(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
THUS sang the magician; and
all who were present went like birds unawares into the net
of his artful and melancholy voluptuousness. Only the spiritually
conscientious one had not been caught: he at once snatched
the harp from the magician and called out: "Air! Let
in good air! Let in Zarathustra! Thou makest this cave sultry
and poisonous, thou bad old magician!
Thou seducest, thou false one,
thou subtle one, to unknown desires and deserts. And alas,
that such as thou should talk and make ado about the truth!
Alas, to all free spirits who
are not on their guard against such magicians! It is all over
with their freedom: thou teachest and temptest back into prisons,-Thou
old melancholy devil, out of thy lament soundeth a lurement:
thou resemblest those who with their praise of chastity secretly
invite to voluptuousness!
Thus spake the conscientious
one; the old magician, however, looked about him, enjoying
his triumph, and on that account put up with the annoyance
which the conscientious one caused him. "Be still!"
said he with modest voice, "good songs want to re-echo
well; after good songs one should be long silent.
Thus do all those present,
the higher men. Thou, however, hast perhaps understood but
little of my song? In thee there is little of the magic spirit.
"Thou praisest me,"
replied the conscientious one, "in that thou separatest
me from thyself; very well! But, ye others, what do I see?
Ye still sit there, all of you, with lusting eyes-:
Ye free spirits, whither hath
your freedom gone! Ye almost seem to me to resemble those
who have long looked at bad girls dancing naked: your souls
In you, ye higher men, there
must be more of that which the magician calleth his evil spirit
of magic and deceit:- we must indeed be different.
And verily, we spake and thought
long enough together ere. Zarathustra came home to his cave,
for me not to be unaware that we are different.
We seek different things even
here aloft, ye and I. For I seek more security; on that account
have I come to Zarathustra. For he is still the most steadfast
tower and will-Today, when everything tottereth, when all
the earth quaketh. Ye, however, when I see what eyes ye make,
it almost seemeth to me that ye seek more insecurity,
-More horror, more danger,
more earthquake. Ye long (it almost seemeth so to me- forgive
my presumption, ye higher men)-Ye long for the worst and dangerousest
life, which frighteneth me most,- for the life of wild beasts,
for forests, caves, steep mountains and labyrinthine gorges.
And it is not those who lead
out of danger that please you best, but those who lead you
away from all paths, the misleaders. But if such longing in
you be actual, it seemeth to me nevertheless to be impossible.
For fear- that is man's original
and fundamental feeling; through fear everything is explained,
original sin and original virtue. Through fear there grew
also my virtue, that is to say: Science.
For fear of wild animals- that
hath been longest fostered in man, inclusive of the animal
which he concealeth and feareth in himself:Zarathustra calleth
it 'the beast inside.'
Such prolonged ancient fear,
at last become subtle, spiritual and intellectual- at present,
me thinketh, it is called Science."Thus spake the conscientious
one; but Zarathustra, who had just come back into his cave
and had heard and divined the last discourse, threw a handful
of roses to the conscientious one, and laughed on account
of his "truths." "Why!" he exclaimed,
"what did I hear just now? Verily, it seemeth to me,
thou art a fool, or else I myself am one: and quietly and
quickly will I Put thy 'truth' upside down.
For fear- is an exception with
us. Courage, however, and adventure, and delight in the uncertain,
in the unattempted- courage seemeth to me the entire primitive
history of man.
The wildest and most courageous
animals hath he envied and robbed of all their virtues: thus
only did he become- man.
This courage, at last become
subtle, spiritual and intellectual, this human courage, with
eagle's pinions and serpent's wisdom: this, it seemeth to
me, is called at present-"
all of them there assembled, as if with one voice, and burst
out at the same time into a great laughter; there arose, however,
from them as it were a heavy cloud. Even the magician laughed,
and said wisely: "Well! It is gone, mine evil spirit!
And did I not myself warn you
against it when I said that it was a deceiver, a lying and
Especially when it showeth
itself naked. But what can I do with regard to its tricks!
Have I created it and the world?
Well! Let us be good again,
and of good cheer! And although Zarathustra looketh with evil
eye- just see him! he disliketh me-:
-Ere night cometh will he again
learn to love and laud me; he cannot live long without committing
He- loveth his enemies: this
art knoweth he better than any one I have seen. But he taketh
revenge for it- on his friends!"
Thus spake the old magician,
and the higher men applauded him; so that Zarathustra went
round, and mischievously and lovingly shook hands with his
friends,- like one who hath to make amends and apologise to
every one for something. When however he had thereby come
to the door of his cave, lo, then had he again a longing for
the good air outside, and for his animals,- and wished to
qu'on fait n'est jamais compris mais seulement loué ou blâmé.
Nietzsche, Gay Science