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


It fills up your life.


It gives life a beautiful purpose.  By properly educating a child, preventing it from making the mistakes which we had to pay for so dearly, and strengthening its mind with our own rich experiences, we produce a better man and advance slowly but surely toward the final goal of existence, which is perfection.


You are quite right, brother.  When I was little I loved to torture animals.  That developed cruelty in me.  I won’t allow my son to torture animals.  Even after I had grown up I often made mistakes in my friendships and love.  I chose friends who were unworthy and women who were faithless.  I’ll explain to my son—­

DOCTOR (enters and says aloud)

Your wife is feeling very bad.  She wants to see you.


Oh, my God! (He and the Doctor leave)

[The Relatives seat themselves in a semicircle.  Solemn silence for a time.  Someone in Gray stands motionless in the corner, His stony face turned toward them.


—­Do you think, dear, she may die?

—­No, I don’t think so.  She is a very impatient woman and makes too much of her pains.  All women bear children and none of them die.  I have borne six children.

—­But the way she screamed, mamma?

—­Yes, her face was purple from screaming.  I noticed it.

—­Not from screaming, but from laboring.  You don’t understand about these things.  My face got purple too, but I didn’t scream.

—­Not long ago an acquaintance of mine, the civil engineer’s wife, gave birth to a child, and she scarcely made a sound.

—­I know.  There’s no need for my brother to be so upset.  One must be firm and take things calmly.  And I’m afraid, too, he’ll introduce a lot of his fantastic notions in the bringing up of his children and indulge their every whim.

—­He’s a very weak character.  He has little enough money, and yet he lends it to people who don’t deserve to be trusted.

—­Do you know how much the child’s layette cost?

—­Don’t talk to me of it!  It gets on my nerves, my brother’s extravagance does.  I often quarrel with him because he’s so improvident.

—­They say a stork brings babies.  What sort of a stork is it?

[The young men burst out laughing.

—­Don’t talk nonsense.  I gave birth to five children right in your presence, and I’m no stork, thank the Lord.

[The young men burst our laughing again.  The Elderly Woman eyes them long and sternly.

—­It’s only a superstition.  Children are born in an absolutely natural way, firmly established by science.  They’ve moved to new quarters now.

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