I HAVE a question for you alone, my brother: like a sounding-lead, I cast this question into your soul, that I may know its depth.
You are young, and desire child and marriage. But I ask you: are you a man entitled to desire a child? Are you the victorious one, the self-conqueror, the ruler of your passions, the master of your virtues? Thus do I ask you.
Or does the animal speak in your wish, and need? Or loneliness? Or discord in you?
Let your victory and freedom long for a child. You shall build living monuments to your victory and freedom.
You shall build beyond yourself. But first of all you must be built yourself, solid in body and soul.
You shall propagate yourself not only onward, but upward! For that purpose may the garden of marriage help you!
You shall create a higher body, a first movement, a spontaneously rolling wheel- you shall create a creator.
Marriage: so call I the will of the two to create the one that is more than those who created it. The reverence for one another, as those exercising such a will, I call marriage.
Let this be the significance and the truth of your marriage. But that which the all-too-many call marriage, those superfluous ones- ah, what shall I call it?
Ah, the poverty of soul in the two! Ah, the filth of soul in the two! Ah, the pitiable self-complacency in the two!
They call it marriage; and they say their marriages are made in heaven.
Well I do not like that heaven of the superfluous! No, I do not like them, those animals tangled in the heavenly net!
Keep far from me that God who limps near to bless what he has not matched!
Do not laugh at such marriages! What child has not had reason to weep over its parents?
This man seemed worthy, and ripe for the meaning of the earth: but when I saw his wife, the earth seemed to me an asylum of madmen. Yes, I wish that the earth shook with convulsions when a saint and a goose mate with one another.
This one went forth in quest of truth as a hero, and at last got for himself a small dressed-up lie: his marriage he calls it.
That one was reserved and chose warily. But then he spoilt his company for all time: his marriage he calls it.
Another sought a handmaid with the virtues of an angel. But then he became the handmaid of a woman, and now he must become an angel.
Careful, have I found all buyers, and all of them have astute eyes. But even the most astute of them buys his wife in a poke.
Many brief follies- that you call love. And your marriage puts an end to your many brief follies, with one long stupidity.
Your love of woman, and woman's love of man- ah, if only it were sympathy for suffering and veiled gods! But usually, two animals find each another.
But even your best love is only an enraptured parable and a painful ardor. It is a torch to light loftier paths for you.
You shall love beyond yourselves some day! So first, learn to love. And for that you have to drink the bitter cup of your love.
Bitterness is in the cup even of the best love; thus does it cause longing for the Superman; thus does it cause thirst in you, the creator!
Thirst in the creator, arrow and longing for the Superman: tell me, my brother, is this your will to marriage?
Sacred I call such a will, and such a marriage.-
Thus spoke Zarathustra.