Tuesday, 31 May 2011

...of the grave

'A sword, sir, means honour!' - and that shout was the last I heard from the General. This was followed by hubbub and uproar, by long and furious howls, and I could make out nothing but Avdotya Ignatyevna's hysterically impatient squeals: 'Come on, come on now! Oh, when are we going to start feeling ashamed of nothing?'
'Oh-oh-oh! Verily my soul is passing through torments!' came the voice of the simple tradesman, and -
And here I sneezed. This happened suddenly and unintentionally, but its effect was remarkable: everything dissolved like a dream, there was just deathly silence. Yes, the silence was truly sepulchral. I don't think it was a matter of them feeling shame in my presence: they had resolved, after all, to feel ashamed of nothing! I waited another five minutes or so - not a word, not a sound. Nor is it to be supposed that they were afraid of being reported to the police, for what could the police have done? I am forced to conclude that those under the ground must, after all, have some secret unknown to mortals and which they are careful to conceal from mortals.

[Bobok, Dostoyevsky, F. H.]

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