Re: Достоевский Ф. М. - Преступление и наказание в переводе на английский
At that moment Polenka forced her way through the crowd at the door.
She came in panting from running so fast, took off her kerchief,
looked for her mother, went up to her and said, "She's coming, I met
her in the street." Her mother made her kneel beside her.
Timidly and noiselessly a young girl made her way through the crowd,
and strange was her appearance in that room, in the midst of want,
rags, death and despair. She, too, was in rags, her attire was all
of the cheapest, but decked out in gutter finery of a special stamp,
unmistakably betraying its shameful purpose. Sonia stopped short in
the doorway and looked about her bewildered, unconscious of
everything. She forgot her fourth-hand, gaudy silk dress, so
unseemly here with its ridiculous long train, and her immense
crinoline that filled up the whole doorway, and her light-coloured
shoes, and the parasol she brought with her, though it was no use at
night, and the absurd round straw hat with its flaring
flame-coloured feather. Under this rakishly-tilted hat was a pale,
frightened little face with lips parted and eyes staring in terror.
Sonia was a small thin girl of eighteen with fair hair, rather pretty,
with wonderful blue eyes. She looked intently at the bed and the
priest; she too was out of breath with running. At last whispers, some
words in the crowd probably, reached her. She looked down and took a
step forward into the room, still keeping close to the door.
The service was over. Katerina Ivanovna went up to her husband
again. The priest stepped back and turned to say a few words of
admonition and consolation to Katerina Ivanovna on leaving.
"What am I to do with these?" she interrupted sharply and irritably,
pointing to the little ones.
"God is merciful; look to the Most High for succour," the priest
"Ach! He is merciful, but not to us."
"That's a sin, a sin, madam," observed the priest, shaking his head.
"And isn't that a sin?" cried Katerina Ivanovna, pointing to the
"Perhaps those who have involuntarily caused the accident will agree
to compensate you, at least for the loss of his earnings."
"You don't understand!" cried Katerina Ivanovna angrily waving her
hand. "And why should they compensate me? Why, he was drunk and
threw himself under the horses! What earnings? He brought us in
nothing but misery. He drank everything away, the drunkard! He
robbed us to get drink, he wasted their lives and mine for drink!
And thank God he's dying! One less to keep!"
"You must forgive in the hour of death, that's a sin, madam, such
feelings are a great sin."
Katerina Ivanovna was busy with the dying man; she was giving him
water, wiping the blood and sweat from his head, setting his pillow
straight, and had only turned now and then for a moment to address the
priest. Now she flew at him almost in a frenzy.
"Ah, father! That's words and only words! Forgive! If he'd not
been run over, he'd have come home to-day drunk and his only shirt
dirty and in rags and he'd have fallen asleep like a log, and I should
have been sousing and rinsing till daybreak, washing his rags and
the children's and then drying them by the window and as soon as it
was daylight I should have been darning them. That's how I spend my
nights!... What's the use of talking of forgiveness! I have forgiven
as it is!"
A terrible hollow cough interrupted her words. She put her
handkerchief to her lips and showed it to the priest, pressing her
other hand to her aching chest. The handkerchief was covered with
blood. The priest bowed his head and said nothing.
Marmeladov was in the last agony; he did not take his eyes off the
face of Katerina Ivanovna, who was bending over him again. He kept
trying to say something to her; he began moving his tongue with
difficulty and articulating indistinctly, but Katerina Ivanovna,
understanding that he wanted to ask her forgiveness, called
peremptorily to him:
"Be silent! No need! I know what you want to say!" And the sick
man was silent, but at the same instant his wandering eyes strayed
to the doorway and he saw Sonia.
Till then he had not noticed her: she was standing in the shadow
in a corner.
"Who's that? Who's that?" he said suddenly in a thick gasping voice,
in agitation, turning his eyes in horror towards the door where his
daughter was standing, and trying to sit up.
"Lie down! Lie do-own!" cried Katerina Ivanovna.
With unnatural strength he had succeeded in propping himself on
his elbow. He looked wildly and fixedly for some time on his daughter,
as though not recognising her. He had never seen her before in such
attire. Suddenly he recognised her, crushed and ashamed in her
humiliation and gaudy finery, meekly awaiting her turn to say good-bye
to her dying father. His face showed intense suffering.
"Sonia! Daughter! Forgive!" he cried, and he tried to hold out his
hand to her, but losing his balance, he fell off the sofa, face
downwards on the floor. They rushed to pick him up, they put him on
the sofa; but he was dying. Sonia with a faint cry ran up, embraced
him and remained so without moving. He died in her arms.
"He's got what he wanted," Katerina Ivanovna cried, seeing her
husband's dead body. "Well, what's to be done now? How am I to bury
him! What can I give them to-morrow to eat?"
Raskolnikov went up to Katerina Ivanovna.
"Katerina Ivanovna," he began, "last week your husband told me all
his life and circumstances.... Believe me, he spoke of you with
passionate reverence. From that evening, when I learnt how devoted
he was to you all and how he loved and respected you especially,
Katerina Ivanovna, in spite of his unfortunate weakness, from that
evening we became friends.... Allow me now... to do something... to
repay my debt to my dead friend. Here are twenty roubles I think-
and if that can be of any assistance to you, then... I... in short,
I will come again, I will be sure to come again... I shall, perhaps,
come again to-morrow.... Good-bye!"
And he went quickly out of the room, squeezing his way through the
crowd to the stairs. But in the crowd he suddenly jostled against
Nikodim Fomitch, who had heard of the accident and had come to give
instructions in person. They had not met since the scene at the police
station, but Nikodim Fomitch knew him instantly.
"Ah, is that you?" he asked him.
"He's dead," answered Raskolnikov. "The doctor and the priest have
been, all as it should have been. Don't worry the poor woman too much,
she is in consumption as it is. Try and cheer her up, if possible...
you are a kind-hearted man, I know..." he added with a smile,
looking straight in his face.
"But you are spattered with blood," observed Nikodim Fomitch,
noticing in the lamplight some fresh stains on Raskolnikov's
"Yes... I'm covered with blood," Raskolnikov said with a peculiar
air; then he smiled, nodded and went downstairs.
He walked down slowly and deliberately, feverish but not conscious
of it, entirely absorbed in a new overwhelming sensation of life and
strength that surged up suddenly within him. This sensation might be
compared to that of a man condemned to death who has suddenly been
pardoned. Halfway down the staircase he was overtaken by the priest on
his way home; Raskolnikov let him pass, exchanging a silent greeting
with him. He was just descending the last steps when he heard rapid
footsteps behind him. Some one overtook him; it was Polenka. She was
running after him, calling "Wait! wait!"
He turned round. She was at the bottom of the staircase and
stopped short a step above him. A dim light came in from the yard.
Raskolnikov could distinguish the child's thin but pretty little face,
looking at him with a bright childish smile. She had run after him
with a message which she was evidently glad to give.
"Tell me, what is your name?... and where do you live?" she said
hurriedly in a breathless voice.
He laid both hands on her shoulders and looked at her with a sort of
rapture. It was such a joy to him to look at her, he could not have
"Who sent you?"
"Sister Sonia sent me," answered the girl, smiling still more
"I knew it was sister Sonia sent you."
"Mamma sent me, too... when sister Sonia was sending me, mamma
came up, too, and said 'Run fast, Polenka.'"
"Do you love sister Sonia?"
"I love her more than any one," Polenka answered with a peculiar
earnestness, and her smile became graver.
"And will you love me?"
By way of answer he saw the little girl's face approaching him,
her full lips naively held out to kiss him. Suddenly her arms as
thin as sticks held him tightly, her head rested on his shoulder and
the little girl wept softly, pressing her face against him.
"I am sorry for father," she said a moment later, raising her
tear-stained face and brushing away the tears with her hands. "It's
nothing but misfortunes now," she added suddenly with that
peculiarly sedate air which children try hard to assume when they want
to speak like grown-up people.
"Did your father love you?"
"He loved Lida most," she went on very seriously without a smile,
exactly like grown-up people, "he loved her because she is little
and because she is ill, too. And he always used to bring her presents.
But he taught us to read and me grammar and scripture, too," she added
with dignity. "And mother never used to say anything, but we knew that
she liked it and father knew it, too. And mother wants to teach me
French, for it's time my education began."
"And do you know your prayers?"
"Of course, we do! We knew them long ago. I say my prayers to myself
as I am a big girl now, but Kolya and Lida say them aloud with mother.
First they repeat the 'Ave Maria' and then another prayer: 'Lord,
forgive and bless Sister Sonia,' and then another, 'Lord, forgive
and bless our second father.' For our elder father is dead and this is
another one, but we do pray for the other as well."
"Polenka, my name is Rodion. Pray sometimes for me, too. 'And Thy
servant Rodion,' nothing more."
"I'll pray for you all the rest of my life," the little girl
declared hotly, and suddenly smiling again she rushed at him and
hugged him warmly once more.
Raskolnikov told her his name and address and promised to be sure to
come next day. The child went away quite enchanted with him. It was
past ten when he came out into the street. In five minutes he was
standing on the bridge at the spot where the woman had jumped in.
"Enough," he pronounced resolutely and triumphantly. "I've done with
fancies, imaginary terrors and phantoms! Life is real! haven't I lived
just now? My life has not yet died with that old woman! The Kingdom of
Heaven to her- and now enough, madam, leave me in peace! Now for the
reign of reason and light... and of will, and of strength... and now
we will see! We will try our strength!" he added defiantly, as
though challenging some power of darkness. "And I was ready to consent
to live in a square of space!
"I am very weak at this moment, but... I believe my illness is all
over. I knew it would be over when I went out. By the way,
Potchinkov's house is only a few steps away. I certainly must go to
Razumihin even if it were not close by... let him win his bet! Let
us give him some satisfaction, too- no matter! Strength, strength is
what one wants, you can get nothing without it, and strength must be
won by strength- that's what they don't know," he added proudly and
self-confidently and he walked with flagging footsteps from the
bridge. Pride and self-confidence grew continually stronger in him; he
was becoming a different man every moment. What was it had happened to
work this revolution in him? He did not know himself; like a man
catching at a straw, he suddenly felt that he, too, 'could live,
that there was still life for him, that his life had not died with the
old woman.' Perhaps he was in too great a hurry with his conclusion,
but he did not think of that.
"But I did ask her to remember 'Thy servant Rodion' in her prayers,"
the idea struck him. "Well, that was... in case of emergency," he
added and laughed himself at his boyish sally. He was in the best of
He easily found Razumihin; the new lodger was already known at
Potchinkov's and the porter at once showed him the way. Half-way
upstairs he could hear the noise and animated conversation of a big
gathering of people. The door was wide open on the stairs; he could
hear exclamations and discussion. Razumihin's room was fairly large;
the company consisted of fifteen people. Raskolnikov stopped in the
entry, where two of the landlady's servants were busy behind a
screen with two samovars, bottles, plates and dishes of pie and
savouries, brought up from the landlady's kitchen. Raskolnikov sent in
for Razumihin. He ran out delighted. At the first glance it was
apparent that he had had a great deal to drink and, though no amount
of liquor made Razumihin quite drunk, this time he was perceptibly
affected by it.
"Listen," Raskolnikov hastened to say, "I've only just come to
tell you you've won your bet and that no one really knows what may not
happen to him. I can't come in; I am so weak that I shall fall down
directly. And so good evening and good-bye! Come and see me
"Do you know what? I'll see you home. If you say you're weak
yourself, you must..."
"And your visitors? Who is the curly-headed one who has just
"He? Goodness only knows! Some friend of uncle's I expect, or
perhaps he has come without being invited... I'll leave uncle with
them, he is an invaluable person, pity I can't introduce you to him
now. But confound them all now! They won't notice me, and I need a
little fresh air, for you've come just in the nick of time- another
two minutes and I should have come to blows! They are talking such a
lot of wild stuff... you simply can't imagine what men will say!
Though why shouldn't you imagine? Don't we talk nonsense ourselves?
And let them... that's the way to learn not to!... Wait a minute, I'll
Zossimov pounced upon Raskolnikov almost greedily; he showed a
special interest in him; soon his face brightened.
"You must go to bed at once," he pronounced, examining the patient
as far as he could, "and take something for the night. Will you take
it? I got it ready some time ago... a powder."
"Two, if you like," answered Raskolnikov. The powder was taken at
"It's a good thing you are taking him home," observed Zossimov to
Razumihin- "we shall see how he is to-morrow, to-day he's not at all
amiss- a considerable change since the afternoon. Live and learn..."
"Do you know what Zossimov whispered to me when we were coming out?"
Razumihin blurted out, as soon as they were in the street. "I won't
tell you everything, brother, because they are such fools. Zossimov
told me to talk freely to you on the way and get you to talk freely to
me, and afterwards I am to tell him about it, for he's got a notion in
his head that you are... mad or close on it. Only fancy! In the
first place, you've three times the brains he has; in the second, if
you are not mad, you needn't care a hang that he has got such a wild
idea; and thirdly, that piece of beef whose specialty is surgery has
gone mad on mental diseases, and what's brought him to this conclusion
about you was your conversation to-day with Zametov."
"Zametov told you all about it?"
"Yes, and he did well. Now I understand what it all means and so
does Zametov.... Well, the fact is, Rodya... the point is... I am a
little drunk now.... But that's... no matter... the point is that this
idea... you understand? was just being hatched in their brains...
you understand? That is, no one ventured to say it aloud, because
the idea is too absurd and especially since the arrest of that
painter, that bubble's burst and gone for ever. But why are they
such fools? I gave Zametov a bit of a thrashing at the time- that's
between ourselves, brother; please don't let out a hint that you
know of it; I've noticed he is a ticklish subject; it was at Luise
Ivanovna's. But to-day, to-day it's all cleared up. That Ilya
Petrovitch is at the bottom of it! He took advantage of your
fainting at the police station, but he is ashamed of it himself now; I
Raskolnikov listened greedily. Razumihin was drunk enough to talk
"I fainted then because it was so close and the smell of paint,"
"No need to explain that! And it wasn't the paint only: the fever
had been coming on for a month; Zossimov testifies to that! But how
crushed that boy is now, you wouldn't believe! 'I am not worth his
little finger,' he says. Yours, he means. He has good feelings at
times, brother. But the lesson, the lesson you gave him to-day in
the Palais de Crystal, that was too good for anything! You
frightened him at first, you know, he nearly went into convulsions!
You almost convinced him again of the truth of all that hideous
nonsense, and then you suddenly- put out your tongue at him: 'There
now, what do you make of it?' It was perfect! He is crushed,
annihilated now! It was masterly, by Jove, it's what they deserve! Ah,
that I wasn't there! He was hoping to see you awfully. Porfiry, too,
wants to make your acquaintance..."
"Ah!... he too... but why did they put me down as mad?"
"Oh, not mad. I must have said too much, brother.... What struck
him, you see, was that only that subject seemed to interest you; now
it's clear why it did interest you; knowing all the
circumstances.... and how that irritated you and worked in with your
illness... I am a little drunk, brother, only, confound him, he has
some idea of his own... I tell you, he's mad on mental diseases. But
don't you mind him..."
For half a minute both were silent.
"Listen, Razumihin," began Raskolnikov, "I want to tell you plainly:
I've just been at a death-bed, a clerk who died... I gave them all
my money... and besides I've just been kissed by some one who, if I
had killed any one, would just the same... in fact I saw some one else
there... with a flame-coloured feather... but I am talking nonsense; I
am very weak, support me... we shall be at the stairs directly..."
"What's the matter? What's the matter with you?" Razumihin asked
"I am a little giddy, but that's not the point, I am so sad, so
sad... like a woman. Look, what's that? Look, look!"
"What is it?"
"Don't you see? A light in my room, you see? Through the crack..."
They were already at the foot of the last flight of stairs, at the
level of the landlady's door, and they could, as a fact, see from
below that there was a light in Raskolnikov's garret.
"Queer! Nastasya, perhaps," observed Razumihin.
"She is never in my room at this time and she must be in bed long
ago, but... I don't care! Good-bye!"
"What do you mean? I am coming with you, we'll come in together!"
"I know we are going in together, but I want to shake hands here and
say good-bye to you here. So give me your hand, good-bye!"
"What's the matter with you, Rodya?"
"Nothing... come along... you shall be witness."
They began mounting the stairs, and the idea struck Razumihin that
perhaps Zossimov might be right after all. "Ah, I've upset him with my
chatter!" he muttered to himself.
When they reached the door they heard voices in the room.
"What is it?" cried Razumihin. Raskolnikov was the first to open the
door; he flung it wide and stood still in the doorway, dumbfounded.
His mother and sister were sitting on his sofa and had been
waiting an hour and a half for him. Why had he never expected, never
thought of them, though the news that they had started, were on
their way and would arrive immediately, had been repeated to him
only that day? They had spent that hour and a half plying Nastasya
with questions. She was standing before them and had told them
everything by now. They were beside themselves with alarm when they
heard of his "running away" to-day, ill and, as they understood from
her story, delirious! "Good Heavens, what had become of him?" Both had
been weeping, both had been in anguish for that hour and a half.
A cry of joy, of ecstasy, greeted Raskolnikov's entrance. Both
rushed to him. But he stood like one dead; a sudden intolerable
sensation struck him like a thunderbolt. He did not lift his arms to
embrace them, he could not. His mother and sister clasped him in their
arms, kissed him, laughed and cried. He took a step, tottered and fell
to the ground, fainting.
Anxiety, cries of horror, moans... Razumihin who was standing in the
doorway flew into the room, seized the sick man in his strong arms and
in a moment had him on the sofa.
"It's nothing, nothing!" he cried to the mother and sister- "it's
only a faint, a mere trifle! Only just now the doctor said he was much
better, that he is perfectly well! Water! See, he is coming to
himself, he is all right again!"
And seizing Dounia by the arm so that he almost dislocated it, he
made her bend down to see that "he is all right again." The mother and
sister looked on him with emotion and gratitude, as their
Providence. They had heard already from Nastasya all that had been
done for their Rodya during his illness, by this "very competent young
man," as Pulcheria Alexandrovna Raskolnikov called him that evening in
conversation with Dounia.
RASKOLNIKOV got up, and sat down on the sofa. He waved his hand
weakly to Razumihin to cut short the flow of warm and incoherent
consolations he was addressing to his mother and sister, took them
both by the hand and for a minute or two gazed from one to the other
without speaking. His mother was alarmed by his expression. It
revealed an emotion agonisingly poignant, and at the same time
something immovable, almost insane. Pulcheria Alexandrovna began to
Avdotya Romanovna was pale; her hand trembled in her brother's.
"Go home... with him," he said in a broken voice, pointing to
Razumihin, "good-bye till to-morrow; to-morrow everything... Is it
long since you arrived?"
"This evening, Rodya," answered Pulcheria Alexandrovna, "the train
was awfully late. But, Rodya, nothing would induce me to leave you
now! I will spend the night here, near you..."
"Don't torture me!" he said with a gesture of irritation.
"I will stay with him," cried Razumihin, "I won't leave him for a
moment. Bother all my visitors! Let them rage to their hearts'
content! My uncle is presiding there."
"How, how can I thank you!" Pulcheria Alexandrovna was beginning,
once more pressing Razumihin's hands, but Raskolnikov interrupted
"I can't have it! I can't have it!" he repeated irritably, "don't
worry me! Enough, go away... I can't stand it!"
"Come, mamma, come out of the room at least for a minute," Dounia
whispered in dismay; "we are distressing him, that's evident."
"Mayn't I look at him after three years?" wept Pulcheria
"Stay," he stopped them again, "you keep interrupting me, and my
ideas get muddled.... Have you seen Luzhin?"
"No, Rodya, but he knows already of our arrival. We have heard,
Rodya, that Pyotr Petrovitch was so kind as to visit you today,"
Pulcheria Alexandrovna added somewhat timidly.
"Yes... he was so kind... Dounia, I promised Luzhin I'd throw him
downstairs and told him to go to hell...."
"Rodya, what are you saying! Surely, you don't mean to tell us..."
Pulcheria Alexandrovna began in alarm, but she stopped, looking at
Avdotya Romanovna was looking attentively at her brother, waiting
for what would come next. Both of them had heard of the quarrel from
Nastasya, so far as she had succeeded in understanding and reporting
it, and were in painful perplexity and suspense.
"Dounia," Raskolnikov continued with an effort, "I don't want that
marriage, so at the first opportunity to-morrow you must refuse
Luzhin, so that we may never hear his name again."
"Good Heavens!" cried Pulcheria Alexandrovna.
"Brother, think what you are saying!" Avdotya Romanovna began
impetuously, but immediately checked herself. "You are not fit to talk
now, perhaps; you are tired," she added gently.
"You think I am delirious? No... You are marrying Luzhin for my
sake. But I won't accept the sacrifice. And so write a letter before
to-morrow, to refuse him... Let me read it in the morning and that
will be the end of it!"
"That I can't do!" the girl cried, offended, "what right have
"Dounia, you are hasty, too, be quiet, to-morrow... Don't you
see..." the mother interposed in dismay. "Better come away!"
"He is raving," Razumihin cried tipsily, "or how would he dare!
To-morrow all this nonsense will be over... to-day he certainly did
drive him away. That was so. And Luzhin got angry, too... He made
speeches here, wanted to show off his learning and he went out
"Then it's true?" cried Pulcheria Alexandrovna.
"Good-bye till to-morrow, brother," said Dounia compassionately-
"let us go, mother... Good-bye, Rodya."
"Do you hear, sister," he repeated after them, making a last effort,
"I am not delirious; this marriage is- an infamy. Let me act like a
scoundrel, but you mustn't... one is enough... and though I am a
scoundrel, I wouldn't own such a sister. It's me or Luzhin! Go
"But you're out of your mind! Despot!" roared Razumihin; but
Raskolnikov did not and perhaps could not answer. He lay down on the
sofa, and turned to the wall, utterly exhausted. Avdotya Romanovna
looked with interest at Razumihin; her black eyes flashed; Razumihin
positively started at her glance.
Pulcheria Alexandrovna stood overwhelmed.
"Nothing would induce me to go," she whispered in despair to
Razumihin. "I will stay somewhere here... escort Dounia home."
"You'll spoil everything," Razumihin answered in the same whisper,
losing patience- "come out on to the stairs, anyway. Nastasya, show
a light! I assure you," he went on in a half whisper on the stairs-
"that he was almost beating the doctor and me this afternoon! Do you
understand? The doctor himself! Even he gave way and left him, so as
not to irritate him. I remained downstairs on guard, but he dressed at
once and slipped off. And he will slip off again if you irritate
him, at this time of night, and will do himself some mischief...."
"What are you saying?"
"And Avdotya Romanovna can't possibly be left in those lodgings
without you. Just think where you are staying! That blackguard Pyotr
Petrovitch couldn't find you better lodgings... But you know I've
had a little to drink, and that's what makes me... swear; don't mind
"But I'll go to the landlady here," Pulcheria Alexandrovna insisted,
"Ill beseech her to find some corner for Dounia and me for the
night. I can't leave him like that, I cannot!"
This conversation took place on the landing just before the
landlady's door. Nastasya lighted them from a step below. Razumihin
was in extraordinary excitement. Half an hour earlier, while he was
bringing Raskolnikov home, he had indeed talked too freely, but he was
aware of it himself, and his head was clear in spite of the vast
quantities he had imbibed. Now he was in a state bordering on ecstasy,
and all that he had drunk seemed to fly to his head with redoubled
effect. He stood with the two ladies, seizing both by their hands,
persuading them, and giving them reasons with astonishing plainness of
speech, and at almost every word he uttered, probably to emphasize his
arguments, he squeezed their hands painfully as in a vise. He stared
at Avdotya Romanovna without the least regard for good manners. They
sometimes pulled their hands out of his huge bony paws, but far from
noticing what was the matter, he drew them all the closer to him. If
they'd told him to jump head foremost from the staircase, he would
have done it without thought or hesitation in their service. Though
Pulcheria Alexandrovna felt that the young man was really too
eccentric and pinched her hand too much, in her anxiety over her Rodya
she looked on his presence as providential and was unwilling to notice
all his peculiarities. But though Avdotya Romanovna shared her
anxiety, and was not of timorous disposition, she could not see the
glowing light in his eyes without wonder and almost alarm. It was only
the unbounded confidence inspired by Nastasya's account of her
brother's queer friend, which prevented her from trying to run away
from him, and to persuade her mother to do the same. She realised,
too, that even running away was perhaps impossible now. Ten minutes
later, however, she was considerably reassured; it was
characteristic of Razumihin that he showed his true nature at once,
whatever mood he might be in, so that people quickly saw the sort of
man they had to deal with.
"You can't go to the landlady, that's perfect nonsense!" he cried.
"If you stay, though you are his mother, you'll drive him to a frenzy,
and then goodness knows what will happen! Listen, I'll tell you what
I'll do: Nastasya will stay with him now, and I'll conduct you both
home, you can't be in the streets alone; Petersburg is an awful
place in that way... But no matter! Then I'll run straight back here
and a quarter of an hour later, on my word of honour, I'll bring you
news how he is, whether he is asleep, and all that. Then, listen! Then
I'll run home in a twinkling- I've a lot of friends there, all
drunk- I'll fetch Zossimov- that's the doctor who is looking after
him, he is there, too, but he is not drunk; he is not drunk, he is
never drunk! I'll drag him to Rodya, and then to you, so that you'll
get two reports in the hour- from the doctor, you understand, from the
doctor himself, that's a very different thing from my account of
him! If there's anything wrong, I swear I'll bring you here myself,
but, if it's all right, you go to bed. And I'll spend the night
here, in the passage, he won't hear me, and I'll tell Zossimov to
sleep at the landlady's, to be at hand. Which is better for him: you
or the doctor? So come home then! But the landlady is out of the
question; it's all right for me, but it's out of the question for you:
she wouldn't take you, for she's... for she's a fool... She'd be
jealous on my account of Avdotya Romanovna and of you, too, if you
want to know... of Avdotya Romanovna certainly. She is an
absolutely, absolutely unaccountable character! But I am a fool,
too!... No matter! Come along! Do you trust me? Come, do you trust
me or not?"
"Let us go, mother," said Avdotya Romanovna, "he will certainly do
what he has promised. He has saved Rodya already, and if the doctor
really will consent to spend the night here, what could be better?"
"You see, you... you... understand me, because you are an angel!"
Razumihin cried in ecstasy, "let us go! Nastasya! Fly upstairs and sit
with him with a light; I'll come in a quarter of an hour."
Though Pulcheria Alexandrovna was not perfectly convinced, she
made no further resistance. Razumihin gave an arm to each and drew
them down the stairs. He still made her uneasy, as though he was
competent and good-natured, was he capable of carrying out his
promise? He seemed in such a condition....
"Ah, I see you think I am in such a condition!" Razumihin broke in
upon her thoughts, guessing them, as he strolled along the pavement
with huge steps, so that the two ladies could hardly keep up with him,
a fact he did not observe, however. "Nonsense! That is... I am drunk
like a fool, but that's not it; I am not drunk from wine. It's
seeing you has turned my head... But don't mind me! Don't take any
notice: I am talking nonsense, I am not worthy of you... I am
utterly unworthy of you! The minute I've taken you home, I'll pour a
couple of pailfuls of water over my head in the gutter here, and
then I shall be all right... If only you knew how I love you both!
Don't laugh, and don't be angry! You may be angry with any one, but
not with me! I am his friend, and therefore I am your friend, too, I
want to be... I had a presentiment... Last year there was a
moment... though it wasn't a presentiment really, for you seem to have
fallen from heaven. And I expect I shan't sleep all night...
Zossimov was afraid a little time ago that he would go mad... that's
why he mustn't be irritated."
"What do you say?" cried the mother.
"Did the doctor really say that?" asked Avdotya Romanovna, alarmed.
"Yes, but it's not so, not a bit of it. He gave him some medicine, a
powder, I saw it, and then your coming here.... Ah! It would have been
better if you had come to-morrow. It's a good thing we went away.
And in an hour Zossimov himself will report to you about everything.
He is not drunk! And I shan't be drunk... And what made me get so
tight? Because they got me into an argument, damn them! I've sworn
never to argue! They talk such trash! I almost came to blows! I've
left my uncle to preside. Would you believe, they insist on complete
absence of individualism and that's just what they relish! Not to be
themselves, to be as unlike themselves as they can. That's what they
regard as the highest point of progress. If only their nonsense were
their own, but as it is..."
"Listen!" Pulcheria Alexandrovna interrupted timidly, but it only
added fuel to the flames.
"What do you think?" shouted Razumihin, louder than ever, "you think
I am attacking them for talking nonsense? Not a bit! I like them to
talk nonsense. That's man's one privilege over all creation. Through
error you come to the truth! I am a man because I err! You never reach
any truth without making fourteen mistakes and very likely a hundred
and fourteen. And a fine thing, too, in its way; but we can't even
make mistakes on our own account! Talk nonsense, but talk your own
nonsense, and I'll kiss you for it. To go wrong in one's own way is
better than to go right in some one else's. In the first case you
are a man, in the second you're no better than a bird. Truth won't
escape you, but life can be cramped. There have been examples. And
what are we doing now? In science, development, thought, invention,
ideals, aims, liberalism, judgment, experience and everything,
everything, everything, we are still in the preparatory class at
school. We prefer to live on other people's ideas, it's what we are
used to! Am I right, am I right?" cried Razumihin, pressing and
shaking the two ladies' hands.
"Oh, mercy, I do not know," cried poor Pulcheria Alexandrovna.
"Yes, yes... though I don't agree with you in everything," added
Avdotya Romanovna earnestly and at once uttered a cry, for he squeezed
her hand so painfully.
"Yes, you say yes... well after that you... you..." he cried in a
transport, "you are a fount of goodness, purity, sense... and
perfection. Give me your hand... you give me yours, too! I want to
kiss your hands here at once, on my knees..." and he fell on his knees
on the pavement, fortunately at that time deserted.
"Leave off, I entreat you, what are you doing?" Pulcheria
Alexandrovna cried, greatly distressed.
"Get up, get up!" said Dounia laughing, though she, too, was upset.
"Not for anything till you let me kiss your hands! That's it!
Enough! I get up and we'll go on! I am a luckless fool, I am
unworthy of you and drunk... and I am ashamed.... I am not worthy to
love you, but to do homage to you is the duty of every man who is
not a perfect beast! And I've done homage.... Here are your
lodgings, and for that alone Rodya was right in driving your Pyotr
Petrovitch away.... How dare he! how dare he put you in such lodgings!
It's a scandal! Do you know the sort of people they take in here?
And you his betrothed! You are his betrothed? Yes, well, then, I'll
tell you, your fiance is a scoundrel."
"Excuse me, Mr. Razumihin, you are forgetting..." Pulcheria
Alexandrovna was beginning.
"Yes, yes, you are right, I did forget myself, I am ashamed of
it," Razumihin made haste to apologise. "But... but you can't be angry
with me for speaking so! For I speak sincerely and not because...
hm, hm! That would be disgraceful; in fact not because I'm in... hm!
Well, anyway I won't say why, I daren't.... But we all saw to-day when
he came in that that man is not of our sort. Not because he had his
hair curled at the barber's, not because he was in such a hurry to
show his wit, but because he is a spy, a speculator, because he is a
skin-flint and a buffoon. That's evident. Do you think him clever? No,
he is a fool, a fool. And is he a match for you? Good heavens! Do
you see, ladies?" he stopped suddenly on the way upstairs to their
rooms, "though all my friends there are drunk, yet they are all
honest, and though we do talk a lot of trash, and I do, too, yet we
shall talk our way to the truth at last, for we are on the right path,
while Pyotr Petrovitch... is not on the right path. Though I've been
calling them all sorts of names just now, I do respect them all...
though I don't respect Zametov, I like him, for he is a puppy, and
that bullock Zossimov, because he is an honest man and knows his work.
But enough, it's all said and forgiven. Is it forgiven? Well, then,
let's go on. I know this corridor, I've been here, there was a scandal
here at Number 3.... Where are you here? Which number? eight? Well,
lock yourselves in for the night, then. Don't let anybody in. In a
quarter of an hour I'll come back with news, and half an hour later
I'll bring Zossimov, you'll see! Good-bye, I'll run."
"Good heavens, Dounia, what is going to happen?" said Pulcheria
Alexandrovna, addressing her daughter with anxiety and dismay.
"Don't worry yourself, mother," said Dounia, taking off her hat
and cape. "God has sent this gentleman to our aid, though he has
come from a drinking party. We can depend on him, I assure you. And
all that he has done for Rodya...."
"Ah. Dounia, goodness knows whether he will come! How could I
bring myself to leave Rodya?... And how different, how different I had
fancied our meeting! How sullen he was, as though not pleased to see
Tears came into her eyes.
"No, it's not that, mother. You didn't see, you were crying all
the time. He is quite unhinged by serious illness- that's the reason."
"Ah, that illness! What will happen, what will happen? And how he
talked to you, Dounia!" said the mother, looking timidly at her
daughter, trying to read her thoughts and, already half consoled by
Dounia's standing up for her brother, which meant that she had already
forgiven him. "I am sure he will think better of it to-morrow," she
added, probing her further.
"And I am sure that he will say the same to-morrow... about that,"
Avdotya Romanovna said finally. And, of course, there was no going
beyond that, for this was a point which Pulcheria Alexandrovna was
afraid to discuss. Dounia went up and kissed her mother. The latter
warmly embraced her without speaking. Then she sat down to wait
anxiously for Razumihin's return, timidly watching her daughter who
walked up and down the room with her arms folded, lost in thought.
This walking up and down when she was thinking was a habit of
Avdotya Romanovna's and the mother was always afraid to break in on
her daughter's mood at such moments.
Razumihin, of course, was ridiculous in his sudden drunken
infatuation for Avdotya Romanovna. Yet apart from his eccentric
condition, many people would have thought it justified if they had
seen Avdotya Romanovna, especially at that moment when she was walking
to and fro with folded arms, pensive and melancholy. Avdotya Romanovna
was remarkably good looking; she was tall, strikingly
well-proportioned, strong and self-reliant- the latter quality was
apparent in every gesture, though it did not in the least detract from
the grace and softness of her movements. In face she resembled her
brother, but she might be described as really beautiful. Her hair
was dark brown, a little lighter than her brother's; there was a proud
light in her almost black eyes and yet at times a look of
extraordinary kindness. She was pale, but it was a healthy pallor; her
face was radiant with freshness and vigour. Her mouth was rather
small; the full red lower lip projected a little as did her chin; it
was the only irregularity in her beautiful face, but it gave it a
peculiarly individual and almost haughty expression. Her face was
always more serious and thoughtful than gay; but how well smiles,
how well youthful, lighthearted, irresponsible, laughter suited her
face! It was natural enough that a warm, open, simple-hearted,
honest giant like Razumihin, who had never seen any one like her and
was not quite sober at the time, should lose his head immediately.
Besides, as chance would have it, he saw Dounia for the first time
transfigured by her love for her brother and her joy at meeting him.
Afterwards he saw her lower lip quiver with indignation at her
brother's insolent, cruel and ungrateful words- and his fate was
He had spoken the truth, moreover, when he blurted out in his
drunken talk on the stairs that Praskovya Pavlovna, Raskolnikov's
eccentric landlady, would be jealous of Pulcheria Alexandrovna as well
as of Avdotya Romanovna on his account. Although Pulcheria
Alexandrovna was forty-three, her face still retained traces of her
former beauty; she looked much younger than her age, indeed, which
is almost always the case with women who retain serenity of spirit,
sensitiveness and pure sincere warmth of heart to old age. We may
add in parenthesis that to preserve all this is the only means of
retaining beauty to old age. Her hair had begun to grow grey and thin,
there had long been little crow's foot wrinkles round her eyes, her
cheeks were hollow and sunken from anxiety and grief, and yet it was a
handsome face. She was Dounia over again, twenty years older, but
without the projecting underlip. Pulcheria Alexandrovna was emotional,
but not sentimental, timid and yielding, but only to a certain
point. She could give way and accept a great deal even of what was
contrary to her convictions, but there was a certain barrier fixed
by honesty, principle and the deepest convictions which nothing
would induce her to cross.
Exactly twenty minutes after Razumihin's departure, there came two
subdued but hurried knocks at the door: he had come back.
"I won't come in, I haven't time," he hastened to say when the
door was opened. "He sleeps like a top, soundly, quietly, and God
grant he may sleep ten hours. Nastasya's with him; I told her not to
leave till I came. Now I am fetching Zossimov, he will report to you
and then you'd better turn in; I can see you are too tired to do
And he ran off down the corridor.
"What a very competent and... devoted young man!" cried Pulcheria
Alexandrovna exceedingly delighted.
"He seems a splendid person!" Avdotya Romanovna replied with some
warmth, resuming her walk up and down the room.
It was nearly an hour later when they heard footsteps in the
corridor and another knock at the door. Both women waited this time
completely relying on Razumihin's promise; he actually had succeeded
in bringing Zossimov. Zossimov had agreed at once to desert the
drinking party to go to Raskolnikov's, but he came reluctantly and
with the greatest suspicion to see the ladies, mistrusting Razumihin
in his exhilarated condition. But his vanity was at once reassured and
flattered; he saw that they were really expecting him as an oracle. He
stayed just ten minutes and succeeded in completely convincing and
comforting Pulcheria Alexandrovna. He spoke with marked sympathy,
but with the reserve and extreme seriousness of a young doctor at an
important consultation. He did not utter a word on any other subject
and did not display the slightest desire to enter into more personal
relations with the two ladies. Remarking at his first entrance the
dazzling beauty of Avdotya Romanovna, he endeavoured not to notice her
at all during his visit and addressed himself solely to Pulcheria
Alexandrovna. All this gave him extraordinary inward satisfaction.
He declared that he thought the invalid at this moment going on very
satisfactorily. According to his observations the patient's illness
was due partly to his unfortunate material surroundings during the
last few months, but it had partly also a moral origin, "was so to
speak the product of several material and moral influences, anxieties,
apprehensions, troubles, certain ideas... and so on." Noticing
stealthily that Avdotya Romanovna was following his words with close
attention, Zossimov allowed himself to enlarge on this theme. On
Pulcheria Alexandrovna's anxiously and timidly inquiring as to "some
suspicion of insanity," he replied with a composed and candid smile
that his words had been exaggerated; that certainly the patient had
some fixed idea, something approaching a monomania- he, Zossimov,
was now particularly studying this interesting branch of medicine- but
that it must be recollected that until to-day the patient had been
in delirium and... and that no doubt the presence of his family
would have a favourable effect on his recovery and distract his
mind, "if only all fresh shocks can be avoided," he added
significantly. Then he got up, took leave with an impressive and
affable bow, while blessings, warm gratitude, and entreaties were
showered upon him, and Avdotya Romanovna spontaneously offered her
hand to him. He went out exceedingly pleased with his visit and
still more so with himself.
"We'll talk to-morrow; go to bed at once!" Razumihin said in
conclusion, following Zossimov out. "I'll be with you to-morrow
morning as early as possible with my report."
"That's a fetching little girl, Avdotya Romanovna," remarked
Zossimov, almost licking his lips as they both came out into the
"Fetching? You said fetching?" roared Razumihin and he flew at
Zossimov and seized him by the throat. "If you ever dare... Do you
understand? Do you understand?" he shouted, shaking him by the
collar and squeezing him against the wall. "Do you hear?"
"Let me go, you drunken devil," said Zossimov, struggling and when
he had let him go, he stared at him and went off into a sudden guffaw.
Razumihin stood facing him in gloomy and earnest reflection.
"Of course, I am an ass," he observed, sombre as a storm cloud, "but
still... you are another."
"No, brother, not at all such another. I am not dreaming of any