"The Master and Margarita. I was there" Google Readings
"Just then the sultry air coagulated and wove itself into the shape of a man a transparent man of the strangest appearance. On his small head was a jockey-cap and he wore a short check bum-freezer made of air. The man was seven feet tall but narrow in the shoulders, incredibly thin and with a face made for derision."
"Berlioz's high tenor rang out in the deserted walk, and as Mikhail Alexandrovich went deeper into the maze, which only a highly educated man can go into without risking a broken neck, the poet learned more and more interesting and useful things about the Egyptian Osiris, a benevolent god and the son of Heaven and Earth, and about the Phoenician god Tammoz, and about Marduk," and even about a lesser known, terrible god, Vitzliputzli,' once greatly venerated by the Aztecs in Mexico."
"They ought to take this Kant and give him a three-year stretch in Solovki, for such proofs!' Ivan Nikolaevich plumped quite unexpectedly."
"One, two . . . Mercury in the second house . . . moon gone ... six - disaster . . . evening - seven . . .' then announced loudly and joyfully: 'Your head will be cut off!"
"You don't think it was you who hung it, Hegemon?' the prisoner asked. 'If so, you are very mistaken.'
Pilate gave a start and replied through his teeth:
'I can cut that hair.' "
"More than anything in the world the procurator hated the smell of rose oil, and now everything foreboded a bad day, because this smell had been pursuing the procurator since dawn.
It seemed to the procurator that a rosy smell exuded from the cypresses and palms in the garden, that the smell of leather trappings and sweat from the convoy was mingled with the cursed rosy flux."
"And right then this tram-car came racing along, turning down the newly laid line from Yermolaevsky to Bronnaya. Having turned, and coming to the straight stretch, it suddenly lit up inside with electricity, whined, and put on speed."
"and, while turning, to make out the face, completely white with horror, and the crimson armband of the woman driver bearing down on him with irresistible force."
"Trying to get hold of something, Berlioz fell backwards, the back of his head lightly striking the cobbles, and had time to see high up – but whether to right or left he no longer knew – the gold-tinged moon."
"The tram-car went over Berlioz, and a round dark object was thrown up the cobbled slope below the fence of the Patriarch's walk. Having rolled back down this slope, it went bouncing along the cobblestones of the street."
"But that was still not all: the third in this company proved to be a tom-cat, who appeared out of nowhere, huge as a hog, black as soot or as a rook, and with a desperate cavalryman's whiskers. The trio set off down Patriarch's Lane, the cat walking on his hind legs."
"Ivan sped after the villains and became convinced at once that it - would be very difficult to catch up with them. The trio shot down the lane in an instant and came out on Spiri-donovka."
"Ivan dived swallow-fashion into the water. It took his breath away, so cold the water was, and the thought even flashed in him that he might not manage to come up to the surface. However, he did manage to come up, and, puffing and snorting, his eyes rounded in terror, Ivan Nikolaevich began swimming through the black, oil-smelling water among the broken zigzags of street lights on the bank."
"On the first lay the naked body, covered with dried blood, one arm broken, the chest caved in; on the second, the head with the front teeth knocked out, with dull, open eyes unafraid of the brightest light; and on the third, a pile of stiffened rags."
"A syringe flashed in the doctor's hand, with a single movement the woman slit the threadbare sleeve of the shirt and seized the arm with unwomanly strength. There was a smell of ether, Ivan went limp in the hands of the four people, the deft doctor took advantage of this moment and stuck the needle into Ivan's arm. They held Ivan for another few seconds and then lowered him on to the couch."
"The tired doctor glanced at Riukhin and answered listlessly:
'Locomotor and speech excitation... delirious interpretations... A complex case, it seems. Schizophrenia, I suppose. Plus this alcoholism..."
"If Styopa Likhodeev had been told the next morning: 'Styopa! You'll be shot if you don't get up this minute!' – Styopa would have replied in a languid, barely audible voice: 'Shoot me, do what you like with me, I won't get up."
"It must be said that this apartment - no.50 - had long had, if not a bad, at least a strange reputation. Two years ago it had still belonged to the widow of the jeweller de Fougeray."
"They've sewn up a whole case!' Ivan thought. And the chief ran through the chart with a practised eye, muttered 'Mm-hm, mm-hm . ..', and exchanged a few phrases with those around him in a little-known language."
"Oh, no,' Stravinsky objected confidently, 'he won't escape anywhere, I guarantee that. And remember that here with us you'll be helped in all possible ways, and without us nothing will come of it. Do you hear me?' Stravinsky suddenly asked meaningly and took Ivan Nikolaevich by both hands."
"The news of Berlioz's death spread through the whole house with a sort of supernatural speed, and as of seven o'clock Thursday morning, Bosoy began to receive telephone calls and then personal visits with declarations containing claims to the deceased's living space. In the period of two hours, Nikanor Ivanovich received thirty-two such declarations."
"Where's the Jakes?' the first one, in a white side-buttoned shirt, asked with a preoccupied air.
Something thudded against the dining table (this was Nikanor Ivanovich dropping the ladle on to the oilcloth)."
"Varenukha silently handed him the telegram, and the findirector saw there the words: 'Beg believe thrown Yalta Woland hypnosis wire criminal investigation confirm identity Likhodeev."
"Varenukha understood that this was the most terrible of all things that had ever happened to him and, moaning, recoiled against the wall. But the girl came right up to the administrator and placed the palms of her hands on his shoulders. Varenukha's hair stood on end, because even through the cold, water-soaked cloth of his Tolstoy blouse he could feel that those palms were still colder, that their cold was the cold of ice.
'Let me give you a kiss,' the girl said tenderly, and there were shining eyes right in front of his eyes. Then Varenukha fainted and never felt the kiss."
"Uh-uh-uh!' the former Ivan suddenly said sternly somewhere, either inside or over his ear, to the new Ivan. 'He did know beforehand that Berlioz's head would be cut off, didn't he? How could I not get excited?'
'What are we talking about, comrades?' the new Ivan objected to the old, former Ivan. That things are not quite proper here, even a child can understand. He's a one-hundred-per-cent outstanding and mysterious person! But that's the most interesting thing! The man was personally acquainted with Pontius Pilate, what could be more interesting than that? And, instead of raising a stupid rumpus at the Ponds, wouldn't it have been more intelligent to question him politely about what happened further on with Pilate and his prisoner Ha-Nozri?"
"An armchair for me,' Woland ordered in a low voice, and that same second an armchair appeared on stage, no one knew how or from where, in which the magician sat down. 'Tell me, my gentle Fagott,' Woland inquired of the checkered clown, who evidently had another appellation than Koroviev, 'what do you think, the Moscow populace has changed significantly, hasn't it?"
"The girl sang out sweetly, though with some hoarseness, rolling her r's, something not quite comprehensible but, judging by the women's faces in the stalls, very tempting:
'Gueriain, Chanel, Mitsouko, Narcisse Noir, Chanel No. 5, evening gowns, cocktail dresses . . .'
Fagott wriggled, the cat bowed, the girl opened the glass windows."
"Very well,' the visitor replied, and he said weightily and distinctly: "Yesterday at the Patriarch's Ponds you met Satan.'
Ivan did not get upset, as he had promised, but even so he was greatly astounded."
"I am a master.' He grew stern and took from the pocket of his dressing-gown a completely greasy black cap with the letter 'M' embroidered on it in yellow silk. He put this cap on and showed himself to Ivan both in profile and full face, to prove that he was a master. 'She sewed it for me with her own hands,' he added mysteriously."
"She was carrying repulsive, alarming yellow flowers in her hand. Devil knows what they're called, but for some reason they're the first to appear in Moscow. And these flowers stood out clearly against her black spring coat. She was carrying yellow flowers! Not a nice colour. She turned down a lane from Tverskaya and then looked back."
"She would come through the gate once, but my heart would pound no less than ten times before that, I'm not lying. And then, when her hour came and the hands showed noon, it even wouldn't stop pounding until, almost without tapping, almost noiselessly, her shoes would come even with my window, their black suede bows held tightly by steel buckles.
'Sometimes she would get mischievous, pausing at the second window and tapping the glass with her toe. That same instant I would be at the window, but the shoe would be gone, the black silk blocking the light would be gone – I'd go and open the door for her."
"He casts no shadow!' Rimsky cried out desperately in his mind. He broke into shivers.
Varenukha, following Rimsky's insane gaze, looked furtively behind him at the back of the chair, and realized that he had been found out.
He got up from the chair (the findirector did likewise) and made one step back from the desk, clutching his briefcase in his hands. 'He's guessed, damn him! Always was clever”
"Welcome, Nikanor Ivanovich, turn over your currency!'
Exceedingly astonished, Nikanor Ivanovich saw a black loudspeaker above him.
Then he found himself for some reason in a theatre house, where crystal chandeliers blazed under a gilded ceiling and Quinquet lamps on the walls. Everything was as it ought to be in a small-sized but very costly theatre. There was a stage closed off by a velvet curtain, its dark cerise background spangled, as if with stars, with oversized gold pieces, there was a prompter's box, and there was even an audience."
"I believe you!' the artiste exclaimed finally and extinguished his gaze. I do! These eyes are not lying! How many times have I told you that your basic error consists in underestimating the significance of the human eye. Understand that the tongue can conceal the truth, but the eyes – never! A sudden question is put to you, you don't even flinch, in one second you get hold of yourself and know what you must say to conceal the truth, and you speak quite convincingly, and not a wrinkle on your face moves, but – alas – the truth which the question stirs up from the bottom of your soul leaps momentarily into your eyes, and it's all over! They see it, and you're caught!"
"The minutes run on, and I, Matthew Levi, am here on Bald Mountain, and still no death!'
‘The sun is sinking, but no death."
"It was growing ever darker. The storm cloud had already poured across half the sky, aiming towards Yershalaim, boiling white clouds raced ahead of the storm cloud suffused with black moisture and fire. There was a flash and a thunderclap right over the hill. The executioner removed the sponge from the spear."
""You're not busy with anything . .." Eh? Well, here, of course, Prokhor Petrovich's patience ran out, and he shouted: "What is all this? Get him out of here, devil take me!" And that one, imagine, smiles and says: "Devil take you? That, in fact, can be done!" And – bang! Before I had time to scream, I look: the one with the cat's mug is gone, and th .. . there .. . sits .. . the suit . .. Waaa!...' Stretching her mouth, which had lost all shape entirely, Anna Richardovna howled."
"As soon as the first truck, after lurching in the gateway, drove out into the lane, the staff members, who were standing on the platform holding each other's shoulders, opened their mouths, and the whole lane resounded with the popular song. The second truck picked it up, then the third. And so they drove on. Passers-by hurrying about their own business would cast only a fleeting glance at the trucks, not surprised in the least, thinking it was a group excursion to the country. And they were indeed going to the country, though not on an excursion, but to Professor Stravinsky's clinic."
"Maximilian Andreevich was considered one of the most intelligent men in Kiev, and deservedly so. But even the most intelligent man might have been nonplussed by such a telegram. If someone sends a telegram saying he has been run over, it is clear that he has not died of it. But then, what was this about a funeral?"
"Then the red-haired bandit grabbed the chicken by the leg, and with this whole chicken hit Poplavsky on the neck, flat, hard, and so terribly that the body of the chicken tore off and the leg remained in Azazello's hand. 'Everything was confusion in the Oblonskys' home,'as the famous writer Leo Tolstoy correctly put it."
"I believe!' Margarita whispered solemnly. 'I believe! Something will happen! It cannot not happen, because for what, indeed, has lifelong torment been sent to me?"
"Berlioz, Mikhail Alexandrovich,' a slightly nasal male voice came from beside her, 'chairman of Massolit.'
The surprised Margarita Nikolaevna turned and saw a citizen on her bench, who had apparently sat down there noiselessly while Margarita was watching the procession and, it must be assumed, absent-mindedly asked her last question aloud."
"Her eyebrows, plucked to a thread with tweezers, thickened and lay in even black arches over her greening eyes. The thin vertical crease cutting the bridge of her nose, which had appeared back then, in October, when the master vanished, disappeared without a trace. So did the yellowish shadows at her temples and the two barely noticeable little webs of wrinkles at the outer corners of her eyes. The skin of her cheeks filled out with an even pink colour, her forehead became white and clear, and the hairdresser's waves in her hair came undone."
"Invisible and free! Invisible and free! . .. After flying down her own lane, Margarita got into another that crossed the first at right angles. This patched up, darned, crooked and long lane, with the lopsided door of a kerosene shop where they sold paraffin by the cup and liquid against parasites in flacons, she cut across in an instant, and here she realized that, even while completely free and invisible, she still had to be at least somewhat reasonable in her pleasure."
"Latunsky eighty-four . .. Latunsky eighty-four ...'
Here to the left - 82, to the right - 85, further up, to the left - 84! Here! And the name plate - 'O. Latunsky"
"Margarita leaped off the cliff and quickly descended to the water. The water enticed her after her airy race. Casting the broom aside, she ran and threw herself head first into the water. Her light body pierced the water's surface like an arrow, and the column of water thrown up almost reached the moon. The water turned out to be warm as in a bathhouse, and, emerging from the depths, Margarita swam her fill in the total solitude of night in this river."
"The first thing that struck Margarita was the darkness in which she found herself. It was as dark as underground, so that she involuntarily clutched at Azazello's cloak for fear of stumbling. But then, from far away and above, the light of some little lamp flickered and began to approach."
"No,' replied Margarita, 'most of all I'm struck that there's room for all this.' She made a gesture with her hand, emphasizing the enor-mousness of the hall.
Koroviev grinned sweetly, which made the shadows sdr in the folds of his nose. 'The most uncomplicated thing of all!' he replied. 'For someone well acquainted with the fifth dimension, it costs nothing to expand space to the desired proportions."
"Before the bed was an oak table with carved legs, on which stood a candelabrum with sockets in the form of a bird's claws. In these seven golden claws' burned thick wax candles. Besides that, there was on the table a large chessboard with pieces of extraordinarily artful workmanship. A little low bench stood on a small, shabby rug."
"No, I won't leave you,' Margarita answered and turned to Woland: 'I ask that we be returned to the basement in the lane off the Arbat, and that the lamp be burning, and that everything be as it was."
"An hour later, in the basement of the small house in the lane off the Arbat, in the front room, where everything was the same as it had been before that terrible autumn night last year, at the table covered with a velvet tablecloth, under the shaded lamp, near which stood a little vase of lilies of the valley, Margarita sat and wept quietly from the shock she had experienced and from happiness."
"Lying on the couch in the storm's twilight, the procurator poured wine into the cup himself, drank it in long draughts, occasionally touched the bread, crumbled it, swallowed small pieces, sucked out an oyster from time to time, chewed a lemon, and drank again."
"But instead of Niza, a stocky male figure, detaching itself from a thick olive trunk, leaped out on the road, and something gleamed in its hand and at once went out."
"beside a crystal pitcher, sat an enormous black cat. He was holding a primus in his paws.
Those who entered the living room contemplated this cat for quite a long time in total silence.
'Hm, yes . .. that's quite something . ..' one of the men whispered.
'Ain't misbehaving, ain't bothering anybody, just reparating my primus,' said the cat with an unfriendly scowl, 'and I also consider it my duty to warn you that the cat is an ancient and inviolable animal."
"Seeing the tail of the third herring in Behemoth's mouth, he instantly assessed the situation, understood decidedly everything, and, without getting into any arguments with the insolent louts, waved his arm into the distance, commanding:
The doorman flew from the mirrored door out to the corner of the Smolensky market-place and dissolved in a sinister whistling. The public began to surround the blackguards, and then Koroviev stepped into the affair."
"But you'll have to reconcile yourself to that,' Woland objected, and a grin twisted his mouth. 'YOU no sooner appear on the roof than you produce an absurdity, and I'll tell you what it is – it's your intonation. You uttered your words as if you don't acknowledge shadows, or evil either. Kindly consider the question: what would your good do if evil did not exist, and what would the earth look like if shadows disappeared from it? Shadows are cast by objects and people. Here is the shadow of my sword. Trees and living beings also have shadows. Do you want to skin the whole earth, tearing all the trees and living things off it, because of your fantasy of enjoying bare light? You're a fool."
"All three put their glasses to their lips and took big gulps. At once the pre-storm light began to fade in the master's eyes, his breath failed him, and he felt the end coming. He could still see the deathly pale Margarita, helplessly reaching her arms out to him, drop her head to the table and then slide down on the floor. 'Poisoner ...' the master managed to cry out"
"The steeds tore off, and the riders rose into the air and galloped. Margarita felt her furious steed champing and straining at the bit. Woland's cloak billowed over the heads of the cavalcade; the cloak began to cover the evening sky."
"The path of moonlight so long awaited by the procurator stretched right to this garden, and the first to rush down it was the sharp-eared dog. The man in the white cloak with blood-red lining rose from the armchair and shouted something in a hoarse, cracked voice. It was impossible to tell whether he was weeping or laughing, or what he shouted. It could only be seen that, following his faithful guardian, he, too, rushed headlong down the path of moonlight."
"Farewell!' Margarita and the master answered Woland in one cry. Then the black Woland, heedless of any road, threw himself into a gap, and his retinue noisily hurried down after him. There were no rocks, no platform, no path of moonlight, no Yershalaim around. The black steeds also vanished. The master and Margarita saw the promised dawn."