Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 107

it came to pass that the laugher wept--with anger and
longing wept Zarathustra bitterly.



When it got abroad among the sailors that Zarathustra was on board the
ship--for a man who came from the Happy Isles had gone on board along
with him,--there was great curiosity and expectation. But Zarathustra
kept silent for two days, and was cold and deaf with sadness; so that he
neither answered looks nor questions. On the evening of the second day,
however, he again opened his ears, though he still kept silent: for
there were many curious and dangerous things to be heard on board the
ship, which came from afar, and was to go still further. Zarathustra,
however, was fond of all those who make distant voyages, and dislike to
live without danger. And behold! when listening, his own tongue was
at last loosened, and the ice of his heart broke. Then did he begin to
speak thus:

To you, the daring venturers and adventurers, and whoever hath embarked
with cunning sails upon frightful seas,--

To you the enigma-intoxicated, the twilight-enjoyers, whose souls are
allured by flutes to every treacherous gulf:

--For ye dislike to grope at a thread with cowardly hand; and where ye
can DIVINE, there do ye hate to CALCULATE--

To you only do I tell the enigma that I SAW--the vision of the
lonesomest one.--

Gloomily walked I lately in corpse-coloured twilight--gloomily and
sternly, with compressed lips. Not only one sun had set for me.

A path which ascended daringly among boulders, an evil, lonesome path,
which neither herb nor shrub any longer cheered, a mountain-path,
crunched under the daring of my foot.

Mutely marching over the scornful clinking of pebbles, trampling the
stone that let it slip: thus did my foot force its way upwards.

Upwards:--in spite of the spirit that drew it downwards, towards the
abyss, the spirit of gravity, my devil and arch-enemy.

Upwards:--although it sat upon me, half-dwarf, half-mole; paralysed,
paralysing; dripping lead in mine ear, and thoughts like drops of lead
into my brain.

"O Zarathustra," it whispered scornfully, syllable by syllable, "thou
stone of wisdom! Thou threwest thyself high, but every thrown stone

O Zarathustra, thou stone of wisdom, thou sling-stone, thou
star-destroyer! Thyself threwest thou so high,--but every thrown
stone--must fall!

Condemned of thyself, and to thine own stoning: O Zarathustra, far
indeed threwest thou thy stone--but upon THYSELF will it recoil!"

Then was the dwarf silent; and it lasted long. The silence, however,
oppressed me; and to be thus in pairs, one is verily lonesomer than when

I ascended, I ascended, I dreamt, I thought,--but everything oppressed
me. A sick

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as that great mysterious one possesses it, the tempter-god and born rat-catcher of consciences, whose voice can descend into the nether-world of every soul, who neither speaks a word nor casts a glance in which there may not be some motive or touch of allurement, to whose perfection it pertains that he knows how to appear,--not as he is, but in a guise which acts as an ADDITIONAL constraint on his followers to press ever closer to him, to follow him more cordially and thoroughly;--the genius of the heart, which imposes silence and attention on everything loud and self-conceited, which smoothes rough souls and makes them taste a new longing--to lie placid as a mirror, that the deep heavens may be reflected in them;--the genius of the heart, which teaches the clumsy and too hasty hand to hesitate, and to grasp more delicately; which scents the hidden and forgotten treasure, the drop of goodness and sweet spirituality under thick dark ice, and is a divining-rod for every grain of gold, long buried and imprisoned in mud and sand; the genius of the heart, from contact with which every one goes away richer; not favoured or surprised, not as though gratified and oppressed by the good things of others; but richer in himself, newer than before, broken up, blown upon, and sounded by a thawing wind; more uncertain, perhaps, more delicate, more fragile, more bruised, but full of hopes which as yet lack names, full of a new will and current, full of a new ill-will and counter-current.