sharp eye on one another, and do not trust each other the
best. Ingenious in little artifices, they wait for those whose knowledge
walketh on lame feet,--like spiders do they wait.
I saw them always prepare their poison with precaution; and always did
they put glass gloves on their fingers in doing so.
They also know how to play with false dice; and so eagerly did I find
them playing, that they perspired thereby.
We are alien to each other, and their virtues are even more repugnant to
my taste than their falsehoods and false dice.
And when I lived with them, then did I live above them. Therefore did
they take a dislike to me.
They want to hear nothing of any one walking above their heads; and so
they put wood and earth and rubbish betwixt me and their heads.
Thus did they deafen the sound of my tread: and least have I hitherto
been heard by the most learned.
All mankind's faults and weaknesses did they put betwixt themselves and
me:--they call it "false ceiling" in their houses.
But nevertheless I walk with my thoughts ABOVE their heads; and even
should I walk on mine own errors, still would I be above them and their
For men are NOT equal: so speaketh justice. And what I will, THEY may
Thus spake Zarathustra.
"Since I have known the body better"--said Zarathustra to one of his
disciples--"the spirit hath only been to me symbolically spirit; and all
the 'imperishable'--that is also but a simile."
"So have I heard thee say once before," answered the disciple, "and then
thou addedst: 'But the poets lie too much.' Why didst thou say that the
poets lie too much?"
"Why?" said Zarathustra. "Thou askest why? I do not belong to those who
may be asked after their Why.
Is my experience but of yesterday? It is long ago that I experienced the
reasons for mine opinions.
Should I not have to be a cask of memory, if I also wanted to have my
reasons with me?
It is already too much for me even to retain mine opinions; and many a
bird flieth away.
And sometimes, also, do I find a fugitive creature in my dovecote, which
is alien to me, and trembleth when I lay my hand upon it.
But what did Zarathustra once say unto thee? That the poets lie too
much?--But Zarathustra also is a poet.
Believest thou that he there spake the truth? Why dost thou believe it?"
The disciple answered: "I believe in Zarathustra." But Zarathustra shook
his head and smiled.--
Belief doth not sanctify me, said he,
"Tristan and Isolde" glorifies the perfect husband who, in a certain case, can ask only one question: "But why have ye not told me this before? Nothing could be simpler than that!" Reply: "That I cannot tell thee.Page 19
--I admire Wagner wherever he sets _himself_ to music.Page 43
Did he ultimately _change his mind_ on this point? It would seem that he had at least had the desire of _changing_ his doctrine towards the end.Page 53
There are "cheerful men" who make use of good spirits, because they are misunderstood on account of them--they _wish_ to be misunderstood.Page 56
_"C'est la rage de vouloir penser et sentir au delÃ de sa force"_ (Doudan).Page 64
When, afterwards, his understanding has become fully developed, it is generally too late to start something new; for wisdom on earth has almost always had something of the weakness of old age and lack of vigour about it.Page 65
Let this serve as a crumb of comfort for philologists in general; but true philologists stand in need of a better understanding: what will result from a science which is "gone in for" by ninety-nine such people? The thoroughly unfitted majority draw up the rules of the science in accordance with their own capacities and inclinations; and in this way they tyrannise over the hundredth, the only capable one among them.Page 69
We take up our positions again in the ranks, work in our own little corner, and hope that what we do may be of some small profit to our successors.Page 70
When antiquity suddenly comes upon us in our youth, it appears to us to be composed of innumerable trivialities; in particular we believe ourselves to be above its ethics.Page 77
The feeling underlying all this, in my opinion, was that Christianity had already overcome the old religion: people no longer feared it, but availed themselves of the culture that rested upon it.Page 89
109 "Invariably to see the general in the particular is the distinguishing characteristic of genius," says Schopenhauer.Page 94
But all Greek culture is based upon such views.Page 103
Thinking of one's self affords little happiness.Page 104