An Excerpt from “Brothers Karamazov”

“I shall be told, perhaps, that Alyosha was stupid, undeveloped, had not finished his studies, and so on.  That he did not finish his studies is true, but to say that he was stupid or dull would be a great injustice.  I’ll simply repeat what I have said above.  He entered upon this path only because, at that time, it alone struck his imagination and seemed to him to offer an ideal means of escape for his soul from darkness to light.  Add to that that he was to some extent a youth of our past generation–that is, honest in nature, desiring the truth, seeking for it and believing in it, and seeking to serve it at once with all the strength of a soul, seeking for immediate action, and ready to sacrifice everything, even life itself.  These young men unhappily fail to understand that the sacrifice of life is, in many cases, the easiest of all sacrifices.  They fail to understand that to sacrifice five or six years of their seething youth to hard and tedious study, if only to multiply ten-fold their powers of serving the truth and the cause they have set before them as their goal, is utterly beyond the strength of many men.”

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