It was late in the afternoon only when Zarathustra, after long useless searching and strolling about, again came home to his cave. When, however, he stood over against it, not more than twenty paces therefrom, the thing happened which he now least of all expected: he heard anew the great cry of distress. And extraordinary! This time the cry came out of his own cave. It was a long, manifold, peculiar cry, and Zarathustra plainly distinguished that it was composed of many voices, although heard at a distance it might sound like the cry out of a single mouth.
Thereupon Zarathustra rushed forward to his cave, and behold, what a spectacle awaited him after that concert! For there did they all sit together whom he had passed during the day: the king on the right and the king on the left, the old magician the pope, the voluntary beggar, the shadow, the intellectually conscientious one, the sorrowful soothsayer, and the ass; the ugliest man, however, had set a crown on his head, and had put round him two purple girdles for he liked, like all ugly ones, to disguise himself and play the handsome person. In the midst, however, of that sorrowful company stood Zarathustras eagle, ruffled and disquieted, for it had been called upon to answer too much for which its pride had not any answer; the wise serpent however hung round its neck.
All this did Zarathustra behold with great astonishment; then however he scrutinised each individual guest with courteous curiosity, read their souls and wondered anew. In the meantime the assembled ones had risen from their seats, and waited with reverence for Zarathustra to speak. Zarathustra however spake thus:
Ye despairing ones! Ye strange ones! So it was your cry of distress that I heard? And now do I know also where he is to be sought, whom I have sought for in vain today: the higher man
In mine own cave sitteth he, the higher man! But why do I wonder! Have not I myself allured him to me by honey-offerings and artful lure-calls of my happiness?
But it seemeth to me that ye are badly adapted for company: ye make one anothers hearts fretful, ye that cry for help, when ye sit here together. There is one that must first come
One who will make you laugh once more, a good jovial buffoon, a dancer, a wind, a wild romp, some old fool what think ye?
Forgive me, however, ye despairing ones, for speaking such trivial words before you: unworthy, verily, of such guests! But ye do not divine what maketh my heart wanton
Ye yourselves do it, and your aspect, forgive it me! For every one becometh courageous who beholdeth a despairing one. To encourage a despairing one every one thinketh himself strong enough to do so.
To myself have ye given this power a good gift, mine honourable guests! An excellent guests-present! Well, do not then up-braid when I also offer you something of mine.
This is mine empire and my dominion: that which is mine, however, shall this evening and tonight be yours. Mine animals shall serve you; let my cave be your resting-place!
At house and home with me shall no one despair; in my purlieus do I protect every one from his wild beasts. And that is the first thing which I offer you: security!
The second thing, however, is my little finger. And when ye have that, then take the whole hand also, yea and the heart with it! Welcome here, welcome to you my guests!
Thus spake Zarathustra, and laughed with love and mischief. After this greeting his guests bowed once more and were reverentially silent; the king on the right, however, answered him in their name.
O Zarathustra, by the way in which thou hast given us thy hand and thy greeting, we recognise thee as Zarathustra. Thou hast humbled thyself before us; almost hast thou hurt our reverence
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