Re: Достоевский Ф. М. - Преступление и наказание в переводе на английский
"I am ready, I'll be responsible... but calm yourself, madam, calm
yourself. I see that you are not so submissive!... Well, well, but
as to that..." Luzhin muttered, "that ought to be before the police...
though indeed there are witnesses enough as it is.... I am ready....
But in any case it's difficult for a man... on account of her
sex.... But with the help of Amalia Ivanovna... though, of course,
it's not the way to do things.... How is it to be done?"
"As you will! Let any one who likes search her!" cried Katerina
Ivanovna. "Sonia, turn out your pockets! See. Look, monster, the
pocket is empty, here was her handkerchief! Here is the other
pocket, look! D'you see, d'you see?"
And Katerina Ivanovna turned- or rather snatched- both pockets
inside out. But from the right pocket a piece of paper flew out and
describing a parabola in the air fell at Luzhin's feet. Every one
saw it, several cried out. Pyotr Petrovitch stooped down, picked up
the paper in two fingers, lifted it where all could see it and
opened it. It was a hundred-rouble note folded in eight. Pyotr
Petrovitch held up the note showing it to every one.
"Thief! Out of my lodging. Police, police!" yelled Amalia
Ivanovna. "They must to Siberia be sent! Away!"
Exclamations arose on all sides. Raskolnikov was silent, keeping his
eyes fixed on Sonia, except for an occasional rapid glance at
Luzhin. Sonia stood still, as though unconscious. She was hardly
able to feel surprise. Suddenly the colour rushed to her cheeks; she
uttered a cry and hid her face in her hands.
"No, it wasn't I! I didn't take it! I know nothing about it," she
cried with a heartrending wail, and she ran to Katerina Ivanovna,
who clasped her tightly in her arms, as though she would shelter her
from all the world.
"Sonia! Sonia! I don't believe it! You see, I don't believe it!" she
cried in the face of the obvious fact, swaying her to and fro in her
arms like a baby, kissing her face continually, then snatching at
her hands and kissing them, too. "You took it! How stupid these people
are! Oh dear! You are fools, fools," she cried, addressing the whole
room, "you don't know, you don't know what a heart she has, what a
girl she is! She take it, she? She'd sell her last rag, she'd go
barefoot to help you if you needed it, that's what she is! She has the
yellow passport because my children were starving, she sold herself
for us! Ah, husband, husband! Do you see? Do you see? What a
memorial dinner for you! Merciful heavens! Defend her, why are you all
standing still? Rodion Romanovitch, why don't you stand up for her? Do
you believe it, too? You are not worth her little finger, all of you
together! Good God! Defend her now, at least!"
The wail of the poor, consumptive, helpless woman seemed to
produce a great effect on her audience. The agonised, wasted,
consumptive face, the parched blood-stained lips, the hoarse voice,
the tears unrestrained as a child's, the trustful, childish and yet
despairing prayer for help were so piteous that every one seemed to
feel for her. Pyotr Petrovitch at any rate was at once moved to
"Madam, madam, this incident does not reflect upon you!" he cried
impressively, "no one would take upon himself to accuse you of being
an instigator or even an accomplice in it, especially as you have
proved her guilt by turning out her pockets, showing that you had no
previous idea of it. I am most ready, most ready to show compassion,
if poverty, so to speak, drove Sofya Semyonovna to it, but why did you
refuse to confess, mademoiselle? Were you afraid of the disgrace?
The first step? You lost your head, perhaps? One can quite
understand it.... But how could you have lowered yourself to such an
action? Gentlemen," he addressed the whole company, "gentlemen!
Compassionate and so to say commiserating these people, I am ready
to overlook it even now in spite of the personal insult lavished
upon me! And may this disgrace be a lesson to you for the future,"
he said, addressing Sonia, "and I will carry the matter no further.
Pyotr Petrovitch stole a glance at Raskolnikov. Their eyes met,
and the fire in Raskolnikov's seemed ready to reduce him to ashes.
Meanwhile Katerina Ivanovna apparently heard nothing. She was
kissing and hugging Sonia like a madwoman. The children, too, were
embracing Sonia on all sides, and Polenka,- though she did not fully
understand what was wrong,- was drowned in tears and shaking with
sobs, as she hid her pretty little face, swollen with weeping, on
"How vile!" a loud voice cried suddenly in the doorway.
Pyotr Petrovitch looked round quickly.
"What vileness!" Lebeziatnikov repeated, staring him straight in the
Pyotr Petrovitch gave a positive start- all noticed it and
recalled it afterwards. Lebeziatnikov strode into the room.
"And you dared to call me as witness?" he said, going up to Pyotr
"What do you mean? What are you talking about?" muttered Luzhin.
"I mean that you... are a slanderer, that's what my words mean!"
Lebeziatnikov said hotly, looking sternly at him with his shortsighted
He was extremely angry. Raskolnikov gazed intently at him, as though
seizing and weighing each word. Again there was a silence. Pyotr
Petrovitch indeed seemed almost dumbfounded for the first moment.
"If you mean that for me,..." he began, stammering. "But what's
the matter with you? Are you out of your mind?"
"I'm in my mind, but you are a scoundrel! Ah, how vile! I have heard
everything. I kept waiting on purpose to understand it, for I must own
even now it is not quite logical.... What you have done it all for I
"Why, what have I done then? Give over talking in your nonsensical
riddles! Or maybe you are drunk!"
"You may be a drunkard, perhaps, vile man, but I am not! I never
touch vodka, for it's against my convictions. Would you believe it,
he, he himself, with his own hands gave Sofya Semyonovna that
hundred-rouble note- I saw it, I was a witness, I'll take my oath!
He did it, he!" repeated Lebeziatnikov, addressing all.
"Are you crazy, milksop?" squealed Luzhin. "She is herself before
you,- she herself here declared just now before every one that I
gave her only ten roubles. How could I have given it to her?"
"I saw it, I saw it," Lebeziatnikov repeated, "and although it is
against my principles, I am ready this very minute to take any oath
you like before the court, for I saw how you slipped it in her pocket.
Only like a fool I thought you did it out of kindness! When you were
saying good-bye to her at the door, while you held her hand in one
hand, with the other, the left, you slipped the note into her
pocket. I saw it, I saw it!"
Luzhin turned pale.
"What lies!" he cried impudently, "why, how could you, standing by
the window, see the note! You fancied it with your shortsighted
eyes. You are raving!"
"No, I didn't fancy it. And though I was standing some way off, I
saw it all. And though it certainly would be hard to distinguish a
note from the window,- that's true- I knew for certain that it was a
hundred-rouble note, because, when you were going to give Sofya
Semyonovna ten roubles, you took up from the table a hundred-rouble
note (I saw it because I was standing near then, and an idea struck me
at once, so that I did not forget you had it in your hand). You folded
it and kept it in your hand all the time. I didn't think of it again
until, when you were getting up, you changed it from your right hand
to your left and nearly dropped it! I noticed it because the same idea
struck me again, that you meant to do her a kindness without my
seeing. You can fancy how I watched you and I saw how you succeeded in
slipping it into her pocket. I saw it, I saw it, I'll take my oath."
Lebeziatnikov was almost breathless. Exclamations arose on all hands
chiefly expressive of wonder, but some were menacing in tone. They all
crowded round Pyotr Petrovitch. Katerina Ivanovna flew to
"I was mistaken in you! Protect her! You are the only one to take
her part! She is an orphan. God has sent you!"
Katerina Ivanovna, hardly knowing what she was doing, sank on her
knees before him.
"A pack of nonsense!" yelled Luzhin, roused to fury, "it's all
nonsense you've been talking! 'An idea struck you, you didn't think,
you noticed'- what does it amount to? So I gave it to her on the sly
on purpose? What for? With what object? What have I to do with
"What for? That's what I can't understand, but that what I am
telling you is the fact, that's certain! So far from my being
mistaken, you infamous, criminal man, I remember how, on account of
it, a question occurred to me at once, just when I was thanking you
and pressing your hand. What made you put it secretly in her pocket?
Why you did it secretly, I mean? Could it be simply to conceal it from
me, knowing that my convictions are opposed to yours and that I do not
approve of private benevolence, which effects no radical cure? Well, I
decided that you really were ashamed of giving such a large sum before
me. Perhaps, too, I thought, he wants to give her a surprise, when she
finds a whole hundred-rouble note in her pocket. (For I know some
benevolent people are very fond of decking out their charitable
actions in that way.) Then the idea struck me, too, that you wanted to
test her, to see whether, when she found it, she would come to thank
you. Then, too, that you wanted to avoid thanks and that, as the
saying is, your right hand should not know... something of that
sort, in fact. I thought of so many possibilities that I put off
considering it, but still thought it indelicate to show you I knew
your secret. But another idea struck me again that Sofya Semyonovna
might easily lose the money before she noticed it, that was why I
decided to come in here to call her out of the room and to tell her
that you put a hundred roubles in her pocket. But on my way I went
first to Madame Kobilatnikov's to take them the 'General Treatise on
the Positive Method' and especially to recommend Piderit's article
(and also Wagner's); then I come on here and what a state of things
I find! Now could I, could I, have all these ideas and reflections, if
I had not seen you put the hundred-rouble note in her pocket?"
When Lebeziatnikov finished his long-winded harangue with the
logical deduction at the end, he was quite tired, and the perspiration
streamed from his face. He could not, alas, even express himself
correctly in Russian, though he knew no other language, so that he was
quite exhausted, almost emaciated after this heroic exploit. But his
speech produced a powerful effect. He had spoken with such
vehemence, with such conviction that every one obviously believed him.
Pyotr Petrovitch felt that things were going badly with him.
"What is it to do with me if silly ideas did occur to you?" he
shouted, "that's no evidence. You may have dreamt it, that's all!
And I tell you, you are lying, sir. You are lying and slandering
from some spite against me, simply from pique, because I did not agree
with your freethinking, godless, social propositions!"
But this retort did not benefit Pyotr Petrovitch. Murmurs of
disapproval were heard on all sides.
"Ah, that's your line now, is it!" cried Lebeziatnikov, "that's
nonsense! Call the police and I'll take my oath! There's only one
thing I can't understand: what made him risk such a contemptible
action. Oh, pitiful, despicable man!"
"I can explain why he risked such an action, and if necessary, I,
too, will swear to it," Raskolnikov said at last in a firm voice,
and he stepped forward.
He appeared to be firm and composed. Every one felt clearly, from
the very look of him that he really knew about it and that the mystery
would be solved.
"Now I can explain it all to myself," said Raskolnikov, addressing
Lebeziatnikov. "From the very beginning of the business, I suspected
that there was some scoundrelly intrigue at the bottom of it. I
began to suspect it from some special circumstances known to me
only, which I will explain at once to every one: they account for
everything. Your valuable evidence has finally made everything clear
to me. I beg all, all to listen. This gentleman (he pointed to Luzhin)
was recently engaged to be married to a young lady- my sister, Avdotya
Romanovna Raskolnikov. But coming to Petersburg he quarrelled with me,
the day before yesterday, at our first meeting and I drove him out
of my room- I have two witnesses to prove it. He is a very spiteful
man.... The day before yesterday I did not know that he was staying
here, in your room, and that consequently on the very day we
quarrelled- the day before yesterday- he saw me give Katerina Ivanovna
some money for the funeral, as a friend of the late Mr. Marmeladov. He
at once wrote a note to my mother and informed her that I had given
away all my money, not to Katerina Ivanovna, but to Sofya
Semyonovna, and referred in a most contemptible way to the...
character of Sofya Semyonovna, that is, hinted at the character of
my attitude to Sofya Semyonovna. All this you understand was with
the object of dividing me from my mother and sister, by insinuating
that I was squandering on unworthy objects the money which they had
sent me and which was all they had. Yesterday evening, before my
mother and sister and in his presence, I declared that I had given the
money to Katerina Ivanovna for the funeral and not to Sofya Semyonovna
and that I had no acquaintance with Sofya Semyonovna and had never
seen her before, indeed. At the same time I added that he, Pyotr
Petrovitch Luzhin, with all his virtues was not worth Sofya
Semyonovna's little finger, though he spoke so ill of her. To his
question- would I let Sofya Semyonovna sit down beside my sister, I
answered that I had already done so that day. Irritated that my mother
and sister were unwilling to quarrel with me at his insinuations, he
gradually began being unpardonably rude to them. A final rupture
took place and he was turned out of the house. All this happened
yesterday evening. Now I beg your special attention: consider: if he
had now succeeded in proving that Sofya Semyonovna was a thief, he
would have shown to my mother and sister that he was almost right in
his suspicions, that he had reason to be angry at my putting my sister
on a level with Sofya Semyonovna, that, in attacking me, he was
protecting and preserving the honour of my sister, his betrothed. In
fact he might even, through all this, have been able to estrange me
from my family, and no doubt he hoped to be restored to favour with
them; to say nothing of revenging himself on me personally, for he has
grounds for supposing that the honour and happiness of Sofya
Semyonovna are very precious to me. That was what he was working
for! That's how I understand it. That's the whole reason for it and
there can be no other!"
It was like this, or somewhat like this, that Raskolnikov wound up
his speech which was followed very attentively, though often
interrupted by exclamations from his audience. But in spite of
interruptions he spoke clearly, calmly, exactly, firmly. His
decisive voice, his tone of conviction and his stern face made a great
impression on every one.
"Yes, yes, that's it," Lebeziatnikov assented gleefully, "that
must be it, for he asked me, as soon as Sofya Semyonovna came into our
room, whether you were here, whether I had seen you among Katerina
Ivanovna's guests. He called me aside to the window and asked me in
secret. It was essential for him that you should be here! That's it,
Luzhin smiled contemptuously and did not speak. But he was very
pale. He seemed to be deliberating on some means of escape. Perhaps he
would have been glad to give up everything and get away, but at the
moment this was scarcely possible. It would have implied admitting the
truth of the accusations brought against him. Moreover, the company,
which had already been excited by drink, was now too much stirred to
allow it. The commissariat clerk, though indeed he had not grasped the
whole position, was shouting louder than any one and was making some
suggestions very unpleasant to Luzhin. But not all those present
were drunk; lodgers came in from all the rooms. The three Poles were
tremendously excited and were continually shouting at him: "The Pan is
a lajdak!" and muttering threats in Polish. Sonia had been listening
with strained attention, though she too seemed unable to grasp it all;
she seemed as though she had just returned to consciousness. She did
not take her eyes off Raskolnikov, feeling that all her safety lay
in him. Katerina Ivanovna breathed hard and painfully and seemed
fearfully exhausted. Amalia Ivanovna stood looking more stupid than
any one, with her mouth wide open, unable to make out what had
happened. She only saw that Pyotr Petrovitch had somehow come to
Raskolnikov was attempting to speak again, but they did not let him.
Every one was crowding round Luzhin with threats and shouts of
abuse. But Pyotr Petrovitch was not intimidated. Seeing that his
accusation of Sonia had completely failed, he had recourse to
"Allow me, gentlemen, allow me! Don't squeeze, let me pass!" he
said, making his way through the crowd. "And no threats if you please!
I assure you it will be useless, you will gain nothing by it. On the
contrary, you'll have to answer, gentlemen, for violently
obstructing the course of justice. The thief has been more than
unmasked, and I shall prosecute. Our judges are not so blind and...
not so drunk, and will not believe the testimony of two notorious
infidels, agitators, and atheists, who accuse me from motives of
personal revenge which they are foolish enough to admit.... Yes, allow
me to pass!"
"Don't let me find a trace of you in my room! Kindly leave at
once, and everything is at an end between us! When I think of the
trouble I've been taking, the way I've been expounding... all this
"I told you myself to-day that I was going, when you tried to keep
me; now I will simply add that you are a fool. I advise you to see a
doctor for your brains and your short sight. Let me pass, gentlemen!"
He forced his way through. But the commissariat clerk was
unwilling to let him off so easily: he picked up a glass from the
table, brandished it in the air and flung it at Pyotr Petrovitch;
but the glass flew straight at Amalia Ivanovna. She screamed, and
the clerk, overbalancing, fell heavily under the table. Pyotr
Petrovitch made his way to his room and half an hour later had left
the house. Sonia, timid by nature, had felt before that day that she
could be ill-treated more easily than any one, and that she could be
wronged with impunity. Yet till that moment she had fancied that she
might escape misfortune by care, gentleness and submissiveness
before every one. Her disappointment was too great. She could, of
course, bear with patience and almost without murmur anything, even
this. But for the first minute she felt it too bitter. In spite of her
triumph and her justification- when her first terror and
stupefaction had passed and she could understand it all clearly- the
feeling of her helplessness and of the wrong done to her made her
heart throb with anguish and she was overcome with hysterical weeping.
At last, unable to bear any more, she rushed out of the room and ran
home, almost immediately after Luzhin's departure. When amidst loud
laughter the glass flew at Amalia Ivanovna, it was more than the
landlady could endure. With a shriek she rushed like a fury at
Katerina Ivanovna, considering her to blame for everything.
"Out of my lodgings! At once! Quick march!"
And with these words she began snatching up everything she could lay
her hands on that belonged to Katerina Ivanovna, and throwing it on
the floor, Katerina Ivanovna, pale, almost fainting, and gasping for
breath, jumped up from the bed where she had sunk in exhaustion and
darted at Amalia Ivanovna. But the battle was too unequal: the
landlady waved her away like a feather.
"What! As though that godless calumny was not enough- this vile
creature attacks me! What! On the day of my husband's funeral I am
turned out of my lodgings! After eating my bread and salt she turns me
into the street, with my orphans! Where am I to go?" wailed the poor
woman, sobbing and gasping. "Good God!" she cried with flashing
eyes, "is there no justice upon earth? Whom should you protect if
not us orphans? We shall see! There is law and justice on earth, there
is, I will find it! Wait a bit, godless creature! Polenka, stay with
the children, I'll come back. Wait for me, if you have to wait in
the street. We will see whether there is justice on earth!"
And throwing over her head that green shawl which Marmeladov had
mentioned to Raskolnikov, Katerina Ivanovna squeezed her way through
the disorderly and drunken crowd of lodgers who still filled the room,
and, wailing and tearful, she ran into the street- with a vague
intention of going at once somewhere to find justice. Polenka with the
two little ones in her arms crouched, terrified, on the trunk in the
corner of the room, where she waited trembling for her mother to
come back. Amalia Ivanovna raged about the room, shrieking,
lamenting and throwing everything she came across on the floor. The
lodgers talked incoherently, some commented to the best of their
ability on what had happened, others quarreled and swore at one
another, while others struck up a song....
"Now it's time for me to go," thought Raskolnikov. "Well, Sofya
Semyonovna, we shall see what you'll say now!"
And he set off in the direction of Sonia's lodgings.
RASKOLNIKOV had been a vigorous and active champion of Sonia against
Luzhin, although he had such a load of horror and anguish in his own
heart. But having gone through so much in the morning, he found a sort
of relief in a change of sensations, apart from the strong personal
feeling which impelled him to defend Sonia. He was agitated too,
especially at some moments, by the thought of his approaching
interview with Sonia: he had to tell her who had killed Lizaveta. He
knew the terrible suffering it would be to him and, as it were,
brushed away the thought of it. So when he cried as he left Katerina
Ivanovna's, "Well, Sofya Semyonovna, we shall see what you'll say
now!" he was still superficially excited, still vigorous and defiant
from his triumph over Luzhin. But, strange to say, by the time he
reached Sonia's lodging, he felt a sudden impotence and fear. He stood
still in hesitation at the door, asking himself the strange
question: "Must I tell her who killed Lizaveta?" It was a strange
question because he felt at the very time not only that he could not
help telling her, but also that he could not put off the telling. He
did not yet know why it must be so, he only felt it, and the agonising
sense of his impotence before the inevitable almost crushed him. To
cut short his hesitation and suffering, he quickly opened the door and
looked at Sonia from the doorway. She was sitting with her elbows on
the table and her face in her hands, but seeing Raskolnikov she got up
at once and came to meet him as though she were expecting him.
"What would have become of me but for you!" she said quickly,
meeting him in the middle of the room.
Evidently she was in haste to say this to him. It was what she had
been waiting for.
Raskolnikov went to the table and sat down on the chair from which
she had only just risen. She stood facing him, two steps away, just as
she had done the day before.
"Well, Sonia?" he said, and felt that his voice was trembling, "it
was all due to 'your social position and the habits associated with
it.' Did you understand that just now?"
Her face showed her distress.
"Only don't talk to me as you did yesterday," she interrupted him.
"Please don't begin it. There is misery enough without that."
She made haste to smile, afraid that he might not like the reproach.
"I was silly to come away from there. What is happening there now? I
wanted to go back directly, but I kept thinking that... you would
He told her that Amalia Ivanovna was turning them out of their
lodging and that Katerina Ivanovna had run off somewhere "to seek
"My God!" cried Sonia, "let's go at once...."
And she snatched up her cape.
"It's everlastingly the same thing!" said Raskolnikov, irritably.
"You've no thought except for them! Stay a little with me."
"But... Katerina Ivanovna?"
"You won't lose Katerina Ivanovna, you may be sure, she'll come to
you herself since she has run out," he added peevishly. "If she
doesn't find you here, you'll be blamed for it...."
Sonia sat down in painful suspense. Raskolnikov was silent, gazing
at the floor and deliberating.
"This time Luzhin did not want to prosecute you," he began, not
looking at Sonia, "but if he had wanted to, if it had suited his
plans, he would have sent you to prison if it had not been for
Lebeziatnikov and me. Ah?"
"Yes," she assented in a faint voice. "Yes," she repeated,
preoccupied and distressed.
"But I might easily not have been there. And it was quite an
accident Lebeziatnikov's turning up."
Sonia was silent.
"And if you'd gone to prison, what then? Do you remember what I said
Again she did not answer. He waited.
"I thought you would cry out again 'don't speak of it, leave
off.'" Raskolnikov gave a laugh, but rather a forced one. "What,
silence again?" he asked a minute later. "We must talk about
something, you know. It would be interesting for me to know how you
would decide a certain 'problem' as Lebeziatnikov would say." (He
was beginning to lose the thread.) "No, really, I am serious. Imagine,
Sonia, that you had known all Luzhin's intentions beforehand. Known,
that is, for a fact, that they would be the ruin of Katerina
Ivanovna and the children and yourself thrown in- since you don't
count yourself for anything- Polenka too... for she'll go the same
way. Well, if suddenly it all depended on your decision whether he
or they should go on living, that is whether Luzhin should go on
living and doing wicked things, or Katerina Ivanovna should die? How
would you decide which of them was to die? I ask you?"
Sonia looked uneasily at him. There was something peculiar in this
hesitating question, which seemed approaching something in a
"I felt that you were going to ask some question like that," she
said, looking inquisitively at him.
"I dare say you did. But how is it to be answered?"
"Why do you ask about what could not happen?" said Sonia
"Then it would be better for Luzhin to go on living and doing wicked
things? You haven't dared to decide even that!"
"But I can't know the Divine Providence.... And why do you ask
what can't be answered? What's the use of such foolish questions?
How could it happen that it should depend on my decision- who has made
me a judge to decide who is to live and who is not to live?"
"Oh, if the Divine Providence is to be mixed up in it, there is no
doing anything," Raskolnikov grumbled morosely.
"You'd better say straight out what you want!" Sonia cried in
distress. "You are leading up to something again.... Can you have come
simply to torture me?"
She could not control herself and began crying bitterly. He looked
at her in gloomy misery. Five minutes passed.
"Of course you're right, Sonia," he said softly at last. He was
suddenly changed. His tone of assumed arrogance and helpless
defiance was gone. Even his voice was suddenly weak. "I told you
yesterday that I was not coming to ask forgiveness and almost the
first thing I've said is to ask forgiveness.... I said that about
Luzhin and Providence for my own sake. I was asking forgiveness,
He tried to smile, but there was something helpless and incomplete
in his pale smile. He bowed his head and hid his face in his hands.
And suddenly a strange, surprising sensation of a sort of bitter
hatred for Sonia passed through his heart. As it were wondering and
frightened of this sensation, he raised his head and looked intently
at her; but he met her uneasy and painfully anxious eyes fixed on him;
there was love in them; his hatred vanished like a phantom. It was not
the real feeling; he had taken the one feeling for the other. It
only meant that that minute had come.
He hid his face in his hands again and bowed his head. Suddenly he
turned pale, got up from his chair, looked at Sonia, and without
uttering a word sat down mechanically on her bed.
His sensations that moment were terribly like the moment when he had
stood over the old woman with the axe in his hand and felt that "he
must not lose another minute."
"What's the matter?" asked Sonia, dreadfully frightened.
He could not utter a word. This was not at all, not at all the way
he had intended to "tell" and he did not understand what was happening
to him now. She went up to him, softly, sat down on the bed beside him
and waited, not taking her eyes off him. Her heart throbbed and
sank. It was unendurable; he turned his deadly pale face to her. His
lips worked, helplessly struggling to utter something. A pang of
terror passed through Sonia's heart.
"What's the matter?" she repeated, drawing a little away from him.
"Nothing, Sonia, don't be frightened.... It's nonsense. It really is
nonsense, if you think of it," he muttered, like a man in delirium.
"Why have I come to torture you?" he added suddenly, looking at her.
"Why, really? I keep asking myself that question, Sonia...."
He had perhaps been asking himself that question a quarter of an
hour before, but now he spoke helplessly, hardly knowing what he
said and feeling a continual tremor all over.
"Oh, how you are suffering!" she muttered in distress, looking
intently at him.
"It's all nonsense.... Listen, Sonia." He suddenly smiled, a pale
helpless smile for two seconds. "You remember what I meant to tell you
Sonia waited uneasily.
"I said as I went away that perhaps I was saying good-bye for
ever, but that if I came to-day I would tell you who... who killed
She began trembling all over.
"Well, here I've come to tell you."
"Then you really meant it yesterday?" she whispered with difficulty.
"How do you know?" she asked quickly, as though suddenly regaining her
Sonia's face grew paler and paler, and she breathed painfully.
She paused a minute.
"Have they found him?" she asked timidly.
"Then how do you know about it?" she asked again, hardly audibly and
again after a minute's pause.
He turned to her and looked very intently at her.
"Guess," he said, with the same distorted helpless smile.
A shudder passed over her.
"But you... why do you frighten me like this?" she said, smiling
like a child.
"I must be a great friend of his... since I know," Raskolnikov
went on, still gazing into her face, as though he could not turn his
eyes away. "He... did not mean to kill that Lizaveta... he... killed
her accidentally.... He meant to kill the old woman when she was alone
and he went there... and then Lizaveta came in... he killed her too."
Another awful moment passed. Both still gazed at one another.
"You can't guess, then?" he asked suddenly, feeling as though he
were flinging himself down from a steeple.
"N-no..." whispered Sonia.
"Take a good look."
As soon as he had said this again, the same familiar sensation froze
his heart. He looked at her and all at once seemed to see in her
face the face of Lizaveta. He remembered clearly the expression in
Lizaveta's face, when he approached her with the axe and she stepped
back to the wall, putting out her hand, with childish terror in her
face, looking as little children do when they begin to be frightened
of something, looking intently and uneasily at what frightens them,
shrinking back and holding out their little hands on the point of
crying. Almost the same thing happened now to Sonia. With the same
helplessness and the same terror, she looked at him for a while and,
suddenly putting out her left hand, pressed her fingers faintly
against his breast and slowly began to get up from the bed, moving
further from him and keeping her eyes fixed even more immovably on
him. Her terror infected him. The same fear showed itself on his face.
In the same way he stared at her and almost with the same childish
"Have you guessed?" he whispered at last.
"Good God!" broke in an awful wail from her bosom.
She sank helplessly on the bed with her face in the pillows, but a
moment later she got up, moved quickly to him, seized both his hands
and, gripping them tight in her thin fingers, began looking into his
face again with the same intent stare. In this last desperate look she
tried to look into him and catch some last hope. But there was no
hope; there was no doubt remaining; it was all true! Later on, indeed,
when she recalled that moment, she thought it strange and wondered why
she had seen at once that there was no doubt. She could not have said,
for instance, that she had foreseen something of the sort- and yet
now, as soon as he told her, she suddenly fancied that she had
really foreseen this very thing.
"Stop, Sonia, enough! don't torture me," he begged her miserably.
It was not at all, not at all like this he had thought of telling
her, but this is how it happened.
She jumped up, seeming not to know what she was doing, and, wringing
her hands, walked into the middle of the room; but, quickly went
back and sat down again beside him, her shoulder almost touching
his. All of a sudden she started as though she had been stabbed,
uttered a cry and fell on her knees before him, she did not know why.
"What have you done- what have you done to yourself!" she said in
despair, and, jumping up, she flung herself on his neck, threw her
arms round him, and held him tight.
Raskolnikov drew back and looked at her with a mournful smile.
"You are a strange girl, Sonia- you kiss me and hug me when I tell
you about that.... You don't think what you are doing."
"There is no one- no one in the whole world now so unhappy as
you!" she cried in a frenzy, not hearing what he said, and she
suddenly broke into violent hysterical weeping.
A feeling long unfamiliar to him flooded his heart and softened it
at once. He did not struggle against it. Two tears started into his
eyes and hung on his eyelashes.
"Then you won't leave me, Sonia?" he said, looking at her almost
"No, no, never, nowhere!" cried Sonia. "I will follow you, I will
follow you everywhere. Oh, my God! Oh, how miserable I am!... Why, why
didn't I know you before! Why didn't you come before? Oh, dear!"
"Here I have come."
"Yes, now! What's to be done now!... Together, together!" she
repeated as it were unconsciously, and she hugged him again. "I'll
follow you to Siberia!"
He recoiled at this, and the same hostile, almost haughty smile came
to his lips.
"Perhaps I don't want to go to Siberia yet, Sonia," he said.
Sonia looked at him quickly.
Again after her first passionate, agonising sympathy for the unhappy
man the terrible idea of the murder overwhelmed her. In his changed
tone she seemed to hear the murderer speaking. She looked at him
bewildered. She knew nothing as yet, why, how, with what object it had
been. Now all these questions rushed at once into her mind. And
again she could not believe it: "He, he is a murderer! Could it be
"What's the meaning of it? Where am I?" she said in complete
bewilderment, as though still unable to recover herself. "How could
you, you, a man like you.... How could you bring yourself to it?...
What does it mean?"
"Oh, well- to plunder. Leave off, Sonia," he answered wearily,
almost with vexation.
Sonia stood as though struck dumb, but suddenly she cried:
"You were hungry! It was... to help your mother? Yes?"
"No, Sonia, no," he muttered, turning away and hanging his head.
"I was not so hungry.... I certainly did want to help my mother,
but... that's not the real thing either.... Don't torture me, Sonia."
Sonia clasped her hands.
"Could it, could it all be true? Good God, what a truth! Who could
believe it? And how could you give away your last farthing and yet rob
and murder! Ah," she cried suddenly, "that money you gave Katerina
Ivanovna... that money.... Can that money..."
"No, Sonia," he broke in hurriedly, "that money was not it. Don't
worry yourself! That money my mother sent me and it came when I was
ill, the day I gave it to you.... Razumihin saw it... he received it
for me.... That money was mine- my own."
Sonia listened to him in bewilderment and did her utmost to
"And that money.... I don't even know really whether there was any
money," he added softly, as though reflecting. "I took a purse off her
neck, made of chamois leather... a purse stuffed full of
something... but I didn't look in it; I suppose I hadn't time....
And the things- chains and trinkets- I buried under a stone with the
purse next morning in a yard off the V__ Prospect. They are all
Sonia strained every nerve to listen.
"Then why... why, you said you did it to rob, but you took nothing?"
she asked quickly, catching at a straw.
"I don't know.... I haven't yet decided whether to take that money
or not," he said, musing again; and, seeming to wake up with a
start, he gave a brief ironical smile. "Ach, what silly stuff I am
The thought flashed through Sonia's mind, wasn't he mad? But she
dismissed it at once. "No, it was something else." She could make
nothing of it, nothing.
"Do you know, Sonia," he said suddenly with conviction, "let me tell
you: if I'd simply killed because I was hungry," laying stress on
every word and looking enigmatically but sincerely at her, "I should
be happy now. You must believe that! What would it matter to you,"
he cried a moment later with a sort of despair, "what would it
matter to you if I were to confess that I did wrong! What do you
gain by such a stupid triumph over me? Ah, Sonia, was it for that I've
come to you to-day?"
Again Sonia tried to say something, but did not speak.
"I asked you to go with me yesterday because you are all I have
"Go where?" asked Sonia timidly.
"Not to steal and not to murder, don't be anxious," he smiled
bitterly. "We are so different.... And you know, Sonia, it's only now,
only this moment that I understand where I asked you to go with me
yesterday! Yesterday when I said it I did not know where. I asked
you for one thing, I came to you for one thing- not to leave me. You
won't leave me, Sonia?"
She squeezed his hand.
"And why, why did I tell her? Why did I let her know?" he cried a
minute later in despair, looking with infinite anguish at her. "Here
you expect an explanation from me, Sonia; you are sitting and
waiting for it, I see that. But what can I tell you? You won't
understand and will only suffer misery... on my account! Well, you are
crying and embracing me again. Why do you do it? Because I couldn't
bear my burden and have come to throw it on another: you suffer too,
and I shall feel better! And can you love such a mean wretch?"
"But aren't you suffering, too?" cried Sonia.
Again a wave of the same feeling surged into his heart, and again
for an instant softened it.
"Sonia, I have a bad heart, take note of that. It may explain a
great deal. I have come because I am bad. There are men who wouldn't
have come. But I am a coward and... a mean wretch. But... never
mind! That's not the point. I must speak now, but I don't know how
He paused and sank into thought.
"Ach, we are so different," he cried again, "we are not alike. And
why, why did I come? I shall never forgive myself that."
"No, no, it was a good thing you came," cried Sonia. "It's better
I should know, far better!"
He looked at her with anguish.
"What if it were really that?" he said, as though reaching a
conclusion. "Yes, that's what it was! I wanted to become a Napoleon,
that is why I killed her.... Do you understand now?"
"N-no," Sonia whispered naively and timidly. "Only speak, speak, I
shall understand, I shall understand in myself!" she kept begging him.
"You'll understand? Very well, we shall see!" He paused and was
for some time lost in meditation.
"It was like this: I asked myself one day this question- what if
Napoleon, for instance, had happened to be in my place, and if he
had not had Toulon nor Egypt nor the passage of Mont Blanc to begin
his career with, but instead of all those picturesque and monumental
things, there had simply been some ridiculous old hag, a pawnbroker,
who had to be murdered too to get money from her trunk (for his
career, you understand). Well, would he have brought himself to
that, if there had been no other means? Wouldn't he have felt a pang
at its being so far from monumental and... and sinful, too? Well, I
must tell you that I worried myself fearfully over that 'question'
so that I was awfully ashamed when I guessed at last (all of a sudden,
somehow) that it would not have given him the least pang, that it
would not even have struck him that it was not monumental... that he
would not have seen that there was anything in it to pause over, and
that, if he had had no other way, he would have strangled her in a
minute without thinking about it! Well, I too... left off thinking
about it... murdered her, following his example. And that's exactly
how it was! Do you think it funny? Yes, Sonia, the funniest thing of
all is that perhaps that's just how it was."
Sonia did not think it at all funny.