You are on the run, fast as your feet can carry you! Ah! but where to? Everywhere is hell, everywhere is fire. You refused to hearken unto me, my pet; now you shall hearken unto the fire. Won’t I be glad, won’t I rejoice! I’ll take off my chains so that I can catch them and present them to the devil—first one, then the other. Here, take him. And the howl they’ll set up, and the weeping and lamentation. “I am not guilty.” Not guilty? Who, then, is—who? To gehenna with you! Burn, you damned hypocrites, until the second Advent. And then we’ll build a new fire, then we’ll build a new fire.
Isn’t it time for us to go, Father Kirill?
Yes, we had better be moving along. It’s getting dark, and it’s time to retire.
Aha! You don’t like to hear the truth. It isn’t pleasant, is it?
Hee-hee, brother, talk is cheap. A barking dog doesn’t bite. Scold away, scold away. We are listening. God in heaven will decide who is to go to hell and who elsewhere. “The meek, shall inherit the earth,” says the Gospel. Good-bye, young gentlemen.
GRAY MONK (to King Herod)
Let me give you a piece of advice, however. Talk, but don’t talk too much. Don’t go too far. We are only tolerating you because you are a pitiful creature and because you are foolish. But if you give your tongue too free a rein, we can stop it, you know. Yes, indeed.
All right, try—try to stop me.
What’s the use, Father Vissarion? Let him talk. It doesn’t do any harm. Listen, listen, young gentlemen. He is an interesting fellow. Good night.
[They go. The Fat Monk is heard laughing heartily.
KING HEROD (to Savva)
Fine specimens. I can’t stand them.
I like you, uncle.
Do you? So you don’t like their kind either?
No, I don’t.
Well, I’ll sit down for a while. My legs are swollen. Have you got a cigarette?
SAVVA (handing him a cigarette)
Do you smoke?
Sometimes. Excuse me for having talked to you the way I did before. You are a good fellow. But why did you lie and say you understood? No one can understand it. Who is this with you?