(1844 - 1900)
sublime one saw I today, a solemn one, a penitent of the
spirit: Oh, how my soul laughed at his ugliness! (thus
12.The Flies in the Market-Place
FLEE, my friend, into thy solitude!
I see thee deafened with the noise of the great men, and stung
all over with the stings of the little ones.
Admirably do forest and rock
know how to be silent with thee. Resemble again the tree which
thou lovest, the broad-branched one- silently and attentively
it o'erhangeth the sea.
Where solitude endeth, there
beginneth the market-place; and where the market-place beginneth,
there beginneth also the noise of the great actors, and the
buzzing of the poison-flies.
In the world even the best
things are worthless without those who represent them: those
representers, the people call great men.
Little, do the people understand
what is great- that is to say, the creating agency. But they
have a taste for all representers and actors of great things.
Around the devisers of new
values revolveth the world:- invisibly it revolveth. But around
the actors revolve the people and the glory: such is the course
Spirit, hath the actor, but
little conscience of the spirit. He believeth always in that
wherewith he maketh believe most strongly- in himself!
Tomorrow he hath a new belief,
and the day after, one still newer. Sharp perceptions hath
he, like the people, and changeable humours.
To upset- that meaneth with
him to prove. To drive mad- that meaneth with him to convince.
And blood is counted by him as the best of all arguments.
A truth which only glideth
into fine ears, he calleth falsehood and trumpery. Verily,
he believeth only in gods that make a great noise in the world!
Full of clattering buffoons
is the market-place,- and the people glory in their great
men! These are for them the masters of the hour.
But the hour presseth them;
so they press thee. And also from thee they want Yea or Nay.
Alas! thou wouldst set thy chair betwixt For and Against?
On account of those absolute
and impatient ones, be not jealous, thou lover of truth! Never
yet did truth cling to the arm of an absolute one.
On account of those abrupt
ones, return into thy security: only in the market-place is
one assailed by Yea? or Nay?
Slow is the experience of all
deep fountains: long have they to wait until they know what
hath fallen into their depths.
Away from the market-place
and from fame taketh place all that is great: away from the
market-Place and from fame have ever dwelt the devisers of
Flee, my friend, into thy solitude:
I see thee stung all over by the poisonous flies. Flee thither,
where a rough, strong breeze bloweth!
Flee into thy solitude! Thou
hast lived too closely to the small and the pitiable. Flee
from their invisible vengeance! Towards thee they have nothing
Raise no longer an arm against
them! Innumerable are they, and it is not thy lot to be a
Innumerable are the small and
pitiable ones; and of many a proud structure, rain-drops and
weeds have been the ruin.
Thou art not stone; but already
hast thou become hollow by the numerous drops. Thou wilt yet
break and burst by the numerous drops.
Exhausted I see thee, by poisonous
flies; bleeding I see thee, and torn at a hundred spots; and
thy pride will not even upbraid.
Blood they would have from
thee in all innocence; blood their bloodless souls crave for-
and they sting, therefore, in all innocence.
But thou, profound one, thou
sufferest too profoundly even from small wounds; and ere thou
hadst recovered, the same poison-worm crawled over thy hand.
Too proud art thou to kill
these sweet-tooths. But take care lest it be thy fate to suffer
all their poisonous injustice!
They buzz around thee also
with their praise: obtrusiveness is their praise. They want
to be close to thy skin and thy blood.
They flatter thee, as one flattereth
a God or devil; they whimper before thee, as before a God
or devil; What doth it come to! Flatterers are they, and whimperers,
and nothing more.
Often, also, do they show themselves
to thee as amiable ones. But that hath ever been the prudence
of the cowardly. Yea! the cowardly are wise!
They think much about thee
with their circumscribed souls- thou art always suspected
by them! Whatever is much thought about is at last thought
They punish thee for all thy
virtues. They pardon thee in their inmost hearts only- for
Because thou art gentle and
of upright character, thou sayest: "Blameless are they
for their small existence." But their circumscribed souls
think: "Blamable is all great existence."
Even when thou art gentle towards
them, they still feel themselves despised by thee; and they
repay thy beneficence with secret maleficence.
Thy silent pride is always
counter to their taste; they rejoice if once thou be humble
enough to be frivolous.
What we recognise in a man,
we also irritate in him. Therefore be on your guard against
the small ones!
In thy presence they feel themselves
small, and their baseness gleameth and gloweth against thee
in invisible vengeance.
Sawest thou not how often they
became dumb when thou approachedst them, and how their energy
left them like the smoke of an extinguishing fire?
Yea, my friend, the bad conscience
art thou of thy neighbours; for they are unworthy of thee.
Therefore they hate thee, and would fain suck thy blood.
Thy neighbours will always
be poisonous flies; what is great in thee- that itself must
make them more poisonous, and always more fly-like.
Flee, my friend, into thy solitude-
and thither, where a rough strong breeze bloweth. It is not
thy lot to be a fly-flap.Thus spake Zarathustra.
qu'on fait n'est jamais compris mais seulement loué ou blâmé.
Nietzsche, Gay Science