The stranger astonished him more and more by her dignified and serious manner. It's usually the case, isn't it, that a young girl giggles when a man speaks with her, or else blushes, hides her face, and behaves awkwardly? The stranger was nothing like this. She maintained her poise, natural, cold and majestic. He delighted in her bearing, his fascination growing all the time; his eyes sparkled and his half-open mouth, showing his white teeth, made him look as if he needed to breathe more than usual.
Gripped with bitter cold, ice-locked, Petersburg burned in delirium. One knew: out there, invisible behind the curtain of fog, the red and yellow columns, spires, and hoary gates and fences crept on tiptoe, creaking and shuffling. A fevered, impossible, icy sun hung in the fog - to the left, to the right, above, below - a dove over a house on fire. From the delirium-born, misty world, dragon men dived up into the earthly world, belched fog - heard in the misty world as words, but here becoming nothing - round white puffs of smoke. The dragon men dived up and disappeared again into the fog. And trolleys rushed screeching out of the earthly world into the unknown. ("The Dragon")
Why should I give up revenge? On behalf of what? Moral principles? And what of the higher order of things, in which evil deeds are punished? For you, a philosopher and ethicist, an act of revenge is bad, disgraceful, unethical and illegal. But I ask: where is the punishment for evil? Who has it and grants access? The Gods, in which you do not believe? The great demiurge-creator, which you decided to replace the gods with? Or maybe the law? [...] I know what evil is afraid of. Not your ethics, Vysogota, not your preaching or moral treaties on the life of dignity. Evil is afraid of pain, mutilation, suffering and at the end of the day, death! The dog howls when it is badly wounded! Writhing on the ground and growls, watching the blood flow from its veins and arteries, seeing the bone that sticks out from a stump, watching its guts escape its open belly, feeling the cold as death is about to take them. Then and only then will evil begin to beg, 'Have mercy! I regret my sins! I'll be good, I swear! Just save me, do not let me waste away!'. Yes, hermit. That is the way to fight evil! When evil wants to harm you, inflict pain - anticipate them, it's best if evil does not expect it. But if you fail to prevent evil, if you have been hurt by evil, then avenge him! It is best when they have already forgotten, when they feel safe. Then pay them in double. In triple. An eye for an eye? No! Both eyes for an eye! A tooth for a tooth? No! All their teeth for a tooth! Repay evil! Make it wail in pain, howling until their eyes pop from their sockets. And then, you can look under your feet and boldly declare that what is there cannot endanger anyone, cannot hurt anyone. How can someone be a danger, when they have no eyes? How can someone hurt when they have no hands? They can only wait until they bleed to death.
Outside the window, there slides past that unimaginable and deserted vastness where night is coming on, the sun declining in ghastly blood-streaked splendour like a public execution across, it would seem, half a continent, where live only bears and shooting stars and the wolves who lap congealing ice from water that holds within it the entire sky. All white with snow as if under dustsheets, as if laid away eternally as soon as brought back from the shop, never to be used or touched. Horrors! And, as on a cyclorama, this unnatural spectacle rolls past at twenty-odd miles an hour in a tidy frame of lace curtains only a little the worse for soot and drapes of a heavy velvet of dark, dusty blue.