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

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Part 6 out of 12

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

minute. You do not want him just now, do you, mother? Or perhaps I am
taking him from you?"

"Oh, no, no. And will you, Dmitri Prokofitch, do us the favour of
dining with us?"

"Please do," added Dounia.

Razumihin bowed, positively radiant. For one moment, they were all
strangely embarrassed.

"Good-bye, Rodya, that is till we meet. I do not like saying good-bye.
Good-bye, Nastasya. Ah, I have said good-bye again."

Pulcheria Alexandrovna meant to greet Sonia, too; but it somehow
failed to come off, and she went in a flutter out of the room.

But Avdotya Romanovna seemed to await her turn, and following her
mother out, gave Sonia an attentive, courteous bow. Sonia, in
confusion, gave a hurried, frightened curtsy. There was a look of
poignant discomfort in her face, as though Avdotya Romanovna's
courtesy and attention were oppressive and painful to her.

"Dounia, good-bye," called Raskolnikov, in the passage. "Give me your

"Why, I did give it to you. Have you forgotten?" said Dounia, turning
warmly and awkwardly to him.

"Never mind, give it to me again." And he squeezed her fingers warmly.

Dounia smiled, flushed, pulled her hand away, and went off quite

"Come, that's capital," he said to Sonia, going back and looking
brightly at her. "God give peace to the dead, the living have still to
live. That is right, isn't it?"

Sonia looked surprised at the sudden brightness of his face. He looked
at her for some moments in silence. The whole history of the dead
father floated before his memory in those moments. . . .


"Heavens, Dounia," Pulcheria Alexandrovna began, as soon as they were
in the street, "I really feel relieved myself at coming away--more at
ease. How little did I think yesterday in the train that I could ever
be glad of that."

"I tell you again, mother, he is still very ill. Don't you see it?
Perhaps worrying about us upset him. We must be patient, and much,
much can be forgiven."

"Well, you were not very patient!" Pulcheria Alexandrovna caught her
up, hotly and jealously. "Do you know, Dounia, I was looking at you
two. You are the very portrait of him, and not so much in face as in
soul. You are both melancholy, both morose and hot-tempered, both
haughty and both generous. . . . Surely he can't be an egoist, Dounia.
Eh? When I think of what is in store for us this evening, my heart

"Don't be uneasy, mother. What must be, will be."

"Dounia, only think what a position we are in! What if Pyotr
Petrovitch breaks it off?" poor Pulcheria Alexandrovna blurted out,

"He won't be worth much if he does," answered Dounia, sharply and

"We did well to come away," Pulcheria Alexandrovna hurriedly broke in.
"He was in a hurry about some business or other. If he gets out and
has a breath of air . . . it is fearfully close in his room. . . . But
where is one to get a breath of air here? The very streets here feel
like shut-up rooms. Good heavens! what a town! . . . stay . . . this
side . . . they will crush you--carrying something. Why, it is a piano
they have got, I declare . . . how they push! . . . I am very much
afraid of that young woman, too."

"What young woman, mother?

"Why, that Sofya Semyonovna, who was there just now."


"I have a presentiment, Dounia. Well, you may believe it or not, but
as soon as she came in, that very minute, I felt that she was the
chief cause of the trouble. . . ."

"Nothing of the sort!" cried Dounia, in vexation. "What nonsense, with
your presentiments, mother! He only made her acquaintance the evening
before, and he did not know her when she came in."

"Well, you will see. . . . She worries me; but you will see, you will
see! I was so frightened. She was gazing at me with those eyes. I
could scarcely sit still in my chair when he began introducing her, do
you remember? It seems so strange, but Pyotr Petrovitch writes like
that about her, and he introduces her to us--to you! So he must think
a great deal of her."

"People will write anything. We were talked about and written about,
too. Have you forgotten? I am sure that she is a good girl, and that
it is all nonsense."

"God grant it may be!"

"And Pyotr Petrovitch is a contemptible slanderer," Dounia snapped
out, suddenly.

Pulcheria Alexandrovna was crushed; the conversation was not resumed.


"I will tell you what I want with you," said Raskolnikov, drawing
Razumihin to the window.

"Then I will tell Katerina Ivanovna that you are coming," Sonia said
hurriedly, preparing to depart.

"One minute, Sofya Semyonovna. We have no secrets. You are not in our
way. I want to have another word or two with you. Listen!" he turned
suddenly to Razumihin again. "You know that . . . what's his name
. . . Porfiry Petrovitch?"

"I should think so! He is a relation. Why?" added the latter, with

"Is not he managing that case . . . you know, about that murder? . . .
You were speaking about it yesterday."

"Yes . . . well?" Razumihin's eyes opened wide.

"He was inquiring for people who had pawned things, and I have some
pledges there, too--trifles--a ring my sister gave me as a keepsake
when I left home, and my father's silver watch--they are only worth
five or six roubles altogether . . . but I value them. So what am I to
do now? I do not want to lose the things, especially the watch. I was
quaking just now, for fear mother would ask to look at it, when we
spoke of Dounia's watch. It is the only thing of father's left us. She
would be ill if it were lost. You know what women are. So tell me what
to do. I know I ought to have given notice at the police station, but
would it not be better to go straight to Porfiry? Eh? What do you
think? The matter might be settled more quickly. You see, mother may
ask for it before dinner."

"Certainly not to the police station. Certainly to Porfiry," Razumihin
shouted in extraordinary excitement. "Well, how glad I am. Let us go
at once. It is a couple of steps. We shall be sure to find him."

"Very well, let us go."

"And he will be very, very glad to make your acquaintance. I have
often talked to him of you at different times. I was speaking of you
yesterday. Let us go. So you knew the old woman? So that's it! It is
all turning out splendidly. . . . Oh, yes, Sofya Ivanovna . . ."

"Sofya Semyonovna," corrected Raskolnikov. "Sofya Semyonovna, this is
my friend Razumihin, and he is a good man."

"If you have to go now," Sonia was beginning, not looking at Razumihin
at all, and still more embarrassed.

"Let us go," decided Raskolnikov. "I will come to you to-day, Sofya
Semyonovna. Only tell me where you live."

He was not exactly ill at ease, but seemed hurried, and avoided her
eyes. Sonia gave her address, and flushed as she did so. They all went
out together.

"Don't you lock up?" asked Razumihin, following him on to the stairs.

"Never," answered Raskolnikov. "I have been meaning to buy a lock for
these two years. People are happy who have no need of locks," he said,
laughing, to Sonia. They stood still in the gateway.

"Do you go to the right, Sofya Semyonovna? How did you find me, by the
way?" he added, as though he wanted to say something quite different.
He wanted to look at her soft clear eyes, but this was not easy.

"Why, you gave your address to Polenka yesterday."

"Polenka? Oh, yes; Polenka, that is the little girl. She is your
sister? Did I give her the address?"

"Why, had you forgotten?"

"No, I remember."

"I had heard my father speak of you . . . only I did not know your
name, and he did not know it. And now I came . . . and as I had learnt
your name, I asked to-day, 'Where does Mr. Raskolnikov live?' I did
not know you had only a room too. . . . Good-bye, I will tell Katerina

She was extremely glad to escape at last; she went away looking down,
hurrying to get out of sight as soon as possible, to walk the twenty
steps to the turning on the right and to be at last alone, and then
moving rapidly along, looking at no one, noticing nothing, to think,
to remember, to meditate on every word, every detail. Never, never had
she felt anything like this. Dimly and unconsciously a whole new world
was opening before her. She remembered suddenly that Raskolnikov meant
to come to her that day, perhaps at once!

"Only not to-day, please, not to-day!" she kept muttering with a
sinking heart, as though entreating someone, like a frightened child.
"Mercy! to me . . . to that room . . . he will see . . . oh, dear!"

She was not capable at that instant of noticing an unknown gentleman
who was watching her and following at her heels. He had accompanied
her from the gateway. At the moment when Razumihin, Raskolnikov, and
she stood still at parting on the pavement, this gentleman, who was
just passing, started on hearing Sonia's words: "and I asked where Mr.
Raskolnikov lived?" He turned a rapid but attentive look upon all
three, especially upon Raskolnikov, to whom Sonia was speaking; then
looked back and noted the house. All this was done in an instant as he
passed, and trying not to betray his interest, he walked on more
slowly as though waiting for something. He was waiting for Sonia; he
saw that they were parting, and that Sonia was going home.

"Home? Where? I've seen that face somewhere," he thought. "I must find

At the turning he crossed over, looked round, and saw Sonia coming the
same way, noticing nothing. She turned the corner. He followed her on
the other side. After about fifty paces he crossed over again,
overtook her and kept two or three yards behind her.

He was a man about fifty, rather tall and thickly set, with broad high
shoulders which made him look as though he stooped a little. He wore
good and fashionable clothes, and looked like a gentleman of position.
He carried a handsome cane, which he tapped on the pavement at each
step; his gloves were spotless. He had a broad, rather pleasant face
with high cheek-bones and a fresh colour, not often seen in
Petersburg. His flaxen hair was still abundant, and only touched here
and there with grey, and his thick square beard was even lighter than
his hair. His eyes were blue and had a cold and thoughtful look; his
lips were crimson. He was a remarkedly well-preserved man and looked
much younger than his years.

When Sonia came out on the canal bank, they were the only two persons
on the pavement. He observed her dreaminess and preoccupation. On
reaching the house where she lodged, Sonia turned in at the gate; he
followed her, seeming rather surprised. In the courtyard she turned to
the right corner. "Bah!" muttered the unknown gentleman, and mounted
the stairs behind her. Only then Sonia noticed him. She reached the
third storey, turned down the passage, and rang at No. 9. On the door
was inscribed in chalk, "Kapernaumov, Tailor." "Bah!" the stranger
repeated again, wondering at the strange coincidence, and he rang next
door, at No. 8. The doors were two or three yards apart.

"You lodge at Kapernaumov's," he said, looking at Sonia and laughing.
"He altered a waistcoat for me yesterday. I am staying close here at
Madame Resslich's. How odd!" Sonia looked at him attentively.

"We are neighbours," he went on gaily. "I only came to town the day
before yesterday. Good-bye for the present."

Sonia made no reply; the door opened and she slipped in. She felt for
some reason ashamed and uneasy.


On the way to Porfiry's, Razumihin was obviously excited.

"That's capital, brother," he repeated several times, "and I am glad!
I am glad!"

"What are you glad about?" Raskolnikov thought to himself.

"I didn't know that you pledged things at the old woman's, too. And
. . . was it long ago? I mean, was it long since you were there?"

"What a simple-hearted fool he is!"

"When was it?" Raskolnikov stopped still to recollect. "Two or three
days before her death it must have been. But I am not going to redeem
the things now," he put in with a sort of hurried and conspicuous
solicitude about the things. "I've not more than a silver rouble left
. . . after last night's accursed delirium!"

He laid special emphasis on the delirium.

"Yes, yes," Razumihin hastened to agree--with what was not clear.
"Then that's why you . . . were stuck . . . partly . . . you know in
your delirium you were continually mentioning some rings or chains!
Yes, yes . . . that's clear, it's all clear now."

"Hullo! How that idea must have got about among them. Here this man
will go to the stake for me, and I find him delighted at having it
/cleared up/ why I spoke of rings in my delirium! What a hold the idea
must have on all of them!"

"Shall we find him?" he asked suddenly.

"Oh, yes," Razumihin answered quickly. "He is a nice fellow, you will
see, brother. Rather clumsy, that is to say, he is a man of polished
manners, but I mean clumsy in a different sense. He is an intelligent
fellow, very much so indeed, but he has his own range of ideas. . . .
He is incredulous, sceptical, cynical . . . he likes to impose on
people, or rather to make fun of them. His is the old, circumstantial
method. . . . But he understands his work . . . thoroughly. . . . Last
year he cleared up a case of murder in which the police had hardly a
clue. He is very, very anxious to make your acquaintance!"

"On what grounds is he so anxious?"

"Oh, it's not exactly . . . you see, since you've been ill I happen to
have mentioned you several times. . . . So, when he heard about you
. . . about your being a law student and not able to finish your
studies, he said, 'What a pity!' And so I concluded . . . from
everything together, not only that; yesterday Zametov . . . you know,
Rodya, I talked some nonsense on the way home to you yesterday, when I
was drunk . . . I am afraid, brother, of your exaggerating it, you

"What? That they think I am a madman? Maybe they are right," he said
with a constrained smile.

"Yes, yes. . . . That is, pooh, no! . . . But all that I said (and
there was something else too) it was all nonsense, drunken nonsense."

"But why are you apologising? I am so sick of it all!" Raskolnikov
cried with exaggerated irritability. It was partly assumed, however.

"I know, I know, I understand. Believe me, I understand. One's ashamed
to speak of it."

"If you are ashamed, then don't speak of it."

Both were silent. Razumihin was more than ecstatic and Raskolnikov
perceived it with repulsion. He was alarmed, too, by what Razumihin
had just said about Porfiry.

"I shall have to pull a long face with him too," he thought, with a
beating heart, and he turned white, "and do it naturally, too. But the
most natural thing would be to do nothing at all. Carefully do nothing
at all! No, /carefully/ would not be natural again. . . . Oh, well, we
shall see how it turns out. . . . We shall see . . . directly. Is it a
good thing to go or not? The butterfly flies to the light. My heart is
beating, that's what's bad!"

"In this grey house," said Razumihin.

"The most important thing, does Porfiry know that I was at the old
hag's flat yesterday . . . and asked about the blood? I must find that
out instantly, as soon as I go in, find out from his face; otherwise
. . . I'll find out, if it's my ruin."

"I say, brother," he said suddenly, addressing Razumihin, with a sly
smile, "I have been noticing all day that you seem to be curiously
excited. Isn't it so?"

"Excited? Not a bit of it," said Razumihin, stung to the quick.

"Yes, brother, I assure you it's noticeable. Why, you sat on your
chair in a way you never do sit, on the edge somehow, and you seemed
to be writhing all the time. You kept jumping up for nothing. One
moment you were angry, and the next your face looked like a sweetmeat.
You even blushed; especially when you were invited to dinner, you
blushed awfully."

"Nothing of the sort, nonsense! What do you mean?"

"But why are you wriggling out of it, like a schoolboy? By Jove, there
he's blushing again."

"What a pig you are!"

"But why are you so shamefaced about it? Romeo! Stay, I'll tell of you
to-day. Ha-ha-ha! I'll make mother laugh, and someone else,
too . . ."

"Listen, listen, listen, this is serious. . . . What next, you fiend!"
Razumihin was utterly overwhelmed, turning cold with horror. "What
will you tell them? Come, brother . . . foo! what a pig you are!"

"You are like a summer rose. And if only you knew how it suits you; a
Romeo over six foot high! And how you've washed to-day--you cleaned
your nails, I declare. Eh? That's something unheard of! Why, I do
believe you've got pomatum on your hair! Bend down."


Raskolnikov laughed as though he could not restrain himself. So
laughing, they entered Porfiry Petrovitch's flat. This is what
Raskolnikov wanted: from within they could be heard laughing as they
came in, still guffawing in the passage.

"Not a word here or I'll . . . brain you!" Razumihin whispered
furiously, seizing Raskolnikov by the shoulder.


Raskolnikov was already entering the room. He came in looking as
though he had the utmost difficulty not to burst out laughing again.
Behind him Razumihin strode in gawky and awkward, shamefaced and red
as a peony, with an utterly crestfallen and ferocious expression. His
face and whole figure really were ridiculous at that moment and amply
justified Raskolnikov's laughter. Raskolnikov, not waiting for an
introduction, bowed to Porfiry Petrovitch, who stood in the middle of
the room looking inquiringly at them. He held out his hand and shook
hands, still apparently making desperate efforts to subdue his mirth
and utter a few words to introduce himself. But he had no sooner
succeeded in assuming a serious air and muttering something when he
suddenly glanced again as though accidentally at Razumihin, and could
no longer control himself: his stifled laughter broke out the more
irresistibly the more he tried to restrain it. The extraordinary
ferocity with which Razumihin received this "spontaneous" mirth gave
the whole scene the appearance of most genuine fun and naturalness.
Razumihin strengthened this impression as though on purpose.

"Fool! You fiend," he roared, waving his arm which at once struck a
little round table with an empty tea-glass on it. Everything was sent
flying and crashing.

"But why break chairs, gentlemen? You know it's a loss to the Crown,"
Porfiry Petrovitch quoted gaily.

Raskolnikov was still laughing, with his hand in Porfiry Petrovitch's,
but anxious not to overdo it, awaited the right moment to put a
natural end to it. Razumihin, completely put to confusion by upsetting
the table and smashing the glass, gazed gloomily at the fragments,
cursed and turned sharply to the window where he stood looking out
with his back to the company with a fiercely scowling countenance,
seeing nothing. Porfiry Petrovitch laughed and was ready to go on
laughing, but obviously looked for explanations. Zametov had been
sitting in the corner, but he rose at the visitors' entrance and was
standing in expectation with a smile on his lips, though he looked
with surprise and even it seemed incredulity at the whole scene and at
Raskolnikov with a certain embarrassment. Zametov's unexpected
presence struck Raskolnikov unpleasantly.

"I've got to think of that," he thought. "Excuse me, please," he
began, affecting extreme embarrassment. "Raskolnikov."

"Not at all, very pleasant to see you . . . and how pleasantly you've
come in. . . . Why, won't he even say good-morning?" Porfiry
Petrovitch nodded at Razumihin.

"Upon my honour I don't know why he is in such a rage with me. I only
told him as we came along that he was like Romeo . . . and proved it.
And that was all, I think!"

"Pig!" ejaculated Razumihin, without turning round.

"There must have been very grave grounds for it, if he is so furious
at the word," Porfiry laughed.

"Oh, you sharp lawyer! . . . Damn you all!" snapped Razumihin, and
suddenly bursting out laughing himself, he went up to Porfiry with a
more cheerful face as though nothing had happened. "That'll do! We are
all fools. To come to business. This is my friend Rodion Romanovitch
Raskolnikov; in the first place he has heard of you and wants to make
your acquaintance, and secondly, he has a little matter of business
with you. Bah! Zametov, what brought you here? Have you met before?
Have you known each other long?"

"What does this mean?" thought Raskolnikov uneasily.

Zametov seemed taken aback, but not very much so.

"Why, it was at your rooms we met yesterday," he said easily.

"Then I have been spared the trouble. All last week he was begging me
to introduce him to you. Porfiry and you have sniffed each other out
without me. Where is your tobacco?"

Porfiry Petrovitch was wearing a dressing-gown, very clean linen, and
trodden-down slippers. He was a man of about five and thirty, short,
stout even to corpulence, and clean shaven. He wore his hair cut short
and had a large round head, particularly prominent at the back. His
soft, round, rather snub-nosed face was of a sickly yellowish colour,
but had a vigorous and rather ironical expression. It would have been
good-natured except for a look in the eyes, which shone with a watery,
mawkish light under almost white, blinking eyelashes. The expression
of those eyes was strangely out of keeping with his somewhat womanish
figure, and gave it something far more serious than could be guessed
at first sight.

As soon as Porfiry Petrovitch heard that his visitor had a little
matter of business with him, he begged him to sit down on the sofa and
sat down himself on the other end, waiting for him to explain his
business, with that careful and over-serious attention which is at
once oppressive and embarrassing, especially to a stranger, and
especially if what you are discussing is in your opinion of far too
little importance for such exceptional solemnity. But in brief and
coherent phrases Raskolnikov explained his business clearly and
exactly, and was so well satisfied with himself that he even succeeded
in taking a good look at Porfiry. Porfiry Petrovitch did not once take
his eyes off him. Razumihin, sitting opposite at the same table,
listened warmly and impatiently, looking from one to the other every
moment with rather excessive interest.

"Fool," Raskolnikov swore to himself.

"You have to give information to the police," Porfiry replied, with a
most businesslike air, "that having learnt of this incident, that is
of the murder, you beg to inform the lawyer in charge of the case that
such and such things belong to you, and that you desire to redeem them
. . . or . . . but they will write to you."

"That's just the point, that at the present moment," Raskolnikov tried
his utmost to feign embarrassment, "I am not quite in funds . . . and
even this trifling sum is beyond me . . . I only wanted, you see, for
the present to declare that the things are mine, and that when I have
money. . . ."

"That's no matter," answered Porfiry Petrovitch, receiving his
explanation of his pecuniary position coldly, "but you can, if you
prefer, write straight to me, to say, that having been informed of the
matter, and claiming such and such as your property, you beg . . ."

"On an ordinary sheet of paper?" Raskolnikov interrupted eagerly,
again interested in the financial side of the question.

"Oh, the most ordinary," and suddenly Porfiry Petrovitch looked with
obvious irony at him, screwing up his eyes and, as it were, winking at
him. But perhaps it was Raskolnikov's fancy, for it all lasted but a
moment. There was certainly something of the sort, Raskolnikov could
have sworn he winked at him, goodness knows why.

"He knows," flashed through his mind like lightning.

"Forgive my troubling you about such trifles," he went on, a little
disconcerted, "the things are only worth five roubles, but I prize
them particularly for the sake of those from whom they came to me, and
I must confess that I was alarmed when I heard . . ."

"That's why you were so much struck when I mentioned to Zossimov that
Porfiry was inquiring for everyone who had pledges!" Razumihin put in
with obvious intention.

This was really unbearable. Raskolnikov could not help glancing at him
with a flash of vindictive anger in his black eyes, but immediately
recollected himself.

"You seem to be jeering at me, brother?" he said to him, with a well-
feigned irritability. "I dare say I do seem to you absurdly anxious
about such trash; but you mustn't think me selfish or grasping for
that, and these two things may be anything but trash in my eyes. I
told you just now that the silver watch, though it's not worth a cent,
is the only thing left us of my father's. You may laugh at me, but my
mother is here," he turned suddenly to Porfiry, "and if she knew," he
turned again hurriedly to Razumihin, carefully making his voice
tremble, "that the watch was lost, she would be in despair! You know
what women are!"

"Not a bit of it! I didn't mean that at all! Quite the contrary!"
shouted Razumihin distressed.

"Was it right? Was it natural? Did I overdo it?" Raskolnikov asked
himself in a tremor. "Why did I say that about women?"

"Oh, your mother is with you?" Porfiry Petrovitch inquired.


"When did she come?"

"Last night."

Porfiry paused as though reflecting.

"Your things would not in any case be lost," he went on calmly and
coldly. "I have been expecting you here for some time."

And as though that was a matter of no importance, he carefully offered
the ash-tray to Razumihin, who was ruthlessly scattering cigarette ash
over the carpet. Raskolnikov shuddered, but Porfiry did not seem to be
looking at him, and was still concerned with Razumihin's cigarette.

"What? Expecting him? Why, did you know that he had pledges /there/?"
cried Razumihin.

Porfiry Petrovitch addressed himself to Raskolnikov.

"Your things, the ring and the watch, were wrapped up together, and on
the paper your name was legibly written in pencil, together with the
date on which you left them with her . . ."

"How observant you are!" Raskolnikov smiled awkwardly, doing his very
utmost to look him straight in the face, but he failed, and suddenly

"I say that because I suppose there were a great many pledges . . .
that it must be difficult to remember them all. . . . But you remember
them all so clearly, and . . . and . . ."

"Stupid! Feeble!" he thought. "Why did I add that?"

"But we know all who had pledges, and you are the only one who hasn't
come forward," Porfiry answered with hardly perceptible irony.

"I haven't been quite well."

"I heard that too. I heard, indeed, that you were in great distress
about something. You look pale still."

"I am not pale at all. . . . No, I am quite well," Raskolnikov snapped
out rudely and angrily, completely changing his tone. His anger was
mounting, he could not repress it. "And in my anger I shall betray
myself," flashed through his mind again. "Why are they torturing me?"

"Not quite well!" Razumihin caught him up. "What next! He was
unconscious and delirious all yesterday. Would you believe, Porfiry,
as soon as our backs were turned, he dressed, though he could hardly
stand, and gave us the slip and went off on a spree somewhere till
midnight, delirious all the time! Would you believe it!

"Really delirious? You don't say so!" Porfiry shook his head in a
womanish way.

"Nonsense! Don't you believe it! But you don't believe it anyway,"
Raskolnikov let slip in his anger. But Porfiry Petrovitch did not seem
to catch those strange words.

"But how could you have gone out if you hadn't been delirious?"
Razumihin got hot suddenly. "What did you go out for? What was the
object of it? And why on the sly? Were you in your senses when you did
it? Now that all danger is over I can speak plainly."

"I was awfully sick of them yesterday." Raskolnikov addressed Porfiry
suddenly with a smile of insolent defiance, "I ran away from them to
take lodgings where they wouldn't find me, and took a lot of money
with me. Mr. Zametov there saw it. I say, Mr. Zametov, was I sensible
or delirious yesterday; settle our dispute."

He could have strangled Zametov at that moment, so hateful were his
expression and his silence to him.

"In my opinion you talked sensibly and even artfully, but you were
extremely irritable," Zametov pronounced dryly.

"And Nikodim Fomitch was telling me to-day," put in Porfiry
Petrovitch, "that he met you very late last night in the lodging of a
man who had been run over."

"And there," said Razumihin, "weren't you mad then? You gave your last
penny to the widow for the funeral. If you wanted to help, give
fifteen or twenty even, but keep three roubles for yourself at least,
but he flung away all the twenty-five at once!"

"Maybe I found a treasure somewhere and you know nothing of it? So
that's why I was liberal yesterday. . . . Mr. Zametov knows I've found
a treasure! Excuse us, please, for disturbing you for half an hour
with such trivialities," he said, turning to Porfiry Petrovitch, with
trembling lips. "We are boring you, aren't we?"

"Oh no, quite the contrary, quite the contrary! If only you knew how
you interest me! It's interesting to look on and listen . . . and I am
really glad you have come forward at last."

"But you might give us some tea! My throat's dry," cried Razumihin.

"Capital idea! Perhaps we will all keep you company. Wouldn't you like
. . . something more essential before tea?"

"Get along with you!"

Porfiry Petrovitch went out to order tea.

Raskolnikov's thoughts were in a whirl. He was in terrible

"The worst of it is they don't disguise it; they don't care to stand
on ceremony! And how if you didn't know me at all, did you come to
talk to Nikodim Fomitch about me? So they don't care to hide that they
are tracking me like a pack of dogs. They simply spit in my face." He
was shaking with rage. "Come, strike me openly, don't play with me
like a cat with a mouse. It's hardly civil, Porfiry Petrovitch, but
perhaps I won't allow it! I shall get up and throw the whole truth in
your ugly faces, and you'll see how I despise you." He could hardly
breathe. "And what if it's only my fancy? What if I am mistaken, and
through inexperience I get angry and don't keep up my nasty part?
Perhaps it's all unintentional. All their phrases are the usual ones,
but there is something about them. . . . It all might be said, but
there is something. Why did he say bluntly, 'With her'? Why did
Zametov add that I spoke artfully? Why do they speak in that tone?
Yes, the tone. . . . Razumihin is sitting here, why does he see
nothing? That innocent blockhead never does see anything! Feverish
again! Did Porfiry wink at me just now? Of course it's nonsense! What
could he wink for? Are they trying to upset my nerves or are they
teasing me? Either it's ill fancy or they know! Even Zametov is rude.
. . . Is Zametov rude? Zametov has changed his mind. I foresaw he
would change his mind! He is at home here, while it's my first visit.
Porfiry does not consider him a visitor; sits with his back to him.
They're as thick as thieves, no doubt, over me! Not a doubt they were
talking about me before we came. Do they know about the flat? If only
they'd make haste! When I said that I ran away to take a flat he let
it pass. . . . I put that in cleverly about a flat, it may be of use
afterwards. . . . Delirious, indeed . . . ha-ha-ha! He knows all about
last night! He didn't know of my mother's arrival! The hag had written
the date on in pencil! You are wrong, you won't catch me! There are no
facts . . . it's all supposition! You produce facts! The flat even
isn't a fact but delirium. I know what to say to them. . . . Do they
know about the flat? I won't go without finding out. What did I come
for? But my being angry now, maybe is a fact! Fool, how irritable I
am! Perhaps that's right; to play the invalid. . . . He is feeling me.
He will try to catch me. Why did I come?"

All this flashed like lightning through his mind.

Porfiry Petrovitch returned quickly. He became suddenly more jovial.

"Your party yesterday, brother, has left my head rather. . . . And I
am out of sorts altogether," he began in quite a different tone,
laughing to Razumihin.

"Was it interesting? I left you yesterday at the most interesting
point. Who got the best of it?"

"Oh, no one, of course. They got on to everlasting questions, floated
off into space."

"Only fancy, Rodya, what we got on to yesterday. Whether there is such
a thing as crime. I told you that we talked our heads off."

"What is there strange? It's an everyday social question," Raskolnikov
answered casually.

"The question wasn't put quite like that," observed Porfiry.

"Not quite, that's true," Razumihin agreed at once, getting warm and
hurried as usual. "Listen, Rodion, and tell us your opinion, I want to
hear it. I was fighting tooth and nail with them and wanted you to
help me. I told them you were coming. . . . It began with the
socialist doctrine. You know their doctrine; crime is a protest
against the abnormality of the social organisation and nothing more,
and nothing more; no other causes admitted! . . ."

"You are wrong there," cried Porfiry Petrovitch; he was noticeably
animated and kept laughing as he looked at Razumihin, which made him
more excited than ever.

"Nothing is admitted," Razumihin interrupted with heat.

"I am not wrong. I'll show you their pamphlets. Everything with them
is 'the influence of environment,' and nothing else. Their favourite
phrase! From which it follows that, if society is normally organised,
all crime will cease at once, since there will be nothing to protest
against and all men will become righteous in one instant. Human nature
is not taken into account, it is excluded, it's not supposed to exist!
They don't recognise that humanity, developing by a historical living
process, will become at last a normal society, but they believe that a
social system that has come out of some mathematical brain is going to
organise all humanity at once and make it just and sinless in an
instant, quicker than any living process! That's why they
instinctively dislike history, 'nothing but ugliness and stupidity in
it,' and they explain it all as stupidity! That's why they so dislike
the /living/ process of life; they don't want a /living soul/! The
living soul demands life, the soul won't obey the rules of mechanics,
the soul is an object of suspicion, the soul is retrograde! But what
they want though it smells of death and can be made of India-rubber,
at least is not alive, has no will, is servile and won't revolt! And
it comes in the end to their reducing everything to the building of
walls and the planning of rooms and passages in a phalanstery! The
phalanstery is ready, indeed, but your human nature is not ready for
the phalanstery--it wants life, it hasn't completed its vital process,
it's too soon for the graveyard! You can't skip over nature by logic.
Logic presupposes three possibilities, but there are millions! Cut
away a million, and reduce it all to the question of comfort! That's
the easiest solution of the problem! It's seductively clear and you
musn't think about it. That's the great thing, you mustn't think! The
whole secret of life in two pages of print!"

"Now he is off, beating the drum! Catch hold of him, do!" laughed
Porfiry. "Can you imagine," he turned to Raskolnikov, "six people
holding forth like that last night, in one room, with punch as a
preliminary! No, brother, you are wrong, environment accounts for a
great deal in crime; I can assure you of that."

"Oh, I know it does, but just tell me: a man of forty violates a child
of ten; was it environment drove him to it?"

"Well, strictly speaking, it did," Porfiry observed with noteworthy
gravity; "a crime of that nature may be very well ascribed to the
influence of environment."

Razumihin was almost in a frenzy. "Oh, if you like," he roared. "I'll
prove to you that your white eyelashes may very well be ascribed to
the Church of Ivan the Great's being two hundred and fifty feet high,
and I will prove it clearly, exactly, progressively, and even with a
Liberal tendency! I undertake to! Will you bet on it?"

"Done! Let's hear, please, how he will prove it!"

"He is always humbugging, confound him," cried Razumihin, jumping up
and gesticulating. "What's the use of talking to you? He does all that
on purpose; you don't know him, Rodion! He took their side yesterday,
simply to make fools of them. And the things he said yesterday! And
they were delighted! He can keep it up for a fortnight together. Last
year he persuaded us that he was going into a monastery: he stuck to
it for two months. Not long ago he took it into his head to declare he
was going to get married, that he had everything ready for the
wedding. He ordered new clothes indeed. We all began to congratulate
him. There was no bride, nothing, all pure fantasy!"

"Ah, you are wrong! I got the clothes before. It was the new clothes
in fact that made me think of taking you in."

"Are you such a good dissembler?" Raskolnikov asked carelessly.

"You wouldn't have supposed it, eh? Wait a bit, I shall take you in,
too. Ha-ha-ha! No, I'll tell you the truth. All these questions about
crime, environment, children, recall to my mind an article of yours
which interested me at the time. 'On Crime' . . . or something of the
sort, I forget the title, I read it with pleasure two months ago in
the /Periodical Review/."

"My article? In the /Periodical Review/?" Raskolnikov asked in
astonishment. "I certainly did write an article upon a book six months
ago when I left the university, but I sent it to the /Weekly Review/."

"But it came out in the /Periodical/."

"And the /Weekly Review/ ceased to exist, so that's why it wasn't
printed at the time."

"That's true; but when it ceased to exist, the /Weekly Review/ was
amalgamated with the /Periodical/, and so your article appeared two
months ago in the latter. Didn't you know?"

Raskolnikov had not known.

"Why, you might get some money out of them for the article! What a
strange person you are! You lead such a solitary life that you know
nothing of matters that concern you directly. It's a fact, I assure

"Bravo, Rodya! I knew nothing about it either!" cried Razumihin. "I'll
run to-day to the reading-room and ask for the number. Two months ago?
What was the date? It doesn't matter though, I will find it. Think of
not telling us!"

"How did you find out that the article was mine? It's only signed with
an initial."

"I only learnt it by chance, the other day. Through the editor; I know
him. . . . I was very much interested."

"I analysed, if I remember, the psychology of a criminal before and
after the crime."

"Yes, and you maintained that the perpetration of a crime is always
accompanied by illness. Very, very original, but . . . it was not that
part of your article that interested me so much, but an idea at the
end of the article which I regret to say you merely suggested without
working it out clearly. There is, if you recollect, a suggestion that
there are certain persons who can . . . that is, not precisely are
able to, but have a perfect right to commit breaches of morality and
crimes, and that the law is not for them."

Raskolnikov smiled at the exaggerated and intentional distortion of
his idea.

"What? What do you mean? A right to crime? But not because of the
influence of environment?" Razumihin inquired with some alarm even.

"No, not exactly because of it," answered Porfiry. "In his article all
men are divided into 'ordinary' and 'extraordinary.' Ordinary men have
to live in submission, have no right to transgress the law, because,
don't you see, they are ordinary. But extraordinary men have a right
to commit any crime and to transgress the law in any way, just because
they are extraordinary. That was your idea, if I am not mistaken?"

"What do you mean? That can't be right?" Razumihin muttered in

Raskolnikov smiled again. He saw the point at once, and knew where
they wanted to drive him. He decided to take up the challenge.

"That wasn't quite my contention," he began simply and modestly. "Yet
I admit that you have stated it almost correctly; perhaps, if you
like, perfectly so." (It almost gave him pleasure to admit this.) "The
only difference is that I don't contend that extraordinary people are
always bound to commit breaches of morals, as you call it. In fact, I
doubt whether such an argument could be published. I simply hinted
that an 'extraordinary' man has the right . . . that is not an
official right, but an inner right to decide in his own conscience to
overstep . . . certain obstacles, and only in case it is essential for
the practical fulfilment of his idea (sometimes, perhaps, of benefit
to the whole of humanity). You say that my article isn't definite; I
am ready to make it as clear as I can. Perhaps I am right in thinking
you want me to; very well. I maintain that if the discoveries of
Kepler and Newton could not have been made known except by sacrificing
the lives of one, a dozen, a hundred, or more men, Newton would have
had the right, would indeed have been in duty bound . . . to
/eliminate/ the dozen or the hundred men for the sake of making his
discoveries known to the whole of humanity. But it does not follow
from that that Newton had a right to murder people right and left and
to steal every day in the market. Then, I remember, I maintain in my
article that all . . . well, legislators and leaders of men, such as
Lycurgus, Solon, Mahomet, Napoleon, and so on, were all without
exception criminals, from the very fact that, making a new law, they
transgressed the ancient one, handed down from their ancestors and
held sacred by the people, and they did not stop short at bloodshed
either, if that bloodshed--often of innocent persons fighting bravely
in defence of ancient law--were of use to their cause. It's
remarkable, in fact, that the majority, indeed, of these benefactors
and leaders of humanity were guilty of terrible carnage. In short, I
maintain that all great men or even men a little out of the common,
that is to say capable of giving some new word, must from their very
nature be criminals--more or less, of course. Otherwise it's hard for
them to get out of the common rut; and to remain in the common rut is
what they can't submit to, from their very nature again, and to my
mind they ought not, indeed, to submit to it. You see that there is
nothing particularly new in all that. The same thing has been printed
and read a thousand times before. As for my division of people into
ordinary and extraordinary, I acknowledge that it's somewhat
arbitrary, but I don't insist upon exact numbers. I only believe in my
leading idea that men are /in general/ divided by a law of nature into
two categories, inferior (ordinary), that is, so to say, material that
serves only to reproduce its kind, and men who have the gift or the
talent to utter /a new word/. There are, of course, innumerable sub-
divisions, but the distinguishing features of both categories are
fairly well marked. The first category, generally speaking, are men
conservative in temperament and law-abiding; they live under control
and love to be controlled. To my thinking it is their duty to be
controlled, because that's their vocation, and there is nothing
humiliating in it for them. The second category all transgress the
law; they are destroyers or disposed to destruction according to their
capacities. The crimes of these men are of course relative and varied;
for the most part they seek in very varied ways the destruction of the
present for the sake of the better. But if such a one is forced for
the sake of his idea to step over a corpse or wade through blood, he
can, I maintain, find within himself, in his conscience, a sanction
for wading through blood--that depends on the idea and its dimensions,
note that. It's only in that sense I speak of their right to crime in
my article (you remember it began with the legal question). There's no
need for such anxiety, however; the masses will scarcely ever admit
this right, they punish them or hang them (more or less), and in doing
so fulfil quite justly their conservative vocation. But the same
masses set these criminals on a pedestal in the next generation and
worship them (more or less). The first category is always the man of
the present, the second the man of the future. The first preserve the
world and people it, the second move the world and lead it to its
goal. Each class has an equal right to exist. In fact, all have equal
rights with me--and /vive la guerre Úternelle/--till the New
Jerusalem, of course!"

"Then you believe in the New Jerusalem, do you?"

"I do," Raskolnikov answered firmly; as he said these words and during
the whole preceding tirade he kept his eyes on one spot on the carpet.

"And . . . and do you believe in God? Excuse my curiosity."

"I do," repeated Raskolnikov, raising his eyes to Porfiry.

"And . . . do you believe in Lazarus' rising from the dead?"

"I . . . I do. Why do you ask all this?"

"You believe it literally?"


"You don't say so. . . . I asked from curiosity. Excuse me. But let us
go back to the question; they are not always executed. Some, on the
contrary . . ."

"Triumph in their lifetime? Oh, yes, some attain their ends in this
life, and then . . ."

"They begin executing other people?"

"If it's necessary; indeed, for the most part they do. Your remark is
very witty."

"Thank you. But tell me this: how do you distinguish those
extraordinary people from the ordinary ones? Are there signs at their
birth? I feel there ought to be more exactitude, more external
definition. Excuse the natural anxiety of a practical law-abiding
citizen, but couldn't they adopt a special uniform, for instance,
couldn't they wear something, be branded in some way? For you know if
confusion arises and a member of one category imagines that he belongs
to the other, begins to 'eliminate obstacles' as you so happily
expressed it, then . . ."

"Oh, that very often happens! That remark is wittier than the other."

"Thank you."

"No reason to; but take note that the mistake can only arise in the
first category, that is among the ordinary people (as I perhaps
unfortunately called them). In spite of their predisposition to
obedience very many of them, through a playfulness of nature,
sometimes vouchsafed even to the cow, like to imagine themselves
advanced people, 'destroyers,' and to push themselves into the 'new
movement,' and this quite sincerely. Meanwhile the really /new/ people
are very often unobserved by them, or even despised as reactionaries
of grovelling tendencies. But I don't think there is any considerable
danger here, and you really need not be uneasy for they never go very
far. Of course, they might have a thrashing sometimes for letting
their fancy run away with them and to teach them their place, but no
more; in fact, even this isn't necessary as they castigate themselves,
for they are very conscientious: some perform this service for one
another and others chastise themselves with their own hands. . . .
They will impose various public acts of penitence upon themselves with
a beautiful and edifying effect; in fact you've nothing to be uneasy
about. . . . It's a law of nature."

"Well, you have certainly set my mind more at rest on that score; but
there's another thing worries me. Tell me, please, are there many
people who have the right to kill others, these extraordinary people?
I am ready to bow down to them, of course, but you must admit it's
alarming if there are a great many of them, eh?"

"Oh, you needn't worry about that either," Raskolnikov went on in the
same tone. "People with new ideas, people with the faintest capacity
for saying something /new/, are extremely few in number,
extraordinarily so in fact. One thing only is clear, that the
appearance of all these grades and sub-divisions of men must follow
with unfailing regularity some law of nature. That law, of course, is
unknown at present, but I am convinced that it exists, and one day may
become known. The vast mass of mankind is mere material, and only
exists in order by some great effort, by some mysterious process, by
means of some crossing of races and stocks, to bring into the world at
last perhaps one man out of a thousand with a spark of independence.
One in ten thousand perhaps--I speak roughly, approximately--is born
with some independence, and with still greater independence one in a
hundred thousand. The man of genius is one of millions, and the great
geniuses, the crown of humanity, appear on earth perhaps one in many
thousand millions. In fact I have not peeped into the retort in which
all this takes place. But there certainly is and must be a definite
law, it cannot be a matter of chance."

"Why, are you both joking?" Razumihin cried at last. "There you sit,
making fun of one another. Are you serious, Rodya?"

Raskolnikov raised his pale and almost mournful face and made no
reply. And the unconcealed, persistent, nervous, and /discourteous/
sarcasm of Porfiry seemed strange to Razumihin beside that quiet and
mournful face.

"Well, brother, if you are really serious . . . You are right, of
course, in saying that it's not new, that it's like what we've read
and heard a thousand times already; but what is really original in all
this, and is exclusively your own, to my horror, is that you sanction
bloodshed /in the name of conscience/, and, excuse my saying so, with
such fanaticism. . . . That, I take it, is the point of your article.
But that sanction of bloodshed /by conscience/ is to my mind . . .
more terrible than the official, legal sanction of bloodshed. . . ."

"You are quite right, it is more terrible," Porfiry agreed.

"Yes, you must have exaggerated! There is some mistake, I shall read
it. You can't think that! I shall read it."

"All that is not in the article, there's only a hint of it," said

"Yes, yes." Porfiry couldn't sit still. "Your attitude to crime is
pretty clear to me now, but . . . excuse me for my impertinence (I am
really ashamed to be worrying you like this), you see, you've removed
my anxiety as to the two grades getting mixed, but . . . there are
various practical possibilities that make me uneasy! What if some man
or youth imagines that he is a Lycurgus or Mahomet--a future one of
course--and suppose he begins to remove all obstacles. . . . He has
some great enterprise before him and needs money for it . . . and
tries to get it . . . do you see?"

Zametov gave a sudden guffaw in his corner. Raskolnikov did not even
raise his eyes to him.

"I must admit," he went on calmly, "that such cases certainly must
arise. The vain and foolish are particularly apt to fall into that
snare; young people especially."

"Yes, you see. Well then?"

"What then?" Raskolnikov smiled in reply; "that's not my fault. So it
is and so it always will be. He said just now (he nodded at Razumihin)
that I sanction bloodshed. Society is too well protected by prisons,
banishment, criminal investigators, penal servitude. There's no need
to be uneasy. You have but to catch the thief."

"And what if we do catch him?"

"Then he gets what he deserves."

"You are certainly logical. But what of his conscience?"

"Why do you care about that?"

"Simply from humanity."

"If he has a conscience he will suffer for his mistake. That will be
his punishment--as well as the prison."

"But the real geniuses," asked Razumihin frowning, "those who have the
right to murder? Oughtn't they to suffer at all even for the blood
they've shed?"

"Why the word /ought/? It's not a matter of permission or prohibition.
He will suffer if he is sorry for his victim. Pain and suffering are
always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart. The
really great men must, I think, have great sadness on earth," he added
dreamily, not in the tone of the conversation.

He raised his eyes, looked earnestly at them all, smiled, and took his
cap. He was too quiet by comparison with his manner at his entrance,
and he felt this. Everyone got up.

"Well, you may abuse me, be angry with me if you like," Porfiry
Petrovitch began again, "but I can't resist. Allow me one little
question (I know I am troubling you). There is just one little notion
I want to express, simply that I may not forget it."

"Very good, tell me your little notion," Raskolnikov stood waiting,
pale and grave before him.

"Well, you see . . . I really don't know how to express it properly.
. . . It's a playful, psychological idea. . . . When you were writing
your article, surely you couldn't have helped, he-he! fancying
yourself . . . just a little, an 'extraordinary' man, uttering a /new
word/ in your sense. . . . That's so, isn't it?"

"Quite possibly," Raskolnikov answered contemptuously.

Razumihin made a movement.

"And, if so, could you bring yourself in case of worldly difficulties
and hardship or for some service to humanity--to overstep obstacles?
. . . For instance, to rob and murder?"

And again he winked with his left eye, and laughed noiselessly just as

"If I did I certainly should not tell you," Raskolnikov answered with
defiant and haughty contempt.

"No, I was only interested on account of your article, from a literary
point of view . . ."

"Foo! how obvious and insolent that is!" Raskolnikov thought with

"Allow me to observe," he answered dryly, "that I don't consider
myself a Mahomet or a Napoleon, nor any personage of that kind, and
not being one of them I cannot tell you how I should act."

"Oh, come, don't we all think ourselves Napoleons now in Russia?"
Porfiry Petrovitch said with alarming familiarity.

Something peculiar betrayed itself in the very intonation of his

"Perhaps it was one of these future Napoleons who did for Alyona
Ivanovna last week?" Zametov blurted out from the corner.

Raskolnikov did not speak, but looked firmly and intently at Porfiry.
Razumihin was scowling gloomily. He seemed before this to be noticing
something. He looked angrily around. There was a minute of gloomy
silence. Raskolnikov turned to go.

"Are you going already?" Porfiry said amiably, holding out his hand
with excessive politeness. "Very, very glad of your acquaintance. As
for your request, have no uneasiness, write just as I told you, or,
better still, come to me there yourself in a day or two . . .
to-morrow, indeed. I shall be there at eleven o'clock for certain.
We'll arrange it all; we'll have a talk. As one of the last to be
/there/, you might perhaps be able to tell us something," he added
with a most good-natured expression.

"You want to cross-examine me officially in due form?" Raskolnikov
asked sharply.

"Oh, why? That's not necessary for the present. You misunderstand me.
I lose no opportunity, you see, and . . . I've talked with all who had
pledges. . . . I obtained evidence from some of them, and you are the
last. . . . Yes, by the way," he cried, seemingly suddenly delighted,
"I just remember, what was I thinking of?" he turned to Razumihin,
"you were talking my ears off about that Nikolay . . . of course, I
know, I know very well," he turned to Raskolnikov, "that the fellow is
innocent, but what is one to do? We had to trouble Dmitri too. . . .
This is the point, this is all: when you went up the stairs it was
past seven, wasn't it?"

"Yes," answered Raskolnikov, with an unpleasant sensation at the very
moment he spoke that he need not have said it.

"Then when you went upstairs between seven and eight, didn't you see
in a flat that stood open on a second storey, do you remember? two
workmen or at least one of them? They were painting there, didn't you
notice them? It's very, very important for them."

"Painters? No, I didn't see them," Raskolnikov answered slowly, as
though ransacking his memory, while at the same instant he was racking
every nerve, almost swooning with anxiety to conjecture as quickly as
possible where the trap lay and not to overlook anything. "No, I
didn't see them, and I don't think I noticed a flat like that open.
. . . But on the fourth storey" (he had mastered the trap now and was
triumphant) "I remember now that someone was moving out of the flat
opposite Alyona Ivanovna's. . . . I remember . . . I remember it
clearly. Some porters were carrying out a sofa and they squeezed me
against the wall. But painters . . . no, I don't remember that there
were any painters, and I don't think that there was a flat open
anywhere, no, there wasn't."

"What do you mean?" Razumihin shouted suddenly, as though he had
reflected and realised. "Why, it was on the day of the murder the
painters were at work, and he was there three days before? What are
you asking?"

"Foo! I have muddled it!" Porfiry slapped himself on the forehead.
"Deuce take it! This business is turning my brain!" he addressed
Raskolnikov somewhat apologetically. "It would be such a great thing
for us to find out whether anyone had seen them between seven and
eight at the flat, so I fancied you could perhaps have told us
something. . . . I quite muddled it."

"Then you should be more careful," Razumihin observed grimly.

The last words were uttered in the passage. Porfiry Petrovitch saw
them to the door with excessive politeness.

They went out into the street gloomy and sullen, and for some steps
they did not say a word. Raskolnikov drew a deep breath.


"I don't believe it, I can't believe it!" repeated Razumihin, trying
in perplexity to refute Raskolnikov's arguments.

They were by now approaching Bakaleyev's lodgings, where Pulcheria
Alexandrovna and Dounia had been expecting them a long while.
Razumihin kept stopping on the way in the heat of discussion, confused
and excited by the very fact that they were for the first time
speaking openly about /it/.

"Don't believe it, then!" answered Raskolnikov, with a cold, careless
smile. "You were noticing nothing as usual, but I was weighing every

"You are suspicious. That is why you weighed their words . . . h'm
. . . certainly, I agree, Porfiry's tone was rather strange, and still
more that wretch Zametov! . . . You are right, there was something
about him--but why? Why?"

"He has changed his mind since last night."

"Quite the contrary! If they had that brainless idea, they would do
their utmost to hide it, and conceal their cards, so as to catch you
afterwards. . . . But it was all impudent and careless."

"If they had had facts--I mean, real facts--or at least grounds for
suspicion, then they would certainly have tried to hide their game, in
the hope of getting more (they would have made a search long ago
besides). But they have no facts, not one. It is all mirage--all
ambiguous. Simply a floating idea. So they try to throw me out by
impudence. And perhaps, he was irritated at having no facts, and
blurted it out in his vexation--or perhaps he has some plan . . . he
seems an intelligent man. Perhaps he wanted to frighten me by
pretending to know. They have a psychology of their own, brother. But
it is loathsome explaining it all. Stop!"

"And it's insulting, insulting! I understand you. But . . . since we
have spoken openly now (and it is an excellent thing that we have at
last--I am glad) I will own now frankly that I noticed it in them long
ago, this idea. Of course the merest hint only--an insinuation--but
why an insinuation even? How dare they? What foundation have they? If
only you knew how furious I have been. Think only! Simply because a
poor student, unhinged by poverty and hypochondria, on the eve of a
severe delirious illness (note that), suspicious, vain, proud, who has
not seen a soul to speak to for six months, in rags and in boots
without soles, has to face some wretched policemen and put up with
their insolence; and the unexpected debt thrust under his nose, the
I.O.U. presented by Tchebarov, the new paint, thirty degrees Reaumur
and a stifling atmosphere, a crowd of people, the talk about the
murder of a person where he had been just before, and all that on an
empty stomach--he might well have a fainting fit! And that, that is
what they found it all on! Damn them! I understand how annoying it is,
but in your place, Rodya, I would laugh at them, or better still, spit
in their ugly faces, and spit a dozen times in all directions. I'd hit
out in all directions, neatly too, and so I'd put an end to it. Damn
them! Don't be downhearted. It's a shame!"

"He really has put it well, though," Raskolnikov thought.

"Damn them? But the cross-examination again, to-morrow?" he said with
bitterness. "Must I really enter into explanations with them? I feel
vexed as it is, that I condescended to speak to Zametov yesterday in
the restaurant. . . ."

"Damn it! I will go myself to Porfiry. I will squeeze it out of him,
as one of the family: he must let me know the ins and outs of it all!
And as for Zametov . . ."

"At last he sees through him!" thought Raskolnikov.

"Stay!" cried Razumihin, seizing him by the shoulder again. "Stay! you
were wrong. I have thought it out. You are wrong! How was that a trap?
You say that the question about the workmen was a trap. But if you had
done /that/, could you have said you had seen them painting the flat
. . . and the workmen? On the contrary, you would have seen nothing,
even if you had seen it. Who would own it against himself?"

"If I had done /that thing/, I should certainly have said that I had
seen the workmen and the flat," Raskolnikov answered, with reluctance
and obvious disgust.

"But why speak against yourself?"

"Because only peasants, or the most inexperienced novices deny
everything flatly at examinations. If a man is ever so little
developed and experienced, he will certainly try to admit all the
external facts that can't be avoided, but will seek other explanations
of them, will introduce some special, unexpected turn, that will give
them another significance and put them in another light. Porfiry might
well reckon that I should be sure to answer so, and say I had seen
them to give an air of truth, and then make some explanation."

"But he would have told you at once that the workmen could not have
been there two days before, and that therefore you must have been
there on the day of the murder at eight o'clock. And so he would have
caught you over a detail."

"Yes, that is what he was reckoning on, that I should not have time to
reflect, and should be in a hurry to make the most likely answer, and
so would forget that the workmen could not have been there two days

"But how could you forget it?"

"Nothing easier. It is in just such stupid things clever people are
most easily caught. The more cunning a man is, the less he suspects
that he will be caught in a simple thing. The more cunning a man is,
the simpler the trap he must be caught in. Porfiry is not such a fool
as you think. . . ."

"He is a knave then, if that is so!"

Raskolnikov could not help laughing. But at the very moment, he was
struck by the strangeness of his own frankness, and the eagerness with
which he had made this explanation, though he had kept up all the
preceding conversation with gloomy repulsion, obviously with a motive,
from necessity.

"I am getting a relish for certain aspects!" he thought to himself.
But almost at the same instant he became suddenly uneasy, as though an
unexpected and alarming idea had occurred to him. His uneasiness kept
on increasing. They had just reached the entrance to Bakaleyev's.

"Go in alone!" said Raskolnikov suddenly. "I will be back directly."

"Where are you going? Why, we are just here."

"I can't help it. . . . I will come in half an hour. Tell them."

"Say what you like, I will come with you."

"You, too, want to torture me!" he screamed, with such bitter
irritation, such despair in his eyes that Razumihin's hands dropped.
He stood for some time on the steps, looking gloomily at Raskolnikov
striding rapidly away in the direction of his lodging. At last,
gritting his teeth and clenching his fist, he swore he would squeeze
Porfiry like a lemon that very day, and went up the stairs to reassure
Pulcheria Alexandrovna, who was by now alarmed at their long absence.

When Raskolnikov got home, his hair was soaked with sweat and he was
breathing heavily. He went rapidly up the stairs, walked into his
unlocked room and at once fastened the latch. Then in senseless terror
he rushed to the corner, to that hole under the paper where he had put
the things; put his hand in, and for some minutes felt carefully in
the hole, in every crack and fold of the paper. Finding nothing, he
got up and drew a deep breath. As he was reaching the steps of
Bakaleyev's, he suddenly fancied that something, a chain, a stud or
even a bit of paper in which they had been wrapped with the old
woman's handwriting on it, might somehow have slipped out and been
lost in some crack, and then might suddenly turn up as unexpected,
conclusive evidence against him.

He stood as though lost in thought, and a strange, humiliated, half
senseless smile strayed on his lips. He took his cap at last and went
quietly out of the room. His ideas were all tangled. He went dreamily
through the gateway.

"Here he is himself," shouted a loud voice.

He raised his head.

The porter was standing at the door of his little room and was
pointing him out to a short man who looked like an artisan, wearing
a long coat and a waistcoat, and looking at a distance remarkably like
a woman. He stooped, and his head in a greasy cap hung forward. From
his wrinkled flabby face he looked over fifty; his little eyes were
lost in fat and they looked out grimly, sternly and discontentedly.

"What is it?" Raskolnikov asked, going up to the porter.

The man stole a look at him from under his brows and he looked at him
attentively, deliberately; then he turned slowly and went out of the
gate into the street without saying a word.

"What is it?" cried Raskolnikov.

"Why, he there was asking whether a student lived here, mentioned your
name and whom you lodged with. I saw you coming and pointed you out
and he went away. It's funny."

The porter too seemed rather puzzled, but not much so, and after
wondering for a moment he turned and went back to his room.

Raskolnikov ran after the stranger, and at once caught sight of him
walking along the other side of the street with the same even,
deliberate step with his eyes fixed on the ground, as though in
meditation. He soon overtook him, but for some time walked behind him.
At last, moving on to a level with him, he looked at his face. The man
noticed him at once, looked at him quickly, but dropped his eyes
again; and so they walked for a minute side by side without uttering a

"You were inquiring for me . . . of the porter?" Raskolnikov said at
last, but in a curiously quiet voice.

The man made no answer; he didn't even look at him. Again they were
both silent.

"Why do you . . . come and ask for me . . . and say nothing. . . .
What's the meaning of it?"

Raskolnikov's voice broke and he seemed unable to articulate the words

The man raised his eyes this time and turned a gloomy sinister look at

"Murderer!" he said suddenly in a quiet but clear and distinct voice.

Raskolnikov went on walking beside him. His legs felt suddenly weak, a
cold shiver ran down his spine, and his heart seemed to stand still
for a moment, then suddenly began throbbing as though it were set
free. So they walked for about a hundred paces, side by side in

The man did not look at him.

"What do you mean . . . what is. . . . Who is a murderer?" muttered
Raskolnikov hardly audibly.

"/You/ are a murderer," the man answered still more articulately and
emphatically, with a smile of triumphant hatred, and again he looked
straight into Raskolnikov's pale face and stricken eyes.

They had just reached the cross-roads. The man turned to the left
without looking behind him. Raskolnikov remained standing, gazing
after him. He saw him turn round fifty paces away and look back at him
still standing there. Raskolnikov could not see clearly, but he
fancied that he was again smiling the same smile of cold hatred and

With slow faltering steps, with shaking knees, Raskolnikov made his
way back to his little garret, feeling chilled all over. He took off
his cap and put it on the table, and for ten minutes he stood without
moving. Then he sank exhausted on the sofa and with a weak moan of
pain he stretched himself on it. So he lay for half an hour.

He thought of nothing. Some thoughts or fragments of thoughts, some
images without order or coherence floated before his mind--faces of
people he had seen in his childhood or met somewhere once, whom he
would never have recalled, the belfry of the church at V., the
billiard table in a restaurant and some officers playing billiards,
the smell of cigars in some underground tobacco shop, a tavern room, a
back staircase quite dark, all sloppy with dirty water and strewn with
egg-shells, and the Sunday bells floating in from somewhere. . . . The
images followed one another, whirling like a hurricane. Some of them
he liked and tried to clutch at, but they faded and all the while
there was an oppression within him, but it was not overwhelming,
sometimes it was even pleasant. . . . The slight shivering still
persisted, but that too was an almost pleasant sensation.

He heard the hurried footsteps of Razumihin; he closed his eyes and
pretended to be asleep. Razumihin opened the door and stood for some
time in the doorway as though hesitating, then he stepped softly into
the room and went cautiously to the sofa. Raskolnikov heard Nastasya's

"Don't disturb him! Let him sleep. He can have his dinner later."

"Quite so," answered Razumihin. Both withdrew carefully and closed the
door. Another half-hour passed. Raskolnikov opened his eyes, turned on
his back again, clasping his hands behind his head.

"Who is he? Who is that man who sprang out of the earth? Where was he,
what did he see? He has seen it all, that's clear. Where was he then?
And from where did he see? Why has he only now sprung out of the
earth? And how could he see? Is it possible? Hm . . ." continued
Raskolnikov, turning cold and shivering, "and the jewel case Nikolay
found behind the door--was that possible? A clue? You miss an
infinitesimal line and you can build it into a pyramid of evidence! A
fly flew by and saw it! Is it possible?" He felt with sudden loathing
how weak, how physically weak he had become. "I ought to have known
it," he thought with a bitter smile. "And how dared I, knowing myself,
knowing how I should be, take up an axe and shed blood! I ought to
have known beforehand. . . . Ah, but I did know!" he whispered in
despair. At times he came to a standstill at some thought.

"No, those men are not made so. The real /Master/ to whom all is
permitted storms Toulon, makes a massacre in Paris, /forgets/ an army
in Egypt, /wastes/ half a million men in the Moscow expedition and
gets off with a jest at Vilna. And altars are set up to him after his
death, and so /all/ is permitted. No, such people, it seems, are not
of flesh but of bronze!"

One sudden irrelevant idea almost made him laugh. Napoleon, the
pyramids, Waterloo, and a wretched skinny old woman, a pawnbroker with
a red trunk under her bed--it's a nice hash for Porfiry Petrovitch to
digest! How can they digest it! It's too inartistic. "A Napoleon creep
under an old woman's bed! Ugh, how loathsome!"

At moments he felt he was raving. He sank into a state of feverish
excitement. "The old woman is of no consequence," he thought, hotly
and incoherently. "The old woman was a mistake perhaps, but she is not
what matters! The old woman was only an illness. . . . I was in a
hurry to overstep. . . . I didn't kill a human being, but a principle!
I killed the principle, but I didn't overstep, I stopped on this side.
. . . I was only capable of killing. And it seems I wasn't even
capable of that . . . Principle? Why was that fool Razumihin abusing
the socialists? They are industrious, commercial people; 'the
happiness of all' is their case. No, life is only given to me once and
I shall never have it again; I don't want to wait for 'the happiness
of all.' I want to live myself, or else better not live at all. I
simply couldn't pass by my mother starving, keeping my rouble in my
pocket while I waited for the 'happiness of all.' I am putting my
little brick into the happiness of all and so my heart is at peace.
Ha-ha! Why have you let me slip? I only live once, I too want. . . .
Ech, I am an Šsthetic louse and nothing more," he added suddenly,
laughing like a madman. "Yes, I am certainly a louse," he went on,
clutching at the idea, gloating over it and playing with it with
vindictive pleasure. "In the first place, because I can reason that I
am one, and secondly, because for a month past I have been troubling
benevolent Providence, calling it to witness that not for my own
fleshly lusts did I undertake it, but with a grand and noble object--
ha-ha! Thirdly, because I aimed at carrying it out as justly as
possible, weighing, measuring and calculating. Of all the lice I
picked out the most useless one and proposed to take from her only as
much as I needed for the first step, no more nor less (so the rest
would have gone to a monastery, according to her will, ha-ha!). And
what shows that I am utterly a louse," he added, grinding his teeth,
"is that I am perhaps viler and more loathsome than the louse I
killed, and /I felt beforehand/ that I should tell myself so /after/
killing her. Can anything be compared with the horror of that? The
vulgarity! The abjectness! I understand the 'prophet' with his sabre,
on his steed: Allah commands and 'trembling' creation must obey! The
'prophet' is right, he is right when he sets a battery across the
street and blows up the innocent and the guilty without deigning to
explain! It's for you to obey, trembling creation, and not /to have
desires/, for that's not for you! . . . I shall never, never forgive
the old woman!"

His hair was soaked with sweat, his quivering lips were parched, his
eyes were fixed on the ceiling.

"Mother, sister--how I loved them! Why do I hate them now? Yes, I hate
them, I feel a physical hatred for them, I can't bear them near me.
. . . I went up to my mother and kissed her, I remember. . . . To
embrace her and think if she only knew . . . shall I tell her then?
That's just what I might do. . . . /She/ must be the same as I am," he
added, straining himself to think, as it were struggling with
delirium. "Ah, how I hate the old woman now! I feel I should kill her
again if she came to life! Poor Lizaveta! Why did she come in? . . .
It's strange though, why is it I scarcely ever think of her, as though
I hadn't killed her? Lizaveta! Sonia! Poor gentle things, with gentle
eyes. . . . Dear women! Why don't they weep? Why don't they moan? They
give up everything . . . their eyes are soft and gentle. . . . Sonia,
Sonia! Gentle Sonia!"

He lost consciousness; it seemed strange to him that he didn't
remember how he got into the street. It was late evening. The twilight
had fallen and the full moon was shining more and more brightly; but
there was a peculiar breathlessness in the air. There were crowds of
people in the street; workmen and business people were making their
way home; other people had come out for a walk; there was a smell of
mortar, dust and stagnant water. Raskolnikov walked along, mournful
and anxious; he was distinctly aware of having come out with a
purpose, of having to do something in a hurry, but what it was he had
forgotten. Suddenly he stood still and saw a man standing on the other
side of the street, beckoning to him. He crossed over to him, but at
once the man turned and walked away with his head hanging, as though
he had made no sign to him. "Stay, did he really beckon?" Raskolnikov
wondered, but he tried to overtake him. When he was within ten paces
he recognised him and was frightened; it was the same man with
stooping shoulders in the long coat. Raskolnikov followed him at a
distance; his heart was beating; they went down a turning; the man
still did not look round. "Does he know I am following him?" thought
Raskolnikov. The man went into the gateway of a big house. Raskolnikov
hastened to the gate and looked in to see whether he would look round
and sign to him. In the court-yard the man did turn round and again
seemed to beckon him. Raskolnikov at once followed him into the yard,
but the man was gone. He must have gone up the first staircase.
Raskolnikov rushed after him. He heard slow measured steps two flights
above. The staircase seemed strangely familiar. He reached the window
on the first floor; the moon shone through the panes with a melancholy
and mysterious light; then he reached the second floor. Bah! this is
the flat where the painters were at work . . . but how was it he did
not recognise it at once? The steps of the man above had died away.
"So he must have stopped or hidden somewhere." He reached the third
storey, should he go on? There was a stillness that was dreadful.
. . . But he went on. The sound of his own footsteps scared and
frightened him. How dark it was! The man must be hiding in some corner
here. Ah! the flat was standing wide open, he hesitated and went in.
It was very dark and empty in the passage, as though everything had
been removed; he crept on tiptoe into the parlour which was flooded
with moonlight. Everything there was as before, the chairs, the
looking-glass, the yellow sofa and the pictures in the frames. A huge,
round, copper-red moon looked in at the windows. "It's the moon that
makes it so still, weaving some mystery," thought Raskolnikov. He
stood and waited, waited a long while, and the more silent the
moonlight, the more violently his heart beat, till it was painful. And
still the same hush. Suddenly he heard a momentary sharp crack like
the snapping of a splinter and all was still again. A fly flew up
suddenly and struck the window pane with a plaintive buzz. At that
moment he noticed in the corner between the window and the little
cupboard something like a cloak hanging on the wall. "Why is that
cloak here?" he thought, "it wasn't there before. . . ." He went up to
it quietly and felt that there was someone hiding behind it. He
cautiously moved the cloak and saw, sitting on a chair in the corner,
the old woman bent double so that he couldn't see her face; but it was
she. He stood over her. "She is afraid," he thought. He stealthily
took the axe from the noose and struck her one blow, then another on
the skull. But strange to say she did not stir, as though she were
made of wood. He was frightened, bent down nearer and tried to look at
her; but she, too, bent her head lower. He bent right down to the
ground and peeped up into her face from below, he peeped and turned
cold with horror: the old woman was sitting and laughing, shaking with
noiseless laughter, doing her utmost that he should not hear it.
Suddenly he fancied that the door from the bedroom was opened a little
and that there was laughter and whispering within. He was overcome
with frenzy and he began hitting the old woman on the head with all
his force, but at every blow of the axe the laughter and whispering
from the bedroom grew louder and the old woman was simply shaking with
mirth. He was rushing away, but the passage was full of people, the
doors of the flats stood open and on the landing, on the stairs and
everywhere below there were people, rows of heads, all looking, but
huddled together in silence and expectation. Something gripped his
heart, his legs were rooted to the spot, they would not move. . . . He
tried to scream and woke up.

He drew a deep breath--but his dream seemed strangely to persist: his
door was flung open and a man whom he had never seen stood in the
doorway watching him intently.

Raskolnikov had hardly opened his eyes and he instantly closed them
again. He lay on his back without stirring.

"Is it still a dream?" he wondered and again raised his eyelids hardly
perceptibly; the stranger was standing in the same place, still
watching him.

He stepped cautiously into the room, carefully closing the door after
him, went up to the table, paused a moment, still keeping his eyes on
Raskolnikov, and noiselessly seated himself on the chair by the sofa;
he put his hat on the floor beside him and leaned his hands on his
cane and his chin on his hands. It was evident that he was prepared to
wait indefinitely. As far as Raskolnikov could make out from his
stolen glances, he was a man no longer young, stout, with a full,
fair, almost whitish beard.

Ten minutes passed. It was still light, but beginning to get dusk.
There was complete stillness in the room. Not a sound came from the
stairs. Only a big fly buzzed and fluttered against the window pane.
It was unbearable at last. Raskolnikov suddenly got up and sat on the

"Come, tell me what you want."

"I knew you were not asleep, but only pretending," the stranger
answered oddly, laughing calmly. "Arkady Ivanovitch Svidriga´lov,
allow me to introduce myself. . . ."



"Can this be still a dream?" Raskolnikov thought once more.

He looked carefully and suspiciously at the unexpected visitor.

"Svidriga´lov! What nonsense! It can't be!" he said at last aloud in

His visitor did not seem at all surprised at this exclamation.

"I've come to you for two reasons. In the first place, I wanted to
make your personal acquaintance, as I have already heard a great deal
about you that is interesting and flattering; secondly, I cherish the
hope that you may not refuse to assist me in a matter directly
concerning the welfare of your sister, Avdotya Romanovna. For without
your support she might not let me come near her now, for she is
prejudiced against me, but with your assistance I reckon on . . ."

"You reckon wrongly," interrupted Raskolnikov.

"They only arrived yesterday, may I ask you?"

Raskolnikov made no reply.

"It was yesterday, I know. I only arrived myself the day before. Well,
let me tell you this, Rodion Romanovitch, I don't consider it
necessary to justify myself, but kindly tell me what was there
particularly criminal on my part in all this business, speaking
without prejudice, with common sense?"

Raskolnikov continued to look at him in silence.

"That in my own house I persecuted a defenceless girl and 'insulted
her with my infamous proposals'--is that it? (I am anticipating you.)
But you've only to assume that I, too, am a man /et nihil humanum/
. . . in a word, that I am capable of being attracted and falling in
love (which does not depend on our will), then everything can be
explained in the most natural manner. The question is, am I a monster,
or am I myself a victim? And what if I am a victim? In proposing to
the object of my passion to elope with me to America or Switzerland, I
may have cherished the deepest respect for her and may have thought
that I was promoting our mutual happiness! Reason is the slave of
passion, you know; why, probably, I was doing more harm to myself than

"But that's not the point," Raskolnikov interrupted with disgust.
"It's simply that whether you are right or wrong, we dislike you. We
don't want to have anything to do with you. We show you the door. Go

Svidriga´lov broke into a sudden laugh.

"But you're . . . but there's no getting round you," he said, laughing
in the frankest way. "I hoped to get round you, but you took up the
right line at once!"

"But you are trying to get round me still!"

"What of it? What of it?" cried Svidriga´lov, laughing openly. "But
this is what the French call /bonne guerre/, and the most innocent
form of deception! . . . But still you have interrupted me; one way or
another, I repeat again: there would never have been any
unpleasantness except for what happened in the garden. Marfa
Petrovna . . ."

"You have got rid of Marfa Petrovna, too, so they say?" Raskolnikov
interrupted rudely.

"Oh, you've heard that, too, then? You'd be sure to, though. . . . But
as for your question, I really don't know what to say, though my own
conscience is quite at rest on that score. Don't suppose that I am in
any apprehension about it. All was regular and in order; the medical
inquiry diagnosed apoplexy due to bathing immediately after a heavy
dinner and a bottle of wine, and indeed it could have proved nothing
else. But I'll tell you what I have been thinking to myself of late,
on my way here in the train, especially: didn't I contribute to all
that . . . calamity, morally, in a way, by irritation or something of
the sort. But I came to the conclusion that that, too, was quite out
of the question."

Raskolnikov laughed.

"I wonder you trouble yourself about it!"

"But what are you laughing at? Only consider, I struck her just twice
with a switch--there were no marks even . . . don't regard me as a
cynic, please; I am perfectly aware how atrocious it was of me and all
that; but I know for certain, too, that Marfa Petrovna was very likely
pleased at my, so to say, warmth. The story of your sister had been
wrung out to the last drop; for the last three days Marfa Petrovna had
been forced to sit at home; she had nothing to show herself with in
the town. Besides, she had bored them so with that letter (you heard
about her reading the letter). And all of a sudden those two switches
fell from heaven! Her first act was to order the carriage to be got
out. . . . Not to speak of the fact that there are cases when women
are very, very glad to be insulted in spite of all their show of
indignation. There are instances of it with everyone; human beings in
general, indeed, greatly love to be insulted, have you noticed that?
But it's particularly so with women. One might even say it's their
only amusement."

At one time Raskolnikov thought of getting up and walking out and so
finishing the interview. But some curiosity and even a sort of
prudence made him linger for a moment.

"You are fond of fighting?" he asked carelessly.

"No, not very," Svidriga´lov answered, calmly. "And Marfa Petrovna and
I scarcely ever fought. We lived very harmoniously, and she was always
pleased with me. I only used the whip twice in all our seven years
(not counting a third occasion of a very ambiguous character). The
first time, two months after our marriage, immediately after we
arrived in the country, and the last time was that of which we are
speaking. Did you suppose I was such a monster, such a reactionary,
such a slave driver? Ha, ha! By the way, do you remember, Rodion
Romanovitch, how a few years ago, in those days of beneficent
publicity, a nobleman, I've forgotten his name, was put to shame
everywhere, in all the papers, for having thrashed a German woman in
the railway train. You remember? It was in those days, that very year
I believe, the 'disgraceful action of the /Age/' took place (you know,
'The Egyptian Nights,' that public reading, you remember? The dark
eyes, you know! Ah, the golden days of our youth, where are they?).
Well, as for the gentleman who thrashed the German, I feel no sympathy
with him, because after all what need is there for sympathy? But I
must say that there are sometimes such provoking 'Germans' that I
don't believe there is a progressive who could quite answer for
himself. No one looked at the subject from that point of view then,
but that's the truly humane point of view, I assure you."

After saying this, Svidriga´lov broke into a sudden laugh again.
Raskolnikov saw clearly that this was a man with a firm purpose in his
mind and able to keep it to himself.

"I expect you've not talked to anyone for some days?" he asked.

"Scarcely anyone. I suppose you are wondering at my being such an
adaptable man?"

"No, I am only wondering at your being too adaptable a man."

"Because I am not offended at the rudeness of your questions? Is that
it? But why take offence? As you asked, so I answered," he replied,
with a surprising expression of simplicity. "You know, there's hardly
anything I take interest in," he went on, as it were dreamily,
"especially now, I've nothing to do. . . . You are quite at liberty to
imagine though that I am making up to you with a motive, particularly
as I told you I want to see your sister about something. But I'll
confess frankly, I am very much bored. The last three days especially,
so I am delighted to see you. . . . Don't be angry, Rodion
Romanovitch, but you seem to be somehow awfully strange yourself. Say
what you like, there's something wrong with you, and now, too . . .
not this very minute, I mean, but now, generally. . . . Well, well, I
won't, I won't, don't scowl! I am not such a bear, you know, as you

Raskolnikov looked gloomily at him.

"You are not a bear, perhaps, at all," he said. "I fancy indeed that
you are a man of very good breeding, or at least know how on occasion
to behave like one."

"I am not particularly interested in anyone's opinion," Svidriga´lov
answered, dryly and even with a shade of haughtiness, "and therefore
why not be vulgar at times when vulgarity is such a convenient cloak
for our climate . . . and especially if one has a natural propensity
that way," he added, laughing again.

"But I've heard you have many friends here. You are, as they say, 'not
without connections.' What can you want with me, then, unless you've
some special object?"

"That's true that I have friends here," Svidriga´lov admitted, not
replying to the chief point. "I've met some already. I've been
lounging about for the last three days, and I've seen them, or they've
seen me. That's a matter of course. I am well dressed and reckoned not
a poor man; the emancipation of the serfs hasn't affected me; my
property consists chiefly of forests and water meadows. The revenue
has not fallen off; but . . . I am not going to see them, I was sick
of them long ago. I've been here three days and have called on no one.
. . . What a town it is! How has it come into existence among us, tell
me that? A town of officials and students of all sorts. Yes, there's a
great deal I didn't notice when I was here eight years ago, kicking up
my heels. . . . My only hope now is in anatomy, by Jove, it is!"


"But as for these clubs, Dussauts, parades, or progress, indeed, maybe
--well, all that can go on without me," he went on, again without
noticing the question. "Besides, who wants to be a card-sharper?"

"Why, have you been a card-sharper then?"

"How could I help being? There was a regular set of us, men of the
best society, eight years ago; we had a fine time. And all men of
breeding, you know, poets, men of property. And indeed as a rule in
our Russian society the best manners are found among those who've
been thrashed, have you noticed that? I've deteriorated in the
country. But I did get into prison for debt, through a low Greek who
came from Nezhin. Then Marfa Petrovna turned up; she bargained with
him and bought me off for thirty thousand silver pieces (I owed
seventy thousand). We were united in lawful wedlock and she bore me
off into the country like a treasure. You know she was five years
older than I. She was very fond of me. For seven years I never left
the country. And, take note, that all my life she held a document over
me, the IOU for thirty thousand roubles, so if I were to elect to be
restive about anything I should be trapped at once! And she would have
done it! Women find nothing incompatible in that."

"If it hadn't been for that, would you have given her the slip?"

"I don't know what to say. It was scarcely the document restrained me.
I didn't want to go anywhere else. Marfa Petrovna herself invited me
to go abroad, seeing I was bored, but I've been abroad before, and
always felt sick there. For no reason, but the sunrise, the bay of
Naples, the sea--you look at them and it makes you sad. What's most
revolting is that one is really sad! No, it's better at home. Here at
least one blames others for everything and excuses oneself. I should
have gone perhaps on an expedition to the North Pole, because /j'ai le
vin mauvais/ and hate drinking, and there's nothing left but wine. I
have tried it. But, I say, I've been told Berg is going up in a great
balloon next Sunday from the Yusupov Garden and will take up
passengers at a fee. Is it true?"

"Why, would you go up?"

"I . . . No, oh, no," muttered Svidriga´lov really seeming to be deep
in thought.

"What does he mean? Is he in earnest?" Raskolnikov wondered.

"No, the document didn't restrain me," Svidriga´lov went on,
meditatively. "It was my own doing, not leaving the country, and
nearly a year ago Marfa Petrovna gave me back the document on my name-
day and made me a present of a considerable sum of money, too. She had
a fortune, you know. 'You see how I trust you, Arkady Ivanovitch'--
that was actually her expression. You don't believe she used it? But
do you know I managed the estate quite decently, they know me in the
neighbourhood. I ordered books, too. Marfa Petrovna at first approved,
but afterwards she was afraid of my over-studying."

"You seem to be missing Marfa Petrovna very much?"

"Missing her? Perhaps. Really, perhaps I am. And, by the way, do you
believe in ghosts?"

"What ghosts?"

"Why, ordinary ghosts."

"Do you believe in them?"

"Perhaps not, /pour vous plaire/. . . . I wouldn't say no exactly."

"Do you see them, then?"

Svidriga´lov looked at him rather oddly.

"Marfa Petrovna is pleased to visit me," he said, twisting his mouth
into a strange smile.

"How do you mean 'she is pleased to visit you'?"

"She has been three times. I saw her first on the very day of the
funeral, an hour after she was buried. It was the day before I left to
come here. The second time was the day before yesterday, at daybreak,
on the journey at the station of Malaya Vishera, and the third time
was two hours ago in the room where I am staying. I was alone."

"Were you awake?"

"Quite awake. I was wide awake every time. She comes, speaks to me for
a minute and goes out at the door--always at the door. I can almost
hear her."

"What made me think that something of the sort must be happening to
you?" Raskolnikov said suddenly.

At the same moment he was surprised at having said it. He was much

"What! Did you think so?" Svidriga´lov asked in astonishment. "Did you
really? Didn't I say that there was something in common between us,

"You never said so!" Raskolnikov cried sharply and with heat.

"Didn't I?"


"I thought I did. When I came in and saw you lying with your eyes
shut, pretending, I said to myself at once, 'Here's the man.'"

"What do you mean by 'the man?' What are you talking about?" cried

"What do I mean? I really don't know. . . ." Svidriga´lov muttered
ingenuously, as though he, too, were puzzled.

For a minute they were silent. They stared in each other's faces.

"That's all nonsense!" Raskolnikov shouted with vexation. "What does
she say when she comes to you?"

"She! Would you believe it, she talks of the silliest trifles and--man
is a strange creature--it makes me angry. The first time she came in
(I was tired you know: the funeral service, the funeral ceremony, the
lunch afterwards. At last I was left alone in my study. I lighted a
cigar and began to think), she came in at the door. 'You've been so
busy to-day, Arkady Ivanovitch, you have forgotten to wind the dining-
room clock,' she said. All those seven years I've wound that clock
every week, and if I forgot it she would always remind me. The next
day I set off on my way here. I got out at the station at daybreak;
I'd been asleep, tired out, with my eyes half open, I was drinking
some coffee. I looked up and there was suddenly Marfa Petrovna sitting
beside me with a pack of cards in her hands. 'Shall I tell your

Facebook Google Reddit Twitter Pinterest