(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
66.Out of Service
NOT long, however, after Zarathustra
had freed himself from the magician, he again saw a person
sitting beside the path which he followed, namely a tall,
black man, with a haggard, pale countenance: this man grieved
him exceedingly. "Alas," said he to his heart, "there
sitteth disguised affliction; methinketh he is of the type
of the priests: what do they want in my domain?
What! Hardly have I escaped
from that magician, and must another necromancer again run
across my path,-Some sorcerer with laying-on-of-hands, some
sombre wonder-worker by the grace of God, some anointed world-maligner,
whom, may the devil take!
But the devil is never at the
place which would be his right place: he always cometh too
late, that cursed dwarf and club-foot!"Thus cursed Zarathustra
impatiently in his heart, and considered how with averted
look he might slip past the black man. But behold, it came
about otherwise. For at the same moment had the sitting one
already perceived him; and not unlike one whom an unexpected
happiness overtaketh, he sprang to his feet, and went straight
"Whoever thou art, thou
traveller," said he, "help a strayed one, a seeker,
an old man, who may here easily come to grief!
The world here is strange to
me, and remote; wild beasts also did I hear howling; and he
who could have given me protection- he is himself no more.
I was seeking the pious man,
a saint and an anchorite, who, alone in his forest, had not
yet heard of what all the world knoweth at present."
"What doth all the world
know at present?" asked Zarathustra. "Perhaps that
the old God no longer liveth, in whom all the world once believed?"
"Thou sayest it,"
answered the old man sorrowfully. "And I served that
old God until his last hour.
Now, however, am I out of service,
without master, and yet not free; likewise am I no longer
merry even for an hour, except it be in recollections.
Therefore did I ascend into
these mountains, that I might finally have a festival for
myself once more, as becometh an old pope and church-father:
for know it, that I am the last pope!- a festival of pious
recollections and divine services.
Now, however, is he himself
dead, the most pious of men, the saint in the forest, who
praised his God constantly with singing and mumbling.
He himself found I no longer
when I found his cot- but two wolves found I therein, which
howled on account of his death,- for all animals loved him.
Then did I haste away.
Had I thus come in vain into
these forests and mountains? Then did my heart determine that
I should seek another, the most pious of all those who believe
not in God-, my heart determined that I should seek Zarathustra!"
Thus spake the hoary man, and
gazed with keen eyes at him who stood before him. Zarathustra
however seized the hand of the old pope and regarded it a
long while with admiration.
"Lo! thou venerable one,"
said he then, "what a fine and long hand! That is the
hand of one who hath ever dispensed blessings. Now, however,
doth it hold fast him whom thou seekest, me, Zarathustra.
It is I, the ungodly Zarathustra,
who saith: 'Who is ungodlier than I, that I may enjoy his
teaching?'"Thus spake Zarathustra, and penetrated with
his glances the thoughts and arrear-thoughts of the old pope.
At last the latter began:
"He who most loved and
possessed him hath now also lost him most-:
-Lo, I myself am surely the
most godless of us at present? But who could rejoice at that!"-"Thou
servedst him to the last?" asked Zarathustra thoughtfully,
after a deep silence, "thou knowest how he died? Is it
true what they say, that sympathy choked him;
-That he saw how man hung on
the cross, and could not endure it;that his love to man became
his hell, and at last his death?"- The old pope however
did not answer, but looked aside timidly, with a painful and
"Let him go," said
Zarathustra, after prolonged meditation, still looking the
old man straight in the eye.
"Let him go, he is gone.
And though it honoureth thee that thou speakest only in praise
of this dead one, yet thou knowest as well as I who he was,
and that he went curious ways."
"To speak before three
eyes," said the old pope cheerfully (he was blind of
one eye), "in divine matters I am more enlightened than
Zarathustra himself- and may well be so.
My love served him long years,
my will followed all his will. A good servant, however, knoweth
everything, and many a thing even which a master hideth from
He was a hidden God, full of
secrecy. Verily, he did not come by his son otherwise than
by secret ways. At the door of his faith standeth adultery.
Whoever extolleth him as a
God of love, doth not think highly enough of love itself.
Did not that God want also to be judge? But the loving one
loveth irrespective of reward and requital.
When he was young, that God
out of the Orient, then was he harsh and revengeful, and built
himself a hell for the delight of his favourites.
At last, however, he became
old and soft and mellow and pitiful, more like a grandfather
than a father, but most like a tottering old grandmother.
There did he sit shrivelled
in his chimney-corner, fretting on account of his weak legs,
world-weary, will-weary, and one day he suffocated of his
all-too-great pity."- "Thou old pope," said
here Zarathustra interposing, "hast thou seen that with
thine eyes? It could well have happened in that way: in that
way, and also otherwise. When gods die they always die many
kinds of death.
Well! At all events, one way
or other- he is gone! He was counter to the taste of mine
ears and eyes; worse than that I should not like to say against
I love everything that looketh
bright and speaketh honestly. But hethou knowest it, forsooth,
thou old priest, there was something of thy type in him, the
priest-type- he was equivocal.
He was also indistinct. How
he raged at us, this wrath-snorter, because we understood
him badly! But why did he not speak more clearly?
And if the fault lay in our
ears, why did he give us ears that heard him badly? If there
was dirt in our ears, well! who put it in them?
Too much miscarried with him,
this potter who had not learned thoroughly! That he took revenge
on his pots and creations, however, because they turned out
badly- that was a sin against good taste.
There is also good taste in
piety: this at last said: 'Away with such a God! Better to
have no God, better to set up destiny on one's own account,
better to be a fool, better to be God oneself!'"
-"What do I hear!"
said then the old pope, with intent ears; "O Zarathustra,
thou art more pious than thou believest, with such an unbelief!
Some god in thee hath converted thee to thine ungodliness.
Is it not thy piety itself
which no longer letteth thee believe in a God? And thine over-great
honesty will yet lead thee even beyond good and evil!
Behold, what hath been reserved
for thee? Thou hast eyes and hands and mouth, which have been
predestined for blessing from eternity. One doth not bless
with the hand alone.
Nigh unto thee, though thou
professest to be the ungodliest one, I feel a hale and holy
odour of long benedictions: I feel glad and grieved thereby.
Let me be thy guest, O Zarathustra,
for a single night! Nowhere on earth shall I now feel better
than with thee!"Amen! So shall it be!" said Zarathustra,
with great astonishment; "up thither leadeth the way,
there lieth the cave of Zarathustra.
Gladly, forsooth, would I conduct
thee thither myself, thou venerable one; for I love all pious
men. But now a cry of distress calleth me hastily away from
In my domain shall no one come
to grief; my cave is a good haven. And best of all would I
like to put every sorrowful one again on firm land and firm
Who, however, could take thy
melancholy off thy shoulders? For that I am too weak. Long,
verily, should we have to wait until some one re-awoke thy
God for thee.
For that old God liveth no
more: he is indeed dead."
Thus spake Zarathustra.
qu'on fait n'est jamais compris mais seulement loué ou blâmé.
Nietzsche, Gay Science