Follow me, reader! Who told you that there is no true, faithful, eternal love in this world! May the liar's vile tongue be cut out! Follow me, my reader, and me alone, and I will show you such a love!
The tongue can conceal the truth, but the eyes never! You're asked an unexpected question, you don't even flinch, it takes just a second to get yourself under control, you know just what you have to say to hide the truth, and you speak very convincingly, and nothing in your face twitches to give you away. But the truth, alas, has been disturbed by the question, and it rises up from the depths of your soul to flicker in your eyes and all is lost.
– But here is a question that is troubling me: if there is no God, then, one may ask, who governs human life and, in general, the whole order of things on earth?– Man governs it himself, – Homeless angrily hastened to reply to this admittedly none-too-clear question.– Pardon me, – the stranger responded gently, – but in order to govern, one needs, after all, to have a precise plan for a certain, at least somewhat decent, length of time. Allow me to ask you, then, how can man govern, if he is not only deprived of the opportunity of making a plan for at least some ridiculously short period, well, say, a thousand years , but cannot even vouch for his own tomorrow? And in fact, – here the stranger turned to Berlioz, – imagine that you, for instance, start governing, giving orders to others and yourself, generally, so to speak, acquire a taste for it, and suddenly you get ...hem ... hem ... lung cancer ... – here the foreigner smiled sweetly, and if the thought of lung cancer gave him pleasure — yes, cancer — narrowing his eyes like a cat, he repeated the sonorous word —and so your governing is over! You are no longer interested in anyone’s fate but your own. Your family starts lying to you. Feeling that something is wrong, you rush to learned doctors, then to quacks, and sometimes to fortune-tellers as well. Like the first, so the second and third are completely senseless, as you understand. And it all ends tragically: a man who still recently thought he was governing something, suddenly winds up lying motionless in a wooden box, and the people around him, seeing that the man lying there is no longer good for anything, burn him in an oven. And sometimes it’s worse still: the man has just decided to go to Kislovodsk – here the foreigner squinted at Berlioz – a trifling matter, it seems, but even this he cannot accomplish, because suddenly, no one knows why, he slips and falls under a tram-car! Are you going to say it was he who governed himself that way? Would it not be more correct to think that he was governed by someone else entirely?
How sad, ye Gods, how sad the world is at evening, how mysterious the mists over the swamps! You will know it when you have wandered astray in those mists, when you have suffered greatly before dying, when you have walked through the world carrying an unbearable burden. You know it too when you are weary and ready to leave this earth without regret; its mists; its swamps and its rivers; ready to give yourself into the arms of death with a light heart, knowing that death alone can comfort you.
If you’ve been exiled, why don’t you send me word of yourself? People do send word. Have you stopped loving me? No, for some reason I don’t believe that. It means you were exiled and died … Release me, then, I beg you, give me freedom to live, finally, to breathe the air! …’ Margarita Nikolaevna answered for him herself: ’You are free … am I holding you?’ Then she objected to him: ’No, what kind of answer is that? No, go from my memory, then I’ll be free …
You should never ask anyone for anything. Never- and especially from those who are more powerful than yourself.
Annushka has already bought the sunflower oil, and has not only bought it, but has already spilled it.
Margarita was never short of money. She could buy whatever she liked. Her husband had plenty of interesting friends. Margarita never had to cook. Margarita knew nothing of the horrors of living in a shared flat. In short... was she happy? Not for a moment.
Happiness is like good health: when you have it, you don’t notice it. But as the years go by, oh, the memories, the memories of happiness past!
And now tell me, why is it that you use me words good people all the time? Do you call everyone that, or what?- Everyone, - the prisoner replied. - There are no evil people in the world.(- А теперь скажи мне, что это ты все время употребляешь слова добрыелюди? Ты всех, что ли, так называешь?- Всех, - ответил арестант, - злых людей нет на свете.)
I must give due praise to the man who first extracted morphine from poppyheads. He was a true benefactor of mankind. The pain stopped seven minutes after the injection. Interesting: the pain passed over me in ceaseless waves, so that I had to gasp for breath, as though a red-hot crowbar were being thrust into my stomach and rotated. Four minutes after the injection I was able to distinguish the wave-like nature of the pain.
What point is there in dying in a ward, listening to the moans and rasps of the terminally ill? Wouldn't it be better to spend the twenty-seven thousand on a banquet, then, after taking poison, depart for the other world to the sound of violins, surrounded by intoxicated beautiful women and dashing friends?
But would you kindly ponder this question: What would your good do if evil didn't exist, and what would the earth look like if all the shadows disappeared? After all, shadows are cast by things and people. Here is the shadow of my sword. But shadows also come from trees and living beings. Do you want to strip the earth of all trees and living things just because of your fantasy of enjoying naked light? You're stupid.
What would your good do if evil didn't exist, and what would the earth look like if all the shadows disappeared?
You spoke your words as though you denied the very existence of the shadows or of evil. Think, now: where would your good be if there were no evil and what would the world look like without shadow?
Everything passes away - suffering, pain, blood, hunger, pestilence. The sword will pass away too, but the stars will remain when the shadows of our presence and our deeds have vanished from the Earth. There is no man who does not know that. Why, then, will we not turn our eyes toward the stars? Why?
Everyone listened to this amusing narrative with great interest, and the moment that Behemoth concluded it, they all shouted in unison: 'Lies!
The whole horror of the situation is that he now has a human heart, not a dog's heart. And about the rottenest heart in all creation!
What is all this? Get him out of here, devil take me!” And that one, imagine, smiles and says: “Devil take you? That, in fact, can be done!” And—bang!
You are not Dostoevsky,' said the woman...'You never can tell...' he answered.'Dostoevsky is dead,' the woman said, a bit uncertainly.'I protest!' he said with heat, 'Dostoevsky is immortal!
I believe you!' the artiste exclaimed finally and extinguishes his gaze. 'I do! These eyes are not lying! How many times have I told you that your basic error consists in underestimating the significance of the human eye. Understand that the tongue can conceal the truth, but the eyes - never! A sudden question is put to you, you don't even flinch, in one second you get hold of yourself and know what you must say to conceal the truth, and you speak quite convincingly, and not a wrinkle on your face moves, but - alas - the truth which the question stirs up from the bottom of your soul leaps momentarily into your eyes, and it's all over! They see it, and you're caught!
A book is open in front of me and this is what it has tosay about the symptoms of morphine withdrawal:'... morbid anxiety, a nervous depressed condition,irritability, weakening of the memory, occasionalhallucinations and a mild impairment of consciousness...'I have not experienced any hallucinations, but I canonly say that the rest of this description is dull, pedestrianand totally inadequate.'Depressed condition' indeed!Having suffered from this appalling malady, I hereby enjoinall doctors to be more compassionate toward theirpatients. What overtakes the addict deprived of morphinefor a mere hour or two is not a 'depressed condition': it isslow death. Air is insubstantial, gulping it down is useless... there is not a cell in one's body that does not crave... but crave what? This is something which defies analysisand explanation. In short, the individual ceases to exist:he is eliminated. The body which moves, agonises andsuffers is a corpse. It wants nothing, can think of nothingbut morphine. To die of thirst is a heavenly, blissful deathcompared with the craving for morphine. The feeling mustbe something like that of a man buried alive, clawing at theskin on his chest in the effort to catch the last tiny bubblesof air in his coffin, or of a heretic at the stake, groaning andwrithing as the first tongues of flame lick at his feet.Death. A dry, slow death. That is what lurks behindthat clinical, academic phrase 'a depressed condition'.
I, the unfortunate Doctor Polyakov, who became addicted to morphine in February of this year, warn anyone who may suffer the same fate not to attempt to replace morphine with cocaine. Cocaine is a most foul and insidious poison. Yesterday Anna barely managed to revive me with camphor injections and today I am half dead.
The buckets emptied quickly, and men from different squads took turns bringing water from the gully that lay towards the city, where, in the feeble shade of emaciated mulberries, a muddy stream lived out its last days in the diabolical heat.
Once more and for the last time, the moon flashed above and broke into pieces, and then everything went black.
Nobody should be whipped. Remember that, once and for all. Neither man nor animal can be influenced by anything but suggestion.
Ruin, therefore, is not caused by lavatories but it's something that starts in people's heads. So when these clowns start shouting Stop the ruin! - I laugh!' 'I swear to you, I find it laughable! Every one of them needs to hit himself on the back of the head and then when he has knocked all the hallucinations out of himself and gets on with sweeping out backyards - which is his real job - all this ruin will automatically disappear
You're not Dostoevsky,' said the citizeness, who was getting muddled by Koroviev. Well, who knows, who knows,' he replied. 'Dostoevsky's dead,' said the citizeness, but somehow not very confidently. 'I protest!' Behemoth exclaimed hotly. 'Dostoevsky is immortal!
Don’t be afraid, Queen, the blood has long run down into the earth. And on the spot where it was spilled, grapevines are growing today.