49. XLIX. THE BEDWARFING VIRTUE.
When Zarathustra was again on the continent, he did not go straightway to
his mountains and his cave, but made many wanderings and questionings, and
ascertained this and that; so that he said of himself jestingly: "Lo, a
river that floweth back unto its source in many windings!" For he wanted
to learn what had taken place AMONG MEN during the interval: whether they
had become greater or smaller. And once, when he saw a row of new houses,
he marvelled, and said:
"What do these houses mean? Verily, no great soul put them up as its
Did perhaps a silly child take them out of its toy-box? Would that another
child put them again into the box!
And these rooms and chambers--can MEN go out and in there? They seem to be
made for silk dolls; or for dainty-eaters, who perhaps let others eat with
And Zarathustra stood still and meditated. At last he said sorrowfully:
"There hath EVERYTHING become smaller!
Everywhere do I see lower doorways: he who is of MY type can still go
therethrough, but--he must stoop!
Oh, when shall I arrive again at my home, where I shall no longer have to
stoop--shall no longer have to stoop BEFORE THE SMALL ONES!"--And
Zarathustra sighed, and gazed into the distance.--
The same day, however, he gave his discourse on the bedwarfing virtue.
I pass through this people and keep mine eyes open: they do not forgive me
for not envying their virtues.
They bite at me, because I say unto them that for small people, small
virtues are necessary--and because it is hard for me to understand that
small people are NECESSARY!
Here am I still like a cock in a strange farm-yard, at which even the hens
peck: but on that account I am not unfriendly to the hens.