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Saturday, 18 November 2017

Terrible heart-rending sounds ...

"In spite of the cruel frost, mendicant friars with bared heads, some bald as ripe pumpkins, some fringed with sparse orange-coloured hair, were already sitting cross-legged in a row along the stone-flagged pathway leading to the main entrance of the old belfry of St Sophia and were chanting in a nasal whine.

"Blind ballad-singers droned their eerie song about the Last Judgment, their tattered peaked caps lying upwards to catch the sparse harvest of greasy roubles and battered coppers.

"Oh, that day, that dreadful day, 
"When the end of the world will come.
"The judgment day ...

"The terrible heart-rending sounds floated up from the crunching, frosty ground, wrenched whining from those yellow-toothed old instruments with their palsied, crooked limbs ..." 

- Mikhail Bulgakov, The White Guard





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