He’ll give it back to you to-morrow. He was afraid to give it to me. Savva dear, don’t look at me like that. I know it’s unpleasant for you, but you have a lot of common sense. You can’t help seeing that what you wanted to do was an absurdity, a piece of lunacy, a vagary that can come to one only in one’s dreams at night. Don’t I understand that life is hard? Am I not suffering from it myself? I understand even your comrades, the anarchists. It’s not right to kill anybody; but still I understand them. They kill the bad.
They are not my comrades. I have no comrades.
Aren’t you an anarchist?
What are you then?
TONY (raising his head)
They are going, they are going. Do you hear?
SAVVA (quietly, but ominously)
They are going.
There, you see. Who is going? Think of it. It’s human misery that’s going. And you wanted to take away from them their last hope, their last consolation. And to what purpose? In the name of what? In the name of some wild, ghastly dream about a “naked earth.” (Peers with terror into the darkness of the room) A naked earth! It’s terrible to think of it. A naked earth! How could a man, a human being, ever conceive such an idea? A naked earth! Nothing, nothing! Everything laid bare, everything annihilated. Everything that people worked for through all the years; everything they have created with so much toil, with so much pain. Unhappy people! There is among you a man who says that all this must be burned, must be consumed with fire.
You remember my words to perfection.
You awakened me, Savva. When you told me all that, my eyes were suddenly opened, and I began to love everything. Do you understand? I began to love it all. These walls—formerly I didn’t notice them; now I am sorry for them—so sorry, I could cry. And the books and everything—each brick, each piece of wood to which man has applied his labor. Let’s admit that it’s poor stuff. Who says it’s good? But that’s why I love it—for its defects, its imperfections, its crooked lines, its unfulfilled hopes. For the labor and the tears. And all who hear you talking, Savva, will feel as I do, and will begin to love all that is old and dear and human.
I have nothing to do with you.