(1844 - 1900)
Thus Spake Zarathustra
sublime one saw I today, a solemn one, a penitent of the
spirit: Oh, how my soul laughed at his ugliness! (thus
NOT the height, it is the declivity
that is terrible!
The declivity, where the gaze
shooteth downwards, and the hand graspeth upwards. There doth
the heart become giddy through its double will.
Ah, friends, do ye divine also
my heart's double will?
This, this is my declivity
and my danger, that my gaze shooteth towards the summit, and
my hand would fain clutch and lean- on the depth!
To man clingeth my will; with
chains do I bind myself to man, because I am pulled upwards
to the Superman: for thither doth mine other will tend.
And therefore do I live blindly
among men, as if I knew them not: that my hand may not entirely
lose belief in firmness.
I know not you men: this gloom
and consolation is often spread around me.
I sit at the gateway for every
rogue, and ask: Who wisheth to deceive me?
This is my first manly prudence,
that I allow myself to be deceived, so as not to be on my
guard against deceivers.
Ah, if I were on my guard against
man, how could man be an anchor to my ball! Too easily would
I be pulled upwards and away!
This providence is over my
fate, that I have to be without foresight.
And he who would not languish
amongst men, must learn to drink out of all glasses; and he
who would keep clean amongst men, must know how to wash himself
even with dirty water.
And thus spake I often to myself
for consolation: "Courage! Cheer up! old heart! An unhappiness
hath failed to befall thee: enjoy that as thy- happiness!"
This, however, is mine other
manly prudence: I am more forbearing to the vain than to the
Is not wounded vanity the mother
of all tragedies? Where, however, pride is wounded, there
there groweth up something better than pride.
That life may be fair to behold,
its game must be well played; for that purpose, however, it
needeth good actors.
Good actors have I found all
the vain ones: they play, and wish people to be fond of beholding
them- all their spirit is in this wish.
They represent themselves,
they invent themselves; in their neighbourhood I like to look
upon life- it cureth of melancholy.
Therefore am I forbearing to
the vain, because they are the physicians of my melancholy,
and keep me attached to man as to a drama.
And further, who conceiveth
the full depth of the modesty of the vain man! I am favourable
to him, and sympathetic on account of his modesty.
From you would he learn his
belief in himself; he feedeth upon your glances, he eateth
praise out of your hands.
Your lies doth he even believe
when you lie favourably about him: for in its depths sigheth
his heart: "What am I?"
And if that be the true virtue
which is unconscious of itself- well, the vain man is unconscious
of his modesty!This is, however, my third manly prudence:
I am not put out of conceit with the wicked by your timorousness.
I am happy to see the marvels
the warm sun hatcheth: tigers and palms and rattlesnakes.
Also amongst men there is a
beautiful brood of the warm sun, and much that is marvellous
in the wicked.
In truth, as your wisest did
not seem to me so very wise, so found I also human wickedness
below the fame of it.
And oft did I ask with a shake
of the head: Why still rattle, ye rattlesnakes?
Verily, there is still a future
even for evil! And the warmest south is still undiscovered
How many things are now called
the worst wickedness, which are only twelve feet broad and
three months long! Some day, however, will greater dragons
come into the world.
For that the Superman may not
lack his dragon, the super-dragon that is worthy of him, there
must still much warm sun glow on moist virgin forests!
Out of your wild cats must
tigers have evolved, and out of your poison-toads, crocodiles:
for the good hunter shall have a good hunt!
And verily, ye good and just!
In you there is much to be laughed at, and especially your
fear of what hath hitherto been called "the devil!"
So alien are ye in your souls
to what is great, that to you the Superman would be frightful
in his goodness!
And ye wise and knowing ones,
ye would flee from the solar-glow of the wisdom in which the
Superman joyfully batheth his nakedness!
Ye highest men who have come
within my ken! this is my doubt of you, and my secret laughter:
I suspect ye would call my Superman- a devil!
Ah, I became tired of those
highest and best ones: from their "height" did I
long to be up, out, and away to the Superman!
A horror came over me when
I saw those best ones naked: then there grew for me the pinions
to soar away into distant futures.
Into more distant futures,
into more southern souths than ever artist dreamed of: thither,
where gods are ashamed of all clothes!
But disguised do I want to
see you, ye neighbours and fellowmen, and well-attired and
vain and estimable, as "the good and just;"And disguised
will I myself sit amongst you- that I may mistake you and
myself: for that is my last manly prudence.Thus spake Zarathustra.
qu'on fait n'est jamais compris mais seulement loué ou blâmé.
Nietzsche, Gay Science