Re: Достоевский Ф. М. - Преступление и наказание в переводе на английский
"Never," answered Raskolnikov. "I have been meaning to buy a lock
for these two years. People are happy who have no need of locks," he
said, laughing, to Sonia. They stood still in the gateway.
"Do you go to the right, Sofya Semyonovna? How did you find me, by
the way?" he added, as though he wanted to say something quite
different. He wanted to look at her soft clear eyes, but this was
"Why, you gave your address to Polenka yesterday."
"Polenka? Oh, yes; Polenka, that is the little girl. She is your
sister? Did I give her the address?"
"Why, had you forgotten?"
"No, I remember."
"I had heard my father speak of you... only I did not know your
name, and he did not know it. And now I came... and as I had learnt
your name, I asked to-day, 'Where does Mr. Raskolnikov live?' I did
not know you had only a room too.... Good-bye, I will tell Katerina
She was extremely glad to escape at last; she went away looking
down, hurrying to get out of sight as soon as possible, to walk the
twenty steps to the turning on the right and to be at last alone,
and then moving rapidly along, looking at no one, noticing nothing, to
think, to remember, to meditate on every word, every detail. Never,
never had she felt anything like this. Dimly and unconsciously a whole
new world was opening before her. She remembered suddenly that
Raskolnikov meant to come to her that day, perhaps at once!
"Only not to-day, please, not to-day!" she kept muttering with a
sinking heart, as though entreating some one, like a frightened child.
"Mercy! to me... to that room... he will see... oh, dear!"
She was not capable at that instant of noticing an unknown gentleman
who was watching her and following at her heels. He had accompanied
her from the gateway. At the moment when Razumihin, Raskolnikov, and
she stood still at parting on the pavement, this gentleman, who was
just passing, started on hearing Sonia's words: "and I asked where Mr.
Raskolnikov lived?" He turned a rapid but attentive look upon all
three, especially upon Raskolnikov, to whom Sonia was speaking; then
looked back and noted the house. All this was done in an instant as he
passed, and trying not to betray his interest, he walked on more
slowly as though waiting for something. He was waiting for Sonia; he
saw that they were parting, and that Sonia was going home.
"Home? Where? I've seen that face somewhere," he thought. "I must
At the turning he crossed over, looked round, and saw Sonia coming
the same way, noticing nothing. She turned the corner. He followed her
on the other side. After about fifty paces he crossed over again,
overtook her and kept two or three yards behind her.
He was a man about fifty, rather tall and thickly set, with broad
high shoulders which made him look as though he stooped a little. He
wore good and fashionable clothes, and looked like a gentleman of
position. He carried a handsome cane, which he tapped on the
pavement at each step; his gloves were spotless. He had a broad,
rather pleasant face with high cheek-bones and a fresh colour, not
often seen in Petersburg. His flaxen hair was still abundant, and only
touched here and there with grey, and his thick square beard was
even lighter than his hair. His eyes were blue and had a cold and
thoughtful look; his lips were crimson. He was a remarkedly
well-preserved man and looked much younger than his years.
When Sonia came out on the canal bank, they were the only two
persons on the pavement. He observed her dreaminess and preoccupation.
On reaching the house where she lodged, Sonia turned in at the gate;
he followed her, seeming rather surprised. In the courtyard she turned
to the right corner. "Bah!" muttered the unknown gentleman, and
mounted the stairs behind her. Only then Sonia noticed him. She
reached the third storey, turned down the passage, and rang at No.
9. On the door was inscribed in chalk, "Kapernaumov, Tailor." "Bah!"
the stranger repeated again, wondering at the strange coincidence, and
he rang next door, at No. 8. The doors were two or three yards apart.
"You lodge at Kapernaumov's," he said, looking at Sonia and
laughing. "He altered a waistcoat for me yesterday. I am staying close
here at Madame Resslich's. How odd!" Sonia looked at him attentively.
"We are neighbours," he went on gaily. "I only came to town the
day before yesterday. Good-bye for the present."
Sonia made no reply; the door opened and she slipped in. She felt
for some reason ashamed and uneasy.
On the way to Porfiry's, Razumihin was obviously excited.
"That's capital, brother," he repeated several times, "and I am
glad! I am glad!"
"What are you glad about?" Raskolnikov thought to himself.
"I didn't know that you pledged things at the old woman's, too.
And... was it long ago? I mean, was it long since you were there?"
"What a simple-hearted fool he is!"
"When was it?" Raskolnikov stopped still to recollect. "Two or three
days before her death it must have been. But I am not going to
redeem the things now," he put in with a sort of hurried and
conspicuous solicitude about the things. "I've not more than a
silver rouble left... after last night's accursed delirium!"
He laid special emphasis on the delirium.
"Yes, yes," Razumihin hastened to agree- with what was not clear.
"Then that's why you... were struck... partly... you know in your
delirium you were continually mentioning some rings or chains! Yes,
yes... that's clear, it's all clear now."
"Hullo! How that idea must have got about among them. Here this
man will go to the stake for me, and I find him delighted at having it
cleared up why I spoke of rings in my delirium! What a hold the idea
must have on all of them!"
"Shall we find him?" he asked suddenly.
"Oh, yes," Razumihin answered quickly. "He is a nice fellow you will
see, brother. Rather clumsy, that is to say, he is a man of polished
manners, but I mean clumsy in a different sense. He is an
intelligent fellow, very much so indeed, but he has his own range of
ideas.... He is incredulous, sceptical, cynical... he likes to
impose on people, or rather to make fun of them. His is the old,
circumstantial method.... But he understands his work...
thoroughly.... Last year he cleared up a case of murder in which the
police had hardly a clue. He is very, very anxious to make your
"On what grounds is he so anxious?"
"Oh, it's not exactly... you see, since you've been ill I happen
to have mentioned you several times.... So, when he heard about you...
about your being a law student and not able to finish your studies, he
said, 'What a pity!' And so I concluded... from everything together,
not only that; yesterday, Zametov... you know, Rodya, I talked some
nonsense on the way home to you yesterday, when I was drunk... I am
afraid, brother, of your exaggerating it, you see."
"What? That they think I am a madman? Maybe they are right," he said
with a constrained smile.
"Yes, yes.... That is, pooh, no!... But all that I said (and there
was something else too) it was all nonsense, drunken nonsense."
"But why are you apologizing? I am so sick of it all!" Raskolnikov
cried with exaggerated irritability. It was partly assumed, however.
"I know, I know, I understand. Believe me, I understand. One's
ashamed to speak of it."
"If you are ashamed, then don't speak of it."
Both were silent. Razumihin was more than ecstatic and Raskolnikov
perceived it with repulsion. He was alarmed, too, by what Razumihin
had just said about Porfiry.
"I shall have to pull a long face with him too," he thought, with
a beating heart, and he turned white, "and do it naturally, too. But
the most natural thing would be to do nothing at all. Carefully do
nothing at all! No, carefully would not be natural again.... Oh, well,
we shall see how it turns out.... We shall see... directly. Is it a
good thing to go or not? The butterfly flies to the light. My heart is
beating, that's what's bad!"
"In this grey house," said Razumihin.
"The most important thing, does Porfiry know that I was at the old
hag's flat yesterday... and asked about the blood? I must find that
out instantly, as soon as I go in, find out from his face;
otherwise... I'll find out, if it's my ruin."
"I say, brother," he said suddenly, addressing Razumihin, with a sly
smile, "I have been noticing all day that you seem to be curiously
excited. Isn't it so?"
"Excited? Not a bit of it," said Razumihin, stung to the quick.
"Yes, brother, I assure you it's noticeable. Why, you sat on your
chair in a way you never do sit, on the edge somehow, and you seemed
to be writhing all the time. You kept jumping up for nothing. One
moment you were angry, and the next your face looked like a sweetmeat.
You even blushed; especially when you were invited to dinner, you
"Nothing of the sort, nonsense! What do you mean?"
"But why are you wriggling out of it, like a schoolboy? By Jove,
there he's blushing again."
"What a pig you are!"
"But why are you so shamefaced about it? Romeo! Stay, I'll tell of
you to-day. Ha-ha-ha! I'll make mother laugh, and some one else,
"Listen, listen, listen, this is serious.... What next, you
fiend!" Razumihin was utterly overwhelmed, turning cold with horror.
"What will you tell them? Come, brother... foo, what a pig you are!"
"You are like a summer rose. And if only you knew how it suits
you; a Romeo over six foot high! And how you've washed to-day- you
cleaned your nails, I declare. Eh? That's something unheard of! Why, I
do believe you've got pomaturn on your hair! Bend down."
Raskolnikov laughed as though he could not restrain himself. So
laughing, they entered Porfiry Petrovitch's flat. This is what
Raskolnikov wanted: from within they could be heard laughing as they
came in, still guffawing in the passage.
"Not a word here or I'll... brain you!" Razumihin whispered
furiously, seizing Raskolnikov by the shoulder.
RASKOLNIKOV was already entering the room. He came in looking as
though he had the utmost difficulty not to burst out laughing again.
Behind him Razumihin strode in gawky and awkward, shamefaced and red
as a peony, with an utterly crestfallen and ferocious expression.
His face and whole figure really were ridiculous at that moment and
amply justified Raskolnikov's laughter. Raskolnikov, not waiting for
an introduction, bowed to Porfiry Petrovitch, who stood in the
middle of the room looking inquiringly at them. He held out his hand
and shook hands, still apparently making desperate efforts to subdue
his mirth and utter a few words to introduce himself. But he had no
sooner succeeded in assuming a serious air and muttering something
when he suddenly glanced again as though accidentally at Razumihin,
and could no longer control himself: his stifled laughter broke out
the more irresistibly the more he tried to restrain it. The
extraordinary ferocity with which Razumihin received this
"spontaneous" mirth gave the whole scene the appearance of most
genuine fun and naturalness. Razumihin strengthened this impression as
though on purpose.
"Fool! You fiend," he roared, waving his arm which at once struck
a little round table with an empty tea-glass on it. Everything was
sent flying and crashing.
"But why break chairs, gentlemen? You know it's a loss to the
Crown," Porfiry Petrovitch quoted gaily.
Raskolnikov was still laughing, with his hand in Porfiry
Petrovitch's, but anxious not to overdo it, awaited the right moment
to put a natural end to it. Razumihin, completely put to confusion
by upsetting the table and smashing the glass, gazed gloomily at the
fragments, cursed and turned sharply to the window where he stood
looking out with his back to the company with a fiercely scowling
countenance, seeing nothing. Porfiry Petrovitch laughed and was
ready to go on laughing, but obviously looked for explanations.
Zametov had been sitting in the corner, but he rose at the visitors'
entrance and was standing in expectation with a smile on his lips,
though he looked with surprise and even it seemed incredulity at the
whole scene and at Raskolnikov with a certain embarrassment. Zametov's
unexpected presence struck Raskolnikov unpleasantly.
"I've got to think of that," he thought. "Excuse me, please," he
began, affecting extreme embarrassment. "Raskolnikov."
"Not at all, very pleasant to see you... and how pleasantly you've
come in.... Why, won't he even say good-morning?" Porfiry Petrovitch
nodded at Razumihin.
"Upon my honour I don't know why he is in such a rage with me. I
only told him as we came along that he was like Romeo... and proved
it. And that was all, I think!"
"Pig!" ejaculated Razumihin, without turning round.
"There must have been very grave grounds for it, if he is so furious
at the word," Porfiry laughed.
"Oh, you sharp lawyer!... Damn you all!" snapped Razumihin, and
suddenly bursting out laughing himself, he went up to Porfiry with a
more cheerful face as though nothing had happened. "That'll do! We are
all fools. To come to business. This is my friend Rodion Romanovitch
Raskolnikov; in the first place he has heard of you and wants to
make your acquaintance, and secondly, he has a little matter of
business with you. Bah! Zametov, what brought you here? Have you met
before? Have you known each other long?"
"What does this mean?" thought Raskolnikov uneasily.
Zametov seemed taken aback, but not very much so.
"Why, it was at your rooms we met yesterday," he said easily.
"Then I have been spared the trouble. All last week he was begging
me to introduce him to you. Porfiry and you have sniffed each other
out without me. Where is your tobacco?"
Porfiry Petrovitch was wearing a dressing-gown, very clean linen,
and trodden-down slippers. He was a man of about five and thirty,
short, stout even to corpulence, and clean shaven. He wore his hair
cut short and had a large round head, particularly prominent at the
back. His soft, round, rather snub-nosed face was of a sickly
yellowish colour, but had a vigorous and rather ironical expression.
It would have been good-natured, except for a look in the eyes,
which shone with a watery, mawkish light under almost white,
blinking eyelashes. The expression of those eyes was strangely out
of keeping with his somewhat womanish figure, and gave it something
far more serious than could be guessed at first sight.
As soon as Porfiry Petrovitch heard that his visitor had a little
matter of business with him, he begged him to sit down on the sofa and
sat down himself on the other end, waiting for him to explain his
business, with that careful and over-serious attention which is at
once oppressive and embarrassing, especially to a stranger, and
especially if what you are discussing is in your opinion of far too
little importance for such exceptional solemnity. But in brief and
coherent phrases Raskolnikov explained his business clearly and
exactly, and was so well satisfied with himself that he even succeeded
in taking a good look at Porfiry. Porfiry Petrovitch did not once take
his eyes off him. Razumihin, sitting opposite at the same table,
listened warmly and impatiently, looking from one to the other every
moment with rather excessive interest.
"Fool," Raskolnikov swore to himself.
"You have to give information to the police," Porfiry replied,
with a most businesslike air, "that having learnt of this incident,
that is of the murder, you beg to inform the lawyer in charge of the
case that such and such things belong to you, and that you desire to
redeem them... or... but they will write to you."
"That's just the point, that at the present moment," Raskolnikov
tried his utmost to feign embarrassment, "I am not quite in funds...
and even this trifling sum is beyond me... I only wanted, you see, for
the present to declare that the things are mine, and that when I
"That's no matter," answered Porfiry Petrovitch, receiving his
explanation of his pecuniary position coldly, "but you can, if you
prefer, write straight to me, to say, that having been informed of the
matter, and claiming such and such as your property, you beg..."
"On an ordinary sheet of paper?" Raskolnikov interrupted eagerly,
again interested in the financial side of the question.
"Oh, the most ordinary," and suddenly Porfiry Petrovitch looked with
obvious irony at him, screwing up his eyes and as it were winking at
him. But perhaps it was Raskolnikov's fancy, for it all lasted but a
moment. There was certainly something of the sort, Raskolnikov could
have sworn he winked at him, goodness knows why.
"He knows," flashed through his mind like lightning.
"Forgive my troubling you about such trifles," he went on, a
little disconcerted, "the things are only worth five roubles, but I
prize them particularly for the sake of those from whom they came to
me, and I must confess that I was alarmed when I heard..."
"That's why you were so much struck when I mentioned to Zossimov
that Porfiry was inquiring for every one who had pledges!" Razumihin
put in with obvious intention.
This was really unbearable. Raskolnikov could not help glancing at
him with a flash of vindictive anger in his black eyes, but
immediately recollected himself.
"You seem to be jeering at me, brother?" he said to him, with a
well-feigned irritability. "I dare say I do seem to you absurdly
anxious about such trash; but you mustn't think me selfish or grasping
for that, and these two things may be anything but trash in my eyes. I
told you just now that the silver watch, though it's not worth a cent,
is the only thing left us of my father's. You may laugh at me, but
my mother is here," he turned suddenly to Porfiry, "and if she
knew," he turned again hurriedly to Razumihin, carefully making his
voice tremble, "that the watch was lost, she would be in despair!
You know what women are!"
"Not a bit of it! I didn't mean that at all! Quite the contrary!"
shouted Razumihin distressed.
"Was it right? Was it natural? Did I overdo it?" Raskolnikov asked
himself in a tremor. "Why did I say that about women?"
"Oh, your mother is with you?" Porfiry Petrovitch inquired.
"When did she come?"
Porfiry paused as though reflecting.
"Your things would not in any case be lost," he went on calmly and
coldly. "I have been expecting you here for some time."
And as though that was a matter of no importance, he carefully
offered the ash-tray to Razumihin, who was ruthlessly scattering
cigarette ash over the carpet. Raskolnikov shuddered, but Porfiry
did not seem to be looking at him, and was still concerned with
"What? Expecting him? Why, did you know that he had pledges
there?" cried Razumihin.
Porfiry Petrovitch addressed himself to Raskolnikov.
"Your things, the ring and the watch, were wrapped up together,
and on the paper your name was legibly written in pencil, together
with the date on which you left them with her..."
"How observant you are!" Raskolnikov smiled awkwardly, doing his
very utmost to look him straight in the face, but he failed, and
"I say that because I suppose there were a great many pledges...
that it must be difficult to remember them all.... But you remember
them all so clearly, and... and..."
"Stupid! Feeble!" he thought. "Why did I add that?"
"But we know all who had pledges, and you are the only one who
hasn't come forward," Porfiry answered with hardly perceptible irony.
"I haven't been quite well."
"I heard that too. I heard, indeed, that you were in great
distress about something. You look pale still."
"I am not pale at all.... No, I am quite well," Raskolnikov
snapped out rudely and angrily, completely changing his tone. His
anger was mounting, he could not repress it. "And in my anger I
shall betray myself," flashed through his mind again. "Why are they
"Not quite well!" Razumihin caught him up. "What next! He was
unconscious and delirious all yesterday. Would you believe, Porfiry,
as soon as our backs were turned, he dressed, though he could hardly
stand, and gave us the slip and went off on a spree somewhere till
midnight, delirious all the time! Would you believe it!
"Really delirious? You don't say so!" Porfiry shook his head in a
"Nonsense! Don't you believe it! But you don't believe it anyway,"
Raskolnikov let slip in his anger. But Porfiry Petrovitch did not seem
to catch those strange words.
"But how could you have gone out if you hadn't been delirious?"
Razumihin got hot suddenly. "What did you go out for? What was the
object of it? And why on the sly? Were you in your senses when you did
it? Now that all danger is over I can speak plainly."
"I was awfully sick of them yesterday." Raskolnikov addressed
Porfiry suddenly with a smile of insolent defiance, "I ran away from
them to take lodgings where they wouldn't find me, and took a lot of
money with me. Mr. Zametov there saw it. I say, Mr. Zametov, was I
sensible or delirious yesterday; settle our dispute."
He could have strangled Zametov at that moment, so hated were his
expression and his silence to him.
"In my opinion you talked sensibly and even artfully, but you were
extremely irritable," Zametov pronounced dryly.
"And Nikodim Fomitch was telling me to-day," put in Porfiry
Petrovitch, "that he met you very late last night in the lodging of
a man who had been run over."
"And there," said Razumihin, "weren't you mad then? You gave your
last penny to the widow for the funeral. If you wanted to help, give
fifteen or twenty even, but keep three roubles for yourself at
least, but he flung away all the twenty-five at once!"
"Maybe I found a treasure somewhere and you know nothing of it? So
that's why I was liberal yesterday.... Mr. Zametov knows I've found
a treasure! Excuse us, please, for disturbing you for half an hour
with such trivialities," he said turning to Porfiry Petrovitch, with
trembling lips. "We are boring you, aren't we?"
"Oh no, quite the contrary, quite the contrary! If only you knew how
you interest me! It's interesting to look on and listen... and I am
really glad you have come forward at last."
"But you might give us some tea! My throat's dry," cried Razumihin.
"Capital idea! Perhaps we will all keep you company. Wouldn't you
like... something more essential before tea?"
"Get along with you!"
Porfiry Petrovitch went out to order tea.
Raskolnikov's thoughts were in a whirl. He was in terrible
"The worst of it is they don't disguise it; they don't care to stand
on ceremony! And how if you didn't know me at all, did you come to
talk to Nikodim Fomitch about me? So they didn't care to hide that
they are tracking me like a pack of dogs. They simply spit in my
face." He was shaking with rage. "Come, strike me openly, don't play
with me like a cat with a mouse. It's hardly civil, Porfiry
Petrovitch, but perhaps I won't allow it! I shall get up and throw the
whole truth in your ugly faces, and you'll see how I despise you."
He could hardly breathe. "And what if it's only my fancy? What if I am
mistaken, and through inexperience I get angry and don't keep up my
nasty part? Perhaps it's all unintentional. All their phrases are
the usual ones, but there is something about them.... It all might
be said, but there is something. Why did he say bluntly, 'With her'?
Why did Zametov add that I spoke artfully? Why do they speak in that
tone? Yes, the tone.... Razumihin is sitting here, why does he see
nothing? That innocent blockhead never does see anything! Feverish
again! Did Porfiry wink at me just now? Of course it's nonsense!
What could he wink for? Are they trying to upset my nerves or are they
teasing me? Either it's ill fancy or they know! Even Zametov is
rude.... Is Zametov rude? Zametov has changed his mind. I foresaw he
would change his mind! He is at home here, while it's my first
visit. Porfiry does not consider him a visitor; sits with his back
to him. They're as thick as thieves, no doubt, over me! Not a doubt
they were talking about me before we came. Do they know about the
flat? If only they'd make haste! When I said that I ran away to take a
flat he let it pass.... I put that in cleverly about a flat, it may be
of use afterwards.... Delirious, indeed... ha-ha-ha! He knows all
about last night! He didn't know of my mother's arrival! The hag had
written the date on in pencil! You are wrong, you won't catch me!
There are no facts... it's all supposition! You produce facts! The
flat even isn't a fact but delirium. I know what to say to them.... Do
they know about the flat? I won't go without finding out. What did I
come for? But my being angry now, maybe is a fact! Fool, how irritable
I am! Perhaps that's right; to play the invalid.... He is feeling
me. He will try to catch me. Why did I come?"
All this flashed like lightning through his mind.
Porfiry Petrovitch returned quickly. He became suddenly more jovial.
"Your party yesterday, brother, has left my head rather.... And I am
out of sorts altogether," he began in quite a different tone, laughing
"Was it interesting? I left you yesterday at the most interesting
point. Who got the best of it?"
"Oh, no one, of course. They got on to everlasting questions,
floated off into space."
"Only fancy, Rodya, what we got on to yesterday. Whether there is
such a thing as crime. I told you that we talked our heads off."
"What is there strange? It's an everyday social question,"
Raskolnikov answered casually.
"The question wasn't put quite like that," observed Porfiry.
"Not quite, that's true," Razumihin agreed at once, getting warm and
hurried as usual. "Listen, Rodion, and tell us your opinion, I want to
hear it. I was fighting tooth and nail with them and wanted you to
help me. I told them you were coming.... It began with the socialist
doctrine. You know their doctrine; crime is a protest against the
abnormality of the social organization and nothing more, and nothing
more; no other causes admitted!..."
"You are wrong there," cried Porfiry Petrovitch; he was noticeably
animated and kept laughing as he looked at Razumihin which made him
more excited than ever.
"Nothing is admitted," Razumihin interrupted with heat.
"I am not wrong. I'll show you their pamphlets. Everything with them
is 'the influence of environment,' and nothing else. Their favourite
phrase! From which it follows that, if society is normally
organized, all crime will cease at once, since there will be nothing
to protest against and all men will become righteous in one instant.
Human nature is not taken into account, it is excluded, it's not
supposed to exist! They don't recognise that humanity, developing by a
historical living process, will become at last a normal society, but
they believe that a social system that has come out of some
mathematical brain is going to organise all humanity at once and
make it just and sinless in an instant, quicker than any living
process! That's why they instinctively dislike history, 'nothing but
ugliness and stupidity in it,' and they explain it all as stupidity!
That's why they so dislike the living process of life; they don't want
a living soul! The living soul demands life, the soul won't obey the
rules of mechanics, the soul is an object of suspicion, the soul is
retrograde! But what they want though it smells of death and can be
made of India-rubber, at least is not alive, has no will, is servile
and won't revolt! And it comes in the end to their reducing everything
to the building of walls and the planning of rooms and passages in a
phalanstery! The phalanstery is ready, indeed, but your human nature
is not ready for the phalanstery- it wants life, it hasn't completed
its vital process, it's too soon for the graveyard! You can't skip
over nature by logic. Logic presupposes three possibilities, but there
are millions! Cut away a million, and reduce it all to the question of
comfort! That's the easiest solution of the problem! It's
seductively clear and you musn't think about it. That's the great
thing, you mustn't think! The whole secret of life in two pages of
"Now he is off, beating the drum! Catch hold of him, do!" laughed
Porfiry. "Can you imagine," he turned to Raskolnikov, "six people
holding forth like that last night, in one room, with punch as a
preliminary! No, brother, you are wrong, environment accounts for a
great deal in crime; I can assure you of that."
"Oh, I know it does, but just tell me: a man of forty violates a
child of ten; was it environment drove him to it?"
"Well, strictly speaking, it did," Porfiry observed with
noteworthy gravity; "a crime of that nature may be very well
ascribed to the influence of environment."
Razumihin was almost in a frenzy. "Oh, if you like," he roared.
"I'll prove to you that your white eyelashes may very well be ascribed
to the Church of Ivan the Great's being two hundred and fifty feet
high, and I will prove it clearly, exactly, progressively, and even
with a Liberal tendency! I undertake to! Will you bet on it?"
"Done! Let's hear, please, how he will prove it!"
"He is always humbugging, confound him," cried Razumihin, jumping up
and gesticulating. "What's the use of talking to you! He does all that
on purpose; you don't know him, Rodion! He took their side
yesterday, simply to make fools of them. And the things he said
yesterday! And they were delighted! He can keep it up for a
fortnight together. Last year he persuaded us that he was going into a
monastery: he stuck to it for two months. Not long ago he took it into
his head to declare he was going to get married, that he had
everything ready for the wedding. He ordered new clothes indeed. We
all began to congratulate him. There was no bride, nothing, all pure
"Ah, you are wrong! I got the clothes before. It was the new clothes
in fact that made me think of taking you in."
"Are you such a good dissembler?" Raskolnikov asked carelessly.
"You wouldn't have supposed it, eh? Wait a bit, I shall take you in,
too. Ha-ha-ha! No, I'll tell you the truth. All these questions
about crime, environment, children, recall to my mind an article of
yours which interested me at the time. 'On Crime'... or something of
the sort, I forget the title, I read it with pleasure two months ago
in the Periodical Review."
"My article? In the Periodical Review?" Raskolnikov asked in
astonishment. "I certainly did write an article upon a book six months
ago when I left the university, but I sent it to the Weekly Review."
"But it came out in the Periodical."
"And the Weekly Review ceased to exist, so that's why it wasn't
printed at the time."
"That's true; but when it ceased to exist, the Weekly Review was
amalgamated with the Periodical, and so your article appeared two
months ago in the latter. Didn't you know?"
Raskolnikov had not known.
"Why, you might get some money out of them for the article! What a
strange person you are! You lead such a solitary life that you know
nothing of matters that concern you directly. It's a fact, I assure
"Bravo, Rodya! I knew nothing about it either!" cried Razumihin.
"I'll run to-day to the reading-room and ask for the number. Two
months ago? What was the date? It doesn't matter though, I will find
it. Think of not telling us!"
"How did you find out that the article was mine? It's only signed
with an initial."
"I only learnt it by chance, the other day. Through the editor; I
know him.... I was very much interested."
"It analysed, if I remember, the psychology of a criminal before and
after the crime."
"Yes, and you maintained that the perpetration of a crime is
always accompanied by illness. Very, very original, but... it was
not that part of your article that interested me so much, but an
idea at the end of the article which I regret to say you merely
suggested without working it out clearly. There is, if you
recollect, a suggestion that there are certain persons who can... that
is, not precisely are able to, but have a perfect right to commit
breaches of morality and crimes, and that the law is not for them."
Raskolnikov smiled at the exaggerated and intentional distortion
of his idea.
"What? What do you mean? A right to crime? But not because of the
influence of environment?" Razumihin inquired with some alarm even.
"No, not exactly because of it," answered Porfiry. "In his article
all men are divided into 'ordinary' and 'extraordinary.' Ordinary
men have to live in submission, have no right to transgress the law,
because, don't you see, they are ordinary. But extraordinary men
have a right to commit any crime and to transgress the law in any way,
just because they are extraordinary. That was your idea, if I am not
"What do you mean? That can't be right?" Razumihin muttered in
Raskolnikov smiled again. He saw the point at once, and knew where
they wanted to drive him. He decided to take up the challenge.
"That wasn't quite my contention," he began simply and modestly.
"Yet I admit that you have stated it almost correctly; perhaps, if you
like, perfectly so." (It almost gave him pleasure to admit this.) "The
only difference is that I don't contend that extraordinary people
are always bound to commit breaches of morals, as you call it. In
fact, I doubt whether such an argument could be published. I simply
hinted that an 'extraordinary' man has the right... that is not an
official right, but an inner right to decide in his own conscience
to overstep... certain obstacles, and only in case it is essential for
the practical fulfilment of his idea (sometimes, perhaps, of benefit
to the whole of humanity). You say that my article isn't definite; I
am ready to make it as clear as I can. Perhaps I am right in
thinking you want me to; very well. I maintain that if the discoveries
of Kepler and Newton could not have been made known except by
sacrificing the lives of one, a dozen, a hundred, or more men,
Newton would have had the right, would indeed have been in duty
bound... to eliminate the dozen or the hundred men for the sake of
making his discoveries known to the whole of humanity. But it does not
follow from that that Newton had a right to murder people right and
left and to steal every day in the market. Then, I remember, I
maintain in my article that all... well, legislators and leaders of
men, such as Lycurgus, Solon, Mahomet, Napoleon, and so on, were all
without exception criminals, from the very fact that, making a new
law, they transgressed the ancient one, handed down from their
ancestors and held sacred by the people, and they did not stop short
at bloodshed either, if that bloodshed- often of innocent persons
fighting bravely in defence of ancient law- were of use to their
cause. It's remarkable, in fact, that the majority, indeed, of these
benefactors and leaders of humanity were guilty of terrible carnage.
In short, I maintain that all great men or even men a little out of
the common, that is to say capable of giving some new word, must
from their very nature be criminals- more or less, of course.
Otherwise it's hard for them to get out of the common rut; and to
remain in the common rut is what they can't submit to, from their very
nature again, and to my mind they ought not, indeed, to submit to
it. You see that there is nothing particularly new in all that. The
same thing has been printed and read a thousand times before. As for
my division of people into ordinary and extraordinary, I acknowledge
that it's somewhat arbitrary, but I don't insist upon exact numbers. I
only believe in my leading idea that men are in general divided by a
law of nature into two categories, inferior (ordinary), that is, so to
say, material that serves only to reproduce its kind, and men who have
the gift or the talent to utter a new word. There are, of course,
innumerable sub-divisions, but the distinguishing features of both
categories are fairly well marked. The first category, generally
speaking, are men conservative in temperament and law-abiding; they
live under control and love to be controlled. To my thinking it is
their duty to be controlled, because that's their vocation, and
there is nothing humiliating in it for them. The second category all
transgress the law; they are destroyers or disposed to destruction
according to their capacities. The crimes of these men are of course
relative and varied; for the most part they seek in very varied ways
the destruction of the present for the sake of the better. But if such
a one is forced for the sake of his idea to step over a corpse or wade
through blood, he can, I maintain, find within himself, in his
conscience, a sanction for wading through blood- that depends on the
idea and its dimensions, note that. It's only in that sense I speak of
their right to crime in my article (you remember it began with the
legal question). There's no need for such anxiety, however; the masses
will scarcely ever admit this right, they punish them or hang them
(more or less), and in doing so fulfil quite justly their conservative
vocation. But the same masses set these criminals on a pedestal in the
next generation and worship them (more or less). The first category is
always the man of the present, the second the man of the future. The
first preserve the world and people it, the second move the world
and lead it to its goal. Each class has an equal right to exist. In
fact, all have equal rights with me- and vive la guerre eternelle-
till the New Jerusalem, of course!"
"Then you believe in the New Jerusalem, do you?"
"I do," Raskolnikov answered firmly; as he said these words and
during the whole preceding tirade he kept his eyes on one spot on
"And... and do you believe in God? Excuse my curiosity."
"I do," repeated Raskolnikov, raising his eyes to Porfiry.
"And... do you believe in Lazarus' rising from the dead?"
"I... I do. Why do you ask all this?"
"You believe it literally?"
"You don't say so.... I asked from curiosity. Excuse me. But let
us go back to the question; they are not always executed. Some, on the
"Triumph in their lifetime? Oh, yes, some attain their ends in
this life, and then..."
"They begin executing other people?"
"If it's necessary; indeed, for the most part they do. Your remark
is very witty."
"Thank you. But tell me this: how do you distinguish those
extraordinary people from the ordinary ones? Are there signs at
their birth? I feel there ought to be more exactitude, more external
definition. Excuse the natural anxiety of a practical law-abiding
citizen, but couldn't they adopt a special uniform, for instance,
couldn't they wear something, be branded in some way? For you know
if confusion arises and a member of one category imagines that he
belongs to the other, begins to 'eliminate obstacles,' as you so
happily expressed it, then..."
"Oh, that very often happens! That remark is wittier than the