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- When Zarathustra had spoken these words, he again looked at the people, and was silent. And to his heart he said:
- There they stand; there they laugh: they do not understand me; I am not the mouth for these ears.
- Must one first batter their ears, that they may learn to hear with their eyes? Must one clatter like kettledrums and penitential preachers? Or do they only believe the stammerer?
- They have something of which they are proud. What do they call it, that which makes them proud? Culture, they call it; it distinguishes them from the goatherds.
- They dislike, therefore, to hear of “contempt” of themselves. So I will appeal to their pride.
- I will speak to them of the most contemptible thing: that, however, is the Last Man!"
- And thus spoke Zarathustra to the people:
- It is time for man to fix his goal. It is time for man to plant the seed of his highest hope.
- His soil is still rich enough for it. But that soil will one day be poor and exhausted, and no lofty tree will any longer be able to grow there.
- Alas! there comes the time when man will no longer launch the arrow of his longing beyond man -- and the string of his bow will have unlearned to whiz!
- I tell you: one must still have chaos in oneself, to give birth to a dancing star. I tell you: you have still chaos in yourselves.
- Alas! There comes the time when man will no longer give birth to any star. Alas! There comes the time of the most despicable man, who can no longer despise himself.
- Lo! I show you the Last Man.
- "What is love? What is creation? What is longing? What is a star?" -- so asks the Last Man, and blinks.
- The earth has become small, and on it hops the Last Man, who makes everything small. His species is ineradicable as the flea; the Last Man lives longest.
- "We have discovered happiness" -- say the Last Men, and they blink.
- They have left the regions where it is hard to live; for they need warmth. One still loves one's neighbor and rubs against him; for one needs warmth.
- Turning ill and being distrustful, they consider sinful: they walk warily. He is a fool who still stumbles over stones or men!
- A little poison now and then: that makes for pleasant dreams. And much poison at the end for a pleasant death.
- One still works, for work is a pastime. But one is careful lest the pastime should hurt one.
- One no longer becomes poor or rich; both are too burdensome. Who still wants to rule? Who still wants to obey? Both are too burdensome.
- No shepherd, and one herd! Everyone wants the same; everyone is the same: he who feels differently goes voluntarily into the madhouse.
- "Formerly all the world was insane," -- say the subtlest of them, and they blink.
- They are clever and know all that has happened: so there is no end to their derision. People still quarrel, but are soon reconciled -- otherwise it upsets their stomachs.
- They have their little pleasures for the day, and their little pleasures for the night, but they have a regard for health.
- "We have discovered happiness," -- say the Last Men, and they blink.
- And here ended the first discourse of Zarathustra, which is also called "The Prologue," for at this point the shouting and mirth of the multitude interrupted him. "Give us this Last Man, O Zarathustra," -- they called out -- "make us into these Last Men! Then will we make you a gift of the Overman!" And all the people exulted and smacked their lips. Zarathustra, however, turned sad, and said to his heart:
- They do not understand me: I am not the mouth for these ears.
- Perhaps I have lived too long in the mountains; I have hearkened too much to the brooks and trees: now I speak to them as to the goatherds.
- My soul is calm and clear, like the mountains in the morning. But they think I am cold, and a mocker with terrible jests.
- Now they look at me and laugh: and while they laugh they hate me too. There is ice in their laughter.
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