(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
SCARCELY however was the voluntary
beggar gone in haste, and Zarathustra again alone, when he
heard behind him a new voice which called out: "Stay!
Zarathustra! Do wait! It is myself, forsooth, O Zarathustra,
myself, thy shadow!" But Zarathustra did not wait; for
a sudden irritation came over him on account of the crowd
and the crowding in his mountains. "Whither hath my lonesomeness
gone?" spake he.
"It is verily becoming
too much for me; these mountains swarm; my kingdom is no longer
of this world; I require new mountains.
My shadow calleth me? What
matter about my shadow! Let it run after me! I- run away from
Thus spake Zarathustra to his
heart and ran away. But the one behind followed after him,
so that immediately there were three runners, one after the
other- namely, foremost the voluntary beggar, then Zarathustra,
and thirdly, and hindmost, his shadow. But not long had they
run thus when Zarathustra became conscious of his folly, and
shook off with one jerk all his irritation and detestation.
"What!" said he,
"have not the most ludicrous things always happened to
us old anchorites and saints?
Verily, my folly hath grown
big in the mountains! Now do I hear six old fools' legs rattling
behind one another!
But doth Zarathustra need to
be frightened by his shadow? Also, methinketh that after all
it hath longer legs thin mine."
Thus spake Zarathustra, and,
laughing with eyes and entrails, he stood still and turned
round quickly- and behold, he almost thereby threw his shadow
and follower to the ground, so closely had the latter followed
at his heels, and so weak was he. For when Zarathustra scrutinised
him with his glance he was frightened as by a sudden apparition,
so slender, swarthy, hollow and worn-out did this follower
"Who art thou?" asked
Zarathustra vehemently, "what doest thou here? And why
callest thou thyself my shadow? Thou art not pleasing unto
"Forgive me," answered
the shadow, "that it is I; and if I please thee not-
well, O Zarathustra! therein do I admire thee and thy good
A wanderer am I, who have walked
long at thy heels; always on the way, but without a goal,
also without a home: so that verily, I lack little of being
the eternally Wandering Jew, except that I am not eternal
and not a Jew.
What? Must I ever be on the
way? Whirled by every wind, unsettled, driven about? O earth,
thou hast become too round for me!
On every surface have I already
sat, like tired dust have I fallen asleep on mirrors and window-panes:
everything taketh from me, nothing giveth; I become thin-
I am almost equal to a shadow.
After thee, however, O Zarathustra,
did I fly and hie longest; and though I hid myself from thee,
I was nevertheless thy best shadow: wherever thou hast sat,
there sat I also.
With thee have I wandered about
in the remotest, coldest worlds, like a phantom that voluntarily
haunteth winter roofs and snows.
With thee have I pushed into
all the forbidden, all the worst and the furthest: and if
there be anything of virtue in me, it is that I have had no
fear of any prohibition.
With thee have I broken up
whatever my heart revered; all boundary-stones and statues
have I o'erthrown; the most dangerous wishes did I pursue,-
verily, beyond every crime did I once go.
With thee did I unlearn the
belief in words and worths and in great names. When the devil
casteth his skin, doth not his name also fall away? It is
also skin. The devil himself is perhaps- skin.
'Nothing is true, all is permitted':
so said I to myself. Into the coldest water did I plunge with
head and heart. Ah, how oft did I stand there naked on that
account, like a red crab!
Ah, where have gone all my
goodness and all my shame and all my belief in the good! Ah,
where is the lying innocence which I once possessed, the innocence
of the good and of their noble lies!
Too oft, verily, did I follow
close to the heels of truth: then did it kick me on the face.
Sometimes I meant to lie, and behold! then only did I hit-
Too much hath become clear
unto me: now it doth not concern me any more. Nothing liveth
any longer that I love,- how should I still love myself?
'To live as I incline, or not
to live at all': so do I wish; so wisheth also the holiest.
But alas! how have I still- inclination?
Have I- still a goal? A haven
towards which my sail is set?
A good wind? Ah, he only who
knoweth whither he saileth, knoweth what wind is good, and
a fair wind for him.
What still remaineth to me?
A heart weary and flippant; an unstable will; fluttering wings;
a broken backbone.
This seeking for my home: O
Zarathustra, dost thou know that this seeking hath been my
home-sickening; it eateth me up.
'Where is- my home?' For it
do I ask and seek, and have sought, but have not found it.
O eternal everywhere, O eternal nowhere, O eternal- in-vain!"
Thus spake the shadow, and
Zarathustra's countenance lengthened at his words. "Thou
art my shadow!" said he at last sadly.
"Thy danger is not small,
thou free spirit and wanderer! Thou hast had a bad day: see
that a still worse evening doth not overtake thee!
To such unsettled ones as thou,
seemeth at last even a prisoner blessed. Didst thou ever see
how captured criminals sleep? They sleep quietly, they enjoy
their new security.
Beware lest in the end a narrow
faith capture thee, a hard, rigorous delusion! For now everything
that is narrow and fixed seduceth and tempteth thee.
Thou hast lost thy goal. Alas,
how wilt thou forego and forget that loss? Thereby- hast thou
also lost thy way!
Thou poor rover and rambler,
thou tired butterfly! wilt thou have a rest and a home this
evening? Then go up to my cave!
Thither leadeth the way to
my cave. And now will I run quickly away from thee again.
Already lieth as it were a shadow upon me.
I will run alone, so that it
may again become bright around me. Therefore must I still
be a long time merrily upon my legs. In the evening, however,
there will be- dancing with me!"-
Thus spake Zarathustra.
qu'on fait n'est jamais compris mais seulement loué ou blâmé.
Nietzsche, Gay Science