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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
The Higher Man
By Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900)
 
From ‘Thus Spake Zarathustra’: Translation of Thomas Common

WHEN I came unto men for the first time, then did I commit the anchorite folly, the great folly: I appeared on the market-place.  1
  And when I spake unto all, I spake unto none. In the evening, however, rope-dancers were my companions, and corpses; and I myself almost a corpse.  2
  With the new morning, however, there came unto me a new truth: then did I learn to say: “Of what account to me are market-place and populace and populace-noise and long populace-cars!”  3
  Ye higher men, learn this from me: On the market-place no one believeth in higher men. But if ye will speak there, very well! The populace, however, blinketh: “We are all equal.”  4
  “Ye higher men,”—so blinketh the populace,—“there are no higher men, we are all equal; man is man, before God—we are all equal!”  5
  Before God!—Now, however, this God hath died. Before the populace, however, we will not be equal. Ye higher men, away from the market-place!  6
 
  Before God!—Now however this God hath died! Ye higher men, this God was your greatest danger.  7
  Only since he lay in the grave have ye again arisen. Now only cometh the great noontide, now only doth the higher man become—master!  8
  Have ye understood this word, O my brethren? Ye are frightened: do your hearts turn giddy? Doth the abyss here yawn for you? Doth the hell-hound here yelp at you?  9
  Well! Take heart! ye higher men! Now only travaileth the mountain of the human future. God hath died: now do we desire—the Superman to live.  10
 
  The most careful ask to-day: “How is man to be maintained?” Zarathustra however asketh, as the first and only one: “How is man to be surpassed?”  11
  The Superman, I have at heart; that is the first and only thing to me—and not man: not the neighbor, not the poorest, not the sorriest, not the best.—  12
  O my brethren, what I can love in man is that he is an over-going and a down-going. And also in you there is much that maketh me love and hope.  13
  In that ye have despised, ye higher men, that maketh me hope. For the great despisers are the great reverers.  14
  In that ye have despaired there is much to honor. For ye have not learned to submit yourselves, ye have not learned petty policy.  15
  For to-day have the petty people become master: they all preach submission and humility and policy and diligence and consideration and the long et cetera of petty virtues.  16
  Whatever is of the effeminate type, whatever originateth from the servile type, and especially the populace-mishmash:—that wisheth now to be master of all human destiny—O disgust! Disgust! Disgust!  17
  That asketh and asketh and never tireth. “How is man to maintain himself best, longest, most pleasantly?” Thereby—are they the masters of to-day.  18
  These masters of to-day—surpass them, O my brethren—these petty people: they are the Superman’s greatest danger!  19
  Surpass, ye higher men, the petty virtues, the petty policy, the sand-grain considerateness, the ant-hill trumpery, the pitiable comfortableness, the “happiness of the greatest number”—!  20
  And rather despair than submit yourselves. And verily, I love you, because ye know not to-day how to live, ye higher men! For thus do ye live—best!
*        *        *        *        *
  21
  Do like unto the wind when it rusheth forth from its mountain-caves: unto its own piping will it dance; the seas tremble and leap under its footsteps.  22
  That which giveth wings to asses, that which milketh the lionesses:—praised be that good, unruly spirit, which cometh like a hurricane unto all the present and unto all the populace,—  23
  —Which is hostile to thistle-heads and puzzle-heads, and to all withered leaves and weeds:—praised be this wild, good, free spirit of the storm, which danceth upon fens and afflictions, as upon meadows!  24
  Which hateth the consumptive populace-dogs, and all the ill-constituted, sullen brood:—praised be this spirit of all free spirits, the laughing storm, which bloweth dust into the eyes of all the melanopic and melancholic!  25
  Ye higher men, the worst thing in you is that ye have none of you learned to dance as ye ought to dance—to dance beyond yourselves! What doth it matter that ye have failed!  26
  How many things are still possible! So learn to laugh beyond yourselves! Lift up your hearts, ye good dancers, high! higher! And do not forget the good laughter!  27
  This crown of the laughter, this rose-garland crown: to you my brethren do I cast this crown! Laughing have I consecrated; ye higher men, learn, I pray you—to laugh!  28
 
 
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