“Let us be getting on”

You think that's bad?: Avvakum

From the Autobiography of the Archpriest Avvakum (1621 – 1682), an Old-Believing Russian Orthodox dissenter. The book is mostly full of terribly moving stories about mud and snow, and Avvakum ended by being “imprisoned for the last fourteen years of his life in a pit or dugout (a sunken, log-framed hut) at Pustozyorsk above the Arctic Circle before finally being burned at the stake.” But in an earlier journey:

From the Nercha River we turned back once more to Russia. For five weeks we drove on icy roads in our sleighs. They gave me two nags to draw the children and the baggage. Dame Avvakum [his wife] and myself journeyed on foot, stumbling on the ice. We travelled through a barbarous land, the natives were hostile; we dared not lag behind and could not keep up with the horses. We were hungry and weary. Dame Avvakum, poor thing, tramped on and on, and then she would fall. It was exceedingly slippery, and once another man, no less weary, stumbled over her and fell too. Both cried out and could not get to their feet again. The man cried: “Oh, good mother, dear lady, pardon me!” And she: “Do you want to crush me?” I came up to her, and she, poor lady, put all the blame on me: “How long, Archpriest, how long are we to suffer thus?” I answered: “Markovna, until our very death!” And she replied, with a sigh: “So be it, Petrovich, let us be getting on.”

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