Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 181

one! thou
amiable one! though it be hard for thee. For they are thy warmest
friends and preceptors!"--

--"One excepted, whom I hold still dearer," answered the voluntary
beggar. "Thou thyself art good, O Zarathustra, and better even than a

"Away, away with thee! thou evil flatterer!" cried Zarathustra
mischievously, "why dost thou spoil me with such praise and

"Away, away from me!" cried he once more, and heaved his stick at the
fond beggar, who, however, ran nimbly away.


Scarcely however was the voluntary beggar gone in haste, and Zarathustra
again alone, when he heard behind him a new voice which called out:
"Stay! Zarathustra! Do wait! It is myself, forsooth, O Zarathustra,
myself, thy shadow!" But Zarathustra did not wait; for a sudden
irritation came over him on account of the crowd and the crowding in his
mountains. "Whither hath my lonesomeness gone?" spake he.

"It is verily becoming too much for me; these mountains swarm; my
kingdom is no longer of THIS world; I require new mountains.

My shadow calleth me? What matter about my shadow! Let it run after me!
I--run away from it."

Thus spake Zarathustra to his heart and ran away. But the one behind
followed after him, so that immediately there were three runners,
one after the other--namely, foremost the voluntary beggar, then
Zarathustra, and thirdly, and hindmost, his shadow. But not long had
they run thus when Zarathustra became conscious of his folly, and shook
off with one jerk all his irritation and detestation.

"What!" said he, "have not the most ludicrous things always happened to
us old anchorites and saints?

Verily, my folly hath grown big in the mountains! Now do I hear six old
fools' legs rattling behind one another!

But doth Zarathustra need to be frightened by his shadow? Also,
methinketh that after all it hath longer legs than mine."

Thus spake Zarathustra, and, laughing with eyes and entrails, he stood
still and turned round quickly--and behold, he almost thereby threw his
shadow and follower to the ground, so closely had the latter followed at
his heels, and so weak was he. For when Zarathustra scrutinised him
with his glance he was frightened as by a sudden apparition, so slender,
swarthy, hollow and worn-out did this follower appear.

"Who art thou?" asked Zarathustra vehemently, "what doest thou here? And
why callest thou thyself my shadow? Thou art not pleasing unto me."

"Forgive me," answered the shadow, "that it is I; and if I please thee
not--well, O Zarathustra! therein do I admire thee and thy good taste.

A wanderer am I, who have walked long at thy heels;

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