Flee, my friend, into your solitude! I see you deafened with the noise of 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. Resemble again the tree which you love, the broad-branched one - silently and attentively it overhangs the sea.
Where solitude ends, there begins the market-place; and where the market-place begins, there begins also the noise of the great actors, and the buzzing of the poison-flies.
In the world even the best things are worthless without those who represent them: those showmen, the people call great men.
Little, do the people understand what is great - that is to say, the creating agency. But they have a taste for all showmen and actors of great things.
Around the inventors of new values revolves the world: - invisibly it revolves. But around the actors revolve the people and the glory: such is the course of things.
Spirit, has the actor, but little conscience of the spirit. He believes always in that which he believes most strongly in himself!
Tomorrow he has a new belief, and the day after, one still newer. Sharp perceptions has he, like the people, and changeable humours.
To upset - that means with him to prove. To drive mad - that means with him to convince. And blood is counted by him as the best of all arguments.
A truth which only glides into sensitive ears, he calls a lie and nothing.
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 in 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 they want Yes or No. Alas. you would set your chair between For and Against?
On account of those absolute and impatient ones, be not jealous, you 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 the market-place is one assailed by Yes? or No?
Slow is the experience of all deep fountains: long have they to wait until they know what has fallen into their depths.
Away from the market-place and from fame takes place all that is great: away from the market-Place and from fame have ever dwelt the devisers of new values.
Flee, my friend, into your solitude: I see you stung all over by the poisonous flies. Flee there, where a rough, strong breeze blows!
Flee into your solitude! you have lived too closely to the small and the pitiable. Flee from their invisible vengeance! Towards you they have nothing but vengeance.
Raise no longer an arm against them! Innumerable are they, and it is not your lot to shoo flies.
Innumerable are the small and pitiable ones; and of many a proud structure, rain-drops and weeds have been the ruin.
You are not stone; but already have you become hollow by the numerous drops. you will yet break and burst by the numerous drops.
Exhausted I see you, by poisonous flies; bleeding I see you, and torn at a hundred spots; and your pride will not even upbraid.
Blood they would have from you in all innocence; blood their bloodless souls crave for - and they sting, therefore, in all innocence.
But you, profound one, you suffer too profoundly even from small wounds; and ere you had recovered, the same poison-worm crawled over your hand.
Too proud are you to kill these sweet-tooths. But take care lest it be your fate to suffer all their poisonous injustice!
They buzz around you also with their praise: obtrusiveness is their praise. They want to be close to your skin and your blood.
They flatter you, as one flatters a God or devil; they whimper before you, as before a God or devil; What does it come to! Flatterers are they, and whimperers, and nothing more.
Often, also, do they show themselves to you as amiable ones. But that has ever been the prudence of the cowardly. Yes! the cowardly are wise!
They think much about you with their circumscribed souls - you are always suspected by them! Whatever is much thought about is at last thought suspicious.
They punish you for all your virtues. They pardon you in their inmost hearts only - for your errors.
Because you are gentle and of upright character, you say: "Blameless are they for their small existence." But their circumscribed souls think: "Blamable is all great existence."
Even when you are gentle towards them, they still feel themselves despised by you; and they repay your beneficence with secret maleficence.
Your silent pride is always counter to their taste; they rejoice if once you be humble enough to be frivolous.
What we recognize in a man, we also irritate in him. Therefore be on your guard against the small ones!
In your presence they feel themselves small, and their baseness gleams and glows against you in invisible vengeance.
Saw you not how often they became dumb when you approached them, and how their energy left them like the smoke of an extinguishing fire?
Yes, my friend, the bad conscience are you of your neighbor; for they are unworthy of you. Therefore they hate you, and would rather suck your blood.
Your neighbor will always be poisonous flies; what is great in you - that itself must make them more poisonous, and always more fly-like.
Flee, my friend, into your solitude - and there, where a rough strong breeze blows. It is not your lot to shoo flies. -
Thus spoke Zarathustra.