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by: Fyodor Dostoevsky

All people seem to be divided into "ordinary" and "extraordinary". The ordinary people must lead a life of strict obedience and have no right to transgress the law because ... they are ordinary. Whereas the extraordinary people have the right to commit any crime they like and transgress the law in any way just because they happen to be extraordinary.

You know what kind of man I think you are? You're the kind of man who would stand there and smile at his torturers while they were tearing out his guts--if only he could find faith or a god.

To go wrong in one's own way is better than to go right in someone else's.

Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms. It's by talking nonsense that one gets to the truth! I talk nonsense, therefore I'm human.

Where is it I've read that someone condemned to death says or thinks, an hour before his death, that if he had to live on some high rock, on such a narrow ledge that he'd only room to stand, and the ocean, everlasting darkness, everlasting solitude, everlasting tempest around him, if he had to remain standing on a square yard of space all his life, a thousand years, eternity, it were better to live so than to die at once! Only to live, to live and live! Life, whatever it may be!... How true it is! Good God, how true! Man is a vile creature!

Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.

We have to break with what must be broken with once and for all ... and we have to take the suffering upon ourselves ... Freedom and power--power above all. Power over all the tumbling vermin and over all the ant-hill!

Man grows used to everything, the scoundrel.

What if man is not really a scoundrel, man in general, I mean, the whole race of mankind-then all the rest is prejudice, simply artificial terrors and there are no barriers and it's all as it should be.

For broad understanding and deep feeling, you need pain and suffering. I believe really great men must experience great sadness in the world.

Although Pulcheria Alexandrovna was forty-three, she still showed traces of her former beauty and seemed much younger than her years. This is generally true of women who remain serene in spirit, fresh in their impressions, and spontaneously warmhearted right to the edge of old age. One might add that in this way, and only in this way, they retain their beauty in old age too.

If it were not for Christ's Church, indeed there would be no restraint on the criminal in his evildoing, and no punishment for it later, real punishment, that is, not a mechanical one such as has just been mentioned, which only chafes the heart in most cases, but a real punishment, the only real, the only frightening and appeasing punishment, which lies in the acknowledgement of one's own conscience.

Actions are sometimes performed in a masterly and most cunning way, while the direction of the actions is deranged and dependent on various morbid impressions--it's like a dream.

"You're a gentleman," they used to say to him. "You shouldn't have gone murdering people with a hatchet; that's no occupation for a gentleman."

Do a man dirt, yourself you hurt.

Accept suffering and achieve atonement through it -- that is what you must do.

You ought to thank God, perhaps. How do you know? Perhaps God is saving you for something. But keep a good heart and have less fear! Are you afraid of the great expiation before you? No, it would be shameful to be afraid of it. Since you have taken such a step, you must harden your heart. There is justice in it. You must fulfill the demands of justice. I know that you don’t believe it, but indeed, life will bring you through. You will live it down in time. What you need now is fresh air, fresh air, fresh air!

Nothing in this world is harder than speaking the truth, nothing easier than flattery.

Seven years, only seven years! At the beginning of their happiness at some moments they were both ready to look on those seven years as though they were seven days. He did not know that the new life would not be given him for nothing, that he would have to pay dearly for it, that it would cost him great striving, great suffering. But that is the beginning of a new story – the story of the gradual renewal of a man, the story of his gradual regeneration, of his passing from one world into another, of his initiation into a new unknown life. That might be the subject of a new story, but our present story is ended.

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