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【P1C6】The Pale Criminal

YOU do not want to kill, you judges and executioners, until the animal has bowed its head? Behold, the pale criminal has bowed his head: out of his eye speaks the great contempt.

“My ego is something that shall be overcome: my ego is to me the great contempt of man”: so speaks it out of that eye.

When he judged himself- that was his supreme moment; let not the exalted one return again to his baseness!

There is no salvation for the man who thus suffers from himself, unless it be speedy death.

Your killing, you judges, shall be pity, and not revenge; and as you kill, be sure that you yourselves affirm life!

It is not enough that you should reconcile with the man whom you kill. Let your sorrow be love of the Superman: thus you will justify your own survival!

“Enemy” you shall say, but not “villain,” “invalid” you shall say, but not “wretch,” “fool” you shall say, but not “sinner.”

And you, red judge, if you would confess to all you have done in thought, then everyone would cry: “Away with this filth and this poisonous snake!”

But the thought is one thing, the deed another, and the idea of the deed still another. The wheel of causality does not roll between them.

An idea made this pale man pale. He was equal to his deed when he did it, but the idea of it, he could not endure when it was done.

Always he now saw himself as the doer of one deed. Madness, I call this: the exception reversed itself to the rule in him.

The streak of chalk bewitches the hen; the stroke he struck stopped his weak reason. Madness after the deed, I call this.

34 Hearken, you judges! There is another madness besides, and it is before the deed. Ah! you have not yet crept deep enough into this soul!

Thus speaks the red judge: “Why did this criminal commit murder? He meant to rob.” I tell you, however, that his soul wanted blood, not robbery: he thirsted for the bliss of the knife!

But his weak reason did not understand this madness, and it persuaded him: “What matters blood!” it said; “don’t you want, at least, to rob? Or take revenge?”

And he listened to his weak reason: like lead its words laid upon himtherefore he robbed when he murdered. He did not want to be ashamed of his madness.

And now the lead of his guilt lies upon him, and once more his weak reason is so numb, so paralyzed, so dull.

If only he could only shake his head, then his burden would roll off; but who can shake that head?

What is this man? A mass of diseases that reach out into the world through his spirit; there they want to catch their prey.

What is this man? A coil of wild snakes that are seldom at peace among themselves- so they go forth separately and seek their prey in the world.

Look at that poor body! What it suffered and craved, the poor soul interpreted to itself- it interpreted it as murderous desire, and eagerness for the bliss of the knife.

The man who turns sick today, is overcome by the evil which is evil today: he seeks to cause pain with whatever causes him pain. But there have been other ages, and another evil and good.

Once doubt was evil, and the will to Self. Then the invalids became heretics or witches; as heretics or witches they suffered, and sought to cause suffering.

But this will not enter your ears; it hurts your good people, you tell me. But what matter your good people to me!

Much about your good people cause me disgust, and verily, not their evil. I wish that they had a madness by which they might perish, like this pale criminal!

I wish that their madness were called truth, or fidelity, or justice: but they have their virtue in order to live long, and in miserable selfcomplacency.

I am a railing beside the torrent; whoever is able to grasp me may grasp me! Your crutch, however, I am not.-

Thus spoke Zarathustra.