The Flies in the Market-place
Flee, my friend, into thy solitude! I see thee deafened with the noise of the great men, and stung all over with the stings of the little ones.
Admirably do forest and rock know how to be silent with thee. Resemble again the tree which thou lovest, the broad-branched one silently and attentively it oerhangeth the sea.
Where solitude endeth, there beginneth the market-place; and where the market-place beginneth, there beginneth also the noise of the great actors, and the buzzing of the poison-flies.
In the world even the best things are worthless without those who represent them; those representers the people call great men.
Little do the people understand what is great that is to say, the creating agency. But they have a taste for all representers and actors of great things.
Around the devisers of new values revolveth the world invisibly it revolveth. But around the actors revolve the people and the glory: such is the course of things.
Spirit hath the actor, but little conscience of the spirit. He believeth always in that wherewith he maketh believe most strongly in himself!
Tomorrow he hath a new belief, and the day after one still newer. Sharp perceptions hath he, like the people, and changeable humours.
To upset that meaneth with him to prove. To drive mad that meaneth with him to convince. And blood is counted by him as the best of all arguments.
A truth which only glideth into fine ears he calleth falsehood and trumpery. Verily, he believeth only in Gods that make a great noise in the world!
Full of clattering buffoons is the market-place and the people glory in their great men! These are for them the masters of the hour.
But the hour presseth them; so they press thee. And also from thee they want Yea or Nay. Alas! Thou wouldst set thy chair betwixt For and Against?
On account of those absolute and impatient ones, be not jealous, thou lover of truth! Never yet did truth cling to the arm of an absolute one.
On account of those abrupt ones, return into thy security; only in the market-place is one assailed by Yea or Nay.
Slow is the experience of all deep fountains: long have they to wait until they know what hath fallen into their depths.
Away from the market-place and from fame taketh place all that is great; away from the market-place and from fame have ever dwelt the devisers of new values.
Flee, my friend, into thy solitude; I see thee stung all over by the poisonous flies. Flee thither, where a rough strong breeze bloweth!
Flee into thy solitude! Thou hast lived too close to the small and the pitiable. Flee from their invisible vengeance! Towards thee they have nothing but vengeance.
Raise no longer an arm against them! Innumerable are they, and it is not thy lot to be a fly-flap.
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