ts however have intermingled together into one, and that great world-soul am I! In me is the spirit of Alexander, of Napoleon, of Caesar, of Shakespeare and also the spirit of the tiniest blood-sucking leech that liveth in the lake.
IRINA: ‘Liveth’? Really? Did she just say ‘liveth’?
ILIA laughs loudly.
NINA: In me the consciousness of man has joined together with the instinct of the animal; I understand all, all, all, and each life lives afresh in me.
As lights, these spirits flash out along the lake shore.
IRINA: (Whispers.) How appallingly pretentious!
KONSTANTIN: I heard that!
NINA: I am alone, alone, alone. Once in a hundred years my lips are opened, my voice echoes mournfully across the abandoned earth, and no one hears. And you, poor lights of the marsh, you do not hear me either. You are engendered at sunset in the putrid mud, and flutter aimlessly about the lake till dawn, unconscious, unreasoning, empty of the breath of life. Satan, father of eternal matter, trembling lest the spark of life should glow in you, has ordered an unceasing movement of the atoms that compose you, and so you shift and change for ever. I, the spirit of the universe, I alone am immutable and eternal. Like a prisoner locked away in a dungeon deep and void, I know not where I am, nor what awaits me. One thing only I know: in my fierce and desperate battle with the Devil, the father of eternal matter, I am destined to be ultimately victorious. Matter and spirit will then finally be as one in glorious harmony, and the reign of freedom will begin. But this can only come to pass by slow degrees, when after countless ages the moon and the earth and Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, when they have all died and disappeared. But until the coming of that hour, horror, horror, horror!