The plague spread and moved on. In the whole world only a few people were able to save themselves: the pure and the chosen, predestined to begin a new race of men and a new life, to renew and purify the earth; but these people were not seen anywhere by anybody, and nobody heard their voices or their words.
Practicality is a difficult thing to find; it does not drop down from heaven. And for the last two hundred years we have been divorced from all practical life. Ideas, if you like, are fermenting, and desire for good exists, though it’s in a childish form, and honesty you may find, although there are crowds of brigands. Anyway, there’s no practicality. Practicality goes well shod.
Although Pulcheria Alexandrovna was forty-three, her face still retained traces of her former beauty; she looked much younger than her age, indeed, which is almost always the case with women who retain serenity of spirit, sensitiveness and pure sincere warmth of heart to old age. We may add in parenthesis that to preserve all this is the only means of retaining beauty to old age.
Till the last moment they dress a man up in peacock's feathers, till the last moment they hope for the good and not the bad; and though they may have premonitions of the other side of the coin, for the life of them they will not utter a real word beforehand; the thought alone makes them cringe; they wave the truth away with both hands, till the very moment when the man they've decked out so finely sticks their noses in it with his own two hands.