Vera; or, The Nihilists | Czar

Vera; or, The Nihilists Monologue

CZAR: Then I banish you for your bad jokes. Bon voyage Messieurs. If you value your lives you will catch the first train for Paris. [Exeunt Ministers.] Russia is well rid of such men as these. They are the jackals that follow in the lion’s track. They have no courage themselves except to pillage and rob. But for these men and for Prince Paul my father would have been a good king, would not have died so horribly as he did die. How strange it is, the most real parts of one’s life always seem to be a dream! The council, the fearful law which was to kill the people, the arrest, the cry in the court-yard, the pistol-shot, my father’s bloody hands, and then the crown! One can live for years sometimes without living at all, and then all life comes crowding into one single hour. I had no time to think. Before my father’s hideous shriek of death had died in my ears I found this crown on my head, the purple robe around me, and heard myself called a king. I would have given it up all then; it seemed nothing to me then; but now, can I give it up now? Well, Colonel, well?

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