XVIII. OLD AND YOUNG WOMEN
by Friedrich Nietzsche
Why stealest thou along so furtively in the twilight, Zarathustra?
what hidest thou so carefully under thy mantle?
Is it a treasure that hath been given thee? Or a child that hath been
thee? Or goest thou thyself on a thief's errand, thou friend of the
Verily, my brother, said Zarathustra, it is a
treasure that hath been given
me: it is a little truth which I carry.
But it is naughty, like a young child; and if I hold not its
screameth too loudly.
As I went on my way alone to-day, at the hour when the sun
met me an old woman, and she spake thus unto my soul:
Much hath Zarathustra spoken also to us women, but never spake
he unto us
And I answered her: Concerning woman, one should only talk
Talk also unto me of woman, said she; I am old enough to
And I obliged the old woman and spake thus unto her:
Everything in woman is a riddle, and everything in woman
hath one solution
--it is called pregnancy.
Man is for woman a means: the purpose is always the child.
But what is
woman for man?
Two different things wanteth the true man: danger and
Therefore wanteth he woman, as the most dangerous plaything.
Man shall be trained for war, and woman for the recreation of
all else is folly.
Too sweet fruits--these the warrior liketh not. Therefore liketh
woman;--bitter is even the sweetest woman.
Better than man doth woman understand children, but man is
In the true man there is a child hidden: it wanteth to play. Up
women, and discover the child in man!
A plaything let woman be, pure and fine like the precious
with the virtues of a world not yet come.
Let the beam of a star shine in your love! Let your hope say:
"May I bear
In your love let there be valour! With your love shall ye assail
inspireth you with fear!
In your love be your honor! Little doth woman understand
honor. But let this be your honor: always to love more than ye are
loved, and never be the second.
Let man fear woman when she loveth: then maketh she every
everything else she regardeth as worthless.
Let man fear woman when she hateth: for man in his innermost
merely evil; woman, however, is mean.
Whom hateth woman most?--Thus spake the iron to the
loadstone: "I hate
thee most, because thou attractest, but art too weak to draw unto thee."
The happiness of man is, I will. The happiness of woman is,
"Lo! now hath the world become perfect!"--thus thinketh every
she obeyeth with all her love.
Obey, must the woman, and find a depth for her surface.
woman's soul, a mobile, stormy film on shallow water.
Man's soul, however, is deep, its current gusheth in
woman surmiseth its force, but comprehendeth it not.--
Then answered me the old woman: Many fine things hath Zarathustra
especially for those who are young enough for them.
Strange! Zarathustra knoweth little about woman, and yet he is right
them! Doth this happen, because with women nothing is impossible?
And now accept a little truth by way of thanks! I am old enough for
Swaddle it up and hold its mouth: otherwise it will scream too
Give me, woman, thy little truth! said I. And thus
spake the old woman:
Thou goest to women? Do not forget thy whip!
Thus spake Zarathustra.
the first thought of Zarathustra