Thus slowly wandering through many peoples and divers cities did Zarathustra return by round-about roads to his mountains and his cave. And behold, thereby came he unawares also to the gate of the great city. Here, however, a foaming fool, with extended hands, sprang forward to him and stood in his way. It was the same fool whom the people called the ape of Zarathustra; for he had learned from him something of the expression and modulation of language, and perhaps liked also to borrow from the store of his wisdom. And the fool talked thus to Zarathustra:
O Zarathustra, here is the great city: here hast thou nothing to seek and everything to lose.
Why wouldst thou wade through this mire? Have pity upon thy foot! Spit rather on the gate of the city, andturn back!
Here is the hell for anchorites thoughts; here are great thoughts seethed alive and boiled small.
Here do all great sentiments decay; here may only rattleboned sensations rattle!
Smellest thou not already the shambles and cookshops of the spirit? Steameth not this city with the fumes of slaughtered spirit?
Seest thou not the souls hanging like limp dirty rags? And they make newspapers also out of these rags!
Hearest thou not how spirit hath here become a verbal game? Loathsome verbal swill doth it vomit forth! And they make newspapers also out of this verbal swill.
They hound one another, and know not whither! They inflame one another, and know not why! They tinkle with their pinchbeck, they jingle with their gold.
They are cold, and seek warmth from distilled waters; they are inflamed, and seek coolness from frozen spirits; they are all sick and sore through public opinion.
All lusts and vices are here at home; but here there are also the virtuous; there is much appointable appointed virtue
Much appointable virtue with scribe-fingers and hardy sitting-flesh and waiting-flesh blessed with small breaststars, and padded, haunchless daughters.
There is here also much piety, and much faithful spittle-licking and spittle-backing, before the God of Hosts.
From on high drippeth the star, and the gracious spittle; for the high, longeth every starless bosom.
The moon hath its court, and the court hath its moon-calves; unto all, however, that cometh from the court do the mendicant people pray, and all appointable mendicant virtues.
I serve, thou servest, we serveso prayeth all appointable virtue to the prince, that the merited star may at last stick on the slender breast!
But the moon still revolveth around all that is earthly: so revolveth also the prince around what is earthliest of allthat, however, is the gold of the shopman.
The God of the Hosts of war is not the God of the golden bar; the prince proposeth but the shopmandisposeth!
By all that is luminous and strong and good in thee, O Zarathustra, spit on this city of shopmen and return back!
|Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.|