You mean his crucifixion? No, brother, that suffering was a trifle. They crucified Him—what did that matter? The important point was that thereby He came to know the truth. As long as He walked the earth, He was—well—a man, rather a good man—talking here and there about this and that. When He met someone, He would talk to him about this and that, teach him, and tell him a few good things to put him on the right track. But when these same fellows carried Him off to the cross and went at Him with knouts, whips, and lashes, then His eyes were opened. “Aha!” He said, “so that’s what it is!” And He prayed: “I cannot endure such suffering. I thought it would be a simple crucifixion; but, O Father in Heaven, what is this?” And the Father said to Him: “Never mind, never mind, Son! Know the truth, know what it is.” And from then on, He fell to sorrowing, and has been sorrowing to this day.
Yes, friend, he is sorrowing. (Pause. Lightning)
It looks like rain, and I am without rubbers and umbrella.
And everywhere, wheresoever I go, wheresoever I turn, I see before me His pure visage. “Do you understand my suffering, O Lord?” “I understand, Yeremey, I understand everything. Go your way in peace.” I am to Him like a transparent crystal with a tear inside. “You understand, Lord?” “I understand, Yeremey.” “Well, and I understand you too.” So we live together. He with me, I with Him. I am sorry for Him also. When I die, I will transmit my sorrow to Him. “Take it, Lord.”
But after all, you are not quite right in running down the people the way you do. There are some good men also—very few—but there are some. Otherwise it wouldn’t be of any use to live.
No, friend, there are none. I don’t want to fool you—there are none. You know, it was they who christened me with the name of King Herod.
Why, your people. There is no beast more cruel than man. I killed my boy, so I am King Herod to them. Damn them, it never enters their minds how terrible it is for me to be burdened with such a nick-name. Herod! If they only called me so out of spite! But not at all.
What is your real name?
Yeremey. That’s my name—Yeremey. But they call me Herod, carefully adding King, so that there may be no mistake. Look, there comes another monk, a plague on him. Say, did you ever see His countenance?