Colgate University Libraries


I went down, some time ago, to the Piraeus with Glaucon, son of Ariston. I wanted to enter the temple there to pray--yet outside, yelling before the goddess, I found a friend, Nietzsche. It is not often that we saw Nietzsche as anything other than a creature of destructive wit, but neither Glaucon nor I interceded. At first, our curious ears were drawn toward his bombast--at first, we dismissed his "subterranean animosity and rancor" as more blast and less bomb. But we listened--and, we waited. Swiftly, a pebble registered its descent as the sanctuary quivered. It seemed that below this resplendent, glorious, and passionate temple lay a murky world of decaying and festering pilasters at the mercy of his voice--a musky workplace where his echoed words struck silence into whispers. There appeared a crack in the plaster. We slowly began to realize that his words were shaking the very foundations of this sacred palace in ways which war never could. Quickly now--his voice reached a fervent tremor--the remple began to fall. As our vision crowded with smoke, we cringed at the devastation and stood in awe of this powerful Simon. As the thunder quieted, a dark and ominous cloud of floating debris threw shadow onto the rubble. Grime and rotting wood covered the ground. A foul stench--bad air!--lingered over what remained. "Look," said Glaucon, and my eye was drawn towarda surprising glint hidden beneath the rubble. Oh noble fortune, something had survived! It was a simple mirror, mounted on what looked like the tip of a temple. On it was engraved a riddle: the "Anti-Christ and anti-nihilist..., he must one day come." A quick survey told me that Nietzshce was nowhere to be found and could not provide an answer, so I began to formulate my own.