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Mikhail Lermontov (1814 – 1841)

Russian Romantic writer and poet, sometimes called "the poet of the Caucasus.
Mikhail Lermontov
In people's eyes I read
Pages of malice and sin.
Lermontov quotes
The surrounding forest, as though in a mist,
Was blue in the powder of smoke.
But there, far off, in a disordered ridge,
Which was yet eternally proud and calm,
Stretched the mountains and Kazbek
Gleamed with its sharp peak.
And with secret, heartfelt sorrow
I thought: 'Pitiable man.
What does he want! The sky is clear,
Beneath it there is much room for all,
But constantly and vainly
He alone wages war why?'
O vanity! you are the lever by means of which Archimedes wished to lift the earth!

Lermontov Mikhail quotes
Happy people are ignoramuses and glory is nothing else but success, and to achieve it one only has to be cunning.
Lermontov Mikhail
One should never spurn a penitent criminal: in his despair he may become twice as much a criminal as before.
Mikhail Lermontov quotes
My whole past life I live again in memory, and, involuntarily, I ask myself: 'why have I lived - for what purpose was I born?'... A purpose there must have been, and, surely, mine was an exalted destiny, because I feel that within my soul are powers immeasurable... But I was not able to discover that destiny, I allowed myself to be carried away by the allurements of passions, inane and ignoble. From their crucible I issued hard and cold as iron, but gone for ever was the glow of noble aspirations - the fairest flower of life. And, from that time forth, how often have I not played the part of an axe in the hands of fate! Like an implement of punishment, I have fallen upon the head of doomed victims, often without malice, always without pity... To none has my love brought happiness, because I have never sacrificed anything for the sake of those I have loved: for myself alone I have loved - for my own pleasure. I have only satisfied the strange craving of my heart, greedily draining their feelings, their tenderness, their joys, their sufferings - and I have never been able to sate myself. I am like one who, spent with hunger, falls asleep in exhaustion and sees before him sumptuous viands and sparkling wines; he devours with rapture the aerial gifts of the imagination, and his pains seem somewhat assuaged. Let him but awake: the vision vanishes - twofold hunger and despair remain!
And tomorrow, it may be, I shall die!... And there will not be left on earth one being who has understood me completely. Some will consider me worse, others, better, than I have been in reality... Some will say: 'he was a good fellow'; others: 'a villain.' And both epithets will be false. After all this, is life worth the trouble? And yet we live - out of curiosity! We expect something new... How absurd, and yet how vexatious!
Mikhail Lermontov
You men do not understand the delights of a glance, of a pressure of the hand... but as for me, I swear to you that, when I listen to your voice, I feel such a deep, strange bliss that the most passionate kisses could not take its place.
Lermontov Mikhail quotes
I do not love you; the former dream
Of passions and torments has passed by;
But your image in my soul
Is still alive, although it is powerless;
Although I abandon myself to other dreams,
I still cannot forget it;
So an abandoned temple is still a temple,
A dethroned idol still a god!
Women! Women! Who can understand them? Their smiles contradict their glances, their words promise and allure, but the tone of their voice repels.
Lermontov Mikhail
Alone, as before, in the universe
Without hope and without love!..
Mikhail Lermontov
A strange thing, the human heart in general, and woman's heart in particular.

Mikhail Lermontov quotes
I was born, so that the whole world could be a spectator
Of my triumph or my doom...
Mikhail Lermontov
For what did the creator prepare me,
Why did he so terribly contradict
The hopes of my youth?...
Lermontov quotes
I would make any sacrifice but this; twenty times I can stake my life, even my honour, but my freedom I shall never sell. Why do I prize it so much? ... What am I aiming at? Nothing, absolutely nothing.
Lermontov Mikhail
The chain of young life is broken,
The journey is ended, the hour has struck, it is time to leave,
Time to go where there is no future,
No past, no eternity, no years;
Where there are no expectations, no passions,
No bitter tears, no fame, no honour;
Where memory sleeps deeply
And the heart in its narrow coffin home
Does not feel the worm gnawing it.
Lermontov Mikhail quotes
I little lived and was not free
Two captive lives can never be
To tortured free one half as good
I would exchange them if I could.
Mikhail Lermontov, this ruler over general evil,
With a perfidious heart, with a lying tongue...
Mikhail Lermontov quotes
Women love only those whom they do not know!
Mikhail Lermontov
A childish feeling, I admit, but, when we retire from the conventions of society and draw close to nature, we involuntarily become children: each attribute acquired by experience falls away from the soul, which becomes anew such as it was once and will surely be again.
Lermontov Mikhail
I am like a mariner born and bred on board a buccaneer brig whose soul has become so inured to storm and strife that if cast ashore he would weary and languish no matter how alluring the shady groves and how bright the gentle sun.

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