Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche.

Thus spake Zarathustra online

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straight and what is honest: it is innocently crooked, it ever


Have a good distrust today, ye higher men, ye enheartened
ones! Ye open-hearted ones! And keep your reasons secret! For
this today 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 your-


selves with good distrust: "What strong error hath fought
for it?"

Be on your guard also against the learned! They hate you,
because they are unproductive! They have cold, withered eyes
before which every bird is unplumed.

Such persons vaunt about not lying: but inability to lie is
still far from being love to truth. Be on your guard!

Freedom from fever is still far from being knowledge!
Refrigerated spirits I do not believe in. He who cannot lie,
doth not know what truth is.


If ye would go up high, then use your own legs! Do not get
yourselves carried aloft; do not seat yourselves on other peo-
ple'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 horseback!

When thou readiest 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 child.

Do not let yourselves be imposed upon or put upon! Who
then is your neighbour? Even if ye act "for your neighbour"
ye still do not create for him!


Unlearn, I pray you, this "for," ye creating ones: your very
virtue wisheth you to have naught to do with "for" and "on
account of" and "because." Against these false little words
shall ye stop your ears.

"For one's neighbour," is the virtue only of the petty people:
there it is said "like and like," and "hand washeth hand":
they have neither the right nor the power for your self-seeking!

In your self-seeking, ye creating ones, there is the foresight
and foreseeing of the pregnant! What no one's eye hath yet
seen, namely, the fruit this, sheltereth and saveth and nour-
isheth your entire love.

Where your entire love is, namely, with your child, there is
also your entire virtue! Your work, your will is your "neigh-
bour": 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 pleas-
ure. The pain maketh hens and poets cackle.

Ye creating ones, in you there is much uncleanness. 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


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

Hath there ever been anything filthier on earth than the
saints of the wilderness? Around them was not only the devil
loose but also the swine.


Shy, ashamed, awkward, like the tiger whose spring hath
failed thus, ye higher men, have I often seen you slink aside.
A cast which ye made had failed.

But what doth it matter, ye dice-players! Ye had not learned


to play and mock, as one must play and mock! Do we not ever
sit at a great table of mocking and playing?

And if great things have been a failure with you, have ye
yourselves therefore been a failure? And if ye yourselves
have been a failure, hath man therefore been a failure?
If man, however, hath been a failure: well then! never


The higher its type, always the seldomer doth a thing suc-
ceed. Ye higher men here, have ye not all been failures?

Be of good cheer; what doth it matter? How much is still
possible! Learn to laugh at yourselves, as ye ought to

What wonder even that ye have failed and only half-suc-
ceeded, ye half -shattered ones! Doth not man's future strive
and struggle in you?

Man's furthest, profoundest, star-highest issues, his prodi-
gious powers do not all these foam through one another in
your vessel?

What wonder that many a vessel shattereth! Learn to laugh
at yourselves, as ye ought to laugh! Ye higher men, Oh, how
much is still possible!

And verily, how much hath already succeeded! How rich is
this earth in small, good, perfect things, in well -constituted

Set around you small, good, perfect things, ye higher men.
Their golden maturity healeth the heart. The perfect teacheth
one to hope.



What hath hitherto been the greatest sin here on earth? Was
it not the word of him who said: "Woe unto them that laugh

Did he himself find no cause for laughter on the earth?
Then he sought badly. A child even findeth cause for it.

He did not love sufficiently: otherwise would he also have
loved us, the laughing ones! But he hated and hooted us; wail-
ing and teeth-gnashing did he promise us.

Must one then curse immediately, when one doth not love?
That seemeth to me bad taste. Thus did he, however, this
absolute one. He sprang from the populace.

And he himself just did not love sufficiently; otherwise
would he have raged less because people did not love him. All
great love doth not seek love: it seeketh more.

Go out of the way of all such absolute ones! They are a poor
sickly type, a populace-type: they look at this life with ill-will,
they have an evil eye for this earth.

Go out of the way of all such absolute ones! They have heavy
feet and sultry hearts: they do not know how to dance. How
could the earth be light to such ones!

Tortuously do all good things come nigh to their goal. Like
cats they curve their backs, they purr inwardly with their ap-
proaching happiness, all good things laugh.

His step betrayeth whether a person already walketh on his


own path: just see me walk! He, however, who cometh nigh to
his goal, danceth.

And verily, a statue have I not become, not yet do I stand
there stiff, stupid and stony, like a pillar; I love fast racing.

And though there be on earth fens and dense afflictions, he
who hath light feet runneth even across the mud, and danceth,
as upon well-swept ice.

Lift up your hearts, my brethren, high, higher! And do not
forget your legs! Lift up also your legs, ye good dancers, and
better still, if ye stand upon your heads!


This crown of the laughter, this rose-garland crown : I my-
self have put on this crown, I myself have consecrated my
laughter. No one else have I found to-day potent enough for

Zarathustra the dancer, Zarathustra the light one, who beck-
oneth with his pinions, one ready for flight, beckoning unto
all birds, ready and prepared, a blissfully light-spirited one:

Zarathustra the soothsayer, Zarathustra the sooth-laugher,
no impatient one, no absolute one, one who loveth leaps and
side-leaps; I myself have put on this crown!


Lift up your hearts, my brethren, high, higher! And do not
forget your legs! Lift up also your legs, ye good dancers, and
better still if ye stand upon your heads!


There are also heavy animals in a state of happiness, there
are club-footed ones from the beginning. Curiously do they
exert themselves, like an elephant which endeavoureth to stand
upon its head.

Better, however, to be foolish with happiness than foolish
with misfortune, better to dance awkwardly than walk lamely.
So learn, I pray you, my wisdom, ye higher men : even the worst
thing hath two good reverse sides,

Even the worst thing hath good dancing-legs: so learn,
I pray you, ye higher men, to put yourselves on your proper

So unlearn, I pray you, the sorrow-sighing, and all the popu-
lace-sadness! Oh, how sad the buffoons of the populace seem
to me today! This today, however, is that of the populace.


Do like unto the wind when it rusheth forth from its moun-
tain-caves: unto its own piping will it dance; the seas tremble
and leap under its footsteps.

That which giveth wings to asses, that which milketh the
lionesses: praised be that good, unruly spirit, which cometh
like a hurricane unto all the present and unto all the popu-

Which is hostile to thistle-heads and puzzle-heads, and to
all withered leaves and weeds: praised be this wild, good,
free spirit of the storm, which danceth upon fens and afflic-
tions, as upon meadows!

Which hateth the consumptive populace-dogs, and all the
ill-constituted, sullen brood: praised be this spirit of all free


spirits, the laughing storm, which bloweth dust into the eyes
of all the melanopic and melancholic!

Ye higher men, the worst thing in you is that ye have none
of you learned to dance as ye ought to dance to dance beyond
yourselves! What doth it matter that ye have failed!

How many things are still possible! So learn to laugh be-
yond yourselves! Lift up your hearts, ye good dancers, high!
higher! And do not forget the good laughter!

This crown of the laughter, this rose-garland crown: to you,
my brethren, do I cast this crown! Laughing have I consecrated;
ye higher men, learn, I pray you to laugh!

. The Song of Melancholy

WHEN Zarathustra spake these sayings, he stood nigh to the
entrance of his cave; with the last words, however, he slipped
away from his guests, and fled for a little while into the open

"O pure odours around me," cried he, "O blessed stillness
around me! But where are mine animals? Hither, hither, mine
eagle and my serpent!

Tell me, mine animals : these higher men, all of them do
they perhaps not smell well? O pure odours around me! Now
only do I know and feel how I love you, mine animals."

And Zarathustra said once more: "I love you, mine ani-
mals!" The eagle, however, and the serpent pressed close to
him when he spake these words, and looked up to him. In this


attitude were they all three silent together, and sniffed and
sipped the good air with one another. For the air here outside
was better than with the higher men.

Hardly, however, had Zarathustra left the cave when the
old magician got up, looked cunningly about him, and said:
"He is gone!

And already, ye higher men let me tickle you with this
complimentary and flattering name, as he himself doeth
already doth mine evil spirit of deceit and magic attack me,
my melancholy devil,

Which is an adversary to this Zarathustra from the very
heart: forgive it for this! Now doth it wish to conjure before
you, it hath just its hour; in vain do I struggle with this evil

Unto all of you, whatever honours ye like to assume in your
names, whether ye call yourselves 'the free spirits' or 'the con-
scientious,' or 'the penitents of the spirit,' or 'the unfettered,'
or 'the great longers,'

Unto all of you, who like me suffer from the great loath-
ing, to whom the old God hath died, and as yet no new God
lieth in cradles and swaddling clothes unto all of you is mine
evil spirit and magic-devil favourable.

I know you, ye higher men, I know him, I know also this
fiend whom I love in spite of me, this Zarathustra: he himself
often seemeth to me like the beautiful mask of a saint,

Like a new strange mummery in which mine evil spirit,
the melancholy devil, delighteth: I love Zarathustra, so doth
it often seem to me, for the sake of mine evil spirit.


But already doth it attack me and constrain me, this spirit of
melancholy, this evening-twilight devil : and verily, ye higher
men, it hath a longing

Open your eyes! it hath a longing to come naked,
whether male or female, I do not yet know: but it cometh, it
constraineth me, alas! open your wits!

The day dieth out, unto all things cometh now the evening,
also unto the best things; hear now, and see, ye higher men,
what devil man or woman this spirit of evening-melan-
choly is!"

Thus spake the old magician, looked cunningly about him,
and then seized his harp.


In evening's limpid air,
What time the dew's soothings
Unto the earth downpour,
Invisibly and unheard
For tender shoe-gear wear

The soothing dews, like all that's kind-gentle :
Bethinkst thou then, bethinkst thou, burning heart,
How once thou thirstedest

For heaven's kindly teardrops and dew's down-drop-

All singed and weary thirstedest,
What time on yellow grass-pathways
Wicked, occidental sunny glances
Through sombre trees about thee sported,
Blindingly sunny glow-glances, gladly-hurting?


"Of truth the wooer? Thou?" so taunted they

"Nay! Merely poet!

A brute insidious, plundering, grovelling,

That aye must lie,

That wittingly, wilfully, aye must lie:

For booty lusting,

Motley masked,

Self-hidden, shrouded,

Himself his booty

He of truth the wooer?

Nay! Mere fool! Mere poet!

Just motley speaking,

From mask of fool confusedly shouting,

Circumambling on fabricated word-bridges,

On motley rainbow-arches,

'Twixt the spurious heavenly,

And spurious earthly,

Round us roving, round us soaring,

Mere fool! Mere poet!

He of truth the wooer?

Not still, stiff, smooth and cold,

Become an image,

A godlike statue,

Set up in front of temples,

As a God's own door-guard:

Nay! hostile to all such truthfulness-statues,

In every desert homelier than at temples,

With cattish wantonness,

Through every window leaping

Quickly into chances,


Every wild forest a-sniffing,
Greedily-longingly, sniffing,
That thou, in wild forests,
'Mong the motley-speckled fierce creatures,
Shouldest rove, sinful-sound and fine-coloured,
With longing lips smacking,

Blessedly mocking, blessedly hellish, blessedly blood-
Robbing, skulking, lying roving:

Or unto eagles like which fixedly,
Long adown the precipice look,

Adown their precipice:

Oh, how they whirl down now,

Thereunder, therein,

To ever deeper profoundness whirling!



With aim aright,

With quivering flight,

On lambkins pouncing,

Headlong down, sore-hungry,

For lambkins longing,

Fierce 'gainst all lamb-spirits,

Furious-fierce 'gainst all that look

Sheeplike, or lambeyed, or crisp-woolly,

Grey, with lambsheep kindliness!

Even thus,

Eaglelike, pantherlike,

Are the poet's desires,

Are thine own desires 'neath a thousand guises.


Thou fool! Thou poet!

Thou who all mankind viewedst

So God, as sheep :

The God to rend within mankind,

As the sheep in mankind,

And in rending laughing

That, that is thine own blessedness!

Of a panther and eagle blessedness!

Of a poet and fool the blessedness!"

In evening's limpid air,

What time the moon's sickle,

Green, 'twixt the purple-glowings,

And jealous, steal'th forth:

Of day the foe,

With every step in secret,

The rosy garland-hammocks

Downsickling, till they've sunken

Down nightwards, faded, downsunken:

Thus had I sunken one day

From mine own truth-insanity,

From mine own fervid day-longings,

Of day aweary, sick of sunshine,

Sunk downwards, evenwards, shadowwards:

By one sole trueness

All scorched and thirsty:

Bethinkst thou still, bethinkst thou, burning heart,

How then thou thirstedest?

That I should banned be

From all the trueness!

Mere fool! Mere poet!


. Science

THUS sang the magician; and all who were present went like
birds unawares into the net of his artful and melancholy volup-
tuousness. Only the spiritually conscientious one had not been
caught: he at once snatched the harp from the magician and
called out: "Air! Let in good air! Let in Zarathustra! Thou
makest this cave sultry and poisonous, thou bad old magi-

Thou seducest, thou false one, thou subtle one, to unknown
desires and deserts. And alas, that such as thou should talk
and make ado about the truth!

Alas, to all free spirits who are not on their guard against
such magicians! It is all over with their freedom: thou teachest
and temptest back into prisons,

Thou old melancholy devil, out of thy lament soundeth
a lurement: thou resemblest those who with their praise of
chastity secretly invite to voluptuousness!"

Thus spake the conscientious one; the old magician, how-
ever, looked about him, enjoying his triumph, and on that
account put up with the annoyance which the conscientious one
caused him. "Be still!" said he with modest voice, "good songs
want to re-echo well; after good songs one should be long

Thus do all those present, the higher men. Thou, however,
hast perhaps understood but little of my song? In thee there
is little of the magic spirit."

"Thou praisest me," replied the conscientious one, "in that
thou separatest me from thyself; very well! But, ye others,
what do I see? Ye still sit there, all of you, with lusting eyes :


Ye free spirits, whither hath your freedom gone! Ye almost
seem to me to resemble those who have long looked at bad
girls dancing naked : your souls themselves dance!

In you, ye higher men, there must be more of that which the
magician calleth his evil spirit of magic and deceit: we must
indeed be different.

And verily, we spake and thought long enough together ere
Zarathustra came home to his cave, for me not to be unaware
that we are different.

We seek different things even here aloft, ye and I. For I seeli
more security; on that account have I come to Zarathustra. Foj
he is still the most steadfast tower and will

Today, when everything tottereth, when all the earth
quaketh. Ye, however, when I see what eyes ye make, it almost
seemeth to me that ye seek more insecurity,

More horror, more danger, more earthquake. Ye long ( it
almost seemeth so to me forgive my presumption, ye higher

Ye long for the worst and dangerousest life, which f right-
eneth me most, for the life of wild beasts, for forests, caves,
steep mountains and labyrinthine gorges.

And it is not those who lead out of danger that please you
best, but those who lead you away from all paths, the mis-
leaders. But if such longing in you be actual, it seemeth to me
nevertheless to be impossible.

For fear that is man's original and fundamental feeling;
through fear everything is explained, original sin and original
virtue. Through fear there grew also my virtue, that is to say:

For fear of wild animals that hath been longest fostered
in man, inclusive of the animal which he concealeth and f ear-
eth in himself: Zarathustra calleth it 'the beast inside.'


Such prolonged ancient fear, at last become subtle, spir-
itual and intellectual at present, me thinketh, it is called

Thus spake the conscientious one; but Zarathustra, who had
just come back into his cave and had heard and divined the last
discourse, threw a handful of roses to the conscientious one,
and laughed on account of his "truths." 'Why!" he exclaimed,
"what did I hear just now? Verily, it seemeth to me, thou art a
fool, or else I myself am one: and quietly and quickly will I
put thy 'truth' upside down.

For fear is an exception with us. Courage, however, and
adventure, and delight in the uncertain, in the unattempted
courage seemeth to me the entire primitive history of man.

The wildest and most courageous animals hath he envied
and robbed of all their virtues: thus only did he become man.

This courage, at last become subtle, spiritual and intellec-
tual, this human courage, with eagle's pinions and serpent's
wisdom: this, it seemeth to me, is called at present "

(f Zarathustra!" cried all of them there assembled, as if with
one voice, and burst out at the same time into a great laugh-
ter; there arose, however, from them as it were a heavy cloud.
Even the magician laughed, and said wisely: "Well! It is gone,
mine evil spirit!

And did I not myself warn you against it when I said that
it was a deceiver, a lying and deceiving spirit?

Especially when it showeth itself naked. But what can / do
with regard to its tricks! Have / created it and the world?

Well! Let us be good again, and of good cheer! And al-
though Zarathustra looketh with evil eye just see him! he
disliketh me :

Ere night cometh will he again learn to love and laud me;
he cannot live long without committing such follies.


He loveth his enemies: this art knoweth he better than any
one I have seen. But he taketh revenge for it on his friends!"

Thus spake the old magician, and the higher men applauded
him; so that Zarathustra went round, and mischievously and
lovingly shook hands with his friends, like one who hath to
make amends and apologise to every one for something. When
however he had thereby come to the door of his cave, lo, then
had he again a longing for the good air outside, and for his
animals, and wished to steal out.

67. Among Daughters of the Desert

"Go NOT away!" said then the wanderer who called himself
Zarathustra's shadow, "abide with us otherwise the old
gloomy affliction might again fall upon us.

Now hath that old magician given us of his worst for our
good, and lo! the good, pious pope there hath tears in his eyes,
and hath quite embarked again upon the sea of melancholy.

Those kings may well put on a good air before us still : for
that have they learned best of us all at present! Had they how-
ever no one to see them, I wager that with them also the 'bad
game would again commence,

The bad game of drifting clouds, of damp melancholy,
of curtained heavens, of stolen suns, of howling autumn-

The bad game of our howling and crying for help! Abide
with us, O Zarathustra! Here there is much concealed misery


that wisheth to speak, much evening, much cloud, much damp


Thou hast nourished us with strong food for men, and
powerful proverbs: do not let the weakly, womanly spirits
attack us anew at dessert!

Thou alone makest the air around thee strong and clear. Did
I ever find anywhere on earth such good air as with thee in thy

Many lands have I seen, my nose hath learned to test and
estimate many kinds of air: but with thee do my nostrils taste
their greatest delight!

Unless it be, unless it be , do forgive an old recollection!
Forgive me an old after-dinner song, which I once composed
amongst daughters of the desert :-

For with them was there equally good, clear, Oriental air;
there was I furthest from cloudy, damp, melancholy Old-

Then did I love such Oriental maidens and other blue king-
doms of heaven, over which hang no clouds and no thoughts.

Ye would not believe how charmingly they sat there, when
they did not dance, profound, but without thoughts, like little
secrets, like beribboned riddles, like dessert-nuts

Many-hued and foreign, forsooth! but without clouds: rid-
dles which can be guessed: to please such maidens I then
composed an after-dinner psalm."

Thus spake the wanderer who called himself Zarathustra's
shadow; and before any one answered him, he had seized the
harp of the old magician, crossed his legs, and looked calmly
and sagely around him: with his nostrils, however, he in-
haled the air slowly and questioningly, like one who in new
countries tasteth new foreign air. Afterward he began to sing
with a kind of roaring.



The deserts grow: woe him who doth them hide!

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Online LibraryFriedrich Wilhelm NietzscheThus spake Zarathustra → online text (page 20 of 22)