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May 18, 2013

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Ere Zarathustra had been an hour on his way in the mountains and forests, he saw all at once a strange procession. Right on the path which he was about to descend came two kings walking, bedecked with crowns and purple girdles, and variegated like flamingoes: they drove before them a laden ass.

“What do these kings want in my domain?” said Zarathustra in astonishment to his heart, and hid himself hastily behind a thicket.

When however the kings approached to him, he said half-aloud, like one speaking only to himself:

“Strange! Strange! How doth this harmonise? Two kings do I see–and only one ass!”

Thereupon the two kings made a halt; they smiled and looked towards the spot whence the voice proceeded, and afterwards looked into each other’s faces.

“Such things do we also think among ourselves,” said the king on the right, “but we do not utter them.”

The king on the left, however, shrugged his shoulders and answered:

“That may perhaps be a goat-herd. Or an anchorite who hath lived too long among rocks and trees. For no society at all spoileth also good manners.”

“Good manners?” replied angrily and bitterly the other king: “what then do we run out of the way of? Is it not ‘good manners’? Our ‘good society’?

Better, verily, to live among anchorites and goat-herds, than with our gilded, false, over-rouged populace–though it call itself ‘good society.’

–Though it call itself ‘nobility.’

But there all is false and foul, above all the blood — thanks to old evil diseases and worse curers.

The best and dearest to me at present is still a sound peasant, coarse, artful, obstinate and enduring: that is at present the noblest type.

The peasant is at present the best; and the peasant type should be master! But it is the kingdom of the populace–I no longer allow anything to be imposed upon me.

The populace, however–that meaneth, hodgepodge.

Populace-hodgepodge: therein is everything mixed with everything, saint and swindler, gentleman and Jew, and every beast out of Noah’s ark.”

Quoted from ‘Thus Spake Zarathustra – Fourth and Last Part. 63. LXIII. Talk With The Kings.’ – Friedrich Nietzsche (1883)

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