(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
68.The Voluntary Beggar
WHEN Zarathustra had left the
ugliest man, he was chilled and felt lonesome: for much coldness
and lonesomeness came over his spirit, so that even his limbs
became colder thereby. When, however, he wandered on and on,
uphill and down, at times past green meadows, though also
sometimes over wild stony couches where formerly perhaps an
impatient brook had made its bed, then he turned all at once
warmer and heartier again.
"What hath happened unto
me?" he asked himself, "something warm and living
quickeneth me; it must be in the neighbourhood.
Already am I less alone; unconscious
companions and brethren rove around me; their warm breath
toucheth my soul."
When, however, he spied about
and sought for the comforters of his lonesomeness, behold,
there were kine there standing together on an eminence, whose
proximity and smell had warmed his heart. The kine, however,
seemed to listen eagerly to a speaker, and took no heed of
him who approached. When, however, Zarathustra was quite nigh
unto them, then did he hear plainly that a human voice spake
in the midst of the kine, and apparently all of them had turned
their heads towards the speaker.
Then ran Zarathustra up speedily
and drove the animals aside; for he feared that some one had
here met with harm, which the pity of the kine would hardly
be able to relieve. But in this he was deceived; for behold,
there sat a man on the ground who seemed to be persuading
the animals to have no fear of him, a peaceable man and Preacher-on-the-Mount,
out of whose eyes kindness itself preached. "What dost
thou seek here?" called out Zarathustra in astonishment.
"What do I here seek?"
answered he: "the same that thou seekest, thou mischief-maker;
that is to say, happiness upon earth.
To that end, however, I would
fain learn of these kine. For I tell thee that I have already
talked half a morning unto them, and just now were they about
to give me their answer. Why dost thou disturb them?
Except we be converted and
become as kine, we shall in no wise enter into the kingdom
of heaven. For we ought to learn from them one thing: ruminating.
And verily, although a man
should gain the whole world, and yet not learn one thing,
ruminating, what would it profit him! He would not be rid
of his affliction,
-His great affliction: that,
however, is at present called disgust. Who hath not at present
his heart, his mouth and his eyes full of disgust? Thou also!
Thou also! But behold these kine!"Thus spake the Preacher-on-the-Mount,
and turned then his own look towards Zarathustra- for hitherto
it had rested lovingly on the kine-: then, however, he put
on a different expression. "Who is this with whom I talk?"
he exclaimed, frightened, and sprang up from the ground.
"This is the man without
disgust, this is Zarathustra himself, the surmounter of the
great disgust, this is the eye, this is the mouth, this is
the heart of Zarathustra himself."
And whilst he thus spake he
kissed with o'erflowing eyes the hands of him with whom he
spake, and behaved altogether like one to whom a precious
gift and jewel hath fallen unawares from heaven. The kine,
however, gazed at it all and wondered.
"Speak not of me, thou
strange one; thou amiable one!" said Zarathustra, and
restrained his affection, "speak to me firstly of thyself!
Art thou not the voluntary beggar who once cast away great
riches,-Who was ashamed of his riches and of the rich, and
fled to the poorest to bestow upon them his abundance and
his heart? But they received him not."
"But they received me
not," said the voluntary beggar, "thou knowest it,
forsooth. So I went at last to the animals and to those kine."
"Then learnedst thou,"
interrupted Zarathustra, "how much harder it is to give
properly than to take properly, and that bestowing well is
an art- the last, subtlest master-art of kindness.
answered the voluntary beggar: "at present, that is to
say, when everything low hath become rebellious and exclusive
and haughty in its manner- in the manner of the populace.
For the hour hath come, thou
knowest it forsooth, for the great, evil, long, slow mob-and-slave-insurrection:
it extendeth and extendeth!
Now doth it provoke the lower
classes, all benevolence and petty giving; and the overrich
may be on their guard!
Whoever at present drip, like
bulgy bottles out of all-too-small necks:- of such bottles
at present one willingly breaketh the necks.
Wanton avidity, bilious envy,
careworn revenge, populace-pride: all these struck mine eye.
It is no longer true that the poor are blessed. The kingdom
of heaven, however, is with the kine."
"And why is it not with
the rich?" asked Zarathustra temptingly, while he kept
back the kine which sniffed familiarly at the peaceful one.
"Why dost thou tempt me?"
answered the other. "Thou knowest it thyself better even
than I. What was it drove me to the poorest, O Zarathustra?
Was it not my disgust at the richest?
-At the culprits of riches,
with cold eyes and rank thoughts, who pick up profit out of
all kinds of rubbish- at this rabble that stinketh to heaven,
-At this gilded, falsified
populace, whose fathers were pickpockets, or carrion-crows,
or rag-pickers, with wives compliant, lewd and forgetful:-
for they are all of them not far different from harlotsPopulace
above, populace below! What are 'poor' and 'rich' at present!
That distinction did I unlearn,- then did I flee away further
and ever further, until I came to those kine."
Thus spake the peaceful one,
and puffed himself and perspired with his words: so that the
kine wondered anew. Zarathustra, however, kept looking into
his face with a smile, all the time the man talked so severely-
and shook silently his head.
"Thou doest violence to
thyself, thou Preacher-on-the-Mount, when thou usest such
severe words. For such severity neither thy mouth nor thine
eye have been given thee.
Nor, methinketh, hath thy stomach
either: unto it all such rage and hatred and foaming-over
is repugnant. Thy stomach wanteth softer things: thou art
not a butcher.
Rather seemest thou to me a
plant-eater and a root-man. Perhaps thou grindest corn. Certainly,
however, thou art averse to fleshly joys, and thou lovest
"Thou hast divined me
well," answered the voluntary beggar, with lightened
heart. "I love honey, I also grind corn; for I have sought
out what tasteth sweetly and maketh pure breath:
-Also what requireth a long
time, a day's-work and a mouth's-work for gentle idlers and
Furthest, to be sure, have
those kine carried it: they have devised ruminating and lying
in the sun. They also abstain from all heavy thoughts which
inflate the heart."
-"Well!" said Zarathustra,
"thou shouldst also see mine animals, mine eagle and
my serpent,- their like do not at present exist on earth.
Behold, thither leadeth the
way to my cave: be tonight its guest. And talk to mine animals
of the happiness of animals,-Until I myself come home. For
now a cry of distress calleth me hastily away from thee. Also,
shouldst thou find new honey with me, ice-cold, golden-comb-honey,
Now, however, take leave at
once of thy kine, thou strange one! thou amiable one! though
it be hard for thee. For they are thy warmest friends and
preceptors!"-"One excepted, whom I hold still dearer,"
answered the voluntary beggar. "Thou thyself art good,
O Zarathustra, and better even than a cow!"
"Away, away with thee!
thou evil flatterer!" cried Zarathustra mischievously,
"why dost thou spoil me with such praise and flattery-honey?
"Away, away from me!"
cried he once more, and heaved his stick at the fond beggar,
who, however, ran nimbly away.
qu'on fait n'est jamais compris mais seulement loué ou blâmé.
Nietzsche, Gay Science