FIRST PART. ZARATHUSTRA'S PROLOGUE. ZARATHUSTRA'S DISCOURSES.
21. XXI. VOLUNTARY DEATH.
Many die too late, and some die too early. Yet strange soundeth the
precept: "Die at the right time!
Die at the right time: so teacheth Zarathustra.
To be sure, he who never liveth at the right time, how could he ever die at
the right time? Would that he might never be born!--Thus do I advise the
But even the superfluous ones make much ado about their death, and even the
hollowest nut wanteth to be cracked.
Every one regardeth dying as a great matter: but as yet death is not a
festival. Not yet have people learned to inaugurate the finest festivals.
The consummating death I show unto you, which becometh a stimulus and
promise to the living.
His death, dieth the consummating one triumphantly, surrounded by hoping
and promising ones.
Thus should one learn to die; and there should be no festival at which such
a dying one doth not consecrate the oaths of the living!
Thus to die is best; the next best, however, is to die in battle, and
sacrifice a great soul.
But to the fighter equally hateful as to the victor, is your grinning death
which stealeth nigh like a thief,--and yet cometh as master.
My death, praise I unto you, the voluntary death, which cometh unto me
because I want it.
And when shall I want it?--He that hath a goal and an heir, wanteth death
at the right time for the goal and the heir.
And out of reverence for the goal and the heir, he will hang up no more
withered wreaths in the sanctuary of life.
Verily, not the rope-makers will I resemble: they lengthen out their cord,
and thereby go ever backward.