FIRST PART. ZARATHUSTRA'S PROLOGUE. ZARATHUSTRA'S DISCOURSES.
8. VIII. THE TREE ON THE HILL.
Zarathustra's eye had perceived that a certain youth avoided him. And as
he walked alone one evening over the hills surrounding the town called "The
Pied Cow," behold, there found he the youth sitting leaning against a tree,
and gazing with wearied look into the valley. Zarathustra thereupon laid
hold of the tree beside which the youth sat, and spake thus:
"If I wished to shake this tree with my hands, I should not be able to do
But the wind, which we see not, troubleth and bendeth it as it listeth. We
are sorest bent and troubled by invisible hands."
Thereupon the youth arose disconcerted, and said: "I hear Zarathustra, and
just now was I thinking of him!" Zarathustra answered:
"Why art thou frightened on that account?--But it is the same with man as
with the tree.
The more he seeketh to rise into the height and light, the more vigorously
do his roots struggle earthward, downward, into the dark and deep--into the
"Yea, into the evil!" cried the youth. "How is it possible that thou hast
discovered my soul?"
Zarathustra smiled, and said: "Many a soul one will never discover, unless
one first invent it."
"Yea, into the evil!" cried the youth once more.
"Thou saidst the truth, Zarathustra. I trust myself no longer since I
sought to rise into the height, and nobody trusteth me any longer; how doth
I change too quickly: my to-day refuteth my yesterday. I often overleap
the steps when I clamber; for so doing, none of the steps pardons me.
When aloft, I find myself always alone. No one speaketh unto me; the frost
of solitude maketh me tremble. What do I seek on the height?
My contempt and my longing increase together; the higher I clamber, the
more do I despise him who clambereth. What doth he seek on the height?