Tantissimi classici della letteratura e della cultura politica,
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Abbe Prevost - MANON LESCAUT
Alcott, Louisa M. - AN OLDFASHIONED GIRL
Alcott, Louisa M. - LITTLE MEN
Alcott, Louisa M. - LITTLE WOMEN
Alcott, Louisa May - JACK AND JILL
Alcott, Louisa May - LIFE LETTERS AND JOURNALS
Andersen, Hans Christian - FAIRY TALES
Anonimo - BEOWULF
Ariosto, Ludovico - ORLANDO ENRAGED
Aurelius, Marcus - MEDITATIONS
Austen, Jane - EMMA
Austen, Jane - MANSFIELD PARK
Austen, Jane - NORTHANGER ABBEY
Austen, Jane - PERSUASION
Austen, Jane - PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
Austen, Jane - SENSE AND SENSIBILITY
Authors, Various - LETTERS OF ABELARD AND HELOISE
Authors, Various - SELECTED ENGLISH LETTERS
Autori Vari - THE WORLD ENGLISH BIBLE
Bacon, Francis - THE ADVANCEMENT OF LEARNING
Balzac, Honore de - EUGENIE GRANDET
Balzac, Honore de - FATHER GORIOT
Baroness Orczy - THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL
Barrie, J. M. - PETER AND WENDY
Barrie, James M. - PETER PAN
Bierce, Ambrose - THE DEVIL'S DICTIONARY
Blake, William - SONGS OF INNOCENCE AND EXPERIENCE
Boccaccio, Giovanni - DECAMERONE
Brent, Linda - INCIDENTS IN THE LIFE OF A SLAVE GIRL
Bronte, Charlotte - JANE EYRE
Bronte, Charlotte - VILLETTE
Buchan, John - GREENMANTLE
Buchan, John - MR STANDFAST
Buchan, John - THE 39 STEPS
Bunyan, John - THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS
Burckhardt, Jacob - THE CIVILIZATION OF THE RENAISSANCE IN ITALY
Burnett, Frances H. - A LITTLE PRINCESS
Burnett, Frances H. - LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY
Burnett, Frances H. - THE SECRET GARDEN
Butler, Samuel - EREWHON
Carlyle, Thomas - PAST AND PRESENT
Carlyle, Thomas - THE FRENCH REVOLUTION
Cellini, Benvenuto - AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Cervantes - DON QUIXOTE
Chaucer, Geoffrey - THE CANTERBURY TALES
Chesterton, G. K. - A SHORT HISTORY OF ENGLAND
Chesterton, G. K. - THE BALLAD OF THE WHITE HORSE
Chesterton, G. K. - THE INNOCENCE OF FATHER BROWN
Chesterton, G. K. - THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH
Chesterton, G. K. - THE MAN WHO WAS THURSDAY
Chesterton, G. K. - THE WISDOM OF FATHER BROWN
Chesterton, G. K. - TWELVE TYPES
Chesterton, G. K. - WHAT I SAW IN AMERICA
Chesterton, Gilbert K. - HERETICS
Chopin, Kate - AT FAULT
Chopin, Kate - BAYOU FOLK
Chopin, Kate - THE AWAKENING AND SELECTED SHORT STORIES
Clark Hall, John R. - A CONCISE ANGLOSAXON DICTIONARY
Clarkson, Thomas - AN ESSAY ON THE SLAVERY AND COMMERCE OF THE HUMAN SPECIES
Clausewitz, Carl von - ON WAR
Coleridge, Herbert - A DICTIONARY OF THE FIRST OR OLDEST WORDS IN THE ENGLISH
Coleridge, S. T. - COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS
Coleridge, S. T. - HINTS TOWARDS THE FORMATION OF A MORE COMPREHENSIVE THEORY
Coleridge, S. T. - THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER
Collins, Wilkie - THE MOONSTONE
Collodi - PINOCCHIO
Conan Doyle, Arthur - A STUDY IN SCARLET
Conan Doyle, Arthur - MEMOIRS OF SHERLOCK HOLMES
Conan Doyle, Arthur - THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES
Conan Doyle, Arthur - THE RETURN OF SHERLOCK HOLMES
Conan Doyle, Arthur - THE SIGN OF THE FOUR
Conrad, Joseph - HEART OF DARKNESS
Conrad, Joseph - LORD JIM
Conrad, Joseph - NOSTROMO
Conrad, Joseph - THE NIGGER OF THE NARCISSUS
Conrad, Joseph - TYPHOON
Crane, Stephen - LAST WORDS
Crane, Stephen - MAGGIE
Crane, Stephen - THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE
Crane, Stephen - WOUNDS IN THE RAIN
Dante - THE DIVINE COMEDY: HELL
Dante - THE DIVINE COMEDY: PARADISE
Dante - THE DIVINE COMEDY: PURGATORY
Darwin, Charles - THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF CHARLES DARWIN
Darwin, Charles - THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES
Defoe, Daniel - A GENERAL HISTORY OF THE PYRATES
Defoe, Daniel - A JOURNAL OF THE PLAGUE YEAR
Defoe, Daniel - CAPTAIN SINGLETON
Defoe, Daniel - MOLL FLANDERS
Defoe, Daniel - ROBINSON CRUSOE
Defoe, Daniel - THE COMPLETE ENGLISH TRADESMAN
Defoe, Daniel - THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF ROBINSON CRUSOE
Deledda, Grazia - AFTER THE DIVORCE
Dickens, Charles - A CHRISTMAS CAROL
Dickens, Charles - A TALE OF TWO CITIES
Dickens, Charles - BLEAK HOUSE
Dickens, Charles - DAVID COPPERFIELD
Dickens, Charles - DONBEY AND SON
Dickens, Charles - GREAT EXPECTATIONS
Dickens, Charles - HARD TIMES
Dickens, Charles - LETTERS VOLUME 1
Dickens, Charles - LITTLE DORRIT
Dickens, Charles - MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT
Dickens, Charles - NICHOLAS NICKLEBY
Dickens, Charles - OLIVER TWIST
Dickens, Charles - OUR MUTUAL FRIEND
Dickens, Charles - PICTURES FROM ITALY
Dickens, Charles - THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD
Dickens, Charles - THE OLD CURIOSITY SHOP
Dickens, Charles - THE PICKWICK PAPERS
Dickinson, Emily - POEMS
Dostoevsky, Fyodor - CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
Dostoyevsky, Fyodor - THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV
Du Maurier, George - TRILBY
Dumas, Alexandre - THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO
Dumas, Alexandre - THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK
Dumas, Alexandre - THE THREE MUSKETEERS
Eliot, George - DANIEL DERONDA
Eliot, George - MIDDLEMARCH
Eliot, George - SILAS MARNER
Eliot, George - THE MILL ON THE FLOSS
Engels, Frederick - THE CONDITION OF THE WORKING-CLASS IN ENGLAND IN 1844
Equiano - AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Esopo - FABLES
Fenimore Cooper, James - THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS
Fielding, Henry - TOM JONES
France, Anatole - THAIS
France, Anatole - THE GODS ARE ATHIRST
France, Anatole - THE LIFE OF JOAN OF ARC
France, Anatole - THE SEVEN WIVES OF BLUEBEARD
Frank Baum, L. - THE PATCHWORK GIRL OF OZ
Frank Baum, L. - THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ
Franklin, Benjamin - AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Frazer, James George - THE GOLDEN BOUGH
Freud, Sigmund - DREAM PSYCHOLOGY
Galsworthy, John - COMPLETE PLAYS
Galsworthy, John - STRIFE
Galsworthy, John - STUDIES AND ESSAYS
Galsworthy, John - THE FIRST AND THE LAST
Galsworthy, John - THE FORSYTE SAGA
Galsworthy, John - THE LITTLE MAN
Galsworthy, John - THE SILVER BOX
Galsworthy, John - THE SKIN GAME
Gaskell, Elizabeth - CRANFORD
Gaskell, Elizabeth - MARY BARTON
Gaskell, Elizabeth - NORTH AND SOUTH
Gaskell, Elizabeth - THE LIFE OF CHARLOTTE BRONTE
Gay, John - THE BEGGAR'S OPERA
Gentile, Maria - THE ITALIAN COOK BOOK
Gilbert and Sullivan - PLAYS
Goethe - FAUST
Gogol - DEAD SOULS
Goldsmith, Oliver - SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER
Goldsmith, Oliver - THE VICAR OF WAKEFIELD
Grahame, Kenneth - THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS
Grimm, Brothers - FAIRY TALES
Harding, A. R. - GINSENG AND OTHER MEDICINAL PLANTS
Hardy, Thomas - A CHANGED MAN AND OTHER TALES
Hardy, Thomas - FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD
Hardy, Thomas - JUDE THE OBSCURE
Hardy, Thomas - TESS OF THE D'URBERVILLES
Hardy, Thomas - THE MAYOR OF CASTERBRIDGE
Hartley, Cecil B. - THE GENTLEMEN'S BOOK OF ETIQUETTE
Hawthorne, Nathaniel - LITTLE MASTERPIECES
Hawthorne, Nathaniel - THE SCARLET LETTER
Henry VIII - LOVE LETTERS TO ANNE BOLEYN
Henry, O. - CABBAGES AND KINGS
Henry, O. - SIXES AND SEVENS
Henry, O. - THE FOUR MILLION
Henry, O. - THE TRIMMED LAMP
Henry, O. - WHIRLIGIGS
Hindman Miller, Gustavus - TEN THOUSAND DREAMS INTERPRETED
Hobbes, Thomas - LEVIATHAN
Homer - THE ILIAD
Homer - THE ODYSSEY
Hornaday, William T. - THE EXTERMINATION OF THE AMERICAN BISON
Hume, David - A TREATISE OF HUMAN NATURE
Hume, David - AN ENQUIRY CONCERNING HUMAN UNDERSTANDING
Hume, David - DIALOGUES CONCERNING NATURAL RELIGION
Ibsen, Henrik - A DOLL'S HOUSE
Ibsen, Henrik - AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE
Ibsen, Henrik - GHOSTS
Ibsen, Henrik - HEDDA GABLER
Ibsen, Henrik - JOHN GABRIEL BORKMAN
Ibsen, Henrik - ROSMERHOLM
Ibsen, Henrik - THE LADY FROM THE SEA
Ibsen, Henrik - THE MASTER BUILDER
Ibsen, Henrik - WHEN WE DEAD AWAKEN
Irving, Washington - THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW
James, Henry - ITALIAN HOURS
James, Henry - THE ASPERN PAPERS
James, Henry - THE BOSTONIANS
James, Henry - THE PORTRAIT OF A LADY
James, Henry - THE TURN OF THE SCREW
James, Henry - WASHINGTON SQUARE
Jerome, Jerome K. - THREE MEN IN A BOAT
Jerome, Jerome K. - THREE MEN ON THE BUMMEL
Jevons, Stanley - POLITICAL ECONOMY
Johnson, Samuel - A GRAMMAR OF THE ENGLISH TONGUE
Jonson, Ben - THE ALCHEMIST
Jonson, Ben - VOLPONE
Joyce, James - A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN
Joyce, James - CHAMBER MUSIC
Joyce, James - DUBLINERS
Joyce, James - ULYSSES
Keats, John - ENDYMION
Keats, John - POEMS PUBLISHED IN 1817
Keats, John - POEMS PUBLISHED IN 1820
King James - THE BIBLE
Kipling, Rudyard - CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS
Kipling, Rudyard - INDIAN TALES
Kipling, Rudyard - JUST SO STORIES
Kipling, Rudyard - KIM
Kipling, Rudyard - THE JUNGLE BOOK
Kipling, Rudyard - THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING
Kipling, Rudyard - THE SECOND JUNGLE BOOK
Lawrence, D. H - THE RAINBOW
Lawrence, D. H - THE WHITE PEACOCK
Lawrence, D. H - TWILIGHT IN ITALY
Lawrence, D. H. - AARON'S ROD
Lawrence, D. H. - SONS AND LOVERS
Lawrence, D. H. - THE LOST GIRL
Lawrence, D. H. - WOMEN IN LOVE
Lear, Edward - BOOK OF NONSENSE
Lear, Edward - LAUGHABLE LYRICS
Lear, Edward - MORE NONSENSE
Lear, Edward - NONSENSE SONG
Leblanc, Maurice - ARSENE LUPIN VS SHERLOCK HOLMES
Leblanc, Maurice - THE ADVENTURES OF ARSENE LUPIN
Leblanc, Maurice - THE CONFESSIONS OF ARSENE LUPIN
Leblanc, Maurice - THE HOLLOW NEEDLE
Leblanc, Maurice - THE RETURN OF ARSENE LUPIN
Lehmann, Lilli - HOW TO SING
Leroux, Gaston - THE MAN WITH THE BLACK FEATHER
Leroux, Gaston - THE MYSTERY OF THE YELLOW ROOM
Leroux, Gaston - THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
London, Jack - MARTIN EDEN
London, Jack - THE CALL OF THE WILD
London, Jack - WHITE FANG
Machiavelli, Nicolo' - THE PRINCE
Malthus, Thomas - PRINCIPLE OF POPULATION
Mansfield, Katherine - THE GARDEN PARTY AND OTHER STORIES
Marlowe, Christopher - THE JEW OF MALTA
Marryat, Captain - THE CHILDREN OF THE NEW FOREST
Maupassant, Guy De - BEL AMI
Melville, Hermann - MOBY DICK
Melville, Hermann - TYPEE
Mill, John Stuart - PRINCIPLES OF POLITICAL ECONOMY
Milton, John - PARADISE LOST
Mitra, S. M. - HINDU TALES FROM THE SANSKRIT
Montaigne, Michel de - ESSAYS
Montgomery, Lucy Maud - ANNE OF GREEN GABLES
More, Thomas - UTOPIA
Nesbit, E. - FIVE CHILDREN AND IT
Nesbit, E. - THE PHOENIX AND THE CARPET
Nesbit, E. - THE RAILWAY CHILDREN
Nesbit, E. - THE STORY OF THE AMULET
Newton, Isaac - OPTICKS
Nietsche, Friedrich - BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL
Nietsche, Friedrich - THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
Nightingale, Florence - NOTES ON NURSING
Owen, Wilfred - POEMS
Ozaki, Yei Theodora - JAPANESE FAIRY TALES
Pascal, Blaise - PENSEES
Pellico, Silvio - MY TEN YEARS IMPRISONMENT
Perrault, Charles - FAIRY TALES
Pirandello, Luigi - THREE PLAYS
Plato - THE REPUBLIC
Poe, Edgar Allan - THE COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS 1
Poe, Edgar Allan - THE COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS 2
Poe, Edgar Allan - THE COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS 3
Poe, Edgar Allan - THE COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS 4
Poe, Edgar Allan - THE COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS 5
Poe, Edgar Allan - THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER
Potter, Beatrix - THE TALE OF PETER RABBIT
Proust, Marcel - SWANN'S WAY
Radcliffe, Ann - A SICILIAN ROMANCE
Ricardo, David - ON THE PRINCIPLES OF POLITICAL ECONOMY AND TAXATION
Richardson, Samuel - PAMELA
Rider Haggard, H. - ALLAN QUATERMAIN
Rider Haggard, H. - KING SOLOMON'S MINES
Rousseau, J. J. - THE ORIGIN AND FOUNDATION OF INEQUALITY AMONG MANKIND
Ruskin, John - THE SEVEN LAMPS OF ARCHITECTURE
Schiller, Friedrich - THE DEATH OF WALLENSTEIN
Schiller, Friedrich - THE PICCOLOMINI
Schopenhauer, Arthur - THE ART OF CONTROVERSY
Schopenhauer, Arthur - THE WISDOM OF LIFE
Scott Fitzgerald, F. - FLAPPERS AND PHILOSOPHERS
Scott Fitzgerald, F. - TALES OF THE JAZZ AGE
Scott Fitzgerald, F. - THE BEAUTIFUL AND DAMNED
Scott Fitzgerald, F. - THIS SIDE OF PARADISE
Scott, Walter - IVANHOE
Scott, Walter - QUENTIN DURWARD
Scott, Walter - ROB ROY
Scott, Walter - THE BRIDE OF LAMMERMOOR
Scott, Walter - WAVERLEY
Sedgwick, Anne Douglas - THE THIRD WINDOW
Sewell, Anna - BLACK BEAUTY
Shakespeare, William - COMPLETE WORKS
Shakespeare, William - HAMLET
Shakespeare, William - OTHELLO
Shakespeare, William - ROMEO AND JULIET
Shelley, Mary - FRANKENSTEIN
Shelley, Percy Bysshe - A DEFENCE OF POETRY AND OTHER ESSAYS
Shelley, Percy Bysshe - COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS
Sheridan, Richard B. - THE SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL
Sienkiewicz, Henryk - QUO VADIS
Smith, Adam - THE WEALTH OF NATIONS
Smollett, Tobias - TRAVELS THROUGH FRANCE AND ITALY
Spencer, Herbert - ESSAYS ON EDUCATION AND KINDRED SUBJECTS
Spyri, Johanna - HEIDI
Sterne, Laurence - A SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY
Sterne, Laurence - TRISTRAM SHANDY
Stevenson, Robert Louis - A CHILD'S GARDEN OF VERSES
Stevenson, Robert Louis - ESSAYS IN THE ART OF WRITING
Stevenson, Robert Louis - KIDNAPPED
Stevenson, Robert Louis - NEW ARABIAN NIGHTS
Stevenson, Robert Louis - THE BLACK ARROW
Stevenson, Robert Louis - THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE
Stevenson, Robert Louis - TREASURE ISLAND
Stoker, Bram - DRACULA
Strindberg, August - LUCKY PEHR
Strindberg, August - MASTER OLOF
Strindberg, August - THE RED ROOM
Strindberg, August - THE ROAD TO DAMASCUS
Strindberg, August - THERE ARE CRIMES AND CRIMES
Swift, Jonathan - A MODEST PROPOSAL
Swift, Jonathan - A TALE OF A TUB
Swift, Jonathan - GULLIVER'S TRAVELS
Swift, Jonathan - THE BATTLE OF THE BOOKS AND OTHER SHORT PIECES
Tagore, Rabindranath - FRUIT GATHERING
Tagore, Rabindranath - THE GARDENER
Tagore, Rabindranath - THE HUNGRY STONES AND OTHER STORIES
Thackeray, William - BARRY LYNDON
Thackeray, William - VANITY FAIR
Thackeray, William Makepeace - THE BOOK OF SNOBS
Thackeray, William Makepeace - THE ROSE AND THE RING
Thackeray, William Makepeace - THE VIRGINIANS
Thoreau, Henry David - WALDEN
Tolstoi, Leo - A LETTER TO A HINDU
Tolstoy, Lev - ANNA KARENINA
Tolstoy, Lev - WAR AND PEACE
Trollope, Anthony - AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Trollope, Anthony - BARCHESTER TOWERS
Trollope, Anthony - FRAMLEY PARSONAGE
Trollope, Anthony - THE EUSTACE DIAMONDS
Trollope, Anthony - THE MAN WHO KEPT HIS MONEY IN A BOX
Trollope, Anthony - THE WARDEN
Trollope, Anthony - THE WAY WE LIVE NOW
Twain, Mark - LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI
Twain, Mark - SPEECHES
Twain, Mark - THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN
Twain, Mark - THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER
Twain, Mark - THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER
Vari, Autori - THE MAGNA CARTA
Verga, Giovanni - SICILIAN STORIES
Verne, Jules - 20000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEAS
Verne, Jules - A JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH
Verne, Jules - ALL AROUND THE MOON
Verne, Jules - AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS
Verne, Jules - FIVE WEEKS IN A BALLOON
Verne, Jules - FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON
Verne, Jules - MICHAEL STROGOFF
Verne, Jules - THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND
Voltaire - PHILOSOPHICAL DICTIONARY
Vyasa - MAHABHARATA
Wallace, Edgar - SANDERS OF THE RIVER
Wallace, Edgar - THE DAFFODIL MYSTERY
Wallace, Lew - BEN HUR
Webster, Jean - DADDY LONG LEGS
Wedekind, Franz - THE AWAKENING OF SPRING
Wells, H. G. - KIPPS
Wells, H. G. - THE INVISIBLE MAN
Wells, H. G. - THE ISLAND OF DOCTOR MOREAU
Wells, H. G. - THE STOLEN BACILLUS AND OTHER INCIDENTS
Wells, H. G. - THE TIME MACHINE
Wells, H. G. - THE WAR OF THE WORLDS
Wells, H. G. - WHAT IS COMING
Wharton, Edith - THE AGE OF INNOCENCE
White, Andrew Dickson - FIAT MONEY INFLATION IN FRANCE
Wilde, Oscar - A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE
Wilde, Oscar - AN IDEAL HUSBAND
Wilde, Oscar - DE PROFUNDIS
Wilde, Oscar - LADY WINDERMERE'S FAN
Wilde, Oscar - SALOME
Wilde, Oscar - SELECTED POEMS
Wilde, Oscar - THE BALLAD OF READING GAOL
Wilde, Oscar - THE CANTERVILLE GHOST
Wilde, Oscar - THE HAPPY PRINCE AND OTHER TALES
Wilde, Oscar - THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST
Wilde, Oscar - THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GREY
Wilde, Oscar - THE SOUL OF MAN
Wilson, Epiphanius - SACRED BOOKS OF THE EAST
Wollstonecraft, Mary - A VINDICATION OF THE RIGHTS OF WOMAN
Woolf, Virgina - NIGHT AND DAY
Woolf, Virgina - THE VOYAGE OUT
Woolf, Virginia - JACOB'S ROOM
Woolf, Virginia - MONDAY OR TUESDAY
Wordsworth, William - POEMS
Wordsworth, William - PROSE WORKS
Zola, Emile - THERESE RAQUIN
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ISTRUZIONI D'USO DETTAGLIATE
THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA - A BOOK FOR ALL AND NONE
By Friedrich Nietzsche - Translated By Thomas Common
INTRODUCTION BY MRS FORSTER-NIETZSCHE.
HOW ZARATHUSTRA CAME INTO BEING.
"Zarathustra" is my brother's most personal work; it is the history of
his most individual experiences, of his friendships, ideals, raptures,
bitterest disappointments and sorrows. Above it all, however, there
soars, transfiguring it, the image of his greatest hopes and remotest
aims. My brother had the figure of Zarathustra in his mind from his very
earliest youth: he once told me that even as a child he had dreamt of
him. At different periods in his life, he would call this haunter of his
dreams by different names; "but in the end," he declares in a note on
the subject, "I had to do a PERSIAN the honour of identifying him with
this creature of my fancy. Persians were the first to take a broad and
comprehensive view of history. Every series of evolutions, according
to them, was presided over by a prophet; and every prophet had his
'Hazar,'--his dynasty of a thousand years."
All Zarathustra's views, as also his personality, were early conceptions
of my brother's mind. Whoever reads his posthumously published writings
for the years 1869-82 with care, will constantly meet with passages
suggestive of Zarathustra's thoughts and doctrines. For instance, the
ideal of the Superman is put forth quite clearly in all his writings
during the years 1873-75; and in "We Philologists", the following
remarkable observations occur:--
"How can one praise and glorify a nation as a whole?--Even among the
Greeks, it was the INDIVIDUALS that counted."
"The Greeks are interesting and extremely important because they reared
such a vast number of great individuals. How was this possible? The
question is one which ought to be studied.
"I am interested only in the relations of a people to the rearing of
the individual man, and among the Greeks the conditions were unusually
favourable for the development of the individual; not by any means owing
to the goodness of the people, but because of the struggles of their
"WITH THE HELP OF FAVOURABLE MEASURES GREAT INDIVIDUALS MIGHT BE REARED
WHO WOULD BE BOTH DIFFERENT FROM AND HIGHER THAN THOSE WHO HERETOFORE
HAVE OWED THEIR EXISTENCE TO MERE CHANCE. Here we may still be hopeful:
in the rearing of exceptional men."
The notion of rearing the Superman is only a new form of an ideal
Nietzsche already had in his youth, that "THE OBJECT OF MANKIND SHOULD
LIE IN ITS HIGHEST INDIVIDUALS" (or, as he writes in "Schopenhauer as
Educator": "Mankind ought constantly to be striving to produce great
men--this and nothing else is its duty.") But the ideals he most revered
in those days are no longer held to be the highest types of men. No,
around this future ideal of a coming humanity--the Superman--the poet
spread the veil of becoming. Who can tell to what glorious heights man
can still ascend? That is why, after having tested the worth of our
noblest ideal--that of the Saviour, in the light of the new valuations,
the poet cries with passionate emphasis in "Zarathustra":
"Never yet hath there been a Superman. Naked have I seen both of them,
the greatest and the smallest man:--
All-too-similar are they still to each other. Verily even the greatest
The phrase "the rearing of the Superman," has very often been
misunderstood. By the word "rearing," in this case, is meant the act of
modifying by means of new and higher values--values which, as laws and
guides of conduct and opinion, are now to rule over mankind. In general
the doctrine of the Superman can only be understood correctly in
conjunction with other ideas of the author's, such as:--the Order
of Rank, the Will to Power, and the Transvaluation of all Values. He
assumes that Christianity, as a product of the resentment of the botched
and the weak, has put in ban all that is beautiful, strong, proud, and
powerful, in fact all the qualities resulting from strength, and that,
in consequence, all forces which tend to promote or elevate life have
been seriously undermined. Now, however, a new table of valuations
must be placed over mankind--namely, that of the strong, mighty, and
magnificent man, overflowing with life and elevated to his zenith--the
Superman, who is now put before us with overpowering passion as the
aim of our life, hope, and will. And just as the old system of valuing,
which only extolled the qualities favourable to the weak, the suffering,
and the oppressed, has succeeded in producing a weak, suffering, and
"modern" race, so this new and reversed system of valuing ought to rear
a healthy, strong, lively, and courageous type, which would be a glory
to life itself. Stated briefly, the leading principle of this new system
of valuing would be: "All that proceeds from power is good, all that
springs from weakness is bad."
This type must not be regarded as a fanciful figure: it is not a
nebulous hope which is to be realised at some indefinitely remote
period, thousands of years hence; nor is it a new species (in the
Darwinian sense) of which we can know nothing, and which it would
therefore be somewhat absurd to strive after. But it is meant to be
a possibility which men of the present could realise with all their
spiritual and physical energies, provided they adopted the new values.
The author of "Zarathustra" never lost sight of that egregious example
of a transvaluation of all values through Christianity, whereby the
whole of the deified mode of life and thought of the Greeks, as well as
strong Romedom, was almost annihilated or transvalued in a comparatively
short time. Could not a rejuvenated Graeco-Roman system of valuing (once
it had been refined and made more profound by the schooling which
two thousand years of Christianity had provided) effect another such
revolution within a calculable period of time, until that glorious type
of manhood shall finally appear which is to be our new faith and hope,
and in the creation of which Zarathustra exhorts us to participate?
In his private notes on the subject the author uses the expression
"Superman" (always in the singular, by-the-bye), as signifying "the most
thoroughly well-constituted type," as opposed to "modern man"; above
all, however, he designates Zarathustra himself as an example of the
Superman. In "Ecco Homo" he is careful to enlighten us concerning the
precursors and prerequisites to the advent of this highest type, in
referring to a certain passage in the "Gay Science":--
"In order to understand this type, we must first be quite clear in
regard to the leading physiological condition on which it depends: this
condition is what I call GREAT HEALTHINESS. I know not how to express my
meaning more plainly or more personally than I have done already in
one of the last chapters (Aphorism 382) of the fifth book of the 'Gaya
"We, the new, the nameless, the hard-to-understand,"--it says
there,--"we firstlings of a yet untried future--we require for a new end
also a new means, namely, a new healthiness, stronger, sharper, tougher,
bolder and merrier than all healthiness hitherto. He whose soul
longeth to experience the whole range of hitherto recognised values
and desirabilities, and to circumnavigate all the coasts of this ideal
'Mediterranean Sea', who, from the adventures of his most personal
experience, wants to know how it feels to be a conqueror, and discoverer
of the ideal--as likewise how it is with the artist, the saint, the
legislator, the sage, the scholar, the devotee, the prophet, and the
godly non-conformist of the old style:--requires one thing above all
for that purpose, GREAT HEALTHINESS--such healthiness as one not only
possesses, but also constantly acquires and must acquire, because one
unceasingly sacrifices it again, and must sacrifice it!--And now, after
having been long on the way in this fashion, we Argonauts of the ideal,
more courageous perhaps than prudent, and often enough shipwrecked
and brought to grief, nevertheless dangerously healthy, always healthy
again,--it would seem as if, in recompense for it all, that we have a
still undiscovered country before us, the boundaries of which no one
has yet seen, a beyond to all countries and corners of the ideal known
hitherto, a world so over-rich in the beautiful, the strange, the
questionable, the frightful, and the divine, that our curiosity as well
as our thirst for possession thereof, have got out of hand--alas! that
nothing will now any longer satisfy us!--
"How could we still be content with THE MAN OF THE PRESENT DAY
after such outlooks, and with such a craving in our conscience and
consciousness? Sad enough; but it is unavoidable that we should look
on the worthiest aims and hopes of the man of the present day with
ill-concealed amusement, and perhaps should no longer look at them.
Another ideal runs on before us, a strange, tempting ideal full of
danger, to which we should not like to persuade any one, because we
do not so readily acknowledge any one's RIGHT THERETO: the ideal of
a spirit who plays naively (that is to say involuntarily and from
overflowing abundance and power) with everything that has hitherto
been called holy, good, intangible, or divine; to whom the loftiest
conception which the people have reasonably made their measure of value,
would already practically imply danger, ruin, abasement, or at least
relaxation, blindness, or temporary self-forgetfulness; the ideal of
a humanly superhuman welfare and benevolence, which will often enough
appear INHUMAN, for example, when put alongside of all past seriousness
on earth, and alongside of all past solemnities in bearing, word, tone,
look, morality, and pursuit, as their truest involuntary parody--and
WITH which, nevertheless, perhaps THE GREAT SERIOUSNESS only commences,
when the proper interrogative mark is set up, the fate of the soul
changes, the hour-hand moves, and tragedy begins..."
Although the figure of Zarathustra and a large number of the leading
thoughts in this work had appeared much earlier in the dreams and
writings of the author, "Thus Spake Zarathustra" did not actually come
into being until the month of August 1881 in Sils Maria; and it was the
idea of the Eternal Recurrence of all things which finally induced my
brother to set forth his new views in poetic language. In regard to his
first conception of this idea, his autobiographical sketch, "Ecce Homo",
written in the autumn of 1888, contains the following passage:--
"The fundamental idea of my work--namely, the Eternal Recurrence of
all things--this highest of all possible formulae of a Yea-saying
philosophy, first occurred to me in August 1881. I made a note of the
thought on a sheet of paper, with the postscript: 6,000 feet beyond
men and time! That day I happened to be wandering through the woods
alongside of the lake of Silvaplana, and I halted beside a huge,
pyramidal and towering rock not far from Surlei. It was then that the
thought struck me. Looking back now, I find that exactly two months
previous to this inspiration, I had had an omen of its coming in the
form of a sudden and decisive alteration in my tastes--more particularly
in music. It would even be possible to consider all 'Zarathustra' as a
musical composition. At all events, a very necessary condition in its
production was a renaissance in myself of the art of hearing. In a small
mountain resort (Recoaro) near Vicenza, where I spent the spring of
1881, I and my friend and Maestro, Peter Gast--also one who had been
born again--discovered that the phoenix music that hovered over us, wore
lighter and brighter plumes than it had done theretofore."
During the month of August 1881 my brother resolved to reveal the
teaching of the Eternal Recurrence, in dithyrambic and psalmodic form,
through the mouth of Zarathustra. Among the notes of this period, we
found a page on which is written the first definite plan of "Thus Spake
"MIDDAY AND ETERNITY."
"GUIDE-POSTS TO A NEW WAY OF LIVING."
Beneath this is written:--
"Zarathustra born on lake Urmi; left his home in his thirtieth year,
went into the province of Aria, and, during ten years of solitude in the
mountains, composed the Zend-Avesta."
"The sun of knowledge stands once more at midday; and the serpent
of eternity lies coiled in its light--: It is YOUR time, ye midday
In that summer of 1881, my brother, after many years of steadily
declining health, began at last to rally, and it is to this first gush
of the recovery of his once splendid bodily condition that we owe not
only "The Gay Science", which in its mood may be regarded as a prelude
to "Zarathustra", but also "Zarathustra" itself. Just as he was
beginning to recuperate his health, however, an unkind destiny brought
him a number of most painful personal experiences. His friends caused
him many disappointments, which were the more bitter to him, inasmuch as
he regarded friendship as such a sacred institution; and for the first
time in his life he realised the whole horror of that loneliness to
which, perhaps, all greatness is condemned. But to be forsaken is
something very different from deliberately choosing blessed loneliness.
How he longed, in those days, for the ideal friend who would thoroughly
understand him, to whom he would be able to say all, and whom he
imagined he had found at various periods in his life from his earliest
youth onwards. Now, however, that the way he had chosen grew ever more
perilous and steep, he found nobody who could follow him: he therefore
created a perfect friend for himself in the ideal form of a majestic
philosopher, and made this creation the preacher of his gospel to the
Whether my brother would ever have written "Thus Spake Zarathustra"
according to the first plan sketched in the summer of 1881, if he
had not had the disappointments already referred to, is now an idle
question; but perhaps where "Zarathustra" is concerned, we may also say
with Master Eckhardt: "The fleetest beast to bear you to perfection is
My brother writes as follows about the origin of the first part of
"Zarathustra":--"In the winter of 1882-83, I was living on the charming
little Gulf of Rapallo, not far from Genoa, and between Chiavari and
Cape Porto Fino. My health was not very good; the winter was cold and
exceptionally rainy; and the small inn in which I lived was so close
to the water that at night my sleep would be disturbed if the sea were
high. These circumstances were surely the very reverse of favourable;
and yet in spite of it all, and as if in demonstration of my belief that
everything decisive comes to life in spite of every obstacle, it was
precisely during this winter and in the midst of these unfavourable
circumstances that my 'Zarathustra' originated. In the morning I used to
start out in a southerly direction up the glorious road to Zoagli, which
rises aloft through a forest of pines and gives one a view far out into
the sea. In the afternoon, as often as my health permitted, I walked
round the whole bay from Santa Margherita to beyond Porto Fino. This
spot was all the more interesting to me, inasmuch as it was so dearly
loved by the Emperor Frederick III. In the autumn of 1886 I chanced to
be there again when he was revisiting this small, forgotten world
of happiness for the last time. It was on these two roads that all
'Zarathustra' came to me, above all Zarathustra himself as a type;--I
ought rather to say that it was on these walks that these ideas waylaid
The first part of "Zarathustra" was written in about ten days--that is
to say, from the beginning to about the middle of February 1883. "The
last lines were written precisely in the hallowed hour when Richard
Wagner gave up the ghost in Venice."
With the exception of the ten days occupied in composing the first part
of this book, my brother often referred to this winter as the hardest
and sickliest he had ever experienced. He did not, however, mean thereby
that his former disorders were troubling him, but that he was suffering
from a severe attack of influenza which he had caught in Santa
Margherita, and which tormented him for several weeks after his arrival
in Genoa. As a matter of fact, however, what he complained of most was
his spiritual condition--that indescribable forsakenness--to which he
gives such heartrending expression in "Zarathustra". Even the reception
which the first part met with at the hands of friends and acquaintances
was extremely disheartening: for almost all those to whom he presented
copies of the work misunderstood it. "I found no one ripe for many of my
thoughts; the case of 'Zarathustra' proves that one can speak with the
utmost clearness, and yet not be heard by any one." My brother was very
much discouraged by the feebleness of the response he was given, and as
he was striving just then to give up the practice of taking hydrate
of chloral--a drug he had begun to take while ill with influenza,--the
following spring, spent in Rome, was a somewhat gloomy one for him.
He writes about it as follows:--"I spent a melancholy spring in Rome,
where I only just managed to live,--and this was no easy matter. This
city, which is absolutely unsuited to the poet-author of 'Zarathustra',
and for the choice of which I was not responsible, made me inordinately
miserable. I tried to leave it. I wanted to go to Aquila--the opposite
of Rome in every respect, and actually founded in a spirit of enmity
towards that city (just as I also shall found a city some day), as a
memento of an atheist and genuine enemy of the Church--a person very
closely related to me,--the great Hohenstaufen, the Emperor Frederick
II. But Fate lay behind it all: I had to return again to Rome. In the
end I was obliged to be satisfied with the Piazza Barberini, after I had
exerted myself in vain to find an anti-Christian quarter. I fear that
on one occasion, to avoid bad smells as much as possible, I actually
inquired at the Palazzo del Quirinale whether they could not provide a
quiet room for a philosopher. In a chamber high above the Piazza just
mentioned, from which one obtained a general view of Rome and could
hear the fountains plashing far below, the loneliest of all songs
was composed--'The Night-Song'. About this time I was obsessed by an
unspeakably sad melody, the refrain of which I recognised in the words,
'dead through immortality.'"
We remained somewhat too long in Rome that spring, and what with the
effect of the increasing heat and the discouraging circumstances already
described, my brother resolved not to write any more, or in any case,
not to proceed with "Zarathustra", although I offered to relieve him
of all trouble in connection with the proofs and the publisher. When,
however, we returned to Switzerland towards the end of June, and he
found himself once more in the familiar and exhilarating air of the
mountains, all his joyous creative powers revived, and in a note to me
announcing the dispatch of some manuscript, he wrote as follows: "I have
engaged a place here for three months: forsooth, I am the greatest fool
to allow my courage to be sapped from me by the climate of Italy. Now
and again I am troubled by the thought: WHAT NEXT? My 'future' is the
darkest thing in the world to me, but as there still remains a great
deal for me to do, I suppose I ought rather to think of doing this than
of my future, and leave the rest to THEE and the gods."
The second part of "Zarathustra" was written between the 26th of June
and the 6th July. "This summer, finding myself once more in the sacred
place where the first thought of 'Zarathustra' flashed across my mind,
I conceived the second part. Ten days sufficed. Neither for the second,
the first, nor the third part, have I required a day longer."
He often used to speak of the ecstatic mood in which he wrote
"Zarathustra"; how in his walks over hill and dale the ideas would crowd
into his mind, and how he would note them down hastily in a note-book
from which he would transcribe them on his return, sometimes working
till midnight. He says in a letter to me: "You can have no idea of the
vehemence of such composition," and in "Ecce Homo" (autumn 1888) he
describes as follows with passionate enthusiasm the incomparable mood in
which he created Zarathustra:--
"--Has any one at the end of the nineteenth century any distinct notion
of what poets of a stronger age understood by the word inspiration? If
not, I will describe it. If one had the smallest vestige of superstition
in one, it would hardly be possible to set aside completely the idea
that one is the mere incarnation, mouthpiece or medium of an almighty
power. The idea of revelation in the sense that something becomes
suddenly visible and audible with indescribable certainty and accuracy,
which profoundly convulses and upsets one--describes simply the matter
of fact. One hears--one does not seek; one takes--one does not ask
who gives: a thought suddenly flashes up like lightning, it comes with
necessity, unhesitatingly--I have never had any choice in the matter.
There is an ecstasy such that the immense strain of it is sometimes
relaxed by a flood of tears, along with which one's steps either rush
or involuntarily lag, alternately. There is the feeling that one is
completely out of hand, with the very distinct consciousness of an
endless number of fine thrills and quiverings to the very toes;--there
is a depth of happiness in which the painfullest and gloomiest do not
operate as antitheses, but as conditioned, as demanded in the sense of
necessary shades of colour in such an overflow of light. There is an
instinct for rhythmic relations which embraces wide areas of forms
(length, the need of a wide-embracing rhythm, is almost the measure of
the force of an inspiration, a sort of counterpart to its pressure and
tension). Everything happens quite involuntarily, as if in a tempestuous
outburst of freedom, of absoluteness, of power and divinity. The
involuntariness of the figures and similes is the most remarkable
thing; one loses all perception of what constitutes the figure and
what constitutes the simile; everything seems to present itself as
the readiest, the correctest and the simplest means of expression.
It actually seems, to use one of Zarathustra's own phrases, as if all
things came unto one, and would fain be similes: '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. Here
fly open unto thee all being's words and word-cabinets; here all being
wanteth to become words, here all becoming wanteth to learn of thee how
to talk.' This is MY experience of inspiration. I do not doubt but that
one would have to go back thousands of years in order to find some one
who could say to me: It is mine also!--"
In the autumn of 1883 my brother left the Engadine for Germany and
stayed there a few weeks. In the following winter, after wandering
somewhat erratically through Stresa, Genoa, and Spezia, he landed in
Nice, where the climate so happily promoted his creative powers that
he wrote the third part of "Zarathustra". "In the winter, beneath the
halcyon sky of Nice, which then looked down upon me for the first time
in my life, I found the third 'Zarathustra'--and came to the end of my
task; the whole having occupied me scarcely a year. Many hidden corners
and heights in the landscapes round about Nice are hallowed to me by
unforgettable moments. That decisive chapter entitled 'Old and New
Tables' was composed in the very difficult ascent from the station
to Eza--that wonderful Moorish village in the rocks. My most creative
moments were always accompanied by unusual muscular activity. The body
is inspired: let us waive the question of the 'soul.' I might often have
been seen dancing in those days. Without a suggestion of fatigue I could
then walk for seven or eight hours on end among the hills. I slept well
and laughed well--I was perfectly robust and patient."
As we have seen, each of the three parts of "Zarathustra" was written,
after a more or less short period of preparation, in about ten days.
The composition of the fourth part alone was broken by occasional
interruptions. The first notes relating to this part were written while
he and I were staying together in Zurich in September 1884. In the
following November, while staying at Mentone, he began to elaborate
these notes, and after a long pause, finished the manuscript at Nice
between the end of January and the middle of February 1885. My brother
then called this part the fourth and last; but even before, and shortly
after it had been privately printed, he wrote to me saying that he still
intended writing a fifth and sixth part, and notes relating to these
parts are now in my possession. This fourth part (the original MS. of
which contains this note: "Only for my friends, not for the public")
is written in a particularly personal spirit, and those few to whom he
presented a copy of it, he pledged to the strictest secrecy concerning
its contents. He often thought of making this fourth part public also,
but doubted whether he would ever be able to do so without considerably
altering certain portions of it. At all events he resolved to distribute
this manuscript production, of which only forty copies were printed,
only among those who had proved themselves worthy of it, and it speaks
eloquently of his utter loneliness and need of sympathy in those days,
that he had occasion to present only seven copies of his book according
to this resolution.
Already at the beginning of this history I hinted at the reasons which
led my brother to select a Persian as the incarnation of his ideal of
the majestic philosopher. His reasons, however, for choosing Zarathustra
of all others to be his mouthpiece, he gives us in the following
words:--"People have never asked me, as they should have done, what the
name Zarathustra precisely means in my mouth, in the mouth of the first
Immoralist; for what distinguishes that philosopher from all others
in the past is the very fact that he was exactly the reverse of an
immoralist. Zarathustra was the first to see in the struggle between
good and evil the essential wheel in the working of things. The
translation of morality into the metaphysical, as force, cause, end in
itself, was HIS work. But the very question suggests its own answer.
Zarathustra CREATED the most portentous error, MORALITY, consequently he
should also be the first to PERCEIVE that error, not only because he
has had longer and greater experience of the subject than any other
thinker--all history is the experimental refutation of the theory of
the so-called moral order of things:--the more important point is that
Zarathustra was more truthful than any other thinker. In his teaching
alone do we meet with truthfulness upheld as the highest virtue--i.e.:
the reverse of the COWARDICE of the 'idealist' who flees from reality.
Zarathustra had more courage in his body than any other thinker before
or after him. To tell the truth and TO AIM STRAIGHT: that is the first
Persian virtue. Am I understood?... The overcoming of morality through
itself--through truthfulness, the overcoming of the moralist through his
opposite--THROUGH ME--: that is what the name Zarathustra means in my
Weimar, December 1905.
THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA.
FIRST PART. ZARATHUSTRA'S DISCOURSES.
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
solitude, and for ten years did not weary of it. But at last his heart
changed,--and rising one morning with the rosy dawn, he went before the
sun, and spake thus unto it:
Thou great star! What would be thy happiness if thou hadst not those for
whom thou shinest!
For ten years hast thou climbed hither unto my cave: thou wouldst have
wearied of thy light and of the journey, had it not been for me, mine
eagle, and my serpent.
But we awaited thee every morning, took from thee thine overflow and
blessed thee for it.
Lo! I am weary of my wisdom, like the bee that hath gathered too much
honey; I need hands outstretched to take it.
I would fain bestow and distribute, until the wise have once more become
joyous in their folly, and the poor happy in their riches.
Therefore must I descend into the deep: as thou doest in the
evening, when thou goest behind the sea, and givest light also to the
nether-world, thou exuberant star!
Like thee must I GO DOWN, as men say, to whom I shall descend.
Bless me, then, thou tranquil eye, that canst behold even the greatest
happiness without envy!
Bless the cup that is about to overflow, that the water may flow golden
out of it, and carry everywhere the reflection of thy bliss!
Lo! This cup is again going to empty itself, and Zarathustra is again
going to be a man.
Thus began Zarathustra's down-going.
Zarathustra went down the mountain alone, no one meeting him. When he
entered the forest, however, there suddenly stood before him an old man,
who had left his holy cot to seek roots. And thus spake the old man to
"No stranger to me is this wanderer: many years ago passed he by.
Zarathustra he was called; but he hath altered.
Then thou carriedst thine ashes into the mountains: wilt thou now carry
thy fire into the valleys? Fearest thou not the incendiary's doom?
Yea, I recognise Zarathustra. Pure is his eye, and no loathing lurketh
about his mouth. Goeth he not along like a dancer?
Altered is Zarathustra; a child hath Zarathustra become; an awakened one
is Zarathustra: what wilt thou do in the land of the sleepers?
As in the sea hast thou lived in solitude, and it hath borne thee up.
Alas, wilt thou now go ashore? Alas, wilt thou again drag thy body
Zarathustra answered: "I love mankind."
"Why," said the saint, "did I go into the forest and the desert? Was it
not because I loved men far too well?
Now I love God: men, I do not love. Man is a thing too imperfect for me.
Love to man would be fatal to me."
Zarathustra answered: "What spake I of love! I am bringing gifts unto
"Give them nothing," said the saint. "Take rather part of their load,
and carry it along with them--that will be most agreeable unto them: if
only it be agreeable unto thee!
If, however, thou wilt give unto them, give them no more than an alms,
and let them also beg for it!"
"No," replied Zarathustra, "I give no alms. I am not poor enough for
The saint laughed at Zarathustra, and spake thus: "Then see to it that
they accept thy treasures! They are distrustful of anchorites, and do
not believe that we come with gifts.
The fall of our footsteps ringeth too hollow through their streets. And
just as at night, when they are in bed and hear a man abroad long before
sunrise, so they ask themselves concerning us: Where goeth the thief?
Go not to men, but stay in the forest! Go rather to the animals! Why not
be like me--a bear amongst bears, a bird amongst birds?"
"And what doeth the saint in the forest?" asked Zarathustra.
The saint answered: "I make hymns and sing them; and in making hymns I
laugh and weep and mumble: thus do I praise God.
With singing, weeping, laughing, and mumbling do I praise the God who is
my God. But what dost thou bring us as a gift?"
When Zarathustra had heard these words, he bowed to the saint and said:
"What should I have to give thee! Let me rather hurry hence lest I take
aught away from thee!"--And thus they parted from one another, the old
man and Zarathustra, laughing like schoolboys.
When Zarathustra was alone, however, he said to his heart: "Could it be
possible! This old saint in the forest hath not yet heard of it, that
GOD IS DEAD!"
When Zarathustra arrived at the nearest town which adjoineth the forest,
he found many people assembled in the market-place; for it had been
announced that a rope-dancer would give a performance. And Zarathustra
spake thus unto the people:
I TEACH YOU THE SUPERMAN. Man is something that is to be surpassed. What
have ye done to surpass man?
All beings hitherto have created something beyond themselves: and ye
want to be the ebb of that great tide, and would rather go back to the
beast than surpass man?
What is the ape to man? A laughing-stock, a thing of shame. And just the
same shall man be to the Superman: a laughing-stock, a thing of 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
Even the wisest among you is only a disharmony and hybrid of plant and
phantom. But do I bid you become phantoms or plants?
Lo, I teach you the Superman!
The Superman is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: The
Superman SHALL BE the meaning of the earth!
I conjure you, my brethren, REMAIN TRUE TO THE EARTH, and believe not
those who speak unto you of superearthly hopes! Poisoners are they,
whether they know it or not.
Despisers of life are they, decaying ones and poisoned ones themselves,
of whom the earth is weary: so away with them!
Once blasphemy against God was the greatest blasphemy; but God died,
and therewith also those blasphemers. To blaspheme the earth is now the
dreadfulest sin, and to rate the heart of the unknowable higher than the
meaning of the earth!
Once the soul looked contemptuously on the body, and then that contempt
was the supreme thing:--the soul wished the body meagre, ghastly, and
famished. Thus it thought to escape from the body and the 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 wretched
Verily, a polluted stream is man. One must be a sea, to receive a
polluted stream without becoming impure.
Lo, I teach you the Superman: he is that sea; in him can your great
contempt be submerged.
What is the greatest thing ye can experience? It is the hour of great
contempt. The hour in which even your happiness becometh loathsome unto
you, and so also your reason and virtue.
The hour when ye say: "What good is my happiness! It is poverty and
pollution and wretched self-complacency. But my happiness should justify
The hour when ye say: "What good is my reason! Doth it long for
knowledge as the lion for his food? It is poverty and pollution and
The hour when ye say: "What good is my virtue! As yet it hath not made
me passionate. How weary I am of my good and my bad! It is all poverty
and pollution and wretched self-complacency!"
The hour when ye say: "What good is my justice! I do not see that I am
fervour and fuel. The just, however, are fervour and fuel!"
The hour when ye 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 sparingness in sin crieth unto heaven!
Where is the lightning to lick you with its tongue? Where is the frenzy
with which ye should be inoculated?
Lo, I teach you the Superman: he is that lightning, he is that frenzy!--
When Zarathustra had thus spoken, one of the people called out: "We have
now heard enough of the rope-dancer; it is time now for us to see him!"
And all the people laughed at Zarathustra. But the rope-dancer, who
thought the words applied to him, began his performance.
Zarathustra, however, looked at the people and wondered. Then he spake
Man is a rope stretched between the animal and the Superman--a rope over
A dangerous crossing, a dangerous wayfaring, a dangerous looking-back, a
dangerous trembling and halting.
What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal: what is
lovable in man is that he is an OVER-GOING and a DOWN-GOING.
I love those that know not how to live except as down-goers, for they
are the over-goers.
I love the great despisers, because they are the great adorers, and
arrows of longing for the other shore.
I love those who do not first seek a reason beyond the stars for going
down and being sacrifices, but sacrifice themselves to the earth, that
the earth of the Superman may hereafter arrive.
I love him who liveth in order to know, and seeketh to know in
order that the Superman may hereafter live. Thus seeketh he his own
I love him who laboureth and inventeth, that he may build the house for
the Superman, and prepare for him earth, animal, and plant: for thus
seeketh he his own down-going.
I love him who loveth his virtue: for virtue is the will to down-going,
and an arrow of longing.
I love him who reserveth no share of spirit for himself, but wanteth to
be wholly the spirit of his virtue: thus walketh he as spirit over the
I love him who maketh his virtue his inclination and destiny: thus, for
the sake of his virtue, he is willing to live on, or live no more.
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
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.
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 ones.
I love him who chasteneth his God, because he loveth his God: for he
must succumb through the wrath of his God.
I love him whose soul is deep even in the wounding, and may succumb
through a small matter: thus goeth he willingly over the bridge.
I love him whose soul is so overfull that he forgetteth himself, and all
things are in him: thus all things become his down-going.
I love him who is of a free spirit and a free heart: thus is his
head only the bowels of his heart; his heart, however, causeth his
I love all who are like heavy drops falling one by one out of the dark
cloud that lowereth over man: they herald the coming of the lightning,
and succumb as heralds.
Lo, I am a herald of the lightning, and a heavy drop out of the cloud:
the lightning, however, is the SUPERMAN.--
When Zarathustra had spoken these words, he again looked at the people,
and was silent. "There they stand," said he to his heart; "there they
laugh: they understand me not; I am not the mouth for these ears.
Must one first batter their ears, that they may learn to hear with their
eyes? Must one clatter like kettledrums and penitential preachers? Or do
they only believe the stammerer?
They have something whereof they are proud. What do they call it, that
which maketh them proud? Culture, they call it; it distinguisheth them
from the goatherds.
They dislike, therefore, to hear of 'contempt' of themselves. So I will
appeal to their pride.
I will speak unto them of the most contemptible thing: that, however, is
THE LAST MAN!"
And thus spake Zarathustra unto the people:
It is time for man to fix his goal. It is time for man to plant the germ
of his highest hope.
Still is his soil rich enough for it. But that soil will one day be
poor and exhausted, and no lofty tree will any longer be able to grow
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
I tell you: one must still have chaos in one, to give birth to a dancing
star. I tell you: ye have still chaos in you.
Alas! There cometh the time when man will no longer give birth to any
star. Alas! There cometh the time of the most despicable man, who can no
longer despise himself.
Lo! I show you THE LAST MAN.
"What is love? What is creation? What is longing? What is a star?"--so
asketh the last man and blinketh.
The earth hath then become small, and on it there hoppeth the last man
who maketh everything small. His species is ineradicable like that of
the ground-flea; the last man liveth longest.
"We have discovered happiness"--say the last men, and blink thereby.
They have left the regions where it is hard to live; for they need
warmth. One still loveth one's neighbour and rubbeth against him; for
one needeth warmth.
Turning ill and being distrustful, they consider sinful: they walk
warily. He is a fool who still stumbleth over stones or men!
A little poison now and then: that maketh pleasant dreams. And much
poison at last for a pleasant death.
One still worketh, for work is a pastime. But one is careful lest the
pastime should hurt one.
One no longer becometh poor or rich; both are too burdensome. Who still
wanteth to rule? Who still wanteth to obey? Both are too burdensome.
No shepherd, and one herd! Every one wanteth the same; every one is
equal: he who hath other sentiments goeth voluntarily into the madhouse.
"Formerly all the world was insane,"--say the subtlest of them, and
They are clever and know all that hath happened: so there is
no end to their raillery. People still fall out, but are soon
reconciled--otherwise it spoileth their stomachs.
They have their little pleasures for the day, and their little pleasures
for the night, but they have a regard for health.
"We have discovered happiness,"--say the last men, and blink thereby.--
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.
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
Calm is my soul, and clear, like the mountains in the morning. But they
think me cold, and a mocker with terrible jests.
And now do they look at me and laugh: and while they laugh they hate me
too. There is ice in their laughter."
Then, however, something happened which made every mouth mute and every
eye fixed. In the meantime, of course, the rope-dancer had commenced his
performance: he had come out at a little door, and was going along the
rope which was stretched between two towers, so that it hung above the
market-place and the people. When he was just midway across, the little
door opened once more, and a gaudily-dressed fellow like a buffoon
sprang out, and went rapidly after the first one. "Go on, halt-foot,"
cried his frightful voice, "go on, lazy-bones, interloper,
sallow-face!--lest I tickle thee with my heel! What dost thou here
between the towers? In the tower is the place for thee, thou shouldst be
locked up; to one better than thyself thou blockest the way!"--And with
every word he came nearer and nearer the first one. When, however, he
was but a step behind, there happened the frightful thing which made
every mouth mute and every eye fixed--he uttered a yell like a devil,
and jumped over the other who was in his way. The latter, however, when
he thus saw his rival triumph, lost at the same time his head and his
footing on the rope; he threw his pole away, and shot downwards faster
than it, like an eddy of arms and legs, into the depth. The market-place
and the people were like the sea when the storm cometh on: they all flew
apart and in disorder, especially where the body was about to fall.
Zarathustra, however, remained standing, and just beside him fell the
body, badly injured and disfigured, but not yet dead. After a while
consciousness returned to the shattered man, and he saw Zarathustra
kneeling beside him. "What art thou doing there?" said he at last, "I
knew long ago that the devil would trip me up. Now he draggeth me to
hell: wilt thou prevent him?"
"On mine honour, my friend," answered Zarathustra, "there is nothing of
all that whereof thou speakest: there is no devil and no hell. Thy soul
will be dead even sooner than thy body: fear, therefore, nothing any
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 own hands."
When Zarathustra had said this the dying one did not reply further; but
he moved his hand as if he sought the hand of Zarathustra 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 thought: so he forgot the time. But at last it
became night, and a cold wind blew upon the lonely one. Then arose
Zarathustra and said to his heart:
Verily, a fine catch of fish hath Zarathustra made to-day! It is not a
man he hath caught, but a corpse.
Sombre is human life, and as yet without meaning: a buffoon may be
fateful to it.
I want to teach men the sense of their existence, which is the Superman,
the lightning out of the dark cloud--man.
But still am I far from them, and my sense speaketh not unto their
sense. To men I am still something between a fool and a corpse.
Gloomy is the night, gloomy are the ways of Zarathustra. Come, thou cold
and stiff companion! I carry thee to the place where I shall bury thee
with mine own hands.
When Zarathustra had said this to his heart, he put the corpse upon his
shoulders and set out on his way. Yet had he not gone a hundred steps,
when there stole a man up to him and whispered in his ear--and lo!
he that spake was the buffoon from the tower. "Leave this town, O
Zarathustra," said he, "there are too many here who hate thee. The
good and just hate thee, and call thee their enemy and despiser; the
believers in the orthodox belief hate thee, and call thee a danger to
the multitude. It was thy good fortune to be laughed at: and verily thou
spakest like a buffoon. It was thy good fortune to associate with the
dead dog; by so humiliating thyself thou hast saved thy life to-day.
Depart, however, from this town,--or tomorrow I shall jump over thee,
a living man over a dead one." And when he had said this, the buffoon
vanished; Zarathustra, however, went on through the dark 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 repast! If only the devil is not a better thief
than Zarathustra!--he will steal them both, he will eat them both!" And
they laughed among themselves, and put their heads 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 a-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
"A living man and a dead one," said Zarathustra. "Give me something to
eat and drink, I forgot it during the day. He that feedeth the hungry
refresheth his own soul, saith wisdom."
The old man withdrew, but came back immediately and offered Zarathustra
bread and wine. "A bad country for the hungry," said he; "that is why
I live here. Animal and man come unto me, the anchorite. But bid thy
companion eat and drink also, he is wearier than thou." Zarathustra
answered: "My companion is dead; I shall hardly be able to persuade him
to eat." "That doth not concern me," said the old man sullenly; "he
that knocketh at my door must take what I offer him. Eat, and fare ye
Thereafter Zarathustra again went on for two hours, trusting to the path
and the light of the stars: for he was an experienced night-walker, and
liked to look into the face of all that slept. When the morning dawned,
however, Zarathustra found himself in a thick forest, and no path was
any longer visible. He then put the dead man in a hollow tree at his
head--for he wanted to protect him from the wolves--and laid himself
down on the ground and moss. And immediately he fell asleep, tired in
body, but with a tranquil soul.
Long slept Zarathustra; and not only the rosy dawn passed over his head,
but also the morning. At last, however, his eyes opened, and amazedly he
gazed into the forest and the stillness, amazedly he gazed into himself.
Then he arose quickly, like a seafarer who all at once seeth the land;
and he shouted for joy: for he saw a new truth. And he spake thus to his
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
To allure many from the herd--for that purpose have I come. The people
and the herd must be angry with me: a robber shall Zarathustra be called
by the herdsmen.
Herdsmen, I say, but they call themselves the good and just. Herdsmen, I
say, but they call themselves the believers in the orthodox belief.
Behold the good and just! Whom do they hate most? Him who breaketh up
their tables of values, the breaker, the lawbreaker:--he, however, is
Behold the believers of all beliefs! Whom do they hate most? Him who
breaketh up their tables of values, the breaker, the law-breaker--he,
however, is the creator.
Companions, the creator seeketh, not corpses--and not herds or believers
either. Fellow-creators the creator seeketh--those who grave new values
on new tables.
Companions, the creator seeketh, and fellow-reapers: for everything is
ripe for the harvest with him. But he lacketh the hundred sickles: so he
plucketh the ears of corn and is vexed.
Companions, the creator seeketh, and such as know how to whet their
sickles. Destroyers, will they be called, and despisers of good and
evil. But they are the reapers and rejoicers.
Fellow-creators, Zarathustra seeketh; fellow-reapers and
fellow-rejoicers, Zarathustra seeketh: what hath he to do with herds and
herdsmen and corpses!
And thou, my first companion, rest in peace! Well have I buried thee in
thy hollow tree; well have I hid thee from the wolves.
But I part from thee; the time hath arrived. 'Twixt rosy dawn and rosy
dawn there came unto me a new truth.
I am not to be a herdsman, I am not to be a grave-digger. Not any more
will I discourse unto the people; for the last time have I spoken unto
With the creators, the reapers, and the rejoicers will I associate: the
rainbow will I show them, and all the stairs to the Superman.
To the lone-dwellers will I sing my song, and to the twain-dwellers;
and unto him who hath still ears for the unheard, will I make the heart
heavy with my happiness.
I make for my goal, I follow my course; over the loitering and tardy
will I leap. Thus let my on-going be their down-going!
This had Zarathustra said to his heart when the sun stood at noon-tide.
Then he looked inquiringly aloft,--for he heard above him the sharp call
of a bird. And behold! An eagle swept through the air in wide circles,
and on it hung a serpent, not like a prey, but like a friend: for it
kept itself coiled round the eagle's neck.
"They are mine animals," said Zarathustra, and rejoiced in his heart.
"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
More dangerous have I found it among men than among animals; in
dangerous paths goeth Zarathustra. Let mine animals lead me!
When Zarathustra had said this, he remembered the words of the saint in
the forest. Then he sighed and spake thus to his heart:
"Would that I were wiser! Would that I were wise from the very heart,
like my serpent!
But I am asking the impossible. Therefore do I ask my pride to go always
with my wisdom!
And if my wisdom should some day forsake me:--alas! it loveth to fly
away!--may my pride then fly with my folly!"
Thus began Zarathustra's down-going.
I. 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-bearing spirit,
that I may take it upon me and rejoice in my strength.
Is it not this: To humiliate oneself in order to mortify one's pride? To
exhibit one's folly in order to mock at one's wisdom?
Or is it this: To desert our cause when it celebrateth its triumph? To
ascend high mountains to tempt the tempter?
Or is it this: To feed on the acorns and grass of knowledge, and for the
sake of truth to suffer hunger of soul?
Or is it this: To be sick and dismiss comforters, and make friends of
the deaf, who never hear thy requests?
Or is it this: To go into foul water when it is the water of truth, and
not disclaim cold frogs and hot toads?
Or is it this: To love those who despise us, and give one's hand to the
phantom when it is going to frighten us?
All these heaviest things the load-bearing spirit taketh upon itself:
and like the camel, which, when laden, hasteneth into the wilderness, so
hasteneth the spirit into its wilderness.
But in the loneliest wilderness happeneth the second metamorphosis: here
the spirit becometh a lion; freedom will it capture, and lordship in its
Its last Lord it here seeketh: hostile will it be to him, and to its
last God; for victory will it struggle with the great dragon.
What is the great dragon which the spirit is no longer inclined to call
Lord and God? "Thou-shalt," is the great dragon called. But the spirit
of the lion saith, "I will."
"Thou-shalt," lieth in its path, sparkling with gold--a scale-covered
beast; and on every scale glittereth golden, "Thou shalt!"
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
My brethren, wherefore is there need of the lion in the spirit? Why
sufficeth not the beast of burden, which renounceth and is reverent?
To create new values--that, even the lion cannot yet accomplish: but to
create itself freedom for new creating--that can the might of the lion
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 right to new values--that is the most formidable
assumption for a load-bearing and reverent spirit. Verily, unto such a
spirit it is preying, and the work of a beast of prey.
As its holiest, it once loved "Thou-shalt": now is it forced to find
illusion and arbitrariness even in the holiest things, that it may
capture freedom from its love: the lion is needed for this capture.
But tell me, my brethren, what the child can do, which even the lion
could not do? Why hath the preying lion still to become a child?
Innocence is the child, and forgetfulness, a new beginning, a game, a
self-rolling wheel, a first movement, a holy Yea.
Aye, for the game of creating, my brethren, there is needed a holy Yea
unto life: ITS OWN will, willeth now the spirit; HIS OWN world winneth
the world's outcast.
Three metamorphoses of the spirit have I designated to you: how the
spirit became a camel, the camel a lion, and the lion at last a child.--
Thus spake Zarathustra. And at that time he abode in the town which is
called The Pied Cow.
II. 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.
No small art is it to sleep: it is necessary for that purpose to keep
awake all day.
Ten times a day must thou overcome thyself: that causeth wholesome
weariness, and is poppy to the soul.
Ten times must thou reconcile again with thyself; for overcoming is
bitterness, and badly sleep the unreconciled.
Ten truths must thou find during the day; otherwise wilt thou seek truth
during the night, and thy soul will have been hungry.
Ten times must thou laugh during the day, and be cheerful; otherwise thy
stomach, the father of affliction, will disturb thee in the night.
Few people know it, but one must have all the virtues in order to sleep
well. Shall I bear false witness? Shall I commit adultery?
Shall I covet my neighbour's maidservant? All that would ill accord with
And even if one have all the virtues, there is still one thing needful:
to send the virtues themselves to sleep at the right time.
That they may not quarrel with one another, the good females! And about
thee, thou unhappy one!
Peace with God and thy neighbour: so desireth good sleep. And peace also
with thy neighbour's devil! Otherwise it will haunt thee in 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 like to
walk on crooked legs?
He who leadeth his sheep to the greenest pasture, shall always be for me
the best shepherd: so doth it accord with good sleep.
Many honours I want not, nor great treasures: they excite the spleen.
But it is bad sleeping without a good name and a little treasure.
A small company is more welcome to me than a bad one: but they must come
and go at the right time. So doth it accord with good sleep.
Well, also, do the poor in spirit please me: they promote sleep. Blessed
are they, especially if one always give in to them.
Thus passeth the day unto the virtuous. When night cometh, then take I
good care not to summon sleep. It disliketh to be summoned--sleep, the
lord of the virtues!
But I think of what I have done and thought during the day. Thus
ruminating, patient as a cow, I ask myself: What were thy ten
And what were the ten reconciliations, and the ten truths, and the ten
laughters with which my heart enjoyed itself?
Thus pondering, and cradled by forty thoughts, it overtaketh me all at
once--sleep, the unsummoned, the lord of the virtues.
Sleep tappeth on mine eye, and it turneth heavy. Sleep toucheth my
mouth, and it remaineth open.
Verily, on soft soles doth it come to me, the dearest of thieves, and
stealeth from me my thoughts: stupid do I then stand, like this academic
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.
A magic resideth even in his academic chair. And not in vain did the
youths sit before the preacher of virtue.
His wisdom is to keep awake in order to sleep well. And verily, if
life had no sense, and had I to choose nonsense, this would be the
desirablest nonsense for me also.
Now know I well what people sought formerly above all else when they
sought teachers of virtue. Good sleep they sought for themselves, and
poppy-head virtues to promote it!
To all those belauded sages of the academic chairs, wisdom was sleep
without dreams: they knew no higher significance of life.
Even at present, to be sure, there are some like this preacher of
virtue, and not always so honourable: but their time is past. And not
much longer do they stand: there they already lie.
Blessed are those drowsy ones: for they shall soon nod to sleep.--
Thus spake Zarathustra.
Once on a time, Zarathustra also cast his fancy beyond man, like all
backworldsmen. The work of a suffering and tortured God, did the world
then seem to me.
The dream--and diction--of a God, did the world then seem to me;
coloured vapours before the eyes of a divinely dissatisfied one.
Good and evil, and joy and woe, and I and thou--coloured vapours did
they seem to me before creative eyes. The creator wished to look away
from himself,--thereupon he created the world.
Intoxicating joy is it for the sufferer to look away from his suffering
and forget himself. Intoxicating joy and self-forgetting, did the world
once seem to me.
This world, the eternally imperfect, an eternal contradiction's image
and imperfect image--an intoxicating joy to its imperfect creator:--thus
did the world once seem to me.
Thus, once on a time, did I also cast my fancy beyond man, like all
backworldsmen. Beyond man, forsooth?
Ah, ye brethren, that God whom I created was human work and human
madness, like all the Gods!
A man was he, and only a poor fragment of a man and ego. Out of mine own
ashes and glow it came unto me, that phantom. And verily, it came not
unto me from the beyond!
What happened, my brethren? I surpassed myself, the suffering one; I
carried mine own ashes to the mountain; a brighter flame I contrived for
myself. And lo! Thereupon the phantom WITHDREW from me!
To me the convalescent would it now be suffering and torment to believe
in such phantoms: suffering would it now be to me, and humiliation. Thus
speak I to backworldsmen.
Suffering was it, and impotence--that created all backworlds; and
the short madness of happiness, which only the greatest sufferer
Weariness, which seeketh to get to the ultimate with one leap, with
a death-leap; a poor ignorant weariness, unwilling even to will any
longer: that created all Gods and backworlds.
Believe me, my brethren! It was the body which despaired of the body--it
groped with the fingers of the infatuated spirit at the ultimate walls.
Believe me, my brethren! It was the body which despaired of the
earth--it heard the bowels of existence speaking unto it.
And then it sought to get through the ultimate walls with its head--and
not with its head only--into "the other world."
But that "other world" is well concealed from man, that dehumanised,
inhuman world, which is a celestial naught; and the bowels of existence
do not speak unto man, except as man.
Verily, it is difficult to prove all being, and hard to make it speak.
Tell me, ye brethren, is not the strangest of all things best proved?
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
A new pride taught me mine ego, and that teach I unto men: no longer
to thrust one's head into the sand of celestial things, but to carry it
freely, a terrestrial head, which giveth meaning to the earth!
A new will teach I unto men: to choose that path which man hath followed
blindly, and to approve of it--and no longer to slink aside from it,
like the sick and perishing!
The sick and perishing--it was they who despised the body and the earth,
and invented the heavenly world, and the redeeming blood-drops; but even
those sweet and sad poisons they borrowed from the body and 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 transport? To their body and this
Gentle is Zarathustra to the sickly. Verily, he is not indignant
at their modes of consolation and ingratitude. May they become
convalescents and overcomers, and create higher bodies for themselves!
Neither is Zarathustra indignant at a convalescent who looketh tenderly
on his delusions, and at midnight stealeth round the grave of his God;
but sickness and a sick frame remain even in his tears.
Many sickly ones have there always been among those who muse, and
languish for God; violently they hate the discerning ones, and the
latest of virtues, which is uprightness.
Backward they always gaze toward dark ages: then, indeed, were delusion
and faith something different. Raving of the reason was likeness to God,
and doubt was sin.
Too well do I know those godlike ones: they insist on being believed in,
and that doubt is sin. Too well, also, do I know what they themselves
most believe in.
Verily, not in backworlds and redeeming blood-drops: but in the body
do they also believe most; and their own body is for them the
But it is a sickly thing to them, and gladly would they get out of their
skin. Therefore hearken they to the preachers of death, and themselves
Hearken rather, my brethren, to the voice of the healthy body; it is a
more upright and pure voice.
More uprightly and purely speaketh the healthy body, perfect and
square-built; and it speaketh of the meaning of the earth.--
Thus spake Zarathustra.
IV. 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
But the awakened one, the knowing one, saith: "Body am I entirely, and
nothing more; and soul is only the name of something in the body."
The body is a big sagacity, a plurality with one sense, a war and a
peace, a flock and a shepherd.
An instrument of thy body is also thy little sagacity, my brother, which
thou callest "spirit"--a little instrument and plaything of thy big
"Ego," sayest thou, and art proud of that word. But the greater
thing--in which thou art unwilling to believe--is thy body with its big
sagacity; it saith not "ego," but doeth it.
What the sense feeleth, what the spirit discerneth, hath never its end
in itself. But sense and spirit would fain persuade thee that they are
the end of all things: so vain are they.
Instruments and playthings are sense and spirit: behind them there
is still the Self. The Self seeketh with the eyes of the senses, it
hearkeneth also with the ears of the spirit.
Ever hearkeneth the Self, and seeketh; it compareth, mastereth,
conquereth, and destroyeth. It ruleth, and is also the ego's ruler.
Behind thy thoughts and feelings, my brother, there is a mighty lord,
an unknown sage--it is called Self; it dwelleth in thy body, it is thy
There is more sagacity in thy body than in thy best wisdom. And who then
knoweth why thy body requireth just thy best wisdom?
Thy Self laugheth at thine ego, and its proud prancings. "What are these
prancings and flights of thought unto me?" it saith to itself. "A by-way
to my purpose. I am the leading-string of the ego, and the prompter of
The Self saith unto the ego: "Feel pain!" And thereupon it suffereth,
and thinketh how it may put an end thereto--and for that very purpose it
IS MEANT to think.
The Self saith unto the ego: "Feel pleasure!" Thereupon it rejoiceth,
and thinketh how it may ofttimes rejoice--and for that very purpose it
IS MEANT to think.
To the despisers of the body will I speak a word. That they despise is
caused by their esteem. What is it that created esteeming and despising
and worth and will?
The creating Self created for itself esteeming and despising, it created
for itself joy and woe. The creating body created for itself spirit, as
a hand to its will.
Even in your folly and despising ye each serve your Self, ye despisers
of the body. I tell you, your very Self wanteth to die, and turneth away
No longer can your Self do that which it desireth most:--create beyond
itself. That is what it desireth most; that is all its fervour.
But it is now too late to do so:--so your Self wisheth to succumb, ye
despisers of the body.
To succumb--so wisheth your Self; and therefore have ye become despisers
of the body. For ye can no longer create beyond yourselves.
And therefore are ye now angry with life and with the earth. And
unconscious envy is in the sidelong look of your contempt.
I go not your way, ye despisers of the body! Ye are no bridges for me to
Thus spake Zarathustra.
V. JOYS AND PASSIONS.
My brother, when thou hast a virtue, and it is thine own virtue, thou
hast it in common with no one.
To be sure, thou wouldst call it by name and caress it; thou wouldst
pull its ears and amuse thyself with it.
And lo! Then hast thou its name in common with the people, and hast
become one of the people and the herd with thy virtue!
Better for thee to say: "Ineffable is it, and nameless, that which is
pain and sweetness to my soul, and also the hunger of my bowels."
Let thy virtue be too high for the familiarity of names, and if thou
must speak of it, be not ashamed to stammer about it.
Thus speak and stammer: "That is MY good, that do I love, thus doth it
please me entirely, thus only do "I" desire the good.
Not as the law of a God do I desire it, not as a human law or a human
need do I desire it; it is not to be a guide-post for me to superearths
An earthly virtue is it which I love: little prudence is therein, and
the least everyday wisdom.
But that bird built its nest beside me: therefore, I love and cherish
it--now sitteth it beside me on its golden eggs."
Thus shouldst thou stammer, and praise thy virtue.
Once hadst thou passions and calledst them evil. But now hast thou only
thy virtues: they grew out of thy passions.
Thou implantedst thy highest aim into the heart of those passions: then
became they thy virtues and joys.
And though thou wert of the race of the hot-tempered, or of the
voluptuous, or of the fanatical, or the vindictive;
All thy passions in the end became virtues, and all thy devils angels.
Once hadst thou wild dogs in thy cellar: but they changed at last into
birds and charming songstresses.
Out of thy poisons brewedst thou balsam for thyself; thy cow,
affliction, milkedst thou--now drinketh thou the sweet milk of her
And nothing evil groweth in thee any longer, unless it be the evil that
groweth out of the conflict of thy virtues.
My brother, if thou be fortunate, then wilt thou have one virtue and no
more: thus goest thou easier over the bridge.
Illustrious is it to have many virtues, but a hard lot; and many a one
hath gone into the wilderness and killed himself, because he was weary
of being the battle and battlefield of virtues.
My brother, are war and battle evil? Necessary, however, is the evil;
necessary are the envy and the distrust and the back-biting among the
Lo! how each of thy virtues is covetous of the highest place; it wanteth
thy whole spirit to be ITS herald, it wanteth thy whole power, in wrath,
hatred, and love.
Jealous is every virtue of the others, and a dreadful thing is jealousy.
Even virtues may succumb by jealousy.
He whom the flame of jealousy encompasseth, turneth at last, like the
scorpion, the poisoned sting against himself.
Ah! my brother, hast thou never seen a virtue backbite and stab itself?
Man is something that hath to be surpassed: and therefore shalt thou
love thy virtues,--for thou wilt succumb by them.--
Thus spake Zarathustra.
VI. THE PALE CRIMINAL.
Ye do not mean to slay, ye judges and sacrificers, until the animal hath
bowed its head? Lo! the pale criminal hath bowed his head: out of his
eye speaketh the great contempt.
"Mine ego is something which is to be surpassed: mine ego is to me the
great contempt of man": so speaketh it out of that eye.
When he judged himself--that was his supreme moment; let not the exalted
one relapse again into his low estate!
There is no salvation for him who thus suffereth from himself, unless it
be speedy death.
Your slaying, ye judges, shall be pity, and not revenge; and in that ye
slay, see to it that ye yourselves justify life!
It is not enough that ye should reconcile with him whom ye slay. Let
your sorrow be love to the Superman: thus will ye justify your own
"Enemy" shall ye say but not "villain," "invalid" shall ye say but not
"wretch," "fool" shall ye say but not "sinner."
And thou, red judge, if thou would say audibly all thou hast done in
thought, then would every one cry: "Away with the nastiness and the
But one thing is the thought, another thing is the deed, and another
thing is the idea of the deed. The wheel of causality doth not roll
An idea made this pale man pale. Adequate was he for his deed when he
did it, but the idea of it, he could not endure when it was done.
Evermore did he now see himself as the doer of one deed. Madness, I call
this: the exception reversed itself to the rule in him.
The streak of chalk bewitcheth the hen; the stroke he struck bewitched
his weak reason. Madness AFTER the deed, I call this.
Hearken, ye judges! There is another madness besides, and it is BEFORE
the deed. Ah! ye have not gone deep enough into this soul!
Thus speaketh the red judge: "Why did this criminal commit murder? He
meant to rob." I tell you, however, that his soul wanted blood, not
booty: he thirsted for the happiness of the knife!
But his weak reason understood not this madness, and it persuaded him.
"What matter about blood!" it said; "wishest thou not, at least, to make
booty thereby? Or take revenge?"
And he hearkened unto his weak reason: like lead lay its words upon
him--thereupon he robbed when he murdered. He did not mean to be
ashamed of his madness.
And now once more lieth the lead of his guilt upon him, and once more is
his weak reason so benumbed, so paralysed, and so dull.
Could he only shake his head, then would his burden roll off; but who
shaketh that head?
What is this man? A mass of diseases that reach out into the world
through the spirit; there they want to get their prey.
What is this man? A coil of wild serpents that are seldom at peace among
themselves--so they go forth apart and seek prey in the world.
Look at that poor body! What it suffered and craved, the poor soul
interpreted to itself--it interpreted it as murderous desire, and
eagerness for the happiness of the knife.
Him who now turneth sick, the evil overtaketh which is now the evil: he
seeketh to cause pain with that which causeth him pain. But there have
been other ages, and another evil and good.
Once was doubt evil, and the will to Self. Then the invalid became a
heretic or sorcerer; as heretic or sorcerer he suffered, and sought to
But this will not enter your ears; it hurteth your good people, ye tell
me. But what doth it matter to me about your good people!
Many things in your good people cause me disgust, and verily, not their
evil. I would that they had a madness by which they succumbed, like this
Verily, I would that their madness were called truth, or fidelity,
or justice: but they have their virtue in order to live long, and in
I am a railing alongside the torrent; whoever is able to grasp me may
grasp me! Your crutch, however, I am not.--
Thus spake Zarathustra.
VII. READING AND WRITING.
Of all that is written, I love only what a person hath written with his
blood. Write with blood, and thou wilt find that blood is spirit.
It is no easy task to understand unfamiliar blood; I hate the reading
He who knoweth the reader, doeth nothing more for the reader. Another
century of readers--and spirit itself will stink.
Every one being allowed to learn to read, ruineth in the long run not
only writing but also thinking.
Once spirit was God, then it became man, and now it even becometh
He that writeth in blood and proverbs doth not want to be read, but
learnt by heart.
In the mountains the shortest way is from peak to peak, but for that
route thou must have long legs. Proverbs should be peaks, and those
spoken to should be big and tall.
The atmosphere rare and pure, danger near and the spirit full of a
joyful wickedness: thus are things well matched.
I want to have goblins about me, for I am courageous. The courage which
scareth away ghosts, createth for itself goblins--it wanteth 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
Ye look aloft when ye long for exaltation; and I look downward because I
Who among you can at the same time laugh and be exalted?
He who climbeth on the highest mountains, laugheth at all tragic plays
and tragic realities.
Courageous, unconcerned, scornful, coercive--so wisdom wisheth us; she
is a woman, and ever loveth only a warrior.
Ye tell me, "Life is hard to bear." But for what purpose should ye have
your pride in the morning and your resignation in the evening?
Life is hard to bear: but do not affect to be so delicate! We are all of
us fine sumpter asses and assesses.
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 dance.
And when I saw my devil, I found him serious, thorough, profound,
solemn: he was the spirit of gravity--through him all things fall.
Not by wrath, but by laughter, do we slay. Come, let us slay the spirit
I learned to walk; since then have I let myself run. I learned to fly;
since then I do not need pushing in order to move from a spot.
Now am I light, now do I fly; now do I see myself under myself. Now
there danceth a God in me.--
Thus spake Zarathustra.
VIII. THE TREE ON THE HILL.
Zarathustra's eye had perceived that a certain youth avoided him. And as
he walked alone one evening over the hills surrounding the town called
"The Pied Cow," behold, there found he the youth sitting leaning against
a tree, and gazing with wearied look into the valley. Zarathustra
thereupon laid hold of the tree beside which the youth sat, and spake
"If I wished to shake this tree with my hands, I should not be able to
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 answered:
"Why art thou frightened on that account?--But it is the same with man
as with the tree.
The more he seeketh to rise into the height and light, the more
vigorously do his roots struggle earthward, downward, into the dark and
deep--into the evil."
"Yea, into the evil!" cried the youth. "How is it possible that thou
hast discovered my soul?"
Zarathustra smiled, and said: "Many a soul one will never discover,
unless one first invent it."
"Yea, into the evil!" cried the youth once more.
"Thou saidst the truth, Zarathustra. I trust myself no longer since I
sought to rise into the height, and nobody trusteth me any longer; how
doth that happen?
I change too quickly: my to-day refuteth my yesterday. I often overleap
the steps when I clamber; for so doing, none of the steps pardons me.
When aloft, I find myself always alone. No one speaketh unto me; the
frost of solitude maketh me tremble. What do I seek on the height?
My contempt and my longing increase together; the higher I clamber, the
more do I despise him who clambereth. What doth he seek on the height?
How ashamed I am of my clambering and stumbling! How I mock at my
violent panting! How I hate him who flieth! How tired I am on the
Here the youth was silent. And Zarathustra contemplated the tree beside
which they stood, and spake thus:
"This tree standeth lonely here on the hills; it hath grown up high
above man and beast.
And if it wanted to speak, it would have none who could understand it:
so high hath it grown.
Now it waiteth and waiteth,--for what doth it wait? It dwelleth too
close to the seat of the clouds; it waiteth perhaps for the first
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
It rendeth my heart. Better than thy words express it, thine eyes tell
me all thy danger.
As yet thou art not free; thou still SEEKEST freedom. Too unslept hath
thy seeking made thee, and too wakeful.
On the open height wouldst thou be; for the stars thirsteth thy soul.
But thy bad impulses also thirst for freedom.
Thy wild dogs want liberty; they bark for joy in their cellar when thy
spirit endeavoureth to open all prison doors.
Still art thou a prisoner--it seemeth to me--who deviseth liberty
for himself: ah! sharp becometh the soul of such prisoners, but also
deceitful and wicked.
To purify himself, is still necessary for the freedman of the spirit.
Much of the prison and the mould still remaineth in him: pure hath his
eye still to become.
Yea, I know thy danger. But by my love and hope I conjure thee: cast not
thy love and hope away!
Noble thou feelest thyself still, and noble others also feel thee still,
though they bear thee a grudge and cast evil looks. Know this, that to
everybody a noble one standeth in the way.
Also to the good, a noble one standeth in the way: and even when they
call him a good man, they want thereby to put him aside.
The new, would the noble man create, and a new virtue. The old, wanteth
the good man, and that the old should be conserved.
But it is not the danger of the noble man to turn a good man, but lest
he should become a blusterer, a scoffer, or a destroyer.
Ah! I have known noble ones who lost their highest hope. And then they
disparaged all high hopes.
Then lived they shamelessly in temporary pleasures, and beyond the day
had hardly an aim.
"Spirit is also voluptuousness,"--said they. Then broke the wings of
their spirit; and now it creepeth about, and defileth where it 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.
IX. THE PREACHERS OF DEATH.
There are preachers of death: and the earth is full of those to whom
desistance from life must be preached.
Full is the earth of the superfluous; marred is life by the
many-too-many. May they be decoyed out of this life by the "life
"The yellow ones": so are called the preachers of death, or "the black
ones." But I will show them unto you in other colours besides.
There are the terrible ones who carry about in themselves the beast of
prey, and have no choice except lusts or self-laceration. And even their
lusts are self-laceration.
They have not yet become men, those terrible ones: may they preach
desistance from life, and pass away themselves!
There are the spiritually consumptive ones: hardly are they born when
they begin to die, and long for doctrines of lassitude and 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
They meet an invalid, or an old man, or a corpse--and immediately they
say: "Life is refuted!"
But they only are refuted, and their eye, which seeth only one aspect of
Shrouded in thick melancholy, and eager for the little casualties that
bring death: thus do they wait, and clench their teeth.
Or else, they grasp at sweetmeats, and mock at their childishness
thereby: they cling to their straw of life, and mock at their still
clinging to it.
Their wisdom speaketh thus: "A fool, he who remaineth alive; but so far
are we fools! And that is the foolishest thing in life!"
"Life is only suffering": so say others, and lie not. Then see to it
that YE cease! See to it that the life ceaseth which is only suffering!
And let this be the teaching of your virtue: "Thou shalt slay thyself!
Thou shalt steal away from thyself!"--
"Lust is sin,"--so say some who preach death--"let us go apart and beget
"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 goodness.
But they want to be rid of life; what care they if they bind others
still faster with their chains and gifts!--
And ye also, to whom life is rough labour and disquiet, are ye not very
tired of life? Are ye not very ripe for the sermon of death?
All ye to whom rough labour is dear, and the rapid, new, and strange--ye
put up with yourselves badly; your diligence is flight, and the will to
If ye believed more in life, then would ye devote yourselves less to the
momentary. But for waiting, ye have not enough of capacity in you--nor
even for idling!
Everywhere resoundeth the voices of those who preach death; and the
earth is full of those to whom death hath to be preached.
Or "life eternal"; it is all the same to me--if only they pass away
Thus spake Zarathustra.
X. 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
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
And if ye cannot be saints of knowledge, then, I pray you, be at least
its warriors. They are the companions and forerunners of such saintship.
I see many soldiers; could I but see many warriors! "Uniform" 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!
Ye say it is the good cause which halloweth even war? I say unto you: it
is the good war which halloweth every cause.
War and courage have done more great things than charity. Not your
sympathy, but your bravery hath hitherto saved the victims.
"What is good?" ye ask. To be brave is good. Let the little girls say:
"To be good is what is pretty, and at the same time touching."
They call you heartless: but your heart is true, and I love the
bashfulness of your goodwill. Ye are ashamed of your flow, and others
are ashamed of their ebb.
Ye are ugly? Well then, my brethren, take the sublime about you, the
mantle of the ugly!
And when your soul becometh great, then doth it become haughty, and in
your sublimity there is wickedness. I know you.
In wickedness the haughty man and the weakling meet. But they
misunderstand one another. I know you.
Ye shall only have enemies to be hated, but not enemies to be despised.
Ye must be proud of your enemies; then, the successes of your enemies
are also your successes.
Resistance--that is the distinction of the slave. Let your distinction
be obedience. Let your commanding itself be obeying!
To the good warrior soundeth "thou shalt" pleasanter than "I will." And
all that is dear unto you, ye shall first have it commanded 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 surpassed.
So live your life of obedience and of war! What matter about long life!
What warrior wisheth to be spared!
I spare you not, I love you from my very heart, my brethren in war!--
Thus spake Zarathustra.
XI. THE NEW IDOL.
Somewhere there are still peoples and herds, but not with us, my
brethren: here there are states.
A state? What is that? Well! open now your ears unto me, for now will I
say unto you my word concerning the death of peoples.
A state, is called the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly lieth
it also; and this lie creepeth from its mouth: "I, the state, am the
It is a lie! Creators were they who created peoples, and hung a faith
and a love over them: thus they served life.
Destroyers, are they who lay snares for many, and call it the state:
they hang a sword and a hundred cravings over them.
Where there is still a people, there the state is not understood, but
hated as the evil eye, and as sin against laws and customs.
This sign I give unto you: every people speaketh its language of good
and evil: this its neighbour understandeth not. Its language hath it
devised for itself in laws and customs.
But the state lieth in all languages of good and evil; and whatever it
saith it lieth; and whatever it hath it hath stolen.
False is everything in it; with stolen teeth it biteth, the biting one.
False are even its bowels.
Confusion of language of good and evil; this sign I give unto you as
the sign of the state. Verily, the will to death, indicateth this sign!
Verily, it beckoneth unto the preachers of death!
Many too many are born: for the superfluous ones was the state devised!
See just how it enticeth them to it, the many-too-many! How it
swalloweth and cheweth and recheweth them!
"On earth there is nothing greater than I: it is I who am the regulating
finger of God"--thus roareth the monster. And not only the long-eared
and short-sighted fall upon their knees!
Ah! even in your ears, ye great souls, it whispereth its gloomy lies!
Ah! it findeth out the rich hearts which willingly lavish themselves!
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 consciences,--the cold
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 of death!
The state, I call it, where all are poison-drinkers, the good and the
bad: the state, where all lose themselves, the good and the bad: the
state, where the slow suicide of all--is called "life."
Just see these superfluous ones! They steal the works of the inventors
and the treasures of the wise. Culture, they call their theft--and
everything becometh sickness and trouble unto them!
Just see these superfluous ones! Sick are they always; they vomit their
bile and call it a newspaper. They devour one another, and cannot even
Just see these superfluous ones! Wealth they acquire and become poorer
thereby. Power they seek for, and above all, the lever of power, much
money--these impotent ones!
See them clamber, these nimble apes! They clamber over one another, and
thus scuffle into the mud and the abyss.
Towards the throne they all strive: it is their madness--as if happiness
sat on the throne! Ofttimes sitteth filth on the throne.--and ofttimes
also the throne on filth.
Madmen they all seem to me, and clambering apes, and too eager. Badly
smelleth their idol to me, the cold monster: badly they all smell to me,
My brethren, will ye suffocate in the fumes of their maws and appetites!
Better break the windows and jump into the open air!
Do go out of the way of the bad odour! Withdraw from the idolatry of the
Do go out of the way of the bad odour! Withdraw from the steam of these
Open still remaineth the earth for great souls. Empty are still many
sites for lone ones and twain ones, around which floateth the odour of
Open still remaineth a free life for great souls. Verily, he who
possesseth little is so much the less possessed: blessed be moderate
There, where the state ceaseth--there only commenceth the man who is not
superfluous: there commenceth the song of the necessary ones, the single
and irreplaceable melody.
There, where the state CEASETH--pray look thither, my brethren! Do ye
not see it, the rainbow and the bridges of the Superman?--
Thus spake Zarathustra.
XII. 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 men.
Little do the people understand what is great--that is to say, the
creating agency. But they have a taste for all representers and actors
of great things.
Around the devisers of new values revolveth the world:--invisibly it
revolveth. But around the actors revolve the people and the glory: such
is the course of things.
Spirit, hath the actor, but little conscience of the spirit. He
believeth always in that wherewith he maketh believe most strongly--in
Tomorrow he hath a new belief, and the day after, one still newer. Sharp
perceptions hath he, like the people, and changeable humours.
To upset--that meaneth with him to prove. To drive mad--that meaneth
with him to convince. And blood is counted by him as the best of all
A truth which only glideth into fine ears, he calleth falsehood and
trumpery. Verily, he believeth only in Gods that make a great noise in
Full of clattering buffoons is the market-place,--and the people glory
in their great men! These are for them the masters of the hour.
But the hour presseth them; so they press thee. And also from thee
they want Yea or Nay. Alas! thou wouldst set thy chair betwixt For and
On account of those absolute and impatient ones, be not jealous, thou
lover of truth! Never yet did truth cling to the arm of an 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
Flee, my friend, into thy solitude: I see thee stung all over by the
poisonous flies. Flee thither, where a rough, strong breeze bloweth!
Flee into thy solitude! Thou hast lived too closely to the small and the
pitiable. Flee from their invisible vengeance! Towards thee they have
nothing but vengeance.
Raise no longer an arm against them! Innumerable are they, and it is not
thy lot to be a fly-flap.
Innumerable are the small and pitiable ones; and of many a proud
structure, rain-drops and weeds have been the ruin.
Thou art not stone; but already hast thou become hollow by the numerous
drops. Thou wilt yet break and burst by the numerous drops.
Exhausted I see thee, by poisonous flies; bleeding I see thee, and torn
at a hundred spots; and thy pride will not even upbraid.
Blood they would have from thee in all innocence; blood their bloodless
souls crave for--and they sting, therefore, in all innocence.
But thou, profound one, thou sufferest too profoundly even from small
wounds; and ere thou hadst recovered, the same poison-worm crawled over
Too proud art thou to kill these sweet-tooths. But take care lest it be
thy fate to suffer all their poisonous injustice!
They buzz around thee also with their praise: obtrusiveness, is their
praise. They want to be close to thy skin and thy blood.
They flatter thee, as one flattereth a God or devil; they whimper before
thee, as before a God or devil. What doth it come to! Flatterers are
they, and whimperers, and nothing more.
Often, also, do they show themselves to thee as amiable ones. But that
hath ever been the prudence of the cowardly. Yea! the cowardly 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
They punish thee for all thy virtues. They pardon thee in their inmost
hearts only--for thine errors.
Because thou art gentle and of upright character, thou sayest:
"Blameless are they for their small existence." But their circumscribed
souls think: "Blamable is all great existence."
Even when thou art gentle towards them, they still feel themselves
despised by thee; and they repay thy beneficence with secret
Thy silent pride is always counter to their taste; they rejoice if once
thou be humble enough to be frivolous.
What we recognise in a man, we also irritate in him. Therefore be on
your guard against the small ones!
In thy presence they feel themselves small, and their baseness gleameth
and gloweth against thee in invisible vengeance.
Sawest thou not how often they became dumb when thou approachedst them,
and how their energy left them like the smoke of an extinguishing fire?
Yea, my friend, the bad conscience art thou of thy neighbours; for they
are unworthy of thee. Therefore they hate thee, and would fain suck thy
Thy neighbours will always be poisonous flies; what is great in
thee--that itself must make them more poisonous, and always more
Flee, my friend, into thy solitude--and thither, where a rough strong
breeze bloweth. It is not thy lot to be a fly-flap.--
Thus spake Zarathustra.
I love the forest. It is bad to live in cities: there, there are too
many of the lustful.
Is it not better to fall into the hands of a murderer, than into the
dreams of a lustful woman?
And just look at these men: their eye saith it--they know nothing better
on earth than to lie with a woman.
Filth is at the bottom of their souls; and alas! if their filth hath
still spirit in it!
Would that ye were perfect--at least as animals! But to animals
Do I counsel you to slay your instincts? I counsel you to innocence in
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
And also this parable give I unto you: Not a few who meant to cast out
their devil, went thereby into the swine themselves.
To whom chastity is difficult, it is to be dissuaded: lest it become the
road to hell--to filth and lust of soul.
Do I speak of filthy things? That is not the worst thing for me to 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 unto it.
We offered that guest harbour and heart: now it dwelleth with us--let it
stay as long as it will!"--
Thus spake Zarathustra.
XIV. 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
Ah! there are too many depths for all anchorites. Therefore, do they
long so much for a friend, and for his elevation.
Our faith in others betrayeth wherein we would fain have faith in
ourselves. Our longing for a friend is our betrayer.
And often with our love we want merely to overleap envy. And often we
attack and make ourselves enemies, to conceal that we are vulnerable.
"Be at least mine enemy!"--thus speaketh the true reverence, which doth
not venture to solicit friendship.
If one would have a friend, then must one also be willing to wage war
for him: and in order to wage war, one must be CAPABLE of being an
One ought still to honour the enemy in one's friend. Canst thou go nigh
unto thy friend, and not go over to him?
In one's friend one shall have one's best enemy. Thou shalt be closest
unto him with thy heart when thou withstandest him.
Thou wouldst wear no raiment before thy friend? It is in honour of thy
friend that thou showest thyself to him as thou art? But he wisheth thee
to the devil on that account!
He who maketh no secret of himself shocketh: so much reason have ye
to fear nakedness! Aye, if ye were Gods, ye could then be ashamed of
Thou canst not adorn thyself fine enough for thy friend; for thou shalt
be unto him an arrow and a longing for the Superman.
Sawest thou ever thy friend asleep--to know how he looketh? What is
usually the countenance of thy friend? It is thine own countenance, in a
coarse and imperfect mirror.
Sawest thou ever thy friend asleep? Wert thou not dismayed at thy friend
looking so? O my friend, man is something that hath to be surpassed.
In divining and keeping silence shall the friend be a master: not
everything must thou wish to see. Thy dream shall disclose unto thee
what thy friend doeth when awake.
Let thy pity be a divining: to know first if thy friend wanteth pity.
Perhaps he loveth in thee the unmoved eye, and the look of 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 sweetness.
Art thou pure air and solitude and bread and medicine to thy friend?
Many a one cannot loosen his own fetters, but is nevertheless his
Art thou a slave? Then thou canst not be a friend. Art thou a tyrant?
Then thou canst not have friends.
Far too long hath there been a slave and a tyrant concealed in woman.
On that account woman is not yet capable of friendship: she knoweth only
In woman's love there is injustice and blindness to all she doth not
love. And even in woman's conscious love, there is still always surprise
and lightning and night, along with the light.
As yet woman is not capable of friendship: women are still cats, and
birds. Or at the best, cows.
As yet woman is not capable of friendship. But tell me, ye men, who of
you are 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.
XV. THE THOUSAND AND ONE GOALS.
Many lands saw Zarathustra, and many peoples: thus he discovered the
good and bad of many peoples. No greater power did Zarathustra find on
earth than good and bad.
No people could live without first valuing; if a people will maintain
itself, however, it must not value as its neighbour valueth.
Much that passed for good with one people was regarded with scorn and
contempt by another: thus I found it. Much found I here called bad,
which was there decked with purple honours.
Never did the one neighbour understand the other: ever did his soul
marvel at his neighbour's delusion and wickedness.
A table of excellencies hangeth over every people. Lo! it is the table
of their triumphs; lo! it is the voice of their Will to Power.
It is laudable, what they think hard; what is indispensable and hard
they call good; and what relieveth in the direst distress, the unique
and hardest of all,--they extol as holy.
Whatever maketh them rule and conquer and shine, to the dismay and envy
of their neighbours, they regard as the high and foremost thing, the
test and the meaning of all else.
Verily, my brother, if thou knewest but a people's need, its land,
its sky, and its neighbour, then wouldst thou divine the law of its
surmountings, and why it climbeth up that ladder to its hope.
"Always shalt thou be the foremost and prominent above others: no one
shall thy jealous soul love, except a friend"--that made the soul of a
Greek thrill: thereby went he his way to greatness.
"To speak truth, and be skilful with bow and arrow"--so seemed it alike
pleasing and hard to the people from whom cometh my name--the name which
is alike pleasing and hard to me.
"To honour father and mother, and from the root of the soul to do their
will"--this table of surmounting hung another people over them, and
became powerful and permanent thereby.
"To have fidelity, and for the sake of fidelity to risk honour and
blood, even in evil and dangerous courses"--teaching itself so, another
people mastered itself, and thus mastering itself, became pregnant and
heavy with great hopes.
Verily, men have given unto themselves all their good and bad. Verily,
they took it not, they found it not, it came not unto them as a voice
Values did man only assign to things in order to maintain himself--he
created only the significance of things, a human significance!
Therefore, calleth he himself "man," that is, the valuator.
Valuing is creating: hear it, ye creating ones! Valuation itself is the
treasure and jewel of the valued things.
Through valuation only is there value; and without valuation the nut of
existence would be hollow. Hear it, ye creating ones!
Change of values--that is, change of the creating ones. Always doth he
destroy who hath to be a creator.
Creating ones were first of all peoples, and only in late times
individuals; verily, the individual himself is still the latest
Peoples once hung over them tables of the good. Love which would rule
and love which would obey, created for themselves such tables.
Older is the pleasure in the herd than the pleasure in the ego: and as
long as the good conscience is for the herd, the bad conscience only
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
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 yourselves.
Ye flee unto your neighbour from yourselves, and would fain make a
virtue thereof: but I fathom your "unselfishness."
The THOU is older than the "I"; the THOU hath been consecrated, but not
yet the "I": so man presseth nigh unto his neighbour.
Do I advise you to neighbour-love? Rather do I advise you to
neighbour-flight and to furthest love!
Higher than love to your neighbour is love to the furthest and future
ones; higher still than love to men, is love to things and phantoms.
The phantom that runneth on before thee, my brother, is fairer than
thou; why dost thou not give unto it thy flesh and thy bones? But thou
fearest, and runnest unto thy neighbour.
Ye cannot endure it with yourselves, and do not love yourselves
sufficiently: so ye seek to mislead your neighbour into love, and would
fain gild yourselves with his error.
Would that ye could not endure it with any kind of near ones, or their
neighbours; then would ye have to create your friend and his overflowing
heart out of yourselves.
Ye call in a witness when ye want to speak well of yourselves; and
when ye have misled him to think well of you, ye also think well of
Not only doth he lie, who speaketh contrary to his knowledge, but more
so, he who speaketh contrary to his ignorance. And thus speak ye
of yourselves in your intercourse, and belie your neighbour with
Thus saith the fool: "Association with men spoileth the character,
especially when one hath none."
The one goeth to his neighbour because he seeketh himself, and the other
because he would fain lose himself. Your bad love to yourselves maketh
solitude a prison to you.
The furthest ones are they who pay for your love to the near ones; and
when there are but five of you together, a sixth must always die.
I love not your festivals either: too many actors found I there, and
even the spectators often behaved like actors.
Not the neighbour do I teach you, but the friend. Let the friend be the
festival of the earth to you, and a foretaste of the Superman.
I teach you the friend and his overflowing heart. But one must know how
to be a sponge, if one would be loved by overflowing hearts.
I teach you the friend in whom the world standeth complete, a capsule
of the good,--the creating friend, who hath always a complete world to
And as the world unrolled itself for him, so rolleth it together again
for him in rings, as the growth of good through evil, as the growth of
purpose out of chance.
Let the future and the furthest be the motive of thy to-day; in thy
friend shalt thou love the Superman as thy motive.
My brethren, I advise you not to neighbour-love--I advise you to
Thus spake Zarathustra.
XVII. THE WAY OF THE CREATING ONE.
Wouldst thou go into isolation, my brother? Wouldst thou seek the way
unto thyself? Tarry yet a little and hearken unto me.
"He who seeketh may easily get lost himself. All isolation is wrong": so
say the herd. And long didst thou belong to the herd.
The voice of the herd will still echo in thee. And when thou sayest,
"I have no longer a conscience in common with you," then will it be a
plaint and a pain.
Lo, that pain itself did the same conscience produce; and the last gleam
of that conscience still gloweth on thine affliction.
But thou wouldst go the way of thine affliction, which is the way unto
thyself? Then show me thine authority and thy strength to do so!
Art thou a new strength and a new authority? A first motion? A
self-rolling wheel? Canst thou also compel stars to revolve around 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
Alas! there are so many great thoughts that do nothing more than the
bellows: they inflate, and make emptier than ever.
Free, dost thou call thyself? Thy ruling thought would I hear of, and
not that thou hast escaped from a yoke.
Art thou one ENTITLED to escape from a yoke? Many a one hath cast away
his final worth when he hath cast away his servitude.
Free from what? What doth that matter to Zarathustra! Clearly, however,
shall thine eye show unto me: free FOR WHAT?
Canst thou give unto thyself thy bad and thy good, and set up thy will
as a law over thee? Canst thou be judge for thyself, and avenger of thy
Terrible is aloneness with the judge and avenger of one's own law.
Thus is a star projected into desert space, and into the icy breath of
To-day sufferest thou still from the multitude, thou individual; to-day
hast thou still thy courage unabated, and thy hopes.
But one day will the solitude weary thee; one day will thy pride yield,
and thy courage quail. Thou wilt one day cry: "I am alone!"
One day wilt thou see no longer thy loftiness, and see too closely thy
lowliness; thy sublimity itself will frighten thee as a phantom. Thou
wilt one day cry: "All is false!"
There are feelings which seek to slay the lonesome one; if they do not
succeed, then must they themselves die! But art thou capable of it--to
be a murderer?
Hast thou ever known, my brother, the word "disdain"? And the anguish of
thy justice in being just to those that disdain thee?
Thou forcest many to think differently about thee; that, charge they
heavily to thine account. Thou camest nigh unto them, and yet wentest
past: for that they never forgive thee.
Thou goest beyond them: but the higher thou risest, the smaller doth the
eye of envy see thee. Most of all, however, is the flying one 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 brother, if
thou wouldst be a star, thou must shine for them none the less on that
And be on thy guard against the good and just! They would fain crucify
those who devise their own virtue--they hate the lonesome ones.
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 be on thy guard, also, against the assaults of thy love! Too readily
doth the recluse reach his hand to any one who meeteth him.
To many a one mayest thou not give thy hand, but only thy paw; and I
wish thy paw also to have claws.
But the worst enemy thou canst meet, wilt thou thyself always be; thou
waylayest thyself in caverns and forests.
Thou lonesome one, thou goest the way to thyself! And past thyself and
thy seven devils leadeth thy way!
A heretic wilt thou be to thyself, and a wizard and a 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
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.
With my tears, go into thine isolation, my brother. I love him who
seeketh to create beyond himself, and thus succumbeth.--
Thus spake Zarathustra.
XVIII. OLD AND YOUNG WOMEN.
"Why stealest thou along so furtively in the twilight, Zarathustra? And
what hidest thou so carefully under thy mantle?
Is it a treasure that hath been given thee? Or a child that hath been
born thee? Or goest thou thyself on a thief's errand, thou friend of the
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 to-day, 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
And I obliged the old woman and spake thus unto her:
Everything in woman is a riddle, and everything in woman hath one
solution--it is called pregnancy.
Man is for woman a means: the purpose is always the child. But what is
woman for man?
Two different things wanteth the true man: danger and diversion.
Therefore wanteth he woman, as the most dangerous plaything.
Man shall be trained for war, and woman for the recreation of the
warrior: all else is folly.
Too sweet fruits--these the warrior liketh not. Therefore liketh he
woman;--bitter is even the sweetest woman.
Better than man doth woman understand children, but man is more childish
In the true man there is a child hidden: it wanteth to play. Up then, ye
women, and discover the child in man!
A plaything let woman be, pure and fine like the precious stone,
illumined with the virtues of a world not yet come.
Let the beam of a star shine in your love! Let your hope say: "May I
bear the Superman!"
In your love let there be valour! With your love shall ye assail him who
inspireth you with fear!
In your love be your honour! Little doth woman understand otherwise
about honour. But let this be your honour: always to love more than ye
are loved, and never be the second.
Let man fear woman when she loveth: then maketh she every sacrifice, and
everything else she regardeth as worthless.
Let man fear woman when she hateth: for man in his innermost soul is
merely evil; woman, however, is mean.
Whom hateth woman most?--Thus spake the iron to the loadstone: "I hate
thee most, because thou attractest, but art too weak to draw unto thee."
The happiness of man is, "I will." The happiness of woman is, "He will."
"Lo! now hath the world become perfect!"--thus thinketh every woman when
she obeyeth with all her love.
Obey, must the woman, and find a depth for her surface. Surface, is
woman's soul, a mobile, stormy film on shallow water.
Man's soul, however, is deep, its current gusheth in subterranean
caverns: woman surmiseth its force, but comprehendeth it not.--
Then answered me the old woman: "Many fine things hath Zarathustra said,
especially for those who are young enough for them.
Strange! Zarathustra knoweth little about woman, and yet he is right
about them! Doth this happen, because with women nothing is 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
"Thou goest to women? Do not forget thy whip!"--
Thus spake Zarathustra.
XIX. THE BITE OF THE ADDER.
One day had Zarathustra fallen asleep under a fig-tree, owing to the
heat, with his arms over his face. And there came an adder and bit him
in the neck, so that Zarathustra screamed with pain. When he had
taken his arm from his face he looked at the serpent; and then did it
recognise the eyes of Zarathustra, wriggled awkwardly, and tried to get
away. "Not at all," said Zarathustra, "as yet hast thou not received
my thanks! Thou hast awakened me in time; my journey is yet long."
"Thy journey is short," said the adder sadly; "my poison is fatal."
Zarathustra smiled. "When did ever a dragon die of a serpent's
poison?"--said he. "But take thy poison back! Thou art not rich enough
to present it to me." Then fell the adder again on his neck, and licked
When Zarathustra once told this to his disciples they asked him:
"And what, O Zarathustra, is the moral of thy story?" And Zarathustra
answered them thus:
The destroyer of morality, the good and just call me: my story is
When, however, ye have an enemy, then return him not good for evil: for
that would abash him. But prove that he hath done something good to you.
And rather be angry than abash any one! And when ye are cursed, it
pleaseth me not that ye should then desire to bless. Rather curse a
And should a great injustice befall you, then do quickly five small ones
besides. Hideous to behold is he on whom injustice presseth alone.
Did ye ever know this? Shared injustice is half justice. And he who can
bear it, shall take the injustice upon himself!
A small revenge is humaner than no revenge at all. And if the punishment
be not also a right and an honour to the transgressor, I do not like
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
I do not like your cold justice; out of the eye of your judges there
always glanceth the executioner and his cold steel.
Tell me: where find we justice, which is love with seeing eyes?
Devise me, then, the love which not only beareth all punishment, but
also all guilt!
Devise me, then, the justice which acquitteth every one except the
And would ye hear this likewise? To him who seeketh to be just from the
heart, even the lie becometh philanthropy.
But how could I be just from the heart! How can I give every one his
own! Let this be enough for me: I give unto every one mine own.
Finally, my brethren, guard against doing wrong to any anchorite. How
could an anchorite forget! How could he requite!
Like a deep well is an anchorite. Easy is it to throw in a stone: if
it should sink to the bottom, however, tell me, who will bring it out
Guard against injuring the anchorite! If ye have done so, however, well
then, kill him also!--
Thus spake Zarathustra.
XX. 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 depth.
Thou art young, and desirest child and marriage. But I ask thee: Art
thou a man ENTITLED to desire a child?
Art thou the victorious one, the self-conqueror, the ruler of thy
passions, the master of thy virtues? Thus do I ask thee.
Or doth the animal speak in thy wish, and necessity? Or isolation? Or
discord in thee?
I would have thy victory and freedom long for a child. Living monuments
shalt thou build to thy victory and emancipation.
Beyond thyself shalt thou build. But first of all must thou be built
thyself, rectangular in body and soul.
Not only onward shalt thou propagate thyself, but upward! For that
purpose may the garden of marriage help thee!
A higher body shalt thou create, a first movement, a spontaneously
rolling wheel--a creating one shalt thou create.
Marriage: so call I the will of the twain to create the one that is
more than those who created it. The reverence for one another, as those
exercising such a will, call I marriage.
Let this be the significance and the truth of thy marriage. But that
which the many-too-many call marriage, those superfluous ones--ah, what
shall I call it?
Ah, the poverty of soul in the twain! Ah, the filth of soul in the
twain! Ah, the pitiable self-complacency in the twain!
Marriage they call it all; and they say their marriages are made in
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
Laugh not at such marriages! What child hath not had reason to weep over
Worthy did this man seem, and ripe for the meaning of the earth: but
when I saw his wife, the earth seemed to me a home for madcaps.
Yea, I would that the earth shook with convulsions when a saint and a
goose mate with one another.
This one went forth in quest of truth as a hero, and at last got for
himself a small decked-up lie: his marriage he calleth it.
That one was reserved in intercourse and chose choicely. But one time he
spoilt his company for all time: his marriage he calleth it.
Another sought a handmaid with the virtues of an angel. But all at once
he became the handmaid of a woman, and now would he need also to become
Careful, have I found all buyers, and all of them have astute eyes. But
even the astutest of them buyeth his wife in a sack.
Many short follies--that is called love by you. And your marriage
putteth an end to many short follies, with one long stupidity.
Your love to woman, and woman's love to man--ah, would that it were
sympathy for suffering and veiled deities! But generally two animals
alight on one another.
But even your best love is only an enraptured simile and a painful
ardour. It is a torch to light you to loftier paths.
Beyond yourselves shall ye love some day! Then LEARN first of all to
love. And on that account ye had to drink the bitter cup of your love.
Bitterness is in the cup even of the best love: thus doth it cause
longing for the Superman; thus doth it cause thirst in thee, the
Thirst in the creating one, arrow and longing for the Superman: tell me,
my brother, is this thy will to marriage?
Holy call I such a will, and such a marriage.--
Thus spake Zarathustra.
XXI. VOLUNTARY DEATH.
Many die too late, and some die too early. Yet strange soundeth the
precept: "Die at the right time!
Die at the right time: so teacheth Zarathustra.
To be sure, he who never liveth at the right time, how could he ever die
at the right time? Would that he might never be born!--Thus do I advise
the superfluous ones.
But even the superfluous ones make much ado about their death, and even
the hollowest nut wanteth to be cracked.
Every one regardeth dying as a great matter: but as yet death is not
a festival. Not yet have people learned to inaugurate the finest
The consummating death I show unto you, which becometh a stimulus and
promise to the living.
His death, dieth the consummating one triumphantly, surrounded by hoping
and promising ones.
Thus should one learn to die; and there should be no festival at which
such a dying one doth not consecrate the oaths of the living!
Thus to die is best; the next best, however, is to die in battle, and
sacrifice a great soul.
But to the fighter equally hateful as to the victor, is your grinning
death which stealeth nigh like a thief,--and yet cometh as master.
My death, praise I unto you, the voluntary death, which cometh unto me
because "I" want it.
And when shall I want it?--He that hath a goal and an heir, wanteth
death at the right time for the goal and the heir.
And out of reverence for the goal and the heir, he will hang up no more
withered wreaths in the sanctuary of life.
Verily, not the rope-makers will I resemble: they lengthen out their
cord, and thereby go ever backward.
Many a one, also, waxeth too old for his truths and triumphs; a
toothless mouth hath no longer the right to every truth.
And whoever wanteth to have fame, must take leave of honour betimes, and
practise the difficult art of--going at the right time.
One must discontinue being feasted upon when one tasteth best: that is
known by those who want to be long loved.
Sour apples are there, no doubt, whose lot is to wait until the last
day of autumn: and at the same time they become ripe, yellow, and
In some ageth the heart first, and in others the spirit. And some are
hoary in youth, but the late young keep long young.
To many men life is a failure; a poison-worm gnaweth at their heart.
Then let them see to it that their dying is all the more a success.
Many never become sweet; they rot even in the summer. It is cowardice
that holdeth them fast to their branches.
Far too many live, and far too long hang they on their branches. Would
that a storm came and shook all this rottenness and worm-eatenness from
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!
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 death.
Had he but remained in the wilderness, and far from the good and just!
Then, perhaps, would he have learned to live, and love the earth--and
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
But he was still immature. Immaturely loveth the youth, and immaturely
also hateth he man and earth. Confined and awkward are still his soul
and the wings of his spirit.
But in man there is more of the child than in the youth, and less of
melancholy: better understandeth he about life and death.
Free for death, and free in death; a holy Naysayer, when there is no
longer time for Yea: thus understandeth he about death and life.
That your dying may not be a reproach to man and the earth, my friends:
that do I solicit from the honey of your soul.
In your dying shall your spirit and your virtue still shine like an
evening after-glow around the earth: otherwise your dying hath been
Thus will I die myself, that ye friends may love the earth more for my
sake; and earth will I again become, to have rest in her that bore me.
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.
XXII. 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 crossroad. 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
Tell me, pray: how came gold to the highest value? Because it is
uncommon, and unprofiting, and beaming, and soft in lustre; it always
Only as image of the highest virtue came gold to the highest value.
Goldlike, beameth the glance of the bestower. Gold-lustre maketh peace
between moon and sun.
Uncommon is the highest virtue, and unprofiting, beaming is it, and soft
of lustre: a bestowing virtue is the highest virtue.
Verily, I divine you well, my disciples: ye strive like me for the
bestowing virtue. What should ye have in common with cats and wolves?
It is your thirst to become sacrifices and gifts yourselves: and
therefore have ye the thirst to accumulate all riches in your soul.
Insatiably striveth your soul for treasures and jewels, because your
virtue is insatiable in desiring to bestow.
Ye constrain all things to flow towards you and into you, so that they
shall flow back again out of your fountain as the gifts of your 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 abundance; and ever doth it
prowl round the tables of bestowers.
Sickness speaketh in such craving, and invisible degeneration; of a
sickly body, speaketh the larcenous craving of this selfishness.
Tell me, my brother, what do we think bad, and worst of all? Is it not
DEGENERATION?--And we always suspect degeneration when the bestowing
soul is lacking.
Upward goeth our course from genera on to super-genera. But a horror to
us is the degenerating sense, which saith: "All for myself."
Upward soareth our sense: thus is it a simile of our body, a simile of
an elevation. Such similes of elevations are the names of the virtues.
Thus goeth the body through history, a becomer and fighter. And the
spirit--what is it to the body? Its fights' and victories' herald, its
companion and echo.
Similes, are all names of good and evil; they do not speak out, they
only hint. A fool who seeketh knowledge from them!
Give heed, my brethren, to every hour when your spirit would speak in
similes: there is the origin of your virtue.
Elevated is then your body, and raised up; with its delight, enraptureth
it the spirit; so that it becometh creator, and valuer, and lover, and
When your heart overfloweth 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
When ye are willers of one will, and when that change of every need is
needful to you: there is the origin of your virtue.
Verily, a new good and evil is it! Verily, a new deep murmuring, and the
voice of a new fountain!
Power is it, this new virtue; a ruling thought is it, and around it a
subtle soul: a golden sun, with the serpent of knowledge around it.
Here paused Zarathustra awhile, and looked lovingly on his disciples.
Then he continued to speak thus--and his voice had changed:
Remain true to the earth, my brethren, with the power of your virtue!
Let your bestowing love and your knowledge be devoted to be the meaning
of the earth! Thus do I pray and conjure you.
Let it not fly away from the earthly and beat against eternal walls with
its wings! Ah, there hath always been so much flown-away virtue!
Lead, like me, the flown-away virtue back to the earth--yea, back
to body and life: that it may give to the earth its meaning, a human
A hundred times hitherto hath spirit as well as virtue flown away
and blundered. Alas! in our body dwelleth still all this delusion and
blundering: body and will hath it there become.
A hundred times hitherto hath spirit as well as virtue attempted and
erred. Yea, an attempt hath man been. Alas, much ignorance and error
hath become embodied in us!
Not only the rationality of millenniums--also their madness, breaketh
out in us. Dangerous is it to be an heir.
Still fight we step by step with the giant Chance, and over all mankind
hath hitherto ruled nonsense, the lack-of-sense.
Let your spirit and your virtue be devoted to the sense of the earth,
my brethren: let the value of everything be determined anew by you!
Therefore shall ye be fighters! Therefore shall ye be 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 himself whole.
A thousand paths are there which have never yet been trodden; a thousand
salubrities and hidden islands of life. Unexhausted and undiscovered is
still man and man's world.
Awake and hearken, ye lonesome ones! From the future come winds with
stealthy pinions, and to fine ears good tidings are proclaimed.
Ye lonesome ones of to-day, 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
Verily, I advise you: depart from me, and guard yourselves against
Zarathustra! And better still: be ashamed of him! Perhaps he hath
The man of knowledge must be able not only to love his enemies, but also
to hate his friends.
One requiteth a teacher badly if one remain merely a scholar. And why
will ye not pluck at my wreath?
Ye venerate me; but what if your veneration should some day collapse?
Take heed lest a statue crush you!
Ye say, ye believe in Zarathustra? But of what account is Zarathustra!
Ye are my believers: but of what account are all believers!
Ye had not yet sought yourselves: then did ye find me. So do all
believers; therefore all belief is of so little account.
Now do I bid you lose me and find yourselves; and only when ye have all
denied me, will I return unto you.
Verily, with other eyes, my brethren, shall I then seek my lost ones;
with another love shall I then love you.
And once again shall ye have become friends unto me, and children of one
hope: then will I be with you for the third time, to celebrate the great
noontide with you.
And it is the great noontide, when man is in the middle of his course
between animal and Superman, and celebrateth his advance to the evening
as his highest hope: for it is the advance to a new morning.
At such time will the down-goer bless himself, that he should be an
over-goer; and the sun of his knowledge will be at noontide.
"DEAD ARE ALL THE GODS: NOW DO WE DESIRE THE SUPERMAN TO LIVE."--Let
this be our final will at the great noontide!--
Thus spake Zarathustra.
THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA. SECOND PART.
"--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
XXIII. THE CHILD WITH THE MIRROR.
After this Zarathustra returned again into the mountains to the solitude
of his cave, and withdrew himself from men, waiting like a sower who
hath scattered his seed. His soul, however, became impatient and full of
longing for those whom he loved: because he had still much to give them.
For this is hardest of all: to close the open hand out of love, and keep
modest as a giver.
Thus passed with the lonesome one months and years; his wisdom meanwhile
increased, and caused him pain by its abundance.
One morning, however, he awoke ere the rosy dawn, and having meditated
long on his couch, at last spake thus to his heart:
Why did I startle in my dream, so that I awoke? Did not a child come to
me, carrying a mirror?
"O Zarathustra"--said the child unto me--"look at thyself in the
But when I looked into the mirror, I shrieked, and my heart throbbed:
for not myself did I see therein, but a devil's grimace 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 wheat!
Mine enemies have grown powerful and have disfigured the likeness of
my doctrine, so that my dearest ones have to blush for the gifts that I
Lost are my friends; the hour hath come for me to seek my lost ones!--
With these words Zarathustra started up, not however like a person in
anguish seeking relief, but rather like a seer and a singer whom the
spirit inspireth. With amazement did his eagle and serpent gaze upon
him: for a coming bliss overspread his countenance like the rosy dawn.
What hath happened unto me, mine animals?--said Zarathustra. Am I not
transformed? Hath not bliss come unto me like a whirlwind?
Foolish is my happiness, and foolish things will it speak: it is still
too young--so have patience with it!
Wounded am I by my happiness: all sufferers shall be physicians unto 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 overfloweth in streams,--down towards sunrise and
sunset. Out of silent mountains and storms of affliction, rusheth my
soul into the valleys.
Too long have I longed and looked into the distance. Too long hath
solitude possessed me: thus have I unlearned to keep silence.
Utterance have I become altogether, and the brawling of a brook from
high rocks: downward into the valleys will I hurl my speech.
And let the stream of my love sweep into unfrequented channels! How
should a stream not finally find its way to the sea!
Forsooth, there is a lake in me, sequestered and self-sufficing; but the
stream of my love beareth this along with it, down--to the sea!
New paths do I tread, a new speech cometh unto me; tired have I become--
like all creators--of the old tongues. No longer will my spirit walk on
Too slowly runneth all speaking for me:--into thy chariot, O storm, do I
leap! And even thee will I whip with my spite!
Like a cry and an huzza will I traverse wide seas, till I find the Happy
Isles where my friends sojourn;--
And mine enemies amongst them! How I now love every one unto whom I may
but speak! Even mine enemies pertain to my bliss.
And when I want to mount my wildest horse, then doth my spear always
help me up best: it is my foot's ever ready servant:--
The spear which I hurl at mine enemies! How grateful am I to mine
enemies that I may at last hurl it!
Too great hath been the tension of my cloud: 'twixt laughters of
lightnings will I cast hail-showers into the depths.
Violently will my breast then heave; violently will it blow its storm
over the mountains: thus cometh its assuagement.
Verily, like a storm cometh my happiness, and my freedom! But mine
enemies shall think that THE EVIL ONE roareth over their heads.
Yea, ye also, my friends, will be alarmed by my wild wisdom; and perhaps
ye will flee therefrom, along with mine enemies.
Ah, that I knew how to lure you back with shepherds' flutes! Ah, that
my lioness wisdom would learn to roar softly! And much have we already
learned with one another!
My wild wisdom became pregnant on the lonesome mountains; on the rough
stones did she bear the youngest of her young.
Now runneth she foolishly in the arid wilderness, and seeketh and
seeketh the soft sward--mine old, wild wisdom!
On the soft sward of your hearts, my friends!--on your love, would she
fain couch her dearest one!--
Thus spake Zarathustra.
XXIV. IN THE HAPPY ISLES.
The figs fall from the trees, they are good and sweet; and in falling
the red skins of them break. A north wind am I to ripe figs.
Thus, like figs, do these doctrines fall for you, my friends: imbibe
now their juice and their sweet substance! It is autumn all around, and
clear sky, and afternoon.
Lo, what fullness is around us! And out of the midst of superabundance,
it is delightful to look out upon distant seas.
Once did people say God, when they looked out upon distant seas; now,
however, have I taught you to say, Superman.
God is a conjecture: but I do not wish your conjecturing to reach beyond
your creating will.
Could ye CREATE a God?--Then, I pray you, be silent about all Gods! But
ye could well create the Superman.
Not perhaps ye yourselves, my brethren! But into fathers and forefathers
of the Superman could ye transform yourselves: and let that be your best
God is a conjecture: but I should like your conjecturing restricted to
Could ye CONCEIVE a God?--But let this mean Will to Truth unto you,
that everything be transformed into the humanly conceivable, the humanly
visible, the humanly sensible! Your own discernment shall ye follow out
to the end!
And what ye have called the world shall but be created by you: your
reason, your likeness, your will, your love, shall it itself become! And
verily, for your bliss, ye discerning ones!
And how would ye endure life without that hope, ye discerning ones?
Neither in the inconceivable could ye have been born, nor in the
But that I may reveal my heart entirely unto you, my friends: IF there
were gods, how could I endure it to be no God! THEREFORE there are no
Yea, I have drawn the conclusion; now, however, doth it draw me.--
God is a conjecture: but who could drink all the bitterness of this
conjecture without dying? Shall his faith be taken from the creating
one, and from the eagle his flights into eagle-heights?
God is a thought--it maketh all the straight crooked, and all that
standeth reel. What? Time would be gone, and all the perishable would be
but a lie?
To think this is giddiness and vertigo to human limbs, and even vomiting
to the stomach: verily, the reeling sickness do I call it, to conjecture
such a thing.
Evil do I call it and misanthropic: all that teaching about the one, and
the plenum, and the unmoved, and the sufficient, and the imperishable!
All the imperishable--that's but a simile, and the poets lie too much.--
But of time and of becoming shall the best similes speak: a praise shall
they be, and a justification of all perishableness!
Creating--that is the great salvation from suffering, and life's
alleviation. But for the creator to appear, suffering itself is needed,
and much transformation.
Yea, much bitter dying must there be in your life, ye creators! Thus are
ye advocates and justifiers of all perishableness.
For the creator himself to be the new-born child, he must also
be willing to be the child-bearer, and endure the pangs of the
Verily, through a hundred souls went I my way, and through a hundred
cradles and birth-throes. Many a farewell have I taken; I know the
heart-breaking last hours.
But so willeth it my creating Will, my fate. Or, to tell you it more
candidly: just such a fate--willeth my Will.
All FEELING suffereth in me, and is in prison: but my WILLING ever
cometh to me as mine emancipator and comforter.
Willing emancipateth: that is the true doctrine of will and
emancipation--so teacheth you Zarathustra.
No longer willing, and no longer valuing, and no longer creating! Ah,
that that great debility may ever be far from me!
And also in discerning do I feel only my will's procreating and evolving
delight; and if there be innocence in my knowledge, it is because there
is will to procreation in it.
Away from God and Gods did this will allure me; what would there be to
create if there were--Gods!
But to man doth it ever impel me anew, my fervent creative will; thus
impelleth it the hammer to the stone.
Ah, ye men, within the stone slumbereth an image for me, the image of my
visions! Ah, that it should slumber in the hardest, ugliest stone!
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.
XXV. THE PITIFUL.
My friends, there hath arisen a satire on your friend: "Behold
Zarathustra! Walketh he not amongst us as if amongst animals?"
But it is better said in this wise: "The discerning one walketh amongst
men AS amongst animals."
Man himself is to the discerning one: the animal with red cheeks.
How hath that happened unto him? Is it not because he hath had to be
ashamed too oft?
O my friends! Thus speaketh the discerning one: shame, shame,
shame--that is the history of man!
And on that account doth the noble one enjoin upon himself not to abash:
bashfulness doth he enjoin on 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.
Preferably also do I shroud my head, and flee, before being recognised:
and thus do I bid you do, my friends!
May my destiny ever lead unafflicted ones like you across my path, and
those with whom I MAY have hope and repast and honey in common!
Verily, I have done this and that for the afflicted: but something
better did I always seem to do when I had learned to enjoy myself
Since humanity came into being, man hath enjoyed himself too little:
that alone, my brethren, is our original sin!
And when we learn better to enjoy ourselves, then do we unlearn best to
give pain unto others, and to contrive pain.
Therefore do I wash the hand that hath helped the sufferer; therefore do
I wipe also my soul.
For in seeing the sufferer suffering--thereof was I ashamed on account
of his shame; and in helping him, sorely did I wound his pride.
Great obligations do not make grateful, but revengeful; and when a small
kindness is not forgotten, it becometh a gnawing worm.
"Be shy in accepting! Distinguish by accepting!"--thus do I advise those
who have naught to bestow.
I, however, am a bestower: willingly do I bestow as friend to friends.
Strangers, however, and the poor, may pluck for themselves the fruit
from my tree: thus doth it cause less shame.
Beggars, however, one should entirely do away with! Verily, it annoyeth
one to give unto them, and it annoyeth one not to give unto them.
And likewise sinners and bad consciences! Believe me, my friends: the
sting of conscience teacheth one to sting.
The worst things, however, are the petty thoughts. Verily, better to
have done evilly than to have thought pettily!
To be sure, ye say: "The delight in petty evils spareth one many a great
evil deed." But here one should not wish to be sparing.
Like a boil is the evil deed: it itcheth and irritateth and breaketh
forth--it speaketh honourably.
"Behold, I am disease," saith the evil deed: that is its honourableness.
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
It is difficult to live among men because silence is so difficult.
And not to him who is offensive to us are we most unfair, but to him who
doth not concern us at all.
If, however, thou hast a suffering friend, then be a resting-place for
his suffering; like a hard bed, however, a camp-bed: thus wilt thou
serve him best.
And if a friend doeth thee wrong, then say: "I forgive thee what thou
hast done unto me; that thou hast done it unto THYSELF, however--how
could I forgive that!"
Thus speaketh all great love: it surpasseth even forgiveness and pity.
One should hold fast one's heart; for when one letteth it go, how
quickly doth one's head run away!
Ah, where in the world have there been greater follies than with the
pitiful? And what in the world hath caused more suffering than the
follies of the pitiful?
Woe unto all loving ones who have not an elevation which is above their
Thus spake the devil unto me, once on a time: "Even God hath his hell:
it is his love for man."
And lately, did I hear him say these words: "God is dead: of his pity
for man hath God died."--
So be ye warned against pity: FROM THENCE there yet cometh unto men a
heavy cloud! Verily, I understand weather-signs!
But attend also to this word: All great love is above all its pity: for
it seeketh--to create what is loved!
"Myself do I offer unto my love, AND MY NEIGHBOUR AS MYSELF"--such is
the language of all creators.
All creators, however, are hard.--
Thus spake Zarathustra.
XXVI. THE PRIESTS.
And one day Zarathustra made a sign to his disciples, and spake these
words unto them:
"Here are priests: but although they are mine enemies, pass them quietly
and with sleeping swords!
Even among them there are heroes; many of them have suffered too much--:
so they want to make others suffer.
Bad enemies are they: nothing is more revengeful than their meekness.
And readily doth he soil himself who toucheth them.
But my blood is related to theirs; and I want withal to see my blood
honoured in theirs."--
And when they had passed, a pain attacked Zarathustra; but not long had
he struggled with the pain, when he began to speak thus:
It moveth my heart for those priests. They also go against my taste; but
that is the smallest matter unto me, since I am among men.
But I suffer and have suffered with them: prisoners are they unto me,
and stigmatised ones. He whom they call Saviour put them in 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 monsters for
mortals--long slumbereth and waiteth the fate that is in them.
But at last it cometh and awaketh and devoureth and engulfeth whatever
hath built tabernacles upon it.
Oh, just look at those tabernacles which those priests have built
themselves! Churches, they call their sweet-smelling caves!
Oh, that falsified light, that mustified air! Where the soul--may not
fly aloft to its height!
But so enjoineth their belief: "On your knees, up the stair, ye
Verily, rather would I see a shameless one than the distorted eyes of
their shame and devotion!
Who created for themselves such caves and penitence-stairs? Was it not
those who sought to conceal themselves, and were ashamed under the clear
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
As corpses they thought to live; in black draped they their corpses;
even in their talk do I still feel the evil flavour of charnel-houses.
And he who liveth nigh unto them liveth nigh unto black pools, wherein
the toad singeth his song with sweet gravity.
Better songs would they have to sing, for me to believe in their
Saviour: more like saved ones would his disciples have to appear unto
Naked, would I like to see them: for beauty alone should preach
penitence. But whom would that disguised affliction convince!
Verily, their Saviours themselves came not from freedom and freedom's
seventh heaven! Verily, they themselves never trod the carpets of
Of defects did the spirit of those Saviours consist; but into every
defect had they put their illusion, their stop-gap, which they called
In their pity was their spirit drowned; and when they swelled and
o'erswelled with pity, there always floated to the surface a great
Eagerly and with shouts drove they their flock over their foot-bridge;
as if there were but one foot-bridge to the future! Verily, those
shepherds also were still of the flock!
Small spirits and spacious souls had those shepherds: but, my brethren,
what small domains have even the most spacious souls 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 of heart.
And when a person goeth through fire for his teaching--what doth that
prove! It is more, verily, when out of one's own burning cometh one's
Sultry heart and cold head; where these meet, there ariseth the
blusterer, the "Saviour."
Greater ones, verily, have there been, and higher-born ones, than those
whom the people call Saviours, those rapturous blusterers!
And by still greater ones than any of the Saviours must ye be saved, my
brethren, if ye would find the way to freedom!
Never yet hath there been a Superman. Naked have I seen both of them,
the greatest man and the smallest man:--
All-too-similar are they still to each other. Verily, even the greatest
Thus spake Zarathustra.
XXVII. THE VIRTUOUS.
With thunder and heavenly fireworks must one speak to indolent and
But beauty's voice speaketh gently: it appealeth only to the most
Gently vibrated and laughed unto me to-day my buckler; it was beauty's
holy laughing and thrilling.
At you, ye virtuous ones, laughed my beauty to-day. And thus came its
voice unto me: "They want--to be paid besides!"
Ye want to be paid besides, ye virtuous ones! Ye want reward for virtue,
and heaven for earth, and eternity for your to-day?
And now ye upbraid me for teaching that there is no reward-giver,
nor paymaster? And verily, I do not even teach that virtue is its own
Ah! this is my sorrow: into the basis of things have reward and
punishment been insinuated--and now even into the basis of your souls,
ye virtuous ones!
But like the snout of the boar shall my word grub up the basis of your
souls; a ploughshare will I be called by you.
All the secrets of your heart shall be brought to light; and when ye
lie in the sun, grubbed up and broken, then will also your falsehood be
separated from your truth.
For this is your truth: ye are TOO PURE for the filth of the words:
vengeance, punishment, recompense, retribution.
Ye love your virtue as a mother loveth her child; but when did one hear
of a mother wanting to be paid for her love?
It is your dearest Self, your virtue. The ring's thirst is in you: to
reach itself again struggleth every ring, and turneth itself.
And like the star that goeth out, so is every work of your virtue: ever
is its light on its way and travelling--and when will it cease to be on
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
That your virtue is your Self, and not an outward thing, a skin, or
a cloak: that is the truth from the basis of your souls, ye virtuous
But sure enough there are those to whom virtue meaneth writhing under
the lash: and ye have hearkened too much unto their crying!
And others are there who call virtue the slothfulness of their vices;
and when once their hatred and jealousy relax the limbs, their "justice"
becometh lively and rubbeth its sleepy eyes.
And others are there who are drawn downwards: their devils draw them.
But the more they sink, the more ardently gloweth their eye, and the
longing for their God.
Ah! their crying also hath reached your ears, ye virtuous ones: "What I
am NOT, that, that is God to me, and virtue!"
And others are there who go along heavily and creakingly, like carts
taking stones downhill: they talk much of dignity and virtue--their drag
they call virtue!
And others are there who are like eight-day clocks when wound up; they
tick, and want people to call ticking--virtue.
Verily, in those have I mine amusement: wherever I find such clocks I
shall wind them up with my mockery, and they shall even whirr 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
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 others.
And again there are those who sit in their swamp, and speak thus from
among the bulrushes: "Virtue--that is to sit quietly in the 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 policemen are
And many a one who cannot see men's loftiness, calleth it virtue to see
their baseness far too well: thus calleth he his evil eye virtue.--
And some want to be edified and raised up, and call it virtue: and
others want to be cast down,--and likewise call it virtue.
And thus do almost all think that they participate in virtue; and at
least every one claimeth to be an authority on "good" and "evil."
But Zarathustra came not to say unto all those liars and fools: "What do
YE know of virtue! What COULD ye know of virtue!"--
But that ye, my friends, might become weary of the old words which ye
have learned from the fools and liars:
That ye might become weary of the words "reward," "retribution,"
"punishment," "righteous vengeance."--
That ye might become weary of saying: "That an action is good is because
it is unselfish."
Ah! my friends! That YOUR very Self be in your action, as the mother is
in the child: let that be YOUR formula of virtue!
Verily, I have taken from you a hundred formulae and your virtue's
favourite playthings; and now ye upbraid me, as children upbraid.
They played by the sea--then came there a wave and swept their
playthings into the deep: and now do they cry.
But the same wave shall bring them new playthings, and spread before
them new speckled shells!
Thus will they be comforted; and like them shall ye also, my friends,
have your comforting--and new speckled shells!--
Thus spake Zarathustra.
XXVIII. THE RABBLE.
Life is a well of delight; but where the rabble also drink, there all
fountains are poisoned.
To everything cleanly am I well disposed; but I hate to see the grinning
mouths and the thirst of the unclean.
They cast their eye down into the fountain: and now glanceth up to me
their odious smile out of the fountain.
The holy water have they poisoned with their lustfulness; and when they
called their filthy dreams delight, then poisoned they also the words.
Indignant becometh the flame when they put their damp hearts to the
fire; the spirit itself bubbleth and smoketh when the rabble approach
Mawkish and over-mellow becometh the fruit in their hands: unsteady, and
withered at the top, doth their look make the fruit-tree.
And many a one who hath turned away from life, hath only turned away
from the rabble: he hated to share with them fountain, flame, and 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
And many a one who hath come along as a destroyer, and as a hailstorm
to all cornfields, wanted merely to put his foot into the jaws of the
rabble, and thus stop their throat.
And it is not the mouthful which hath most choked me, to know that life
itself requireth enmity and death and torture-crosses:--
But I asked once, and suffocated almost with my question: What? is the
rabble also NECESSARY for life?
Are poisoned fountains necessary, and stinking fires, and filthy dreams,
and maggots in the bread of life?
Not my hatred, but my loathing, gnawed hungrily at my life! Ah, ofttimes
became I weary of spirit, when I found even the rabble spiritual!
And on the rulers turned I my back, when I saw what they now call
ruling: to traffic and bargain for power--with the rabble!
Amongst peoples of a strange language did I dwell, with stopped ears: so
that the language of their trafficking might remain strange unto me, and
their bargaining for power.
And holding my nose, I went morosely through all yesterdays and to-days:
verily, badly smell all yesterdays and to-days 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
Toilsomely did my spirit mount stairs, and cautiously; alms of delight
were its refreshment; on the staff did life creep along with the blind
What hath happened unto me? How have I freed myself from loathing?
Who hath rejuvenated mine eye? How have I flown to the height where no
rabble any longer sit at the wells?
Did my loathing itself create for me wings and fountain-divining powers?
Verily, to the loftiest height had I to fly, to find again the well of
Oh, I have found it, my brethren! Here on the loftiest height bubbleth
up for me the well of delight! And there is a life at whose waters none
of the rabble drink with me!
Almost too violently dost thou flow for me, thou fountain of delight!
And often emptiest thou the goblet again, in wanting to 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 wickedness of my
snowflakes in June! Summer have I become entirely, and summer-noontide!
A summer on the loftiest height, with cold fountains and blissful
stillness: oh, come, my friends, that the stillness may become more
For this is OUR height and our home: too high and steep do we here dwell
for all uncleanly ones and their thirst.
Cast but your pure eyes into the well of my delight, my friends! How
could it become turbid thereby! It shall laugh back to you with ITS
On the tree of the future build we our nest; eagles shall bring us lone
ones food in their beaks!
Verily, no food of which the impure could be fellow-partakers! Fire,
would they think they devoured, and burn their mouths!
Verily, no abodes do we here keep ready for the impure! An ice-cave to
their bodies would our happiness be, and to their spirits!
And as strong winds will we live above them, neighbours to the eagles,
neighbours to the snow, neighbours to the sun: thus live the strong
And like a wind will I one day blow amongst them, and with my spirit,
take the breath from their spirit: thus willeth my future.
Verily, a strong wind is Zarathustra to all low places; and this counsel
counselleth he to his enemies, and to whatever spitteth and speweth:
"Take care not to spit AGAINST the wind!"--
Thus spake Zarathustra.
XXIX. THE TARANTULAS.
Lo, this is the tarantula's den! Wouldst thou see the tarantula itself?
Here hangeth its web: touch this, so that it may tremble.
There cometh the tarantula willingly: Welcome, tarantula! Black on thy
back is thy triangle and symbol; and I know also what is in thy soul.
Revenge is in thy soul: wherever thou bitest, there ariseth black scab;
with revenge, thy poison maketh the soul giddy!
Thus do I speak unto you in parable, ye who make the soul giddy,
ye preachers of EQUALITY! Tarantulas are ye unto me, and secretly
But I will soon bring your hiding-places to the light: therefore do I
laugh in your face my laughter of the height.
Therefore do I tear at your web, that your rage may lure you out of your
den of lies, and that your revenge may leap forth from behind your word
Because, FOR MAN TO BE REDEEMED FROM REVENGE--that is for me the bridge
to the highest hope, and a rainbow after long storms.
Otherwise, however, would the tarantulas have it. "Let it be
very justice for the world to become full of the storms of our
vengeance"--thus do they talk to one another.
"Vengeance will we use, and insult, against all who are not like
us"--thus do the tarantula-hearts pledge themselves.
"And 'Will to Equality'--that itself shall henceforth be the name of
virtue; and against all that hath power will we raise an outcry!"
Ye preachers of equality, the tyrant-frenzy of impotence crieth thus in
you for "equality": your most secret tyrant-longings disguise themselves
thus in virtue-words!
Fretted conceit and suppressed envy--perhaps your fathers' conceit and
envy: in you break they forth as flame and frenzy of vengeance.
What the father hath hid cometh out in the son; and oft have I found in
the son the father's revealed secret.
Inspired ones they resemble: but it is not the heart that inspireth
them--but vengeance. And when they become subtle and cold, it is not
spirit, but envy, that maketh them so.
Their jealousy leadeth them also into thinkers' paths; and this is the
sign of their jealousy--they always go too far: so that their fatigue
hath at last to go to sleep on the snow.
In all their lamentations soundeth vengeance, in all their eulogies is
maleficence; and being judge seemeth to them bliss.
But thus do I counsel you, my friends: distrust all in whom the impulse
to punish is powerful!
They are people of bad race and lineage; out of their countenances peer
the hangman and the sleuth-hound.
Distrust all those who talk much of their justice! Verily, in their
souls not only honey is lacking.
And when they call themselves "the good and just," forget not, that for
them to be Pharisees, nothing is lacking but--power!
My friends, I will not be mixed up and confounded with others.
There are those who preach my doctrine of life, and are at the same time
preachers of equality, and tarantulas.
That they speak in favour of life, though they sit in their den, these
poison-spiders, and withdrawn from life--is because they would thereby
To those would they thereby do injury who have power at present: for
with those the preaching of death is still most at home.
Were it otherwise, then would the tarantulas teach otherwise: and they
themselves were formerly the best world-maligners and heretic-burners.
With these preachers of equality will I not be mixed up and confounded.
For thus speaketh justice UNTO ME: "Men are not equal."
And neither shall they become so! What would be my love to the Superman,
if I spake otherwise?
On a thousand bridges and piers shall they throng to the future, and
always shall there be more war and inequality among them: thus doth my
great love make me speak!
Inventors of figures and phantoms shall they be in their hostilities;
and with those figures and phantoms shall they yet fight with each other
the supreme fight!
Good and evil, and rich and poor, and high and low, and all names of
values: weapons shall they be, and sounding signs, that life must again
and again surpass itself!
Aloft will it build itself with columns and stairs--life itself: into
remote distances would it gaze, and out towards blissful beauties--
THEREFORE doth it require elevation!
And because it requireth elevation, therefore doth it require steps, and
variance of steps and climbers! To rise striveth life, and in rising to
And just behold, my friends! Here where the tarantula's den is, riseth
aloft an ancient temple's ruins--just behold it with enlightened eyes!
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
Thus, steadfast and beautiful, let us also be enemies, my friends!
Divinely will we strive AGAINST one another!--
Alas! There hath the tarantula bit me myself, mine old enemy! Divinely
steadfast and beautiful, it hath bit me on the finger!
"Punishment must there be, and justice"--so thinketh it: "not
gratuitously shall he here sing songs in honour of enmity!"
Yea, it hath revenged itself! And alas! now will it make my soul also
dizzy with revenge!
That I may NOT turn dizzy, however, bind me fast, my friends, to this
pillar! Rather will I be a pillar-saint than a whirl of 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.
XXX. THE FAMOUS WISE ONES.
The people have ye served and the people's superstition--NOT the
truth!--all ye famous wise ones! And just on that account did they pay
And on that account also did they tolerate your unbelief, because it
was a pleasantry and a by-path for the people. Thus doth the master give
free scope to his slaves, and even enjoyeth their 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 sharpest-toothed dogs.
"For there the truth is, where the people are! Woe, woe to the seeking
ones!"--thus hath it echoed through all time.
Your people would ye justify in their reverence: that called ye "Will to
Truth," ye famous wise ones!
And your heart hath always said to itself: "From the people have I come:
from thence came to me also the voice of God."
Stiff-necked and artful, like the ass, have ye always been, as the
advocates of the people.
And many a powerful one who wanted to run well with the people, hath
harnessed in front of his horses--a donkey, a famous wise man.
And now, ye famous wise ones, I would have you finally throw off
entirely the skin of the lion!
The skin of the beast of prey, the speckled skin, and the dishevelled
locks of the investigator, the searcher, and the conqueror!
Ah! for me to learn to believe in your "conscientiousness," ye would
first have to break your venerating will.
Conscientious--so call I him who goeth into God-forsaken wildernesses,
and hath broken his venerating heart.
In the yellow sands and burnt by the sun, he doubtless peereth thirstily
at the isles rich in fountains, where life reposeth under shady trees.
But his thirst doth not persuade him to become like those comfortable
ones: for where there are oases, there are also idols.
Hungry, fierce, lonesome, God-forsaken: so doth the lion-will wish
Free from the happiness of slaves, redeemed from Deities and adorations,
fearless and fear-inspiring, grand and lonesome: so is the will of the
In the wilderness have ever dwelt the conscientious, the free spirits,
as lords of the wilderness; but in the cities dwell the well-foddered,
famous wise ones--the draught-beasts.
For, always, do they draw, as asses--the PEOPLE'S carts!
Not that I on that account upbraid them: but serving ones do they
remain, and harnessed ones, even though they glitter in golden 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 virtue--and the
people by you! To your honour do I say it!
But the people ye remain for me, even with your virtues, the people with
purblind eyes--the people who know not what SPIRIT is!
Spirit is life which itself cutteth into life: by its own torture doth
it increase its own knowledge,--did ye know that before?
And the spirit's happiness is this: to be anointed and consecrated with
tears as a sacrificial victim,--did ye know that before?
And the blindness of the blind one, and his seeking and groping, shall
yet testify to the power of the sun into which he hath gazed,--did ye
know that before?
And with mountains shall the discerning one learn to BUILD! It is
a small thing for the spirit to remove mountains,--did ye know that
Ye know only the sparks of the spirit: but ye do not see the anvil which
it is, and the cruelty of its hammer!
Verily, ye know not the spirit's pride! But still less could ye endure
the spirit's humility, should it ever want to speak!
And never yet could ye cast your spirit into a pit of snow: ye are not
hot enough for that! Thus are ye unaware, also, of the delight of its
In all respects, however, ye make too familiar with the spirit; and out
of wisdom have ye often made an almshouse and a hospital for bad poets.
Ye are not eagles: thus have ye never experienced the happiness of the
alarm of the spirit. And he who is not a bird should not camp above
Ye seem to me lukewarm ones: but coldly floweth all deep knowledge.
Ice-cold are the innermost wells of the spirit: a refreshment to hot
hands and handlers.
Respectable do ye there stand, and stiff, and with straight backs, ye
famous wise ones!--no strong wind or will impelleth you.
Have ye ne'er seen a sail crossing the sea, rounded and inflated, and
trembling with the violence of the wind?
Like the sail trembling with the violence of the spirit, doth my wisdom
cross the sea--my wild wisdom!
But ye servants of the people, ye famous wise ones--how COULD ye go with
Thus spake Zarathustra.
XXXI. THE NIGHT-SONG.
'Tis night: now do all gushing fountains speak louder. And my soul also
is a gushing fountain.
'Tis night: now only do all songs of the loving ones awake. And my soul
also is the song of a loving one.
Something unappeased, unappeasable, is within me; it longeth to find
expression. A craving for love is within me, which speaketh itself the
language of love.
Light am I: ah, that I were night! But it is my lonesomeness to be
begirt with light!
Ah, that I were dark and nightly! How would I suck at the breasts of
And you yourselves would I bless, ye twinkling starlets and glow-worms
aloft!--and would rejoice in the gifts of your light.
But I live in mine own light, I drink again into myself the flames that
break forth from me.
I know not the happiness of the receiver; and oft have I dreamt that
stealing must be more blessed than receiving.
It is my poverty that my hand never ceaseth bestowing; it is mine envy
that I see waiting eyes and the brightened nights of longing.
Oh, the misery of all bestowers! Oh, the darkening of my sun! Oh, the
craving to crave! Oh, the violent hunger in satiety!
They take from me: but do I yet touch their soul? There is a gap 'twixt
giving and receiving; and the smallest gap hath finally to be bridged
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
Withdrawing my hand when another hand already stretcheth out to it;
hesitating like the cascade, which hesitateth even in its leap:--thus do
I hunger for wickedness!
Such revenge doth mine abundance think of: such mischief welleth out of
My happiness in bestowing died in bestowing; my virtue became weary of
itself by its abundance!
He who ever bestoweth is in danger of losing his shame; to him who ever
dispenseth, the hand and heart become callous by very dispensing.
Mine eye no longer overfloweth for the shame of suppliants; my hand hath
become too hard for the trembling of filled hands.
Whence have gone the tears of mine eye, and the down of my heart? Oh,
the lonesomeness of all bestowers! Oh, the silence of all 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: unpityingly doth
it pursue its course.
Unfair to the shining one in its innermost heart, cold to the
suns:--thus travelleth every sun.
Like a storm do the suns pursue their courses: that is their travelling.
Their inexorable will do they follow: that is their coldness.
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
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!
'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.
XXXII. 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 with trees and bushes, where maidens were dancing together.
As soon as the maidens recognised Zarathustra, they ceased dancing;
Zarathustra, however, approached them with friendly mien and spake these
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
And with tears in his eyes shall he ask you for a dance; and I myself
will sing a song to his dance:
A dance-song and satire on the spirit of gravity my supremest,
powerfulest devil, who is said to be "lord of the world."--
And this is the song that Zarathustra sang when Cupid and the maidens
Of late did I gaze into thine eye, O Life! And into the unfathomable did
I there seem to sink.
But thou pulledst me out with a golden angle; derisively didst thou
laugh when I called thee unfathomable.
"Such is the language of all fish," saidst thou; "what THEY do not
fathom is unfathomable.
But changeable am I only, and wild, and altogether a woman, and no
Though I be called by you men the 'profound one,' or the 'faithful one,'
'the eternal one,' 'the mysterious one.'
But ye men endow us always with your own virtues--alas, ye virtuous
Thus did she laugh, the unbelievable one; but never do I believe her and
her laughter, when she speaketh evil of herself.
And when I talked face to face with my wild Wisdom, she said to me
angrily: "Thou willest, thou cravest, thou lovest; on that account alone
dost thou PRAISE Life!"
Then had I almost answered indignantly and told the truth to the angry
one; and one cannot answer more indignantly than when one "telleth the
truth" to one's Wisdom.
For thus do things stand with us three. In my heart do I love only
Life--and verily, most when I hate her!
But that I am fond of Wisdom, and often too fond, is because she
remindeth me very strongly of Life!
She hath her eye, her laugh, and even her golden angle-rod: am I
responsible for it that both are so alike?
And when once Life asked me: "Who is she then, this Wisdom?"--then said
I eagerly: "Ah, yes! Wisdom!
One thirsteth for her and is not satisfied, one looketh through veils,
one graspeth through nets.
Is she beautiful? What do I know! But the oldest carps are still lured
Changeable is she, and wayward; often have I seen her bite her lip, and
pass the comb against the grain of her hair.
Perhaps she is wicked and false, and altogether a woman; but when she
speaketh ill of herself, just then doth she seduce most."
When I had said this unto Life, then laughed she maliciously, and shut
her eyes. "Of whom dost thou speak?" said she. "Perhaps of me?
And if thou wert right--is it proper to say THAT in such wise to my
face! But now, pray, speak also of thy Wisdom!"
Ah, and now hast thou again opened thine eyes, O beloved Life! And into
the unfathomable have I again seemed to sink.--
Thus sang Zarathustra. But when the dance was over and the maidens had
departed, he became sad.
"The sun hath been long set," said he at last, "the meadow is damp, and
from the forest cometh coolness.
An unknown presence is about me, and gazeth thoughtfully. What! Thou
livest still, Zarathustra?
Why? Wherefore? Whereby? Whither? Where? How? Is it not folly still to
Ah, my friends; the evening is it which thus interrogateth in me.
Forgive me my sadness!
Evening hath come on: forgive me that evening hath come on!"
Thus sang Zarathustra.
XXXIII. THE GRAVE-SONG.
"Yonder is the grave-island, the silent isle; yonder also are the graves
of my youth. Thither will I carry an evergreen wreath of life."
Resolving thus in my heart, did I sail o'er the sea.--
Oh, ye sights and scenes of my youth! Oh, all ye gleams of love, ye
divine fleeting gleams! How could ye perish so soon for me! I think of
you to-day as my dead ones.
From you, my dearest dead ones, cometh unto me a sweet savour,
heart-opening and melting. Verily, it convulseth and openeth the heart
of the lone seafarer.
Still am I the richest and most to be envied--I, the lonesomest one!
For I HAVE POSSESSED you, and ye possess me still. Tell me: to whom hath
there ever fallen such rosy apples from the tree as have fallen unto me?
Still am I your love's heir and heritage, blooming to your memory with
many-hued, wild-growing virtues, O ye dearest ones!
Ah, we were made to remain nigh unto each other, ye kindly strange
marvels; and not like timid birds did ye come to me and my longing--nay,
but as trusting ones to a trusting one!
Yea, made for faithfulness, like me, and for fond eternities, must I now
name you by your faithlessness, ye divine glances and fleeting gleams:
no other name have I yet learnt.
Verily, too early did ye die for me, ye fugitives. Yet did ye not flee
from me, nor did I flee from you: innocent are we to each other in our
To kill ME, did they strangle you, ye singing birds of my hopes! Yea, at
you, ye dearest ones, did malice ever shoot its arrows--to hit 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 manslaughter in
comparison with what ye have done unto me!
Worse evil did ye do unto me than all manslaughter; the irretrievable
did ye take from me:--thus do I speak unto you, mine enemies!
Slew ye not my youth's visions and dearest marvels! My playmates took ye
from me, the blessed spirits! To their memory do I deposit this wreath
and this curse.
This curse upon you, mine enemies! Have ye not made mine eternal short,
as a tone dieth away in a cold night! Scarcely, as the twinkle of divine
eyes, did it come to me--as a fleeting gleam!
Thus spake once in a happy hour my purity: "Divine shall everything be
Then did ye haunt me with foul phantoms; ah, whither hath that happy
hour now fled!
"All days shall be holy unto me"--so spake once the wisdom of my youth:
verily, the language of a joyous wisdom!
But then did ye enemies steal my nights, and sold them to sleepless
torture: ah, whither hath that joyous wisdom now fled?
Once did I long for happy auspices: then did ye lead an owl-monster
across my path, an adverse sign. Ah, whither did my tender longing then
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
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
And when I performed my hardest task, and celebrated the triumph of
my victories, then did ye make those who loved me call out that I then
grieved them most.
Verily, it was always your doing: ye embittered to me my best honey, and
the diligence of my best bees.
To my charity have ye ever sent the most impudent beggars; around my
sympathy have ye ever crowded the incurably shameless. Thus have ye
wounded the faith of my virtue.
And when I offered my holiest as a sacrifice, immediately did your
"piety" put its fatter gifts beside it: so that my holiest suffocated in
the fumes of your fat.
And once did I want to dance as I had never yet danced: beyond all
heavens did I want to dance. Then did ye seduce my favourite minstrel.
And now hath he struck up an awful, melancholy air; alas, he tooted as a
mournful horn to mine ear!
Murderous minstrel, instrument of evil, most innocent instrument!
Already did I stand prepared for the best dance: then didst thou slay my
rapture with thy tones!
Only in the dance do I know how to speak the parable of the highest
things:--and now hath my grandest parable remained unspoken in my limbs!
Unspoken and unrealised hath my highest hope remained! And there have
perished for me all the visions and consolations of my youth!
How did I ever bear it? How did I survive and surmount such wounds? How
did my soul rise again out of those sepulchres?
Yea, something invulnerable, unburiable is with me, something that would
rend rocks asunder: it is called MY WILL. Silently doth it proceed, and
unchanged throughout the years.
Its course will it go upon my feet, mine old Will; hard of heart is its
nature and invulnerable.
Invulnerable am I only in my heel. Ever livest thou there, and art like
thyself, thou most patient one! Ever hast thou burst all shackles of the
In thee still liveth also the unrealisedness of my youth; and as life
and youth sittest thou here hopeful on the yellow ruins of graves.
Yea, thou art still for me the demolisher of all graves: Hail to thee,
my Will! And only where there are graves are there resurrections.--
Thus sang Zarathustra.
"Will to Truth" do ye call it, ye wisest ones, that which impelleth you
and maketh you ardent?
Will for the thinkableness of all being: thus do "I" call your will!
All being would ye MAKE thinkable: for ye doubt with good reason whether
it be already thinkable.
But it shall accommodate and bend itself to you! So willeth your will.
Smooth shall it become and subject to the spirit, as its mirror and
That is your entire will, ye wisest ones, as a Will to Power; and even
when ye speak of good and evil, and of estimates of value.
Ye would still create a world before which ye can bow the knee: such is
your ultimate hope and ecstasy.
The ignorant, to be sure, the people--they are like a river on which a
boat floateth along: and in the boat sit the estimates of value, solemn
Your will and your valuations have ye put on the river of becoming; it
betrayeth unto me an old Will to Power, what is believed by the people
as good and evil.
It was ye, ye wisest ones, who put such guests in this boat, and gave
them pomp and proud names--ye and your ruling Will!
Onward the river now carrieth your boat: it MUST carry it. A small
matter if the rough wave foameth and angrily resisteth its keel!
It is not the river that is your danger and the end of your good and
evil, ye wisest ones: but that Will itself, the Will to Power--the
unexhausted, procreating life-will.
But that ye may understand my gospel of good and evil, for that purpose
will I tell you my gospel of life, and of the nature of all living
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.
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
An attempt and a risk seemed all commanding unto me; and whenever it
commandeth, the living thing risketh itself thereby.
Yea, even when it commandeth itself, then also must it atone for its
commanding. Of its own law must it become the judge and avenger and
How doth this happen! so did I ask myself. What persuadeth the living
thing to obey, and command, and even be obedient in commanding?
Hearken now unto my word, ye wisest ones! Test it seriously, whether
I have crept into the heart of life itself, and into the roots of its
Wherever I found a living thing, there found I Will to Power; and even
in the will of the servant found I the will to be master.
That to the stronger the weaker shall serve--thereto persuadeth he his
will who would be master over a still weaker one. That delight alone he
is unwilling to forego.
And as the lesser surrendereth himself to the greater that he may have
delight and power over the least of all, so doth even the greatest
surrender himself, and staketh--life, for the sake of power.
It is the surrender of the greatest to run risk and danger, and play
dice for death.
And where there is sacrifice and service and love-glances, there also
is the will to be master. By by-ways doth the weaker then slink into
the fortress, and into the heart of the mightier one--and there stealeth
And this secret spake Life herself unto me. "Behold," said she, "I am
that WHICH MUST EVER SURPASS ITSELF.
To be sure, ye call it will to procreation, or impulse towards a goal,
towards the higher, remoter, more manifold: but all that is one and the
Rather would I succumb than disown this one thing; and verily, where
there is succumbing and leaf-falling, lo, there doth Life sacrifice
That I have to be struggle, and becoming, and purpose, and
cross-purpose--ah, he who divineth my will, divineth well also on what
CROOKED paths it hath to tread!
Whatever I create, and however much I love it,--soon must I be adverse
to it, and to my love: so willeth my will.
And even thou, discerning one, art only a path and footstep of my will:
verily, my Will to Power walketh even on the feet of thy Will to 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 Power!"--
Thus did Life once teach me: and thereby, ye wisest ones, do I solve you
the riddle of your hearts.
Verily, I say unto you: good and evil which would be everlasting--it
doth not exist! Of its own accord must it ever surpass itself anew.
With your values and formulae of good and evil, ye exercise power,
ye valuing ones: and that is your secret love, and the sparkling,
trembling, and overflowing of your souls.
But a stronger power groweth out of your values, and a new surpassing:
by it breaketh egg and egg-shell.
And he who hath to be a creator in good and evil--verily, he hath first
to be a destroyer, and break values in pieces.
Thus doth the greatest evil pertain to the greatest good: that, however,
is the creating good.--
Let us SPEAK thereof, ye wisest ones, even though it be bad. To be
silent is worse; all suppressed truths become poisonous.
And let everything break up which--can break up by our truths! Many a
house is still to be built!--
Thus spake Zarathustra.
XXXV. THE SUBLIME ONES.
Calm is the bottom of my sea: who would guess that it hideth droll
Unmoved is my depth: but it sparkleth with swimming enigmas and
A sublime one saw I to-day, a solemn one, a penitent of the spirit: Oh,
how my soul laughed at his ugliness!
With upraised breast, and like those who draw in their breath: thus did
he stand, the sublime one, and in silence:
O'erhung with ugly truths, the spoil of his hunting, and rich in torn
raiment; many thorns also hung on him--but I saw no rose.
Not yet had he learned laughing and beauty. Gloomy did this hunter
return from the forest of knowledge.
From the fight with wild beasts returned he home: but even yet a wild
beast gazeth out of his seriousness--an unconquered wild beast!
As a tiger doth he ever stand, on the point of springing; but I do not
like those strained souls; ungracious is my taste towards all those
And ye tell me, friends, that there is to be no dispute about taste and
tasting? But all life is a dispute about taste and tasting!
Taste: that is weight at the same time, and scales and weigher; and alas
for every living thing that would live without dispute about weight and
scales and weigher!
Should he become weary of his sublimeness, this sublime one, then only
will his beauty begin--and then only will I taste him and find him
And only when he turneth away from himself will he o'erleap his own
shadow--and verily! into HIS sun.
Far too long did he sit in the shade; the cheeks of the penitent of the
spirit became pale; he almost starved on his expectations.
Contempt is still in his eye, and loathing hideth in his mouth. To be
sure, he now resteth, but he hath not yet taken rest in the 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.
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
He hath subdued monsters, he hath solved enigmas. But he should also
redeem his monsters and enigmas; into heavenly children should he
As yet hath his knowledge not learned to smile, and to be without
jealousy; as yet hath his gushing passion not become calm in beauty.
Verily, not in satiety shall his longing cease and disappear, but in
beauty! Gracefulness belongeth to the munificence of the magnanimous.
His arm across his head: thus should the hero repose; thus should he
also surmount his repose.
But precisely to the hero is BEAUTY the hardest thing of all.
Unattainable is beauty by all ardent wills.
A little more, a little less: precisely this is much here, it is the
To stand with relaxed muscles and with unharnessed will: that is the
hardest for all of you, ye sublime ones!
When power becometh gracious and descendeth into the visible--I call
such condescension, beauty.
And from no one do I want beauty so much as from thee, thou powerful
one: let thy goodness be thy last self-conquest.
All evil do I accredit to thee: therefore do I desire of thee the good.
Verily, I have often laughed at the weaklings, who think themselves good
because they have crippled paws!
The virtue of the pillar shalt thou strive after: more beautiful doth
it ever become, and more graceful--but internally harder and more
sustaining--the higher it riseth.
Yea, thou sublime one, one day shalt thou also be beautiful, and hold up
the mirror to thine own beauty.
Then will thy soul thrill with divine desires; and there will be
adoration even in thy vanity!
For this is the secret of the soul: when the hero hath abandoned it,
then only approacheth it in dreams--the superhero.--
Thus spake Zarathustra.
XXXVI. 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 contemporary.
Then did I fly backwards, homewards--and always faster. Thus did I come
unto you, ye present-day men, and into the land of culture.
For the first time brought I an eye to see you, and good desire: verily,
with longing in my heart did I come.
But how did it turn out with me? Although so alarmed--I had yet to
laugh! Never did mine eye see anything so motley-coloured!
I laughed and laughed, while my foot still trembled, and my heart as
well. "Here forsooth, is the home of all the paintpots,"--said I.
With fifty patches painted on faces and limbs--so sat ye there to mine
astonishment, ye present-day men!
And with fifty mirrors around you, which flattered your play of colours,
and repeated it!
Verily, ye could wear no better masks, ye present-day men, than your own
faces! Who could--RECOGNISE you!
Written all over with the characters of the past, and these characters
also pencilled over with new characters--thus have ye concealed
yourselves well from all decipherers!
And though one be a trier of the reins, who still believeth that ye have
reins! Out of colours ye seem to be baked, and out of glued scraps.
All times and peoples gaze divers-coloured out of your veils; all
customs and beliefs speak divers-coloured out of your gestures.
He who would strip you of veils and wrappers, and paints and gestures,
would just have enough left to scare the crows.
Verily, I myself am the scared crow that once saw you naked, and without
paint; and I flew away when the skeleton ogled at me.
Rather would I be a day-labourer in the nether-world, and among the
shades of the by-gone!--Fatter and fuller than ye, are forsooth the
This, yea this, is bitterness to my bowels, that I can neither endure
you naked nor clothed, ye present-day men!
All that is unhomelike in the future, and whatever maketh strayed birds
shiver, is verily more homelike and familiar than your "reality."
For thus speak ye: "Real are we wholly, and without faith and
superstition": thus do ye plume yourselves--alas! even without plumes!
Indeed, how would ye be ABLE to believe, ye divers-coloured ones!--ye
who are pictures of all that hath ever been believed!
Perambulating refutations are ye, of belief itself, and a dislocation of
all thought. UNTRUSTWORTHY ONES: thus do "I" call you, ye real ones!
All periods prate against one another in your spirits; and the dreams
and pratings of all periods were even realer than your awakeness!
Unfruitful are ye: THEREFORE do ye lack belief. But he who had to
create, had always his presaging dreams and astral premonitions--and
believed in believing!--
Half-open doors are ye, at which grave-diggers wait. And this is YOUR
reality: "Everything deserveth to perish."
Alas, how ye stand there before me, ye unfruitful ones; how lean your
ribs! And many of you surely have had knowledge thereof.
Many a one hath said: "There hath surely a God filched something from
me secretly whilst I slept? Verily, enough to make a girl for himself
"Amazing is the poverty of my ribs!" thus hath spoken many a present-day
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
Verily, it shall not on that account become heavier to me! And not from
you, ye present-day men, shall my great weariness arise.--
Ah, whither shall I now ascend with my longing! From all mountains do I
look out for fatherlands and motherlands.
But a home have I found nowhere: unsettled am I in all cities, and
decamping at all gates.
Alien to me, and a mockery, are the present-day men, to whom of late my
heart impelled me; and exiled am I from fatherlands and 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.
XXXVII. IMMACULATE PERCEPTION.
When yester-eve the moon arose, then did I fancy it about to bear a sun:
so broad and teeming did it lie on the horizon.
But it was a liar with its pregnancy; and sooner will I believe in the
man in the moon than in the woman.
To be sure, little of a man is he also, that timid night-reveller.
Verily, with a bad conscience doth he stalk over the roofs.
For he is covetous and jealous, the monk in the moon; covetous of the
earth, and all the joys of lovers.
Nay, I like him not, that tom-cat on the roofs! Hateful unto me are all
that slink around half-closed windows!
Piously and silently doth he stalk along on the star-carpets:--but I
like no light-treading human feet, on which not even a spur jingleth.
Every honest one's step speaketh; the cat however, stealeth along over
the ground. Lo! cat-like doth the moon come along, and dishonestly.--
This parable speak I unto you sentimental dissemblers, unto you, the
"pure discerners!" You do "I" call--covetous ones!
Also ye love the earth, and the earthly: I have divined you well!--but
shame is in your love, and a bad conscience--ye are like the moon!
To despise the earthly hath your spirit been persuaded, but not your
bowels: these, however, are the strongest in you!
And now is your spirit ashamed to be at the service of your bowels, and
goeth by-ways and lying ways to escape its own shame.
"That would be the highest thing for me"--so saith your lying spirit
unto itself--"to gaze upon life without desire, and not like the dog,
with hanging-out tongue:
To be happy in gazing: with dead will, free from the grip and greed
of selfishness--cold and ashy-grey all over, but with intoxicated
That would be the dearest thing to me"--thus doth the seduced one seduce
himself,--"to love the earth as the moon loveth it, and with the eye
only to feel its beauty.
And this do I call IMMACULATE perception of all things: to want nothing
else from them, but to be allowed to lie before them as a mirror with a
Oh, ye sentimental dissemblers, ye covetous ones! Ye lack innocence in
your desire: and now do ye defame desiring on that account!
Verily, not as creators, as procreators, or as jubilators do ye love the
Where is innocence? Where there is will to procreation. And he who
seeketh to create beyond himself, hath for me the purest will.
Where is beauty? Where I MUST WILL with my whole Will; where I will love
and perish, that an image may not remain merely an image.
Loving and perishing: these have rhymed from eternity. Will to love:
that is to be ready also for death. Thus do I speak unto you cowards!
But now doth your emasculated ogling profess to be "contemplation!"
And that which can be examined with cowardly eyes is to be christened
"beautiful!" Oh, ye violators of noble names!
But it shall be your curse, ye immaculate ones, ye pure discerners, that
ye shall never bring forth, even though ye lie broad and teeming on the
Verily, ye fill your mouth with noble words: and we are to believe that
your heart overfloweth, ye cozeners?
But MY words are poor, contemptible, stammering words: gladly do I pick
up what falleth from the table at your repasts.
Yet still can I say therewith the truth--to dissemblers! Yea, my
fish-bones, shells, and prickly leaves shall--tickle the noses of
Bad air is always about you and your repasts: your lascivious thoughts,
your lies, and secrets are indeed in the air!
Dare only to believe in yourselves--in yourselves and in your inward
parts! He who doth not believe in himself always lieth.
A God's mask have ye hung in front of you, ye "pure ones": into a God's
mask hath your execrable coiling snake crawled.
Verily ye deceive, ye "contemplative ones!" Even Zarathustra was once
the dupe of your godlike exterior; he did not divine the serpent's coil
with which it was stuffed.
A God's soul, I once thought I saw playing in your games, ye pure
discerners! No better arts did I once dream of than your arts!
Serpents' filth and evil odour, the distance concealed from me: and that
a lizard's craft prowled thereabouts lasciviously.
But I came NIGH unto you: then came to me the day,--and now cometh it to
you,--at an end is the moon's love affair!
See there! Surprised and pale doth it stand--before the rosy dawn!
For already she cometh, the glowing one,--HER love to the earth cometh!
Innocence and creative desire, is all solar love!
See there, how she cometh impatiently over the sea! Do ye not feel the
thirst and the hot breath of her love?
At the sea would she suck, and drink its depths to her height: now
riseth the desire of the sea with its thousand breasts.
Kissed and sucked WOULD it be by the thirst of the sun; vapour WOULD it
become, and height, and path of light, and light itself!
Verily, like the sun do I love life, and all deep seas.
And this meaneth TO ME knowledge: all that is deep shall ascend--to my
Thus spake Zarathustra.
When I lay asleep, then did a sheep eat at the ivy-wreath on my
head,--it ate, and said thereby: "Zarathustra is no longer a scholar."
It said this, and went away clumsily and proudly. A child told it to me.
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
For this is the truth: I have departed from the house of the scholars,
and the door have I also slammed behind me.
Too long did my soul sit hungry at their table: not like them have I got
the knack of investigating, as the knack of nut-cracking.
Freedom do I love, and the air over fresh soil; rather would I sleep on
ox-skins than on their honours and dignities.
I am too hot and scorched with mine own thought: often is it ready to
take away my breath. Then have I to go into the open air, and away from
all dusty rooms.
But they sit cool in the cool shade: they want in everything to be
merely spectators, and they avoid sitting where the sun burneth on the
Like those who stand in the street and gape at the passers-by: thus do
they also wait, and gape at the thoughts which others have thought.
Should one lay hold of them, then do they raise a dust like flour-sacks,
and involuntarily: but who would divine that their dust came from corn,
and from the yellow delight of the summer fields?
When they give themselves out as wise, then do their petty sayings and
truths chill me: in their wisdom there is often an odour as if it came
from the swamp; and verily, I have even heard the frog croak 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
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
Like millstones do they work, and like pestles: throw only seed-corn
unto them!--they know well how to grind corn small, and make white dust
out of it.
They keep a sharp eye on one another, and do not trust each other the
best. Ingenious in little artifices, they wait for those whose knowledge
walketh on lame feet,--like spiders do they wait.
I saw them always prepare their poison with precaution; and always did
they put glass gloves on their fingers in doing so.
They also know how to play with false dice; and so eagerly did I find
them playing, that they perspired thereby.
We are alien to each other, and their virtues are even more repugnant to
my taste than their falsehoods and false dice.
And when I lived with them, then did I live above them. Therefore did
they take a dislike to me.
They want to hear nothing of any one walking above their heads; and so
they put wood and earth and rubbish betwixt me and their heads.
Thus did they deafen the sound of my tread: and least have I hitherto
been heard by the most learned.
All mankind's faults and weaknesses did they put betwixt themselves and
me:--they call it "false ceiling" in their houses.
But nevertheless I walk with my thoughts ABOVE their heads; and even
should I walk on mine own errors, still would I be above them and their
For men are NOT equal: so speaketh justice. And what I will, THEY may
Thus spake Zarathustra.
"Since I have known the body better"--said Zarathustra to one of his
disciples--"the spirit hath only been to me symbolically spirit; and all
the 'imperishable'--that is also but a simile."
"So have I heard thee say once before," answered the disciple, "and then
thou addedst: 'But the poets lie too much.' Why didst thou say that the
poets lie too much?"
"Why?" said Zarathustra. "Thou askest why? I do not belong to those who
may be asked after their Why.
Is my experience but of yesterday? It is long ago that I experienced the
reasons for mine opinions.
Should I not have to be a cask of memory, if I also wanted to have my
reasons with me?
It is already too much for me even to retain mine opinions; and many a
bird flieth away.
And sometimes, also, do I find a fugitive creature in my dovecote, which
is alien to me, and trembleth when I lay my hand upon it.
But what did Zarathustra once say unto thee? That the poets lie too
much?--But Zarathustra also is a poet.
Believest thou that he there spake the truth? Why dost thou believe it?"
The disciple answered: "I believe in Zarathustra." But Zarathustra shook
his head and smiled.--
Belief doth not sanctify me, said he, least of all the belief in myself.
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 young women!
And even of those things are we desirous, which old women tell one
another in the evening. This do we call the eternally feminine in us.
And as if there were a special secret access to knowledge, which CHOKETH
UP for those who learn anything, so do we believe in the people and in
This, however, do all poets believe: that whoever pricketh up his ears
when lying in the grass or on lonely slopes, learneth something of the
things that are betwixt heaven and earth.
And if there come unto them tender emotions, then do the poets always
think that nature herself is in love with them:
And that she stealeth to their ear to whisper secrets into it, and
amorous flatteries: of this do they plume and pride themselves, before
Ah, there are so many things betwixt heaven and earth of which only the
poets have dreamed!
And especially ABOVE the heavens: for all Gods are poet-symbolisations,
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
Are not they light enough for those chairs!--all these Gods and
Ah, how I am weary of all the inadequate that is insisted on as actual!
Ah, how I am weary of the poets!
When Zarathustra so spake, his disciple resented it, but was silent. And
Zarathustra also was silent; and his eye directed itself inwardly, as if
it gazed into the far distance. At last he sighed and drew breath.--
I am of to-day and heretofore, said he thereupon; but something is in me
that is of the morrow, and the day following, and the hereafter.
I became weary of the poets, of the old and of the new: superficial are
they all unto me, and shallow seas.
They did not think sufficiently into the depth; therefore their feeling
did not reach to the bottom.
Some sensation of voluptuousness and some sensation of tedium: these
have as yet been their best contemplation.
Ghost-breathing and ghost-whisking, seemeth to me all the
jingle-jangling of their harps; what have they known hitherto of the
fervour of tones!--
They are also not pure enough for me: they all muddle their water that
it may seem deep.
And fain would they thereby prove themselves reconcilers: but mediaries
and mixers are they unto me, and half-and-half, and impure!--
Ah, I cast indeed my net into their sea, and meant to catch good fish;
but always did I draw up the head of some ancient God.
Thus did the sea give a stone to the hungry one. And they themselves may
well originate from the sea.
Certainly, one findeth pearls in them: thereby they are the more like
hard molluscs. And instead of a soul, I have often found in them salt
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
Spectators, seeketh the spirit of the poet--should they even be
But of this spirit became I weary; and I see the time coming when it
will become weary of itself.
Yea, changed have I seen the poets, and their glance turned towards
Penitents of the spirit have I seen appearing; they grew out of the
Thus spake Zarathustra.
XL. GREAT EVENTS.
There is an isle in the sea--not far from the Happy Isles of
Zarathustra--on which a volcano ever smoketh; of which isle the people,
and especially the old women amongst them, say that it is placed as a
rock before the gate of the nether-world; but that through the volcano
itself the narrow way leadeth downwards which conducteth to this gate.
Now about the time that Zarathustra sojourned on the Happy Isles, it
happened that a ship anchored at the isle on which standeth the smoking
mountain, and the crew went ashore to shoot rabbits. About the noontide
hour, however, when the captain and his men were together again, they
saw suddenly a man coming towards them through the air, and a voice said
distinctly: "It is time! It is the highest time!" But when the figure
was nearest to them (it flew past quickly, however, like a shadow, in
the direction of the volcano), then did they recognise with the greatest
surprise that it was Zarathustra; for they had all seen him before
except the captain himself, and they loved him as the people love: in
such wise that love and awe were combined in equal degree.
"Behold!" said the old helmsman, "there goeth Zarathustra to hell!"
About the same time that these sailors landed on the fire-isle, there
was a rumour that Zarathustra had disappeared; and when his friends were
asked about it, they said that he had gone on board a ship by night,
without saying whither he was going.
Thus there arose some uneasiness. After three days, however, there came
the story of the ship's crew in addition to this uneasiness--and
then did all the people say that the devil had taken Zarathustra. His
disciples laughed, sure enough, at this talk; and one of them said even:
"Sooner would I believe that Zarathustra hath taken the devil." But at
the bottom of their hearts they were all full of anxiety and longing: so
their joy was great when on the fifth day Zarathustra appeared amongst
And this is the account of Zarathustra's interview with the fire-dog:
The earth, said he, hath a skin; and this skin hath diseases. One of
these diseases, for example, is called "man."
And another of these diseases is called "the fire-dog": concerning HIM
men have greatly deceived themselves, and let themselves be 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
"Up with thee, fire-dog, out of thy depth!" cried I, "and confess how
deep that depth is! Whence cometh that which thou snortest up?
Thou drinkest copiously at the sea: that doth thine embittered eloquence
betray! In sooth, for a dog of the depth, thou takest thy nourishment
too much from the surface!
At the most, I regard thee as the ventriloquist of the earth: and ever,
when I have heard subversive and spouting devils speak, I have found
them like thee: embittered, mendacious, and shallow.
Ye understand how to roar and obscure with ashes! Ye are the best
braggarts, and have sufficiently learned the art of making dregs boil.
Where ye are, there must always be dregs at hand, and much that is
spongy, hollow, and compressed: it wanteth to have freedom.
'Freedom' ye all roar most eagerly: but I have unlearned the belief in
'great events,' when there is much roaring and smoke about them.
And believe me, friend Hullabaloo! The greatest events--are not our
noisiest, but our stillest hours.
Not around the inventors of new noise, but around the inventors of new
values, doth the world revolve; INAUDIBLY it revolveth.
And just own to it! Little had ever taken place when thy noise and smoke
passed away. What, if a city did become a mummy, and a statue lay in the
And this do I say also to the o'erthrowers of statues: It is certainly
the greatest folly to throw salt into the sea, and statues into the mud.
In the mud of your contempt lay the statue: but it is just its law, that
out of contempt, its life and living beauty grow again!
With diviner features doth it now arise, seducing by its suffering; and
verily! it will yet thank you for o'erthrowing it, ye subverters!
This counsel, however, do I counsel to kings and churches, and to all
that is weak with age or virtue--let yourselves be o'erthrown! That ye
may again come to life, and that virtue--may come to you!--"
Thus spake I before the fire-dog: then did he interrupt me sullenly, and
asked: "Church? What is that?"
"Church?" answered I, "that is a kind of state, and indeed the most
mendacious. But remain quiet, thou dissembling dog! Thou surely knowest
thine own species best!
Like thyself the state is a dissembling dog; like thee doth it like
to speak with smoke and roaring--to make believe, like thee, that it
speaketh out of the heart of things.
For it seeketh by all means to be the most important creature on earth,
the state; and people think it so."
When I had said this, the fire-dog acted as if mad with envy. "What!"
cried he, "the most important creature on earth? And people think it
so?" And so much vapour and terrible voices came out of his throat, that
I thought he would choke with vexation and envy.
At last he became calmer and his panting subsided; as soon, however, as
he was quiet, I said laughingly:
"Thou art angry, fire-dog: so I am in the right about thee!
And that I may also maintain the right, hear the story of another
fire-dog; he speaketh actually out of the heart of the earth.
Gold doth his breath exhale, and golden rain: so doth his heart desire.
What are ashes and smoke and hot dregs to him!
Laughter flitteth from him like a variegated cloud; adverse is he to thy
gargling and spewing and grips in the bowels!
The gold, however, and the laughter--these doth he take out of the heart
of the earth: for, that thou mayst know it,--THE HEART OF THE EARTH IS
When the fire-dog heard this, he could no longer endure to listen to me.
Abashed did he draw in his tail, said "bow-wow!" in a cowed voice, and
crept down into his cave.--
Thus told Zarathustra. His disciples, however, hardly listened to him:
so great was their eagerness to tell him about the sailors, the rabbits,
and the flying man.
"What am I to think of it!" said Zarathustra. "Am I indeed a ghost?
But it may have been my shadow. Ye have surely heard something of the
Wanderer and his Shadow?
One thing, however, is certain: I must keep a tighter hold of it;
otherwise it will spoil my reputation."
And once more Zarathustra shook his head and wondered. "What am I to
think of it!" said he once more.
"Why did the ghost cry: 'It is time! It is the highest time!'
For WHAT is it then--the highest time?"--
Thus spake Zarathustra.
XLI. THE SOOTHSAYER.
"-And I saw a great sadness come over mankind. The best turned weary of
A doctrine appeared, a faith ran beside it: 'All is empty, all is alike,
all hath been!'
And from all hills there re-echoed: 'All is empty, all is alike, all
To be sure we have harvested: but why have all our fruits become rotten
and brown? What was it fell last night from the evil moon?
In vain was all our labour, poison hath our wine become, the evil eye
hath singed yellow our fields and hearts.
Arid have we all become; and fire falling upon us, then do we turn dust
like ashes:--yea, the fire itself have we made aweary.
All our fountains have dried up, even the sea hath receded. All the
ground trieth to gape, but the depth will not swallow!
'Alas! where is there still a sea in which one could be drowned?' so
soundeth our plaint--across shallow swamps.
Verily, even for dying have we become too weary; now do we keep awake
and live on--in sepulchres."
Thus did Zarathustra hear a soothsayer speak; and the foreboding touched
his heart and transformed him. Sorrowfully did he go about and wearily;
and he became like unto those of whom the soothsayer had spoken.--
Verily, said he unto his disciples, a little while, and there cometh the
long twilight. Alas, how shall I preserve my light through it!
That it may not smother in this sorrowfulness! To remoter worlds shall
it be a light, and also to remotest nights!
Thus did Zarathustra go about grieved in his heart, and for three days
he did not take any meat or drink: he had no rest, and lost his speech.
At last it came to pass that he fell into a deep sleep. His disciples,
however, sat around him in long night-watches, and waited anxiously to
see if he would awake, and speak again, and recover from his affliction.
And this is the discourse that Zarathustra spake when he awoke; his
voice, however, came unto his disciples as from afar:
Hear, I pray you, the dream that I dreamed, my friends, and help me to
divine its meaning!
A riddle is it still unto me, this dream; the meaning is hidden in it
and encaged, and doth not yet fly above it on free pinions.
All life had I renounced, so I dreamed. Night-watchman and
grave-guardian had I become, aloft, in the lone mountain-fortress of
There did I guard his coffins: full stood the musty vaults of those
trophies of victory. Out of glass coffins did vanquished life gaze upon
The odour of dust-covered eternities did I breathe: sultry and
dust-covered lay my soul. And who could have aired his soul there!
Brightness of midnight was ever around me; lonesomeness cowered beside
her; and as a third, death-rattle stillness, the worst of my female
Keys did I carry, the rustiest of all keys; and I knew how to open with
them the most creaking of all gates.
Like a bitterly angry croaking ran the sound through the long corridors
when the leaves of the gate opened: ungraciously did this bird cry,
unwillingly was it awakened.
But more frightful even, and more heart-strangling was it, when it again
became silent and still all around, and I alone sat in that malignant
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 gate.
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 up, and
spouted out a thousand peals of laughter.
And a thousand caricatures of children, angels, owls, fools, and
child-sized butterflies laughed and mocked, and roared at me.
Fearfully was I terrified thereby: it prostrated me. And I cried with
horror as I ne'er cried before.
But mine own crying awoke me:--and I came to myself.--
Thus did Zarathustra relate his dream, and then was silent: for as yet
he knew not the interpretation thereof. But the disciple whom he loved
most arose quickly, seized Zarathustra's hand, and said:
"Thy life itself interpreteth unto us this dream, O Zarathustra!
Art thou not thyself the wind with shrill whistling, which bursteth open
the gates of the fortress of Death?
Art thou not thyself the coffin full of many-hued malices and
angel-caricatures of life?
Verily, like a thousand peals of children's laughter cometh
Zarathustra into all sepulchres, laughing at those night-watchmen and
grave-guardians, and whoever else rattleth with sinister keys.
With thy laughter wilt thou frighten and prostrate them: fainting and
recovering will demonstrate thy power over them.
And when the long twilight cometh and the mortal weariness, even then
wilt thou not disappear from our firmament, thou advocate of life!
New stars hast thou made us see, and new nocturnal glories: verily,
laughter itself hast thou spread out over us like a many-hued canopy.
Now will children's laughter ever from coffins flow; now will a strong
wind ever come victoriously unto all mortal weariness: of this thou art
thyself the pledge and the prophet!
Verily, THEY THEMSELVES DIDST THOU DREAM, thine enemies: that was thy
But as thou awokest from them and camest to thyself, so shall they
awaken from themselves--and come unto thee!"
Thus spake the disciple; and all the others then thronged around
Zarathustra, grasped him by the hands, and tried to persuade him to
leave his bed and his sadness, and return unto them. Zarathustra,
however, sat upright on his couch, with an absent look. Like one
returning from long foreign sojourn did he look on his disciples, and
examined their features; but still he knew them not. When, however, they
raised him, and set him upon his feet, behold, all on a sudden his eye
changed; he understood everything that had happened, stroked his beard,
and said with a strong voice:
"Well! this hath just its time; but see to it, my disciples, that we
have a good repast; and without delay! Thus do I mean to make amends for
The soothsayer, however, shall eat and drink at my side: and verily, I
will yet show him a sea in which he can drown himself!"--
Thus spake Zarathustra. Then did he gaze long into the face of the
disciple who had been the dream-interpreter, and shook his head.--
When Zarathustra went one day over the great bridge, then did the
cripples and beggars surround him, and a hunchback spake thus unto 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, inflicteth
upon him the greatest injury; for hardly can he run, when his vices
run away with him--so do the people teach concerning cripples. And why
should not Zarathustra also learn from the people, when the people learn
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
And when I came out of my solitude, and for the first time passed over
this bridge, then I could not trust mine eyes, but looked again and
again, and said at last: "That is an ear! An ear as big as a man!" I
looked still more attentively--and actually there did move under the ear
something that was pitiably small and poor and slim. And in truth this
immense ear was perched on a small thin stalk--the stalk, however, was a
man! A person putting a glass to his eyes, could even recognise further
a small envious countenance, and also that a bloated soullet dangled at
the stalk. The people told me, however, that the big ear was not only a
man, but a great man, a genius. But I never believed in the people when
they spake of great men--and I hold to my belief that it was a reversed
cripple, who had too little of everything, and too much of one thing.
When Zarathustra had spoken thus unto the hunchback, and unto those of
whom the hunchback was the mouthpiece and advocate, then did he turn to
his disciples in profound dejection, and said:
Verily, my friends, I walk amongst men as amongst the fragments and
limbs of human beings!
This is the terrible thing to mine eye, that I find man broken up, and
scattered about, as on a battle- and butcher-ground.
And when mine eye fleeth from the present to the bygone, it findeth ever
the same: fragments and limbs and fearful chances--but no 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
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
Is he a promiser? Or a fulfiller? A conqueror? Or an inheritor? A
harvest? Or a ploughshare? A physician? Or a healed one?
Is he a poet? Or a genuine one? An emancipator? Or a subjugator? A good
one? Or an evil one?
I walk amongst men as the fragments of the future: that future which I
And it is all my poetisation and aspiration to compose and collect into
unity what is fragment and riddle and fearful chance.
And how could I endure to be a man, if man were not also the composer,
and riddle-reader, and redeemer of chance!
To redeem what is past, and to transform every "It was" into "Thus would
I have it!"--that only do I call redemption!
Will--so is the emancipator and joy-bringer called: thus have I taught
you, my friends! But now learn this likewise: the Will itself is still a
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
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 ill-humour.
Thus did the Will, the emancipator, become a torturer; and on all
that is capable of suffering it taketh revenge, because it cannot go
This, yea, this alone is REVENGE itself: the Will's antipathy to time,
and its "It was."
Verily, a great folly dwelleth in our Will; and it became a curse unto
all humanity, that this folly acquired spirit!
THE SPIRIT OF REVENGE: my friends, that hath hitherto been man's best
contemplation; and where there was suffering, it was claimed there was
"Penalty," so calleth itself revenge. With a lying word it feigneth a
And because in the willer himself there is suffering, because he cannot
will backwards--thus was Willing itself, and all life, claimed--to be
And then did cloud after cloud roll over the spirit, until at last
madness preached: "Everything perisheth, therefore everything deserveth
"And this itself is justice, the law of time--that he must devour his
children:" thus did madness preach.
"Morally are things ordered according to justice and penalty. Oh, where
is there deliverance from the flux of things and from the 'existence' of
penalty?" Thus did madness preach.
"Can there be deliverance when there is eternal justice? Alas,
unrollable is the stone, 'It was': eternal must also be all penalties!"
Thus did madness preach.
"No deed can be annihilated: how could it be undone by the penalty!
This, this is what is eternal in the 'existence' of penalty, that
existence also must be eternally recurring deed and guilt!
Unless the Will should at last deliver itself, and Willing become
non-Willing--:" but ye know, my brethren, this fabulous 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 something higher
than all reconciliation?
Something higher than all reconciliation must the Will will which is the
Will to Power--: but how doth that take place? Who hath taught it also
to will backwards?
--But at this point in his discourse it chanced that Zarathustra
suddenly paused, and looked like a person in the greatest alarm. With
terror in his eyes did he gaze on his disciples; his glances pierced as
with arrows their thoughts and arrear-thoughts. But after a brief space
he again laughed, and said soothedly:
"It is difficult to live amongst men, because silence is so difficult--
especially for a babbler."--
Thus spake Zarathustra. The hunchback, however, had listened to the
conversation and had covered his face during the time; but when he heard
Zarathustra laugh, he looked up with curiosity, and said slowly:
"But why doth Zarathustra speak otherwise unto us than unto his
Zarathustra answered: "What is there to be wondered at! With hunchbacks
one may well speak in a hunchbacked way!"
"Very good," said the hunchback; "and with pupils one may well tell
tales out of school.
But why doth Zarathustra speak otherwise unto his pupils--than unto
XLIII. 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
And THEREFORE do I live blindly among men, as if I knew them not: that
my hand may not entirely lose belief in firmness.
I know not you men: this gloom and consolation is often spread around
I sit at the gateway for every rogue, and ask: Who wisheth to deceive
This is my first manly prudence, that I allow myself to be deceived, so
as not to be on my guard against deceivers.
Ah, if I were on my guard against man, how could man be an anchor to my
ball! Too easily would I be pulled upwards and away!
This providence is over my fate, that I have to be without foresight.
And he who would not languish amongst men, must learn to drink out of
all glasses; and he who would keep clean amongst men, must know how to
wash himself even with dirty water.
And thus spake I often to myself for consolation: "Courage! Cheer up!
old heart! An unhappiness hath failed to befall thee: enjoy that as
This, however, is mine other manly prudence: I am more forbearing to the
VAIN than to the proud.
Is not wounded vanity the mother of all tragedies? Where, however, pride
is wounded, there there groweth up something better than pride.
That life may be fair to behold, its game must be well played; for that
purpose, however, it needeth good actors.
Good actors have I found all the vain ones: they play, and wish people
to be fond of beholding them--all their spirit is in this wish.
They represent themselves, they invent themselves; in their
neighbourhood I like to look upon life--it cureth of melancholy.
Therefore am I forbearing to the vain, because they are the physicians
of my melancholy, and keep me attached to man as to a 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.
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
Also amongst men there is a beautiful brood of the warm sun, and much
that is marvellous in the wicked.
In truth, as your wisest did not seem to me so very wise, so found I
also human wickedness below the fame of it.
And oft did I ask with a shake of the head: Why still rattle, ye
Verily, there is still a future even for evil! And the warmest south is
still undiscovered by man.
How many things are now called the worst wickedness, which are only
twelve feet broad and three months long! Some day, however, will greater
dragons come into the world.
For that the Superman may not lack his dragon, the superdragon that
is worthy of him, there must still much warm sun glow on moist virgin
Out of your wild cats must tigers have evolved, and out of your
poison-toads, crocodiles: for the good hunter shall have a good hunt!
And verily, ye good and just! In you there is much to be laughed at, and
especially your fear of what hath hitherto been called "the devil!"
So alien are ye in your souls to what is great, that to you the Superman
would be FRIGHTFUL in his goodness!
And ye wise and knowing ones, ye would flee from the solar-glow of the
wisdom in which the Superman joyfully batheth his nakedness!
Ye highest men who have come within my ken! this is my doubt of you, and
my secret laughter: I suspect ye would call my Superman--a devil!
Ah, I became tired of those highest and best ones: from their "height"
did I long to be up, out, and away to the Superman!
A horror came over me when I saw those best ones naked: then there grew
for me the pinions to soar away into distant futures.
Into more distant futures, into more southern souths than ever artist
dreamed of: thither, where Gods are ashamed of all clothes!
But disguised do I want to see YOU, ye neighbours and fellowmen, and
well-attired and vain and estimable, as "the good and just;"--
And disguised will I myself sit amongst you--that I may MISTAKE you and
myself: for that is my last manly prudence.--
Thus spake Zarathustra.
XLIV. THE STILLEST HOUR.
What hath happened unto me, my friends? Ye see me troubled, driven
forth, unwillingly obedient, ready to go--alas, to go away from YOU!
Yea, once more must Zarathustra retire to his solitude: but unjoyously
this time doth the bear go back to his cave!
What hath happened unto me? Who ordereth this?--Ah, mine angry mistress
wisheth it so; she spake unto me. Have I ever named her name to you?
Yesterday towards evening there spake unto me MY STILLEST HOUR: that is
the name of my terrible mistress.
And thus did it happen--for everything must I tell you, that your heart
may not harden against the suddenly departing one!
Do ye know the terror of him who falleth asleep?--
To the very toes he is terrified, because the ground giveth way under
him, and the dream beginneth.
This do I speak unto you in parable. Yesterday at the stillest hour did
the ground give way under me: the dream began.
The hour-hand moved on, the timepiece of my life drew breath--never did
I hear such stillness around me, so that my heart was terrified.
Then was there spoken unto me without voice: "THOU KNOWEST IT,
And I cried in terror at this whispering, and the blood left my face:
but I was silent.
Then was there once more spoken unto me without voice: "Thou knowest it,
Zarathustra, but thou dost not speak it!"--
And at last I answered, like one defiant: "Yea, I know it, but I will
not speak it!"
Then was there again spoken unto me without voice: "Thou WILT not,
Zarathustra? Is this true? Conceal thyself not behind thy defiance!"--
And I wept and trembled like a child, and said: "Ah, I would indeed, but
how can I do it! Exempt me only from this! It is beyond my power!"
Then was there again spoken unto me without voice: "What matter about
thyself, Zarathustra! Speak thy word, and succumb!"
And I answered: "Ah, is it MY word? Who am "I"? I await the worthier
one; I am not worthy even to succumb by it."
Then was there again spoken unto me without voice: "What matter about
thyself? Thou art not yet humble enough for me. Humility hath the
And I answered: "What hath not the skin of my humility endured! At the
foot of my height do I dwell: how high are my summits, no one hath yet
told me. But well do I know my valleys."
Then was there again spoken unto me without voice: "O Zarathustra, he
who hath to remove mountains removeth also valleys and plains."--
And I answered: "As yet hath my word not removed mountains, and what I
have spoken hath not reached man. I went, indeed, unto men, but not yet
have I attained unto them."
Then was there again spoken unto me without voice: "What knowest thou
THEREOF! The dew falleth on the grass when the night is most silent."--
And I answered: "They mocked me when I found and walked in mine own
path; and certainly did my feet then tremble.
And thus did they speak unto me: Thou forgottest the path before, now
dost thou also forget how to walk!"
Then was there again spoken unto me without voice: "What matter about
their mockery! Thou art one who hast unlearned to obey: now shalt thou
Knowest thou not who is most needed by all? He who commandeth great
To execute great things is difficult: but the more difficult task is to
command great things.
This is thy most unpardonable obstinacy: thou hast the power, and thou
wilt not rule."--
And I answered: "I lack the lion's voice for all commanding."
Then was there again spoken unto me as a whispering: "It is the stillest
words which bring the storm. Thoughts that come with doves' footsteps
guide the world.
O Zarathustra, thou shalt go as a shadow of that which is to come: thus
wilt thou command, and in commanding go foremost."--
And I answered: "I am ashamed."
Then was there again spoken unto me without voice: "Thou must yet become
a child, and be without shame.
The pride of youth is still upon thee; late hast thou become young: but
he who would become a child must surmount even his youth."--
And I considered a long while, and trembled. At last, however, did I say
what I had said at first. "I will not."
Then did a laughing take place all around me. Alas, how that laughing
lacerated my bowels and cut into my heart!
And there was spoken unto me for the last time: "O Zarathustra, thy
fruits are ripe, but thou art not ripe for thy fruits!
So must thou go again into solitude: for thou shalt yet become
And again was there a laughing, and it fled: then did it become still
around me, as with a double stillness. I lay, however, on the ground,
and the sweat flowed from my limbs.
--Now have ye heard all, and why I have to return into my solitude.
Nothing have I kept hidden from you, my friends.
But even this have ye heard from me, WHO is still the most reserved of
men--and will be so!
Ah, my friends! I should have something more to say unto you! I should
have something more to give unto you! Why do I not give it? Am I then a
When, however, Zarathustra had spoken these words, the violence of his
pain, and a sense of the nearness of his departure from his friends came
over him, so that he wept aloud; and no one knew how to console him. In
the night, however, he went away alone and left his friends.
"Ye look aloft when ye long for exaltation, and I look downward because
I am exalted.
"Who among you can at the same time laugh and be exalted?
"He who climbeth on the highest mountains, laugheth at all tragic plays
and tragic realities."--ZARATHUSTRA, I., "Reading and Writing."
XLV. THE WANDERER.
Then, when it was about midnight, Zarathustra went his way over the
ridge of the isle, that he might arrive early in the morning at the
other coast; because there he meant to embark. For there was a good
roadstead there, in which foreign ships also liked to anchor: those
ships took many people with them, who wished to cross over from the
Happy Isles. So when Zarathustra thus ascended the mountain, he thought
on the way of his many solitary wanderings from youth onwards, and how
many mountains and ridges and summits he had already climbed.
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
The time is now past when accidents could befall me; and what COULD now
fall to my lot which would not already be mine own!
It returneth only, it cometh home to me at last--mine own Self, and
such of it as hath been long abroad, and scattered among things and
And one thing more do I know: I stand now before my last summit, and
before that which hath been longest reserved for me. Ah, my hardest path
must I ascend! Ah, I have begun my lonesomest wandering!
He, however, who is of my nature doth not avoid such an hour: the hour
that saith unto him: Now only dost thou go the way to thy greatness!
Summit and abyss--these are now comprised together!
Thou goest the way to thy greatness: now hath it become thy last refuge,
what was hitherto thy last danger!
Thou goest the way to thy greatness: it must now be thy best courage
that there is no longer any path behind thee!
Thou goest the way to thy greatness: here shall no one steal after thee!
Thy foot itself hath effaced the path behind thee, and over it standeth
And if all ladders henceforth fail thee, then must thou learn to mount
upon thine own head: how couldst thou mount upward otherwise?
Upon thine own head, and beyond thine own heart! Now must the gentlest
in thee become the hardest.
He who hath always much-indulged himself, sickeneth at last by his
much-indulgence. Praises on what maketh hardy! I do not praise the land
where butter and honey--flow!
To learn TO LOOK AWAY FROM oneself, is necessary in order to see MANY
THINGS:--this hardiness is needed by every mountain-climber.
He, however, who is obtrusive with his eyes as a discerner, how can he
ever see more of anything than its foreground!
But thou, O Zarathustra, wouldst view the ground of everything, and its
background: thus must thou mount even above thyself--up, upwards, until
thou hast even thy stars UNDER thee!
Yea! To look down upon myself, and even upon my stars: that only would I
call my SUMMIT, that hath remained for me as my LAST summit!--
Thus spake Zarathustra to himself while ascending, comforting his heart
with harsh maxims: for he was sore at heart as he had never been before.
And when he had reached the top of the mountain-ridge, behold, there
lay the other sea spread out before him: and he stood still and was
long silent. The night, however, was cold at this height, and clear and
I recognise my destiny, said he at last, sadly. Well! I am ready. Now
hath my last lonesomeness begun.
Ah, this sombre, sad sea, below me! Ah, this sombre nocturnal vexation!
Ah, fate and sea! To you must I now GO DOWN!
Before my highest mountain do I stand, and before my longest wandering:
therefore must I first go deeper down than I ever ascended:
--Deeper down into pain than I ever ascended, even into its darkest
flood! So willeth my fate. Well! I am ready.
Whence come the highest mountains? so did I once ask. Then did I learn
that they come out of the sea.
That testimony is inscribed on their stones, and on the walls of their
summits. Out of the deepest must the highest come to its 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 become weary on his way, and
eagerer than ever before.
Everything as yet sleepeth, said he; even the sea sleepeth. Drowsily and
strangely doth its eye gaze upon me.
But it breatheth warmly--I feel it. And I feel also that it dreameth. It
tosseth about dreamily on hard pillows.
Hark! Hark! How it groaneth with evil recollections! Or evil
Ah, I am sad along with thee, thou dusky monster, and angry with myself
even for thy sake.
Ah, that my hand hath not strength enough! Gladly, indeed, would I free
thee from evil dreams!--
And while Zarathustra thus spake, he laughed at himself with melancholy
and bitterness. What! Zarathustra, said he, wilt thou even sing
consolation to the sea?
Ah, thou amiable fool, Zarathustra, thou too-blindly confiding one! But
thus hast thou ever been: ever hast thou approached confidently all that
Every monster wouldst thou caress. A whiff of warm breath, a little soft
tuft on its paw--: and immediately wert thou ready to love and lure it.
LOVE is the danger of the lonesomest one, love to anything, IF IT ONLY
LIVE! Laughable, verily, is my folly and my modesty in love!--
Thus spake Zarathustra, and laughed thereby a second time. Then,
however, he thought of his abandoned friends--and as if he had done them
a wrong with his thoughts, he upbraided himself because of his thoughts.
And forthwith it came to pass that the laugher wept--with anger and
longing wept Zarathustra bitterly.
XLVI. THE VISION AND THE ENIGMA.
When it got abroad among the sailors that Zarathustra was on board the
ship--for a man who came from the Happy Isles had gone on board along
with him,--there was great curiosity and expectation. But Zarathustra
kept silent for two days, and was cold and deaf with sadness; so that he
neither answered looks nor questions. On the evening of the second day,
however, he again opened his ears, though he still kept silent: for
there were many curious and dangerous things to be heard on board the
ship, which came from afar, and was to go still further. Zarathustra,
however, was fond of all those who make distant voyages, and dislike to
live without danger. And behold! when listening, his own tongue was
at last loosened, and the ice of his heart broke. Then did he begin to
To you, the daring venturers and adventurers, and whoever hath embarked
with cunning sails upon frightful seas,--
To you the enigma-intoxicated, the twilight-enjoyers, whose souls are
allured by flutes to every treacherous gulf:
--For ye dislike to grope at a thread with cowardly hand; and where ye
can DIVINE, there do ye hate to CALCULATE--
To you only do I tell the enigma that I SAW--the vision of the
Gloomily walked I lately in corpse-coloured twilight--gloomily and
sternly, with compressed lips. Not only one sun had set for me.
A path which ascended daringly among boulders, an evil, lonesome path,
which neither herb nor shrub any longer cheered, a mountain-path,
crunched under the daring of my foot.
Mutely marching over the scornful clinking of pebbles, trampling the
stone that let it slip: thus did my foot force its way upwards.
Upwards:--in spite of the spirit that drew it downwards, towards the
abyss, the spirit of gravity, my devil and arch-enemy.
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
O Zarathustra, thou stone of wisdom, thou sling-stone, thou
star-destroyer! Thyself threwest thou so high,--but every thrown
Condemned of thyself, and to thine own stoning: O Zarathustra, far
indeed threwest thou thy stone--but upon THYSELF will it recoil!"
Then was the dwarf silent; and it lasted long. The silence, however,
oppressed me; and to be thus in pairs, one is verily lonesomer than when
I ascended, I ascended, I dreamt, I thought,--but everything oppressed
me. A sick one did I resemble, whom bad torture wearieth, and a worse
dream reawakeneth out of his first sleep.--
But there is something in me which I call courage: it hath hitherto
slain for me every dejection. This courage at last bade me stand still
and say: "Dwarf! Thou! Or I!"--
For courage is the best slayer,--courage which ATTACKETH: for in every
attack there is sound of triumph.
Man, however, is the most courageous animal: thereby hath he overcome
every animal. With sound of triumph hath he overcome every pain; human
pain, however, is the sorest pain.
Courage slayeth also giddiness at abysses: and where doth man not stand
at abysses! Is not seeing itself--seeing abysses?
Courage is the best slayer: courage slayeth also fellow-suffering.
Fellow-suffering, however, is the deepest abyss: as deeply as man
looketh into life, so deeply also doth he look into suffering.
Courage, however, is the best slayer, courage which attacketh: it
slayeth even death itself; for it saith: "WAS THAT life? Well! Once
In such speech, however, there is much sound of triumph. He who hath
ears to hear, let him hear.--
"Halt, dwarf!" said I. "Either I--or thou! I, however, am the stronger
of the two:--thou knowest not mine abysmal thought! IT--couldst thou not
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, 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 eternally
"Everything straight lieth," murmured the dwarf, contemptuously. "All
truth is crooked; time itself is a circle."
"Thou spirit of gravity!" said I wrathfully, "do not take it too
lightly! Or I shall let thee squat where thou squattest, Haltfoot,--and
I carried thee HIGH!"
"Observe," continued I, "This Moment! From the gateway, This Moment,
there runneth a long eternal lane BACKWARDS: behind us lieth an
Must not whatever CAN run its course of all things, have already run
along that lane? Must not whatever CAN happen of all things have already
happened, resulted, and gone by?
And if everything have already existed, what thinkest thou, dwarf, of
This Moment? Must not this gateway also--have already existed?
And are not all things closely bound together in such wise that This
Moment draweth all coming things after it? CONSEQUENTLY--itself also?
For whatever CAN run its course of all things, also in this long lane
OUTWARD--MUST it once more run!--
And this slow spider which creepeth in the moonlight, and this moonlight
itself, and thou and I in this gateway whispering together, whispering
of eternal things--must we not all have already existed?
--And must we not return and run in that other lane out before us, that
long weird lane--must we not eternally return?"--
Thus did I speak, and always more softly: for I was afraid of mine own
thoughts, and arrear-thoughts. Then, suddenly did I hear a dog HOWL near
Had I ever heard a dog howl thus? My thoughts ran back. Yes! When I was
a child, in my most distant childhood:
--Then did I hear a dog howl thus. And saw it also, with hair bristling,
its head upwards, trembling in the stillest midnight, when even dogs
believe in ghosts:
--So that it excited my commiseration. For just then went the full moon,
silent as death, over the house; just then did it stand still, a glowing
globe--at rest on the flat roof, as if on some one's property:--
Thereby had the dog been terrified: for dogs believe in thieves and
ghosts. And when I again heard such howling, then did it excite my
commiseration once more.
Where was now the dwarf? And the gateway? And the spider? And all the
whispering? Had I dreamt? Had I awakened? 'Twixt rugged rocks did I
suddenly stand alone, dreary in the dreariest moonlight.
BUT THERE LAY A MAN! And there! The dog leaping, bristling, whining--now
did it see me coming--then did it howl again, then did it CRY:--had I
ever heard a dog cry so for help?
And verily, what I saw, the like had I never seen. A young shepherd did
I see, writhing, choking, quivering, with distorted countenance, and
with a heavy black serpent hanging out of his mouth.
Had I ever seen so much loathing and pale horror on one countenance?
He had perhaps gone to sleep? Then had the serpent crawled into his
throat--there had it bitten itself fast.
My hand pulled at the serpent, and pulled:--in vain! I failed to pull
the serpent out of his throat. Then there cried out of me: "Bite! Bite!
Its head off! Bite!"--so cried it out of me; my horror, my hatred, my
loathing, my pity, all my good and my bad cried with one voice out of
Ye daring ones around me! Ye venturers and adventurers, and whoever
of you have embarked with cunning sails on unexplored seas! Ye
Solve unto me the enigma that I then beheld, interpret unto me the
vision of the lonesomest one!
For it was a vision and a foresight:--WHAT did I then behold in parable?
And WHO is it that must come some day?
WHO is the shepherd into whose throat the serpent thus crawled? WHO is
the man into whose throat all the heaviest and blackest will 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
No longer shepherd, no longer man--a transfigured being, a
light-surrounded being, that LAUGHED! Never on earth laughed a man as HE
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.
XLVII. INVOLUNTARY BLISS.
With such enigmas and bitterness in his heart did Zarathustra sail o'er
the sea. When, however, he was four day-journeys from the Happy
Isles and from his friends, then had he surmounted all his pain--:
triumphantly and with firm foot did he again accept his fate. And then
talked Zarathustra in this wise to his exulting conscience:
Alone am I again, and like to be so, alone with the pure heaven, and the
open sea; and again is the afternoon around me.
On an afternoon did I find my friends for the first time; on an
afternoon, also, did I find them a second time:--at the hour when all
light becometh stiller.
For whatever happiness is still on its way 'twixt heaven and earth, now
seeketh for lodging a luminous soul: WITH HAPPINESS hath all light now
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
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
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
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
But one day will I take them up, and put each by itself alone: that it
may learn lonesomeness and defiance and prudence.
Gnarled and crooked and with flexible hardness shall it then stand by
the sea, a living lighthouse of unconquerable life.
Yonder where the storms rush down into the sea, and the snout of the
mountain drinketh water, shall each on a time have his day and night
watches, for HIS testing and recognition.
Recognised and tested shall each be, to see if he be of my type and
lineage:--if he be master of a long will, silent even when he speaketh,
and giving in such wise that he TAKETH in giving:--
--So that he may one day become my companion, a fellow-creator and
fellow-enjoyer with Zarathustra:--such a one as writeth my will on my
tables, for the fuller perfection of all things.
And for his sake and for those like him, must I perfect MYSELF:
therefore do I now avoid my happiness, and present myself to every
misfortune--for MY final testing and recognition.
And verily, it were time that I went away; and the wanderer's shadow and
the longest tedium and the stillest hour--have all said unto me: "It is
the highest time!"
The word blew to me through the keyhole and said "Come!" The door sprang
subtlely open unto me, and said "Go!"
But I lay enchained to my love for my children: desire spread this
snare for me--the desire for love--that I should become the prey of my
children, and lose myself in them.
Desiring--that is now for me to have lost myself. I POSSESS YOU, MY
CHILDREN! In this possessing shall everything be assurance and nothing
But brooding lay the sun of my love upon me, in his own juice stewed
Zarathustra,--then did shadows and doubts fly past me.
For frost and winter I now longed: "Oh, that frost and winter would
again make me crack and crunch!" sighed I:--then arose icy mist out of
My past burst its tomb, many pains buried alive woke up--: fully slept
had they merely, concealed in corpse-clothes.
So called everything unto me in signs: "It is time!" But I--heard not,
until at last mine abyss moved, and my thought bit me.
Ah, abysmal thought, which art MY thought! When shall I find strength to
hear thee burrowing, and no longer tremble?
To my very throat throbbeth my heart when I hear thee burrowing! Thy
muteness even is like to strangle me, thou abysmal mute one!
As yet have I never ventured to call thee UP; it hath been enough that
I--have carried thee about with me! As yet have I not been strong
enough for my final lion-wantonness and playfulness.
Sufficiently formidable unto me hath thy weight ever been: but one day
shall I yet find the strength and the lion's voice which will call thee
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
Meanwhile do I sail along on uncertain seas; chance flattereth me,
smooth-tongued chance; forward and backward do I gaze--, still see I no
As yet hath the hour of my final struggle not come to me--or doth it
come to me perhaps just now? Verily, with insidious beauty do sea and
life gaze upon me round about:
O afternoon of my life! O happiness before eventide! O haven upon high
seas! O peace in uncertainty! How I distrust all of you!
Verily, distrustful am I of your insidious beauty! Like the lover am I,
who distrusteth too sleek smiling.
As he pusheth the best-beloved before him--tender even in severity, the
jealous one--, so do I push this blissful hour before me.
Away with thee, thou blissful hour! With thee hath there come to me an
involuntary bliss! Ready for my severest pain do I here stand:--at the
wrong time hast thou come!
Away with thee, thou blissful hour! Rather harbour there--with my
children! Hasten! and bless them before eventide with MY happiness!
There, already approacheth eventide: the sun sinketh. Away--my
Thus spake Zarathustra. And he waited for his misfortune the whole
night; but he waited in vain. The night remained clear and calm, and
happiness itself came nigher and nigher unto him. Towards morning,
however, Zarathustra laughed to his heart, and said mockingly:
"Happiness runneth after me. That is because I do not run after women.
Happiness, however, is a woman."
XLVIII. BEFORE SUNRISE.
O heaven above me, thou pure, thou deep heaven! Thou abyss of light!
Gazing on thee, I tremble with divine desires.
Up to thy height to toss myself--that is MY depth! In thy purity to hide
myself--that is MINE innocence!
The God veileth his beauty: thus hidest thou thy stars. Thou speakest
not: THUS proclaimest thou thy wisdom unto me.
Mute o'er the raging sea hast thou risen for me to-day; thy love and thy
modesty make a revelation unto my raging soul.
In that thou camest unto me beautiful, veiled in thy beauty, in that
thou spakest unto me mutely, obvious in thy wisdom:
Oh, how could I fail to divine all the modesty of thy soul! BEFORE the
sun didst thou come unto me--the lonesomest one.
We have been friends from the beginning: to us are grief, gruesomeness,
and ground common; even the sun is common to us.
We do not speak to each other, because we know too much--: we keep
silent to each other, we smile our knowledge to each other.
Art thou not the light of my fire? Hast thou not the sister-soul of mine
Together did we learn everything; together did we learn to ascend beyond
ourselves to ourselves, and to smile uncloudedly:--
--Uncloudedly to smile down out of luminous eyes and out of miles of
distance, when under us constraint and purpose and guilt steam like
And wandered I alone, for WHAT did my soul hunger by night and in
labyrinthine paths? And climbed I mountains, WHOM did I ever seek, if
not thee, upon mountains?
And all my wandering and mountain-climbing: a necessity was it merely,
and a makeshift of the unhandy one:--to FLY only, wanteth mine entire
will, to fly into THEE!
And what have I hated more than passing clouds, and whatever tainteth
thee? And mine own hatred have I even hated, because it 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
These mediators and mixers we detest--the passing clouds: those
half-and-half ones, that have neither learned to bless nor to curse from
Rather will I sit in a tub under a closed heaven, rather will I sit in
the abyss without heaven, than see thee, thou luminous heaven, tainted
with passing clouds!
And oft have I longed to pin them fast with the jagged gold-wires of
lightning, that I might, like the thunder, beat the drum upon their
--An angry drummer, because they rob me of thy Yea and Amen!--thou
heaven above me, thou pure, thou luminous heaven! Thou abyss of
light!--because they rob thee of MY Yea and Amen.
For rather will I have noise and thunders and tempest-blasts, than this
discreet, doubting cat-repose; and also amongst men do I hate most
of all the soft-treaders, and half-and-half ones, and the doubting,
hesitating, passing clouds.
And "he who cannot bless shall LEARN to curse!"--this clear teaching
dropt unto me from the clear heaven; this star standeth in my heaven
even in dark nights.
I, however, am a blesser and a Yea-sayer, if thou be but around me, thou
pure, thou luminous heaven! Thou abyss of light!--into all abysses do I
then carry my beneficent Yea-saying.
A blesser have I become and a Yea-sayer: and therefore strove I long and
was a striver, that I might one day get my hands free for 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 beyond good and
evil; good and evil themselves, however, are but fugitive shadows and
damp afflictions and passing clouds.
Verily, it is a blessing and not a blasphemy when I teach that "above
all things there standeth the heaven of chance, the heaven of innocence,
the heaven of hazard, the heaven of wantonness."
"Of Hazard"--that is the oldest nobility in the world; that gave I back
to all things; I emancipated them from bondage under purpose.
This freedom and celestial serenity did I put like an azure bell above
all things, when I taught that over them and through them, no "eternal
This wantonness and folly did I put in place of that Will, when I taught
that "In everything there is one thing impossible--rationality!"
A LITTLE reason, to be sure, a germ of wisdom scattered from star to
star--this leaven is mixed in all things: for the sake of folly, wisdom
is mixed in all things!
A little wisdom is indeed possible; but this blessed security have I
found in all things, that they prefer--to DANCE on the feet of chance.
O heaven above me! thou pure, thou lofty heaven! This is now thy purity
unto me, that there is no eternal reason-spider and reason-cobweb:--
--That thou art to me a dancing-floor for divine chances, that thou art
to me a table of the Gods, for divine dice and dice-players!--
But thou blushest? Have I spoken unspeakable things? Have I abused, when
I meant to bless thee?
Or is it the shame of being two of us that maketh thee blush!--Dost thou
bid me go and be silent, because now--DAY cometh?
The world is deep:--and deeper than e'er the day could read. Not
everything may be uttered in presence of day. But day cometh: so let us
O heaven above me, thou modest one! thou glowing one! O thou, my
happiness before sunrise! The day cometh: so let us part!--
Thus spake Zarathustra.
XLIX. THE BEDWARFING VIRTUE.
When Zarathustra was again on the continent, he did not go straightway
to his mountains and his cave, but made many wanderings and
questionings, and ascertained this and that; so that he said of himself
jestingly: "Lo, a river that floweth back unto its source in many
windings!" For he wanted to learn what had taken place AMONG MEN during
the interval: whether they had become greater or smaller. And once, when
he saw a row of new houses, he marvelled, and said:
"What do these houses mean? Verily, no great soul put them up as its
Did perhaps a silly child take them out of its toy-box? Would that
another child put them again into the box!
And these rooms and chambers--can MEN go out and in there? They seem to
be made for silk dolls; or for dainty-eaters, who perhaps let others eat
And Zarathustra stood still and meditated. At last he said sorrowfully:
"There hath EVERYTHING become smaller!
Everywhere do I see lower doorways: he who is of MY type can still go
therethrough, but--he must stoop!
Oh, when shall I arrive again at my home, where I shall no longer have
to stoop--shall no longer have to stoop BEFORE THE SMALL ONES!"--And
Zarathustra sighed, and gazed into the distance.--
The same day, however, he gave his discourse on the bedwarfing virtue.
I pass through this people and keep mine eyes open: they do not forgive
me for not envying their virtues.
They bite at me, because I say unto them that for small people, small
virtues are necessary--and because it is hard for me to understand that
small people are NECESSARY!
Here am I still like a cock in a strange farm-yard, at which even the
hens peck: but on that account I am not unfriendly to the hens.
I am courteous towards them, as towards all small annoyances; to be
prickly towards what is small, seemeth to me wisdom for hedgehogs.
They all speak of me when they sit around their fire in the
evening--they speak of me, but no one thinketh--of me!
This is the new stillness which I have experienced: their noise around
me spreadeth a mantle over my thoughts.
They shout to one another: "What is this gloomy cloud about to do to us?
Let us see that it doth not bring a plague upon us!"
And recently did a woman seize upon her child that was coming unto
me: "Take the children away," cried she, "such eyes scorch children's
They cough when I speak: they think coughing an objection to strong
winds--they divine nothing of the boisterousness of my happiness!
"We have not yet time for Zarathustra"--so they object; but what matter
about a time that "hath no time" for Zarathustra?
And if they should altogether praise me, how could I go to sleep on
THEIR praise? A girdle of spines is their praise unto me: it scratcheth
me even when I take it off.
And this also did I learn among them: the praiser doeth as if he gave
back; in truth, however, he wanteth more to be given him!
Ask my foot if their lauding and luring strains please it! Verily,
to such measure and ticktack, it liketh neither to dance nor to stand
To small virtues would they fain lure and laud me; to the ticktack of
small happiness would they fain persuade my foot.
I pass through this people and keep mine eyes open; they have become
SMALLER, and ever become smaller:--THE REASON THEREOF IS THEIR DOCTRINE
OF HAPPINESS AND VIRTUE.
For they are moderate also in virtue,--because they want comfort. With
comfort, however, moderate virtue only is compatible.
To be sure, they also learn in their way to stride on and stride
forward: that, I call their HOBBLING.--Thereby they become a hindrance
to all who are in haste.
And many of them go forward, and look backwards thereby, with stiffened
necks: those do I like to run up against.
Foot and eye shall not lie, nor give the lie to each other. But there is
much lying among small people.
Some of them WILL, but most of them are WILLED. Some of them are
genuine, but most of them are bad actors.
There are actors without knowing it amongst them, and actors without
intending it--, the genuine ones are always rare, especially the genuine
Of man there is little here: therefore do their women masculinise
themselves. For only he who is man enough, will--SAVE THE WOMAN in
And this hypocrisy found I worst amongst them, that even those who
command feign the virtues of those who serve.
"I serve, thou servest, we serve"--so chanteth here even the hypocrisy
of the rulers--and alas! if the first lord be ONLY the first servant!
Ah, even upon their hypocrisy did mine eyes' curiosity alight; and well
did I divine all their fly-happiness, and their buzzing around sunny
So much kindness, so much weakness do I see. So much justice and pity,
so much weakness.
Round, fair, and considerate are they to one another, as grains of sand
are round, fair, and considerate to grains of sand.
Modestly to embrace a small happiness--that do they call "submission"!
and at the same time they peer modestly after a new small happiness.
In their hearts they want simply one thing most of all: that no one hurt
them. Thus do they anticipate every one's wishes and do well unto every
That, however, is COWARDICE, though it be called "virtue."--
And when they chance to speak harshly, those small people, then do "I"
hear therein only their hoarseness--every draught of air maketh them
Shrewd indeed are they, their virtues have shrewd fingers. But they lack
fists: their fingers do not know how to creep behind fists.
Virtue for them is what maketh modest and tame: therewith have they made
the wolf a dog, and man himself man's best domestic animal.
"We set our chair in the MIDST"--so saith their smirking unto me--"and
as far from dying gladiators as from satisfied swine."
That, however, is--MEDIOCRITY, though it be called moderation.--
I pass through this people and let fall many words: but they know
neither how to take nor how to retain them.
They wonder why I came not to revile venery and vice; and verily, I came
not to warn against pickpockets either!
They wonder why I am not ready to abet and whet their wisdom: as if they
had not yet enough of wiseacres, whose voices grate on mine ear like
And when I call out: "Curse all the cowardly devils in you, that
would fain whimper and fold the hands and adore"--then do they shout:
"Zarathustra is godless."
And especially do their teachers of submission shout this;--but
precisely in their ears do I love to cry: "Yea! I AM Zarathustra, the
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 godless: where do I find mine equal? And all
those are mine equals who give unto themselves their Will, and divest
themselves of all submission.
I am Zarathustra the godless! I cook every chance in MY pot. And only
when it hath been quite cooked do I welcome it as MY food.
And verily, many a chance came imperiously unto me: but still more
imperiously did my WILL speak unto it,--then did it lie imploringly upon
--Imploring that it might find home and heart with me, and saying
flatteringly: "See, O Zarathustra, how friend only cometh unto
But why talk I, when no one hath MINE ears! And so will I shout it out
unto all the winds:
Ye ever become smaller, ye small people! Ye crumble away, ye comfortable
ones! Ye will yet perish--
--By your many small virtues, by your many small omissions, and by your
many small submissions!
Too tender, too yielding: so is your soil! But for a tree to become
GREAT, it seeketh to twine hard roots around hard rocks!
Also what ye omit weaveth at the web of all the human future; even your
naught is a cobweb, and a spider that liveth on the blood of the future.
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
"It giveth itself"--that is also a doctrine of submission. But I say
unto you, ye comfortable ones, that IT TAKETH TO ITSELF, and will ever
take more and more from you!
Ah, that ye would renounce all HALF-willing, and would decide for
idleness as ye decide for action!
Ah, that ye understood my word: "Do ever what ye will--but first be such
as CAN WILL.
Love ever your neighbour as yourselves--but first be such as LOVE
--Such as love with great love, such as love with great contempt!" Thus
speaketh Zarathustra the godless.--
But why talk I, when no one hath MINE ears! It is still an hour too
early for me here.
Mine own forerunner am I among this people, mine own cockcrow in dark
But THEIR hour cometh! And there cometh also mine! Hourly do they become
smaller, poorer, unfruitfuller,--poor herbs! poor earth!
And SOON shall they stand before me like dry grass and prairie, and
verily, weary of themselves--and panting for FIRE, more than for water!
O blessed hour of the lightning! O mystery before noontide!--Running
fires will I one day make of them, and heralds with flaming tongues:--
--Herald shall they one day with flaming tongues: It cometh, it is nigh,
THE GREAT NOONTIDE!
Thus spake Zarathustra.
L. ON THE OLIVE-MOUNT.
Winter, a bad guest, sitteth with me at home; blue are my hands with his
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 little noises.
For he suffereth it not if a gnat wanteth to buzz, or even two of them;
also the lanes maketh he lonesome, so that the moonlight is afraid there
A hard guest is he,--but I honour him, and do not worship, like the
tenderlings, the pot-bellied fire-idol.
Better even a little teeth-chattering than idol-adoration!--so willeth
my nature. And especially have I a grudge against all ardent, steaming,
Him whom I love, I love better in winter than in summer; better do I
now mock at mine enemies, and more heartily, when winter sitteth in my
Heartily, verily, even when I CREEP into bed--: there, still laugheth
and wantoneth my hidden happiness; even my deceptive dream laugheth.
I, a--creeper? Never in my life did I creep before the powerful; and if
ever I lied, then did I lie out of love. Therefore am I glad even in my
A poor bed warmeth me more than a rich one, for I am jealous of my
poverty. And in winter she is most faithful unto me.
With a wickedness do I begin every day: I mock at the winter with a cold
bath: on that account grumbleth my stern house-mate.
Also do I like to tickle him with a wax-taper, that he may finally let
the heavens emerge from ashy-grey twilight.
For especially wicked am I in the morning: at the early hour when the
pail rattleth at the well, and horses neigh warmly in grey lanes:--
Impatiently do I then wait, that the clear sky may finally dawn for me,
the snow-bearded winter-sky, the hoary one, the white-head,--
--The winter-sky, the silent winter-sky, which often stifleth even its
Did I perhaps learn from it the long clear silence? Or did it learn it
from me? Or hath each of us devised it himself?
Of all good things the origin is a thousandfold,--all good roguish
things spring into existence for joy: how could they always do so--for
A good roguish thing is also the long silence, and to look, like the
winter-sky, out of a clear, round-eyed countenance:--
--Like it to stifle one's sun, and one's inflexible solar will: verily,
this art and this winter-roguishness have I learnt WELL!
My best-loved wickedness and art is it, that my silence hath learned not
to betray itself by silence.
Clattering with diction and dice, I outwit the solemn assistants: all
those stern watchers, shall my will and purpose elude.
That no one might see down into my depth and into mine ultimate
will--for that purpose did I devise the long clear silence.
Many a shrewd one did I find: he veiled his countenance and made his
water muddy, that no one might see therethrough and thereunder.
But precisely unto him came the shrewder distrusters and nut-crackers:
precisely from him did they fish his best-concealed fish!
But the clear, the honest, the transparent--these are for me the wisest
silent ones: in them, so PROFOUND is the depth that even the clearest
water doth not--betray it.--
Thou snow-bearded, silent, winter-sky, thou round-eyed whitehead above
me! Oh, thou heavenly simile of my soul and its wantonness!
And MUST I not conceal myself like one who hath swallowed gold--lest my
soul should be ripped up?
MUST I not wear stilts, that they may OVERLOOK my long legs--all those
enviers and injurers around me?
Those dingy, fire-warmed, used-up, green-tinted, ill-natured souls--how
COULD their envy endure my happiness!
Thus do I show them only the ice and winter of my peaks--and NOT that my
mountain windeth all the solar girdles around it!
They hear only the whistling of my winter-storms: and know NOT that I
also travel over warm seas, like longing, heavy, hot south-winds.
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
--If I did not myself commiserate their PITY, the pity of those enviers
--If I did not myself sigh before them, and chatter with cold, and
patiently LET myself be swathed in their pity!
This is the wise waggish-will and good-will of my soul, that it
CONCEALETH NOT its winters and glacial storms; it concealeth not its
To one man, lonesomeness is the flight of the sick one; to another, it
is the flight FROM the sick ones.
Let them HEAR me chattering and sighing with winter-cold, all those poor
squinting knaves around me! With such sighing and chattering do I flee
from their heated rooms.
Let them sympathise with me and sigh with me on account of my
chilblains: "At the ice of knowledge will he yet FREEZE TO DEATH!"--so
Meanwhile do I run with warm feet hither and thither on mine
olive-mount: in the sunny corner of mine olive-mount do I sing, and mock
at all pity.--
Thus sang Zarathustra.
LI. ON PASSING-BY.
Thus slowly wandering through many peoples and divers cities, did
Zarathustra return by round-about roads to his mountains and his cave.
And behold, thereby came he unawares also to the gate of the GREAT CITY.
Here, however, a foaming fool, with extended hands, sprang forward to
him and stood in his way. It was the same fool whom the people called
"the ape of Zarathustra:" for he had learned from him something of the
expression and modulation of language, and perhaps liked also to borrow
from the store of his wisdom. And the fool talked thus to Zarathustra:
O Zarathustra, here is the great city: here hast thou nothing to seek
and everything to lose.
Why wouldst thou wade through this mire? Have pity upon thy foot! Spit
rather on the gate of the city, and--turn back!
Here is the hell for anchorites' thoughts: here are great thoughts
seethed alive and boiled small.
Here do all great sentiments decay: here may only rattle-boned
Smellest thou not already the shambles and cookshops of the spirit?
Steameth not this city with the fumes of slaughtered spirit?
Seest thou not the souls hanging like limp dirty rags?--And they make
newspapers also out of these rags!
Hearest thou not how spirit hath here become a verbal game? Loathsome
verbal swill doth it vomit forth!--And they make newspapers also out of
this verbal swill.
They hound one another, and know not whither! They inflame one another,
and know not why! They tinkle with their pinchbeck, they jingle with
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
There is here also much piety, and much faithful spittle-licking and
spittle-backing, before the God of Hosts.
"From on high," drippeth the star, and the gracious spittle; for the
high, longeth every starless bosom.
The moon hath its court, and the court hath its moon-calves: unto all,
however, that cometh from the court do the mendicant people pray, and
all appointable mendicant virtues.
"I serve, thou servest, we serve"--so prayeth all appointable virtue
to the prince: that the merited star may at last stick on the slender
But the moon still revolveth around all that is earthly: so revolveth
also the prince around what is earthliest of all--that, however, is the
gold of the shopman.
The God of the Hosts of war is not the God of the golden bar; the prince
proposeth, but the shopman--disposeth!
By all that is luminous and strong and good in thee, O Zarathustra! Spit
on this city of shopmen and return back!
Here floweth all blood putridly and tepidly and frothily through all
veins: spit on the great city, which is the great slum where all the
scum frotheth together!
Spit on the city of compressed souls and slender breasts, of pointed
eyes and sticky fingers--
--On the city of the obtrusive, the brazen-faced, the pen-demagogues and
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