In the World

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Century Company, 1917 - Authors, Russian - 505 pages
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Page 497 - I have the undeniable right to excite you unpleasantly by telling you about them, in order that you may remember how we live, and under what circumstances. A low and unclean life it is, ours, and that is the truth. I am a lover of humanity and I have no desire to make any one miserable, but one must not be sentimental, nor hide the grim truth with the motley words of beautiful lies. Let us face life as it is!
Page 221 - My back hurt terribly but I said: "No, I don't. Just hurry and do something for me." They led me into another room, laid me on a table, and the doctor pulled out the splinters with some delightfully cold pincers, joking the while: "A fine job they made of this hide of yours, youngster. You'll be waterproof from now on.
Page 369 - I could see very well that the more improbable the events, the more fantastic the story, the more attentively they listened to me. On the whole, reality did not interest them, and they all gazed dreamily into the future, not wishing to see the poverty and hideousness of the present. . . . Later, listening to them, I found that they were discussing by night those things which other people discussed by day —God, truth, happiness, the stupidity and cunning of women, the greediness of the rich, and...
Page 497 - Why do I relate these abominations? So that you may know, kind sirs, that all is not past and done with! You have a liking for grim fantasies; you are delighted by horrible stories well told; the grotesquely terrible excites you pleasantly. But I know of genuine horrors...
Page 492 - I did not drink vodka, and I had nothing to do with girls; books took the place of these two forms of intoxication for me. But the more I read, the harder it was for me to go on living the empty, unnecessary life that most people lived.
Page 80 - ... and easily they plunged into a quarrel. The first thing in the morning, with their hair unbrushed and their clothes unfastened, they would rush about the rooms as if the house were on fire, and they fussed about all day, only pausing to take breath in the dining-room at dinner, tea, or supper. They ate and drank till they could eat and drink no more, and at dinner they talked about the food and disputed lethargically, preparing for a big quarrel. No matter what it was that the mother-in-law had...
Page 65 - The forests are the Lord's gardens. No one planted them save the word of God and the holy breath of His mouth. When I was working on the boats in my youth I went to Jegoulya. Oh, Lexei, you will never have the experiences I have had! There are forests on the Volga, too, stretching as far as the Urals. Yes; it is all so boundless and wonderful.
Page 386 - ... waiting until she should find him another place. She had Sascha's sister on her shoulders, too. She had made an unfortunate marriage with a drunken workman, who beat her and turned her out of his house. Every time I met grandmother, I was more consciously charmed by her personality; but I felt already that that beautiful soul, blinded by fanciful tales, was not capable of seeing, could not understand a revelation of the bitter reality of life, and my disquietude and restlessness were strange...
Page 20 - No; I don't want anything." He was obviously offended at the refusal and the poor impression his riches had made. He was silent a moment ; then he suggested quietly : "Get a towel and wipe them all; they are covered with dust." When the things were all dusted and replaced, he turned over in the bed, with his face to the wall. The rain was pouring down. It dripped from the roof, and the wind beat against the window. Without turning toward me, Sascha said : "You wait! When it is dry in the garden I...
Page 223 - They told me that you were ill, and that you had been taken to hospital. You see what stories get about." I was silent. I was ashamed to tell her the truth. Why should she know of such sad and coarse things? It was nice to think that she was different from other people. Once more I read the thick books of Dumas pere, Ponson de Terraille, Montepaine, Zakonier, Gaboriau, and Bourgobier.

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