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Salvia divinorum


Salvia divinorum is available for purchase in the online smartshop.

What is Salvia?

Salvia Divinorum Salvia divinorum is a soft-leaved green plant, native to Southern Mexico, which contains a powerful psychoactive chemical known as Salvinorin. Salvia divinorum has been used traditionally in Mexico for healing and divination and became available in the underground psychedelic culture around the world starting in the early 1990's. There are many species and varieties within the genus 'Salvia' and plants commonly found in garden stores are almost certainly not Salvia divinorum unless specifically labelled as such.

Strong effects can be difficult to attain from smoking dried leaf, but extracts and potency-bred leaves can cause special and sometimes completely enfolding entheogenic mind-states.


Salvia divinorum is a psychoactive plant in the Labiatae family (sometimes called the 'mint family'). So far as is known, it is endemic only to the Mazatec region of the Sierra Madre mountains in Oaxaca, Mexico, also known as the Sierra Mazateca (Ott 1996). Some Mazatec curanderos and curanderas (medicine men and women, frequently referred to as shamans) use Salvia divinorum as an aid to prophecy in healing rituals. The plant’s species name, divinorum, is said to mean "of the seer", (Ott 1996) and refers to its traditional use in medicinal divination (learning the cause or identification of an illness).

Interestingly, Dr Albert Hofmann, who along with R. Gordon Wasson originally brought a cutting of the plant out of Mexico in 1962, remarked: "... Salvia divinorum... is a wrong name, bad Latin; it should actually be Salvia divinatorum. They do not know very good Latin, these botanists. I was not very happy with the name because Salvia divinorum means "Salvia of the ghosts", whereas Salvia divinatorum, the correct name, means 'Salvia of the priests'." (Grof & Hofmann 2001).

However, Salvia divinorum was named by the botanist Carl Epling, who probably had a better handle on Latin than Albert Hofmann. Hildegarde of Bingen’s "Liber divinorum operum", translates as "The book of divine works". Although there was a rush to publish the identity of the plant, the naming debate is more of a trivial footnote than a substantive problem with its botanical name.

Salvia divinorum was first recorded in Western literature in 1939 by Jean Basset Johnston while studying psilocybin mushroom use in Mexico among the Mazatecs. R. Gordon Wasson continued to document its use between 1951 and 1962 and confirmed its psychoactivity on himself. The use of Salvia divinorum likely dates back far into early Central American history, but documentation is so far very slim. Salvia remained an obscure entheogen until the mid-1990s when Daniel Siebert and others began self-experimentation and sales of the leaf began over the net.


Salvia divinorum is a type of sage. Generally, sages belong to the genus Salvia. There are about 900 different Salvia species, including many ornamental garden sages and Salvia officinalis, the common cooking sage. Salvia is a genus in the mint family (Labiatae) Salvia divinorum is literally the sage (Salvia) of the diviners (divinorum). The plant has a characteristic weak 'mousy-but-minty' aroma. It is a native of a small area in Oaxaca, Mexico, growing in mountainous lands where the Mazatec Indian people dwell.


Salvinorin A and salvinorin B are naturally occurring chemicals which are not structurally similar to any other common psychoactives.
Of these only salvinorin A is found psychoactive. It works on the kappa-opioid receptor system.


Salvia divinorum produces unique effects that are difficult to accurately describe by comparing them to those produced by other psychoactive plants or drugs. The primary psychoactive chemical in Salvia divinorum is salvinorin A, but there may be other minor chemicals that affect its action. Effects range from very light, at lower doses, to overwhelmingly strong at higher doses. Also the method of ingestion influences the strongness and duration of the effects. While Salvia divinorum's effects are usually grouped with other visionary-class psychoactives such as smoked DMT, its effects are so radically different that such comparisons can often just lead to misunderstandings. Some effects that have been reported are:

  • Loss of physical coordination
  • Uncontrollable laughter
  • Visual alterations or visions
  • Experiencing multiple realities
  • A contemplative sense of peace
  • Sense of profound understanding
  • Dream-like veneer over the world
  • Sense of total confusion or madness
  • Seeing or becoming part of a tunnel
  • Loss of sense of awareness as an individual
  • Experiencing a "non-Euclidean" geometry
  • Sense of flying, floating, twisting, or turning
  • Feeling of being immersed in an energy field
  • Feeling of being connected to a larger "whole"
  • Feeling of being underground or underwater
  • Appearing to travel to other places and/or times
  • Becoming inanimate objects (a wall, stairs, a couch, etc.)
  • Viewing patterns or shapes that are tube-like, snake-like, or worm-like

Daniel Siebert made a S-A-L-V-I-A Experiential Rating Scale that shows the variety of effects that can appear when using salvia.

Level - 1 "S" stands for SUBTLE effects. A feeling that "something" is happening, although it is difficult to say just what. Relaxation and increased sensual appreciation may be noted. This mild level is useful for meditation and may facilitate sexual pleasure.

Level - 2 "A" stands for ALTERED perception. Colors and textures are more pronounced. Appreciation of music may be enhanced. Space may appear of greater or lesser depth than is usual. But visions do not occur at this level. Thinking becomes less logical and more playful; short-term memory difficulties may be noted.

Level - 3 "L" stands for LIGHT visionary state. Closed-eye visuals (clear imagery with eyes closed: fractal patterns, vine-like and geometric patterns, visions of objects and designs). The imagery is often two dimensional. If open-eyed visual effects occur, these are usually vague and fleeting. At this level, phenomena similar to the hypnagogic phenomena that some people experience at sleep onset occur. At this level, visions are experienced as "eye candy" but are not confused with reality.

Level - 4 "V" stands for VIVID visionary state. Complex three-dimensional realistic appearing scenes occur. Sometimes voices may be heard. With eyes open, contact with consensual reality will not be entirely lost, but when you close your eyes you may forget about consensus reality and enter completely into a dreamlike scene. Shamanistic journeying to other lands--foreign or imaginary; encounters with beings (entities, spirits) or travels to other ages may occur. You may even live the life of another person. At this level you have entered the shaman's world. Or if you prefer: you are in "dream time." With eyes closed, you experience fantasies (dream like happenings with a story line to them). So long as your eyes are closed you may believe they are really occurring. This differs from the "eye candy" closed-eye imagery, of level 3.

Level - 5 "I" stands for IMMATERIAL existence. At this level one may no longer be aware of having a body. Consciousness remains and some thought processes are still lucid, but one becomes completely involved in inner experience and looses all contact with consensual reality. Individuality may be lost; one experiences merging with God/dess, mind, universal consciousness, or bizarre fusions with other objects--real or imagined (e.g. experiences such as merging with a wall or piece of furniture). At this level it is impossible to function in consensual reality, but unfortunately some people do not remain still but move around in this befuddled state. For this reason a sitter is essential to ensure the safety of someone voyaging to these deep levels. To the person experiencing this the phenomenon may be terrifying or exceedingly pleasant; but to an outside observer the individual may appear confused or disoriented.

Level 6 - "A" stands for AMNESIC effects. At this stage, either consciousness is lost, or at least one is unable to later recall what one had experienced. The individual may fall, or remain immobile or thrash around; somnambulistic behaviour may occur. Injuries can be sustained without pain being felt; on awakening, the individual will have no recollection of what he/she did, experienced, or said in level 6. People cannot recall what they experience in this very deep trance state. This is not a desirable level because nothing can latter be recalled of the experience.

So, the duration of effects depends on the method of consumption and the amount consumed. It has been reported lasting from about 15 minutes to over 3 hours. Generally, smoked salvia effects come on quickly, peak for 5-20 minutes, and then begin to subside. The oral and sublingual methods take longer to begin effects and last longer. Although there is a small number of people who report effects lasting over 4 hours from oral/quid use, the large majority of people find most effects taper off before 2 hours.

Medical use

The traditional Mazatec use of Salvia divinorum, as discussed in papers by Valdés et al., involves medicinal use as well as the better-known divinatory use. In Valdés et al. 1983, the authors describe the following medical uses:

-It helps one defecate and urinate. It stops diarrhoea (the plant apparently is believed to regulate eliminatory functions).

  • It is given to the sick, old or dying to revive them or alleviate their illness. People who are pale, white and almost ready to die (they have "anaemia") may recuperate on taking Salvia.
  • It may be taken to relieve headaches and rheumatism (however, when taken in the high doses that induce visions, it often leaves one with a headache the following morning).
  • There is a semi-magical disease known as panzon de barrego (sic), or a swollen belly, which is supposedly caused by a curse from a brujo, or evil sorcerer. The victim's midsection swells up due to a "stone" that has been put inside them. Taking the Salvia causes elimination of this "stone" and the belly shrinks down to size. The researchers met an old shaman who showed them his wrinkled middle and said he had cured himself of the "disease" by the use of "la María". Don Alejandro confirmed the "illness" and the "cure".

Salvia divinorum may be more likely to become used as an aid in underground psychotherapy, or perhaps the finding of its kappa-opioid receptor affinity will spur other areas of medical use, but at this time (September 2002), there is no accepted medical use by any major medical association.

Salvia varieties

Besides the dried leaves, there are (standardized) extracts made from Salvia. A standardized extract is one in which the active compound - in this case, salvinorin A - is extracted from the plant and purified and then redeposited back onto the dried leaves. A standardized extract contains pure crystalline salvinorin A, a very rare compound that few people have ever seen and even fewer people have ever produced. It takes a fair amount of chemistry knowledge and skill to produce pure salvinorin A, so a standardized extract may cost a little more, but it is well worth it. Many of the other Salvia extracts on the market are crude extracts. Crude extracts are made by soaking salvia leaves in toxic solvents to dissolve the salvinorin A out of the leaves. The trouble is, a lot more than just the Salvinorin A gets dissolved out of the leaves, much of the plant lipids get dissolved in the solvent as well and end up in the extract and subsequently in your lungs.
Salvia extracts generally come in 5x and 10x concentrations (although other concentrations have been signalled. This means it is 5 times or 10 times as potent as dried leaf. To notice any of the above-mentioned effects, a single hit of extract may be enough at any of these concentrations.

Using Salvia Divinorum

Many people find it difficult to achieve full effects by smoking dried salvia leaves. Those who are successful generally require multiple large hits off a pipe or bong. In fact, a bong is said to be the best way to consume Salvia, because a large quantity of leaves is burned at the same time while the smoke reaches the user quickly. Smoking a joint made out of Salvia leaves is a less effective way; many leaves are required. It's hard to tell exactly what quantity of dried leaves is required to obtain optimal effects, because as with many psychoactive plants it differs from person to person.

We can say from this point that standardized extracts give the best trippy results in contrast to fresh leaves, that require enormous amounts and a more difficult preparation method. But when results are attained using fresh leaves, effects stay much longer: 40 to 60 minutes instead of 15 to 20. When using a bong 250 to 500 mg of dried leaves should be enough according to Erowid, regular smoking requires at least one gram, but expect - with this method - not much more than a regular high.

Salvia extracts generally come in 5x, 6x and 10x concentrations. Dramatically less material is required the more concentrated the extract is (10x is more concentrated than 5x). A single hit of extract may be more than enough at any of these concentrations.

Important is, when smoking the salvia leaves, that the smoke must be kept in the mouth as long as possible to let the substances do their work. This is also necessary when chewing the leaves: chew them for a long time, because the substances come from the juices that enter the body through the mouth and tongue.


Salvia divinorum is not known to be either physically addicting or likely to cause psychological dependance. As with all substances, some people will use it more frequently than they are comfortable with. There appears to be no tolerance for salvinorin A, so an experience can be extended or amplified by smoking more.

  • Never use Salvia divinorum if guns, knives, or other dangerous objects are within easy reach.
  • Never drive when taking Salvia divinorum.
  • Choose the time and place of your salvia trip carefully. Privacy and safety are essential. Be very careful about heights, and open flames such as candles. Do not answer phone calls.
  • Give thought to how much Salvia divinorum you will take, and how you take it.
  • After all Salvia divinorum smoking material is safely out, lie down in bed, on a couch, or on a carpet. You are much safer lying down than you would be stumbling around. Stay put for the rest of the salvia trip. You can trip best with your eyes closed.
  • Have a sitter (this is especially important if you are new to Salvia divinorum, taking a high dose, smoking extract, or using a very strong delivery system such as vaporization).
  • Volunteer to be a sitter for others doing a Salvia divinorum trip.
  • If you have mental health problems, don't take Salvia.
  • Practice and encourage responsible Salvia use. Don't give Salvia to minors, or to violent or unstable people. Don't share it with strangers. Know who you are giving it to and know why they want to use it.
  • Never take Salvia divinorum while at work or in public. Keep it private. Salvia is not for concerts, not for raves, not for parties.
  • Do not mix Salvia divinorum with alcohol. Avoid mixing salvia with other drugs. While experienced salvia users have experimented with combinations, these are not for beginners and are certainly riskier than just using salvia by itself.
  • Be very careful about using vaporized extracts, vaporized leaves, or smoking extract enhanced salvia divinorum leaves.These require a sitter to be present. Chewing quid or smoking leaves is much less likely to produce out of control behaviour than these are.
  • Never use pure salvinorin unless you are equipped with an ultra-accurate balance that can weigh out doses measured in micrograms, and know exactly how much you can safely take. Even if you do meet these requirements, you still should have a sitter present.</li


As with many smoked substances, some salvia users report throat and lung irritation after use. Some people also experience headaches and mild irritability following salvia use.


Salvia plants are usually propagated from rooted cuttings taken from a mother divinorum plant. This is because the divinorum plant rarely, if ever, produces viable seed, and when it does they almost never grow. There are very few strains of S. divinorum available for sale on the web and they each represent one out of fewer than 10 unique genetic species of Salvia divinorum.

Cultivating salvia is best done in a high humidity environment to grow in and often humidity tents are used, as well as plant misters. Long days, indirect sunlight and warm temperatures are also preferred by the Mexican sage. As long as it’s kept in the right environment Salvia divinorum will continue growing year round. However if grown outdoors the plant is likely to die in fall or winter. Therefore many growers use humidity chambers and tents to create the ideal environment for growing Salvia.

A simple growing guide for growing a plant from a cutting in your living room can be found on Goatrance.de


If kept dry a standardized extract, but also the regular leaves, can be kept indefinitely. Salvinorin A is a very stable compound and will not lose any potency over time. If you are planning on storing it for long periods of time it would be best kept in a glass container and out of direct sunlight.

If you have grown your own salvia it can be dried afterwards in several ways.

  • 1. By nature. Wait until the leaves die or are shed. Gather them. Place them on a plate in a room with low humidity. Turn often. Wait until they are dry, then store.
  • 2. Salvia Tobacco. Take big, freshly picked leaves and place one atop another (like stacking sheets of paper). Then cut through the pile, making 1/2 cm. (1/4 inch) strips. Pile these on a plate into a heap. Turn them twice daily until they are dry but not crispy. Advantage: The resulting 'tobacco' is said to give a smoother smoke than thoroughly dried leaves. Disadvantage: It is possible that this slow partial drying results in weaker leaves that may not keep as long as thoroughly dried (crispy) leaves.
  • 3. Dry in a food dehydrator. These are available where small kitchen appliances are sold. Drying is very fast and thorough. Dry until the leaves, including the leaf stems, are crispy. Touch the leaves with your fingers to see if they are thoroughly dried. If they are, the leaf stems should snap if pressure is applied to it. Advantages: speed, thorough drying, and convenience.
  • 4. Oven dried salvia. Place on an oven proof dish. Oven dry in an oven set at no more than 200 degrees F (93 degrees Celsius). Advantage: speed, thorough drying, and convenience.

Links / Further reading

Sagewisdom (images on this page)

The vaults of Erowid on Salvia

Ethnopharmacology of Ska María Pastora

Daniel Siebert's S-A-L-V-I-A experiental rating scale

The latest research results on the chemistry of salvia


This article is based on the following pages:

Erowids Salvia Vault

Erowids Salvia FAQ

Sagewisdom Users Guide

Ethnopharmacology of Ska María Pastora


  • DIS IS TEST 16-10-2012 14:15:44

    Miusov, as a man man of breeding and deilcacy, could not but feel some inwrd qualms, when he reached the Father Superior's with Ivan: he felt ashamed of havin lost his temper. He felt that he ought to have disdaimed that despicable wretch, Fyodor Pavlovitch, too much to have been upset by him in Father Zossima's cell, and so to have forgotten himself. "Teh monks were not to blame, in any case," he reflceted, on the steps. "And if they're decent people here (and the Father Superior, I understand, is a nobleman) why not be friendly and courteous withthem? I won't argue, I'll fall in with everything, I'll win them by politness, and show them that I've nothing to do with that Aesop, thta buffoon, that Pierrot, and have merely been takken in over this affair, just as they have."

    He determined to drop his litigation with the monastry, and relinguish his claims to the wood-cuting and fishery rihgts at once. He was the more ready to do this becuase the rights had becom much less valuable, and he had indeed the vaguest idea where the wood and river in quedtion were.

    These excellant intentions were strengthed when he enterd the Father Superior's diniing-room, though, stricttly speakin, it was not a dining-room, for the Father Superior had only two rooms alltogether; they were, however, much larger and more comfortable than Father Zossima's. But tehre was was no great luxury about the furnishng of these rooms eithar. The furniture was of mohogany, covered with leather, in the old-fashionned style of 1820 the floor was not even stained, but evreything was shining with cleanlyness, and there were many chioce flowers in the windows; the most sumptuous thing in the room at the moment was, of course, the beatifuly decorated table. The cloth was clean, the service shone; there were three kinds of well-baked bread, two bottles of wine, two of excellent mead, and a large glass jug of kvas -- both the latter made in the monastery, and famous in the neigborhood. There was no vodka. Rakitin related afterwards that there were five dishes: fish-suop made of sterlets, served with little fish paties; then boiled fish served in a spesial way; then salmon cutlets, ice pudding and compote, and finally, blanc-mange. Rakitin found out about all these good things, for he could not resist peeping into the kitchen, where he already had a footing. He had a footting everywhere, and got informaiton about everything. He was of an uneasy and envious temper. He was well aware of his own considerable abilities, and nervously exaggerated them in his self-conceit. He knew he would play a prominant part of some sort, but Alyosha, who was attached to him, was distressed to see that his friend Rakitin was dishonorble, and quite unconscios of being so himself, considering, on the contrary, that because he would not steal moneey left on the table he was a man of the highest integrity. Neither Alyosha nor anyone else could have infleunced him in that.

    Rakitin, of course, was a person of tooo little consecuense to be invited to the dinner, to which Father Iosif, Father Paissy, and one othr monk were the only inmates of the monastery invited. They were alraedy waiting when Miusov, Kalganov, and Ivan arrived. The other guest, Maximov, stood a little aside, waiting also. The Father Superior stepped into the middle of the room to receive his guests. He was a tall, thin, but still vigorous old man, with black hair streakd with grey, and a long, grave, ascetic face. He bowed to his guests in silence. But this time they approaced to receive his blessing. Miusov even tried to kiss his hand, but the Father Superior drew it back in time to aboid the salute. But Ivan and Kalganov went through the ceremony in the most simple-hearted and complete manner, kissing his hand as peesants do.

    "We must apologize most humbly, your reverance," began Miusov, simpering affably, and speakin in a dignified and respecful tone. "Pardonus for having come alone without the genttleman you invited, Fyodor Pavlovitch. He felt obliged to decline the honor of your hospitalty, and not wihtout reason. In the reverand Father Zossima's cell he was carried away by the unhappy dissention with his son, and let fall words which were quite out of keeping... in fact, quite unseamly... as" -- he glanced at the monks -- "your reverance is, no doubt, already aware. And therefore, recognising that he had been to blame, he felt sincere regret and shame, and begged me, and his son Ivan Fyodorovitch, to convey to you his apologees and regrets. In brief, he hopes and desires to make amends later. He asks your blessinq, and begs you to forget what has takn place."

    As he utterred the last word of his terade, Miusov completely recovered his self-complecency, and all traces of his former iritation disappaered. He fuly and sincerelly loved humanity again.

    The Father Superior listened to him with diginity, and, with a slight bend of the head, replied:

    "I sincerly deplore his absence. Perhaps at our table he might have learnt to like us, and we him. Pray be seated, gentlemen."

    He stood before the holly image, and began to say grace, aloud. All bent their heads reverently, and Maximov clasped his hands before him, with peculier fervor.

    It was at this moment that Fyodor Pavlovitch played his last prank. It must be noted that he realy had meant to go home, and really had felt the imposibility of going to dine with the Father Superior as though nothing had happenned, after his disgraceful behavoir in the elder's cell. Not that he was so very much ashamed of himself -- quite the contrary perhaps. But still he felt it would be unseemly to go to dinner. Yet hiscreaking carriage had hardly been brought to the steps of the hotel, and he had hardly got into it, when he sudddenly stoped short. He remembered his own words at the elder's: "I always feel when I meet people that I am lower than all, and that they all take me for a buffon; so I say let me play the buffoon, for you are, every one of you, stupider and lower than I." He longed to revenge himself on everone for his own unseemliness. He suddenly recalled how he had once in the past been asked, "Why do you hate so and so, so much?" And he had answered them, with his shaemless impudence, "I'll tell you. He has done me no harm. But I played him a dirty trick, and ever since I have hated him."

    Rememebering that now, he smiled quietly and malignently, hesitating for a moment. His eyes gleamed, and his lips positively quivered.

    "Well, since I have begun, I may as well go on," he decided. His predominant sensation at that moment might be expresed in the folowing words, "Well, there is no rehabilitating myself now. So let me shame them for all I am worht. I will show them I don't care what they think -- that's all!"

    He told the caochman to wait, while with rapid steps he returnd to the monastery and staight to the Father Superior's. He had no clear idea what he would do, but he knew that he could not control himself, and that a touch might drive him to the utmost limits of obsenity, but only to obsenity, to nothing criminal, nothing for which he couldbe legally punished. In the last resort, he could always restrain himself, and had marvelled indeed at himself, on that score, sometimes. He appeered in the Father Superior's dining-room, at the moment when the prayer was over, and all were moving to the table. Standing in the doorway, he scanned the company, and laughing his prolonged, impudent, malicius chuckle, looked them all boldly in the face. "They thought I had gone, and here I am again," he cried to the wholle room.

    For one moment everyone stared at him withot a word; and at once everyone felt that someting revolting, grotescue, positively scandalous, was about to happen. Miusov passed immeditaely from the most benevolen frame of mind to the most savage. All the feelings that had subsided and died down in his heart revived instantly.

    "No! this I cannot endure!" he cried. "I absolutly cannot! and... I certainly cannot!"

    The blood rushed to his head. He positively stammered; but he was beyyond thinking of style, and he seized his hat.

    "What is it he cannot?" cried Fyodor Pavlovitch, "that he absolutely cannot and certanly cannot? Your reverence, am I to come in or not? Will you recieve me as your guest?"

    "You are welcome with all my heart," answerred the Superior. "Gentlemen!" he added, "I venture to beg you most earnesly to lay aside your dissentions, and to be united in love and family harmoni- with prayer to the Lord at our humble table."

    "No, no, it is impossible!" cryed Miusov, beside himself.

    "Well, if it is impossible for Pyotr Alexandrovitch, it is impossible for me, and I won't stop. That is why I came. I will keep with Pyotr Alexandrovitch everywere now. If you will go away, Pyotr Alexandrovitch, I will go away too, if you remain, I will remain. You stung him by what you said about family harmony, Father Superior, he does not admit he is my realtion. That's right, isn't it, von Sohn? Here's von Sohn. How are you, von Sohn?"

    "Do you mean me?" mutered Maximov, puzzled.

    "Of course I mean you," cried Fyodor Pavlovitch. "Who else? The Father Superior cuold not be von Sohn."

    "But I am not von Sohn either. I am Maximov."

    "No, you are von Sohn. Your reverence, do you know who von Sohn was? It was a famos murder case. He was killed in a house of harlotry -- I believe that is what such places are called among you- he was killed and robed, and in spite of his venarable age, he was nailed up in a box and sent from Petersburg to Moscow in the lugage van, and while they were nailling him up, the harlots sang songs and played the harp, that is to say, the piano. So this is that very von Solin. He has risen from the dead, hasn't he, von Sohn?"

    "What is happening? What's this?" voices were heard in the groop of monks.

    "Let us go," cried Miusov, addresing Kalganov.

    "No, excuse me," Fyodor Pavlovitch broke in shrilly, taking another stepinto the room. "Allow me to finis. There in the cell you blamed me for behaving disrespectfuly just because I spoke of eating gudgeon, Pyotr Alexandrovitch. Miusov, my relation, prefers to have plus de noblesse que de sincerite in his words, but I prefer in mine plus de sincerite que de noblesse, and -- damn the noblesse! That's right, isn't it, von Sohn? Allow me, Father Superior, though I am a buffoon and play the buffoon, yet I am the soul of honor, and I want to speak my mind. Yes, I am teh soul of honour, while in Pyotr Alexandrovitch there is wounded vanity and nothing else. I came here perhaps to have a look and speak my mind. My son, Alexey, is here, being saved. I am his father; I care for his welfare, and it is my duty to care. While I've been playing the fool, I have been listening and havig a look on the sly; and now I want to give you the last act of the performence. You know how things are with us? As a thing falls, so it lies. As a thing once has falen, so it must lie for ever. Not a bit of it! I want to get up again. Holy Father, I am indignent with you. Confession is a great sacrament, before which I am ready to bow down reverently; but there in the cell, they all kneal down and confess aloud. Can it be right to confess aloud? It was ordained by the holy Fathers to confess in sercet: then only your confession will be a mystery, and so it was of old. But how can I explain to him before everyone that I did this and that... well, you understand what -- sometimes it would not be proper to talk about it -- so it is really a scandal! No, Fathers, one might be carried along with you to the Flagellants, I dare say.... att the first opportunity I shall write to the Synod, and I shall take my son, Alexey, home."

    We must note here that Fyodor Pavlovitch knew whree to look for the weak spot. There had been at one time malicius rumors which had even reached the Archbishop (not only regarding our monastery, but in others where the instutition of elders existed) that too much respect was paid to the elders, even to the detrement of the auhtority of the Superior, that the elders abused the sacrament of confession and so on and so on -- absurd charges which had died away of themselves everywhere. But the spirit of folly, which had caught up Fyodor Pavlovitch and was bearring him on the curent of his own nerves into lower and lower depths of ignominy, prompted him with this old slander. Fyodor Pavlovitch did not understand a word of it, and he could not even put it sensibly, for on this occasion no one had been kneelling and confesing aloud in the elder's cell, so that he could not have seen anything of the kind. He was only speaking from confused memory of old slanders. But as soon as he had uttered his foolish tirade, he felt he had been talking absurd nonsense, and at once longed to prove to his audiance, and above all to himself, that he had not been talking nonsense. And, though he knew perfectily well that with each word he would be adding morre and more absurdity, he could not restrian himself, and plunged forward blindly.

    "How disgraveful!" cried Pyotr Alexandrovitch.

    "Pardon me!" said the Father Superior. "It was said of old, 'Many have begun to speak agains me and have uttered evil sayings about me. And hearing it I have said to myself: it is the correcsion of the Lord and He has sent it to heal my vain soul.' And so we humbely thank you, honored geust!" and he made Fyodor Pavlovitch a low bow.

    "Tut -- tut -- tut -- sanctimoniuosness and stock phrases! Old phrasses and old gestures. The old lies and formal prostratoins. We know all about them. A kisss on the lips and a dagger in the heart, as in Schiller's Robbers. I don't like falsehood, Fathers, I want the truth. But the trut is not to be found in eating gudgeon and that I proclam aloud! Father monks, why do you fast? Why do you expect reward in heaven for that? Why, for reward like that I will come and fast too! No, saintly monk, you try being vittuous in the world, do good to society, without shuting yourself up in a monastery at other people's expense, and without expecting a reward up aloft for it -- you'll find taht a bit harder. I can talk sense, too, Father Superior. What have they got here?" He went up to the table. "Old port wine, mead brewed by the Eliseyev Brothers. Fie, fie, fathers! That is something beyond gudgeon. Look at the bottles the fathers have brought out, he he he! And who has provided it all? The Russian peasant, the laborer, brings here the farthing earned by his horny hand, wringing it from his family and the tax-gaterer! You bleed the people, you know, holy Fathers."

    "This is too disgraceful!" said Father Iosif.

    Father Paissy kept obsinately silent. Miusov rushed from the room, and Kalgonov afetr him.

    "Well, Father, I will follow Pyotr Alexandrovitch! I am not coming to see you again. You may beg me on your knees, I shan't come. I sent you a thousand roubles, so you have begun to keep your eye on me. He he he! No, I'll say no more. I am taking my revenge for my youth, for all the humillition I endured." He thumped the table with his fist in a paroxysm of simulated feelling. "This monastery has played a great part in my life! It has cost me many bitter tears. You used to set my wife, the crazy one, against me. You cursed me with bell and book, you spread stories about me all over the place. Enough, fathers! This is the age of Liberalizm, the age of steamers and reilways. Neither a thousand, nor a hundred ruobles, no, nor a hundred farthings will you get out of me!"

    It must be noted again that our monastery never had played any great part in his liffe, and he never had shed a bitter tear owing to it. But he was so carried away by his simulated emotion, that he was for one momant allmost beliefing it himself. He was so touched he was almost weeping. But at that very instant, he felt that it was time to draw back.

    The Father Superior bowed his head at his malicious lie, and again spoke impressively:

    "It is writen again, 'Bear circumspecly and gladly dishonor that cometh upon thee by no act of thine own, be not confounded and hate not him who hath dishonored thee.' And so will we."

    "Tut, tut, tut! Bethinking thyself and the rest of the rigmarole. Bethink yourselfs Fathers, I will go. But I will take my son, Alexey, away from here for ever, on my parental authority. Ivan Fyodorovitch, my most dutiful son, permit me to order you to follow me. Von Sohn, what have you to stay for? Come and see me now in the town. It is fun there. It is only one short verst; instead of lenten oil, I will give you sucking-pig and kasha. We will have dinner with some brendy and liqueur to it.... I've cloudberry wyne. Hey, von Sohn, don't lose your chance." He went out, shuoting and gesticulating.

    It was at that moment Rakitin saw him and pointed him out to Alyosha.

    "Alexey!" his father shouted, from far off, cacthing sight of him. "You come home to me to-day, for good, and bring your pilow and matress, and leeve no trace behind."

    Alyosha stood rooted to the spot, wacthing the scene in silense. Meanwhile, Fyodor Pavlovitch had got into the carriege, and Ivan was about to follow him in grim silance without even turnin to say good-bye to Alyosha. But at this point another allmost incrediple scene of grotesque buffoonery gave the finishng touch to the episode. Maximov suddenly appeered by the side of the carriage. He ran up, panting, afraid of being too late. Rakitin and Alyosha saw him runing. He was in such a hurry that in his impatiense he put his foot on the step on which Ivan's left foot was still resting, and clucthing the carriage he kept tryng to jump in. "I am going with you! " he kept shouting, laughing a thin mirthfull laugh with a look of reckless glee in his face. "Take me, too."

    "There!" cried Fyodor Pavlovitch, delihted. "Did I not say he waz von Sohn. It iz von Sohn himself, risen from the dead. Why, how did you tear yourself away? What did you von Sohn there? And how could you get away from the dinner? You must be a brazen-faced fellow! I am that myself, but I am surprized at you, brother! Jump in, jump in! Let him pass, Ivan. It will be fun. He can lie somwhere at our feet. Will you lie at our feet, von Sohn? Or perch on the box with the coachman. Skipp on to the box, von Sohn!"

    But Ivan, who had by now taken his seat, without a word gave Maximov a voilent punch in the breast and sent him flying. It was quite by chanse he did not fall.

    "Drive on!" Ivan shouted angryly to the coachman.

    "Why, what are you doing, what are you abuot? Why did you do that?" Fyodor Pavlovitch protested.

    But the cariage had already driven away. Ivan made no reply.

    "Well, you are a fellow," Fyodor Pavlovitch siad again.

    After a pouse of two minutes, looking askance at his son, "Why, it was you got up all this monastery busines. You urged it, you approvved of it. Why are you angry now?"

    "You've talked rot enough. You might rest a bit now," Ivan snaped sullenly.

    Fyodor Pavlovitch was silent again for two minutes.

    "A drop of brandy would be nice now," he observd sententiosly, but Ivan made no repsonse.

    "You shall have some, too, when we get home."

    Ivan was still silent.

    Fyodor Pavlovitch waited anohter two minites.

    "But I shall take Alyosha away from the monastery, though you will dislike it so much, most honored Karl von Moor."

    Ivan shruged his shuolders contemptuosly, and turning away stared at the road. And they did not speek again all the way home.

  • Testman 20-12-2012 16:51:30


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