Zeno’s Conscience: quotes (14)

More frightened than ever, I begged him not to apply the leeches. Then, quite calmly, he told me that the orderly had surely already applied them, because he had given the man instructions before leaving my father’s room. I became angry. Could anything be more wicked than recalling a sick man to consciousness, without the least hope of saving him, only to plunge him into despair, or expose him to the risk of having to undergo – amid what suffering! – the straitjacket? With great violence, though still accompanying my words with those tears that craved compassion, I declared that it seemed to me an inconceivable cruelty not to allow a man to die in peace when he was definitively doomed.