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A masterpiece of philosophy and of liter-
ature, Thus Spake Zarathustra is the fulfill-
ment of Nietzsche's belief that "the object
of mankind should lie in its highest individ-
uals!" In his thirtieth year Zarathustra -
the archetypal Ubermensch representative
of the highest passion and creativity
abandons his home for the mountains,
where he lives, literally and figuratively,
on a level of experience far above the
conventional standards of good and evil.
His poetic testimony is a vivid demonstra-
tion of the genius of Nietzsche's thought
NIHT^SCBJr , Fi<li:CJi
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THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
ZARATHUSTRA'S PROLOGUE 3
1. The Three Metamorphoses 23
2. The Academic Chairs of Virtue 25
3. Backworldsmen 28
4. The Despisers of the Body 3 2
5. Joys and Passions 34
6. The Pale Criminal 3 6
7. Reading and Writing 39
8. The Tree on the Hill 4 1
9. The Preachers of Death 44
10. War and Warriors 47
11. The New Idol 49
12. The Flies in the Market-Place 5 2
13. Chastity 5 6
14. The Friend 57
15. The Thousand and One Goals 60
1 6. Neighbour-Love 6 3
17. The Way of the Creating One 65
1 8. Old and Young Women 68
19. The Bite of the Adder 7
20. Child and Marriage 7 2
21. Voluntary Death 75
22. The Bestowing Virtue 7 8
23. The Child with the Mirror 87
24. In the Happy Isles 90
25. The Pitiful 93
26. The Priests 96
27. The Virtuous 99
28. The Rabble 103
29. The Tarantulas 106
30. The Famous Wise Ones no
3 1 . The Night Song 113
32. The Dance Song 116
33. The Grave Song 119
34. Self -Surpassing 122
35. The Sublime Ones 126
36. The Land of Culture 129
37. Immaculate Perception 132
38. Scholars 135
39. Poets 138
40. Great Events 142
41. The Soothsayer 146
42. Redemption 150
43. Manly Prudence 156
44. The Stillest Hour 159
45. The Wanderer 167
46. The Vision and the Enigma 171
47. Involuntary Bliss 177
48. Before Sunrise 181
49. The Bedwarfmg Virtue 184
50. On the Olive-Mount 191
51. OnPassing-by 194
52. The Apostates 198
53. The Return Home 203
54. The Three Evil Things 207
5 5 . The Spirit of Gravity 213
56. Old and New Tables 218
57. The Convalescent 241
58. The Great Longing 248
59. The Second Dance Song 252
60. The Seven Seals 256
FOURTH AND LAST PART
61. The Honey Sacrifice 263
62. The Cry of Distress 267
63. Talk with the Kings 271
64. The Leech 276
65. The Magician 280
66. Out of Service 288
67. The Ugliest Man 293
68. The Voluntary Beggar 298
69. The Shadow 303
70. Noontide 307
7 1 . The Greeting 311
72. The Supper 317
73. The Higher Man 319
74. The Song of Melancholy 332
75. Science 338
76. Among Daughters of the Desert 341
77. The Awakening 348
78. The Ass-Festival 352
79. The Drunken Song 356
80. The Sign 365
THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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 gath-
ered 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
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
4 ZARATHUSTRAS PROLOGUE
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
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
Yea, I recognize Zarathustra. Pure is his eye, and no loath-
ing lurketh about his mouth. Goeth he not along like a
Altered is Zarathustra; a child hath Zarathustra become; an
awakened one is Zarathustra: what wilt thou do in the land of
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 thyself?"
Zarathustra answered: "I love mankind."
ZARATHUSTRA'S PROLOGUE 5
"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 bring-
ing gifts unto men."
"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 that."
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 con-
cerning us: Where goeth the thief?
Go not to men, but stay in the forest! Go rather to the ani-
mals! Why not be like me a bear amongst bears, a bird
"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
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
6 ZARATHUSTRA'S PROLOGUE
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 ad-
joineth 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
/ 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 them-
selves : 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 shame.
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
Lo, I teach you the Superman!
The Superman is the meaning of the earth. Let your will
say: The Superman shall be the meaning of the earth!
I conjure you, my brethren, remain true to the earth, and be-
ZARATHUSTRA'S PROLOGUE 7
lieve 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 blas-
pheme the earth is now the dreadf ulest 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 earth.
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
Verily, a polluted stream is man. One must be a sea, to re^
ceive 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 be-
cometh 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 wretched self-complacency!"
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
8 ZARATHUSTRA'S PROLOGUE
and my bad! It is all poverty and pollution and wretched self-
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
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 crucifixion."
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 sparingn&s in sin crieth unto heaven!
Where is the lightning to lick you with its tongue? Where
is the frenzy with which ye should ue 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 ap-
plied to him, began his performance.
Zarathustra, however, looked at the people and wondered.
Then he spake thus :
Man is a rope stretched between the animal and the Super-
man 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:
ZARATHUSTRA'S PROLOGUE 9
what is lovable in man is that he is an over-going and a down-
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 down-going.
I love him who laboureth and inventeth, that he may build
the house for the Superm^, 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
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 himself.
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 succumb.
10 ZARATHUSTRAS PROLOGUE
I love him who scattereth golden words in advance of his
deeds, and always doeth more than he promiseth: for he
seeketh his own down-going.
I love him who justifieth the future ones, and redeemeth
the past ones: for he is willing to succumb through the present
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 bridge.
I love him whose soul is so overfull that he forgetteth him-
self, and all things are in him : thus all things become his down-
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
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 these ears.
Must one first batter their ears, that they may learn to hear
with their eyes? Must one clatter like kettledrums and peni-
ZARATHUSTRAS PROLOGUE II
tential 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
distinguished! 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 grow thereon.
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 in-
eradicable like that of the ground-flea; the last man liveth
"We have discovered happiness" say the last men, and
They have left the regions where it is hard to live; for they
12 ZARATHUSTRA'S PROLOGUE
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
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 burden-
some. Who still wanteth to rule? Who still wanteth to obey?
Both are too burdensome.
No shepherd, and one herd! Everyone wanteth the same;
everyone is equal : he who hath other sentiments goeth volun-
tarily into the madhouse.
"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
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 his heart:
: 'They understand me not : I am not the mouth for these ears.
ZARATHUSTRA'S PROLOGUE 13
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 morn-
ing. 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
14 ZARATHUSTRA'S PROLOGUE
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
"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 fare."
"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
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 in gratitude.
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
ZARATHUSTRA'S PROLOGUE 15
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
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 buf-
foon 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 today. Depart, however, from this town, or tomor-
row I shall jump over thee, a living man over a dead one." And
16 ZARATHUSTRA'S PROLOGUE
when he had said this, the buffoon vanished; Zarathustra, how-
ever, went on through the dark streets.
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 re-
past! 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 together.
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
ZARATHUSTRA'S PROLOGUE 17
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, trust-
ing to the path and the light of the stars : for he was an experi-
enced 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!
i8 ZARATHUSTRA'S PROLOGUE
To allure many from the herd for that purpose have I
come. The people and the herd must be angry with me: a rob-
ber 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 law-
breaker: 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
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.
ZARATHUSTRA'S PROLOGUE 19
With the .creators, the reapers, and the rejoicers will I asso-
ciate : 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 oa-going be their down-
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
'They are mine animals," said Zarathustra, and rejoiced in
: '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 still live?
More dangerous have I found it among men than among
animals; in dangerous paths goeth Zarathustra. Let mine ani-
mals 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!
20 ZARATHUSTRAS PROLOGUE
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.
THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
/. 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 child.
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-bear-
ing 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.
24 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
But in the loneliest wilderness happeneth the second meta-
morphosis: 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 in-
clined 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 neeJ of the lion in the
spirit? Why sufficeth not the beast of burden, which re-
nounceth and is reverent?
To create new values that, even the lion cannot yet accom-
plish: but to create itself freedom for new creating that can
the might of the lion do.
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 formi-
dable 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
THE ACADEMIC CHAIRS OF VIRTUE 25
But tell me, my brethren, what the child can do, which even
the lion could not do? Why hath the preying lion still to be-
come 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
oivn 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 child.
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 night!
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.
26 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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 over-
coming 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
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
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
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 the night.
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
THE ACADEMIC CHAIRS OF VIRTUE 2J
Many honours I want not, nor great treasures: they excite
the spleen. But it is bad sleeping without a good name and a
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
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 over-
taketh me all at once sleep, the unsummoned, the lord of the
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 steal eth from me my thoughts: stupid do I then
stand, like this academic chair.
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 his heart:
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.
28 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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
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
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
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
Intoxicating joy is it for the sufferer to look away from his
suffering and forget himself. Intoxicating joy and self -forget-
ting, did the world once seem to me.
This world, the eternally imperfect, an eternal contradic-
tion'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 phan-
tom. And verily, it came not unto me from the beyond!
What happened, my brethren? I surpassed myself, the suf-
fering 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 back-
worlds; and the short madness of happiness, which only the
greatest sufferer experienceth.
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 ultimate walls.
30 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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
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 the earth.
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 re-
deeming blood-drops; but even those sweet and sad poisons
they borrowed from the body and the earth!
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 by-
paths 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 trans-
port? To their body and this earth.
Gentle is Zarathustra to the sickly. Verily, he is not indig-
nant at their modes of consolation and ingratitude. May they
become convalescents and overcomers, and create higher bodies
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 re-
main even in his tears.
Many sickly ones have there always been among those who
muse, and languish for God; violently they hate the discern-
ing 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 thing-in-itself .
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.
32 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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, per-
fect and square-built; and it speaketh of the meaning of the
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 some-
thing 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 thit thev are the end of pM things: so vain are they.
THE DESPISERS OF THE BODY 33
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, mas-
tereth, conquereth, and destroyeth. It rulcth, and is also the
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 boJy than in thy best wis-
dom. And who then knoweth why thy body requireth just thy
Thy Self laugheth at thine e^o, 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
suflereth, 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:
34 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
create beyond itself. That is what it desireth most; that is all
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 be-
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- Jy s an d> 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
Better for thee to say: "Ineffable is it, and nameless, that
which is pain and sweetness to my soul, and also the hunger of
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.
JOYS AND PASSIONS 35
Thus speak and stammer: "That is my good, that do I love,
thus doth it please me entirely, thus only do / 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 cf 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 udder.
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
36 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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
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 sacrifkers, 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
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 him-
self, unless it be speedy death.
THE PALE CRIMINAL 37
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 survival!
"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 virulent reptile!"
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 between them.
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
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
Thus speaketh the red judge: "Why did this criminal com-
mit murder? He meant to rob." I tell you, however, that his
soul wanted blood, not booty: he thirsted for the happiness of
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?"
38 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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
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
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 cause suffering.
But this will not enter your ears; it hurteth your good
people, ye tell me. But what doth it matter to me about your
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
READING AND WRITING 39
fidelity, or justice: but they have their virtue in order to live
long, and in wretched self-complacency.
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.
. 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
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
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
40 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
courage which scareth away ghosts, createth for itself goblins
it wanteth to laugh.
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 thunder-cloud.
Ye look aloft when ye long for exaltation; and I look down-
ward 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 f
twisheth us; she is a woman, and ever loveth only a warrior.j
Ye tell me, "Life is hard to bear." But for what purpose
should ye have your pride in the morning and your resigna-
tion 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 happiness.
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
And when I saw my devil, I found him serious, thorough,
THE TREE ON THE HILL 41
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
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 sur-
rounding 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.
42 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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. l !
often overleap the steps when I clamber; for so doing, none of
the steps pardons mej
When aloft, I find myself always alone. No one speaketh i
* 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 height!"
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 first lightning?"
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 speak thus :
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 un-
slept 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 con-
jure 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
44 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
The new, would the noble man create, and a new virtue.
The old, wanteth the good man, and that the old should be
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 de-
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 gnaweth.
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.
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
"The yellow ones": so are called the preachers of death, or
THE PREACHERS OF DEATH 45
"the black ones." But I will show them unto you in other
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 lassi-
tude and renunciation.
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 coffins!
They meet an invalid, or an old man, or a corpse and im-
mediately 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
Or else, they grasp at sweetmeats, and mock at their childish-
ness 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
"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!"
46 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
"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 death.
"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
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
Or "life eternal"; it is all the same to me if only they pass
Thus spake Zarathustra.
WAR AND WARRIORS 47
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 of them!
And if ye cannot be saints of knowledge, then, I pray you,
be at least its warriors. They are the companions and fore-
runners of such saintship.
I see many soldiers; could I but see many warriors! "Uni-
form" one calleth what they wear; may it not be uniform what
they therewith hide!
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 victory!
48 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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
'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
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 suc-
cesses 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 obey-
To the good warrior soundeth "thou shalt" pleasanter than
"I will." And all that is dear unto you, ye shall first have it
commanded unto you.
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
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
Thus spake Zarathustra.
//. 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
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
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 under-
stood, but hated as the evil eye, and as sin against laws and
This sign I give unto you: every people speaketh its lan-
guage 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.
50 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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, in-
dicateth this sign! Verily, it beckoneth unto the preachers of
Many too many are born: for the superfluous ones was the
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
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 idol!
Heroes and honourable ones, it would fain set up around it,
the new idol! Gladly it basketh in the sunshine of good con-
sciences, 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 eyes.
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
The state, I call it, where all are poison-drinkers, the G^
THE NEW IDOL 51
and the bad : the state, where all lose themselves, the good and
the bad: the state, where the slow suicide of all is called
' <1 * C >
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
Just see these superfluous ones! Sick are they always; they
vomit their bile and call it a newspaper. They devour one an-
other, 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! Of ttimes 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
Do go out of the way of the bad odour! Withdraw from the
idolatry of the superfluous!
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 tranquil seas.
Open still remaineth a free life for great souls. Verily, he
52 THUS SPAKE ZARAXHUSTRA
who possesseth little is so much the less possessed : blessed be
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
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 little ones.
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
Little do the people understand what is great that is to
say, the creating agency. But they have a taste for all repre-
senters and actors of great things.
THE FLIES IN THE MARKET-PLACE 53
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 he spirit. He
believeth always in that wherewith he maketh believe most
strongly in himself!
Tomorrow he hath a new belief, and the day after, one still
newer. Sharp perceptions hath he, like the people, and change-
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 arguments.
A truth which only glideth into fine ears, he calleth false-
hood 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 Against?
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 absolute one.
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.
54 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
Flee, my friend, into thy solitude: I see thee stung all over
by the poisonous flies. Flee thither, where a rough, strong
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
Exhausted I see thee, by poisonous flies; bleeding I see
thee, and torn at a hundred spots; and thy pride will not even
Blood they would have from thee in all innocence; blood
their bloodless souls crave for and they sting, therefore, in
But thou, profound one, thou surf erest 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
Often, also, do they show themselves to thee as amiable ones.
THE FLIES IN THE MARKET-PLACE 55
But that hath ever been the prudence of the cowardly. Yea!
the cowardly are wise!
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 maleficence.
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. There-
fore be on your guard against the small ones!
In thy presence they feel themselves small, and their base-
ness glearneth 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 extinguishing fire?
Yea, my friend, the bad conscience art thou of thy neigh-
bours; 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 fly-like.
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.
56 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 belongeth innocence.
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 of fellow-suffering?
And also this parable give I unto you: Not a few who meant
to cast out their devil, went thereby into the swine themselves.
THE FRIEND 57
To whom chastity is difficult, it is to be dissuaded : lest it be-
come 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 do.
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
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.
58 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
And often with our love we want merely to overleap envy.
And often we attack and make ourselves enemies, to conceal
that we are vulnerable.
"Be at least mine enemy!" thus speaketh the true rever-
ence, 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 enemy.
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 of clothing!
Thou canst not adorn thyself fine enough for thy friend;
for thou shalt be unto him an arrow and a longing for the
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 dis-
mayed at thy friend looking so? O my friend, man is some-
thing that hath to be surpassed.
In divining and keeping silence shall the friend be a master:
not everything must thou wish to see. Thy dream shall dis-
close unto thee what thy friend doeth when awake.
Let thy pity be a divining: to know first if thy frier i
THE FRIEND 59
wanteth pity. Perhaps he loveth in thee the unmoved eye, and
the look of eternity.
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
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 friend's emancipator.
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 friend-
ship: 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
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.
60 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
The Thousand and One Goals
MANY lands saw Zarathustra, and many peoples: thus he dis-
covered 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
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
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
It is laudable, what they think hard; what is indispensable
and hard they call good; and what relieveth in the direst dis-
tress, 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
"Always shalt thou be the foremost and prominent above
others: no one shall thy jealous soul love, except a friend"
THE THOUSAND AND ONE GOALS 6 1
that made the soul of a Greek thrill: thereby went he his way
'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 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 there-
'To have fidelity, and for the sake of fidelity to risk honour
and blood, even in evil and dangerous courses" teaching it-
self 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
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 valua-
tion the nut of existence would be hollow. Hear it, ye creating
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
Peoples once hung over them tables of the good. Love which
62 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
would rule and love which would obey, created for themselves
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 ruin.
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 wrath.
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 goal.
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
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 /; the Thou hath been conse-
crated, but not yet the /: so man presseth nigh unto his neigh-
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
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 your-
selves 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 your-
selves; and when ye have misled him to think well of you, ye
also think well of yourselves.
Not only doth he lie, who speaketh contrary to his knowl-
edge, but more so, he who speaketh contrary to his ignorance.
64 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
And thus speak ye of yourselves in your intercourse, and belie
your neighbour with yourselves.
Thus saith the fool: "Association with men spoileth the
character, especially when one hath none."
The one goeth to his neighbour because he seeketh him-
self, 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
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-
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 to-
gether 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 furthest love!
Thus spake Zarathustra.
THE WAY OF THE CREATING ONE 65
. 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
"He who seeketh may easily get lost himself. All isolation
is wrong" : so say the herd. And long didst thou belong to the
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 afflic-
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 thee?
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
66 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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 aloneness.
To-day sufferest thou still from the multitude, thou individ-
ual; 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
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 dis-
Thou forcest many to think differently about thee; that,
charge they heavily to thine account. Thou earnest 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 hated.
"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
THE WAY OF THE CREATING ONE 67
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
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
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 sooth-
sayer, 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 loved!
With thy love, go into thine isolation, my brother, and with
thy creating; and late only will justice limp after thee.
68 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
With my tears, go into thine isolation, my brother. I love
him who seeketh to create beyond himself, and thus sue-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
18. Old and Young Women
WHY stealest thou along so furtively in the twilight, Zara-
thustra? 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 men."
'Talk also unto me of woman," said she; "I am old enough
to forget it presently."
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.
OLD AND YOUNG WOMEN 69
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 danger-
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 inner-
most 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 thee."
The happiness of man is, "I will." The happiness of woman
is, "He will."
70 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
"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
Man's soul, however, is deep, its current gusheth in subter-
ranean caverns : woman surmiseth its force, but comprehendeth
Then answered me the old woman: "Many fine things hath
Zarathustra said, especially for those who are young enough
Strange! Zarathustra knoweth little about woman, and yet
he is right about them! Doth this happen, because with women
nothing is impossible?
And now accept a little truth by way of thanks! I am old
enough for it!
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 woman:
"Thou goest to women? Do not forget thy whip!"
Thus spake Zarathustra.
79. 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
THE BITE OF THE ADDER
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 immoral.
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 little also!
And should a great injustice befall you, then do quickly five
small ones besides. Hideous to behold is he on whom injustice
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 trans-
gressor, 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
72 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
there always glanceth the executioner and his cold steel.
Tell me: where find we justice, which is love with seeing
Devise me, then, the love which not only beareth all punish-
ment, but also all guilt!
Devise me, then, the justice which acquitteth every one
except the judge!
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
Finally, my brethren, guard against doing wrong to any
anchorite. How could an anchorite forget! How could he
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 out again?
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?
CHILD AND MARRIAGE 73
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 iso-
lation? Or discord in thee?
I would have thy victory and freedom long for a child.
Living monuments shalt thou build to thy victory and emanci-
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 spon-
taneously 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 an-
other, 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 super-
fluous 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 in heaven.
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
74 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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
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
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 creating one!
* Thirst in the creating one, arrow and longing for the Super-
man: tell me, my brother, is this thy will to marriage?
Holy call I such a will, and such a marriage.
Thus spake Zarathustra.
VOLUNTARY DEATH 75
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
The consummating death I show unto you, which becometh
a stimulus and promise to the living.
His death, dieth the consummating one triumphantly, sur-
rounded 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
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 master.
My death, praise I unto you, the voluntary death, which
cometh unto me because 7 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.
76 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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
And whoever wanteth to have fame, must take leave of
honour betimes, and practise the difficult art of going at the
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 shrivelled.
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 rotten-
ness 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 "earthly."
Ah! ye preach patience with what is earthly? This earthly is
it that hath too much patience with you, ye blasphemers!
VOLUNTARY DEATH 77
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 early.
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
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 awk-
ward 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
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
In your dying shall your spirit and your virtue still shine like
an evening after-glow around the earth : otherwise your dying
hath been unsatisfactory.
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 bore me.
y8 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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 cross-
roads. 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 unpronting, 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 unpronting, beaming
is it, and soft of lustre: a bestowing virtue is the highest virtue.
THE BESTOWING VIRTUE 79
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, be-
cause 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 love.
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 selfishness.
With the eye of the thief it looketh upon all that is lustrous;
with the craving of hunger it measureth him who hath abun-
dance; and ever doth it prowl round the tables of bestowers.
Sickness speaketh in such craving, and invisible degenera-
tion; of a sickly body, speaketh the larcenous craving of this
Tell me, my brother, what do we think bad, and worst of
all? Is it not degeneration? And we always suspect degenera-
tion 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
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 the virtues.
Thus goeth the body through history, a becomer and fighter.
80 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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 overflowed! broad and full like the river,
a blessing and a danger to the lowlanders: there is the origin
of your virtue.
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 your virtue.
When ye despise pleasant things, and the effeminate couch,
and cannot couch far enough from the effeminate: there is the
origin of your virtue.
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 mur-
muring, 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 it.
Here paused Zarathustra awhile, and looked lovingly on
his disciples. Then he continued to speak thus and his voice
had changed :
THE BESTOWING VIRTUE 8l
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
Let it not fly away from the earthly and beat against eternal
walls with its wings! Ah, there hath always been so much
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 mean-
ing, a human meaning!
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 at-
tempted 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 mad-
ness, 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 creators!
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
A thousand paths are there which have never yet been
trodden; a thousand salubrities and hidden islands of life.
82 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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
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 new hope!
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! Per-
haps he hath deceived you.
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
THE BESTOWING VIRTUE 83
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 ad-
vance 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
"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.
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 Bestowing
Virtue" (p. 92).
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
One morning, however, he awoke ere the rosy dawn, and
having meditated long on his couch, at last spake thus to his
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 mirror!"
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 and derision.
Verily, all too well do I understand the dream's portent and
monition: my doctrine is in danger; tares want to be called
Mine enemies have grown powerful and have disfigured the
88 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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
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 over-
spread his countenance like the rosy dawn.
What hath happened unto me, mine animals? said Zara-
thustra. 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 me!
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 overflowed! 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
Utterance have I become altogether, and the brawling of a
brook from high rocks: downward into the valleys will I hurl
And let the stream of my love sweep into unfrequented
channels! How should a stream not finally find its way to the
THE CHILD WITH THE MIRROR 89
Forsooth, there is a lake in me, sequestered and self-sufficing;
but the stream of my love beareth this along with it, down to
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
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 laugh-
ters 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
Yea, ye also, my friends, will be alarmed by my wild wis-
dom; and perhaps ye will flee therefrom, along with mine
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 moun-
90 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
tains; on the rough stones did she bear the youngest of her
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
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 dis-
tant 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 your-
selves: and let that be your best creating!
IN THE HAPPY ISLES 91
God is a conjecture: but I should like your conjecturing re-
stricted 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 dis-
cerning ones? Neither in the inconceivable could ye have been
born, nor in the irrational.
But that I may reveal my heart entirely unto you, my friends:
// there were gods, how could I endure it to be no God! There-
fore there are no gods.
Yea, I have drawn the conclusion; now, however, doth it
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-
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 imperishable!
All the imperishable that's but a simile, and the poets lie
92 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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 perishable-
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
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 suff ereth 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 knowl-
edge, 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 stone!
THE PITIFUL 93
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: "Be-
hold Zarathustra! Walketh he not amongst us as if amongst
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
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 him-
self not to abash: bashfulness doth he enjoin himself in
presence of all sufferers.
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.
94 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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 some-
thing better did I always seem to do when I had learned to
enjoy myself better.
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 pride.
Great obligations do not make grateful, but revengeful; and
when a small kindness is not forgotten, it becometh a gnawing
"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
Beggars, however, one should entirely do away with! Verily,
it annoyeth one to give unto them, and it annoyeth one not to
give unto them.
And likewise sinners and bad consciences! Believe me, my
friends: the sting of conscience teacheth one to sting.
THE PITIFUL 95
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
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
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
96 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
with the pitiful? And what in the world hath caused more
suffering than the follies of the pitiful?
Woe unto all loving ones who have not an elevation which
is above their pity!
Thus spake the devil unto me, once on a time: "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 my-
self" 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
THE PRIESTS 97
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
But I suffer and have suffered with them: prisoners are they
unto me, and stigmatised ones. He whom they call Saviour put
them in fetters:
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 mon-
sters for mortals long slumbereth and waiteth the fate that is
But at last it cometh and awaketh and devoureth and en-
gulf eth whatever hath built tabernacles upon it.
Oh, just look at those tabernacles which those priests have
built themselves! Churches, they call their sweet-smelling
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,
Verily, rather would I see a shameless one than the dis-
torted 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 clear sky?
98 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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
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 me!
Naked, would I like to see them: for beauty alone should
preach penitence. But whom would that disguised affliction
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 called God.
In their pity was their spirit drowned; and when they
swelled and o'erswelled with pity, there always floated to the
surface a great folly.
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 hitherto been!
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
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
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.
2J. The Virtuous
WITH thunder and heavenly fireworks must one speak to in-
dolent and somnolent senses.
But beauty's voice speaketh gently: it appealeth only to the
most awakened souls.
100 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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 re-
ward for virtue, and heaven for earth, and eternity for your to-
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 own reward.
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
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
THE VIRTUOUS IOI
skin, or a cloak : that is the truth from the basis of your souls,
ye virtuous ones!
But sure enough there are those to whom virtue meaneth
writhing under the lash : and ye have hearkened too much unto
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
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 thereby!
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 revenged!"
With their virtues they want to scratch out the eyes of their
enemies; and they elevate themselves only that they may lower
And again there are those who sit in their swamp, and speak
IO2 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
thus from among the bulrushes: "Virtue that is to sit quietly
in the swamp.
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 police-
men are necessary.
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 virtue.
And some want to be edified and raised up, and call it
virtue: and others want to be cast down, and likewise call
And thus do almost all think that they participate in virtue;
and at least every one claimeth to be an authority on "good"
But Zarathustra came not to say unto all those liars and
fools: "What do ye know of virtue! What could ye know of
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," "retri-
bution," "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!
THE RABBLE 103
Verily, I have taken from you a hundred formulae and your
virtue's favourite playthings; and now ye upbraid me, as
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,
tnere 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 words.
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
104 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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 fruit.
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 camel-drivers.
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-
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
And on the rulers turned I my back, when I saw what they
now call ruling: to traffic and bargain for power with the
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 yester-
days and todays: verily, badly smell all yesterdays and todays
of the scribbling rabble!
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
THE RABBLE 105
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
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 want-
ing to fill it!
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 wicked-
ness of my snowflakes in June! Summer have I become entirely,
A summer on the loftiest height, with cold fountains and
blissful stillness: oh, come, my friends, that the stillness may
become more blissful!
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 purity.
106 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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-par-
takers! Fire, would they think they devoured, and burn their
Verily, no abodes do we here keep ready for the impure! An
ice-cave to their bodies would our happiness be, and to their
And as strong winds will we live above them, neighbours to
the eagles, neighbours to the snow, neighbours to the sun: thus
live the strong winds.
And like a wind will I one day blow amongst them, and with
my spirit, take the breath from their spirit: thus willeth my
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
Thus spake Zarathustra.
29. The Tarantulas
Lo, THIS is the tarantula's den! Would'st thou see the taran-
tula itself? Here hangeth its web: touch this, so that it may
There cometh the tarantula willingly: Welcome, tarantula!
Black on thy back is thy triangle and symbol; and I know also
what is in thy soul.
THE TARANTULAS IOy
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 revengeful ones!
But I will soon bring your hiding-places to the light: there-
fore 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
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
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
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 in-
spireth them but vengeance. And when they become subtle
and cold, it is not spirit, but envy, that maketh them so.
108 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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 coun-
tenances 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
My friends, I will not be mixed up and confounded with
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 be-
cause 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
Were it otherwise, then would the tarantulas teach other-
wise: and they themselves were formerly the best world-
maligners and heretic-burners.
With these preachers of equality will I not be mixed up and
confounded. For thus speaketh justice unto me: "Men are not
And neither shall they become so! What would be my love
to the Superman, if I spake otherwise?
THE TARANTULAS 109
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 re-
quire 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 parable.
How divinely do vault and arch here contrast in the struggle:
how with light and shade they strive against each other, the
divinely striving ones.
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
"Punishment must there be, and justice" so thinketh it:
110 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
"not gratuitously shall he here sing songs in honour of
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 vengeance!
Verily, no cyclone or whirlwind is Zarathustra: and if he
be a dancer, he is not at all a tarantula-dancer!
Thus spake Zarathustra.
jo. 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 you reverence.
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 en-
joy eth their presumptuousness.
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 the woods.
To hunt him out of his lair that was always called "sense
of right" by the people: on him do they still hound their
"For there the truth is, where the people are! Woe, woe to
the seeking ones!" thus hath it echoed through all time.
THE FAMOUS WISE ONES III
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 con-
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 re-
poseth under shady trees.
But his thirst doth not persuade him to become like those
comfortable ones: for where there are oases, there are also
Hungry, fierce, lonesome, God-forsaken: so doth the lion-
will wish itself.
Free from the happiness of slaves, redeemed from deities
and adorations, fearless and fear-inspiring, grand and lone-
some: 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.
112 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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 harness.
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 vir-
tue 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 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 conse-
crated with tears as a sacrificial victim, did ye know that be-
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 before?
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:
THE NIGHT-SONG 1 13
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 happi-
ness of the alarm of the spirit. And he who is not a bird should
not camp above abysses.
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 in*-
Have ye ne'er seen a sail crossing the sea, rounded and ini-
tiated, 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.
. 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
114 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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 light!
And you yourselves would I bless, ye twinkling starlets and
glow-worms aloft! and would rejoice in the gifts of your
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
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 bridged over.
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 hesi-
tateth 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
THE NIGHT-SONG 115
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
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 shining ones!
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: un-
pityingly 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 light's udders!
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.
Il6 THUS SPAKE 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, how-
ever, approached them with friendly mien and spake these
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 cypresses.
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 su-
premest, powerfulest devil, who is said to be "lord of the
THE DANCE-SONG Iiy
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 un-
fathomable 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 virtuous one :
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 virtuous ones!"
Thus did she laugh, the unbelievable one; but never do I be-
lieve 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 wiliest, 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 be-
cause 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 Wis-
dom?" then said I eagerly: "Ah, yes! Wisdom!
Il8 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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
When I had said this unto Life, then laughed she mali-
ciously, 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
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
Thus sang Zarathustra.
THE GRAVE-SONG 119
'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 lone-
somest 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 unto me?
Still am I your love's heir and heritage, blooming to your
memory with many-hued, wild-growing virtues, O ye dearest
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
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
120 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
hopes! Yea, at you, ye dearest ones, did malice ever shoot its
arrows to hit my heart!
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 early!
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 glance!
But this word will I say unto mine enemies : What is all man-
slaughter 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,
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
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 fkd!
"All days shall be holy unto me" so spake once the wis-
dom 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
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?
THE GRAVE-SONG 121
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 old footpath.
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: be-
yond all heavens did I want to dance. Then did ye seduce my
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 in-
strument! 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 re-
mained unspoken in my limbs!
Unspoken and unrealised hath my highest hope remained!
And there have perished for me all the visions and consolations
of my youth!
122 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
How did I ever bear it? How did I survive and surmount
such wounds? How did my soul rise again out of those sepul-
Yea, something invulnerable, unburiable is with me, some-
thing 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
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 im-
pelleth you and maketh you ardent?
Will for the thinkableness of all being: thus do / call your
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
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
Onward the river now carrieth your boat: it must carry it. A
small matter if the rough wave foameth and angrily resisteth
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 living things.
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 unto me.
But wherever I found living things, there heard I also the
language of obedience. All living things are obeying things.
124 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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 there-
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 victim.
How doth this happen! So did I ask myself. What persuadeth
the living thing to obey, and command, and even be obedient in
Hearken now unto my word, ye wisest ones! Test it seri-
ously, whether I have crept into the heart of life itself, and into
the roots of its heart!
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
That to the stronger the weaker shall serve thereto per-
suadeth 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 stealeth power.
And this secret spake Life herself unto me. "Behold," said
she, "I am that which must ever surpass its el j.
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 foot-
step of my will: verily, my Will to Power walketh even on the
feet of thy Will to Truth!
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
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 ever-
lasting it doth not exist! Of its own accord must it ever
surpass itself anew.
126 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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.
. The Sublime Ones
CALM is the bottom of my sea: who would guess that it hideth
Unmoved is my depth: but it sparkleth with swimming
enigmas and laughters.
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.
THE SUBLIME ONES I2J
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
As a tiger doth he ever stand, on the point of springing; but
I do not like those strained souls; ungracious is my taste to-
wards 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
Taste: that is weight at the same time, and scales and
weigher; and alas for every living thing that would live with-
out 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 him savoury.
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 peni-
tent of the spirit became pale; he almost starved on his expec-
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 sunshine.
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.
128 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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 transform them.
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
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 most here.
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 LAND OF CULTURE 129
The virtue of the pillar shalt thou strive after: more beauti-
ful 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 aban-
doned it, then only approacheth it in dreams the super-
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 de-
sire: 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-
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.
130 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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 scraps.
All times and peoples gaze divers-coloured out of your veils;
all customs and beliefs speak divers-coloured out of your ges-
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
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 the nether- worldlings!
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
For thus speak ye: "Real are we wholly, and without faith
and superstition": thus do ye plume yourselves alas! even
Indeed, how would ye be able to believe, ye divers-coloured
THE LAND OF CULTURE 131
ones! ye who are pictures of all that hath ever been believed!
Perambulating refutations are ye, of belief itself, and a dis-
location of all thought. Untrustworthy ones: thus do / call you,
ye real ones!
All periods prate against one another in your spirits; and
the dreams and pratings of all periods were even realer than
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
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 himself therefrom!
"Amazing is the poverty of my ribs!" thus 'hath spoken many
a present-day man.
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 weari-
Ah, whither shall I now ascend with my longing! From all
mountains do I look out for fatherlands and motherlands.
132 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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 motherlands.
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.
. 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
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
IMMACULATE PERCEPTION 133
along over the ground. Lo! cat-like doth the moon come along,
This parable speak I unto you sentimental dissemblers, unto
you, the "pure discerners!" You do / 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
"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 se-
duced 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
Verily, not as creators, as procreators, or as jubilators do ye
love the earth!
Where is innocence? Where there is will to procreation.
And he who seeketh to create beyond himself, hath for me the
134 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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 "con-
templation!" And that which can be examined with cowardly
eyes is to be christened "beautiful!" Oh, ye violators of noble
But it shall be your curse, ye immaculate ones, ye pure dis-
cerners, 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
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
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 Zarathus-
tra 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
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
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 ivould it be by the thirst of the sun;
vapour would it become, and height, and path of light, and
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
It said this, and went away clumsily and proudly. A child
told it to me.
136 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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-
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 steps.
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
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 sum-
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 in it!
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
I saw them always prepare their poison with precaution;
and always did they put glass gloves on their fingers in doing
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
But nevertheless I walk with my thoughts above their heads;
138 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
and even should I walk on mine own errors, still would I be
above them and their heads.
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 sym-
bolically spirit; and all the 'imperishable' that is also but a
"So have I heard thee say once before," answered the dis-
ciple, "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 ex-
perienced 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
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 to lie.
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
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 wf
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 them-
selves, before all mortals!
Ah, there are so many things betwixt heaven and earth of
which only the poets have dreamed!
140 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
And especially above the heavens: for all gods are poet-
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
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 breath.
I am of today and heretofore, said he thereupon; but some-
thing 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,
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
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 swamp.
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 vanity!
Spectators seeketh the spirit of the poet should they even
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 the poets.
Thus spake Zarathustra.
142 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
ishore to shoot rabbits. About the noontide hour, however,
r/hen 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, how-
ever, like a shadow, in the direction of the volcano) , then did
they recognise with the greatest surprise that it was Zarathus-
tra; 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 equal degree.
"Behold!" said the old helmsman, "there goeth Zarathustra
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
Thus there arose some uneasiness. After three days, how-
ever, there came the story of the ship's crew in addition to this
GREAT EVENTS 143
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
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": con-
cerning him men have greatly deceived themselves, and let
themselves be deceived.
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 embit-
tered 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,
Ye understand how to roar and obscure with ashes! Ye are
the best braggarts, and have sufficiently learned the art of
making dregs boil.
144 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
Where ye are, there must always be dregs at hand, and much
that is spongy, hollow, and compressed: it wanteth to have
'Freedom' ye all roar most eagerly: but I have unlearned the
belief in 'great events,' when there is much roaring and smoke
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 in-
ventors of new values, doth the world revolve; maudibly it
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,
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
GREAT EVENTS 145
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 crea-
ture 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 theheart of the
Gold doth his breath exhale, and golden rain: so doth his
heart desire. What are ashes and smoke ind 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
But it may have been my shadow. Ye have surely heard some-
thing of the Wanderer and his Shadow?
146 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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 hath been!'
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
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.
THE SOOTHSAYER 147
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 fore-
boding touched his heart and transformed him. Sorrowfully
did he go about and wearily; and he became like unto those of
whom the soothsayer had spoken.
Verily, said he unto his disciples, a little while, and there
cometh the long twilight. Alas, how shall I preserve my light
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
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 Death.
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
148 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
and dust-covered lay my soul. And who could have aired his
Brightness of midnight was ever around me; lonesomeness
cowered beside her; and as a third, death-rattle stillness, the
worst of my female friends.
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: ungra-
ciously 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 malignant silence.
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 me.
Thrice did there peal peals at the gate like thunders, thrice
did the vaults resound and howl again: then did I go to the
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
Fearfully was I terrified thereby: it prostrated me. And I
cried with horror as I ne'er cried before.
THE SOOTHSAYER 149
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 dis-
ciple whom he loved most arose quickly, seized Zarathustra's
hand, and said:
"Thy life itself interpreteth unto us this dream, O Zara-
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-watch-
men and grave-guardians, and whoever else rattleth with sinis-
With thy laughter wilt thou frighten and prostrate them:
fainting and recovering wilt thou demonstrate thy power over
And when the long twilight cometh and the mortal weari-
ness, even then wilt thou not disappear from our firmament,
thou advocate of life!
New stars hast thou made us see, and new nocturnal glories:
verily, laughter itself hast thou spread out over us like a many-
Now will children's laughter ever from coffins flow; now
will a strong wind ever come victoriously unto all mortal weari-
ness: 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 earnest to thyself, so
shall they awaken from themselves and come unto thee!"
Thus spake the disciple; and all the others then thronged
150 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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
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 him :
"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, in-
flicted! 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 Zara-
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
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 ac-
152 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
tually 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 fur-
ther 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 dejec-
tion, 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-
And when mine eye fleeth from the present to the bygone, it
findeth ever the same: fragments and limbs and fearful chances
but no men!
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 in-
heritor? A harvest? Or a ploughshare? A physician? Or a
Is he a poet? Or a genuine one? An emancipator? Or a sub-
jugator? A good one? Or an evil one?
I walk amongst men as the fragments of the future: that
future which I contemplate.
And it is all my poetisation and aspiration to compose and
collect into unity what is fragment and riddle and fearful
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
154 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
Thus did the Will, the emancipator, become a torturer; and
on all that is capable of suffering it taketh revenge, because it
cannot go backward.
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
f eigneth a good conscience.
And because in the wilier 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 every-
thing 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
Unless the Will should at last deliver itself, and Willing
become non-Willing :" but ye know, my brethren, this fabu-
lous song of madness!
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 some-
thing 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 Zara-
thustra suddenly paused, and looked like a person in the great-
est 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
"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 disciples?"
156 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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 unto himself?"
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 will.
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 depth!
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
I know not you men: this gloom and consolation is often
spread around me.
I sit at the gateway for every rogue, and ask : Who wisheth
to deceive me?
This is my first manly prudence, that I allow myself to be
deceived, so as not to be on my guard against deceivers.
MANLY PRUDENCE 157
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
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
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
They represent themselves, they invent themselves; in their
neighbourhood I like to look upon life it cureth of mel-
Therefore am I forbearing to the vain, because they are the
physicians of my melancholy, and keep me attached to man
as to a drama.
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 modesty.
158 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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,
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 virgin forests!
Out of your wild cats must tigers have evolved, and out of
your poison-toads, crocodiles: for the good hunter shall have a
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 devil!"
So alien are ye in your souls to what is great, that to you the
Superman would be frightful in his goodness!
THE STILLEST HOUR 159
And ye wise and knowing ones, ye would flee from the solar-
glow of the wisdom in which the Superman joyfully batheth his
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 Super-
A horror came over me when I saw those best ones naked :
then there grew for me the pinions to soar away into distant
Into more distant futures, into more southern souths than
ever artist dreamed of: thither, where gods are ashamed of all
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!
160 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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
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 terrified.
Then was there spoken unto me without voice: "Thou
knowest it, Zarathustra?"
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
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
THE STILLEST HOUR l6l
matter about thyself, Zarathustra! Speak thy word, and suc-
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
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 moun-
tains, 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 silent."
And I answered: "They mocked me when I found and
walked in mine own path; and certainly did my feet then
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 com-
mandeth great things.
To execute great things is difficult: but the more difficult
task is to command great things.
1 62 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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 command-
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 fore-
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
And I considered a long while, and trembled. At last, how-
ever, 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 Zara-
thustra, thy fruits are ripe, but thou art not ripe for thy fruits!
So must thou go again into solitude: for thou shalt yet be-
And again was there a laughing, and it fled: then did it be-
come 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
THE STILLEST HOUR 163
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 de-
parture 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 friends.
THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
"Ye look aloft when ye long for
exaltation, and I look downward be-
cause 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" (p. 56).
. 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 Zara-
thustra thus ascended the mountain, he thought on the way of
his many solitary wanderings from youth onwards, and how
many mountains and ridges and summits he had" already
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
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 accidents.
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
l68 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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
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 up-
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-
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 every-
thing, and its background: thus must thou mount even above
thyself up, upwards, until thou hast even thy stars under
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!
THE WANDERER 169
Thus spake Zarathustra to himself while ascending, com-
forting 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 noc-
turnal 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 height.
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 be-
come 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
IJO THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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 con-
fiding one! But thus hast thou ever been: ever hast thou ap-
proached 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,
// // only live! Laughable, verily, is my folly and my modesty in
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 Zara-
THE VISION AND THE ENIGMA
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, how-
ever, 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 fur-
ther. Zarathustra, however, was fond of all those who make
distant voyages, and dislike to live without danger. And be-
hold! when listening, his own tongue was at last loosened, and
the ice of his heart broke. Their 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 lonesomest one.
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
172 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
cheered, a mountain-path, crunched under the daring of my
Mutely marching over the scornful clinking of pebbles,
trampling the stone that let it slip : thus did my foot force its
Upwards: in spite of the spirit that drew it downwards,
towards the abyss, the spirit of gravity, my devil and arch-
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!
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 Zara-
thustra, far indeed threwest thbu 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 when alone!
1 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
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.
THE VISION AND THE ENIGMA 173
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-suffer-
ing. Fellow-suffering, however, is the deepest abyss: as deeply
as man looketh into life, so deeply also doth he look into suf-
Courage, however, is the best slayer, courage which at-
tacketh: it slayeth even death itself; for it saith: "Was that
life? Well! Once more!"
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! // 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 of.
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.
174 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
that they come together. The name of the gateway is inscribed
above: 'This Moment.'
But should one follow them further and ever further and
further on, thinkest thou, dwarf, that these roads would be
"Everything straight lieth," murmured the dwarf, con-
temptuously. "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 gate-
way, This Moment, there runneth a long eternal lane back-
wards: behind us lieth an eternity.
Must not whatever can run its course of all things, have
already run along that lane? Must not whatever can happen of
all things have already happened, resulted, and gone by?
And if everything has already existed, what thinkest thou,
dwarf, of This Moment? Must not this gateway also have
And are not all things closely bound together in such wise
that This Moment draweth all coming things after it? Conse-
quently 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 whisper-
ing together, whispering of eternal things must we not all
have already existed?
And must we not return and run in that other lane out
before us, that long weird lane must we not eternally re-
Thus did I speak, and always more softly: for I was afraid
THE VISION AND THE ENIGMA 175
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 mid-
night, when even dogs believe in ghosts :
So that it excited my commiseration. For just then went
the full moon, silent as death, over the house; just then did it
stand still, a glowing globe at rest on the flat roof, as if on
some one's property:
Thereby had the dog been terrified: for dogs believe in
thieves and ghosts. And when I again heard such howling, then
did it excite my commiseration once more.
Where was now the dwarf? And the gateway? And the
spider? And all the whispering? Had I dreamt? Had I
awakened? 'Twixt rugged rocks did I suddenly stand alone,
dreary in the dreariest moonlight.
But there lay a man! And there! The dog leaping, bristling,
whining now did it see me coming then did it howl again,
then did it cry: had I ever heard a dog cry so for help?
And verily, what I saw, the like had I never seen. A young
shepherd did I see, writhing, choking, quivering, with dis-
torted countenance, and with a heavy black serpent hanging
out of his mouth.
Had I ever seen so much loathing and pale horror on one
countenance? He had perhaps gone to sleep? Then had the
serpent crawled into his throat there had it bitten itself fast.
My hand pulled at the serpent, and pulled: in vain! I
failed to pull the serpent out of his throat. Then there cried out
of me: "Bite! Bite!
Its head off! Bite!" so cried it out of me; my horror, my
Ij6 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
hatred, my loathing, my pity, all my good and my bad cried
with one vcice out of me.-
Ye daring ones around me! Ye venturers and adventurers,
and whoever of you have embarked with cunning sails on unex-
plored seas! Ye enigma-en joyers!
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 thus crawl?
The shepherd however bit as my cry had admonished
him; he bit with a strong bite! Far away did he spit the head of
the serpent: and sprang up.
No longer shepherd, no longer man a transfigured being, a
light-surrounded being, that laughed! Never on earth laughed
a man as he laughed!
O my 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.
INVOLUNTARY BLISS 177
. 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 sur-
mounted 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
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 hap pi-
ness 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 hospitable souls.
O afternoon of my life! What did I not surrender that I
might have one thing: this living plantation of my thoughts,
and this dawn of my highest hope!
Companions did the 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 perfect himself.
THUS SPAKE 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 Happy Isles!
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 taketb in
So that he may one day become my companion, a fellow-
creator and fellow-en joyer with Zarathustra: such a one as
writeth my will on my tables, for the fuller perfection of all
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 recogni-
And verily, it were time that I went away; and the wan-
derer'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!"
INVOLUNTARY BLISS 179
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. / possess
you, my children! In this possessing shall everything be assur-
ance and nothing desire.
But brooding lay the sun of my love upon me, in his own
juice stewed Zarathustra, then did shadows and doubts fly
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
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
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 thee up!
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!
180 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
Meanwhile do I sail along on uncertain seas; chance flat-
tereth me, smooth-tongued chance; forward and backward do
I gaze , still see I no end.
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 be-
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
There, already approacheth eventide: the sun sinketh.
Away my happiness!
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.'
BEFORE SUNRISE l8l
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 earnest 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
We do not speak to each other, because we know too
much : we keep silent to each other, we smile our knowl-
edge 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 uncloud-
Uncloudedly to smile down out of luminous eyes and out
of miles of distance, when under us constraint and purpose
and guilt stream like rain.
And wandered I alone, for what did my soul hunger by
night and in labyrinthine paths? And climbed I mountains,
whom did I ever seek, if not thee, upon mountains?
182 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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 theel
And what have I hated more than passing clouds, and what-
ever tainteth thee? And mine own hatred have I even hated,
because it tainted thee!
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 kettle-bellies:
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
BEFORE SUNRISE 183
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 blessing.
This, however, is my blessing: to stand above everything
as its own heaven, its round roof, its azure bell and eternal
security: and blessed is he who thus blesseth!
For all things are baptized at the font of eternity, and be-
yond 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 wan-
"Of Hazard" that is the oldest nobility in the world; that
gave I back to all things; I emancipated them from bondage
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
184 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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-
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
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 us part!
O heaven above me, thou modest one! thou glowing one! O
thou, my happiness before sunrise! The day cometh: so let us
Thus spake Zarathustra.
. 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 :
THE BEDWA RFIN G VIRTUE 185
'What do these houses me^ ? Verily, no great soul put them
up as its simile!
Did perhaps a silly child take them out f its toy-box?
Would that another child put them a g ain in to the box!
And these rooms and cha mbers can men go out and in
there? They seem to be made f or silk dolls; or for dainty-eaters,
who perhaps let others eat wifh them.'
And Zarathustra stood stif 1 and meditated. At last he said
sorrowfully: "There hath evPy*hg become smaller!
Everywhere do I see lower doorways: he who is of my type
can still go therethrough, but he mu $t stoop!
Oh, when shall I arrive ag ain at m 7 home, where I shall no
longer have to stoop shall ri longer have to stoop before the
small ones!" And Zarathu stra sighed, and gazed into the
The same day, however, l ie 3 ay e his discourse on the be-
I pass through this people ^d keep mine eyes open: they
do not forgive me for not ending their virtues.
They bite at me, because J sa 7 unto them that for small
people, small virtues are nece ssar y 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 t^t a ccount I am not unfriendly
to the hens.
I am courteous towards tr iem > ^ towards all small annoy-
ances; to be prickly toward, 5 wna t is small, seemeth to me
wisdom for hedgehogs.
l86 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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
And recently did a woman seize upon her child that was
coming unto me: 'Take the children away," cried she, "such
eyes scorch children's souls."
They cough when I speak: they think coughing an objec-
tion to strong winds they divine nothing of the boisterous-
ness of my happiness!
"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
Ask my foot if their lauding and luring strains please it!
Verily, to such measure and ticktack, it liketh neither to dance
nor to stand still.
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 com-
THE BEDWARFING VIRTUE 187
To be sure, they also learn in their way to stride on and stride
forward: that, I call their hobbling. Thereby they become a
hindrance to all who are in haste.
And many of them go forward, and look backwards thereby,
with stiffened necks : those do I like to run up against.
Foot and eye shall not lie, nor give the lie to each other. But
there is much lying among small people.
Some of them will, but most of them are willed. Some of
them are genuine, but most of them are bad actors.
There are actors without knowing it amongst them, and
actors without intending it , the genuine ones are always
rare, especially the genuine actors.
Of man there is little here: therefore do their women mascu-
linise themselves. For only he who is man enough, will save
the woman in woman.
And this hypocrisy found I worst amongst them, that even
those who command feign the virtues of those who serve.
"I serve, thou servest, we serve" so chanteth here even the
hypocrisy of the rulers and alas! if the first lord be only the
Ah, even upon their hypocrisy did mine eyes' curiosity
alight; and well did I divine all their fly-happiness, and their
buzzing around sunny window-panes.
So much kindness, so much weakness do I see. So much jus-
tice 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
Modestly to embrace a small happiness that do they call
"submission"! and at the same time they peer modestly after
a new small happiness.
In their hearts they want simply one thing most of all : that
188 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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 / hear therein only their hoarseness every draught of
air maketh them hoarse.
Shrewd indeed are they, their virtues have shrewd fingers.
But they lack fists: their fingers do not know how to creep
Virtue for them is what maketh modest and tame: there-
with 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
That, however, is mediocrity, though it be called modera-
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."
THE BEDWARFING VIRTUE 189
And especially do their teachers* of submission shout this;
but precisely in their ears do I love to cry: 'Yea! I am Zara-
thustra, the godless!"
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 his teaching?"
I am Zarathustra the godles's: 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
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 friend!"
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 omis-
sions, 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 the future.
THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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 /'/ taketh to itself,
and will ever take more and more from you!
Ah, that ye would renounce all half- willing, and would de-
cide 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 themselves
Such as love with great love, such as love with great con-
tempt!" 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 dark lanes.
But their hour cometh! And there cometh also mine! Hourly
do they become smaller, poorer, unfruitfuller, poor herbs!
And soon shall they stand before me like dry grass and
prairie, and verily, weary of themselves and panting for fire,
more than for water!
O blessed hour of the lightning! O mystery before noontide!
Running fires will I one day make of them, and heralds with
Herald shall they one day with flaming tongues: It
cometh, it is nigh, the great noontide!
Thus spake Zarathustra.
ON THE OLIVE-MOUNT 191
. 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 him!
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
For he sufTereth 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 wor-
ship, 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 house.
Heartily, verily, even when I creep into bed : there, still
laugh eth and wantoneth my hidden happiness; even my decep-
tive dream laugheth.
I, a creeper? Never in my life did I creep before the power-
ful; and if ever I lied, then did I lie out of love. Therefore am
I glad even in my winter-bed.
192 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
A poor bed warmeth me more than a rich one, for I am jeal-
ous 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
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
The winter-sky, the silent winter-sky, which often stifleth
even its sun!
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 once only!
A good roguish thing is also the long silence, and to look,
like the winter-sky, out of a clear, round-eyed countenance:
Like it to stifle one's sun, and one's inflexible solar will:
verily, this art and this winter-roguishness have I learned well!
My best-loved wickedness and art is it, that my silence hath
learned not to betray itself by silence.
Clattering with diction and dice, I outwit the solemn assist-
ants: 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
ON THE OLIVE-MOUNT 193
Many a shrewd one did I find : he veiled his countenance and
made his water muddy, that no one might see therethrough
But precisely unto him came the shrewder distrusters and
nut-crackers: precisely from him did they fish his best-con-
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
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
They hear only the whistling of my winter-storms: and
know not that I also travel over warm seas, like longing, heavy,
They commiserate also my accidents and chances: but my
word saith: "Suffer the chance to come unto me: innocent is
it as a little child!"
How could they endure my happiness, if I did not put
around it accidents, and winter-privations, and bear-skin caps,
and enmantling snowflakes!
If I did not myself commiserate their pity, the pity of
those enviers and injurers!
194 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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 chilblains either.
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 they mourn.
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.
. On Pas sing- 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 un-
awares 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 some-
thing of the expression and modulation of language, and per-
ON PASSING-BY 195
haps 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 sensations rattle!
Srnellest thou not already the shambles and cookshops of
the spirit? Steameth not this city with the fumes of slaughtered
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 in-
flame one another, and know not why! They tinkle with their
pinchbeck, they jingle with their gold.
They are cold, and seek warmth from distilled waters: they
are inflamed, and seek coolness from frozen spirits; they are
all sick and sore through public opinion.
All lusts and vices are here at home; but here there are also
the virtuous; there is much appointable appointed virtue:
Much appointable virtue with scribe-fingers, and hardy
sitting-flesh and waiting-flesh, blessed with small breast-stars,
and padded, haunchless daughters.
There is here also much piety, and much faithful spittle-
licking and spittle-backing, before the God of Hosts.
196 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
"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 appoint-
able virtue to the prince: that the merited star may at last stick
on the slender breast!
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 Zara-
thusfra! 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 ambi-
Where everything maimed, ill-famed, lustful, untrustful,
over-mellow, sickly-yellow and seditious, festereth perni-
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!
ON PASSING-BY 197
Why didst thou live so long by the swamp, that thou thy-
self 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 grunt-
That thou mightest have cause for much vengeance! For
vengeance, thou vain fool, is all thy foaming; I have divined
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.
198 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
This precept, however, give I unto thee, in parting, thou
fool: Where one can no longer love, there should one pass
Thus spake Zarathustra, and passed by the fool and the
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 become pious."
Of late did I see them run forth at early morn with valorous
steps : but the feet of their knowledge became weary, and now
do they malign even their morning valour!
Verily, many of them once lifted their legs like the dancer;
to them winked the laughter of my wisdom: then did they
beth'nk 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
THE APOSTATES 199
yearningly-long for me in vain, and for my trumpet-notes and
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
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
His second companions, however they will call themselves
his believers, will be a living host, with much love, much
folly, much unbearded veneration.
To those believers shall he who is of my type among men
not bind his heart; in those spring-times and many-hued
meadows shall he not believe, who knoweth the fickiy faint-
hearted human species!
Could they do otherwise, then would they also will other-
wise. 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
Blow amongst those leaves, O Zarathustra, that every-
thing withered may run away from thee the faster!
"We have again become pious" so do those apostates con-
fess; and some of them are still too pusillanimous thus to
200 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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
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 pray!
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 God!"
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 cur-
tain, 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 of devotees.
They sit for long evenings beside one another, and say: "Let
us again become like little children and say, 'good God!'
ruined in mouths and stomachs by the pious confectioners.
Or they look for long evenings at a crafty, lurking cross-
THE APOSTATES 2OI
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 away entirely!
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-
"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 him-
self prove it! I have long wished that he would for once prove
"Prove? As if he had ever proved anything! Proving is diffi-
cult 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!"
202 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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
Verily, it will be my death yet to choke with laughter when
I see asses drunken, and hear night-watchmen thus doubt
Hath the time not long since passed for all such doubts?
Who may nowadays awaken such old slumbering, light-shun-
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 him-
self in such wise:
And all the gods then laughed, and shook upon their
thrones, and exclaimed: "Is it not just divinity that there are
gods, but no God?"
He that hath an ear let him hear.
Thus talked Zarathustra in the city he loved, which is sur-
named "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.
THE RETURN HOME
. 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 me!
One thing is forsakenness, another matter is lonesomeness :
that hast thou now learned! And that amongst men thou wilt
ever be wild and strange:
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 things directly!
Another matter, however, is forsakenness. For, dost thou re-
member, O Zarathustra? When thy bird screamed overhead,
204 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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 forsaken-
O lonesomeness! My home, lonesomeness! How blessedly
c.nd 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, for-
getting and passing-by are the best wisdom : that have I learned
THE RETURN HOME 205
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 fetched! pure breath!
How it hearkeneth, this blessed stillness!
But down there there speaketh everything, there is every-
thing 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 today.
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
206 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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
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
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 mountains.
With blessed nostrils do I again breathe mountain-freedom.
THE THREE EVIL THINGS 2OJ
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.
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 world.
Alas, that the rosy dawn came too early to me: she glowed
me awake, the jealous one! Jealous is she always of the glows of
Measurable by him who hath time, weighable by a good
weigher, attainable by strong pinions, divinable by divine nut-
crackers: 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 more force."
How confidently did my dream contemplate this finite
208 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
world, not new-fangledly, not old-fangledly, not timidly, not
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 solu-
tion enough to put to sleep human wisdom: a humanly good
thing was the world to me to-day, of which such bad things are
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 heart-comforter!
And that I may do the like by day, and imitate and copy its
best, now will I put the three worst things on the scales, and
weigh them humanly well.
He who taught to bless taught also to curse: what are the
three best cursed things in the world? These will I put on the
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
Well! here is my promontory, and there is the sea /'/
rolleth hither unto me, shaggily and f awningly, the old, faith-
ful, hundred-headed dog-monster that I love!
Well! Here will I hold the scales over the weltering sea: and
THE THREE EVIL THINGS 209
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 ques-
tions have I thrown in; three heavy answers carrieth the other
Voluptuousness : unto all hair-shirted despisers of the body,
a sting and stake; and, cursed as "the world," by all back-
worldsmen: for it mocketh and befooleth all erring, misin-
Voluptuousness: to the rabble, the slow fire at which it is
burnt; to all wormy wood, to all stinking rags, the prepared
heat and stew furnace.
Voluptuousness: to free hearts, a thing innocent and free,
the garden-happiness of the earth, all the future's thanks-over-
flow to the present.
Voluptuousness: only to the withered a sweet poison; to
the lion-willed, however, the great cordial, and the reverently
saved wine of wines.
Voluptuousness : the great symbolic happiness of a higher
happiness and highest hope. For to many is marriage promised,
and more than marriage,
To many that are more unknown to each other than man
and woman: and who hath fully understood how unknown
to each other are man and woman!
Voluptuousness: but I will have hedges around my
210 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
thoughts, and even around my words, lest swine and liber-
tine should break into my gardens!
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 up-
breaketh all that is rotten and hollow; the rolling, rumbling,
punitive demolisher of whited sepulchres; the flashing inter-
rogative-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
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
Passion for power: which, however, mounteth alluringly
even to the pure and lonesome, and up to self-satisfied eleva-
tions, glowing like a love that painteth purple felicities allur-
ingly on earthly heavens.
Passion for power: but who would call it passion, when the
height longeth to stoop for power! Verily, nothing sick or dis-
eased is there in such longing and descending!
That the lonesome height may not forever remain lone-
some 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
THE THREE EVIL THINGS 211
for such longing! "Bestowing virtue" thus did Zarathustra
once name the unnamable.
And then it happened also, and verily, it happened for the
first time! that his word blessed selfishness, the wholesome,
healthy selfishness, that springeth from the powerful soul:
From the powerful soul, to which the high body apper-
taineth, 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 hap-
piness 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 advantage.
It despiseth also all bitter-sweet wisdom: for verily, there is
also wisdom that bloometh in the dark, a night-shade wisdom,
which ever sigheth: "All is vain!"
Shy distrust is regarded by it as base, and every one who
wanteth oaths instead of looks and hands: also all over-dis-
trustful 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
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, che all-
satisfied one: for that is the mode of slaves.
212 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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, hov/ever, 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
But to all those cometh now the day, the change, the sword
of judgment, the great noontide: then shall many things be
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
Thus spake Zarathustra.
THE SPIRIT OF GRAVITY 213
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 be-
devilled 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
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 ex-
pressive, the heart wakeful: those do I not resemble.
214 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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 / teach.
Not, to be sure, with the love of the sick and infected, for
with them stinketh even self-love!
One must learn to love oneself thus do I teach with a
wholesome and healthy love: that one may endure to be with
oneself, and not go roving about.
Such roving about christeneth itself "brotherly love"; with
these words hath there hitherto been the best lying and dis-
sembling, and especially by those who have been burdensome
to every one.
And verily, it is no commandment for today and tomorrow
to learn to love oneself. Rather is it of all arts the finest,
subtlest, last and patientest.
For to its possessor is all possession well concealed, and of all
treasure-pits one's own is last excavated so causeth the spirit
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 sufTereth one little children to come unto one,
THE SPIRIT OF GRAVITY 215
to forbid them betimes to love themselves so causeth the
spirit of gravity.
And we we bear loyally what is apportioned unto us, on
hard shoulders, over rugged mountains! And when we sweat,
then do people say to us: "Yea, life is hard to bear!"
But man himself only is hard to bear! The reason thereof
is that he carrieth too many extraneous things on his shoul-
ders. Like the camel kneeleth he down, and letteth himself be
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 con-
cealed goodness and power is never dreamt of; the choicest
dainties find no tasters!
Women know that, the choicest of them: a little fatter a
little leaner oh, how much fate is in so little!
Man is difficult to discover, and unto himself most difficult
of all; often lieth the spirit concerning the soul. So causeth the
spirit of gravity.
He, however, hath discovered himself who saith: This is my
good and evil: therewith hath he silenced the mole and the
dwarf, who say: "Good for all, evil for all."
Verily, neither do I like those who call everything good, and
this world the best of all. Those do I call the all-satisfied.
2l6 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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 genu-
ine 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.
\7ith 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
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
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,
THE SPIRIT OF GRAVITY 2iy
must first learn standing and walking and running and climb-
ing 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-
By divers ways and wendings did I arrive at my truth; not
by one ladder did I mount to the height where mine eye roveth
into my remoteness.
And unwillingly only did I ask my way that was always
counter to my taste! Rather did t question and test the ways
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
Thus spake Zarathustra.
2l8 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 unto men.
For that hour do I now wait: for first must the signs come
unto me that it is mine hour namely, the laughing lion with
the flock of doves.
Meanwhile do I talk to myself as one who hath time. No one
telleth me anything new, so I tell myself mine own story.
When I came unto men, then found I them resting on an
old infatuation: all of them thought they had long known
what was good and bad for men.
An old wearisome business seemed to them all discourse
about virtue; and he who wished to sleep well spake of "good"
and "bad" ere retiring to rest.
This somnolence did I disturb when I taught that no one
yet knoweth what is good and bad: unless it be the creating
It is he, however, who createth man's goal, and giveth to
the earth its meaning and its future: he only effecteth it that
aught is good or bad.
And I bade them upset their old academic chairs, and
OLD AND NEW TABLES 219
wherever that old infatuation had sat; I bade them laugh at
their great moralists, their saints, their poets, and their
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 laugh.
Thus did my wise longing, born in the mountains, cry and
laugh in me; a wild wisdom, verily! my great pinion-
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-
Out into distant futures, which no dream hath yet seen,
into warmer souths than ever sculptor conceived, where gods
in their dancing are ashamed of all clothes :
(That I may speak in parables and halt and stammer like the
poets: and verily I am ashamed that I have still to be a poet!)
Where all becoming seemed to me dancing of gods, and
wantoning of gods, and the world unloosed and unbridled and
fleeing back to itself:
As an eternal self-fleeing and re-seeking of one another
of many gods, as the blessed self-contradicting, recommun-
ing, and refraternising with one another of many gods:
Where all time seemed to me a blessed mockery of moments,
where necessity was freedom itself, which played happily with
the goad of freedom:
220 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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
For must there not be that which is danced over, danced be-
yond? Must there not, for the sake of the nimble, the nimblest,
be moles and clumsy dwarfs?
There was it also where I picked up from the path the word
"Superman," and that man is something that must be sur-
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 what-
ever else I have hung up over men like purple evening-after-
Verily, also new stars did I make them see, along with new
nights; and over cloud and day and night, did I spread out
laughter like a gay-coloured canopy.
I taught them all my poetisation and aspiration: to com-
pose and collect into unity what is fragment in man, and riddle
and fearful chance;
As composer, riddle-reader, and redeemer of chance, did
I teach them to create the future, and all that hath been to re-
deem by creating.
The past of man to redeem, and every "It was" to transform,
until the Will saith: "But so did I will it! So shall I will it"
This did I call redemption; this alone taught I them to
OLD AND NEW TABLES 221
Now do I await my redemption that I may go unto them
for the last time.
For once more will I go unto men : amongst them will my
sun set; in dying will I give them my choicest gift!
From the sun did I learn this, when it goeth down, the
exuberant one: gold doth it then pour into the sea, out of in-
So that the poorest fisherman roweth even with golden
oars! For this did I once see, and did not tire of weeping in
Like the sun will also Zarathustra go down: now sitteth he
here and waiteth, old broken tables around him, and also new
tables half -written.
Behold, here is a new table; but where are my brethren who
will carry it with me to the valley and into hearts of flesh?
Thus demandeth my great love to the remotest ones: be not
considerate of thy neighbour! Man is something that must be
There are many divers ways and modes of surpassing: see
thou thereto! But only a buffoon thinketh: "man can also be
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-obedi-
222 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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 idol-priests!
In ourselves dwelleth he still, the old idol-priest, who
broileth our best for his banquet. Ah, my brethren, how could
firstlings fail to be 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.
OLD AND NEW TABLES 223
To be true that can few be! And he who can, will not!
Least of all, however, can the good be true.
Oh, those good ones! Good men never speak the truth. For
the spirit, thus to be good, is a malady.
They yield, those good ones, they submit themselves; their
heart repeateth, their soul obeyeth: he, however, who obeyeth,
doth not listen to himself!
All that is called evil by the good, must come together in
order that one truth may be born. O my brethren, are ye also
evil enough for this truth?
The daring venture, the prolonged distrust, the cruel Nay,
the tedium, the cutting-into-the-quick how seldom do these
come together! Out of such seed, however is truth produced!
Beside the bad conscience hath hitherto grown all knowl-
edge! Break up, break up, ye discerning ones, the old tables!
When the water hath planks, when gangways and railings
o'erspan the stream, verily, he is not believed who then saith:
"All is in flux."
But even the simpletons contradict him. "What?" say the
simpletons, "all in flux? Planks and railings are still over the
"Over the stream all is stable, all the values of things, the
bridges and bearings, all 'good' and 'evil': these are all
224 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
Cometh, however, the hard winter, the stream-tamer, then
learn even the wittiest distrust, and verily, not only the simple-
tons then say: "Should not everything stand still?"
"Fundamentally standeth everything stilt" that is an ap-
propriate winter doctrine, good cheer for an unproductive
period, a great comfort for winter-sleepers and fireside-
"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
Once did one believe in soothsayers and astrologers; and
therefore did one believe, "Everything is fate: thou shalt, for
Then again did one distrust all soothsayers and astrologers;
and therefore did one believe, "Everything is freedom: thou
canst, for thou wiliest!"
O my brethren, concerning the stars and the future there
OLD AND NEW TABLES 225
hath hitherto been only illusion, and not knowledge; and
therefore concerning good and evil there hath hitherto been
only illusion and not knowledge!
"Thou shalt not rob! Thou shalt not slay!" such precepts
were once called holy; before them did one bow the knee and
the head, and take off one's 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
Or was it a sermon of death that called holy what contra-
dicted and dissuaded from life? O my brethren, break up,
break up for me the old tables!
It is my sympathy with all the past that I see it is aban-
Abandoned to the favour, the spirit and the madness of
every generation that cometh, and reinterprete^ all that hath
been as its bridge!
A great potentate might arise, an artful prodigy, who with
approval and disapproval could strain and constrain all the
past, until it became for him a bridge, a harbinger, a herald,
and a cock-crowing.
226 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
This however is the other danger, and mine other sympathy:
he who is of the populace, his thoughts go back to his grand-
father, with his grandfather, however, doth time cease.
Thus is all the past abandoned : for it might some day hap-
pen for the populace to become master, and drown all time in
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
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 shallow pools :
(For ^/V/'/j-to-stand is a merit in courtiers; and all cour-
OLD AND NEW TABLES 227
tiers believe that unto blessedness after death pertaineth per-
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
And verily, wherever this "Holy Spirit" led its knights,
always in such campaigns did goats and geese, and wry-
heads and guy-heads run foremost!
O my brethren, not backward shall your nobility gaze, but
outward! Exiles shall ye be from all fatherlands and forefather-
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 chil-
dren 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
Such ancient babbling still passeth for "wisdom"; because
it is old, however, and smelleth mustily, therefore is it the more
honoured. Even mould ennobleth.
Children might thus speak: they shun the fire because it hath
burnt them! There is much childishness in the old books of
228 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
And he who ever "thresheth straw," why should he be
allowed to rail at threshing! Such a fool one would have to
Such persons sit down to the table and bring nothing with
them, not even good hunger: and then do they rail: "All is
* I * *
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
For these are all unclean spirits; especially those, however,
who have no peace or rest, unless they see the world from the
backside the backworldsmen!
To those do I say it to the face, although it sound unpleas-
antly: the world resembleth man, in that it hath a backside,
so much is true!
There is in the world much filth: so much is true! But the
world itself is not therefore a filthy monster!
There is wisdom in the fact that much in the world smelleth
badly: loathing itself createth wings, and fountain-divining
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!
OLD AND NEW TABLES 229
Such sayings did I hear pious backworldsmcn speak to their
consciences, and verily without wickedness or guile,
although there is nothing more guileful in the world, or more
"Let the world be as it is! Raise not a finger against it!"
"Let whoever will choke and stab and skin and scrape the
people: raise not a finger against it! Thereby will they learn
to renounce the world."
"And thine own reason this shalt thou thyself stifle and
choke; for it is a reason of this world, thereby wilt thou learn
thyself to renounce the 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
"Wisdom wearieth, nothing is worth while; thou shalt not
crave!" this new table found I hanging even in the public
Break up for me, O my brethren, break up also that neiv
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;
230 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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
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 them-
selves 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 imprisoned spirits!
Willing emancipateth: for willing is creating: so do I teach.
And only for creating shall ye learn!
And also the learning shall ye learn only from me, the
learning well! He who hath ears let him hear!
There standeth the boat thither goeth it over, perhaps into
vast nothingness but who willeth to enter into this "Per-
None of you want to enter into the death-boat! How should
ye then be world-weary ones!
World-weary ones! And have not even withdrawn from the
OLD AND NEW TABLES 231
earth! Eager did I ever find you for the earth, amorous still of
your own earth- weariness!
Not in vain doth your lip hang down: a small worldly
wish still sitteth thereon! And in your eye floateth there not
a cloudlet of unforgotten earthly bliss?
There are on the earth many good inventions, some useful,
some pleasant: for their sake is the earth to be loved.
And many such good inventions are there, that they are like
woman's breasts: useful at the same time, and pleasant.
Ye world-weary ones, however! Ye earth-idlers! You, shall
one beat with stripes! With stripes shall one again make you
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
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 dif-
See this languishing one! Only a span-breadth is he from
his goal; but from weariness hath he lain down obstinately in
the dust, this brave one!
From weariness yawneth he at the path, at the earth, at the
232 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
goal, and at himself: not a step further will he go, this
Now gloweth the sun upon him, and the dogs lick at his
sweat: but he lieth there in his obstinacy and preferreth to
A span-breadth from his goal, to languish! Verily, ye will
have to drag him into his heaven by the hair of his head
Better still that ye let him lie where he hath lain down, that
sleep may come unto him, the comforter, with cooling patter-
Let him lie, until of his own accord he awakeneth, until of
his own accord he repudiateth all weariness, and what weari-
ness hath taught through him!
Only, my brethren, see that ye scare the dogs away from
him, the idle skulkers, and all the swarming vermin:
All the swarming vermin of the "cultured," that feast
on the sweat of every hero!
I form circles around me and holy boundaries; ever fewer
ascend with me ever higher mountains: I build a mountain-
range out of ever holier mountains.
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.
OLD AND NEW TABLES 233
Where the strong are weak, where the noble are all-too-
gentle there buildeth it its loathsome nest; the parasite liveth
wnere 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
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
The soul most self -loving, in which all things have their
current and counter-current, their ebb and their flow: oh,
how could the lojtiest 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
234 THUS SPAKE ZARA1HUSTRA
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 j aster!
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
For the worthier foe, O my brethren, shall ye reserve your-
selves : 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
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
OLD AND NEW TABLES 235
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
If they had bread for nothing, alas! for what would they
cry! Their maintainment that is their true entertainment; and
they shall have it hard!
Beasts of prey, are they: in their "working" there is even
plundering, in their "earning" there is even over-reaching!
Therefore shall they have it hard!
Better beasts of prey shall they thus become, subtler,
cleverer, more man-like: for man is the best beast of prey.
All the animals hath man already robbed of their virtues:
that is why of all animals it hath been hardest for man.
Only the birds are still beyond him. And if man should yet
learn to fly, alas! to what height would his rapacity fly!
Thus would I have man and woman: fit for war, the one;
fit for maternity, the other; both, however, fit for dancing with
head and legs.
And lost be the day to us in which a measure hath not been
danced. And false be every truth which hath not had laughter
along with it!
236 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
Your marriage-arranging: see that it be not a bad arranging!
Ye have arranged too hastily: so there jolloweth therefrom
And better marriage-breaking than marriage-bending, mar-
riage-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 an-
other: "'We love each other: let us see to it that we maintain
our love! Or shall our pledging be blundering?"
"Give us a set term and a small marriage, that we may
see if we are fit for the great marriage! It is a great matter
always to be twain."
Thus do I counsel all honest ones; and what would be my
love to the Superman, and to all that is to come, if I should
counsel and speak otherwise!
Not only to propagate yourselves onwards but upwards
thereto, O my 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
OLD AND NEW TABLES 237
The earthquake discloseth new fountains. In the earthquake
of old peoples new fountains burst forth.
And whoever calleth out: "Lo, here is a well for many
thirsty ones, one heart for many longing ones, one will for
many instruments": around him collecteth a people, that is
to say, many attempting ones.
Who can command, who must obey that is there at-
tempted! Ah, with what long seeking and solving and failing
and learning and re-attempting!
Human society: it is an attempt so I teach a long seek-
ing: 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-
O my brethren! With whom lieth the greatest danger to the
whole human future? Is it not with the good and just?
As those who say and feel in their hearts: 'We already
know what is good and just, we possess it also; woe to those
who still seek thereafter!"
And whatever harm the wicked may do, the harm of the
good is the harmfulest harm!
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.
238 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
It is the truth, however, that the good must be Pharisees
they have no choice!
The good must crucify him who deviseth his own virtue!
That is the truth!
The second one, however, who discovered their country
the country, heart and soil of the good and just, it was he
who asked: "Whom do they hate 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 be-
ginning of the end:
They crucify him who writeth new values on new tables,
they sacrifice unto themselves the future they crucify the
whole human future!
The good they have always been the beginning of the
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
OLD AND NEW TABLES 239
O my brethren, when I enjoined you to break up the
good, and the tables of the good, then only did I embark man
on his high seas.
And now only cometh unto him the great terror, the great
outlook, the great sickness, the great nausea, the great sea-
False shores and false securities did the good teach you; in
the lies of the good were ye born and bred. Everything hath
been radically contorted and distorted by the good.
But he who discovered the country of "man," discovered
also the country of "man's future." Now shall ye be sailors
for me, brave, patient!
Keep yourselves up betimes, my brethren, learn to keep
yourselves up! The sea stormeth: many seek to raise themselves
again by you.
The sea stormeth: all is in the sea. Well! Cheer up! Ye old
What of fatherland! Thither striveth our helm where our
children's land is! Thitherwards, stormier than the sea,
stormeth our great longing!
"Why so hard!" said to the diamond one day the char-
coal; "are we then not near relatives?"
Why so soft? O my brethren; thus do 7 ask you: are ye then
not my brethren?
Why so soft, so submissive and yielding? Why is there so
much negation and abnegation in your hearts? Why is there
so little fate in your looks?
240 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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 milleiiniums as
upon brass, harder than brass, nobler than brass. Entirely
hard is only the noblest.
This new table, O my brethren, put I up over you: Become
O thou, my Will! Thou change of every need, my needful-
ness! 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 m thy victory! Ah, who hath not
succumbed to his victory!
Ah, whose eye hath not bedimmed in this intoxicated twi-
light! Ah, whose foot hath not faltered and forgotten in vic-
tory 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:
THE CONVALESCENT 241
A sun itself, and an inexorable sun-will, ready for anni-
hilation in victory!
O Will, thou change of every need, my needfulness! Spare
me for one great victory!
Thus spake Zarathustra.
. The Convalescent
ONE morning, not long after his return to his cave, Zara-
thustra 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, how-
ever, 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
And rub the sleep and all the dimness and blindness out of
242 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
thine eyes! Hear me also with thine eyes: my voice is a medi-
cine 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 suffer-
ing, the advocate of the circuit thee do I call, my most
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
THE CONVALESCENT 243
couch, took a rosy apple in his hand, smelt it and found its
smell pleasant. Then did his animals think the time had come
to speak unto him.
"O Zarathustra," said they, "now hast thou lain thus for
seven days with heavy eyes: wilt thou not set thyself again
upon thy feet?
Step out of thy cave: the world waiteth for thee as a garden.
The wind playeth with heavy fragrance which seeketh for
thee; and all brooks would like to run after thee.
All things long for thee, since thou hast remained alone for
seven days step forth out of thy cave! All things want to be
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
To each soul belongeth another world; to each soul is every
other soul a back-world.
Among the most alike doth semblance deceive most de-
lightfully: for the smallest gap is most difficult to bridge over.
For me how could there be an outside-of-me? There is no
outside! But this we forget on hearing tones; how delightful
it is that we forget!
Have not names and tones been given unto things that man
may refresh himself with them? It is a beautiful folly, speak-
ing; therewith danceth man over everything.
244 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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; eter-
nally 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 eternity."
-O ye wags and barrel-organs! answered Zarathustra, and
smiled once more, how well do ye know what had to be ful-
filled in seven days:
And how that monster crept into my throat and choked
me! But I bit off its head and spat it away from me.
And ye ye have made a lyre-lay out of it? Now, however,
do I lie here, still exhausted with that biting and spitting-
away, still sick with mine own salvation.
And ye looked on at it all? O mine animals, are ye also cruel?
Did ye like to look at my great pain as men do? For man is the
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 CONVALESCENT 245
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
The great disgust at man it strangled me and had crept
into my throat: and what the soothsayer had presaged: "All is
alike, nothing is worth while, knowledge strangleth."
A long twilight limped on before me, a fatally weary,
fatally intoxicated sadness, which spake with yawning mouth.
"Eternally he returneth, the man of whom thou art weary,
the small man" -so yawned my sadness, and dragged its foot
and could not go to sleep.
A cavern, became the human earth to me; its breast caved in;,
everything living became to me human dust and bones and
My sighing sat on all human graves, and could no longer.
246 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
arise: my sighing and questioning croaked and choked, and
gnawed and nagged day and night:
"Ah, man returneth eternally! The small man returneth
Naked had I once seen both of them, the greatest man and
the smallest man: all too like one another all too human,
even the greatest man!
All too small, even the greatest man! that was my disgust
at man! And the eternal return also of the smallest man! that
was my disgust at all existence!
Ah, Disgust! Disgust! Disgust! Thus spake Zarathus-
tra, and sighed and shuddered; for he remembered his sick-
ness. 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
Go out unto the roses, the bees, and the flocks of doves!
Especially, however, unto the singing-birds, to learn singing
For singing is for the convalescent; the sound ones may talk.
And when the sound also want songs, then want they other
songs than the convalescent."
"O ye wags and barrel-organs, do be silent!" answered
Zarathustra, and smiled at his animals. "How well ye know
what consolation I devised for myself in seven days!
That I have to sing once more that consolation did I de-
vise for myself, and this convalescence: would ye also make
another lyre-lay thereof?"
"Do not talk further," answered his animals once more;
"rather, thou convalescent, prepare for thyself first a lyre, a
THE CONVALESCENT 247
For behold, O Zarathustra! For thy new lays there are
needed new lyres.
Sing and bubble over, O Zarathustra, heal thy soul with new
lays: that thou mayest bear thy great fate, which hath not yet
been any one's fate!
For thine animals know it well, O Zarathustra, who thou
art and must become: behold, thou art the teacher of the
eternal return, that is now thy fate!
That thou must be the first to teach this teaching how
could this great fate not be thy greatest danger and infirmity!
Behold, we know what thou teachest: that all things eter-
nally 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 patientest one!
'Now do I die and disappear,' wouldst thou say, 'and in a
moment I am nothing. Souls are as mortal as bodies.
But the plexus of causes returneth in which I am inter-
twined, it will again create me! I myself pertain to the causes
of the eternal return.
I come again with this sun, with this earth, with this eagle,
248 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
with this serpent not to a new life, or a better life, or a similar
I come again eternally to this identical and selfsame life,
in its greatest and its smallest, to teach again the eternal return
of all things,
To speak again the word of the great noontide of earth
and man, to announce again to man the Superman.
I have spoken my word. I break down by my word: so
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 con-
trary, 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.
. 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 Yonder.
O my soul, I delivered thee from all by-places, I brushed
down from thee dust and spiders and twilight.
O my soul, I washed the petty shame and the by-place virtue
THE GREAT LONGING 249
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 voluptuous-
ness of the future?
O my soul, I taught thee the contempt which doth not come
like worm-eating, the great, the loving contempt, which loveth
most where it contemneth most.
O my soul, I taught thee so to persuade that thou persuadest
even the grounds themselves to thee: like the sun, which per-
suadeth even the sea to its height.
O my soul, I have taken from thee all obeying and knee-
bending and homage-paying; I have myself given thee the
names, "Change of need" and "Fate."
O my soul, I have given thee new names and gay-coloured
playthings, I have called thee "Fate" and "the Circuit of cir-
cuits" 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
250 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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
Doth the giver not owe thanks because the receiver re-
ceived? Is bestowing not a necessity? Is receiving not pity-
O my soul, I understand the smiling of thy melancholy:
thine over-abundance itself now stretcheth out longing hands!
Thy fulness looketh forth over raging seas, and seeketh and
waiteth: the longing of over-fulness looketh forth from the
smiling heaven of thine eyes!
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, ac-
cusing?" Thus speakest thou to thyself; and therefore, O my
soul, wilt thou rather smile than pour forth thy grief
-Than in gushing tears pour forth all thy grief concerning
thy fulness, and concerning the craving of the vine for the
vintager and vintage-knife!
But wilt thou not weep, wilt thou not weep forth thy purple
melancholy, then wilt thou have to sing, O my soul! Behold,
I smile myself, who foretell thee this :
THE GREAT LONGING 251
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 marvel-
lous things frisk:
Also many large and small animals, and everything that
hath light marvellous feet, so that it can run on violet-blue
Towards the golden marvel, the spontaneous bark, and its
master: he, however, is the vintager who waiteth with the
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 re-
poseth 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.
252 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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 mislead-
eth, 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!
THE SECOND DANCE SONG 253
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 under-
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
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 for-
get not my whip? Not I!"
254 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
Then did Life answer me thus, and kept thereby her fine ears
"O Zarathustra! Crack not so terribly with thy whip! Thou
knowest surely that noise killeth thought, and just now
there came to me such delicate thoughts.
We are both of us genuine ne'er-do-wells and ne'er-do-ills.
Beyond good and evil found we our island and our green
meadow we two alone! Therefore must we be friendly to
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 Wis-
dom. 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
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
THE SECOND DANCE SONG 255
'Yea," answered I, hesitatingly, "but them knowest it also"
And I said something into her ear, in amongst her confused,
yellow, foolish tresses.
'Thou knowest that, O Zarathustra? That knoweth no
And we gazed at each other, and looked at the green
meadow o'er which the cool evening was just passing, and we
wept together. Then, however, was Life dearer unto me than
all my Wisdom had ever been.
Thus spake Zarathustra.
O man! Take heed!
What saith deep midnight's voice indeed?
"I slept my sleep
"From deepest dream I've woke and plead:
'The world is deep,
"And deeper than the day could read.
256 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
"Deep is its woe
'Joy deeper still than grief can be:
"Woe saith: Hence! Go!
"But joys all want eternity
1 '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 wan-
dereth on high mountain-ridges, 'twixt two seas,
Wandereth 'twixt the past and the future as a heavy cloud
hostile to sultry plains, and to all that is weary and can neither
die nor live:
Ready for lightning in its dark bosom, and for the redeem-
THE SEVEN SEALS 257
ing 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 mar-
riage-ring of rings the ring of the return?
Never yet have I found the woman by whom I should like
to have children, unless it be this woman whom I love: for I
love thee, O Eternity!
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 Eternity!
For I love thee, O Eternity!
258 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
If ever a breath hath come to me of the creative breath, and
of the heavenly necessity which compelleth even chances to
If ever I have laughed with the laughter of the creative
lightning, to which the long thunder of the deed followeth,
grumblingly, but obediently:
If ever I have played dice with the gods at the divine table
of the earth, so that the earth quaked and ruptured, and
snorted forth fire-streams:
For a divine table is the earth, and trembling with new
creative dictums and dice-casts of the gods:
Oh, how could I not be ardent for Eternity, and for the
marriage- ring of rings the ring of the return?
Never yet have I found the woman by whom I should like to
have children, unless it be this woman whom I love: for I love
thee, O Eternity!
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
If I myself am a grain of the saving salt which maketh every-
thing in the confection-bowl mix well:
THE SEVEN SEALS 259
For there is a salt which uniteth good with evil; and even
the evilest is worthy, as spicing and as final over-foaming:
Oh, how could I not be ardent for Eternity, and for the
marriage-ring of rings the ring of the return?
Never yet have I found the woman by whom I should like
to have children, unless it be this woman whom I love: for I
love thee, O Eternity!
For I love tbee, O Eternity!
If I be fond of the sea, and all that is sealike, and fondest
of it when it angrily contradicteth me:
If the exploring delight be in me, which impelleth sails to
the undiscovered, if the seafarer's delight be in my delight:
If ever my rejoicing hath called out: The shore hath
vanished, now hath fallen from me the last chain
The boundless roareth around me, far away sparkle for me
space and time, well! cheer up! old heart!"
Oh, how could I not be ardent for Eternity, and for the
marriage-ring of rings the ring of the return?
Never yet have I found the woman by whom I should like
to have children, unless it be this woman whom I love: for I
love thee, O Eternity!
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:
260 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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 mar-
riage-ring of rings the ring of the return?
Never yet have I found the woman by whom I should like
to have children, unless it be this woman whom I love: for I
love thee, O Eternity!
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, back-
ward, 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 Eternity!
For I love thee, O Eternity!
THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
FOURTH AND LAST PART
Ah, where in the world have there
been greater follies than with the piti-
ful? And what in the world hath
caused more suffering than the follies
of the pitiful ?
Woe unto all loving ones who have
not an elevation which is above their
Thus spake the devil unto me, once
on a time: "Ever God hath his hell:
it is his love for man."
And lately did I hear him say these
words: "God is dead: of his pity for
man hath God died." ZARATHUSTRA,
II., "The Pitiful" (p. 102).
6i. 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 thought-
fully round about him, and at last set themselves in front of
"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 thy-
self 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
264 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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 ancho-
rites' domestic animals.
What to sacrifice! I squander what is given me, a squan-
derer with a thousand hands: how could I call that sacri-
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
THE HONEY SACRIFICE 265
in it, and casters of nets, so rich is the world in wonderful
things, great and small!
Especially the human world, the human sea: towards //
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
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 coun-
selled 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
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, be-
cause it doth not hound and hurry me, but leaveth me time
for merriment and mischief; so that I have to-day ascended this
high mountain to catch fish.
266 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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.
THE CRY OF DISTRESS 267
Out! out! my fishing-hook! In and down, thou bait of my
happiness! Drip thy sweetest dew, thou honey of my heart!
Bite, my fishing-hook, into the belly of all black affliction!
Look out, look out, mine eye! Oh, how many seas round
about me, what dawning human futures! And above me
what rosy red stillness! What unclouded silence!
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 coun-
The soothsayer, who had perceived what went on in Zara-
thustra's soul, wiped his face with his hand, as if he would
wipe out the impression; the same did also Zarathustra. And
268 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
when both of them had thus silently composed and strength-
ened themselves, they gave each other the hand, as a token
that they wanted once more to recognise each other.
"Welcome hither," said Zarathustra, "thou soothsayer of
the great weariness, not in vain shalt thou once have been my
messmate and guest. Eat and drink also with me to-day, and
forgive it that a cheerful old man sitteth with thee at table!"
"A cheerful old man?" answered the soothsayer, shaking his
head, "but whoever thou art, or wouldst be, O Zarathustra,
thou hast been here aloft the longest time, in a little while
thy bark shall no longer rest on dry land!" "Do I then rest
on dry land?" -asked Zarathustra, laughing. "The waves
around thy mountain," answered the soothsayer, "rise and
rise, the waves of great distress and affliction: they will soon
raise thy bark also and carry thee away." Thereupon was
Zarathustra silent and wondered. "Dost thou still hear
nothing?" continued the soothsayer: "doth it not rush and
roar out of the depth?" Zarathustra was silent once more and
listened: then heard he a long, long cry, which the abysses
threw to one another and passed on; for none of them wished
to retain it: so evil did it sound.
'Thou ill announcer," said Zarathustra at last, "that is a cry
of distress, and the cry of a man; it may come perhaps out of
a black sea. But what doth human distress matter to me! My last
sin which hath been reserved for me, knowest thou what it is
"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
THE CRY OF DISTRESS 269
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
Zarathustra was silent thereupon, confused and staggered;
at last he asked, like one who hesitateth in himself: "And who
is it that there calleth me?"
"But thou knowest it, certainly," answered the soothsayer
warmly, "why dost thou conceal thyself? It is the higher man
that crieth for thee!"
"The higher man?" cried Zarathustra, horror-stricken:
"what wanteth he? What wanteth he? The higher man! What
wanteth he here?" and his skin covered with perspiration.
The soothsayer, however, did not heed Zarathustra' s alarm,
but listened and listened in the downward direction. When,
however, it had been still there for a long while, he looked
behind, and saw Zarathustra standing trembling.
"O Zarathustra," he began, with sorrowful voice, "thou dost
not stand there like one whose happiness maketh him giddy:
thou wilt have to dance lest thou rumble down!
But although thou shouldst dance before me, and leap all thy
side-leaps, no one may say unto me: 'Behold, here danceth the
last joyous man!'
In vain would any one come to this height who sought him
here: caves would he find, indeed, and back-caves, hiding-
places for hidden ones; but not lucky mines, nor treasure-
chambers, nor new gold-veins of happiness.
Happiness how indeed could one find happiness among
such buried-alive and solitary ones! Must I yet seek the last
happiness on the Happy Isles, and far away among forgotten
270 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
But all is alike, nothing is worth while, no seeking is of
service, there are no longer any Happy Isles!"
Thus sighed the soothsayer; with his last sigh, however,
Zarathustra again became serene and assured, like one who
hath come out of a deep chasm into the light. "Nay! Nay!
Three times Nay!" exclaimed he with a strong voice, and
stroked his beard "that do I know better! There are still
Happy Isles! Silence thereon, thou sighing sorrow-sack!
Cease to splash thereon, thou rain-cloud of the forenoon!
Do I not already stand here wet with thy misery, and drenched
like a dog?
Now do I shake myself and run away from thee, that I may
again become dry: thereat mayest thou not wonder! Do I seem
to thee discourteous? Here however is my court.
But as regards the higher man: well! I shall seek him at
once in those forests: from thence came his cry. Perhaps he is
there hard beset by an evil beast.
He is in my domain: therein shall he receive no scath! And
verily, there are many evil beasts about me."
With those words Zarathustra turned around to depart.
Then said the soothsayer: "O Zarathustra, thou art a rogue!
I know it well: thou wouldst fain be rid of me! Rather
wouldst thou run into the forest and lay snares for evil beasts!
But what good will it do thee? In the evening wilt thou have
me again: in thine own cave will I sit, patient and heavy like a
block and wait for thee!"
"So be it!" shouted back Zarathustra, as he went away: "and
what is mine in my cave belongeth also unto thee, my guest!
Shouldst thou however find honey therein, well! just lick it
up, thou growling bear, and sweeten thy soul! For in the eve-
ning we want both to be in good spirits;
TALK WITH THE KINGS 271
In good spirits and joyful, because this day hath come to
*an end! And thou thyself shalt dance to my lays, as my dancing-
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 moun-
tains 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 varie-
gated 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
272 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
answered: "That may perhaps be a goat-herd. Or an anchorite
who hath lived too long among rocks and trees. For no society"
at all spoileth also good manners."
"Good manners?" replied angrily and bitterly the other
king: "what then do we run out of the way of? Is it not 'good
manners'? Our 'good society'?
Better, verily, to live among anchorites and goat-herds, than
with our gilded, false, over-rouged populace though it call
itself 'good society.'
Though it call itself 'nobility.' But there all is false and
foul, above all the blood thanks to old evil diseases and
The best and dearest to me at present is still a sound peasant,
coarse, artful, obstinate and enduring: that is at present the
The peasant is at present the best; and the peasant type
should be master! But it is the kingdom of the populace I no
longer allow anything to be imposed upon me. The populace,
however that meaneth, hodgepodge.
Populace-hodgepodge: therein is everything mixed with
everything, saint and swindler, gentleman and Jew, and every
beast out of Noah's ark.
Good manners! Everything is false and foul with us. No
one knoweth any longer how to reverence: it is that precisely
that we run away from. They are fulsome obtrusive dogs; they
This loathing choketh me, that we kings ourselves have be-
come false, draped and disguised with the old faded pomp of
our ancestors, show-pieces for the stupidest, the craftiest, and
whosoever at present tramcketh for power.
We are not the first men and have nevertheless to stand for
TALK WITH THE KINGS 273
them: of this imposture have we at last become weary and
From the rabble have we gone out of the way, from all those
bawlers and scribe-blowflies, from the trader-stench, the ambi-
tion-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
'Thine old sickness seizeth thee," said here the king on the
left, "thy loathing seizeth thee, my poor brother. Thou
knowest, however, that some one heareth us."
Immediately thereupon, Zarathustra, who had opened ears
and eyes to this talk, rose from his hiding-place, advanced
towards the kings, and thus began:
"He who hearkeneth unto you, he who gladly hearkeneth
unto you, is called Zarathustra.
I am Zarathustra who once said : 'What doth it now matter
about kings!' Forgive me; I rejoiced when ye said to each
other: 'What doth it matter about us kings!'
Here, however, is my domain and jurisdiction: what may ye
be seeking in my domain? Perhaps, however, ye have found on
your way what 7 seek: namely, the higher man."
When the kings heard this, they beat upon their breasts and
said with one voice: "We are recognised!
With the sword of thine utterance severest thou the thickest
darkness of our hearts. Thou hast discovered our distress; for
lo! we are on our way to find the higher man
The man that is higher than we, although we are kings.
To him do we convey this ass. For the highest man shall also
be the highest lord on earth.
There is no sorer misfortune in all human destiny, than
when the mighty of the earth are not also the first men. Then
274 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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 wis-
dom in kings! I am enchanted, and verily, I have already
promptings to make a rhyme thereon:
Even if it should happen to be a rhyme not suited for
every one's ears. I unlearned long ago to have consideration
for long ears. Well then! Well now!
( Here, however, it happened that the ass also found utter-
ance: 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 sneer-
ingly : 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!
TALK WITH THE KINGS 275
We must hear him; him who teacheth: 'Ye shall love peace
as a means to new wars, and the short peace more than the
No one ever spake such warlike words: 'What is good? To
be brave is good. It is the good war that halloweth every
O Zarathustra, our fathers' blood stirred in our veins at
such words: it was like the voice of spring to old wine-casks.
When the swords ran among one another like red-spotted
serpents, then did our fathers become fond of life; the sun of
every peace seemed to them languid and lukewarm, the long
peace, however, made them ashamed.
How they sighed, our fathers, when they saw on the wall
brightly furbished, dried-up swords! Like those they thirsted
for war. For a sword thirsteth to drink blood, and sparkleth
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 Zara-
thustra; 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
Thus spake Zarathustra.
2j6 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
64. The Leech
AND Zarathustra went thoughtfully on, further and lower
down, through forests and past moory bottoms; as it hap-
peneth, 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 lone-
some highway, runneth unawares against a sleeping dog, a dog
which lieth in the sun :
As both of them then start up and snap at each other, like
deadly enemies, those two beings mortally frightened so
did it happen unto us.
And yet! And yet how little was lacking for them to
caress each other, that dog and that lonesome one! Are they
not both lonesome ones!"
"Whoever thou art," said the trodden one, still enraged,
"thou treadest also too nigh me with thy parable, and not only
with thy foot!
Lo! am I then a dog?" And thereupon the sitting one got
up, and pulled his naked arm out of the swamp. For at first
he had lain outstretched on the ground, hidden and indis-
cernible, like those who lie in wait for swamp-game.
THE LEECH 277
"But whatever art thou about!" called out Zarathustra in
alarm, for he saw a deal of blood streaming over the naked
arm,- "what hath hurt thee? Hath an evil beast bit thee,
thou unfortunate one?"
The bleeding one laughed, still angry, "What matter is it
to thee!" said he, and was about to go on. "Here am I at home
and in my province. Let him question me whoever will: to a
dolt, however, I shall hardly answer."
'Thou art mistaken," said Zarathustra sympathetically, and
held him fast; "thou art mistaken. Here thou art not at home,
but in my domain, and therein shall no one receive any hurt.
Call me however what thou wilt I am who I must be. I
call myself Zarathustra.
Well! Up thither is the way to Zarathustra' s cave: it is not
far, wilt thou not attend to thy wounds at my home?
It hath gone badly with thee, thou unfortunate one, in this
life: first a beast bit thee, and then a man trod upon
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,
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-
278 THUS SPAKE 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
Then thou art perhaps an expert on the leech?" asked
Zarathustra; "and thou investigatest the leech to its ultimate
basis, thou conscientious one?"
"O Zarathustra," answered the trodden one, "that would be
something immense; how could I presume to do so!
That, however, of which I am master and knower, is the
brain of the leech: that is my world!
And it is also a world! Forgive it, however, that my pride
here findeth expression, for here I have not mine equal. There-
fore 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 LEECH 279
the sake of this did everything else become indifferent to me;
and close beside my knowledge lieth my black ignorance.
My spiritual conscience requireth from me that it should
be so that I should know one thing, and not know all else:
they are a loathing unto me, all the semi-spiritual, all the hazy,
hovering, and visionary.
Where mine honesty ceaseth, there am I blind, and want
also to be blind. Where I want to know, however, there want
I also to be honest namely, severe, rigorous, restricted, cruel
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 in-
creased mine own knowledge!"
"As the evidence indicateth," broke in Zarathustra; for
still was the blood flowing down on the naked arm of the
conscientious one. For there had ten leeches bitten into it.
"O thou strange fellow, how much doth this very evidence
teach me namely, thou thyself! And not all, perhaps, might
I pour into thy rigorous ear!
Well then! We part here! But I would fain find thee again.
Up thither is the way to my cave: to-night shalt thou there
by my welcome guest!
Fain would I also make amends to thy body for Zarathustra
treading upon thee with his feet: I think about that. Just now,
however, a cry of distress calleth me hastily away from thee."
Thus spake Zarathustra.
280 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 for-
saken 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!
THE MAGICIAN 28l
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!
282 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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?
Thou hangman-God !
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?
THE MAGICIAN 283
Solicit much that bid'th my pride!
And be concise that bid'th mine other pride!
Me wantst thou? me?
Entire? . . .
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 ringers
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,
My hangman-God! . . .
Come thou back!
With all of thy great tortures!
284 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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 him-
self; he took his staff and struck the wailer with all his might.
"Stop this," cried he to him with wrathful laughter, "stop this,
thou stage-player! Thou false coiner! Thou liar from the very
heart! I know thee well!
I will soon make warm legs to thee, thou evil magician: I
know well how to make it hot for such as thou!"
"Leave off," said the old man, and sprang up from the
ground, "strike me no more, O Zarathustra! I did it only for
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!
THE MAGICIAN 285
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, be-
fore thou discoveredst my trick and lie! Thou believedst in my
distress when thou heldest my head with both thy hands,
I heard thee lament 'we have loved him too little, loved
him too little!' Because I so far deceived thee, my wickedness
rejoiced in me."
"Thou mayest have deceived subtler ones than I," said Zara-
thustra 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 quinqui-
vocal! Even what thou hast now confessed, is not nearly true
enough nor false enough for me!
Thou bad false coiner, how couldst thou do otherwise! Thy
very malady wouldst thou whitewash if thou showed thyself
naked to thy physician.
Thus didst thou whitewash thy lie before me when thou
saidst: 'I did so only for amusement!' There was also serious-
ness 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
286 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
is any longer genuine, but thy mouth is so : that is to say, the
disgust that cleaveth unto thy mouth."
"Who art thou at all!" cried here the old magician with
defiant voice, "who dareth to speak thus unto me, the greatest
man now living?" and a green flash shot from his eye at
Zarathustra. But immediately after he changed, and said sadly:
"O Zarathustra, I am weary of it, I am disgusted with mine
arts, I am not great, why do I dissemble! But thou knowest
it well I sought for greatness!
A great man I wanted to appear, and persuaded many; but
the lie hath been beyond my power. On it do I collapse.
O Zarathustra, everything is a lie in me; but that I collapse
this my collapsing is genuine!"
"It honoureth thee," said Zarathustra gloomily, looking
down with sidelong glance, "it honoureth thee that thou
soughtest for greatness, but it betrayeth thee also. Thou art not
Thou bad old magician, that is the best and the honestest
thing I honour in thee, that thou hast become weary of thy-
self, and hast expressed it: 'I am not great.'
Therein do I honour thee as a penitent-in-spirit, and
although only for the twinkling of an eye, in that one moment
wast thou genuine.
But tell me, what seekest thou here in my forests and rocks?
And if thou hast put thyself in my way, what proof of me
wouldst thou have?
Wherein didst thou put me to the test?"
Thus spake Zarathustra, and his eyes sparkled. But the old
magician kept silence for a while; then said he: "Did I put thee
to the test? I seek only.
O Zarathustra, I seek a genuine one, a right one, a simple
THE MAGICIAN 287
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? / seek Zarathustra."
And here there arose a long silence between them : Zara-
thustra, however, became profoundly absorbed in thought, so
that he shut his eyes. But afterwards coming back to the situa-
tion, 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
And ask counsel of mine animals, mine eagle and my ser-
pent: 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 him-
self, and the people cried: 'Behold; a great man!' But what
good do all bellows do! The wind cometh out at last.
At last bursteth the frog which hath inflated itself too long:
then cometh out the wind. To prick a swollen one in the belly,
I call good pastime. Hear that, ye boys!
Our today is of the popular: who still knoweth what is
great and what is small! Who could there seek successfully for
greatness! A fool only: it succeedeth with fools.
Thou seekest for great men, thou strange fool? Who taught
that to thee? Is today the time for it? Oh, thou bad seeker, why
dost thou tempt me?"
Thus spake Zarathustra, comforted in his heart, and went
laughing on his way.
288 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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; me-
thinketh he is of the type of the priests: what do they want in
What! Hardly have I escaped from that magician, and must
another necromancer again run across my path,-
-Some sorcerer with laying-on-of -hands, some sombre
wonder-worker by the grace of God, some anointed world-
maligner, whom, may the devil take!
But the devil is never at the place which would be his right
place: he always cometh too late, that cursed dwarf and club-
Thus cursed Zarathustra impatiently in his heart, and con-
sidered how with averted look he might slip past the black
man. But behold, it came about otherwise. For at the same
moment had the sitting one already perceived him; and not
unlike one whom an unexpected happiness overtaketh, he
sprang to his feet, and went straight towards Zarathustra.
"Whoever thou art, thou traveller," said he, "help a strayed
one, a seeker, an old man, who may here easily come to grief!
The world here is strange to me, and remote; wild beasts
also did I hear howling; and he who could have given me pro-
tection he is himself no more.
I was seeking the last pious man, a saint and an anchorite,
OUT OF SERVICE 289
who, alone in his forest, had not yet heard of what all the
world knoweth at present."
"What doth all the world know at present?" asked Zara-
thustra. "Perhaps that the old God no longer liveth, in whom
all the world once believed?"
"Thou sayest it," answered the old man sorrowfully. "And
I served that old God until his last hour.
Now, however, am I out of service, without master, and yet
not free; likewise am I no longer merry even for an hour,
except it be in recollections.
Therefore did I ascend into these mountains, that I might
finally have a festival for myself once more, as becometh an
old pope and church-father: for know it, that I am the last
pope! a festival of pious recollections and divine services.
Now, however, is he himself dead, the most pious of men,
the saint in the forest, who praised his God constantly with
singing and mumbling.
He himself found I no longer when I found his cot but
two wolves found I therein, which howled on account of his
death, for all animals loved him. Then did I haste away.
Had I thus come in vain into these forests and mountains?
Then did my heart determine that I should seek another, the
most pious of all those who believe not in God , my heart
determined that I should seek Zarathustra!"
Thus spake the hoary man, and gazed with keen eyes at him
who stood before him. Zarathustra however seized the hand
of the old pope and regarded it a long while with admiration.
"Lo! thou venerable one," said he then, "what a fine and
long hand! That is the hand of one who hath ever dispensed
blessings. Now, however, doth it hold fast him whom thou
seekest, me, Zarathustra.
290 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
It is I, the ungodly Zarathustra, who saith: 'Who is un-
godlier 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
"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
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 en-
lightened than Zarathustra himself and may well be so.
My love served him long years, my will followed all his will.
A good servant, however, knoweth everything, and many a
thing even which a master hideth from himself.
He was a hidden God, full of secrecy. Verily, he did not
come by his son otherwise than by secret ways. At the door of
his faith standeth adultery.
Whoever extolleth him as a God of love, doth not think
OUT OF SERVICE 291
highly enough of love itself. Did not that God want also to
be judge? But the loving one loveth irrespective of reward
When he was young, that God out of the Orient, then was
he harsh and revengeful, and built himself a hell for the
delight of his favourites.
At last, however, he became old and soft and mellow and
pitiful, more like a grandfather than a father, but most like
a tottering old grandmother.
There did he sit shrivelled in his chimney-corner, fretting
on account of his weak legs, world-weary, will-weary, and one
day he suffocated of his all-too-great pity."
'Thou old pope," said here Zarathustra interposing, "hast
thou seen that with thine eyes? It could well have happened
in that way: in that way, and also otherwise. When gods die
they always die many kinds of death.
Well! At all events, one way or other he is gone! He was
counter to the taste of mine ears and eyes; worse than that I
should not like to say against him.
I love everything that looketh bright and speaketh honestly.
But he thou knowest it, forsooth, thou old priest, there was
something of thy type in him, the priest-type he was equivo-
He was also indistinct. How he raged at us, this wrath-
snorter, because we understood him badly! But why did he
not speak more clearly?
And if the fault lay in our ears, why did he give us ears that
heard him badly? If there was dirt in our ears, well! who put
it in them?
Too much miscarried with him, this potter who had not
learned thoroughly! That he took revenge on his pots and
292 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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
"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 be-
lieve 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 bless-
ing from eternity. One doth not bless with the hand alone.
Nigh unto thee, though thou professest to be the ungod-
liest one, I feel a hale and holy odour of long benedictions : I
feel glad and grieved thereby.
Let me be thy guest, O Zarathustra, for a single night!
Nowhere on earth shall I now feel better than with thee!"
"Amen! So shall it be!" said Zarathustra, with great aston-
ishment; "up thither leadeth the way, there lieth the cave of
Gladly, forsooth, would I conduct thee thither myself, thou
venerable one; for I love all pious men. But now a cry of dis-
tress 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.
THE UGLIEST MAN 293
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 soul!"
When, however, the path again curved round a rock, all at
once the landscape changed, and Zarathustra entered into a
realm of death. Here bristled aloft black and red cliffs, with-
out 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 be-
came old. Therefore the shepherds called this valley: "Serpent-
Zarathustra, however, became absorbed in dark recollec-
tions, for it seemed to him as if he had once before stood in
294 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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 some-
thing sitting by the wayside shaped like a man, and hardly
like a man, something nondescript. And all at once there came
over Zarathustra a great shame, because he had gazed on such
a thing. Blushing up to the very roots of his white hair, he
turned aside his glance, and raised his foot that he might
leave this ill-starred place. Then, however, became the dead
wilderness vocal: for from the ground a noise welled up,
gurgling and rattling, as water gurgleth and rattleth at night
through stopped-up water-pipes; and at last it turned into
human voice and human speech: it sounded thus:
"Zarathustra! Zarathustra! Read my riddle! Say, say! What
Is the revenge on the witness?
I entice thee back; here is smooth ice! See to it, see to it,
that thy pride does not here break its legs!
Thou thinkest thyself wise, thou proud Zarathustra! Read
then the riddle, thou hard nut-cracker, the riddle that I am!
Say then : who am I!"
When however Zarathustra had heard these words,
what think ye then took place in his soul? Pity overcame him;
and he sank down all at once, like an oak that hath long with-
stood many tree-fellers, heavily, suddenly, to the terror even
of those who meant to fell it. But immediately he got up
again from the ground, and his countenance became stern.
"I know thee well," said he, with a brazen voice, "thou art
the murderer of God! Let me go.
Thou couldst not endure him who beheld thee, who ever
beheld thee through and through, thou ugliest man. Thou
tookest revenge on this witness!"
Thus spake Zarathustra and was about to go; but the non-
THE UGLIEST MAN 295
descript 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 f eeleth who
killed him, the murderer of God. Stay! Sit down here be-
side me; it is not to no purpose.
To whom would I go but unto thee? Stay, sit down! Do not
however look at me! Honour thus mine ugliness!
They persecute me: now art thou my last refuge. Not with
their hatred, not with their bailiffs; Oh, such persecution
would I mock at, and be proud and cheerful!
Hath not all success hitherto been with the well-persecuted
ones? And he who persecuteth well learneth readily to be
obsequent when once he is put behind! But it is their pity
Their pity is it from which I flee away and flee to thee. O
Zarathustra, protect me, thou, my last refuge, thou sole one
Thou hast divined how the man f eeleth 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 lan-
guage 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 7 have
gone, the way is bad. I tread all paths to death and destruction.
But that thou passedst me by in silence, that thou blushedst
I saw it well : thereby did I know thee as Zarathustra.
Every one else would have thrown to me his alms, his pity,
in look and speech. But for that I am not beggar enough: that
didst thou divine.
296 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
For that I am too rich, rich in what is great, frightful,
ugliest, most unutterable! Thy shame, O Zarathustra, honoured
With difficulty did I get out of the crowd of the pitiful,
that I might find the only one who at present teacheth that 'pity
is obtrusive' thyself, O Zarathustra!
Whether it be the pity of a God, or whether it be human
pity, it is offensive to modesty. And unwillingness to help may
be nobler than the virtue that rusheth to do so.
That however namely, pity is called virtue itself at
present by all petty people: they have no reverence for great
misfortune, great ugliness, great failure.
Beyond all these do I look, as a dog looketh over the backs
of thronging flocks of sheep. They are petty, good-wooled,
good-willed, grey people.
As the heron looketh contemptuously at shallow pools, with
backward-bent head, so do I look at the throng of grey little
waves and wills and souls.
Too long have we acknowledged them to be right, those
petty people: so we have at last given them power as well;
and now do they teach that 'good is only what petty people
And 'truth' is at present what the preacher spake who him-
self 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 courte-
ously? Thou, however, O Zarathustra, passedst him by, and
saidst: 'Nay! Nay! Three times Nay!'
Thou warnedst against his error; thou warnedst the first
THE UGLIEST MAN 297
to do so against pity: not every one, not none, but thyself
and thy type.
Thou art ashamed of the shame of the great sufferer; and
verily when thou sayest: 'From pity there cometh a heavy
cloud; take heed, ye men!'
When thou readiest: '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
f elleth thee.
But he had to die: he looked with eyes which beheld
everything, he beheld men's depths and dregs, all his hidden
ignominy and ugliness.
His pity knew no modesty : he crept into my dirtiest corners.
This most prying, over-intrusive, over-pitiful one had to die.
He ever beheld me: on such a witness I would have revenge
or not live myself.
The God jvho beheld everything, and also man: that God
had to die! Man cannot endure it that such a witness should
Thus spake the ugliest man. Zarathustra however got up,
and prepared to go on: for he felt frozen to the very bowels.
'Thou nondescript," said he, "thou warnedst me against
thy path. As thanks for it I praise mine to thee. Behold, up
thither is the cave of Zarathustra.
My cave is large and deep and hath many corners; there
fmdeth he that is most hidden his hiding-place. And close be-
298 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
side it, there are a hundred lurking-places and by-places for
creeping, fluttering, and hopping creatures.
Thou outcast, who hast cast thyself out, thou wilt not live
amongst men and men's pity? Well then, do like me! Thus
wilt thou learn also from me; only the doer learneth.
And talk first and foremost to mine animals! The proudest
animal and the wisest animal they might well be the right
counsellors for us both!"
Thus spake Zarathustra and went his way, more thought-
fully 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 him-
self, a great lover methinketh he is, and a great despiser.
No one have I yet found who more thoroughly despised
himself: even that is elevation. Alas, was this perhaps the
higher man whose cry I heard?
I love the great despisers. Man is something that hath to be
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
THE VOLUNTARY BEGGAR 299
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, "some-
thing warm and living quickeneth me; it must be in the neigh-
Already am I less alone; unconscious companions and
brethren rove around me; their warm breath toucheth my
When, however, he spied about and sought for the com-
forters of his lonesomeness, behold, there were kine there
standing together on an eminence, whose proximity and smell
had warmed his heart. The kine, however, seemed to listen
eagerly to a speaker, and took no heed of him who approached.
When, however, Zarathustra was quite nigh unto them, then
did he hear plainly that a human voice spake in the midst of
the kine, and apparently all of them had turned their heads
towards the speaker.
Then ran Zarathustra up speedily and drove the animals
aside; for he feared that some one had here met with harm,
which the pity of the kine would hardly be able to relieve. But
in this he was deceived; for behold, there sat a man on the
ground who seemed to be persuading the animals to have no
fear of him, a peaceable man and Preacher-on-the-Mount, out
of whose eyes kindness itself preached. "What dost thou seek
here?" called out Zarathustra in astonishment.
"What do I here seek?" answered he: "the same that thou
seekest, thou mischief-maker; that is to say, happiness upon
To that end, however, I would fain learn of these kine. For
I tell thee that I have already talked half a morning unto
3OO THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
them, and just now were they about to give me their answer.
Why dost thou disturb them?
Except we be converted and become as kine, we shall in no
wise enter into the kingdom of heaven. For we ought to learn
from them one thing: ruminating.
And verily, although a man should gain the whole world,
and yet not learn one thing, ruminating, what would it profit
him! He would not be rid of his affliction,
His great affliction: that, however, is at present called
disgust. Who hath not at present his heart, his mouth and his
eyes full of disgust? Thou also! Thou also! But behold these
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 ex-
pression. "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 him-
self, 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 alto-
gether like one to whom a precious gift and jewel hath fallen
unawares from heaven. The kine, however, gazed at it all and
"Speak not of me, thou strange one; thou amiable one!" said
Zarathustra, and restrained his affection, "speak to me firstly
of thyself! Art thou not the voluntary beggar who once cast
away great riches,
Who was ashamed of his riches and of the rich, and fled
to the poorest to bestow upon them his abundance and his
heart? But they received him not."
THE VOLUNTARY BEGGAR 301
"But they received me not," said the voluntary beggar, "thou
knowest it, forsooth. So I went at last to the animals and to
'Then learnedst thou," interrupted Zarathustra, "how much
harder it is to give properly than to take properly, and that be-
stowing well is an art the last, subtlest master-art of kind-
"Especially nowadays," answered the voluntary beggar: "at
present, that is to say, when everything low hath become re-
bellious 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
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
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
"And why is it not with the rich?" asked Zarathustra tempt-
ingly, while he kept back the kine which sniffed familiarly at
the peaceful one.
"Why dost thou tempt me?" answered the other. 'Thou
knowest it thyself better even than I. What was it drove me
to the poorest, O Zarathustra? Was it not my disgust at the
At the culprits of riches, with cold eyes and rank thoughts,
302 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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 com-
pliant, 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 per-
spired with his words : so that the kine wondered anew. Zara-
thustra, however, kept looking into his face with a smile, all
the time the man talked so severely and shook silently his
'Thou doest violence to thyself, thou Preach er-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 // 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 beg-
gar, 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 de-
vised 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
THE SHADOW 303
animals, mine eagle and my serpent, their like do not at
present exist on earth.
Behold, thither leadeth the way to my cave: be tonight its
guest. And talk to mine animals of the happiness of animals,
Until I myself come home. For now a cry of distress
calleth me hastily away from thee. Also, shouldst thou find
new honey with me, ice-cold, golden-comb-honey, eat it!
Now, however, take leave at once of thy kine, thou strange
one! thou amiable one! though it be hard for thee. For they
are thy warmest friends and preceptors!"
"One excepted, whom I hold still dearer," answered the
voluntary beggar. "Thou thyself art good, O Zarathustra, and
better even than a cow!"
"Away, away with thee! thou evil flatterer!" cried Zarathus-
tra mischievously, "why dost thou spoil me with such praise
"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 moun-
tains. "Whither hath my lonesomeness gone?" spake he.
304 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
"It is verily becoming too much for me; these mountains
swarm; my kingdom is no longer of this world; I require new
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 than mine."
Thus spake Zarathustra, and, laughing with eyes and en-
trails, he stood still and turned round quickly and behold,
he almost thereby threw his shadow and follower to the
ground, so closely had the latter followed at his heels, and so
weak was he. For when Zarathustra scrutinised him with his
glance he was frightened as by a sudden apparition, so slender,
swarthy, hollow and worn-out did this follower appear.
"Who art thou?" asked Zarathustra vehemently, "what doest
thou here? And why callest thou thyself my shadow? Thou art
not pleasing unto me."
"Forgive me," answered the shadow, "that it is I; and if I
please thee not well, O Zarathustra! therein do I admire thee
and thy good taste.
THE SHADOW 305
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
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
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 dan-
gerous wishes did I pursue, verily, beyond every crime did I
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
'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!
THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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
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 be-
hold! then only did I hit the truth.
Too much hath become clear unto me: now it doth not con-
cern ; me any more. Nothing liveth any longer that I love,
how should I still love myself?
'To live as I incline, or not to live at all': so do I wish; so
wisheth also the holiest. But alas! how have / still inclina-
Have / still a goal? A haven towards which my sail is set?
A good wind? Ah, he only who knoweth whither he saileth,
knoweth what wind is good, and a fair wind for him.
What still remaineth to me? A heart weary and flippant;,
an unstable will; fluttering wings; a broken backbone.
This seeking for my home: O Zarathustra, dost thou know
that this seeking hath been my home-sickening; it eateth me up.
'Where is my home?' For it do I ask and seek, and have
sought, but have not found it. O eternal everywhere, O eternal
nowhere, O eternal in-vain!"
Thus spake the shadow, and Zarathustra' s countenance
lengthened at his words. "Thou art my shadow!" said he at
"Thy danger is not small, thou free spirit and wanderer!
Thou hast had a bad day: see that a still worse evening doth
not overtake thee!
To such unsettled ones as thou, seemeth at last even a
prisoner blessed. Didst thou ever see how captured criminals
sleep? They sleep quietly, they enjoy their new security.
Beware lest in the end a narrow faith capture thee, a hard,
rigorous delusion! For now everything that is narrow and fixed
seduceth and tempteth thee.
Thou hast lost thy goal. Alas, how wilt thou forego and
forget that loss? Thereby hast thou also lost thy way!
Thou poor rover and rambler, thou tired butterfly! wilt thou
have a rest and a home this evening? Then go up to my cave!
Thither leadeth the way to my cave. And now will I run
quickly away from thee again. Already lieth as it were a
shadow upon me.
I will run alone, so that it may again become bright around
me. Therefore must I still be a long time merrily upon my
legs. In the evening, however, there will be dancing with
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
308 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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 some-
thing 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 neces-
sary than the other." Only that his eyes remained open: for
they never grew weary of viewing and admiring the tree and
the love of the vine. In falling asleep, however, Zarathustra
spake thus to his heart:
"Hush! Hush! Hath not the world now become perfect?
What hath happened unto me?
As a delicate wind danceth invisibly upon parqueted seas,
light, feather-light, so danceth sleep upon me.
No eye doth it close to me, it leaveth my soul awake. Light
is it, verily, feather-light.
It persuadeth me, I know not how, it toucheth me inwardly
with a caressing hand, it constraineth me. Yea, it constraineth
me, so that my soul stretcheth itself out:-
How long and weary it becometh, my strange soul! Hath
a seventh-day evening come to it precisely at noontide? Hath
it already wandered too long, blissfully, among good and ripe
It stretcheth itself out, long longer! it lieth still, my strange
soul. Too many good things hath it already tasted; this golden
sadness oppresseth it, it distorteth its mouth.
As a ship that putteth into the calmest cove: it now
draweth up to the land, weary of long voyages and uncertain
seas. Is not the land more faithful?
As such a ship huggeth the shore, tuggeth the shore: then
it sufficeth for a spider to spin its thread from the ship to the
land. No stronger ropes are required there.
As such a weary ship in the calmest cove, so do I also now
repose, nigh to the earth, faithful, trusting, waiting, bound
to it with the lightest threads.
O happiness! O happiness! Wilt thou perhaps sing, O my
soul? Thou liest in the grass. But this is the secret, solemn hour,
when no shepherd playeth his pipe.
Take care! Hot noontide sleepeth on the fields. Do not sing!
Hush! The world is perfect.
Do not sing, thou prairie-bird, my soul! Do not even whis-
per! 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
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!
310 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
What? Hath not the world just now become perfect?
Round and ripe? Oh, for the golden round ring whither
doth it fly? Let me run after it! Quick!
Hush " (and here Zarathustra stretched himself, and
felt that he was asleep. )
"Up!" said he to himself, "thou sleeper! Thou noontide
sleeper! Well then, up, ye old legs! It is time and more than
time; many a good stretch of road is still awaiting you
Now have ye slept your fill; for how long a time? A half-
eternity! Well then, up now, mine old heart! For how long
after such a sleep mayest thou remain awake?"
(But then did he fall asleep anew, and his soul spake against
him and defended itself, and lay down again) "Leave me
alone! Hush! Hath not the world just now become perfect?
Oh, for the golden round ball!"
"Get up," said Zarathustra, "thou little thief, thou slug-
gard! What! Still stretching thyself, yawning, sighing, falling
into deep wells?
Who art thou then, O my soul!" ( and here he became fright-
ened, 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, noon-
tide 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.
THE GREETING 311
77. 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
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 in-
tellectually 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 per-
son. 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 cour-
teous 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 :
312 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
'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
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 com-
pany: ye make one another's hearts fretful, ye that cry for
help, when ye sit here together? There is one that must first
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 him-
self 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 ani-
mals 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
THE GREETING 313
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 mis-
chief. 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
Who however could have humbled himself as thou hast
done, with such pride? That uplifteth us ourselves; a refresh-
ment is it, to our eyes and hearts.
To behold this, merely, gladly would we ascend higher
mountains than this. For as eager beholders have we come; we
wanted to see what brighteneth dim eyes.
And lo! now is it all over with our cries of distress. Now
are our minds and hearts open and enraptured. Little is lack-
ing for our spirits to become wanton.
There is nothing, O Zarathustra, that groweth more pleas-
ingly on earth than a lofty, strong will : it is the finest growth.
An entire landscape refresheth itself at one such tree.
To the pine do I compare him, O Zarathustra, which
groweth up like thee tall, silent, hardy, solitary, of the best,
supplest wood, stately,
In the end, however, grasping out for its dominion with
strong, green branches, asking weighty questions of the wind,
the storm, and whatever is at home on high places;
Answering more weightily, a commander, a victor! Oh!
who should not ascend high mountains to behold such
At thy tree, O Zarathustra, the gloomy and ill-constituted
314 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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
'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 him-
self?' thus do many people ask; 'hath solitude swallowed him
up? Or should we perhaps goto 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
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
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
THE GREETING 315
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
(" '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 Zara-
thustra; "but for me ye are neither high enough, nor strong
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,
1 do not treat my warriors Indulgently: how then could ye be
iit for my warfare?
With you I should spoil all my victories. And many of you
would tumble over if ye but heard the loud beating of my
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.
316 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
On your shoulders presseth many a burden, many a recol-
lection; many a mischievous dwarf squatteth in your corners.
There is concealed populace also in you.
And though ye be high and of a higher type, much in you
is crooked and misshapen. There is no smith in the world that
could hammer you right and straight for me.
Ye are only bridges: may higher ones pass over upon you!
Ye signify steps: so do not upbraid him who ascendeth beyond
you into his height!
Out of your seed there may one day arise for me a genuine
son and perfect heir: but that time is distant. Ye yourselves
are not those unto whom my heritage and name belong.
Not for you do I wait here in these mountains; not with you
may I descend for the last time. Ye have come unto me only
as a presage that higher ones are on the way to me,
Not the men of great longing, of great loathing, of great
satiety, and that which ye call the remnant of God;
Nay! Nay! Three times Nay! For others do I wait here
in these mountains, and will not lift my foot from thence
For higher ones, stronger ones, triumphanter ones,
merrier ones, for such as are built squarely in body and soul :
laughing lions must come!
O my guests, ye strange ones have ye yet heard nothing of
my children? And that they are on the way to me?
Do speak unto me of my gardens, of my Happy Isles, of my
new beautiful race why do ye not speak unto me thereof?
This guests' -present do I solicit of your love, that ye speak
unto me of my children. For them am I rich, for them I became
poor: what have I not surrendered.
What would I not surrender that I might have one thing:
THE SUPPER 317
these children, this living plantation, these life-trees of my
will and of my highest hope!"
Thus spake Zarathustra, and stopped suddenly in his dis-
course: for his longing came over him, and he dosed 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.
. 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
A word at the right time: didst thou not invite me to table?
And here are many who have made long journeys. Thou dost
not mean to feed us merely with discourses?
Besides, all of you have thought too much about freezing,
drowning, suffocating, and other bodily dangers : none of you,
however, have thought of my danger, namely, perishing of
hunger ' '
(Thus spake the soothsayer. When Zarathustra's animals,
however, heard these words, they ran away in terror. For they
saw that all they had brought home during the day would not
be enough to fill the one soothsayer. )
"Likewise perishing of thirst," continued the soothsayer.
"And although I hear water splashing here like words of wis-
318 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
dom that is to say, plenteously and unweariedly, I want
Not every one is a born water-drinker like Zarathustra.
Neither doth water suit weary and withered ones: we deserve
wine // alone giveth immediate vigour and improvised
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
"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 who-
ever 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
This proposal appealed to the hearts of all of them, save
that the voluntary beggar objected to the flesh and wine and
'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."
THE HIGHER MAN 319
"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.
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-
32O THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
And when I spake unto all, I spake unto none. In the eve-
ning, 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 popu-
Ye higher men, learn this from me: On the market-place no
one believeth in higher men. But if ye will speak there, very
well! The populace, however, blinketh: "We are all equal."
'Ye higher men," so blinketh the populace "there are
no higher men, we are all equal; man is man, before God
we are all equal!"
Before God! Now, however, this God hath died. Before
the populace, however, we will not be equal. Ye higher men,
away from the market-place!
Before God! Now however this God hath died! Ye higher
men, this God was your greatest danger.
Only since he lay in the grave have ye again arisen. Now
only cometh the great noontide, now only doth the higher
man become master!
Have ye understood this word, O my brethren? Ye are
frightened: do your hearts turn giddy? Doth the abyss here
yawn for you? Doth the hell-hound here yelp at you?
Well! Take heart! ye higher men! Now only travaileth the
mountain of the human future. God hath died: now do we
desire the Superman to live.
THE HIGHER MAN 321
The most careful ask to-day: "How is man to be main-
tained?" Zarathustra however asketh, as the first and only one:
"How is man to be surpassed?"
The Superman, I have at heart; that is the first and only thing
to me and not man: not the neighbour, not the poorest, not
the sorriest, not the best.
O my brethren, what I can love in man is that he is an over-
going and a down-going. And also in you there is much that
maketh me love and hope.
In that ye have despised, ye higher men, that maketh me
hope. For the great despisers are the great reverers.
In that ye have despaired, there is much to honour. For ye
have not learned to submit yourselves, ye have not learned
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 of today.
These masters of today surpass them, O my brethren
these petty people: they are the Superman's greatest danger!
Surpass, ye higher men, the petty virtues, the petty policy,
the sand-grain considerateness, the ant-hill trumpery, the piti-
322 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
able comfortableness, the "happiness of the greatest num-
And rather despair than submit yourselves. And verily, I
love you, because ye know not today how to live, ye higher
men! For thus do ye live best!
Have ye courage, O my brethren? Are ye stout-hearted? Not
the courage before witnesses, but anchorite and eagle courage,
which not even a God any longer beholdeth?
Cold souls, mules, the blind and the drunken, I do not call
stout-hearted. He hath heart who knoweth fear, but vanquish-
ed it; who seeth the abyss, but with pride.
He who seeth the abyss, but with eagle's eyes, he who with
eagle's talons grasp eth 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
"Man must become better and eviler" so do I teach. The
evilest is necessary for the Superman's best.
It may have been well for the preacher of the petty people
to suffer and be burdened by men's sin. I, however, rejoice in
great sin as my great consolation.
Such things, however, are not said for long ears. Every word,
also, is not suited for every mouth. These are fine far-away
things: at them sheep's claws shall not grasp!
THE HIGHER MAN 323
Ye higher men, think ye that I am here to put right what ye
have put wrong?
Or that I wished henceforth to make snugger couches for
you sufferers? Or show you restless, miswandering, misclimb-
ing ones, new and easier footpaths?
Nay! Nay! Three times Nay! Always more, always better
ones of your type shall succumb, for ye shall always have it
worse and harder. Thus only
Thus only groweth man aloft to the height where the
lightning striketh and shartereth him: high enough for the
Towards the few, the long, the remote go forth my soul and
my seeking: of what account to me are your many little, short
Ye do not yet suffer enough for me! For ye suffer from your-
selves, ye have not yet suffered from man. Ye would lie if ye
spake otherwise! None of you suffereth from what / have suf-
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
My wisdom hath accumulated long like a doud, it becometh
stiller and darker. So doeth all wisdom which shall one day
324 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
Unto these men of today will I not be light t nor be called
light. Themvfitt. I blind: lightning of my wisdom! put out
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-
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 how-
ever knoweth not what is great and what is small, what is
straight and what is honest: it is innocently crooked, it ever
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 your-
THE HIGHER MAN 325
selves with good distrust: "What strong error hath fought
Be on your guard also against the learned! They hate you,
because they are unproductive! They have cold, withered eyes
before which every bird is unplumed.
Such persons vaunt about not lying: but inability to lie is
still far from being love to truth. Be on your guard!
Freedom from fever is still far from being knowledge!
Refrigerated spirits I do not believe in. He who cannot lie,
doth not know what truth is.
If ye would go up high, then use your own legs! Do not get
yourselves carried aloft; do not seat yourselves on other peo-
ple's backs and heads!
Thou hast mounted, however, on horseback? Thou now
ridest briskly up to thy goal? Well, my friend! But thy lame
foot is also with thee on horseback!
When thou readiest thy goal, when thou alightest from thy
horse: precisely on thy height, thou higher man, then wilt
Ye creating ones, ye higher men! One is only pregnant with
one's own child.
Do not let yourselves be imposed upon or put upon! Who
then is your neighbour? Even if ye act "for your neighbour"
ye still do not create for him!
326 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
Unlearn, I pray you, this "for," ye creating ones: your very
virtue wisheth you to have naught to do with "for" and "on
account of" and "because." Against these false little words
shall ye stop your ears.
"For one's neighbour," is the virtue only of the petty people:
there it is said "like and like," and "hand washeth hand":
they have neither the right nor the power for your self-seeking!
In your self-seeking, ye creating ones, there is the foresight
and foreseeing of the pregnant! What no one's eye hath yet
seen, namely, the fruit this, sheltereth and saveth and nour-
isheth your entire love.
Where your entire love is, namely, with your child, there is
also your entire virtue! Your work, your will is your "neigh-
bour": 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 pleas-
ure. The pain maketh hens and poets cackle.
Ye creating ones, in you there is much uncleanness. 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
Be not virtuous beyond your powers! And seek nothing from
yourselves opposed to probability!
THE HIGHER MAN 327
Walk in the footsteps in which your fathers' virtue hath
already walked! How would ye rise high, if your fathers' will
should not rise with you?
He, however, who would be a firstling, let him take care lest
he also become a lastling! And where the vices of your fathers
are, there should ye not set up as saints!
He whose fathers were inclined for women, and for strong
wine and flesh of wildboar swine; what would it be if he
demanded chastity of himself?
A folly would it be! Much, verily, doth it seem to me for
such a one, if he should be the husband of one or of two or of
And if he founded monasteries, and inscribed over their
portals: "The way to holiness," I should still say: What good
is it! it is a new folly!
He hath founded for himself a penance-house and refuge-
house: much good may it do! But. I do not believe in it.
In solitude there groweth what any one bringeth into it
also the brute in one's nature. Thus is solitude inadvisable unto
Hath there ever been anything filthier on earth than the
saints of the wilderness? Around them was not only the devil
loose but also the swine.
Shy, ashamed, awkward, like the tiger whose spring hath
failed thus, ye higher men, have I often seen you slink aside.
A cast which ye made had failed.
But what doth it matter, ye dice-players! Ye had not learned
328 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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
The higher its type, always the seldomer doth a thing suc-
ceed. 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
What wonder even that ye have failed and only half-suc-
ceeded, ye half -shattered ones! Doth not man's future strive
and struggle in you?
Man's furthest, profoundest, star-highest issues, his prodi-
gious powers do not all these foam through one another in
What wonder that many a vessel shattereth! Learn to laugh
at yourselves, as ye ought to laugh! Ye higher men, Oh, how
much is still possible!
And verily, how much hath already succeeded! How rich is
this earth in small, good, perfect things, in well -constituted
Set around you small, good, perfect things, ye higher men.
Their golden maturity healeth the heart. The perfect teacheth
one to hope.
THE HIGHER MAN 329
What hath hitherto been the greatest sin here on earth? Was
it not the word of him who said: "Woe unto them that laugh
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; wail-
ing 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 ap-
proaching happiness, all good things laugh.
His step betrayeth whether a person already walketh on his
330 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
own path: just see me walk! He, however, who cometh nigh to
his goal, danceth.
And verily, a statue have I not become, not yet do I stand
there stiff, stupid and stony, like a pillar; I love fast racing.
And though there be on earth fens and dense afflictions, he
who hath light feet runneth even across the mud, and danceth,
as upon well-swept ice.
Lift up your hearts, my brethren, high, higher! And do not
forget your legs! Lift up also your legs, ye good dancers, and
better still, if ye stand upon your heads!
This crown of the laughter, this rose-garland crown : I my-
self have put on this crown, I myself have consecrated my
laughter. No one else have I found to-day potent enough for
Zarathustra the dancer, Zarathustra the light one, who beck-
oneth 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!
THE HIGHER MAN 331
There are also heavy animals in a state of happiness, there
are club-footed ones from the beginning. Curiously do they
exert themselves, like an elephant which endeavoureth to stand
upon its head.
Better, however, to be foolish with happiness than foolish
with misfortune, better to dance awkwardly than walk lamely.
So learn, I pray you, my wisdom, ye higher men : even the worst
thing hath two good reverse sides,
Even the worst thing hath good dancing-legs: so learn,
I pray you, ye higher men, to put yourselves on your proper
So unlearn, I pray you, the sorrow-sighing, and all the popu-
lace-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 moun-
tain-caves: unto its own piping will it dance; the seas tremble
and leap under its footsteps.
That which giveth wings to asses, that which milketh the
lionesses: praised be that good, unruly spirit, which cometh
like a hurricane unto all the present and unto all the popu-
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 afflic-
tions, as upon meadows!
Which hateth the consumptive populace-dogs, and all the
ill-constituted, sullen brood: praised be this spirit of all free
332 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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 be-
yond 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!
. 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
"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 ani-
mals!" The eagle, however, and the serpent pressed close to
him when he spake these words, and looked up to him. In this
THE SONG OF MELANCHOLY 333
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
Unto all of you, whatever honours ye like to assume in your
names, whether ye call yourselves 'the free spirits' or 'the con-
scientious,' or 'the penitents of the spirit,' or 'the unfettered,'
or 'the great longers,'
Unto all of you, who like me suffer from the great loath-
ing, to whom the old God hath died, and as yet no new God
lieth in cradles and swaddling clothes unto all of you is mine
evil spirit and magic-devil favourable.
I know you, ye higher men, I know him, I know also this
fiend whom I love in spite of me, this Zarathustra: he himself
often seemeth to me like the beautiful mask of a saint,
Like a new strange mummery in which mine evil spirit,
the melancholy devil, delighteth: I love Zarathustra, so doth
it often seem to me, for the sake of mine evil spirit.
334 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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-melan-
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-drop-
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?
THE SONG OF MELANCHOLY 335
"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,
336 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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-
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 'gainst 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.
THE SONG OF MELANCHOLY 337
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!
338 THUS SPAKEZARATHUSTRA
THUS sang the magician; and all who were present went like
birds unawares into the net of his artful and melancholy volup-
tuousness. 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 magi-
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, how-
ever, 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
Thus do all those present, the higher men. Thou, however,
hast perhaps understood but little of my song? In thee there
is little of the magic spirit."
"Thou praisest me," replied the conscientious one, "in that
thou separatest me from thyself; very well! But, ye others,
what do I see? Ye still sit there, all of you, with lusting eyes :
Ye free spirits, whither hath your freedom gone! Ye almost
seem to me to resemble those who have long looked at bad
girls dancing naked : your souls themselves dance!
In you, ye higher men, there must be more of that which the
magician calleth his evil spirit of magic and deceit: we must
indeed be different.
And verily, we spake and thought long enough together ere
Zarathustra came home to his cave, for me not to be unaware
that we are different.
We seek different things even here aloft, ye and I. For I seeli
more security; on that account have I come to Zarathustra. Foj
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
Ye long for the worst and dangerousest life, which f right-
eneth 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 mis-
leaders. But if such longing in you be actual, it seemeth to me
nevertheless to be impossible.
For fear that is man's original and fundamental feeling;
through fear everything is explained, original sin and original
virtue. Through fear there grew also my virtue, that is to say:
For fear of wild animals that hath been longest fostered
in man, inclusive of the animal which he concealeth and f ear-
eth in himself: Zarathustra calleth it 'the beast inside.'
340 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
Such prolonged ancient fear, at last become subtle, spir-
itual and intellectual at present, me thinketh, it is called
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 intellec-
tual, this human courage, with eagle's pinions and serpent's
wisdom: this, it seemeth to me, is called at present "
(f Zarathustra!" cried all of them there assembled, as if with
one voice, and burst out at the same time into a great laugh-
ter; there arose, however, from them as it were a heavy cloud.
Even the magician laughed, and said wisely: "Well! It is gone,
mine evil spirit!
And did I not myself warn you against it when I said that
it was a deceiver, a lying and deceiving spirit?
Especially when it showeth itself naked. But what can / do
with regard to its tricks! Have / created it and the world?
Well! Let us be good again, and of good cheer! And al-
though 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.
AMONG DAUGHTERS OF THE DESERT 341
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.
67. 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 how-
ever no one to see them, I wager that with them also the 'bad
game would again commence,
The bad game of drifting clouds, of damp melancholy,
of curtained heavens, of stolen suns, of howling autumn-
The bad game of our howling and crying for help! Abide
with us, O Zarathustra! Here there is much concealed misery
342 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
that wisheth to speak, much evening, much cloud, much damp
Thou hast nourished us with strong food for men, and
powerful proverbs: do not let the weakly, womanly spirits
attack us anew at dessert!
Thou alone makest the air around thee strong and clear. Did
I ever find anywhere on earth such good air as with thee in thy
Many lands have I seen, my nose hath learned to test and
estimate many kinds of air: but with thee do my nostrils taste
their greatest delight!
Unless it be, unless it be , do forgive an old recollection!
Forgive me an old after-dinner song, which I once composed
amongst daughters of the desert :-
For with them was there equally good, clear, Oriental air;
there was I furthest from cloudy, damp, melancholy Old-
Then did I love such Oriental maidens and other blue king-
doms 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: rid-
dles which can be guessed: to please such maidens I then
composed an after-dinner psalm."
Thus spake the wanderer who called himself Zarathustra's
shadow; and before any one answered him, he had seized the
harp of the old magician, crossed his legs, and looked calmly
and sagely around him: with his nostrils, however, he in-
haled 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.
AMONG DAUGHTERS OF THE DESERT 343
The deserts grow: woe him who doth them hide!
In effect solemnly!
A worthy beginning!
Af ric 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.
344 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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,-
AMONG DAUGHTERS OF THE DESERT 345
Environed by you,
Ye silent, presentientest
Dudu and Suleika,
Rounds phinxed, 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,
346 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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! /0j/ 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,
AMONG DAUGHTERS OF T H If DESERT 347
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!
348 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
. 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
-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 re-
cover 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 AWAKENING 349
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
'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
New hopes are in their arms and legs, their hearts expand.
They find new words, soon will their spirits breathe wanton-
Such food may sure enough not be proper for children, nor
even for longing girls old and young. One persuadeth their
bowels otherwise; I am not their physician and teacher.
The disgust departeth from these higher men; well! that is
my victory. In my domain they become assured; all stupid
shame fleeth away; they empty themselves.
They empty their hearts, good times return unto them, they
keep holiday and ruminate, they become thankful.
That do I take as the best sign: they become thankful. Not
long will it be ere they devise festivals, and put up memorials
to their old joys.
They are convalescents!" Thus spake Zarathustra joyfully
to his heart and gazed outward; his animals, however, pressed
up to him, and honoured his happiness and his silence.
350 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
All on a sudden however, Zarathustra's ear was frightened:
for the cave which had hitherto been full of noise and laugh-
ter, became all at once still as death; his nose, however, smelt
a sweet-scented vapour and incense-odour, as if from burning
"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 chil-
dren and credulous old women, and worshipped the ass. And
just then began the ugliest man to gurgle and snort, as if some-
thing unutterable in him tried to find expression; when, how-
ever, 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 ever-
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 AWAKENING 351
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 artful-
ness 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
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 sufTerest 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.
352 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
. 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 ex-
claimed, pulling up the praying ones from the ground. "Alas,
if any one else, except Zarathustra, had seen you :
Every one would think you the worst blasphemers, or the
very foolishest old women, with your new belief!
And thou thyself, thou old pope, how is it in accordance
with thee, to adore an ass in such a manner as God?"
"O Zarathustra," answered the pope, "forgive me, but in
divine matters I am more enlightened even than thou. And it
is right that it should be so.
Better to adore God so, in this form, than in no form at all!
Think over this saying, mine exalted friend: thou wilt readily
divine that in such a saying there is wisdom.
He who said 'God is a Spirit' made the greatest stride and
slide hitherto made on earth towards unbelief: such a dictum
is not easily amended again on earth!
Mine old heart leapeth and boundeth because there is still
something to adore on earth. Forgive it, O Zarathustra, to an
old, pious pontiff-heart! "
"And thou," said Zarathustra to the wanderer and
shadow, "thou callest and thinkest thyself a free spirit? And
thou here practisest such idolatry and hierolatry?
THE ASS-FESTIVAL 353
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 con-
scientious 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 conscien-
tious 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 infatu-
ated with stupidity and folly. Think of thyself, O Zarathustra!
Thou thyself verily! even thou couldst well become an
ass through superabundance of wisdom.
354 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
Doth not the true sage willingly walk on the crookedest
paths? The evidence teacheth it, O Zarathustra, thine own
"And thou thyself, finally," said Zarathustra, and turned
towards the ugliest man, who still lay on the ground stretch-
ing 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 man-
tle 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
Thou thyself seemest to me awakened: what didst thou do?
why didst thou turn round? Why didst thou get converted?
Speak, thou nondescript!"
"O Zarathustra," answered the ugliest man, "thou art a
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,
'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, aston-
ijhed at such merely roguish answers, jumped back to the door
THE ASS-FESTIVAL 35-5
of his cave, and turning towards all his guests, cried out with
a strong voice:
"O ye wags, all of you, ye buffoons! Why do ye dissemble
and disguise yourselves before me!
How the hearts of all of you convulsed with delight and
wickedness, because ye had at last become again like little
children namely, pious,
Because ye at last did again as children do namely,
prayed, folded your hands and said 'good God' !
But now leave, I pray you, this nursery, mine own cave,
where today all childishness is carried on. Cool down, here
outside, your hot child- wantonness and heart-tumult!
To be sure: except ye become as little children ye shall not
enter into that kingdom of heaven." (And Zarathustra pointed
aloft with his hands.)
"But we do not at all want to enter into the kingdom of
heaven: we have become men, so we want the kingdom of
And once more began Zarathustra to speak. "O my new
friends," said he, "ye strange ones, ye higher men, how well
do ye now please me,
Since ye have again become joyful! Ye have, verily, all
blossomed forth : it seemeth to me that for such flowers as you,
new festivals are required.
A little valiant nonsense, some divine service and ass-
festival, some old joyful Zarathustra fool, some blusterer to
blow your souls bright.
356 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
Forget not this night and this ass-festival, ye higher men!
Tht$ 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 remem-
brance of me!"
Thus spake Zarathustra.
The Drunken Song
MEANWHILE one after another had gone out into the open air,
and into the cool, thoughtful night; Zarathustra himself, how-
ever, led the ugliest man by the hand, that he might show him
his night-world, and the great round moon, and the silvery
water-falls near his cave. There they at last stood still beside
one another; all of them old people, but with comforted, brave
hearts, and astonished in themselves that it was so well with
them on earth; the mystery of the night, however, came nigher
and nigher to their hearts. And anew Zarathustra thought to
himself: "Oh, how well do they now please me, these higher
men!" -but he did not say it aloud, for he respected their
happiness and their silence.
Then, however, there happened that which in this astonish-
ing long day was most astonishing: the ugliest man began once
more and for the last time to gurgle and snort, and when he
THE DRUNKEN SONG 357
had at length found expression, behold! there sprang a ques-
tion 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 / 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
My friends, what think ye? Will ye not, like me, say unto
death: 'Was that life? For the sake of Zarathustra, well!
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 con-
scious of their transformation and convalescence, and of him
who was the cause thereof: then did they rush up to Zarathus-
tra, 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 re-
nounced all weariness. There are even those who narrate that
the ass then danced : for not in vain had the ugliest man previ-
ously 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!"
358 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
When, however, this took place with the ugliest man, Zara-
thustra 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? Ap-
parently, 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
ringer 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 mid-
night!' 9 and his voice had changed. But still he had not
moved from the spot. Then it became yet stiller and more mys-
terious, and everything hearkened, even the ass, and Zarathus-
tra's noble animals, the eagle and the serpent, likewise the
cave of Zarathustra and the big cool moon, and the night itself.
Zarathustra, however, laid his hand upon his mouth for the
third time, and said:
Come! Come! Come! Let us now wander! It is the hour:
let us wander into the night!
THE DRUNKEN SONG 359
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
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 sigh-
eth! how it laugheth in its dream!
Hearest thou not how it mysteriously, frightfully, and
cordially speaketh unto thee, the old deep, deep midnight?
O man, take heed!
Woe to me! Whither hath time gone? Have I not sunk into
deep wells? The world sleepeth
Ah! Ah! The dog howleth, the moon shineth. Rather will I
die, rather will I die, than say unto you what my midnight-
heart now thinketh.
Already have I died. It is all over. Spider, why spinnest thou
around me? Wilt thou have blood? Ah! Ah! The dew falleth,
the hour cometh
360 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
-The hour in which I frost and freeze, which asketh and
asketh and asketh: "Who hath sufficient courage for it?
-Who is to be master of the world? Who is going to say:
Thus shall ye flow, ye great and small streams!"
-The hour approacheth: O man, thou higher man, take
heed! this talk is for fine ears, for thine ears what saith deep
midnight's voice indeed?
It carrieth me away, my soul danceth. Day's-work! Day's-
work! Who is to be master of the world?
The moon is cool, the wind is still. Ah! Ah! Have ye already
flown high enough? Ye have danced: a leg, nevertheless, is not
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 mut-
ter: "Free the dead! Why is it so long night? Doth not the
moon make us drunken?"
Ye higher men, free the sepulchres, awaken the corpses!
Ah, why doth the worm still burrow? There approacheth,
there approacheth, the hour,-
-There boometh the clock-bell, there thrilleth still the
heart, there burroweth still the wood-worm, the heart-worm.
Ah! Ah! The world is deep!
Sweet lyre! Sweet lyre! I love thy tone, thy drunken, ranun-
culine tone! how long, how far hath come unto me thv tone,
from the distance, from the ponds of love!
THE DRUNKEN SONG 361
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 be-
come ripe, the grape turneth brown,
Now doth it wish to die, to die of happiness. Ye higher
men, do ye not feel it? There welleth up mysteriously an odour,
-A perfume and odour of eternity, a rosy-blessed, brown,
gold-wine-odour of old happiness.
-Of drunken midnight-death happiness, which singeth:
the world is deep, and deeper than the day could read!
Leave me alone! Leave me alone! I am too pure for thee.
Touch me not! Hath not my world just now become perfect?
My skin is too pure for thy hands. Leave me alone, thou dull,
doltish, stupid day! Is not the midnight brighter?
The purest are to be masters of the world, the least known,
the strongest, the midnight-souls, who are brighter and deeper
than any day.
O day, thou gropest for me? Thou feelest for my happiness?
For thee am I rich, lonesome, a treasure-pit, a gold chamber?
O world, thou wantest me? Am I worldly for thee? Am I
spiritual for thee? Am I divine for thee? But day and world,
ye are too coarse,
Have cleverer hands, grasp after deeper happiness, after
deeper unhappiness, grasp after some God; grasp not after me:
Mine unhappiness, my happiness is deep, thou strange
day, but yet am I no God, no God's-hell: deep is its woe.
362 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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 understand-
eth, but which must speak before deaf ones, ye higher men!
For ye do not understand me!
Gone! Gone! O youth! O noontide! O afternoon! Now have
come evening and night and midnight, the dog howleth, the
Is the wind not a dog? It whineth, it barketh, it howleth.
Ah! Ah! how she sigheth! how she laugh eth, how she wheezeth
and panteth, the midnight!
How she just now speaketh soberly, this drunken poetess!
hath she perhaps overdrunk her drunkenness? hath she be-
come overawake? doth she ruminate?
-Her woe doth she ruminate over, in a dream, the old, deep
midnight and still more her joy. For joy, although woe be
deep, joy is deeper still than grief can be.
Thou grape-vine! Why dost thou praise me? Have I not cut
thee! I am cruel, thou bleedest : what meaneth thy praise of
my drunken cruelty?
'Whatever hath become perfect, everything mature
wanteth to die!" so sayest thou. Blessed, blessed be the vint-
ner'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,
THE DRUNKEN SOISTG 363
Longing for the further, the higher, the brighter. "I want
heirs," so saith everything that suffereth, "I want children, I do
not want myself,"
Joy, however, doth not want heirs, it doth not want children,
joy wanteth itself, it wanteth eternity, it wanteth recurrence,
it wanteth everything eternally-like-itself .
Woe saith: "Break, bleed, thou heart! Wander, thou leg!
Thou wing, fly! Onward! upward! thou pain!" Well! Cheer up!
O mine old heart: Woe saith: "Hence! Go!"
Ye higher men, what think ye? Am I a soothsayer? Or a
dreamer? Or a drunkard? Or a dream-reader? Or a midnight-
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 enam-
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 enam-
oured, Oh, then did ye love the world,
Ye eternal ones, ye love it eternally and for all time: and
also unto woe do ye say: Hence! Go! but come back! For joys
all want eternity!
364 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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
-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 bestow-
eth, it throweth away, it beggeth for some one to take from it,
it thanketh the taker, it would fain be hated,
-So rich is joy that it thirsteth for woe, for hell, for hate,
for shame, for the lame, for the world, for this world, Oh,
ye know it indeed!
Ye higher men, for you doth it long, this joy, this irrepressi-
ble, blessed joy for your woe, ye failures! For failures,
longeth all eternal joy.
For joys all want themselves, therefore do they also want
grief! O happiness, O pain! Oh break, thou heart! Ye higher
men, do learn it, that joys want eternity.
-Joys want the eternity of all things, they want deep, pro-
Have ye now learned my song? Have ye divined what it
would say? Well! Cheer up! Ye higher men, sing now my
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!
THE SIGN 365
O man! Take heed!
What saith deep midnight's voice indeed?
ff l slept my sleep ,
"From deepest dream I've woke, and plead:
"The ivorld is deep,
"And deeper than the day could read.
Deep is its ivoe ,
Joy deeper still than grief can be:
"Woe saith: Hence! Go!
f But joys all want eternity ,
f Want deep, profound eternity!"
80. The Sign
IN THE morning, however, after this night, Zarathustra
jumped up from his couch, and, having girded his loins, he
came out of his cave glowing and strong, like a morning sun
coming out of gloomy mountains.
'Thou great star," spake he, as he had spoken once before,
"thou deep eye of happiness, what would be all thy happiness
if thou hadst not those for whom thou shinest!
And if they remained in their chambers whilst thou art
already awake, and comest and bestowest and distributest, how
would thy proud modesty upbraid for it!
Well.! they still sleep, these higher men, whilst 7 am awake:
they are not my proper companions! Not for them do I wait
here in my mountains.
At my work I want to be, at my day: but they understand
366 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
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, how-
ever, there sounded before him a roar, a long, soft lion-roar.
''The sign cometh," said Zarathustra, and a change came
THE SIGN 367
over his heart. And in truth, when it turned dear 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, how-
ever, were no less eager with their love than the lion; and
whenever a dove whisked over its nose, the lion shook its head
and wondered and laughed.
When all this went on Zarathustra spake only a word: "My
children are nigh, my children" , then he became quite mute.
His heart, however, was loosed, and from his eyes there
dropped down tears and fell upon his hands. And he took no
further notice of anything, but sat there motionless, without
repelling the animals further. Then flew the doves to and fro,
and perched on his shoulder, and caressed his white hair, and
did not tire of their tenderness and joyousness. The strong lion,
however, licked always the tears that fell on Zarathustra's
hands, and roared and growled shyly. Thus did these animals
All this went on for a long time, or a short time : for properly
speaking, there is no time on earth for such things . Mean-
while, 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 hon 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, in-
368 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
quired 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 /'/ 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
To my last sin?" cried Zarathustra, and laughed angrily at
his own words: "what hath been reserved for me as my last
And once more Zarathustra became absorbed in himself,
and sat down again on the big stone and meditated. Suddenly
he sprang up,
"Fellow-suffering! Fellow- suffering with the higher men!"
he cried out, and his countenance changed into brass. "Well!
That hath had its time!
My suffering and my fellow-suffering what matter about
them! Do I then strive after happiness? I strive after my work!
Well! The lion hath come, my children are nigh, Zarathustra
hath grown ripe, mine hour hath come:-
This is my morning, my day beginneth: arise now, arise,
thou great noontide!"
Thus spake Zarathustra and left his cave, glowing and
strong, like a morning sun coming out of gloomy mountains.
Friedrich Nietzsche was born in 1844 in
Rocken (Saxony), Germany. He studied
classical philology at the universities of
Bonn and Leipzig, and in 1869 was
appointed to the chair of classical philol-
ogy at the University of Basel, Switzer-
land. Ill health prompted his resignation
ten years later. His works include The
Birth of Tragedy, Beyond Good and Evil, Ou
the Genealogy of Morals, The Case of Wagner,
Twilight of the Gods, The Antichrist, The Gay
Science, Nietzsche contra Wagner, and Ecce
Homo. He died in 1900. The Will to Power,
a selection from his notebooks, was pub-
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