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Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Part 5 out of 12

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"And your visitors? Who is the curly-headed one who has just peeped

"He? Goodness only knows! Some friend of uncle's, I expect, or perhaps
he has come without being invited . . . I'll leave uncle with them, he
is an invaluable person, pity I can't introduce you to him now. But
confound them all now! They won't notice me, and I need a little fresh
air, for you've come just in the nick of time--another two minutes and
I should have come to blows! They are talking such a lot of wild stuff
. . . you simply can't imagine what men will say! Though why shouldn't
you imagine? Don't we talk nonsense ourselves? And let them . . .
that's the way to learn not to! . . . Wait a minute, I'll fetch

Zossimov pounced upon Raskolnikov almost greedily; he showed a special
interest in him; soon his face brightened.

"You must go to bed at once," he pronounced, examining the patient as
far as he could, "and take something for the night. Will you take it?
I got it ready some time ago . . . a powder."

"Two, if you like," answered Raskolnikov. The powder was taken at

"It's a good thing you are taking him home," observed Zossimov to
Razumihin--"we shall see how he is to-morrow, to-day he's not at all
amiss--a considerable change since the afternoon. Live and
learn . . ."

"Do you know what Zossimov whispered to me when we were coming out?"
Razumihin blurted out, as soon as they were in the street. "I won't
tell you everything, brother, because they are such fools. Zossimov
told me to talk freely to you on the way and get you to talk freely to
me, and afterwards I am to tell him about it, for he's got a notion in
his head that you are . . . mad or close on it. Only fancy! In the
first place, you've three times the brains he has; in the second, if
you are not mad, you needn't care a hang that he has got such a wild
idea; and thirdly, that piece of beef whose specialty is surgery has
gone mad on mental diseases, and what's brought him to this conclusion
about you was your conversation to-day with Zametov."

"Zametov told you all about it?"

"Yes, and he did well. Now I understand what it all means and so does
Zametov. . . . Well, the fact is, Rodya . . . the point is . . . I am
a little drunk now. . . . But that's . . . no matter . . . the point
is that this idea . . . you understand? was just being hatched in
their brains . . . you understand? That is, no one ventured to say it
aloud, because the idea is too absurd and especially since the arrest
of that painter, that bubble's burst and gone for ever. But why are
they such fools? I gave Zametov a bit of a thrashing at the time--
that's between ourselves, brother; please don't let out a hint that
you know of it; I've noticed he is a ticklish subject; it was at Luise
Ivanovna's. But to-day, to-day it's all cleared up. That Ilya
Petrovitch is at the bottom of it! He took advantage of your fainting
at the police station, but he is ashamed of it himself now; I know
that . . ."

Raskolnikov listened greedily. Razumihin was drunk enough to talk too

"I fainted then because it was so close and the smell of paint," said

"No need to explain that! And it wasn't the paint only: the fever had
been coming on for a month; Zossimov testifies to that! But how
crushed that boy is now, you wouldn't believe! 'I am not worth his
little finger,' he says. Yours, he means. He has good feelings at
times, brother. But the lesson, the lesson you gave him to-day in the
Palais de Cristal, that was too good for anything! You frightened him
at first, you know, he nearly went into convulsions! You almost
convinced him again of the truth of all that hideous nonsense, and
then you suddenly--put out your tongue at him: 'There now, what do you
make of it?' It was perfect! He is crushed, annihilated now! It was
masterly, by Jove, it's what they deserve! Ah, that I wasn't there! He
was hoping to see you awfully. Porfiry, too, wants to make your
acquaintance . . ."

"Ah! . . . he too . . . but why did they put me down as mad?"

"Oh, not mad. I must have said too much, brother. . . . What struck
him, you see, was that only that subject seemed to interest you; now
it's clear why it did interest you; knowing all the circumstances
. . . and how that irritated you and worked in with your illness . . .
I am a little drunk, brother, only, confound him, he has some idea of
his own . . . I tell you, he's mad on mental diseases. But don't you
mind him . . ."

For half a minute both were silent.

"Listen, Razumihin," began Raskolnikov, "I want to tell you plainly:
I've just been at a death-bed, a clerk who died . . . I gave them all
my money . . . and besides I've just been kissed by someone who, if I
had killed anyone, would just the same . . . in fact I saw someone
else there . . . with a flame-coloured feather . . . but I am talking
nonsense; I am very weak, support me . . . we shall be at the stairs
directly . . ."

"What's the matter? What's the matter with you?" Razumihin asked

"I am a little giddy, but that's not the point, I am so sad, so sad
. . . like a woman. Look, what's that? Look, look!"

"What is it?"

"Don't you see? A light in my room, you see? Through the crack . . ."

They were already at the foot of the last flight of stairs, at the
level of the landlady's door, and they could, as a fact, see from
below that there was a light in Raskolnikov's garret.

"Queer! Nastasya, perhaps," observed Razumihin.

"She is never in my room at this time and she must be in bed long ago,
but . . . I don't care! Good-bye!"

"What do you mean? I am coming with you, we'll come in together!"

"I know we are going in together, but I want to shake hands here and
say good-bye to you here. So give me your hand, good-bye!"

"What's the matter with you, Rodya?"

"Nothing . . . come along . . . you shall be witness."

They began mounting the stairs, and the idea struck Razumihin that
perhaps Zossimov might be right after all. "Ah, I've upset him with my
chatter!" he muttered to himself.

When they reached the door they heard voices in the room.

"What is it?" cried Razumihin. Raskolnikov was the first to open the
door; he flung it wide and stood still in the doorway, dumbfoundered.

His mother and sister were sitting on his sofa and had been waiting an
hour and a half for him. Why had he never expected, never thought of
them, though the news that they had started, were on their way and
would arrive immediately, had been repeated to him only that day? They
had spent that hour and a half plying Nastasya with questions. She was
standing before them and had told them everything by now. They were
beside themselves with alarm when they heard of his "running away"
to-day, ill and, as they understood from her story, delirious! "Good
Heavens, what had become of him?" Both had been weeping, both had been
in anguish for that hour and a half.

A cry of joy, of ecstasy, greeted Raskolnikov's entrance. Both rushed
to him. But he stood like one dead; a sudden intolerable sensation
struck him like a thunderbolt. He did not lift his arms to embrace
them, he could not. His mother and sister clasped him in their arms,
kissed him, laughed and cried. He took a step, tottered and fell to
the ground, fainting.

Anxiety, cries of horror, moans . . . Razumihin who was standing in
the doorway flew into the room, seized the sick man in his strong arms
and in a moment had him on the sofa.

"It's nothing, nothing!" he cried to the mother and sister--"it's only
a faint, a mere trifle! Only just now the doctor said he was much
better, that he is perfectly well! Water! See, he is coming to
himself, he is all right again!"

And seizing Dounia by the arm so that he almost dislocated it, he made
her bend down to see that "he is all right again." The mother and
sister looked on him with emotion and gratitude, as their Providence.
They had heard already from Nastasya all that had been done for their
Rodya during his illness, by this "very competent young man," as
Pulcheria Alexandrovna Raskolnikov called him that evening in
conversation with Dounia.



Raskolnikov got up, and sat down on the sofa. He waved his hand weakly
to Razumihin to cut short the flow of warm and incoherent consolations
he was addressing to his mother and sister, took them both by the hand
and for a minute or two gazed from one to the other without speaking.
His mother was alarmed by his expression. It revealed an emotion
agonisingly poignant, and at the same time something immovable, almost
insane. Pulcheria Alexandrovna began to cry.

Avdotya Romanovna was pale; her hand trembled in her brother's.

"Go home . . . with him," he said in a broken voice, pointing to
Razumihin, "good-bye till to-morrow; to-morrow everything . . . Is it
long since you arrived?"

"This evening, Rodya," answered Pulcheria Alexandrovna, "the train was
awfully late. But, Rodya, nothing would induce me to leave you now! I
will spend the night here, near you . . ."

"Don't torture me!" he said with a gesture of irritation.

"I will stay with him," cried Razumihin, "I won't leave him for a
moment. Bother all my visitors! Let them rage to their hearts'
content! My uncle is presiding there."

"How, how can I thank you!" Pulcheria Alexandrovna was beginning, once
more pressing Razumihin's hands, but Raskolnikov interrupted her

"I can't have it! I can't have it!" he repeated irritably, "don't
worry me! Enough, go away . . . I can't stand it!"

"Come, mamma, come out of the room at least for a minute," Dounia
whispered in dismay; "we are distressing him, that's evident."

"Mayn't I look at him after three years?" wept Pulcheria Alexandrovna.

"Stay," he stopped them again, "you keep interrupting me, and my ideas
get muddled. . . . Have you seen Luzhin?"

"No, Rodya, but he knows already of our arrival. We have heard, Rodya,
that Pyotr Petrovitch was so kind as to visit you today," Pulcheria
Alexandrovna added somewhat timidly.

"Yes . . . he was so kind . . . Dounia, I promised Luzhin I'd throw
him downstairs and told him to go to hell. . . ."

"Rodya, what are you saying! Surely, you don't mean to tell us . . ."
Pulcheria Alexandrovna began in alarm, but she stopped, looking at

Avdotya Romanovna was looking attentively at her brother, waiting for
what would come next. Both of them had heard of the quarrel from
Nastasya, so far as she had succeeded in understanding and reporting
it, and were in painful perplexity and suspense.

"Dounia," Raskolnikov continued with an effort, "I don't want that
marriage, so at the first opportunity to-morrow you must refuse
Luzhin, so that we may never hear his name again."

"Good Heavens!" cried Pulcheria Alexandrovna.

"Brother, think what you are saying!" Avdotya Romanovna began
impetuously, but immediately checked herself. "You are not fit to talk
now, perhaps; you are tired," she added gently.

"You think I am delirious? No . . . You are marrying Luzhin for /my/
sake. But I won't accept the sacrifice. And so write a letter before
to-morrow, to refuse him . . . Let me read it in the morning and that
will be the end of it!"

"That I can't do!" the girl cried, offended, "what right have
you . . ."

"Dounia, you are hasty, too, be quiet, to-morrow . . . Don't you see
. . ." the mother interposed in dismay. "Better come away!"

"He is raving," Razumihin cried tipsily, "or how would he dare!
To-morrow all this nonsense will be over . . . to-day he certainly did
drive him away. That was so. And Luzhin got angry, too. . . . He made
speeches here, wanted to show off his learning and he went out crest-
fallen. . . ."

"Then it's true?" cried Pulcheria Alexandrovna.

"Good-bye till to-morrow, brother," said Dounia compassionately--"let
us go, mother . . . Good-bye, Rodya."

"Do you hear, sister," he repeated after them, making a last effort,
"I am not delirious; this marriage is--an infamy. Let me act like a
scoundrel, but you mustn't . . . one is enough . . . and though I am a
scoundrel, I wouldn't own such a sister. It's me or Luzhin! Go
now. . . ."

"But you're out of your mind! Despot!" roared Razumihin; but
Raskolnikov did not and perhaps could not answer. He lay down on the
sofa, and turned to the wall, utterly exhausted. Avdotya Romanovna
looked with interest at Razumihin; her black eyes flashed; Razumihin
positively started at her glance.

Pulcheria Alexandrovna stood overwhelmed.

"Nothing would induce me to go," she whispered in despair to
Razumihin. "I will stay somewhere here . . . escort Dounia home."

"You'll spoil everything," Razumihin answered in the same whisper,
losing patience--"come out on to the stairs, anyway. Nastasya, show a
light! I assure you," he went on in a half whisper on the stairs-
"that he was almost beating the doctor and me this afternoon! Do you
understand? The doctor himself! Even he gave way and left him, so as
not to irritate him. I remained downstairs on guard, but he dressed at
once and slipped off. And he will slip off again if you irritate him,
at this time of night, and will do himself some mischief. . . ."

"What are you saying?"

"And Avdotya Romanovna can't possibly be left in those lodgings
without you. Just think where you are staying! That blackguard Pyotr
Petrovitch couldn't find you better lodgings . . . But you know I've
had a little to drink, and that's what makes me . . . swear; don't
mind it. . . ."

"But I'll go to the landlady here," Pulcheria Alexandrovna insisted,
"Ill beseech her to find some corner for Dounia and me for the night.
I can't leave him like that, I cannot!"

This conversation took place on the landing just before the landlady's
door. Nastasya lighted them from a step below. Razumihin was in
extraordinary excitement. Half an hour earlier, while he was bringing
Raskolnikov home, he had indeed talked too freely, but he was aware of
it himself, and his head was clear in spite of the vast quantities he
had imbibed. Now he was in a state bordering on ecstasy, and all that
he had drunk seemed to fly to his head with redoubled effect. He stood
with the two ladies, seizing both by their hands, persuading them, and
giving them reasons with astonishing plainness of speech, and at
almost every word he uttered, probably to emphasise his arguments, he
squeezed their hands painfully as in a vise. He stared at Avdotya
Romanovna without the least regard for good manners. They sometimes
pulled their hands out of his huge bony paws, but far from noticing
what was the matter, he drew them all the closer to him. If they'd
told him to jump head foremost from the staircase, he would have done
it without thought or hesitation in their service. Though Pulcheria
Alexandrovna felt that the young man was really too eccentric and
pinched her hand too much, in her anxiety over her Rodya she looked on
his presence as providential, and was unwilling to notice all his
peculiarities. But though Avdotya Romanovna shared her anxiety, and
was not of timorous disposition, she could not see the glowing light
in his eyes without wonder and almost alarm. It was only the unbounded
confidence inspired by Nastasya's account of her brother's queer
friend, which prevented her from trying to run away from him, and to
persuade her mother to do the same. She realised, too, that even
running away was perhaps impossible now. Ten minutes later, however,
she was considerably reassured; it was characteristic of Razumihin
that he showed his true nature at once, whatever mood he might be in,
so that people quickly saw the sort of man they had to deal with.

"You can't go to the landlady, that's perfect nonsense!" he cried. "If
you stay, though you are his mother, you'll drive him to a frenzy, and
then goodness knows what will happen! Listen, I'll tell you what I'll
do: Nastasya will stay with him now, and I'll conduct you both home,
you can't be in the streets alone; Petersburg is an awful place in
that way. . . . But no matter! Then I'll run straight back here and a
quarter of an hour later, on my word of honour, I'll bring you news
how he is, whether he is asleep, and all that. Then, listen! Then I'll
run home in a twinkling--I've a lot of friends there, all drunk--I'll
fetch Zossimov--that's the doctor who is looking after him, he is
there, too, but he is not drunk; he is not drunk, he is never drunk!
I'll drag him to Rodya, and then to you, so that you'll get two
reports in the hour--from the doctor, you understand, from the doctor
himself, that's a very different thing from my account of him! If
there's anything wrong, I swear I'll bring you here myself, but, if
it's all right, you go to bed. And I'll spend the night here, in the
passage, he won't hear me, and I'll tell Zossimov to sleep at the
landlady's, to be at hand. Which is better for him: you or the doctor?
So come home then! But the landlady is out of the question; it's all
right for me, but it's out of the question for you: she wouldn't take
you, for she's . . . for she's a fool . . . She'd be jealous on my
account of Avdotya Romanovna and of you, too, if you want to know
. . . of Avdotya Romanovna certainly. She is an absolutely, absolutely
unaccountable character! But I am a fool, too! . . . No matter! Come
along! Do you trust me? Come, do you trust me or not?"

"Let us go, mother," said Avdotya Romanovna, "he will certainly do
what he has promised. He has saved Rodya already, and if the doctor
really will consent to spend the night here, what could be better?"

"You see, you . . . you . . . understand me, because you are an
angel!" Razumihin cried in ecstasy, "let us go! Nastasya! Fly upstairs
and sit with him with a light; I'll come in a quarter of an hour."

Though Pulcheria Alexandrovna was not perfectly convinced, she made no
further resistance. Razumihin gave an arm to each and drew them down
the stairs. He still made her uneasy, as though he was competent and
good-natured, was he capable of carrying out his promise? He seemed in
such a condition. . . .

"Ah, I see you think I am in such a condition!" Razumihin broke in
upon her thoughts, guessing them, as he strolled along the pavement
with huge steps, so that the two ladies could hardly keep up with him,
a fact he did not observe, however. "Nonsense! That is . . . I am
drunk like a fool, but that's not it; I am not drunk from wine. It's
seeing you has turned my head . . . But don't mind me! Don't take any
notice: I am talking nonsense, I am not worthy of you. . . . I am
utterly unworthy of you! The minute I've taken you home, I'll pour a
couple of pailfuls of water over my head in the gutter here, and then
I shall be all right. . . . If only you knew how I love you both!
Don't laugh, and don't be angry! You may be angry with anyone, but not
with me! I am his friend, and therefore I am your friend, too, I want
to be . . . I had a presentiment . . . Last year there was a moment
. . . though it wasn't a presentiment really, for you seem to have
fallen from heaven. And I expect I shan't sleep all night . . .
Zossimov was afraid a little time ago that he would go mad . . .
that's why he mustn't be irritated."

"What do you say?" cried the mother.

"Did the doctor really say that?" asked Avdotya Romanovna, alarmed.

"Yes, but it's not so, not a bit of it. He gave him some medicine, a
powder, I saw it, and then your coming here. . . . Ah! It would have
been better if you had come to-morrow. It's a good thing we went away.
And in an hour Zossimov himself will report to you about everything.
He is not drunk! And I shan't be drunk. . . . And what made me get so
tight? Because they got me into an argument, damn them! I've sworn
never to argue! They talk such trash! I almost came to blows! I've
left my uncle to preside. Would you believe, they insist on complete
absence of individualism and that's just what they relish! Not to be
themselves, to be as unlike themselves as they can. That's what they
regard as the highest point of progress. If only their nonsense were
their own, but as it is . . ."

"Listen!" Pulcheria Alexandrovna interrupted timidly, but it only
added fuel to the flames.

"What do you think?" shouted Razumihin, louder than ever, "you think I
am attacking them for talking nonsense? Not a bit! I like them to talk
nonsense. That's man's one privilege over all creation. Through error
you come to the truth! I am a man because I err! You never reach any
truth without making fourteen mistakes and very likely a hundred and
fourteen. And a fine thing, too, in its way; but we can't even make
mistakes on our own account! Talk nonsense, but talk your own
nonsense, and I'll kiss you for it. To go wrong in one's own way is
better than to go right in someone else's. In the first case you are a
man, in the second you're no better than a bird. Truth won't escape
you, but life can be cramped. There have been examples. And what are
we doing now? In science, development, thought, invention, ideals,
aims, liberalism, judgment, experience and everything, everything,
everything, we are still in the preparatory class at school. We prefer
to live on other people's ideas, it's what we are used to! Am I right,
am I right?" cried Razumihin, pressing and shaking the two ladies'

"Oh, mercy, I do not know," cried poor Pulcheria Alexandrovna.

"Yes, yes . . . though I don't agree with you in everything," added
Avdotya Romanovna earnestly and at once uttered a cry, for he squeezed
her hand so painfully.

"Yes, you say yes . . . well after that you . . . you . . ." he cried
in a transport, "you are a fount of goodness, purity, sense . . . and
perfection. Give me your hand . . . you give me yours, too! I want to
kiss your hands here at once, on my knees . . ." and he fell on his
knees on the pavement, fortunately at that time deserted.

"Leave off, I entreat you, what are you doing?" Pulcheria Alexandrovna
cried, greatly distressed.

"Get up, get up!" said Dounia laughing, though she, too, was upset.

"Not for anything till you let me kiss your hands! That's it! Enough!
I get up and we'll go on! I am a luckless fool, I am unworthy of you
and drunk . . . and I am ashamed. . . . I am not worthy to love you,
but to do homage to you is the duty of every man who is not a perfect
beast! And I've done homage. . . . Here are your lodgings, and for
that alone Rodya was right in driving your Pyotr Petrovitch away.
. . . How dare he! how dare he put you in such lodgings! It's a
scandal! Do you know the sort of people they take in here? And you his
betrothed! You are his betrothed? Yes? Well, then, I'll tell you, your
/fiancé/ is a scoundrel."

"Excuse me, Mr. Razumihin, you are forgetting . . ." Pulcheria
Alexandrovna was beginning.

"Yes, yes, you are right, I did forget myself, I am ashamed of it,"
Razumihin made haste to apologise. "But . . . but you can't be angry
with me for speaking so! For I speak sincerely and not because . . .
hm, hm! That would be disgraceful; in fact not because I'm in . . .
hm! Well, anyway, I won't say why, I daren't. . . . But we all saw
to-day when he came in that that man is not of our sort. Not because
he had his hair curled at the barber's, not because he was in such a
hurry to show his wit, but because he is a spy, a speculator, because
he is a skin-flint and a buffoon. That's evident. Do you think him
clever? No, he is a fool, a fool. And is he a match for you? Good
heavens! Do you see, ladies?" he stopped suddenly on the way upstairs
to their rooms, "though all my friends there are drunk, yet they are
all honest, and though we do talk a lot of trash, and I do, too, yet
we shall talk our way to the truth at last, for we are on the right
path, while Pyotr Petrovitch . . . is not on the right path. Though
I've been calling them all sorts of names just now, I do respect them
all . . . though I don't respect Zametov, I like him, for he is a
puppy, and that bullock Zossimov, because he is an honest man and
knows his work. But enough, it's all said and forgiven. Is it
forgiven? Well, then, let's go on. I know this corridor, I've been
here, there was a scandal here at Number 3. . . . Where are you here?
Which number? eight? Well, lock yourselves in for the night, then.
Don't let anybody in. In a quarter of an hour I'll come back with
news, and half an hour later I'll bring Zossimov, you'll see! Good-
bye, I'll run."

"Good heavens, Dounia, what is going to happen?" said Pulcheria
Alexandrovna, addressing her daughter with anxiety and dismay.

"Don't worry yourself, mother," said Dounia, taking off her hat and
cape. "God has sent this gentleman to our aid, though he has come from
a drinking party. We can depend on him, I assure you. And all that he
has done for Rodya. . . ."

"Ah. Dounia, goodness knows whether he will come! How could I bring
myself to leave Rodya? . . . And how different, how different I had
fancied our meeting! How sullen he was, as though not pleased to see
us. . . ."

Tears came into her eyes.

"No, it's not that, mother. You didn't see, you were crying all the
time. He is quite unhinged by serious illness--that's the reason."

"Ah, that illness! What will happen, what will happen? And how he
talked to you, Dounia!" said the mother, looking timidly at her
daughter, trying to read her thoughts and, already half consoled by
Dounia's standing up for her brother, which meant that she had already
forgiven him. "I am sure he will think better of it to-morrow," she
added, probing her further.

"And I am sure that he will say the same to-morrow . . . about that,"
Avdotya Romanovna said finally. And, of course, there was no going
beyond that, for this was a point which Pulcheria Alexandrovna was
afraid to discuss. Dounia went up and kissed her mother. The latter
warmly embraced her without speaking. Then she sat down to wait
anxiously for Razumihin's return, timidly watching her daughter who
walked up and down the room with her arms folded, lost in thought.
This walking up and down when she was thinking was a habit of Avdotya
Romanovna's and the mother was always afraid to break in on her
daughter's mood at such moments.

Razumihin, of course, was ridiculous in his sudden drunken infatuation
for Avdotya Romanovna. Yet apart from his eccentric condition, many
people would have thought it justified if they had seen Avdotya
Romanovna, especially at that moment when she was walking to and fro
with folded arms, pensive and melancholy. Avdotya Romanovna was
remarkably good looking; she was tall, strikingly well-proportioned,
strong and self-reliant--the latter quality was apparent in every
gesture, though it did not in the least detract from the grace and
softness of her movements. In face she resembled her brother, but she
might be described as really beautiful. Her hair was dark brown, a
little lighter than her brother's; there was a proud light in her
almost black eyes and yet at times a look of extraordinary kindness.
She was pale, but it was a healthy pallor; her face was radiant with
freshness and vigour. Her mouth was rather small; the full red lower
lip projected a little as did her chin; it was the only irregularity
in her beautiful face, but it gave it a peculiarly individual and
almost haughty expression. Her face was always more serious and
thoughtful than gay; but how well smiles, how well youthful,
lighthearted, irresponsible, laughter suited her face! It was natural
enough that a warm, open, simple-hearted, honest giant like Razumihin,
who had never seen anyone like her and was not quite sober at the
time, should lose his head immediately. Besides, as chance would have
it, he saw Dounia for the first time transfigured by her love for her
brother and her joy at meeting him. Afterwards he saw her lower lip
quiver with indignation at her brother's insolent, cruel and
ungrateful words--and his fate was sealed.

He had spoken the truth, moreover, when he blurted out in his drunken
talk on the stairs that Praskovya Pavlovna, Raskolnikov's eccentric
landlady, would be jealous of Pulcheria Alexandrovna as well as of
Avdotya Romanovna on his account. Although Pulcheria Alexandrovna was
forty-three, her face still retained traces of her former beauty; she
looked much younger than her age, indeed, which is almost always the
case with women who retain serenity of spirit, sensitiveness and pure
sincere warmth of heart to old age. We may add in parenthesis that to
preserve all this is the only means of retaining beauty to old age.
Her hair had begun to grow grey and thin, there had long been little
crow's foot wrinkles round her eyes, her cheeks were hollow and sunken
from anxiety and grief, and yet it was a handsome face. She was Dounia
over again, twenty years older, but without the projecting underlip.
Pulcheria Alexandrovna was emotional, but not sentimental, timid and
yielding, but only to a certain point. She could give way and accept a
great deal even of what was contrary to her convictions, but there was
a certain barrier fixed by honesty, principle and the deepest
convictions which nothing would induce her to cross.

Exactly twenty minutes after Razumihin's departure, there came two
subdued but hurried knocks at the door: he had come back.

"I won't come in, I haven't time," he hastened to say when the door
was opened. "He sleeps like a top, soundly, quietly, and God grant he
may sleep ten hours. Nastasya's with him; I told her not to leave till
I came. Now I am fetching Zossimov, he will report to you and then
you'd better turn in; I can see you are too tired to do
anything. . . ."

And he ran off down the corridor.

"What a very competent and . . . devoted young man!" cried Pulcheria
Alexandrovna exceedingly delighted.

"He seems a splendid person!" Avdotya Romanovna replied with some
warmth, resuming her walk up and down the room.

It was nearly an hour later when they heard footsteps in the corridor
and another knock at the door. Both women waited this time completely
relying on Razumihin's promise; he actually had succeeded in bringing
Zossimov. Zossimov had agreed at once to desert the drinking party to
go to Raskolnikov's, but he came reluctantly and with the greatest
suspicion to see the ladies, mistrusting Razumihin in his exhilarated
condition. But his vanity was at once reassured and flattered; he saw
that they were really expecting him as an oracle. He stayed just ten
minutes and succeeded in completely convincing and comforting
Pulcheria Alexandrovna. He spoke with marked sympathy, but with the
reserve and extreme seriousness of a young doctor at an important
consultation. He did not utter a word on any other subject and did not
display the slightest desire to enter into more personal relations
with the two ladies. Remarking at his first entrance the dazzling
beauty of Avdotya Romanovna, he endeavoured not to notice her at all
during his visit and addressed himself solely to Pulcheria
Alexandrovna. All this gave him extraordinary inward satisfaction. He
declared that he thought the invalid at this moment going on very
satisfactorily. According to his observations the patient's illness
was due partly to his unfortunate material surroundings during the
last few months, but it had partly also a moral origin, "was, so to
speak, the product of several material and moral influences,
anxieties, apprehensions, troubles, certain ideas . . . and so on."
Noticing stealthily that Avdotya Romanovna was following his words
with close attention, Zossimov allowed himself to enlarge on this
theme. On Pulcheria Alexandrovna's anxiously and timidly inquiring as
to "some suspicion of insanity," he replied with a composed and candid
smile that his words had been exaggerated; that certainly the patient
had some fixed idea, something approaching a monomania--he, Zossimov,
was now particularly studying this interesting branch of medicine--but
that it must be recollected that until to-day the patient had been in
delirium and . . . and that no doubt the presence of his family would
have a favourable effect on his recovery and distract his mind, "if
only all fresh shocks can be avoided," he added significantly. Then he
got up, took leave with an impressive and affable bow, while
blessings, warm gratitude, and entreaties were showered upon him, and
Avdotya Romanovna spontaneously offered her hand to him. He went out
exceedingly pleased with his visit and still more so with himself.

"We'll talk to-morrow; go to bed at once!" Razumihin said in
conclusion, following Zossimov out. "I'll be with you to-morrow
morning as early as possible with my report."

"That's a fetching little girl, Avdotya Romanovna," remarked Zossimov,
almost licking his lips as they both came out into the street.

"Fetching? You said fetching?" roared Razumihin and he flew at
Zossimov and seized him by the throat. "If you ever dare. . . . Do you
understand? Do you understand?" he shouted, shaking him by the collar
and squeezing him against the wall. "Do you hear?"

"Let me go, you drunken devil," said Zossimov, struggling and when he
had let him go, he stared at him and went off into a sudden guffaw.
Razumihin stood facing him in gloomy and earnest reflection.

"Of course, I am an ass," he observed, sombre as a storm cloud, "but
still . . . you are another."

"No, brother, not at all such another. I am not dreaming of any

They walked along in silence and only when they were close to
Raskolnikov's lodgings, Razumihin broke the silence in considerable

"Listen," he said, "you're a first-rate fellow, but among your other
failings, you're a loose fish, that I know, and a dirty one, too. You
are a feeble, nervous wretch, and a mass of whims, you're getting fat
and lazy and can't deny yourself anything--and I call that dirty
because it leads one straight into the dirt. You've let yourself get
so slack that I don't know how it is you are still a good, even a
devoted doctor. You--a doctor--sleep on a feather bed and get up at
night to your patients! In another three or four years you won't get
up for your patients . . . But hang it all, that's not the point!
. . . You are going to spend to-night in the landlady's flat here.
(Hard work I've had to persuade her!) And I'll be in the kitchen. So
here's a chance for you to get to know her better. . . . It's not as
you think! There's not a trace of anything of the sort,
brother . . .!"

"But I don't think!"

"Here you have modesty, brother, silence, bashfulness, a savage virtue
. . . and yet she's sighing and melting like wax, simply melting! Save
me from her, by all that's unholy! She's most prepossessing . . . I'll
repay you, I'll do anything. . . ."

Zossimov laughed more violently than ever.

"Well, you are smitten! But what am I to do with her?"

"It won't be much trouble, I assure you. Talk any rot you like to her,
as long as you sit by her and talk. You're a doctor, too; try curing
her of something. I swear you won't regret it. She has a piano, and
you know, I strum a little. I have a song there, a genuine Russian
one: 'I shed hot tears.' She likes the genuine article--and well, it
all began with that song; Now you're a regular performer, a /maître/,
a Rubinstein. . . . I assure you, you won't regret it!"

"But have you made her some promise? Something signed? A promise of
marriage, perhaps?"

"Nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing of the kind! Besides she is not
that sort at all. . . . Tchebarov tried that. . . ."

"Well then, drop her!"

"But I can't drop her like that!"

"Why can't you?"

"Well, I can't, that's all about it! There's an element of attraction
here, brother."

"Then why have you fascinated her?"

"I haven't fascinated her; perhaps I was fascinated myself in my
folly. But she won't care a straw whether it's you or I, so long as
somebody sits beside her, sighing. . . . I can't explain the position,
brother . . . look here, you are good at mathematics, and working at
it now . . . begin teaching her the integral calculus; upon my soul,
I'm not joking, I'm in earnest, it'll be just the same to her. She
will gaze at you and sigh for a whole year together. I talked to her
once for two days at a time about the Prussian House of Lords (for one
must talk of something)--she just sighed and perspired! And you
mustn't talk of love--she's bashful to hysterics--but just let her see
you can't tear yourself away--that's enough. It's fearfully
comfortable; you're quite at home, you can read, sit, lie about,
write. You may even venture on a kiss, if you're careful."

"But what do I want with her?"

"Ach, I can't make you understand! You see, you are made for each
other! I have often been reminded of you! . . . You'll come to it in
the end! So does it matter whether it's sooner or later? There's the
feather-bed element here, brother--ach! and not only that! There's an
attraction here--here you have the end of the world, an anchorage, a
quiet haven, the navel of the earth, the three fishes that are the
foundation of the world, the essence of pancakes, of savoury fish-
pies, of the evening samovar, of soft sighs and warm shawls, and hot
stoves to sleep on--as snug as though you were dead, and yet you're
alive--the advantages of both at once! Well, hang it, brother, what
stuff I'm talking, it's bedtime! Listen. I sometimes wake up at night;
so I'll go in and look at him. But there's no need, it's all right.
Don't you worry yourself, yet if you like, you might just look in
once, too. But if you notice anything--delirium or fever--wake me at
once. But there can't be. . . ."


Razumihin waked up next morning at eight o'clock, troubled and
serious. He found himself confronted with many new and unlooked-for
perplexities. He had never expected that he would ever wake up feeling
like that. He remembered every detail of the previous day and he knew
that a perfectly novel experience had befallen him, that he had
received an impression unlike anything he had known before. At the
same time he recognised clearly that the dream which had fired his
imagination was hopelessly unattainable--so unattainable that he felt
positively ashamed of it, and he hastened to pass to the other more
practical cares and difficulties bequeathed him by that "thrice
accursed yesterday."

The most awful recollection of the previous day was the way he had
shown himself "base and mean," not only because he had been drunk, but
because he had taken advantage of the young girl's position to abuse
her /fiancé/ in his stupid jealousy, knowing nothing of their mutual
relations and obligations and next to nothing of the man himself. And
what right had he to criticise him in that hasty and unguarded manner?
Who had asked for his opinion? Was it thinkable that such a creature
as Avdotya Romanovna would be marrying an unworthy man for money? So
there must be something in him. The lodgings? But after all how could
he know the character of the lodgings? He was furnishing a flat . . .
Foo! how despicable it all was! And what justification was it that he
was drunk? Such a stupid excuse was even more degrading! In wine is
truth, and the truth had all come out, "that is, all the uncleanness
of his coarse and envious heart"! And would such a dream ever be
permissible to him, Razumihin? What was he beside such a girl--he, the
drunken noisy braggart of last night? Was it possible to imagine so
absurd and cynical a juxtaposition? Razumihin blushed desperately at
the very idea and suddenly the recollection forced itself vividly upon
him of how he had said last night on the stairs that the landlady
would be jealous of Avdotya Romanovna . . . that was simply
intolerable. He brought his fist down heavily on the kitchen stove,
hurt his hand and sent one of the bricks flying.

"Of course," he muttered to himself a minute later with a feeling of
self-abasement, "of course, all these infamies can never be wiped out
or smoothed over . . . and so it's useless even to think of it, and I
must go to them in silence and do my duty . . . in silence, too . . .
and not ask forgiveness, and say nothing . . . for all is lost now!"

And yet as he dressed he examined his attire more carefully than
usual. He hadn't another suit--if he had had, perhaps he wouldn't have
put it on. "I would have made a point of not putting it on." But in
any case he could not remain a cynic and a dirty sloven; he had no
right to offend the feelings of others, especially when they were in
need of his assistance and asking him to see them. He brushed his
clothes carefully. His linen was always decent; in that respect he was
especially clean.

He washed that morning scrupulously--he got some soap from Nastasya--
he washed his hair, his neck and especially his hands. When it came to
the question whether to shave his stubbly chin or not (Praskovya
Pavlovna had capital razors that had been left by her late husband),
the question was angrily answered in the negative. "Let it stay as it
is! What if they think that I shaved on purpose to . . .? They
certainly would think so! Not on any account!"

"And . . . the worst of it was he was so coarse, so dirty, he had the
manners of a pothouse; and . . . and even admitting that he knew he
had some of the essentials of a gentleman . . . what was there in that
to be proud of? Everyone ought to be a gentleman and more than that
. . . and all the same (he remembered) he, too, had done little things
. . . not exactly dishonest, and yet. . . . And what thoughts he
sometimes had; hm . . . and to set all that beside Avdotya Romanovna!
Confound it! So be it! Well, he'd make a point then of being dirty,
greasy, pothouse in his manners and he wouldn't care! He'd be worse!"

He was engaged in such monologues when Zossimov, who had spent the
night in Praskovya Pavlovna's parlour, came in.

He was going home and was in a hurry to look at the invalid first.
Razumihin informed him that Raskolnikov was sleeping like a dormouse.
Zossimov gave orders that they shouldn't wake him and promised to see
him again about eleven.

"If he is still at home," he added. "Damn it all! If one can't control
one's patients, how is one to cure them? Do you know whether /he/ will
go to them, or whether /they/ are coming here?"

"They are coming, I think," said Razumihin, understanding the object
of the question, "and they will discuss their family affairs, no
doubt. I'll be off. You, as the doctor, have more right to be here
than I."

"But I am not a father confessor; I shall come and go away; I've
plenty to do besides looking after them."

"One thing worries me," interposed Razumihin, frowning. "On the way
home I talked a lot of drunken nonsense to him . . . all sorts of
things . . . and amongst them that you were afraid that he . . . might
become insane."

"You told the ladies so, too."

"I know it was stupid! You may beat me if you like! Did you think so

"That's nonsense, I tell you, how could I think it seriously? You,
yourself, described him as a monomaniac when you fetched me to him
. . . and we added fuel to the fire yesterday, you did, that is, with
your story about the painter; it was a nice conversation, when he was,
perhaps, mad on that very point! If only I'd known what happened then
at the police station and that some wretch . . . had insulted him with
this suspicion! Hm . . . I would not have allowed that conversation
yesterday. These monomaniacs will make a mountain out of a mole-hill
. . . and see their fancies as solid realities. . . . As far as I
remember, it was Zametov's story that cleared up half the mystery, to
my mind. Why, I know one case in which a hypochondriac, a man of
forty, cut the throat of a little boy of eight, because he couldn't
endure the jokes he made every day at table! And in this case his
rags, the insolent police officer, the fever and this suspicion! All
that working upon a man half frantic with hypochondria, and with his
morbid exceptional vanity! That may well have been the starting-point
of illness. Well, bother it all! . . . And, by the way, that Zametov
certainly is a nice fellow, but hm . . . he shouldn't have told all
that last night. He is an awful chatterbox!"

"But whom did he tell it to? You and me?"

"And Porfiry."

"What does that matter?"

"And, by the way, have you any influence on them, his mother and
sister? Tell them to be more careful with him to-day. . . ."

"They'll get on all right!" Razumihin answered reluctantly.

"Why is he so set against this Luzhin? A man with money and she
doesn't seem to dislike him . . . and they haven't a farthing, I
suppose? eh?"

"But what business is it of yours?" Razumihin cried with annoyance.
"How can I tell whether they've a farthing? Ask them yourself and
perhaps you'll find out. . . ."

"Foo! what an ass you are sometimes! Last night's wine has not gone
off yet. . . . Good-bye; thank your Praskovya Pavlovna from me for my
night's lodging. She locked herself in, made no reply to my /bonjour/
through the door; she was up at seven o'clock, the samovar was taken
into her from the kitchen. I was not vouchsafed a personal
interview. . . ."

At nine o'clock precisely Razumihin reached the lodgings at
Bakaleyev's house. Both ladies were waiting for him with nervous
impatience. They had risen at seven o'clock or earlier. He entered
looking as black as night, bowed awkwardly and was at once furious
with himself for it. He had reckoned without his host: Pulcheria
Alexandrovna fairly rushed at him, seized him by both hands and was
almost kissing them. He glanced timidly at Avdotya Romanovna, but her
proud countenance wore at that moment an expression of such gratitude
and friendliness, such complete and unlooked-for respect (in place of
the sneering looks and ill-disguised contempt he had expected), that
it threw him into greater confusion than if he had been met with
abuse. Fortunately there was a subject for conversation, and he made
haste to snatch at it.

Hearing that everything was going well and that Rodya had not yet
waked, Pulcheria Alexandrovna declared that she was glad to hear it,
because "she had something which it was very, very necessary to talk
over beforehand." Then followed an inquiry about breakfast and an
invitation to have it with them; they had waited to have it with him.
Avdotya Romanovna rang the bell: it was answered by a ragged dirty
waiter, and they asked him to bring tea which was served at last, but
in such a dirty and disorderly way that the ladies were ashamed.
Razumihin vigorously attacked the lodgings, but, remembering Luzhin,
stopped in embarrassment and was greatly relieved by Pulcheria
Alexandrovna's questions, which showered in a continual stream upon

He talked for three quarters of an hour, being constantly interrupted
by their questions, and succeeded in describing to them all the most
important facts he knew of the last year of Raskolnikov's life,
concluding with a circumstantial account of his illness. He omitted,
however, many things, which were better omitted, including the scene
at the police station with all its consequences. They listened eagerly
to his story, and, when he thought he had finished and satisfied his
listeners, he found that they considered he had hardly begun.

"Tell me, tell me! What do you think . . . ? Excuse me, I still don't
know your name!" Pulcheria Alexandrovna put in hastily.

"Dmitri Prokofitch."

"I should like very, very much to know, Dmitri Prokofitch . . . how he
looks . . . on things in general now, that is, how can I explain, what
are his likes and dislikes? Is he always so irritable? Tell me, if you
can, what are his hopes and, so to say, his dreams? Under what
influences is he now? In a word, I should like . . ."

"Ah, mother, how can he answer all that at once?" observed Dounia.

"Good heavens, I had not expected to find him in the least like this,
Dmitri Prokofitch!"

"Naturally," answered Razumihin. "I have no mother, but my uncle comes
every year and almost every time he can scarcely recognise me, even in
appearance, though he is a clever man; and your three years'
separation means a great deal. What am I to tell you? I have known
Rodion for a year and a half; he is morose, gloomy, proud and haughty,
and of late--and perhaps for a long time before--he has been
suspicious and fanciful. He has a noble nature and a kind heart. He
does not like showing his feelings and would rather do a cruel thing
than open his heart freely. Sometimes, though, he is not at all
morbid, but simply cold and inhumanly callous; it's as though he were
alternating between two characters. Sometimes he is fearfully
reserved! He says he is so busy that everything is a hindrance, and
yet he lies in bed doing nothing. He doesn't jeer at things, not
because he hasn't the wit, but as though he hadn't time to waste on
such trifles. He never listens to what is said to him. He is never
interested in what interests other people at any given moment. He
thinks very highly of himself and perhaps he is right. Well, what
more? I think your arrival will have a most beneficial influence upon

"God grant it may," cried Pulcheria Alexandrovna, distressed by
Razumihin's account of her Rodya.

And Razumihin ventured to look more boldly at Avdotya Romanovna at
last. He glanced at her often while he was talking, but only for a
moment and looked away again at once. Avdotya Romanovna sat at the
table, listening attentively, then got up again and began walking to
and fro with her arms folded and her lips compressed, occasionally
putting in a question, without stopping her walk. She had the same
habit of not listening to what was said. She was wearing a dress of
thin dark stuff and she had a white transparent scarf round her neck.
Razumihin soon detected signs of extreme poverty in their belongings.
Had Avdotya Romanovna been dressed like a queen, he felt that he would
not be afraid of her, but perhaps just because she was poorly dressed
and that he noticed all the misery of her surroundings, his heart was
filled with dread and he began to be afraid of every word he uttered,
every gesture he made, which was very trying for a man who already
felt diffident.

"You've told us a great deal that is interesting about my brother's
character . . . and have told it impartially. I am glad. I thought
that you were too uncritically devoted to him," observed Avdotya
Romanovna with a smile. "I think you are right that he needs a woman's
care," she added thoughtfully.

"I didn't say so; but I daresay you are right, only . . ."


"He loves no one and perhaps he never will," Razumihin declared

"You mean he is not capable of love?"

"Do you know, Avdotya Romanovna, you are awfully like your brother, in
everything, indeed!" he blurted out suddenly to his own surprise, but
remembering at once what he had just before said of her brother, he
turned as red as a crab and was overcome with confusion. Avdotya
Romanovna couldn't help laughing when she looked at him.

"You may both be mistaken about Rodya," Pulcheria Alexandrovna
remarked, slightly piqued. "I am not talking of our present
difficulty, Dounia. What Pyotr Petrovitch writes in this letter and
what you and I have supposed may be mistaken, but you can't imagine,
Dmitri Prokofitch, how moody and, so to say, capricious he is. I never
could depend on what he would do when he was only fifteen. And I am
sure that he might do something now that nobody else would think of
doing . . . Well, for instance, do you know how a year and a half ago
he astounded me and gave me a shock that nearly killed me, when he had
the idea of marrying that girl--what was her name--his landlady's

"Did you hear about that affair?" asked Avdotya Romanovna.

"Do you suppose----" Pulcheria Alexandrovna continued warmly. "Do you
suppose that my tears, my entreaties, my illness, my possible death
from grief, our poverty would have made him pause? No, he would calmly
have disregarded all obstacles. And yet it isn't that he doesn't love

"He has never spoken a word of that affair to me," Razumihin answered
cautiously. "But I did hear something from Praskovya Pavlovna herself,
though she is by no means a gossip. And what I heard certainly was
rather strange."

"And what did you hear?" both the ladies asked at once.

"Well, nothing very special. I only learned that the marriage, which
only failed to take place through the girl's death, was not at all to
Praskovya Pavlovna's liking. They say, too, the girl was not at all
pretty, in fact I am told positively ugly . . . and such an invalid
. . . and queer. But she seems to have had some good qualities. She
must have had some good qualities or it's quite inexplicable. . . .
She had no money either and he wouldn't have considered her money.
. . . But it's always difficult to judge in such matters."

"I am sure she was a good girl," Avdotya Romanovna observed briefly.

"God forgive me, I simply rejoiced at her death. Though I don't know
which of them would have caused most misery to the other--he to her or
she to him," Pulcheria Alexandrovna concluded. Then she began
tentatively questioning him about the scene on the previous day with
Luzhin, hesitating and continually glancing at Dounia, obviously to
the latter's annoyance. This incident more than all the rest evidently
caused her uneasiness, even consternation. Razumihin described it in
detail again, but this time he added his own conclusions: he openly
blamed Raskolnikov for intentionally insulting Pyotr Petrovitch, not
seeking to excuse him on the score of his illness.

"He had planned it before his illness," he added.

"I think so, too," Pulcheria Alexandrovna agreed with a dejected air.
But she was very much surprised at hearing Razumihin express himself
so carefully and even with a certain respect about Pyotr Petrovitch.
Avdotya Romanovna, too, was struck by it.

"So this is your opinion of Pyotr Petrovitch?" Pulcheria Alexandrovna
could not resist asking.

"I can have no other opinion of your daughter's future husband,"
Razumihin answered firmly and with warmth, "and I don't say it simply
from vulgar politeness, but because . . . simply because Avdotya
Romanovna has of her own free will deigned to accept this man. If I
spoke so rudely of him last night, it was because I was disgustingly
drunk and . . . mad besides; yes, mad, crazy, I lost my head
completely . . . and this morning I am ashamed of it."

He crimsoned and ceased speaking. Avdotya Romanovna flushed, but did
not break the silence. She had not uttered a word from the moment they
began to speak of Luzhin.

Without her support Pulcheria Alexandrovna obviously did not know what
to do. At last, faltering and continually glancing at her daughter,
she confessed that she was exceedingly worried by one circumstance.

"You see, Dmitri Prokofitch," she began. "I'll be perfectly open with
Dmitri Prokofitch, Dounia?"

"Of course, mother," said Avdotya Romanovna emphatically.

"This is what it is," she began in haste, as though the permission to
speak of her trouble lifted a weight off her mind. "Very early this
morning we got a note from Pyotr Petrovitch in reply to our letter
announcing our arrival. He promised to meet us at the station, you
know; instead of that he sent a servant to bring us the address of
these lodgings and to show us the way; and he sent a message that he
would be here himself this morning. But this morning this note came
from him. You'd better read it yourself; there is one point in it
which worries me very much . . . you will soon see what that is, and
. . . tell me your candid opinion, Dmitri Prokofitch! You know Rodya's
character better than anyone and no one can advise us better than you
can. Dounia, I must tell you, made her decision at once, but I still
don't feel sure how to act and I . . . I've been waiting for your

Razumihin opened the note which was dated the previous evening and
read as follows:

"Dear Madam, Pulcheria Alexandrovna, I have the honour to inform
you that owing to unforeseen obstacles I was rendered unable to
meet you at the railway station; I sent a very competent person
with the same object in view. I likewise shall be deprived of the
honour of an interview with you to-morrow morning by business in
the Senate that does not admit of delay, and also that I may not
intrude on your family circle while you are meeting your son, and
Avdotya Romanovna her brother. I shall have the honour of visiting
you and paying you my respects at your lodgings not later than
to-morrow evening at eight o'clock precisely, and herewith I
venture to present my earnest and, I may add, imperative request
that Rodion Romanovitch may not be present at our interview--as he
offered me a gross and unprecedented affront on the occasion of my
visit to him in his illness yesterday, and, moreover, since I
desire from you personally an indispensable and circumstantial
explanation upon a certain point, in regard to which I wish to
learn your own interpretation. I have the honour to inform you, in
anticipation, that if, in spite of my request, I meet Rodion
Romanovitch, I shall be compelled to withdraw immediately and then
you have only yourself to blame. I write on the assumption that
Rodion Romanovitch who appeared so ill at my visit, suddenly
recovered two hours later and so, being able to leave the house,
may visit you also. I was confirmed in that belief by the
testimony of my own eyes in the lodging of a drunken man who was
run over and has since died, to whose daughter, a young woman of
notorious behaviour, he gave twenty-five roubles on the pretext of
the funeral, which gravely surprised me knowing what pains you
were at to raise that sum. Herewith expressing my special respect
to your estimable daughter, Avdotya Romanovna, I beg you to accept
the respectful homage of

"Your humble servant,


"What am I to do now, Dmitri Prokofitch?" began Pulcheria
Alexandrovna, almost weeping. "How can I ask Rodya not to come?
Yesterday he insisted so earnestly on our refusing Pyotr Petrovitch
and now we are ordered not to receive Rodya! He will come on purpose
if he knows, and . . . what will happen then?"

"Act on Avdotya Romanovna's decision," Razumihin answered calmly at

"Oh, dear me! She says . . . goodness knows what she says, she doesn't
explain her object! She says that it would be best, at least, not that
it would be best, but that it's absolutely necessary that Rodya should
make a point of being here at eight o'clock and that they must meet.
. . . I didn't want even to show him the letter, but to prevent him
from coming by some stratagem with your help . . . because he is so
irritable. . . . Besides I don't understand about that drunkard who
died and that daughter, and how he could have given the daughter all
the money . . . which . . ."

"Which cost you such sacrifice, mother," put in Avdotya Romanovna.

"He was not himself yesterday," Razumihin said thoughtfully, "if you
only knew what he was up to in a restaurant yesterday, though there
was sense in it too. . . . Hm! He did say something, as we were going
home yesterday evening, about a dead man and a girl, but I didn't
understand a word. . . . But last night, I myself . . ."

"The best thing, mother, will be for us to go to him ourselves and
there I assure you we shall see at once what's to be done. Besides,
it's getting late--good heavens, it's past ten," she cried looking at
a splendid gold enamelled watch which hung round her neck on a thin
Venetian chain, and looked entirely out of keeping with the rest of
her dress. "A present from her /fiancé/," thought Razumihin.

"We must start, Dounia, we must start," her mother cried in a flutter.
"He will be thinking we are still angry after yesterday, from our
coming so late. Merciful heavens!"

While she said this she was hurriedly putting on her hat and mantle;
Dounia, too, put on her things. Her gloves, as Razumihin noticed, were
not merely shabby but had holes in them, and yet this evident poverty
gave the two ladies an air of special dignity, which is always found
in people who know how to wear poor clothes. Razumihin looked
reverently at Dounia and felt proud of escorting her. "The queen who
mended her stockings in prison," he thought, "must have looked then
every inch a queen and even more a queen than at sumptuous banquets
and levées."

"My God!" exclaimed Pulcheria Alexandrovna, "little did I think that I
should ever fear seeing my son, my darling, darling Rodya! I am
afraid, Dmitri Prokofitch," she added, glancing at him timidly.

"Don't be afraid, mother," said Dounia, kissing her, "better have
faith in him."

"Oh, dear, I have faith in him, but I haven't slept all night,"
exclaimed the poor woman.

They came out into the street.

"Do you know, Dounia, when I dozed a little this morning I dreamed of
Marfa Petrovna . . . she was all in white . . . she came up to me,
took my hand, and shook her head at me, but so sternly as though she
were blaming me. . . . Is that a good omen? Oh, dear me! You don't
know, Dmitri Prokofitch, that Marfa Petrovna's dead!"

"No, I didn't know; who is Marfa Petrovna?"

"She died suddenly; and only fancy . . ."

"Afterwards, mamma," put in Dounia. "He doesn't know who Marfa
Petrovna is."

"Ah, you don't know? And I was thinking that you knew all about us.
Forgive me, Dmitri Prokofitch, I don't know what I am thinking about
these last few days. I look upon you really as a providence for us,
and so I took it for granted that you knew all about us. I look on you
as a relation. . . . Don't be angry with me for saying so. Dear me,
what's the matter with your right hand? Have you knocked it?"

"Yes, I bruised it," muttered Razumihin overjoyed.

"I sometimes speak too much from the heart, so that Dounia finds fault
with me. . . . But, dear me, what a cupboard he lives in! I wonder
whether he is awake? Does this woman, his landlady, consider it a
room? Listen, you say he does not like to show his feelings, so
perhaps I shall annoy him with my . . . weaknesses? Do advise me,
Dmitri Prokofitch, how am I to treat him? I feel quite distracted, you

"Don't question him too much about anything if you see him frown;
don't ask him too much about his health; he doesn't like that."

"Ah, Dmitri Prokofitch, how hard it is to be a mother! But here are
the stairs. . . . What an awful staircase!"

"Mother, you are quite pale, don't distress yourself, darling," said
Dounia caressing her, then with flashing eyes she added: "He ought to
be happy at seeing you, and you are tormenting yourself so."

"Wait, I'll peep in and see whether he has waked up."

The ladies slowly followed Razumihin, who went on before, and when
they reached the landlady's door on the fourth storey, they noticed
that her door was a tiny crack open and that two keen black eyes were
watching them from the darkness within. When their eyes met, the door
was suddenly shut with such a slam that Pulcheria Alexandrovna almost
cried out.


"He is well, quite well!" Zossimov cried cheerfully as they entered.

He had come in ten minutes earlier and was sitting in the same place
as before, on the sofa. Raskolnikov was sitting in the opposite
corner, fully dressed and carefully washed and combed, as he had not
been for some time past. The room was immediately crowded, yet
Nastasya managed to follow the visitors in and stayed to listen.

Raskolnikov really was almost well, as compared with his condition the
day before, but he was still pale, listless, and sombre. He looked
like a wounded man or one who has undergone some terrible physical
suffering. His brows were knitted, his lips compressed, his eyes
feverish. He spoke little and reluctantly, as though performing a
duty, and there was a restlessness in his movements.

He only wanted a sling on his arm or a bandage on his finger to
complete the impression of a man with a painful abscess or a broken
arm. The pale, sombre face lighted up for a moment when his mother and
sister entered, but this only gave it a look of more intense
suffering, in place of its listless dejection. The light soon died
away, but the look of suffering remained, and Zossimov, watching and
studying his patient with all the zest of a young doctor beginning to
practise, noticed in him no joy at the arrival of his mother and
sister, but a sort of bitter, hidden determination to bear another
hour or two of inevitable torture. He saw later that almost every word
of the following conversation seemed to touch on some sore place and
irritate it. But at the same time he marvelled at the power of
controlling himself and hiding his feelings in a patient who the
previous day had, like a monomaniac, fallen into a frenzy at the
slightest word.

"Yes, I see myself now that I am almost well," said Raskolnikov,
giving his mother and sister a kiss of welcome which made Pulcheria
Alexandrovna radiant at once. "And I don't say this /as I did
yesterday/," he said, addressing Razumihin, with a friendly pressure
of his hand.

"Yes, indeed, I am quite surprised at him to-day," began Zossimov,
much delighted at the ladies' entrance, for he had not succeeded in
keeping up a conversation with his patient for ten minutes. "In
another three or four days, if he goes on like this, he will be just
as before, that is, as he was a month ago, or two . . . or perhaps
even three. This has been coming on for a long while. . . . eh?
Confess, now, that it has been perhaps your own fault?" he added, with
a tentative smile, as though still afraid of irritating him.

"It is very possible," answered Raskolnikov coldly.

"I should say, too," continued Zossimov with zest, "that your complete
recovery depends solely on yourself. Now that one can talk to you, I
should like to impress upon you that it is essential to avoid the
elementary, so to speak, fundamental causes tending to produce your
morbid condition: in that case you will be cured, if not, it will go
from bad to worse. These fundamental causes I don't know, but they
must be known to you. You are an intelligent man, and must have
observed yourself, of course. I fancy the first stage of your
derangement coincides with your leaving the university. You must not
be left without occupation, and so, work and a definite aim set before
you might, I fancy, be very beneficial."

"Yes, yes; you are perfectly right. . . . I will make haste and return
to the university: and then everything will go smoothly. . . ."

Zossimov, who had begun his sage advice partly to make an effect
before the ladies, was certainly somewhat mystified, when, glancing at
his patient, he observed unmistakable mockery on his face. This lasted
an instant, however. Pulcheria Alexandrovna began at once thanking
Zossimov, especially for his visit to their lodging the previous

"What! he saw you last night?" Raskolnikov asked, as though startled.
"Then you have not slept either after your journey."

"Ach, Rodya, that was only till two o'clock. Dounia and I never go to
bed before two at home."

"I don't know how to thank him either," Raskolnikov went on, suddenly
frowning and looking down. "Setting aside the question of payment--
forgive me for referring to it (he turned to Zossimov)--I really don't
know what I have done to deserve such special attention from you! I
simply don't understand it . . . and . . . and . . . it weighs upon
me, indeed, because I don't understand it. I tell you so candidly."

"Don't be irritated." Zossimov forced himself to laugh. "Assume that
you are my first patient--well--we fellows just beginning to practise
love our first patients as if they were our children, and some almost
fall in love with them. And, of course, I am not rich in patients."

"I say nothing about him," added Raskolnikov, pointing to Razumihin,
"though he has had nothing from me either but insult and trouble."

"What nonsense he is talking! Why, you are in a sentimental mood
to-day, are you?" shouted Razumihin.

If he had had more penetration he would have seen that there was no
trace of sentimentality in him, but something indeed quite the
opposite. But Avdotya Romanovna noticed it. She was intently and
uneasily watching her brother.

"As for you, mother, I don't dare to speak," he went on, as though
repeating a lesson learned by heart. "It is only to-day that I have
been able to realise a little how distressed you must have been here
yesterday, waiting for me to come back."

When he had said this, he suddenly held out his hand to his sister,
smiling without a word. But in this smile there was a flash of real
unfeigned feeling. Dounia caught it at once, and warmly pressed his
hand, overjoyed and thankful. It was the first time he had addressed
her since their dispute the previous day. The mother's face lighted up
with ecstatic happiness at the sight of this conclusive unspoken
reconciliation. "Yes, that is what I love him for," Razumihin,
exaggerating it all, muttered to himself, with a vigorous turn in his
chair. "He has these movements."

"And how well he does it all," the mother was thinking to herself.
"What generous impulses he has, and how simply, how delicately he put
an end to all the misunderstanding with his sister--simply by holding
out his hand at the right minute and looking at her like that. . . .
And what fine eyes he has, and how fine his whole face is! . . . He is
even better looking than Dounia. . . . But, good heavens, what a suit
--how terribly he's dressed! . . . Vasya, the messenger boy in Afanasy
Ivanitch's shop, is better dressed! I could rush at him and hug him
. . . weep over him--but I am afraid. . . . Oh, dear, he's so strange!
He's talking kindly, but I'm afraid! Why, what am I afraid of? . . ."

"Oh, Rodya, you wouldn't believe," she began suddenly, in haste to
answer his words to her, "how unhappy Dounia and I were yesterday! Now
that it's all over and done with and we are quite happy again--I can
tell you. Fancy, we ran here almost straight from the train to embrace
you and that woman--ah, here she is! Good morning, Nastasya! . . . She
told us at once that you were lying in a high fever and had just run
away from the doctor in delirium, and they were looking for you in the
streets. You can't imagine how we felt! I couldn't help thinking of
the tragic end of Lieutenant Potanchikov, a friend of your father's--
you can't remember him, Rodya--who ran out in the same way in a high
fever and fell into the well in the court-yard and they couldn't pull
him out till next day. Of course, we exaggerated things. We were on
the point of rushing to find Pyotr Petrovitch to ask him to help.
. . . Because we were alone, utterly alone," she said plaintively and
stopped short, suddenly, recollecting it was still somewhat dangerous
to speak of Pyotr Petrovitch, although "we are quite happy again."

"Yes, yes. . . . Of course it's very annoying. . . ." Raskolnikov
muttered in reply, but with such a preoccupied and inattentive air
that Dounia gazed at him in perplexity.

"What else was it I wanted to say?" He went on trying to recollect.
"Oh, yes; mother, and you too, Dounia, please don't think that I
didn't mean to come and see you to-day and was waiting for you to come

"What are you saying, Rodya?" cried Pulcheria Alexandrovna. She, too,
was surprised.

"Is he answering us as a duty?" Dounia wondered. "Is he being
reconciled and asking forgiveness as though he were performing a rite
or repeating a lesson?"

"I've only just waked up, and wanted to go to you, but was delayed
owing to my clothes; I forgot yesterday to ask her . . . Nastasya
. . . to wash out the blood . . . I've only just dressed."

"Blood! What blood?" Pulcheria Alexandrovna asked in alarm.

"Oh, nothing--don't be uneasy. It was when I was wandering about
yesterday, rather delirious, I chanced upon a man who had been run
over . . . a clerk . . ."

"Delirious? But you remember everything!" Razumihin interrupted.

"That's true," Raskolnikov answered with special carefulness. "I
remember everything even to the slightest detail, and yet--why I did
that and went there and said that, I can't clearly explain now."

"A familiar phenomenon," interposed Zossimov, "actions are sometimes
performed in a masterly and most cunning way, while the direction of
the actions is deranged and dependent on various morbid impressions--
it's like a dream."

"Perhaps it's a good thing really that he should think me almost a
madman," thought Raskolnikov.

"Why, people in perfect health act in the same way too," observed
Dounia, looking uneasily at Zossimov.

"There is some truth in your observation," the latter replied. "In
that sense we are certainly all not infrequently like madmen, but with
the slight difference that the deranged are somewhat madder, for we
must draw a line. A normal man, it is true, hardly exists. Among
dozens--perhaps hundreds of thousands--hardly one is to be met with."

At the word "madman," carelessly dropped by Zossimov in his chatter on
his favourite subject, everyone frowned.

Raskolnikov sat seeming not to pay attention, plunged in thought with
a strange smile on his pale lips. He was still meditating on

"Well, what about the man who was run over? I interrupted you!"
Razumihin cried hastily.

"What?" Raskolnikov seemed to wake up. "Oh . . . I got spattered with
blood helping to carry him to his lodging. By the way, mamma, I did an
unpardonable thing yesterday. I was literally out of my mind. I gave
away all the money you sent me . . . to his wife for the funeral.
She's a widow now, in consumption, a poor creature . . . three little
children, starving . . . nothing in the house . . . there's a
daughter, too . . . perhaps you'd have given it yourself if you'd seen
them. But I had no right to do it I admit, especially as I knew how
you needed the money yourself. To help others one must have the right
to do it, or else /Crevez, chiens, si vous n'êtes pas contents/." He
laughed, "That's right, isn't it, Dounia?"

"No, it's not," answered Dounia firmly.

"Bah! you, too, have ideals," he muttered, looking at her almost with
hatred, and smiling sarcastically. "I ought to have considered that.
. . . Well, that's praiseworthy, and it's better for you . . . and if
you reach a line you won't overstep, you will be unhappy . . . and if
you overstep it, maybe you will be still unhappier. . . . But all
that's nonsense," he added irritably, vexed at being carried away. "I
only meant to say that I beg your forgiveness, mother," he concluded,
shortly and abruptly.

"That's enough, Rodya, I am sure that everything you do is very good,"
said his mother, delighted.

"Don't be too sure," he answered, twisting his mouth into a smile.

A silence followed. There was a certain constraint in all this
conversation, and in the silence, and in the reconciliation, and in
the forgiveness, and all were feeling it.

"It is as though they were afraid of me," Raskolnikov was thinking to
himself, looking askance at his mother and sister. Pulcheria
Alexandrovna was indeed growing more timid the longer she kept silent.

"Yet in their absence I seemed to love them so much," flashed through
his mind.

"Do you know, Rodya, Marfa Petrovna is dead," Pulcheria Alexandrovna
suddenly blurted out.

"What Marfa Petrovna?"

"Oh, mercy on us--Marfa Petrovna Svidrigaïlov. I wrote you so much
about her."

"A-a-h! Yes, I remember. . . . So she's dead! Oh, really?" he roused
himself suddenly, as if waking up. "What did she die of?"

"Only imagine, quite suddenly," Pulcheria Alexandrovna answered
hurriedly, encouraged by his curiosity. "On the very day I was sending
you that letter! Would you believe it, that awful man seems to have
been the cause of her death. They say he beat her dreadfully."

"Why, were they on such bad terms?" he asked, addressing his sister.

"Not at all. Quite the contrary indeed. With her, he was always very
patient, considerate even. In fact, all those seven years of their
married life he gave way to her, too much so indeed, in many cases.
All of a sudden he seems to have lost patience."

"Then he could not have been so awful if he controlled himself for
seven years? You seem to be defending him, Dounia?"

"No, no, he's an awful man! I can imagine nothing more awful!" Dounia
answered, almost with a shudder, knitting her brows, and sinking into

"That had happened in the morning," Pulcheria Alexandrovna went on
hurriedly. "And directly afterwards she ordered the horses to be
harnessed to drive to the town immediately after dinner. She always
used to drive to the town in such cases. She ate a very good dinner, I
am told. . . ."

"After the beating?"

"That was always her . . . habit; and immediately after dinner, so as
not to be late in starting, she went to the bath-house. . . . You see,
she was undergoing some treatment with baths. They have a cold spring
there, and she used to bathe in it regularly every day, and no sooner
had she got into the water when she suddenly had a stroke!"

"I should think so," said Zossimov.

"And did he beat her badly?"

"What does that matter!" put in Dounia.

"H'm! But I don't know why you want to tell us such gossip, mother,"
said Raskolnikov irritably, as it were in spite of himself.

"Ah, my dear, I don't know what to talk about," broke from Pulcheria

"Why, are you all afraid of me?" he asked, with a constrained smile.

"That's certainly true," said Dounia, looking directly and sternly at
her brother. "Mother was crossing herself with terror as she came up
the stairs."

His face worked, as though in convulsion.

"Ach, what are you saying, Dounia! Don't be angry, please, Rodya.
. . . Why did you say that, Dounia?" Pulcheria Alexandrovna began,
overwhelmed--"You see, coming here, I was dreaming all the way, in the
train, how we should meet, how we should talk over everything
together. . . . And I was so happy, I did not notice the journey! But
what am I saying? I am happy now. . . . You should not, Dounia. . . .
I am happy now--simply in seeing you, Rodya. . . ."

"Hush, mother," he muttered in confusion, not looking at her, but
pressing her hand. "We shall have time to speak freely of everything!"

As he said this, he was suddenly overwhelmed with confusion and turned
pale. Again that awful sensation he had known of late passed with
deadly chill over his soul. Again it became suddenly plain and
perceptible to him that he had just told a fearful lie--that he would
never now be able to speak freely of everything--that he would never
again be able to /speak/ of anything to anyone. The anguish of this
thought was such that for a moment he almost forgot himself. He got up
from his seat, and not looking at anyone walked towards the door.

"What are you about?" cried Razumihin, clutching him by the arm.

He sat down again, and began looking about him, in silence. They were
all looking at him in perplexity.

"But what are you all so dull for?" he shouted, suddenly and quite
unexpectedly. "Do say something! What's the use of sitting like this?
Come, do speak. Let us talk. . . . We meet together and sit in
silence. . . . Come, anything!"

"Thank God; I was afraid the same thing as yesterday was beginning
again," said Pulcheria Alexandrovna, crossing herself.

"What is the matter, Rodya?" asked Avdotya Romanovna, distrustfully.

"Oh, nothing! I remembered something," he answered, and suddenly

"Well, if you remembered something; that's all right! . . . I was
beginning to think . . ." muttered Zossimov, getting up from the sofa.
"It is time for me to be off. I will look in again perhaps . . . if I
can . . ." He made his bows, and went out.

"What an excellent man!" observed Pulcheria Alexandrovna.

"Yes, excellent, splendid, well-educated, intelligent," Raskolnikov
began, suddenly speaking with surprising rapidity, and a liveliness he
had not shown till then. "I can't remember where I met him before my
illness. . . . I believe I have met him somewhere---- . . . And this
is a good man, too," he nodded at Razumihin. "Do you like him,
Dounia?" he asked her; and suddenly, for some unknown reason, laughed.

"Very much," answered Dounia.

"Foo!--what a pig you are!" Razumihin protested, blushing in terrible
confusion, and he got up from his chair. Pulcheria Alexandrovna smiled
faintly, but Raskolnikov laughed aloud.

"Where are you off to?"

"I must go."

"You need not at all. Stay. Zossimov has gone, so you must. Don't go.
What's the time? Is it twelve o'clock? What a pretty watch you have
got, Dounia. But why are you all silent again? I do all the talking."

"It was a present from Marfa Petrovna," answered Dounia.

"And a very expensive one!" added Pulcheria Alexandrovna.

"A-ah! What a big one! Hardly like a lady's."

"I like that sort," said Dounia.

"So it is not a present from her /fiancé/," thought Razumihin, and was
unreasonably delighted.

"I thought it was Luzhin's present," observed Raskolnikov.

"No, he has not made Dounia any presents yet."

"A-ah! And do you remember, mother, I was in love and wanted to get
married?" he said suddenly, looking at his mother, who was
disconcerted by the sudden change of subject and the way he spoke of

"Oh, yes, my dear."

Pulcheria Alexandrovna exchanged glances with Dounia and Razumihin.

"H'm, yes. What shall I tell you? I don't remember much indeed. She
was such a sickly girl," he went on, growing dreamy and looking down
again. "Quite an invalid. She was fond of giving alms to the poor, and
was always dreaming of a nunnery, and once she burst into tears when
she began talking to me about it. Yes, yes, I remember. I remember
very well. She was an ugly little thing. I really don't know what drew
me to her then--I think it was because she was always ill. If she had
been lame or hunchback, I believe I should have liked her better
still," he smiled dreamily. "Yes, it was a sort of spring delirium."

"No, it was not only spring delirium," said Dounia, with warm feeling.

He fixed a strained intent look on his sister, but did not hear or did
not understand her words. Then, completely lost in thought, he got up,
went up to his mother, kissed her, went back to his place and sat

"You love her even now?" said Pulcheria Alexandrovna, touched.

"Her? Now? Oh, yes. . . . You ask about her? No . . . that's all now,
as it were, in another world . . . and so long ago. And indeed
everything happening here seems somehow far away." He looked
attentively at them. "You, now . . . I seem to be looking at you from
a thousand miles away . . . but, goodness knows why we are talking of
that! And what's the use of asking about it?" he added with annoyance,
and biting his nails, fell into dreamy silence again.

"What a wretched lodging you have, Rodya! It's like a tomb," said
Pulcheria Alexandrovna, suddenly breaking the oppressive silence. "I
am sure it's quite half through your lodging you have become so

"My lodging," he answered, listlessly. "Yes, the lodging had a great
deal to do with it. . . . I thought that, too. . . . If only you knew,
though, what a strange thing you said just now, mother," he said,
laughing strangely.

A little more, and their companionship, this mother and this sister,
with him after three years' absence, this intimate tone of
conversation, in face of the utter impossibility of really speaking
about anything, would have been beyond his power of endurance. But
there was one urgent matter which must be settled one way or the other
that day--so he had decided when he woke. Now he was glad to remember
it, as a means of escape.

"Listen, Dounia," he began, gravely and drily, "of course I beg your
pardon for yesterday, but I consider it my duty to tell you again that
I do not withdraw from my chief point. It is me or Luzhin. If I am a
scoundrel, you must not be. One is enough. If you marry Luzhin, I
cease at once to look on you as a sister."

"Rodya, Rodya! It is the same as yesterday again," Pulcheria
Alexandrovna cried, mournfully. "And why do you call yourself a
scoundrel? I can't bear it. You said the same yesterday."

"Brother," Dounia answered firmly and with the same dryness. "In all
this there is a mistake on your part. I thought it over at night, and
found out the mistake. It is all because you seem to fancy I am
sacrificing myself to someone and for someone. That is not the case at
all. I am simply marrying for my own sake, because things are hard for
me. Though, of course, I shall be glad if I succeed in being useful to
my family. But that is not the chief motive for my decision. . . ."

"She is lying," he thought to himself, biting his nails vindictively.
"Proud creature! She won't admit she wants to do it out of charity!
Too haughty! Oh, base characters! They even love as though they hate.
. . . Oh, how I . . . hate them all!"

"In fact," continued Dounia, "I am marrying Pyotr Petrovitch because
of two evils I choose the less. I intend to do honestly all he expects
of me, so I am not deceiving him. . . . Why did you smile just now?"
She, too, flushed, and there was a gleam of anger in her eyes.

"All?" he asked, with a malignant grin.

"Within certain limits. Both the manner and form of Pyotr Petrovitch's
courtship showed me at once what he wanted. He may, of course, think
too well of himself, but I hope he esteems me, too. . . . Why are you
laughing again?"

"And why are you blushing again? You are lying, sister. You are
intentionally lying, simply from feminine obstinacy, simply to hold
your own against me. . . . You cannot respect Luzhin. I have seen him
and talked with him. So you are selling yourself for money, and so in
any case you are acting basely, and I am glad at least that you can
blush for it."

"It is not true. I am not lying," cried Dounia, losing her composure.
"I would not marry him if I were not convinced that he esteems me and
thinks highly of me. I would not marry him if I were not firmly
convinced that I can respect him. Fortunately, I can have convincing
proof of it this very day . . . and such a marriage is not a vileness,
as you say! And even if you were right, if I really had determined on
a vile action, is it not merciless on your part to speak to me like
that? Why do you demand of me a heroism that perhaps you have not
either? It is despotism; it is tyranny. If I ruin anyone, it is only
myself. . . . I am not committing a murder. Why do you look at me like
that? Why are you so pale? Rodya, darling, what's the matter?"

"Good heavens! You have made him faint," cried Pulcheria Alexandrovna.

"No, no, nonsense! It's nothing. A little giddiness--not fainting. You
have fainting on the brain. H'm, yes, what was I saying? Oh, yes. In
what way will you get convincing proof to-day that you can respect
him, and that he . . . esteems you, as you said. I think you said

"Mother, show Rodya Pyotr Petrovitch's letter," said Dounia.

With trembling hands, Pulcheria Alexandrovna gave him the letter. He
took it with great interest, but, before opening it, he suddenly
looked with a sort of wonder at Dounia.

"It is strange," he said, slowly, as though struck by a new idea.
"What am I making such a fuss for? What is it all about? Marry whom
you like!"

He said this as though to himself, but said it aloud, and looked for
some time at his sister, as though puzzled. He opened the letter at
last, still with the same look of strange wonder on his face. Then,
slowly and attentively, he began reading, and read it through twice.
Pulcheria Alexandrovna showed marked anxiety, and all indeed expected
something particular.

"What surprises me," he began, after a short pause, handing the letter
to his mother, but not addressing anyone in particular, "is that he
is a business man, a lawyer, and his conversation is pretentious
indeed, and yet he writes such an uneducated letter."

They all started. They had expected something quite different.

"But they all write like that, you know," Razumihin observed,

"Have you read it?"


"We showed him, Rodya. We . . . consulted him just now," Pulcheria
Alexandrovna began, embarrassed.

"That's just the jargon of the courts," Razumihin put in. "Legal
documents are written like that to this day."

"Legal? Yes, it's just legal--business language--not so very
uneducated, and not quite educated--business language!"

"Pyotr Petrovitch makes no secret of the fact that he had a cheap
education, he is proud indeed of having made his own way," Avdotya
Romanovna observed, somewhat offended by her brother's tone.

"Well, if he's proud of it, he has reason, I don't deny it. You seem
to be offended, sister, at my making only such a frivolous criticism
on the letter, and to think that I speak of such trifling matters on
purpose to annoy you. It is quite the contrary, an observation apropos
of the style occurred to me that is by no means irrelevant as things
stand. There is one expression, 'blame yourselves' put in very
significantly and plainly, and there is besides a threat that he will
go away at once if I am present. That threat to go away is equivalent
to a threat to abandon you both if you are disobedient, and to abandon
you now after summoning you to Petersburg. Well, what do you think?
Can one resent such an expression from Luzhin, as we should if he (he
pointed to Razumihin) had written it, or Zossimov, or one of us?"

"N-no," answered Dounia, with more animation. "I saw clearly that it
was too naïvely expressed, and that perhaps he simply has no skill in
writing . . . that is a true criticism, brother. I did not expect,
indeed . . ."

"It is expressed in legal style, and sounds coarser than perhaps he
intended. But I must disillusion you a little. There is one expression
in the letter, one slander about me, and rather a contemptible one. I
gave the money last night to the widow, a woman in consumption,
crushed with trouble, and not 'on the pretext of the funeral,' but
simply to pay for the funeral, and not to the daughter--a young woman,
as he writes, of notorious behaviour (whom I saw last night for the
first time in my life)--but to the widow. In all this I see a too
hasty desire to slander me and to raise dissension between us. It is
expressed again in legal jargon, that is to say, with a too obvious
display of the aim, and with a very naïve eagerness. He is a man of
intelligence, but to act sensibly, intelligence is not enough. It all
shows the man and . . . I don't think he has a great esteem for you. I
tell you this simply to warn you, because I sincerely wish for your
good . . ."

Dounia did not reply. Her resolution had been taken. She was only
awaiting the evening.

"Then what is your decision, Rodya?" asked Pulcheria Alexandrovna, who
was more uneasy than ever at the sudden, new businesslike tone of his

"What decision?"

"You see Pyotr Petrovitch writes that you are not to be with us this
evening, and that he will go away if you come. So will you . . .

"That, of course, is not for me to decide, but for you first, if you
are not offended by such a request; and secondly, by Dounia, if she,
too, is not offended. I will do what you think best," he added, drily.

"Dounia has already decided, and I fully agree with her," Pulcheria
Alexandrovna hastened to declare.

"I decided to ask you, Rodya, to urge you not to fail to be with us at
this interview," said Dounia. "Will you come?"


"I will ask you, too, to be with us at eight o'clock," she said,
addressing Razumihin. "Mother, I am inviting him, too."

"Quite right, Dounia. Well, since you have decided," added Pulcheria
Alexandrovna, "so be it. I shall feel easier myself. I do not like
concealment and deception. Better let us have the whole truth. . . .
Pyotr Petrovitch may be angry or not, now!"


At that moment the door was softly opened, and a young girl walked
into the room, looking timidly about her. Everyone turned towards her
with surprise and curiosity. At first sight, Raskolnikov did not
recognise her. It was Sofya Semyonovna Marmeladov. He had seen her
yesterday for the first time, but at such a moment, in such
surroundings and in such a dress, that his memory retained a very
different image of her. Now she was a modestly and poorly-dressed
young girl, very young, indeed, almost like a child, with a modest and
refined manner, with a candid but somewhat frightened-looking face.
She was wearing a very plain indoor dress, and had on a shabby old-
fashioned hat, but she still carried a parasol. Unexpectedly finding
the room full of people, she was not so much embarrassed as completely
overwhelmed with shyness, like a little child. She was even about to
retreat. "Oh . . . it's you!" said Raskolnikov, extremely astonished,
and he, too, was confused. He at once recollected that his mother and
sister knew through Luzhin's letter of "some young woman of notorious
behaviour." He had only just been protesting against Luzhin's calumny
and declaring that he had seen the girl last night for the first time,
and suddenly she had walked in. He remembered, too, that he had not
protested against the expression "of notorious behaviour." All this
passed vaguely and fleetingly through his brain, but looking at her
more intently, he saw that the humiliated creature was so humiliated
that he felt suddenly sorry for her. When she made a movement to
retreat in terror, it sent a pang to his heart.

"I did not expect you," he said, hurriedly, with a look that made her
stop. "Please sit down. You come, no doubt, from Katerina Ivanovna.
Allow me--not there. Sit here. . . ."

At Sonia's entrance, Razumihin, who had been sitting on one of
Raskolnikov's three chairs, close to the door, got up to allow her to
enter. Raskolnikov had at first shown her the place on the sofa where
Zossimov had been sitting, but feeling that the sofa which served him
as a bed, was too /familiar/ a place, he hurriedly motioned her to
Razumihin's chair.

"You sit here," he said to Razumihin, putting him on the sofa.

Sonia sat down, almost shaking with terror, and looked timidly at the
two ladies. It was evidently almost inconceivable to herself that she
could sit down beside them. At the thought of it, she was so
frightened that she hurriedly got up again, and in utter confusion
addressed Raskolnikov.

"I . . . I . . . have come for one minute. Forgive me for disturbing
you," she began falteringly. "I come from Katerina Ivanovna, and she
had no one to send. Katerina Ivanovna told me to beg you . . . to be
at the service . . . in the morning . . . at Mitrofanievsky . . . and
then . . . to us . . . to her . . . to do her the honour . . . she
told me to beg you . . ." Sonia stammered and ceased speaking.

"I will try, certainly, most certainly," answered Raskolnikov. He,
too, stood up, and he, too, faltered and could not finish his
sentence. "Please sit down," he said, suddenly. "I want to talk to
you. You are perhaps in a hurry, but please, be so kind, spare me two
minutes," and he drew up a chair for her.

Sonia sat down again, and again timidly she took a hurried, frightened
look at the two ladies, and dropped her eyes. Raskolnikov's pale face
flushed, a shudder passed over him, his eyes glowed.

"Mother," he said, firmly and insistently, "this is Sofya Semyonovna
Marmeladov, the daughter of that unfortunate Mr. Marmeladov, who was
run over yesterday before my eyes, and of whom I was just telling

Pulcheria Alexandrovna glanced at Sonia, and slightly screwed up her
eyes. In spite of her embarrassment before Rodya's urgent and
challenging look, she could not deny herself that satisfaction. Dounia
gazed gravely and intently into the poor girl's face, and scrutinised
her with perplexity. Sonia, hearing herself introduced, tried to raise
her eyes again, but was more embarrassed than ever.

"I wanted to ask you," said Raskolnikov, hastily, "how things were
arranged yesterday. You were not worried by the police, for instance?"

"No, that was all right . . . it was too evident, the cause of death
. . . they did not worry us . . . only the lodgers are angry."


"At the body's remaining so long. You see it is hot now. So that,
to-day, they will carry it to the cemetery, into the chapel, until
to-morrow. At first Katerina Ivanovna was unwilling, but now she sees
herself that it's necessary . . ."

"To-day, then?"

"She begs you to do us the honour to be in the church to-morrow for
the service, and then to be present at the funeral lunch."

"She is giving a funeral lunch?"

"Yes . . . just a little. . . . She told me to thank you very much for
helping us yesterday. But for you, we should have had nothing for the

All at once her lips and chin began trembling, but, with an effort,
she controlled herself, looking down again.

During the conversation, Raskolnikov watched her carefully. She had a
thin, very thin, pale little face, rather irregular and angular, with
a sharp little nose and chin. She could not have been called pretty,
but her blue eyes were so clear, and when they lighted up, there was
such a kindliness and simplicity in her expression that one could not
help being attracted. Her face, and her whole figure indeed, had
another peculiar characteristic. In spite of her eighteen years, she
looked almost a little girl--almost a child. And in some of her
gestures, this childishness seemed almost absurd.

"But has Katerina Ivanovna been able to manage with such small means?
Does she even mean to have a funeral lunch?" Raskolnikov asked,
persistently keeping up the conversation.

"The coffin will be plain, of course . . . and everything will be
plain, so it won't cost much. Katerina Ivanovna and I have reckoned it
all out, so that there will be enough left . . . and Katerina Ivanovna
was very anxious it should be so. You know one can't . . . it's a
comfort to her . . . she is like that, you know. . . ."

"I understand, I understand . . . of course . . . why do you look at
my room like that? My mother has just said it is like a tomb."

"You gave us everything yesterday," Sonia said suddenly, in reply, in
a loud rapid whisper; and again she looked down in confusion. Her lips
and chin were trembling once more. She had been struck at once by
Raskolnikov's poor surroundings, and now these words broke out
spontaneously. A silence followed. There was a light in Dounia's eyes,
and even Pulcheria Alexandrovna looked kindly at Sonia.

"Rodya," she said, getting up, "we shall have dinner together, of
course. Come, Dounia. . . . And you, Rodya, had better go for a little
walk, and then rest and lie down before you come to see us. . . . I am
afraid we have exhausted you. . . ."

"Yes, yes, I'll come," he answered, getting up fussily. "But I have
something to see to."

"But surely you will have dinner together?" cried Razumihin, looking
in surprise at Raskolnikov. "What do you mean?"

"Yes, yes, I am coming . . . of course, of course! And you stay a

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