Tantissimi classici della letteratura e della cultura politica,
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Abbe Prevost - MANON LESCAUT
Alcott, Louisa M. - AN OLDFASHIONED GIRL
Alcott, Louisa M. - LITTLE MEN
Alcott, Louisa M. - LITTLE WOMEN
Alcott, Louisa May - JACK AND JILL
Alcott, Louisa May - LIFE LETTERS AND JOURNALS
Andersen, Hans Christian - FAIRY TALES
Anonimo - BEOWULF
Ariosto, Ludovico - ORLANDO ENRAGED
Aurelius, Marcus - MEDITATIONS
Austen, Jane - EMMA
Austen, Jane - MANSFIELD PARK
Austen, Jane - NORTHANGER ABBEY
Austen, Jane - PERSUASION
Austen, Jane - PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
Austen, Jane - SENSE AND SENSIBILITY
Authors, Various - LETTERS OF ABELARD AND HELOISE
Authors, Various - SELECTED ENGLISH LETTERS
Autori Vari - THE WORLD ENGLISH BIBLE
Bacon, Francis - THE ADVANCEMENT OF LEARNING
Balzac, Honore de - EUGENIE GRANDET
Balzac, Honore de - FATHER GORIOT
Baroness Orczy - THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL
Barrie, J. M. - PETER AND WENDY
Barrie, James M. - PETER PAN
Bierce, Ambrose - THE DEVIL'S DICTIONARY
Blake, William - SONGS OF INNOCENCE AND EXPERIENCE
Boccaccio, Giovanni - DECAMERONE
Brent, Linda - INCIDENTS IN THE LIFE OF A SLAVE GIRL
Bronte, Charlotte - JANE EYRE
Bronte, Charlotte - VILLETTE
Buchan, John - GREENMANTLE
Buchan, John - MR STANDFAST
Buchan, John - THE 39 STEPS
Bunyan, John - THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS
Burckhardt, Jacob - THE CIVILIZATION OF THE RENAISSANCE IN ITALY
Burnett, Frances H. - A LITTLE PRINCESS
Burnett, Frances H. - LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY
Burnett, Frances H. - THE SECRET GARDEN
Butler, Samuel - EREWHON
Carlyle, Thomas - PAST AND PRESENT
Carlyle, Thomas - THE FRENCH REVOLUTION
Cellini, Benvenuto - AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Cervantes - DON QUIXOTE
Chaucer, Geoffrey - THE CANTERBURY TALES
Chesterton, G. K. - A SHORT HISTORY OF ENGLAND
Chesterton, G. K. - THE BALLAD OF THE WHITE HORSE
Chesterton, G. K. - THE INNOCENCE OF FATHER BROWN
Chesterton, G. K. - THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH
Chesterton, G. K. - THE MAN WHO WAS THURSDAY
Chesterton, G. K. - THE WISDOM OF FATHER BROWN
Chesterton, G. K. - TWELVE TYPES
Chesterton, G. K. - WHAT I SAW IN AMERICA
Chesterton, Gilbert K. - HERETICS
Chopin, Kate - AT FAULT
Chopin, Kate - BAYOU FOLK
Chopin, Kate - THE AWAKENING AND SELECTED SHORT STORIES
Clark Hall, John R. - A CONCISE ANGLOSAXON DICTIONARY
Clarkson, Thomas - AN ESSAY ON THE SLAVERY AND COMMERCE OF THE HUMAN SPECIES
Clausewitz, Carl von - ON WAR
Coleridge, Herbert - A DICTIONARY OF THE FIRST OR OLDEST WORDS IN THE ENGLISH
Coleridge, S. T. - COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS
Coleridge, S. T. - HINTS TOWARDS THE FORMATION OF A MORE COMPREHENSIVE THEORY
Coleridge, S. T. - THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER
Collins, Wilkie - THE MOONSTONE
Collodi - PINOCCHIO
Conan Doyle, Arthur - A STUDY IN SCARLET
Conan Doyle, Arthur - MEMOIRS OF SHERLOCK HOLMES
Conan Doyle, Arthur - THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES
Conan Doyle, Arthur - THE RETURN OF SHERLOCK HOLMES
Conan Doyle, Arthur - THE SIGN OF THE FOUR
Conrad, Joseph - HEART OF DARKNESS
Conrad, Joseph - LORD JIM
Conrad, Joseph - NOSTROMO
Conrad, Joseph - THE NIGGER OF THE NARCISSUS
Conrad, Joseph - TYPHOON
Crane, Stephen - LAST WORDS
Crane, Stephen - MAGGIE
Crane, Stephen - THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE
Crane, Stephen - WOUNDS IN THE RAIN
Dante - THE DIVINE COMEDY: HELL
Dante - THE DIVINE COMEDY: PARADISE
Dante - THE DIVINE COMEDY: PURGATORY
Darwin, Charles - THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF CHARLES DARWIN
Darwin, Charles - THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES
Defoe, Daniel - A GENERAL HISTORY OF THE PYRATES
Defoe, Daniel - A JOURNAL OF THE PLAGUE YEAR
Defoe, Daniel - CAPTAIN SINGLETON
Defoe, Daniel - MOLL FLANDERS
Defoe, Daniel - ROBINSON CRUSOE
Defoe, Daniel - THE COMPLETE ENGLISH TRADESMAN
Defoe, Daniel - THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF ROBINSON CRUSOE
Deledda, Grazia - AFTER THE DIVORCE
Dickens, Charles - A CHRISTMAS CAROL
Dickens, Charles - A TALE OF TWO CITIES
Dickens, Charles - BLEAK HOUSE
Dickens, Charles - DAVID COPPERFIELD
Dickens, Charles - DONBEY AND SON
Dickens, Charles - GREAT EXPECTATIONS
Dickens, Charles - HARD TIMES
Dickens, Charles - LETTERS VOLUME 1
Dickens, Charles - LITTLE DORRIT
Dickens, Charles - MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT
Dickens, Charles - NICHOLAS NICKLEBY
Dickens, Charles - OLIVER TWIST
Dickens, Charles - OUR MUTUAL FRIEND
Dickens, Charles - PICTURES FROM ITALY
Dickens, Charles - THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD
Dickens, Charles - THE OLD CURIOSITY SHOP
Dickens, Charles - THE PICKWICK PAPERS
Dickinson, Emily - POEMS
Dostoevsky, Fyodor - CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
Dostoyevsky, Fyodor - THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV
Du Maurier, George - TRILBY
Dumas, Alexandre - THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO
Dumas, Alexandre - THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK
Dumas, Alexandre - THE THREE MUSKETEERS
Eliot, George - DANIEL DERONDA
Eliot, George - MIDDLEMARCH
Eliot, George - SILAS MARNER
Eliot, George - THE MILL ON THE FLOSS
Engels, Frederick - THE CONDITION OF THE WORKING-CLASS IN ENGLAND IN 1844
Equiano - AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Esopo - FABLES
Fenimore Cooper, James - THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS
Fielding, Henry - TOM JONES
France, Anatole - THAIS
France, Anatole - THE GODS ARE ATHIRST
France, Anatole - THE LIFE OF JOAN OF ARC
France, Anatole - THE SEVEN WIVES OF BLUEBEARD
Frank Baum, L. - THE PATCHWORK GIRL OF OZ
Frank Baum, L. - THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ
Franklin, Benjamin - AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Frazer, James George - THE GOLDEN BOUGH
Freud, Sigmund - DREAM PSYCHOLOGY
Galsworthy, John - COMPLETE PLAYS
Galsworthy, John - STRIFE
Galsworthy, John - STUDIES AND ESSAYS
Galsworthy, John - THE FIRST AND THE LAST
Galsworthy, John - THE FORSYTE SAGA
Galsworthy, John - THE LITTLE MAN
Galsworthy, John - THE SILVER BOX
Galsworthy, John - THE SKIN GAME
Gaskell, Elizabeth - CRANFORD
Gaskell, Elizabeth - MARY BARTON
Gaskell, Elizabeth - NORTH AND SOUTH
Gaskell, Elizabeth - THE LIFE OF CHARLOTTE BRONTE
Gay, John - THE BEGGAR'S OPERA
Gentile, Maria - THE ITALIAN COOK BOOK
Gilbert and Sullivan - PLAYS
Goethe - FAUST
Gogol - DEAD SOULS
Goldsmith, Oliver - SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER
Goldsmith, Oliver - THE VICAR OF WAKEFIELD
Grahame, Kenneth - THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS
Grimm, Brothers - FAIRY TALES
Harding, A. R. - GINSENG AND OTHER MEDICINAL PLANTS
Hardy, Thomas - A CHANGED MAN AND OTHER TALES
Hardy, Thomas - FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD
Hardy, Thomas - JUDE THE OBSCURE
Hardy, Thomas - TESS OF THE D'URBERVILLES
Hardy, Thomas - THE MAYOR OF CASTERBRIDGE
Hartley, Cecil B. - THE GENTLEMEN'S BOOK OF ETIQUETTE
Hawthorne, Nathaniel - LITTLE MASTERPIECES
Hawthorne, Nathaniel - THE SCARLET LETTER
Henry VIII - LOVE LETTERS TO ANNE BOLEYN
Henry, O. - CABBAGES AND KINGS
Henry, O. - SIXES AND SEVENS
Henry, O. - THE FOUR MILLION
Henry, O. - THE TRIMMED LAMP
Henry, O. - WHIRLIGIGS
Hindman Miller, Gustavus - TEN THOUSAND DREAMS INTERPRETED
Hobbes, Thomas - LEVIATHAN
Homer - THE ILIAD
Homer - THE ODYSSEY
Hornaday, William T. - THE EXTERMINATION OF THE AMERICAN BISON
Hume, David - A TREATISE OF HUMAN NATURE
Hume, David - AN ENQUIRY CONCERNING HUMAN UNDERSTANDING
Hume, David - DIALOGUES CONCERNING NATURAL RELIGION
Ibsen, Henrik - A DOLL'S HOUSE
Ibsen, Henrik - AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE
Ibsen, Henrik - GHOSTS
Ibsen, Henrik - HEDDA GABLER
Ibsen, Henrik - JOHN GABRIEL BORKMAN
Ibsen, Henrik - ROSMERHOLM
Ibsen, Henrik - THE LADY FROM THE SEA
Ibsen, Henrik - THE MASTER BUILDER
Ibsen, Henrik - WHEN WE DEAD AWAKEN
Irving, Washington - THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW
James, Henry - ITALIAN HOURS
James, Henry - THE ASPERN PAPERS
James, Henry - THE BOSTONIANS
James, Henry - THE PORTRAIT OF A LADY
James, Henry - THE TURN OF THE SCREW
James, Henry - WASHINGTON SQUARE
Jerome, Jerome K. - THREE MEN IN A BOAT
Jerome, Jerome K. - THREE MEN ON THE BUMMEL
Jevons, Stanley - POLITICAL ECONOMY
Johnson, Samuel - A GRAMMAR OF THE ENGLISH TONGUE
Jonson, Ben - THE ALCHEMIST
Jonson, Ben - VOLPONE
Joyce, James - A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN
Joyce, James - CHAMBER MUSIC
Joyce, James - DUBLINERS
Joyce, James - ULYSSES
Keats, John - ENDYMION
Keats, John - POEMS PUBLISHED IN 1817
Keats, John - POEMS PUBLISHED IN 1820
King James - THE BIBLE
Kipling, Rudyard - CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS
Kipling, Rudyard - INDIAN TALES
Kipling, Rudyard - JUST SO STORIES
Kipling, Rudyard - KIM
Kipling, Rudyard - THE JUNGLE BOOK
Kipling, Rudyard - THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING
Kipling, Rudyard - THE SECOND JUNGLE BOOK
Lawrence, D. H - THE RAINBOW
Lawrence, D. H - THE WHITE PEACOCK
Lawrence, D. H - TWILIGHT IN ITALY
Lawrence, D. H. - AARON'S ROD
Lawrence, D. H. - SONS AND LOVERS
Lawrence, D. H. - THE LOST GIRL
Lawrence, D. H. - WOMEN IN LOVE
Lear, Edward - BOOK OF NONSENSE
Lear, Edward - LAUGHABLE LYRICS
Lear, Edward - MORE NONSENSE
Lear, Edward - NONSENSE SONG
Leblanc, Maurice - ARSENE LUPIN VS SHERLOCK HOLMES
Leblanc, Maurice - THE ADVENTURES OF ARSENE LUPIN
Leblanc, Maurice - THE CONFESSIONS OF ARSENE LUPIN
Leblanc, Maurice - THE HOLLOW NEEDLE
Leblanc, Maurice - THE RETURN OF ARSENE LUPIN
Lehmann, Lilli - HOW TO SING
Leroux, Gaston - THE MAN WITH THE BLACK FEATHER
Leroux, Gaston - THE MYSTERY OF THE YELLOW ROOM
Leroux, Gaston - THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
London, Jack - MARTIN EDEN
London, Jack - THE CALL OF THE WILD
London, Jack - WHITE FANG
Machiavelli, Nicolo' - THE PRINCE
Malthus, Thomas - PRINCIPLE OF POPULATION
Mansfield, Katherine - THE GARDEN PARTY AND OTHER STORIES
Marlowe, Christopher - THE JEW OF MALTA
Marryat, Captain - THE CHILDREN OF THE NEW FOREST
Maupassant, Guy De - BEL AMI
Melville, Hermann - MOBY DICK
Melville, Hermann - TYPEE
Mill, John Stuart - PRINCIPLES OF POLITICAL ECONOMY
Milton, John - PARADISE LOST
Mitra, S. M. - HINDU TALES FROM THE SANSKRIT
Montaigne, Michel de - ESSAYS
Montgomery, Lucy Maud - ANNE OF GREEN GABLES
More, Thomas - UTOPIA
Nesbit, E. - FIVE CHILDREN AND IT
Nesbit, E. - THE PHOENIX AND THE CARPET
Nesbit, E. - THE RAILWAY CHILDREN
Nesbit, E. - THE STORY OF THE AMULET
Newton, Isaac - OPTICKS
Nietsche, Friedrich - BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL
Nietsche, Friedrich - THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
Nightingale, Florence - NOTES ON NURSING
Owen, Wilfred - POEMS
Ozaki, Yei Theodora - JAPANESE FAIRY TALES
Pascal, Blaise - PENSEES
Pellico, Silvio - MY TEN YEARS IMPRISONMENT
Perrault, Charles - FAIRY TALES
Pirandello, Luigi - THREE PLAYS
Plato - THE REPUBLIC
Poe, Edgar Allan - THE COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS 1
Poe, Edgar Allan - THE COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS 2
Poe, Edgar Allan - THE COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS 3
Poe, Edgar Allan - THE COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS 4
Poe, Edgar Allan - THE COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS 5
Poe, Edgar Allan - THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER
Potter, Beatrix - THE TALE OF PETER RABBIT
Proust, Marcel - SWANN'S WAY
Radcliffe, Ann - A SICILIAN ROMANCE
Ricardo, David - ON THE PRINCIPLES OF POLITICAL ECONOMY AND TAXATION
Richardson, Samuel - PAMELA
Rider Haggard, H. - ALLAN QUATERMAIN
Rider Haggard, H. - KING SOLOMON'S MINES
Rousseau, J. J. - THE ORIGIN AND FOUNDATION OF INEQUALITY AMONG MANKIND
Ruskin, John - THE SEVEN LAMPS OF ARCHITECTURE
Schiller, Friedrich - THE DEATH OF WALLENSTEIN
Schiller, Friedrich - THE PICCOLOMINI
Schopenhauer, Arthur - THE ART OF CONTROVERSY
Schopenhauer, Arthur - THE WISDOM OF LIFE
Scott Fitzgerald, F. - FLAPPERS AND PHILOSOPHERS
Scott Fitzgerald, F. - TALES OF THE JAZZ AGE
Scott Fitzgerald, F. - THE BEAUTIFUL AND DAMNED
Scott Fitzgerald, F. - THIS SIDE OF PARADISE
Scott, Walter - IVANHOE
Scott, Walter - QUENTIN DURWARD
Scott, Walter - ROB ROY
Scott, Walter - THE BRIDE OF LAMMERMOOR
Scott, Walter - WAVERLEY
Sedgwick, Anne Douglas - THE THIRD WINDOW
Sewell, Anna - BLACK BEAUTY
Shakespeare, William - COMPLETE WORKS
Shakespeare, William - HAMLET
Shakespeare, William - OTHELLO
Shakespeare, William - ROMEO AND JULIET
Shelley, Mary - FRANKENSTEIN
Shelley, Percy Bysshe - A DEFENCE OF POETRY AND OTHER ESSAYS
Shelley, Percy Bysshe - COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS
Sheridan, Richard B. - THE SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL
Sienkiewicz, Henryk - QUO VADIS
Smith, Adam - THE WEALTH OF NATIONS
Smollett, Tobias - TRAVELS THROUGH FRANCE AND ITALY
Spencer, Herbert - ESSAYS ON EDUCATION AND KINDRED SUBJECTS
Spyri, Johanna - HEIDI
Sterne, Laurence - A SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY
Sterne, Laurence - TRISTRAM SHANDY
Stevenson, Robert Louis - A CHILD'S GARDEN OF VERSES
Stevenson, Robert Louis - ESSAYS IN THE ART OF WRITING
Stevenson, Robert Louis - KIDNAPPED
Stevenson, Robert Louis - NEW ARABIAN NIGHTS
Stevenson, Robert Louis - THE BLACK ARROW
Stevenson, Robert Louis - THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE
Stevenson, Robert Louis - TREASURE ISLAND
Stoker, Bram - DRACULA
Strindberg, August - LUCKY PEHR
Strindberg, August - MASTER OLOF
Strindberg, August - THE RED ROOM
Strindberg, August - THE ROAD TO DAMASCUS
Strindberg, August - THERE ARE CRIMES AND CRIMES
Swift, Jonathan - A MODEST PROPOSAL
Swift, Jonathan - A TALE OF A TUB
Swift, Jonathan - GULLIVER'S TRAVELS
Swift, Jonathan - THE BATTLE OF THE BOOKS AND OTHER SHORT PIECES
Tagore, Rabindranath - FRUIT GATHERING
Tagore, Rabindranath - THE GARDENER
Tagore, Rabindranath - THE HUNGRY STONES AND OTHER STORIES
Thackeray, William - BARRY LYNDON
Thackeray, William - VANITY FAIR
Thackeray, William Makepeace - THE BOOK OF SNOBS
Thackeray, William Makepeace - THE ROSE AND THE RING
Thackeray, William Makepeace - THE VIRGINIANS
Thoreau, Henry David - WALDEN
Tolstoi, Leo - A LETTER TO A HINDU
Tolstoy, Lev - ANNA KARENINA
Tolstoy, Lev - WAR AND PEACE
Trollope, Anthony - AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Trollope, Anthony - BARCHESTER TOWERS
Trollope, Anthony - FRAMLEY PARSONAGE
Trollope, Anthony - THE EUSTACE DIAMONDS
Trollope, Anthony - THE MAN WHO KEPT HIS MONEY IN A BOX
Trollope, Anthony - THE WARDEN
Trollope, Anthony - THE WAY WE LIVE NOW
Twain, Mark - LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI
Twain, Mark - SPEECHES
Twain, Mark - THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN
Twain, Mark - THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER
Twain, Mark - THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER
Vari, Autori - THE MAGNA CARTA
Verga, Giovanni - SICILIAN STORIES
Verne, Jules - 20000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEAS
Verne, Jules - A JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH
Verne, Jules - ALL AROUND THE MOON
Verne, Jules - AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS
Verne, Jules - FIVE WEEKS IN A BALLOON
Verne, Jules - FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON
Verne, Jules - MICHAEL STROGOFF
Verne, Jules - THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND
Voltaire - PHILOSOPHICAL DICTIONARY
Vyasa - MAHABHARATA
Wallace, Edgar - SANDERS OF THE RIVER
Wallace, Edgar - THE DAFFODIL MYSTERY
Wallace, Lew - BEN HUR
Webster, Jean - DADDY LONG LEGS
Wedekind, Franz - THE AWAKENING OF SPRING
Wells, H. G. - KIPPS
Wells, H. G. - THE INVISIBLE MAN
Wells, H. G. - THE ISLAND OF DOCTOR MOREAU
Wells, H. G. - THE STOLEN BACILLUS AND OTHER INCIDENTS
Wells, H. G. - THE TIME MACHINE
Wells, H. G. - THE WAR OF THE WORLDS
Wells, H. G. - WHAT IS COMING
Wharton, Edith - THE AGE OF INNOCENCE
White, Andrew Dickson - FIAT MONEY INFLATION IN FRANCE
Wilde, Oscar - A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE
Wilde, Oscar - AN IDEAL HUSBAND
Wilde, Oscar - DE PROFUNDIS
Wilde, Oscar - LADY WINDERMERE'S FAN
Wilde, Oscar - SALOME
Wilde, Oscar - SELECTED POEMS
Wilde, Oscar - THE BALLAD OF READING GAOL
Wilde, Oscar - THE CANTERVILLE GHOST
Wilde, Oscar - THE HAPPY PRINCE AND OTHER TALES
Wilde, Oscar - THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST
Wilde, Oscar - THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GREY
Wilde, Oscar - THE SOUL OF MAN
Wilson, Epiphanius - SACRED BOOKS OF THE EAST
Wollstonecraft, Mary - A VINDICATION OF THE RIGHTS OF WOMAN
Woolf, Virgina - NIGHT AND DAY
Woolf, Virgina - THE VOYAGE OUT
Woolf, Virginia - JACOB'S ROOM
Woolf, Virginia - MONDAY OR TUESDAY
Wordsworth, William - POEMS
Wordsworth, William - PROSE WORKS
Zola, Emile - THERESE RAQUIN
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ISTRUZIONI D'USO DETTAGLIATE
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
By Fyodor Dostoevsky (Translated By Constance Garnett)
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
On an exceptionally hot evening early in July a young man came out of
the garret in which he lodged in S. Place and walked slowly, as though
in hesitation, towards K. bridge.
He had successfully avoided meeting his landlady on the staircase. His
garret was under the roof of a high, five-storied house and was more
like a cupboard than a room. The landlady who provided him with garret,
dinners, and attendance, lived on the floor below, and every time
he went out he was obliged to pass her kitchen, the door of which
invariably stood open. And each time he passed, the young man had a
sick, frightened feeling, which made him scowl and feel ashamed. He was
hopelessly in debt to his landlady, and was afraid of meeting her.
This was not because he was cowardly and abject, quite the contrary; but
for some time past he had been in an overstrained irritable condition,
verging on hypochondria. He had become so completely absorbed in
himself, and isolated from his fellows that he dreaded meeting, not
only his landlady, but anyone at all. He was crushed by poverty, but the
anxieties of his position had of late ceased to weigh upon him. He had
given up attending to matters of practical importance; he had lost all
desire to do so. Nothing that any landlady could do had a real terror
for him. But to be stopped on the stairs, to be forced to listen to her
trivial, irrelevant gossip, to pestering demands for payment, threats
and complaints, and to rack his brains for excuses, to prevaricate, to
lie--no, rather than that, he would creep down the stairs like a cat and
slip out unseen.
This evening, however, on coming out into the street, he became acutely
aware of his fears.
"I want to attempt a thing "like that" and am frightened by these
trifles," he thought, with an odd smile. "Hm... yes, all is in a man's
hands and he lets it all slip from cowardice, that's an axiom. It would
be interesting to know what it is men are most afraid of. Taking a new
step, uttering a new word is what they fear most.... But I am talking
too much. It's because I chatter that I do nothing. Or perhaps it is
that I chatter because I do nothing. I've learned to chatter this
last month, lying for days together in my den thinking... of Jack the
Giant-killer. Why am I going there now? Am I capable of "that"? Is
"that" serious? It is not serious at all. It's simply a fantasy to amuse
myself; a plaything! Yes, maybe it is a plaything."
The heat in the street was terrible: and the airlessness, the bustle
and the plaster, scaffolding, bricks, and dust all about him, and that
special Petersburg stench, so familiar to all who are unable to get out
of town in summer--all worked painfully upon the young man's already
overwrought nerves. The insufferable stench from the pot-houses, which
are particularly numerous in that part of the town, and the drunken men
whom he met continually, although it was a working day, completed
the revolting misery of the picture. An expression of the profoundest
disgust gleamed for a moment in the young man's refined face. He was,
by the way, exceptionally handsome, above the average in height, slim,
well-built, with beautiful dark eyes and dark brown hair. Soon he sank
into deep thought, or more accurately speaking into a complete blankness
of mind; he walked along not observing what was about him and not caring
to observe it. From time to time, he would mutter something, from the
habit of talking to himself, to which he had just confessed. At these
moments he would become conscious that his ideas were sometimes in a
tangle and that he was very weak; for two days he had scarcely tasted
He was so badly dressed that even a man accustomed to shabbiness would
have been ashamed to be seen in the street in such rags. In that quarter
of the town, however, scarcely any shortcoming in dress would have
created surprise. Owing to the proximity of the Hay Market, the number
of establishments of bad character, the preponderance of the trading
and working class population crowded in these streets and alleys in the
heart of Petersburg, types so various were to be seen in the streets
that no figure, however queer, would have caused surprise. But there was
such accumulated bitterness and contempt in the young man's heart, that,
in spite of all the fastidiousness of youth, he minded his rags least
of all in the street. It was a different matter when he met with
acquaintances or with former fellow students, whom, indeed, he disliked
meeting at any time. And yet when a drunken man who, for some unknown
reason, was being taken somewhere in a huge waggon dragged by a heavy
dray horse, suddenly shouted at him as he drove past: "Hey there, German
hatter" bawling at the top of his voice and pointing at him--the young
man stopped suddenly and clutched tremulously at his hat. It was a tall
round hat from Zimmerman's, but completely worn out, rusty with age, all
torn and bespattered, brimless and bent on one side in a most unseemly
fashion. Not shame, however, but quite another feeling akin to terror
had overtaken him.
"I knew it," he muttered in confusion, "I thought so! That's the worst
of all! Why, a stupid thing like this, the most trivial detail might
spoil the whole plan. Yes, my hat is too noticeable.... It looks absurd
and that makes it noticeable.... With my rags I ought to wear a cap, any
sort of old pancake, but not this grotesque thing. Nobody wears such
a hat, it would be noticed a mile off, it would be remembered.... What
matters is that people would remember it, and that would give them
a clue. For this business one should be as little conspicuous as
possible.... Trifles, trifles are what matter! Why, it's just such
trifles that always ruin everything...."
He had not far to go; he knew indeed how many steps it was from the gate
of his lodging house: exactly seven hundred and thirty. He had counted
them once when he had been lost in dreams. At the time he had put no
faith in those dreams and was only tantalising himself by their hideous
but daring recklessness. Now, a month later, he had begun to look upon
them differently, and, in spite of the monologues in which he jeered at
his own impotence and indecision, he had involuntarily come to regard
this "hideous" dream as an exploit to be attempted, although he
still did not realise this himself. He was positively going now for a
"rehearsal" of his project, and at every step his excitement grew more
and more violent.
With a sinking heart and a nervous tremor, he went up to a huge house
which on one side looked on to the canal, and on the other into the
street. This house was let out in tiny tenements and was inhabited by
working people of all kinds--tailors, locksmiths, cooks, Germans of
sorts, girls picking up a living as best they could, petty clerks, etc.
There was a continual coming and going through the two gates and in the
two courtyards of the house. Three or four door-keepers were employed on
the building. The young man was very glad to meet none of them, and
at once slipped unnoticed through the door on the right, and up the
staircase. It was a back staircase, dark and narrow, but he was familiar
with it already, and knew his way, and he liked all these surroundings:
in such darkness even the most inquisitive eyes were not to be dreaded.
"If I am so scared now, what would it be if it somehow came to pass that
I were really going to do it?" he could not help asking himself as he
reached the fourth storey. There his progress was barred by some porters
who were engaged in moving furniture out of a flat. He knew that the
flat had been occupied by a German clerk in the civil service, and his
family. This German was moving out then, and so the fourth floor on this
staircase would be untenanted except by the old woman. "That's a good
thing anyway," he thought to himself, as he rang the bell of the old
woman's flat. The bell gave a faint tinkle as though it were made of
tin and not of copper. The little flats in such houses always have bells
that ring like that. He had forgotten the note of that bell, and now
its peculiar tinkle seemed to remind him of something and to bring it
clearly before him.... He started, his nerves were terribly overstrained
by now. In a little while, the door was opened a tiny crack: the old
woman eyed her visitor with evident distrust through the crack, and
nothing could be seen but her little eyes, glittering in the darkness.
But, seeing a number of people on the landing, she grew bolder, and
opened the door wide. The young man stepped into the dark entry, which
was partitioned off from the tiny kitchen. The old woman stood facing
him in silence and looking inquiringly at him. She was a diminutive,
withered up old woman of sixty, with sharp malignant eyes and a sharp
little nose. Her colourless, somewhat grizzled hair was thickly smeared
with oil, and she wore no kerchief over it. Round her thin long neck,
which looked like a hen's leg, was knotted some sort of flannel rag,
and, in spite of the heat, there hung flapping on her shoulders, a mangy
fur cape, yellow with age. The old woman coughed and groaned at every
instant. The young man must have looked at her with a rather peculiar
expression, for a gleam of mistrust came into her eyes again.
"Raskolnikov, a student, I came here a month ago," the young man made
haste to mutter, with a half bow, remembering that he ought to be more
"I remember, my good sir, I remember quite well your coming here," the
old woman said distinctly, still keeping her inquiring eyes on his face.
"And here... I am again on the same errand," Raskolnikov continued, a
little disconcerted and surprised at the old woman's mistrust. "Perhaps
she is always like that though, only I did not notice it the other
time," he thought with an uneasy feeling.
The old woman paused, as though hesitating; then stepped on one side,
and pointing to the door of the room, she said, letting her visitor pass
in front of her:
"Step in, my good sir."
The little room into which the young man walked, with yellow paper on
the walls, geraniums and muslin curtains in the windows, was brightly
lighted up at that moment by the setting sun.
"So the sun will shine like this "then" too!" flashed as it were by
chance through Raskolnikov's mind, and with a rapid glance he scanned
everything in the room, trying as far as possible to notice and
remember its arrangement. But there was nothing special in the room. The
furniture, all very old and of yellow wood, consisted of a sofa with
a huge bent wooden back, an oval table in front of the sofa, a
dressing-table with a looking-glass fixed on it between the windows,
chairs along the walls and two or three half-penny prints in yellow
frames, representing German damsels with birds in their hands--that was
all. In the corner a light was burning before a small ikon. Everything
was very clean; the floor and the furniture were brightly polished;
"Lizaveta's work," thought the young man. There was not a speck of dust
to be seen in the whole flat.
"It's in the houses of spiteful old widows that one finds such
cleanliness," Raskolnikov thought again, and he stole a curious glance
at the cotton curtain over the door leading into another tiny room, in
which stood the old woman's bed and chest of drawers and into which he
had never looked before. These two rooms made up the whole flat.
"What do you want?" the old woman said severely, coming into the room
and, as before, standing in front of him so as to look him straight in
"I've brought something to pawn here," and he drew out of his pocket
an old-fashioned flat silver watch, on the back of which was engraved a
globe; the chain was of steel.
"But the time is up for your last pledge. The month was up the day
"I will bring you the interest for another month; wait a little."
"But that's for me to do as I please, my good sir, to wait or to sell
your pledge at once."
"How much will you give me for the watch, Alyona Ivanovna?"
"You come with such trifles, my good sir, it's scarcely worth anything.
I gave you two roubles last time for your ring and one could buy it
quite new at a jeweler's for a rouble and a half."
"Give me four roubles for it, I shall redeem it, it was my father's. I
shall be getting some money soon."
"A rouble and a half, and interest in advance, if you like!"
"A rouble and a half!" cried the young man.
"Please yourself"--and the old woman handed him back the watch. The
young man took it, and was so angry that he was on the point of going
away; but checked himself at once, remembering that there was nowhere
else he could go, and that he had had another object also in coming.
"Hand it over," he said roughly.
The old woman fumbled in her pocket for her keys, and disappeared behind
the curtain into the other room. The young man, left standing alone in
the middle of the room, listened inquisitively, thinking. He could hear
her unlocking the chest of drawers.
"It must be the top drawer," he reflected. "So she carries the keys in
a pocket on the right. All in one bunch on a steel ring.... And there's
one key there, three times as big as all the others, with deep notches;
that can't be the key of the chest of drawers... then there must be some
other chest or strong-box... that's worth knowing. Strong-boxes always
have keys like that... but how degrading it all is."
The old woman came back.
"Here, sir: as we say ten copecks the rouble a month, so I must take
fifteen copecks from a rouble and a half for the month in advance. But
for the two roubles I lent you before, you owe me now twenty copecks
on the same reckoning in advance. That makes thirty-five copecks
altogether. So I must give you a rouble and fifteen copecks for the
watch. Here it is."
"What! only a rouble and fifteen copecks now!"
The young man did not dispute it and took the money. He looked at the
old woman, and was in no hurry to get away, as though there was still
something he wanted to say or to do, but he did not himself quite know
"I may be bringing you something else in a day or two, Alyona
Ivanovna--a valuable thing--silver--a cigarette-box, as soon as I get it
back from a friend..." he broke off in confusion.
"Well, we will talk about it then, sir."
"Good-bye--are you always at home alone, your sister is not here with
you?" He asked her as casually as possible as he went out into the
"What business is she of yours, my good sir?"
"Oh, nothing particular, I simply asked. You are too quick.... Good-day,
Raskolnikov went out in complete confusion. This confusion became more
and more intense. As he went down the stairs, he even stopped short, two
or three times, as though suddenly struck by some thought. When he was
in the street he cried out, "Oh, God, how loathsome it all is! and
can I, can I possibly.... No, it's nonsense, it's rubbish!" he added
resolutely. "And how could such an atrocious thing come into my head?
What filthy things my heart is capable of. Yes, filthy above all,
disgusting, loathsome, loathsome!--and for a whole month I've been...."
But no words, no exclamations, could express his agitation. The feeling
of intense repulsion, which had begun to oppress and torture his heart
while he was on his way to the old woman, had by now reached such a
pitch and had taken such a definite form that he did not know what to
do with himself to escape from his wretchedness. He walked along the
pavement like a drunken man, regardless of the passers-by, and jostling
against them, and only came to his senses when he was in the next
street. Looking round, he noticed that he was standing close to a tavern
which was entered by steps leading from the pavement to the basement.
At that instant two drunken men came out at the door, and abusing and
supporting one another, they mounted the steps. Without stopping to
think, Raskolnikov went down the steps at once. Till that moment he had
never been into a tavern, but now he felt giddy and was tormented by a
burning thirst. He longed for a drink of cold beer, and attributed his
sudden weakness to the want of food. He sat down at a sticky little
table in a dark and dirty corner; ordered some beer, and eagerly drank
off the first glassful. At once he felt easier; and his thoughts became
"All that's nonsense," he said hopefully, "and there is nothing in it
all to worry about! It's simply physical derangement. Just a glass of
beer, a piece of dry bread--and in one moment the brain is stronger,
the mind is clearer and the will is firm! Phew, how utterly petty it all
But in spite of this scornful reflection, he was by now looking cheerful
as though he were suddenly set free from a terrible burden: and he gazed
round in a friendly way at the people in the room. But even at that
moment he had a dim foreboding that this happier frame of mind was also
There were few people at the time in the tavern. Besides the two drunken
men he had met on the steps, a group consisting of about five men and
a girl with a concertina had gone out at the same time. Their departure
left the room quiet and rather empty. The persons still in the tavern
were a man who appeared to be an artisan, drunk, but not extremely so,
sitting before a pot of beer, and his companion, a huge, stout man with
a grey beard, in a short full-skirted coat. He was very drunk: and had
dropped asleep on the bench; every now and then, he began as though in
his sleep, cracking his fingers, with his arms wide apart and the upper
part of his body bounding about on the bench, while he hummed some
meaningless refrain, trying to recall some such lines as these:
"His wife a year he fondly loved
His wife a--a year he--fondly loved."
Or suddenly waking up again:
"Walking along the crowded row
He met the one he used to know."
But no one shared his enjoyment: his silent companion looked with
positive hostility and mistrust at all these manifestations. There was
another man in the room who looked somewhat like a retired government
clerk. He was sitting apart, now and then sipping from his pot and
looking round at the company. He, too, appeared to be in some agitation.
Raskolnikov was not used to crowds, and, as we said before, he avoided
society of every sort, more especially of late. But now all at once he
felt a desire to be with other people. Something new seemed to be taking
place within him, and with it he felt a sort of thirst for company. He
was so weary after a whole month of concentrated wretchedness and gloomy
excitement that he longed to rest, if only for a moment, in some other
world, whatever it might be; and, in spite of the filthiness of the
surroundings, he was glad now to stay in the tavern.
The master of the establishment was in another room, but he frequently
came down some steps into the main room, his jaunty, tarred boots with
red turn-over tops coming into view each time before the rest of his
person. He wore a full coat and a horribly greasy black satin waistcoat,
with no cravat, and his whole face seemed smeared with oil like an
iron lock. At the counter stood a boy of about fourteen, and there was
another boy somewhat younger who handed whatever was wanted. On the
counter lay some sliced cucumber, some pieces of dried black bread, and
some fish, chopped up small, all smelling very bad. It was insufferably
close, and so heavy with the fumes of spirits that five minutes in such
an atmosphere might well make a man drunk.
There are chance meetings with strangers that interest us from the
first moment, before a word is spoken. Such was the impression made on
Raskolnikov by the person sitting a little distance from him, who looked
like a retired clerk. The young man often recalled this impression
afterwards, and even ascribed it to presentiment. He looked repeatedly
at the clerk, partly no doubt because the latter was staring
persistently at him, obviously anxious to enter into conversation. At
the other persons in the room, including the tavern-keeper, the clerk
looked as though he were used to their company, and weary of it, showing
a shade of condescending contempt for them as persons of station and
culture inferior to his own, with whom it would be useless for him to
converse. He was a man over fifty, bald and grizzled, of medium height,
and stoutly built. His face, bloated from continual drinking, was of
a yellow, even greenish, tinge, with swollen eyelids out of which keen
reddish eyes gleamed like little chinks. But there was something very
strange in him; there was a light in his eyes as though of intense
feeling--perhaps there were even thought and intelligence, but at the
same time there was a gleam of something like madness. He was wearing an
old and hopelessly ragged black dress coat, with all its buttons missing
except one, and that one he had buttoned, evidently clinging to this
last trace of respectability. A crumpled shirt front, covered with spots
and stains, protruded from his canvas waistcoat. Like a clerk, he wore
no beard, nor moustache, but had been so long unshaven that his chin
looked like a stiff greyish brush. And there was something respectable
and like an official about his manner too. But he was restless; he
ruffled up his hair and from time to time let his head drop into his
hands dejectedly resting his ragged elbows on the stained and sticky
table. At last he looked straight at Raskolnikov, and said loudly and
"May I venture, honoured sir, to engage you in polite conversation?
Forasmuch as, though your exterior would not command respect, my
experience admonishes me that you are a man of education and not
accustomed to drinking. I have always respected education when in
conjunction with genuine sentiments, and I am besides a titular
counsellor in rank. Marmeladov--such is my name; titular counsellor. I
make bold to inquire--have you been in the service?"
"No, I am studying," answered the young man, somewhat surprised at
the grandiloquent style of the speaker and also at being so directly
addressed. In spite of the momentary desire he had just been feeling for
company of any sort, on being actually spoken to he felt immediately his
habitual irritable and uneasy aversion for any stranger who approached
or attempted to approach him.
"A student then, or formerly a student," cried the clerk. "Just what
I thought! I'm a man of experience, immense experience, sir," and he
tapped his forehead with his fingers in self-approval. "You've been a
student or have attended some learned institution!... But allow me...."
He got up, staggered, took up his jug and glass, and sat down beside
the young man, facing him a little sideways. He was drunk, but spoke
fluently and boldly, only occasionally losing the thread of his
sentences and drawling his words. He pounced upon Raskolnikov as
greedily as though he too had not spoken to a soul for a month.
"Honoured sir," he began almost with solemnity, "poverty is not a vice,
that's a true saying. Yet I know too that drunkenness is not a virtue,
and that that's even truer. But beggary, honoured sir, beggary is a
vice. In poverty you may still retain your innate nobility of soul, but
in beggary--never--no one. For beggary a man is not chased out of human
society with a stick, he is swept out with a broom, so as to make it as
humiliating as possible; and quite right, too, forasmuch as in beggary
I am ready to be the first to humiliate myself. Hence the pot-house!
Honoured sir, a month ago Mr. Lebeziatnikov gave my wife a beating, and
my wife is a very different matter from me! Do you understand? Allow me
to ask you another question out of simple curiosity: have you ever spent
a night on a hay barge, on the Neva?"
"No, I have not happened to," answered Raskolnikov. "What do you mean?"
"Well, I've just come from one and it's the fifth night I've slept
so...." He filled his glass, emptied it and paused. Bits of hay were in
fact clinging to his clothes and sticking to his hair. It seemed quite
probable that he had not undressed or washed for the last five days.
His hands, particularly, were filthy. They were fat and red, with black
His conversation seemed to excite a general though languid interest. The
boys at the counter fell to sniggering. The innkeeper came down from the
upper room, apparently on purpose to listen to the "funny fellow"
and sat down at a little distance, yawning lazily, but with dignity.
Evidently Marmeladov was a familiar figure here, and he had most
likely acquired his weakness for high-flown speeches from the habit of
frequently entering into conversation with strangers of all sorts in
the tavern. This habit develops into a necessity in some drunkards, and
especially in those who are looked after sharply and kept in order
at home. Hence in the company of other drinkers they try to justify
themselves and even if possible obtain consideration.
"Funny fellow!" pronounced the innkeeper. "And why don't you work, why
aren't you at your duty, if you are in the service?"
"Why am I not at my duty, honoured sir," Marmeladov went on, addressing
himself exclusively to Raskolnikov, as though it had been he who put
that question to him. "Why am I not at my duty? Does not my heart ache
to think what a useless worm I am? A month ago when Mr. Lebeziatnikov
beat my wife with his own hands, and I lay drunk, didn't I suffer?
Excuse me, young man, has it ever happened to you... hm... well, to
petition hopelessly for a loan?"
"Yes, it has. But what do you mean by hopelessly?"
"Hopelessly in the fullest sense, when you know beforehand that you
will get nothing by it. You know, for instance, beforehand with positive
certainty that this man, this most reputable and exemplary citizen, will
on no consideration give you money; and indeed I ask you why should he?
For he knows of course that I shan't pay it back. From compassion? But
Mr. Lebeziatnikov who keeps up with modern ideas explained the other day
that compassion is forbidden nowadays by science itself, and that that's
what is done now in England, where there is political economy. Why, I
ask you, should he give it to me? And yet though I know beforehand that
he won't, I set off to him and..."
"Why do you go?" put in Raskolnikov.
"Well, when one has no one, nowhere else one can go! For every man must
have somewhere to go. Since there are times when one absolutely must
go somewhere! When my own daughter first went out with a yellow ticket,
then I had to go... (for my daughter has a yellow passport)," he added
in parenthesis, looking with a certain uneasiness at the young man.
"No matter, sir, no matter!" he went on hurriedly and with apparent
composure when both the boys at the counter guffawed and even the
innkeeper smiled--"No matter, I am not confounded by the wagging of
their heads; for everyone knows everything about it already, and all
that is secret is made open. And I accept it all, not with contempt, but
with humility. So be it! So be it! 'Behold the man!' Excuse me, young
man, can you.... No, to put it more strongly and more distinctly; not
"can" you but "dare" you, looking upon me, assert that I am not a pig?"
The young man did not answer a word.
"Well," the orator began again stolidly and with even increased dignity,
after waiting for the laughter in the room to subside. "Well, so be
it, I am a pig, but she is a lady! I have the semblance of a beast, but
Katerina Ivanovna, my spouse, is a person of education and an officer's
daughter. Granted, granted, I am a scoundrel, but she is a woman of a
noble heart, full of sentiments, refined by education. And yet... oh,
if only she felt for me! Honoured sir, honoured sir, you know every man
ought to have at least one place where people feel for him! But Katerina
Ivanovna, though she is magnanimous, she is unjust.... And yet, although
I realise that when she pulls my hair she only does it out of pity--for
I repeat without being ashamed, she pulls my hair, young man," he
declared with redoubled dignity, hearing the sniggering again--"but, my
God, if she would but once.... But no, no! It's all in vain and it's no
use talking! No use talking! For more than once, my wish did come true
and more than once she has felt for me but... such is my fate and I am a
beast by nature!"
"Rather!" assented the innkeeper yawning. Marmeladov struck his fist
resolutely on the table.
"Such is my fate! Do you know, sir, do you know, I have sold her very
stockings for drink? Not her shoes--that would be more or less in the
order of things, but her stockings, her stockings I have sold for drink!
Her mohair shawl I sold for drink, a present to her long ago, her own
property, not mine; and we live in a cold room and she caught cold this
winter and has begun coughing and spitting blood too. We have three
little children and Katerina Ivanovna is at work from morning till
night; she is scrubbing and cleaning and washing the children, for she's
been used to cleanliness from a child. But her chest is weak and she has
a tendency to consumption and I feel it! Do you suppose I don't feel it?
And the more I drink the more I feel it. That's why I drink too. I try
to find sympathy and feeling in drink.... I drink so that I may suffer
twice as much!" And as though in despair he laid his head down on the
"Young man," he went on, raising his head again, "in your face I seem to
read some trouble of mind. When you came in I read it, and that was why
I addressed you at once. For in unfolding to you the story of my life, I
do not wish to make myself a laughing-stock before these idle listeners,
who indeed know all about it already, but I am looking for a man
of feeling and education. Know then that my wife was educated in a
high-class school for the daughters of noblemen, and on leaving she
danced the shawl dance before the governor and other personages for
which she was presented with a gold medal and a certificate of merit.
The medal... well, the medal of course was sold--long ago, hm... but the
certificate of merit is in her trunk still and not long ago she showed
it to our landlady. And although she is most continually on bad terms
with the landlady, yet she wanted to tell someone or other of her past
honours and of the happy days that are gone. I don't condemn her for
it, I don't blame her, for the one thing left her is recollection of
the past, and all the rest is dust and ashes. Yes, yes, she is a lady
of spirit, proud and determined. She scrubs the floors herself and has
nothing but black bread to eat, but won't allow herself to be treated
with disrespect. That's why she would not overlook Mr. Lebeziatnikov's
rudeness to her, and so when he gave her a beating for it, she took to
her bed more from the hurt to her feelings than from the blows. She was
a widow when I married her, with three children, one smaller than the
other. She married her first husband, an infantry officer, for love, and
ran away with him from her father's house. She was exceedingly fond of
her husband; but he gave way to cards, got into trouble and with that he
died. He used to beat her at the end: and although she paid him back, of
which I have authentic documentary evidence, to this day she speaks of
him with tears and she throws him up to me; and I am glad, I am glad
that, though only in imagination, she should think of herself as having
once been happy.... And she was left at his death with three children in
a wild and remote district where I happened to be at the time; and she
was left in such hopeless poverty that, although I have seen many ups
and downs of all sort, I don't feel equal to describing it even. Her
relations had all thrown her off. And she was proud, too, excessively
proud.... And then, honoured sir, and then, I, being at the time a
widower, with a daughter of fourteen left me by my first wife, offered
her my hand, for I could not bear the sight of such suffering. You can
judge the extremity of her calamities, that she, a woman of education
and culture and distinguished family, should have consented to be my
wife. But she did! Weeping and sobbing and wringing her hands, she
married me! For she had nowhere to turn! Do you understand, sir, do you
understand what it means when you have absolutely nowhere to turn? No,
that you don't understand yet.... And for a whole year, I performed
my duties conscientiously and faithfully, and did not touch this" (he
tapped the jug with his finger), "for I have feelings. But even so, I
could not please her; and then I lost my place too, and that through no
fault of mine but through changes in the office; and then I did touch
it!... It will be a year and a half ago soon since we found ourselves at
last after many wanderings and numerous calamities in this magnificent
capital, adorned with innumerable monuments. Here I obtained a
situation.... I obtained it and I lost it again. Do you understand? This
time it was through my own fault I lost it: for my weakness had come
out.... We have now part of a room at Amalia Fyodorovna Lippevechsel's;
and what we live upon and what we pay our rent with, I could not say.
There are a lot of people living there besides ourselves. Dirt and
disorder, a perfect Bedlam... hm... yes... And meanwhile my daughter by
my first wife has grown up; and what my daughter has had to put up with
from her step-mother whilst she was growing up, I won't speak of. For,
though Katerina Ivanovna is full of generous feelings, she is a spirited
lady, irritable and short-tempered.... Yes. But it's no use going over
that! Sonia, as you may well fancy, has had no education. I did make an
effort four years ago to give her a course of geography and universal
history, but as I was not very well up in those subjects myself and we
had no suitable books, and what books we had... hm, anyway we have not
even those now, so all our instruction came to an end. We stopped at
Cyrus of Persia. Since she has attained years of maturity, she has read
other books of romantic tendency and of late she had read with great
interest a book she got through Mr. Lebeziatnikov, Lewes' Physiology--do
you know it?--and even recounted extracts from it to us: and that's the
whole of her education. And now may I venture to address you, honoured
sir, on my own account with a private question. Do you suppose that
a respectable poor girl can earn much by honest work? Not fifteen
farthings a day can she earn, if she is respectable and has no special
talent and that without putting her work down for an instant! And what's
more, Ivan Ivanitch Klopstock the civil counsellor--have you heard of
him?--has not to this day paid her for the half-dozen linen shirts she
made him and drove her roughly away, stamping and reviling her, on the
pretext that the shirt collars were not made like the pattern and were
put in askew. And there are the little ones hungry.... And Katerina
Ivanovna walking up and down and wringing her hands, her cheeks flushed
red, as they always are in that disease: 'Here you live with us,' says
she, 'you eat and drink and are kept warm and you do nothing to help.'
And much she gets to eat and drink when there is not a crust for the
little ones for three days! I was lying at the time... well, what of
it! I was lying drunk and I heard my Sonia speaking (she is a gentle
creature with a soft little voice... fair hair and such a pale, thin
little face). She said: 'Katerina Ivanovna, am I really to do a thing
like that?' And Darya Frantsovna, a woman of evil character and very
well known to the police, had two or three times tried to get at her
through the landlady. 'And why not?' said Katerina Ivanovna with a jeer,
'you are something mighty precious to be so careful of!' But don't blame
her, don't blame her, honoured sir, don't blame her! She was not herself
when she spoke, but driven to distraction by her illness and the crying
of the hungry children; and it was said more to wound her than anything
else.... For that's Katerina Ivanovna's character, and when children
cry, even from hunger, she falls to beating them at once. At six o'clock
I saw Sonia get up, put on her kerchief and her cape, and go out of the
room and about nine o'clock she came back. She walked straight up to
Katerina Ivanovna and she laid thirty roubles on the table before her
in silence. She did not utter a word, she did not even look at her, she
simply picked up our big green "drap de dames" shawl (we have a shawl,
made of "drap de dames"), put it over her head and face and lay down
on the bed with her face to the wall; only her little shoulders and her
body kept shuddering.... And I went on lying there, just as before....
And then I saw, young man, I saw Katerina Ivanovna, in the same silence
go up to Sonia's little bed; she was on her knees all the evening
kissing Sonia's feet, and would not get up, and then they both fell
asleep in each other's arms... together, together... yes... and I... lay
Marmeladov stopped short, as though his voice had failed him. Then he
hurriedly filled his glass, drank, and cleared his throat.
"Since then, sir," he went on after a brief pause--"Since then, owing
to an unfortunate occurrence and through information given by
evil-intentioned persons--in all which Darya Frantsovna took a
leading part on the pretext that she had been treated with want of
respect--since then my daughter Sofya Semyonovna has been forced to take
a yellow ticket, and owing to that she is unable to go on living with
us. For our landlady, Amalia Fyodorovna would not hear of it (though
she had backed up Darya Frantsovna before) and Mr. Lebeziatnikov too...
hm.... All the trouble between him and Katerina Ivanovna was on Sonia's
account. At first he was for making up to Sonia himself and then all of
a sudden he stood on his dignity: 'how,' said he, 'can a highly educated
man like me live in the same rooms with a girl like that?' And Katerina
Ivanovna would not let it pass, she stood up for her... and so that's
how it happened. And Sonia comes to us now, mostly after dark; she
comforts Katerina Ivanovna and gives her all she can.... She has a room
at the Kapernaumovs' the tailors, she lodges with them; Kapernaumov is
a lame man with a cleft palate and all of his numerous family have cleft
palates too. And his wife, too, has a cleft palate. They all live in one
room, but Sonia has her own, partitioned off.... Hm... yes... very poor
people and all with cleft palates... yes. Then I got up in the morning,
and put on my rags, lifted up my hands to heaven and set off to his
excellency Ivan Afanasyvitch. His excellency Ivan Afanasyvitch, do you
know him? No? Well, then, it's a man of God you don't know. He is wax...
wax before the face of the Lord; even as wax melteth!... His eyes were
dim when he heard my story. 'Marmeladov, once already you have
deceived my expectations... I'll take you once more on my own
responsibility'--that's what he said, 'remember,' he said, 'and now you
can go.' I kissed the dust at his feet--in thought only, for in reality
he would not have allowed me to do it, being a statesman and a man of
modern political and enlightened ideas. I returned home, and when I
announced that I'd been taken back into the service and should receive a
salary, heavens, what a to-do there was!..."
Marmeladov stopped again in violent excitement. At that moment a whole
party of revellers already drunk came in from the street, and the sounds
of a hired concertina and the cracked piping voice of a child of seven
singing "The Hamlet" were heard in the entry. The room was filled with
noise. The tavern-keeper and the boys were busy with the new-comers.
Marmeladov paying no attention to the new arrivals continued his story.
He appeared by now to be extremely weak, but as he became more and more
drunk, he became more and more talkative. The recollection of his
recent success in getting the situation seemed to revive him, and was
positively reflected in a sort of radiance on his face. Raskolnikov
"That was five weeks ago, sir. Yes.... As soon as Katerina Ivanovna
and Sonia heard of it, mercy on us, it was as though I stepped into the
kingdom of Heaven. It used to be: you can lie like a beast, nothing but
abuse. Now they were walking on tiptoe, hushing the children. 'Semyon
Zaharovitch is tired with his work at the office, he is resting, shh!'
They made me coffee before I went to work and boiled cream for me! They
began to get real cream for me, do you hear that? And how they managed
to get together the money for a decent outfit--eleven roubles, fifty
copecks, I can't guess. Boots, cotton shirt-fronts--most magnificent,
a uniform, they got up all in splendid style, for eleven roubles and
a half. The first morning I came back from the office I found Katerina
Ivanovna had cooked two courses for dinner--soup and salt meat with
horse radish--which we had never dreamed of till then. She had not any
dresses... none at all, but she got herself up as though she were going
on a visit; and not that she'd anything to do it with, she smartened
herself up with nothing at all, she'd done her hair nicely, put on a
clean collar of some sort, cuffs, and there she was, quite a different
person, she was younger and better looking. Sonia, my little darling,
had only helped with money 'for the time,' she said, 'it won't do for me
to come and see you too often. After dark maybe when no one can see.' Do
you hear, do you hear? I lay down for a nap after dinner and what do you
think: though Katerina Ivanovna had quarrelled to the last degree with
our landlady Amalia Fyodorovna only a week before, she could not
resist then asking her in to coffee. For two hours they were sitting,
whispering together. 'Semyon Zaharovitch is in the service again,
now, and receiving a salary,' says she, 'and he went himself to his
excellency and his excellency himself came out to him, made all the
others wait and led Semyon Zaharovitch by the hand before everybody into
his study.' Do you hear, do you hear? 'To be sure,' says he, 'Semyon
Zaharovitch, remembering your past services,' says he, 'and in spite
of your propensity to that foolish weakness, since you promise now and
since moreover we've got on badly without you,' (do you hear, do you
hear;) 'and so,' says he, 'I rely now on your word as a gentleman.' And
all that, let me tell you, she has simply made up for herself, and not
simply out of wantonness, for the sake of bragging; no, she believes it
all herself, she amuses herself with her own fancies, upon my word she
does! And I don't blame her for it, no, I don't blame her!... Six days
ago when I brought her my first earnings in full--twenty-three roubles
forty copecks altogether--she called me her poppet: 'poppet,' said she,
'my little poppet.' And when we were by ourselves, you understand?
You would not think me a beauty, you would not think much of me as a
husband, would you?... Well, she pinched my cheek, 'my little poppet,'
Marmeladov broke off, tried to smile, but suddenly his chin began
to twitch. He controlled himself however. The tavern, the degraded
appearance of the man, the five nights in the hay barge, and the pot of
spirits, and yet this poignant love for his wife and children bewildered
his listener. Raskolnikov listened intently but with a sick sensation.
He felt vexed that he had come here.
"Honoured sir, honoured sir," cried Marmeladov recovering himself--"Oh,
sir, perhaps all this seems a laughing matter to you, as it does to
others, and perhaps I am only worrying you with the stupidity of all the
trivial details of my home life, but it is not a laughing matter to me.
For I can feel it all.... And the whole of that heavenly day of my life
and the whole of that evening I passed in fleeting dreams of how I would
arrange it all, and how I would dress all the children, and how I should
give her rest, and how I should rescue my own daughter from dishonour
and restore her to the bosom of her family.... And a great deal more....
Quite excusable, sir. Well, then, sir" (Marmeladov suddenly gave a sort
of start, raised his head and gazed intently at his listener) "well, on
the very next day after all those dreams, that is to say, exactly five
days ago, in the evening, by a cunning trick, like a thief in the night,
I stole from Katerina Ivanovna the key of her box, took out what was
left of my earnings, how much it was I have forgotten, and now look
at me, all of you! It's the fifth day since I left home, and they are
looking for me there and it's the end of my employment, and my uniform
is lying in a tavern on the Egyptian bridge. I exchanged it for the
garments I have on... and it's the end of everything!"
Marmeladov struck his forehead with his fist, clenched his teeth, closed
his eyes and leaned heavily with his elbow on the table. But a minute
later his face suddenly changed and with a certain assumed slyness and
affectation of bravado, he glanced at Raskolnikov, laughed and said:
"This morning I went to see Sonia, I went to ask her for a pick-me-up!
"You don't say she gave it to you?" cried one of the new-comers; he
shouted the words and went off into a guffaw.
"This very quart was bought with her money," Marmeladov declared,
addressing himself exclusively to Raskolnikov. "Thirty copecks she gave
me with her own hands, her last, all she had, as I saw.... She said
nothing, she only looked at me without a word.... Not on earth, but up
yonder... they grieve over men, they weep, but they don't blame them,
they don't blame them! But it hurts more, it hurts more when they don't
blame! Thirty copecks yes! And maybe she needs them now, eh? What do
you think, my dear sir? For now she's got to keep up her appearance. It
costs money, that smartness, that special smartness, you know? Do you
understand? And there's pomatum, too, you see, she must have things;
petticoats, starched ones, shoes, too, real jaunty ones to show off her
foot when she has to step over a puddle. Do you understand, sir, do you
understand what all that smartness means? And here I, her own father,
here I took thirty copecks of that money for a drink! And I am drinking
it! And I have already drunk it! Come, who will have pity on a man like
me, eh? Are you sorry for me, sir, or not? Tell me, sir, are you sorry
or not? He-he-he!"
He would have filled his glass, but there was no drink left. The pot was
"What are you to be pitied for?" shouted the tavern-keeper who was again
Shouts of laughter and even oaths followed. The laughter and the oaths
came from those who were listening and also from those who had heard
nothing but were simply looking at the figure of the discharged
"To be pitied! Why am I to be pitied?" Marmeladov suddenly declaimed,
standing up with his arm outstretched, as though he had been only
waiting for that question.
"Why am I to be pitied, you say? Yes! there's nothing to pity me for! I
ought to be crucified, crucified on a cross, not pitied! Crucify me,
oh judge, crucify me but pity me! And then I will go of myself to be
crucified, for it's not merry-making I seek but tears and tribulation!...
Do you suppose, you that sell, that this pint of yours has been
sweet to me? It was tribulation I sought at the bottom of it, tears and
tribulation, and have found it, and I have tasted it; but He will pity
us Who has had pity on all men, Who has understood all men and all
things, He is the One, He too is the judge. He will come in that day
and He will ask: 'Where is the daughter who gave herself for her cross,
consumptive step-mother and for the little children of another? Where is
the daughter who had pity upon the filthy drunkard, her earthly father,
undismayed by his beastliness?' And He will say, 'Come to me! I have
already forgiven thee once.... I have forgiven thee once.... Thy sins
which are many are forgiven thee for thou hast loved much....' And he
will forgive my Sonia, He will forgive, I know it... I felt it in my
heart when I was with her just now! And He will judge and will forgive
all, the good and the evil, the wise and the meek.... And when He has
done with all of them, then He will summon us. 'You too come forth,'
He will say, 'Come forth ye drunkards, come forth, ye weak ones, come
forth, ye children of shame!' And we shall all come forth, without shame
and shall stand before him. And He will say unto us, 'Ye are swine, made
in the Image of the Beast and with his mark; but come ye also!' And the
wise ones and those of understanding will say, 'Oh Lord, why dost Thou
receive these men?' And He will say, 'This is why I receive them, oh ye
wise, this is why I receive them, oh ye of understanding, that not one
of them believed himself to be worthy of this.' And He will hold out His
hands to us and we shall fall down before him... and we shall weep...
and we shall understand all things! Then we shall understand all!... and
all will understand, Katerina Ivanovna even... she will understand....
Lord, Thy kingdom come!" And he sank down on the bench exhausted, and
helpless, looking at no one, apparently oblivious of his surroundings
and plunged in deep thought. His words had created a certain impression;
there was a moment of silence; but soon laughter and oaths were heard
"That's his notion!"
"Talked himself silly!"
"A fine clerk he is!"
And so on, and so on.
"Let us go, sir," said Marmeladov all at once, raising his head and
addressing Raskolnikov--"come along with me... Kozel's house, looking
into the yard. I'm going to Katerina Ivanovna--time I did."
Raskolnikov had for some time been wanting to go and he had meant to
help him. Marmeladov was much unsteadier on his legs than in his speech
and leaned heavily on the young man. They had two or three hundred
paces to go. The drunken man was more and more overcome by dismay and
confusion as they drew nearer the house.
"It's not Katerina Ivanovna I am afraid of now," he muttered in
agitation--"and that she will begin pulling my hair. What does my hair
matter! Bother my hair! That's what I say! Indeed it will be better if
she does begin pulling it, that's not what I am afraid of... it's her
eyes I am afraid of... yes, her eyes... the red on her cheeks, too,
frightens me... and her breathing too.... Have you noticed how people
in that disease breathe... when they are excited? I am frightened of
the children's crying, too.... For if Sonia has not taken them food...
I don't know what's happened! I don't know! But blows I am not afraid
of.... Know, sir, that such blows are not a pain to me, but even an
enjoyment. In fact I can't get on without it.... It's better so. Let
her strike me, it relieves her heart... it's better so... There is the
house. The house of Kozel, the cabinet-maker... a German, well-to-do.
Lead the way!"
They went in from the yard and up to the fourth storey. The staircase
got darker and darker as they went up. It was nearly eleven o'clock
and although in summer in Petersburg there is no real night, yet it was
quite dark at the top of the stairs.
A grimy little door at the very top of the stairs stood ajar. A very
poor-looking room about ten paces long was lighted up by a candle-end;
the whole of it was visible from the entrance. It was all in disorder,
littered up with rags of all sorts, especially children's garments.
Across the furthest corner was stretched a ragged sheet. Behind it
probably was the bed. There was nothing in the room except two chairs
and a sofa covered with American leather, full of holes, before which
stood an old deal kitchen-table, unpainted and uncovered. At the edge
of the table stood a smoldering tallow-candle in an iron candlestick. It
appeared that the family had a room to themselves, not part of a room,
but their room was practically a passage. The door leading to the other
rooms, or rather cupboards, into which Amalia Lippevechsel's flat was
divided stood half open, and there was shouting, uproar and laughter
within. People seemed to be playing cards and drinking tea there. Words
of the most unceremonious kind flew out from time to time.
Raskolnikov recognised Katerina Ivanovna at once. She was a rather tall,
slim and graceful woman, terribly emaciated, with magnificent dark brown
hair and with a hectic flush in her cheeks. She was pacing up and down
in her little room, pressing her hands against her chest; her lips
were parched and her breathing came in nervous broken gasps. Her eyes
glittered as in fever and looked about with a harsh immovable stare. And
that consumptive and excited face with the last flickering light of the
candle-end playing upon it made a sickening impression. She seemed to
Raskolnikov about thirty years old and was certainly a strange wife for
Marmeladov.... She had not heard them and did not notice them coming in.
She seemed to be lost in thought, hearing and seeing nothing. The room
was close, but she had not opened the window; a stench rose from the
staircase, but the door on to the stairs was not closed. From the inner
rooms clouds of tobacco smoke floated in, she kept coughing, but did not
close the door. The youngest child, a girl of six, was asleep, sitting
curled up on the floor with her head on the sofa. A boy a year older
stood crying and shaking in the corner, probably he had just had a
beating. Beside him stood a girl of nine years old, tall and thin,
wearing a thin and ragged chemise with an ancient cashmere pelisse flung
over her bare shoulders, long outgrown and barely reaching her knees.
Her arm, as thin as a stick, was round her brother's neck. She was
trying to comfort him, whispering something to him, and doing all she
could to keep him from whimpering again. At the same time her large
dark eyes, which looked larger still from the thinness of her frightened
face, were watching her mother with alarm. Marmeladov did not enter the
door, but dropped on his knees in the very doorway, pushing Raskolnikov
in front of him. The woman seeing a stranger stopped indifferently
facing him, coming to herself for a moment and apparently wondering what
he had come for. But evidently she decided that he was going into
the next room, as he had to pass through hers to get there. Taking no
further notice of him, she walked towards the outer door to close it
and uttered a sudden scream on seeing her husband on his knees in the
"Ah!" she cried out in a frenzy, "he has come back! The criminal! the
monster!... And where is the money? What's in your pocket, show me! And
your clothes are all different! Where are your clothes? Where is the
And she fell to searching him. Marmeladov submissively and obediently
held up both arms to facilitate the search. Not a farthing was there.
"Where is the money?" she cried--"Mercy on us, can he have drunk it all?
There were twelve silver roubles left in the chest!" and in a fury
she seized him by the hair and dragged him into the room. Marmeladov
seconded her efforts by meekly crawling along on his knees.
"And this is a consolation to me! This does not hurt me, but is a
positive con-so-la-tion, ho-nou-red sir," he called out, shaken to and
fro by his hair and even once striking the ground with his forehead.
The child asleep on the floor woke up, and began to cry. The boy in the
corner losing all control began trembling and screaming and rushed
to his sister in violent terror, almost in a fit. The eldest girl was
shaking like a leaf.
"He's drunk it! he's drunk it all," the poor woman screamed in
despair--"and his clothes are gone! And they are hungry, hungry!"--and
wringing her hands she pointed to the children. "Oh, accursed life!
And you, are you not ashamed?"--she pounced all at once upon
Raskolnikov--"from the tavern! Have you been drinking with him? You have
been drinking with him, too! Go away!"
The young man was hastening away without uttering a word. The inner door
was thrown wide open and inquisitive faces were peering in at it. Coarse
laughing faces with pipes and cigarettes and heads wearing caps thrust
themselves in at the doorway. Further in could be seen figures in
dressing gowns flung open, in costumes of unseemly scantiness, some of
them with cards in their hands. They were particularly diverted, when
Marmeladov, dragged about by his hair, shouted that it was a consolation
to him. They even began to come into the room; at last a sinister shrill
outcry was heard: this came from Amalia Lippevechsel herself pushing her
way amongst them and trying to restore order after her own fashion and
for the hundredth time to frighten the poor woman by ordering her
with coarse abuse to clear out of the room next day. As he went out,
Raskolnikov had time to put his hand into his pocket, to snatch up the
coppers he had received in exchange for his rouble in the tavern and to
lay them unnoticed on the window. Afterwards on the stairs, he changed
his mind and would have gone back.
"What a stupid thing I've done," he thought to himself, "they have Sonia
and I want it myself." But reflecting that it would be impossible to
take it back now and that in any case he would not have taken it, he
dismissed it with a wave of his hand and went back to his lodging.
"Sonia wants pomatum too," he said as he walked along the street, and he
laughed malignantly--"such smartness costs money.... Hm! And maybe Sonia
herself will be bankrupt to-day, for there is always a risk, hunting
big game... digging for gold... then they would all be without a crust
to-morrow except for my money. Hurrah for Sonia! What a mine they've dug
there! And they're making the most of it! Yes, they are making the most
of it! They've wept over it and grown used to it. Man grows used to
everything, the scoundrel!"
He sank into thought.
"And what if I am wrong," he cried suddenly after a moment's thought.
"What if man is not really a scoundrel, man in general, I mean, the
whole race of mankind--then all the rest is prejudice, simply artificial
terrors and there are no barriers and it's all as it should be."
He waked up late next day after a broken sleep. But his sleep had not
refreshed him; he waked up bilious, irritable, ill-tempered, and looked
with hatred at his room. It was a tiny cupboard of a room about six
paces in length. It had a poverty-stricken appearance with its dusty
yellow paper peeling off the walls, and it was so low-pitched that a man
of more than average height was ill at ease in it and felt every moment
that he would knock his head against the ceiling. The furniture was in
keeping with the room: there were three old chairs, rather rickety; a
painted table in the corner on which lay a few manuscripts and books;
the dust that lay thick upon them showed that they had been long
untouched. A big clumsy sofa occupied almost the whole of one wall and
half the floor space of the room; it was once covered with chintz, but
was now in rags and served Raskolnikov as a bed. Often he went to sleep
on it, as he was, without undressing, without sheets, wrapped in his old
student's overcoat, with his head on one little pillow, under which he
heaped up all the linen he had, clean and dirty, by way of a bolster. A
little table stood in front of the sofa.
It would have been difficult to sink to a lower ebb of disorder, but to
Raskolnikov in his present state of mind this was positively agreeable.
He had got completely away from everyone, like a tortoise in its shell,
and even the sight of a servant girl who had to wait upon him and looked
sometimes into his room made him writhe with nervous irritation. He was
in the condition that overtakes some monomaniacs entirely concentrated
upon one thing. His landlady had for the last fortnight given up sending
him in meals, and he had not yet thought of expostulating with her,
though he went without his dinner. Nastasya, the cook and only servant,
was rather pleased at the lodger's mood and had entirely given up
sweeping and doing his room, only once a week or so she would stray into
his room with a broom. She waked him up that day.
"Get up, why are you asleep?" she called to him. "It's past nine, I have
brought you some tea; will you have a cup? I should think you're fairly
Raskolnikov opened his eyes, started and recognised Nastasya.
"From the landlady, eh?" he asked, slowly and with a sickly face sitting
up on the sofa.
"From the landlady, indeed!"
She set before him her own cracked teapot full of weak and stale tea and
laid two yellow lumps of sugar by the side of it.
"Here, Nastasya, take it please," he said, fumbling in his pocket (for
he had slept in his clothes) and taking out a handful of coppers--"run
and buy me a loaf. And get me a little sausage, the cheapest, at the
"The loaf I'll fetch you this very minute, but wouldn't you rather have
some cabbage soup instead of sausage? It's capital soup, yesterday's. I
saved it for you yesterday, but you came in late. It's fine soup."
When the soup had been brought, and he had begun upon it, Nastasya
sat down beside him on the sofa and began chatting. She was a country
peasant-woman and a very talkative one.
"Praskovya Pavlovna means to complain to the police about you," she
"To the police? What does she want?"
"You don't pay her money and you won't turn out of the room. That's what
she wants, to be sure."
"The devil, that's the last straw," he muttered, grinding his teeth,
"no, that would not suit me... just now. She is a fool," he added aloud.
"I'll go and talk to her to-day."
"Fool she is and no mistake, just as I am. But why, if you are so
clever, do you lie here like a sack and have nothing to show for it? One
time you used to go out, you say, to teach children. But why is it you
do nothing now?"
"I am doing..." Raskolnikov began sullenly and reluctantly.
"What are you doing?"
"What sort of work?"
"I am thinking," he answered seriously after a pause.
Nastasya was overcome with a fit of laughter. She was given to laughter
and when anything amused her, she laughed inaudibly, quivering and
shaking all over till she felt ill.
"And have you made much money by your thinking?" she managed to
articulate at last.
"One can't go out to give lessons without boots. And I'm sick of it."
"Don't quarrel with your bread and butter."
"They pay so little for lessons. What's the use of a few coppers?" he
answered, reluctantly, as though replying to his own thought.
"And you want to get a fortune all at once?"
He looked at her strangely.
"Yes, I want a fortune," he answered firmly, after a brief pause.
"Don't be in such a hurry, you quite frighten me! Shall I get you the
loaf or not?"
"As you please."
"Ah, I forgot! A letter came for you yesterday when you were out."
"A letter? for me! from whom?"
"I can't say. I gave three copecks of my own to the postman for it. Will
you pay me back?"
"Then bring it to me, for God's sake, bring it," cried Raskolnikov
greatly excited--"good God!"
A minute later the letter was brought him. That was it: from his mother,
from the province of R----. He turned pale when he took it. It was a
long while since he had received a letter, but another feeling also
suddenly stabbed his heart.
"Nastasya, leave me alone, for goodness' sake; here are your three
copecks, but for goodness' sake, make haste and go!"
The letter was quivering in his hand; he did not want to open it in her
presence; he wanted to be left "alone" with this letter. When Nastasya
had gone out, he lifted it quickly to his lips and kissed it; then he
gazed intently at the address, the small, sloping handwriting, so dear
and familiar, of the mother who had once taught him to read and write.
He delayed; he seemed almost afraid of something. At last he opened it;
it was a thick heavy letter, weighing over two ounces, two large sheets
of note paper were covered with very small handwriting.
"My dear Rodya," wrote his mother--"it's two months since I last had a
talk with you by letter which has distressed me and even kept me
awake at night, thinking. But I am sure you will not blame me for my
inevitable silence. You know how I love you; you are all we have to look
to, Dounia and I, you are our all, our one hope, our one stay. What a
grief it was to me when I heard that you had given up the university
some months ago, for want of means to keep yourself and that you had
lost your lessons and your other work! How could I help you out of my
hundred and twenty roubles a year pension? The fifteen roubles I sent
you four months ago I borrowed, as you know, on security of my pension,
from Vassily Ivanovitch Vahrushin a merchant of this town. He is a
kind-hearted man and was a friend of your father's too. But having given
him the right to receive the pension, I had to wait till the debt was
paid off and that is only just done, so that I've been unable to send
you anything all this time. But now, thank God, I believe I shall
be able to send you something more and in fact we may congratulate
ourselves on our good fortune now, of which I hasten to inform you. In
the first place, would you have guessed, dear Rodya, that your sister
has been living with me for the last six weeks and we shall not be
separated in the future. Thank God, her sufferings are over, but I will
tell you everything in order, so that you may know just how everything
has happened and all that we have hitherto concealed from you. When you
wrote to me two months ago that you had heard that Dounia had a great
deal to put up with in the Svidrigra´lovs' house, when you wrote that
and asked me to tell you all about it--what could I write in answer to
you? If I had written the whole truth to you, I dare say you would have
thrown up everything and have come to us, even if you had to walk all
the way, for I know your character and your feelings, and you would not
let your sister be insulted. I was in despair myself, but what could I
do? And, besides, I did not know the whole truth myself then. What
made it all so difficult was that Dounia received a hundred roubles
in advance when she took the place as governess in their family, on
condition of part of her salary being deducted every month, and so it
was impossible to throw up the situation without repaying the debt.
This sum (now I can explain it all to you, my precious Rodya) she took
chiefly in order to send you sixty roubles, which you needed so terribly
then and which you received from us last year. We deceived you then,
writing that this money came from Dounia's savings, but that was not
so, and now I tell you all about it, because, thank God, things have
suddenly changed for the better, and that you may know how Dounia loves
you and what a heart she has. At first indeed Mr. Svidriga´lov treated
her very rudely and used to make disrespectful and jeering remarks at
table.... But I don't want to go into all those painful details, so as
not to worry you for nothing when it is now all over. In short, in spite
of the kind and generous behaviour of Marfa Petrovna, Mr. Svidriga´lov's
wife, and all the rest of the household, Dounia had a very hard time,
especially when Mr. Svidriga´lov, relapsing into his old regimental
habits, was under the influence of Bacchus. And how do you think it
was all explained later on? Would you believe that the crazy fellow had
conceived a passion for Dounia from the beginning, but had concealed
it under a show of rudeness and contempt. Possibly he was ashamed and
horrified himself at his own flighty hopes, considering his years and
his being the father of a family; and that made him angry with Dounia.
And possibly, too, he hoped by his rude and sneering behaviour to hide
the truth from others. But at last he lost all control and had the face
to make Dounia an open and shameful proposal, promising her all sorts of
inducements and offering, besides, to throw up everything and take her
to another estate of his, or even abroad. You can imagine all she went
through! To leave her situation at once was impossible not only on
account of the money debt, but also to spare the feelings of Marfa
Petrovna, whose suspicions would have been aroused: and then Dounia
would have been the cause of a rupture in the family. And it would
have meant a terrible scandal for Dounia too; that would have been
inevitable. There were various other reasons owing to which Dounia could
not hope to escape from that awful house for another six weeks. You know
Dounia, of course; you know how clever she is and what a strong will she
has. Dounia can endure a great deal and even in the most difficult cases
she has the fortitude to maintain her firmness. She did not even write
to me about everything for fear of upsetting me, although we were
constantly in communication. It all ended very unexpectedly. Marfa
Petrovna accidentally overheard her husband imploring Dounia in the
garden, and, putting quite a wrong interpretation on the position, threw
the blame upon her, believing her to be the cause of it all. An awful
scene took place between them on the spot in the garden; Marfa Petrovna
went so far as to strike Dounia, refused to hear anything and was
shouting at her for a whole hour and then gave orders that Dounia should
be packed off at once to me in a plain peasant's cart, into which they
flung all her things, her linen and her clothes, all pell-mell, without
folding it up and packing it. And a heavy shower of rain came on, too,
and Dounia, insulted and put to shame, had to drive with a peasant in an
open cart all the seventeen versts into town. Only think now what answer
could I have sent to the letter I received from you two months ago and
what could I have written? I was in despair; I dared not write to
you the truth because you would have been very unhappy, mortified
and indignant, and yet what could you do? You could only perhaps ruin
yourself, and, besides, Dounia would not allow it; and fill up my letter
with trifles when my heart was so full of sorrow, I could not. For a
whole month the town was full of gossip about this scandal, and it came
to such a pass that Dounia and I dared not even go to church on account
of the contemptuous looks, whispers, and even remarks made aloud about
us. All our acquaintances avoided us, nobody even bowed to us in the
street, and I learnt that some shopmen and clerks were intending to
insult us in a shameful way, smearing the gates of our house with pitch,
so that the landlord began to tell us we must leave. All this was set
going by Marfa Petrovna who managed to slander Dounia and throw dirt at
her in every family. She knows everyone in the neighbourhood, and that
month she was continually coming into the town, and as she is
rather talkative and fond of gossiping about her family affairs and
particularly of complaining to all and each of her husband--which is not
at all right--so in a short time she had spread her story not only in
the town, but over the whole surrounding district. It made me ill, but
Dounia bore it better than I did, and if only you could have seen how
she endured it all and tried to comfort me and cheer me up! She is
an angel! But by God's mercy, our sufferings were cut short: Mr.
Svidriga´lov returned to his senses and repented and, probably
feeling sorry for Dounia, he laid before Marfa Petrovna a complete and
unmistakable proof of Dounia's innocence, in the form of a letter Dounia
had been forced to write and give to him, before Marfa Petrovna
came upon them in the garden. This letter, which remained in Mr.
Svidriga´lov's hands after her departure, she had written to refuse
personal explanations and secret interviews, for which he was entreating
her. In that letter she reproached him with great heat and indignation
for the baseness of his behaviour in regard to Marfa Petrovna, reminding
him that he was the father and head of a family and telling him how
infamous it was of him to torment and make unhappy a defenceless girl,
unhappy enough already. Indeed, dear Rodya, the letter was so nobly and
touchingly written that I sobbed when I read it and to this day I cannot
read it without tears. Moreover, the evidence of the servants, too,
cleared Dounia's reputation; they had seen and known a great deal more
than Mr. Svidriga´lov had himself supposed--as indeed is always the case
with servants. Marfa Petrovna was completely taken aback, and 'again
crushed' as she said herself to us, but she was completely convinced of
Dounia's innocence. The very next day, being Sunday, she went straight
to the Cathedral, knelt down and prayed with tears to Our Lady to give
her strength to bear this new trial and to do her duty. Then she
came straight from the Cathedral to us, told us the whole story, wept
bitterly and, fully penitent, she embraced Dounia and besought her to
forgive her. The same morning without any delay, she went round to all
the houses in the town and everywhere, shedding tears, she asserted in
the most flattering terms Dounia's innocence and the nobility of
her feelings and her behavior. What was more, she showed and read to
everyone the letter in Dounia's own handwriting to Mr. Svidriga´lov and
even allowed them to take copies of it--which I must say I think was
superfluous. In this way she was busy for several days in driving about
the whole town, because some people had taken offence through precedence
having been given to others. And therefore they had to take turns, so
that in every house she was expected before she arrived, and everyone
knew that on such and such a day Marfa Petrovna would be reading the
letter in such and such a place and people assembled for every reading
of it, even many who had heard it several times already both in their
own houses and in other people's. In my opinion a great deal, a very
great deal of all this was unnecessary; but that's Marfa Petrovna's
character. Anyway she succeeded in completely re-establishing Dounia's
reputation and the whole ignominy of this affair rested as an indelible
disgrace upon her husband, as the only person to blame, so that I really
began to feel sorry for him; it was really treating the crazy fellow too
harshly. Dounia was at once asked to give lessons in several families,
but she refused. All of a sudden everyone began to treat her with marked
respect and all this did much to bring about the event by which, one may
say, our whole fortunes are now transformed. You must know, dear Rodya,
that Dounia has a suitor and that she has already consented to marry
him. I hasten to tell you all about the matter, and though it has been
arranged without asking your consent, I think you will not be aggrieved
with me or with your sister on that account, for you will see that we
could not wait and put off our decision till we heard from you. And you
could not have judged all the facts without being on the spot. This
was how it happened. He is already of the rank of a counsellor, Pyotr
Petrovitch Luzhin, and is distantly related to Marfa Petrovna, who
has been very active in bringing the match about. It began with his
expressing through her his desire to make our acquaintance. He was
properly received, drank coffee with us and the very next day he sent
us a letter in which he very courteously made an offer and begged for a
speedy and decided answer. He is a very busy man and is in a great hurry
to get to Petersburg, so that every moment is precious to him. At first,
of course, we were greatly surprised, as it had all happened so quickly
and unexpectedly. We thought and talked it over the whole day. He is a
well-to-do man, to be depended upon, he has two posts in the government
and has already made his fortune. It is true that he is forty-five years
old, but he is of a fairly prepossessing appearance and might still be
thought attractive by women, and he is altogether a very respectable and
presentable man, only he seems a little morose and somewhat conceited.
But possibly that may only be the impression he makes at first sight.
And beware, dear Rodya, when he comes to Petersburg, as he shortly will
do, beware of judging him too hastily and severely, as your way is, if
there is anything you do not like in him at first sight. I give you this
warning, although I feel sure that he will make a favourable impression
upon you. Moreover, in order to understand any man one must be
deliberate and careful to avoid forming prejudices and mistaken ideas,
which are very difficult to correct and get over afterwards. And Pyotr
Petrovitch, judging by many indications, is a thoroughly estimable man.
At his first visit, indeed, he told us that he was a practical man, but
still he shares, as he expressed it, many of the convictions 'of our
most rising generation' and he is an opponent of all prejudices. He
said a good deal more, for he seems a little conceited and likes to be
listened to, but this is scarcely a vice. I, of course, understood very
little of it, but Dounia explained to me that, though he is not a man
of great education, he is clever and seems to be good-natured. You know
your sister's character, Rodya. She is a resolute, sensible, patient and
generous girl, but she has a passionate heart, as I know very well.
Of course, there is no great love either on his side, or on hers, but
Dounia is a clever girl and has the heart of an angel, and will make
it her duty to make her husband happy who on his side will make her
happiness his care. Of that we have no good reason to doubt, though it
must be admitted the matter has been arranged in great haste. Besides he
is a man of great prudence and he will see, to be sure, of himself, that
his own happiness will be the more secure, the happier Dounia is with
him. And as for some defects of character, for some habits and even
certain differences of opinion--which indeed are inevitable even in
the happiest marriages--Dounia has said that, as regards all that, she
relies on herself, that there is nothing to be uneasy about, and
that she is ready to put up with a great deal, if only their future
relationship can be an honourable and straightforward one. He struck me,
for instance, at first, as rather abrupt, but that may well come
from his being an outspoken man, and that is no doubt how it is. For
instance, at his second visit, after he had received Dounia's consent,
in the course of conversation, he declared that before making
Dounia's acquaintance, he had made up his mind to marry a girl of
good reputation, without dowry and, above all, one who had experienced
poverty, because, as he explained, a man ought not to be indebted to his
wife, but that it is better for a wife to look upon her husband as her
benefactor. I must add that he expressed it more nicely and politely
than I have done, for I have forgotten his actual phrases and only
remember the meaning. And, besides, it was obviously not said of design,
but slipped out in the heat of conversation, so that he tried afterwards
to correct himself and smooth it over, but all the same it did strike
me as somewhat rude, and I said so afterwards to Dounia. But Dounia was
vexed, and answered that 'words are not deeds,' and that, of course, is
perfectly true. Dounia did not sleep all night before she made up
her mind, and, thinking that I was asleep, she got out of bed and was
walking up and down the room all night; at last she knelt down before
the ikon and prayed long and fervently and in the morning she told me
that she had decided.
"I have mentioned already that Pyotr Petrovitch is just setting off for
Petersburg, where he has a great deal of business, and he wants to open
a legal bureau. He has been occupied for many years in conducting civil
and commercial litigation, and only the other day he won an important
case. He has to be in Petersburg because he has an important case before
the Senate. So, Rodya dear, he may be of the greatest use to you, in
every way indeed, and Dounia and I have agreed that from this very day
you could definitely enter upon your career and might consider that
your future is marked out and assured for you. Oh, if only this comes to
pass! This would be such a benefit that we could only look upon it as a
providential blessing. Dounia is dreaming of nothing else. We have even
ventured already to drop a few words on the subject to Pyotr Petrovitch.
He was cautious in his answer, and said that, of course, as he could not
get on without a secretary, it would be better to be paying a salary to
a relation than to a stranger, if only the former were fitted for the
duties (as though there could be doubt of your being fitted!) but then
he expressed doubts whether your studies at the university would leave
you time for work at his office. The matter dropped for the time, but
Dounia is thinking of nothing else now. She has been in a sort of fever
for the last few days, and has already made a regular plan for
your becoming in the end an associate and even a partner in Pyotr
Petrovitch's business, which might well be, seeing that you are a
student of law. I am in complete agreement with her, Rodya, and share
all her plans and hopes, and think there is every probability of
realising them. And in spite of Pyotr Petrovitch's evasiveness, very
natural at present (since he does not know you), Dounia is firmly
persuaded that she will gain everything by her good influence over her
future husband; this she is reckoning upon. Of course we are careful
not to talk of any of these more remote plans to Pyotr Petrovitch,
especially of your becoming his partner. He is a practical man and might
take this very coldly, it might all seem to him simply a day-dream. Nor
has either Dounia or I breathed a word to him of the great hopes we have
of his helping us to pay for your university studies; we have not spoken
of it in the first place, because it will come to pass of itself,
later on, and he will no doubt without wasting words offer to do it of
himself, (as though he could refuse Dounia that) the more readily since
you may by your own efforts become his right hand in the office, and
receive this assistance not as a charity, but as a salary earned by your
own work. Dounia wants to arrange it all like this and I quite agree
with her. And we have not spoken of our plans for another reason, that
is, because I particularly wanted you to feel on an equal footing when
you first meet him. When Dounia spoke to him with enthusiasm about
you, he answered that one could never judge of a man without seeing
him close, for oneself, and that he looked forward to forming his own
opinion when he makes your acquaintance. Do you know, my precious
Rodya, I think that perhaps for some reasons (nothing to do with Pyotr
Petrovitch though, simply for my own personal, perhaps old-womanish,
fancies) I should do better to go on living by myself, apart, than with
them, after the wedding. I am convinced that he will be generous and
delicate enough to invite me and to urge me to remain with my daughter
for the future, and if he has said nothing about it hitherto, it is
simply because it has been taken for granted; but I shall refuse. I have
noticed more than once in my life that husbands don't quite get on with
their mothers-in-law, and I don't want to be the least bit in anyone's
way, and for my own sake, too, would rather be quite independent, so
long as I have a crust of bread of my own, and such children as you and
Dounia. If possible, I would settle somewhere near you, for the most
joyful piece of news, dear Rodya, I have kept for the end of my letter:
know then, my dear boy, that we may, perhaps, be all together in a
very short time and may embrace one another again after a separation of
almost three years! It is settled "for certain" that Dounia and I are to
set off for Petersburg, exactly when I don't know, but very, very soon,
possibly in a week. It all depends on Pyotr Petrovitch who will let us
know when he has had time to look round him in Petersburg. To suit his
own arrangements he is anxious to have the ceremony as soon as possible,
even before the fast of Our Lady, if it could be managed, or if that is
too soon to be ready, immediately after. Oh, with what happiness I shall
press you to my heart! Dounia is all excitement at the joyful thought
of seeing you, she said one day in joke that she would be ready to marry
Pyotr Petrovitch for that alone. She is an angel! She is not writing
anything to you now, and has only told me to write that she has so much,
so much to tell you that she is not going to take up her pen now, for
a few lines would tell you nothing, and it would only mean upsetting
herself; she bids me send you her love and innumerable kisses. But
although we shall be meeting so soon, perhaps I shall send you as much
money as I can in a day or two. Now that everyone has heard that Dounia
is to marry Pyotr Petrovitch, my credit has suddenly improved and I know
that Afanasy Ivanovitch will trust me now even to seventy-five roubles
on the security of my pension, so that perhaps I shall be able to send
you twenty-five or even thirty roubles. I would send you more, but I am
uneasy about our travelling expenses; for though Pyotr Petrovitch has
been so kind as to undertake part of the expenses of the journey, that
is to say, he has taken upon himself the conveyance of our bags and big
trunk (which will be conveyed through some acquaintances of his), we
must reckon upon some expense on our arrival in Petersburg, where we
can't be left without a halfpenny, at least for the first few days. But
we have calculated it all, Dounia and I, to the last penny, and we see
that the journey will not cost very much. It is only ninety versts from
us to the railway and we have come to an agreement with a driver we
know, so as to be in readiness; and from there Dounia and I can travel
quite comfortably third class. So that I may very likely be able to send
to you not twenty-five, but thirty roubles. But enough; I have covered
two sheets already and there is no space left for more; our whole
history, but so many events have happened! And now, my precious Rodya,
I embrace you and send you a mother's blessing till we meet. Love Dounia
your sister, Rodya; love her as she loves you and understand that she
loves you beyond everything, more than herself. She is an angel and you,
Rodya, you are everything to us--our one hope, our one consolation. If
only you are happy, we shall be happy. Do you still say your prayers,
Rodya, and believe in the mercy of our Creator and our Redeemer? I am
afraid in my heart that you may have been visited by the new spirit of
infidelity that is abroad to-day; If it is so, I pray for you. Remember,
dear boy, how in your childhood, when your father was living, you used
to lisp your prayers at my knee, and how happy we all were in those
days. Good-bye, till we meet then--I embrace you warmly, warmly, with
"Yours till death,
Almost from the first, while he read the letter, Raskolnikov's face was
wet with tears; but when he finished it, his face was pale and distorted
and a bitter, wrathful and malignant smile was on his lips. He laid his
head down on his threadbare dirty pillow and pondered, pondered a long
time. His heart was beating violently, and his brain was in a turmoil.
At last he felt cramped and stifled in the little yellow room that was
like a cupboard or a box. His eyes and his mind craved for space. He
took up his hat and went out, this time without dread of meeting
anyone; he had forgotten his dread. He turned in the direction of the
Vassilyevsky Ostrov, walking along Vassilyevsky Prospect, as though
hastening on some business, but he walked, as his habit was, without
noticing his way, muttering and even speaking aloud to himself, to the
astonishment of the passers-by. Many of them took him to be drunk.
His mother's letter had been a torture to him, but as regards the chief
fact in it, he had felt not one moment's hesitation, even whilst he was
reading the letter. The essential question was settled, and irrevocably
settled, in his mind: "Never such a marriage while I am alive and
Mr. Luzhin be damned!" "The thing is perfectly clear," he muttered
to himself, with a malignant smile anticipating the triumph of his
decision. "No, mother, no, Dounia, you won't deceive me! and then they
apologise for not asking my advice and for taking the decision without
me! I dare say! They imagine it is arranged now and can't be broken
off; but we will see whether it can or not! A magnificent excuse:
'Pyotr Petrovitch is such a busy man that even his wedding has to be in
post-haste, almost by express.' No, Dounia, I see it all and I know what
you want to say to me; and I know too what you were thinking about, when
you walked up and down all night, and what your prayers were like before
the Holy Mother of Kazan who stands in mother's bedroom. Bitter is
the ascent to Golgotha.... Hm... so it is finally settled; you have
determined to marry a sensible business man, Avdotya Romanovna, one
who has a fortune (has "already" made his fortune, that is so much
more solid and impressive) a man who holds two government posts and who
shares the ideas of our most rising generation, as mother writes, and
who "seems" to be kind, as Dounia herself observes. That "seems" beats
everything! And that very Dounia for that very '"seems"' is marrying
him! Splendid! splendid!
"... But I should like to know why mother has written to me about 'our
most rising generation'? Simply as a descriptive touch, or with the idea
of prepossessing me in favour of Mr. Luzhin? Oh, the cunning of them!
I should like to know one thing more: how far they were open with one
another that day and night and all this time since? Was it all put into
"words", or did both understand that they had the same thing at heart
and in their minds, so that there was no need to speak of it aloud, and
better not to speak of it. Most likely it was partly like that, from
mother's letter it's evident: he struck her as rude "a little", and
mother in her simplicity took her observations to Dounia. And she was
sure to be vexed and 'answered her angrily.' I should think so! Who
would not be angered when it was quite clear without any na´ve questions
and when it was understood that it was useless to discuss it. And why
does she write to me, 'love Dounia, Rodya, and she loves you more than
herself'? Has she a secret conscience-prick at sacrificing her daughter
to her son? 'You are our one comfort, you are everything to us.' Oh,
His bitterness grew more and more intense, and if he had happened to
meet Mr. Luzhin at the moment, he might have murdered him.
"Hm... yes, that's true," he continued, pursuing the whirling ideas that
chased each other in his brain, "it is true that 'it needs time and care
to get to know a man,' but there is no mistake about Mr. Luzhin. The
chief thing is he is 'a man of business and "seems" kind,' that was
something, wasn't it, to send the bags and big box for them! A kind man,
no doubt after that! But his "bride" and her mother are to drive in a
peasant's cart covered with sacking (I know, I have been driven in
it). No matter! It is only ninety versts and then they can 'travel very
comfortably, third class,' for a thousand versts! Quite right, too. One
must cut one's coat according to one's cloth, but what about you, Mr.
Luzhin? She is your bride.... And you must be aware that her mother has
to raise money on her pension for the journey. To be sure it's a matter
of business, a partnership for mutual benefit, with equal shares and
expenses;--food and drink provided, but pay for your tobacco. The
business man has got the better of them, too. The luggage will cost less
than their fares and very likely go for nothing. How is it that they
don't both see all that, or is it that they don't want to see? And
they are pleased, pleased! And to think that this is only the first
blossoming, and that the real fruits are to come! But what really
matters is not the stinginess, is not the meanness, but the "tone"
of the whole thing. For that will be the tone after marriage, it's a
foretaste of it. And mother too, why should she be so lavish? What will
she have by the time she gets to Petersburg? Three silver roubles or
two 'paper ones' as "she" says.... that old woman... hm. What does
she expect to live upon in Petersburg afterwards? She has her reasons
already for guessing that she "could not" live with Dounia after the
marriage, even for the first few months. The good man has no doubt let
slip something on that subject also, though mother would deny it: 'I
shall refuse,' says she. On whom is she reckoning then? Is she counting
on what is left of her hundred and twenty roubles of pension when
Afanasy Ivanovitch's debt is paid? She knits woollen shawls and
embroiders cuffs, ruining her old eyes. And all her shawls don't add
more than twenty roubles a year to her hundred and twenty, I know
that. So she is building all her hopes all the time on Mr. Luzhin's
generosity; 'he will offer it of himself, he will press it on me.'
You may wait a long time for that! That's how it always is with these
Schilleresque noble hearts; till the last moment every goose is a swan
with them, till the last moment, they hope for the best and will see
nothing wrong, and although they have an inkling of the other side of
the picture, yet they won't face the truth till they are forced to; the
very thought of it makes them shiver; they thrust the truth away with
both hands, until the man they deck out in false colours puts a fool's
cap on them with his own hands. I should like to know whether Mr. Luzhin
has any orders of merit; I bet he has the Anna in his buttonhole and
that he puts it on when he goes to dine with contractors or merchants.
He will be sure to have it for his wedding, too! Enough of him, confound
"Well,... mother I don't wonder at, it's like her, God bless her, but
how could Dounia? Dounia darling, as though I did not know you! You were
nearly twenty when I saw you last: I understood you then. Mother writes
that 'Dounia can put up with a great deal.' I know that very well. I
knew that two years and a half ago, and for the last two and a half
years I have been thinking about it, thinking of just that, that 'Dounia
can put up with a great deal.' If she could put up with Mr. Svidriga´lov
and all the rest of it, she certainly can put up with a great deal. And
now mother and she have taken it into their heads that she can put up
with Mr. Luzhin, who propounds the theory of the superiority of
wives raised from destitution and owing everything to their husband's
bounty--who propounds it, too, almost at the first interview. Granted
that he 'let it slip,' though he is a sensible man, (yet maybe it
was not a slip at all, but he meant to make himself clear as soon as
possible) but Dounia, Dounia? She understands the man, of course, but
she will have to live with the man. Why! she'd live on black bread
and water, she would not sell her soul, she would not barter her moral
freedom for comfort; she would not barter it for all Schleswig-Holstein,
much less Mr. Luzhin's money. No, Dounia was not that sort when I knew
her and... she is still the same, of course! Yes, there's no denying,
the Svidriga´lovs are a bitter pill! It's a bitter thing to spend one's
life a governess in the provinces for two hundred roubles, but I know
she would rather be a nigger on a plantation or a Lett with a German
master than degrade her soul, and her moral dignity, by binding herself
for ever to a man whom she does not respect and with whom she has
nothing in common--for her own advantage. And if Mr. Luzhin had been of
unalloyed gold, or one huge diamond, she would never have consented to
become his legal concubine. Why is she consenting then? What's the
point of it? What's the answer? It's clear enough: for herself, for her
comfort, to save her life she would not sell herself, but for someone
else she is doing it! For one she loves, for one she adores, she will
sell herself! That's what it all amounts to; for her brother, for her
mother, she will sell herself! She will sell everything! In such cases,
'we overcome our moral feeling if necessary,' freedom, peace, conscience
even, all, all are brought into the market. Let my life go, if only my
dear ones may be happy! More than that, we become casuists, we learn
to be Jesuitical and for a time maybe we can soothe ourselves, we can
persuade ourselves that it is one's duty for a good object. That's just
like us, it's as clear as daylight. It's clear that Rodion Romanovitch
Raskolnikov is the central figure in the business, and no one else. Oh,
yes, she can ensure his happiness, keep him in the university, make him
a partner in the office, make his whole future secure; perhaps he may
even be a rich man later on, prosperous, respected, and may even end his
life a famous man! But my mother? It's all Rodya, precious Rodya, her
first born! For such a son who would not sacrifice such a daughter! Oh,
loving, over-partial hearts! Why, for his sake we would not shrink even
from Sonia's fate. Sonia, Sonia Marmeladov, the eternal victim so long
as the world lasts. Have you taken the measure of your sacrifice, both
of you? Is it right? Can you bear it? Is it any use? Is there sense in
it? And let me tell you, Dounia, Sonia's life is no worse than life with
Mr. Luzhin. 'There can be no question of love,' mother writes. And what
if there can be no respect either, if on the contrary there is aversion,
contempt, repulsion, what then? So you will have to 'keep up your
appearance,' too. Is not that so? Do you understand what that smartness
means? Do you understand that the Luzhin smartness is just the same
thing as Sonia's and may be worse, viler, baser, because in your case,
Dounia, it's a bargain for luxuries, after all, but with Sonia it's
simply a question of starvation. It has to be paid for, it has to be
paid for, Dounia, this smartness. And what if it's more than you can
bear afterwards, if you regret it? The bitterness, the misery, the
curses, the tears hidden from all the world, for you are not a Marfa
Petrovna. And how will your mother feel then? Even now she is uneasy,
she is worried, but then, when she sees it all clearly? And I? Yes,
indeed, what have you taken me for? I won't have your sacrifice, Dounia,
I won't have it, mother! It shall not be, so long as I am alive, it
shall not, it shall not! I won't accept it!"
He suddenly paused in his reflection and stood still.
"It shall not be? But what are you going to do to prevent it? You'll
forbid it? And what right have you? What can you promise them on your
side to give you such a right? Your whole life, your whole future, you
will devote to them "when you have finished your studies and obtained a
post"? Yes, we have heard all that before, and that's all "words", but
now? Now something must be done, now, do you understand that? And
what are you doing now? You are living upon them. They borrow on their
hundred roubles pension. They borrow from the Svidriga´lovs. How are
you going to save them from Svidriga´lovs, from Afanasy Ivanovitch
Vahrushin, oh, future millionaire Zeus who would arrange their lives for
them? In another ten years? In another ten years, mother will be blind
with knitting shawls, maybe with weeping too. She will be worn to a
shadow with fasting; and my sister? Imagine for a moment what may have
become of your sister in ten years? What may happen to her during those
ten years? Can you fancy?"
So he tortured himself, fretting himself with such questions, and
finding a kind of enjoyment in it. And yet all these questions were not
new ones suddenly confronting him, they were old familiar aches. It was
long since they had first begun to grip and rend his heart. Long, long
ago his present anguish had its first beginnings; it had waxed and
gathered strength, it had matured and concentrated, until it had taken
the form of a fearful, frenzied and fantastic question, which tortured
his heart and mind, clamouring insistently for an answer. Now his
mother's letter had burst on him like a thunderclap. It was clear
that he must not now suffer passively, worrying himself over unsolved
questions, but that he must do something, do it at once, and do it
quickly. Anyway he must decide on something, or else...
"Or throw up life altogether!" he cried suddenly, in a frenzy--"accept
one's lot humbly as it is, once for all and stifle everything in
oneself, giving up all claim to activity, life and love!"
"Do you understand, sir, do you understand what it means when you have
absolutely nowhere to turn?" Marmeladov's question came suddenly into
his mind, "for every man must have somewhere to turn...."
He gave a sudden start; another thought, that he had had yesterday,
slipped back into his mind. But he did not start at the thought
recurring to him, for he knew, he had "felt beforehand", that it must
come back, he was expecting it; besides it was not only yesterday's
thought. The difference was that a month ago, yesterday even, the
thought was a mere dream: but now... now it appeared not a dream at all,
it had taken a new menacing and quite unfamiliar shape, and he suddenly
became aware of this himself.... He felt a hammering in his head, and
there was a darkness before his eyes.
He looked round hurriedly, he was searching for something. He wanted
to sit down and was looking for a seat; he was walking along the K----
Boulevard. There was a seat about a hundred paces in front of him. He
walked towards it as fast he could; but on the way he met with a little
adventure which absorbed all his attention. Looking for the seat, he had
noticed a woman walking some twenty paces in front of him, but at first
he took no more notice of her than of other objects that crossed his
path. It had happened to him many times going home not to notice the
road by which he was going, and he was accustomed to walk like that. But
there was at first sight something so strange about the woman in front
of him, that gradually his attention was riveted upon her, at first
reluctantly and, as it were, resentfully, and then more and more
intently. He felt a sudden desire to find out what it was that was so
strange about the woman. In the first place, she appeared to be a girl
quite young, and she was walking in the great heat bareheaded and with
no parasol or gloves, waving her arms about in an absurd way. She had
on a dress of some light silky material, but put on strangely awry, not
properly hooked up, and torn open at the top of the skirt, close to the
waist: a great piece was rent and hanging loose. A little kerchief was
flung about her bare throat, but lay slanting on one side. The girl was
walking unsteadily, too, stumbling and staggering from side to side. She
drew Raskolnikov's whole attention at last. He overtook the girl at the
seat, but, on reaching it, she dropped down on it, in the corner;
she let her head sink on the back of the seat and closed her eyes,
apparently in extreme exhaustion. Looking at her closely, he saw at once
that she was completely drunk. It was a strange and shocking sight. He
could hardly believe that he was not mistaken. He saw before him the
face of a quite young, fair-haired girl--sixteen, perhaps not more than
fifteen, years old, pretty little face, but flushed and heavy looking
and, as it were, swollen. The girl seemed hardly to know what she was
doing; she crossed one leg over the other, lifting it indecorously, and
showed every sign of being unconscious that she was in the street.
Raskolnikov did not sit down, but he felt unwilling to leave her,
and stood facing her in perplexity. This boulevard was never much
frequented; and now, at two o'clock, in the stifling heat, it was quite
deserted. And yet on the further side of the boulevard, about fifteen
paces away, a gentleman was standing on the edge of the pavement. He,
too, would apparently have liked to approach the girl with some object
of his own. He, too, had probably seen her in the distance and had
followed her, but found Raskolnikov in his way. He looked angrily at
him, though he tried to escape his notice, and stood impatiently biding
his time, till the unwelcome man in rags should have moved away. His
intentions were unmistakable. The gentleman was a plump, thickly-set
man, about thirty, fashionably dressed, with a high colour, red lips and
moustaches. Raskolnikov felt furious; he had a sudden longing to insult
this fat dandy in some way. He left the girl for a moment and walked
towards the gentleman.
"Hey! You Svidriga´lov! What do you want here?" he shouted, clenching
his fists and laughing, spluttering with rage.
"What do you mean?" the gentleman asked sternly, scowling in haughty
"Get away, that's what I mean."
"How dare you, you low fellow!"
He raised his cane. Raskolnikov rushed at him with his fists, without
reflecting that the stout gentleman was a match for two men like
himself. But at that instant someone seized him from behind, and a
police constable stood between them.
"That's enough, gentlemen, no fighting, please, in a public place. What
do you want? Who are you?" he asked Raskolnikov sternly, noticing his
Raskolnikov looked at him intently. He had a straight-forward, sensible,
soldierly face, with grey moustaches and whiskers.
"You are just the man I want," Raskolnikov cried, catching at his arm.
"I am a student, Raskolnikov.... You may as well know that too," he
added, addressing the gentleman, "come along, I have something to show
And taking the policeman by the hand he drew him towards the seat.
"Look here, hopelessly drunk, and she has just come down the boulevard.
There is no telling who and what she is, she does not look like a
professional. It's more likely she has been given drink and deceived
somewhere... for the first time... you understand? and they've put her
out into the street like that. Look at the way her dress is torn, and
the way it has been put on: she has been dressed by somebody, she has
not dressed herself, and dressed by unpractised hands, by a man's hands;
that's evident. And now look there: I don't know that dandy with whom I
was going to fight, I see him for the first time, but he, too, has seen
her on the road, just now, drunk, not knowing what she is doing, and now
he is very eager to get hold of her, to get her away somewhere while she
is in this state... that's certain, believe me, I am not wrong. I saw
him myself watching her and following her, but I prevented him, and he
is just waiting for me to go away. Now he has walked away a little, and
is standing still, pretending to make a cigarette.... Think how can we
keep her out of his hands, and how are we to get her home?"
The policeman saw it all in a flash. The stout gentleman was easy to
understand, he turned to consider the girl. The policeman bent over to
examine her more closely, and his face worked with genuine compassion.
"Ah, what a pity!" he said, shaking his head--"why, she is quite a
child! She has been deceived, you can see that at once. Listen, lady,"
he began addressing her, "where do you live?" The girl opened her weary
and sleepy-looking eyes, gazed blankly at the speaker and waved her
"Here," said Raskolnikov feeling in his pocket and finding twenty
copecks, "here, call a cab and tell him to drive her to her address. The
only thing is to find out her address!"
"Missy, missy!" the policeman began again, taking the money. "I'll fetch
you a cab and take you home myself. Where shall I take you, eh? Where do
"Go away! They won't let me alone," the girl muttered, and once more
waved her hand.
"Ach, ach, how shocking! It's shameful, missy, it's a shame!" He shook
his head again, shocked, sympathetic and indignant.
"It's a difficult job," the policeman said to Raskolnikov, and as he
did so, he looked him up and down in a rapid glance. He, too, must have
seemed a strange figure to him: dressed in rags and handing him money!
"Did you meet her far from here?" he asked him.
"I tell you she was walking in front of me, staggering, just here, in
the boulevard. She only just reached the seat and sank down on it."
"Ah, the shameful things that are done in the world nowadays, God have
mercy on us! An innocent creature like that, drunk already! She has been
deceived, that's a sure thing. See how her dress has been torn too....
Ah, the vice one sees nowadays! And as likely as not she belongs to
gentlefolk too, poor ones maybe.... There are many like that nowadays.
She looks refined, too, as though she were a lady," and he bent over her
Perhaps he had daughters growing up like that, "looking like ladies and
refined" with pretensions to gentility and smartness....
"The chief thing is," Raskolnikov persisted, "to keep her out of this
scoundrel's hands! Why should he outrage her! It's as clear as day what
he is after; ah, the brute, he is not moving off!"
Raskolnikov spoke aloud and pointed to him. The gentleman heard him,
and seemed about to fly into a rage again, but thought better of it, and
confined himself to a contemptuous look. He then walked slowly another
ten paces away and again halted.
"Keep her out of his hands we can," said the constable thoughtfully,
"if only she'd tell us where to take her, but as it is.... Missy, hey,
missy!" he bent over her once more.
She opened her eyes fully all of a sudden, looked at him intently, as
though realising something, got up from the seat and walked away in the
direction from which she had come. "Oh shameful wretches, they won't let
me alone!" she said, waving her hand again. She walked quickly, though
staggering as before. The dandy followed her, but along another avenue,
keeping his eye on her.
"Don't be anxious, I won't let him have her," the policeman said
resolutely, and he set off after them.
"Ah, the vice one sees nowadays!" he repeated aloud, sighing.
At that moment something seemed to sting Raskolnikov; in an instant a
complete revulsion of feeling came over him.
"Hey, here!" he shouted after the policeman.
The latter turned round.
"Let them be! What is it to do with you? Let her go! Let him amuse
himself." He pointed at the dandy, "What is it to do with you?"
The policeman was bewildered, and stared at him open-eyed. Raskolnikov
"Well!" ejaculated the policeman, with a gesture of contempt, and he
walked after the dandy and the girl, probably taking Raskolnikov for a
madman or something even worse.
"He has carried off my twenty copecks," Raskolnikov murmured angrily
when he was left alone. "Well, let him take as much from the other
fellow to allow him to have the girl and so let it end. And why did I
want to interfere? Is it for me to help? Have I any right to help? Let
them devour each other alive--what is to me? How did I dare to give him
twenty copecks? Were they mine?"
In spite of those strange words he felt very wretched. He sat down on
the deserted seat. His thoughts strayed aimlessly.... He found it hard
to fix his mind on anything at that moment. He longed to forget himself
altogether, to forget everything, and then to wake up and begin life
"Poor girl!" he said, looking at the empty corner where she had
sat--"She will come to herself and weep, and then her mother will find
out.... She will give her a beating, a horrible, shameful beating and
then maybe, turn her out of doors.... And even if she does not, the
Darya Frantsovnas will get wind of it, and the girl will soon be
slipping out on the sly here and there. Then there will be the hospital
directly (that's always the luck of those girls with respectable
mothers, who go wrong on the sly) and then... again the hospital...
drink... the taverns... and more hospital, in two or three years--a
wreck, and her life over at eighteen or nineteen.... Have not I seen
cases like that? And how have they been brought to it? Why, they've all
come to it like that. Ugh! But what does it matter? That's as it should
be, they tell us. A certain percentage, they tell us, must every year
go... that way... to the devil, I suppose, so that the rest may remain
chaste, and not be interfered with. A percentage! What splendid words
they have; they are so scientific, so consolatory.... Once you've said
'percentage' there's nothing more to worry about. If we had any other
word... maybe we might feel more uneasy.... But what if Dounia were one
of the percentage! Of another one if not that one?
"But where am I going?" he thought suddenly. "Strange, I came out for
something. As soon as I had read the letter I came out.... I was going
to Vassilyevsky Ostrov, to Razumihin. That's what it was... now I
remember. What for, though? And what put the idea of going to Razumihin
into my head just now? That's curious."
He wondered at himself. Razumihin was one of his old comrades at the
university. It was remarkable that Raskolnikov had hardly any friends at
the university; he kept aloof from everyone, went to see no one, and did
not welcome anyone who came to see him, and indeed everyone soon gave
him up. He took no part in the students' gatherings, amusements or
conversations. He worked with great intensity without sparing himself,
and he was respected for this, but no one liked him. He was very poor,
and there was a sort of haughty pride and reserve about him, as though
he were keeping something to himself. He seemed to some of his comrades
to look down upon them all as children, as though he were superior in
development, knowledge and convictions, as though their beliefs and
interests were beneath him.
With Razumihin he had got on, or, at least, he was more unreserved and
communicative with him. Indeed it was impossible to be on any other
terms with Razumihin. He was an exceptionally good-humoured and candid
youth, good-natured to the point of simplicity, though both depth and
dignity lay concealed under that simplicity. The better of his comrades
understood this, and all were fond of him. He was extremely intelligent,
though he was certainly rather a simpleton at times. He was of striking
appearance--tall, thin, blackhaired and always badly shaved. He was
sometimes uproarious and was reputed to be of great physical strength.
One night, when out in a festive company, he had with one blow laid
a gigantic policeman on his back. There was no limit to his drinking
powers, but he could abstain from drink altogether; he sometimes went
too far in his pranks; but he could do without pranks altogether.
Another thing striking about Razumihin, no failure distressed him, and
it seemed as though no unfavourable circumstances could crush him. He
could lodge anywhere, and bear the extremes of cold and hunger. He was
very poor, and kept himself entirely on what he could earn by work of
one sort or another. He knew of no end of resources by which to earn
money. He spent one whole winter without lighting his stove, and used to
declare that he liked it better, because one slept more soundly in
the cold. For the present he, too, had been obliged to give up the
university, but it was only for a time, and he was working with all his
might to save enough to return to his studies again. Raskolnikov had
not been to see him for the last four months, and Razumihin did not even
know his address. About two months before, they had met in the street,
but Raskolnikov had turned away and even crossed to the other side that
he might not be observed. And though Razumihin noticed him, he passed
him by, as he did not want to annoy him.
"Of course, I've been meaning lately to go to Razumihin's to ask for
work, to ask him to get me lessons or something..." Raskolnikov thought,
"but what help can he be to me now? Suppose he gets me lessons, suppose
he shares his last farthing with me, if he has any farthings, so that
I could get some boots and make myself tidy enough to give lessons...
hm... Well and what then? What shall I do with the few coppers I
earn? That's not what I want now. It's really absurd for me to go to
The question why he was now going to Razumihin agitated him even more
than he was himself aware; he kept uneasily seeking for some sinister
significance in this apparently ordinary action.
"Could I have expected to set it all straight and to find a way out by
means of Razumihin alone?" he asked himself in perplexity.
He pondered and rubbed his forehead, and, strange to say, after long
musing, suddenly, as if it were spontaneously and by chance, a fantastic
thought came into his head.
"Hm... to Razumihin's," he said all at once, calmly, as though he had
reached a final determination. "I shall go to Razumihin's of course,
but... not now. I shall go to him... on the next day after It, when It
will be over and everything will begin afresh...."
And suddenly he realised what he was thinking.
"After It," he shouted, jumping up from the seat, "but is It really
going to happen? Is it possible it really will happen?" He left the
seat, and went off almost at a run; he meant to turn back, homewards,
but the thought of going home suddenly filled him with intense loathing;
in that hole, in that awful little cupboard of his, all "this" had for a
month past been growing up in him; and he walked on at random.
His nervous shudder had passed into a fever that made him feel
shivering; in spite of the heat he felt cold. With a kind of effort he
began almost unconsciously, from some inner craving, to stare at all
the objects before him, as though looking for something to distract his
attention; but he did not succeed, and kept dropping every moment into
brooding. When with a start he lifted his head again and looked round,
he forgot at once what he had just been thinking about and even where he
was going. In this way he walked right across Vassilyevsky Ostrov, came
out on to the Lesser Neva, crossed the bridge and turned towards the
islands. The greenness and freshness were at first restful to his weary
eyes after the dust of the town and the huge houses that hemmed him in
and weighed upon him. Here there were no taverns, no stifling closeness,
no stench. But soon these new pleasant sensations passed into morbid
irritability. Sometimes he stood still before a brightly painted summer
villa standing among green foliage, he gazed through the fence, he saw
in the distance smartly dressed women on the verandahs and balconies,
and children running in the gardens. The flowers especially caught his
attention; he gazed at them longer than at anything. He was met, too, by
luxurious carriages and by men and women on horseback; he watched them
with curious eyes and forgot about them before they had vanished from
his sight. Once he stood still and counted his money; he found he had
thirty copecks. "Twenty to the policeman, three to Nastasya for the
letter, so I must have given forty-seven or fifty to the Marmeladovs
yesterday," he thought, reckoning it up for some unknown reason, but he
soon forgot with what object he had taken the money out of his pocket.
He recalled it on passing an eating-house or tavern, and felt that he
was hungry.... Going into the tavern he drank a glass of vodka and ate a
pie of some sort. He finished eating it as he walked away. It was a long
while since he had taken vodka and it had an effect upon him at once,
though he only drank a wineglassful. His legs felt suddenly heavy and
a great drowsiness came upon him. He turned homewards, but reaching
Petrovsky Ostrov he stopped completely exhausted, turned off the road
into the bushes, sank down upon the grass and instantly fell asleep.
In a morbid condition of the brain, dreams often have a singular
actuality, vividness, and extraordinary semblance of reality. At times
monstrous images are created, but the setting and the whole picture are
so truth-like and filled with details so delicate, so unexpectedly, but
so artistically consistent, that the dreamer, were he an artist like
Pushkin or Turgenev even, could never have invented them in the waking
state. Such sick dreams always remain long in the memory and make a
powerful impression on the overwrought and deranged nervous system.
Raskolnikov had a fearful dream. He dreamt he was back in his childhood
in the little town of his birth. He was a child about seven years old,
walking into the country with his father on the evening of a holiday. It
was a grey and heavy day, the country was exactly as he remembered it;
indeed he recalled it far more vividly in his dream than he had done in
memory. The little town stood on a level flat as bare as the hand, not
even a willow near it; only in the far distance, a copse lay, a dark
blur on the very edge of the horizon. A few paces beyond the last market
garden stood a tavern, a big tavern, which had always aroused in him a
feeling of aversion, even of fear, when he walked by it with his father.
There was always a crowd there, always shouting, laughter and abuse,
hideous hoarse singing and often fighting. Drunken and horrible-looking
figures were hanging about the tavern. He used to cling close to his
father, trembling all over when he met them. Near the tavern the road
became a dusty track, the dust of which was always black. It was a
winding road, and about a hundred paces further on, it turned to the
right to the graveyard. In the middle of the graveyard stood a stone
church with a green cupola where he used to go to mass two or three
times a year with his father and mother, when a service was held in
memory of his grandmother, who had long been dead, and whom he had never
seen. On these occasions they used to take on a white dish tied up in a
table napkin a special sort of rice pudding with raisins stuck in it in
the shape of a cross. He loved that church, the old-fashioned, unadorned
ikons and the old priest with the shaking head. Near his grandmother's
grave, which was marked by a stone, was the little grave of his younger
brother who had died at six months old. He did not remember him at all,
but he had been told about his little brother, and whenever he visited
the graveyard he used religiously and reverently to cross himself and
to bow down and kiss the little grave. And now he dreamt that he was
walking with his father past the tavern on the way to the graveyard; he
was holding his father's hand and looking with dread at the tavern. A
peculiar circumstance attracted his attention: there seemed to be
some kind of festivity going on, there were crowds of gaily dressed
townspeople, peasant women, their husbands, and riff-raff of all sorts,
all singing and all more or less drunk. Near the entrance of the tavern
stood a cart, but a strange cart. It was one of those big carts usually
drawn by heavy cart-horses and laden with casks of wine or other heavy
goods. He always liked looking at those great cart-horses, with their
long manes, thick legs, and slow even pace, drawing along a perfect
mountain with no appearance of effort, as though it were easier going
with a load than without it. But now, strange to say, in the shafts of
such a cart he saw a thin little sorrel beast, one of those peasants'
nags which he had often seen straining their utmost under a heavy load
of wood or hay, especially when the wheels were stuck in the mud or in
a rut. And the peasants would beat them so cruelly, sometimes even
about the nose and eyes, and he felt so sorry, so sorry for them that
he almost cried, and his mother always used to take him away from the
window. All of a sudden there was a great uproar of shouting, singing
and the balala´ka, and from the tavern a number of big and very drunken
peasants came out, wearing red and blue shirts and coats thrown over
"Get in, get in!" shouted one of them, a young thick-necked peasant with
a fleshy face red as a carrot. "I'll take you all, get in!"
But at once there was an outbreak of laughter and exclamations in the
"Take us all with a beast like that!"
"Why, Mikolka, are you crazy to put a nag like that in such a cart?"
"And this mare is twenty if she is a day, mates!"
"Get in, I'll take you all," Mikolka shouted again, leaping first into
the cart, seizing the reins and standing straight up in front. "The bay
has gone with Matvey," he shouted from the cart--"and this brute, mates,
is just breaking my heart, I feel as if I could kill her. She's just
eating her head off. Get in, I tell you! I'll make her gallop! She'll
gallop!" and he picked up the whip, preparing himself with relish to
flog the little mare.
"Get in! Come along!" The crowd laughed. "D'you hear, she'll gallop!"
"Gallop indeed! She has not had a gallop in her for the last ten years!"
"She'll jog along!"
"Don't you mind her, mates, bring a whip each of you, get ready!"
"All right! Give it to her!"
They all clambered into Mikolka's cart, laughing and making jokes. Six
men got in and there was still room for more. They hauled in a fat,
rosy-cheeked woman. She was dressed in red cotton, in a pointed, beaded
headdress and thick leather shoes; she was cracking nuts and laughing.
The crowd round them was laughing too and indeed, how could they help
laughing? That wretched nag was to drag all the cartload of them at a
gallop! Two young fellows in the cart were just getting whips ready to
help Mikolka. With the cry of "now," the mare tugged with all her might,
but far from galloping, could scarcely move forward; she struggled with
her legs, gasping and shrinking from the blows of the three whips which
were showered upon her like hail. The laughter in the cart and in the
crowd was redoubled, but Mikolka flew into a rage and furiously thrashed
the mare, as though he supposed she really could gallop.
"Let me get in, too, mates," shouted a young man in the crowd whose
appetite was aroused.
"Get in, all get in," cried Mikolka, "she will draw you all. I'll beat
her to death!" And he thrashed and thrashed at the mare, beside himself
"Father, father," he cried, "father, what are they doing? Father, they
are beating the poor horse!"
"Come along, come along!" said his father. "They are drunken and
foolish, they are in fun; come away, don't look!" and he tried to draw
him away, but he tore himself away from his hand, and, beside himself
with horror, ran to the horse. The poor beast was in a bad way. She was
gasping, standing still, then tugging again and almost falling.
"Beat her to death," cried Mikolka, "it's come to that. I'll do for
"What are you about, are you a Christian, you devil?" shouted an old man
in the crowd.
"Did anyone ever see the like? A wretched nag like that pulling such a
cartload," said another.
"You'll kill her," shouted the third.
"Don't meddle! It's my property, I'll do what I choose. Get in, more of
you! Get in, all of you! I will have her go at a gallop!..."
All at once laughter broke into a roar and covered everything: the mare,
roused by the shower of blows, began feebly kicking. Even the old man
could not help smiling. To think of a wretched little beast like that
trying to kick!
Two lads in the crowd snatched up whips and ran to the mare to beat her
about the ribs. One ran each side.
"Hit her in the face, in the eyes, in the eyes," cried Mikolka.
"Give us a song, mates," shouted someone in the cart and everyone in the
cart joined in a riotous song, jingling a tambourine and whistling. The
woman went on cracking nuts and laughing.
... He ran beside the mare, ran in front of her, saw her being whipped
across the eyes, right in the eyes! He was crying, he felt choking, his
tears were streaming. One of the men gave him a cut with the whip across
the face, he did not feel it. Wringing his hands and screaming, he
rushed up to the grey-headed old man with the grey beard, who was
shaking his head in disapproval. One woman seized him by the hand and
would have taken him away, but he tore himself from her and ran back to
the mare. She was almost at the last gasp, but began kicking once more.
"I'll teach you to kick," Mikolka shouted ferociously. He threw down
the whip, bent forward and picked up from the bottom of the cart a long,
thick shaft, he took hold of one end with both hands and with an effort
brandished it over the mare.
"He'll crush her," was shouted round him. "He'll kill her!"
"It's my property," shouted Mikolka and brought the shaft down with a
swinging blow. There was a sound of a heavy thud.
"Thrash her, thrash her! Why have you stopped?" shouted voices in the
And Mikolka swung the shaft a second time and it fell a second time
on the spine of the luckless mare. She sank back on her haunches, but
lurched forward and tugged forward with all her force, tugged first on
one side and then on the other, trying to move the cart. But the six
whips were attacking her in all directions, and the shaft was raised
again and fell upon her a third time, then a fourth, with heavy measured
blows. Mikolka was in a fury that he could not kill her at one blow.
"She's a tough one," was shouted in the crowd.
"She'll fall in a minute, mates, there will soon be an end of her," said
an admiring spectator in the crowd.
"Fetch an axe to her! Finish her off," shouted a third.
"I'll show you! Stand off," Mikolka screamed frantically; he threw down
the shaft, stooped down in the cart and picked up an iron crowbar. "Look
out," he shouted, and with all his might he dealt a stunning blow at the
poor mare. The blow fell; the mare staggered, sank back, tried to pull,
but the bar fell again with a swinging blow on her back and she fell on
the ground like a log.
"Finish her off," shouted Mikolka and he leapt beside himself, out of
the cart. Several young men, also flushed with drink, seized anything
they could come across--whips, sticks, poles, and ran to the dying
mare. Mikolka stood on one side and began dealing random blows with the
crowbar. The mare stretched out her head, drew a long breath and died.
"You butchered her," someone shouted in the crowd.
"Why wouldn't she gallop then?"
"My property!" shouted Mikolka, with bloodshot eyes, brandishing the bar
in his hands. He stood as though regretting that he had nothing more to
"No mistake about it, you are not a Christian," many voices were
shouting in the crowd.
But the poor boy, beside himself, made his way, screaming, through the
crowd to the sorrel nag, put his arms round her bleeding dead head and
kissed it, kissed the eyes and kissed the lips.... Then he jumped up and
flew in a frenzy with his little fists out at Mikolka. At that instant
his father, who had been running after him, snatched him up and carried
him out of the crowd.
"Come along, come! Let us go home," he said to him.
"Father! Why did they... kill... the poor horse!" he sobbed, but his
voice broke and the words came in shrieks from his panting chest.
"They are drunk.... They are brutal... it's not our business!" said his
father. He put his arms round his father but he felt choked, choked. He
tried to draw a breath, to cry out--and woke up.
He waked up, gasping for breath, his hair soaked with perspiration, and
stood up in terror.
"Thank God, that was only a dream," he said, sitting down under a tree
and drawing deep breaths. "But what is it? Is it some fever coming on?
Such a hideous dream!"
He felt utterly broken: darkness and confusion were in his soul. He
rested his elbows on his knees and leaned his head on his hands.
"Good God!" he cried, "can it be, can it be, that I shall really take an
axe, that I shall strike her on the head, split her skull open... that I
shall tread in the sticky warm blood, break the lock, steal and tremble;
hide, all spattered in the blood... with the axe.... Good God, can it
He was shaking like a leaf as he said this.
"But why am I going on like this?" he continued, sitting up again, as it
were in profound amazement. "I knew that I could never bring myself
to it, so what have I been torturing myself for till now? Yesterday,
yesterday, when I went to make that... "experiment", yesterday I
realised completely that I could never bear to do it.... Why am I going
over it again, then? Why am I hesitating? As I came down the stairs
yesterday, I said myself that it was base, loathsome, vile, vile... the
very thought of it made me feel sick and filled me with horror.
"No, I couldn't do it, I couldn't do it! Granted, granted that there is
no flaw in all that reasoning, that all that I have concluded this last
month is clear as day, true as arithmetic.... My God! Anyway I couldn't
bring myself to it! I couldn't do it, I couldn't do it! Why, why then am
He rose to his feet, looked round in wonder as though surprised at
finding himself in this place, and went towards the bridge. He was pale,
his eyes glowed, he was exhausted in every limb, but he seemed suddenly
to breathe more easily. He felt he had cast off that fearful burden that
had so long been weighing upon him, and all at once there was a sense
of relief and peace in his soul. "Lord," he prayed, "show me my path--I
renounce that accursed... dream of mine."
Crossing the bridge, he gazed quietly and calmly at the Neva, at the
glowing red sun setting in the glowing sky. In spite of his weakness he
was not conscious of fatigue. It was as though an abscess that had been
forming for a month past in his heart had suddenly broken. Freedom,
freedom! He was free from that spell, that sorcery, that obsession!
Later on, when he recalled that time and all that happened to him during
those days, minute by minute, point by point, he was superstitiously
impressed by one circumstance, which, though in itself not very
exceptional, always seemed to him afterwards the predestined
turning-point of his fate. He could never understand and explain to
himself why, when he was tired and worn out, when it would have been
more convenient for him to go home by the shortest and most direct way,
he had returned by the Hay Market where he had no need to go. It was
obviously and quite unnecessarily out of his way, though not much so. It
is true that it happened to him dozens of times to return home without
noticing what streets he passed through. But why, he was always asking
himself, why had such an important, such a decisive and at the same time
such an absolutely chance meeting happened in the Hay Market (where he
had moreover no reason to go) at the very hour, the very minute of his
life when he was just in the very mood and in the very circumstances
in which that meeting was able to exert the gravest and most decisive
influence on his whole destiny? As though it had been lying in wait for
him on purpose!
It was about nine o'clock when he crossed the Hay Market. At the tables
and the barrows, at the booths and the shops, all the market people were
closing their establishments or clearing away and packing up their
wares and, like their customers, were going home. Rag pickers and
costermongers of all kinds were crowding round the taverns in the dirty
and stinking courtyards of the Hay Market. Raskolnikov particularly
liked this place and the neighbouring alleys, when he wandered aimlessly
in the streets. Here his rags did not attract contemptuous attention,
and one could walk about in any attire without scandalising people. At
the corner of an alley a huckster and his wife had two tables set out
with tapes, thread, cotton handkerchiefs, etc. They, too, had got up to
go home, but were lingering in conversation with a friend, who had just
come up to them. This friend was Lizaveta Ivanovna, or, as everyone
called her, Lizaveta, the younger sister of the old pawnbroker, Alyona
Ivanovna, whom Raskolnikov had visited the previous day to pawn his
watch and make his "experiment".... He already knew all about Lizaveta
and she knew him a little too. She was a single woman of about
thirty-five, tall, clumsy, timid, submissive and almost idiotic. She was
a complete slave and went in fear and trembling of her sister, who
made her work day and night, and even beat her. She was standing with
a bundle before the huckster and his wife, listening earnestly and
doubtfully. They were talking of something with special warmth. The
moment Raskolnikov caught sight of her, he was overcome by a strange
sensation as it were of intense astonishment, though there was nothing
astonishing about this meeting.
"You could make up your mind for yourself, Lizaveta Ivanovna," the
huckster was saying aloud. "Come round to-morrow about seven. They will
be here too."
"To-morrow?" said Lizaveta slowly and thoughtfully, as though unable to
make up her mind.
"Upon my word, what a fright you are in of Alyona Ivanovna," gabbled
the huckster's wife, a lively little woman. "I look at you, you are like
some little babe. And she is not your own sister either--nothing but a
step-sister and what a hand she keeps over you!"
"But this time don't say a word to Alyona Ivanovna," her husband
interrupted; "that's my advice, but come round to us without asking.
It will be worth your while. Later on your sister herself may have a
"Am I to come?"
"About seven o'clock to-morrow. And they will be here. You will be able
to decide for yourself."
"And we'll have a cup of tea," added his wife.
"All right, I'll come," said Lizaveta, still pondering, and she began
slowly moving away.
Raskolnikov had just passed and heard no more. He passed softly,
unnoticed, trying not to miss a word. His first amazement was followed
by a thrill of horror, like a shiver running down his spine. He had
learnt, he had suddenly quite unexpectedly learnt, that the next day at
seven o'clock Lizaveta, the old woman's sister and only companion, would
be away from home and that therefore at seven o'clock precisely the old
woman "would be left alone".
He was only a few steps from his lodging. He went in like a man
condemned to death. He thought of nothing and was incapable of thinking;
but he felt suddenly in his whole being that he had no more freedom
of thought, no will, and that everything was suddenly and irrevocably
Certainly, if he had to wait whole years for a suitable opportunity, he
could not reckon on a more certain step towards the success of the plan
than that which had just presented itself. In any case, it would have
been difficult to find out beforehand and with certainty, with
greater exactness and less risk, and without dangerous inquiries and
investigations, that next day at a certain time an old woman, on whose
life an attempt was contemplated, would be at home and entirely alone.
Later on Raskolnikov happened to find out why the huckster and his
wife had invited Lizaveta. It was a very ordinary matter and there was
nothing exceptional about it. A family who had come to the town and been
reduced to poverty were selling their household goods and clothes, all
women's things. As the things would have fetched little in the market,
they were looking for a dealer. This was Lizaveta's business. She
undertook such jobs and was frequently employed, as she was very honest
and always fixed a fair price and stuck to it. She spoke as a rule
little and, as we have said already, she was very submissive and timid.
But Raskolnikov had become superstitious of late. The traces of
superstition remained in him long after, and were almost ineradicable.
And in all this he was always afterwards disposed to see something
strange and mysterious, as it were, the presence of some peculiar
influences and coincidences. In the previous winter a student he knew
called Pokorev, who had left for Harkov, had chanced in conversation to
give him the address of Alyona Ivanovna, the old pawnbroker, in case he
might want to pawn anything. For a long while he did not go to her, for
he had lessons and managed to get along somehow. Six weeks ago he had
remembered the address; he had two articles that could be pawned: his
father's old silver watch and a little gold ring with three red stones,
a present from his sister at parting. He decided to take the ring. When
he found the old woman he had felt an insurmountable repulsion for her
at the first glance, though he knew nothing special about her. He got
two roubles from her and went into a miserable little tavern on his way
home. He asked for tea, sat down and sank into deep thought. A strange
idea was pecking at his brain like a chicken in the egg, and very, very
much absorbed him.
Almost beside him at the next table there was sitting a student, whom he
did not know and had never seen, and with him a young officer. They had
played a game of billiards and began drinking tea. All at once he heard
the student mention to the officer the pawnbroker Alyona Ivanovna and
give him her address. This of itself seemed strange to Raskolnikov; he
had just come from her and here at once he heard her name. Of course
it was a chance, but he could not shake off a very extraordinary
impression, and here someone seemed to be speaking expressly for him;
the student began telling his friend various details about Alyona
"She is first-rate," he said. "You can always get money from her. She is
as rich as a Jew, she can give you five thousand roubles at a time and
she is not above taking a pledge for a rouble. Lots of our fellows have
had dealings with her. But she is an awful old harpy...."
And he began describing how spiteful and uncertain she was, how if you
were only a day late with your interest the pledge was lost; how she
gave a quarter of the value of an article and took five and even seven
percent a month on it and so on. The student chattered on, saying
that she had a sister Lizaveta, whom the wretched little creature was
continually beating, and kept in complete bondage like a small child,
though Lizaveta was at least six feet high.
"There's a phenomenon for you," cried the student and he laughed.
They began talking about Lizaveta. The student spoke about her with a
peculiar relish and was continually laughing and the officer listened
with great interest and asked him to send Lizaveta to do some mending
for him. Raskolnikov did not miss a word and learned everything about
her. Lizaveta was younger than the old woman and was her half-sister,
being the child of a different mother. She was thirty-five. She worked
day and night for her sister, and besides doing the cooking and the
washing, she did sewing and worked as a charwoman and gave her sister
all she earned. She did not dare to accept an order or job of any kind
without her sister's permission. The old woman had already made her
will, and Lizaveta knew of it, and by this will she would not get a
farthing; nothing but the movables, chairs and so on; all the money was
left to a monastery in the province of N----, that prayers might be
said for her in perpetuity. Lizaveta was of lower rank than her sister,
unmarried and awfully uncouth in appearance, remarkably tall with long
feet that looked as if they were bent outwards. She always wore battered
goatskin shoes, and was clean in her person. What the student expressed
most surprise and amusement about was the fact that Lizaveta was
continually with child.
"But you say she is hideous?" observed the officer.
"Yes, she is so dark-skinned and looks like a soldier dressed up, but
you know she is not at all hideous. She has such a good-natured face
and eyes. Strikingly so. And the proof of it is that lots of people are
attracted by her. She is such a soft, gentle creature, ready to put up
with anything, always willing, willing to do anything. And her smile is
really very sweet."
"You seem to find her attractive yourself," laughed the officer.
"From her queerness. No, I'll tell you what. I could kill that damned
old woman and make off with her money, I assure you, without the
faintest conscience-prick," the student added with warmth. The officer
laughed again while Raskolnikov shuddered. How strange it was!
"Listen, I want to ask you a serious question," the student said hotly.
"I was joking of course, but look here; on one side we have a stupid,
senseless, worthless, spiteful, ailing, horrid old woman, not simply
useless but doing actual mischief, who has not an idea what she is
living for herself, and who will die in a day or two in any case. You
understand? You understand?"
"Yes, yes, I understand," answered the officer, watching his excited
"Well, listen then. On the other side, fresh young lives thrown away for
want of help and by thousands, on every side! A hundred thousand good
deeds could be done and helped, on that old woman's money which will be
buried in a monastery! Hundreds, thousands perhaps, might be set on the
right path; dozens of families saved from destitution, from ruin, from
vice, from the Lock hospitals--and all with her money. Kill her, take
her money and with the help of it devote oneself to the service of
humanity and the good of all. What do you think, would not one tiny
crime be wiped out by thousands of good deeds? For one life thousands
would be saved from corruption and decay. One death, and a hundred lives
in exchange--it's simple arithmetic! Besides, what value has the life of
that sickly, stupid, ill-natured old woman in the balance of existence!
No more than the life of a louse, of a black-beetle, less in fact
because the old woman is doing harm. She is wearing out the lives of
others; the other day she bit Lizaveta's finger out of spite; it almost
had to be amputated."
"Of course she does not deserve to live," remarked the officer, "but
there it is, it's nature."
"Oh, well, brother, but we have to correct and direct nature, and, but
for that, we should drown in an ocean of prejudice. But for that,
there would never have been a single great man. They talk of
duty, conscience--I don't want to say anything against duty and
conscience;--but the point is, what do we mean by them? Stay, I have
another question to ask you. Listen!"
"No, you stay, I'll ask you a question. Listen!"
"You are talking and speechifying away, but tell me, would you kill the
old woman "yourself"?"
"Of course not! I was only arguing the justice of it.... It's nothing to
do with me...."
"But I think, if you would not do it yourself, there's no justice about
it.... Let us have another game."
Raskolnikov was violently agitated. Of course, it was all ordinary
youthful talk and thought, such as he had often heard before in
different forms and on different themes. But why had he happened to hear
such a discussion and such ideas at the very moment when his own brain
was just conceiving... "the very same ideas"? And why, just at the
moment when he had brought away the embryo of his idea from the old
woman had he dropped at once upon a conversation about her? This
coincidence always seemed strange to him. This trivial talk in a tavern
had an immense influence on him in his later action; as though there had
really been in it something preordained, some guiding hint....
On returning from the Hay Market he flung himself on the sofa and sat
for a whole hour without stirring. Meanwhile it got dark; he had no
candle and, indeed, it did not occur to him to light up. He could never
recollect whether he had been thinking about anything at that time. At
last he was conscious of his former fever and shivering, and he realised
with relief that he could lie down on the sofa. Soon heavy, leaden sleep
came over him, as it were crushing him.
He slept an extraordinarily long time and without dreaming. Nastasya,
coming into his room at ten o'clock the next morning, had difficulty
in rousing him. She brought him in tea and bread. The tea was again the
second brew and again in her own tea-pot.
"My goodness, how he sleeps!" she cried indignantly. "And he is always
He got up with an effort. His head ached, he stood up, took a turn in
his garret and sank back on the sofa again.
"Going to sleep again," cried Nastasya. "Are you ill, eh?"
He made no reply.
"Do you want some tea?"
"Afterwards," he said with an effort, closing his eyes again and turning
to the wall.
Nastasya stood over him.
"Perhaps he really is ill," she said, turned and went out. She came in
again at two o'clock with soup. He was lying as before. The tea stood
untouched. Nastasya felt positively offended and began wrathfully
"Why are you lying like a log?" she shouted, looking at him with
He got up, and sat down again, but said nothing and stared at the floor.
"Are you ill or not?" asked Nastasya and again received no answer.
"You'd better go out and get a breath of air," she said after a pause.
"Will you eat it or not?"
"Afterwards," he said weakly. "You can go."
And he motioned her out.
She remained a little longer, looked at him with compassion and went
A few minutes afterwards, he raised his eyes and looked for a long while
at the tea and the soup. Then he took the bread, took up a spoon and
began to eat.
He ate a little, three or four spoonfuls, without appetite, as it were
mechanically. His head ached less. After his meal he stretched himself
on the sofa again, but now he could not sleep; he lay without stirring,
with his face in the pillow. He was haunted by day-dreams and such
strange day-dreams; in one, that kept recurring, he fancied that he was
in Africa, in Egypt, in some sort of oasis. The caravan was resting,
the camels were peacefully lying down; the palms stood all around in a
complete circle; all the party were at dinner. But he was drinking water
from a spring which flowed gurgling close by. And it was so cool, it was
wonderful, wonderful, blue, cold water running among the parti-coloured
stones and over the clean sand which glistened here and there like
gold.... Suddenly he heard a clock strike. He started, roused himself,
raised his head, looked out of the window, and seeing how late it was,
suddenly jumped up wide awake as though someone had pulled him off the
sofa. He crept on tiptoe to the door, stealthily opened it and began
listening on the staircase. His heart beat terribly. But all was quiet
on the stairs as if everyone was asleep.... It seemed to him strange and
monstrous that he could have slept in such forgetfulness from the
previous day and had done nothing, had prepared nothing yet.... And
meanwhile perhaps it had struck six. And his drowsiness and stupefaction
were followed by an extraordinary, feverish, as it were distracted
haste. But the preparations to be made were few. He concentrated all his
energies on thinking of everything and forgetting nothing; and his heart
kept beating and thumping so that he could hardly breathe. First he had
to make a noose and sew it into his overcoat--a work of a moment. He
rummaged under his pillow and picked out amongst the linen stuffed away
under it, a worn out, old unwashed shirt. From its rags he tore a long
strip, a couple of inches wide and about sixteen inches long. He folded
this strip in two, took off his wide, strong summer overcoat of some
stout cotton material (his only outer garment) and began sewing the two
ends of the rag on the inside, under the left armhole. His hands shook
as he sewed, but he did it successfully so that nothing showed outside
when he put the coat on again. The needle and thread he had got ready
long before and they lay on his table in a piece of paper. As for the
noose, it was a very ingenious device of his own; the noose was intended
for the axe. It was impossible for him to carry the axe through the
street in his hands. And if hidden under his coat he would still have
had to support it with his hand, which would have been noticeable. Now
he had only to put the head of the axe in the noose, and it would hang
quietly under his arm on the inside. Putting his hand in his coat
pocket, he could hold the end of the handle all the way, so that it did
not swing; and as the coat was very full, a regular sack in fact, it
could not be seen from outside that he was holding something with the
hand that was in the pocket. This noose, too, he had designed a
When he had finished with this, he thrust his hand into a little opening
between his sofa and the floor, fumbled in the left corner and drew out
the "pledge", which he had got ready long before and hidden there. This
pledge was, however, only a smoothly planed piece of wood the size and
thickness of a silver cigarette case. He picked up this piece of wood
in one of his wanderings in a courtyard where there was some sort of
a workshop. Afterwards he had added to the wood a thin smooth piece
of iron, which he had also picked up at the same time in the street.
Putting the iron which was a little the smaller on the piece of wood,
he fastened them very firmly, crossing and re-crossing the thread round
them; then wrapped them carefully and daintily in clean white paper and
tied up the parcel so that it would be very difficult to untie it. This
was in order to divert the attention of the old woman for a time, while
she was trying to undo the knot, and so to gain a moment. The iron strip
was added to give weight, so that the woman might not guess the first
minute that the "thing" was made of wood. All this had been stored by
him beforehand under the sofa. He had only just got the pledge out when
he heard someone suddenly about in the yard.
"It struck six long ago."
"Long ago! My God!"
He rushed to the door, listened, caught up his hat and began to descend
his thirteen steps cautiously, noiselessly, like a cat. He had still the
most important thing to do--to steal the axe from the kitchen. That the
deed must be done with an axe he had decided long ago. He had also a
pocket pruning-knife, but he could not rely on the knife and still less
on his own strength, and so resolved finally on the axe. We may note in
passing, one peculiarity in regard to all the final resolutions taken by
him in the matter; they had one strange characteristic: the more final
they were, the more hideous and the more absurd they at once became in
his eyes. In spite of all his agonising inward struggle, he never for
a single instant all that time could believe in the carrying out of his
And, indeed, if it had ever happened that everything to the least point
could have been considered and finally settled, and no uncertainty of
any kind had remained, he would, it seems, have renounced it all
as something absurd, monstrous and impossible. But a whole mass of
unsettled points and uncertainties remained. As for getting the axe,
that trifling business cost him no anxiety, for nothing could be easier.
Nastasya was continually out of the house, especially in the evenings;
she would run in to the neighbours or to a shop, and always left the
door ajar. It was the one thing the landlady was always scolding her
about. And so, when the time came, he would only have to go quietly into
the kitchen and to take the axe, and an hour later (when everything
was over) go in and put it back again. But these were doubtful points.
Supposing he returned an hour later to put it back, and Nastasya had
come back and was on the spot. He would of course have to go by and wait
till she went out again. But supposing she were in the meantime to miss
the axe, look for it, make an outcry--that would mean suspicion or at
least grounds for suspicion.
But those were all trifles which he had not even begun to consider, and
indeed he had no time. He was thinking of the chief point, and put off
trifling details, until "he could believe in it all". But that seemed
utterly unattainable. So it seemed to himself at least. He could not
imagine, for instance, that he would sometime leave off thinking, get
up and simply go there.... Even his late experiment (i.e. his visit with
the object of a final survey of the place) was simply an attempt at
an experiment, far from being the real thing, as though one should say
"come, let us go and try it--why dream about it!"--and at once he
had broken down and had run away cursing, in a frenzy with himself.
Meanwhile it would seem, as regards the moral question, that his
analysis was complete; his casuistry had become keen as a razor, and he
could not find rational objections in himself. But in the last resort
he simply ceased to believe in himself, and doggedly, slavishly sought
arguments in all directions, fumbling for them, as though someone were
forcing and drawing him to it.
At first--long before indeed--he had been much occupied with one
question; why almost all crimes are so badly concealed and so easily
detected, and why almost all criminals leave such obvious traces? He
had come gradually to many different and curious conclusions, and in his
opinion the chief reason lay not so much in the material impossibility
of concealing the crime, as in the criminal himself. Almost every
criminal is subject to a failure of will and reasoning power by a
childish and phenomenal heedlessness, at the very instant when prudence
and caution are most essential. It was his conviction that this eclipse
of reason and failure of will power attacked a man like a disease,
developed gradually and reached its highest point just before the
perpetration of the crime, continued with equal violence at the moment
of the crime and for longer or shorter time after, according to the
individual case, and then passed off like any other disease. The
question whether the disease gives rise to the crime, or whether the
crime from its own peculiar nature is always accompanied by something of
the nature of disease, he did not yet feel able to decide.
When he reached these conclusions, he decided that in his own case there
could not be such a morbid reaction, that his reason and will would
remain unimpaired at the time of carrying out his design, for the
simple reason that his design was "not a crime...." We will omit all the
process by means of which he arrived at this last conclusion; we have
run too far ahead already.... We may add only that the practical, purely
material difficulties of the affair occupied a secondary position in his
mind. "One has but to keep all one's will-power and reason to deal
with them, and they will all be overcome at the time when once one has
familiarised oneself with the minutest details of the business...." But
this preparation had never been begun. His final decisions were what he
came to trust least, and when the hour struck, it all came to pass quite
differently, as it were accidentally and unexpectedly.
One trifling circumstance upset his calculations, before he had even
left the staircase. When he reached the landlady's kitchen, the door
of which was open as usual, he glanced cautiously in to see whether, in
Nastasya's absence, the landlady herself was there, or if not, whether
the door to her own room was closed, so that she might not peep out when
he went in for the axe. But what was his amazement when he suddenly
saw that Nastasya was not only at home in the kitchen, but was occupied
there, taking linen out of a basket and hanging it on a line. Seeing
him, she left off hanging the clothes, turned to him and stared at him
all the time he was passing. He turned away his eyes, and walked past as
though he noticed nothing. But it was the end of everything; he had not
the axe! He was overwhelmed.
"What made me think," he reflected, as he went under the gateway, "what
made me think that she would be sure not to be at home at that moment!
Why, why, why did I assume this so certainly?"
He was crushed and even humiliated. He could have laughed at himself in
his anger.... A dull animal rage boiled within him.
He stood hesitating in the gateway. To go into the street, to go a walk
for appearance' sake was revolting; to go back to his room, even more
revolting. "And what a chance I have lost for ever!" he muttered,
standing aimlessly in the gateway, just opposite the porter's little
dark room, which was also open. Suddenly he started. From the porter's
room, two paces away from him, something shining under the bench to the
right caught his eye.... He looked about him--nobody. He approached the
room on tiptoe, went down two steps into it and in a faint voice called
the porter. "Yes, not at home! Somewhere near though, in the yard, for
the door is wide open." He dashed to the axe (it was an axe) and pulled
it out from under the bench, where it lay between two chunks of wood;
at once, before going out, he made it fast in the noose, he thrust both
hands into his pockets and went out of the room; no one had noticed him!
"When reason fails, the devil helps!" he thought with a strange grin.
This chance raised his spirits extraordinarily.
He walked along quietly and sedately, without hurry, to avoid awakening
suspicion. He scarcely looked at the passers-by, tried to escape looking
at their faces at all, and to be as little noticeable as possible.
Suddenly he thought of his hat. "Good heavens! I had the money the day
before yesterday and did not get a cap to wear instead!" A curse rose
from the bottom of his soul.
Glancing out of the corner of his eye into a shop, he saw by a clock on
the wall that it was ten minutes past seven. He had to make haste and at
the same time to go someway round, so as to approach the house from the
When he had happened to imagine all this beforehand, he had sometimes
thought that he would be very much afraid. But he was not very much
afraid now, was not afraid at all, indeed. His mind was even occupied
by irrelevant matters, but by nothing for long. As he passed the Yusupov
garden, he was deeply absorbed in considering the building of great
fountains, and of their refreshing effect on the atmosphere in all
the squares. By degrees he passed to the conviction that if the summer
garden were extended to the field of Mars, and perhaps joined to the
garden of the Mihailovsky Palace, it would be a splendid thing and a
great benefit to the town. Then he was interested by the question why
in all great towns men are not simply driven by necessity, but in some
peculiar way inclined to live in those parts of the town where there
are no gardens nor fountains; where there is most dirt and smell and all
sorts of nastiness. Then his own walks through the Hay Market came back
to his mind, and for a moment he waked up to reality. "What nonsense!"
he thought, "better think of nothing at all!"
"So probably men led to execution clutch mentally at every object that
meets them on the way," flashed through his mind, but simply flashed,
like lightning; he made haste to dismiss this thought.... And by now
he was near; here was the house, here was the gate. Suddenly a clock
somewhere struck once. "What! can it be half-past seven? Impossible, it
must be fast!"
Luckily for him, everything went well again at the gates. At that very
moment, as though expressly for his benefit, a huge waggon of hay had
just driven in at the gate, completely screening him as he passed under
the gateway, and the waggon had scarcely had time to drive through into
the yard, before he had slipped in a flash to the right. On the other
side of the waggon he could hear shouting and quarrelling; but no one
noticed him and no one met him. Many windows looking into that huge
quadrangular yard were open at that moment, but he did not raise his
head--he had not the strength to. The staircase leading to the old
woman's room was close by, just on the right of the gateway. He was
already on the stairs....
Drawing a breath, pressing his hand against his throbbing heart, and
once more feeling for the axe and setting it straight, he began softly
and cautiously ascending the stairs, listening every minute. But the
stairs, too, were quite deserted; all the doors were shut; he met no
one. One flat indeed on the first floor was wide open and painters were
at work in it, but they did not glance at him. He stood still, thought
a minute and went on. "Of course it would be better if they had not been
here, but... it's two storeys above them."
And there was the fourth storey, here was the door, here was the
flat opposite, the empty one. The flat underneath the old woman's was
apparently empty also; the visiting card nailed on the door had been
torn off--they had gone away!... He was out of breath. For one instant
the thought floated through his mind "Shall I go back?" But he made no
answer and began listening at the old woman's door, a dead silence. Then
he listened again on the staircase, listened long and intently...
then looked about him for the last time, pulled himself together, drew
himself up, and once more tried the axe in the noose. "Am I very pale?"
he wondered. "Am I not evidently agitated? She is mistrustful.... Had I
better wait a little longer... till my heart leaves off thumping?"
But his heart did not leave off. On the contrary, as though to spite
him, it throbbed more and more violently. He could stand it no longer,
he slowly put out his hand to the bell and rang. Half a minute later he
rang again, more loudly.
No answer. To go on ringing was useless and out of place. The old woman
was, of course, at home, but she was suspicious and alone. He had some
knowledge of her habits... and once more he put his ear to the door.
Either his senses were peculiarly keen (which it is difficult to
suppose), or the sound was really very distinct. Anyway, he suddenly
heard something like the cautious touch of a hand on the lock and the
rustle of a skirt at the very door. Someone was standing stealthily
close to the lock and just as he was doing on the outside was secretly
listening within, and seemed to have her ear to the door.... He moved
a little on purpose and muttered something aloud that he might not have
the appearance of hiding, then rang a third time, but quietly, soberly,
and without impatience, Recalling it afterwards, that moment stood out
in his mind vividly, distinctly, for ever; he could not make out how he
had had such cunning, for his mind was as it were clouded at moments and
he was almost unconscious of his body.... An instant later he heard the
The door was as before opened a tiny crack, and again two sharp and
suspicious eyes stared at him out of the darkness. Then Raskolnikov lost
his head and nearly made a great mistake.
Fearing the old woman would be frightened by their being alone, and not
hoping that the sight of him would disarm her suspicions, he took
hold of the door and drew it towards him to prevent the old woman from
attempting to shut it again. Seeing this she did not pull the door back,
but she did not let go the handle so that he almost dragged her out with
it on to the stairs. Seeing that she was standing in the doorway not
allowing him to pass, he advanced straight upon her. She stepped back
in alarm, tried to say something, but seemed unable to speak and stared
with open eyes at him.
"Good evening, Alyona Ivanovna," he began, trying to speak easily, but
his voice would not obey him, it broke and shook. "I have come... I have
brought something... but we'd better come in... to the light...."
And leaving her, he passed straight into the room uninvited. The old
woman ran after him; her tongue was unloosed.
"Good heavens! What it is? Who is it? What do you want?"
"Why, Alyona Ivanovna, you know me... Raskolnikov... here, I brought you
the pledge I promised the other day..." And he held out the pledge.
The old woman glanced for a moment at the pledge, but at once stared in
the eyes of her uninvited visitor. She looked intently, maliciously and
mistrustfully. A minute passed; he even fancied something like a sneer
in her eyes, as though she had already guessed everything. He felt that
he was losing his head, that he was almost frightened, so frightened
that if she were to look like that and not say a word for another half
minute, he thought he would have run away from her.
"Why do you look at me as though you did not know me?" he said suddenly,
also with malice. "Take it if you like, if not I'll go elsewhere, I am
in a hurry."
He had not even thought of saying this, but it was suddenly said of
itself. The old woman recovered herself, and her visitor's resolute tone
evidently restored her confidence.
"But why, my good sir, all of a minute.... What is it?" she asked,
looking at the pledge.
"The silver cigarette case; I spoke of it last time, you know."
She held out her hand.
"But how pale you are, to be sure... and your hands are trembling too?
Have you been bathing, or what?"
"Fever," he answered abruptly. "You can't help getting pale... if you've
nothing to eat," he added, with difficulty articulating the words.
His strength was failing him again. But his answer sounded like the
truth; the old woman took the pledge.
"What is it?" she asked once more, scanning Raskolnikov intently, and
weighing the pledge in her hand.
"A thing... cigarette case.... Silver.... Look at it."
"It does not seem somehow like silver.... How he has wrapped it up!"
Trying to untie the string and turning to the window, to the light (all
her windows were shut, in spite of the stifling heat), she left
him altogether for some seconds and stood with her back to him. He
unbuttoned his coat and freed the axe from the noose, but did not yet
take it out altogether, simply holding it in his right hand under the
coat. His hands were fearfully weak, he felt them every moment growing
more numb and more wooden. He was afraid he would let the axe slip and
fall.... A sudden giddiness came over him.
"But what has he tied it up like this for?" the old woman cried with
vexation and moved towards him.
He had not a minute more to lose. He pulled the axe quite out, swung
it with both arms, scarcely conscious of himself, and almost without
effort, almost mechanically, brought the blunt side down on her head. He
seemed not to use his own strength in this. But as soon as he had once
brought the axe down, his strength returned to him.
The old woman was as always bareheaded. Her thin, light hair, streaked
with grey, thickly smeared with grease, was plaited in a rat's tail and
fastened by a broken horn comb which stood out on the nape of her neck.
As she was so short, the blow fell on the very top of her skull. She
cried out, but very faintly, and suddenly sank all of a heap on the
floor, raising her hands to her head. In one hand she still held "the
pledge." Then he dealt her another and another blow with the blunt side
and on the same spot. The blood gushed as from an overturned glass, the
body fell back. He stepped back, let it fall, and at once bent over her
face; she was dead. Her eyes seemed to be starting out of their sockets,
the brow and the whole face were drawn and contorted convulsively.
He laid the axe on the ground near the dead body and felt at once in her
pocket (trying to avoid the streaming body)--the same right-hand pocket
from which she had taken the key on his last visit. He was in full
possession of his faculties, free from confusion or giddiness, but his
hands were still trembling. He remembered afterwards that he had been
particularly collected and careful, trying all the time not to get
smeared with blood.... He pulled out the keys at once, they were all,
as before, in one bunch on a steel ring. He ran at once into the bedroom
with them. It was a very small room with a whole shrine of holy images.
Against the other wall stood a big bed, very clean and covered with
a silk patchwork wadded quilt. Against a third wall was a chest of
drawers. Strange to say, so soon as he began to fit the keys into the
chest, so soon as he heard their jingling, a convulsive shudder passed
over him. He suddenly felt tempted again to give it all up and go
away. But that was only for an instant; it was too late to go back.
He positively smiled at himself, when suddenly another terrifying idea
occurred to his mind. He suddenly fancied that the old woman might be
still alive and might recover her senses. Leaving the keys in the chest,
he ran back to the body, snatched up the axe and lifted it once more
over the old woman, but did not bring it down. There was no doubt that
she was dead. Bending down and examining her again more closely, he saw
clearly that the skull was broken and even battered in on one side. He
was about to feel it with his finger, but drew back his hand and indeed
it was evident without that. Meanwhile there was a perfect pool of
blood. All at once he noticed a string on her neck; he tugged at it, but
the string was strong and did not snap and besides, it was soaked
with blood. He tried to pull it out from the front of the dress, but
something held it and prevented its coming. In his impatience he raised
the axe again to cut the string from above on the body, but did not
dare, and with difficulty, smearing his hand and the axe in the blood,
after two minutes' hurried effort, he cut the string and took it off
without touching the body with the axe; he was not mistaken--it was a
purse. On the string were two crosses, one of Cyprus wood and one of
copper, and an image in silver filigree, and with them a small greasy
chamois leather purse with a steel rim and ring. The purse was stuffed
very full; Raskolnikov thrust it in his pocket without looking at it,
flung the crosses on the old woman's body and rushed back into the
bedroom, this time taking the axe with him.
He was in terrible haste, he snatched the keys, and began trying them
again. But he was unsuccessful. They would not fit in the locks. It
was not so much that his hands were shaking, but that he kept making
mistakes; though he saw for instance that a key was not the right one
and would not fit, still he tried to put it in. Suddenly he remembered
and realised that the big key with the deep notches, which was hanging
there with the small keys could not possibly belong to the chest of
drawers (on his last visit this had struck him), but to some strong box,
and that everything perhaps was hidden in that box. He left the chest
of drawers, and at once felt under the bedstead, knowing that old
women usually keep boxes under their beds. And so it was; there was a
good-sized box under the bed, at least a yard in length, with an arched
lid covered with red leather and studded with steel nails. The notched
key fitted at once and unlocked it. At the top, under a white sheet, was
a coat of red brocade lined with hareskin; under it was a silk dress,
then a shawl and it seemed as though there was nothing below but
clothes. The first thing he did was to wipe his blood-stained hands on
the red brocade. "It's red, and on red blood will be less noticeable,"
the thought passed through his mind; then he suddenly came to himself.
"Good God, am I going out of my senses?" he thought with terror.
But no sooner did he touch the clothes than a gold watch slipped from
under the fur coat. He made haste to turn them all over. There turned
out to be various articles made of gold among the clothes--probably
all pledges, unredeemed or waiting to be redeemed--bracelets, chains,
ear-rings, pins and such things. Some were in cases, others simply
wrapped in newspaper, carefully and exactly folded, and tied round with
tape. Without any delay, he began filling up the pockets of his trousers
and overcoat without examining or undoing the parcels and cases; but he
had not time to take many....
He suddenly heard steps in the room where the old woman lay. He stopped
short and was still as death. But all was quiet, so it must have been
his fancy. All at once he heard distinctly a faint cry, as though
someone had uttered a low broken moan. Then again dead silence for
a minute or two. He sat squatting on his heels by the box and waited
holding his breath. Suddenly he jumped up, seized the axe and ran out of
In the middle of the room stood Lizaveta with a big bundle in her arms.
She was gazing in stupefaction at her murdered sister, white as a sheet
and seeming not to have the strength to cry out. Seeing him run out
of the bedroom, she began faintly quivering all over, like a leaf, a
shudder ran down her face; she lifted her hand, opened her mouth, but
still did not scream. She began slowly backing away from him into the
corner, staring intently, persistently at him, but still uttered no
sound, as though she could not get breath to scream. He rushed at her
with the axe; her mouth twitched piteously, as one sees babies' mouths,
when they begin to be frightened, stare intently at what frightens them
and are on the point of screaming. And this hapless Lizaveta was so
simple and had been so thoroughly crushed and scared that she did not
even raise a hand to guard her face, though that was the most necessary
and natural action at the moment, for the axe was raised over her face.
She only put up her empty left hand, but not to her face, slowly holding
it out before her as though motioning him away. The axe fell with the
sharp edge just on the skull and split at one blow all the top of the
head. She fell heavily at once. Raskolnikov completely lost his head,
snatching up her bundle, dropped it again and ran into the entry.
Fear gained more and more mastery over him, especially after this
second, quite unexpected murder. He longed to run away from the place
as fast as possible. And if at that moment he had been capable of seeing
and reasoning more correctly, if he had been able to realise all the
difficulties of his position, the hopelessness, the hideousness and the
absurdity of it, if he could have understood how many obstacles and,
perhaps, crimes he had still to overcome or to commit, to get out of
that place and to make his way home, it is very possible that he would
have flung up everything, and would have gone to give himself up, and
not from fear, but from simple horror and loathing of what he had
done. The feeling of loathing especially surged up within him and grew
stronger every minute. He would not now have gone to the box or even
into the room for anything in the world.
But a sort of blankness, even dreaminess, had begun by degrees to take
possession of him; at moments he forgot himself, or rather, forgot what
was of importance, and caught at trifles. Glancing, however, into the
kitchen and seeing a bucket half full of water on a bench, he bethought
him of washing his hands and the axe. His hands were sticky with blood.
He dropped the axe with the blade in the water, snatched a piece of soap
that lay in a broken saucer on the window, and began washing his hands
in the bucket. When they were clean, he took out the axe, washed the
blade and spent a long time, about three minutes, washing the wood where
there were spots of blood rubbing them with soap. Then he wiped it all
with some linen that was hanging to dry on a line in the kitchen and
then he was a long while attentively examining the axe at the window.
There was no trace left on it, only the wood was still damp. He
carefully hung the axe in the noose under his coat. Then as far as was
possible, in the dim light in the kitchen, he looked over his overcoat,
his trousers and his boots. At the first glance there seemed to be
nothing but stains on the boots. He wetted the rag and rubbed the boots.
But he knew he was not looking thoroughly, that there might be something
quite noticeable that he was overlooking. He stood in the middle of the
room, lost in thought. Dark agonising ideas rose in his mind--the idea
that he was mad and that at that moment he was incapable of reasoning,
of protecting himself, that he ought perhaps to be doing something
utterly different from what he was now doing. "Good God!" he muttered "I
must fly, fly," and he rushed into the entry. But here a shock of terror
awaited him such as he had never known before.
He stood and gazed and could not believe his eyes: the door, the outer
door from the stairs, at which he had not long before waited and rung,
was standing unfastened and at least six inches open. No lock, no bolt,
all the time, all that time! The old woman had not shut it after him
perhaps as a precaution. But, good God! Why, he had seen Lizaveta
afterwards! And how could he, how could he have failed to reflect that
she must have come in somehow! She could not have come through the wall!
He dashed to the door and fastened the latch.
"But no, the wrong thing again! I must get away, get away...."
He unfastened the latch, opened the door and began listening on the
He listened a long time. Somewhere far away, it might be in the gateway,
two voices were loudly and shrilly shouting, quarrelling and scolding.
"What are they about?" He waited patiently. At last all was still, as
though suddenly cut off; they had separated. He was meaning to go out,
but suddenly, on the floor below, a door was noisily opened and someone
began going downstairs humming a tune. "How is it they all make such
a noise?" flashed through his mind. Once more he closed the door and
waited. At last all was still, not a soul stirring. He was just taking a
step towards the stairs when he heard fresh footsteps.
The steps sounded very far off, at the very bottom of the stairs, but
he remembered quite clearly and distinctly that from the first sound he
began for some reason to suspect that this was someone coming "there",
to the fourth floor, to the old woman. Why? Were the sounds somehow
peculiar, significant? The steps were heavy, even and unhurried. Now
"he" had passed the first floor, now he was mounting higher, it was
growing more and more distinct! He could hear his heavy breathing. And
now the third storey had been reached. Coming here! And it seemed to
him all at once that he was turned to stone, that it was like a dream
in which one is being pursued, nearly caught and will be killed, and is
rooted to the spot and cannot even move one's arms.
At last when the unknown was mounting to the fourth floor, he suddenly
started, and succeeded in slipping neatly and quickly back into the
flat and closing the door behind him. Then he took the hook and softly,
noiselessly, fixed it in the catch. Instinct helped him. When he had
done this, he crouched holding his breath, by the door. The unknown
visitor was by now also at the door. They were now standing opposite one
another, as he had just before been standing with the old woman, when
the door divided them and he was listening.
The visitor panted several times. "He must be a big, fat man," thought
Raskolnikov, squeezing the axe in his hand. It seemed like a dream
indeed. The visitor took hold of the bell and rang it loudly.
As soon as the tin bell tinkled, Raskolnikov seemed to be aware of
something moving in the room. For some seconds he listened quite
seriously. The unknown rang again, waited and suddenly tugged violently
and impatiently at the handle of the door. Raskolnikov gazed in horror
at the hook shaking in its fastening, and in blank terror expected every
minute that the fastening would be pulled out. It certainly did seem
possible, so violently was he shaking it. He was tempted to hold the
fastening, but "he" might be aware of it. A giddiness came over him
again. "I shall fall down!" flashed through his mind, but the unknown
began to speak and he recovered himself at once.
"What's up? Are they asleep or murdered? D-damn them!" he bawled in a
thick voice, "Hey, Alyona Ivanovna, old witch! Lizaveta Ivanovna, hey,
my beauty! open the door! Oh, damn them! Are they asleep or what?"
And again, enraged, he tugged with all his might a dozen times at
the bell. He must certainly be a man of authority and an intimate
At this moment light hurried steps were heard not far off, on the
stairs. Someone else was approaching. Raskolnikov had not heard them at
"You don't say there's no one at home," the new-comer cried in a
cheerful, ringing voice, addressing the first visitor, who still went on
pulling the bell. "Good evening, Koch."
"From his voice he must be quite young," thought Raskolnikov.
"Who the devil can tell? I've almost broken the lock," answered Koch.
"But how do you come to know me?"
"Why! The day before yesterday I beat you three times running at
billiards at Gambrinus'."
"So they are not at home? That's queer. It's awfully stupid though.
Where could the old woman have gone? I've come on business."
"Yes; and I have business with her, too."
"Well, what can we do? Go back, I suppose, Aie--aie! And I was hoping to
get some money!" cried the young man.
"We must give it up, of course, but what did she fix this time for? The
old witch fixed the time for me to come herself. It's out of my way.
And where the devil she can have got to, I can't make out. She sits here
from year's end to year's end, the old hag; her legs are bad and yet
here all of a sudden she is out for a walk!"
"Hadn't we better ask the porter?"
"Where she's gone and when she'll be back."
"Hm.... Damn it all!... We might ask.... But you know she never does go
And he once more tugged at the door-handle.
"Damn it all. There's nothing to be done, we must go!"
"Stay!" cried the young man suddenly. "Do you see how the door shakes if
you pull it?"
"That shows it's not locked, but fastened with the hook! Do you hear how
the hook clanks?"
"Why, don't you see? That proves that one of them is at home. If they
were all out, they would have locked the door from the outside with the
key and not with the hook from inside. There, do you hear how the hook
is clanking? To fasten the hook on the inside they must be at home,
don't you see. So there they are sitting inside and don't open the
"Well! And so they must be!" cried Koch, astonished. "What are they
about in there?" And he began furiously shaking the door.
"Stay!" cried the young man again. "Don't pull at it! There must be
something wrong.... Here, you've been ringing and pulling at the door
and still they don't open! So either they've both fainted or..."
"I tell you what. Let's go fetch the porter, let him wake them up."
Both were going down.
"Stay. You stop here while I run down for the porter."
"Well, you'd better."
"I'm studying the law you see! It's evident, e-vi-dent there's something
wrong here!" the young man cried hotly, and he ran downstairs.
Koch remained. Once more he softly touched the bell which gave one
tinkle, then gently, as though reflecting and looking about him, began
touching the door-handle pulling it and letting it go to make sure once
more that it was only fastened by the hook. Then puffing and panting he
bent down and began looking at the keyhole: but the key was in the lock
on the inside and so nothing could be seen.
Raskolnikov stood keeping tight hold of the axe. He was in a sort of
delirium. He was even making ready to fight when they should come in.
While they were knocking and talking together, the idea several times
occurred to him to end it all at once and shout to them through the
door. Now and then he was tempted to swear at them, to jeer at them,
while they could not open the door! "Only make haste!" was the thought
that flashed through his mind.
"But what the devil is he about?..." Time was passing, one minute, and
another--no one came. Koch began to be restless.
"What the devil?" he cried suddenly and in impatience deserting his
sentry duty, he, too, went down, hurrying and thumping with his heavy
boots on the stairs. The steps died away.
"Good heavens! What am I to do?"
Raskolnikov unfastened the hook, opened the door--there was no sound.
Abruptly, without any thought at all, he went out, closing the door as
thoroughly as he could, and went downstairs.
He had gone down three flights when he suddenly heard a loud voice
below--where could he go! There was nowhere to hide. He was just going
back to the flat.
"Hey there! Catch the brute!"
Somebody dashed out of a flat below, shouting, and rather fell than ran
down the stairs, bawling at the top of his voice.
"Mitka! Mitka! Mitka! Mitka! Mitka! Blast him!"
The shout ended in a shriek; the last sounds came from the yard; all was
still. But at the same instant several men talking loud and fast began
noisily mounting the stairs. There were three or four of them. He
distinguished the ringing voice of the young man. "Hey!"
Filled with despair he went straight to meet them, feeling "come what
must!" If they stopped him--all was lost; if they let him pass--all was
lost too; they would remember him. They were approaching; they were only
a flight from him--and suddenly deliverance! A few steps from him on the
right, there was an empty flat with the door wide open, the flat on the
second floor where the painters had been at work, and which, as though
for his benefit, they had just left. It was they, no doubt, who had just
run down, shouting. The floor had only just been painted, in the middle
of the room stood a pail and a broken pot with paint and brushes. In one
instant he had whisked in at the open door and hidden behind the wall
and only in the nick of time; they had already reached the landing.
Then they turned and went on up to the fourth floor, talking loudly. He
waited, went out on tiptoe and ran down the stairs.
No one was on the stairs, nor in the gateway. He passed quickly through
the gateway and turned to the left in the street.
He knew, he knew perfectly well that at that moment they were at the
flat, that they were greatly astonished at finding it unlocked, as
the door had just been fastened, that by now they were looking at the
bodies, that before another minute had passed they would guess and
completely realise that the murderer had just been there, and had
succeeded in hiding somewhere, slipping by them and escaping. They would
guess most likely that he had been in the empty flat, while they were
going upstairs. And meanwhile he dared not quicken his pace much, though
the next turning was still nearly a hundred yards away. "Should he
slip through some gateway and wait somewhere in an unknown street? No,
hopeless! Should he fling away the axe? Should he take a cab? Hopeless,
At last he reached the turning. He turned down it more dead than alive.
Here he was half way to safety, and he understood it; it was less risky
because there was a great crowd of people, and he was lost in it like a
grain of sand. But all he had suffered had so weakened him that he could
scarcely move. Perspiration ran down him in drops, his neck was all wet.
"My word, he has been going it!" someone shouted at him when he came out
on the canal bank.
He was only dimly conscious of himself now, and the farther he went the
worse it was. He remembered however, that on coming out on to the canal
bank, he was alarmed at finding few people there and so being more
conspicuous, and he had thought of turning back. Though he was almost
falling from fatigue, he went a long way round so as to get home from
quite a different direction.
He was not fully conscious when he passed through the gateway of his
house! He was already on the staircase before he recollected the axe.
And yet he had a very grave problem before him, to put it back and to
escape observation as far as possible in doing so. He was of course
incapable of reflecting that it might perhaps be far better not to
restore the axe at all, but to drop it later on in somebody's yard. But
it all happened fortunately, the door of the porter's room was closed
but not locked, so that it seemed most likely that the porter was at
home. But he had so completely lost all power of reflection that he
walked straight to the door and opened it. If the porter had asked him,
"What do you want?" he would perhaps have simply handed him the axe. But
again the porter was not at home, and he succeeded in putting the axe
back under the bench, and even covering it with the chunk of wood as
before. He met no one, not a soul, afterwards on the way to his room;
the landlady's door was shut. When he was in his room, he flung himself
on the sofa just as he was--he did not sleep, but sank into blank
forgetfulness. If anyone had come into his room then, he would have
jumped up at once and screamed. Scraps and shreds of thoughts were
simply swarming in his brain, but he could not catch at one, he could
not rest on one, in spite of all his efforts....
So he lay a very long while. Now and then he seemed to wake up, and at
such moments he noticed that it was far into the night, but it did not
occur to him to get up. At last he noticed that it was beginning to get
light. He was lying on his back, still dazed from his recent oblivion.
Fearful, despairing cries rose shrilly from the street, sounds which he
heard every night, indeed, under his window after two o'clock. They woke
him up now.
"Ah! the drunken men are coming out of the taverns," he thought, "it's
past two o'clock," and at once he leaped up, as though someone had
pulled him from the sofa.
"What! Past two o'clock!"
He sat down on the sofa--and instantly recollected everything! All at
once, in one flash, he recollected everything.
For the first moment he thought he was going mad. A dreadful chill came
over him; but the chill was from the fever that had begun long before in
his sleep. Now he was suddenly taken with violent shivering, so that his
teeth chattered and all his limbs were shaking. He opened the door and
began listening--everything in the house was asleep. With amazement he
gazed at himself and everything in the room around him, wondering how he
could have come in the night before without fastening the door, and have
flung himself on the sofa without undressing, without even taking his
hat off. It had fallen off and was lying on the floor near his pillow.
"If anyone had come in, what would he have thought? That I'm drunk
He rushed to the window. There was light enough, and he began hurriedly
looking himself all over from head to foot, all his clothes; were there
no traces? But there was no doing it like that; shivering with cold, he
began taking off everything and looking over again. He turned everything
over to the last threads and rags, and mistrusting himself, went through
his search three times.
But there seemed to be nothing, no trace, except in one place, where
some thick drops of congealed blood were clinging to the frayed edge
of his trousers. He picked up a big claspknife and cut off the frayed
threads. There seemed to be nothing more.
Suddenly he remembered that the purse and the things he had taken out of
the old woman's box were still in his pockets! He had not thought till
then of taking them out and hiding them! He had not even thought of them
while he was examining his clothes! What next? Instantly he rushed
to take them out and fling them on the table. When he had pulled out
everything, and turned the pocket inside out to be sure there was
nothing left, he carried the whole heap to the corner. The paper had
come off the bottom of the wall and hung there in tatters. He began
stuffing all the things into the hole under the paper: "They're in! All
out of sight, and the purse too!" he thought gleefully, getting up and
gazing blankly at the hole which bulged out more than ever. Suddenly
he shuddered all over with horror; "My God!" he whispered in despair:
"what's the matter with me? Is that hidden? Is that the way to hide
He had not reckoned on having trinkets to hide. He had only thought of
money, and so had not prepared a hiding-place.
"But now, now, what am I glad of?" he thought, "Is that hiding things?
My reason's deserting me--simply!"
He sat down on the sofa in exhaustion and was at once shaken by another
unbearable fit of shivering. Mechanically he drew from a chair beside
him his old student's winter coat, which was still warm though almost in
rags, covered himself up with it and once more sank into drowsiness and
delirium. He lost consciousness.
Not more than five minutes had passed when he jumped up a second time,
and at once pounced in a frenzy on his clothes again.
"How could I go to sleep again with nothing done? Yes, yes; I have not
taken the loop off the armhole! I forgot it, forgot a thing like that!
Such a piece of evidence!"
He pulled off the noose, hurriedly cut it to pieces and threw the bits
among his linen under the pillow.
"Pieces of torn linen couldn't rouse suspicion, whatever happened; I
think not, I think not, any way!" he repeated, standing in the middle
of the room, and with painful concentration he fell to gazing about
him again, at the floor and everywhere, trying to make sure he had not
forgotten anything. The conviction that all his faculties, even memory,
and the simplest power of reflection were failing him, began to be an
"Surely it isn't beginning already! Surely it isn't my punishment coming
upon me? It is!"
The frayed rags he had cut off his trousers were actually lying on the
floor in the middle of the room, where anyone coming in would see them!
"What is the matter with me!" he cried again, like one distraught.
Then a strange idea entered his head; that, perhaps, all his clothes
were covered with blood, that, perhaps, there were a great many
stains, but that he did not see them, did not notice them because
his perceptions were failing, were going to pieces... his reason was
clouded.... Suddenly he remembered that there had been blood on the
purse too. "Ah! Then there must be blood on the pocket too, for I put
the wet purse in my pocket!"
In a flash he had turned the pocket inside out and, yes!--there were
traces, stains on the lining of the pocket!
"So my reason has not quite deserted me, so I still have some sense and
memory, since I guessed it of myself," he thought triumphantly, with
a deep sigh of relief; "it's simply the weakness of fever, a moment's
delirium," and he tore the whole lining out of the left pocket of his
trousers. At that instant the sunlight fell on his left boot; on the
sock which poked out from the boot, he fancied there were traces! He
flung off his boots; "traces indeed! The tip of the sock was soaked with
blood;" he must have unwarily stepped into that pool.... "But what am I
to do with this now? Where am I to put the sock and rags and pocket?"
He gathered them all up in his hands and stood in the middle of the
"In the stove? But they would ransack the stove first of all. Burn them?
But what can I burn them with? There are no matches even. No, better
go out and throw it all away somewhere. Yes, better throw it away," he
repeated, sitting down on the sofa again, "and at once, this minute,
But his head sank on the pillow instead. Again the unbearable icy
shivering came over him; again he drew his coat over him.
And for a long while, for some hours, he was haunted by the impulse to
"go off somewhere at once, this moment, and fling it all away, so that
it may be out of sight and done with, at once, at once!" Several times
he tried to rise from the sofa, but could not.
He was thoroughly waked up at last by a violent knocking at his door.
"Open, do, are you dead or alive? He keeps sleeping here!" shouted
Nastasya, banging with her fist on the door. "For whole days together
he's snoring here like a dog! A dog he is too. Open I tell you. It's
"Maybe he's not at home," said a man's voice.
"Ha! that's the porter's voice.... What does he want?"
He jumped up and sat on the sofa. The beating of his heart was a
"Then who can have latched the door?" retorted Nastasya. "He's taken to
bolting himself in! As if he were worth stealing! Open, you stupid, wake
"What do they want? Why the porter? All's discovered. Resist or open?
Come what may!..."
He half rose, stooped forward and unlatched the door.
His room was so small that he could undo the latch without leaving the
bed. Yes; the porter and Nastasya were standing there.
Nastasya stared at him in a strange way. He glanced with a defiant and
desperate air at the porter, who without a word held out a grey folded
paper sealed with bottle-wax.
"A notice from the office," he announced, as he gave him the paper.
"From what office?"
"A summons to the police office, of course. You know which office."
"To the police?... What for?..."
"How can I tell? You're sent for, so you go."
The man looked at him attentively, looked round the room and turned to
"He's downright ill!" observed Nastasya, not taking her eyes off him.
The porter turned his head for a moment. "He's been in a fever since
yesterday," she added.
Raskolnikov made no response and held the paper in his hands, without
opening it. "Don't you get up then," Nastasya went on compassionately,
seeing that he was letting his feet down from the sofa. "You're ill, and
so don't go; there's no such hurry. What have you got there?"
He looked; in his right hand he held the shreds he had cut from his
trousers, the sock, and the rags of the pocket. So he had been asleep
with them in his hand. Afterwards reflecting upon it, he remembered that
half waking up in his fever, he had grasped all this tightly in his hand
and so fallen asleep again.
"Look at the rags he's collected and sleeps with them, as though he has
got hold of a treasure..."
And Nastasya went off into her hysterical giggle.
Instantly he thrust them all under his great coat and fixed his
eyes intently upon her. Far as he was from being capable of rational
reflection at that moment, he felt that no one would behave like that
with a person who was going to be arrested. "But... the police?"
"You'd better have some tea! Yes? I'll bring it, there's some left."
"No... I'm going; I'll go at once," he muttered, getting on to his feet.
"Why, you'll never get downstairs!"
"Yes, I'll go."
"As you please."
She followed the porter out.
At once he rushed to the light to examine the sock and the rags.
"There are stains, but not very noticeable; all covered with dirt,
and rubbed and already discoloured. No one who had no suspicion could
distinguish anything. Nastasya from a distance could not have noticed,
thank God!" Then with a tremor he broke the seal of the notice and began
reading; he was a long while reading, before he understood. It was an
ordinary summons from the district police-station to appear that day at
half-past nine at the office of the district superintendent.
"But when has such a thing happened? I never have anything to do with
the police! And why just to-day?" he thought in agonising bewilderment.
"Good God, only get it over soon!"
He was flinging himself on his knees to pray, but broke into
laughter--not at the idea of prayer, but at himself.
He began, hurriedly dressing. "If I'm lost, I am lost, I don't care!
Shall I put the sock on?" he suddenly wondered, "it will get dustier
still and the traces will be gone."
But no sooner had he put it on than he pulled it off again in loathing
and horror. He pulled it off, but reflecting that he had no other socks,
he picked it up and put it on again--and again he laughed.
"That's all conventional, that's all relative, merely a way of looking
at it," he thought in a flash, but only on the top surface of his
mind, while he was shuddering all over, "there, I've got it on! I have
finished by getting it on!"
But his laughter was quickly followed by despair.
"No, it's too much for me..." he thought. His legs shook. "From fear,"
he muttered. His head swam and ached with fever. "It's a trick! They
want to decoy me there and confound me over everything," he mused, as
he went out on to the stairs--"the worst of it is I'm almost
light-headed... I may blurt out something stupid..."
On the stairs he remembered that he was leaving all the things just as
they were in the hole in the wall, "and very likely, it's on purpose
to search when I'm out," he thought, and stopped short. But he was
possessed by such despair, such cynicism of misery, if one may so call
it, that with a wave of his hand he went on. "Only to get it over!"
In the street the heat was insufferable again; not a drop of rain had
fallen all those days. Again dust, bricks and mortar, again the stench
from the shops and pot-houses, again the drunken men, the Finnish
pedlars and half-broken-down cabs. The sun shone straight in his eyes,
so that it hurt him to look out of them, and he felt his head going
round--as a man in a fever is apt to feel when he comes out into the
street on a bright sunny day.
When he reached the turning into "the" street, in an agony of
trepidation he looked down it... at "the" house... and at once averted
"If they question me, perhaps I'll simply tell," he thought, as he drew
near the police-station.
The police-station was about a quarter of a mile off. It had lately been
moved to new rooms on the fourth floor of a new house. He had been once
for a moment in the old office but long ago. Turning in at the gateway,
he saw on the right a flight of stairs which a peasant was mounting with
a book in his hand. "A house-porter, no doubt; so then, the office is
here," and he began ascending the stairs on the chance. He did not want
to ask questions of anyone.
"I'll go in, fall on my knees, and confess everything..." he thought, as
he reached the fourth floor.
The staircase was steep, narrow and all sloppy with dirty water. The
kitchens of the flats opened on to the stairs and stood open almost
the whole day. So there was a fearful smell and heat. The staircase
was crowded with porters going up and down with their books under their
arms, policemen, and persons of all sorts and both sexes. The door of
the office, too, stood wide open. Peasants stood waiting within. There,
too, the heat was stifling and there was a sickening smell of fresh
paint and stale oil from the newly decorated rooms.
After waiting a little, he decided to move forward into the next room.
All the rooms were small and low-pitched. A fearful impatience drew him
on and on. No one paid attention to him. In the second room some
clerks sat writing, dressed hardly better than he was, and rather a
queer-looking set. He went up to one of them.
"What is it?"
He showed the notice he had received.
"You are a student?" the man asked, glancing at the notice.
"Yes, formerly a student."
The clerk looked at him, but without the slightest interest. He was a
particularly unkempt person with the look of a fixed idea in his eye.
"There would be no getting anything out of him, because he has no
interest in anything," thought Raskolnikov.
"Go in there to the head clerk," said the clerk, pointing towards the
He went into that room--the fourth in order; it was a small room and
packed full of people, rather better dressed than in the outer rooms.
Among them were two ladies. One, poorly dressed in mourning, sat at the
table opposite the chief clerk, writing something at his dictation.
The other, a very stout, buxom woman with a purplish-red, blotchy face,
excessively smartly dressed with a brooch on her bosom as big as a
saucer, was standing on one side, apparently waiting for something.
Raskolnikov thrust his notice upon the head clerk. The latter glanced
at it, said: "Wait a minute," and went on attending to the lady in
He breathed more freely. "It can't be that!"
By degrees he began to regain confidence, he kept urging himself to have
courage and be calm.
"Some foolishness, some trifling carelessness, and I may betray myself!
Hm... it's a pity there's no air here," he added, "it's stifling.... It
makes one's head dizzier than ever... and one's mind too..."
He was conscious of a terrible inner turmoil. He was afraid of losing
his self-control; he tried to catch at something and fix his mind on it,
something quite irrelevant, but he could not succeed in this at all. Yet
the head clerk greatly interested him, he kept hoping to see through him
and guess something from his face.
He was a very young man, about two and twenty, with a dark mobile
face that looked older than his years. He was fashionably dressed and
foppish, with his hair parted in the middle, well combed and pomaded,
and wore a number of rings on his well-scrubbed fingers and a gold chain
on his waistcoat. He said a couple of words in French to a foreigner who
was in the room, and said them fairly correctly.
"Luise Ivanovna, you can sit down," he said casually to the
gaily-dressed, purple-faced lady, who was still standing as though not
venturing to sit down, though there was a chair beside her.
"Ich danke," said the latter, and softly, with a rustle of silk she sank
into the chair. Her light blue dress trimmed with white lace floated
about the table like an air-balloon and filled almost half the room. She
smelt of scent. But she was obviously embarrassed at filling half
the room and smelling so strongly of scent; and though her smile was
impudent as well as cringing, it betrayed evident uneasiness.
The lady in mourning had done at last, and got up. All at once, with
some noise, an officer walked in very jauntily, with a peculiar swing of
his shoulders at each step. He tossed his cockaded cap on the table and
sat down in an easy-chair. The small lady positively skipped from her
seat on seeing him, and fell to curtsying in a sort of ecstasy; but the
officer took not the smallest notice of her, and she did not venture to
sit down again in his presence. He was the assistant superintendent. He
had a reddish moustache that stood out horizontally on each side of his
face, and extremely small features, expressive of nothing much except
a certain insolence. He looked askance and rather indignantly at
Raskolnikov; he was so very badly dressed, and in spite of his
humiliating position, his bearing was by no means in keeping with his
clothes. Raskolnikov had unwarily fixed a very long and direct look on
him, so that he felt positively affronted.
"What do you want?" he shouted, apparently astonished that such a ragged
fellow was not annihilated by the majesty of his glance.
"I was summoned... by a notice..." Raskolnikov faltered.
"For the recovery of money due, from "the student"," the head clerk
interfered hurriedly, tearing himself from his papers. "Here!" and he
flung Raskolnikov a document and pointed out the place. "Read that!"
"Money? What money?" thought Raskolnikov, "but... then... it's certainly
And he trembled with joy. He felt sudden intense indescribable relief. A
load was lifted from his back.
"And pray, what time were you directed to appear, sir?" shouted the
assistant superintendent, seeming for some unknown reason more and more
aggrieved. "You are told to come at nine, and now it's twelve!"
"The notice was only brought me a quarter of an hour ago," Raskolnikov
answered loudly over his shoulder. To his own surprise he, too, grew
suddenly angry and found a certain pleasure in it. "And it's enough that
I have come here ill with fever."
"Kindly refrain from shouting!"
"I'm not shouting, I'm speaking very quietly, it's you who are shouting
at me. I'm a student, and allow no one to shout at me."
The assistant superintendent was so furious that for the first minute he
could only splutter inarticulately. He leaped up from his seat.
"Be silent! You are in a government office. Don't be impudent, sir!"
"You're in a government office, too," cried Raskolnikov, "and you're
smoking a cigarette as well as shouting, so you are showing disrespect
to all of us."
He felt an indescribable satisfaction at having said this.
The head clerk looked at him with a smile. The angry assistant
superintendent was obviously disconcerted.
"That's not your business!" he shouted at last with unnatural loudness.
"Kindly make the declaration demanded of you. Show him. Alexandr
Grigorievitch. There is a complaint against you! You don't pay your
debts! You're a fine bird!"
But Raskolnikov was not listening now; he had eagerly clutched at the
paper, in haste to find an explanation. He read it once, and a second
time, and still did not understand.
"What is this?" he asked the head clerk.
"It is for the recovery of money on an I O U, a writ. You must
either pay it, with all expenses, costs and so on, or give a written
declaration when you can pay it, and at the same time an undertaking not
to leave the capital without payment, and nor to sell or conceal your
property. The creditor is at liberty to sell your property, and proceed
against you according to the law."
"But I... am not in debt to anyone!"
"That's not our business. Here, an I O U for a hundred and fifteen
roubles, legally attested, and due for payment, has been brought us
for recovery, given by you to the widow of the assessor Zarnitsyn, nine
months ago, and paid over by the widow Zarnitsyn to one Mr. Tchebarov.
We therefore summon you, hereupon."
"But she is my landlady!"
"And what if she is your landlady?"
The head clerk looked at him with a condescending smile of compassion,
and at the same time with a certain triumph, as at a novice under fire
for the first time--as though he would say: "Well, how do you feel now?"
But what did he care now for an I O U, for a writ of recovery! Was that
worth worrying about now, was it worth attention even! He stood, he
read, he listened, he answered, he even asked questions himself, but
all mechanically. The triumphant sense of security, of deliverance from
overwhelming danger, that was what filled his whole soul that moment
without thought for the future, without analysis, without suppositions
or surmises, without doubts and without questioning. It was an instant
of full, direct, purely instinctive joy. But at that very moment
something like a thunderstorm took place in the office. The assistant
superintendent, still shaken by Raskolnikov's disrespect, still fuming
and obviously anxious to keep up his wounded dignity, pounced on the
unfortunate smart lady, who had been gazing at him ever since he came in
with an exceedingly silly smile.
"You shameful hussy!" he shouted suddenly at the top of his voice. (The
lady in mourning had left the office.) "What was going on at your house
last night? Eh! A disgrace again, you're a scandal to the whole street.
Fighting and drinking again. Do you want the house of correction? Why,
I have warned you ten times over that I would not let you off the
eleventh! And here you are again, again, you... you...!"
The paper fell out of Raskolnikov's hands, and he looked wildly at the
smart lady who was so unceremoniously treated. But he soon saw what it
meant, and at once began to find positive amusement in the scandal. He
listened with pleasure, so that he longed to laugh and laugh... all his
nerves were on edge.
"Ilya Petrovitch!" the head clerk was beginning anxiously, but stopped
short, for he knew from experience that the enraged assistant could not
be stopped except by force.
As for the smart lady, at first she positively trembled before the
storm. But, strange to say, the more numerous and violent the terms of
abuse became, the more amiable she looked, and the more seductive the
smiles she lavished on the terrible assistant. She moved uneasily, and
curtsied incessantly, waiting impatiently for a chance of putting in her
word: and at last she found it.
"There was no sort of noise or fighting in my house, Mr. Captain," she
pattered all at once, like peas dropping, speaking Russian confidently,
though with a strong German accent, "and no sort of scandal, and his
honour came drunk, and it's the whole truth I am telling, Mr. Captain,
and I am not to blame.... Mine is an honourable house, Mr. Captain,
and honourable behaviour, Mr. Captain, and I always, always dislike any
scandal myself. But he came quite tipsy, and asked for three bottles
again, and then he lifted up one leg, and began playing the pianoforte
with one foot, and that is not at all right in an honourable house, and
he "ganz" broke the piano, and it was very bad manners indeed and I said
so. And he took up a bottle and began hitting everyone with it. And then
I called the porter, and Karl came, and he took Karl and hit him in the
eye; and he hit Henriette in the eye, too, and gave me five slaps on the
cheek. And it was so ungentlemanly in an honourable house, Mr. Captain,
and I screamed. And he opened the window over the canal, and stood in
the window, squealing like a little pig; it was a disgrace. The idea of
squealing like a little pig at the window into the street! Fie upon him!
And Karl pulled him away from the window by his coat, and it is true,
Mr. Captain, he tore "sein rock". And then he shouted that "man muss"
pay him fifteen roubles damages. And I did pay him, Mr. Captain, five
roubles for "sein rock". And he is an ungentlemanly visitor and caused
all the scandal. 'I will show you up,' he said, 'for I can write to all
the papers about you.'"
"Then he was an author?"
"Yes, Mr. Captain, and what an ungentlemanly visitor in an honourable
"Now then! Enough! I have told you already..."
"Ilya Petrovitch!" the head clerk repeated significantly.
The assistant glanced rapidly at him; the head clerk slightly shook his
"... So I tell you this, most respectable Luise Ivanovna, and I tell it
you for the last time," the assistant went on. "If there is a scandal
in your honourable house once again, I will put you yourself in the
lock-up, as it is called in polite society. Do you hear? So a literary
man, an author took five roubles for his coat-tail in an 'honourable
house'? A nice set, these authors!"
And he cast a contemptuous glance at Raskolnikov. "There was a scandal
the other day in a restaurant, too. An author had eaten his dinner and
would not pay; 'I'll write a satire on you,' says he. And there was
another of them on a steamer last week used the most disgraceful
language to the respectable family of a civil councillor, his wife and
daughter. And there was one of them turned out of a confectioner's shop
the other day. They are like that, authors, literary men, students,
town-criers.... Pfoo! You get along! I shall look in upon you myself one
day. Then you had better be careful! Do you hear?"
With hurried deference, Luise Ivanovna fell to curtsying in all
directions, and so curtsied herself to the door. But at the door, she
stumbled backwards against a good-looking officer with a fresh, open
face and splendid thick fair whiskers. This was the superintendent of
the district himself, Nikodim Fomitch. Luise Ivanovna made haste
to curtsy almost to the ground, and with mincing little steps, she
fluttered out of the office.
"Again thunder and lightning--a hurricane!" said Nikodim Fomitch to Ilya
Petrovitch in a civil and friendly tone. "You are aroused again, you are
fuming again! I heard it on the stairs!"
"Well, what then!" Ilya Petrovitch drawled with gentlemanly nonchalance;
and he walked with some papers to another table, with a jaunty swing of
his shoulders at each step. "Here, if you will kindly look: an author,
or a student, has been one at least, does not pay his debts, has given
an I O U, won't clear out of his room, and complaints are constantly
being lodged against him, and here he has been pleased to make a protest
against my smoking in his presence! He behaves like a cad himself, and
just look at him, please. Here's the gentleman, and very attractive he
"Poverty is not a vice, my friend, but we know you go off like powder,
you can't bear a slight, I daresay you took offence at something and
went too far yourself," continued Nikodim Fomitch, turning affably to
Raskolnikov. "But you were wrong there; he is a capital fellow, I assure
you, but explosive, explosive! He gets hot, fires up, boils over, and no
stopping him! And then it's all over! And at the bottom he's a heart of
gold! His nickname in the regiment was the Explosive Lieutenant...."
"And what a regiment it was, too," cried Ilya Petrovitch, much gratified
at this agreeable banter, though still sulky.
Raskolnikov had a sudden desire to say something exceptionally pleasant
to them all. "Excuse me, Captain," he began easily, suddenly addressing
Nikodim Fomitch, "will you enter into my position?... I am ready to
ask pardon, if I have been ill-mannered. I am a poor student, sick
and shattered (shattered was the word he used) by poverty. I am not
studying, because I cannot keep myself now, but I shall get money.... I
have a mother and sister in the province of X. They will send it to
me, and I will pay. My landlady is a good-hearted woman, but she is so
exasperated at my having lost my lessons, and not paying her for the
last four months, that she does not even send up my dinner... and I
don't understand this I O U at all. She is asking me to pay her on this
I O U. How am I to pay her? Judge for yourselves!..."
"But that is not our business, you know," the head clerk was observing.
"Yes, yes. I perfectly agree with you. But allow me to explain..."
Raskolnikov put in again, still addressing Nikodim Fomitch, but trying
his best to address Ilya Petrovitch also, though the latter persistently
appeared to be rummaging among his papers and to be contemptuously
oblivious of him. "Allow me to explain that I have been living with her
for nearly three years and at first... at first... for why should I not
confess it, at the very beginning I promised to marry her daughter, it
was a verbal promise, freely given... she was a girl... indeed, I liked
her, though I was not in love with her... a youthful affair in fact...
that is, I mean to say, that my landlady gave me credit freely in those
days, and I led a life of... I was very heedless..."
"Nobody asks you for these personal details, sir, we've no time to
waste," Ilya Petrovitch interposed roughly and with a note of triumph;
but Raskolnikov stopped him hotly, though he suddenly found it
exceedingly difficult to speak.
"But excuse me, excuse me. It is for me to explain... how it all
happened... In my turn... though I agree with you... it is unnecessary.
But a year ago, the girl died of typhus. I remained lodging there as
before, and when my landlady moved into her present quarters, she said
to me... and in a friendly way... that she had complete trust in me,
but still, would I not give her an I O U for one hundred and fifteen
roubles, all the debt I owed her. She said if only I gave her that,
she would trust me again, as much as I liked, and that she would never,
never--those were her own words--make use of that I O U till I could pay
of myself... and now, when I have lost my lessons and have nothing to
eat, she takes action against me. What am I to say to that?"
"All these affecting details are no business of ours." Ilya Petrovitch
interrupted rudely. "You must give a written undertaking but as for your
love affairs and all these tragic events, we have nothing to do with
"Come now... you are harsh," muttered Nikodim Fomitch, sitting down at
the table and also beginning to write. He looked a little ashamed.
"Write!" said the head clerk to Raskolnikov.
"Write what?" the latter asked, gruffly.
"I will dictate to you."
Raskolnikov fancied that the head clerk treated him more casually and
contemptuously after his speech, but strange to say he suddenly felt
completely indifferent to anyone's opinion, and this revulsion took
place in a flash, in one instant. If he had cared to think a little,
he would have been amazed indeed that he could have talked to them like
that a minute before, forcing his feelings upon them. And where had
those feelings come from? Now if the whole room had been filled, not
with police officers, but with those nearest and dearest to him, he
would not have found one human word for them, so empty was his heart. A
gloomy sensation of agonising, everlasting solitude and remoteness, took
conscious form in his soul. It was not the meanness of his sentimental
effusions before Ilya Petrovitch, nor the meanness of the latter's
triumph over him that had caused this sudden revulsion in his heart.
Oh, what had he to do now with his own baseness, with all these petty
vanities, officers, German women, debts, police-offices? If he had been
sentenced to be burnt at that moment, he would not have stirred, would
hardly have heard the sentence to the end. Something was happening to
him entirely new, sudden and unknown. It was not that he understood, but
he felt clearly with all the intensity of sensation that he could
never more appeal to these people in the police-office with sentimental
effusions like his recent outburst, or with anything whatever; and that
if they had been his own brothers and sisters and not police-officers,
it would have been utterly out of the question to appeal to them in any
circumstance of life. He had never experienced such a strange and awful
sensation. And what was most agonising--it was more a sensation than a
conception or idea, a direct sensation, the most agonising of all the
sensations he had known in his life.
The head clerk began dictating to him the usual form of declaration,
that he could not pay, that he undertook to do so at a future date, that
he would not leave the town, nor sell his property, and so on.
"But you can't write, you can hardly hold the pen," observed the head
clerk, looking with curiosity at Raskolnikov. "Are you ill?"
"Yes, I am giddy. Go on!"
"That's all. Sign it."
The head clerk took the paper, and turned to attend to others.
Raskolnikov gave back the pen; but instead of getting up and going away,
he put his elbows on the table and pressed his head in his hands. He
felt as if a nail were being driven into his skull. A strange idea
suddenly occurred to him, to get up at once, to go up to Nikodim
Fomitch, and tell him everything that had happened yesterday, and then
to go with him to his lodgings and to show him the things in the hole
in the corner. The impulse was so strong that he got up from his seat
to carry it out. "Hadn't I better think a minute?" flashed through his
mind. "No, better cast off the burden without thinking." But all at once
he stood still, rooted to the spot. Nikodim Fomitch was talking eagerly
with Ilya Petrovitch, and the words reached him:
"It's impossible, they'll both be released. To begin with, the whole
story contradicts itself. Why should they have called the porter, if it
had been their doing? To inform against themselves? Or as a blind? No,
that would be too cunning! Besides, Pestryakov, the student, was seen at
the gate by both the porters and a woman as he went in. He was walking
with three friends, who left him only at the gate, and he asked the
porters to direct him, in the presence of the friends. Now, would he
have asked his way if he had been going with such an object? As for
Koch, he spent half an hour at the silversmith's below, before he went
up to the old woman and he left him at exactly a quarter to eight. Now
"But excuse me, how do you explain this contradiction? They state
themselves that they knocked and the door was locked; yet three minutes
later when they went up with the porter, it turned out the door was
"That's just it; the murderer must have been there and bolted himself
in; and they'd have caught him for a certainty if Koch had not been
an ass and gone to look for the porter too. "He" must have seized the
interval to get downstairs and slip by them somehow. Koch keeps crossing
himself and saying: 'If I had been there, he would have jumped out and
killed me with his axe.' He is going to have a thanksgiving service--ha,
"And no one saw the murderer?"
"They might well not see him; the house is a regular Noah's Ark," said
the head clerk, who was listening.
"It's clear, quite clear," Nikodim Fomitch repeated warmly.
"No, it is anything but clear," Ilya Petrovitch maintained.
Raskolnikov picked up his hat and walked towards the door, but he did
not reach it....
When he recovered consciousness, he found himself sitting in a chair,
supported by someone on the right side, while someone else was standing
on the left, holding a yellowish glass filled with yellow water, and
Nikodim Fomitch standing before him, looking intently at him. He got up
from the chair.
"What's this? Are you ill?" Nikodim Fomitch asked, rather sharply.
"He could hardly hold his pen when he was signing," said the head clerk,
settling back in his place, and taking up his work again.
"Have you been ill long?" cried Ilya Petrovitch from his place, where
he, too, was looking through papers. He had, of course, come to look at
the sick man when he fainted, but retired at once when he recovered.
"Since yesterday," muttered Raskolnikov in reply.
"Did you go out yesterday?"
"Though you were ill?"
"At what time?"
"And where did you go, my I ask?"
"Along the street."
"Short and clear."
Raskolnikov, white as a handkerchief, had answered sharply, jerkily,
without dropping his black feverish eyes before Ilya Petrovitch's stare.
"He can scarcely stand upright. And you..." Nikodim Fomitch was
"No matter," Ilya Petrovitch pronounced rather peculiarly.
Nikodim Fomitch would have made some further protest, but glancing at
the head clerk who was looking very hard at him, he did not speak. There
was a sudden silence. It was strange.
"Very well, then," concluded Ilya Petrovitch, "we will not detain you."
Raskolnikov went out. He caught the sound of eager conversation on his
departure, and above the rest rose the questioning voice of Nikodim
Fomitch. In the street, his faintness passed off completely.
"A search--there will be a search at once," he repeated to himself,
hurrying home. "The brutes! they suspect."
His former terror mastered him completely again.
"And what if there has been a search already? What if I find them in my
But here was his room. Nothing and no one in it. No one had peeped in.
Even Nastasya had not touched it. But heavens! how could he have left
all those things in the hole?
He rushed to the corner, slipped his hand under the paper, pulled the
things out and lined his pockets with them. There were eight articles in
all: two little boxes with ear-rings or something of the sort, he hardly
looked to see; then four small leather cases. There was a chain, too,
merely wrapped in newspaper and something else in newspaper, that looked
like a decoration.... He put them all in the different pockets of his
overcoat, and the remaining pocket of his trousers, trying to conceal
them as much as possible. He took the purse, too. Then he went out of
his room, leaving the door open. He walked quickly and resolutely, and
though he felt shattered, he had his senses about him. He was afraid of
pursuit, he was afraid that in another half-hour, another quarter of an
hour perhaps, instructions would be issued for his pursuit, and so at
all costs, he must hide all traces before then. He must clear everything
up while he still had some strength, some reasoning power left him....
Where was he to go?
That had long been settled: "Fling them into the canal, and all traces
hidden in the water, the thing would be at an end." So he had decided in
the night of his delirium when several times he had had the impulse to
get up and go away, to make haste, and get rid of it all. But to get
rid of it, turned out to be a very difficult task. He wandered along
the bank of the Ekaterininsky Canal for half an hour or more and looked
several times at the steps running down to the water, but he could not
think of carrying out his plan; either rafts stood at the steps' edge,
and women were washing clothes on them, or boats were moored there, and
people were swarming everywhere. Moreover he could be seen and noticed
from the banks on all sides; it would look suspicious for a man to go
down on purpose, stop, and throw something into the water. And what if
the boxes were to float instead of sinking? And of course they would.
Even as it was, everyone he met seemed to stare and look round, as if
they had nothing to do but to watch him. "Why is it, or can it be my
fancy?" he thought.
At last the thought struck him that it might be better to go to the
Neva. There were not so many people there, he would be less observed,
and it would be more convenient in every way, above all it was further
off. He wondered how he could have been wandering for a good half-hour,
worried and anxious in this dangerous past without thinking of it
before. And that half-hour he had lost over an irrational plan, simply
because he had thought of it in delirium! He had become extremely absent
and forgetful and he was aware of it. He certainly must make haste.
He walked towards the Neva along V---- Prospect, but on the way
another idea struck him. "Why to the Neva? Would it not be better to go
somewhere far off, to the Islands again, and there hide the things
in some solitary place, in a wood or under a bush, and mark the spot
perhaps?" And though he felt incapable of clear judgment, the idea
seemed to him a sound one. But he was not destined to go there. For
coming out of V---- Prospect towards the square, he saw on the left a
passage leading between two blank walls to a courtyard. On the right
hand, the blank unwhitewashed wall of a four-storied house stretched far
into the court; on the left, a wooden hoarding ran parallel with it for
twenty paces into the court, and then turned sharply to the left. Here
was a deserted fenced-off place where rubbish of different sorts was
lying. At the end of the court, the corner of a low, smutty, stone shed,
apparently part of some workshop, peeped from behind the hoarding. It
was probably a carriage builder's or carpenter's shed; the whole place
from the entrance was black with coal dust. Here would be the place to
throw it, he thought. Not seeing anyone in the yard, he slipped in, and
at once saw near the gate a sink, such as is often put in yards where
there are many workmen or cab-drivers; and on the hoarding above had
been scribbled in chalk the time-honoured witticism, "Standing here
strictly forbidden." This was all the better, for there would be nothing
suspicious about his going in. "Here I could throw it all in a heap and
Looking round once more, with his hand already in his pocket, he noticed
against the outer wall, between the entrance and the sink, a big unhewn
stone, weighing perhaps sixty pounds. The other side of the wall was a
street. He could hear passers-by, always numerous in that part, but he
could not be seen from the entrance, unless someone came in from the
street, which might well happen indeed, so there was need of haste.
He bent down over the stone, seized the top of it firmly in both hands,
and using all his strength turned it over. Under the stone was a small
hollow in the ground, and he immediately emptied his pocket into it.
The purse lay at the top, and yet the hollow was not filled up. Then he
seized the stone again and with one twist turned it back, so that it was
in the same position again, though it stood a very little higher. But
he scraped the earth about it and pressed it at the edges with his foot.
Nothing could be noticed.
Then he went out, and turned into the square. Again an intense,
almost unbearable joy overwhelmed him for an instant, as it had in
the police-office. "I have buried my tracks! And who, who can think of
looking under that stone? It has been lying there most likely ever since
the house was built, and will lie as many years more. And if it were
found, who would think of me? It is all over! No clue!" And he laughed.
Yes, he remembered that he began laughing a thin, nervous noiseless
laugh, and went on laughing all the time he was crossing the square. But
when he reached the K---- Boulevard where two days before he had come
upon that girl, his laughter suddenly ceased. Other ideas crept into his
mind. He felt all at once that it would be loathsome to pass that seat
on which after the girl was gone, he had sat and pondered, and that it
would be hateful, too, to meet that whiskered policeman to whom he had
given the twenty copecks: "Damn him!"
He walked, looking about him angrily and distractedly. All his ideas now
seemed to be circling round some single point, and he felt that there
really was such a point, and that now, now, he was left facing that
point--and for the first time, indeed, during the last two months.
"Damn it all!" he thought suddenly, in a fit of ungovernable fury.
"If it has begun, then it has begun. Hang the new life! Good Lord, how
stupid it is!... And what lies I told to-day! How despicably I fawned
upon that wretched Ilya Petrovitch! But that is all folly! What do I
care for them all, and my fawning upon them! It is not that at all! It
is not that at all!"
Suddenly he stopped; a new utterly unexpected and exceedingly simple
question perplexed and bitterly confounded him.
"If it all has really been done deliberately and not idiotically, if
I really had a certain and definite object, how is it I did not even
glance into the purse and don't know what I had there, for which I have
undergone these agonies, and have deliberately undertaken this base,
filthy degrading business? And here I wanted at once to throw into the
water the purse together with all the things which I had not seen
either... how's that?"
Yes, that was so, that was all so. Yet he had known it all before, and
it was not a new question for him, even when it was decided in the night
without hesitation and consideration, as though so it must be, as though
it could not possibly be otherwise.... Yes, he had known it all, and
understood it all; it surely had all been settled even yesterday at the
moment when he was bending over the box and pulling the jewel-cases out
of it.... Yes, so it was.
"It is because I am very ill," he decided grimly at last, "I have been
worrying and fretting myself, and I don't know what I am doing....
Yesterday and the day before yesterday and all this time I have been
worrying myself.... I shall get well and I shall not worry.... But what
if I don't get well at all? Good God, how sick I am of it all!"
He walked on without resting. He had a terrible longing for some
distraction, but he did not know what to do, what to attempt. A new
overwhelming sensation was gaining more and more mastery over him
every moment; this was an immeasurable, almost physical, repulsion for
everything surrounding him, an obstinate, malignant feeling of hatred.
All who met him were loathsome to him--he loathed their faces, their
movements, their gestures. If anyone had addressed him, he felt that he
might have spat at him or bitten him....
He stopped suddenly, on coming out on the bank of the Little Neva, near
the bridge to Vassilyevsky Ostrov. "Why, he lives here, in that house,"
he thought, "why, I have not come to Razumihin of my own accord! Here
it's the same thing over again.... Very interesting to know, though;
have I come on purpose or have I simply walked here by chance? Never
mind, I said the day before yesterday that I would go and see him the
day "after"; well, and so I will! Besides I really cannot go further
He went up to Razumihin's room on the fifth floor.
The latter was at home in his garret, busily writing at the moment, and
he opened the door himself. It was four months since they had seen each
other. Razumihin was sitting in a ragged dressing-gown, with slippers on
his bare feet, unkempt, unshaven and unwashed. His face showed surprise.
"Is it you?" he cried. He looked his comrade up and down; then after a
brief pause, he whistled. "As hard up as all that! Why, brother, you've
cut me out!" he added, looking at Raskolnikov's rags. "Come sit down,
you are tired, I'll be bound."
And when he had sunk down on the American leather sofa, which was
in even worse condition than his own, Razumihin saw at once that his
visitor was ill.
"Why, you are seriously ill, do you know that?" He began feeling his
pulse. Raskolnikov pulled away his hand.
"Never mind," he said, "I have come for this: I have no lessons.... I
wanted,... but I don't really want lessons...."
"But I say! You are delirious, you know!" Razumihin observed, watching
"No, I am not."
Raskolnikov got up from the sofa. As he had mounted the stairs to
Razumihin's, he had not realised that he would be meeting his friend
face to face. Now, in a flash, he knew, that what he was least of all
disposed for at that moment was to be face to face with anyone in the
wide world. His spleen rose within him. He almost choked with rage at
himself as soon as he crossed Razumihin's threshold.
"Good-bye," he said abruptly, and walked to the door.
"Stop, stop! You queer fish."
"I don't want to," said the other, again pulling away his hand.
"Then why the devil have you come? Are you mad, or what? Why, this
is... almost insulting! I won't let you go like that."
"Well, then, I came to you because I know no one but you who could
help... to begin... because you are kinder than anyone--cleverer, I
mean, and can judge... and now I see that I want nothing. Do you hear?
Nothing at all... no one's services... no one's sympathy. I am by
myself... alone. Come, that's enough. Leave me alone."
"Stay a minute, you sweep! You are a perfect madman. As you like for all
I care. I have no lessons, do you see, and I don't care about that, but
there's a bookseller, Heruvimov--and he takes the place of a lesson.
I would not exchange him for five lessons. He's doing publishing of a
kind, and issuing natural science manuals and what a circulation they
have! The very titles are worth the money! You always maintained that I
was a fool, but by Jove, my boy, there are greater fools than I am!
Now he is setting up for being advanced, not that he has an inkling of
anything, but, of course, I encourage him. Here are two signatures of
the German text--in my opinion, the crudest charlatanism; it discusses
the question, 'Is woman a human being?' And, of course, triumphantly
proves that she is. Heruvimov is going to bring out this work as a
contribution to the woman question; I am translating it; he will expand
these two and a half signatures into six, we shall make up a gorgeous
title half a page long and bring it out at half a rouble. It will do! He
pays me six roubles the signature, it works out to about fifteen roubles
for the job, and I've had six already in advance. When we have finished
this, we are going to begin a translation about whales, and then some of
the dullest scandals out of the second part of "Les Confessions" we have
marked for translation; somebody has told Heruvimov, that Rousseau was
a kind of Radishchev. You may be sure I don't contradict him, hang him!
Well, would you like to do the second signature of '"Is woman a human
being?"' If you would, take the German and pens and paper--all those
are provided, and take three roubles; for as I have had six roubles in
advance on the whole thing, three roubles come to you for your share.
And when you have finished the signature there will be another three
roubles for you. And please don't think I am doing you a service; quite
the contrary, as soon as you came in, I saw how you could help me; to
begin with, I am weak in spelling, and secondly, I am sometimes utterly
adrift in German, so that I make it up as I go along for the most part.
The only comfort is, that it's bound to be a change for the better.
Though who can tell, maybe it's sometimes for the worse. Will you take
Raskolnikov took the German sheets in silence, took the three roubles
and without a word went out. Razumihin gazed after him in astonishment.
But when Raskolnikov was in the next street, he turned back, mounted the
stairs to Razumihin's again and laying on the table the German article
and the three roubles, went out again, still without uttering a word.
"Are you raving, or what?" Razumihin shouted, roused to fury at last.
"What farce is this? You'll drive me crazy too... what did you come to
see me for, damn you?"
"I don't want... translation," muttered Raskolnikov from the stairs.
"Then what the devil do you want?" shouted Razumihin from above.
Raskolnikov continued descending the staircase in silence.
"Hey, there! Where are you living?"
"Well, confound you then!"
But Raskolnikov was already stepping into the street. On the Nikolaevsky
Bridge he was roused to full consciousness again by an unpleasant
incident. A coachman, after shouting at him two or three times, gave him
a violent lash on the back with his whip, for having almost fallen under
his horses' hoofs. The lash so infuriated him that he dashed away to the
railing (for some unknown reason he had been walking in the very middle
of the bridge in the traffic). He angrily clenched and ground his teeth.
He heard laughter, of course.
"Serves him right!"
"A pickpocket I dare say."
"Pretending to be drunk, for sure, and getting under the wheels on
purpose; and you have to answer for him."
"It's a regular profession, that's what it is."
But while he stood at the railing, still looking angry and bewildered
after the retreating carriage, and rubbing his back, he suddenly felt
someone thrust money into his hand. He looked. It was an elderly woman
in a kerchief and goatskin shoes, with a girl, probably her daughter
wearing a hat, and carrying a green parasol.
"Take it, my good man, in Christ's name."
He took it and they passed on. It was a piece of twenty copecks. From
his dress and appearance they might well have taken him for a beggar
asking alms in the streets, and the gift of the twenty copecks he
doubtless owed to the blow, which made them feel sorry for him.
He closed his hand on the twenty copecks, walked on for ten paces, and
turned facing the Neva, looking towards the palace. The sky was without
a cloud and the water was almost bright blue, which is so rare in the
Neva. The cupola of the cathedral, which is seen at its best from the
bridge about twenty paces from the chapel, glittered in the sunlight,
and in the pure air every ornament on it could be clearly distinguished.
The pain from the lash went off, and Raskolnikov forgot about it; one
uneasy and not quite definite idea occupied him now completely. He stood
still, and gazed long and intently into the distance; this spot was
especially familiar to him. When he was attending the university, he had
hundreds of times--generally on his way home--stood still on this spot,
gazed at this truly magnificent spectacle and almost always marvelled at
a vague and mysterious emotion it roused in him. It left him strangely
cold; this gorgeous picture was for him blank and lifeless. He wondered
every time at his sombre and enigmatic impression and, mistrusting
himself, put off finding the explanation of it. He vividly recalled
those old doubts and perplexities, and it seemed to him that it was
no mere chance that he recalled them now. It struck him as strange and
grotesque, that he should have stopped at the same spot as before,
as though he actually imagined he could think the same thoughts, be
interested in the same theories and pictures that had interested him...
so short a time ago. He felt it almost amusing, and yet it wrung his
heart. Deep down, hidden far away out of sight all that seemed to him
now--all his old past, his old thoughts, his old problems and theories,
his old impressions and that picture and himself and all, all.... He
felt as though he were flying upwards, and everything were vanishing
from his sight. Making an unconscious movement with his hand, he
suddenly became aware of the piece of money in his fist. He opened his
hand, stared at the coin, and with a sweep of his arm flung it into
the water; then he turned and went home. It seemed to him, he had cut
himself off from everyone and from everything at that moment.
Evening was coming on when he reached home, so that he must have been
walking about six hours. How and where he came back he did not remember.
Undressing, and quivering like an overdriven horse, he lay down on the
sofa, drew his greatcoat over him, and at once sank into oblivion....
It was dusk when he was waked up by a fearful scream. Good God, what a
scream! Such unnatural sounds, such howling, wailing, grinding, tears,
blows and curses he had never heard.
He could never have imagined such brutality, such frenzy. In terror he
sat up in bed, almost swooning with agony. But the fighting, wailing
and cursing grew louder and louder. And then to his intense amazement
he caught the voice of his landlady. She was howling, shrieking and
wailing, rapidly, hurriedly, incoherently, so that he could not make
out what she was talking about; she was beseeching, no doubt, not to be
beaten, for she was being mercilessly beaten on the stairs. The voice of
her assailant was so horrible from spite and rage that it was almost
a croak; but he, too, was saying something, and just as quickly
and indistinctly, hurrying and spluttering. All at once Raskolnikov
trembled; he recognised the voice--it was the voice of Ilya Petrovitch.
Ilya Petrovitch here and beating the landlady! He is kicking her,
banging her head against the steps--that's clear, that can be told
from the sounds, from the cries and the thuds. How is it, is the world
topsy-turvy? He could hear people running in crowds from all the storeys
and all the staircases; he heard voices, exclamations, knocking, doors
banging. "But why, why, and how could it be?" he repeated, thinking
seriously that he had gone mad. But no, he heard too distinctly! And
they would come to him then next, "for no doubt... it's all about
that... about yesterday.... Good God!" He would have fastened his door
with the latch, but he could not lift his hand... besides, it would
be useless. Terror gripped his heart like ice, tortured him and numbed
him.... But at last all this uproar, after continuing about ten minutes,
began gradually to subside. The landlady was moaning and groaning; Ilya
Petrovitch was still uttering threats and curses.... But at last he,
too, seemed to be silent, and now he could not be heard. "Can he have
gone away? Good Lord!" Yes, and now the landlady is going too, still
weeping and moaning... and then her door slammed.... Now the crowd was
going from the stairs to their rooms, exclaiming, disputing, calling
to one another, raising their voices to a shout, dropping them to a
whisper. There must have been numbers of them--almost all the inmates
of the block. "But, good God, how could it be! And why, why had he come
Raskolnikov sank worn out on the sofa, but could not close his eyes. He
lay for half an hour in such anguish, such an intolerable sensation of
infinite terror as he had never experienced before. Suddenly a bright
light flashed into his room. Nastasya came in with a candle and a plate
of soup. Looking at him carefully and ascertaining that he was not
asleep, she set the candle on the table and began to lay out what she
had brought--bread, salt, a plate, a spoon.
"You've eaten nothing since yesterday, I warrant. You've been trudging
about all day, and you're shaking with fever."
"Nastasya... what were they beating the landlady for?"
She looked intently at him.
"Who beat the landlady?"
"Just now... half an hour ago, Ilya Petrovitch, the assistant
superintendent, on the stairs.... Why was he ill-treating her like that,
and... why was he here?"
Nastasya scrutinised him, silent and frowning, and her scrutiny lasted a
long time. He felt uneasy, even frightened at her searching eyes.
"Nastasya, why don't you speak?" he said timidly at last in a weak
"It's the blood," she answered at last softly, as though speaking to
"Blood? What blood?" he muttered, growing white and turning towards the
Nastasya still looked at him without speaking.
"Nobody has been beating the landlady," she declared at last in a firm,
He gazed at her, hardly able to breathe.
"I heard it myself.... I was not asleep... I was sitting up," he
said still more timidly. "I listened a long while. The assistant
superintendent came.... Everyone ran out on to the stairs from all the
"No one has been here. That's the blood crying in your ears. When
there's no outlet for it and it gets clotted, you begin fancying
things.... Will you eat something?"
He made no answer. Nastasya still stood over him, watching him.
"Give me something to drink... Nastasya."
She went downstairs and returned with a white earthenware jug of water.
He remembered only swallowing one sip of the cold water and spilling
some on his neck. Then followed forgetfulness.
He was not completely unconscious, however, all the time he was ill; he
was in a feverish state, sometimes delirious, sometimes half conscious.
He remembered a great deal afterwards. Sometimes it seemed as though
there were a number of people round him; they wanted to take him away
somewhere, there was a great deal of squabbling and discussing about
him. Then he would be alone in the room; they had all gone away afraid
of him, and only now and then opened the door a crack to look at him;
they threatened him, plotted something together, laughed, and mocked
at him. He remembered Nastasya often at his bedside; he distinguished
another person, too, whom he seemed to know very well, though he could
not remember who he was, and this fretted him, even made him cry.
Sometimes he fancied he had been lying there a month; at other times
it all seemed part of the same day. But of "that"--of "that" he had
no recollection, and yet every minute he felt that he had forgotten
something he ought to remember. He worried and tormented himself trying
to remember, moaned, flew into a rage, or sank into awful, intolerable
terror. Then he struggled to get up, would have run away, but someone
always prevented him by force, and he sank back into impotence and
forgetfulness. At last he returned to complete consciousness.
It happened at ten o'clock in the morning. On fine days the sun shone
into the room at that hour, throwing a streak of light on the right
wall and the corner near the door. Nastasya was standing beside him
with another person, a complete stranger, who was looking at him
very inquisitively. He was a young man with a beard, wearing a full,
short-waisted coat, and looked like a messenger. The landlady was
peeping in at the half-opened door. Raskolnikov sat up.
"Who is this, Nastasya?" he asked, pointing to the young man.
"I say, he's himself again!" she said.
"He is himself," echoed the man.
Concluding that he had returned to his senses, the landlady closed the
door and disappeared. She was always shy and dreaded conversations or
discussions. She was a woman of forty, not at all bad-looking, fat
and buxom, with black eyes and eyebrows, good-natured from fatness and
laziness, and absurdly bashful.
"Who... are you?" he went on, addressing the man. But at that moment
the door was flung open, and, stooping a little, as he was so tall,
Razumihin came in.
"What a cabin it is!" he cried. "I am always knocking my head. You call
this a lodging! So you are conscious, brother? I've just heard the news
"He has just come to," said Nastasya.
"Just come to," echoed the man again, with a smile.
"And who are you?" Razumihin asked, suddenly addressing him. "My name is
Vrazumihin, at your service; not Razumihin, as I am always called, but
Vrazumihin, a student and gentleman; and he is my friend. And who are
"I am the messenger from our office, from the merchant Shelopaev, and
I've come on business."
"Please sit down." Razumihin seated himself on the other side of the
table. "It's a good thing you've come to, brother," he went on to
Raskolnikov. "For the last four days you have scarcely eaten or drunk
anything. We had to give you tea in spoonfuls. I brought Zossimov to see
you twice. You remember Zossimov? He examined you carefully and said at
once it was nothing serious--something seemed to have gone to your head.
Some nervous nonsense, the result of bad feeding, he says you have not
had enough beer and radish, but it's nothing much, it will pass and you
will be all right. Zossimov is a first-rate fellow! He is making quite a
name. Come, I won't keep you," he said, addressing the man again. "Will
you explain what you want? You must know, Rodya, this is the second time
they have sent from the office; but it was another man last time, and I
talked to him. Who was it came before?"
"That was the day before yesterday, I venture to say, if you please,
sir. That was Alexey Semyonovitch; he is in our office, too."
"He was more intelligent than you, don't you think so?"
"Yes, indeed, sir, he is of more weight than I am."
"Quite so; go on."
"At your mamma's request, through Afanasy Ivanovitch Vahrushin, of whom
I presume you have heard more than once, a remittance is sent to you
from our office," the man began, addressing Raskolnikov. "If you are in
an intelligible condition, I've thirty-five roubles to remit to you, as
Semyon Semyonovitch has received from Afanasy Ivanovitch at your mamma's
request instructions to that effect, as on previous occasions. Do you
know him, sir?"
"Yes, I remember... Vahrushin," Raskolnikov said dreamily.
"You hear, he knows Vahrushin," cried Razumihin. "He is in 'an
intelligible condition'! And I see you are an intelligent man too. Well,
it's always pleasant to hear words of wisdom."
"That's the gentleman, Vahrushin, Afanasy Ivanovitch. And at the request
of your mamma, who has sent you a remittance once before in the
same manner through him, he did not refuse this time also, and sent
instructions to Semyon Semyonovitch some days since to hand you
thirty-five roubles in the hope of better to come."
"That 'hoping for better to come' is the best thing you've said, though
'your mamma' is not bad either. Come then, what do you say? Is he fully
"That's all right. If only he can sign this little paper."
"He can scrawl his name. Have you got the book?"
"Yes, here's the book."
"Give it to me. Here, Rodya, sit up. I'll hold you. Take the pen and
scribble 'Raskolnikov' for him. For just now, brother, money is sweeter
to us than treacle."
"I don't want it," said Raskolnikov, pushing away the pen.
"Not want it?"
"I won't sign it."
"How the devil can you do without signing it?"
"I don't want... the money."
"Don't want the money! Come, brother, that's nonsense, I bear witness.
Don't trouble, please, it's only that he is on his travels again. But
that's pretty common with him at all times though.... You are a man of
judgment and we will take him in hand, that is, more simply, take his
hand and he will sign it. Here."
"But I can come another time."
"No, no. Why should we trouble you? You are a man of judgment.... Now,
Rodya, don't keep your visitor, you see he is waiting," and he made
ready to hold Raskolnikov's hand in earnest.
"Stop, I'll do it alone," said the latter, taking the pen and signing
The messenger took out the money and went away.
"Bravo! And now, brother, are you hungry?"
"Yes," answered Raskolnikov.
"Is there any soup?"
"Some of yesterday's," answered Nastasya, who was still standing there.
"With potatoes and rice in it?"
"I know it by heart. Bring soup and give us some tea."
Raskolnikov looked at all this with profound astonishment and a dull,
unreasoning terror. He made up his mind to keep quiet and see what
would happen. "I believe I am not wandering. I believe it's reality," he
In a couple of minutes Nastasya returned with the soup, and announced
that the tea would be ready directly. With the soup she brought two
spoons, two plates, salt, pepper, mustard for the beef, and so on. The
table was set as it had not been for a long time. The cloth was clean.
"It would not be amiss, Nastasya, if Praskovya Pavlovna were to send us
up a couple of bottles of beer. We could empty them."
"Well, you are a cool hand," muttered Nastasya, and she departed to
carry out his orders.
Raskolnikov still gazed wildly with strained attention. Meanwhile
Razumihin sat down on the sofa beside him, as clumsily as a bear put his
left arm round Raskolnikov's head, although he was able to sit up, and
with his right hand gave him a spoonful of soup, blowing on it that
it might not burn him. But the soup was only just warm. Raskolnikov
swallowed one spoonful greedily, then a second, then a third. But after
giving him a few more spoonfuls of soup, Razumihin suddenly stopped, and
said that he must ask Zossimov whether he ought to have more.
Nastasya came in with two bottles of beer.
"And will you have tea?"
"Cut along, Nastasya, and bring some tea, for tea we may venture on
without the faculty. But here is the beer!" He moved back to his chair,
pulled the soup and meat in front of him, and began eating as though he
had not touched food for three days.
"I must tell you, Rodya, I dine like this here every day now," he
mumbled with his mouth full of beef, "and it's all Pashenka, your dear
little landlady, who sees to that; she loves to do anything for me. I
don't ask for it, but, of course, I don't object. And here's Nastasya
with the tea. She is a quick girl. Nastasya, my dear, won't you have
"Get along with your nonsense!"
"A cup of tea, then?"
"A cup of tea, maybe."
"Pour it out. Stay, I'll pour it out myself. Sit down."
He poured out two cups, left his dinner, and sat on the sofa again. As
before, he put his left arm round the sick man's head, raised him up
and gave him tea in spoonfuls, again blowing each spoonful steadily and
earnestly, as though this process was the principal and most effective
means towards his friend's recovery. Raskolnikov said nothing and made
no resistance, though he felt quite strong enough to sit up on the sofa
without support and could not merely have held a cup or a spoon, but
even perhaps could have walked about. But from some queer, almost
animal, cunning he conceived the idea of hiding his strength and lying
low for a time, pretending if necessary not to be yet in full possession
of his faculties, and meanwhile listening to find out what was going on.
Yet he could not overcome his sense of repugnance. After sipping a dozen
spoonfuls of tea, he suddenly released his head, pushed the spoon away
capriciously, and sank back on the pillow. There were actually real
pillows under his head now, down pillows in clean cases, he observed
that, too, and took note of it.
"Pashenka must give us some raspberry jam to-day to make him some
raspberry tea," said Razumihin, going back to his chair and attacking
his soup and beer again.
"And where is she to get raspberries for you?" asked Nastasya, balancing
a saucer on her five outspread fingers and sipping tea through a lump of
"She'll get it at the shop, my dear. You see, Rodya, all sorts of things
have been happening while you have been laid up. When you decamped in
that rascally way without leaving your address, I felt so angry that I
resolved to find you out and punish you. I set to work that very day.
How I ran about making inquiries for you! This lodging of yours I had
forgotten, though I never remembered it, indeed, because I did not know
it; and as for your old lodgings, I could only remember it was at the
Five Corners, Harlamov's house. I kept trying to find that Harlamov's
house, and afterwards it turned out that it was not Harlamov's, but
Buch's. How one muddles up sound sometimes! So I lost my temper, and I
went on the chance to the address bureau next day, and only fancy, in
two minutes they looked you up! Your name is down there."
"I should think so; and yet a General Kobelev they could not find while
I was there. Well, it's a long story. But as soon as I did land on this
place, I soon got to know all your affairs--all, all, brother, I know
everything; Nastasya here will tell you. I made the acquaintance of
Nikodim Fomitch and Ilya Petrovitch, and the house-porter and Mr.
Zametov, Alexandr Grigorievitch, the head clerk in the police office,
and, last, but not least, of Pashenka; Nastasya here knows...."
"He's got round her," Nastasya murmured, smiling slyly.
"Why don't you put the sugar in your tea, Nastasya Nikiforovna?"
"You are a one!" Nastasya cried suddenly, going off into a giggle. "I am
not Nikiforovna, but Petrovna," she added suddenly, recovering from her
"I'll make a note of it. Well, brother, to make a long story short,
I was going in for a regular explosion here to uproot all malignant
influences in the locality, but Pashenka won the day. I had not
expected, brother, to find her so... prepossessing. Eh, what do you
Raskolnikov did not speak, but he still kept his eyes fixed upon him,
full of alarm.
"And all that could be wished, indeed, in every respect," Razumihin went
on, not at all embarrassed by his silence.
"Ah, the sly dog!" Nastasya shrieked again. This conversation afforded
her unspeakable delight.
"It's a pity, brother, that you did not set to work in the right way
at first. You ought to have approached her differently. She is, so
to speak, a most unaccountable character. But we will talk about her
character later.... How could you let things come to such a pass that
she gave up sending you your dinner? And that I O U? You must have been
mad to sign an I O U. And that promise of marriage when her daughter,
Natalya Yegorovna, was alive?... I know all about it! But I see that's
a delicate matter and I am an ass; forgive me. But, talking of
foolishness, do you know Praskovya Pavlovna is not nearly so foolish as
you would think at first sight?"
"No," mumbled Raskolnikov, looking away, but feeling that it was better
to keep up the conversation.
"She isn't, is she?" cried Razumihin, delighted to get an answer out
of him. "But she is not very clever either, eh? She is essentially,
essentially an unaccountable character! I am sometimes quite at a loss,
I assure you.... She must be forty; she says she is thirty-six, and
of course she has every right to say so. But I swear I judge her
intellectually, simply from the metaphysical point of view; there is a
sort of symbolism sprung up between us, a sort of algebra or what not!
I don't understand it! Well, that's all nonsense. Only, seeing that you
are not a student now and have lost your lessons and your clothes, and
that through the young lady's death she has no need to treat you as
a relation, she suddenly took fright; and as you hid in your den and
dropped all your old relations with her, she planned to get rid of you.
And she's been cherishing that design a long time, but was sorry to lose
the I O U, for you assured her yourself that your mother would pay."
"It was base of me to say that.... My mother herself is almost
a beggar... and I told a lie to keep my lodging... and be fed,"
Raskolnikov said loudly and distinctly.
"Yes, you did very sensibly. But the worst of it is that at that point
Mr. Tchebarov turns up, a business man. Pashenka would never have
thought of doing anything on her own account, she is too retiring; but
the business man is by no means retiring, and first thing he puts the
question, 'Is there any hope of realising the I O U?' Answer: there is,
because he has a mother who would save her Rodya with her hundred and
twenty-five roubles pension, if she has to starve herself; and a sister,
too, who would go into bondage for his sake. That's what he was building
upon.... Why do you start? I know all the ins and outs of your affairs
now, my dear boy--it's not for nothing that you were so open with
Pashenka when you were her prospective son-in-law, and I say all this as
a friend.... But I tell you what it is; an honest and sensitive man is
open; and a business man 'listens and goes on eating' you up. Well,
then she gave the I O U by way of payment to this Tchebarov, and without
hesitation he made a formal demand for payment. When I heard of all this
I wanted to blow him up, too, to clear my conscience, but by that time
harmony reigned between me and Pashenka, and I insisted on stopping
the whole affair, engaging that you would pay. I went security for you,
brother. Do you understand? We called Tchebarov, flung him ten
roubles and got the I O U back from him, and here I have the honour of
presenting it to you. She trusts your word now. Here, take it, you see I
have torn it."
Razumihin put the note on the table. Raskolnikov looked at him and
turned to the wall without uttering a word. Even Razumihin felt a
"I see, brother," he said a moment later, "that I have been playing the
fool again. I thought I should amuse you with my chatter, and I believe
I have only made you cross."
"Was it you I did not recognise when I was delirious?" Raskolnikov
asked, after a moment's pause without turning his head.
"Yes, and you flew into a rage about it, especially when I brought
Zametov one day."
"Zametov? The head clerk? What for?" Raskolnikov turned round quickly
and fixed his eyes on Razumihin.
"What's the matter with you?... What are you upset about? He wanted to
make your acquaintance because I talked to him a lot about you.... How
could I have found out so much except from him? He is a capital
fellow, brother, first-rate... in his own way, of course. Now we are
friends--see each other almost every day. I have moved into this part,
you know. I have only just moved. I've been with him to Luise Ivanovna
once or twice.... Do you remember Luise, Luise Ivanovna?
"Did I say anything in delirium?"
"I should think so! You were beside yourself."
"What did I rave about?"
"What next? What did you rave about? What people do rave about.... Well,
brother, now I must not lose time. To work." He got up from the table
and took up his cap.
"What did I rave about?"
"How he keeps on! Are you afraid of having let out some secret? Don't
worry yourself; you said nothing about a countess. But you said a lot
about a bulldog, and about ear-rings and chains, and about Krestovsky
Island, and some porter, and Nikodim Fomitch and Ilya Petrovitch, the
assistant superintendent. And another thing that was of special interest
to you was your own sock. You whined, 'Give me my sock.' Zametov
hunted all about your room for your socks, and with his own scented,
ring-bedecked fingers he gave you the rag. And only then were you
comforted, and for the next twenty-four hours you held the wretched
thing in your hand; we could not get it from you. It is most likely
somewhere under your quilt at this moment. And then you asked so
piteously for fringe for your trousers. We tried to find out what sort
of fringe, but we could not make it out. Now to business! Here are
thirty-five roubles; I take ten of them, and shall give you an account
of them in an hour or two. I will let Zossimov know at the same time,
though he ought to have been here long ago, for it is nearly twelve. And
you, Nastasya, look in pretty often while I am away, to see whether he
wants a drink or anything else. And I will tell Pashenka what is wanted
"He calls her Pashenka! Ah, he's a deep one!" said Nastasya as he went
out; then she opened the door and stood listening, but could not resist
running downstairs after him. She was very eager to hear what he would
say to the landlady. She was evidently quite fascinated by Razumihin.
No sooner had she left the room than the sick man flung off the
bedclothes and leapt out of bed like a madman. With burning, twitching
impatience he had waited for them to be gone so that he might set to
work. But to what work? Now, as though to spite him, it eluded him.
"Good God, only tell me one thing: do they know of it yet or not? What
if they know it and are only pretending, mocking me while I am laid up,
and then they will come in and tell me that it's been discovered long
ago and that they have only... What am I to do now? That's what I've
forgotten, as though on purpose; forgotten it all at once, I remembered
a minute ago."
He stood in the middle of the room and gazed in miserable bewilderment
about him; he walked to the door, opened it, listened; but that was not
what he wanted. Suddenly, as though recalling something, he rushed to
the corner where there was a hole under the paper, began examining it,
put his hand into the hole, fumbled--but that was not it. He went to the
stove, opened it and began rummaging in the ashes; the frayed edges of
his trousers and the rags cut off his pocket were lying there just as
he had thrown them. No one had looked, then! Then he remembered the sock
about which Razumihin had just been telling him. Yes, there it lay on
the sofa under the quilt, but it was so covered with dust and grime that
Zametov could not have seen anything on it.
"Bah, Zametov! The police office! And why am I sent for to the police
office? Where's the notice? Bah! I am mixing it up; that was then. I
looked at my sock then, too, but now... now I have been ill. But
what did Zametov come for? Why did Razumihin bring him?" he muttered,
helplessly sitting on the sofa again. "What does it mean? Am I still in
delirium, or is it real? I believe it is real.... Ah, I remember; I must
escape! Make haste to escape. Yes, I must, I must escape! Yes... but
where? And where are my clothes? I've no boots. They've taken them away!
They've hidden them! I understand! Ah, here is my coat--they passed that
over! And here is money on the table, thank God! And here's the I O U...
I'll take the money and go and take another lodging. They won't find
me!... Yes, but the address bureau? They'll find me, Razumihin will find
me. Better escape altogether... far away... to America, and let them
do their worst! And take the I O U... it would be of use there.... What
else shall I take? They think I am ill! They don't know that I can walk,
ha-ha-ha! I could see by their eyes that they know all about it! If
only I could get downstairs! And what if they have set a watch
there--policemen! What's this tea? Ah, and here is beer left, half a
He snatched up the bottle, which still contained a glassful of beer, and
gulped it down with relish, as though quenching a flame in his breast.
But in another minute the beer had gone to his head, and a faint and
even pleasant shiver ran down his spine. He lay down and pulled the
quilt over him. His sick and incoherent thoughts grew more and more
disconnected, and soon a light, pleasant drowsiness came upon him. With
a sense of comfort he nestled his head into the pillow, wrapped more
closely about him the soft, wadded quilt which had replaced the old,
ragged greatcoat, sighed softly and sank into a deep, sound, refreshing
He woke up, hearing someone come in. He opened his eyes and saw
Razumihin standing in the doorway, uncertain whether to come in or
not. Raskolnikov sat up quickly on the sofa and gazed at him, as though
trying to recall something.
"Ah, you are not asleep! Here I am! Nastasya, bring in the parcel!"
Razumihin shouted down the stairs. "You shall have the account
"What time is it?" asked Raskolnikov, looking round uneasily.
"Yes, you had a fine sleep, brother, it's almost evening, it will be six
o'clock directly. You have slept more than six hours."
"Good heavens! Have I?"
"And why not? It will do you good. What's the hurry? A tryst, is it?
We've all time before us. I've been waiting for the last three hours for
you; I've been up twice and found you asleep. I've called on Zossimov
twice; not at home, only fancy! But no matter, he will turn up. And
I've been out on my own business, too. You know I've been moving to-day,
moving with my uncle. I have an uncle living with me now. But that's
no matter, to business. Give me the parcel, Nastasya. We will open it
directly. And how do you feel now, brother?"
"I am quite well, I am not ill. Razumihin, have you been here long?"
"I tell you I've been waiting for the last three hours."
"How do you mean?"
"How long have you been coming here?"
"Why I told you all about it this morning. Don't you remember?"
Raskolnikov pondered. The morning seemed like a dream to him. He could
not remember alone, and looked inquiringly at Razumihin.
"Hm!" said the latter, "he has forgotten. I fancied then that you were
not quite yourself. Now you are better for your sleep.... You really
look much better. First-rate! Well, to business. Look here, my dear
He began untying the bundle, which evidently interested him.
"Believe me, brother, this is something specially near my heart. For we
must make a man of you. Let's begin from the top. Do you see this
cap?" he said, taking out of the bundle a fairly good though cheap and
ordinary cap. "Let me try it on."
"Presently, afterwards," said Raskolnikov, waving it off pettishly.
"Come, Rodya, my boy, don't oppose it, afterwards will be too late; and
I shan't sleep all night, for I bought it by guess, without measure.
Just right!" he cried triumphantly, fitting it on, "just your size! A
proper head-covering is the first thing in dress and a recommendation in
its own way. Tolstyakov, a friend of mine, is always obliged to take off
his pudding basin when he goes into any public place where other
people wear their hats or caps. People think he does it from slavish
politeness, but it's simply because he is ashamed of his bird's nest;
he is such a boastful fellow! Look, Nastasya, here are two specimens of
headgear: this Palmerston"--he took from the corner Raskolnikov's old,
battered hat, which for some unknown reason, he called a Palmerston--"or
this jewel! Guess the price, Rodya, what do you suppose I paid for it,
Nastasya!" he said, turning to her, seeing that Raskolnikov did not
"Twenty copecks, no more, I dare say," answered Nastasya.
"Twenty copecks, silly!" he cried, offended. "Why, nowadays you would
cost more than that--eighty copecks! And that only because it has been
worn. And it's bought on condition that when's it's worn out, they will
give you another next year. Yes, on my word! Well, now let us pass to
the United States of America, as they called them at school. I assure
you I am proud of these breeches," and he exhibited to Raskolnikov a
pair of light, summer trousers of grey woollen material. "No holes, no
spots, and quite respectable, although a little worn; and a waistcoat
to match, quite in the fashion. And its being worn really is an
improvement, it's softer, smoother.... You see, Rodya, to my thinking,
the great thing for getting on in the world is always to keep to the
seasons; if you don't insist on having asparagus in January, you keep
your money in your purse; and it's the same with this purchase. It's
summer now, so I've been buying summer things--warmer materials will be
wanted for autumn, so you will have to throw these away in any case...
especially as they will be done for by then from their own lack of
coherence if not your higher standard of luxury. Come, price them! What
do you say? Two roubles twenty-five copecks! And remember the condition:
if you wear these out, you will have another suit for nothing! They only
do business on that system at Fedyaev's; if you've bought a thing once,
you are satisfied for life, for you will never go there again of your
own free will. Now for the boots. What do you say? You see that they are
a bit worn, but they'll last a couple of months, for it's foreign work
and foreign leather; the secretary of the English Embassy sold them last
week--he had only worn them six days, but he was very short of cash.
Price--a rouble and a half. A bargain?"
"But perhaps they won't fit," observed Nastasya.
"Not fit? Just look!" and he pulled out of his pocket Raskolnikov's
old, broken boot, stiffly coated with dry mud. "I did not go
empty-handed--they took the size from this monster. We all did our best.
And as to your linen, your landlady has seen to that. Here, to begin
with are three shirts, hempen but with a fashionable front.... Well
now then, eighty copecks the cap, two roubles twenty-five copecks the
suit--together three roubles five copecks--a rouble and a half for the
boots--for, you see, they are very good--and that makes four roubles
fifty-five copecks; five roubles for the underclothes--they were
bought in the lo--which makes exactly nine roubles fifty-five copecks.
Forty-five copecks change in coppers. Will you take it? And so, Rodya,
you are set up with a complete new rig-out, for your overcoat will
serve, and even has a style of its own. That comes from getting one's
clothes from Sharmer's! As for your socks and other things, I leave them
to you; we've twenty-five roubles left. And as for Pashenka and paying
for your lodging, don't you worry. I tell you she'll trust you for
anything. And now, brother, let me change your linen, for I daresay you
will throw off your illness with your shirt."
"Let me be! I don't want to!" Raskolnikov waved him off. He had listened
with disgust to Razumihin's efforts to be playful about his purchases.
"Come, brother, don't tell me I've been trudging around for nothing,"
Razumihin insisted. "Nastasya, don't be bashful, but help me--that's
it," and in spite of Raskolnikov's resistance he changed his linen. The
latter sank back on the pillows and for a minute or two said nothing.
"It will be long before I get rid of them," he thought. "What money was
all that bought with?" he asked at last, gazing at the wall.
"Money? Why, your own, what the messenger brought from Vahrushin, your
mother sent it. Have you forgotten that, too?"
"I remember now," said Raskolnikov after a long, sullen silence.
Razumihin looked at him, frowning and uneasy.
The door opened and a tall, stout man whose appearance seemed familiar
to Raskolnikov came in.
Zossimov was a tall, fat man with a puffy, colourless, clean-shaven face
and straight flaxen hair. He wore spectacles, and a big gold ring on
his fat finger. He was twenty-seven. He had on a light grey fashionable
loose coat, light summer trousers, and everything about him loose,
fashionable and spick and span; his linen was irreproachable, his
watch-chain was massive. In manner he was slow and, as it were,
nonchalant, and at the same time studiously free and easy; he made
efforts to conceal his self-importance, but it was apparent at every
instant. All his acquaintances found him tedious, but said he was clever
at his work.
"I've been to you twice to-day, brother. You see, he's come to himself,"
"I see, I see; and how do we feel now, eh?" said Zossimov to
Raskolnikov, watching him carefully and, sitting down at the foot of the
sofa, he settled himself as comfortably as he could.
"He is still depressed," Razumihin went on. "We've just changed his
linen and he almost cried."
"That's very natural; you might have put it off if he did not wish
it.... His pulse is first-rate. Is your head still aching, eh?"
"I am well, I am perfectly well!" Raskolnikov declared positively
and irritably. He raised himself on the sofa and looked at them with
glittering eyes, but sank back on to the pillow at once and turned to
the wall. Zossimov watched him intently.
"Very good.... Going on all right," he said lazily. "Has he eaten
They told him, and asked what he might have.
"He may have anything... soup, tea... mushrooms and cucumbers, of
course, you must not give him; he'd better not have meat either, and...
but no need to tell you that!" Razumihin and he looked at each
other. "No more medicine or anything. I'll look at him again to-morrow.
Perhaps, to-day even... but never mind..."
"To-morrow evening I shall take him for a walk," said Razumihin. "We are
going to the Yusupov garden and then to the Palais de Crystal."
"I would not disturb him to-morrow at all, but I don't know... a little,
maybe... but we'll see."
"Ach, what a nuisance! I've got a house-warming party to-night; it's
only a step from here. Couldn't he come? He could lie on the sofa. You
are coming?" Razumihin said to Zossimov. "Don't forget, you promised."
"All right, only rather later. What are you going to do?"
"Oh, nothing--tea, vodka, herrings. There will be a pie... just our
"All neighbours here, almost all new friends, except my old uncle, and
he is new too--he only arrived in Petersburg yesterday to see to some
business of his. We meet once in five years."
"What is he?"
"He's been stagnating all his life as a district postmaster; gets a
little pension. He is sixty-five--not worth talking about.... But I
am fond of him. Porfiry Petrovitch, the head of the Investigation
Department here... But you know him."
"Is he a relation of yours, too?"
"A very distant one. But why are you scowling? Because you quarrelled
once, won't you come then?"
"I don't care a damn for him."
"So much the better. Well, there will be some students, a teacher, a
government clerk, a musician, an officer and Zametov."
"Do tell me, please, what you or he"--Zossimov nodded at
Raskolnikov--"can have in common with this Zametov?"
"Oh, you particular gentleman! Principles! You are worked by principles,
as it were by springs; you won't venture to turn round on your own
account. If a man is a nice fellow, that's the only principle I go upon.
Zametov is a delightful person."
"Though he does take bribes."
"Well, he does! and what of it? I don't care if he does take bribes,"
Razumihin cried with unnatural irritability. "I don't praise him for
taking bribes. I only say he is a nice man in his own way! But if one
looks at men in all ways--are there many good ones left? Why, I am sure
I shouldn't be worth a baked onion myself... perhaps with you thrown
"That's too little; I'd give two for you."
"And I wouldn't give more than one for you. No more of your jokes!
Zametov is no more than a boy. I can pull his hair and one must draw him
not repel him. You'll never improve a man by repelling him, especially
a boy. One has to be twice as careful with a boy. Oh, you progressive
dullards! You don't understand. You harm yourselves running another man
down.... But if you want to know, we really have something in common."
"I should like to know what."
"Why, it's all about a house-painter.... We are getting him out of
a mess! Though indeed there's nothing to fear now. The matter is
absolutely self-evident. We only put on steam."
"Why, haven't I told you about it? I only told you the beginning then
about the murder of the old pawnbroker-woman. Well, the painter is mixed
up in it..."
"Oh, I heard about that murder before and was rather interested in it...
partly... for one reason.... I read about it in the papers, too...."
"Lizaveta was murdered, too," Nastasya blurted out, suddenly addressing
Raskolnikov. She remained in the room all the time, standing by the door
"Lizaveta," murmured Raskolnikov hardly audibly.
"Lizaveta, who sold old clothes. Didn't you know her? She used to come
here. She mended a shirt for you, too."
Raskolnikov turned to the wall where in the dirty, yellow paper he
picked out one clumsy, white flower with brown lines on it and began
examining how many petals there were in it, how many scallops in the
petals and how many lines on them. He felt his arms and legs as lifeless
as though they had been cut off. He did not attempt to move, but stared
obstinately at the flower.
"But what about the painter?" Zossimov interrupted Nastasya's chatter
with marked displeasure. She sighed and was silent.
"Why, he was accused of the murder," Razumihin went on hotly.
"Was there evidence against him then?"
"Evidence, indeed! Evidence that was no evidence, and that's what we
have to prove. It was just as they pitched on those fellows, Koch and
Pestryakov, at first. Foo! how stupidly it's all done, it makes one
sick, though it's not one's business! Pestryakov may be coming
to-night.... By the way, Rodya, you've heard about the business already;
it happened before you were ill, the day before you fainted at the
police office while they were talking about it."
Zossimov looked curiously at Raskolnikov. He did not stir.
"But I say, Razumihin, I wonder at you. What a busybody you are!"
"Maybe I am, but we will get him off anyway," shouted Razumihin,
bringing his fist down on the table. "What's the most offensive is not
their lying--one can always forgive lying--lying is a delightful thing,
for it leads to truth--what is offensive is that they lie and worship
their own lying.... I respect Porfiry, but... What threw them out at
first? The door was locked, and when they came back with the porter
it was open. So it followed that Koch and Pestryakov were the
murderers--that was their logic!"
"But don't excite yourself; they simply detained them, they could not
help that.... And, by the way, I've met that man Koch. He used to buy
unredeemed pledges from the old woman? Eh?"
"Yes, he is a swindler. He buys up bad debts, too. He makes a profession
of it. But enough of him! Do you know what makes me angry? It's their
sickening rotten, petrified routine.... And this case might be the means
of introducing a new method. One can show from the psychological data
alone how to get on the track of the real man. 'We have facts,' they
say. But facts are not everything--at least half the business lies in
how you interpret them!"
"Can you interpret them, then?"
"Anyway, one can't hold one's tongue when one has a feeling, a tangible
feeling, that one might be a help if only.... Eh! Do you know the
details of the case?"
"I am waiting to hear about the painter."
"Oh, yes! Well, here's the story. Early on the third day after the
murder, when they were still dandling Koch and Pestryakov--though they
accounted for every step they took and it was as plain as a pikestaff--an
unexpected fact turned up. A peasant called Dushkin, who keeps a
dram-shop facing the house, brought to the police office a jeweller's
case containing some gold ear-rings, and told a long rigamarole. 'The
day before yesterday, just after eight o'clock'--mark the day and the
hour!--'a journeyman house-painter, Nikolay, who had been in to see me
already that day, brought me this box of gold ear-rings and stones, and
asked me to give him two roubles for them. When I asked him where he got
them, he said that he picked them up in the street. I did not ask him
anything more.' I am telling you Dushkin's story. 'I gave him a note'--a
rouble that is--'for I thought if he did not pawn it with me he would
with another. It would all come to the same thing--he'd spend it on
drink, so the thing had better be with me. The further you hide it
the quicker you will find it, and if anything turns up, if I hear any
rumours, I'll take it to the police.' Of course, that's all taradiddle;
he lies like a horse, for I know this Dushkin, he is a pawnbroker and
a receiver of stolen goods, and he did not cheat Nikolay out of a
thirty-rouble trinket in order to give it to the police. He was simply
afraid. But no matter, to return to Dushkin's story. 'I've known
this peasant, Nikolay Dementyev, from a child; he comes from the same
province and district of Zara´sk, we are both Ryazan men. And though
Nikolay is not a drunkard, he drinks, and I knew he had a job in that
house, painting work with Dmitri, who comes from the same village, too.
As soon as he got the rouble he changed it, had a couple of glasses,
took his change and went out. But I did not see Dmitri with him then.
And the next day I heard that someone had murdered Alyona Ivanovna and
her sister, Lizaveta Ivanovna, with an axe. I knew them, and I felt
suspicious about the ear-rings at once, for I knew the murdered woman
lent money on pledges. I went to the house, and began to make careful
inquiries without saying a word to anyone. First of all I asked, "Is
Nikolay here?" Dmitri told me that Nikolay had gone off on the spree; he
had come home at daybreak drunk, stayed in the house about ten minutes,
and went out again. Dmitri didn't see him again and is finishing the
job alone. And their job is on the same staircase as the murder, on
the second floor. When I heard all that I did not say a word to
anyone'--that's Dushkin's tale--'but I found out what I could about
the murder, and went home feeling as suspicious as ever. And at eight
o'clock this morning'--that was the third day, you understand--'I saw
Nikolay coming in, not sober, though not to say very drunk--he could
understand what was said to him. He sat down on the bench and did not
speak. There was only one stranger in the bar and a man I knew asleep
on a bench and our two boys. "Have you seen Dmitri?" said I. "No, I
haven't," said he. "And you've not been here either?" "Not since the day
before yesterday," said he. "And where did you sleep last night?"
"In Peski, with the Kolomensky men." "And where did you get those
ear-rings?" I asked. "I found them in the street," and the way he said
it was a bit queer; he did not look at me. "Did you hear what happened
that very evening, at that very hour, on that same staircase?" said I.
"No," said he, "I had not heard," and all the while he was listening,
his eyes were staring out of his head and he turned as white as chalk. I
told him all about it and he took his hat and began getting up. I wanted
to keep him. "Wait a bit, Nikolay," said I, "won't you have a drink?"
And I signed to the boy to hold the door, and I came out from behind the
bar; but he darted out and down the street to the turning at a run.
I have not seen him since. Then my doubts were at an end--it was his
doing, as clear as could be....'"
"I should think so," said Zossimov.
"Wait! Hear the end. Of course they sought high and low for Nikolay;
they detained Dushkin and searched his house; Dmitri, too, was arrested;
the Kolomensky men also were turned inside out. And the day before
yesterday they arrested Nikolay in a tavern at the end of the town. He
had gone there, taken the silver cross off his neck and asked for a dram
for it. They gave it to him. A few minutes afterwards the woman went
to the cowshed, and through a crack in the wall she saw in the stable
adjoining he had made a noose of his sash from the beam, stood on a
block of wood, and was trying to put his neck in the noose. The woman
screeched her hardest; people ran in. 'So that's what you are up to!'
'Take me,' he says, 'to such-and-such a police officer; I'll confess
everything.' Well, they took him to that police station--that is
here--with a suitable escort. So they asked him this and that, how old
he is, 'twenty-two,' and so on. At the question, 'When you were working
with Dmitri, didn't you see anyone on the staircase at such-and-such a
time?'--answer: 'To be sure folks may have gone up and down, but I did
not notice them.' 'And didn't you hear anything, any noise, and so on?'
'We heard nothing special.' 'And did you hear, Nikolay, that on the same
day Widow So-and-so and her sister were murdered and robbed?' 'I
never knew a thing about it. The first I heard of it was from Afanasy
Pavlovitch the day before yesterday.' 'And where did you find the
ear-rings?' 'I found them on the pavement.' 'Why didn't you go to work
with Dmitri the other day?' 'Because I was drinking.' 'And where were
you drinking?' 'Oh, in such-and-such a place.' 'Why did you run away
from Dushkin's?' 'Because I was awfully frightened.' 'What were
you frightened of?' 'That I should be accused.' 'How could you be
frightened, if you felt free from guilt?' Now, Zossimov, you may not
believe me, that question was put literally in those words. I know it
for a fact, it was repeated to me exactly! What do you say to that?"
"Well, anyway, there's the evidence."
"I am not talking of the evidence now, I am talking about that question,
of their own idea of themselves. Well, so they squeezed and squeezed
him and he confessed: 'I did not find it in the street, but in the flat
where I was painting with Dmitri.' 'And how was that?' 'Why, Dmitri and
I were painting there all day, and we were just getting ready to go, and
Dmitri took a brush and painted my face, and he ran off and I after him.
I ran after him, shouting my hardest, and at the bottom of the stairs I
ran right against the porter and some gentlemen--and how many gentlemen
were there I don't remember. And the porter swore at me, and the other
porter swore, too, and the porter's wife came out, and swore at us, too;
and a gentleman came into the entry with a lady, and he swore at us,
too, for Dmitri and I lay right across the way. I got hold of Dmitri's
hair and knocked him down and began beating him. And Dmitri, too, caught
me by the hair and began beating me. But we did it all not for temper
but in a friendly way, for sport. And then Dmitri escaped and ran into
the street, and I ran after him; but I did not catch him, and went back
to the flat alone; I had to clear up my things. I began putting them
together, expecting Dmitri to come, and there in the passage, in the
corner by the door, I stepped on the box. I saw it lying there wrapped
up in paper. I took off the paper, saw some little hooks, undid them,
and in the box were the ear-rings....'"
"Behind the door? Lying behind the door? Behind the door?" Raskolnikov
cried suddenly, staring with a blank look of terror at Razumihin, and he
slowly sat up on the sofa, leaning on his hand.
"Yes... why? What's the matter? What's wrong?" Razumihin, too, got up
from his seat.
"Nothing," Raskolnikov answered faintly, turning to the wall. All were
silent for a while.
"He must have waked from a dream," Razumihin said at last, looking
inquiringly at Zossimov. The latter slightly shook his head.
"Well, go on," said Zossimov. "What next?"
"What next? As soon as he saw the ear-rings, forgetting Dmitri and
everything, he took up his cap and ran to Dushkin and, as we know, got
a rouble from him. He told a lie saying he found them in the street, and
went off drinking. He keeps repeating his old story about the murder:
'I know nothing of it, never heard of it till the day before yesterday.'
'And why didn't you come to the police till now?' 'I was frightened.'
'And why did you try to hang yourself?' 'From anxiety.' 'What anxiety?'
'That I should be accused of it.' Well, that's the whole story. And now
what do you suppose they deduced from that?"
"Why, there's no supposing. There's a clue, such as it is, a fact. You
wouldn't have your painter set free?"
"Now they've simply taken him for the murderer. They haven't a shadow of
"That's nonsense. You are excited. But what about the ear-rings? You
must admit that, if on the very same day and hour ear-rings from the old
woman's box have come into Nikolay's hands, they must have come there
somehow. That's a good deal in such a case."
"How did they get there? How did they get there?" cried Razumihin.
"How can you, a doctor, whose duty it is to study man and who has more
opportunity than anyone else for studying human nature--how can you fail
to see the character of the man in the whole story? Don't you see at
once that the answers he has given in the examination are the holy
truth? They came into his hand precisely as he has told us--he stepped
on the box and picked it up."
"The holy truth! But didn't he own himself that he told a lie at first?"
"Listen to me, listen attentively. The porter and Koch and Pestryakov
and the other porter and the wife of the first porter and the woman who
was sitting in the porter's lodge and the man Kryukov, who had just got
out of a cab at that minute and went in at the entry with a lady on his
arm, that is eight or ten witnesses, agree that Nikolay had Dmitri on
the ground, was lying on him beating him, while Dmitri hung on to his
hair, beating him, too. They lay right across the way, blocking the
thoroughfare. They were sworn at on all sides while they 'like children'
(the very words of the witnesses) were falling over one another,
squealing, fighting and laughing with the funniest faces, and, chasing
one another like children, they ran into the street. Now take careful
note. The bodies upstairs were warm, you understand, warm when they
found them! If they, or Nikolay alone, had murdered them and broken open
the boxes, or simply taken part in the robbery, allow me to ask you one
question: do their state of mind, their squeals and giggles and childish
scuffling at the gate fit in with axes, bloodshed, fiendish cunning,
robbery? They'd just killed them, not five or ten minutes before, for
the bodies were still warm, and at once, leaving the flat open, knowing
that people would go there at once, flinging away their booty, they
rolled about like children, laughing and attracting general attention.
And there are a dozen witnesses to swear to that!"
"Of course it is strange! It's impossible, indeed, but..."
"No, brother, no "buts". And if the ear-rings being found in Nikolay's
hands at the very day and hour of the murder constitutes an important
piece of circumstantial evidence against him--although the explanation
given by him accounts for it, and therefore it does not tell seriously
against him--one must take into consideration the facts which prove him
innocent, especially as they are facts that "cannot be denied". And
do you suppose, from the character of our legal system, that they will
accept, or that they are in a position to accept, this fact--resting
simply on a psychological impossibility--as irrefutable and conclusively
breaking down the circumstantial evidence for the prosecution? No, they
won't accept it, they certainly won't, because they found the jewel-case
and the man tried to hang himself, 'which he could not have done if he
hadn't felt guilty.' That's the point, that's what excites me, you must
"Oh, I see you are excited! Wait a bit. I forgot to ask you; what proof
is there that the box came from the old woman?"
"That's been proved," said Razumihin with apparent reluctance, frowning.
"Koch recognised the jewel-case and gave the name of the owner, who
proved conclusively that it was his."
"That's bad. Now another point. Did anyone see Nikolay at the time
that Koch and Pestryakov were going upstairs at first, and is there no
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