Friedrich Nietzsche: Thus Spake Zarathustra


Thus sang the magician; and all who were present went like birds unawares into the net of his artful and melancholy voluptuousness. Only the spiritually conscientious one had not been caught: he at once snatched the harp from the magician and called out: "Air! Let in good air! Let in Zarathustra! Thou makest this cave sultry and poisonous, thou bad old magician!

Thou seducest, thou false one, thou subtle one, to unknown desires and deserts. And alas, that such as thou should talk and make ado about the TRUTH!

Alas, to all free spirits who are not on their guard against SUCH magicians! It is all over with their freedom: thou teachest and temptest back into prisons,--

--Thou old melancholy devil, out of thy lament soundeth a lurement: thou resemblest those who with their praise of chastity secretly invite to voluptuousness!"

Thus spake the conscientious one; the old magician, however, looked about him, enjoying his triumph, and on that account put up with the annoyance which the conscientious one caused him. "Be still!" said he with modest voice, "good songs want to re-echo well; after good songs one should be long silent.

Thus do all those present, the higher men. Thou, however, hast perhaps understood but little of my song? In thee there is little of the magic spirit.

"Thou praisest me," replied the conscientious one, "in that thou separatest me from thyself; very well! But, ye others, what do I see? Ye still sit there, all of you, with lusting eyes--:

Ye free spirits, whither hath your freedom gone! Ye almost seem to me to resemble those who have long looked at bad girls dancing naked: your souls themselves dance!

In you, ye higher men, there must be more of that which the magician calleth his evil spirit of magic and deceit:--we must indeed be different.

And verily, we spake and thought long enough together ere Zarathustra came home to his cave, for me not to be unaware that we ARE different.

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