THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA -by Friedrich Nietzsche

47. Involuntary Bliss

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thus am I in the midst of my work, to my children going, and from
them returning: for the sake of his children must Zarathustra
perfect himself.

For in one’s heart one loveth only one’s child and one’s work; and
where there is great love to oneself, then is it the sign of
pregnancy: so have I found it.

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

And verily, where such trees stand beside one another, there are
Happy Isles!

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

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

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

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

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

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

And verily, it were time that I went away; and the wanderer’s shadow
and the longest tedium and the stillest hour- have all said unto me:
“It is the highest time!”

The word blew to me through the keyhole and said “Come!” The door
sprang subtly open unto me, and said “Go!”

But I lay enchained to my love for my children: desire spread this
snare for me- the desire for love- that I should become the prey of my
children, and lose myself in them.

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

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

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

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

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

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

To my very throat throbbeth my heart when I hear them burrowing! Thy
muteness even is like to strangle me, thou abysmal mute one!

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

Sufficiently formidable unto me hath thy weight ever been: but one
day shall I yet find the strength and the lion’s voice which will call
thee up!

When I shall have surmounted myself therein, then will I surmount
myself also in that which is greater; and a victory shall be the
seal of my perfection!-

Meanwhile do I sail along on uncertain seas; chance flattereth me,
smooth-tongued chance; forward and backward do I gaze-, still see I no

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

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

Verily, distrustful am I of your insidious beauty! Like the lover am
I, who distrusteth too sleek smiling.

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

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

Away with thee, thou blissful hour! Rather harbour there- with my
children! Hasten! and bless them before eventide with my happiness!

There, already approacheth eventide: the sun sinketh. Away- my

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

48. Before Sunrise

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

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

The God veileth his beauty: thus hidest thou thy stars. Thou
speakest not: thus proclaimest thou thy wisdom unto me.

Mute o’er the raging sea hast thou risen for me to-day; thy love and
thy modesty make a revelation unto my raging soul.

In that thou camest unto me beautiful, veiled in thy beauty, in that
thou spakest unto me mutely, obvious in thy wisdom:

Oh, how could I fail to divine all the modesty of thy soul! Before
the sun didst thou come unto me- the lonesomest one.

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

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

Art thou not the light of my fire? Hast thou not the sister-soul
of mine insight?

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

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

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

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 Amen- saying.

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

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

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

-An angry drummer, because they rob me of thy Yea and Amen!- thou
heaven above me, thou pure, thou luminous heaven! Thou abyss of
light!- because they rob thee of my Yea and Amen.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Verily, it is a blessing and not a blasphemy when I teach that
“above all things there standeth the heaven of chance, the heaven of
innocence, the heaven of hazard, the heaven of wantonness.”

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

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

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

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

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

O heaven above me! thou pure, thou lofty heaven! This is now thy
purity unto me, that there is no eternal reason-spider and

-That thou art to me a dancing-floor for divine chances, that thou
art to me a table of the Gods, for divine dice and dice-players!-

But thou blushest? Have I spoken unspeakable things? Have I
abused, when I meant to bless thee?

Or is it the shame of being two of us that maketh thee blush!-
Dost thou bid me go and be silent, because now- day cometh?

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

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

Thus spake Zarathustra.

49. The Bedwarfing Virtue


WHEN Zarathustra was again on the continent, he did not go
straightway to his mountains and his cave, but made many wanderings
and questionings, and ascertained this and that; so that he said of
himself jestingly: “Lo, a river that floweth back unto its source in
many windings!” For he wanted to learn what had taken place among
men during the interval: whether they had become greater or smaller.
And once, when he saw a row of new houses, he marvelled, and said:

“What do these houses mean? Verily, no great soul put them up as its

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

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

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

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

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

The same day, however, he gave his discourse on the bedwarfing


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

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

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

I am courteous towards them, as towards all small annoyances; to
be prickly towards what is small, seemeth to me wisdom for hedgehogs.

They all speak of me when they sit around their fire in the evening-
they speak of me, but no one thinketh- of me!

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

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

And recently did a woman seize upon her child that was coming unto
me: “Take the children away,” cried she, “such eyes scorch
children’s souls.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For they are moderate also in virtue,- because they want comfort.
With comfort, however, moderate virtue only is compatible.

To be sure, they also learn in their way to stride on and stride
forward: that, I call their hobbling.- Thereby they become a hindrance
to all who are in haste.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I serve, thou servest, we serve”- so chanteth here even the
hypocrisy of the rulers- and alas! if the first lord be only the first

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“We set our chair in the midst”- so saith their smirking unto me-
“and as far from dying gladiators as from satisfied swine.”

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


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

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

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

And when I call out: “Curse all the cowardly devils in you, that
would fain whimper and fold the hands and adore”- then do they
shout: “Zarathustra is godless.”

And especially do their teachers of submission shout this;- but
precisely in their ears do I love to cry: “Yea! I am Zarathustra,
the godless!”

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

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

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

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

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

-Imploring that it might find home and heart with me, and saying
flatteringly: “See, O Zarathustra, how friend only cometh unto

But why talk I, when no one hath mine ears! And so will I shout it
out unto all the winds:

Ye ever become smaller, ye small people! Ye crumble away, ye
comfortable ones! Ye will yet perish-

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

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

Also what ye omit weaveth at the web of all the human future; even
your naught is a cobweb, and a spider that liveth on the blood of
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 cannot rob.”

“It giveth itself”- that is also a doctrine of submission. But I say
unto you, ye comfortable ones, that it taketh to itself, and will ever
take more and more from you!

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

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

Love ever your neighbour as yourselves- but first be such as love

-Such as love with great love, such as love with great contempt!”
Thus speaketh Zarathustra the godless.-

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

Mine own forerunner am I among this people, mine own cockcrow in
dark lanes.

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

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

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

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

Thus spake Zarathustra.

50. On the Olive-Mount

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

I honour him, that bad guest, but gladly leave him alone. Gladly
do I run away from him; and when one runneth well, then one escapeth

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

There do I laugh at my stern guest, and am still fond of him;
because he cleareth my house of flies, and quieteth many little

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

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

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

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

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

I, a- creeper? Never in my life did I creep before the powerful; and
if ever I lied, then did I lie out of love. Therefore am I glad even
in my winter-bed.

A poor bed warmeth me more than a rich one, for I am jealous of my
poverty. And in winter she is most faithful unto me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That no one might see down into my depth and into mine ultimate
will- for that purpose did I devise the long clear silence.

Many a shrewd one did I find: he veiled his countenance and made his
water muddy, that no one might see therethrough and thereunder.

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

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

Thou snow-bearded, silent, winter-sky, thou round-eyed whitehead
above me! Oh, thou heavenly simile of my soul and its wantonness!

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

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

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

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

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

They commiserate also my accidents and chances:- but my word
saith: “Suffer the chance to come unto me: innocent is it as a
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 and injurers!

-If I did not myself sigh before them, and chatter with cold, and
patiently let myself be swathed in their pity!

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

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

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

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

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

Thus sang Zarathustra.

51. On Passing-by

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

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

Why wouldst thou wade through this mire? Have pity upon thy foot!
Spit rather on the gate of the city, and- turn back!

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

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

Smellest thou not already the shambles and cookshops of the
spirit? Steameth not this city with the fumes of slaughtered spirit?

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

Hearest thou not how spirit hath here become a verbal game?
Loathsome verbal swill doth it vomit forth!- And they make
newspapers also out of this verbal swill.

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

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

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

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

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 breast!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Spit on the great city and turn back!-

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

Stop this at once! called out Zarathustra, long have thy speech
and thy species disgusted me!

Why didst thou live so long by the swamp, that thou thyself hadst to
become a frog and a toad?

Floweth there not a tainted, frothy, swamp-blood in thine own veins,
when thou hast thus learned to croak and revile?

Why wentest thou not into the forest? Or why didst thou not till the
ground? Is the sea not full of green islands?

I despise thy contempt; and when thou warnedst me- why didst thou
not warn thyself?

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

They call thee mine ape, thou foaming fool: but I call thee my
grunting-pig,- by thy grunting, thou spoilest even my praise of folly.

What was it that first made thee grunt? Because no one
sufficiently flattered thee:- therefore didst thou seat thyself beside
this filth, that thou mightest have cause for much grunting,-

-That thou mightest have cause for much vengeance! For vengeance,
thou vain fool, is all thy foaming; I have divined thee well!

But thy fools’-word injureth me, even when thou art right! And
even if Zarathustra’s word were a hundred times justified, thou
wouldst ever- do wrong with my word!

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

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

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

For such pillars of fire must precede the great noontide. But this
hath its time and its own fate.-

This precept, however, give I unto thee, in parting, thou fool:
Where one can no longer love, there should one- pass by!-

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

52. The Apostates


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


“We have again become pious”- so do those apostates confess; and
some of them are still too pusillanimous thus to confess.

Unto them I look into the eye,- before them I say it unto their face
and unto the blush on their cheeks: Ye are those who again pray!

It is however a shame to pray! Not for all, but for thee, and me,
and whoever hath his conscience in his head. For thee it is a shame to

Thou knowest it well: the faint-hearted devil in thee, which would
fain fold its arms, and place its hands in its bosom, and take it
easier:- this faint-hearted devil persuadeth thee that “there is a

Thereby, however, dost thou belong to the light-dreading type, to
whom light never permitteth repose: now must thou daily thrust thy
head deeper into obscurity and vapour!

And verily, thou choosest the hour well: for just now do the
nocturnal birds again fly abroad. The hour hath come for all
light-dreading people, the vesper hour and leisure hour, when they
do not- “take leisure.”

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

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

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

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

Or they look for long evenings at a crafty, lurking cross-spider,
that preacheth prudence to the spiders themselves, and teacheth that
“under crosses it is good for cobweb-spinning!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“For a father he careth not sufficiently for his children: human
fathers do this better!”-

“He is too old! He now careth no more for his children,”- answered
the other night-watchman.

“Hath he then children? No one can prove it unless he himself
prove it! I have long wished that he would for once prove it

“Prove? As if he had ever proved anything! Proving is difficult to
him; he layeth great stress on one’s believing him.”

“Ay! Ay! Belief saveth him; belief in him. That is the way with
old people! So it is with us also!”-

-Thus spake to each other the two old night-watchmen and
light-scarers, and tooted thereupon sorrowfully on their horns: so did
it happen yesternight at the garden-wall.

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

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

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

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

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

That took place when the ungodliest utterance came from a God
himself- the utterance: “There is but one God! Thou shalt have no
other gods before me!”-

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

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

He that hath an ear let him hear.-

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

53. The Return Home

O LONESOMENESS! My home, lonesomeness! Too long have I lived
wildly in wild remoteness, to return to thee without tears!

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

-Who when departing called out: ‘Too long have I sat with
lonesomeness; there have I unlearned silence!’ That hast thou
learned now- surely?

O Zarathustra, everything do I know; and that thou wert more
forsaken amongst the many, thou unique one, than thou ever wert with

One thing is forsakenness, another matter is lonesomeness: that hast
thou now learned! And that amongst men thou wilt ever be wild and

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

Here, however, art thou at home and house with thyself; here canst
thou utter everything, and unbosom all motives; nothing is here
ashamed of concealed, congealed feelings.

Here do all things come caressingly to thy talk and flatter thee:
for they want to ride upon thy back. On every simile dost thou here
ride to every truth.

Uprightly and openly mayest thou here talk to all things: and
verily, it soundeth as praise in their ears, for one to talk to all
things- directly!

Another matter, however, is forsakenness. For, dost thou remember, O
Zarathustra? When thy bird screamed overhead, when thou stoodest in
the forest, irresolute, ignorant where to go, beside a corpse:-

-When thou spakest: ‘Let mine animals lead me! More dangerous have I
found it among men than among animals:’- That was forsakenness!

And dost thou remember, O Zarathustra? When thou sattest in thine
isle, a well of wine giving and granting amongst empty buckets,
bestowing and distributing amongst the thirsty:

-Until at last thou alone sattest thirsty amongst the drunken
ones, and wailedst nightly: ‘Is taking not more blessed than giving?
And stealing yet more blessed than taking?’- That was forsakenness!

And dost thou remember, O Zarathustra? When thy stillest hour came
and drove thee forth from thyself, when with wicked whispering it
said: ‘Speak and succumb!’-

-When it disgusted thee with all thy waiting and silence, and
discouraged thy humble courage: That was forsakenness!”-

O lonesomeness! My home, lonesomeness! How blessedly and tenderly
speaketh thy voice unto me!

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

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

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

Down there, however- all talking is in vain! There, forgetting and
passing-by are the best wisdom: that have I learned now!

He who would understand everything in man must handle everything.
But for that I have too clean hands.

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

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

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

Everything among them talketh; no one knoweth any longer how to
understand. Everything falleth into the water; nothing falleth any
longer into deep wells.

Everything among them talketh, nothing succeedeth any longer and
accomplisheth itself. Everything cackleth, but who will still sit
quietly on the nest and hatch eggs?

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

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

O human hubbub, thou wonderful thing! Thou noise in dark streets!
Now art thou again behind me:- my greatest danger lieth behind me!

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

With suppressed truths, with fool’s hand and befooled heart, and
rich in petty lies of pity:- thus have I ever lived among men.

Disguised did I sit amongst them, ready to misjudge myself that I
might endure them, and willingly saying to myself: “Thou fool, thou
dost not know men!”

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

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

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

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

He who liveth amongst the good- pity teacheth him to lie. Pity
maketh stifling air for all free souls. For the stupidity of the
good is unfathomable.

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

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

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

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

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

With sharp breezes tickled, as with sparkling wine, sneezeth my
soul- sneezeth, and shouteth self-congratulatingly: “Health to thee!”

Thus spake Zarathustra.

54. The Three Evil Things


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

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

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

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

Did my wisdom perhaps speak secretly to it, my laughing,
wide-awake day-wisdom, which mocketh at all “infinite worlds”? For
it saith: “Where force is, there becometh number the master: it hath
more force.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On what bridge goeth the now to the hereafter? By what constraint
doth the high stoop to the low? And what enjoineth even the highest
still- to grow upwards?-

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


Voluptuousness: unto all hair-shirted despisers of the body, a sting
and stake; and, cursed as “the world,” by all backworldsmen: for it
mocketh and befooleth all erring, misinferring teachers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Passion for power: before whose glance man creepeth and croucheth
and drudgeth, and becometh lower than the serpent and the swine:-
until at last great contempt crieth out of him-,

Passion for power: the terrible teacher of great contempt, which
preacheth to their face to cities and empires: “Away with thee!”-
until a voice crieth out of themselves: “Away with me!”

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

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

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

Oh, who could find the right prenomen and honouring name for such
longing! “Bestowing virtue”- thus did Zarathustra. once name the

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

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

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

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

Away from itself doth it banish everything cowardly; it saith: “Bad-
that is cowardly!” Contemptible seem to it the ever-solicitous, the
sighing, the complaining, and whoever pick up the most trifling

It despiseth also all bitter-sweet wisdom: for verily, there is also
wisdom that bloometh in the dark, a night-shade wisdom, which ever
sigheth: “All is vain!”

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

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

Hateful to it altogether, and a loathing, is he who will never
defend himself, he who swalloweth down poisonous spittle and bad
looks, the all-too-patient one, the all-endurer, the all-satisfied
one: for that is the mode of slaves.

Whether they be servile before gods and divine spurnings, or
before men and stupid human opinions: at all kinds of slaves doth it
spit, this blessed selfishness!

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

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

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

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

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

And he who proclaimeth the ego wholesome and holy, and selfishness
blessed, verily, he, the prognosticator, speaketh also what he
knoweth: “Behold, it cometh, it is night, the great noontide!”

Thus spake Zarathustra.

55. The Spirit of Gravity


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

My hand- is a fool’s hand: woe unto all tables and walls, and
whatever hath room for fool’s sketching, fool’s scrawling!

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For to its possessor is all possession well concealed, and of all
treasure-pits one’s own is last excavated- so causeth the spirit of

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

And therefore suffereth one little children to come unto one, to
forbid them betimes to love themselves- so causeth the spirit of

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He, however, hath discovered himself who saith: This is my good
and evil: therewith hath he silenced the mole and the dwarf, who
say: “Good for all, evil for all.”

Verily, neither do I like those who call everything good, and this
world the best of all. Those do I call the all-satisfied.

All-satisfiedness, which knoweth how to taste everything,- that is
not the best taste! I honour the refractory, fastidious tongues and
stomachs, which have learned to say “I” and “Yea” and “Nay.”

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

Deep yellow and hot red- so wanteth my taste- it mixeth blood with
all colours. He, however, who whitewasheth his house, betrayeth unto
me a whitewashed soul.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thus spake Zarathustra.

56. Old and New Tables


HERE do I sit and wait, old broken tables around me and also new
half-written tables. When cometh mine hour?

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

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

Meanwhile do I talk to myself as one who hath time. No one telleth
me anything new, so I tell myself mine own story.


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

An old wearisome business seemed to them all discourse about virtue;
and he who wished to sleep well spake of “good” and “bad” ere retiring
to rest.

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

-It is he, however, who createth man’s goal, and giveth to the earth
its meaning and its future: he only effecteth it that aught is good or

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where all time seemed to me a blessed mockery of moments, where
necessity was freedom itself, which played happily with the goad of

Where I also found again mine old devil and arch-enemy, the spirit
of gravity, and all that it created: constraint, law, necessity and
consequence and purpose and will and good and evil:-

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now do I await my redemption- that I may go unto them for the last

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

From the sun did I learn this, when it goeth down, the exuberant
one: gold doth it then pour into the sea, out of inexhaustible

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

Like the sun will also Zarathustra go down: now sitteth he here
and waiteth, old broken tables around him, and also new tables-


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

Thus demandeth my great love to the remotest ones: be not
considerate of thy neighbour! Man is something that must be surpassed.

There are many divers ways and modes of surpassing: see thou
thereto! But only a buffoon thinketh: “man can also be overleapt.”

Surpass thyself even in thy neighbour: and a right which thou
canst seize upon, shalt thou not allow to be given thee!

What thou doest can no one do to thee again. Lo, there is no

He who cannot command himself shall obey. And many a one can command
himself, but still sorely lacketh self-obedience!


Thus wisheth the type of noble souls: they desire to have nothing
gratuitously, least of all, life.

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

And verily, it is a noble dictum which saith: “What life promiseth
us, that promise will we keep- to life!”

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

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


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

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

Our best is still young: this exciteth old palates. Our flesh is
tender, our skin is only lambs’ skin:- how could we not excite old

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

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


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

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

They yield, those good ones, they submit themselves; their heart
repeateth, their soul obeyeth: he, however, who obeyeth, doth not
listen to himself!

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

The daring venture, the prolonged distrust, the cruel Nay, the
tedium, the cutting-into-the-quick- how seldom do these come together!
Out of such seed, however- is truth produced!

Beside the bad conscience hath hitherto grown all knowledge! Break
up, break up, ye discerning ones, the old tables!


When the water hath planks, when gangways and railings o’erspan
the stream, verily, he is not believed who then saith: “All is in

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

“Over the stream all is stable, all the values of things, the
bridges and bearings, all ‘good’ and ‘evil': these are all stable!”-

Cometh, however, the hard winter, the stream-tamer, then learn
even the wittiest distrust, and verily, not only the simpletons then
say: “Should not everything- stand still?”

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

“Fundamentally standeth everything still”-: but contrary thereto,
preacheth the thawing wind!

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

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

“Woe to us! Hail to us! The thawing wind bloweth!”- Thus preach,
my brethren, through all the streets!


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

Once did one believe in soothsayers and astrologers; and therefore
did one believe, “Everything is fate: thou shalt, for thou must!”

Then again did one distrust all soothsayers and astrologers; and
therefore did one believe, “Everything is freedom: thou canst, for
thou willest!”

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


“Thou shalt not rob! Thou shalt not slay!”- such precepts were
once called holy; before them did one bow the knee and the head, and
take off one’s shoes.

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

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

-Or was it a sermon of death that called holy what contradicted
and dissuaded from life?- O my brethren, break up, break up for me the
old tables!


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

-Abandoned to the favour, the spirit and the madness of every
generation that cometh, and reinterpreteth all that hath been as its

A great potentate might arise, an artful prodigy, who with
approval and disapproval could strain and constrain all the past,
until it became for him a bridge, a harbinger, a herald, and a

This however is the other danger, and mine other sympathy:- he who
is of the populace, his thoughts go back to his grandfather,- with his
grandfather, however, doth time cease.

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

Therefore, O my brethren, a new nobility is needed, which shall be
the adversary of all populace and potentate rule, and shall inscribe
anew the word “noble” on new tables.

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


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

-Verily, not to a nobility which ye could purchase like traders with
traders’ gold; for little worth is all that hath its price.

Let it not be your honour henceforth whence ye come, but whither
ye go! Your Will and your feet which seek to surpass you- let these be
your new honour!

Verily, not that ye have served a prince- of what account are
princes now!- nor that ye have become a bulwark to that which
standeth, that it may stand more firmly.

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

(For ability-to-stand is a merit in courtiers; and all courtiers
believe that unto blessedness after death pertaineth-

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

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

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

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

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


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

Such ancient babbling still passeth for “wisdom”; because it is old,
however, and smelleth mustily, therefore is it the more honoured. Even
mould ennobleth.-

Children might thus speak: they shun the fire because it hath
burnt them! There is much childishness in the old books of wisdom.

And he who ever “thresheth straw,” why should he be allowed to
rail at threshing! Such a fool one would have to muzzle!

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

“And thine own reason- this shalt thou thyself stifle and choke; for
it is a reason of this world,- thereby wilt thou learn thyself to
renounce the world.”-

-Shatter, shatter, O my brethren, those old tables of the pious!
Tatter the maxims of the world-maligners!-


“He who learneth much unlearneth all violent cravings”- that do
people now whisper to one another in all the dark lanes.

“Wisdom wearieth, nothing is worth while; thou shalt not crave!”-
this new table found I hanging even in the public markets.

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

Because they learned badly and not the best, and everything too
early and everything too fast; because they ate badly: from thence
hath resulted their ruined stomach;-

-For a ruined stomach, is their spirit: it persuadeth to death!
For verily, my brethren, the spirit is a stomach!

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

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

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

To them soundeth it pleasant to have preached in their ears:
“Nothing is worth while! Ye shall not will!” That, however, is a
sermon for slavery.

O my brethren, a fresh blustering wind cometh Zarathustra unto all
way-weary ones; many noses will he yet make sneeze!

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

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

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


There standeth the boat- thither goeth it over, perhaps into vast
nothingness- but who willeth to enter into this “Perhaps”?

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

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

Not in vain doth your lip hang down:- a small worldly wish still
sitteth thereon! And in your eye- floateth there not a cloudlet of
unforgotten earthly bliss?

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Now gloweth the sun upon him, and the dogs lick at his sweat: but he
lieth there in his obstinacy and preferreth to languish:-

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

Better still that ye let him lie where he hath lain down, that sleep
may come unto him, the comforter, with cooling patter-rain.

Let him lie, until of his own accord he awakeneth,- until of his own
accord he repudiateth all weariness, and what weariness hath taught
through him!

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

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


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

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

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

And this is its art: it divineth where ascending souls are weary, in
your trouble and dejection, in your sensitive modesty, doth it build
its loathsome nest.

Where the strong are weak, where the noble are all-too-gentle- there
buildeth it its loathsome nest; the parasite liveth where the great
have small sore-places.

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

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

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

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

-The soul fleeing from itself, which overtaketh itself in the widest
circuit; the wisest soul, unto which folly speaketh most sweetly:-

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


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

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

Know ye the delight which rolleth stones into precipitous depths?-
Those men of today, see just how they roll into my depths!

A prelude am I to better players, O my brethren! An example! Do
according to mine example!

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See how these peoples themselves now do just like the traders:
they pick up the smallest advantage out of all kinds of rubbish!

They lay lures for one another, they lure things out of one
another,- that they call “good neighbourliness.” O blessed remote
period when a people said to itself: “I will be- master over peoples!”

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

And better marriage-breaking than marriage-bending, marriage-lying!-
Thus spake a woman unto me: “Indeed, I broke the marriage, but first
did the marriage break- me!

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

For the earthquake- it choketh up many wells, it causeth much
languishing: but it bringeth also to light inner powers and secrets.

The earthquake discloseth new fountains. In the earthquake of old
peoples new fountains burst forth.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

The good and just themselves were not free to understand him;
their spirit was imprisoned in their good conscience. The stupidity of
the good is unfathomably wise.

It is the truth, however, that the good must be Pharisees- they have
no choice!

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

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

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

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

-They crucify him who writeth new values on new tables, they
sacrifice unto themselves the future- they crucify the whole human

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


O my brethren, have ye also understood this word? And what I once
said of the “last man”?- -

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

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


Ye flee from me? Ye are frightened? Ye tremble at this word?

O my brethren, when I enjoined you to break up the good, and the
tables of the good, then only did I embark man on his high seas.

And now only cometh unto him the great terror, the great outlook,
the great sickness, the great nausea, the great seasickness.

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

But he who discovered the country of “man,” discovered also the
country of “man’s future.” Now shall ye be sailors for me, brave,

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

The sea stormeth: all is in the sea. Well! Cheer up! Ye old

What of fatherland! Thither striveth our helm where our children’s
land is! Thitherwards, stormier than the sea, stormeth our great


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

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

Why so soft, so submissive and yielding? Why is there so much
negation and abnegation in your hearts? Why is there so little fate in
your looks?

And if ye will not be fates and inexorable ones, how can ye one day-
conquer with me?

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

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

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

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


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

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

And thy last greatness, my Will, spare it for thy last- that thou
mayest be inexorable in thy victory! Ah, who hath not succumbed to his

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

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

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

-A star, ready and ripe in its noontide, glowing, pierced,
blessed, by annihilating sun-arrows:-

-A sun itself, and an inexorable sun-will, ready for annihilation in

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

Thus spake Zarathustra.

57. The Convalescent


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

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

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

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

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

Thou stirrest, stretchest thyself, wheezest? Up! Up! Not wheeze,
shalt thou,- but speak unto me! Zarathustra calleth thee,
Zarathustra the godless!

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

Joy to me! Thou comest,- I hear thee! Mine abyss speaketh, my lowest
depth have I turned over into the light!

Joy to me! Come hither! Give me thy hand- – ha! let be! aha!- -
Disgust, disgust, disgust- – – alas to me!


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

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

“O Zarathustra,” said they, “now hast thou lain thus for seven
days with heavy eyes: wilt thou not set thyself again upon thy feet?

Step out of thy cave: the world waiteth for thee as a garden. The
wind playeth with heavy fragrance which seeketh for thee; and all
brooks would like to run after thee.

All things long for thee, since thou hast remained alone for seven
days- step forth out of thy cave! All things want to be thy

Did perhaps a new knowledge come to thee, a bitter, grievous
knowledge? Like leavened dough layest thou, thy soul arose and swelled
beyond all its bounds.-“

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

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

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

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

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

Have not names and tones been given unto things that man may refresh
himself with them? It is a beautiful folly, speaking; therewith
danceth man over everything.

How lovely is all speech and all falsehoods of tones! With tones
danceth our love on variegated rainbows.-

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

Everything goeth, everything returneth; eternally rolleth the
wheel of existence. Everything dieth, everything blossometh forth
again; eternally runneth on the year of existence.

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

Every moment beginneth existence, around every ‘Here’ rolleth the
ball ‘There.’ The middle is everywhere. Crooked is the path of

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

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

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

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

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

When the great man crieth-: immediately runneth the little man
thither, and his tongue hangeth out of his mouth for very lusting. He,
however, calleth it his “pity.”

The little man, especially the poet- how passionately doth he accuse
life in words! Hearken to him, but do not fail to hear the delight
which is in all accusation!

Such accusers of life- them life overcometh with a glance of the
eye. “Thou lovest me?” saith the insolent one; “wait a little, as
yet have I no time for thee.”

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

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

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

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

“Ah, that his baddest is so very small! Ah, that his best is so very

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

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

“Eternally he returneth, the man of whom thou art weary, the small
man”- so yawned my sadness, and dragged its foot and could not go to

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

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

-“Ah, man returneth eternally! The small man returneth eternally!”

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

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

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

“Do not speak further, thou convalescent!”- so answered his animals,
“but go out where the world waiteth for thee like a garden.

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

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

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

That I have to sing once more- that consolation did I devise for
myself, and this convalescence: would ye also make another lyre-lay

-“Do not talk further,” answered his animals once more; “rather,
thou convalescent, prepare for thyself first a lyre, a new lyre!

For behold, O Zarathustra! For thy new lays there are needed new

Sing and bubble over, O Zarathustra, heal thy soul with new lays:
that thou mayest bear thy great fate, which hath not yet been any
one’s fate!

For thine animals know it well, O Zarathustra, who thou art and must
become: behold, thou art the teacher of the eternal return,- that is
now thy fate!

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

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

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

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

And if thou wouldst now die, O Zarathustra, behold, we know also how
thou wouldst then speak to thyself:- but thine animals beseech thee
not to die yet!

Thou wouldst speak, and without trembling, buoyant rather with
bliss, for a great weight and worry would be taken from thee, thou
patientest one!-

‘Now do I die and disappear,’ wouldst thou say, ‘and in a moment I
am nothing. Souls are as mortal as bodies.

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

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

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

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

I have spoken my word. I break down by my word: so willeth mine
eternal fate- as announcer do I succumb!

The hour hath now come for the down-goer to bless himself. Thus-
endeth Zarathustra’s down-going.'”- -

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

58. The Great Longing

O MY soul, I have taught thee to say “today” as “once on a time” and
“formerly,” and to dance thy measure over every Here and There and

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

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

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

O my soul, I gave thee the right to say Nay like the storm, and to
say Yea as the open heaven saith Yea: calm as the light remainest
thou, and now walkest through denying storms.

O my soul, I restored to thee liberty over the created and the
uncreated; and who knoweth, as thou knowest, the voluptuousness of the

O my soul, I taught thee the contempt which doth not come like
worm-eating, the great, the loving contempt, which loveth most where
it contemneth most.

O my soul, I taught thee so to persuade that thou persuadest even
the grounds themselves to thee: like the sun, which persuadeth even
the sea to its height.

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

O my soul, I have given thee new names and gay-coloured
playthings, I have called thee “Fate” and “the Circuit of circuits”
and “the Navel-string of time” and “the Azure bell.”

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

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

O my soul, exuberant and heavy dost thou now stand forth, a vine
with swelling udders and full clusters of brown golden grapes:-

-Filled and weighted by thy happiness, waiting from
superabundance, and yet ashamed of thy waiting.

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

O my soul, I have given thee everything, and all my hands have
become empty by thee:- and now! Now sayest thou to me, smiling and
full of melancholy: “Which of us oweth thanks?-

-Doth the giver not owe thanks because the receiver received? Is
bestowing not a necessity? Is receiving not- pitying?”

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

Thy fulness looketh forth over raging seas, and seeketh and waiteth:
the longing of over-fulness looketh forth from the smiling heaven of
thine eyes!

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

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

“Is not all weeping complaining? And all complaining, accusing?”
Thus speakest thou to thyself; and therefore, O my soul, wilt thou
rather smile than pour forth thy grief-

-Than in gushing tears pour forth all thy grief concerning thy
fulness, and concerning the craving of the vine for the vintager and

But wilt thou not weep, wilt thou not weep forth thy purple
melancholy, then wilt thou have to sing, O my soul!- Behold, I smile
myself, who foretell thee this:

-Thou wilt have to sing with passionate song, until all seas turn
calm to hearken unto thy longing,-

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

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

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

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

-Already glowest thou and dreamest, already drinkest thou
thirstily at all deep echoing wells of consolation, already reposeth
thy melancholy in the bliss of future songs!- -

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

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

Thus spake Zarathustra.

59. The Second Dance Song


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

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

At my dance-frantic foot, dost thou cast a glance, a laughing,
questioning, melting, thrown glance:

Twice only movedst thou thy rattle with thy little hands- then did
my feet swing with dance-fury.-

My heels reared aloft, my toes they hearkened,- thee they would
know: hath not the dancer his ear- in his toe!

Unto thee did I spring: then fledst thou back from my bound; and
towards me waved thy fleeing, flying tresses round!

Away from thee did I spring, and from thy snaky tresses: then
stoodst thou there half-turned, and in thine eye caresses.

With crooked glances- dost thou teach me crooked courses; on crooked
courses learn my feet- crafty fancies!

I fear thee near, I love thee far; thy flight allureth me, thy
seeking secureth me:- I suffer, but for thee, what would I not
gladly bear!

For thee, whose coldness inflameth, whose hatred misleadeth, whose
flight enchaineth, whose mockery- pleadeth:

-Who would not hate thee, thou great bindress, in-windress,
temptress, seekress, findress! Who would not love thee, thou innocent,
impatient, wind-swift, child-eyed sinner!

Whither pullest thou me now, thou paragon and tomboy? And now
foolest thou me fleeing; thou sweet romp dost annoy!

I dance after thee, I follow even faint traces lonely. Where art
thou? Give me thy hand! Or thy finger only!

Here are caves and thickets: we shall go astray!- Halt! Stand still!
Seest thou not owls and bats in fluttering fray?

Thou bat! Thou owl! Thou wouldst play me foul? Where are we? From
the dogs hast thou learned thus to bark and howl.

Thou gnashest on me sweetly with little white teeth; thine evil eyes
shoot out upon me, thy curly little mane from underneath!

This is a dance over stock and stone: I am the hunter,- wilt thou be
my hound, or my chamois anon?

Now beside me! And quickly, wickedly springing! Now up! And over!-
Alas! I have fallen myself overswinging!

Oh, see me lying, thou arrogant one, and imploring grace! Gladly
would I walk with thee- in some lovelier place!

-In the paths of love, through bushes variegated, quiet, trim! Or
there along the lake, where gold-fishes dance and swim!

Thou art now a-weary? There above are sheep and sun-set stripes:
is it not sweet to sleep- the shepherd pipes?

Thou art so very weary? I carry thee thither; let just thine arm
sink! And art thou thirsty- I should have something; but thy mouth
would not like it to drink!-

-Oh, that cursed, nimble, supple serpent and lurking-witch! Where
art thou gone? But in my face do I feel through thy hand, two spots
and red blotches itch!

I am verily weary of it, ever thy sheepish shepherd to be. Thou
witch, if I have hitherto sung unto thee, now shalt thou- cry unto me!

To the rhythm of my whip shalt thou dance and cry! I forget not my
whip?- Not I!”-


Then did Life answer me thus, and kept thereby her fine ears closed:

“O Zarathustra! Crack not so terribly with thy whip! Thou knowest
surely that noise killeth thought,- and just now there came to me such
delicate thoughts.

We are both of us genuine ne’er-do-wells and ne’er-do-ills. Beyond
good and evil found we our island and our green meadow- we two
alone! Therefore must we be friendly to each other!

And even should we not love each other from the bottom of our
hearts,- must we then have a grudge against each other if we do not
love each other perfectly?

And that I am friendly to thee, and often too friendly, that knowest
thou: and the reason is that I am envious of thy Wisdom. Ah, this
mad old fool, Wisdom!

If thy Wisdom should one day run away from thee, ah! then would also
my love run away from thee quickly.”-

Thereupon did Life look thoughtfully behind and around, and said
softly: “O Zarathustra, thou art not faithful enough to me!

Thou lovest me not nearly so much as thou sayest; I know thou
thinkest of soon leaving me.

There is an old heavy, heavy, booming-clock: it boometh by night
up to thy cave:-

-When thou hearest this clock strike the hours at midnight, then
thinkest thou between one and twelve thereon-

-Thou thinkest thereon, O Zarathustra, I know it- of soon leaving

“Yea,” answered I, hesitatingly, “but thou knowest it also”- And I
said something into her ear, in amongst her confused, yellow,
foolish tresses.

“Thou knowest that, O Zarathustra? That knoweth no one- -“

And we gazed at each other, and looked at the green meadow o’er
which the cool evening was just passing, and we wept together.-
Then, however, was Life dearer unto me than all my Wisdom had ever

Thus spake Zarathustra.



O man! Take heed!


What saith deep midnight’s voice indeed?


“I slept my sleep-


“From deepest dream I’ve woke and plead:-


“The world is deep,


“And deeper than the day could read.


“Deep is its woe-


“Joy- deeper still than grief can be:


“Woe saith: Hence! Go!


“But joys all want eternity-


“Want deep profound eternity!”


60. The Seven Seals



IF I be a diviner and full of the divining spirit which wandereth on
high mountain-ridges, ‘twixt two seas,-

Wandereth ‘twixt the past and the future as a heavy cloud- hostile
to sultry plains, and to all that is weary and can neither die nor

Ready for lightning in its dark bosom, and for the redeeming flash
of light, charged with lightnings which say Yea! which laugh Yea!
ready for divining flashes of lightning:-

-Blessed, however, is he who is thus charged! And verily, long
must he hang like a heavy tempest on the mountain, who shall one day
kindle the light of the future!-

Oh, how could I not be ardent for Eternity and for the marriage-ring
of rings- the ring of the return?

Never yet have I found the woman by whom I should like to have
children, unless it be this woman whom I love: for I love thee, O

For I love thee, O Eternity!


If ever my wrath hath burst graves, shifted landmarks, or rolled old
shattered tables into precipitous depths:

If ever my scorn hath scattered mouldered words to the winds, and if
I have come like a besom to cross-spiders, and as a cleansing wind
to old charnel-houses:

If ever I have sat rejoicing where old gods lie buried,
world-blessing, world-loving, beside the monuments of old

-For even churches and gods’-graves do I love, if only heaven
looketh through their ruined roofs with pure eyes; gladly do I sit
like grass and red poppies on ruined churches-

Oh, how could I not be ardent for Eternity, and for the
marriage-ring of rings- the ring of the return?

Never yet have I found the woman by whom I should like to have
children, unless it be this woman whom I love: for I love thee, O

For I love thee, O Eternity!


If ever a breath hath come to me of the creative breath, and of
the heavenly necessity which compelleth even chances to dance

If ever I have laughed with the laughter of the creative
lightning, to which the long thunder of the deed followeth,
grumblingly, but obediently:

If ever I have played dice with the gods at the divine table of
the earth, so that the earth quaked and ruptured, and snorted forth

-For a divine table is the earth, and trembling with new active
dictums and dice-casts of the gods:

Oh, how could I not be ardent for Eternity, and for the
marriage-ring of rings- the ring of the return?

Never yet have I found the woman by whom I should like to have
children, unless it be this woman whom I love: for I love thee, O

For I love thee, O Eternity!


If ever I have drunk a full draught of the foaming spice- and
confection-bowl in which all things are well mixed:

If ever my hand hath mingled the furthest with the nearest, fire
with spirit, joy with sorrow, and the harshest with the kindest:

If I myself am a grain of the saving salt which maketh everything in
the confection-bowl mix well:-

-For there is a salt which uniteth good with evil; and even the
evilest is worthy, as spicing and as final over-foaming:-

Oh, how could I not be ardent for Eternity, and for the
marriage-ring of rings- the ring of the return?

Never yet have I found the woman by whom I should like to have
children, unless it be this woman whom I love: for I love thee, O

For I love thee, O Eternity!


If I be fond of the sea, and all that is sealike, and fondest of
it when it angrily contradicteth me:

If the exploring delight be in me, which impelleth sails to the
undiscovered, if the seafarer’s delight be in my delight:

If ever my rejoicing hath called out: “The shore hath vanished,- now
hath fallen from me the last chain-

The boundless roareth around me, far away sparkle for me space and
time,- well! cheer up! old heart!”-

Oh, how could I not be ardent for Eternity, and for the
marriage-ring of rings- the ring of the return?

Never yet have I found the woman by whom I should like to have
children, unless it be this woman whom I love: for I love thee, O

For I love thee, O Eternity!


If my virtue be a dancer’s virtue, and if I have often sprung with
both feet into golden-emerald rapture:

If my wickedness be a laughing wickedness, at home among
rose-banks and hedges of lilies:

-or in laughter is all evil present, but it is sanctified and
absolved by its own bliss:-

And if it be my Alpha and Omega that everything heavy shall become
light, everybody a dancer, and every spirit a bird: and verily, that
is my Alpha and Omega!-

Oh, how could I not be ardent for Eternity, and for the
marriage-ring of rings- the ring of the return?

Never yet have I found the woman by whom I should like to have
children, unless it be this woman whom I love: for I love thee, O

For I love thee, O Eternity!


If ever I have spread out a tranquil heaven above me, and have flown
into mine own heaven with mine own pinions:

If I have swum playfully in profound luminous distances, and if my
freedom’s avian wisdom hath come to me:-

-Thus however speaketh avian wisdom:- “Lo, there is no above and
no below! Throw thyself about,- outward, backward, thou light one!
Sing! speak no more!

-Are not all words made for the heavy? Do not all words lie to the
light ones? Sing! speak no more!”-

Oh, how could I not be ardent for Eternity, and for the
marriage-ring of rings- the ring of the return?

Never yet have I found the woman by whom I should like to have
children, unless it be this woman whom I love: for I love thee, O

For I love thee, O Eternity!



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 pity!

Thus spake the devil unto me, once on a time: “Ever God hath his
hell: it is his love for man.”

And lately did I hear him say these words: “God is dead: of his pity
for man hath God died.”- ZARATHUSTRA, II., “The Pitiful.”

61. The Honey Sacrifice

-AND again passed moons and years over Zarathustra’s soul, and he
heeded it not; his hair, however, became white. One day when he sat on
a stone in front of his cave, and gazed calmly into the distance-
one there gazeth out on the sea, and away beyond sinuous abysses,-
then went his animals thoughtfully round about him, and at last set
themselves in front of him.

“O Zarathustra,” said they, “gazest thou out perhaps for thy
happiness?”- “Of what account is my happiness!” answered he, “I have
long ceased to strive any more for happiness, I strive for my
work.”- “O Zarathustra,” said the animals once more, “that sayest thou
as one who hath overmuch of good things. Liest thou not in a
sky-blue lake of happiness?”- “Ye wags,” answered Zarathustra, and
smiled, “how well did ye choose the simile! But ye know also that my
happiness is heavy, and not like a fluid wave of water: it presseth me
and will not leave me, and is like molten pitch.”-

Then went his animals again thoughtfully around him, and placed
themselves once more in front of him. “O Zarathustra,” said they,
“it is consequently for that reason that thou thyself always
becometh yellower and darker, although thy hair looketh white and
flaxen? Lo, thou sittest in thy pitch!”- “What do ye say, mine
animals?” said Zarathustra, laughing; “verily I reviled when I spake
of pitch. As it happeneth with me, so is it with all fruits that
turn ripe. It is the honey in my veins that maketh my blood thicker,
and also my soul stiller.”- “So will it be, O Zarathustra,” answered
his animals, and pressed up to him; “but wilt thou not today ascend
a high mountain? The air is pure, and today one seeth more of the
world than ever.”- “Yea, mine animals,” answered he, “ye counsel
admirably and according to my heart: I will today ascend a high
mountain! But see that honey is there ready to hand, yellow, white,
good, ice-cool, golden-comb-honey. For know that when aloft I will
make the honey-sacrifice.”-

When Zarathustra, however, was aloft on the summit, he sent his
animals home that had accompanied him, and found that he was now
alone:- then he laughed from the bottom of his heart, looked around
him, and spake thus:

That I spake of sacrifices and honey-sacrifices, it was merely a
ruse in talking and verily, a useful folly! Here aloft can I now speak
freer than in front of mountain-caves and anchorites’ domestic

What to sacrifice! I squander what is given me, a squanderer with
a thousand hands: how could I call that- sacrificing?

And when I desired honey I only desired bait, and sweet mucus and
mucilage, for which even the mouths of growling bears, and strange,
sulky, evil birds, water:

-The best bait, as huntsmen and fishermen require it. For if the
world be as a gloomy forest of animals, and a pleasure-ground for
all wild huntsmen, it seemeth to me rather- and preferably- a
fathomless, rich sea;

-A sea full of many-hued fishes and crabs, for which even the gods
might long, and might be tempted to become fishers in it, and
casters of nets,- so rich is the world in wonderful things, great
and small!

Especially the human world, the human sea:- towards it do I now
throw out my golden angle-rod and say: Open up, thou human abyss!

Open up, and throw unto me thy fish and shining crabs! With my
best bait shall I allure to myself today the strangest human fish!

-My happiness itself do I throw out into all places far and wide
‘twixt orient, noontide, and occident, to see if many human fish
will not learn to hug and tug at my happiness;-

Until, biting at my sharp hidden hooks, they have to come up unto my
height, the motleyest abyss-groundlings, to the wickedest of all
fishers of men.

For this am I from the heart and from the beginning- drawing,
hither-drawing, upward-drawing, upbringing; a drawer, a trainer, a
training-master, who not in vain counselled himself once on a time:
“Become what thou art!”

Thus may men now come up to me; for as yet do I await the signs that
it is time for my down-going; as yet do I not myself go down, as I
must do, amongst men.

Therefore do I here wait, crafty and scornful upon high mountains,
no impatient one, no patient one; rather one who hath even unlearnt
patience,- because he no longer “suffereth.”

For my fate giveth me time: it hath forgotten me perhaps? Or doth it
sit behind a big stone and catch flies?

And verily, I am well-disposed to mine eternal fate, because it doth
not hound and hurry me, but leaveth me time for merriment and
mischief; so that I have to-day ascended this high mountain to catch

Did ever any one catch fish upon high mountains? And though it be
a folly what I here seek and do, it is better so than that down
below I should become solemn with waiting, and green and yellow-

-A posturing wrath-snorter with waiting, a holy howl-storm from
the mountains, an impatient one that shouteth down into the valleys:
“Hearken, else I will scourge you with the scourge of God!”

Not that I would have a grudge against such wrathful ones on that
account: they are well enough for laughter to me! Impatient must
they now be, those big alarm-drums, which find a voice now or never!

Myself, however, and my fate- we do not talk to the Present, neither
do we talk to the Never: for talking we have patience and time and
more than time. For one day must it yet come, and may not pass by.

What must one day come and may not pass by? Our great Hazar, that is
to say, our great, remote human-kingdom, the Zarathustra-kingdom of
a thousand years- -

How remote may such “remoteness” be? What doth it concern me? But on
that account it is none the less sure unto me-, with both feet stand I
secure on this ground;

-On an eternal ground, on hard primary rock, on this highest,
hardest, primary mountain-ridge, unto which all winds come, as unto
the storm-parting, asking Where? and Whence? and Whither?

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

And whatever belongeth unto me in all seas, my in-and-for-me in
all things- fish that out for me, bring that up to me: for that do I
wait, the wickedest of all fish-catchers.

Out! out! my fishing-hook! In and down, thou bait of my happiness!
Drip thy sweetest dew, thou honey of my heart! Bite, my
fishing-hook, into the belly of all black affliction!

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

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