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Savva and the Life of Man eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 146 pages of information about Savva and the Life of Man.

SAVVA

Why?

FRIAR

He came across me in the forest the other day when I was-shouting “Ho!  Ho!” “Ah,” said he, “you forest sprite with goat’s feet!” To-morrow after dinner, all right? (Walks away, sedately at first, but then with a sort of dancing step)

FAT MONK (approaches)

Well, young men, having a pleasant chat?  Are you Mr. Tropinin’s son?

SAVVA

I am the man.

FAT MONK

I have heard about you.  A decent, respectable gentleman your father is.  May I sit down? (He sits down) The sun has set, yet it’s still hot.  I wonder if we’ll have a storm to-night.  Well, young man, how do you like it here?  How does this place compare with the metropolis?

SAVVA

It’s a rich monastery.

FAT MONK

Yes, thank the Lord.  It’s celebrated all over Russia.  There are many who come here even from Siberia.  Its fame reaches far.  There’ll soon be a feast-day, and—­

SPERANSKY

You’ll work yourself sick, father.  Services day and night.

FAT MONK

Yes, we must do our best for the monastery.

SAVVA

Not for the people?

FAT MONK

Yes, for the people too.  For whom else?  Last year a large number of epileptics were cured; quite a lot of them.  One blind man had his eyesight restored, and two paralytics were made to walk.  You’ll see for yourself, young man, and then you won’t smile.  I have heard that you are an unbeliever.

SAVVA

You have heard correctly.  I am an unbeliever.

FAT MONK

It’s a shame, a shame.  Of course, there are many unbelievers nowadays among the educated classes.  But are they any happier on that account?  I doubt it.

SAVVA

No, there are not so many.  They think they are unbelievers because they don’t go to church.  As a matter of fact, they have greater faith than you.  It’s more deep-seated.

FAT MONK

Is that so?

SAVVA

Yes, yes.  The form of their faith is, of course, more refined.  They are cultured, you see.

FAT MONK

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