Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 89

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
heads.

For men are NOT equal: so speaketh justice. And what I will, THEY may
not will!--

Thus spake Zarathustra.




XXXIX. POETS.

"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,

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Text Comparison with The Case of Wagner Complete Works, Volume 8

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5.