Intoxicated by the singing

"All the men would become intoxicated by the singing, almost unconscious in fact, and they seemed to be breathing and feeling as one person as they glanced at the Cossack. When he sang he was acknowledged lord of the workshop, and all the men were irresistibly drawn towards him and followed the broad sweeping movements of his arms which he flung out as though he were about to fly. I was sure that if he suddenly stopped singing and shouted 'Smash everything up' then everyone, even the most serious craftsmen, would have smashed the whole workshop to smithereens in a few minutes.

"He sang rarely, but his rousing songs had an irresistible, triumphant power. However depressed people were he would lift them up and stir their passions. Everyone became alert, acquired a new strength, a burning enthusiasm, when he sang.

"These songs filled me with a deep feeling of envy towards the singer and his wonderful power over people. Something painfully disturbing  flowed into my heart, making it swell until it began to hurt. I felt like crying and wanted to shout out to all those singing people: 'I love you all!' ...".

- Maxim Gorky, My Apprenticeship


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