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- Thus Spake Zarathustra - 50/76 -


and according to my heart: I will to-day ascend a high mountain! But see that honey is there ready to hand, yellow, white, good, ice-cool, golden- comb-honey. For know that when aloft I will make the honey-sacrifice."--

When Zarathustra, however, was aloft on the summit, he sent his animals home that had accompanied him, and found that he was now alone:--then he laughed from the bottom of his heart, looked around him, and spake thus:

That I spake of sacrifices and honey-sacrifices, it was merely a ruse in talking and verily, a useful folly! Here aloft can I now speak freer than in front of mountain-caves and anchorites' domestic animals.

What to sacrifice! I squander what is given me, a squanderer with a thousand hands: how could I call that--sacrificing?

And when I desired honey I only desired bait, and sweet mucus and mucilage, for which even the mouths of growling bears, and strange, sulky, evil birds, water:

--The best bait, as huntsmen and fishermen require it. For if the world be as a gloomy forest of animals, and a pleasure-ground for all wild huntsmen, it seemeth to me rather--and preferably--a fathomless, rich sea;

--A sea full of many-hued fishes and crabs, for which even the Gods might long, and might be tempted to become fishers in it, and casters of nets,-- so rich is the world in wonderful things, great and small!

Especially the human world, the human sea:--towards IT do I now throw out my golden angle-rod and say: Open up, thou human abyss!

Open up, and throw unto me thy fish and shining crabs! With my best bait shall I allure to myself to-day the strangest human fish!

--My happiness itself do I throw out into all places far and wide 'twixt orient, noontide, and occident, to see if many human fish will not learn to hug and tug at my happiness;--

Until, biting at my sharp hidden hooks, they have to come up unto MY height, the motleyest abyss-groundlings, to the wickedest of all fishers of men.

For THIS am I from the heart and from the beginning--drawing, hither- drawing, upward-drawing, upbringing; a drawer, a trainer, a training- master, who not in vain counselled himself once on a time: "Become what thou art!"

Thus may men now come UP to me; for as yet do I await the signs that it is time for my down-going; as yet do I not myself go down, as I must do, amongst men.

Therefore do I here wait, crafty and scornful upon high mountains, no impatient one, no patient one; rather one who hath even unlearnt patience, --because he no longer "suffereth."

For my fate giveth me time: it hath forgotten me perhaps? Or doth it sit behind a big stone and catch flies?

And verily, I am well-disposed to mine eternal fate, because it doth not hound and hurry me, but leaveth me time for merriment and mischief; so that I have to-day ascended this high mountain to catch fish.

Did ever any one catch fish upon high mountains? And though it be a folly what I here seek and do, it is better so than that down below I should become solemn with waiting, and green and yellow--

--A posturing wrath-snorter with waiting, a holy howl-storm from the mountains, an impatient one that shouteth down into the valleys: "Hearken, else I will scourge you with the scourge of God!"

Not that I would have a grudge against such wrathful ones on that account: they are well enough for laughter to me! Impatient must they now be, those big alarm-drums, which find a voice now or never!

Myself, however, and my fate--we do not talk to the Present, neither do we talk to the Never: for talking we have patience and time and more than time. For one day must it yet come, and may not pass by.

What must one day come and may not pass by? Our great Hazar, that is to say, our great, remote human-kingdom, the Zarathustra-kingdom of a thousand years--

How remote may such "remoteness" be? What doth it concern me? But on that account it is none the less sure unto me--, with both feet stand I secure on this ground;

--On an eternal ground, on hard primary rock, on this highest, hardest, primary mountain-ridge, unto which all winds come, as unto the storm- parting, asking Where? and Whence? and Whither?

Here laugh, laugh, my hearty, healthy wickedness! From high mountains cast down thy glittering scorn-laughter! Allure for me with thy glittering the finest human fish!

And whatever belongeth unto ME in all seas, my in-and-for-me in all things --fish THAT out for me, bring THAT up to me: for that do I wait, the wickedest of all fish-catchers.

Out! out! my fishing-hook! In and down, thou bait of my happiness! Drip thy sweetest dew, thou honey of my heart! Bite, my fishing-hook, into the belly of all black affliction!

Look out, look out, mine eye! Oh, how many seas round about me, what dawning human futures! And above me--what rosy red stillness! What unclouded silence!

LXII. THE CRY OF DISTRESS.

The next day sat Zarathustra again on the stone in front of his cave, whilst his animals roved about in the world outside to bring home new food,--also new honey: for Zarathustra had spent and wasted the old honey to the very last particle. When he thus sat, however, with a stick in his hand, tracing the shadow of his figure on the earth, and reflecting-- verily! not upon himself and his shadow,--all at once he startled and shrank back: for he saw another shadow beside his own. And when he hastily looked around and stood up, behold, there stood the soothsayer beside him, the same whom he had once given to eat and drink at his table, the proclaimer of the great weariness, who taught: "All is alike, nothing is worth while, the world is without meaning, knowledge strangleth." But his face had changed since then; and when Zarathustra looked into his eyes, his heart was startled once more: so much evil announcement and ashy-grey lightnings passed over that countenance.

The soothsayer, who had perceived what went on in Zarathustra's soul, wiped his face with his hand, as if he would wipe out the impression; the same did also Zarathustra. And when both of them had thus silently composed and strengthened themselves, they gave each other the hand, as a token that they wanted once more to recognise each other.

"Welcome hither," said Zarathustra, "thou soothsayer of the great weariness, not in vain shalt thou once have been my messmate and guest. Eat and drink also with me to-day, and forgive it that a cheerful old man sitteth with thee at table!"--"A cheerful old man?" answered the soothsayer, shaking his head, "but whoever thou art, or wouldst be, O Zarathustra, thou hast been here aloft the longest time,--in a little while thy bark shall no longer rest on dry land!"--"Do I then rest on dry land?" --asked Zarathustra, laughing.--"The waves around thy mountain," answered the soothsayer, "rise and rise, the waves of great distress and affliction: they will soon raise thy bark also and carry thee away."--Thereupon was Zarathustra silent and wondered.--"Dost thou still hear nothing?" continued the soothsayer: "doth it not rush and roar out of the depth?"--Zarathustra was silent once more and listened: then heard he a long, long cry, which the abysses threw to one another and passed on; for none of them wished to retain it: so evil did it sound.

"Thou ill announcer," said Zarathustra at last, "that is a cry of distress, and the cry of a man; it may come perhaps out of a black sea. But what doth human distress matter to me! My last sin which hath been reserved for me,--knowest thou what it is called?"

--"PITY!" answered the soothsayer from an overflowing heart, and raised both his hands aloft--"O Zarathustra, I have come that I may seduce thee to thy last sin!"--

And hardly had those words been uttered when there sounded the cry once more, and longer and more alarming than before--also much nearer. "Hearest thou? Hearest thou, O Zarathustra?" called out the soothsayer, "the cry concerneth thee, it calleth thee: Come, come, come; it is time, it is the highest time!"--

Zarathustra was silent thereupon, confused and staggered; at last he asked, like one who hesitateth in himself: "And who is it that there calleth me?"

"But thou knowest it, certainly," answered the soothsayer warmly, "why dost thou conceal thyself? It is THE HIGHER MAN that crieth for thee!"

"The higher man?" cried Zarathustra, horror-stricken: "what wanteth HE? What wanteth HE? The higher man! What wanteth he here?"--and his skin covered with perspiration.

The soothsayer, however, did not heed Zarathustra's alarm, but listened and listened in the downward direction. When, however, it had been still there for a long while, he looked behind, and saw Zarathustra standing trembling.

"O Zarathustra," he began, with sorrowful voice, "thou dost not stand there like one whose happiness maketh him giddy: thou wilt have to dance lest thou tumble down!

But although thou shouldst dance before me, and leap all thy side-leaps, no one may say unto me: 'Behold, here danceth the last joyous man!'

In vain would any one come to this height who sought HIM here: caves would he find, indeed, and back-caves, hiding-places for hidden ones; but not lucky mines, nor treasure-chambers, nor new gold-veins of happiness.

Happiness--how indeed could one find happiness among such buried-alive and solitary ones! Must I yet seek the last happiness on the Happy Isles, and far away among forgotten seas?

But all is alike, nothing is worth while, no seeking is of service, there are no longer any Happy Isles!"--

Thus sighed the soothsayer; with his last sigh, however, Zarathustra again became serene and assured, like one who hath come out of a deep chasm into the light. "Nay! Nay! Three times Nay!" exclaimed he with a strong voice, and stroked his beard--"THAT do I know better! There are still Happy Isles! Silence THEREON, thou sighing sorrow-sack!

Cease to splash THEREON, thou rain-cloud of the forenoon! Do I not already stand here wet with thy misery, and drenched like a dog?


Thus Spake Zarathustra - 50/76

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