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: There, you see. Who is going? Think of it. It's human misery that's going. And you wanted to take away from them their last hope, their last consolation. And to what purpose? In the name of what? In the name of some wild, ghastly dream about a "naked earth." A naked earth! It's terrible to think of it. A naked earth! How could a man, a human being, ever conceive such an idea? A naked earth! Nothing, nothing! Everything laid bare, everything annihilated. Everything that people worked for through all the years; everything they have created with so much toil, with so much pain. Unhappy people! There is among you a man who says that all this must be burned, must be consumed with fire. You awakened me, Savva. When you told me all that, my eyes were suddenly opened, and I began to love everything. Do you understand? I began to love it all. These walls -- formerly I didn't notice them; now I am sorry for them -- so sorry, I could cry. And the books and everything -- each brick, each piece of wood to which man has applied his labor. Let's admit that it's poor stuff. Who says it's good? But that's why I love it -- for its defects, its imperfections, its crooked lines, its unfulfilled hopes. For the labor and the tears. And all who hear you talking, Savva, will feel as I do, and will begin to love all that is old and dear and human.