25. XXV. THE PITIFUL.
My friends, there hath arisen a satire on your friend: "Behold
Zarathustra! Walketh he not amongst us as if amongst animals?"
But it is better said in this wise: "The discerning one walketh amongst
men AS amongst animals."
Man himself is to the discerning one: the animal with red cheeks.
How hath that happened unto him? Is it not because he hath had to be
ashamed too oft?
O my friends! Thus speaketh the discerning one: shame, shame, shame--that
is the history of man!
And on that account doth the noble one enjoin upon himself not to abash:
bashfulness doth he enjoin on himself in presence of all sufferers.
Verily, I like them not, the merciful ones, whose bliss is in their pity:
too destitute are they of bashfulness.
If I must be pitiful, I dislike to be called so; and if I be so, it is
preferably at a distance.
Preferably also do I shroud my head, and flee, before being recognised:
and thus do I bid you do, my friends!
May my destiny ever lead unafflicted ones like you across my path, and
those with whom I MAY have hope and repast and honey in common!
Verily, I have done this and that for the afflicted: but something better
did I always seem to do when I had learned to enjoy myself better.
Since humanity came into being, man hath enjoyed himself too little: that
alone, my brethren, is our original sin!
And when we learn better to enjoy ourselves, then do we unlearn best to
give pain unto others, and to contrive pain.
Therefore do I wash the hand that hath helped the sufferer; therefore do I
wipe also my soul.