(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
AT THIS place in the litany,
however, Zarathustra could no longer control himself; he himself
cried out YE-A, louder even than the ass, and sprang into
the midst of his maddened guests. "Whatever are you about,
ye grown-up children?" he exclaimed, pulling up the praying
ones from the ground. "Alas, if any one else, except
Zarathustra, had seen you:
Every one would think you the
worst blasphemers, or the very foolishest old women, with
your new belief!
And thou thyself, thou old
pope, how is it in accordance with thee, to adore an ass in
such a manner as God?"O Zarathustra," answered the
pope, "forgive me, but in divine matters I am more enlightened
even than thou. And it is right that it should be so.
Better to adore God so, in
this form, than in no form at all! Think over this saying,
mine exalted friend: thou wilt readily divine that in such
a saying there is wisdom.
He who said 'God is a Spirit'-
made the greatest stride and slide hitherto made on earth
towards unbelief: such a dictum is not easily amended again
Mine old heart leapeth and
boundeth because there is still something to adore on earth.
Forgive it, O Zarathustra, to an old, pious pontiff-heart!-"
-"And thou," said
Zarathustra to the wanderer and shadow, "thou callest
and thinkest thyself a free spirit? And thou here practisest
such idolatry and hierolatry?
Worse verily, doest thou here
than with thy bad brown girls, thou bad, new believer!"
"It is sad enough,"
answered the wanderer and shadow, "thou art right: but
how can I help it! The old God liveth again, O Zarathustra,
thou mayst say what thou wilt.
The ugliest man is to blame
for it all: he hath reawakened him. And if he say that he
once killed him, with Gods death is always just a prejudice."
-"And thou," said
Zarathustra, "thou bad old magician, what didst thou
do! Who ought to believe any longer in thee in this free age,
when thou believest in such divine donkeyism?
It was a stupid thing that
thou didst; how couldst thou, a shrewd man, do such a stupid
answered the shrewd magician, "thou art right, it was
a stupid thing,- it was also repugnant to me."
-"And thou even,"
said Zarathustra to the spiritually conscientious one, "consider,
and put thy finger to thy nose! Doth nothing go against thy
conscience here? Is thy spirit not too cleanly for this praying
and the fumes of those devotees?"
"There is something therein,"
said the spiritually conscientious one, and put his finger
to his nose, "there is something in this spectacle which
even doeth good to my conscience.
Perhaps I dare not believe
in God: certain it is however, that God seemeth to me most
worthy of belief in this form.
God is said to be eternal,
according to the testimony of the most pious: he who hath
so much time taketh his time. As slow and as stupid as possible:
thereby can such a one nevertheless go very far.
And he who hath too much spirit
might well become infatuated with stupidity and folly. Think
of thyself, O Zarathustra!
Thou thyself- verily! even
thou couldst well become an ass through superabundance of
Doth not the true sage willingly
walk on the crookedest paths? The evidence teacheth it, O
Zarathustra,- thine own evidence!"
-"And thou thyself, finally,"
said Zarathustra, and turned towards the ugliest man, who
still lay on the ground stretching up his arm to the ass (for
he gave it wine to drink). "Say, thou nondescript, what
hast thou been about!
Thou seemest to me transformed,
thine eyes glow, the mantle of the sublime covereth thine
ugliness: what didst thou do?
Is it then true what they say,
that thou hast again awakened him? And why? Was he not for
good reasons killed and made away with?
Thou thyself seemest to me
awakened: what didst thou do? why didst thou turn round? Why
didst thou get converted? Speak, thou nondescript!"
answered the ugliest man, "thou art a rogue!
Whether he yet liveth, or again
liveth, or is thoroughly dead- which of us both knoweth that
best? I ask thee.
One thing however do I know,-
from thyself did I learn it once, O Zarathustra: he who wanteth
to kill most thoroughly, laugheth.
'Not by wrath but by laughter
doth one kill'- thus spakest thou once, O Zarathustra, thou
hidden one, thou destroyer without wrath, thou dangerous saint,-
thou art a rogue!"
Then, however, did it come
to pass that Zarathustra, astonished at such merely roguish
answers, jumped back to the door of his cave, and turning
towards all his guests, cried out with a strong voice:
"O ye wags, all of you,
ye buffoons! Why do ye dissemble and disguise yourselves before
How the hearts of all of you
convulsed with delight and wickedness, because ye had at last
become again like little children- namely, pious,-Because
ye at last did again as children do- namely, prayed, folded
your hands and said 'good God'!
But now leave, I pray you,
this nursery, mine own cave, where today all childishness
is carried on. Cool down, here outside, your hot child-wantonness
To be sure: except ye become
as little children ye shall not enter into that kingdom of
heaven." (And Zarathustra pointed aloft with his hands.)
"But we do not at all
want to enter into the kingdom of heaven: we have become men,-
so we want the kingdom of earth."
And once more began Zarathustra
to speak. "O my new friends," said he,- "ye
strange ones, ye higher men, how well do ye now please me,-Since
ye have again become joyful! Ye have, verily, all blossomed
forth: it seemeth to me that for such flowers as you, new
festivals are required.
-A little valiant nonsense,
some divine service and ass-festival, some old joyful Zarathustra
fool, some blusterer to blow your souls bright.
Forget not this night and this
ass-festival, ye higher men! That did ye devise when with
me, that do I take as a good omen,- such things only the convalescents
And should ye celebrate it
again, this ass-festival, do it from love to yourselves, do
it also from love to me! And in remembrance of me!"
Thus spake Zarathustra.
qu'on fait n'est jamais compris mais seulement loué ou blâmé.
Nietzsche, Gay Science