Important Quotations Explained
Kovrin now believed that he was one of God's chosen and a genius; he vividly recalled his conversations with the monk in the past and tried to speak, but the blood flowed from his throat onto his breast, and not knowing what he was doing, he passed his hands over his breast, and his cuffs were soaked with blood .
He called Tania, called to the great orchard with the gorgeous flowers sprinkled with dew, called to the park, the pines with their shaggy roots, the rye fields, his marvelous learning, his youth, courage, joy—called to life, which was so lovely. He could see on the floor near his face a great pool of blood, and was too weak to utter a word, but an unspeakable, infinite happiness flooded his whole being. Below, under the balcony, they were playing the serenade, and the black monk whispered to him that he was a genius, and that he was dying only because his frail human body had lost its balance and could no longer serve as the mortal garb of genius.
When Varvara woke up and came out from behind the screen, Kovrin was dead, and a blissful smile had congealed on his face.
The official got into his sledge and was driving away, but turned suddenly and shouted: 'Dmitri!' 'What?' 'You were right this evening: the sturgeon was a bit off!' These words, so ordinary, for some reason moved Gurov to indignation, and struck him as degrading and unclean. What savage manners, what people! What senseless nights, was uninteresting, uneventful days! The rage for playing cards, the gluttony, the drunkenness, the continual talk always about the same thing. Useless pursuits and conversations always about the same things absorb the better part of your time, the better part of your strength, and in the end you are left with a life earthbound and curtailed, just rubbish, and there is no escaping or getting away from it—just as though you were in a madhouse or penal servitude.
Somewhere far away a bittern cried, a hollow melancholy sound like a cow shut in a barn. The cry of that mysterious bird was heard every spring, but no one knew what it looked like or where it lived. At the top of the hill by the hospital, in the bushes by the pond, and in the nearby fields the nightingale trilled. The cuckoo kept reckoning someone's years and losing count and beginning again. In the pond the frogs called angrily to one another, straining themselves to bursting, and one could even make out the words: 'That's what you are! That's what you are!' What a noise there was! It seemed as if all these creatures were singing and shouting so that no one might sleep on that spring night, so that all, even the angry frogs, might appreciate and enjoy every minute: you only live once .
Oh, how lonely it was in the open country at night, in the midst of that singing when you cannot sing yourself; in the midst of the incessant cries of joy when you cannot yourself be joyful, when the moon, equally lonely, indifferent whether it is spring or winter, whether men are dead or alive, looks down .
It's fashionable to say that a man needs no more than six feet of earth. But six feet are what a corpse needs, not a man. And they say, too, now, that if our intellectual classes are attracted to the land and yearn for a farm, it's a good thing. But these farms are just the same as six feet of earth. To retreat from town, from the struggle, from the bustle of life, to retreat and bury yourself in your farm—it's not life, it's egotism, laziness, it's monasticism of a sort, but monasticism without good works. A man does not need six feet of earth or a farm, but the entire globe, all nature, where he can have room to display all the qualities and peculiarities of his free spirit.
Loshadin went in and out several times, clearing away the tea things; smacking his lips and sighing, he kept tramping round the table; at last he took his little lamp and went out, and, looking at his long, grey headed, bent figure from behind, Lyzhin thought: 'Just like a magician in an opera.' It was dark. The moon must have been behind the clouds, as the windows and the snow on the window-frames could be seen distinctly. 'Oo-oo-oo-oo!' sang the storm, 'Oo-oo- oo-oo!' 'Ho-o-ly sa-aints!' wailed a woman in the loft, or it sounded like it. 'Ho-o-ly sa-aints!' 'Boo-oof!' something outside banged against the wall. 'Trac!' The examining magistrate listened: there was no woman up there, it was the wind howling.
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