Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche.

Thus spake Zarathustra online

. (page 7 of 22)
Online LibraryFriedrich Wilhelm NietzscheThus spake Zarathustra → online text (page 7 of 22)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

know that life itself requireth enmity and death and torture-

But I asked once, and suffocated almost with my question:
What? Is the rabble also necessary for life?

Are poisoned fountains necessary, and stinking fires, and
filthy dreams, and maggots in the bread of life?

Not my hatred, but my loathing, gnawed hungrily at my life!
Ah, ofttimes became I weary of spirit, when I found even the
rabble spiritual!

And on the rulers turned I my back, when I saw what they
now call ruling: to traffic and bargain for power with the

Amongst peoples of a strange language did I dwell, with
stopped ears: so that the language of their trafficking might
remain strange unto me, and their bargaining for power.

And holding my nose, I went morosely through all yester-
days and todays: verily, badly smell all yesterdays and todays
of the scribbling rabble!

Like a cripple become deaf, and blind, and dumb thus
have I lived long; that I might not live with the power-rabble,
the scribe-rabble, and the pleasure-rabble.

Toilsomely did my spirit mount stairs, and cautiously; alms


of delight were its refreshment; on the staff did life creep
along with the blind one.

What hath happened unto me? How have I freed myself
from loathing? Who hath rejuvenated mine eye? How have I
flown to the height where no rabble any longer sit at the

Did my loathing itself create for me wings and fountain-
divining powers? Verily, to the loftiest height had I to fly, to
find again the well of delight!

Oh, I have found it, my brethren! Here on the loftiest height
bubbleth up for me the well of delight! And there is a life at
whose waters none of the rabble drink with me!

Almost too violently dost thou flow for me, thou fountain
of delight! And often emptiest thou the goblet again, in want-
ing to fill it!

And yet must I learn to approach thee more modestly: far
too violently doth my heart still flow towards thee:

My heart on which my summer burneth, my short, hot,
melancholy, over-happy summer: how my summer heart
longeth for thy coolness!

Past, the lingering distress of my spring! Past, the wicked-
ness of my snowflakes in June! Summer have I become entirely,
and summer-noontide!

A summer on the loftiest height, with cold fountains and
blissful stillness: oh, come, my friends, that the stillness may
become more blissful!

For this is our height and our home: too high and steep do
we here dwell for all uncleanly ones and their thirst.

Cast but your pure eyes into the well of my delight, my
friends! How could it become turbid thereby! It shall laugh
back to you with its purity.


On the tree of the future build we our nest; eagles shall
bring us lone ones food in their beaks!

Verily, no food of which the impure could be fellow-par-
takers! Fire, would they think they devoured, and burn their

Verily, no abodes do we here keep ready for the impure! An
ice-cave to their bodies would our happiness be, and to their

And as strong winds will we live above them, neighbours to
the eagles, neighbours to the snow, neighbours to the sun: thus
live the strong winds.

And like a wind will I one day blow amongst them, and with
my spirit, take the breath from their spirit: thus willeth my

Verily, a strong wind is Zarathustra to all low places; and
this counsel counselleth he to his enemies, and to whatever
spitteth and speweth: 'Take care not to spit against the

Thus spake Zarathustra.

29. The Tarantulas

Lo, THIS is the tarantula's den! Would'st thou see the taran-
tula itself? Here hangeth its web: touch this, so that it may

There cometh the tarantula willingly: Welcome, tarantula!
Black on thy back is thy triangle and symbol; and I know also
what is in thy soul.


Revenge is in thy soul: wherever thou bitest, there ariseth
black scab; with revenge, thy poison maketh the soul giddy!

Thus do I speak unto you in parable, ye who make the soul
giddy, ye preachers of equality! Tarantulas are ye unto me, and
secretly revengeful ones!

But I will soon bring your hiding-places to the light: there-
fore do I laugh in your face my laughter of the height.

Therefore do I tear at your web, that your rage may lure you
out of your den of lies, and that your revenge may leap forth
from behind your word "justice."

Because, for man to be redeemed from revenge that is for
me the bridge to the highest hope, and a rainbow after long

Otherwise, however, would the tarantulas have it. "Let it
be very justice for the world to become full of the storms of
our vengeance' ' thus do they talk to one another.

'Vengeance will we use, and insult, against all who are not
like us" thus do the tarantula-hearts pledge themselves.

"And 'Will to Equality' that itself shall henceforth be the
name of virtue; and against all that hath power will we raise
an outcry!"

Ye preachers of equality, the tyrant-frenzy of impotence
crieth thus in you for "equality": your most secret tyrant-
longings disguise themselves thus in virtue- words!

Fretted conceit and suppressed envy perhaps your fathers'
conceit and envy: in you break they forth as flame and frenzy
of vengeance.

What the father hath hid cometh out in the son; and oft
have I found in the son the father's revealed secret.

Inspired ones they resemble: but it is not the heart that in-
spireth them but vengeance. And when they become subtle
and cold, it is not spirit, but envy, that maketh them so.


Their jealousy leadeth them also into thinkers' paths; and
this is the sign of their jealousy they always go too far: so
that their fatigue hath at last to go to sleep on the snow.

In all their lamentations soundeth vengeance, in all their
eulogies is maleficence; and being judge seemeth to them bliss.

But thus do I counsel you, my friends: distrust all in whom
the impulse to punish is powerful!

They are people of bad race and lineage; out of their coun-
tenances peer the hangman and the sleuth-hound.

Distrust all those who talk much of their justice! Verily, in
their souls not only honey is lacking.

And when they call themselves "the good and just," forget
not, that for them to be Pharisees, nothing is lacking but

My friends, I will not be mixed up and confounded with

There are those who preach my doctrine of life, and are at
the same time preachers of equality, and tarantulas.

That they speak in favour of life, though they sit in their
den, these poison-spiders, and withdrawn from life is be-
cause they would thereby do injury.

To those would they thereby do injury who have power at
present: for with those the preaching of death is still most at

Were it otherwise, then would the tarantulas teach other-
wise: and they themselves were formerly the best world-
maligners and heretic-burners.

With these preachers of equality will I not be mixed up and
confounded. For thus speaketh justice unto me: "Men are not

And neither shall they become so! What would be my love
to the Superman, if I spake otherwise?


On a thousand bridges and piers shall they throng to the
future, and always shall there be more war and inequality
among them: thus doth my great love make me speak!

Inventors of figures and phantoms shall they be in their
hostilities; and with those figures and phantoms shall they yet
fight with each other the supreme fight!

Good and evil, and rich and poor, and high and low, and
all names of values : weapons shall they be, and sounding signs,
that life must again and again surpass itself!

Aloft will it build itself with columns and stairs life itself:
into remote distances would it gaze, and out towards blissful
beauties therefore doth it require elevation!

And because it requireth elevation, therefore doth it re-
quire steps, and variance of steps and climbers! To rise striveth
life, and in rising to surpass itself.

And just behold, my friends! Here where the tarantula's den
is, riseth aloft an ancient temple's ruins just behold it with
enlightened eyes!

Verily, he who here towered aloft his thoughts in stone,
knew as well as the wisest ones about the secret of life!

That there is struggle and inequality even in beauty, and
war for power and supremacy: that doth he here teach us in
the plainest parable.

How divinely do vault and arch here contrast in the struggle:
how with light and shade they strive against each other, the
divinely striving ones.

Thus, steadfast and beautiful, let us also be enemies, my
friends! Divinely will we strive against one another!

Alas! There hath the tarantula bit me myself, mine old
enemy! Divinely steadfast and beautiful, it hath bit me on
the finger!

"Punishment must there be, and justice" so thinketh it:


"not gratuitously shall he here sing songs in honour of

Yea, it hath revenged itself! And alas! now will it make
my soul also dizzy with revenge!

That I may not turn dizzy, however, bind me fast, my
friends, to this pillar! Rather will I be a pillar-saint than a
whirl of vengeance!

Verily, no cyclone or whirlwind is Zarathustra: and if he
be a dancer, he is not at all a tarantula-dancer!

Thus spake Zarathustra.

jo. The Famous Wise Ones

THE people have ye served and the people's superstition not
the truth! all ye famous wise ones! And just on that account
did they pay you reverence.

And on that account also did they tolerate your unbelief,
because it was a pleasantry and a by-path for the people. Thus
doth the master give free scope to his slaves, and even en-
joy eth their presumptuousness.

But he who is hated by the people, as the wolf by the dogs
is the free spirit, the enemy of fetters, the non-adorer, the
dweller in the woods.

To hunt him out of his lair that was always called "sense
of right" by the people: on him do they still hound their
sharpest-toothed dogs.

"For there the truth is, where the people are! Woe, woe to
the seeking ones!" thus hath it echoed through all time.


Your people would ye justify in their reverence: that called
ye "Will to Truth," ye famous wise ones!

And your heart hath always said to itself: "From the people
have I come: from thence came to me also the voice of God."

Stiff-necked and artful, like the ass, have ye always been, as
the advocates of the people.

And many a powerful one who wanted to run well with the
people, hath harnessed in front of his horses a donkey, a
famous wise man.

And now, ye famous wise ones, I would have you finally
throw off entirely the skin of the lion!

The skin of the beast of prey, the speckled skin, and the
dishevelled locks of the investigator, the searcher, and the con-

Ah! for me to learn to believe in your "conscientiousness,"
ye would first have to break your venerating will.

Conscientious so call I him who goeth into God-forsaken
wildernesses, and hath broken his venerating heart.

In the yellow sands and burnt by the sun, he doubtless
peereth thirstily at the isles rich in fountains, where life re-
poseth under shady trees.

But his thirst doth not persuade him to become like those
comfortable ones: for where there are oases, there are also

Hungry, fierce, lonesome, God-forsaken: so doth the lion-
will wish itself.

Free from the happiness of slaves, redeemed from deities
and adorations, fearless and fear-inspiring, grand and lone-
some: so is the will of the conscientious.

In the wilderness have ever dwelt the conscientious, the
free spirits, as lords of the wilderness; but in the cities dwell
the well-foddered, famous wise ones the draught-beasts.


For, always do they draw, as asses the people's carts!

Not that I on that account upbraid them: but serving ones
do they remain, and harnessed ones, even though they glitter
in golden harness.

And often have they been good servants and worthy of their
hire. For thus saith virtue: "If thou must be a servant, seek
him unto whom thy service is most useful!

The spirit and virtue of thy master shall advance by thou
being his servant: thus wilt thou thyself advance with his
spirit and virtue!"

And verily, ye famous wise ones, ye servants of the people!
Ye yourselves have advanced with the people's spirit and vir-
tue and the people by you! To your honour do I say it!

But the people ye remain for me, even with your virtues,
the people with purblind eyes the people who know not what
spirit is!

Spirit is life which itself cutteth into life: by its own torture
doth it increase its own knowledge, did ye know that before?

And the spirit's happiness is this: to be anointed and conse-
crated with tears as a sacrificial victim, did ye know that be-

And the blindness of the blind one, and his seeking and
groping, shall yet testify to the power of the sun into which
he hath gazed, did ye know that before?

And with mountains shall the discerning one learn to build!
It is a small thing for the spirit to remove mountains, did ye
know that before?

Ye know only the sparks of the spirit : but ye do not see the
anvil which it is, and the cruelty of its hammer!

Verily, ye know not the spirit's pride! But still less could
ye endure the spirit's humility, should it ever want to speak!

And never yet could ye cast your spirit into a pit of snow:


ye are not hot enough for that! Thus are ye unaware, also, of
the delight of its coldness.

In all respects, however, ye make too familiar with the spirit;
and out of wisdom have ye often made an alms-house and a
hospital for bad poets.

Ye are not eagles : thus have ye never experienced the happi-
ness of the alarm of the spirit. And he who is not a bird should
not camp above abysses.

Ye seem to me lukewarm ones : but coldly floweth all deep
knowledge. Ice-cold are the innermost wells of the spirit: a
refreshment to hot hands and handlers.

Respectable do ye there stand, and stiff, and with straight
backs, ye famous wise ones! no strong wind or will in*-
pelleth you.

Have ye ne'er seen a sail crossing the sea, rounded and ini-
tiated, and trembling with the violence of the wind?

Like the sail trembling with the violence of the spirit, doth
my wisdom cross the sea my wild wisdom!

But ye servants of the people, ye famous wise ones how
could ye go with me!

Thus spake Zarathustra.

. The Night-Song

'Tis night: now do all gushing fountains speak louder. And
my soul also is a gushing fountain.

'Tis night: now only do all songs of the loving ones awake.
And my soul also is the song of a loving one.

Something unappeased, unappeasable, is within me; it


longeth to find expression. A craving for love is within me,
which speaketh itself the language of love.

Light am I: ah, that I were night! But it is my lonesomeness
to be begirt with light!

Ah, that I were dark and nightly! How would I suck at the
breasts of light!

And you yourselves would I bless, ye twinkling starlets and
glow-worms aloft! and would rejoice in the gifts of your

But I live in mine own light, I drink again into myself the
flames that break forth from me.

I know not the happiness of the receiver; and oft have I
dreamt that stealing must be more blessed than receiving.

It is my poverty that my hand never ceaseth bestowing; it is
mine envy that I see waiting eyes and the brightened nights of

Oh, the misery of all bestowers! Oh, the darkening of my
sun! Oh, the craving to crave! Oh, the violent hunger in satiety!

They take from me: but do I yet touch their soul? There is a
gap 'twixt giving and receiving; and the smallest gap hath
finally to be bridged over.

A hunger ariseth out of my beauty: I should like to injure
those I illumine; I should like to rob those I have gifted:
thus do I hunger for wickedness.

Withdrawing my hand when another hand already
stretcheth out to it; hesitating like the cascade, which hesi-
tateth even in its leap: thus do I hunger for wickedness!

Such revenge doth mine abundance think of :- such mischief
welleth out of my lonesomeness.

My happiness in bestowing died in bestowing; my virtue
became weary of itself by its abundance!

He who ever bestoweth is in danger of losing his shame; to


him who ever dispenseth, the hand and heart become callous
by very dispensing.

Mine eye no longer overfloweth for the shame of suppliants;
my hand hath become too hard for the trembling of filled

Whence have gone the tears of mine eye, and the down of
my heart? Oh, the lonesomeness of all bestowers! Oh, the
silence of all shining ones!

Many suns circle in desert space: to all that is dark do they
speak with their light but to me they are silent.

Oh, this is the hostility of light to the shining one: un-
pityingly doth it pursue its course.

Unfair to the shining one in its innermost heart, cold to the
suns: thus travelleth every sun.

Like a storm do the suns pursue their courses : that is their
travelling. Their inexorable will do they follow: that is their

Oh, ye only is it, ye dark, nightly ones, that extract warmth
from the shining ones! Oh, ye only drink milk and refreshment
from the light's udders!

Ah, there is ice around me; my hand burneth with the
iciness! Ah, there is thirst in me; it panteth after your thirst!

'Tis night: alas, that I have to be light! And thirst for the
nightly! And lonesomeness!

'Tis night: now doth my longing break forth in me as a
fountain, for speech do I long.

'Tis night : now do all gushing fountains speak louder. And
my soul also is a gushing fountain.

'Tis night: now do all songs of loving ones awake. And
my soul also is the song of a loving one.

Thus sang Zarathustra.


32. The Dance-Song

ONE evening went Zarathustra and his disciples through the
forest; and when he sought for a well, lo, he lighted upon a
green meadow peacefully surrounded by trees and bushes,
where maidens were dancing together. As soon as the maidens
recognised Zarathustra, they ceased dancing; Zarathustra, how-
ever, approached them with friendly mien and spake these
words :

Cease not your dancing, ye lovely maidens! No game-spoiler
hath come to you with evil eye, no enemy of maidens.

God's advocate am I with the devil: he, however, is the
spirit of gravity. How could I, ye light-footed ones, be hostile
to divine dances? Or to maidens' feet with fine ankles?

To be sure, I am a forest, and a night of dark trees : but he
who is not afraid of my darkness, will find banks full of roses
under my cypresses.

And even the little God may he find, who is dearest to
maidens: beside the well lieth he quietly, with closed eyes.

Verily, in broad daylight did he fall asleep, the sluggard!
Had he perhaps chased butterflies too much?

Upbraid me not, ye beautiful dancers, when I chasten the
little God somewhat! He will cry, certainly, and weep but
he is laughable even when weeping!

And with tears in his eyes shall he ask you for a dance; and
I myself will sing a song to his dance:

A dance-song and satire on the spirit of gravity my su-
premest, powerfulest devil, who is said to be "lord of the


And this is the song that Zarathustra sang when Cupid and
the maidens danced together:

Of late did I gaze into thine eye, O Life! And into the un-
fathomable did I there seem to sink.

But thou pulledst me out with a golden angle; derisively
didst thou laugh when I called thee unfathomable.

"Such is the language of all fish," saidst thou; "what they
do not fathom is unfathomable.

But changeable am I only, and wild, and altogether a
woman, and no virtuous one :

Though I be called by you men the 'profound one,' or the
'faithful one,' 'the eternal one,' 'the mysterious one.'

But ye men endow us always with your own virtues alas,
ye virtuous ones!"

Thus did she laugh, the unbelievable one; but never do I be-
lieve her and her laughter, when she speaketh evil of herself.

And when I talked face to face with my wild Wisdom, she
said to me angrily: 'Thou wiliest, thou cravest, thou lovest;
on that account alone dost thou praise Life!"

Then had I almost answered indignantly and told the truth
to the angry one; and one cannot answer more indignantly
than when one "telleth the truth" to one's Wisdom.

For thus do things stand with us three. In my heart do I love
only Life and verily, most when I hate her!

But that I am fond of Wisdom, and often too fond, is be-
cause she remindeth me very strongly of Life!

She hath her eye, her laugh, and even her golden angle-rod:
am I responsible for it that both are so alike?

And when once Life asked me: "Who is she then, this Wis-
dom?" then said I eagerly: "Ah, yes! Wisdom!


One thirsteth for her and is not satisfied, one looketh
through veils, one graspeth through nets.

Is she beautiful? What do I know! But the oldest carps are
still lured by her.

Changeable is she, and wayward; often have I seen her bite
her lip, and pass the comb against the grain of her hair.

Perhaps she is wicked and false, and altogether a woman;
but when she speaketh ill of herself, just then doth she seduce

When I had said this unto Life, then laughed she mali-
ciously, and shut her eyes. "Of whom dost thou speak?" said
she. "Perhaps of me?

And if thou wert right is it proper to say that in such wise
to my face! But now, pray, speak also of thy Wisdom!"

Ah, and now hast thou again opened thine eyes, O beloved
Life! And into the unfathomable have I again seemed to

Thus sang Zarathustra. But when the dance was over and
the maidens had departed, he became sad.

"The sun hath been long set," said he at last, "the meadow
is damp, and from the forest cometh coolness.

An unknown presence is about me, and gazeth thoughtfully.
What! Thou livest still, Zarathustra?

Why? Wherefore? Whereby? Whither? Where? How? Is
it not folly still to live?

Ah, my friends; the evening is it which thus interrogateth in
me. Forgive me my sadness!

Evening hath come on: forgive me that evening hath come


Thus sang Zarathustra.


The Grave-Song

'YONDER is the grave-island, the silent isle; yonder also are
the graves of my youth. Thither will I carry an evergreen
wreath of life."

Resolving thus in my heart, did I sail o'er the sea.

Oh, ye sights and scenes of my youth! Oh, all ye gleams of
love, ye divine fleeting gleams! How could ye perish so soon
for me! I think of you to-day as my dead ones.

From you, my dearest dead ones, cometh unto me a sweet
savour, heart-opening and melting. Verily, it convulseth and
openeth the heart of the lone seafarer.

Still am I the richest and most to be envied I, the lone-
somest one! For I have possessed you, and ye possess me still.
Tell me : to whom hath there ever fallen such rosy apples from
the tree as have fallen unto me?

Still am I your love's heir and heritage, blooming to your
memory with many-hued, wild-growing virtues, O ye dearest

Ah, we were made to remain nigh unto each other, ye
kindly strange marvels; and not like timid birds did ye come
to me and my longing nay, but as trusting ones to a trusting

Yea, made for faithfulness, like me, and for fond eternities,
must I now name you by your faithlessness, ye divine glances
and fleeting gleams : no other name have I yet learnt.

Verily, too early did ye die for me, ye fugitives. Yet did ye
not flee from me, nor did I flee from you: innocent are we to
each other in our faithlessness.

To kill me, did they strangle you, ye singing birds of my


hopes! Yea, at you, ye dearest ones, did malice ever shoot its
arrows to hit my heart!

And they hit it! Because ye were always my dearest, my
possession and my possessedness : on that account had ye to die
young, and far too early!

At my most vulnerable point did they shoot the arrow
namely, at you, whose skin is like down or more like the
smile that dieth at a glance!

But this word will I say unto mine enemies : What is all man-
slaughter in comparison with what ye have done unto me!

Worse evil did ye do unto me than all manslaughter; the
irretrievable did ye take from me: thus do I speak unto you,

mine enemies!

Slew ye not my youth's visions and dearest marvels! My
playmates took ye from me, the blessed spirits! To their
memory do I deposit this wreath and this curse.

This curse upon you, mine enemies! Have ye not made mine

1 2 3 4 5 7 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22

Online LibraryFriedrich Wilhelm NietzscheThus spake Zarathustra → online text (page 7 of 22)