Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche.

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Thus spake Zarathustra.

18. Old and Young Women

WHY stealest thou along so furtively in the twilight, Zara-
thustra? And what hidest thou so carefully under thy mantle?

Is it a treasure that hath been given thee? Or a child that
hath been born thee? Or goest thou thyself on a thief's errand,
thou friend of the evil?

Verily, my brother, said Zarathustra, it is a treasure that
hath been given me : it is a little truth which I carry.

But it is naughty, like a young child; and if I hold not its
mouth, it screameth too loudly.

As I went on my way alone today, at the hour when the
sun declineth, there met me an old woman, and she spake thus
unto my soul :

"Much hath Zarathustra spoken also to us women, but
never spake he unto us concerning woman."

And I answered her: "Concerning woman, one should only
talk unto men."

'Talk also unto me of woman," said she; "I am old enough
to forget it presently."

And I obliged the old woman and spake thus unto her :

Everything in woman is a riddle, and everything in woman
hath one solution it is called pregnancy.


Man is for woman a means: the purpose is always the child.
But what is woman for man?

Two different things wanteth the true man: danger and
diversion. Therefore wanteth he woman, as the most danger-
ous plaything.

Man shall be trained for war, and woman for the recreation
of the warrior: all else is folly.

Too sweet fruits these the warrior liketh not. Therefore
liketh he woman; bitter is even the sweetest woman.

Better than man doth woman understand children, but man
is more childish than woman.

In the true man there is a child hidden: it wanteth to play.
Up then, ye women, and discover the child in man!

A plaything let woman be, pure and fine like the precious
stone, illumined with the virtues of a world not yet come.

Let the beam of a star shine in your love! Let your hope say:
"May I bear the Superman!"

In your love let there be valour! With your love shall ye
assail him who inspireth you with fear!

In your love be your honour! Little doth woman understand
otherwise about honour. But let this be your honour: always
to love more than ye are loved, and never be the second.

Let man fear woman when she loveth: then maketh she
every sacrifice, and everything else she regardeth as worthless.

Let man fear woman when she hateth : for man in his inner-
most soul is merely evil; woman, however, is mean.

Whom hateth woman most? Thus spake the iron to the
loadstone: "I hate thee most, because thou attractest, but art
too weak to draw unto thee."

The happiness of man is, "I will." The happiness of woman
is, "He will."


"Lo! now hath the world become perfect!" thus thinketh
every woman when she obeyeth with all her love.

Obey, must the woman, and find a depth for her surface.
Surface is woman's soul, a mobile, stormy film on shallow

Man's soul, however, is deep, its current gusheth in subter-
ranean caverns : woman surmiseth its force, but comprehendeth
it not.

Then answered me the old woman: "Many fine things hath
Zarathustra said, especially for those who are young enough
for them.

Strange! Zarathustra knoweth little about woman, and yet
he is right about them! Doth this happen, because with women
nothing is impossible?

And now accept a little truth by way of thanks! I am old
enough for it!

Swaddle it up and hold its mouth : otherwise it will scream
too loudly, the little truth."

"Give me, woman, thy little truth!" said I. And thus spake
the old woman:

"Thou goest to women? Do not forget thy whip!"

Thus spake Zarathustra.

79. The Bite of the Adder

ONE day had Zarathustra fallen asleep under a fig-tree, owing
to the heat, with his arm over his face. And there came an
adder and bit him in the neck, so that Zarathustra screamed
with pain. When he had taken his arm from his face he looked


at the serpent; and then did it recognise the eyes of Zarathustra,
wriggled awkwardly, and tried to get away. "Not at all," said
Zarathustra, "as yet hast thou not received my thanks! Thou
hast awakened me in time; my journey is yet long." 'Thy
journey is short," said the adder sadly; "my poison is fatal."
Zarathustra smiled. "When did ever a dragon die of a serpent's
poison?" said he. "But take thy poison back! Thou art not
rich enough to present it to me." Then fell the adder again on
his neck, and licked his wound.

When Zarathustra once told this to his disciples they asked
him: "And what, O Zarathustra, is the moral of thy story?"
And Zarathustra answered them thus:

The destroyer of morality, the good and just call me: my
story is immoral.

When, however, ye have an enemy, then return him not
good for evil: for that would abash him. But prove that he
hath done something good to you.

And rather be angry than abash any one! And when ye are
cursed, it pleaseth me not that ye should then desire to bless.
Rather curse a little also!

And should a great injustice befall you, then do quickly five
small ones besides. Hideous to behold is he on whom injustice
presseth alone.

Did ye ever know this? Shared injustice is half justice. And
he who can bear it, shall take the injustice upon himself!

A small revenge is humaner than no revenge at all. And if
the punishment be not also a right and an honour to the trans-
gressor, I do not like your punishing.

Nobler is it to own oneself in the wrong than to establish
one's right, especially if one be in the right. Only, one must be
rich enough to do so.

I do not like your cold justice; out of the eye of your judges


there always glanceth the executioner and his cold steel.

Tell me: where find we justice, which is love with seeing

Devise me, then, the love which not only beareth all punish-
ment, but also all guilt!

Devise me, then, the justice which acquitteth every one
except the judge!

And would ye hear this likewise? To him who seeketh to be
just from the heart, even the lie becometh philanthropy.

But how could I be just from the heart! How can I give every
one his own! Let this be enough for me: I give unto every one
mine own.

Finally, my brethren, guard against doing wrong to any
anchorite. How could an anchorite forget! How could he

Like a deep well is an anchorite. Easy is it to throw in a
stone: if it should sink to the bottom, however, tell me, who
will bring it out again?

Guard against injuring the anchorite! If ye have done so,
however, well then, kill him also!

Thus spake Zarathustra.

20. Child and Marriage

I HAVE a question for thee alone, my brother: like a sounding-
lead, cast I this question into thy soul, that I may know its

Thou art young, and desirest child and marriage. But I ask
thee: Art thou a man entitled to desire a child?


Art thou the victorious one, the self -conqueror, the ruler of
thy passions, the master of thy virtues? Thus do I ask thee.

Or doth the animal speak in thy wish, and necessity? Or iso-
lation? Or discord in thee?

I would have thy victory and freedom long for a child.
Living monuments shalt thou build to thy victory and emanci-

Beyond thyself shalt thou build. But first of all must thou
be built thyself, rectangular in body and soul.

Not only onward shalt thou propagate thyself, but upward!
For that purpose may the garden of marriage help thee!

A higher body shalt thou create, a first movement, a spon-
taneously rolling wheel a creating one shalt thou create.

Marriage: so call I the will of the twain to create the one that
is more than those who created it. The reverence for one an-
other, as those exercising such a will, call I marriage.

Let this be the significance and the truth of thy marriage.
But that which the many-too-many call marriage, those super-
fluous ones ah, what shall I call it?

Ah, the poverty of soul in the twain! Ah, the filth of soul in
the twain! Ah, the pitiable self-complacency in the twain!

Marriage they call it all; and they say their marriages are
made in heaven.

Well, I do not like it, that heaven of the superfluous! No, I
do not like them, those animals tangled in the heavenly toils!

Far from me also be the God who limpeth thither to bless
what he hath not matched!

Laugh not at such marriages! What child hath not had reason
to weep over its parents?

Worthy did this man seem, and ripe for the meaning of the
earth: but when I saw his wife, the earth seemed to me a home
for madcaps.


Yea, I would that the earth shook with convulsions when a
saint and a goose mate with one another.

This one went forth in quest of truth as a hero, and at last
got for himself a small decked-up lie: his marriage he calleth it.

That one was reserved in intercourse and chose choicely. But
one time he spoilt his company for all time: his marriage he
calleth it.

Another sought a handmaid with the virtues of an angel.
But all at once he became the handmaid of a woman, and now
would he need also to become an angel.

Careful, have I found all buyers, and all of them have astute
eyes. But even the astutest of them buyeth his wife in a sack.

Many short follies that is called love by you. And your
marriage putteth an end to many short follies, with one long

Your love to woman, and woman's love to man ah, would
that it were sympathy for suffering and veiled deities! But
generally two animals alight on one another.

But even your best love is only an enraptured simile and a
painful ardour. It is a torch to light you to loftier paths.

Beyond yourselves shall ye love some day! Then learn first
of all to love. And on that account ye had to drink the bitter
cup of your love.

Bitterness is in the cup even of the best love; thus doth it
cause longing for the Superman; thus doth it cause thirst in
thee, the creating one!

* Thirst in the creating one, arrow and longing for the Super-
man: tell me, my brother, is this thy will to marriage?

Holy call I such a will, and such a marriage.

Thus spake Zarathustra.


21. Voluntary Death

MANY die too late, and some die too early. Yet strange
soundeth the precept: "Die at the right time!"

Die at the right time: so teacheth Zarathustra.

To be sure, he who never liveth at the right time, how could
he ever die at the right time? Would that he might never be
born! Thus do I advise the superfluous ones.

But even the superfluous ones make much ado about their
death, and even the hollowest nut wanteth to be cracked.

Every one regardeth dying as a great matter: but as yet death
is not a festival. Not yet have people learned to inaugurate the
finest festivals.

The consummating death I show unto you, which becometh
a stimulus and promise to the living.

His death, dieth the consummating one triumphantly, sur-
rounded by hoping and promising ones.

Thus should one learn to die; and there should be no festival
at which such a dying one doth not consecrate the oaths of the

Thus to die is best; the next best, however, is to die in battle,
and sacrifice a great soul.

But to the fighter equally hateful as to the victor, is your
grinning death which stealeth nigh like a thief, and yet
cometh as master.

My death, praise I unto you, the voluntary death, which
cometh unto me because 7 want it.

And when shall I want it? He that hath a goal and an heir,
wanteth death at the right time for the goal and the heir.


And out of reverence for the goal and the heir, he will hang
up no more withered wreaths in the sanctuary of life.

Verily, not the rope-makers will I resemble: they lengthen
out their cord, and thereby go ever backward.

Many a one, also, waxeth too old for his truths and
triumphs; a toothless mouth hath no longer the right to every

And whoever wanteth to have fame, must take leave of
honour betimes, and practise the difficult art of going at the
right time.

One must discontinue being feasted upon when one tasteth
best: that is known by those who want to be long loved.

Sour apples are there, no doubt, whose lot is to wait until
the last day of autumn : and at the same time they become ripe,
yellow, and shrivelled.

In some ageth the heart first, and in others the spirit. And
some are hoary in youth, but the late young keep long young.

To many men life is a failure; a poison-worm gnaweth at
their heart. Then let them see to it that their dying is all the
more a success.

Many never become sweet; they rot even in the summer. It is
cowardice that holdeth them fast to their branches.

Far too many live, and far too long hang they on their
branches. Would that a storm came and shook all this rotten-
ness and worm-eatenness from the tree!

Would that there came preachers of speedy death! Those
would be the appropriate storms and agitators of the trees of
life! But I hear only slow death preached, and patience with all
that is "earthly."

Ah! ye preach patience with what is earthly? This earthly is
it that hath too much patience with you, ye blasphemers!


Verily, too early died that Hebrew whom the preachers of
slow death honour: and to many hath it proved a calamity that
he died too early.

As yet had he known only tears, and the melancholy of the
Hebrews, together with the hatred of the good and just
the Hebrew Jesus: then was he seized with the longing for

Had he but remained in the wilderness, and far from the
good and just! Then, perhaps, would he have learned to live,
and love the earth and laughter also!

Believe it, my brethren! He died too early; he himself would
have disavowed his doctrine had he attained to my age! Noble
enough was he to disavow!

But he was still immature. Immaturely loveth the youth, and
immaturely also hateth he man and earth. Confined and awk-
ward are still his soul and the wings of his spirit.

But in man there is more of the child than in the youth, and
less of melancholy: better understandeth he about life and

Free for death, and free in death; a holy Naysayer, when
there is no longer time for Yea: thus understandeth he about
death and life.

That your dying may not be a reproach to man and the
earth, my friends: that do I solicit from the honey of your

In your dying shall your spirit and your virtue still shine like
an evening after-glow around the earth : otherwise your dying
hath been unsatisfactory.

Thus will I die myself, that ye friends may love the earth
more for my sake; and earth will I again become, to have rest
in her that bore me.


Verily, a goal had Zarathustra; he threw his ball. Now be ye
friends the heirs of my goal; to you throw I the golden ball.

Best of all, do I see you, my friends, throw the golden ball!
And so tarry I still a little while on the earth pardon me for it!

Thus spake Zarathustra.

22. The Bestowing Virtue

WHEN Zarathustra had taken leave of the town to which his
heart was attached, the name of which is 'The Pied Cow,"
there followed him many people who called themselves his
disciples, and kept him company. Thus came they to a cross-
roads. Then Zarathustra told them that he now wanted to go
alone; for he was fond of going alone. His disciples, however,
presented him at his departure with a staff, on the golden
handle of which a serpent twined round the sun. Zarathustra
rejoiced on account of the staff, and supported himself thereon;
then spake he thus to his disciples :

Tell me, pray: how came gold to the highest value? Because
it is uncommon, and unpronting, and beaming, and soft in
lustre; it always bestoweth itself.

Only as image of the highest virtue came gold to the highest
value. Goldlike, beameth the glance of the bestower. Gold-
lustre maketh peace between moon and sun.

Uncommon is the highest virtue, and unpronting, beaming
is it, and soft of lustre: a bestowing virtue is the highest virtue.


Verily, I divine you well, my disciples: ye strive like me for
the bestowing virtue. What should ye have in common with
cats and wolves?

It is your thirst to become sacrifices and gifts yourselves : and
therefore have ye the thirst to accumulate all riches in your soul.

Insatiably striveth your soul for treasures and jewels, be-
cause your virtue is insatiable in desiring to bestow.

Ye constrain all things to flow towards you and into you,
so that they shall flow back again out of your fountain as the
gifts of your love.

Verily, an appropriator of all values must such bestowing
love become; but healthy and holy, call I this selfishness.

Another selfishness is there, an all-too-poor and hungry
kind, which would always steal the selfishness of the sick,
the sickly selfishness.

With the eye of the thief it looketh upon all that is lustrous;
with the craving of hunger it measureth him who hath abun-
dance; and ever doth it prowl round the tables of bestowers.

Sickness speaketh in such craving, and invisible degenera-
tion; of a sickly body, speaketh the larcenous craving of this

Tell me, my brother, what do we think bad, and worst of
all? Is it not degeneration? And we always suspect degenera-
tion when the bestowing soul is lacking.

Upward goeth our course from genera on to super-genera.
But a horror to us is the degenerating sense, which saith: "All
for myself."

Upward soareth our sense: thus is it a simile of our body, a
simile of an elevation. Such similes of elevations are the names
of the virtues.

Thus goeth the body through history, a becomer and fighter.


And the spirit what is it to the body? Its fights' and victories'
herald, its companion and echo.

Similes, are all names of good and evil; they do not speak
out, they only hint. A fool who seeketh knowledge from them!

Give heed, my brethren, to every hour when your spirit
would speak in similes: there is the origin of your virtue.

Elevated is then your body, and raised up; with its delight,
enraptureth it the spirit; so that it becometh creator, and
valuer, and lover, and everything's benefactor.

When your heart overflowed! broad and full like the river,
a blessing and a danger to the lowlanders: there is the origin
of your virtue.

When ye are exalted above praise and blame, and your will
would command all things, as a loving one's will: there is the
origin of your virtue.

When ye despise pleasant things, and the effeminate couch,
and cannot couch far enough from the effeminate: there is the
origin of your virtue.

When ye are willers of one will, and when that change of
every need is needful to you: there is the origin of your virtue.

Verily, a new good and evil is it! Verily, a new deep mur-
muring, and the voice of a new fountain!

Power is it, this new virtue; a ruling thought is it, and
around it a subtle soul: a golden sun, with the serpent of
knowledge around it.

Here paused Zarathustra awhile, and looked lovingly on
his disciples. Then he continued to speak thus and his voice
had changed :


Remain true to the earth, my brethren, with the power of
your virtue! Let your bestowing love and your knowledge be
devoted to be the meaning of the earth! Thus do I pray and
conjure you.

Let it not fly away from the earthly and beat against eternal
walls with its wings! Ah, there hath always been so much
flown-away virtue!

Lead, like me, the flown-away virtue back to the earth yea,
back to body and life: that it may give to the earth its mean-
ing, a human meaning!

A hundred times hitherto hath spirit as well as virtue flown
away and blundered. Alas! in our body dwelleth still all this
delusion and blundering: body and will hath it there become.

A hundred times hitherto hath spirit as well as virtue at-
tempted and erred. Yea, an attempt hath man been. Alas,
much ignorance and error hath become embodied in us!

Not only the rationality of millennia also their mad-
ness, breaketh out in us. Dangerous is it to be an heir.

Still fight we step by step with the giant Chance, and over
all mankind hath hitherto ruled nonsense, the lack-of -sense.

Let your spirit and your virtue be devoted to the sense of the
earth, my brethren: let the value of everything be determined
anew by you! Therefore shall ye be fighters! Therefore shall
ye be creators!

Intelligently doth the body purify itself; attempting with
intelligence it exalteth itself; to the discerners all impulses
sanctify themselves; to the exalted the soul becometh joyful.

Physician, heal thyself: then wilt thou also heal thy patient.
Let it be his best cure to see with his eyes him who maketh
himself whole.

A thousand paths are there which have never yet been
trodden; a thousand salubrities and hidden islands of life.


Unexhausted and undiscovered is still man and man's world.

Awake and hearken, ye lonesome ones! From the future
come winds with stealthy pinions, and to fine ears good tidings
are proclaimed.

Ye lonesome ones of today, ye seceding ones, ye shall one
day be a people: out of you who have chosen yourselves, shall
a chosen people arise: and out of it the Superman.

Verily, a place of healing shall the earth become! And
already is a new odour diffused around it, a salvation-bringing
odour and a new hope!


When Zarathustra had spoken these words, he paused, like
one who had not said his last word; and long did he balance
the staff doubtfully in his hand. At last he spake thus and his
voice had changed:

I now go alone, my disciples! Ye also now go away, and
alone! So will I have it.

Verily, I advise you: depart from me, and guard yourselves
against Zarathustra! And better still: be ashamed of him! Per-
haps he hath deceived you.

The man of knowledge must be able not only to love his
enemies, but also to hate his friends.

One requiteth a teacher badly if one remain merely a
scholar. And why will ye not pluck at my wreath?

Ye venerate me; but what if your veneration should some
day collapse? Take heed lest a statue crush you!

Ye say, ye believe in Zarathustra? But of what account is
Zarathustra! Ye are my believers: but of what account are all


Ye had not yet sought yourselves : then did ye find me. So do
all believers; therefore all belief is of so little account.

Now do I bid you lose me and find yourselves; and only
when ye have all denied me, will I return unto you.

Verily, with other eyes, my brethren, shall I then seek my
lost ones; with another love shall I then love you.

And once again shall ye have become friends unto me, and
children of one hope: then will I be with you for the third time,
to celebrate the great noontide with you.

And it is the great noontide, when man is in the middle of
his course between animal and Superman, and celebrateth his
advance to the evening as his highest hope: for it is the ad-
vance to a new morning.

At such time will the down-goer bless himself, that he
should be an over-goer; and the sun of his knowledge will be
at noontide.

"Dead are all the Gods: now do we desire the Superman
to live." Let this be our final will at the great noontide!

Thus spake Zarathustra.



" and only when ye have all denied
me, will I return unto you.

Verily, with other eyes, my brethren,
shall I then seek my lost ones; with
another love shall I then love you."
ZARATHUSTRA, I., "The Bestowing
Virtue" (p. 92).

23. The Child with the Mirror

AFTER this Zarathustra returned again into the mountains to
the solitude of his cave, and withdrew himself from men,
waiting like a sower who hath scattered his seed. His soul,
however, became impatient and full of longing for those
whom he loved: because he had still much to give them. For
this is hardest of all : to close the open hand out of love, and
keep modest as a giver.

Thus passed with the lonesome one months and years; his
wisdom meanwhile increased, and caused him pain by its

One morning, however, he awoke ere the rosy dawn, and
having meditated long on his couch, at last spake thus to his

Why did I startle in my dream, so that I awoke? Did not a
child come to me, carrying a mirror?

"O Zarathustra" said the child unto me "look at thyself
in the mirror!"

But when I looked into the mirror, I shrieked, and my heart
throbbed: for not myself did I see therein, but a devil's
grimace and derision.

Verily, all too well do I understand the dream's portent and
monition: my doctrine is in danger; tares want to be called

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