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Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Part 11 out of 12

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am /positive/ that you have not given up your designs on my sister,
but are pursuing them more actively than ever. I have learnt that my
sister received a letter this morning. You have hardly been able to
sit still all this time. . . . You may have unearthed a wife on the
way, but that means nothing. I should like to make certain myself."

Raskolnikov could hardly have said himself what he wanted and of what
he wished to make certain.

"Upon my word! I'll call the police!"

"Call away!"

Again they stood for a minute facing each other. At last
Svidrigalov's face changed. Having satisfied himself that Raskolnikov
was not frightened at his threat, he assumed a mirthful and friendly

"What a fellow! I purposely refrained from referring to your affair,
though I am devoured by curiosity. It's a fantastic affair. I've put
it off till another time, but you're enough to rouse the dead. . . .
Well, let us go, only I warn you beforehand I am only going home for a
moment, to get some money; then I shall lock up the flat, take a cab
and go to spend the evening at the Islands. Now, now are you going to
follow me?"

"I'm coming to your lodgings, not to see you but Sofya Semyonovna, to
say I'm sorry not to have been at the funeral."

"That's as you like, but Sofya Semyonovna is not at home. She has
taken the three children to an old lady of high rank, the patroness of
some orphan asylums, whom I used to know years ago. I charmed the old
lady by depositing a sum of money with her to provide for the three
children of Katerina Ivanovna and subscribing to the institution as
well. I told her too the story of Sofya Semyonovna in full detail,
suppressing nothing. It produced an indescribable effect on her.
That's why Sofya Semyonovna has been invited to call to-day at the X.
Hotel where the lady is staying for the time."

"No matter, I'll come all the same."

"As you like, it's nothing to me, but I won't come with you; here we
are at home. By the way, I am convinced that you regard me with
suspicion just because I have shown such delicacy and have not so far
troubled you with questions . . . you understand? It struck you as
extraordinary; I don't mind betting it's that. Well, it teaches one to
show delicacy!"

"And to listen at doors!"

"Ah, that's it, is it?" laughed Svidrigalov. "Yes, I should have been
surprised if you had let that pass after all that has happened. Ha-ha!
Though I did understand something of the pranks you had been up to and
were telling Sofya Semyonovna about, what was the meaning of it?
Perhaps I am quite behind the times and can't understand. For
goodness' sake, explain it, my dear boy. Expound the latest theories!"

"You couldn't have heard anything. You're making it all up!"

"But I'm not talking about that (though I did hear something). No, I'm
talking of the way you keep sighing and groaning now. The Schiller in
you is in revolt every moment, and now you tell me not to listen at
doors. If that's how you feel, go and inform the police that you had
this mischance: you made a little mistake in your theory. But if you
are convinced that one mustn't listen at doors, but one may murder old
women at one's pleasure, you'd better be off to America and make
haste. Run, young man! There may still be time. I'm speaking
sincerely. Haven't you the money? I'll give you the fare."

"I'm not thinking of that at all," Raskolnikov interrupted with

"I understand (but don't put yourself out, don't discuss it if you
don't want to). I understand the questions you are worrying over--
moral ones, aren't they? Duties of citizen and man? Lay them all
aside. They are nothing to you now, ha-ha! You'll say you are still a
man and a citizen. If so you ought not to have got into this coil.
It's no use taking up a job you are not fit for. Well, you'd better
shoot yourself, or don't you want to?"

"You seem trying to enrage me, to make me leave you."

"What a queer fellow! But here we are. Welcome to the staircase. You
see, that's the way to Sofya Semyonovna. Look, there is no one at
home. Don't you believe me? Ask Kapernaumov. She leaves the key with
him. Here is Madame de Kapernaumov herself. Hey, what? She is rather
deaf. Has she gone out? Where? Did you hear? She is not in and won't
be till late in the evening probably. Well, come to my room; you
wanted to come and see me, didn't you? Here we are. Madame Resslich's
not at home. She is a woman who is always busy, an excellent woman I
assure you. . . . She might have been of use to you if you had been a
little more sensible. Now, see! I take this five-per-cent bond out of
the bureau--see what a lot I've got of them still--this one will be
turned into cash to-day. I mustn't waste any more time. The bureau is
locked, the flat is locked, and here we are again on the stairs. Shall
we take a cab? I'm going to the Islands. Would you like a lift? I'll
take this carriage. Ah, you refuse? You are tired of it! Come for a
drive! I believe it will come on to rain. Never mind, we'll put down
the hood. . . ."

Svidrigalov was already in the carriage. Raskolnikov decided that his
suspicions were at least for that moment unjust. Without answering a
word he turned and walked back towards the Hay Market. If he had only
turned round on his way he might have seen Svidrigalov get out not a
hundred paces off, dismiss the cab and walk along the pavement. But he
had turned the corner and could see nothing. Intense disgust drew him
away from Svidrigalov.

"To think that I could for one instant have looked for help from that
coarse brute, that depraved sensualist and blackguard!" he cried.

Raskolnikov's judgment was uttered too lightly and hastily: there was
something about Svidrigalov which gave him a certain original, even a
mysterious character. As concerned his sister, Raskolnikov was
convinced that Svidrigalov would not leave her in peace. But it was
too tiresome and unbearable to go on thinking and thinking about this.

When he was alone, he had not gone twenty paces before he sank, as
usual, into deep thought. On the bridge he stood by the railing and
began gazing at the water. And his sister was standing close by him.

He met her at the entrance to the bridge, but passed by without seeing
her. Dounia had never met him like this in the street before and was
struck with dismay. She stood still and did not know whether to call
to him or not. Suddenly she saw Svidrigalov coming quickly from the
direction of the Hay Market.

He seemed to be approaching cautiously. He did not go on to the
bridge, but stood aside on the pavement, doing all he could to avoid
Raskolnikov's seeing him. He had observed Dounia for some time and had
been making signs to her. She fancied he was signalling to beg her not
to speak to her brother, but to come to him.

That was what Dounia did. She stole by her brother and went up to

"Let us make haste away," Svidrigalov whispered to her, "I don't want
Rodion Romanovitch to know of our meeting. I must tell you I've been
sitting with him in the restaurant close by, where he looked me up and
I had great difficulty in getting rid of him. He has somehow heard of
my letter to you and suspects something. It wasn't you who told him,
of course, but if not you, who then?"

"Well, we've turned the corner now," Dounia interrupted, "and my
brother won't see us. I have to tell you that I am going no further
with you. Speak to me here. You can tell it all in the street."

"In the first place, I can't say it in the street; secondly, you must
hear Sofya Semyonovna too; and, thirdly, I will show you some papers.
. . . Oh well, if you won't agree to come with me, I shall refuse to
give any explanation and go away at once. But I beg you not to forget
that a very curious secret of your beloved brother's is entirely in my

Dounia stood still, hesitating, and looked at Svidrigalov with
searching eyes.

"What are you afraid of?" he observed quietly. "The town is not the
country. And even in the country you did me more harm than I did you."

"Have you prepared Sofya Semyonovna?"

"No, I have not said a word to her and am not quite certain whether
she is at home now. But most likely she is. She has buried her
stepmother to-day: she is not likely to go visiting on such a day. For
the time I don't want to speak to anyone about it and I half regret
having spoken to you. The slightest indiscretion is as bad as betrayal
in a thing like this. I live there in that house, we are coming to it.
That's the porter of our house--he knows me very well; you see, he's
bowing; he sees I'm coming with a lady and no doubt he has noticed
your face already and you will be glad of that if you are afraid of me
and suspicious. Excuse my putting things so coarsely. I haven't a flat
to myself; Sofya Semyonovna's room is next to mine--she lodges in the
next flat. The whole floor is let out in lodgings. Why are you
frightened like a child? Am I really so terrible?"

Svidrigalov's lips were twisted in a condescending smile; but he was
in no smiling mood. His heart was throbbing and he could scarcely
breathe. He spoke rather loud to cover his growing excitement. But
Dounia did not notice this peculiar excitement, she was so irritated
by his remark that she was frightened of him like a child and that he
was so terrible to her.

"Though I know that you are not a man . . . of honour, I am not in the
least afraid of you. Lead the way," she said with apparent composure,
but her face was very pale.

Svidrigalov stopped at Sonia's room.

"Allow me to inquire whether she is at home. . . . She is not. How
unfortunate! But I know she may come quite soon. If she's gone out, it
can only be to see a lady about the orphans. Their mother is dead.
. . . I've been meddling and making arrangements for them. If Sofya
Semyonovna does not come back in ten minutes, I will send her to you,
to-day if you like. This is my flat. These are my two rooms. Madame
Resslich, my landlady, has the next room. Now, look this way. I will
show you my chief piece of evidence: this door from my bedroom leads
into two perfectly empty rooms, which are to let. Here they are . . .
You must look into them with some attention."

Svidrigalov occupied two fairly large furnished rooms. Dounia was
looking about her mistrustfully, but saw nothing special in the
furniture or position of the rooms. Yet there was something to
observe, for instance, that Svidrigalov's flat was exactly between
two sets of almost uninhabited apartments. His rooms were not entered
directly from the passage, but through the landlady's two almost empty
rooms. Unlocking a door leading out of his bedroom, Svidrigalov
showed Dounia the two empty rooms that were to let. Dounia stopped in
the doorway, not knowing what she was called to look upon, but
Svidrigalov hastened to explain.

"Look here, at this second large room. Notice that door, it's locked.
By the door stands a chair, the only one in the two rooms. I brought
it from my rooms so as to listen more conveniently. Just the other
side of the door is Sofya Semyonovna's table; she sat there talking to
Rodion Romanovitch. And I sat here listening on two successive
evenings, for two hours each time--and of course I was able to learn
something, what do you think?"

"You listened?"

"Yes, I did. Now come back to my room; we can't sit down here."

He brought Avdotya Romanovna back into his sitting-room and offered
her a chair. He sat down at the opposite side of the table, at least
seven feet from her, but probably there was the same glow in his eyes
which had once frightened Dounia so much. She shuddered and once more
looked about her distrustfully. It was an involuntary gesture; she
evidently did not wish to betray her uneasiness. But the secluded
position of Svidrigalov's lodging had suddenly struck her. She wanted
to ask whether his landlady at least were at home, but pride kept her
from asking. Moreover, she had another trouble in her heart
incomparably greater than fear for herself. She was in great distress.

"Here is your letter," she said, laying it on the table. "Can it be
true what you write? You hint at a crime committed, you say, by my
brother. You hint at it too clearly; you daren't deny it now. I must
tell you that I'd heard of this stupid story before you wrote and
don't believe a word of it. It's a disgusting and ridiculous
suspicion. I know the story and why and how it was invented. You can
have no proofs. You promised to prove it. Speak! But let me warn you
that I don't believe you! I don't believe you!"

Dounia said this, speaking hurriedly, and for an instant the colour
rushed to her face.

"If you didn't believe it, how could you risk coming alone to my
rooms? Why have you come? Simply from curiosity?"

"Don't torment me. Speak, speak!"

"There's no denying that you are a brave girl. Upon my word, I thought
you would have asked Mr. Razumihin to escort you here. But he was not
with you nor anywhere near. I was on the look-out. It's spirited of
you, it proves you wanted to spare Rodion Romanovitch. But everything
is divine in you. . . . About your brother, what am I to say to you?
You've just seen him yourself. What did you think of him?"

"Surely that's not the only thing you are building on?"

"No, not on that, but on his own words. He came here on two successive
evenings to see Sofya Semyonovna. I've shown you where they sat. He
made a full confession to her. He is a murderer. He killed an old
woman, a pawnbroker, with whom he had pawned things himself. He killed
her sister too, a pedlar woman called Lizaveta, who happened to come
in while he was murdering her sister. He killed them with an axe he
brought with him. He murdered them to rob them and he did rob them. He
took money and various things. . . . He told all this, word for word,
to Sofya Semyonovna, the only person who knows his secret. But she has
had no share by word or deed in the murder; she was as horrified at it
as you are now. Don't be anxious, she won't betray him."

"It cannot be," muttered Dounia, with white lips. She gasped for
breath. "It cannot be. There was not the slightest cause, no sort of
ground. . . . It's a lie, a lie!"

"He robbed her, that was the cause, he took money and things. It's
true that by his own admission he made no use of the money or things,
but hid them under a stone, where they are now. But that was because
he dared not make use of them."

"But how could he steal, rob? How could he dream of it?" cried Dounia,
and she jumped up from the chair. "Why, you know him, and you've seen
him, can he be a thief?"

She seemed to be imploring Svidrigalov; she had entirely forgotten
her fear.

"There are thousands and millions of combinations and possibilities,
Avdotya Romanovna. A thief steals and knows he is a scoundrel, but
I've heard of a gentleman who broke open the mail. Who knows, very
likely he thought he was doing a gentlemanly thing! Of course I should
not have believed it myself if I'd been told of it as you have, but I
believe my own ears. He explained all the causes of it to Sofya
Semyonovna too, but she did not believe her ears at first, yet she
believed her own eyes at last."

"What . . . were the causes?"

"It's a long story, Avdotya Romanovna. Here's . . . how shall I tell
you?--A theory of a sort, the same one by which I for instance
consider that a single misdeed is permissible if the principal aim is
right, a solitary wrongdoing and hundreds of good deeds! It's galling
too, of course, for a young man of gifts and overweening pride to know
that if he had, for instance, a paltry three thousand, his whole
career, his whole future would be differently shaped and yet not to
have that three thousand. Add to that, nervous irritability from
hunger, from lodging in a hole, from rags, from a vivid sense of the
charm of his social position and his sister's and mother's position
too. Above all, vanity, pride and vanity, though goodness knows he may
have good qualities too. . . . I am not blaming him, please don't
think it; besides, it's not my business. A special little theory came
in too--a theory of a sort--dividing mankind, you see, into material
and superior persons, that is persons to whom the law does not apply
owing to their superiority, who make laws for the rest of mankind, the
material, that is. It's all right as a theory, /une thorie comme une
autre/. Napoleon attracted him tremendously, that is, what affected
him was that a great many men of genius have not hesitated at
wrongdoing, but have overstepped the law without thinking about it. He
seems to have fancied that he was a genius too--that is, he was
convinced of it for a time. He has suffered a great deal and is still
suffering from the idea that he could make a theory, but was incapable
of boldly overstepping the law, and so he is not a man of genius. And
that's humiliating for a young man of any pride, in our day
especially. . . ."

"But remorse? You deny him any moral feeling then? Is he like that?"

"Ah, Avdotya Romanovna, everything is in a muddle now; not that it was
ever in very good order. Russians in general are broad in their ideas,
Avdotya Romanovna, broad like their land and exceedingly disposed to
the fantastic, the chaotic. But it's a misfortune to be broad without
a special genius. Do you remember what a lot of talk we had together
on this subject, sitting in the evenings on the terrace after supper?
Why, you used to reproach me with breadth! Who knows, perhaps we were
talking at the very time when he was lying here thinking over his
plan. There are no sacred traditions amongst us, especially in the
educated class, Avdotya Romanovna. At the best someone will make them
up somehow for himself out of books or from some old chronicle. But
those are for the most part the learned and all old fogeys, so that it
would be almost ill-bred in a man of society. You know my opinions in
general, though. I never blame anyone. I do nothing at all, I
persevere in that. But we've talked of this more than once before. I
was so happy indeed as to interest you in my opinions. . . . You are
very pale, Avdotya Romanovna."

"I know his theory. I read that article of his about men to whom all
is permitted. Razumihin brought it to me."

"Mr. Razumihin? Your brother's article? In a magazine? Is there such
an article? I didn't know. It must be interesting. But where are you
going, Avdotya Romanovna?"

"I want to see Sofya Semyonovna," Dounia articulated faintly. "How do
I go to her? She has come in, perhaps. I must see her at once. Perhaps
she . . ."

Avdotya Romanovna could not finish. Her breath literally failed her.

"Sofya Semyonovna will not be back till night, at least I believe not.
She was to have been back at once, but if not, then she will not be in
till quite late."

"Ah, then you are lying! I see . . . you were lying . . . lying all
the time. . . . I don't believe you! I don't believe you!" cried
Dounia, completely losing her head.

Almost fainting, she sank on to a chair which Svidrigalov made haste
to give her.

"Avdotya Romanovna, what is it? Control yourself! Here is some water.
Drink a little. . . ."

He sprinkled some water over her. Dounia shuddered and came to

"It has acted violently," Svidrigalov muttered to himself, frowning.
"Avdotya Romanovna, calm yourself! Believe me, he has friends. We will
save him. Would you like me to take him abroad? I have money, I can
get a ticket in three days. And as for the murder, he will do all
sorts of good deeds yet, to atone for it. Calm yourself. He may become
a great man yet. Well, how are you? How do you feel?"

"Cruel man! To be able to jeer at it! Let me go . . ."

"Where are you going?"

"To him. Where is he? Do you know? Why is this door locked? We came in
at that door and now it is locked. When did you manage to lock it?"

"We couldn't be shouting all over the flat on such a subject. I am far
from jeering; it's simply that I'm sick of talking like this. But how
can you go in such a state? Do you want to betray him? You will drive
him to fury, and he will give himself up. Let me tell you, he is
already being watched; they are already on his track. You will simply
be giving him away. Wait a little: I saw him and was talking to him
just now. He can still be saved. Wait a bit, sit down; let us think it
over together. I asked you to come in order to discuss it alone with
you and to consider it thoroughly. But do sit down!"

"How can you save him? Can he really be saved?"

Dounia sat down. Svidrigalov sat down beside her.

"It all depends on you, on you, on you alone," he began with glowing
eyes, almost in a whisper and hardly able to utter the words for

Dounia drew back from him in alarm. He too was trembling all over.

"You . . . one word from you, and he is saved. I . . . I'll save him.
I have money and friends. I'll send him away at once. I'll get a
passport, two passports, one for him and one for me. I have friends
. . . capable people. . . . If you like, I'll take a passport for you
. . . for your mother. . . . What do you want with Razumihin? I love
you too. . . . I love you beyond everything. . . . Let me kiss the hem
of your dress, let me, let me. . . . The very rustle of it is too much
for me. Tell me, 'do that,' and I'll do it. I'll do everything. I will
do the impossible. What you believe, I will believe. I'll do anything
--anything! Don't, don't look at me like that. Do you know that you
are killing me? . . ."

He was almost beginning to rave. . . . Something seemed suddenly to go
to his head. Dounia jumped up and rushed to the door.

"Open it! Open it!" she called, shaking the door. "Open it! Is there
no one there?"

Svidrigalov got up and came to himself. His still trembling lips
slowly broke into an angry mocking smile.

"There is no one at home," he said quietly and emphatically. "The
landlady has gone out, and it's waste of time to shout like that. You
are only exciting yourself uselessly."

"Where is the key? Open the door at once, at once, base man!"

"I have lost the key and cannot find it."

"This is an outrage," cried Dounia, turning pale as death. She rushed
to the furthest corner, where she made haste to barricade herself with
a little table.

She did not scream, but she fixed her eyes on her tormentor and
watched every movement he made.

Svidrigalov remained standing at the other end of the room facing
her. He was positively composed, at least in appearance, but his face
was pale as before. The mocking smile did not leave his face.

"You spoke of outrage just now, Avdotya Romanovna. In that case you
may be sure I've taken measures. Sofya Semyonovna is not at home. The
Kapernaumovs are far away--there are five locked rooms between. I am
at least twice as strong as you are and I have nothing to fear,
besides. For you could not complain afterwards. You surely would not
be willing actually to betray your brother? Besides, no one would
believe you. How should a girl have come alone to visit a solitary man
in his lodgings? So that even if you do sacrifice your brother, you
could prove nothing. It is very difficult to prove an assault, Avdotya

"Scoundrel!" whispered Dounia indignantly.

"As you like, but observe I was only speaking by way of a general
proposition. It's my personal conviction that you are perfectly right
--violence is hateful. I only spoke to show you that you need have no
remorse even if . . . you were willing to save your brother of your
own accord, as I suggest to you. You would be simply submitting to
circumstances, to violence, in fact, if we must use that word. Think
about it. Your brother's and your mother's fate are in your hands. I
will be your slave . . . all my life . . . I will wait here."

Svidrigalov sat down on the sofa about eight steps from Dounia. She
had not the slightest doubt now of his unbending determination.
Besides, she knew him. Suddenly she pulled out of her pocket a
revolver, cocked it and laid it in her hand on the table. Svidrigalov
jumped up.

"Aha! So that's it, is it?" he cried, surprised but smiling
maliciously. "Well, that completely alters the aspect of affairs.
You've made things wonderfully easier for me, Avdotya Romanovna. But
where did you get the revolver? Was it Mr. Razumihin? Why, it's my
revolver, an old friend! And how I've hunted for it! The shooting
lessons I've given you in the country have not been thrown away."

"It's not your revolver, it belonged to Marfa Petrovna, whom you
killed, wretch! There was nothing of yours in her house. I took it
when I began to suspect what you were capable of. If you dare to
advance one step, I swear I'll kill you." She was frantic.

"But your brother? I ask from curiosity," said Svidrigalov, still
standing where he was.

"Inform, if you want to! Don't stir! Don't come nearer! I'll shoot!
You poisoned your wife, I know; you are a murderer yourself!" She held
the revolver ready.

"Are you so positive I poisoned Marfa Petrovna?"

"You did! You hinted it yourself; you talked to me of poison. . . . I
know you went to get it . . . you had it in readiness. . . . It was
your doing. . . . It must have been your doing. . . . Scoundrel!"

"Even if that were true, it would have been for your sake . . . you
would have been the cause."

"You are lying! I hated you always, always. . . ."

"Oho, Avdotya Romanovna! You seem to have forgotten how you softened
to me in the heat of propaganda. I saw it in your eyes. Do you
remember that moonlight night, when the nightingale was singing?"

"That's a lie," there was a flash of fury in Dounia's eyes, "that's a
lie and a libel!"

"A lie? Well, if you like, it's a lie. I made it up. Women ought not
to be reminded of such things," he smiled. "I know you will shoot, you
pretty wild creature. Well, shoot away!"

Dounia raised the revolver, and deadly pale, gazed at him, measuring
the distance and awaiting the first movement on his part. Her lower
lip was white and quivering and her big black eyes flashed like fire.
He had never seen her so handsome. The fire glowing in her eyes at the
moment she raised the revolver seemed to kindle him and there was a
pang of anguish in his heart. He took a step forward and a shot rang
out. The bullet grazed his hair and flew into the wall behind. He
stood still and laughed softly.

"The wasp has stung me. She aimed straight at my head. What's this?
Blood?" he pulled out his handkerchief to wipe the blood, which flowed
in a thin stream down his right temple. The bullet seemed to have just
grazed the skin.

Dounia lowered the revolver and looked at Svidrigalov not so much in
terror as in a sort of wild amazement. She seemed not to understand
what she was doing and what was going on.

"Well, you missed! Fire again, I'll wait," said Svidrigalov softly,
still smiling, but gloomily. "If you go on like that, I shall have
time to seize you before you cock again."

Dounia started, quickly cocked the pistol and again raised it.

"Let me be," she cried in despair. "I swear I'll shoot again. I . . .
I'll kill you."

"Well . . . at three paces you can hardly help it. But if you don't
. . . then." His eyes flashed and he took two steps forward. Dounia
shot again: it missed fire.

"You haven't loaded it properly. Never mind, you have another charge
there. Get it ready, I'll wait."

He stood facing her, two paces away, waiting and gazing at her with
wild determination, with feverishly passionate, stubborn, set eyes.
Dounia saw that he would sooner die than let her go. "And . . . now,
of course she would kill him, at two paces!" Suddenly she flung away
the revolver.

"She's dropped it!" said Svidrigalov with surprise, and he drew a
deep breath. A weight seemed to have rolled from his heart--perhaps
not only the fear of death; indeed he may scarcely have felt it at
that moment. It was the deliverance from another feeling, darker and
more bitter, which he could not himself have defined.

He went to Dounia and gently put his arm round her waist. She did not
resist, but, trembling like a leaf, looked at him with suppliant eyes.
He tried to say something, but his lips moved without being able to
utter a sound.

"Let me go," Dounia implored. Svidrigalov shuddered. Her voice now
was quite different.

"Then you don't love me?" he asked softly. Dounia shook her head.

"And . . . and you can't? Never?" he whispered in despair.


There followed a moment of terrible, dumb struggle in the heart of
Svidrigalov. He looked at her with an indescribable gaze. Suddenly he
withdrew his arm, turned quickly to the window and stood facing it.
Another moment passed.

"Here's the key."

He took it out of the left pocket of his coat and laid it on the table
behind him, without turning or looking at Dounia.

"Take it! Make haste!"

He looked stubbornly out of the window. Dounia went up to the table to
take the key.

"Make haste! Make haste!" repeated Svidrigalov, still without turning
or moving. But there seemed a terrible significance in the tone of
that "make haste."

Dounia understood it, snatched up the key, flew to the door, unlocked
it quickly and rushed out of the room. A minute later, beside herself,
she ran out on to the canal bank in the direction of X. Bridge.

Svidrigalov remained three minutes standing at the window. At last he
slowly turned, looked about him and passed his hand over his forehead.
A strange smile contorted his face, a pitiful, sad, weak smile, a
smile of despair. The blood, which was already getting dry, smeared
his hand. He looked angrily at it, then wetted a towel and washed his
temple. The revolver which Dounia had flung away lay near the door and
suddenly caught his eye. He picked it up and examined it. It was a
little pocket three-barrel revolver of old-fashioned construction.
There were still two charges and one capsule left in it. It could be
fired again. He thought a little, put the revolver in his pocket, took
his hat and went out.


He spent that evening till ten o'clock going from one low haunt to
another. Katia too turned up and sang another gutter song, how a
certain "villain and tyrant"

"began kissing Katia."

Svidrigalov treated Katia and the organ-grinder and some singers and
the waiters and two little clerks. He was particularly drawn to these
clerks by the fact that they both had crooked noses, one bent to the
left and the other to the right. They took him finally to a pleasure
garden, where he paid for their entrance. There was one lanky three-
year-old pine-tree and three bushes in the garden, besides a
"Vauxhall," which was in reality a drinking-bar where tea too was
served, and there were a few green tables and chairs standing round
it. A chorus of wretched singers and a drunken but exceedingly
depressed German clown from Munich with a red nose entertained the
public. The clerks quarrelled with some other clerks and a fight
seemed imminent. Svidrigalov was chosen to decide the dispute. He
listened to them for a quarter of an hour, but they shouted so loud
that there was no possibility of understanding them. The only fact
that seemed certain was that one of them had stolen something and had
even succeeded in selling it on the spot to a Jew, but would not share
the spoil with his companion. Finally it appeared that the stolen
object was a teaspoon belonging to the Vauxhall. It was missed and the
affair began to seem troublesome. Svidrigalov paid for the spoon, got
up, and walked out of the garden. It was about six o'clock. He had not
drunk a drop of wine all this time and had ordered tea more for the
sake of appearances than anything.

It was a dark and stifling evening. Threatening storm-clouds came over
the sky about ten o'clock. There was a clap of thunder, and the rain
came down like a waterfall. The water fell not in drops, but beat on
the earth in streams. There were flashes of lightning every minute and
each flash lasted while one could count five.

Drenched to the skin, he went home, locked himself in, opened the
bureau, took out all his money and tore up two or three papers. Then,
putting the money in his pocket, he was about to change his clothes,
but, looking out of the window and listening to the thunder and the
rain, he gave up the idea, took up his hat and went out of the room
without locking the door. He went straight to Sonia. She was at home.

She was not alone: the four Kapernaumov children were with her. She
was giving them tea. She received Svidrigalov in respectful silence,
looking wonderingly at his soaking clothes. The children all ran away
at once in indescribable terror.

Svidrigalov sat down at the table and asked Sonia to sit beside him.
She timidly prepared to listen.

"I may be going to America, Sofya Semyonovna," said Svidrigalov, "and
as I am probably seeing you for the last time, I have come to make
some arrangements. Well, did you see the lady to-day? I know what she
said to you, you need not tell me." (Sonia made a movement and
blushed.) "Those people have their own way of doing things. As to your
sisters and your brother, they are really provided for and the money
assigned to them I've put into safe keeping and have received
acknowledgments. You had better take charge of the receipts, in case
anything happens. Here, take them! Well now, that's settled. Here are
three 5-per-cent bonds to the value of three thousand roubles. Take
those for yourself, entirely for yourself, and let that be strictly
between ourselves, so that no one knows of it, whatever you hear. You
will need the money, for to go on living in the old way, Sofya
Semyonovna, is bad, and besides there is no need for it now."

"I am so much indebted to you, and so are the children and my
stepmother," said Sonia hurriedly, "and if I've said so little . . .
please don't consider . . ."

"That's enough! that's enough!"

"But as for the money, Arkady Ivanovitch, I am very grateful to you,
but I don't need it now. I can always earn my own living. Don't think
me ungrateful. If you are so charitable, that money. . . ."

"It's for you, for you, Sofya Semyonovna, and please don't waste words
over it. I haven't time for it. You will want it. Rodion Romanovitch
has two alternatives: a bullet in the brain or Siberia." (Sonia looked
wildly at him, and started.) "Don't be uneasy, I know all about it
from himself and I am not a gossip; I won't tell anyone. It was good
advice when you told him to give himself up and confess. It would be
much better for him. Well, if it turns out to be Siberia, he will go
and you will follow him. That's so, isn't it? And if so, you'll need
money. You'll need it for him, do you understand? Giving it to you is
the same as my giving it to him. Besides, you promised Amalia Ivanovna
to pay what's owing. I heard you. How can you undertake such
obligations so heedlessly, Sofya Semyonovna? It was Katerina
Ivanovna's debt and not yours, so you ought not to have taken any
notice of the German woman. You can't get through the world like that.
If you are ever questioned about me--to-morrow or the day after you
will be asked--don't say anything about my coming to see you now and
don't show the money to anyone or say a word about it. Well, now good-
bye." (He got up.) "My greetings to Rodion Romanovitch. By the way,
you'd better put the money for the present in Mr. Razumihin's keeping.
You know Mr. Razumihin? Of course you do. He's not a bad fellow. Take
it to him to-morrow or . . . when the time comes. And till then, hide
it carefully."

Sonia too jumped up from her chair and looked in dismay at
Svidrigalov. She longed to speak, to ask a question, but for the
first moments she did not dare and did not know how to begin.

"How can you . . . how can you be going now, in such rain?"

"Why, be starting for America, and be stopped by rain! Ha, ha! Good-
bye, Sofya Semyonovna, my dear! Live and live long, you will be of use
to others. By the way . . . tell Mr. Razumihin I send my greetings to
him. Tell him Arkady Ivanovitch Svidrigalov sends his greetings. Be
sure to."

He went out, leaving Sonia in a state of wondering anxiety and vague

It appeared afterwards that on the same evening, at twenty past
eleven, he made another very eccentric and unexpected visit. The rain
still persisted. Drenched to the skin, he walked into the little flat
where the parents of his betrothed lived, in Third Street in
Vassilyevsky Island. He knocked some time before he was admitted, and
his visit at first caused great perturbation; but Svidrigalov could
be very fascinating when he liked, so that the first, and indeed very
intelligent surmise of the sensible parents that Svidrigalov had
probably had so much to drink that he did not know what he was doing
vanished immediately. The decrepit father was wheeled in to see
Svidrigalov by the tender and sensible mother, who as usual began the
conversation with various irrelevant questions. She never asked a
direct question, but began by smiling and rubbing her hands and then,
if she were obliged to ascertain something--for instance, when
Svidrigalov would like to have the wedding--she would begin by
interested and almost eager questions about Paris and the court life
there, and only by degrees brought the conversation round to Third
Street. On other occasions this had of course been very impressive,
but this time Arkady Ivanovitch seemed particularly impatient, and
insisted on seeing his betrothed at once, though he had been informed,
to begin with, that she had already gone to bed. The girl of course

Svidrigalov informed her at once that he was obliged by very
important affairs to leave Petersburg for a time, and therefore
brought her fifteen thousand roubles and begged her accept them as a
present from him, as he had long been intending to make her this
trifling present before their wedding. The logical connection of the
present with his immediate departure and the absolute necessity of
visiting them for that purpose in pouring rain at midnight was not
made clear. But it all went off very well; even the inevitable
ejaculations of wonder and regret, the inevitable questions were
extraordinarily few and restrained. On the other hand, the gratitude
expressed was most glowing and was reinforced by tears from the most
sensible of mothers. Svidrigalov got up, laughed, kissed his
betrothed, patted her cheek, declared he would soon come back, and
noticing in her eyes, together with childish curiosity, a sort of
earnest dumb inquiry, reflected and kissed her again, though he felt
sincere anger inwardly at the thought that his present would be
immediately locked up in the keeping of the most sensible of mothers.
He went away, leaving them all in a state of extraordinary excitement,
but the tender mamma, speaking quietly in a half whisper, settled some
of the most important of their doubts, concluding that Svidrigalov
was a great man, a man of great affairs and connections and of great
wealth--there was no knowing what he had in his mind. He would start
off on a journey and give away money just as the fancy took him, so
that there was nothing surprising about it. Of course it was strange
that he was wet through, but Englishmen, for instance, are even more
eccentric, and all these people of high society didn't think of what
was said of them and didn't stand on ceremony. Possibly, indeed, he
came like that on purpose to show that he was not afraid of anyone.
Above all, not a word should be said about it, for God knows what
might come of it, and the money must be locked up, and it was most
fortunate that Fedosya, the cook, had not left the kitchen. And above
all not a word must be said to that old cat, Madame Resslich, and so
on and so on. They sat up whispering till two o'clock, but the girl
went to bed much earlier, amazed and rather sorrowful.

Svidrigalov meanwhile, exactly at midnight, crossed the bridge on the
way back to the mainland. The rain had ceased and there was a roaring
wind. He began shivering, and for one moment he gazed at the black
waters of the Little Neva with a look of special interest, even
inquiry. But he soon felt it very cold, standing by the water; he
turned and went towards Y. Prospect. He walked along that endless
street for a long time, almost half an hour, more than once stumbling
in the dark on the wooden pavement, but continually looking for
something on the right side of the street. He had noticed passing
through this street lately that there was a hotel somewhere towards
the end, built of wood, but fairly large, and its name he remembered
was something like Adrianople. He was not mistaken: the hotel was so
conspicuous in that God-forsaken place that he could not fail to see
it even in the dark. It was a long, blackened wooden building, and in
spite of the late hour there were lights in the windows and signs of
life within. He went in and asked a ragged fellow who met him in the
corridor for a room. The latter, scanning Svidrigalov, pulled himself
together and led him at once to a close and tiny room in the distance,
at the end of the corridor, under the stairs. There was no other, all
were occupied. The ragged fellow looked inquiringly.

"Is there tea?" asked Svidrigalov.

"Yes, sir."

"What else is there?"

"Veal, vodka, savouries."

"Bring me tea and veal."

"And you want nothing else?" he asked with apparent surprise.

"Nothing, nothing."

The ragged man went away, completely disillusioned.

"It must be a nice place," thought Svidrigalov. "How was it I didn't
know it? I expect I look as if I came from a caf chantant and have
had some adventure on the way. It would be interesting to know who
stay here?"

He lighted the candle and looked at the room more carefully. It was a
room so low-pitched that Svidrigalov could only just stand up in it;
it had one window; the bed, which was very dirty, and the plain-
stained chair and table almost filled it up. The walls looked as
though they were made of planks, covered with shabby paper, so torn
and dusty that the pattern was indistinguishable, though the general
colour--yellow--could still be made out. One of the walls was cut
short by the sloping ceiling, though the room was not an attic but
just under the stairs.

Svidrigalov set down the candle, sat down on the bed and sank into
thought. But a strange persistent murmur which sometimes rose to a
shout in the next room attracted his attention. The murmur had not
ceased from the moment he entered the room. He listened: someone was
upbraiding and almost tearfully scolding, but he heard only one voice.

Svidrigalov got up, shaded the light with his hand and at once he saw
light through a crack in the wall; he went up and peeped through. The
room, which was somewhat larger than his, had two occupants. One of
them, a very curly-headed man with a red inflamed face, was standing
in the pose of an orator, without his coat, with his legs wide apart
to preserve his balance, and smiting himself on the breast. He
reproached the other with being a beggar, with having no standing
whatever. He declared that he had taken the other out of the gutter
and he could turn him out when he liked, and that only the finger of
Providence sees it all. The object of his reproaches was sitting in a
chair, and had the air of a man who wants dreadfully to sneeze, but
can't. He sometimes turned sheepish and befogged eyes on the speaker,
but obviously had not the slightest idea what he was talking about and
scarcely heard it. A candle was burning down on the table; there were
wine-glasses, a nearly empty bottle of vodka, bread and cucumber, and
glasses with the dregs of stale tea. After gazing attentively at this,
Svidrigalov turned away indifferently and sat down on the bed.

The ragged attendant, returning with the tea, could not resist asking
him again whether he didn't want anything more, and again receiving a
negative reply, finally withdrew. Svidrigalov made haste to drink a
glass of tea to warm himself, but could not eat anything. He began to
feel feverish. He took off his coat and, wrapping himself in the
blanket, lay down on the bed. He was annoyed. "It would have been
better to be well for the occasion," he thought with a smile. The room
was close, the candle burnt dimly, the wind was roaring outside, he
heard a mouse scratching in the corner and the room smelt of mice and
of leather. He lay in a sort of reverie: one thought followed another.
He felt a longing to fix his imagination on something. "It must be a
garden under the window," he thought. "There's a sound of trees. How I
dislike the sound of trees on a stormy night, in the dark! They give
one a horrid feeling." He remembered how he had disliked it when he
passed Petrovsky Park just now. This reminded him of the bridge over
the Little Neva and he felt cold again as he had when standing there.
"I never have liked water," he thought, "even in a landscape," and he
suddenly smiled again at a strange idea: "Surely now all these
questions of taste and comfort ought not to matter, but I've become
more particular, like an animal that picks out a special place . . .
for such an occasion. I ought to have gone into the Petrovsky Park! I
suppose it seemed dark, cold, ha-ha! As though I were seeking pleasant
sensations! . . . By the way, why haven't I put out the candle?" he
blew it out. "They've gone to bed next door," he thought, not seeing
the light at the crack. "Well, now, Marfa Petrovna, now is the time
for you to turn up; it's dark, and the very time and place for you.
But now you won't come!"

He suddenly recalled how, an hour before carrying out his design on
Dounia, he had recommended Raskolnikov to trust her to Razumihin's
keeping. "I suppose I really did say it, as Raskolnikov guessed, to
tease myself. But what a rogue that Raskolnikov is! He's gone through
a good deal. He may be a successful rogue in time when he's got over
his nonsense. But now he's /too/ eager for life. These young men are
contemptible on that point. But, hang the fellow! Let him please
himself, it's nothing to do with me."

He could not get to sleep. By degrees Dounia's image rose before him,
and a shudder ran over him. "No, I must give up all that now," he
thought, rousing himself. "I must think of something else. It's queer
and funny. I never had a great hatred for anyone, I never particularly
desired to avenge myself even, and that's a bad sign, a bad sign, a
bad sign. I never liked quarrelling either, and never lost my temper--
that's a bad sign too. And the promises I made her just now, too--
Damnation! But--who knows?--perhaps she would have made a new man of
me somehow. . . ."

He ground his teeth and sank into silence again. Again Dounia's image
rose before him, just as she was when, after shooting the first time,
she had lowered the revolver in terror and gazed blankly at him, so
that he might have seized her twice over and she would not have lifted
a hand to defend herself if he had not reminded her. He recalled how
at that instant he felt almost sorry for her, how he had felt a pang
at his heart . . .

"Ae! Damnation, these thoughts again! I must put it away!"

He was dozing off; the feverish shiver had ceased, when suddenly
something seemed to run over his arm and leg under the bedclothes. He
started. "Ugh! hang it! I believe it's a mouse," he thought, "that's
the veal I left on the table." He felt fearfully disinclined to pull
off the blanket, get up, get cold, but all at once something
unpleasant ran over his leg again. He pulled off the blanket and
lighted the candle. Shaking with feverish chill he bent down to
examine the bed: there was nothing. He shook the blanket and suddenly
a mouse jumped out on the sheet. He tried to catch it, but the mouse
ran to and fro in zigzags without leaving the bed, slipped between his
fingers, ran over his hand and suddenly darted under the pillow. He
threw down the pillow, but in one instant felt something leap on his
chest and dart over his body and down his back under his shirt. He
trembled nervously and woke up.

The room was dark. He was lying on the bed and wrapped up in the
blanket as before. The wind was howling under the window. "How
disgusting," he thought with annoyance.

He got up and sat on the edge of the bedstead with his back to the
window. "It's better not to sleep at all," he decided. There was a
cold damp draught from the window, however; without getting up he drew
the blanket over him and wrapped himself in it. He was not thinking of
anything and did not want to think. But one image rose after another,
incoherent scraps of thought without beginning or end passed through
his mind. He sank into drowsiness. Perhaps the cold, or the dampness,
or the dark, or the wind that howled under the window and tossed the
trees roused a sort of persistent craving for the fantastic. He kept
dwelling on images of flowers, he fancied a charming flower garden, a
bright, warm, almost hot day, a holiday--Trinity day. A fine,
sumptuous country cottage in the English taste overgrown with fragrant
flowers, with flower beds going round the house; the porch, wreathed
in climbers, was surrounded with beds of roses. A light, cool
staircase, carpeted with rich rugs, was decorated with rare plants in
china pots. He noticed particularly in the windows nosegays of tender,
white, heavily fragrant narcissus bending over their bright, green,
thick long stalks. He was reluctant to move away from them, but he
went up the stairs and came into a large, high drawing-room and again
everywhere--at the windows, the doors on to the balcony, and on the
balcony itself--were flowers. The floors were strewn with freshly-cut
fragrant hay, the windows were open, a fresh, cool, light air came
into the room. The birds were chirruping under the window, and in the
middle of the room, on a table covered with a white satin shroud,
stood a coffin. The coffin was covered with white silk and edged with
a thick white frill; wreaths of flowers surrounded it on all sides.
Among the flowers lay a girl in a white muslin dress, with her arms
crossed and pressed on her bosom, as though carved out of marble. But
her loose fair hair was wet; there was a wreath of roses on her head.
The stern and already rigid profile of her face looked as though
chiselled of marble too, and the smile on her pale lips was full of an
immense unchildish misery and sorrowful appeal. Svidrigalov knew that
girl; there was no holy image, no burning candle beside the coffin; no
sound of prayers: the girl had drowned herself. She was only fourteen,
but her heart was broken. And she had destroyed herself, crushed by an
insult that had appalled and amazed that childish soul, had smirched
that angel purity with unmerited disgrace and torn from her a last
scream of despair, unheeded and brutally disregarded, on a dark night
in the cold and wet while the wind howled. . . .

Svidrigalov came to himself, got up from the bed and went to the
window. He felt for the latch and opened it. The wind lashed furiously
into the little room and stung his face and his chest, only covered
with his shirt, as though with frost. Under the window there must have
been something like a garden, and apparently a pleasure garden. There,
too, probably there were tea-tables and singing in the daytime. Now
drops of rain flew in at the window from the trees and bushes; it was
dark as in a cellar, so that he could only just make out some dark
blurs of objects. Svidrigalov, bending down with elbows on the
window-sill, gazed for five minutes into the darkness; the boom of a
cannon, followed by a second one, resounded in the darkness of the
night. "Ah, the signal! The river is overflowing," he thought. "By
morning it will be swirling down the street in the lower parts,
flooding the basements and cellars. The cellar rats will swim out, and
men will curse in the rain and wind as they drag their rubbish to
their upper storeys. What time is it now?" And he had hardly thought
it when, somewhere near, a clock on the wall, ticking away hurriedly,
struck three.

"Aha! It will be light in an hour! Why wait? I'll go out at once
straight to the park. I'll choose a great bush there drenched with
rain, so that as soon as one's shoulder touches it, millions of drops
drip on one's head."

He moved away from the window, shut it, lighted the candle, put on his
waistcoat, his overcoat and his hat and went out, carrying the candle,
into the passage to look for the ragged attendant who would be asleep
somewhere in the midst of candle-ends and all sorts of rubbish, to pay
him for the room and leave the hotel. "It's the best minute; I
couldn't choose a better."

He walked for some time through a long narrow corridor without finding
anyone and was just going to call out, when suddenly in a dark corner
between an old cupboard and the door he caught sight of a strange
object which seemed to be alive. He bent down with the candle and saw
a little girl, not more than five years old, shivering and crying,
with her clothes as wet as a soaking house-flannel. She did not seem
afraid of Svidrigalov, but looked at him with blank amazement out of
her big black eyes. Now and then she sobbed as children do when they
have been crying a long time, but are beginning to be comforted. The
child's face was pale and tired, she was numb with cold. "How can she
have come here? She must have hidden here and not slept all night." He
began questioning her. The child suddenly becoming animated, chattered
away in her baby language, something about "mammy" and that "mammy
would beat her," and about some cup that she had "bwoken." The child
chattered on without stopping. He could only guess from what she said
that she was a neglected child, whose mother, probably a drunken cook,
in the service of the hotel, whipped and frightened her; that the
child had broken a cup of her mother's and was so frightened that she
had run away the evening before, had hidden for a long while somewhere
outside in the rain, at last had made her way in here, hidden behind
the cupboard and spent the night there, crying and trembling from the
damp, the darkness and the fear that she would be badly beaten for it.
He took her in his arms, went back to his room, sat her on the bed,
and began undressing her. The torn shoes which she had on her
stockingless feet were as wet as if they had been standing in a puddle
all night. When he had undressed her, he put her on the bed, covered
her up and wrapped her in the blanket from her head downwards. She
fell asleep at once. Then he sank into dreary musing again.

"What folly to trouble myself," he decided suddenly with an oppressive
feeling of annoyance. "What idiocy!" In vexation he took up the candle
to go and look for the ragged attendant again and make haste to go
away. "Damn the child!" he thought as he opened the door, but he
turned again to see whether the child was asleep. He raised the
blanket carefully. The child was sleeping soundly, she had got warm
under the blanket, and her pale cheeks were flushed. But strange to
say that flush seemed brighter and coarser than the rosy cheeks of
childhood. "It's a flush of fever," thought Svidrigalov. It was like
the flush from drinking, as though she had been given a full glass to
drink. Her crimson lips were hot and glowing; but what was this? He
suddenly fancied that her long black eyelashes were quivering, as
though the lids were opening and a sly crafty eye peeped out with an
unchildlike wink, as though the little girl were not asleep, but
pretending. Yes, it was so. Her lips parted in a smile. The corners of
her mouth quivered, as though she were trying to control them. But now
she quite gave up all effort, now it was a grin, a broad grin; there
was something shameless, provocative in that quite unchildish face; it
was depravity, it was the face of a harlot, the shameless face of a
French harlot. Now both eyes opened wide; they turned a glowing,
shameless glance upon him; they laughed, invited him. . . . There was
something infinitely hideous and shocking in that laugh, in those
eyes, in such nastiness in the face of a child. "What, at five years
old?" Svidrigalov muttered in genuine horror. "What does it mean?"
And now she turned to him, her little face all aglow, holding out her
arms. . . . "Accursed child!" Svidrigalov cried, raising his hand to
strike her, but at that moment he woke up.

He was in the same bed, still wrapped in the blanket. The candle had
not been lighted, and daylight was streaming in at the windows.

"I've had nightmare all night!" He got up angrily, feeling utterly
shattered; his bones ached. There was a thick mist outside and he
could see nothing. It was nearly five. He had overslept himself! He
got up, put on his still damp jacket and overcoat. Feeling the
revolver in his pocket, he took it out and then he sat down, took a
notebook out of his pocket and in the most conspicuous place on the
title page wrote a few lines in large letters. Reading them over, he
sank into thought with his elbows on the table. The revolver and the
notebook lay beside him. Some flies woke up and settled on the
untouched veal, which was still on the table. He stared at them and at
last with his free right hand began trying to catch one. He tried till
he was tired, but could not catch it. At last, realising that he was
engaged in this interesting pursuit, he started, got up and walked
resolutely out of the room. A minute later he was in the street.

A thick milky mist hung over the town. Svidrigalov walked along the
slippery dirty wooden pavement towards the Little Neva. He was
picturing the waters of the Little Neva swollen in the night,
Petrovsky Island, the wet paths, the wet grass, the wet trees and
bushes and at last the bush. . . . He began ill-humouredly staring at
the houses, trying to think of something else. There was not a cabman
or a passer-by in the street. The bright yellow, wooden, little houses
looked dirty and dejected with their closed shutters. The cold and
damp penetrated his whole body and he began to shiver. From time to
time he came across shop signs and read each carefully. At last he
reached the end of the wooden pavement and came to a big stone house.
A dirty, shivering dog crossed his path with its tail between its
legs. A man in a greatcoat lay face downwards; dead drunk, across the
pavement. He looked at him and went on. A high tower stood up on the
left. "Bah!" he shouted, "here is a place. Why should it be Petrovsky?
It will be in the presence of an official witness anyway. . . ."

He almost smiled at this new thought and turned into the street where
there was the big house with the tower. At the great closed gates of
the house, a little man stood with his shoulder leaning against them,
wrapped in a grey soldier's coat, with a copper Achilles helmet on his
head. He cast a drowsy and indifferent glance at Svidrigalov. His
face wore that perpetual look of peevish dejection, which is so sourly
printed on all faces of Jewish race without exception. They both,
Svidrigalov and Achilles, stared at each other for a few minutes
without speaking. At last it struck Achilles as irregular for a man
not drunk to be standing three steps from him, staring and not saying
a word.

"What do you want here?" he said, without moving or changing his

"Nothing, brother, good morning," answered Svidrigalov.

"This isn't the place."

"I am going to foreign parts, brother."

"To foreign parts?"

"To America."


Svidrigalov took out the revolver and cocked it. Achilles raised his

"I say, this is not the place for such jokes!"

"Why shouldn't it be the place?"

"Because it isn't."

"Well, brother, I don't mind that. It's a good place. When you are
asked, you just say he was going, he said, to America."

He put the revolver to his right temple.

"You can't do it here, it's not the place," cried Achilles, rousing
himself, his eyes growing bigger and bigger.

Svidrigalov pulled the trigger.


The same day, about seven o'clock in the evening, Raskolnikov was on
his way to his mother's and sister's lodging--the lodging in
Bakaleyev's house which Razumihin had found for them. The stairs went
up from the street. Raskolnikov walked with lagging steps, as though
still hesitating whether to go or not. But nothing would have turned
him back: his decision was taken.

"Besides, it doesn't matter, they still know nothing," he thought,
"and they are used to thinking of me as eccentric."

He was appallingly dressed: his clothes torn and dirty, soaked with a
night's rain. His face was almost distorted from fatigue, exposure,
the inward conflict that had lasted for twenty-four hours. He had
spent all the previous night alone, God knows where. But anyway he had
reached a decision.

He knocked at the door which was opened by his mother. Dounia was not
at home. Even the servant happened to be out. At first Pulcheria
Alexandrovna was speechless with joy and surprise; then she took him
by the hand and drew him into the room.

"Here you are!" she began, faltering with joy. "Don't be angry with
me, Rodya, for welcoming you so foolishly with tears: I am laughing
not crying. Did you think I was crying? No, I am delighted, but I've
got into such a stupid habit of shedding tears. I've been like that
ever since your father's death. I cry for anything. Sit down, dear
boy, you must be tired; I see you are. Ah, how muddy you are."

"I was in the rain yesterday, mother. . . ." Raskolnikov began.

"No, no," Pulcheria Alexandrovna hurriedly interrupted, "you thought I
was going to cross-question you in the womanish way I used to; don't
be anxious, I understand, I understand it all: now I've learned the
ways here and truly I see for myself that they are better. I've made
up my mind once for all: how could I understand your plans and expect
you to give an account of them? God knows what concerns and plans you
may have, or what ideas you are hatching; so it's not for me to keep
nudging your elbow, asking you what you are thinking about? But, my
goodness! why am I running to and fro as though I were crazy . . . ? I
am reading your article in the magazine for the third time, Rodya.
Dmitri Prokofitch brought it to me. Directly I saw it I cried out to
myself: 'There, foolish one,' I thought, 'that's what he is busy
about; that's the solution of the mystery! Learned people are always
like that. He may have some new ideas in his head just now; he is
thinking them over and I worry him and upset him.' I read it, my dear,
and of course there was a great deal I did not understand; but that's
only natural--how should I?"

"Show me, mother."

Raskolnikov took the magazine and glanced at his article. Incongruous
as it was with his mood and his circumstances, he felt that strange
and bitter sweet sensation that every author experiences the first
time he sees himself in print; besides, he was only twenty-three. It
lasted only a moment. After reading a few lines he frowned and his
heart throbbed with anguish. He recalled all the inward conflict of
the preceding months. He flung the article on the table with disgust
and anger.

"But, however foolish I may be, Rodya, I can see for myself that you
will very soon be one of the leading--if not the leading man--in the
world of Russian thought. And they dared to think you were mad! You
don't know, but they really thought that. Ah, the despicable
creatures, how could they understand genius! And Dounia, Dounia was
all but believing it--what do you say to that? Your father sent twice
to magazines--the first time poems (I've got the manuscript and will
show you) and the second time a whole novel (I begged him to let me
copy it out) and how we prayed that they should be taken--they
weren't! I was breaking my heart, Rodya, six or seven days ago over
your food and your clothes and the way you are living. But now I see
again how foolish I was, for you can attain any position you like by
your intellect and talent. No doubt you don't care about that for the
present and you are occupied with much more important matters. . . ."

"Dounia's not at home, mother?"

"No, Rodya. I often don't see her; she leaves me alone. Dmitri
Prokofitch comes to see me, it's so good of him, and he always talks
about you. He loves you and respects you, my dear. I don't say that
Dounia is very wanting in consideration. I am not complaining. She has
her ways and I have mine; she seems to have got some secrets of late
and I never have any secrets from you two. Of course, I am sure that
Dounia has far too much sense, and besides she loves you and me . . .
but I don't know what it will all lead to. You've made me so happy by
coming now, Rodya, but she has missed you by going out; when she comes
in I'll tell her: 'Your brother came in while you were out. Where have
you been all this time?' You mustn't spoil me, Rodya, you know; come
when you can, but if you can't, it doesn't matter, I can wait. I shall
know, anyway, that you are fond of me, that will be enough for me. I
shall read what you write, I shall hear about you from everyone, and
sometimes you'll come yourself to see me. What could be better? Here
you've come now to comfort your mother, I see that."

Here Pulcheria Alexandrovna began to cry.

"Here I am again! Don't mind my foolishness. My goodness, why am I
sitting here?" she cried, jumping up. "There is coffee and I don't
offer you any. Ah, that's the selfishness of old age. I'll get it at

"Mother, don't trouble, I am going at once. I haven't come for that.
Please listen to me."

Pulcheria Alexandrovna went up to him timidly.

"Mother, whatever happens, whatever you hear about me, whatever you
are told about me, will you always love me as you do now?" he asked
suddenly from the fullness of his heart, as though not thinking of his
words and not weighing them.

"Rodya, Rodya, what is the matter? How can you ask me such a question?
Why, who will tell me anything about you? Besides, I shouldn't believe
anyone, I should refuse to listen."

"I've come to assure you that I've always loved you and I am glad that
we are alone, even glad Dounia is out," he went on with the same
impulse. "I have come to tell you that though you will be unhappy, you
must believe that your son loves you now more than himself, and that
all you thought about me, that I was cruel and didn't care about you,
was all a mistake. I shall never cease to love you. . . . Well, that's
enough: I thought I must do this and begin with this. . . ."

Pulcheria Alexandrovna embraced him in silence, pressing him to her
bosom and weeping gently.

"I don't know what is wrong with you, Rodya," she said at last. "I've
been thinking all this time that we were simply boring you and now I
see that there is a great sorrow in store for you, and that's why you
are miserable. I've foreseen it a long time, Rodya. Forgive me for
speaking about it. I keep thinking about it and lie awake at nights.
Your sister lay talking in her sleep all last night, talking of
nothing but you. I caught something, but I couldn't make it out. I
felt all the morning as though I were going to be hanged, waiting for
something, expecting something, and now it has come! Rodya, Rodya,
where are you going? You are going away somewhere?"


"That's what I thought! I can come with you, you know, if you need me.
And Dounia, too; she loves you, she loves you dearly--and Sofya
Semyonovna may come with us if you like. You see, I am glad to look
upon her as a daughter even . . . Dmitri Prokofitch will help us to go
together. But . . . where . . . are you going?"

"Good-bye, mother."

"What, to-day?" she cried, as though losing him for ever.

"I can't stay, I must go now. . . ."

"And can't I come with you?"

"No, but kneel down and pray to God for me. Your prayer perhaps will
reach Him."

"Let me bless you and sign you with the cross. That's right, that's
right. Oh, God, what are we doing?"

Yes, he was glad, he was very glad that there was no one there, that
he was alone with his mother. For the first time after all those awful
months his heart was softened. He fell down before her, he kissed her
feet and both wept, embracing. And she was not surprised and did not
question him this time. For some days she had realised that something
awful was happening to her son and that now some terrible minute had
come for him.

"Rodya, my darling, my first born," she said sobbing, "now you are
just as when you were little. You would run like this to me and hug me
and kiss me. When your father was living and we were poor, you
comforted us simply by being with us and when I buried your father,
how often we wept together at his grave and embraced, as now. And if
I've been crying lately, it's that my mother's heart had a foreboding
of trouble. The first time I saw you, that evening, you remember, as
soon as we arrived here, I guessed simply from your eyes. My heart
sank at once, and to-day when I opened the door and looked at you, I
thought the fatal hour had come. Rodya, Rodya, you are not going away


"You'll come again?"

"Yes . . . I'll come."

"Rodya, don't be angry, I don't dare to question you. I know I
mustn't. Only say two words to me--is it far where you are going?"

"Very far."

"What is awaiting you there? Some post or career for you?"

"What God sends . . . only pray for me." Raskolnikov went to the door,
but she clutched him and gazed despairingly into his eyes. Her face
worked with terror.

"Enough, mother," said Raskolnikov, deeply regretting that he had

"Not for ever, it's not yet for ever? You'll come, you'll come

"I will, I will, good-bye." He tore himself away at last.

It was a warm, fresh, bright evening; it had cleared up in the
morning. Raskolnikov went to his lodgings; he made haste. He wanted to
finish all before sunset. He did not want to meet anyone till then.
Going up the stairs he noticed that Nastasya rushed from the samovar
to watch him intently. "Can anyone have come to see me?" he wondered.
He had a disgusted vision of Porfiry. But opening his door he saw
Dounia. She was sitting alone, plunged in deep thought, and looked as
though she had been waiting a long time. He stopped short in the
doorway. She rose from the sofa in dismay and stood up facing him. Her
eyes, fixed upon him, betrayed horror and infinite grief. And from
those eyes alone he saw at once that she knew.

"Am I to come in or go away?" he asked uncertainly.

"I've been all day with Sofya Semyonovna. We were both waiting for
you. We thought that you would be sure to come there."

Raskolnikov went into the room and sank exhausted on a chair.

"I feel weak, Dounia, I am very tired; and I should have liked at this
moment to be able to control myself."

He glanced at her mistrustfully.

"Where were you all night?"

"I don't remember clearly. You see, sister, I wanted to make up my
mind once for all, and several times I walked by the Neva, I remember
that I wanted to end it all there, but . . . I couldn't make up my
mind," he whispered, looking at her mistrustfully again.

"Thank God! That was just what we were afraid of, Sofya Semyonovna and
I. Then you still have faith in life? Thank God, thank God!"

Raskolnikov smiled bitterly.

"I haven't faith, but I have just been weeping in mother's arms; I
haven't faith, but I have just asked her to pray for me. I don't know
how it is, Dounia, I don't understand it."

"Have you been at mother's? Have you told her?" cried Dounia, horror-
stricken. "Surely you haven't done that?"

"No, I didn't tell her . . . in words; but she understood a great
deal. She heard you talking in your sleep. I am sure she half
understands it already. Perhaps I did wrong in going to see her. I
don't know why I did go. I am a contemptible person, Dounia."

"A contemptible person, but ready to face suffering! You are, aren't

"Yes, I am going. At once. Yes, to escape the disgrace I thought of
drowning myself, Dounia, but as I looked into the water, I thought
that if I had considered myself strong till now I'd better not be
afraid of disgrace," he said, hurrying on. "It's pride, Dounia."

"Pride, Rodya."

There was a gleam of fire in his lustreless eyes; he seemed to be glad
to think that he was still proud.

"You don't think, sister, that I was simply afraid of the water?" he
asked, looking into her face with a sinister smile.

"Oh, Rodya, hush!" cried Dounia bitterly. Silence lasted for two
minutes. He sat with his eyes fixed on the floor; Dounia stood at the
other end of the table and looked at him with anguish. Suddenly he got

"It's late, it's time to go! I am going at once to give myself up. But
I don't know why I am going to give myself up."

Big tears fell down her cheeks.

"You are crying, sister, but can you hold out your hand to me?"

"You doubted it?"

She threw her arms round him.

"Aren't you half expiating your crime by facing the suffering?" she
cried, holding him close and kissing him.

"Crime? What crime?" he cried in sudden fury. "That I killed a vile
noxious insect, an old pawnbroker woman, of use to no one! . . .
Killing her was atonement for forty sins. She was sucking the life out
of poor people. Was that a crime? I am not thinking of it and I am not
thinking of expiating it, and why are you all rubbing it in on all
sides? 'A crime! a crime!' Only now I see clearly the imbecility of my
cowardice, now that I have decided to face this superfluous disgrace.
It's simply because I am contemptible and have nothing in me that I
have decided to, perhaps too for my advantage, as that . . . Porfiry
. . . suggested!"

"Brother, brother, what are you saying? Why, you have shed blood?"
cried Dounia in despair.

"Which all men shed," he put in almost frantically, "which flows and
has always flowed in streams, which is spilt like champagne, and for
which men are crowned in the Capitol and are called afterwards
benefactors of mankind. Look into it more carefully and understand it!
I too wanted to do good to men and would have done hundreds, thousands
of good deeds to make up for that one piece of stupidity, not
stupidity even, simply clumsiness, for the idea was by no means so
stupid as it seems now that it has failed. . . . (Everything seems
stupid when it fails.) By that stupidity I only wanted to put myself
into an independent position, to take the first step, to obtain means,
and then everything would have been smoothed over by benefits
immeasurable in comparison. . . . But I . . . I couldn't carry out
even the first step, because I am contemptible, that's what's the
matter! And yet I won't look at it as you do. If I had succeeded I
should have been crowned with glory, but now I'm trapped."

"But that's not so, not so! Brother, what are you saying?"

"Ah, it's not picturesque, not sthetically attractive! I fail to
understand why bombarding people by regular siege is more honourable.
The fear of appearances is the first symptom of impotence. I've never,
never recognised this more clearly than now, and I am further than
ever from seeing that what I did was a crime. I've never, never been
stronger and more convinced than now."

The colour had rushed into his pale exhausted face, but as he uttered
his last explanation, he happened to meet Dounia's eyes and he saw
such anguish in them that he could not help being checked. He felt
that he had, anyway, made these two poor women miserable, that he was,
anyway, the cause . . .

"Dounia darling, if I am guilty forgive me (though I cannot be
forgiven if I am guilty). Good-bye! We won't dispute. It's time, high
time to go. Don't follow me, I beseech you, I have somewhere else to
go. . . . But you go at once and sit with mother. I entreat you to!
It's my last request of you. Don't leave her at all; I left her in a
state of anxiety, that she is not fit to bear; she will die or go out
of her mind. Be with her! Razumihin will be with you. I've been
talking to him. . . . Don't cry about me: I'll try to be honest and
manly all my life, even if I am a murderer. Perhaps I shall some day
make a name. I won't disgrace you, you will see; I'll still show.
. . . Now good-bye for the present," he concluded hurriedly, noticing
again a strange expression in Dounia's eyes at his last words and
promises. "Why are you crying? Don't cry, don't cry: we are not
parting for ever! Ah, yes! Wait a minute, I'd forgotten!"

He went to the table, took up a thick dusty book, opened it and took
from between the pages a little water-colour portrait on ivory. It was
the portrait of his landlady's daughter, who had died of fever, that
strange girl who had wanted to be a nun. For a minute he gazed at the
delicate expressive face of his betrothed, kissed the portrait and
gave it to Dounia.

"I used to talk a great deal about it to her, only to her," he said
thoughtfully. "To her heart I confided much of what has since been so
hideously realised. Don't be uneasy," he returned to Dounia, "she was
as much opposed to it as you, and I am glad that she is gone. The
great point is that everything now is going to be different, is going
to be broken in two," he cried, suddenly returning to his dejection.
"Everything, everything, and am I prepared for it? Do I want it
myself? They say it is necessary for me to suffer! What's the object
of these senseless sufferings? shall I know any better what they are
for, when I am crushed by hardships and idiocy, and weak as an old man
after twenty years' penal servitude? And what shall I have to live for
then? Why am I consenting to that life now? Oh, I knew I was
contemptible when I stood looking at the Neva at daybreak to-day!"

At last they both went out. It was hard for Dounia, but she loved him.
She walked away, but after going fifty paces she turned round to look
at him again. He was still in sight. At the corner he too turned and
for the last time their eyes met; but noticing that she was looking at
him, he motioned her away with impatience and even vexation, and
turned the corner abruptly.

"I am wicked, I see that," he thought to himself, feeling ashamed a
moment later of his angry gesture to Dounia. "But why are they so fond
of me if I don't deserve it? Oh, if only I were alone and no one loved
me and I too had never loved anyone! /Nothing of all this would have
happened./ But I wonder shall I in those fifteen or twenty years grow
so meek that I shall humble myself before people and whimper at every
word that I am a criminal? Yes, that's it, that's it, that's what they
are sending me there for, that's what they want. Look at them running
to and fro about the streets, every one of them a scoundrel and a
criminal at heart and, worse still, an idiot. But try to get me off
and they'd be wild with righteous indignation. Oh, how I hate them

He fell to musing by what process it could come to pass, that he could
be humbled before all of them, indiscriminately--humbled by
conviction. And yet why not? It must be so. Would not twenty years of
continual bondage crush him utterly? Water wears out a stone. And why,
why should he live after that? Why should he go now when he knew that
it would be so? It was the hundredth time perhaps that he had asked
himself that question since the previous evening, but still he went.


When he went into Sonia's room, it was already getting dark. All day
Sonia had been waiting for him in terrible anxiety. Dounia had been
waiting with her. She had come to her that morning, remembering
Svidrigalov's words that Sonia knew. We will not describe the
conversation and tears of the two girls, and how friendly they became.
Dounia gained one comfort at least from that interview, that her
brother would not be alone. He had gone to her, Sonia, first with his
confession; he had gone to her for human fellowship when he needed it;
she would go with him wherever fate might send him. Dounia did not
ask, but she knew it was so. She looked at Sonia almost with reverence
and at first almost embarrassed her by it. Sonia was almost on the
point of tears. She felt herself, on the contrary, hardly worthy to
look at Dounia. Dounia's gracious image when she had bowed to her so
attentively and respectfully at their first meeting in Raskolnikov's
room had remained in her mind as one of the fairest visions of her

Dounia at last became impatient and, leaving Sonia, went to her
brother's room to await him there; she kept thinking that he would
come there first. When she had gone, Sonia began to be tortured by the
dread of his committing suicide, and Dounia too feared it. But they
had spent the day trying to persuade each other that that could not
be, and both were less anxious while they were together. As soon as
they parted, each thought of nothing else. Sonia remembered how
Svidrigalov had said to her the day before that Raskolnikov had two
alternatives--Siberia or . . . Besides she knew his vanity, his pride
and his lack of faith.

"Is it possible that he has nothing but cowardice and fear of death to
make him live?" she thought at last in despair.

Meanwhile the sun was setting. Sonia was standing in dejection,
looking intently out of the window, but from it she could see nothing
but the unwhitewashed blank wall of the next house. At last when she
began to feel sure of his death--he walked into the room.

She gave a cry of joy, but looking carefully into his face she turned

"Yes," said Raskolnikov, smiling. "I have come for your cross, Sonia.
It was you told me to go to the cross-roads; why is it you are
frightened now it's come to that?"

Sonia gazed at him astonished. His tone seemed strange to her; a cold
shiver ran over her, but in a moment she guessed that the tone and the
words were a mask. He spoke to her looking away, as though to avoid
meeting her eyes.

"You see, Sonia, I've decided that it will be better so. There is one
fact. . . . But it's a long story and there's no need to discuss it.
But do you know what angers me? It annoys me that all those stupid
brutish faces will be gaping at me directly, pestering me with their
stupid questions, which I shall have to answer--they'll point their
fingers at me. . . . Tfoo! You know I am not going to Porfiry, I am
sick of him. I'd rather go to my friend, the Explosive Lieutenant; how
I shall surprise him, what a sensation I shall make! But I must be
cooler; I've become too irritable of late. You know I was nearly
shaking my fist at my sister just now, because she turned to take a
last look at me. It's a brutal state to be in! Ah! what am I coming
to! Well, where are the crosses?"

He seemed hardly to know what he was doing. He could not stay still or
concentrate his attention on anything; his ideas seemed to gallop
after one another, he talked incoherently, his hands trembled

Without a word Sonia took out of the drawer two crosses, one of
cypress wood and one of copper. She made the sign of the cross over
herself and over him, and put the wooden cross on his neck.

"It's the symbol of my taking up the cross," he laughed. "As though I
had not suffered much till now! The wooden cross, that is the peasant
one; the copper one, that is Lizaveta's--you will wear yourself, show
me! So she had it on . . . at that moment? I remember two things like
these too, a silver one and a little ikon. I threw them back on the
old woman's neck. Those would be appropriate now, really, those are
what I ought to put on now. . . . But I am talking nonsense and
forgetting what matters; I'm somehow forgetful. . . . You see I have
come to warn you, Sonia, so that you might know . . . that's all--
that's all I came for. But I thought I had more to say. You wanted me
to go yourself. Well, now I am going to prison and you'll have your
wish. Well, what are you crying for? You too? Don't. Leave off! Oh,
how I hate it all!"

But his feeling was stirred; his heart ached, as he looked at her.
"Why is she grieving too?" he thought to himself. "What am I to her?
Why does she weep? Why is she looking after me, like my mother or
Dounia? She'll be my nurse."

"Cross yourself, say at least one prayer," Sonia begged in a timid
broken voice.

"Oh certainly, as much as you like! And sincerely, Sonia,
sincerely. . . ."

But he wanted to say something quite different.

He crossed himself several times. Sonia took up her shawl and put it
over her head. It was the green /drap de dames/ shawl of which
Marmeladov had spoken, "the family shawl." Raskolnikov thought of that
looking at it, but he did not ask. He began to feel himself that he
was certainly forgetting things and was disgustingly agitated. He was
frightened at this. He was suddenly struck too by the thought that
Sonia meant to go with him.

"What are you doing? Where are you going? Stay here, stay! I'll go
alone," he cried in cowardly vexation, and almost resentful, he moved
towards the door. "What's the use of going in procession?" he muttered
going out.

Sonia remained standing in the middle of the room. He had not even
said good-bye to her; he had forgotten her. A poignant and rebellious
doubt surged in his heart.

"Was it right, was it right, all this?" he thought again as he went
down the stairs. "Couldn't he stop and retract it all . . . and not

But still he went. He felt suddenly once for all that he mustn't ask
himself questions. As he turned into the street he remembered that he
had not said good-bye to Sonia, that he had left her in the middle of
the room in her green shawl, not daring to stir after he had shouted
at her, and he stopped short for a moment. At the same instant,
another thought dawned upon him, as though it had been lying in wait
to strike him then.

"Why, with what object did I go to her just now? I told her--on
business; on what business? I had no sort of business! To tell her I
was /going/; but where was the need? Do I love her? No, no, I drove
her away just now like a dog. Did I want her crosses? Oh, how low I've
sunk! No, I wanted her tears, I wanted to see her terror, to see how
her heart ached! I had to have something to cling to, something to
delay me, some friendly face to see! And I dared to believe in myself,
to dream of what I would do! I am a beggarly contemptible wretch,

He walked along the canal bank, and he had not much further to go. But
on reaching the bridge he stopped and turning out of his way along it
went to the Hay Market.

He looked eagerly to right and left, gazed intently at every object
and could not fix his attention on anything; everything slipped away.
"In another week, another month I shall be driven in a prison van over
this bridge, how shall I look at the canal then? I should like to
remember this!" slipped into his mind. "Look at this sign! How shall I
read those letters then? It's written here 'Campany,' that's a thing
to remember, that letter /a/, and to look at it again in a month--how
shall I look at it then? What shall I be feeling and thinking then?
. . . How trivial it all must be, what I am fretting about now! Of
course it must all be interesting . . . in its way . . . (Ha-ha-ha!
What am I thinking about?) I am becoming a baby, I am showing off to
myself; why am I ashamed? Foo! how people shove! that fat man--a
German he must be--who pushed against me, does he know whom he pushed?
There's a peasant woman with a baby, begging. It's curious that she
thinks me happier than she is. I might give her something, for the
incongruity of it. Here's a five copeck piece left in my pocket, where
did I get it? Here, here . . . take it, my good woman!"

"God bless you," the beggar chanted in a lachrymose voice.

He went into the Hay Market. It was distasteful, very distasteful to
be in a crowd, but he walked just where he saw most people. He would
have given anything in the world to be alone; but he knew himself that
he would not have remained alone for a moment. There was a man drunk
and disorderly in the crowd; he kept trying to dance and falling down.
There was a ring round him. Raskolnikov squeezed his way through the
crowd, stared for some minutes at the drunken man and suddenly gave a
short jerky laugh. A minute later he had forgotten him and did not see
him, though he still stared. He moved away at last, not remembering
where he was; but when he got into the middle of the square an emotion
suddenly came over him, overwhelming him body and mind.

He suddenly recalled Sonia's words, "Go to the cross-roads, bow down
to the people, kiss the earth, for you have sinned against it too, and
say aloud to the whole world, 'I am a murderer.'" He trembled,
remembering that. And the hopeless misery and anxiety of all that
time, especially of the last hours, had weighed so heavily upon him
that he positively clutched at the chance of this new unmixed,
complete sensation. It came over him like a fit; it was like a single
spark kindled in his soul and spreading fire through him. Everything
in him softened at once and the tears started into his eyes. He fell
to the earth on the spot. . . .

He knelt down in the middle of the square, bowed down to the earth,
and kissed that filthy earth with bliss and rapture. He got up and
bowed down a second time.

"He's boozed," a youth near him observed.

There was a roar of laughter.

"He's going to Jerusalem, brothers, and saying good-bye to his
children and his country. He's bowing down to all the world and
kissing the great city of St. Petersburg and its pavement," added a
workman who was a little drunk.

"Quite a young man, too!" observed a third.

"And a gentleman," someone observed soberly.

"There's no knowing who's a gentleman and who isn't nowadays."

These exclamations and remarks checked Raskolnikov, and the words, "I
am a murderer," which were perhaps on the point of dropping from his
lips, died away. He bore these remarks quietly, however, and, without
looking round, he turned down a street leading to the police office.
He had a glimpse of something on the way which did not surprise him;
he had felt that it must be so. The second time he bowed down in the
Hay Market he saw, standing fifty paces from him on the left, Sonia.
She was hiding from him behind one of the wooden shanties in the
market-place. She had followed him then on his painful way!
Raskolnikov at that moment felt and knew once for all that Sonia was
with him for ever and would follow him to the ends of the earth,
wherever fate might take him. It wrung his heart . . . but he was just
reaching the fatal place.

He went into the yard fairly resolutely. He had to mount to the third
storey. "I shall be some time going up," he thought. He felt as though
the fateful moment was still far off, as though he had plenty of time
left for consideration.

Again the same rubbish, the same eggshells lying about on the spiral
stairs, again the open doors of the flats, again the same kitchens and
the same fumes and stench coming from them. Raskolnikov had not been
here since that day. His legs were numb and gave way under him, but
still they moved forward. He stopped for a moment to take breath, to
collect himself, so as to enter /like a man/. "But why? what for?" he
wondered, reflecting. "If I must drink the cup what difference does it
make? The more revolting the better." He imagined for an instant the
figure of the "explosive lieutenant," Ilya Petrovitch. Was he actually
going to him? Couldn't he go to someone else? To Nikodim Fomitch?
Couldn't he turn back and go straight to Nikodim Fomitch's lodgings?
At least then it would be done privately. . . . No, no! To the
"explosive lieutenant"! If he must drink it, drink it off at once.

Turning cold and hardly conscious, he opened the door of the office.
There were very few people in it this time--only a house porter and a
peasant. The doorkeeper did not even peep out from behind his screen.
Raskolnikov walked into the next room. "Perhaps I still need not
speak," passed through his mind. Some sort of clerk not wearing a
uniform was settling himself at a bureau to write. In a corner another
clerk was seating himself. Zametov was not there, nor, of course,
Nikodim Fomitch.

"No one in?" Raskolnikov asked, addressing the person at the bureau.

"Whom do you want?"

"A-ah! Not a sound was heard, not a sight was seen, but I scent the
Russian . . . how does it go on in the fairy tale . . . I've
forgotten! 'At your service!'" a familiar voice cried suddenly.

Raskolnikov shuddered. The Explosive Lieutenant stood before him. He
had just come in from the third room. "It is the hand of fate,"
thought Raskolnikov. "Why is he here?"

"You've come to see us? What about?" cried Ilya Petrovitch. He was
obviously in an exceedingly good humour and perhaps a trifle
exhilarated. "If it's on business you are rather early.[*] It's only a
chance that I am here . . . however I'll do what I can. I must admit,
I . . . what is it, what is it? Excuse me. . . ."

[*] Dostoevsky appears to have forgotten that it is after sunset, and
that the last time Raskolnikov visited the police office at two in
the afternoon he was reproached for coming too late.--TRANSLATOR.


"Of course, Raskolnikov. You didn't imagine I'd forgotten? Don't think
I am like that . . . Rodion Ro--Ro--Rodionovitch, that's it, isn't

"Rodion Romanovitch."

"Yes, yes, of course, Rodion Romanovitch! I was just getting at it. I
made many inquiries about you. I assure you I've been genuinely
grieved since that . . . since I behaved like that . . . it was
explained to me afterwards that you were a literary man . . . and a
learned one too . . . and so to say the first steps . . . Mercy on us!
What literary or scientific man does not begin by some originality of
conduct! My wife and I have the greatest respect for literature, in my
wife it's a genuine passion! Literature and art! If only a man is a
gentleman, all the rest can be gained by talents, learning, good
sense, genius. As for a hat--well, what does a hat matter? I can buy a
hat as easily as I can a bun; but what's under the hat, what the hat
covers, I can't buy that! I was even meaning to come and apologise to
you, but thought maybe you'd . . . But I am forgetting to ask you, is
there anything you want really? I hear your family have come?"

"Yes, my mother and sister."

"I've even had the honour and happiness of meeting your sister--a
highly cultivated and charming person. I confess I was sorry I got so
hot with you. There it is! But as for my looking suspiciously at your
fainting fit--that affair has been cleared up splendidly! Bigotry and
fanaticism! I understand your indignation. Perhaps you are changing
your lodging on account of your family's arriving?"

"No, I only looked in . . . I came to ask . . . I thought that I
should find Zametov here."

"Oh, yes! Of course, you've made friends, I heard. Well, no, Zametov
is not here. Yes, we've lost Zametov. He's not been here since
yesterday . . . he quarrelled with everyone on leaving . . . in the
rudest way. He is a feather-headed youngster, that's all; one might
have expected something from him, but there, you know what they are,
our brilliant young men. He wanted to go in for some examination, but
it's only to talk and boast about it, it will go no further than that.
Of course it's a very different matter with you or Mr. Razumihin
there, your friend. Your career is an intellectual one and you won't
be deterred by failure. For you, one may say, all the attractions of
life /nihil est/--you are an ascetic, a monk, a hermit! . . . A book,
a pen behind your ear, a learned research--that's where your spirit
soars! I am the same way myself. . . . Have you read Livingstone's


"Oh, I have. There are a great many Nihilists about nowadays, you
know, and indeed it is not to be wondered at. What sort of days are
they? I ask you. But we thought . . . you are not a Nihilist of
course? Answer me openly, openly!"

"N-no . . ."

"Believe me, you can speak openly to me as you would to yourself!
Official duty is one thing but . . . you are thinking I meant to say
/friendship/ is quite another? No, you're wrong! It's not friendship,
but the feeling of a man and a citizen, the feeling of humanity and of
love for the Almighty. I may be an official, but I am always bound to
feel myself a man and a citizen. . . . You were asking about Zametov.
Zametov will make a scandal in the French style in a house of bad
reputation, over a glass of champagne . . . that's all your Zametov is
good for! While I'm perhaps, so to speak, burning with devotion and
lofty feelings, and besides I have rank, consequence, a post! I am
married and have children, I fulfil the duties of a man and a citizen,
but who is he, may I ask? I appeal to you as a man ennobled by
education . . . Then these midwives, too, have become extraordinarily

Raskolnikov raised his eyebrows inquiringly. The words of Ilya
Petrovitch, who had obviously been dining, were for the most part a
stream of empty sounds for him. But some of them he understood. He
looked at him inquiringly, not knowing how it would end.

"I mean those crop-headed wenches," the talkative Ilya Petrovitch
continued. "Midwives is my name for them. I think it a very
satisfactory one, ha-ha! They go to the Academy, study anatomy. If I
fall ill, am I to send for a young lady to treat me? What do you say?
Ha-ha!" Ilya Petrovitch laughed, quite pleased with his own wit. "It's
an immoderate zeal for education, but once you're educated, that's
enough. Why abuse it? Why insult honourable people, as that scoundrel
Zametov does? Why did he insult me, I ask you? Look at these suicides,
too, how common they are, you can't fancy! People spend their last
halfpenny and kill themselves, boys and girls and old people. Only
this morning we heard about a gentleman who had just come to town. Nil
Pavlitch, I say, what was the name of that gentleman who shot

"Svidrigalov," someone answered from the other room with drowsy

Raskolnikov started.

"Svidrigalov! Svidrigalov has shot himself!" he cried.

"What, do you know Svidrigalov?"

"Yes . . . I knew him. . . . He hadn't been here long."

"Yes, that's so. He had lost his wife, was a man of reckless habits
and all of a sudden shot himself, and in such a shocking way. . . . He
left in his notebook a few words: that he dies in full possession of
his faculties and that no one is to blame for his death. He had money,
they say. How did you come to know him?"

"I . . . was acquainted . . . my sister was governess in his family."

"Bah-bah-bah! Then no doubt you can tell us something about him. You
had no suspicion?"

"I saw him yesterday . . . he . . . was drinking wine; I knew

Raskolnikov felt as though something had fallen on him and was
stifling him.

"You've turned pale again. It's so stuffy here . . ."

"Yes, I must go," muttered Raskolnikov. "Excuse my troubling
you. . . ."

"Oh, not at all, as often as you like. It's a pleasure to see you and
I am glad to say so."

Ilya Petrovitch held out his hand.

"I only wanted . . . I came to see Zametov."

"I understand, I understand, and it's a pleasure to see you."

"I . . . am very glad . . . good-bye," Raskolnikov smiled.

He went out; he reeled, he was overtaken with giddiness and did not
know what he was doing. He began going down the stairs, supporting
himself with his right hand against the wall. He fancied that a porter
pushed past him on his way upstairs to the police office, that a dog
in the lower storey kept up a shrill barking and that a woman flung a
rolling-pin at it and shouted. He went down and out into the yard.
There, not far from the entrance, stood Sonia, pale and horror-
stricken. She looked wildly at him. He stood still before her. There
was a look of poignant agony, of despair, in her face. She clasped her
hands. His lips worked in an ugly, meaningless smile. He stood still a
minute, grinned and went back to the police office.

Ilya Petrovitch had sat down and was rummaging among some papers.
Before him stood the same peasant who had pushed by on the stairs.

"Hulloa! Back again! have you left something behind? What's the

Raskolnikov, with white lips and staring eyes, came slowly nearer. He
walked right to the table, leaned his hand on it, tried to say
something, but could not; only incoherent sounds were audible.

"You are feeling ill, a chair! Here, sit down! Some water!"

Raskolnikov dropped on to a chair, but he kept his eyes fixed on the
face of Ilya Petrovitch, which expressed unpleasant surprise. Both
looked at one another for a minute and waited. Water was brought.

"It was I . . ." began Raskolnikov.

"Drink some water."

Raskolnikov refused the water with his hand, and softly and brokenly,
but distinctly said:

"/It was I killed the old pawnbroker woman and her sister Lizaveta
with an axe and robbed them./"

Ilya Petrovitch opened his mouth. People ran up on all sides.

Raskolnikov repeated his statement.

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