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Authors: Friedrich Nietzsche,R. J. Hollingdale

Thus Spoke Zarathustra (39 page)

BOOK: Thus Spoke Zarathustra
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Neither are you handsome enough nor sufficiently wellborn for me. I need pure, smooth mirrors for my teaching; upon your surface even my own reflection is distorted.

Many a burden, many a memory weighs down your shoulders; many an evil dwarf crouches in your corners. And there is hidden mob in you, too.

And although you are high and of a higher type, much in you is crooked and malformed. There is no smith in the world who could hammer you straight and into shape for me.

You are only bridges: may higher men than you step across upon you! You are steps: so do not be angry with him who climbs over you into

From your seed there may one day grow for me a genuine son and perfect heir: but that is far ahead. You yourselves are not those to whom my heritage and name belong.

It is not for you that I wait here in these mountains, it is not with you that I may go down for the last time. You have
come to me only as omens that higher men are already on their way to me,

men possessed of great longing, great disgust, great satiety, and that which you called the remnant of God,

No! No! Thrice No! It is for
that I wait here in these mountains and I will not lift my foot from here without them,

for higher, stronger, more victorious, more joyful men, such as are square-built in body and soul:
laughing lions
must come!

O my guests, you strange men, have you yet heard nothing of my children? And that they are on their way to me?

Speak to me of my gardens, of my Blissful Islands, of my beautiful new race, why do you not speak of them?

This guest-gift do I beg of your love, that you speak to me of my children. In them I am rich, for them I became poor: what have I not given,

what would I not give, to possess one thing:
living garden,
trees of life of my will and of my highest hope!

Thus spoke Zarathustra and suddenly halted in his discourse: for his longing overcame him and he closed his eyes and mouth because his heart was so moved. And all his guests, too, remained silent and stood still and dismayed: except that the old prophet started to make signs with his hands and his features.

The Last Supper

at this point the prophet interrupted the greeting of Zarathustra and his guests: he thrust himself forward like one with no time to lose, grasped Zarathustra’s hand and cried: ‘But Zarathustra!

‘One thing is more necessary than another, so you say yourself: very well, one thing is now more necessary to
than all others.

‘A word in season: did you not invite me to a
here are many who have travelled far. You don’t intend to fob us off with speeches, do you?

‘Besides, you have all been thinking too much about freezing, drowning, choking, and other physical dangers: no one, however, has thought about
danger, that is, starving – ’

(Thus spoke the prophet; but when Zarathustra’s animals heard his words they ran off in terror. For they saw that all they had brought home during the day would not suffice to cram this one philosopher.)

‘And dying of thirst,’ the prophet went on. ‘And although I have heard water splashing here like speeches of wisdom, plenteous and unceasing: I – want

‘Not everyone is a born water-drinker, like Zarathustra. Neither is water of any use to weary and drooping men:
ought to have wine –
alone brings sudden recovery and unpremeditated health!’

On this occasion, when the prophet desired wine, it happened that the king on the left, the silent one, also found speech for once. ‘We have provided for wine,’ he said, ‘I and my brother, the king on the right: we have wine enough – a whole ass’s load of it. So nothing is lacking but bread.’

‘Bread?’ replied Zarathustra laughing. ‘It is precisely bread that hermits do not have. But man does not live by bread alone, but also by the flesh of good lambs, of which I have two.

‘Let us quickly slaughter
and prepare them spicily with sage: that is how I like it. And neither is there any lack of roots and fruits, fine enough even for gourmets and epicures; nor of nuts and other riddles that need cracking.

‘Thus we shall very shortly partake of an excellent meal. But whoever wants to eat with us must also lend a hand, even the kings. For with Zarathustra even a king may be a cook.’

Everyone heartily agreed with this suggestion: except that the voluntary beggar exclaimed against flesh and wine and spices.

‘Just listen to this glutton Zarathustra!’ he said jokingly: ‘does one take to caves and high mountains in order to partake of such meals?

‘To be sure, I now understand what he once taught us:

“Praised be a moderate poverty!” and why he wants to abolish beggars.’

‘Be of good cheer,’ Zarathustra replied to him, ‘as I am. Stick to your usual custom, admirable man: grind your corn, drink your water, praise your own cooking: if only it makes you happy!

‘I am a law only for my own, I am not a law for all. But he who belongs to me must be strong-limbed and nimble-footed,

‘merry in war and feasting, no mournful man, no dreamy fellow, ready for what is hardest as for a feast, healthy and whole.

‘The best belongs to me and mine; and if we are not given it, we take it: the best food, the purest sky, the most robust thoughts, the fairest women!’

Thus spoke Zarathustra; the king on the right, however, replied: ‘Strange! Did one ever hear such clever things from the mouth of a philosopher?

‘And truly, it is the rarest thing to find a philosopher clever as well as wise, and not an ass.’

Thus spoke the king on the right and wondered; the ass, however, maliciously replied to his speech with ‘Ye-a.’ This, however, was the beginning of that long meal which is called ‘The Last Supper’
in the history books. And during that meal nothing was spoken of but the
Higher Man

Of the Higher Man


I went to men for the first time, I committed the folly of hermits, the great folly: I set myself in the market-place.

And when I spoke to everyone, I spoke to no one. In the evening, however, tight-rope walkers and corpses were my companions; and I myself was almost a corpse.

With the new morning, however, came to me a new truth: then I learned to say: ‘What are the market-place and the mob and the mob’s confusion and the mob’s long ears to me!’

You Higher Men, learn this from me: In the market-place no one believes in Higher Men. And if you want to speak there, very well, do so! But the mob blink and say: ‘We are all equal.’

‘You Higher Men’ – thus the mob blink – ‘there are no Higher Men, we are all equal, man is but man, before God – we are all equal!’

Before God! But now this God has died. And let us not be equal before the mob. You Higher Men, depart from the market-place!


Before God! But now this God has died! You Higher Men, this God was your greatest danger.

Only since he has lain in the grave have you again been resurrected. Only now does the great noontide come, only now does the Higher Man become – lord and master!

Have you understood this saying, O my brothers? Are you terrified: do your hearts fail? Does the abyss here yawn for you? Does the hound of Hell here yelp at you?

Very well! Come on, you Higher Men! Only now does the mountain of mankind’s future labour. God has died: now
desire – that the Superman shall live.


The most cautious people ask today: ‘How may man still be preserved?’ Zarathustra, however, asks as the sole and first one to do so: ‘How shall man be

The Superman lies close to my heart,
is my paramount and sole concern – and
man: not the nearest, not the poorest, not the most suffering, not the best.

O my brothers, what I can love in man is that he is a going-across and a going-down. And in you, too, there is much that makes me love and hope.

That you have despised, you Higher Men, that makes me hope. For the great despisers are the great reverers.

That you have despaired, there is much to honour in that.

For you have not learned how to submit, you have not learned petty prudence.

For today the petty people have become lord and master: they all preach submission and acquiescence and prudence and diligence and consideration and the long
et cetera
of petty virtues.

What is womanish, what stems from slavishness and especially from the mob hotchpotch:
now wants to become master of mankind’s entire destiny – oh disgust! disgust! disgust!

questions and questions and never tires: ‘How may man preserve himself best, longest, most agreeably?’ With that – they are the masters of the present.

Overcome for me these masters of the present, O my brothers – these petty people:
are the Superman’s greatest danger!

Overcome, you Higher Men, the petty virtues, the petty prudences, the sand-grain discretion, the ant-swarm inanity, miserable ease, the ‘happiness of the greatest number’!

And rather despair than submit. And truly, I love you because you do not know how to live today, you Higher Men! For thus do
– live best!


Do you possess courage, O my brothers? Are you stouthearted?
courage in the presence of witnesses, but hermits’ and eagles’ courage, which not even a god observes any more?

I do not call cold-spirited, mulish, blind, or intoxicated men stout-hearted. He possesses heart who knows fear but
fear; who sees the abyss, but sees it with

He who sees the abyss, but with an eagle’s eyes – he who
the abyss with an eagle’s claws:
possesses courage.


‘Man is evil’ – all the wisest men have told me that to comfort me. Ah, if only it be true today! For evil is man’s best strength.

‘Man must grow better and more evil’ – thus do
teach. The most evil is necessary for the Superman’s best.

It may have been good for that preacher of the petty people to bear and suffer the sin of man. I, however, rejoice in great sin as my great

But these things are not said for long ears. Neither does every word belong in every mouth. They are subtle, remote things: sheep’s hooves ought not to grasp for them!


You Higher Men, do you think I am here to put right what you have done badly?

Or that I mean henceforth to make more comfortable beds for you sufferers? Or show you restless, erring, straying men new, easier footpaths?

No! No! Thrice No! More and more, better and better men of your kind must perish – for life must be harder and harder for you. Only thus,

only thus does man grow to the height where the lightning can strike and shatter him: high enough for the lightning!

My mind and longing go out to the few, the protracted, the remote things: what are your many, little, brief miseries to me!

You have not yet suffered enough! For you suffer from yourselves, you have not yet suffered
from man
. You would lie if you said otherwise! None of you suffer from what
have suffered.


It does not suffice me that the lightning no longer does harm. I do not want to conduct it away: it shall learn – to work for

My wisdom has long collected itself like a cloud, it is growing stiller and darker. Thus does every wisdom that shall one day give birth to lightnings.

I do not want to be
for these men of the present, or be called light by them.
These men
– I want to blind: lightning of my wisdom! put out their eyes!


Do not will beyond your powers: there is an evil falsity about those who will beyond their powers.

Especially when they will great things! For they awaken mistrust of great things, these subtle fabricators and actors:

until at last they are false to themselves, squint-eyed, whitewashed rottenness, cloaked with clever words, with pretended virtues, with glittering, false deeds.

Guard yourselves well against that, you Higher Men! For I count nothing more valuable and rare today than honesty.

Does this present not belong to the mob? The mob, however, does not know what is great or small, what is straight and honest: it is innocently crooked, it always lies.


Have a healthy mistrust today, you Higher Men, you stouthearted, open-hearted men! And keep your reasons secret! For this present belongs to the mob.

Who could overturn with reasons what the mob has once learned to believe without reasons?

And in the market-place one convinces with gestures. But reasons make the mob mistrustful.

And when truth has triumphed for once, then you have asked with healthy mistrust: ‘What mighty error has fought fork?’

Be on your guard, too, against the learned! They hate you: for they are unfruitful! They have cold, dried-up eyes, before which all birds lie stripped of their feathers.

They boast that they do not tell lies: but inability to lie is far from being love of truth. Be on your guard I

Freedom from fever is far from being knowledge! I do not believe frozen spirits. He who cannot lie does not know what truth is.


If you want to rise high, use your own legs! Do not let yourselves be carried up, do not sit on the backs and heads of strangers!

BOOK: Thus Spoke Zarathustra
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