- are not
our noisiest, but our stillest hours.
Not around the inventors of new noise, but around the inventors of
new values, doth the world revolve; inaudibly it revolveth.
And just own to it! Little had ever taken place when thy noise and
smoke passed away. What, if a city did become a mummy, and a statue
lay in the mud!
And this do I say also to the o'erthrowers of statues: It is
certainly the greatest folly to throw salt into the sea, and statues
into the mud.
In the mud of your contempt lay the statue: but it is just its
law, that out of contempt, its life and living beauty grow again!
With diviner features doth it now arise, seducing by its
suffering; and verily! it will yet thank you for o'erthrowing it, ye
This counsel, however, do I counsel to kings and churches, and to
all that is weak with age or virtue- let yourselves be o'erthrown!
That ye may again come to life, and that virtue- may come to you!-"
Thus spake I before the fire-dog: then did he interrupt me sullenly,
and asked: "Church? What is that?"
"Church?" answered I, "that is a kind of state, and indeed the
most mendacious. But remain quiet, thou dissembling dog! Thou surely
knowest thine own species best!
Like thyself the state is a dissembling dog; like thee doth it
like to speak with smoke and roaring- to make believe, like thee, that
it speaketh out of the heart of things.
For it seeketh by all means to be the most important creature on
earth, the state; and people think it so."
When I had said this, the fire-dog acted as if mad with envy.
"What!" cried he, "the most important creature on earth? And people
think it so?" And so much vapour and terrible voices came out of his
throat, that I thought he would choke with vexation and envy.
At last he became calmer and his panting subsided; as soon, however,
as he was quiet, I said laughingly:
"Thou art angry, fire-dog: so I am in the right about thee!
And that I may also maintain the right, hear the story of another
fire-dog; he speaketh actually out of the heart of the earth.
Gold doth his breath exhale, and golden rain: so doth his heart
desire. What are ashes and smoke and hot dregs to him!
Laughter flitteth from him like a variegated cloud; adverse is he to
thy gargling and spewing and grips in the bowels!
The gold, however, and the laughter- these doth he take out of the
heart of the earth: for, that thou mayst know it,- the heart of the
earth is of gold."
When the fire-dog heard this, he could no longer endure to listen to
me. Abashed did he draw in his tail, said "bow-wow!" in a cowed voice,
and crept down into his cave.-
Thus told Zarathustra. His disciples, however, hardly listened to
him: so great was their eagerness to tell him about the sailors, the
rabbits, and the flying man.
"What am I to think of it!" said Zarathustra. "Am I indeed a ghost?
But it may have been my shadow. Ye have surely heard something of
the Wanderer and his Shadow?
One thing, however, is certain: I must keep a tighter hold of it;
otherwise it will spoil my reputation."
And once more Zarathustra shook his head and wondered. "What am I to
think of it!" said he once more.
"Why did the ghost cry: 'It is time! It is the highest time!'
For what is it then- the highest time?"-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
41. The Soothsayer
"-AND I saw a great sadness come over mankind. The best turned weary
of their works.
A doctrine appeared, a faith ran beside it: 'All is empty, all is
alike, all hath been!'
And from all hills there re-echoed: 'All is empty, all is alike, all
To be sure we have harvested: but why have all our fruits become
rotten and brown? What was it fell last night from the evil moon?
In vain was all our labour, poison hath our wine become, the evil
eye hath singed yellow our fields and hearts.
Arid have we all become; and fire falling upon us, then do we turn
dust like ashes:- yea, the fire itself have we made aweary.
All our fountains have dried up, even the sea hath receded. All
the ground trieth to gape, but the depth will not swallow!
'Alas! where is there still a sea in which one could be drowned?' so
soundeth our plaint- across shallow swamps.
Verily, even for dying have we become too weary; now do we keep
awake and live on- in sepulchres."
Thus did Zarathustra hear a soothsayer speak; and the foreboding
touched his heart and transformed him. Sorrowfully did he go about and
wearily; and he became like unto those of whom the soothsayer had
Verily, said he unto his disciples, a little while, and there cometh
the long twilight. Alas, how shall I preserve my light through it!
That it may not smother in this sorrowfulness! To remoter worlds
shall it be a light, and also to remotest nights!
Thus did Zarathustra go about grieved in his heart, and for three
days he did not take any meat or drink: he had no rest, and lost his
speech. At last it came to pass that he fell into a deep sleep. His
disciples, however, sat around him in long night-watches, and waited
anxiously to see if he would awake, and speak again, and recover
from his affliction.
And this is the discourse that Zarathustra spake when he awoke;
his voice, however, came unto his disciples as from afar:
Hear, I pray you, the dream that I dreamed, my friends, and help
me to divine its meaning!
A riddle is it still unto me, this dream; the meaning is hidden in
it and encaged, and doth not yet fly above it on free pinions.
All life had I renounced, so I dreamed. Night-watchman and
grave-guardian had I become, aloft, in the lone mountain-fortress of
There did I guard his coffins: full stood the musty vaults of
those trophies of victory. Out of glass coffins did vanquished life
gaze upon me.
The odour of dust-covered eternities did I breathe: sultry and
dust-covered lay my soul. And who could have aired his soul there!
Brightness of midnight was ever around me; lonesomeness cowered
beside her; and as a third, death-rattle stillness, the worst of my
Keys did I carry, the rustiest of all keys; and I knew how to open
with them the most creaking of all gates.
Like a bitterly angry croaking ran the sound through the long
corridors when the leaves of the gate opened: ungraciously did this
bird cry, unwillingly was it awakened.
But more frightful even, and more heart-strangling was it, when it
again became silent and still all around, and I alone sat in that
Thus did time pass with me, and slip by, if time there still was:
what do I know thereof! But at last there happened that which awoke
Thrice did there peal peals at the gate like thunders, thrice did
the vaults resound and howl again: then did I go to the sate.
Alpa! cried I, who carrieth his ashes unto the mountain? Alpa! Alpa!
who carrieth his ashes unto the mountain?
And I pressed the key, and pulled at the gate, and exerted myself.
But not a finger's-breadth was it yet open:
Then did a roaring wind tear the folds apart: whistling, whizzing,
and piercing, it threw unto me a black coffin.
And in the roaring and whistling and whizzing, the coffin burst
open, and spouted out a thousand peals of laughter.
And a thousand caricatures of children, angels, owls, fools, and
child-sized butterflies laughed and mocked, and roared at me.
Fearfully was I terrified thereby: it prostrated me. And I cried
with horror as I ne'er cried before.
But mine own crying awoke me:- and I came to myself.-
Thus did Zarathustra relate his dream, and then was silent: for as
yet he knew not the interpretation thereof. But the disciple whom he
loved most arose quickly, seized Zarathustra's hand, and said:
"Thy life itself interpreteth unto us this dream, O Zarathustra!
Art thou not thyself the wind with shrill whistling, which
bursteth open the gates of the fortress of Death?
Art thou not thyself the coffin full of many-hued malices and
angel-caricatures of life?
Verily, like a thousand peals of children's laughter cometh
Zarathustra into all sepulchres, laughing at those night-watchmen
and grave-guardians, and whoever else rattleth with sinister keys.
With thy laughter wilt thou frighten and prostrate them: fainting
and recovering wilt thou demonstrate thy power over them.
And when the long twilight cometh and the mortal weariness, even
then wilt thou not disappear from our firmament, thou advocate of
New stars hast thou made us see, and new nocturnal glories:
verily, laughter itself hast thou spread out over us like a
Now will children's laughter ever from coffins flow; now will a
strong wind ever come victoriously unto all mortal weariness: of
this thou art thyself the pledge and the prophet!
Verily, they themselves didst thou dream, thine enemies: that was
thy sorest dream.
But as thou awokest from them and camest to thyself, so shall they
awaken from themselves- and come unto thee!
Thus spake the disciple; and all the others then thronged around
Zarathustra, grasped him by the hands, and tried to persuade him to
leave his bed and his sadness, and return unto them. Zarathustra,
however, sat upright on his couch, with an absent look. Like one
returning from long foreign sojourn did he look on his disciples,
and examined their features; but still he knew them not. When,
however, they raised him, and set him upon his feet, behold, all on
a sudden his eye changed; he understood everything that had
happened, stroked his beard, and said with a strong voice:
"Well! this hath just its time; but see to it, my disciples, that we
have a good repast; and without delay! Thus do I mean to make amends
for bad dreams!
The soothsayer, however, shall eat and drink at my side: and verily,
I will yet show him a sea in which he can drown himself!"-
Thus spake Zarathustra. Then did he gaze long into the face of the
disciple who had been the dream-interpreter, and shook his head.-
WHEN Zarathustra went one day over the great bridge, then did the
cripples and beggars surround him, and a hunchback spake thus unto
"Behold, Zarathustra! Even the people learn from thee, and acquire
faith in thy teaching: but for them to believe fully in thee, one
thing is still needful- thou must first of all convince us cripples!
Here hast thou now a fine selection, and verily, an opportunity with
more than one forelock! The blind canst thou heal, and make the lame
run; and from him who hath too much behind, couldst thou well, also,
take away a little;- that, I think, would be the right method to
make the cripples believe in Zarathustra!"
Zarathustra, however, answered thus unto him who so spake: When
one taketh his hump from the hunchback, then doth one take from him
his spirit- so do the people teach. And when one giveth the blind
man eyes, then doth he see too many bad things on the earth: so that
he curseth him who healed him. He, however, who maketh the lame man
run, inflicteth upon him the greatest injury; for hardly can he run,
when his vices run away with him- so do the people teach concerning
cripples. And why should not Zarathustra also learn from the people,
when the people learn from Zarathustra?
It is, however, the smallest thing unto me since I have been amongst
men, to see one person lacking an eye, another an ear, and a third a
leg, and that others have lost the tongue, or the nose, or the head.
I see and have seen worse things, and divers things so hideous, that
I should neither like to speak of all matters, nor even keep silent
about some of them: namely, men who lack everything, except that
they have too much of one thing- men who are nothing more than a big
eye, or a big mouth, or a big belly, or something else big,-
reversed cripples, I call such men.
And when I came out of my solitude, and for the first time passed
over this bridge, then I could not trust mine eyes, but looked again
and again, and said at last: "That is an ear! An ear as big as a man!"
I looked still more attentively- and actually there did move under the
ear something that was pitiably small and poor and slim. And in
truth this immense ear was perched on a small thin stalk- the stalk,
however, was a man! A person putting a glass to his eyes, could even
recognise further a small envious countenance, and also that a bloated
soullet dangled at the stalk. The people told me, however, that the
big ear was not only a man, but a great man, a genius. But I never
believed in the people when they spake of great men- and I hold to
my belief that it was a reversed cripple, who had too little of
everything, and too much of one thing.
When Zarathustra had spoken thus unto the hunchback, and unto
those of whom the hunchback was the mouthpiece and advocate, then
did he turn to his disciples in profound dejection, and said:
Verily, my friends, I walk amongst men as amongst the fragments
and limbs of human beings!
This is the terrible thing to mine eye, that I find man broken up,
and scattered about, as on a battle- and butcher-ground.
And when mine eye fleeth from the present to the bygone, it
findeth ever the same: fragments and limbs and fearful chances- but no
The present and the bygone upon earth- ah! my friends- that is my
most unbearable trouble; and I should not know how to live, if I
were not a seer of what is to come.
A seer, a purposer, a creator, a future itself, and a bridge to
the future- and alas! also as it were a cripple on this bridge: all
that is Zarathustra.
And ye also asked yourselves often: "Who is Zarathustra to us?
What shall he be called by us?" And like me, did ye give yourselves
questions for answers.
Is he a promiser? Or a fulfiller? A conqueror? Or an inheritor? A
harvest? Or a ploughshare? A physician? Or a healed one?
Is he a poet? Or a genuine one? An emancipator? Or a subjugator? A
good one? Or an evil one?
I walk amongst men as the fragments of the future: that future which
And it is all my poetisation and aspiration to compose and collect
into unity what is fragment and riddle and fearful chance.
And how could I endure to be a man, if man were not also the
composer, and riddle-reader, and redeemer of chance!
To redeem what is past, and to transform every "It was" into "Thus
would I have it!"- that only do I call redemption!
Will- so is the emancipator and joy-bringer called: thus have I
taught you, my friends! But now learn this likewise: the Will itself
is still a prisoner.
Willing emancipateth: but what is that called which still putteth
the emancipator in chains?
"It was": thus is the Will's teeth-gnashing and lonesomest
tribulation called. Impotent towards what hath been done- it is a
malicious spectator of all that is past.
Not backward can the Will will; that it cannot break time and time's
desire- that is the Will's lonesomest tribulation.
Willing emancipateth: what doth Willing itself devise in order to
get free from its tribulation and mock at its prison?
Ah, a fool becometh every prisoner! Foolishly delivereth itself also
the imprisoned Will.
That time doth not run backward- that is its animosity: "That
which was": so is the stone which it cannot roll called.
And thus doth it roll stones out of animosity and ill-humour, and
taketh revenge on whatever doth not, like it, feel rage and
Thus did the Will, the emancipator, become a torturer; and on all
that is capable of suffering it taketh revenge, because it cannot go
This, yea, this alone is revenge itself: the Will's antipathy to
time, and its "It was."
Verily, a great folly dwelleth in our Will; and it became a curse
unto all humanity, that this folly acquired spirit!
The spirit of revenge: my friends, that hath hitherto been man's
best contemplation; and where there was suffering, it was claimed
there was always penalty.
"Penalty," so calleth itself revenge. With a lying word it
feigneth a good conscience.
And because in the willer himself there is suffering, because he
cannot will backwards- thus was Willing itself, and all life, claimed-
to be penalty!
And then did cloud after cloud roll over the spirit, until at last
madness preached: "Everything perisheth, therefore everything
deserveth to perish!"
"And this itself is justice, the law of time- that he must devour
his children:" thus did madness preach.
"Morally are things ordered according to justice and penalty. Oh,
where is there deliverance from the flux of things and from the
'existence' of penalty?" Thus did madness preach.
"Can there be deliverance when there is eternal justice? Alas,
unrollable is the stone, 'It was': eternal must also be all
penalties!" Thus did madness preach.
"No deed can be annihilated: how could it be undone by the
penalty! This, this is what is eternal in the 'existence' of
penalty, that existence also must be eternally recurring deed and
Unless the Will should at last deliver itself, and Willing become
non-Willing-:" but ye know, my brethren, this fabulous song of
Away from those fabulous songs did I lead you when I taught you:
"The Will is a creator."
All "It was" is a fragment, a riddle, a fearful chance- until the
creating Will saith thereto: "But thus would I have it."-
Until the creating Will saith thereto: "But thus do I will it!
Thus shall I will it!"
But did it ever speak thus? And when doth this take place? Hath
the Will been unharnessed from its own folly?
Hath the Will become its own deliverer and joy-bringer? Hath it
unlearned the spirit of revenge and all teeth-gnashing?
And who hath taught it reconciliation with time, and something
higher than all reconciliation?
Something higher than all reconciliation must the Will will which is
the Will to Power-: but how doth that take place? Who hath taught it
also to will backwards?
-But at this point in his discourse it chanced that Zarathustra
suddenly paused, and looked like a person in the greatest alarm.
With terror in his eyes did he gaze on his disciples; his glances
pierced as with arrows their thoughts and arrear-thoughts. But after a
brief space he again laughed, and said soothedly:
"It is difficult to live amongst men, because silence is so
difficult- especially for a babbler."-
Thus spake Zarathustra. The hunchback, however, had listened to
the conversation and had covered his face during the time; but when he
heard Zarathustra laugh, he looked up with curiosity, and said slowly:
"But why doth Zarathustra speak otherwise unto us than unto his
Zarathustra answered: "What is there to be wondered at! With
hunchbacks one May well speak in a hunchbacked way!"
"Very good," said the hunchback; "and with pupils one may well
tell tales out of school.
But why doth Zarathustra speak otherwise unto his pupils- than
43. Manly Prudence
NOT the height, it is the declivity that is terrible!
The declivity, where the gaze shooteth downwards, and the hand
graspeth upwards. There doth the heart become giddy through its double
Ah, friends, do ye divine also my heart's double will?
This, this is my declivity and my danger, that my gaze shooteth
towards the summit, and my hand would fain clutch and lean- on the
To man clingeth my will; with chains do I bind myself to man,
because I am pulled upwards to the Superman: for thither doth mine
other will tend.
And therefore do I live blindly among men, as if I knew them not:
that my hand may not entirely lose belief in firmness.
I know not you men: this gloom and consolation is often spread
I sit at the gateway for every rogue, and ask: Who wisheth to
This is my first manly prudence, that I allow myself to be deceived,
so as not to be on my guard against deceivers.
Ah, if I were on my guard against man, how could man be an anchor to
my ball! Too easily would I be pulled upwards and away!
This providence is over my fate, that I have to be without
And he who would not languish amongst men, must learn to drink out
of all glasses; and he who would keep clean amongst men, must know how
to wash himself even with dirty water.
And thus spake I often to myself for consolation: "Courage! Cheer
up! old heart! An unhappiness hath failed to befall thee: enjoy that
as thy- happiness!"
This, however, is mine other manly prudence: I am more forbearing to
the vain than to the proud.
Is not wounded vanity the mother of all tragedies? Where, however,
pride is wounded, there there groweth up something better than pride.
That life may be fair to behold, its game must be well played; for
that purpose, however, it needeth good actors.
Good actors have I found all the vain ones: they play, and wish
people to be fond of beholding them- all their spirit is in this wish.
They represent themselves, they invent themselves; in their
neighbourhood I like to look upon life- it cureth of melancholy.
Therefore am I forbearing to the vain, because they are the
physicians of my melancholy, and keep me attached to man as to a
And further, who conceiveth the full depth of the modesty of the
vain man! I am favourable to him, and sympathetic on account of his
From you would he learn his belief in himself; he feedeth upon
your glances, he eateth praise out of your hands.
Your lies doth he even believe when you lie favourably about him:
for in its depths sigheth his heart: "What am I?"
And if that be the true virtue which is unconscious of itself- well,
the vain man is unconscious of his modesty!-
This is, however, my third manly prudence: I am not put out of
conceit with the wicked by your timorousness.
I am happy to see the marvels the warm sun hatcheth: tigers and
palms and rattlesnakes.
Also amongst men there is a beautiful brood of the warm sun, and
much that is marvellous in the wicked.
In truth, as your wisest did not seem to me so very wise, so found I
also human wickedness below the fame of it.
And oft did I ask with a shake of the head: Why still rattle, ye
Verily, there is still a future even for evil! And the warmest south
is still undiscovered by man.
How many things are now called the worst wickedness, which are
only twelve feet broad and three months long! Some day, however,
will greater dragons come into the world.
For that the Superman may not lack his dragon, the super-dragon that
is worthy of him, there must still much warm sun glow on moist
Out of your wild cats must tigers have evolved, and out of your
poison-toads, crocodiles: for the good hunter shall have a good hunt!
And verily, ye good and just! In you there is much to be laughed at,
and especially your fear of what hath hitherto been called "the
So alien are ye in your souls to what is great, that to you the
Superman would be frightful in his goodness!
And ye wise and knowing ones, ye would flee from the solar-glow of
the wisdom in which the Superman joyfully batheth his nakedness!
Ye highest men who have come within my ken! this is my doubt of you,
and my secret laughter: I suspect ye would call my Superman- a devil!
Ah, I became tired of those highest and best ones: from their
"height" did I long to be up, out, and away to the Superman!
A horror came over me when I saw those best ones naked: then there
grew for me the pinions to soar away into distant futures.
Into more distant futures, into more southern souths than ever
artist dreamed of: thither, where gods are ashamed of all clothes!
But disguised do I want to see you, ye neighbours and fellowmen, and
well-attired and vain and estimable, as "the good and just;"-
And disguised will I myself sit amongst you- that I may mistake
you and myself: for that is my last manly prudence.-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
44. The Stillest Hour
WHAT hath happened unto me, my friends? Ye see me troubled, driven
forth, unwillingly obedient, ready to go- alas, to go away from you!
Yea, once more must Zarathustra retire to his solitude: but
unjoyously this time doth the bear go back to his cave!
What hath happened unto me? Who ordereth this?- Ah, mine angry
mistress wisheth it so; she spake unto me. Have I ever named her
name to you?
Yesterday towards evening there spake unto me my stillest hour: that
is the name of my terrible mistress.
And thus did it happen- for everything must I tell you, that your
heart may not harden against the suddenly departing one!
Do ye know the terror of him who falleth asleep?-
To the very toes he is terrified, because the ground giveth way
under him, and the dream beginneth.
This do I speak unto you in parable. Yesterday at the stillest
hour did the ground give way under me: the dream began.
The hour-hand moved on, the timepiece of my life drew breath-
never did I hear such stillness around me, so that my heart was
Then was there spoken unto me without voice: "Thou knowest it,
And I cried in terror at this whispering, and the blood left my
face: but I was silent.
Then was there once more spoken unto me without voice: "Thou knowest
it, Zarathustra, but thou dost not speak it!"-
And at last I answered, like one defiant: "Yea, I know it, but I
will not speak it!"
Then was there again spoken unto me without voice: "Thou wilt not,
Zarathustra? Is this true? Conceal thyself not behind thy defiance!"-
And I wept and trembled like a child, and said: "Ah, I would indeed,
but how can I do it! Exempt me only from this! It is beyond my power!"
Then was there again spoken unto me without voice: "What matter
about thyself, Zarathustra! Speak thy word, and succumb!"
And I answered: "Ah, is it my word? Who am I? I await the worthier
one; I am not worthy even to succumb by it."
Then was there again spoken unto me without voice: "What matter
about thyself? Thou art not yet humble enough for me. Humility hath
the hardest skin."-
And I answered: "What hath not the skin of my humility endured! At
the foot of my height do I dwell: how high are my summits, no one hath
yet told me. But well do I know my valleys."
Then was there again spoken unto me without voice: "O Zarathustra,
he who hath to remove mountains removeth also valleys and plains."-
And I answered: "As yet hath my word not removed mountains, and what
I have spoken hath not reached man. I went, indeed, unto men, but
not yet have I attained unto them."
Then was there again spoken unto me without voice: "What knowest
thou thereof! The dew falleth on the grass when the night is most
And I answered: "They mocked me when I found and walked in mine
own path; and certainly did my feet then tremble.
And thus did they speak unto me: Thou forgottest the path before,
now dost thou also forget how to walk!"
Then was there again spoken unto me without voice: "What matter
about their mockery! Thou art one who hast unlearned to obey: now
shalt thou command!
Knowest thou not who is most needed by all? He who commandeth
To execute great things is difficult: but the more difficult task is
to command great things.
This is thy most unpardonable obstinacy: thou hast the power, and
thou wilt not rule."-
And I answered: "I lack the lion's voice for all commanding."
Then was there again spoken unto me as a whispering: "It is the
stillest words which bring the storm. Thoughts that come with doves'
footsteps guide the world.
O Zarathustra, thou shalt go as a shadow of that which is to come:
thus wilt thou command, and in commanding go foremost."-
And I answered: "I am ashamed."
Then was there again spoken unto me without voice: "Thou must yet
become a child, and be without shame.
The pride of youth is still upon thee; late hast thou become
young: but he who would become a child must surmount even his youth."-
And I considered a long while, and trembled. At last, however, did I
say what I had said at first. "I will not."
Then did a laughing take place all around me. Alas, how that
laughing lacerated my bowels and cut into my heart!
And there was spoken unto me for the last time: "O Zarathustra,
thy fruits are ripe, but thou art not ripe for thy fruits!
So must thou go again into solitude: for thou shalt yet become
And again was there a laughing, and it fled: then did it become
still around me, as with a double stillness. I lay, however, on the
ground, and the sweat flowed from my limbs.
-Now have ye heard all, and why I have to return into my solitude.
Nothing have I kept hidden from you, my friends.
But even this have ye heard from me, who is still the most
reserved of men- and will be so!
Ah, my friends! I should have something more to say unto you! I
should have something more to give unto you! Why do I not give it?
Am I then a niggard?-
When, however, Zarathustra had spoken these words, the violence of
his pain, and a sense of the nearness of his departure from his
friends came over him, so that he wept aloud; and no one knew how to
console him. In the night, however, he went away alone and left his
"Ye look aloft when ye long for exaltation, and I look downward
because I am exalted.
"Who among you can at the same time laugh and be exalted?
"He who climbeth on the highest mountains, laugheth at all tragic
plays and tragic realities."- ZARATHUSTRA, I., "Reading and Writing."
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 Happy Isles. So when Zarathustra thus ascended the
mountain, he thought on the way of his many solitary wanderings from
youth onwards, and how many mountains and ridges and summits he had
I am a wanderer and mountain-climber, said he to his heart. I love
not the plains, and it seemeth I cannot long sit still.
And whatever may still overtake me as fate and experience- a
wandering will be therein, and a mountain-climbing: in the end one
experienceth only oneself.
The time is now past when accidents could befall me; and what
could now fall to my lot which would not already be mine own!
It returneth only, it cometh home to me at last- mine own Self,
and such of it as hath been long abroad, and scattered among things
And one thing more do I know: I stand now before my last summit, and
before that which hath been longest reserved for me. Ah, my hardest
path must I ascend! Ah, I have begun my lonesomest wandering!
He, however, who is of my nature doth not avoid such an hour: the
hour that saith unto him: Now only dost thou go the way to thy
greatness! Summit and abyss- these are now comprised together!
Thou goest the way to thy greatness: now hath it become thy last
refuge, what was hitherto thy last danger!
Thou goest the way to thy greatness: it must now be thy best courage
that there is no longer any path behind thee!
Thou goest the way to thy greatness: here shall no one steal after
thee! Thy foot itself hath effaced the path behind thee, and over it
standeth written: Impossibility.
And if all ladders henceforth fail thee, then must thou learn to
mount upon thine own head: how couldst thou mount upward otherwise?
Upon thine own head, and beyond thine own heart! Now must the
gentlest in thee become the hardest.
He who hath always much-indulged himself, sickeneth at last by his
much-indulgence. Praises on what maketh hardy! I do not praise the
land where butter and honey- flow!
To learn to look away from oneself, is necessary in order to see
many things.- this hardiness is needed by every mountain-climber.
He, however, who is obtrusive with his eyes as a discerner, how
can he ever see more of anything than its foreground!
But thou, O Zarathustra, wouldst view the ground of everything,
and its background: thus must thou mount even above thyself- up,
upwards, until thou hast even thy stars under thee!
Yea! To look down upon myself, and even upon my stars: that only
would I call my summit, that hath remained for me as my last summit!-
Thus spake Zarathustra to himself while ascending, comforting his
heart with harsh maxims: for he was sore at heart as he had never been
before. And when he had reached the top of the mountain-ridge, behold,
there lay the other sea spread out before him; and he stood still
and was long silent. The night, however, was cold at this height,
and clear and starry.
I recognise my destiny, said he at last, sadly. Well! I am ready.
Now hath my last lonesomeness begun.
Ah, this sombre, sad sea, below me! Ah, this sombre nocturnal
vexation! Ah, fate and sea! To you must I now go down!
Before my highest mountain do I stand, and before my longest
wandering: therefore must I first go deeper down than I ever ascended:
-Deeper down into pain than I ever ascended, even into its darkest
flood! So willeth my fate. Well! I am ready.
Whence come the highest mountains? so did I once ask. Then did I
learn that they come out of the sea.
That testimony is inscribed on their stones, and on the walls of
their summits. Out of the deepest must the highest come to its
Thus spake Zarathustra on the ridge of the mountain where it was
cold: when, however, he came into the vicinity of the sea, and at last
stood alone amongst the cliffs, then had he become weary on his way,
and eagerer than ever before.
Everything as yet sleepeth, said he; even the sea sleepeth. Drowsily
and strangely doth its eye gaze upon me.
But it breatheth warmly- I feel it. And I feel also that it
dreameth. It tosseth about dreamily on hard pillows.
Hark! Hark! How it groaneth with evil recollections! Or evil
Ah, I am sad along with thee, thou dusky monster, and angry with
myself even for thy sake.
Ah, that my hand hath not strength enough! Gladly, indeed, would I
free thee from evil dreams!-
And while Zarathustra thus spake, he laughed at himself with
melancholy and bitterness. What! Zarathustra, said he, wilt thou
even sing consolation to the sea?
Ah, thou amiable fool, Zarathustra, thou too-blindly confiding
one! But thus hast thou ever been: ever hast thou approached
confidently all that is terrible.
Every monster wouldst thou caress. A whiff of warm breath, a
little soft tuft on its paw:- and immediately wert thou ready to
love and lure it.
Love is the danger of the lonesomest one, love to anything, if it
only live! Laughable, verily, is my folly and my modesty in love!-
Thus spake Zarathustra, and laughed thereby a second time. Then,
however, he thought of his abandoned friends- and as if he had done
them a wrong with his thoughts, he upbraided himself because of his
thoughts. And forthwith it came to pass that the laugher wept- with
anger and longing wept Zarathustra bitterly.
46. The Vision and the Enigma
WHEN it got abroad among the sailors that Zarathustra was on board
the ship- for a man who came from the Happy Isles had gone on board
along with him,- there was great curiosity and expectation. But
Zarathustra kept silent for two days, and was cold and deaf with
sadness; so that he neither answered looks nor questions. On the
evening of the second day, however, he again opened his ears, though
he still kept silent: for there were many curious and dangerous things
to be heard on board the ship, which came from afar, and was to go
still further. Zarathustra, however, was fond of all those who make
distant voyages, and dislike to live without danger. And behold!
when listening, his own tongue was at last loosened, and the ice of
his heart broke. Then did he begin to speak thus:
To you, the daring venturers and adventurers, and whoever hath
embarked with cunning sails upon frightful seas,-
To you the enigma-intoxicated, the twilight-enjoyers, whose souls
are allured by flutes to every treacherous gulf:
-For ye dislike to grope at a thread with cowardly hand; and where
ye can divine, there do ye hate to calculate-
To you only do I tell the enigma that I saw- the vision of the
Gloomily walked I lately in corpse-coloured twilight- gloomily and
sternly, with compressed lips. Not only one sun had set for me.
A path which ascended daringly among boulders, an evil, lonesome
path, which neither herb nor shrub any longer cheered, a
mountain-path, crunched under the daring of my foot.
Mutely marching over the scornful clinking of pebbles, trampling the
stone that let it slip: thus did my foot force its way upwards.
Upwards:- in spite of the spirit that drew it downwards, towards the
abyss, the spirit of gravity, my devil and archenemy.
Upwards:- although it sat upon me, half-dwarf, half-mole; paralysed,
paralysing; dripping lead in mine ear, and thoughts like drops of lead
into my brain.
"O Zarathustra," it whispered scornfully, syllable by syllable,
"thou stone of wisdom! Thou threwest thyself high, but every thrown
stone must- fall!
O Zarathustra, thou stone of wisdom, thou sling-stone, thou
star-destroyer! Thyself threwest thou so high,- but every thrown
stone- must fall!
Condemned of thyself, and to thine own stoning: O Zarathustra, far
indeed threwest thou thy stone- but upon thyself will it recoil!"
Then was the dwarf silent; and it lasted long. The silence, however,
oppressed me; and to be thus in pairs, one is verily lonesomer than
I ascended, I ascended, I dreamt, I thought,- but everything
oppressed me. A sick one did I resemble, whom bad torture wearieth,
and a worse dream reawakeneth out of his first sleep.-
But there is something in me which I call courage: it hath
hitherto slain for me every dejection. This courage at last bade me
stand still and say: "Dwarf! Thou! Or I!"-
For courage is the best slayer,- courage which attacketh: for in
every attack there is sound of triumph.
Man, however, is the most courageous animal: thereby hath he
overcome every animal. With sound of triumph hath he overcome every
pain; human pain, however, is the sorest pain.
Courage slayeth also giddiness at abysses: and where doth man not
stand at abysses! Is not seeing itself- seeing abysses?
Courage is the best slayer: courage slayeth also fellow-suffering.
Fellow-suffering, however, is the deepest abyss: as deeply as man
looketh into life, so deeply also doth he look into suffering.
Courage, however, is the best slayer, courage which attacketh: it
slayeth even death itself; for it saith: "Was that life? Well! Once
In such speech, however, there is much sound of triumph. He who hath
ears to hear, let him hear.-
"Halt, dwarf!" said I. "Either I- or thou! I, however, am the
stronger of the two:- thou knowest not mine abysmal thought! It-
couldst thou not 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 hath two faces.
Two roads come together here: these hath no one yet gone to the end
This long lane backwards: it continueth for an eternity. And that
long lane forward- that is another eternity.
They are antithetical to one another, these roads; they directly
abut on one another:- and it is here, at this gateway, that they
come together. The name of the gateway is inscribed above: 'This
But should one follow them further- and ever further and further on,
thinkest thou, dwarf, that these roads would be eternally
"Everything straight lieth," murmured the dwarf, contemptuously.
"All truth is crooked; time itself is a circle."
"Thou spirit of gravity!" said I wrathfully, "do not take it too
lightly! Or I shall let thee squat where thou squattest, Haltfoot,-
and I carried thee high!"
"Observe," continued I, "This Moment! From the gateway, This Moment,
there runneth a long eternal lane backwards: behind us lieth an
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 thinkest thou, dwarf, of
This Moment? Must not this gateway also- have already existed?
And are not all things closely bound together in such wise that This
Moment draweth all coming things after it? Consequently- itself also?
For whatever can run its course of all things, also in this long
lane outward- must it once more run!-
And this slow spider which creepeth in the moonlight, and this
moonlight itself, and thou and I in this gateway whispering
together, whispering of eternal things- must we not all have already
-And must we not return and run in that other lane out before us,
that long weird lane- must we not eternally return?"-
Thus did I speak, and always more softly: for I was afraid of mine
own thoughts, and arrear-thoughts. Then, suddenly did I hear a dog
howl near 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 stillest midnight,
when even dogs believe in ghosts:
-So that it excited my commiseration. For just then went the full
moon, silent as death, over the house; just then did it stand still, a
glowing globe- at rest on the flat roof, as if on some one's
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!
Its head off! Bite!"- so cried it out of me; my horror, my hatred,
my loathing, my pity, all my good and my bad cried with one voice
out of me.-
Ye daring ones around me! Ye venturers and adventurers, and
whoever of you have embarked with cunning sails on unexplored seas! Ye
Solve unto me the enigma that I then beheld, interpret unto me the
vision of the lonesomest one!
For it was a vision and a foresight:- what did I then behold in
parable? And who is it that must come some day?
Who is the shepherd into whose throat the serpent thus crawled?
Who is the man into whose throat all the heaviest and blackest will
-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
No longer shepherd, no longer man- a transfigured being, a
light-surrounded being, that laughed! Never on earth laughed a man
as he laughed!
O my brethren, I heard a laughter which was no human laughter,-
and now gnaweth a thirst at me, a longing that is never allayed.
My longing for that laughter gnaweth at me: oh, how can I still
endure to live! And how could I endure to die at present!-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
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 Happy
Isles and from his friends, then had he surmounted all his pain:-
triumphantly and with firm foot did he again accept his fate. And then
talked Zarathustra in this wise to his exulting conscience:
Alone am I again, and like to be so, alone with the pure heaven, and
the open sea; and again is the afternoon around me.
On an afternoon did I find my friends for the first time; on an
afternoon, also, did I find them a second time:- at the hour when
all light becometh stiller.
For whatever happiness is still on its way 'twixt heaven and
earth, now seeketh for lodging a luminous soul: with happiness hath
all light now 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
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 creating one once seek, and children of his hope:
and lo, it turned out that he could not find them, except he himself
should first create them.
Thus am I in the midst of my work, to my children going, and from
them returning: for the sake of his children must Zarathustra
For in one's heart one loveth only one's child and one's work; and
where there is great love to oneself, then is it the sign of
pregnancy: so have I found it.
Still are my children verdant in their first spring, standing nigh
one another, and shaken in common by the winds, the trees of my garden
and of my best soil.
And verily, where such trees stand beside one another, there are
But one day will I take them up, and put each by itself alone:
that it may learn lonesomeness and defiance and prudence.
Gnarled and crooked and with flexible hardness shall it then stand
by the sea, a living lighthouse of unconquerable life.
Yonder where the storms rush down into the sea, and the snout of the
mountain drinketh water, shall each on a time have his day and night
watches, for his testing and recognition.
Recognised and tested shall each be, to see if he be of my type
and lineage:- if he be master of a long will, silent even when he
speaketh, and giving in such wise that he taketh in giving:-
-So that he may one day become my companion, a fellow-creator and
fellow-enjoyer with Zarathustra:- such a one as writeth my will on
my tables, for the fuller perfection of all things.
And for his sake and for those like him, must I perfect myself:
therefore do I now avoid my happiness, and present myself to every
misfortune- for my final testing and recognition.
And verily, it were time that I went away; and the wanderer's shadow
and the longest tedium and the stillest hour- have all said unto me:
"It is the highest time!"
The word blew to me through the keyhole and said "Come!" The door
sprang subtly open unto me, and said "Go!"
But I lay enchained to my love for my children: desire spread this
snare for me- the desire for love- that I should become the prey of my
children, and lose myself in them.
Desiring- that is now for me to have lost myself. I possess you,
my children! In this possessing shall everything be assurance and
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 unto me in signs: "It is time!" But I- heard
not, until at last mine abyss moved, and my thought bit me.
Ah, abysmal thought, which art my thought! When shall I find
strength to hear thee burrowing, and no longer tremble?
To my very throat throbbeth my heart when I hear them burrowing! Thy
muteness even is like to strangle me, thou abysmal mute one!
As yet have I never ventured to call thee up; it hath been enough
that I- have carried thee about with me! As yet have I not been strong
enough for my final lion-wantonness and playfulness.
Sufficiently formidable unto me hath thy weight ever been: but one
day shall I yet find the strength and the lion's voice which will call
When I shall have surmounted myself therein, then will I surmount
myself also in that which is greater; and a victory shall be the
seal of my perfection!-
Meanwhile do I sail along on uncertain seas; chance flattereth me,
smooth-tongued chance; forward and backward do I gaze-, still see I no
As yet hath the hour of my final struggle not come to me- or doth it
come to me perhaps just now? Verily, with insidious beauty do sea
and life gaze upon me round about:
O afternoon of my life! O happiness before eventide! O haven upon
high seas! O peace in uncertainty! How I distrust all of you!
Verily, distrustful am I of your insidious beauty! Like the lover am
I, who distrusteth too sleek smiling.
As he pusheth the best-beloved before him- tender even in
severity, the jealous one-, so do I push this blissful hour before me.
Away with thee, thou blissful hour! With thee hath there come to
me an involuntary bliss! Ready for my severest pain do I here
stand:- at the wrong time hast thou come!
Away with thee, thou blissful hour! Rather harbour there- with my
children! Hasten! and bless them before eventide with my happiness!
There, already approacheth eventide: the sun sinketh. Away- my
Thus spake Zarathustra. And he waited for his misfortune the whole
night; but he waited in vain. The night remained clear and calm, and
happiness itself came nigher and nigher unto him. Towards morning,
however, Zarathustra laughed to his heart, and said mockingly:
"Happiness runneth after me. That is because I do not run after women.
Happiness, however, is a woman."
48. Before Sunrise
O HEAVEN above me, thou pure, thou deep heaven! Thou abyss of light!
Gazing on thee, I tremble with divine desires.
Up to thy height to toss myself- that is my depth! In thy purity
to hide myself- that is mine innocence!
The God veileth his beauty: thus hidest thou thy stars. Thou
speakest not: thus proclaimest thou thy wisdom unto me.
Mute o'er the raging sea hast thou risen for me to-day; thy love and
thy modesty make a revelation unto my raging soul.
In that thou camest unto me beautiful, veiled in thy beauty, in that
thou spakest unto me mutely, obvious in thy wisdom:
Oh, how could I fail to divine all the modesty of thy soul! Before
the sun didst thou come unto me- the lonesomest one.
We have been friends from the beginning: to us are grief,
gruesomeness, and ground common; even the sun is common to us.
We do not speak to each other, because we know too much-: we keep
silent to each other, we smile our knowledge to each other.
Art thou not the light of my fire? Hast thou not the sister-soul
of mine 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
And wandered I alone, for what did my soul hunger by night and in
labyrinthine paths? And climbed I mountains, whom did I ever seek,
if not thee, upon mountains?
And all my wandering and mountain-climbing: a necessity was it
merely, and a makeshift of the unhandy one:- to fly only, wanteth mine
entire will, to fly into thee!
And what have I hated more than passing clouds, and whatever
tainteth thee? And mine own hatred have I even hated, because it
The passing clouds I detest- those stealthy cats of prey: they
take from thee and me what is common to us- the vast unbounded Yea-
and Amen- saying.
These mediators and mixers we detest- the passing clouds: those
half-and-half ones, that have neither learned to bless nor to curse
from the heart.
Rather will I sit in a tub under a closed heaven, rather will I
sit in the abyss without heaven, than see thee, thou luminous
heaven, tainted with 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
-An angry drummer, because they rob me of thy Yea and Amen!- thou
heaven above me, thou pure, thou luminous heaven! Thou abyss of
light!- because they rob thee of my Yea and Amen.
For rather will I have noise and thunders and tempest-blasts, than
this discreet, doubting cat-repose; and also amongst men do I hate
most of all the soft-treaders, and half-and-half ones, and the
doubting, hesitating, passing clouds.
And "he who cannot bless shall learn to curse!"- this clear teaching
dropt unto me from the clear heaven; this star standeth in my heaven
even in dark nights.
I, however, am a blesser and a Yea-sayer, if thou be but around
me, thou pure, thou luminous heaven! Thou abyss of light!- into all
abysses do I then carry my beneficent Yea-saying.
A blesser have I become and a Yea-sayer: and therefore strove I long
and was a striver, that I might one day get my hands free for
This, however, is my blessing: to stand above everything as its
own heaven, its round roof, its azure bell and eternal security: and
blessed is he who thus blesseth!
For all things are baptized at the font of eternity, and beyond good
and evil; good and evil themselves, however, are but fugitive
shadows and damp afflictions and passing clouds.
Verily, it is a blessing and not a blasphemy when I teach that
"above all things there standeth the heaven of chance, the heaven of
innocence, the heaven of hazard, the heaven of wantonness."
"Of Hazard"- that is the oldest nobility in the world; that gave I
back to all things; I emancipated them from bondage under purpose.
This freedom and celestial serenity did I put like an azure bell
above all things, when I taught that over them and through them, no
"eternal Will"- willeth.
This wantonness and folly did I put in place of that Will, when I
taught that "In everything there is one thing impossible-
A little reason, to be sure, a germ of wisdom scattered from star to
star- this leaven is mixed in all things: for the sake of folly,
wisdom is mixed in all things!
A little wisdom is indeed possible; but this blessed security have I
found in all things, that they prefer- to dance on the feet of chance.
O heaven above me! thou pure, thou lofty heaven! This is now thy
purity unto me, that there is no eternal reason-spider and
-That thou art to me a dancing-floor for divine chances, that thou
art to me a table of the Gods, for divine dice and dice-players!-
But thou blushest? Have I spoken unspeakable things? Have I
abused, when I meant to bless thee?
Or is it the shame of being two of us that maketh thee blush!-
Dost thou bid me go and be silent, because now- day cometh?
The world is deep:- and deeper than e'er the day could read. Not
everything may be uttered in presence of day. But day cometh: so let
O heaven above me, thou modest one! thou glowing one! O thou, my
happiness before sunrise! The day cometh: so let us part!-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
49. The Bedwarfing Virtue
WHEN Zarathustra was again on the continent, he did not go
straightway to his mountains and his cave, but made many wanderings
and questionings, and ascertained this and that; so that he said of
himself jestingly: "Lo, a river that floweth back unto its source in
many windings!" For he wanted to learn what had taken place among
men during the interval: whether they had become greater or smaller.
And once, when he saw a row of new houses, he marvelled, and said:
"What do these houses mean? Verily, no great soul put them up as its
Did perhaps a silly child take them out of its toy-box? Would that
another child put them again into the box!
And these rooms and chambers- can men go out and in there? They seem
to be made for silk dolls; or for dainty-eaters, who perhaps let
others eat with them."
And Zarathustra stood still and meditated. At last he said
sorrowfully: "There hath everything become smaller!
Everywhere do I see lower doorways: he who is of my type can still
go therethrough, but- he must stoop!
Oh, when shall I arrive again at my home, where I shall no longer
have to stoop- shall no longer have to stoop before the small
ones!"- And Zarathustra sighed, and gazed into the distance.-
The same day, however, he gave his discourse on the bedwarfing
I pass through this people and keep mine eyes open: they do not
forgive me for not envying their virtues.
They bite at me, because I say unto them that for small people,
small virtues are necessary- and because it is hard for me to
understand that small people are necessary!
Here am I still like a cock in a strange farm-yard, at which even
the hens peck: but on that account I am not unfriendly to the hens.
I am courteous towards them, as towards all small annoyances; to
be prickly towards what is small, seemeth to me wisdom for hedgehogs.
They all speak of me when they sit around their fire in the evening-
they speak of me, but no one thinketh- of me!
This is the new stillness which I have experienced: their noise
around me spreadeth a mantle over my thoughts.
They shout to one another: "What is this gloomy cloud about to do to
us? Let us see that it doth not bring a plague upon us!"
And recently did a woman seize upon her child that was coming unto
me: "Take the children away," cried she, "such eyes scorch
They cough when I speak: they think coughing an objection to
strong winds- they divine nothing of the boisterousness of my
"We have not yet time for Zarathustra"- so they object; but what
matter about a time that "hath no time" for Zarathustra?
And if they should altogether praise me, how could I go to sleep
on their praise? A girdle of spines is their praise unto me: it
scratcheth me even when I take it off.
And this also did I learn among them: the praiser doeth as if he
gave back; in truth, however, he wanteth more to be given him!
Ask my foot if their lauding and luring strains please it! Verily,
to such measure and ticktack, it liketh neither to dance nor to
To small virtues would they fain lure and laud me; to the ticktack
of small happiness would they fain persuade my foot.
I pass through this people and keep mine eyes open; they have become
smaller, and ever become smaller:- the reason thereof is their
doctrine of happiness and virtue.
For they are moderate also in virtue,- because they want comfort.
With comfort, however, moderate virtue only is compatible.
To be sure, they also learn in their way to stride on and stride
forward: that, I call their hobbling.- Thereby they become a hindrance
to all who are in haste.
And many of them go forward, and look backwards thereby, with
stiffened necks: those do I like to run up against.
Foot and eye shall not lie, nor give the lie to each other. But
there is much lying among small people.
Some of them will, but most of them are willed. Some of them are
genuine, but most of them are bad actors.
There are actors without knowing it amongst them, and actors without
intending it-, the genuine ones are always rare, especially the
Of man there is little here: therefore do their women masculinise
themselves. For only he who is man enough, will- save the woman in
And this hypocrisy found I worst amongst them, that even those who
command feign the virtues of those who serve.
"I serve, thou servest, we serve"- so chanteth here even the
hypocrisy of the rulers- and alas! if the first lord be only the first
Ah, even upon their hypocrisy did mine eyes' curiosity alight; and
well did I divine all their fly- happiness, and their buzzing around
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
In their hearts they want simply one thing most of all: that no
one hurt them. Thus do they anticipate every one's wishes and do
well unto every 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 maketh them
Shrewd indeed are they, their virtues have shrewd fingers. But
they lack fists: their fingers do not know how to creep behind fists.
Virtue for them is what maketh modest and tame: therewith have
they made the wolf a dog, and man himself man's best domestic animal.
"We set our chair in the midst"- so saith their smirking unto me-
"and as far from dying gladiators as from satisfied swine."
That, however, is- mediocrity, though it be called moderation.-
I pass through this people and let fall many words: but they know
neither how to take nor how to retain them.
They wonder why I came not to revile venery and vice; and verily,
I came not to warn against pickpockets either!
They wonder why I am not ready to abet and whet their wisdom: as
if they had not yet enough of wiseacres, whose voices grate on mine
ear like slate-pencils!
And when I call out: "Curse all the cowardly devils in you, that
would fain whimper and fold the hands and adore"- then do they
shout: "Zarathustra is godless."
And especially do their teachers of submission shout this;- but
precisely in their ears do I love to cry: "Yea! I am Zarathustra,
Those teachers of submission! Wherever there is aught puny, or
sickly, or scabby, there do they creep like lice; and only my
disgust preventeth me from cracking them.
Well! This is my sermon for their ears: I am Zarathustra the
godless, who saith: "Who is more godless than I, that I may enjoy
I am Zarathustra the godless: where do I find mine equal? And all
those are mine equals who give unto themselves their Will, and
divest themselves of all submission.
I am Zarathustra the godless! I cook every chance in my pot. And
only when it hath been quite cooked do I welcome it as my food.
And verily, many a chance came imperiously unto me: but still more
imperiously did my Will speak unto it,- then did it lie imploringly
upon its knees-
-Imploring that it might find home and heart with me, and saying
flatteringly: "See, O Zarathustra, how friend only cometh unto
But why talk I, when no one hath mine ears! And so will I shout it
out unto all the winds:
Ye ever become smaller, ye small people! Ye crumble away, ye
comfortable ones! Ye will yet perish-
-By your many small virtues, by your many small omissions, and by
your many small submissions!
Too tender, too yielding: so is your soil! But for a tree to
become great, it seeketh to twine hard roots around hard rocks!
Also what ye omit weaveth at the web of all the human future; even
your naught is a cobweb, and a spider that liveth on the blood of
And when ye take, then is it like stealing, ye small virtuous
ones; but even among knaves honour saith that "one shall only steal
when one cannot rob."
"It giveth itself"- that is also a doctrine of submission. But I say
unto you, ye comfortable ones, that it taketh to itself, and will ever
take more and more from you!
Ah, that ye would renounce all half-willing, and would decide for
idleness as ye decide for action!
Ah, that ye understood my word: "Do ever what ye will- but first
be such as can will.
Love ever your neighbour as yourselves- but first be such as love
-Such as love with great love, such as love with great contempt!"
Thus speaketh Zarathustra the godless.-
But why talk I, when no one hath mine ears! It is still an hour
too early for me here.
Mine own forerunner am I among this people, mine own cockcrow in
But their hour cometh! And there cometh also mine! Hourly do they
become smaller, poorer, unfruitfuller,- poor herbs! poor earth!
And soon shall they stand before me like dry grass and prairie,
and verily, weary of themselves- and panting for fire, more than for
O blessed hour of the lightning! O mystery before noontide!- Running
fires will I one day make of them, and heralds with flaming tongues:-
-Herald shall they one day with flaming tongues: It cometh, it is
nigh, the great noontide!
Thus spake Zarathustra.
50. On the Olive-Mount
WINTER, a bad guest, sitteth with me at home; blue are my hands with
his friendly hand-shaking.
I honour him, that bad guest, but gladly leave him alone. Gladly
do I run away from him; and when one runneth well, then one escapeth
With warm feet and warm thoughts do I run where the wind is calm- to
the sunny corner of mine olive-mount.
There do I laugh at my stern guest, and am still fond of him;
because he cleareth my house of flies, and quieteth many little
For he suffereth it not if a gnat wanteth to buzz, or even two of
them; also the lanes maketh he lonesome, so that the moonlight is
afraid there at night.
A hard guest is he,- but I honour him, and do not worship, like
the tenderlings, the pot-bellied fire-idol.
Better even a little teeth-chattering than idol-adoration!- so
willeth my nature. And especially have I a grudge against all
ardent, steaming, steamy fire-idols.
Him whom I love, I love better in winter than in summer; better do I
now mock at mine enemies, and more heartily, when winter sitteth in my
Heartily, verily, even when I creep into bed-: there, still laugheth
and wantoneth my hidden happiness; even my deceptive dream laugheth.
I, a- creeper? Never in my life did I creep before the powerful; and
if ever I lied, then did I lie out of love. Therefore am I glad even
in my winter-bed.
A poor bed warmeth me more than a rich one, for I am jealous of my
poverty. And in winter she is most faithful unto me.
With a wickedness do I begin every day: I mock at the winter with
a cold bath: on that account grumbleth my stern house-mate.
Also do I like to tickle him with a wax-taper, that he may finally
let the heavens emerge from ashy-grey twilight.
For especially wicked am I in the morning: at the early hour when
the pail rattleth at the well, and horses neigh warmly in grey lanes:-
Impatiently do I then wait, that the clear sky may finally dawn
for me, the snow-bearded winter-sky, the hoary one, the white-head,-
-The winter-sky, the silent winter-sky, which often stifleth even
Did I perhaps learn from it the long clear silence? Or did it
learn it from me? Or hath each of us devised it himself?
Of all good things the origin is a thousandfold,- all good roguish
things spring into existence for joy: how could they always do so- for
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 hath learned
not to betray itself by silence.
Clattering with diction and dice, I outwit the solemn assistants:
all those stern watchers, shall my will and purpose elude.
That no one might see down into my depth and into mine ultimate
will- for that purpose did I devise the long clear silence.
Many a shrewd one did I find: he veiled his countenance and made his
water muddy, that no one might see therethrough and thereunder.
But precisely unto him came the shrewder distrusters and
nut-crackers: precisely from him did they fish his best-concealed
But the clear, the honest, the transparent- these are for me the
wisest silent ones: in them, so profound is the depth that even the
clearest water doth not- betray it.-
Thou snow-bearded, silent, winter-sky, thou round-eyed whitehead
above me! Oh, thou heavenly simile of my soul and its wantonness!
And must I not conceal myself like one who hath swallowed gold- lest
my soul should be ripped up?
Must I not wear stilts, that they may overlook my long legs- all
those enviers and injurers around me?
Those dingy, fire-warmed, used-up, green-tinted, ill-natured
souls- how could their envy endure my happiness!
Thus do I show them only the ice and winter of my peaks- and not
that my mountain windeth all the solar girdles around it!
They hear only the whistling of my winter-storms: and know not
that I also travel over warm seas, like longing, heavy, hot
They commiserate also my accidents and chances:- but my word
saith: "Suffer the chance to come unto me: innocent is it as a
How could they endure my happiness, if I did not put around it
accidents, and winter-privations, and bear-skin caps, and enmantling
-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
concealeth not its winters and glacial storms; it concealeth not its
To one man, lonesomeness is the flight of the sick one; to
another, it is the flight from the sick ones.
Let them hear me chattering and sighing with winter-cold, all
those poor squinting knaves around me! With such sighing and
chattering do I flee from their heated rooms.
Let them sympathise with me and sigh with me on account of my
chilblains: "At the ice of knowledge will he yet freeze to death!"- so
Meanwhile do I run with warm feet hither and thither on mine
olive-mount: in the sunny corner of mine olive-mount do I sing, and
mock at all pity.-
Thus sang Zarathustra.
51. On Passing-by
THUS slowly wandering through many peoples and divers cities, did
Zarathustra return by round-about roads to his mountains and his cave.
And behold, thereby came he unawares also to the gate of the great
city. Here, however, a foaming fool, with extended hands, sprang
forward to him and stood in his way. It was the same fool whom the
people called "the ape of Zarathustra:" for he had learned from him
something of the expression and modulation of language, and perhaps
liked also to borrow from the store of his wisdom. And the fool talked
thus to Zarathustra:
O Zarathustra, here is the great city: here hast thou nothing to
seek and everything to lose.
Why wouldst thou wade through this mire? Have pity upon thy foot!
Spit rather on the gate of the city, and- turn back!
Here is the hell for anchorites' thoughts: here are great thoughts
seethed alive and boiled small.
Here do all great sentiments decay: here may only rattle-boned
Smellest thou not already the shambles and cookshops of the
spirit? Steameth not this city with the fumes of slaughtered spirit?
Seest thou not the souls hanging like limp dirty rags?- And they
make newspapers also out of these rags!
Hearest thou not how spirit hath here become a verbal game?
Loathsome verbal swill doth it vomit forth!- And they make
newspapers also out of this verbal swill.
They hound one another, and know not whither! They inflame one
another, and know not why! They tinkle with their pinchbeck, they
jingle with their 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,
There is here also much piety, and much faithful spittle-licking and
spittle-backing, before the God of Hosts.
"From on high," drippeth the star, and the gracious spittle; for the
high, longeth every starless bosom.
The moon hath its court, and the court hath its moon-calves: unto
all, however, that cometh from the court do the mendicant people pray,
and all appointable mendicant virtues.
"I serve, thou servest, we serve"- so prayeth all appointable virtue
to the prince: that the merited star may at last stick on the
But the moon still revolveth around all that is earthly: so
revolveth also the prince around what is earthliest of all- that,
however, is the gold of the shopman.
The God of the Hosts of war is not the God of the golden bar; the
prince proposeth, but the shopman- disposeth!
By all that is luminous and strong and good in thee, O
Zarathustra! Spit on this city of shopmen and return back!
Here floweth all blood putridly and tepidly and frothily through all
veins: spit on the great city, which is the great slum where all the
scum frotheth 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, festereth 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 thy speech
and thy species disgusted me!
Why didst thou live so long by the swamp, that thou thyself hadst to
become a frog and a toad?
Floweth there not a tainted, frothy, swamp-blood in thine own veins,
when thou hast thus learned to croak and revile?
Why wentest thou not into the forest? Or why didst thou not till the
ground? Is the sea not full of green islands?
I despise thy contempt; and when thou warnedst me- why didst thou
not warn thyself?
Out of love alone shall my contempt and my warning bird take wing;
but not out of the swamp!-
They call thee mine ape, thou foaming fool: but I call thee my
grunting-pig,- by thy grunting, thou spoilest even my praise of folly.
What was it that first made thee grunt? Because no one
sufficiently flattered thee:- therefore didst thou seat thyself beside
this filth, that thou mightest have cause for much grunting,-
-That thou mightest have cause for much vengeance! For vengeance,
thou vain fool, is all thy foaming; I have divined thee well!
But thy fools'-word injureth me, even when thou art right! And
even if Zarathustra's word were a hundred times justified, thou
wouldst ever- do wrong with my word!
Thus spake Zarathustra. Then did he look on the great city and
sighed, and was long silent. At last he spake thus:
I loathe also this great city, and not only this fool. Here and
there- there is nothing to better, nothing to worsen.
Woe to this great city!- And I would that I already saw the pillar
of fire in which it will be consumed!
For such pillars of fire must precede the great noontide. But this
hath its time and its own fate.-
This precept, however, give I unto thee, in parting, thou fool:
Where one can no longer love, there should one- pass by!-
Thus spake Zarathustra, and passed by the fool and the great city.
52. The Apostates
AH, LIETH everything already withered and grey which but lately
stood green and many-hued on this meadow! And how much honey of hope
did I carry hence into my beehives!
Those young hearts have already all become old- and not old even!
only weary, ordinary, comfortable:- they declare it: "We have again
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 valour!
Verily, many of them once lifted their legs like the dancer; to them
winked the laughter of my wisdom:- then did they bethink themselves.
Just now have I seen them bent down- to creep to the cross.
Around light and liberty did they once flutter like gnats and
young poets. A little older, a little colder: and already are they
mystifiers, and mumblers and mollycoddles.
Did perhaps their hearts despond, because lonesomeness had swallowed
me like a whale? Did their ear perhaps hearken yearningly-long for
me in vain, and for my trumpet-notes and herald-calls?
-Ah! Ever are there but few of those whose hearts have persistent
courage and exuberance; and in such remaineth also the spirit patient.
The rest, however, are cowardly.
The rest: these are always the great majority, the common-place, the
superfluous, the far-too many- those all are cowardly!-
Him who is of my type, will also the experiences of my type meet
on the way: so that his first companions must be corpses and buffoons.
His second companions, however- they will call themselves his
believers,- will be a living host, with much love, much folly, much
To those believers shall he who is of my type among men not bind his
heart; in those spring-times and many-hued meadows shall he not
believe, who knoweth the fickly faint-hearted human species!
Could they do otherwise, then would they also will otherwise. The
half-and-half spoil every whole. That leaves become withered,- what is
there to lament about that!
Let them go and fall away, O Zarathustra, and do not lament!
Better even to blow amongst them with rustling winds,-
-Blow amongst those leaves, O Zarathustra, that everything
withered may run away from thee the faster!-
"We have again become pious"- so do those apostates confess; and
some of them are still too pusillanimous thus to confess.
Unto them I look into the eye,- before them I say it unto their face
and unto the blush on their cheeks: Ye are those who again pray!
It is however a shame to pray! Not for all, but for thee, and me,
and whoever hath his conscience in his head. For thee it is a shame to
Thou knowest it well: the faint-hearted devil in thee, which would
fain fold its arms, and place its hands in its bosom, and take it
easier:- this faint-hearted devil persuadeth thee that "there is a
Thereby, however, dost thou belong to the light-dreading type, to
whom light never permitteth repose: now must thou daily thrust thy
head deeper into obscurity and vapour!
And verily, thou choosest the hour well: for just now do the
nocturnal birds again fly abroad. The hour hath come for all
light-dreading people, the vesper hour and leisure hour, when they
do not- "take leisure."
I hear it and smell it: it hath come- their hour for hunt and
procession, not indeed for a wild hunt, but for a tame, lame,
snuffling, soft-treaders', soft-prayers' hunt,-
-For a hunt after susceptible simpletons: all mouse-traps for the
heart have again been set! And whenever I lift a curtain, a night-moth
rusheth out of it.
Did it perhaps squat there along with another night-moth? For
everywhere do I smell small concealed communities; and wherever
there are closets there are new devotees therein, and the atmosphere
They sit for long evenings beside one another, and say: "Let us
again become like little children and say, 'good God!'"- ruined in
mouths and stomachs by the pious confectioners.
Or they look for long evenings at a crafty, lurking cross-spider,
that preacheth prudence to the spiders themselves, and teacheth that
"under crosses it is good for cobweb-spinning!"
Or they sit all day at swamps with angle-rods, and on that account
think themselves profound; but whoever fisheth where there are no
fish, I do not even call him superficial!
Or they learn in godly-gay style to play the harp with a
hymn-poet, who would fain harp himself into the heart of young girls:-
for he hath tired of old girls and their praises.
Or they learn to shudder with a learned semi-madcap, who waiteth
in darkened rooms for spirits to come to him- and the spirit runneth
Or they listen to an old roving howl- and growl-piper, who hath
learned from the sad winds the sadness of sounds; now pipeth he as the
wind, and preacheth sadness in sad strains.
And some of them have even become night-watchmen: they know now
how to blow horns, and go about at night and awaken old things which
have long fallen asleep.
Five words about old things did I hear yesternight at the
garden-wall: they came from such old, sorrowful, arid night-watchmen.
"For a father he careth not sufficiently for his children: human
fathers do this better!"-
"He is too old! He now careth no more for his children,"- answered
the other night-watchman.
"Hath he then children? No one can prove it unless he himself
prove it! I have long wished that he would for once prove it
"Prove? As if he had ever proved anything! Proving is difficult to
him; he layeth great stress on one's believing him."
"Ay! Ay! Belief saveth him; belief in him. That is the way with
old people! So it is with us also!"-
-Thus spake to each other the two old night-watchmen and
light-scarers, and tooted thereupon sorrowfully on their horns: so did
it happen yesternight at the garden-wall.
To me, however, did the heart writhe with laughter, and was like
to break; it knew not where to go, and sunk into the midriff.
Verily, it will be my death yet- to choke with laughter when I see
asses drunken, and hear night-watchmen thus doubt about God.
Hath the time not long since passed for all such doubts? Who may
nowadays awaken such old slumbering, light-shunning things!
With the old Deities hath it long since come to an end:- and verily,
a good joyful Deity-end had they!
They did not "begloom" themselves to death- that do people
fabricate! On the contrary, they- laughed themselves to death once
on a time!
That took place when the ungodliest utterance came from a God
himself- the utterance: "There is but one God! Thou shalt have no
other gods before me!"-
-An old grim-beard of a God, a jealous one, forgot himself in such
And all the gods then laughed, and shook upon their thrones, and
exclaimed: "Is it not just divinity that there are gods, but no God?"
He that hath an ear let him hear.-
Thus talked Zarathustra in the city he loved, which is surnamed "The
Pied Cow." For from here he had but two days to travel to reach once
more his cave and his animals; his soul, however, rejoiced unceasingly
on account of the nighness of his return home.
53. The Return Home
O LONESOMENESS! My home, lonesomeness! Too long have I lived
wildly in wild remoteness, to return to thee without tears!
Now threaten me with the finger as mothers threaten; now smile
upon me as mothers smile; now say just: "Who was it that like a
whirlwind once rushed away from me?-
-Who when departing called out: 'Too long have I sat with
lonesomeness; there have I unlearned silence!' That hast thou
learned now- surely?
O Zarathustra, everything do I know; and that thou wert more
forsaken amongst the many, thou unique one, than thou ever wert with
One thing is forsakenness, another matter is lonesomeness: that hast
thou now learned! And that amongst men thou wilt ever be wild and
-Wild and strange even when they love thee: for above all they
want to be treated indulgently!
Here, however, art thou at home and house with thyself; here canst
thou utter everything, and unbosom all motives; nothing is here
ashamed of concealed, congealed feelings.
Here do all things come caressingly to thy talk and flatter thee:
for they want to ride upon thy back. On every simile dost thou here
ride to every truth.
Uprightly and openly mayest thou here talk to all things: and
verily, it soundeth as praise in their ears, for one to talk to all
Another matter, however, is forsakenness. For, dost thou remember, O
Zarathustra? When thy bird screamed overhead, when thou stoodest in
the forest, irresolute, ignorant where to go, beside a corpse:-
-When thou spakest: 'Let mine animals lead me! More dangerous have I
found it among men than among animals:'- That was forsakenness!
And dost thou remember, O Zarathustra? When thou sattest in thine
isle, a well of wine giving and granting amongst empty buckets,
bestowing and distributing amongst the thirsty:
-Until at last thou alone sattest thirsty amongst the drunken
ones, and wailedst nightly: 'Is taking not more blessed than giving?
And stealing yet more blessed than taking?'- That was forsakenness!
And dost thou remember, O Zarathustra? When thy stillest hour came
and drove thee forth from thyself, when with wicked whispering it
said: 'Speak and succumb!'-
-When it disgusted thee with all thy waiting and silence, and
discouraged thy humble courage: That was forsakenness!"-
O lonesomeness! My home, lonesomeness! How blessedly and tenderly
speaketh thy voice unto me!
We do not question each other, we do not complain to each other;
we go together openly through open doors.
For all is open with thee and clear; and even the hours run here
on lighter feet. For in the dark, time weigheth heavier upon one
than in the light.
Here fly open unto me all beings' words and word-cabinets: here
all being wanteth to become words, here all becoming wanteth 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 fetcheth pure breath! How it hearkeneth,
this blessed stillness!
But down there- there speaketh everything, there is everything
misheard. If one announce one's wisdom with bells, the shopmen in
the market-place will out-jingle it with pennies!
Everything among them talketh; no one knoweth any longer how to
understand. Everything falleth into the water; nothing falleth any
longer into deep wells.
Everything among them talketh, nothing succeedeth any longer and
accomplisheth itself. Everything cackleth, but who will still sit
quietly on the nest and hatch eggs?
Everything among them talketh, everything is out-talked. And that
which yesterday was still too hard for time itself and its tooth,
hangeth today, outchamped and outchewed, from the mouths of the men of
Everything among them talketh, everything is betrayed. And what
was once called the secret and secrecy of profound souls, belongeth
to-day to the street-trumpeters and other butterflies.
O human hubbub, thou wonderful thing! Thou noise in dark streets!
Now art thou again behind me:- my greatest danger lieth behind me!
In indulging and pitying lay ever my greatest danger; and all
human hubbub wisheth to be indulged and tolerated.
With suppressed truths, with fool's hand and befooled heart, and
rich in petty lies of pity:- thus have I ever lived among men.
Disguised did I sit amongst them, ready to misjudge myself that I
might endure them, and willingly saying to myself: "Thou fool, thou
dost not know men!"
One unlearneth men when one liveth amongst them: there is too much
foreground in all men- what can far-seeing, far-longing eyes do there!
And, fool that I was, when they misjudged me, I indulged them on
that account more than myself, being habitually hard on myself, and
often even taking revenge on myself for the indulgence.
Stung all over by poisonous flies, and hollowed like the stone by
many drops of wickedness: thus did I sit among them, and still said to
myself: "Innocent is everything petty of its pettiness!"
Especially did I find those who call themselves "the good," the most
poisonous flies; they sting in all innocence, they lie in all
innocence; how could they- be just towards me!
He who liveth amongst the good- pity teacheth him to lie. Pity
maketh stifling air for all free souls. For the stupidity of the
good is 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 vapours. One should not stir up the marsh. One should live on
With blessed nostrils do I again breathe mountain-freedom. Freed
at last is my nose from the smell of all human hubbub!
With sharp breezes tickled, as with sparkling wine, sneezeth my
soul- sneezeth, and shouteth self-congratulatingly: "Health to thee!"
Thus spake Zarathustra.
54. The Three Evil Things
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
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
Measurable by him who hath 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 mocketh at all "infinite worlds"? For
it saith: "Where force is, there becometh number the master: it hath
How confidently did my dream contemplate this finite world, not
new-fangledly, not old-fangledly, not timidly, not entreatingly:-
-As if a big round apple presented itself to my hand, a ripe
golden apple, with a coolly-soft, velvety skin:- thus did the world
present itself unto me:-
-As if a tree nodded unto me, a broad-branched, strong-willed
tree, curved as a recline and a foot-stool for weary travellers:
thus did the world stand on my promontory:-
-As if delicate hands carried a casket towards me- a casket open for
the delectation of modest adoring eyes: thus did the world present
itself before me 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 unto me, this dream and
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
He who taught to bless taught also to curse: what are the three best
cursed things in the world? These will I put on the scales.
Voluptuousness, passion for power, and selfishness: these three
things have hitherto been best cursed, and have been in worst and
falsest repute- these three things will I weigh humanly well.
Well! Here is my promontory, and there is the sea- it rolleth hither
unto me, shaggily and fawningly, the old, faithful, hundred-headed
dog-monster that I love!-
Well! Here will I hold the scales over the weltering sea: and also a
witness do I choose to look on- thee, the anchorite-tree, thee, the
strong-odoured, broad-arched tree that I love!-
On what bridge goeth the now to the hereafter? By what constraint
doth the high stoop to the low? And what enjoineth even the highest
still- to grow upwards?-
Now stand the scales poised and at rest: three heavy questions
have I thrown in; three heavy answers carrieth the other scale.
Voluptuousness: unto all hair-shirted despisers of the body, a sting
and stake; and, cursed as "the world," by all backworldsmen: for it
mocketh and befooleth all erring, misinferring teachers.
Voluptuousness: to the rabble, the slow fire at which it is burnt;
to all wormy wood, to all stinking rags, the prepared heat and stew
Voluptuousness: to free hearts, a thing innocent and free, the
garden-happiness of the earth, all the future's thanks-overflow to the
Voluptuousness: only to the withered a sweet poison; to the
lion-willed, however, the great cordial, and the reverently saved wine
Voluptuousness: the great symbolic happiness of a higher happiness
and highest hope. For to many is marriage promised, and more than
-To many that are more unknown to each other than man and woman:-
and who hath fully understood how unknown to each other are man and
Voluptuousness:- but I will have hedges around my thoughts, and even
around my words, lest swine and libertine should break into my
Passion for power: the glowing scourge of the hardest of the
heart-hard; the cruel torture reserved for the cruellest themselves;
the gloomy flame of living pyres.
Passion for power: the wicked gadfly which is mounted on the vainest
peoples; the scorner of all uncertain virtue; which rideth on every
horse and on every pride.
Passion for power: the earthquake which breaketh and upbreaketh
all that is rotten and hollow; the rolling, rumbling, punitive
demolisher of whited sepulchres; the flashing interrogative-sign
beside premature answers.
Passion for power: before whose glance man creepeth and croucheth
and drudgeth, and becometh lower than the serpent and the swine:-
until at last great contempt crieth out of him-,
Passion for power: the terrible teacher of great contempt, which
preacheth to their face to cities and empires: "Away with thee!"-
until a voice crieth out of themselves: "Away with me!"
Passion for power: which, however, mounteth alluringly even to the
pure and lonesome, and up to self-satisfied elevations, glowing like a
love that painteth purple felicities alluringly on earthly heavens.
Passion for power: but who would call it passion, when the height
longeth to stoop for power! Verily, nothing sick or diseased is
there in such longing and descending!
That the lonesome height may not 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 honouring name for such
longing! "Bestowing virtue"- thus did Zarathustra. once name the
And then it happened also,- and verily, it happened for the first
time!- that his word blessed selfishness, the wholesome, healthy
selfishness, that springeth from the powerful soul:-
-From the powerful soul, to which the high body appertaineth, the
handsome, triumphing, refreshing body, around which everything
becometh a mirror:
-The pliant, persuasive body, the dancer, whose symbol and epitome
is the self-enjoying soul. Of such bodies and souls the self-enjoyment
calleth itself "virtue."
With its words of good and bad doth such self-enjoyment shelter
itself as with sacred groves; with the names of its happiness doth
it banish from itself everything contemptible.
Away from itself doth it banish everything cowardly; it saith: "Bad-
that is cowardly!" Contemptible seem to it the ever-solicitous, the
sighing, the complaining, and whoever pick up the most trifling
It despiseth also all bitter-sweet wisdom: for verily, there is also
wisdom that bloometh in the dark, a night-shade wisdom, which ever
sigheth: "All is vain!"
Shy distrust is regarded by it as base, and every one who wanteth
oaths instead of looks and hands: also all over-distrustful wisdom,-
for such is the mode of cowardly souls.
Baser still it regardeth the obsequious, doggish one, who
immediately lieth on his back, the submissive one; and there is also
wisdom that is submissive, and doggish, and pious, and obsequious.
Hateful to it altogether, and a loathing, is he who will never
defend himself, he who swalloweth down poisonous spittle and bad
looks, the all-too-patient one, the all-endurer, the all-satisfied
one: for that is the mode of slaves.
Whether they be servile before gods and divine spurnings, or
before men and stupid human opinions: at all kinds of slaves doth it
spit, this blessed selfishness!
Bad: thus doth it call all that is spirit-broken, and
sordidly-servile- constrained, blinking eyes, depressed hearts, and
the false submissive style, which kisseth with broad cowardly lips.
And spurious wisdom: so doth it call all the wit that slaves, and
hoary-headed and weary ones affect; and especially all the cunning,
spurious-witted, curious-witted foolishness of priests!
The spurious wise, however, all the priests, the world-weary, and
those whose souls are of feminine and servile nature- oh, how hath
their game all along abused selfishness!
And precisely that was to be virtue and was to be called virtue-
to abuse selfishness! And "selfless"- so did they wish themselves with
good reason, all those world-weary cowards and cross-spiders!
But to all those cometh now the day, the change, the sword of
judgment, the great noontide: then shall many things be revealed!
And he who proclaimeth the ego wholesome and holy, and selfishness
blessed, verily, he, the prognosticator, speaketh also what he
knoweth: "Behold, it cometh, it is night, the great noontide!"
Thus spake 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 soundeth my word unto
all ink-fish and pen-foxes.
My hand- is a fool's hand: woe unto all tables and walls, and
whatever hath room for fool's sketching, fool's scrawling!
My foot- is a horse-foot; therewith do I trample and trot over stick
and stone, in the fields up and down, and am bedevilled with delight
in all fast racing.
My stomach- is surely an eagle's stomach? For it preferreth lamb's
flesh. Certainly it is a bird's stomach.
Nourished with innocent things, and with few, ready and impatient to
fly, to fly away- that is now my nature: why should there not be
something of bird-nature therein!
And especially that I am hostile to the spirit of gravity, that is
bird-nature:- verily, deadly hostile, supremely hostile, originally
hostile! Oh, whither hath my hostility not flown and misflown!
Thereof could I sing a song- - and will sing it: though I be alone
in an empty house, and must sing it to mine own ears.
Other singers are there, to be sure, to whom only the full house
maketh the voice soft, the hand eloquent, the eye expressive, the
heart wakeful:- those do I not resemble.-
He who one day teacheth men to fly will have shifted all
landmarks; to him will all landmarks themselves fly into the air;
the earth will he christen anew- as "the light body."
The ostrich runneth faster than the fastest horse, but it also
thrusteth its head heavily into the heavy earth: thus is it with the
man who cannot yet fly.
Heavy unto him are earth and life, and so willeth the spirit of
gravity! But he who would become light, and be a bird, must love
himself:- thus do I teach.
Not, to be sure, with the love of the side and infected, for with
them stinketh even self-love!
One must learn to love oneself- thus do I teach- with a wholesome
and healthy love: that one may endure to be with oneself, and not go
Such roving about christeneth itself "brotherly love"; with these
words hath there hitherto been the best lying and dissembling, and
especially by those who have been burdensome to every one.
And verily, it is no commandment for today and tomorrow to learn
to love oneself. Rather is it of all arts the finest, subtlest, last
For to its possessor is all possession well concealed, and of all
treasure-pits one's own is last excavated- so causeth the spirit of
Almost in the cradle are we apportioned with heavy words and worths:
"good" and "evil"- so calleth itself this dowry. For the sake of it we
are forgiven for living.
And therefore suffereth one little children to come unto one, to
forbid them betimes to love themselves- so causeth the spirit of
And we- we bear loyally what is apportioned unto us, on hard
shoulders, over rugged mountains! And when we sweat, then do people
say to us: "Yea, life is hard to bear!"
But man himself only is hard to bear! The reason thereof is that
he carrieth too many extraneous things on his shoulders. Like the
camel kneeleth he down, and letteth himself be well laden.
Especially the strong load-bearing man in whom reverence resideth.
Too many extraneous heavy words and worths loadeth he upon himself-
then seemeth life to him a desert!
And verily! Many a thing also that is our own is hard to bear! And
many internal things in man are like the oyster- repulsive and
slippery and hard to grasp;-
So that an elegant shell, with elegant adornment, must plead for
them. But this art also must one learn: to have a shell, and a fine
appearance, and sagacious blindness!
Again, it deceiveth about many things in man, that many a shell is
poor and pitiable, and too much of a shell. Much concealed goodness
and power is never dreamt of; the choicest dainties find no tasters!
Women know that, the choicest of them: a little fatter a little
leaner- oh, how much fate is in so little!
Man is difficult to discover, and unto himself most difficult of
all; often lieth the spirit concerning the soul. So causeth the spirit
He, however, hath discovered himself who saith: This is my good
and evil: therewith hath he silenced the mole and the dwarf, who
say: "Good for all, evil for all."
Verily, neither do I like those who call everything good, and this
world the best of all. Those do I call the all-satisfied.
All-satisfiedness, which knoweth how to taste everything,- that is
not the best taste! I honour the refractory, fastidious tongues and
stomachs, which have learned to say "I" and "Yea" and "Nay."
To chew and digest everything, however- that is the genuine
swine-nature! Ever to say YE-A- that hath only the ass learned, and
those like it!-
Deep yellow and hot red- so wanteth my taste- it mixeth blood with
all colours. He, however, who whitewasheth his house, betrayeth unto
me a whitewashed soul.
With mummies, some fall in love; others with phantoms: both alike
hostile to all flesh and blood- oh, how repugnant are both to my
taste! For I love blood.
And there will I not reside and abide where every one spitteth and
speweth: that is now my taste,- rather would I live amongst thieves
and perjurers. Nobody carrieth gold in his mouth.
Still more repugnant unto me, however, are all 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.
Verily, I learned waiting also, and thoroughly so,- but only waiting
for myself. And above all did I learn standing and walking and running
and leaping and climbing and dancing.
This however is my teaching: he who wisheth one day to fly, must
first learn standing and walking and running and climbing and
dancing:- one doth not fly into flying!
With rope-ladders learned I to reach many a window, with nimble legs
did I climb high masts: to sit on high masts of perception seemed to
me no small bliss;-
-To flicker like small flames on high masts: a small light,
certainly, but a great comfort to cast-away sailors and ship-wrecked
By divers ways and wendings did I arrive at my truth; not by one
ladder did I mount to the height where mine eye roveth into my
And unwillingly only did I ask my way- that was always counter to my
taste! Rather did I question and test the ways themselves.
A testing and a questioning hath been all my travelling:- and
verily, one must also learn to answer such questioning! That,
however,- is my taste:
-Neither a good nor a bad taste, but my taste, of which I have no
longer either shame or secrecy.
"This- is now my way,- where is yours?" Thus did I answer those
who asked me "the way." For the way- it doth not exist!
Thus spake Zarathustra.
56. Old and New Tables
HERE do I sit and wait, old broken tables around me and also new
half-written tables. When cometh mine hour?
-The hour of my descent, of my down-going: for once more will I go
For that hour do I now wait: for first must the signs come unto me
that it is mine hour- namely, the laughing lion with the flock of
Meanwhile do I talk to myself as one who hath time. No one telleth
me anything new, so I tell myself mine own story.
When I came unto men, then found I them resting on an old
infatuation: all of them thought they had long known what was good and
bad for men.
An old wearisome business seemed to them all discourse about virtue;
and he who wished to sleep well spake of "good" and "bad" ere retiring
This somnolence did I disturb when I taught that no one yet
knoweth what is good and bad:- unless it be the creating one!
-It is he, however, who createth man's goal, and giveth to the earth
its meaning and its future: he only effecteth it that aught is good or
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.
Verily, like penitential preachers and fools did I cry wrath and
shame on all their greatness and smallness. Oh, that their best is
so very small! Oh, that their worst is so very small! Thus did I
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
-Out into distant futures, which no dream hath yet seen, into warmer
souths than ever sculptor conceived,- where gods in their dancing
are ashamed of all clothes:
(That I may speak in parables and halt and stammer like the poets:
and verily I am ashamed that I have still to be a poet!)
Where all becoming seemed to me dancing of gods, and wantoning of
gods, and the world unloosed and unbridled and fleeing back to
-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
Where I also found again mine old devil and arch-enemy, the spirit
of gravity, and all that it created: constraint, law, necessity and
consequence and purpose and will and good and evil:-
For must there not be that which is danced over, danced beyond? Must
there not, for the sake of the nimble, the nimblest,- be moles and
There was it also where I picked up from the path the word
"Superman," and that man is something that must be surpassed.
-That man is a bridge and not a goal- rejoicing over his noontides
and evenings, as advances to new rosy dawns:
-The Zarathustra word of the great noontide, and whatever else I
have hung up over men like purple evening-afterglows.
Verily, also new stars did I make them see, along with new nights;
and over cloud and day and night, did I spread out laughter like a
I taught them all my poetisation and aspiration: to compose and
collect into unity what is fragment in man, and riddle and fearful
-As composer, riddle-reader, and redeemer of chance, did I teach
them to create the future, and all that hath been- to redeem by
The past of man to redeem, and every "It was" to transform, until
the Will saith: "But so did I will it! So shall I will it-"
-This did I call redemption; this alone taught I them to call
Now do I await my redemption- that I may go unto them for the last
For once more will I go unto men: amongst them will my sun set; in
dying will I give them my choicest gift!
From the sun did I learn this, when it goeth down, the exuberant
one: gold doth it then pour into the sea, out of inexhaustible
-So that the poorest fisherman roweth even with golden oars! For
this did I once see, and did not tire of weeping in beholding it.- -
Like the sun will also Zarathustra go down: now sitteth he here
and waiteth, old broken tables around him, and also new tables-
Behold, here is a new table; but where are my brethren who will
carry it with me to the valley and into hearts of flesh?-
Thus demandeth my great love to the remotest ones: be not
considerate of thy neighbour! Man is something that must be surpassed.
There are many divers ways and modes of surpassing: see thou
thereto! But only a buffoon thinketh: "man can also be overleapt."
Surpass thyself even in thy neighbour: and a right which thou
canst seize upon, shalt thou not allow to be given thee!
What thou doest can no one do to thee again. Lo, there is no
He who cannot command himself shall obey. And many a one can command
himself, but still sorely lacketh self-obedience!
Thus wisheth the type of noble souls: they desire to have nothing
gratuitously, least of all, life.
He who is of the populace wisheth to live gratuitously; we others,
however, to whom life hath given itself- we are ever considering
what we can best give in return!
And verily, it is a noble dictum which saith: "What life promiseth
us, that promise will we keep- to life!"
One should not wish to enjoy where one doth not contribute to the
enjoyment. And one should not wish to enjoy!
For enjoyment and innocence are the most bashful things. Neither
like to be sought for. One should have them,- but one should rather
seek for guilt and pain!-
O my brethren, he who is a firstling is ever sacrificed. Now,
however, are we firstlings!
We all bleed on secret sacrificial altars, we all burn and broil
in honour of ancient idols.
Our best is still young: this exciteth old palates. Our flesh is
tender, our skin is only lambs' skin:- how could we not excite old
In ourselves dwelleth he still, the old idol-priest, who broileth
our best for his banquet. Ah, my brethren, how could firstlings fail
to be sacrifices!
But so wisheth our type; and I love those who do not wish to
preserve themselves, the down-going ones do I love with mine entire
love: for they go beyond.-
To be true- that can few be! And he who can, will not! Least of all,
however, can the good be true.
Oh, those good ones! Good men never speak the truth. For the spirit,
thus to be good, is a malady.
They yield, those good ones, they submit themselves; their heart
repeateth, their soul obeyeth: he, however, who obeyeth, doth not
listen to himself!
All that is called evil by the good, must come together in order
that one truth may be born. O my brethren, are ye also evil enough for
The daring venture, the prolonged distrust, the cruel Nay, the
tedium, the cutting-into-the-quick- how seldom do these come together!
Out of such seed, however- is truth produced!
Beside the bad conscience hath hitherto grown all knowledge! Break
up, break up, ye discerning ones, the old tables!
When the water hath planks, when gangways and railings o'erspan
the stream, verily, he is not believed who then saith: "All is in
But even the simpletons contradict him. "What?" say the
simpletons, "all in flux? Planks and railings are still over the
"Over the stream all is stable, all the values of things, the
bridges and bearings, all 'good' and 'evil': these are all stable!"-
Cometh, however, the hard winter, the stream-tamer, then learn
even the wittiest distrust, and verily, not only the simpletons then
say: "Should not everything- stand still?"
"Fundamentally standeth everything still"- that is an appropriate
winter doctrine, good cheer for an unproductive period, a great
comfort for winter-sleepers and fireside-loungers.
"Fundamentally standeth everything still"-: but contrary thereto,
preacheth the thawing wind!
The thawing wind, a bullock, which is no ploughing bullock- a
furious bullock, a destroyer, which with angry horns breaketh the ice!
The ice however- - breaketh gangways!
O my brethren, is not everything at present in flux? Have not all
railings and gangways fallen into the water? Who would still hold on
to "good" and "evil"?
"Woe to us! Hail to us! The thawing wind bloweth!"- Thus preach,
my brethren, through all the streets!
There is an old illusion- it is called good and evil. Around
soothsayers and astrologers hath hitherto revolved the orbit of this
Once did one believe in soothsayers and astrologers; and therefore
did one believe, "Everything is fate: thou shalt, for thou must!"
Then again did one distrust all soothsayers and astrologers; and
therefore did one believe, "Everything is freedom: thou canst, for
O my brethren, concerning the stars and the future there hath
hitherto been only illusion, and not knowledge; and therefore
concerning good and evil there hath hitherto been only illusion and
"Thou shalt not rob! Thou shalt not slay!"- such precepts were
once called holy; before them did one bow the knee and the head, and
take off one's shoes.
But I ask you: Where have there ever been better robbers and slayers
in the world than such holy precepts?
Is there not even in all life- robbing and slaying? And for such
precepts to be called holy, was not truth itself thereby- slain?
-Or was it a sermon of death that called holy what contradicted
and dissuaded from life?- O my brethren, break up, break up for me the
It is my sympathy with all the past that I see it is abandoned,-
-Abandoned to the favour, the spirit and the madness of every
generation that cometh, and reinterpreteth all that hath been as its
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
This however is the other danger, and mine other sympathy:- he who
is of the populace, his thoughts go back to his grandfather,- with his
grandfather, however, doth time cease.
Thus is all the past abandoned: for it might some day happen for the
populace to become master, and drown all time in shallow waters.
Therefore, O my brethren, a new nobility is needed, which shall be
the adversary of all populace and potentate rule, and shall inscribe
anew the word "noble" on new tables.
For many noble ones are needed, and many kinds of noble ones, for
a new nobility! Or, as I once said in parable: "That is just divinity,
that there are gods, but no God!"
O my brethren, I consecrate you and point you to a new nobility:
ye shall become procreators and cultivators and sowers of the future;-
-Verily, not to a nobility which ye could purchase like traders with
traders' gold; for little worth is all that hath its price.
Let it not be your honour henceforth whence ye come, but whither
ye go! Your Will and your feet which seek to surpass you- let these be
your new honour!
Verily, not that ye have served a prince- of what account are
princes now!- nor that ye have become a bulwark to that which
standeth, that it may stand more firmly.
Not that your family have become courtly at courts, and that ye have
learned- gay-coloured, like the flamingo- to stand long hours in
(For ability-to-stand is a merit in courtiers; and all courtiers
believe that unto blessedness after death pertaineth-
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
O my brethren, not backward shall your nobility gaze, but outward!
Exiles shall ye be from all fatherlands and forefather-lands!
Your children's land shall ye love: let this love be your new
nobility,- the undiscovered in the remotest seas! For it do I bid your
sails search and search!
Unto your children shall ye make amends for being the children of
your fathers: all the past shall ye thus redeem! This new table do I
place over you!
"Why should one live? All is vain! To live- that is to thresh straw;
to live- that is to burn oneself and yet not get warm.-
Such ancient babbling still passeth for "wisdom"; because it is old,
however, and smelleth mustily, therefore is it the more honoured. Even
Children might thus speak: they shun the fire because it hath
burnt them! There is much childishness in the old books of wisdom.
And he who ever "thresheth 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 brethren, is verily no vain art! Break
up, break up for me the tables of the never-joyous ones!
"To the clean are all things clean"- thus say the people. I,
however, say unto you: To the swine all things become swinish!
Therefore preach the visionaries and bowed-heads (whose hearts are
also bowed down): "The world itself is a filthy monster."
For these are all unclean spirits; especially those, however, who
have no peace or rest, unless they see the world from the backside-
To those do I say it to the face, although it sound unpleasantly:
the world resembleth man, in that it hath a backside,- so much is
There is in the world much filth: so much is true! But the world
itself is not therefore a filthy monster!
There is wisdom in the fact that much in the world smelleth badly:
loathing itself createth wings, and fountain-divining powers!
In the best there is still something to loathe; and the best is
still something that must be surpassed!-
O my brethren, there is much wisdom in the fact that much filth is
in the world!-
Such sayings did I hear pious backworldsmen speak to their
consciences, and verily without wickedness or guile,- although there
is nothing more guileful in the world, or more wicked.
"Let the world be as it is! Raise not a finger against it!"
"Let whoever will choke and stab and skin and scrape the people:
raise not a finger against it! Thereby will they learn to renounce the
"And thine own reason- this shalt thou thyself stifle and choke; for
it is a reason of this world,- thereby wilt thou learn thyself to
renounce the world."-
-Shatter, shatter, O my brethren, those old tables of the pious!
Tatter the maxims of the world-maligners!-
"He who learneth much unlearneth all violent cravings"- that do
people now whisper to one another in all the dark lanes.
"Wisdom wearieth, nothing is worth while; thou shalt not crave!"-
this new table found I hanging even in the public markets.
Break up for me, O my brethren, break up also that new table! The
weary-o'-the-world put it up, and the preachers of death and the
jailer: for lo, it is also a sermon for slavery:-
Because they learned badly and not the best, and everything too
early and everything too fast; because they ate badly: from thence
hath resulted their ruined stomach;-
-For a ruined stomach, is their spirit: it persuadeth to death!
For verily, my brethren, the spirit is a stomach!
Life is a well of delight, but to him in whom the ruined stomach
speaketh, the father of affliction, all fountains are poisoned.
To discern: that is delight to the lion-willed! But he who hath
become weary, is himself merely "willed"; with him play all the waves.
And such is always the nature of weak men: they lose themselves on
their way. And at last asketh their weariness: "Why did we ever go
on the way? All is indifferent!"
To them soundeth it pleasant to have preached in their ears:
"Nothing is worth while! Ye shall not will!" That, however, is a
sermon for slavery.
O my brethren, a fresh blustering wind cometh Zarathustra unto all
way-weary ones; many noses will he yet make sneeze!
Even through walls bloweth my free breath, and into prisons and
Willing emancipateth: for willing is creating: so do I teach. And
only for creating shall ye learn!
And also the learning shall ye learn only from me, the learning
well!- He who hath ears let him hear!
There standeth the boat- thither goeth it over, perhaps into vast
nothingness- but who willeth to enter into this "Perhaps"?
None of you want to enter into the death-boat! How should ye then be
World-weary ones! And have not even withdrawn from the earth!
Eager did I ever find you for the earth, amorous still of your own
Not in vain doth your lip hang down:- a small worldly wish still
sitteth thereon! And in your eye- floateth there not a cloudlet of
unforgotten earthly bliss?
There are on the earth many good inventions, some useful, some
pleasant: for their sake is the earth to be loved.
And many such good inventions are there, that they are like
woman's breasts: useful at the same time, and pleasant.
Ye world-weary ones, however! Ye earth-idlers! You, shall one beat
with stripes! With stripes shall one again make you sprightly limbs.
For if ye be not invalids, or decrepit creatures, of whom the
earth is weary, then are ye sly sloths, or dainty, sneaking
pleasure-cats. And if ye will not again run gaily, then shall ye- pass
To the incurable shall one not seek to be a physician: thus teacheth
Zarathustra:- so shall ye pass away!
But more courage is needed to make an end than to make a new
verse: that do all physicians and poets know well.-
O my brethren, there are tables which weariness framed, and tables
which slothfulness framed, corrupt slothfulness: although they speak
similarly, they want to be heard differently.-
See this languishing one! Only a span-breadth is he from his goal;
but from weariness hath he lain down obstinately in the dust, this
From weariness yawneth he at the path, at the earth, at the goal,
and at himself: not a step further will he go,- this brave one!
Now gloweth the sun upon him, and the dogs lick at his sweat: but he
lieth there in his obstinacy and preferreth to languish:-
-A span-breadth from his goal, to languish! Verily, ye will have
to drag him into his heaven by the hair of his head- this hero!
Better still that ye let him lie where he hath lain down, that sleep
may come unto him, the comforter, with cooling patter-rain.
Let him lie, until of his own accord he awakeneth,- until of his own
accord he repudiateth all weariness, and what weariness hath taught
Only, my brethren, see that ye scare the dogs away from him, the
idle skulkers, and all the swarming vermin:-
-All the swarming vermin of the "cultured," that- feast on the sweat
of every hero!-
I form circles around me and holy boundaries; ever fewer ascend with
me ever higher mountains: I build a mountain-range out of ever
But wherever ye would ascend with me, O my brethren, take care
lest a parasite ascend with you!
A parasite: that is a reptile, a creeping, cringing reptile, that
trieth to fatten on your infirm and sore places.
And this is its art: it divineth where ascending souls are weary, in
your trouble and dejection, in your sensitive modesty, doth it build
its loathsome nest.
Where the strong are weak, where the noble are all-too-gentle- there
buildeth it its loathsome nest; the parasite liveth where the great
have small sore-places.
What is the highest of all species of being, and what is the lowest?
The parasite is the lowest species; he, however, who is of the highest
species feedeth most parasites.
For the soul which hath the longest ladder, and can go deepest down:
how could there fail to be most parasites upon it?-
-The most comprehensive soul, which can run and stray and rove
furthest in itself; the most necessary soul, which out of joy flingeth
itself into chance:-
-The soul in Being, which plungeth into Becoming; the possessing
soul, which seeketh to attain desire and longing:-
-The soul fleeing from itself, which overtaketh itself in the widest
circuit; the wisest soul, unto which folly speaketh most sweetly:-
-The soul most self-loving, in which all things have their current
and counter-current, their ebb and their flow:- oh, how could the
loftiest soul fail to have the worst parasites?
O my brethren, am I then cruel? But I say: What falleth, that
shall one also push!
Everything of today- it falleth, it decayeth; who would preserve it!
But I- I wish also to push it!
Know ye the delight which rolleth stones into precipitous depths?-
Those men of today, see just how they roll into my depths!
A prelude am I to better players, O my brethren! An example! Do
according to mine example!
And him whom ye do not teach to fly, teach I pray you- to fall
I love the brave: but it is not enough to be a swordsman,- one
must also know whereon to use swordsmanship!
And often is it greater bravery to keep quiet and pass by, that
thereby one may reserve oneself for a worthier foe!
Ye shall only have foes to be hated; but not foes to be despised: ye
must be proud of your foes. Thus have I already taught.
For the worthier foe, O my brethren, shall ye reserve yourselves:
therefore must ye pass by many a one,-
-Especially many of the rabble, who din your ears with noise about
people and peoples.
Keep your eye clear of their For and Against! There is there much
right, much wrong: he who looketh on becometh wroth.
Therein viewing, therein hewing- they are the same thing:
therefore depart into the forests and lay your sword to sleep!
Go your ways! and let the people and peoples go theirs!- gloomy
ways, verily, on which not a single hope glinteth any more!
Let there the trader rule, where all that still glittereth is-
traders' gold. It is the time of kings no longer: that which now
calleth itself the people is unworthy of kings.
See how these peoples themselves now do just like the traders:
they pick up the smallest advantage out of all kinds of rubbish!
They lay lures for one another, they lure things out of one
another,- that they call "good neighbourliness." O blessed remote
period when a people said to itself: "I will be- master over peoples!"
For, my brethren, the best shall rule, the best also willeth to
rule! And where the teaching is different, there- the best is lacking.
If they had- bread for nothing, alas! for what would they cry! Their
maintainment- that is their true entertainment; and they shall have it
Beasts of prey, are they: in their "working"- there is even
plundering, in their "earning"- there is even 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 hath man already robbed of their virtues: that is
why of all animals it hath been hardest for man.
Only the birds are still beyond him. And if man should yet learn
to fly, alas! to what height- would his rapacity fly!
Thus would I have man and woman: fit for war, the one; fit for
maternity, the other; both, however, fit for dancing with head and
And lost be the day to us in which a measure hath not been danced.
And false be every truth which hath not had laughter along with it!
Your marriage-arranging: see that it be not a bad arranging! Ye have
arranged too hastily: so there followeth therefrom- marriage-breaking!
And better marriage-breaking than marriage-bending, marriage-lying!-
Thus spake a woman unto me: "Indeed, I broke the marriage, but first
did the marriage break- me!
The badly paired found I ever the most revengeful: they make every
one suffer for it that they no longer run singly.
On that account want I the honest ones to say to one another: "We
love each other: let us see to it that we maintain our love! Or
shall our pledging be blundering?"
-"Give us a set term and a small marriage, that we may see if we are
fit for the great marriage! It is a great matter always to be twain."
Thus do I counsel all honest ones; and what would be my love to
the Superman, and to all that is to come, if I should counsel and
Not only to propagate yourselves onwards but upwards- thereto, O
my brethren, may the garden of marriage help you!
He who hath grown wise concerning old origins, lo, he will at last
seek after the fountains of the future and new origins.-
O my brethren, not long will it be until new peoples shall arise and
new fountains shall rush down into new depths.
For the earthquake- it choketh up many wells, it causeth much
languishing: but it bringeth also to light inner powers and secrets.
The earthquake discloseth new fountains. In the earthquake of old
peoples new fountains burst forth.
And whoever calleth out: "Lo, here is a well for many thirsty
ones, one heart for many longing ones, one will for many
instruments":- around him collecteth a people, that is to say, many
Who can command, who must obey- that is there attempted! Ah, with
what long seeking and solving and failing and learning and
Human society: it is an attempt- so I teach- a long seeking: it
seeketh however the ruler!-
-An attempt, my brethren! And no "contract"! Destroy, I pray you,
destroy that word of the soft-hearted and half-and-half!
O my brethren! With whom lieth the greatest danger to the whole
human future? Is it not with the good and just?-
-As those who say and feel in their hearts: "We already know what is
good and just, we possess it also; woe to those who still seek
And whatever harm the wicked may do, the harm of the good is the
And whatever harm the world-maligners may do, the harm of the good
is the harmfulest harm!
O my brethren, into the hearts of the good and just looked some
one once on a time, who said: "They are the Pharisees." But people did
not understand 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
The good must crucify him who deviseth his own virtue! That is the
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 breaketh the tables and old
values, the breaker,- him they call the law-breaker.
For the good- they cannot create; they are always the beginning of
-They crucify him who writeth new values on new tables, they
sacrifice unto themselves the future- they crucify the whole human
The good- they have always been the beginning of the end.-
O my brethren, have ye also understood this word? And what I once
said of the "last man"?- -
With whom lieth the greatest danger to the whole human future? Is it
not with the good and just?
Break up, break up, I pray you, the good and just!- O my brethren,
have ye understood also this word?
Ye flee from me? Ye are frightened? Ye tremble at this word?
O my brethren, when I enjoined you to break up the good, and the
tables of the good, then only did I embark man on his high seas.
And now only cometh unto him the great terror, the great outlook,
the great sickness, the great nausea, the great seasickness.
False shores and false securities did the good teach you; in the
lies of the good were ye born and bred. Everything hath been radically
contorted and distorted by the good.
But he who discovered the country of "man," discovered also the
country of "man's future." Now shall ye be sailors for me, brave,
Keep yourselves up betimes, my brethren, learn to keep yourselves
up! The sea stormeth: many seek to raise themselves again by you.
The sea stormeth: all is in the sea. Well! Cheer up! Ye old
What of fatherland! Thither striveth our helm where our children's
land is! Thitherwards, stormier than the sea, stormeth our great
"Why so hard!"- said to the diamond one day the charcoal; "are we
then not near relatives?"-
Why so soft? O my brethren; thus do I ask you: are ye then not- my
Why so soft, so submissive and yielding? Why is there so much
negation and abnegation in your hearts? Why is there so little fate in
And if ye will not be fates and inexorable ones, how can ye one day-
conquer with me?
And if your hardness will not glance and cut and chip to pieces, how
can ye one day- create with me?
For the creators are hard. And blessedness must it seem to you to
press your hand upon millenniums as upon wax,-
-Blessedness to write upon the will of millenniums as upon brass,-
harder than brass, nobler than brass. Entirely hard is only the
This new table, O my brethren, put I up over you: Become hard!-
O thou, my Will! Thou change of every need, my needfulness! Preserve
me from all small victories!
Thou fatedness of my soul, which I call fate! Thou In-me! Over-me!
Preserve and spare me for one great fate!
And thy last greatness, my Will, spare it for thy last- that thou
mayest be inexorable in thy victory! Ah, who hath not succumbed to his
Ah, whose eye hath not bedimmed in this intoxicated twilight! Ah,
whose foot hath not faltered and forgotten in victory- how to stand!-
-That I may one day be ready and ripe in the great 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
O Will, thou change of every need, my needfulness! Spare me for
one great victory!- -
Thus spake 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 neighbouring
caves and lurking-places all the creatures slipped away- flying,
fluttering, creeping or leaping, according to their variety of foot or
wing. Zarathustra, however, spake these words:
Up, abysmal thought out of my depth! I am thy cock and morning dawn,
thou overslept reptile: Up! Up! My voice shall soon crow thee awake!
Unbind the fetters of thine ears: listen! For I wish to hear thee!
Up! Up! There is thunder enough to make the very graves listen!
And rub the sleep and all the dimness and blindness out of thine
eyes! Hear me also with thine eyes: my voice is a medicine even for
those born blind.
And once thou art awake, then shalt thou ever remain awake. It is
not my custom to awake great-grandmothers out of their sleep that I
may bid them- sleep on!
Thou stirrest, stretchest thyself, wheezest? Up! Up! Not wheeze,
shalt thou,- but speak unto me! Zarathustra calleth thee,
Zarathustra the godless!
I, Zarathustra, the advocate of living, the advocate of suffering,
the advocate of the circuit- thee do I call, my most abysmal thought!
Joy to me! Thou comest,- I hear thee! Mine abyss speaketh, my lowest
depth have I turned over into the light!
Joy to me! Come hither! Give me thy hand- - ha! let be! aha!- -
Disgust, disgust, disgust- - - alas to me!
Hardly, however, had Zarathustra spoken these words, when he fell
down as one dead, and remained long as one dead. When however he again
came to himself, then was he pale and trembling, and remained lying;
and for long he would neither eat nor drink. This condition
continued for seven days; his animals, however, did not leave him
day nor night, except that the eagle flew forth to fetch food. And
what it fetched and foraged, it laid on Zarathustra's couch: so that
Zarathustra at last lay among yellow and red berries, grapes, rosy
apples, sweet-smelling herbage, and pine-cones. At his feet,
however, two lambs were stretched, which the eagle had with difficulty
carried off from their shepherds.
At last, after seven days, Zarathustra raised himself upon his
couch, took a rosy apple in his hand, smelt it and found its smell
pleasant. Then did his animals think the time had come to speak unto
"O Zarathustra," said they, "now hast thou lain thus for seven
days with heavy eyes: wilt thou not set thyself again upon thy feet?
Step out of thy cave: the world waiteth for thee as a garden. The
wind playeth with heavy fragrance which seeketh for thee; and all
brooks would like to run after thee.
All things long for thee, since thou hast remained alone for seven
days- step forth out of thy cave! All things want to be thy
Did perhaps a new knowledge come to thee, a bitter, grievous
knowledge? Like leavened dough layest thou, thy soul arose and swelled
beyond all its bounds.-"
-O mine animals, answered Zarathustra, talk on thus and let me
listen! It refresheth me so to hear your talk: where there is talk,
there is the world as a garden unto me.
How charming it is that there are words and tones; are not words and
tones rainbows and seeming bridges 'twixt the eternally separated?
To each soul belongeth another world; to each soul is every other
soul a back-world.
Among the most alike doth semblance deceive most delightfully: for
the smallest gap is most difficult to bridge over.
For me- how could there be an outside-of-me? There is no outside!
But this we forget on hearing tones; how delightful it is that we
Have not names and tones been given unto things that man may refresh
himself with them? It is a beautiful folly, speaking; therewith
danceth man over everything.
How lovely is all speech and all falsehoods of tones! With tones
danceth our love on variegated rainbows.-
-"O Zarathustra," said then his animals, "to those who think like
us, things all dance themselves: they come and hold out the hand and
laugh and flee- and return.
Everything goeth, everything returneth; eternally rolleth the
wheel of existence. Everything dieth, everything blossometh forth
again; eternally runneth on the year of existence.
Everything breaketh, everything is integrated anew; eternally
buildeth itself the same house of existence. All things separate,
all things again greet one another; eternally true to itself remaineth
the ring of existence.
Every moment beginneth existence, around every 'Here' rolleth the
ball 'There.' The middle is everywhere. Crooked is the path of
-O ye wags and barrel-organs! answered Zarathustra, and smiled
once more, how well do ye know what had to be fulfilled in seven
-And how that monster crept into my throat and choked me! But I
bit off its head and spat it away from me.
And ye- ye have made a lyre-lay out of it? Now, however, do I lie
here, still exhausted with that biting and spitting-away, still sick
with mine own salvation.
And ye looked on at it all? O mine animals, are ye also cruel? Did
ye like to look at my great pain as men do? For man is the cruellest
At tragedies, bull-fights, and crucifixions hath he hitherto been
happiest on earth; and when he invented his hell, behold, that was his
heaven on earth.
When the great man crieth-: immediately runneth the little man
thither, and his tongue hangeth out of his mouth for very lusting. He,
however, calleth it his "pity."
The little man, especially the poet- how passionately doth he accuse
life in words! Hearken to him, but do not fail to hear the delight
which is in all accusation!
Such accusers of life- them life overcometh with a glance of the
eye. "Thou lovest me?" saith the insolent one; "wait a little, as
yet have I no time for thee."
Towards himself man is the cruellest animal; and in all who call
themselves "sinners" and "bearers of the cross" and "penitents," do
not overlook the voluptuousness in their plaints and accusations!
And I myself- do, I thereby want to be man's accuser? Ah, mine
animals, this only have I learned hitherto, that for man his baddest
is necessary for his best,-
-That all that is baddest is the best power, and the hardest stone
for the highest creator; and that man must become better and badder:-
Not to this torture-stake was I tied, that I know man is bad,- but I
cried, as no one hath yet cried:
"Ah, that his baddest is so very small! Ah, that his best is so very
The great disgust at man- it strangled me and had crept into my
throat: and what the soothsayer had presaged: "All is alike, nothing
is worth while, knowledge strangleth."
A long twilight limped on before me, a fatally weary, fatally
intoxicated sadness, which spake with yawning mouth.
"Eternally he returneth, the man of whom thou art weary, the small
man"- so yawned my sadness, and dragged its foot and could not go to
A cavern, became the human earth to me; its breast caved in;
everything living became to me human dust and bones and mouldering
My sighing sat on all human graves, and could no longer arise: my
sighing and questioning croaked and choked, and gnawed and nagged
day and night:
-"Ah, man returneth eternally! The small man returneth eternally!"
Naked had I once seen both of them, the greatest man and the
smallest man: all too like one another- all too human, even the
All too small, even the greatest man!- that was my disgust at man!
And the eternal return also of the smallest man!- that was my
disgust at all existence!
Ah, Disgust! Disgust! Disgust!- - Thus spake Zarathustra, and sighed
and shuddered; for he remembered his sickness. Then did his animals
prevent him from speaking further.
"Do not speak further, thou convalescent!"- so answered his animals,
"but go out where the world waiteth for thee like a garden.
Go out unto the roses, the bees, and the flocks of doves!
Especially, however, unto the singing-birds, to learn singing from
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
-"O ye wags and barrel-organs, do be silent!" answered
Zarathustra, and smiled at his animals. "How well ye know what
consolation I devised for myself in seven days!
That I have to sing once more- that consolation did I devise for
myself, and this convalescence: would ye also make another lyre-lay
-"Do not talk further," answered his animals once more; "rather,
thou convalescent, prepare for thyself first a lyre, a new lyre!
For behold, O Zarathustra! For thy new lays there are needed new
Sing and bubble over, O Zarathustra, heal thy soul with new lays:
that thou mayest bear thy great fate, which hath not yet been any
For thine animals know it well, O Zarathustra, who thou art and must
become: behold, thou art the teacher of the eternal return,- that is
now thy fate!
That thou must be the first to teach this teaching- how could this
great fate not be thy greatest danger and infirmity!
Behold, we know what thou teachest: that all things eternally
return, and ourselves with them, and that we have already existed
times without number, and all things with us.
Thou teachest that there is a great year of Becoming, a prodigy of a
great year; it must, like a sand-glass, ever turn up anew, that it may
anew run down and run out:-
-So that all those years are like one another in the greatest and
also in the smallest, so that we ourselves, in every great year, are
like ourselves in the greatest and also in the smallest.
And if thou wouldst now die, O Zarathustra, behold, we know also how
thou wouldst then speak to thyself:- but thine animals beseech thee
not to die yet!
Thou wouldst speak, and without trembling, buoyant rather with
bliss, for a great weight and worry would be taken from thee, thou
'Now do I die and disappear,' wouldst thou say, 'and in a moment I
am nothing. Souls are as mortal as bodies.
But the plexus of causes returneth in which I am intertwined,- it
will again create me! I myself pertain to the causes of the eternal
I come again with this sun, with this earth, with this eagle, with
this serpent- not to a new life, or a better life, or a similar life:
-I come again eternally to this identical and selfsame life, in
its greatest and its smallest, to teach again the eternal return of
-To speak again the word of the great noontide of earth and man,
to announce again to man the Superman.
I have spoken my word. I break down by my word: so willeth mine
eternal fate- as announcer do I succumb!
The hour hath now come for the down-goer to bless himself. Thus-
endeth Zarathustra's down-going.'"- -
When the animals had spoken these words they were silent and waited,
so that Zarathustra might say something to them; but Zarathustra did
not hear that they were silent. On the contrary, he lay quietly with
closed eyes like a person sleeping, although he did not sleep; for
he communed just then with his soul. The serpent, however, and the
eagle, when they found him silent in such wise, respected the great
stillness around him, and prudently retired.
58. The Great Longing
O MY soul, I have taught thee to say "today" as "once on a time" and
"formerly," and to dance thy measure over every Here and There and
O my soul, I delivered thee from all by-places, I brushed down
from thee dust and spiders and twilight.
O my soul, I washed the petty shame and the by-place virtue from
thee, and persuaded thee to stand naked before the eyes of the sun.
With the storm that is called "spirit" did I blow over thy surging
sea; all clouds did I blow away from it; I strangled even the
strangler called "sin."
O my soul, I gave thee the right to say Nay like the storm, and to
say Yea as the open heaven saith Yea: calm as the light remainest
thou, and now walkest through denying storms.
O my soul, I restored to thee liberty over the created and the
uncreated; and who knoweth, as thou knowest, the voluptuousness of the
O my soul, I taught thee the contempt which doth not come like
worm-eating, the great, the loving contempt, which loveth most where
it contemneth most.
O my soul, I taught thee so to persuade that thou persuadest even
the grounds themselves to thee: like the sun, which persuadeth even
the sea to its height.
O my soul, I have taken from thee all obeying and knee-bending and
homage-paying; I have myself given thee the names, "Change of need"
O my soul, I have given thee new names and gay-coloured
playthings, I have called thee "Fate" and "the Circuit of circuits"
and "the Navel-string of time" and "the Azure bell."
O my soul, to thy domain gave I all wisdom to drink all new wines,
and also all immemorially old strong wines of wisdom.
O my soul, every sun shed I upon thee, and every night and every
silence and every longing:- then grewest thou up for me as a vine.
O my soul, exuberant and heavy dost thou now stand forth, a vine
with swelling udders and full clusters of brown golden grapes:-
-Filled and weighted by thy happiness, waiting from
superabundance, and yet ashamed of thy waiting.
O my soul, there is nowhere a soul which could be more loving and
more comprehensive and more extensive! Where could future and past
be closer together than with thee?
O my soul, I have given thee everything, and all my hands have
become empty by thee:- and now! Now sayest thou to me, smiling and
full of melancholy: "Which of us oweth thanks?-
-Doth the giver not owe thanks because the receiver received? Is
bestowing not a necessity? Is receiving not- pitying?"
O my soul, I understand the smiling of thy melancholy: thine
over-abundance itself now stretcheth out longing hands!
Thy fulness looketh forth over raging seas, and seeketh and waiteth:
the longing of over-fulness looketh forth from the smiling heaven of
And verily, O my soul! Who could see thy smiling and not melt into
tears? The angels themselves melt into tears through the
over-graciousness of thy smiling.
Thy graciousness and over-graciousness, is it which will not
complain and weep: and yet, O my soul, longeth thy smiling for
tears, and thy trembling mouth for sobs.
"Is not all weeping complaining? And all complaining, accusing?"
Thus speakest thou to thyself; and therefore, O my soul, wilt thou
rather smile than pour forth thy grief-
-Than in gushing tears pour forth all thy grief concerning thy
fulness, and concerning the craving of the vine for the vintager and
But wilt thou not weep, wilt thou not weep forth thy purple
melancholy, then wilt thou have to sing, O my soul!- Behold, I smile
myself, who foretell thee this:
-Thou wilt have to sing with passionate song, until all seas turn
calm to hearken unto thy longing,-
-Until over calm longing seas the bark glideth, the golden marvel,
around the gold of which all good, bad, and marvellous things frisk:-
-Also many large and small animals, and everything that hath light
marvellous feet, so that it can run on violet-blue paths,-
-Towards the golden marvel, the spontaneous bark, and its master:
he, however, is the vintager who waiteth with the diamond
-Thy great deliverer, O my soul, the nameless one- for whom future
songs only will find names! And verily, already hath thy breath the
fragrance of future songs,-
-Already glowest thou and dreamest, already drinkest thou
thirstily at all deep echoing wells of consolation, already reposeth
thy melancholy in the bliss of future songs!- -
O my soul, now have I given thee all, and even my last possession,
and all my hands have become empty by thee:- that I bade thee sing,
behold, that was my last thing to give!
That I bade thee sing,- say now, say: which of us now- oweth
thanks?- Better still, however: sing unto me, sing, O my soul! And let
me thank thee!-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
59. The Second Dance Song
"INTO thine eyes gazed I lately, O Life: gold saw I gleam in thy
night-eyes,- my heart stood still with delight:
-A golden bark saw I gleam on darkened waters, a sinking,
drinking, reblinking, golden swing-bark!
At my dance-frantic foot, dost thou cast a glance, a laughing,
questioning, melting, thrown glance:
Twice only movedst thou thy rattle with thy little hands- then did
my feet swing with dance-fury.-
My heels reared aloft, my toes they hearkened,- thee they would
know: hath not the dancer his ear- in his toe!
Unto thee did I spring: then fledst thou back from my bound; and
towards me waved thy fleeing, flying tresses round!
Away from thee did I spring, and from thy snaky tresses: then
stoodst thou there half-turned, and in thine eye caresses.
With crooked glances- dost thou teach me crooked courses; on crooked
courses learn my feet- crafty fancies!
I fear thee near, I love thee far; thy flight allureth me, thy
seeking secureth me:- I suffer, but for thee, what would I not
For thee, whose coldness inflameth, whose hatred misleadeth, whose
flight enchaineth, whose mockery- pleadeth:
-Who would not hate thee, thou great bindress, in-windress,
temptress, seekress, findress! Who would not love thee, thou innocent,
impatient, wind-swift, child-eyed sinner!
Whither pullest thou me now, thou paragon and tomboy? And now
foolest thou me fleeing; thou sweet romp dost annoy!
I dance after thee, I follow even faint traces lonely. Where art
thou? Give me thy hand! Or thy finger only!
Here are caves and thickets: we shall go astray!- Halt! Stand still!
Seest thou not owls and bats in fluttering fray?
Thou bat! Thou owl! Thou wouldst play me foul? Where are we? From
the dogs hast thou learned thus to bark and howl.
Thou gnashest on me sweetly with little white teeth; thine evil eyes
shoot out upon me, thy curly little mane from underneath!
This is a dance over stock and stone: I am the hunter,- wilt thou be
my hound, or my chamois anon?
Now beside me! And quickly, wickedly springing! Now up! And over!-
Alas! I have fallen myself overswinging!
Oh, see me lying, thou arrogant one, and imploring grace! Gladly
would I walk with thee- in some lovelier place!
-In the paths of love, through bushes variegated, quiet, trim! Or
there along the lake, where gold-fishes dance and swim!
Thou art now a-weary? There above are sheep and sun-set stripes:
is it not sweet to sleep- the shepherd pipes?
Thou art so very weary? I carry thee thither; let just thine arm
sink! And art thou thirsty- I should have something; but thy mouth
would not like it to drink!-
-Oh, that cursed, nimble, supple serpent and lurking-witch! Where
art thou gone? But in my face do I feel through thy hand, two spots
and red blotches itch!
I am verily weary of it, ever thy sheepish shepherd to be. Thou
witch, if I have hitherto sung unto thee, now shalt thou- cry unto me!
To the rhythm of my whip shalt thou dance and cry! I forget not my
whip?- Not I!"-
Then did Life answer me thus, and kept thereby her fine ears closed:
"O Zarathustra! Crack not so terribly with thy whip! Thou knowest
surely that noise killeth thought,- and just now there came to me such
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 thee, and often too friendly, that knowest
thou: and the reason is that I am envious of thy Wisdom. Ah, this
mad old fool, Wisdom!
If thy Wisdom should one day run away from thee, ah! then would also
my love run away from thee quickly."-
Thereupon did Life look thoughtfully behind and around, and said
softly: "O Zarathustra, thou art not faithful enough to me!
Thou lovest me not nearly so much as thou sayest; I know thou
thinkest of soon leaving me.
There is an old heavy, heavy, booming-clock: it boometh by night
up to thy cave:-
-When thou hearest this clock strike the hours at midnight, then
thinkest thou between one and twelve thereon-
-Thou thinkest thereon, O Zarathustra, I know it- of soon leaving
"Yea," answered I, hesitatingly, "but thou knowest it also"- And I
said something into her ear, in amongst her confused, yellow,
"Thou knowest that, O Zarathustra? That knoweth no one- -"
And we gazed at each other, and looked at the green meadow o'er
which the cool evening was just passing, and we wept together.-
Then, however, was Life dearer unto me than all my Wisdom had ever
Thus spake Zarathustra.
O man! Take heed!
What saith deep midnight's voice indeed?
"I slept my sleep-
"From deepest dream I've woke and plead:-
"The world is deep,
"And deeper than the day could read.
"Deep is its woe-
"Joy- deeper still than grief can be:
"Woe saith: Hence! Go!
"But joys all want eternity-
"Want deep profound eternity!"
60. The Seven Seals
(OR THE YEA AND AMEN LAY.)
IF I be a diviner and full of the divining spirit which wandereth on
high mountain-ridges, 'twixt two seas,-
Wandereth 'twixt the past and the future as a heavy cloud- hostile
to sultry plains, and to all that is weary and can neither die nor
Ready for lightning in its dark bosom, and for the redeeming flash
of light, charged with lightnings which say Yea! which laugh Yea!
ready for divining flashes of lightning:-
-Blessed, however, is he who is thus charged! And verily, long
must he hang like a heavy tempest on the mountain, who shall one day
kindle the light of the future!-
Oh, how could I not be ardent for Eternity and for the marriage-ring
of rings- the ring of the return?
Never yet have I found the woman by whom I should like to have
children, unless it be this woman whom I love: for I love thee, O
For I love thee, O Eternity!
If ever my wrath hath burst graves, shifted landmarks, or rolled old
shattered tables into precipitous depths:
If ever my scorn hath scattered mouldered words to the winds, and if
I have come like a besom to cross-spiders, and as a cleansing wind
to old charnel-houses:
If ever I have sat rejoicing where old gods lie buried,
world-blessing, world-loving, beside the monuments of old
-For even churches and gods'-graves do I love, if only heaven
looketh through their ruined roofs with pure eyes; gladly do I sit
like grass and red poppies on ruined churches-
Oh, how could I not be ardent for Eternity, and for the
marriage-ring of rings- the ring of the return?
Never yet have I found the woman by whom I should like to have
children, unless it be this woman whom I love: for I love thee, O
For I love thee, O Eternity!
If ever a breath hath come to me of the creative breath, and of
the heavenly necessity which compelleth even chances to dance
If ever I have laughed with the laughter of the creative
lightning, to which the long thunder of the deed followeth,
grumblingly, but obediently:
If ever I have played dice with the gods at the divine table of
the earth, so that the earth quaked and ruptured, and snorted forth
-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 thee, O
For I love thee, O Eternity!
If ever I have drunk a full draught of the foaming spice- and
confection-bowl in which all things are well mixed:
If ever my hand hath mingled the furthest with the nearest, fire
with spirit, joy with sorrow, and the harshest with the kindest:
If I myself am a grain of the saving salt which maketh everything in
the confection-bowl mix well:-
-For there is a salt which uniteth good with evil; and even the
evilest is worthy, as spicing and as final over-foaming:-
Oh, how could I not be ardent for Eternity, and for the
marriage-ring of rings- the ring of the return?
Never yet have I found the woman by whom I should like to have
children, unless it be this woman whom I love: for I love thee, O
For I love thee, O Eternity!
If I be fond of the sea, and all that is sealike, and fondest of
it when it angrily contradicteth me:
If the exploring delight be in me, which impelleth sails to the
undiscovered, if the seafarer's delight be in my delight:
If ever my rejoicing hath called out: "The shore hath vanished,- now
hath fallen from me the last chain-
The boundless roareth around me, far away sparkle for me space and
time,- well! cheer up! old heart!"-
Oh, how could I not be ardent for Eternity, and for the
marriage-ring of rings- the ring of the return?
Never yet have I found the woman by whom I should like to have
children, unless it be this woman whom I love: for I love thee, O
For I love thee, O Eternity!
If my virtue be a dancer's virtue, and if I have often sprung with
both feet into golden-emerald rapture:
If my wickedness be a laughing wickedness, at home among
rose-banks and hedges of lilies:
-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 thee, O
For I love thee, O Eternity!
If ever I have spread out a tranquil heaven above me, and have flown
into mine own heaven with mine own pinions:
If I have swum playfully in profound luminous distances, and if my
freedom's avian wisdom hath come to me:-
-Thus however speaketh avian wisdom:- "Lo, there is no above and
no below! Throw thyself about,- outward, backward, thou light one!
Sing! speak no 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 thee, O
For I love thee, O Eternity!
FOURTH AND LAST PART.
Ah, where in the world have there been greater follies than with the
pitiful? And what in the world hath caused more suffering than the
follies of the pitiful?
Woe unto all loving ones who have not an elevation which is above
Thus spake the devil unto me, once on a time: "Ever God hath his
hell: it is his love for man."
And lately did I hear him say these words: "God is dead: of his pity
for man hath God died."- ZARATHUSTRA, II., "The Pitiful."
61. The Honey Sacrifice
-AND again passed moons and years over Zarathustra's soul, and he
heeded it not; his hair, however, became white. One day when he sat on
a stone in front of his cave, and gazed calmly into the distance-
one there gazeth out on the sea, and away beyond sinuous abysses,-
then went his animals thoughtfully round about him, and at last set
themselves in front of him.
"O Zarathustra," said they, "gazest thou out perhaps for thy
happiness?"- "Of what account is my happiness!" answered he, "I have
long ceased to strive any more for happiness, I strive for my
work."- "O Zarathustra," said the animals once more, "that sayest thou
as one who hath overmuch of good things. Liest thou not in a
sky-blue lake of happiness?"- "Ye wags," answered Zarathustra, and
smiled, "how well did ye choose the simile! But ye know also that my
happiness is heavy, and not like a fluid wave of water: it presseth me
and will not leave me, and is like molten pitch."-
Then went his animals again thoughtfully around him, and placed
themselves once more in front of him. "O Zarathustra," said they,
"it is consequently for that reason that thou thyself always
becometh yellower and darker, although thy hair looketh white and
flaxen? Lo, thou sittest in thy pitch!"- "What do ye say, mine
animals?" said Zarathustra, laughing; "verily I reviled when I spake
of pitch. As it happeneth with me, so is it with all fruits that
turn ripe. It is the honey in my veins that maketh my blood thicker,
and also my soul stiller."- "So will it be, O Zarathustra," answered
his animals, and pressed up to him; "but wilt thou not today ascend
a high mountain? The air is pure, and today one seeth more of the
world than ever."- "Yea, mine animals," answered he, "ye counsel
admirably and according to my heart: I will today ascend a high
mountain! But see that honey is there ready to hand, yellow, white,
good, ice-cool, golden-comb-honey. For know that when aloft I will
make the honey-sacrifice."-
When Zarathustra, however, was aloft on the summit, he sent his
animals home that had accompanied him, and found that he was now
alone:- then he laughed from the bottom of his heart, looked around
him, and spake thus:
That I spake of sacrifices and honey-sacrifices, it was merely a
ruse in talking and verily, a useful folly! Here aloft can I now speak
freer than in front of mountain-caves and anchorites' domestic
What to sacrifice! I squander what is given me, a squanderer with
a thousand hands: how could I call that- sacrificing?
And when I desired honey I only desired bait, and sweet mucus and
mucilage, for which even the mouths of growling bears, and strange,
sulky, evil birds, water:
-The best bait, as huntsmen and fishermen require it. For if the
world be as a gloomy forest of animals, and a pleasure-ground for
all wild huntsmen, it seemeth to me rather- and preferably- a
fathomless, rich sea;
-A sea full of many-hued fishes and crabs, for which even the gods
might long, and might be tempted to become fishers in it, and
casters of nets,- so rich is the world in wonderful things, great
Especially the human world, the human sea:- towards it do I now
throw out my golden angle-rod and say: Open up, thou human abyss!
Open up, and throw unto me thy fish and shining crabs! With my
best bait shall I allure to myself today the strangest human fish!
-My happiness itself do I throw out into all places far and wide
'twixt orient, noontide, and occident, to see if many human fish
will not learn to hug and tug at my happiness;-
Until, biting at my sharp hidden hooks, they have to come up unto my
height, the motleyest abyss-groundlings, to the wickedest of all
fishers of men.
For this am I from the heart and from the beginning- drawing,
hither-drawing, upward-drawing, upbringing; a drawer, a trainer, a
training-master, who not in vain counselled himself once on a time:
"Become what thou art!"
Thus may men now come up to me; for as yet do I await the signs that
it is time for my down-going; as yet do I not myself go down, as I
must do, amongst men.
Therefore do I here wait, crafty and scornful upon high mountains,
no impatient one, no patient one; rather one who hath even unlearnt
patience,- because he no longer "suffereth."
For my fate giveth me time: it hath forgotten me perhaps? Or doth it
sit behind a big stone and catch flies?
And verily, I am well-disposed to mine eternal fate, because it doth
not hound and hurry me, but leaveth me time for merriment and
mischief; so that I have to-day ascended this high mountain to catch
Did ever any one catch fish upon high mountains? And though it be
a folly what I here seek and do, it is better so than that down
below I should become solemn with waiting, and green and yellow-
-A posturing wrath-snorter with waiting, a holy howl-storm from
the mountains, an impatient one that shouteth down into the valleys:
"Hearken, else I will scourge you with the scourge of God!"
Not that I would have a grudge against such wrathful ones on that
account: they are well enough for laughter to me! Impatient must
they now be, those big alarm-drums, which find a voice now or never!
Myself, however, and my fate- we do not talk to the Present, neither
do we talk to the Never: for talking we have patience and time and
more than time. For one day must it yet come, and may not pass by.
What must one day come and may not pass by? Our great Hazar, that is
to say, our great, remote human-kingdom, the Zarathustra-kingdom of
a thousand years- -
How remote may such "remoteness" be? What doth it concern me? But on
that account it is none the less sure unto me-, with both feet stand I
secure on this ground;
-On an eternal ground, on hard primary rock, on this highest,
hardest, primary mountain-ridge, unto which all winds come, as unto
the storm-parting, asking Where? and Whence? and Whither?
Here laugh, laugh, my hearty, healthy wickedness! From high
mountains cast down thy glittering scorn-laughter! Allure for me
with thy glittering the finest human fish!
And whatever belongeth unto me in all seas, my in-and-for-me in
all things- fish that out for me, bring that up to me: for that do I
wait, the wickedest of all fish-catchers.
Out! out! my fishing-hook! In and down, thou bait of my happiness!
Drip thy sweetest dew, thou honey of my heart! Bite, my
fishing-hook, into the belly of all black affliction!
Look out, look out, mine eye! Oh, how many seas round about me, what
dawning human futures! And above me- what rosy red stillness! What
62. The Cry of Distress
THE next day sat Zarathustra again on the stone in front of his
cave, whilst his animals roved about in the world outside to bring
home new food,- also new honey: for Zarathustra had spent and wasted
the old honey to the very last particle. When he thus sat, however,
with a stick in his hand, tracing the shadow of his figure on the
earth, and reflecting- verily! not upon himself and his shadow,- all
at once he startled and shrank back: for he saw another shadow
beside his own. And when he hastily looked around and stood up,
behold, there stood the soothsayer beside him, the same whom he had
once given to eat and drink at his table, the proclaimer of the
great weariness, who taught: "All is alike, nothing is worth while,
the world is without meaning, knowledge strangleth." But his face
had changed since then; and when Zarathustra looked into his eyes, his
heart was startled once more: so much evil announcement and
ashy-grey lightnings passed over that countenance.
The soothsayer, who had perceived what went on in Zarathustra's
soul, wiped his face with his hand, as if he would wipe out the
impression; the same did also Zarathustra. And when both of them had
thus silently composed and strengthened themselves, they gave each
other the hand, as a token that they wanted once more to recognise
"Welcome hither," said Zarathustra, "thou soothsayer of the great
weariness, not in vain shalt thou once have been my messmate and
guest. Eat and drink also with me to-day, and forgive it that a
cheerful old man sitteth with thee at table!"- "A cheerful old man?"
answered the soothsayer, shaking his head, "but whoever thou art, or
wouldst be, O Zarathustra, thou hast been here aloft the longest
time,- in a little while thy bark shall no longer rest on dry
land!"- "Do I then rest on dry land?"- asked Zarathustra, laughing.-
"The waves around thy mountain," answered the soothsayer, "rise and
rise, the waves of great distress and affliction: they will soon raise
thy bark also and carry thee away."- Thereupon was Zarathustra
silent and wondered.- "Dost thou still hear nothing?" continued the
soothsayer: "doth it not rush and roar out of the depth?"- Zarathustra
was silent once more and listened: then heard he a long, long cry,
which the abysses threw to one another and passed on; for none of them
wished to retain it: so evil did it sound.
"Thou ill announcer," said Zarathustra at last, "that is a cry of
distress, and the cry of a man; it may come perhaps out of a black
sea. But what doth human distress matter to me! My last sin which hath
been reserved for me,- knowest thou what it is called?"
-"Pity!" answered the soothsayer from an overflowing heart, and
raised both his hands aloft- "O Zarathustra, I have come that I may
seduce thee to thy last sin!"-
And hardly had those words been uttered when there sounded the cry
once more, and longer and more alarming than before- also much nearer.
"Hearest thou? Hearest thou, O Zarathustra?" called out the
soothsayer, "the cry concerneth thee, it calleth thee: Come, come,
come; it is time, it is the highest time!"-
Zarathustra was silent thereupon, confused and staggered; at last he
asked, like one who hesitateth in himself: "And who is it that there
"But thou knowest it, certainly," answered the soothsayer warmly,
"why dost thou conceal thyself? It is the higher man that crieth for
"The higher man?" cried Zarathustra, horror-stricken: "what
wanteth he? What wanteth he? The higher man! What wanteth he here?"-
and his skin covered with perspiration.
The soothsayer, however, did not heed Zarathustra's alarm, but
listened and listened in the downward direction. When, however, it had
been still there for a long while, he looked behind, and saw
Zarathustra standing trembling.
"O Zarathustra," he began, with sorrowful voice, "thou dost not
stand there like one whose happiness maketh him giddy: thou wilt
have to dance lest thou tumble down!
But although thou shouldst dance before me, and leap all thy
side-leaps, no one may say unto me: 'Behold, here danceth the last
In vain would any one come to this height who sought him here: caves
would he find, indeed, and back-caves, hiding-places for hidden
ones; but not lucky mines, nor treasure-chambers, nor new gold-veins
Happiness- how indeed could one find happiness among such
buried-alive and solitary ones! Must I yet seek the last happiness
on the Happy Isles, and far away among forgotten seas?
But all is alike, nothing is worth while, no seeking is of
service, there are no longer any Happy Isles!"- -
Thus sighed the soothsayer; with his last sigh, however, Zarathustra
again became serene and assured, like one who hath come out of a
deep chasm into the light. "Nay! Nay! Three times Nay!" exclaimed he
with a strong voice, and stroked his beard- "that do I know better!
There are still Happy Isles! Silence thereon, thou sighing
Cease to splash thereon, thou rain-cloud of the forenoon! Do I not
already stand here wet with thy misery, and drenched like a dog?
Now do I shake myself and run away from thee, that I may again
become dry: thereat mayest thou not wonder! Do I seem to thee
discourteous? Here however is my court.
But as regards the higher man: well! I shall seek him at once in
those forests: from thence came his cry. Perhaps he is there hard
beset by an evil beast.
He is in my domain: therein shall he receive no scath! And verily,
there are many evil beasts about me."-
With those words Zarathustra turned around to depart. Then said
the soothsayer: "O Zarathustra, thou art a rogue!
I know it well: thou wouldst fain be rid of me! Rather wouldst
thou run into the forest and lay snares for evil beasts!
But what good will it do thee? In the evening wilt thou have me
again: in thine own cave will I sit, patient and heavy like a block-
and wait for thee!"
"So be it!" shouted back Zarathustra, as he went away: "and what
is mine in my cave belongeth also unto thee, my guest!
Shouldst thou however find honey therein, well! Just lick it up,
thou growling bear, and sweeten thy soul! For in the evening we want
both to be in good spirits;
-In good spirits and joyful, because this day hath come to an end!
And thou thyself shalt dance to my lays, as my dancing-bear.
Thou dost not believe this? Thou shakest thy head? Well! Cheer up,
old bear! But I also- am a soothsayer."
Thus spake Zarathustra.
63. Talk with the Kings
ERE Zarathustra had been an hour on his way in the mountains and
forests, he saw all at once a strange procession. Right on the path
which he was about to descend came two kings walking, bedecked with
crowns and purple girdles, and variegated like flamingoes: they
drove before them a laden ass. "What do these kings want in my
domain?" said Zarathustra in astonishment to his heart, and hid
himself hastily behind a thicket. When however the kings approached to
him, he said half-aloud, like one speaking only to himself:
"Strange! Strange! How doth this harmonise? Two kings do I see- and
only one ass!"
Thereupon the two kings made a halt; they smiled and looked
towards the spot whence the voice proceeded, and afterwards looked
into each other's faces. "Such things do we also think among
ourselves," said the king on the right, "but we do not utter them."
The king on the left, however, shrugged his shoulders and
answered: "That may perhaps be a goat-herd. Or an anchorite who hath
lived too long among rocks and trees. For no society at all spoileth
also good manners."
"Good manners?" replied angrily and bitterly the other king: "what
then do we run out of the way of? Is it not 'good manners'? Our
Better, verily, to live among anchorites and goat-herds, than with
our gilded, false, over-rouged populace- though it call itself 'good
-Though it call itself 'nobility.' But there all is false and
foul, above all the blood- thanks to old evil diseases and worse
The best and dearest to me at present is still a sound peasant,
coarse, artful, obstinate and enduring: that is at present the noblest
The peasant is at present the best; and the peasant type should be
master! But it is the kingdom of the populace- I no longer allow
anything to be imposed upon me. The populace, however- that meaneth,
Populace-hodgepodge: therein is everything mixed with everything,
saint and swindler, gentleman and Jew, and every beast out of Noah's
Good manners! Everything is false and foul with us. No one knoweth
any longer how to reverence: it is that precisely that we run away
from. They are fulsome obtrusive dogs; they gild palm-leaves.
This loathing choketh me, that we kings ourselves have become false,
draped and disguised with the old faded pomp of our ancestors,
show-pieces for the stupidest, the craftiest, and whosoever at present
trafficketh for power.
We are not the first men- and have nevertheless to stand for them:
of this imposture have we at last become weary and disgusted.
From the rabble have we gone out of the way, from all those
bawlers and scribe-blowflies, from the trader-stench, the
ambition-fidgeting, the bad breath-: fie, to live among the rabble;
-Fie, to stand for the first men among the rabble! Ah, loathing!
Loathing! Loathing! What doth it now matter about us kings!"-
"Thine old sickness seizeth thee," said here the king on the left,
"thy loathing seizeth thee, my poor brother. Thou knowest, however,
that some one heareth us."
Immediately thereupon, Zarathustra, who had opened ears and eyes
to this talk, rose from his hiding-place, advanced towards the
kings, and thus began:
"He who hearkeneth unto you, he who gladly hearkeneth unto you, is
I am Zarathustra who once said: 'What doth it now matter about
kings!' Forgive me; I rejoiced when ye said to each other: 'What
doth it matter about us kings!'
Here, however, is my domain and jurisdiction: what may ye be seeking
in my domain? Perhaps, however, ye have found on your way what I seek:
namely, the higher man."
When the kings heard this, they beat upon their breasts and said
with one voice: "We are recognised!
With the sword of thine utterance severest thou the thickest
darkness of our hearts. Thou hast discovered our distress; for lo!
we are on our way to find the higher man-
-The man that is higher than we, although we are kings. To him do we
convey this ass. For the highest man shall also be the highest lord on
There is no sorer misfortune in all human destiny, than when the
mighty of the earth are not also the first men. Then everything
becometh false and distorted and monstrous.
And when they are even the last men, and more beast than man, then
riseth and riseth the populace in honour, and at last saith even the
populace-virtue: 'Lo, I alone am virtue!'"-
What have I just heard? answered Zarathustra. What wisdom in
kings! I am enchanted, and verily, I have already promptings to make a
-Even if it should happen to be a rhyme not suited for every one's
ears. I unlearned long ago to have consideration for long ears. Well
then! Well now!
(Here, however, it happened that the ass also found utterance: it
said distinctly and with malevolence, Y-E-A.)
'Twas once- methinks year one of our blessed Lord,-
Drunk without wine, the Sybil thus deplored:-
"How ill things go!
Decline! Decline! Ne'er sank the world so low!
Rome now hath turned harlot and harlot-stew,
Rome's Caesar a beast, and God- hath turned Jew!
With those rhymes of Zarathustra the kings were delighted; the
king on the right, however, said: "O Zarathustra, how well it was that
we set out to see thee!
For thine enemies showed us thy likeness in their mirror: there
lookedst thou with the grimace of a devil, and sneeringly: so that
we were afraid of thee.
But what good did it do! Always didst thou prick us anew in heart
and ear with thy sayings. Then did we say at last: What doth it matter
how he look!
We must hear him; him who teacheth: 'Ye shall love peace as a
means to new wars, and the short peace more than the long!'
No one ever spake such warlike words: 'What is good? To be brave
is good. It is the good war that halloweth every cause.'
O Zarathustra, our fathers' blood stirred in our veins at such
words: it was like the voice of spring to old wine-casks.
When the swords ran among one another like red-spotted serpents,
then did our fathers become fond of life; the sun of every peace
seemed to them languid and lukewarm, the long peace, however, made
How they sighed, our fathers, when they saw on the wall brightly
furbished, dried-up swords! Like those they thirsted for war. For a
sword thirsteth to drink blood, and sparkleth with desire."- -
-When the kings thus discoursed and talked eagerly of the
happiness of their fathers, there came upon Zarathustra no little
desire to mock at their eagerness: for evidently they were very
peaceable kings whom he saw before him, kings with old and refined
features. But he restrained himself. "Well!" said he, "thither leadeth
the way, there lieth the cave of Zarathustra; and this day is to
have a long evening! At present, however, a cry of distress calleth me
hastily away from you.
It will honour my cave if kings want to sit and wait in it: but,
to be sure, ye will have to wait long!
Well! What of that! Where doth one at present learn better to wait
than at courts? And the whole virtue of kings that hath remained
unto them- is it not called to-day: Ability to wait?"
Thus spake Zarathustra.
64. The Leech
AND Zarathustra went thoughtfully on, further and lower down,
through forests and past moory bottoms; as it happeneth, however, to
every one who meditateth upon hard matters, he trod thereby unawares
upon a man. And lo, there spurted into his face all at once a cry of
pain, and two curses and twenty bad invectives, so that in his
fright he raised his stick and also struck the trodden one.
Immediately afterwards, however, he regained his composure, and his
heart laughed at the folly he had just committed.
"Pardon me," said he to the trodden one, who had got up enraged, and
had seated himself, "pardon me, and hear first of all a parable.
As a wanderer who dreameth of remote things on a lonesome highway,
runneth unawares against a sleeping dog, a dog which lieth in the sun:
-As both of them then start up and snap at each other, like deadly
enemies, those two beings mortally frightened- so did it happen unto
And yet! And yet- how little was lacking for them to caress each
other, that dog and that lonesome one! Are they not both- lonesome
-"Whoever thou art," said the trodden one, still enraged, "thou
treadest also too nigh me with thy parable, and not only with thy
Lo! am I then a dog?"- And thereupon the sitting one got up, and
pulled his naked arm out of the swamp. For at first he had lain
outstretched on the ground, hidden and indiscernible, like those who
lie in wait for swamp-game.
"But whatever art thou about!" called out Zarathustra in alarm,
for he saw a deal of blood streaming over the naked arm,- "what hath
hurt thee? Hath an evil beast bit thee, thou unfortunate one?"
The bleeding one laughed, still angry, "What matter is it to
thee!" said he, and was about to go on. "Here am I at home and in my
province. Let him question me whoever will: to a dolt, however, I
shall hardly answer."
"Thou art mistaken," said Zarathustra sympathetically, and held
him fast; "thou art mistaken. Here thou art not at home, but in my
domain, and therein shall no one receive any hurt.
Call me however what thou wilt- I am who I must be. I call myself
Well! Up thither is the way to Zarathustra's cave: it is not far,-
wilt thou not attend to thy wounds at my home?
It hath gone badly with thee, thou unfortunate one, in this life:
first a beast bit thee, and then- a man trod upon thee!"- -
When however the trodden one had heard the name of Zarathustra he
was transformed. "What happeneth unto me!" he exclaimed, "who
preoccupieth me so much in this life as this one man, namely
Zarathustra, and that one animal that liveth on blood, the leech?
For the sake of the leech did I lie here by this swamp, like a
fisher, and already had mine outstretched arm been bitten ten times,
when there biteth a still finer leech at my blood, Zarathustra
O happiness! O miracle! Praised be this day which enticed me into
the swamp! Praised be the best, the livest cupping-glass, that at
present liveth; praised be the great conscience-leech Zarathustra!"-
Thus spake the trodden one, and Zarathustra rejoiced at his words
and their refined reverential style. "Who art thou?" asked he, and
gave him his hand, "there is much to clear up and elucidate between
us, but already methinketh pure clear day is dawning."
"I am the spiritually conscientious one," answered he who was asked,
"and in matters of the spirit it is difficult for any one to take it
more rigorously, more restrictedly, and more severely than I, except
him from whom I learnt it, Zarathustra himself.
Better know nothing than half-know many things! Better be a fool
on one's own account, than a sage on other people's approbation! I- go
to the basis:
-What matter if it be great or small? If it be called swamp or
sky? A handbreadth of basis is enough for me, if it be actually
basis and ground!
-A handbreadth of basis: thereon can one stand. In the true
knowing-knowledge there is nothing great and nothing small."
"Then thou art perhaps an expert on the leech?" asked Zarathustra;
"and thou investigatest the leech to its ultimate basis, thou
"O Zarathustra," answered the trodden one, "that would be
something immense; how could I presume to do so!
That, however, of which I am master and knower, is the brain of
the leech:- that is my world!
And it is also a world! Forgive it, however, that my pride here
findeth expression, for here I have not mine equal. Therefore said
I: 'here am I at home.'
How long have I investigated this one thing, the brain of the leech,
so that here the slippery truth might no longer slip from me! Here
is my domain!
-For the sake of this did I cast everything else aside, for the sake
of this did everything else become indifferent to me; and close beside
my knowledge lieth my black ignorance.
My spiritual conscience requireth from me that it should be so- that
I should know one thing, and not know all else: they are a loathing
unto me, all the semi-spiritual, all the hazy, hovering, and
Where mine honesty ceaseth, there am I blind, and want also to be
blind. Where I want to know, however, there want I also to be
honest- namely, severe, rigorous, restricted, cruel and inexorable.
Because thou once saidest, O Zarathustra: 'Spirit is life which
itself cutteth into life';- that led and allured me to thy doctrine.
And verily, with mine own blood have I increased mine own knowledge!"
-"As the evidence indicateth," broke in Zarathustra; for still was
the blood flowing down on the naked arm of the conscientious one.
For there had ten leeches bitten into it.
"O thou strange fellow, how much doth this very evidence teach me-
namely, thou thyself! And not all, perhaps, might I pour into thy
Well then! We part here! But I would fain find thee again. Up
thither is the way to my cave: to-night shalt thou there by my welcome
Fain would I also make amends to thy body for Zarathustra treading
upon thee with his feet: I think about that. Just now, however, a
cry of distress calleth me hastily away from thee."
Thus spake Zarathustra.
65. The Magician
WHEN however Zarathustra had gone round a rock, then saw he on the
same path, not far below him, a man who threw his limbs about like a
maniac, and at last tumbled to the ground on his belly. "Halt!" said
then Zarathustra to his heart, "he there must surely be the higher
man, from him came that dreadful cry of distress,- I will see if I can
help him." When, however, he ran to the spot where the man lay on
the ground, he found a trembling old man with fixed eyes; and in spite
of all Zarathustra's efforts to lift him and set him again on his
feet, it was all in vain. The unfortunate one, also, did not seem to
notice that some one was beside him; on the contrary, he continually
looked around with moving gestures, like one forsaken and isolated
from all the world. At last, however, after much trembling, and
convulsion, and curling-himself-up, he began to lament thus:
Who warm'th me, who lov'th me still?
Give ardent fingers!
Give heartening charcoal-warmers!
Prone, outstretched, trembling,
Like him, half dead and cold, whose feet one warm'th-
And shaken, ah! by unfamiliar fevers,
Shivering with sharpened, icy-cold frost-arrows,
By thee pursued, my fancy!
Ineffable! Recondite! Sore-frightening!
Thou huntsman 'hind the cloud-banks!
Now lightning-struck by thee,
Thou mocking eye that me in darkness watcheth:
-Thus do I lie,
Bend myself, twist myself, convulsed
With all eternal torture,
By thee, cruellest huntsman,
Thou unfamiliar- God...
Smite yet once more!
Pierce through and rend my heart!
What mean'th this torture
With dull, indented arrows?
Why look'st thou hither,
Of human pain not weary,
With mischief-loving, godly flash-glances?
Not murder wilt thou,
But torture, torture?
For why- me torture,
Thou mischief-loving, unfamiliar God?-
Thou stealest nigh
In midnight's gloomy hour?...
What wilt thou?
Thou crowdst me, pressest-
Ha! now far too closely!
Thou hearst me breathing,
Thou o'erhearst my heart,
Thou ever jealous one!
-Of what, pray, ever jealous?
For why the ladder?
Wouldst thou get in?
To heart in-clamber?
To mine own secretest
Shameless one! Thou unknown one!- Thief!
What seekst thou by thy stealing?
What seekst thou by thy hearkening?
What seekst thou by thy torturing?
Or shall I, as the mastiffs do,
Roll me before thee?
And cringing, enraptured, frantical,
My tail friendly- waggle!
No dog- thy game just am I,
Thy proudest of captives,
Thou robber 'hind the cloud-banks...
Thou lightning-veiled one! Thou unknown one! Speak!
What wilt thou, highway-ambusher, from- me?
What wilt thou, unfamiliar- God?
How much of ransom-gold?
Solicit much- that bid'th my pride!
And be concise- that bid'th mine other pride!
Me- wantst thou? me?
And torturest me, fool that thou art,
Dead-torturest quite my pride?
Give love to me- who warm'th me still?
Who lov'th me still?-
Give ardent fingers
Give heartening charcoal-warmers,
Give me, the lonesomest,
The ice (ah! seven-fold frozen ice
For very enemies,
For foes, doth make one thirst).
Give, yield to me,
There fled he surely,
My final, only comrade,
My greatest foe,
Come thou back!
With all of thy great tortures!
To me the last of lonesome ones,
Oh, come thou back!
All my hot tears in streamlets trickle
Their course to thee!
And all my final hearty fervour-
Up-glow'th to thee!
Oh, come thou back,
Mine unfamiliar God! my pain!
My final bliss!
-Here, however, Zarathustra could no longer restrain himself; he
took his staff and struck the wailer with all his might. "Stop
this," cried he to him with wrathful laughter, "stop this, thou
stage-player! Thou false coiner! Thou liar from the very heart! I know
I will soon make warm legs to thee, thou evil magician: I know
well how- to make it hot for such as thou!"
-"Leave off," said the old man, and sprang up from the ground,
"strike me no more, O Zarathustra! I did it only for amusement!
That kind of thing belongeth to mine art. Thee thyself, I wanted
to put to the proof when I gave this performance. And verily, thou
hast well detected me!
But thou thyself- hast given me no small proof of thyself: thou
art hard, thou wise Zarathustra! Hard strikest thou with thy 'truths,'
thy cudgel forceth from me- this truth!"
-"Flatter not," answered Zarathustra, still excited and frowning,
"thou stage-player from the heart! Thou art false: why speakest
thou- of truth!
Thou peacock of peacocks, thou sea of vanity; what didst thou
represent before me, thou evil magician; whom was I meant to believe
in when thou wailedst in such wise?"
"The penitent in spirit," said the old man, "it was him- I
represented; thou thyself once devisedst this expression-
-The poet and magician who at last turneth his spirit against
himself, the transformed one who freezeth to death by his bad
science and conscience.
And just acknowledge it: it was long, O Zarathustra, before thou
discoveredst my trick and lie! Thou believedst in my distress when
thou heldest my head with both thy hands,-
-I heard thee lament 'we have loved him too little, loved him too
little!' Because I so far deceived thee, my wickedness rejoiced in
"Thou mayest have deceived subtler ones than I," said Zarathustra
sternly. "I am not on my guard against deceivers; I have to be without
precaution: so willeth my lot.
Thou, however,- must deceive: so far do I know thee! Thou must
ever be equivocal, trivocal, quadrivocal, and quinquivocal! Even
what thou hast now confessed, is not nearly true enough nor false
enough for me!
Thou bad false coiner, how couldst thou do otherwise! Thy very
malady wouldst thou whitewash if thou showed thyself naked to thy
Thus didst thou whitewash thy lie before me when thou saidst: 'I did
so only for amusement!' There was also seriousness therein, thou art
something of a penitent-in-spirit!
I divine thee well: thou hast become the enchanter of all the world;
but for thyself thou hast no lie or artifice left,- thou art
disenchanted to thyself!
Thou hast reaped disgust as thy one truth. No word in thee is any
longer genuine, but thy mouth is so: that is to say, the disgust
that cleaveth unto thy mouth."- -
-"Who art thou at all!" cried here the old magician with defiant
voice, "who dareth to speak thus unto me, the greatest man now
living?"- and a green flash shot from his eye at Zarathustra. But
immediately after he changed, and said sadly:
"O Zarathustra, I am weary of it, I am disgusted with mine arts, I
am not great, why do I dissemble! But thou knowest it well- I sought
A great man I wanted to appear, and persuaded many; but the lie hath
been beyond my power. On it do I collapse.
O Zarathustra, everything is a lie in me; but that I collapse-
this my collapsing is genuine!"-
"It honoureth thee," said Zarathustra gloomily, looking down with
sidelong glance, "it honoureth thee that thou soughtest for greatness,
but it betrayeth thee also. Thou art not great.
Thou bad old magician, that is the best and the honestest thing I
honour in thee, that thou hast become weary of thyself, and hast
expressed it: 'I am not great.'
Therein do I honour thee as a penitent-in-spirit, and although
only for the twinkling of an eye, in that one moment wast thou-
But tell me, what seekest thou here in my forests and rocks? And
if thou hast put thyself in my way, what proof of me wouldst thou
-Wherein didst thou put me to the test?"
Thus spake Zarathustra, and his eyes sparkled. But the old
magician kept silence for a while; then said he: "Did I put thee to
the test? I- seek only.
O Zarathustra, I seek a genuine one, a right one, a simple one, an
unequivocal one, a man of perfect honesty, a vessel of wisdom, a saint
of knowledge, a great man!
Knowest thou it not, O Zarathustra? I seek Zarathustra."
-And here there arose a long silence between them: Zarathustra,
however, became profoundly absorbed in thought, so that he shut his
eyes. But afterwards coming back to the situation, he grasped the hand
of the magician, and said, full of politeness and policy:
"Well! Up thither leadeth the way, there is the cave of Zarathustra.
In it mayest thou seek him whom thou wouldst fain find.
And ask counsel of mine animals, mine eagle and my serpent: they
shall help thee to seek. My cave however is large.
I myself, to be sure- I have as yet seen no great man. That which is
great, the acutest eye is at present insensible to it. It is the
kingdom of the populace.
Many a one have I found who stretched and inflated himself, and
the people cried: 'Behold; a great man!' But what good do all
bellows do! The wind cometh out at last.
At last bursteth the frog which hath inflated itself too long:
then cometh out the wind. To prick a swollen one in the belly, I
call good pastime. Hear that, ye boys!
Our today is of the popular: who still knoweth what is great and
what is small! Who could there seek successfully for greatness! A fool
only: it succeedeth with fools.
Thou seekest for great men, thou strange fool? Who taught that to
thee? Is today the time for it? Oh, thou bad seeker, why dost thou-
tempt me?"- -
Thus spake Zarathustra, comforted in his heart, and went laughing on
66. Out of Service
NOT long, however, after Zarathustra had freed himself from the
magician, he again saw a person sitting beside the path which he
followed, namely a tall, black man, with a haggard, pale
countenance: this man grieved him exceedingly. "Alas," said he to
his heart, "there sitteth disguised affliction; methinketh he is of
the type of the priests: what do they want in my domain?
What! Hardly have I escaped from that magician, and must another
necromancer again run across my path,-
-Some sorcerer with laying-on-of-hands, some sombre wonder-worker by
the grace of God, some anointed world-maligner, whom, may the devil
But the devil is never at the place which would be his right
place: he always cometh too late, that cursed dwarf and club-foot!"-
Thus cursed Zarathustra impatiently in his heart, and considered how
with averted look he might slip past the black man. But behold, it
came about otherwise. For at the same moment had the sitting one
already perceived him; and not unlike one whom an unexpected happiness
overtaketh, he sprang to his feet, and went straight towards
"Whoever thou art, thou traveller," said he, "help a strayed one,
a seeker, an old man, who may here easily come to grief!
The world here is strange to me, and remote; wild beasts also did
I hear howling; and he who could have given me protection- he is
himself no more.
I was seeking the pious man, a saint and an anchorite, who, alone in
his forest, had not yet heard of what all the world knoweth at
"What doth all the world know at present?" asked Zarathustra.
"Perhaps that the old God no longer liveth, in whom all the world once
"Thou sayest it," answered the old man sorrowfully. "And I served
that old God until his last hour.
Now, however, am I out of service, without master, and yet not free;
likewise am I no longer merry even for an hour, except it be in
Therefore did I ascend into these mountains, that I might finally
have a festival for myself once more, as becometh an old pope and
church-father: for know it, that I am the last pope!- a festival of
pious recollections and divine services.
Now, however, is he himself dead, the most pious of men, the saint
in the forest, who praised his God constantly with singing and
He himself found I no longer when I found his cot- but two wolves
found I therein, which howled on account of his death,- for all
animals loved him. Then did I haste away.
Had I thus come in vain into these forests and mountains? Then did
my heart determine that I should seek another, the most pious of all
those who believe not in God-, my heart determined that I should
Thus spake the hoary man, and gazed with keen eyes at him who
stood before him. Zarathustra however seized the hand of the old
pope and regarded it a long while with admiration.
"Lo! thou venerable one," said he then, "what a fine and long
hand! That is the hand of one who hath ever dispensed blessings.
Now, however, doth it hold fast him whom thou seekest, me,
It is I, the ungodly Zarathustra, who saith: 'Who is ungodlier
than I, that I may enjoy his teaching?'"-
Thus spake Zarathustra, and penetrated with his glances the thoughts
and arrear-thoughts of the old pope. At last the latter began:
"He who most loved and possessed him hath now also lost him most-:
-Lo, I myself am surely the most godless of us at present? But who
could rejoice at that!"-
-"Thou servedst him to the last?" asked Zarathustra thoughtfully,
after a deep silence, "thou knowest how he died? Is it true what
they say, that sympathy choked him;
-That he saw how man hung on the cross, and could not endure it;-
that his love to man became his hell, and at last his death?"- -
The old pope however did not answer, but looked aside timidly,
with a painful and gloomy expression.
"Let him go," said Zarathustra, after prolonged meditation, still
looking the old man straight in the eye.
"Let him go, he is gone. And though it honoureth thee that thou
speakest only in praise of this dead one, yet thou knowest as well
as I who he was, and that he went curious ways."
"To speak before three eyes," said the old pope cheerfully (he was
blind of one eye), "in divine matters I am more enlightened than
Zarathustra himself- and may well be so.
My love served him long years, my will followed all his will. A good
servant, however, knoweth everything, and many a thing even which a
master hideth from himself.
He was a hidden God, full of secrecy. Verily, he did not come by his
son otherwise than by secret ways. At the door of his faith standeth
Whoever extolleth him as a God of love, doth not think highly enough
of love itself. Did not that God want also to be judge? But the loving
one loveth irrespective of reward and requital.
When he was young, that God out of the Orient, then was he harsh and
revengeful, and built himself a hell for the delight of his
At last, however, he became old and soft and mellow and pitiful,
more like a grandfather than a father, but most like a tottering old
There did he sit shrivelled in his chimney-corner, fretting on
account of his weak legs, world-weary, will-weary, and one day he
suffocated of his all-too-great pity."- -
"Thou old pope," said here Zarathustra interposing, "hast thou
seen that with thine eyes? It could well have happened in that way: in
that way, and also otherwise. When gods die they always die many kinds
Well! At all events, one way or other- he is gone! He was counter to
the taste of mine ears and eyes; worse than that I should not like
to say against him.
I love everything that looketh bright and speaketh honestly. But he-
thou knowest it, forsooth, thou old priest, there was something of thy
type in him, the priest-type- he was equivocal.
He was also indistinct. How he raged at us, this wrath-snorter,
because we understood him badly! But why did he not speak more
And if the fault lay in our ears, why did he give us ears that heard
him badly? If there was dirt in our ears, well! who put it in them?
Too much miscarried with him, this potter who had not learned
thoroughly! That he took revenge on his pots and creations, however,
because they turned out badly- that was a sin against good taste.
There is also good taste in piety: this at last said: 'Away with
such a God! Better to have no God, better to set up destiny on one's
own account, better to be a fool, better to be God oneself!'"
-"What do I hear!" said then the old pope, with intent ears; "O
Zarathustra, thou art more pious than thou believest, with such an
unbelief! Some god in thee hath converted thee to thine ungodliness.
Is it not thy piety itself which no longer letteth thee believe in a
God? And thine over-great honesty will yet lead thee even beyond
good and evil!
Behold, what hath been reserved for thee? Thou hast eyes and hands
and mouth, which have been predestined for blessing from eternity. One
doth not bless with the hand alone.
Nigh unto thee, though thou professest to be the ungodliest one, I
feel a hale and holy odour of long benedictions: I feel glad and
Let me be thy guest, O Zarathustra, for a single night! Nowhere on
earth shall I now feel better than with thee!"-
"Amen! So shall it be!" said Zarathustra, with great astonishment;
"up thither leadeth the way, there lieth the cave of Zarathustra.
Gladly, forsooth, would I conduct thee thither myself, thou
venerable one; for I love all pious men. But now a cry of distress
calleth me hastily away from thee.
In my domain shall no one come to grief; my cave is a good haven.
And best of all would I like to put every sorrowful one again on
firm land and firm legs.
Who, however, could take thy melancholy off thy shoulders? For
that I am too weak. Long, verily, should we have to wait until some
one re-awoke thy God for thee.
For that old God liveth no more: he is indeed dead."-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
67. The Ugliest Man
-AND again did Zarathustra's feet run through mountains and forests,
and his eyes sought and sought, but nowhere was he to be seen whom
they wanted to see- the sorely distressed sufferer and crier. On the
whole way, however, he rejoiced in his heart and was full of
gratitude. "What good things," said he, "hath this day given me, as
amends for its bad beginning! What strange interlocutors have I found!
At their words will I now chew a long while as at good corn; small
shall my teeth grind and crush them, until they flow like milk into my
When, however, the path again curved round a rock, all at once the
landscape changed, and Zarathustra entered into a realm of death. Here
bristled aloft black and red cliffs, without any grass, tree, or
bird's voice. For it was a valley which all animals avoided, even
the beasts of prey, except that a species of ugly, thick, green
serpent came here to die when they became old. Therefore the shepherds
called this valley: "Serpent-death."
Zarathustra, however, became absorbed in dark recollections, for
it seemed to him as if he had once before stood in this valley. And
much heaviness settled on his mind, so that he walked slowly and
always more slowly, and at last stood still. Then, however, when he
opened his eyes, he saw something sitting by the wayside shaped like a
man, and hardly like a man, something nondescript. And all at once
there came over Zarathustra a great shame, because he had gazed on
such a thing. Blushing up to the very roots of his white hair, he
turned aside his glance, and raised his foot that he might leave
this ill-starred place. Then, however, became the dead wilderness
vocal: for from the ground a noise welled up, gurgling and rattling,
as water gurgleth and rattleth at night through stopped-up
water-pipes; and at last it turned into human voice and human speech:-
it sounded thus:
"Zarathustra! Zarathustra! Read my riddle! Say, say! What is the
revenge on the witness?
I entice thee back; here is smooth ice! See to it, see to it, that
thy pride does not here break its legs!
Thou thinkest thyself wise, thou proud Zarathustra! Read then the
riddle, thou hard nut-cracker,- the riddle that I am! Say then: who am
-When however Zarathustra had heard these words,- what think ye then
took place in his soul? Pity overcame him; and he sank down all at
once, like an oak that hath long withstood many tree-fellers,-
heavily, suddenly, to the terror even of those who meant to fell it.
But immediately he got up again from the ground, and his countenance
"I know thee well," said he, with a brazen voice, "thou art the
murderer of God! Let me go.
Thou couldst not endure him who beheld thee,- who ever beheld thee
through and through, thou ugliest man. Thou tookest revenge on this
Thus spake Zarathustra and was about to go; but the nondescript
grasped at a corner of his garment and began anew to gurgle and seek
for words. "Stay," said he at last-
-"Stay! Do not pass by! I have divined what axe it was that struck
thee to the ground: hail to thee, O Zarathustra, that thou art again
upon thy feet!
Thou hast divined, I know it well, how the man feeleth who killed
him,- the murderer of God. Stay! Sit down here beside me; it is not to
To whom would I go but unto thee? Stay, sit down! Do not however
look at me! Honour thus- mine ugliness!
They persecute me: now art thou my last refuge. Not with their
hatred, not with their bailiffs;- Oh, such persecution would I mock
at, and be proud and cheerful!
Hath not all success hitherto been with the well-persecuted ones?
And he who persecuteth well learneth readily to be obsequent- when
once he is- put behind! But it is their pity-
-Their pity is it from which I flee away and flee to thee. O
Zarathustra, protect me, thou, my last refuge, thou sole one who
-Thou hast divined how the man feeleth who killed him. Stay! And
if thou wilt go, thou impatient one, go not the way that I came.
That way is bad.
Art thou angry with me because I have already racked language too
long? Because I have already counselled thee? But know that it is I,
the ugliest man,
-Who have also the largest, heaviest feet. Where I have gone, the
way is bad. I tread all paths to death and destruction.
But that thou passedst me by in silence, that thou blushedst- I
saw it well: thereby did I know thee as Zarathustra.
Every one else would have thrown to me his alms, his pity, in look
and speech. But for that- I am not beggar enough: that didst thou
For that I am too rich, rich in what is great, frightful, ugliest,
most unutterable! Thy shame, O Zarathustra, honoured me!
With difficulty did I get out of the crowd of the pitiful,- that I
might find the only one who at present teacheth that 'pity is
obtrusive'- thyself, O Zarathustra!
-Whether it be the pity of a God, or whether it be human pity, it is
offensive to modesty. And unwillingness to help may be nobler than the
virtue that rusheth to do so.
That however- namely, pity- is called virtue itself at present by
all petty people:- they have no reverence for great misfortune,
great ugliness, great failure.
Beyond all these do I look, as a dog looketh over the backs of
thronging flocks of sheep. They are petty, good-wooled, good-willed,
As the heron looketh contemptuously at shallow pools, with
backward-bent head, so do I look at the throng of grey little waves
and wills and souls.
Too long have we acknowledged them to be right, those petty
people: so we have at last given them power as well;- and now do
they teach that 'good is only what petty people call good.'
And 'truth' is at present what the preacher spake who himself sprang
from them, that singular saint and advocate of the petty people, who
testified of himself: 'I- am the truth.'
That immodest one hath long made the petty people greatly puffed
up,- he who taught no small error when he taught: 'I- am the truth.'
Hath an immodest one ever been answered more courteously?- Thou,
however, O Zarathustra, passedst him by, and saidst: 'Nay! Nay!
Three times Nay!'
Thou warnedst against his error; thou warnedst- the first to do
so- against pity:- not every one, not none, but thyself and thy type.
Thou art ashamed of the shame of the great sufferer; and verily when
thou sayest: 'From pity there cometh a heavy cloud; take heed, ye
-When thou teachest: 'All creators are hard, all great love is
beyond their pity:' O Zarathustra, how well versed dost thou seem to
me in weather-signs!
Thou thyself, however,- warn thyself also against thy pity! For many
are on their way to thee, many suffering, doubting, despairing,
drowning, freezing ones-
I warn thee also against myself. Thou hast read my best, my worst
riddle, myself, and what I have done. I know the axe that felleth
But he- had to die: he looked with eyes which beheld everything,- he
beheld men's depths and dregs, all his hidden ignominy and ugliness.
His pity knew no modesty: he crept into my dirtiest corners. This
most prying, over-intrusive, over-pitiful one had to die.
He ever beheld me: on such a witness I would have revenge- or not
The God who beheld everything, and also man: that God had to die!
Man cannot endure it that such a witness should live."
Thus spake the ugliest man. Zarathustra however got up, and prepared
to go on: for he felt frozen to the very bowels.
"Thou nondescript," said he, "thou warnedst me against thy path.
As thanks for it I praise mine to thee. Behold, up thither is the cave
My cave is large and deep and hath many corners; there findeth he
that is most hidden his hiding-place. And close beside it, there are a
hundred lurking-places and by-places for creeping, fluttering, and
Thou outcast, who hast cast thyself out, thou wilt not live
amongst men and men's pity? Well then, do like me! Thus wilt thou
learn also from me; only the doer learneth.
And talk first and foremost to mine animals! The proudest animal and
the wisest animal- they might well be the right counsellors for us
Thus spake Zarathustra and went his way, more thoughtfully and
slowly even than before: for he asked himself many things, and
hardly knew what to answer.
"How poor indeed is man," thought he in his heart, "how ugly, how
wheezy, how full of hidden shame!
They tell me that man loveth himself. Ah, how great must that
self-love be! How much contempt is opposed to it!
Even this man hath loved himself, as he hath despised himself,- a
great lover methinketh he is, and a great despiser.
No one have I yet found who more thoroughly despised himself: even
that is elevation. Alas, was this perhaps the higher man whose cry I
I love the great despisers. Man is something that hath to be
68. The Voluntary Beggar
WHEN Zarathustra had left the ugliest man, he was chilled and felt
lonesome: for much coldness and lonesomeness came over his spirit,
so that even his limbs became colder thereby. When, however, he
wandered on and on, uphill and down, at times past green meadows,
though also sometimes over wild stony couches where formerly perhaps
an impatient brook had made its bed, then he turned all at once warmer
and heartier again.
"What hath happened unto me?" he asked himself, "something warm
and living quickeneth me; it must be in the neighbourhood.
Already am I less alone; unconscious companions and brethren rove
around me; their warm breath toucheth my soul."
When, however, he spied about and sought for the comforters of his
lonesomeness, behold, there were kine there standing together on an
eminence, whose proximity and smell had warmed his heart. The kine,
however, seemed to listen eagerly to a speaker, and took no heed of
him who approached. When, however, Zarathustra was quite nigh unto
them, then did he hear plainly that a human voice spake in the midst
of the kine, and apparently all of them had turned their heads towards
Then ran Zarathustra up speedily and drove the animals aside; for he
feared that some one had here met with harm, which the pity of the
kine would hardly be able to relieve. But in this he was deceived; for
behold, there sat a man on the ground who seemed to be persuading
the animals to have no fear of him, a peaceable man and
Preacher-on-the-Mount, out of whose eyes kindness itself preached.
"What dost thou seek here?" called out Zarathustra in astonishment.
"What do I here seek?" answered he: "the same that thou seekest,
thou mischief-maker; that is to say, happiness upon earth.
To that end, however, I would fain learn of these kine. For I tell
thee that I have already talked half a morning unto them, and just now
were they about to give me their answer. Why dost thou disturb them?
Except we be converted and become as kine, we shall in no wise enter
into the kingdom of heaven. For we ought to learn from them one thing:
And verily, although a man should gain the whole world, and yet
not learn one thing, ruminating, what would it profit him! He would
not be rid of his affliction,
-His great affliction: that, however, is at present called
disgust. Who hath not at present his heart, his mouth and his eyes
full of disgust? Thou also! Thou also! But behold these kine!"-
Thus spake the Preacher-on-the-Mount, and turned then his own look
towards Zarathustra- for hitherto it had rested lovingly on the kine-:
then, however, he put on a different expression. "Who is this with
whom I talk?" he exclaimed, frightened, and sprang up from the ground.
"This is the man without disgust, this is Zarathustra himself, the
surmounter of the great disgust, this is the eye, this is the mouth,
this is the heart of Zarathustra himself."
And whilst he thus spake he kissed with o'erflowing eyes the hands
of him with whom he spake, and behaved altogether like one to whom a
precious gift and jewel hath fallen unawares from heaven. The kine,
however, gazed at it all and wondered.
"Speak not of me, thou strange one; thou amiable one!" said
Zarathustra, and restrained his affection, "speak to me firstly of
thyself! Art thou not the voluntary beggar who once cast away great
-Who was ashamed of his riches and of the rich, and fled to the
poorest to bestow upon them his abundance and his heart? But they
received him not."
"But they received me not," said the voluntary beggar, "thou knowest
it, forsooth. So I went at last to the animals and to those kine."
"Then learnedst thou," interrupted Zarathustra, "how much harder
it is to give properly than to take properly, and that bestowing
well is an art- the last, subtlest master-art of kindness.
"Especially nowadays," answered the voluntary beggar: "at present,
that is to say, when everything low hath become rebellious and
exclusive and haughty in its manner- in the manner of the populace.
For the hour hath come, thou knowest it forsooth, for the great,
evil, long, slow mob-and-slave-insurrection: it extendeth and
Now doth it provoke the lower classes, all benevolence and petty
giving; and the overrich may be on their guard!
Whoever at present drip, like bulgy bottles out of all-too-small
necks:- of such bottles at present one willingly breaketh the necks.
Wanton avidity, bilious envy, careworn revenge, populace-pride:
all these struck mine eye. It is no longer true that the poor are
blessed. The kingdom of heaven, however, is with the kine."
"And why is it not with the rich?" asked Zarathustra temptingly,
while he kept back the kine which sniffed familiarly at the peaceful
"Why dost thou tempt me?" answered the other. "Thou knowest it
thyself better even than I. What was it drove me to the poorest, O
Zarathustra? Was it not my disgust at the richest?
-At the culprits of riches, with cold eyes and rank thoughts, who
pick up profit out of all kinds of rubbish- at this rabble that
stinketh to heaven,
-At this gilded, falsified populace, whose fathers were pickpockets,
or carrion-crows, or rag-pickers, with wives compliant, lewd and
forgetful:- for they are all of them not far different from harlots-
Populace above, populace below! What are 'poor' and 'rich' at
present! That distinction did I unlearn,- then did I flee away further
and ever further, until I came to those kine."
Thus spake the peaceful one, and puffed himself and perspired with
his words: so that the kine wondered anew. Zarathustra, however,
kept looking into his face with a smile, all the time the man talked
so severely- and shook silently his head.
"Thou doest violence to thyself, thou Preacher-on-the-Mount, when
thou usest such severe words. For such severity neither thy mouth
nor thine eye have been given thee.
Nor, methinketh, hath thy stomach either: unto it all such rage
and hatred and foaming-over is repugnant. Thy stomach wanteth softer
things: thou art not a butcher.
Rather seemest thou to me a plant-eater and a root-man. Perhaps thou
grindest corn. Certainly, however, thou art averse to fleshly joys,
and thou lovest honey."
"Thou hast divined me well," answered the voluntary beggar, with
lightened heart. "I love honey, I also grind corn; for I have sought
out what tasteth sweetly and maketh pure breath:
-Also what requireth a long time, a day's-work and a mouth's-work
for gentle idlers and sluggards.
Furthest, to be sure, have those kine carried it: they have
devised ruminating and lying in the sun. They also abstain from all
heavy thoughts which inflate the heart."
-"Well!" said Zarathustra, "thou shouldst also see mine animals,
mine eagle and my serpent,- their like do not at present exist on
Behold, thither leadeth the way to my cave: be tonight its guest.
And talk to mine animals of the happiness of animals,-
-Until I myself come home. For now a cry of distress calleth me
hastily away from thee. Also, shouldst thou find new honey with me,
ice-cold, golden-comb-honey, eat it!
Now, however, take leave at once of thy kine, thou strange one! thou
amiable one! though it be hard for thee. For they are thy warmest
friends and preceptors!"-
-"One excepted, whom I hold still dearer," answered the voluntary
beggar. "Thou thyself art good, O Zarathustra, and better even than
"Away, away with thee! thou evil flatterer!" cried Zarathustra
mischievously, "why dost thou spoil me with such praise and
"Away, away from me!" cried he once more, and heaved his stick at
the fond beggar, who, however, ran nimbly away.
69. The Shadow
SCARCELY however was the voluntary beggar gone in haste, and
Zarathustra again alone, when he heard behind him a new voice which
called out: "Stay! Zarathustra! Do wait! It is myself, forsooth, O
Zarathustra, myself, thy shadow!" But Zarathustra did not wait; for
a sudden irritation came over him on account of the crowd and the
crowding in his mountains. "Whither hath my lonesomeness gone?"
"It is verily becoming too much for me; these mountains swarm; my
kingdom is no longer of this world; I require new mountains.
My shadow calleth me? What matter about my shadow! Let it run
after me! I- run away from it."
Thus spake Zarathustra to his heart and ran away. But the one behind
followed after him, so that immediately there were three runners,
one after the other- namely, foremost the voluntary beggar, then
Zarathustra, and thirdly, and hindmost, his shadow. But not long had
they run thus when Zarathustra became conscious of his folly, and
shook off with one jerk all his irritation and detestation.
"What!" said he, "have not the most ludicrous things always happened
to us old anchorites and saints?
Verily, my folly hath grown big in the mountains! Now do I hear
six old fools' legs rattling behind one another!
But doth Zarathustra need to be frightened by his shadow? Also,
methinketh that after all it hath longer legs thin mine."
Thus spake Zarathustra, and, laughing with eyes and entrails, he
stood still and turned round quickly- and behold, he almost thereby
threw his shadow and follower to the ground, so closely had the latter
followed at his heels, and so weak was he. For when Zarathustra
scrutinised him with his glance he was frightened as by a sudden
apparition, so slender, swarthy, hollow and worn-out did this follower
"Who art thou?" asked Zarathustra vehemently, "what doest thou here?
And why callest thou thyself my shadow? Thou art not pleasing unto
"Forgive me," answered the shadow, "that it is I; and if I please
thee not- well, O Zarathustra! therein do I admire thee and thy good
A wanderer am I, who have walked long at thy heels; always on the
way, but without a goal, also without a home: so that verily, I lack
little of being the eternally Wandering Jew, except that I am not
eternal and not a Jew.
What? Must I ever be on the way? Whirled by every wind, unsettled,
driven about? O earth, thou hast become too round for me!
On every surface have I already sat, like tired dust have I fallen
asleep on mirrors and window-panes: everything taketh from me, nothing
giveth; I become thin- I am almost equal to a shadow.
After thee, however, O Zarathustra, did I fly and hie longest; and
though I hid myself from thee, I was nevertheless thy best shadow:
wherever thou hast sat, there sat I also.
With thee have I wandered about in the remotest, coldest worlds,
like a phantom that voluntarily haunteth winter roofs and snows.
With thee have I pushed into all the forbidden, all the worst and
the furthest: and if there be anything of virtue in me, it is that I
have had no fear of any prohibition.
With thee have I broken up whatever my heart revered; all
boundary-stones and statues have I o'erthrown; the most dangerous
wishes did I pursue,- verily, beyond every crime did I once go.
With thee did I unlearn the belief in words and worths and in
great names. When the devil casteth his skin, doth not his name also
fall away? It is also skin. The devil himself is perhaps- skin.
'Nothing is true, all is permitted': so said I to myself. Into the
coldest water did I plunge with head and heart. Ah, how oft did I
stand there naked on that account, like a red crab!
Ah, where have gone all my goodness and all my shame and all my
belief in the good! Ah, where is the lying innocence which I once
possessed, the innocence of the good and of their noble lies!
Too oft, verily, did I follow close to the heels of truth: then
did it kick me on the face. Sometimes I meant to lie, and behold! then
only did I hit- the truth.
Too much hath become clear unto me: now it doth not concern me any
more. Nothing liveth any longer that I love,- how should I still
'To live as I incline, or not to live at all': so do I wish; so
wisheth also the holiest. But alas! how have I still- inclination?
Have I- still a goal? A haven towards which my sail is set?
A good wind? Ah, he only who knoweth whither he saileth, knoweth
what wind is good, and a fair wind for him.
What still remaineth to me? A heart weary and flippant; an
unstable will; fluttering wings; a broken backbone.
This seeking for my home: O Zarathustra, dost thou know that this
seeking hath been my home-sickening; it eateth me up.
'Where is- my home?' For it do I ask and seek, and have sought,
but have not found it. O eternal everywhere, O eternal nowhere, O
Thus spake the shadow, and Zarathustra's countenance lengthened at
his words. "Thou art my shadow!" said he at last sadly.
"Thy danger is not small, thou free spirit and wanderer! Thou hast
had a bad day: see that a still worse evening doth not overtake thee!
To such unsettled ones as thou, seemeth at last even a prisoner
blessed. Didst thou ever see how captured criminals sleep? They
sleep quietly, they enjoy their new security.
Beware lest in the end a narrow faith capture thee, a hard, rigorous
delusion! For now everything that is narrow and fixed seduceth and
Thou hast lost thy goal. Alas, how wilt thou forego and forget
that loss? Thereby- hast thou also lost thy way!
Thou poor rover and rambler, thou tired butterfly! wilt thou have
a rest and a home this evening? Then go up to my cave!
Thither leadeth the way to my cave. And now will I run quickly
away from thee again. Already lieth as it were a shadow upon me.
I will run alone, so that it may again become bright around me.
Therefore must I still be a long time merrily upon my legs. In the
evening, however, there will be- dancing with me!"- -
Thus spake Zarathustra.
-AND Zarathustra ran and ran, but he found no one else, and was
alone and ever found himself again; he enjoyed and quaffed his
solitude, and thought of good things- for hours. About the hour of
noontide, however, when the sun stood exactly over Zarathustra's head,
he passed an old, bent and gnarled tree, which was encircled round
by the ardent love of a vine, and hidden from itself; from this
there hung yellow grapes in abundance, confronting the wanderer.
Then he felt inclined to quench a little thirst, and to break off
for himself a cluster of grapes. When, however, he had already his arm
out-stretched for that purpose, he felt still more inclined for
something else- namely, to lie down beside the tree at the hour of
perfect noontide and sleep.
This Zarathustra did; and no sooner had he laid himself on the
ground in the stillness and secrecy of the variegated grass, than he
had forgotten his little thirst, and fell asleep. For as the proverb
of Zarathustra saith: "One thing is more necessary than the other."
Only that his eyes remained open:- for they never grew weary of
viewing and admiring the tree and the love of the vine. In falling
asleep, however, Zarathustra spake thus to his heart:
"Hush! Hush! Hath not the world now become perfect? What hath
happened unto me?
As a delicate wind danceth invisibly upon parqueted seas, light,
feather-light, so- danceth sleep upon me.
No eye doth it close to me, it leaveth my soul awake. Light is it,
It persuadeth me, I know not how, it toucheth me inwardly with a
caressing hand, it constraineth me. Yea, it constraineth me, so that
my soul stretcheth itself out:-
-How long and weary it becometh, my strange soul! Hath a seventh-day
evening come to it precisely at noontide? Hath it already wandered too
long, blissfully, among good and ripe things?
It stretcheth itself out, long- longer! it lieth still, my strange
soul. Too many good things hath it already tasted; this golden sadness
oppresseth it, it distorteth its mouth.
-As a ship that putteth into the calmest cove:- it now draweth up to
the land, weary of long voyages and uncertain seas. Is not the land
As such a ship huggeth the shore, tuggeth the shore:- then it
sufficeth for a spider to spin its thread from the ship to the land.
No stronger ropes are required there.
As such a weary ship in the calmest cove, so do I also now repose,
nigh to the earth, faithful, trusting, waiting, bound to it with the
O happiness! O happiness! Wilt thou perhaps sing, O my soul? Thou
liest in the grass. But this is the secret, solemn hour, when no
shepherd playeth his pipe.
Take care! Hot noontide sleepeth on the fields. Do not sing! Hush!
The world is perfect.
Do not sing, thou prairie-bird, my soul! Do not even whisper! Lo-
hush! The old noontide sleepeth, it moveth its mouth: doth it not just
now drink a drop of happiness-
-An old brown drop of golden happiness, golden wine? Something
whisketh over it, its happiness laugheth. Thus- laugheth a God. Hush!-
-'For happiness, how little sufficeth for happiness!' Thus spake I
once and thought myself wise. But it was a blasphemy: that have I
now learned. Wise fools speak better.
The least thing precisely, the gentlest thing, the lightest thing, a
lizard's rustling, a breath, a whisk, an eye-glance- little maketh
up the best happiness. Hush!
-What hath befallen me: Hark! Hath time flown away? Do I not fall?
Have I not fallen- hark! into the well of eternity?
-What happeneth to me? Hush! It stingeth me- alas- to the heart?
To the heart! Oh, break up, break up, my heart, after such
happiness, after such a sting!
-What? Hath not the world just now become perfect? Round and ripe?
Oh, for the golden round ring- whither doth it fly? Let me run after
Hush- -" (and here Zarathustra stretched himself, and felt that he
"Up!" said he to himself, "thou sleeper! Thou noontide sleeper! Well
then, up, ye old legs! It is time and more than time; many a good
stretch of road is still awaiting you-
Now have ye slept your fill; for how long a time? A half-eternity!
Well then, up now, mine old heart! For how long after such a sleep
mayest thou- remain awake?"
(But then did he fall asleep anew, and his soul spake against him
and defended itself, and lay down again)- "Leave me alone! Hush!
Hath not the world just now become perfect? Oh, for the golden round
"Get up," said Zarathustra, "thou little thief, thou sluggard! What!
Still stretching thyself, yawning, sighing, failing into deep wells?
Who art thou then, O my soul!" (and here he became frightened, for a
sunbeam shot down from heaven upon his face.)
"O heaven above me," said he sighing, and sat upright, "thou
gazest at me? Thou hearkenest unto my strange soul?
When wilt thou drink this drop of dew that fell down upon all
earthly things,- when wilt thou drink this strange soul-
-When, thou well of eternity! thou joyous, awful, noontide abyss!
when wilt thou drink my soul back into thee?"
Thus spake Zarathustra, and rose from his couch beside the tree,
as if awakening from a strange drunkenness: and behold! there stood
the sun still exactly above his head. One might, however, rightly
infer therefrom that Zarathustra had not then slept long.
71. The Greeting
IT WAS late in the afternoon only when Zarathustra, after long
useless searching and strolling about, again came home to his cave.
When, however, he stood over against it, not more than twenty paces
therefrom, the thing happened which he now least of all expected: he
heard anew the great cry of distress. And extraordinary! this time the
cry came out of his own cave. It was a long, manifold, peculiar cry,
and Zarathustra plainly distinguished that it was composed of many
voices: although heard at a distance it might sound like the cry out
of a single mouth.
Thereupon Zarathustra rushed forward to his cave, and behold! what a
spectacle awaited him after that concert! For there did they all sit
together whom he had passed during the day: the king on the right
and the king on the left, the old magician, the pope, the voluntary
beggar, the shadow, the intellectually conscientious one, the
sorrowful soothsayer, and the ass; the ugliest man, however, had set a
crown on his head, and had put round him two purple girdles,- for he
liked, like all ugly ones, to disguise himself and play the handsome
person. In the midst, however, of that sorrowful company stood
Zarathustra's eagle, ruffled and disquieted, for it had been called
upon to answer too much for which its pride had not any answer; the
wise serpent however hung round its neck.
All this did Zarathustra behold with great astonishment; then
however he scrutinised each individual guest with courteous curiosity,
read their souls and wondered anew. In the meantime the assembled ones
had risen from their seats, and waited with reverence for
Zarathustra to speak. Zarathustra however spake thus:
"Ye despairing ones! Ye strange ones! So it was your cry of distress
that I heard? And now do I know also where he is to be sought, whom
I have sought for in vain today: the higher man-:
-In mine own cave sitteth he, the higher man! But why do I wonder!
Have not I myself allured him to me by honey-offerings and artful
lure-calls of my happiness?
But it seemeth to me that ye are badly adapted for company: ye
make one another's hearts fretful, ye that cry for help, when ye sit
here together? There is one that must first come,
-One who will make you laugh once more, a good jovial buffoon, a
dancer, a wind, a wild romp, some old fool:- what think ye?
Forgive me, however, ye despairing ones, for speaking such trivial
words before you, unworthy, verily, of such guests! But ye do not
divine what maketh my heart wanton:-
-Ye yourselves do it, and your aspect, forgive it me! For every
one becometh courageous who beholdeth a despairing one. To encourage a
despairing one- every one thinketh himself strong enough to do so.
To myself have ye given this power,- a good gift, mine honourable
guests! An excellent guest's-present! Well, do not then upbraid when I
also offer you something of mine.
This is mine empire and my dominion: that which is mine, however,
shall this evening and tonight be yours. Mine animals shall serve you:
let my cave be your resting-place!
At house and home with me shall no one despair: in my purlieus do
I protect every one from his wild beasts. And that is the first
thing which I offer you: security!
The second thing, however, is my little finger. And when ye have
that, then take the whole hand also, yea and the heart with it!
Welcome here, welcome to you, my guests!"
Thus spake Zarathustra, and laughed with love and mischief. After
this greeting his guests bowed once more and were reverentially
silent; the king on the right, however, answered him in their name.
"O Zarathustra, by the way in which thou hast given us thy hand
and thy greeting, we recognise thee as Zarathustra. Thou hast
humbled thyself before us; almost hast thou hurt our reverence-:
-Who however could have humbled himself as thou hast done, with such
pride? That uplifteth us ourselves; a refreshment is it, to our eyes
To behold this, merely, gladly would we ascend higher mountains than
this. For as eager beholders have we come; we wanted to see what
brighteneth dim eyes.
And lo! now is it all over with our cries of distress. Now are our
minds and hearts open and enraptured. Little is lacking for our
spirits to become wanton.
There is nothing, O Zarathustra, that groweth more pleasingly on
earth than a lofty, strong will: it is the finest growth. An entire
landscape refresheth itself at one such tree.
To the pine do I compare him, O Zarathustra, which groweth up like
thee- tall, silent, hardy, solitary, of the best, supplest wood,
-In the end, however, grasping out for its dominion with strong,
green branches, asking weighty questions of the wind, the storm, and
whatever is at home on high places;
-Answering more weightily, a commander, a victor! Oh! who should not
ascend high mountains to behold such growths?
At thy tree, O Zarathustra, the gloomy and ill-constituted also
refresh themselves; at thy look even the wavering become steady and
heal their hearts.
And verily, towards thy mountain and thy tree do many eyes turn
to-day; a great longing hath arisen, and many have learned to ask:
'Who is Zarathustra?'
And those into whose ears thou hast at any time dripped thy song and
thy honey: all the hidden ones, the lone-dwellers and the
twain-dwellers, have simultaneously said to their hearts:
'Doth Zarathustra still live? It is no longer worth while to live,
everything is indifferent, everything is useless: or else- we must
live with Zarathustra!'
'Why doth he not come who hath so long announced himself?' thus do
many people ask; 'hath solitude swallowed him up? Or should we perhaps
go to him?'
Now doth it come to pass that solitude itself becometh fragile and
breaketh open, like a grave that breaketh open and can no longer
hold its dead. Everywhere one seeth resurrected ones.
Now do the waves rise and rise around thy mountain, O Zarathustra.
And however high be thy height, many of them must rise up to thee: thy
boat shall not rest much longer on dry ground.
And that we despairing ones have now come into thy cave, and already
no longer despair:- it is but a prognostic and a presage that better
ones are on the way to thee,-
-For they themselves are on the way to thee, the last remnant of God
among men- that is to say, all the men of great longing, of great
loathing, of great satiety,
-All who do not want to live unless they learn again to hope- unless
they learn from thee, O Zarathustra, the great hope!"
Thus spake the king on the right, and seized the hand of Zarathustra
in order to kiss it; but Zarathustra checked his veneration, and
stepped back frightened, fleeing as it were, silently and suddenly
into the far distance. After a little while, however, he was again
at home with his guests, looked at them with clear scrutinising
eyes, and said:
"My guests, ye higher men, I will speak plain language and plainly
with you. It is not for you that I have waited here in these
("'Plain language and plainly?' Good God!" said here the king on the
left to himself; "one seeth he doth not know the good Occidentals,
this sage out of the Orient!
But he meaneth 'blunt language and bluntly'- well! That is not the
worst taste in these days!")
"Ye may, verily, all of you be higher men," continued Zarathustra;
"but for me- ye are neither high enough, nor strong enough.
For me, that is to say, for the inexorable which is now silent in
me, but will not always be silent. And if ye appertain to me, still it
is not as my right arm.
For he who himself standeth, like you, on sickly and tender legs,
wisheth above all to be treated indulgently, whether he be conscious
of it or hide it from himself.
My arms and my legs, however, I do not treat indulgently, I do not
treat my warriors indulgently: how then could ye be fit for my
With you I should spoil all my victories. And many of you would
tumble over if ye but heard the loud beating of my drums.
Moreover, ye are not sufficiently beautiful and well-born for me.
I require pure, smooth mirrors for my doctrines; on your surface
even mine own likeness is distorted.
On your shoulders presseth many a burden, many a recollection;
many a mischievous dwarf squatteth in your corners. There is concealed
populace also in you.
And though ye be high and of a higher type, much in you is crooked
and misshapen. There is no smith in the world that could hammer you
right and straight for me.
Ye are only bridges: may higher ones pass over upon you! Ye
signify steps: so do not upbraid him who ascendeth beyond you into his
Out of your seed there may one day arise for me a genuine son and
perfect heir: but that time is distant. Ye yourselves are not those
unto whom my heritage and name belong.
Not for you do I wait here in these mountains; not with you may I
descend for the last time. Ye have come unto me only as a presage that
higher ones are on the way to me,-
-Not the men of great longing, of great loathing, of great
satiety, and that which ye call the remnant of God;
-Nay! Nay! Three times Nay! For others do I wait here in these
mountains, and will not lift my foot from thence without them;
-For higher ones, stronger ones, triumphanter ones, merrier ones,
for such as are built squarely in body and soul: laughing lions must
O my guests, ye strange ones- have ye yet heard nothing of my
children? And that they are on the way to me?
Do speak unto me of my gardens, of my Happy Isles, of my new
beautiful race- why do ye not speak unto me thereof?
This guests'- present do I solicit of your love, that ye speak
unto me of my children. For them am I rich, for them I became poor:
what have I not surrendered.
What would I not surrender that I might have one thing: these
children, this living plantation, these life-trees of my will and of
my highest hope!"
Thus spake Zarathustra, and stopped suddenly in his discourse: for
his longing came over him, and he closed his eyes and his mouth,
because of the agitation of his heart. And all his guests also were
silent, and stood still and confounded: except only that the old
soothsayer made signs with his hands and his gestures.
72. The Supper
FOR at this point the soothsayer interrupted the greeting of
Zarathustra and his guests: he pressed forward as one who had no
time to lose, seized Zarathustra's hand and exclaimed: "But
One thing is more necessary than the other, so sayest thou
thyself: well, one thing is now more necessary unto me than all
A word at the right time: didst thou not invite me to table? And
here are many who have made long journeys. Thou dost not mean to
feed us merely with discourses?
Besides, all of you have thought too much about freezing,
drowning, suffocating, and other bodily dangers: none of you, however,
have thought of my danger, namely, perishing of hunger-"
(Thus spake the soothsayer. When Zarathustra's animals, however,
heard these words, they ran away in terror. For they saw that all they
had brought home during the day would not be enough to fill the one
"Likewise perishing of thirst," continued the soothsayer. "And
although I hear water splashing here like words of wisdom- that is
to say, plenteously and unweariedly, I- want wine!
Not every one is a born water-drinker like Zarathustra. Neither doth
water suit weary and withered ones: we deserve wine- it alone giveth
immediate vigour and improvised health!"
On this occasion, when the soothsayer was longing for wine, it
happened that the king on the left, the silent one, also found
expression for once. "We took care," said he, "about wine, I, along
with my brother the king on the right: we have enough of wine,- a
whole ass-load of it. So there is nothing lacking but bread."
"Bread," replied Zarathustra, laughing when he spake, "it is
precisely bread that anchorites have not. But man doth not live by
bread alone, but also by the flesh of good lambs, of which I have two:
-These shall we slaughter quickly, and cook spicily with sage: it is
so that I like them. And there is also no lack of roots and fruits,
good enough even for the fastidious and dainty,- nor of nuts and other
riddles for cracking.
Thus will we have a good repast in a little while. But whoever
wisheth to eat with us must also give a hand to the work, even the
kings. For with Zarathustra even a king may be a cook."
This proposal appealed to the hearts of all of them, save that the
voluntary beggar objected to the flesh and wine and spices.
"Just hear this glutton Zarathustra!" said he jokingly: "doth one go
into caves and high mountains to make such repasts?
Now indeed do I understand what he once taught us: Blessed be
moderate poverty!' And why he wisheth to do away with beggars."
"Be of good cheer," replied Zarathustra, "as I am. Abide by thy
customs, thou excellent one: grind thy corn, drink thy water, praise
thy cooking,- if only it make thee glad!
I am a law only for mine own; I am not a law for all. He, however,
who belongeth unto me must be strong of bone and light of foot,-
-Joyous in fight and feast, no sulker, no John o' Dreams, ready
for the hardest task as for the feast, healthy and hale.
The best belongeth unto mine and me; and if it be not given us, then
do we take it:- the best food, the purest sky, the strongest thoughts,
the fairest women!"-
Thus spake Zarathustra; the king on the right however answered and
said: "Strange! Did one ever hear such sensible things out of the
mouth of a wise man?
And verily, it is the strangest thing in a wise man, if over and
above, he be still sensible, and not an ass."
Thus spake the king on the right and wondered; the ass however, with
ill-will, said YE-A to his remark. This however was the beginning of
that long repast which is called "The Supper" in the history-books. At
this there was nothing else spoken of but the higher man.
73. The Higher Man
WHEN I came unto men for the first time, then did I commit the
anchorite folly, the great folly: I appeared on the market-place.
And when I spake unto all, I spake unto none. In the evening,
however, rope-dancers were my companions, and corpses; and I myself
almost a corpse.
With the new morning, however, there came unto me a new truth:
then did I learn to say: "Of what account to me are market-place and
populace and populace-noise and long populace-cars!"
Ye higher men, learn this from me: On the market-place no one
believeth in higher men. But if ye will speak there, very well! The
populace, however, blinketh: "We are all equal."
"Ye higher men,"- so blinketh the populace- "there are no higher
men, we are all equal; man is man, before God- we are all equal!"
Before God!- Now, however, this God hath died. Before the
populace, however, we will not be equal. Ye higher men, away from
Before God!- Now however this God hath died! Ye higher men, this God
was your greatest danger.
Only since he lay in the grave have ye again arisen. Now only cometh
the great noontide, now only doth the higher man become- master!
Have ye understood this word, O my brethren? Ye are frightened: do
your hearts turn giddy? Doth the abyss here yawn for you? Doth the
hell-hound here yelp at you?
Well! Take heart! ye higher men! Now only travaileth the mountain of
the human future. God hath died: now do we desire- the Superman to
The most careful ask to-day: "How is man to be maintained?"
Zarathustra however asketh, as the first and only one: "How is man
to be surpassed?"
The Superman, I have at heart; that is the first and only thing to
me- and not man: not the neighbour, not the poorest, not the sorriest,
not the best.-
O my brethren, what I can love in man is that he is an over-going
and a down-going. And also in you there is much that maketh me love
In that ye have despised, ye higher men, that maketh me hope. For
the great despisers are the great reverers.
In that ye have despaired, there is much to honour. For ye have
not learned to submit yourselves, ye have not learned petty policy.
For to-day have the petty people become master: they all preach
submission and humility and policy and diligence and consideration and
the long et cetera of petty virtues.
Whatever is of the effeminate type, whatever originateth from the
servile type, and especially the populace-mishmash:- that wisheth
now to be master of all human destiny- O disgust! Disgust! Disgust!
That asketh and asketh and never tireth: "How is man to maintain
himself best, longest, most pleasantly?" Thereby- are they the masters
These masters of today- surpass them, O my brethren- these petty
people: they are the Superman's greatest danger!
Surpass, ye higher men, the petty virtues, the petty policy, the
sand-grain considerateness, the ant-hill trumpery, the pitiable
comfortableness, the "happiness of the greatest number"-!
And rather despair than submit yourselves. And verily, I love you,
because ye know not today how to live, ye higher men! For thus do ye
Have ye courage, O my brethren? Are ye stout-hearted? Not the
courage before witnesses, but anchorite and eagle courage, which not
even a God any longer beholdeth?
Cold souls, mules, the blind and the drunken, I do not call
stout-hearted. He hath heart who knoweth fear, but vanquisheth it; who
seeth the abyss, but with pride.
He who seeth the abyss, but with eagle's eyes,- he who with
eagle's talons graspeth the abyss: he hath courage.- -
"Man is evil"- so said to me for consolation, all the wisest ones.
Ah, if only it be still true today! For the evil is man's best force.
"Man must become better and eviler"- so do I teach. The evilest is
necessary for the Superman's best.
It may have been well for the preacher of the petty people to suffer
and be burdened by men's sin. I, however, rejoice in great sin as my
Such things, however, are not said for long ears. Every word,
also, is not suited for every mouth. These are fine far-away things:
at them sheep's claws shall not grasp!
Ye higher men, think ye that I am here to put right what ye have put
Or that I wished henceforth to make snugger couches for you
sufferers? Or show you restless, miswandering, misclimbing ones, new
and easier footpaths?
Nay! Nay! Three times Nay! Always more, always better ones of your
type shall succumb,- for ye shall always have it worse and harder.
-Thus only groweth man aloft to the height where the lightning
striketh and shattereth him: high enough for the lightning!
Towards the few, the long, the remote go forth my soul and my
seeking: of what account to me are your many little, short miseries!
Ye do not yet suffer enough for me! For ye suffer from yourselves,
ye have not yet suffered from man. Ye would lie if ye spake otherwise!
None of you suffereth from what I have suffered.- -
It is not enough for me that the lightning no longer doeth harm. I
do not wish to conduct it away: it shall learn- to work for me.-
My wisdom hath accumulated long like a cloud, it becometh stiller
and darker. So doeth all wisdom which shall one day bear lightnings.-
Unto these men of today will I not be light, nor be called light.
Them- will I blind: lightning of my wisdom! put out their eyes!
Do not will anything beyond your power: there is a bad falseness
in those who will beyond their power.
Especially when they will great things! For they awaken distrust
in great things, these subtle false-coiners and stage-players:-
-Until at last they are false towards themselves, squint-eyed,
whited cankers, glossed over with strong words, parade virtues and
brilliant false deeds.
Take good care there, ye higher men! For nothing is more precious to
me, and rarer, than honesty.
Is this today not that of the populace? The populace however knoweth
not what is great and what is small, what is straight and what is
honest: it is innocently crooked, it ever lieth.
Have a good distrust today ye, higher men, ye enheartened ones! Ye
open-hearted ones! And keep your reasons secret! For this today is
that of the populace.
What the populace once learned to believe without reasons, who
could- refute it to them by means of reasons?
And on the market-place one convinceth with gestures. But reasons
make the populace distrustful.
And when truth hath once triumphed there, then ask yourselves with
good distrust: "What strong error hath fought for it?"
Be on your guard also against the learned! They hate you, because
they are unproductive! They have cold, withered eyes before which
every bird is unplumed.
Such persons vaunt about not lying: but inability to lie is still
far from being love to truth. Be on your guard!
Freedom from fever is still far from being knowledge! Refrigerated
spirits I do not believe in. He who cannot lie, doth not know what
If ye would go up high, then use your own legs! Do not get
yourselves carried aloft; do not seat yourselves on other people's
backs and heads!
Thou hast mounted, however, on horseback? Thou now ridest briskly up
to thy goal? Well, my friend! But thy lame foot is also with thee on
When thou reachest thy goal, when thou alightest from thy horse:
precisely on thy height, thou higher man,- then wilt thou stumble!
Ye creating ones, ye higher men! One is only pregnant with one's own
Do not let yourselves be imposed upon or put upon! Who then is
your neighbour? Even if ye act "for your neighbour"- ye still do not
create for him!
Unlearn, I pray you, this "for," ye creating ones: your very
virtue wisheth you to have naught to do with "for" and "on account of"
and "because." Against these false little words shall ye stop your
"For one's neighbour," is the virtue only of the petty people: there
it is said "like and like," and "hand washeth hand":- they have
neither the right nor the power for your self-seeking!
In your self-seeking, ye creating ones, there is the foresight and
foreseeing of the pregnant! What no one's eye hath yet seen, namely,
the fruit- this, sheltereth and saveth and nourisheth your entire
Where your entire love is, namely, with your child, there is also
your entire virtue! Your work, your will is your "neighbour": let no
false values impose upon you!
Ye creating ones, ye higher men! Whoever hath to give birth is sick;
whoever hath given birth, however, is unclean.
Ask women: one giveth birth, not because it giveth pleasure. The
pain maketh hens and poets cackle.
Ye creating ones, in you there is much uncleanliness. That is
because ye have had to be mothers.
A new child: oh, how much new filth hath also come into the world!
Go apart! He who hath given birth shall wash his soul!
Be not virtuous beyond your powers! And seek nothing from yourselves
opposed to probability!
Walk in the footsteps in which your fathers' virtue hath already
walked! How would ye rise high, if your fathers' will should not
rise with you?
He, however, who would be a firstling, let him take care lest he
also become a lastling! And where the vices of your fathers are, there
should ye not set up as saints!
He whose fathers were inclined for women, and for strong wine and
flesh of wildboar swine; what would it be if he demanded chastity of
A folly would it be! Much, verily, doth it seem to me for such a
one, if he should be the husband of one or of two or of three women.
And if he founded monasteries, and inscribed over their portals:
"The way to holiness,"- I should still say: What good is it! it is a
He hath founded for himself a penance-house and refuge-house: much
good may it do! But I do not believe in it.
In solitude there groweth what any one bringeth into it- also the
brute in one's nature. Thus is solitude inadvisable unto many.
Hath there ever been anything filthier on earth than the saints of
the wilderness? Around them was not only the devil loose- but also the
Shy, ashamed, awkward, like the tiger whose spring hath failed-
thus, ye higher men, have I often seen you slink aside. A cast which
ye made had failed.
But what doth it matter, ye dice-players! Ye had not learned to play
and mock, as one must play and mock! Do we not ever sit at a great
table of mocking and playing?
And if great things have been a failure with you, have ye yourselves
therefore- been a failure? And if ye yourselves have been a failure,
hath man therefore- been a failure? If man, however, hath been a
failure: well then! never mind!
The higher its type, always the seldomer doth a thing succeed. Ye
higher men here, have ye not all- been failures?
Be of good cheer; what doth it matter? How much is still possible!
Learn to laugh at yourselves, as ye ought to laugh!
What wonder even that ye have failed and only half-succeeded, ye
half-shattered ones! Doth not- man's future strive and struggle in
Man's furthest, profoundest, star-highest issues, his prodigious
powers- do not all these foam through one another in your vessel?
What wonder that many a vessel shattereth! Learn to laugh at
yourselves, as ye ought to laugh! Ye higher men, Oh, how much is still
And verily, how much hath already succeeded! How rich is this
earth in small, good, perfect things, in well-constituted things!
Set around you small, good, perfect things, ye higher men. Their
golden maturity healeth the heart. The perfect teacheth one to hope.
What hath hitherto been the greatest sin here on earth? Was it not
the word of him who said: "Woe unto them that laugh now!"
Did he himself find no cause for laughter on the earth? Then he
sought badly. A child even findeth cause for it.
He- did not love sufficiently: otherwise would he also have loved
us, the laughing ones! But he hated and hooted us; wailing and
teeth-gnashing did he promise us.
Must one then curse immediately, when one doth not love? That-
seemeth to me bad taste. Thus did he, however, this absolute one. He
sprang from the populace.
And he himself just did not love sufficiently; otherwise would he
have raged less because people did not love him. All great love doth
not seek love:- it seeketh more.
Go out of the way of all such absolute ones! They are a poor
sickly type, a populace-type: they look at this life with ill-will,
they have an evil eye for this earth.
Go out of the way of all such absolute ones! They have heavy feet
and sultry hearts:- they do not know how to dance. How could the earth
be light to such ones!
Tortuously do all good things come nigh to their goal. Like cats
they curve their backs, they purr inwardly with their approaching
happiness,- all good things laugh.
His step betrayeth whether a person already walketh on his own path:
just see me walk! He, however, who cometh nigh to his goal, danceth.
And verily, a statue have I not become, not yet do I stand there
stiff, stupid and stony, like a pillar; I love fast racing.
And though there be on earth fens and dense afflictions, he who hath
light feet runneth even across the mud, and danceth, as upon
Lift up your hearts, my brethren, high, higher! And do not forget
your legs! Lift up also your legs, ye good dancers, and better
still, if ye stand upon your heads!
This crown of the laughter, this rose-garland crown: I myself have
put on this crown, I myself have consecrated my laughter. No one
else have I found to-day potent enough for this.
Zarathustra the dancer, Zarathustra the light one, who beckoneth
with his pinions, one ready for flight, beckoning unto all birds,
ready and prepared, a blissfully light-spirited one:-
Zarathustra the soothsayer, Zarathustra the sooth-laugher, no
impatient one, no absolute one, one who loveth leaps and side-leaps; I
myself have put on this crown!
Lift up your hearts, my brethren, high, higher! And do not forget
your legs! Lift up also your legs, ye good dancers, and better still
if ye stand upon your heads!
There are also heavy animals in a state of happiness, there are
club-footed ones from the beginning. Curiously do they exert
themselves, like an elephant which endeavoureth to stand upon its
Better, however, to be foolish with happiness than foolish with
misfortune, better to dance awkwardly than walk lamely. So learn, I
pray you, my wisdom, ye higher men: even the worst thing hath two good
-Even the worst thing hath good dancing-legs: so learn, I pray
you, ye higher men, to put yourselves on your proper legs!
So unlearn, I pray you, the sorrow-sighing, and all the
populace-sadness! Oh, how sad the buffoons of the populace seem to
me today! This today, however, is that of the populace.
Do like unto the wind when it rusheth forth from its mountain-caves:
unto its own piping will it dance; the seas tremble and leap under its
That which giveth wings to asses, that which milketh the lionesses:-
praised be that good, unruly spirit, which cometh like a hurricane
unto all the present and unto all the populace,-
-Which is hostile to thistle-heads and puzzle-heads, and to all
withered leaves and weeds:- praised be this wild, good, free spirit of
the storm, which danceth upon fens and afflictions, as upon meadows!
Which hateth the consumptive populace-dogs, and all the
ill-constituted, sullen brood:- praised be this spirit of all free
spirits, the laughing storm, which bloweth dust into the eyes of all
the melanopic and melancholic!
Ye higher men, the worst thing in you is that ye have none of you
learned to dance as ye ought to dance- to dance beyond yourselves!
What doth it matter that ye have failed!
How many things are still possible! So learn to laugh beyond
yourselves! Lift up your hearts, ye good dancers, high! higher! And do
not forget the good laughter!
This crown of the laughter, this rose-garland crown: to you, my
brethren, do I cast this crown! Laughing have I consecrated; ye higher
men, learn, I pray you- to laugh!
74. The Song of Melancholy
WHEN Zarathustra spake these sayings, he stood nigh to the
entrance of his cave; with the last words, however, he slipped away
from his guests, and fled for a little while into the open air.
"O pure odours around me," cried he, "O blessed stillness around me!
But where are mine animals? Hither, hither, mine eagle and my serpent!
Tell me, mine animals: these higher men, all of them- do they
perhaps not smell well? O pure odours around me! Now only do I know
and feel how I love you, mine animals."
-And Zarathustra said once more: "I love you, mine animals!" The
eagle, however, and the serpent pressed close to him when he spake
these words, and looked up to him. In this attitude were they all
three silent together, and sniffed and sipped the good air with one
another. For the air here outside was better than with the higher men.
Hardly, however, had Zarathustra left the cave when the old magician
got up, looked cunningly about him, and said: "He is gone!
And already, ye higher men- let me tickle you with this
complimentary and flattering name, as he himself doeth- already doth
mine evil spirit of deceit and magic attack me, my melancholy devil,
-Which is an adversary to this Zarathustra from the very heart:
forgive it for this! Now doth it wish to conjure before you, it hath
just its hour; in vain do I struggle with this evil spirit.
Unto all of you, whatever honours ye like to assume in your names,
whether ye call yourselves 'the free spirits' or 'the
conscientious,' or 'the penitents of the spirit,' or 'the unfettered,'
or 'the great longers,'-
-Unto all of you, who like me suffer from the great loathing, to
whom the old God hath died, and as yet no new God lieth in cradles and
swaddling clothes- unto all of you is mine evil spirit and magic-devil
I know you, ye higher men, I know him,- I know also this fiend
whom I love in spite of me, this Zarathustra: he himself often seemeth
to me like the beautiful mask of a saint,
-Like a new strange mummery in which mine evil spirit, the
melancholy devil, delighteth:- I love Zarathustra, so doth it often
seem to me, for the sake of mine evil spirit.-
But already doth it attack me and constrain me, this spirit of
melancholy, this evening-twilight devil: and verily, ye higher men, it
hath a longing-
-Open your eyes!- it hath a longing to come naked, whether male or
female, I do not yet know: but it cometh, it constraineth me, alas!
open your wits!
The day dieth out, unto all things cometh now the evening, also unto
the best things; hear now, and see, ye higher men, what devil- man
or woman- this spirit of evening-melancholy is!"
Thus spake the old magician, looked cunningly about him, and then
seized his harp.
In evening's limpid air,
What time the dew's soothings
Unto the earth downpour,
Invisibly and unheard-
For tender shoe-gear wear
The soothing dews, like all that's kind-gentle-:
Bethinkst thou then, bethinkst thou, burning heart,
How once thou thirstedest
For heaven's kindly teardrops and dew's down-droppings,
All singed and weary thirstedest,
What time on yellow grass-pathways
Wicked, occidental sunny glances
Through sombre trees about thee sported,
Blindingly sunny glow-glances, gladly-hurting?
"Of truth the wooer? Thou?"- so taunted they-
"Nay! Merely poet!
A brute insidious, plundering, grovelling,
That aye must lie,
That wittingly, wilfully, aye must lie:
For booty lusting,
Himself his booty-
He- of truth the wooer?
Nay! Mere fool! Mere poet!
Just motley speaking,
From mask of fool confusedly shouting,
Circumambling on fabricated word-bridges,
On motley rainbow-arches,
'Twixt the spurious heavenly,
And spurious earthly,
Round us roving, round us soaring,-
Mere fool! Mere poet!
He- of truth the wooer?
Not still, stiff, smooth and cold,
Become an image,
A godlike statue,
Set up in front of temples,
As a God's own door-guard:
Nay! hostile to all such truthfulness-statues,
In every desert homelier than at temples,
With cattish wantonness,
Through every window leaping
Quickly into chances,
Every wild forest a-sniffing,
That thou, in wild forests,
'Mong the motley-speckled fierce creatures,
Shouldest rove, sinful-sound and fine-coloured,
With longing lips smacking,
Blessedly mocking, blessedly hellish, blessedly blood-thirsty,
Robbing, skulking, lying- roving:-
Or unto eagles like which fixedly,
Long adown the precipice look,
Adown their precipice:- -
Oh, how they whirl down now,
To ever deeper profoundness whirling!-
With aim aright,
With quivering flight,
On lambkins pouncing,
Headlong down, sore-hungry,
For lambkins longing,
Fierce 'gainst all lamb-spirits,
Furious-fierce all that look
Sheeplike, or lambeyed, or crisp-woolly,
-Grey, with lambsheep kindliness!
Are the poet's desires,
Are thine own desires 'neath a thousand guises.
Thou fool! Thou poet!
Thou who all mankind viewedst-
So God, as sheep-:
The God to rend within mankind,
As the sheep in mankind,
And in rending laughing-
That, that is thine own blessedness!
Of a panther and eagle- blessedness!
Of a poet and fool- the blessedness!- -
In evening's limpid air,
What time the moon's sickle,
Green, 'twixt the purple-glowings,
And jealous, steal'th forth:
-Of day the foe,
With every step in secret,
The rosy garland-hammocks
Downsickling, till they've sunken
Down nightwards, faded, downsunken:-
Thus had I sunken one day
From mine own truth-insanity,
From mine own fervid day-longings,
Of day aweary, sick of sunshine,
-Sunk downwards, evenwards, shadowwards:
By one sole trueness
All scorched and thirsty:
-Bethinkst thou still, bethinkst thou, burning heart,
How then thou thirstedest?-
That I should banned be
From all the trueness!
Mere fool! Mere poet!
THUS sang the magician; and all who were present went like birds
unawares into the net of his artful and melancholy voluptuousness.
Only the spiritually conscientious one had not been caught: he at once
snatched the harp from the magician and called out: "Air! Let in
good air! Let in Zarathustra! Thou makest this cave sultry and
poisonous, thou bad old magician!
Thou seducest, thou false one, thou subtle one, to unknown desires
and deserts. And alas, that such as thou should talk and make ado
about the truth!
Alas, to all free spirits who are not on their guard against such
magicians! It is all over with their freedom: thou teachest and
temptest back into prisons,-
-Thou old melancholy devil, out of thy lament soundeth a lurement:
thou resemblest those who with their praise of chastity secretly
invite to voluptuousness!
Thus spake the conscientious one; the old magician, however,
looked about him, enjoying his triumph, and on that account put up
with the annoyance which the conscientious one caused him. "Be still!"
said he with modest voice, "good songs want to re-echo well; after
good songs one should be long silent.
Thus do all those present, the higher men. Thou, however, hast
perhaps understood but little of my song? In thee there is little of
the magic spirit.
"Thou praisest me," replied the conscientious one, "in that thou
separatest me from thyself; very well! But, ye others, what do I
see? Ye still sit there, all of you, with lusting eyes-:
Ye free spirits, whither hath your freedom gone! Ye almost seem to
me to resemble those who have long looked at bad girls dancing
naked: your souls themselves dance!
In you, ye higher men, there must be more of that which the magician
calleth his evil spirit of magic and deceit:- we must indeed be
And verily, we spake and thought long enough together ere.
Zarathustra came home to his cave, for me not to be unaware that we
We seek different things even here aloft, ye and I. For I seek
more security; on that account have I come to Zarathustra. For he is
still the most steadfast tower and will-
-Today, when everything tottereth, when all the earth quaketh. Ye,
however, when I see what eyes ye make, it almost seemeth to me that ye
seek more insecurity,
-More horror, more danger, more earthquake. Ye long (it almost
seemeth so to me- forgive my presumption, ye higher men)-
-Ye long for the worst and dangerousest life, which frighteneth me
most,- for the life of wild beasts, for forests, caves, steep
mountains and labyrinthine gorges.
And it is not those who lead out of danger that please you best, but
those who lead you away from all paths, the misleaders. But if such
longing in you be actual, it seemeth to me nevertheless to be
For fear- that is man's original and fundamental feeling; through
fear everything is explained, original sin and original virtue.
Through fear there grew also my virtue, that is to say: Science.
For fear of wild animals- that hath been longest fostered in man,
inclusive of the animal which he concealeth and feareth in himself:-
Zarathustra calleth it 'the beast inside.'
Such prolonged ancient fear, at last become subtle, spiritual and
intellectual- at present, me thinketh, it is called Science."-
Thus spake the conscientious one; but Zarathustra, who had just come
back into his cave and had heard and divined the last discourse, threw
a handful of roses to the conscientious one, and laughed on account of
his "truths." "Why!" he exclaimed, "what did I hear just now?
Verily, it seemeth to me, thou art a fool, or else I myself am one:
and quietly and quickly will I Put thy 'truth' upside down.
For fear- is an exception with us. Courage, however, and
adventure, and delight in the uncertain, in the unattempted- courage
seemeth to me the entire primitive history of man.
The wildest and most courageous animals hath he envied and robbed of
all their virtues: thus only did he become- man.
This courage, at last become subtle, spiritual and intellectual,
this human courage, with eagle's pinions and serpent's wisdom: this,
it seemeth to me, is called at present-"
"Zarathustra!" cried all of them there assembled, as if with one
voice, and burst out at the same time into a great laughter; there
arose, however, from them as it were a heavy cloud. Even the
magician laughed, and said wisely: "Well! It is gone, mine evil
And did I not myself warn you against it when I said that it was a
deceiver, a lying and deceiving spirit?
Especially when it showeth itself naked. But what can I do with
regard to its tricks! Have I created it and the world?
Well! Let us be good again, and of good cheer! And although
Zarathustra looketh with evil eye- just see him! he disliketh me-:
-Ere night cometh will he again learn to love and laud me; he cannot
live long without committing such follies.
He- loveth his enemies: this art knoweth he better than any one I
have seen. But he taketh revenge for it- on his friends!"
Thus spake the old magician, and the higher men applauded him; so
that Zarathustra went round, and mischievously and lovingly shook
hands with his friends,- like one who hath to make amends and
apologise to every one for something. When however he had thereby come
to the door of his cave, lo, then had he again a longing for the
good air outside, and for his animals,- and wished to steal out.
76. Among Daughters of the Desert
"GO NOT away!" said then the wanderer who called himself
Zarathustra's shadow, "abide with us- otherwise the old gloomy
affliction might again fall upon us.
Now hath that old magician given us of his worst for our good, and
lo! the good, pious pope there hath tears in his eyes, and hath
quite embarked again upon the sea of melancholy.
Those kings may well put on a good air before us still: for that
have they learned best of us all at present! Had they however no one
to see them, I wager that with them also the bad game would again
-The bad game of drifting clouds, of damp melancholy, of curtained
heavens, of stolen suns, of howling autumn-winds,
-The bad game of our howling and crying for help! Abide with us, O
Zarathustra! Here there is much concealed misery that wisheth to
speak, much evening, much cloud, much damp air!
Thou hast nourished us with strong food for men, and powerful
proverbs: do not let the weakly, womanly spirits attack us anew at
Thou alone makest the air around thee strong and clear. Did I ever
find anywhere on earth such good air as with thee in thy cave?
Many lands have I seen, my nose hath learned to test and estimate
many kinds of air: but with thee do my nostrils taste their greatest
Unless it be,- unless it be-, do forgive an old recollection!
Forgive me an old after-dinner song, which I once composed amongst
daughters of the desert:-
For with them was there equally good, clear, Oriental air; there was
I furthest from cloudy, damp, melancholy Old-Europe!
Then did I love such Oriental maidens and other blue kingdoms of
heaven, over which hang no clouds and no thoughts.
Ye would not believe how charmingly they sat there, when they did
not dance, profound, but without thoughts, like little secrets, like
beribboned riddles, like dessert-nuts-
Many-hued and foreign, forsooth! but without clouds: riddles which
can be guessed: to please such maidens I then composed an after-dinner
Thus spake the wanderer who called himself Zarathustra's shadow; and
before any one answered him, he had seized the harp of the old
magician, crossed his legs, and looked calmly and sagely around
him:- with his nostrils, however, he inhaled the air slowly and
questioningly, like one who in new countries tasteth new foreign
air. Afterward he began to sing with a kind of roaring.
The deserts grow: woe him who doth them hide!
In effect solemnly!
A worthy beginning!
Afric manner, solemnly!
Of a lion worthy,
Or perhaps of a virtuous howl-monkey-
-But it's naught to you,
Ye friendly damsels dearly loved,
At whose own feet to me,
The first occasion,
To a European under palm-trees,
At seat is now granted. Selah.
Here do I sit now,
The desert nigh, and yet I am
So far still from the desert,
Even in naught yet deserted:
That is, I'm swallowed down
By this the smallest oasis-:
-It opened up just yawning,
Its loveliest mouth agape,
Most sweet-odoured of all mouthlets:
Then fell I right in,
Right down, right through- in 'mong you,
Ye friendly damsels dearly loved! Selah.
Hail! hail! to that whale, fishlike,
If it thus for its guest's convenience
Made things nice!- (ye well know,
Surely, my learned allusion?)
Hail to its belly,
If it had e'er
A such loveliest oasis-belly
As this is: though however I doubt about it,
-With this come I out of Old-Europe,
That doubt'th more eagerly than doth any
Elderly married woman.
May the Lord improve it!
Here do I sit now,
In this the smallest oasis,
Like a date indeed,
Brown, quite sweet, gold-suppurating,
For rounded mouth of maiden longing,
But yet still more for youthful, maidlike,
Ice-cold and snow-white and incisory
Front teeth: and for such assuredly,
Pine the hearts all of ardent date-fruits. Selah.
To the there-named south-fruits now,
Do I lie here; by little
Round-sniffled and round-played,
And also by yet littler,
Foolisher, and peccabler
Wishes and phantasies,-
Environed by you,
Ye silent, presentientest
Dudu and Suleika,
-Round sphinxed, that into one word
I may crowd much feeling:
(Forgive me, O God,
All such speech-sinning!)
-Sit I here the best of air sniffling,
Paradisal air, truly,
Bright and buoyant air, golden-mottled,
As goodly air as ever
From lunar orb downfell-
Be it by hazard,
Or supervened it by arrogancy?
As the ancient poets relate it.
But doubter, I'm now calling it
In question: with this do I come indeed
Out of Europe,
That doubt'th more eagerly than doth any
Elderly married woman.
May the Lord improve it!
This the finest air drinking,
With nostrils out-swelled like goblets,
Lacking future, lacking remembrances,
Thus do I sit here, ye
Friendly damsels dearly loved,
And look at the palm-tree there,
How it, to a dance-girl, like,
Doth bow and bend and on its haunches bob,
-One doth it too, when one view'th it long!-
To a dance-girl like, who as it seem'th to me,
Too long, and dangerously persistent,
Always, always, just on single leg hath stood?
-Then forgot she thereby, as it seem'th to me,
The other leg?
For vainly I, at least,
Did search for the amissing
-Namely, the other leg-
In the sanctified precincts,
Nigh her very dearest, very tenderest,
Flapping and fluttering and flickering skirting.
Yea, if ye should, ye beauteous friendly ones,
Quite take my word:
She hath, alas! lost it!
Hu! Hu! Hu! Hu! Hu!
It is away!
For ever away!
The other leg!
Oh, pity for that loveliest other leg!
Where may it now tarry, all-forsaken weeping?
The lonesomest leg?
In fear perhaps before a
Furious, yellow, blond and curled
Leonine monster? Or perhaps even
Gnawed away, nibbled badly-
Most wretched, woeful! woeful! nibbled badly! Selah.
Oh, weep ye not,
Weep ye not, ye
Date-fruit spirits! Milk-bosoms!
Weep ye no more,
Be a man, Suleika! Bold! Bold!
-Or else should there perhaps
Something strengthening, heart-strengthening,
Here most proper be?
Some inspiring text?
Some solemn exhortation?-
Ha! Up now! honour!
Moral honour! European honour!
Blow again, continue,
Bellows-box of virtue!
Once more thy roaring,
Thy moral roaring!
As a virtuous lion
Nigh the daughters of deserts roaring!
-For virtue's out-howl,
Ye very dearest maidens,
Is more than every
European fervour, European hot-hunger!
And now do I stand here,
I can't be different, God's help to me!
The deserts grow: woe him who doth them hide!
77. The Awakening
AFTER the song of the wanderer and shadow, the cave became all at
once full of noise and laughter: and since the assembled guests all
spake simultaneously, and even the ass, encouraged thereby, no
longer remained silent, a little aversion and scorn for his visitors
came over Zarathustra, although he rejoiced at their gladness. For
it seemed to him a sign of convalescence. So he slipped out into the
open air and spake to his animals.
"Whither hath their distress now gone?" said he, and already did
he himself feel relieved of his petty disgust- "with me, it seemeth
that they have unlearned their cries of distress!
-Though, alas! not yet their crying." And Zarathustra stopped his
ears, for just then did the YE-A of the ass mix strangely with the
noisy jubilation of those higher men.
"They are merry," he began again, "and who knoweth? perhaps at
their host's expense; and if they have learned of me to laugh, still
it is not my laughter they have learned.
But what matter about that! They are old people: they recover in
their own way, they laugh in their own way; mine ears have already
endured worse and have not become peevish.
This day is a victory: he already yieldeth, he fleeth, the spirit of
gravity, mine old arch-enemy! How well this day is about to end, which
began so badly and gloomily!
And it is about to end. Already cometh the evening: over the sea
rideth it hither, the good rider! How it bobbeth, the blessed one, the
home-returning one, in its purple saddles!
The sky gazeth brightly thereon, the world lieth deep. Oh, all ye
strange ones who have come to me, it is already worth while to have
lived with me!"
Thus spake Zarathustra. And again came the cries and laughter of the
higher men out of the cave: then began he anew:
"They bite at it, my bait taketh, there departeth also from them
their enemy, the spirit of gravity. Now do they learn to laugh at
themselves: do I hear rightly?
My virile food taketh effect, my strong and savoury sayings: and
verily, I did not nourish them with flatulent vegetables! But with
warrior-food, with conqueror-food: new desires did I awaken.
New hopes are in their arms and legs, their hearts expand. They find
new words, soon will their spirits breathe wantonness.
Such food may sure enough not be proper for children, nor even for
longing girls old and young. One persuadeth their bowels otherwise;
I am not their physician and teacher.
The disgust departeth from these higher men; well! that is my
victory. In my domain they become assured; all stupid shame fleeth
away; they empty themselves.
They empty their hearts, good times return unto them, they keep
holiday and ruminate,- they become thankful.
That do I take as the best sign: they become thankful. Not long will
it be ere they devise festivals, and put up memorials to their old
They are convalescents!" Thus spake Zarathustra joyfully to his
heart and gazed outward; his animals, however, pressed up to him,
and honoured his happiness and his silence.
All on a sudden however, Zarathustra's ear was frightened: for the
cave which had hitherto been full of noise and laughter, became all at
once still as death;- his nose, however, smelt a sweet-scented
vapour and incense-odour, as if from burning pine-cones.
"What happeneth? What are they about?" he asked himself, and stole
up to the entrance, that he might be able unobserved to see his
guests. But wonder upon wonder! what was he then obliged to behold
with his own eyes!
"They have all of them become pious again, they pray, they are
mad!"- said he, and was astonished beyond measure. And forsooth! all
these higher men, the two kings, the pope out of service, the evil
magician, the voluntary beggar, the wanderer and shadow, the old
soothsayer, the spiritually conscientious one, and the ugliest man-
they all lay on their knees like children and credulous old women, and
worshipped the ass. And just then began the ugliest man to gurgle
and snort, as if something unutterable in him tried to find
expression; when, however, he had actually found words, behold! it was
a pious, strange litany in praise of the adored and censed ass. And
the litany sounded thus:
Amen! And glory and honour and wisdom and thanks and praise and
strength be to our God, from everlasting to everlasting!
-The ass, however, here brayed YE-A.
He carried our burdens, he hath taken upon him the form of a
servant, he is patient of heart and never saith Nay; and he who loveth
his God chastiseth him.
-The ass, however, here brayed YE-A.
He speaketh not: except that he ever saith Yea to the world which he
created: thus doth he extol his world. It is his artfulness that
speaketh not: thus is he rarely found wrong.
-The ass, however, here brayed YE-A.
Uncomely goeth he through the world. Grey is the favourite colour in
which he wrappeth his virtue. Hath he spirit, then doth he conceal it;
every one, however, believeth in his long ears.
-The ass, however, here brayed YE-A.
What hidden wisdom it is to wear long ears, and only to say Yea
and never Nay! Hath he not created the world in his own image, namely,
as stupid as possible?
-The ass, however, here brayed YE-A.
Thou goest straight and crooked ways; it concerneth thee little what
seemeth straight or crooked unto us men. Beyond good and evil is thy
domain. It is thine innocence not to know what innocence is.
-The ass, however, here brayed YE-A.
Lo! how thou spurnest none from thee, neither beggars nor kings.
Thou sufferest little children to come unto thee, and when the bad
boys decoy thee, then sayest thou simply, YE-A.
-The ass, however, here brayed YE-A.
Thou lovest she-asses and fresh figs, thou art no food-despiser. A
thistle tickleth thy heart when thou chancest to be hungry. There is
the wisdom of a God therein.
-The ass, however, here brayed YE-A.
78. The Ass-Festival
AT THIS place in the litany, however, Zarathustra could no longer
control himself; he himself cried out YE-A, louder even than the
ass, and sprang into the midst of his maddened guests. "Whatever are
you about, ye grown-up children?" he exclaimed, pulling up the praying
ones from the ground. "Alas, if any one else, except Zarathustra,
had seen you:
Every one would think you the worst blasphemers, or the very
foolishest old women, with your new belief!
And thou thyself, thou old pope, how is it in accordance with
thee, to adore an ass in such a manner as God?"-
"O Zarathustra," answered the pope, "forgive me, but in divine
matters I am more enlightened even than thou. And it is right that
it should be so.
Better to adore God so, in this form, than in no form at all!
Think over this saying, mine exalted friend: thou wilt readily
divine that in such a saying there is wisdom.
He who said 'God is a Spirit'- made the greatest stride and slide
hitherto made on earth towards unbelief: such a dictum is not easily
amended again on earth!
Mine old heart leapeth and boundeth because there is still something
to adore on earth. Forgive it, O Zarathustra, to an old, pious
-"And thou," said Zarathustra to the wanderer and shadow, "thou
callest and thinkest thyself a free spirit? And thou here practisest
such idolatry and hierolatry?
Worse verily, doest thou here than with thy bad brown girls, thou
bad, new believer!"
"It is sad enough," answered the wanderer and shadow, "thou art
right: but how can I help it! The old God liveth again, O Zarathustra,
thou mayst say what thou wilt.
The ugliest man is to blame for it all: he hath reawakened him.
And if he say that he once killed him, with Gods death is always
just a prejudice."
-"And thou," said Zarathustra, "thou bad old magician, what didst
thou do! Who ought to believe any longer in thee in this free age,
when thou believest in such divine donkeyism?
It was a stupid thing that thou didst; how couldst thou, a shrewd
man, do such a stupid thing!"
"O Zarathustra," answered the shrewd magician, "thou art right, it
was a stupid thing,- it was also repugnant to me."
-"And thou even," said Zarathustra to the spiritually
conscientious one, "consider, and put thy finger to thy nose! Doth
nothing go against thy conscience here? Is thy spirit not too
cleanly for this praying and the fumes of those devotees?"
"There is something therein," said the spiritually conscientious
one, and put his finger to his nose, "there is something in this
spectacle which even doeth good to my conscience.
Perhaps I dare not believe in God: certain it is however, that God
seemeth to me most worthy of belief in this form.
God is said to be eternal, according to the testimony of the most
pious: he who hath so much time taketh his time. As slow and as stupid
as possible: thereby can such a one nevertheless go very far.
And he who hath too much spirit might well become infatuated with
stupidity and folly. Think of thyself, O Zarathustra!
Thou thyself- verily! even thou couldst well become an ass through
superabundance of wisdom.
Doth not the true sage willingly walk on the crookedest paths? The
evidence teacheth it, O Zarathustra,- thine own evidence!"
-"And thou thyself, finally," said Zarathustra, and turned towards
the ugliest man, who still lay on the ground stretching up his arm
to the ass (for he gave it wine to drink). "Say, thou nondescript,
what hast thou been about!
Thou seemest to me transformed, thine eyes glow, the mantle of the
sublime covereth thine ugliness: what didst thou do?
Is it then true what they say, that thou hast again awakened him?
And why? Was he not for good reasons killed and made away with?
Thou thyself seemest to me awakened: what didst thou do? why didst
thou turn round? Why didst thou get converted? Speak, thou
"O Zarathustra," answered the ugliest man, "thou art a rogue!
Whether he yet liveth, or again liveth, or is thoroughly dead- which
of us both knoweth that best? I ask thee.
One thing however do I know,- from thyself did I learn it once, O
Zarathustra: he who wanteth to kill most thoroughly, laugheth.
'Not by wrath but by laughter doth one kill'- thus spakest thou
once, O Zarathustra, thou hidden one, thou destroyer without wrath,
thou dangerous saint,- thou art a rogue!"
Then, however, did it come to pass that Zarathustra, astonished at
such merely roguish answers, jumped back to the door of his cave,
and turning towards all his guests, cried out with a strong voice:
"O ye wags, all of you, ye buffoons! Why do ye dissemble and
disguise yourselves before me!
How the hearts of all of you convulsed with delight and
wickedness, because ye had at last become again like little
children- namely, pious,-
-Because ye at last did again as children do- namely, prayed, folded
your hands and said 'good God'!
But now leave, I pray you, this nursery, mine own cave, where
today all childishness is carried on. Cool down, here outside, your
hot child-wantonness and heart-tumult!
To be sure: except ye become as little children ye shall not enter
into that kingdom of heaven." (And Zarathustra pointed aloft with
"But we do not at all want to enter into the kingdom of heaven: we
have become men,- so we want the kingdom of earth."
And once more began Zarathustra to speak. "O my new friends," said
he,- "ye strange ones, ye higher men, how well do ye now please me,-
-Since ye have again become joyful! Ye have, verily, all blossomed
forth: it seemeth to me that for such flowers as you, new festivals
-A little valiant nonsense, some divine service and ass-festival,
some old joyful Zarathustra fool, some blusterer to blow your souls
Forget not this night and this ass-festival, ye higher men! That did
ye devise when with me, that do I take as a good omen,- such things
only the convalescents devise!
And should ye celebrate it again, this ass-festival, do it from love
to yourselves, do it also from love to me! And in remembrance of me!"
Thus spake Zarathustra.
79. The Drunken Song
MEANWHILE one after another had gone out into the open air, and into
the cool, thoughtful night; Zarathustra himself, however, led the
ugliest man by the hand, that he might show him his night-world, and
the great round moon, and the silvery water-falls near his cave. There
they at last stood still beside one another; all of them old people,
but with comforted, brave hearts, and astonished in themselves that it
was so well with them on earth; the mystery of the night, however,
came nigher and nigher to their hearts. And anew Zarathustra thought
to himself: "Oh, how well do they now please me, these higher men!"-
but he did not say it aloud, for he respected their happiness and
Then, however, there happened that which in this astonishing long
day was most astonishing: the ugliest man began once more and for
the last time to gurgle and snort, and when he had at length found
expression, behold! there sprang a question plump and plain out of his
mouth, a good, deep, clear question, which moved the hearts of all who
listened to him.
"My friends, all of you," said the ugliest man, "what think ye?
For the sake of this day- I am for the first time content to have
lived mine entire life.
And that I testify so much is still not enough for me. It is worth
while living on the earth: one day, one festival with Zarathustra,
hath taught me to love the earth.
'Was that- life?' will I say unto death. 'Well! Once more!'
My friends, what think ye? Will ye not, like me, say unto death:
'Was that- life? For the sake of Zarathustra, well! Once more!'"- -
Thus spake the ugliest man; it was not, however, far from
midnight. And what took place then, think ye? As soon as the higher
men heard his question, they became all at once conscious of their
transformation and convalescence, and of him who was the cause
thereof: then did they rush up to Zarathustra, thanking, honouring,
caressing him, and kissing his hands, each in his own peculiar way; so
that some laughed and some wept. The old soothsayer, however, danced
with delight; and though he was then, as some narrators suppose,
full of sweet wine, he was certainly still fuller of sweet life, and
had renounced all weariness. There are even those who narrate that the
ass then danced: for not in vain had the ugliest man previously
given it wine to drink. That may be the case, or it may be
otherwise; and if in truth the ass did not dance that evening, there
nevertheless happened then greater and rarer wonders than the
dancing of an ass would have been. In short, as the proverb of
Zarathustra saith: "What doth it matter!"
When, however, this took place with the ugliest man, Zarathustra
stood there like one drunken: his glance dulled, his tongue faltered
and his feet staggered. And who could divine what thoughts then passed
through Zarathustra's soul? Apparently, however, his spirit
retreated and fled in advance and was in remote distances, and as it
were "wandering on high mountain-ridges," as it standeth written,
"'twixt two seas,
-Wandering 'twixt the past and the future as a heavy cloud."
Gradually, however, while the higher men held him in their arms, he
came back to himself a little, and resisted with his hands the crowd
of the honouring and caring ones; but he did not speak. All at once,
however, he turned his head quickly, for he seemed to hear
something: then laid he his finger on his mouth and said: "Come!"
And immediately it became still and mysterious round about; from the
depth however there came up slowly the sound of a clock-bell.
Zarathustra listened thereto, like the higher men; then, however, laid
he his finger on his mouth the second time, and said again: "Come!
Come! It is getting on to midnight!"- and his voice had changed. But
still he had not moved from the spot. Then it became yet stiller and
more mysterious, and everything hearkened, even the ass, and
Zarathustra's noble animals, the eagle and the serpent,- likewise
the cave of Zarathustra and the big cool moon, and the night itself.
Zarathustra, however, laid his hand upon his mouth for the third time,
Come! Come! Come! Let us now wander! It is the hour: let us wander
into the night!
Ye higher men, it is getting on to midnight: then will I say
something into your ears, as that old clock-bell saith it into mine
-As mysteriously, as frightfully, and as cordially as that
midnight clock-bell speaketh it to me, which hath experienced more
than one man:
-Which hath already counted the smarting throbbings of your fathers'
hearts- ah! ah! how it sigheth! how it laugheth in its dream! the old,
deep, deep midnight!
Hush! Hush! Then is there many a thing heard which may not be
heard by day; now however, in the cool air, when even all the tumult
of your hearts hath become still,-
-Now doth it speak, now is it heard, now doth it steal into
overwakeful, nocturnal souls: ah! ah! how the midnight sigheth! how it
laugheth in its dream!
-Hearest thou not how it mysteriously, frightfully, and cordially
speaketh unto thee, the old deep, deep midnight?
O man, take heed!
Woe to me! Whither hath time gone? Have I not sunk into deep
wells? The world sleepeth-
Ah! Ah! The dog howleth, the moon shineth. Rather will I die, rather
will I die, than say unto you what my midnight-heart now thinketh.
Already have I died. It is all over. Spider, why spinnest thou
around me? Wilt thou have blood? Ah! Ah! The dew falleth, the hour
-The hour in which I frost and freeze, which asketh and asketh and
asketh: "Who hath sufficient courage for it?
-Who is to be master of the world? Who is going to say: Thus shall
ye flow, ye great and small streams!"
-The hour approacheth: O man, thou higher man, take heed! this
talk is for fine ears, for thine ears- what saith deep midnight's
It carrieth me away, my soul danceth. Day's-work! Day's-work! Who is
to be master of the world?
The moon is cool, the wind is still. Ah! Ah! Have ye already flown
high enough? Ye have danced: a leg, nevertheless, is not a wing.
Ye good dancers, now is all delight over: wine hath become lees,
every cup hath become brittle, the sepulchres mutter.
Ye have not flown high enough: now do the sepulchres mutter: "Free
the dead! Why is it so long night? Doth not the moon make us drunken?"
Ye higher men, free the sepulchres, awaken the corpses! Ah, why doth
the worm still burrow? There approacheth, there approacheth, the
-There boometh the clock-bell, there thrilleth still the heart,
there burroweth still the wood-worm, the heart-worm. Ah! Ah! The world
Sweet lyre! Sweet lyre! I love thy tone, thy drunken, ranunculine
tone!- how long, how far hath come unto me thy tone, from the
distance, from the ponds of love!
Thou old clock-bell, thou sweet lyre! Every pain hath torn thy
heart, father-pain, fathers'-pain, forefathers'-pain; thy speech
hath become ripe,-
-Ripe like the golden autumn and the afternoon, like mine
anchorite heart- now sayest thou: The world itself hath become ripe,
the grape turneth brown,
-Now doth it wish to die, to die of happiness. Ye higher men, do
ye not feel it? There welleth up mysteriously an odour,
-A perfume and odour of eternity, a rosy-blessed, brown,
gold-wine-odour of old happiness.
-Of drunken midnight-death happiness, which singeth: the world is
deep, and deeper than the day could read!
Leave me alone! Leave me alone! I am too pure for thee. Touch me
not! Hath not my world just now become perfect?
My skin is too pure for thy hands. Leave me alone, thou dull,
doltish, stupid day! Is not the midnight brighter?
The purest are to be masters of the world, the least known, the
strongest, the midnight-souls, who are brighter and deeper than any
O day, thou gropest for me? Thou feelest for my happiness? For
thee am I rich, lonesome, a treasure-pit, a gold chamber?
O world, thou wantest me? Am I worldly for thee? Am I spiritual
for thee? Am I divine for thee? But day and world, ye are too coarse,-
-Have cleverer hands, grasp after deeper happiness, after deeper
unhappiness, grasp after some God; grasp not after me:
-Mine unhappiness, my happiness is deep, thou strange day, but yet
am I no God, no God's-hell: deep is its woe.
God's woe is deeper, thou strange world! Grasp at God's woe, not
at me! What am I! A drunken sweet lyre,-
-A midnight-lyre, a bell-frog, which no one understandeth, but which
must speak before deaf ones, ye higher men! For ye do not understand
Gone! Gone! O youth! O noontide! O afternoon! Now have come
evening and night and midnight,- the dog howleth, the wind:
-Is the wind not a dog? It whineth, it barketh, it howleth. Ah!
Ah! how she sigheth! how she laugheth, how she wheezeth and panteth,
How she just now speaketh soberly, this drunken poetess! hath she
perhaps overdrunk her drunkenness? hath she become overawake? doth she
-Her woe doth she ruminate over, in a dream, the old, deep midnight-
and still more her joy. For joy, although woe be deep, joy is deeper
still than grief can be.
Thou grape-vine! Why dost thou praise me? Have I not cut thee! I
am cruel, thou bleedest-: what meaneth thy praise of my drunken
"Whatever hath become perfect, everything mature- wanteth to die!"
so sayest thou. Blessed, blessed be the vintner's knife! But
everything immature wanteth to live: alas!
Woe saith: "Hence! Go! Away, thou woe!" But everything that
suffereth wanteth to live, that it may become mature and lively and
-Longing for the further, the higher, the brighter. "I want
heirs," so saith everything that suffereth, "I want children, I do not
Joy, however, doth not want heirs, it doth not want children,- joy
wanteth itself, it wanteth eternity, it wanteth recurrence, it wanteth
Woe saith: "Break, bleed, thou heart! Wander, thou leg! Thou wing,
fly! Onward! upward! thou pain!" Well! Cheer up! O mine old heart: Woe
saith: "Hence! Go!"
Ye higher men, what think ye? Am I a soothsayer? Or a dreamer? Or
a drunkard? Or a dream-reader? Or a midnight-bell?
Or a drop of dew? Or a fume and fragrance of eternity? Hear ye it
not? Smell ye it not? Just now hath my world become perfect,
midnight is also mid-day,-
Pain is also a joy, curse is also a blessing, night is also a
sun,- go away! or ye will learn that a sage is also a fool.
Said ye ever Yea to one joy? O my friends, then said ye Yea also
unto all woe. All things are enlinked, enlaced and enamoured,-
-Wanted ye ever once to come twice; said ye ever: "Thou pleasest me,
happiness! Instant! Moment!" then wanted ye all to come back again!
-All anew, all eternal, all enlinked, enlaced and enamoured, Oh,
then did ye love the world,-
-Ye eternal ones, ye love it eternally and for all time: and also
unto woe do ye say: Hence! Go! but come back! For joys all want-
All joy wanteth the eternity of all things, it wanteth honey, it
wanteth lees, it wanteth drunken midnight, it wanteth graves, it
wanteth grave-tears' consolation, it wanteth gilded evening-red-
-What doth not joy want! it is thirstier, heartier, hungrier, more
frightful, more mysterious, than all woe: it wanteth itself, it biteth
into itself, the ring's will writheth in it,-
-It wanteth love, it wanteth hate, it is over-rich, it bestoweth, it
throweth away, it beggeth for some one to take from it, it thanketh
the taker, it would fain be hated,-
-So rich is joy that it thirsteth for woe, for hell, for hate, for
shame, for the lame, for the world,- for this world, Oh, ye know it
Ye higher men, for you doth it long, this joy, this irrepressible,
blessed joy- for your woe, ye failures! For failures, longeth all
For joys all want themselves, therefore do they also want grief! O
happiness, O pain! Oh break, thou heart! Ye higher men, do learn it,
that joys want eternity.
-Joys want the eternity of all things, they want deep, profound
Have ye now learned my song? Have ye divined what it would say?
Well! Cheer up! Ye higher men, sing now my roundelay!
Sing now yourselves the song, the name of which is "Once more,"
the signification of which is "Unto all eternity!"- sing, ye higher
men, Zarathustra's roundelay!
O man! Take heed!
What saith deep midnight's voice indeed?
"I slept my sleep-,
"From deepest dream I've woke, and plead:-
"The world is deep,
"And deeper than the day could read.
"Deep is its woe-,
"Joy- deeper still than grief can be:
"Woe saith: Hence! Go!
"But joys all want eternity-,
"-Want deep, profound eternity!"
80. The Sign
IN THE morning, however, after this night, Zarathustra jumped up
from his couch, and, having girded his loins, he came out of his
cave glowing and strong, like a morning sun coming out of gloomy
"Thou great star," spake he, as he had spoken once before, "thou
deep eye of happiness, what would be all thy happiness if thou hadst
not those for whom thou shinest!
And if they remained in their chambers whilst thou art already
awake, and comest and bestowest and distributest, how would thy
proud modesty upbraid for it!
Well! they still sleep, these higher men, whilst I am awake: they
are not my proper companions! Not for them do I wait here in my
At my work I want to be, at my day: but they understand not what are
the signs of my morning, my step- is not for them the awakening-call.
They still sleep in my cave; their dream still drinketh at my
drunken songs. The audient ear for me- the obedient ear, is yet
lacking in their limbs."
-This had Zarathustra spoken to his heart when the sun arose: then
looked he inquiringly aloft, for he heard above him the sharp call
of his eagle. "Well!" called he upwards, "thus is it pleasing and
proper to me. Mine animals are awake, for I am awake.
Mine eagle is awake, and like me honoureth the sun. With
eagle-talons doth it grasp at the new light. Ye are my proper animals;
I love you.
But still do I lack my proper men!"-
Thus spake Zarathustra; then, however, it happened that all on a
sudden he became aware that he was flocked around and fluttered
around, as if by innumerable birds,- the whizzing of so many wings,
however, and the crowding around his head was so great that he shut
his eyes. And verily, there came down upon him as it were a cloud,
like a cloud of arrows which poureth upon a new enemy. But behold,
here it was a cloud of love, and showered upon a new friend.
"What happeneth unto me?" thought Zarathustra in his astonished
heart, and slowly seated himself on the big stone which lay close to
the exit from his cave. But while he grasped about with his hands,
around him, above him and below him, and repelled the tender birds,
behold, there then happened to him something still stranger: for he
grasped thereby unawares into a mass of thick, warm, shaggy hair; at
the same time, however, there sounded before him a roar,- a long, soft
"The sign cometh," said Zarathustra, and a change came over his
heart. And in truth, when it turned clear before him, there lay a
yellow, powerful animal at his feet, resting its head on his knee,-
unwilling to leave him out of love, and doing like a dog which again
findeth its old master. The doves, however, were no less eager with
their love than the lion; and whenever a dove whisked over its nose,
the lion shook its head and wondered and laughed.
When all this went on Zarathustra spake only a word: "My children
are nigh, my children"-, then he became quite mute. His heart,
however, was loosed, and from his eyes there dropped down tears and
fell upon his hands. And he took no further notice of anything, but
sat there motionless, without repelling the animals further. Then flew
the doves to and fro, and perched on his shoulder, and caressed his
white hair, and did not tire of their tenderness and joyousness. The
strong lion, however, licked always the tears that fell on
Zarathustra's hands, and roared and growled shyly. Thus did these
All this went on for a long time, or a short time: for properly
speaking, there is no time on earth for such things-. Meanwhile,
however, the higher men had awakened in Zarathustra's cave, and
marshalled themselves for a procession to go to meet Zarathustra,
and give him their morning greeting: for they had found when they
awakened that he no longer tarried with them. When, however, they
reached the door of the cave and the noise of their steps had preceded
them, the lion started violently; it turned away all at once from
Zarathustra, and roaring wildly, sprang towards the cave. The higher
men, however, when they heard the lion roaring, cried all aloud as
with one voice, fled back and vanished in an instant.
Zarathustra himself, however, stunned and strange, rose from his
seat, looked around him, stood there astonished, inquired of his
heart, bethought himself, and remained alone. "What did I hear?"
said he at last, slowly, "what happened unto me just now?"
But soon there came to him his recollection, and he took in at a
glance all that had taken place between yesterday and to-day. "Here is
indeed the stone," said he, and stroked his beard, "on it sat I
yester-morn; and here came the soothsayer unto me, and here heard I
first the cry which I heard just now, the great cry of distress.
O ye higher men, your distress was it that the old soothsayer
foretold to me yester-morn,-
-Unto your distress did he want to seduce and tempt me: 'O
Zarathustra,' said he to me, 'I come to seduce thee to thy last sin.'
To my last sin?" cried Zarathustra, and laughed angrily at his own
words: "what hath been reserved for me as my last sin?"
-And once more Zarathustra became absorbed in himself, and sat
down again on the big stone and meditated. Suddenly he sprang up,-
"Fellow-suffering! Fellow-suffering with the higher men!" he cried
out, and his countenance changed into brass. "Well! That- hath had its
My suffering and my fellow-suffering- what matter about them! Do I
then strive after happiness? I strive after my work!
Well! The lion hath come, my children are nigh, Zarathustra hath
grown ripe, mine hour hath come:-
This is my morning, my day beginneth: arise now, arise, thou great
Thus spake Zarathustra and left his cave, glowing and strong, like a
morning sun coming out of gloomy mountains.