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O solitude! My home, solitude! Too long have I lived wildly in wild remoteness, to return to you without tears!

Now threaten me with the finger as mothers threaten; now smile upon me as mothers smile; now say just: “Who was it that like a whirlwind once rushed away from me?-

-Who when departing called out: ‘Too long have I sat with solitude; there have I unlearned silence!’ That have you learned now- surely?

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Ah, lies everything already withered and grey which but lately stood green and many-hued on this meadow! And how much honey of hope did I carry hence into my beehives!

Those young hearts have already all become old- and not old even! only weary, ordinary, comfortable:- they declare it: “We have again become pious.”

Of late did I see them run forth at early morn with valorous steps: but the feet of their knowledge became weary, and now do they malign even their morning valor!

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Thus slowly wandering through many peoples and divers cities, did Zarathustra return by round-about roads to his mountains and his cave. And behold, thereby came he unawares also to the gate of the great city. Here, however, a foaming fool, with extended hands, sprang forward to him and stood in his way. It was the same fool whom the people called “the ape of Zarathustra:” for he had learned from him something of the expression and modulation of language, and perhaps liked also to borrow from the store of his wisdom. And the fool talked thus to Zarathustra:

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Winter, a bad guest, sits with me at home; blue are my hands with his friendly hand-shaking.

I honor him, that bad guest, but gladly leave him alone. Gladly do I run away from him; and when one runs well, then one escapes him!

With warm feet and warm thoughts do I run where the wind is calmto the sunny corner of my olive-mount.

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When Zarathustra was again on the continent, he did not go straightway to his mountains and his cave, but made many wanderings and questionings, and ascertained this and that; so that he said of himself jestingly: “Lo, a river that flows back to its source in many windings!” For he wanted to learn what had taken place among men during the interval: whether they had become greater or smaller. And once, when he saw a row of new houses, he marvelled, and said:

“What do these houses mean? no great soul put them up as its simile!

Did perhaps a silly child take them out of its toy-box? Would that another child put them again into the box!

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O heaven above me, you pure, you deep heaven! you abyss of light! Gazing on you, I tremble with divine desires.

Up to your height to toss myself- that is my depth! In your purity to hide myself- that is my innocence!

The God veils his beauty: thus hide you your stars. You speak not: thus proclaim you your wisdom to me.

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With such enigmas and bitterness in his heart did Zarathustra sail o’er the sea. When, however, he was four day-journeys from the Blessed isles and from his friends, then had he overcame all his pain:- triumphantly and with firm foot did he again accept his fate. And then talked Zarathustra in this wise to his exulting conscience:

Alone am I again, and like to be so, alone with the pure heaven, and the open sea; and again is the afternoon around me.

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When it got abroad among the sailors that Zarathustra was on board the ship- for a man who came from the Blessed isles had gone on board along with him,- there was great curiosity and expectation. But Zarathustra kept silent for two days, and was cold and deaf with sadness; so that he neither answered looks nor questions. On the evening of the second day, however, he again opened his ears, though he still kept silent: for there were many curious and dangerous things to be heard on board the ship, which came from afar, and was to go still further. Zarathustra, however, was fond of all those who make distant voyages, and dislike to live without danger. And behold! when listening, his own tongue was at last loosened, and the ice of his heart broke. Then did he begin to speak thus:

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Then, when it was about midnight, Zarathustra went his way over the ridge of the isle, that he might arrive early in the morning at the other coast; because there he meant to embark. For there was a good roadstead there, in which foreign ships also liked to anchor: those ships took many people with them, who wished to cross over from the Blessed isles. So when Zarathustra thus ascended the mountain, he thought on the way of his many solitary wanderings from youth onwards, and how many mountains and ridges and summits he had already climbed.

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What has happened to me, my friends? You see me troubled, driven forth, unwillingly obedient, ready to go- alas, to go away from you!

Yes, once more must Zarathustra retire to his solitude: but unjoyously this time does the bear go back to his cave!

What has happened to me? Who orders this?- Ah, my angry mistress wishes it so; she spoke to me. Have I ever named her name to you?

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