44. XLIV. THE STILLEST HOUR.
What hath happened unto me, my friends? Ye see me troubled, driven forth,
unwillingly obedient, ready to go--alas, to go away from YOU!
Yea, once more must Zarathustra retire to his solitude: but unjoyously
this time doth the bear go back to his cave!
What hath happened unto me? Who ordereth this?--Ah, mine angry mistress
wisheth it so; she spake unto me. Have I ever named her name to you?
Yesterday towards evening there spake unto me MY STILLEST HOUR: that is
the name of my terrible mistress.
And thus did it happen--for everything must I tell you, that your heart may
not harden against the suddenly departing one!
Do ye know the terror of him who falleth asleep?--
To the very toes he is terrified, because the ground giveth way under him,
and the dream beginneth.
This do I speak unto you in parable. Yesterday at the stillest hour did
the ground give way under me: the dream began.
The hour-hand moved on, the timepiece of my life drew breath--never did I
hear such stillness around me, so that my heart was terrified.
Then was there spoken unto me without voice: "THOU KNOWEST IT,
And I cried in terror at this whispering, and the blood left my face: but
I was silent.
Then was there once more spoken unto me without voice: "Thou knowest it,
Zarathustra, but thou dost not speak it!"--
And at last I answered, like one defiant: "Yea, I know it, but I will not
Then was there again spoken unto me without voice: "Thou WILT not,
Zarathustra? Is this true? Conceal thyself not behind thy defiance!"--