Re: Достоевский Ф. М. - Преступление и наказание в переводе на английский
"Do you understand, sir, do you understand what it means when you
have absolutely nowhere to turn?" Marmeladov's question came
suddenly into his mind "for every man must have somewhere to turn..."
He gave a sudden start; another thought, that he had had
yesterday, slipped back into his mind. But he did not start at the
thought recurring to him, for he knew, he had felt beforehand, that it
must come back, he was expecting it; besides it was not only
yesterday's thought. The difference was that a month ago, yesterday
even, the thought was a mere dream: but now... now it appeared not a
dream at all, it had taken a new menacing and quite unfamiliar
shape, and he suddenly became aware of this himself.... He felt a
hammering in his head, and there was a darkness before his eyes.
He looked round hurriedly, he was searching for something. He wanted
to sit down and was looking for a seat; he was walking along the K____
Boulevard. There was a seat about a hundred paces in front of him.
He walked towards it as fast he could; but on the way he met with a
little adventure which absorbed all his attention. Looking for the
seat, he had noticed a woman walking some twenty paces in front of
him, but at first he took no more notice of her than of other
objects that crossed his path. It had happened to him many times going
home not to notice the road by which he was going, and he was
accustomed to walk like that. But there was at first sight something
so strange about the woman in front of him, that gradually his
attention was riveted upon her, at first reluctantly and, as it
were, resentfully, and then more and more intently. He felt a sudden
desire to find out what it was that was so strange about the woman. In
the first place, she appeared to be a girl quite young, and she was
walking in the great heat bareheaded and with no parasol or gloves,
waving her arms about in an absurd way. She had on a dress of some
light silky material, but put on strangely awry, not properly hooked
up, and torn open at the top of the skirt, close to the waist: a great
piece was rent and hanging loose. A little kerchief was flung about
her bare throat, but lay slanting on one side. The girl was walking
unsteadily, too, stumbling and staggering from side to side. She
drew Raskolnikov's whole attention at last. He overtook the girl at
the seat, but, on reaching it, she dropped down on it, in the
corner; she let her head sink on the back of the seat and closed her
eyes, apparently in extreme exhaustion. Looking at her closely, he saw
at once that she was completely drunk. It was a strange and shocking
sight. He could hardly believe that he was not mistaken. He saw before
him the face of a quite young, fair-haired girl- sixteen, perhaps
not more than fifteen years old, pretty little face, but flushed and
heavy looking and, as it were, swollen. The girl seemed hardly to know
what she was doing; she crossed one leg over the other, lifting it
indecorously, and showed every sign of being unconscious that she
was in the street.
Raskolnikov did not sit down, but he felt unwilling to leave her,
and stood facing her in perplexity. This boulevard was never much
frequented; and now, at two o'clock, in the stifling heat, it was
quite deserted. And yet on the further side of the boulevard, about
fifteen paces away, a gentleman was standing on the edge of the
pavement, he, too, would apparently have liked to approach the girl
with some object of his own. He, too, had probably seen her in the
distance and had followed her, but found Raskolnikov in his way. He
looked angrily at him, though he tried to escape his notice, and stood
impatiently biding his time, till the unwelcome man in rags should
have moved away. His intentions were unmistakable. The gentleman was a
plump, thickly-set man, about thirty, fashionably dressed, with a high
colour, red lips and moustaches. Raskolnikov felt furious; he had a
sudden longing to insult this fat dandy in some way. He left the
girl for a moment and walked towards the gentleman.
"Hey! You Svidrigailov! What do you want here?" he shouted,
clenching his fists and laughing, spluttering with rage.
"What do you mean?" the gentleman asked sternly, scowling in haughty
"Get away, that's what I mean."
"How dare you, you low fellow!"
He raised his cane. Raskolnikov rushed at him with his fists,
without reflecting that the stout gentleman was a match for two men
like himself. But at that instant some one seized him from behind, and
a police constable stood between them.
"That's enough, gentlemen, no fighting, please, in a public place.
What do you want? Who are you?" he asked Raskolnikov sternly, noticing
Raskolnikov looked at him intently. He had a straight-forward,
sensible, soldierly face, with grey moustaches and whiskers.
"You are just the man I want," Raskolnikov cried, catching at his
arm. "I am a student, Raskolnikov.... You may as well know that
too," he added, addressing the gentleman, "come along, I have
something to show you."
And taking the policeman by the hand he drew him towards the seat.
"Look here, hopelessly drunk, and she has just come down the
boulevard. There is no telling who and what she is, she does not
look like a professional. It's more likely she has been given drink
and deceived somewhere... for the first time... you understand? and
they've put her out into the street like that. Look at the way her
dress is torn, and the way it has been put on: she has been dressed by
somebody, she has not dressed herself, and dressed by unpractised
hands, by a man's hands; that's evident. And now look there: I don't
know that dandy with whom I was going to fight, I see him for the
first time, but, he, too has seen her on the road, just now, drunk,
not knowing what she is doing, and now he is very eager to get hold of
her, to get her away somewhere while she is in this state... that's
certain, believe me, I am not wrong. I saw him myself watching her and
following her, but I prevented him, and he is just waiting for me to
go away. Now he has walked away a little, and is standing still,
pretending to make a cigarette.... Think how can we keep her out of
his hands, and how are we to get her home?"
The policeman saw it all in a flash. The stout gentleman was easy to
understand, he turned to consider the girl. The policeman bent over to
examine her more closely, and his face worked with genuine compassion.
"Ah, what a pity!" he said, shaking his head- "why, she is quite a
child! She has been deceived, you can see that at once. Listen, lady,"
he began addressing her, "where do you live?" The girl opened her
weary and sleepy-looking eyes, gazed blankly at the speaker and
waved her hand.
"Here," said Raskolnikov feeling in his pocket and finding twenty
copecks, "here, call a cab and tell him to drive her to her address.
The only thing is to find out her address!"
"Missy, missy!" the policeman began again, taking the money. "I'll
fetch you a cab and take you home myself. Where shall I take you,
eh? Where do you live?"
"Go away! They won't let me alone," the girl muttered, and once more
waved her hand.
"Ach, ach, how shocking! It's shameful, missy, it's a shame!" He
shook his head again, shocked, sympathetic and indignant.
"It's a difficult job," the policeman said to Raskolnikov, and as he
did so, he looked him up and down in a rapid glance. He. too, must
have seemed a strange figure to him: dressed in rags and handing him
"Did you meet her far from here?" he asked him.
"I tell you she was walking in front of me, staggering, just here,
in the boulevard. She only just reached the seat and sank down on it."
"Ah, the shameful things that are done in the world nowadays, God
have mercy on us! An innocent creature like that, drunk already! She
has been deceived, that's a sure thing. See how her dress has been
torn too.... Ah, the vice one sees nowadays! And as likely as not
she belongs to gentlefolk too, poor ones maybe.... There are many like
that nowadays. She looks refined, too, as though she were a lady," and
he bent over her once more.
Perhaps he had daughters growing up like that, "looking like
ladies and refined" with pretensions to gentility and smartness....
"The chief thing is," Raskolnikov persisted, "to keep her out of
this scoundrel's hands! Why should he outrage her! It's as clear as
day what he is after; ah, the brute, he is not moving off!"
Raskolnikov spoke aloud and pointed to him. The gentleman heard him,
and seemed about to fly into a rage again, but thought better of it,
and confined himself to a contemptuous look. He then walked slowly
another ten paces away and again halted.
"Keep her out of his hands we can," said the constable thoughtfully,
"if only she'd tell us where to take her, but as it is.... Missy, hey,
missy!" he bent over her once more.
She opened her eyes fully all of a sudden, looked at him intently,
as though realising something, got up from the seat and walked away in
the direction from which she had come. "Oh shameful wretches, they
won't let me alone!" she said, waving her hand again. She walked
quickly, though staggering as before. The dandy followed her, but
along another avenue, keeping his eye on her.
"Don't be anxious, I won't let him have her," the policeman said
resolutely, and he set off after them.
"Ah, the vice one sees nowadays!" he repeated aloud, sighing.
At that moment something seemed to sting Raskolnikov; in an
instant a complete revulsion of feeling came over him.
"Hey, here!" he shouted after the policeman.
The latter turned round.
"Let them be! What is it to do with you? Let her go! Let him amuse
himself." He pointed at the dandy, "What is it to do with you?"
The policeman was bewildered, and stared at him open-eyed.
"Well!" ejaculated the policeman, with a gesture of contempt, and he
walked after the dandy and the girl, probably taking Raskolnikov for a
madman or something even worse.
"He has carried off my twenty copecks," Raskolnikov murmured angrily
when he was left alone. "Well, let him take as much from the other
fellow to allow him to have the girl and so let it end. And why did
I want to interfere? Is it for me to help? Have I any right to help?
Let them devour each other alive- what is to me? How did I dare to
give him twenty copecks? Were they mine?"
In spite of those strange words he felt very wretched. He sat down
on the deserted seat. His thought strayed aimlessly.... He found it
hard to fix his mind on anything at that moment. He longed to forget
himself altogether, to forget everything, and then to wake up and
begin life anew....
"Poor girl!" he said, looking at the empty corner where she had sat-
"She will come to herself and weep, and then her mother will find
out.... She will give her a beating, a horrible, shameful beating
and then maybe, turn her out of doors.... And even if she does not,
the Darya Frantsovnas will get wind of it, and the girl will soon be
slipping out on the sly here and there. Then there will be the
hospital directly (that's always the luck of those girls with
respectable mothers, who go wrong on the sly) and then... again the
hospital... drink... the taverns... and more hospital, in two or three
years- a wreck, and her life over at eighteen or nineteen.... Have not
I seen cases like that? And how have they been brought to it? Why,
they've all come to it like that. Ugh! But what does it matter? That's
as it should be, they tell us. A certain percentage, they tell us,
must every year go... that way... to the devil, I suppose, so that the
rest may remain chaste, and not be interfered with. A percentage! What
splendid words they have; they are so scientific, so consolatory....
Once you've said 'percentage,' there's nothing more to worry about. If
we had any other word... maybe we might feel more uneasy.... But
what if Dounia were one of the percentage! Of another one if not
"But where am I going?" he thought suddenly. "Strange, I came out
for something. As soon as I had read the letter I came out.... I was
going to Vassilyevsky Ostrov, to Razumihin. That's what it was...
now I remember. What for, though? And what put the idea of going to
Razumihin into my head just now? That's curious."
He wondered at himself. Razumihin was one of his old comrades at the
university. It was remarkable that Raskolnikov had hardly any
friends at the university; he kept aloof from every one, went to see
no one, and did not welcome any one who came to see him, and indeed
every one soon gave him up. He took no part in the students'
gatherings, amusements or conversations. He worked with great
intensity without sparing himself, and he was respected for this,
but no one liked him. He was very poor, and there was a sort of
haughty pride and reserve about him, as though he were keeping
something to himself. He seemed to some of his comrades to look down
upon them all as children, as though he were superior in
development, knowledge and convictions, as though their beliefs and
interests were beneath him.
With Razumihin he had got on, or, at least, he was more unreserved
and communicative with him. Indeed it was impossible to be on any
other terms with Razumihin. He was an exceptionally good-humoured
and candid youth, good-natured to the point of simplicity, though both
depth and dignity lay concealed under that simplicity. The better of
his comrades understood this, and all were fond of him. He was
extremely intelligent, though he was certainly rather a simpleton at
times. He was of striking appearance- tall, thin, blackhaired and
always badly shaved. He was sometimes uproarious and was reputed to be
of great physical strength. One night, when out in a festive
company, he had with one blow laid a gigantic policeman on his back.
There was no limit to his drinking powers, but he could abstain from
drink altogether; he sometimes went too far in his pranks; but he
could do without pranks altogether. Another thing striking about
Razumihin, no failure distressed him, and it seemed as though no
unfavourable circumstances could crush him. He could lodge anywhere,
and bear the extremes of cold and hunger. He was very poor, and kept
himself entirely on what he could earn by work of one sort or another.
He knew of no end of resources by which to earn money. He spent one
whole winter without lighting his stove, and used to declare that he
liked it better, because one slept more soundly in the cold. For the
present he, too, had been obliged to give up the university, but it
was only for a time, and he was working with all his might to save
enough to return to his studies again. Raskolnikov had not been to see
him for the last four months, and Razumihin did not even know his
address. About two months before, they had met in the street, but
Raskolnikov had turned away and even crossed to the other side that he
might not be observed. And though Razumihin noticed him, he passed him
by, as he did not want to annoy him.
"OF COURSE, I've been meaning lately to go to Razumihin's to ask for
work, to ask him to get me lessons or something..." Raskolnikov
thought, "but what help can he be to me now? Suppose he gets me
lessons, suppose he shares his last farthing with me, if he has any
farthings, so that I could get some boots and make myself tidy
enough to give lessons... hm... Well and what then? What shall I do
with the few coppers I earn? That's not what I want now. It's really
absurd for me to go to Razumihin...."
The question why he was now going to Razumihin agitated him even
more than he was himself aware; he kept uneasily seeking for some
sinister significance in this apparently ordinary action.
"Could I have expected to set it all straight and to find a way
out by means of Razumihin alone?" he asked himself in perplexity.
He pondered and rubbed his forehead, and, strange to say, after long
musing, suddenly, as if it were spontaneously and by chance, a
fantastic thought came into his head.
"Hm... to Razumihin's," he said all at once, calmly, as though he
had reached a final determination. "I shall go to Razumihin's of
course, but... not now. I shall go to him... on the next day after It,
when It will be over and everything will begin afresh...."
And suddenly he realised what he was thinking.
"After It," he shouted, jumping up from the seat, "but is It
really going to happen? Is it possible it really will happen?" He left
the seat, and went off almost at a run; he meant to turn back,
homewards, but the thought of going home suddenly filled him with
intense loathing; in that hole, in that awful little cupboard of
his, all this had for a month past been growing up in him; and he
walked on at random.
His nervous shudder had passed into a fever that made him feel
shivering; in spite of the heat he felt cold. With a kind of effort he
began almost unconsciously, from some inner craving, to stare at all
the objects before him, as though looking for something to distract
his attention; but he did not succeed, and kept dropping every
moment into brooding. When with a start he lifted his head again and
looked around, he forgot at once what he had just been thinking
about and even where he was going. In this way he walked right
across Vassilyevsky Ostrov, came out on to the Lesser Neva, crossed
the bridge and turned towards the islands. The greenness and freshness
were at first restful to his weary eyes after the dust of the town and
the huge houses that hemmed him in and weighed upon him. Here there
were no taverns, no stifling closeness, no stench. But soon these
new pleasant sensations passed into morbid irritability. Sometimes
he stood still before a brightly painted summer villa standing among
green foliage, he gazed through the fence, he saw in the distance
smartly dressed women on the verandahs and balconies, and children
running in the gardens. The flowers especially caught his attention;
he gazed at them longer than at anything. He was met, too, by
luxurious carriages and by men and women on horseback; he watched them
with curious eyes and forgot about them before they had vanished
from his sight. Once he stood still and counted his money; he found he
had thirty copecks. "Twenty to the policeman, three to Nastasya for
the letter, so I must have given forty-seven or fifty to the
Marmeladovs yesterday," he thought, reckoning it up for some unknown
reason, but he soon forgot with what object he had taken the money out
of his pocket. He recalled it on passing an eating-house or tavern,
and felt that he was hungry.... Going into the tavern he drank a glass
of vodka and ate a pie of some sort. He finished eating it as he
walked away. It was a long while since he had taken vodka and it had
an effect upon him at once, though he only drank a wine-glassful.
His legs felt suddenly heavy and a great drowsiness came upon him.
He turned homewards, but reaching Petrovsky Ostrov he stopped
completely exhausted, turned off the road into the bushes, sank down
upon the grass and instantly fell asleep.
In a morbid condition of the brain, dreams often have a singular
actuality, vividness, and extraordinary semblance of reality. At times
monstrous images are created, but the setting and the whole picture
are so truthlike and filled with details so delicate, so unexpectedly,
but so artistically consistent, that the dreamer, were he an artist
like Pushkin or Turgenev even, could never have invented them in the
waking state. Such sick dreams always remain long in the memory and
make a powerful impression on the overwrought and deranged nervous
Raskolnikov had a fearful dream. He dreamt he was back in his
childhood in the little town of his birth. He was a child about
seven years old, walking into the country with his father on the
evening of a holiday. It was a grey and heavy day, the country was
exactly as he remembered it; indeed he recalled it far more vividly in
his dream than he had done in memory. The little town stood on a level
flat as bare as the hand, not even a willow near it; only in the far
distance, a copse lay, a dark blur on the very edge of the horizon.
A few paces beyond the last market garden stood a tavern, a big
tavern, which had always aroused in him a feeling of aversion, even of
fear, when he walked by it with his father. There was always a crowd
there, always shouting, laughter and abuse, hideous hoarse singing and
often fighting. Drunken and horrible-looking figures were hanging
about the tavern. He used to cling close to his father, trembling
all over when he met them. Near the tavern the road became a dusty
track, the dust of which was always black. It was a winding road,
and about a hundred paces further on, it turned to the right to the
graveyard. In the middle of the graveyard stood a stone church with
a green cupola where he used to go to mass two or three times a year
with his father and mother, when a service was held in memory of his
grandmother, who had long been dead, and whom he had never seen. On
these occasions they used to take on a white dish tied up in a table
napkin a special sort of rice pudding with raisins stuck in it in
the shape of a cross. He loved that church, the old-fashioned,
unadorned ikons and the old priest with the shaking head. Near his
grandmother's grave, which was marked by a stone, was the little grave
of his younger brother who had died at six months old. He did not
remember him at all, but he had been told about his little brother,
and whenever he visited the graveyard he used religiously and
reverently to cross himself and to bow down and kiss the little grave.
And now he dreamt that he was walking with his father past the
tavern on the way to the graveyard; he was holding his father's hand
and looking with dread at the tavern. A peculiar circumstance
attracted his attention: there seemed to be some kind of festivity
going on, there were crowds of gaily dressed townspeople, peasant
women, their husbands, and riff-raff of all sorts, all singing and all
more or less drunk. Near the entrance of the tavern stood a cart,
but a strange cart. It was one of those big carts usually drawn by
heavy cart-horses and laden with casks of wine or other heavy goods.
He always liked looking at those great cart-horses, with their long
manes, thick legs, and slow even pace, drawing along a perfect
mountain with no appearance of effort, as though it were easier
going with a load than without it. But now, strange to say, in the
shafts of such a cart he saw a thin little sorrel beast, one of
those peasants' nags which he had often seen straining their utmost
under a heavy load of wood or hay, especially when the wheels were
stuck in the mud or in a rut. And the peasants would be at them so
cruelly, sometimes even about the nose and eyes and he felt so
sorry, so sorry for them that he almost cried, and his mother always
used to take him away from the window. All of a sudden there was a
great uproar of shouting, singing and the balalaika, and from the
tavern a number of big and very drunken peasants came out, wearing red
and blue shirts and coats thrown over their shoulders.
"Get in, get in!" shouted one of them, a young thick-necked
peasant with a fleshy face red as a carrot. "I'll take you all, get
But at once there was an outbreak of laughter and exclamations in
"Take us all with a beast like that!"
"Why, Mikolka, are you crazy to put a nag like that in such a cart?"
"And this mare is twenty if she is a day, mates!"
"Get in, I'll take you all," Mikolka shouted again, leaping first
into the cart, seizing the reins and standing straight up in front.
"The bay has gone with Marvey," he shouted from the cart- "and this
brute, mates, is just breaking my heart, I feel as if I could kill
her. She's just eating her head off. Get in, I tell you! I'll make her
gallop! She'll gallop!" and he picked up the whip, preparing himself
with relish to flog the little mare.
"Get in! Come along!" The crowd laughed. "D'you hear, she'll
"Gallop indeed! She has not had a gallop in her for the last ten
"She'll jog along!"
"Don't you mind her, mates, bring a whip each of you, get ready!"
"All right! Give it to her!"
They all clambered into Mikolka's cart, laughing and making jokes.
Six men got in and there was still room for more. They hauled in a
fat, rosy-cheeked woman. She was dressed in red cotton, in a
pointed, beaded headdress and thick leather shoes; she was cracking
nuts and laughing. The crowd round them was laughing too and indeed,
how could they help laughing? That wretched nag was to drag all the
cartload of them at a gallop! Two young fellows in the cart were
just getting whips ready to help Mikolka. With the cry of "now," the
mare tugged with all her might, but far from galloping, could scarcely
move forward; she struggled with her legs, gasping and shrinking
from the blows of the three whips which were showered upon her like
hail. The laughter in the cart and in the crowd was redoubled, but
Mikolka flew into a rage and furiously thrashed the mare, as though he
supposed she really could gallop.
"Let me get in, too, mates," shouted a young man in the crowd
whose appetite was aroused.
"Get in, all get in," cried Mikolka, "she will draw you all. I'll
beat her to death!" And he thrashed and thrashed at the mare, beside
himself with fury.
"Father, father," he cried, "father, what are they doing? Father,
they are beating the poor horse!"
"Come along, come along!" said his father. "They are drunken and
foolish, they are in fun; come away, don't look!" and he tried to draw
him away, but he tore himself away from his hand, and, beside
himself with horror, ran to the horse. The poor beast was in a bad
way. She was gasping, standing still, then tugging again and almost
"Beat her to death," cried Mikolka, "it's come to that. I'll do
"What are you about, are you a Christian, you devil?" shouted an old
man in the crowd.
"Did any one ever see the like? A wretched nag like that pulling
such a cartload," said another.
"You'll kill her," shouted the third.
"Don't meddle! It's my property. I'll do what I choose. Get in, more
of you! Get in, all of you! I will have her go at a gallop!..."
All at once laughter broke into a roar and covered everything: the
mare, roused by the shower of blows, began feebly kicking. Even the
old man could not help smiling. To think of a wretched little beast
like that trying to kick!
Two lads in the crowd snatched up whips and ran to the mare to
beat her about the ribs. One ran each side.
"Hit her in the face, in the eyes, in the eyes," cried Mikolka.
"Give us a song, mates," shouted some one in the cart and every
one in the cart joined in a riotous song, jingling a tambourine and
whistling. The woman went on cracking nuts and laughing.
...He ran beside the mare, ran in front of her, saw her being
whipped across the eyes, right in the eyes! He was crying, he felt
choking, his tears were streaming. One of the men gave him a cut
with the whip across the face, he did not feel it. Wringing his
hands and screaming, he rushed up to the grey-headed old man with
the grey beard, who was shaking his head in disapproval. One woman
seized him by the hand and would have taken him away, but he tore
himself from her and ran back to the mare. She was almost at the
last gasp, but began kicking once more.
"I'll teach you to kick," Mikolka shouted ferociously. He threw down
the whip, bent forward and picked up from the bottom of the cart a
long, thick shaft, he took hold of one end with both hands and with an
effort brandished it over the mare.
"He'll crush her," was shouted round him. "He'll kill her!"
"It's my property," shouted Mikolka and brought the shaft down
with a swinging blow. There was a sound of a heavy thud.
"Thrash her, thrash her! Why have you stopped?" shouted voices in
And Mikolka swung the shaft a second time and it fell a second
time on the spine of the luckless mare. She sank back on her haunches,
but lurched forward and tugged forward with all her force, tugged
first on one side and then on the other, trying to move the cart.
But the six whips were attacking her in all directions, and the
shaft was raised again and fell upon her a third time, then a
fourth, with heavy measured blows. Mikolka was in a fury that he could
not kill her at one blow.
"She's a tough one," was shouted in the crowd.
"She'll fall in a minute, mates, there will soon be an end of
her," said an admiring spectator in the crowd.
"Fetch an axe to her! Finish her off," shouted a third.
"I'll show you! Stand off," Mikolka screamed frantically; he threw
down the shaft, stooped down in the cart and picked up an iron
crowbar. "Look out," he shouted, and with all his might he dealt a
stunning blow at the poor mare. The blow fell; the mare staggered,
sank back, tried to pull, but the bar fell again with a swinging
blow on her back and she fell on the ground like a log.
"Finish her off," shouted Mikolka and he leapt beside himself, out
of the cart. Several young men, also flushed with drink, seized
anything they could come across- whips, sticks, poles, and ran to
the dying mare. Mikolka stood on one side and began dealing random
blows with the crowbar. The mare stretched out her head, drew a long
breath and died.
"You butchered her," some one shouted in the crowd.
"Why wouldn't she gallop then?"
"My property!" shouted Mikolka, with bloodshot eyes, brandishing the
bar in his hands. He stood as though regretting that he had nothing
more to beat.
"No mistake about it, you are not a Christian," many voices were
shouting in the crowd.
But the poor boy, beside himself, made his way screaming through the
crowd to the sorrel nag, put his arms round her bleeding dead head and
kissed it, kissed the eyes and kissed the lips.... Then he jumped up
and flew in a frenzy with his little fists out at Mikolka. At that
instant his father who had been running after him, snatched him up and
carried him out of the crowd.
"Come along, come! Let us go home," he said to him.
"Father! Why did they... kill... the poor horse!" he sobbed, but his
voice broke and the words came in shrieks from his panting chest.
"They are drunk.... They are brutal... it's not our business!"
said his father. He put his arms round his father but he felt
choked, choked. He tried to draw a breath, to cry out- and woke up.
He waked up, gasping for breath, his hair soaked with
perspiration, and stood up in terror.
"Thank God, that was only a dream," he said, sitting down under a
tree and drawing deep breaths. "But what is it? Is it some fever
coming on? Such a hideous dream!"
He felt utterly broken; darkness and confusion were in his soul.
He rested his elbows on his knees and leaned his head on his hands.
"Good God!" he cried, "can it be, can it be, that I shall really
take an axe, that I shall strike her on the head, split her skull
open... that I shall tread in the sticky warm blood, break the lock,
steal and tremble; hide, all spattered in the blood... with the
axe.... Good God, can it be?"
He was shaking like a leaf as he said this.
"But why am I going on like this?" he continued, sitting up again,
as it were in profound amazement. "I knew that I could never bring
myself to it, so what have I been torturing myself for till now?
Yesterday, yesterday, when I went to make that... experiment,
yesterday I realised completely that I could never bear to do it....
Why am I going over it again, then? Why am I hesitating? As I came
down the stairs yesterday, I said myself that it was base,
loathsome, vile, vile... the very thought of it made me feel sick
and filled me with horror.
"No, I couldn't do it, I couldn't do it! Granted, granted that there
is no flaw in all that reasoning, that all that I have concluded
this last month is clear as day, true as arithmetic.... My God! Anyway
I couldn't bring myself to it! I couldn't do it, I couldn't do it!
Why, why then am I still...?"
He rose to his feet, looked round in wonder as though surprised at
finding himself in this place, and went towards the bridge. He was
pale, his eyes glowed, he was exhausted in every limb, but he seemed
suddenly to breathe more easily. He felt he had cast off that
fearful burden that had so long been weighing upon him, and all at
once there was a sense of relief and peace in his soul. "Lord," he
prayed, "show me my path- I renounce that accursed... dream of mine."
Crossing the bridge, he gazed quietly and calmly at the Neva, at the
glowing red sun setting in the glowing sky. In spite of his weakness
he was not conscious of fatigue. It was as though an abscess that
had been forming for a month past in his heart had suddenly broken.
Freedom, freedom! He was free from that spell, that sorcery, that
Later on, when he recalled that time and all that happened to him
during those days, minute by minute, point by point, he was
superstitiously impressed by one circumstance, which though in
itself not very exceptional, always seemed to him afterwards the
predestined turning-point of his fate. He could never understand and
explain to himself why, when he was tired and worn out, when it
would have been more convenient for him to go home by the shortest and
most direct way, he had returned by the Hay Market where he had no
need to go. It was obviously and quite unnecessarily out of his way,
though not much so. It is true that it happened to him dozens of times
to return home without noticing what streets he passed through. But
why, he was always asking himself, why had such an important, such a
decisive and at the same time such an absolutely chance meeting
happened in the Hay Market (where he had moreover no reason to go)
at the very hour, the very minute of his life when he was just in
the very mood and in the very circumstances in which that meeting
was able to exert the gravest and most decisive influence on his whole
destiny? As though it had been lying in wait for him on purpose!
It was about nine o'clock when he crossed the Hay Market. At the
tables and the barrows, at the booths and the shops, all the market
people were closing their establishments or clearing away and
packing up their wares and, like their customers, were going home.
Ragpickers and costermongers of all kinds were crowding round the
taverns in the dirty and stinking courtyards of the Hay Market.
Raskolnikov particularly liked this place and the neighbouring alleys,
when he wandered aimlessly in the streets. Here his rags did not
attract contemptuous attention, and one could walk about in any attire
without scandalising people. At the corner of an alley a huckster
and his wife had two tables set out with tapes, thread, cotton
handkerchiefs, &c. They, too, had got up to go home, but were
lingering in conversation with a friend, who had just come up to them.
This friend was Lizaveta Ivanovna, or, as every one called her,
Lizaveta, the younger sister of the old pawnbroker, Alyona Ivanovna,
whom Raskolnikov had visited the previous day to pawn his watch and
make his experiment.... He already knew all about Lizaveta and she
knew him a little too. She was a single woman of about thirty-five,
tall, clumsy, timid, submissive and almost idiotic. She was a complete
slave and went in fear and trembling of her sister, who made her
work day and night, and even beat her. She was standing with a
bundle before the huckster and his wife, listening earnestly and
doubtfully. They were talking of something with special warmth. The
moment Raskolnikov caught sight of her, he was overcome by a strange
sensation as it were of intense astonishment, though there was nothing
astonishing about this meeting.
"You could make up your mind for yourself, Lizaveta Ivanovna," the
huckster was saying aloud. "Come round tomorrow about seven. They will
be here too."
"To-morrow?" said Lizaveta slowly and thoughtfully, as though unable
to make up her mind.
"Upon my word, what a fright you are in of Alyona Ivanovna," gabbled
the huckster's wife, a lively little woman. "I look at you, you are
like some little babe. And she is not your own sister either-
nothing but a stepsister and what a hand she keeps over you!"
"But this time don't say a word to Alyona Ivanovna," her husband
interrupted; "that's my advice, but come round to us without asking.
It will be worth your while. Later on your sister herself may have a
"Am I to come?"
"About seven o'clock to-morrow. And they will be here. You will be
able to decide for yourself."
"And we'll have a cup of tea," added his wife.
"All right, I'll come," said Lizaveta, still pondering, and she
began slowly moving away.
Raskolnikov had just passed and heard no more. He passed softly,
unnoticed, trying not to miss a word. His first amazement was followed
by a thrill of horror, like a shiver running down his spine. He had
learnt, he had suddenly quite unexpectedly learnt, that the next day
at seven o'clock Lizaveta, the old woman's sister and only
companion, would be away from home and that therefore at seven o'clock
precisely the old woman would be left alone.
He was only a few steps from his lodging. He went in like a man
condemned to death. He thought of nothing and was incapable of
thinking; but he felt suddenly in his whole being that he had no
more freedom of thought, no will, and that everything was suddenly and
Certainly, if he had to wait whole years for a suitable opportunity,
he could not reckon on a more certain step towards the success of
the plan than that which had just presented itself. In any case, it
would have been difficult to find out beforehand and with certainty,
with greater exactness and less risk, and without dangerous
inquiries and investigations, that next day at a certain time an old
woman, on whose life an attempt was contemplated, would be at home and
LATER on Raskolnikov happened to find out why the huckster and his
wife had invited Lizaveta. It was a very ordinary matter and there was
nothing exceptional about it. A family who had come to the town and
been reduced to poverty were selling their household goods and
clothes, all women's things. As the things would have fetched little
in the market, they were looking for a dealer. This was Lizaveta's
business. She undertook such jobs and was frequently employed, as
she was very honest and always fixed a fair price and stuck to it. She
spoke as a rule little and, as we have said already, she was very
submissive and timid.
But Raskolnikov had become superstitious of late. The traces of
superstition remained in him long after, and were almost ineradicable.
And in all this he was always afterwards disposed to see something
strange and mysterious, as it were the presence of some peculiar
influences and coincidences. In the previous winter a student he
knew called Pokorev, who had left for Harkov, had chanced in
conversation to give him the address of Alyona Ivanovna, the old
pawnbroker, in case he might want to pawn anything. For a long while
he did not go to her, for he had lessons and managed to get along
somehow. Six weeks ago he had remembered the address; he had two
articles that could be pawned: his father's old silver watch and a
little gold ring with three red stones, a present from his sister at
parting. He decided to take the ring. When he found the old woman he
had felt an insurmountable repulsion for her at the first glance,
though he knew nothing special about her. He got two roubles from
her and went into a miserable little tavern on his way home. He
asked for tea, sat down and sank into deep thought. A strange idea was
pecking at his brain like a chicken in the egg, and very, very much
Almost beside him at the next table there was sitting a student,
whom he did not know and had never seen, and with him a young officer.
They had played a game of billiards and began drinking tea. All at
once he heard the student mention to the officer the pawnbroker Alyona
Ivanovna and give him her address. This of itself seemed strange to
Raskolnikov; he had just come from her and here at once he heard her
name. Of course it was a chance, but he could not shake off a very
extraordinary impression, and here some one seemed to be speaking
expressly for him; the student began telling his friend various
details about Alyona Ivanovna.
"She is first rate," he said. "You can always get money from her.
She is as rich as a Jew, she can give you five thousand roubles at a
time and she is not above taking a pledge for a rouble. Lots of our
fellows have had dealings with her. But she is an awful old harpy...."
And he began describing how spiteful and uncertain she was, how if
you were only a day late with your interest the pledge was lost; how
she gave a quarter of the value of an article and took five and even
seven percent a month on it and so on. The student chattered on,
saying that she had a sister Lizaveta, whom the wretched little
creature was continually beating, and kept in complete bondage like
a small child, though Lizaveta was at least six feet high.
"There's a phenomenon for you," cried the student and he laughed.
They began talking about Lizaveta. The student spoke about her
with a peculiar relish and was continually laughing and the officer
listened with great interest and asked him to send Lizaveta to do some
mending for him. Raskolnikov did not miss a word and learned
everything about her. Lizaveta was younger than the old woman and
was her half-sister, being the child of a different mother. She was
thirty-five. She worked day and night for her sister, and besides
doing the cooking and the washing, she did sewing and worked as a
charwoman and gave her sister all she earned. She did not dare to
accept an order or job of any kind without her sister's permission.
The old woman had already made her will, and Lizaveta knew of it,
and by this will she would not get a farthing; nothing but the
movables, chairs and so on; all the money was left to a monastery in
the province of N___, that prayers might be said for her in
perpetuity. Lizaveta was of lower rank than her sister, unmarried
and awfully uncouth in appearance, remarkably tall with long feet that
looked as if they were bent outwards. She always wore battered
goatskin shoes, and was clean in her person. What the student
expressed most surprise and amusement about was the fact that Lizaveta
was continually with child.
"But you say she is hideous?" observed the officer.
"Yes, she is so dark-skinned and looks like a soldier dressed up,
but you know she is not at all hideous. She has such a good-natured
face and eyes. Strikingly so. And the proof of it is that lots of
people are attracted by her. She is such a soft, gentle creature,
ready to put up with anything, always willing, willing to do anything.
And her smile is really very sweet."
"You seem to find her attractive yourself," laughed the officer.
"From her queerness. No, I'll tell you what. I could kill that
damned old woman and make off with her money, I assure you, without
the faintest conscience-prick," the student added with warmth. The
officer laughed again while Raskolnikov shuddered. How strange it was!
"Listen, I want to ask you a serious question," the student said
hotly. "I was joking of course, but look here; on one side we have a
stupid, senseless, worthless, spiteful, ailing, horrid old woman,
not simply useless but doing actual mischief, who has not an idea what
she is living for herself, and who will die in a day or two in any
case. You understand? You understand?"
"Yes, yes, I understand," answered the officer, watching his excited
"Well, listen then. On the other side, fresh young lives thrown away
for want of help and by thousands, on every side! A hundred thousand
good deeds could be done and helped, on that old woman's money which
will be buried in a monastery! Hundreds, thousands perhaps, might be
set on the right path; dozens of families saved from destitution, from
ruin, from vice, from the Lock hospitals- and all with her money. Kill
her, take her money and with the help of it devote oneself to the
service of humanity and the good of all. What do you think, would
not one tiny crime be wiped out by thousands of good deeds? For one
life thousands would be saved from corruption and decay. One death,
and a hundred lives in exchange- it's simple arithmetic! Besides, what
value has the life of that sickly, stupid, ill-natured old woman in
the balance of existence! No more than the life of a louse, of a black
beetle, less in fact because the old woman is doing harm. She is
wearing out the lives of others; the other day she bit Lizaveta's
finger out of spite; it almost had to be amputated."
"Of course she does not deserve to live," remarked the officer, "but
there it is, it's nature."
"Oh, well, brother, but we have to correct and direct nature, and,
but for that, we should drown in an ocean of prejudice. But for
that, there would never have been a single great man. They talk of
duty, conscience- I don't want to say anything against duty and
conscience;- but the point is what do we mean by them. Stay, I have
another question to ask you. Listen!"
"No, you stay, I'll ask you a question. Listen!"
"You are talking and speechifying away, but tell me, would you
kill the old woman yourself?"
"Of course not! I was only arguing the justice of it.... It's
nothing to do with me...."
"But I think, if you would not do it yourself, there's no justice
about it.... Let us have another game."
Raskolnikov was violently agitated. Of course, it was all ordinary
youthful talk and thought, such as he had often heard before in
different forms and on different themes. But why had he happened to
hear such a discussion and such ideas at the very moment when his
own brain was just conceiving... the very same ideas? And why, just at
the moment when he had brought away the embryo of his idea from the
old woman had he dropped at once upon a conversation about her? This
coincidence always seemed strange to him. This trivial talk in a
tavern had an immense influence on him in his later action; as
though there had really been in it something preordained, some guiding
On returning from the Hay Market he flung himself on the sofa and
sat for a whole hour without stirring. Meanwhile it got dark; he had
no candle and, indeed, it did not occur to him to light up. He could
never recollect whether he had been thinking about anything at that
time. At last he was conscious of his former fever and shivering,
and he realised with relief that he could lie down on the sofa. Soon
heavy, leaden sleep came over him, as it were crushing him.
He slept an extraordinarily long time and without dreaming.
Nastasya, coming into his room at ten o'clock the next morning, had
difficulty in rousing him. She brought him in tea and bread. The tea
was again the second brew and again in her own tea-pot.
"My goodness, how he sleeps!" she cried indignantly. "And he is
He got up with an effort. His head ached, he stood up, took a turn
in his garret and sank back on the sofa again.
"Going to sleep again," cried Nastasya. "Are you ill, eh?"
He made no reply.
"Do you want some tea?"
"Afterwards," he said with an effort, closing his eyes again and
turning to the wall.
Nastasya stood over him.