Thus Spake Zarathustra

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Title: Thus Spake Zarathustra
       A Book for All and None

Author: Friedrich Nietzsche

Translator: Thomas Common

Posting Date: November 7, 2008 [EBook #1998]
Release Date: December, 1999
Last Updated: November 16, 2016

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8


Produced by Sue Asscher



By Friedrich Nietzsche

Translated By Thomas Common

PG Editor’s Note:

Archaic spelling and punctuation usages have not been changed.
I particular quotations are often not closed for several paragraphs.






     Zarathustra’s Prologue.

     Zarathustra’s Discourses.

     I.  The Three Metamorphoses.

     II.  The Academic Chairs of Virtue.

     III.  Backworldsmen.

     IV.  The Despisers of the Body.

     V.  Joys and Passions.

     VI.  The Pale Criminal.

     VII.  Reading and Writing.

     VIII.  The Tree on the Hill.

     IX.  The Preachers of Death.

     X.  War and Warriors.

     XI.  The New Idol.

     XII.  The Flies in the Market-place.

     XIII.  Chastity.

     XIV.  The Friend.

     XV.  The Thousand and One Goals.

     XVI.  Neighbour-Love.

     XVII.  The Way of the Creating One.

     XVIII.  Old and Young Women.

     XIX.  The Bite of the Adder.

     XX.  Child and Marriage.

     XXI.  Voluntary Death.

     XXII.  The Bestowing Virtue.


     XXIII.  The Child with the Mirror.

     XXIV.  In the Happy Isles.

     XXV.  The Pitiful.

     XXVI.  The Priests.

     XXVII.  The Virtuous.

     XXVIII.  The Rabble.

     XXIX.  The Tarantulas.

     XXX.  The Famous Wise Ones.

     XXXI.  The Night-Song.

     XXXII.  The Dance-Song.

     XXXIII.  The Grave-Song.

     XXXIV.  Self-Surpassing.

     XXXV.  The Sublime Ones.

     XXXVI.  The Land of Culture.

     XXXVII.  Immaculate Perception.

     XXXVIII.  Scholars.

     XXXIX.  Poets.

     XL.  Great Events.

     XLI.  The Soothsayer.

     XLII.  Redemption.

     XLIII.  Manly Prudence.

     XLIV.  The Stillest Hour.


     XLV.  The Wanderer.

     XLVI.  The Vision and the Enigma.

     XLVII.  Involuntary Bliss.

     XLVIII.  Before Sunrise.

     XLIX.  The Bedwarfing Virtue.

     L.  On the Olive-Mount.

     LI.  On Passing-by.

     LII.  The Apostates.

     LIII.  The Return Home.

     LIV.  The Three Evil Things.

     LV.  The Spirit of Gravity.

     LVI.  Old and New Tables.

     LVII.  The Convalescent.

     LVIII.  The Great Longing.

     LIX.  The Second Dance-Song.

     LX.  The Seven Seals.


     LXI.  The Honey Sacrifice.

     LXII.  The Cry of Distress.

     LXIII.  Talk with the Kings.

     LXIV.  The Leech.

     LXV.  The Magician.

     LXVI.  Out of Service.

     LXVII.  The Ugliest Man.

     LXVIII.  The Voluntary Beggar.

     LXIX.  The Shadow.

     LXX.  Noon-Tide.

     LXXI.  The Greeting.

     LXXII.  The Supper.

     LXIII.  The Higher Man.

     LXXIV.  The Song of Melancholy.

     LXXV.  Science.

     LXXVI.  Among Daughters of the Desert.

     LXXVII.  The Awakening.

     LXXVIII.  The Ass-Festival.

     LXXIX.  The Drunken Song.

     LXXX.  The Sign.


     Notes on “Thus Spake Zarathustra” by Anthony M. Ludovici.



“Zarathustra” is my brother’s most personal work; it is the history of
his most individual experiences, of his friendships, ideals, raptures,
bitterest disappointments and sorrows. Above it all, however, there
soars, transfiguring it, the image of his greatest hopes and remotest
aims. My brother had the figure of Zarathustra in his mind from his very
earliest youth: he once told me that even as a child he had dreamt of
him. At different periods in his life, he would call this haunter of his
dreams by different names; “but in the end,” he declares in a note on
the subject, “I had to do a PERSIAN the honour of identifying him with
this creature of my fancy. Persians were the first to take a broad and
comprehensive view of history. Every series of evolutions, according
to them, was presided over by a prophet; and every prophet had his
‘Hazar,’--his dynasty of a thousand years.”

All Zarathustra’s views, as also his personality, were early conceptions
of my brother’s mind. Whoever reads his posthumously published writings
for the years 1869-82 with care, will constantly meet with passages
suggestive of Zarathustra’s thoughts and doctrines. For instance, the
ideal of the Superman is put forth quite clearly in all his writings
during the years 1873-75; and in “We Philologists”, the following
remarkable observations occur:--

“How can one praise and glorify a nation as a whole?--Even among the
Greeks, it was the INDIVIDUALS that counted.”

“The Greeks are interesting and extremely important because they reared
such a vast number of great individuals. How was this possible? The
question is one which ought to be studied.

“I am interested only in the relations of a people to the rearing of
the individual man, and among the Greeks the conditions were unusually
favourable for the development of the individual; not by any means owing
to the goodness of the people, but because of the struggles of their
evil instincts.

HAVE OWED THEIR EXISTENCE TO MERE CHANCE. Here we may still be hopeful:
in the rearing of exceptional men.”

The notion of rearing the Superman is only a new form of an ideal
Nietzsche already had in his youth, that “THE OBJECT OF MANKIND SHOULD
LIE IN ITS HIGHEST INDIVIDUALS” (or, as he writes in “Schopenhauer as
Educator”: “Mankind ought constantly to be striving to produce great
men--this and nothing else is its duty.”) But the ideals he most revered
in those days are no longer held to be the highest types of men. No,
around this future ideal of a coming humanity--the Superman--the poet
spread the veil of becoming. Who can tell to what glorious heights man
can still ascend? That is why, after having tested the worth of our
noblest ideal--that of the Saviour, in the light of the new valuations,
the poet cries with passionate emphasis in “Zarathustra”:

“Never yet hath there been a Superman. Naked have I seen both of them,
the greatest and the smallest man:--

All-too-similar are they still to each other. Verily even the greatest
found I--all-too-human!”--

The phrase “the rearing of the Superman,” has very often been
misunderstood. By the word “rearing,” in this case, is meant the act of
modifying by means of new and higher values--values which, as laws and
guides of conduct and opinion, are now to rule over mankind. In general
the doctrine of the Superman can only be understood correctly in
conjunction with other ideas of the author’s, such as:--the Order
of Rank, the Will to Power, and the Transvaluation of all Values. He
assumes that Christianity, as a product of the resentment of the botched
and the weak, has put in ban all that is beautiful, strong, proud, and
powerful, in fact all the qualities resulting from strength, and that,
in consequence, all forces which tend to promote or elevate life have
been seriously undermined. Now, however, a new table of valuations
must be placed over mankind--namely, that of the strong, mighty, and
magnificent man, overflowing with life and elevated to his zenith--the
Superman, who is now put before us with overpowering passion as the
aim of our life, hope, and will. And just as the old system of valuing,
which only extolled the qualities favourable to the weak, the suffering,
and the oppressed, has succeeded in producing a weak, suffering, and
“modern” race, so this new and reversed system of valuing ought to rear
a healthy, strong, lively, and courageous type, which would be a glory
to life itself. Stated briefly, the leading principle of this new system
of valuing would be: “All that proceeds from power is good, all that
springs from weakness is bad.”

This type must not be regarded as a fanciful figure: it is not a
nebulous hope which is to be realised at some indefinitely remote
period, thousands of years hence; nor is it a new species (in the
Darwinian sense) of which we can know nothing, and which it would
therefore be somewhat absurd to strive after. But it is meant to be
a possibility which men of the present could realise with all their
spiritual and physical energies, provided they adopted the new values.

The author of “Zarathustra” never lost sight of that egregious example
of a transvaluation of all values through Christianity, whereby the
whole of the deified mode of life and thought of the Greeks, as well as
strong Romedom, was almost annihilated or transvalued in a comparatively
short time. Could not a rejuvenated Graeco-Roman system of valuing (once
it had been refined and made more profound by the schooling which
two thousand years of Christianity had provided) effect another such
revolution within a calculable period of time, until that glorious type
of manhood shall finally appear which is to be our new faith and hope,
and in the creation of which Zarathustra exhorts us to participate?

In his private notes on the subject the author uses the expression
“Superman” (always in the singular, by-the-bye), as signifying “the most
thoroughly well-constituted type,” as opposed to “modern man”; above
all, however, he designates Zarathustra himself as an example of the
Superman. In “Ecco Homo” he is careful to enlighten us concerning the
precursors and prerequisites to the advent of this highest type, in
referring to a certain passage in the “Gay Science”:--

“In order to understand this type, we must first be quite clear in
regard to the leading physiological condition on which it depends: this
condition is what I call GREAT HEALTHINESS. I know not how to express my
meaning more plainly or more personally than I have done already in
one of the last chapters (Aphorism 382) of the fifth book of the ‘Gaya

“We, the new, the nameless, the hard-to-understand,”--it says
there,--“we firstlings of a yet untried future--we require for a new end
also a new means, namely, a new healthiness, stronger, sharper, tougher,
bolder and merrier than all healthiness hitherto. He whose soul
longeth to experience the whole range of hitherto recognised values
and desirabilities, and to circumnavigate all the coasts of this ideal
‘Mediterranean Sea’, who, from the adventures of his most personal
experience, wants to know how it feels to be a conqueror, and discoverer
of the ideal--as likewise how it is with the artist, the saint, the
legislator, the sage, the scholar, the devotee, the prophet, and the
godly non-conformist of the old style:--requires one thing above all
for that purpose, GREAT HEALTHINESS--such healthiness as one not only
possesses, but also constantly acquires and must acquire, because one
unceasingly sacrifices it again, and must sacrifice it!--And now, after
having been long on the way in this fashion, we Argonauts of the ideal,
more courageous perhaps than prudent, and often enough shipwrecked
and brought to grief, nevertheless dangerously healthy, always healthy
again,--it would seem as if, in recompense for it all, that we have a
still undiscovered country before us, the boundaries of which no one
has yet seen, a beyond to all countries and corners of the ideal known
hitherto, a world so over-rich in the beautiful, the strange, the
questionable, the frightful, and the divine, that our curiosity as well
as our thirst for possession thereof, have got out of hand--alas! that
nothing will now any longer satisfy us!--

“How could we still be content with THE MAN OF THE PRESENT DAY
after such outlooks, and with such a craving in our conscience and
consciousness? Sad enough; but it is unavoidable that we should look
on the worthiest aims and hopes of the man of the present day with
ill-concealed amusement, and perhaps should no longer look at them.
Another ideal runs on before us, a strange, tempting ideal full of
danger, to which we should not like to persuade any one, because we
do not so readily acknowledge any one’s RIGHT THERETO: the ideal of
a spirit who plays naively (that is to say involuntarily and from
overflowing abundance and power) with everything that has hitherto
been called holy, good, intangible, or divine; to whom the loftiest
conception which the people have reasonably made their measure of value,
would already practically imply danger, ruin, abasement, or at least
relaxation, blindness, or temporary self-forgetfulness; the ideal of
a humanly superhuman welfare and benevolence, which will often enough
appear INHUMAN, for example, when put alongside of all past seriousness
on earth, and alongside of all past solemnities in bearing, word, tone,
look, morality, and pursuit, as their truest involuntary parody--and
WITH which, nevertheless, perhaps THE GREAT SERIOUSNESS only commences,
when the proper interrogative mark is set up, the fate of the soul
changes, the hour-hand moves, and tragedy begins...”

Although the figure of Zarathustra and a large number of the leading
thoughts in this work had appeared much earlier in the dreams and
writings of the author, “Thus Spake Zarathustra” did not actually come
into being until the month of August 1881 in Sils Maria; and it was the
idea of the Eternal Recurrence of all things which finally induced my
brother to set forth his new views in poetic language. In regard to his
first conception of this idea, his autobiographical sketch, “Ecce Homo”,
written in the autumn of 1888, contains the following passage:--

“The fundamental idea of my work--namely, the Eternal Recurrence of
all things--this highest of all possible formulae of a Yea-saying
philosophy, first occurred to me in August 1881. I made a note of the
thought on a sheet of paper, with the postscript: 6,000 feet beyond
men and time! That day I happened to be wandering through the woods
alongside of the lake of Silvaplana, and I halted beside a huge,
pyramidal and towering rock not far from Surlei. It was then that the
thought struck me. Looking back now, I find that exactly two months
previous to this inspiration, I had had an omen of its coming in the
form of a sudden and decisive alteration in my tastes--more particularly
in music. It would even be possible to consider all ‘Zarathustra’ as a
musical composition. At all events, a very necessary condition in its
production was a renaissance in myself of the art of hearing. In a small
mountain resort (Recoaro) near Vicenza, where I spent the spring of
1881, I and my friend and Maestro, Peter Gast--also one who had been
born again--discovered that the phoenix music that hovered over us, wore
lighter and brighter plumes than it had done theretofore.”

During the month of August 1881 my brother resolved to reveal the
teaching of the Eternal Recurrence, in dithyrambic and psalmodic form,
through the mouth of Zarathustra. Among the notes of this period, we
found a page on which is written the first definite plan of “Thus Spake



Beneath this is written:--

“Zarathustra born on lake Urmi; left his home in his thirtieth year,
went into the province of Aria, and, during ten years of solitude in the
mountains, composed the Zend-Avesta.”

“The sun of knowledge stands once more at midday; and the serpent
of eternity lies coiled in its light--: It is YOUR time, ye midday

In that summer of 1881, my brother, after many years of steadily
declining health, began at last to rally, and it is to this first gush
of the recovery of his once splendid bodily condition that we owe not
only “The Gay Science”, which in its mood may be regarded as a prelude
to “Zarathustra”, but also “Zarathustra” itself. Just as he was
beginning to recuperate his health, however, an unkind destiny brought
him a number of most painful personal experiences. His friends caused
him many disappointments, which were the more bitter to him, inasmuch as
he regarded friendship as such a sacred institution; and for the first
time in his life he realised the whole horror of that loneliness to
which, perhaps, all greatness is condemned. But to be forsaken is
something very different from deliberately choosing blessed loneliness.
How he longed, in those days, for the ideal friend who would thoroughly
understand him, to whom he would be able to say all, and whom he
imagined he had found at various periods in his life from his earliest
youth onwards. Now, however, that the way he had chosen grew ever more
perilous and steep, he found nobody who could follow him: he therefore
created a perfect friend for himself in the ideal form of a majestic
philosopher, and made this creation the preacher of his gospel to the

Whether my brother would ever have written “Thus Spake Zarathustra”
 according to the first plan sketched in the summer of 1881, if he
had not had the disappointments already referred to, is now an idle
question; but perhaps where “Zarathustra” is concerned, we may also say
with Master Eckhardt: “The fleetest beast to bear you to perfection is

My brother writes as follows about the origin of the first part of
“Zarathustra”:--“In the winter of 1882-83, I was living on the charming
little Gulf of Rapallo, not far from Genoa, and between Chiavari and
Cape Porto Fino. My health was not very good; the winter was cold and
exceptionally rainy; and the small inn in which I lived was so close
to the water that at night my sleep would be disturbed if the sea were
high. These circumstances were surely the very reverse of favourable;
and yet in spite of it all, and as if in demonstration of my belief that
everything decisive comes to life in spite of every obstacle, it was
precisely during this winter and in the midst of these unfavourable
circumstances that my ‘Zarathustra’ originated. In the morning I used to
start out in a southerly direction up the glorious road to Zoagli, which
rises aloft through a forest of pines and gives one a view far out into
the sea. In the afternoon, as often as my health permitted, I walked
round the whole bay from Santa Margherita to beyond Porto Fino. This
spot was all the more interesting to me, inasmuch as it was so dearly
loved by the Emperor Frederick III. In the autumn of 1886 I chanced to
be there again when he was revisiting this small, forgotten world
of happiness for the last time. It was on these two roads that all
‘Zarathustra’ came to me, above all Zarathustra himself as a type;--I
ought rather to say that it was on these walks that these ideas waylaid

The first part of “Zarathustra” was written in about ten days--that is
to say, from the beginning to about the middle of February 1883. “The
last lines were written precisely in the hallowed hour when Richard
Wagner gave up the ghost in Venice.”

With the exception of the ten days occupied in composing the first part
of this book, my brother often referred to this winter as the hardest
and sickliest he had ever experienced. He did not, however, mean thereby
that his former disorders were troubling him, but that he was suffering
from a severe attack of influenza which he had caught in Santa
Margherita, and which tormented him for several weeks after his arrival
in Genoa. As a matter of fact, however, what he complained of most was
his spiritual condition--that indescribable forsakenness--to which he
gives such heartrending expression in “Zarathustra”. Even the reception
which the first part met with at the hands of friends and acquaintances
was extremely disheartening: for almost all those to whom he presented
copies of the work misunderstood it. “I found no one ripe for many of my
thoughts; the case of ‘Zarathustra’ proves that one can speak with the
utmost clearness, and yet not be heard by any one.” My brother was very
much discouraged by the feebleness of the response he was given, and as
he was striving just then to give up the practice of taking hydrate
of chloral--a drug he had begun to take while ill with influenza,--the
following spring, spent in Rome, was a somewhat gloomy one for him.
He writes about it as follows:--“I spent a melancholy spring in Rome,
where I only just managed to live,--and this was no easy matter. This
city, which is absolutely unsuited to the poet-author of ‘Zarathustra’,
and for the choice of which I was not responsible, made me inordinately
miserable. I tried to leave it. I wanted to go to Aquila--the opposite
of Rome in every respect, and actually founded in a spirit of enmity
towards that city (just as I also shall found a city some day), as a
memento of an atheist and genuine enemy of the Church--a person very
closely related to me,--the great Hohenstaufen, the Emperor Frederick
II. But Fate lay behind it all: I had to return again to Rome. In the
end I was obliged to be satisfied with the Piazza Barberini, after I had
exerted myself in vain to find an anti-Christian quarter. I fear that
on one occasion, to avoid bad smells as much as possible, I actually
inquired at the Palazzo del Quirinale whether they could not provide a
quiet room for a philosopher. In a chamber high above the Piazza just
mentioned, from which one obtained a general view of Rome and could
hear the fountains plashing far below, the loneliest of all songs
was composed--‘The Night-Song’. About this time I was obsessed by an
unspeakably sad melody, the refrain of which I recognised in the words,
‘dead through immortality.’”

We remained somewhat too long in Rome that spring, and what with the
effect of the increasing heat and the discouraging circumstances already
described, my brother resolved not to write any more, or in any case,
not to proceed with “Zarathustra”, although I offered to relieve him
of all trouble in connection with the proofs and the publisher. When,
however, we returned to Switzerland towards the end of June, and he
found himself once more in the familiar and exhilarating air of the
mountains, all his joyous creative powers revived, and in a note to me
announcing the dispatch of some manuscript, he wrote as follows: “I have
engaged a place here for three months: forsooth, I am the greatest fool
to allow my courage to be sapped from me by the climate of Italy. Now
and again I am troubled by the thought: WHAT NEXT? My ‘future’ is the
darkest thing in the world to me, but as there still remains a great
deal for me to do, I suppose I ought rather to think of doing this than
of my future, and leave the rest to THEE and the gods.”

The second part of “Zarathustra” was written between the 26th of June
and the 6th July. “This summer, finding myself once more in the sacred
place where the first thought of ‘Zarathustra’ flashed across my mind,
I conceived the second part. Ten days sufficed. Neither for the second,
the first, nor the third part, have I required a day longer.”

He often used to speak of the ecstatic mood in which he wrote
“Zarathustra”; how in his walks over hill and dale the ideas would crowd
into his mind, and how he would note them down hastily in a note-book
from which he would transcribe them on his return, sometimes working
till midnight. He says in a letter to me: “You can have no idea of the
vehemence of such composition,” and in “Ecce Homo” (autumn 1888) he
describes as follows with passionate enthusiasm the incomparable mood in
which he created Zarathustra:--

“--Has any one at the end of the nineteenth century any distinct notion
of what poets of a stronger age understood by the word inspiration? If
not, I will describe it. If one had the smallest vestige of superstition
in one, it would hardly be possible to set aside completely the idea
that one is the mere incarnation, mouthpiece or medium of an almighty
power. The idea of revelation in the sense that something becomes
suddenly visible and audible with indescribable certainty and accuracy,
which profoundly convulses and upsets one--describes simply the matter
of fact. One hears--one does not seek; one takes--one does not ask
who gives: a thought suddenly flashes up like lightning, it comes with
necessity, unhesitatingly--I have never had any choice in the matter.
There is an ecstasy such that the immense strain of it is sometimes
relaxed by a flood of tears, along with which one’s steps either rush
or involuntarily lag, alternately. There is the feeling that one is
completely out of hand, with the very distinct consciousness of an
endless number of fine thrills and quiverings to the very toes;--there
is a depth of happiness in which the painfullest and gloomiest do not
operate as antitheses, but as conditioned, as demanded in the sense of
necessary shades of colour in such an overflow of light. There is an
instinct for rhythmic relations which embraces wide areas of forms
(length, the need of a wide-embracing rhythm, is almost the measure of
the force of an inspiration, a sort of counterpart to its pressure and
tension). Everything happens quite involuntarily, as if in a tempestuous
outburst of freedom, of absoluteness, of power and divinity. The
involuntariness of the figures and similes is the most remarkable
thing; one loses all perception of what constitutes the figure and
what constitutes the simile; everything seems to present itself as
the readiest, the correctest and the simplest means of expression.
It actually seems, to use one of Zarathustra’s own phrases, as if all
things came unto one, and would fain be similes: ‘Here do all things
come caressingly to thy talk and flatter thee, for they want to ride
upon thy back. On every simile dost thou here ride to every truth. Here
fly open unto thee all being’s words and word-cabinets; here all being
wanteth to become words, here all becoming wanteth to learn of thee how
to talk.’ This is MY experience of inspiration. I do not doubt but that
one would have to go back thousands of years in order to find some one
who could say to me: It is mine also!--”

In the autumn of 1883 my brother left the Engadine for Germany and
stayed there a few weeks. In the following winter, after wandering
somewhat erratically through Stresa, Genoa, and Spezia, he landed in
Nice, where the climate so happily promoted his creative powers that
he wrote the third part of “Zarathustra”. “In the winter, beneath the
halcyon sky of Nice, which then looked down upon me for the first time
in my life, I found the third ‘Zarathustra’--and came to the end of my
task; the whole having occupied me scarcely a year. Many hidden corners
and heights in the landscapes round about Nice are hallowed to me by
unforgettable moments. That decisive chapter entitled ‘Old and New
Tables’ was composed in the very difficult ascent from the station
to Eza--that wonderful Moorish village in the rocks. My most creative
moments were always accompanied by unusual muscular activity. The body
is inspired: let us waive the question of the ‘soul.’ I might often have
been seen dancing in those days. Without a suggestion of fatigue I could
then walk for seven or eight hours on end among the hills. I slept well
and laughed well--I was perfectly robust and patient.”

As we have seen, each of the three parts of “Zarathustra” was written,
after a more or less short period of preparation, in about ten days.
The composition of the fourth part alone was broken by occasional
interruptions. The first notes relating to this part were written while
he and I were staying together in Zurich in September 1884. In the
following November, while staying at Mentone, he began to elaborate
these notes, and after a long pause, finished the manuscript at Nice
between the end of January and the middle of February 1885. My brother
then called this part the fourth and last; but even before, and shortly
after it had been privately printed, he wrote to me saying that he still
intended writing a fifth and sixth part, and notes relating to these
parts are now in my possession. This fourth part (the original MS. of
which contains this note: “Only for my friends, not for the public”)
is written in a particularly personal spirit, and those few to whom he
presented a copy of it, he pledged to the strictest secrecy concerning
its contents. He often thought of making this fourth part public also,
but doubted whether he would ever be able to do so without considerably
altering certain portions of it. At all events he resolved to distribute
this manuscript production, of which only forty copies were printed,
only among those who had proved themselves worthy of it, and it speaks
eloquently of his utter loneliness and need of sympathy in those days,
that he had occasion to present only seven copies of his book according
to this resolution.

Already at the beginning of this history I hinted at the reasons which
led my brother to select a Persian as the incarnation of his ideal of
the majestic philosopher. His reasons, however, for choosing Zarathustra
of all others to be his mouthpiece, he gives us in the following
words:--“People have never asked me, as they should have done, what the
name Zarathustra precisely means in my mouth, in the mouth of the first
Immoralist; for what distinguishes that philosopher from all others
in the past is the very fact that he was exactly the reverse of an
immoralist. Zarathustra was the first to see in the struggle between
good and evil the essential wheel in the working of things. The
translation of morality into the metaphysical, as force, cause, end in
itself, was HIS work. But the very question suggests its own answer.
Zarathustra CREATED the most portentous error, MORALITY, consequently he
should also be the first to PERCEIVE that error, not only because he
has had longer and greater experience of the subject than any other
thinker--all history is the experimental refutation of the theory of
the so-called moral order of things:--the more important point is that
Zarathustra was more truthful than any other thinker. In his teaching
alone do we meet with truthfulness upheld as the highest virtue--i.e.:
the reverse of the COWARDICE of the ‘idealist’ who flees from reality.
Zarathustra had more courage in his body than any other thinker before
or after him. To tell the truth and TO AIM STRAIGHT: that is the first
Persian virtue. Am I understood?... The overcoming of morality through
itself--through truthfulness, the overcoming of the moralist through his
opposite--THROUGH ME--: that is what the name Zarathustra means in my


Nietzsche Archives,

Weimar, December 1905.





When Zarathustra was thirty years old, he left his home and the lake of
his home, and went into the mountains. There he enjoyed his spirit and
solitude, and for ten years did not weary of it. But at last his heart
changed,--and rising one morning with the rosy dawn, he went before the
sun, and spake thus unto it:

Thou great star! What would be thy happiness if thou hadst not those for
whom thou shinest!

For ten years hast thou climbed hither unto my cave: thou wouldst have
wearied of thy light and of the journey, had it not been for me, mine
eagle, and my serpent.

But we awaited thee every morning, took from thee thine overflow and
blessed thee for it.

Lo! I am weary of my wisdom, like the bee that hath gathered too much
honey; I need hands outstretched to take it.

I would fain bestow and distribute, until the wise have once more become
joyous in their folly, and the poor happy in their riches.

Therefore must I descend into the deep: as thou doest in the
evening, when thou goest behind the sea, and givest light also to the
nether-world, thou exuberant star!

Like thee must I GO DOWN, as men say, to whom I shall descend.

Bless me, then, thou tranquil eye, that canst behold even the greatest
happiness without envy!

Bless the cup that is about to overflow, that the water may flow golden
out of it, and carry everywhere the reflection of thy bliss!

Lo! This cup is again going to empty itself, and Zarathustra is again
going to be a man.

Thus began Zarathustra’s down-going.


Zarathustra went down the mountain alone, no one meeting him. When he
entered the forest, however, there suddenly stood before him an old man,
who had left his holy cot to seek roots. And thus spake the old man to

“No stranger to me is this wanderer: many years ago passed he by.
Zarathustra he was called; but he hath altered.

Then thou carriedst thine ashes into the mountains: wilt thou now carry
thy fire into the valleys? Fearest thou not the incendiary’s doom?

Yea, I recognise Zarathustra. Pure is his eye, and no loathing lurketh
about his mouth. Goeth he not along like a dancer?

Altered is Zarathustra; a child hath Zarathustra become; an awakened one
is Zarathustra: what wilt thou do in the land of the sleepers?

As in the sea hast thou lived in solitude, and it hath borne thee up.
Alas, wilt thou now go ashore? Alas, wilt thou again drag thy body

Zarathustra answered: “I love mankind.”

“Why,” said the saint, “did I go into the forest and the desert? Was it
not because I loved men far too well?

Now I love God: men, I do not love. Man is a thing too imperfect for me.
Love to man would be fatal to me.”

Zarathustra answered: “What spake I of love! I am bringing gifts unto

“Give them nothing,” said the saint. “Take rather part of their load,
and carry it along with them--that will be most agreeable unto them: if
only it be agreeable unto thee!

If, however, thou wilt give unto them, give them no more than an alms,
and let them also beg for it!”

“No,” replied Zarathustra, “I give no alms. I am not poor enough for

The saint laughed at Zarathustra, and spake thus: “Then see to it that
they accept thy treasures! They are distrustful of anchorites, and do
not believe that we come with gifts.

The fall of our footsteps ringeth too hollow through their streets. And
just as at night, when they are in bed and hear a man abroad long before
sunrise, so they ask themselves concerning us: Where goeth the thief?

Go not to men, but stay in the forest! Go rather to the animals! Why not
be like me--a bear amongst bears, a bird amongst birds?”

“And what doeth the saint in the forest?” asked Zarathustra.

The saint answered: “I make hymns and sing them; and in making hymns I
laugh and weep and mumble: thus do I praise God.

With singing, weeping, laughing, and mumbling do I praise the God who is
my God. But what dost thou bring us as a gift?”

When Zarathustra had heard these words, he bowed to the saint and said:
“What should I have to give thee! Let me rather hurry hence lest I take
aught away from thee!”--And thus they parted from one another, the old
man and Zarathustra, laughing like schoolboys.

When Zarathustra was alone, however, he said to his heart: “Could it be
possible! This old saint in the forest hath not yet heard of it, that


When Zarathustra arrived at the nearest town which adjoineth the forest,
he found many people assembled in the market-place; for it had been
announced that a rope-dancer would give a performance. And Zarathustra
spake thus unto the people:

I TEACH YOU THE SUPERMAN. Man is something that is to be surpassed. What
have ye done to surpass man?

All beings hitherto have created something beyond themselves: and ye
want to be the ebb of that great tide, and would rather go back to the
beast than surpass man?

What is the ape to man? A laughing-stock, a thing of shame. And just the
same shall man be to the Superman: a laughing-stock, a thing of shame.

Ye have made your way from the worm to man, and much within you is still
worm. Once were ye apes, and even yet man is more of an ape than any of
the apes.

Even the wisest among you is only a disharmony and hybrid of plant and
phantom. But do I bid you become phantoms or plants?

Lo, I teach you the Superman!

The Superman is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: The
Superman SHALL BE the meaning of the earth!

I conjure you, my brethren, REMAIN TRUE TO THE EARTH, and believe not
those who speak unto you of superearthly hopes! Poisoners are they,
whether they know it or not.

Despisers of life are they, decaying ones and poisoned ones themselves,
of whom the earth is weary: so away with them!

Once blasphemy against God was the greatest blasphemy; but God died,
and therewith also those blasphemers. To blaspheme the earth is now the
dreadfulest sin, and to rate the heart of the unknowable higher than the
meaning of the earth!

Once the soul looked contemptuously on the body, and then that contempt
was the supreme thing:--the soul wished the body meagre, ghastly, and
famished. Thus it thought to escape from the body and the earth.

Oh, that soul was itself meagre, ghastly, and famished; and cruelty was
the delight of that soul!

But ye, also, my brethren, tell me: What doth your body say about
your soul? Is your soul not poverty and pollution and wretched

Verily, a polluted stream is man. One must be a sea, to receive a
polluted stream without becoming impure.

Lo, I teach you the Superman: he is that sea; in him can your great
contempt be submerged.

What is the greatest thing ye can experience? It is the hour of great
contempt. The hour in which even your happiness becometh loathsome unto
you, and so also your reason and virtue.

The hour when ye say: “What good is my happiness! It is poverty and
pollution and wretched self-complacency. But my happiness should justify
existence itself!”

The hour when ye say: “What good is my reason! Doth it long for
knowledge as the lion for his food? It is poverty and pollution and
wretched self-complacency!”

The hour when ye say: “What good is my virtue! As yet it hath not made
me passionate. How weary I am of my good and my bad! It is all poverty
and pollution and wretched self-complacency!”

The hour when ye say: “What good is my justice! I do not see that I am
fervour and fuel. The just, however, are fervour and fuel!”

The hour when ye say: “What good is my pity! Is not pity the cross on
which he is nailed who loveth man? But my pity is not a crucifixion.”

Have ye ever spoken thus? Have ye ever cried thus? Ah! would that I had
heard you crying thus!

It is not your sin--it is your self-satisfaction that crieth unto
heaven; your very sparingness in sin crieth unto heaven!

Where is the lightning to lick you with its tongue? Where is the frenzy
with which ye should be inoculated?

Lo, I teach you the Superman: he is that lightning, he is that frenzy!--

When Zarathustra had thus spoken, one of the people called out: “We have
now heard enough of the rope-dancer; it is time now for us to see him!”
 And all the people laughed at Zarathustra. But the rope-dancer, who
thought the words applied to him, began his performance.


Zarathustra, however, looked at the people and wondered. Then he spake

Man is a rope stretched between the animal and the Superman--a rope over
an abyss.

A dangerous crossing, a dangerous wayfaring, a dangerous looking-back, a
dangerous trembling and halting.

What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal: what is
lovable in man is that he is an OVER-GOING and a DOWN-GOING.

I love those that know not how to live except as down-goers, for they
are the over-goers.

I love the great despisers, because they are the great adorers, and
arrows of longing for the other shore.

I love those who do not first seek a reason beyond the stars for going
down and being sacrifices, but sacrifice themselves to the earth, that
the earth of the Superman may hereafter arrive.

I love him who liveth in order to know, and seeketh to know in
order that the Superman may hereafter live. Thus seeketh he his own

I love him who laboureth and inventeth, that he may build the house for
the Superman, and prepare for him earth, animal, and plant: for thus
seeketh he his own down-going.

I love him who loveth his virtue: for virtue is the will to down-going,
and an arrow of longing.

I love him who reserveth no share of spirit for himself, but wanteth to
be wholly the spirit of his virtue: thus walketh he as spirit over the

I love him who maketh his virtue his inclination and destiny: thus, for
the sake of his virtue, he is willing to live on, or live no more.

I love him who desireth not too many virtues. One virtue is more of a
virtue than two, because it is more of a knot for one’s destiny to cling

I love him whose soul is lavish, who wanteth no thanks and doth not give
back: for he always bestoweth, and desireth not to keep for himself.

I love him who is ashamed when the dice fall in his favour, and who then
asketh: “Am I a dishonest player?”--for he is willing to succumb.

I love him who scattereth golden words in advance of his deeds, and
always doeth more than he promiseth: for he seeketh his own down-going.

I love him who justifieth the future ones, and redeemeth the past ones:
for he is willing to succumb through the present ones.

I love him who chasteneth his God, because he loveth his God: for he
must succumb through the wrath of his God.

I love him whose soul is deep even in the wounding, and may succumb
through a small matter: thus goeth he willingly over the bridge.

I love him whose soul is so overfull that he forgetteth himself, and all
things are in him: thus all things become his down-going.

I love him who is of a free spirit and a free heart: thus is his
head only the bowels of his heart; his heart, however, causeth his

I love all who are like heavy drops falling one by one out of the dark
cloud that lowereth over man: they herald the coming of the lightning,
and succumb as heralds.

Lo, I am a herald of the lightning, and a heavy drop out of the cloud:
the lightning, however, is the SUPERMAN.--


When Zarathustra had spoken these words, he again looked at the people,
and was silent. “There they stand,” said he to his heart; “there they
laugh: they understand me not; I am not the mouth for these ears.

Must one first batter their ears, that they may learn to hear with their
eyes? Must one clatter like kettledrums and penitential preachers? Or do
they only believe the stammerer?

They have something whereof they are proud. What do they call it, that
which maketh them proud? Culture, they call it; it distinguisheth them
from the goatherds.

They dislike, therefore, to hear of ‘contempt’ of themselves. So I will
appeal to their pride.

I will speak unto them of the most contemptible thing: that, however, is

And thus spake Zarathustra unto the people:

It is time for man to fix his goal. It is time for man to plant the germ
of his highest hope.

Still is his soil rich enough for it. But that soil will one day be
poor and exhausted, and no lofty tree will any longer be able to grow

Alas! there cometh the time when man will no longer launch the arrow of
his longing beyond man--and the string of his bow will have unlearned to

I tell you: one must still have chaos in one, to give birth to a dancing
star. I tell you: ye have still chaos in you.

Alas! There cometh the time when man will no longer give birth to any
star. Alas! There cometh the time of the most despicable man, who can no
longer despise himself.

Lo! I show you THE LAST MAN.

“What is love? What is creation? What is longing? What is a star?”--so
asketh the last man and blinketh.

The earth hath then become small, and on it there hoppeth the last man
who maketh everything small. His species is ineradicable like that of
the ground-flea; the last man liveth longest.

“We have discovered happiness”--say the last men, and blink thereby.

They have left the regions where it is hard to live; for they need
warmth. One still loveth one’s neighbour and rubbeth against him; for
one needeth warmth.

Turning ill and being distrustful, they consider sinful: they walk
warily. He is a fool who still stumbleth over stones or men!

A little poison now and then: that maketh pleasant dreams. And much
poison at last for a pleasant death.

One still worketh, for work is a pastime. But one is careful lest the
pastime should hurt one.

One no longer becometh poor or rich; both are too burdensome. Who still
wanteth to rule? Who still wanteth to obey? Both are too burdensome.

No shepherd, and one herd! Every one wanteth the same; every one is
equal: he who hath other sentiments goeth voluntarily into the madhouse.

“Formerly all the world was insane,”--say the subtlest of them, and
blink thereby.

They are clever and know all that hath happened: so there is
no end to their raillery. People still fall out, but are soon
reconciled--otherwise it spoileth their stomachs.

They have their little pleasures for the day, and their little pleasures
for the night, but they have a regard for health.

“We have discovered happiness,”--say the last men, and blink thereby.--

And here ended the first discourse of Zarathustra, which is also
called “The Prologue”: for at this point the shouting and mirth of the
multitude interrupted him. “Give us this last man, O Zarathustra,”--they
called out--“make us into these last men! Then will we make thee a
present of the Superman!” And all the people exulted and smacked their
lips. Zarathustra, however, turned sad, and said to his heart:

“They understand me not: I am not the mouth for these ears.

Too long, perhaps, have I lived in the mountains; too much have I
hearkened unto the brooks and trees: now do I speak unto them as unto
the goatherds.

Calm is my soul, and clear, like the mountains in the morning. But they
think me cold, and a mocker with terrible jests.

And now do they look at me and laugh: and while they laugh they hate me
too. There is ice in their laughter.”


Then, however, something happened which made every mouth mute and every
eye fixed. In the meantime, of course, the rope-dancer had commenced his
performance: he had come out at a little door, and was going along the
rope which was stretched between two towers, so that it hung above the
market-place and the people. When he was just midway across, the little
door opened once more, and a gaudily-dressed fellow like a buffoon
sprang out, and went rapidly after the first one. “Go on, halt-foot,”
 cried his frightful voice, “go on, lazy-bones, interloper,
sallow-face!--lest I tickle thee with my heel! What dost thou here
between the towers? In the tower is the place for thee, thou shouldst be
locked up; to one better than thyself thou blockest the way!”--And with
every word he came nearer and nearer the first one. When, however, he
was but a step behind, there happened the frightful thing which made
every mouth mute and every eye fixed--he uttered a yell like a devil,
and jumped over the other who was in his way. The latter, however, when
he thus saw his rival triumph, lost at the same time his head and his
footing on the rope; he threw his pole away, and shot downwards faster
than it, like an eddy of arms and legs, into the depth. The market-place
and the people were like the sea when the storm cometh on: they all flew
apart and in disorder, especially where the body was about to fall.

Zarathustra, however, remained standing, and just beside him fell the
body, badly injured and disfigured, but not yet dead. After a while
consciousness returned to the shattered man, and he saw Zarathustra
kneeling beside him. “What art thou doing there?” said he at last, “I
knew long ago that the devil would trip me up. Now he draggeth me to
hell: wilt thou prevent him?”

“On mine honour, my friend,” answered Zarathustra, “there is nothing of
all that whereof thou speakest: there is no devil and no hell. Thy soul
will be dead even sooner than thy body: fear, therefore, nothing any

The man looked up distrustfully. “If thou speakest the truth,” said he,
“I lose nothing when I lose my life. I am not much more than an animal
which hath been taught to dance by blows and scanty fare.”

“Not at all,” said Zarathustra, “thou hast made danger thy calling;
therein there is nothing contemptible. Now thou perishest by thy
calling: therefore will I bury thee with mine own hands.”

When Zarathustra had said this the dying one did not reply further; but
he moved his hand as if he sought the hand of Zarathustra in gratitude.


Meanwhile the evening came on, and the market-place veiled itself in
gloom. Then the people dispersed, for even curiosity and terror become
fatigued. Zarathustra, however, still sat beside the dead man on the
ground, absorbed in thought: so he forgot the time. But at last it
became night, and a cold wind blew upon the lonely one. Then arose
Zarathustra and said to his heart:

Verily, a fine catch of fish hath Zarathustra made to-day! It is not a
man he hath caught, but a corpse.

Sombre is human life, and as yet without meaning: a buffoon may be
fateful to it.

I want to teach men the sense of their existence, which is the Superman,
the lightning out of the dark cloud--man.

But still am I far from them, and my sense speaketh not unto their
sense. To men I am still something between a fool and a corpse.

Gloomy is the night, gloomy are the ways of Zarathustra. Come, thou cold
and stiff companion! I carry thee to the place where I shall bury thee
with mine own hands.


When Zarathustra had said this to his heart, he put the corpse upon his
shoulders and set out on his way. Yet had he not gone a hundred steps,
when there stole a man up to him and whispered in his ear--and lo!
he that spake was the buffoon from the tower. “Leave this town, O
Zarathustra,” said he, “there are too many here who hate thee. The
good and just hate thee, and call thee their enemy and despiser; the
believers in the orthodox belief hate thee, and call thee a danger to
the multitude. It was thy good fortune to be laughed at: and verily thou
spakest like a buffoon. It was thy good fortune to associate with the
dead dog; by so humiliating thyself thou hast saved thy life to-day.
Depart, however, from this town,--or tomorrow I shall jump over thee,
a living man over a dead one.” And when he had said this, the buffoon
vanished; Zarathustra, however, went on through the dark streets.

At the gate of the town the grave-diggers met him: they shone their
torch on his face, and, recognising Zarathustra, they sorely derided
him. “Zarathustra is carrying away the dead dog: a fine thing that
Zarathustra hath turned a grave-digger! For our hands are too cleanly
for that roast. Will Zarathustra steal the bite from the devil? Well
then, good luck to the repast! If only the devil is not a better thief
than Zarathustra!--he will steal them both, he will eat them both!” And
they laughed among themselves, and put their heads together.

Zarathustra made no answer thereto, but went on his way. When he had
gone on for two hours, past forests and swamps, he had heard too much of
the hungry howling of the wolves, and he himself became a-hungry. So he
halted at a lonely house in which a light was burning.

“Hunger attacketh me,” said Zarathustra, “like a robber. Among forests
and swamps my hunger attacketh me, and late in the night.

“Strange humours hath my hunger. Often it cometh to me only after a
repast, and all day it hath failed to come: where hath it been?”

And thereupon Zarathustra knocked at the door of the house. An old man
appeared, who carried a light, and asked: “Who cometh unto me and my bad

“A living man and a dead one,” said Zarathustra. “Give me something to
eat and drink, I forgot it during the day. He that feedeth the hungry
refresheth his own soul, saith wisdom.”

The old man withdrew, but came back immediately and offered Zarathustra
bread and wine. “A bad country for the hungry,” said he; “that is why
I live here. Animal and man come unto me, the anchorite. But bid thy
companion eat and drink also, he is wearier than thou.” Zarathustra
answered: “My companion is dead; I shall hardly be able to persuade him
to eat.” “That doth not concern me,” said the old man sullenly; “he
that knocketh at my door must take what I offer him. Eat, and fare ye

Thereafter Zarathustra again went on for two hours, trusting to the path
and the light of the stars: for he was an experienced night-walker, and
liked to look into the face of all that slept. When the morning dawned,
however, Zarathustra found himself in a thick forest, and no path was
any longer visible. He then put the dead man in a hollow tree at his
head--for he wanted to protect him from the wolves--and laid himself
down on the ground and moss. And immediately he fell asleep, tired in
body, but with a tranquil soul.


Long slept Zarathustra; and not only the rosy dawn passed over his head,
but also the morning. At last, however, his eyes opened, and amazedly he
gazed into the forest and the stillness, amazedly he gazed into himself.
Then he arose quickly, like a seafarer who all at once seeth the land;
and he shouted for joy: for he saw a new truth. And he spake thus to his

A light hath dawned upon me: I need companions--living ones; not dead
companions and corpses, which I carry with me where I will.

But I need living companions, who will follow me because they want to
follow themselves--and to the place where I will.

A light hath dawned upon me. Not to the people is Zarathustra to speak,
but to companions! Zarathustra shall not be the herd’s herdsman and

To allure many from the herd--for that purpose have I come. The people
and the herd must be angry with me: a robber shall Zarathustra be called
by the herdsmen.

Herdsmen, I say, but they call themselves the good and just. Herdsmen, I
say, but they call themselves the believers in the orthodox belief.

Behold the good and just! Whom do they hate most? Him who breaketh up
their tables of values, the breaker, the lawbreaker:--he, however, is
the creator.

Behold the believers of all beliefs! Whom do they hate most? Him who
breaketh up their tables of values, the breaker, the law-breaker--he,
however, is the creator.

Companions, the creator seeketh, not corpses--and not herds or believers
either. Fellow-creators the creator seeketh--those who grave new values
on new tables.

Companions, the creator seeketh, and fellow-reapers: for everything is
ripe for the harvest with him. But he lacketh the hundred sickles: so he
plucketh the ears of corn and is vexed.

Companions, the creator seeketh, and such as know how to whet their
sickles. Destroyers, will they be called, and despisers of good and
evil. But they are the reapers and rejoicers.

Fellow-creators, Zarathustra seeketh; fellow-reapers and
fellow-rejoicers, Zarathustra seeketh: what hath he to do with herds and
herdsmen and corpses!

And thou, my first companion, rest in peace! Well have I buried thee in
thy hollow tree; well have I hid thee from the wolves.

But I part from thee; the time hath arrived. ‘Twixt rosy dawn and rosy
dawn there came unto me a new truth.

I am not to be a herdsman, I am not to be a grave-digger. Not any more
will I discourse unto the people; for the last time have I spoken unto
the dead.

With the creators, the reapers, and the rejoicers will I associate: the
rainbow will I show them, and all the stairs to the Superman.

To the lone-dwellers will I sing my song, and to the twain-dwellers;
and unto him who hath still ears for the unheard, will I make the heart
heavy with my happiness.

I make for my goal, I follow my course; over the loitering and tardy
will I leap. Thus let my on-going be their down-going!


This had Zarathustra said to his heart when the sun stood at noon-tide.
Then he looked inquiringly aloft,--for he heard above him the sharp call
of a bird. And behold! An eagle swept through the air in wide circles,
and on it hung a serpent, not like a prey, but like a friend: for it
kept itself coiled round the eagle’s neck.

“They are mine animals,” said Zarathustra, and rejoiced in his heart.

“The proudest animal under the sun, and the wisest animal under the
sun,--they have come out to reconnoitre.

They want to know whether Zarathustra still liveth. Verily, do I still

More dangerous have I found it among men than among animals; in
dangerous paths goeth Zarathustra. Let mine animals lead me!

When Zarathustra had said this, he remembered the words of the saint in
the forest. Then he sighed and spake thus to his heart:

“Would that I were wiser! Would that I were wise from the very heart,
like my serpent!

But I am asking the impossible. Therefore do I ask my pride to go always
with my wisdom!

And if my wisdom should some day forsake me:--alas! it loveth to fly
away!--may my pride then fly with my folly!”

Thus began Zarathustra’s down-going.



Three metamorphoses of the spirit do I designate to you: how the spirit
becometh a camel, the camel a lion, and the lion at last a child.

Many heavy things are there for the spirit, the strong load-bearing
spirit in which reverence dwelleth: for the heavy and the heaviest
longeth its strength.

What is heavy? so asketh the load-bearing spirit; then kneeleth it down
like the camel, and wanteth to be well laden.

What is the heaviest thing, ye heroes? asketh the load-bearing spirit,
that I may take it upon me and rejoice in my strength.

Is it not this: To humiliate oneself in order to mortify one’s pride? To
exhibit one’s folly in order to mock at one’s wisdom?

Or is it this: To desert our cause when it celebrateth its triumph? To
ascend high mountains to tempt the tempter?

Or is it this: To feed on the acorns and grass of knowledge, and for the
sake of truth to suffer hunger of soul?

Or is it this: To be sick and dismiss comforters, and make friends of
the deaf, who never hear thy requests?

Or is it this: To go into foul water when it is the water of truth, and
not disclaim cold frogs and hot toads?

Or is it this: To love those who despise us, and give one’s hand to the
phantom when it is going to frighten us?

All these heaviest things the load-bearing spirit taketh upon itself:
and like the camel, which, when laden, hasteneth into the wilderness, so
hasteneth the spirit into its wilderness.

But in the loneliest wilderness happeneth the second metamorphosis: here
the spirit becometh a lion; freedom will it capture, and lordship in its
own wilderness.

Its last Lord it here seeketh: hostile will it be to him, and to its
last God; for victory will it struggle with the great dragon.

What is the great dragon which the spirit is no longer inclined to call
Lord and God? “Thou-shalt,” is the great dragon called. But the spirit
of the lion saith, “I will.”

“Thou-shalt,” lieth in its path, sparkling with gold--a scale-covered
beast; and on every scale glittereth golden, “Thou shalt!”

The values of a thousand years glitter on those scales, and
thus speaketh the mightiest of all dragons: “All the values of
things--glitter on me.

All values have already been created, and all created values--do I
represent. Verily, there shall be no ‘I will’ any more. Thus speaketh
the dragon.

My brethren, wherefore is there need of the lion in the spirit? Why
sufficeth not the beast of burden, which renounceth and is reverent?

To create new values--that, even the lion cannot yet accomplish: but to
create itself freedom for new creating--that can the might of the lion

To create itself freedom, and give a holy Nay even unto duty: for that,
my brethren, there is need of the lion.

To assume the right to new values--that is the most formidable
assumption for a load-bearing and reverent spirit. Verily, unto such a
spirit it is preying, and the work of a beast of prey.

As its holiest, it once loved “Thou-shalt”: now is it forced to find
illusion and arbitrariness even in the holiest things, that it may
capture freedom from its love: the lion is needed for this capture.

But tell me, my brethren, what the child can do, which even the lion
could not do? Why hath the preying lion still to become a child?

Innocence is the child, and forgetfulness, a new beginning, a game, a
self-rolling wheel, a first movement, a holy Yea.

Aye, for the game of creating, my brethren, there is needed a holy Yea
unto life: ITS OWN will, willeth now the spirit; HIS OWN world winneth
the world’s outcast.

Three metamorphoses of the spirit have I designated to you: how the
spirit became a camel, the camel a lion, and the lion at last a child.--

Thus spake Zarathustra. And at that time he abode in the town which is
called The Pied Cow.


People commended unto Zarathustra a wise man, as one who could discourse
well about sleep and virtue: greatly was he honoured and rewarded for
it, and all the youths sat before his chair. To him went Zarathustra,
and sat among the youths before his chair. And thus spake the wise man:

Respect and modesty in presence of sleep! That is the first thing! And
to go out of the way of all who sleep badly and keep awake at night!

Modest is even the thief in presence of sleep: he always stealeth softly
through the night. Immodest, however, is the night-watchman; immodestly
he carrieth his horn.

No small art is it to sleep: it is necessary for that purpose to keep
awake all day.

Ten times a day must thou overcome thyself: that causeth wholesome
weariness, and is poppy to the soul.

Ten times must thou reconcile again with thyself; for overcoming is
bitterness, and badly sleep the unreconciled.

Ten truths must thou find during the day; otherwise wilt thou seek truth
during the night, and thy soul will have been hungry.

Ten times must thou laugh during the day, and be cheerful; otherwise thy
stomach, the father of affliction, will disturb thee in the night.

Few people know it, but one must have all the virtues in order to sleep
well. Shall I bear false witness? Shall I commit adultery?

Shall I covet my neighbour’s maidservant? All that would ill accord with
good sleep.

And even if one have all the virtues, there is still one thing needful:
to send the virtues themselves to sleep at the right time.

That they may not quarrel with one another, the good females! And about
thee, thou unhappy one!

Peace with God and thy neighbour: so desireth good sleep. And peace also
with thy neighbour’s devil! Otherwise it will haunt thee in the night.

Honour to the government, and obedience, and also to the crooked
government! So desireth good sleep. How can I help it, if power like to
walk on crooked legs?

He who leadeth his sheep to the greenest pasture, shall always be for me
the best shepherd: so doth it accord with good sleep.

Many honours I want not, nor great treasures: they excite the spleen.
But it is bad sleeping without a good name and a little treasure.

A small company is more welcome to me than a bad one: but they must come
and go at the right time. So doth it accord with good sleep.

Well, also, do the poor in spirit please me: they promote sleep. Blessed
are they, especially if one always give in to them.

Thus passeth the day unto the virtuous. When night cometh, then take I
good care not to summon sleep. It disliketh to be summoned--sleep, the
lord of the virtues!

But I think of what I have done and thought during the day. Thus
ruminating, patient as a cow, I ask myself: What were thy ten

And what were the ten reconciliations, and the ten truths, and the ten
laughters with which my heart enjoyed itself?

Thus pondering, and cradled by forty thoughts, it overtaketh me all at
once--sleep, the unsummoned, the lord of the virtues.

Sleep tappeth on mine eye, and it turneth heavy. Sleep toucheth my
mouth, and it remaineth open.

Verily, on soft soles doth it come to me, the dearest of thieves, and
stealeth from me my thoughts: stupid do I then stand, like this academic

But not much longer do I then stand: I already lie.--

When Zarathustra heard the wise man thus speak, he laughed in his heart:
for thereby had a light dawned upon him. And thus spake he to his heart:

A fool seemeth this wise man with his forty thoughts: but I believe he
knoweth well how to sleep.

Happy even is he who liveth near this wise man! Such sleep is
contagious--even through a thick wall it is contagious.

A magic resideth even in his academic chair. And not in vain did the
youths sit before the preacher of virtue.

His wisdom is to keep awake in order to sleep well. And verily, if
life had no sense, and had I to choose nonsense, this would be the
desirablest nonsense for me also.

Now know I well what people sought formerly above all else when they
sought teachers of virtue. Good sleep they sought for themselves, and
poppy-head virtues to promote it!

To all those belauded sages of the academic chairs, wisdom was sleep
without dreams: they knew no higher significance of life.

Even at present, to be sure, there are some like this preacher of
virtue, and not always so honourable: but their time is past. And not
much longer do they stand: there they already lie.

Blessed are those drowsy ones: for they shall soon nod to sleep.--

Thus spake Zarathustra.


Once on a time, Zarathustra also cast his fancy beyond man, like all
backworldsmen. The work of a suffering and tortured God, did the world
then seem to me.

The dream--and diction--of a God, did the world then seem to me;
coloured vapours before the eyes of a divinely dissatisfied one.

Good and evil, and joy and woe, and I and thou--coloured vapours did
they seem to me before creative eyes. The creator wished to look away
from himself,--thereupon he created the world.

Intoxicating joy is it for the sufferer to look away from his suffering
and forget himself. Intoxicating joy and self-forgetting, did the world
once seem to me.

This world, the eternally imperfect, an eternal contradiction’s image
and imperfect image--an intoxicating joy to its imperfect creator:--thus
did the world once seem to me.

Thus, once on a time, did I also cast my fancy beyond man, like all
backworldsmen. Beyond man, forsooth?

Ah, ye brethren, that God whom I created was human work and human
madness, like all the Gods!

A man was he, and only a poor fragment of a man and ego. Out of mine own
ashes and glow it came unto me, that phantom. And verily, it came not
unto me from the beyond!

What happened, my brethren? I surpassed myself, the suffering one; I
carried mine own ashes to the mountain; a brighter flame I contrived for
myself. And lo! Thereupon the phantom WITHDREW from me!

To me the convalescent would it now be suffering and torment to believe
in such phantoms: suffering would it now be to me, and humiliation. Thus
speak I to backworldsmen.

Suffering was it, and impotence--that created all backworlds; and
the short madness of happiness, which only the greatest sufferer

Weariness, which seeketh to get to the ultimate with one leap, with
a death-leap; a poor ignorant weariness, unwilling even to will any
longer: that created all Gods and backworlds.

Believe me, my brethren! It was the body which despaired of the body--it
groped with the fingers of the infatuated spirit at the ultimate walls.

Believe me, my brethren! It was the body which despaired of the
earth--it heard the bowels of existence speaking unto it.

And then it sought to get through the ultimate walls with its head--and
not with its head only--into “the other world.”

But that “other world” is well concealed from man, that dehumanised,
inhuman world, which is a celestial naught; and the bowels of existence
do not speak unto man, except as man.

Verily, it is difficult to prove all being, and hard to make it speak.
Tell me, ye brethren, is not the strangest of all things best proved?

Yea, this ego, with its contradiction and perplexity, speaketh most
uprightly of its being--this creating, willing, evaluing ego, which is
the measure and value of things.

And this most upright existence, the ego--it speaketh of the body, and
still implieth the body, even when it museth and raveth and fluttereth
with broken wings.

Always more uprightly learneth it to speak, the ego; and the more it
learneth, the more doth it find titles and honours for the body and the

A new pride taught me mine ego, and that teach I unto men: no longer
to thrust one’s head into the sand of celestial things, but to carry it
freely, a terrestrial head, which giveth meaning to the earth!

A new will teach I unto men: to choose that path which man hath followed
blindly, and to approve of it--and no longer to slink aside from it,
like the sick and perishing!

The sick and perishing--it was they who despised the body and the earth,
and invented the heavenly world, and the redeeming blood-drops; but even
those sweet and sad poisons they borrowed from the body and the earth!

From their misery they sought escape, and the stars were too remote for
them. Then they sighed: “O that there were heavenly paths by which to
steal into another existence and into happiness!” Then they contrived
for themselves their by-paths and bloody draughts!

Beyond the sphere of their body and this earth they now fancied
themselves transported, these ungrateful ones. But to what did they owe
the convulsion and rapture of their transport? To their body and this

Gentle is Zarathustra to the sickly. Verily, he is not indignant
at their modes of consolation and ingratitude. May they become
convalescents and overcomers, and create higher bodies for themselves!

Neither is Zarathustra indignant at a convalescent who looketh tenderly
on his delusions, and at midnight stealeth round the grave of his God;
but sickness and a sick frame remain even in his tears.

Many sickly ones have there always been among those who muse, and
languish for God; violently they hate the discerning ones, and the
latest of virtues, which is uprightness.

Backward they always gaze toward dark ages: then, indeed, were delusion
and faith something different. Raving of the reason was likeness to God,
and doubt was sin.

Too well do I know those godlike ones: they insist on being believed in,
and that doubt is sin. Too well, also, do I know what they themselves
most believe in.

Verily, not in backworlds and redeeming blood-drops: but in the body
do they also believe most; and their own body is for them the

But it is a sickly thing to them, and gladly would they get out of their
skin. Therefore hearken they to the preachers of death, and themselves
preach backworlds.

Hearken rather, my brethren, to the voice of the healthy body; it is a
more upright and pure voice.

More uprightly and purely speaketh the healthy body, perfect and
square-built; and it speaketh of the meaning of the earth.--

Thus spake Zarathustra.


To the despisers of the body will I speak my word. I wish them neither
to learn afresh, nor teach anew, but only to bid farewell to their own
bodies,--and thus be dumb.

“Body am I, and soul”--so saith the child. And why should one not speak
like children?

But the awakened one, the knowing one, saith: “Body am I entirely, and
nothing more; and soul is only the name of something in the body.”

The body is a big sagacity, a plurality with one sense, a war and a
peace, a flock and a shepherd.

An instrument of thy body is also thy little sagacity, my brother, which
thou callest “spirit”--a little instrument and plaything of thy big

“Ego,” sayest thou, and art proud of that word. But the greater
thing--in which thou art unwilling to believe--is thy body with its big
sagacity; it saith not “ego,” but doeth it.

What the sense feeleth, what the spirit discerneth, hath never its end
in itself. But sense and spirit would fain persuade thee that they are
the end of all things: so vain are they.

Instruments and playthings are sense and spirit: behind them there
is still the Self. The Self seeketh with the eyes of the senses, it
hearkeneth also with the ears of the spirit.

Ever hearkeneth the Self, and seeketh; it compareth, mastereth,
conquereth, and destroyeth. It ruleth, and is also the ego’s ruler.

Behind thy thoughts and feelings, my brother, there is a mighty lord,
an unknown sage--it is called Self; it dwelleth in thy body, it is thy

There is more sagacity in thy body than in thy best wisdom. And who then
knoweth why thy body requireth just thy best wisdom?

Thy Self laugheth at thine ego, and its proud prancings. “What are these
prancings and flights of thought unto me?” it saith to itself. “A by-way
to my purpose. I am the leading-string of the ego, and the prompter of
its notions.”

The Self saith unto the ego: “Feel pain!” And thereupon it suffereth,
and thinketh how it may put an end thereto--and for that very purpose it
IS MEANT to think.

The Self saith unto the ego: “Feel pleasure!” Thereupon it rejoiceth,
and thinketh how it may ofttimes rejoice--and for that very purpose it
IS MEANT to think.

To the despisers of the body will I speak a word. That they despise is
caused by their esteem. What is it that created esteeming and despising
and worth and will?

The creating Self created for itself esteeming and despising, it created
for itself joy and woe. The creating body created for itself spirit, as
a hand to its will.

Even in your folly and despising ye each serve your Self, ye despisers
of the body. I tell you, your very Self wanteth to die, and turneth away
from life.

No longer can your Self do that which it desireth most:--create beyond
itself. That is what it desireth most; that is all its fervour.

But it is now too late to do so:--so your Self wisheth to succumb, ye
despisers of the body.

To succumb--so wisheth your Self; and therefore have ye become despisers
of the body. For ye can no longer create beyond yourselves.

And therefore are ye now angry with life and with the earth. And
unconscious envy is in the sidelong look of your contempt.

I go not your way, ye despisers of the body! Ye are no bridges for me to
the Superman!--

Thus spake Zarathustra.


My brother, when thou hast a virtue, and it is thine own virtue, thou
hast it in common with no one.

To be sure, thou wouldst call it by name and caress it; thou wouldst
pull its ears and amuse thyself with it.

And lo! Then hast thou its name in common with the people, and hast
become one of the people and the herd with thy virtue!

Better for thee to say: “Ineffable is it, and nameless, that which is
pain and sweetness to my soul, and also the hunger of my bowels.”

Let thy virtue be too high for the familiarity of names, and if thou
must speak of it, be not ashamed to stammer about it.

Thus speak and stammer: “That is MY good, that do I love, thus doth it
please me entirely, thus only do _I_ desire the good.

Not as the law of a God do I desire it, not as a human law or a human
need do I desire it; it is not to be a guide-post for me to superearths
and paradises.

An earthly virtue is it which I love: little prudence is therein, and
the least everyday wisdom.

But that bird built its nest beside me: therefore, I love and cherish
it--now sitteth it beside me on its golden eggs.”

Thus shouldst thou stammer, and praise thy virtue.

Once hadst thou passions and calledst them evil. But now hast thou only
thy virtues: they grew out of thy passions.

Thou implantedst thy highest aim into the heart of those passions: then
became they thy virtues and joys.

And though thou wert of the race of the hot-tempered, or of the
voluptuous, or of the fanatical, or the vindictive;

All thy passions in the end became virtues, and all thy devils angels.

Once hadst thou wild dogs in thy cellar: but they changed at last into
birds and charming songstresses.

Out of thy poisons brewedst thou balsam for thyself; thy cow,
affliction, milkedst thou--now drinketh thou the sweet milk of her

And nothing evil groweth in thee any longer, unless it be the evil that
groweth out of the conflict of thy virtues.

My brother, if thou be fortunate, then wilt thou have one virtue and no
more: thus goest thou easier over the bridge.

Illustrious is it to have many virtues, but a hard lot; and many a one
hath gone into the wilderness and killed himself, because he was weary
of being the battle and battlefield of virtues.

My brother, are war and battle evil? Necessary, however, is the evil;
necessary are the envy and the distrust and the back-biting among the

Lo! how each of thy virtues is covetous of the highest place; it wanteth
thy whole spirit to be ITS herald, it wanteth thy whole power, in wrath,
hatred, and love.

Jealous is every virtue of the others, and a dreadful thing is jealousy.
Even virtues may succumb by jealousy.

He whom the flame of jealousy encompasseth, turneth at last, like the
scorpion, the poisoned sting against himself.

Ah! my brother, hast thou never seen a virtue backbite and stab itself?

Man is something that hath to be surpassed: and therefore shalt thou
love thy virtues,--for thou wilt succumb by them.--

Thus spake Zarathustra.


Ye do not mean to slay, ye judges and sacrificers, until the animal hath
bowed its head? Lo! the pale criminal hath bowed his head: out of his
eye speaketh the great contempt.

“Mine ego is something which is to be surpassed: mine ego is to me the
great contempt of man”: so speaketh it out of that eye.

When he judged himself--that was his supreme moment; let not the exalted
one relapse again into his low estate!

There is no salvation for him who thus suffereth from himself, unless it
be speedy death.

Your slaying, ye judges, shall be pity, and not revenge; and in that ye
slay, see to it that ye yourselves justify life!

It is not enough that ye should reconcile with him whom ye slay. Let
your sorrow be love to the Superman: thus will ye justify your own

“Enemy” shall ye say but not “villain,” “invalid” shall ye say but not
“wretch,” “fool” shall ye say but not “sinner.”

And thou, red judge, if thou would say audibly all thou hast done in
thought, then would every one cry: “Away with the nastiness and the
virulent reptile!”

But one thing is the thought, another thing is the deed, and another
thing is the idea of the deed. The wheel of causality doth not roll
between them.

An idea made this pale man pale. Adequate was he for his deed when he
did it, but the idea of it, he could not endure when it was done.

Evermore did he now see himself as the doer of one deed. Madness, I call
this: the exception reversed itself to the rule in him.

The streak of chalk bewitcheth the hen; the stroke he struck bewitched
his weak reason. Madness AFTER the deed, I call this.

Hearken, ye judges! There is another madness besides, and it is BEFORE
the deed. Ah! ye have not gone deep enough into this soul!

Thus speaketh the red judge: “Why did this criminal commit murder? He
meant to rob.” I tell you, however, that his soul wanted blood, not
booty: he thirsted for the happiness of the knife!

But his weak reason understood not this madness, and it persuaded him.
“What matter about blood!” it said; “wishest thou not, at least, to make
booty thereby? Or take revenge?”

And he hearkened unto his weak reason: like lead lay its words upon
him--thereupon he robbed when he murdered. He did not mean to be
ashamed of his madness.

And now once more lieth the lead of his guilt upon him, and once more is
his weak reason so benumbed, so paralysed, and so dull.

Could he only shake his head, then would his burden roll off; but who
shaketh that head?

What is this man? A mass of diseases that reach out into the world
through the spirit; there they want to get their prey.

What is this man? A coil of wild serpents that are seldom at peace among
themselves--so they go forth apart and seek prey in the world.

Look at that poor body! What it suffered and craved, the poor soul
interpreted to itself--it interpreted it as murderous desire, and
eagerness for the happiness of the knife.

Him who now turneth sick, the evil overtaketh which is now the evil: he
seeketh to cause pain with that which causeth him pain. But there have
been other ages, and another evil and good.

Once was doubt evil, and the will to Self. Then the invalid became a
heretic or sorcerer; as heretic or sorcerer he suffered, and sought to
cause suffering.

But this will not enter your ears; it hurteth your good people, ye tell
me. But what doth it matter to me about your good people!

Many things in your good people cause me disgust, and verily, not their
evil. I would that they had a madness by which they succumbed, like this
pale criminal!

Verily, I would that their madness were called truth, or fidelity,
or justice: but they have their virtue in order to live long, and in
wretched self-complacency.

I am a railing alongside the torrent; whoever is able to grasp me may
grasp me! Your crutch, however, I am not.--

Thus spake Zarathustra.


Of all that is written, I love only what a person hath written with his
blood. Write with blood, and thou wilt find that blood is spirit.

It is no easy task to understand unfamiliar blood; I hate the reading

He who knoweth the reader, doeth nothing more for the reader. Another
century of readers--and spirit itself will stink.

Every one being allowed to learn to read, ruineth in the long run not
only writing but also thinking.

Once spirit was God, then it became man, and now it even becometh

He that writeth in blood and proverbs doth not want to be read, but
learnt by heart.

In the mountains the shortest way is from peak to peak, but for that
route thou must have long legs. Proverbs should be peaks, and those
spoken to should be big and tall.

The atmosphere rare and pure, danger near and the spirit full of a
joyful wickedness: thus are things well matched.

I want to have goblins about me, for I am courageous. The courage which
scareth away ghosts, createth for itself goblins--it wanteth to laugh.

I no longer feel in common with you; the very cloud which I see
beneath me, the blackness and heaviness at which I laugh--that is your

Ye look aloft when ye long for exaltation; and I look downward because I
am exalted.

Who among you can at the same time laugh and be exalted?

He who climbeth on the highest mountains, laugheth at all tragic plays
and tragic realities.

Courageous, unconcerned, scornful, coercive--so wisdom wisheth us; she
is a woman, and ever loveth only a warrior.

Ye tell me, “Life is hard to bear.” But for what purpose should ye have
your pride in the morning and your resignation in the evening?

Life is hard to bear: but do not affect to be so delicate! We are all of
us fine sumpter asses and assesses.

What have we in common with the rose-bud, which trembleth because a drop
of dew hath formed upon it?

It is true we love life; not because we are wont to live, but because we
are wont to love.

There is always some madness in love. But there is always, also, some
method in madness.

And to me also, who appreciate life, the butterflies, and soap-bubbles,
and whatever is like them amongst us, seem most to enjoy happiness.

To see these light, foolish, pretty, lively little sprites flit
about--that moveth Zarathustra to tears and songs.

I should only believe in a God that would know how to dance.

And when I saw my devil, I found him serious, thorough, profound,
solemn: he was the spirit of gravity--through him all things fall.

Not by wrath, but by laughter, do we slay. Come, let us slay the spirit
of gravity!

I learned to walk; since then have I let myself run. I learned to fly;
since then I do not need pushing in order to move from a spot.

Now am I light, now do I fly; now do I see myself under myself. Now
there danceth a God in me.--

Thus spake Zarathustra.


Zarathustra’s eye had perceived that a certain youth avoided him. And as
he walked alone one evening over the hills surrounding the town called
“The Pied Cow,” behold, there found he the youth sitting leaning against
a tree, and gazing with wearied look into the valley. Zarathustra
thereupon laid hold of the tree beside which the youth sat, and spake

“If I wished to shake this tree with my hands, I should not be able to
do so.

But the wind, which we see not, troubleth and bendeth it as it listeth.
We are sorest bent and troubled by invisible hands.”

Thereupon the youth arose disconcerted, and said: “I hear Zarathustra,
and just now was I thinking of him!” Zarathustra answered:

“Why art thou frightened on that account?--But it is the same with man
as with the tree.

The more he seeketh to rise into the height and light, the more
vigorously do his roots struggle earthward, downward, into the dark and
deep--into the evil.”

“Yea, into the evil!” cried the youth. “How is it possible that thou
hast discovered my soul?”

Zarathustra smiled, and said: “Many a soul one will never discover,
unless one first invent it.”

“Yea, into the evil!” cried the youth once more.

“Thou saidst the truth, Zarathustra. I trust myself no longer since I
sought to rise into the height, and nobody trusteth me any longer; how
doth that happen?

I change too quickly: my to-day refuteth my yesterday. I often overleap
the steps when I clamber; for so doing, none of the steps pardons me.

When aloft, I find myself always alone. No one speaketh unto me; the
frost of solitude maketh me tremble. What do I seek on the height?

My contempt and my longing increase together; the higher I clamber, the
more do I despise him who clambereth. What doth he seek on the height?

How ashamed I am of my clambering and stumbling! How I mock at my
violent panting! How I hate him who flieth! How tired I am on the

Here the youth was silent. And Zarathustra contemplated the tree beside
which they stood, and spake thus:

“This tree standeth lonely here on the hills; it hath grown up high
above man and beast.

And if it wanted to speak, it would have none who could understand it:
so high hath it grown.

Now it waiteth and waiteth,--for what doth it wait? It dwelleth too
close to the seat of the clouds; it waiteth perhaps for the first

When Zarathustra had said this, the youth called out with violent
gestures: “Yea, Zarathustra, thou speakest the truth. My destruction
I longed for, when I desired to be on the height, and thou art the
lightning for which I waited! Lo! what have I been since thou hast
appeared amongst us? It is mine envy of thee that hath destroyed
me!”--Thus spake the youth, and wept bitterly. Zarathustra, however, put
his arm about him, and led the youth away with him.

And when they had walked a while together, Zarathustra began to speak

It rendeth my heart. Better than thy words express it, thine eyes tell
me all thy danger.

As yet thou art not free; thou still SEEKEST freedom. Too unslept hath
thy seeking made thee, and too wakeful.

On the open height wouldst thou be; for the stars thirsteth thy soul.
But thy bad impulses also thirst for freedom.

Thy wild dogs want liberty; they bark for joy in their cellar when thy
spirit endeavoureth to open all prison doors.

Still art thou a prisoner--it seemeth to me--who deviseth liberty
for himself: ah! sharp becometh the soul of such prisoners, but also
deceitful and wicked.

To purify himself, is still necessary for the freedman of the spirit.
Much of the prison and the mould still remaineth in him: pure hath his
eye still to become.

Yea, I know thy danger. But by my love and hope I conjure thee: cast not
thy love and hope away!

Noble thou feelest thyself still, and noble others also feel thee still,
though they bear thee a grudge and cast evil looks. Know this, that to
everybody a noble one standeth in the way.

Also to the good, a noble one standeth in the way: and even when they
call him a good man, they want thereby to put him aside.

The new, would the noble man create, and a new virtue. The old, wanteth
the good man, and that the old should be conserved.

But it is not the danger of the noble man to turn a good man, but lest
he should become a blusterer, a scoffer, or a destroyer.

Ah! I have known noble ones who lost their highest hope. And then they
disparaged all high hopes.

Then lived they shamelessly in temporary pleasures, and beyond the day
had hardly an aim.

“Spirit is also voluptuousness,”--said they. Then broke the wings of
their spirit; and now it creepeth about, and defileth where it gnaweth.

Once they thought of becoming heroes; but sensualists are they now. A
trouble and a terror is the hero to them.

But by my love and hope I conjure thee: cast not away the hero in thy
soul! Maintain holy thy highest hope!--

Thus spake Zarathustra.


There are preachers of death: and the earth is full of those to whom
desistance from life must be preached.

Full is the earth of the superfluous; marred is life by the
many-too-many. May they be decoyed out of this life by the “life

“The yellow ones”: so are called the preachers of death, or “the black
ones.” But I will show them unto you in other colours besides.

There are the terrible ones who carry about in themselves the beast of
prey, and have no choice except lusts or self-laceration. And even their
lusts are self-laceration.

They have not yet become men, those terrible ones: may they preach
desistance from life, and pass away themselves!

There are the spiritually consumptive ones: hardly are they born when
they begin to die, and long for doctrines of lassitude and renunciation.

They would fain be dead, and we should approve of their wish! Let
us beware of awakening those dead ones, and of damaging those living

They meet an invalid, or an old man, or a corpse--and immediately they
say: “Life is refuted!”

But they only are refuted, and their eye, which seeth only one aspect of

Shrouded in thick melancholy, and eager for the little casualties that
bring death: thus do they wait, and clench their teeth.

Or else, they grasp at sweetmeats, and mock at their childishness
thereby: they cling to their straw of life, and mock at their still
clinging to it.

Their wisdom speaketh thus: “A fool, he who remaineth alive; but so far
are we fools! And that is the foolishest thing in life!”

“Life is only suffering”: so say others, and lie not. Then see to it
that YE cease! See to it that the life ceaseth which is only suffering!

And let this be the teaching of your virtue: “Thou shalt slay thyself!
Thou shalt steal away from thyself!”--

“Lust is sin,”--so say some who preach death--“let us go apart and beget
no children!”

“Giving birth is troublesome,”--say others--“why still give birth? One
beareth only the unfortunate!” And they also are preachers of death.

“Pity is necessary,”--so saith a third party. “Take what I have! Take
what I am! So much less doth life bind me!”

Were they consistently pitiful, then would they make their neighbours
sick of life. To be wicked--that would be their true goodness.

But they want to be rid of life; what care they if they bind others
still faster with their chains and gifts!--

And ye also, to whom life is rough labour and disquiet, are ye not very
tired of life? Are ye not very ripe for the sermon of death?

All ye to whom rough labour is dear, and the rapid, new, and strange--ye
put up with yourselves badly; your diligence is flight, and the will to

If ye believed more in life, then would ye devote yourselves less to the
momentary. But for waiting, ye have not enough of capacity in you--nor
even for idling!

Everywhere resoundeth the voices of those who preach death; and the
earth is full of those to whom death hath to be preached.

Or “life eternal”; it is all the same to me--if only they pass away

Thus spake Zarathustra.


By our best enemies we do not want to be spared, nor by those either
whom we love from the very heart. So let me tell you the truth!

My brethren in war! I love you from the very heart. I am, and was ever,
your counterpart. And I am also your best enemy. So let me tell you the

I know the hatred and envy of your hearts. Ye are not great enough not
to know of hatred and envy. Then be great enough not to be ashamed of

And if ye cannot be saints of knowledge, then, I pray you, be at least
its warriors. They are the companions and forerunners of such saintship.

I see many soldiers; could I but see many warriors! “Uniform” one
calleth what they wear; may it not be uniform what they therewith hide!

Ye shall be those whose eyes ever seek for an enemy--for YOUR enemy. And
with some of you there is hatred at first sight.

Your enemy shall ye seek; your war shall ye wage, and for the sake of
your thoughts! And if your thoughts succumb, your uprightness shall
still shout triumph thereby!

Ye shall love peace as a means to new wars--and the short peace more
than the long.

You I advise not to work, but to fight. You I advise not to peace, but
to victory. Let your work be a fight, let your peace be a victory!

One can only be silent and sit peacefully when one hath arrow and bow;
otherwise one prateth and quarrelleth. Let your peace be a victory!

Ye say it is the good cause which halloweth even war? I say unto you: it
is the good war which halloweth every cause.

War and courage have done more great things than charity. Not your
sympathy, but your bravery hath hitherto saved the victims.

“What is good?” ye ask. To be brave is good. Let the little girls say:
“To be good is what is pretty, and at the same time touching.”

They call you heartless: but your heart is true, and I love the
bashfulness of your goodwill. Ye are ashamed of your flow, and others
are ashamed of their ebb.

Ye are ugly? Well then, my brethren, take the sublime about you, the
mantle of the ugly!

And when your soul becometh great, then doth it become haughty, and in
your sublimity there is wickedness. I know you.

In wickedness the haughty man and the weakling meet. But they
misunderstand one another. I know you.

Ye shall only have enemies to be hated, but not enemies to be despised.
Ye must be proud of your enemies; then, the successes of your enemies
are also your successes.

Resistance--that is the distinction of the slave. Let your distinction
be obedience. Let your commanding itself be obeying!

To the good warrior soundeth “thou shalt” pleasanter than “I will.” And
all that is dear unto you, ye shall first have it commanded unto you.

Let your love to life be love to your highest hope; and let your highest
hope be the highest thought of life!

Your highest thought, however, ye shall have it commanded unto you by
me--and it is this: man is something that is to be surpassed.

So live your life of obedience and of war! What matter about long life!
What warrior wisheth to be spared!

I spare you not, I love you from my very heart, my brethren in war!--

Thus spake Zarathustra.


Somewhere there are still peoples and herds, but not with us, my
brethren: here there are states.

A state? What is that? Well! open now your ears unto me, for now will I
say unto you my word concerning the death of peoples.

A state, is called the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly lieth
it also; and this lie creepeth from its mouth: “I, the state, am the

It is a lie! Creators were they who created peoples, and hung a faith
and a love over them: thus they served life.

Destroyers, are they who lay snares for many, and call it the state:
they hang a sword and a hundred cravings over them.

Where there is still a people, there the state is not understood, but
hated as the evil eye, and as sin against laws and customs.

This sign I give unto you: every people speaketh its language of good
and evil: this its neighbour understandeth not. Its language hath it
devised for itself in laws and customs.

But the state lieth in all languages of good and evil; and whatever it
saith it lieth; and whatever it hath it hath stolen.

False is everything in it; with stolen teeth it biteth, the biting one.
False are even its bowels.

Confusion of language of good and evil; this sign I give unto you as
the sign of the state. Verily, the will to death, indicateth this sign!
Verily, it beckoneth unto the preachers of death!

Many too many are born: for the superfluous ones was the state devised!

See just how it enticeth them to it, the many-too-many! How it
swalloweth and cheweth and recheweth them!

“On earth there is nothing greater than I: it is I who am the regulating
finger of God”--thus roareth the monster. And not only the long-eared
and short-sighted fall upon their knees!

Ah! even in your ears, ye great souls, it whispereth its gloomy lies!
Ah! it findeth out the rich hearts which willingly lavish themselves!

Yea, it findeth you out too, ye conquerors of the old God! Weary ye
became of the conflict, and now your weariness serveth the new idol!

Heroes and honourable ones, it would fain set up around it, the new
idol! Gladly it basketh in the sunshine of good consciences,--the cold

Everything will it give YOU, if YE worship it, the new idol: thus it
purchaseth the lustre of your virtue, and the glance of your proud eyes.

It seeketh to allure by means of you, the many-too-many! Yea, a hellish
artifice hath here been devised, a death-horse jingling with the
trappings of divine honours!

Yea, a dying for many hath here been devised, which glorifieth itself as
life: verily, a hearty service unto all preachers of death!

The state, I call it, where all are poison-drinkers, the good and the
bad: the state, where all lose themselves, the good and the bad: the
state, where the slow suicide of all--is called “life.”

Just see these superfluous ones! They steal the works of the inventors
and the treasures of the wise. Culture, they call their theft--and
everything becometh sickness and trouble unto them!

Just see these superfluous ones! Sick are they always; they vomit their
bile and call it a newspaper. They devour one another, and cannot even
digest themselves.

Just see these superfluous ones! Wealth they acquire and become poorer
thereby. Power they seek for, and above all, the lever of power, much
money--these impotent ones!

See them clamber, these nimble apes! They clamber over one another, and
thus scuffle into the mud and the abyss.

Towards the throne they all strive: it is their madness--as if happiness
sat on the throne! Ofttimes sitteth filth on the throne.--and ofttimes
also the throne on filth.

Madmen they all seem to me, and clambering apes, and too eager. Badly
smelleth their idol to me, the cold monster: badly they all smell to me,
these idolaters.

My brethren, will ye suffocate in the fumes of their maws and appetites!
Better break the windows and jump into the open air!

Do go out of the way of the bad odour! Withdraw from the idolatry of the

Do go out of the way of the bad odour! Withdraw from the steam of these
human sacrifices!

Open still remaineth the earth for great souls. Empty are still many
sites for lone ones and twain ones, around which floateth the odour of
tranquil seas.

Open still remaineth a free life for great souls. Verily, he who
possesseth little is so much the less possessed: blessed be moderate

There, where the state ceaseth--there only commenceth the man who is not
superfluous: there commenceth the song of the necessary ones, the single
and irreplaceable melody.

There, where the state CEASETH--pray look thither, my brethren! Do ye
not see it, the rainbow and the bridges of the Superman?--

Thus spake Zarathustra.


Flee, my friend, into thy solitude! I see thee deafened with the noise
of the great men, and stung all over with the stings of the little ones.

Admirably do forest and rock know how to be silent with thee. Resemble
again the tree which thou lovest, the broad-branched one--silently and
attentively it o’erhangeth the sea.

Where solitude endeth, there beginneth the market-place; and where the
market-place beginneth, there beginneth also the noise of the great
actors, and the buzzing of the poison-flies.

In the world even the best things are worthless without those who
represent them: those representers, the people call great men.

Little do the people understand what is great--that is to say, the
creating agency. But they have a taste for all representers and actors
of great things.

Around the devisers of new values revolveth the world:--invisibly it
revolveth. But around the actors revolve the people and the glory: such
is the course of things.

Spirit, hath the actor, but little conscience of the spirit. He
believeth always in that wherewith he maketh believe most strongly--in

Tomorrow he hath a new belief, and the day after, one still newer. Sharp
perceptions hath he, like the people, and changeable humours.

To upset--that meaneth with him to prove. To drive mad--that meaneth
with him to convince. And blood is counted by him as the best of all

A truth which only glideth into fine ears, he calleth falsehood and
trumpery. Verily, he believeth only in Gods that make a great noise in
the world!

Full of clattering buffoons is the market-place,--and the people glory
in their great men! These are for them the masters of the hour.

But the hour presseth them; so they press thee. And also from thee
they want Yea or Nay. Alas! thou wouldst set thy chair betwixt For and

On account of those absolute and impatient ones, be not jealous, thou
lover of truth! Never yet did truth cling to the arm of an absolute one.

On account of those abrupt ones, return into thy security: only in the
market-place is one assailed by Yea? or Nay?

Slow is the experience of all deep fountains: long have they to wait
until they know WHAT hath fallen into their depths.

Away from the market-place and from fame taketh place all that is great:
away from the market-Place and from fame have ever dwelt the devisers of
new values.

Flee, my friend, into thy solitude: I see thee stung all over by the
poisonous flies. Flee thither, where a rough, strong breeze bloweth!

Flee into thy solitude! Thou hast lived too closely to the small and the
pitiable. Flee from their invisible vengeance! Towards thee they have
nothing but vengeance.

Raise no longer an arm against them! Innumerable are they, and it is not
thy lot to be a fly-flap.

Innumerable are the small and pitiable ones; and of many a proud
structure, rain-drops and weeds have been the ruin.

Thou art not stone; but already hast thou become hollow by the numerous
drops. Thou wilt yet break and burst by the numerous drops.

Exhausted I see thee, by poisonous flies; bleeding I see thee, and torn
at a hundred spots; and thy pride will not even upbraid.

Blood they would have from thee in all innocence; blood their bloodless
souls crave for--and they sting, therefore, in all innocence.

But thou, profound one, thou sufferest too profoundly even from small
wounds; and ere thou hadst recovered, the same poison-worm crawled over
thy hand.

Too proud art thou to kill these sweet-tooths. But take care lest it be
thy fate to suffer all their poisonous injustice!

They buzz around thee also with their praise: obtrusiveness, is their
praise. They want to be close to thy skin and thy blood.

They flatter thee, as one flattereth a God or devil; they whimper before
thee, as before a God or devil. What doth it come to! Flatterers are
they, and whimperers, and nothing more.

Often, also, do they show themselves to thee as amiable ones. But that
hath ever been the prudence of the cowardly. Yea! the cowardly are wise!

They think much about thee with their circumscribed souls--thou art
always suspected by them! Whatever is much thought about is at last
thought suspicious.

They punish thee for all thy virtues. They pardon thee in their inmost
hearts only--for thine errors.

Because thou art gentle and of upright character, thou sayest:
“Blameless are they for their small existence.” But their circumscribed
souls think: “Blamable is all great existence.”

Even when thou art gentle towards them, they still feel themselves
despised by thee; and they repay thy beneficence with secret

Thy silent pride is always counter to their taste; they rejoice if once
thou be humble enough to be frivolous.

What we recognise in a man, we also irritate in him. Therefore be on
your guard against the small ones!

In thy presence they feel themselves small, and their baseness gleameth
and gloweth against thee in invisible vengeance.

Sawest thou not how often they became dumb when thou approachedst them,
and how their energy left them like the smoke of an extinguishing fire?

Yea, my friend, the bad conscience art thou of thy neighbours; for they
are unworthy of thee. Therefore they hate thee, and would fain suck thy

Thy neighbours will always be poisonous flies; what is great in
thee--that itself must make them more poisonous, and always more

Flee, my friend, into thy solitude--and thither, where a rough strong
breeze bloweth. It is not thy lot to be a fly-flap.--

Thus spake Zarathustra.


I love the forest. It is bad to live in cities: there, there are too
many of the lustful.

Is it not better to fall into the hands of a murderer, than into the
dreams of a lustful woman?

And just look at these men: their eye saith it--they know nothing better
on earth than to lie with a woman.

Filth is at the bottom of their souls; and alas! if their filth hath
still spirit in it!

Would that ye were perfect--at least as animals! But to animals
belongeth innocence.

Do I counsel you to slay your instincts? I counsel you to innocence in
your instincts.

Do I counsel you to chastity? Chastity is a virtue with some, but with
many almost a vice.

These are continent, to be sure: but doggish lust looketh enviously out
of all that they do.

Even into the heights of their virtue and into their cold spirit doth
this creature follow them, with its discord.

And how nicely can doggish lust beg for a piece of spirit, when a piece
of flesh is denied it!

Ye love tragedies and all that breaketh the heart? But I am distrustful
of your doggish lust.

Ye have too cruel eyes, and ye look wantonly towards the sufferers.
Hath not your lust just disguised itself and taken the name of

And also this parable give I unto you: Not a few who meant to cast out
their devil, went thereby into the swine themselves.

To whom chastity is difficult, it is to be dissuaded: lest it become the
road to hell--to filth and lust of soul.

Do I speak of filthy things? That is not the worst thing for me to do.

Not when the truth is filthy, but when it is shallow, doth the
discerning one go unwillingly into its waters.

Verily, there are chaste ones from their very nature; they are gentler
of heart, and laugh better and oftener than you.

They laugh also at chastity, and ask: “What is chastity?

Is chastity not folly? But the folly came unto us, and not we unto it.

We offered that guest harbour and heart: now it dwelleth with us--let it
stay as long as it will!”--

Thus spake Zarathustra.


“One, is always too many about me”--thinketh the anchorite. “Always once
one--that maketh two in the long run!”

I and me are always too earnestly in conversation: how could it be
endured, if there were not a friend?

The friend of the anchorite is always the third one: the third one is
the cork which preventeth the conversation of the two sinking into the

Ah! there are too many depths for all anchorites. Therefore, do they
long so much for a friend, and for his elevation.

Our faith in others betrayeth wherein we would fain have faith in
ourselves. Our longing for a friend is our betrayer.

And often with our love we want merely to overleap envy. And often we
attack and make ourselves enemies, to conceal that we are vulnerable.

“Be at least mine enemy!”--thus speaketh the true reverence, which doth
not venture to solicit friendship.

If one would have a friend, then must one also be willing to wage war
for him: and in order to wage war, one must be CAPABLE of being an

One ought still to honour the enemy in one’s friend. Canst thou go nigh
unto thy friend, and not go over to him?

In one’s friend one shall have one’s best enemy. Thou shalt be closest
unto him with thy heart when thou withstandest him.

Thou wouldst wear no raiment before thy friend? It is in honour of thy
friend that thou showest thyself to him as thou art? But he wisheth thee
to the devil on that account!

He who maketh no secret of himself shocketh: so much reason have ye
to fear nakedness! Aye, if ye were Gods, ye could then be ashamed of

Thou canst not adorn thyself fine enough for thy friend; for thou shalt
be unto him an arrow and a longing for the Superman.

Sawest thou ever thy friend asleep--to know how he looketh? What is
usually the countenance of thy friend? It is thine own countenance, in a
coarse and imperfect mirror.

Sawest thou ever thy friend asleep? Wert thou not dismayed at thy friend
looking so? O my friend, man is something that hath to be surpassed.

In divining and keeping silence shall the friend be a master: not
everything must thou wish to see. Thy dream shall disclose unto thee
what thy friend doeth when awake.

Let thy pity be a divining: to know first if thy friend wanteth pity.
Perhaps he loveth in thee the unmoved eye, and the look of eternity.

Let thy pity for thy friend be hid under a hard shell; thou shalt bite
out a tooth upon it. Thus will it have delicacy and sweetness.

Art thou pure air and solitude and bread and medicine to thy friend?
Many a one cannot loosen his own fetters, but is nevertheless his
friend’s emancipator.

Art thou a slave? Then thou canst not be a friend. Art thou a tyrant?
Then thou canst not have friends.

Far too long hath there been a slave and a tyrant concealed in woman.
On that account woman is not yet capable of friendship: she knoweth only

In woman’s love there is injustice and blindness to all she doth not
love. And even in woman’s conscious love, there is still always surprise
and lightning and night, along with the light.

As yet woman is not capable of friendship: women are still cats, and
birds. Or at the best, cows.

As yet woman is not capable of friendship. But tell me, ye men, who of
you are capable of friendship?

Oh! your poverty, ye men, and your sordidness of soul! As much as ye
give to your friend, will I give even to my foe, and will not have
become poorer thereby.

There is comradeship: may there be friendship!

Thus spake Zarathustra.


Many lands saw Zarathustra, and many peoples: thus he discovered the
good and bad of many peoples. No greater power did Zarathustra find on
earth than good and bad.

No people could live without first valuing; if a people will maintain
itself, however, it must not value as its neighbour valueth.

Much that passed for good with one people was regarded with scorn and
contempt by another: thus I found it. Much found I here called bad,
which was there decked with purple honours.

Never did the one neighbour understand the other: ever did his soul
marvel at his neighbour’s delusion and wickedness.

A table of excellencies hangeth over every people. Lo! it is the table
of their triumphs; lo! it is the voice of their Will to Power.

It is laudable, what they think hard; what is indispensable and hard
they call good; and what relieveth in the direst distress, the unique
and hardest of all,--they extol as holy.

Whatever maketh them rule and conquer and shine, to the dismay and envy
of their neighbours, they regard as the high and foremost thing, the
test and the meaning of all else.

Verily, my brother, if thou knewest but a people’s need, its land,
its sky, and its neighbour, then wouldst thou divine the law of its
surmountings, and why it climbeth up that ladder to its hope.

“Always shalt thou be the foremost and prominent above others: no one
shall thy jealous soul love, except a friend”--that made the soul of a
Greek thrill: thereby went he his way to greatness.

“To speak truth, and be skilful with bow and arrow”--so seemed it alike
pleasing and hard to the people from whom cometh my name--the name which
is alike pleasing and hard to me.

“To honour father and mother, and from the root of the soul to do their
will”--this table of surmounting hung another people over them, and
became powerful and permanent thereby.

“To have fidelity, and for the sake of fidelity to risk honour and
blood, even in evil and dangerous courses”--teaching itself so, another
people mastered itself, and thus mastering itself, became pregnant and
heavy with great hopes.

Verily, men have given unto themselves all their good and bad. Verily,
they took it not, they found it not, it came not unto them as a voice
from heaven.

Values did man only assign to things in order to maintain himself--he
created only the significance of things, a human significance!
Therefore, calleth he himself “man,” that is, the valuator.

Valuing is creating: hear it, ye creating ones! Valuation itself is the
treasure and jewel of the valued things.

Through valuation only is there value; and without valuation the nut of
existence would be hollow. Hear it, ye creating ones!

Change of values--that is, change of the creating ones. Always doth he
destroy who hath to be a creator.

Creating ones were first of all peoples, and only in late times
individuals; verily, the individual himself is still the latest

Peoples once hung over them tables of the good. Love which would rule
and love which would obey, created for themselves such tables.

Older is the pleasure in the herd than the pleasure in the ego: and as
long as the good conscience is for the herd, the bad conscience only
saith: ego.

Verily, the crafty ego, the loveless one, that seeketh its advantage in
the advantage of many--it is not the origin of the herd, but its ruin.

Loving ones, was it always, and creating ones, that created good and
bad. Fire of love gloweth in the names of all the virtues, and fire of

Many lands saw Zarathustra, and many peoples: no greater power did
Zarathustra find on earth than the creations of the loving ones--“good”
 and “bad” are they called.

Verily, a prodigy is this power of praising and blaming. Tell me, ye
brethren, who will master it for me? Who will put a fetter upon the
thousand necks of this animal?

A thousand goals have there been hitherto, for a thousand peoples have
there been. Only the fetter for the thousand necks is still lacking;
there is lacking the one goal. As yet humanity hath not a goal.

But pray tell me, my brethren, if the goal of humanity be still lacking,
is there not also still lacking--humanity itself?--

Thus spake Zarathustra.


Ye crowd around your neighbour, and have fine words for it. But I say
unto you: your neighbour-love is your bad love of yourselves.

Ye flee unto your neighbour from yourselves, and would fain make a
virtue thereof: but I fathom your “unselfishness.”

The THOU is older than the _I_; the THOU hath been consecrated, but not
yet the _I_: so man presseth nigh unto his neighbour.

Do I advise you to neighbour-love? Rather do I advise you to
neighbour-flight and to furthest love!

Higher than love to your neighbour is love to the furthest and future
ones; higher still than love to men, is love to things and phantoms.

The phantom that runneth on before thee, my brother, is fairer than
thou; why dost thou not give unto it thy flesh and thy bones? But thou
fearest, and runnest unto thy neighbour.

Ye cannot endure it with yourselves, and do not love yourselves
sufficiently: so ye seek to mislead your neighbour into love, and would
fain gild yourselves with his error.

Would that ye could not endure it with any kind of near ones, or their
neighbours; then would ye have to create your friend and his overflowing
heart out of yourselves.

Ye call in a witness when ye want to speak well of yourselves; and
when ye have misled him to think well of you, ye also think well of

Not only doth he lie, who speaketh contrary to his knowledge, but more
so, he who speaketh contrary to his ignorance. And thus speak ye
of yourselves in your intercourse, and belie your neighbour with

Thus saith the fool: “Association with men spoileth the character,
especially when one hath none.”

The one goeth to his neighbour because he seeketh himself, and the other
because he would fain lose himself. Your bad love to yourselves maketh
solitude a prison to you.

The furthest ones are they who pay for your love to the near ones; and
when there are but five of you together, a sixth must always die.

I love not your festivals either: too many actors found I there, and
even the spectators often behaved like actors.

Not the neighbour do I teach you, but the friend. Let the friend be the
festival of the earth to you, and a foretaste of the Superman.

I teach you the friend and his overflowing heart. But one must know how
to be a sponge, if one would be loved by overflowing hearts.

I teach you the friend in whom the world standeth complete, a capsule
of the good,--the creating friend, who hath always a complete world to

And as the world unrolled itself for him, so rolleth it together again
for him in rings, as the growth of good through evil, as the growth of
purpose out of chance.

Let the future and the furthest be the motive of thy to-day; in thy
friend shalt thou love the Superman as thy motive.

My brethren, I advise you not to neighbour-love--I advise you to
furthest love!--

Thus spake Zarathustra.


Wouldst thou go into isolation, my brother? Wouldst thou seek the way
unto thyself? Tarry yet a little and hearken unto me.

“He who seeketh may easily get lost himself. All isolation is wrong”: so
say the herd. And long didst thou belong to the herd.

The voice of the herd will still echo in thee. And when thou sayest,
“I have no longer a conscience in common with you,” then will it be a
plaint and a pain.

Lo, that pain itself did the same conscience produce; and the last gleam
of that conscience still gloweth on thine affliction.

But thou wouldst go the way of thine affliction, which is the way unto
thyself? Then show me thine authority and thy strength to do so!

Art thou a new strength and a new authority? A first motion? A
self-rolling wheel? Canst thou also compel stars to revolve around thee?

Alas! there is so much lusting for loftiness! There are so many
convulsions of the ambitions! Show me that thou art not a lusting and
ambitious one!

Alas! there are so many great thoughts that do nothing more than the
bellows: they inflate, and make emptier than ever.

Free, dost thou call thyself? Thy ruling thought would I hear of, and
not that thou hast escaped from a yoke.

Art thou one ENTITLED to escape from a yoke? Many a one hath cast away
his final worth when he hath cast away his servitude.

Free from what? What doth that matter to Zarathustra! Clearly, however,
shall thine eye show unto me: free FOR WHAT?

Canst thou give unto thyself thy bad and thy good, and set up thy will
as a law over thee? Canst thou be judge for thyself, and avenger of thy

Terrible is aloneness with the judge and avenger of one’s own law.
Thus is a star projected into desert space, and into the icy breath of

To-day sufferest thou still from the multitude, thou individual; to-day
hast thou still thy courage unabated, and thy hopes.

But one day will the solitude weary thee; one day will thy pride yield,
and thy courage quail. Thou wilt one day cry: “I am alone!”

One day wilt thou see no longer thy loftiness, and see too closely thy
lowliness; thy sublimity itself will frighten thee as a phantom. Thou
wilt one day cry: “All is false!”

There are feelings which seek to slay the lonesome one; if they do not
succeed, then must they themselves die! But art thou capable of it--to
be a murderer?

Hast thou ever known, my brother, the word “disdain”? And the anguish of
thy justice in being just to those that disdain thee?

Thou forcest many to think differently about thee; that, charge they
heavily to thine account. Thou camest nigh unto them, and yet wentest
past: for that they never forgive thee.

Thou goest beyond them: but the higher thou risest, the smaller doth the
eye of envy see thee. Most of all, however, is the flying one hated.

“How could ye be just unto me!”--must thou say--“I choose your injustice
as my allotted portion.”

Injustice and filth cast they at the lonesome one: but, my brother, if
thou wouldst be a star, thou must shine for them none the less on that

And be on thy guard against the good and just! They would fain crucify
those who devise their own virtue--they hate the lonesome ones.

Be on thy guard, also, against holy simplicity! All is unholy to it that
is not simple; fain, likewise, would it play with the fire--of the fagot
and stake.

And be on thy guard, also, against the assaults of thy love! Too readily
doth the recluse reach his hand to any one who meeteth him.

To many a one mayest thou not give thy hand, but only thy paw; and I
wish thy paw also to have claws.

But the worst enemy thou canst meet, wilt thou thyself always be; thou
waylayest thyself in caverns and forests.

Thou lonesome one, thou goest the way to thyself! And past thyself and
thy seven devils leadeth thy way!

A heretic wilt thou be to thyself, and a wizard and a sooth-sayer, and a
fool, and a doubter, and a reprobate, and a villain.

Ready must thou be to burn thyself in thine own flame; how couldst thou
become new if thou have not first become ashes!

Thou lonesome one, thou goest the way of the creating one: a God wilt
thou create for thyself out of thy seven devils!

Thou lonesome one, thou goest the way of the loving one: thou lovest
thyself, and on that account despisest thou thyself, as only the loving
ones despise.

To create, desireth the loving one, because he despiseth! What knoweth
he of love who hath not been obliged to despise just what he loved!

With thy love, go into thine isolation, my brother, and with thy
creating; and late only will justice limp after thee.

With my tears, go into thine isolation, my brother. I love him who
seeketh to create beyond himself, and thus succumbeth.--

Thus spake Zarathustra.


“Why stealest thou along so furtively in the twilight, Zarathustra? And
what hidest thou so carefully under thy mantle?

Is it a treasure that hath been given thee? Or a child that hath been
born thee? Or goest thou thyself on a thief’s errand, thou friend of the

Verily, my brother, said Zarathustra, it is a treasure that hath been
given me: it is a little truth which I carry.

But it is naughty, like a young child; and if I hold not its mouth, it
screameth too loudly.

As I went on my way alone to-day, at the hour when the sun declineth,
there met me an old woman, and she spake thus unto my soul:

“Much hath Zarathustra spoken also to us women, but never spake he unto
us concerning woman.”

And I answered her: “Concerning woman, one should only talk unto men.”

“Talk also unto me of woman,” said she; “I am old enough to forget it

And I obliged the old woman and spake thus unto her:

Everything in woman is a riddle, and everything in woman hath one
solution--it is called pregnancy.

Man is for woman a means: the purpose is always the child. But what is
woman for man?

Two different things wanteth the true man: danger and diversion.
Therefore wanteth he woman, as the most dangerous plaything.

Man shall be trained for war, and woman for the recreation of the
warrior: all else is folly.

Too sweet fruits--these the warrior liketh not. Therefore liketh he
woman;--bitter is even the sweetest woman.

Better than man doth woman understand children, but man is more childish
than woman.

In the true man there is a child hidden: it wanteth to play. Up then, ye
women, and discover the child in man!

A plaything let woman be, pure and fine like the precious stone,
illumined with the virtues of a world not yet come.

Let the beam of a star shine in your love! Let your hope say: “May I
bear the Superman!”

In your love let there be valour! With your love shall ye assail him who
inspireth you with fear!

In your love be your honour! Little doth woman understand otherwise
about honour. But let this be your honour: always to love more than ye
are loved, and never be the second.

Let man fear woman when she loveth: then maketh she every sacrifice, and
everything else she regardeth as worthless.

Let man fear woman when she hateth: for man in his innermost soul is
merely evil; woman, however, is mean.

Whom hateth woman most?--Thus spake the iron to the loadstone: “I hate
thee most, because thou attractest, but art too weak to draw unto thee.”

The happiness of man is, “I will.” The happiness of woman is, “He will.”

“Lo! now hath the world become perfect!”--thus thinketh every woman when
she obeyeth with all her love.

Obey, must the woman, and find a depth for her surface. Surface, is
woman’s soul, a mobile, stormy film on shallow water.

Man’s soul, however, is deep, its current gusheth in subterranean
caverns: woman surmiseth its force, but comprehendeth it not.--

Then answered me the old woman: “Many fine things hath Zarathustra said,
especially for those who are young enough for them.

Strange! Zarathustra knoweth little about woman, and yet he is right
about them! Doth this happen, because with women nothing is impossible?

And now accept a little truth by way of thanks! I am old enough for it!

Swaddle it up and hold its mouth: otherwise it will scream too loudly,
the little truth.”

“Give me, woman, thy little truth!” said I. And thus spake the old

“Thou goest to women? Do not forget thy whip!”--

Thus spake Zarathustra.


One day had Zarathustra fallen asleep under a fig-tree, owing to the
heat, with his arms over his face. And there came an adder and bit him
in the neck, so that Zarathustra screamed with pain. When he had
taken his arm from his face he looked at the serpent; and then did it
recognise the eyes of Zarathustra, wriggled awkwardly, and tried to get
away. “Not at all,” said Zarathustra, “as yet hast thou not received
my thanks! Thou hast awakened me in time; my journey is yet long.”
 “Thy journey is short,” said the adder sadly; “my poison is fatal.”
 Zarathustra smiled. “When did ever a dragon die of a serpent’s
poison?”--said he. “But take thy poison back! Thou art not rich enough
to present it to me.” Then fell the adder again on his neck, and licked
his wound.

When Zarathustra once told this to his disciples they asked him:
“And what, O Zarathustra, is the moral of thy story?” And Zarathustra
answered them thus:

The destroyer of morality, the good and just call me: my story is

When, however, ye have an enemy, then return him not good for evil: for
that would abash him. But prove that he hath done something good to you.

And rather be angry than abash any one! And when ye are cursed, it
pleaseth me not that ye should then desire to bless. Rather curse a
little also!

And should a great injustice befall you, then do quickly five small ones
besides. Hideous to behold is he on whom injustice presseth alone.

Did ye ever know this? Shared injustice is half justice. And he who can
bear it, shall take the injustice upon himself!

A small revenge is humaner than no revenge at all. And if the punishment
be not also a right and an honour to the transgressor, I do not like
your punishing.

Nobler is it to own oneself in the wrong than to establish one’s right,
especially if one be in the right. Only, one must be rich enough to do

I do not like your cold justice; out of the eye of your judges there
always glanceth the executioner and his cold steel.

Tell me: where find we justice, which is love with seeing eyes?

Devise me, then, the love which not only beareth all punishment, but
also all guilt!

Devise me, then, the justice which acquitteth every one except the

And would ye hear this likewise? To him who seeketh to be just from the
heart, even the lie becometh philanthropy.

But how could I be just from the heart! How can I give every one his
own! Let this be enough for me: I give unto every one mine own.

Finally, my brethren, guard against doing wrong to any anchorite. How
could an anchorite forget! How could he requite!

Like a deep well is an anchorite. Easy is it to throw in a stone: if
it should sink to the bottom, however, tell me, who will bring it out

Guard against injuring the anchorite! If ye have done so, however, well
then, kill him also!--

Thus spake Zarathustra.


I have a question for thee alone, my brother: like a sounding-lead, cast
I this question into thy soul, that I may know its depth.

Thou art young, and desirest child and marriage. But I ask thee: Art
thou a man ENTITLED to desire a child?

Art thou the victorious one, the self-conqueror, the ruler of thy
passions, the master of thy virtues? Thus do I ask thee.

Or doth the animal speak in thy wish, and necessity? Or isolation? Or
discord in thee?

I would have thy victory and freedom long for a child. Living monuments
shalt thou build to thy victory and emancipation.

Beyond thyself shalt thou build. But first of all must thou be built
thyself, rectangular in body and soul.

Not only onward shalt thou propagate thyself, but upward! For that
purpose may the garden of marriage help thee!

A higher body shalt thou create, a first movement, a spontaneously
rolling wheel--a creating one shalt thou create.

Marriage: so call I the will of the twain to create the one that is
more than those who created it. The reverence for one another, as those
exercising such a will, call I marriage.

Let this be the significance and the truth of thy marriage. But that
which the many-too-many call marriage, those superfluous ones--ah, what
shall I call it?

Ah, the poverty of soul in the twain! Ah, the filth of soul in the
twain! Ah, the pitiable self-complacency in the twain!

Marriage they call it all; and they say their marriages are made in

Well, I do not like it, that heaven of the superfluous! No, I do not
like them, those animals tangled in the heavenly toils!

Far from me also be the God who limpeth thither to bless what he hath
not matched!

Laugh not at such marriages! What child hath not had reason to weep over
its parents?

Worthy did this man seem, and ripe for the meaning of the earth: but
when I saw his wife, the earth seemed to me a home for madcaps.

Yea, I would that the earth shook with convulsions when a saint and a
goose mate with one another.

This one went forth in quest of truth as a hero, and at last got for
himself a small decked-up lie: his marriage he calleth it.

That one was reserved in intercourse and chose choicely. But one time he
spoilt his company for all time: his marriage he calleth it.

Another sought a handmaid with the virtues of an angel. But all at once
he became the handmaid of a woman, and now would he need also to become
an angel.

Careful, have I found all buyers, and all of them have astute eyes. But
even the astutest of them buyeth his wife in a sack.

Many short follies--that is called love by you. And your marriage
putteth an end to many short follies, with one long stupidity.

Your love to woman, and woman’s love to man--ah, would that it were
sympathy for suffering and veiled deities! But generally two animals
alight on one another.

But even your best love is only an enraptured simile and a painful
ardour. It is a torch to light you to loftier paths.

Beyond yourselves shall ye love some day! Then LEARN first of all to
love. And on that account ye had to drink the bitter cup of your love.

Bitterness is in the cup even of the best love: thus doth it cause
longing for the Superman; thus doth it cause thirst in thee, the
creating one!

Thirst in the creating one, arrow and longing for the Superman: tell me,
my brother, is this thy will to marriage?

Holy call I such a will, and such a marriage.--

Thus spake Zarathustra.


Many die too late, and some die too early. Yet strange soundeth the
precept: “Die at the right time!

Die at the right time: so teacheth Zarathustra.

To be sure, he who never liveth at the right time, how could he ever die
at the right time? Would that he might never be born!--Thus do I advise
the superfluous ones.

But even the superfluous ones make much ado about their death, and even
the hollowest nut wanteth to be cracked.

Every one regardeth dying as a great matter: but as yet death is not
a festival. Not yet have people learned to inaugurate the finest

The consummating death I show unto you, which becometh a stimulus and
promise to the living.

His death, dieth the consummating one triumphantly, surrounded by hoping
and promising ones.

Thus should one learn to die; and there should be no festival at which
such a dying one doth not consecrate the oaths of the living!

Thus to die is best; the next best, however, is to die in battle, and
sacrifice a great soul.

But to the fighter equally hateful as to the victor, is your grinning
death which stealeth nigh like a thief,--and yet cometh as master.

My death, praise I unto you, the voluntary death, which cometh unto me
because _I_ want it.

And when shall I want it?--He that hath a goal and an heir, wanteth
death at the right time for the goal and the heir.

And out of reverence for the goal and the heir, he will hang up no more
withered wreaths in the sanctuary of life.

Verily, not the rope-makers will I resemble: they lengthen out their
cord, and thereby go ever backward.

Many a one, also, waxeth too old for his truths and triumphs; a
toothless mouth hath no longer the right to every truth.

And whoever wanteth to have fame, must take leave of honour betimes, and
practise the difficult art of--going at the right time.

One must discontinue being feasted upon when one tasteth best: that is
known by those who want to be long loved.

Sour apples are there, no doubt, whose lot is to wait until the last
day of autumn: and at the same time they become ripe, yellow, and

In some ageth the heart first, and in others the spirit. And some are
hoary in youth, but the late young keep long young.

To many men life is a failure; a poison-worm gnaweth at their heart.
Then let them see to it that their dying is all the more a success.

Many never become sweet; they rot even in the summer. It is cowardice
that holdeth them fast to their branches.

Far too many live, and far too long hang they on their branches. Would
that a storm came and shook all this rottenness and worm-eatenness from
the tree!

Would that there came preachers of SPEEDY death! Those would be the
appropriate storms and agitators of the trees of life! But I hear only
slow death preached, and patience with all that is “earthly.”

Ah! ye preach patience with what is earthly? This earthly is it that
hath too much patience with you, ye blasphemers!

Verily, too early died that Hebrew whom the preachers of slow death
honour: and to many hath it proved a calamity that he died too early.

As yet had he known only tears, and the melancholy of the Hebrews,
together with the hatred of the good and just--the Hebrew Jesus: then
was he seized with the longing for death.

Had he but remained in the wilderness, and far from the good and just!
Then, perhaps, would he have learned to live, and love the earth--and
laughter also!

Believe it, my brethren! He died too early; he himself would have
disavowed his doctrine had he attained to my age! Noble enough was he to

But he was still immature. Immaturely loveth the youth, and immaturely
also hateth he man and earth. Confined and awkward are still his soul
and the wings of his spirit.

But in man there is more of the child than in the youth, and less of
melancholy: better understandeth he about life and death.

Free for death, and free in death; a holy Naysayer, when there is no
longer time for Yea: thus understandeth he about death and life.

That your dying may not be a reproach to man and the earth, my friends:
that do I solicit from the honey of your soul.

In your dying shall your spirit and your virtue still shine like an
evening after-glow around the earth: otherwise your dying hath been

Thus will I die myself, that ye friends may love the earth more for my
sake; and earth will I again become, to have rest in her that bore me.

Verily, a goal had Zarathustra; he threw his ball. Now be ye friends the
heirs of my goal; to you throw I the golden ball.

Best of all, do I see you, my friends, throw the golden ball! And so
tarry I still a little while on the earth--pardon me for it!

Thus spake Zarathustra.



When Zarathustra had taken leave of the town to which his heart was
attached, the name of which is “The Pied Cow,” there followed him many
people who called themselves his disciples, and kept him company. Thus
came they to a crossroad. Then Zarathustra told them that he now wanted
to go alone; for he was fond of going alone. His disciples, however,
presented him at his departure with a staff, on the golden handle of
which a serpent twined round the sun. Zarathustra rejoiced on account
of the staff, and supported himself thereon; then spake he thus to his

Tell me, pray: how came gold to the highest value? Because it is
uncommon, and unprofiting, and beaming, and soft in lustre; it always
bestoweth itself.

Only as image of the highest virtue came gold to the highest value.
Goldlike, beameth the glance of the bestower. Gold-lustre maketh peace
between moon and sun.

Uncommon is the highest virtue, and unprofiting, beaming is it, and soft
of lustre: a bestowing virtue is the highest virtue.

Verily, I divine you well, my disciples: ye strive like me for the
bestowing virtue. What should ye have in common with cats and wolves?

It is your thirst to become sacrifices and gifts yourselves: and
therefore have ye the thirst to accumulate all riches in your soul.

Insatiably striveth your soul for treasures and jewels, because your
virtue is insatiable in desiring to bestow.

Ye constrain all things to flow towards you and into you, so that they
shall flow back again out of your fountain as the gifts of your love.

Verily, an appropriator of all values must such bestowing love become;
but healthy and holy, call I this selfishness.--

Another selfishness is there, an all-too-poor and hungry kind, which
would always steal--the selfishness of the sick, the sickly selfishness.

With the eye of the thief it looketh upon all that is lustrous; with the
craving of hunger it measureth him who hath abundance; and ever doth it
prowl round the tables of bestowers.

Sickness speaketh in such craving, and invisible degeneration; of a
sickly body, speaketh the larcenous craving of this selfishness.

Tell me, my brother, what do we think bad, and worst of all? Is it not
DEGENERATION?--And we always suspect degeneration when the bestowing
soul is lacking.

Upward goeth our course from genera on to super-genera. But a horror to
us is the degenerating sense, which saith: “All for myself.”

Upward soareth our sense: thus is it a simile of our body, a simile of
an elevation. Such similes of elevations are the names of the virtues.

Thus goeth the body through history, a becomer and fighter. And the
spirit--what is it to the body? Its fights’ and victories’ herald, its
companion and echo.

Similes, are all names of good and evil; they do not speak out, they
only hint. A fool who seeketh knowledge from them!

Give heed, my brethren, to every hour when your spirit would speak in
similes: there is the origin of your virtue.

Elevated is then your body, and raised up; with its delight, enraptureth
it the spirit; so that it becometh creator, and valuer, and lover, and
everything’s benefactor.

When your heart overfloweth broad and full like the river, a blessing
and a danger to the lowlanders: there is the origin of your virtue.

When ye are exalted above praise and blame, and your will would command
all things, as a loving one’s will: there is the origin of your virtue.

When ye despise pleasant things, and the effeminate couch, and cannot
couch far enough from the effeminate: there is the origin of your

When ye are willers of one will, and when that change of every need is
needful to you: there is the origin of your virtue.

Verily, a new good and evil is it! Verily, a new deep murmuring, and the
voice of a new fountain!

Power is it, this new virtue; a ruling thought is it, and around it a
subtle soul: a golden sun, with the serpent of knowledge around it.


Here paused Zarathustra awhile, and looked lovingly on his disciples.
Then he continued to speak thus--and his voice had changed:

Remain true to the earth, my brethren, with the power of your virtue!
Let your bestowing love and your knowledge be devoted to be the meaning
of the earth! Thus do I pray and conjure you.

Let it not fly away from the earthly and beat against eternal walls with
its wings! Ah, there hath always been so much flown-away virtue!

Lead, like me, the flown-away virtue back to the earth--yea, back
to body and life: that it may give to the earth its meaning, a human

A hundred times hitherto hath spirit as well as virtue flown away
and blundered. Alas! in our body dwelleth still all this delusion and
blundering: body and will hath it there become.

A hundred times hitherto hath spirit as well as virtue attempted and
erred. Yea, an attempt hath man been. Alas, much ignorance and error
hath become embodied in us!

Not only the rationality of millenniums--also their madness, breaketh
out in us. Dangerous is it to be an heir.

Still fight we step by step with the giant Chance, and over all mankind
hath hitherto ruled nonsense, the lack-of-sense.

Let your spirit and your virtue be devoted to the sense of the earth,
my brethren: let the value of everything be determined anew by you!
Therefore shall ye be fighters! Therefore shall ye be creators!

Intelligently doth the body purify itself; attempting with intelligence
it exalteth itself; to the discerners all impulses sanctify themselves;
to the exalted the soul becometh joyful.

Physician, heal thyself: then wilt thou also heal thy patient. Let it be
his best cure to see with his eyes him who maketh himself whole.

A thousand paths are there which have never yet been trodden; a thousand
salubrities and hidden islands of life. Unexhausted and undiscovered is
still man and man’s world.

Awake and hearken, ye lonesome ones! From the future come winds with
stealthy pinions, and to fine ears good tidings are proclaimed.

Ye lonesome ones of to-day, ye seceding ones, ye shall one day be a
people: out of you who have chosen yourselves, shall a chosen people
arise:--and out of it the Superman.

Verily, a place of healing shall the earth become! And already is a new
odour diffused around it, a salvation-bringing odour--and a new hope!


When Zarathustra had spoken these words, he paused, like one who had not
said his last word; and long did he balance the staff doubtfully in his
hand. At last he spake thus--and his voice had changed:

I now go alone, my disciples! Ye also now go away, and alone! So will I
have it.

Verily, I advise you: depart from me, and guard yourselves against
Zarathustra! And better still: be ashamed of him! Perhaps he hath
deceived you.

The man of knowledge must be able not only to love his enemies, but also
to hate his friends.

One requiteth a teacher badly if one remain merely a scholar. And why
will ye not pluck at my wreath?

Ye venerate me; but what if your veneration should some day collapse?
Take heed lest a statue crush you!

Ye say, ye believe in Zarathustra? But of what account is Zarathustra!
Ye are my believers: but of what account are all believers!

Ye had not yet sought yourselves: then did ye find me. So do all
believers; therefore all belief is of so little account.

Now do I bid you lose me and find yourselves; and only when ye have all
denied me, will I return unto you.

Verily, with other eyes, my brethren, shall I then seek my lost ones;
with another love shall I then love you.

And once again shall ye have become friends unto me, and children of one
hope: then will I be with you for the third time, to celebrate the great
noontide with you.

And it is the great noontide, when man is in the middle of his course
between animal and Superman, and celebrateth his advance to the evening
as his highest hope: for it is the advance to a new morning.

At such time will the down-goer bless himself, that he should be an
over-goer; and the sun of his knowledge will be at noontide.

this be our final will at the great noontide!--

Thus spake Zarathustra.


“--and only when ye have all denied me, will I return unto you.

Verily, with other eyes, my brethren, shall I then seek my lost ones;
with another love shall I then love you.”--ZARATHUSTRA, I., “The
Bestowing Virtue.”


After this Zarathustra returned again into the mountains to the solitude
of his cave, and withdrew himself from men, waiting like a sower who
hath scattered his seed. His soul, however, became impatient and full of
longing for those whom he loved: because he had still much to give them.
For this is hardest of all: to close the open hand out of love, and keep
modest as a giver.

Thus passed with the lonesome one months and years; his wisdom meanwhile
increased, and caused him pain by its abundance.

One morning, however, he awoke ere the rosy dawn, and having meditated
long on his couch, at last spake thus to his heart:

Why did I startle in my dream, so that I awoke? Did not a child come to
me, carrying a mirror?

“O Zarathustra”--said the child unto me--“look at thyself in the

But when I looked into the mirror, I shrieked, and my heart throbbed:
for not myself did I see therein, but a devil’s grimace and derision.

Verily, all too well do I understand the dream’s portent and monition:
my DOCTRINE is in danger; tares want to be called wheat!

Mine enemies have grown powerful and have disfigured the likeness of
my doctrine, so that my dearest ones have to blush for the gifts that I
gave them.

Lost are my friends; the hour hath come for me to seek my lost ones!--

With these words Zarathustra started up, not however like a person in
anguish seeking relief, but rather like a seer and a singer whom the
spirit inspireth. With amazement did his eagle and serpent gaze upon
him: for a coming bliss overspread his countenance like the rosy dawn.

What hath happened unto me, mine animals?--said Zarathustra. Am I not
transformed? Hath not bliss come unto me like a whirlwind?

Foolish is my happiness, and foolish things will it speak: it is still
too young--so have patience with it!

Wounded am I by my happiness: all sufferers shall be physicians unto me!

To my friends can I again go down, and also to mine enemies! Zarathustra
can again speak and bestow, and show his best love to his loved ones!

My impatient love overfloweth in streams,--down towards sunrise and
sunset. Out of silent mountains and storms of affliction, rusheth my
soul into the valleys.

Too long have I longed and looked into the distance. Too long hath
solitude possessed me: thus have I unlearned to keep silence.

Utterance have I become altogether, and the brawling of a brook from
high rocks: downward into the valleys will I hurl my speech.

And let the stream of my love sweep into unfrequented channels! How
should a stream not finally find its way to the sea!

Forsooth, there is a lake in me, sequestered and self-sufficing; but the
stream of my love beareth this along with it, down--to the sea!

New paths do I tread, a new speech cometh unto me; tired have I become--
like all creators--of the old tongues. No longer will my spirit walk on
worn-out soles.

Too slowly runneth all speaking for me:--into thy chariot, O storm, do I
leap! And even thee will I whip with my spite!

Like a cry and an huzza will I traverse wide seas, till I find the Happy
Isles where my friends sojourn;--

And mine enemies amongst them! How I now love every one unto whom I may
but speak! Even mine enemies pertain to my bliss.

And when I want to mount my wildest horse, then doth my spear always
help me up best: it is my foot’s ever ready servant:--

The spear which I hurl at mine enemies! How grateful am I to mine
enemies that I may at last hurl it!

Too great hath been the tension of my cloud: ‘twixt laughters of
lightnings will I cast hail-showers into the depths.

Violently will my breast then heave; violently will it blow its storm
over the mountains: thus cometh its assuagement.

Verily, like a storm cometh my happiness, and my freedom! But mine
enemies shall think that THE EVIL ONE roareth over their heads.

Yea, ye also, my friends, will be alarmed by my wild wisdom; and perhaps
ye will flee therefrom, along with mine enemies.

Ah, that I knew how to lure you back with shepherds’ flutes! Ah, that
my lioness wisdom would learn to roar softly! And much have we already
learned with one another!

My wild wisdom became pregnant on the lonesome mountains; on the rough
stones did she bear the youngest of her young.

Now runneth she foolishly in the arid wilderness, and seeketh and
seeketh the soft sward--mine old, wild wisdom!

On the soft sward of your hearts, my friends!--on your love, would she
fain couch her dearest one!--

Thus spake Zarathustra.


The figs fall from the trees, they are good and sweet; and in falling
the red skins of them break. A north wind am I to ripe figs.

Thus, like figs, do these doctrines fall for you, my friends: imbibe
now their juice and their sweet substance! It is autumn all around, and
clear sky, and afternoon.

Lo, what fullness is around us! And out of the midst of superabundance,
it is delightful to look out upon distant seas.

Once did people say God, when they looked out upon distant seas; now,
however, have I taught you to say, Superman.

God is a conjecture: but I do not wish your conjecturing to reach beyond
your creating will.

Could ye CREATE a God?--Then, I pray you, be silent about all Gods! But
ye could well create the Superman.

Not perhaps ye yourselves, my brethren! But into fathers and forefathers
of the Superman could ye transform yourselves: and let that be your best

God is a conjecture: but I should like your conjecturing restricted to
the conceivable.

Could ye CONCEIVE a God?--But let this mean Will to Truth unto you,
that everything be transformed into the humanly conceivable, the humanly
visible, the humanly sensible! Your own discernment shall ye follow out
to the end!

And what ye have called the world shall but be created by you: your
reason, your likeness, your will, your love, shall it itself become! And
verily, for your bliss, ye discerning ones!

And how would ye endure life without that hope, ye discerning ones?
Neither in the inconceivable could ye have been born, nor in the

But that I may reveal my heart entirely unto you, my friends: IF there
were gods, how could I endure it to be no God! THEREFORE there are no

Yea, I have drawn the conclusion; now, however, doth it draw me.--

God is a conjecture: but who could drink all the bitterness of this
conjecture without dying? Shall his faith be taken from the creating
one, and from the eagle his flights into eagle-heights?

God is a thought--it maketh all the straight crooked, and all that
standeth reel. What? Time would be gone, and all the perishable would be
but a lie?

To think this is giddiness and vertigo to human limbs, and even vomiting
to the stomach: verily, the reeling sickness do I call it, to conjecture
such a thing.

Evil do I call it and misanthropic: all that teaching about the one, and
the plenum, and the unmoved, and the sufficient, and the imperishable!

All the imperishable--that’s but a simile, and the poets lie too much.--

But of time and of becoming shall the best similes speak: a praise shall
they be, and a justification of all perishableness!

Creating--that is the great salvation from suffering, and life’s
alleviation. But for the creator to appear, suffering itself is needed,
and much transformation.

Yea, much bitter dying must there be in your life, ye creators! Thus are
ye advocates and justifiers of all perishableness.

For the creator himself to be the new-born child, he must also
be willing to be the child-bearer, and endure the pangs of the

Verily, through a hundred souls went I my way, and through a hundred
cradles and birth-throes. Many a farewell have I taken; I know the
heart-breaking last hours.

But so willeth it my creating Will, my fate. Or, to tell you it more
candidly: just such a fate--willeth my Will.

All FEELING suffereth in me, and is in prison: but my WILLING ever
cometh to me as mine emancipator and comforter.

Willing emancipateth: that is the true doctrine of will and
emancipation--so teacheth you Zarathustra.

No longer willing, and no longer valuing, and no longer creating! Ah,
that that great debility may ever be far from me!

And also in discerning do I feel only my will’s procreating and evolving
delight; and if there be innocence in my knowledge, it is because there
is will to procreation in it.

Away from God and Gods did this will allure me; what would there be to
create if there were--Gods!

But to man doth it ever impel me anew, my fervent creative will; thus
impelleth it the hammer to the stone.

Ah, ye men, within the stone slumbereth an image for me, the image of my
visions! Ah, that it should slumber in the hardest, ugliest stone!

Now rageth my hammer ruthlessly against its prison. From the stone fly
the fragments: what’s that to me?

I will complete it: for a shadow came unto me--the stillest and lightest
of all things once came unto me!

The beauty of the Superman came unto me as a shadow. Ah, my brethren! Of
what account now are--the Gods to me!--

Thus spake Zarathustra.


My friends, there hath arisen a satire on your friend: “Behold
Zarathustra! Walketh he not amongst us as if amongst animals?”

But it is better said in this wise: “The discerning one walketh amongst
men AS amongst animals.”

Man himself is to the discerning one: the animal with red cheeks.

How hath that happened unto him? Is it not because he hath had to be
ashamed too oft?

O my friends! Thus speaketh the discerning one: shame, shame,
shame--that is the history of man!

And on that account doth the noble one enjoin upon himself not to abash:
bashfulness doth he enjoin on himself in presence of all sufferers.

Verily, I like them not, the merciful ones, whose bliss is in their
pity: too destitute are they of bashfulness.

If I must be pitiful, I dislike to be called so; and if I be so, it is
preferably at a distance.

Preferably also do I shroud my head, and flee, before being recognised:
and thus do I bid you do, my friends!

May my destiny ever lead unafflicted ones like you across my path, and
those with whom I MAY have hope and repast and honey in common!

Verily, I have done this and that for the afflicted: but something
better did I always seem to do when I had learned to enjoy myself

Since humanity came into being, man hath enjoyed himself too little:
that alone, my brethren, is our original sin!

And when we learn better to enjoy ourselves, then do we unlearn best to
give pain unto others, and to contrive pain.

Therefore do I wash the hand that hath helped the sufferer; therefore do
I wipe also my soul.

For in seeing the sufferer suffering--thereof was I ashamed on account
of his shame; and in helping him, sorely did I wound his pride.

Great obligations do not make grateful, but revengeful; and when a small
kindness is not forgotten, it becometh a gnawing worm.

“Be shy in accepting! Distinguish by accepting!”--thus do I advise those
who have naught to bestow.

I, however, am a bestower: willingly do I bestow as friend to friends.
Strangers, however, and the poor, may pluck for themselves the fruit
from my tree: thus doth it cause less shame.

Beggars, however, one should entirely do away with! Verily, it annoyeth
one to give unto them, and it annoyeth one not to give unto them.

And likewise sinners and bad consciences! Believe me, my friends: the
sting of conscience teacheth one to sting.

The worst things, however, are the petty thoughts. Verily, better to
have done evilly than to have thought pettily!

To be sure, ye say: “The delight in petty evils spareth one many a great
evil deed.” But here one should not wish to be sparing.

Like a boil is the evil deed: it itcheth and irritateth and breaketh
forth--it speaketh honourably.

“Behold, I am disease,” saith the evil deed: that is its honourableness.

But like infection is the petty thought: it creepeth and hideth, and
wanteth to be nowhere--until the whole body is decayed and withered by
the petty infection.

To him however, who is possessed of a devil, I would whisper this word
in the ear: “Better for thee to rear up thy devil! Even for thee there
is still a path to greatness!”--

Ah, my brethren! One knoweth a little too much about every one! And many
a one becometh transparent to us, but still we can by no means penetrate

It is difficult to live among men because silence is so difficult.

And not to him who is offensive to us are we most unfair, but to him who
doth not concern us at all.

If, however, thou hast a suffering friend, then be a resting-place for
his suffering; like a hard bed, however, a camp-bed: thus wilt thou
serve him best.

And if a friend doeth thee wrong, then say: “I forgive thee what thou
hast done unto me; that thou hast done it unto THYSELF, however--how
could I forgive that!”

Thus speaketh all great love: it surpasseth even forgiveness and pity.

One should hold fast one’s heart; for when one letteth it go, how
quickly doth one’s head run away!

Ah, where in the world have there been greater follies than with the
pitiful? And what in the world hath caused more suffering than the
follies of the pitiful?

Woe unto all loving ones who have not an elevation which is above their

Thus spake the devil unto me, once on a time: “Even God hath his hell:
it is his love for man.”

And lately, did I hear him say these words: “God is dead: of his pity
for man hath God died.”--

So be ye warned against pity: FROM THENCE there yet cometh unto men a
heavy cloud! Verily, I understand weather-signs!

But attend also to this word: All great love is above all its pity: for
it seeketh--to create what is loved!

“Myself do I offer unto my love, AND MY NEIGHBOUR AS MYSELF”--such is
the language of all creators.

All creators, however, are hard.--

Thus spake Zarathustra.


And one day Zarathustra made a sign to his disciples, and spake these
words unto them:

“Here are priests: but although they are mine enemies, pass them quietly
and with sleeping swords!

Even among them there are heroes; many of them have suffered too much--:
so they want to make others suffer.

Bad enemies are they: nothing is more revengeful than their meekness.
And readily doth he soil himself who toucheth them.

But my blood is related to theirs; and I want withal to see my blood
honoured in theirs.”--

And when they had passed, a pain attacked Zarathustra; but not long had
he struggled with the pain, when he began to speak thus:

It moveth my heart for those priests. They also go against my taste; but
that is the smallest matter unto me, since I am among men.

But I suffer and have suffered with them: prisoners are they unto me,
and stigmatised ones. He whom they call Saviour put them in fetters:--

In fetters of false values and fatuous words! Oh, that some one would
save them from their Saviour!

On an isle they once thought they had landed, when the sea tossed them
about; but behold, it was a slumbering monster!

False values and fatuous words: these are the worst monsters for
mortals--long slumbereth and waiteth the fate that is in them.

But at last it cometh and awaketh and devoureth and engulfeth whatever
hath built tabernacles upon it.

Oh, just look at those tabernacles which those priests have built
themselves! Churches, they call their sweet-smelling caves!

Oh, that falsified light, that mustified air! Where the soul--may not
fly aloft to its height!

But so enjoineth their belief: “On your knees, up the stair, ye

Verily, rather would I see a shameless one than the distorted eyes of
their shame and devotion!

Who created for themselves such caves and penitence-stairs? Was it not
those who sought to conceal themselves, and were ashamed under the clear

And only when the clear sky looketh again through ruined roofs, and down
upon grass and red poppies on ruined walls--will I again turn my heart
to the seats of this God.

They called God that which opposed and afflicted them: and verily, there
was much hero-spirit in their worship!

And they knew not how to love their God otherwise than by nailing men to
the cross!

As corpses they thought to live; in black draped they their corpses;
even in their talk do I still feel the evil flavour of charnel-houses.

And he who liveth nigh unto them liveth nigh unto black pools, wherein
the toad singeth his song with sweet gravity.

Better songs would they have to sing, for me to believe in their
Saviour: more like saved ones would his disciples have to appear unto

Naked, would I like to see them: for beauty alone should preach
penitence. But whom would that disguised affliction convince!

Verily, their Saviours themselves came not from freedom and freedom’s
seventh heaven! Verily, they themselves never trod the carpets of

Of defects did the spirit of those Saviours consist; but into every
defect had they put their illusion, their stop-gap, which they called

In their pity was their spirit drowned; and when they swelled and
o’erswelled with pity, there always floated to the surface a great

Eagerly and with shouts drove they their flock over their foot-bridge;
as if there were but one foot-bridge to the future! Verily, those
shepherds also were still of the flock!

Small spirits and spacious souls had those shepherds: but, my brethren,
what small domains have even the most spacious souls hitherto been!

Characters of blood did they write on the way they went, and their folly
taught that truth is proved by blood.

But blood is the very worst witness to truth; blood tainteth the purest
teaching, and turneth it into delusion and hatred of heart.

And when a person goeth through fire for his teaching--what doth that
prove! It is more, verily, when out of one’s own burning cometh one’s
own teaching!

Sultry heart and cold head; where these meet, there ariseth the
blusterer, the “Saviour.”

Greater ones, verily, have there been, and higher-born ones, than those
whom the people call Saviours, those rapturous blusterers!

And by still greater ones than any of the Saviours must ye be saved, my
brethren, if ye would find the way to freedom!

Never yet hath there been a Superman. Naked have I seen both of them,
the greatest man and the smallest man:--

All-too-similar are they still to each other. Verily, even the greatest
found I--all-too-human!--

Thus spake Zarathustra.


With thunder and heavenly fireworks must one speak to indolent and
somnolent senses.

But beauty’s voice speaketh gently: it appealeth only to the most
awakened souls.

Gently vibrated and laughed unto me to-day my buckler; it was beauty’s
holy laughing and thrilling.

At you, ye virtuous ones, laughed my beauty to-day. And thus came its
voice unto me: “They want--to be paid besides!”

Ye want to be paid besides, ye virtuous ones! Ye want reward for virtue,
and heaven for earth, and eternity for your to-day?

And now ye upbraid me for teaching that there is no reward-giver,
nor paymaster? And verily, I do not even teach that virtue is its own

Ah! this is my sorrow: into the basis of things have reward and
punishment been insinuated--and now even into the basis of your souls,
ye virtuous ones!

But like the snout of the boar shall my word grub up the basis of your
souls; a ploughshare will I be called by you.

All the secrets of your heart shall be brought to light; and when ye
lie in the sun, grubbed up and broken, then will also your falsehood be
separated from your truth.

For this is your truth: ye are TOO PURE for the filth of the words:
vengeance, punishment, recompense, retribution.

Ye love your virtue as a mother loveth her child; but when did one hear
of a mother wanting to be paid for her love?

It is your dearest Self, your virtue. The ring’s thirst is in you: to
reach itself again struggleth every ring, and turneth itself.

And like the star that goeth out, so is every work of your virtue: ever
is its light on its way and travelling--and when will it cease to be on
its way?

Thus is the light of your virtue still on its way, even when its work
is done. Be it forgotten and dead, still its ray of light liveth and

That your virtue is your Self, and not an outward thing, a skin, or
a cloak: that is the truth from the basis of your souls, ye virtuous

But sure enough there are those to whom virtue meaneth writhing under
the lash: and ye have hearkened too much unto their crying!

And others are there who call virtue the slothfulness of their vices;
and when once their hatred and jealousy relax the limbs, their “justice”
 becometh lively and rubbeth its sleepy eyes.

And others are there who are drawn downwards: their devils draw them.
But the more they sink, the more ardently gloweth their eye, and the
longing for their God.

Ah! their crying also hath reached your ears, ye virtuous ones: “What I
am NOT, that, that is God to me, and virtue!”

And others are there who go along heavily and creakingly, like carts
taking stones downhill: they talk much of dignity and virtue--their drag
they call virtue!

And others are there who are like eight-day clocks when wound up; they
tick, and want people to call ticking--virtue.

Verily, in those have I mine amusement: wherever I find such clocks I
shall wind them up with my mockery, and they shall even whirr thereby!

And others are proud of their modicum of righteousness, and for the sake
of it do violence to all things: so that the world is drowned in their

Ah! how ineptly cometh the word “virtue” out of their mouth! And when
they say: “I am just,” it always soundeth like: “I am just--revenged!”

With their virtues they want to scratch out the eyes of their enemies;
and they elevate themselves only that they may lower others.

And again there are those who sit in their swamp, and speak thus from
among the bulrushes: “Virtue--that is to sit quietly in the swamp.

We bite no one, and go out of the way of him who would bite; and in all
matters we have the opinion that is given us.”

And again there are those who love attitudes, and think that virtue is a
sort of attitude.

Their knees continually adore, and their hands are eulogies of virtue,
but their heart knoweth naught thereof.

And again there are those who regard it as virtue to say: “Virtue
is necessary”; but after all they believe only that policemen are

And many a one who cannot see men’s loftiness, calleth it virtue to see
their baseness far too well: thus calleth he his evil eye virtue.--

And some want to be edified and raised up, and call it virtue: and
others want to be cast down,--and likewise call it virtue.

And thus do almost all think that they participate in virtue; and at
least every one claimeth to be an authority on “good” and “evil.”

But Zarathustra came not to say unto all those liars and fools: “What do
YE know of virtue! What COULD ye know of virtue!”--

But that ye, my friends, might become weary of the old words which ye
have learned from the fools and liars:

That ye might become weary of the words “reward,” “retribution,”
 “punishment,” “righteous vengeance.”--

That ye might become weary of saying: “That an action is good is because
it is unselfish.”

Ah! my friends! That YOUR very Self be in your action, as the mother is
in the child: let that be YOUR formula of virtue!

Verily, I have taken from you a hundred formulae and your virtue’s
favourite playthings; and now ye upbraid me, as children upbraid.

They played by the sea--then came there a wave and swept their
playthings into the deep: and now do they cry.

But the same wave shall bring them new playthings, and spread before
them new speckled shells!

Thus will they be comforted; and like them shall ye also, my friends,
have your comforting--and new speckled shells!--

Thus spake Zarathustra.


Life is a well of delight; but where the rabble also drink, there all
fountains are poisoned.

To everything cleanly am I well disposed; but I hate to see the grinning
mouths and the thirst of the unclean.

They cast their eye down into the fountain: and now glanceth up to me
their odious smile out of the fountain.

The holy water have they poisoned with their lustfulness; and when they
called their filthy dreams delight, then poisoned they also the words.

Indignant becometh the flame when they put their damp hearts to the
fire; the spirit itself bubbleth and smoketh when the rabble approach
the fire.

Mawkish and over-mellow becometh the fruit in their hands: unsteady, and
withered at the top, doth their look make the fruit-tree.

And many a one who hath turned away from life, hath only turned away
from the rabble: he hated to share with them fountain, flame, and fruit.

And many a one who hath gone into the wilderness and suffered thirst
with beasts of prey, disliked only to sit at the cistern with filthy

And many a one who hath come along as a destroyer, and as a hailstorm
to all cornfields, wanted merely to put his foot into the jaws of the
rabble, and thus stop their throat.

And it is not the mouthful which hath most choked me, to know that life
itself requireth enmity and death and torture-crosses:--

But I asked once, and suffocated almost with my question: What? is the
rabble also NECESSARY for life?

Are poisoned fountains necessary, and stinking fires, and filthy dreams,
and maggots in the bread of life?

Not my hatred, but my loathing, gnawed hungrily at my life! Ah, ofttimes
became I weary of spirit, when I found even the rabble spiritual!

And on the rulers turned I my back, when I saw what they now call
ruling: to traffic and bargain for power--with the rabble!

Amongst peoples of a strange language did I dwell, with stopped ears: so
that the language of their trafficking might remain strange unto me, and
their bargaining for power.

And holding my nose, I went morosely through all yesterdays and to-days:
verily, badly smell all yesterdays and to-days of the scribbling rabble!

Like a cripple become deaf, and blind, and dumb--thus have I lived long;
that I might not live with the power-rabble, the scribe-rabble, and the

Toilsomely did my spirit mount stairs, and cautiously; alms of delight
were its refreshment; on the staff did life creep along with the blind

What hath happened unto me? How have I freed myself from loathing?
Who hath rejuvenated mine eye? How have I flown to the height where no
rabble any longer sit at the wells?

Did my loathing itself create for me wings and fountain-divining powers?
Verily, to the loftiest height had I to fly, to find again the well of

Oh, I have found it, my brethren! Here on the loftiest height bubbleth
up for me the well of delight! And there is a life at whose waters none
of the rabble drink with me!

Almost too violently dost thou flow for me, thou fountain of delight!
And often emptiest thou the goblet again, in wanting to fill it!

And yet must I learn to approach thee more modestly: far too violently
doth my heart still flow towards thee:--

My heart on which my summer burneth, my short, hot, melancholy,
over-happy summer: how my summer heart longeth for thy coolness!

Past, the lingering distress of my spring! Past, the wickedness of my
snowflakes in June! Summer have I become entirely, and summer-noontide!

A summer on the loftiest height, with cold fountains and blissful
stillness: oh, come, my friends, that the stillness may become more

For this is OUR height and our home: too high and steep do we here dwell
for all uncleanly ones and their thirst.

Cast but your pure eyes into the well of my delight, my friends! How
could it become turbid thereby! It shall laugh back to you with ITS

On the tree of the future build we our nest; eagles shall bring us lone
ones food in their beaks!

Verily, no food of which the impure could be fellow-partakers! Fire,
would they think they devoured, and burn their mouths!

Verily, no abodes do we here keep ready for the impure! An ice-cave to
their bodies would our happiness be, and to their spirits!

And as strong winds will we live above them, neighbours to the eagles,
neighbours to the snow, neighbours to the sun: thus live the strong

And like a wind will I one day blow amongst them, and with my spirit,
take the breath from their spirit: thus willeth my future.

Verily, a strong wind is Zarathustra to all low places; and this counsel
counselleth he to his enemies, and to whatever spitteth and speweth:
“Take care not to spit AGAINST the wind!”--

Thus spake Zarathustra.


Lo, this is the tarantula’s den! Wouldst thou see the tarantula itself?
Here hangeth its web: touch this, so that it may tremble.

There cometh the tarantula willingly: Welcome, tarantula! Black on thy
back is thy triangle and symbol; and I know also what is in thy soul.

Revenge is in thy soul: wherever thou bitest, there ariseth black scab;
with revenge, thy poison maketh the soul giddy!

Thus do I speak unto you in parable, ye who make the soul giddy,
ye preachers of EQUALITY! Tarantulas are ye unto me, and secretly
revengeful ones!

But I will soon bring your hiding-places to the light: therefore do I
laugh in your face my laughter of the height.

Therefore do I tear at your web, that your rage may lure you out of your
den of lies, and that your revenge may leap forth from behind your word

Because, FOR MAN TO BE REDEEMED FROM REVENGE--that is for me the bridge
to the highest hope, and a rainbow after long storms.

Otherwise, however, would the tarantulas have it. “Let it be
very justice for the world to become full of the storms of our
vengeance”--thus do they talk to one another.

“Vengeance will we use, and insult, against all who are not like
us”--thus do the tarantula-hearts pledge themselves.

“And ‘Will to Equality’--that itself shall henceforth be the name of
virtue; and against all that hath power will we raise an outcry!”

Ye preachers of equality, the tyrant-frenzy of impotence crieth thus in
you for “equality”: your most secret tyrant-longings disguise themselves
thus in virtue-words!

Fretted conceit and suppressed envy--perhaps your fathers’ conceit and
envy: in you break they forth as flame and frenzy of vengeance.

What the father hath hid cometh out in the son; and oft have I found in
the son the father’s revealed secret.

Inspired ones they resemble: but it is not the heart that inspireth
them--but vengeance. And when they become subtle and cold, it is not
spirit, but envy, that maketh them so.

Their jealousy leadeth them also into thinkers’ paths; and this is the
sign of their jealousy--they always go too far: so that their fatigue
hath at last to go to sleep on the snow.

In all their lamentations soundeth vengeance, in all their eulogies is
maleficence; and being judge seemeth to them bliss.

But thus do I counsel you, my friends: distrust all in whom the impulse
to punish is powerful!

They are people of bad race and lineage; out of their countenances peer
the hangman and the sleuth-hound.

Distrust all those who talk much of their justice! Verily, in their
souls not only honey is lacking.

And when they call themselves “the good and just,” forget not, that for
them to be Pharisees, nothing is lacking but--power!

My friends, I will not be mixed up and confounded with others.

There are those who preach my doctrine of life, and are at the same time
preachers of equality, and tarantulas.

That they speak in favour of life, though they sit in their den, these
poison-spiders, and withdrawn from life--is because they would thereby
do injury.

To those would they thereby do injury who have power at present: for
with those the preaching of death is still most at home.

Were it otherwise, then would the tarantulas teach otherwise: and they
themselves were formerly the best world-maligners and heretic-burners.

With these preachers of equality will I not be mixed up and confounded.
For thus speaketh justice UNTO ME: “Men are not equal.”

And neither shall they become so! What would be my love to the Superman,
if I spake otherwise?

On a thousand bridges and piers shall they throng to the future, and
always shall there be more war and inequality among them: thus doth my
great love make me speak!

Inventors of figures and phantoms shall they be in their hostilities;
and with those figures and phantoms shall they yet fight with each other
the supreme fight!

Good and evil, and rich and poor, and high and low, and all names of
values: weapons shall they be, and sounding signs, that life must again
and again surpass itself!

Aloft will it build itself with columns and stairs--life itself: into
remote distances would it gaze, and out towards blissful beauties--
THEREFORE doth it require elevation!

And because it requireth elevation, therefore doth it require steps, and
variance of steps and climbers! To rise striveth life, and in rising to
surpass itself.

And just behold, my friends! Here where the tarantula’s den is, riseth
aloft an ancient temple’s ruins--just behold it with enlightened eyes!

Verily, he who here towered aloft his thoughts in stone, knew as well as
the wisest ones about the secret of life!

That there is struggle and inequality even in beauty, and war for power
and supremacy: that doth he here teach us in the plainest parable.

How divinely do vault and arch here contrast in the struggle: how with
light and shade they strive against each other, the divinely striving

Thus, steadfast and beautiful, let us also be enemies, my friends!
Divinely will we strive AGAINST one another!--

Alas! There hath the tarantula bit me myself, mine old enemy! Divinely
steadfast and beautiful, it hath bit me on the finger!

“Punishment must there be, and justice”--so thinketh it: “not
gratuitously shall he here sing songs in honour of enmity!”

Yea, it hath revenged itself! And alas! now will it make my soul also
dizzy with revenge!

That I may NOT turn dizzy, however, bind me fast, my friends, to this
pillar! Rather will I be a pillar-saint than a whirl of vengeance!

Verily, no cyclone or whirlwind is Zarathustra: and if he be a dancer,
he is not at all a tarantula-dancer!--

Thus spake Zarathustra.


The people have ye served and the people’s superstition--NOT the
truth!--all ye famous wise ones! And just on that account did they pay
you reverence.

And on that account also did they tolerate your unbelief, because it
was a pleasantry and a by-path for the people. Thus doth the master give
free scope to his slaves, and even enjoyeth their presumptuousness.

But he who is hated by the people, as the wolf by the dogs--is the free
spirit, the enemy of fetters, the non-adorer, the dweller in the woods.

To hunt him out of his lair--that was always called “sense of right” by
the people: on him do they still hound their sharpest-toothed dogs.

“For there the truth is, where the people are! Woe, woe to the seeking
ones!”--thus hath it echoed through all time.

Your people would ye justify in their reverence: that called ye “Will to
Truth,” ye famous wise ones!

And your heart hath always said to itself: “From the people have I come:
from thence came to me also the voice of God.”

Stiff-necked and artful, like the ass, have ye always been, as the
advocates of the people.

And many a powerful one who wanted to run well with the people, hath
harnessed in front of his horses--a donkey, a famous wise man.

And now, ye famous wise ones, I would have you finally throw off
entirely the skin of the lion!

The skin of the beast of prey, the speckled skin, and the dishevelled
locks of the investigator, the searcher, and the conqueror!

Ah! for me to learn to believe in your “conscientiousness,” ye would
first have to break your venerating will.

Conscientious--so call I him who goeth into God-forsaken wildernesses,
and hath broken his venerating heart.

In the yellow sands and burnt by the sun, he doubtless peereth thirstily
at the isles rich in fountains, where life reposeth under shady trees.

But his thirst doth not persuade him to become like those comfortable
ones: for where there are oases, there are also idols.

Hungry, fierce, lonesome, God-forsaken: so doth the lion-will wish

Free from the happiness of slaves, redeemed from Deities and adorations,
fearless and fear-inspiring, grand and lonesome: so is the will of the

In the wilderness have ever dwelt the conscientious, the free spirits,
as lords of the wilderness; but in the cities dwell the well-foddered,
famous wise ones--the draught-beasts.

For, always, do they draw, as asses--the PEOPLE’S carts!

Not that I on that account upbraid them: but serving ones do they
remain, and harnessed ones, even though they glitter in golden harness.

And often have they been good servants and worthy of their hire. For
thus saith virtue: “If thou must be a servant, seek him unto whom thy
service is most useful!

The spirit and virtue of thy master shall advance by thou being his
servant: thus wilt thou thyself advance with his spirit and virtue!”

And verily, ye famous wise ones, ye servants of the people! Ye
yourselves have advanced with the people’s spirit and virtue--and the
people by you! To your honour do I say it!

But the people ye remain for me, even with your virtues, the people with
purblind eyes--the people who know not what SPIRIT is!

Spirit is life which itself cutteth into life: by its own torture doth
it increase its own knowledge,--did ye know that before?

And the spirit’s happiness is this: to be anointed and consecrated with
tears as a sacrificial victim,--did ye know that before?

And the blindness of the blind one, and his seeking and groping, shall
yet testify to the power of the sun into which he hath gazed,--did ye
know that before?

And with mountains shall the discerning one learn to BUILD! It is
a small thing for the spirit to remove mountains,--did ye know that

Ye know only the sparks of the spirit: but ye do not see the anvil which
it is, and the cruelty of its hammer!

Verily, ye know not the spirit’s pride! But still less could ye endure
the spirit’s humility, should it ever want to speak!

And never yet could ye cast your spirit into a pit of snow: ye are not
hot enough for that! Thus are ye unaware, also, of the delight of its

In all respects, however, ye make too familiar with the spirit; and out
of wisdom have ye often made an almshouse and a hospital for bad poets.

Ye are not eagles: thus have ye never experienced the happiness of the
alarm of the spirit. And he who is not a bird should not camp above

Ye seem to me lukewarm ones: but coldly floweth all deep knowledge.
Ice-cold are the innermost wells of the spirit: a refreshment to hot
hands and handlers.

Respectable do ye there stand, and stiff, and with straight backs, ye
famous wise ones!--no strong wind or will impelleth you.

Have ye ne’er seen a sail crossing the sea, rounded and inflated, and
trembling with the violence of the wind?

Like the sail trembling with the violence of the spirit, doth my wisdom
cross the sea--my wild wisdom!

But ye servants of the people, ye famous wise ones--how COULD ye go with

Thus spake Zarathustra.


‘Tis night: now do all gushing fountains speak louder. And my soul also
is a gushing fountain.

‘Tis night: now only do all songs of the loving ones awake. And my soul
also is the song of a loving one.

Something unappeased, unappeasable, is within me; it longeth to find
expression. A craving for love is within me, which speaketh itself the
language of love.

Light am I: ah, that I were night! But it is my lonesomeness to be
begirt with light!

Ah, that I were dark and nightly! How would I suck at the breasts of

And you yourselves would I bless, ye twinkling starlets and glow-worms
aloft!--and would rejoice in the gifts of your light.

But I live in mine own light, I drink again into myself the flames that
break forth from me.

I know not the happiness of the receiver; and oft have I dreamt that
stealing must be more blessed than receiving.

It is my poverty that my hand never ceaseth bestowing; it is mine envy
that I see waiting eyes and the brightened nights of longing.

Oh, the misery of all bestowers! Oh, the darkening of my sun! Oh, the
craving to crave! Oh, the violent hunger in satiety!

They take from me: but do I yet touch their soul? There is a gap ‘twixt
giving and receiving; and the smallest gap hath finally to be bridged

A hunger ariseth out of my beauty: I should like to injure those I
illumine; I should like to rob those I have gifted:--thus do I hunger
for wickedness.

Withdrawing my hand when another hand already stretcheth out to it;
hesitating like the cascade, which hesitateth even in its leap:--thus do
I hunger for wickedness!

Such revenge doth mine abundance think of: such mischief welleth out of
my lonesomeness.

My happiness in bestowing died in bestowing; my virtue became weary of
itself by its abundance!

He who ever bestoweth is in danger of losing his shame; to him who ever
dispenseth, the hand and heart become callous by very dispensing.

Mine eye no longer overfloweth for the shame of suppliants; my hand hath
become too hard for the trembling of filled hands.

Whence have gone the tears of mine eye, and the down of my heart? Oh,
the lonesomeness of all bestowers! Oh, the silence of all shining ones!

Many suns circle in desert space: to all that is dark do they speak with
their light--but to me they are silent.

Oh, this is the hostility of light to the shining one: unpityingly doth
it pursue its course.

Unfair to the shining one in its innermost heart, cold to the
suns:--thus travelleth every sun.

Like a storm do the suns pursue their courses: that is their travelling.
Their inexorable will do they follow: that is their coldness.

Oh, ye only is it, ye dark, nightly ones, that extract warmth from the
shining ones! Oh, ye only drink milk and refreshment from the light’s

Ah, there is ice around me; my hand burneth with the iciness! Ah, there
is thirst in me; it panteth after your thirst!

‘Tis night: alas, that I have to be light! And thirst for the nightly!
And lonesomeness!

‘Tis night: now doth my longing break forth in me as a fountain,--for
speech do I long.

‘Tis night: now do all gushing fountains speak louder. And my soul also
is a gushing fountain.

‘Tis night: now do all songs of loving ones awake. And my soul also is
the song of a loving one.--

Thus sang Zarathustra.


One evening went Zarathustra and his disciples through the forest; and
when he sought for a well, lo, he lighted upon a green meadow peacefully
surrounded with trees and bushes, where maidens were dancing together.
As soon as the maidens recognised Zarathustra, they ceased dancing;
Zarathustra, however, approached them with friendly mien and spake these

Cease not your dancing, ye lovely maidens! No game-spoiler hath come to
you with evil eye, no enemy of maidens.

God’s advocate am I with the devil: he, however, is the spirit of
gravity. How could I, ye light-footed ones, be hostile to divine dances?
Or to maidens’ feet with fine ankles?

To be sure, I am a forest, and a night of dark trees: but he who is not
afraid of my darkness, will find banks full of roses under my cypresses.

And even the little God may he find, who is dearest to maidens: beside
the well lieth he quietly, with closed eyes.

Verily, in broad daylight did he fall asleep, the sluggard! Had he
perhaps chased butterflies too much?

Upbraid me not, ye beautiful dancers, when I chasten the little God
somewhat! He will cry, certainly, and weep--but he is laughable even
when weeping!

And with tears in his eyes shall he ask you for a dance; and I myself
will sing a song to his dance:

A dance-song and satire on the spirit of gravity my supremest,
powerfulest devil, who is said to be “lord of the world.”--

And this is the song that Zarathustra sang when Cupid and the maidens
danced together:

Of late did I gaze into thine eye, O Life! And into the unfathomable did
I there seem to sink.

But thou pulledst me out with a golden angle; derisively didst thou
laugh when I called thee unfathomable.

“Such is the language of all fish,” saidst thou; “what THEY do not
fathom is unfathomable.

But changeable am I only, and wild, and altogether a woman, and no
virtuous one:

Though I be called by you men the ‘profound one,’ or the ‘faithful one,’
‘the eternal one,’ ‘the mysterious one.’

But ye men endow us always with your own virtues--alas, ye virtuous

Thus did she laugh, the unbelievable one; but never do I believe her and
her laughter, when she speaketh evil of herself.

And when I talked face to face with my wild Wisdom, she said to me
angrily: “Thou willest, thou cravest, thou lovest; on that account alone
dost thou PRAISE Life!”

Then had I almost answered indignantly and told the truth to the angry
one; and one cannot answer more indignantly than when one “telleth the
truth” to one’s Wisdom.

For thus do things stand with us three. In my heart do I love only
Life--and verily, most when I hate her!

But that I am fond of Wisdom, and often too fond, is because she
remindeth me very strongly of Life!

She hath her eye, her laugh, and even her golden angle-rod: am I
responsible for it that both are so alike?

And when once Life asked me: “Who is she then, this Wisdom?”--then said
I eagerly: “Ah, yes! Wisdom!

One thirsteth for her and is not satisfied, one looketh through veils,
one graspeth through nets.

Is she beautiful? What do I know! But the oldest carps are still lured
by her.

Changeable is she, and wayward; often have I seen her bite her lip, and
pass the comb against the grain of her hair.

Perhaps she is wicked and false, and altogether a woman; but when she
speaketh ill of herself, just then doth she seduce most.”

When I had said this unto Life, then laughed she maliciously, and shut
her eyes. “Of whom dost thou speak?” said she. “Perhaps of me?

And if thou wert right--is it proper to say THAT in such wise to my
face! But now, pray, speak also of thy Wisdom!”

Ah, and now hast thou again opened thine eyes, O beloved Life! And into
the unfathomable have I again seemed to sink.--

Thus sang Zarathustra. But when the dance was over and the maidens had
departed, he became sad.

“The sun hath been long set,” said he at last, “the meadow is damp, and
from the forest cometh coolness.

An unknown presence is about me, and gazeth thoughtfully. What! Thou
livest still, Zarathustra?

Why? Wherefore? Whereby? Whither? Where? How? Is it not folly still to

Ah, my friends; the evening is it which thus interrogateth in me.
Forgive me my sadness!

Evening hath come on: forgive me that evening hath come on!”

Thus sang Zarathustra.


“Yonder is the grave-island, the silent isle; yonder also are the graves
of my youth. Thither will I carry an evergreen wreath of life.”

Resolving thus in my heart, did I sail o’er the sea.--

Oh, ye sights and scenes of my youth! Oh, all ye gleams of love, ye
divine fleeting gleams! How could ye perish so soon for me! I think of
you to-day as my dead ones.

From you, my dearest dead ones, cometh unto me a sweet savour,
heart-opening and melting. Verily, it convulseth and openeth the heart
of the lone seafarer.

Still am I the richest and most to be envied--I, the lonesomest one!
For I HAVE POSSESSED you, and ye possess me still. Tell me: to whom hath
there ever fallen such rosy apples from the tree as have fallen unto me?

Still am I your love’s heir and heritage, blooming to your memory with
many-hued, wild-growing virtues, O ye dearest ones!

Ah, we were made to remain nigh unto each other, ye kindly strange
marvels; and not like timid birds did ye come to me and my longing--nay,
but as trusting ones to a trusting one!

Yea, made for faithfulness, like me, and for fond eternities, must I now
name you by your faithlessness, ye divine glances and fleeting gleams:
no other name have I yet learnt.

Verily, too early did ye die for me, ye fugitives. Yet did ye not flee
from me, nor did I flee from you: innocent are we to each other in our

To kill ME, did they strangle you, ye singing birds of my hopes! Yea, at
you, ye dearest ones, did malice ever shoot its arrows--to hit my heart!

And they hit it! Because ye were always my dearest, my possession and my
possessedness: ON THAT ACCOUNT had ye to die young, and far too early!

At my most vulnerable point did they shoot the arrow--namely, at you,
whose skin is like down--or more like the smile that dieth at a glance!

But this word will I say unto mine enemies: What is all manslaughter in
comparison with what ye have done unto me!

Worse evil did ye do unto me than all manslaughter; the irretrievable
did ye take from me:--thus do I speak unto you, mine enemies!

Slew ye not my youth’s visions and dearest marvels! My playmates took ye
from me, the blessed spirits! To their memory do I deposit this wreath
and this curse.

This curse upon you, mine enemies! Have ye not made mine eternal short,
as a tone dieth away in a cold night! Scarcely, as the twinkle of divine
eyes, did it come to me--as a fleeting gleam!

Thus spake once in a happy hour my purity: “Divine shall everything be
unto me.”

Then did ye haunt me with foul phantoms; ah, whither hath that happy
hour now fled!

“All days shall be holy unto me”--so spake once the wisdom of my youth:
verily, the language of a joyous wisdom!

But then did ye enemies steal my nights, and sold them to sleepless
torture: ah, whither hath that joyous wisdom now fled?

Once did I long for happy auspices: then did ye lead an owl-monster
across my path, an adverse sign. Ah, whither did my tender longing then

All loathing did I once vow to renounce: then did ye change my nigh ones
and nearest ones into ulcerations. Ah, whither did my noblest vow then

As a blind one did I once walk in blessed ways: then did ye cast
filth on the blind one’s course: and now is he disgusted with the old

And when I performed my hardest task, and celebrated the triumph of
my victories, then did ye make those who loved me call out that I then
grieved them most.

Verily, it was always your doing: ye embittered to me my best honey, and
the diligence of my best bees.

To my charity have ye ever sent the most impudent beggars; around my
sympathy have ye ever crowded the incurably shameless. Thus have ye
wounded the faith of my virtue.

And when I offered my holiest as a sacrifice, immediately did your
“piety” put its fatter gifts beside it: so that my holiest suffocated in
the fumes of your fat.

And once did I want to dance as I had never yet danced: beyond all
heavens did I want to dance. Then did ye seduce my favourite minstrel.

And now hath he struck up an awful, melancholy air; alas, he tooted as a
mournful horn to mine ear!

Murderous minstrel, instrument of evil, most innocent instrument!
Already did I stand prepared for the best dance: then didst thou slay my
rapture with thy tones!

Only in the dance do I know how to speak the parable of the highest
things:--and now hath my grandest parable remained unspoken in my limbs!

Unspoken and unrealised hath my highest hope remained! And there have
perished for me all the visions and consolations of my youth!

How did I ever bear it? How did I survive and surmount such wounds? How
did my soul rise again out of those sepulchres?

Yea, something invulnerable, unburiable is with me, something that would
rend rocks asunder: it is called MY WILL. Silently doth it proceed, and
unchanged throughout the years.

Its course will it go upon my feet, mine old Will; hard of heart is its
nature and invulnerable.

Invulnerable am I only in my heel. Ever livest thou there, and art like
thyself, thou most patient one! Ever hast thou burst all shackles of the

In thee still liveth also the unrealisedness of my youth; and as life
and youth sittest thou here hopeful on the yellow ruins of graves.

Yea, thou art still for me the demolisher of all graves: Hail to thee,
my Will! And only where there are graves are there resurrections.--

Thus sang Zarathustra.


“Will to Truth” do ye call it, ye wisest ones, that which impelleth you
and maketh you ardent?

Will for the thinkableness of all being: thus do _I_ call your will!

All being would ye MAKE thinkable: for ye doubt with good reason whether
it be already thinkable.

But it shall accommodate and bend itself to you! So willeth your will.
Smooth shall it become and subject to the spirit, as its mirror and

That is your entire will, ye wisest ones, as a Will to Power; and even
when ye speak of good and evil, and of estimates of value.

Ye would still create a world before which ye can bow the knee: such is
your ultimate hope and ecstasy.

The ignorant, to be sure, the people--they are like a river on which a
boat floateth along: and in the boat sit the estimates of value, solemn
and disguised.

Your will and your valuations have ye put on the river of becoming; it
betrayeth unto me an old Will to Power, what is believed by the people
as good and evil.

It was ye, ye wisest ones, who put such guests in this boat, and gave
them pomp and proud names--ye and your ruling Will!

Onward the river now carrieth your boat: it MUST carry it. A small
matter if the rough wave foameth and angrily resisteth its keel!

It is not the river that is your danger and the end of your good and
evil, ye wisest ones: but that Will itself, the Will to Power--the
unexhausted, procreating life-will.

But that ye may understand my gospel of good and evil, for that purpose
will I tell you my gospel of life, and of the nature of all living

The living thing did I follow; I walked in the broadest and narrowest
paths to learn its nature.

With a hundred-faced mirror did I catch its glance when its mouth was
shut, so that its eye might speak unto me. And its eye spake unto me.

But wherever I found living things, there heard I also the language of
obedience. All living things are obeying things.

And this heard I secondly: Whatever cannot obey itself, is commanded.
Such is the nature of living things.

This, however, is the third thing which I heard--namely, that commanding
is more difficult than obeying. And not only because the commander
beareth the burden of all obeyers, and because this burden readily
crusheth him:--

An attempt and a risk seemed all commanding unto me; and whenever it
commandeth, the living thing risketh itself thereby.

Yea, even when it commandeth itself, then also must it atone for its
commanding. Of its own law must it become the judge and avenger and

How doth this happen! so did I ask myself. What persuadeth the living
thing to obey, and command, and even be obedient in commanding?

Hearken now unto my word, ye wisest ones! Test it seriously, whether
I have crept into the heart of life itself, and into the roots of its

Wherever I found a living thing, there found I Will to Power; and even
in the will of the servant found I the will to be master.

That to the stronger the weaker shall serve--thereto persuadeth he his
will who would be master over a still weaker one. That delight alone he
is unwilling to forego.

And as the lesser surrendereth himself to the greater that he may have
delight and power over the least of all, so doth even the greatest
surrender himself, and staketh--life, for the sake of power.

It is the surrender of the greatest to run risk and danger, and play
dice for death.

And where there is sacrifice and service and love-glances, there also
is the will to be master. By by-ways doth the weaker then slink into
the fortress, and into the heart of the mightier one--and there stealeth

And this secret spake Life herself unto me. “Behold,” said she, “I am

To be sure, ye call it will to procreation, or impulse towards a goal,
towards the higher, remoter, more manifold: but all that is one and the
same secret.

Rather would I succumb than disown this one thing; and verily, where
there is succumbing and leaf-falling, lo, there doth Life sacrifice
itself--for power!

That I have to be struggle, and becoming, and purpose, and
cross-purpose--ah, he who divineth my will, divineth well also on what
CROOKED paths it hath to tread!

Whatever I create, and however much I love it,--soon must I be adverse
to it, and to my love: so willeth my will.

And even thou, discerning one, art only a path and footstep of my will:
verily, my Will to Power walketh even on the feet of thy Will to Truth!

He certainly did not hit the truth who shot at it the formula: ‘Will to
existence’: that will--doth not exist!

For what is not, cannot will; that, however, which is in existence--how
could it still strive for existence!

Only where there is life, is there also will: not, however, Will to
Life, but--so teach I thee--Will to Power!

Much is reckoned higher than life itself by the living one; but out of
the very reckoning speaketh--the Will to Power!”--

Thus did Life once teach me: and thereby, ye wisest ones, do I solve you
the riddle of your hearts.

Verily, I say unto you: good and evil which would be everlasting--it
doth not exist! Of its own accord must it ever surpass itself anew.

With your values and formulae of good and evil, ye exercise power,
ye valuing ones: and that is your secret love, and the sparkling,
trembling, and overflowing of your souls.

But a stronger power groweth out of your values, and a new surpassing:
by it breaketh egg and egg-shell.

And he who hath to be a creator in good and evil--verily, he hath first
to be a destroyer, and break values in pieces.

Thus doth the greatest evil pertain to the greatest good: that, however,
is the creating good.--

Let us SPEAK thereof, ye wisest ones, even though it be bad. To be
silent is worse; all suppressed truths become poisonous.

And let everything break up which--can break up by our truths! Many a
house is still to be built!--

Thus spake Zarathustra.


Calm is the bottom of my sea: who would guess that it hideth droll

Unmoved is my depth: but it sparkleth with swimming enigmas and

A sublime one saw I to-day, a solemn one, a penitent of the spirit: Oh,
how my soul laughed at his ugliness!

With upraised breast, and like those who draw in their breath: thus did
he stand, the sublime one, and in silence:

O’erhung with ugly truths, the spoil of his hunting, and rich in torn
raiment; many thorns also hung on him--but I saw no rose.

Not yet had he learned laughing and beauty. Gloomy did this hunter
return from the forest of knowledge.

From the fight with wild beasts returned he home: but even yet a wild
beast gazeth out of his seriousness--an unconquered wild beast!

As a tiger doth he ever stand, on the point of springing; but I do not
like those strained souls; ungracious is my taste towards all those
self-engrossed ones.

And ye tell me, friends, that there is to be no dispute about taste and
tasting? But all life is a dispute about taste and tasting!

Taste: that is weight at the same time, and scales and weigher; and alas
for every living thing that would live without dispute about weight and
scales and weigher!

Should he become weary of his sublimeness, this sublime one, then only
will his beauty begin--and then only will I taste him and find him

And only when he turneth away from himself will he o’erleap his own
shadow--and verily! into HIS sun.

Far too long did he sit in the shade; the cheeks of the penitent of the
spirit became pale; he almost starved on his expectations.

Contempt is still in his eye, and loathing hideth in his mouth. To be
sure, he now resteth, but he hath not yet taken rest in the sunshine.

As the ox ought he to do; and his happiness should smell of the earth,
and not of contempt for the earth.

As a white ox would I like to see him, which, snorting and lowing,
walketh before the plough-share: and his lowing should also laud all
that is earthly!

Dark is still his countenance; the shadow of his hand danceth upon it.
O’ershadowed is still the sense of his eye.

His deed itself is still the shadow upon him: his doing obscureth the
doer. Not yet hath he overcome his deed.

To be sure, I love in him the shoulders of the ox: but now do I want to
see also the eye of the angel.

Also his hero-will hath he still to unlearn: an exalted one shall he
be, and not only a sublime one:--the ether itself should raise him, the
will-less one!

He hath subdued monsters, he hath solved enigmas. But he should also
redeem his monsters and enigmas; into heavenly children should he
transform them.

As yet hath his knowledge not learned to smile, and to be without
jealousy; as yet hath his gushing passion not become calm in beauty.

Verily, not in satiety shall his longing cease and disappear, but in
beauty! Gracefulness belongeth to the munificence of the magnanimous.

His arm across his head: thus should the hero repose; thus should he
also surmount his repose.

But precisely to the hero is BEAUTY the hardest thing of all.
Unattainable is beauty by all ardent wills.

A little more, a little less: precisely this is much here, it is the
most here.

To stand with relaxed muscles and with unharnessed will: that is the
hardest for all of you, ye sublime ones!

When power becometh gracious and descendeth into the visible--I call
such condescension, beauty.

And from no one do I want beauty so much as from thee, thou powerful
one: let thy goodness be thy last self-conquest.

All evil do I accredit to thee: therefore do I desire of thee the good.

Verily, I have often laughed at the weaklings, who think themselves good
because they have crippled paws!

The virtue of the pillar shalt thou strive after: more beautiful doth
it ever become, and more graceful--but internally harder and more
sustaining--the higher it riseth.

Yea, thou sublime one, one day shalt thou also be beautiful, and hold up
the mirror to thine own beauty.

Then will thy soul thrill with divine desires; and there will be
adoration even in thy vanity!

For this is the secret of the soul: when the hero hath abandoned it,
then only approacheth it in dreams--the superhero.--

Thus spake Zarathustra.


Too far did I fly into the future: a horror seized upon me.

And when I looked around me, lo! there time was my sole contemporary.

Then did I fly backwards, homewards--and always faster. Thus did I come
unto you, ye present-day men, and into the land of culture.

For the first time brought I an eye to see you, and good desire: verily,
with longing in my heart did I come.

But how did it turn out with me? Although so alarmed--I had yet to
laugh! Never did mine eye see anything so motley-coloured!

I laughed and laughed, while my foot still trembled, and my heart as
well. “Here forsooth, is the home of all the paintpots,”--said I.

With fifty patches painted on faces and limbs--so sat ye there to mine
astonishment, ye present-day men!

And with fifty mirrors around you, which flattered your play of colours,
and repeated it!

Verily, ye could wear no better masks, ye present-day men, than your own
faces! Who could--RECOGNISE you!

Written all over with the characters of the past, and these characters
also pencilled over with new characters--thus have ye concealed
yourselves well from all decipherers!

And though one be a trier of the reins, who still believeth that ye have
reins! Out of colours ye seem to be baked, and out of glued scraps.

All times and peoples gaze divers-coloured out of your veils; all
customs and beliefs speak divers-coloured out of your gestures.

He who would strip you of veils and wrappers, and paints and gestures,
would just have enough left to scare the crows.

Verily, I myself am the scared crow that once saw you naked, and without
paint; and I flew away when the skeleton ogled at me.

Rather would I be a day-labourer in the nether-world, and among the
shades of the by-gone!--Fatter and fuller than ye, are forsooth the

This, yea this, is bitterness to my bowels, that I can neither endure
you naked nor clothed, ye present-day men!

All that is unhomelike in the future, and whatever maketh strayed birds
shiver, is verily more homelike and familiar than your “reality.”

For thus speak ye: “Real are we wholly, and without faith and
superstition”: thus do ye plume yourselves--alas! even without plumes!

Indeed, how would ye be ABLE to believe, ye divers-coloured ones!--ye
who are pictures of all that hath ever been believed!

Perambulating refutations are ye, of belief itself, and a dislocation of
all thought. UNTRUSTWORTHY ONES: thus do _I_ call you, ye real ones!

All periods prate against one another in your spirits; and the dreams
and pratings of all periods were even realer than your awakeness!

Unfruitful are ye: THEREFORE do ye lack belief. But he who had to
create, had always his presaging dreams and astral premonitions--and
believed in believing!--

Half-open doors are ye, at which grave-diggers wait. And this is YOUR
reality: “Everything deserveth to perish.”

Alas, how ye stand there before me, ye unfruitful ones; how lean your
ribs! And many of you surely have had knowledge thereof.

Many a one hath said: “There hath surely a God filched something from
me secretly whilst I slept? Verily, enough to make a girl for himself

“Amazing is the poverty of my ribs!” thus hath spoken many a present-day

Yea, ye are laughable unto me, ye present-day men! And especially when
ye marvel at yourselves!

And woe unto me if I could not laugh at your marvelling, and had to
swallow all that is repugnant in your platters!

As it is, however, I will make lighter of you, since I have to carry
what is heavy; and what matter if beetles and May-bugs also alight on my

Verily, it shall not on that account become heavier to me! And not from
you, ye present-day men, shall my great weariness arise.--

Ah, whither shall I now ascend with my longing! From all mountains do I
look out for fatherlands and motherlands.

But a home have I found nowhere: unsettled am I in all cities, and
decamping at all gates.

Alien to me, and a mockery, are the present-day men, to whom of late my
heart impelled me; and exiled am I from fatherlands and motherlands.

Thus do I love only my CHILDREN’S LAND, the undiscovered in the remotest
sea: for it do I bid my sails search and search.

Unto my children will I make amends for being the child of my fathers:
and unto all the future--for THIS present-day!--

Thus spake Zarathustra.


When yester-eve the moon arose, then did I fancy it about to bear a sun:
so broad and teeming did it lie on the horizon.

But it was a liar with its pregnancy; and sooner will I believe in the
man in the moon than in the woman.

To be sure, little of a man is he also, that timid night-reveller.
Verily, with a bad conscience doth he stalk over the roofs.

For he is covetous and jealous, the monk in the moon; covetous of the
earth, and all the joys of lovers.

Nay, I like him not, that tom-cat on the roofs! Hateful unto me are all
that slink around half-closed windows!

Piously and silently doth he stalk along on the star-carpets:--but I
like no light-treading human feet, on which not even a spur jingleth.

Every honest one’s step speaketh; the cat however, stealeth along over
the ground. Lo! cat-like doth the moon come along, and dishonestly.--

This parable speak I unto you sentimental dissemblers, unto you, the
“pure discerners!” You do _I_ call--covetous ones!

Also ye love the earth, and the earthly: I have divined you well!--but
shame is in your love, and a bad conscience--ye are like the moon!

To despise the earthly hath your spirit been persuaded, but not your
bowels: these, however, are the strongest in you!

And now is your spirit ashamed to be at the service of your bowels, and
goeth by-ways and lying ways to escape its own shame.

“That would be the highest thing for me”--so saith your lying spirit
unto itself--“to gaze upon life without desire, and not like the dog,
with hanging-out tongue:

To be happy in gazing: with dead will, free from the grip and greed
of selfishness--cold and ashy-grey all over, but with intoxicated

That would be the dearest thing to me”--thus doth the seduced one seduce
himself,--“to love the earth as the moon loveth it, and with the eye
only to feel its beauty.

And this do I call IMMACULATE perception of all things: to want nothing
else from them, but to be allowed to lie before them as a mirror with a
hundred facets.”--

Oh, ye sentimental dissemblers, ye covetous ones! Ye lack innocence in
your desire: and now do ye defame desiring on that account!

Verily, not as creators, as procreators, or as jubilators do ye love the

Where is innocence? Where there is will to procreation. And he who
seeketh to create beyond himself, hath for me the purest will.

Where is beauty? Where I MUST WILL with my whole Will; where I will love
and perish, that an image may not remain merely an image.

Loving and perishing: these have rhymed from eternity. Will to love:
that is to be ready also for death. Thus do I speak unto you cowards!

But now doth your emasculated ogling profess to be “contemplation!”
 And that which can be examined with cowardly eyes is to be christened
“beautiful!” Oh, ye violators of noble names!

But it shall be your curse, ye immaculate ones, ye pure discerners, that
ye shall never bring forth, even though ye lie broad and teeming on the

Verily, ye fill your mouth with noble words: and we are to believe that
your heart overfloweth, ye cozeners?

But MY words are poor, contemptible, stammering words: gladly do I pick
up what falleth from the table at your repasts.

Yet still can I say therewith the truth--to dissemblers! Yea, my
fish-bones, shells, and prickly leaves shall--tickle the noses of

Bad air is always about you and your repasts: your lascivious thoughts,
your lies, and secrets are indeed in the air!

Dare only to believe in yourselves--in yourselves and in your inward
parts! He who doth not believe in himself always lieth.

A God’s mask have ye hung in front of you, ye “pure ones”: into a God’s
mask hath your execrable coiling snake crawled.

Verily ye deceive, ye “contemplative ones!” Even Zarathustra was once
the dupe of your godlike exterior; he did not divine the serpent’s coil
with which it was stuffed.

A God’s soul, I once thought I saw playing in your games, ye pure
discerners! No better arts did I once dream of than your arts!

Serpents’ filth and evil odour, the distance concealed from me: and that
a lizard’s craft prowled thereabouts lasciviously.

But I came NIGH unto you: then came to me the day,--and now cometh it to
you,--at an end is the moon’s love affair!

See there! Surprised and pale doth it stand--before the rosy dawn!

For already she cometh, the glowing one,--HER love to the earth cometh!
Innocence and creative desire, is all solar love!

See there, how she cometh impatiently over the sea! Do ye not feel the
thirst and the hot breath of her love?

At the sea would she suck, and drink its depths to her height: now
riseth the desire of the sea with its thousand breasts.

Kissed and sucked WOULD it be by the thirst of the sun; vapour WOULD it
become, and height, and path of light, and light itself!

Verily, like the sun do I love life, and all deep seas.

And this meaneth TO ME knowledge: all that is deep shall ascend--to my

Thus spake Zarathustra.


When I lay asleep, then did a sheep eat at the ivy-wreath on my
head,--it ate, and said thereby: “Zarathustra is no longer a scholar.”

It said this, and went away clumsily and proudly. A child told it to me.

I like to lie here where the children play, beside the ruined wall,
among thistles and red poppies.

A scholar am I still to the children, and also to the thistles and red
poppies. Innocent are they, even in their wickedness.

But to the sheep I am no longer a scholar: so willeth my lot--blessings
upon it!

For this is the truth: I have departed from the house of the scholars,
and the door have I also slammed behind me.

Too long did my soul sit hungry at their table: not like them have I got
the knack of investigating, as the knack of nut-cracking.

Freedom do I love, and the air over fresh soil; rather would I sleep on
ox-skins than on their honours and dignities.

I am too hot and scorched with mine own thought: often is it ready to
take away my breath. Then have I to go into the open air, and away from
all dusty rooms.

But they sit cool in the cool shade: they want in everything to be
merely spectators, and they avoid sitting where the sun burneth on the

Like those who stand in the street and gape at the passers-by: thus do
they also wait, and gape at the thoughts which others have thought.

Should one lay hold of them, then do they raise a dust like flour-sacks,
and involuntarily: but who would divine that their dust came from corn,
and from the yellow delight of the summer fields?

When they give themselves out as wise, then do their petty sayings and
truths chill me: in their wisdom there is often an odour as if it came
from the swamp; and verily, I have even heard the frog croak in it!

Clever are they--they have dexterous fingers: what doth MY simplicity
pretend to beside their multiplicity! All threading and knitting and
weaving do their fingers understand: thus do they make the hose of the

Good clockworks are they: only be careful to wind them up properly!
Then do they indicate the hour without mistake, and make a modest noise

Like millstones do they work, and like pestles: throw only seed-corn
unto them!--they know well how to grind corn small, and make white dust
out of it.

They keep a sharp eye on one another, and do not trust each other the
best. Ingenious in little artifices, they wait for those whose knowledge
walketh on lame feet,--like spiders do they wait.

I saw them always prepare their poison with precaution; and always did
they put glass gloves on their fingers in doing so.

They also know how to play with false dice; and so eagerly did I find
them playing, that they perspired thereby.

We are alien to each other, and their virtues are even more repugnant to
my taste than their falsehoods and false dice.

And when I lived with them, then did I live above them. Therefore did
they take a dislike to me.

They want to hear nothing of any one walking above their heads; and so
they put wood and earth and rubbish betwixt me and their heads.

Thus did they deafen the sound of my tread: and least have I hitherto
been heard by the most learned.

All mankind’s faults and weaknesses did they put betwixt themselves and
me:--they call it “false ceiling” in their houses.

But nevertheless I walk with my thoughts ABOVE their heads; and even
should I walk on mine own errors, still would I be above them and their

For men are NOT equal: so speaketh justice. And what I will, THEY may
not will!--

Thus spake Zarathustra.


“Since I have known the body better”--said Zarathustra to one of his
disciples--“the spirit hath only been to me symbolically spirit; and all
the ‘imperishable’--that is also but a simile.”

“So have I heard thee say once before,” answered the disciple, “and then
thou addedst: ‘But the poets lie too much.’ Why didst thou say that the
poets lie too much?”

“Why?” said Zarathustra. “Thou askest why? I do not belong to those who
may be asked after their Why.

Is my experience but of yesterday? It is long ago that I experienced the
reasons for mine opinions.

Should I not have to be a cask of memory, if I also wanted to have my
reasons with me?

It is already too much for me even to retain mine opinions; and many a
bird flieth away.

And sometimes, also, do I find a fugitive creature in my dovecote, which
is alien to me, and trembleth when I lay my hand upon it.

But what did Zarathustra once say unto thee? That the poets lie too
much?--But Zarathustra also is a poet.

Believest thou that he there spake the truth? Why dost thou believe it?”

The disciple answered: “I believe in Zarathustra.” But Zarathustra shook
his head and smiled.--

Belief doth not sanctify me, said he, least of all the belief in myself.

But granting that some one did say in all seriousness that the poets lie
too much: he was right--WE do lie too much.

We also know too little, and are bad learners: so we are obliged to lie.

And which of us poets hath not adulterated his wine? Many a poisonous
hotchpotch hath evolved in our cellars: many an indescribable thing hath
there been done.

And because we know little, therefore are we pleased from the heart with
the poor in spirit, especially when they are young women!

And even of those things are we desirous, which old women tell one
another in the evening. This do we call the eternally feminine in us.

And as if there were a special secret access to knowledge, which CHOKETH
UP for those who learn anything, so do we believe in the people and in
their “wisdom.”

This, however, do all poets believe: that whoever pricketh up his ears
when lying in the grass or on lonely slopes, learneth something of the
things that are betwixt heaven and earth.

And if there come unto them tender emotions, then do the poets always
think that nature herself is in love with them:

And that she stealeth to their ear to whisper secrets into it, and
amorous flatteries: of this do they plume and pride themselves, before
all mortals!

Ah, there are so many things betwixt heaven and earth of which only the
poets have dreamed!

And especially ABOVE the heavens: for all Gods are poet-symbolisations,

Verily, ever are we drawn aloft--that is, to the realm of the clouds:
on these do we set our gaudy puppets, and then call them Gods and

Are not they light enough for those chairs!--all these Gods and

Ah, how I am weary of all the inadequate that is insisted on as actual!
Ah, how I am weary of the poets!

When Zarathustra so spake, his disciple resented it, but was silent. And
Zarathustra also was silent; and his eye directed itself inwardly, as if
it gazed into the far distance. At last he sighed and drew breath.--

I am of to-day and heretofore, said he thereupon; but something is in me
that is of the morrow, and the day following, and the hereafter.

I became weary of the poets, of the old and of the new: superficial are
they all unto me, and shallow seas.

They did not think sufficiently into the depth; therefore their feeling
did not reach to the bottom.

Some sensation of voluptuousness and some sensation of tedium: these
have as yet been their best contemplation.

Ghost-breathing and ghost-whisking, seemeth to me all the
jingle-jangling of their harps; what have they known hitherto of the
fervour of tones!--

They are also not pure enough for me: they all muddle their water that
it may seem deep.

And fain would they thereby prove themselves reconcilers: but mediaries
and mixers are they unto me, and half-and-half, and impure!--

Ah, I cast indeed my net into their sea, and meant to catch good fish;
but always did I draw up the head of some ancient God.

Thus did the sea give a stone to the hungry one. And they themselves may
well originate from the sea.

Certainly, one findeth pearls in them: thereby they are the more like
hard molluscs. And instead of a soul, I have often found in them salt

They have learned from the sea also its vanity: is not the sea the
peacock of peacocks?

Even before the ugliest of all buffaloes doth it spread out its tail;
never doth it tire of its lace-fan of silver and silk.

Disdainfully doth the buffalo glance thereat, nigh to the sand with its
soul, nigher still to the thicket, nighest, however, to the swamp.

What is beauty and sea and peacock-splendour to it! This parable I speak
unto the poets.

Verily, their spirit itself is the peacock of peacocks, and a sea of

Spectators, seeketh the spirit of the poet--should they even be

But of this spirit became I weary; and I see the time coming when it
will become weary of itself.

Yea, changed have I seen the poets, and their glance turned towards

Penitents of the spirit have I seen appearing; they grew out of the

Thus spake Zarathustra.


There is an isle in the sea--not far from the Happy Isles of
Zarathustra--on which a volcano ever smoketh; of which isle the people,
and especially the old women amongst them, say that it is placed as a
rock before the gate of the nether-world; but that through the volcano
itself the narrow way leadeth downwards which conducteth to this gate.

Now about the time that Zarathustra sojourned on the Happy Isles, it
happened that a ship anchored at the isle on which standeth the smoking
mountain, and the crew went ashore to shoot rabbits. About the noontide
hour, however, when the captain and his men were together again, they
saw suddenly a man coming towards them through the air, and a voice said
distinctly: “It is time! It is the highest time!” But when the figure
was nearest to them (it flew past quickly, however, like a shadow, in
the direction of the volcano), then did they recognise with the greatest
surprise that it was Zarathustra; for they had all seen him before
except the captain himself, and they loved him as the people love: in
such wise that love and awe were combined in equal degree.

“Behold!” said the old helmsman, “there goeth Zarathustra to hell!”

About the same time that these sailors landed on the fire-isle, there
was a rumour that Zarathustra had disappeared; and when his friends were
asked about it, they said that he had gone on board a ship by night,
without saying whither he was going.

Thus there arose some uneasiness. After three days, however, there came
the story of the ship’s crew in addition to this uneasiness--and
then did all the people say that the devil had taken Zarathustra. His
disciples laughed, sure enough, at this talk; and one of them said even:
“Sooner would I believe that Zarathustra hath taken the devil.” But at
the bottom of their hearts they were all full of anxiety and longing: so
their joy was great when on the fifth day Zarathustra appeared amongst

And this is the account of Zarathustra’s interview with the fire-dog:

The earth, said he, hath a skin; and this skin hath diseases. One of
these diseases, for example, is called “man.”

And another of these diseases is called “the fire-dog”: concerning HIM
men have greatly deceived themselves, and let themselves be deceived.

To fathom this mystery did I go o’er the sea; and I have seen the truth
naked, verily! barefooted up to the neck.

Now do I know how it is concerning the fire-dog; and likewise concerning
all the spouting and subversive devils, of which not only old women are

“Up with thee, fire-dog, out of thy depth!” cried I, “and confess how
deep that depth is! Whence cometh that which thou snortest up?

Thou drinkest copiously at the sea: that doth thine embittered eloquence
betray! In sooth, for a dog of the depth, thou takest thy nourishment
too much from the surface!

At the most, I regard thee as the ventriloquist of the earth: and ever,
when I have heard subversive and spouting devils speak, I have found
them like thee: embittered, mendacious, and shallow.

Ye understand how to roar and obscure with ashes! Ye are the best
braggarts, and have sufficiently learned the art of making dregs boil.

Where ye are, there must always be dregs at hand, and much that is
spongy, hollow, and compressed: it wanteth to have freedom.

‘Freedom’ ye all roar most eagerly: but I have unlearned the belief in
‘great events,’ when there is much roaring and smoke about them.

And believe me, friend Hullabaloo! The greatest events--are not our
noisiest, but our stillest hours.

Not around the inventors of new noise, but around the inventors of new
values, doth the world revolve; INAUDIBLY it revolveth.

And just own to it! Little had ever taken place when thy noise and smoke
passed away. What, if a city did become a mummy, and a statue lay in the

And this do I say also to the o’erthrowers of statues: It is certainly
the greatest folly to throw salt into the sea, and statues into the mud.

In the mud of your contempt lay the statue: but it is just its law, that
out of contempt, its life and living beauty grow again!

With diviner features doth it now arise, seducing by its suffering; and
verily! it will yet thank you for o’erthrowing it, ye subverters!

This counsel, however, do I counsel to kings and churches, and to all
that is weak with age or virtue--let yourselves be o’erthrown! That ye
may again come to life, and that virtue--may come to you!--”

Thus spake I before the fire-dog: then did he interrupt me sullenly, and
asked: “Church? What is that?”

“Church?” answered I, “that is a kind of state, and indeed the most
mendacious. But remain quiet, thou dissembling dog! Thou surely knowest
thine own species best!

Like thyself the state is a dissembling dog; like thee doth it like
to speak with smoke and roaring--to make believe, like thee, that it
speaketh out of the heart of things.

For it seeketh by all means to be the most important creature on earth,
the state; and people think it so.”

When I had said this, the fire-dog acted as if mad with envy. “What!”
 cried he, “the most important creature on earth? And people think it
so?” And so much vapour and terrible voices came out of his throat, that
I thought he would choke with vexation and envy.

At last he became calmer and his panting subsided; as soon, however, as
he was quiet, I said laughingly:

“Thou art angry, fire-dog: so I am in the right about thee!

And that I may also maintain the right, hear the story of another
fire-dog; he speaketh actually out of the heart of the earth.

Gold doth his breath exhale, and golden rain: so doth his heart desire.
What are ashes and smoke and hot dregs to him!

Laughter flitteth from him like a variegated cloud; adverse is he to thy
gargling and spewing and grips in the bowels!

The gold, however, and the laughter--these doth he take out of the heart
of the earth: for, that thou mayst know it,--THE HEART OF THE EARTH IS

When the fire-dog heard this, he could no longer endure to listen to me.
Abashed did he draw in his tail, said “bow-wow!” in a cowed voice, and
crept down into his cave.--

Thus told Zarathustra. His disciples, however, hardly listened to him:
so great was their eagerness to tell him about the sailors, the rabbits,
and the flying man.

“What am I to think of it!” said Zarathustra. “Am I indeed a ghost?

But it may have been my shadow. Ye have surely heard something of the
Wanderer and his Shadow?

One thing, however, is certain: I must keep a tighter hold of it;
otherwise it will spoil my reputation.”

And once more Zarathustra shook his head and wondered. “What am I to
think of it!” said he once more.

“Why did the ghost cry: ‘It is time! It is the highest time!’

For WHAT is it then--the highest time?”--

Thus spake Zarathustra.


“-And I saw a great sadness come over mankind. The best turned weary of
their works.

A doctrine appeared, a faith ran beside it: ‘All is empty, all is alike,
all hath been!’

And from all hills there re-echoed: ‘All is empty, all is alike, all
hath been!’

To be sure we have harvested: but why have all our fruits become rotten
and brown? What was it fell last night from the evil moon?

In vain was all our labour, poison hath our wine become, the evil eye
hath singed yellow our fields and hearts.

Arid have we all become; and fire falling upon us, then do we turn dust
like ashes:--yea, the fire itself have we made aweary.

All our fountains have dried up, even the sea hath receded. All the
ground trieth to gape, but the depth will not swallow!

‘Alas! where is there still a sea in which one could be drowned?’ so
soundeth our plaint--across shallow swamps.

Verily, even for dying have we become too weary; now do we keep awake
and live on--in sepulchres.”

Thus did Zarathustra hear a soothsayer speak; and the foreboding touched
his heart and transformed him. Sorrowfully did he go about and wearily;
and he became like unto those of whom the soothsayer had spoken.--

Verily, said he unto his disciples, a little while, and there cometh the
long twilight. Alas, how shall I preserve my light through it!

That it may not smother in this sorrowfulness! To remoter worlds shall
it be a light, and also to remotest nights!

Thus did Zarathustra go about grieved in his heart, and for three days
he did not take any meat or drink: he had no rest, and lost his speech.
At last it came to pass that he fell into a deep sleep. His disciples,
however, sat around him in long night-watches, and waited anxiously to
see if he would awake, and speak again, and recover from his affliction.

And this is the discourse that Zarathustra spake when he awoke; his
voice, however, came unto his disciples as from afar:

Hear, I pray you, the dream that I dreamed, my friends, and help me to
divine its meaning!

A riddle is it still unto me, this dream; the meaning is hidden in it
and encaged, and doth not yet fly above it on free pinions.

All life had I renounced, so I dreamed. Night-watchman and
grave-guardian had I become, aloft, in the lone mountain-fortress of

There did I guard his coffins: full stood the musty vaults of those
trophies of victory. Out of glass coffins did vanquished life gaze upon

The odour of dust-covered eternities did I breathe: sultry and
dust-covered lay my soul. And who could have aired his soul there!

Brightness of midnight was ever around me; lonesomeness cowered beside
her; and as a third, death-rattle stillness, the worst of my female

Keys did I carry, the rustiest of all keys; and I knew how to open with
them the most creaking of all gates.

Like a bitterly angry croaking ran the sound through the long corridors
when the leaves of the gate opened: ungraciously did this bird cry,
unwillingly was it awakened.

But more frightful even, and more heart-strangling was it, when it again
became silent and still all around, and I alone sat in that malignant

Thus did time pass with me, and slip by, if time there still was: what
do I know thereof! But at last there happened that which awoke me.

Thrice did there peal peals at the gate like thunders, thrice did the
vaults resound and howl again: then did I go to the gate.

Alpa! cried I, who carrieth his ashes unto the mountain? Alpa! Alpa! who
carrieth his ashes unto the mountain?

And I pressed the key, and pulled at the gate, and exerted myself. But
not a finger’s-breadth was it yet open:

Then did a roaring wind tear the folds apart: whistling, whizzing, and
piercing, it threw unto me a black coffin.

And in the roaring, and whistling, and whizzing the coffin burst up, and
spouted out a thousand peals of laughter.

And a thousand caricatures of children, angels, owls, fools, and
child-sized butterflies laughed and mocked, and roared at me.

Fearfully was I terrified thereby: it prostrated me. And I cried with
horror as I ne’er cried before.

But mine own crying awoke me:--and I came to myself.--

Thus did Zarathustra relate his dream, and then was silent: for as yet
he knew not the interpretation thereof. But the disciple whom he loved
most arose quickly, seized Zarathustra’s hand, and said:

“Thy life itself interpreteth unto us this dream, O Zarathustra!

Art thou not thyself the wind with shrill whistling, which bursteth open
the gates of the fortress of Death?

Art thou not thyself the coffin full of many-hued malices and
angel-caricatures of life?

Verily, like a thousand peals of children’s laughter cometh
Zarathustra into all sepulchres, laughing at those night-watchmen and
grave-guardians, and whoever else rattleth with sinister keys.

With thy laughter wilt thou frighten and prostrate them: fainting and
recovering will demonstrate thy power over them.

And when the long twilight cometh and the mortal weariness, even then
wilt thou not disappear from our firmament, thou advocate of life!

New stars hast thou made us see, and new nocturnal glories: verily,
laughter itself hast thou spread out over us like a many-hued canopy.

Now will children’s laughter ever from coffins flow; now will a strong
wind ever come victoriously unto all mortal weariness: of this thou art
thyself the pledge and the prophet!

Verily, THEY THEMSELVES DIDST THOU DREAM, thine enemies: that was thy
sorest dream.

But as thou awokest from them and camest to thyself, so shall they
awaken from themselves--and come unto thee!”

Thus spake the disciple; and all the others then thronged around
Zarathustra, grasped him by the hands, and tried to persuade him to
leave his bed and his sadness, and return unto them. Zarathustra,
however, sat upright on his couch, with an absent look. Like one
returning from long foreign sojourn did he look on his disciples, and
examined their features; but still he knew them not. When, however, they
raised him, and set him upon his feet, behold, all on a sudden his eye
changed; he understood everything that had happened, stroked his beard,
and said with a strong voice:

“Well! this hath just its time; but see to it, my disciples, that we
have a good repast; and without delay! Thus do I mean to make amends for
bad dreams!

The soothsayer, however, shall eat and drink at my side: and verily, I
will yet show him a sea in which he can drown himself!”--

Thus spake Zarathustra. Then did he gaze long into the face of the
disciple who had been the dream-interpreter, and shook his head.--


When Zarathustra went one day over the great bridge, then did the
cripples and beggars surround him, and a hunchback spake thus unto him:

“Behold, Zarathustra! Even the people learn from thee, and acquire faith
in thy teaching: but for them to believe fully in thee, one thing is
still needful--thou must first of all convince us cripples! Here hast
thou now a fine selection, and verily, an opportunity with more than one
forelock! The blind canst thou heal, and make the lame run; and from
him who hath too much behind, couldst thou well, also, take away a
little;--that, I think, would be the right method to make the cripples
believe in Zarathustra!”

Zarathustra, however, answered thus unto him who so spake: When one
taketh his hump from the hunchback, then doth one take from him his
spirit--so do the people teach. And when one giveth the blind man eyes,
then doth he see too many bad things on the earth: so that he curseth
him who healed him. He, however, who maketh the lame man run, inflicteth
upon him the greatest injury; for hardly can he run, when his vices
run away with him--so do the people teach concerning cripples. And why
should not Zarathustra also learn from the people, when the people learn
from Zarathustra?

It is, however, the smallest thing unto me since I have been amongst
men, to see one person lacking an eye, another an ear, and a third a
leg, and that others have lost the tongue, or the nose, or the head.

I see and have seen worse things, and divers things so hideous, that I
should neither like to speak of all matters, nor even keep silent about
some of them: namely, men who lack everything, except that they have
too much of one thing--men who are nothing more than a big eye, or a big
mouth, or a big belly, or something else big,--reversed cripples, I call
such men.

And when I came out of my solitude, and for the first time passed over
this bridge, then I could not trust mine eyes, but looked again and
again, and said at last: “That is an ear! An ear as big as a man!” I
looked still more attentively--and actually there did move under the ear
something that was pitiably small and poor and slim. And in truth this
immense ear was perched on a small thin stalk--the stalk, however, was a
man! A person putting a glass to his eyes, could even recognise further
a small envious countenance, and also that a bloated soullet dangled at
the stalk. The people told me, however, that the big ear was not only a
man, but a great man, a genius. But I never believed in the people when
they spake of great men--and I hold to my belief that it was a reversed
cripple, who had too little of everything, and too much of one thing.

When Zarathustra had spoken thus unto the hunchback, and unto those of
whom the hunchback was the mouthpiece and advocate, then did he turn to
his disciples in profound dejection, and said:

Verily, my friends, I walk amongst men as amongst the fragments and
limbs of human beings!

This is the terrible thing to mine eye, that I find man broken up, and
scattered about, as on a battle- and butcher-ground.

And when mine eye fleeth from the present to the bygone, it findeth ever
the same: fragments and limbs and fearful chances--but no men!

The present and the bygone upon earth--ah! my friends--that is MY most
unbearable trouble; and I should not know how to live, if I were not a
seer of what is to come.

A seer, a purposer, a creator, a future itself, and a bridge to the
future--and alas! also as it were a cripple on this bridge: all that is

And ye also asked yourselves often: “Who is Zarathustra to us? What
shall he be called by us?” And like me, did ye give yourselves questions
for answers.

Is he a promiser? Or a fulfiller? A conqueror? Or an inheritor? A
harvest? Or a ploughshare? A physician? Or a healed one?

Is he a poet? Or a genuine one? An emancipator? Or a subjugator? A good
one? Or an evil one?

I walk amongst men as the fragments of the future: that future which I

And it is all my poetisation and aspiration to compose and collect into
unity what is fragment and riddle and fearful chance.

And how could I endure to be a man, if man were not also the composer,
and riddle-reader, and redeemer of chance!

To redeem what is past, and to transform every “It was” into “Thus would
I have it!”--that only do I call redemption!

Will--so is the emancipator and joy-bringer called: thus have I taught
you, my friends! But now learn this likewise: the Will itself is still a

Willing emancipateth: but what is that called which still putteth the
emancipator in chains?

“It was”: thus is the Will’s teeth-gnashing and lonesomest tribulation
called. Impotent towards what hath been done--it is a malicious
spectator of all that is past.

Not backward can the Will will; that it cannot break time and time’s
desire--that is the Will’s lonesomest tribulation.

Willing emancipateth: what doth Willing itself devise in order to get
free from its tribulation and mock at its prison?

Ah, a fool becometh every prisoner! Foolishly delivereth itself also the
imprisoned Will.

That time doth not run backward--that is its animosity: “That which
was”: so is the stone which it cannot roll called.

And thus doth it roll stones out of animosity and ill-humour, and taketh
revenge on whatever doth not, like it, feel rage and ill-humour.

Thus did the Will, the emancipator, become a torturer; and on all
that is capable of suffering it taketh revenge, because it cannot go

This, yea, this alone is REVENGE itself: the Will’s antipathy to time,
and its “It was.”

Verily, a great folly dwelleth in our Will; and it became a curse unto
all humanity, that this folly acquired spirit!

THE SPIRIT OF REVENGE: my friends, that hath hitherto been man’s best
contemplation; and where there was suffering, it was claimed there was
always penalty.

“Penalty,” so calleth itself revenge. With a lying word it feigneth a
good conscience.

And because in the willer himself there is suffering, because he cannot
will backwards--thus was Willing itself, and all life, claimed--to be

And then did cloud after cloud roll over the spirit, until at last
madness preached: “Everything perisheth, therefore everything deserveth
to perish!”

“And this itself is justice, the law of time--that he must devour his
children:” thus did madness preach.

“Morally are things ordered according to justice and penalty. Oh, where
is there deliverance from the flux of things and from the ‘existence’ of
penalty?” Thus did madness preach.

“Can there be deliverance when there is eternal justice? Alas,
unrollable is the stone, ‘It was’: eternal must also be all penalties!”
 Thus did madness preach.

“No deed can be annihilated: how could it be undone by the penalty!
This, this is what is eternal in the ‘existence’ of penalty, that
existence also must be eternally recurring deed and guilt!

Unless the Will should at last deliver itself, and Willing become
non-Willing--:” but ye know, my brethren, this fabulous song of madness!

Away from those fabulous songs did I lead you when I taught you: “The
Will is a creator.”

All “It was” is a fragment, a riddle, a fearful chance--until the
creating Will saith thereto: “But thus would I have it.”--

Until the creating Will saith thereto: “But thus do I will it! Thus
shall I will it!”

But did it ever speak thus? And when doth this take place? Hath the Will
been unharnessed from its own folly?

Hath the Will become its own deliverer and joy-bringer? Hath it
unlearned the spirit of revenge and all teeth-gnashing?

And who hath taught it reconciliation with time, and something higher
than all reconciliation?

Something higher than all reconciliation must the Will will which is the
Will to Power--: but how doth that take place? Who hath taught it also
to will backwards?

--But at this point in his discourse it chanced that Zarathustra
suddenly paused, and looked like a person in the greatest alarm. With
terror in his eyes did he gaze on his disciples; his glances pierced as
with arrows their thoughts and arrear-thoughts. But after a brief space
he again laughed, and said soothedly:

“It is difficult to live amongst men, because silence is so difficult--
especially for a babbler.”--

Thus spake Zarathustra. The hunchback, however, had listened to the
conversation and had covered his face during the time; but when he heard
Zarathustra laugh, he looked up with curiosity, and said slowly:

“But why doth Zarathustra speak otherwise unto us than unto his

Zarathustra answered: “What is there to be wondered at! With hunchbacks
one may well speak in a hunchbacked way!”

“Very good,” said the hunchback; “and with pupils one may well tell
tales out of school.

But why doth Zarathustra speak otherwise unto his pupils--than unto


Not the height, it is the declivity that is terrible!

The declivity, where the gaze shooteth DOWNWARDS, and the hand graspeth
UPWARDS. There doth the heart become giddy through its double will.

Ah, friends, do ye divine also my heart’s double will?

This, this is MY declivity and my danger, that my gaze shooteth towards
the summit, and my hand would fain clutch and lean--on the depth!

To man clingeth my will; with chains do I bind myself to man, because
I am pulled upwards to the Superman: for thither doth mine other will

And THEREFORE do I live blindly among men, as if I knew them not: that
my hand may not entirely lose belief in firmness.

I know not you men: this gloom and consolation is often spread around

I sit at the gateway for every rogue, and ask: Who wisheth to deceive

This is my first manly prudence, that I allow myself to be deceived, so
as not to be on my guard against deceivers.

Ah, if I were on my guard against man, how could man be an anchor to my
ball! Too easily would I be pulled upwards and away!

This providence is over my fate, that I have to be without foresight.

And he who would not languish amongst men, must learn to drink out of
all glasses; and he who would keep clean amongst men, must know how to
wash himself even with dirty water.

And thus spake I often to myself for consolation: “Courage! Cheer up!
old heart! An unhappiness hath failed to befall thee: enjoy that as

This, however, is mine other manly prudence: I am more forbearing to the
VAIN than to the proud.

Is not wounded vanity the mother of all tragedies? Where, however, pride
is wounded, there there groweth up something better than pride.

That life may be fair to behold, its game must be well played; for that
purpose, however, it needeth good actors.

Good actors have I found all the vain ones: they play, and wish people
to be fond of beholding them--all their spirit is in this wish.

They represent themselves, they invent themselves; in their
neighbourhood I like to look upon life--it cureth of melancholy.

Therefore am I forbearing to the vain, because they are the physicians
of my melancholy, and keep me attached to man as to a drama.

And further, who conceiveth the full depth of the modesty of the vain
man! I am favourable to him, and sympathetic on account of his modesty.

From you would he learn his belief in himself; he feedeth upon your
glances, he eateth praise out of your hands.

Your lies doth he even believe when you lie favourably about him: for in
its depths sigheth his heart: “What am _I_?”

And if that be the true virtue which is unconscious of itself--well, the
vain man is unconscious of his modesty!--

This is, however, my third manly prudence: I am not put out of conceit
with the WICKED by your timorousness.

I am happy to see the marvels the warm sun hatcheth: tigers and palms
and rattle-snakes.

Also amongst men there is a beautiful brood of the warm sun, and much
that is marvellous in the wicked.

In truth, as your wisest did not seem to me so very wise, so found I
also human wickedness below the fame of it.

And oft did I ask with a shake of the head: Why still rattle, ye

Verily, there is still a future even for evil! And the warmest south is
still undiscovered by man.

How many things are now called the worst wickedness, which are only
twelve feet broad and three months long! Some day, however, will greater
dragons come into the world.

For that the Superman may not lack his dragon, the superdragon that
is worthy of him, there must still much warm sun glow on moist virgin

Out of your wild cats must tigers have evolved, and out of your
poison-toads, crocodiles: for the good hunter shall have a good hunt!

And verily, ye good and just! In you there is much to be laughed at, and
especially your fear of what hath hitherto been called “the devil!”

So alien are ye in your souls to what is great, that to you the Superman
would be FRIGHTFUL in his goodness!

And ye wise and knowing ones, ye would flee from the solar-glow of the
wisdom in which the Superman joyfully batheth his nakedness!

Ye highest men who have come within my ken! this is my doubt of you, and
my secret laughter: I suspect ye would call my Superman--a devil!

Ah, I became tired of those highest and best ones: from their “height”
 did I long to be up, out, and away to the Superman!

A horror came over me when I saw those best ones naked: then there grew
for me the pinions to soar away into distant futures.

Into more distant futures, into more southern souths than ever artist
dreamed of: thither, where Gods are ashamed of all clothes!

But disguised do I want to see YOU, ye neighbours and fellowmen, and
well-attired and vain and estimable, as “the good and just;”--

And disguised will I myself sit amongst you--that I may MISTAKE you and
myself: for that is my last manly prudence.--

Thus spake Zarathustra.


What hath happened unto me, my friends? Ye see me troubled, driven
forth, unwillingly obedient, ready to go--alas, to go away from YOU!

Yea, once more must Zarathustra retire to his solitude: but unjoyously
this time doth the bear go back to his cave!

What hath happened unto me? Who ordereth this?--Ah, mine angry mistress
wisheth it so; she spake unto me. Have I ever named her name to you?

Yesterday towards evening there spake unto me MY STILLEST HOUR: that is
the name of my terrible mistress.

And thus did it happen--for everything must I tell you, that your heart
may not harden against the suddenly departing one!

Do ye know the terror of him who falleth asleep?--

To the very toes he is terrified, because the ground giveth way under
him, and the dream beginneth.

This do I speak unto you in parable. Yesterday at the stillest hour did
the ground give way under me: the dream began.

The hour-hand moved on, the timepiece of my life drew breath--never did
I hear such stillness around me, so that my heart was terrified.

Then was there spoken unto me without voice: “THOU KNOWEST IT,

And I cried in terror at this whispering, and the blood left my face:
but I was silent.

Then was there once more spoken unto me without voice: “Thou knowest it,
Zarathustra, but thou dost not speak it!”--

And at last I answered, like one defiant: “Yea, I know it, but I will
not speak it!”

Then was there again spoken unto me without voice: “Thou WILT not,
Zarathustra? Is this true? Conceal thyself not behind thy defiance!”--

And I wept and trembled like a child, and said: “Ah, I would indeed, but
how can I do it! Exempt me only from this! It is beyond my power!”

Then was there again spoken unto me without voice: “What matter about
thyself, Zarathustra! Speak thy word, and succumb!”

And I answered: “Ah, is it MY word? Who am _I_? I await the worthier
one; I am not worthy even to succumb by it.”

Then was there again spoken unto me without voice: “What matter about
thyself? Thou art not yet humble enough for me. Humility hath the
hardest skin.”--

And I answered: “What hath not the skin of my humility endured! At the
foot of my height do I dwell: how high are my summits, no one hath yet
told me. But well do I know my valleys.”

Then was there again spoken unto me without voice: “O Zarathustra, he
who hath to remove mountains removeth also valleys and plains.”--

And I answered: “As yet hath my word not removed mountains, and what I
have spoken hath not reached man. I went, indeed, unto men, but not yet
have I attained unto them.”

Then was there again spoken unto me without voice: “What knowest thou
THEREOF! The dew falleth on the grass when the night is most silent.”--

And I answered: “They mocked me when I found and walked in mine own
path; and certainly did my feet then tremble.

And thus did they speak unto me: Thou forgottest the path before, now
dost thou also forget how to walk!”

Then was there again spoken unto me without voice: “What matter about
their mockery! Thou art one who hast unlearned to obey: now shalt thou

Knowest thou not who is most needed by all? He who commandeth great

To execute great things is difficult: but the more difficult task is to
command great things.

This is thy most unpardonable obstinacy: thou hast the power, and thou
wilt not rule.”--

And I answered: “I lack the lion’s voice for all commanding.”

Then was there again spoken unto me as a whispering: “It is the stillest
words which bring the storm. Thoughts that come with doves’ footsteps
guide the world.

O Zarathustra, thou shalt go as a shadow of that which is to come: thus
wilt thou command, and in commanding go foremost.”--

And I answered: “I am ashamed.”

Then was there again spoken unto me without voice: “Thou must yet become
a child, and be without shame.

The pride of youth is still upon thee; late hast thou become young: but
he who would become a child must surmount even his youth.”--

And I considered a long while, and trembled. At last, however, did I say
what I had said at first. “I will not.”

Then did a laughing take place all around me. Alas, how that laughing
lacerated my bowels and cut into my heart!

And there was spoken unto me for the last time: “O Zarathustra, thy
fruits are ripe, but thou art not ripe for thy fruits!

So must thou go again into solitude: for thou shalt yet become

And again was there a laughing, and it fled: then did it become still
around me, as with a double stillness. I lay, however, on the ground,
and the sweat flowed from my limbs.

--Now have ye heard all, and why I have to return into my solitude.
Nothing have I kept hidden from you, my friends.

But even this have ye heard from me, WHO is still the most reserved of
men--and will be so!

Ah, my friends! I should have something more to say unto you! I should
have something more to give unto you! Why do I not give it? Am I then a

When, however, Zarathustra had spoken these words, the violence of his
pain, and a sense of the nearness of his departure from his friends came
over him, so that he wept aloud; and no one knew how to console him. In
the night, however, he went away alone and left his friends.


“Ye look aloft when ye long for exaltation, and I look downward because
I am exalted.

“Who among you can at the same time laugh and be exalted?

“He who climbeth on the highest mountains, laugheth at all tragic plays
and tragic realities.”--ZARATHUSTRA, I., “Reading and Writing.”


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

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

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

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

It returneth only, it cometh home to me at last--mine own Self, and
such of it as hath been long abroad, and scattered among things and

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

He, however, who is of my nature doth not avoid such an hour: the hour
that saith unto him: Now only dost thou go the way to thy greatness!
Summit and abyss--these are now comprised together!

Thou goest the way to thy greatness: now hath it become thy last refuge,
what was hitherto thy last danger!

Thou goest the way to thy greatness: it must now be thy best courage
that there is no longer any path behind thee!

Thou goest the way to thy greatness: here shall no one steal after thee!
Thy foot itself hath effaced the path behind thee, and over it standeth
written: Impossibility.

And if all ladders henceforth fail thee, then must thou learn to mount
upon thine own head: how couldst thou mount upward otherwise?

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

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

To learn TO LOOK AWAY FROM oneself, is necessary in order to see MANY
THINGS:--this hardiness is needed by every mountain-climber.

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

But thou, O Zarathustra, wouldst view the ground of everything, and its
background: thus must thou mount even above thyself--up, upwards, until
thou hast even thy stars UNDER thee!

Yea! To look down upon myself, and even upon my stars: that only would I
call my SUMMIT, that hath remained for me as my LAST summit!--

Thus spake Zarathustra to himself while ascending, comforting his heart
with harsh maxims: for he was sore at heart as he had never been before.
And when he had reached the top of the mountain-ridge, behold, there
lay the other sea spread out before him: and he stood still and was
long silent. The night, however, was cold at this height, and clear and

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But it breatheth warmly--I feel it. And I feel also that it dreameth. It
tosseth about dreamily on hard pillows.

Hark! Hark! How it groaneth with evil recollections! Or evil

Ah, I am sad along with thee, thou dusky monster, and angry with myself
even for thy sake.

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

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

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

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

LOVE is the danger of the lonesomest one, love to anything, IF IT ONLY
LIVE! Laughable, verily, is my folly and my modesty in love!--

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



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

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

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

--For ye dislike to grope at a thread with cowardly hand; and where ye
can DIVINE, there do ye hate to CALCULATE--

To you only do I tell the enigma that I SAW--the vision of the
lonesomest one.--

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

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

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

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

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

“O Zarathustra,” it whispered scornfully, syllable by syllable, “thou
stone of wisdom! Thou threwest thyself high, but every thrown stone

O Zarathustra, thou stone of wisdom, thou sling-stone, thou
star-destroyer! Thyself threwest thou so high,--but every thrown
stone--must fall!

Condemned of thyself, and to thine own stoning: O Zarathustra, far
indeed threwest thou thy stone--but upon THYSELF will it recoil!”

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

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

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

For courage is the best slayer,--courage which ATTACKETH: for in every
attack there is sound of triumph.

Man, however, is the most courageous animal: thereby hath he overcome
every animal. With sound of triumph hath he overcome every pain; human
pain, however, is the sorest pain.

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

Courage is the best slayer: courage slayeth also fellow-suffering.
Fellow-suffering, however, is the deepest abyss: as deeply as man
looketh into life, so deeply also doth he look into suffering.

Courage, however, is the best slayer, courage which attacketh: it
slayeth even death itself; for it saith: “WAS THAT life? Well! Once

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


“Halt, dwarf!” said I. “Either I--or thou! I, however, am the stronger
of the two:--thou knowest not mine abysmal thought! IT--couldst thou not

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

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

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

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

But should one follow them further--and ever further and further
on, thinkest thou, dwarf, that these roads would be eternally

“Everything straight lieth,” murmured the dwarf, contemptuously. “All
truth is crooked; time itself is a circle.”

“Thou spirit of gravity!” said I wrathfully, “do not take it too
lightly! Or I shall let thee squat where thou squattest, Haltfoot,--and
I carried thee HIGH!”

“Observe,” continued I, “This Moment! From the gateway, This Moment,
there runneth a long eternal lane BACKWARDS: behind us lieth an

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

And if everything have already existed, what thinkest thou, dwarf, of
This Moment? Must not this gateway also--have already existed?

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

For whatever CAN run its course of all things, also in this long lane
OUTWARD--MUST it once more run!--

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BUT THERE LAY A MAN! And there! The dog leaping, bristling, whining--now
did it see me coming--then did it howl again, then did it CRY:--had I
ever heard a dog cry so for help?

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

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

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

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

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

Solve unto me the enigma that I then beheld, interpret unto me the
vision of the lonesomest one!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thus spake Zarathustra.


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

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

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

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

And verily, where such trees stand beside one another, there ARE Happy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Desiring--that is now for me to have lost myself. I POSSESS YOU, MY
CHILDREN! In this possessing shall everything be assurance and nothing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Up to thy height to toss myself--that is MY depth! In thy purity to hide
myself--that is MINE innocence!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And what have I hated more than passing clouds, and whatever tainteth
thee? And mine own hatred have I even hated, because it tainted thee!

The passing clouds I detest--those stealthy cats of prey: they take
from thee and me what is common to us--the vast unbounded Yea- and

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thus spake Zarathustra.



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 virtue.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I pass through this people and keep mine eyes open; they have become

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

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

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

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

Some of them WILL, but most of them are WILLED. Some of them are
genuine, but most of them are bad actors.

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

Of man there is little here: therefore do their women masculinise
themselves. For only he who is man enough, will--SAVE THE WOMAN in

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thus spake Zarathustra.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

--If I did not myself commiserate their PITY, the pity of those enviers
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.


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

There is here also much piety, and much faithful spittle-licking and
spittle-backing, before the God of Hosts.

“From on high,” drippeth the star, and the gracious spittle; for the
high, longeth every starless bosom.

The moon hath its court, and the court hath its moon-calves: unto all,
however, that cometh from the court do the mendicant people pray, and
all appointable mendicant virtues.

“I serve, thou servest, we serve”--so prayeth all appointable virtue
to the prince: that the merited star may at last stick on the slender

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

--Spit on the great city and turn back!--

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

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.



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

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 pray!

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

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

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

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

Or they listen to an old roving howl-and growl-piper, who hath learnt
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 yester-night 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 thoroughly.”

“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
yester-night at the garden-wall.

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

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.


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

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

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

O Zarathustra, everything do I know; and that thou wert MORE FORSAKEN
amongst the many, thou unique one, than thou ever wert with me!

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

--Wild and strange even when they love thee: for above all they want to

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here fly open unto me all being’s 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
to-day, outchamped and outchewed, from the mouths of the men of to-day.

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

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.



In my dream, in my last morning-dream, I stood to-day on a promontory--
beyond the world; I held a pair of scales, and WEIGHED the world.

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

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

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

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

How confidently did my dream contemplate this finite 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 to-day:--

--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 to-day’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

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.

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 woman!

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

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 for ever 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:

Thus spake Zarathustra.



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 sick and infected, for with them
stinketh even self-love!

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

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 to-day and to-morrow to LEARN to
love oneself. Rather is it of all arts the finest, subtlest, last and

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 gravity.

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

But man himself only is hard to bear! The reason thereof is that he
carrieth too many extraneous things on his 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

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 learnt, 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 lickspittles; 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

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 ones!

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

And unwillingly only did I ask my way--that was always counter to my
taste! Rather did 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

--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.



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

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

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


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

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

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 laugh.

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

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

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

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

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

--As an eternal self-fleeing and re-seeking of one another of many Gods,
as the blessed self-contradicting, 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 chance;--

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

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

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

Now do I await MY redemption--that I may go unto them for the last time.

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

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

--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


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 requital.

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 idol-priests!

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

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

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

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 flux.”

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

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

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

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 illusion.

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

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


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 cock-crowing.

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

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

(For ABILITY-to-stand is a merit in courtiers; and all courtiers believe
that unto blessedness after death pertaineth--PERMISSION-to-sit!)

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

--And verily, wherever this “Holy Spirit” led its knights, always in
such campaigns did--goats and geese, and wryheads and guyheads run

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 thrash 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 “thrasheth straw,” why should he be allowed to rail at
thrashing! 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

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 true!

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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 to-day--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 to-day, 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 FASTER!--


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

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

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 overreaching! Therefore shall they
have it hard!

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

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

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


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

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


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

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 re-attempting!

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

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

--They crucify him who writeth new values on new tables, they sacrifice
UNTO THEMSELVES the future--they crucify the whole human future!

The good--they have always been the beginning of the 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?

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 sea-sickness.

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

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

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

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

What of fatherland! THITHER striveth our helm where our CHILDREN’S LAND
is! Thitherwards, stormier than the sea, stormeth our great longing!--


“Why so hard!”--said to the diamond one day the 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

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 victory!

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 noontide: ready and
ripe like the glowing ore, the lightning-bearing cloud, and the swelling

--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.



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

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

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 him.

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

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

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

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

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 forget!

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

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

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

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

And 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 past.

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

--“Ah, man 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

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 them!

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

--“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 thereof?”

--“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 lyres.

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

For thine animals know it well, O Zarathustra, who thou art and must
become: behold, THOU ART THE TEACHER OF THE ETERNAL RETURN,--that is now
THY fate!

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

Behold, we know what thou teachest: that all things 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

‘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 return.

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

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

--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.


O my soul, I have taught thee to say “to-day” 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

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

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 vintage-knife,--

--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

Thus spake Zarathustra.



“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, inwindress, 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

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

“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 been.--

Thus spake Zarathustra.



O man! Take heed!


What saith deep midnight’s voice indeed?


“I slept my sleep--


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


“The world is deep,


“And deeper than the day could read.


“Deep is its woe--


“Joy--deeper still than grief can be:


“Woe saith: Hence! Go!


“But joys all want eternity--


“Want deep profound eternity!”





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 live:

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 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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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 creative
dictums and dice-casts of the Gods:

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

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



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 Eternity!



If I be fond of the sea, and all that is sealike, and fondest of it when
it angrily contradicteth me:

If the exploring delight be in me, which impelleth sails to the
undiscovered, if the seafarer’s delight be in my delight:

If ever my rejoicing hath called out: “The shore hath vanished,--now
hath fallen from me the last chain--

The boundless roareth around me, far away sparkle for me space and
time,--well! cheer up! old heart!”--

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

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



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:

--For 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, every body 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 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 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

Thus spake the devil unto me, once on a time: “Even God hath his hell:
it is his love for man.”

And lately did I hear him say these words: “God is dead: of his pity for
man hath God died.”--ZARATHUSTRA, II., “The Pitiful.”


--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 to-day ascend a high mountain? The air is pure, and to-day
one seeth more of the world than ever.”--“Yea, mine animals,” answered
he, “ye counsel admirably and according to my heart: I will to-day
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 animals.

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

--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 to-day 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 fish.

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!


The next day sat Zarathustra again on the stone in front of his cave,
whilst his animals roved about in the world outside to bring home new
food,--also new honey: for Zarathustra had spent and wasted the old
honey to the very last particle. When he thus sat, however, with a
stick in his hand, tracing the shadow of his figure on the earth, and
reflecting--verily! not upon himself and his shadow,--all at once he
startled and shrank back: for he saw another shadow beside his own.
And when he hastily looked around and stood up, behold, there stood the
soothsayer beside him, the same whom he had once given to eat and drink
at his table, the proclaimer of the great weariness, who taught: “All is
alike, nothing is worth while, the world is without meaning, knowledge
strangleth.” But his face had changed since then; and when Zarathustra
looked into his eyes, his heart was startled once more: so much evil
announcement and ashy-grey lightnings passed over that countenance.

The soothsayer, who had perceived what went on in Zarathustra’s soul,
wiped his face with his hand, as if he would wipe out the impression;
the same did also Zarathustra. And when both of them had thus silently
composed and strengthened themselves, they gave each other the hand, as
a token that they wanted once more to recognise each other.

“Welcome hither,” said Zarathustra, “thou soothsayer of the great
weariness, not in vain shalt thou once have been my messmate and guest.
Eat and drink also with me to-day, and forgive it that a cheerful old
man sitteth with thee at table!”--“A cheerful old man?” answered the
soothsayer, shaking his head, “but whoever thou art, or wouldst be, O
Zarathustra, thou hast been here aloft the longest time,--in a little
while thy bark shall no longer rest on dry land!”--“Do I then rest
on dry land?”--asked Zarathustra, laughing.--“The waves around thy
mountain,” answered the soothsayer, “rise and rise, the waves of great
distress and affliction: they will soon raise thy bark also and carry
thee away.”--Thereupon was Zarathustra silent and wondered.--“Dost thou
still hear nothing?” continued the soothsayer: “doth it not rush and
roar out of the depth?”--Zarathustra was silent once more and listened:
then heard he a long, long cry, which the abysses threw to one another
and passed on; for none of them wished to retain it: so evil did it

“Thou ill announcer,” said Zarathustra at last, “that is a cry of
distress, and the cry of a man; it may come perhaps out of a black sea.
But what doth human distress matter to me! My last sin which hath been
reserved for me,--knowest thou what it is called?”

--“PITY!” answered the soothsayer from an overflowing heart, and raised
both his hands aloft--“O Zarathustra, I have come that I may seduce thee
to thy last sin!”--

And hardly had those words been uttered when there sounded the cry
once more, and longer and more alarming than before--also much nearer.
“Hearest thou? Hearest thou, O Zarathustra?” called out the soothsayer,
“the cry concerneth thee, it calleth thee: Come, come, come; it is time,
it is the highest time!”--

Zarathustra was silent thereupon, confused and staggered; at last he
asked, like one who hesitateth in himself: “And who is it that there
calleth me?”

“But thou knowest it, certainly,” answered the soothsayer warmly, “why
dost thou conceal thyself? It is THE HIGHER MAN that crieth for thee!”

“The higher man?” cried Zarathustra, horror-stricken: “what wanteth HE?
What wanteth HE? The higher man! What wanteth he here?”--and his skin
covered with perspiration.

The soothsayer, however, did not heed Zarathustra’s alarm, but listened
and listened in the downward direction. When, however, it had been still
there for a long while, he looked behind, and saw Zarathustra standing

“O Zarathustra,” he began, with sorrowful voice, “thou dost not stand
there like one whose happiness maketh him giddy: thou wilt have to dance
lest thou tumble down!

But although thou shouldst dance before me, and leap all thy side-leaps,
no one may say unto me: ‘Behold, here danceth the last joyous man!’

In vain would any one come to this height who sought HIM here: caves
would he find, indeed, and back-caves, hiding-places for hidden ones;
but not lucky mines, nor treasure-chambers, nor new gold-veins of

Happiness--how indeed could one find happiness among such buried-alive
and solitary ones! Must I yet seek the last happiness on the Happy
Isles, and far away among forgotten seas?

But all is alike, nothing is worth while, no seeking is of service,
there are no longer any Happy Isles!”--

Thus sighed the soothsayer; with his last sigh, however, Zarathustra
again became serene and assured, like one who hath come out of a deep
chasm into the light. “Nay! Nay! Three times Nay!” exclaimed he with a
strong voice, and stroked his beard--“THAT do I know better! There are
still Happy Isles! Silence THEREON, thou sighing sorrow-sack!

Cease to splash THEREON, thou rain-cloud of the forenoon! Do I not
already stand here wet with thy misery, and drenched like a dog?

Now do I shake myself and run away from thee, that I may again become
dry: thereat mayest thou not wonder! Do I seem to thee discourteous?
Here however is MY court.

But as regards the higher man: well! I shall seek him at once in those
forests: FROM THENCE came his cry. Perhaps he is there hard beset by an
evil beast.

He is in MY domain: therein shall he receive no scath! And verily, there
are many evil beasts about me.”--

With those words Zarathustra turned around to depart. Then said the
soothsayer: “O Zarathustra, thou art a rogue!

I know it well: thou wouldst fain be rid of me! Rather wouldst thou run
into the forest and lay snares for evil beasts!

But what good will it do thee? In the evening wilt thou have me again:
in thine own cave will I sit, patient and heavy like a block--and wait
for thee!”

“So be it!” shouted back Zarathustra, as he went away: “and what is mine
in my cave belongeth also unto thee, my guest!

Shouldst thou however find honey therein, well! just lick it up, thou
growling bear, and sweeten thy soul! For in the evening we want both to
be in good spirits;

--In good spirits and joyful, because this day hath come to an end! And
thou thyself shalt dance to my lays, as my dancing-bear.

Thou dost not believe this? Thou shakest thy head? Well! Cheer up, old
bear! But I also--am a soothsayer.”

Thus spake Zarathustra.



Ere Zarathustra had been an hour on his way in the mountains and
forests, he saw all at once a strange procession. Right on the path
which he was about to descend came two kings walking, bedecked with
crowns and purple girdles, and variegated like flamingoes: they drove
before them a laden ass. “What do these kings want in my domain?” said
Zarathustra in astonishment to his heart, and hid himself hastily behind
a thicket. When however the kings approached to him, he said half-aloud,
like one speaking only to himself: “Strange! Strange! How doth this
harmonise? Two kings do I see--and only one ass!”

Thereupon the two kings made a halt; they smiled and looked towards the
spot whence the voice proceeded, and afterwards looked into each other’s
faces. “Such things do we also think among ourselves,” said the king on
the right, “but we do not utter them.”

The king on the left, however, shrugged his shoulders and answered:
“That may perhaps be a goat-herd. Or an anchorite who hath lived too
long among rocks and trees. For no society at all spoileth also good

“Good manners?” replied angrily and bitterly the other king: “what
then do we run out of the way of? Is it not ‘good manners’? Our ‘good

Better, verily, to live among anchorites and goat-herds, than with
our gilded, false, over-rouged populace--though it call itself ‘good

--Though it call itself ‘nobility.’ But there all is false and foul,
above all the blood--thanks to old evil diseases and worse curers.

The best and dearest to me at present is still a sound peasant, coarse,
artful, obstinate and enduring: that is at present the noblest type.

The peasant is at present the best; and the peasant type should be
master! But it is the kingdom of the populace--I no longer allow
anything to be imposed upon me. The populace, however--that meaneth,

Populace-hodgepodge: therein is everything mixed with everything, saint
and swindler, gentleman and Jew, and every beast out of Noah’s ark.

Good manners! Everything is false and foul with us. No one knoweth any
longer how to reverence: it is THAT precisely that we run away from.
They are fulsome obtrusive dogs; they gild palm-leaves.

This loathing choketh me, that we kings ourselves have become false,
draped and disguised with the old faded pomp of our ancestors,
show-pieces for the stupidest, the craftiest, and whosoever at present
trafficketh for power.

We ARE NOT the first men--and have nevertheless to STAND FOR them: of
this imposture have we at last become weary and disgusted.

From the rabble have we gone out of the way, from all those bawlers and
scribe-blowflies, from the trader-stench, the ambition-fidgeting, the
bad breath--: fie, to live among the rabble;

--Fie, to stand for the first men among the rabble! Ah, loathing!
Loathing! Loathing! What doth it now matter about us kings!”--

“Thine old sickness seizeth thee,” said here the king on the left, “thy
loathing seizeth thee, my poor brother. Thou knowest, however, that some
one heareth us.”

Immediately thereupon, Zarathustra, who had opened ears and eyes to this
talk, rose from his hiding-place, advanced towards the kings, and thus

“He who hearkeneth unto you, he who gladly hearkeneth unto you, is
called Zarathustra.

I am Zarathustra who once said: ‘What doth it now matter about kings!’
Forgive me; I rejoiced when ye said to each other: ‘What doth it matter
about us kings!’

Here, however, is MY domain and jurisdiction: what may ye be seeking in
my domain? Perhaps, however, ye have FOUND on your way what _I_ seek:
namely, the higher man.”

When the kings heard this, they beat upon their breasts and said with
one voice: “We are recognised!

With the sword of thine utterance severest thou the thickest darkness of
our hearts. Thou hast discovered our distress; for lo! we are on our way
to find the higher man--

--The man that is higher than we, although we are kings. To him do we
convey this ass. For the highest man shall also be the highest lord on

There is no sorer misfortune in all human destiny, than when the mighty
of the earth are not also the first men. Then everything becometh false
and distorted and monstrous.

And when they are even the last men, and more beast than man, then
riseth and riseth the populace in honour, and at last saith even the
populace-virtue: ‘Lo, I alone am virtue!’”--

What have I just heard? answered Zarathustra. What wisdom in kings! I
am enchanted, and verily, I have already promptings to make a rhyme

--Even if it should happen to be a rhyme not suited for every one’s
ears. I unlearned long ago to have consideration for long ears. Well
then! Well now!

(Here, however, it happened that the ass also found utterance: it said
distinctly and with malevolence, Y-E-A.)

‘Twas once--methinks year one of our blessed Lord,--Drunk without wine,
the Sybil thus deplored:--“How ill things go! Decline! Decline! Ne’er
sank the world so low! Rome now hath turned harlot and harlot-stew,
Rome’s Caesar a beast, and God--hath turned Jew!


With those rhymes of Zarathustra the kings were delighted; the king on
the right, however, said: “O Zarathustra, how well it was that we set
out to see thee!

For thine enemies showed us thy likeness in their mirror: there lookedst
thou with the grimace of a devil, and sneeringly: so that we were afraid
of thee.

But what good did it do! Always didst thou prick us anew in heart and
ear with thy sayings. Then did we say at last: What doth it matter how
he look!

We must HEAR him; him who teacheth: ‘Ye shall love peace as a means to
new wars, and the short peace more than the long!’

No one ever spake such warlike words: ‘What is good? To be brave is
good. It is the good war that halloweth every cause.’

O Zarathustra, our fathers’ blood stirred in our veins at such words: it
was like the voice of spring to old wine-casks.

When the swords ran among one another like red-spotted serpents, then
did our fathers become fond of life; the sun of every peace seemed to
them languid and lukewarm, the long peace, however, made them ashamed.

How they sighed, our fathers, when they saw on the wall brightly
furbished, dried-up swords! Like those they thirsted for war. For a
sword thirsteth to drink blood, and sparkleth with desire.”--

--When the kings thus discoursed and talked eagerly of the happiness of
their fathers, there came upon Zarathustra no little desire to mock at
their eagerness: for evidently they were very peaceable kings whom he
saw before him, kings with old and refined features. But he restrained
himself. “Well!” said he, “thither leadeth the way, there lieth the
cave of Zarathustra; and this day is to have a long evening! At present,
however, a cry of distress calleth me hastily away from you.

It will honour my cave if kings want to sit and wait in it: but, to be
sure, ye will have to wait long!

Well! What of that! Where doth one at present learn better to wait
than at courts? And the whole virtue of kings that hath remained unto
them--is it not called to-day: ABILITY to wait?”

Thus spake Zarathustra.


And Zarathustra went thoughtfully on, further and lower down, through
forests and past moory bottoms; as it happeneth, however, to every one
who meditateth upon hard matters, he trod thereby unawares upon a man.
And lo, there spurted into his face all at once a cry of pain, and two
curses and twenty bad invectives, so that in his fright he raised his
stick and also struck the trodden one. Immediately afterwards, however,
he regained his composure, and his heart laughed at the folly he had
just committed.

“Pardon me,” said he to the trodden one, who had got up enraged, and had
seated himself, “pardon me, and hear first of all a parable.

As a wanderer who dreameth of remote things on a lonesome highway,
runneth unawares against a sleeping dog, a dog which lieth in the sun:

--As both of them then start up and snap at each other, like deadly
enemies, those two beings mortally frightened--so did it happen unto us.

And yet! And yet--how little was lacking for them to caress each other,
that dog and that lonesome one! Are they not both--lonesome ones!”

--“Whoever thou art,” said the trodden one, still enraged, “thou
treadest also too nigh me with thy parable, and not only with thy foot!

Lo! am I then a dog?”--And thereupon the sitting one got up, and pulled
his naked arm out of the swamp. For at first he had lain outstretched
on the ground, hidden and indiscernible, like those who lie in wait for

“But whatever art thou about!” called out Zarathustra in alarm, for he
saw a deal of blood streaming over the naked arm,--“what hath hurt thee?
Hath an evil beast bit thee, thou unfortunate one?”

The bleeding one laughed, still angry, “What matter is it to thee!” said
he, and was about to go on. “Here am I at home and in my province.
Let him question me whoever will: to a dolt, however, I shall hardly

“Thou art mistaken,” said Zarathustra sympathetically, and held him
fast; “thou art mistaken. Here thou art not at home, but in my domain,
and therein shall no one receive any hurt.

Call me however what thou wilt--I am who I must be. I call myself

Well! Up thither is the way to Zarathustra’s cave: it is not far,--wilt
thou not attend to thy wounds at my home?

It hath gone badly with thee, thou unfortunate one, in this life: first
a beast bit thee, and then--a man trod upon thee!”--

When however the trodden one had heard the name of Zarathustra he was
transformed. “What happeneth unto me!” he exclaimed, “WHO preoccupieth
me so much in this life as this one man, namely Zarathustra, and that
one animal that liveth on blood, the leech?

For the sake of the leech did I lie here by this swamp, like a fisher,
and already had mine outstretched arm been bitten ten times, when there
biteth a still finer leech at my blood, Zarathustra himself!

O happiness! O miracle! Praised be this day which enticed me into the
swamp! Praised be the best, the livest cupping-glass, that at present
liveth; praised be the great conscience-leech Zarathustra!”--

Thus spake the trodden one, and Zarathustra rejoiced at his words and
their refined reverential style. “Who art thou?” asked he, and gave
him his hand, “there is much to clear up and elucidate between us, but
already methinketh pure clear day is dawning.”

“I am THE SPIRITUALLY CONSCIENTIOUS ONE,” answered he who was asked,
“and in matters of the spirit it is difficult for any one to take it
more rigorously, more restrictedly, and more severely than I, except him
from whom I learnt it, Zarathustra himself.

Better know nothing than half-know many things! Better be a fool on
one’s own account, than a sage on other people’s approbation! I--go to
the basis:

--What matter if it be great or small? If it be called swamp or sky?
A handbreadth of basis is enough for me, if it be actually basis and

--A handbreadth of basis: thereon can one stand. In the true
knowing-knowledge there is nothing great and nothing small.”

“Then thou art perhaps an expert on the leech?” asked Zarathustra; “and
thou investigatest the leech to its ultimate basis, thou conscientious

“O Zarathustra,” answered the trodden one, “that would be something
immense; how could I presume to do so!

That, however, of which I am master and knower, is the BRAIN of the
leech:--that is MY world!

And it is also a world! Forgive it, however, that my pride here findeth
expression, for here I have not mine equal. Therefore said I: ‘here am I
at home.’

How long have I investigated this one thing, the brain of the leech, so
that here the slippery truth might no longer slip from me! Here is MY

--For the sake of this did I cast everything else aside, for the sake of
this did everything else become indifferent to me; and close beside my
knowledge lieth my black ignorance.

My spiritual conscience requireth from me that it should be so--that I
should know one thing, and not know all else: they are a loathing unto
me, all the semi-spiritual, all the hazy, hovering, and visionary.

Where mine honesty ceaseth, there am I blind, and want also to be blind.
Where I want to know, however, there want I also to be honest--namely,
severe, rigorous, restricted, cruel and inexorable.

Because THOU once saidest, O Zarathustra: ‘Spirit is life which itself
cutteth into life’;--that led and allured me to thy doctrine. And
verily, with mine own blood have I increased mine own knowledge!”

--“As the evidence indicateth,” broke in Zarathustra; for still was the
blood flowing down on the naked arm of the conscientious one. For there
had ten leeches bitten into it.

“O thou strange fellow, how much doth this very evidence teach
me--namely, thou thyself! And not all, perhaps, might I pour into thy
rigorous ear!

Well then! We part here! But I would fain find thee again. Up thither is
the way to my cave: to-night shalt thou there be my welcome guest!

Fain would I also make amends to thy body for Zarathustra treading upon
thee with his feet: I think about that. Just now, however, a cry of
distress calleth me hastily away from thee.”

Thus spake Zarathustra.



When however Zarathustra had gone round a rock, then saw he on the same
path, not far below him, a man who threw his limbs about like a maniac,
and at last tumbled to the ground on his belly. “Halt!” said then
Zarathustra to his heart, “he there must surely be the higher man, from
him came that dreadful cry of distress,--I will see if I can help him.”
 When, however, he ran to the spot where the man lay on the ground,
he found a trembling old man, with fixed eyes; and in spite of all
Zarathustra’s efforts to lift him and set him again on his feet, it was
all in vain. The unfortunate one, also, did not seem to notice that some
one was beside him; on the contrary, he continually looked around with
moving gestures, like one forsaken and isolated from all the world.
At last, however, after much trembling, and convulsion, and
curling-himself-up, he began to lament thus:

     Who warm’th me, who lov’th me still?
     Give ardent fingers!
     Give heartening charcoal-warmers!
     Prone, outstretched, trembling,
     Like him, half dead and cold, whose feet one warm’th--
     And shaken, ah! by unfamiliar fevers,
     Shivering with sharpened, icy-cold frost-arrows,
     By thee pursued, my fancy!
     Ineffable!  Recondite!  Sore-frightening!
     Thou huntsman ‘hind the cloud-banks!
     Now lightning-struck by thee,
     Thou mocking eye that me in darkness watcheth:
     --Thus do I lie,
     Bend myself, twist myself, convulsed
     With all eternal torture,
     And smitten
     By thee, cruellest huntsman,
     Thou unfamiliar--GOD...

     Smite deeper!
     Smite yet once more!
     Pierce through and rend my heart!
     What mean’th this torture
     With dull, indented arrows?
     Why look’st thou hither,
     Of human pain not weary,
     With mischief-loving, godly flash-glances?
     Not murder wilt thou,
     But torture, torture?
     For why--ME torture,
     Thou mischief-loving, unfamiliar God?--

     Ha!  Ha!
     Thou stealest nigh
     In midnight’s gloomy hour?...
     What wilt thou?
     Thou crowdst me, pressest--
     Ha! now far too closely!
     Thou hearst me breathing,
     Thou o’erhearst my heart,
     Thou ever jealous one!
     --Of what, pray, ever jealous?
     Off!  Off!
     For why the ladder?
     Wouldst thou GET IN?
     To heart in-clamber?
     To mine own secretest
     Conceptions in-clamber?
     Shameless one!  Thou unknown one!--Thief!
     What seekst thou by thy stealing?
     What seekst thou by thy hearkening?
     What seekst thou by thy torturing?
     Thou torturer!
     Or shall I, as the mastiffs do,
     Roll me before thee?
     And cringing, enraptured, frantical,
     My tail friendly--waggle!

     In vain!
     Goad further!
     Cruellest goader!
     No dog--thy game just am I,
     Cruellest huntsman!
     Thy proudest of captives,
     Thou robber ‘hind the cloud-banks...
     Speak finally!
     Thou lightning-veiled one!  Thou unknown one!  Speak!
     What wilt thou, highway-ambusher, from--ME?
     What WILT thou, unfamiliar--God?
     How much of ransom-gold?
     Solicit much--that bid’th my pride!
     And be concise--that bid’th mine other pride!

     Ha!  Ha!
     ME--wantst thou?  me?

     Ha!  Ha!
     And torturest me, fool that thou art,
     Dead-torturest quite my pride?
     Give LOVE to me--who warm’th me still?
     Who lov’th me still?--
     Give ardent fingers
     Give heartening charcoal-warmers,
     Give me, the lonesomest,
     The ice (ah! seven-fold frozen ice
     For very enemies,
     For foes, doth make one thirst).
     Give, yield to me,
     Cruellest foe,

     There fled he surely,
     My final, only comrade,
     My greatest foe,
     Mine unfamiliar--
     My hangman-God!...

     Come thou back!
     WITH all of thy great tortures!
     To me the last of lonesome ones,
     Oh, come thou back!
     All my hot tears in streamlets trickle
     Their course to thee!
     And all my final hearty fervour--
     Up-glow’th to THEE!
     Oh, come thou back,
     Mine unfamiliar God! my PAIN!
     My final bliss!


--Here, however, Zarathustra could no longer restrain himself; he took
his staff and struck the wailer with all his might. “Stop this,” cried
he to him with wrathful laughter, “stop this, thou stage-player! Thou
false coiner! Thou liar from the very heart! I know thee well!

I will soon make warm legs to thee, thou evil magician: I know well
how--to make it hot for such as thou!”

--“Leave off,” said the old man, and sprang up from the ground, “strike
me no more, O Zarathustra! I did it only for amusement!

That kind of thing belongeth to mine art. Thee thyself, I wanted to put
to the proof when I gave this performance. And verily, thou hast well
detected me!

But thou thyself--hast given me no small proof of thyself: thou art
HARD, thou wise Zarathustra! Hard strikest thou with thy ‘truths,’ thy
cudgel forceth from me--THIS truth!”

--“Flatter not,” answered Zarathustra, still excited and frowning,
“thou stage-player from the heart! Thou art false: why speakest thou--of

Thou peacock of peacocks, thou sea of vanity; WHAT didst thou represent
before me, thou evil magician; WHOM was I meant to believe in when thou
wailedst in such wise?”

“THE PENITENT IN SPIRIT,” said the old man, “it was him--I represented;
thou thyself once devisedst this expression--

--The poet and magician who at last turneth his spirit against himself,
the transformed one who freezeth to death by his bad science and

And just acknowledge it: it was long, O Zarathustra, before thou
discoveredst my trick and lie! Thou BELIEVEDST in my distress when thou
heldest my head with both thy hands,--

--I heard thee lament ‘we have loved him too little, loved him too
little!’ Because I so far deceived thee, my wickedness rejoiced in me.”

“Thou mayest have deceived subtler ones than I,” said Zarathustra
sternly. “I am not on my guard against deceivers; I HAVE TO BE without
precaution: so willeth my lot.

Thou, however,--MUST deceive: so far do I know thee! Thou must ever be
equivocal, trivocal, quadrivocal, and quinquivocal! Even what thou hast
now confessed, is not nearly true enough nor false enough for me!

Thou bad false coiner, how couldst thou do otherwise! Thy very malady
wouldst thou whitewash if thou showed thyself naked to thy physician.

Thus didst thou whitewash thy lie before me when thou saidst: ‘I did
so ONLY for amusement!’ There was also SERIOUSNESS therein, thou ART
something of a penitent-in-spirit!

I divine thee well: thou hast become the enchanter of all the world; but
for thyself thou hast no lie or artifice left,--thou art disenchanted to

Thou hast reaped disgust as thy one truth. No word in thee is any longer
genuine, but thy mouth is so: that is to say, the disgust that cleaveth
unto thy mouth.”--

--“Who art thou at all!” cried here the old magician with defiant voice,
“who dareth to speak thus unto ME, the greatest man now living?”--and a
green flash shot from his eye at Zarathustra. But immediately after he
changed, and said sadly:

“O Zarathustra, I am weary of it, I am disgusted with mine arts, I am
not GREAT, why do I dissemble! But thou knowest it well--I sought for

A great man I wanted to appear, and persuaded many; but the lie hath
been beyond my power. On it do I collapse.

O Zarathustra, everything is a lie in me; but that I collapse--this my
collapsing is GENUINE!”--

“It honoureth thee,” said Zarathustra gloomily, looking down with
sidelong glance, “it honoureth thee that thou soughtest for greatness,
but it betrayeth thee also. Thou art not great.

Thou bad old magician, THAT is the best and the honestest thing I honour
in thee, that thou hast become weary of thyself, and hast expressed it:
‘I am not great.’

THEREIN do I honour thee as a penitent-in-spirit, and although only for
the twinkling of an eye, in that one moment wast thou--genuine.

But tell me, what seekest thou here in MY forests and rocks? And if thou
hast put thyself in MY way, what proof of me wouldst thou have?--

--Wherein didst thou put ME to the test?”

Thus spake Zarathustra, and his eyes sparkled. But the old magician kept
silence for a while; then said he: “Did I put thee to the test? I--seek

O Zarathustra, I seek a genuine one, a right one, a simple one, an
unequivocal one, a man of perfect honesty, a vessel of wisdom, a saint
of knowledge, a great man!

Knowest thou it not, O Zarathustra? I SEEK ZARATHUSTRA.”

--And here there arose a long silence between them: Zarathustra,
however, became profoundly absorbed in thought, so that he shut his
eyes. But afterwards coming back to the situation, he grasped the hand
of the magician, and said, full of politeness and policy:

“Well! Up thither leadeth the way, there is the cave of Zarathustra. In
it mayest thou seek him whom thou wouldst fain find.

And ask counsel of mine animals, mine eagle and my serpent: they shall
help thee to seek. My cave however is large.

I myself, to be sure--I have as yet seen no great man. That which is
great, the acutest eye is at present insensible to it. It is the kingdom
of the populace.

Many a one have I found who stretched and inflated himself, and the
people cried: ‘Behold; a great man!’ But what good do all bellows do!
The wind cometh out at last.

At last bursteth the frog which hath inflated itself too long: then
cometh out the wind. To prick a swollen one in the belly, I call good
pastime. Hear that, ye boys!

Our to-day is of the populace: who still KNOWETH what is great and what
is small! Who could there seek successfully for greatness! A fool only:
it succeedeth with fools.

Thou seekest for great men, thou strange fool? Who TAUGHT that to thee?
Is to-day the time for it? Oh, thou bad seeker, why dost thou--tempt

Thus spake Zarathustra, comforted in his heart, and went laughing on his


Not long, however, after Zarathustra had freed himself from the
magician, he again saw a person sitting beside the path which he
followed, namely a tall, black man, with a haggard, pale countenance:
THIS MAN grieved him exceedingly. “Alas,” said he to his heart, “there
sitteth disguised affliction; methinketh he is of the type of the
priests: what do THEY want in my domain?

What! Hardly have I escaped from that magician, and must another
necromancer again run across my path,--

--Some sorcerer with laying-on-of-hands, some sombre wonder-worker by
the grace of God, some anointed world-maligner, whom, may the devil

But the devil is never at the place which would be his right place: he
always cometh too late, that cursed dwarf and club-foot!”--

Thus cursed Zarathustra impatiently in his heart, and considered how
with averted look he might slip past the black man. But behold, it came
about otherwise. For at the same moment had the sitting one already
perceived him; and not unlike one whom an unexpected happiness
overtaketh, he sprang to his feet, and went straight towards

“Whoever thou art, thou traveller,” said he, “help a strayed one, a
seeker, an old man, who may here easily come to grief!

The world here is strange to me, and remote; wild beasts also did I hear
howling; and he who could have given me protection--he is himself no

I was seeking the pious man, a saint and an anchorite, who, alone in his
forest, had not yet heard of what all the world knoweth at present.”

“WHAT doth all the world know at present?” asked Zarathustra. “Perhaps
that the old God no longer liveth, in whom all the world once believed?”

“Thou sayest it,” answered the old man sorrowfully. “And I served that
old God until his last hour.

Now, however, am I out of service, without master, and yet not free;
likewise am I no longer merry even for an hour, except it be in

Therefore did I ascend into these mountains, that I might finally have
a festival for myself once more, as becometh an old pope and
church-father: for know it, that I am the last pope!--a festival of
pious recollections and divine services.

Now, however, is he himself dead, the most pious of men, the saint in
the forest, who praised his God constantly with singing and mumbling.

He himself found I no longer when I found his cot--but two wolves found
I therein, which howled on account of his death,--for all animals loved
him. Then did I haste away.

Had I thus come in vain into these forests and mountains? Then did my
heart determine that I should seek another, the most pious of all
those who believe not in God--, my heart determined that I should seek

Thus spake the hoary man, and gazed with keen eyes at him who stood
before him. Zarathustra however seized the hand of the old pope and
regarded it a long while with admiration.

“Lo! thou venerable one,” said he then, “what a fine and long hand! That
is the hand of one who hath ever dispensed blessings. Now, however, doth
it hold fast him whom thou seekest, me, Zarathustra.

It is I, the ungodly Zarathustra, who saith: ‘Who is ungodlier than I,
that I may enjoy his teaching?’”--

Thus spake Zarathustra, and penetrated with his glances the thoughts and
arrear-thoughts of the old pope. At last the latter began:

“He who most loved and possessed him hath now also lost him most--:

--Lo, I myself am surely the most godless of us at present? But who
could rejoice at that!”--

--“Thou servedst him to the last?” asked Zarathustra thoughtfully, after
a deep silence, “thou knowest HOW he died? Is it true what they say,
that sympathy choked him;

--That he saw how MAN hung on the cross, and could not endure it;--that
his love to man became his hell, and at last his death?”--

The old pope however did not answer, but looked aside timidly, with a
painful and gloomy expression.

“Let him go,” said Zarathustra, after prolonged meditation, still
looking the old man straight in the eye.

“Let him go, he is gone. And though it honoureth thee that thou speakest
only in praise of this dead one, yet thou knowest as well as I WHO he
was, and that he went curious ways.”

“To speak before three eyes,” said the old pope cheerfully (he was blind
of one eye), “in divine matters I am more enlightened than Zarathustra
himself--and may well be so.

My love served him long years, my will followed all his will. A good
servant, however, knoweth everything, and many a thing even which a
master hideth from himself.

He was a hidden God, full of secrecy. Verily, he did not come by his
son otherwise than by secret ways. At the door of his faith standeth

Whoever extolleth him as a God of love, doth not think highly enough of
love itself. Did not that God want also to be judge? But the loving one
loveth irrespective of reward and requital.

When he was young, that God out of the Orient, then was he harsh and
revengeful, and built himself a hell for the delight of his favourites.

At last, however, he became old and soft and mellow and pitiful,
more like a grandfather than a father, but most like a tottering old

There did he sit shrivelled in his chimney-corner, fretting on account
of his weak legs, world-weary, will-weary, and one day he suffocated of
his all-too-great pity.”--

“Thou old pope,” said here Zarathustra interposing, “hast thou seen THAT
with thine eyes? It could well have happened in that way: in that way,
AND also otherwise. When Gods die they always die many kinds of death.

Well! At all events, one way or other--he is gone! He was counter to the
taste of mine ears and eyes; worse than that I should not like to say
against him.

I love everything that looketh bright and speaketh honestly. But
he--thou knowest it, forsooth, thou old priest, there was something of
thy type in him, the priest-type--he was equivocal.

He was also indistinct. How he raged at us, this wrath-snorter, because
we understood him badly! But why did he not speak more clearly?

And if the fault lay in our ears, why did he give us ears that heard him
badly? If there was dirt in our ears, well! who put it in them?

Too much miscarried with him, this potter who had not learned
thoroughly! That he took revenge on his pots and creations, however,
because they turned out badly--that was a sin against GOOD TASTE.

There is also good taste in piety: THIS at last said: ‘Away with SUCH
a God! Better to have no God, better to set up destiny on one’s own
account, better to be a fool, better to be God oneself!’”

--“What do I hear!” said then the old pope, with intent ears; “O
Zarathustra, thou art more pious than thou believest, with such an
unbelief! Some God in thee hath converted thee to thine ungodliness.

Is it not thy piety itself which no longer letteth thee believe in a
God? And thine over-great honesty will yet lead thee even beyond good
and evil!

Behold, what hath been reserved for thee? Thou hast eyes and hands and
mouth, which have been predestined for blessing from eternity. One doth
not bless with the hand alone.

Nigh unto thee, though thou professest to be the ungodliest one, I feel
a hale and holy odour of long benedictions: I feel glad and grieved

Let me be thy guest, O Zarathustra, for a single night! Nowhere on earth
shall I now feel better than with thee!”--

“Amen! So shall it be!” said Zarathustra, with great astonishment; “up
thither leadeth the way, there lieth the cave of Zarathustra.

Gladly, forsooth, would I conduct thee thither myself, thou venerable
one; for I love all pious men. But now a cry of distress calleth me
hastily away from thee.

In my domain shall no one come to grief; my cave is a good haven. And
best of all would I like to put every sorrowful one again on firm land
and firm legs.

Who, however, could take THY melancholy off thy shoulders? For that I am
too weak. Long, verily, should we have to wait until some one re-awoke
thy God for thee.

For that old God liveth no more: he is indeed dead.”--

Thus spake Zarathustra.


--And again did Zarathustra’s feet run through mountains and forests,
and his eyes sought and sought, but nowhere was he to be seen whom they
wanted to see--the sorely distressed sufferer and crier. On the whole
way, however, he rejoiced in his heart and was full of gratitude. “What
good things,” said he, “hath this day given me, as amends for its bad
beginning! What strange interlocutors have I found!

At their words will I now chew a long while as at good corn; small
shall my teeth grind and crush them, until they flow like milk into my

When, however, the path again curved round a rock, all at once the
landscape changed, and Zarathustra entered into a realm of death. Here
bristled aloft black and red cliffs, without any grass, tree, or bird’s
voice. For it was a valley which all animals avoided, even the beasts of
prey, except that a species of ugly, thick, green serpent came here to
die when they became old. Therefore the shepherds called this valley:

Zarathustra, however, became absorbed in dark recollections, for it
seemed to him as if he had once before stood in this valley. And much
heaviness settled on his mind, so that he walked slowly and always more
slowly, and at last stood still. Then, however, when he opened his eyes,
he saw something sitting by the wayside shaped like a man, and hardly
like a man, something nondescript. And all at once there came over
Zarathustra a great shame, because he had gazed on such a thing.
Blushing up to the very roots of his white hair, he turned aside his
glance, and raised his foot that he might leave this ill-starred place.
Then, however, became the dead wilderness vocal: for from the ground a
noise welled up, gurgling and rattling, as water gurgleth and rattleth
at night through stopped-up water-pipes; and at last it turned into
human voice and human speech:--it sounded thus:

“Zarathustra! Zarathustra! Read my riddle! Say, say! WHAT IS THE REVENGE

I entice thee back; here is smooth ice! See to it, see to it, that thy
pride doth not here break its legs!

Thou thinkest thyself wise, thou proud Zarathustra! Read then the
riddle, thou hard nut-cracker,--the riddle that I am! Say then: who am

--When however Zarathustra had heard these words,--what think ye then
took place in his soul? PITY OVERCAME HIM; and he sank down all at
once, like an oak that hath long withstood many tree-fellers,--heavily,
suddenly, to the terror even of those who meant to fell it. But
immediately he got up again from the ground, and his countenance became

“I know thee well,” said he, with a brazen voice, “THOU ART THE MURDERER
OF GOD! Let me go.

Thou couldst not ENDURE him who beheld THEE,--who ever beheld thee
through and through, thou ugliest man. Thou tookest revenge on this

Thus spake Zarathustra and was about to go; but the nondescript grasped
at a corner of his garment and began anew to gurgle and seek for words.
“Stay,” said he at last--

--“Stay! Do not pass by! I have divined what axe it was that struck thee
to the ground: hail to thee, O Zarathustra, that thou art again upon thy

Thou hast divined, I know it well, how the man feeleth who killed
him,--the murderer of God. Stay! Sit down here beside me; it is not to
no purpose.

To whom would I go but unto thee? Stay, sit down! Do not however look at
me! Honour thus--mine ugliness!

They persecute me: now art THOU my last refuge. NOT with their hatred,
NOT with their bailiffs;--Oh, such persecution would I mock at, and be
proud and cheerful!

Hath not all success hitherto been with the well-persecuted ones? And
he who persecuteth well learneth readily to be OBSEQUENT--when once he
is--put behind! But it is their PITY--

--Their pity is it from which I flee away and flee to thee. O
Zarathustra, protect me, thou, my last refuge, thou sole one who
divinedst me:

--Thou hast divined how the man feeleth who killed HIM. Stay! And if
thou wilt go, thou impatient one, go not the way that I came. THAT way
is bad.

Art thou angry with me because I have already racked language too long?
Because I have already counselled thee? But know that it is I, the
ugliest man,

--Who have also the largest, heaviest feet. Where _I_ have gone, the way
is bad. I tread all paths to death and destruction.

But that thou passedst me by in silence, that thou blushedst--I saw it
well: thereby did I know thee as Zarathustra.

Every one else would have thrown to me his alms, his pity, in look and
speech. But for that--I am not beggar enough: that didst thou divine.

For that I am too RICH, rich in what is great, frightful, ugliest, most
unutterable! Thy shame, O Zarathustra, HONOURED me!

With difficulty did I get out of the crowd of the pitiful,--that I might
find the only one who at present teacheth that ‘pity is obtrusive’--
thyself, O Zarathustra!

--Whether it be the pity of a God, or whether it be human pity, it is
offensive to modesty. And unwillingness to help may be nobler than the
virtue that rusheth to do so.

THAT however--namely, pity--is called virtue itself at present by
all petty people:--they have no reverence for great misfortune, great
ugliness, great failure.

Beyond all these do I look, as a dog looketh over the backs of thronging
flocks of sheep. They are petty, good-wooled, good-willed, grey people.

As the heron looketh contemptuously at shallow pools, with backward-bent
head, so do I look at the throng of grey little waves and wills and

Too long have we acknowledged them to be right, those petty people: SO
we have at last given them power as well;--and now do they teach that
‘good is only what petty people call good.’

And ‘truth’ is at present what the preacher spake who himself sprang
from them, that singular saint and advocate of the petty people, who
testified of himself: ‘I--am the truth.’

That immodest one hath long made the petty people greatly puffed up,--he
who taught no small error when he taught: ‘I--am the truth.’

Hath an immodest one ever been answered more courteously?--Thou,
however, O Zarathustra, passedst him by, and saidst: ‘Nay! Nay! Three
times Nay!’

Thou warnedst against his error; thou warnedst--the first to do
so--against pity:--not every one, not none, but thyself and thy type.

Thou art ashamed of the shame of the great sufferer; and verily when
thou sayest: ‘From pity there cometh a heavy cloud; take heed, ye men!’

--When thou teachest: ‘All creators are hard, all great love is beyond
their pity:’ O Zarathustra, how well versed dost thou seem to me in

Thou thyself, however,--warn thyself also against THY pity! For many are
on their way to thee, many suffering, doubting, despairing, drowning,
freezing ones--

I warn thee also against myself. Thou hast read my best, my worst
riddle, myself, and what I have done. I know the axe that felleth thee.

But he--HAD TO die: he looked with eyes which beheld EVERYTHING,--he
beheld men’s depths and dregs, all his hidden ignominy and ugliness.

His pity knew no modesty: he crept into my dirtiest corners. This most
prying, over-intrusive, over-pitiful one had to die.

He ever beheld ME: on such a witness I would have revenge--or not live

The God who beheld everything, AND ALSO MAN: that God had to die! Man
cannot ENDURE it that such a witness should live.”

Thus spake the ugliest man. Zarathustra however got up, and prepared to
go on: for he felt frozen to the very bowels.

“Thou nondescript,” said he, “thou warnedst me against thy path. As
thanks for it I praise mine to thee. Behold, up thither is the cave of

My cave is large and deep and hath many corners; there findeth he
that is most hidden his hiding-place. And close beside it, there are
a hundred lurking-places and by-places for creeping, fluttering, and
hopping creatures.

Thou outcast, who hast cast thyself out, thou wilt not live amongst men
and men’s pity? Well then, do like me! Thus wilt thou learn also from
me; only the doer learneth.

And talk first and foremost to mine animals! The proudest animal and the
wisest animal--they might well be the right counsellors for us both!”--

Thus spake Zarathustra and went his way, more thoughtfully and slowly
even than before: for he asked himself many things, and hardly knew what
to answer.

“How poor indeed is man,” thought he in his heart, “how ugly, how
wheezy, how full of hidden shame!

They tell me that man loveth himself. Ah, how great must that self-love
be! How much contempt is opposed to it!

Even this man hath loved himself, as he hath despised himself,--a great
lover methinketh he is, and a great despiser.

No one have I yet found who more thoroughly despised himself: even THAT
is elevation. Alas, was THIS perhaps the higher man whose cry I heard?

I love the great despisers. Man is something that hath to be


When Zarathustra had left the ugliest man, he was chilled and felt
lonesome: for much coldness and lonesomeness came over his spirit, so
that even his limbs became colder thereby. When, however, he wandered
on and on, uphill and down, at times past green meadows, though also
sometimes over wild stony couches where formerly perhaps an impatient
brook had made its bed, then he turned all at once warmer and heartier

“What hath happened unto me?” he asked himself, “something warm and
living quickeneth me; it must be in the neighbourhood.

Already am I less alone; unconscious companions and brethren rove around
me; their warm breath toucheth my soul.”

When, however, he spied about and sought for the comforters of his
lonesomeness, behold, there were kine there standing together on an
eminence, whose proximity and smell had warmed his heart. The kine,
however, seemed to listen eagerly to a speaker, and took no heed of him
who approached. When, however, Zarathustra was quite nigh unto them,
then did he hear plainly that a human voice spake in the midst of the
kine, and apparently all of them had turned their heads towards the

Then ran Zarathustra up speedily and drove the animals aside; for he
feared that some one had here met with harm, which the pity of the
kine would hardly be able to relieve. But in this he was deceived; for
behold, there sat a man on the ground who seemed to be persuading
the animals to have no fear of him, a peaceable man and
Preacher-on-the-Mount, out of whose eyes kindness itself preached. “What
dost thou seek here?” called out Zarathustra in astonishment.

“What do I here seek?” answered he: “the same that thou seekest, thou
mischief-maker; that is to say, happiness upon earth.

To that end, however, I would fain learn of these kine. For I tell thee
that I have already talked half a morning unto them, and just now were
they about to give me their answer. Why dost thou disturb them?

Except we be converted and become as kine, we shall in no wise enter
into the kingdom of heaven. For we ought to learn from them one thing:

And verily, although a man should gain the whole world, and yet not
learn one thing, ruminating, what would it profit him! He would not be
rid of his affliction,

--His great affliction: that, however, is at present called DISGUST. Who
hath not at present his heart, his mouth and his eyes full of disgust?
Thou also! Thou also! But behold these kine!”--

Thus spake the Preacher-on-the-Mount, and turned then his own look
towards Zarathustra--for hitherto it had rested lovingly on the kine--:
then, however, he put on a different expression. “Who is this with whom
I talk?” he exclaimed frightened, and sprang up from the ground.

“This is the man without disgust, this is Zarathustra himself, the
surmounter of the great disgust, this is the eye, this is the mouth,
this is the heart of Zarathustra himself.”

And whilst he thus spake he kissed with o’erflowing eyes the hands
of him with whom he spake, and behaved altogether like one to whom a
precious gift and jewel hath fallen unawares from heaven. The kine,
however, gazed at it all and wondered.

“Speak not of me, thou strange one; thou amiable one!” said Zarathustra,
and restrained his affection, “speak to me firstly of thyself! Art thou
not the voluntary beggar who once cast away great riches,--

--Who was ashamed of his riches and of the rich, and fled to the poorest
to bestow upon them his abundance and his heart? But they received him

“But they received me not,” said the voluntary beggar, “thou knowest it,
forsooth. So I went at last to the animals and to those kine.”

“Then learnedst thou,” interrupted Zarathustra, “how much harder it is
to give properly than to take properly, and that bestowing well is an
ART--the last, subtlest master-art of kindness.”

“Especially nowadays,” answered the voluntary beggar: “at present, that
is to say, when everything low hath become rebellious and exclusive and
haughty in its manner--in the manner of the populace.

For the hour hath come, thou knowest it forsooth, for the great, evil,
long, slow mob-and-slave-insurrection: it extendeth and extendeth!

Now doth it provoke the lower classes, all benevolence and petty giving;
and the overrich may be on their guard!

Whoever at present drip, like bulgy bottles out of all-too-small
necks:--of such bottles at present one willingly breaketh the necks.

Wanton avidity, bilious envy, careworn revenge, populace-pride: all
these struck mine eye. It is no longer true that the poor are blessed.
The kingdom of heaven, however, is with the kine.”

“And why is it not with the rich?” asked Zarathustra temptingly, while
he kept back the kine which sniffed familiarly at the peaceful one.

“Why dost thou tempt me?” answered the other. “Thou knowest it thyself
better even than I. What was it drove me to the poorest, O Zarathustra?
Was it not my disgust at the richest?

--At the culprits of riches, with cold eyes and rank thoughts, who pick
up profit out of all kinds of rubbish--at this rabble that stinketh to

--At this gilded, falsified populace, whose fathers were pickpockets,
or carrion-crows, or rag-pickers, with wives compliant, lewd and
forgetful:--for they are all of them not far different from harlots--

Populace above, populace below! What are ‘poor’ and ‘rich’ at present!
That distinction did I unlearn,--then did I flee away further and ever
further, until I came to those kine.”

Thus spake the peaceful one, and puffed himself and perspired with
his words: so that the kine wondered anew. Zarathustra, however, kept
looking into his face with a smile, all the time the man talked so
severely--and shook silently his head.

“Thou doest violence to thyself, thou Preacher-on-the-Mount, when thou
usest such severe words. For such severity neither thy mouth nor thine
eye have been given thee.

Nor, methinketh, hath thy stomach either: unto IT all such rage and
hatred and foaming-over is repugnant. Thy stomach wanteth softer things:
thou art not a butcher.

Rather seemest thou to me a plant-eater and a root-man. Perhaps thou
grindest corn. Certainly, however, thou art averse to fleshly joys, and
thou lovest honey.”

“Thou hast divined me well,” answered the voluntary beggar, with
lightened heart. “I love honey, I also grind corn; for I have sought out
what tasteth sweetly and maketh pure breath:

--Also what requireth a long time, a day’s-work and a mouth’s-work for
gentle idlers and sluggards.

Furthest, to be sure, have those kine carried it: they have devised
ruminating and lying in the sun. They also abstain from all heavy
thoughts which inflate the heart.”

--“Well!” said Zarathustra, “thou shouldst also see MINE animals, mine
eagle and my serpent,--their like do not at present exist on earth.

Behold, thither leadeth the way to my cave: be to-night its guest. And
talk to mine animals of the happiness of animals,--

--Until I myself come home. For now a cry of distress calleth me hastily
away from thee. Also, shouldst thou find new honey with me, ice-cold,
golden-comb-honey, eat it!

Now, however, take leave at once of thy kine, thou strange one! thou
amiable one! though it be hard for thee. For they are thy warmest
friends and preceptors!”--

--“One excepted, whom I hold still dearer,” answered the voluntary
beggar. “Thou thyself art good, O Zarathustra, and better even than a

“Away, away with thee! thou evil flatterer!” cried Zarathustra
mischievously, “why dost thou spoil me with such praise and

“Away, away from me!” cried he once more, and heaved his stick at the
fond beggar, who, however, ran nimbly away.


Scarcely however was the voluntary beggar gone in haste, and Zarathustra
again alone, when he heard behind him a new voice which called out:
“Stay! Zarathustra! Do wait! It is myself, forsooth, O Zarathustra,
myself, thy shadow!” But Zarathustra did not wait; for a sudden
irritation came over him on account of the crowd and the crowding in his
mountains. “Whither hath my lonesomeness gone?” spake he.

“It is verily becoming too much for me; these mountains swarm; my
kingdom is no longer of THIS world; I require new mountains.

My shadow calleth me? What matter about my shadow! Let it run after me!
I--run away from it.”

Thus spake Zarathustra to his heart and ran away. But the one behind
followed after him, so that immediately there were three runners,
one after the other--namely, foremost the voluntary beggar, then
Zarathustra, and thirdly, and hindmost, his shadow. But not long had
they run thus when Zarathustra became conscious of his folly, and shook
off with one jerk all his irritation and detestation.

“What!” said he, “have not the most ludicrous things always happened to
us old anchorites and saints?

Verily, my folly hath grown big in the mountains! Now do I hear six old
fools’ legs rattling behind one another!

But doth Zarathustra need to be frightened by his shadow? Also,
methinketh that after all it hath longer legs than mine.”

Thus spake Zarathustra, and, laughing with eyes and entrails, he stood
still and turned round quickly--and behold, he almost thereby threw his
shadow and follower to the ground, so closely had the latter followed at
his heels, and so weak was he. For when Zarathustra scrutinised him
with his glance he was frightened as by a sudden apparition, so slender,
swarthy, hollow and worn-out did this follower appear.

“Who art thou?” asked Zarathustra vehemently, “what doest thou here? And
why callest thou thyself my shadow? Thou art not pleasing unto me.”

“Forgive me,” answered the shadow, “that it is I; and if I please thee
not--well, O Zarathustra! therein do I admire thee and thy good taste.

A wanderer am I, who have walked long at thy heels; always on the way,
but without a goal, also without a home: so that verily, I lack little
of being the eternally Wandering Jew, except that I am not eternal and
not a Jew.

What? Must I ever be on the way? Whirled by every wind, unsettled,
driven about? O earth, thou hast become too round for me!

On every surface have I already sat, like tired dust have I fallen
asleep on mirrors and window-panes: everything taketh from me, nothing
giveth; I become thin--I am almost equal to a shadow.

After thee, however, O Zarathustra, did I fly and hie longest; and
though I hid myself from thee, I was nevertheless thy best shadow:
wherever thou hast sat, there sat I also.

With thee have I wandered about in the remotest, coldest worlds, like a
phantom that voluntarily haunteth winter roofs and snows.

With thee have I pushed into all the forbidden, all the worst and the
furthest: and if there be anything of virtue in me, it is that I have
had no fear of any prohibition.

With thee have I broken up whatever my heart revered; all
boundary-stones and statues have I o’erthrown; the most dangerous wishes
did I pursue,--verily, beyond every crime did I once go.

With thee did I unlearn the belief in words and worths and in great
names. When the devil casteth his skin, doth not his name also fall
away? It is also skin. The devil himself is perhaps--skin.

‘Nothing is true, all is permitted’: so said I to myself. Into the
coldest water did I plunge with head and heart. Ah, how oft did I stand
there naked on that account, like a red crab!

Ah, where have gone all my goodness and all my shame and all my belief
in the good! Ah, where is the lying innocence which I once possessed,
the innocence of the good and of their noble lies!

Too oft, verily, did I follow close to the heels of truth: then did it
kick me on the face. Sometimes I meant to lie, and behold! then only did
I hit--the truth.

Too much hath become clear unto me: now it doth not concern me any more.
Nothing liveth any longer that I love,--how should I still love myself?

‘To live as I incline, or not to live at all’: so do I wish; so wisheth
also the holiest. But alas! how have _I_ still--inclination?

Have _I_--still a goal? A haven towards which MY sail is set?

A good wind? Ah, he only who knoweth WHITHER he saileth, knoweth what
wind is good, and a fair wind for him.

What still remaineth to me? A heart weary and flippant; an unstable
will; fluttering wings; a broken backbone.

This seeking for MY home: O Zarathustra, dost thou know that this
seeking hath been MY home-sickening; it eateth me up.

‘WHERE is--MY home?’ For it do I ask and seek, and have sought, but
have not found it. O eternal everywhere, O eternal nowhere, O

Thus spake the shadow, and Zarathustra’s countenance lengthened at his
words. “Thou art my shadow!” said he at last sadly.

“Thy danger is not small, thou free spirit and wanderer! Thou hast had a
bad day: see that a still worse evening doth not overtake thee!

To such unsettled ones as thou, seemeth at last even a prisoner blessed.
Didst thou ever see how captured criminals sleep? They sleep quietly,
they enjoy their new security.

Beware lest in the end a narrow faith capture thee, a hard, rigorous
delusion! For now everything that is narrow and fixed seduceth and
tempteth thee.

Thou hast lost thy goal. Alas, how wilt thou forego and forget that
loss? Thereby--hast thou also lost thy way!

Thou poor rover and rambler, thou tired butterfly! wilt thou have a rest
and a home this evening? Then go up to my cave!

Thither leadeth the way to my cave. And now will I run quickly away from
thee again. Already lieth as it were a shadow upon me.

I will run alone, so that it may again become bright around me.
Therefore must I still be a long time merrily upon my legs. In the
evening, however, there will be--dancing with me!”--

Thus spake Zarathustra.


--And Zarathustra ran and ran, but he found no one else, and was alone
and ever found himself again; he enjoyed and quaffed his solitude, and
thought of good things--for hours. About the hour of noontide, however,
when the sun stood exactly over Zarathustra’s head, he passed an old,
bent and gnarled tree, which was encircled round by the ardent love of
a vine, and hidden from itself; from this there hung yellow grapes in
abundance, confronting the wanderer. Then he felt inclined to quench a
little thirst, and to break off for himself a cluster of grapes. When,
however, he had already his arm out-stretched for that purpose, he felt
still more inclined for something else--namely, to lie down beside the
tree at the hour of perfect noontide and sleep.

This Zarathustra did; and no sooner had he laid himself on the ground in
the stillness and secrecy of the variegated grass, than he had forgotten
his little thirst, and fell asleep. For as the proverb of Zarathustra
saith: “One thing is more necessary than the other.” Only that his eyes
remained open:--for they never grew weary of viewing and admiring the
tree and the love of the vine. In falling asleep, however, Zarathustra
spake thus to his heart:

“Hush! Hush! Hath not the world now become perfect? What hath happened
unto me?

As a delicate wind danceth invisibly upon parqueted seas, light,
feather-light, so--danceth sleep upon me.

No eye doth it close to me, it leaveth my soul awake. Light is it,
verily, feather-light.

It persuadeth me, I know not how, it toucheth me inwardly with a
caressing hand, it constraineth me. Yea, it constraineth me, so that my
soul stretcheth itself out:--

--How long and weary it becometh, my strange soul! Hath a seventh-day
evening come to it precisely at noontide? Hath it already wandered too
long, blissfully, among good and ripe things?

It stretcheth itself out, long--longer! it lieth still, my strange
soul. Too many good things hath it already tasted; this golden sadness
oppresseth it, it distorteth its mouth.

--As a ship that putteth into the calmest cove:--it now draweth up to
the land, weary of long voyages and uncertain seas. Is not the land more

As such a ship huggeth the shore, tuggeth the shore:--then it sufficeth
for a spider to spin its thread from the ship to the land. No stronger
ropes are required there.

As such a weary ship in the calmest cove, so do I also now repose, nigh
to the earth, faithful, trusting, waiting, bound to it with the lightest

O happiness! O happiness! Wilt thou perhaps sing, O my soul? Thou liest
in the grass. But this is the secret, solemn hour, when no shepherd
playeth his pipe.

Take care! Hot noontide sleepeth on the fields. Do not sing! Hush! The
world is perfect.

Do not sing, thou prairie-bird, my soul! Do not even whisper! Lo--hush!
The old noontide sleepeth, it moveth its mouth: doth it not just now
drink a drop of happiness--

--An old brown drop of golden happiness, golden wine? Something whisketh
over it, its happiness laugheth. Thus--laugheth a God. Hush!--

--‘For happiness, how little sufficeth for happiness!’ Thus spake I
once and thought myself wise. But it was a blasphemy: THAT have I now
learned. Wise fools speak better.

The least thing precisely, the gentlest thing, the lightest thing, a
lizard’s rustling, a breath, a whisk, an eye-glance--LITTLE maketh up
the BEST happiness. Hush!

--What hath befallen me: Hark! Hath time flown away? Do I not fall? Have
I not fallen--hark! into the well of eternity?

--What happeneth to me? Hush! It stingeth me--alas--to the heart? To
the heart! Oh, break up, break up, my heart, after such happiness, after
such a sting!

--What? Hath not the world just now become perfect? Round and ripe? Oh,
for the golden round ring--whither doth it fly? Let me run after it!

Hush--” (and here Zarathustra stretched himself, and felt that he was

“Up!” said he to himself, “thou sleeper! Thou noontide sleeper! Well
then, up, ye old legs! It is time and more than time; many a good
stretch of road is still awaiting you--

Now have ye slept your fill; for how long a time? A half-eternity! Well
then, up now, mine old heart! For how long after such a sleep mayest
thou--remain awake?”

(But then did he fall asleep anew, and his soul spake against him and
defended itself, and lay down again)--“Leave me alone! Hush! Hath not
the world just now become perfect? Oh, for the golden round ball!--

“Get up,” said Zarathustra, “thou little thief, thou sluggard! What!
Still stretching thyself, yawning, sighing, falling into deep wells?

Who art thou then, O my soul!” (and here he became frightened, for a
sunbeam shot down from heaven upon his face.)

“O heaven above me,” said he sighing, and sat upright, “thou gazest at
me? Thou hearkenest unto my strange soul?

When wilt thou drink this drop of dew that fell down upon all earthly
things,--when wilt thou drink this strange soul--

--When, thou well of eternity! thou joyous, awful, noontide abyss! when
wilt thou drink my soul back into thee?”

Thus spake Zarathustra, and rose from his couch beside the tree, as if
awakening from a strange drunkenness: and behold! there stood the
sun still exactly above his head. One might, however, rightly infer
therefrom that Zarathustra had not then slept long.


It was late in the afternoon only when Zarathustra, after long useless
searching and strolling about, again came home to his cave. When,
however, he stood over against it, not more than twenty paces therefrom,
the thing happened which he now least of all expected: he heard anew the
great CRY OF DISTRESS. And extraordinary! this time the cry came out
of his own cave. It was a long, manifold, peculiar cry, and Zarathustra
plainly distinguished that it was composed of many voices: although
heard at a distance it might sound like the cry out of a single mouth.

Thereupon Zarathustra rushed forward to his cave, and behold! what a
spectacle awaited him after that concert! For there did they all sit
together whom he had passed during the day: the king on the right and
the king on the left, the old magician, the pope, the voluntary
beggar, the shadow, the intellectually conscientious one, the sorrowful
soothsayer, and the ass; the ugliest man, however, had set a crown on
his head, and had put round him two purple girdles,--for he liked, like
all ugly ones, to disguise himself and play the handsome person. In the
midst, however, of that sorrowful company stood Zarathustra’s eagle,
ruffled and disquieted, for it had been called upon to answer too much
for which its pride had not any answer; the wise serpent however hung
round its neck.

All this did Zarathustra behold with great astonishment; then however he
scrutinised each individual guest with courteous curiosity, read their
souls and wondered anew. In the meantime the assembled ones had risen
from their seats, and waited with reverence for Zarathustra to speak.
Zarathustra however spake thus:

“Ye despairing ones! Ye strange ones! So it was YOUR cry of distress
that I heard? And now do I know also where he is to be sought, whom I
have sought for in vain to-day: THE HIGHER MAN--:

--In mine own cave sitteth he, the higher man! But why do I wonder! Have
not I myself allured him to me by honey-offerings and artful lure-calls
of my happiness?

But it seemeth to me that ye are badly adapted for company: ye make
one another’s hearts fretful, ye that cry for help, when ye sit here
together? There is one that must first come,

--One who will make you laugh once more, a good jovial buffoon, a
dancer, a wind, a wild romp, some old fool:--what think ye?

Forgive me, however, ye despairing ones, for speaking such trivial words
before you, unworthy, verily, of such guests! But ye do not divine WHAT
maketh my heart wanton:--

--Ye yourselves do it, and your aspect, forgive it me! For every one
becometh courageous who beholdeth a despairing one. To encourage a
despairing one--every one thinketh himself strong enough to do so.

To myself have ye given this power,--a good gift, mine honourable
guests! An excellent guest’s-present! Well, do not then upbraid when I
also offer you something of mine.

This is mine empire and my dominion: that which is mine, however, shall
this evening and tonight be yours. Mine animals shall serve you: let my
cave be your resting-place!

At house and home with me shall no one despair: in my purlieus do I
protect every one from his wild beasts. And that is the first thing
which I offer you: security!

The second thing, however, is my little finger. And when ye have THAT,
then take the whole hand also, yea, and the heart with it! Welcome here,
welcome to you, my guests!”

Thus spake Zarathustra, and laughed with love and mischief. After this
greeting his guests bowed once more and were reverentially silent; the
king on the right, however, answered him in their name.

“O Zarathustra, by the way in which thou hast given us thy hand and thy
greeting, we recognise thee as Zarathustra. Thou hast humbled thyself
before us; almost hast thou hurt our reverence--:

--Who however could have humbled himself as thou hast done, with such
pride? THAT uplifteth us ourselves; a refreshment is it, to our eyes and

To behold this, merely, gladly would we ascend higher mountains than
this. For as eager beholders have we come; we wanted to see what
brighteneth dim eyes.

And lo! now is it all over with our cries of distress. Now are our minds
and hearts open and enraptured. Little is lacking for our spirits to
become wanton.

There is nothing, O Zarathustra, that groweth more pleasingly on earth
than a lofty, strong will: it is the finest growth. An entire landscape
refresheth itself at one such tree.

To the pine do I compare him, O Zarathustra, which groweth up like
thee--tall, silent, hardy, solitary, of the best, supplest wood,

--In the end, however, grasping out for ITS dominion with strong, green
branches, asking weighty questions of the wind, the storm, and whatever
is at home on high places;

--Answering more weightily, a commander, a victor! Oh! who should not
ascend high mountains to behold such growths?

At thy tree, O Zarathustra, the gloomy and ill-constituted also refresh
themselves; at thy look even the wavering become steady and heal their

And verily, towards thy mountain and thy tree do many eyes turn to-day;
a great longing hath arisen, and many have learned to ask: ‘Who is

And those into whose ears thou hast at any time dripped thy song and thy
honey: all the hidden ones, the lone-dwellers and the twain-dwellers,
have simultaneously said to their hearts:

‘Doth Zarathustra still live? It is no longer worth while to live,
everything is indifferent, everything is useless: or else--we must live
with Zarathustra!’

‘Why doth he not come who hath so long announced himself?’ thus do many
people ask; ‘hath solitude swallowed him up? Or should we perhaps go to

Now doth it come to pass that solitude itself becometh fragile and
breaketh open, like a grave that breaketh open and can no longer hold
its dead. Everywhere one seeth resurrected ones.

Now do the waves rise and rise around thy mountain, O Zarathustra. And
however high be thy height, many of them must rise up to thee: thy boat
shall not rest much longer on dry ground.

And that we despairing ones have now come into thy cave, and already no
longer despair:--it is but a prognostic and a presage that better ones
are on the way to thee,--

--For they themselves are on the way to thee, the last remnant of
God among men--that is to say, all the men of great longing, of great
loathing, of great satiety,

--All who do not want to live unless they learn again to HOPE--unless
they learn from thee, O Zarathustra, the GREAT hope!”

Thus spake the king on the right, and seized the hand of Zarathustra in
order to kiss it; but Zarathustra checked his veneration, and stepped
back frightened, fleeing as it were, silently and suddenly into the far
distance. After a little while, however, he was again at home with his
guests, looked at them with clear scrutinising eyes, and said:

“My guests, ye higher men, I will speak plain language and plainly with
you. It is not for YOU that I have waited here in these mountains.”

(“‘Plain language and plainly?’ Good God!” said here the king on the
left to himself; “one seeth he doth not know the good Occidentals, this
sage out of the Orient!

But he meaneth ‘blunt language and bluntly’--well! That is not the worst
taste in these days!”)

“Ye may, verily, all of you be higher men,” continued Zarathustra; “but
for me--ye are neither high enough, nor strong enough.

For me, that is to say, for the inexorable which is now silent in me,
but will not always be silent. And if ye appertain to me, still it is
not as my right arm.

For he who himself standeth, like you, on sickly and tender legs,
wisheth above all to be TREATED INDULGENTLY, whether he be conscious of
it or hide it from himself.

My arms and my legs, however, I do not treat indulgently, I DO NOT TREAT
MY WARRIORS INDULGENTLY: how then could ye be fit for MY warfare?

With you I should spoil all my victories. And many of you would tumble
over if ye but heard the loud beating of my drums.

Moreover, ye are not sufficiently beautiful and well-born for me. I
require pure, smooth mirrors for my doctrines; on your surface even mine
own likeness is distorted.

On your shoulders presseth many a burden, many a recollection; many a
mischievous dwarf squatteth in your corners. There is concealed populace
also in you.

And though ye be high and of a higher type, much in you is crooked and
misshapen. There is no smith in the world that could hammer you right
and straight for me.

Ye are only bridges: may higher ones pass over upon you! Ye signify
steps: so do not upbraid him who ascendeth beyond you into HIS height!

Out of your seed there may one day arise for me a genuine son and
perfect heir: but that time is distant. Ye yourselves are not those unto
whom my heritage and name belong.

Not for you do I wait here in these mountains; not with you may I
descend for the last time. Ye have come unto me only as a presage that
higher ones are on the way to me,--

--NOT the men of great longing, of great loathing, of great satiety, and
that which ye call the remnant of God;

--Nay! Nay! Three times Nay! For OTHERS do I wait here in these
mountains, and will not lift my foot from thence without them;

--For higher ones, stronger ones, triumphanter ones, merrier ones, for
such as are built squarely in body and soul: LAUGHING LIONS must come!

O my guests, ye strange ones--have ye yet heard nothing of my children?
And that they are on the way to me?

Do speak unto me of my gardens, of my Happy Isles, of my new beautiful
race--why do ye not speak unto me thereof?

This guests’-present do I solicit of your love, that ye speak unto me of
my children. For them am I rich, for them I became poor: what have I not

--What would I not surrender that I might have one thing: THESE
children, THIS living plantation, THESE life-trees of my will and of my
highest hope!”

Thus spake Zarathustra, and stopped suddenly in his discourse: for his
longing came over him, and he closed his eyes and his mouth, because
of the agitation of his heart. And all his guests also were silent, and
stood still and confounded: except only that the old soothsayer made
signs with his hands and his gestures.


For at this point the soothsayer interrupted the greeting of Zarathustra
and his guests: he pressed forward as one who had no time to lose,
seized Zarathustra’s hand and exclaimed: “But Zarathustra!

One thing is more necessary than the other, so sayest thou thyself:
well, one thing is now more necessary UNTO ME than all others.

A word at the right time: didst thou not invite me to TABLE? And here
are many who have made long journeys. Thou dost not mean to feed us
merely with discourses?

Besides, all of you have thought too much about freezing, drowning,
suffocating, and other bodily dangers: none of you, however, have
thought of MY danger, namely, perishing of hunger-”

(Thus spake the soothsayer. When Zarathustra’s animals, however, heard
these words, they ran away in terror. For they saw that all they
had brought home during the day would not be enough to fill the one

“Likewise perishing of thirst,” continued the soothsayer. “And although
I hear water splashing here like words of wisdom--that is to say,
plenteously and unweariedly, I--want WINE!

Not every one is a born water-drinker like Zarathustra. Neither doth
water suit weary and withered ones: WE deserve wine--IT alone giveth
immediate vigour and improvised health!”

On this occasion, when the soothsayer was longing for wine, it happened
that the king on the left, the silent one, also found expression for
once. “WE took care,” said he, “about wine, I, along with my brother the
king on the right: we have enough of wine,--a whole ass-load of it. So
there is nothing lacking but bread.”

“Bread,” replied Zarathustra, laughing when he spake, “it is precisely
bread that anchorites have not. But man doth not live by bread alone,
but also by the flesh of good lambs, of which I have two:

--THESE shall we slaughter quickly, and cook spicily with sage: it is
so that I like them. And there is also no lack of roots and fruits,
good enough even for the fastidious and dainty,--nor of nuts and other
riddles for cracking.

Thus will we have a good repast in a little while. But whoever wish to
eat with us must also give a hand to the work, even the kings. For with
Zarathustra even a king may be a cook.”

This proposal appealed to the hearts of all of them, save that the
voluntary beggar objected to the flesh and wine and spices.

“Just hear this glutton Zarathustra!” said he jokingly: “doth one go
into caves and high mountains to make such repasts?

Now indeed do I understand what he once taught us: Blessed be moderate
poverty!’ And why he wisheth to do away with beggars.”

“Be of good cheer,” replied Zarathustra, “as I am. Abide by thy
customs, thou excellent one: grind thy corn, drink thy water, praise thy
cooking,--if only it make thee glad!

I am a law only for mine own; I am not a law for all. He, however, who
belongeth unto me must be strong of bone and light of foot,--

--Joyous in fight and feast, no sulker, no John o’ Dreams, ready for the
hardest task as for the feast, healthy and hale.

The best belongeth unto mine and me; and if it be not given us, then do
we take it:--the best food, the purest sky, the strongest thoughts, the
fairest women!”--

Thus spake Zarathustra; the king on the right however answered and said:
“Strange! Did one ever hear such sensible things out of the mouth of a
wise man?

And verily, it is the strangest thing in a wise man, if over and above,
he be still sensible, and not an ass.”

Thus spake the king on the right and wondered; the ass however, with
ill-will, said YE-A to his remark. This however was the beginning of
that long repast which is called “The Supper” in the history-books. At
this there was nothing else spoken of but THE HIGHER MAN.



When I came unto men for the first time, then did I commit the anchorite
folly, the great folly: I appeared on the market-place.

And when I spake unto all, I spake unto none. In the evening, however,
rope-dancers were my companions, and corpses; and I myself almost a

With the new morning, however, there came unto me a new truth: then did
I learn to say: “Of what account to me are market-place and populace and
populace-noise and long populace-ears!”

Ye higher men, learn THIS from me: On the market-place no one believeth
in higher men. But if ye will speak there, very well! The populace,
however, blinketh: “We are all equal.”

“Ye higher men,”--so blinketh the populace--“there are no higher men, we
are all equal; man is man, before God--we are all equal!”

Before God!--Now, however, this God hath died. Before the populace,
however, we will not be equal. Ye higher men, away from the


Before God!--Now however this God hath died! Ye higher men, this God was
your greatest danger.

Only since he lay in the grave have ye again arisen. Now only cometh the
great noontide, now only doth the higher man become--master!

Have ye understood this word, O my brethren? Ye are frightened: do your
hearts turn giddy? Doth the abyss here yawn for you? Doth the hell-hound
here yelp at you?

Well! Take heart! ye higher men! Now only travaileth the mountain of the
human future. God hath died: now do WE desire--the Superman to live.


The most careful ask to-day: “How is man to be maintained?” Zarathustra
however asketh, as the first and only one: “How is man to be SURPASSED?”

The Superman, I have at heart; THAT is the first and only thing to
me--and NOT man: not the neighbour, not the poorest, not the sorriest,
not the best.--

O my brethren, what I can love in man is that he is an over-going and a
down-going. And also in you there is much that maketh me love and hope.

In that ye have despised, ye higher men, that maketh me hope. For the
great despisers are the great reverers.

In that ye have despaired, there is much to honour. For ye have not
learned to submit yourselves, ye have not learned petty policy.

For to-day have the petty people become master: they all preach
submission and humility and policy and diligence and consideration and
the long et cetera of petty virtues.

Whatever is of the effeminate type, whatever originateth from the
servile type, and especially the populace-mishmash:--THAT wisheth now to
be master of all human destiny--O disgust! Disgust! Disgust!

THAT asketh and asketh and never tireth: “How is man to maintain himself
best, longest, most pleasantly?” Thereby--are they the masters of

These masters of to-day--surpass them, O my brethren--these petty
people: THEY are the Superman’s greatest danger!

Surpass, ye higher men, the petty virtues, the petty policy, the
sand-grain considerateness, the ant-hill trumpery, the pitiable
comfortableness, the “happiness of the greatest number”--!

And rather despair than submit yourselves. And verily, I love you,
because ye know not to-day how to live, ye higher men! For thus do YE


Have ye courage, O my brethren? Are ye stout-hearted? NOT the courage
before witnesses, but anchorite and eagle courage, which not even a God
any longer beholdeth?

Cold souls, mules, the blind and the drunken, I do not call
stout-hearted. He hath heart who knoweth fear, but VANQUISHETH it; who
seeth the abyss, but with PRIDE.

He who seeth the abyss, but with eagle’s eyes,--he who with eagle’s
talons GRASPETH the abyss: he hath courage.--


“Man is evil”--so said to me for consolation, all the wisest ones. Ah,
if only it be still true to-day! For the evil is man’s best force.

“Man must become better and eviler”--so do _I_ teach. The evilest is
necessary for the Superman’s best.

It may have been well for the preacher of the petty people to suffer and
be burdened by men’s sin. I, however, rejoice in great sin as my great

Such things, however, are not said for long ears. Every word, also,
is not suited for every mouth. These are fine far-away things: at them
sheep’s claws shall not grasp!


Ye higher men, think ye that I am here to put right what ye have put

Or that I wished henceforth to make snugger couches for you sufferers?
Or show you restless, miswandering, misclimbing ones, new and easier

Nay! Nay! Three times Nay! Always more, always better ones of your
type shall succumb,--for ye shall always have it worse and harder. Thus

--Thus only groweth man aloft to the height where the lightning striketh
and shattereth him: high enough for the lightning!

Towards the few, the long, the remote go forth my soul and my seeking:
of what account to me are your many little, short miseries!

Ye do not yet suffer enough for me! For ye suffer from yourselves, ye
have not yet suffered FROM MAN. Ye would lie if ye spake otherwise! None
of you suffereth from what _I_ have suffered.--


It is not enough for me that the lightning no longer doeth harm. I do
not wish to conduct it away: it shall learn--to work for ME.--

My wisdom hath accumulated long like a cloud, it becometh stiller and
darker. So doeth all wisdom which shall one day bear LIGHTNINGS.--

Unto these men of to-day will I not be LIGHT, nor be called light.
THEM--will I blind: lightning of my wisdom! put out their eyes!


Do not will anything beyond your power: there is a bad falseness in
those who will beyond their power.

Especially when they will great things! For they awaken distrust in
great things, these subtle false-coiners and stage-players:--

--Until at last they are false towards themselves, squint-eyed, whited
cankers, glossed over with strong words, parade virtues and brilliant
false deeds.

Take good care there, ye higher men! For nothing is more precious to me,
and rarer, than honesty.

Is this to-day not that of the populace? The populace however knoweth
not what is great and what is small, what is straight and what is
honest: it is innocently crooked, it ever lieth.


Have a good distrust to-day ye, higher men, ye enheartened ones! Ye
open-hearted ones! And keep your reasons secret! For this to-day is that
of the populace.

What the populace once learned to believe without reasons, who could--
refute it to them by means of reasons?

And on the market-place one convinceth with gestures. But reasons make
the populace distrustful.

And when truth hath once triumphed there, then ask yourselves with good
distrust: “What strong error hath fought for it?”

Be on your guard also against the learned! They hate you, because they
are unproductive! They have cold, withered eyes before which every bird
is unplumed.

Such persons vaunt about not lying: but inability to lie is still far
from being love to truth. Be on your guard!

Freedom from fever is still far from being knowledge! Refrigerated
spirits I do not believe in. He who cannot lie, doth not know what truth


If ye would go up high, then use your own legs! Do not get yourselves
CARRIED aloft; do not seat yourselves on other people’s backs and heads!

Thou hast mounted, however, on horseback? Thou now ridest briskly up
to thy goal? Well, my friend! But thy lame foot is also with thee on

When thou reachest thy goal, when thou alightest from thy horse:
precisely on thy HEIGHT, thou higher man,--then wilt thou stumble!


Ye creating ones, ye higher men! One is only pregnant with one’s own

Do not let yourselves be imposed upon or put upon! Who then is YOUR
neighbour? Even if ye act “for your neighbour”--ye still do not create
for him!

Unlearn, I pray you, this “for,” ye creating ones: your very virtue
wisheth you to have naught to do with “for” and “on account of” and
“because.” Against these false little words shall ye stop your ears.

“For one’s neighbour,” is the virtue only of the petty people: there it
is said “like and like,” and “hand washeth hand”:--they have neither the
right nor the power for YOUR self-seeking!

In your self-seeking, ye creating ones, there is the foresight and
foreseeing of the pregnant! What no one’s eye hath yet seen, namely, the
fruit--this, sheltereth and saveth and nourisheth your entire love.

Where your entire love is, namely, with your child, there is also your
entire virtue! Your work, your will is YOUR “neighbour”: let no false
values impose upon you!


Ye creating ones, ye higher men! Whoever hath to give birth is sick;
whoever hath given birth, however, is unclean.

Ask women: one giveth birth, not because it giveth pleasure. The pain
maketh hens and poets cackle.

Ye creating ones, in you there is much uncleanliness. That is because ye
have had to be mothers.

A new child: oh, how much new filth hath also come into the world! Go
apart! He who hath given birth shall wash his soul!


Be not virtuous beyond your powers! And seek nothing from yourselves
opposed to probability!

Walk in the footsteps in which your fathers’ virtue hath already walked!
How would ye rise high, if your fathers’ will should not rise with you?

He, however, who would be a firstling, let him take care lest he also
become a lastling! And where the vices of your fathers are, there should
ye not set up as saints!

He whose fathers were inclined for women, and for strong wine and flesh
of wildboar swine; what would it be if he demanded chastity of himself?

A folly would it be! Much, verily, doth it seem to me for such a one, if
he should be the husband of one or of two or of three women.

And if he founded monasteries, and inscribed over their portals: “The
way to holiness,”--I should still say: What good is it! it is a new

He hath founded for himself a penance-house and refuge-house: much good
may it do! But I do not believe in it.

In solitude there groweth what any one bringeth into it--also the brute
in one’s nature. Thus is solitude inadvisable unto many.

Hath there ever been anything filthier on earth than the saints of
the wilderness? AROUND THEM was not only the devil loose--but also the


Shy, ashamed, awkward, like the tiger whose spring hath failed--thus, ye
higher men, have I often seen you slink aside. A CAST which ye made had

But what doth it matter, ye dice-players! Ye had not learned to play and
mock, as one must play and mock! Do we not ever sit at a great table of
mocking and playing?

And if great things have been a failure with you, have ye yourselves
therefore--been a failure? And if ye yourselves have been a failure,
hath man therefore--been a failure? If man, however, hath been a
failure: well then! never mind!


The higher its type, always the seldomer doth a thing succeed. Ye higher
men here, have ye not all--been failures?

Be of good cheer; what doth it matter? How much is still possible! Learn
to laugh at yourselves, as ye ought to laugh!

What wonder even that ye have failed and only half-succeeded, ye
half-shattered ones! Doth not--man’s FUTURE strive and struggle in you?

Man’s furthest, profoundest, star-highest issues, his prodigious
powers--do not all these foam through one another in your vessel?

What wonder that many a vessel shattereth! Learn to laugh at yourselves,
as ye ought to laugh! Ye higher men, O, how much is still possible!

And verily, how much hath already succeeded! How rich is this earth in
small, good, perfect things, in well-constituted things!

Set around you small, good, perfect things, ye higher men. Their golden
maturity healeth the heart. The perfect teacheth one to hope.


What hath hitherto been the greatest sin here on earth? Was it not the
word of him who said: “Woe unto them that laugh now!”

Did he himself find no cause for laughter on the earth? Then he sought
badly. A child even findeth cause for it.

He--did not love sufficiently: otherwise would he also have loved
us, the laughing ones! But he hated and hooted us; wailing and
teeth-gnashing did he promise us.

Must one then curse immediately, when one doth not love? That--seemeth
to me bad taste. Thus did he, however, this absolute one. He sprang from
the populace.

And he himself just did not love sufficiently; otherwise would he have
raged less because people did not love him. All great love doth not SEEK
love:--it seeketh more.

Go out of the way of all such absolute ones! They are a poor sickly
type, a populace-type: they look at this life with ill-will, they have
an evil eye for this earth.

Go out of the way of all such absolute ones! They have heavy feet and
sultry hearts:--they do not know how to dance. How could the earth be
light to such ones!


Tortuously do all good things come nigh to their goal. Like cats
they curve their backs, they purr inwardly with their approaching
happiness,--all good things laugh.

His step betrayeth whether a person already walketh on HIS OWN path:
just see me walk! He, however, who cometh nigh to his goal, danceth.

And verily, a statue have I not become, not yet do I stand there stiff,
stupid and stony, like a pillar; I love fast racing.

And though there be on earth fens and dense afflictions, he who hath
light feet runneth even across the mud, and danceth, as upon well-swept

Lift up your hearts, my brethren, high, higher! And do not forget your
legs! Lift up also your legs, ye good dancers, and better still, if ye
stand upon your heads!


This crown of the laughter, this rose-garland crown: I myself have put
on this crown, I myself have consecrated my laughter. No one else have I
found to-day potent enough for this.

Zarathustra the dancer, Zarathustra the light one, who beckoneth with
his pinions, one ready for flight, beckoning unto all birds, ready and
prepared, a blissfully light-spirited one:--

Zarathustra the soothsayer, Zarathustra the sooth-laugher, no impatient
one, no absolute one, one who loveth leaps and side-leaps; I myself have
put on this crown!


Lift up your hearts, my brethren, high, higher! And do not forget your
legs! Lift up also your legs, ye good dancers, and better still if ye
stand upon your heads!

There are also heavy animals in a state of happiness, there are
club-footed ones from the beginning. Curiously do they exert themselves,
like an elephant which endeavoureth to stand upon its head.

Better, however, to be foolish with happiness than foolish with
misfortune, better to dance awkwardly than walk lamely. So learn, I
pray you, my wisdom, ye higher men: even the worst thing hath two good
reverse sides,--

--Even the worst thing hath good dancing-legs: so learn, I pray you, ye
higher men, to put yourselves on your proper legs!

So unlearn, I pray you, the sorrow-sighing, and all the
populace-sadness! Oh, how sad the buffoons of the populace seem to me
to-day! This to-day, however, is that of the populace.


Do like unto the wind when it rusheth forth from its mountain-caves:
unto its own piping will it dance; the seas tremble and leap under its

That which giveth wings to asses, that which milketh the lionesses:--
praised be that good, unruly spirit, which cometh like a hurricane unto
all the present and unto all the populace,--

--Which is hostile to thistle-heads and puzzle-heads, and to all
withered leaves and weeds:--praised be this wild, good, free spirit of
the storm, which danceth upon fens and afflictions, as upon meadows!

Which hateth the consumptive populace-dogs, and all the ill-constituted,
sullen brood:--praised be this spirit of all free spirits, the laughing
storm, which bloweth dust into the eyes of all the melanopic and

Ye higher men, the worst thing in you is that ye have none of you
learned to dance as ye ought to dance--to dance beyond yourselves! What
doth it matter that ye have failed!

How many things are still possible! So LEARN to laugh beyond yourselves!
Lift up your hearts, ye good dancers, high! higher! And do not forget
the good laughter!

This crown of the laughter, this rose-garland crown: to you my brethren
do I cast this crown! Laughing have I consecrated; ye higher men, LEARN,
I pray you--to laugh!



When Zarathustra spake these sayings, he stood nigh to the entrance of
his cave; with the last words, however, he slipped away from his guests,
and fled for a little while into the open air.

“O pure odours around me,” cried he, “O blessed stillness around me! But
where are mine animals? Hither, hither, mine eagle and my serpent!

Tell me, mine animals: these higher men, all of them--do they perhaps
not SMELL well? O pure odours around me! Now only do I know and feel how
I love you, mine animals.”

--And Zarathustra said once more: “I love you, mine animals!” The eagle,
however, and the serpent pressed close to him when he spake these
words, and looked up to him. In this attitude were they all three silent
together, and sniffed and sipped the good air with one another. For the
air here outside was better than with the higher men.


Hardly, however, had Zarathustra left the cave when the old magician got
up, looked cunningly about him, and said: “He is gone!

And already, ye higher men--let me tickle you with this complimentary
and flattering name, as he himself doeth--already doth mine evil spirit
of deceit and magic attack me, my melancholy devil,

--Which is an adversary to this Zarathustra from the very heart: forgive
it for this! Now doth it wish to conjure before you, it hath just ITS
hour; in vain do I struggle with this evil spirit.

Unto all of you, whatever honours ye like to assume in your names,
whether ye call yourselves ‘the free spirits’ or ‘the conscientious,’
or ‘the penitents of the spirit,’ or ‘the unfettered,’ or ‘the great

--Unto all of you, who like me suffer FROM THE GREAT LOATHING, to
whom the old God hath died, and as yet no new God lieth in cradles and
swaddling clothes--unto all of you is mine evil spirit and magic-devil

I know you, ye higher men, I know him,--I know also this fiend whom I
love in spite of me, this Zarathustra: he himself often seemeth to me
like the beautiful mask of a saint,

--Like a new strange mummery in which mine evil spirit, the melancholy
devil, delighteth:--I love Zarathustra, so doth it often seem to me, for
the sake of mine evil spirit.--

But already doth IT attack me and constrain me, this spirit of
melancholy, this evening-twilight devil: and verily, ye higher men, it
hath a longing--

--Open your eyes!--it hath a longing to come NAKED, whether male or
female, I do not yet know: but it cometh, it constraineth me, alas! open
your wits!

The day dieth out, unto all things cometh now the evening, also unto
the best things; hear now, and see, ye higher men, what devil--man or
woman--this spirit of evening-melancholy is!”

Thus spake the old magician, looked cunningly about him, and then seized
his harp.


     In evening’s limpid air,
     What time the dew’s soothings
     Unto the earth downpour,
     Invisibly and unheard--
     For tender shoe-gear wear
     The soothing dews, like all that’s kind-gentle--:
     Bethinkst thou then, bethinkst thou, burning heart,
     How once thou thirstedest
     For heaven’s kindly teardrops and dew’s down-droppings,
     All singed and weary thirstedest,
     What time on yellow grass-pathways
     Wicked, occidental sunny glances
     Through sombre trees about thee sported,
     Blindingly sunny glow-glances, gladly-hurting?

     “Of TRUTH the wooer?  Thou?”--so taunted they--
     “Nay!  Merely poet!
     A brute insidious, plundering, grovelling,
     That aye must lie,
     That wittingly, wilfully, aye must lie:
     For booty lusting,
     Motley masked,
     Self-hidden, shrouded,
     Himself his booty--
     HE--of truth the wooer?
     Nay!  Mere fool!  Mere poet!
     Just motley speaking,
     From mask of fool confusedly shouting,
     Circumambling on fabricated word-bridges,
     On motley rainbow-arches,
     ‘Twixt the spurious heavenly,
     And spurious earthly,
     Round us roving, round us soaring,--

     HE--of truth the wooer?
     Not still, stiff, smooth and cold,
     Become an image,
     A godlike statue,
     Set up in front of temples,
     As a God’s own door-guard:
     Nay! hostile to all such truthfulness-statues,
     In every desert homelier than at temples,
     With cattish wantonness,
     Through every window leaping
     Quickly into chances,
     Every wild forest a-sniffing,
     Greedily-longingly, sniffing,
     That thou, in wild forests,
     ‘Mong the motley-speckled fierce creatures,
     Shouldest rove, sinful-sound and fine-coloured,
     With longing lips smacking,
     Blessedly mocking, blessedly hellish, blessedly bloodthirsty,
     Robbing, skulking, lying--roving:--

     Or unto eagles like which fixedly,
     Long adown the precipice look,
     Adown THEIR precipice:--
     Oh, how they whirl down now,
     Thereunder, therein,
     To ever deeper profoundness whirling!--
     With aim aright,
     With quivering flight,
     On LAMBKINS pouncing,
     Headlong down, sore-hungry,
     For lambkins longing,
     Fierce ‘gainst all lamb-spirits,
     Furious-fierce all that look
     Sheeplike, or lambeyed, or crisp-woolly,
     --Grey, with lambsheep kindliness!

     Even thus,
     Eaglelike, pantherlike,
     Are the poet’s desires,
     Are THINE OWN desires ‘neath a thousand guises,
     Thou fool!  Thou poet!
     Thou who all mankind viewedst--
     So God, as sheep--:
     The God TO REND within mankind,
     As the sheep in mankind,
     And in rending LAUGHING--

     THAT, THAT is thine own blessedness!
     Of a panther and eagle--blessedness!
     Of a poet and fool--the blessedness!--

     In evening’s limpid air,
     What time the moon’s sickle,
     Green, ‘twixt the purple-glowings,
     And jealous, steal’th forth:
     --Of day the foe,
     With every step in secret,
     The rosy garland-hammocks
     Downsickling, till they’ve sunken
     Down nightwards, faded, downsunken:--

     Thus had I sunken one day
     From mine own truth-insanity,
     From mine own fervid day-longings,
     Of day aweary, sick of sunshine,
     --Sunk downwards, evenwards, shadowwards:
     By one sole trueness
     All scorched and thirsty:
     --Bethinkst thou still, bethinkst thou, burning heart,
     How then thou thirstedest?--


Thus sang the magician; and all who were present went like birds
unawares into the net of his artful and melancholy voluptuousness.
Only the spiritually conscientious one had not been caught: he at once
snatched the harp from the magician and called out: “Air! Let in good
air! Let in Zarathustra! Thou makest this cave sultry and poisonous,
thou bad old magician!

Thou seducest, thou false one, thou subtle one, to unknown desires and
deserts. And alas, that such as thou should talk and make ado about the

Alas, to all free spirits who are not on their guard against SUCH
magicians! It is all over with their freedom: thou teachest and temptest
back into prisons,--

--Thou old melancholy devil, out of thy lament soundeth a lurement: thou
resemblest those who with their praise of chastity secretly invite to

Thus spake the conscientious one; the old magician, however, looked
about him, enjoying his triumph, and on that account put up with the
annoyance which the conscientious one caused him. “Be still!” said he
with modest voice, “good songs want to re-echo well; after good songs
one should be long silent.

Thus do all those present, the higher men. Thou, however, hast perhaps
understood but little of my song? In thee there is little of the magic

“Thou praisest me,” replied the conscientious one, “in that thou
separatest me from thyself; very well! But, ye others, what do I see? Ye
still sit there, all of you, with lusting eyes--:

Ye free spirits, whither hath your freedom gone! Ye almost seem to me
to resemble those who have long looked at bad girls dancing naked: your
souls themselves dance!

In you, ye higher men, there must be more of that which the magician
calleth his evil spirit of magic and deceit:--we must indeed be

And verily, we spake and thought long enough together ere Zarathustra
came home to his cave, for me not to be unaware that we ARE different.

We SEEK different things even here aloft, ye and I. For I seek more
SECURITY; on that account have I come to Zarathustra. For he is still
the most steadfast tower and will--

--To-day, when everything tottereth, when all the earth quaketh. Ye,
however, when I see what eyes ye make, it almost seemeth to me that ye

--More horror, more danger, more earthquake. Ye long (it almost seemeth
so to me--forgive my presumption, ye higher men)--

--Ye long for the worst and dangerousest life, which frighteneth ME
most,--for the life of wild beasts, for forests, caves, steep mountains
and labyrinthine gorges.

And it is not those who lead OUT OF danger that please you best, but
those who lead you away from all paths, the misleaders. But if
such longing in you be ACTUAL, it seemeth to me nevertheless to be

For fear--that is man’s original and fundamental feeling; through fear
everything is explained, original sin and original virtue. Through fear
there grew also MY virtue, that is to say: Science.

For fear of wild animals--that hath been longest fostered in
man, inclusive of the animal which he concealeth and feareth in
himself:--Zarathustra calleth it ‘the beast inside.’

Such prolonged ancient fear, at last become subtle, spiritual and
intellectual--at present, me thinketh, it is called SCIENCE.”--

Thus spake the conscientious one; but Zarathustra, who had just come
back into his cave and had heard and divined the last discourse, threw a
handful of roses to the conscientious one, and laughed on account of
his “truths.” “Why!” he exclaimed, “what did I hear just now? Verily, it
seemeth to me, thou art a fool, or else I myself am one: and quietly and
quickly will I put thy ‘truth’ upside down.

For FEAR--is an exception with us. Courage, however, and adventure, and
delight in the uncertain, in the unattempted--COURAGE seemeth to me the
entire primitive history of man.

The wildest and most courageous animals hath he envied and robbed of all
their virtues: thus only did he become--man.

THIS courage, at last become subtle, spiritual and intellectual, this
human courage, with eagle’s pinions and serpent’s wisdom: THIS, it
seemeth to me, is called at present--”

“ZARATHUSTRA!” cried all of them there assembled, as if with one voice,
and burst out at the same time into a great laughter; there arose,
however, from them as it were a heavy cloud. Even the magician laughed,
and said wisely: “Well! It is gone, mine evil spirit!

And did I not myself warn you against it when I said that it was a
deceiver, a lying and deceiving spirit?

Especially when it showeth itself naked. But what can _I_ do with regard
to its tricks! Have _I_ created it and the world?

Well! Let us be good again, and of good cheer! And although Zarathustra
looketh with evil eye--just see him! he disliketh me--:

--Ere night cometh will he again learn to love and laud me; he cannot
live long without committing such follies.

HE--loveth his enemies: this art knoweth he better than any one I have
seen. But he taketh revenge for it--on his friends!”

Thus spake the old magician, and the higher men applauded him; so that
Zarathustra went round, and mischievously and lovingly shook hands with
his friends,--like one who hath to make amends and apologise to every
one for something. When however he had thereby come to the door of his
cave, lo, then had he again a longing for the good air outside, and for
his animals,--and wished to steal out.



“Go not away!” said then the wanderer who called himself Zarathustra’s
shadow, “abide with us--otherwise the old gloomy affliction might again
fall upon us.

Now hath that old magician given us of his worst for our good, and
lo! the good, pious pope there hath tears in his eyes, and hath quite
embarked again upon the sea of melancholy.

Those kings may well put on a good air before us still: for that have
THEY learned best of us all at present! Had they however no one to see
them, I wager that with them also the bad game would again commence,--

--The bad game of drifting clouds, of damp melancholy, of curtained
heavens, of stolen suns, of howling autumn-winds,

--The bad game of our howling and crying for help! Abide with us, O
Zarathustra! Here there is much concealed misery that wisheth to speak,
much evening, much cloud, much damp air!

Thou hast nourished us with strong food for men, and powerful proverbs:
do not let the weakly, womanly spirits attack us anew at dessert!

Thou alone makest the air around thee strong and clear! Did I ever find
anywhere on earth such good air as with thee in thy cave?

Many lands have I seen, my nose hath learned to test and estimate many
kinds of air: but with thee do my nostrils taste their greatest delight!

Unless it be,--unless it be--, do forgive an old recollection! Forgive
me an old after-dinner song, which I once composed amongst daughters of
the desert:--

For with them was there equally good, clear, Oriental air; there was I
furthest from cloudy, damp, melancholy Old-Europe!

Then did I love such Oriental maidens and other blue kingdoms of heaven,
over which hang no clouds and no thoughts.

Ye would not believe how charmingly they sat there, when they did
not dance, profound, but without thoughts, like little secrets, like
beribboned riddles, like dessert-nuts--

Many-hued and foreign, forsooth! but without clouds: riddles which
can be guessed: to please such maidens I then composed an after-dinner

Thus spake the wanderer who called himself Zarathustra’s shadow; and
before any one answered him, he had seized the harp of the old magician,
crossed his legs, and looked calmly and sagely around him:--with his
nostrils, however, he inhaled the air slowly and questioningly, like one
who in new countries tasteth new foreign air. Afterward he began to sing
with a kind of roaring.



     In effect solemnly!
     A worthy beginning!
     Afric manner, solemnly!
     Of a lion worthy,
     Or perhaps of a virtuous howl-monkey--
     --But it’s naught to you,
     Ye friendly damsels dearly loved,
     At whose own feet to me,
     The first occasion,
     To a European under palm-trees,
     A seat is now granted.  Selah.

     Wonderful, truly!
     Here do I sit now,
     The desert nigh, and yet I am
     So far still from the desert,
     Even in naught yet deserted:
     That is, I’m swallowed down
     By this the smallest oasis--:
     --It opened up just yawning,
     Its loveliest mouth agape,
     Most sweet-odoured of all mouthlets:
     Then fell I right in,
     Right down, right through--in ‘mong you,
     Ye friendly damsels dearly loved!  Selah.

     Hail! hail! to that whale, fishlike,
     If it thus for its guest’s convenience
     Made things nice!--(ye well know,
     Surely, my learned allusion?)
     Hail to its belly,
     If it had e’er
     A such loveliest oasis-belly
     As this is:  though however I doubt about it,
     --With this come I out of Old-Europe,
     That doubt’th more eagerly than doth any
     Elderly married woman.
     May the Lord improve it!

     Here do I sit now,
     In this the smallest oasis,
     Like a date indeed,
     Brown, quite sweet, gold-suppurating,
     For rounded mouth of maiden longing,
     But yet still more for youthful, maidlike,
     Ice-cold and snow-white and incisory
     Front teeth:  and for such assuredly,
     Pine the hearts all of ardent date-fruits.  Selah.

     To the there-named south-fruits now,
     Similar, all-too-similar,
     Do I lie here; by little
     Flying insects
     Round-sniffled and round-played,
     And also by yet littler,
     Foolisher, and peccabler
     Wishes and phantasies,--
     Environed by you,
     Ye silent, presentientest
     Dudu and Suleika,
     --ROUNDSPHINXED, that into one word
     I may crowd much feeling:
     (Forgive me, O God,
     All such speech-sinning!)
     --Sit I here the best of air sniffling,
     Paradisal air, truly,
     Bright and buoyant air, golden-mottled,
     As goodly air as ever
     From lunar orb downfell--
     Be it by hazard,
     Or supervened it by arrogancy?
     As the ancient poets relate it.
     But doubter, I’m now calling it
     In question:  with this do I come indeed
     Out of Europe,
     That doubt’th more eagerly than doth any
     Elderly married woman.
     May the Lord improve it!

     This the finest air drinking,
     With nostrils out-swelled like goblets,
     Lacking future, lacking remembrances
     Thus do I sit here, ye
     Friendly damsels dearly loved,
     And look at the palm-tree there,
     How it, to a dance-girl, like,
     Doth bow and bend and on its haunches bob,
     --One doth it too, when one view’th it long!--
     To a dance-girl like, who as it seem’th to me,
     Too long, and dangerously persistent,
     Always, always, just on SINGLE leg hath stood?
     --Then forgot she thereby, as it seem’th to me,
     The OTHER leg?
     For vainly I, at least,
     Did search for the amissing
     --Namely, the other leg--
     In the sanctified precincts,
     Nigh her very dearest, very tenderest,
     Flapping and fluttering and flickering skirting.
     Yea, if ye should, ye beauteous friendly ones,
     Quite take my word:
     She hath, alas! LOST it!
     Hu!  Hu!  Hu!  Hu!  Hu!
     It is away!
     For ever away!
     The other leg!
     Oh, pity for that loveliest other leg!
     Where may it now tarry, all-forsaken weeping?
     The lonesomest leg?
     In fear perhaps before a
     Furious, yellow, blond and curled
     Leonine monster?  Or perhaps even
     Gnawed away, nibbled badly--
     Most wretched, woeful! woeful! nibbled badly!  Selah.

     Oh, weep ye not,
     Gentle spirits!
     Weep ye not, ye
     Date-fruit spirits!  Milk-bosoms!
     Ye sweetwood-heart
     Weep ye no more,
     Pallid Dudu!
     Be a man, Suleika!  Bold!  Bold!
     --Or else should there perhaps
     Something strengthening, heart-strengthening,
     Here most proper be?
     Some inspiring text?
     Some solemn exhortation?--
     Ha!  Up now! honour!
     Moral honour!  European honour!
     Blow again, continue,
     Bellows-box of virtue!
     Once more thy roaring,
     Thy moral roaring!
     As a virtuous lion
     Nigh the daughters of deserts roaring!
     --For virtue’s out-howl,
     Ye very dearest maidens,
     Is more than every
     European fervour, European hot-hunger!
     And now do I stand here,
     As European,
     I can’t be different, God’s help to me!




After the song of the wanderer and shadow, the cave became all at once
full of noise and laughter: and since the assembled guests all spake
simultaneously, and even the ass, encouraged thereby, no longer
remained silent, a little aversion and scorn for his visitors came over
Zarathustra, although he rejoiced at their gladness. For it seemed to
him a sign of convalescence. So he slipped out into the open air and
spake to his animals.

“Whither hath their distress now gone?” said he, and already did he
himself feel relieved of his petty disgust--“with me, it seemeth that
they have unlearned their cries of distress!

--Though, alas! not yet their crying.” And Zarathustra stopped his
ears, for just then did the YE-A of the ass mix strangely with the noisy
jubilation of those higher men.

“They are merry,” he began again, “and who knoweth? perhaps at their
host’s expense; and if they have learned of me to laugh, still it is not
MY laughter they have learned.

But what matter about that! They are old people: they recover in their
own way, they laugh in their own way; mine ears have already endured
worse and have not become peevish.

This day is a victory: he already yieldeth, he fleeth, THE SPIRIT OF
GRAVITY, mine old arch-enemy! How well this day is about to end, which
began so badly and gloomily!

And it is ABOUT TO end. Already cometh the evening: over the sea
rideth it hither, the good rider! How it bobbeth, the blessed one, the
home-returning one, in its purple saddles!

The sky gazeth brightly thereon, the world lieth deep. Oh, all ye
strange ones who have come to me, it is already worth while to have
lived with me!”

Thus spake Zarathustra. And again came the cries and laughter of the
higher men out of the cave: then began he anew:

“They bite at it, my bait taketh, there departeth also from them their
enemy, the spirit of gravity. Now do they learn to laugh at themselves:
do I hear rightly?

My virile food taketh effect, my strong and savoury sayings: and verily,
I did not nourish them with flatulent vegetables! But with warrior-food,
with conqueror-food: new desires did I awaken.

New hopes are in their arms and legs, their hearts expand. They find new
words, soon will their spirits breathe wantonness.

Such food may sure enough not be proper for children, nor even for
longing girls old and young. One persuadeth their bowels otherwise; I am
not their physician and teacher.

The DISGUST departeth from these higher men; well! that is my victory.
In my domain they become assured; all stupid shame fleeth away; they
empty themselves.

They empty their hearts, good times return unto them, they keep holiday
and ruminate,--they become THANKFUL.

THAT do I take as the best sign: they become thankful. Not long will it
be ere they devise festivals, and put up memorials to their old joys.

They are CONVALESCENTS!” Thus spake Zarathustra joyfully to his heart
and gazed outward; his animals, however, pressed up to him, and honoured
his happiness and his silence.


All on a sudden however, Zarathustra’s ear was frightened: for the cave
which had hitherto been full of noise and laughter, became all at once
still as death;--his nose, however, smelt a sweet-scented vapour and
incense-odour, as if from burning pine-cones.

“What happeneth? What are they about?” he asked himself, and stole up
to the entrance, that he might be able unobserved to see his guests.
But wonder upon wonder! what was he then obliged to behold with his own

“They have all of them become PIOUS again, they PRAY, they are
mad!”--said he, and was astonished beyond measure. And forsooth! all
these higher men, the two kings, the pope out of service, the evil
magician, the voluntary beggar, the wanderer and shadow, the old
soothsayer, the spiritually conscientious one, and the ugliest man--they
all lay on their knees like children and credulous old women, and
worshipped the ass. And just then began the ugliest man to gurgle and
snort, as if something unutterable in him tried to find expression;
when, however, he had actually found words, behold! it was a pious,
strange litany in praise of the adored and censed ass. And the litany
sounded thus:

Amen! And glory and honour and wisdom and thanks and praise and strength
be to our God, from everlasting to everlasting!

--The ass, however, here brayed YE-A.

He carrieth our burdens, he hath taken upon him the form of a servant,
he is patient of heart and never saith Nay; and he who loveth his God
chastiseth him.

--The ass, however, here brayed YE-A.

He speaketh not: except that he ever saith Yea to the world which
he created: thus doth he extol his world. It is his artfulness that
speaketh not: thus is he rarely found wrong.

--The ass, however, here brayed YE-A.

Uncomely goeth he through the world. Grey is the favourite colour in
which he wrappeth his virtue. Hath he spirit, then doth he conceal it;
every one, however, believeth in his long ears.

--The ass, however, here brayed YE-A.

What hidden wisdom it is to wear long ears, and only to say Yea and
never Nay! Hath he not created the world in his own image, namely, as
stupid as possible?

--The ass, however, here brayed YE-A.

Thou goest straight and crooked ways; it concerneth thee little what
seemeth straight or crooked unto us men. Beyond good and evil is thy
domain. It is thine innocence not to know what innocence is.

--The ass, however, here brayed YE-A.

Lo! how thou spurnest none from thee, neither beggars nor kings. Thou
sufferest little children to come unto thee, and when the bad boys decoy
thee, then sayest thou simply, YE-A.

--The ass, however, here brayed YE-A.

Thou lovest she-asses and fresh figs, thou art no food-despiser. A
thistle tickleth thy heart when thou chancest to be hungry. There is the
wisdom of a God therein.

--The ass, however, here brayed YE-A.



At this place in the litany, however, Zarathustra could no longer
control himself; he himself cried out YE-A, louder even than the ass,
and sprang into the midst of his maddened guests. “Whatever are you
about, ye grown-up children?” he exclaimed, pulling up the praying ones
from the ground. “Alas, if any one else, except Zarathustra, had seen

Every one would think you the worst blasphemers, or the very foolishest
old women, with your new belief!

And thou thyself, thou old pope, how is it in accordance with thee, to
adore an ass in such a manner as God?”--

“O Zarathustra,” answered the pope, “forgive me, but in divine matters
I am more enlightened even than thou. And it is right that it should be

Better to adore God so, in this form, than in no form at all! Think over
this saying, mine exalted friend: thou wilt readily divine that in such
a saying there is wisdom.

He who said ‘God is a Spirit’--made the greatest stride and slide
hitherto made on earth towards unbelief: such a dictum is not easily
amended again on earth!

Mine old heart leapeth and boundeth because there is still something
to adore on earth. Forgive it, O Zarathustra, to an old, pious

--“And thou,” said Zarathustra to the wanderer and shadow, “thou callest
and thinkest thyself a free spirit? And thou here practisest such
idolatry and hierolatry?

Worse verily, doest thou here than with thy bad brown girls, thou bad,
new believer!”

“It is sad enough,” answered the wanderer and shadow, “thou art right:
but how can I help it! The old God liveth again, O Zarathustra, thou
mayst say what thou wilt.

The ugliest man is to blame for it all: he hath reawakened him. And
if he say that he once killed him, with Gods DEATH is always just a

--“And thou,” said Zarathustra, “thou bad old magician, what didst thou
do! Who ought to believe any longer in thee in this free age, when THOU
believest in such divine donkeyism?

It was a stupid thing that thou didst; how couldst thou, a shrewd man,
do such a stupid thing!”

“O Zarathustra,” answered the shrewd magician, “thou art right, it was a
stupid thing,--it was also repugnant to me.”

--“And thou even,” said Zarathustra to the spiritually conscientious
one, “consider, and put thy finger to thy nose! Doth nothing go against
thy conscience here? Is thy spirit not too cleanly for this praying and
the fumes of those devotees?”

“There is something therein,” said the spiritually conscientious one,
and put his finger to his nose, “there is something in this spectacle
which even doeth good to my conscience.

Perhaps I dare not believe in God: certain it is however, that God
seemeth to me most worthy of belief in this form.

God is said to be eternal, according to the testimony of the most pious:
he who hath so much time taketh his time. As slow and as stupid as
possible: THEREBY can such a one nevertheless go very far.

And he who hath too much spirit might well become infatuated with
stupidity and folly. Think of thyself, O Zarathustra!

Thou thyself--verily! even thou couldst well become an ass through
superabundance of wisdom.

Doth not the true sage willingly walk on the crookedest paths? The
evidence teacheth it, O Zarathustra,--THINE OWN evidence!”

--“And thou thyself, finally,” said Zarathustra, and turned towards the
ugliest man, who still lay on the ground stretching up his arm to the
ass (for he gave it wine to drink). “Say, thou nondescript, what hast
thou been about!

Thou seemest to me transformed, thine eyes glow, the mantle of the
sublime covereth thine ugliness: WHAT didst thou do?

Is it then true what they say, that thou hast again awakened him? And
why? Was he not for good reasons killed and made away with?

Thou thyself seemest to me awakened: what didst thou do? why didst THOU
turn round? Why didst THOU get converted? Speak, thou nondescript!”

“O Zarathustra,” answered the ugliest man, “thou art a rogue!

Whether HE yet liveth, or again liveth, or is thoroughly dead--which of
us both knoweth that best? I ask thee.

One thing however do I know,--from thyself did I learn it once, O
Zarathustra: he who wanteth to kill most thoroughly, LAUGHETH.

‘Not by wrath but by laughter doth one kill’--thus spakest thou once,
O Zarathustra, thou hidden one, thou destroyer without wrath, thou
dangerous saint,--thou art a rogue!”


Then, however, did it come to pass that Zarathustra, astonished at such
merely roguish answers, jumped back to the door of his cave, and turning
towards all his guests, cried out with a strong voice:

“O ye wags, all of you, ye buffoons! Why do ye dissemble and disguise
yourselves before me!

How the hearts of all of you convulsed with delight and wickedness,
because ye had at last become again like little children--namely,

--Because ye at last did again as children do--namely, prayed, folded
your hands and said ‘good God’!

But now leave, I pray you, THIS nursery, mine own cave, where to-day
all childishness is carried on. Cool down, here outside, your hot
child-wantonness and heart-tumult!

To be sure: except ye become as little children ye shall not enter into
THAT kingdom of heaven.” (And Zarathustra pointed aloft with his hands.)

“But we do not at all want to enter into the kingdom of heaven: we have


And once more began Zarathustra to speak. “O my new friends,” said he,--
“ye strange ones, ye higher men, how well do ye now please me,--

--Since ye have again become joyful! Ye have, verily, all blossomed
forth: it seemeth to me that for such flowers as you, NEW FESTIVALS are

--A little valiant nonsense, some divine service and ass-festival, some
old joyful Zarathustra fool, some blusterer to blow your souls bright.

Forget not this night and this ass-festival, ye higher men! THAT did ye
devise when with me, that do I take as a good omen,--such things only
the convalescents devise!

And should ye celebrate it again, this ass-festival, do it from love to
yourselves, do it also from love to me! And in remembrance of me!”

Thus spake Zarathustra.



Meanwhile one after another had gone out into the open air, and into the
cool, thoughtful night; Zarathustra himself, however, led the ugliest
man by the hand, that he might show him his night-world, and the great
round moon, and the silvery water-falls near his cave. There they at
last stood still beside one another; all of them old people, but with
comforted, brave hearts, and astonished in themselves that it was so
well with them on earth; the mystery of the night, however, came nigher
and nigher to their hearts. And anew Zarathustra thought to himself:
“Oh, how well do they now please me, these higher men!”--but he did not
say it aloud, for he respected their happiness and their silence.--

Then, however, there happened that which in this astonishing long day
was most astonishing: the ugliest man began once more and for the last
time to gurgle and snort, and when he had at length found expression,
behold! there sprang a question plump and plain out of his mouth, a
good, deep, clear question, which moved the hearts of all who listened
to him.

“My friends, all of you,” said the ugliest man, “what think ye? For the
sake of this day--_I_ am for the first time content to have lived mine
entire life.

And that I testify so much is still not enough for me. It is worth while
living on the earth: one day, one festival with Zarathustra, hath taught
me to love the earth.

‘Was THAT--life?’ will I say unto death. ‘Well! Once more!’

My friends, what think ye? Will ye not, like me, say unto death: ‘Was
THAT--life? For the sake of Zarathustra, well! Once more!’”--

Thus spake the ugliest man; it was not, however, far from midnight.
And what took place then, think ye? As soon as the higher men heard his
question, they became all at once conscious of their transformation and
convalescence, and of him who was the cause thereof: then did they rush
up to Zarathustra, thanking, honouring, caressing him, and kissing his
hands, each in his own peculiar way; so that some laughed and some wept.
The old soothsayer, however, danced with delight; and though he was
then, as some narrators suppose, full of sweet wine, he was certainly
still fuller of sweet life, and had renounced all weariness. There are
even those who narrate that the ass then danced: for not in vain had the
ugliest man previously given it wine to drink. That may be the case, or
it may be otherwise; and if in truth the ass did not dance that evening,
there nevertheless happened then greater and rarer wonders than
the dancing of an ass would have been. In short, as the proverb of
Zarathustra saith: “What doth it matter!”


When, however, this took place with the ugliest man, Zarathustra stood
there like one drunken: his glance dulled, his tongue faltered and his
feet staggered. And who could divine what thoughts then passed through
Zarathustra’s soul? Apparently, however, his spirit retreated and fled
in advance and was in remote distances, and as it were “wandering on
high mountain-ridges,” as it standeth written, “‘twixt two seas,

--Wandering ‘twixt the past and the future as a heavy cloud.” Gradually,
however, while the higher men held him in their arms, he came back to
himself a little, and resisted with his hands the crowd of the honouring
and caring ones; but he did not speak. All at once, however, he turned
his head quickly, for he seemed to hear something: then laid he his
finger on his mouth and said: “COME!”

And immediately it became still and mysterious round about; from
the depth however there came up slowly the sound of a clock-bell.
Zarathustra listened thereto, like the higher men; then, however, laid
he his finger on his mouth the second time, and said again: “COME! COME!
IT IS GETTING ON TO MIDNIGHT!”--and his voice had changed. But still
he had not moved from the spot. Then it became yet stiller and more
mysterious, and everything hearkened, even the ass, and Zarathustra’s
noble animals, the eagle and the serpent,--likewise the cave of
Zarathustra and the big cool moon, and the night itself. Zarathustra,
however, laid his hand upon his mouth for the third time, and said:



Ye higher men, it is getting on to midnight: then will I say something
into your ears, as that old clock-bell saith it into mine ear,--

--As mysteriously, as frightfully, and as cordially as that midnight
clock-bell speaketh it to me, which hath experienced more than one man:

--Which hath already counted the smarting throbbings of your fathers’
hearts--ah! ah! how it sigheth! how it laugheth in its dream! the old,
deep, deep midnight!

Hush! Hush! Then is there many a thing heard which may not be heard
by day; now however, in the cool air, when even all the tumult of your
hearts hath become still,--

--Now doth it speak, now is it heard, now doth it steal into
overwakeful, nocturnal souls: ah! ah! how the midnight sigheth! how it
laugheth in its dream!

--Hearest thou not how it mysteriously, frightfully, and cordially
speaketh unto THEE, the old deep, deep midnight?



Woe to me! Whither hath time gone? Have I not sunk into deep wells? The
world sleepeth--

Ah! Ah! The dog howleth, the moon shineth. Rather will I die, rather
will I die, than say unto you what my midnight-heart now thinketh.

Already have I died. It is all over. Spider, why spinnest thou around
me? Wilt thou have blood? Ah! Ah! The dew falleth, the hour cometh--

--The hour in which I frost and freeze, which asketh and asketh and
asketh: “Who hath sufficient courage for it?

--Who is to be master of the world? Who is going to say: THUS shall ye
flow, ye great and small streams!”

--The hour approacheth: O man, thou higher man, take heed! this talk is
for fine ears, for thine ears--WHAT SAITH DEEP MIDNIGHT’S VOICE INDEED?


It carrieth me away, my soul danceth. Day’s-work! Day’s-work! Who is to
be master of the world?

The moon is cool, the wind is still. Ah! Ah! Have ye already flown high
enough? Ye have danced: a leg, nevertheless, is not a wing.

Ye good dancers, now is all delight over: wine hath become lees, every
cup hath become brittle, the sepulchres mutter.

Ye have not flown high enough: now do the sepulchres mutter: “Free the
dead! Why is it so long night? Doth not the moon make us drunken?”

Ye higher men, free the sepulchres, awaken the corpses! Ah, why doth the
worm still burrow? There approacheth, there approacheth, the hour,--

--There boometh the clock-bell, there thrilleth still the heart, there
burroweth still the wood-worm, the heart-worm. Ah! Ah! THE WORLD IS


Sweet lyre! Sweet lyre! I love thy tone, thy drunken, ranunculine
tone!--how long, how far hath come unto me thy tone, from the distance,
from the ponds of love!

Thou old clock-bell, thou sweet lyre! Every pain hath torn thy heart,
father-pain, fathers’-pain, forefathers’-pain; thy speech hath become

--Ripe like the golden autumn and the afternoon, like mine anchorite
heart--now sayest thou: The world itself hath become ripe, the grape
turneth brown,

--Now doth it wish to die, to die of happiness. Ye higher men, do ye not
feel it? There welleth up mysteriously an odour,

--A perfume and odour of eternity, a rosy-blessed, brown,
gold-wine-odour of old happiness,

--Of drunken midnight-death happiness, which singeth: the world is deep,


Leave me alone! Leave me alone! I am too pure for thee. Touch me not!
Hath not my world just now become perfect?

My skin is too pure for thy hands. Leave me alone, thou dull, doltish,
stupid day! Is not the midnight brighter?

The purest are to be masters of the world, the least known, the
strongest, the midnight-souls, who are brighter and deeper than any day.

O day, thou gropest for me? Thou feelest for my happiness? For thee am I
rich, lonesome, a treasure-pit, a gold chamber?

O world, thou wantest ME? Am I worldly for thee? Am I spiritual for
thee? Am I divine for thee? But day and world, ye are too coarse,--

--Have cleverer hands, grasp after deeper happiness, after deeper
unhappiness, grasp after some God; grasp not after me:

--Mine unhappiness, my happiness is deep, thou strange day, but yet am I
no God, no God’s-hell: DEEP IS ITS WOE.


God’s woe is deeper, thou strange world! Grasp at God’s woe, not at me!
What am I! A drunken sweet lyre,--

--A midnight-lyre, a bell-frog, which no one understandeth, but which
MUST speak before deaf ones, ye higher men! For ye do not understand me!

Gone! Gone! O youth! O noontide! O afternoon! Now have come evening and
night and midnight,--the dog howleth, the wind:

--Is the wind not a dog? It whineth, it barketh, it howleth. Ah! Ah!
how she sigheth! how she laugheth, how she wheezeth and panteth, the

How she just now speaketh soberly, this drunken poetess! hath she
perhaps overdrunk her drunkenness? hath she become overawake? doth she

--Her woe doth she ruminate over, in a dream, the old, deep
midnight--and still more her joy. For joy, although woe be deep, JOY IS


Thou grape-vine! Why dost thou praise me? Have I not cut thee! I am
cruel, thou bleedest--: what meaneth thy praise of my drunken cruelty?

“Whatever hath become perfect, everything mature--wanteth to die!” so
sayest thou. Blessed, blessed be the vintner’s knife! But everything
immature wanteth to live: alas!

Woe saith: “Hence! Go! Away, thou woe!” But everything that suffereth
wanteth to live, that it may become mature and lively and longing,

--Longing for the further, the higher, the brighter. “I want heirs,”
 so saith everything that suffereth, “I want children, I do not want

Joy, however, doth not want heirs, it doth not want children,--joy
wanteth itself, it wanteth eternity, it wanteth recurrence, it wanteth
everything eternally-like-itself.

Woe saith: “Break, bleed, thou heart! Wander, thou leg! Thou wing, fly!
Onward! upward! thou pain!” Well! Cheer up! O mine old heart: WOE SAITH:


Ye higher men, what think ye? Am I a soothsayer? Or a dreamer? Or a
drunkard? Or a dream-reader? Or a midnight-bell?

Or a drop of dew? Or a fume and fragrance of eternity? Hear ye it not?
Smell ye it not? Just now hath my world become perfect, midnight is also

Pain is also a joy, curse is also a blessing, night is also a sun,--go
away! or ye will learn that a sage is also a fool.

Said ye ever Yea to one joy? O my friends, then said ye Yea also unto
ALL woe. All things are enlinked, enlaced and enamoured,--

--Wanted ye ever once to come twice; said ye ever: “Thou pleasest me,
happiness! Instant! Moment!” then wanted ye ALL to come back again!

--All anew, all eternal, all enlinked, enlaced and enamoured, Oh, then
did ye LOVE the world,--

--Ye eternal ones, ye love it eternally and for all time: and also unto
woe do ye say: Hence! Go! but come back! FOR JOYS ALL WANT--ETERNITY!


All joy wanteth the eternity of all things, it wanteth honey, it
wanteth lees, it wanteth drunken midnight, it wanteth graves, it wanteth
grave-tears’ consolation, it wanteth gilded evening-red--

--WHAT doth not joy want! it is thirstier, heartier, hungrier, more
frightful, more mysterious, than all woe: it wanteth ITSELF, it biteth
into ITSELF, the ring’s will writheth in it,--

--It wanteth love, it wanteth hate, it is over-rich, it bestoweth, it
throweth away, it beggeth for some one to take from it, it thanketh the
taker, it would fain be hated,--

--So rich is joy that it thirsteth for woe, for hell, for hate, for
shame, for the lame, for the WORLD,--for this world, Oh, ye know it

Ye higher men, for you doth it long, this joy, this irrepressible,
blessed joy--for your woe, ye failures! For failures, longeth all
eternal joy.

For joys all want themselves, therefore do they also want grief! O
happiness, O pain! Oh break, thou heart! Ye higher men, do learn it,
that joys want eternity.

--Joys want the eternity of ALL things, they WANT DEEP, PROFOUND


Have ye now learned my song? Have ye divined what it would say? Well!
Cheer up! Ye higher men, sing now my roundelay!

Sing now yourselves the song, the name of which is “Once more,” the
signification of which is “Unto all eternity!”--sing, ye higher men,
Zarathustra’s roundelay!

     O man!  Take heed!
     What saith deep midnight’s voice indeed?
     “I slept my sleep--,
     “From deepest dream I’ve woke, and plead:--
     “The world is deep,
     “And deeper than the day could read.
     “Deep is its woe--,
     “Joy--deeper still than grief can be:
     “Woe saith:  Hence!  Go!
     “But joys all want eternity-,
     “-Want deep, profound eternity!”


In the morning, however, after this night, Zarathustra jumped up from
his couch, and, having girded his loins, he came out of his cave glowing
and strong, like a morning sun coming out of gloomy mountains.

“Thou great star,” spake he, as he had spoken once before, “thou deep
eye of happiness, what would be all thy happiness if thou hadst not
THOSE for whom thou shinest!

And if they remained in their chambers whilst thou art already awake,
and comest and bestowest and distributest, how would thy proud modesty
upbraid for it!

Well! they still sleep, these higher men, whilst _I_ am awake: THEY are
not my proper companions! Not for them do I wait here in my mountains.

At my work I want to be, at my day: but they understand not what are the
signs of my morning, my step--is not for them the awakening-call.

They still sleep in my cave; their dream still drinketh at my drunken
songs. The audient ear for ME--the OBEDIENT ear, is yet lacking in their

--This had Zarathustra spoken to his heart when the sun arose: then
looked he inquiringly aloft, for he heard above him the sharp call of
his eagle. “Well!” called he upwards, “thus is it pleasing and proper to
me. Mine animals are awake, for I am awake.

Mine eagle is awake, and like me honoureth the sun. With eagle-talons
doth it grasp at the new light. Ye are my proper animals; I love you.

But still do I lack my proper men!”--

Thus spake Zarathustra; then, however, it happened that all on a sudden
he became aware that he was flocked around and fluttered around, as if
by innumerable birds,--the whizzing of so many wings, however, and the
crowding around his head was so great that he shut his eyes. And verily,
there came down upon him as it were a cloud, like a cloud of arrows
which poureth upon a new enemy. But behold, here it was a cloud of love,
and showered upon a new friend.

“What happeneth unto me?” thought Zarathustra in his astonished heart,
and slowly seated himself on the big stone which lay close to the exit
from his cave. But while he grasped about with his hands, around him,
above him and below him, and repelled the tender birds, behold, there
then happened to him something still stranger: for he grasped thereby
unawares into a mass of thick, warm, shaggy hair; at the same time,
however, there sounded before him a roar,--a long, soft lion-roar.

“THE SIGN COMETH,” said Zarathustra, and a change came over his heart.
And in truth, when it turned clear before him, there lay a yellow,
powerful animal at his feet, resting its head on his knee,--unwilling to
leave him out of love, and doing like a dog which again findeth its old
master. The doves, however, were no less eager with their love than the
lion; and whenever a dove whisked over its nose, the lion shook its head
and wondered and laughed.

When all this went on Zarathustra spake only a word: “MY CHILDREN ARE
NIGH, MY CHILDREN”--, then he became quite mute. His heart, however,
was loosed, and from his eyes there dropped down tears and fell upon
his hands. And he took no further notice of anything, but sat there
motionless, without repelling the animals further. Then flew the doves
to and fro, and perched on his shoulder, and caressed his white hair,
and did not tire of their tenderness and joyousness. The strong lion,
however, licked always the tears that fell on Zarathustra’s hands, and
roared and growled shyly. Thus did these animals do.--

All this went on for a long time, or a short time: for properly
speaking, there is NO time on earth for such things--. Meanwhile,
however, the higher men had awakened in Zarathustra’s cave, and
marshalled themselves for a procession to go to meet Zarathustra, and
give him their morning greeting: for they had found when they awakened
that he no longer tarried with them. When, however, they reached the
door of the cave and the noise of their steps had preceded them, the
lion started violently; it turned away all at once from Zarathustra, and
roaring wildly, sprang towards the cave. The higher men, however, when
they heard the lion roaring, cried all aloud as with one voice, fled
back and vanished in an instant.

Zarathustra himself, however, stunned and strange, rose from his seat,
looked around him, stood there astonished, inquired of his heart,
bethought himself, and remained alone. “What did I hear?” said he at
last, slowly, “what happened unto me just now?”

But soon there came to him his recollection, and he took in at a glance
all that had taken place between yesterday and to-day. “Here is indeed
the stone,” said he, and stroked his beard, “on IT sat I yester-morn;
and here came the soothsayer unto me, and here heard I first the cry
which I heard just now, the great cry of distress.

O ye higher men, YOUR distress was it that the old soothsayer foretold
to me yester-morn,--

--Unto your distress did he want to seduce and tempt me: ‘O
Zarathustra,’ said he to me, ‘I come to seduce thee to thy last sin.’

To my last sin?” cried Zarathustra, and laughed angrily at his own
words: “WHAT hath been reserved for me as my last sin?”

--And once more Zarathustra became absorbed in himself, and sat down
again on the big stone and meditated. Suddenly he sprang up,--

and his countenance changed into brass. “Well! THAT--hath had its time!

My suffering and my fellow-suffering--what matter about them! Do I then
strive after HAPPINESS? I strive after my WORK!

Well! The lion hath come, my children are nigh, Zarathustra hath grown
ripe, mine hour hath come:--

This is MY morning, MY day beginneth: ARISE NOW, ARISE, THOU GREAT

Thus spake Zarathustra and left his cave, glowing and strong, like a
morning sun coming out of gloomy mountains.



I have had some opportunities of studying the conditions under which
Nietzsche is read in Germany, France, and England, and I have found
that, in each of these countries, students of his philosophy, as if
actuated by precisely similar motives and desires, and misled by the
same mistaken tactics on the part of most publishers, all proceed in the
same happy-go-lucky style when “taking him up.” They have had it said to
them that he wrote without any system, and they very naturally conclude
that it does not matter in the least whether they begin with his first,
third, or last book, provided they can obtain a few vague ideas as to
what his leading and most sensational principles were.

Now, it is clear that the book with the most mysterious, startling, or
suggestive title, will always stand the best chance of being purchased
by those who have no other criteria to guide them in their choice
than the aspect of a title-page; and this explains why “Thus Spake
Zarathustra” is almost always the first and often the only one of
Nietzsche’s books that falls into the hands of the uninitiated.

The title suggests all kinds of mysteries; a glance at the
chapter-headings quickly confirms the suspicions already aroused,
and the sub-title: “A Book for All and None”, generally succeeds in
dissipating the last doubts the prospective purchaser may entertain
concerning his fitness for the book or its fitness for him. And what

“Thus Spake Zarathustra” is taken home; the reader, who perchance may
know no more concerning Nietzsche than a magazine article has told him,
tries to read it and, understanding less than half he reads, probably
never gets further than the second or third part,--and then only to feel
convinced that Nietzsche himself was “rather hazy” as to what he was
talking about. Such chapters as “The Child with the Mirror”, “In the
Happy Isles”, “The Grave-Song,” “Immaculate Perception,” “The Stillest
Hour”, “The Seven Seals”, and many others, are almost utterly devoid of
meaning to all those who do not know something of Nietzsche’s life, his
aims and his friendships.

As a matter of fact, “Thus Spake Zarathustra”, though it is
unquestionably Nietzsche’s opus magnum, is by no means the first of
Nietzsche’s works that the beginner ought to undertake to read. The
author himself refers to it as the deepest work ever offered to the
German public, and elsewhere speaks of his other writings as being
necessary for the understanding of it. But when it is remembered that
in Zarathustra we not only have the history of his most intimate
experiences, friendships, feuds, disappointments, triumphs and the like,
but that the very form in which they are narrated is one which tends
rather to obscure than to throw light upon them, the difficulties which
meet the reader who starts quite unprepared will be seen to be really

Zarathustra, then,--this shadowy, allegorical personality, speaking in
allegories and parables, and at times not even refraining from relating
his own dreams--is a figure we can understand but very imperfectly if we
have no knowledge of his creator and counterpart, Friedrich Nietzsche;
and it were therefore well, previous to our study of the more abstruse
parts of this book, if we were to turn to some authoritative book on
Nietzsche’s life and works and to read all that is there said on the
subject. Those who can read German will find an excellent guide, in this
respect, in Frau Foerster-Nietzsche’s exhaustive and highly interesting
biography of her brother: “Das Leben Friedrich Nietzsche’s” (published
by Naumann); while the works of Deussen, Raoul Richter, and Baroness
Isabelle von Unger-Sternberg, will be found to throw useful and
necessary light upon many questions which it would be difficult for a
sister to touch upon.

In regard to the actual philosophical views expounded in this work,
there is an excellent way of clearing up any difficulties they may
present, and that is by an appeal to Nietzsche’s other works. Again and
again, of course, he will be found to express himself so clearly that
all reference to his other writings may be dispensed with; but where
this is not the case, the advice he himself gives is after all the best
to be followed here, viz.:--to regard such works as: “Joyful Science”,
“Beyond Good and Evil”, “The Genealogy of Morals”, “The Twilight of
the Idols”, “The Antichrist”, “The Will to Power”, etc., etc., as the
necessary preparation for “Thus Spake Zarathustra”.

These directions, though they are by no means simple to carry out, seem
at least to possess the quality of definiteness and straightforwardness.
“Follow them and all will be clear,” I seem to imply. But I regret to
say that this is not really the case. For my experience tells me that
even after the above directions have been followed with the greatest
possible zeal, the student will still halt in perplexity before certain
passages in the book before us, and wonder what they mean. Now, it is
with the view of giving a little additional help to all those who find
themselves in this position that I proceed to put forth my own personal
interpretation of the more abstruse passages in this work.

In offering this little commentary to the Nietzsche student, I should
like it to be understood that I make no claim as to its infallibility or
indispensability. It represents but an attempt on my part--a very feeble
one perhaps--to give the reader what little help I can in surmounting
difficulties which a long study of Nietzsche’s life and works has
enabled me, partially I hope, to overcome.


Perhaps it would be as well to start out with a broad and rapid sketch
of Nietzsche as a writer on Morals, Evolution, and Sociology, so that
the reader may be prepared to pick out for himself, so to speak, all
passages in this work bearing in any way upon Nietzsche’s views in those
three important branches of knowledge.

(A.) Nietzsche and Morality.

In morality, Nietzsche starts out by adopting the position of the
relativist. He says there are no absolute values “good” and “evil”;
these are mere means adopted by all in order to acquire power to
maintain their place in the world, or to become supreme. It is the
lion’s good to devour an antelope. It is the dead-leaf butterfly’s
good to tell a foe a falsehood. For when the dead-leaf butterfly is in
danger, it clings to the side of a twig, and what it says to its foe is
practically this: “I am not a butterfly, I am a dead leaf, and can be
of no use to thee.” This is a lie which is good to the butterfly, for
it preserves it. In nature every species of organic being instinctively
adopts and practises those acts which most conduce to the prevalence
or supremacy of its kind. Once the most favourable order of conduct is
found, proved efficient and established, it becomes the ruling morality
of the species that adopts it and bears them along to victory. All
species must not and cannot value alike, for what is the lion’s good is
the antelope’s evil and vice versa.

Concepts of good and evil are therefore, in their origin, merely a means
to an end, they are expedients for acquiring power.

Applying this principle to mankind, Nietzsche attacked Christian
moral values. He declared them to be, like all other morals, merely
an expedient for protecting a certain type of man. In the case of
Christianity this type was, according to Nietzsche, a low one.

Conflicting moral codes have been no more than the conflicting weapons
of different classes of men; for in mankind there is a continual war
between the powerful, the noble, the strong, and the well-constituted
on the one side, and the impotent, the mean, the weak, and the
ill-constituted on the other. The war is a war of moral principles.
The morality of the powerful class, Nietzsche calls NOBLE- or
MASTER-MORALITY; that of the weak and subordinate class he calls
SLAVE-MORALITY. In the first morality it is the eagle which, looking
down upon a browsing lamb, contends that “eating lamb is good.” In the
second, the slave-morality, it is the lamb which, looking up from the
sward, bleats dissentingly: “Eating lamb is evil.”

(B.) The Master- and Slave-Morality Compared.

The first morality is active, creative, Dionysian. The second is
passive, defensive,--to it belongs the “struggle for existence.”

Where attempts have not been made to reconcile the two moralities, they
may be described as follows:--All is GOOD in the noble morality which
proceeds from strength, power, health, well-constitutedness, happiness,
and awfulness; for, the motive force behind the people practising it is
“the struggle for power.” The antithesis “good and bad” to this
first class means the same as “noble” and “despicable.” “Bad” in the
master-morality must be applied to the coward, to all acts that spring
from weakness, to the man with “an eye to the main chance,” who would
forsake everything in order to live.

With the second, the slave-morality, the case is different. There,
inasmuch as the community is an oppressed, suffering, unemancipated, and
weary one, all THAT will be held to be good which alleviates the
state of suffering. Pity, the obliging hand, the warm heart, patience,
industry, and humility--these are unquestionably the qualities we shall
here find flooded with the light of approval and admiration; because
they are the most USEFUL qualities--; they make life endurable, they are
of assistance in the “struggle for existence” which is the motive force
behind the people practising this morality. To this class, all that is
AWFUL is bad, in fact it is THE evil par excellence. Strength, health,
superabundance of animal spirits and power, are regarded with hate,
suspicion, and fear by the subordinate class.

Now Nietzsche believed that the first or the noble-morality conduced to
an ascent in the line of life; because it was creative and active. On
the other hand, he believed that the second or slave-morality, where
it became paramount, led to degeneration, because it was passive and
defensive, wanting merely to keep those who practised it alive. Hence
his earnest advocacy of noble-morality.

(C.) Nietzsche and Evolution.

Nietzsche as an evolutionist I shall have occasion to define and discuss
in the course of these notes (see Notes on Chapter LVI., par.10, and on
Chapter LVII.). For the present let it suffice for us to know that he
accepted the “Development Hypothesis” as an explanation of the origin of
species: but he did not halt where most naturalists have halted. He
by no means regarded man as the highest possible being which evolution
could arrive at; for though his physical development may have reached
its limit, this is not the case with his mental or spiritual attributes.
If the process be a fact; if things have BECOME what they are, then, he
contends, we may describe no limit to man’s aspirations. If he struggled
up from barbarism, and still more remotely from the lower Primates,
his ideal should be to surpass man himself and reach Superman (see
especially the Prologue).

(D.) Nietzsche and Sociology.

Nietzsche as a sociologist aims at an aristocratic arrangement of
society. He would have us rear an ideal race. Honest and truthful in
intellectual matters, he could not even think that men are equal. “With
these preachers of equality will I not be mixed up and confounded. For
thus speaketh justice unto ME: ‘Men are not equal.’” He sees precisely
in this inequality a purpose to be served, a condition to be exploited.
“Every elevation of the type ‘man,’” he writes in “Beyond Good and
Evil”, “has hitherto been the work of an aristocratic society--and so
will it always be--a society believing in a long scale of gradations of
rank and differences of worth among human beings.”

Those who are sufficiently interested to desire to read his own detailed
account of the society he would fain establish, will find an excellent
passage in Aphorism 57 of “The Antichrist”.



In Part I. including the Prologue, no very great difficulties will
appear. Zarathustra’s habit of designating a whole class of men or a
whole school of thought by a single fitting nickname may perhaps lead to
a little confusion at first; but, as a rule, when the general drift
of his arguments is grasped, it requires but a slight effort of the
imagination to discover whom he is referring to. In the ninth paragraph
of the Prologue, for instance, it is quite obvious that “Herdsmen” in
the verse “Herdsmen, I say, etc., etc.,” stands for all those to-day
who are the advocates of gregariousness--of the ant-hill. And when our
author says: “A robber shall Zarathustra be called by the herdsmen,” it
is clear that these words may be taken almost literally from one whose
ideal was the rearing of a higher aristocracy. Again, “the good and
just,” throughout the book, is the expression used in referring to the
self-righteous of modern times,--those who are quite sure that they
know all that is to be known concerning good and evil, and are satisfied
that the values their little world of tradition has handed down to them,
are destined to rule mankind as long as it lasts.

In the last paragraph of the Prologue, verse 7, Zarathustra gives us a
foretaste of his teaching concerning the big and the little sagacities,
expounded subsequently. He says he would he were as wise as his serpent;
this desire will be found explained in the discourse entitled “The
Despisers of the Body”, which I shall have occasion to refer to later.



Chapter I. The Three Metamorphoses.

This opening discourse is a parable in which Zarathustra discloses the
mental development of all creators of new values. It is the story of
a life which reaches its consummation in attaining to a second
ingenuousness or in returning to childhood. Nietzsche, the supposed
anarchist, here plainly disclaims all relationship whatever to anarchy,
for he shows us that only by bearing the burdens of the existing law and
submitting to it patiently, as the camel submits to being laden, does
the free spirit acquire that ascendancy over tradition which enables him
to meet and master the dragon “Thou shalt,”--the dragon with the values
of a thousand years glittering on its scales. There are two lessons in
this discourse: first, that in order to create one must be as a little
child; secondly, that it is only through existing law and order that
one attains to that height from which new law and new order may be

Chapter II. The Academic Chairs of Virtue.

Almost the whole of this is quite comprehensible. It is a discourse
against all those who confound virtue with tameness and smug ease, and
who regard as virtuous only that which promotes security and tends to
deepen sleep.

Chapter IV. The Despisers of the Body.

Here Zarathustra gives names to the intellect and the instincts; he
calls the one “the little sagacity” and the latter “the big sagacity.”
 Schopenhauer’s teaching concerning the intellect is fully endorsed here.
“An instrument of thy body is also thy little sagacity, my brother,
which thou callest ‘spirit,’” says Zarathustra. From beginning to end it
is a warning to those who would think too lightly of the instincts
and unduly exalt the intellect and its derivatives: Reason and

Chapter IX. The Preachers of Death.

This is an analysis of the psychology of all those who have the “evil
eye” and are pessimists by virtue of their constitutions.

Chapter XV. The Thousand and One Goals.

In this discourse Zarathustra opens his exposition of the doctrine of
relativity in morality, and declares all morality to be a mere means
to power. Needless to say that verses 9, 10, 11, and 12 refer to the
Greeks, the Persians, the Jews, and the Germans respectively. In the
penultimate verse he makes known his discovery concerning the root of
modern Nihilism and indifference,--i.e., that modern man has no goal, no
aim, no ideals (see Note A).

Chapter XVIII. Old and Young Women.

Nietzsche’s views on women have either to be loved at first sight
or they become perhaps the greatest obstacle in the way of those who
otherwise would be inclined to accept his philosophy. Women especially,
of course, have been taught to dislike them, because it has been
rumoured that his views are unfriendly to themselves. Now, to my mind,
all this is pure misunderstanding and error.

German philosophers, thanks to Schopenhauer, have earned rather a bad
name for their views on women. It is almost impossible for one of them
to write a line on the subject, however kindly he may do so, without
being suspected of wishing to open a crusade against the fair sex.
Despite the fact, therefore, that all Nietzsche’s views in this respect
were dictated to him by the profoundest love; despite Zarathustra’s
reservation in this discourse, that “with women nothing (that can be
said) is impossible,” and in the face of other overwhelming evidence
to the contrary, Nietzsche is universally reported to have mis son
pied dans le plat, where the female sex is concerned. And what is the
fundamental doctrine which has given rise to so much bitterness and
aversion?--Merely this: that the sexes are at bottom ANTAGONISTIC--that
is to say, as different as blue is from yellow, and that the best
possible means of rearing anything approaching a desirable race is to
preserve and to foster this profound hostility. What Nietzsche strives
to combat and to overthrow is the modern democratic tendency which is
slowly labouring to level all things--even the sexes. His quarrel is not
with women--what indeed could be more undignified?--it is with those who
would destroy the natural relationship between the sexes, by modifying
either the one or the other with a view to making them more alike. The
human world is just as dependent upon women’s powers as upon men’s. It
is women’s strongest and most valuable instincts which help to determine
who are to be the fathers of the next generation. By destroying these
particular instincts, that is to say by attempting to masculinise woman,
and to feminise men, we jeopardise the future of our people. The general
democratic movement of modern times, in its frantic struggle to mitigate
all differences, is now invading even the world of sex. It is against
this movement that Nietzsche raises his voice; he would have woman
become ever more woman and man become ever more man. Only thus, and
he is undoubtedly right, can their combined instincts lead to the
excellence of humanity. Regarded in this light, all his views on woman
appear not only necessary but just (see Note on Chapter LVI., par. 21.)

It is interesting to observe that the last line of the discourse, which
has so frequently been used by women as a weapon against Nietzsche’s
views concerning them, was suggested to Nietzsche by a woman (see “Das
Leben F. Nietzsche’s”).

Chapter XXI. Voluntary Death.

In regard to this discourse, I should only like to point out that
Nietzsche had a particular aversion to the word “suicide”--self-murder.
He disliked the evil it suggested, and in rechristening the act
Voluntary Death, i.e., the death that comes from no other hand than
one’s own, he was desirous of elevating it to the position it held in
classical antiquity (see Aphorism 36 in “The Twilight of the Idols”).

Chapter XXII. The Bestowing Virtue.

An important aspect of Nietzsche’s philosophy is brought to light in
this discourse. His teaching, as is well known, places the Aristotelian
man of spirit, above all others in the natural divisions of man. The
man with overflowing strength, both of mind and body, who must discharge
this strength or perish, is the Nietzschean ideal. To such a man, giving
from his overflow becomes a necessity; bestowing develops into a means
of existence, and this is the only giving, the only charity, that
Nietzsche recognises. In paragraph 3 of the discourse, we read
Zarathustra’s healthy exhortation to his disciples to become independent
thinkers and to find themselves before they learn any more from him (see
Notes on Chapters LVI., par. 5, and LXXIII., pars. 10, 11).



Chapter XXIII. The Child with the Mirror.

Nietzsche tells us here, in a poetical form, how deeply grieved he was
by the manifold misinterpretations and misunderstandings which were
becoming rife concerning his publications. He does not recognise
himself in the mirror of public opinion, and recoils terrified from the
distorted reflection of his features. In verse 20 he gives us a
hint which it were well not to pass over too lightly; for, in the
introduction to “The Genealogy of Morals” (written in 1887) he finds it
necessary to refer to the matter again and with greater precision. The
point is this, that a creator of new values meets with his surest and
strongest obstacles in the very spirit of the language which is at his
disposal. Words, like all other manifestations of an evolving race, are
stamped with the values that have long been paramount in that race.
Now, the original thinker who finds himself compelled to use the current
speech of his country in order to impart new and hitherto untried views
to his fellows, imposes a task upon the natural means of communication
which it is totally unfitted to perform,--hence the obscurities and
prolixities which are so frequently met with in the writings of original
thinkers. In the “Dawn of Day”, Nietzsche actually cautions young

Chapter XXIV. In the Happy Isles.

While writing this, Nietzsche is supposed to have been thinking of the
island of Ischia which was ultimately destroyed by an earthquake. His
teaching here is quite clear. He was among the first thinkers of Europe
to overcome the pessimism which godlessness generally brings in its
wake. He points to creating as the surest salvation from the suffering
which is a concomitant of all higher life. “What would there be to
create,” he asks, “if there were--Gods?” His ideal, the Superman, lends
him the cheerfulness necessary to the overcoming of that despair usually
attendant upon godlessness and upon the apparent aimlessness of a world
without a god.

Chapter XXIX. The Tarantulas.

The tarantulas are the Socialists and Democrats. This discourse offers
us an analysis of their mental attitude. Nietzsche refuses to be
confounded with those resentful and revengeful ones who condemn society
FROM BELOW, and whose criticism is only suppressed envy. “There are
those who preach my doctrine of life,” he says of the Nietzschean
Socialists, “and are at the same time preachers of equality and
tarantulas” (see Notes on Chapter XL. and Chapter LI.).

Chapter XXX. The Famous Wise Ones.

This refers to all those philosophers hitherto, who have run in the
harness of established values and have not risked their reputation with
the people in pursuit of truth. The philosopher, however, as Nietzsche
understood him, is a man who creates new values, and thus leads mankind
in a new direction.

Chapter XXXIII. The Grave-Song.

Here Zarathustra sings about the ideals and friendships of his youth.
Verses 27 to 31 undoubtedly refer to Richard Wagner (see Note on Chapter

Chapter XXXIV. Self-Surpassing.

In this discourse we get the best exposition in the whole book of
Nietzsche’s doctrine of the Will to Power. I go into this question
thoroughly in the Note on Chapter LVII.

Nietzsche was not an iconoclast from choice. Those who hastily class him
with the anarchists (or the Progressivists of the last century) fail
to understand the high esteem in which he always held both law and
discipline. In verse 41 of this most decisive discourse he truly
explains his position when he says: “...he who hath to be a creator in
good and evil--verily he hath first to be a destroyer, and break values
in pieces.” This teaching in regard to self-control is evidence enough
of his reverence for law.

Chapter XXXV. The Sublime Ones.

These belong to a type which Nietzsche did not altogether dislike, but
which he would fain have rendered more subtle and plastic. It is the
type that takes life and itself too seriously, that never surmounts the
camel-stage mentioned in the first discourse, and that is obdurately
sublime and earnest. To be able to smile while speaking of lofty things
and NOT TO BE OPPRESSED by them, is the secret of real greatness. He
whose hand trembles when it lays hold of a beautiful thing, has the
quality of reverence, without the artist’s unembarrassed friendship
with the beautiful. Hence the mistakes which have arisen in regard to
confounding Nietzsche with his extreme opposites the anarchists and
agitators. For what they dare to touch and break with the impudence
and irreverence of the unappreciative, he seems likewise to touch and
break,--but with other fingers--with the fingers of the loving and
unembarrassed artist who is on good terms with the beautiful and who
feels able to create it and to enhance it with his touch. The question
of taste plays an important part in Nietzsche’s philosophy, and verses
9, 10 of this discourse exactly state Nietzsche’s ultimate views on the
subject. In the “Spirit of Gravity”, he actually cries:--“Neither a good
nor a bad taste, but MY taste, of which I have no longer either shame or

Chapter XXXVI. The Land of Culture.

This is a poetical epitome of some of the scathing criticism of
scholars which appears in the first of the “Thoughts out of Season”--the
polemical pamphlet (written in 1873) against David Strauss and his
school. He reproaches his former colleagues with being sterile and
shows them that their sterility is the result of their not believing
in anything. “He who had to create, had always his presaging dreams and
astral premonitions--and believed in believing!” (See Note on Chapter
LXXVII.) In the last two verses he reveals the nature of his altruism.
How far it differs from that of Christianity we have already read in the
discourse “Neighbour-Love”, but here he tells us definitely the nature
of his love to mankind; he explains why he was compelled to assail the
Christian values of pity and excessive love of the neighbour, not only
because they are slave-values and therefore tend to promote degeneration
(see Note B.), but because he could only love his children’s land, the
undiscovered land in a remote sea; because he would fain retrieve the
errors of his fathers in his children.

Chapter XXXVII. Immaculate Perception.

An important feature of Nietzsche’s interpretation of Life is disclosed
in this discourse. As Buckle suggests in his “Influence of Women on the
Progress of Knowledge”, the scientific spirit of the investigator is
both helped and supplemented by the latter’s emotions and personality,
and the divorce of all emotionalism and individual temperament from
science is a fatal step towards sterility. Zarathustra abjures all those
who would fain turn an IMPERSONAL eye upon nature and contemplate her
phenomena with that pure objectivity to which the scientific idealists
of to-day would so much like to attain. He accuses such idealists of
hypocrisy and guile; he says they lack innocence in their desires and
therefore slander all desiring.

Chapter XXXVIII. Scholars.

This is a record of Nietzsche’s final breach with his former
colleagues--the scholars of Germany. Already after the publication of
the “Birth of Tragedy”, numbers of German philologists and professional
philosophers had denounced him as one who had strayed too far from
their flock, and his lectures at the University of Bale were deserted
in consequence; but it was not until 1879, when he finally severed all
connection with University work, that he may be said to have attained to
the freedom and independence which stamp this discourse.

Chapter XXXIX. Poets.

People have sometimes said that Nietzsche had no sense of humour. I
have no intention of defending him here against such foolish critics; I
should only like to point out to the reader that we have him here at
his best, poking fun at himself, and at his fellow-poets (see Note on
Chapter LXIII., pars. 16, 17, 18, 19, 20).

Chapter XL. Great Events.

Here we seem to have a puzzle. Zarathustra himself, while relating
his experience with the fire-dog to his disciples, fails to get them
interested in his narrative, and we also may be only too ready to turn
over these pages under the impression that they are little more than
a mere phantasy or poetical flight. Zarathustra’s interview with the
fire-dog is, however, of great importance. In it we find Nietzsche
face to face with the creature he most sincerely loathes--the spirit
of revolution, and we obtain fresh hints concerning his hatred of the
anarchist and rebel. “‘Freedom’ ye all roar most eagerly,” he says to
the fire-dog, “but I have unlearned the belief in ‘Great Events’ when
there is much roaring and smoke about them. Not around the inventors
of new noise, but around the inventors of new values, doth the world
revolve; INAUDIBLY it revolveth.”

Chapter XLI. The Soothsayer.

This refers, of course, to Schopenhauer. Nietzsche, as is well known,
was at one time an ardent follower of Schopenhauer. He overcame
Pessimism by discovering an object in existence; he saw the possibility
of raising society to a higher level and preached the profoundest
Optimism in consequence.

Chapter XLII. Redemption.

Zarathustra here addresses cripples. He tells them of other
cripples--the GREAT MEN in this world who have one organ or faculty
inordinately developed at the cost of their other faculties. This is
doubtless a reference to a fact which is too often noticeable in the
case of so many of the world’s giants in art, science, or religion. In
verse 19 we are told what Nietzsche called Redemption--that is to say,
the ability to say of all that is past: “Thus would I have it.” The
in ability to say this, and the resentment which results therefrom,
he regards as the source of all our feelings of revenge, and all our
desires to punish--punishment meaning to him merely a euphemism for the
word revenge, invented in order to still our consciences. He who can be
proud of his enemies, who can be grateful to them for the obstacles they
have put in his way; he who can regard his worst calamity as but the
extra strain on the bow of his life, which is to send the arrow of
his longing even further than he could have hoped;--this man knows no
revenge, neither does he know despair, he truly has found redemption and
can turn on the worst in his life and even in himself, and call it his
best (see Notes on Chapter LVII.).

Chapter XLIII. Manly Prudence.

This discourse is very important. In “Beyond Good and Evil” we hear
often enough that the select and superior man must wear a mask, and
here we find this injunction explained. “And he who would not languish
amongst men, must learn to drink out of all glasses: and he who would
keep clean amongst men, must know how to wash himself even with dirty
water.” This, I venture to suggest, requires some explanation. At a time
when individuality is supposed to be shown most tellingly by putting
boots on one’s hands and gloves on one’s feet, it is somewhat refreshing
to come across a true individualist who feels the chasm between himself
and others so deeply, that he must perforce adapt himself to them
outwardly, at least, in all respects, so that the inner difference
should be overlooked. Nietzsche practically tells us here that it is not
he who intentionally wears eccentric clothes or does eccentric things
who is truly the individualist. The profound man, who is by nature
differentiated from his fellows, feels this difference too keenly to
call attention to it by any outward show. He is shamefast and bashful
with those who surround him and wishes not to be discovered by them,
just as one instinctively avoids all lavish display of comfort or wealth
in the presence of a poor friend.

Chapter XLIV. The Stillest Hour.

This seems to me to give an account of the great struggle which must
have taken place in Nietzsche’s soul before he finally resolved to make
known the more esoteric portions of his teaching. Our deepest feelings
crave silence. There is a certain self-respect in the serious man which
makes him hold his profoundest feelings sacred. Before they are uttered
they are full of the modesty of a virgin, and often the oldest sage will
blush like a girl when this virginity is violated by an indiscretion
which forces him to reveal his deepest thoughts.



This is perhaps the most important of all the four parts. If it
contained only “The Vision and the Enigma” and “The Old and New Tables”
 I should still be of this opinion; for in the former of these discourses
we meet with what Nietzsche regarded as the crowning doctrine of his
philosophy and in “The Old and New Tables” we have a valuable epitome of
practically all his leading principles.

Chapter XLVI. The Vision and the Enigma.

“The Vision and the Enigma” is perhaps an example of Nietzsche in his
most obscure vein. We must know how persistently he inveighed against
the oppressing and depressing influence of man’s sense of guilt and
consciousness of sin in order fully to grasp the significance of this
discourse. Slowly but surely, he thought the values of Christianity and
Judaic traditions had done their work in the minds of men. What were
once but expedients devised for the discipline of a certain portion of
humanity, had now passed into man’s blood and had become instincts. This
oppressive and paralysing sense of guilt and of sin is what Nietzsche
refers to when he speaks of “the spirit of gravity.” This creature
half-dwarf, half-mole, whom he bears with him a certain distance on his
climb and finally defies, and whom he calls his devil and arch-enemy, is
nothing more than the heavy millstone “guilty conscience,” together with
the concept of sin which at present hangs round the neck of men. To rise
above it--to soar--is the most difficult of all things to-day. Nietzsche
is able to think cheerfully and optimistically of the possibility of
life in this world recurring again and again, when he has once cast the
dwarf from his shoulders, and he announces his doctrine of the Eternal
Recurrence of all things great and small to his arch-enemy and in
defiance of him.

That there is much to be said for Nietzsche’s hypothesis of the Eternal
Recurrence of all things great and small, nobody who has read the
literature on the subject will doubt for an instant; but it remains a
very daring conjecture notwithstanding and even in its ultimate effect,
as a dogma, on the minds of men, I venture to doubt whether Nietzsche
ever properly estimated its worth (see Note on Chapter LVII.).

What follows is clear enough. Zarathustra sees a young shepherd
struggling on the ground with a snake holding fast to the back of his
throat. The sage, assuming that the snake must have crawled into the
young man’s mouth while he lay sleeping, runs to his help and pulls
at the loathsome reptile with all his might, but in vain. At last, in
despair, Zarathustra appeals to the young man’s will. Knowing full well
what a ghastly operation he is recommending, he nevertheless cries,
“Bite! Bite! Its head off! Bite!” as the only possible solution of the
difficulty. The young shepherd bites, and far away he spits the
snake’s head, whereupon he rises, “No longer shepherd, no longer man--a
transfigured being, a light-surrounded being, that LAUGHED! Never on
earth laughed a man as he laughed!”

In this parable the young shepherd is obviously the man of to-day; the
snake that chokes him represents the stultifying and paralysing social
values that threaten to shatter humanity, and the advice “Bite! Bite!”
 is but Nietzsche’s exasperated cry to mankind to alter their values
before it is too late.

Chapter XLVII. Involuntary Bliss.

This, like “The Wanderer”, is one of the many introspective passages
in the work, and is full of innuendos and hints as to the Nietzschean
outlook on life.

Chapter XLVIII. Before Sunrise.

Here we have a record of Zarathustra’s avowal of optimism, as also the
important statement concerning “Chance” or “Accident” (verse 27). Those
who are familiar with Nietzsche’s philosophy will not require to be told
what an important role his doctrine of chance plays in his teaching.
The Giant Chance has hitherto played with the puppet “man,”--this is
the fact he cannot contemplate with equanimity. Man shall now exploit
chance, he says again and again, and make it fall on its knees before
him! (See verse 33 in “On the Olive Mount”, and verses 9-10 in “The
Bedwarfing Virtue”).

Chapter XLIX. The Bedwarfing Virtue.

This requires scarcely any comment. It is a satire on modern man and
his belittling virtues. In verses 23 and 24 of the second part of the
discourse we are reminded of Nietzsche’s powerful indictment of the
great of to-day, in the Antichrist (Aphorism 43):--“At present
nobody has any longer the courage for separate rights, for rights of
domination, for a feeling of reverence for himself and his equals,--FOR
PATHOS OF DISTANCE...Our politics are MORBID from this want of
courage!--The aristocracy of character has been undermined most craftily
by the lie of the equality of souls; and if the belief in the ‘privilege
of the many,’ makes revolutions and WILL CONTINUE TO MAKE them, it is
Christianity, let us not doubt it, it is CHRISTIAN valuations, which
translate every revolution merely into blood and crime!” (see also
“Beyond Good and Evil”, pages 120, 121). Nietzsche thought it was a
bad sign of the times that even rulers have lost the courage of
their positions, and that a man of Frederick the Great’s power and
distinguished gifts should have been able to say: “Ich bin der erste
Diener des Staates” (I am the first servant of the State.) To this
utterance of the great sovereign, verse 24 undoubtedly refers.
“Cowardice” and “Mediocrity,” are the names with which he labels modern
notions of virtue and moderation.

In Part III., we get the sentiments of the discourse “In the Happy
Isles”, but perhaps in stronger terms. Once again we find Nietzsche
thoroughly at ease, if not cheerful, as an atheist, and speaking with
vertiginous daring of making chance go on its knees to him. In verse
20, Zarathustra makes yet another attempt at defining his entirely
anti-anarchical attitude, and unless such passages have been completely
overlooked or deliberately ignored hitherto by those who will persist in
laying anarchy at his door, it is impossible to understand how he ever
became associated with that foul political party.

The last verse introduces the expression, “THE GREAT NOONTIDE!” In the
poem to be found at the end of “Beyond Good and Evil”, we meet with
the expression again, and we shall find it occurring time and again in
Nietzsche’s works. It will be found fully elucidated in the fifth part
of “The Twilight of the Idols”; but for those who cannot refer to
this book, it were well to point out that Nietzsche called the present
period--our period--the noon of man’s history. Dawn is behind us. The
childhood of mankind is over. Now we KNOW; there is now no longer any
excuse for mistakes which will tend to botch and disfigure the type man.
“With respect to what is past,” he says, “I have, like all discerning
ones, great toleration, that is to say, GENEROUS self-control...But my
feeling changes suddenly, and breaks out as soon as I enter the modern
period, OUR period. Our age KNOWS...” (See Note on Chapter LXX.).

Chapter LI. On Passing-by.

Here we find Nietzsche confronted with his extreme opposite, with
him therefore for whom he is most frequently mistaken by the unwary.
“Zarathustra’s ape” he is called in the discourse. He is one of those
at whose hands Nietzsche had to suffer most during his life-time, and
at whose hands his philosophy has suffered most since his death. In this
respect it may seem a little trivial to speak of extremes meeting; but
it is wonderfully apt. Many have adopted Nietzsche’s mannerisms and
word-coinages, who had nothing in common with him beyond the ideas and
“business” they plagiarised; but the superficial observer and a large
portion of the public, not knowing of these things,--not knowing perhaps
that there are iconoclasts who destroy out of love and are therefore
creators, and that there are others who destroy out of resentment and
revengefulness and who are therefore revolutionists and anarchists,--are
prone to confound the two, to the detriment of the nobler type.

If we now read what the fool says to Zarathustra, and note the tricks of
speech he has borrowed from him: if we carefully follow the attitude
he assumes, we shall understand why Zarathustra finally interrupts him.
“Stop this at once,” Zarathustra cries, “long have thy speech and
thy species disgusted me...Out of love alone shall my contempt and my
warning bird take wing; BUT NOT OUT OF THE SWAMP!” It were well if
this discourse were taken to heart by all those who are too ready to
associate Nietzsche with lesser and noiser men,--with mountebanks and

Chapter LII. The Apostates.

It is clear that this applies to all those breathless and hasty “tasters
of everything,” who plunge too rashly into the sea of independent
thought and “heresy,” and who, having miscalculated their strength, find
it impossible to keep their head above water. “A little older, a little
colder,” says Nietzsche. They soon clamber back to the conventions of
the age they intended reforming. The French then say “le diable se fait
hermite,” but these men, as a rule, have never been devils, neither
do they become angels; for, in order to be really good or evil, some
strength and deep breathing is required. Those who are more interested
in supporting orthodoxy than in being over nice concerning the kind of
support they give it, often refer to these people as evidence in favour
of the true faith.

Chapter LIII. The Return Home.

This is an example of a class of writing which may be passed over too
lightly by those whom poetasters have made distrustful of poetry. From
first to last it is extremely valuable as an autobiographical note. The
inevitable superficiality of the rabble is contrasted with the peaceful
and profound depths of the anchorite. Here we first get a direct hint
concerning Nietzsche’s fundamental passion--the main force behind all
his new values and scathing criticism of existing values. In verse 30
we are told that pity was his greatest danger. The broad altruism of the
law-giver, thinking over vast eras of time, was continually being pitted
by Nietzsche, in himself, against that transient and meaner sympathy for
the neighbour which he more perhaps than any of his contemporaries had
suffered from, but which he was certain involved enormous dangers not
only for himself but also to the next and subsequent generations (see
Note B., where “pity” is mentioned among the degenerate virtues). Later
in the book we shall see how his profound compassion leads him into
temptation, and how frantically he struggles against it. In verses 31
and 32, he tells us to what extent he had to modify himself in order
to be endured by his fellows whom he loved (see also verse 12 in “Manly
Prudence”). Nietzsche’s great love for his fellows, which he confesses
in the Prologue, and which is at the root of all his teaching, seems
rather to elude the discerning powers of the average philanthropist and
modern man. He cannot see the wood for the trees. A philanthropy that
sacrifices the minority of the present-day for the majority constituting
posterity, completely evades his mental grasp, and Nietzsche’s
philosophy, because it declares Christian values to be a danger to the
future of our kind, is therefore shelved as brutal, cold, and hard (see
Note on Chapter XXXVI.). Nietzsche tried to be all things to all men;
he was sufficiently fond of his fellows for that: in the Return Home he
describes how he ultimately returns to loneliness in order to recover
from the effects of his experiment.

Chapter LIV. The Three Evil Things.

Nietzsche is here completely in his element. Three things hitherto
best-cursed and most calumniated on earth, are brought forward to be
weighed. Voluptuousness, thirst of power, and selfishness,--the three
forces in humanity which Christianity has done most to garble and
besmirch,--Nietzsche endeavours to reinstate in their former places of
honour. Voluptuousness, or sensual pleasure, is a dangerous thing to
discuss nowadays. If we mention it with favour we may be regarded,
however unjustly, as the advocate of savages, satyrs, and pure
sensuality. If we condemn it, we either go over to the Puritans or we
join those who are wont to come to table with no edge to their appetites
and who therefore grumble at all good fare. There can be no doubt that
the value of healthy innocent voluptuousness, like the value of health
itself, must have been greatly discounted by all those who, resenting
their inability to partake of this world’s goods, cried like St Paul:
“I would that all men were even as I myself.” Now Nietzsche’s philosophy
might be called an attempt at giving back to healthy and normal men
innocence and a clean conscience in their desires--NOT to applaud the
vulgar sensualists who respond to every stimulus and whose passions are
out of hand; not to tell the mean, selfish individual, whose selfishness
is a pollution (see Aphorism 33, “Twilight of the Idols”), that he is
right, nor to assure the weak, the sick, and the crippled, that the
thirst of power, which they gratify by exploiting the happier and
healthier individuals, is justified;--but to save the clean healthy man
from the values of those around him, who look at everything through the
mud that is in their own bodies,--to give him, and him alone, a clean
conscience in his manhood and the desires of his manhood. “Do I counsel
you to slay your instincts? I counsel to innocence in your instincts.”
 In verse 7 of the second paragraph (as in verse I of paragraph 19 in
“The Old and New Tables”) Nietzsche gives us a reason for his occasional
obscurity (see also verses 3 to 7 of “Poets”). As I have already pointed
out, his philosophy is quite esoteric. It can serve no purpose with the
ordinary, mediocre type of man. I, personally, can no longer have any
doubt that Nietzsche’s only object, in that part of his philosophy where
he bids his friends stand “Beyond Good and Evil” with him, was to save
higher men, whose growth and scope might be limited by the too
strict observance of modern values from foundering on the rocks of a
“Compromise” between their own genius and traditional conventions. The
only possible way in which the great man can achieve greatness is
by means of exceptional freedom--the freedom which assists him in
experiencing HIMSELF. Verses 20 to 30 afford an excellent supplement to
Nietzsche’s description of the attitude of the noble type towards the
slaves in Aphorism 260 of the work “Beyond Good and Evil” (see also Note

Chapter LV. The Spirit of Gravity.

(See Note on Chapter XLVI.) In Part II. of this discourse we meet with
a doctrine not touched upon hitherto, save indirectly;--I refer to the
doctrine of self-love. We should try to understand this perfectly before
proceeding; for it is precisely views of this sort which, after having
been cut out of the original context, are repeated far and wide as
internal evidence proving the general unsoundness of Nietzsche’s
philosophy. Already in the last of the “Thoughts out of Season”
 Nietzsche speaks as follows about modern men: “...these modern creatures
wish rather to be hunted down, wounded and torn to shreds, than to
live alone with themselves in solitary calm. Alone with oneself!--this
thought terrifies the modern soul; it is his one anxiety, his one
ghastly fear” (English Edition, page 141). In his feverish scurry to
find entertainment and diversion, whether in a novel, a newspaper, or a
play, the modern man condemns his own age utterly; for he shows that in
his heart of hearts he despises himself. One cannot change a condition
of this sort in a day; to become endurable to oneself an inner
transformation is necessary. Too long have we lost ourselves in our
friends and entertainments to be able to find ourselves so soon at
another’s bidding. “And verily, it is no commandment for to-day and
to-morrow to LEARN to love oneself. Rather is it of all arts the finest,
subtlest, last, and patientest.”

In the last verse Nietzsche challenges us to show that our way is
the right way. In his teaching he does not coerce us, nor does he
overpersuade; he simply says: “I am a law only for mine own, I am not a
law for all. This--is now MY way,--where is yours?”

Chapter LVI. Old and New Tables. Par. 2.

Nietzsche himself declares this to be the most decisive portion of
the whole of “Thus Spake Zarathustra”. It is a sort of epitome of his
leading doctrines. In verse 12 of the second paragraph, we learn how he
himself would fain have abandoned the poetical method of expression had
he not known only too well that the only chance a new doctrine has of
surviving, nowadays, depends upon its being given to the world in some
kind of art-form. Just as prophets, centuries ago, often had to have
recourse to the mask of madness in order to mitigate the hatred of those
who did not and could not see as they did; so, to-day, the struggle for
existence among opinions and values is so great, that an art-form
is practically the only garb in which a new philosophy can dare to
introduce itself to us.

Pars. 3 and 4.

Many of the paragraphs will be found to be merely reminiscent of former
discourses. For instance, par. 3 recalls “Redemption”. The last verse
of par. 4 is important. Freedom which, as I have pointed out before,
Nietzsche considered a dangerous acquisition in inexperienced or
unworthy hands, here receives its death-blow as a general desideratum.
In the first Part we read under “The Way of the Creating One”, that
freedom as an end in itself does not concern Zarathustra at all. He says
there: “Free from what? What doth that matter to Zarathustra? Clearly,
however, shall thine eye answer me: free FOR WHAT?” And in “The
Bedwarfing Virtue”: “Ah that ye understood my word: ‘Do ever what ye
will--but first be such as CAN WILL.’”

Par. 5.

Here we have a description of the kind of altruism Nietzsche exacted
from higher men. It is really a comment upon “The Bestowing Virtue” (see
Note on Chapter XXII.).

Par. 6.

This refers, of course, to the reception pioneers of Nietzsche’s stamp
meet with at the hands of their contemporaries.

Par. 8.

Nietzsche teaches that nothing is stable,--not even values,--not
even the concepts good and evil. He likens life unto a stream. But
foot-bridges and railings span the stream, and they seem to stand
firm. Many will be reminded of good and evil when they look upon these
structures; for thus these same values stand over the stream of life,
and life flows on beneath them and leaves them standing. When, however,
winter comes and the stream gets frozen, many inquire: “Should not
everything--STAND STILL? Fundamentally everything standeth still.” But
soon the spring cometh and with it the thaw-wind. It breaks the ice, and
the ice breaks down the foot-bridges and railings, whereupon everything
is swept away. This state of affairs, according to Nietzsche, has now
been reached. “Oh, my brethren, is not everything AT PRESENT IN FLUX?
Have not all railings and foot-bridges fallen into the water? Who would
still HOLD ON to ‘good’ and ‘evil’?”

Par. 9.

This is complementary to the first three verses of par. 2.

Par. 10.

So far, this is perhaps the most important paragraph. It is a protest
against reading a moral order of things in life. “Life is something
essentially immoral!” Nietzsche tells us in the introduction to the
“Birth of Tragedy”. Even to call life “activity,” or to define it
further as “the continuous adjustment of internal relations to external
relations,” as Spencer has it, Nietzsche characterises as a “democratic
idiosyncracy.” He says to define it in this way, “is to mistake the
true nature and function of life, which is Will to Power...Life is
ESSENTIALLY appropriation, injury, conquest of the strange and weak,
suppression, severity, obtrusion of its own forms, incorporation and
at least, putting it mildest, exploitation.” Adaptation is merely a
secondary activity, a mere re-activity (see Note on Chapter LVII.).

Pars. 11, 12.

These deal with Nietzsche’s principle of the desirability of rearing a
select race. The biological and historical grounds for his insistence
upon this principle are, of course, manifold. Gobineau in his great
work, “L’Inegalite des Races Humaines”, lays strong emphasis upon the
evils which arise from promiscuous and inter-social marriages. He alone
would suffice to carry Nietzsche’s point against all those who are
opposed to the other conditions, to the conditions which would have
saved Rome, which have maintained the strength of the Jewish race, and
which are strictly maintained by every breeder of animals throughout the
world. Darwin in his remarks relative to the degeneration of CULTIVATED
types of animals through the action of promiscuous breeding, brings
Gobineau support from the realm of biology.

The last two verses of par. 12 were discussed in the Notes on Chapters

Par. 13.

This, like the first part of “The Soothsayer”, is obviously a reference
to the Schopenhauerian Pessimism.

Pars. 14, 15, 16, 17.

These are supplementary to the discourse “Backworld’s-men”.

Par. 18.

We must be careful to separate this paragraph, in sense, from the
previous four paragraphs. Nietzsche is still dealing with Pessimism
here; but it is the pessimism of the hero--the man most susceptible of
all to desperate views of life, owing to the obstacles that are arrayed
against him in a world where men of his kind are very rare and are
continually being sacrificed. It was to save this man that Nietzsche
wrote. Heroism foiled, thwarted, and wrecked, hoping and fighting until
the last, is at length overtaken by despair, and renounces all struggle
for sleep. This is not the natural or constitutional pessimism which
proceeds from an unhealthy body--the dyspeptic’s lack of appetite; it
is rather the desperation of the netted lion that ultimately stops all
movement, because the more it moves the more involved it becomes.

Par. 20.

“All that increases power is good, all that springs from weakness is
bad. The weak and ill-constituted shall perish: first principle of our
charity. And one shall also help them thereto.” Nietzsche partly divined
the kind of reception moral values of this stamp would meet with at
the hands of the effeminate manhood of Europe. Here we see that he had
anticipated the most likely form their criticism would take (see also
the last two verses of par. 17).

Par. 21.

The first ten verses, here, are reminiscent of “War and Warriors” and
of “The Flies in the Market-place.” Verses 11 and 12, however, are
particularly important. There is a strong argument in favour of the
sharp differentiation of castes and of races (and even of sexes; see
Note on Chapter XVIII.) running all through Nietzsche’s writings.
But sharp differentiation also implies antagonism in some form or
other--hence Nietzsche’s fears for modern men. What modern men desire
above all, is peace and the cessation of pain. But neither great races
nor great castes have ever been built up in this way. “Who still wanteth
to rule?” Zarathustra asks in the “Prologue”. “Who still wanteth to
obey? Both are too burdensome.” This is rapidly becoming everybody’s
attitude to-day. The tame moral reading of the face of nature, together
with such democratic interpretations of life as those suggested by
Herbert Spencer, are signs of a physiological condition which is the
reverse of that bounding and irresponsible healthiness in which harder
and more tragic values rule.

Par. 24.

This should be read in conjunction with “Child and Marriage”. In the
fifth verse we shall recognise our old friend “Marriage on the ten-years
system,” which George Meredith suggested some years ago. This, however,
must not be taken too literally. I do not think Nietzsche’s profoundest
views on marriage were ever intended to be given over to the public at
all, at least not for the present. They appear in the biography by his
sister, and although their wisdom is unquestionable, the nature of the
reforms he suggests render it impossible for them to become popular just

Pars. 26, 27.

See Note on “The Prologue”.

Par. 28.

Nietzsche was not an iconoclast from predilection. No bitterness or
empty hate dictated his vituperations against existing values and
against the dogmas of his parents and forefathers. He knew too well what
these things meant to the millions who profess them, to approach the
task of uprooting them with levity or even with haste. He saw what
modern anarchists and revolutionists do NOT see--namely, that man is in
danger of actual destruction when his customs and values are broken.
I need hardly point out, therefore, how deeply he was conscious of
the responsibility he threw upon our shoulders when he invited us to
reconsider our position. The lines in this paragraph are evidence enough
of his earnestness.

Chapter LVII. The Convalescent.

We meet with several puzzles here. Zarathustra calls himself the
advocate of the circle (the Eternal Recurrence of all things), and he
calls this doctrine his abysmal thought. In the last verse of the
first paragraph, however, after hailing his deepest thought, he cries:
“Disgust, disgust, disgust!” We know Nietzsche’s ideal man was that
“world-approving, exuberant, and vivacious creature, who has not only
learnt to compromise and arrange with that which was and is, but wishes
to have it again, AS IT WAS AND IS, for all eternity insatiably calling
out da capo, not only to himself, but to the whole piece and play” (see
Note on Chapter XLII.). But if one ask oneself what the conditions to
such an attitude are, one will realise immediately how utterly different
Nietzsche was from his ideal. The man who insatiably cries da capo to
himself and to the whole of his mise-en-scene, must be in a position to
desire every incident in his life to be repeated, not once, but
again and again eternally. Now, Nietzsche’s life had been too full of
disappointments, illness, unsuccessful struggles, and snubs, to allow of
his thinking of the Eternal Recurrence without loathing--hence probably
the words of the last verse.

In verses 15 and 16, we have Nietzsche declaring himself an evolutionist
in the broadest sense--that is to say, that he believes in the
Development Hypothesis as the description of the process by which
species have originated. Now, to understand his position correctly
we must show his relationship to the two greatest of modern
evolutionists--Darwin and Spencer. As a philosopher, however, Nietzsche
does not stand or fall by his objections to the Darwinian or Spencerian
cosmogony. He never laid claim to a very profound knowledge of biology,
and his criticism is far more valuable as the attitude of a fresh mind
than as that of a specialist towards the question. Moreover, in his
objections many difficulties are raised which are not settled by an
appeal to either of the men above mentioned. We have given Nietzsche’s
definition of life in the Note on Chapter LVI., par. 10. Still, there
remains a hope that Darwin and Nietzsche may some day become reconciled
by a new description of the processes by which varieties occur. The
appearance of varieties among animals and of “sporting plants” in
the vegetable kingdom, is still shrouded in mystery, and the question
whether this is not precisely the ground on which Darwin and Nietzsche
will meet, is an interesting one. The former says in his “Origin of
Species”, concerning the causes of variability: “...there are two
factors, namely, the nature of the organism, and the nature of the
are mine.), for nearly similar variations sometimes arise under, as
far as we can judge, dissimilar conditions; and on the other hand,
dissimilar variations arise under conditions which appear to be
nearly uniform.” Nietzsche, recognising this same truth, would ascribe
practically all the importance to the “highest functionaries in the
organism, in which the life-will appears as an active and formative
principle,” and except in certain cases (where passive organisms alone
are concerned) would not give such a prominent place to the influence
of environment. Adaptation, according to him, is merely a secondary
activity, a mere re-activity, and he is therefore quite opposed to
Spencer’s definition: “Life is the continuous adjustment of internal
relations to external relations.” Again in the motive force behind
animal and plant life, Nietzsche disagrees with Darwin. He
transforms the “Struggle for Existence”--the passive and involuntary
condition--into the “Struggle for Power,” which is active and creative,
and much more in harmony with Darwin’s own view, given above, concerning
the importance of the organism itself. The change is one of such
far-reaching importance that we cannot dispose of it in a breath, as a
mere play upon words. “Much is reckoned higher than life itself by the
living one.” Nietzsche says that to speak of the activity of life as a
“struggle for existence,” is to state the case inadequately. He warns us
not to confound Malthus with nature. There is something more than
this struggle between the organic beings on this earth; want, which is
supposed to bring this struggle about, is not so common as is supposed;
some other force must be operative. The Will to Power is this force,
“the instinct of self-preservation is only one of the indirect and most
frequent results thereof.” A certain lack of acumen in psychological
questions and the condition of affairs in England at the time Darwin
wrote, may both, according to Nietzsche, have induced the renowned
naturalist to describe the forces of nature as he did in his “Origin of

In verses 28, 29, and 30 of the second portion of this discourse we meet
with a doctrine which, at first sight, seems to be merely “le manoir
a l’envers,” indeed one English critic has actually said of Nietzsche,
that “Thus Spake Zarathustra” is no more than a compendium of modern
views and maxims turned upside down. Examining these heterodox
pronouncements a little more closely, however, we may possibly perceive
their truth. Regarding good and evil as purely relative values, it
stands to reason that what may be bad or evil in a given man, relative
to a certain environment, may actually be good if not highly virtuous
in him relative to a certain other environment. If this hypothetical man
represent the ascending line of life--that is to say, if he promise all
that which is highest in a Graeco-Roman sense, then it is likely that
he will be condemned as wicked if introduced into the society of men
representing the opposite and descending line of life.

By depriving a man of his wickedness--more particularly nowadays--
therefore, one may unwittingly be doing violence to the greatest in him.
It may be an outrage against his wholeness, just as the lopping-off of a
leg would be. Fortunately, the natural so-called “wickedness” of higher
men has in a certain measure been able to resist this lopping process
which successive slave-moralities have practised; but signs are not
wanting which show that the noblest wickedness is fast vanishing from
society--the wickedness of courage and determination--and that Nietzsche
had good reasons for crying: “Ah, that (man’s) baddest is so very small!
Ah, that his best is so very small. What is good? To be brave is good!
It is the good war which halloweth every cause!” (see also par. 5,
“Higher Man”).

Chapter LX. The Seven Seals.

This is a final paean which Zarathustra sings to Eternity and the
marriage-ring of rings, the ring of the Eternal Recurrence.



In my opinion this part is Nietzsche’s open avowal that all his
philosophy, together with all his hopes, enthusiastic outbursts,
blasphemies, prolixities, and obscurities, were merely so many gifts
laid at the feet of higher men. He had no desire to save the world. What
he wished to determine was: Who is to be master of the world? This is
a very different thing. He came to save higher men;--to give them that
freedom by which, alone, they can develop and reach their zenith (see
Note on Chapter LIV., end). It has been argued, and with considerable
force, that no such philosophy is required by higher men, that, as a
matter of fact, higher men, by virtue of their constitutions always, do
stand Beyond Good and Evil, and never allow anything to stand in the
way of their complete growth. Nietzsche, however, was evidently not so
confident about this. He would probably have argued that we only see the
successful cases. Being a great man himself, he was well aware of the
dangers threatening greatness in our age. In “Beyond Good and Evil” he
writes: “There are few pains so grievous as to have seen, divined,
or experienced how an exceptional man has missed his way and
deteriorated...” He knew “from his painfullest recollections on what
wretched obstacles promising developments of the highest rank have
hitherto usually gone to pieces, broken down, sunk, and become
contemptible.” Now in Part IV. we shall find that his strongest
temptation to descend to the feeling of “pity” for his contemporaries,
is the “cry for help” which he hears from the lips of the higher men
exposed to the dreadful danger of their modern environment.

Chapter LXI. The Honey Sacrifice.

In the fourteenth verse of this discourse Nietzsche defines the solemn
duty he imposed upon himself: “Become what thou art.” Surely the
criticism which has been directed against this maxim must all fall to
the ground when it is remembered, once and for all, that Nietzsche’s
teaching was never intended to be other than an esoteric one. “I am a
law only for mine own,” he says emphatically, “I am not a law for
all.” It is of the greatest importance to humanity that its highest
individuals should be allowed to attain to their full development; for,
only by means of its heroes can the human race be led forward step by
step to higher and yet higher levels. “Become what thou art” applied
to all, of course, becomes a vicious maxim; it is to be hoped, however,
that we may learn in time that the same action performed by a given
number of men, loses its identity precisely that same number of
times.--“Quod licet Jovi, non licet bovi.”

At the last eight verses many readers may be tempted to laugh. In
England we almost always laugh when a man takes himself seriously at
anything save sport. And there is of course no reason why the reader
should not be hilarious.--A certain greatness is requisite, both in
order to be sublime and to have reverence for the sublime. Nietzsche
earnestly believed that the Zarathustra-kingdom--his dynasty of a
thousand years--would one day come; if he had not believed it so
earnestly, if every artist in fact had not believed so earnestly in
his Hazar, whether of ten, fifteen, a hundred, or a thousand years, we
should have lost all our higher men; they would have become pessimists,
suicides, or merchants. If the minor poet and philosopher has made us
shy of the prophetic seriousness which characterized an Isaiah or a
Jeremiah, it is surely our loss and the minor poet’s gain.

Chapter LXII. The Cry of Distress.

We now meet with Zarathustra in extraordinary circumstances. He is
confronted with Schopenhauer and tempted by the old Soothsayer to commit
the sin of pity. “I have come that I may seduce thee to thy last sin!”
 says the Soothsayer to Zarathustra. It will be remembered that in
Schopenhauer’s ethics, pity is elevated to the highest place among the
virtues, and very consistently too, seeing that the Weltanschauung is
a pessimistic one. Schopenhauer appeals to Nietzsche’s deepest and
strongest sentiment--his sympathy for higher men. “Why dost thou conceal
thyself?” he cries. “It is THE HIGHER MAN that calleth for thee!”
 Zarathustra is almost overcome by the Soothsayer’s pleading, as he
had been once already in the past, but he resists him step by step. At
length he can withstand him no longer, and, on the plea that the higher
man is on his ground and therefore under his protection, Zarathustra
departs in search of him, leaving Schopenhauer--a higher man in
Nietzsche’s opinion--in the cave as a guest.

Chapter LXIII. Talk with the Kings.

On his way Zarathustra meets two more higher men of his time; two
kings cross his path. They are above the average modern type; for their
instincts tell them what real ruling is, and they despise the mockery
which they have been taught to call “Reigning.” “We ARE NOT the first
men,” they say, “and have nevertheless to STAND FOR them: of this
imposture have we at last become weary and disgusted.” It is the kings
who tell Zarathustra: “There is no sorer misfortune in all human destiny
than when the mighty of the earth are not also the first men. There
everything becometh false and distorted and monstrous.” The kings are
also asked by Zarathustra to accept the shelter of his cave, whereupon
he proceeds on his way.

Chapter LXIV. The Leech.

Among the higher men whom Zarathustra wishes to save, is also the
scientific specialist--the man who honestly and scrupulously pursues his
investigations, as Darwin did, in one department of knowledge. “I love
him who liveth in order to know, and seeketh to know in order that the
Superman may hereafter live. Thus seeketh he his own down-going.”
 “The spiritually conscientious one,” he is called in this discourse.
Zarathustra steps on him unawares, and the slave of science, bleeding
from the violence he has done to himself by his self-imposed task,
speaks proudly of his little sphere of knowledge--his little hand’s
breadth of ground on Zarathustra’s territory, philosophy. “Where mine
honesty ceaseth,” says the true scientific specialist, “there am I blind
and want also to be blind. Where I want to know, however, there want
I also to be honest--namely, severe, rigorous, restricted, cruel, and
inexorable.” Zarathustra greatly respecting this man, invites him too to
the cave, and then vanishes in answer to another cry for help.

Chapter LXV. The Magician.

The Magician is of course an artist, and Nietzsche’s intimate knowledge
of perhaps the greatest artist of his age rendered the selection of
Wagner, as the type in this discourse, almost inevitable. Most readers
will be acquainted with the facts relating to Nietzsche’s and Wagner’s
friendship and ultimate separation. As a boy and a youth Nietzsche had
shown such a remarkable gift for music that it had been a question at
one time whether he should not perhaps give up everything else in order
to develop this gift, but he became a scholar notwithstanding, although
he never entirely gave up composing, and playing the piano. While
still in his teens, he became acquainted with Wagner’s music and
grew passionately fond of it. Long before he met Wagner he must have
idealised him in his mind to an extent which only a profoundly artistic
nature could have been capable of. Nietzsche always had high ideals for
humanity. If one were asked whether, throughout his many changes, there
was yet one aim, one direction, and one hope to which he held fast,
one would be forced to reply in the affirmative and declare that aim,
direction, and hope to have been “the elevation of the type man.”
 Now, when Nietzsche met Wagner he was actually casting about for an
incarnation of his dreams for the German people, and we have only to
remember his youth (he was twenty-one when he was introduced to Wagner),
his love of Wagner’s music, and the undoubted power of the great
musician’s personality, in order to realise how very uncritical his
attitude must have been in the first flood of his enthusiasm. Again,
when the friendship ripened, we cannot well imagine Nietzsche, the
younger man, being anything less than intoxicated by his senior’s
attention and love, and we are therefore not surprised to find him
pressing Wagner forward as the great Reformer and Saviour of mankind.
“Wagner in Bayreuth” (English Edition, 1909) gives us the best proof
of Nietzsche’s infatuation, and although signs are not wanting in this
essay which show how clearly and even cruelly he was sub-consciously
“taking stock” of his friend--even then, the work is a record of what
great love and admiration can do in the way of endowing the object
of one’s affection with all the qualities and ideals that a fertile
imagination can conceive.

When the blow came it was therefore all the more severe. Nietzsche
at length realised that the friend of his fancy and the real Richard
Wagner--the composer of Parsifal--were not one; the fact dawned
upon him slowly; disappointment upon disappointment, revelation after
revelation, ultimately brought it home to him, and though his best
instincts were naturally opposed to it at first, the revulsion of
feeling at last became too strong to be ignored, and Nietzsche was
plunged into the blackest despair. Years after his break with Wagner,
he wrote “The Case of Wagner”, and “Nietzsche contra Wagner”, and these
works are with us to prove the sincerity and depth of his views on the
man who was the greatest event of his life.

The poem in this discourse is, of course, reminiscent of Wagner’s own
poetical manner, and it must be remembered that the whole was written
subsequent to Nietzsche’s final break with his friend. The dialogue
between Zarathustra and the Magician reveals pretty fully what it
was that Nietzsche grew to loathe so intensely in Wagner,--viz., his
pronounced histrionic tendencies, his dissembling powers, his inordinate
vanity, his equivocalness, his falseness. “It honoureth thee,” says
Zarathustra, “that thou soughtest for greatness, but it betrayeth thee
also. Thou art not great.” The Magician is nevertheless sent as a guest
to Zarathustra’s cave; for, in his heart, Zarathustra believed until the
end that the Magician was a higher man broken by modern values.

Chapter LXVI. Out of Service.

Zarathustra now meets the last pope, and, in a poetical form, we get
Nietzsche’s description of the course Judaism and Christianity pursued
before they reached their final break-up in Atheism, Agnosticism, and
the like. The God of a strong, warlike race--the God of Israel--is a
jealous, revengeful God. He is a power that can be pictured and endured
only by a hardy and courageous race, a race rich enough to sacrifice and
to lose in sacrifice. The image of this God degenerates with the people
that appropriate it, and gradually He becomes a God of love--“soft and
mellow,” a lower middle-class deity, who is “pitiful.” He can no longer
be a God who requires sacrifice, for we ourselves are no longer rich
enough for that. The tables are therefore turned upon Him; HE must
sacrifice to us. His pity becomes so great that he actually does
sacrifice something to us--His only begotten Son. Such a process
carried to its logical conclusions must ultimately end in His own
destruction, and thus we find the pope declaring that God was one day
suffocated by His all-too-great pity. What follows is clear enough.
Zarathustra recognises another higher man in the ex-pope and sends him
too as a guest to the cave.

Chapter LXVII. The Ugliest Man.

This discourse contains perhaps the boldest of Nietzsche’s suggestions
concerning Atheism, as well as some extremely penetrating remarks upon
the sentiment of pity. Zarathustra comes across the repulsive creature
sitting on the wayside, and what does he do? He manifests the only
correct feelings that can be manifested in the presence of any great
misery--that is to say, shame, reverence, embarrassment. Nietzsche
detested the obtrusive and gushing pity that goes up to misery without
a blush either on its cheek or in its heart--the pity which is only
another form of self-glorification. “Thank God that I am not like
thee!”--only this self-glorifying sentiment can lend a well-constituted
man the impudence to SHOW his pity for the cripple and the
ill-constituted. In the presence of the ugliest man Nietzsche
blushes,--he blushes for his race; his own particular kind of
altruism--the altruism that might have prevented the existence of this
man--strikes him with all its force. He will have the world otherwise.
He will have a world where one need not blush for one’s fellows--hence
his appeal to us to love only our children’s land, the land undiscovered
in the remotest sea.

Zarathustra calls the ugliest man the murderer of God! Certainly, this
is one aspect of a certain kind of Atheism--the Atheism of the man who
reveres beauty to such an extent that his own ugliness, which outrages
him, must be concealed from every eye lest it should not be respected as
Zarathustra respected it. If there be a God, He too must be evaded. His
pity must be foiled. But God is ubiquitous and omniscient. Therefore,
for the really GREAT ugly man, He must not exist. “Their pity IS it from
which I flee away,” he says--that is to say: “It is from their want of
reverence and lack of shame in presence of my great misery!” The ugliest
man despises himself; but Zarathustra said in his Prologue: “I love
the great despisers because they are the great adorers, and arrows of
longing for the other shore.” He therefore honours the ugliest man: sees
height in his self-contempt, and invites him to join the other higher
men in the cave.

Chapter LXVIII. The Voluntary Beggar.

In this discourse, we undoubtedly have the ideal Buddhist, if not
Gautama Buddha himself. Nietzsche had the greatest respect for Buddhism,
and almost wherever he refers to it in his works, it is in terms of
praise. He recognised that though Buddhism is undoubtedly a religion for
decadents, its decadent values emanate from the higher and not, as in
Christianity, from the lower grades of society. In Aphorism 20 of “The
Antichrist”, he compares it exhaustively with Christianity, and
the result of his investigation is very much in favour of the older
religion. Still, he recognised a most decided Buddhistic influence
in Christ’s teaching, and the words in verses 29, 30, and 31 are very
reminiscent of his views in regard to the Christian Savior.

The figure of Christ has been introduced often enough into fiction, and
many scholars have undertaken to write His life according to their own
lights, but few perhaps have ever attempted to present Him to us bereft
of all those characteristics which a lack of the sense of harmony has
attached to His person through the ages in which His doctrines have been
taught. Now Nietzsche disagreed entirely with Renan’s view, that Christ
was “le grand maitre en ironie”; in Aphorism 31 of “The Antichrist”,
he says that he (Nietzsche) always purged his picture of the Humble
Nazarene of all those bitter and spiteful outbursts which, in view of
the struggle the first Christians went through, may very well have been
added to the original character by Apologists and Sectarians who, at
that time, could ill afford to consider nice psychological points,
seeing that what they needed, above all, was a wrangling and abusive
deity. These two conflicting halves in the character of the Christ of
the Gospels, which no sound psychology can ever reconcile, Nietzsche
always kept distinct in his own mind; he could not credit the same man
with sentiments sometimes so noble and at other times so vulgar, and
in presenting us with this new portrait of the Saviour, purged of all
impurities, Nietzsche rendered military honours to a foe, which far
exceed in worth all that His most ardent disciples have ever claimed for
Him. In verse 26 we are vividly reminded of Herbert Spencer’s words “‘Le
mariage de convenance’ is legalised prostitution.”

Chapter LXIX. The Shadow.

Here we have a description of that courageous and wayward spirit that
literally haunts the footsteps of every great thinker and every great
leader; sometimes with the result that it loses all aims, all hopes,
and all trust in a definite goal. It is the case of the bravest and
most broad-minded men of to-day. These literally shadow the most daring
movements in the science and art of their generation; they completely
lose their bearings and actually find themselves, in the end, without a
way, a goal, or a home. “On every surface have I already sat!...I become
thin, I am almost equal to a shadow!” At last, in despair, such men
do indeed cry out: “Nothing is true; all is permitted,” and then they
become mere wreckage. “Too much hath become clear unto me: now nothing
mattereth to me any more. Nothing liveth any longer that I love,--how
should I still love myself! Have I still a goal? Where is MY home?”
 Zarathustra realises the danger threatening such a man. “Thy danger is
not small, thou free spirit and wanderer,” he says. “Thou hast had a bad
day. See that a still worse evening doth not overtake thee!” The danger
Zarathustra refers to is precisely this, that even a prison may seem a
blessing to such a man. At least the bars keep him in a place of rest;
a place of confinement, at its worst, is real. “Beware lest in the end
a narrow faith capture thee,” says Zarathustra, “for now everything that
is narrow and fixed seduceth and tempteth thee.”

Chapter LXX. Noontide.

At the noon of life Nietzsche said he entered the world; with him
man came of age. We are now held responsible for our actions; our old
guardians, the gods and demi-gods of our youth, the superstitions and
fears of our childhood, withdraw; the field lies open before us; we
lived through our morning with but one master--chance--; let us see to
it that we MAKE our afternoon our own (see Note XLIX., Part III.).

Chapter LXXI. The Greeting.

Here I think I may claim that my contention in regard to the purpose and
aim of the whole of Nietzsche’s philosophy (as stated at the beginning
of my Notes on Part IV.) is completely upheld. He fought for “all who
do not want to live, unless they learn again to HOPE--unless THEY learn
(from him) the GREAT hope!” Zarathustra’s address to his guests shows
clearly enough how he wished to help them: “I DO NOT TREAT MY WARRIORS
INDULGENTLY,” he says: “how then could ye be fit for MY warfare?” He
rebukes and spurns them, no word of love comes from his lips. Elsewhere
he says a man should be a hard bed to his friend, thus alone can he be
of use to him. Nietzsche would be a hard bed to higher men. He would
make them harder; for, in order to be a law unto himself, man must
possess the requisite hardness. “I wait for higher ones, stronger ones,
more triumphant ones, merrier ones, for such as are built squarely in
body and soul.” He says in par. 6 of “Higher Man”:--

“Ye higher men, think ye that I am here to put right what ye have put
wrong? Or that I wished henceforth to make snugger couches for you
sufferers? Or show you restless, miswandering, misclimbing ones new and
easier footpaths?”

“Nay! Nay! Three times nay! Always more, always better ones of your type
shall succumb--for ye shall always have it worse and harder.”

Chapter LXXII. The Supper.

In the first seven verses of this discourse, I cannot help seeing
a gentle allusion to Schopenhauer’s habits as a bon-vivant. For a
pessimist, be it remembered, Schopenhauer led quite an extraordinary
life. He ate well, loved well, played the flute well, and I believe he
smoked the best cigars. What follows is clear enough.

Chapter LXXIII. The Higher Man. Par. 1.

Nietzsche admits, here, that at one time he had thought of appealing to
the people, to the crowd in the market-place, but that he had ultimately
to abandon the task. He bids higher men depart from the market-place.

Par. 3.

Here we are told quite plainly what class of men actually owe all their
impulses and desires to the instinct of self-preservation. The struggle
for existence is indeed the only spur in the case of such people.
To them it matters not in what shape or condition man be preserved,
provided only he survive. The transcendental maxim that “Life per se is
precious” is the ruling maxim here.

Par. 4.

In the Note on Chapter LVII. (end) I speak of Nietzsche’s elevation of
the virtue, Courage, to the highest place among the virtues. Here he
tells higher men the class of courage he expects from them.

Pars. 5, 6.

These have already been referred to in the Notes on Chapters LVII. (end)
and LXXI.

Par. 7.

I suggest that the last verse in this paragraph strongly confirms the
view that Nietzsche’s teaching was always meant by him to be esoteric
and for higher man alone.

Par. 9.

In the last verse, here, another shaft of light is thrown upon the
Immaculate Perception or so-called “pure objectivity” of the scientific
mind. “Freedom from fever is still far from being knowledge.” Where a
man’s emotions cease to accompany him in his investigations, he is
not necessarily nearer the truth. Says Spencer, in the Preface to his
Autobiography:--“In the genesis of a system of thought, the emotional
nature is a large factor: perhaps as large a factor as the intellectual
nature” (see pages 134, 141 of Vol. I., “Thoughts out of Season”).

Pars. 10, 11.

When we approach Nietzsche’s philosophy we must be prepared to be
independent thinkers; in fact, the greatest virtue of his works is
perhaps the subtlety with which they impose the obligation upon one
of thinking alone, of scoring off one’s own bat, and of shifting
intellectually for oneself.

Par. 13.

“I am a railing alongside the torrent; whoever is able to grasp me, may
grasp me! Your crutch, however, I am not.” These two paragraphs are an
exhortation to higher men to become independent.

Par. 15.

Here Nietzsche perhaps exaggerates the importance of heredity. As,
however, the question is by no means one on which we are all agreed,
what he says is not without value.

A very important principle in Nietzsche’s philosophy is enunciated in
the first verse of this paragraph. “The higher its type, always the
seldomer doth a thing succeed” (see page 82 of “Beyond Good and Evil”).
Those who, like some political economists, talk in a business-like way
about the terrific waste of human life and energy, deliberately overlook
the fact that the waste most to be deplored usually occurs among
higher individuals. Economy was never precisely one of nature’s leading
principles. All this sentimental wailing over the larger proportion
of failures than successes in human life, does not seem to take into
account the fact that it is the rarest thing on earth for a highly
organised being to attain to the fullest development and activity of all
its functions, simply because it is so highly organised. The blind Will
to Power in nature therefore stands in urgent need of direction by man.

Pars. 16, 17, 18, 19, 20.

These paragraphs deal with Nietzsche’s protest against the democratic
seriousness (Pobelernst) of modern times. “All good things laugh,” he
says, and his final command to the higher men is, “LEARN, I pray you--to
laugh.” All that is GOOD, in Nietzsche’s sense, is cheerful. To be able
to crack a joke about one’s deepest feelings is the greatest test of
their value. The man who does not laugh, like the man who does not make
faces, is already a buffoon at heart.

“What hath hitherto been the greatest sin here on earth? Was it not the
word of him who said: ‘Woe unto them that laugh now!’ Did he himself
find no cause for laughter on the earth? Then he sought badly. A child
even findeth cause for it.”

Chapter LXXIV. The Song of Melancholy.

After his address to the higher men, Zarathustra goes out into the
open to recover himself. Meanwhile the magician (Wagner), seizing the
opportunity in order to draw them all into his net once more, sings the
Song of Melancholy.

Chapter LXXV. Science.

The only one to resist the “melancholy voluptuousness” of his art, is
the spiritually conscientious one--the scientific specialist of whom we
read in the discourse entitled “The Leech”. He takes the harp from the
magician and cries for air, while reproving the musician in the style
of “The Case of Wagner”. When the magician retaliates by saying that the
spiritually conscientious one could have understood little of his song,
the latter replies: “Thou praisest me in that thou separatest me from
thyself.” The speech of the scientific man to his fellow higher men is
well worth studying. By means of it, Nietzsche pays a high tribute to
the honesty of the true specialist, while, in representing him as the
only one who can resist the demoniacal influence of the magician’s
music, he elevates him at a stroke, above all those present. Zarathustra
and the spiritually conscientious one join issue at the end on the
question of the proper place of “fear” in man’s history, and Nietzsche
avails himself of the opportunity in order to restate his views
concerning the relation of courage to humanity. It is precisely because
courage has played the most important part in our development that
he would not see it vanish from among our virtues to-day. “...courage
seemeth to me the entire primitive history of man.”

Chapter LXXVI. Among the Daughters of the Desert.

This tells its own tale.

Chapter LXXVII. The Awakening.

In this discourse, Nietzsche wishes to give his followers a warning.
He thinks he has so far helped them that they have become convalescent,
that new desires are awakened in them and that new hopes are in their
arms and legs. But he mistakes the nature of the change. True, he has
helped them, he has given them back what they most need, i.e., belief in
believing--the confidence in having confidence in something, but how
do they use it? This belief in faith, if one can so express it without
seeming tautological, has certainly been restored to them, and in
the first flood of their enthusiasm they use it by bowing down and
worshipping an ass! When writing this passage, Nietzsche was obviously
thinking of the accusations which were levelled at the early Christians
by their pagan contemporaries. It is well known that they were supposed
not only to be eaters of human flesh but also ass-worshippers, and among
the Roman graffiti, the most famous is the one found on the Palatino,
showing a man worshipping a cross on which is suspended a figure
with the head of an ass (see Minucius Felix, “Octavius” IX.; Tacitus,
“Historiae” v. 3; Tertullian, “Apologia”, etc.). Nietzsche’s obvious
moral, however, is that great scientists and thinkers, once they have
reached the wall encircling scepticism and have thereby learned to
recover their confidence in the act of believing, as such, usually
manifest the change in their outlook by falling victims to the narrowest
and most superstitious of creeds. So much for the introduction of the
ass as an object of worship.

Now, with regard to the actual service and Ass-Festival, no reader who
happens to be acquainted with the religious history of the Middle Ages
will fail to see the allusion here to the asinaria festa which were by
no means uncommon in France, Germany, and elsewhere in Europe during the
thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries.

Chapter LXXVIII. The Ass-Festival.

At length, in the middle of their feast, Zarathustra bursts in upon
them and rebukes them soundly. But he does not do so long; in the
Ass-Festival, it suddenly occurs to him, that he is concerned with a
ceremony that may not be without its purpose, as something foolish but
necessary--a recreation for wise men. He is therefore highly pleased
that the higher men have all blossomed forth; they therefore require
new festivals,--“A little valiant nonsense, some divine service and
ass-festival, some old joyful Zarathustra fool, some blusterer to blow
their souls bright.”

He tells them not to forget that night and the ass-festival, for “such
things only the convalescent devise! And should ye celebrate it again,”
 he concludes, “do it from love to yourselves, do it also from love to
me! And in remembrance of ME!”

Chapter LXXIX. The Drunken Song.

It were the height of presumption to attempt to fix any particular
interpretation of my own to the words of this song. With what has gone
before, the reader, while reading it as poetry, should be able to seek
and find his own meaning in it. The doctrine of the Eternal Recurrence
appears for the last time here, in an art-form. Nietzsche lays stress
upon the fact that all happiness, all delight, longs for repetitions,
and just as a child cries “Again! Again!” to the adult who happens to
be amusing him; so the man who sees a meaning, and a joyful meaning, in
existence must also cry “Again!” and yet “Again!” to all his life.

Chapter LXXX. The Sign.

In this discourse, Nietzsche disassociates himself finally from the
higher men, and by the symbol of the lion, wishes to convey to us that
he has won over and mastered the best and the most terrible in nature.
That great power and tenderness are kin, was already his belief in
1875--eight years before he wrote this speech, and when the birds and
the lion come to him, it is because he is the embodiment of the two
qualities. All that is terrible and great in nature, the higher men are
not yet prepared for; for they retreat horror-stricken into the cave
when the lion springs at them; but Zarathustra makes not a move towards
them. He was tempted to them on the previous day, he says, but “That
hath had its time! My suffering and my fellow suffering,--what matter
about them! Do I then strive after HAPPINESS? I strive after my work!
Well! the lion hath come, my children are nigh. Zarathustra hath grown
ripe. MY day beginneth: ARISE NOW, ARISE, THOU GREAT NOONDAY!”


The above I know to be open to much criticism. I shall be grateful to
all those who will be kind enough to show me where and how I have gone
wrong; but I should like to point out that, as they stand, I have not
given to these Notes by any means their final form.


London, February 1909.

End of Project Gutenberg’s Thus Spake Zarathustra, by Friedrich Nietzsche


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