"You must not allow yourself to lose heart." He spoke shyly but with conviction. "Losing heart is a great sin. Although it seems to me that there are trials yet to come. Yes, to be sure, great trails," he spoke with gathering confidence. "Lately, you know, I have been spending all of my time over my books, in my specialty of course, theology mostly."
He lifted the book up so that the last light form the window fell on the page, and he read: "And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood."*
End of the first chapter of "The White Guard" by Mikhail Bulgakov, tr. Marion Schwartz, Yale University Press, 2008.