(1844 - 1900)
sublime one saw I today, a solemn one, a penitent of the
spirit: Oh, how my soul laughed at his ugliness! (thus
MANY die too late, and some
die too early. Yet strange soundeth the precept: "Die at the
Die at the right time: so
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
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
His death, dieth the
consummating one triumphantly, surrounded by hoping and promising
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 living!
Thus to die is best; the
next best, however, is to die in battle, and sacrifice a great
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 I 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
Many a one, also, waxeth too
old for his truths and triumphs; a toothless mouth hath no longer
the right to every truth.
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 rottenness 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 death.
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 awkward 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 death.
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 soul.
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.
qu'on fait n'est jamais compris mais seulement loué ou blâmé.
Nietzsche, Gay Science