After the song of the wanderer and shadow, the cave became all at once full of noise and laughter; and since the assembled guests all spake simultaneously, and even the ass, encouraged thereby, no longer remained silent, a little aversion and scorn for his visitors came over Zarathustra, although he rejoiced at their gladness. For it seemed to him a sign of convalescence. So he slipped out into the open air and spake to his animals.
Whither hath their distress now gone? said he, and already did he himself feel relieved of his petty disgust with me, it seemeth that they have unlearned their cries of distress
Though, alas! not yet their crying. And Zarathustra stopped his ears, for just then did the Ye-a of the ass mix strangely with the noisy jubilation of those higher men.
They are merry, he began again, and who knoweth? Perhaps at their hosts expense; and if they have learned of me to laugh, still it is not my laughter they have learned.
But what matter about that! They are old people, they recover in their own way, they laugh in their own way; mine ears have already endured worse and have not become peevish.
This day is a victory; he already yieldeth, he fleeth, the spirit of gravity, mine old arch-enemy! How well this day is about to end which began so badly and gloomily!
And it is about to end. Already cometh the evening; over the sea rideth it hither, the good rider! How it bobbeth, the blessed one, the home-returning one, in its purple saddles!
The sky gazeth brightly thereon, the world lieth deep. Oh, all ye strange ones who have come to me, it is already worth while to have lived with me!
Thus spake Zarathustra. And again came the cries and laughter of the higher men out of the cave; then began he anew:
They bite at it, my bait taketh; there departeth also from them their enemy, the spirit of gravity. Now do they learn to laugh at themselves: do I hear rightly?
My virile food taketh effect, my strong and savoury sayings; and verily, I did not nourish them with flatulent vegetables! But with warrior-food, with conqueror-food: new desires did I awaken.
New hopes are in their arms and legs, their hearts expand. They find new words, soon will their spirits breathe wantonness.
Such food may sure enough not be proper for children, nor even for longing girls old and young. One persuadeth their bowels otherwise; I am not their physician and teacher
The disgust departeth from these higher men; well, that is my victory. In my domain they become assured; all stupid shame fleeth away; they empty themselves.
They empty their hearts, good times return unto them; they keep holiday and ruminate they become thankful.
That do I take as the best sign: they become thankful. Not long will it be ere they devise festivals, and put up memorials to their old joys.
They are convalescents! Thus spake Zarathustra joyfully to his heart and gazed outward; his animals, however, pressed up to him, and honoured his happiness and his silence.
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