Â THUS SPOKE ZARATHUSTRA
THE FLIES IN THE MARKET-PLACE
Flee, my friend, into your solitude! I see you deafened with the noise ofÂ the great men, and stung all over with the stings of the little ones.
Admirably do forest and rock know how to be silent with you.Â Resemble again the tree which you love, the broad-branched one – silentlyÂ and attentively it overhangs the sea.
Where solitude ends, there begins the market-place; and where theÂ market-place begins, there begins also the noise of the great actors, andÂ the buzzing of the poison-flies.
In the world even the best things are worthless without those who representÂ them: those showmen, the people call great men.
Little, do the people understand what is great – that is to say, the creatingÂ agency. But they have a taste for all showmen and actors of greatÂ things.
Around the inventors of new values revolves the world: – invisibly itÂ revolves. But around the actors revolve the people and the glory: such isÂ the course of things.
Spirit, has the actor, but little conscience of the spirit. He believes alwaysÂ in that which he believes most strongly – in himself!
Tomorrow he has a new belief, and the day after, one still newer. SharpÂ perceptions has he, like the people, and changeable humours.
To upset – that means with him to prove. To drive mad – that meansÂ with him to convince. And blood is counted by him as the best of allÂ arguments.
A truth which only glides into sensitive ears, he calls a lie and nothing.Â Truly, he believes only in gods that make a great noise in the world!
Full of ceremonial clowns is the market-place, – and the people glory inÂ their great men! These are for them the masters of the hour.
But the hour presses them; so they press you. And also from you theyÂ want Yes or No. Alas. you would set your chair between For andÂ Against?
On account of those absolute and impatient ones, be not jealous, youÂ lover of truth! Never yet did truth cling to the arm of an absolute one.
On account of those abrupt ones, return into your security: only in theÂ market-place is one assailed by Yes? or No?
Slow is the experience of all deep fountains: long have they to wait untilÂ they know what has fallen into their depths.
Away from the market-place and from fame takes place all that isÂ great: away from the market-Place and from fame have ever dwelt theÂ devisers of new values.
Flee, my friend, into your solitude: I see you stung all over by the poisonousÂ flies. Flee there, where a rough, strong breeze blows!
Flee into your solitude! you have lived too closely to the small and theÂ pitiable. Flee from their invisible vengeance! Towards you they haveÂ nothing but vengeance.
Raise no longer an arm against them! Innumerable are they, and it isÂ not your lot to shoo flies.
Innumerable are the small and pitiable ones; and of many a proudÂ structure, rain-drops and weeds have been the ruin.
You are not stone; but already have you become hollow by the numerousÂ drops. you will yet break and burst by the numerous drops.
Exhausted I see you, by poisonous flies; bleeding I see you, and torn atÂ a hundred spots; and your pride will not even upbraid.
Blood they would have from you in all innocence; blood their bloodlessÂ souls crave for – and they sting, therefore, in all innocence.
But you, profound one, you suffer too profoundly even from smallÂ wounds; and ere you had recovered, the same poison-worm crawledÂ over your hand.
Too proud are you to kill these sweet-tooths. But take care lest it beÂ your fate to suffer all their poisonous injustice!
They buzz around you also with their praise: obtrusiveness is theirÂ praise. They want to be close to your skin and your blood.
They flatter you, as one flatters a God or devil; they whimper beforeÂ you, as before a God or devil; What does it come to! Flatterers are they,Â and whimperers, and nothing more.
Often, also, do they show themselves to you as amiable ones. But thatÂ has ever been the prudence of the cowardly. Yes! the cowardly are wise!
They think much about you with their circumscribed souls – you are alwaysÂ suspected by them! Whatever is much thought about is at lastÂ thought suspicious.
They punish you for all your virtues. They pardon you in their inmostÂ hearts only – for your errors.
Because you are gentle and of upright character, you say: “BlamelessÂ are they for their small existence.” But their circumscribed soul think:Â “Blamable is all great existence.”
Even when you are gentle towards them, they still feel themselves despisedÂ by you; and they repay your beneficence with secret maleficence.
Your silent pride is always counter to their taste; they rejoice if onceÂ you be humble enough to be frivolous.
What we recognize in a man, we also irritate in him. Therefore be onÂ your guard against the small ones!
In your presence they feel themselves small, and their baseness gleamsÂ and glows against you in invisible vengeance.
Saw you not how often they became dumb when you approachedÂ them, and how their energy left them like the smoke of an extinguishingÂ fire?
Yes, my friend, the bad conscience are you of your neighbor; for theyÂ are unworthy of you. Therefore they hate you, and would rather suckÂ your blood.
Your neighbor will always be poisonous flies; what is great in you -Â that itself must make them more poisonous, and always more fly-like.
Flee, my friend, into your solitude – and there, where a rough strongÂ breeze blows. It is not your lot to shoo flies. –
Thus spoke Zarathustra.