Savva and the Life of Man eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 202 pages of information about Savva and the Life of Man.


God, I beg you, let my son live.  I can understand only one thing, I can say only one thing, only one thing—­God, let my son live.  I have no other words, all is dark around me, everything is falling.  I understand nothing, and there’s such a terror in my heart, O Lord, that I can say only this one thing—­God, let my son live!  Let him live!  Forgive me for praying so poorly.  But I cannot pray in any other way.  You understand, O Lord, I can’t.  Look at me!  Just look at me!  Do you see?  Do you see how my head shakes, do you see how my hands shake?  But what are my hands, O Lord!  Have pity on him.  He is so young—­he has a birthmark on his right hand.  Let him live, even if only a little while, a little while.  He is so young, such a mere foolish child—­he’s still fond of sweets.  I bought him grapes.  Pity—­have pity!

[She weeps in a subdued way, covering her face with her hands.  Man speaks without looking at her.


Here I am praying, you see.  I’ve bent my old knees.  I’ve prostrated myself in the dust before you.  I’m kissing the ground, do you see?  Maybe I have sometimes offended you.  If so, forgive me, forgive me.  It is true, I was haughty, arrogant.  I demanded and did not beg.  Often I condemned—­forgive me.  And if you wish, if this be your will, punish me, but spare my son.  Spare him, I beg you.  Not for mercy, not for pity do I pray you.  I pray for justice.  You are old, and I am old too.  You will understand more easily than I. Bad people wanted to kill him, people who insult you by their deeds and defile your earth—­bad, heartless people, who throw stones from behind corners.  From behind corners, the scoundrels!  Do not then, I pray you, permit the fulfilment of this evil deed.  Stay the blood, give back the life—­give back the life to my noble son!  You took everything away from me, but did I ever ask you like a beggar:  “Give me back my wealth, give me back my friends, give me back my talent”?  No, never.  I did not even ask you for my talent, and you know what his talent means to a man.  It is more than life.  I thought perhaps that’s the way it ought to be, and I bore everything, bore everything with pride.  But now I ask you on my knees, in the dust, kissing the earth:  “Give back my son’s life.”  I kiss your earth!

[He rises.  Someone called He listens indifferently to the father’s and mother’s prayers.


I’m afraid your prayer was not humble enough.  There was a certain tone of pride in it.


No, no, my wife, I spoke well to Him, the way a man should speak.  He cannot love cringing flatterers better than brave, proud men who speak the truth.  No, wife, you cannot understand.  Now I believe also and feel reassured—­in fact, I am happy.  I feel that I too still signify something to my boy, and it makes me glad.  Go and see if he’s asleep.  He needs a lot of good, hard sleep.

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Savva and the Life of Man from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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