I see a great building, one enormous mass. In the front wall is a narrow arch with open doors; behind them, dark mists. In front of the high threshold there is a young girl… a pretty Russian girl.
A breeze comes from the dark and icy mists, a current of freezing air, bringing with it from the depths of the building the sound of a slow and muffled voice.
‘You who aspire to cross this threshold, do you know what awaits you here?’
‘I know,’ answers the young girl.
‘Cold, hunger, hate, mockery, scorn, injustice, prison, illness and even death?’
‘I know it.’
‘Do you expect to be shunned by everyone? Do you expect to be totally alone?’
‘I am ready. I know it. I shall bear all the suffering and all the blows’.
‘Even if they do not come from enemies, but from parents, from friends?’
‘Yes… even from those…’
‘Good. Do you accept the sacrifice?’
‘An anonymous sacrifice? You will perish and nobody… but nobody will evenknow whose memory to honour?’
‘I have no use for recognition and pity. I have no use for a name.’
‘Are you ready for crime?’
The young girl bowed her head. ‘Even for crime.’
The voice which was questioning her did not continue right away. At last it started again: ‘Do you know that one day you will believe no more in what you believe in now, and come to think that you have been a dupe and that it was for nothing that you have lost your young life?’
‘That too I know. Well though I know it, I wish to enter.’ The young girl crossed the threshold. A heavy curtain fell. Gritting his teeth, someone uttered behind her:
‘A foolish girl!’
At which, from another place, a voice replied:
I. S. Turgenev, Poems en prose