How much has been said and written about the White Nights. How they were hated by those who could not get used to them, and how passionately they were loved by others. [...] The oars evenly and dully clap the water, an almost inaudible gurgle comes from beneath the stern, and the oarsman, illuminated by the setting sun, bends now forward, now back […] A tense silence is all about; all conversation has stopped. And suddenly in this solemn stillness, in the transparent sleepy twilight, between the scarcely darkened sky and the strangely luminous water, from somewhere up above, settling gently on the water, there begin to be heard notes that are almost hollow, ‘glassy’, ‘from beyond the grave’. It is the chimes of the clock on the spire of the fortress, telling us in two prayer chants that it is now midnight… The chimes played ‘Glorious is our Lord’ and then, immediately after that, ‘God save our Tsar’. The music lasted for almost the entire crossing since its tempo was extremely slow (but to make out what exactly you were hearing was difficult)… Both these so familiar melodies were lacking in clarity, and, due to the echo, they complemented one another as they carried and even merged with one another, forming dissonances that were sad to the point of tears. They say that these hourly roulades, this drip-dripping of sounds in the quiet of the night drove prisoners in the fortress to despair, to madness.