Day 2605, vice.

Daily picture, Quotes

Friedrich Nietzsche

Human, All Too Human II
The -wanderer and His Shadow

84 The prisoners. – One morning the prisoners entered the workyard: the warder was missing. Some of them started working straightaway, as was their nature, others stood idle and looked around defiantly. Then one stepped forward and said loudly: ‘Work as much as you like, or do nothing: it is all one. Your secret designs have come to light, the prison warder has been eavesdropping on you and in the next few days intends to pass a fearful judgement upon you. You know him, he is harsh and vindictive. But now pay heed: you have hitherto mistaken me: I am not what I seem but much more: I am the son of the prison warder and I mean everything to him. I can save you, I will save you: but, note well, only those of you who believe me that I am the son of the prison warder; the rest may enjoy the fruit of their unbelief.’ – ‘Well now’, said one of the older prisoners after a brief silence, ‘what can it matter to you if we believe you or do not believe you? If you really are his son and can do what you say, then put in a good word for all of us: it would be really good of you if you did so. But leave aside this talk of belief and unbelief!’ – ‘And’, a younger man interposed, ‘I don’t believe him: it’s only an idea he’s got into his head. I bet that in a week’s time we shall find ourselves here just like today, and that the prison warder knows nothing’. – ‘And if he did know something he knows it no longer’, said the last of the prisoners, who had only just come into the yard; ‘the prison warder has just suddenly died’. – ‘Holla!’ cried several together; ‘holla! Son! Son! What does the will say? Are we perhaps now your prisoners?’ – ‘I have told you’, he whom they addressed responded quietly, ‘I will set free everyone who believes in me, as surely as my father still lives’. – The prisoners did not laugh, but shrugged their shoulders and left him standing.

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