I have a question for you alone, my brother: like a sounding-lead, cast I this question into your soul, that I may know its depth.
You are young, and desire child and marriage. But I ask you: are you a man entitled to desire a child?
Are you the victorious one, the self-conqueror, the ruler of your passions, the master of your virtues? Thus do I ask you.
Or does the animal speak in your wish, and necessity? Or isolation? Or discord in you?
I would have your victory and freedom long for a child. Living monuments shall you build to your victory and emancipation.
Beyond yourself shall you build. But first of all must you be built yourself, rectangular in body and soul.
Not only onward shall you propagate yourself, but upward! For that purpose may the garden of marriage help you!
A higher body shall you create, a first movement, a spontaneously rolling wheel - a creating one shall you create.
Marriage: so call I the will of the twain to create the one that is more than those who created it. The reverence for one another, as those exercising such a will, call I marriage.
Let this be the significance and the truth of your marriage. But that which the many-too-many call marriage, those superfluous ones - ah, what shall I call it?
Ah, the poverty of soul in the twain! Ah, the filth of soul in the twain! Ah, the pitiable self-complacency in the twain!
Marriage they call it all; and they say their marriages are made in heaven.
Well, I do not like it, that heaven of the superfluous! No, I do not like them, those animals tangled in the heavenly toils!
Far from me also be the God who limps there to bless what he has not matched!
Laugh not at such marriages! What child has not had reason to weep over its parents?
Worthy did this man seem, and ripe for the meaning of the earth: but when I saw his wife, the earth seemed to me a home for madcaps.
Yes, I would that the earth shook with convulsions when a saint and a goose mate with one another.
This one went forth in quest of truth as a hero, and at last got for himself a small decked-up lie: his marriage he calls it.
That one was reserved in intercourse and chose choicely. But one time he spoilt his company for all time: his marriage he calls it.
Another sought a handmaid with the virtues of an angel. But all at once he became the handmaid of a woman, and now would he need also to become an angel.
Careful, have I found all buyers, and all of them have astute eyes. But even the most astute of them buys his wife in a sack.
Many short follies - that is called love by you. And your marriage puts an end to many short follies, with one long stupidity.
Your love to woman, and woman's love to man - ah, would that it were sympathy for suffering and veiled deities! But generally two animals alight on one another.
But even your best love is only an enraptured simile and a painful ardour. It is a torch to light you to loftier paths.
Beyond yourselves shall you love some day! Then learn first of all to love. And on that account you had to drink the bitter cup of your love.
Bitterness is in the cup even of the best love; thus does it cause longing for the overman; thus does it cause thirst in you, the creating one!
Thirst in the creating one, arrow and longing for the overman: tell me, my brother, is this your will to marriage?
Holy call I such a will, and such a marriage.
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