Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 13


I would fain bestow and distribute, until the wise have once more become
joyous in their folly, and the poor happy in their riches.

Therefore must I descend into the deep: as thou doest in the
evening, when thou goest behind the sea, and givest light also to the
nether-world, thou exuberant star!

Like thee must I GO DOWN, as men say, to whom I shall descend.

Bless me, then, thou tranquil eye, that canst behold even the greatest
happiness without envy!

Bless the cup that is about to overflow, that the water may flow golden
out of it, and carry everywhere the reflection of thy bliss!

Lo! This cup is again going to empty itself, and Zarathustra is again
going to be a man.

Thus began Zarathustra's down-going.


Zarathustra went down the mountain alone, no one meeting him. When he
entered the forest, however, there suddenly stood before him an old man,
who had left his holy cot to seek roots. And thus spake the old man to

"No stranger to me is this wanderer: many years ago passed he by.
Zarathustra he was called; but he hath altered.

Then thou carriedst thine ashes into the mountains: wilt thou now carry
thy fire into the valleys? Fearest thou not the incendiary's doom?

Yea, I recognise Zarathustra. Pure is his eye, and no loathing lurketh
about his mouth. Goeth he not along like a dancer?

Altered is Zarathustra; a child hath Zarathustra become; an awakened one
is Zarathustra: what wilt thou do in the land of the sleepers?

As in the sea hast thou lived in solitude, and it hath borne thee up.
Alas, wilt thou now go ashore? Alas, wilt thou again drag thy body

Zarathustra answered: "I love mankind."

"Why," said the saint, "did I go into the forest and the desert? Was it
not because I loved men far too well?

Now I love God: men, I do not love. Man is a thing too imperfect for me.
Love to man would be fatal to me."

Zarathustra answered: "What spake I of love! I am bringing gifts unto

"Give them nothing," said the saint. "Take rather part of their load,
and carry it along with them--that will be most agreeable unto them: if
only it be agreeable unto thee!

If, however, thou wilt give unto them, give them no more than an alms,
and let them also beg for it!"

"No," replied Zarathustra, "I give no alms. I am not poor enough for

The saint laughed at Zarathustra, and spake thus: "Then see to it that
they accept thy treasures! They are distrustful of anchorites, and

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Text Comparison with The Joyful Wisdom Complete Works, Volume Ten

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Pinching sore, in devil's mood, Love doth plague my crupper: Truly I can eat no food: Farewell, onion-supper! Seaward.