and at the same time they peer modestly after a new small happiness.
In their hearts they want simply one thing most of all: that no one hurt
them. Thus do they anticipate every one's wishes and do well unto every
That, however, is COWARDICE, though it be called "virtue."--
And when they chance to speak harshly, those small people, then do _I_
hear therein only their hoarseness--every draught of air maketh them
Shrewd indeed are they, their virtues have shrewd fingers. But they lack
fists: their fingers do not know how to creep behind fists.
Virtue for them is what maketh modest and tame: therewith have they made
the wolf a dog, and man himself man's best domestic animal.
"We set our chair in the MIDST"--so saith their smirking unto me--"and
as far from dying gladiators as from satisfied swine."
That, however, is--MEDIOCRITY, though it be called moderation.--
I pass through this people and let fall many words: but they know
neither how to take nor how to retain them.
They wonder why I came not to revile venery and vice; and verily, I came
not to warn against pickpockets either!
They wonder why I am not ready to abet and whet their wisdom: as if they
had not yet enough of wiseacres, whose voices grate on mine ear like
And when I call out: "Curse all the cowardly devils in you, that
would fain whimper and fold the hands and adore"--then do they shout:
"Zarathustra is godless."
And especially do their teachers of submission shout this;--but
precisely in their ears do I love to cry: "Yea! I AM Zarathustra, the
Those teachers of submission! Wherever there is aught puny, or sickly,
or scabby, there do they creep like lice; and only my disgust preventeth
me from cracking them.
Well! This is my sermon for THEIR ears: I am Zarathustra the godless,
who saith: "Who is more godless than I, that I may enjoy his teaching?"
I am Zarathustra the godless: where do I find mine equal? And all
those are mine equals who give unto themselves their Will, and divest
themselves of all submission.
I am Zarathustra the godless! I cook every chance in MY pot. And only
when it hath been quite cooked do I welcome it as MY food.
And verily, many a chance came imperiously unto me: but still more
imperiously did my WILL speak unto it,--then did it lie imploringly upon
--Imploring that it might find home and heart with me, and saying
flatteringly: "See, O Zarathustra, how friend only cometh unto
But why talk I, when no one hath MINE
It seemed to him of small moment _what_ they believed, so long as it was safely imbecile.Page 7
But though the theology of Christianity had thus sunk to the lowly estate of a mere delusion of the rabble, propagated on that level by the ancient caste of sacerdotal parasites, the ethics of Christianity continued to enjoy the utmost acceptance, and perhaps even more acceptance than ever before.Page 9
The evidence behind it is now supported by sympathy, the sporting instinct, sentimentality--and sentimentality is as powerful as an army with banners.Page 14
I do not offer my own version on the plea that either of these is useless; on the contrary, I cheerfully acknowledge that they have much merit, and that they helped me at almost every line.Page 15
There was thunder in our air; nature, as we embodied it, became overcast--_for we had not yet found the way_.Page 17
the past: but always as a happy accident, as an exception, never as deliberately _willed_.Page 29
Christian, too, is a certain cruelty toward one's self and toward others; hatred of unbelievers; the will to persecute.Page 33
Jahveh is the god of Israel, and _consequently_ the god of justice: this is the logic of every race that has power in its hands and a good conscience in the use of it.Page 44
The martyrs have _damaged_ the truth.Page 69
the experience, the sagacity and the ethical experimentation of long centuries; it brings things to a conclusion; it no longer creates.Page 73
The sneakishness of hypocrisy, the secrecy of the conventicle, concepts as black as hell, such as the sacrifice of the innocent, the _unio mystica_ in the drinking of blood, above all, the slowly rekindled fire of revenge, of Chandala revenge--all _that_ sort of thing became master of Rome: the same kind of religion which, in a pre-existent form, Epicurus had combatted.Page 74
It would be an error, however, to assume that there was any lack of understanding in the leaders of the Christian movement:--ah, but they were clever, clever to the point of holiness, these fathers of the church! What they lacked was something quite different.