Friedrich Nietzsche: Thus Spake Zarathustra


With thunder and heavenly fireworks must one speak to indolent and somnolent senses.

But beauty's voice speaketh gently: it appealeth only to the most awakened souls.

Gently vibrated and laughed unto me to-day my buckler; it was beauty's holy laughing and thrilling.

At you, ye virtuous ones, laughed my beauty to-day. And thus came its voice unto me: "They want--to be paid besides!"

Ye want to be paid besides, ye virtuous ones! Ye want reward for virtue, and heaven for earth, and eternity for your to-day?

And now ye upbraid me for teaching that there is no reward-giver, nor paymaster? And verily, I do not even teach that virtue is its own reward.

Ah! this is my sorrow: into the basis of things have reward and punishment been insinuated--and now even into the basis of your souls, ye virtuous ones!

But like the snout of the boar shall my word grub up the basis of your souls; a ploughshare will I be called by you.

All the secrets of your heart shall be brought to light; and when ye lie in the sun, grubbed up and broken, then will also your falsehood be separated from your truth.

For this is your truth: ye are TOO PURE for the filth of the words: vengeance, punishment, recompense, retribution.

Ye love your virtue as a mother loveth her child; but when did one hear of a mother wanting to be paid for her love?

It is your dearest Self, your virtue. The ring's thirst is in you: to reach itself again struggleth every ring, and turneth itself.

And like the star that goeth out, so is every work of your virtue: ever is its light on its way and travelling--and when will it cease to be on its way?

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