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【P1C18】Old and Young Women

Why do you steal along so furtively in the twilight, Zarathustra? And what do you hide so carefully under your cloak?

Is it a treasure that has been given to you? Or a child that has been born to you? Or do you go on a thief’s errand, you friend of evil?-

My brother, said Zarathustra, it is a treasure that has been given me: I carry a little truth.

But it is naughty, like a young child; and if I do not hold its mouth, it screams too loudly.

As I went on my way alone today, at sunset I met an old woman, and she spoke thus to my soul:

“Much has Zarathustra spoken also to us women, but never spoke he to us concerning woman.”

And I answered her: “About woman, one should speak only to men.”

“Talk also to me of woman,” said she; “I am old enough to forget it presently.”

And I obliged the old woman and spoke thus to her:

Everything in woman is a riddle, and everything in woman has one answer- it is called pregnancy.

Man is for woman a means: the purpose is always the child. But what is woman for man?

The real man wants two different things: danger and play. Therefore he wants woman, as the most dangerous plaything.

Man shall be trained for war, and woman for the recreation of the warrior: all else is folly.

The warrior does not like fruits which are too sweet. Therefore he likes woman;- bitter is even the sweetest woman.

Woman understands children better than man does, but man is more childish than woman.

In a real man there is a child hidden: it wants to play. Up then, you women, and discover the child in man!

Let woman be a plaything, pure and fine like the precious stone, illumined with the virtues of a world not yet come.

Let the beam of a star shine in your love! Let your hope say: “May I give birth to the Superman!”

In your love let there be courage! With your love you shall attack him who causes you fear!

In your love let there be honor! Little does woman understand about honor otherwise. But let this be your honor: always to love more than you are loved, and never to be second.

Let man fear woman when she loves: then she makes every sacrifice, and everything else she regards as worthless.

Let man fear woman when she hates: for man in his innermost soul is merely evil; woman, however, is bad.

Whom does woman hate most?- Thus spoke the iron to the magnet: “I hate you most, because you attract me, but are too weak to draw me to you.”

The happiness of man is, “I will.” The happiness of woman is, “He wills.”

“Lo! “Lo! now has the world become perfect!”- thus thinks every woman when she obeys with all her love.

The woman must obey, and find a depth for her surface. Woman’s soul is all surface, a mobile, stormy film on shallow water.

Man’s soul, however, is deep, its torrent thunders in subterranean caverns: woman feels his strength, but does not understand it.

Then the old woman answered me: “Many fine things has Zarathustra said, especially for those who are young enough for them.

Strange! Zarathustra knows little about woman, and yet he is right about her! Is this because with woman nothing is impossible?

And now accept a little truth by way of thanks! I am old enough for it!

Swaddle it up and hold its mouth: otherwise it will scream too loudly, the little truth.”

“ Woman, give me your little truth!” I said. And thus spoke the old woman:

“You go to women? Do not forget the whip!”

Thus spoke Zarathustra.