"Death eats up all things, both the young lamb and old sheep; and I have heard our parson say, death values a prince no more than aclown; all's fish that comes to his net; he throws at all, and sweeps stakes; he's no mower that takes a nap at noon- day, but drives on, fair weather or foul, and cuts down the green grass as well as the ripe corn: he's neither squeamish nor queesy-stomach'd, for he swallows without chewing, and crams down all things into his ungracious maw; and tho' you can see no belly he has, he has a confounded dropsy, and thirsts after men's lives, which he guggles down like mother's milk."
"'Tis the maddest trick a man can ever play in his whole life, to let his breath sneak out of his body without any more ado, and without so much as a rap o'er the pate, or a kick of the guts; to go out like the snuff of a farthing candle, and die merely of the mulligrubs, or the sullens."
"I do not wish to lose my temper because very shortly I will lose my head. Nevertheless, upon leaving this spark of earthly existence, I have this to say: I shall see you all very soon ... very soon."
"Tell mother that however dogs and samovars might behave themselves, winter comes after summer, old age after youth, and misfortunefollows happiness (or the other way around). A person can not be healthy and cheerful throughout life. Losses lie waiting and man can not safeguard against death, even if he be Alexander of Macedonia. One must be prepared for anything and consider everything to be inevitably essential, as sad as that may be."
"Tsars and slaves, the intelligent and the obtuse, publicans and pharisees all have an identical legal and moral right to honor thememory of the deceased as they see fit, without regard for anyone else's opinion and without the fear of hindering one another."
"When in a serious mood, it seems to me that those people are illogical who feel an aversion toward death. As far as I can see, life consists exclusively of horrors, unpleasantnesses and banalities, now merging, now alternating."
"Death can only be profitable: there's no need to eat, drink, pay taxes, offend people, and since a person lies in a grave for hundreds or thousands of years, if you count it up the profit turns out to be enormous."
"I often wish for the end of the wretched remnant of my life; and that wish is a rational one; but then the innate principle of self-preservation, wisely implanted in our natures, for obvious purposes, opposes that wish, and makes us endeavour to spin out our thread as long as we can, however decayed and rotten it may be."