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

Enter the Doctor in a white uniform, and Man’s Father, whose face wears an expression of extreme exhaustion and joy.  There are lines under his eyes; his cheeks are sunken and his hair is dishevelled; he is very negligently dressed.  The Doctor looks very learned._

DOCTOR

Up to the very last moment I didn’t know whether your wife would pull through or not.  I used all the means at the disposal of medical skill and science.  But science can do very little unless nature helps too; I was really excited.  My pulse is still going hard.  Though I have assisted at so many births, yet I can’t rid myself of a sense of uneasiness.  But you are not listening to me, sir.

MAN’S FATHER

I’m listening, but I can’t hear.  Her screams are still ringing in my ears, and it’s hard for me to pull myself together.  Poor woman, how she suffered!  I was a fool, I was stupid and wanted to have children.  But hereafter I will renounce.  It is criminal.

DOCTOR

You will call me again when your next child comes.

FATHER

No, never.  I’m ashamed to admit it, but just now I hate the child for which she suffered so.  I didn’t even see him.  What sort of a boy is he?

DOCTOR

He’s a well-fed, strong little youngster, and if I’m not mistaken he resembles you.

FATHER

Me?  Fine!  Now I’m beginning to love him.  I always wanted a boy to look like me.  Did you see—­his nose is like mine, isn’t it?

DOCTOR

Yes, his nose and eyes.

FATHER

His eyes too?  Ah, that’s good.  I’ll raise your fee.

DOCTOR

You’ll have to pay me for using the instruments also.

FATHER (turning to the corner where He stands motionless)

God, I thank Thee for having granted my wish and given me a son who resembles me.  I thank Thee for preserving my wife from death, and bringing my child into the world alive.  I pray Thee that he may grow up big, healthy, and strong; that he may be wise and honest, and that he may never cause us grief, but be a constant joy to his mother and me.  If Thou wilt do this, I will always believe in Thee and go to church.

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