It was late in the afternoon only when Zarathustra, after long useless searching and strolling about, again came home to his cave. When, however, he stood over against it, not more than twenty paces therefrom, the thing happened which he now least of all expected: he heard anew the great cry of distress. And extraordinary! this time the cry came out of his own cave. It was a long, manifold, peculiar cry, and Zarathustra plainly distinguished that it was composed of many voices: although heard at a distance it might sound like the cry out of a single mouth.
-And Zarathustra ran and ran, but he found no one else, and was alone and ever found himself again; he enjoyed and quaffed his solitude, and thought of good things- for hours. About the hour of noontide, however, when the sun stood exactly over Zarathustra’s head, he passed an old, bent and gnarled tree, which was encircled round by the ardent love of a vine, and hidden from itself; from this there hung yellow grapes in abundance, confronting the wanderer. Then he felt inclined to quench a little thirst, and to break off for himself a cluster of grapes. When, however, he had already his arm out-stretched for that purpose, he felt still more inclined for something else- namely, to lie down beside the tree at the hour of perfect noontide and sleep.
Scarcely however was the voluntary beggar gone in haste, and Zarathustra again alone, when he heard behind him a new voice which called out: “Stay! Zarathustra! Do wait! It is myself, O Zarathustra, myself, your shadow!” But Zarathustra did not wait; for a sudden irritation came over him on account of the crowd and the crowding in his mountains. “Where has my lonesomeness gone?” spoke he.
When Zarathustra had left the ugliest man, he was chilled and felt lonesome: for much coldness and lonesomeness came over his spirit, so that even his limbs became colder thereby. When, however, he wandered on and on, uphill and down, at times past green meadows, though also sometimes over wild stony couches where once perhaps an impatient brook had made its bed, then he turned all at once warmer and heartier again.
-And again did Zarathustra’s feet run through mountains and forests, and his eyes sought and sought, but nowhere was he to be seen whom they wanted to see- the sorely distressed sufferer and crier. On the whole way, however, he rejoiced in his heart and was full of gratitude. “What good things,” said he, “has this day given me, as amends for its bad beginning! What strange interlocutors have I found!
Not long, however, after Zarathustra had freed himself from the magician, he again saw a person sitting beside the path which he followed, namely a tall, black man, with a haggard, pale countenance: this man grieved him exceedingly. “Alas,” said he to his heart, “there sits disguised affliction; methinks he is of the type of the priests: what do they want in my domain?
When however Zarathustra had gone round a rock, then saw he on the same path, not far below him, a man who threw his limbs about like a maniac, and at last tumbled to the ground on his belly. “Halt!” said then Zarathustra to his heart, “he there must surely be the higher man, from him came that dreadful cry of distress,- I will see if I can help him.” When, however, he ran to the spot where the man lay on the ground, he found a trembling old man with fixed eyes; and in spite of all Zarathustra’s efforts to lift him and set him again on his feet, it was all in vain. The unfortunate one, also, did not seem to notice that some one was beside him; on the contrary, he continually looked around with moving gestures, like one forsaken and isolated from all the world. At last, however, after much trembling, and convulsion, and curlinghimself-up, he began to lament thus:
And Zarathustra went thoughtfully on, further and lower down, through forests and past moory bottoms; as it happens, however, to every one who meditates upon hard matters, he trod thereby unawares upon a man. And lo, there spurted into his face all at once a cry of pain, and two curses and twenty bad invectives, so that in his fright he raised his stick and also struck the trodden one. Immediately afterwards, however, he regained his composure, and his heart laughed at the folly he had just committed.
Ere Zarathustra had been an hour on his way in the mountains and forests, he saw all at once a strange procession. Right on the path which he was about to descend came two kings walking, bedecked with crowns and purple girdles, and variegated like flamingoes: they drove before them a laden ass. “What do these kings want in my domain?” said Zarathustra in astonishment to his heart, and hid himself hastily behind a thicket. When however the kings approached to him, he said halfaloud, like one speaking only to himself: “Strange! Strange! How does this harmonize? Two kings do I see- and only one ass!”
The next day sat Zarathustra again on the stone in front of his cave, whilst his animals roved about in the world outside to bring home new food,- also new honey: for Zarathustra had spent and wasted the old honey to the very last particle. When he thus sat, however, with a stick in his hand, tracing the shadow of his figure on the earth, and reflectingverily! not upon himself and his shadow,- all at once he startled and shrank back: for he saw another shadow beside his own. And when he hastily looked around and stood up, behold, there stood the soothsayer beside him, the same whom he had once given to eat and drink at his table, the proclaimer of the great weariness, who taught: “All is alike, nothing is worth while, the world is without meaning, knowledge strangles.” But his face had changed since then; and when Zarathustra looked into his eyes, his heart was startled once more: so much evil announcement and ashy-grey lightnings passed over that countenance.