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Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Part 12 out of 12

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Siberia. On the banks of a broad solitary river stands a town, one of
the administrative centres of Russia; in the town there is a fortress,
in the fortress there is a prison. In the prison the second-class
convict Rodion Raskolnikov has been confined for nine months. Almost a
year and a half has passed since his crime.

There had been little difficulty about his trial. The criminal adhered
exactly, firmly, and clearly to his statement. He did not confuse nor
misrepresent the facts, nor soften them in his own interest, nor omit
the smallest detail. He explained every incident of the murder, the
secret of /the pledge/ (the piece of wood with a strip of metal) which
was found in the murdered woman's hand. He described minutely how he
had taken her keys, what they were like, as well as the chest and its
contents; he explained the mystery of Lizaveta's murder; described how
Koch and, after him, the student knocked, and repeated all they had
said to one another; how he afterwards had run downstairs and heard
Nikolay and Dmitri shouting; how he had hidden in the empty flat and
afterwards gone home. He ended by indicating the stone in the yard off
the Voznesensky Prospect under which the purse and the trinkets were
found. The whole thing, in fact, was perfectly clear. The lawyers and
the judges were very much struck, among other things, by the fact that
he had hidden the trinkets and the purse under a stone, without making
use of them, and that, what was more, he did not now remember what the
trinkets were like, or even how many there were. The fact that he had
never opened the purse and did not even know how much was in it seemed
incredible. There turned out to be in the purse three hundred and
seventeen roubles and sixty copecks. From being so long under the
stone, some of the most valuable notes lying uppermost had suffered
from the damp. They were a long while trying to discover why the
accused man should tell a lie about this, when about everything else
he had made a truthful and straightforward confession. Finally some of
the lawyers more versed in psychology admitted that it was possible he
had really not looked into the purse, and so didn't know what was in
it when he hid it under the stone. But they immediately drew the
deduction that the crime could only have been committed through
temporary mental derangement, through homicidal mania, without object
or the pursuit of gain. This fell in with the most recent fashionable
theory of temporary insanity, so often applied in our days in criminal
cases. Moreover Raskolnikov's hypochondriacal condition was proved by
many witnesses, by Dr. Zossimov, his former fellow students, his
landlady and her servant. All this pointed strongly to the conclusion
that Raskolnikov was not quite like an ordinary murderer and robber,
but that there was another element in the case.

To the intense annoyance of those who maintained this opinion, the
criminal scarcely attempted to defend himself. To the decisive
question as to what motive impelled him to the murder and the robbery,
he answered very clearly with the coarsest frankness that the cause
was his miserable position, his poverty and helplessness, and his
desire to provide for his first steps in life by the help of the three
thousand roubles he had reckoned on finding. He had been led to the
murder through his shallow and cowardly nature, exasperated moreover
by privation and failure. To the question what led him to confess, he
answered that it was his heartfelt repentance. All this was almost
coarse. . . .

The sentence however was more merciful than could have been expected,
perhaps partly because the criminal had not tried to justify himself,
but had rather shown a desire to exaggerate his guilt. All the strange
and peculiar circumstances of the crime were taken into consideration.
There could be no doubt of the abnormal and poverty-stricken condition
of the criminal at the time. The fact that he had made no use of what
he had stolen was put down partly to the effect of remorse, partly to
his abnormal mental condition at the time of the crime. Incidentally
the murder of Lizaveta served indeed to confirm the last hypothesis: a
man commits two murders and forgets that the door is open! Finally,
the confession, at the very moment when the case was hopelessly
muddled by the false evidence given by Nikolay through melancholy and
fanaticism, and when, moreover, there were no proofs against the real
criminal, no suspicions even (Porfiry Petrovitch fully kept his word)
--all this did much to soften the sentence. Other circumstances, too,
in the prisoner's favour came out quite unexpectedly. Razumihin
somehow discovered and proved that while Raskolnikov was at the
university he had helped a poor consumptive fellow student and had
spent his last penny on supporting him for six months, and when this
student died, leaving a decrepit old father whom he had maintained
almost from his thirteenth year, Raskolnikov had got the old man into
a hospital and paid for his funeral when he died. Raskolnikov's
landlady bore witness, too, that when they had lived in another house
at Five Corners, Raskolnikov had rescued two little children from a
house on fire and was burnt in doing so. This was investigated and
fairly well confirmed by many witnesses. These facts made an
impression in his favour.

And in the end the criminal was, in consideration of extenuating
circumstances, condemned to penal servitude in the second class for a
term of eight years only.

At the very beginning of the trial Raskolnikov's mother fell ill.
Dounia and Razumihin found it possible to get her out of Petersburg
during the trial. Razumihin chose a town on the railway not far from
Petersburg, so as to be able to follow every step of the trial and at
the same time to see Avdotya Romanovna as often as possible. Pulcheria
Alexandrovna's illness was a strange nervous one and was accompanied
by a partial derangement of her intellect.

When Dounia returned from her last interview with her brother, she had
found her mother already ill, in feverish delirium. That evening
Razumihin and she agreed what answers they must make to her mother's
questions about Raskolnikov and made up a complete story for her
mother's benefit of his having to go away to a distant part of Russia
on a business commission, which would bring him in the end money and

But they were struck by the fact that Pulcheria Alexandrovna never
asked them anything on the subject, neither then nor thereafter. On
the contrary, she had her own version of her son's sudden departure;
she told them with tears how he had come to say good-bye to her,
hinting that she alone knew many mysterious and important facts, and
that Rodya had many very powerful enemies, so that it was necessary
for him to be in hiding. As for his future career, she had no doubt
that it would be brilliant when certain sinister influences could be
removed. She assured Razumihin that her son would be one day a great
statesman, that his article and brilliant literary talent proved it.
This article she was continually reading, she even read it aloud,
almost took it to bed with her, but scarcely asked where Rodya was,
though the subject was obviously avoided by the others, which might
have been enough to awaken her suspicions.

They began to be frightened at last at Pulcheria Alexandrovna's
strange silence on certain subjects. She did not, for instance,
complain of getting no letters from him, though in previous years she
had only lived on the hope of letters from her beloved Rodya. This was
the cause of great uneasiness to Dounia; the idea occurred to her that
her mother suspected that there was something terrible in her son's
fate and was afraid to ask, for fear of hearing something still more
awful. In any case, Dounia saw clearly that her mother was not in full
possession of her faculties.

It happened once or twice, however, that Pulcheria Alexandrovna gave
such a turn to the conversation that it was impossible to answer her
without mentioning where Rodya was, and on receiving unsatisfactory
and suspicious answers she became at once gloomy and silent, and this
mood lasted for a long time. Dounia saw at last that it was hard to
deceive her and came to the conclusion that it was better to be
absolutely silent on certain points; but it became more and more
evident that the poor mother suspected something terrible. Dounia
remembered her brother's telling her that her mother had overheard her
talking in her sleep on the night after her interview with
Svidriga´lov and before the fatal day of the confession: had not she
made out something from that? Sometimes days and even weeks of gloomy
silence and tears would be succeeded by a period of hysterical
animation, and the invalid would begin to talk almost incessantly of
her son, of her hopes of his future. . . . Her fancies were sometimes
very strange. They humoured her, pretended to agree with her (she saw
perhaps that they were pretending), but she still went on talking.

Five months after Raskolnikov's confession, he was sentenced.
Razumihin and Sonia saw him in prison as often as it was possible. At
last the moment of separation came. Dounia swore to her brother that
the separation should not be for ever, Razumihin did the same.
Razumihin, in his youthful ardour, had firmly resolved to lay the
foundations at least of a secure livelihood during the next three or
four years, and saving up a certain sum, to emigrate to Siberia, a
country rich in every natural resource and in need of workers, active
men and capital. There they would settle in the town where Rodya was
and all together would begin a new life. They all wept at parting.

Raskolnikov had been very dreamy for a few days before. He asked a
great deal about his mother and was constantly anxious about her. He
worried so much about her that it alarmed Dounia. When he heard about
his mother's illness he became very gloomy. With Sonia he was
particularly reserved all the time. With the help of the money left to
her by Svidriga´lov, Sonia had long ago made her preparations to
follow the party of convicts in which he was despatched to Siberia.
Not a word passed between Raskolnikov and her on the subject, but both
knew it would be so. At the final leave-taking he smiled strangely at
his sister's and Razumihin's fervent anticipations of their happy
future together when he should come out of prison. He predicted that
their mother's illness would soon have a fatal ending. Sonia and he at
last set off.

Two months later Dounia was married to Razumihin. It was a quiet and
sorrowful wedding; Porfiry Petrovitch and Zossimov were invited
however. During all this period Razumihin wore an air of resolute
determination. Dounia put implicit faith in his carrying out his plans
and indeed she could not but believe in him. He displayed a rare
strength of will. Among other things he began attending university
lectures again in order to take his degree. They were continually
making plans for the future; both counted on settling in Siberia
within five years at least. Till then they rested their hopes on

Pulcheria Alexandrovna was delighted to give her blessing to Dounia's
marriage with Razumihin; but after the marriage she became even more
melancholy and anxious. To give her pleasure Razumihin told her how
Raskolnikov had looked after the poor student and his decrepit father
and how a year ago he had been burnt and injured in rescuing two
little children from a fire. These two pieces of news excited
Pulcheria Alexandrovna's disordered imagination almost to ecstasy. She
was continually talking about them, even entering into conversation
with strangers in the street, though Dounia always accompanied her. In
public conveyances and shops, wherever she could capture a listener,
she would begin the discourse about her son, his article, how he had
helped the student, how he had been burnt at the fire, and so on!
Dounia did not know how to restrain her. Apart from the danger of her
morbid excitement, there was the risk of someone's recalling
Raskolnikov's name and speaking of the recent trial. Pulcheria
Alexandrovna found out the address of the mother of the two children
her son had saved and insisted on going to see her.

At last her restlessness reached an extreme point. She would sometimes
begin to cry suddenly and was often ill and feverishly delirious. One
morning she declared that by her reckoning Rodya ought soon to be
home, that she remembered when he said good-bye to her he said that
they must expect him back in nine months. She began to prepare for his
coming, began to do up her room for him, to clean the furniture, to
wash and put up new hangings and so on. Dounia was anxious, but said
nothing and helped her to arrange the room. After a fatiguing day
spent in continual fancies, in joyful day-dreams and tears, Pulcheria
Alexandrovna was taken ill in the night and by morning she was
feverish and delirious. It was brain fever. She died within a
fortnight. In her delirium she dropped words which showed that she
knew a great deal more about her son's terrible fate than they had

For a long time Raskolnikov did not know of his mother's death, though
a regular correspondence had been maintained from the time he reached
Siberia. It was carried on by means of Sonia, who wrote every month to
the Razumihins and received an answer with unfailing regularity. At
first they found Sonia's letters dry and unsatisfactory, but later on
they came to the conclusion that the letters could not be better, for
from these letters they received a complete picture of their
unfortunate brother's life. Sonia's letters were full of the most
matter-of-fact detail, the simplest and clearest description of all
Raskolnikov's surroundings as a convict. There was no word of her own
hopes, no conjecture as to the future, no description of her feelings.
Instead of any attempt to interpret his state of mind and inner life,
she gave the simple facts--that is, his own words, an exact account of
his health, what he asked for at their interviews, what commission he
gave her and so on. All these facts she gave with extraordinary
minuteness. The picture of their unhappy brother stood out at last
with great clearness and precision. There could be no mistake,
because nothing was given but facts.

But Dounia and her husband could get little comfort out of the news,
especially at first. Sonia wrote that he was constantly sullen and not
ready to talk, that he scarcely seemed interested in the news she gave
him from their letters, that he sometimes asked after his mother and
that when, seeing that he had guessed the truth, she told him at last
of her death, she was surprised to find that he did not seem greatly
affected by it, not externally at any rate. She told them that,
although he seemed so wrapped up in himself and, as it were, shut
himself off from everyone--he took a very direct and simple view of
his new life; that he understood his position, expected nothing better
for the time, had no ill-founded hopes (as is so common in his
position) and scarcely seemed surprised at anything in his
surroundings, so unlike anything he had known before. She wrote that
his health was satisfactory; he did his work without shirking or
seeking to do more; he was almost indifferent about food, but except
on Sundays and holidays the food was so bad that at last he had been
glad to accept some money from her, Sonia, to have his own tea every
day. He begged her not to trouble about anything else, declaring that
all this fuss about him only annoyed him. Sonia wrote further that in
prison he shared the same room with the rest, that she had not seen
the inside of their barracks, but concluded that they were crowded,
miserable and unhealthy; that he slept on a plank bed with a rug under
him and was unwilling to make any other arrangement. But that he lived
so poorly and roughly, not from any plan or design, but simply from
inattention and indifference.

Sonia wrote simply that he had at first shown no interest in her
visits, had almost been vexed with her indeed for coming, unwilling to
talk and rude to her. But that in the end these visits had become a
habit and almost a necessity for him, so that he was positively
distressed when she was ill for some days and could not visit him. She
used to see him on holidays at the prison gates or in the guard-room,
to which he was brought for a few minutes to see her. On working days
she would go to see him at work either at the workshops or at the
brick kilns, or at the sheds on the banks of the Irtish.

About herself, Sonia wrote that she had succeeded in making some
acquaintances in the town, that she did sewing, and, as there was
scarcely a dressmaker in the town, she was looked upon as an
indispensable person in many houses. But she did not mention that the
authorities were, through her, interested in Raskolnikov; that his
task was lightened and so on.

At last the news came (Dounia had indeed noticed signs of alarm and
uneasiness in the preceding letters) that he held aloof from everyone,
that his fellow prisoners did not like him, that he kept silent for
days at a time and was becoming very pale. In the last letter Sonia
wrote that he had been taken very seriously ill and was in the convict
ward of the hospital.


He was ill a long time. But it was not the horrors of prison life, not
the hard labour, the bad food, the shaven head, or the patched clothes
that crushed him. What did he care for all those trials and hardships!
he was even glad of the hard work. Physically exhausted, he could at
least reckon on a few hours of quiet sleep. And what was the food to
him--the thin cabbage soup with beetles floating in it? In the past as
a student he had often not had even that. His clothes were warm and
suited to his manner of life. He did not even feel the fetters. Was he
ashamed of his shaven head and parti-coloured coat? Before whom?
Before Sonia? Sonia was afraid of him, how could he be ashamed before
her? And yet he was ashamed even before Sonia, whom he tortured
because of it with his contemptuous rough manner. But it was not his
shaven head and his fetters he was ashamed of: his pride had been
stung to the quick. It was wounded pride that made him ill. Oh, how
happy he would have been if he could have blamed himself! He could
have borne anything then, even shame and disgrace. But he judged
himself severely, and his exasperated conscience found no particularly
terrible fault in his past, except a simple /blunder/ which might
happen to anyone. He was ashamed just because he, Raskolnikov, had so
hopelessly, stupidly come to grief through some decree of blind fate,
and must humble himself and submit to "the idiocy" of a sentence, if
he were anyhow to be at peace.

Vague and objectless anxiety in the present, and in the future a
continual sacrifice leading to nothing--that was all that lay before
him. And what comfort was it to him that at the end of eight years he
would only be thirty-two and able to begin a new life! What had he to
live for? What had he to look forward to? Why should he strive? To
live in order to exist? Why, he had been ready a thousand times before
to give up existence for the sake of an idea, for a hope, even for a
fancy. Mere existence had always been too little for him; he had
always wanted more. Perhaps it was just because of the strength of his
desires that he had thought himself a man to whom more was permissible
than to others.

And if only fate would have sent him repentance--burning repentance
that would have torn his heart and robbed him of sleep, that
repentance, the awful agony of which brings visions of hanging or
drowning! Oh, he would have been glad of it! Tears and agonies would
at least have been life. But he did not repent of his crime.

At least he might have found relief in raging at his stupidity, as he
had raged at the grotesque blunders that had brought him to prison.
But now in prison, /in freedom/, he thought over and criticised all
his actions again and by no means found them so blundering and so
grotesque as they had seemed at the fatal time.

"In what way," he asked himself, "was my theory stupider than others
that have swarmed and clashed from the beginning of the world? One has
only to look at the thing quite independently, broadly, and
uninfluenced by commonplace ideas, and my idea will by no means seem
so . . . strange. Oh, sceptics and halfpenny philosophers, why do you
halt half-way!"

"Why does my action strike them as so horrible?" he said to himself.
"Is it because it was a crime? What is meant by crime? My conscience
is at rest. Of course, it was a legal crime, of course, the letter of
the law was broken and blood was shed. Well, punish me for the letter
of the law . . . and that's enough. Of course, in that case many of
the benefactors of mankind who snatched power for themselves instead
of inheriting it ought to have been punished at their first steps. But
those men succeeded and so /they were right/, and I didn't, and so I
had no right to have taken that step."

It was only in that that he recognised his criminality, only in the
fact that he had been unsuccessful and had confessed it.

He suffered too from the question: why had he not killed himself? Why
had he stood looking at the river and preferred to confess? Was the
desire to live so strong and was it so hard to overcome it? Had not
Svidriga´lov overcome it, although he was afraid of death?

In misery he asked himself this question, and could not understand
that, at the very time he had been standing looking into the river, he
had perhaps been dimly conscious of the fundamental falsity in himself
and his convictions. He didn't understand that that consciousness
might be the promise of a future crisis, of a new view of life and of
his future resurrection.

He preferred to attribute it to the dead weight of instinct which he
could not step over, again through weakness and meanness. He looked at
his fellow prisoners and was amazed to see how they all loved life and
prized it. It seemed to him that they loved and valued life more in
prison than in freedom. What terrible agonies and privations some of
them, the tramps for instance, had endured! Could they care so much
for a ray of sunshine, for the primeval forest, the cold spring hidden
away in some unseen spot, which the tramp had marked three years
before, and longed to see again, as he might to see his sweetheart,
dreaming of the green grass round it and the bird singing in the bush?
As he went on he saw still more inexplicable examples.

In prison, of course, there was a great deal he did not see and did
not want to see; he lived as it were with downcast eyes. It was
loathsome and unbearable for him to look. But in the end there was
much that surprised him and he began, as it were involuntarily, to
notice much that he had not suspected before. What surprised him most
of all was the terrible impossible gulf that lay between him and all
the rest. They seemed to be a different species, and he looked at them
and they at him with distrust and hostility. He felt and knew the
reasons of his isolation, but he would never have admitted till then
that those reasons were so deep and strong. There were some Polish
exiles, political prisoners, among them. They simply looked down upon
all the rest as ignorant churls; but Raskolnikov could not look upon
them like that. He saw that these ignorant men were in many respects
far wiser than the Poles. There were some Russians who were just as
contemptuous, a former officer and two seminarists. Raskolnikov saw
their mistake as clearly. He was disliked and avoided by everyone;
they even began to hate him at last--why, he could not tell. Men who
had been far more guilty despised and laughed at his crime.

"You're a gentleman," they used to say. "You shouldn't hack about with
an axe; that's not a gentleman's work."

The second week in Lent, his turn came to take the sacrament with his
gang. He went to church and prayed with the others. A quarrel broke
out one day, he did not know how. All fell on him at once in a fury.

"You're an infidel! You don't believe in God," they shouted. "You
ought to be killed."

He had never talked to them about God nor his belief, but they wanted
to kill him as an infidel. He said nothing. One of the prisoners
rushed at him in a perfect frenzy. Raskolnikov awaited him calmly and
silently; his eyebrows did not quiver, his face did not flinch. The
guard succeeded in intervening between him and his assailant, or there
would have been bloodshed.

There was another question he could not decide: why were they all so
fond of Sonia? She did not try to win their favour; she rarely met
them, sometimes only she came to see him at work for a moment. And yet
everybody knew her, they knew that she had come out to follow /him/,
knew how and where she lived. She never gave them money, did them no
particular services. Only once at Christmas she sent them all presents
of pies and rolls. But by degrees closer relations sprang up between
them and Sonia. She would write and post letters for them to their
relations. Relations of the prisoners who visited the town, at their
instructions, left with Sonia presents and money for them. Their wives
and sweethearts knew her and used to visit her. And when she visited
Raskolnikov at work, or met a party of the prisoners on the road, they
all took off their hats to her. "Little mother Sofya Semyonovna, you
are our dear, good little mother," coarse branded criminals said to
that frail little creature. She would smile and bow to them and
everyone was delighted when she smiled. They even admired her gait and
turned round to watch her walking; they admired her too for being so
little, and, in fact, did not know what to admire her most for. They
even came to her for help in their illnesses.

He was in the hospital from the middle of Lent till after Easter. When
he was better, he remembered the dreams he had had while he was
feverish and delirious. He dreamt that the whole world was condemned
to a terrible new strange plague that had come to Europe from the
depths of Asia. All were to be destroyed except a very few chosen.
Some new sorts of microbes were attacking the bodies of men, but these
microbes were endowed with intelligence and will. Men attacked by them
became at once mad and furious. But never had men considered
themselves so intellectual and so completely in possession of the
truth as these sufferers, never had they considered their decisions,
their scientific conclusions, their moral convictions so infallible.
Whole villages, whole towns and peoples went mad from the infection.
All were excited and did not understand one another. Each thought that
he alone had the truth and was wretched looking at the others, beat
himself on the breast, wept, and wrung his hands. They did not know
how to judge and could not agree what to consider evil and what good;
they did not know whom to blame, whom to justify. Men killed each
other in a sort of senseless spite. They gathered together in armies
against one another, but even on the march the armies would begin
attacking each other, the ranks would be broken and the soldiers would
fall on each other, stabbing and cutting, biting and devouring each
other. The alarm bell was ringing all day long in the towns; men
rushed together, but why they were summoned and who was summoning them
no one knew. The most ordinary trades were abandoned, because everyone
proposed his own ideas, his own improvements, and they could not
agree. The land too was abandoned. Men met in groups, agreed on
something, swore to keep together, but at once began on something
quite different from what they had proposed. They accused one another,
fought and killed each other. There were conflagrations and famine.
All men and all things were involved in destruction. The plague spread
and moved further and further. Only a few men could be saved in the
whole world. They were a pure chosen people, destined to found a new
race and a new life, to renew and purify the earth, but no one had
seen these men, no one had heard their words and their voices.

Raskolnikov was worried that this senseless dream haunted his memory
so miserably, the impression of this feverish delirium persisted so
long. The second week after Easter had come. There were warm bright
spring days; in the prison ward the grating windows under which the
sentinel paced were opened. Sonia had only been able to visit him
twice during his illness; each time she had to obtain permission, and
it was difficult. But she often used to come to the hospital yard,
especially in the evening, sometimes only to stand a minute and look
up at the windows of the ward.

One evening, when he was almost well again, Raskolnikov fell asleep.
On waking up he chanced to go to the window, and at once saw Sonia in
the distance at the hospital gate. She seemed to be waiting for
someone. Something stabbed him to the heart at that minute. He
shuddered and moved away from the window. Next day Sonia did not come,
nor the day after; he noticed that he was expecting her uneasily. At
last he was discharged. On reaching the prison he learnt from the
convicts that Sofya Semyonovna was lying ill at home and was unable to
go out.

He was very uneasy and sent to inquire after her; he soon learnt that
her illness was not dangerous. Hearing that he was anxious about her,
Sonia sent him a pencilled note, telling him that she was much better,
that she had a slight cold and that she would soon, very soon come and
see him at his work. His heart throbbed painfully as he read it.

Again it was a warm bright day. Early in the morning, at six o'clock,
he went off to work on the river bank, where they used to pound
alabaster and where there was a kiln for baking it in a shed. There
were only three of them sent. One of the convicts went with the guard
to the fortress to fetch a tool; the other began getting the wood
ready and laying it in the kiln. Raskolnikov came out of the shed on
to the river bank, sat down on a heap of logs by the shed and began
gazing at the wide deserted river. From the high bank a broad
landscape opened before him, the sound of singing floated faintly
audible from the other bank. In the vast steppe, bathed in sunshine,
he could just see, like black specks, the nomads' tents. There there
was freedom, there other men were living, utterly unlike those here;
there time itself seemed to stand still, as though the age of Abraham
and his flocks had not passed. Raskolnikov sat gazing, his thoughts
passed into day-dreams, into contemplation; he thought of nothing, but
a vague restlessness excited and troubled him. Suddenly he found Sonia
beside him; she had come up noiselessly and sat down at his side. It
was still quite early; the morning chill was still keen. She wore her
poor old burnous and the green shawl; her face still showed signs of
illness, it was thinner and paler. She gave him a joyful smile of
welcome, but held out her hand with her usual timidity. She was always
timid of holding out her hand to him and sometimes did not offer it at
all, as though afraid he would repel it. He always took her hand as
though with repugnance, always seemed vexed to meet her and was
sometimes obstinately silent throughout her visit. Sometimes she
trembled before him and went away deeply grieved. But now their hands
did not part. He stole a rapid glance at her and dropped his eyes on
the ground without speaking. They were alone, no one had seen them.
The guard had turned away for the time.

How it happened he did not know. But all at once something seemed to
seize him and fling him at her feet. He wept and threw his arms round
her knees. For the first instant she was terribly frightened and she
turned pale. She jumped up and looked at him trembling. But at the
same moment she understood, and a light of infinite happiness came
into her eyes. She knew and had no doubt that he loved her beyond
everything and that at last the moment had come. . . .

They wanted to speak, but could not; tears stood in their eyes. They
were both pale and thin; but those sick pale faces were bright with
the dawn of a new future, of a full resurrection into a new life. They
were renewed by love; the heart of each held infinite sources of life
for the heart of the other.

They resolved to wait and be patient. They had another seven years to
wait, and what terrible suffering and what infinite happiness before
them! But he had risen again and he knew it and felt it in all his
being, while she--she only lived in his life.

On the evening of the same day, when the barracks were locked,
Raskolnikov lay on his plank bed and thought of her. He had even
fancied that day that all the convicts who had been his enemies looked
at him differently; he had even entered into talk with them and they
answered him in a friendly way. He remembered that now, and thought it
was bound to be so. Wasn't everything now bound to be changed?

He thought of her. He remembered how continually he had tormented her
and wounded her heart. He remembered her pale and thin little face.
But these recollections scarcely troubled him now; he knew with what
infinite love he would now repay all her sufferings. And what were
all, /all/ the agonies of the past! Everything, even his crime, his
sentence and imprisonment, seemed to him now in the first rush of
feeling an external, strange fact with which he had no concern. But he
could not think for long together of anything that evening, and he
could not have analysed anything consciously; he was simply feeling.
Life had stepped into the place of theory and something quite
different would work itself out in his mind.

Under his pillow lay the New Testament. He took it up mechanically.
The book belonged to Sonia; it was the one from which she had read the
raising of Lazarus to him. At first he was afraid that she would worry
him about religion, would talk about the gospel and pester him with
books. But to his great surprise she had not once approached the
subject and had not even offered him the Testament. He had asked her
for it himself not long before his illness and she brought him the
book without a word. Till now he had not opened it.

He did not open it now, but one thought passed through his mind: "Can
her convictions not be mine now? Her feelings, her aspirations at
least. . . ."

She too had been greatly agitated that day, and at night she was taken
ill again. But she was so happy--and so unexpectedly happy--that she
was almost frightened of her happiness. Seven years, /only/ seven
years! At the beginning of their happiness at some moments they were
both ready to look on those seven years as though they were seven
days. He did not know that the new life would not be given him for
nothing, that he would have to pay dearly for it, that it would cost
him great striving, great suffering.

But that is the beginning of a new story--the story of the gradual
renewal of a man, the story of his gradual regeneration, of his
passing from one world into another, of his initiation into a new
unknown life. That might be the subject of a new story, but our
present story is ended.

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