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Thus Spake Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche

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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

"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 manners."

"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 society'?

Better, verily, to live among anchorites and goat-herds, than with our
gilded, false, over-rouged populace--though it call itself 'good society.'

--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, hodgepodge.

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

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 thereon:--

--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

(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

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 swamp-

"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 answer."

"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

--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 ground!

--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 by 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 truth!

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 conscience.

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 take!

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 Zarathustra.

"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 more.

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 Zarathustra!"

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 adultery.

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 grandmother.

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 thereby.

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

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 soul!"--

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

"Zarathustra! Zarathustra! Read my riddle! Say, say! WHAT IS THE

I entice thee back; here is smooth ice! See to it, see to it, that thy
pride do 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 _I_!"

--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 stern.

"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 witness!"

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

--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

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 souls.

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

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

"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 surpassed."--


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 again.

"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 speaker.

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 not."

"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 heaven,

--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 cow!"

"Away, away with thee! thou evil flatterer!" cried Zarathustra
mischievously, "why dost thou spoil me with such praise and flattery-honey?

"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 thin 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

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 eternal--in-

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,

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, failing 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

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, stately,--

--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

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 corpse.

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 market-place!


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

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 to-day.

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 live--best!


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 wrong?

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 only--

--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

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

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 is.


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

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 folly!

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.

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