The Gentle Spirit

And so—if it's shame, let it be shame, if it's disgrace, let it be disgrace, if it's degradation, let it be degradation, and the worse, the better—that's what I chose.

Cheap heroism is always easy, and even to sacrifice life is easy too; because it is only a case of hot blood and an overflow of energy, and there is such a longing for what is beautiful! No, take the deed of heroism that is labourious, obscure, without noise or flourish, slandered, in which there is a great deal of sacrifice and not one grain of glory - in which you, a splendid man, are made to look like a scoundrel before every one, though you might be the most honest man in the world - you try that sort of heroism and you'll soon give it up! While I - have been bearing the burden of that all my life.

Die Jugend ist eben immer großmütig, selbst da, wo es wenig am Platz ist.

Everything is dead, the dead are everywhere. There are only people, and all around them is silence—that's the earth.

Good and gentle creatures do not offer a very stiff resistance, not for long, anyway. (from "A Gentle Creature")

How thin she is in her coffin, how sharp her nose has grown! Her eyelashes lie straight as arrows. And, you know, when she fell, nothing was crushed, nothing was broken! Nothing but that "handful of blood." A dessertspoonful, that is. From internal injury. A strange thought: if only it were possible not to bury her? For if they take her away, then... oh, no, it is almost incredible that they take her away! I am not mad and I am not raving - on the contrary, my mind was never so lucid - but what shall I do when again there is no one, only the two rooms, and me alone with the pledges? Madness, madness, madness! I worried her to death, that is what it is!

I left proud, but with my spirit crushed.

I'm a master of speaking silently—all my life I've spoken silently and I've lived through entire tragedies in silence.

Is there a living man in the country?" cried the Russian hero. I cry the same, though I am not a hero, and no one answers my cry.

I've always wanted all or nothing!

I wanted to pray for an hour, but I keep thinking and thinking, and always sick thoughts, and my head aches - what is the use of praying? - it's only a sin! It is strange, too, that I am not sleepy: in great, too great sorrow, after the first outbursts one is always sleepy. Men condemned to death, they say, sleep very soundly on the last night. And so it must be, it si the law of nature, otherwise their strength would not hold out... I lay down on the sofa but I did not sleep...

I worked it through with pride,I almost spoke without words, and i'm masterly at speaking without words.All my life I have spoken without words, and I have passed through whole tragedies on my own account without words

Listen! This is where it began but I keep getting muddled... The fact of the matter is that I now want to recall everything, every trifle, every little detail. I still want to collect my thoughts and - I can't, and now there are these little details, these little details...

Mein Leben lang habe ich immer schweigend gesprochen, habe auch innere Tragödien schweigend erlebt.

Oh, how awful is truth on earth! That exquisite creature, that gentle spirit, that heaven - she was a tyrant, she was the insufferable tyrant and torture of my soul! I should be unfair to myself if I didn't say so! You imagine I didn't love her? Who can say that I did not love her! Do you see, it was a case of irony, the malignant irony of fate and nature! We were under a curse, the life of men in general is under a curse! (mine in particular). Of course, I understand now that I made some mistake! Something went wrong. Everything was clear, my plan was clear as daylight: "Austere and proud, asking for no moral comfort, but suffering in silence." And that was how it was. I was not lying, I was not lying! "She will see for herself, later on, that it was heroic, only that she had not known how to see it, and when, some day, she divines, it she will prize me ten times more and will abase herself in the dust and fold her hands in homage" - that was my plan. But I forgot something or lost sight of it. There was something I failed to manage. But, enough, enough! And whose forgiveness am I to ask now? What is done is done. By bolder, man, and have some pride! It is not your fault!...
Well, I will tell the truth, I am not afraid to face the truth; it was her fault, her fault!

Oh, I have always been proud, I always wanted all or nothing! You see it was just because I am not one who will accept half a happiness, but always wanted all

Oh, I remember, I remember all those moments! And I want to add, too, that when such young creatures, such sweet young creatures want to say something so clever and profound, they show at once so truthfully and naively in their faces, "Here I am saying something clever and profound now" — and that is not from vanity, as it is with any one like me, but one sees that she appreciates it awfully herself, and believes in it, and thinks a lot of it, and imagines that you think a lot of all that, just as she does. Oh, truthfulness! It's by that they conquer us. How exquisite it was in her!

O sol vai nascer e – olhem para ele, por acaso não é um cadáver? Tudo está morto, e há cadáveres por todas as partes

People are alone on this earth—that's the problem!

Quelli non erano i suoni d'un violino; pareva bensì che una voce tremenda avesse incominciato a tuonare, per la prima volta, nella nostra buia abitazione. Forse le mie impressioni erano falsate e malate, forse i miei sentimenti erano sconvolti da tutto ciò di cui ero stata testimone, e predisposti già a sensazioni terribili, colme d'un tormento senza scampo: ma io sono fermamente convinta d'aver udito gemiti, grida umane, pianti; un'intera disperazione si riversava in quei suoni...”.

Take an act of magnanimity that is difficult, quiet, muted, without splendour, where you’re slandered, where there’s much sacrifice and not a drop of glory.

They say that people standing on a height have an impulse to throw themselves down. I imagine that many suicides and murders have been committed simply because the revolver has been in the hand. It is like a precipice, with an incline of an angle of forty-five degrees, down which you cannot help sliding, and something impels you irresistibly to pull the trigger. But the knowledge that I had seen, that I knew it all, and was waiting for death at her hands without a word - might hold her back on the incline.

Und die liebende Frau, o, die liebende Frau! - die vergöttert sogar die Laster und die größten Schandtaten des geliebten Mannes.

Wenn der Mensch eine Gemeinheit tut, ist er sich darüber immer klar!

What is most mortifying of all is that it is chance - simply a barbarous, lagging chance. That is what is mortifying! Five minutes, only five minutes too late! Had I come five minutes earlier, the moment would have passed away like a cloud, and it would never have entered her head again. And it would have ended by her understanding it all. But now again empty rooms, and me alone. Here the pendulum is ticking; it does not care, it has no pity... There is no one - that's the misery of it!

Why did I accept death? But I will ask,
what use was life to me after that revolver had been raised against me by the being I adored?

Wissen Sie, es ist ein ganz wunderbares, wollüstiges Gefühl, wenn man nicht mehr zweifelt!

You see gentlemen, there are ideas . . . that is, you see, when some ideas are said out loud, put into words, they come out terribly stupid. They come out so that you're ashamed of yourself. But why? For no reason at all. Because we're all good-for-nothings and can't bear the truth, or I don't know why else.