Re: Достоевский Ф. М. - Преступление и наказание в переводе на английский
"I meant to say... as I was coming here... I meant to tell you,
mother, and you, Dounia, that it would be better for us to part for
a time. I feel ill, I am not at peace.... I will come afterwards, I
will come of myself... when it's possible, I remember you and love
you.... Leave me, leave me alone. I decided this even before... I'm
absolutely resolved on it. Whatever may come to me, whether I come
to ruin or not, I want to be alone. Forget me altogether, it's better.
Don't inquire about me. When I can, I'll come of myself or... I'll
send for you. Perhaps it will all come back, but now if you love me,
give me up... else I shall begin to hate you, I feel it.... Good-bye!"
"Good God!" cried Pulcheria Alexandrovna. Both his mother and his
sister were terribly alarmed. Razumihin was also.
"Rodya, Rodya, be reconciled with us! Let us be as before!" cried
his poor mother.
He turned slowly to the door and slowly went out of the room. Dounia
"Brother, what are you doing to mother?" she whispered, her eyes
flashing with indignation.
He looked dully at her.
"No matter, I shall come.... I'm coming," he muttered in an
undertone, as though not fully conscious of what he was saying, and he
went out of the room.
"Wicked, heartless egoist!" cried Dounia.
"He is insane, but not heartless. He is mad! Don't you see it?
You're heartless after that!" Razumihin whispered in her ear,
squeezing her hand tightly. "I shall be back directly," he shouted
to the horror-stricken mother, and he ran out of the room.
Raskolnikov was waiting for him at the end of the passage.
"I knew you would run after me," he said. "Go back to them- be
with them... be with them to-morrow and always.... I... perhaps I
shall come... if I can. Good-bye."
And without holding out his hand he walked away.
"But where are you going? What are you doing? What's the matter with
you? How can you go on like this?" Razumihin muttered, at his wits'
Raskolnikov stopped once more.
"Once for all, never ask me about anything. I have nothing to tell
you. Don't come to see me. Maybe I'll come here.... Leave me, but
don't leave them. Do you understand me?"
It was dark in the corridor, they were standing near the lamp. For a
minute they were looking at one another in silence. Razumihin
remembered that minute all his life. Raskolnikov's burning and
intent eyes grew more penetrating every moment, piercing into his
soul, into his consciousness. Suddenly Razumihin started. Something
strange, as it were, passed between them.... Some idea, some hint as
it were, slipped, something awful, hideous, and suddenly understood on
both sides.... Razumihin turned pale.
"Do you understand now?" said Raskolnikov, his face twitching
nervously. "Go back, go to them," he said suddenly, and turning
quickly, he went out of the house.
I will not attempt to describe how Razumihin went back to the
ladies, how he soothed them, how he protested that Rodya needed rest
in his illness, protested that Rodya was sure to come, that he would
come every day, that he was very, very much upset, that he must not be
irritated, that he, Razumihin, would watch over him, would get him a
doctor, the best doctor, a consultation.... In fact from that
evening Razumihin took his place with them as a son and a brother.
RASKOLNIKOV WENT straight to the house on the canal bank where Sonia
lived. It was an old green house of three storeys. He found the porter
and obtained from him vague directions as to the whereabouts of
Kapernaumov, the tailor. Having found in the corner of the courtyard
the entrance to the dark and narrow staircase, he mounted to the
second floor and came out into a gallery that ran round the whole
second storey over the yard. While he was wandering in the darkness,
uncertain where to turn for Kapernaumov's door, a door opened three
paces from him; he mechanically took hold of it.
"Who is there?" a woman's voice asked uneasily.
"It's I... come to see you," answered Raskolnikov and he walked into
the tiny entry.
On a broken chair stood a candle in a battered copper candlestick.
"It's you! Good heavens!" cried Sonia weakly and she stood rooted to
"Which is your room? This way?" and Raskolnikov, trying not to
look at her, hastened in.
A minute later Sonia, too, came in with the candle, set down the
candlestick and, completely disconcerted, stood before him
inexpressibly agitated and apparently frightened by his unexpected
visit. The colour rushed suddenly to her pale face and tears came into
her eyes... She felt sick and ashamed and happy, too.... Raskolnikov
turned away quickly and sat on a chair by the table. He scanned the
room in a rapid glance.
It was a large but exceeding low-pitched room, the only one let by
the Kapernaumovs, to whose rooms a closed door led in the wall on
the left. In the opposite side on the right hand wall was another
door, always kept locked. That led to the next flat, which formed a
separate lodging. Sonia's room looked like a barn; it was a very
irregular quadrangle and this gave it a grotesque appearance. A wall
with three windows looking out on to the canal ran aslant so that
one corner formed a very acute angle, and it was difficult to see in
it without very strong light. The other corner was
disproportionately obtuse. There was scarcely any furniture in the big
room: in the corner on the right was a bedstead, beside it, nearest
the door, a chair. A plain, deal table covered by a blue cloth stood
against the same wall, close to the door into the other flat. Two
rush-bottom chairs stood by the table. On the opposite wall near the
acute angle stood a small plain wooden chest of drawers looking, as it
were, lost in a desert. That was all there was in the room. The
yellow, scratched and shabby wall-paper was black in the corners. It
must have been damp and full of fumes in the winter. There was every
sign of poverty; even the bedstead had no curtain.
Sonia looked in silence at her visitor, who was so attentively and
unceremoniously scrutinising her room, and even began at last to
tremble with terror, as though she was standing before her judge and
the arbiter of her destinies.
"I am late.... eleven, isn't it?" he asked, still not lifting his
"Yes," muttered Sonia, "oh, yes, it is," she added, hastily, as
though in that lay her means of escape. "My landlady's clock has
just struck... I heard it myself...."
"I've come to you for the last time," Raskolnikov went on
gloomily, although this was the first time. "I may perhaps not see you
"Are you... going away?"
"I don't know... to-morrow...."
"Then you are not coming to Katerina Ivanovna to-morrow?" Sonia's
"I don't know. I shall know to-morrow morning.... Never mind that:
I've come to say one word...."
He raised his brooding eyes to her and suddenly noticed that he
was sitting down while she was all the while standing before him.
"Why are you standing? Sit down," he said in a changed voice, gentle
She sat down. He looked kindly and almost compassionately at her.
"How thin you are! What a hand! Quite transparent, like a dead
He took her hand. Sonia smiled faintly.
"I have always been like that," she said.
"Even when you lived at home?"
"Of course, you were," he added abruptly and the expression of his
face and the sound of his voice changed again suddenly.
He looked round him once more.
"You rent this room from the Kapernaumovs?"
"They live there, through that door?"
"Yes.... They have another room like this."
"All in one room?"
"I should be afraid in your room at night," he observed gloomily.
"They are very good people, very kind," answered Sonia, who still
seemed bewildered, "and all the furniture, everything... everything is
theirs. And they are very kind and the children, too, often come to
"They all stammer, don't they?"
"Yes.... He stammers and he's lame. And his wife, too.... It's not
exactly that she stammers, but she can't speak plainly. She is a
very kind woman. And he used to be a house serf. And there are seven
children... and it's only the eldest one that stammers and the
others are simply ill... but they don't stammer.... But where did
you hear about them?" she added with some surprise.
"Your father told me, then. He told me all about you.... And how you
went out at six o'clock and came back at nine and how Katerina
Ivanovna knelt down by your bed."
Sonia was confused.
"I fancied I saw him to-day," she whispered hesitatingly.
"Father. I was walking in the street, out there at the corner, about
ten o'clock and he seemed to be walking in front. It looked just
like him. I wanted to go to Katerina Ivanovna...."
"You were walking in the streets?"
"Yes," Sonia whispered abruptly, again overcome with confusion and
"Katerina Ivanovna used to beat you, I daresay?"
"Oh no, what are you saying? No!" Sonia looked at him almost with
"You love her, then?"
"Love her? Of course!" said Sonia with plaintive emphasis, and she
clasped her hands in distress. "Ah, you don't.... If you only knew!
You see, she is quite like a child.... Her mind is quite unhinged, you
see... from sorrow. And how clever she used to be... how generous...
how kind! Ah, you don't understand, you don't understand!"
Sonia said this as though in despair, wringing her hands in
excitement and distress. Her pale cheeks flushed, there was a look
of anguish in her eyes. It was clear that she was stirred to the
very depths, that she was longing to speak, to champion, to express
something. A sort of insatiable compassion, if one may so express
it, was reflected in every feature of her face.
"Beat me! how can you? Good heavens, beat me! And if she did beat
me, what then? What of it? You know nothing, nothing about it....
She is so unhappy... ah, how unhappy! And ill.... She is seeking
righteousness, she is pure. She has such faith that there must be
righteousness everywhere and she expects it.... And if you were to
torture her, she wouldn't do wrong. She doesn't see that it's
impossible for people to be righteous and she is angry at it. Like a
child, like a child. She is good!"
"And what will happen to you?"
Sonia looked at him inquiringly.
"They are left on your hands, you see. They were all on your hands
before, though.... And your father came to you to beg for drink. Well,
how will it be now?"
"I don't know," Sonia articulated mournfully.
"Will they stay there?"
"I don't know.... They are in debt for the lodging, but the
landlady, I hear, said to-day that she wanted to get rid of them,
and Katerina Ivanovna says that she won't stay another minute."
"How is it she is so bold? She relies upon you?"
"Oh, no, don't talk like that.... We are one, we live like one."
Sonia was agitated again and even angry, as though a canary or some
other little bird were to be angry. "And what could she do? What, what
could she do?" she persisted, getting hot and excited. "And how she
cried to-day! Her mind is unhinged, haven't you noticed it? At one
minute she is worrying like a child that everything should be right
to-morrow, the lunch and all that.... Then she is wringing her
hands, spitting blood, weeping, and all at once she will begin
knocking her head against the wall, in despair. Then she will be
comforted again. She builds all her hopes on you; she says that you
will help her now and that she will borrow a little money somewhere
and go to her native town with me and set up a boarding school for the
daughters of gentlemen and take me to superintend it, and we will
begin a new splendid life. And she kisses and hugs me, comforts me,
and you know she has such faith, such faith in her fancies! One
can't contradict her. And all the day long she has been washing,
cleaning, mending. She dragged the wash tub into the room with her
feeble hands and sank on the bed, gasping for breath. We went this
morning to the shops to buy shoes for Polenka and Lida for theirs
are quite worn out. Only the money we'd reckoned wasn't enough, not
nearly enough. And she picked out such dear little boots, for she
has taste, you don't know. And there in the shop she burst out
crying before the shopmen because she hadn't enough.... Ah, it was sad
to see her...."
"Well, after that I can understand your living like this,"
Raskolnikov said with a bitter smile.
"And aren't you sorry for them? Aren't you sorry?" Sonia flew at him
again. "Why, I know, you gave your last penny yourself, though you'd
seen nothing of it, and if you'd seen everything, oh dear! And how
often, how often I've brought her to tears! Only last week! Yes, I!
Only a week before his death. I was cruel! And how often I've done it!
Ah, I've been wretched at the thought of it all day!"
Sonia wrung her hands as she spoke at the pain of remembering it.
"You were cruel?"
"Yes, I- I. I went to see them," she went on, weeping, "and father
said, 'read me something, Sonia, my head aches, read to me, here's a
book.' He had a book he had got from Andrey Semyonovitch
Lebeziatnikov, he lives there, he always used to get hold of such
funny books. And I said, 'I can't stay,' as I didn't want to read, and
I'd gone in chiefly to show Katerina Ivanovna some collars.
Lizaveta, the pedlar, sold me some collars and cuffs cheap, pretty,
new, embroidered ones. Katerina Ivanovna liked them very much; she put
them on and looked at herself in the glass and was delighted with
them. 'Make me a present of them, Sonia,' she said, 'please do.'
'Please do,' she said, she wanted them so much. And when could she
wear them? They just reminded her of her old happy days. She looked at
herself in the glass, admired herself, and she has no clothes at
all, no things of her own, hasn't had all these years! And she never
asks any one for anything; she is proud, she'd sooner give away
everything. And these she asked for, she liked them so much. And I was
sorry to give them. 'What use are they to you, Katerina Ivanovna?' I
said. I spoke like that to her, I ought not to have said that! She
gave me such a look. And she was so grieved, so grieved at my refusing
her. And it was so sad to see.... And she was not grieved for the
collars, but for my refusing, I saw that. Ah, if only I could bring it
all back, change it, take back those words! Ah, if I... but it's
nothing to you!"
"Did you know Lizaveta, the pedlar?"
"Yes.... Did you know her?" Sonia asked with some surprise.
"Katerina Ivanovna is in consumption, rapid consumption; she will
soon die," said Raskolnikov after a pause, without answering her
"Oh, no, no, no!"
And Sonia unconsciously clutched both his hands, as though imploring
that she should not.
"But it will be better if she does die."
"No, not better, not at all better!" Sonia unconsciously repeated in
"And the children? What can you do except take them to live with
"Oh, I don't know," cried Sonia, almost in despair, and she put
her hands to her head.
It was evident that that idea had very often occurred to her
before and he had only roused it again.
"And, what, if even now, while Katerina Ivanovna is alive, you get
ill and are taken to the hospital, what will happen then?" he
"How can you? That cannot be!"
And Sonia's face worked with awful terror.
"Cannot be?" Raskolnikov went on with a harsh smile. "You are not
insured against it, are you? What will happen to them then? They
will be in the street, all of them, she will cough and beg and knock
her head against some wall, as she did to-day, and the children will
cry.... Then she will fall down, be taken to the police station and to
the hospital, she will die, and the children..."
"Oh, no.... God will not let it be!" broke at last from Sonia's
She listened, looking imploringly at him, clasping her hands in dumb
entreaty, as though it all depended upon him.
Raskolnikov got up and began to walk about the room. A minute
passed. Sonia was standing with her hands and her head hanging in
"And can't you save? Put by for a rainy day?" he asked, stopping
suddenly before her.
"No," whispered Sonia.
"Of course not. Have you tried?" he added almost ironically.
"And it didn't come off! Of course not! No need to ask."
And again he paced the room. Another minute passed.
"You don't get money every day?"
Sonia was more confused than ever and colour rushed into her face
"No," she whispered with a painful effort.
"It will be the same with Polenka, no doubt," he said suddenly.
"No, no! It can't be, no!" Sonia cried aloud in desperation, as
though she had been stabbed. "God would not allow anything so awful!"
"He lets others come to it."
"No, no! God will protect her, God!" she repeated beside herself.
"But, perhaps, there is no God at all," Raskolnikov answered with
a sort of malignance, laughed and looked at her.
Sonia's face suddenly changed; a tremor passed over it. She looked
at him with unutterable reproach, tried to say something, but could
not speak and broke into bitter, bitter sobs, hiding her face in her
"You say Katerina Ivanovna's mind is unhinged; your own mind is
unhinged," he said after a brief silence.
Five minutes passed. He still paced up and down the room in silence,
not looking at her. At last he went up to her; his eyes glittered.
He put his two hands on her shoulders and looked straight into her
tearful face. His eyes were hard, feverish and piercing, his lips were
twitching. All at once he bent down quickly and dropping to the
ground, kissed her foot. Sonia drew back from him as from a madman.
And certainly he looked like a madman.
"What are you doing to me?" she muttered, turning pale, and a sudden
anguish clutched at her heart.
He stood up at once.
"I did not bow down to you, I bowed down to all the suffering of
humanity," he said wildly and walked away to the window. "Listen,"
he added, turning to her a minute later. "I said just now to an
insolent man that he was not worth your little finger... and that I
did my sister honour making her sit beside you."
"Ach, you said that to them! And in her presence?" cried Sonia,
frightened. "Sit down with me! An honour! Why, I'm...
dishonourable.... Ah, why did you say that?"
"It was not because of your dishonour and your sin I said that of
you, but because of your great suffering. But you are a great
sinner, that's true," he added almost solemnly, "and your worst sin is
that you have destroyed and betrayed yourself for nothing. Isn't
that fearful? Isn't it fearful that you are living in this filth which
you loathe so, and at the same time you know yourself (you've only
to open your eyes) that you are not helping any one by it, not
saving any one from anything! Tell me," he went on almost in a frenzy,
"how this shame and degradation can exist in you side by side with
other, opposite, holy feelings? It would be better, a thousand times
better and wiser to leap into the water and end it all!"
"But what would become of them?" Sonia asked faintly, gazing at
him with eyes of anguish, but not seeming surprised at his suggestion.
Raskolnikov looked strangely at her. He read it all in her face;
so she must have had that thought already, perhaps many times, and
earnestly she had thought out in her despair how to end it and so
earnestly, that now she scarcely wondered at his suggestion. She had
not even noticed the cruelty of his words. (The significance of his
reproaches and his peculiar attitude to her shame she had, of
course, not noticed either, and that, too, was clear to him.) But he
saw how monstrously the thought of her disgraceful, shameful
position was torturing her and had long tortured her. "What, what," he
thought, "could hitherto have hindered her from putting an end to it?"
Only then he realised what those poor little orphan children and
that pitiful half-crazy Katerina Ivanovna, knocking her head against
the wall in her consumption, meant for Sonia.
But, nevertheless, it was clear to him again that with her character
and the amount of education she had after all received, she could
not in any case remain so. He was still confronted by the question how
could she have remained so long in that position without going out
of her mind, since she could not bring herself to jump into the water?
Of course he knew that Sonia's position was an exceptional case,
though unhappily not unique and not infrequent, indeed; but that
very exceptionalness, her tinge of education, her previous life might,
one would have thought, have killed her at the first step on that
revolting path. What held her up- surely not depravity? All that
infamy had obviously only touched her mechanically, not one drop of
real depravity had penetrated to her heart; he saw that. He saw
through her as she stood before him....
"There are three ways before her," he thought, "the canal, the
madhouse, or... at last to sink into depravity which obscures the mind
and turns the heart to stone."
The last idea was the most revolting, but he was a sceptic, he was
young, abstract, and therefore cruel, and so he could not help
believing that the last end was the most likely.
"But can that be true?" he cried to himself. "Can that creature
who has still preserved the purity of her spirit be consciously
drawn at last into that sink of filth and iniquity? Can the process
already have begun? Can it be that she has only been able to bear it
till now, because vice has begun to be less loathsome to her? No,
no, that cannot be!" he cried, as Sonia had just before. "No, what has
kept her from the canal till now is the idea of sin and they, the
children.... And if she has not gone out of her mind... but who says
she has not gone out of her mind? Is she in her senses? Can one
talk, can one reason as she does? How can she sit on the edge of the
abyss of loathsomeness into which she is slipping and refuse to listen
when she is told of danger? Does she expect a miracle? No doubt she
does. Doesn't that all mean madness?"
He stayed obstinately at that thought. He liked that explanation
indeed better than any other. He began looking more intently at her.
"So you pray to God a great deal, Sonia?" he asked her.
Sonia did not speak; he stood beside her waiting for an answer.
"What should I be without God?" she whispered rapidly, forcibly,
glancing at him with suddenly flashing eyes, and squeezing his hand.
"Ah, so that is it!" he thought.
"And what does God do for you?" he asked, probing her further.
Sonia was silent a long while, as though she could not answer. Her
weak chest kept heaving with emotion.
"Be silent! Don't ask! You don't deserve!" she cried suddenly,
looking sternly and wrathfully at him.
"That's it, that's it," he repeated to himself.
"He does everything," she whispered quickly, looking down again.
"That's the way out! That's the explanation," he decided,
scrutinising her with eager curiosity, with a new, strange, almost
morbid feeling. He gazed at that pale, thin, irregular, angular little
face, those soft blue eyes, which could flash with such fire, such
stern energy, that little body still shaking with indignation and
anger- and it all seemed to him more and more strange, almost
impossible. "She is a religious maniac!" he repeated to himself.
There was a book lying on the chest of drawers. He had noticed it
every time he paced up and down the room. Now he took it up and looked
at it. It was the New Testament in the Russian translation. It was
bound in leather, old and worn.
"Where did you get that?" he called to her across the room.
She was still standing in the same place, three steps from the
"It was brought me," she answered, as it were unwillingly, not
looking at him.
"Who brought it?"
"Lizaveta, I asked her for it."
"Lizaveta! strange!" he thought.
Everything about Sonia seemed to him stranger and more wonderful
every moment. He carried the book to the candle and began to turn over
"Where is the story of Lazarus?" he asked suddenly.
Sonia looked obstinately at the ground and would not answer. She was
standing sideways to the table.
"Where is the raising of Lazarus? Find it for me, Sonia."
She stole a glance at him.
"You are not looking in the right place.... It's in the fourth
gospel," she whispered sternly, without looking at him.
"Find it and read it to me," he said. He sat down with his elbow
on the table, leaned his head on his hand and looked away sullenly,
prepared to listen.
"In three weeks' time they'll welcome me in the madhouse! I shall be
there if I am not in a worse place," he muttered to himself.
Sonia heard Raskolnikov's request distrustfully and moved
hesitatingly to the table. She took the book however.
"Haven't you read it?" she asked, looking up at him across the
Her voice became sterner and sterner.
"Long ago.... When I was at school. Read!"
"And haven't you heard it in church?"
"I... haven't been. Do you often go?"
"N-no," whispered Sonia.
"I understand.... And you won't go to your father's funeral
"Yes, I shall. I was at church last week, too... I had a requiem
"For Lizaveta. She was killed with an axe."
His nerves were more and more strained. His head began to go round.
"Were you friends with Lizaveta?"
"Yes.... She was good... she used to come... not often... she
couldn't.... We used to read together and... talk. She will see God."
The last phrase sounded strange in his ears. And here was
something new again: the mysterious meetings with Lizaveta and both of
them- religious maniacs.
"I shall be a religious maniac myself soon! It's infectious!"
"Read!" he cried irritably and insistently.
Sonia still hesitated. Her heart was throbbing. She hardly dared
to read to him. He looked almost with exasperation at the "unhappy
"What for? You don't believe?..." she whispered softly and as it
"Read! I want you to," he persisted. "You used to read to Lizaveta."
Sonia opened the book and found the place. Her hands were shaking,
her voice failed her. Twice she tried to begin and could not bring out
the first syllable.
"Now a certain man was sick named Lazarus of Bethany..." she
forced herself at last to read, but at the third word her voice
broke like an overstrained string. There was a catch in her breath.
Raskolnikov saw in part why Sonia could not bring herself to read to
him and the more he saw this, the more roughly and irritably he
insisted on her doing so. He understood only too well how painful it
was for her to betray and unveil all that was her own. He understood
that these feelings really were her secret treasure, which she had
kept perhaps for years, perhaps from childhood, while she lived with
an unhappy father and a distracted stepmother crazed by grief, in
the midst of starving children and unseemly abuse and reproaches.
But at the same time he knew now and knew for certain that, although
it filled her with dread and suffering, yet she had a tormenting
desire to read and to read to him that he might hear it, and to read
now whatever might come of it!... He read this in her eyes, he could
see it in her intense emotion. She mastered herself, controlled the
spasm in her throat and went on reading the eleventh chapter of St.
John. She went on to the nineteenth verse:
"And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary to comfort them
concerning their brother.
Then Martha as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming went and
met Him: but Mary sat still in the house.
Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my
brother had not died.
But I know that even now whatsoever Thou wilt ask of God, God will
give it Thee...."
Then she stopped again with a shamefaced feeling that her voice
would quiver and break again.
"Jesus said unto her, thy brother shall rise again.
Martha saith unto Him, I know that he shall rise again in the
resurrection, at the last day.
Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life: he that
believeth in Me though he were dead, yet shall he live.
And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die.
Believest thou this?
She saith unto Him,"
(And drawing a painful breath, Sonia read distinctly and forcibly as
though she were making a public confession of faith.)
"Yea, Lord: I believe that Thou art the Christ, the Son of God Which
should come into the world."
She stopped and looked up quickly at him, but controlling herself
went on reading. Raskolnikov sat without moving, his elbows on the
table and his eyes turned away. She read to the thirty-second verse.
"Then when Mary was come where Jesus was and saw Him, she fell
down at His feet, saying unto Him, Lord if Thou hadst been here, my
brother had not died.
When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping
which came with her, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled,
And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto Him, Lord, come and
Then said the Jews, behold how He loved him!
And some of them said, could not this Man which opened the eyes of
the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?"
Raskolnikov turned and looked at her with emotion. Yes, he had known
it! She was trembling in a real physical fever. He had expected it.
She was getting near the story of the greatest miracle and a feeling
of immense triumph came over her. Her voice rang out like a bell;
triumph and joy gave it power. The lines danced before her eyes, but
she knew what she was reading by heart. At the last verse "Could not
this Man which opened the eyes of the blind..." dropping her voice she
passionately reproduced the doubt, the reproach and censure of the
blind disbelieving Jews, who in another moment would fall at His
feet as though struck by thunder, sobbing and believing.... "And he,
he- too, is blinded and unbelieving, he, too, will hear, he, too, will
believe, yes, yes! At once, now," was what she was dreaming, and she
was quivering with happy anticipation.
"Jesus therefore again groaning in Himself cometh to the grave. It
was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.
Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that
was dead, saith unto Him, Lord by this time he stinketh: for he hath
been dead four days."
She laid emphasis on the word four.
"Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee that if thou wouldest
believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?
Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was
laid. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, Father, I thank Thee that
Thou hast heard Me.
And I knew that Thou hearest Me always; but because of the people
which stand by I said it, that they may believe that Thou hast sent
And when He thus had spoken, He cried with a loud voice, Lazarus,
And he that was dead came forth."
(She read loudly, cold and trembling with ecstasy, as though she
were seeing it before her eyes.)
"Bound hand and foot with graveclothes; and his face was bound about
with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him and let him go.
Then many of the Jews which came to Mary and had seen the things
which Jesus did believed on Him."
She could read no more, closed the book and got up from her chair
"That is all about the raising of Lazarus," she whispered severely
and abruptly, and turning away she stood motionless, not daring to
raise her eyes to him. She still trembled feverishly. The candle-end
was flickering out in the battered candlestick, dimly lighting up in
the poverty-stricken room the murderer and the harlot who had so
strangely been reading together the eternal book. Five minutes or more
"I came to speak of something," Raskolnikov said aloud, frowning. He
got up and went to Sonia. She lifted her eyes to him in silence. His
face was particularly stern and there was a sort of savage
determination in it.
"I have abandoned my family to-day," he said, "my mother and sister.
I am not going to see them. I've broken with them completely."
"What for?" asked Sonia amazed. Her recent meeting with his mother
and sister had left a great impression which she could not analyse.
She heard his news almost with horror.
"I have only you now," he added. "Let us go together.... I've come
to you, we are both accursed, let us go our way together!"
His eyes glittered "as though he were mad," Sonia thought, in her
"Go where?" she asked in alarm and she involuntarily stepped back.
"How do I know? I only know it's the same road, I know that and
nothing more. It's the same goal!"
She looked at him and understood nothing. She knew only that he
was terribly, infinitely unhappy.
"No one of them will understand, if you tell them, but I have
understood. I need you, that is why I have come to you."
"I don't understand," whispered Sonia.
"You'll understand later. Haven't you done the same? You, too,
have transgressed... have had the strength to transgress. You have
laid hands on yourself, you have destroyed a life... your own (it's
all the same!). You might have lived in spirit and understanding,
but you'll end in the Hay Market.... But you won't be able to stand
it, and if you remain alone you'll go out of your mind like me. You
are like a mad creature already. So we must go together on the same
road! Let us go!"
"What for? What's all this for?" said Sonia, strangely and violently
agitated by his words.
"What for? Because you can't remain like this, that's why! You
must look things straight in the face at last, and not weep like a
child and cry that God won't allow it. What will happen, if you should
really be taken to the hospital to-morrow? She is mad and in
consumption, she'll soon die, and the children? Do you mean to tell me
Polenka won't come to grief? Haven't you seen children here at the
street corners sent out by their mothers to beg? I've found out
where those mothers live and in what surroundings. Children can't
remain children there! At seven the child is vicious and a thief.
Yet children, you know, are the image of Christ: 'theirs is the
kingdom of Heaven.' He bade us honour and love them, they are the
humanity of the future...."
"What's to be done, what's to be done?" repeated Sonia, weeping
hysterically and wringing her hands.
"What's to be done? Break what must be broken, once for all,
that's all, and take the suffering on oneself. What, you don't
understand? You'll understand later.... Freedom and power, and above
all, power! Over all trembling creation and all the antheap!... That's
the goal, remember that! That's my farewell message. Perhaps it's
the last time I shall speak to you. If I don't come to-morrow,
you'll hear of it all, and then remember these words. And some day
later on, in years to come, you'll understand perhaps what they meant.
If I come to-morrow, I'll tell you who killed Lizaveta.... Good-bye."
Sonia started with terror.
"Why, do you know who killed her?" she asked, chilled with horror,
looking wildly at him.
"I know and will tell... you, only you. I have chosen you out. I'm
not coming to you to ask forgiveness, but simply to tell you. I
chose you out long ago to hear this, when your father talked of you
and when Lizaveta was alive, I thought of it. Good-bye, don't shake
He went out. Sonia gazed at him as at a madman. But she herself
was like one insane and felt it. Her head was going round.
"Good heavens, how does he know who killed Lizaveta? What did
those words mean? It's awful!" But at the same time the idea did not
enter her head, not for a moment! "Oh, he must be terribly unhappy!...
He has abandoned his mother and sister.... What for? What has
happened? And what had he in his mind? What did he say to her? He
had kissed her foot and said... said (yes, he had said it clearly)
that he could not live without her.... Oh, merciful heavens!"
Sonia spent the whole night feverish and delirious. She jumped up
from time to time, wept and wrung her hands, then sank again into
feverish sleep and dreamt of Polenka, Katerina Ivanovna and
Lizaveta, of reading the gospel and him... him with pale face, with
burning eyes... kissing her feet, weeping.
On the other side of the door on the right, which divided Sonia's
room from Madame Resslich's flat, was a room which long stood empty. A
card was fixed on the gate and a notice stuck in the windows over
the canal advertising it to let. Sonia had long been accustomed to the
room's being uninhabited. But all that time Mr. Svidrigailov had
been standing, listening at the door of the empty room. When
Raskolnikov went out he stood still, thought a moment, went on
tiptoe to his own room which adjoined the empty one, brought a chair
and noiselessly carried it to the door that led to Sonia's room. The
conversation had struck him as interesting and remarkable, and he
had greatly enjoyed it- so much so that he brought a chair that he
might not in the future, to-morrow, for instance, have to endure the
inconvenience of standing a whole hour, but might listen in comfort.
WHEN NEXT morning at eleven o'clock punctually Raskolnikov went into
the department of the investigation of criminal causes and sent his
name in to Porfiry Petrovitch, he was surprised at being kept
waiting so long: it was at least ten minutes before he was summoned.
He had expected that they would pounce upon him. But he stood in the
waiting-room, and people, who apparently had nothing to do with him,
were continually passing to and fro before him. In the next room which
looked like an office, several clerks were sitting writing and
obviously they had no notion who or what Raskolnikov might be. He
looked uneasily and suspiciously about him to see whether there was
not some guard, some mysterious watch being kept on him to prevent his
escape. But there was nothing of the sort: he saw only the faces of
clerks absorbed in petty details, then other people, no one seemed
to have any concern with him. He might go where he liked for them. The
conviction grew stronger in him that if that enigmatic man of
yesterday, that phantom sprung out of the earth, had seen
everything, they would not have let him stand and wait like that.
And would they have waited till he elected to appear at eleven? Either
the man had not yet given information, or... or simply he knew
nothing, had seen nothing (and how could he have seen anything?) and
so all that had happened to him the day before was again a phantom
exaggerated by his sick and overstrained imagination. This
conjecture had begun to grow strong the day before, in the midst of
all his alarm and despair. Thinking it all over now and preparing
for a fresh conflict, he was suddenly aware that he was trembling- and
he felt a rush of indignation at the thought that he was trembling
with fear at facing that hateful Porfiry Petrovitch. What he dreaded
above all was meeting that man again; he hated him with an intense,
unmitigated hatred and was afraid his hatred might betray him. His
indignation was such that he ceased trembling at once; he made ready
to go in with a cold and arrogant bearing and vowed to himself to keep
as silent as possible, to watch and listen and for once at least to
control his overstrained nerves. At that moment he was summoned to
He found Porfiry Petrovitch alone in his study. His study was a room
neither large nor small, furnished with a large writing-table, that
stood before a sofa, upholstered in checked material, a bureau, a
bookcase in the corner and several chairs- all government furniture,
of polished yellow wood. In the further wall there was a closed
door, beyond it there were, no doubt, other rooms. On Raskolnikov's
entrance Porfiry Petrovitch had at once closed the door by which he
had come in and they remained alone. He met his visitor with an
apparently genial and good-tempered air, and it was only after a few
minutes that Raskolnikov saw signs of a certain awkwardness in him, as
though he had been thrown out of his reckoning or caught in
something very secret.
"Ah, my dear fellow! Here you are... in our domain"... began
Porfiry, holding out both hands to him. "Come, sit down, old man... or
perhaps you don't like to be called 'my dear fellow' and 'old
man!'-tout court? Please don't think it too familiar.... Here, on
Raskolnikov sat down, keeping his eyes fixed on him. "In our
domain," the apologies for familiarity, the French phrase tout
court, were all characteristic signs.
"He held out both hands to me, but he did not give me one- he drew
it back in time," struck him suspiciously. Both were watching each
other, but when their eyes met, quick as lightning they looked away.
"I brought you this paper... about the watch. Here it is. Is it
all right or shall I copy it again?"
"What? A paper? Yes, yes, don't be uneasy, it's all right,"
Porfiry Petrovitch said as though in haste, and after he had said it
he took the paper and looked at it. "Yes, it's all right. Nothing more
is needed," he declared with the same rapidity and he laid the paper
on the table.
A minute later when he was talking of something else he took it from
the table and put it on his bureau.
"I believe you said yesterday you would like to question me...
formally... about my acquaintance with the murdered woman?"
Raskolnikov was beginning again. "Why did I put in 'I believe'" passed
through his mind in a flash. "Why am I so uneasy at having put in that
'I believe'?" came in a second flash. And he suddenly felt that his
uneasiness at the mere contact with Porfiry, at the first words, at
the first looks, had grown in an instant to monstrous proportions, and
that this was fearfully dangerous. His nerves were quivering, his
emotion was increasing. "It's bad, it's bad! I shall say too much
"Yes, yes, yes! There's no hurry, there's no hurry," muttered
Porfiry Petrovitch, moving to and fro about the table without any
apparent aim, as it were making dashes towards the window, the
bureau and the table, at one moment avoiding Raskolnikov's
suspicious glance, then again standing still and looking him
straight in the face.
His fat round little figure looked very strange, like a ball rolling
from one side to the other and rebounding back.
"We've plenty of time. Do you smoke? have you your own? Here, a
cigarette!" he went on, offering his visitor a cigarette. "You know
I am receiving you here, but my own quarters are through there, you
know, my government quarters. But I am living outside for the time,
I had to have some repairs done here. It's almost finished now....
Government quarters, you know, are a capital thing. Eh, what do you
"Yes, a capital thing," answered Raskolnikov, looking at him
"A capital thing, a capital thing," repeated Porfiry Petrovitch,
as though he had just thought of something quite different. "Yes, a
capital thing," he almost shouted at last, suddenly staring at
Raskolnikov and stopping short two steps from him.
This stupid repetition was too incongruous in its ineptitude with
the serious, brooding and enigmatic glance he turned upon his visitor.
But this stirred Raskolnikov's spleen more than ever and he could
not resist an ironical and rather incautious challenge.
"Tell me, please," he asked suddenly, looking almost insolently at
him and taking a kind of pleasure in his own insolence. "I believe
it's a sort of legal rule, a sort of legal tradition- for all
investigating lawyers- to begin their attack from afar, with a
trivial, or at least an irrelevant subject, so as to encourage, or
rather, to divert the man they are cross-examining, to disarm his
caution and then all at once to give him an unexpected knockdown
blow with some fatal question. Isn't that so? It's a sacred tradition,
mentioned, I fancy, in all the manuals of the art?"
"Yes, yes.... Why, do you imagine that was why I spoke about
government quarters... eh?"
And as he said this Porfiry Petrovitch screwed up his eyes and
winked; a good-humoured, crafty look passed over his face. The
wrinkles on his forehead were smoothed out, his eyes contracted, his
features broadened and he suddenly went off into a nervous prolonged
laugh, shaking all over and looking Raskolnikov straight in the
face. The latter forced himself to laugh, too, but when Porfiry,
seeing that he was laughing, broke into such a guffaw that he turned
almost crimson, Raskolnikov's repulsion overcame all precaution; he
left off laughing, scowled and stared with hatred at Porfiry,
keeping his eyes fixed on him while his intentionally prolonged
laughter lasted. There was lack of precaution on both sides,
however, for Porfiry Petrovitch seemed to be laughing in his visitor's
face and to be very little disturbed at the annoyance with which the
visitor received it. The latter fact was very significant in
Raskolnikov's eyes: he saw that Porfiry Petrovitch had not been
embarrassed just before either, but that he, Raskolnikov, had
perhaps fallen into a trap; that there must be something, some
motive here unknown to him; that, perhaps, everything was in readiness
and in another moment would break upon him...
He went straight to the point at once, rose from his seat and took
"Porfiry Petrovitch," he began resolutely, though with
considerable irritation, "yesterday you expressed a desire that I
should come to you for some inquiries (he laid special stress on the
word 'inquiries'). I have come and, if you have anything to ask me,
ask it, and if not, allow me to withdraw. I have no time to
spare.... I have to be at the funeral of that man who was run over, of
whom you... know also," he added, feeling angry at once at having made
this addition and more irritated at his anger, "I am sick of it all,
do you hear, and have long been. It's partly what made me ill. In
short," he shouted, feeling that the phrase about his illness was
still more out of place, "in short, kindly examine me or let me go, at
once. And if you must examine me, do so in the proper form! I will not
allow you to do so otherwise, and so meanwhile, good-bye, as we have
evidently nothing to keep us now."
"Good heavens! What do you mean? What shall I question you about?"
cackled Porfiry Petrovitch with a change of tone, instantly leaving
off laughing. "Please don't disturb yourself," he began fidgeting from
place to place and fussily making Raskolnikov sit down. "There's no
hurry, there's no hurry, it's all nonsense. Oh, no, I'm very glad
you've come to see me at last... I look upon you simply as a
visitor. And as for my confounded laughter, please excuse it, Rodion
Romanovitch. Rodion Romanovitch? That is your name?... It's my nerves,
you tickled me so with your witty observation; I assure you, sometimes
I shake with laughter like an India-rubber ball for half an hour at
a time.... I'm often afraid of an attack of paralysis. Do sit down.
Please do, or I shall think you are angry..."
Raskolnikov did not speak; he listened, watching him, still frowning
angrily. He did sit down, but still held his cap.
"I must tell you one thing about myself, my dear Rodion
Romanovitch," Porfiry Petrovitch continued, moving about the room
and again avoiding his visitor's eyes. "You see, I'm a bachelor, a man
of no consequence and not used to society; besides, I have nothing
before me, I'm set, I'm running to seed and... and have you noticed,
Rodion Romanovitch, that in our Petersburg circles, if two clever
men meet who are not intimate, but respect each other, like you and
me, it takes them half an hour before they can find a subject for
conversation- they are dumb, they sit opposite each other and feel
awkward. Every one has subjects of conversation, ladies for
instance... people in high society always have their subjects of
conversation, c'est de rigueur, but people of the middle sort like us,
thinking people that is, are always tongue-tied and awkward. What is
the reason of it? Whether it is the lack of public interest, or
whether it is we are so honest we don't want to deceive one another, I
don't know. What do you think? Do put down your cap, it looks as if
you were just going, it makes me uncomfortable... I am so
Raskolnikov put down his cap and continued listening in silence with
a serious frowning face to the vague and empty chatter of Porfiry
Petrovitch. "Does he really want to distract my attention with his
"I can't offer you coffee here; but why not spend five minutes
with a friend," Porfiry pattered on, "and you know all these
official duties... please don't mind my running up and down, excuse
it, my dear fellow, I am very much afraid of offending you, but
exercise is absolutely indispensable for me. I'm always sitting and so
glad to be moving about for five minutes... I suffer from my sedentary
life... I always intend to join a gymnasium; they say that officials
of all ranks, even Privy Councillors may be seen skipping gaily there;
there you have it, modern science... yes, yes.... But as for my duties
here, inquiries and all such formalities... you mentioned inquiries
yourself just now... I assure you these interrogations are sometimes
more embarrassing for the interrogator than for the interrogated....
You made the observation yourself just now very aptly and wittily.
(Raskolnikov had made no observation of the kind.) One gets into a
muddle! A regular muddle! One keeps harping on the same note, like a
drum! There is to be a reform and we shall be called by a different
name, at least, he-he-he! And as for our legal tradition, as you so
wittily called it, I thoroughly agree with you. Every prisoner on
trial, even the rudest peasant knows, that they begin by disarming him
with irrelevant questions (as you so happily put it) and then deal him
a knock-down blow, he-he-he!- your felicitous compacts son, he-he!
So you really imagined that I meant by government quarters... he-he!
You are an ironical person. Come. I won't go on! Ah, by the way,
yes! One word leads to another. You spoke of formality just now,
apropos of the inquiry, you know. But what's the use of formality?
In many cases it's nonsense. Sometimes one has a friendly chat and
gets a good deal more out of it. One can always fall back on
formality, allow me to assure you. And after all, what does it
amount to? An examining lawyer cannot be bounded by formality at every
step. The work of investigation is, so to speak, a free art in its own
Porfiry Petrovitch took breath a moment. He had simply babbled on
uttering empty phrases, letting slip a few enigmatic words and again
reverting to incoherence. He was almost running about the room, moving
his fat little legs quicker and quicker, looking at the ground, with
his right hand behind his back, while with his left making
gesticulations that were extraordinarily incongruous with his words.
Raskolnikov suddenly noticed that as he ran about the room he seemed
twice to stop for a moment near the door, as though he were listening.
"Is he expecting anything?"
"You are certainly quite right about it," Porfiry began gaily,
looking with extraordinary simplicity at Raskolnikov (which startled
him and instantly put him on his guard), "certainly quite right in
laughing so wittily at our legal forms, he-he! Some of these elaborate
psychological methods are exceedingly ridiculous and perhaps
useless, if one adheres too closely to the forms. Yes... I am
talking of forms again. Well, if I recognise, or more strictly
speaking, if I suspect some one or other to be a criminal in any
case entrusted to me... you're reading for the law, of course,
"Yes, I was..."
"Well, then it is a precedent for you for the future- though don't
suppose I should venture to instruct you after the articles you
publish about crime! No, I simply make bold to state it by way of
fact, if I took this man or that for a criminal, why, I ask, should
I worry him prematurely, even though I had evidence against him? In
one case I may be bound, for instance, to arrest a man at once, but
another may be in quite a different position, you know, so why
shouldn't I let him walk about the town a bit, he-he-he! But I see you
don't quite understand, so I'll give you a clearer example. If I put
him in prison too soon, I may very likely give him, so to speak, moral
support, he-he! You're laughing?"
Raskolnikov had no idea of laughing. He was sitting with
compressed lips, his feverish eyes fixed on Porfiry Petrovitch's.
"Yes that is the case, with some types especially, for men are so
different. You say evidence. Well, there may be evidence. But
evidence, you know, can generally be taken two ways. I am an examining
lawyer and a weak man, I confess it. I should like to make a proof, so
to say, mathematically clear, I should like to make a chain of
evidence such as twice two are four, it ought to be a direct,
irrefutable proof! And if I shut him up too soon- even though I
might be convinced he was the man, I should very likely be depriving
myself of the means of getting further evidence against him. And
how? By giving him, so to speak, a definite position, I shall put
him out of suspense and set his mind at rest, so that he will
retreat into his shell. They say that at Sevastopol, soon after
Alma, the clever people were in a terrible fright that the enemy would
attack openly and take Sevastopol at once. But when they saw that
the enemy preferred a regular siege, they were delighted, I am told
and reassured, for the thing would drag on for two months at least.
You're laughing, you don't believe me again? Of course, you're
right, too. You're right, you're right. These are an special cases,
I admit. But you must observe this, my dear Rodion Romanovitch, the
general case, the case for which all legal forms and rules are
intended, for which they are calculated and laid down in books, does
not exist at all, for the reason that every case, every crime for
instance, so soon as it actually occurs, at once becomes a
thoroughly special case and sometimes a case unlike any that's gone
before. Very comic cases of that sort sometimes occur. If I leave
one man quite alone, if I don't touch him and don't worry him, but let
him know or at least suspect every moment that I know all about it and
am watching him day and night, and if he is in continual suspicion and
terror, he'll be bound to lose his head. He'll come of himself, or
maybe do something which will make it as plain as twice two are
four- it's delightful. It may be so with a simple peasant, but with
one of our sort, an intelligent man cultivated on a certain side, it's
a dead certainty. For, my dear fellow, it's a very important matter to
know on what side a man is cultivated. And then there are nerves,
there are nerves, you have overlooked them! Why, they are all sick,
nervous and irritable!... And then how they all suffer from spleen!
That I assure you is a regular gold mine for us. And it's no anxiety
to me, his running about the town free! Let him, let him walk about
for a bit! I know well enough that I've caught him and that he won't
escape me. Where could he escape to, he-he? Abroad, perhaps? A Pole
will escape abroad, but not here, especially as I am watching and have
taken measures. Will he escape into the depths of the country perhaps?
But you know, peasants live there, real rude Russian peasants. A
modern cultivated man would prefer prison to living with such
strangers as our peasants. He-he! But that's all nonsense, and on
the surface. It's not merely that he has nowhere to run to, he is
psychologically unable to escape me, he-he! What an expression!
Through a law of nature he can't escape me if he had anywhere to go.
Have you seen a butterfly round a candle? That's how he will keep
circling and circling round me. Freedom will lose its attractions.
He'll begin to brood, hell weave a tangle round himself, he'll worry
himself to death! What's more he will provide me with a mathematical
proof- if I only give him long enough interval.... And he'll keep
circling round me, getting nearer and nearer and then- flop! He'll fly
straight into my mouth and I'll swallow him, and that will be very
amusing, he-he-he! You don't believe me?"
Raskolnikov made no reply; he sat pale and motionless, still
gazing with the same intensity into Porfiry's face.
"It's a lesson," he thought, turning cold. "This is beyond the cat
playing with a mouse, like yesterday. He can't be showing off his
power with no motive... prompting me; he is far too clever for that...
he must have another object. What is it? It's all nonsense, my friend,
you are pretending, to scare me! You've no proofs and the man I saw
had no real existence. You simply want to make me lose my head, to
work me up beforehand and so to crush me. But you are wrong, you won't
do it! But why give me such a hint? Is he reckoning on my shattered
nerves? No, my friend, you are wrong, you won't do it even though
you have some trap for me... let us see what you have in store for
And he braced himself to face a terrible and unknown ordeal. At
times he longed to fall on Porfiry and strangle him. This anger was
what he dreaded from the beginning. He felt that his parched lips were
flecked with foam, his heart was throbbing. But he was still
determined not to speak till the right moment. He realised that this
was the best policy in his position, because instead of saying too
much he would be irritating his enemy by his silence and provoking him
into speaking too freely. Anyhow, this was what he hoped for.
"No, I see you don't believe me, you think I am playing a harmless
joke on you," Porfiry began again, getting more and more lively,
chuckling at every instant and again pacing round the room. "And, to
be sure, you're right: God has given me a figure that can awaken
none but comic ideas in other people; a buffoon; but let me tell you
and I repeat it, excuse an old man, my dear Rodion Romanovitch, you
are a man still young, so to say, in your first youth and so you put
intellect above everything, like all young people. Playful wit and
abstract arguments fascinate you and that's for all the world like the
old Austrian Hofkriegsrath, as far as I can judge of military
matters that is: on paper they'd beaten Napoleon and taken him
prisoner, and there in their study they worked it all out in the
cleverest fashion, but look you, General Mack surrendered with all his
army, he-he-he! I see, I see, Rodion Romanovitch, you are laughing
at a civilian like me, taking examples out of military history! But
I can't help it, it's my weakness. I am fond of military science.
And I'm ever so fond of reading all military histories. I've certainly
missed my proper career. I ought to have been in the army, upon my
word I ought. I shouldn't have been a Napoleon, but I might have
been a major, he-he-he! Well, I'll tell you the whole truth, my dear
fellow, about this special case, I mean: actual fact and a man's
temperament, my dear sir, are weighty matters and it's astonishing how
they sometimes deceive the sharpest calculation! I- listen to an old
man- am speaking seriously, Rodion Romanovitch (as he said this
Porfiry Petrovitch who was scarcely five and thirty actually seemed to
have grown old; even his voice changed and he seemed to shrink
together) moreover, I'm a candid man... am I a candid man or not? What
do you say? I fancy I really am: I tell you these things for nothing
and don't even expect a reward for it, he-he! Well, to proceed, wit in
my opinion is a splendid thing, it is, so to say, an adornment of
nature and a consolation of life, and what tricks it can play! So that
it sometimes is hard for a poor examining lawyer to know where he
is, especially when he's liable to be carried away by his own fancy,
too, for you know he is a man after all. But the poor fellow is
saved by the criminal's temperament, worse luck for him! But young
people carried away by their own wit don't think of that 'when they
overstep all obstacles' as you wittily and cleverly expressed it
yesterday. He will lie- that is, the man who is a special case, the
incognito, and he will lie well, in the cleverest fashion; you might
think he would triumph and enjoy the fruits of his wit, but at the
most interesting, the most flagrant moment he will faint. Of course
there may be illness and a stuffy room as well, but anyway! Anyway
he's given us the idea! He lied incomparably, but he didn't reckon
on his temperament. That's what betrays him! Another time he will be
carried away by his playful wit into making fun of the man who
suspects him, he will turn pale as it were on purpose to mislead,
but his paleness will be too natural, too much like the real thing,
again he has given us an idea! Though his questioner may be deceived
at first, he will think differently next day if he is not a fool, and,
of course, it is like that at every step! He puts himself forward
where he is not wanted, speaks continually when he ought to keep
silent, brings in all sorts of allegorical allusions, he-he! Comes and
asks why didn't you take me long ago, he-he-he! And that can happen,
you know, with the cleverest man, the psychologist, the literary
man. The temperament reflects everything like a mirror! Gaze into it
and admire what you see! But why are you so pale, Rodion
Romanovitch? Is the room stuffy? Shall I open the window?"
"Oh, don't trouble, please," cried Raskolnikov and he suddenly broke
into a laugh. "Please don't trouble."
Porfiry stood facing him, paused a moment and suddenly he too
laughed. Raskolnikov got up from the sofa, abruptly checking his
"Porfiry Petrovitch," he began, speaking loudly and distinctly,
though his legs trembled and he could scarcely stand. "I see clearly
at last that you actually suspect me of murdering that old woman and
her sister Lizaveta. Let me tell you for my part that I am sick of
this. If you find that you have a right to prosecute me legally, to
arrest me, then prosecute me, arrest me. But I will not let myself
be jeered at to my face and worried..."
His lips trembled, his eyes glowed with fury and he could not
restrain his voice.
"I won't allow it!" he shouted, bringing his fist down on the table.
"Do you hear that, Porfiry Petrovitch? I won't allow it."
"Good heavens! What does it mean?" cried Porfiry Petrovitch,
apparently quite frightened. "Rodion Romanovitch, my dear fellow, what
is the matter with you?"
"I won't allow it," Raskolnikov shouted again.
"Hush, my dear man! They'll hear and come in. Just think, what could
we say to them?" Porfiry Petrovitch whispered in horror, bringing
his face close to Raskolnikov's.
"I won't allow it, I won't allow it," Raskolnikov repeated
mechanically, but he too spoke in a sudden whisper.
Porfiry turned quickly and ran to open the window.
"Some fresh air! And you must have some water, my dear fellow.
You're ill!" and he was running to the door to call for some when he
found a decanter of water in the corner. "Come, drink a little," he
whispered, rushing up to him with the decanter. "It will be sure to do