Friedrich Nietzsche: Thus Spake Zarathustra


When Zarathustra went one day over the great bridge, then did the cripples and beggars surround him, and a hunchback spake thus unto him:

"Behold, Zarathustra! Even the people learn from thee, and acquire faith in thy teaching: but for them to believe fully in thee, one thing is still needful--thou must first of all convince us cripples! Here hast thou now a fine selection, and verily, an opportunity with more than one forelock! The blind canst thou heal, and make the lame run; and from him who hath too much behind, couldst thou well, also, take away a little;--that, I think, would be the right method to make the cripples believe in Zarathustra!"

Zarathustra, however, answered thus unto him who so spake: When one taketh his hump from the hunchback, then doth one take from him his spirit--so do the people teach. And when one giveth the blind man eyes, then doth he see too many bad things on the earth: so that he curseth him who healed him. He, however, who maketh the lame man run, inflicteth upon him the greatest injury; for hardly can he run, when his vices run away with him--so do the people teach concerning cripples. And why should not Zarathustra also learn from the people, when the people learn from Zarathustra?

It is, however, the smallest thing unto me since I have been amongst men, to see one person lacking an eye, another an ear, and a third a leg, and that others have lost the tongue, or the nose, or the head.

I see and have seen worse things, and divers things so hideous, that I should neither like to speak of all matters, nor even keep silent about some of them: namely, men who lack everything, except that they have too much of one thing--men who are nothing more than a big eye, or a big mouth, or a big belly, or something else big,--reversed cripples, I call such men.

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