Part 7 out of 12
fortune for the journey, Arkady Ivanovitch?' She was a great hand at
telling fortunes. I shall never forgive myself for not asking her to.
I ran away in a fright, and, besides, the bell rang. I was sitting
to-day, feeling very heavy after a miserable dinner from a cookshop; I
was sitting smoking, all of a sudden Marfa Petrovna again. She came in
very smart in a new green silk dress with a long train. 'Good day,
Arkady Ivanovitch! How do you like my dress? Aniska can't make like
this.' (Aniska was a dressmaker in the country, one of our former serf
girls who had been trained in Moscow, a pretty wench.) She stood
turning round before me. I looked at the dress, and then I looked
carefully, very carefully, at her face. 'I wonder you trouble to come
to me about such trifles, Marfa Petrovna.' 'Good gracious, you won't
let one disturb you about anything!' To tease her I said, 'I want to
get married, Marfa Petrovna.' 'That's just like you, Arkady
Ivanovitch; it does you very little credit to come looking for a bride
when you've hardly buried your wife. And if you could make a good
choice, at least, but I know it won't be for your happiness or hers,
you will only be a laughing-stock to all good people.' Then she went
out and her train seemed to rustle. Isn't it nonsense, eh?"
"But perhaps you are telling lies?" Raskolnikov put in.
"I rarely lie," answered Svidriga´lov thoughtfully, apparently not
noticing the rudeness of the question.
"And in the past, have you ever seen ghosts before?"
"Y-yes, I have seen them, but only once in my life, six years ago. I
had a serf, Filka; just after his burial I called out forgetting
'Filka, my pipe!' He came in and went to the cupboard where my pipes
were. I sat still and thought 'he is doing it out of revenge,' because
we had a violent quarrel just before his death. 'How dare you come in
with a hole in your elbow?' I said. 'Go away, you scamp!' He turned
and went out, and never came again. I didn't tell Marfa Petrovna at
the time. I wanted to have a service sung for him, but I was ashamed."
"You should go to a doctor."
"I know I am not well, without your telling me, though I don't know
what's wrong; I believe I am five times as strong as you are. I didn't
ask you whether you believe that ghosts are seen, but whether you
believe that they exist."
"No, I won't believe it!" Raskolnikov cried, with positive anger.
"What do people generally say?" muttered Svidriga´lov, as though
speaking to himself, looking aside and bowing his head. "They say,
'You are ill, so what appears to you is only unreal fantasy.' But
that's not strictly logical. I agree that ghosts only appear to the
sick, but that only proves that they are unable to appear except to
the sick, not that they don't exist."
"Nothing of the sort," Raskolnikov insisted irritably.
"No? You don't think so?" Svidriga´lov went on, looking at him
deliberately. "But what do you say to this argument (help me with it):
ghosts are, as it were, shreds and fragments of other worlds, the
beginning of them. A man in health has, of course, no reason to see
them, because he is above all a man of this earth and is bound for the
sake of completeness and order to live only in this life. But as soon
as one is ill, as soon as the normal earthly order of the organism is
broken, one begins to realise the possibility of another world; and
the more seriously ill one is, the closer becomes one's contact with
that other world, so that as soon as the man dies he steps straight
into that world. I thought of that long ago. If you believe in a
future life, you could believe in that, too."
"I don't believe in a future life," said Raskolnikov.
Svidriga´lov sat lost in thought.
"And what if there are only spiders there, or something of that sort,"
he said suddenly.
"He is a madman," thought Raskolnikov.
"We always imagine eternity as something beyond our conception,
something vast, vast! But why must it be vast? Instead of all that,
what if it's one little room, like a bath house in the country, black
and grimy and spiders in every corner, and that's all eternity is? I
sometimes fancy it like that."
"Can it be you can imagine nothing juster and more comforting than
that?" Raskolnikov cried, with a feeling of anguish.
"Juster? And how can we tell, perhaps that is just, and do you know
it's what I would certainly have made it," answered Svidriga´lov, with
a vague smile.
This horrible answer sent a cold chill through Raskolnikov.
Svidriga´lov raised his head, looked at him, and suddenly began
"Only think," he cried, "half an hour ago we had never seen each
other, we regarded each other as enemies; there is a matter unsettled
between us; we've thrown it aside, and away we've gone into the
abstract! Wasn't I right in saying that we were birds of a feather?"
"Kindly allow me," Raskolnikov went on irritably, "to ask you to
explain why you have honoured me with your visit . . . and . . . and I
am in a hurry, I have no time to waste. I want to go out."
"By all means, by all means. Your sister, Avdotya Romanovna, is going
to be married to Mr. Luzhin, Pyotr Petrovitch?"
"Can you refrain from any question about my sister and from mentioning
her name? I can't understand how you dare utter her name in my
presence, if you really are Svidriga´lov."
"Why, but I've come here to speak about her; how can I avoid
"Very good, speak, but make haste."
"I am sure that you must have formed your own opinion of this Mr.
Luzhin, who is a connection of mine through my wife, if you have only
seen him for half an hour, or heard any facts about him. He is no
match for Avdotya Romanovna. I believe Avdotya Romanovna is
sacrificing herself generously and imprudently for the sake of . . .
for the sake of her family. I fancied from all I had heard of you that
you would be very glad if the match could be broken off without the
sacrifice of worldly advantages. Now I know you personally, I am
convinced of it."
"All this is very na´ve . . . excuse me, I should have said impudent
on your part," said Raskolnikov.
"You mean to say that I am seeking my own ends. Don't be uneasy,
Rodion Romanovitch, if I were working for my own advantage, I would
not have spoken out so directly. I am not quite a fool. I will confess
something psychologically curious about that: just now, defending my
love for Avdotya Romanovna, I said I was myself the victim. Well, let
me tell you that I've no feeling of love now, not the slightest, so
that I wonder myself indeed, for I really did feel something . . ."
"Through idleness and depravity," Raskolnikov put in.
"I certainly am idle and depraved, but your sister has such qualities
that even I could not help being impressed by them. But that's all
nonsense, as I see myself now."
"Have you seen that long?"
"I began to be aware of it before, but was only perfectly sure of it
the day before yesterday, almost at the moment I arrived in
Petersburg. I still fancied in Moscow, though, that I was coming to
try to get Avdotya Romanovna's hand and to cut out Mr. Luzhin."
"Excuse me for interrupting you; kindly be brief, and come to the
object of your visit. I am in a hurry, I want to go out . . ."
"With the greatest pleasure. On arriving here and determining on a
certain . . . journey, I should like to make some necessary
preliminary arrangements. I left my children with an aunt; they are
well provided for; and they have no need of me personally. And a nice
father I should make, too! I have taken nothing but what Marfa
Petrovna gave me a year ago. That's enough for me. Excuse me, I am
just coming to the point. Before the journey which may come off, I
want to settle Mr. Luzhin, too. It's not that I detest him so much,
but it was through him I quarrelled with Marfa Petrovna when I learned
that she had dished up this marriage. I want now to see Avdotya
Romanovna through your mediation, and if you like in your presence, to
explain to her that in the first place she will never gain anything
but harm from Mr. Luzhin. Then, begging her pardon for all past
unpleasantness, to make her a present of ten thousand roubles and so
assist the rupture with Mr. Luzhin, a rupture to which I believe she
is herself not disinclined, if she could see the way to it."
"You are certainly mad," cried Raskolnikov not so much angered as
astonished. "How dare you talk like that!"
"I knew you would scream at me; but in the first place, though I am
not rich, this ten thousand roubles is perfectly free; I have
absolutely no need for it. If Avdotya Romanovna does not accept it, I
shall waste it in some more foolish way. That's the first thing.
Secondly, my conscience is perfectly easy; I make the offer with no
ulterior motive. You may not believe it, but in the end Avdotya
Romanovna and you will know. The point is, that I did actually cause
your sister, whom I greatly respect, some trouble and unpleasantness,
and so, sincerely regretting it, I want--not to compensate, not to
repay her for the unpleasantness, but simply to do something to her
advantage, to show that I am not, after all, privileged to do nothing
but harm. If there were a millionth fraction of self-interest in my
offer, I should not have made it so openly; and I should not have
offered her ten thousand only, when five weeks ago I offered her more,
Besides, I may, perhaps, very soon marry a young lady, and that alone
ought to prevent suspicion of any design on Avdotya Romanovna. In
conclusion, let me say that in marrying Mr. Luzhin, she is taking
money just the same, only from another man. Don't be angry, Rodion
Romanovitch, think it over coolly and quietly."
Svidriga´lov himself was exceedingly cool and quiet as he was saying
"I beg you to say no more," said Raskolnikov. "In any case this is
"Not in the least. Then a man may do nothing but harm to his neighbour
in this world, and is prevented from doing the tiniest bit of good by
trivial conventional formalities. That's absurd. If I died, for
instance, and left that sum to your sister in my will, surely she
wouldn't refuse it?"
"Very likely she would."
"Oh, no, indeed. However, if you refuse it, so be it, though ten
thousand roubles is a capital thing to have on occasion. In any case I
beg you to repeat what I have said to Avdotya Romanovna."
"No, I won't."
"In that case, Rodion Romanovitch, I shall be obliged to try and see
her myself and worry her by doing so."
"And if I do tell her, will you not try to see her?"
"I don't know really what to say. I should like very much to see her
"Don't hope for it."
"I'm sorry. But you don't know me. Perhaps we may become better
"You think we may become friends?"
"And why not?" Svidriga´lov said, smiling. He stood up and took his
hat. "I didn't quite intend to disturb you and I came here without
reckoning on it . . . though I was very much struck by your face this
"Where did you see me this morning?" Raskolnikov asked uneasily.
"I saw you by chance. . . . I kept fancying there is something about
you like me. . . . But don't be uneasy. I am not intrusive; I used to
get on all right with card-sharpers, and I never bored Prince Svirbey,
a great personage who is a distant relation of mine, and I could write
about Raphael's /Madonna/ in Madam Prilukov's album, and I never left
Marfa Petrovna's side for seven years, and I used to stay the night at
Viazemsky's house in the Hay Market in the old days, and I may go up
in a balloon with Berg, perhaps."
"Oh, all right. Are you starting soon on your travels, may I ask?"
"Why, on that 'journey'; you spoke of it yourself."
"A journey? Oh, yes. I did speak of a journey. Well, that's a wide
subject. . . . if only you knew what you are asking," he added, and
gave a sudden, loud, short laugh. "Perhaps I'll get married instead of
the journey. They're making a match for me."
"How have you had time for that?"
"But I am very anxious to see Avdotya Romanovna once. I earnestly beg
it. Well, good-bye for the present. Oh, yes. I have forgotten
something. Tell your sister, Rodion Romanovitch, that Marfa Petrovna
remembered her in her will and left her three thousand roubles. That's
absolutely certain. Marfa Petrovna arranged it a week before her
death, and it was done in my presence. Avdotya Romanovna will be able
to receive the money in two or three weeks."
"Are you telling the truth?"
"Yes, tell her. Well, your servant. I am staying very near you."
As he went out, Svidriga´lov ran up against Razumihin in the doorway.
It was nearly eight o'clock. The two young men hurried to Bakaleyev's,
to arrive before Luzhin.
"Why, who was that?" asked Razumihin, as soon as they were in the
"It was Svidriga´lov, that landowner in whose house my sister was
insulted when she was their governess. Through his persecuting her
with his attentions, she was turned out by his wife, Marfa Petrovna.
This Marfa Petrovna begged Dounia's forgiveness afterwards, and she's
just died suddenly. It was of her we were talking this morning. I
don't know why I'm afraid of that man. He came here at once after his
wife's funeral. He is very strange, and is determined on doing
something. . . . We must guard Dounia from him . . . that's what I
wanted to tell you, do you hear?"
"Guard her! What can he do to harm Avdotya Romanovna? Thank you,
Rodya, for speaking to me like that. . . . We will, we will guard her.
Where does he live?"
"I don't know."
"Why didn't you ask? What a pity! I'll find out, though."
"Did you see him?" asked Raskolnikov after a pause.
"Yes, I noticed him, I noticed him well."
"You did really see him? You saw him clearly?" Raskolnikov insisted.
"Yes, I remember him perfectly, I should know him in a thousand; I
have a good memory for faces."
They were silent again.
"Hm! . . . that's all right," muttered Raskolnikov. "Do you know, I
fancied . . . I keep thinking that it may have been an hallucination."
"What do you mean? I don't understand you."
"Well, you all say," Raskolnikov went on, twisting his mouth into a
smile, "that I am mad. I thought just now that perhaps I really am
mad, and have only seen a phantom."
"What do you mean?"
"Why, who can tell? Perhaps I am really mad, and perhaps everything
that happened all these days may be only imagination."
"Ach, Rodya, you have been upset again! . . . But what did he say,
what did he come for?"
Raskolnikov did not answer. Razumihin thought a minute.
"Now let me tell you my story," he began, "I came to you, you were
asleep. Then we had dinner and then I went to Porfiry's, Zametov was
still with him. I tried to begin, but it was no use. I couldn't speak
in the right way. They don't seem to understand and can't understand,
but are not a bit ashamed. I drew Porfiry to the window, and began
talking to him, but it was still no use. He looked away and I looked
away. At last I shook my fist in his ugly face, and told him as a
cousin I'd brain him. He merely looked at me, I cursed and came away.
That was all. It was very stupid. To Zametov I didn't say a word. But,
you see, I thought I'd made a mess of it, but as I went downstairs a
brilliant idea struck me: why should we trouble? Of course if you were
in any danger or anything, but why need you care? You needn't care a
hang for them. We shall have a laugh at them afterwards, and if I were
in your place I'd mystify them more than ever. How ashamed they'll be
afterwards! Hang them! We can thrash them afterwards, but let's laugh
at them now!"
"To be sure," answered Raskolnikov. "But what will you say to-morrow?"
he thought to himself. Strange to say, till that moment it had never
occurred to him to wonder what Razumihin would think when he knew. As
he thought it, Raskolnikov looked at him. Razumihin's account of his
visit to Porfiry had very little interest for him, so much had come
and gone since then.
In the corridor they came upon Luzhin; he had arrived punctually at
eight, and was looking for the number, so that all three went in
together without greeting or looking at one another. The young men
walked in first, while Pyotr Petrovitch, for good manners, lingered a
little in the passage, taking off his coat. Pulcheria Alexandrovna
came forward at once to greet him in the doorway, Dounia was welcoming
her brother. Pyotr Petrovitch walked in and quite amiably, though with
redoubled dignity, bowed to the ladies. He looked, however, as though
he were a little put out and could not yet recover himself. Pulcheria
Alexandrovna, who seemed also a little embarrassed, hastened to make
them all sit down at the round table where a samovar was boiling.
Dounia and Luzhin were facing one another on opposite sides of the
table. Razumihin and Raskolnikov were facing Pulcheria Alexandrovna,
Razumihin was next to Luzhin and Raskolnikov was beside his sister.
A moment's silence followed. Pyotr Petrovitch deliberately drew out a
cambric handkerchief reeking of scent and blew his nose with an air of
a benevolent man who felt himself slighted, and was firmly resolved to
insist on an explanation. In the passage the idea had occurred to him
to keep on his overcoat and walk away, and so give the two ladies a
sharp and emphatic lesson and make them feel the gravity of the
position. But he could not bring himself to do this. Besides, he could
not endure uncertainty, and he wanted an explanation: if his request
had been so openly disobeyed, there was something behind it, and in
that case it was better to find it out beforehand; it rested with him
to punish them and there would always be time for that.
"I trust you had a favourable journey," he inquired officially of
"Oh, very, Pyotr Petrovitch."
"I am gratified to hear it. And Avdotya Romanovna is not over-fatigued
"I am young and strong, I don't get tired, but it was a great strain
for mother," answered Dounia.
"That's unavoidable! our national railways are of terrible length.
'Mother Russia,' as they say, is a vast country. . . . In spite of all
my desire to do so, I was unable to meet you yesterday. But I trust
all passed off without inconvenience?"
"Oh, no, Pyotr Petrovitch, it was all terribly disheartening,"
Pulcheria Alexandrovna hastened to declare with peculiar intonation,
"and if Dmitri Prokofitch had not been sent us, I really believe by
God Himself, we should have been utterly lost. Here, he is! Dmitri
Prokofitch Razumihin," she added, introducing him to Luzhin.
"I had the pleasure . . . yesterday," muttered Pyotr Petrovitch with a
hostile glance sidelong at Razumihin; then he scowled and was silent.
Pyotr Petrovitch belonged to that class of persons, on the surface
very polite in society, who make a great point of punctiliousness, but
who, directly they are crossed in anything, are completely
disconcerted, and become more like sacks of flour than elegant and
lively men of society. Again all was silent; Raskolnikov was
obstinately mute, Avdotya Romanovna was unwilling to open the
conversation too soon. Razumihin had nothing to say, so Pulcheria
Alexandrovna was anxious again.
"Marfa Petrovna is dead, have you heard?" she began having recourse to
her leading item of conversation.
"To be sure, I heard so. I was immediately informed, and I have come
to make you acquainted with the fact that Arkady Ivanovitch
Svidriga´lov set off in haste for Petersburg immediately after his
wife's funeral. So at least I have excellent authority for believing."
"To Petersburg? here?" Dounia asked in alarm and looked at her mother.
"Yes, indeed, and doubtless not without some design, having in view
the rapidity of his departure, and all the circumstances preceding
"Good heavens! won't he leave Dounia in peace even here?" cried
"I imagine that neither you nor Avdotya Romanovna have any grounds for
uneasiness, unless, of course, you are yourselves desirous of getting
into communication with him. For my part I am on my guard, and am now
discovering where he is lodging."
"Oh, Pyotr Petrovitch, you would not believe what a fright you have
given me," Pulcheria Alexandrovna went on: "I've only seen him twice,
but I thought him terrible, terrible! I am convinced that he was the
cause of Marfa Petrovna's death."
"It's impossible to be certain about that. I have precise information.
I do not dispute that he may have contributed to accelerate the course
of events by the moral influence, so to say, of the affront; but as to
the general conduct and moral characteristics of that personage, I am
in agreement with you. I do not know whether he is well off now, and
precisely what Marfa Petrovna left him; this will be known to me
within a very short period; but no doubt here in Petersburg, if he has
any pecuniary resources, he will relapse at once into his old ways. He
is the most depraved, and abjectly vicious specimen of that class of
men. I have considerable reason to believe that Marfa Petrovna, who
was so unfortunate as to fall in love with him and to pay his debts
eight years ago, was of service to him also in another way. Solely by
her exertions and sacrifices, a criminal charge, involving an element
of fantastic and homicidal brutality for which he might well have been
sentenced to Siberia, was hushed up. That's the sort of man he is, if
you care to know."
"Good heavens!" cried Pulcheria Alexandrovna. Raskolnikov listened
"Are you speaking the truth when you say that you have good evidence
of this?" Dounia asked sternly and emphatically.
"I only repeat what I was told in secret by Marfa Petrovna. I must
observe that from the legal point of view the case was far from clear.
There was, and I believe still is, living here a woman called
Resslich, a foreigner, who lent small sums of money at interest, and
did other commissions, and with this woman Svidriga´lov had for a long
while close and mysterious relations. She had a relation, a niece I
believe, living with her, a deaf and dumb girl of fifteen, or perhaps
not more than fourteen. Resslich hated this girl, and grudged her
every crust; she used to beat her mercilessly. One day the girl was
found hanging in the garret. At the inquest the verdict was suicide.
After the usual proceedings the matter ended, but, later on,
information was given that the child had been . . . cruelly outraged
by Svidriga´lov. It is true, this was not clearly established, the
information was given by another German woman of loose character whose
word could not be trusted; no statement was actually made to the
police, thanks to Marfa Petrovna's money and exertions; it did not get
beyond gossip. And yet the story is a very significant one. You heard,
no doubt, Avdotya Romanovna, when you were with them the story of the
servant Philip who died of ill treatment he received six years ago,
before the abolition of serfdom."
"I heard, on the contrary, that this Philip hanged himself."
"Quite so, but what drove him, or rather perhaps disposed him, to
suicide was the systematic persecution and severity of Mr.
"I don't know that," answered Dounia, dryly. "I only heard a queer
story that Philip was a sort of hypochondriac, a sort of domestic
philosopher, the servants used to say, 'he read himself silly,' and
that he hanged himself partly on account of Mr. Svidriga´lov's mockery
of him and not his blows. When I was there he behaved well to the
servants, and they were actually fond of him, though they certainly
did blame him for Philip's death."
"I perceive, Avdotya Romanovna, that you seem disposed to undertake
his defence all of a sudden," Luzhin observed, twisting his lips into
an ambiguous smile, "there's no doubt that he is an astute man, and
insinuating where ladies are concerned, of which Marfa Petrovna, who
has died so strangely, is a terrible instance. My only desire has been
to be of service to you and your mother with my advice, in view of the
renewed efforts which may certainly be anticipated from him. For my
part it's my firm conviction, that he will end in a debtor's prison
again. Marfa Petrovna had not the slightest intention of settling
anything substantial on him, having regard for his children's
interests, and, if she left him anything, it would only be the merest
sufficiency, something insignificant and ephemeral, which would not
last a year for a man of his habits."
"Pyotr Petrovitch, I beg you," said Dounia, "say no more of Mr.
Svidriga´lov. It makes me miserable."
"He has just been to see me," said Raskolnikov, breaking his silence
for the first time.
There were exclamations from all, and they all turned to him. Even
Pyotr Petrovitch was roused.
"An hour and a half ago, he came in when I was asleep, waked me, and
introduced himself," Raskolnikov continued. "He was fairly cheerful
and at ease, and quite hopes that we shall become friends. He is
particularly anxious, by the way, Dounia, for an interview with you,
at which he asked me to assist. He has a proposition to make to you,
and he told me about it. He told me, too, that a week before her death
Marfa Petrovna left you three thousand roubles in her will, Dounia,
and that you can receive the money very shortly."
"Thank God!" cried Pulcheria Alexandrovna, crossing herself. "Pray for
her soul, Dounia!"
"It's a fact!" broke from Luzhin.
"Tell us, what more?" Dounia urged Raskolnikov.
"Then he said that he wasn't rich and all the estate was left to his
children who are now with an aunt, then that he was staying somewhere
not far from me, but where, I don't know, I didn't ask. . . ."
"But what, what does he want to propose to Dounia?" cried Pulcheria
Alexandrovna in a fright. "Did he tell you?"
"What was it?"
"I'll tell you afterwards."
Raskolnikov ceased speaking and turned his attention to his tea.
Pyotr Petrovitch looked at his watch.
"I am compelled to keep a business engagement, and so I shall not be
in your way," he added with an air of some pique and he began getting
"Don't go, Pyotr Petrovitch," said Dounia, "you intended to spend the
evening. Besides, you wrote yourself that you wanted to have an
explanation with mother."
"Precisely so, Avdotya Romanovna," Pyotr Petrovitch answered
impressively, sitting down again, but still holding his hat. "I
certainly desired an explanation with you and your honoured mother
upon a very important point indeed. But as your brother cannot speak
openly in my presence of some proposals of Mr. Svidriga´lov, I, too,
do not desire and am not able to speak openly . . . in the presence of
others . . . of certain matters of the greatest gravity. Moreover, my
most weighty and urgent request has been disregarded. . . ."
Assuming an aggrieved air, Luzhin relapsed into dignified silence.
"Your request that my brother should not be present at our meeting was
disregarded solely at my instance," said Dounia. "You wrote that you
had been insulted by my brother; I think that this must be explained
at once, and you must be reconciled. And if Rodya really has insulted
you, then he /should/ and /will/ apologise."
Pyotr Petrovitch took a stronger line.
"There are insults, Avdotya Romanovna, which no goodwill can make us
forget. There is a line in everything which it is dangerous to
overstep; and when it has been overstepped, there is no return."
"That wasn't what I was speaking of exactly, Pyotr Petrovitch," Dounia
interrupted with some impatience. "Please understand that our whole
future depends now on whether all this is explained and set right as
soon as possible. I tell you frankly at the start that I cannot look
at it in any other light, and if you have the least regard for me, all
this business must be ended to-day, however hard that may be. I repeat
that if my brother is to blame he will ask your forgiveness."
"I am surprised at your putting the question like that," said Luzhin,
getting more and more irritated. "Esteeming, and so to say, adoring
you, I may at the same time, very well indeed, be able to dislike some
member of your family. Though I lay claim to the happiness of your
hand, I cannot accept duties incompatible with . . ."
"Ah, don't be so ready to take offence, Pyotr Petrovitch," Dounia
interrupted with feeling, "and be the sensible and generous man I have
always considered, and wish to consider, you to be. I've given you a
great promise, I am your betrothed. Trust me in this matter and,
believe me, I shall be capable of judging impartially. My assuming the
part of judge is as much a surprise for my brother as for you. When I
insisted on his coming to our interview to-day after your letter, I
told him nothing of what I meant to do. Understand that, if you are
not reconciled, I must choose between you--it must be either you or
he. That is how the question rests on your side and on his. I don't
want to be mistaken in my choice, and I must not be. For your sake I
must break off with my brother, for my brother's sake I must break off
with you. I can find out for certain now whether he is a brother to
me, and I want to know it; and of you, whether I am dear to you,
whether you esteem me, whether you are the husband for me."
"Avdotya Romanovna," Luzhin declared huffily, "your words are of too
much consequence to me; I will say more, they are offensive in view of
the position I have the honour to occupy in relation to you. To say
nothing of your strange and offensive setting me on a level with an
impertinent boy, you admit the possibility of breaking your promise to
me. You say 'you or he,' showing thereby of how little consequence I
am in your eyes . . . I cannot let this pass considering the
relationship and . . . the obligations existing between us."
"What!" cried Dounia, flushing. "I set your interest beside all that
has hitherto been most precious in my life, what has made up the
/whole/ of my life, and here you are offended at my making too
/little/ account of you."
Raskolnikov smiled sarcastically, Razumihin fidgeted, but Pyotr
Petrovitch did not accept the reproof; on the contrary, at every word
he became more persistent and irritable, as though he relished it.
"Love for the future partner of your life, for your husband, ought to
outweigh your love for your brother," he pronounced sententiously,
"and in any case I cannot be put on the same level. . . . Although I
said so emphatically that I would not speak openly in your brother's
presence, nevertheless, I intend now to ask your honoured mother for a
necessary explanation on a point of great importance closely affecting
my dignity. Your son," he turned to Pulcheria Alexandrovna, "yesterday
in the presence of Mr. Razsudkin (or . . . I think that's it? excuse
me I have forgotten your surname," he bowed politely to Razumihin)
"insulted me by misrepresenting the idea I expressed to you in a
private conversation, drinking coffee, that is, that marriage with a
poor girl who has had experience of trouble is more advantageous from
the conjugal point of view than with one who has lived in luxury,
since it is more profitable for the moral character. Your son
intentionally exaggerated the significance of my words and made them
ridiculous, accusing me of malicious intentions, and, as far as I
could see, relied upon your correspondence with him. I shall consider
myself happy, Pulcheria Alexandrovna, if it is possible for you to
convince me of an opposite conclusion, and thereby considerately
reassure me. Kindly let me know in what terms precisely you repeated
my words in your letter to Rodion Romanovitch."
"I don't remember," faltered Pulcheria Alexandrovna. "I repeated them
as I understood them. I don't know how Rodya repeated them to you,
perhaps he exaggerated."
"He could not have exaggerated them, except at your instigation."
"Pyotr Petrovitch," Pulcheria Alexandrovna declared with dignity, "the
proof that Dounia and I did not take your words in a very bad sense is
the fact that we are here."
"Good, mother," said Dounia approvingly.
"Then this is my fault again," said Luzhin, aggrieved.
"Well, Pyotr Petrovitch, you keep blaming Rodion, but you yourself
have just written what was false about him," Pulcheria Alexandrovna
added, gaining courage.
"I don't remember writing anything false."
"You wrote," Raskolnikov said sharply, not turning to Luzhin, "that I
gave money yesterday not to the widow of the man who was killed, as
was the fact, but to his daughter (whom I had never seen till
yesterday). You wrote this to make dissension between me and my
family, and for that object added coarse expressions about the conduct
of a girl whom you don't know. All that is mean slander."
"Excuse me, sir," said Luzhin, quivering with fury. "I enlarged upon
your qualities and conduct in my letter solely in response to your
sister's and mother's inquiries, how I found you, and what impression
you made on me. As for what you've alluded to in my letter, be so good
as to point out one word of falsehood, show, that is, that you didn't
throw away your money, and that there are not worthless persons in
that family, however unfortunate."
"To my thinking, you, with all your virtues, are not worth the little
finger of that unfortunate girl at whom you throw stones."
"Would you go so far then as to let her associate with your mother and
"I have done so already, if you care to know. I made her sit down
to-day with mother and Dounia."
"Rodya!" cried Pulcheria Alexandrovna. Dounia crimsoned, Razumihin
knitted his brows. Luzhin smiled with lofty sarcasm.
"You may see for yourself, Avdotya Romanovna," he said, "whether it is
possible for us to agree. I hope now that this question is at an end,
once and for all. I will withdraw, that I may not hinder the pleasures
of family intimacy, and the discussion of secrets." He got up from his
chair and took his hat. "But in withdrawing, I venture to request that
for the future I may be spared similar meetings, and, so to say,
compromises. I appeal particularly to you, honoured Pulcheria
Alexandrovna, on this subject, the more as my letter was addressed to
you and to no one else."
Pulcheria Alexandrovna was a little offended.
"You seem to think we are completely under your authority, Pyotr
Petrovitch. Dounia has told you the reason your desire was
disregarded, she had the best intentions. And indeed you write as
though you were laying commands upon me. Are we to consider every
desire of yours as a command? Let me tell you on the contrary that you
ought to show particular delicacy and consideration for us now,
because we have thrown up everything, and have come here relying on
you, and so we are in any case in a sense in your hands."
"That is not quite true, Pulcheria Alexandrovna, especially at the
present moment, when the news has come of Marfa Petrovna's legacy,
which seems indeed very apropos, judging from the new tone you take to
me," he added sarcastically.
"Judging from that remark, we may certainly presume that you were
reckoning on our helplessness," Dounia observed irritably.
"But now in any case I cannot reckon on it, and I particularly desire
not to hinder your discussion of the secret proposals of Arkady
Ivanovitch Svidriga´lov, which he has entrusted to your brother and
which have, I perceive, a great and possibly a very agreeable interest
"Good heavens!" cried Pulcheria Alexandrovna.
Razumihin could not sit still on his chair.
"Aren't you ashamed now, sister?" asked Raskolnikov.
"I am ashamed, Rodya," said Dounia. "Pyotr Petrovitch, go away," she
turned to him, white with anger.
Pyotr Petrovitch had apparently not at all expected such a conclusion.
He had too much confidence in himself, in his power and in the
helplessness of his victims. He could not believe it even now. He
turned pale, and his lips quivered.
"Avdotya Romanovna, if I go out of this door now, after such a
dismissal, then, you may reckon on it, I will never come back.
Consider what you are doing. My word is not to be shaken."
"What insolence!" cried Dounia, springing up from her seat. "I don't
want you to come back again."
"What! So that's how it stands!" cried Luzhin, utterly unable to the
last moment to believe in the rupture and so completely thrown out of
his reckoning now. "So that's how it stands! But do you know, Avdotya
Romanovna, that I might protest?"
"What right have you to speak to her like that?" Pulcheria
Alexandrovna intervened hotly. "And what can you protest about? What
rights have you? Am I to give my Dounia to a man like you? Go away,
leave us altogether! We are to blame for having agreed to a wrong
action, and I above all. . . ."
"But you have bound me, Pulcheria Alexandrovna," Luzhin stormed in a
frenzy, "by your promise, and now you deny it and . . . besides . . .
I have been led on account of that into expenses. . . ."
This last complaint was so characteristic of Pyotr Petrovitch, that
Raskolnikov, pale with anger and with the effort of restraining it,
could not help breaking into laughter. But Pulcheria Alexandrovna was
"Expenses? What expenses? Are you speaking of our trunk? But the
conductor brought it for nothing for you. Mercy on us, we have bound
you! What are you thinking about, Pyotr Petrovitch, it was you bound
us, hand and foot, not we!"
"Enough, mother, no more please," Avdotya Romanovna implored. "Pyotr
Petrovitch, do be kind and go!"
"I am going, but one last word," he said, quite unable to control
himself. "Your mamma seems to have entirely forgotten that I made up
my mind to take you, so to speak, after the gossip of the town had
spread all over the district in regard to your reputation.
Disregarding public opinion for your sake and reinstating your
reputation, I certainly might very well reckon on a fitting return,
and might indeed look for gratitude on your part. And my eyes have
only now been opened! I see myself that I may have acted very, very
recklessly in disregarding the universal verdict. . . ."
"Does the fellow want his head smashed?" cried Razumihin, jumping up.
"You are a mean and spiteful man!" cried Dounia.
"Not a word! Not a movement!" cried Raskolnikov, holding Razumihin
back; then going close up to Luzhin, "Kindly leave the room!" he said
quietly and distinctly, "and not a word more or . . ."
Pyotr Petrovitch gazed at him for some seconds with a pale face that
worked with anger, then he turned, went out, and rarely has any man
carried away in his heart such vindictive hatred as he felt against
Raskolnikov. Him, and him alone, he blamed for everything. It is
noteworthy that as he went downstairs he still imagined that his case
was perhaps not utterly lost, and that, so far as the ladies were
concerned, all might "very well indeed" be set right again.
The fact was that up to the last moment he had never expected such an
ending; he had been overbearing to the last degree, never dreaming
that two destitute and defenceless women could escape from his
control. This conviction was strengthened by his vanity and conceit, a
conceit to the point of fatuity. Pyotr Petrovitch, who had made his
way up from insignificance, was morbidly given to self-admiration, had
the highest opinion of his intelligence and capacities, and sometimes
even gloated in solitude over his image in the glass. But what he
loved and valued above all was the money he had amassed by his labour,
and by all sorts of devices: that money made him the equal of all who
had been his superiors.
When he had bitterly reminded Dounia that he had decided to take her
in spite of evil report, Pyotr Petrovitch had spoken with perfect
sincerity and had, indeed, felt genuinely indignant at such "black
ingratitude." And yet, when he made Dounia his offer, he was fully
aware of the groundlessness of all the gossip. The story had been
everywhere contradicted by Marfa Petrovna, and was by then disbelieved
by all the townspeople, who were warm in Dounia'a defence. And he
would not have denied that he knew all that at the time. Yet he still
thought highly of his own resolution in lifting Dounia to his level
and regarded it as something heroic. In speaking of it to Dounia, he
had let out the secret feeling he cherished and admired, and he could
not understand that others should fail to admire it too. He had called
on Raskolnikov with the feelings of a benefactor who is about to reap
the fruits of his good deeds and to hear agreeable flattery. And as he
went downstairs now, he considered himself most undeservedly injured
Dounia was simply essential to him; to do without her was unthinkable.
For many years he had had voluptuous dreams of marriage, but he had
gone on waiting and amassing money. He brooded with relish, in
profound secret, over the image of a girl--virtuous, poor (she must be
poor), very young, very pretty, of good birth and education, very
timid, one who had suffered much, and was completely humbled before
him, one who would all her life look on him as her saviour, worship
him, admire him and only him. How many scenes, how many amorous
episodes he had imagined on this seductive and playful theme, when his
work was over! And, behold, the dream of so many years was all but
realised; the beauty and education of Avdotya Romanovna had impressed
him; her helpless position had been a great allurement; in her he had
found even more than he dreamed of. Here was a girl of pride,
character, virtue, of education and breeding superior to his own (he
felt that), and this creature would be slavishly grateful all her life
for his heroic condescension, and would humble herself in the dust
before him, and he would have absolute, unbounded power over her!
. . . Not long before, he had, too, after long reflection and
hesitation, made an important change in his career and was now
entering on a wider circle of business. With this change his cherished
dreams of rising into a higher class of society seemed likely to be
realised. . . . He was, in fact, determined to try his fortune in
Petersburg. He knew that women could do a very great deal. The
fascination of a charming, virtuous, highly educated woman might make
his way easier, might do wonders in attracting people to him, throwing
an aureole round him, and now everything was in ruins! This sudden
horrible rupture affected him like a clap of thunder; it was like a
hideous joke, an absurdity. He had only been a tiny bit masterful, had
not even time to speak out, had simply made a joke, been carried away
--and it had ended so seriously. And, of course, too, he did love
Dounia in his own way; he already possessed her in his dreams--and all
at once! No! The next day, the very next day, it must all be set
right, smoothed over, settled. Above all he must crush that conceited
milksop who was the cause of it all. With a sick feeling he could not
help recalling Razumihin too, but, he soon reassured himself on that
score; as though a fellow like that could be put on a level with him!
The man he really dreaded in earnest was Svidriga´lov. . . . He had,
in short, a great deal to attend to. . . .
"No, I, I am more to blame than anyone!" said Dounia, kissing and
embracing her mother. "I was tempted by his money, but on my honour,
brother, I had no idea he was such a base man. If I had seen through
him before, nothing would have tempted me! Don't blame me, brother!"
"God has delivered us! God has delivered us!" Pulcheria Alexandrovna
muttered, but half consciously, as though scarcely able to realise
what had happened.
They were all relieved, and in five minutes they were laughing. Only
now and then Dounia turned white and frowned, remembering what had
passed. Pulcheria Alexandrovna was surprised to find that she, too,
was glad: she had only that morning thought rupture with Luzhin a
terrible misfortune. Razumihin was delighted. He did not yet dare to
express his joy fully, but he was in a fever of excitement as though a
ton-weight had fallen off his heart. Now he had the right to devote
his life to them, to serve them. . . . Anything might happen now! But
he felt afraid to think of further possibilities and dared not let his
imagination range. But Raskolnikov sat still in the same place, almost
sullen and indifferent. Though he had been the most insistent on
getting rid of Luzhin, he seemed now the least concerned at what had
happened. Dounia could not help thinking that he was still angry with
her, and Pulcheria Alexandrovna watched him timidly.
"What did Svidriga´lov say to you?" said Dounia, approaching him.
"Yes, yes!" cried Pulcheria Alexandrovna.
Raskolnikov raised his head.
"He wants to make you a present of ten thousand roubles and he desires
to see you once in my presence."
"See her! On no account!" cried Pulcheria Alexandrovna. "And how dare
he offer her money!"
Then Raskolnikov repeated (rather dryly) his conversation with
Svidriga´lov, omitting his account of the ghostly visitations of Marfa
Petrovna, wishing to avoid all unnecessary talk.
"What answer did you give him?" asked Dounia.
"At first I said I would not take any message to you. Then he said
that he would do his utmost to obtain an interview with you without my
help. He assured me that his passion for you was a passing
infatuation, now he has no feeling for you. He doesn't want you to
marry Luzhin. . . . His talk was altogether rather muddled."
"How do you explain him to yourself, Rodya? How did he strike you?"
"I must confess I don't quite understand him. He offers you ten
thousand, and yet says he is not well off. He says he is going away,
and in ten minutes he forgets he has said it. Then he says is he going
to be married and has already fixed on the girl. . . . No doubt he has
a motive, and probably a bad one. But it's odd that he should be so
clumsy about it if he had any designs against you. . . . Of course, I
refused this money on your account, once for all. Altogether, I
thought him very strange. . . . One might almost think he was mad. But
I may be mistaken; that may only be the part he assumes. The death of
Marfa Petrovna seems to have made a great impression on him."
"God rest her soul," exclaimed Pulcheria Alexandrovna. "I shall
always, always pray for her! Where should we be now, Dounia, without
this three thousand! It's as though it had fallen from heaven! Why,
Rodya, this morning we had only three roubles in our pocket and Dounia
and I were just planning to pawn her watch, so as to avoid borrowing
from that man until he offered help."
Dounia seemed strangely impressed by Svidriga´lov's offer. She still
"He has got some terrible plan," she said in a half whisper to
herself, almost shuddering.
Raskolnikov noticed this disproportionate terror.
"I fancy I shall have to see him more than once again," he said to
"We will watch him! I will track him out!" cried Razumihin,
vigorously. "I won't lose sight of him. Rodya has given me leave. He
said to me himself just now. 'Take care of my sister.' Will you give
me leave, too, Avdotya Romanovna?"
Dounia smiled and held out her hand, but the look of anxiety did not
leave her face. Pulcheria Alexandrovna gazed at her timidly, but the
three thousand roubles had obviously a soothing effect on her.
A quarter of an hour later, they were all engaged in a lively
conversation. Even Raskolnikov listened attentively for some time,
though he did not talk. Razumihin was the speaker.
"And why, why should you go away?" he flowed on ecstatically. "And
what are you to do in a little town? The great thing is, you are all
here together and you need one another--you do need one another,
believe me. For a time, anyway. . . . Take me into partnership, and I
assure you we'll plan a capital enterprise. Listen! I'll explain it
all in detail to you, the whole project! It all flashed into my head
this morning, before anything had happened . . . I tell you what; I
have an uncle, I must introduce him to you (a most accommodating and
respectable old man). This uncle has got a capital of a thousand
roubles, and he lives on his pension and has no need of that money.
For the last two years he has been bothering me to borrow it from him
and pay him six per cent. interest. I know what that means; he simply
wants to help me. Last year I had no need of it, but this year I
resolved to borrow it as soon as he arrived. Then you lend me another
thousand of your three and we have enough for a start, so we'll go
into partnership, and what are we going to do?"
Then Razumihin began to unfold his project, and he explained at length
that almost all our publishers and booksellers know nothing at all of
what they are selling, and for that reason they are usually bad
publishers, and that any decent publications pay as a rule and give a
profit, sometimes a considerable one. Razumihin had, indeed, been
dreaming of setting up as a publisher. For the last two years he had
been working in publishers' offices, and knew three European languages
well, though he had told Raskolnikov six days before that he was
"schwach" in German with an object of persuading him to take half his
translation and half the payment for it. He had told a lie then, and
Raskolnikov knew he was lying.
"Why, why should we let our chance slip when we have one of the chief
means of success--money of our own!" cried Razumihin warmly. "Of
course there will be a lot of work, but we will work, you, Avdotya
Romanovna, I, Rodion. . . . You get a splendid profit on some books
nowadays! And the great point of the business is that we shall know
just what wants translating, and we shall be translating, publishing,
learning all at once. I can be of use because I have experience. For
nearly two years I've been scuttling about among the publishers, and
now I know every detail of their business. You need not be a saint to
make pots, believe me! And why, why should we let our chance slip!
Why, I know--and I kept the secret--two or three books which one might
get a hundred roubles simply for thinking of translating and
publishing. Indeed, and I would not take five hundred for the very
idea of one of them. And what do you think? If I were to tell a
publisher, I dare say he'd hesitate--they are such blockheads! And as
for the business side, printing, paper, selling, you trust to me, I
know my way about. We'll begin in a small way and go on to a large. In
any case it will get us our living and we shall get back our capital."
Dounia's eyes shone.
"I like what you are saying, Dmitri Prokofitch!" she said.
"I know nothing about it, of course," put in Pulcheria Alexandrovna,
"it may be a good idea, but again God knows. It's new and untried. Of
course, we must remain here at least for a time." She looked at Rodya.
"What do you think, brother?" said Dounia.
"I think he's got a very good idea," he answered. "Of course, it's too
soon to dream of a publishing firm, but we certainly might bring out
five or six books and be sure of success. I know of one book myself
which would be sure to go well. And as for his being able to manage
it, there's no doubt about that either. He knows the business. . . .
But we can talk it over later. . . ."
"Hurrah!" cried Razumihin. "Now, stay, there's a flat here in this
house, belonging to the same owner. It's a special flat apart, not
communicating with these lodgings. It's furnished, rent moderate,
three rooms. Suppose you take them to begin with. I'll pawn your watch
to-morrow and bring you the money, and everything can be arranged
then. You can all three live together, and Rodya will be with you. But
where are you off to, Rodya?"
"What, Rodya, you are going already?" Pulcheria Alexandrovna asked in
"At such a minute?" cried Razumihin.
Dounia looked at her brother with incredulous wonder. He held his cap
in his hand, he was preparing to leave them.
"One would think you were burying me or saying good-bye for ever," he
said somewhat oddly. He attempted to smile, but it did not turn out a
smile. "But who knows, perhaps it is the last time we shall see each
other . . ." he let slip accidentally. It was what he was thinking,
and it somehow was uttered aloud.
"What is the matter with you?" cried his mother.
"Where are you going, Rodya?" asked Dounia rather strangely.
"Oh, I'm quite obliged to . . ." he answered vaguely, as though
hesitating what he would say. But there was a look of sharp
determination in his white face.
"I meant to say . . . as I was coming here . . . I meant to tell you,
mother, and you, Dounia, that it would be better for us to part for a
time. I feel ill, I am not at peace. . . . I will come afterwards, I
will come of myself . . . when it's possible. I remember you and love
you. . . . Leave me, leave me alone. I decided this even before . . .
I'm absolutely resolved on it. Whatever may come to me, whether I come
to ruin or not, I want to be alone. Forget me altogether, it's better.
Don't inquire about me. When I can, I'll come of myself or . . . I'll
send for you. Perhaps it will all come back, but now if you love me,
give me up . . . else I shall begin to hate you, I feel it. . . .
"Good God!" cried Pulcheria Alexandrovna. Both his mother and his
sister were terribly alarmed. Razumihin was also.
"Rodya, Rodya, be reconciled with us! Let us be as before!" cried his
He turned slowly to the door and slowly went out of the room. Dounia
"Brother, what are you doing to mother?" she whispered, her eyes
flashing with indignation.
He looked dully at her.
"No matter, I shall come. . . . I'm coming," he muttered in an
undertone, as though not fully conscious of what he was saying, and he
went out of the room.
"Wicked, heartless egoist!" cried Dounia.
"He is insane, but not heartless. He is mad! Don't you see it? You're
heartless after that!" Razumihin whispered in her ear, squeezing her
hand tightly. "I shall be back directly," he shouted to the horror-
stricken mother, and he ran out of the room.
Raskolnikov was waiting for him at the end of the passage.
"I knew you would run after me," he said. "Go back to them--be with
them . . . be with them to-morrow and always. . . . I . . . perhaps I
shall come . . . if I can. Good-bye."
And without holding out his hand he walked away.
"But where are you going? What are you doing? What's the matter with
you? How can you go on like this?" Razumihin muttered, at his wits'
Raskolnikov stopped once more.
"Once for all, never ask me about anything. I have nothing to tell
you. Don't come to see me. Maybe I'll come here. . . . Leave me, but
/don't leave/ them. Do you understand me?"
It was dark in the corridor, they were standing near the lamp. For a
minute they were looking at one another in silence. Razumihin
remembered that minute all his life. Raskolnikov's burning and intent
eyes grew more penetrating every moment, piercing into his soul, into
his consciousness. Suddenly Razumihin started. Something strange, as
it were, passed between them. . . . Some idea, some hint, as it were,
slipped, something awful, hideous, and suddenly understood on both
sides. . . . Razumihin turned pale.
"Do you understand now?" said Raskolnikov, his face twitching
nervously. "Go back, go to them," he said suddenly, and turning
quickly, he went out of the house.
I will not attempt to describe how Razumihin went back to the ladies,
how he soothed them, how he protested that Rodya needed rest in his
illness, protested that Rodya was sure to come, that he would come
every day, that he was very, very much upset, that he must not be
irritated, that he, Razumihin, would watch over him, would get him a
doctor, the best doctor, a consultation. . . . In fact from that
evening Razumihin took his place with them as a son and a brother.
Raskolnikov went straight to the house on the canal bank where Sonia
lived. It was an old green house of three storeys. He found the porter
and obtained from him vague directions as to the whereabouts of
Kapernaumov, the tailor. Having found in the corner of the courtyard
the entrance to the dark and narrow staircase, he mounted to the
second floor and came out into a gallery that ran round the whole
second storey over the yard. While he was wandering in the darkness,
uncertain where to turn for Kapernaumov's door, a door opened three
paces from him; he mechanically took hold of it.
"Who is there?" a woman's voice asked uneasily.
"It's I . . . come to see you," answered Raskolnikov and he walked
into the tiny entry.
On a broken chair stood a candle in a battered copper candlestick.
"It's you! Good heavens!" cried Sonia weakly, and she stood rooted to
"Which is your room? This way?" and Raskolnikov, trying not to look at
her, hastened in.
A minute later Sonia, too, came in with the candle, set down the
candlestick and, completely disconcerted, stood before him
inexpressibly agitated and apparently frightened by his unexpected
visit. The colour rushed suddenly to her pale face and tears came into
her eyes . . . She felt sick and ashamed and happy, too. . . .
Raskolnikov turned away quickly and sat on a chair by the table. He
scanned the room in a rapid glance.
It was a large but exceedingly low-pitched room, the only one let by
the Kapernaumovs, to whose rooms a closed door led in the wall on the
left. In the opposite side on the right hand wall was another door,
always kept locked. That led to the next flat, which formed a separate
lodging. Sonia's room looked like a barn; it was a very irregular
quadrangle and this gave it a grotesque appearance. A wall with three
windows looking out on to the canal ran aslant so that one corner
formed a very acute angle, and it was difficult to see in it without
very strong light. The other corner was disproportionately obtuse.
There was scarcely any furniture in the big room: in the corner on the
right was a bedstead, beside it, nearest the door, a chair. A plain,
deal table covered by a blue cloth stood against the same wall, close
to the door into the other flat. Two rush-bottom chairs stood by the
table. On the opposite wall near the acute angle stood a small plain
wooden chest of drawers looking, as it were, lost in a desert. That
was all there was in the room. The yellow, scratched and shabby wall-
paper was black in the corners. It must have been damp and full of
fumes in the winter. There was every sign of poverty; even the
bedstead had no curtain.
Sonia looked in silence at her visitor, who was so attentively and
unceremoniously scrutinising her room, and even began at last to
tremble with terror, as though she was standing before her judge and
the arbiter of her destinies.
"I am late. . . . It's eleven, isn't it?" he asked, still not lifting
"Yes," muttered Sonia, "oh yes, it is," she added, hastily, as though
in that lay her means of escape. "My landlady's clock has just struck
. . . I heard it myself. . . ."
"I've come to you for the last time," Raskolnikov went on gloomily,
although this was the first time. "I may perhaps not see you
again . . ."
"Are you . . . going away?"
"I don't know . . . to-morrow. . . ."
"Then you are not coming to Katerina Ivanovna to-morrow?" Sonia's
"I don't know. I shall know to-morrow morning. . . . Never mind that:
I've come to say one word. . . ."
He raised his brooding eyes to her and suddenly noticed that he was
sitting down while she was all the while standing before him.
"Why are you standing? Sit down," he said in a changed voice, gentle
She sat down. He looked kindly and almost compassionately at her.
"How thin you are! What a hand! Quite transparent, like a dead hand."
He took her hand. Sonia smiled faintly.
"I have always been like that," she said.
"Even when you lived at home?"
"Of course, you were," he added abruptly and the expression of his
face and the sound of his voice changed again suddenly.
He looked round him once more.
"You rent this room from the Kapernaumovs?"
"Yes. . . ."
"They live there, through that door?"
"Yes. . . . They have another room like this."
"All in one room?"
"I should be afraid in your room at night," he observed gloomily.
"They are very good people, very kind," answered Sonia, who still
seemed bewildered, "and all the furniture, everything . . . everything
is theirs. And they are very kind and the children, too, often come to
"They all stammer, don't they?"
"Yes. . . . He stammers and he's lame. And his wife, too. . . . It's
not exactly that she stammers, but she can't speak plainly. She is a
very kind woman. And he used to be a house serf. And there are seven
children . . . and it's only the eldest one that stammers and the
others are simply ill . . . but they don't stammer. . . . But where
did you hear about them?" she added with some surprise.
"Your father told me, then. He told me all about you. . . . And how
you went out at six o'clock and came back at nine and how Katerina
Ivanovna knelt down by your bed."
Sonia was confused.
"I fancied I saw him to-day," she whispered hesitatingly.
"Father. I was walking in the street, out there at the corner, about
ten o'clock and he seemed to be walking in front. It looked just like
him. I wanted to go to Katerina Ivanovna. . . ."
"You were walking in the streets?"
"Yes," Sonia whispered abruptly, again overcome with confusion and
"Katerina Ivanovna used to beat you, I dare say?"
"Oh no, what are you saying? No!" Sonia looked at him almost with
"You love her, then?"
"Love her? Of course!" said Sonia with plaintive emphasis, and she
clasped her hands in distress. "Ah, you don't. . . . If you only knew!
You see, she is quite like a child. . . . Her mind is quite unhinged,
you see . . . from sorrow. And how clever she used to be . . . how
generous . . . how kind! Ah, you don't understand, you don't
Sonia said this as though in despair, wringing her hands in excitement
and distress. Her pale cheeks flushed, there was a look of anguish in
her eyes. It was clear that she was stirred to the very depths, that
she was longing to speak, to champion, to express something. A sort of
/insatiable/ compassion, if one may so express it, was reflected in
every feature of her face.
"Beat me! how can you? Good heavens, beat me! And if she did beat me,
what then? What of it? You know nothing, nothing about it. . . . She
is so unhappy . . . ah, how unhappy! And ill. . . . She is seeking
righteousness, she is pure. She has such faith that there must be
righteousness everywhere and she expects it. . . . And if you were to
torture her, she wouldn't do wrong. She doesn't see that it's
impossible for people to be righteous and she is angry at it. Like a
child, like a child. She is good!"
"And what will happen to you?"
Sonia looked at him inquiringly.
"They are left on your hands, you see. They were all on your hands
before, though. . . . And your father came to you to beg for drink.
Well, how will it be now?"
"I don't know," Sonia articulated mournfully.
"Will they stay there?"
"I don't know. . . . They are in debt for the lodging, but the
landlady, I hear, said to-day that she wanted to get rid of them, and
Katerina Ivanovna says that she won't stay another minute."
"How is it she is so bold? She relies upon you?"
"Oh, no, don't talk like that. . . . We are one, we live like one."
Sonia was agitated again and even angry, as though a canary or some
other little bird were to be angry. "And what could she do? What, what
could she do?" she persisted, getting hot and excited. "And how she
cried to-day! Her mind is unhinged, haven't you noticed it? At one
minute she is worrying like a child that everything should be right
to-morrow, the lunch and all that. . . . Then she is wringing her
hands, spitting blood, weeping, and all at once she will begin
knocking her head against the wall, in despair. Then she will be
comforted again. She builds all her hopes on you; she says that you
will help her now and that she will borrow a little money somewhere
and go to her native town with me and set up a boarding school for the
daughters of gentlemen and take me to superintend it, and we will
begin a new splendid life. And she kisses and hugs me, comforts me,
and you know she has such faith, such faith in her fancies! One can't
contradict her. And all the day long she has been washing, cleaning,
mending. She dragged the wash tub into the room with her feeble hands
and sank on the bed, gasping for breath. We went this morning to the
shops to buy shoes for Polenka and Lida for theirs are quite worn out.
Only the money we'd reckoned wasn't enough, not nearly enough. And she
picked out such dear little boots, for she has taste, you don't know.
And there in the shop she burst out crying before the shopmen because
she hadn't enough. . . . Ah, it was sad to see her. . . ."
"Well, after that I can understand your living like this," Raskolnikov
said with a bitter smile.
"And aren't you sorry for them? Aren't you sorry?" Sonia flew at him
again. "Why, I know, you gave your last penny yourself, though you'd
seen nothing of it, and if you'd seen everything, oh dear! And how
often, how often I've brought her to tears! Only last week! Yes, I!
Only a week before his death. I was cruel! And how often I've done it!
Ah, I've been wretched at the thought of it all day!"
Sonia wrung her hands as she spoke at the pain of remembering it.
"You were cruel?"
"Yes, I--I. I went to see them," she went on, weeping, "and father
said, 'read me something, Sonia, my head aches, read to me, here's a
book.' He had a book he had got from Andrey Semyonovitch
Lebeziatnikov, he lives there, he always used to get hold of such
funny books. And I said, 'I can't stay,' as I didn't want to read, and
I'd gone in chiefly to show Katerina Ivanovna some collars. Lizaveta,
the pedlar, sold me some collars and cuffs cheap, pretty, new,
embroidered ones. Katerina Ivanovna liked them very much; she put them
on and looked at herself in the glass and was delighted with them.
'Make me a present of them, Sonia,' she said, 'please do.' '/Please
do/,' she said, she wanted them so much. And when could she wear them?
They just reminded her of her old happy days. She looked at herself in
the glass, admired herself, and she has no clothes at all, no things
of her own, hasn't had all these years! And she never asks anyone for
anything; she is proud, she'd sooner give away everything. And these
she asked for, she liked them so much. And I was sorry to give them.
'What use are they to you, Katerina Ivanovna?' I said. I spoke like
that to her, I ought not to have said that! She gave me such a look.
And she was so grieved, so grieved at my refusing her. And it was so
sad to see. . . . And she was not grieved for the collars, but for my
refusing, I saw that. Ah, if only I could bring it all back, change
it, take back those words! Ah, if I . . . but it's nothing to you!"
"Did you know Lizaveta, the pedlar?"
"Yes. . . . Did you know her?" Sonia asked with some surprise.
"Katerina Ivanovna is in consumption, rapid consumption; she will soon
die," said Raskolnikov after a pause, without answering her question.
"Oh, no, no, no!"
And Sonia unconsciously clutched both his hands, as though imploring
that she should not.
"But it will be better if she does die."
"No, not better, not at all better!" Sonia unconsciously repeated in
"And the children? What can you do except take them to live with you?"
"Oh, I don't know," cried Sonia, almost in despair, and she put her
hands to her head.
It was evident that that idea had very often occurred to her before
and he had only roused it again.
"And, what, if even now, while Katerina Ivanovna is alive, you get ill
and are taken to the hospital, what will happen then?" he persisted
"How can you? That cannot be!"
And Sonia's face worked with awful terror.
"Cannot be?" Raskolnikov went on with a harsh smile. "You are not
insured against it, are you? What will happen to them then? They will
be in the street, all of them, she will cough and beg and knock her
head against some wall, as she did to-day, and the children will cry.
. . . Then she will fall down, be taken to the police station and to
the hospital, she will die, and the children . . ."
"Oh, no. . . . God will not let it be!" broke at last from Sonia's
She listened, looking imploringly at him, clasping her hands in dumb
entreaty, as though it all depended upon him.
Raskolnikov got up and began to walk about the room. A minute passed.
Sonia was standing with her hands and her head hanging in terrible
"And can't you save? Put by for a rainy day?" he asked, stopping
suddenly before her.
"No," whispered Sonia.
"Of course not. Have you tried?" he added almost ironically.
"And it didn't come off! Of course not! No need to ask."
And again he paced the room. Another minute passed.
"You don't get money every day?"
Sonia was more confused than ever and colour rushed into her face
"No," she whispered with a painful effort.
"It will be the same with Polenka, no doubt," he said suddenly.
"No, no! It can't be, no!" Sonia cried aloud in desperation, as though
she had been stabbed. "God would not allow anything so awful!"
"He lets others come to it."
"No, no! God will protect her, God!" she repeated beside herself.
"But, perhaps, there is no God at all," Raskolnikov answered with a
sort of malignance, laughed and looked at her.
Sonia's face suddenly changed; a tremor passed over it. She looked at
him with unutterable reproach, tried to say something, but could not
speak and broke into bitter, bitter sobs, hiding her face in her
"You say Katerina Ivanovna's mind is unhinged; your own mind is
unhinged," he said after a brief silence.
Five minutes passed. He still paced up and down the room in silence,
not looking at her. At last he went up to her; his eyes glittered. He
put his two hands on her shoulders and looked straight into her
tearful face. His eyes were hard, feverish and piercing, his lips were
twitching. All at once he bent down quickly and dropping to the
ground, kissed her foot. Sonia drew back from him as from a madman.
And certainly he looked like a madman.
"What are you doing to me?" she muttered, turning pale, and a sudden
anguish clutched at her heart.
He stood up at once.
"I did not bow down to you, I bowed down to all the suffering of
humanity," he said wildly and walked away to the window. "Listen," he
added, turning to her a minute later. "I said just now to an insolent
man that he was not worth your little finger . . . and that I did my
sister honour making her sit beside you."
"Ach, you said that to them! And in her presence?" cried Sonia,
frightened. "Sit down with me! An honour! Why, I'm . . .
dishonourable. . . . Ah, why did you say that?"
"It was not because of your dishonour and your sin I said that of you,
but because of your great suffering. But you are a great sinner,
that's true," he added almost solemnly, "and your worst sin is that
you have destroyed and betrayed yourself /for nothing/. Isn't that
fearful? Isn't it fearful that you are living in this filth which you
loathe so, and at the same time you know yourself (you've only to open
your eyes) that you are not helping anyone by it, not saving anyone
from anything? Tell me," he went on almost in a frenzy, "how this
shame and degradation can exist in you side by side with other,
opposite, holy feelings? It would be better, a thousand times better
and wiser to leap into the water and end it all!"
"But what would become of them?" Sonia asked faintly, gazing at him
with eyes of anguish, but not seeming surprised at his suggestion.
Raskolnikov looked strangely at her. He read it all in her face; so
she must have had that thought already, perhaps many times, and
earnestly she had thought out in her despair how to end it and so
earnestly, that now she scarcely wondered at his suggestion. She had
not even noticed the cruelty of his words. (The significance of his
reproaches and his peculiar attitude to her shame she had, of course,
not noticed either, and that, too, was clear to him.) But he saw how
monstrously the thought of her disgraceful, shameful position was
torturing her and had long tortured her. "What, what," he thought,
"could hitherto have hindered her from putting an end to it?" Only
then he realised what those poor little orphan children and that
pitiful half-crazy Katerina Ivanovna, knocking her head against the
wall in her consumption, meant for Sonia.
But, nevertheless, it was clear to him again that with her character
and the amount of education she had after all received, she could not
in any case remain so. He was still confronted by the question, how
could she have remained so long in that position without going out of
her mind, since she could not bring herself to jump into the water? Of
course he knew that Sonia's position was an exceptional case, though
unhappily not unique and not infrequent, indeed; but that very
exceptionalness, her tinge of education, her previous life might, one
would have thought, have killed her at the first step on that
revolting path. What held her up--surely not depravity? All that
infamy had obviously only touched her mechanically, not one drop of
real depravity had penetrated to her heart; he saw that. He saw
through her as she stood before him. . . .
"There are three ways before her," he thought, "the canal, the
madhouse, or . . . at last to sink into depravity which obscures the
mind and turns the heart to stone."
The last idea was the most revolting, but he was a sceptic, he was
young, abstract, and therefore cruel, and so he could not help
believing that the last end was the most likely.
"But can that be true?" he cried to himself. "Can that creature who
has still preserved the purity of her spirit be consciously drawn at
last into that sink of filth and iniquity? Can the process already
have begun? Can it be that she has only been able to bear it till now,
because vice has begun to be less loathsome to her? No, no, that
cannot be!" he cried, as Sonia had just before. "No, what has kept her
from the canal till now is the idea of sin and they, the children.
. . . And if she has not gone out of her mind . . . but who says she
has not gone out of her mind? Is she in her senses? Can one talk, can
one reason as she does? How can she sit on the edge of the abyss of
loathsomeness into which she is slipping and refuse to listen when she
is told of danger? Does she expect a miracle? No doubt she does.
Doesn't that all mean madness?"
He stayed obstinately at that thought. He liked that explanation
indeed better than any other. He began looking more intently at her.
"So you pray to God a great deal, Sonia?" he asked her.
Sonia did not speak; he stood beside her waiting for an answer.
"What should I be without God?" she whispered rapidly, forcibly,
glancing at him with suddenly flashing eyes, and squeezing his hand.
"Ah, so that is it!" he thought.
"And what does God do for you?" he asked, probing her further.
Sonia was silent a long while, as though she could not answer. Her
weak chest kept heaving with emotion.
"Be silent! Don't ask! You don't deserve!" she cried suddenly, looking
sternly and wrathfully at him.
"That's it, that's it," he repeated to himself.
"He does everything," she whispered quickly, looking down again.
"That's the way out! That's the explanation," he decided, scrutinising
her with eager curiosity, with a new, strange, almost morbid feeling.
He gazed at that pale, thin, irregular, angular little face, those
soft blue eyes, which could flash with such fire, such stern energy,
that little body still shaking with indignation and anger--and it all
seemed to him more and more strange, almost impossible. "She is a
religious maniac!" he repeated to himself.
There was a book lying on the chest of drawers. He had noticed it
every time he paced up and down the room. Now he took it up and looked
at it. It was the New Testament in the Russian translation. It was
bound in leather, old and worn.
"Where did you get that?" he called to her across the room.
She was still standing in the same place, three steps from the table.
"It was brought me," she answered, as it were unwillingly, not looking
"Who brought it?"
"Lizaveta, I asked her for it."
"Lizaveta! strange!" he thought.
Everything about Sonia seemed to him stranger and more wonderful every
moment. He carried the book to the candle and began to turn over the
"Where is the story of Lazarus?" he asked suddenly.
Sonia looked obstinately at the ground and would not answer. She was
standing sideways to the table.
"Where is the raising of Lazarus? Find it for me, Sonia."
She stole a glance at him.
"You are not looking in the right place. . . . It's in the fourth
gospel," she whispered sternly, without looking at him.
"Find it and read it to me," he said. He sat down with his elbow on
the table, leaned his head on his hand and looked away sullenly,
prepared to listen.
"In three weeks' time they'll welcome me in the madhouse! I shall be
there if I am not in a worse place," he muttered to himself.
Sonia heard Raskolnikov's request distrustfully and moved hesitatingly
to the table. She took the book however.
"Haven't you read it?" she asked, looking up at him across the table.
Her voice became sterner and sterner.
"Long ago. . . . When I was at school. Read!"
"And haven't you heard it in church?"
"I . . . haven't been. Do you often go?"
"N-no," whispered Sonia.
"I understand. . . . And you won't go to your father's funeral
"Yes, I shall. I was at church last week, too . . . I had a requiem
"For Lizaveta. She was killed with an axe."
His nerves were more and more strained. His head began to go round.
"Were you friends with Lizaveta?"
"Yes. . . . She was good . . . she used to come . . . not often . . .
she couldn't. . . . We used to read together and . . . talk. She will
The last phrase sounded strange in his ears. And here was something
new again: the mysterious meetings with Lizaveta and both of them--
"I shall be a religious maniac myself soon! It's infectious!"
"Read!" he cried irritably and insistently.
Sonia still hesitated. Her heart was throbbing. She hardly dared to
read to him. He looked almost with exasperation at the "unhappy
"What for? You don't believe? . . ." she whispered softly and as it
"Read! I want you to," he persisted. "You used to read to Lizaveta."
Sonia opened the book and found the place. Her hands were shaking, her
voice failed her. Twice she tried to begin and could not bring out the
"Now a certain man was sick named Lazarus of Bethany . . ." she forced
herself at last to read, but at the third word her voice broke like an
overstrained string. There was a catch in her breath.
Raskolnikov saw in part why Sonia could not bring herself to read to
him and the more he saw this, the more roughly and irritably he
insisted on her doing so. He understood only too well how painful it
was for her to betray and unveil all that was her /own/. He understood
that these feelings really were her /secret treasure/, which she had
kept perhaps for years, perhaps from childhood, while she lived with
an unhappy father and a distracted stepmother crazed by grief, in
the midst of starving children and unseemly abuse and reproaches.
But at the same time he knew now and knew for certain that, although
it filled her with dread and suffering, yet she had a tormenting
desire to read and to read to /him/ that he might hear it, and to read
/now/ whatever might come of it! . . . He read this in her eyes, he
could see it in her intense emotion. She mastered herself, controlled
the spasm in her throat and went on reading the eleventh chapter of
St. John. She went on to the nineteenth verse:
"And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary to comfort them
concerning their brother.
"Then Martha as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming went and met
Him: but Mary sat still in the house.
"Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my
brother had not died.
"But I know that even now whatsoever Thou wilt ask of God, God will
give it Thee. . . ."
Then she stopped again with a shamefaced feeling that her voice would
quiver and break again.
"Jesus said unto her, thy brother shall rise again.
"Martha saith unto Him, I know that he shall rise again in the
resurrection, at the last day.
"Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life: he that
believeth in Me though he were dead, yet shall he live.
"And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die. Believest
"She saith unto Him,"
(And drawing a painful breath, Sonia read distinctly and forcibly as
though she were making a public confession of faith.)
"Yea, Lord: I believe that Thou art the Christ, the Son of God Which
should come into the world."
She stopped and looked up quickly at him, but controlling herself went
on reading. Raskolnikov sat without moving, his elbows on the table
and his eyes turned away. She read to the thirty-second verse.
"Then when Mary was come where Jesus was and saw Him, she fell down at
His feet, saying unto Him, Lord if Thou hadst been here, my brother
had not died.
"When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which
came with her, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled,
"And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto Him, Lord, come and
"Then said the Jews, behold how He loved him!
"And some of them said, could not this Man which opened the eyes of
the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?"
Raskolnikov turned and looked at her with emotion. Yes, he had known
it! She was trembling in a real physical fever. He had expected it.
She was getting near the story of the greatest miracle and a feeling
of immense triumph came over her. Her voice rang out like a bell;
triumph and joy gave it power. The lines danced before her eyes, but
she knew what she was reading by heart. At the last verse "Could not
this Man which opened the eyes of the blind . . ." dropping her voice
she passionately reproduced the doubt, the reproach and censure of the
blind disbelieving Jews, who in another moment would fall at His feet
as though struck by thunder, sobbing and believing. . . . "And /he,
he/--too, is blinded and unbelieving, he, too, will hear, he, too,
will believe, yes, yes! At once, now," was what she was dreaming, and
she was quivering with happy anticipation.
"Jesus therefore again groaning in Himself cometh to the grave. It was
a cave, and a stone lay upon it.
"Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that
was dead, saith unto Him, Lord by this time he stinketh: for he hath
been dead four days."
She laid emphasis on the word /four/.
"Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee that if thou wouldest
believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?
"Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid.
And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, Father, I thank Thee that Thou
hast heard Me.
"And I knew that Thou hearest Me always; but because of the people
which stand by I said it, that they may believe that Thou hast sent
"And when He thus had spoken, He cried with a loud voice, Lazarus,
"And he that was dead came forth."
(She read loudly, cold and trembling with ecstasy, as though she were
seeing it before her eyes.)
"Bound hand and foot with graveclothes; and his face was bound about
with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him and let him go.
"Then many of the Jews which came to Mary and had seen the things
which Jesus did believed on Him."
She could read no more, closed the book and got up from her chair
"That is all about the raising of Lazarus," she whispered severely and
abruptly, and turning away she stood motionless, not daring to raise
her eyes to him. She still trembled feverishly. The candle-end was
flickering out in the battered candlestick, dimly lighting up in the
poverty-stricken room the murderer and the harlot who had so strangely
been reading together the eternal book. Five minutes or more passed.
"I came to speak of something," Raskolnikov said aloud, frowning. He
got up and went to Sonia. She lifted her eyes to him in silence. His
face was particularly stern and there was a sort of savage
determination in it.
"I have abandoned my family to-day," he said, "my mother and sister. I
am not going to see them. I've broken with them completely."
"What for?" asked Sonia amazed. Her recent meeting with his mother and
sister had left a great impression which she could not analyse. She
heard his news almost with horror.
"I have only you now," he added. "Let us go together. . . . I've come
to you, we are both accursed, let us go our way together!"
His eyes glittered "as though he were mad," Sonia thought, in her
"Go where?" she asked in alarm and she involuntarily stepped back.
"How do I know? I only know it's the same road, I know that and
nothing more. It's the same goal!"
She looked at him and understood nothing. She knew only that he was
terribly, infinitely unhappy.
"No one of them will understand, if you tell them, but I have
understood. I need you, that is why I have come to you."
"I don't understand," whispered Sonia.
"You'll understand later. Haven't you done the same? You, too, have
transgressed . . . have had the strength to transgress. You have laid
hands on yourself, you have destroyed a life . . . /your own/ (it's
all the same!). You might have lived in spirit and understanding, but
you'll end in the Hay Market. . . . But you won't be able to stand it,
and if you remain alone you'll go out of your mind like me. You are
like a mad creature already. So we must go together on the same road!
Let us go!"
"What for? What's all this for?" said Sonia, strangely and violently
agitated by his words.
"What for? Because you can't remain like this, that's why! You must
look things straight in the face at last, and not weep like a child
and cry that God won't allow it. What will happen, if you should
really be taken to the hospital to-morrow? She is mad and in
consumption, she'll soon die and the children? Do you mean to tell me
Polenka won't come to grief? Haven't you seen children here at the
street corners sent out by their mothers to beg? I've found out where
those mothers live and in what surroundings. Children can't remain
children there! At seven the child is vicious and a thief. Yet
children, you know, are the image of Christ: 'theirs is the kingdom of
Heaven.' He bade us honour and love them, they are the humanity of the
future. . . ."
"What's to be done, what's to be done?" repeated Sonia, weeping
hysterically and wringing her hands.
"What's to be done? Break what must be broken, once for all, that's
all, and take the suffering on oneself. What, you don't understand?
You'll understand later. . . . Freedom and power, and above all,
power! Over all trembling creation and all the ant-heap! . . . That's
the goal, remember that! That's my farewell message. Perhaps it's the
last time I shall speak to you. If I don't come to-morrow, you'll hear
of it all, and then remember these words. And some day later on, in
years to come, you'll understand perhaps what they meant. If I come
to-morrow, I'll tell you who killed Lizaveta. . . . Good-bye."
Sonia started with terror.
"Why, do you know who killed her?" she asked, chilled with horror,
looking wildly at him.
"I know and will tell . . . you, only you. I have chosen you out. I'm
not coming to you to ask forgiveness, but simply to tell you. I chose
you out long ago to hear this, when your father talked of you and when
Lizaveta was alive, I thought of it. Good-bye, don't shake hands.
He went out. Sonia gazed at him as at a madman. But she herself was
like one insane and felt it. Her head was going round.
"Good heavens, how does he know who killed Lizaveta? What did those
words mean? It's awful!" But at the same time /the idea/ did not enter
her head, not for a moment! "Oh, he must be terribly unhappy! . . . He
has abandoned his mother and sister. . . . What for? What has
happened? And what had he in his mind? What did he say to her? He had
kissed her foot and said . . . said (yes, he had said it clearly) that
he could not live without her. . . . Oh, merciful heavens!"
Sonia spent the whole night feverish and delirious. She jumped up from
time to time, wept and wrung her hands, then sank again into feverish
sleep and dreamt of Polenka, Katerina Ivanovna and Lizaveta, of
reading the gospel and him . . . him with pale face, with burning eyes
. . . kissing her feet, weeping.
On the other side of the door on the right, which divided Sonia's room
from Madame Resslich's flat, was a room which had long stood empty. A
card was fixed on the gate and a notice stuck in the windows over the
canal advertising it to let. Sonia had long been accustomed to the
room's being uninhabited. But all that time Mr. Svidriga´lov had been
standing, listening at the door of the empty room. When Raskolnikov
went out he stood still, thought a moment, went on tiptoe to his own
room which adjoined the empty one, brought a chair and noiselessly
carried it to the door that led to Sonia's room. The conversation had
struck him as interesting and remarkable, and he had greatly enjoyed
it--so much so that he brought a chair that he might not in the
future, to-morrow, for instance, have to endure the inconvenience of
standing a whole hour, but might listen in comfort.
When next morning at eleven o'clock punctually Raskolnikov went into
the department of the investigation of criminal causes and sent his
name in to Porfiry Petrovitch, he was surprised at being kept waiting
so long: it was at least ten minutes before he was summoned. He had
expected that they would pounce upon him. But he stood in the waiting-
room, and people, who apparently had nothing to do with him, were
continually passing to and fro before him. In the next room which
looked like an office, several clerks were sitting writing and
obviously they had no notion who or what Raskolnikov might be. He
looked uneasily and suspiciously about him to see whether there was
not some guard, some mysterious watch being kept on him to prevent his
escape. But there was nothing of the sort: he saw only the faces of
clerks absorbed in petty details, then other people, no one seemed to
have any concern with him. He might go where he liked for them. The
conviction grew stronger in him that if that enigmatic man of
yesterday, that phantom sprung out of the earth, had seen everything,
they would not have let him stand and wait like that. And would they
have waited till he elected to appear at eleven? Either the man had
not yet given information, or . . . or simply he knew nothing, had
seen nothing (and how could he have seen anything?) and so all that
had happened to him the day before was again a phantom exaggerated by
his sick and overstrained imagination. This conjecture had begun to
grow strong the day before, in the midst of all his alarm and despair.
Thinking it all over now and preparing for a fresh conflict, he was
suddenly aware that he was trembling--and he felt a rush of
indignation at the thought that he was trembling with fear at facing
that hateful Porfiry Petrovitch. What he dreaded above all was meeting
that man again; he hated him with an intense, unmitigated hatred and
was afraid his hatred might betray him. His indignation was such that
he ceased trembling at once; he made ready to go in with a cold and
arrogant bearing and vowed to himself to keep as silent as possible,
to watch and listen and for once at least to control his overstrained
nerves. At that moment he was summoned to Porfiry Petrovitch.