A monologue from the play by Leonid Andreyev

  • NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from Savva and The Life of Man: Two Plays by Leonid Andreyev. Trans. Thomas Seltzer. Boston: Little, Brown & Company, 1917.
  • LIPA: The monastery is really a remarkable place. There are nice spots there which no one ever visits, somewhere between the mute walls, where there is nothing but grass and fallen stones and a lot of old, old litter. I love to linger there, especially at twilight, or on hot sunny days like today. I close my eyes, and I seem to look far, far into the distant past -- at those who built it and those who first prayed in it. There they walk along the path carrying bricks and singing something, so softly, so far away. [Closing her eyes.] So softly, so softly. [Opening her eyes.] Those are my dreams. You see, Savva, I am all alone here. I have nobody to talk to. Tell me -- You won't be angry, will you? -- Tell me, just me alone, why did you come here to us? It wasn't to pray. It wasn't for the feast-day. You don't look like a pilgrim. [Pause.] You've been here for two weeks ... you ought to see that I am lonely. I am lonely, Savva. Your coming was to me like manna fallen from the sky. You are the first living human being that has come here from over there, from real life. In Moscow I lived very quietly, just reading my books; and here -- you see the sort of people we have here. But you've seen so much. You've even been abroad. You've met many cultured, wise, interesting people. You've lived with them. How do they live? What kind of people are they? Tell me.