【P1C5】Joys and Passions

My brother, when you have a virtue, and it is your own virtue, you have it in common with no one.

To be sure, you would call it by name and caress it; you would tug its ears and amuse yourself with it.

And lo! Then have you its name in common with the people, and have become one of the people and the herd with your virtue!

Better for you to say: “Inexpressible and nameless is that which gives pain and sweetness to my soul, and is the hunger of my bowels.”

Let your virtue be too exalted for the familiarity of names, and if you must speak of it, be not ashamed to stammer about it.

Thus speak and stammer: “This is my good, this I love, thus does it please me entirely, thus alone do I want the good.

I do not want it as divine law, not as a human law or a human need; it will not be a guide-post for me to over-earths and paradises.

It is an earthly virtue which I love: there is little prudence in it, and least of all any common wisdom.

But that bird built its nest with me: therefore, I love and cherish itnow it sits with me on its golden eggs.”

Thus should you stammer, and praise your virtue.

Once you had passions and called them evil. But now you have only your virtues: they grew out of your passions.

You implanted your highest goal into the heart of those passions: then they became your virtues and joys.

And though you were of the race of the hot-tempered, or of the voluptuous, or of the fanatical, or the vindictive;

All your passions in the end became virtues, and all your devils angels.

32 Once had you wild dogs in your cellar: but they changed at last into birds and charming singers.

Out of your poisons you brewed your balsam; you milked your cow, melancholy- now you drink the sweet milk of her udder.

And nothing evil grows in you any longer, unless it be the evil that grows out of the conflict of your virtues.

My brother, if you are fortunate, then you have one virtue and no more: thus you will go easier over the bridge.

It is illustrious to have many virtues, but a hard lot; and many a one has gone into the wilderness and killed himself, because he was weary of being the battle and battlefield of virtues.

My brother, are war and battle evil? But this evil is necessary; necessary are the envy and the distrust and the back-biting among the virtues.

Behold how each of your virtues is covetous of the highest place; each wants your whole spirit to be her herald, it wants your whole power, in wrath, hatred, and love.

Each virtue is jealous of the others, and jealousy is a terrible thing. Even virtues may perish of jealousy.

He whom the flame of jealousy encompasses, will at last, like the scorpion, turn the poisoned sting against himself.

Ah! my brother, have you never seen a virtue backbite and stab itself?

Man is something that must be overcome: and therefore you will love your virtues,- for you will perish by them.-

Thus spoke Zarathustra.