The Academic Chairs of Virtue
People commended unto Zarathustra a wise man, as one who could discourse well about sleep and virtue; greatly was he honoured and rewarded for it, and all the youths sat before his chair. To him went Zarathustra, and sat among the youths before his chair. And thus spake the wise man:
Respect and modesty in presence of sleep! That is the first thing! And to go out of the way of all who sleep badly and keep awake at night!
Modest is even the thief in presence of sleep; he always stealeth softly through the night. Immodest, however, is the nightwatchman; immodestly he carrieth his horn.
No small art is it to sleep; it is necessary for that purpose to keep awake all day.
Ten times a day must thou overcome thyself; that causeth wholesome weariness, and is poppy to the soul.
Ten times must thou reconcile again with thyself; for overcoming is bitterness, and badly sleep the unreconciled.
Ten truths must thou find during the day; otherwise wilt thou seek truth during the night, and thy soul will have been hungry.
Ten times must thou laugh during the day, and be cheerful; otherwise thy stomach, the father of affliction, will disturb thee in the night.
Few people know it, but one must have all the virtues in order to sleep well. Shall I bear false witness? Shall I commit adultery?
Shall I covet my neighbours maidservant? All that would ill accord with good sleep.
And even if one have all the virtues, there is still one thing needful: to send the virtues themselves to sleep at the right time.
That they may not quarrel with one another, the good females! And about thee, thou unhappy one!
Peace with God and thy neighbour: so desireth good sleep. And peace also with they neighbours devil! Otherwise it will haunt thee in the night.
Honour to the government, and obedience, and also to the crooked government! So desireth good sleep. How can I help it, if power like to walk on crooked legs?
He who leadeth his sheep to the greenest pasture, shall always be for me the best shepherd; so doth it accord with good sleep.
Many honours I want not, nor great treasures; they excite the spleen. But it is bad sleeping without a good name and a little treasure.
A small company is more welcome to me than a bad one; but they must come and go at the right time. So doth it accord with good sleep.
Well also do the poor in spirit please me; they promote sleep. Blessed are they, especially if one always give in to them.
Thus passeth the day unto the virtuous. When night cometh, then take I good care not to summon sleep. It disliketh to be summoned sleep, the lord of the virtues!
But I think of what I have done and thought during the day. Thus ruminating, patient as a cow, I ask myself, What were thy ten overcomings?
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