Read Thus Spoke Zarathustra Online

Authors: Friedrich Nietzsche,R. J. Hollingdale

Thus Spoke Zarathustra (25 page)

BOOK: Thus Spoke Zarathustra
10.97Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

For they are modest even in virtue – for they want ease. But only a modest virtue is compatible with ease.

To be sure, even they learn in their own way how to stride and to stride forward: that is what I call their
. Therewith they become a hindrance to anyone who is in a hurry.

And some of them go forward and at the same time look backward with a stiff neck: I like to run up against them.

Foot and eye should not lie, nor give one another the lie. But there is much lying among the small people.

Some of them
, but most of them are only
. Some of them are genuine, but most of them are bad actors.

There are unconscious actors among them and involuntary actors – the genuine are always rare, especially genuine actors.

There is little manliness here: therefore their women make themselves manly. For only he who is sufficiently a man will –
redeem the woman
in woman.

And I have found this hypocrisy the worst among them: that even those who command affect the virtues of those who obey.

‘I serve, you serve, we serve’ – so here even the hypocrisy of the rulers intones – and alas, if the first ruler is
the first servant!

Ah, my eyes’ curiosity has strayed even into their hypocrisies; and I have divined well all their fly-happiness and their humming around sunny window-panes.

I see as much weakness as goodness. As much weakness as justice and pity.

They are frank, honest, and kind to one another, as grains of sand are frank, honest, and kind to grains of sand.

To embrace modestly a little happiness – that they call
‘submission’! And at the same time they are looking out for a new little happiness.

Fundamentally they want one thing most of all: that nobody shall do them harm. So they steal a march on everyone and do good to everyone.

This, however, is
: although it be called ‘virtue’.

And when they speak harshly, these little people, I hear in it only their hoarseness – every draught, in fact, makes them hoarse.

They are clever, their virtues have clever fingers. But they lack fists, their fingers do not know how to fold into fists.

To them, virtue is what makes modest and tame: with it they make the wolf into a dog and man himself into man’s best domestic animal.

‘We have set our chairs down in the
’ – that is what their smirking tells me – ‘and as far away from dying warriors as from contented swine.’

This, however, is –
: although it be called moderation.


I go among this people and let fall many a word; but they know neither how to take nor to keep.

They are surprised that I have not come to rail at their lusts and vices; and truly, I have not come to warn against pickpockets, either!

They are surprised that I am not prepared to improve and sharpen their cleverness: as if they had not already sufficient wiseacres, whose voices grate on me like slate-pencils!

And when I cry: ‘Curse all the cowardly devils within you who would like to whimper and clasp their hands and worship,’ then they cry: ‘Zarathustra is godless.’

And this is especially the cry of their teachers of submission; but it is into precisely their ears that I love to shout: Yes! I
Zarathustra the Godless!

These teachers of submission! Wherever there is anything small and sick and scabby, there they crawl like lice; and only my disgust stops me from cracking them.

Well then! This is my sermon for
ears: I am Zarathustra the Godless, who says ‘Who is more godless than I, that I may rejoice in his teaching?’

I am Zarathustra the Godless: where shall I find my equal? All those who give themselves their own will and renounce all submission, they are my equals.

I am Zarathustra the Godless: I cook every chance in
pot. And only when it is quite cooked do I welcome it as

And truly, many a chance came imperiously to me: but my
spoke to it even more imperiously, then it went down imploringly on its knees –

imploring shelter and love with me, and urging in wheedling tones: ‘Just see, O Zarathustra, how a friend comes to a friend!’

But why do I speak where no one has
kind of ears? And so I will shout it out to all the winds:

You will become smaller and smaller, you small people! You will crumble away, you comfortable people! You will yet perish –

through your many small virtues, through your many small omissions, through your many small submissions!

Too indulgent, too yielding: that is the state of your soil! But in order to grow
, a tree wants to strike hard roots into hard rocks!

Even what you omit weaves at the web of mankind’s future; even your nothing is a spider’s web and a spider that lives on the future’s blood.

And when you take, it is like stealing, you small virtuous people; but even among rogues,
says: ‘One should steal only where one cannot plunder.’

‘It is given’ – that is also a doctrine of submission. But I tell you, you comfortable people:
it is taken
, and will be taken more and more from you!

Oh, that you would put from you all
willing, and decide upon lethargy as you do upon action!

Oh, that you understood my saying: ‘Always do what you will –
but first be such as can will!

‘Always love your neighbour as yourselves – but first be such as
love themselves

‘such as love with a great love, such as love with a great contempt!’ Thus speaks Zarathustra the Godless.

But why do I speak where no one has
kind of ears? Here it is yet an hour too early for me.

Among this people I am my own forerunner, my own cock-crow through dark lanes.

hour is coming! And mine too is coming! Hourly will they become smaller, poorer, more barren – poor weeds! poor soil!

they shall stand before me like arid grass and steppe, and truly! weary of themselves – and longing for
rather than for water!

O blessed hour of the lightning! O mystery before noontide! One day I shall turn them into running fire and heralds with tongues of flame –

one day they shall proclaim with tongues of flame: It is coming, it is near,
the great noontide

Thus spoke Zarathustra.

On the Mount of Olives

, an ill guest, sits in my house; my hands are blue from his friendly handshake.

I honour him, this ill guest, but I am glad to let him sit alone. I gladly run away from him; and if you run
you can escape him!

With warm feet and warm thoughts do I run yonder where the wind is still, to the sunny corner of my mount of olives.

There I laugh at my stern guest and am still fond of him, for he drives the flies away and silences many little noises for me at home.

For he will not permit even a gnat to buzz about, far less two gnats; and he makes the streets lonely, so that the moonlight is afraid there at night.

He is a hard guest, but I honour him, and do not pray to a fat-bellied fire-idol, as the weaklings do.

Rather a little chattering of teeth than idol-worship! – so my nature will have it. And I especially detest all lustful, steaming, musty fire-idols.

Whom I love I love better in winter than in summer; I now mock my enemies better and more heartily, since winter sits in my home.

Heartily, in truth, even when I
into bed – even there my hidden happiness laughs and grows wanton; even my deceptive dream laughs.

I, a – crawler? Never in my life have I crawled before the powerful; and if I ever lied, I lied from love. For that reason I am joyful even in my winter bed.

A meagre bed warms me more than an opulent one, for I am jealous of my poverty. And it is most faithful to me in the winter.

I start each day with a wickedness, I mock winter with a cold bath: my stern house-companion grumbles at that.

I also like to tickle him with a wax candle: so that he may finally let the sky emerge from an ash-grey dawn.

For I am especially wicked in the morning: at the early hour when the bucket clatters at the well and horses neigh warmly in grey streets.

Then I wait impatiently, until the luminous sky at last dawns for me, the snowy-bearded winter sky, the white-haired, ancient sky –

the silent, whiter sky, that often conceals even its sun!

Did I learn long, luminous silence from it? Or did it learn it from me? Or did each of us devise it himself?

The origin of all good things is thousand fold – all good, wanton things spring for joy into existence: how should they do that – once only?

Long silence is also a good, wanton thing, and to gaze like the winter sky from a luminous, round-eyed countenance –

like it, to conceal one’s sun and one’s inflexible sun-will: truly, I have learned
this art and this winter wantonness!

It is my favourite wickedness and art, that my silence has learned not to betray itself by silence.

Rattling words and dice have I outwitted the solemn attendants: my will and purpose shall elude all the stern watchers.

So that no one might see down into my profundity and ultimate will – that is why I devised my long, luminous silence.

I have found so many shrewd men who veiled their faces and troubled their waters, so that no one might see through them and under them.

But the shrewder distrusters and nut-crackers came straight to them: straightway they fished out their best-hidden fish!

But the clear, the honest, the transparent – they seem to me the shrewdest silent men: those whose
is so deep that even the clearest water does not – betray it.

You snowy-bearded winter sky, you round-eyed, white-haired sky above me! O you heavenly image of my soul and its wantonness!

And do I not
to hide myself, like one who has swallowed gold, so that my soul shall not be slit open?

Do I not
to wear stilts, so that they may
not notice
my long legs – all these envious and injurious people around me?

These reeky, cosy, worn-out, mouldy, woebegone souls – how
their envy endure my happiness?

So I show them only ice and winter on my peaks – and not that my mountain also winds all the girdles of sunlight around it!

They hear only the whistling of my winter storms: and
that I also fare over warm seas, like passionate, heavy, hot south winds.

They even pity my accidents and chances: but
doctrine is: ‘Let chance come to me: it is as innocent as a little child!’

they endure my happiness, if I did not put accidents and the miseries of winter and fur-hats and coverings of snow-clouds around my happiness!

– if I did not myself pity their
, the pity of these envious and injurious people!

– if I myself did not sigh and let my teeth chatter in their presence, and patiently
myself be wrapped up in their pity!

This is the wise wantonness and benevolence of my soul: it
does not bide
its winter and frosty storms; neither does it hide its chilblains.

For one person, solitude is the escape of an invalid; for another, solitude is escape
the invalids.

Let them
me chattering and sighing with winter cold, all these poor, squint-eyed knaves around me! With such sighing and chattering have I escaped their heated rooms.

Let them pity me and sigh with me over my chilblains: ‘He will
yet freeze to death
on the ice of knowledge!’ – so they wail.

In the meanwhile, I run with warm feet hither and thither upon my mount of olives: in the sunny corner of my mount of olives do I sing and mock all pity.

Thus sang Zarathustra.

Of Passing By

, slowly making his way among many people and through divers towns, did Zarathustra return indirectly to his mountain and his cave. And behold, on his way he came unawares to the gate of the
great city;
here, however, a frothing fool with hands outstretched sprang at him and blocked his path. But this was the fool the people called ‘Zarathustra’s ape’: for he had learned from him something of the composition and syntax of language and perhaps also liked to borrow from his store of wisdom. The fool, however, spoke thus to Zarathustra:

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

Why do you want to wade through this mud? Take pity on your feet! Rather spit upon the gate and – turn back!

Here is the Hell for hermits’ thoughts: here great thoughts are boiled alive and cooked small.

Here all great emotions decay: here only little, dry emotions may rattle!

Do you not smell already the slaughter-houses and cook-shops of the spirit? Does this city not reek of the fumes of slaughtered spirit?

Do you not see the souls hanging like dirty, limp rags? – And they also make newspapers from these rags!

Have you not heard how the spirit has here become a play with words? It vomits out repulsive verbal swill! – And they also make newspapers from this verbal swill.

They pursue one another and do not know where. They inflame one another, and do not know why. They rattle their tins, they jingle their gold.

They are cold and seek warmth in distilled waters; they are inflamed and seek coolness in frozen spirits; they are all ill and diseased with public opinion.

BOOK: Thus Spoke Zarathustra
10.97Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Other books

Southern Seduction by Brenda Jernigan
Fima by Amos Oz
Twice Loved (copy2) by LaVyrle Spencer
The Choir Director by Carl Weber
Born in Shame by Nora Roberts
Live a Little by Green, Kim
Infidelity by Hugh Mackay
Sword Song by Bernard Cornwell
Around the Bend by Shirley Jump