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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 Zara-
thustra; 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.



2j6 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA

64. The Leech

AND Zarathustra went thoughtfully on, further and lower
down, through forests and past moory bottoms; as it hap-
peneth, 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 lone-
some 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 indis-
cernible, like those who lie in wait for swamp-game.



THE LEECH 277

"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 Zarathustra.

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!"



278 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA

Thus spake the trodden one, and Zarathustra rejoiced at his
words and their refined reverential style. "Who art thou?"
asked he, and gave him his hand, "there is much to clear up
and elucidate between us, but already methinketh pure clear
day is dawning."

"I am the spiritually conscientious one," answered he who
was asked, "and in matters of the spirit it is difficult for any one
to take it more rigorously, more restrictedly, and more severely
than I, except him from whom I learnt it, Zarathustra himself.

Better know nothing than half -know many things! Better
be a fool on one's own account, than a sage on other people's
approbation! I go to the basis:

What matter if it be great or small? If it be called swamp
or sky? A handbreadth of basis is enough for me, if it be
actually basis and 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 one?"

"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. There-
fore 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 domain!

For the sake of this did I cast everything else aside, for



THE LEECH 279

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 in-
creased 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.



280 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA



65. The Magician



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 for-
saken 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!



THE MAGICIAN 28l

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?

Speak!

Thou crowdst me, pressest

Ha! now far too closely!

Thou hearst me breathing,

Thou o'erhearst my heart,

Thou ever jealous one!



282 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA

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!

Thou hangman-God !

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?

What?

Ransom-gold?

How much of ransom-gold?



THE MAGICIAN 283

Solicit much that bid'th my pride!

And be concise that bid'th mine other pride!

Ha! Ha!

Me wantst thou? me?
Entire? . . .

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 ringers
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,
Thyself!

Away!

There fled he surely,
My final, only comrade,
My greatest foe,
Mine unfamiliar
My hangman-God! . . .

Nay!

Come thou back!

With all of thy great tortures!



284 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA

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!



2



Here, however, Zarathustra could no longer restrain him-
self; 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!



THE MAGICIAN 285

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, be-
fore 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 Zara-
thustra 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 quinqui-
vocal! 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 serious-
ness 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 thyself!

Thou hast reaped disgust as thy one truth. No word in thee



286 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA

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 greatness!

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 thy-
self, 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 only.

O Zarathustra, I seek a genuine one, a right one, a simple



THE MAGICIAN 287

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? / seek Zarathustra."

And here there arose a long silence between them : Zara-
thustra, however, became profoundly absorbed in thought, so
that he shut his eyes. But afterwards coming back to the situa-
tion, 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 ser-
pent: 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 him-
self, 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 today is of the popular: 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 today the time for it? Oh, thou bad seeker, why
dost thou tempt me?"

Thus spake Zarathustra, comforted in his heart, and went
laughing on his way.



288 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA

66. Out of Service

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; me-
thinketh 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 con-
sidered 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 pro-
tection he is himself no more.

I was seeking the last pious man, a saint and an anchorite,



OUT OF SERVICE 289

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 Zara-
thustra. "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 recollections.

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.



290 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA

It is I, the ungodly Zarathustra, who saith: 'Who is un-
godlier 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 en-
lightened 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



OUT OF SERVICE 291

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 equivo-
cal.

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



292 THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA

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 be-
lieve 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 bless-
ing from eternity. One doth not bless with the hand alone.

Nigh unto thee, though thou professest to be the ungod-
liest 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 aston-
ishment; "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 dis-


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