26. XXVI. THE PRIESTS.
And one day Zarathustra made a sign to his disciples, and spake these words
"Here are priests: but although they are mine enemies, pass them quietly
and with sleeping swords!
Even among them there are heroes; many of them have suffered too much--:
so they want to make others suffer.
Bad enemies are they: nothing is more revengeful than their meekness. And
readily doth he soil himself who toucheth them.
But my blood is related to theirs; and I want withal to see my blood
honoured in theirs."--
And when they had passed, a pain attacked Zarathustra; but not long had he
struggled with the pain, when he began to speak thus:
It moveth my heart for those priests. They also go against my taste; but
that is the smallest matter unto me, since I am among men.
But I suffer and have suffered with them: prisoners are they unto me, and
stigmatised ones. He whom they call Saviour put them in fetters:--
In fetters of false values and fatuous words! Oh, that some one would save
them from their Saviour!
On an isle they once thought they had landed, when the sea tossed them
about; but behold, it was a slumbering monster!
False values and fatuous words: these are the worst monsters for mortals--
long slumbereth and waiteth the fate that is in them.
But at last it cometh and awaketh and devoureth and engulfeth whatever hath
built tabernacles upon it.
Oh, just look at those tabernacles which those priests have built
themselves! Churches, they call their sweet-smelling caves!
Oh, that falsified light, that mustified air! Where the soul--may not fly
aloft to its height!
But so enjoineth their belief: "On your knees, up the stair, ye sinners!"