41. XLI. THE SOOTHSAYER.
"-And I saw a great sadness come over mankind. The best turned weary of
A doctrine appeared, a faith ran beside it: 'All is empty, all is alike,
all hath been!'
And from all hills there re-echoed: 'All is empty, all is alike, all hath
To be sure we have harvested: but why have all our fruits become rotten
and brown? What was it fell last night from the evil moon?
In vain was all our labour, poison hath our wine become, the evil eye hath
singed yellow our fields and hearts.
Arid have we all become; and fire falling upon us, then do we turn dust
like ashes:--yea, the fire itself have we made aweary.
All our fountains have dried up, even the sea hath receded. All the ground
trieth to gape, but the depth will not swallow!
'Alas! where is there still a sea in which one could be drowned?' so
soundeth our plaint--across shallow swamps.
Verily, even for dying have we become too weary; now do we keep awake and
live on--in sepulchres."
Thus did Zarathustra hear a soothsayer speak; and the foreboding touched
his heart and transformed him. Sorrowfully did he go about and wearily;
and he became like unto those of whom the soothsayer had spoken.--
Verily, said he unto his disciples, a little while, and there cometh the
long twilight. Alas, how shall I preserve my light through it!
That it may not smother in this sorrowfulness! To remoter worlds shall it
be a light, and also to remotest nights!
Thus did Zarathustra go about grieved in his heart, and for three days he
did not take any meat or drink: he had no rest, and lost his speech. At
last it came to pass that he fell into a deep sleep. His disciples,
however, sat around him in long night-watches, and waited anxiously to see
if he would awake, and speak again, and recover from his affliction.