Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 91

seemeth to me all the
jingle-jangling of their harps; what have they known hitherto of the
fervour of tones!--

They are also not pure enough for me: they all muddle their water that
it may seem deep.

And fain would they thereby prove themselves reconcilers: but mediaries
and mixers are they unto me, and half-and-half, and impure!--

Ah, I cast indeed my net into their sea, and meant to catch good fish;
but always did I draw up the head of some ancient God.

Thus did the sea give a stone to the hungry one. And they themselves may
well originate from the sea.

Certainly, one findeth pearls in them: thereby they are the more like
hard molluscs. And instead of a soul, I have often found in them salt

They have learned from the sea also its vanity: is not the sea the
peacock of peacocks?

Even before the ugliest of all buffaloes doth it spread out its tail;
never doth it tire of its lace-fan of silver and silk.

Disdainfully doth the buffalo glance thereat, nigh to the sand with its
soul, nigher still to the thicket, nighest, however, to the swamp.

What is beauty and sea and peacock-splendour to it! This parable I speak
unto the poets.

Verily, their spirit itself is the peacock of peacocks, and a sea of

Spectators, seeketh the spirit of the poet--should they even be

But of this spirit became I weary; and I see the time coming when it
will become weary of itself.

Yea, changed have I seen the poets, and their glance turned towards

Penitents of the spirit have I seen appearing; they grew out of the

Thus spake Zarathustra.


There is an isle in the sea--not far from the Happy Isles of
Zarathustra--on which a volcano ever smoketh; of which isle the people,
and especially the old women amongst them, say that it is placed as a
rock before the gate of the nether-world; but that through the volcano
itself the narrow way leadeth downwards which conducteth to this gate.

Now about the time that Zarathustra sojourned on the Happy Isles, it
happened that a ship anchored at the isle on which standeth the smoking
mountain, and the crew went ashore to shoot rabbits. About the noontide
hour, however, when the captain and his men were together again, they
saw suddenly a man coming towards them through the air, and a voice said
distinctly: "It is time! It is the highest time!" But when the figure
was nearest to them (it flew past quickly, however, like a shadow, in
the direction of the volcano), then did

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