XXIII. THE CHILD WITH THE MIRROR
by Friedrich Nietzsche
After this Zarathustra returned again into the mountains to the
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
increased, and caused him pain by its abundance.
One morning, however, he awoke ere the rosy dawn, and having
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
me, carrying a mirror?
O Zarathustra--said the child unto me--look at thyself in the
But when I looked into the mirror, I shrieked, and my heart
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
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
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
young--so have patience with it!
Wounded am I by my happiness: all sufferers shall be physicians
To my friends can I again go down, and also to mine enemies!
can again speak and bestow, and show his best love to his loved ones!
My impatient love overfloweth in streams,--down towards
sunrise and sunset.
Out of silent mountains and storms of affliction, rusheth my soul into the
Too long have I longed and looked into the distance. Too long
solitude possessed me: thus have I unlearned to keep silence.
Utterance have I become altogether, and the brawling of a
brook from high
rocks: downward into the valleys will I hurl my speech.
And let the stream of my love sweep into unfrequented
channels! How should
a stream not finally find its way to the sea!
Forsooth, there is a lake in me, sequestered and self-sufficing;
stream of my love beareth this along with it, down--to the sea!
New paths do I tread, a new speech cometh unto me; tired have
like all creators--of the old tongues. No longer will my spirit walk on
Too slowly runneth all speaking for me:--into thy chariot, O
storm, do I
leap! And even thee will I whip with my spite!
Like a cry and an huzza will I traverse wide seas, till I find the
Isles where my friends sojourn;
And mine enemies amongst them! How I now love every one
unto whom I may
but speak! Even mine enemies pertain to my bliss.
And when I want to mount my wildest horse, then doth my
spear always help
me up best: it is my foot's ever ready servant:
The spear which I hurl at mine enemies! How grateful am I to
that I may at last hurl it!
Too great hath been the tension of my cloud: 'twixt laughters
lightnings will I cast hail-showers into the depths.
Violently will my breast then heave; violently will it blow its
the mountains: thus cometh its assuagement.
Verily, like a storm cometh my happiness, and my freedom!
But mine enemies
shall think that THE EVIL ONE roareth over their heads.
Yea, ye also, my friends, will be alarmed by my wild wisdom;
and perhaps ye
will flee therefrom, along with mine enemies.
Ah, that I knew how to lure you back with shepherds' flutes!
Ah, that my
lioness wisdom would learn to roar softly! And much have we already
learned with one another!
My wild wisdom became pregnant on the lonesome mountains;
on the rough
stones did she bear the youngest of her young.
Now runneth she foolishly in the arid wilderness, and seeketh
the soft sward--mine old, wild wisdom!
On the soft sward of your hearts, my friends!--on your love,
would she fain
couch her dearest one!
Thus spake Zarathustra.
the first thought of Zarathustra