51. LI. ON PASSING-BY.
Thus slowly wandering through many peoples and divers cities, did
Zarathustra return by round-about roads to his mountains and his cave. And
behold, thereby came he unawares also to the gate of the GREAT CITY. Here,
however, a foaming fool, with extended hands, sprang forward to him and
stood in his way. It was the same fool whom the people called "the ape of
Zarathustra:" for he had learned from him something of the expression and
modulation of language, and perhaps liked also to borrow from the store of
his wisdom. And the fool talked thus to Zarathustra:
O Zarathustra, here is the great city: here hast thou nothing to seek and
everything to lose.
Why wouldst thou wade through this mire? Have pity upon thy foot! Spit
rather on the gate of the city, and--turn back!
Here is the hell for anchorites' thoughts: here are great thoughts seethed
alive and boiled small.
Here do all great sentiments decay: here may only rattle-boned sensations
Smellest thou not already the shambles and cookshops of the spirit?
Steameth not this city with the fumes of slaughtered spirit?
Seest thou not the souls hanging like limp dirty rags?--And they make
newspapers also out of these rags!
Hearest thou not how spirit hath here become a verbal game? Loathsome
verbal swill doth it vomit forth!--And they make newspapers also out of
this verbal swill.
They hound one another, and know not whither! They inflame one another,
and know not why! They tinkle with their pinchbeck, they jingle with their
They are cold, and seek warmth from distilled waters: they are inflamed,
and seek coolness from frozen spirits; they are all sick and sore through
All lusts and vices are here at home; but here there are also the virtuous;
there is much appointable appointed virtue:--
Much appointable virtue with scribe-fingers, and hardy sitting-flesh and
waiting-flesh, blessed with small breast-stars, and padded, haunchless