A monologue from the play by Alexander Ostrovsky
NOTE: This translation by George Rapall Noyes was first published in 1917 by Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. It is now a public domain work and may be performed without royalties.

ARKHIP: That is God's gift to you. From your childhood you have had no love for this vain world. Some lose their faint-heartedness with years, when woes and afflictions, Afonya, crush and grind a man into powder; but you have never lived, have not yet tasted the world's sorrows or joys, and yet you reason like an old man. Thank God that he has made you wise. The world does not charm you: you do not know temptation and have not always turned aside from it, and most often I sought temptation of my own free will. You say everything seems the same to you, that nothing in the world delights you; but to me God's world was good and bright. Everything beckoned and charmed me. An unsated eye and free will command one to taste all the pleasures of the universe. But in the world, Afonya, good and evil go hand in hand. Well, one's sins may be more in number than the sands of the sea. Luckily God prolonged my life, that I might repent, and did not strike me down in my sins. We repent and humble ourselves for mercy; but you will have nothing to repent of; you, Afonya, are a man of God.

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