FOURTH AND LAST PART.
78. LXXVIII. THE ASS-FESTIVAL.
At this place in the litany, however, Zarathustra could no longer control
himself; he himself cried out YE-A, louder even than the ass, and sprang
into the midst of his maddened guests. "Whatever are you about, ye grown-up
children?" he exclaimed, pulling up the praying ones from the ground.
"Alas, if any one else, except Zarathustra, had seen you:
Every one would think you the worst blasphemers, or the very foolishest old
women, with your new belief!
And thou thyself, thou old pope, how is it in accordance with thee, to
adore an ass in such a manner as God?"--
"O Zarathustra," answered the pope, "forgive me, but in divine matters I am
more enlightened even than thou. And it is right that it should be so.
Better to adore God so, in this form, than in no form at all! Think over
this saying, mine exalted friend: thou wilt readily divine that in such a
saying there is wisdom.
He who said 'God is a Spirit'--made the greatest stride and slide hitherto
made on earth towards unbelief: such a dictum is not easily amended again
Mine old heart leapeth and boundeth because there is still something to
adore on earth. Forgive it, O Zarathustra, to an old, pious pontiff-heart!--"
--"And thou," said Zarathustra to the wanderer and shadow, "thou callest
and thinkest thyself a free spirit? And thou here practisest such idolatry
Worse verily, doest thou here than with thy bad brown girls, thou bad, new
"It is sad enough," answered the wanderer and shadow, "thou art right: but
how can I help it! The old God liveth again, O Zarathustra, thou mayst say
what thou wilt.
The ugliest man is to blame for it all: he hath reawakened him. And if he
say that he once killed him, with Gods DEATH is always just a prejudice."