Тема: Достоевский Ф. М. - Преступление и наказание в переводе на английский
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CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
by Fyodor Dostoevsky
translated by Constance Garnett
ON AN exceptionally hot evening early in July a young man came out
of the garret in which he lodged in S. Place and walked slowly, as
though in hesitation, towards K. bridge.
He had successfully avoided meeting his landlady on the staircase.
His garret was under the roof of a high, five-storied house and was
more like a cupboard than a room. The landlady who provided him with
garret, dinners, and attendance, lived on the floor below, and every
time he went out he was obliged to pass her kitchen, the door of which
invariably stood open. And each time he passed, the young man had a
sick, frightened feeling, which made him scowl and feel ashamed. He
was hopelessly in debt to his landlady, and was afraid of meeting her.
This was not because he was cowardly and abject, quite the contrary;
but for some time past he had been in an overstrained irritable
condition, verging on hypochondria. He had become so completely
absorbed in himself, and isolated from his fellows that he dreaded
meeting, not only his landlady, but any one at all. He was crushed
by poverty, but the anxieties of his position had of late ceased to
weigh upon him. He had given up attending to matters of practical
importance; he had lost all desire to do so. Nothing that any landlady
could do had a real terror for him. But to be stopped on the stairs,
to be forced to listen to her trivial, irrelevant gossip, to pestering
demands for payment, threats and complaints, and to rack his brains
for excuses, to prevaricate, to lie- no, rather than that, he would
creep down the stairs like a cat and slip out unseen.
This evening, however, on coming out into the street, he became
acutely aware of his fears.
"I want to attempt a thing like that and am frightened by these
trifles," he thought, with an odd smile. "Hm... yes, all is in a man's
hands and he lets it all slip from cowardice, that's an axiom. It
would be interesting to know what it is men are most afraid of. Taking
a new step, uttering a new word is what they fear most.... But I am
talking too much. It's because I chatter that I do nothing. Or perhaps
it is that I chatter because I do nothing. I've learned to chatter
this last month, lying for days together in my den thinking... of Jack
the Giant-killer. Why am I going there now? Am I capable of that? Is
that serious? It is not serious at all. It's simply a fantasy to amuse
myself; a plaything! Yes, maybe it is a plaything."
The heat in the street was terrible: and the airlessness, the bustle
and the plaster, scaffolding, bricks, and dust all about him, and that
special Petersburg stench, so familiar to all who are unable to get
out of town in summer- all worked painfully upon the young man's
already overwrought nerves. The insufferable stench from the
pot-houses, which are particularly numerous in that part of the
town, and the drunken men whom he met continually, although it was a
working day, completed the revolting misery of the picture. An
expression of the profoundest disgust gleamed for a moment in the
young man's refined face. He was, by the way, exceptionally
handsome, above the average in height, slim, well-built, with
beautiful dark eyes and dark brown hair. Soon he sank into deep
thought, or more accurately speaking into a complete blankness of
mind; he walked along not observing what was about him and not
caring to observe it. From time to time, he would mutter something,
from the habit of talking to himself, to which he had just
confessed. At these moments he would become conscious that his ideas
were sometimes in a tangle and that he was very weak; for two days
he had scarcely tasted food.
He was so badly dressed that even a man accustomed to shabbiness
would have been ashamed to be seen in the street in such rags. In that
quarter of the town, however, scarcely any shortcoming in dress
would have created surprise. Owing to the proximity of the Hay Market,
the number of establishments of bad character, the preponderance of
the trading and working class population crowded in these streets
and alleys in the heart of Petersburg, types so various were to be
seen in the streets that no figure, however queer, would have caused
surprise. But there was such accumulated bitterness and contempt in
the young man's heart, that, in spite of all the fastidiousness of
youth, he minded his rags least of all in the street. It was a
different matter when he met with acquaintances or with former
fellow students, whom, indeed, he disliked meeting at any time. And
yet when a drunken man who, for some unknown reason, was being taken
somewhere in a huge waggon dragged by a heavy dray horse, suddenly
shouted at him as he drove past: "Hey there, German hatter" bawling at
the top of his voice and pointing at him- the young man stopped
suddenly and clutched tremulously at his hat. It was a tall round
hat from Zimmerman's, but completely worn out, rusty with age, all
torn and bespattered, brimless and bent on one side in a most unseemly
fashion. Not shame, however, but quite another feeling akin to
terror had overtaken him.
"I knew it," he muttered in confusion, "I thought so! That's the
worst of all! Why, a stupid thing like this, the most trivial detail
might spoil the whole plan. Yes, my hat is too noticeable.... It looks
absurd and that makes it noticeable.... With my rags I ought to wear a
cap, any sort of old pancake, but not this grotesque thing. Nobody
wears such a hat, it would be noticed a mile off, it would be
remembered.... What matters is that people would remember it, and that
would give them a clue. For this business one should be as little
conspicuous as possible.... Trifles, trifles are what matter! Why,
it's just such trifles that always ruin everything...."
He had not far to go; he knew indeed how many steps it was from
the gate of his lodging house: exactly seven hundred and thirty. He
had counted them once when he had been lost in dreams. At the time
he had put no faith in those dreams and was only tantalising himself
by their hideous but daring recklessness. Now, a month later, he had
begun to look upon them differently, and, in spite of the monologues
in which he jeered at his own impotence and indecision, he had
involuntarily come to regard this "hideous" dream as an exploit to
be attempted, although he still did not realise this himself. He was
positively going now for a "rehearsal" of his project, and at every
step his excitement grew more and more violent.
With a sinking heart and a nervous tremor, he went up to a huge
house which on one side looked on to the canal, and on the other
into the street. This house was let out in tiny tenements and was
inhabited by working people of all kinds- tailors, locksmiths,
cooks, Germans of sorts, girls picking up a living as best they could,
petty clerks, &c. There was a continual coming and going through the
two gates and in the two courtyards of the house. Three or four
door-keepers were employed on the building. The young man was very
glad to meet none of them, and at once slipped unnoticed through the
door on the right, and up the staircase. It was a back staircase, dark
and narrow, but he was familiar with it already, and knew his way, and
he liked all these surroundings: in such darkness even the most
inquisitive eyes were not to be dreaded.
"If I am so scared now, what would it be if it somehow came to
pass that I were really going to do it?" he could not help asking
himself as he reached the fourth storey. There his progress was barred
by some porters who were engaged in moving furniture out of a flat. He
knew that the flat had been occupied by a German clerk in the civil
service, and his family. This German was moving out then, and so the
fourth floor on this staircase would be untenanted except by the old
woman. "That's a good thing anyway," he thought to himself, as he rang
the bell of the old woman's flat. The bell gave a faint tinkle as
though it were made of tin and not of copper. The little flats in such
houses always have bells that ring like that. He had forgotten the
note of that bell, and now its peculiar tinkle seemed to remind him of
something and to bring it clearly before him.... He started, his
nerves were terribly overstrained by now. In a little while, the
door was opened a tiny crack: the old woman eyed her visitor with
evident distrust through the crack, and nothing could be seen but
her little eyes, glittering in the darkness. But, seeing a number of
people on the landing, she grew bolder, and opened the door wide.
The young man stepped into the dark entry, which was partitioned off
from the tiny kitchen. The old woman stood facing him in silence and
looking inquiringly at him. She was a diminutive, withered up old
woman of sixty, with sharp malignant eyes and a sharp little nose. Her
colourless, somewhat grizzled hair was thickly smeared with oil, and
she wore no kerchief over it. Round her thin long neck, which looked
like a hen's leg, was knotted some sort of flannel rag, and, in
spite of the heat, there hung flapping on her shoulders, a mangy fur
cape, yellow with age. The old woman coughed and groaned at every
instant. The young man must have looked at her with a rather
peculiar expression, for a gleam of mistrust came into her eyes again.
"Raskolnikov, a student, I came here a month ago," the young man
made haste to mutter, with a half bow, remembering that he ought to be
"I remember, my good sir, I remember quite well your coming here,"
the old woman said distinctly, still keeping her inquiring eyes on his
"And here... I am again on the same errand," Raskolnikov
continued, a little disconcerted and surprised at the old woman's
mistrust. "Perhaps she is always like that though, only I did not
notice it the other time," he thought with an uneasy feeling.
The old woman paused, as though hesitating; then stepped on one
side, and pointing to the door of the room, she said, letting her
visitor pass in front of her:
"Step in, my good sir."
The little room into which the young man walked, with yellow paper
on the walls, geraniums and muslin curtains in the windows, was
brightly lighted up at that moment by the setting sun.
"So the sun will shine like this then too!" flashed as it were by
chance through Raskolnikov's mind, and with a rapid glance he
scanned everything in the room, trying as far as possible to notice
and remember its arrangement. But there was nothing special in the
room. The furniture, all very old and of yellow wood, consisted of a
sofa with a huge bent wooden back, an oval table in front of the sofa,
a dressing-table with a looking-glass fixed on it between the windows,
chairs along the walls and two or three half-penny prints in yellow
frames, representing German damsels with birds in their hands- that
was all. In the corner a light was burning before a small ikon.
Everything was very clean; the floor and the furniture were brightly
polished; everything shone.
"Lizaveta's work," thought the young man. There was not a speck of
dust to be seen in the whole flat.
"It's in the houses of spiteful old widows that one finds such
cleanliness," Raskolnikov thought again, and he stole a curious glance
at the cotton curtain over the door leading into another tiny room, in
which stood the old woman's bed and chest of drawers and into which he
had never looked before. These two rooms made up the whole flat.
"What do you want?" the old woman said severely, coming into the
room and, as before, standing in front of him so as to look him
straight in the face.
"I've brought something to pawn here," and he drew out of his pocket
an old-fashioned flat silver watch, on the back of which was
engraved a globe; the chain was of steel.
"But the time is up for your last pledge. The month was up the day
"I will bring you the interest for another month; wait a little."
"But that's for me to do as I please, my good sir, to wait or to
sell your pledge at once."
"How much will you give me for the watch, Alyona Ivanovna?"
"You come with such trifles, my good sir, it's scarcely worth
anything. I gave you two roubles last time for your ring and one could
buy it quite new at a jeweler's for a rouble and a half."
"Give me four roubles for it, I shall redeem it, it was my father's.
I shall be getting some money soon."
"A rouble and a half, and interest in advance, if you like!"
"A rouble and a half!" cried the young man.
"Please yourself"- and the old woman handed him back the watch.
The young man took it, and was so angry that he was on the point of
going away; but checked himself at once, remembering that there was
nowhere else he could go, and that he had had another object also in
"Hand it over," he said roughly.
The old woman fumbled in her pocket for her keys, and disappeared
behind the curtain into the other room. The young man, left standing
alone in the middle of the room, listened inquisitively, thinking.
He could hear her unlocking the chest of drawers.
"It must be the top drawer," he reflected. "So she carries the
keys in a pocket on the right. All in one bunch on a steel ring....
And there's one key there, three times as big as all the others,
with deep notches; that can't be the key of the chest of drawers...
then there must be some other chest or strong-box... that's worth
knowing. Strong-boxes always have keys like that... but how
degrading it all is."
The old woman came back.
"Here, sir: as we say ten copecks the rouble a month, so I must take
fifteen copecks from a rouble and a half for the month in advance. But
for the two roubles I lent you before, you owe me now twenty copecks
on the same reckoning in advance. That makes thirty-five copecks
altogether. So I must give you a rouble and fifteen copecks for the
watch. Here it is."
"What! only a rouble and fifteen copecks now!"
The young man did not dispute it and took the money. He looked at
the old woman, and was in no hurry to get away, as though there was
still something he wanted to say or to do, but he did not himself
quite know what.
"I may be bringing you something else in a day or two, Alyona
Ivanovna- a valuable thing- silver- a cigarette box, as soon as I
get it back from a friend..." he broke off in confusion.
"Well, we will talk about it then, sir."
"Good-bye- are you always at home alone, your sister is not here
with you?" He asked her as casually as possible as he went out into
"What business is she of yours, my good sir?"
"Oh, nothing particular, I simply asked. You are too quick....
Good-day, Alyona Ivanovna."
Raskolnikov went out in complete confusion. This confusion became
more and more intense. As he went down the stairs, he even stopped
short, two or three times, as though suddenly struck by some
thought. When he was in the street he cried out, "Oh, God, how
loathsome it all is! and can I, can I possibly.... No, it's
nonsense, it's rubbish!" he added resolutely. "And how could such an
atrocious thing come into my head? What filthy things my heart is
capable of. Yes, filthy above all, disgusting, loathsome,
loathsome!- and for a whole month I've been...." But no words, no
exclamations, could express his agitation. The feeling of intense
repulsion, which had begun to oppress and torture his heart while he
was on his way to the old woman, had by now reached such a pitch and
had taken such a definite form that he did not know what to do with
himself to escape from his wretchedness. He walked along the
pavement like a drunken man, regardless of the passers-by, and
jostling against them, and only came to his senses when he was in
the next street. Looking round, he noticed that he was standing
close to a tavern which was entered by steps leading from the pavement
to the basement. At that instant two drunken men came out at the door,
and abusing and supporting one another, they mounted the steps.
Without stopping to think, Raskolnikov went down the steps at once.
Till that moment he had never been into a tavern, but now he felt
giddy and was tormented by a burning thirst. He longed for a drink
of cold beer, and attributed his sudden weakness to the want of
food. He sat down at a sticky little table in a dark and dirty corner;
ordered some beer, and eagerly drank off the first glassful. At once
he felt easier; and his thoughts became clear.
"All that's nonsense," he said hopefully, "and there is nothing in
it all to worry about! It's simply physical derangement. Just a
glass of beer, a piece of dry bread- and in one moment the brain is
stronger, the mind is clearer and the will is firm! Phew, how
utterly petty it all is!"
But in spite of this scornful reflection, he was by now looking
cheerful as though he were suddenly set free from a terrible burden:
and he gazed round in a friendly way at the people in the room. But
even at that moment he had a dim foreboding that this happier frame of
mind was also not normal.
There were few people at the time in the tavern. Besides the two
drunken men he had met on the steps, a group consisting of about
five men and a girl with a concertina had gone out at the same time.
Their departure left the room quiet and rather empty. The persons
still in the tavern were a man who appeared to be an artisan, drunk,
but not extremely so, sitting before a pot of beer, and his companion,
a huge, stout man with a grey beard, in a short full-skirted coat.
He was very drunk: and had dropped asleep on the bench; every now
and then, he began as though in his sleep, cracking his fingers,
with his arms wide apart and the upper part of his body bounding about
on the bench, while he hummed some meaningless refrain, trying to
recall some such lines as these:
"His wife a year he fondly loved
His wife a- a year he- fondly loved."
Or suddenly waking up again:
"Walking along the crowded row
He met the one he used to know."
But no one shared his enjoyment: his silent companion looked with
positive hostility and mistrust at all these manifestations. There was
another man in the room who looked somewhat like a retired
government clerk. He was sitting apart, now and then sipping from
his pot and looking round at the company. He, too, appeared to be in
RASKOLNIKOV was not used to crowds, and, as we said before, he
avoided society of every sort, more especially of late. But now all at
once he felt a desire to be with other people. Something new seemed to
be taking place within him, and with it he felt a sort of thirst for
company. He was so weary after a whole month of concentrated
wretchedness and gloomy excitement that he longed to rest, if only for
a moment, in some other world, whatever it might be; and, in spite
of the filthiness of the surroundings, he was glad now to stay in
The master of the establishment was in another room, but he
frequently came down some steps into the main room, his jaunty, tarred
boots with red turn-over tops coming into view each time before the
rest of his person. He wore a full coat and a horribly greasy black
satin waistcoat, with no cravat, and his whole face seemed smeared
with oil like an iron lock. At the counter stood a boy of about
fourteen, and there was another boy somewhat younger who handed
whatever was wanted. On the counter lay some sliced cucumber, some
pieces of dried black bread, and some fish, chopped up small, all
smelling very bad. It was insufferably close, and so heavy with the
fumes of spirits that five minutes in such an atmosphere might well
make a man drunk.
There are chance meetings with strangers that interest us from the
first moment, before a word is spoken. Such was the impression made on
Raskolnikov by the person sitting a little distance from him, who
looked like a retired clerk. The young man often recalled this
impression afterwards, and even ascribed it to presentiment. He looked
repeatedly at the clerk, partly no doubt because the latter was
staring persistently at him, obviously anxious to enter into
conversation. At the other persons in the room, including the
tavern-keeper, the clerk looked as though he were used to their
company, and weary of it, showing a shade of condescending contempt
for them as persons of station and culture inferior to his own, with
whom it would be useless for him to converse. He was a man over fifty,
bald and grizzled, of medium height, and stoutly built. His face,
bloated from continual drinking, was of a yellow, even greenish,
tinge, with swollen eyelids out of which keen reddish eyes gleamed
like little chinks. But there was something very strange in him; there
was a light in his eyes as though of intense feeling- perhaps there
were even thought and intelligence, but at the same time there was a
gleam of something like madness. He was wearing an old and
hopelessly ragged black dress coat, with all its buttons missing
except one, and that one he had buttoned, evidently clinging to this
last trace of respectability. A crumpled shirt front covered with
spots and stains, protruded from his canvas waistcoat. Like a clerk,
he wore no beard, nor moustache, but had been so long unshaven that
his chin looked like a stiff greyish brush. And there was something
respectable and like an official about his manner too. But he was
restless; he ruffled up his hair and from time to time let his head
drop into his hands dejectedly resting his ragged elbows on the
stained and sticky table. At last he looked straight at Raskolnikov,
and said loudly and resolutely:
"May I venture, honoured sir, to engage you in polite
conversation? Forasmuch as, though your exterior would not command
respect, my experience admonishes me that you are a man of education
and not accustomed to drinking. I have always respected education when
in conjunction with genuine sentiments, and I am besides a titular
counsellor in rank. Marmeladov- such is my name; titular counsellor. I
make bold to inquire- have you been in the service?"
"No, I am studying," answered the young man, somewhat surprised at
the grandiloquent style of the speaker and also at being so directly
addressed. In spite of the momentary desire he had just been feeling
for company of any sort, on being actually spoken to he felt
immediately his habitual irritable and uneasy aversion for any
stranger who approached or attempted to approach him.
"A student then, or formerly a student," cried the clerk. "Just what
I thought! I'm a man of experience, immense experience, sir," and he
tapped his forehead with his fingers in self-approval. "You've been
a student or have attended some learned institution!... But allow
me...." He got up, staggered, took up his jug and glass, and sat
down beside the young man, facing him a little sideways. He was drunk,
but spoke fluently and boldly, only occasionally losing the thread
of his sentences and drawling his words. He pounced upon Raskolnikov
as greedily as though he too had not spoken to a soul for a month.
"Honoured sir," he began almost with solemnity, "poverty is not a
vice, that's a true saying. Yet I know too that drunkenness is not a
virtue, and that that's even truer. But beggary, honoured sir, beggary
is a vice. In poverty you may still retain your innate nobility of
soul, but in beggary- never- no one. For beggary a man is not chased
out of human society with a stick, he is swept out with a broom, so as
to make it as humiliating as possible; and quite right, too, forasmuch
as in beggary I am ready to be the first to humiliate myself. Hence
the pot-house! Honoured sir, a month ago Mr. Lebeziatnikov gave my
wife a beating, and my wife is a very different matter from me! Do you
understand? Allow me to ask you another question out of simple
curiosity: have you ever spent a night on a hay barge, on the Neva?"
"No, I have not happened to," answered Raskolnikov. "What do you
"Well, I've just come from one and it's the fifth night I've slept
so...." He filled his glass, emptied it and paused. Bits of hay were
in fact clinging to his clothes and sticking to his hair. It seemed
quite probable that he had not undressed or washed for the last five
days. His hands, particularly, were filthy. They were fat and red,
with black nails.
His conversation seemed to excite a general though languid interest.
The boys at the counter fell to sniggering. The innkeeper came down
from the upper room, apparently on purpose to listen to the "funny
fellow" and sat down at a little distance, yawning lazily, but with
dignity. Evidently Marmeladov was a familiar figure here, and he had
most likely acquired his weakness for high-flown speeches from the
habit of frequently entering into conversation with strangers of all
sorts in the tavern. This habit develops into a necessity in some
drunkards, and especially in those who are looked after sharply and
kept in order at home. Hence in the company of other drinkers they try
to justify themselves and even if possible obtain consideration.
"Funny fellow!" pronounced the innkeeper. "And why don't you work,
why aren't you at your duty, if you are in the service?"
"Why am I not at my duty, honoured sir," Marmeladov went on,
addressing himself exclusively to Raskolnikov, as though it had been
he who put that question to him. "Why am I not at my duty? Does not my
heart ache to think what a useless worm I am? A month ago when Mr.
Lebeziatnikov beat my wife with his own hands, and I lay drunk, didn't
I suffer? Excuse me, young man, has it ever happened to you... hm...
well, to petition hopelessly for a loan?"
"Yes, it has. But what do you mean by hopelessly?"
"Hopelessly in the fullest sense, when you know beforehand that
you will get nothing by it. You know, for instance, beforehand with
positive certainty that this man, this most reputable and exemplary
citizen, will on no consideration give you money; and indeed I ask you
why should he? For he knows of course that I shan't pay it back.
From compassion? But Mr. Lebeziatnikov who keeps up with modern
ideas explained the other day that compassion is forbidden nowadays by
science itself, and that that's what is done now in England, where
there is political economy. Why, I ask you, should he give it to me?
And yet though I know beforehand that he won't, I set off to him