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【P1C14】The Friend

“There is always one too many about me”- thinks the hermit. “Always one and one- eventually that makes two!”

I and me are always too deeply in conversation: how could I endure it, if there were not a friend?

The friend of the hermit is always the third one: the third one is the float which prevents the conversation of the two from sinking into the depth.

Ah! there are too many depths for all hermits. Therefore, do they long so much for a friend and his height.

Our faith in others betrays that we would rather have faith in ourselves. Our longing for a friend is our betrayer.

And often with our love we want merely to overcome envy. And often we attack and make ourselves enemies, to conceal that we are vulnerable.

“Be at least my enemy!”- thus speaks true reverence, which dares not ask for friendship.

If one would have a friend, then must one also be willing to wage war for him: and in order to wage war, one must be capable of being an enemy.

One ought still to honor the enemy in one’s friend. Can you go near to your friend, and not go over to him?

In a friend one shall have one’s best enemy. You shall be closest to him with your heart when you withstand him.

You would wear no raiment before your friend? It is in honor of your friend that you show yourself to him as you are? But he sends you to the devil for that!

He who makes no secret of himself shocks: so much reason have you to fear nakedness! Aye, if you were gods, you might then be ashamed of clothing!

You can not adorn yourself fine enough for your friend; for you shall be to him an arrow and a longing for the Superman.

Did you ever see your friend asleep- and saw how he looks? What is the face of your friend? It is your own face, in a coarse and imperfect mirror.

Did you ever see your friend asleep? were you not shocked that your friend looked like that? O my friend, man is something that must be overcome.

In guessing and keeping silent, the friend shall be a master: you must not want to see everything. Your dreams will tell you what your friend does when awake.

Let your pity be a guess: to know first if your friend wants pity. Perhaps he loves in you the unmoved eye, and the look of eternity.

Let your pity for your friend be hidden under a hard shell; you shall break a tooth on it. Thus it will have delicacy and sweetness.

Are you pure air and solitude and bread and medicine to your friend? Many a one cannot loosen his own chains, but can nevertheless free his friend.

Are you a slave? Then you cannot be a friend. Are you a tyrant? Then you cannot have friends.

Far too long have slave and tyrant been concealed in woman. On that account woman is not yet capable of friendship: she knows only love.

In woman’s love there is injustice and blindness to all she does not love. And even in woman’s conscious love, there is still always attack and lightning and night, along with the light.

As yet woman is not capable of friendship: women are still cats and birds. Or at best, cows.

As yet woman is not capable of friendship. But tell me, you men, who of you is capable of friendship?

Oh! your poverty, you men, and your sparingness of soul! As much as you give to your friend, I will give even to my enemy, and will not become poorer for it.

There is comradeship: may there be friendship!

Thus spoke Zarathustra.