23. XXIII. THE CHILD WITH THE MIRROR.
After this Zarathustra returned again into the mountains to the solitude of
his cave, and withdrew himself from men, waiting like a sower who hath
scattered his seed. His soul, however, became impatient and full of
longing for those whom he loved: because he had still much to give them.
For this is hardest of all: to close the open hand out of love, and keep
modest as a giver.
Thus passed with the lonesome one months and years; his wisdom meanwhile
increased, and caused him pain by its abundance.
One morning, however, he awoke ere the rosy dawn, and having meditated long
on his couch, at last spake thus to his heart:
Why did I startle in my dream, so that I awoke? Did not a child come to
me, carrying a mirror?
"O Zarathustra"--said the child unto me--"look at thyself in the mirror!"
But when I looked into the mirror, I shrieked, and my heart throbbed: for
not myself did I see therein, but a devil's grimace and derision.
Verily, all too well do I understand the dream's portent and monition: my
DOCTRINE is in danger; tares want to be called wheat!
Mine enemies have grown powerful and have disfigured the likeness of my
doctrine, so that my dearest ones have to blush for the gifts that I gave
Lost are my friends; the hour hath come for me to seek my lost ones!--
With these words Zarathustra started up, not however like a person in
anguish seeking relief, but rather like a seer and a singer whom the spirit
inspireth. With amazement did his eagle and serpent gaze upon him: for a
coming bliss overspread his countenance like the rosy dawn.
What hath happened unto me, mine animals?--said Zarathustra. Am I not
transformed? Hath not bliss come unto me like a whirlwind?
Foolish is my happiness, and foolish things will it speak: it is still too
young--so have patience with it!