Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Part 1 out of 12

Adobe PDF icon
Download Crime and Punishment pdf
File size: 1.3 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

Etext prepared by John Bickers, jbickers@ihug.co.nz
and Dagny, dagnyj@hotmail.com



Translated By
Constance Garnett


A few words about Dostoevsky himself may help the English reader to
understand his work.

Dostoevsky was the son of a doctor. His parents were very hard-
working and deeply religious people, but so poor that they lived with
their five children in only two rooms. The father and mother spent
their evenings in reading aloud to their children, generally from
books of a serious character.

Though always sickly and delicate Dostoevsky came out third in the
final examination of the Petersburg school of Engineering. There he
had already begun his first work, "Poor Folk."

This story was published by the poet Nekrassov in his review and was
received with acclamations. The shy, unknown youth found himself
instantly something of a celebrity. A brilliant and successful career
seemed to open before him, but those hopes were soon dashed. In 1849
he was arrested.

Though neither by temperament nor conviction a revolutionist,
Dostoevsky was one of a little group of young men who met together to
read Fourier and Proudhon. He was accused of "taking part in
conversations against the censorship, of reading a letter from
Byelinsky to Gogol, and of knowing of the intention to set up a
printing press." Under Nicholas I. (that "stern and just man," as
Maurice Baring calls him) this was enough, and he was condemned to
death. After eight months' imprisonment he was with twenty-one others
taken out to the Semyonovsky Square to be shot. Writing to his brother
Mihail, Dostoevsky says: "They snapped words over our heads, and they
made us put on the white shirts worn by persons condemned to death.
Thereupon we were bound in threes to stakes, to suffer execution.
Being the third in the row, I concluded I had only a few minutes of
life before me. I thought of you and your dear ones and I contrived to
kiss Plestcheiev and Dourov, who were next to me, and to bid them
farewell. Suddenly the troops beat a tattoo, we were unbound, brought
back upon the scaffold, and informed that his Majesty had spared us
our lives." The sentence was commuted to hard labour.

One of the prisoners, Grigoryev, went mad as soon as he was untied,
and never regained his sanity.

The intense suffering of this experience left a lasting stamp on
Dostoevsky's mind. Though his religious temper led him in the end to
accept every suffering with resignation and to regard it as a blessing
in his own case, he constantly recurs to the subject in his writings.
He describes the awful agony of the condemned man and insists on the
cruelty of inflicting such torture. Then followed four years of penal
servitude, spent in the company of common criminals in Siberia, where
he began the "Dead House," and some years of service in a disciplinary

He had shown signs of some obscure nervous disease before his arrest
and this now developed into violent attacks of epilepsy, from which he
suffered for the rest of his life. The fits occurred three or four
times a year and were more frequent in periods of great strain. In
1859 he was allowed to return to Russia. He started a journal--
"Vremya," which was forbidden by the Censorship through a
misunderstanding. In 1864 he lost his first wife and his brother
Mihail. He was in terrible poverty, yet he took upon himself the
payment of his brother's debts. He started another journal--"The
Epoch," which within a few months was also prohibited. He was
weighed down by debt, his brother's family was dependent on him, he
was forced to write at heart-breaking speed, and is said never to have
corrected his work. The later years of his life were much softened by
the tenderness and devotion of his second wife.

In June 1880 he made his famous speech at the unveiling of the
monument to Pushkin in Moscow and he was received with extraordinary
demonstrations of love and honour.

A few months later Dostoevsky died. He was followed to the grave by a
vast multitude of mourners, who "gave the hapless man the funeral of a
king." He is still probably the most widely read writer in Russia.

In the words of a Russian critic, who seeks to explain the feeling
inspired by Dostoevsky: "He was one of ourselves, a man of our blood
and our bone, but one who has suffered and has seen so much more
deeply than we have his insight impresses us as wisdom . . . that
wisdom of the heart which we seek that we may learn from it how to
live. All his other gifts came to him from nature, this he won for
himself and through it he became great."




On an exceptionally hot evening early in July a young man came out of
the garret in which he lodged in S. Place and walked slowly, as though
in hesitation, towards K. bridge.

He had successfully avoided meeting his landlady on the staircase. His
garret was under the roof of a high, five-storied house and was more
like a cupboard than a room. The landlady who provided him with
garret, dinners, and attendance, lived on the floor below, and every
time he went out he was obliged to pass her kitchen, the door of which
invariably stood open. And each time he passed, the young man had a
sick, frightened feeling, which made him scowl and feel ashamed. He
was hopelessly in debt to his landlady, and was afraid of meeting her.

This was not because he was cowardly and abject, quite the contrary;
but for some time past he had been in an overstrained irritable
condition, verging on hypochondria. He had become so completely
absorbed in himself, and isolated from his fellows that he dreaded
meeting, not only his landlady, but anyone at all. He was crushed by
poverty, but the anxieties of his position had of late ceased to weigh
upon him. He had given up attending to matters of practical
importance; he had lost all desire to do so. Nothing that any landlady
could do had a real terror for him. But to be stopped on the stairs,
to be forced to listen to her trivial, irrelevant gossip, to pestering
demands for payment, threats and complaints, and to rack his brains
for excuses, to prevaricate, to lie--no, rather than that, he would
creep down the stairs like a cat and slip out unseen.

This evening, however, on coming out into the street, he became
acutely aware of his fears.

"I want to attempt a thing /like that/ and am frightened by these
trifles," he thought, with an odd smile. "Hm . . . yes, all is in a
man's hands and he lets it all slip from cowardice, that's an axiom.
It would be interesting to know what it is men are most afraid of.
Taking a new step, uttering a new word is what they fear most. . . .
But I am talking too much. It's because I chatter that I do nothing.
Or perhaps it is that I chatter because I do nothing. I've learned to
chatter this last month, lying for days together in my den thinking
. . . of Jack the Giant-killer. Why am I going there now? Am I capable
of /that/? Is /that/ serious? It is not serious at all. It's simply a
fantasy to amuse myself; a plaything! Yes, maybe it is a plaything."

The heat in the street was terrible: and the airlessness, the bustle
and the plaster, scaffolding, bricks, and dust all about him, and that
special Petersburg stench, so familiar to all who are unable to get
out of town in summer--all worked painfully upon the young man's
already overwrought nerves. The insufferable stench from the pot-
houses, which are particularly numerous in that part of the town, and
the drunken men whom he met continually, although it was a working
day, completed the revolting misery of the picture. An expression of
the profoundest disgust gleamed for a moment in the young man's
refined face. He was, by the way, exceptionally handsome, above the
average in height, slim, well-built, with beautiful dark eyes and dark
brown hair. Soon he sank into deep thought, or more accurately
speaking into a complete blankness of mind; he walked along not
observing what was about him and not caring to observe it. From time
to time, he would mutter something, from the habit of talking to
himself, to which he had just confessed. At these moments he would
become conscious that his ideas were sometimes in a tangle and that he
was very weak; for two days he had scarcely tasted food.

He was so badly dressed that even a man accustomed to shabbiness would
have been ashamed to be seen in the street in such rags. In that
quarter of the town, however, scarcely any shortcoming in dress would
have created surprise. Owing to the proximity of the Hay Market, the
number of establishments of bad character, the preponderance of the
trading and working class population crowded in these streets and
alleys in the heart of Petersburg, types so various were to be seen in
the streets that no figure, however queer, would have caused surprise.
But there was such accumulated bitterness and contempt in the young
man's heart, that, in spite of all the fastidiousness of youth, he
minded his rags least of all in the street. It was a different matter
when he met with acquaintances or with former fellow students, whom,
indeed, he disliked meeting at any time. And yet when a drunken man
who, for some unknown reason, was being taken somewhere in a huge
waggon dragged by a heavy dray horse, suddenly shouted at him as he
drove past: "Hey there, German hatter" bawling at the top of his voice
and pointing at him--the young man stopped suddenly and clutched
tremulously at his hat. It was a tall round hat from Zimmerman's, but
completely worn out, rusty with age, all torn and bespattered,
brimless and bent on one side in a most unseemly fashion. Not shame,
however, but quite another feeling akin to terror had overtaken him.

"I knew it," he muttered in confusion, "I thought so! That's the worst
of all! Why, a stupid thing like this, the most trivial detail might
spoil the whole plan. Yes, my hat is too noticeable. . . . It looks
absurd and that makes it noticeable. . . . With my rags I ought to
wear a cap, any sort of old pancake, but not this grotesque thing.
Nobody wears such a hat, it would be noticed a mile off, it would be
remembered. . . . What matters is that people would remember it, and
that would give them a clue. For this business one should be as little
conspicuous as possible. . . . Trifles, trifles are what matter! Why,
it's just such trifles that always ruin everything. . . ."

He had not far to go; he knew indeed how many steps it was from the
gate of his lodging house: exactly seven hundred and thirty. He had
counted them once when he had been lost in dreams. At the time he had
put no faith in those dreams and was only tantalising himself by their
hideous but daring recklessness. Now, a month later, he had begun to
look upon them differently, and, in spite of the monologues in which
he jeered at his own impotence and indecision, he had involuntarily
come to regard this "hideous" dream as an exploit to be attempted,
although he still did not realise this himself. He was positively
going now for a "rehearsal" of his project, and at every step his
excitement grew more and more violent.

With a sinking heart and a nervous tremor, he went up to a huge house
which on one side looked on to the canal, and on the other into the
street. This house was let out in tiny tenements and was inhabited by
working people of all kinds--tailors, locksmiths, cooks, Germans of
sorts, girls picking up a living as best they could, petty clerks,
etc. There was a continual coming and going through the two gates and
in the two courtyards of the house. Three or four door-keepers were
employed on the building. The young man was very glad to meet none of
them, and at once slipped unnoticed through the door on the right, and
up the staircase. It was a back staircase, dark and narrow, but he was
familiar with it already, and knew his way, and he liked all these
surroundings: in such darkness even the most inquisitive eyes were not
to be dreaded.

"If I am so scared now, what would it be if it somehow came to pass
that I were really going to do it?" he could not help asking himself
as he reached the fourth storey. There his progress was barred by some
porters who were engaged in moving furniture out of a flat. He knew
that the flat had been occupied by a German clerk in the civil
service, and his family. This German was moving out then, and so the
fourth floor on this staircase would be untenanted except by the old
woman. "That's a good thing anyway," he thought to himself, as he rang
the bell of the old woman's flat. The bell gave a faint tinkle as
though it were made of tin and not of copper. The little flats in such
houses always have bells that ring like that. He had forgotten the
note of that bell, and now its peculiar tinkle seemed to remind him of
something and to bring it clearly before him. . . . He started, his
nerves were terribly overstrained by now. In a little while, the door
was opened a tiny crack: the old woman eyed her visitor with evident
distrust through the crack, and nothing could be seen but her little
eyes, glittering in the darkness. But, seeing a number of people on
the landing, she grew bolder, and opened the door wide. The young man
stepped into the dark entry, which was partitioned off from the tiny
kitchen. The old woman stood facing him in silence and looking
inquiringly at him. She was a diminutive, withered up old woman of
sixty, with sharp malignant eyes and a sharp little nose. Her
colourless, somewhat grizzled hair was thickly smeared with oil, and
she wore no kerchief over it. Round her thin long neck, which looked
like a hen's leg, was knotted some sort of flannel rag, and, in spite
of the heat, there hung flapping on her shoulders, a mangy fur cape,
yellow with age. The old woman coughed and groaned at every instant.
The young man must have looked at her with a rather peculiar
expression, for a gleam of mistrust came into her eyes again.

"Raskolnikov, a student, I came here a month ago," the young man made
haste to mutter, with a half bow, remembering that he ought to be more

"I remember, my good sir, I remember quite well your coming here," the
old woman said distinctly, still keeping her inquiring eyes on his

"And here . . . I am again on the same errand," Raskolnikov continued,
a little disconcerted and surprised at the old woman's mistrust.
"Perhaps she is always like that though, only I did not notice it the
other time," he thought with an uneasy feeling.

The old woman paused, as though hesitating; then stepped on one side,
and pointing to the door of the room, she said, letting her visitor
pass in front of her:

"Step in, my good sir."

The little room into which the young man walked, with yellow paper on
the walls, geraniums and muslin curtains in the windows, was brightly
lighted up at that moment by the setting sun.

"So the sun will shine like this /then/ too!" flashed as it were by
chance through Raskolnikov's mind, and with a rapid glance he scanned
everything in the room, trying as far as possible to notice and
remember its arrangement. But there was nothing special in the room.
The furniture, all very old and of yellow wood, consisted of a sofa
with a huge bent wooden back, an oval table in front of the sofa, a
dressing-table with a looking-glass fixed on it between the windows,
chairs along the walls and two or three half-penny prints in yellow
frames, representing German damsels with birds in their hands--that
was all. In the corner a light was burning before a small ikon.
Everything was very clean; the floor and the furniture were brightly
polished; everything shone.

"Lizaveta's work," thought the young man. There was not a speck of
dust to be seen in the whole flat.

"It's in the houses of spiteful old widows that one finds such
cleanliness," Raskolnikov thought again, and he stole a curious glance
at the cotton curtain over the door leading into another tiny room, in
which stood the old woman's bed and chest of drawers and into which he
had never looked before. These two rooms made up the whole flat.

"What do you want?" the old woman said severely, coming into the room
and, as before, standing in front of him so as to look him straight in
the face.

"I've brought something to pawn here," and he drew out of his pocket
an old-fashioned flat silver watch, on the back of which was engraved
a globe; the chain was of steel.

"But the time is up for your last pledge. The month was up the day
before yesterday."

"I will bring you the interest for another month; wait a little."

"But that's for me to do as I please, my good sir, to wait or to sell
your pledge at once."

"How much will you give me for the watch, Alyona Ivanovna?"

"You come with such trifles, my good sir, it's scarcely worth
anything. I gave you two roubles last time for your ring and one could
buy it quite new at a jeweler's for a rouble and a half."

"Give me four roubles for it, I shall redeem it, it was my father's. I
shall be getting some money soon."

"A rouble and a half, and interest in advance, if you like!"

"A rouble and a half!" cried the young man.

"Please yourself"--and the old woman handed him back the watch. The
young man took it, and was so angry that he was on the point of going
away; but checked himself at once, remembering that there was nowhere
else he could go, and that he had had another object also in coming.

"Hand it over," he said roughly.

The old woman fumbled in her pocket for her keys, and disappeared
behind the curtain into the other room. The young man, left standing
alone in the middle of the room, listened inquisitively, thinking. He
could hear her unlocking the chest of drawers.

"It must be the top drawer," he reflected. "So she carries the keys in
a pocket on the right. All in one bunch on a steel ring. . . . And
there's one key there, three times as big as all the others, with deep
notches; that can't be the key of the chest of drawers . . . then
there must be some other chest or strong-box . . . that's worth
knowing. Strong-boxes always have keys like that . . . but how
degrading it all is."

The old woman came back.

"Here, sir: as we say ten copecks the rouble a month, so I must take
fifteen copecks from a rouble and a half for the month in advance. But
for the two roubles I lent you before, you owe me now twenty copecks
on the same reckoning in advance. That makes thirty-five copecks
altogether. So I must give you a rouble and fifteen copecks for the
watch. Here it is."

"What! only a rouble and fifteen copecks now!"

"Just so."

The young man did not dispute it and took the money. He looked at the
old woman, and was in no hurry to get away, as though there was still
something he wanted to say or to do, but he did not himself quite know

"I may be bringing you something else in a day or two, Alyona Ivanovna
--a valuable thing--silver--a cigarette-box, as soon as I get it back
from a friend . . ." he broke off in confusion.

"Well, we will talk about it then, sir."

"Good-bye--are you always at home alone, your sister is not here with
you?" He asked her as casually as possible as he went out into the

"What business is she of yours, my good sir?"

"Oh, nothing particular, I simply asked. You are too quick. . . .
Good-day, Alyona Ivanovna."

Raskolnikov went out in complete confusion. This confusion became more
and more intense. As he went down the stairs, he even stopped short,
two or three times, as though suddenly struck by some thought. When he
was in the street he cried out, "Oh, God, how loathsome it all is! and
can I, can I possibly. . . . No, it's nonsense, it's rubbish!" he
added resolutely. "And how could such an atrocious thing come into my
head? What filthy things my heart is capable of. Yes, filthy above
all, disgusting, loathsome, loathsome!--and for a whole month I've
been. . . ." But no words, no exclamations, could express his
agitation. The feeling of intense repulsion, which had begun to
oppress and torture his heart while he was on his way to the old
woman, had by now reached such a pitch and had taken such a definite
form that he did not know what to do with himself to escape from his
wretchedness. He walked along the pavement like a drunken man,
regardless of the passers-by, and jostling against them, and only came
to his senses when he was in the next street. Looking round, he
noticed that he was standing close to a tavern which was entered by
steps leading from the pavement to the basement. At that instant two
drunken men came out at the door, and abusing and supporting one
another, they mounted the steps. Without stopping to think,
Raskolnikov went down the steps at once. Till that moment he had never
been into a tavern, but now he felt giddy and was tormented by a
burning thirst. He longed for a drink of cold beer, and attributed his
sudden weakness to the want of food. He sat down at a sticky little
table in a dark and dirty corner; ordered some beer, and eagerly drank
off the first glassful. At once he felt easier; and his thoughts
became clear.

"All that's nonsense," he said hopefully, "and there is nothing in it
all to worry about! It's simply physical derangement. Just a glass of
beer, a piece of dry bread--and in one moment the brain is stronger,
the mind is clearer and the will is firm! Phew, how utterly petty it
all is!"

But in spite of this scornful reflection, he was by now looking
cheerful as though he were suddenly set free from a terrible burden:
and he gazed round in a friendly way at the people in the room. But
even at that moment he had a dim foreboding that this happier frame of
mind was also not normal.

There were few people at the time in the tavern. Besides the two
drunken men he had met on the steps, a group consisting of about five
men and a girl with a concertina had gone out at the same time. Their
departure left the room quiet and rather empty. The persons still in
the tavern were a man who appeared to be an artisan, drunk, but not
extremely so, sitting before a pot of beer, and his companion, a huge,
stout man with a grey beard, in a short full-skirted coat. He was very
drunk: and had dropped asleep on the bench; every now and then, he
began as though in his sleep, cracking his fingers, with his arms wide
apart and the upper part of his body bounding about on the bench,
while he hummed some meaningless refrain, trying to recall some such
lines as these:

"His wife a year he fondly loved
His wife a--a year he--fondly loved."

Or suddenly waking up again:

"Walking along the crowded row
He met the one he used to know."

But no one shared his enjoyment: his silent companion looked with
positive hostility and mistrust at all these manifestations. There was
another man in the room who looked somewhat like a retired government
clerk. He was sitting apart, now and then sipping from his pot and
looking round at the company. He, too, appeared to be in some


Raskolnikov was not used to crowds, and, as we said before, he avoided
society of every sort, more especially of late. But now all at once he
felt a desire to be with other people. Something new seemed to be
taking place within him, and with it he felt a sort of thirst for
company. He was so weary after a whole month of concentrated
wretchedness and gloomy excitement that he longed to rest, if only for
a moment, in some other world, whatever it might be; and, in spite of
the filthiness of the surroundings, he was glad now to stay in the

The master of the establishment was in another room, but he frequently
came down some steps into the main room, his jaunty, tarred boots with
red turn-over tops coming into view each time before the rest of his
person. He wore a full coat and a horribly greasy black satin
waistcoat, with no cravat, and his whole face seemed smeared with oil
like an iron lock. At the counter stood a boy of about fourteen, and
there was another boy somewhat younger who handed whatever was wanted.
On the counter lay some sliced cucumber, some pieces of dried black
bread, and some fish, chopped up small, all smelling very bad. It was
insufferably close, and so heavy with the fumes of spirits that five
minutes in such an atmosphere might well make a man drunk.

There are chance meetings with strangers that interest us from the
first moment, before a word is spoken. Such was the impression made on
Raskolnikov by the person sitting a little distance from him, who
looked like a retired clerk. The young man often recalled this
impression afterwards, and even ascribed it to presentiment. He looked
repeatedly at the clerk, partly no doubt because the latter was
staring persistently at him, obviously anxious to enter into
conversation. At the other persons in the room, including the tavern-
keeper, the clerk looked as though he were used to their company, and
weary of it, showing a shade of condescending contempt for them as
persons of station and culture inferior to his own, with whom it would
be useless for him to converse. He was a man over fifty, bald and
grizzled, of medium height, and stoutly built. His face, bloated from
continual drinking, was of a yellow, even greenish, tinge, with
swollen eyelids out of which keen reddish eyes gleamed like little
chinks. But there was something very strange in him; there was a light
in his eyes as though of intense feeling--perhaps there were even
thought and intelligence, but at the same time there was a gleam of
something like madness. He was wearing an old and hopelessly ragged
black dress coat, with all its buttons missing except one, and that
one he had buttoned, evidently clinging to this last trace of
respectability. A crumpled shirt front, covered with spots and stains,
protruded from his canvas waistcoat. Like a clerk, he wore no beard,
nor moustache, but had been so long unshaven that his chin looked like
a stiff greyish brush. And there was something respectable and like an
official about his manner too. But he was restless; he ruffled up his
hair and from time to time let his head drop into his hands dejectedly
resting his ragged elbows on the stained and sticky table. At last he
looked straight at Raskolnikov, and said loudly and resolutely:

"May I venture, honoured sir, to engage you in polite conversation?
Forasmuch as, though your exterior would not command respect, my
experience admonishes me that you are a man of education and not
accustomed to drinking. I have always respected education when in
conjunction with genuine sentiments, and I am besides a titular
counsellor in rank. Marmeladov--such is my name; titular counsellor. I
make bold to inquire--have you been in the service?"

"No, I am studying," answered the young man, somewhat surprised at the
grandiloquent style of the speaker and also at being so directly
addressed. In spite of the momentary desire he had just been feeling
for company of any sort, on being actually spoken to he felt
immediately his habitual irritable and uneasy aversion for any
stranger who approached or attempted to approach him.

"A student then, or formerly a student," cried the clerk. "Just what I
thought! I'm a man of experience, immense experience, sir," and he
tapped his forehead with his fingers in self-approval. "You've been a
student or have attended some learned institution! . . . But allow me.
. . ." He got up, staggered, took up his jug and glass, and sat down
beside the young man, facing him a little sideways. He was drunk, but
spoke fluently and boldly, only occasionally losing the thread of his
sentences and drawling his words. He pounced upon Raskolnikov as
greedily as though he too had not spoken to a soul for a month.

"Honoured sir," he began almost with solemnity, "poverty is not a
vice, that's a true saying. Yet I know too that drunkenness is not a
virtue, and that that's even truer. But beggary, honoured sir, beggary
is a vice. In poverty you may still retain your innate nobility of
soul, but in beggary--never--no one. For beggary a man is not chased
out of human society with a stick, he is swept out with a broom, so as
to make it as humiliating as possible; and quite right, too, forasmuch
as in beggary I am ready to be the first to humiliate myself. Hence
the pot-house! Honoured sir, a month ago Mr. Lebeziatnikov gave my
wife a beating, and my wife is a very different matter from me! Do you
understand? Allow me to ask you another question out of simple
curiosity: have you ever spent a night on a hay barge, on the Neva?"

"No, I have not happened to," answered Raskolnikov. "What do you

"Well, I've just come from one and it's the fifth night I've slept
so. . . ." He filled his glass, emptied it and paused. Bits of hay
were in fact clinging to his clothes and sticking to his hair. It
seemed quite probable that he had not undressed or washed for the last
five days. His hands, particularly, were filthy. They were fat and
red, with black nails.

His conversation seemed to excite a general though languid interest.
The boys at the counter fell to sniggering. The innkeeper came down
from the upper room, apparently on purpose to listen to the "funny
fellow" and sat down at a little distance, yawning lazily, but with
dignity. Evidently Marmeladov was a familiar figure here, and he had
most likely acquired his weakness for high-flown speeches from the
habit of frequently entering into conversation with strangers of all
sorts in the tavern. This habit develops into a necessity in some
drunkards, and especially in those who are looked after sharply and
kept in order at home. Hence in the company of other drinkers they try
to justify themselves and even if possible obtain consideration.

"Funny fellow!" pronounced the innkeeper. "And why don't you work, why
aren't you at your duty, if you are in the service?"

"Why am I not at my duty, honoured sir," Marmeladov went on,
addressing himself exclusively to Raskolnikov, as though it had been
he who put that question to him. "Why am I not at my duty? Does not my
heart ache to think what a useless worm I am? A month ago when Mr.
Lebeziatnikov beat my wife with his own hands, and I lay drunk, didn't
I suffer? Excuse me, young man, has it ever happened to you . . . hm
. . . well, to petition hopelessly for a loan?"

"Yes, it has. But what do you mean by hopelessly?"

"Hopelessly in the fullest sense, when you know beforehand that you
will get nothing by it. You know, for instance, beforehand with
positive certainty that this man, this most reputable and exemplary
citizen, will on no consideration give you money; and indeed I ask you
why should he? For he knows of course that I shan't pay it back. From
compassion? But Mr. Lebeziatnikov who keeps up with modern ideas
explained the other day that compassion is forbidden nowadays by
science itself, and that that's what is done now in England, where
there is political economy. Why, I ask you, should he give it to me?
And yet though I know beforehand that he won't, I set off to him
and . . ."

"Why do you go?" put in Raskolnikov.

"Well, when one has no one, nowhere else one can go! For every man
must have somewhere to go. Since there are times when one absolutely
must go somewhere! When my own daughter first went out with a yellow
ticket, then I had to go . . . (for my daughter has a yellow
passport)," he added in parenthesis, looking with a certain uneasiness
at the young man. "No matter, sir, no matter!" he went on hurriedly
and with apparent composure when both the boys at the counter guffawed
and even the innkeeper smiled--"No matter, I am not confounded by the
wagging of their heads; for everyone knows everything about it
already, and all that is secret is made open. And I accept it all, not
with contempt, but with humility. So be it! So be it! 'Behold the
man!' Excuse me, young man, can you. . . . No, to put it more strongly
and more distinctly; not /can/ you but /dare/ you, looking upon me,
assert that I am not a pig?"

The young man did not answer a word.

"Well," the orator began again stolidly and with even increased
dignity, after waiting for the laughter in the room to subside. "Well,
so be it, I am a pig, but she is a lady! I have the semblance of a
beast, but Katerina Ivanovna, my spouse, is a person of education and
an officer's daughter. Granted, granted, I am a scoundrel, but she is
a woman of a noble heart, full of sentiments, refined by education.
And yet . . . oh, if only she felt for me! Honoured sir, honoured sir,
you know every man ought to have at least one place where people feel
for him! But Katerina Ivanovna, though she is magnanimous, she is
unjust. . . . And yet, although I realise that when she pulls my hair
she only does it out of pity--for I repeat without being ashamed, she
pulls my hair, young man," he declared with redoubled dignity, hearing
the sniggering again--"but, my God, if she would but once. . . . But
no, no! It's all in vain and it's no use talking! No use talking! For
more than once, my wish did come true and more than once she has felt
for me but . . . such is my fate and I am a beast by nature!"

"Rather!" assented the innkeeper yawning. Marmeladov struck his fist
resolutely on the table.

"Such is my fate! Do you know, sir, do you know, I have sold her very
stockings for drink? Not her shoes--that would be more or less in the
order of things, but her stockings, her stockings I have sold for
drink! Her mohair shawl I sold for drink, a present to her long ago,
her own property, not mine; and we live in a cold room and she caught
cold this winter and has begun coughing and spitting blood too. We
have three little children and Katerina Ivanovna is at work from
morning till night; she is scrubbing and cleaning and washing the
children, for she's been used to cleanliness from a child. But her
chest is weak and she has a tendency to consumption and I feel it! Do
you suppose I don't feel it? And the more I drink the more I feel it.
That's why I drink too. I try to find sympathy and feeling in drink.
. . . I drink so that I may suffer twice as much!" And as though in
despair he laid his head down on the table.

"Young man," he went on, raising his head again, "in your face I seem
to read some trouble of mind. When you came in I read it, and that was
why I addressed you at once. For in unfolding to you the story of my
life, I do not wish to make myself a laughing-stock before these idle
listeners, who indeed know all about it already, but I am looking for
a man of feeling and education. Know then that my wife was educated in
a high-class school for the daughters of noblemen, and on leaving she
danced the shawl dance before the governor and other personages for
which she was presented with a gold medal and a certificate of merit.
The medal . . . well, the medal of course was sold--long ago, hm . . .
but the certificate of merit is in her trunk still and not long ago
she showed it to our landlady. And although she is most continually on
bad terms with the landlady, yet she wanted to tell someone or other
of her past honours and of the happy days that are gone. I don't
condemn her for it, I don't blame her, for the one thing left her is
recollection of the past, and all the rest is dust and ashes. Yes,
yes, she is a lady of spirit, proud and determined. She scrubs the
floors herself and has nothing but black bread to eat, but won't allow
herself to be treated with disrespect. That's why she would not
overlook Mr. Lebeziatnikov's rudeness to her, and so when he gave her
a beating for it, she took to her bed more from the hurt to her
feelings than from the blows. She was a widow when I married her, with
three children, one smaller than the other. She married her first
husband, an infantry officer, for love, and ran away with him from her
father's house. She was exceedingly fond of her husband; but he gave
way to cards, got into trouble and with that he died. He used to beat
her at the end: and although she paid him back, of which I have
authentic documentary evidence, to this day she speaks of him with
tears and she throws him up to me; and I am glad, I am glad that,
though only in imagination, she should think of herself as having once
been happy. . . . And she was left at his death with three children in
a wild and remote district where I happened to be at the time; and she
was left in such hopeless poverty that, although I have seen many ups
and downs of all sort, I don't feel equal to describing it even. Her
relations had all thrown her off. And she was proud, too, excessively
proud. . . . And then, honoured sir, and then, I, being at the time a
widower, with a daughter of fourteen left me by my first wife, offered
her my hand, for I could not bear the sight of such suffering. You can
judge the extremity of her calamities, that she, a woman of education
and culture and distinguished family, should have consented to be my
wife. But she did! Weeping and sobbing and wringing her hands, she
married me! For she had nowhere to turn! Do you understand, sir, do
you understand what it means when you have absolutely nowhere to turn?
No, that you don't understand yet. . . . And for a whole year, I
performed my duties conscientiously and faithfully, and did not touch
this" (he tapped the jug with his finger), "for I have feelings. But
even so, I could not please her; and then I lost my place too, and
that through no fault of mine but through changes in the office; and
then I did touch it! . . . It will be a year and a half ago soon since
we found ourselves at last after many wanderings and numerous
calamities in this magnificent capital, adorned with innumerable
monuments. Here I obtained a situation. . . . I obtained it and I lost
it again. Do you understand? This time it was through my own fault I
lost it: for my weakness had come out. . . . We have now part of a
room at Amalia Fyodorovna Lippevechsel's; and what we live upon and
what we pay our rent with, I could not say. There are a lot of people
living there besides ourselves. Dirt and disorder, a perfect Bedlam
. . . hm . . . yes . . . And meanwhile my daughter by my first wife
has grown up; and what my daughter has had to put up with from her
step-mother whilst she was growing up, I won't speak of. For, though
Katerina Ivanovna is full of generous feelings, she is a spirited
lady, irritable and short--tempered. . . . Yes. But it's no use going
over that! Sonia, as you may well fancy, has had no education. I did
make an effort four years ago to give her a course of geography and
universal history, but as I was not very well up in those subjects
myself and we had no suitable books, and what books we had . . . hm,
anyway we have not even those now, so all our instruction came to an
end. We stopped at Cyrus of Persia. Since she has attained years of
maturity, she has read other books of romantic tendency and of late
she had read with great interest a book she got through Mr.
Lebeziatnikov, Lewes' Physiology--do you know it?--and even recounted
extracts from it to us: and that's the whole of her education. And now
may I venture to address you, honoured sir, on my own account with a
private question. Do you suppose that a respectable poor girl can earn
much by honest work? Not fifteen farthings a day can she earn, if she
is respectable and has no special talent and that without putting her
work down for an instant! And what's more, Ivan Ivanitch Klopstock the
civil counsellor--have you heard of him?--has not to this day paid her
for the half-dozen linen shirts she made him and drove her roughly
away, stamping and reviling her, on the pretext that the shirt collars
were not made like the pattern and were put in askew. And there are
the little ones hungry. . . . And Katerina Ivanovna walking up and
down and wringing her hands, her cheeks flushed red, as they always
are in that disease: 'Here you live with us,' says she, 'you eat and
drink and are kept warm and you do nothing to help.' And much she gets
to eat and drink when there is not a crust for the little ones for
three days! I was lying at the time . . . well, what of it! I was
lying drunk and I heard my Sonia speaking (she is a gentle creature
with a soft little voice . . . fair hair and such a pale, thin little
face). She said: 'Katerina Ivanovna, am I really to do a thing like
that?' And Darya Frantsovna, a woman of evil character and very well
known to the police, had two or three times tried to get at her
through the landlady. 'And why not?' said Katerina Ivanovna with a
jeer, 'you are something mighty precious to be so careful of!' But
don't blame her, don't blame her, honoured sir, don't blame her! She
was not herself when she spoke, but driven to distraction by her
illness and the crying of the hungry children; and it was said more to
wound her than anything else. . . . For that's Katerina Ivanovna's
character, and when children cry, even from hunger, she falls to
beating them at once. At six o'clock I saw Sonia get up, put on her
kerchief and her cape, and go out of the room and about nine o'clock
she came back. She walked straight up to Katerina Ivanovna and she
laid thirty roubles on the table before her in silence. She did not
utter a word, she did not even look at her, she simply picked up our
big green /drap de dames/ shawl (we have a shawl, made of /drap de
dames/), put it over her head and face and lay down on the bed with
her face to the wall; only her little shoulders and her body kept
shuddering. . . . And I went on lying there, just as before. . . . And
then I saw, young man, I saw Katerina Ivanovna, in the same silence go
up to Sonia's little bed; she was on her knees all the evening kissing
Sonia's feet, and would not get up, and then they both fell asleep in
each other's arms . . . together, together . . . yes . . . and I . . .
lay drunk."

Marmeladov stopped short, as though his voice had failed him. Then he
hurriedly filled his glass, drank, and cleared his throat.

"Since then, sir," he went on after a brief pause--"Since then, owing
to an unfortunate occurrence and through information given by evil-
intentioned persons--in all which Darya Frantsovna took a leading part
on the pretext that she had been treated with want of respect--since
then my daughter Sofya Semyonovna has been forced to take a yellow
ticket, and owing to that she is unable to go on living with us. For
our landlady, Amalia Fyodorovna would not hear of it (though she had
backed up Darya Frantsovna before) and Mr. Lebeziatnikov too . . . hm.
. . . All the trouble between him and Katerina Ivanovna was on Sonia's
account. At first he was for making up to Sonia himself and then all
of a sudden he stood on his dignity: 'how,' said he, 'can a highly
educated man like me live in the same rooms with a girl like that?'
And Katerina Ivanovna would not let it pass, she stood up for her
. . . and so that's how it happened. And Sonia comes to us now, mostly
after dark; she comforts Katerina Ivanovna and gives her all she can.
. . . She has a room at the Kapernaumovs' the tailors, she lodges with
them; Kapernaumov is a lame man with a cleft palate and all of his
numerous family have cleft palates too. And his wife, too, has a cleft
palate. They all live in one room, but Sonia has her own, partitioned
off. . . . Hm . . . yes . . . very poor people and all with cleft
palates . . . yes. Then I got up in the morning, and put on my rags,
lifted up my hands to heaven and set off to his excellency Ivan
Afanasyvitch. His excellency Ivan Afanasyvitch, do you know him? No?
Well, then, it's a man of God you don't know. He is wax . . . wax
before the face of the Lord; even as wax melteth! . . . His eyes were
dim when he heard my story. 'Marmeladov, once already you have
deceived my expectations . . . I'll take you once more on my own
responsibility'--that's what he said, 'remember,' he said, 'and now
you can go.' I kissed the dust at his feet--in thought only, for in
reality he would not have allowed me to do it, being a statesman and a
man of modern political and enlightened ideas. I returned home, and
when I announced that I'd been taken back into the service and should
receive a salary, heavens, what a to-do there was . . .!"

Marmeladov stopped again in violent excitement. At that moment a whole
party of revellers already drunk came in from the street, and the
sounds of a hired concertina and the cracked piping voice of a child
of seven singing "The Hamlet" were heard in the entry. The room was
filled with noise. The tavern-keeper and the boys were busy with the
new-comers. Marmeladov paying no attention to the new arrivals
continued his story. He appeared by now to be extremely weak, but as
he became more and more drunk, he became more and more talkative. The
recollection of his recent success in getting the situation seemed to
revive him, and was positively reflected in a sort of radiance on his
face. Raskolnikov listened attentively.

"That was five weeks ago, sir. Yes. . . . As soon as Katerina Ivanovna
and Sonia heard of it, mercy on us, it was as though I stepped into
the kingdom of Heaven. It used to be: you can lie like a beast,
nothing but abuse. Now they were walking on tiptoe, hushing the
children. 'Semyon Zaharovitch is tired with his work at the office, he
is resting, shh!' They made me coffee before I went to work and boiled
cream for me! They began to get real cream for me, do you hear that?
And how they managed to get together the money for a decent outfit--
eleven roubles, fifty copecks, I can't guess. Boots, cotton shirt-
fronts--most magnificent, a uniform, they got up all in splendid
style, for eleven roubles and a half. The first morning I came back
from the office I found Katerina Ivanovna had cooked two courses for
dinner--soup and salt meat with horse radish--which we had never
dreamed of till then. She had not any dresses . . . none at all, but
she got herself up as though she were going on a visit; and not that
she'd anything to do it with, she smartened herself up with nothing at
all, she'd done her hair nicely, put on a clean collar of some sort,
cuffs, and there she was, quite a different person, she was younger
and better looking. Sonia, my little darling, had only helped with
money 'for the time,' she said, 'it won't do for me to come and see
you too often. After dark maybe when no one can see.' Do you hear, do
you hear? I lay down for a nap after dinner and what do you think:
though Katerina Ivanovna had quarrelled to the last degree with our
landlady Amalia Fyodorovna only a week before, she could not resist
then asking her in to coffee. For two hours they were sitting,
whispering together. 'Semyon Zaharovitch is in the service again, now,
and receiving a salary,' says she, 'and he went himself to his
excellency and his excellency himself came out to him, made all the
others wait and led Semyon Zaharovitch by the hand before everybody
into his study.' Do you hear, do you hear? 'To be sure,' says he,
'Semyon Zaharovitch, remembering your past services,' says he, 'and in
spite of your propensity to that foolish weakness, since you promise
now and since moreover we've got on badly without you,' (do you hear,
do you hear;) 'and so,' says he, 'I rely now on your word as a
gentleman.' And all that, let me tell you, she has simply made up for
herself, and not simply out of wantonness, for the sake of bragging;
no, she believes it all herself, she amuses herself with her own
fancies, upon my word she does! And I don't blame her for it, no, I
don't blame her! . . . Six days ago when I brought her my first
earnings in full--twenty-three roubles forty copecks altogether--she
called me her poppet: 'poppet,' said she, 'my little poppet.' And when
we were by ourselves, you understand? You would not think me a beauty,
you would not think much of me as a husband, would you? . . . Well,
she pinched my cheek, 'my little poppet,' said she."

Marmeladov broke off, tried to smile, but suddenly his chin began to
twitch. He controlled himself however. The tavern, the degraded
appearance of the man, the five nights in the hay barge, and the pot
of spirits, and yet this poignant love for his wife and children
bewildered his listener. Raskolnikov listened intently but with a sick
sensation. He felt vexed that he had come here.

"Honoured sir, honoured sir," cried Marmeladov recovering himself--
"Oh, sir, perhaps all this seems a laughing matter to you, as it does
to others, and perhaps I am only worrying you with the stupidity of
all the trivial details of my home life, but it is not a laughing
matter to me. For I can feel it all. . . . And the whole of that
heavenly day of my life and the whole of that evening I passed in
fleeting dreams of how I would arrange it all, and how I would dress
all the children, and how I should give her rest, and how I should
rescue my own daughter from dishonour and restore her to the bosom of
her family. . . . And a great deal more. . . . Quite excusable, sir.
Well, then, sir" (Marmeladov suddenly gave a sort of start, raised his
head and gazed intently at his listener) "well, on the very next day
after all those dreams, that is to say, exactly five days ago, in the
evening, by a cunning trick, like a thief in the night, I stole from
Katerina Ivanovna the key of her box, took out what was left of my
earnings, how much it was I have forgotten, and now look at me, all of
you! It's the fifth day since I left home, and they are looking for me
there and it's the end of my employment, and my uniform is lying in a
tavern on the Egyptian bridge. I exchanged it for the garments I have
on . . . and it's the end of everything!"

Marmeladov struck his forehead with his fist, clenched his teeth,
closed his eyes and leaned heavily with his elbow on the table. But a
minute later his face suddenly changed and with a certain assumed
slyness and affectation of bravado, he glanced at Raskolnikov, laughed
and said:

"This morning I went to see Sonia, I went to ask her for a pick-me-up!

"You don't say she gave it to you?" cried one of the new-comers; he
shouted the words and went off into a guffaw.

"This very quart was bought with her money," Marmeladov declared,
addressing himself exclusively to Raskolnikov. "Thirty copecks she
gave me with her own hands, her last, all she had, as I saw. . . . She
said nothing, she only looked at me without a word. . . . Not on
earth, but up yonder . . . they grieve over men, they weep, but they
don't blame them, they don't blame them! But it hurts more, it hurts
more when they don't blame! Thirty copecks yes! And maybe she needs
them now, eh? What do you think, my dear sir? For now she's got to
keep up her appearance. It costs money, that smartness, that special
smartness, you know? Do you understand? And there's pomatum, too, you
see, she must have things; petticoats, starched ones, shoes, too, real
jaunty ones to show off her foot when she has to step over a puddle.
Do you understand, sir, do you understand what all that smartness
means? And here I, her own father, here I took thirty copecks of that
money for a drink! And I am drinking it! And I have already drunk it!
Come, who will have pity on a man like me, eh? Are you sorry for me,
sir, or not? Tell me, sir, are you sorry or not? He-he-he!"

He would have filled his glass, but there was no drink left. The pot
was empty.

"What are you to be pitied for?" shouted the tavern-keeper who was
again near them.

Shouts of laughter and even oaths followed. The laughter and the oaths
came from those who were listening and also from those who had heard
nothing but were simply looking at the figure of the discharged
government clerk.

"To be pitied! Why am I to be pitied?" Marmeladov suddenly declaimed,
standing up with his arm outstretched, as though he had been only
waiting for that question.

"Why am I to be pitied, you say? Yes! there's nothing to pity me for!
I ought to be crucified, crucified on a cross, not pitied! Crucify me,
oh judge, crucify me but pity me! And then I will go of myself to be
crucified, for it's not merry-making I seek but tears and tribulation!
. . . Do you suppose, you that sell, that this pint of yours has been
sweet to me? It was tribulation I sought at the bottom of it, tears
and tribulation, and have found it, and I have tasted it; but He will
pity us Who has had pity on all men, Who has understood all men and
all things, He is the One, He too is the judge. He will come in that
day and He will ask: 'Where is the daughter who gave herself for her
cross, consumptive step-mother and for the little children of another?
Where is the daughter who had pity upon the filthy drunkard, her
earthly father, undismayed by his beastliness?' And He will say, 'Come
to me! I have already forgiven thee once. . . . I have forgiven thee
once. . . . Thy sins which are many are forgiven thee for thou hast
loved much. . . .' And he will forgive my Sonia, He will forgive, I
know it . . . I felt it in my heart when I was with her just now! And
He will judge and will forgive all, the good and the evil, the wise
and the meek. . . . And when He has done with all of them, then He
will summon us. 'You too come forth,' He will say, 'Come forth ye
drunkards, come forth, ye weak ones, come forth, ye children of
shame!' And we shall all come forth, without shame and shall stand
before him. And He will say unto us, 'Ye are swine, made in the Image
of the Beast and with his mark; but come ye also!' And the wise ones
and those of understanding will say, 'Oh Lord, why dost Thou receive
these men?' And He will say, 'This is why I receive them, oh ye wise,
this is why I receive them, oh ye of understanding, that not one of
them believed himself to be worthy of this.' And He will hold out His
hands to us and we shall fall down before him . . . and we shall weep
. . . and we shall understand all things! Then we shall understand
all! . . . and all will understand, Katerina Ivanovna even . . . she
will understand. . . . Lord, Thy kingdom come!" And he sank down on
the bench exhausted, and helpless, looking at no one, apparently
oblivious of his surroundings and plunged in deep thought. His words
had created a certain impression; there was a moment of silence; but
soon laughter and oaths were heard again.

"That's his notion!"

"Talked himself silly!"

"A fine clerk he is!"

And so on, and so on.

"Let us go, sir," said Marmeladov all at once, raising his head and
addressing Raskolnikov--"come along with me . . . Kozel's house,
looking into the yard. I'm going to Katerina Ivanovna--time I did."

Raskolnikov had for some time been wanting to go and he had meant to
help him. Marmeladov was much unsteadier on his legs than in his
speech and leaned heavily on the young man. They had two or three
hundred paces to go. The drunken man was more and more overcome by
dismay and confusion as they drew nearer the house.

"It's not Katerina Ivanovna I am afraid of now," he muttered in
agitation--"and that she will begin pulling my hair. What does my hair
matter! Bother my hair! That's what I say! Indeed it will be better if
she does begin pulling it, that's not what I am afraid of . . . it's
her eyes I am afraid of . . . yes, her eyes . . . the red on her
cheeks, too, frightens me . . . and her breathing too. . . . Have you
noticed how people in that disease breathe . . . when they are
excited? I am frightened of the children's crying, too. . . . For if
Sonia has not taken them food . . . I don't know what's happened! I
don't know! But blows I am not afraid of. . . . Know, sir, that such
blows are not a pain to me, but even an enjoyment. In fact I can't get
on without it. . . . It's better so. Let her strike me, it relieves
her heart . . . it's better so . . . There is the house. The house of
Kozel, the cabinet-maker . . . a German, well-to-do. Lead the way!"

They went in from the yard and up to the fourth storey. The staircase
got darker and darker as they went up. It was nearly eleven o'clock
and although in summer in Petersburg there is no real night, yet it
was quite dark at the top of the stairs.

A grimy little door at the very top of the stairs stood ajar. A very
poor-looking room about ten paces long was lighted up by a candle-end;
the whole of it was visible from the entrance. It was all in disorder,
littered up with rags of all sorts, especially children's garments.
Across the furthest corner was stretched a ragged sheet. Behind it
probably was the bed. There was nothing in the room except two chairs
and a sofa covered with American leather, full of holes, before which
stood an old deal kitchen-table, unpainted and uncovered. At the edge
of the table stood a smoldering tallow-candle in an iron candlestick.
It appeared that the family had a room to themselves, not part of a
room, but their room was practically a passage. The door leading to
the other rooms, or rather cupboards, into which Amalia Lippevechsel's
flat was divided stood half open, and there was shouting, uproar and
laughter within. People seemed to be playing cards and drinking tea
there. Words of the most unceremonious kind flew out from time to

Raskolnikov recognised Katerina Ivanovna at once. She was a rather
tall, slim and graceful woman, terribly emaciated, with magnificent
dark brown hair and with a hectic flush in her cheeks. She was pacing
up and down in her little room, pressing her hands against her chest;
her lips were parched and her breathing came in nervous broken gasps.
Her eyes glittered as in fever and looked about with a harsh immovable
stare. And that consumptive and excited face with the last flickering
light of the candle-end playing upon it made a sickening impression.
She seemed to Raskolnikov about thirty years old and was certainly a
strange wife for Marmeladov. . . . She had not heard them and did not
notice them coming in. She seemed to be lost in thought, hearing and
seeing nothing. The room was close, but she had not opened the window;
a stench rose from the staircase, but the door on to the stairs was
not closed. From the inner rooms clouds of tobacco smoke floated in,
she kept coughing, but did not close the door. The youngest child, a
girl of six, was asleep, sitting curled up on the floor with her head
on the sofa. A boy a year older stood crying and shaking in the
corner, probably he had just had a beating. Beside him stood a girl of
nine years old, tall and thin, wearing a thin and ragged chemise with
an ancient cashmere pelisse flung over her bare shoulders, long
outgrown and barely reaching her knees. Her arm, as thin as a stick,
was round her brother's neck. She was trying to comfort him,
whispering something to him, and doing all she could to keep him from
whimpering again. At the same time her large dark eyes, which looked
larger still from the thinness of her frightened face, were watching
her mother with alarm. Marmeladov did not enter the door, but dropped
on his knees in the very doorway, pushing Raskolnikov in front of him.
The woman seeing a stranger stopped indifferently facing him, coming
to herself for a moment and apparently wondering what he had come for.
But evidently she decided that he was going into the next room, as he
had to pass through hers to get there. Taking no further notice of
him, she walked towards the outer door to close it and uttered a
sudden scream on seeing her husband on his knees in the doorway.

"Ah!" she cried out in a frenzy, "he has come back! The criminal! the
monster! . . . And where is the money? What's in your pocket, show me!
And your clothes are all different! Where are your clothes? Where is
the money! Speak!"

And she fell to searching him. Marmeladov submissively and obediently
held up both arms to facilitate the search. Not a farthing was there.

"Where is the money?" she cried--"Mercy on us, can he have drunk it
all? There were twelve silver roubles left in the chest!" and in a
fury she seized him by the hair and dragged him into the room.
Marmeladov seconded her efforts by meekly crawling along on his knees.

"And this is a consolation to me! This does not hurt me, but is a
positive con-so-la-tion, ho-nou-red sir," he called out, shaken to and
fro by his hair and even once striking the ground with his forehead.
The child asleep on the floor woke up, and began to cry. The boy in
the corner losing all control began trembling and screaming and rushed
to his sister in violent terror, almost in a fit. The eldest girl was
shaking like a leaf.

"He's drunk it! he's drunk it all," the poor woman screamed in despair
--"and his clothes are gone! And they are hungry, hungry!"--and
wringing her hands she pointed to the children. "Oh, accursed life!
And you, are you not ashamed?"--she pounced all at once upon
Raskolnikov--"from the tavern! Have you been drinking with him? You
have been drinking with him, too! Go away!"

The young man was hastening away without uttering a word. The inner
door was thrown wide open and inquisitive faces were peering in at it.
Coarse laughing faces with pipes and cigarettes and heads wearing caps
thrust themselves in at the doorway. Further in could be seen figures
in dressing gowns flung open, in costumes of unseemly scantiness, some
of them with cards in their hands. They were particularly diverted,
when Marmeladov, dragged about by his hair, shouted that it was a
consolation to him. They even began to come into the room; at last a
sinister shrill outcry was heard: this came from Amalia Lippevechsel
herself pushing her way amongst them and trying to restore order after
her own fashion and for the hundredth time to frighten the poor woman
by ordering her with coarse abuse to clear out of the room next day.
As he went out, Raskolnikov had time to put his hand into his pocket,
to snatch up the coppers he had received in exchange for his rouble in
the tavern and to lay them unnoticed on the window. Afterwards on the
stairs, he changed his mind and would have gone back.

"What a stupid thing I've done," he thought to himself, "they have
Sonia and I want it myself." But reflecting that it would be
impossible to take it back now and that in any case he would not have
taken it, he dismissed it with a wave of his hand and went back to his
lodging. "Sonia wants pomatum too," he said as he walked along the
street, and he laughed malignantly--"such smartness costs money. . . .
Hm! And maybe Sonia herself will be bankrupt to-day, for there is
always a risk, hunting big game . . . digging for gold . . . then they
would all be without a crust to-morrow except for my money. Hurrah for
Sonia! What a mine they've dug there! And they're making the most of
it! Yes, they are making the most of it! They've wept over it and
grown used to it. Man grows used to everything, the scoundrel!"

He sank into thought.

"And what if I am wrong," he cried suddenly after a moment's thought.
"What if man is not really a scoundrel, man in general, I mean, the
whole race of mankind--then all the rest is prejudice, simply
artificial terrors and there are no barriers and it's all as it should


He waked up late next day after a broken sleep. But his sleep had not
refreshed him; he waked up bilious, irritable, ill-tempered, and
looked with hatred at his room. It was a tiny cupboard of a room about
six paces in length. It had a poverty-stricken appearance with its
dusty yellow paper peeling off the walls, and it was so low-pitched
that a man of more than average height was ill at ease in it and felt
every moment that he would knock his head against the ceiling. The
furniture was in keeping with the room: there were three old chairs,
rather rickety; a painted table in the corner on which lay a few
manuscripts and books; the dust that lay thick upon them showed that
they had been long untouched. A big clumsy sofa occupied almost the
whole of one wall and half the floor space of the room; it was once
covered with chintz, but was now in rags and served Raskolnikov as a
bed. Often he went to sleep on it, as he was, without undressing,
without sheets, wrapped in his old student's overcoat, with his head
on one little pillow, under which he heaped up all the linen he had,
clean and dirty, by way of a bolster. A little table stood in front of
the sofa.

It would have been difficult to sink to a lower ebb of disorder, but
to Raskolnikov in his present state of mind this was positively
agreeable. He had got completely away from everyone, like a tortoise
in its shell, and even the sight of a servant girl who had to wait
upon him and looked sometimes into his room made him writhe with
nervous irritation. He was in the condition that overtakes some
monomaniacs entirely concentrated upon one thing. His landlady had for
the last fortnight given up sending him in meals, and he had not yet
thought of expostulating with her, though he went without his dinner.
Nastasya, the cook and only servant, was rather pleased at the
lodger's mood and had entirely given up sweeping and doing his room,
only once a week or so she would stray into his room with a broom. She
waked him up that day.

"Get up, why are you asleep?" she called to him. "It's past nine, I
have brought you some tea; will you have a cup? I should think you're
fairly starving?"

Raskolnikov opened his eyes, started and recognised Nastasya.

"From the landlady, eh?" he asked, slowly and with a sickly face
sitting up on the sofa.

"From the landlady, indeed!"

She set before him her own cracked teapot full of weak and stale tea
and laid two yellow lumps of sugar by the side of it.

"Here, Nastasya, take it please," he said, fumbling in his pocket (for
he had slept in his clothes) and taking out a handful of coppers--"run
and buy me a loaf. And get me a little sausage, the cheapest, at the

"The loaf I'll fetch you this very minute, but wouldn't you rather
have some cabbage soup instead of sausage? It's capital soup,
yesterday's. I saved it for you yesterday, but you came in late. It's
fine soup."

When the soup had been brought, and he had begun upon it, Nastasya sat
down beside him on the sofa and began chatting. She was a country
peasant-woman and a very talkative one.

"Praskovya Pavlovna means to complain to the police about you," she

He scowled.

"To the police? What does she want?"

"You don't pay her money and you won't turn out of the room. That's
what she wants, to be sure."

"The devil, that's the last straw," he muttered, grinding his teeth,
"no, that would not suit me . . . just now. She is a fool," he added
aloud. "I'll go and talk to her to-day."

"Fool she is and no mistake, just as I am. But why, if you are so
clever, do you lie here like a sack and have nothing to show for it?
One time you used to go out, you say, to teach children. But why is it
you do nothing now?"

"I am doing . . ." Raskolnikov began sullenly and reluctantly.

"What are you doing?"

"Work . . ."

"What sort of work?"

"I am thinking," he answered seriously after a pause.

Nastasya was overcome with a fit of laughter. She was given to
laughter and when anything amused her, she laughed inaudibly,
quivering and shaking all over till she felt ill.

"And have you made much money by your thinking?" she managed to
articulate at last.

"One can't go out to give lessons without boots. And I'm sick of it."

"Don't quarrel with your bread and butter."

"They pay so little for lessons. What's the use of a few coppers?" he
answered, reluctantly, as though replying to his own thought.

"And you want to get a fortune all at once?"

He looked at her strangely.

"Yes, I want a fortune," he answered firmly, after a brief pause.

"Don't be in such a hurry, you quite frighten me! Shall I get you the
loaf or not?"

"As you please."

"Ah, I forgot! A letter came for you yesterday when you were out."

"A letter? for me! from whom?"

"I can't say. I gave three copecks of my own to the postman for it.
Will you pay me back?"

"Then bring it to me, for God's sake, bring it," cried Raskolnikov
greatly excited--"good God!"

A minute later the letter was brought him. That was it: from his
mother, from the province of R----. He turned pale when he took it. It
was a long while since he had received a letter, but another feeling
also suddenly stabbed his heart.

"Nastasya, leave me alone, for goodness' sake; here are your three
copecks, but for goodness' sake, make haste and go!"

The letter was quivering in his hand; he did not want to open it in
her presence; he wanted to be left /alone/ with this letter. When
Nastasya had gone out, he lifted it quickly to his lips and kissed it;
then he gazed intently at the address, the small, sloping handwriting,
so dear and familiar, of the mother who had once taught him to read
and write. He delayed; he seemed almost afraid of something. At last
he opened it; it was a thick heavy letter, weighing over two ounces,
two large sheets of note paper were covered with very small

"My dear Rodya," wrote his mother--"it's two months since I last
had a talk with you by letter which has distressed me and even
kept me awake at night, thinking. But I am sure you will not blame
me for my inevitable silence. You know how I love you; you are all
we have to look to, Dounia and I, you are our all, our one hope,
our one stay. What a grief it was to me when I heard that you had
given up the university some months ago, for want of means to keep
yourself and that you had lost your lessons and your other work!
How could I help you out of my hundred and twenty roubles a year
pension? The fifteen roubles I sent you four months ago I
borrowed, as you know, on security of my pension, from Vassily
Ivanovitch Vahrushin a merchant of this town. He is a kind-hearted
man and was a friend of your father's too. But having given him
the right to receive the pension, I had to wait till the debt was
paid off and that is only just done, so that I've been unable to
send you anything all this time. But now, thank God, I believe I
shall be able to send you something more and in fact we may
congratulate ourselves on our good fortune now, of which I hasten
to inform you. In the first place, would you have guessed, dear
Rodya, that your sister has been living with me for the last six
weeks and we shall not be separated in the future. Thank God, her
sufferings are over, but I will tell you everything in order, so
that you may know just how everything has happened and all that we
have hitherto concealed from you. When you wrote to me two months
ago that you had heard that Dounia had a great deal to put up with
in the Svidrigra´lovs' house, when you wrote that and asked me to
tell you all about it--what could I write in answer to you? If I
had written the whole truth to you, I dare say you would have
thrown up everything and have come to us, even if you had to walk
all the way, for I know your character and your feelings, and you
would not let your sister be insulted. I was in despair myself,
but what could I do? And, besides, I did not know the whole truth
myself then. What made it all so difficult was that Dounia
received a hundred roubles in advance when she took the place as
governess in their family, on condition of part of her salary
being deducted every month, and so it was impossible to throw up
the situation without repaying the debt. This sum (now I can
explain it all to you, my precious Rodya) she took chiefly in
order to send you sixty roubles, which you needed so terribly then
and which you received from us last year. We deceived you then,
writing that this money came from Dounia's savings, but that was
not so, and now I tell you all about it, because, thank God,
things have suddenly changed for the better, and that you may know
how Dounia loves you and what a heart she has. At first indeed Mr.
Svidriga´lov treated her very rudely and used to make
disrespectful and jeering remarks at table. . . . But I don't want
to go into all those painful details, so as not to worry you for
nothing when it is now all over. In short, in spite of the kind
and generous behaviour of Marfa Petrovna, Mr. Svidriga´lov's wife,
and all the rest of the household, Dounia had a very hard time,
especially when Mr. Svidriga´lov, relapsing into his old
regimental habits, was under the influence of Bacchus. And how do
you think it was all explained later on? Would you believe that
the crazy fellow had conceived a passion for Dounia from the
beginning, but had concealed it under a show of rudeness and
contempt. Possibly he was ashamed and horrified himself at his own
flighty hopes, considering his years and his being the father of a
family; and that made him angry with Dounia. And possibly, too, he
hoped by his rude and sneering behaviour to hide the truth from
others. But at last he lost all control and had the face to make
Dounia an open and shameful proposal, promising her all sorts of
inducements and offering, besides, to throw up everything and take
her to another estate of his, or even abroad. You can imagine all
she went through! To leave her situation at once was impossible
not only on account of the money debt, but also to spare the
feelings of Marfa Petrovna, whose suspicions would have been
aroused: and then Dounia would have been the cause of a rupture in
the family. And it would have meant a terrible scandal for Dounia
too; that would have been inevitable. There were various other
reasons owing to which Dounia could not hope to escape from that
awful house for another six weeks. You know Dounia, of course; you
know how clever she is and what a strong will she has. Dounia can
endure a great deal and even in the most difficult cases she has
the fortitude to maintain her firmness. She did not even write to
me about everything for fear of upsetting me, although we were
constantly in communication. It all ended very unexpectedly. Marfa
Petrovna accidentally overheard her husband imploring Dounia in
the garden, and, putting quite a wrong interpretation on the
position, threw the blame upon her, believing her to be the cause
of it all. An awful scene took place between them on the spot in
the garden; Marfa Petrovna went so far as to strike Dounia,
refused to hear anything and was shouting at her for a whole hour
and then gave orders that Dounia should be packed off at once to
me in a plain peasant's cart, into which they flung all her
things, her linen and her clothes, all pell-mell, without folding
it up and packing it. And a heavy shower of rain came on, too, and
Dounia, insulted and put to shame, had to drive with a peasant in
an open cart all the seventeen versts into town. Only think now
what answer could I have sent to the letter I received from you
two months ago and what could I have written? I was in despair; I
dared not write to you the truth because you would have been very
unhappy, mortified and indignant, and yet what could you do? You
could only perhaps ruin yourself, and, besides, Dounia would not
allow it; and fill up my letter with trifles when my heart was so
full of sorrow, I could not. For a whole month the town was full
of gossip about this scandal, and it came to such a pass that
Dounia and I dared not even go to church on account of the
contemptuous looks, whispers, and even remarks made aloud about
us. All our acquaintances avoided us, nobody even bowed to us in
the street, and I learnt that some shopmen and clerks were
intending to insult us in a shameful way, smearing the gates of
our house with pitch, so that the landlord began to tell us we
must leave. All this was set going by Marfa Petrovna who managed
to slander Dounia and throw dirt at her in every family. She knows
everyone in the neighbourhood, and that month she was continually
coming into the town, and as she is rather talkative and fond of
gossiping about her family affairs and particularly of complaining
to all and each of her husband--which is not at all right--so in
a short time she had spread her story not only in the town, but
over the whole surrounding district. It made me ill, but Dounia
bore it better than I did, and if only you could have seen how she
endured it all and tried to comfort me and cheer me up! She is an
angel! But by God's mercy, our sufferings were cut short: Mr.
Svidriga´lov returned to his senses and repented and, probably
feeling sorry for Dounia, he laid before Marfa Petrovna a complete
and unmistakable proof of Dounia's innocence, in the form of a
letter Dounia had been forced to write and give to him, before
Marfa Petrovna came upon them in the garden. This letter, which
remained in Mr. Svidriga´lov's hands after her departure, she had
written to refuse personal explanations and secret interviews, for
which he was entreating her. In that letter she reproached him
with great heat and indignation for the baseness of his behaviour
in regard to Marfa Petrovna, reminding him that he was the father
and head of a family and telling him how infamous it was of him to
torment and make unhappy a defenceless girl, unhappy enough
already. Indeed, dear Rodya, the letter was so nobly and
touchingly written that I sobbed when I read it and to this day I
cannot read it without tears. Moreover, the evidence of the
servants, too, cleared Dounia's reputation; they had seen and
known a great deal more than Mr. Svidriga´lov had himself supposed
--as indeed is always the case with servants. Marfa Petrovna was
completely taken aback, and 'again crushed' as she said herself to
us, but she was completely convinced of Dounia's innocence. The
very next day, being Sunday, she went straight to the Cathedral,
knelt down and prayed with tears to Our Lady to give her strength
to bear this new trial and to do her duty. Then she came straight
from the Cathedral to us, told us the whole story, wept bitterly
and, fully penitent, she embraced Dounia and besought her to
forgive her. The same morning without any delay, she went round to
all the houses in the town and everywhere, shedding tears, she
asserted in the most flattering terms Dounia's innocence and the
nobility of her feelings and her behavior. What was more, she
showed and read to everyone the letter in Dounia's own
handwriting to Mr. Svidriga´lov and even allowed them to take
copies of it--which I must say I think was superfluous. In this
way she was busy for several days in driving about the whole town,
because some people had taken offence through precedence having
been given to others. And therefore they had to take turns, so
that in every house she was expected before she arrived, and
everyone knew that on such and such a day Marfa Petrovna would be
reading the letter in such and such a place and people assembled
for every reading of it, even many who had heard it several times
already both in their own houses and in other people's. In my
opinion a great deal, a very great deal of all this was
unnecessary; but that's Marfa Petrovna's character. Anyway she
succeeded in completely re-establishing Dounia's reputation and
the whole ignominy of this affair rested as an indelible disgrace
upon her husband, as the only person to blame, so that I really
began to feel sorry for him; it was really treating the crazy
fellow too harshly. Dounia was at once asked to give lessons in
several families, but she refused. All of a sudden everyone began
to treat her with marked respect and all this did much to bring
about the event by which, one may say, our whole fortunes are now
transformed. You must know, dear Rodya, that Dounia has a suitor
and that she has already consented to marry him. I hasten to tell
you all about the matter, and though it has been arranged without
asking your consent, I think you will not be aggrieved with me or
with your sister on that account, for you will see that we could
not wait and put off our decision till we heard from you. And you
could not have judged all the facts without being on the spot.
This was how it happened. He is already of the rank of a
counsellor, Pyotr Petrovitch Luzhin, and is distantly related to
Marfa Petrovna, who has been very active in bringing the match
about. It began with his expressing through her his desire to make
our acquaintance. He was properly received, drank coffee with us
and the very next day he sent us a letter in which he very
courteously made an offer and begged for a speedy and decided
answer. He is a very busy man and is in a great hurry to get to
Petersburg, so that every moment is precious to him. At first, of
course, we were greatly surprised, as it had all happened so
quickly and unexpectedly. We thought and talked it over the whole
day. He is a well-to-do man, to be depended upon, he has two posts
in the government and has already made his fortune. It is true
that he is forty-five years old, but he is of a fairly
prepossessing appearance and might still be thought attractive by
women, and he is altogether a very respectable and presentable
man, only he seems a little morose and somewhat conceited. But
possibly that may only be the impression he makes at first sight.
And beware, dear Rodya, when he comes to Petersburg, as he shortly
will do, beware of judging him too hastily and severely, as your
way is, if there is anything you do not like in him at first
sight. I give you this warning, although I feel sure that he will
make a favourable impression upon you. Moreover, in order to
understand any man one must be deliberate and careful to avoid
forming prejudices and mistaken ideas, which are very difficult to
correct and get over afterwards. And Pyotr Petrovitch, judging by
many indications, is a thoroughly estimable man. At his first
visit, indeed, he told us that he was a practical man, but still
he shares, as he expressed it, many of the convictions 'of our
most rising generation' and he is an opponent of all prejudices.
He said a good deal more, for he seems a little conceited and
likes to be listened to, but this is scarcely a vice. I, of
course, understood very little of it, but Dounia explained to me
that, though he is not a man of great education, he is clever and
seems to be good-natured. You know your sister's character, Rodya.
She is a resolute, sensible, patient and generous girl, but she
has a passionate heart, as I know very well. Of course, there is
no great love either on his side, or on hers, but Dounia is a
clever girl and has the heart of an angel, and will make it her
duty to make her husband happy who on his side will make her
happiness his care. Of that we have no good reason to doubt,
though it must be admitted the matter has been arranged in great
haste. Besides he is a man of great prudence and he will see, to
be sure, of himself, that his own happiness will be the more
secure, the happier Dounia is with him. And as for some defects of
character, for some habits and even certain differences of opinion
--which indeed are inevitable even in the happiest marriages--
Dounia has said that, as regards all that, she relies on herself,
that there is nothing to be uneasy about, and that she is ready to
put up with a great deal, if only their future relationship can be
an honourable and straightforward one. He struck me, for instance,
at first, as rather abrupt, but that may well come from his being
an outspoken man, and that is no doubt how it is. For instance, at
his second visit, after he had received Dounia's consent, in the
course of conversation, he declared that before making Dounia's
acquaintance, he had made up his mind to marry a girl of good
reputation, without dowry and, above all, one who had experienced
poverty, because, as he explained, a man ought not to be indebted
to his wife, but that it is better for a wife to look upon her
husband as her benefactor. I must add that he expressed it more
nicely and politely than I have done, for I have forgotten his
actual phrases and only remember the meaning. And, besides, it was
obviously not said of design, but slipped out in the heat of
conversation, so that he tried afterwards to correct himself and
smooth it over, but all the same it did strike me as somewhat
rude, and I said so afterwards to Dounia. But Dounia was vexed,
and answered that 'words are not deeds,' and that, of course, is
perfectly true. Dounia did not sleep all night before she made up
her mind, and, thinking that I was asleep, she got out of bed and
was walking up and down the room all night; at last she knelt down
before the ikon and prayed long and fervently and in the morning
she told me that she had decided.

"I have mentioned already that Pyotr Petrovitch is just setting off
for Petersburg, where he has a great deal of business, and he
wants to open a legal bureau. He has been occupied for many years
in conducting civil and commercial litigation, and only the other
day he won an important case. He has to be in Petersburg because
he has an important case before the Senate. So, Rodya dear, he may
be of the greatest use to you, in every way indeed, and Dounia and
I have agreed that from this very day you could definitely enter
upon your career and might consider that your future is marked out
and assured for you. Oh, if only this comes to pass! This would be
such a benefit that we could only look upon it as a providential
blessing. Dounia is dreaming of nothing else. We have even
ventured already to drop a few words on the subject to Pyotr
Petrovitch. He was cautious in his answer, and said that, of
course, as he could not get on without a secretary, it would be
better to be paying a salary to a relation than to a stranger, if
only the former were fitted for the duties (as though there could
be doubt of your being fitted!) but then he expressed doubts
whether your studies at the university would leave you time for
work at his office. The matter dropped for the time, but Dounia is
thinking of nothing else now. She has been in a sort of fever for
the last few days, and has already made a regular plan for your
becoming in the end an associate and even a partner in Pyotr
Petrovitch's business, which might well be, seeing that you are a
student of law. I am in complete agreement with her, Rodya, and
share all her plans and hopes, and think there is every
probability of realising them. And in spite of Pyotr Petrovitch's
evasiveness, very natural at present (since he does not know you),
Dounia is firmly persuaded that she will gain everything by her
good influence over her future husband; this she is reckoning
upon. Of course we are careful not to talk of any of these more
remote plans to Pyotr Petrovitch, especially of your becoming his
partner. He is a practical man and might take this very coldly, it
might all seem to him simply a day-dream. Nor has either Dounia or
I breathed a word to him of the great hopes we have of his helping
us to pay for your university studies; we have not spoken of it in
the first place, because it will come to pass of itself, later on,
and he will no doubt without wasting words offer to do it of
himself, (as though he could refuse Dounia that) the more readily
since you may by your own efforts become his right hand in the
office, and receive this assistance not as a charity, but as a
salary earned by your own work. Dounia wants to arrange it all
like this and I quite agree with her. And we have not spoken of
our plans for another reason, that is, because I particularly
wanted you to feel on an equal footing when you first meet him.
When Dounia spoke to him with enthusiasm about you, he answered
that one could never judge of a man without seeing him close, for
oneself, and that he looked forward to forming his own opinion
when he makes your acquaintance. Do you know, my precious Rodya, I
think that perhaps for some reasons (nothing to do with Pyotr
Petrovitch though, simply for my own personal, perhaps old-
womanish, fancies) I should do better to go on living by myself,
apart, than with them, after the wedding. I am convinced that he
will be generous and delicate enough to invite me and to urge me
to remain with my daughter for the future, and if he has said
nothing about it hitherto, it is simply because it has been taken
for granted; but I shall refuse. I have noticed more than once in
my life that husbands don't quite get on with their mothers-in-
law, and I don't want to be the least bit in anyone's way, and for
my own sake, too, would rather be quite independent, so long as I
have a crust of bread of my own, and such children as you and
Dounia. If possible, I would settle somewhere near you, for the
most joyful piece of news, dear Rodya, I have kept for the end of
my letter: know then, my dear boy, that we may, perhaps, be all
together in a very short time and may embrace one another again
after a separation of almost three years! It is settled /for
certain/ that Dounia and I are to set off for Petersburg, exactly
when I don't know, but very, very soon, possibly in a week. It all
depends on Pyotr Petrovitch who will let us know when he has had
time to look round him in Petersburg. To suit his own arrangements
he is anxious to have the ceremony as soon as possible, even
before the fast of Our Lady, if it could be managed, or if that is
too soon to be ready, immediately after. Oh, with what happiness I
shall press you to my heart! Dounia is all excitement at the
joyful thought of seeing you, she said one day in joke that she
would be ready to marry Pyotr Petrovitch for that alone. She is an
angel! She is not writing anything to you now, and has only told
me to write that she has so much, so much to tell you that she is
not going to take up her pen now, for a few lines would tell you
nothing, and it would only mean upsetting herself; she bids me
send you her love and innumerable kisses. But although we shall be
meeting so soon, perhaps I shall send you as much money as I can
in a day or two. Now that everyone has heard that Dounia is to
marry Pyotr Petrovitch, my credit has suddenly improved and I know
that Afanasy Ivanovitch will trust me now even to seventy-five
roubles on the security of my pension, so that perhaps I shall be
able to send you twenty-five or even thirty roubles. I would send
you more, but I am uneasy about our travelling expenses; for
though Pyotr Petrovitch has been so kind as to undertake part of
the expenses of the journey, that is to say, he has taken upon
himself the conveyance of our bags and big trunk (which will be
conveyed through some acquaintances of his), we must reckon upon
some expense on our arrival in Petersburg, where we can't be left
without a halfpenny, at least for the first few days. But we have
calculated it all, Dounia and I, to the last penny, and we see
that the journey will not cost very much. It is only ninety versts
from us to the railway and we have come to an agreement with a
driver we know, so as to be in readiness; and from there Dounia
and I can travel quite comfortably third class. So that I may very
likely be able to send to you not twenty-five, but thirty roubles.
But enough; I have covered two sheets already and there is no
space left for more; our whole history, but so many events have
happened! And now, my precious Rodya, I embrace you and send you a
mother's blessing till we meet. Love Dounia your sister, Rodya;
love her as she loves you and understand that she loves you beyond
everything, more than herself. She is an angel and you, Rodya, you
are everything to us--our one hope, our one consolation. If only
you are happy, we shall be happy. Do you still say your prayers,
Rodya, and believe in the mercy of our Creator and our Redeemer? I
am afraid in my heart that you may have been visited by the new
spirit of infidelity that is abroad to-day; If it is so, I pray
for you. Remember, dear boy, how in your childhood, when your
father was living, you used to lisp your prayers at my knee, and
how happy we all were in those days. Good-bye, till we meet then--
I embrace you warmly, warmly, with many kisses.

"Yours till death,


Almost from the first, while he read the letter, Raskolnikov's face
was wet with tears; but when he finished it, his face was pale and
distorted and a bitter, wrathful and malignant smile was on his lips.
He laid his head down on his threadbare dirty pillow and pondered,
pondered a long time. His heart was beating violently, and his brain
was in a turmoil. At last he felt cramped and stifled in the little
yellow room that was like a cupboard or a box. His eyes and his mind
craved for space. He took up his hat and went out, this time without
dread of meeting anyone; he had forgotten his dread. He turned in the
direction of the Vassilyevsky Ostrov, walking along Vassilyevsky
Prospect, as though hastening on some business, but he walked, as his
habit was, without noticing his way, muttering and even speaking aloud
to himself, to the astonishment of the passers-by. Many of them took
him to be drunk.


His mother's letter had been a torture to him, but as regards the
chief fact in it, he had felt not one moment's hesitation, even whilst
he was reading the letter. The essential question was settled, and
irrevocably settled, in his mind: "Never such a marriage while I am
alive and Mr. Luzhin be damned!" "The thing is perfectly clear," he
muttered to himself, with a malignant smile anticipating the triumph
of his decision. "No, mother, no, Dounia, you won't deceive me! and
then they apologise for not asking my advice and for taking the
decision without me! I dare say! They imagine it is arranged now and
can't be broken off; but we will see whether it can or not! A
magnificent excuse: 'Pyotr Petrovitch is such a busy man that even his
wedding has to be in post-haste, almost by express.' No, Dounia, I see
it all and I know what you want to say to me; and I know too what you
were thinking about, when you walked up and down all night, and what
your prayers were like before the Holy Mother of Kazan who stands in
mother's bedroom. Bitter is the ascent to Golgotha. . . . Hm . . . so
it is finally settled; you have determined to marry a sensible
business man, Avdotya Romanovna, one who has a fortune (has /already/
made his fortune, that is so much more solid and impressive) a man who
holds two government posts and who shares the ideas of our most rising
generation, as mother writes, and who /seems/ to be kind, as Dounia
herself observes. That /seems/ beats everything! And that very Dounia
for that very '/seems/' is marrying him! Splendid! splendid!

". . . But I should like to know why mother has written to me about
'our most rising generation'? Simply as a descriptive touch, or with
the idea of prepossessing me in favour of Mr. Luzhin? Oh, the
cunning of them! I should like to know one thing more: how far they
were open with one another that day and night and all this time since?
Was it all put into /words/, or did both understand that they had the
same thing at heart and in their minds, so that there was no need to
speak of it aloud, and better not to speak of it. Most likely it was
partly like that, from mother's letter it's evident: he struck her
as rude /a little/, and mother in her simplicity took her observations
to Dounia. And she was sure to be vexed and 'answered her angrily.'
I should think so! Who would not be angered when it was quite clear
without any na´ve questions and when it was understood that it was
useless to discuss it. And why does she write to me, 'love Dounia,
Rodya, and she loves you more than herself'? Has she a secret
conscience-prick at sacrificing her daughter to her son? 'You are
our one comfort, you are everything to us.' Oh, mother!"

His bitterness grew more and more intense, and if he had happened to
meet Mr. Luzhin at the moment, he might have murdered him.

"Hm . . . yes, that's true," he continued, pursuing the whirling ideas
that chased each other in his brain, "it is true that 'it needs time
and care to get to know a man,' but there is no mistake about Mr.
Luzhin. The chief thing is he is 'a man of business and /seems/ kind,'
that was something, wasn't it, to send the bags and big box for them!
A kind man, no doubt after that! But his /bride/ and her mother are to
drive in a peasant's cart covered with sacking (I know, I have been
driven in it). No matter! It is only ninety versts and then they can
'travel very comfortably, third class,' for a thousand versts! Quite
right, too. One must cut one's coat according to one's cloth, but what
about you, Mr. Luzhin? She is your bride. . . . And you must be aware
that her mother has to raise money on her pension for the journey. To
be sure it's a matter of business, a partnership for mutual benefit,
with equal shares and expenses;--food and drink provided, but pay for
your tobacco. The business man has got the better of them, too. The
luggage will cost less than their fares and very likely go for
nothing. How is it that they don't both see all that, or is it that
they don't want to see? And they are pleased, pleased! And to think
that this is only the first blossoming, and that the real fruits are
to come! But what really matters is not the stinginess, is not the
meanness, but the /tone/ of the whole thing. For that will be the tone
after marriage, it's a foretaste of it. And mother too, why should she
be so lavish? What will she have by the time she gets to Petersburg?
Three silver roubles or two 'paper ones' as /she/ says. . . . that old
woman . . . hm. What does she expect to live upon in Petersburg
afterwards? She has her reasons already for guessing that she /could
not/ live with Dounia after the marriage, even for the first few
months. The good man has no doubt let slip something on that subject
also, though mother would deny it: 'I shall refuse,' says she. On whom
is she reckoning then? Is she counting on what is left of her hundred
and twenty roubles of pension when Afanasy Ivanovitch's debt is paid?
She knits woollen shawls and embroiders cuffs, ruining her old eyes.
And all her shawls don't add more than twenty roubles a year to her
hundred and twenty, I know that. So she is building all her hopes all
the time on Mr. Luzhin's generosity; 'he will offer it of himself, he
will press it on me.' You may wait a long time for that! That's how it
always is with these Schilleresque noble hearts; till the last moment
every goose is a swan with them, till the last moment, they hope for
the best and will see nothing wrong, and although they have an inkling
of the other side of the picture, yet they won't face the truth till
they are forced to; the very thought of it makes them shiver; they
thrust the truth away with both hands, until the man they deck out in
false colours puts a fool's cap on them with his own hands. I should
like to know whether Mr. Luzhin has any orders of merit; I bet he has
the Anna in his buttonhole and that he puts it on when he goes to dine
with contractors or merchants. He will be sure to have it for his
wedding, too! Enough of him, confound him!

"Well, . . . mother I don't wonder at, it's like her, God bless her,
but how could Dounia? Dounia darling, as though I did not know you!
You were nearly twenty when I saw you last: I understood you then.
Mother writes that 'Dounia can put up with a great deal.' I know that
very well. I knew that two years and a half ago, and for the last two
and a half years I have been thinking about it, thinking of just that,
that 'Dounia can put up with a great deal.' If she could put up with
Mr. Svidriga´lov and all the rest of it, she certainly can put up with
a great deal. And now mother and she have taken it into their heads
that she can put up with Mr. Luzhin, who propounds the theory of the
superiority of wives raised from destitution and owing everything to
their husband's bounty--who propounds it, too, almost at the first
interview. Granted that he 'let it slip,' though he is a sensible man,
(yet maybe it was not a slip at all, but he meant to make himself
clear as soon as possible) but Dounia, Dounia? She understands the
man, of course, but she will have to live with the man. Why! she'd
live on black bread and water, she would not sell her soul, she would
not barter her moral freedom for comfort; she would not barter it for
all Schleswig-Holstein, much less Mr. Luzhin's money. No, Dounia was
not that sort when I knew her and . . . she is still the same, of
course! Yes, there's no denying, the Svidriga´lovs are a bitter pill!
It's a bitter thing to spend one's life a governess in the provinces
for two hundred roubles, but I know she would rather be a nigger on a
plantation or a Lett with a German master than degrade her soul, and
her moral dignity, by binding herself for ever to a man whom she does
not respect and with whom she has nothing in common--for her own
advantage. And if Mr. Luzhin had been of unalloyed gold, or one huge
diamond, she would never have consented to become his legal concubine.
Why is she consenting then? What's the point of it? What's the answer?
It's clear enough: for herself, for her comfort, to save her life she
would not sell herself, but for someone else she is doing it! For one
she loves, for one she adores, she will sell herself! That's what it
all amounts to; for her brother, for her mother, she will sell
herself! She will sell everything! In such cases, 'we overcome our
moral feeling if necessary,' freedom, peace, conscience even, all, all
are brought into the market. Let my life go, if only my dear ones may
be happy! More than that, we become casuists, we learn to be
Jesuitical and for a time maybe we can soothe ourselves, we can
persuade ourselves that it is one's duty for a good object. That's
just like us, it's as clear as daylight. It's clear that Rodion
Romanovitch Raskolnikov is the central figure in the business, and no
one else. Oh, yes, she can ensure his happiness, keep him in the
university, make him a partner in the office, make his whole future
secure; perhaps he may even be a rich man later on, prosperous,
respected, and may even end his life a famous man! But my mother? It's
all Rodya, precious Rodya, her first born! For such a son who would
not sacrifice such a daughter! Oh, loving, over-partial hearts! Why,
for his sake we would not shrink even from Sonia's fate. Sonia, Sonia
Marmeladov, the eternal victim so long as the world lasts. Have you
taken the measure of your sacrifice, both of you? Is it right? Can you
bear it? Is it any use? Is there sense in it? And let me tell you,
Dounia, Sonia's life is no worse than life with Mr. Luzhin. 'There can
be no question of love,' mother writes. And what if there can be no
respect either, if on the contrary there is aversion, contempt,
repulsion, what then? So you will have to 'keep up your appearance,'
too. Is not that so? Do you understand what that smartness means? Do
you understand that the Luzhin smartness is just the same thing as
Sonia's and may be worse, viler, baser, because in your case, Dounia,
it's a bargain for luxuries, after all, but with Sonia it's simply a
question of starvation. It has to be paid for, it has to be paid for,
Dounia, this smartness. And what if it's more than you can bear
afterwards, if you regret it? The bitterness, the misery, the curses,
the tears hidden from all the world, for you are not a Marfa Petrovna.
And how will your mother feel then? Even now she is uneasy, she is
worried, but then, when she sees it all clearly? And I? Yes, indeed,
what have you taken me for? I won't have your sacrifice, Dounia, I
won't have it, mother! It shall not be, so long as I am alive, it
shall not, it shall not! I won't accept it!"

He suddenly paused in his reflection and stood still.

"It shall not be? But what are you going to do to prevent it? You'll
forbid it? And what right have you? What can you promise them on your
side to give you such a right? Your whole life, your whole future, you
will devote to them /when you have finished your studies and obtained
a post/? Yes, we have heard all that before, and that's all /words/,
but now? Now something must be done, now, do you understand that? And
what are you doing now? You are living upon them. They borrow on their
hundred roubles pension. They borrow from the Svidriga´lovs. How are
you going to save them from Svidriga´lovs, from Afanasy Ivanovitch
Vahrushin, oh, future millionaire Zeus who would arrange their lives
for them? In another ten years? In another ten years, mother will be
blind with knitting shawls, maybe with weeping too. She will be worn
to a shadow with fasting; and my sister? Imagine for a moment what may
have become of your sister in ten years? What may happen to her during
those ten years? Can you fancy?"

So he tortured himself, fretting himself with such questions, and
finding a kind of enjoyment in it. And yet all these questions were
not new ones suddenly confronting him, they were old familiar aches.
It was long since they had first begun to grip and rend his heart.
Long, long ago his present anguish had its first beginnings; it had
waxed and gathered strength, it had matured and concentrated, until it
had taken the form of a fearful, frenzied and fantastic question,
which tortured his heart and mind, clamouring insistently for an
answer. Now his mother's letter had burst on him like a thunderclap.
It was clear that he must not now suffer passively, worrying himself
over unsolved questions, but that he must do something, do it at once,
and do it quickly. Anyway he must decide on something, or else . . .

"Or throw up life altogether!" he cried suddenly, in a frenzy--"accept
one's lot humbly as it is, once for all and stifle everything in
oneself, giving up all claim to activity, life and love!"

"Do you understand, sir, do you understand what it means when you have
absolutely nowhere to turn?" Marmeladov's question came suddenly into
his mind, "for every man must have somewhere to turn. . . ."

He gave a sudden start; another thought, that he had had yesterday,
slipped back into his mind. But he did not start at the thought
recurring to him, for he knew, he had /felt beforehand/, that it must
come back, he was expecting it; besides it was not only yesterday's
thought. The difference was that a month ago, yesterday even, the
thought was a mere dream: but now . . . now it appeared not a dream at
all, it had taken a new menacing and quite unfamiliar shape, and he
suddenly became aware of this himself. . . . He felt a hammering in
his head, and there was a darkness before his eyes.

He looked round hurriedly, he was searching for something. He wanted
to sit down and was looking for a seat; he was walking along the K----
Boulevard. There was a seat about a hundred paces in front of him. He
walked towards it as fast he could; but on the way he met with a
little adventure which absorbed all his attention. Looking for the
seat, he had noticed a woman walking some twenty paces in front of
him, but at first he took no more notice of her than of other objects
that crossed his path. It had happened to him many times going home
not to notice the road by which he was going, and he was accustomed to
walk like that. But there was at first sight something so strange
about the woman in front of him, that gradually his attention was
riveted upon her, at first reluctantly and, as it were, resentfully,
and then more and more intently. He felt a sudden desire to find out
what it was that was so strange about the woman. In the first place,
she appeared to be a girl quite young, and she was walking in the
great heat bareheaded and with no parasol or gloves, waving her arms
about in an absurd way. She had on a dress of some light silky
material, but put on strangely awry, not properly hooked up, and torn
open at the top of the skirt, close to the waist: a great piece was
rent and hanging loose. A little kerchief was flung about her bare
throat, but lay slanting on one side. The girl was walking unsteadily,
too, stumbling and staggering from side to side. She drew
Raskolnikov's whole attention at last. He overtook the girl at the
seat, but, on reaching it, she dropped down on it, in the corner; she
let her head sink on the back of the seat and closed her eyes,
apparently in extreme exhaustion. Looking at her closely, he saw at
once that she was completely drunk. It was a strange and shocking
sight. He could hardly believe that he was not mistaken. He saw before
him the face of a quite young, fair-haired girl--sixteen, perhaps not
more than fifteen, years old, pretty little face, but flushed and
heavy looking and, as it were, swollen. The girl seemed hardly to know
what she was doing; she crossed one leg over the other, lifting it
indecorously, and showed every sign of being unconscious that she was
in the street.

Raskolnikov did not sit down, but he felt unwilling to leave her, and
stood facing her in perplexity. This boulevard was never much
frequented; and now, at two o'clock, in the stifling heat, it was
quite deserted. And yet on the further side of the boulevard, about
fifteen paces away, a gentleman was standing on the edge of the
pavement. He, too, would apparently have liked to approach the girl
with some object of his own. He, too, had probably seen her in the
distance and had followed her, but found Raskolnikov in his way. He
looked angrily at him, though he tried to escape his notice, and stood
impatiently biding his time, till the unwelcome man in rags should
have moved away. His intentions were unmistakable. The gentleman was a
plump, thickly-set man, about thirty, fashionably dressed, with a high
colour, red lips and moustaches. Raskolnikov felt furious; he had a
sudden longing to insult this fat dandy in some way. He left the girl
for a moment and walked towards the gentleman.

"Hey! You Svidriga´lov! What do you want here?" he shouted, clenching
his fists and laughing, spluttering with rage.

"What do you mean?" the gentleman asked sternly, scowling in haughty

"Get away, that's what I mean."

"How dare you, you low fellow!"

He raised his cane. Raskolnikov rushed at him with his fists, without
reflecting that the stout gentleman was a match for two men like
himself. But at that instant someone seized him from behind, and a
police constable stood between them.

"That's enough, gentlemen, no fighting, please, in a public place.
What do you want? Who are you?" he asked Raskolnikov sternly, noticing
his rags.

Raskolnikov looked at him intently. He had a straight-forward,
sensible, soldierly face, with grey moustaches and whiskers.

"You are just the man I want," Raskolnikov cried, catching at his arm.
"I am a student, Raskolnikov. . . . You may as well know that too," he
added, addressing the gentleman, "come along, I have something to show

And taking the policeman by the hand he drew him towards the seat.

"Look here, hopelessly drunk, and she has just come down the
boulevard. There is no telling who and what she is, she does not look
like a professional. It's more likely she has been given drink and
deceived somewhere . . . for the first time . . . you understand? and
they've put her out into the street like that. Look at the way her
dress is torn, and the way it has been put on: she has been dressed by
somebody, she has not dressed herself, and dressed by unpractised
hands, by a man's hands; that's evident. And now look there: I don't
know that dandy with whom I was going to fight, I see him for the
first time, but he, too, has seen her on the road, just now, drunk,
not knowing what she is doing, and now he is very eager to get hold of
her, to get her away somewhere while she is in this state . . . that's
certain, believe me, I am not wrong. I saw him myself watching her and
following her, but I prevented him, and he is just waiting for me to
go away. Now he has walked away a little, and is standing still,
pretending to make a cigarette. . . . Think how can we keep her out of
his hands, and how are we to get her home?"

The policeman saw it all in a flash. The stout gentleman was easy to
understand, he turned to consider the girl. The policeman bent over to
examine her more closely, and his face worked with genuine compassion.

"Ah, what a pity!" he said, shaking his head--"why, she is quite a
child! She has been deceived, you can see that at once. Listen, lady,"
he began addressing her, "where do you live?" The girl opened her
weary and sleepy-looking eyes, gazed blankly at the speaker and waved
her hand.

"Here," said Raskolnikov feeling in his pocket and finding twenty
copecks, "here, call a cab and tell him to drive her to her address.
The only thing is to find out her address!"

"Missy, missy!" the policeman began again, taking the money. "I'll
fetch you a cab and take you home myself. Where shall I take you, eh?
Where do you live?"

"Go away! They won't let me alone," the girl muttered, and once more
waved her hand.

"Ach, ach, how shocking! It's shameful, missy, it's a shame!" He shook
his head again, shocked, sympathetic and indignant.

"It's a difficult job," the policeman said to Raskolnikov, and as he
did so, he looked him up and down in a rapid glance. He, too, must

Facebook Google Reddit Twitter Pinterest