The Idiot Part 1 Chapter 5 Page 50

waits and knows — that’s the point, he knows that he is just now about to die, and listens for the rasp of the iron over his head. If I lay there, I should certainly listen for that grating sound, and hear it, too! There would probably be but the tenth part of an instant left to hear it in, but one would certainly hear it.

And imagine, some people declare that when the head flies off it is conscious of having flown off! Just imagine what a thing to realize! Fancy if consciousness were to last for even five seconds!

“Draw the scaffold so that only the top step of the ladder comes in clearly. The criminal must be just stepping on to it, his face as white as note-paper. The priest is holding the cross to his blue lips, and the criminal kisses