Not for them. Listen, young man. Have you a grief?
Perhaps I have. Why?
Then listen to me. When you are in sorrow, when you are suffering, don’t go to people. If you have a friend, don’t go to him. It’s more than you’ll be able to stand. Better go to the wolves in the forest. They’ll make short work of it, devour you at once, and there will be the end of it. I have seen many evil things, but I have never seen anything worse than man. No, never! They say men are created in His image, in His likeness. Why, you skunks, you have no image. If you had one, the tiniest excuse for one, you would crawl away on all fours and hide somewhere from sheer shame. You damned skunks! Laugh at them, cry before them, shout, at them. It doesn’t make any difference. They go on licking their chops. King Herod—Damned skunks! And when King Herod—not I, but the real one with a golden crown—killed your children, where were you—hey?
We weren’t even in the world then, man.
Then there were others like you. He killed. You accepted it. That’s all. I have asked many the question: “What would you have done?” “Nothing,” they always reply. “If he killed, what could be done about it?” Fine creatures! Haven’t the manliness to stand up even for their children. They are worse than dogs, damn them!
And what would you have done?
I? I should have wrung his neck from off his royal gold crown—the confounded brute!
It says in the scripture: “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
That is to say, don’t interfere with other people’s business. Do you understand?
KING HEROD (to Savva in despair)
Just listen, listen to what they are saying.
I hear what they are saying.
Just you wait, my precious! You’ll get what’s coming to you, and mighty quick. The devil will come and hurl you into the fiery pit. To hell, to gehenna, with you! How your fat will melt and run! Do you get the smell, monk?
That’s from the refectory.