Man is a rope stretched between the animal and the Superman—a rope over an abyss.
A dangerous crossing, a dangerous wayfaring, a dangerous looking-back, a dangerous trembling and halting.
What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal: what is lovable in man is that he is an OVER-GOING and a DOWN-GOING.
I love those that know not how to live except as down-goers, for they are the over-goers.
I love the great despisers, because they are the great adorers, and arrows of longing for the other shore.
I love those who do not first seek a reason beyond the stars for going down and being sacrifices, but sacrifice themselves to the earth, that the earth of the Superman may hereafter arrive.
I love him who lives in order to know, and seeks to know in order that the Superman may hereafter live. Thus seeks he his own down-going.
I love him who labours and invents, that he may build the house for the Superman, and prepare for him earth, animal, and plant: for thus seeks he his own down-going.
I love him who loves his virtue: for virtue is the will to down-going, and an arrow of longing.
I love him who reserves no share of spirit for himself, but wants to be wholly the spirit of his virtue: thus walks he as spirit over the bridge.
I love him who makes his virtue his inclination and destiny: thus, for the sake of his virtue, he is willing to live on, or live no more.
I love him who desires not too many virtues. One virtue is more of a virtue than two, because it is more of a knot for one's destiny to cling to.
I love him whose soul is lavish, who wants no thanks and doth not give back: for he always bestows, and desires not to keep for himself.
I love him who is ashamed when the dice fall in his favour, and who then asks: "Am I a dishonest player?"—for he is willing to succumb.
I love him who scatters golden words in advance of his deeds, and always does more than he promises: for he seeks his own down-going.
I love him who justifies the future ones, and redeems the past ones: for he is willing to succumb through the present ones.
I love him whose soul is deep even in the wounding, and may succumb through a small matter: thus goes he willingly over the bridge.
I love him whose soul is so overfull that he forgets himself, and all things are in him: thus all things become his down-going.
I love him who is of a free spirit and a free heart: thus is his head only the bowels of his heart; his heart, however, causes his down-going.
I love all who are like heavy drops falling one by one out of the dark cloud that lowers over man: they herald the coming of the lightning, and succumb as heralds.
Lo, I am a herald of the lightning, and a heavy drop out of the cloud: the lightning, however, is the SUPERMAN.