56. LVI. OLD AND NEW TABLES.
Here do I sit and wait, old broken tables around me and also new half-written
tables. When cometh mine hour?
--The hour of my descent, of my down-going: for once more will I go unto
For that hour do I now wait: for first must the signs come unto me that it
is MINE hour--namely, the laughing lion with the flock of doves.
Meanwhile do I talk to myself as one who hath time. No one telleth me
anything new, so I tell myself mine own story.
When I came unto men, then found I them resting on an old infatuation: all
of them thought they had long known what was good and bad for men.
An old wearisome business seemed to them all discourse about virtue; and he
who wished to sleep well spake of "good" and "bad" ere retiring to rest.
This somnolence did I disturb when I taught that NO ONE YET KNOWETH what is
good and bad:--unless it be the creating one!
--It is he, however, who createth man's goal, and giveth to the earth its
meaning and its future: he only EFFECTETH it THAT aught is good or bad.
And I bade them upset their old academic chairs, and wherever that old
infatuation had sat; I bade them laugh at their great moralists, their
saints, their poets, and their Saviours.
At their gloomy sages did I bid them laugh, and whoever had sat admonishing
as a black scarecrow on the tree of life.
On their great grave-highway did I seat myself, and even beside the carrion
and vultures--and I laughed at all their bygone and its mellow decaying