(1844 - 1900)
sublime one saw I today, a solemn one, a penitent of the
spirit: Oh, how my soul laughed at his ugliness! (thus
WHEN I lay asleep, then did
a sheep eat at the ivy-wreath on my head,- it ate, and said
thereby: "Zarathustra is no longer a scholar."
It said this, and went away
clumsily and proudly. A child told it to me.
I like to lie here where the
children play, beside the ruined wall, among thistles and
A scholar am I still to the
children, and also to the thistles and red poppies. Innocent
are they, even in their wickedness.
But to the sheep I am no longer
a scholar: so willeth my lot-blessings upon it!
For this is the truth: I have
departed from the house of the scholars, and the door have
I also slammed behind me.
Too long did my soul sit hungry
at their table: not like them have I got the knack of investigating,
as the knack of nut-cracking.
Freedom do I love, and the
air over fresh soil; rather would I sleep on ox-skins than
on their honours and dignities.
I am too hot and scorched with
mine own thought: often is it ready to take away my breath.
Then have I to go into the open air, and away from all dusty
But they sit cool in the cool
shade: they want in everything to be merely spectators, and
they avoid sitting where the sun burneth on the steps.
Like those who stand in the
street and gape at the passers-by: thus do they also wait,
and gape at the thoughts which others have thought.
Should one lay hold of them,
then do they raise a dust like flour-sacks, and involuntarily:
but who would divine that their dust came from corn, and from
the yellow delight of the summer fields?
When they give themselves out
as wise, then do their petty sayings and truths chill me:
in their wisdom there is often an odour as if it came from
the swamp; and verily, I have even heard the frog croak in
Clever are they- they have
dexterous fingers: what doth my simplicity pretend to beside
their multiplicity! All threading and knitting and weaving
do their fingers understand: thus do they make the hose of
Good clockworks are they: only
be careful to wind them up properly! Then do they indicate
the hour without mistake, and make a modest noise thereby.
Like millstones do they work,
and like pestles: throw only seed-corn unto them!- they know
well how to grind corn small, and make white dust out of it.
They keep a sharp eye on one
another, and do not trust each other the best. Ingenious in
little artifices, they wait for those whose knowledge walketh
on lame feet,- like spiders do they wait.
I saw them always prepare their
poison with precaution; and always did they put glass gloves
on their fingers in doing so.
They also know how to play
with false dice; and so eagerly did I find them playing, that
they perspired thereby.
We are alien to each other,
and their virtues are even more repugnant to my taste than
their falsehoods and false dice.
And when I lived with them,
then did I live above them. Therefore did they take a dislike
They want to hear nothing of
any one walking above their heads; and so they put wood and
earth and rubbish betwixt me and their heads.
Thus did they deafen the sound
of my tread: and least have I hitherto been heard by the most
All mankind's faults and weaknesses
did they put betwixt themselves and me:- they call it "false
ceiling" in their houses.
But nevertheless I walk with
my thoughts above their heads; and even should I walk on mine
own errors, still would I be above them and their heads.
For men are not equal: so speaketh
justice. And what I will, they may not will!Thus spake Zarathustra.
qu'on fait n'est jamais compris mais seulement loué ou blâmé.
Nietzsche, Gay Science