Author: admin

Home / Author: admin

God The Invisible King
by H. G. Wells [Herbert George Wells]




This book sets out as forcibly and exactly as possible the religious belief of the writer. That belief is not orthodox Christianity; it is not, indeed, Christianity at all; its core nevertheless is a profound belief in a personal and intimate God. There is nothing in its statements that need shock or offend anyone who is prepared for the expression of a faith different from and perhaps in several particulars opposed to his own. The writer will be found to be sympathetic with all sincere religious feeling. Nevertheless it is well to prepare the prospective reader for statements that may jar harshly against deeply rooted mental habits. It is well to warn him at the outset that the departure from accepted beliefs is here no vague scepticism, but a quite sharply defined objection to dogmas very widely revered. Let the writer state the most probable occasion of trouble forthwith. An issue upon which this book will be found particularly uncompromising is the dogma of the Trinity. The writer is of opinion that the Council of Nicaea, which forcibly crystallised the controversies of two centuries and formulated the creed upon which all the existing Christian churches are based, was one of the most disastrous and one of the least venerable of all religious gatherings, and he holds that the Alexandrine speculations which were then conclusively imposed upon Christianity merit only disrespectful attention at the present time. There you have a chief possibility of offence. He is quite unable to pretend any awe for what he considers the spiritual monstrosities established by that undignified gathering. He makes no attempt to be obscure or propitiatory in this connection. He criticises the creeds explicitly and frankly, because he believes it is particularly necessary to clear them out of the way of those who are seeking religious consolation at this present time of exceptional religious need. He does little to conceal his indignation at the role played by these dogmas in obscuring, perverting, and preventing the religious life of mankind. After this warning such readers from among the various Christian churches and sects as are accessible to storms of theological fear or passion to whom the Trinity is an ineffable mystery and the name of God almost unspeakably awful, read on at their own risk. This is a religious book written by a believer, but so far as their beliefs and religion go it may seem to them more sceptical and more antagonistic than blank atheism. That the writer cannot tell. He is not simply denying their God. He is declaring that there is a living God, different altogether from that Triune God and nearer to the heart of man. The spirit of this book is like that of a missionary who would only too gladly overthrow and smash some Polynesian divinity of shark’s teeth and painted wood and motherofpearl. To the writer such elaborations as “begotten of the Father before all worlds” are no better than intellectual shark’s teeth and oyster shells. His purpose, like the purpose of that missionary, is not primarily to shock and insult; but he is zealous to liberate, and he is impatient with a reverence that stands between man and God. He gives this fair warning and proceeds with his matter. His matter is modern religion as he sees it. It is only incidentally and because it is unavoidable that he attacks doctrinal Christianity. In a previous book,”First and Last Things”(Constable and Co.), he has stated his convictions upon certain general ideas of life and thought as clearly as he could. All of philosophy, all of metaphysics that is, seems to him to be a discussion of the relations of class and individual. The antagonism of the Nominalist and the Realist, the opposition of the One and the Many, the contrast of the Ideal and the Actual, all these oppositions express a certain structural and essential duality in the activity of the human mind. From an imperfect recognition of that duality ensue great masses of misconception. That was the substance of “First and Last Things.” In this present book there is no further attack on philosophical or metaphysical questions. Here we work at a less fundamental level and deal with religious feeling and religious ideas. But just as the writer was inclined to attribute a whole world of disputation and inexactitudes to confused thinking about the exact value of classes and terms, so here he is disposed to think that interminable controversies and conflicts arise out of a confusion of intention due to a double meaning of the word “God”; that the word “God” conveys not one idea or set of ideas, but several essentially different ideas, incompatible one with another, and falling mainly into one or other of two divergent groups; and that people slip carelessly from one to the other of these groups of ideas and so get into ultimately inextricable confusions. The writer believes that the centuries of fluid religious thought that preceded the violent ultimate crystallisation of Nicaea, was essentially a struggleobscured, of course, by many complexities to reconcile and get into a relationship these two separate main series of Godideas. Putting the leading id a part against evil. The writer believes that these dogmas of relationship are not merely extraneous to religion, but an impediment to religion. His aim in this book is to give a statement of religion which is no longer entangled in such speculations and disputes.

Let him add only one other note of explanation in this preface, and that is to remark that except for one incidental passage (in Chapter IV., 1), nowhere does he discuss the question of personal immortality.[It is discussed in “First and Last Things,” Book IV, 4.] He omits this question because he does not consider that it has any more bearing upon the essentials of religion, than have the theories we may hold about the relation of God and the moral law to the starry universe. The latter is a question for the theologian, the former for the psychologist. Whether we are mortal or immortaea of this book very roughly, these two antagonistic typical conceptions of God may be best contrasted by speaking of one of them as GodasNature or the Creator, and of the other as GodasChrist or the Redeemer. One is the great Outward God; the other is the Inmost God. The first idea was perhaps developed most highly and completely in the God of Spinoza. It is a conception of God tending to pantheism, to an idea of a comprehensive God as ruling with justice rather than affection, to a conception of aloofness and awestriking worshipfulness. The second idea, which is opposed to this idea of an absolute God, is the God of the human heart. The writer would suggest that the great outline of the theological struggles of that phase of civilisation and world unity which produced Christianity, was a persistent but unsuccessful attempt to get these two different ideas of God into one focus. It was an attempt to make the God of Nature accessible and the God of the Heart invincible, to bring the former into a conception of love and to vest the latter with the beauty of stars and flowers and the dignity of inexorable justice. There could be no finer metaphor for such a correlation than Fatherhood and Sonship. But the trouble is that it seems impossible to most people to continue to regard the relations of the Father to the Son as being simply a mystical metaphor. Presently some materialistic bias swings them in a moment of intellectual carelessness back to the idea of sexual filiation. And it may further be suggested that the extreme aloofness and inhumanity, which is logically necessary in the idea of a Creator God, of an Infinite God, was the reason, so to speak, for the invention of a Holy Spirit, as something proceeding from him, as something bridging the great gulf, a Comforter, a mediator descending into the sphere of the human understanding. That, and the suggestive influence of the Egyptian Trinity that was then being worshipped at the Serapeum, and which had saturated the thought of Alexandria with the conception of a trinity in unity, are probably the realities that account for the Third Person of the Christian 贵阳百杰国际男士spa Trinity. At any rate the present writer believes that the discussions that shaped the Christian theology we know were dominated by such natural and fundamental thoughts. These discussions were, of course, complicated from the outset; and particularly were they complicated by the identification of the man Jesus with the theological Christ, by materialistic expectations of his second coming, by materialistic inventions about his “miraculous” begetting, and by the morbid speculations about virginity and the like that arose out of such grossness. They were still further complicated by the idea of the textual inspiration of the scriptures, which presently swamped thought in textual interpretation. That swamping came very early in the development of Christianity. The writer of St. John’s gospel appears still to be thinking with a considerable freedom, but Origen is already hopelessly in the net of the texts. The writer of St. John’s gospel was a free man, but Origen 贵阳花果园品茶 was a superstitious man. He was emasculated mentally as well as bodily through his bibliolatry. He quotes; his predecessor thinks. But the writer throws out these guesses at the probable intentions of early Christian thought in passing. His business here is the definition of a position. The writer’s position here in this book is, firstly, complete Agnosticism in the matter of God the Creator, and secondly, entire faith in the matter of God the Redeemer. That, so to speak, is the key of his book. He cannot bring the two ideas under the same term God. He uses the word God therefore for the God in our hearts only, and he uses the term the Veiled Being for the ultimate mysteries of the universe, and he declares that we do not know and perhaps cannot know in any comprehensible terms the relation of the Veiled Being to that living reality in our lives who is, in his terminology, the true God. Speaking from the point of view of practical religion, he is restricting 贵阳桑拿红场 and defining the word God, as meaning only the personal God of mankind, he is restricting it so as to exclude all cosmogony and ideas of providence from our religious thought and leave nothing but the essentials of the religious life. Many people, whom one would class as rather liberal Christians of an Arian or Arminian complexion, may find the larger part of this book acceptable to them if they will read “the Christ God” where the writer has written “God.” They will then differ from him upon little more than the question whether there is an essential identity in aim and quality between the Christ God and the Veiled Being, who answer to their Creator God. This the orthodox post Nicaean Christians assert, and many preNicaeans and many heretics (as the Cathars) contradicted with its exact contrary. The Cathars, Paulicians, Albigenses and so on held, with the Manichaeans, that the God of Nature, God the Father, was evil. The Christ God was his antagonist. This was the idea of the poet Shelley. And passing beyond Christian theology altogether a clue can still be found to many problems in comparative theology 贵阳高端桑拿保健 in this distinction between the Being of Nature (cf. Kant’s “starry vault above”) and the God of the heart (Kant’s “moral law within”). The idea of an antagonism seems to have been cardinal in the thought of the Essenes and the Orphic cult and in the Persian dualism. So, too, Buddhism seems to be “antagonistic.” On the other hand, the Moslem teaching and modern Judaism seem absolutely to combine and identify the two; God the creator is altogether and without distinction also God the King of Mankind. Christianity stands somewhere between such complete identification and complete antagonism. It admits a difference in attitude between 贵阳洗浴桑拿 Father and Son in its distinction between the Old Dispensation (of the Old Testament) and the New. Every possible change is rung in the great religions of the world between identification, complete separation, equality, and disproportion of these Beings; but it will be found that these two ideas are, so to speak, the basal elements of all theology in the world. The writer is chary of assertion or denial in these 贵阳有没有荤的桑拿 matters. He believes that they are speculations not at all necessary to salvation. He believes that men may differ profoundly in their opinions upon these points and still be in perfect agreement upon the essentials of religion. The reality of religion he believes deals wholly and exclusively with the God of the Heart. He declares as his own opinion, and as the opinion which seems most expressive of modern thought, that there is no reason to suppose the Veiled Being either benevolent or malignant towards men. But if the reader believes that God is Almighty and in every way Infinite the practical outcome is not very different. For the purposes of human relationship it is impossible to deny that God PRESENTS HIMSELF AS FINITE, as struggling and takingl, whether the God in our hearts is the Son of or a rebel against 贵阳品茶服务398 the Universe, the reality of religion, the fact of salvation, is still our selfidentification with God, irrespective of consequences, and the achievement of his kingdom, in our hearts and in the world. Whether we live forever or die tomorrow does not affect righteousness. Many people seem to find the prospect of a final personal death unendurable. This impresses me as egotism. I have no such appetite for a separate immortality. God is my immortality; what, of me, is identified with God, is God; what is not is of no more permanent value than the snows of yesteryear. H. G. W. Dunmow, May, 1917.




Perhaps all religions, unless the flaming onset of Mohammedanism be an exception, have dawned imperceptibly upon the 贵阳夜网 world. A little while ago and the thing was not; and then suddenly it has been found in existence, and already in a state of diffusion. People have begun to hear of the new belief first here and then there. It is interesting, for example, to trace how Christianity drifted into the consciousness of the Roman world. But when a religion has been interrogated it has always had hitherto a tale of beginnings, the name and story of a founder. The renascent religion that is now taking shape, it seems, had no founder; it points to no origins. It is the Truth, its believers declare; it has always been here; it has always been visible to those who had eyes to see. It is perhaps plainer than it was and to more peoplethat is all. It is as if it still did not realise its own difference. Many of those who hold it still think of it as if it were a kind of Christianity. Some, catching at a phrase of Huxley’s, speak of it as Christianity without Theology. They do not know the creed they are carrying. It has, as a matter of fact, a very fine and subtle theology, flatly opposed to any belief that could, except by great stretching of charity and the imagination, be called Christianity. One might find, perhaps, a parallelism with the system ascribed to some Gnostics, but that is far more probably an accidental rather than a sympathetic coincidence. Of that the reader shall presently have an opportunity of judging. This indefiniteness of statement and relationship is probably only the opening phase of the new faith. Christianity also began with an extreme neglect of definition. It was not at first anything more than a sect of Judaism. It was only after three centuries, amidst the uproar and emotions of the council of Nicaea, when the more enthusiastic Trinitarians stuffed their fingers in their ears in affected horror at the arguments of old Arius, that the cardinal mystery of the Trinity was established as the essential fact of Christianity. Throughout those three centuries, the centuries of its greatest achievements and noblest martyrdoms, Christianity had not defined its God. And even today it has to be noted that a large majority of those who possess and repeat the Christian creeds have come into the practice so insensibly from unthinking childhood, that only in the slightest way do they realise the nature of the statements to which they subscribe. They will speak and think of both Christ and God in ways flatly incompatible with the doctrine of the Triune deity upon which, theoretically, the entire fabric of all the churches rests. They will show themselves as frankly Arians as though that damnable heresy had not been washed out of the world forever after centuries of persecution in torrents of blood. But whatever the present state of Christendom in these matters may be, there can be no doubt of the enormous pains taken in the past to give Christian beliefs the exactest, least ambiguous statement possible. Christianity knew itself clearly for what it was in its maturity, whatever the indecisions of its childhood or the confusions of its decay. The renascent religion that one finds now, a thing active and sufficient in many minds, has still scarcely come to selfconsciousness. But it is so coming, and this present book is very largely an attempt to state the shape it is assuming and to compare it with the beliefs and imperatives and usages of the various Christian, pseudoChristian, philosophical, and agnostic cults amidst which it has appeared. The writer’s sympathies and convictions are entirely with this that he speaks of as renascent or modern religion; he is neither atheist nor Buddhist nor Mohammedan nor Christian. He will make no pretence, therefore, to impartiality and detachment. He will do his best to be as fair as possible and as candid as possible, but the reader must reckon with this bias. He has found this faith growing up in himself; he has found it, or something very difficult to distinguish from it, growing independently in the minds of men and women he has met. They have been people of very various origins; English, Americans, Bengalis, Russians, French, people brought up in a “Catholic atmosphere,” Positivists, Baptists, Sikhs, Mohammedans. Their diversity of source is as remarkable as their convergence of tendency. A miscellany of minds thinking upon parallel lines has come out to the same light. The new teaching is also traceable in many professedly Christian religious books and it is to be heard from Christian pulpits. The phase of definition is manifestly at hand.


Perhaps the most fundamental difference between this new faith and any recognised form of Christianity is that, knowingly or unknowingly, it worships A FINITE GOD. Directly the believer is fairly confronted with the plain questions of the case, the vague identifications that are still carelessly made with one or all of the persons of the Trinity dissolve away. He will admit that his God is neither allwise, nor allpowerful, nor omnipresent; that he is neither the maker of heaven nor earth, and that he has little to identify him with that hereditary God of the Jews who became the “Father” in the Christian system. On the other hand he will assert that his God is a god of salvation, that he is a spirit, a person, a strongly marked and knowable personality, loving, inspiring, and lovable, who exists or strives to exist in every human soul. He will be much less certain in his denials that his God has a close resemblance to the Pauline (as distinguished from the Trinitarian)”Christ.”… The modern religious man will almost certainly profess a kind of universalism; he will assert that whensoever men have called upon any God and have found fellowship and comfort and courage and that sense of God within them, that inner light which is the quintessence of the religious experience, it was the True God that answered them. For the True God is a generous God, not a jealous God; the very antithesis of that bickering monopolist who “will have none other gods but Me”; and when a human heart cries outto what name it matters notfor a larger spirit and a stronger help than the visible things of life can give, straightway the nameless Helper is with it and the God of Man answers to the call. The True God has no scorn nor hate for those who have accepted the manyhanded symbols of the Hindu or the lacquered idols of China. Where there is faith, where there is need, there is the True God ready to clasp the hands that stretch out seeking for him into the darkness behind the ivory and gold. The fact that God is FINITE is one upon which those who think clearly among the new believers are very insistent. He is, above everything else, a personality, and to be a personality is to have characteristics, to be limited by characteristics; he is a Being, not us but dealing with us and through us, he has an aim and that means he has a past and future; he is within time and not outside it. And they point out that this is really what everyone who prays sincerely to God or gets help from God, feels and believes. Our practice with God is better than our theory. None of us really pray to that fantastic, unqualified danse a trois, the Trinity, which the wranglings and disputes of the worthies of Alexandria and Syria declared to be God. We pray to one single understanding person. But so far the tactics of those Trinitarians at Nicaea, who stuck their fingers in their ears, have prevailed in this world; this was no matter for discussion, they declared, it was a Holy Mystery full of magical terror, and few religious people have thought it worth while to revive these terrors by a definite contradiction. The truly religious have been content to lapse quietly into the comparative sanity of an unformulated Arianism, they have left it to the scoffing Atheist to mock at the patent absurdities of the official creed. But one magnificent protest against this theological fantasy must have been the work of a sincerely religious man, the cold superb humour of that burlesque creed, ascribed, at first no doubt facetiously and then quite seriously, to Saint Athanasius the Great, which, by an irony far beyond its original intention, has become at last the accepted creed of the church. The long truce in the criticism of Trinitarian theology is drawing to its end. It is when men most urgently need God that they become least patient with foolish presentations and dogmas. The new believers are very definitely set upon a thorough analysis of the nature and growth of the Christian creeds and ideas. There has grown up a practice of assuming that, when God is spoken of, the HebrewChristian God of Nicaea is meant. But that God trails with him a thousand misconceptions and bad associations; his alleged infinite nature, his jealousy, his strange preferences, his vindictive Old Testament past. These things do not even make a caricature of the True God; they compose an altogether different and antagonistic figure. It is a very childish and unphilosophical set of impulses that has led the theologians of nearly every faith to claim infinite qualities for their deity. One has to remember the poorness of the mental and moral quality of the churchmen of the third, fourth, and fifth centuries who saddled Christendom with its characteristic dogmas, and the extreme poverty and confusion of the circle of ideas within which they thought. Many of these makers of Christianity, like Saint Ambrose of Milan (who had even to be baptised after his election to his bishopric), had been pitchforked into the church from civil life; they lived in a time of pitiless factions and personal feuds; they had to conduct their disputations amidst the struggles of wouldbe emperors; court eunuchs and favourites swayed their counsels, and popular rioting clinched their decisions. There was less freedom of discussion then in the Christian world than there is at present (1916) in Belgium, and the whole audience of educated opinion by which a theory could be judged did not equal, either in numbers or accuracy of information, the present population of Constantinople. To these conditions we owe the claim that the Christian God is a magic god, very great medicine in battle,”in hoc signo vinces,” and the argument so natural to the minds of those days and so absurd to ours, that since he had ALL power, all knowledge, and existed for ever and ever, it was no use whatever to set up any other god against him…. By the fifth century Christianity had adopted as its fundamental belief, without which everyone was to be “damned everlastingly,” a conception of God and of Christ’s relation to God, of which even by the Christian account of his teaching, Jesus was either totally unaware or so negligent and careless of the future comfort of his disciples as scarcely to make mention. The doctrine of the Trinity, so far as the relationship of the Third Person goes, hangs almost entirely upon one ambiguous and disputed utterance in St. John’s gospel (XV. 26). Most of the teachings of Christian orthodoxy resolve themselves to the attentive student into assertions of the nature of contradiction and repartee. Someone floats an opinion in some matter that has been hitherto vague, in regard, for example, to the sonship of Christ or to the method of his birth. The new opinion arouses the hostility and alarm of minds unaccustomed to so definite a statement, and in the zeal of their recoil they fly to a contrary proposition. The Christians would neither admit that they worshipped more gods than one because of the Greeks, nor deny the divinity of Christ because of the Jews. They dreaded to be polytheistic; equally did they dread the least apparent detraction from the power and importance of their Saviour. They were forced into the theory of the Trinity by the necessity of those contrary assertions, and they had to make it a mystery protected by curses to save it from a reductio ad absurdam. The entire history of the growth of the Christian doctrine in those disordered early centuries is a history of theology by committee; a history of furious wrangling, of hasty compromises, and still more hasty attempts to clinch matters by anathema. When the muddle was at its very worst, the church was confronted by enormous political opportunities. In order that it should seize these one chief thing appeared imperative: doctrinal uniformity. The emperor himself, albeit unbaptised and very ignorant of Greek, came and seated himself in the midst of Christian thought upon a golden throne. At the end of it all Eusebius, that supreme Trimmer, was prepared to damn everlastingly all those who doubted that consubstantiality he himself had doubted at the beginning of the conference. It is quite clear that Constantine did not care who was damned or for what period, so long as the Christians ceased to wrangle among themselves. The practical unanimity of Nicaea was secured by threats, and then, turning upon the victors, he sought by threats to restore Arius to communion. The imperial aim was a common faith to unite the empire. The crushing out of the Arians and of the Paulicians and suchlike heretics, and more particularly the systematic destruction by the orthodox of all heretical writings, had about it none of that quality of honest conviction which comes to those who have a real knowledge of God; it was a bawling down of dissensions that, left to work themselves out, would have spoilt good business; it was the fist of Nicolas of Myra over again, except that after the days of Ambrose the sword of the executioner and the fires of the bookburner were added to the weapon of the human voice. Priscillian was the first human sacrifice formally offered up under these improved conditions to the greater glory of the reinforced Trinity. Thereafter the blood of the heretics was the cement of Christian unity. It is with these things in mind that those who profess the new faith are becoming so markedly anxious to distinguish God from the Trinitarian’s deity. At present if anyone who has left the Christian communion declares himself a believer in God, priest and parson swell with selfcomplacency. There is no reason why they should do so. That many of us have gone from them and found God is no concern of theirs. It is not that we who went out into the wilderness which we thought to be a desert, away from their creeds and dogmas, have turned back and are returning. It is that we have gone on still further, and are beyond that desolation. Never more shall we return to those who gather under the cross. By faith we disbelieved and denied. By faith we said of that stuffed scarecrow of divinity, that incoherent accumulation of antique theological notions, the Nicene deity,”This is certainly no God.” And by faith we have found God….


There has always been a demand upon the theological teacher that he should supply a cosmogony. It has always been an effective propagandist thing to say:”OUR God made the whole universe. Don’t you think that it would be wise to abandon YOUR deity, who did not, as you admit, do anything of the sort?” The attentive reader of the lives of the Saints will find that this style of argument did in the past bring many tribes and nations into the Christian fold. It was second only to the claim of magic advantages, demonstrated by a free use of miracles. Only one great religious system, the Buddhist, seems to have resisted the temptation to secure for its divinity the honour and title of Creator. Modern religion is like Buddhism in that respect. It offers no theory whatever about the origin of the universe. It does not reach behind the appearances of space and time. It sees only a featureless presumption in that playing with superlatives which has entertained so many minds from Plotinus to the Hegelians with the delusion that such negative terms as the Absolute or the Unconditioned, can assert anything at all. At the back of all known things there is an impenetrable curtain; the ultimate of existence is a Veiled Being, which seems to know nothing of life or death or good or ill. Of that Being, whether it is simple or complex or divine, we know nothing; to us it is no more than the limit of understanding, the unknown beyond. It may be of practically limitless intricacy and possibility. The new religion does not pretend that the God of its life is that Being, or that he has any relation of control or association with that Being. It does not even assert that God knows all or much more than we do about that ultimate Being. For us life is a matter of our personalities in space and time. Human analysis probing with philosophy and science towards the Veiled Being reveals nothing of God, reveals space and time only as necessary forms of consciousness, glimpses a dance of atoms, of whirls in the ether. Some day in the endless future there may be a knowledge, an understanding of relationship, a power and courage that will pierce into those black wrappings. To that it may be our God, the Captain of Mankind will take us. That now is a mere speculation. The veil of the unknown is set with the stars; its outer texture is ether and atom and crystal. The Veiled Being, enigmatical and incomprehensible, broods over the mirror upon which the busy shapes of life are moving. It is as if it waited in a great stillness. Our lives do not deal with it, and cannot deal with it. It may be that they may never be able to deal with it.


So it is that comprehensive setting of the universe presents itself to the modern mind. It is altogether outside good and evil and love and hate. It is outside God, who is love and goodness. And coming out of this veiled being, proceeding out of it in a manner altogether inconceivable, is another lesser being, an impulse thrusting through matter and clothing itself in continually changing material forms, the maker of our world, Life, the Will to Be. It comes out of that inscrutable being as a wave comes rolling to us from beyond the horizon. It is as it were a great wave rushing through matter and possessed by a spirit. It is a breeding, fighting thing; it pants through the jungle track as the tiger and lifts itself towards heaven as the tree; it is the rabbit bolting for its life and the dove calling to her mate; it crawls, it flies, it dives, it lusts and devours, it pursues and eats itself in order to live still more eagerly and hastily; it is every living thing, of it are our passions and desires and fears. And it is aware of itself not as a whole, but dispersedly as individual self consciousness, starting out dispersedly from every one of the sentient creatures it has called into being. They look out for their little moments, redeyed and fierce, full of greed, full of the passions of acquisition and assimilation and reproduction, submitting only to brief fellowships of defence or aggression. They are beings of strain and conflict and competition. They are living substance still mingled painfully with the dust. The forms in which this being clothes itself bear thorns and fangs and claws, are soaked with poison and bright with threats or allurements, prey slyly or openly on one another, hold their own for a little while, breed savagely and resentfully, and pass…. This second Being men have called the Life Force, the Will to Live, the Struggle for Existence. They have figured it too as Mother Nature. We may speculate whether it is not what the wiser among the Gnostics meant by the Demiurge, but since the Christians destroyed all the Gnostic books that must remain a mere curious guess. We may speculate whether this heat and haste and wrath of life about us is the Dark God of the Manichees, the evil spirit of the sun worshippers. But in contemporary thought there is no conviction apparent that this Demiurge is either good or evil; it is conceived of as both good and evil. If it gives all the pain and conflict of life, it gives also the joy of the sunshine, the delight and hope of youth, the pleasures. If it has elaborated a hundred thousand sorts of parasite, it has also moulded the beautiful limbs of man and woman; it has shaped the slug and the flower. And in it, as part of it, taking its rewards, responding to its goads, struggling against the final abandonment to death, do we all live, as the beasts live, glad, angry, sorry, revengeful, hopeful, weary, disgusted, forgetful, lustful, happy, excited, bored, in pain, mood after mood but always fearing death, with no certainty and no coherence within us, until we find God. And God comes to us neither out of the stars nor out of the pride of life, but as a still small voice within.


God comes we know not whence, into the conflict of life. He works in men and through men. He is a spirit, a single spirit and a single person; he has begun and he will never end. He is the immortal part and leader of mankind. He has motives, he has characteristics, he has an aim. He is by our poor scales of measurement boundless love, boundless courage, boundless generosity. He is thought and a steadfast will. He is our friend and brother and the light of the world. That briefly is the belief of the modern mind with regard to God. There is no very novel idea about this God, unless it be the idea that he had a beginning. This is the God that men have sought and found in all ages, as God or as the Messiah or the Saviour. The finding of him is salvation from the purposelessness of life. The new religion has but disentangled the idea of him from the absolutes and infinities and mysteries of the Christian theologians; from mythological virgin births and the cosmogonies and intellectual pretentiousness of a vanished age. Modern religion appeals to no revelation, no authoritative teaching, no mystery. The statement it makes is, it declares, a mere statement of what we may all perceive and experience. We all live in the storm of life, we all find our understandings limited by the Veiled Being; if we seek salvation and search within for God, presently we find him. All this is in the nature of things. If every one who perceives and states it were to be instantly killed and blotted out, presently other people would find their way to the same conclusions; and so on again and again. To this all true religion, casting aside its hulls of misconception, must ultimately come. To it indeed much religion is already coming. Christian thought struggles towards it, with the millstones of Syrian theology and an outrageous mythology of incarnation and resurrection about its neck. When at last our present bench of bishops join the early fathers of the church in heaven there will be, I fear, a note of reproach in their greeting of the ingenious person who saddled them with OMNIPOTENS. Still more disastrous for them has been the virgin birth, with the terrible fascination of its detail for unpoetic minds. How rich is the literature of authoritative Christianity with decisions upon the continuing virginity of Mary and the virginity of Josephideas that first arose in Arabia as a Moslem gloss upon Christianityand how little have these peepings and pryings to do with the needs of the heart and the finding of God! Within the last few years there have been a score or so of such volumes as that recently compiled by Dr. Foakes Jackson, entitled “The Faith and the War,” a volume in which the curious reader may contemplate deans and canons, divines and church dignitaries, men intelligent and enquiring and religiously disposed, all lying like overladen camels, panting under this load of obsolete theological responsibility, groaning great articles, outside the needle’s eye that leads to God.


Modern religion bases its knowledge of God and its account of God entirely upon experience. It has encountered God. It does not argue about God; it relates. It relates without any of those wrappings of awe and reverence that fold so necessarily about imposture, it relates as one tells of a friend and his assistance, of a happy adventure, of a beautiful thing found and picked up by the wayside. So far as its psychological phases go the new account of personal salvation tallies very closely with the account of “conversion” as it is given by other religions. It has little to tell that is not already familiar to the reader of William James’s “Varieties of Religious Experience.” It describes an initial state of distress with the aimlessness and cruelties of life, and particularly with the futility of the individual life, a state of helpless self disgust, of inability to form any satisfactory plan of living. This is the common prelude known to many sorts of Christian as “conviction of sin”; it is, at any rate, a conviction of hopeless confusion…. Then in some way the idea of God comes into the distressed mind, at first simply as an idea, without substance or belief. It is read about or it is remembered; it is expounded by some teacher or some happy convert. In the case of all those of the new faith with whose personal experience I have any intimacy, the idea of God has remained for some time simply as an idea floating about in a mind still dissatisfied. God is not believed in, but it is realised that if there were such a being he would supply the needed consolation and direction, his continuing purpose would knit together the scattered effort of life, his immortality would take the sting from death. Under this realisation the idea is pursued and elaborated. For a time there is a curious resistance to the suggestion that God is truly a person; he is spoken of preferably by such phrases as the Purpose in Things, as the Racial Consciousness, as the Collective Mind. I believe that this resistance in so many contemporary minds to the idea of God as a person is due very largely to the enormous prejudice against divine personality created by the absurdities of the Christian teaching and the habitual monopoly of the Christian idea. The picture of Christ as the Good Shepherd thrusts itself before minds unaccustomed to the idea that they are lambs. The cross in the twilight bars the way. It is a novelty and an enormous relief to such people to realise that one may think of God without being committed to think of either the Father, the Son, or the Holy Ghost, or of all of them at once. That freedom had not seemed possible to them. They had been hypnotised and obsessed by the idea that the Christian God is the only thinkable God. They had heard so much about that God and so little of any other. With that release their minds become, as it were, nascent and ready for the coming of God. Then suddenly, in a little while, in his own time, God comes. This cardinal experience is an undoubting, immediate sense of God. It is the attainment of an absolute certainty that one is not alone in oneself. It is as if one was touched at every point by a being akin to oneself, sympathetic, beyond measure wiser, steadfast and pure in aim. It is completer and more intimate, but it is like standing side by side with and touching someone that we love very dearly and trust completely. It is as if this being bridged a thousand misunderstandings and brought us into fellowship with a great multitude of other people….”Closer he is than breathing, and nearer than hands and feet.” The moment may come while we are alone in the darkness, under the stars, or while we walk by ourselves or in a crowd, or while we sit and muse. It may come upon the sinking ship or in the tumult of the battle. There is no saying when it may not come to us…. But after it has come our lives are changed, God is with us and there is no more doubt of God. Thereafter one goes about the world like one who was lonely and has found a lover, like one who was perplexed and has found a solution. One is assured that there is a Power that fights with us against the confusion and evil within us and without. There comes into the heart an essential and enduring happiness and courage. There is but one God, there is but one true religious experience, but under a multitude of names, under veils and darknesses, God has in this manner come into countless lives. There is scarcely a faith, however mean and preposterous, that has not been a way to holiness. God who is himself finite, who himself struggles in his great effort from strength to strength, has no spite against error. Far beyond halfway he hastens to meet the purblind. But God is against the darkness in their eyes. The faith which is returning to men girds at veils and shadows, and would see God plainly. It has little respect for mysteries. It rends the veil of the temple in rags and tatters. It has no superstitious fear of this huge friendliness, of this great brother and leader of our little beings. To find God is but the beginning of wisdom, because then for all our days we have to learn his purpose with us and to live our lives with him.



Religion is not a plant that has grown from one seed; it is like a lake that has been fed by countless springs. It is a great pool of living water, mingled from many sources and tainted with much impurity. It is synthetic in its nature; it becomes simpler from original complexities; the sediment subsides. A life perfectly adjusted to its surroundings is a life without mentality; no judgment is called for, no inhibition, no disturbance of the instinctive flow of perfect reactions. Such a life is bliss, or nirvana. It is unconsciousness below dreaming. Consciousness is discord evoking the will to adjust; it is inseparable from need. At every need consciousness breaks into being. Imperfect adjustments, needs, are the rents and tatters in the smooth dark veil of being through which the light of consciousness shinesthe light of consciousness and will of which God is the sun. So that every need of human life, every disappointment and dissatisfaction and call for help and effort, is a means whereby men may and do come to the realisation of God. There is no cardinal need, there is no sort of experience in human life from which there does not come or has not come a contribution to men’s religious ideas. At every challenge men have to put forth effort, feel doubt of adequacy, be thwarted, perceive the chill shadow of their mortality. At every challenge comes the possibility of help from without, the idea of eluding frustration, the aspiration towards immortality. It is possible to classify the appeals men make for God under the headings of their chief system of effort, their efforts to understand, their fear and their struggles for safety and happiness, the craving of their restlessness for peace, their angers against disorder and their desire for the avenger; their sexual passions and perplexities…. Each of these great systems of needs and efforts brings its own sort of sediment into religion. Each, that is to say, has its own kind of heresy, its distinctive misapprehension of God. It is only in the synthesis and mutual correction of many divergent ideas that the idea of God grows clear. The effort to understand completely, for example, leads to the endless Heresies of Theory. Men trip over the inherent infirmities of the human mind. But in these days one does not argue greatly about dogma. Almost every conceivable error about unity, about personality, about time and quantity and genus and species, about begetting and beginning and limitation and similarity and every kink in the difficult mind of man, has been thrust forward in some form of dogma. Beside the errors of thought are the errors of emotion. Fear and feebleness go straight to the Heresies that God is Magic or that God is Providence; restless egotism at leisure and unchallenged by urgent elementary realities breeds the Heresies of Mysticism, anger and hate call for God’s Judgments, and the stormy emotions of sex gave mankind the Phallic God. Those who find themselves possessed by the new spirit in religion, realise very speedily the necessity of clearing the mind of all these exaggerations, transferences, and overflows of feeling. The search for divine truth is like gold washing; nothing is of any value until most has been swept away.


One sort of heresies stands apart from the rest. It is infinitely the most various sort. It includes all those heresies which result from wrongheaded mental elaboration, as distinguished from those which are the result of hasty and imperfect apprehension, the heresies of the clever rather than the heresies of the obtuse. The former are of endless variety and complexity; the latter are in comparison natural, simple confusions. The former are the errors of the study, the latter the superstitions that spring by the wayside, or are brought down to us in our social structure out of a barbaric past. To the heresies of thought and speculation belong the elaborate doctrine of the Trinity, dogmas about God’s absolute qualities, such odd deductions as the accepted Christian teachings about the virginity of Mary and Joseph, and the like. All these things are parts of orthodox Christianity. Yet none of them did Christ, even by the Christian account, expound or recommend. He treated them as negligible. It was left for the Alexandrians, for Alexander, for little, redhaired, busy, wirepulling Athanasius to find out exactly what their Master was driving at, three centuries after their Master was dead…. Men still sit at little desks remote from God or life, and rack their inadequate brains to meet fancied difficulties and state unnecessary perfections. They seek God by logic, ignoring the marginal error that creeps into every syllogism. Their conceit blinds them to the limitations upon their thinking. They weave spiderlike webs of muddle and disputation across the path by which men come to God. It would not matter very much if it were not that simpler souls are caught in these webs. Every great religious system in the world is choked by such webs; each system has its own. Of all the bloodstained tangled heresies which make up doctrinal Christianity and imprison the mind of the western world today, not one seems to have been known to the nominal founder of Christianity. Jesus Christ never certainly claimed to be the Messiah; never spoke clearly of the Trinity; was vague upon the scheme of salvation and the significance of his martyrdom. We are asked to suppose that he left his apostles without instructions, that were necessary to their eternal happiness, that he could give them the Lord’s Prayer but leave them to guess at the allimportant Creed,* and that the Church staggered along blindly, putting its foot in and out of damnation, until the “experts” of Nicaea, that “garland of priests,” marshalled by Constantine’s officials, came to its rescue…. From the conversion of Paul onward, the heresies of the intellect multiplied about Christ’s memory and hid him from the sight of men. We are no longer clear about the doctrine he taught nor about the things he said and did….* Even the “Apostles’ Creed” is not traceable earlier than the fourth century. It is manifestly an old, patched formulary. Rutinius explains that it was not written down for a long time, but transmitted orally, kept secret, and used as a sort of password among the elect. We are all so weary of this theology of the Christians, we are all at heart so sceptical about their Triune God, that it is needless here to spend any time or space upon the twenty thousand different formulae in which the orthodox have attempted to believe in something of the sort. There are several useful encyclopaedias of sects and heresies, compact, but still bulky, to which the curious may go. There are ten thousand different expositions of orthodoxy. No one who really seeks God thinks of the Trinity, either the Trinity of the Trinitarian or the Trinity of the Sabellian or the Trinity of the Arian, any more than one thinks of those theories made stone, those gods with three heads and seven hands, who sit on lotus leaves and flourish lingams and what not, in the temples of India. Let us leave, therefore, these morbid elaborations of the human intelligence to drift to limbo, and come rather to the natural heresies that spring from fundamental weaknesses of the human character, and which are common to all religions. Against these it is necessary to keep constant watch. They return very insidiously.


One of the most universal of these natural misconceptions of God is to consider him as something magic serving the ends of men. It is not easy for us to grasp at first the full meaning of giving our souls to God. The missionary and teacher of any creed is all too apt to hawk God for what he will fetch; he is greedy for the poor triumph of acquiescence; and so it comes about that many people who have been led to believe themselves religious, are in reality still keeping back their own souls and trying to use God for their own purposes. God is nothing more for them as yet than a magnificent Fetish. They did not really want him, but they have heard that he is potent stuff; their unripe souls think to make use of him. They call upon his name, they do certain things that are supposed to be peculiarly influential with him, such as saying prayers and repeating gross praises of him, or reading in a blind, industrious way that strange miscellany of Jewish and early Christian literature, the Bible, and suchlike mental mortification, or making the Sabbath dull and uncomfortable. In return for these fetishistic propitiations God is supposed to interfere with the normal course of causation in their favour. He becomes a celestial logroller. He remedies unfavourable accidents, cures petty ailments, contrives unexpected gifts of medicine, money, or the like, he averts bankruptcies, arranges profitable transactions, and does a thousand such services for his little clique of faithful people. The pious are represented as being constantly delighted by these little surprises, these bouquets and chocolate boxes from the divinity. Or contrawise he contrives spiteful turns for those who fail in their religious attentions. He murders Sabbathbreaking children, or disorganises the careful business schemes of the ungodly. He is represented as going Sabbathbreakering on Sunday morning as a Staffordshire worker goes ratting. Ordinary everyday Christianity is saturated with this fetishistic conception of God. It may be disowned in THE HIBBERT JOURNAL, but it is unblushingly advocated in the parish magazine. It is an idea taken over by Christianity with the rest of the qualities of the Hebrew God. It is natural enough in minds so selfcentred that their recognition of weakness and need brings with it no real selfsurrender, but it is entirely inconsistent with the modern conception of the true God. There has dropped upon the table as I write a modest periodical called THE NORTHERN BRITISH ISRAEL REVIEW, illustrated with portraits of various clergymen of the Church of England, and of ladies and gentlemen who belong to the little school of thought which this magazine represents; it is, I should judge, a subsect entirely within the Established Church of England, that is to say within the Anglican communion of the Trinitarian Christians. It contains among other papers a very entertaining summary by a gentleman entitledI cite the unusual titlepage of the periodical “Landseer Mackenzie, Esq.,” of the views of Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Obadiah upon the Kaiser William. They are distinctly hostile views. Mr. Landseer Mackenzie discourses not only upon these anticipatory condemnations but also upon the relations of the weather to this war. He is convinced quite simply and honestly that God has been persistently rigging the weather against the Germans. He points out that the absence of mist on the North Sea was of great help to the British in the autumn of 1914, and declares that it was the wet state of the country that really held up the Germans in Flanders in the winter of 191415. He ignores the part played by the weather in delaying the relief of KutelAmara, and he has not thought of the difficult question why the Deity, having once decided upon intervention, did not, instead of this comparatively trivial meteorological assistance, adopt the more effective course of, for example, exploding or spoiling the German stores of ammunition by some simple atomic miracle, or misdirecting their gunfire by a sudden local modification of the laws of refraction or gravitation. Since these views of God come from Anglican vicarages I can only conclude that this kind of belief is quite orthodox and permissible in the established church, and that I am charging orthodox Christianity here with nothing that has ever been officially repudiated. I find indeed the essential assumptions of Mr. Landseer Mackenzie repeated in endless official Christian utterances on the part of German and British and Russian divines. The Bishop of Chelmsford, for example, has recently ascribed our difficulties in the war to our impatience with long sermonsamong other similar causes. Such Christians are manifestly convinced that God can be invoked by ritualfor example by special days of national prayer or an increased observance of Sundayor made malignant by neglect or levity. It is almost fundamental in their idea of him. The ordinary Mohammedan seems as confident of this magic pettiness of God, and the belief of China in the magic propitiations and resentments of “Heaven” is at least equally strong. But the true God as those of the new religion know him is no such God of luck and intervention. He is not to serve men’s ends or the ends of nations or associations of men; he is careless of our ceremonies and invocations. He does not lose his temper with our follies and weaknesses. It is for us to serve Him. He captains us, he does not coddle us. He has his own ends for which he needs us….


Closely related to this heresy that God is magic, is the heresy that calls him Providence, that declares the apparent adequacy of cause and effect to be a sham, and that all the time, incalculably, he is pulling about the order of events for our personal advantages. The idea of Providence was very gaily travested by Daudet in “Tartarin in the Alps.” You will remember how Tartarin’s friend assured him that all Switzerland was one great Trust, intent upon attracting tourists and far too wise and kind to permit them to venture into real danger, that all the precipices were netted invisibly, and all the loose rocks guarded against falling, that avalanches were prearranged spectacles and the crevasses at their worst slippery ways down into kindly catchment bags. If the mountaineer tried to get into real danger he was turned back by specious excuses. Inspired by this persuasion Tartarin behaved with incredible daring…. That is exactly the Providence theory of the whole world. There can be no doubt that it does enable many a timid soul to get through life with a certain recklessness. And provided there is no slip into a crevasse, the Providence theory works well. It would work altogether well if there were no crevasses. Tartarin was reckless because of his faith in Providence, and escaped. But what would have happened to him if he had fallen into a crevasse? There exists a very touching and remarkable book by Sir Francis Younghusband called “Within.”[Williams and Norgate, 1912.] It is the confession of a man who lived with a complete confidence in Providence until he was already well advanced in years. He went through battles and campaigns, he filled positions of great honour and responsibility, he saw much of the life of men, without altogether losing his faith. The loss of a child, an Indian famine, could shake it but not overthrow it. Then coming back one day from some races in France, he was knocked down by an automobile and hurt very cruelly. He suffered terribly in body and mind. His sufferings caused much suffering to others. He did his utmost to see the hand of a loving Providence in his and their disaster and the torment it inflicted, and being a man of sterling honesty and a fine essential simplicity of mind, he confessed at last that he could not do so. His confidence in the benevolent intervention of God was altogether destroyed. His book tells of this shattering, and how labouriously he reconstructed his religion upon less confident lines. It is a book typical of an age and of a very English sort of mind, a book well worth reading. That he came to a full sense of the true God cannot be asserted, but how near he came to God, let one quotation witness.

“The existence of an outside Providence,” he writes,”who created us, who watches over us, and who guides our lives like a Merciful Father, we have found impossible longer to believe in. But of the existence of a Holy Spirit radiating upward through all animate beings, and finding its fullest expression, in man in love, and in the flowers in beauty, we can be as certain as of anything in the world. This fiery spiritual impulsion at the centre and the source of things, ever burning in us, is the supremely important factor in our existence. It does not always attain to light. In many directions it fails; the conditions are too hard and it is utterly blocked. In others it only partially succeeds. But in a few it bursts forth into radiant light. There are few who in some heavenly moment of their lives have not been conscious of its presence. We may not be able to give it outward expression, but we know that it is there.”…

God does not guide our feet. He is no sedulous governess restraining and correcting the wayward steps of men. If you would fly into the air, there is no God to bank your aeroplane correctly for you or keep an illtended engine going; if you would cross a glacier, no God nor angel guides your steps amidst the slippery places. He will not even mind your innocent children for you if you leave them before an unguarded fire. Cherish no delusions; for yourself and others you challenge danger and chance on your own strength; no talisman, no God, can help you or those you care for. Nothing of such things will God do; it is an idle dream. But God will be with you nevertheless. In the reeling aeroplane or the dark icecave God will be your courage. Though you suffer or are killed, it is not an end. He will be with you as you face death; he will die with you as he has died already countless myriads of brave deaths. He will come so close to you that at the last you will not know whether it is you or he who dies, and the present death will be swallowed up in his victory.


God comes to us within and takes us for his own. He releases us from ourselves; he incorporates us with his own undying experience and adventure; he receives us and gives himself. He is a stimulant; he makes us live immortally and more abundantly. I have compared him to the sensation of a dear, strong friend who comes and stands quietly beside one, shoulder to shoulder. The finding of God is the beginning of service. It is not an escape from life and action; it is the release of life and action from the prison of the mortal self. Not to realise that, is the heresy of Quietism, of many mystics. Commonly such people are people of some wealth, able to command services for all their everyday needs. They make religion a method of indolence. They turn their backs on the toil and stresses of existence and give themselves up to a delicious reverie in which they flirt with the divinity. They will recount their privileges and ecstasies, and how ingeniously and wonderfully God has tried and proved them. But indeed the true God was not the lover of Madame Guyon. The true God is not a spiritual troubadour wooing the hearts of men and women to no purpose. The true God goes through the world like fifes and drums and flags, calling for recruits along the street. We must go out to him. We must accept his discipline and fight his battle. The peace of God comes not by thinking about it but by forgetting oneself in him.


Man is a social animal, and there is in him a great faculty for moral indignation. Many of the early Gods were mainly Gods of Fear. They were more often “wrath” than not. Such was the temperament of the Semitic deity who, as the Hebrew Jehovah, proliferated, perhaps under the influence of the Alexandrian Serapeum, into the Christian Trinity and who became also the Moslem God.* The natural hatred of unregenerate men against everything that is unlike themselves, against strange people and cheerful people, against unfamiliar usages and things they do not understand, embodied itself in this conception of a malignant and partisan Deity, perpetually “upset” by the little things people did, and contriving murder and vengeance. Now this God would be drowning everybody in the world, now he would be burning Sodom and Gomorrah, now he would be inciting his congenial Israelites to the most terrific pogroms. This divine “frightfulness” is of course the natural human dislike and distrust for queer practices or for too sunny a carelessness, a dislike reinforced by the latent fierceness of the ape in us, liberating the latent fierceness of the ape in us, giving it an excuse and pressing permission upon it, handing the thing hated and feared over to its secular arm….* It is not so generally understood as it should be among English and American readers that a very large proportion of early Christians before the creeds established and regularised the doctrine of the Trinity, denied absolutely that Jehovah was God; they regarded Christ as a rebel against Jehovah and a rescuer of humanity from him, just as Prometheus was a rebel against Jove. These beliefs survived for a thousand years tbroughout Christendom: they were held by a great multitude of persecuted sects, from the Albigenses and Cathars to the eastern Paulicians. The catholic church found it necessary to prohibit the circulation of the Old Testament among laymen very largely on account of the polemics of the Cathars against the Hebrew God. But in this book, be it noted, the word Christian, when it is not otherwise defined, is used to indicate only the Trinitarians who accept the official creeds. It is a human paradox that the desire for seemliness, the instinct for restraints and fair disciplines, and the impulse to cherish sweet familiar things, that these things of the True God should so readily liberate cruelty and tyranny. It is like a woman going with a light to tend and protect her sleeping child, and setting the house on fire. None the less, right down to today, the heresy of God the Revengeful, God the Persecutor and Avenger, haunts religion. It is only in quite recent years that the growing gentleness of everyday life has begun to make men a little ashamed of a Deity less tolerant and gentle than themselves. The recent literature of the Anglicans abounds in the evidence of this trouble. Bishop Colenso of Natal was prosecuted and condemned in 1863 for denying the irascibility of his God and teaching “the Kaffirs of Natal” the dangerous heresy that God is all mercy.”We cannot allow it to be said,” the Dean of Cape Town insisted,”that God was not angry and was not appeased by punishment.” He was angry “on account of Sin, which is a great evil and a great insult to His Majesty.” The case of the Rev. Charles Voysey, which occurred in 1870, was a second assertion of the Church’s insistence upon the fierceness of her God. This case is not to be found in the ordinary church histories nor is it even mentioned in the latest edition of the ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA; nevertheless it appears to have been a very illuminating case. It is doubtful if the church would prosecute or condemn either Bishop Colenso or Mr. Voysey today.


Closely related to the Heresy of God the Avenger, is that kind of miniature God the Avenger, to whom the nurserymaid and the overtaxed parent are so apt to appeal. You stab your children with such a God and he poisons all their lives. For many of us the word “God” first came into our lives to denote a wanton, irrational restraint, as Bogey, as the AllSeeing and quite ungenerous Eye. God Bogey is a great convenience to the nurserymaid who wants to leave Fear to mind her charges and enforce her disciplines, while she goes off upon her own aims. But indeed, the teaching of God Bogey is an outrage upon the soul of a child scarcely less dreadful than an indecent assault. The reason rebels and is crushed under this horrible and pursuing suggestion. Many minds never rise again from their injury. They remain for the rest of life spiritually crippled and debased, haunted by a fear, stained with a persuasion of relentless cruelty in the ultimate cause of all things. I, who write, was so set against God, thus rendered. He and his Hell were the nightmare of my childhood; I hated him while I still believed in him, and who could help but hate? I thought of him as a fantastic monster, perpetually spying, perpetually listening, perpetually waiting to condemn and to “strike me dead”; his flames as ready as a grillroom fire. He was over me and about my feebleness and silliness and forgetfulness as the sky and sea would be about a child drowning in midAtlantic. When I was still only a child of thirteen, by the grace of the true God in me, I flung this Lie out of my mind, and for many years, until I came to see that God himself had done this thing for me, the name of God meant nothing to me but the hideous scar in my heart where a fearful demon had been. I see about me today many dreadful moral and mental cripples with this bogey God of the nurserymaid, with his black, insane revenges, still living like a horrible parasite in their hearts in the place where God should be. They are afraid, afraid, afraid; they dare not be kindly to formal sinners, they dare not abandon a hundred foolish observances; they dare not look at the causes of things. They are afraid of sunshine, of nakedness, of health, of adventure, of science, lest that old watching spider take offence. The voice of the true God whispers in their hearts, echoes in speech and writing, but they avert themselves, feardriven. For the true God has no lash of fear. And how the foulminded bigot, with his illshaven face, his greasy skin, his thick, gesticulating hands, his bellowings and threatenings, loves to reap this harvest of fear the ignorant cunning of the nursery girl has sown for him! How he loves the importance of denunciation, and, himself a malignant cripple, to rally the company of these crippled souls to persecute and destroy the happy children of God!… Christian priestcraft turns a dreadful face to children. There is a real wickedness of the priest that is different from other wickedness, and that affects a reasonable mind just as cruelty and strange perversions of instinct affect it. Let a former Archbishop of Canterbury speak for me. This that follows is the account given by Archbishop Tait in a debate in the Upper House of Convocation (July 3rd, 1877) of one of the publications of a certain SOCIETY OF THE HOLY CROSS:

“I take this book, as its contents show, to be meant for the instruction of very young children. I find, in one of the pages of it, the statement that between the ages of six and six and a half years would be the proper time for the inculcation of the teaching which is to be found in the book. Now, six to six and a half is certainly a very tender age, and to these children I find these statements addressed in the book:

“‘It is to the priest, and to the priest only, that the child must acknowledge his sins, if he desires that God should forgive him.’

“I hope and trust the person, the three clergymen, or however many there were, did not exactly realise what they were writing; that they did not mean to say that a child was not to confess its sins to God direct; that it was not to confess its sins, at the age of six, to its mother, or to its father, but was only to have recourse to the priest. But the words, to say the least of them, are rash. Then comes the very obvious question:

“‘Do you know why? It is because God, when he was on earth, gave to his priests, and to them alone, the Divine Power of forgiving men their sins. It was to priests alone that Jesus said:”Receive ye the Holy Ghost.”… Those who will not confess will not be cured. Sin is a terrible sickness, and casts souls into hell.’

“That is addressed to a child six years of age.

“‘I have known,’ the book continues,’poor children who concealed their sins in confession for years; they were very unhappy, were tormented with remorse, and if they had died in that state they would certainly have gone to the everlasting fires of hell.'”…

Now here is something against nature, something that I have seen time after time in the faces and bearing of priests and heard in their preaching. It is a distinct lust. Much nobility and devotion there are among priests, saintly lives and kindly lives, lives of real worship, lives no man may better; this that I write is not of all, perhaps not of many priests. But there has been in all ages that have known sacerdotalism this terrible type of the priest; priestcraft and priestly power release an aggressive and narrow disposition to a recklessness of suffering and a hatred of liberty that surely exceeds the badness of any other sort of men.


Children do not naturally love God. They have no great capacity for an idea so subtle and mature as the idea of God. While they are still children in a home and cared for, life is too kind and easy for them to feel any great need of God. All things are still something Godlike…. The true God, our modern minds insist upon believing, can have no appetite for unnatural praise and adoration. He does not clamour for the attention of children. He is not like one of those senile uncles who dream of glory in the nursery, who love to hear it said,”The children adore him.” If children are loved and trained to truth, justice, and mutual forbearance, they will be ready for the true God as their needs bring them within his scope. They should be left to their innocence, and to their trust in the innocence of the world, as long as they can be. They should be told only of God as a Great Friend whom some day they will need more and understand and know better. That is as much as most children need. The phrases of religion put too early into their mouths may become a cant, something worse than blasphemy. Yet children are sometimes very near to God. Creative passion stirs in their play. At times they display a divine simplicity. But it does not follow that therefore they should be afflicted with theological formulae or inducted into ceremonies and rites that they may dislike or misinterpret. If by any accident, by the death of a friend or a distressing story, the thought of death afflicts a child, then he may begin to hear of God, who takes those that serve him out of their slain bodies into his shining immortality. Or if by some menial treachery, through some prowling priest, the whisper of Old Bogey reaches our children, then we may set their minds at ease by the assurance of his limitless charity…. With adolescence comes the desire for God and to know more of God, and that is the most suitable time for religious talk and teaching.


In the last two or three hundred years there has been a very considerable disentanglement of the idea of God from the complex of sexual thought and feeling. But in the early days of religion the two things were inseparably bound together; the fury of the Hebrew prophets, for example, is continually proclaiming the extraordinary “wrath” of their God at this or that little dirtiness or irregularity or breach of the sexual tabus. The ceremony of circumcision is clearly indicative of the original nature of the Semitic deity who developed into the Trinitarian God. So far as Christianity dropped this rite, so far Christianity disavowed the old associations. But to this day the representative Christian churches still make marriage into a mystical sacrament, and, with some exceptions, the Roman communion exacts the sacrifice of celibacy from its priesthood, regardless of the mischievousness and maliciousness that so often ensue. Nearly every Christian church inflicts as much discredit and injustice as it can contrive upon the illegitimate child. They do not treat illegitimate children as unfortunate children, but as children with a mystical and an incurable taint of SIN. Kindly easygoing Christians may resent this statement because it does not tally with their own attitudes, but let them consult their orthodox authorities. One must distinguish clearly here between what is held to be sacred or sinful in itself and what is held to be one’s duty or a nation’s duty because it is in itself the wisest, cleanest, clearest, best thing to do. By the latter tests and reasonable arguments most or all of our institutions regulating the relations of the sexes may be justifiable. But my case is not whether they can be justified by these tests but that it is not by these tests that they are judged even today, by the professors of the chief religions of the world. It is the temper and not the conclusions of the religious bodies that I would criticise. These sexual questions are guarded by a holy irascibility, and the most violent efforts are madewith a sense of complete righteousnessto prohibit their discussion. That fury about sexual things is only to be explained on the hypothesis that the Christian God remains a sex God in the minds of great numbers of his exponents. His disentanglement from that plexus is incomplete. Sexual things are still to the orthodox Christian, sacred things. Now the God whom those of the new faith are finding is only mediately concerned with the relations of men and women. He is no more sexual essentially than he is essentially dietetic or hygienic. The God of Leviticus was all these things. He is represented as prescribing the most petty and intimate of observancesmany of which are now habitually disregarded by the Christians who profess him…. It is part of the evolution of the idea of God that we have now so largely disentangled our conception of him from the dietary and regimen and meticulous sexual rules that were once inseparably bound up with his majesty. Christ himself was one of the chief forces in this disentanglement, there is the clearest evidence in several instances of his disregard of the rule and his insistence that his disciples should seek for the spirit underlying and often masked by the rule. His Church, being made of baser matter, has followed him as reluctantly as possible and no further than it was obliged. But it has followed him far enough to admit his principle that in all these matters there is no need for superstitious fear, that the interpretation of the divine purpose is left to the unembarrassed intelligence of men. The church has followed him far enough to make the harsh threatenings of priests and ecclesiastics against what they are pleased to consider impurity or sexual impiety, a profound inconsistency. One seems to hear their distant protests when one reads of Christ and the Magdalen, or of Christ eating with publicans and sinners. The clergy of our own days play the part of the New Testament Pharisees with the utmost exactness and complete unconsciousness. One cannot imagine a modern ecclesiastic conversing with a Magdalen in terms of ordinary civility, unless she was in a very high social position indeed, or blending with disreputable characters without a dramatic sense of condescension and much explanatory byplay. Those who profess modern religion do but follow in these matters a course entirely compatible with what has survived of the authentic teachings of Christ, when they declare that God is not sexual, and that religious passion and insult and persecution upon the score of sexual things are a barbaric inheritance. But lest anyone should fling off here with some hasty assumption that those who profess the religion of the true God are sexually anarchistic, let stress be laid at once upon the opening sentence of the preceding paragraph, and let me a little anticipate a section which follows. We would free men and women from exact and superstitious rules and observances, not to make them less the instruments of God but more wholly his. The claim of modern religion is that one should give oneself unreservedly to God, that there is no other salvation. The believer owes all his being and every moment of his life to God, to keep mind and body as clean, fine, wholesome, active and completely at God’s service as he can. There is no scope for indulgence or dissipation in such a consecrated life. It is a matter between the individual and his conscience or his doctor or his social understanding what exactly he may do or not do, what he may eat or drink or so forth, upon any occasion. Nothing can exonerate him from doing his utmost to determine and perform the right act. Nothing can excuse his failure to do so. But what is here being insisted upon is that none of these things has immediately to do with God or religious emotion, except only the general will to do right in God’s service. The detailed interpretation of that “right” is for the dispassionate consideration of the human intelligence. All this is set down here as distinctly as possible. Because of the emotional reservoirs of sex, sexual dogmas are among the most obstinately recurrent of all heresies, and sexual excitement is always tending to leak back into religious feeling. Amongst the sextormented priesthood of the Roman communion in particular, ignorant of the extreme practices of the Essenes and of the Orphic cult and suchlike predecessors of Christianity, there seems to be an extraordinary belief that chastity was not invented until Christianity came, and that the religious life is largely the propitiation of God by feats of sexual abstinence. But a superstitious abstinence that scars and embitters the mind, distorts the imagination, makes the body gross and keeps it unclean, is just as offensive to God as any positive depravity.


1. GOD IS COURAGE Now having set down what those who profess the new religion regard as the chief misconceptions of God, having put these systems of ideas aside from our explanations, the path is cleared for the statement of what God is. Since language springs entirely from material, spatial things, there is always an element of metaphor in theological statement. So that I have not called this chapter the Nature of God, but the Likeness of God. And firstly, GOD IS COURAGE.


And next GOD IS A PERSON. Upon this point those who are beginning to profess modern religion are very insistent. It is, they declare, the central article, the axis, of their religion. God is a person who can be known as one knows a friend, who can be served and who receives service, who partakes of our nature; who is, like us, a being in conflict with the unknown and the limitless and the forces of death; who values much that we value and is against much that we are pitted against. He is our king to whom we must be loyal; he is our captain, and to know him is to have a direction in our lives. He feels us and knows us; he is helped and gladdened by us. He hopes and attempts…. God is no abstraction nor trick of words, no Infinite. He is as real as a bayonet thrust or an embrace. Now this is where those who have left the old creeds and come asking about the new realisations find their chief difficulty. They say, Show us this person; let us hear him.(If they listen to the silences within, presently they will hear him.) But when one argues, one finds oneself suddenly in the net of those ancient controversies between species and individual, between the one and the many, which arise out of the necessarily imperfect methods of the human mind. Upon these matters there has been much pregnant writing during the last half century. Such ideas as this writer has to offer are to be found in a previous little book of his,”First and Last Things,” in which, writing as one without authority or specialisation in logic and philosophy, as an ordinary man vividly interested, for others in a like case, he was at some pains to elucidate the imperfections of this instrument of ours, this mind, by which we must seek and explain and reach up to God. Suffice it here to say that theological discussion may very easily become like the vision of a man with cataract, a mere projection of inherent imperfections. If we do not use our phraseology with a certain courage, and take that of those who are trying to convey their ideas to us with a certain politeness and charity, there is no end possible to any discussion in so subtle and intimate a matter as theology but assertions, denials, and wranglings. And about this word “person” it is necessary to be as clear and explicit as possible, though perfect clearness, a definition of mathematical sharpness, is by the very nature of the case impossible. Now when we speak of a person or an individual we think typically of a man, and we forget that he was once an embryo and will presently decay; we forget that he came of two people and may beget many, that he has forgotten much and will forget more, that he can be confused, divided against himself, delirious, drunken, drugged, or asleep. On the contrary we are, in our hasty way of thinking of him, apt to suppose him continuous, definite, acting consistently and never forgetting. But only abstract and theoretical persons are like that. We couple with him the idea of a body. Indeed, in the common use of the word “person” there is more thought of body than of mind. We speak of a lover possessing the person of his mistress. We speak of offences against the person as opposed to insults, libels, or offences against property. And the gods of primitive men and the earlier civilisations were quite of that quality of person. They were thought of as living in very splendid bodies and as acting consistently. If they were invisible in the ordinary world it was because they were aloof or because their “persons” were too splendid for weak human eyes. Moses was permitted a mitigated view of the person of the Hebrew God on Mount Horeb; and Semele, who insisted upon seeing Zeus in the glories that were sacred to Juno, was utterly consumed. The early Islamic conception of God, like the conception of most honest, simple Christians today, was clearly, in spite of the theologians, of a very exalted anthropomorphic personality away somewhere in Heaven. The personal appearance of the Christian God is described in The Revelation, and however much that description may be explained away by commentators as symbolical, it is certainly taken by most straightforward believers as a statement of concrete reality. Now if we are going to insist upon this primary meaning of person and individual, then certainly God as he is now conceived is not a person and not an individual. The true God will never promenade an Eden or a Heaven, nor sit upon a throne. But current Christianity, modern developments of Islam, much Indian theological thoughtthat, for instance, which has found such delicate and attractive expression in the devotional poetry of Rabindranath Tagorehas long since abandoned this anthropomorphic insistence upon a body. From the earliest ages man’s mind has found little or no difficulty in the idea of something essential to the personality, a soul or a spirit or both, existing apart from the body and continuing after the destruction of the body, and being still a person and an individual. From this it is a small step to the thought of a person existing independently of any existing or preexisting body. That is the idea of theological Christianity, as distinguished from the Christianity of simple faith. The Triune Personsomnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotentexist for all time, superior to and independent of matter. They are supremely disembodied. One became incarnateas a wind eddy might take up a whirl of dust…. Those who profess modern religion conceive that this is an excessive abstraction of the idea of spirituality, a disembodiment of the idea of personality beyond the limits of the conceivable; nevertheless they accept the conception that a person, a spiritual individual, may be without an ordinary mortal body…. They declare that God is without any specific body, that he is immaterial, that he can affect the material universeand that means that he can only reach our sight, our hearing, our touchthrough the bodies of those who believe in him and serve him. His nature is of the nature of thought and will. Not only has he, in his essence, nothing to do with matter, but nothing to do with space. He is not of matter nor of space. He comes into them. Since the period when all the great theologies that prevail today were developed, there have been great changes in the ideas of men towards the dimensions of time and space. We owe to Kant the release from the rule of these ideas as essential ideas. Our modern psychology is alive to the possibility of Being that has no extension in space at all, even as our speculative geometry can entertain the possibility of dimensionsfourth, fifth, Nth dimensionsoutside the threedimensional universe of our experience. And God being nonspatial is not thereby banished to an infinite remoteness, but brought nearer to us; he is everywhere immediately at hand, even as a fourth dimension would be everywhere immediately at hand. He is a Being of the minds and in the minds of men. He is in immediate contact with all who apprehend him…. But modern religion declares that though he does not exist in matter or space, he exists in time just as a current of thought may do; that he changes and becomes more even as a man’s purpose gathers itself together; that somewhere in the dawning of mankind he had a beginning, an awakening, and that as mankind grows he grows. With our eyes he looks out upon the universe he invades; with our hands, he lays hands upon it. All our truth, all our intentions and achievements, he gathers to himself. He is the undying human memory, the increasing human will. But this, you may object, is no more than saying that God is the collective mind and purpose of the human race. You may declare that this is no God, but merely the sum of mankind. But those who believe in the new ideas very steadfastly deny that. God is, they say, not an aggregate but a synthesis. He is not merely the best of all of us, but a Being in himself, composed of that but more than that, as a temple is more than a gathering of stones, or a regiment is more than an accumulation of men. They point out that a man is made up of a great multitude of cells, each equivalent to a unicellular organism. Not one of those cells is he, nor is he simply just the addition of all of them. He is more than all of them. You can take away these and these and these, and he still remains. And he can detach part of himself and treat it as if it were not himself, just as a man may beat his breast or, as Cranmer the martyr did, thrust his hand into the flames. A man is none the less himself because his hair is cut or his appendix removed or his leg amputated. And take another image…. Who bears affection for this or that spadeful of mud in my garden? Who cares a throb of the heart for all the tons of chalk in Kent or all the lumps of limestone in Yorkshire? But men love England, which is made up of such things. And so we think of God as a synthetic reality, though he has neither body nor material parts. And so too we may obey him and listen to him, though we think but lightly of the men whose hands or voices he sometimes uses. And we may think of him as having moods and aspectsas a man hasand a consistency we call his character. These are theorisings about God. These are statements to convey this modern idea of God. This, we say, is the nature of the person whose will and thoughts we serve. No one, however, who understands the religious life seeks conversion by argument. First one must feel the need of God, then one must form or receive an acceptable idea of God. That much is no more than turning one’s face to the east to see the coming of the sun. One may still doubt if that direction is the east or whether the sun will rise. The real coming of God is not that. It is a change, an irradiation of the mind. Everything is there as it was before, only now it is aflame. Suddenly the light fills one’s eyes, and one knows that God has risen and that doubt has fled for ever.


The third thing to be told of the true God is that GOD IS YOUTH. God, we hold, began and is always beginning. He looks forever into the future. Most of the old religions derive from a patriarchal phase. God is in those systems the Ancient of Days. I know of no Christian attempt to represent or symbolise God the Father which is not a bearded, aged man. White hair, beard, bearing, wrinkles, a hundred such symptoms of senile decay are there. These marks of senility do not astonish our modern minds in the picture of God, only because tradition and usage have blinded our eyes to the absurdity of a timeworn immortal. Jove too and Wotan are figures far past the prime of their vigour. These are gods after the ancient habit of the human mind, that turned perpetually backward for causes and reasons and saw all things to come as no more than the working out of Fate,”Of Man’s first disobedience and the fruit Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste Brought death into the world and all our woe.” But the God of this new age, we repeat, looks not to our past but our future, and if a figure may represent him it must be the figure of a beautiful youth, already brave and wise, but hardly come to his strength. He should stand lightly on his feet in the morning time, eager to go forward, as though he had but newly arisen to a day that was still but a promise; he should bear a sword, that clean, discriminating weapon, his eyes should be as bright as swords; his lips should fall apart with eagerness for the great adventure before him, and he should be in very fresh and golden harness, reflecting the rising sun. Death should still hang like mists and cloud banks and shadows in the valleys of the wide landscape about him. There should be dew upon the threads of gossamer and little leaves and blades of the turf at his feet….


One of the sayings about God that have grown at the same time most trite and most sacred, is that God is Love. This is a saying that deserves careful examination. Love is a word very loosely used; there are people who will say they love new potatoes; there are a multitude of loves of different colours and values. There is the love of a mother for her child, there is the love of brothers, there is the love of youth and maiden, and the love of husband and wife, there is illicit love and the love one bears one’s home or one’s country, there are doglovers and the loves of the Olympians, and love which is a passion of jealousy. Love is frequently a mere blend of appetite and preference; it may be almost pure greed; it may have scarcely any devotion nor be a whit selfforgetful nor generous. It is possible so to phrase things that the furtive craving of a man for another man’s wife may be made out to be a light from God. Yet about all the better sorts of love, the sorts of love that people will call “true love,” there is something of that same exaltation out of the narrow self that is the essential quality of the knowledge of God. Only while the exaltation of the love passion comes and goes, the exaltation of religious passion comes to remain. Lovers are the windows by which we may look out of the prison of self, but God is the open door by which we freely go. And God never dies, nor disappoints, nor betrays. The love of a woman and a man has usually, and particularly in its earlier phases of excitement, far too much desire, far too much possessiveness and exclusiveness, far too much distrust or forced trust, and far too great a kindred with jealousy to be like the love of God. The former is a dramatic relationship that drifts to a climax, and then again seeks presently a climax, and that may be satiated or fatigued. But the latter is far more like the love of comrades, or like the love of a man and a woman who have loved and been through much trouble together, who have hurt one another and forgiven, and come to a complete and generous fellowship. There is a strange and beautiful love that men tell of that will spring up on battlefields between sorely wounded men, and often they are men who have fought together, so that they will do almost incredibly brave and tender things for one another, though but recently they have been trying to kill each other. There is often a pure exaltation of feeling between those who stand side by side manfully in any great stress. These are the forms of love that perhaps come nearest to what we mean when we speak of the love of God. That is man’s love of God, but there is also something else; there is the love God bears for man in the individual believer. Now this is not an indulgent, instinctive, and sacrificing love like the love of a woman for her baby. It is the love of the captain for his men; God must love his followers as a great captain loves his men, who are so foolish, so helpless in themselves, so confiding, and yet whose faith alone makes him possible. It is an austere love. The spirit of God will not hesitate to send us to torment and bodily death…. And God waits for us, for all of us who have the quality to reach him. He has need of us as we of him. He desires us and desires to make himself known to us. When at last the individual breaks through the limiting darknesses to him, the irradiation of that moment, the smile and soul clasp, is in God as well as in man. He has won us from his enemy. We come staggering through into the golden light of his kingdom, to fight for his kingdom henceforth, until at last we are altogether taken up into his being.



It is a curious thing that while most organised religions seem to drape about and conceal and smother the statement of the true God, the honest Atheist, with his passionate impulse to strip the truth bare, is constantly and unwittingly reproducing the divine likeness. It will be interesting here to call a witness or so to the extreme instability of absolute negation. Here, for example, is a deliverance from Professor Metchnikoff, who was a very typical antagonist of all religion. He died only the other day. He was a very great physiologist indeed; he was a man almost of the rank and quality of Pasteur or Charles Darwin. A decade or more ago he wrote a book called “The Nature of Man,” in which he set out very plainly a number of illuminating facts about life. They are facts so illuminating that presently, in our discussion of sin, they will be referred to again. But it is not Professor Metchnikoff’s intention to provide material for a religious discussion. He sets out his facts in order to overthrow theology as he conceives it. The remarkable thing about his book, the thing upon which I would now lay stress, is that he betrays no inkling of the fact that he has no longer the right to conceive theology as he conceives it. The development of his science has destroyed that right. He does not realise how profoundly modern biology has affected our ideas of individuality and species, and how the import of theology is modified through these changes. When he comes from his own world of modern biology to religion and philosophy he goes back in time. He attacks religion as he understood it when first he fell out with it fifty years or more ago. Let us state as compactly as possible the nature of these changes that biological science has wrought almost imperceptibly in the general scheme and method of our thinking. The influence of biology upon thought in general consists essentially in diminishing the importance of the individual and developing the realisation of the species, as if it were a kind of superindividual, a modifying and immortal superindividual, maintaining itself against the outer universe by the birth and death of its constituent individuals. Natural History, which began by putting individuals into species as if the latter were mere classificatory divisions, has come to see that the species has its adventures, its history and drama, far exceeding in interest and importance the individual adventure.”The Origin of Species” was for countless minds the discovery of a new romance in life. The contrast of the individual life and this specific life may be stated plainly and compactly as follows. A little while ago we current individuals, we who are alive now, were each of us distributed between two parents, then between four grandparents, and so on backward, we are temporarily assembled, as it were, out of an ancestral diffusion; we stand our trial, and presently our individuality is dispersed and mixed again with other individualities in an uncertain multitude of descendants. But the species is not like this; it goes on steadily from newness to newness, remaining still a unity. The drama of the individual life is a mere episode, beneficial or abandoned, in this continuing adventure of the species. And Metchnikoff finds most of the trouble of life and the distresses of life in the fact that the species is still very painfully adjusting itself to the fluctuating conditions under which it lives. The conflict of life is a continual pursuit of adjustment, and the “ills of life,” of the individual life that is, are due to its “disharmonies.” Man, acutely aware of himself as an individual adventure and unawakened to himself as a species, finds life jangling and distressful, finds death frustration. He fails and falls as a person in what may be the success and triumph of his kind. He does not apprehend the struggle or the nature of victory, but only his own gravitation to death and personal extinction. Now Professor Metchnikoff is antireligious, and he is anti religious because to him as to so many Europeans religion is confused with priestcraft and dogmas, is associated with disagreeable early impressions of irrational repression and misguidance. How completely he misconceives the quality of religion, how completely he sees it as an individual’s affair, his own words may witness:

“Religion is still occupied with the problem of death. The solutions which as yet it has offered cannot be regarded as satisfactory. A future life has no single argument to support it, and the nonexistence of life after death is in consonance with the whole range of human knowledge. On the other hand, resignation as preached by Buddha will fail to satisfy humanity, which has a longing for life, and is overcome by the thought of the inevitability of death.”

Now here it is clear that by death he means the individual death, and by a future life the prolongation of individuality. But Buddhism does not in truth appear ever to have been concerned with that, and modern religious developments are certainly not under that preoccupation with the narrower self. Buddhism indeed so far from “preaching resignation” to death, seeks as its greater good a death so complete as to be absolute release from the individual’s burthen of KARMA. Buddhism seeks an ESCAPE FROM INDIVIDUAL IMMORTALITY. The deeper one pursues religious thought the more nearly it approximates to a search for escape from the selfcentred life and overindividuation, and the more it diverges from Professor Metchnikoff’s assertion of its aims. Salvation is indeed to lose one’s self. But Professor Metchnikoff having roundly denied that this is so, is then left free to take the very essentials of the religious life as they are here conceived and present them as if they were the antithesis of the religious life. His book, when it is analysed, resolves itself into just that research for an escape from the painful accidents and chagrins of individuation, which is the ultimate of religion. At times, indeed, he seems almost wilfully blind to the true solution round and about which his writing goes. He suggests as his most hopeful satisfaction for the cravings of the human heart, such a scientific prolongation of life that the instinct for self preservation will be at last extinct. If that is not the very “resignation” he imputes to the Buddhist I do not know what it is. He believes that an individual which has lived fully and completely may at last welcome death with the same instinctive readiness as, in the days of its strength, it shows for the embraces of its mate. We are to be glutted by living to six score and ten. We are to rise from the table at last as gladly as we sat down. We shall go to death as unresistingly as tired children go to bed. Men are to have a life far beyond the range of what is now considered their prime, and their last period (won by scientific selfcontrol) will be a period of ripe wisdom (from seventy to eighty to a hundred and twenty or thereabouts) and public service!(But why, one asks, public service? Why not bookcollecting or the simple pleasure of reminiscence so dear to aged egotists? Metchnikoff never faces that question. And again, what of the man who is challenged to die for right at the age of thirty? What does the prolongation of life do for him? And where are the consolations for accidental misfortune, for the tormenting disease or the lost limb?) But in his peroration Professor Metchnikoff lapses into pure religiosity. The prolongation of life gives place to sheer self sacrifice as the fundamental “remedy.” And indeed what other remedy has ever been conceived for the general evil of life?

“On the other hand,” he writes,”the knowledge that the goal of human life can be attained only by the development of a high degree of solidarity amongst men will restrain actual egotism. The mere fact that the enjoyment of life according to the precepts of Solomon (Ecelesiastes ix. 710)* is opposed to the goal of human life, will lessen luxury and the evil that comes from luxury. Conviction that science alone is able to redress the disharmonies of the human constitution will lead directly to the improvement of education and to the solidarity of mankind.* Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works. Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment. Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun. whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.”In progress towards the goal, nature will have to be consulted continuously. Already, in the case of the ephemerids, nature has produced a complete cycle of normal life ending in natural death. In the problem of his own fate, man must not be content with the gifts of nature; he must direct them by his own efforts. Just as he has been able to modify the nature of animals and plants, man must attempt to modify his own constitution, so as to readjust its disharmonies….”To modify the human constitution, it will be necessary first, to frame the ideal, and thereafter to set to work with all the resources of science.”If there can be formed an ideal able to unite men in a kind of religion of the future, this ideal must be founded on scientific principles. And if it be true, as has been asserted so often, that man can live by faith alone, the faith must be in the power of science.”

Now this, after all the flat repudiations that have preceded it of “religion” and “philosophy” as remedies for human ills, is nothing less than the fundamental proposition of the religious life translated into terms of materialistic science, the proposition that damnation is really overindividuation and that salvahon is escape from self into the larger being of life…. What can this “religion of the future” be but that devotion to the racial adventure under the captaincy of God which we have already found, like gold in the bottom of the vessel, when we have washed away the confusions and impurities of dogmatic religion? By an inquiry setting out from a purely religious startingpoint we have already reached conclusions identical with this ultimate refuge of an extreme materialist. This altar to the Future of his, we can claim as an altar to our Godan altar rather indistinctly inscribed.


Almost all Agnostic and Atheistical writings that show any fineness and generosity of spirit, have this tendency to become as it were the statement of an anonymous God. Everything is said that a religious writer would sayexcept that God is not named. Religious metaphors abound. It is as if they accepted the living body of religion but denied the bones that held it togetheras they might deny the bones of a friend. It is true, they would admit, the body moves in a way that implies bones in its every movement, but WE HAVE NEVER SEEN THOSE BONES. The disputes in theoryI do not say the difference in reality between the modern believer and the atheist or agnosticbecomes at times almost as impalpable as that subtle discussion dear to students of physics, whether the scientific “ether” is real or a formula. Every material phenomenon is consonant with and helps to define this ether, which permeates and sustains and is all things, which nevertheless is perceptible to no sense, which is reached only by an intellectual process. Most minds are disposed to treat this ether as a reality. But the acutely critical mind insists that what is only so attainable by inference is not real; it is no more than “a formula that satisfies all phenomena.” But if it comes to that, am I anything more than the formula that satisfies all my forms of consciousness? Intellectually there is hardly anything more than a certain will to believe, to divide the religious man who knows God to be utterly real, from the man who says that God is merely a formula to satisfy moral and spiritual phenomena. The former has encountered him, the other has as yet felt only unassigned impulses. One says God’s will is so; the other that Right is so. One says God moves me to do this or that; the other the Good Will in me which I share with you and all welldisposed men, moves me to do this or that. But the former makes an exterior reference and escapes a risk of self righteousness. I have recently been reading a book by Mr. Joseph McCabe called “The Tyranny of Shams,” in which he displays very typically this curious tendency to a sort of religion with God “blacked out.” His is an extremely interesting case. He is a writer who was formerly a Roman Catholic priest, and in his reaction from Catholicism he displays a resolution even sterner than Professor Metchnikoff’s, to deny that anything religious or divine can exist, that there can be any aim in life except happiness, or any guide but “science.” Butand here immediately he turns east againhe is careful not to say “individual happiness.” And he says “Pleasure is, as Epicureans insisted, only a part of a large ideal of happiness.” So he lets the happiness of devotion and sacrifice creep in. So he opens indefinite possibilities of getting away from any merely materialistic rule of life. And he writes:

“In every civilised nation the mass of the people are inert and indifferent. Some even make a pretence of justifying their inertness. Why, they ask, should we stir at all? Is there such a thing as a duty to improve the earth? What is the meaning or purpose of life? Or has it a purpose?”One generally finds that this kind of reasoning is merely a piece of controversial athletics or a thin excuse for idleness. People tell you that the conflict of science and religionit would be better to say, the conflict of modern culture and ancient traditionshas robbed life of its plain significance. The men who, like Tolstoi, seriously urge this point fail to appreciate the modern outlook on life. Certainly modern culturescience, history, philosophy, and artfinds no purpose in life: that is to say, no purpose eternally fixed and to be discovered by man. A great chemist said a few years ago that he could imagine ‘a series of lucky accidents’the chance blowing by the wind of certain chemicals into pools on the primitive earthaccounting for the first appearance of life; and one might not unjustly sum up the influences which have lifted those early germs to the level of conscious beings as a similar series of lucky accidents.”But it is sheer affectation to say that this demoralises us. If there is no purpose impressed on the universe, or prefixed to the development of humanity, it follows only that humanity may choose its own purpose and set up its own goal; and the most elementary sense of order will teach us that this choice must be social, not merely individual. In whatever measure illcontrolled individuals may yield to personal impulses or attractions, the aim of the race must be a collective aim. I do not mean an austere demand of self sacrifice from the individual, but an adjustmentas genial and generous as possibleof individual variations for common good. Otherwise life becomes discordant and futile, and the pain and waste react on each individual. So we raise again, in the twentieth century, the old question of ‘the greatest good,’ which men discussed in the Stoa Poikile and the suburban groves of Athens, in the cool atria of patrician mansions on the Palatine and the Pincian, in the Museum at Alexandria, and the schools which Omar Khayyam frequented, in the strawstrewn schools of the Middle Ages and the opulent chambers of Cosimo dei Medici.”

And again:

“The old dream of a cooperative effort to improve life, to bring happiness to as many minds of mortals as we can reach, shines above all the mists of the day. Through the ruins of creeds and philosophies, which have for ages disdained it, we are retracing our steps toward that heightjust as the Athenians did two thousand years ago. It rests on no metaphysic, no sacred legend, no disputable traditionnothing that scepticism can corrode or advancing knowledge undermine. Its foundations are the fundamental and unchanging impulses of our nature.”

And again:

“The revolt which burns in so much of the abler literature of our time is an unselfish revolt, or nonselfish revolt: it is an outcome of that larger spirit which conceives the self to be a part of the general social organism, and it is therefore neither egoistic nor altruistic. It finds a sanction in the new intelligence, and an inspiration in the finer sentiments of our generation, but the glow which chiefly illumines it is the glow of the great vision of a happier earth. It speaks of the claims of truth and justice, and assails untruth and injustice, for these are elemental principles of social life; but it appeals more confidently to the warmer sympathy which is linking the scattered children of the race, and it urges all to cooperate in the restriction of suffering and the creation of happiness. The advance guard of the race, the men and women in whom mental alertness is associated with fine feeling, cry that they have reached Pisgah’s slope and in increasing numbers men and women are pressing on to see if it be really the Promised Land.”

“Pisgahthe Promised Land!” Mr. McCabe in that passage sounds as if he were halfway to “Oh! Beulah Land!” and the tambourine. That “larger spirit,” we maintain, is God; those “impulses” are the power of God, and Mr. McCabe serves a Master he denies. He has but to realise fully that God is not necessarily the Triune God of the Catholic Church, and banish his intense suspicion that he may yet be lured back to that altar he abandoned, he has but to look up from that preoccupation, and immediately he will begin to realise the presence of Divinity.


It may be argued that if atheists and agnostics when they set themselves to express the good will that is in them, do shape out God, that if their conception of right living falls in so completely with the conception of God’s service as to be broadly identical, then indeed God, like the ether of scientific speculation, is no more than a theory, no more than an imaginative externalisation of man’s inherent good will. Why trouble about God then? Is not the declaration of a good disposition a sufficient evidence of salvation? What is the difference between such benevolent unbelievers as Professor Metchnikoff or Mr. McCabe and those who have found God? The difference is this, that the benevolent atheist stands alone upon his own good will, without a reference, without a standard, trusting to his own impulse to goodness, relying upon his own moral strength. A certain immodesty, a certain selfrighteousness, hangs like a precipice above him; incalculable temptations open like gulfs beneath his feet. He has not really given himself or got away from himself. He has no one to whom he can give himself. He is still a masterless man. His exaltation is selfcentred, is priggishness, his fall is unrestrained by any exterior obligation. His devotion is only the good will in himself, a disposition; it is a mood that may change. At any moment it may change. He may have pledged himself to his own pride and honour, but who will hold him to his bargain? He has no source of strength beyond his own amiable sentiments, his conscience speaks with an unsupported voice, and no one watches while he sleeps. He cannot pray; he can but ejaculate. He has no real and living link with other men of good will. And those whose acquiescence in the idea of God is merely intellectual are in no better case than those who deny God altogether. They may have all the forms of truth and not divinity. The religion of the atheist with a Godshaped blank at its heart and the persuasion of the unconverted theologian, are both like lamps unlit. The lit lamp has no difference in form from the lamp unlit. But the lit lamp is alive and the lamp unlit is asleep or dead. The difference between the unconverted and the unbeliever and the servant of the true God is this; it is that the latter has experienced a complete turning away from self. This only difference is all the difference in the world. It is the realisation that this goodness that I thought was within me and of myself and upon which I rather prided myself, is without me and above myself, and infinitely greater and stronger than I. It is the immortal and I am mortal. It is invincible and steadfast in its purpose, and I am weak and insecure. It is no longer that I, out of my inherent and remarkable goodness, out of the excellence of my quality and the benevolence of my heart, give a considerable amount of time and attention to the happiness and welfare of othersbecause I choose to do so. On the contrary I have come under a divine imperative, I am obeying an irresistible call, I am a humble and willing servant of the righteousness of God. That altruism which Professor Metchnikoff and Mr. McCabe would have us regard as the goal and refuge of a broad and free intelligence, is really the first simple commandment in the religious life.


Now here is a passage from a book,”Evolution and the War,” by Professor Metchnikoff’s translator, Dr. Chalmers Mitchell, which comes even closer to our conception of God as an immortal being arising out of man, and external to the individual man. He has been discussing that wellknown passage of Kant’s:”Two things fill my mind with everrenewed wonder and awe the more often and deeper I dwell on themthe starry vault above me, and the moral law within me.” From that discussion, Dr. Chalmers Mitchell presently comes to this most definite and interesting statement:

“Writing as a hardshell Darwinian evolutionist, a lover of the scalpel and microscope, and of patient, empirical observation, as one who dislikes all forms of supernaturalism, and who does not shrink from the implications even of the phrase that thought is a secretion of the brain as bile is a secretion of the liver, I assert as a biological fact that the moral law is as real and as external to man as the starry vault. It has no secure seat in any single man or in any single nation. It is the work of the blood and tears of long generations of men. It is not in man, inborn or innate, but is enshrined in his traditions, in his customs, in his literature and his religion. Its creation and sustenance are the crowning glory of man, and his consciousness of it puts him in a high place above the animal world. Men live and die; nations rise and fall, but the struggle of individual lives and of individual nations must be measured not by their immediate needs, but as they tend to the debasement or perfection of man’s great achievement.”

This is the same reality. This is the same Link and Captain that this book asserts. It seems to me a secondary matter whether we call Him “Man’s Great Achievement” or “The Son of Man” or the “God of Mankind” or “God.” So far as the practical and moral ends of life are concerned, it does not matter how we explain or refuse to explain His presence in our lives. There is but one possible gap left between the position of Dr. Chalmers Mitchell and the position of this book. In this book it is asserted that GOD RESPONDS, that he GIVES courage and the power of selfsuppression to our weakness.


Let me now quote and discuss a very beautiful passage from a lecture upon Stoicism by Professor Gilbert Murray, which also displays the same characteristic of an involuntary shaping out of God in the forms of denial. It is a passage remarkable for its conscientious and resolute Agnosticism. And it is remarkable too for its blindness to the possibility of separating quite completely the idea of the Infinite Being from the idea of God. It is another striking instance of that obsession of modern minds by merely Christian theology of which I have already complained. Professor Murray has quoted Mr. Bevan’s phrase for God,”the Friend behind phenomena,” and he does not seem to realise that that phrase carries with it no obligation whatever to believe that this Friend is in control of the phenomena. He assumes that he is supposed to be in control as if it were a matter of course:

“We do seem to find,” Professor Murray writes,”not only in all religions, but in practically all philosophies, some belief that man is not quite alone in the universe, but is met in his endeavours towards the good by some external help or sympathy. We find it everywhere in the unsophisticated man. We find it in the unguarded selfrevelations of the most severe and conscientious Atheists. Now, the Stoics, like many other schools of thought, drew an argument from this consensus of all mankind. It was not an absolute proof of the existence of the Gods or Providence, but it was a strong indication. The existence of a common instinctive belief in the mind of man gives at least a presumption that there must be a good cause for that belief.”This is a reasonable position. There must be some such cause. But it does not follow that the only valid cause is the truth of the content of the belief. I cannot help suspecting that this is precisely one of those points on which Stoicism, in company with almost all philosophy up to the present time, has gone astray through not sufficiently realising its dependence on the human mind as a natural biological product. For it is very important in this matter to realise that the socalled belief is not really an intellectual judgment so much as a craving of the whole nature.”It is only of very late years that psychologists have begun to realise the enormous dominion of those forces in man of which he is normally unconscious. We cannot escape as easily as these brave men dreamed from the grip of the blind powers beneath the threshold. Indeed, as I see philosophy after philosophy falling into this unproven belief in the Friend behind phenomena, as I find that I myself cannot, except for a moment and by an effort, refrain from making the same assumption, it seems to me that perhaps here too we are under the spell of a very old ineradicable instinct. We are gregarious animals; our ancestors have been such for countless ages. We cannot help looking out on the world as gregarious animals do; we see it in terms of humanity and of fellowship. Students of animals under domestication have shown us how the habits of a gregarious creature, taken away from his kind, are shaped in a thousand details by reference to the lost pack which is no longer therethe pack which a dog tries to smell his way back to all the time he is out walking, the pack he calls to for help when danger threatens. It is a strange and touching thing, this eternal hunger of the gregarious animal for the herd of friends who are not there. And it may be, it may very possibly be, that, in the matter of this Friend behind phenomena our own yearning and our own almost ineradicable instinctive conviction, since they are certainly not founded on either reason or observation, are in origin the groping of a lonely souled gregarious animal to find its herd or its herdleader in the great spaces between the stars.”At any rate, it is a belief very difficult to get rid of.”

There the passage and the lecture end. I would urge that here again is an inadvertent witness to the reality of God. Professor Murray writes of gregarious animals as though there existed solitary animals that are not gregarious, pure individualists,”atheists” so to speak, and as though this appeal to a life beyond one’s own was not the universal disposition of living things. His classical training disposes him to a realistic exaggeration of individual difference. But nearly every animal, and certainly every mentally considerable animal, begins under parental care, in a nest or a litter, mates to breed, and is associated for much of its life. Even the great carnivores do not go alone except when they are old and have done with the most of life. Every pack, every herd, begins at some point in a couple, it is the equivalent of the tiger’s litter if that were to remain undispersed. And it is within the memory of men still living that in many districts the African lion has with a change of game and conditions lapsed from a “solitary” to a gregarious, that is to say a prolonged family habit of life. Man too, if in his apelike phase he resembled the other higher apes, is an animal becoming more gregarious and not less. He has passed within the historical period from a tribal gregariousness to a nearly cosmopolitan tolerance. And he has his tribe about him. He is not, as Professor Murray seems to suggest, a solitary LOST gregarious beast. Why should his desire for God be regarded as the overflow of an unsatisfied gregarious instinct, when he has home, town, society, companionship, trade union, state, INCREASINGLY at hand to glut it? Why should gregariousness drive a man to God rather than to the thirdclass carriage and the publichouse? Why should gregariousness drive men out of crowded Egyptian cities into the cells of the Thebaid? Schopenhauer in a memorable passage (about the hedgehogs who assembled for warmth) is flatly opposed to Professor Murray, and seems far more plausible when he declares that the nature of man is insufficiently gregarious. The parallel with the dog is not a valid one. Does not the truth lie rather in the supposition that it is not the Friend that is the instinctive delusion but the isolation? Is not the real deception, our belief that we are completely individualised, and is it not possible that this that Professor Murray calls “instinct” is really not a vestige but a new thing arising out of our increasing understanding, an intellectual penetration to that greater being of the species, that vine, of which we are the branches? Why should not the soul of the species, many faceted indeed, be nevertheless a soul like our own? Here, as in the case of Professor Metchnikoff, and in many other cases of atheism, it seems to me that nothing but an inadequate understanding of individuation bars the way to at least the intellectual recognition of the true God.


And while I am dealing with rationalists, let me note certain recent interesting utterances of Sir Harry Johnston’s. You will note that while in this book we use the word “God” to indicate the God of the Heart, Sir Harry uses “God” for that idea of GodoftheUniverse, which we have spoken of as the Infinite Being. This use of the word “God” is of late theological origin; the original identity of the words “good” and “god” and all the stories of the gods are against him. But Sir Harry takes up God only to define him away into incomprehensible necessity. Thus:

“We know absolutely nothing concerning the Force we call God; and, assuming such an intelligent ruling force to be in existence, permeating this universe of millions of stars and (no doubt) tens of millions of planets, we do not know under what conditions and limitations It works. We are quite entitled to assume that the end of such an influence is intended to be order out of chaos, happiness and perfection out of incompleteness and misery; and we are entitled to identify the reactionary forces of brute Nature with the anthropomorphic Devil of primitive religions, the power of darkness resisting the power of light. But in these conjectures we must surely come to the conclusion that the theoretical potency we call ‘God’ makes endless experiments, and scrapheaps the failures. Think of the Dinosaurs and the expenditure of creative energy that went to their differentiation and their wellnigh incredible physical development….”To such a Divine Force as we postulate, the whole development and perfecting of life on this planet, the whole production of man, may seem little more than to any one of us would be the chipping out, the cutting, the carving, and the polishing of a gem; and we should feel as little remorse or pity for the scattered dust and fragments as must the Creative Force of the immeasurably vast universe feel for the DISJECTA MEMBRA of perfected life on this planet….”

But thence he goes on to a curiously imperfect treatment of the God of man as if he consisted in nothing more than some vague sort of humanitarianism. Sir Harry’s ideas are much less thoroughly thought out than those of any other of these sceptical writers I have quoted. On that account they are perhaps more typical. He speaks as though Christ were simply an eminent but illreported and abominably served teacher of ethicsand yet of the only right ideal and ethics. He speaks as though religions were nothing more than ethical movements, and as though Christianity were merely someone remarking with a bright impulsiveness that everything was simply horrid, and so,”Let us instal loving kindness as a cardinal axiom. He ignores altogether the fundamental essential of religion, which is THE DEVELOPMENT AND SYNTHESIS OF THE DIVERGENT AND CONFLICTING MOTIVES OF THE UNCONVERTED LIFE, AND THE IDENTIFICATION OF THE INDIVIDUAL LIFE WITH THE IMMORTAL PURPOSE OF GOD. He presents a conception of religion relieved of its “nonsense” as the cheerful selfdetermination of a number of bright little individuals (much stirred but by no means overcome by Cosmic Pity) to the Service of Man. As he seems to present it, it is as outward a thing, it goes as little into the intimacy of their lives, as though they had after proper consideration agreed to send a subscription to a Red Cross Ambulance or take part in a public demonstration against the Armenian Massacres, or do any other rather nicespirited exterior thing. This is what he says:

“I hope that the religion of the future will devote itself wholly to the Service of Man. It can do so without departing from the Christian ideal and Christian ethics. It need only drop all that is silly and disputable, and ‘mattering not neither here nor there,’ of Christian theologya theology virtually absent from the direct teaching of Christand all of Judaistic literature or prescriptions not made immortal in their application by unassailable truth and by the confirmation of science. An excellent remedy for the nonsense which still clings about religion may be found in two books: Cotter Monson’s ‘Service of Man,’ which was published as long ago as 1887, and has since been reissued by the Rationalist Press Association in its wellknown sixpenny series, and J. Allanson Picton’s ‘Man and the Bible.’ Similarly, those who wish to acquire a sane view of the relations between man and God would do well to read Winwood Reade’s ‘Martyrdom of Man.'”

Sir Harry in fact clears the ground for God very ably, and then makes a wellmeaning gesture in the vacant space. There is no help nor strength in his gesture unless God is there. Without God, the “Service of Man” is no better than a hobby or a sentimentality or an hypocrisy in the undisciplined prison of the mortal life.



The conception of a young and energetic God, an Invisible Prince growing in strength and wisdom, who calls men and women to his service and who gives salvation from self and mortality only through selfabandonment to his service, necessarily involves a demand for a complete revision and fresh orientation of the life of the convert. God faces the blackness of the Unknown and the blind joys and confusions and cruelties of Life, as one who leads mankind through a dark jungle to a great conquest. He brings mankind not rest but a sword. It is plain that he can admit no divided control of the world he claims. He concedes nothing to Caesar. In our philosophy there are no human things that are God’s and others that are Caesar’s. Those of the new thought cannot render unto God the things that are God’s, and to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s. Whatever claim Caesar may make to rule men’s lives and direct their destinies outside the will of God, is a usurpation. No king nor Caesar has any right to tax or to service or to tolerance, except he claim as one who holds for and under God. And he must make good his claim. The steps of the altar of the God of Youth are no safe place for the sacrilegious figure of a king. Who claims “divine right” plays with the lightning. The new conceptions do not tolerate either kings or aristocracies or democracies. Its implicit command to all its adherents is to make plain the way to the world theocracy. Its rule of life is the discovery and service of the will of God, which dwells in the hearts of men, and the performance of that will, not only in the private life of the believer but in the acts and order of the state and nation of which he is a part. I give myself to God not only because I am so and so but because I am mankind. I become in a measure responsible for every evil in the world of men. I become a knight in God’s service. I become my brother’s keeper. I become a responsible minister of my King. I take sides against injustice, disorder, and against all those temporal kings, emperors, princes, landlords, and owners, who set themselves up against God’s rule and worship. Kings, owners, and all who claim rule and decisions in the world’s affairs, must either show themselves clearly the fellow servants of the believer or become the objects of his steadfast antagonism.


It is here that those who explain this modern religiosity will seem most arbitrary to the inquirer. For they relate of God, as men will relate of a close friend, his dispositions, his apparent intentions, the aims of his kingship. And just as they advance no proof whatever of the existence of God but their realisation of him, so with regard to these qualities and dispositions they have little argument but profound conviction. What they say is this; that if you do not feel God then there is no persuading you of him; we cannot win over the incredulous. And what they say of his qualities is this; that if you feel God then you will know, you will realise more and more clearly, that thus and thus and no other is his method and intention. It comes as no great shock to those who have grasped the full implications of the statement that God is Finite, to hear it asserted that the first purpose of God is the attainment of clear knowledge, of knowledge as a means to more knowledge, and of knowledge as a means to power. For that he must use human eyes and hands and brains. And as God gathers power he uses it to an end that he is only beginning to apprehend, and that he will apprehend more fully as time goes on. But it is possible to define the broad outlines of the attainment he seeks. It is the conquest of death. It is the conquest of death; first the overcoming of death in the individual by the incorporation of the motives of his life into an undying purpose, and then the defeat of that death that seems to threaten our species upon a cooling planet beneath a cooling sun. God fights against death in every form, against the great death of the race, against the petty death of indolence, insufficiency, baseness, misconception, and perversion. He it is and no other who can deliver us “from the body of this death.” This is the battle that grows plainer; this is the purpose to which he calls us out of the animal’s round of eating, drinking, lusting, quarrelling and laughing and weeping, fearing and failing, and presently of wearying and dying, which is the whole life that living without God can give us. And from these great propositions there follow many very definite maxims and rules of life for those who serve God. These we will immediately consider.


But first let me write a few words here about those who hold a kind of intermediate faith between the worship of the God of Youth and the vaguer sort of Christianity. There are a number of people closely in touch with those who have found the new religion who, biased probably by a dread of too complete a break with Christianity, have adopted a theogony which is very reminiscent of Gnosticism and of the Paulician, Catharist, and kindred sects to which allusion has already been made. He, who is called in this book God, they would call GodtheSon or Christ, or the Logos; and what is here called the Darkness or the Veiled Being, they would call GodtheFather. And what we speak of here as Life, they would call, with a certain disregard of the poor brutes that perish, Man. And they would assert, what we of the new belief, pleading our profound ignorance, would neither assert nor deny, that that Darkness, out of which came Life and God, since it produced them must be ultimately sympathetic and of like nature with them. And that ultimately Man, being redeemed and led by Christ and saved from death by him, would be reconciled with God the Father.* And this great adventurer out of the hearts of man that we here call God, they would present as the same with that teacher from Galilee who was crucified at Jerusalem.* This probably was the conception of Spinoza. Christ for him is the wisdom of God manifested in all things, and chiefly in the mind of man. Through him we reach the blessedness of an intuitive knowledge of God. Salvation is an escape from the “inadequate” ideas of the mortal human personality to the “adequate” and timeless ideas of God. Now we of the modern way would offer the following criticisms upon this apparent compromise between our faith and the current religion. Firstly, we do not presume to theorise about the nature of the veiled being nor about that being’s relations to God and to Life. We do not recognise any consistent sympathetic possibilities between these outer beings and our God. Our God is, we feel, like Prometheus, a rebel. He is unfilial. And the accepted figure of Jesus, instinct with meek submission, is not in the tone of our worship. It is not by suffering that God conquers death, but by fighting. Incidentally our God dies a million deaths, but the thing that matters is not the deaths but the immortality. It may be he cannot escape in this person or that person being nailed to a cross or chained to be torn by vultures on a rock. These may be necessary sufferings, like hunger and thirst in a campaign; they do not in themselves bring victory. They may be necessary, but they are not glorious. The symbol of the crucifixion, the drooping, pain drenched figure of Christ, the sorrowful cry to his Father,”My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” these things jar with our spirit. We little men may well fail and repent, but it is our faith that our God does not fail us nor himself. We cannot accept the Christian’s crucifix, or pray to a pitiful God. We cannot accept the Resurrection as though it were an afterthought to a bitterly felt death. Our crucifix, if you must have a crucifix, would show God with a hand or a foot already torn away from its nail, and with eyes not downcast but resolute against the sky; a face without pain, pain lost and forgotten in the surpassing glory of the struggle and the inflexible will to live and prevail…. But we do not care how long the thorns are drawn, nor how terrible the wounds, so long as he does not droop. God is courage. God is courage beyond any conceivable suffering. But when all this has been said, it is well to add that it concerns the figure of Christ only in so far as that professes to be the figure of God, and the crucifix only so far as that stands for divine action. The figure of Christ crucified, so soon as we think of it as being no more than the tragic memorial of Jesus, of the man who proclaimed the lovingkindness of God and the supremacy of God’s kingdom over the individual life, and who, in the extreme agony of his pain and exhaustion, cried out that he was deserted, becomes something altogether distinct from a theological symbol. Immediately that we cease to worship, we can begin to love and pity. Here was a being of extreme gentleness and delicacy and of great courage, of the utmost tolerance and the subtlest sympathy, a saint of nonresistance…. We of the new faith repudiate the teaching of nonresistance. We are the militant followers of and participators in a militant God. We can appreciate and admire the greatness of Christ, this gentle being upon whose nobility the theologians trade. But submission is the remotest quality of all from our God, and a moribund figure is the completest inversion of his likeness as we know him. A Christianity which shows, for its daily symbol, Christ risen and trampling victoriously upon a broken cross, would be far more in the spirit of our worship.** It is curious, after writing the above, to find in a letter written by Foss Westcott, Bishop of Durham, to that pertinacious correspondent, the late Lady Victoria Welby, almost exactly the same sentiments I have here expressed.”If I could fill the Crucifix with life as you do,” he says,”I would gladly look on it, but the fallen Head and the closed Eye exclude from my thought the idea of glorified humanity. The Christ to whom we are led is One who ‘hath been crucified,’ who hath passed the trial victoriously and borne the fruits to heaven. I dare not then rest on this side of the glory.” I find, too, a still more remarkable expression of the modern spirit in a tract,”The Call of the Kingdom,” by that very able and subtle, Anglican theologian, the Rev. W. Temple, who declares that under the vitalising stresses of the war we are winning “faith in Christ as an heroic leader. We have thought of Him so much as meek and gentle that there is no ground in our picture of Him, for the vision which His disciple had of Him:’His head and His hair were white, as white wool, white as snow; and His eyes were as a flame of fire: and His feet like unto burnished brass, as if it had been refined in a furnace; and His voice was as the voice of many waters. And He had in His right hand seven stars; and out of His mouth proceeded a sharp twoedged sword; and His countenance was as the sun shineth in its strength.'” These are both exceptional utterances, interesting as showing how clearly parallel are the tendencies within and without Christianity.


Now it follows very directly from the conception of God as a finite intelligence of boundless courage and limitless possibilities of growth and victory, who has pitted himself against death, who stands close to our inmost beings ready to receive us and use us, to rescue us from the chagrins of egotism and take us into his immortal adventure, that we who have realised him and given ourselves joyfully to him, must needs be equally ready and willing to give our energies to the task we share with him, to do our utmost to increase knowledge, to increase order and clearness, to fight against indolence, waste, disorder, cruelty, vice, and every form of his and our enemy, death, first and chiefest in ourselves but also in all mankind, and to bring about the establishment of his real and visible kingdom throughout the world. And that idea of God as the Invisible King of the whole world means not merely that God is to be made and declared the head of the world, but that the kingdom of God is to be present throughout the whole fabric of the world, that the Kingdom of God is to be in the teaching at the village school, in the planning of the railway siding of the market town, in the mixing of the mortar at the building of the workman’s house. It means that ultimately no effigy of intrusive king or emperor is to disfigure our coins and stamps any more; God himself and no delegate is to be represented wherever men buy or sell, on our letters and our receipts, a perpetual witness, a perpetual reminder. There is no act altogether without significance, no power so humble that it may not be used for or against God, no life but can orient itself to him. To realise God in one’s heart is to be filled with the desire to serve him, and the way of his service is neither to pull up one’s life by the roots nor to continue it in all its essentials unchanged, but to turn it about, to turn everything that there is in it round into his way. The outward duty of those who serve God must vary greatly with the abilities they possess and the positions in which they find themselves, but for all there are certain fundamental duties; a constant attempt to be utterly truthful with oneself, a constant sedulousness to keep oneself fit and bright for God’s service, and to increase one’s knowledge and powers, and a hidden persistent watchfulness of one’s baser motives, a watch against fear and indolence, against vanity, against greed and lust, against envy, malice, and uncharitableness. To have found God truly does in itself make God’s service one’s essential motive, but these evils lurk in the shadows, in the lassitudes and unwary moments. No one escapes them altogether, there is no need for tragic moods on account of imperfections. We can no more serve God without blunders and setbacks than we can win battles without losing men. But the less of such loss the better. The servant of God must keep his mind as wide and sound and his motives as clean as he can, just as an operating surgeon must keep his nerves and muscles as fit and his hands as clean as he can. Neither may righteously evade exercise and regular washingof mind as of hands. An incessant watchfulness of one’s self and one’s thoughts and the soundness of one’s thoughts; cleanliness, clearness, a wariness against indolence and prejudice, careful truth, habitual frankness, fitness and steadfast work; these are the daily fundamental duties that every one who truly comes to God will, as a matter of course, set before himself.


Now of the more intimate and personal life of the believer it will be more convenient to write a little later. Let us for the present pursue the idea of this worldkingdom of God, to whose establishment he calls us. This kingdom is to be a peaceful and coordinated activity of all mankind upon certain divine ends. These, we conceive, are first, the maintenance of the racial life; secondly, the exploration of the external being of nature as it is and as it has been, that is to say history and science; thirdly, that exploration of inherent human possibility which is art; fourthly, that clarification of thought and knowledge which is philosophy; and finally, the progressive enlargement and development of the racial life under these lights, so that God may work through a continually better body of humanity and through better and better equipped minds, that he and our race may increase for ever, working unendingly upon the development of the powers of life and the mastery of the blind forces of matter throughout the deeps of space. He sets out with us, we are persuaded, to conquer ourselves and our world and the stars. And beyond the stars our eyes can as yet see nothing, our imaginations reach and fail. Beyond the limits of our understanding is the veiled Being of Fate, whose face is hidden from us…. It may be that minds will presently appear among us of such a quality that the face of that Unknown will not be altogether hidden…. But the business of such ordinary lives as ours is the setting up of this earthly kingdom of God. That is the form into which our lives must fall and our consciences adapt themselves. Belief in God as the Invisible King brings with it almost necessarily a conception of this coming kingdom of God on earth. Each believer as he grasps this natural and immediate consequence of the faith that has come into his life will form at the same time a Utopian conception of this world changed in the direction of God’s purpose. The vision will follow the realisation of God’s true nature and purpose as a necessary second step. And he will begin to develop the latent citizen of this worldstate in himself. He will fall in with the idea of the worldwide sanities of this new order being drawn over the warring outlines of the present, and of men falling out of relationship with the old order and into relationship with the new. Many men and women are already working today at tasks that belong essentially to God’s kingdom, tasks that would be of the same essential nature if the world were now a theocracy; for example, they are doing or sustaining scientific research or education or creative art; they are making roads to bring men together, they are doctors working for the world’s health, they are building homes, they are constructing machinery to save and increase the powers of men…. Such men and women need only to change their orientation as men will change about at a worktable when the light that was coming in a little while ago from the southern windows, begins presently to come in chiefly from the west, to become open and confessed servants of God. This work that they were doing for ambition, or the love of men or the love of knowledge or what seemed the inherent impulse to the work itself, or for money or honour or country or king, they will realise they are doing for God and by the power of God. Self transformation into a citizen of God’s kingdom and a new realisation of all earthly politics as no more than the struggle to define and achieve the kingdom of God in the earth, follow on, without any need for a fresh spiritual impulse, from the moment when God and the believer meet and clasp one another. This transfiguration of the world into a theocracy may seem a merely fantastic idea to anyone who comes to it freshly without such general theological preparation as the preceding pages have made. But to anyone who has been at the pains to clear his mind even a little from the obsession of existing but transitory things, it ceases to be a mere suggestion and becomes more and more manifestly the real future of mankind. From the phase of “so things should be,” the mind will pass very rapidly to the realisation that “so things will be.” Towards this the directive wills among men have been drifting more and more steadily and perceptibly and with fewer eddyings and retardations, for many centuries. The purpose of mankind will not be always thus confused and fragmentary. This dissemination of willpower is a phase. The age of the warring tribes and kingdoms and empires that began a hundred centuries or so ago, draws to its close. The kingdom of God on earth is not a metaphor, not a mere spiritual state, not a dream, not an uncertain project; it is the thing before us, it is the close and inevitable destiny of mankind. In a few score years the faith of the true God will be spreading about the world. The few halting confessions of God that one hears here and there today, like that little twittering of birds which comes before the dawn, will have swollen to a choral unanimity. In but a few centuries the whole world will be openly, confessedly, preparing for the kingdom. In but a few centuries God will have led us out of the dark forest of these present wars and confusions into the open brotherhood of his rule.


This conception of the general life of mankind as a transformation at thousands of points of the confused, egotistical, proprietary, partisan, nationalist, lifewasting chaos of human life today into the coherent development of the world kingdom of God, provides the form into which everyone who comes to the knowledge of God will naturally seek to fit his every thought and activity. The material greeds, the avarice, fear, rivalries, and ignoble ambitions of a disordered world will be challenged and examined under one general question:”What am I in the kingdom of God?” It has already been suggested that there is a great and growing number of occupations that belong already to God’s kingdom, research, teaching, creative art, creative administration, cultivation, construction, maintenance, and the honest satisfaction of honest practical human needs. For such people conversion to the intimacy of God means at most a change in the spirit of their work, a refreshed energy, a clearer understanding, a new zeal, a completer disregard of gains and praises and promotion. Pay, honours, and the like cease to be the inducement of effort. Service, and service alone, is the criterion that the quickened conscience will recognise. Most of such people will find themselves in positions in which service is mingled with activities of a baser sort, in which service is a little warped and deflected by old traditions and usage, by mercenary and commercial considerations, by some inherent or special degradation of purpose. The spirit of God will not let the believer rest until his life is readjusted and as far as possible freed from the waste of these base diversions. For example a scientific investigator, lit and inspired by great inquiries, may be hampered by the conditions of his professorship or research fellowship, which exact an appearance of “practical” results. Or he may be obliged to lecture or conduct classes. He may be able to give but half his possible gift to the work of his real aptitude, and that at a sacrifice of money and reputation among shortsighted but influential contemporaries. Well, if he is by nature an investigator he will know that the research is what God needs of him. He cannot continue it at all if he leaves his position, and so he must needs waste something of his gift to save the rest. But should a poorer or a humbler post offer him better opportunity, there lies his work for God. There one has a very common and simple type of the problems that will arise in the lives of men when they are lit by sudden realisation of the immediacy of God. Akin to that case is the perplexity of any successful physician between the increase of knowledge and the public welfare on the one hand, and the lucrative possibilities of his practice among wealthy people on the other. He belongs to a profession that is crippled by a mediaeval code, a profession which was blind to the common interest of the Public Health and regarded its members merely as skilled practitioners employed to “cure” individual ailments. Very slowly and tortuously do the methods of the profession adapt themselves to the modern conception of an army of devoted men working as a whole under God for the health of mankind as a whole, broadening out from the frowsy den of the “leech,” with its crocodile and bottles and hieroglyphic prescriptions, to a skilled and illuminating cooperation with those who deal with the food and housing and economic life of the community. And again quite parallel with these personal problems is the trouble of the artist between the market and vulgar fame on the one hand and his divine impulse on the other. The presence of God will be a continual light and help in every decision that must be made by men and women in these more or less vitiated, but still fundamentally useful and righteous, positions. The trouble becomes more marked and more difficult in the case of a man who is a manufacturer or a trader, the financier of business enterprise or the proprietor of great estates. The world is in need of manufactures and that goods should be distributed; land must be administered and new economic possibilities developed. The drift of things is in the direction of state ownership and control, but in a great number of cases the state is not ripe for such undertakings, it commands neither sufficient integrity nor sufficient ability, and the proprietor of factory, store, credit or land, must continue in possession, holding as a trustee for God and, so far as lies in his power, preparing for his supersession by some more public administration. Modern religion admits of no facile flights from responsibility. It permits no headlong resort to the wilderness and sterile virtue. It counts the recluse who fasts among scorpions in a cave as no better than a deserter in hiding. It unhesitatingly forbids any rich young man to sell all that he has and give to the poor. Himself and all that he has must be alike dedicated to God. The plain duty that will be understood by the proprietor of land and of every sort of general need and service, so soon as he becomes aware of God, is so to administer his possessions as to achieve the maximum of possible efficiency, the most generous output, and the least private profit. He may set aside a salary for his maintenance; the rest he must deal with like a zealous public official. And if he perceives that the affair could be better administered by other hands than his own, then it is his business to get it into those hands with the smallest delay and the least profit to himself…. The rights and wrongs of human equity are very different from right and wrong in the sight of God. In the sight of God no landlord has a RIGHT to his rent, no usurer has a RIGHT to his interest. A man is not justified in drawing the profits from an advantageous agreement nor free to spend the profits of a speculation as he will. God takes no heed of savings nor of abstinence. He recognises no right to the “rewards of abstinence,” no right to any rewards. Those profits and comforts and consolations are the inducements that dangle before the eyes of the spiritually blind. Wealth is an embarrassment to the religious, for God calls them to account for it. The servant of God has no business with wealth or power except to use them immediately in the service of God. Finding these things in his hands he is bound to administer them in the service of God. The tendency of modern religion goes far beyond the alleged communism of the early Christians, and far beyond the tithes of the scribes and Pharisees. God takes all. He takes you, blood and bones and house and acres, he takes skill and influence and expectations. For all the rest of your life you are nothing but God’s agent. If you are not prepared for so complete a surrender, then you are infinitely remote from God. You must go your way. Here you are merely a curious interloper. Perhaps you have been desiring God as an experience, or covetmg him as a possession. You have not begun to understand. This that we are discussing in this book is as yet nothing for you.


This picturing of a human world more to the mind of God than this present world and the discovery and realisation of one’s own place and work in and for that kingdom of God, is the natural next phase in the development of the believer. He will set about revising and adjusting his scheme of life, his ways of living, his habits and his relationships in the light of his new convictions. Most men and women who come to God will have already a certain righteousness in their lives; these things happen like a thunderclap only in strange exceptional cases, and the same movements of the mind that have brought them to God will already have brought their lives into a certain rightness of direction and conduct. Yet occasionally there will be someone to whom the selfexamination that follows conversion will reveal an entirely wrong and evil way of living. It may be that the light has come to some rich idler doing nothing but follow a pleasurable routine. Or to someone following some highly profitable and amusing, but socially useless or socially mischievous occupation. One may be an advocate at the disposal of any man’s purpose, or an actor or actress ready to fall in with any theatrical enterprise. Or a woman may find herself a prostitute or a pet wife, a mere kept instrument of indulgence. These are lives of prey, these are lives of futility; the light of God will not tolerate such lives. Here religion can bring nothing but a severance from the old way of life altogether, a break and a struggle towards use and service and dignity. But even here it does not follow that because a life has been wrong the new life that begins must be far as the poles asunder from the old. Every sort of experience that has ever come to a human being is in the self that he brings to God, and there is no reason why a knowledge of evil ways should not determine the path of duty. No one can better devise protections against vices than those who have practised them; none know temptations better than those who have fallen. If a man has followed an evil trade, it becomes him to use his knowledge of the tricks of that trade to help end it. He knows the charities it may claim and the remedies it needs…. A very interesting case to discuss in relation to this question of adjustment is that of the barrister. A practising barrister under contemporary conditions does indeed give most typically the opportunity for examining the relation of an ordinary self respecting wordly life, to life under the dispensation of God discovered. A barrister is usually a man of some energy and ambition, his honour is moulded by the traditions of an ancient and antiquated profession, instinctively selfpreserving and yet with a real desire for consistency and respect. As a profession it has been greedy and defensively conservative, but it has never been shameless nor has it ever broken faith with its own large and selfish, but quite definite, propositions. It has never for instance had the shamelessness of such a traditionless and undisciplined class as the early factory organisers. It has never had the dull incoherent wickedness of the sort of men who exploit drunkenness and the turf. It offends within limits. Barristers can be, and are, disbarred. But it is now a profession extraordinarily out of date; its code of honour derives from a time of cruder and lower conceptions of human relationship. It apprehends the State as a mere “ring” kept about private disputations; it has not begun to move towards the modern conception of the collective enterprise as the determining criterion of human conduct. It sees its business as a mere play upon the rules of a game between man and man, or between men and men. They haggle, they dispute, they inflict and suffer wrongs, they evade dues, and are liable or entitled to penalties and compensations. The primary business of the law is held to be decision in these wrangles, and as wrangling is subject to artistic elaboration, the business of the barrister is the business of a professional wrangler; he is a bravo in wig and gown who fights the duels of ordinary men because they are incapable, very largely on account of the complexities of legal procedure, of fighting for themselves. His business is never to explore any fundamental right in the matter. His business is to say all that can be said for his client, and to conceal or minimise whatever can be said against his client. The successful promoted advocate, who in Britain and the United States of America is the judge, and whose habits and interests all incline him to disregard the realities of the case in favour of the points in the forensic game, then adjudicates upon the contest…. Now this condition of things is clearly incompatible with the modern conception of the world as becoming a divine kingdom. When the world is openly and confessedly the kingdom of God, the law court will exist only to adjust the differing views of men as to the manner of their service to God; the only right of action one man will have against another will be that he has been prevented or hampered or distressed by the other in serving God. The idea of the law court will have changed entirely from a place of dispute, exaction and vengeance, to a place of adjustment. The individual or some state organisation will plead ON BEHALF OF THE COMMON GOOD either against some state official or state regulation, or against the actions or inaction of another individual. This is the only sort of legal proceedings compatible with the broad beliefs of the new faith…. Every religion that becomes ascendant, in so far as it is not otherworldly, must necessarily set its stamp upon the methods and administration of the law. That this was not the case with Christianity is one of the many contributory aspects that lead one to the conviction that it was not Christianity that took possession of the Roman empire, but an imperial adventurer who took possession of an all too complaisant Christianity. Reverting now from these generalisations to the problem of the religious from which they arose, it will have become evident that the essential work of anyone who is conversant with the existing practice and literature of the law and whose natural abilities are forensic, will lie in the direction of reconstructing the theory and practice of the law in harmony with modern conceptions, of making that theory and practice clear and plain to ordinary men, of reforming the abuses of the profession by working for the separation of bar and judiciary, for the amalgamation of the solicitors and the barristers, and the like needed reforms. These are matters that will probably only be properly set right by a quickening of conscience among lawyers themselves. Of no class of men is the help and service so necessary to the practical establishment of God’s kingdom, as of men learned and experienced in the law. And there is no reason why for the present an advocate should not continue to plead in the courts, provided he does his utmost only to handle cases in which he believes he can serve the right. Few righteous cases are illserved by a frank disposition on the part of lawyer and client to put everything before the court. Thereby of course there arises a difficult case of conscience. What if a lawyer, believing his client to be in the right, discovers him to be in the wrong? He cannot throw up the case unless he has been scandalously deceived, because so he would betray the confidence his client has put in him to “see him through.” He has a right to “give himself away,” but not to “give away” his client in this fashion. If he has a chance of a private consultation I think he ought to do his best to make his client admit the truth of the case and give in, but failing this he has no right to be virtuous on behalf of another. No man may play God to another; he may remonstrate, but that is the limit of his right. He must respect a confidence, even if it is purely implicit and involuntary. I admit that here the barrister is in a cleft stick, and that he must see the business through according to the confidence his client has put in himand afterwards be as sorry as he may be if an injustice ensues. And also I would suggest a lawyer may with a fairly good conscience defend a guilty man as if he were innocent, to save him from unjustly heavy penalties…. This comparatively full discussion of the barrister’s problem has been embarked upon because it does bring in, in a very typical fashion, just those uncertainties and imperfections that abound in real life. Religious conviction gives us a general direction, but it stands aside from many of these entangled struggles in the jungle of conscience. Practice is often easier than a rule. In practice a lawyer will know far more accurately than a hypothetical case can indicate, how far he is bound to see his client through, and how far he may play the keeper of his client’s conscience. And nearly every day there happens instances where the most subtle casuistry will fail and the finger of conscience point unhesitatingly. One may have worried long in the preparation and preliminaries of the issue, one may bring the case at last into the final court of conscience in an apparently hopeless tangle. Then suddenly comes decision. The procedure of that silent, lit, and empty court in which a man states his case to God, is very simple and perfect. The excuses and the special pleading shrivel and vanish. In a little while the case lies bare and plain.


The question of oaths of allegiance, acts of acquiescence in existing governments, and the like, is one that arises at once with the acceptance of God as the supreme and real King of the Earth. At the worst Caesar is a usurper, a satrap claiming to be sovereign; at the best he is provisional. Modern casuistry makes no great trouble for the believing public official. The chief business of any believer is to do the work for which he is best fitted, and since all state affairs are to become the affairs of God’s kingdom it is of primary importance that they should come into the hands of God’s servants. It is scarcely less necessary to a believing man with administrative gifts that he should be in the public administration, than that he should breathe and eat. And whatever oath or the like to usurper church or usurper king has been set up to bar access to service, is an oath imposed under duress. If it cannot be avoided it must be taken rather than that a man should become unserviceable. All such oaths are unfair and foolish things. They exclude no scoundrels; they are appeals to superstition. Whenever an opportunity occurs for the abolition of an oath, the servant of God will seize it, but where the oath is unavoidable he will take it. The service of God is not to achieve a delicate consistency of statement; it is to do as much as one can of God’s work.


It may be doubted if this line of reasoning regarding the official and his oath can be extended to excuse the priest or pledged minister of religion who finds that faith in the true God has ousted his formal beliefs. This has been a frequent and subtle moral problem in the intellectual life of the last hundred years. It has been increasingly difficult for any class of reading, talking, and discussing people such as are the bulk of the priesthoods of the Christian churches to escape hearing and reading the accumulated criticism of the Trinitarian theology and of the popularly accepted story of man’s fall and salvation. Some have no doubt defeated this universal and insidious critical attack entirely, and honestly established themselves in a rightdown acceptance of the articles and disciplines to which they have subscribed and of the creeds they profess and repeat. Some have recanted and abandoned their positions in the priesthood. But a great number have neither resisted the bacillus of criticism nor left the churches to which they are attached. They have adopted compromises, they have qualified their creeds with modifying footnotes of essential repudiation; they have decided that plain statements are metaphors and have undercut, transposed, and inverted the most vital points of the vulgarly accepted beliefs. One may find within the Anglican communion, Arians, Unitarians, Atheists, disbelievers in immortality, attenuators of miracles; there is scarcely a doubt or a cavil that has not found a lodgment within the ample charity of the English Establishment. I have been interested to hear one distinguished Canon deplore that “they” did not identify the Logos with the third instead of the second Person of the Trinity, and another distinguished Catholic apologist declare his indifference to the “historical Jesus.” Within most of the Christian communions one may believe anything or nothing, provided only that one does not call too public an attention to one’s eccentricity. The late Rev. Charles Voysey, for example, preached plainly in his church at Healaugh against the divinity of Christ, unhindered. It was only when he published his sermons under the provocative title of “The Sling and the Stone,” and caused an outcry beyond the limits of his congregation, that he was indicted and deprived. Now the reasons why these men do not leave the ministry or priesthood in which they find themselves are often very plausible. It is probable that in very few cases is the retention of stipend or incumbency a conscious dishonesty. At the worst it is mitigated by thought for wife or child. It has only been during very exceptional phases of religious development and controversy that beliefs have been really sharp. A creed, like a coin, it may be argued, loses little in practical value because it is worn, or bears the image of a vanished king. The religious life is a reality that has clothed itself in many garments, and the concern of the priest or minister is with the religious life and not with the poor symbols that may indeed pretend to express, but do as a matter of fact no more than indicate, its direction. It is quite possible to maintain that the church and not the creed is the real and valuable instrument of religion, that the religious life is sustained not by its propositions but by its routines. Anyone who seeks the intimate discussion of spiritual things with professional divines, will find this is the substance of the case for the ecclesiastical sceptic. His church, he will admit, mumbles its statement of truth, but where else is truth? What better formulae are to be found for ineffable things? And meanwhilehe does good. That may be a valid defence before a man finds God. But we who profess the worship and fellowship of the living God deny that religion is a matter of ineffable things. The way of God is plain and simple and easy to understand. Therewith the whole position of the conforming sceptic is changed. If a professional religious has any justification at all for his professionalism it is surely that he proclaims the nearness and greatness of God. And these creeds and articles and orthodoxies are not proclamations but curtains, they are a darkening and confusion of what should be crystal clear. What compensatory good can a priest pretend to do when his primary business is the truth and his method a lie? The oaths and incidental conformities of men who wish to serve God in the state are on a different footing altogether from the falsehood and mischief of one who knows the true God and yet recites to a trustful congregation, foists upon a trustful congregation, a misleading and illphrased Levantine creed. Such is the line of thought which will impose the renunciation of his temporalities and a complete cessation of services upon every ordained priest and minister as his first act of faith. Once that he has truly realised God, it becomes impossible for him ever to repeat his creed again. His course seems plain and clear. It becomes him to stand up before the flock he has led in error, and to proclaim the being and nature of the one true God. He must be explicit to the utmost of his powers. Then he may await his expulsion. It may be doubted whether it is sufficient for him to go away silently, making false excuses or none at all for his retreat. He has to atone for the implicit acquiescences of his conforming years.


Are any sorts of people shut off as if by inherent necessity from God? This is, so to speak, one of the standing questions of theology; it reappears with slight changes of form at every period of religious interest, it is for example the chief issue between the Arminian and the Calvinist. From its very opening proposition modern religion sweeps past and far ahead of the old Arminian teachings of Wesleyans and Methodists, in its insistence upon the entirely finite nature of God. Arminians seem merely to have insisted that God has conditioned himself, and by his own free act left men free to accept or reject salvation. To the realist type of mindhere as always I use “realist” in its proper sense as the opposite of nominalistto the oldfashioned, overexact and overaccentuating type of mind, such ways of thinking seem vague and unsatisfying. Just as it distresses the more downright kind of intelligence with a feeling of disloyalty to admit that God is not Almighty, so it troubles the same sort of intelligence to hear that there is no clear line to be drawn between the saved and the lost. Realists like an exclusive flavour in their faith. Moreover, it is a natural weakness of humanity to be forced into extreme positions by argument. It is probable, as I have already suggested, that the absolute attributes of God were forced upon Christianity under the stresses of propaganda, and it is probable that the theory of a superhuman obstinancy beyond salvation arose out of the irritations natural to theological debate. It is but a step from the realisation that there are people absolutely unable or absolutely unwilling to see God as we see him, to the conviction that they are therefore shut off from God by an invincible soul blindness. It is very easy to believe that other people are essentially damned. Beyond the little world of our sympathies and comprehension there are those who seem inaccessible to God by any means within our experience. They are people answering to the “hardhearted,” to the “stiffnecked generation” of the Hebrew prophets. They betray and even confess to standards that seem hopelessly base to us. They show themselves incapable of any disinterested enthusiasm for beauty or truth or goodness. They are altogether remote from intelligent sacrifice. To every test they betray vileness of texture; they are mean, cold, wicked. There are people who seem to cheat with a private selfapproval, who are ever ready to do harsh and cruel things, whose use for social feeling is the malignant boycott, and for prosperity, monopolisation and humiliating display; who seize upon religion and turn it into persecution, and upon beauty to torment it on the altars of some joyless vice. We cannot do with such souls; we have no use for them, and it is very easy indeed to step from that persuasion to the belief that God has no use for them. And besides these base people there are the stupid people and the people with minds so poor in texture that they cannot even grasp the few broad and simple ideas that seem necessary to the salvation we experience, who lapse helplessly into fetishistic and fearful conceptions of God, and are apparently quite incapable of distinguishing between what is practically and what is spiritually good. It is an easy thing to conclude that the only way to God is our way to God, that he is the privilege of a finer and better sort to which we of course belong; that he is no more the God of the cardsharper or the pickpocket or the “smart” woman or the loanmonger or the village oaf than he is of the swine in the sty. But are we justified in thus limiting God to the measure of our moral and intellectual understandings? Because some people seem to me steadfastly and consistently base or hopelessly and incurably dull and confused, does it follow that there are not phases, albeit I have never chanced to see them, of exaltation in the one case and illumination in the other? And may I not be a little restricting my perception of Good? While I have been ready enough to pronounce this or that person as being, so far as I was concerned, thoroughly damnable or utterly dull, I find a curious reluctance to admit the general proposition which is necessary for these instances. It is possible that the difference between Arminian and Calvinist is a difference of essential intellectual temperament rather than of theoretical conviction. I am temperamentally Arminian as I am temperamentally Nominalist. I feel that it must be in the nature of God to attempt all souls. There must be accessibilities I can only suspect, and accessibilities of which I know nothing. Yet here is a consideration pointing rather the other way. If you think, as you must think, that you yourself can be lost to God and damned, then I cannot see how you can avoid thinking that other people can be damned. But that is not to believe that there are people damned at the outset by their moral and intellectual insufficiency; that is not to make out that there is a class of essential and incurable spiritual defectives. The religious life preceded clear religious understanding and extends far beyond its range. In my own case I perceive that in spite of the value I attach to true belief, the reality of religion is not an intellectual thing. The essential religious fact is in another than the mental sphere. I am passionately anxious to have the idea of God clear in my own mind, and to make my beliefs plain and clear to other people, and particularly to other people who may seem to be feeling with me; I do perceive that error is evil if only because a faith based on confused conceptions and partial understandings may suffer irreparable injury through the collapse of its substratum of ideas. I doubt if faith can be complete and enduring if it is not secured by the definite knowledge of the true God. Yet I have also to admit that I find the form of my own religious emotion paralleled by people with whom I have no intellectual sympathy and no agreement in phrase or formula at all. There is for example this practical identity of religious feeling and this discrepancy of interpretation between such an inquirer as myself and a convert of the Salvation Army. Here, clothing itself in phrases and images of barbaric sacrifice, of slaughtered lambs and fountains of precious blood, a most repulsive and incomprehensible idiom to me, and expressing itself by shouts, clangour, trumpeting, gesticulations, and rhythmic pacings that stun and dismay my nerves, I find, the same object sought, release from self, and the same end, the end of identification with the immortal, successfully if perhaps rather insecurely achieved. I see God indubitably present in these excitements, and I see personalities I could easily have misjudged as too base or too dense for spiritual understandings, lit by the manifest reflection of divinity. One may be led into the absurdest underestimates of religious possibilities if one estimates people only coldly and in the light of everyday life. There is a subintellectual religious life which, very conceivably, when its utmost range can be examined, excludes nothing human from religious cooperation, which will use any words to its tune, which takes its phrasing readymade from the world about it, as it takes the street for its temple, and yet which may be at its inner point in the directest contact with God. Religion may suffer from aphasia and still be religion; it may utter misleading or nonsensical words and yet intend and convey the truth. The methods of the Salvation Army are older than doctrinal Christianity, and may long survive it. Men and women may still chant of Beulah Land and cry out in the ecstasy of salvation; the tambourine, that modern revival of the thrilling Alexandrine sistrum, may still stir dull nerves to a first apprehension of powers and a call beyond the immediate material compulsion of life, when the creeds of Christianity are as dead as the lore of the Druids. The emancipation of mankind from obsolete theories and formularies may be accompanied by great tides of moral and emotional release among types and strata that by the standards of a trained and explicit intellectual, may seem spiritually hopeless. It is not necessary to imagine the whole world critical and lucid in order to imagine the whole world unified in religious sentiment, comprehending the same phrases and coming together regardless of class and race and quality, in the worship and service of the true God. The coming kingship of God if it is to be more than hieratic tyranny must have this universality of appeal. As the head grows clear the body will turn in the right direction. To the mass of men modern religion says,”This is the God it has always been in your nature to apprehend.”


Now that we are discussing the general question of individual conduct, it will be convenient to take up again and restate in that relationship, propositions already made very plainly in the second and third chapters. Here there are several excellent reasons for a certain amount of deliberate repetition…. All the mystical relations of chastity, virginity, and the like with religion, those questions of physical status that play so large a part in most contemporary religions, have disappeared from modern faith. Let us be as clear as possible upon this. God is concerned by the health and fitness and vigour of his servants; we owe him our best and utmost; but he has no special concern and no special preferences or commandments regarding sexual things. Christ, it is manifest, was of the modern faith in these matters, he welcomed the Magdalen, neither would he condemn the woman taken in adultery. Manifestly corruption and disease were not to stand between him and those who sought God in him. But the Christianity of the creeds, in this as in so many respects, does not rise to the level of its founder, and it is as necessary to repeat today as though the name of Christ had not been ascendant for nineteen centuries, that sex is a secondary thing to religion, and sexual status of no account in the presence of God. It follows quite logically that God does not discriminate between man and woman in any essential things. We leave our individuality behind us when we come into the presence of God. Sex is not disavowed but forgotten. Just as one’s last meal is forgottenwhich also is a difference between the religious moment of modern faith and certain Christian sacraments. You are a believer and God is at hand to you; heed not your state; reach out to him and he is there. In the moment of religion you are human; it matters not what else you are, male or female, clean or unclean, Hebrew or Gentile, bond or free. It is AFTER the moment of religion that we become concerned about our state and the manner in which we use ourselves. We have to follow our reason as our sole guide in our individual treatment of all such things as food and health and sex. God is the king of the whole world, he is the owner of our souls and bodies and all things. He is not particularly concerned about any aspect, because he is concerned about every aspect. We have to make the best use of ourselves for his kingdom; that is our rule of life. That rule means neither painful nor frantic abstinences nor any forced way of living. Purity, cleanliness, health, none of these things are for themselves, they are for use; none are magic, all are means. The sword must be sharp and clean. That does not mean that we are perpetually to sharpen and clean itwhich would weaken and waste the blade. The sword must neither be drawn constantly nor always rusting in its sheath. Those who have had the wits and soul to come to God, will have the wits and soul to find out and know what is waste, what is vanity, what is the happiness that begets strength of body and spirit, what is error, where vice begins, and to avoid and repent and recoil from all those things that degrade. These are matters not of the rule of life but of the application of life. They must neither be neglected nor made disproportionally important. To the believer, relationship with God is the supreme relationship. It is difficult to imagine how the association of lovers and friends can be very fine and close and good unless the two who love are each also linked to God, so that through their moods and fluctuations and the changes of years they can be held steadfast by his undying steadfastness. But it has been felt by many deepfeeling people that there is so much kindred between the love and trust of husband and wife and the feeling we have for God, that it is reasonable to consider the former also as a sacred thing. They do so value that close love of mated man and woman, they are so intent upon its permanence and completeness and to lift the dear relationship out of the ruck of casual and transitory things, that they want to bring it, as it were, into the very presence and assent of God. There are many who dream and desire that they are as deeply and completely mated as this, many more who would fain be so, and some who are. And from this comes the earnest desire to make marriage sacramental and the attempt to impose upon all the world the outward appearance, the restrictions, the pretence at least of such a sacramental union. There may be such a quasisacramental union in many cases, but only after years can one be sure of it; it is not to be brought about by vows and promises but by an essential kindred and cleaving of body and spirit; and it concerns only the two who can dare to say they have it, and God. And the divine thing in marriage, the thing that is most like the love of God, is, even then, not the relationship of the man and woman as man and woman but the comradeship and trust and mutual help and pity that joins them. No doubt that from the mutual necessities of bodily love and the common adventure, the necessary honesties and helps of a joint life, there springs the stoutest, nearest, most enduring and best of human companionship; perhaps only upon that root can the best of mortal comradeship be got; but it does not follow that the mere ordinary coming together and pairing off of men and women is in itself divine or sacramental or anything of the sort. Being in love is a condition that may have its moments of sublime exaltation, but it is for the most part an experience far down the scale below divine experience; it is often love only in so far as it shares the name with better things; it is greed, it is admiration, it is desire, it is the itch for excitement, it is the instinct for competition, it is lust, it is curiosity, it is adventure, it is jealousy, it is hate. On a hundred scores ‘lovers’ meet and part. Thereby some few find true love and the spirit of God in themselves or others. Lovers may love God in one another; I do not deny it. That is no reason why the imitation and outward form of this great happiness should be made an obligation upon all men and women who are attracted by one another, nor why it should be woven into the essentials of religion. For women much more than for men is this confusion dangerous, lest a personal love should shape and dominate their lives instead of God.”He for God only; she for God in him,” phrases the idea of Milton and of ancient Islam; it is the formula of sexual infatuation, a formula quite easily inverted, as the end of Goethe’s Faust (“The woman soul leadeth us upward and on”) may witness. The whole drift of modern religious feeling is against this exaggeration of sexual feeling, these moods of sexual slavishness, in spiritual things. Between the healthy love of ordinary mortal lovers in love and the love of God, there is an essential contrast and opposition in this, that preference, exclusiveness, and jealousy seem to be in the very nature of the former and are absolutely incompatible with the latter. The former is the intensest realisation of which our individualities are capable; the latter is the way of escape from the limitations of individuality. It may be true that a few men and more women do achieve the completest unselfishness and selfabandonment in earthly love. So the poets and romancers tell us. If so, it is that by an imaginative perversion they have given to some attractive person a worship that should be reserved for God and a devotion that is normally evoked only by little children in their mother’s heart. It is not the way between most of the men and women one meets in this world. But between God and the believer there is no other way, there is nothing else, but selfsurrender and the ending of self.



If the reader who is unfamiliar with scientific things will obtain and read Metchnikoff’s “Nature of Man,” he will find there an interesting summary of the biological facts that bear upon and destroy the delusion that there is such a thing as individual perfection, that there is even ideal perfection for humanity. With an abundance of convincing instances Professor Metchnikoff demonstrates that life is a system of “disharmonies,” capable of no perfect way, that there is no “perfect” dieting, no “perfect” sexual life, no “perfect” happiness, no “perfect” conduct. He releases one from the arbitrary but all too easy assumption that there is even an ideal “perfection” in organic life. He sweeps out of the mind with all the confidence and conviction of a physiological specialist, any idea that there is a perfect man or a conceivable perfect man. It is in the nature of every man to fall short at every point from perfection. From the biological point of view we are as individuals a series of involuntary “tries” on the part of an imperfect species towards an unknown end. Our spiritual nature follows our bodily as a glove follows a hand. We are disharmonious beings and salvation no more makes an end to the defects of our souls than it makes an end to the decay of our teeth or to those vestigial structures of our body that endanger our physical welfare. Salvation leaves us still disharmonious, and adds not an inch to our spiritual and moral stature.


Let us now take up the question of what is Sin? and what we mean by the term “damnation,” in the light of this view of human reality. Most of the great world religions are as clear as Professor Metchnikoff that life in the world is a tangle of disharmonies, and in most cases they supply a more or less mythlike explanation, they declare that evil is one side of the conflict between Ahriman and Ormazd, or that it is the punishment of an act of disobedience, of the fall of man and world alike from a state of harmony. Their case, like his, is that THIS world is damned. We do not find the belief that superposed upon the miseries of this world there are the still bitterer miseries of punishments after death, so nearly universal. The endless punishments of hell appear to be an exploit of theory; they have a superadded appearance even in the Christian system; the same common tendency to superlatives and absolutes that makes men ashamed to admit that God is finite, makes them seek to enhance the merits of their Saviour by the device of everlasting fire. Conquest over the sorrow of life and the fear of death do not seem to them sufficient for Christ’s glory. Now the turning round of the modern mind from a conception of the universe as something derived deductively from the past to a conception of it as something gathering itself adventurously towards the future, involves a release from the supposed necessity to tell a story and explain why. Instead comes the inquiry,”To what end?” We can say without mental discomfort, these disharmonies are here, this damnation is hereinexplicably. We can, without any distressful inquiry into ultimate origins, bring our minds to the conception of a spontaneous and developing God arising out of those stresses in our hearts and in the universe, and arising to overcome them. Salvation for the individual is escape from the individual distress at disharmony and the individual defeat by death, into the Kingdom of God. And damnation can be nothing more and nothing less than the failure or inability or disinclination to make that escape. Something of that idea of damnation as a lack of the will for salvation has crept at a number of points into contemporary religious thought. It was the fine fancy of Swedenborg that the damned go to their own hells of their own accord. It underlies a queer poem,”Simpson,” by that interesting essayist upon modern Christianity, Mr. Clutton Brock, which I have recently read. Simpson dies and goes to hellit is rather like the Cromwell Road and approves of it very highly, and then and then only is he completely damned. Not to realise that one can be damned is certainly to be damned; such is Mr. Brock’s idea. It is his definition of damnation. Satisfaction with existing things is damnation. It is surrender to limitation; it is acquiescence in “disharmony”; it is making peace with that enemy against whom God fights for ever.(But whether there are indeed Simpsons who acquiesce always and for ever remains for me, as I have already confessed in the previous chapter, a quite open question. My Arminian temperament turns me from the Calvinistic conclusion of Mr. Brock’s satire.)


Now the question of sin will hardly concern those damned and lost by nature, if such there be. Sin is not the same thing as damnation, as we have just defined damnation. Damnation is a state, but sin is an incident. One is an essential and the other an incidental separation from God. It is possible to sin without being damned; and to be damned is to be in a state when sin scarcely matters, like ink upon a blackamoor. You cannot have questions of more or less among absolute things. It is the amazing and distressful discovery of every believer so soon as the first exaltation of belief is past, that one does not remain always in touch with God. At first it seems incredible that one should ever have any motive again that is not also God’s motive. Then one finds oneself caught unawares by a base impulse. We discover that discontinuousness of our apparently homogeneous selves, the unincorporated and warring elements that seemed at first altogether absent from the synthesis of conversion. We are tripped up by forgetfulness, by distraction, by old habits, by tricks of appearance. There come dull patches of existence; those mysterious obliterations of one’s finer sense that are due at times to the little minor poisons one eats or drinks, to phases of fatigue, ill health and bodily disorder, or one is betrayed by some unanticipated storm of emotion, brewed deep in the animal being and released by any trifling accident, such as personal jealousy or lust, or one is relaxed by contentment into vanity. All these rebel forces of our illcoordinated selves, all these “disharmonies,” of the inner being, snatch us away from our devotion to God’s service, carry us off to follies, offences, unkindness, waste, and leave us compromised, involved, and regretful, perplexed by a hundred difficulties we have put in our own way back to God. This is the personal problem of Sin. Here prayer avails; here God can help us. From God comes the strength to repent and make such reparation as we can, to begin the battle again further back and lower down. From God comes the power to anticipate the struggle with one’s rebel self, and to resist and prevail over it.


An extreme case is very serviceable in such a discussion as this. It happens that the author carries on a correspondence with several lunatics in asylums. There is a considerable freedom of notepaper in these institutions; the outgoing letters are no doubt censored or selected in some way, but a proportion at any rate are allowed to go out to their addresses. As a journalist who signs his articles and as the author of various books of fiction, as a frequent NAME, that is, to any one much forced back upon reading, the writer is particularly accessible to this type of correspondent. The letters come, some manifesting a hopeless disorder that permits of no reply, but some being the expression of minds overlaid not at all offensively by a web of fantasy, and some (and these are the more touching ones and the ones that most concern us now) as sanely conceived and expressed as any letters could be. They are written by people living lives very like the lives of us who are called “sane,” except that they lift to a higher excitement and fall to a lower depression, and that these extremer phases of mania or melancholia slip the leash of mental consistency altogether and take abnormal forms. They tap deep founts of impulse, such as we of the safer ways of mediocrity do but glimpse under the influence of drugs, or in dreams and rare moments of controllable extravagance. Then the insane become “glorious,” or they become murderous, or they become suicidal. All these letterwriters in confinement have convinced their fellowcreatures by some extravagance that they are a danger to themselves or others. The letters that come from such types written during their sane intervals, are entirely sane. Some, who are probably unawareI think they should knowof the offences or possibilities that justify their incarceration, write with a certain resentment at their position; others are entirely acquiescent, but one or two complain of the neglect of friends and relations. But all are as manifestly capable of religion and of the religious life as any other intelligent persons during the lucid interludes that make up ninetenths perhaps of their lives…. Suppose now one of these cases, and suppose that the infirmity takes the form of some cruel, disgusting, or destructive disposition that may become at times overwhelming, and you have our universal trouble with sinful tendency, as it were magnified for examination. It is clear that the mania which defines his position must be the primary if not the cardinal business in the life of a lunatic, but his problem with that is different not in kind but merely in degree from the problem of lusts, vanities, and weaknesses in what we call normal lives. It is an unconquered tract, a great rebel province in his being, which refuses to serve God and tries to prevent him serving God, and succeeds at times in wresting his capital out of his control. But his relationship to that is the same relationship as ours to the backward and insubordinate parishes, criminal slums, and disorderly houses in our own private texture. It is clear that the believer who is a lunatic is, as it were, only the better part of himself. He serves God with this unconquered disposition in him, like a man who, whatever else he is and does, is obliged to be the keeper of an untrustworthy and wicked animal. His beast gets loose. His only resort is to warn those about him when he feels that jangling or excitement of the nerves which precedes its escapes, to limit its range, to place weapons beyond its reach. And there are plenty of human beings very much in his case, whose beasts have never got loose or have got caught back before their essential insanity was apparent. And there are those uncertifiable lunatics we call men and women of “impulse” and “strong passions.” If perhaps they have more selfcontrol than the really mad, yet it happens oftener with them that the whole intelligent being falls under the dominion of evil. The passion scarcely less than the obsession may darken the whole moral sky. Repentance and atonement; nothing less will avail them after the storm has passed, and the sedulous preparation of defences and palliatives against the return of the storm. This discussion of the lunatic’s case gives us indeed, usefully coarse and large, the lines for the treatment of every human weakness by the servants of God. A “weakness,” just like the lunatic’s mania, becomes a particular charge under God, a special duty for the person it affects. He has to minimise it, to isolate it, to keep it out of mischief. If he can he must adopt preventive measures…. These passions and weaknesses that get control of us hamper our usefulness to God, they are an incessant anxiety and distress to us, they wound our selfrespect and make us incomprehensible to many who would trust us, they discredit the faith we profess. If they break through and break through again it is natural and proper that men and women should cease to believe in our faith, cease to work with us or to meet us frankly…. Our sins do everything evil to us and through us except separate us from God. Yet let there be no mistake about one thing. Here prayer is a power. Here God can indeed work miracles. A man with the light of God in his heart can defeat vicious habits, rise again combative and undaunted after a hundred falls, escape from the grip of lusts and revenges, make head against despair, thrust back the very onset of madness. He is still the same man he was before he came to God, still with his libidinous, vindictive, boastful, or indolent vein; but now his will to prevail over those qualities can refer to an exterior standard and an external interest, he can draw upon a strength, almost boundless, beyond his own.


But be a sin great or small, it cannot damn a man once he has found God. You may kill and hang for it, you may rob or rape; the moment you truly repent and set yourself to such atonement and reparation as is possible there remains no barrier between you and God. Directly you cease to hide or deny or escape, and turn manfully towards the consequences and the setting of things right, you take hold again of the hand of God. Though you sin seventy times seven times, God will still forgive the poor rest of you. Nothing but utter blindness of the spirit can shut a man off from God. There is nothing one can suffer, no situation so unfortunate, that it can shut off one who has the thought of God, from God. If you but lift up your head for a moment out of a stormy chaos of madness and cry to him, God is there, God will not fail you. A convicted criminal, frankly penitent, and neither obdurate nor abject, whatever the evil of his yesterdays, may still die well and bravely on the gallows to the glory of God. He may step straight from that death into the immortal being of God. This persuasion is the very essence of the religion of the true God. There is no sin, no state that, being regretted and repented of, can stand between God and man.



As yet those who may be counted as belonging definitely to the new religion are few and scattered and unconfessed, their realisations are still uncertain and incomplete. But that is no augury for the continuance of this state of affairs even for the next few decades. There are many signs that the revival is coming very swiftly, it may be coming as swiftly as the morning comes after a tropical night. It may seem at present as though nothing very much were happening, except for the fact that the old familiar constellations of theology have become a little pallid and lost something of their multitude of points. But nothing fades of itself. The deep stillness of the late night is broken by a stirring, and the morning star of creedless faith, the last and brightest of the stars, the star that owes its light to the coming sun is in the sky. There is a stirring and a movement. There is a stir, like the stir before a breeze. Men are beginning to speak of religion without the bluster of the Christian formulae; they have begun to speak of God without any reference to Omnipresence, Omniscience, Omnipotence. The Deists and Theists of an older generation, be it noted, never did that. Their “Supreme Being” repudiated nothing. He was merely the whittled stump of the Trinity. It is in the last few decades that the western mind has slipped loose from this absolutist conception of God that has dominated the intelligence of Christendom at least, for many centuries. Almost unconsciously the new thought is taking a course that will lead it far away from the moorings of Omnipotence. It is like a ship that has slipped its anchors and drifts, still sleeping, under the pale and vanishing stars, out to the open sea….


In quite a little while the whole world may be alive with this renascent faith. For emancipation from the Trinitarian formularies and from a belief in an infinite God means not merely a great revivification of minds trained under the decadence of orthodox Christianity, minds which have hitherto been hopelessly embarrassed by the choice between pseudoChristian religion or denial, but also it opens the way towards the completest understanding and sympathy and participation with the kindred movements for release and for an intensification of the religious life, that are going on outside the sphere of the Christian tradition and influence altogether. Allusion has already been made to the sympathetic devotional poetry of Rabindranath Tagore; he stands for a movement in Brahminism parallel with and assimilable to the worship of the true God of mankind. It is too often supposed that the religious tendency of the East is entirely towards otherworldness, to a treatment of this life as an evil entanglement and of death as a release and a blessing. It is too easily assumed that Eastern teaching is wholly concerned with renunciation, not merely of self but of being, with the escape from all effort of any sort into an exalted vacuity. This is indeed neither the spirit of China nor of Islam nor of the everyday life of any people in the world. It is not the spirit of the Sikh nor of these newer developments of Hindu thought. It has never been the spirit of Japan. Today less than ever does Asia seem disposed to give up life and the effort of life. Just as readily as Europeans, do the Asiatics reach out their arms to that fuller life we can live, that greater intensity of existence, to which we can attain by escaping from ourselves. All mankind is seeking God. There is not a nation nor a city in the globe where men are not being urged at this moment by the spirit of God in them towards the discovery of God. This is not an age of despair but an age of hope in Asia as in all the world besides. Islam is undergoing a process of revision closely parallel to that which ransacks Christianity. Tradition and mediaeval doctrines are being thrust aside in a similar way. There is much probing into the spirit and intention of the Founder. The time is almost ripe for a heartsearching Dialogue of the Dead,”How we settled our religions for ever and ever,” between, let us say, Eusebius of Caesarea and one of NizamalMulk’s tame theologians. They would be drawn together by the same tribulations; they would be in the closest sympathy against the temerity of the moderns; they would have a common courtliness. The Quran is but little read by Europeans; it is ignorantly supposed to contain many things that it does not contain; there is much confusion in people’s minds between its text and the ancient Semitic traditions and usages retained by its followers; in places it may seem formless and barbaric; but what it has chiefly to tell of is the leadership of one individualised militant God who claims the rule of the whole world, who favours neither rank nor race, who would lead men to righteousness. It is much more free from sacramentalism, from vestiges of the ancient blood sacrifice, and its associated sacerdotalism, than Christianity. The religion that will presently sway mankind can be reached more easily from that startingpoint than from the confused mysteries of Trinitarian theology. Islam was never saddled with a creed. With the very name “Islam”(submission to God) there is no quarrel for those who hold the new faith…. All the world over there is this stirring in the dry bones of the old beliefs. There is scarcely a religion that has not its Bahaism, its Modernists, its Brahmo Somaj, its “religion without theology,” its attempts to escape from old forms and hampering associations to that living and worldwide spiritual reality upon which the human mind almost instinctively insists…. It is the same God we all seek; he becomes more and more plainly the same God. So that all this religious stir, which seems so multifold and incidental and disconnected and confused and entirely ineffective today, may be and most probably will be, in quite a few years a great flood of religious unanimity pouring over and changing all human affairs, sweeping away the old priesthoods and tabernacles and symbols and shrines, the last crumb of the Orphic victim and the last rag of the Serapeum, and turning all men about into one direction, as the ships and houseboats swing round together in some great river with the uprush of the tide….


Among those who are beginning to realise the differences and identities of the revived religion that has returned to them, certain questions of organisation and assembly are being discussed. Every new religious development is haunted by the precedents of the religion it replaces, and it was only to be expected that among those who have recovered their faith there should be a search for apostles and disciples, an attempt to determine sources and to form original congregations, especially among people with European traditions. These dispositions mark a relapse from understanding. They are imitative. This time there has been no revelation here or there; there is no claim to a revelation but simply that God has become visible. Men have thought and sought until insensibly the fog of obsolete theology has cleared away. There seems no need therefore for special teachers or a special propaganda, or any ritual or observances that will seem to insist upon differences. The Christian precedent of a church is particularly misleading. The church with its sacraments and its sacerdotalism is the disease of Christianity. Save for a few doubtful interpolations there is no evidence that Christ tolerated either blood sacrifices or the mysteries of priesthood. All these antique grossnesses were superadded after his martyrdom. He preached not a cult but a gospel; he sent out not medicine men but apostles. No doubt all who believe owe an apostolic service to God. They become naturally apostolic. As men perceive and realise God, each will be disposed in his own fashion to call his neighbour’s attention to what he sees. The necessary elements of religion could be written on a post card; this book, small as it is, bulks large not by what it tells positively but because it deals with misconceptions. We may (little doubt have I that we do) need special propagandas and organisations to discuss errors and keep back the jungle of false ideas, to maintain free speech and restrain the enterprise of the persecutor, but we do not want a church to keep our faith for us. We want our faith spread, but for that there is no need for orthodoxies and controlling organisations of statement. It is for each man to follow his own impulse, and to speak to his like in his own fashion. Whatever religious congregations men may form henceforth in the name of the true God must be for their own sakes and not to take charge of religion. The history of Christianity, with its encrustation and suffocation in dogmas and usages, its dire persecutions of the faithful by the unfaithful, its desiccation and its unlovely decay, its invasion by robes and rites and all the tricks and vices of the Pharisees whom Christ detested and denounced, is full of warning against the dangers of a church. Organisation is an excellent thing for the material needs of men, for the draining of towns, the marshalling of traffic, the collecting of eggs, and the carrying of letters, the distribution of bread, the notification of measles, for hygiene and economics and suchlike affairs. The better we organise such things, the freer and better equipped we leave men’s minds for nobler purposes, for those adventures and experiments towards God’s purpose which are the reality of life. But all organisations must be watched, for whatever is organised can be “captured” and misused. Repentance, moreover, is the beginning and essential of the religious life, and organisations (acting through their secretaries and officials) never repent. God deals only with the individual for the individual’s surrender. He takes no cognisance of committees. Those who are most alive to the realities of living religion are most mistrustful of this congregating tendency. To gather together is to purchase a benefit at the price of a greater loss, to strengthen one’s sense of brotherhood by excluding the majority of mankind. Before you know where you are you will have exchanged the spirit of God for ESPRIT DE CORPS. You will have reinvented the SYMBOL; you will have begun to keep anniversaries and establish sacramental ceremonies. The disposition to form cliques and exclude and conspire against unlike people is all too strong in humanity, to permit of its formal encouragement. Even such organisation as is implied by a creed is to be avoided, for all living faith coagulates as you phrase it. In this book I have not given so much as a definite name to the faith of the true God. Organisation for worship and collective exaltation also, it may be urged, is of little manifest good. You cannot appoint beforehand a time and place for God to irradiate your soul. All these are very valid objections to the churchforming disposition.


Yet still this leaves many dissatisfied. They want to shout out about God. They want to share this great thing with all mankind. Why should they not shout and share? Let them express all that they desire to express in their own fashion by themselves or grouped with their friends as they will. Let them shout chorally if they are so disposed. Let them work in a gang if so they can work the better. But let them guard themselves against the idea that they can have God particularly or exclusively with them in any such undertaking. Or that so they can express God rather than themselves. That I think states the attitude of the modern spirit towards the idea of a church. Mankind passes for ever out of the idolatry of altars, away from the obscene rites of circumcision and symbolical cannibalism, beyond the sway of the ceremonial priest. But if the modern spirit holds that religion cannot be organised or any intermediary thrust between God and man, that does not preclude infinite possibilities of organisation and collective action UNDER God and within the compass of religion. There is no reason why religious men should not band themselves the better to attain specific ends. To borrow a term from British politics, there is no objection to AD HOC organisations. The objection lies not against subsidiary organisations for service but against organisations that may claim to be comprehensive. For example there is no reason why one should notand in many cases there are good reasons why one shouldorganise or join associations for the criticism of religious ideas, an employment that may pass very readily into propaganda. Many people feel the need of prayer to resist the evil in themselves and to keep them in mind of divine emotion. And many want not merely prayer but formal prayer and the support of others, praying in unison. The writer does not understand this desire or need for collective prayer very well, but there are people who appear to do so and there is no reason why they should not assemble for that purpose. And there is no doubt that divine poetry, divine maxims, religious thought finely expressed, may be heard, rehearsed, collected, published, and distributed by associations. The desire for expression implies a sort of assembly, a hearer at least as well as a speaker. And expression has many forms. People with a strong artistic impulse will necessarily want to express themselves by art when religion touches them, and many arts, architecture and the drama for example, are collective undertakings. I do not see why there should not be, under God, associations for building cathedrals and suchlike great still places urgent with beauty, into which men and women may go to rest from the clamour of the day’s confusions; I do not see why men should not make great shrines and pictures expressing their sense of divine things, and why they should not combine in such enterprises rather than work to fill heterogeneous and chaotic art galleries. A wave of religious revival and religious clarification, such as I foresee, will most certainly bring with it a great revival of art, religious art, music, songs, and writings of all sorts, drama, the making of shrines, praying places, tempies and retreats, the creation of pictures and sculptures. It is not necessary to have priestcraft and an organised church for such ends. Such enrichments of feeling and thought are part of the service of God. And again, under God, there may be associations and fraternities for research in pure science; associations for the teaching and simplification of languages; associations for promoting and watching education; associations for the discussion of political problems and the determination of right policies. In all these ways men may multiply their use by union. Only when associations seek to control things of belief, to dictate formulae, restrict religious activities or the freedom of religious thought and teaching, when they tend to subdivide those who believe and to set up jealousies or exclusions, do they become antagonistic to the spirit of modern religion.


Because religion cannot be organised, because God is everywhere and immediately accessible to every human being, it does not follow that religion cannot organise every other human affair. It is indeed essential to the idea that God is the Invisible King of this round world and all mankind, that we should see in every government, great and small, from the council of the worldstate that is presently coming, down to the village assembly, the instrument of God’s practical control. Religion which is free, speaking freely through whom it will, subject to a perpetual unlimited criticism, will be the life and driving power of the whole organised world. So that if you prefer not to say that there will be no church, if you choose rather to declare that the worldstate is God’s church, you may have it so if you will. Provided that you leave conscience and speech and writing and teaching about divine things absolutely free, and that you try to set no nets about God. The world is God’s and he takes it. But he himself remains freedom, and we find our freedom in him.


So I end this compact statement of the renascent religion which I believe to be crystallising out of the intellectual, social, and spiritual confusions of this time. It is an account rendered. It is a statement and record; not a theory. There is nothing in all this that has been invented or constructed by the writer; I have been but scribe to the spirit of my generation; I have at most assembled and put together things and thoughts that I have come upon, have transferred the statements of “science” into religious terminology, rejected obsolescent definitions, and recoordinated propositions that had drifted into opposition. Thus, I see, ideas are developing, and thus have I written them down. It is a secondary matter that I am convinced that this trend of intelligent opinion is a discovery of truth. The reader is told of my own belief merely to avoid an affectation of impartiality and aloofness. The theogony here set forth is ancient; one can trace it appearing and disappearing and recurring in the mutilated records of many different schools of speculation; the conception of God as finite is one that has been discussed very illuminatingly in recent years in the work of one I am happy to write of as my friend and master, that very great American, the late William James. It was an idea that became increasingly important to him towards the end of his life. And it is the most releasing idea in the system. Only in the most general terms can I trace the other origins of these present views. I do not think modern religion owes much to what is called Deism or Theism. The rather abstract and futile Deism of the eighteenth century, of “votre Etre supreme” who bored the friends of Robespierre, was a sterile thing, it has little relation to these modern developments, it conceived of God as an infinite Being of no particular character whereas God is a finite being of a very especial character. On the other hand men and women who have set themselves, with unavoidable theological preconceptions, it is true, to speculate upon the actual teachings and quality of Christ, have produced interpretations that have interwoven insensibly with thoughts more apparently new. There is a curious modernity about very many of Christ’s recorded sayings. Revived religion has also, no doubt, been the receiver of many religious bankruptcies, of Positivism for example, which failed through its bleak abstraction and an unspiritual texture. Religion, thus restated, must, I think, presently incorporate great sections of thought that are still attached to formal Christianity. The time is at hand when many of the organised Christian churches will be forced to define their positions, either in terms that will identify them with this renascence, or that will lead to the release of their more liberal adherents. Its probable obligations to Eastern thought are less readily estimated by a European writer. Modern religion has no revelation and no founder; it is the privilege and possession of no coterie of disciples or exponents; it is appearing simultaneously round and about the world exactly as a crystallising substance appears here and there in a supersaturated solution. It is a process of truth, guided by the divinity in men. It needs no other guidance, and no protection. It needs nothing but freedom, free speech, and honest statement. Out of the most mixed and impure solutions a growing crystal is infallibly able to select its substance. The diamond arises bright, definite, and pure out of a dark matrix of structureless confusion. This metaphor of crystallisation is perhaps the best symbol of the advent and growth of the new understanding. It has no church, no authorities, no teachers, no orthodoxy. It does not even thrust and struggle among the other things; simply it grows clear. There will be no putting an end to it. It arrives inevitably, and it will continue to separate itself out from confusing ideas. It becomes, as it were the Kohinoor; it is a Mountain of Light, growing and increasing. It is an allpervading lucidity, a brightness and clearness. It has no head to smite, no body you can destroy; it overleaps all barriers; it breaks out in despite of every enclosure. It will compel all things to orient themselves to it. It comes as the dawn comes, through whatever clouds and mists may be here or whatever smoke and curtains may be there. It comes as the day comes to the ships that put to sea. It is the Kingdom of God at hand.


by Fyodor Dostoevsky
translated by Constance Garnett


Chapter One

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, fivestoried 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 贵阳哪些洗浴有服务 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 any one 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. 贵阳最好的洗浴 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 贵阳品茶qq群推荐 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 Giantkiller. 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 贵阳品茶论坛
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
pothouses, 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, wellbuilt, with
beautiful dark eyes and dark brown hair. Soon he sank 贵阳哪个洗浴中心有服务 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 food.
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,&c. There was a continual coming and going through the
two gates and in the two courtyards of the house. Three or four
doorkeepers 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 polite.
“I remember, my good sir, I remember quite well your coming here,”
the old woman said distinctly, still keeping her inquiring eyes on his
“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 dressingtable with a lookingglass fixed on it between the windows,
chairs along the walls and two or three halfpenny 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; everything shone.
“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 the face.
“I’ve brought something to pawn here,” and he drew out of his pocket
an oldfashioned 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
before yesterday.”
“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
“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 strongbox… that’s worth
knowing. Strongboxes 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 thirtyfive 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!”
“Just so.”
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 what.
“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.”
“Goodbye 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 passage.
“What business is she of yours, my good sir?”
“Oh, nothing particular, I simply asked. You are too quick….
Goodday, Alyona Ivanovna.”
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 passersby, 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 clear.
“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 is!”
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 not normal.
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 fullskirted 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.

Chapter Two

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 turnover 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
tavernkeeper, 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 resolutely:
“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 selfapproval.”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 pothouse! 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
“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 nails.
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 highflown 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 贵阳微信提供新茶 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
“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 every one 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 贵阳洗脚特殊服务 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 table.
“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 laughingstock 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 highclass 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
some one 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 stepmother 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
shorttempered…. 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, any way 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 halfdozen 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 drunk.”
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
evilintentioned 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 Afanasyevitch. His excellency Ivan Afanasyevitch, 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 todo 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 tavernkeeper and the boys were busy
with the newcomers. 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 listened attentively.
“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
shirtfronts 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 twentythree 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,’ said she.”
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
pickmeup! Hehehe!”
“You don’t say she gave it to you?” cried one of the newcomers;
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? Hehehe!”
He would have filled his glass, but there was no drink left. The pot
was empty.
“What are you to be pitied for?” shouted the tavernkeeper who was
again near them.
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 government clerk.
“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 merrymaking 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 stepmother 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 again.
“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, welltodo. 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
poorlooking room about ten paces long was lighted up by a candleend;
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 kitchentable, unpainted and uncovered. At the
edge of the table stood a smoldering tallowcandle 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 candleend 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 doorway.
“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 money! speak!”
And she fell to searching him. Marmeladov submissively and
obediently held up both arms to facilitate the search. Not a
farthing was there.
“Where’s 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 consolation, honoured 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 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 today, for
there is always a risk, hunting big game… digging for gold… then
they would all be without a crust tomorrow 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.”

Chapter Three

HE WAKED up late next day after a broken sleep. But his sleep had
not refreshed him; he waked up bilious, irritable, illtempered, and
looked with hatred at his room. It was a tiny cupboard of a room about
six paces in length. It had a povertystricken appearance with its
dusty yellow paper peeling off the walls, and it was so lowpitched
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 every one, like a
tortoise in its shell, and even the sight of the 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 starving?”
Raskolnikov opened his eyes, started and recognized 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 porkbutcher’s.”
“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 peasantwoman and a very talkative one.
“Praskovya Pavlovna means to complain to the police about you,”
she said.
He scowled.
“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 today.”
“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
“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
“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 kindhearted 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 Svidrigrailovs’ 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.
Svidrigailov 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. Svidrigailov’s wife, and all the rest of the
household, Dounia had a very hard time, especially when Mr.
Svidrigailov, 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 pellmell, 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 every one 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.
Svidrigailov 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.
Svidrigailov’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. Svidrigailov 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 every one
the letter in Dounia’s own handwriting to Mr. Svidrigailov 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
every one 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 reestablishing 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 every one 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 welltodo man, to be depended upon, he
has two posts in the government and has already made his fortune. It
is true that he is fortyfive 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 goodnatured. 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
daydream. 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 oldwomanish,
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 mothersinlaw, and I don’t want to be
the least bit in any one’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 every one 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 seventyfive roubles on the security of my
pension, so that perhaps I shall be able to send you twentyfive 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 expenses 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 twentyfive, 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 today! 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. Goodbye,
till we meet then I embrace you warmly, warmly, with many kisses.
“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 any one; 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 passersby. Many
of them took him to be drunk.

Chapter Four

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 posthaste, 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 naive 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
conscienceprick at sacrificing her daughter to her son?’You are
our one comfort, you are everything to us.’ Oh, mother!”
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 him!
“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. Svidrigailov 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 SchleswigHolstein, 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
Svidrigailovs 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 some one 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, overpartial 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 that not 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 Svidrigailovs. How are
you going to save them from Svidrigailovs, 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
“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, fairhaired 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, thicklyset 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 Svidrigailov! 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 some one 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 rags.
Raskolnikov looked at him intently. He had a straightforward,
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 you.”
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 sleepylooking eyes, gazed blankly at the speaker and
waved her hand.
“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 you live?”
“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
“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 once more.
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 openeyed.
Raskolnikov laughed.
“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 thought 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 anew….
“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 every one, went to see
no one, and did not welcome any one who came to see him, and indeed
every one 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 goodhumoured
and candid youth, goodnatured 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.

Chapter Five

“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 Razumihin….”
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 around, 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 fortyseven 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 eatinghouse 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 truthlike 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
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 horriblelooking 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 oldfashioned,
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 riffraff 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 carthorses and laden with casks of wine or other heavy goods.
He always liked looking at those great carthorses, 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 be at 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 balalaika, and from the
tavern a number of big and very drunken peasants came out, wearing red
and blue shirts and coats thrown over their shoulders.
“Get in, get in!” shouted one of them, a young thicknecked
peasant with a fleshy face red as a carrot.”I’ll take you all, get
But at once there was an outbreak of laughter and exclamations in
the crowd.
“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 Marvey,” 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 indeed! She has not had a gallop in her for the last ten
“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, rosycheeked 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 with fury.
“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
“Beat her to death,” cried Mikolka,”it’s come to that. I’ll do
for her!”
“What are you about, are you a Christian, you devil?” shouted an old
man in the crowd.
“Did any one 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 some one in the cart and every
one 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 greyheaded 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 crowd.
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,” some one 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 beat.
“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 be?”
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 I still…?”
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
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 turningpoint 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.
Ragpickers 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,&c. 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 every one 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 thirtyfive,
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 tomorrow about seven. They will
be here too.”
“Tomorrow?” 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 stepsister 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 tomorrow. 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 decided.
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.

Chapter Six

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 some one seemed to be speaking
expressly for him; the student began telling his friend various
details about Alyona Ivanovna.
“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 halfsister, being the child of a different mother. She was
thirtyfive. 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 darkskinned and looks like a soldier dressed up,
but you know she is not at all hideous. She has such a goodnatured
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 conscienceprick,” 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
companion attentively.
“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, illnatured 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

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 teapot.
“My goodness, how he sleeps!” she cried indignantly.”And he is
always asleep.”
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 rousing him.
“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
“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
daydreams and such strange daydreams; 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 particoloured 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 some one 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 every one 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 fortnight before.
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
recrossing 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 some
one 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 pruningknife, 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 plans.
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 some one 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 for
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
He walked along quietly and sedately, without hurry, to avoid
awakening suspicion. He scarcely looked at the passersby, 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 other side….
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 halfpast 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. Some
one 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, forever; 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 latch

Chapter Seven

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
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
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 goodsized 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 bloodstained 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
clothesprobably all pledges, unredeemed or waiting to be redeemed
bracelets, chains, earrings, 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 some one 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 the bedroom.
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, snatched 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
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 staircase.
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 some one 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 some one
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 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
“What’s up? Are they asleep or murdered? Ddamn 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
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. Some one else was approaching. Raskolnikov had not heard
them at first.
“You don’t say there’s no one at home,” the newcomer 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, Aieaie! 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 anywhere.”
And he once more tugged at the doorhandle.
“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 door!”
“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.”
“All right.”
Both were going down.
“Stay. You stop here while I run down for the porter.”
“What for?”
“Well, you’d better.”
“All right.”
“I’m studying the law you see! It’s evident, evident there’s
something wrong here!” the young man cried hotly, and he ran
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 doorhandle 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 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.”They!”
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, hopeless!”
At last he reached the turning. He turned down it more dead than
alive. Here he was half way to safety, and here 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!” some one
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 any one 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

Chapter One

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 some
one 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 any one had come in, what would he have thought? That I’m
drunk but…”
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 things?”
He had not reckoned on having trinkets to hide. He had only
thought of money, and so had not prepared a hidingplace.
“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 insufferable torture.
“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 any one coming in would see
“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 room.
“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, without lingering…”
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
“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 past ten.”
“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
positive pain.
“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 up!”
“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 bottlewax.
“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 go away.
“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
“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 today?” 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
“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
lightheaded… 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
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 pothouses, again the drunken men, the
Finnish pedlars and halfbrokendown 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
his eyes.
“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 houseporter,
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 any one.
“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 lowpitched. 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 queerlooking 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
“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 furthest room.
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 purplishred,
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 mourning.
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
He was conscious of a terrible inner turmoil. He was afraid of
losing his selfcontrol; 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 wellscrubbed 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
gailydressed, purplefaced 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 airballoon 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
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 easychair. 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
“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
“Money? What money?” thought Raskolnikov,”but… then… it’s
certainly not that.”
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
“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 any one!”
“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 every one 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 house….”
“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 head.
“… 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 lockup, as it is called in polite society. Do you hear? So a
literary man, an author took five roubles for his coattail 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, towncriers… 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 goodlooking 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 is!”
“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 illmannered.
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
goodhearted 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
“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
“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 that.”
“Come now… you are harsh,” muttered Nikodim Fomitch, sitting
down at the table and also beginning to write. He looked a little
“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 any one’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 effusion 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 just consider…”
“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 unfastened.”
“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, 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 some one on the right side, while some one 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
“Since yesterday,” muttered Raskolnikov in reply.
“Did you go out yesterday?”
“Though you were ill?”
“At what time?”
“About seven.”
“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
“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
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.

Chapter Two

“AND WHAT if there has been a search already? What if I find them in
my room?”
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 earrings 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 halfhour, 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, every
one 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 halfhour, worried and anxious in this dangerous part without
thinking of it before. And that halfhour 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 fourstoried 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 fencedoff 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
any one 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
cabdrivers; and on the hoarding above had been scribbled in chalk
the timehonoured 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 get away!”
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 passersby, always numerous in that
part, but he could not be seen from the entrance, unless some one 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
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
“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 today! 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 jewelcases 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 any one 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 now.”
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
dressinggown, 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 want lessons….”
“But I say! You are delirious, you know!” Razumihin observed,
watching him carefully.
“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 any one in
the wide world. His spleen rose within him. He almost choked with rage
at himself as soon as he crossed Razumihin’s threshold.
“Goodbye,” 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 any one clever, 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 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 it?”
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?”
No answer.
“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 some one 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 his arm flung it into the water; then he turned and went home.
It seemed to him, he had cut himself off from every one and from
everything 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
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 recognized 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 topsyturvy? 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 here!”
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
assistantsuperintendent, on the stairs…. Why was he illtreating
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
“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 wall.
Nastasya still looked at him without speaking.
“Nobody has been beating the landlady,” she declared at last in a
firm, resolute voice.
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
assistantsuperintendent came…. Every one ran out on to the stairs
from all the flats.”
“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.

Chapter Three

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 some one 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, shortwaisted coat, and looked like a messenger. The
landlady was peeping in at the halfopened 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 badlooking,
fat and buxom, with black eyes and eyebrows, goodnatured 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 from Pashenka.”
“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 you?”
“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
firstrate 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 thirtyfive 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
thirtyfive 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 conscious, eh?”
“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 his name.
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
“With potatoes and rice in it?”
“I know it by heart. Bring soup and give us some tea.”
“Very well.”
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 thought.
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 some beer?”
“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 today 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 sugar.
“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.”
“My name!”
“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
houseporter 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 mirth.
“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 think?”
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
thirtysix, 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 twentyfive 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 soninlaw, 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, firstrate… 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
“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 earrings 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, ringbedecked fingers he gave you the rag. And
only then were you comforted, and for the next twentyfour 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 thirtyfive 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 myself. Goodbye!”
“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, switching
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,
hahaha! 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
bottle, cold!”
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 in 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 sleep.
He woke up, hearing some one 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 directly.”
“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 heaven! 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 today, 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.”
“No, before.”
“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 boy.”
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 of 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 headcovering 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 bashful 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 speak.
“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
twentyfive copecks! And remember the conditions: 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 emptyhanded 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
twentyfive 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 fiftyfive copecks; five roubles for the
underclothes they were bought in the lot which makes exactly nine
roubles fiftyfive copecks. Fortyfive copecks change in coppers. Will
you take it? And so, Rodya, you are set up with a complete new
rigout, 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 twentyfive 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
“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! At last!” cried Razumihin, delighted.

Chapter Four

ZOSSIMOV WAS a tall, fat man with a puffy, colourless,
cleanshaven face and straight flaxen hair. He wore spectacles, and
a big gold ring on his fat finger. He was twentyseven. He had on a
light grey fashionable loose coat, light summer trousers, and
everything about him loose, fashionable and spick and able, his
linen was irreproachable, his watchchain 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
selfimportance, 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 today, brother. You see, he’s come to
himself,” cried Razumihin.
“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 firstrate. 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
tomorrow. Perhaps, today even… but never mind…”
“Tomorrow 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 tomorrow at all, but I don’t know… a
little, maybe… but we’ll see.”
“Ach, what a nuisance! I’ve got a housewarming party tonight;
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 friends.”
“And who?”
“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 sixtyfive 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 in.”
“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 housepainter…. We are getting him out of a
mess! Though indeed there’s nothing to fear now. The matter is
absolutely selfevident. We only put on steam.”
“A painter?”
“Why, haven’t I told you about it? I only told you the beginning
then about the murder of the old pawnbrokerwoman. 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,
“Lizaveta was murdered, too,” Nastasya blurted out, suddenly
addressing Raskolnikov. She remained in the room all the time,
standing by the door listening.
“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
tonight…. 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!”
Zossimov observed.
“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
dramshop facing the house, brought to the police office a
jeweller’s case containing some gold earrings, and told a long
rigamarole.’The day before yesterday, just after eight o’clock’ mark
the day and the hour!’a journeyman housepainter, Nikolay, who had
been in to see me already that day, brought me this box of gold
earrings 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 thirtyrouble 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 Zaraisk, 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 some one had murdered Alyona Ivanovna and her
sister, Lizaveta Ivanovna, with an axe. I knew them, and I felt
suspicious about the earrings 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 any one. 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 any one’ 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 so 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 earrings?” 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 suchandsuch 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,’twentytwo,’ and so on. At the
question,’When you were working with Dmitri, didn’t you see any one
on the staircase at suchandsuch 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
Soandso 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 earrings?’
‘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 suchandsuch 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
“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 earrings….'”
“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 earrings, 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 knew 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 doubt.”
“That’s nonsense. You are excited. But what about the earrings? You
must admit that, if on the very same day and hour earrings 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 any one 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
“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 earrings’ 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 jewelcase 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 understand!”
“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 jewelcase and gave the name of the
owner, who proved conclusively that it was his.”
“That’s bad. Now another point. Did any one see Nikolay at the
time that Koch and Pestryakov were going upstairs at first, and is
there no evidence about that?”
“Nobody did see him,” Razumihin answered with vexation.”That’s
the worst of it. Even Koch and Pestryakov did not notice them on their
way upstairs, though, indeed, their evidence could not have been worth
much. They said they saw the flat was open, and that there must be
work going on in it, but they took no special notice and could not
remember whether there actually were men at work in it.”
“Hm!… So the only evidence for the defence is that they were
beating one another and laughing. That constitutes a strong
presumption, but… How do you explain the facts yourself?”
“How do I explain them? What is there to explain? It’s clear. At any
rate, the direction in which explanation is to be sought is clear, and
the jewelcase points to it. The real murderer dropped those
earrings. The murderer was upstairs, locked in, when Koch and
Pestryakov knocked at the door. Koch, like an ass, did not stay at the
door; so the murderer popped out and ran down, too, for he had no
other way of escape. He hid from Koch, Pestryakov and the porter in
the flat when Nikolay and Dmitri had just run out of it. He stopped
there while the porter and others were going upstairs, waited till
they were out of hearing, and then went calmly downstairs at the
very minute when Dmitri and Nikolay ran out into the street and
there was no one in the entry; possibly he was seen, but not
noticed. There are lots of people going in and out. He must have
dropped the earrings out of his pocket when he stood behind the door,
and did not notice he dropped them, because he had other things to
think of. The jewelcase is a conclusive proof that he did stand
there…. That’s how I explain it.”
“Too clever! No, my boy, you’re too clever. That beats everything.”
“But, why, why?”
“Why, because everything fits too well… it’s too melodramatic.”
“Aach!” Razumihin was exclaiming, but at that moment the door
opened and a personage came in who was a stranger to all present.

Chapter Five

THIS WAS a gentleman no longer young, of a stiff and portly
appearance, and a cautious and sour countenance. He began by
stopping short in the doorway, staring about him with offensive and
undisguised astonishment, as though asking himself what sort of
place he had come to. Mistrustfully and with an affectation of being
alarmed and almost affronted, he scanned Raskolnikov’s low and
narrow “cabin.” With the same amazement he stared at Raskolnikov,
who lay undressed, dishevelled, unwashed, on his miserable dirty sofa,
looking fixedly at him. Then with the same deliberation he scrutinised
the uncouth, unkempt figure and unshaven face of Razumihin, who looked
him boldly and inquiringly in the face without rising from his seat. A
constrained silence lasted for a couple of minutes, and then, as might
be expected, some sceneshifting took place. Reflecting, probably from
certain fairly unmistakable signs, that he would get nothing in this
“cabin” by attempting to overawe them, the gentleman softened
somewhat, and civilly, though with some severity, emphasising every
syllable of his question, addressed Zossimov:
“Rodion Romanovitch Raskolnikov, a student, or formerly a student?”
Zossimov made a slight movement, and would have answered, had not
Razumihin anticipated him.
“Here he is lying on the sofa! What do you want?”
This familiar “what do you want” seemed to cut the ground from the
feet of the pompous gentleman. He was turning to Razumihin, but
checked himself in time and turned to Zossimov again.
“This is Raskolnikov,” mumbled Zossimov, nodding towards him. Then
he gave a prolonged yawn, opening his mouth as wide as possible.
Then he lazily put his hand into his waistcoatpocket, pulled out a
huge gold watch in a round hunter’s case, opened it, looked at it
and as slowly and lazily proceeded to put it back.
Raskolnikov himself lay without speaking, on his back, gazing
persistently, though ‘without understanding, at the stranger. Now that
his face was turned away from the strange flower on the paper, it
was extremely pale and wore a look of anguish, as though he had just
undergone an agonising operation or just been taken from the rack. But
the newcomer gradually began to arouse his attention, then his
wonder, then suspicion and even alarm. When Zossimov said “This is
Raskolnikov” he jumped up quickly, sat on the sofa and with an
almost defiant, but weak and breaking, voice articulated:
“Yes, I am Raskolnikov! What do you want?”
The visitor scrutinised him and pronounced impressively:
“Pyotr Petrovitch Luzhin. I believe I have reason to hope that my
name is not wholly unknown to you?”
But Raskolnikov, who had expected something quite different, gazed
blankly and dreamily at him, making no reply, as though he heard the
name of Pyotr Petrovitch for the first time.
“Is it possible that you can up to the present have received no
information?” asked Pyotr Petrovitch, somewhat disconcerted.
In reply Raskolnikov sank languidly back on the pillow, put his
hands behind his head and gazed at the ceiling. A look of dismay
came into Luzhin’s face. Zossimov and Razumihin stared at him more
inquisitively than ever, and at last he showed unmistakable signs of
“I had presumed and calculated,” he faltered,”that a letter
posted more than ten days, if not a fortnight ago…”
“I say, why are you standing in the doorway?” Razumihin
interrupted suddenly.”If you’ve something to say, sit down.
Nastasya and you are so crowded. Nastasya, make room. Here’s a
chair, thread your way in!”
He moved his chair back from the table, made a little space
between the table and his knees, and waited in a rather cramped
position for the visitor to “thread his way in.” The minute was so
chosen that it was impossible to refuse, and the visitor squeezed
his way through, hurrying and stumbling. Reaching the chair, he sat
down, looking suspiciously at Razumihin.
“No need to be nervous,” the latter blurted out.”Rodya has been ill
for the last five days and delirious for three, but now he is
recovering and has got an appetite. This is his doctor, who has just
had a look at him. I am a comrade of Rodya’s, like him, formerly a
student, and now I am nursing him; so don’t you take any notice of us,
but go on with your business.”
“Thank you. But shall I not disturb the invalid by my presence and
conversation?” Pyotr Petrovitch asked of Zossimov.
“Nno,” mumbled Zossimov;”you may amuse him.” He yawned again.
“He has been conscious a long time, since the morning,” went on
Razumihin, whose familiarity seemed so much like unaffected
goodnature that Pyotr Petrovitch began to be more cheerful, partly,
perhaps, because this shabby and impudent person had introduced
himself as a student.
“Your mamma,” began Luzhin.
“Hm!” Razumihin cleared his throat loudly. Luzhin looked at him
“That’s all right, go on.”
Luzhin shrugged his shoulders.
“Your mamma had commenced a letter to you while I was sojourning
in her neighbourhood. On my arrival here I purposely allowed a few
days to elapse before coming to see you, in order that I might be
fully assured that you were in full possession of the tidings; but
now, to my astonishment…”
“I know, I know!” Raskolnikov cried suddenly with impatient
vexation.”So you are the fiance? I know, and that’s enough!”
There was no doubt about Pyotr Petrovitch’s being offended this
time, but he said nothing. He made a violent effort to understand what
it all meant. There was a moment’s silence.
Meanwhile Raskolnikov, who had turned a little towards him when he
answered, began suddenly staring at him again with marked curiosity,
as though he had not had a good look at him yet, or as though
something new had struck him; he rose from his pillow on purpose to
stare at him. There certainly was something peculiar in Pyotr
Petrovitch’s whole appearance, something which seemed to justify the
title of “fiance” so unceremoniously applied to him. In the first
place, it was evident, far too much so indeed, that Pyotr Petrovitch
had made eager use of his few days in the capital to get himself up
and rig himself out in expectation of his betrothed a perfectly
innocent and permissible proceeding, indeed. Even his own, perhaps too
complacent, consciousness of the agreeable improvement in his
appearance might have been forgiven in such circumstances, seeing that
Pyotr Petrovitch had taken up the role of fiance. All his clothes were
fresh from the tailor’s and were all right, except for being too new
and too distinctly appropriate. Even the stylish new round hat had the
same significance. Pyotr Petrovitch treated it too respectfully and
held it too carefully in his hands. The exquisite pair of lavender
gloves, real Louvain, told the same tale, if only from the fact of his
not wearing them, but carrying them in his hand for show. Light and
youthful colours predominated in Pyotr Petrovitch’s attire. He wore
a charming summer jacket of a fawn shade, light thin trousers, a
waistcoat of the same, new and fine linen, a cravat of the lightest
cambric with pink stripes on it, and the best of it was, this all
suited Pyotr Petrovitch. His very fresh and even handsome face
looked younger than his fortyfive years at all times. His dark,
muttonchop whiskers made an agreeable setting on both sides,
growing thickly about his shining, cleanshaven chin. Even his hair,
touched here and there with grey, though it had been combed and curled
at a hairdresser’s, did not give him a stupid appearance, as curled
hair usually does, by inevitably suggesting a German on his
weddingday. If there really was something unpleasing and repulsive in
his rather goodlooking and imposing countenance, it was due to
quite other causes. After scanning Mr. Luzhin unceremoniously,
Raskolnikov smiled malignantly, sank back on the pillow and stared
at the ceiling as before.
But Mr. Luzhin hardened his heart and seemed to determine to take no
notice of their oddities.
“I feel the greatest regret at finding you in this situation,” he
began, again breaking the silence with an effort.”If I had been aware
of your illness I should have come earlier. But you know what business
is. I have, too, a very important legal affair in the Senate, not to
mention other preoccupations which you may well conjecture. I am
expecting your mamma and sister any minute.”
Raskolnikov made a movement and seemed about to speak; his face
showed some excitement. Pyotr Petrovitch paused, waited, but as
nothing followed, he went on:
“…Any minute. I have found a lodging for them on their arrival.”
“Where?” asked Raskolnikov weakly.
“Very near here, in Bakaleyev’s house.”
“That’s in Voskresensky,” put in Razumihin.”There are two storeys
of rooms, let by a merchant called Yushin; I’ve been there.”
“Yes, rooms…”
“A disgusting place filthy, stinking and, what’s more, of
doubtful character. Things have happened there, and there are all
sorts of queer people living there. And I went there about a
scandalous business. It’s cheap, though…”
“I could not, of course, find out so much about it, for I am a
stranger in Petersburg myself,” Pyotr Petrovitch replied huffily.
“However, the two rooms are exceedingly clean, and as it is for so
short a time… I have already taken a permanent, that is, our
future flat,” he said, addressing Raskolnikov,”and I am having it
done up. And meanwhile I am myself cramped for room in a lodging
with my friend Andrey Semyonovitch Lebeziatnikov, in the flat of
Madame Lippevechsel; it was he who told me of Bakaleyev’s house,
“Lebeziatnikov?” said Raskolnikov slowly, as if recalling something.
“Yes, Andrey Semyonovitch Lebeziatnikov, a clerk in the Ministry. Do
you know him?”
“Yes… no,” Raskolnikov answered.
“Excuse me, I fancied so from your inquiry. I was once his
guardian…. A very nice young man and advanced. I like to meet
young people: one learns new things from them.” Luzhin looked round
hopefully at them all.
“How do you mean?” asked Razumihin.
“In the most serious and essential matters,” Pyotr Petrovitch
replied, as though delighted at the question.”You see, it’s ten years
since I visited Petersburg. All the novelties, reforms, ideas have
reached us in the provinces, but to see it all more clearly one must
be in Petersburg. And it’s my notion that you observe and learn most
by watching the younger generation. And I confess I am delighted…”
“At what?”
“Your question is a wide one. I may be mistaken, but I fancy I
find clearer views, more, so to say, criticism, more practicality…”
“That’s true,” Zossimov let drop.
“Nonsense! There’s no practicality.” Razumihin flew at him.
“Practicality is a difficult thing to find; it does not drop down from
heaven. And for the last two hundred years we have been divorced
from all practical life. Ideas, if you like, are fermenting,” he
said to Pyotr Petrovitch,”and desire for good exists, though it’s
in a childish form, and honesty you may find, although there are
crowds of brigands. Anyway, there’s no practicality. Practicality goes
well shod.”
“I don’t agree with you,” Pyotr Petrovitch replied, with evident
enjoyment.”Of course, people do get carried away and make mistakes,
but one must have indulgence; those mistakes are merely evidence of
enthusiasm for the cause and of abnormal external environment. If
little has been done, the time has been but short; of means I will not
speak. It’s my personal view, if you care to know, that something
has been accomplished already. New valuable ideas, new valuable
works are circulating in the place of our old dreamy and romantic
authors. Literature is taking a maturer form, many injurious prejudice
have been rooted up and turned into ridicule…. In a word, we have
cut ourselves off irrevocably from the past, and that, to my thinking,
is a great thing…”
“He’s learnt it by heart to show off Raskolnikov pronounced
“What?” asked Pyotr Petrovitch, not catching his words; but he
received no reply.
“That’s all true,” Zossimov hastened to interpose.
“Isn’t it so?” Pyotr Petrovitch went on, glancing affably at
Zossimov.”You must admit,” he went on, addressing Razumihin with a
shade of triumph and superciliousness he almost added “young man”
“that there is an advance, or, as they say now, progress in the name
of science and economic truth…”
“A commonplace.”
“No, not a commonplace! Hitherto, for instance, if I were told,
‘love thy neighbour,’ what came of it?” Pyotr Petrovitch went on,
perhaps with excessive haste.”It came to my tearing my coat in half
to share with my neighbour and we both were left half naked. As a
Russian proverb has it,’catch several hares and you won’t catch one.’
Science now tells us, love yourself before all men, for everything
in the world rests on selfinterest. You love yourself and manage your
own affairs properly and your coat remains whole. Economic truth
adds that the better private affairs are organised in society the
more whole coats, so to say the firmer are its foundations and the
better is the common welfare organised too. Therefore, in acquiring
wealth solely and exclusively for myself, I am acquiring so to
speak, for all, and helping to bring to pass my neighbour’s getting
a little more than a torn coat; and that not from private, personal
liberality, but as a consequence of the general advance. The idea is
simple, but unhappily it has been a long time reaching us, being
hindered by idealism and sentimentality. And yet it would seem to want
very little wit to perceive it…”
“Excuse me, I’ve very little wit myself,” Razumihin cut in
sharply,”and so let us drop it. I began this discussion with an
object, but I’ve grown so sick during the last three years of this
chattering to amuse oneself, of this incessant flow of commonplaces,
always the same, that, by Jove, I blush even when other people talk
like that. You are in a hurry, no doubt, to exhibit your acquirements;
and I don’t blame you, that’s quite pardonable. I only wanted to
find out what sort of man you are, for so many unscrupulous people
have got hold of the progressive cause of late and have so distorted
in their own interests everything they touched, that the whole cause
has been dragged in the mire. That’s enough!”
“Excuse me, sir,” said Luzhin, affronted, and speaking with
excessive dignity.”Do you mean to suggest so unceremoniously that I
“Oh, my dear sir… how could I?… Come, that’s enough,”
Razumihin concluded, and he turned abruptly to Zossimov to continue
their previous conversation.
Pyotr Petrovitch had the good sense to accept the disavowal. He made
up his mind to take leave in another minute or two.
“I trust our acquaintance,” he said, addressing Raskolnikov,”may,
upon your recovery and in view of the circumstances of which you are
aware, become closer…. Above all, I hope for your return to
Raskolnikov did not even turn his head. Pyotr Petrovitch began
getting up from his chair.
“One of her customers must have killed her,” Zossimov declared
“Not a doubt of it,” replied Razumihin.”Porfiry doesn’t give his
opinion, but is examining all who have left pledges with her there.”
“Examining them?” Raskolnikov asked aloud.
“Yes. What then?”
“How does he get hold of them?” asked Zossimov.
“Koch has given the names of some of them, other names are on the
wrappers of the pledges and some have come forward of themselves.”
“It must have been a cunning and practised ruffian! The boldness
of it! The coolness!”
“That’s just what it wasn’t!” interposed Razumihin.”That’s what
throws you all off the scent. But I maintain that he is not cunning,
nor practised, and probably this was his first crime! The
supposition that it was a calculated crime and a cunning criminal
doesn’t work. Suppose him to have been inexperienced, and it’s clear
that it was only a chance that saved him and chance may do
anything. Why, he did not foresee obstacles, perhaps! And how did he
set to work? He took jewels worth ten or twenty roubles, stuffing
his pockets with them, ransacked the old woman’s trunk, her rags
and they found fifteen hundred roubles, besides notes, in a box in the
top drawer of the chest! He did not know how to rob; he could only
murder. It was his first crime, I assure you, his first crime; he lost
his head. And he got off more by luck than good counsel!”
“You are talking of the murder of the old pawnbroker, I believe?”
Pyotr Petrovitch put in, addressing Zossimov. He was standing, hat and
gloves in hand, but before departing he felt disposed to throw off a
few more intellectual phrases. He was evidently anxious to make a
favourable impression and his vanity overcame his prudence.
“Yes. You’ve heard of it?”
“Oh, yes, being in the neighbourhood.”
“Do you know the details?”
“I can’t say that; but another circumstance interests me in the
case the whole question, so to say. Not to speak of the fact that
crime has been greatly on the increase among the lower classes
during the last five years, not to speak of the cases of robbery and
arson everywhere, what strikes me as the strangest thing is that in
the higher classes, too, crime is increasing proportionately. In one
place one hears of a student’s robbing the mail on the high road; in
another place people of good social position forge false banknotes; in
Moscow of late a whole gang has been captured who used to forge
lottery tickets, and one of the ringleaders was a lecturer in
universal history; then our secretary abroad was murdered from some
obscure motive of gain…. And if this old woman, the pawnbroker,
has been murdered by some one of a higher class in society for
peasants don’t pawn gold trinkets how are we to explain this
demoralisation of the civilised part of our society?”
“There are many economic changes,” put in Zossimov.
“How are we to explain it?” Razumihin caught him up.”It might be
explained by our inveterate unpracticality.”
“How do you mean?”
“What answer had your lecturer in Moscow to make to the question why
he was forging notes?’Everybody is getting rich one way or another,
so I want to make haste to get rich too.’ I don’t remember the exact
words, but the upshot was that he wants money for nothing, without
waiting or working! We’ve grown used to having everything
readymade, to walking on crutches, to having our food chewed for
us. Then the great hour struck,* and every man showed himself in his
true colours.”

* The emancipation of the serfs in 1861 is meant. TRANSLATOR’S

“But morality? And so to speak, principles…”
“But why do you worry about it?” Raskolnikov interposed suddenly.
“It’s in accordance with your theory!”
“In accordance with my theory?”
“Why, carry out logically the theory you were advocating just now,
and it follows that people may be killed…”
“Upon my word!” cried Luzhin.
“No, that’s not so,” put in Zossimov.
Raskolnikov lay with a white face and twitching upper lip, breathing
“There’s a measure in all things,” Luzhin went on superciliously.
“Economic ideas are not an incitement to murder, and one has but to
“And is it true,” Raskolnikov interposed once more suddenly, again
in a voice quivering with fury and delight in insulting him,”is it
true that you told your fiancee… within an hour of her acceptance,
that what pleased you most… was that she was a beggar… because
it was better to raise a wife from poverty, so that you may have
complete control over her, and reproach her with your being her
“Upon my word,” Luzhin cried wrathfully and irritably, crimson
with confusion,”to distort my words in this way! Excuse me, allow
me to assure you that the report which has reached you, or rather
let me say, has been conveyed to you, has no foundation in truth,
and I… suspect who… in a word… this arrow… in a word, your
mamma… She seemed to me in other things, with all her excellent
qualities, of a somewhat highflown and romantic way of thinking….
But I was a thousand miles from supposing that she would misunderstand
and misrepresent things in so fanciful a way…. And indeed…
“I tell you what,” cried Raskolnikov, raising himself on his
pillow and fixing his piercing, glittering eyes upon him,”I tell
you what.”
“What?” Luzhin stood still, waiting with a defiant and offended
face. Silence lasted for some seconds.
“Why, if ever again… you dare to mention a single word… about my
mother… I shall send you flying downstairs!”
“What’s the matter with you?” cried Razumihin.
“So that’s how it is?” Luzhin turned pale and bit his lip.”Let me
tell you, sir,” he began deliberately, doing his utmost to restrain
himself but breathing hard,”at the first moment I saw you you were
illdisposed to me, but I remained here on purpose to find out more. I
could forgive a great deal in a sick man and a connection, but
you… never after this…”
“I am not ill,” cried Raskolnikov.
“So much the worse…”
“Go to hell!”
But Luzhin was already leaving without finishing his speech,
squeezing between the table and the chair; Razumihin got up this
time to let him pass. Without glancing at any one, and not even
nodding to Zossimov, who had for some time been making signs to him to
let the sick man alone, he went out, lifting his hat to the level of
his shoulders to avoid crushing it as he stooped to go out of the
door. And even the curve of his spine was expressive of the horrible
insult he had received.
“How could you how could you!” Razumihin said, shaking his head
in perplexity.
“Let me alone let me alone all of you!” Raskolnikov cried in a
frenzy.”Will you ever leave off tormenting me? I am not afraid of
you! I am not afraid of any one, any one now! Get away from me! I want
to be alone, alone, alone!”
“Come along,” said Zossimov, nodding to Razumihin.
“But we can’t leave him like this!”
“Come along,” Zossimov repeated insistently, and he went out.
Razumihin thought a minute and ran to overtake him.
“It might be worse not to obey him,” said Zossimov on the stairs.
“He mustn’t be irritated.”
“What’s the matter with him?”
“If only he could get some favourable shock, that’s what would do
it! At first he was better…. You know he has got something on his
mind! Some fixed idea weighing on him…. I am very much afraid so; he
must have!”
“Perhaps it’s that gentleman, Pyotr Petrovitch. From his
conversation I gather he is going to marry his sister, and that he had
received a letter about it just before his illness….”
“Yes, confound the man! he may have upset the case altogether. But
have you noticed, he takes no interest in anything, he does not
respond to anything except one point on which he seems excited that’s
the murder?”
“Yes, yes,” Razumihin agreed,”I noticed that, too. He is
interested, frightened. It gave him a shock on the day he was ill in
the police office; he fainted.”
“Tell me more about that this evening and I’ll tell you something
afterwards. He interests me very much! In half an hour I’ll go and see
him again…. There’ll be no inflammation though.”
“Thanks! And I’ll wait with Pashenka meantime and will keep watch on
him through Nastasya….”
Raskolnikov, left alone, looked with impatience and misery at
Nastasya, but she still lingered.
“Won’t you have some tea now?” she asked.
“Later! I am sleepy! Leave me.”
He turned abruptly to the wall; Nastasya went out.

Chapter Six

BUT AS SOON as she went out, he got up, latched the door, undid
the parcel which Razumihin had brought in that evening and had tied up
again and began dressing. Strange to say, he seemed immediately to
have become perfectly calm; not a trace of his recent delirium nor
of the panic fear that had haunted him of late. It was the first
moment of a strange sudden calm. His movements were precise and
definite; a firm purpose was evident in them.”Today, today,” he
muttered to himself. He understood that he was still weak, but his
intense spiritual concentration gave him strength and selfconfidence.
He hoped, moreover, that he would not fall down in the street. When he
had dressed in entirely new clothes, he looked at the money lying on
the table, and after a moment’s thought put it in his pocket. It was
twentyfive roubles. He took also all the copper change from the ten
roubles spent by Razumihin on the clothes. Then he softly unlatched
the door, went out, slipped downstairs and glanced in at the open
kitchen door. Nastasya was standing with her back to him, blowing up
the landlady’s samovar. She heard nothing. Who would have dreamed of
his going out, indeed? A minute later he was in the street.
It was nearly eight o’clock, the sun was setting. It was as stifling
as before, but he eagerly drank in the stinking, dusty town air. His
head felt rather dizzy; a sort of savage energy gleamed suddenly in
his feverish eyes and his wasted, pale and yellow face. He did not
know and did not think where he was going, he had one thought only
“that all this must be ended today, once for all, immediately; that
he would not return home without it, because he would not go on living
like that.” How, with what to make an end? He had not an idea about
it, he did not even want to think of it. He drove away thought;
thought tortured him. All he knew, all he felt was that everything
must be changed “one way or another,” he repeated with desperate and
immovable selfconfidence and determination.
From old habit he took his usual walk in the direction of the Hay
Market. A darkhaired young man with a barrel organ was standing in
the road in front of a little general shop and was grinding out a very
sentimental song. He was accompanying a girl of fifteen, who stood
on the pavement in front of him. She was dressed up in a crinoline,
a mantle and a straw hat with a flamecoloured feather in it, all very
old and shabby. In a strong and rather agreeable voice, cracked and
coarsened by street singing, she sang in hope of getting a copper from
the shop. Raskolnikov joined two or three listeners, took out a five
copeck piece and put it in the girl’s hand. She broke off abruptly
on a sentimental high note, shouted sharply to the organ grinder “Come
on,” and both moved on to the next shop.
“Do you like street music?” said Raskolnikov, addressing a
middleaged man standing idly by him. The man looked at him,
startled and wondering.
“I love to hear singing to a street organ,” said Raskolnikov, and
his manner seemed strangely out of keeping with the subject “I like
it on cold, dark, damp autumn evenings they must be damp when all
the passersby have pale green, sickly faces, or better still when wet
snow is falling straight down, when there’s no wind you know what I
mean? and the street lamps shine through it…”
“I don’t know…. Excuse me…” muttered the stranger, frightened by
the question and Raskolnikov’s strange manner, and he crossed over
to the other side of the street.
Raskolnikov walked straight on and came out at the corner of the Hay
Market, where the huckster and his wife had talked with Lizaveta;
but they were not there now. Recognising the place, he stopped, looked
round and addressed a young fellow in a red shirt who stood gaping
before a corn chandler’s shop.
“Isn’t there a man who keeps a booth with his wife at this corner?”
“All sorts of people keep booths here,” answered the young man,
glancing superciliously at Raskolnikov.
“What’s his name?”
“What he was christened.”
“Aren’t you a Zaraisky man, too? Which province?”
The young man looked at Raskolnikov again.
“It’s not a province, your excellency, but a district. Graciously
forgive me, your excellency!”
“Is that a tavern at the top there?”
“Yes, it’s an eatinghouse and there’s a billiardroom and you’ll
find princesses there too…. Lala!”
Raskolnikov crossed the square. In that corner there was a dense
crowd of peasants. He pushed his way into the thickest part of it,
looking at the faces. He felt an unaccountable inclination to enter
into conversation with people. But the peasants took no notice of him;
they were all shouting in groups together. He stood and thought a
little and took a turning to the right in the direction of V.
He had often crossed that little street which turns at an angle,
leading from the marketplace to Sadovy Street. Of late he had often
felt drawn to wander about this district, when he felt depressed, that
he might feel more so.
Now he walked along, thinking of nothing. At that point there is a
great block of buildings, entirely let out in dram shops and
eatinghouses; women were continually running in and out,
bareheaded and in their indoor clothes. Here and there they
gathered in groups, on the pavement, especially about the entrances to
various festive establishments in the lower storeys. From one of these
a loud din, sounds of singing, the tinkling of a guitar and shouts
of merriment, floated into the street. A crowd of women were thronging
round the door; some were sitting on the steps, others on the
pavement, others were standing talking. A drunken soldier, smoking a
cigarette, was walking near them in the road, swearing; he seemed to
be trying to find his way somewhere, but had forgotten where. One
beggar was quarrelling with another, and a man dead drunk was lying
right across the road. Raskolnikov joined the throng of women, who
were talking in husky voices. They were bareheaded and wore cotton
dresses and goatskin shoes. There were women of forty and some not
more than seventeen; almost all had blackened eyes.
He felt strangely attracted by the singing and all the noise and
uproar in the saloon below…. Some one could be heard within
dancing frantically, marking time with his heels to the sounds of
the guitar and of a thin falsetto voice singing a jaunty air. He
listened intently, gloomily and dreamily, bending down at the entrance
and peeping inquisitively in from the pavement.

“Oh, my handsome soldier
Don’t beat me for nothing,”

trilled the thin voice of the singer. Raskolnikov felt a great
desire to make out what he was singing, as though everything
depended on that.
“Shall I go in?” he thought.”They are laughing. From drink. Shall I
get drunk?”
“Won’t you come in?” one of the women asked him. Her voice was still
musical and less thick than the others, she was young and not
repulsive the only one of the group.
“Why, she’s pretty,” he said, drawing himself up and looking at her.
She smiled, much pleased at the compliment.
“You’re very nice looking yourself,” she said.
“Isn’t he thin though!” observed another woman in a deep bass.”Have
you just come out of a hospital?”
“They’re all generals’ daughters, it seems, but they have all snub
noses,” interposed a tipsy peasant with a sly smile on his face,
wearing a loose coat.”See how jolly they are.”
“Go along with you!”
“I’ll go, sweetie!”
And he darted down into the saloon below. Raskolnikov moved on.
“I say, sir,” the girl shouted after him.
“What is it?”
She hesitated.
“I’ll always be pleased to spend an hour with you, kind gentleman,
but now I feel shy. Give me six copecks for a drink, there’s a nice
young man!”
Raskolnikov gave her what came first fifteen copecks.
“Ah, what a goodnatured gentleman!”
“What’s your name?”
“Ask for Duclida.”
“Well, that’s too much,” one of the women observed, shaking her head
at Duclida.”I don’t know how you can ask like that. I believe I
should drop with shame….”
Raskolnikov looked curiously at the speaker. She was a pockmarked
wench of thirty, covered with bruises, with her upper lip swollen. She
made her criticism quietly and earnestly.”Where is it,” thought
Raskolnikov.”Where is it I’ve read that some one condemned to death
says or thinks, an hour before his death, that if he had to live on
some high rock, on such a narrow ledge that he’d only room to stand,
and the ocean, everlasting darkness, everlasting solitude, everlasting
tempest around him, if he had to remain standing on a square yard of
space all his life, a thousand years, eternity, it were better to live
so than to die at once! Only to live, to live and live! Life, whatever
it may be!… How true it is! Good God, how true! Man is a vile
creature!… And vile is he who calls him vile for that,” he added a
moment later.
He went into another street.”Bah, the Palais de Crystal!
Razumihin was just talking of the Palais de Crystal. But what on earth
was it I wanted? Yes, the newspapers…. Zossimov said he’d read it in
the papers. Have you the papers?” he asked, going into a very spacious
and positively clean restaurant, consisting of several rooms, which
were however rather empty. Two or three people were drinking tea,
and in a room further away were sitting four men drinking champagne.
Raskolnikov fancied that Zametov was one of them, but he could not
be sure at that distance.”What if it is!” he thought.
“Will you have vodka?” asked the waiter.
“Give me some tea and bring me the papers, the old ones for the last
five days and I’ll give you something.”
“Yes, sir, here’s today’s. No vodka?”
The old newspapers and the tea were brought. Raskolnikov sat down
and began to look through them.
“Oh, damn… these are the items of intelligence. An accident on a
staircase, spontaneous combustion of a shopkeeper from alcohol, a fire
in Peski… a fire in the Petersburg quarter… another fire in the
Petersburg quarter… and another fire in the Petersburg quarter…
Ah, here it is!” He found at last what he was seeking and began to
read it. The lines danced before his eyes, but he read it all and
began eagerly seeking later additions in the following numbers. His
hands shook with nervous impatience as he turned the sheets.
Suddenly some one sat down beside him at his table. He looked up, it
was the head clerk Zametov, looking just the same, with the rings on
his fingers and the watchchain, with the curly, black hair, parted
and pomaded, with the smart waistcoat, rather shabby coat and doubtful
linen. He was in a good humour, at least he was smiling very gaily and
goodhumouredly. His dark face was rather flushed from the champagne
he had drunk.
“What, you here?” he began in surprise, speaking as though he’d
known him all his life.”Why, Razumihin told me only yesterday you
were unconscious. How strange! And do you know I’ve been to see you?”
Raskolnikov knew he would come up to him. He laid aside the papers
and turned to Zametov. There was a smile on his lips, and a new
shade of irritable impatience was apparent in that smile.
“I know you have,” he answered.”I’ve heard it. You looked for my
sock…. And you know Razumihin has lost his heart to you? He says
you’ve been with him to Luise Ivanovna’s, you know the woman you tried
to befriend, for whom you winked to the Explosive Lieutenant and he
would not understand. Do you remember? How could he fail to
understand it was quite clear, wasn’t it?”
“What a hot head he is!”
“The explosive one?”
“No, your friend Razumihin.”
“You must have a jolly life, Mr. Zametov; entrance free to the
most agreeable places. Who’s been pouring champagne into you just
“We’ve just been… having a drink together…. You talk about
pouring it into me!”
“By way of a fee! You profit by everything!” Raskolnikov laughed,
“it’s all right, my dear boy,” he added, slapping Zametov on the
shoulder.”I am not speaking from temper, but in a friendly way, for
sport, as that workman of yours said when he was scuffling with
Dmitri, in the case of the old woman….”
“How do you know about it?”
“Perhaps I know more about it than you do.”
“How strange you are…. I am sure you are still very unwell. You
oughtn’t to have come out.”
“Oh, do I seem strange to you?”
“Yes. What are you doing, reading the papers?”
“There’s a lot about the fires.”
“No, I am not reading about the fires.” Here he looked
mysteriously at Zametov; his lips were twisted again in a mocking
smile.”No, I am not reading about the fires,” he went on, winking
at Zametov.”But confess now, my dear fellow, you’re awfully anxious
to know what I am reading about?”
“I am not in the least. Mayn’t I ask a question? Why do you keep
“Listen, you are a man of culture and education?”
“I was in the sixth class at the gymnasium,” said Zametov with
some dignity.
“Sixth class! Ah, my cocksparrow! With your parting and your
rings you are a gentleman of fortune. Foo, what a charming boy!” Here
Raskolnikov broke into a nervous laugh right in Zametov’s face. The
latter drew back, more amazed than offended.
“Foo, how strange you are!” Zametov repeated very seriously.”I
can’t help thinking you are still delirious.”
“I am delirious? You are fibbing, my cocksparrow! So I am strange?
You find me curious, do you?”
“Yes, curious.”
“Shall I tell you what I was reading about, what I was looking
for? See what a lot of papers I’ve made them bring me. Suspicious,
“Well, what is it?”
“You prick up your ears?”
“How do you mean prick up my ears?”
“I’ll explain that afterwards, but now, my boy, I declare to
you… no, better ‘I confess’… No, that’s not right either;’I
make a deposition and you take it.’ I depose that I was reading,
that I was looking and searching….” he screwed up his eyes and
paused.”I was searching and came here on purpose to do it for
news of the murder of the old pawnbroker woman,” he articulated at
last, almost in a whisper, bringing his face exceedingly close to
the face of Zametov. Zametov looked at him steadily, without moving or
drawing his face away. What struck Zametov afterwards as the strangest
part of it all was that silence followed for exactly a minute, and
that they gazed at one another all the while.
“What if you have been reading about it?” he cried at last,
perplexed and impatient.”That’s no business of mine! What of it?”
“The same old woman,” Raskolnikov went on in the same whisper, not
heeding Zametov’s explanation,”about whom you were talking in the
police office, you remember, when I fainted. Well, do you understand
“What do you mean? Understand… what?” Zametov brought out,
almost alarmed.
Raskolnikov’s set and earnest face was suddenly transformed, and
he suddenly went off into the same nervous laugh as before, as
though utterly unable to restrain himself. And in one flash he
recalled with extraordinary vividness of sensation a moment in the
recent past, that moment when he stood with the axe behind the door,
while the latch trembled and the men outside swore and shook it, and
he had a sudden desire to shout at them, to swear at them, to put
out his tongue at them, to mock them, to laugh, and laugh, and laugh!
“You are either mad, or…” began Zametov, and he broke off, as
though stunned by the idea that had suddenly flashed into his mind.
“Or? Or what? What? Come, tell me!”
“Nothing,” said Zametov, getting angry,”it’s all nonsense!”
Both were silent. After his sudden fit of laughter Raskolnikov
became suddenly thoughtful and melancholy. He put his elbow on the
table and leaned his head on his hand. He seemed to have completely
forgotten Zametov. The silence lasted for some time.
“Why don’t you drink your tea? It’s getting cold,” said Zametov.
“What! Tea? Oh, yes…” Raskolnikov sipped the glass, put a morsel
of bread in his mouth and, suddenly looking at Zametov, seemed to
remember everything and pulled himself together. At the same moment
his face resumed its original mocking expression. He went on
drinking tea.
“There have been a great many of these crimes lately,” said Zametov.
“Only the other day I read in the Moscow News that a whole gang of
false coiners had been caught in Moscow. It was a regular society.
They used to forge tickets!”
“Oh, but it was a long time ago! I read about it a month ago,”
Raskolnikov answered calmly.”So you consider them criminals?” he
added smiling.
“Of course they are criminals.”
“They? They are children, simpletons, not criminals! Why, half a
hundred people meeting for such an object what an idea! Three would
be too many, and then they want to have more faith in one other than
in themselves! One has only to blab in his cups and it all
collapses. Simpletons! They engaged untrustworthy people to change the
notes what a thing to trust to a casual stranger! Well, let us
suppose that these simpletons succeed and each makes a million, and
what follows for the rest of their lives? Each is dependent on the
others for the rest of his life! Better hang oneself at once! And they
did not know how to change the notes either; the man who changed the
notes took five thousand roubles, and his hands trembled. He counted
the first four thousand, but did not count the fifth thousand he
was in such a hurry to get the money into his pocket and run away.
Of course he roused suspicion. And the whole thing came to a crash
through one fool! Is it possible?”
“That his hands trembled?” observed Zametov,”yes, that’s quite
possible. That I feel quite sure is possible. Sometimes one can’t
stand things.”
“Can’t stand that?”
“Why, could you stand it then? No, I couldn’t. For the sake of a
hundred roubles to face such a terrible experience! To go with false
notes into a bank where it’s their business to spot that sort of
thing! No, I should not have the face to do it. Would you?”
Raskolnikov had an intense desire again “to put his tongue out.”
Shivers kept running down his spine.
“I should do it quite differently,” Raskolnikov began.”This is
how I would change the notes: I’d count the first thousand three or
four times backwards and forwards, look at every note and then I’d set
to the second thousand; I’d count that half way through and then
hold some fifty rouble note to the light, then turn it, then hold it
to the light again to see whether it was a good one?’I am afraid,’ I
would say.’A relation of mine lost twentyfive roubles the other
day through a false note,’ and then I’d tell them the whole story. And
after I began counting the third,’no, excuse me,’ I would say,’I
fancy I made a mistake in the seventh hundred in that second thousand,
I am not sure.’ And so I would give up the third thousand and go
back to the second and so on to the end. And when I had finished,
I’d pick out one from the fifth and one from the second thousand and
take them again to the light and ask again ‘change them, please,’
and put the clerk into such a stew that he would not know how to get
rid of me. When I’d finished and had gone out, I’d come back,’No,
excuse me,’ and ask for some explanation. That’s how I’d do it.”
“Foo, what terrible things you say!” said Zametov, laughing.”But
all that is only talk. I dare say when it came to deeds you’d make a
slip. I believe that even a practised, desperate man cannot always
reckon on himself, much less you and I. To take an example near
home that old woman murdered in our district. The murderer seems to
have been a desperate fellow, he risked everything in open daylight,
was saved by a miracle but his hands shook, too. He did not succeed
in robbing the place, he’ couldn’t stand it. That was clear from
Raskolnikov seemed offended.
“Clear? Why don’t you catch him then?” he cried, maliciously
gibing at Zametov.
“Well, they will catch him.”
“Who? You? Do you suppose you could catch him? You’ve a tough job! A
great point for you is whether a man is spending money or not. If he
had no money and suddenly begins spending, he must be the man. So that
any child can mislead you.”
“The fact is they always do that, though,” answered Zametov.”A
man will commit a clever murder at the risk of his life and then at
once he goes drinking in a tavern. They are caught spending money,
they are not all as cunning as you are. You wouldn’t go to a tavern,
of course?”
Raskolnikov frowned and looked steadily at Zametov.
“You seem to enjoy the subject and would like to know how I should
behave in that case, too?” he asked with displeasure.
“I should like to,” Zametov answered firmly and seriously.
Somewhat too much earnestness began to appear in his words and looks.
“Very much?”
“Very much!”
“All right then. This is how I should behave,” Raskolnikov began,
again bringing his face close to Zametov’s, again staring at him and
speaking in a whisper, so that the latter positively shuddered.
“This is what I should have done. I should have taken the money and
jewels, I should have walked out of there and have gone straight to
some deserted place with fences round it and scarcely any one to be
seen, some kitchen garden or place of that sort. I should have
looked out beforehand some stone weighing a hundredweight or more
which had been lying in the corner from the time the house was
built. I would lift that stone there would be sure to be a hollow
under it, and I would put the jewels and money in that hole. Then
I’d roll the stone back so that it would look as before, would press
it down with my foot and walk away. And for a year or two, three
maybe, I would not touch it. And, well, they could search! There’d
be no trace.”
“You are a madman,” said Zametov, and for some reason he too spoke
in a whisper, and moved away from Raskolnikov, whose eyes were
glittering. He had turned fearfully pale and his upper lip was
twitching and quivering. He bent down as close as possible to Zametov,
and his lips began to move without uttering a word. This lasted for
half a minute; he knew what he was doing, but could not restrain
himself. The terrible word trembled on his lips, like the latch on
that door; in another moment it will break out, in another moment he
will let it go, he will speak out.
“And what if it was I who murdered the old woman and Lizaveta?” he
said suddenly and realised what he had done.
Zametov looked wildly at him and turned white as the tablecloth. His
face wore a contorted smile.
“But is it possible?” he brought out faintly. Raskolnikov looked
wrathfully at him.
“Own up that you believed it, yes, you did?”
“Not a bit of it, I believe it less than ever now,” Zametov cried
“I’ve caught my cocksparrow! So you did believe it before, if now
you believe less than ever?”
“Not at all,” cried Zametov, obviously embarrassed.”Have you been
frightening me so as to lead up to this?”
“You don’t believe it then? What were you talking about behind my
back when I went out of the police office? And why did the Explosive
Lieutenant question me after I fainted? Hey, there,” he shouted to the
waiter, getting up and taking his cap,”how much?”
“Thirty copecks,” the latter replied, running up.
“And there is twenty copecks for vodka. See what a lot of money!” he
held out his shaking hand to Zametov with notes in it.”Red notes
and blue, twentyfive roubles. Where did I get them? And where did
my new clothes come from? You know I had not a copeck. You’ve
crossexamined my landlady, I’ll be bound…. Well, that’s enough!
Assez cause! Till we meet again!”
He went out, trembling all over from a sort of wild hysterical
sensation, in which there was an element of insufferable rapture.
Yet he was gloomy and terribly tired. His face was twisted as after
a fit. His fatigue increased rapidly. Any shock, any irritating
sensation stimulated and revived his energies at once, but his
strength failed as quickly when the stimulus was removed.
Zametov, left alone, sat for a long time in the same place,
plunged in thought. Raskolnikov had unwittingly worked a revolution in
his brain on a certain point and had made up his mind for him
“Ilya Petrovitch is a blockhead,” he decided.
Raskolnikov had hardly opened the door of the restaurant when he
stumbled against Razumihin on the steps. They did not see each other
till they almost knocked against each other. For a moment they stood
looking each other up and down. Razumihin was greatly astounded,
then anger, real anger gleamed fiercely in his eyes.
“So here you are!” he shouted at the top of his voice “you ran away
from your bed! And here I’ve been looking for you under the sofa! We
went up to the garret. I almost beat Nastasya on your account. And
here he is after all. Rodya! What is the meaning of it? Tell me the
whole truth! Confess! Do you hear?”
“It means that I’m sick to death of you all and I want to be alone,”
Raskolnikov answered calmly.
“Alone? When you are not able to walk, when your face is as white as
a sheet and you are gasping for breath! Idiot!… What have you been
doing in the Palais de Crystal? Own up at once!”
“Let me go!” said Raskolnikov and tried to pass him. This was too
much for Razumihin; he gripped him firmly by the shoulder.
“Let you go? You dare tell me to let you go? Do you know what I’ll
do with you directly? I’ll pick you up, tie you up in a bundle,
carry you home under my arm and lock you up!”
“Listen, Razumihin,” Raskolnikov began quietly, apparently calm
“can’t you see that I don’t want your benevolence? A strange desire
you have to shower benefits on a man who… curses them, who feels
them a burden in fact! Why did you seek me out at the beginning of
my illness? Maybe I was very glad to die. Didn’t I tell you plainly
enough today that you were torturing me, that I was… sick of you!
You seem to want to torture people! I assure you that all that is
seriously hindering my recovery, because it’s continually irritating
me. You saw Zossimov went away just now to avoid irritating me. You
leave me alone too, for goodness’ sake! What right have you, indeed,
to keep me by force? Don’t you see that I am in possession of all my
faculties now? How, can I persuade you not to persecute me with your
kindness? I may be ungrateful, I may be mean, only let me be, for
God’s sake, let me be! Let me be, let me be!”
He began calmly, gloating beforehand over the venomous phrases he
was about to utter, but finished, panting for breath, in a frenzy,
as he had been with Luzhin.
Razumihin stood a moment, thought and let his hand drop.
“Well, go to hell then,” he said gently and thoughtfully.”Stay,” he
roared, as Raskolnikov was about to move.”Listen to me. Let me tell
you, that you are all a set of babbling, posing idiots! If you’ve
any little trouble you brood over it like a hen over an egg. And you
are plagiarists even in that! There isn’t a sign of independent life
in you! You are made of spermaceti ointment and you’ve lymph in your
veins instead of blood. I don’t believe in any one of you! In any
circumstances the first thing for all of you is to be unlike a human
being! Stop!” he cried with redoubled fury, noticing that
Raskolnikov was again making a movement “hear me out! You know I’m
having a housewarming this evening, I dare say they’ve arrived by
now, but I left my uncle there I just ran in to receive the
guests. And if you weren’t a fool, a common fool, a perfect fool, if
you were an original instead of a translation… you see, Rodya, I
recognise you’re a clever fellow, but you’re a fool! and if you
weren’t a fool you’d come round to me this evening instead of
wearing out your boots in the street! Since you have gone out, there’s
no help for it! I’d give you a snug easy chair, my landlady has one…
a cup of tea, company…. Or you could lie on the sofa any way you
would be with us…. Zossimov will be there too. Will you come?”
“Rrubbish!” Razumihin shouted, out of patience.”How do you know?
You can’t answer for yourself! You don’t know anything about it….
Thousands of times I’ve fought tooth and nail with people and run back
to them afterwards…. One feels ashamed and goes back to a man! So
remember, Potchinkov’s house on the third storey….”
“Why, Mr. Razumihin, I do believe you’d let anybody beat you from
sheer benevolence.”
“Beat? Whom? Me? I’d twist his nose off at the mere idea!
Potchinkov’s house, 47, Babushkin’s flat….”
“I shall not come, Razumihin.” Raskolnikov turned and walked away.
“I bet you will,” Razumihin shouted after him.”I refuse to know you
if you don’t! Stay, hey, is Zametov in there?”
“Did you see him?”
“Talked to him?”
“What about? Confound you, don’t tell me then. Potchinkov’s house,
47, Babushkin’s flat, remember!”
Raskolnikov walked on and turned the corner into Sadovy Street.
Razumihin looked after him thoughtfully. Then with a wave of his
hand he went into the house but stopped short of the stairs.
“Confound it,” he went on almost aloud.”He talked sensibly but
yet… I am a fool! As if madmen didn’t talk sensibly! And this was
just what Zossimov seemed afraid of.” He struck his finger on his
forehead.”What if… how could I let him go off alone? He may drown
himself…. Ach, what a blunder! I can’t.” And he ran back to overtake
Raskolnikov, but there was no trace of him. With a curse he returned
with rapid steps to the Palais de Crystal to question Zametov.
Raskolnikov walked straight to X__ Bridge, stood in the middle,
and leaning both elbows on the rail stared into the distance. On
parting with Razumihin, he felt so much weaker that he could
scarcely reach this place. He longed to sit or lie down somewhere in
the street. Bending over the water, he gazed mechanically at the
last pink flush of the sunset, at the row of houses growing dark in
the gathering twilight, at one distant attic window on the left
bank, flashing as though on fire in the last rays of the setting
sun, at the darkening water of the canal, and the water seemed to
catch his attention. At last red circles flashed before his eyes,
the houses seemed moving, the passersby, the canal banks, the
carriages, all danced before his eyes. Suddenly he started, saved
again perhaps from swooning by an uncanny and hideous sight. He became
aware of some one standing on the right side of him; he looked and saw
a tall woman with a kerchief on her head, with a long, yellow,
wasted face and red sunken eyes. She was looking straight at him,
but obviously she saw nothing and recognized no one. Suddenly she
leaned her right hand on the parapet, lifted her right leg over the
railing, then her left and threw herself into the canal. The filthy
water parted and swallowed up its victim for a moment, but an
instant later the drowning woman floated to the surface, moving slowly
with the current, her head and legs in the water, her skirt inflated
like a balloon over her back.
“A woman drowning! A woman drowning!” shouted dozens of voices;
people ran up, both banks were thronged with spectators, on the bridge
people crowded about Raskolnikov, pressing up behind him.
“Mercy on it! it’s our Afrosinya!” a woman cried tearfully close by.
“Mercy! save her! kind people, pull her out!”
“A boat, a boat” was shouted in the crowd. But there was no need
of a boat; a policeman ran down the steps to the canal, threw off
his great coat and his boots and rushed into the water. It was easy to
reach her; she floated within a couple of yards from the steps, he
caught hold of her clothes with his right hand and with his left
seized a pole which a comrade held out to him; the drowning woman
was pulled out at once. They laid her on the granite pavement of the
embankment. She soon recovered consciousness, raised her head, sat
up and began sneezing and coughing, stupidly wiping her wet dress with
her hands. She said nothing.
“She’s drunk herself out of her senses,” the same woman’s voice
wailed at her side.”Out of her senses. The other day she tried to
hang herself, we cut her down. I ran out to the shop just now, left my
little girl to look after her and here she’s in trouble again! A
neighbour, gentleman neighbour, we live close by, the second house
from the end, see yonder….”
The crowd broke up. The police still remained round the woman,
some one mentioned the police station…. Raskolnikov looked on with a
strange sensation of indifference and apathy. He felt disgusted.
“No, that’s loathsome… water… it’s not good enough,” he muttered
to himself.”Nothing will come of it,” he added,”no use to wait. What
about the police office…? And why isn’t Zametov at the police
office? The police office is open till ten o’clock….” He turned
his back to the railing and looked about him.
“Very well then!” he said resolutely; he moved from the bridge and
walked in the direction of the police office. His heart felt hollow
and empty. He did not want to think. Even his depression had passed,
there was not a trace now of the energy with which he had set out
“to make an end of it all.” Complete apathy had succeeded to it.
“Well, it’s a way out of it,” he thought, walking slowly and
listlessly along the canal bank.”Anyway I’ll make an end, for I
want to…. But is it a way out? What does it matter! There’ll be
the square yard of space ha! But what an end! Is it really the end?
Shall I tell them or not? Ah… damn! How tired I am! If I could
find somewhere to sit or lie down soon! What I am most ashamed of is
its being so stupid. But I don’t care about that either! What
idiotic ideas come into one’s head.”
To reach the police office he had to go straight forward and take
the second turning to the left. It was only a few paces away. But at
the first turning he stopped and, after a minute’s thought, turned
into a side street and went two streets out of his way, possibly
without any object, or possibly to delay a minute and gain time. He
walked, looking at the ground; suddenly some one seemed to whisper
in his ear; he lifted his head and saw that he was standing at the
very gate of the house. He had not passed it, he had not been near
it since that evening. An overwhelming unaccountable prompting drew
him on. He went into the house, passed through the gateway, then
into the first entrance on the right, and began mounting the
familiar staircase to the fourth storey. The narrow, steep staircase
was very dark. He stopped at each landing and looked round him with
curiosity; on the first landing the framework of the window had been
taken out.”That wasn’t so then,” he thought. Here was the flat on the
second storey where Nikolay and Dmitri had been working.”It’s shut up
and the door newly painted. So it’s to let.” Then the third storey and
the fourth.”Here!” He was perplexed to find the door of the flat wide
open. There were men there, he could hear voices; he had not
expected that. After brief hesitation he mounted the last stairs and
went into the flat. It, too, was being done up; there were workmen
in it. This seemed to amaze him; he somehow fancied that he would find
everything as he left it, even perhaps the corpses in the same
places on the floor. And now, bare walls, no furniture; it seemed
strange. He walked to the window and sat down on the window sill.
There were two workmen, both young fellows, but one much younger
than the other. They were papering the walls with a new white paper
covered with lilac flowers, instead of the old, dirty, yellow one.
Raskolnikov for some reason felt horribly annoyed by this. He looked
at the new paper with dislike, as though he felt sorry to have it
all so changed. The workmen had obviously stayed beyond their time and
now they were hurriedly rolling up their paper and getting ready to go
home. They took no notice of Raskolnikov’s coming in; they were
talking. Raskolnikov folded his arms and listened.
“She comes to me in the morning,” said the elder to the younger,
“very early, all dressed up.’Why are you preening and prinking?’ says
I.’I am ready to do anything to please you, Tit Vassilitch!’ That’s a
way of going on! And she dressed up like a regular fashion book!”
“And what is a fashion book?” the younger one asked. He obviously
regarded the other as an authority.
“A fashion book is a lot of pictures, coloured, and they come to the
tailors here every Saturday, by post from abroad, to show folks how to
dress, the male sex as well as the female. They’re pictures. The
gentlemen are generally wearing fur coats and for the ladies’
fluffles, they’re beyond anything you can fancy.”
“There’s nothing you can’t find in Petersburg,” the younger cried
enthusiastically,”except father and mother, there’s everything!”
“Except them, there’s everything to be found, my boy,” the elder
declared sententiously.
Raskolnikov got up and walked into the other room where the strong
box, the bed, and the chest of drawers had been; the room seemed to
him very tiny without furniture in it. The paper was the same; the
paper in the corner showed where the case of ikons had stood. He
looked at it and went to the window. The elder workman looked at him
“What do you want?” he asked suddenly.
Instead of answering Raskolnikov went into the passage and pulled
the bell. The same bell, the same cracked note. He rang it a second
and a third time; he listened and remembered. The hideous and
agonisingly fearful sensation he had felt then began to come back more
and more vividly. He shuddered at every ring and it gave him more
and more satisfaction.
“Well, what do you want? Who are you?” the workman shouted, going
out to him. Raskolnikov went inside again.
“I want to take a flat,” he said.”I am looking round.”
“It’s not the time to look at rooms at night! and you ought to
come up with the porter.”
“The floors have been washed, will they be painted?” Raskolnikov
went on.”Is there no blood?”
“What blood?”
“Why, the old woman and her sister were murdered here. There was a
perfect pool there.”
“But who are you?” the workman cried, uneasy.
“Who am I?”
“You want to know? Come to the police station, I’ll tell you.”
The workmen looked at him in amazement.
“It’s time for us to go, we are late. Come along, Alyoshka. We
must lock up,” said the elder workman.
“Very well, come along,” said Raskolnikov indifferently, and going
out first, he went slowly downstairs.”Hey, porter,” he cried in the
At the entrance several people were standing, staring at the
passersby; the two porters, a peasant woman, a man in a long coat and
a few others. Raskolnikov went straight up to them.
“What do you want?” asked one of the porters.
“Have you been to the police office?”
“I’ve just been there. What do you want?”
“Is it open?”
“Of course.”
“Is the assistant there?”
“He was there for a time. What do you want?”
Raskolnikov made no reply, but stood beside them lost in thought.
“He’s been to look at the flat,” said the elder workman, coming
“Which flat?”
“Where we are at work.’Why have you washed away the blood?’ says
he.’There has been a murder here,’ says he,’and I’ve come to take
it.’ And he began ringing at the bell, all but broke it.’Come to
the police station,’ says he.’I’ll tell you everything there.’ He
wouldn’t leave us.”
The porter looked at Raskolnikov, frowning and perplexed.
“Who are you?” he shouted as impressively as he could.
“I am Rodion Romanovitch Raskolnikov, formerly a student, I live
in Shil’s house, not far from here, flat Number 14, ask the porter, he
knows me.” Raskolnikov said all this in a lazy, dreamy voice, not
turning round, but looking intently into the darkening street.
“Why have you been to the flat?”
“To look at it.”
“What is there to look at?”
“Take him straight to the police station,” the man in the long
coat jerked in abruptly.
Raskolnikov looked intently at him over his shoulder and said in the
same slow, lazy tone:
“Come along.”
“Yes, take him,” the man went on more confidently.”Why was he going
into that, what’s in his mind, eh?”
“He’s not drunk, but God knows what’s the matter with him,” muttered
the workman.
“But what do you want?” the porter shouted again, beginning to get
angry in earnest “Why are you hanging about?”
“You funk the police station then?” said Raskolnikov jeeringly.
“How funk it? Why are you hanging about?”
“He’s a rogue!” shouted the peasant woman.
“Why waste time talking to him?” cried the other porter, a huge
peasant in a full open coat and with keys on his belt.”Get along!
He is a rogue and no mistake. Get along!”
And seizing Raskolnikov by the shoulder he flung him into the
street. He lurched forward, but recovered his footing, looked at the
spectators in silence and walked away.
“Strange man!” observed the workman.
“There are strange folks about nowadays,” said the woman.
“You should have taken him to the police station all the same,” said
the man in the long coat.
“Better have nothing to do with him,” decided the big porter.”A
regular rogue! Just what he wants, you may be sure, but once take
him up, you won’t get rid of him…. We know the sort!”
“Shall I go there or not?” thought Raskolnikov, standing in the
middle of the thoroughfare at the cross roads, and he looked about
him, as though expecting from some one a decisive word. But no sound
came, all was dead and silent like the stones on which he walked, dead
to him, to him alone…. All at once at the end of the street, two
hundred yards away, in the gathering dusk he saw a crowd and heard
talk and shouts. In the middle of the crowd stood a carriage…. A
light gleamed in the middle of the street.”What is it?” Raskolnikov
turned to the right and went up to the crowd. He seemed to clutch at
everything and smiled coldly when he recognised it, for he had fully
made up his mind to go to the police station and knew that it would
all soon be over.

Chapter Seven

AN ELEGANT carriage stood in the middle of the road with a pair of
spirited grey horses; there was no one in it, and the coachman had got
off his box and stood by; the horses were being held by the
bridle… A mass of people had gathered round, the police standing
in front. One of them held a lighted lantern which he was turning on
something lying close to the wheels. Every one was talking,
shouting, exclaiming; the coachman seemed at a loss and kept
“What a misfortune! Good Lord, what a misfortune!”
Raskolnikov pushed his way in as far as he could, and succeeded at
last in seeing the object of the commotion and interest. On the ground
a man who had been run over lay apparently unconscious, and covered
with blood; he was very badly dressed, but not like a workman. Blood
was flowing from his head and face; his face was crushed, mutilated
and disfigured. He was evidently badly injured.
“Merciful heaven!” wailed the coachman,”what more could I do? If
I’d been driving fast or had not shouted to him, but I was going
quietly, not in a hurry. Every one could see I was going along just
like everybody else. A drunken man can’t walk straight, we all
know…. I saw him crossing the street, staggering and almost falling.
I shouted again and a second and a third time, then I held the
horses in, but he fell straight under their feet! Either he did it
on purpose or he was very tipsy…. The horses are young and ready
to take fright… they started, he screamed… that made them worse.
That’s how it happened!”
“That’s just how it was,” a voice in the crowd confirmed.
“He shouted, that’s true, he shouted three times,” another voice
“Three times it was, we all heard it,” shouted a third.
But the coachman was not very much distressed and frightened. It was
evident that the carriage belonged to a rich and important person
who was awaiting it somewhere; the police, of course, were in no
little anxiety to avoid upsetting his arrangements. All they had to do
was to take the injured man to the police station and the hospital. No
one knew his name.
Meanwhile Raskolnikov had squeezed in and stooped closer over him.
The lantern suddenly lighted up the unfortunate man’s face. He
recognised him.
“I know him! I know him!” he shouted, pushing to the front.”It’s
a government clerk retired from the service, Marmeladov. He lives
close by in Kozel’s house…. Make haste for a doctor! I will pay,
see.” He pulled money out of his pocket and showed it to the
policeman. He was in violent agitation.
The police were glad that they had found out who the man was.
Raskolnikov gave his own name and address, and, as earnestly as if
it had been his father, he besought the police to carry the
unconscious Marmeladov to his lodging at once.
“Just here, three houses away,” he said eagerly,”the house
belongs to Kozel, a rich German. He was going home, no doubt drunk.
I know him, he is a drunkard. He has a family there, a wife, children,
he has one daughter…. It will take time to take him to the hospital,
and there is sure to be a doctor in the house. I’ll pay, I’ll pay!
At least he will be looked after at home… they will help him at
once. But he’ll die before you get him to the hospital.” He managed to
slip something unseen into the policeman’s hand. But the thing was
straightforward and legitimate, and in any case help was closer
here. They raised the injured man; people volunteered to help.
Kozel’s house was thirty yards away. Raskolnikov walked behind,
carefully holding Marmeladov’s head and showing the way.
“This way, this way! We must take him upstairs head foremost. Turn
round! I’ll pay, I’ll make it worth your while,” he muttered.
Katerina Ivanovna had just begun, as she always did at every free
moment, walking to and fro in her little room from window to stove and
back again, with her arms folded across her chest, talking to
herself and coughing. Of late she had begun to talk more than ever
to her eldest girl, Polenka, a child of ten, who, though there was
much she did not understand, understood very well that her mother
needed her, and so always watched her with her big clever eyes and
strove her utmost to appear to understand. This time Polenka was
undressing her little brother, who had been unwell all day and was
going to bed. The boy was waiting for her to take off his shirt, which
had to be washed at night. He was sitting straight and motionless on a
chair, with a silent, serious face, with his legs stretched out
straight before him heels together and toes turned out.
He was listening to what his mother was saying to his sister,
sitting perfectly still with pouting lips and wideopen eyes, just
as all good little boys have to sit when they are undressed to go to
bed. A little girl, still younger, dressed literally in rags, stood at
the screen, waiting for her turn. The door on to the stairs was open
to relieve them a little from the clouds of tobacco smoke which
floated in from the other rooms and brought on long terrible fits of
coughing in the poor, consumptive woman. Katerina Ivanovna seemed to
have grown even thinner during that week and the hectic flush on her
face was brighter than ever.
“You wouldn’t believe, you can’t imagine, Polenka,” she said,
walking about the room,”what a happy luxurious life we had in my
papa’s house and how this drunkard has brought me, and will bring
you all, to ruin! Papa was a civil colonel and only a step from
being a governor; so that every one who came to see him said,’We look
upon you, Ivan Mihailovitch, as our governor!’ When I… when…”
she coughed violently,”oh, cursed life,” she cried, clearing her
throat and pressing her hands to her breast,”when I… when at the
last ball… at the marshal’s… Princess Bezzemelny saw me who
gave me the blessing when your father and I were married, Polenka she
asked at once ‘Isn’t that the pretty girl who donced the shawl dance
at the breaking up?'(You must mend that tear, you must take your
needle and darn it as I showed you, or tomorrow cough, cough, cough
he will make the hole bigger,” she articulated with effort.)”Prince
Schegolskoy, a kammerjunker, had just come from Petersburg then…
he danced the mazurka with me and wanted to make me an offer next day;
but I thanked him in flattering expressions and told him that my heart
had long been another’s. That other was your father, Polya; papa was
fearfully angry…. Is the water ready? Give me the shirt, and the
stockings! Lida,” said she to the youngest one,”you must manage
without your chemise tonight… and lay your stockings out with it…
I’ll wash them together…. How is it that drunken vagabond doesn’t
come in? He has worn his shirt till it looks like a dishclout, he
has torn it to rags! I’d do it all together, so as not to have to work
two nights running! Oh, dear!(Cough, cough, cough, cough!) Again!
What’s this?” she cried, noticing a crowd in the passage and the men
who were pushing into her room, carrying a burden.”What is it? What
are they bringing? Mercy on us!”
“Where are we to put him?” asked the policeman, looking round when
Marmeladov, unconscious and covered with blood, had been carried in.
“On the sofa! Put him straight on the sofa, with his head this way,”
Raskolnikov showed him.
“Run over in the road! Drunk!” some one shouted in the passage.
Katerina Ivanovna stood, turning white and gasping for breath. The
children were terrified. Little Lida screamed, rushed to Polenka and
clutched at her, trembling all over.
Having laid Marmeladov down, Raskolnikov flew to Katerina Ivanovna.
“For God’s sake be calm, don’t be frightened!” he said, speaking
quickly,”he was crossing the road and was run over by a carriage,
don’t be frightened, he will come to, I told them bring him here…
I’ve been here already, you remember? He will come to; I’ll pay!”
“He’s done it this time!” Katerina Ivanovna cried despairingly and
she rushed to her husband.
Raskolnikov noticed at once that she was not one of those women
who swoon easily. She instantly placed under the luckless man’s head a
pillow, which no one had thought of and began undressing and examining
him. She kept her head, forgetting herself, biting her trembling
lips and stifling the screams which were ready to break from her.
Raskolnikov meanwhile induced some one to run for a doctor. There
was a doctor, it appeared, next door but one.
“I’ve sent for a doctor,” he kept assuring Katerina Ivanovna,”don’t
be uneasy, I’ll pay. Haven’t you water?… and give me a napkin or a
towel, anything, as quick as you can…. He is injured, but not
killed, believe me…. We shall see what the doctor says!”
Katerina Ivanovna ran to the window; there, on a broken chair in the
corner, a large earthenware basin full of water had been stood, in
readiness for washing her children’s and husband’s linen that night.
This washing was done by Katerina Ivanovna at night at least twice a
week, if not oftener. For the family had come to such a pass that they
were practically without change of linen, and Katerina Ivanovna
could not endure uncleanliness and, rather than see dirt in the house,
she preferred to wear herself out at night, working beyond her
strength when the rest were asleep, so as to get the wet linen hung on
a line and dry by the morning. She took up the basin of water at
Raskolnikov’s request, but almost fell down with her burden. But the
latter had already succeeded in finding a towel, wetted it and begun
washing the blood off Marmeladov’s face.
Katerina Ivanovna stood by, breathing painfully and pressing her
hands to her breast. She was in need of attention herself. Raskolnikov
began to realise that he might have made a mistake in having the
injured man brought here. The policeman, too, stood in hesitation.
“Polenka,” cried Katerina Ivanovna,”run to Sonia, make haste. If
you don’t find her at home, leave word that her father has been run
over and that she is to come here at once… when she comes in. Run,
Polenka! there, put on the shawl.”
“Run your fastest!” cried the little boy on the chair suddenly,
after which he relapsed into the same dumb rigidity, with round
eyes, his heels thrust forward and his toes spread out.
Meanwhile the room had become so full of people that you couldn’t
have dropped a pin. The policemen left, all except one, who remained
for a time, trying to drive out the people who came in from the
stairs. Almost all Madame Lippevechsel’s lodgers had streamed in
from the inner rooms of the flat; at first they were squeezed together
in the doorway, but afterwards they overflowed into the room. Katerina
Ivanovna flew into a fury.
“You might let him die in peace, at least,” she shouted at the
crowd,”is it a spectacle for you to gape at? With cigarettes!(Cough,
cough, cough!) You might as well keep your hats on…. And there is
one in his hat!… Get away! You should respect the dead, at least!”
Her cough choked her but her reproaches were not without result.
They evidently stood in some awe of Katerina Ivanovna. The lodgers,
one after another, squeezed back into the doorway with that strange
inner feeling of satisfaction which may be observed in the presence of
a sudden accident, even in those nearest and dearest to the victim,
from which no living man is exempt, even in spite of the sincerest
sympathy and compassion.
Voices outside were heard, however, speaking of the hospital and
saying that they’d no business to make a disturbance here.
“No business to die!” cried Katerina Ivanovna, and she was rushing
to the door to vent her wrath upon them, but in the doorway came
face to face with Madame Lippevechsel who had only just heard of the
accident and ran in to restore order. She was a particularly
quarrelsome and irresponsible German.
“Ah, my God!” she cried, clasping her hands,”your husband drunken
horses have trampled! To the hospital with him! I am the landlady!”
“Amalia Ludwigovna, I beg you to recollect what you are saying,”
Katerina Ivanovna began haughtily (she always took a haughty tone with
the landlady that she might “remember her place” and even now could
not deny herself this satisfaction).”Amalia Ludwigovna…”
“I have you once before told that you to call me Amalia Ludwigovna
may not dare; I am Amalia Ivanovna.”
“You are not Amalia Ivanovna, but Amalia Ludwigovna, and as I am not
one of your despicable flatterers like Mr. Lebeziatnikov, who’s
laughing behind the door at this moment (a laugh and a cry of ‘they
are at it again’ was in fact audible at the door) so I shall always
call you Amalia Ludwigovna, though I fail to understand why you
dislike that name. You can see for yourself what has happened to
Semyon Zaharovitch; he is dying. I beg you to close that door at
once and to admit no one. Let him at least die in peace! Or I warn you
the GovernorGeneral, himself, shall be informed of your conduct
tomorrow. The prince knew me as a girl; he remembers Semyon
Zaharovitch well and has often been a benefactor to him. Every one
knows that Semyon Zaharovitch had many friends and protectors, whom he
abandoned himself from an honourable pride, knowing his unhappy
weakness, but now (she pointed to Raskolnikov) a generous young man
has come to our assistance, who has wealth and connections and whom
Semyon Zaharovitch has known from a child. You may rest assured,
Amalia Ludwigovna…”
All this was uttered with extreme rapidity, getting quicker and
quicker, but a cough suddenly cut short Katerina Ivanovna’s eloquence.
At that instant the dying man recovered consciousness and uttered a
groan; she ran to him. The injured man opened his eyes and without
recognition or understanding gazed at Raskolnikov who was bending over
him. He drew deep, slow, painful breaths; blood oozed at the corners
of his mouth and drops of perspiration came out on his forehead. Not
recognising Raskolnikov, he began looking round uneasily. Katerina
Ivanovna looked at him with a sad but stern face, and tears trickled
from her eyes.
“My God! His whole chest is crushed! How he is bleeding,” she said
in despair.”We must take off his clothes. Turn a little, Semyon
Zaharovitch, if you can,” she cried to him.
Marmeladov recognised her.
“A priest,” he articulated huskily.
Katerina Ivanovna walked to the window, laid her head against the
window frame and exclaimed in despair:
“Oh, cursed life!”
“A priest,” the dying man said again after a moment’s silence.
“They’ve gone for him,” Katerina Ivanovna shouted to him, he
obeyed her shout and was silent. With sad and timid eyes he looked for
her; she returned and stood by his pillow. He seemed a little easier
but not for long.
Soon his eyes rested on little Lida, his favourite, who was
shaking in the corner, as though she were in a fit, and staring at him
with her wondering childish eyes.
“Aah,” he signed towards her uneasily. He wanted to say something.
“What now?” cried Katerina Ivanovna.
“Barefoot, barefoot!” he muttered, indicating with frenzied eyes the
child’s bare feet.
“Be silent,” Katerina Ivanovna cried irritably,”you know why she is
“Thank God, the doctor,” exclaimed Raskolnikov, relieved.
The doctor came in, a precise little old man, a German, looking
about him mistrustfully; he went up to the sick man, took his pulse,
carefully felt his head and with the help of Katerina Ivanovna he
unbuttoned the bloodstained shirt, and bared the injured man’s chest.
It was gashed, crushed and fractured, several ribs on the right side
were broken. On the left side, just over the heart, was a large,
sinisterlooking yellowishblack bruise a cruel kick from the horse’s
hoof. The doctor frowned. The policeman told him that he was caught in
the wheel and turned round with it for thirty yards on the road.
“It’s wonderful that he has recovered consciousness,” the doctor
whispered softly to Raskolnikov.
“What do you think of him?” he asked.
“He will die immediately.”
“Is there really no hope?”
“Not the faintest! He is at the last gasp…. His head is badly
injured, too… Him… I could bleed him if you like, but… it
would be useless. He is bound to die within the next five or ten
“Better bleed him then.”
“If you like…. But I warn you it will be perfectly useless.”
At that moment other steps were heard; the crowd in the passage
parted, and the priest, a little, grey old man, appeared in the
doorway bearing the sacrament. A policeman had gone for him at the
time of the accident. The doctor changed places with him, exchanging
glances with him. Raskolnikov begged the doctor to remain a little
while. He shrugged his shoulders and remained.
All stepped back. The confession was soon over. The dying man
probably understood little; he could only utter indistinct broken
sounds. Katerina Ivanovna took little Lida, lifted the boy from the
chair, knelt down in the corner by the stove and made the children
kneel in front of her. The little girl was still trembling; but the
boy, kneeling on his little bare knees, lifted his hand
rhythmically, crossing himself with precision and bowed down, touching
the floor with his forehead, which seemed to afford him especial
satisfaction. Katerina Ivanovna bit her lips and held back her
tears; she prayed, too, now and then pulling straight the boy’s shirt,
and managed to cover the girl’s bare shoulders with a kerchief,
which she took from the chest without rising from her knees or ceasing
to pray. Meanwhile the door from the inner rooms was opened
inquisitively again. In the passage the crowd of spectators from all
the flats on the staircase grew denser and denser, but they did not
venture beyond the threshold. A single candleend lighted up the
At that moment Polenka forced her way through the crowd at the door.
She came in panting from running so fast, took off her kerchief,
looked for her mother, went up to her and said,”She’s coming, I met
her in the street.” Her mother made her kneel beside her.
Timidly and noiselessly a young girl made her way through the crowd,
and strange was her appearance in that room, in the midst of want,
rags, death and despair. She, too, was in rags, her attire was all
of the cheapest, but decked out in gutter finery of a special stamp,
unmistakably betraying its shameful purpose. Sonia stopped short in
the doorway and looked about her bewildered, unconscious of
everything. She forgot her fourthhand, gaudy silk dress, so
unseemly here with its ridiculous long train, and her immense
crinoline that filled up the whole doorway, and her lightcoloured
shoes, and the parasol she brought with her, though it was no use at
night, and the absurd round straw hat with its flaring
flamecoloured feather. Under this rakishlytilted hat was a pale,
frightened little face with lips parted and eyes staring in terror.
Sonia was a small thin girl of eighteen with fair hair, rather pretty,
with wonderful blue eyes. She looked intently at the bed and the
priest; she too was out of breath with running. At last whispers, some
words in the crowd probably, reached her. She looked down and took a
step forward into the room, still keeping close to the door.
The service was over. Katerina Ivanovna went up to her husband
again. The priest stepped back and turned to say a few words of
admonition and consolation to Katerina Ivanovna on leaving.
“What am I to do with these?” she interrupted sharply and irritably,
pointing to the little ones.
“God is merciful; look to the Most High for succour,” the priest
“Ach! He is merciful, but not to us.”
“That’s a sin, a sin, madam,” observed the priest, shaking his head.
“And isn’t that a sin?” cried Katerina Ivanovna, pointing to the
dying man.
“Perhaps those who have involuntarily caused the accident will agree
to compensate you, at least for the loss of his earnings.”
“You don’t understand!” cried Katerina Ivanovna angrily waving her
hand.”And why should they compensate me? Why, he was drunk and
threw himself under the horses! What earnings? He brought us in
nothing but misery. He drank everything away, the drunkard! He
robbed us to get drink, he wasted their lives and mine for drink!
And thank God he’s dying! One less to keep!”
“You must forgive in the hour of death, that’s a sin, madam, such
feelings are a great sin.”
Katerina Ivanovna was busy with the dying man; she was giving him
water, wiping the blood and sweat from his head, setting his pillow
straight, and had only turned now and then for a moment to address the
priest. Now she flew at him almost in a frenzy.
“Ah, father! That’s words and only words! Forgive! If he’d not
been run over, he’d have come home today drunk and his only shirt
dirty and in rags and he’d have fallen asleep like a log, and I should
have been sousing and rinsing till daybreak, washing his rags and
the children’s and then drying them by the window and as soon as it
was daylight I should have been darning them. That’s how I spend my
nights!… What’s the use of talking of forgiveness! I have forgiven
as it is!”
A terrible hollow cough interrupted her words. She put her
handkerchief to her lips and showed it to the priest, pressing her
other hand to her aching chest. The handkerchief was covered with
blood. The priest bowed his head and said nothing.
Marmeladov was in the last agony; he did not take his eyes off the
face of Katerina Ivanovna, who was bending over him again. He kept
trying to say something to her; he began moving his tongue with
difficulty and articulating indistinctly, but Katerina Ivanovna,
understanding that he wanted to ask her forgiveness, called
peremptorily to him:
“Be silent! No need! I know what you want to say!” And the sick
man was silent, but at the same instant his wandering eyes strayed
to the doorway and he saw Sonia.
Till then he had not noticed her: she was standing in the shadow
in a corner.
“Who’s that? Who’s that?” he said suddenly in a thick gasping voice,
in agitation, turning his eyes in horror towards the door where his
daughter was standing, and trying to sit up.
“Lie down! Lie doown!” cried Katerina Ivanovna.
With unnatural strength he had succeeded in propping himself on
his elbow. He looked wildly and fixedly for some time on his daughter,
as though not recognising her. He had never seen her before in such
attire. Suddenly he recognised her, crushed and ashamed in her
humiliation and gaudy finery, meekly awaiting her turn to say goodbye
to her dying father. His face showed intense suffering.
“Sonia! Daughter! Forgive!” he cried, and he tried to hold out his
hand to her, but losing his balance, he fell off the sofa, face
downwards on the floor. They rushed to pick him up, they put him on
the sofa; but he was dying. Sonia with a faint cry ran up, embraced
him and remained so without moving. He died in her arms.
“He’s got what he wanted,” Katerina Ivanovna cried, seeing her
husband’s dead body.”Well, what’s to be done now? How am I to bury
him! What can I give them tomorrow to eat?”
Raskolnikov went up to Katerina Ivanovna.
“Katerina Ivanovna,” he began,”last week your husband told me all
his life and circumstances…. Believe me, he spoke of you with
passionate reverence. From that evening, when I learnt how devoted
he was to you all and how he loved and respected you especially,
Katerina Ivanovna, in spite of his unfortunate weakness, from that
evening we became friends…. Allow me now… to do something… to
repay my debt to my dead friend. Here are twenty roubles I think
and if that can be of any assistance to you, then… I… in short,
I will come again, I will be sure to come again… I shall, perhaps,
come again tomorrow…. Goodbye!”
And he went quickly out of the room, squeezing his way through the
crowd to the stairs. But in the crowd he suddenly jostled against
Nikodim Fomitch, who had heard of the accident and had come to give
instructions in person. They had not met since the scene at the police
station, but Nikodim Fomitch knew him instantly.
“Ah, is that you?” he asked him.
“He’s dead,” answered Raskolnikov.”The doctor and the priest have
been, all as it should have been. Don’t worry the poor woman too much,
she is in consumption as it is. Try and cheer her up, if possible…
you are a kindhearted man, I know…” he added with a smile,
looking straight in his face.
“But you are spattered with blood,” observed Nikodim Fomitch,
noticing in the lamplight some fresh stains on Raskolnikov’s
“Yes… I’m covered with blood,” Raskolnikov said with a peculiar
air; then he smiled, nodded and went downstairs.
He walked down slowly and deliberately, feverish but not conscious
of it, entirely absorbed in a new overwhelming sensation of life and
strength that surged up suddenly within him. This sensation might be
compared to that of a man condemned to death who has suddenly been
pardoned. Halfway down the staircase he was overtaken by the priest on
his way home; Raskolnikov let him pass, exchanging a silent greeting
with him. He was just descending the last steps when he heard rapid
footsteps behind him. Some one overtook him; it was Polenka. She was
running after him, calling “Wait! wait!”
He turned round. She was at the bottom of the staircase and
stopped short a step above him. A dim light came in from the yard.
Raskolnikov could distinguish the child’s thin but pretty little face,
looking at him with a bright childish smile. She had run after him
with a message which she was evidently glad to give.
“Tell me, what is your name?… and where do you live?” she said
hurriedly in a breathless voice.
He laid both hands on her shoulders and looked at her with a sort of
rapture. It was such a joy to him to look at her, he could not have
said why.
“Who sent you?”
“Sister Sonia sent me,” answered the girl, smiling still more
“I knew it was sister Sonia sent you.”
“Mamma sent me, too… when sister Sonia was sending me, mamma
came up, too, and said ‘Run fast, Polenka.'”
“Do you love sister Sonia?”
“I love her more than any one,” Polenka answered with a peculiar
earnestness, and her smile became graver.
“And will you love me?”
By way of answer he saw the little girl’s face approaching him,
her full lips naively held out to kiss him. Suddenly her arms as
thin as sticks held him tightly, her head rested on his shoulder and
the little girl wept softly, pressing her face against him.
“I am sorry for father,” she said a moment later, raising her
tearstained face and brushing away the tears with her hands.”It’s
nothing but misfortunes now,” she added suddenly with that
peculiarly sedate air which children try hard to assume when they want
to speak like grownup people.
“Did your father love you?”
“He loved Lida most,” she went on very seriously without a smile,
exactly like grownup people,”he loved her because she is little
and because she is ill, too. And he always used to bring her presents.
But he taught us to read and me grammar and scripture, too,” she added
with dignity.”And mother never used to say anything, but we knew that
she liked it and father knew it, too. And mother wants to teach me
French, for it’s time my education began.”
“And do you know your prayers?”
“Of course, we do! We knew them long ago. I say my prayers to myself
as I am a big girl now, but Kolya and Lida say them aloud with mother.
First they repeat the ‘Ave Maria’ and then another prayer:’Lord,
forgive and bless Sister Sonia,’ and then another,’Lord, forgive
and bless our second father.’ For our elder father is dead and this is
another one, but we do pray for the other as well.”
“Polenka, my name is Rodion. Pray sometimes for me, too.’And Thy
servant Rodion,’ nothing more.”
“I’ll pray for you all the rest of my life,” the little girl
declared hotly, and suddenly smiling again she rushed at him and
hugged him warmly once more.
Raskolnikov told her his name and address and promised to be sure to
come next day. The child went away quite enchanted with him. It was
past ten when he came out into the street. In five minutes he was
standing on the bridge at the spot where the woman had jumped in.
“Enough,” he pronounced resolutely and triumphantly.”I’ve done with
fancies, imaginary terrors and phantoms! Life is real! haven’t I lived
just now? My life has not yet died with that old woman! The Kingdom of
Heaven to her and now enough, madam, leave me in peace! Now for the
reign of reason and light… and of will, and of strength… and now
we will see! We will try our strength!” he added defiantly, as
though challenging some power of darkness.”And I was ready to consent
to live in a square of space!
“I am very weak at this moment, but… I believe my illness is all
over. I knew it would be over when I went out. By the way,
Potchinkov’s house is only a few steps away. I certainly must go to
Razumihin even if it were not close by… let him win his bet! Let
us give him some satisfaction, too no matter! Strength, strength is
what one wants, you can get nothing without it, and strength must be
won by strength that’s what they don’t know,” he added proudly and
selfconfidently and he walked with flagging footsteps from the
bridge. Pride and selfconfidence grew continually stronger in him; he
was becoming a different man every moment. What was it had happened to
work this revolution in him? He did not know himself; like a man
catching at a straw, he suddenly felt that he, too,’could live,
that there was still life for him, that his life had not died with the
old woman.’ Perhaps he was in too great a hurry with his conclusion,
but he did not think of that.
“But I did ask her to remember ‘Thy servant Rodion’ in her prayers,”
the idea struck him.”Well, that was… in case of emergency,” he
added and laughed himself at his boyish sally. He was in the best of
He easily found Razumihin; the new lodger was already known at
Potchinkov’s and the porter at once showed him the way. Halfway
upstairs he could hear the noise and animated conversation of a big
gathering of people. The door was wide open on the stairs; he could
hear exclamations and discussion. Razumihin’s room was fairly large;
the company consisted of fifteen people. Raskolnikov stopped in the
entry, where two of the landlady’s servants were busy behind a
screen with two samovars, bottles, plates and dishes of pie and
savouries, brought up from the landlady’s kitchen. Raskolnikov sent in
for Razumihin. He ran out delighted. At the first glance it was
apparent that he had had a great deal to drink and, though no amount
of liquor made Razumihin quite drunk, this time he was perceptibly
affected by it.
“Listen,” Raskolnikov hastened to say,”I’ve only just come to
tell you you’ve won your bet and that no one really knows what may not
happen to him. I can’t come in; I am so weak that I shall fall down
directly. And so good evening and goodbye! Come and see me
“Do you know what? I’ll see you home. If you say you’re weak
yourself, you must…”
“And your visitors? Who is the curlyheaded one who has just
peeped out?”
“He? Goodness only knows! Some friend of uncle’s I expect, or
perhaps he has come without being invited… I’ll leave uncle with
them, he is an invaluable person, pity I can’t introduce you to him
now. But confound them all now! They won’t notice me, and I need a
little fresh air, for you’ve come just in the nick of time another
two minutes and I should have come to blows! They are talking such a
lot of wild stuff… you simply can’t imagine what men will say!
Though why shouldn’t you imagine? Don’t we talk nonsense ourselves?
And let them… that’s the way to learn not to!… Wait a minute, I’ll
fetch Zossimov.”
Zossimov pounced upon Raskolnikov almost greedily; he showed a
special interest in him; soon his face brightened.
“You must go to bed at once,” he pronounced, examining the patient
as far as he could,”and take something for the night. Will you take
it? I got it ready some time ago… a powder.”
“Two, if you like,” answered Raskolnikov. The powder was taken at
“It’s a good thing you are taking him home,” observed Zossimov to
Razumihin “we shall see how he is tomorrow, today he’s not at all
amiss a considerable change since the afternoon. Live and learn…”
“Do you know what Zossimov whispered to me when we were coming out?”
Razumihin blurted out, as soon as they were in the street.”I won’t
tell you everything, brother, because they are such fools. Zossimov
told me to talk freely to you on the way and get you to talk freely to
me, and afterwards I am to tell him about it, for he’s got a notion in
his head that you are… mad or close on it. Only fancy! In the
first place, you’ve three times the brains he has; in the second, if
you are not mad, you needn’t care a hang that he has got such a wild
idea; and thirdly, that piece of beef whose specialty is surgery has
gone mad on mental diseases, and what’s brought him to this conclusion
about you was your conversation today with Zametov.”
“Zametov told you all about it?”
“Yes, and he did well. Now I understand what it all means and so
does Zametov…. Well, the fact is, Rodya… the point is… I am a
little drunk now…. But that’s… no matter… the point is that this
idea… you understand? was just being hatched in their brains…
you understand? That is, no one ventured to say it aloud, because
the idea is too absurd and especially since the arrest of that
painter, that bubble’s burst and gone for ever. But why are they
such fools? I gave Zametov a bit of a thrashing at the time that’s
between ourselves, brother; please don’t let out a hint that you
know of it; I’ve noticed he is a ticklish subject; it was at Luise
Ivanovna’s. But today, today it’s all cleared up. That Ilya
Petrovitch is at the bottom of it! He took advantage of your
fainting at the police station, but he is ashamed of it himself now; I
know that…”
Raskolnikov listened greedily. Razumihin was drunk enough to talk
too freely.
“I fainted then because it was so close and the smell of paint,”
said Raskolnikov.
“No need to explain that! And it wasn’t the paint only: the fever
had been coming on for a month; Zossimov testifies to that! But how
crushed that boy is now, you wouldn’t believe!’I am not worth his
little finger,’ he says. Yours, he means. He has good feelings at
times, brother. But the lesson, the lesson you gave him today in
the Palais de Crystal, that was too good for anything! You
frightened him at first, you know, he nearly went into convulsions!
You almost convinced him again of the truth of all that hideous
nonsense, and then you suddenly put out your tongue at him:’There
now, what do you make of it?’ It was perfect! He is crushed,
annihilated now! It was masterly, by Jove, it’s what they deserve! Ah,
that I wasn’t there! He was hoping to see you awfully. Porfiry, too,
wants to make your acquaintance…”
“Ah!… he too… but why did they put me down as mad?”
“Oh, not mad. I must have said too much, brother…. What struck
him, you see, was that only that subject seemed to interest you; now
it’s clear why it did interest you; knowing all the
circumstances…. and how that irritated you and worked in with your
illness… I am a little drunk, brother, only, confound him, he has
some idea of his own… I tell you, he’s mad on mental diseases. But
don’t you mind him…”
For half a minute both were silent.
“Listen, Razumihin,” began Raskolnikov,”I want to tell you plainly:
I’ve just been at a deathbed, a clerk who died… I gave them all
my money… and besides I’ve just been kissed by some one who, if I
had killed any one, would just the same… in fact I saw some one else
there… with a flamecoloured feather… but I am talking nonsense; I
am very weak, support me… we shall be at the stairs directly…”
“What’s the matter? What’s the matter with you?” Razumihin asked
“I am a little giddy, but that’s not the point, I am so sad, so
sad… like a woman. Look, what’s that? Look, look!”
“What is it?”
“Don’t you see? A light in my room, you see? Through the crack…”
They were already at the foot of the last flight of stairs, at the
level of the landlady’s door, and they could, as a fact, see from
below that there was a light in Raskolnikov’s garret.
“Queer! Nastasya, perhaps,” observed Razumihin.
“She is never in my room at this time and she must be in bed long
ago, but… I don’t care! Goodbye!”
“What do you mean? I am coming with you, we’ll come in together!”
“I know we are going in together, but I want to shake hands here and
say goodbye to you here. So give me your hand, goodbye!”
“What’s the matter with you, Rodya?”
“Nothing… come along… you shall be witness.”
They began mounting the stairs, and the idea struck Razumihin that
perhaps Zossimov might be right after all.”Ah, I’ve upset him with my
chatter!” he muttered to himself.
When they reached the door they heard voices in the room.
“What is it?” cried Razumihin. Raskolnikov was the first to open the
door; he flung it wide and stood still in the doorway, dumbfounded.
His mother and sister were sitting on his sofa and had been
waiting an hour and a half for him. Why had he never expected, never
thought of them, though the news that they had started, were on
their way and would arrive immediately, had been repeated to him
only that day? They had spent that hour and a half plying Nastasya
with questions. She was standing before them and had told them
everything by now. They were beside themselves with alarm when they
heard of his “running away” today, ill and, as they understood from
her story, delirious!”Good Heavens, what had become of him?” Both had
been weeping, both had been in anguish for that hour and a half.
A cry of joy, of ecstasy, greeted Raskolnikov’s entrance. Both
rushed to him. But he stood like one dead; a sudden intolerable
sensation struck him like a thunderbolt. He did not lift his arms to
embrace them, he could not. His mother and sister clasped him in their
arms, kissed him, laughed and cried. He took a step, tottered and fell
to the ground, fainting.
Anxiety, cries of horror, moans… Razumihin who was standing in the
doorway flew into the room, seized the sick man in his strong arms and
in a moment had him on the sofa.
“It’s nothing, nothing!” he cried to the mother and sister “it’s
only a faint, a mere trifle! Only just now the doctor said he was much
better, that he is perfectly well! Water! See, he is coming to
himself, he is all right again!”
And seizing Dounia by the arm so that he almost dislocated it, he
made her bend down to see that “he is all right again.” The mother and
sister looked on him with emotion and gratitude, as their
Providence. They had heard already from Nastasya all that had been
done for their Rodya during his illness, by this “very competent young
man,” as Pulcheria Alexandrovna Raskolnikov called him that evening in
conversation with Dounia.

Chapter One

RASKOLNIKOV got up, and sat down on the sofa. He waved his hand
weakly to Razumihin to cut short the flow of warm and incoherent
consolations he was addressing to his mother and sister, took them
both by the hand and for a minute or two gazed from one to the other
without speaking. His mother was alarmed by his expression. It
revealed an emotion agonisingly poignant, and at the same time
something immovable, almost insane. Pulcheria Alexandrovna began to
Avdotya Romanovna was pale; her hand trembled in her brother’s.
“Go home… with him,” he said in a broken voice, pointing to
Razumihin,”goodbye till tomorrow; tomorrow everything… Is it
long since you arrived?”
“This evening, Rodya,” answered Pulcheria Alexandrovna,”the train
was awfully late. But, Rodya, nothing would induce me to leave you
now! I will spend the night here, near you…”
“Don’t torture me!” he said with a gesture of irritation.
“I will stay with him,” cried Razumihin,”I won’t leave him for a
moment. Bother all my visitors! Let them rage to their hearts’
content! My uncle is presiding there.”
“How, how can I thank you!” Pulcheria Alexandrovna was beginning,
once more pressing Razumihin’s hands, but Raskolnikov interrupted
her again.
“I can’t have it! I can’t have it!” he repeated irritably,”don’t
worry me! Enough, go away… I can’t stand it!”
“Come, mamma, come out of the room at least for a minute,” Dounia
whispered in dismay;”we are distressing him, that’s evident.”
“Mayn’t I look at him after three years?” wept Pulcheria
“Stay,” he stopped them again,”you keep interrupting me, and my
ideas get muddled…. Have you seen Luzhin?”
“No, Rodya, but he knows already of our arrival. We have heard,
Rodya, that Pyotr Petrovitch was so kind as to visit you today,”
Pulcheria Alexandrovna added somewhat timidly.
“Yes… he was so kind… Dounia, I promised Luzhin I’d throw him
downstairs and told him to go to hell….”
“Rodya, what are you saying! Surely, you don’t mean to tell us…”
Pulcheria Alexandrovna began in alarm, but she stopped, looking at
Avdotya Romanovna was looking attentively at her brother, waiting
for what would come next. Both of them had heard of the quarrel from
Nastasya, so far as she had succeeded in understanding and reporting
it, and were in painful perplexity and suspense.
“Dounia,” Raskolnikov continued with an effort,”I don’t want that
marriage, so at the first opportunity tomorrow you must refuse
Luzhin, so that we may never hear his name again.”
“Good Heavens!” cried Pulcheria Alexandrovna.
“Brother, think what you are saying!” Avdotya Romanovna began
impetuously, but immediately checked herself.”You are not fit to talk
now, perhaps; you are tired,” she added gently.
“You think I am delirious? No… You are marrying Luzhin for my
sake. But I won’t accept the sacrifice. And so write a letter before
tomorrow, to refuse him… Let me read it in the morning and that
will be the end of it!”
“That I can’t do!” the girl cried, offended,”what right have
“Dounia, you are hasty, too, be quiet, tomorrow… Don’t you
see…” the mother interposed in dismay.”Better come away!”
“He is raving,” Razumihin cried tipsily,”or how would he dare!
Tomorrow all this nonsense will be over… today he certainly did
drive him away. That was so. And Luzhin got angry, too… He made
speeches here, wanted to show off his learning and he went out
“Then it’s true?” cried Pulcheria Alexandrovna.
“Goodbye till tomorrow, brother,” said Dounia compassionately
“let us go, mother… Goodbye, Rodya.”
“Do you hear, sister,” he repeated after them, making a last effort,
“I am not delirious; this marriage is an infamy. Let me act like a
scoundrel, but you mustn’t… one is enough… and though I am a
scoundrel, I wouldn’t own such a sister. It’s me or Luzhin! Go
“But you’re out of your mind! Despot!” roared Razumihin; but
Raskolnikov did not and perhaps could not answer. He lay down on the
sofa, and turned to the wall, utterly exhausted. Avdotya Romanovna
looked with interest at Razumihin; her black eyes flashed; Razumihin
positively started at her glance.
Pulcheria Alexandrovna stood overwhelmed.
“Nothing would induce me to go,” she whispered in despair to
Razumihin.”I will stay somewhere here… escort Dounia home.”
“You’ll spoil everything,” Razumihin answered in the same whisper,
losing patience “come out on to the stairs, anyway. Nastasya, show
a light! I assure you,” he went on in a half whisper on the stairs
“that he was almost beating the doctor and me this afternoon! Do you
understand? The doctor himself! Even he gave way and left him, so as
not to irritate him. I remained downstairs on guard, but he dressed at
once and slipped off. And he will slip off again if you irritate
him, at this time of night, and will do himself some mischief….”
“What are you saying?”
“And Avdotya Romanovna can’t possibly be left in those lodgings
without you. Just think where you are staying! That blackguard Pyotr
Petrovitch couldn’t find you better lodgings… But you know I’ve
had a little to drink, and that’s what makes me… swear; don’t mind
“But I’ll go to the landlady here,” Pulcheria Alexandrovna insisted,
“Ill beseech her to find some corner for Dounia and me for the
night. I can’t leave him like that, I cannot!”
This conversation took place on the landing just before the
landlady’s door. Nastasya lighted them from a step below. Razumihin
was in extraordinary excitement. Half an hour earlier, while he was
bringing Raskolnikov home, he had indeed talked too freely, but he was
aware of it himself, and his head was clear in spite of the vast
quantities he had imbibed. Now he was in a state bordering on ecstasy,
and all that he had drunk seemed to fly to his head with redoubled
effect. He stood with the two ladies, seizing both by their hands,
persuading them, and giving them reasons with astonishing plainness of
speech, and at almost every word he uttered, probably to emphasize his
arguments, he squeezed their hands painfully as in a vise. He stared
at Avdotya Romanovna without the least regard for good manners. They
sometimes pulled their hands out of his huge bony paws, but far from
noticing what was the matter, he drew them all the closer to him. If
they’d told him to jump head foremost from the staircase, he would
have done it without thought or hesitation in their service. Though
Pulcheria Alexandrovna felt that the young man was really too
eccentric and pinched her hand too much, in her anxiety over her Rodya
she looked on his presence as providential and was unwilling to notice
all his peculiarities. But though Avdotya Romanovna shared her
anxiety, and was not of timorous disposition, she could not see the
glowing light in his eyes without wonder and almost alarm. It was only
the unbounded confidence inspired by Nastasya’s account of her
brother’s queer friend, which prevented her from trying to run away
from him, and to persuade her mother to do the same. She realised,
too, that even running away was perhaps impossible now. Ten minutes
later, however, she was considerably reassured; it was
characteristic of Razumihin that he showed his true nature at once,
whatever mood he might be in, so that people quickly saw the sort of
man they had to deal with.
“You can’t go to the landlady, that’s perfect nonsense!” he cried.
“If you stay, though you are his mother, you’ll drive him to a frenzy,
and then goodness knows what will happen! Listen, I’ll tell you what
I’ll do: Nastasya will stay with him now, and I’ll conduct you both
home, you can’t be in the streets alone; Petersburg is an awful
place in that way… But no matter! Then I’ll run straight back here
and a quarter of an hour later, on my word of honour, I’ll bring you
news how he is, whether he is asleep, and all that. Then, listen! Then
I’ll run home in a twinkling I’ve a lot of friends there, all
drunk I’ll fetch Zossimov that’s the doctor who is looking after
him, he is there, too, but he is not drunk; he is not drunk, he is
never drunk! I’ll drag him to Rodya, and then to you, so that you’ll
get two reports in the hour from the doctor, you understand, from the
doctor himself, that’s a very different thing from my account of
him! If there’s anything wrong, I swear I’ll bring you here myself,
but, if it’s all right, you go to bed. And I’ll spend the night
here, in the passage, he won’t hear me, and I’ll tell Zossimov to
sleep at the landlady’s, to be at hand. Which is better for him: you
or the doctor? So come home then! But the landlady is out of the
question; it’s all right for me, but it’s out of the question for you:
she wouldn’t take you, for she’s… for she’s a fool… She’d be
jealous on my account of Avdotya Romanovna and of you, too, if you
want to know… of Avdotya Romanovna certainly. She is an
absolutely, absolutely unaccountable character! But I am a fool,
too!… No matter! Come along! Do you trust me? Come, do you trust
me or not?”
“Let us go, mother,” said Avdotya Romanovna,”he will certainly do
what he has promised. He has saved Rodya already, and if the doctor
really will consent to spend the night here, what could be better?”
“You see, you… you… understand me, because you are an angel!”
Razumihin cried in ecstasy,”let us go! Nastasya! Fly upstairs and sit
with him with a light; I’ll come in a quarter of an hour.”
Though Pulcheria Alexandrovna was not perfectly convinced, she
made no further resistance. Razumihin gave an arm to each and drew
them down the stairs. He still made her uneasy, as though he was
competent and goodnatured, was he capable of carrying out his
promise? He seemed in such a condition….
“Ah, I see you think I am in such a condition!” Razumihin broke in
upon her thoughts, guessing them, as he strolled along the pavement
with huge steps, so that the two ladies could hardly keep up with him,
a fact he did not observe, however.”Nonsense! That is… I am drunk
like a fool, but that’s not it; I am not drunk from wine. It’s
seeing you has turned my head… But don’t mind me! Don’t take any
notice: I am talking nonsense, I am not worthy of you… I am
utterly unworthy of you! The minute I’ve taken you home, I’ll pour a
couple of pailfuls of water over my head in the gutter here, and
then I shall be all right… If only you knew how I love you both!
Don’t laugh, and don’t be angry! You may be angry with any one, but
not with me! I am his friend, and therefore I am your friend, too, I
want to be… I had a presentiment… Last year there was a
moment… though it wasn’t a presentiment really, for you seem to have
fallen from heaven. And I expect I shan’t sleep all night…
Zossimov was afraid a little time ago that he would go mad… that’s
why he mustn’t be irritated.”
“What do you say?” cried the mother.
“Did the doctor really say that?” asked Avdotya Romanovna, alarmed.
“Yes, but it’s not so, not a bit of it. He gave him some medicine, a
powder, I saw it, and then your coming here…. Ah! It would have been
better if you had come tomorrow. It’s a good thing we went away.
And in an hour Zossimov himself will report to you about everything.
He is not drunk! And I shan’t be drunk… And what made me get so
tight? Because they got me into an argument, damn them! I’ve sworn
never to argue! They talk such trash! I almost came to blows! I’ve
left my uncle to preside. Would you believe, they insist on complete
absence of individualism and that’s just what they relish! Not to be
themselves, to be as unlike themselves as they can. That’s what they
regard as the highest point of progress. If only their nonsense were
their own, but as it is…”
“Listen!” Pulcheria Alexandrovna interrupted timidly, but it only
added fuel to the flames.
“What do you think?” shouted Razumihin, louder than ever,”you think
I am attacking them for talking nonsense? Not a bit! I like them to
talk nonsense. That’s man’s one privilege over all creation. Through
error you come to the truth! I am a man because I err! You never reach
any truth without making fourteen mistakes and very likely a hundred
and fourteen. And a fine thing, too, in its way; but we can’t even
make mistakes on our own account! Talk nonsense, but talk your own
nonsense, and I’ll kiss you for it. To go wrong in one’s own way is
better than to go right in some one else’s. In the first case you
are a man, in the second you’re no better than a bird. Truth won’t
escape you, but life can be cramped. There have been examples. And
what are we doing now? In science, development, thought, invention,
ideals, aims, liberalism, judgment, experience and everything,
everything, everything, we are still in the preparatory class at
school. We prefer to live on other people’s ideas, it’s what we are
used to! Am I right, am I right?” cried Razumihin, pressing and
shaking the two ladies’ hands.
“Oh, mercy, I do not know,” cried poor Pulcheria Alexandrovna.
“Yes, yes… though I don’t agree with you in everything,” added
Avdotya Romanovna earnestly and at once uttered a cry, for he squeezed
her hand so painfully.
“Yes, you say yes… well after that you… you…” he cried in a
transport,”you are a fount of goodness, purity, sense… and
perfection. Give me your hand… you give me yours, too! I want to
kiss your hands here at once, on my knees…” and he fell on his knees
on the pavement, fortunately at that time deserted.
“Leave off, I entreat you, what are you doing?” Pulcheria
Alexandrovna cried, greatly distressed.
“Get up, get up!” said Dounia laughing, though she, too, was upset.
“Not for anything till you let me kiss your hands! That’s it!
Enough! I get up and we’ll go on! I am a luckless fool, I am
unworthy of you and drunk… and I am ashamed…. I am not worthy to
love you, but to do homage to you is the duty of every man who is
not a perfect beast! And I’ve done homage…. Here are your
lodgings, and for that alone Rodya was right in driving your Pyotr
Petrovitch away…. How dare he! how dare he put you in such lodgings!
It’s a scandal! Do you know the sort of people they take in here?
And you his betrothed! You are his betrothed? Yes, well, then, I’ll
tell you, your fiance is a scoundrel.”
“Excuse me, Mr. Razumihin, you are forgetting…” Pulcheria
Alexandrovna was beginning.
“Yes, yes, you are right, I did forget myself, I am ashamed of
it,” Razumihin made haste to apologise.”But… but you can’t be angry
with me for speaking so! For I speak sincerely and not because…
hm, hm! That would be disgraceful; in fact not because I’m in… hm!
Well, anyway I won’t say why, I daren’t…. But we all saw today when
he came in that that man is not of our sort. Not because he had his
hair curled at the barber’s, not because he was in such a hurry to
show his wit, but because he is a spy, a speculator, because he is a
skinflint and a buffoon. That’s evident. Do you think him clever? No,
he is a fool, a fool. And is he a match for you? Good heavens! Do
you see, ladies?” he stopped suddenly on the way upstairs to their
rooms,”though all my friends there are drunk, yet they are all
honest, and though we do talk a lot of trash, and I do, too, yet we
shall talk our way to the truth at last, for we are on the right path,
while Pyotr Petrovitch… is not on the right path. Though I’ve been
calling them all sorts of names just now, I do respect them all…
though I don’t respect Zametov, I like him, for he is a puppy, and
that bullock Zossimov, because he is an honest man and knows his work.
But enough, it’s all said and forgiven. Is it forgiven? Well, then,
let’s go on. I know this corridor, I’ve been here, there was a scandal
here at Number 3…. Where are you here? Which number? eight? Well,
lock yourselves in for the night, then. Don’t let anybody in. In a
quarter of an hour I’ll come back with news, and half an hour later
I’ll bring Zossimov, you’ll see! Goodbye, I’ll run.”
“Good heavens, Dounia, what is going to happen?” said Pulcheria
Alexandrovna, addressing her daughter with anxiety and dismay.
“Don’t worry yourself, mother,” said Dounia, taking off her hat
and cape.”God has sent this gentleman to our aid, though he has
come from a drinking party. We can depend on him, I assure you. And
all that he has done for Rodya….”
“Ah. Dounia, goodness knows whether he will come! How could I
bring myself to leave Rodya?… And how different, how different I had
fancied our meeting! How sullen he was, as though not pleased to see
Tears came into her eyes.
“No, it’s not that, mother. You didn’t see, you were crying all
the time. He is quite unhinged by serious illness that’s the reason.”
“Ah, that illness! What will happen, what will happen? And how he
talked to you, Dounia!” said the mother, looking timidly at her
daughter, trying to read her thoughts and, already half consoled by
Dounia’s standing up for her brother, which meant that she had already
forgiven him.”I am sure he will think better of it tomorrow,” she
added, probing her further.
“And I am sure that he will say the same tomorrow… about that,”
Avdotya Romanovna said finally. And, of course, there was no going
beyond that, for this was a point which Pulcheria Alexandrovna was
afraid to discuss. Dounia went up and kissed her mother. The latter
warmly embraced her without speaking. Then she sat down to wait
anxiously for Razumihin’s return, timidly watching her daughter who
walked up and down the room with her arms folded, lost in thought.
This walking up and down when she was thinking was a habit of
Avdotya Romanovna’s and the mother was always afraid to break in on
her daughter’s mood at such moments.
Razumihin, of course, was ridiculous in his sudden drunken
infatuation for Avdotya Romanovna. Yet apart from his eccentric
condition, many people would have thought it justified if they had
seen Avdotya Romanovna, especially at that moment when she was walking
to and fro with folded arms, pensive and melancholy. Avdotya Romanovna
was remarkably good looking; she was tall, strikingly
wellproportioned, strong and selfreliant the latter quality was
apparent in every gesture, though it did not in the least detract from
the grace and softness of her movements. In face she resembled her
brother, but she might be described as really beautiful. Her hair
was dark brown, a little lighter than her brother’s; there was a proud
light in her almost black eyes and yet at times a look of
extraordinary kindness. She was pale, but it was a healthy pallor; her
face was radiant with freshness and vigour. Her mouth was rather
small; the full red lower lip projected a little as did her chin; it
was the only irregularity in her beautiful face, but it gave it a
peculiarly individual and almost haughty expression. Her face was
always more serious and thoughtful than gay; but how well smiles,
how well youthful, lighthearted, irresponsible, laughter suited her
face! It was natural enough that a warm, open, simplehearted,
honest giant like Razumihin, who had never seen any one like her and
was not quite sober at the time, should lose his head immediately.
Besides, as chance would have it, he saw Dounia for the first time
transfigured by her love for her brother and her joy at meeting him.
Afterwards he saw her lower lip quiver with indignation at her
brother’s insolent, cruel and ungrateful words and his fate was
He had spoken the truth, moreover, when he blurted out in his
drunken talk on the stairs that Praskovya Pavlovna, Raskolnikov’s
eccentric landlady, would be jealous of Pulcheria Alexandrovna as well
as of Avdotya Romanovna on his account. Although Pulcheria
Alexandrovna was fortythree, her face still retained traces of her
former beauty; she looked much younger than her age, indeed, which
is almost always the case with women who retain serenity of spirit,
sensitiveness and pure sincere warmth of heart to old age. We may
add in parenthesis that to preserve all this is the only means of
retaining beauty to old age. Her hair had begun to grow grey and thin,
there had long been little crow’s foot wrinkles round her eyes, her
cheeks were hollow and sunken from anxiety and grief, and yet it was a
handsome face. She was Dounia over again, twenty years older, but
without the projecting underlip. Pulcheria Alexandrovna was emotional,
but not sentimental, timid and yielding, but only to a certain
point. She could give way and accept a great deal even of what was
contrary to her convictions, but there was a certain barrier fixed
by honesty, principle and the deepest convictions which nothing
would induce her to cross.
Exactly twenty minutes after Razumihin’s departure, there came two
subdued but hurried knocks at the door: he had come back.
“I won’t come in, I haven’t time,” he hastened to say when the
door was opened.”He sleeps like a top, soundly, quietly, and God
grant he may sleep ten hours. Nastasya’s with him; I told her not to
leave till I came. Now I am fetching Zossimov, he will report to you
and then you’d better turn in; I can see you are too tired to do
And he ran off down the corridor.
“What a very competent and… devoted young man!” cried Pulcheria
Alexandrovna exceedingly delighted.
“He seems a splendid person!” Avdotya Romanovna replied with some
warmth, resuming her walk up and down the room.
It was nearly an hour later when they heard footsteps in the
corridor and another knock at the door. Both women waited this time
completely relying on Razumihin’s promise; he actually had succeeded
in bringing Zossimov. Zossimov had agreed at once to desert the
drinking party to go to Raskolnikov’s, but he came reluctantly and
with the greatest suspicion to see the ladies, mistrusting Razumihin
in his exhilarated condition. But his vanity was at once reassured and
flattered; he saw that they were really expecting him as an oracle. He
stayed just ten minutes and succeeded in completely convincing and
comforting Pulcheria Alexandrovna. He spoke with marked sympathy,
but with the reserve and extreme seriousness of a young doctor at an
important consultation. He did not utter a word on any other subject
and did not display the slightest desire to enter into more personal
relations with the two ladies. Remarking at his first entrance the
dazzling beauty of Avdotya Romanovna, he endeavoured not to notice her
at all during his visit and addressed himself solely to Pulcheria
Alexandrovna. All this gave him extraordinary inward satisfaction.
He declared that he thought the invalid at this moment going on very
satisfactorily. According to his observations the patient’s illness
was due partly to his unfortunate material surroundings during the
last few months, but it had partly also a moral origin,”was so to
speak the product of several material and moral influences, anxieties,
apprehensions, troubles, certain ideas… and so on.” Noticing
stealthily that Avdotya Romanovna was following his words with close
attention, Zossimov allowed himself to enlarge on this theme. On
Pulcheria Alexandrovna’s anxiously and timidly inquiring as to “some
suspicion of insanity,” he replied with a composed and candid smile
that his words had been exaggerated; that certainly the patient had
some fixed idea, something approaching a monomania he, Zossimov,
was now particularly studying this interesting branch of medicine but
that it must be recollected that until today the patient had been
in delirium and… and that no doubt the presence of his family
would have a favourable effect on his recovery and distract his
mind,”if only all fresh shocks can be avoided,” he added
significantly. Then he got up, took leave with an impressive and
affable bow, while blessings, warm gratitude, and entreaties were
showered upon him, and Avdotya Romanovna spontaneously offered her
hand to him. He went out exceedingly pleased with his visit and
still more so with himself.
“We’ll talk tomorrow; go to bed at once!” Razumihin said in
conclusion, following Zossimov out.”I’ll be with you tomorrow
morning as early as possible with my report.”
“That’s a fetching little girl, Avdotya Romanovna,” remarked
Zossimov, almost licking his lips as they both came out into the
“Fetching? You said fetching?” roared Razumihin and he flew at
Zossimov and seized him by the throat.”If you ever dare… Do you
understand? Do you understand?” he shouted, shaking him by the
collar and squeezing him against the wall.”Do you hear?”
“Let me go, you drunken devil,” said Zossimov, struggling and when
he had let him go, he stared at him and went off into a sudden guffaw.
Razumihin stood facing him in gloomy and earnest reflection.
“Of course, I am an ass,” he observed, sombre as a storm cloud,”but
still… you are another.”
“No, brother, not at all such another. I am not dreaming of any
They walked along in silence and only when they were close to
Raskolnikov’s lodgings, Razumihin broke the silence in considerable
“Listen,” he said,”you’re a firstrate fellow, but among your other
failings, you’re a loose fish, that, I know, and a dirty one, too. You
are a feeble, nervous wretch, and a mass of whims, you’re getting
fat and lazy and can’t deny yourself anything and I call that dirty
because it leads on straight into the dirt. You’ve let yourself get so
slack that I don’t know how it is you are still a good, even a devoted
doctor. You a doctor sleep on a feather bed and get up at night to
your patients! In another three or four years you won’t get up for
your patients… But hang it all, that’s not the point!… You are
going to spend tonight in the landlady’s flat here.(Hard work I’ve
had to persuade her!) And I’ll be in the kitchen. So here’s a chance
for you to get to know her better…. It’s not as you think! There’s
not a trace of anything of the sort, brother…!”
“But I don’t think!”
“Here you have modesty, brother, silence, bashfulness, a savage
virtue… and yet she’s sighing and melting like wax, simply
melting! Save me from her, by all that’s unholy! She’s most
prepossessing… I’ll repay you, I’ll do anything….”
Zossimov laughed more violently than ever.
“Well, you are smitten! But what am I to do with her?”
“It won’t be much trouble, I assure you. Talk any rot you like to
her, as long as you sit by her and talk. You’re a doctor, too; try
curing her of something. I swear you won’t regret it. She has a piano,
and you know, I strum a little. I have a song there, a genuine Russian
one:’I shed hot tears.’ She likes the genuine article and well, it
all began with that song; Now you’re a regular performer, a maitre,
a Rubinstein…. I assure you, you won’t regret it!”
“But have you made her some promise? Something signed? A promise
of marriage, perhaps?”
“Nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing of the kind! Besides she is
not that sort at all…. Tchebarov tried that….”
“Well, then, drop her!”
“But I can’t drop her like that!”
“Why can’t you?”
“Well, I can’t, that’s all about it! There’s an element of
attraction here, brother.”
“Then why have you fascinated her?”
“I haven’t fascinated her; perhaps, I was fascinated myself in my
folly. But she won’t care a straw whether it’s you or I, so long as
somebody sits beside her, sighing…. I can’t explain the position,
brother… look here, you are good at mathematics, and working at it
now… begin teaching her the integral calculus; upon my soul, I’m not
joking. I’m in earnest, it’ll be just the same to her. She will gaze
at you and sigh for a whole year together. I talked to her once for
two days at a time about the Prussian House of Lords (for one must
talk of something) she just sighed and perspired! And you mustn’t
talk of love she’s bashful to hysterics but just let her see you
can’t tear yourself away that’s enough. It’s fearfully comfortable;
you’re quite at home, you can read, sit, lie about, write. You may
even venture on a kiss, if you’re careful.”
“But what do I want with her?”
“Ach, I can’t make you understand! You see, you are made for each
other! I have often been reminded of you!… You’ll come to it in
the end! So does it matter whether it’s sooner or later? There’s the
featherbed element here, brother, ach! and not only that! There’s
an attraction here here you have the end of the world, an
anchorage, a quiet haven, the navel of the earth, the three fishes
that are the foundation of the world, the essence of pancakes, of
savoury fishpies, of the evening samovar, of soft sighs and warm
shawls, and hot stoves to sleep on as snug as though you were dead,
and yet you’re alive the advantages of both at once! Well, hang it,
brother, what stuff I’m talking, it’s bedtime! Listen. I sometimes
wake up at night; so I’ll go in and look at him. But there’s no
need, it’s all right. Don’t you worry yourself, yet if you like, you
might just look in once, too. But if you notice anything, delirium
or fever wake me at once. But there can’t be….”

Chapter Two

RAZUMIHIN waked up next morning at eight o’clock, troubled and
serious. He found himself confronted with many new and unlookedfor
perplexities. He had never expected that he would ever wake up feeling
like that. He remembered every detail of the previous day and he
knew that a perfectly novel experience had befallen him, that he had
received an impression unlike anything he had known before. At the
same time he recognised clearly that the dream which had fired his
imagination was hopelessly unattainable so unattainable that he
felt positively ashamed of it, and he hastened to pass to the other
more practical cares and difficulties bequeathed him by that “thrice
accursed yesterday.”
The most awful recollection of the previous day was the way he had
shown himself “base and mean,” not only because he had been drunk, but
because he had taken advantage of the young girl’s position to abuse
her fiance in his stupid jealousy, knowing nothing of their mutual
relations and obligations and next to nothing of the man himself.
And what right had he to criticise him in that hasty and unguarded
manner? Who had asked for his opinion! Was it thinkable that such a
creature as Avdotya Romanovna would be marrying an unworthy man for
money? So there must be something in him. The lodgings? But after
all how could he know the character of the lodgings? He was furnishing
a flat… Foo, how despicable it all was! And what justification was
it that he was drunk? Such a stupid excuse was even more degrading! In
wine is truth, and the truth had all come out,”that is, all the
uncleanness of his coarse and envious heart!” And would such a dream
ever be permissible to him, Razumihin? What was he beside such a girl
he, the drunken noisy braggart of last night?”Was it possible to
imagine so absurd and cynical a juxtaposition?” Razumihin blushed
desperately at the very idea and suddenly the recollection forced
itself vividly upon him of how he had said last night on the stairs
that the landlady would be jealous of Avdotya Romanovna… that was
simply intolerable. He brought his fist down heavily on the kitchen
stove, hurt his hand and sent one of the bricks flying.
“Of course,” he muttered to himself a minute later with a feeling of
selfabasement,”of course, all these infamies can never be wiped
out or smoothed over… and so it’s useless even to think of it, and I
must go to them in silence and do my duty… in silence, too…. and
not ask forgiveness, and say nothing… for all is lost now!”
And yet as he dressed he examined his attire more carefully than
usual. He hadn’t another suit if he had had, perhaps he wouldn’t have
put it on.”I would have made a point of not putting it on.” But in
any case he could not remain a cynic and a dirty sloven; he had no
right to offend the feelings of others, especially when they were in
need of his assistance and asking him to see them. He brushed his
clothes carefully. His linen was always decent; in that respect he was
especially clean.
He washed that morning scrupulously he got some soap from Nastasya
he washed his hair, his neck and especially his hands. When it came to
the question whether to shave his stubby chin or not (Praskovya
Pavlovna had capital razors that had been left by her late husband),
the question was angrily answered in the negative.”Let it stay as
it is! What if they think that I shaved on purpose to…? They
certainly would think so! Not on any account!”
“And… the worst of it was he was so coarse, so dirty, he had the
manners of a pothouse; and… and even admitting that he knew he had
some of the essentials of a gentleman… what was there in that to
be proud of? Every one ought to be a gentleman and more than that…
and all the same (he remembered) he, too, had done little things…
not exactly dishonest, and yet…. and what thoughts he sometimes had;
hm… and to set all that beside Avdotya Romanovna! Confound it! So be
it! Well, he’d make a point then of being dirty, greasy, pothouse in
his manners and he wouldn’t care! He’d be worse!”
He was engaged in such monologues when Zossimov, who had spent the
night in Praskovya Pavlovna’s parlour, came in.
He was going home and was in a hurry to look at the invalid first.
Razumihin informed him that Raskolnikov was sleeping like a
dormouse. Zossimov gave orders that they shouldn’t wake him and
promised to see him again about eleven.
“If he is still at home,” he added.”Damn it all! If one can’t
control one’s patients, how is one to cure them! Do you know whether
he will go to them, or whether they are coming here?”
“They are coming, I think,” said Razumihin, understanding the object
of the question,”and they will discuss their family affairs, no
doubt. I’ll be off. You, as the doctor, have more right to be here
than I.”
“But I am not a father confessor; I shall come and go away; I’ve
plenty to do besides looking after them.”
“One thing worries me,” interposed Razumihin, frowning.”On the
way home I talked a lot of drunken nonsense to him… all sort of
things… and amongst them that you were afraid that he… might
become insane.”
“You told the ladies so, too.”
“I know it was stupid! You may beat me if you like! Did you think so
“That’s nonsense, I tell you, how could I think it seriously! You,
yourself, described him as a monomaniac when you fetched me to
him… and we added fuel to the fire yesterday, you did, that is, with
your story about the painter; it was a nice conversation, when he was,
perhaps, mad on that very point! If only I’d known what happened
then at the police station and that some wretch… had insulted him
with this suspicion! Hm… I would not have allowed that
conversation yesterday. These monomaniacs will make a mountain out
of a molehill… and see their fancies as solid realities…. As far
as I remember, it was Zametov’s story that cleared up half the mystery
to my mind. Why, I know one case in which a hypochondriac, a man of
forty, cut the throat of a little boy of eight, because he couldn’t
endure the jokes he made every day at table! And in this case his
rags, the insolent police officer, the fever and this suspicion! All
that working upon a man half frantic with hypochondria, and with his
morbid exceptional vanity! That may well have been the
startingpoint of illness. Well, bother it all!… And, by the way,
that Zametov certainly is a nice fellow, but hm… he shouldn’t have
told all that last night. He is an awful chatterbox!”
“But whom did he tell it to? You and me?”
“And Porfiry.”
“What does that matter?”
“And, by the way, have you any influence on them, his mother and
sister? Tell them to be more careful with him today….”
“They’ll get on all right!” Razumihin answered reluctantly.
“Why is he so set against this Luzhin? A man with money and she
doesn’t seem to dislike him… and they haven’t a farthing I
suppose? eh?”
“But what business is it of yours?” Razumihin cried with
annoyance.”How can I tell whether they’ve a farthing? Ask them
yourself and perhaps you’ll find out….”
“Foo, what an ass you are sometimes! Last night’s wine has not
gone off yet…. Goodbye; thank your Praskovya Pavlovna from me for
my night’s lodging. She locked herself in, made no reply to my bonjour
through the door; she was up at seven o’clock, the samovar was taken
in to her from the kitchen. I was not vouchsafed a personal
At nine o’clock precisely Razumihin reached the lodgings at
Bakaleyev’s house. Both ladies were waiting for him with nervous
impatience. They had risen at seven o’clock or earlier. He entered
looking as black as night, bowed awkwardly and was at once furious
with himself for it. He had reckoned without his host: Pulcheria
Alexandrovna fairly rushed at him, seized him by both hands and was
almost kissing them. He glanced timidly at Avdotya Romanovna, but
her proud countenance wore at that moment an expression of such
gratitude and friendliness, such complete and unlookedfor respect (in
place of the sneering looks and illdisguised contempt he had
expected), that it threw him into greater confusion than if he had
been met with abuse. Fortunately there was a subject for conversation,
and he made haste to snatch at it.
Hearing that everything was going well and that Rodya had not yet
waked, Pulcheria Alexandrovna declared that she was glad to hear it,
because “she had something which it was very, very necessary to talk
over beforehand.” Then followed an inquiry about breakfast and an
invitation to have it with them; they had waited to have it with
him. Avdotya Romanovna rang the bell: it was answered by a ragged
dirty waiter, and they asked him to bring tea which was served at
last, but in such a dirty and disorderly way, that the ladies were
ashamed. Razumihin vigorously attacked the lodgings, but,
remembering Luzhin, stopped in embarrassment and was greatly
relieved by Pulcheria Alexandrovna’s questions, which showered in a
continual stream upon him.
He talked for three quarters of an hour, being constantly
interrupted by their questions, and succeeded in describing to them
all the most important facts he knew of the last year of Raskolnikov’s
life, concluding with a circumstantial account of his illness. He
omitted, however, many things, which were better omitted, including
the scene at the police station with all its consequences. They
listened eagerly to his story, and, when he thought he had finished
and satisfied his listeners, he found that they considered he had
hardly begun.
“Tell me, tell me! What do you think…? Excuse me, I still don’t
know your name!” Pulcheria Alexandrovna put in hastily.
“Dmitri Prokofitch.”
“I should like very, very much to know, Dmitri Prokofitch… how
he looks… on things in general now, that is, how can I explain, what
are his likes and dislikes? Is he always so irritable? Tell me, if you
can, what are his hopes and so to say his dreams? Under what
influences is he now? In a word, I should like…”
“Ah, mother, how can he answer all that at once?” observed Dounia.
“Good heavens, I had not expected to find him in the least like
this, Dmitri Prokofitch!”
“Naturally,” answered Razumihin.”I have no mother, but my uncle
comes every year and almost every time he can scarcely recognise me,
even in appearance, though he is a clever man; and your three years’
separation means a great deal. What am I to tell you? I have known
Rodion for a year and a half; he is morose, gloomy, proud and haughty,
and of late and perhaps for a long time before he has been
suspicious and fanciful. He has a noble nature and a kind heart. He
does not like showing his feelings and would rather do a cruel thing
than open his heart freely. Sometimes, though, he is not at all
morbid, but simply cold and inhumanly callous; it’s as though he
were alternating between two characters. Sometimes he is fearfully
reserved! He says he is so busy that everything is a hindrance, and
yet he lies in bed doing nothing. He doesn’t jeer at things, not
because he hasn’t the wit, but as though he hadn’t time to waste on
such trifles. He never listens to what is said to him. He is never
interested in what interests other people at any given moment. He
thinks very highly of himself and perhaps he is right. Well, what
more? I think your arrival will have a most beneficial influence
upon him.”
“God grant it may,” cried Pulcheria Alexandrovna, distressed by
Razumihin’s account of her Rodya.
And Razumihin ventured to look more boldly at Avdotya Romanovna at
last. He glanced at her often while he was talking, but only for a
moment and looked away again at once. Avdotya Romanovna sat at the
table, listening attentively, then got up again and began walking to
and fro with her arms folded and her lips compressed, occasionally
putting in a question, without stopping her walk. She had the same
habit of not listening to what was said. She was wearing a dress of
thin dark stuff and she had a white transparent scarf round her
neck. Razumihin soon detected signs of extreme poverty in their
belongings. Had Avdotya Romanovna been dressed like a queen, he felt
that he would not be afraid of her, but perhaps just because she was
poorly dressed and that he noticed all the misery of her surroundings,
his heart was filled with dread and he began to be afraid of every
word he uttered, every gesture he made, which was very trying for a
man who already felt diffident.
“You’ve told us a great deal that is interesting about my
brother’s character… and have told it impartially. I am glad. I
thought that you were too uncritically devoted to him,” observed
Avdotya Romanovna with a smile.”I think you are right that he needs a
woman’s care,” she added thoughtfully.
“I didn’t say so; but I daresay you are right, only…”
“He loves no one and perhaps he never will,” Razumihin declared
“You mean he is not capable of love?”
“Do you know, Avdotya Romanovna, you are awfully like your
brother, in everything, indeed!” he blurted out suddenly to his own
surprise, but remembering at once what he had just before said of
her brother, he turned as red as a crab and was overcome with
confusion. Avdotya Romanovna couldn’t help laughing when she looked at
“You may both be mistaken about Rodya,” Pulcheria Alexandrovna
remarked, slightly piqued.”I am not talking of our present
difficulty, Dounia. What Pyotr Petrovitch writes in this letter and
what you and I have supposed may be mistaken, but you can’t imagine,
Dmitri Prokofitch, how moody and, so to say, capricious he is. I never
could depend on what he would do when he was only fifteen. And I am
sure that he might do something now that nobody else would think of
doing… Well, for instance, do you know how a year and a half ago
he astounded me and gave me a shock that nearly killed me, when he had
the idea of marrying that girl what was her name his landlady’s
“Did you hear about that affair?” asked Avdotya Romanovna.
“Do you suppose” Pulcheria Alexandrovna continued warmly.”Do you
suppose that my tears, my entreaties, my illness, my possible death
from grief, our poverty would have made him pause? No, he would calmly
have disregarded all obstacles. And yet it isn’t that he doesn’t
love us!”
“He has never spoken a word of that affair to me,” Razumihin
answered cautiously.”But I did hear something from Praskovya Pavlovna
herself, though she is by no means a gossip. And what I heard
certainly was rather strange.”
“And what did you hear?” both the ladies asked at once.
“Well, nothing very special. I only learned that the marriage, which
only failed to take place through the girl’s death, was not at all
to Praskovya Pavlovna’s liking. They say, too, the girl was not at all
pretty, in fact I am told positively ugly… and such an invalid…
and queer. But she seems to have had some good qualities. She must
have had some good qualities or it’s quite inexplicable…. She had no
money either and he wouldn’t have considered her money…. But it’s
always difficult to judge in such matters.”
“I am sure she was a good girl,” Avdotya Romanovna observed briefly.
“God forgive me, I simply rejoiced at her death. Though I don’t know
which of them would have caused most misery to the other he to her or
she to him,” Pulcheria Alexandrovna concluded. Then she began
tentatively questioning him about the scene on the previous day with
Luzhin, hesitating and continually glancing at Dounia, obviously to
the latter’s annoyance. This incident more than all the rest evidently
caused her uneasiness, even consternation. Razumihin described it in
detail again, but this time he added his own conclusions: he openly
blamed Raskolnikov for intentionally insulting Pyotr Petrovitch, not
seeking to excuse him on the score of his illness.
“He had planned it before his illness,” he added.
“I think so, too,” Pulcheria Alexandrovna agreed with a dejected
air. But she was very much surprised at hearing Razumihin express
himself so carefully and even with a certain respect about Pyotr
Petrovitch. Avdotya Romanovna, too, was struck by it.
“So this is your opinion of Pyotr Petrovitch?” Pulcheria
Alexandrovna could not resist asking.
“I can have no other opinion of your daughter’s future husband,”
Razumihin answered firmly and with warmth,”and I don’t say it
simply from vulgar politeness, but because… simply because Avdotya
Romanovna has of her own free will deigned to accept this man. If I
spoke so rudely of him last night, it was because I was disgustingly
drunk and… mad besides; yes, mad, crazy, I lost my head
completely… and this morning I am ashamed of it.”
He crimsoned and ceased speaking. Avdotya Romanovna flushed, but did
not break the silence. She had not uttered a word from the moment they
began to speak of Luzhin.
Without her support Pulcheria Alexandrovna obviously did not know
what to do. At last, faltering and continually glancing at her
daughter, she confessed that she was exceedingly worried by one
“You see, Dmitri Prokofitch,” she began.”I’ll be perfectly open
with Dmitri Prokofitch, Dounia?”
“Of course, mother,” said Avdotya Romanovna emphatically.
“This is what it is,” she began in haste, as though the permission
to speak of her trouble lifted a weight off her mind.”Very early this
morning we got a note from Pyotr Petrovitch in reply to our letter
announcing our arrival. He promised to meet us at the station, you
know; instead of that he sent a servant to bring us the address of
these lodgings and to show us the way; and he sent a message that he
would be here himself this morning. But this morning this note came
from him. You’d better read it yourself; there is one point in it
which worries me very much… you will soon see what that is, and…
tell me your candid opinion, Dmitri Prokofitch! You know Rodya’s
character better than any one and no one can advise us better than you
can. Dounia, I must tell you, made her decision at once, but I still
don’t feel sure how to act and I… I’ve been waiting for your
Razumihin opened the note which was dated the previous evening and
read as follows:

“DEAR MADAM, Pulcheria Alexandrovna, I have the honour to inform you
that owing to unforeseen obstacles I was rendered unable to meet you
at the railway station; I sent a very competent person with the same
object in view. I likewise shall be deprived of the honour of an
interview with you tomorrow morning by business in the Senate that
does not admit of delay, and also that I may not intrude on your
family circle while you are meeting your son, and Avdotya Romanovna
her brother. I shall have the honour of visiting you and paying you my
respects at your lodgings not later than tomorrow evening at eight
o’clock precisely, and herewith I venture to present my earnest and, I
may add, imperative request that Rodion Romanovitch may not be present
at our interview as he offered me a gross and unprecedented affront
on the occasion of my visit to him in his illness yesterday, and,
moreover, since I desire from you personally an indispensable and
circumstantial explanation upon a certain point, in regard to which
I wish to learn your own interpretation. I have the honour to inform
you, in anticipation, that if, in spite of my request, I meet Rodion
Romanovitch, I shall be compelled to withdraw immediately and then you
have only yourself to blame. I write on the assumption that Rodion
Romanovitch who appeared so ill at my visit, suddenly recovered two
hours later and so, being able to leave the house, may visit you also.
I was confirmed in that belief by the testimony of my own eyes in
the lodging of a drunken man who was run over and has since died, to
whose daughter, a young woman of notorious behaviour, he gave
twentyfive roubles on the pretext of the funeral, which gravely
surprised me knowing what pains you were at to raise that sum.
Herewith expressing my special respect to your estimable daughter,
Avdotya Romanovna, I beg you to accept the respectful homage of
“Your humble servant,

“What am I to do now, Dmitri Prokofitch?” began Pulcheria
Alexandrovna, almost weeping.”How can I ask Rodya not to come?
Yesterday he insisted so earnestly on our refusing Pyotr Petrovitch
and now we are ordered not to receive Rodya! He will come on purpose
if he knows, and… what will happen then?”
“Act on Avdotya Romanovna’s decision,” Razumihin answered calmly
at once.
“Oh, dear me! She says… goodness knows what she says, she
doesn’t explain her object! She says that it would be best, at
least, not that it would be best, but that it’s absolutely necessary
that Rodya should make a point of being here at eight o’clock and that
they must meet…. I didn’t want even to show him the letter, but to
prevent him from coming by some stratagem with your help… because he
is so irritable…. Besides I don’t understand about that drunkard who
died and that daughter, and how he could have given the daughter all
the money… which…”
“Which cost you such sacrifice, mother,” put in Avdotya Romanovna.
“He was not himself yesterday,” Razumihin said thoughtfully,”if you
only knew what he was up to in a restaurant yesterday, though there
was sense in it too…. Hm! He did say something, as we were going
home yesterday evening, about a dead man and a girl, but I didn’t
understand a word…. But last night, I myself…”
“The best thing, mother, will be for us to go to him ourselves and
there I assure you we shall see at once what’s to be done. Besides,
it’s getting late good heavens, it’s past ten,” she cried looking
at a splendid gold enamelled watch which hung round her neck on a thin
Venetian chain, and looked entirely out of keeping with the rest of
her dress.”A present from her fiance,” thought Razumihin.
“We must start, Dounia, we must start,” her mother cried in a
flutter.”He will be thinking we are still angry after yesterday, from
our coming so late. Merciful heavens!”
While she said this she was hurriedly putting on her hat and mantle;
Dounia, too, put on her things. Her gloves, as Razumihin noticed, were
not merely shabby but had holes in them, and yet this evident
poverty gave the two ladies an air of special dignity, which is always
found in people who know how to wear poor clothes. Razumihin looked
reverently at Dounia and felt proud of escorting her.”The queen who
mended her stockings in prison,” he thought,”must have looked then
every inch a queen and even more a queen than at sumptuous banquets
and levees.”
“My God,” exclaimed Pulcheria Alexandrovna,”little did I think that
I should ever fear seeing my son, my darling, darling Rodya! I am
afraid, Dmitri Prokofitch,” she added, glancing at him timidly.
“Don’t be afraid, mother,” said Dounia, kissing her,”better have
faith in him.”
“Oh, dear, I have faith in him, but I haven’t slept all night,”
exclaimed the poor woman.
They came out into the street.
“Do you know, Dounia, when I dozed a little this morning I dreamed
of Marfa Petrovna… she was all in white… she came up to me, took
my hand, and shook her head at me, but so sternly as though she were
blaming me…. Is that a good omen? Oh, dear me! You don’t know,
Dmitri Prokofitch, that Marfa Petrovna’s dead!”
“No, I didn’t know; who is Marfa Petrovna?”
“She died suddenly; and only fancy…”
“Afterwards, mamma,” put in Dounia.”He doesn’t know who Marfa
Petrovna is.”
“Ah, you don’t know? And I was thinking that you knew all about
us. Forgive me, Dmitri Prokofitch, I don’t know what I am thinking
about these last few days. I look upon you really as a providence
for us, and so I took it for granted that you knew all about us. I
look on you as a relation…. Don’t be angry with me for saying so.
Dear me, what’s the matter with your right hand? Have you knocked it?”
“Yes, I bruised it,” muttered Razumihin overjoyed.
“I sometimes speak too much from the heart, so that Dounia finds
fault with me…. But, dear me, what a cupboard he lives in! I
wonder whether he is awake? Does this woman, his landlady, consider it
a room? Listen, you say he does not like to show his feelings, so
perhaps I shall annoy him with my… weaknesses? Do advise me,
Dmitri Prokofitch, how am I to treat him? I feel quite distracted, you
“Don’t question him too much about anything if you see him frown!
don’t ask him too much about his health; he doesn’t like that.”
“Ah, Dmitri Prokofitch, how hard it is to be a mother! But here
are the stairs…. What an awful staircase!”
“Mother, you are quite pale, don’t distress yourself, darling,” said
Dounia caressing her, then with flashing eyes she added:”He ought
to be happy at seeing you, and you are tormenting yourself so.”
“Wait, I’ll peep in and see whether he has waked up.”
The ladies slowly followed Razumihin, who went on before, and when
they reached the landlady’s door on the fourth storey, they noticed
that her door was a tiny crack open and that two keen black eyes
were watching them from the darkness within. When their eyes met,
the door was suddenly shut with such a slam that Pulcheria
Alexandrovna almost cried out.

Chapter Three

“HE IS well, quite well!” Zossimov cried cheerfully as they entered.
He had come in ten minutes earlier and was sitting in the same place
as before, on the sofa. Raskolnikov was sitting in the opposite
corner, fully dressed and carefully washed and combed, as he had not
been for some time past. The room was immediately crowded, yet
Nastasya managed to follow the visitors in and stayed to listen.
Raskolnikov really was almost well, as compared with his condition
the day before, but he was still pale, listless, and sombre. He looked
like a wounded man or one who has undergone some terrible physical
suffering. His brows were knitted, his lips compressed, his eyes
feverish. He spoke little and reluctantly, as though performing a
duty, and there was a restlessness in his movements.
He only wanted a sling on his arm or a bandage on his finger to
complete the impression of a man with a painful abscess or a broken
arm. The pale, sombre face lighted up for a moment when his mother and
sister entered, but this only gave it a look of more intense
suffering, in place of its listless dejection. The light soon died
away, but the look of suffering remained, and Zossimov, watching and
studying his patient with all the zest of a young doctor beginning
to practise, noticed in him no joy at the arrival of his mother and
sister, but a sort of bitter, hidden determination to bear another
hour or two of inevitable torture. He saw later that almost every word
of the following conversation seemed to touch on some sore place and
irritate it. But at the same time he marvelled at the power of
controlling himself and hiding his feelings in a patient who the
previous day had, like a monomaniac, fallen into a frenzy at the
slightest word.
“Yes, I see myself now that I am almost well,” said Raskolnikov,
giving his mother and sister a kiss of welcome which made Pulcheria
Alexandrovna radiant at once.”And I don’t say this as I did
yesterday,” he said addressing Razumihin, with a friendly pressure
of his hand.
“Yes, indeed, I am quite surprised at him today,” began Zossimov,
much delighted at the ladies’ entrance, for he had not succeeded in
keeping up a conversation with his patient for ten minutes.”In
another three or four days, if he goes on like this, he will be just
as before, that is, as he was a month ago, or two… or perhaps even
three. This has been coming on for a long while…. eh? Confess,
now, that it has been perhaps your own fault?” he added, with a
tentative smile, as though still afraid of irritating him.
“It is very possible,” answered Raskolnikov coldly.
“I should say, too,” continued Zossimov with zest,”that your
complete recovery depends solely on yourself. Now that one can talk to
you, I should like to impress upon you that it is essential to avoid
the elementary, so to speak, fundamental causes tending to produce
your morbid condition: in that case you will be cured, if not, it will
go from bad to worse. These fundamental causes I don’t know, but
they must be known to you. You are an intelligent man, and must have
observed yourself, of course. I fancy the first stage of your
derangement coincides with your leaving the university. You must not
be left without occupation, and so, work and a definite aim set before
you might, I fancy, be very beneficial.”
“Yes, yes; you are perfectly right…. I will make haste and
return to the university: and then everything will go smoothly….”
Zossimov, who had begun his sage advice partly to make an effect
before the ladies, was certainly somewhat mystified, when, glancing at
his patient, he observed unmistakable mockery on his face. This lasted
an instant, however. Pulcheria Alexandrovna began at once thanking
Zossimov, especially for his visit to their lodging the previous
“What! he saw you last night?” Raskolnikov asked, as though
startled.”Then you have not slept either after your journey.”
“Ach, Rodya, that was only till two o’clock. Dounia and I never go
to bed before two at home.”
“I don’t know how to thank him either,” Raskolnikov went on suddenly
frowning and looking down.”Setting aside the question of payment
forgive me for referring to it (he turned to Zossimov) I really don’t
know what I have done to deserve such special attention from you! I
simply don’t understand it… and… and… it weighs upon me, indeed,
because I don’t understand it. I tell you so candidly.”
“Don’t be irritated.” Zossimov forced himself to laugh.”Assume that
you are my first patient well we fellows just beginning to
practise love our first patients as if they were our children, and
some almost fall in love with them. And, of course, I am not rich in
“I say nothing about him,” added Raskolnikov, pointing to Razumihin,
“though he has had nothing from me either but insult and trouble.”
“What nonsense he is talking! Why, you are in a sentimental mood
today, are you?” shouted Razumihin.
If he had had more penetration he would have seen that there was
no trace of sentimentality in him, but something indeed quite the
opposite. But Avdotya Romanovna noticed it. She was intently and
uneasily watching her brother.
“As for you, mother, I don’t dare to speak,” he went on, as though
repeating a lesson learned by heart.”It is only today that I have
been able to realise a little how distressed you must have been here
yesterday, waiting for me to come back.”
When he had said this, he suddenly held out his hand to his
sister, smiling without a word. But in this smile there was a flash of
real unfeigned feeling. Dounia caught it at once, and warmly pressed
his hand, overjoyed and thankful. It was the first time he had
addressed her since their dispute the previous day. The mother’s
face lighted up with ecstatic happiness at the sight of this
conclusive unspoken reconciliation.”Yes, that is what I love him
for,” Razumihin, exaggerating it all, muttered to himself, with a
vigorous turn in his chair.”He has these movements.”
“And how well he does it all,” the mother was thinking to herself.
“What generous impulses he has, and how simply, how delicately he
put an end to all the misunderstanding with his sister simply by
holding out his hand at the right minute and looking at her like
that…. And what fine eyes he has, and how fine his whole face is!…
He is even better looking than Dounia…. But, good heavens, what a
suit how terribly he’s dressed!… Vasya, the messenger boy in
Afanasy Ivanitch’s shop, is better dressed! I could rush at him and
hug him… weep over him but I am afraid…. Oh, dear, he’s so
strange! He’s talking kindly, but I’m afraid! Why, what am I afraid
“Oh, Rodya, you wouldn’t believe,” she began suddenly, in haste to
answer his words to her,”how unhappy Dounia and I were yesterday! Now
that it’s all over and done with and we are quite happy again I can
tell you. Fancy, we ran here almost straight from the train to embrace
you and that woman ah, here she is! Good morning, Nastasya!… She
told us at once that you were lying in a high fever and had just run
away from the doctor in delirium, and they were looking for you in the
streets. You can’t imagine how we felt! I couldn’t help thinking of
the tragic end of Lieutenant Potanchikov, a friend of your father’s
you can’t remember him, Rodya who ran out in the same way in a high
fever and fell into the well in the courtyard and they couldn’t pull
him out till next day. Of course, we exaggerated things. We were on
the point of rushing to find Pyotr Petrovitch to ask him to help….
Because we were alone, utterly alone,” she said plaintively and
stopped short, suddenly, recollecting it was still somewhat
dangerous to speak of Pyotr Petrovitch, although “we are quite happy
“Yes, yes…. Of course it’s very annoying….” Raskolnikov muttered
in reply, but with such a preoccupied and inattentive air that
Dounia gazed at him in perplexity.
“What else was it I wanted to say,” he went on trying to
recollect.”Oh, yes; mother, and you too, Dounia, please don’t think
that I didn’t mean to come and see you today and was waiting for
you to come first.”
“What are you saying, Rodya?” cried Pulcheria Alexandrovna. She,
too, was surprised.
“Is he answering us as a duty?” Dounia wondered.”Is he being
reconciled and asking forgiveness as though he were performing a
rite or repeating a lesson?”
“I’ve only just waked up, and wanted to go to you, but was delayed
owing to my clothes; I forgot yesterday to ask her… Nastasya… to
wash out the blood… I’ve only just dressed.”
“Blood! What blood?” Pulcheria Alexandrovna asked in alarm.
“Oh, nothing don’t be uneasy. It was when I was wandering about
yesterday, rather delirious, I chanced upon a man who had been run
over… a clerk…”
“Delirious? But you remember everything!” Razumihin interrupted.
“That’s true,” Raskolnikov answered with special carefulness.”I
remember everything even to the slightest detail, and yet why I did
that and went there and said that, I can’t clearly explain now.”
“A familiar phenomenon,” interposed Zossimov,”actions are sometimes
performed in a masterly and most cunning way, while the direction of
the actions is deranged and dependent on various morbid impressions
it’s like a dream.”
“Perhaps it’s a good thing really that he should think me almost a
madman,” thought Raskolnikov.
“Why, people in perfect health act in the same way too,” observed
Dounia, looking uneasily at Zossimov.
“There is some truth in your observation,” the latter replied.”In
that sense we are certainly all not infrequently like madmen, but with
the slight difference that the deranged are somewhat madder, for we
must draw a line. A normal man, it is true, hardly exists. Among
dozens perhaps hundreds of thousands hardly one is to be met with.”
At the word “madman,” carelessly dropped by Zossimov in his
chatter on his favourite subject, every one frowned.
Raskolnikov sat seeming not to pay attention, plunged in thought
with a strange smile on his pale lips. He was still meditating on
“Well, what about the man who was run over? I interrupted you!”
Razumihin cried hastily.
“What?” Raskolnikov seemed to wake up.”Oh… I got spattered with
blood helping to carry him to his lodging. By the way, mamma, I did an
unpardonable thing yesterday. I was literally out of my mind. I gave
away all the money you sent me… to his wife for the funeral. She’s a
widow now, in consumption, a poor creature… three little children,
starving… nothing in the house… there’s a daughter, too… perhaps
you’d have given it yourself if you’d seen them. But I had no right to
do it I admit, especially as I knew how you needed the money yourself.
To help others one must have the right to do it, or else Crevez,
chiens, si vous n’etes pas contents.” He laughed,”That’s right, isn’t
it, Dounia?”
“No, it’s not,” answered Dounia firmly.
“Bah! you, too, have ideals,” he muttered, looking at her almost
with hatred, and smiling sarcastically.”I ought to have considered
that…. Well, that’s praiseworthy, and it’s better for you… and
if you reach a line you won’t overstep, you will be unhappy… and
if you overstep it, maybe you will be still unhappier…. But all
that’s nonsense,” he added irritably, vexed at being carried away.
“I only meant to say that I beg your forgiveness, mother,” he
concluded, shortly and abruptly.
“That’s enough, Rodya, I am sure that everything you do is very
good,” said his mother, delighted.
“Don’t be too sure,” he answered, twisting his mouth into a smile.
A silence followed. There was a certain constraint in all this
conversation, and in the silence, and in the reconciliation, and in
the forgiveness, and all were feeling it.
“It is as though they were afraid of me,” Raskolnikov was thinking
to himself, looking askance at his mother and sister. Pulcheria
Alexandrovna was indeed growing more timid the longer she kept silent.
“Yet in their absence I seemed to love them so much,” flashed
through his mind.
“Do you know, Rodya, Marfa Petrovna is dead,” Pulcheria Alexandrovna
suddenly blurted out.
“What Marfa Petrovna?”
“Oh, mercy on us Marfa Petrovna Svidrigailov. I wrote you so much
about her.”
“Aah! Yes, I remember…. So she’s dead! Oh, really?” he roused
himself suddenly, as if waking up.”What did she die of?”
“Only imagine, quite suddenly,” Pulcheria Alexandrovna answered
hurriedly, encouraged by his curiosity.”On the very day I was sending
you that letter! Would you believe it, that awful man seems to have
been the cause of her death. They say he beat her dreadfully.”
“Why, were they on such bad terms?” he asked, addressing his sister.
“Not at all. Quite the contrary indeed. With her, he was always very
patient, considerate even. In fact, all those seven years of their
married life he gave way to her, too much so indeed, in many cases.
All of a sudden he seems to have lost patience.”
“Then he could not have been so awful if he controlled himself for
seven years? You seem to be defending him, Dounia?”
“No, no, he’s an awful man! I can imagine nothing more awful!”
Dounia answered, almost with a shudder, knitting her brows, and
sinking into thought.
“That had happened in the morning,” Pulcheria Alexandrovna went on
hurriedly.”And directly afterwards she ordered the horses to be
harnessed to drive to the town immediately after dinner. She always
used to drive to the town in such cases. She ate a very good dinner, I
am told….”
“After the beating?”
“That was always her… habit; and immediately after dinner, so as
not to be late in starting, she went to the bathhouse…. You see, she
was undergoing some treatment with baths. They have a cold spring
there, and she used to bathe in it regularly every day, and no
sooner had she got into the water when she suddenly had a stroke!”
“I should think so,” said Zossimov.
“And did he beat her badly?”
“What does that matter!” put in Dounia.
“H’m! But I don’t know why you want to tell us such gossip, mother,”
said Raskolnikov irritably, as it were in spite of himself.
“Ah, my dear, I don’t know what to talk about,” broke from Pulcheria
“Why, are you all afraid of me?” he asked, with a constrained smile.
“That’s certainly true,” said Dounia, looking directly and sternly
at her brother.”Mother was crossing herself with terror as she came
up the stairs.”
His face worked, as though in convulsion.
“Ach, what are you saying, Dounia! Don’t be angry, please, Rodya….
Why did you say that, Dounia?” Pulcheria Alexandrovna began,
overwhelmed “You see, coming here, I was dreaming all the way, in the
train, how we should meet, how we should talk over everything
together…. And I was so happy, I did not notice the journey! But
what am I saying? I am happy now…. You should not, Dounia…. I am
happy now simply in seeing you, Rodya….”
“Hush, mother,” he muttered in confusion, not looking at her, but
pressing her hand.”We shall have time to speak freely of everything!”
As he said this, he was suddenly overwhelmed with confusion and
turned pale. Again that awful sensation he had known of late passed
with deadly chill over his soul. Again it became suddenly plain and
perceptible to him that he had just told a fearful lie that he
would never now be able to speak freely of everything that he would
never again be able to speak of anything to any one. The anguish of
this thought was such that for a moment he almost forgot himself. He
got up from his seat, and not looking at any one walked towards the
“What are you about?” cried Razumihin, clutching him by the arm.
He sat down again, and began looking about him, in silence. They
were all looking at him in perplexity.
“But what are you all so dull for?” he shouted, suddenly and quite
unexpectedly.”Do say something! What’s the use of sitting like
this? Come, do speak. Let us talk…. We meet together and sit in
silence…. Come, anything!”
“Thank God; I was afraid the same thing as yesterday was beginning
again,” said Pulcheria Alexandrovna, crossing herself.
“What is the matter, Rodya?” asked Avdotya Romanovna, distrustfully.
“Oh, nothing! I remembered something,” he answered, and suddenly
“Well, if you remembered something; that’s all right!… I was
beginning to think…” muttered Zossimov, getting up from the sofa.
“It is time for me to be off. I will look in again perhaps… if I
can…” He made his bows, and went out.
“What an excellent man!” observed Pulcheria Alexandrovna.
“Yes, excellent, splendid, welleducated, intelligent,”
Raskolnikov began, suddenly speaking with surprising rapidity, and a
liveliness he had not shown till then.”I can’t remember where I met
him before my illness…. I believe I have met him somewhere… And
this is a good man, too,” he nodded at Razumihin.”Do you like him,
Dounia?” he asked her; and suddenly, for some unknown reason, laughed.
“Very much,” answered Dounia.
“Foo what a pig you are,” Razumihin protested, blushing in terrible
confusion, and he got up from his chair. Pulcheria Alexandrovna smiled
faintly, but Raskolnikov laughed aloud.
“Where are you off to?”
“I must go.”
“You need not at all. Stay. Zossimov has gone, so you must. Don’t
go. What’s the time? Is it twelve o’clock? What a pretty watch you
have got, Dounia. But why are you all silent again? I do all the
“It was a present from Marfa Petrovna,” answered Dounia.
“And a very expensive one!” added Pulcheria Alexandrovna.
“Aah! What a big one! Hardly like a lady’s.”
“I like that sort,” said Dounia.
“So it is not a present from her fiance,” thought Razumihin, and was
unreasonably delighted.
“I thought it was Luzhin’s present,” observed Raskolnikov.
“No, he has not made Dounia any presents yet.”
“Aah! And do you remember, mother, I was in love and wanted to
get married?” he said suddenly, looking at his mother, who was
disconcerted by the sudden change of subject and the way he spoke of
“Oh, yes, my dear.”
Pulcheria Alexandrovna exchanged glances with Dounia and Razumihin.
“H’m, yes. What shall I tell you? I don’t remember much indeed.
She was such a sickly girl,” he went on, growing dreamy and looking
down again.”Quite an invalid. She was fond of giving alms to the
poor, and was always dreaming of a nunnery, and once she burst into
tears when she began talking to me about it. Yes, yes, I remember. I
remember very well. She was an ugly little thing. I really don’t
know what drew me to her then I think it was because she was always
ill. If she had been lame or hunchback, I believe I should have
liked her better still,” he smiled dreamily.”Yes, it was a sort of
spring delirium.”
“No, it was not only spring delirium,” said Dounia, with warm
He fixed a strained intent look on his sister, but did not hear or
did not understand her words. Then, completely lost in thought, he got
up, went up to his mother, kissed her, went back to his place and
sat down.
“You love her even now?” said Pulcheria Alexandrovna, touched.
“Her? Now? Oh, yes…. You ask about her? No… that’s all now as it
were, in another world… and so long ago. And indeed everything
happening here seems somehow far away.” He looked attentively at them.
“You now… I seem to be looking at you from a thousand miles
away… but, goodness knows why we are talking of that! And what’s the
use of asking about it,” he added with annoyance, and biting his
nails, he fell into dreamy silence again.
“What a wretched lodging you have, Rodya! It’s like a tomb,” said
Pulcheria Alexandrovna, suddenly breaking the oppressive silence.”I
am sure it’s quite half through your lodging you have become so
“My lodging,” he answered, listlessly.”Yes, the lodging had a great
deal to do with it…. I thought that, too…. If only you knew,
though, what a strange thing you said just now, mother,” he said,
laughing strangely.
A little more, and their companionship, this mother and this sister,
with him after three years’ absence, this intimate tone of
conversation, in face of the utter impossibility of really speaking
about anything, would have been beyond his power of endurance. But
there was one urgent matter which must be settled one way or the other
that day so he had decided when he woke. Now he was glad to
remember it, as a means of escape.
“Listen, Dounia,” he began, gravely and drily,”of course I beg your
pardon for yesterday, but I consider it my duty to tell you again that
I do not withdraw from my chief point. It is me or Luzhin. If I am a
scoundrel, you must not be. One is enough. If you marry Luzhin, I
cease at once to look on you as a sister.”
“Rodya, Rodya! It is the same as yesterday again,” Pulcheria
Alexandrovna cried, mournfully.”And why do you call yourself a
scoundrel? I can’t bear it. You said the same yesterday.”
“Brother,” Dounia answered firmly and with the same dryness.”In all
this there is a mistake on your part. I thought it over at night,
and found out the mistake. It is all because you seem to fancy I am
sacrificing myself to some one and for some one. That is not the
case at all. I am simply marrying for my own sake, because things
are hard for me. Though, of course, I shall be glad if I succeed in
being useful to my family. But that is not the chief motive for my
“She is lying,” he thought to himself, biting his nails
vindictively.”Proud creature! She won’t admit she wants to do it
out of charity! Too haughty! Oh, base characters! They even love as
though they hate…. Oh, how I… hate them all!”
“In fact,” continued Dounia,”I am marrying Pyotr Petrovitch because
of two evils I choose the less. I intend to do honestly all he expects
of me, so I am not deceiving him…. Why did you smile just now?” She,
too, flushed, and there was a gleam of anger in her eyes.
“All?” he asked, with a malignant grin.
“Within certain limits. Both the manner and form of Pyotr
Petrovitch’s courtship showed me at once what he wanted. He may, of
course, think too well of himself, but I hope he esteems me, too….
Why are you laughing again?”
“And why are you blushing again? You are lying, sister. You are
intentionally lying, simply from feminine obstinacy, simply to hold
your own against me…. You cannot respect Luzhin. I have seen him and
talked with him. So you are selling yourself for money, and so in
any case you are acting basely, and I am glad at least that you can
blush for it.”
“It is not true. I am not lying,” cried Dounia, losing her
composure.”I would not marry him if I were not convinced that he
esteems me and thinks highly of me. I would not marry him if I were
not firmly convinced that I can respect him. Fortunately, I can have
convincing proof of it this very day… and such a marriage is not a
vileness, as you say! And even if you were right, if I really had
determined on a vile action, is it not merciless on your part to speak
to me like that? Why do you demand of me a heroism that perhaps you
have not either? It is despotism; it is tyranny. If I ruin any one, it
is only myself…. I am not committing a murder. Why do you look at me
like that? Why are you so pale? Rodya, darling, what’s the matter?”
“Good heavens! You have made him faint,” cried Pulcheria
“No, no, nonsense! It’s nothing. A little giddiness not fainting.
You have fainting on the brain. H’m, yes, what was I saying? Oh,
yes. In what way will you get convincing proof today that you can
respect him, and that he… esteems you, as you said. I think you said
“Mother, show Rodya Pyotr Petrovitch’s letter,” said Dounia.
With trembling hands, Pulcheria Alexandrovna gave him the letter. He
took it with great interest, but, before opening it, he suddenly
looked with a sort of wonder at Dounia.
“It is strange,” he said, slowly, as though struck by a new idea.
“What am I making such a fuss for? What is it all about? Marry whom
you like!”
He said this as though to himself, but said it aloud, and looked for
some time at his sister, as though puzzled. He opened the letter at
last, still with the same look of strange wonder on his face. Then,
slowly and attentively, he began reading, and read it through twice.
Pulcheria Alexandrovna showed marked anxiety, and all indeed
expected something particular.
“What surprises me,” he began, after a short pause, handing the
letter to his mother, but not addressing any one in particular,”is
that he is a business man, a lawyer, and his conversation is
pretentious indeed, and yet he writes such an uneducated letter.”
They all started. They had expected something quite different.
“But they all write like that, you know,” Razumihin observed,
“Have you read it?”
“We showed him, Rodya. We… consulted him just now,” Pulcheria
Alexandrovna began, embarrassed.
“That’s just the jargon of the courts,” Razumihin put in.”Legal
documents are written like that to this day.”
“Legal? Yes, it’s just legal business language not so very
uneducated, and not quite educated business language!”
“Pyotr Petrovitch makes no secret of the fact that he had a cheap
education, he is proud indeed of having made his own way,” Avdotya
Romanovna observed, somewhat offended by her brother’s tone.
“Well, if he’s proud of it, he has reason, I don’t deny it. You seem
to be offended, sister, at my making only such a frivolous criticism
on the letter, and to think that I speak of such trifling matters on
purpose to annoy you. It is quite the contrary, an observation apropos
of the style occurred to me that is by no means irrelevant as things
stand. There is one expression,’blame yourselves’ put in very
significantly and plainly, and there is besides a threat that he
will go away at once if I am present. That threat to go away is
equivalent to a threat to abandon you both if you are disobedient, and
to abandon you now after summoning you to Petersburg. Well, what do
you think? Can one resent such an expression from Luzhin, as we should
if he (he pointed to Razumihin) had written it, or Zossimov, or one of
“Nno,” answered Dounia, with more animation.”I saw clearly that it
was too naively expressed, and that perhaps he simply has no skill
in writing… that is a true criticism, brother. I did not expect,
“It is expressed in legal style, and sounds coarser than perhaps
he intended. But I must disillusion you a little. There is one
expression in the letter, one slander about me, and rather a
contemptible one. I gave the money last night to the widow, a woman in
consumption, crushed with trouble, and not ‘on the pretext of the
funeral,’ but simply to pay for the funeral, and not to the
daughter a young woman, as he writes, of notorious behaviour (whom
I saw last night for the first time in my life) but to the widow.
In all this I see a too hasty desire to slander me and to raise
dissension between us. It is expressed again in legal jargon, that
is to say, with a too obvious display of the aim, and with a very
naive eagerness. He is a man of intelligence, but to act sensibly,
intelligence is not enough. It all shows the man and… I don’t
think he has a great esteem for you. I tell you this simply to warn
you, because I sincerely wish for your good…”
Dounia did not reply. Her resolution had been taken. She was only
awaiting the evening.
“Then what is your decision, Rodya?” asked Pulcheria Alexandrovna,
who was more uneasy than ever at the sudden, new businesslike tone
of his talk.
“What decision?”
“You see Pyotr Petrovitch writes that you are not to be with us this
evening, and that he will go away if you come. So will you… come?”
“That, of course, is not for me to decide, but for you first, if you
are not offended by such a request; and secondly, by Dounia, if she,
too, is not offended. I will do what you think best,” he added drily.
“Dounia has already decided, and I fully agree with her,”
Pulcheria Alexandrovna hastened to declare.
“I decided to ask you, Rodya, to urge you not to fail to be with
us at this interview,” said Dounia.”Will you come?”
“I will ask you, too, to be with us at eight o’clock,” she said,
addressing Razumihin.”Mother, I am inviting him, too.”
“Quite right, Dounia. Well, since you have decided,” added Pulcheria
Alexandrovna,”so be it. I shall feel easier myself. I do not like
concealment and deception. Better let us have the whole truth….
Pyotr Petrovitch may be angry or not, now!”

Chapter Four

AT THAT moment the door was softly opened, and a young girl walked
into the room, looking timidly about her. Every one turned towards her
with surprise and curiosity. At first sight, Raskolnikov did not
recognise her. It was Sofya Semyonovna Marmeladov. He had seen her
yesterday for the first time, but at such a moment, in such
surroundings and in such a dress, that his memory retained a very
different image of her. Now she was a modestly and poorlydressed
young girl, very young, indeed almost like a child, with a modest
and refined manner, with a candid but somewhat frightenedlooking
face. She was wearing a very plain indoor dress, and had on a shabby
oldfashioned hat, but she still carried a parasol. Unexpectedly
finding the room full of people, she was not so much embarrassed as
completely overwhelmed with shyness, like a little child. She was even
about to retreat.”Oh…. it’s you!” said Raskolnikov, extremely
astonished, and he, too, was confused. He at once recollected that his
mother and sister knew through Luzhin’s letter of “some young woman of
notorious behaviour.” He had only just been protesting against
Luzhin’s calumny and declaring that he had seen the girl last night
for the first time, and suddenly she had walked in. He remembered,
too, that he had not protested against the expression “of notorious
behaviour.” All this passed vaguely and fleetingly through his
brain, but looking at her more intently, he saw that the humiliated
creature was so humiliated that he felt suddenly sorry for her. When
she made a movement to retreat in terror, it sent a pang to his heart.
“I did not expect you,” he said, hurriedly, with a look that made
her stop.”Please sit down. You come, no doubt, from Katerina
Ivanovna. Allow me not there. Sit here….”
At Sonia’s entrance, Razumihin, who had been sitting on one of
Raskolnikov’s three chairs, close to the door, got up to allow her
to enter. Raskolnikov had at first shown her the place on the sofa
where Zossimov had been sitting, but feeling that the sofa which
served him as a bed, was too familiar a place, he hurriedly motioned
her to Razumihin’s chair.
“You sit here,” he said to Razumihin, putting him on the sofa.
Sonia sat down, almost shaking with terror, and looked timidly at
the two ladies. It was evidently almost inconceivable to herself
that she could sit down beside them. At the thought of it, she was
so frightened that she hurriedly got up again, and in utter
confusion addressed Raskolnikov.
“I… I… have come for one minute. Forgive me for disturbing you,”
she began falteringly.”I come from Katerina Ivanovna, and she had
no one to send. Katerina Ivanovna told me to beg you… to be at the
service… in the morning… at Mitrofanievsky… and then… to us…
to her… to do her the honour… she told me to beg you…” Sonia
stammered and ceased speaking.
“I will try, certainly, most certainly,” answered Raskolnikov. He,
too, stood up, and he, too, faltered and could not finish his
sentence.”Please sit down,” he said, suddenly.”I want to talk to
you. You are perhaps in a hurry, but please, be so kind, spare me
two minutes,” and he drew up a chair for her.
Sonia sat down again, and again timidly she took a hurried,
frightened look at the two ladies, and dropped her eyes. Raskolnikov’s
pale face flushed, a shudder passed over him, his eyes glowed.
“Mother,” he said, firmly and insistently,”this is Sofya Semyonovna
Marmeladov, the daughter of that unfortunate Mr. Marmeladov, who was
run over yesterday before my eyes, and of whom I was just telling
Pulcheria Alexandrovna glanced at Sonia, and slightly screwed up her
eyes. In spite of her embarrassment before Rodya’s urgent and
challenging look, she could not deny herself that satisfaction. Dounia
gazed gravely and intently into the poor girl’s face, and
scrutinised her with perplexity. Sonia, hearing herself introduced,
tried to raise her eyes again, but was more embarrassed than ever.
“I wanted to ask you,” said Raskolnikov, hastily,”how things were
arranged yesterday. You were not worried by the police, for instance?”
“No, that was all right… it was too evident, the cause of death…
they did not worry us… only the lodgers are angry.”
“At the body’s remaining so long. You see it is hot now. So that,
today, they will carry it to the cemetery, into the chapel, until
tomorrow. At first Katerina Ivanovna was unwilling, but now she
sees herself that it’s necessary…”
“Today, then?”
“She begs you to do us the honour to be in the church tomorrow
for the service, and then to be present at the funeral lunch.”
“She is giving a funeral lunch?”
“Yes… just a little…. She told me to thank you very much for
helping us yesterday. But for you, we should have had nothing for
the funeral.”
All at once her lips and chin began trembling, but, with an
effort, she controlled herself, looking down again.
During the conversation, Raskolnikov watched her carefully. She
had a thin, very thin, pale little face, rather irregular and angular,
with a sharp little nose and chin. She could not have been called
pretty, but her blue eyes were so clear, and when they lighted up,
there was such a kindliness and simplicity in her expression that
one could not help being attracted. Her face, and her whole figure
indeed, had another peculiar characteristic. In spite of her
eighteen years, she looked almost a little girl almost a child. And
in some of her gestures, this childishness seemed almost absurd.
“But has Katerina Ivanovna been able to manage with such small
means? Does she even mean to have a funeral lunch?” Raskolnikov asked,
persistently keeping up the conversation.
“The coffin will be plain, of course… and everything will be
plain, so it won’t cost much. Katerina Ivanovna and I have reckoned it
all out, so that there will be enough left… and Katerina Ivanovna
was very anxious it should be so. You know one can’t… it’s a comfort
to her… she is like that, you know….”
“I understand, I understand… of course… why do you look at my
room like that? My mother has just said it is like a tomb.”
“You gave us everything yesterday,” Sonia said suddenly, in reply,
in a loud rapid whisper; and again she looked down in confusion. Her
lips and chin were trembling once more. She had been struck at once by
Raskolnikov’s poor surroundings, and now these words broke out
spontaneously. A silence followed. There was a light in Dounia’s eyes,
and even Pulcheria Alexandrovna looked kindly at Sonia.
“Rodya,” she said, getting up,”we shall have dinner together, of
course. Come, Dounia…. And you, Rodya, had better go for a little
walk, and then rest and lie down before you come to see us…. I am
afraid we have exhausted you….”
“Yes, yes, I’ll come,” he answered, getting up fussily.”But I
have something to see to.”
“But surely you will have dinner together?” cried Razumihin, looking
in surprise at Raskolnikov.”What do you mean?”
“Yes, yes, I am coming… of course, of course! And you stay a
minute. You do not want him just now, do you, mother? Or perhaps I
am taking him from you?”
“Oh, no, no. And will you, Dmitri Prokofitch, do us the favour of
dining with us?”
“Please do,” added Dounia.
Razumihin bowed, positively radiant. For one moment, they were all
strangely embarrassed.
“Goodbye, Rodya, that is till we meet. I do not like saying
goodbye. Goodbye, Nastasya. Ah, I have said goodbye again.”
Pulcheria Alexandrovna meant to greet Sonia, too; but it somehow
failed to come off, and she went in a flutter out of the room.
But Avdotya Romanovna seemed to await her turn, and following her
mother out, gave Sonia an attentive, courteous bow. Sonia, in
confusion, gave a hurried, frightened curtsy. There was a look of
poignant discomfort in her face, as though Avdotya Romanovna’s
courtesy and attention were oppressive and painful to her.
“Dounia, goodbye,” called Raskolnikov, in the passage.”Give me
your hand.”
“Why, I did give it to you. Have you forgotten?” said Dounia,
turning warmly and awkwardly to him.
“Never mind, give it to me again.” And he squeezed her fingers
Dounia smiled, flushed, pulled her hand away, and went off quite
“Come, that’s capital,” he said to Sonia, going back and looking
brightly at her.”God give peace to the dead, the living have still to
live. That is right, isn’t it?”
Sonia looked surprised at the sudden brightness of his face. He
looked at her for some moments in silence. The whole history of the
dead father floated before his memory in those moments….

“Heavens, Dounia,” Pulcheria Alexandrovna began, as soon as they
were in the street,”I really feel relieved myself at coming away
more at ease. How little did I think yesterday in the train that I
could ever be glad of that.”
“I tell you again, mother, he is still very ill. Don’t you see it?
Perhaps worrying about us upset him. We must be patient, and much,
much can be forgiven.”
“Well, you were not very patient!” Pulcheria Alexandrovna caught her
up, hotly and jealously.”Do you know, Dounia, I was looking at you
two. You are the very portrait of him, and not so much in face as in
soul. You are both melancholy, both morose and hot tempered, both
haughty and both generous…. Surely he can’t be an egoist, Dounia.
Eh? When I think of what is in store for us this evening, my heart
“Don’t be uneasy, mother. What must be, will be.”
“Dounia, only think what a position we are in! What if Pyotr
Petrovitch breaks it off?” poor Pulcheria Alexandrovna blurted out,
“He won’t be worth much if he does,” answered Dounia, sharply and
“We did well to come away,” Pulcheria Alexandrovna hurriedly broke
in.”He was in a hurry about some business or other. If he gets out
and has a breath of air… it is fearfully close in his room…. But
where is one to get a breath of air here. The very streets here feel
like shutup rooms. Good heavens! what a town!… stay… this side…
they will crush you carrying something. Why, it is a piano they
have got, I declare… how they push… I am very much afraid of
that young woman, too.”
“What young woman, mother?
“Why, that Sofya Semyonovna, who was there just now.”
“I have a presentiment, Dounia. Well, you may believe it or not, but
as soon as she came in, that very minute, I felt that she was the
chief cause of the trouble….”
“Nothing of the sort!” cried Dounia, in vexation.”What nonsense,
with your presentiments, mother! He only made her acquaintance the
evening before, and he did not know her when she came in.”
“Well, you will see…. She worries me; but you will see, you will
see! I was so frightened. She was gazing at me with those eyes. I
could scarcely sit still in my chair when he began introducing her, do
you remember? It seems so strange, but Pyotr Petrovitch writes like
that about her, and he introduces her to us to you! So he must
think a great deal of her.”
“People will write anything. We were talked about and written about,
too. Have you forgotten? I am sure that she is a good girl, and that
it is all nonsense.”
“God grant it may be!”
“And Pyotr Petrovitch is a contemptible slanderer,” Dounia snapped
out, suddenly.
Pulcheria Alexandrovna was crushed; the conversation was not

“I will tell you what I want with you,” said Raskolnikov, drawing
Razumihin to the window.
“Then I will tell Katerina Ivanovna that you are coming,” Sonia said
hurriedly, preparing to depart.
“One minute, Sofya Semyonovna. We have no secrets. You are not in
our way. I want to have another word or two with you. Listen!” he
turned suddenly to Razumihin again.”You know that… what’s his
name… Porfiry Petrovitch?”
“I should think so! He is a relation. Why?” added the latter, with
“Is not he managing that case… you know about that murder?…
You were speaking about it yesterday.”
“Yes… well?” Razumihin’s eyes opened wide.
“He was inquiring for people who had pawned things, and I have
some pledges there, too trifles a ring my sister gave me as a
keepsake when I left home, and my father’s silver watch they are only
worth five or six roubles altogether… but I value them. So what am I
to do now? I do not want to lose the things, especially the watch. I
was quaking just now, for fear mother would ask to look at it, when we
spoke of Dounia’s watch. It is the only thing of father’s left us. She
would be ill if it were lost. You know what women are. So tell me what
to do. I know I ought to have given notice at the police station,
but would it not be better to go straight to Porfiry? Eh? What do
you think? The matter might be settled more quickly. You see mother
may ask for it before dinner.”
“Certainly not to the police station. Certainly to Porfiry,”
Razumihin shouted in extraordinary excitement.”Well, how glad I am.
Let us go at once. It is a couple of steps. We shall be sure to find
“Very well, let us go.”
“And he will be very, very glad to make your acquaintance. I have
often talked to him of you at different times. I was speaking of you
yesterday. Let us go. So you knew the old woman? So that’s it! It is
all turning out splendidly…. Oh, yes, Sofya Ivanovna…”
“Sofya Semyonovna,” corrected Raskolnikov.”Sofya Semyonovna, this
is my friend Razumihin, and he is a good man.”
“If you have to go now,” Sonia was beginning, not looking at
Razumihin at all, and still more embarrassed.
“Let us go,” decided Raskolnikov.”I will come to you today,
Sofya Semyonovna. Only tell me where you live.”
He was not exactly ill at ease, but seemed hurried, and avoided
her eyes. Sonia gave her address, and flushed as she did so. They
all went out together.
“Don’t you lock up?” asked Razumihin, following him on to the
“Never,” answered Raskolnikov.”I have been meaning to buy a lock
for these two years. People are happy who have no need of locks,” he
said, laughing, to Sonia. They stood still in the gateway.
“Do you go to the right, Sofya Semyonovna? How did you find me, by
the way?” he added, as though he wanted to say something quite
different. He wanted to look at her soft clear eyes, but this was
not easy.
“Why, you gave your address to Polenka yesterday.”
“Polenka? Oh, yes; Polenka, that is the little girl. She is your
sister? Did I give her the address?”
“Why, had you forgotten?”
“No, I remember.”
“I had heard my father speak of you… only I did not know your
name, and he did not know it. And now I came… and as I had learnt
your name, I asked today,’Where does Mr. Raskolnikov live?’ I did
not know you had only a room too…. Goodbye, I will tell Katerina
She was extremely glad to escape at last; she went away looking
down, hurrying to get out of sight as soon as possible, to walk the
twenty steps to the turning on the right and to be at last alone,
and then moving rapidly along, looking at no one, noticing nothing, to
think, to remember, to meditate on every word, every detail. Never,
never had she felt anything like this. Dimly and unconsciously a whole
new world was opening before her. She remembered suddenly that
Raskolnikov meant to come to her that day, perhaps at once!
“Only not today, please, not today!” she kept muttering with a
sinking heart, as though entreating some one, like a frightened child.
“Mercy! to me… to that room… he will see… oh, dear!”
She was not capable at that instant of noticing an unknown gentleman
who was watching her and following at her heels. He had accompanied
her from the gateway. At the moment when Razumihin, Raskolnikov, and
she stood still at parting on the pavement, this gentleman, who was
just passing, started on hearing Sonia’s words:”and I asked where Mr.
Raskolnikov lived?” He turned a rapid but attentive look upon all
three, especially upon Raskolnikov, to whom Sonia was speaking; then
looked back and noted the house. All this was done in an instant as he
passed, and trying not to betray his interest, he walked on more
slowly as though waiting for something. He was waiting for Sonia; he
saw that they were parting, and that Sonia was going home.
“Home? Where? I’ve seen that face somewhere,” he thought.”I must
find out.”
At the turning he crossed over, looked round, and saw Sonia coming
the same way, noticing nothing. She turned the corner. He followed her
on the other side. After about fifty paces he crossed over again,
overtook her and kept two or three yards behind her.
He was a man about fifty, rather tall and thickly set, with broad
high shoulders which made him look as though he stooped a little. He
wore good and fashionable clothes, and looked like a gentleman of
position. He carried a handsome cane, which he tapped on the
pavement at each step; his gloves were spotless. He had a broad,
rather pleasant face with high cheekbones and a fresh colour, not
often seen in Petersburg. His flaxen hair was still abundant, and only
touched here and there with grey, and his thick square beard was
even lighter than his hair. His eyes were blue and had a cold and
thoughtful look; his lips were crimson. He was a remarkedly
wellpreserved man and looked much younger than his years.
When Sonia came out on the canal bank, they were the only two
persons on the pavement. He observed her dreaminess and preoccupation.
On reaching the house where she lodged, Sonia turned in at the gate;
he followed her, seeming rather surprised. In the courtyard she turned
to the right corner.”Bah!” muttered the unknown gentleman, and
mounted the stairs behind her. Only then Sonia noticed him. She
reached the third storey, turned down the passage, and rang at No.
9. On the door was inscribed in chalk,”Kapernaumov, Tailor.””Bah!”
the stranger repeated again, wondering at the strange coincidence, and
he rang next door, at No. 8. The doors were two or three yards apart.
“You lodge at Kapernaumov’s,” he said, looking at Sonia and
laughing.”He altered a waistcoat for me yesterday. I am staying close
here at Madame Resslich’s. How odd!” Sonia looked at him attentively.
“We are neighbours,” he went on gaily.”I only came to town the
day before yesterday. Goodbye for the present.”
Sonia made no reply; the door opened and she slipped in. She felt
for some reason ashamed and uneasy.
On the way to Porfiry’s, Razumihin was obviously excited.
“That’s capital, brother,” he repeated several times,”and I am
glad! I am glad!”
“What are you glad about?” Raskolnikov thought to himself.
“I didn’t know that you pledged things at the old woman’s, too.
And… was it long ago? I mean, was it long since you were there?”
“What a simplehearted fool he is!”
“When was it?” Raskolnikov stopped still to recollect.”Two or three
days before her death it must have been. But I am not going to
redeem the things now,” he put in with a sort of hurried and
conspicuous solicitude about the things.”I’ve not more than a
silver rouble left… after last night’s accursed delirium!”
He laid special emphasis on the delirium.
“Yes, yes,” Razumihin hastened to agree with what was not clear.
“Then that’s why you… were struck… partly… you know in your
delirium you were continually mentioning some rings or chains! Yes,
yes… that’s clear, it’s all clear now.”
“Hullo! How that idea must have got about among them. Here this
man will go to the stake for me, and I find him delighted at having it
cleared up why I spoke of rings in my delirium! What a hold the idea
must have on all of them!”
“Shall we find him?” he asked suddenly.
“Oh, yes,” Razumihin answered quickly.”He is a nice fellow you will
see, brother. Rather clumsy, that is to say, he is a man of polished
manners, but I mean clumsy in a different sense. He is an
intelligent fellow, very much so indeed, but he has his own range of
ideas…. He is incredulous, sceptical, cynical… he likes to
impose on people, or rather to make fun of them. His is the old,
circumstantial method…. But he understands his work…
thoroughly…. Last year he cleared up a case of murder in which the
police had hardly a clue. He is very, very anxious to make your
“On what grounds is he so anxious?”
“Oh, it’s not exactly… you see, since you’ve been ill I happen
to have mentioned you several times…. So, when he heard about you…
about your being a law student and not able to finish your studies, he
said,’What a pity!’ And so I concluded… from everything together,
not only that; yesterday, Zametov… you know, Rodya, I talked some
nonsense on the way home to you yesterday, when I was drunk… I am
afraid, brother, of your exaggerating it, you see.”
“What? That they think I am a madman? Maybe they are right,” he said
with a constrained smile.
“Yes, yes…. That is, pooh, no!… But all that I said (and there
was something else too) it was all nonsense, drunken nonsense.”
“But why are you apologizing? I am so sick of it all!” Raskolnikov
cried with exaggerated irritability. It was partly assumed, however.
“I know, I know, I understand. Believe me, I understand. One’s
ashamed to speak of it.”
“If you are ashamed, then don’t speak of it.”
Both were silent. Razumihin was more than ecstatic and Raskolnikov
perceived it with repulsion. He was alarmed, too, by what Razumihin
had just said about Porfiry.
“I shall have to pull a long face with him too,” he thought, with
a beating heart, and he turned white,”and do it naturally, too. But
the most natural thing would be to do nothing at all. Carefully do
nothing at all! No, carefully would not be natural again…. Oh, well,
we shall see how it turns out…. We shall see… directly. Is it a
good thing to go or not? The butterfly flies to the light. My heart is
beating, that’s what’s bad!”
“In this grey house,” said Razumihin.
“The most important thing, does Porfiry know that I was at the old
hag’s flat yesterday… and asked about the blood? I must find that
out instantly, as soon as I go in, find out from his face;
otherwise… I’ll find out, if it’s my ruin.”
“I say, brother,” he said suddenly, addressing Razumihin, with a sly
smile,”I have been noticing all day that you seem to be curiously
excited. Isn’t it so?”
“Excited? Not a bit of it,” said Razumihin, stung to the quick.
“Yes, brother, I assure you it’s noticeable. Why, you sat on your
chair in a way you never do sit, on the edge somehow, and you seemed
to be writhing all the time. You kept jumping up for nothing. One
moment you were angry, and the next your face looked like a sweetmeat.
You even blushed; especially when you were invited to dinner, you
blushed awfully.”
“Nothing of the sort, nonsense! What do you mean?”
“But why are you wriggling out of it, like a schoolboy? By Jove,
there he’s blushing again.”
“What a pig you are!”
“But why are you so shamefaced about it? Romeo! Stay, I’ll tell of
you today. Hahaha! I’ll make mother laugh, and some one else,
“Listen, listen, listen, this is serious…. What next, you
fiend!” Razumihin was utterly overwhelmed, turning cold with horror.
“What will you tell them? Come, brother… foo, what a pig you are!”
“You are like a summer rose. And if only you knew how it suits
you; a Romeo over six foot high! And how you’ve washed today you
cleaned your nails, I declare. Eh? That’s something unheard of! Why, I
do believe you’ve got pomaturn on your hair! Bend down.”
Raskolnikov laughed as though he could not restrain himself. So
laughing, they entered Porfiry Petrovitch’s flat. This is what
Raskolnikov wanted: from within they could be heard laughing as they
came in, still guffawing in the passage.
“Not a word here or I’ll… brain you!” Razumihin whispered
furiously, seizing Raskolnikov by the shoulder.

Chapter Five

RASKOLNIKOV was already entering the room. He came in looking as
though he had the utmost difficulty not to burst out laughing again.
Behind him Razumihin strode in gawky and awkward, shamefaced and red
as a peony, with an utterly crestfallen and ferocious expression.
His face and whole figure really were ridiculous at that moment and
amply justified Raskolnikov’s laughter. Raskolnikov, not waiting for
an introduction, bowed to Porfiry Petrovitch, who stood in the
middle of the room looking inquiringly at them. He held out his hand
and shook hands, still apparently making desperate efforts to subdue
his mirth and utter a few words to introduce himself. But he had no
sooner succeeded in assuming a serious air and muttering something
when he suddenly glanced again as though accidentally at Razumihin,
and could no longer control himself: his stifled laughter broke out
the more irresistibly the more he tried to restrain it. The
extraordinary ferocity with which Razumihin received this
“spontaneous” mirth gave the whole scene the appearance of most
genuine fun and naturalness. Razumihin strengthened this impression as
though on purpose.
“Fool! You fiend,” he roared, waving his arm which at once struck
a little round table with an empty teaglass on it. Everything was
sent flying and crashing.
“But why break chairs, gentlemen? You know it’s a loss to the
Crown,” Porfiry Petrovitch quoted gaily.
Raskolnikov was still laughing, with his hand in Porfiry
Petrovitch’s, but anxious not to overdo it, awaited the right moment
to put a natural end to it. Razumihin, completely put to confusion
by upsetting the table and smashing the glass, gazed gloomily at the
fragments, cursed and turned sharply to the window where he stood
looking out with his back to the company with a fiercely scowling
countenance, seeing nothing. Porfiry Petrovitch laughed and was
ready to go on laughing, but obviously looked for explanations.
Zametov had been sitting in the corner, but he rose at the visitors’
entrance and was standing in expectation with a smile on his lips,
though he looked with surprise and even it seemed incredulity at the
whole scene and at Raskolnikov with a certain embarrassment. Zametov’s
unexpected presence struck Raskolnikov unpleasantly.
“I’ve got to think of that,” he thought.”Excuse me, please,” he
began, affecting extreme embarrassment.”Raskolnikov.”
“Not at all, very pleasant to see you… and how pleasantly you’ve
come in…. Why, won’t he even say goodmorning?” Porfiry Petrovitch
nodded at Razumihin.
“Upon my honour I don’t know why he is in such a rage with me. I
only told him as we came along that he was like Romeo… and proved
it. And that was all, I think!”
“Pig!” ejaculated Razumihin, without turning round.
“There must have been very grave grounds for it, if he is so furious
at the word,” Porfiry laughed.
“Oh, you sharp lawyer!… Damn you all!” snapped Razumihin, and
suddenly bursting out laughing himself, he went up to Porfiry with a
more cheerful face as though nothing had happened.”That’ll do! We are
all fools. To come to business. This is my friend Rodion Romanovitch
Raskolnikov; in the first place he has heard of you and wants to
make your acquaintance, and secondly, he has a little matter of
business with you. Bah! Zametov, what brought you here? Have you met
before? Have you known each other long?”
“What does this mean?” thought Raskolnikov uneasily.
Zametov seemed taken aback, but not very much so.
“Why, it was at your rooms we met yesterday,” he said easily.
“Then I have been spared the trouble. All last week he was begging
me to introduce him to you. Porfiry and you have sniffed each other
out without me. Where is your tobacco?”
Porfiry Petrovitch was wearing a dressinggown, very clean linen,
and troddendown slippers. He was a man of about five and thirty,
short, stout even to corpulence, and clean shaven. He wore his hair
cut short and had a large round head, particularly prominent at the
back. His soft, round, rather snubnosed face was of a sickly
yellowish colour, but had a vigorous and rather ironical expression.
It would have been goodnatured, except for a look in the eyes,
which shone with a watery, mawkish light under almost white,
blinking eyelashes. The expression of those eyes was strangely out
of keeping with his somewhat womanish figure, and gave it something
far more serious than could be guessed at first sight.
As soon as Porfiry Petrovitch heard that his visitor had a little
matter of business with him, he begged him to sit down on the sofa and
sat down himself on the other end, waiting for him to explain his
business, with that careful and overserious attention which is at
once oppressive and embarrassing, especially to a stranger, and
especially if what you are discussing is in your opinion of far too
little importance for such exceptional solemnity. But in brief and
coherent phrases Raskolnikov explained his business clearly and
exactly, and was so well satisfied with himself that he even succeeded
in taking a good look at Porfiry. Porfiry Petrovitch did not once take
his eyes off him. Razumihin, sitting opposite at the same table,
listened warmly and impatiently, looking from one to the other every
moment with rather excessive interest.
“Fool,” Raskolnikov swore to himself.
“You have to give information to the police,” Porfiry replied,
with a most businesslike air,”that having learnt of this incident,
that is of the murder, you beg to inform the lawyer in charge of the
case that such and such things belong to you, and that you desire to
redeem them… or… but they will write to you.”
“That’s just the point, that at the present moment,” Raskolnikov
tried his utmost to feign embarrassment,”I am not quite in funds…
and even this trifling sum is beyond me… I only wanted, you see, for
the present to declare that the things are mine, and that when I
have money….”
“That’s no matter,” answered Porfiry Petrovitch, receiving his
explanation of his pecuniary position coldly,”but you can, if you
prefer, write straight to me, to say, that having been informed of the
matter, and claiming such and such as your property, you beg…”
“On an ordinary sheet of paper?” Raskolnikov interrupted eagerly,
again interested in the financial side of the question.
“Oh, the most ordinary,” and suddenly Porfiry Petrovitch looked with
obvious irony at him, screwing up his eyes and as it were winking at
him. But perhaps it was Raskolnikov’s fancy, for it all lasted but a
moment. There was certainly something of the sort, Raskolnikov could
have sworn he winked at him, goodness knows why.
“He knows,” flashed through his mind like lightning.
“Forgive my troubling you about such trifles,” he went on, a
little disconcerted,”the things are only worth five roubles, but I
prize them particularly for the sake of those from whom they came to
me, and I must confess that I was alarmed when I heard…”
“That’s why you were so much struck when I mentioned to Zossimov
that Porfiry was inquiring for every one who had pledges!” Razumihin
put in with obvious intention.
This was really unbearable. Raskolnikov could not help glancing at
him with a flash of vindictive anger in his black eyes, but
immediately recollected himself.
“You seem to be jeering at me, brother?” he said to him, with a
wellfeigned irritability.”I dare say I do seem to you absurdly
anxious about such trash; but you mustn’t think me selfish or grasping
for that, and these two things may be anything but trash in my eyes. I
told you just now that the silver watch, though it’s not worth a cent,
is the only thing left us of my father’s. You may laugh at me, but
my mother is here,” he turned suddenly to Porfiry,”and if she
knew,” he turned again hurriedly to Razumihin, carefully making his
voice tremble,”that the watch was lost, she would be in despair!
You know what women are!”
“Not a bit of it! I didn’t mean that at all! Quite the contrary!”
shouted Razumihin distressed.
“Was it right? Was it natural? Did I overdo it?” Raskolnikov asked
himself in a tremor.”Why did I say that about women?”
“Oh, your mother is with you?” Porfiry Petrovitch inquired.
“When did she come?”
“Last night.”
Porfiry paused as though reflecting.
“Your things would not in any case be lost,” he went on calmly and
coldly.”I have been expecting you here for some time.”
And as though that was a matter of no importance, he carefully
offered the ashtray to Razumihin, who was ruthlessly scattering
cigarette ash over the carpet. Raskolnikov shuddered, but Porfiry
did not seem to be looking at him, and was still concerned with
Razumihin’s cigarette.
“What? Expecting him? Why, did you know that he had pledges
there?” cried Razumihin.
Porfiry Petrovitch addressed himself to Raskolnikov.
“Your things, the ring and the watch, were wrapped up together,
and on the paper your name was legibly written in pencil, together
with the date on which you left them with her…”
“How observant you are!” Raskolnikov smiled awkwardly, doing his
very utmost to look him straight in the face, but he failed, and
suddenly added:
“I say that because I suppose there were a great many pledges…
that it must be difficult to remember them all…. But you remember
them all so clearly, and… and…”
“Stupid! Feeble!” he thought.”Why did I add that?”
“But we know all who had pledges, and you are the only one who
hasn’t come forward,” Porfiry answered with hardly perceptible irony.
“I haven’t been quite well.”
“I heard that too. I heard, indeed, that you were in great
distress about something. You look pale still.”
“I am not pale at all…. No, I am quite well,” Raskolnikov
snapped out rudely and angrily, completely changing his tone. His
anger was mounting, he could not repress it.”And in my anger I
shall betray myself,” flashed through his mind again.”Why are they
torturing me?”
“Not quite well!” Razumihin caught him up.”What next! He was
unconscious and delirious all yesterday. Would you believe, Porfiry,
as soon as our backs were turned, he dressed, though he could hardly
stand, and gave us the slip and went off on a spree somewhere till
midnight, delirious all the time! Would you believe it!
“Really delirious? You don’t say so!” Porfiry shook his head in a
womanish way.
“Nonsense! Don’t you believe it! But you don’t believe it anyway,”
Raskolnikov let slip in his anger. But Porfiry Petrovitch did not seem
to catch those strange words.
“But how could you have gone out if you hadn’t been delirious?”
Razumihin got hot suddenly.”What did you go out for? What was the
object of it? And why on the sly? Were you in your senses when you did
it? Now that all danger is over I can speak plainly.”
“I was awfully sick of them yesterday.” Raskolnikov addressed
Porfiry suddenly with a smile of insolent defiance,”I ran away from
them to take lodgings where they wouldn’t find me, and took a lot of
money with me. Mr. Zametov there saw it. I say, Mr. Zametov, was I
sensible or delirious yesterday; settle our dispute.”
He could have strangled Zametov at that moment, so hated were his
expression and his silence to him.
“In my opinion you talked sensibly and even artfully, but you were
extremely irritable,” Zametov pronounced dryly.
“And Nikodim Fomitch was telling me today,” put in Porfiry
Petrovitch,”that he met you very late last night in the lodging of
a man who had been run over.”
“And there,” said Razumihin,”weren’t you mad then? You gave your
last penny to the widow for the funeral. If you wanted to help, give
fifteen or twenty even, but keep three roubles for yourself at
least, but he flung away all the twentyfive at once!”
“Maybe I found a treasure somewhere and you know nothing of it? So
that’s why I was liberal yesterday…. Mr. Zametov knows I’ve found
a treasure! Excuse us, please, for disturbing you for half an hour
with such trivialities,” he said turning to Porfiry Petrovitch, with
trembling lips.”We are boring you, aren’t we?”
“Oh no, quite the contrary, quite the contrary! If only you knew how
you interest me! It’s interesting to look on and listen… and I am
really glad you have come forward at last.”
“But you might give us some tea! My throat’s dry,” cried Razumihin.
“Capital idea! Perhaps we will all keep you company. Wouldn’t you
like… something more essential before tea?”
“Get along with you!”
Porfiry Petrovitch went out to order tea.
Raskolnikov’s thoughts were in a whirl. He was in terrible
“The worst of it is they don’t disguise it; they don’t care to stand
on ceremony! And how if you didn’t know me at all, did you come to
talk to Nikodim Fomitch about me? So they didn’t care to hide that
they are tracking me like a pack of dogs. They simply spit in my
face.” He was shaking with rage.”Come, strike me openly, don’t play
with me like a cat with a mouse. It’s hardly civil, Porfiry
Petrovitch, but perhaps I won’t allow it! I shall get up and throw the
whole truth in your ugly faces, and you’ll see how I despise you.”
He could hardly breathe.”And what if it’s only my fancy? What if I am
mistaken, and through inexperience I get angry and don’t keep up my
nasty part? Perhaps it’s all unintentional. All their phrases are
the usual ones, but there is something about them…. It all might
be said, but there is something. Why did he say bluntly,’With her’?
Why did Zametov add that I spoke artfully? Why do they speak in that
tone? Yes, the tone…. Razumihin is sitting here, why does he see
nothing? That innocent blockhead never does see anything! Feverish
again! Did Porfiry wink at me just now? Of course it’s nonsense!
What could he wink for? Are they trying to upset my nerves or are they
teasing me? Either it’s ill fancy or they know! Even Zametov is
rude…. Is Zametov rude? Zametov has changed his mind. I foresaw he
would change his mind! He is at home here, while it’s my first
visit. Porfiry does not consider him a visitor; sits with his back
to him. They’re as thick as thieves, no doubt, over me! Not a doubt
they were talking about me before we came. Do they know about the
flat? If only they’d make haste! When I said that I ran away to take a
flat he let it pass…. I put that in cleverly about a flat, it may be
of use afterwards…. Delirious, indeed… hahaha! He knows all
about last night! He didn’t know of my mother’s arrival! The hag had
written the date on in pencil! You are wrong, you won’t catch me!
There are no facts… it’s all supposition! You produce facts! The
flat even isn’t a fact but delirium. I know what to say to them…. Do
they know about the flat? I won’t go without finding out. What did I
come for? But my being angry now, maybe is a fact! Fool, how irritable
I am! Perhaps that’s right; to play the invalid…. He is feeling
me. He will try to catch me. Why did I come?”
All this flashed like lightning through his mind.
Porfiry Petrovitch returned quickly. He became suddenly more jovial.
“Your party yesterday, brother, has left my head rather…. And I am
out of sorts altogether,” he began in quite a different tone, laughing
to Razumihin.
“Was it interesting? I left you yesterday at the most interesting
point. Who got the best of it?”
“Oh, no one, of course. They got on to everlasting questions,
floated off into space.”
“Only fancy, Rodya, what we got on to yesterday. Whether there is
such a thing as crime. I told you that we talked our heads off.”
“What is there strange? It’s an everyday social question,”
Raskolnikov answered casually.
“The question wasn’t put quite like that,” observed Porfiry.
“Not quite, that’s true,” Razumihin agreed at once, getting warm and
hurried as usual.”Listen, Rodion, and tell us your opinion, I want to
hear it. I was fighting tooth and nail with them and wanted you to
help me. I told them you were coming…. It began with the socialist
doctrine. You know their doctrine; crime is a protest against the
abnormality of the social organization and nothing more, and nothing
more; no other causes admitted!…”
“You are wrong there,” cried Porfiry Petrovitch; he was noticeably
animated and kept laughing as he looked at Razumihin which made him
more excited than ever.
“Nothing is admitted,” Razumihin interrupted with heat.
“I am not wrong. I’ll show you their pamphlets. Everything with them
is ‘the influence of environment,’ and nothing else. Their favourite
phrase! From which it follows that, if society is normally
organized, all crime will cease at once, since there will be nothing
to protest against and all men will become righteous in one instant.
Human nature is not taken into account, it is excluded, it’s not
supposed to exist! They don’t recognise that humanity, developing by a
historical living process, will become at last a normal society, but
they believe that a social system that has come out of some
mathematical brain is going to organise all humanity at once and
make it just and sinless in an instant, quicker than any living
process! That’s why they instinctively dislike history,’nothing but
ugliness and stupidity in it,’ and they explain it all as stupidity!
That’s why they so dislike the living process of life; they don’t want
a living soul! The living soul demands life, the soul won’t obey the
rules of mechanics, the soul is an object of suspicion, the soul is
retrograde! But what they want though it smells of death and can be
made of Indiarubber, at least is not alive, has no will, is servile
and won’t revolt! And it comes in the end to their reducing everything
to the building of walls and the planning of rooms and passages in a
phalanstery! The phalanstery is ready, indeed, but your human nature
is not ready for the phalanstery it wants life, it hasn’t completed
its vital process, it’s too soon for the graveyard! You can’t skip
over nature by logic. Logic presupposes three possibilities, but there
are millions! Cut away a million, and reduce it all to the question of
comfort! That’s the easiest solution of the problem! It’s
seductively clear and you musn’t think about it. That’s the great
thing, you mustn’t think! The whole secret of life in two pages of
“Now he is off, beating the drum! Catch hold of him, do!” laughed
Porfiry.”Can you imagine,” he turned to Raskolnikov,”six people
holding forth like that last night, in one room, with punch as a
preliminary! No, brother, you are wrong, environment accounts for a
great deal in crime; I can assure you of that.”
“Oh, I know it does, but just tell me: a man of forty violates a
child of ten; was it environment drove him to it?”
“Well, strictly speaking, it did,” Porfiry observed with
noteworthy gravity;”a crime of that nature may be very well
ascribed to the influence of environment.”
Razumihin was almost in a frenzy.”Oh, if you like,” he roared.
“I’ll prove to you that your white eyelashes may very well be ascribed
to the Church of Ivan the Great’s being two hundred and fifty feet
high, and I will prove it clearly, exactly, progressively, and even
with a Liberal tendency! I undertake to! Will you bet on it?”
“Done! Let’s hear, please, how he will prove it!”
“He is always humbugging, confound him,” cried Razumihin, jumping up
and gesticulating.”What’s the use of talking to you! He does all that
on purpose; you don’t know him, Rodion! He took their side
yesterday, simply to make fools of them. And the things he said
yesterday! And they were delighted! He can keep it up for a
fortnight together. Last year he persuaded us that he was going into a
monastery: he stuck to it for two months. Not long ago he took it into
his head to declare he was going to get married, that he had
everything ready for the wedding. He ordered new clothes indeed. We
all began to congratulate him. There was no bride, nothing, all pure
“Ah, you are wrong! I got the clothes before. It was the new clothes
in fact that made me think of taking you in.”
“Are you such a good dissembler?” Raskolnikov asked carelessly.
“You wouldn’t have supposed it, eh? Wait a bit, I shall take you in,
too. Hahaha! No, I’ll tell you the truth. All these questions
about crime, environment, children, recall to my mind an article of
yours which interested me at the time.’On Crime’… or something of
the sort, I forget the title, I read it with pleasure two months ago
in the Periodical Review.”
“My article? In the Periodical Review?” Raskolnikov asked in
astonishment.”I certainly did write an article upon a book six months
ago when I left the university, but I sent it to the Weekly Review.”
“But it came out in the Periodical.”
“And the Weekly Review ceased to exist, so that’s why it wasn’t
printed at the time.”
“That’s true; but when it ceased to exist, the Weekly Review was
amalgamated with the Periodical, and so your article appeared two
months ago in the latter. Didn’t you know?”
Raskolnikov had not known.
“Why, you might get some money out of them for the article! What a
strange person you are! You lead such a solitary life that you know
nothing of matters that concern you directly. It’s a fact, I assure
“Bravo, Rodya! I knew nothing about it either!” cried Razumihin.
“I’ll run today to the readingroom and ask for the number. Two
months ago? What was the date? It doesn’t matter though, I will find
it. Think of not telling us!”
“How did you find out that the article was mine? It’s only signed
with an initial.”
“I only learnt it by chance, the other day. Through the editor; I
know him…. I was very much interested.”
“It analysed, if I remember, the psychology of a criminal before and
after the crime.”
“Yes, and you maintained that the perpetration of a crime is
always accompanied by illness. Very, very original, but… it was
not that part of your article that interested me so much, but an
idea at the end of the article which I regret to say you merely
suggested without working it out clearly. There is, if you
recollect, a suggestion that there are certain persons who can… that
is, not precisely are able to, but have a perfect right to commit
breaches of morality and crimes, and that the law is not for them.”
Raskolnikov smiled at the exaggerated and intentional distortion
of his idea.
“What? What do you mean? A right to crime? But not because of the
influence of environment?” Razumihin inquired with some alarm even.
“No, not exactly because of it,” answered Porfiry.”In his article
all men are divided into ‘ordinary’ and ‘extraordinary.’ Ordinary
men have to live in submission, have no right to transgress the law,
because, don’t you see, they are ordinary. But extraordinary men
have a right to commit any crime and to transgress the law in any way,
just because they are extraordinary. That was your idea, if I am not
“What do you mean? That can’t be right?” Razumihin muttered in
Raskolnikov smiled again. He saw the point at once, and knew where
they wanted to drive him. He decided to take up the challenge.
“That wasn’t quite my contention,” he began simply and modestly.
“Yet I admit that you have stated it almost correctly; perhaps, if you
like, perfectly so.”(It almost gave him pleasure to admit this.)”The
only difference is that I don’t contend that extraordinary people
are always bound to commit breaches of morals, as you call it. In
fact, I doubt whether such an argument could be published. I simply
hinted that an ‘extraordinary’ man has the right… that is not an
official right, but an inner right to decide in his own conscience
to overstep… certain obstacles, and only in case it is essential for
the practical fulfilment of his idea (sometimes, perhaps, of benefit
to the whole of humanity). You say that my article isn’t definite; I
am ready to make it as clear as I can. Perhaps I am right in
thinking you want me to; very well. I maintain that if the discoveries
of Kepler and Newton could not have been made known except by
sacrificing the lives of one, a dozen, a hundred, or more men,
Newton would have had the right, would indeed have been in duty
bound… to eliminate the dozen or the hundred men for the sake of
making his discoveries known to the whole of humanity. But it does not
follow from that that Newton had a right to murder people right and
left and to steal every day in the market. Then, I remember, I
maintain in my article that all… well, legislators and leaders of
men, such as Lycurgus, Solon, Mahomet, Napoleon, and so on, were all
without exception criminals, from the very fact that, making a new
law, they transgressed the ancient one, handed down from their
ancestors and held sacred by the people, and they did not stop short
at bloodshed either, if that bloodshed often of innocent persons
fighting bravely in defence of ancient law were of use to their
cause. It’s remarkable, in fact, that the majority, indeed, of these
benefactors and leaders of humanity were guilty of terrible carnage.
In short, I maintain that all great men or even men a little out of
the common, that is to say capable of giving some new word, must
from their very nature be criminals more or less, of course.
Otherwise it’s hard for them to get out of the common rut; and to
remain in the common rut is what they can’t submit to, from their very
nature again, and to my mind they ought not, indeed, to submit to
it. You see that there is nothing particularly new in all that. The
same thing has been printed and read a thousand times before. As for
my division of people into ordinary and extraordinary, I acknowledge
that it’s somewhat arbitrary, but I don’t insist upon exact numbers. I
only believe in my leading idea that men are in general divided by a
law of nature into two categories, inferior (ordinary), that is, so to
say, material that serves only to reproduce its kind, and men who have
the gift or the talent to utter a new word. There are, of course,
innumerable subdivisions, but the distinguishing features of both
categories are fairly well marked. The first category, generally
speaking, are men conservative in temperament and lawabiding; they
live under control and love to be controlled. To my thinking it is
their duty to be controlled, because that’s their vocation, and
there is nothing humiliating in it for them. The second category all
transgress the law; they are destroyers or disposed to destruction
according to their capacities. The crimes of these men are of course
relative and varied; for the most part they seek in very varied ways
the destruction of the present for the sake of the better. But if such
a one is forced for the sake of his idea to step over a corpse or wade
through blood, he can, I maintain, find within himself, in his
conscience, a sanction for wading through blood that depends on the
idea and its dimensions, note that. It’s only in that sense I speak of
their right to crime in my article (you remember it began with the
legal question). There’s no need for such anxiety, however; the masses
will scarcely ever admit this right, they punish them or hang them
(more or less), and in doing so fulfil quite justly their conservative
vocation. But the same masses set these criminals on a pedestal in the
next generation and worship them (more or less). The first category is
always the man of the present, the second the man of the future. The
first preserve the world and people it, the second move the world
and lead it to its goal. Each class has an equal right to exist. In
fact, all have equal rights with me and vive la guerre eternelle
till the New Jerusalem, of course!”
“Then you believe in the New Jerusalem, do you?”
“I do,” Raskolnikov answered firmly; as he said these words and
during the whole preceding tirade he kept his eyes on one spot on
the carpet.
“And… and do you believe in God? Excuse my curiosity.”
“I do,” repeated Raskolnikov, raising his eyes to Porfiry.
“And… do you believe in Lazarus’ rising from the dead?”
“I… I do. Why do you ask all this?”
“You believe it literally?”
“You don’t say so…. I asked from curiosity. Excuse me. But let
us go back to the question; they are not always executed. Some, on the
“Triumph in their lifetime? Oh, yes, some attain their ends in
this life, and then…”
“They begin executing other people?”
“If it’s necessary; indeed, for the most part they do. Your remark
is very witty.”
“Thank you. But tell me this: how do you distinguish those
extraordinary people from the ordinary ones? Are there signs at
their birth? I feel there ought to be more exactitude, more external
definition. Excuse the natural anxiety of a practical lawabiding
citizen, but couldn’t they adopt a special uniform, for instance,
couldn’t they wear something, be branded in some way? For you know
if confusion arises and a member of one category imagines that he
belongs to the other, begins to ‘eliminate obstacles,’ as you so
happily expressed it, then…”
“Oh, that very often happens! That remark is wittier than the
“Thank you.”
“No reason to; but take note that the mistake can only arise in
the first category, that is among the ordinary people (as I perhaps
unfortunately called them). In spite of their predisposition to
obedience very many of them, through a playfulness of nature,
sometimes vouchsafed even to the cow, like to imagine themselves
advanced people,’destroyers,’ and to push themselves into the ‘new
movement,’ and this quite sincerely. Meanwhile the really new people
are very often unobserved by them, or even despised as reactionaries
of grovelling tendencies. But I don’t think there is any
considerable danger here, and you really need not be uneasy for they
never go very far. Of course, they might have a thrashing sometimes
for letting their fancy run away with them and to teach them their
place, but no more; in fact, even this isn’t necessary as they
castigate themselves, for they are very conscientious: some perform
this service for one another and others chastise themselves with their
own hands…. They will impose various public acts of penitence upon
themselves with a beautiful and edifying effect; in fact you’ve
nothing to be uneasy about…. It’s a law of nature.”
“Well, you have certainly set my mind more at rest on that score;
but there’s another thing worries me. Tell me, please, are there
many people who have the right to kill others, these extraordinary
people? I am ready to bow down to them, of course, but you must
admit it’s alarming if there are a great many of them, eh?”
“Oh, you needn’t worry about that either,” Raskolnikov went on in
the same tone.”People with new ideas, people with the faintest
capacity for saying something new, are extremely few in number,
extraordinarily so in fact. One thing only is clear, that the
appearance of all these grades and subdivisions of men must follow
with unfailing regularity some law of nature. That law, of course,
is unknown at present, but I am convinced that it exists, and one
day may become known. The vast mass of mankind is mere material, and
only exists in order by some great effort, by some mysterious process,
by means of some crossing of races and stocks, to bring into the world
at last perhaps one man out of a thousand with a spark of
independence. One in ten thousand perhaps I speak roughly,
approximately is born with some independence, and with still
greater independence one in a hundred thousand. The man of genius is
one of millions, and the great geniuses, the crown of humanity, appear
on earth perhaps one in many thousand millions. In fact I have not
peeped into the retort in which all this takes place. But there
certainly is and must be a definite law, it cannot be a matter of
“Why, are you both joking?” Razumihin cried at last.”There you sit,
making fun of one another. Are you serious, Rodya?”
Raskolnikov raised his pale and almost mournful face and made no
reply. And the unconcealed, persistent, nervous, and discourteous
sarcasm of Porfiry seemed strange to Razumihin beside that quiet and
mournful face.
“Well, brother, if you are really serious… You are right, of
course, in saying that it’s not new, that it’s like what we’ve read
and heard a thousand times already; but what is really original in all
this, and is exclusively your own, to my horror, is that you
sanction bloodshed in the name of conscience, and, excuse my saying
so, with such fanaticism…. That, I take it, is the point of your
article. But that sanction of bloodshed by conscience is to my mind…
more terrible than the official, legal sanction of bloodshed….”
“You are quite right, it is more terrible,” Porfiry agreed.
“Yes, you must have exaggerated! There is some mistake, I shall read
it. You can’t think that! I shall read it.”
“All that is not in the article, there’s only a hint of it,” said
“Yes, yes.” Porfiry couldn’t sit still.”Your attitude to crime is
pretty clear to me now, but… excuse me for my impertinence (I am
really ashamed to be worrying you like this), you see, you’ve
removed my anxiety as to the two grades’ getting mixed, but… there
are various practical possibilities that make me uneasy! What if
some man or youth imagines that he is a Lycurgus or Mahomet a
future one of course and suppose he begins to remove all
obstacles…. He has some great enterprise before him and needs
money for it… and tries to get it… do you see?”
Zametov gave a sudden guffaw in his corner. Raskolnikov did not even
raise his eyes to him.
“I must admit,” he went on calmly,”that such cases certainly must
arise. The vain and foolish are particularly apt to fall into that
snare; young people especially.”
“Yes, you see. Well then?”
“What then?” Raskolnikov smiled in reply;”that’s not my fault. So
it is and so it always will be. He said just now (he nodded at
Razumihin) that I sanction bloodshed. Society is too well protected by
prisons, banishment, criminal investigators, penal servitude.
There’s no need to be uneasy. You have but to catch the thief.”
“And what if we do catch him?”
“Then he gets what he deserves.”
“You are certainly logical. But what of his conscience?”
“Why do you care about that?”
“Simply from humanity.”
“If he has a conscience he will suffer for his mistake. That will be
his punishment as well as the prison.”
“But the real geniuses,” asked Razumihin frowning,”those who have
the right to murder? Oughtn’t they to suffer at all even for the blood
they’ve shed?”
“Why the word ought? It’s not a matter of permission or prohibition.
He will suffer if he is sorry for his victim. Pain and suffering are
always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart. The
really great men must, I think, have great sadness on earth,” he added
dreamily, not in the tone of the conversation.
He raised his eyes, looked earnestly at them all, smiled, and took
his cap. He was too quiet by comparison with his manner at his
entrance, and he felt this. Every one got up.
“Well, you may abuse me, be angry with me if you like,” Porfiry
Petrovitch began again,”but I can’t resist. Allow me one little
question (I know I am troubling you). There is just one little
notion I want to express, simply that I may not forget it.”
“Very good, tell me your little notion,” Raskolnikov stood
waiting, pale and grave before him.
“Well, you see… I really don’t know how to express it properly….
It’s a playful, psychological idea…. When you were writing your
article, surely you couldn’t have helped, hehe, fancying
yourself… just a little, an ‘extraordinary’ man, uttering a new word
in your sense…. That’s so, isn’t it?”
“Quite possibly,” Raskolnikov answered contemptuously.
Razumihin made a movement.
“And, if so, could you bring yourself in case of worldly
difficulties and hardship or for some service to humanity to overstep
obstacles?… For instance, to rob and murder?”
And again he winked with his left eye, and laughed noiselessly
just as before.
“If I did I certainly should not tell you,” Raskolnikov answered
with defiant and haughty contempt.
“No, I was only interested on account of your article, from a
literary point of view…”
“Foo, how obvious and insolent that is,” Raskolnikov thought with
“Allow me to observe,” he answered dryly,”that I don’t consider
myself a Mahomet or a Napoleon, nor any personage of that kind, and
not being one of them I cannot tell you how I should act.”
“Oh, come, don’t we all think ourselves Napoleons now in Russia?”
Porfiry Petrovitch said with alarming familiarity.
Something peculiar betrayed itself in the very intonation of his
“Perhaps it was one of these future Napoleons who did for Alyona
Ivanovna last week?” Zametov blurted out from the corner.
Raskolnikov did not speak, but looked firmly and intently at
Porfiry. Razumihin was scowling gloomily. He seemed before this to
be noticing something. He looked angrily around. There was a minute of
gloomy silence. Raskolnikov turned to go.
“Are you going already?” Porfiry said amiably, holding out his
hand with excessive politeness.”Very, very glad of your acquaintance.
As for your request, have no uneasiness, write just as I told you, or,
better still, come to me there yourself in a day or two…
tomorrow, indeed. I shall be there at eleven o’clock for certain.
We’ll arrange it all; we’ll have a talk. As one of the last to be
there, you might perhaps be able to tell us something,” he added
with a most goodnatured expression.
“You want to crossexamine me officially in due form?” Raskolnikov
asked sharply.
“Oh, why? That’s not necessary for the present. You misunderstand
me. I lose no opportunity, you see, and… I’ve talked with all who
had pledges…. I obtained evidence from some of them, and you are the
last…. Yes, by the way,” he cried, seemingly suddenly delighted,
“I just remember, what was I thinking of?” he turned to Razumihin,
“you were talking my ears off about that Nikolay… of course, I know,
I know very well,” he turned to Raskolnikov,”that the fellow is
innocent, but what is one to do? We had to trouble Dmitri too…. This
is the point, this is all: when you went up the stairs it was past
seven, wasn’t it?”
“Yes,” answered Raskolnikov, with an unpleasant sensation at the
very moment he spoke that he need not have said it.
“Then when you went upstairs between seven and eight, didn’t you see
in a flat that stood open on a second storey, do you remember, two
workmen or at least one of them? They were painting there, didn’t
you notice them? It’s very, very important for them.”
“Painters? No, I didn’t see them,” Raskolnikov answered slowly, as
though ransacking his memory, while at the same instant he was racking
every nerve, almost swooning with anxiety to conjecture as quickly
as possible where the trap lay and not to overlook anything.”No, I
didn’t see them, and I don’t think I noticed a flat like that open….
But on the fourth storey”(he had mastered the trap now and was
triumphant)”I remember now that some one was moving out of the flat
opposite Alyona Ivanovna’s…. I remember… I remember it clearly.
Some porters were carrying out a sofa and they squeezed me against the
wall. But painters… no, I don’t remember that there were any
painters, and I don’t think that there was a flat open anywhere, no,
there wasn’t.”
“What do you mean?” Razumihin shouted suddenly, as though he had
reflected and realised.”Why, it was on the day of the murder the
painters were at work, and he was there three days before? What are
you asking?”
“Foo! I have muddled it!” Porfiry slapped himself on the forehead.
“Deuce take it! This business is turning my brain!” he addressed
Raskolnikov somewhat apologetically.”It would be such a great thing
for us to find out whether any one had seen them between seven and
eight at the flat, so I fancied you could perhaps have told us
something…. I quite muddled it.”
“Then you should be more careful,” Razumihin observed grimly.
The last words were uttered in the passage. Porfiry Petrovitch saw
them to the door with excessive politeness.
They went out into the street gloomy and sullen, and for some
steps they did not say a word. Raskolnikov drew a deep breath.

Chapter Six

“I DON’T BELIEVE it, I can’t believe it!” repeated Razumihin, trying
in perplexity to refute Raskolnikov’s arguments.
They were by now approaching Bakaleyev’s lodgings, where Pulcheria
Alexandrovna and Dounia had been expecting them a long while.
Razumihin kept stopping on the way in the heat of discussion, confused
and excited by the very fact that they were for the first time
speaking openly about it.
“Don’t believe it, then!” answered Raskolnikov, with a cold,
careless smile.”You were noticing nothing as usual, but I was
weighing every word.”
“You are suspicious. That is why you weighed their words… h’m…
certainly, I agree, Porfiry’s tone was rather strange, and still
more that wretch Zametov!… You are right, there was something
about him but why? Why?”
“He has changed his mind since last night.”
“Quite the contrary! If they had that brainless idea, they would
do their utmost to hide it, and conceal their cards, so as to catch
you afterwards…. But it was all impudent and careless.”
“If they had had facts I mean, real facts or at least grounds
for suspicion, then they would certainly have tried to hide their
game, in the hope of getting more (they would have made a search
long ago besides). But they have no facts, not one. It is all
mirage all ambiguous. Simply a floating idea. So they try to throw me
out by impudence. And perhaps, he was irritated at having no facts,
and blurted it out in his vexation or perhaps he has some plan…
he seems an intelligent man. Perhaps he wanted to frighten me by
pretending to know. They have a psychology of their own, brother.
But it is loathsome explaining it all. Stop!”
“And it’s insulting, insulting! I understand you. But… since we
have spoken openly now (and it is an excellent thing that we have at
last I am glad) I will own now frankly that I noticed it in them long
ago, this idea. Of course the merest hint only an insinuation but
why an insinuation even? How dare they? What foundation have they?
If only you knew how furious I have been. Think only! Simply because a
poor student, unhinged by poverty and hypochondria, on the eve of a
severe delirious illness (note that), suspicious, vain, proud, who has
not seen a soul to speak to for six months, in rags and in boots
without soles, has to face some wretched policemen and put up with
their insolence; and the unexpected debt thrust under his nose, the
I.O.U. presented by Tchebarov, the new paint, thirty degrees Reaumur
and a stifling atmosphere, a crowd of people, the talk about the
murder of a person where he had been just before, and all that on an
empty stomach he might well have a fainting fit! And that, that is
what they found it all on! Damn them! I understand how annoying it is,
but in your place, Rodya, I would laugh at them, or better still, spit
in their ugly faces, and spit a dozen times in all directions. I’d hit
out in all directions, neatly too, and so I’d put an end to it. Damn
them! Don’t be downhearted. It’s a shame!”
“He really has put it well, though,” Raskolnikov thought.
“Damn them? But the crossexamination again, tomorrow?” he said
with bitterness.”Must I really enter into explanations with them? I
feel vexed as it is that I condescended to speak to Zametov
yesterday in the restaurant….”
“Damn it! I will go myself to Porfiry. I will squeeze it out of him,
as one of the family: he must let me know the ins and outs of it
all! And as for Zametov…”
“At last he sees through him!” thought Raskolnikov.
“Stay!” cried Razumihin, seizing him by the shoulder again.”Stay!
you were wrong. I have thought it out. You are wrong! How was that a
trap? You say that the question about the workmen was a trap. But if
you had done that, could you have said you had seen them painting
the flat… and the workmen? On the contrary, you would have seen
nothing, even if you had seen it. Who would own it against himself?”
“If I had done that thing, I should certainly have said that I had
seen the workmen and the flat.” Raskolnikov answered, with
reluctance and obvious disgust.
“But why speak against yourself?”
“Because only peasants, or the most inexperienced novices deny
everything flatly at examinations. If a man is ever so little
developed and experienced, he will certainly try to admit all the
external facts that can’t be avoided, but will seek other explanations
of them, will introduce some special, unexpected turn, that will
give them another significance and put them in another light.
Porfiry might well reckon that I should be sure to answer so, and
say I had seen them to give an air of truth, and then make some
“But he would have told you at once, that the workmen could not have
been there two days before, and that therefore you must have been
there on the day of the murder at eight o’clock. And so he would
have caught you over a detail.”
“Yes, that is what he was reckoning on, that I should not have
time to reflect, and should be in a hurry to make the most likely
answer, and so would forget that the workmen could not have been there
two days before.”
“But how could you forget it?”
“Nothing easier. It is in just such stupid things clever people
are most easily caught. The more cunning a man is, the less he
suspects that he will be caught in a simple thing. The more cunning
a man is, the simpler the trap he must be caught in. Porfiry is not
such a fool as you think….”
“He is a knave then, if that is so!”
Raskolnikov could not help laughing. But at the very moment, he
was struck by the strangeness of his own frankness, and the
eagerness with which he had made this explanation, though he had
kept up all the preceding conversation with gloomy repulsion,
obviously with a motive, from necessity.
“I am getting a relish for certain aspects!” he thought to
himself. But almost at the same instant, he became suddenly uneasy, as
though an unexpected and alarming idea had occurred to him. His
uneasiness kept on increasing. They had just reached the entrance to
“Go in alone!” said Raskolnikov suddenly.”I will be back directly.”
“Where are you going? Why, we are just here.”
“I can’t help it…. I will come in half an hour. Tell them.”
“Say what you like, I will come with you.”
“You, too, want to torture me!” he screamed, with such bitter
irritation, such despair in his eyes that Razumihin’s hands dropped.
He stood for some time on the steps, looking gloomily at Raskolnikov
striding rapidly away in the direction of his lodging. At last,
gritting his teeth and clenching his fist, he swore he would squeeze
Porfiry like a lemon that very day, and went up the stairs to reassure
Pulcheria Alexandrovna, who was by now alarmed at their long absence.
When Raskolnikov got home, his hair was soaked with sweat and he was
breathing heavily. He went rapidly up the stairs, walked into his
unlocked room and at once fastened the latch. Then in senseless terror
he rushed to the corner, to that hole under the paper where he had put
the thing; put his hand in, and for some minutes felt carefully in the
hole, in every crack and fold of the paper. Finding nothing, he got up
and drew a deep breath. As he was reaching the steps of Bakaleyev’s,
he suddenly fancied that something, a chain, a stud or even a bit of
paper in which they had been wrapped with the old woman’s
handwriting on it, might somehow have slipped out and been lost in
some crack, and then might suddenly turn up as unexpected,
conclusive evidence against him.
He stood as though lost in thought, and a strange, humiliated,
half senseless smile strayed on his lips. He took his cap at last
and went quietly out of the room. His ideas were all tangled. He
went dreamily through the gateway.
“Here he is himself,” shouted a loud voice.
He raised his head.
The porter was standing at the door of his little room and was
pointing him out to a short man who looked like an artisan, wearing
a long coat and a waistcoat, and looking at a distance remarkably like
a woman. He stooped, and his head in a greasy cap hung forward. From
his wrinkled flabby face he looked over fifty; his little eyes were
lost in fat and they looked out grimly, sternly and discontentedly.
“What is it?” Raskolnikov asked, going up to the porter.
The man stole a look at him from under his brows and he looked at
him attentively, deliberately; then he turned slowly and went out of
the gate into the street without saying a word.
“What is it?” cried Raskolnikov.
“Why, he there was asking whether a student lived here, mentioned
your name and whom you lodged with. I saw you coming and pointed you
out and he went away. It’s funny.”
The porter too seemed rather puzzled, but not much so, and after
wondering for a moment he turned and went back to his room.
Raskolnikov ran after the stranger, and at once caught sight of
him walking along the other side of the street with the same even,
deliberate step with his eyes fixed on the ground, as though in
meditation. He soon overtook him, but for some time walked behind him.
At last, moving on to a level with him, he looked at his face. The man
noticed him at once, looked at him quickly, but dropped his eyes
again; and so they walked for a minute side by side without uttering a
“You were inquiring for me… of the porter?” Raskolnikov said at
last, but in a curiously quiet voice.
The man made no answer; he didn’t even look at him. Again they
were both silent.
“Why do you… come and ask for me… and say nothing…. What’s the
meaning of it?”
Raskolnikov’s voice broke and he seemed unable to articulate the
words clearly.
The man raised his eyes this time and turned a gloomy sinister
look at Raskolnikov.
“Murderer!” he said suddenly in a quiet but clear and distinct
Raskolnikov went on walking beside him. His legs felt suddenly weak,
a cold shiver ran down his spine, and his heart seemed to stand
still for a moment, then suddenly began throbbing as though it were
set free. So they walked for about a hundred paces, side by side in
The man did not look at him.
“What do you mean… what is…. Who is a murderer?” muttered
Raskolnikov hardly audibly.
“You are a murderer,” the man answered still more articulately and
emphatically, with a smile of triumphant hatred, and again he looked
straight into Raskolnikov’s pale face and stricken eyes.
They had just reached the crossroads. The man turned to the left
without looking behind him. Raskolnikov remained standing, gazing
after him. He saw him turn round fifty paces away and look back at him
still standing there. Raskolnikov could not see clearly, but he
fancied that he was again smiling the same smile of cold hatred and
With slow faltering steps, with shaking knees, Raskolnikov made
his way back to his little garret, feeling chilled all over. He took
off his cap and put it on the table, and for ten minutes he stood
without moving. Then he sank exhausted on the sofa and with a weak
moan of pain he stretched himself on it. So he lay for half an hour.
He thought of nothing. Some thoughts or fragments of thoughts,
some images without order or coherence floated before his mind
faces of people he had seen in his childhood or met somewhere once,
whom he would never have recalled, the belfry of the church at V., the
billiard table in a restaurant and some officers playing billiards,
the smell of cigars in some underground tobacco shop, a tavern room, a
back staircase quite dark, all sloppy with dirty water and strewn with
egg shells, and the Sunday bells floating in from somewhere…. The
images followed one another, whirling like a hurricane. Some of them
he liked and tried to clutch at, but they faded and all the while
there was an oppression within him, but it was not overwhelming,
sometimes it was even pleasant…. The slight shivering still
persisted, but that too was an almost pleasant sensation.
He heard the hurried footsteps of Razumihin; he closed his eyes
and pretended to be asleep. Razumihin opened the door and stood for
some time in the doorway as though hesitating, then he stepped
softly into the room and went cautiously to the sofa. Raskolnikov
heard Nastasya’s whisper:
“Don’t disturb him! Let him sleep. He can have his dinner later.”
“Quite so,” answered Razumihin. Both withdrew carefully and closed
the door. Another halfhour passed. Raskolnikov opened his eyes,
turned on his back again, clasping his hands behind his head.
“Who is he? Who is that man who sprang out of the earth? Where was
he, what did he see? He has seen it all, that’s clear. Where was he
then? And from where did he see? Why has he only now sprung out of the
earth? And how could he see? Is it possible? Hm…” continued
Raskolnikov, turning cold and shivering,”and the jewel case Nikolay
found behind the door was that possible? A clue? You miss an
infinitesimal line and you can build it into a pyramid of evidence!
A fly flew by and saw it! Is it possible?” He felt with sudden
loathing how weak, how physically weak he had become.”I ought to have
known it,” he thought with a bitter smile.”And how dared I, knowing
myself, knowing how I should be, take up an axe and shed blood! I
ought to have known beforehand…. Ah, but I did know!” he whispered
in despair. At times he came to a standstill at some thought.
“No, those men are not made so. The real Master to whom all is
permitted storms Toulon, makes a massacre in Paris, forgets an army in
Egypt, wastes half a million men in the Moscow expedition and gets off
with a jest at Vilna. And altars are set up to him after his death,
and so all is permitted. No, such people it seems are not of flesh but
of bronze!”
One sudden irrelevant idea almost made him laugh. Napoleon, the
pyramids, Waterloo, and a wretched skinny old woman, a pawnbroker with
a red trunk under her bed it’s a nice hash for Porfiry Petrovitch
to digest! How can they digest it! It’s too inartistic.”A Napoleon
creep under an old woman’s bed! Ugh, how loathsome!”
At moments he felt he was raving. He sank into a state of feverish
excitement.”The old woman is of no consequence,” he thought, hotly
and incoherently.”The old woman was a mistake perhaps, but she is not
what matters! The old woman was only an illness…. I was in a hurry
to overstep…. I didn’t kill a human being, but a principle! I killed
the principle, but I didn’t overstep, I stopped on this side…. I was
only capable of killing. And it seems I wasn’t even capable of that…
Principle? Why was that fool Razumihin abusing the socialists? They
are industrious, commercial people;’the happiness of all’ is their
case. No, life is only given to me once and I shall never have it
again; I don’t want to wait for ‘the happiness of all.’ I want to live
myself, or else better not live at all. I simply couldn’t pass by my
mother starving, keeping my trouble in my pocket while I waited for
the ‘happiness of all.’ I am putting my little brick into the
happiness of all and so my heart is at peace. Haha! Why have you
let me slip? I only live once, I too want…. Ech, I am an aesthetic
louse and nothing more,” he added suddenly, laughing like a madman.
“Yes, I am certainly a louse,” he went on, clutching at the idea,
gloating over it and playing with it with vindictive pleasure.”In the
first place, because I can reason that I am one, and secondly, because
for a month past I have been troubling benevolent Providence,
calling it to witness that not for my own fleshly lusts did I
undertake it, but with a grand and noble object haha! Thirdly,
because I aimed at carrying it out as justly as possible, weighing,
measuring and calculating. Of all the lice I picked out the most
useless one and proposed to take from her only as much as I needed for
the first step, no more nor less (so the rest would have gone to a
monastery, according to her will, haha!). And what shows that I am
utterly a louse,” he added, grinding his teeth,”is that I am
perhaps viler and more loathsome than the louse I killed, and I felt
beforehand that I should tell myself so after killing her. Can
anything be compared with the horror of that! The vulgarity! The
abjectness! I understand the ‘prophet’ with his sabre, on his steed:
Allah commands and ‘trembling’ creation must obey! The ‘prophet’ is
right, he is right when he sets a battery across the street and
blows up the innocent and the guilty without deigning to explain! It’s
for you to obey, trembling creation, and not to have desires, for
that’s not for you!… I shall never, never forgive the old woman!”
His hair was soaked with sweat, his quivering lips were parched, his
eyes were fixed on the ceiling.
“Mother, sister how I loved them! Why do I hate them now? Yes, I
hate them, I feel a physical hatred for them, I can’t bear them near
me…. I went up to my mother and kissed her, I remember…. To
embrace her and think if she only knew… shall I tell her then?
That’s just what I might do…. She must be the same as I am,” he
added, straining himself to think, as it were struggling with
delirium.”Ah, how I hate the old woman now! I feel I should kill
her again if she came to life! Poor Lizaveta! Why did she come
in?… It’s strange though, why is it I scarcely ever think of her, as
though I hadn’t killed her! Lizaveta! Sonia! Poor gentle things,
with gentle eyes…. Dear women! Why don’t they weep? Why don’t they
moan? They give up everything… their eyes are soft and gentle….
Sonia, Sonia! Gentle Sonia!”
He lost consciousness; it seemed strange to him that he didn’t
remember how he got into the street. It was late evening. The twilight
had fallen and the full moon was shining more and more brightly; but
there was a peculiar breathlessness in the air. There were crowds of
people in the street; workmen and business people were making their
way home; other people had come out for a walk; there was a smell of
mortar, dust and stagnant water. Raskolnikov walked along, mournful
and anxious; he was distinctly aware of having come out with a
purpose, of having to do something in a hurry, but what it was he
had forgotten. Suddenly he stood still and saw a man standing on the
other side of the street, beckoning to him. He crossed over to him,
but at once the man turned and walked away with his head hanging, as
though he had made no sign to him.”Stay, did he really beckon?”
Raskolnikov wondered, but he tried to overtake him. When he was within
ten paces he recognised him and was frightened; it was the same man
with stooping shoulders in the long coat. Raskolnikov followed him
at a distance; his heart was beating; they went down a turning; the
man still did not look round.”Does he know I am following him?”
thought Raskolnikov. The man went into the gateway of a big house.
Raskolnikov hastened to the gate and looked in to see whether he would
look round and sign to him. In the courtyard the man did turn round
and again seemed to beckon him. Raskolnikov at once followed him
into the yard, but the man was gone. He must have gone up the first
staircase. Raskolnikov rushed after him. He heard slow measured
steps two flights above. The staircase seemed strangely familiar. He
reached the window on the first floor; the moon shone through the
panes with a melancholy and mysterious light; then he reached the
second floor. Bah! this is the flat where the painters were at work…
but how was it he did not recognise it at once? The steps of the man
above had died away.”So he must have stopped or hidden somewhere.” He
reached the third storey, should he go on? There was a stillness
that was dreadful…. But he went on. The sound of his own footsteps
scared and frightened him. How dark it was! The man must be hiding
in some corner here. Ah! the flat was standing wide open, he hesitated
and went in. It was very dark and empty in the passage, as though
everything had been removed; he crept on tiptoe into the parlour which
was flooded with moonlight. Everything there was as before, the
chairs, the lookingglass, the yellow sofa and the pictures in the
frames. A huge, round, copperred moon looked in at the windows.”It’s
the moon that makes it so still, weaving some mystery,” thought
Raskolnikov. He stood and waited, waited a long while, and the more
silent the moonlight, the more violently his heart beat, till it was
painful. And still the same hush. Suddenly he heard a momentary
sharp crack like the snapping of a splinter and all was still again. A
fly flew up suddenly and struck the window pane with a plaintive buzz.
At that moment he noticed in the corner between the window and the
little cupboard something like a cloak hanging on the wall.”Why is
that cloak here?” he thought,”it wasn’t there before….” He went
up to it quietly and felt that there was some one hiding behind it. He
cautiously moved the cloak and saw, sitting on a chair in the
corner, the old woman bent double so that he couldn’t see her face;
but it was she. He stood over her.”She is afraid,” he thought. He
stealthily took the axe from the noose and struck her one blow, then
another on the skull. But strange to say she did not stir, as though
she were made of wood. He was frightened, bent down nearer and tried
to look at her; but she, too, bent her head lower. He bent right
down to the ground and peeped up into her face from below, he peeped
and turned cold with horror: the old woman was sitting and laughing,
shaking with noiseless laughter, doing her utmost that he should not
hear it. Suddenly he fancied that the door from the bedroom was opened
a little and that there was laughter and whispering within. He was
overcome with frenzy and he began hitting the old woman on the head
with all his force, but at every blow of the axe the laughter and
whispering from the bedroom grew louder and the old woman was simply
shaking with mirth. He was rushing away, but the passage was full of
people, the doors of the flats stood open and on the landing, on the
stairs and everywhere below there were people, rows of heads, all
looking, but huddled together in silence and expectation. Something
gripped his heart, his legs were rooted to the spot, they would not
move…. He tried to scream and woke up.
He drew a deep breath but his dream seemed strangely to persist:
his door was flung open and a man whom he had never seen stood in
the doorway watching him intently.
Raskolnikov had hardly opened his eyes and he instantly closed
them again. He lay on his back without stirring.
“Is it still a dream?” he wondered and again raised his eyelids
hardly perceptibly; the stranger was standing in the same place, still
watching him.
He stepped cautiously into the room, carefully closing the door
after him, went up to the table, paused a moment, still keeping his
eyes on Raskolnikov and noiselessly seated himself on the chair by the
sofa; he put his hat on the floor beside him and leaned his hands on
his cane and his chin on his hands. It was evident that he was
prepared to wait indefinitely. As far as Raskolnikov could make out
from his stolen glances, he was a man no longer young, stout, with a
full, fair, almost whitish beard.
Ten minutes passed. It was still light, but beginning to get dusk.
There was complete stillness in the room. Not a sound came from the
stairs. Only a big fly buzzed and fluttered against the window pane.
It was unbearable at last. Raskolnikov suddenly got up and sat on
the sofa.
“Come, tell me what you want.”
“I knew you were not asleep, but only pretending,” the stranger
answered oddly, laughing calmly.”Arkady Ivanovitch Svidrigailov,
allow me to introduce myself….”

Chapter One

“CAN this be still a dream?” Raskolnikov thought once more.
He looked carefully and suspiciously at the unexpected visitor.
“Svidrigailov! What nonsense! It can’t be!” he said at last aloud in
His visitor did not seem at all surprised at this exclamation.
“I’ve come to you for two reasons. In the first place, I wanted to
make your personal acquaintance, as I have already heard a great
deal about you that is interesting and flattering; secondly, I cherish
the hope that you may not refuse to assist me in a matter directly
concerning the welfare of your sister, Avdotya Romanovna. For
without your support she might not let me come near her now, for she
is prejudiced against me, but with your assistance I reckon on…”
“You reckon wrongly,” interrupted Raskolnikov.
“They only arrived yesterday, may I ask you?”
Raskolnikov made no reply.
“It was yesterday, I know. I only arrived myself the day before.
Well, let me tell you this, Rodion Romanovitch, I don’t consider it
necessary to justify myself, but kindly tell me what was there
particularly criminal on my part in all this business, speaking
without prejudice, with common sense?”
Raskolnikov continued to look at him in silence.
“That in my own house I persecuted a defenceless girl and
‘insulted her with my infamous proposals’ is that it?(I am
anticipating you.) But you’ve only to assume that I, too, am a man
et nihil humanum… in a word, that I am capable of being attracted
and falling in love (which does not depend on our will), then
everything can be explained in the most natural manner. The question
is, am I a monster, or am I myself a victim? And what if I am a
victim? In proposing to the object of my passion to elope with me to
America or Switzerland, I may have cherished the deepest respect for
her, and may have thought that I was promoting our mutual happiness!
Reason is the slave of passion, you know; why, probably, I was doing
more harm to myself than any one!”
“But that’s not the point,” Raskolnikov interrupted with disgust.
“It’s simply that whether you are right or wrong, we dislike you. We
don’t want to have anything to do with you. We show you the door. Go
Svidrigailov broke into a sudden laugh.
“But you’re… but there’s no getting round you,” he said,
laughing in the frankest way.”I hoped to get round you, but you
took up the right line at once!”
“But you are trying to get round me still!”
“What of it? What of it?” cried Svidrigailov, laughing openly.
“But this is what the French call bonne guerre, and the most
innocent form of deception!… But still you have interrupted me;
one way or another, I repeat again: there would never have been any
unpleasantness except for what happened in the garden. Marfa
“You have got rid of Marfa Petrovna, too, so they say?”
Raskolnikov interrupted rudely.
“Oh, you’ve heard that, too, then? You’d be sure to, though….
But as for your question, I really don’t know what to say, though my
own conscience is quite at rest on that score. Don’t suppose that I am
in any apprehension about it. All was regular and in order; the
medical inquiry diagnosed apoplexy due to bathing immediately after
a heavy dinner and a bottle of wine, and indeed it could have proved
nothing else. But I’ll tell you what I have been thinking to myself of
late, on my way here in the train, especially: didn’t I contribute
to all that… calamity, morally, in a way, by irritation or something
of the sort. But I came to the conclusion that that, too, was quite
out of the question.”
Raskolnikov laughed.
“I wonder you trouble yourself about it!”
“But what are you laughing at? Only consider, I struck her just
twice with a switch there were no marks even… don’t regard me as
a cynic, please; I am perfectly aware how atrocious it was of me and
all that; but I know for certain, too, that Marfa Petrovna was very
likely pleased at my, so to say, warmth. The story of your sister
had been wrung out to the last drop; for the last three days Marfa
Petrovna had been forced to sit at home; she had nothing to show
herself with in the town. Besides, she had bored them so with that
letter (you heard about her reading the letter). And all of a sudden
those two switches fell from heaven! Her first act was to order the
carriage to be got out…. Not to speak of the fact that there are
cases when women are very, very glad to be insulted in spite of all
their show of indignation. There are instances of it with every one;
human beings in general, indeed, greatly love to be insulted, have you
noticed that? But it’s particularly so with women. One might even
say it’s their only amusement.”
At one time Raskolnikov thought of getting up and walking out and so
finishing the interview. But some curiosity and even a sort of
prudence made him linger for a moment.
“You are fond of fighting?” he asked carelessly.
“No, not very,” Svidrigailov answered, calmly.”And Marfa Petrovna
and I scarcely ever fought. We lived very harmoniously, and she was
always pleased with me. I only used the whip twice in all our seven
years (not counting a third occasion of a very ambiguous character).
The first time, two months after our marriage, immediately after we
arrived in the country, and the last time was that of which we are
speaking. Did you suppose I was such a monster, such a reactionary,
such a slave driver? Ha, ha! By the way, do you remember, Rodion
Romanovitch, how a few years ago, in those days of beneficent
publicity, a nobleman, I’ve forgotten his name, was put to shame
everywhere, in all the papers, for having thrashed a German woman in
the railway train. You remember? It was in those days, that very
year I believe, the ‘disgraceful action of the Age’ took place (you
know,’The Egyptian Nights,’ that public reading, you remember? The
dark eyes, you know! Ah, the golden days of our youth, where are
they?). Well, as for the gentleman who thrashed the German, I feel
no sympathy with him, because after all what need is there for
sympathy? But I must say that there are sometimes such provoking
‘Germans’ that I don’t believe there is a progressive who could
quite answer for himself. No one looked at the subject from that point
of view then, but that’s the truly humane point of view, I assure
After saying this, Svidrigailov broke into a sudden laugh again.
Raskolnikov saw clearly that this was a man with a firm purpose in his
mind and able to keep it to himself.
“I expect you’ve not talked to any one for some days?” he asked.
“Scarcely any one. I suppose you are wondering at my being such an
adaptable man?”
“No, I am only wondering at your being too adaptable a man.”
“Because I am not offended at the rudeness of your questions? Is
that it? But why take offence? As you asked, so I answered,” he
replied, with a surprising expression of simplicity.”You know,
there’s hardly anything I take interest in,” he went on, as it were
dreamily,”especially now, I’ve nothing to do…. You are quite at
liberty to imagine though that I am making up to you with a motive,
particularly as I told you I want to see your sister about
something. But I’ll confess frankly, I am very much bored. The last
three days especially, so I am delighted to see you…. Don’t be
angry, Rodion Romanovitch, but you seem to be somehow awfully
strange yourself. Say what you like, there’s something wrong with you,
and now, too… not this very minute, I mean, but now, generally….
Well, well, I won’t, I won’t, don’t scowl! I am not such a bear, you
know, as you think.”
Raskolnikov looked gloomily at him.
“You are not a bear, perhaps, at all,” he said.”I fancy indeed that
you are a man of very good breeding, or at least know how on
occasion to behave like one.”
“I am not particularly interested in any one’s opinion,”
Svidrigailov answered, dryly and even with a shade of haughtiness,
“and therefore why not be vulgar at times when vulgarity is such a
convenient cloak for our climate… and especially if one has a
natural propensity that way,” he added, laughing again.
“But I’ve heard you have many friends here. You are, as they say,
‘not without connections.’ What can you want with me, then, unless
you’ve some special object?”
“That’s true that I have friends here,” Svidrigailov admitted, not
replying to the chief point.”I’ve met some already. I’ve been
lounging about for the last three days, and I’ve seen them, or they’ve
seen me. That’s a matter of course. I am well dressed and reckoned not
a poor man; the emancipation of the serfs hasn’t affected me; my
property consists chiefly of forests and water meadows. The revenue
has not fallen off; but… I am not going to see them, I was sick of
them long ago. I’ve been here three days and have called on no one….
What a town it is! How has it come into existence among us, tell me
that? A town of officials and students of all sorts. Yes, there’s a
great deal I didn’t notice when I was here eight years ago, kicking up
my heels…. My only hope now is in anatomy, by Jove, it is!”
“But as for these clubs, Dussauts, parades, or progress, indeed, may
be well, all that can go on without me,” he went on, again without
noticing the question.”Besides, who wants to be a cardsharper?”
“Why, have you been a cardsharper then?”
“How could I help being? There was a regular set of us, men of the
best society, eight years ago; we had a fine time. And all men of
breeding, you know, poets, men of property. And indeed as a rule in
our Russian society, the best manners are found among those who’ve
been thrashed, have you noticed that? I’ve deteriorated in the
country. But I did get into prison for debt, through a low Greek who
came from Nezhin. Then Marfa Petrovna turned up; she bargained with
him and bought me off for thirty thousand silver pieces (I owed
seventy thousand). We were united in lawful wedlock and she bore me
off into the country like a treasure. You know she was five years
older than I. She was very fond of me. For seven years I never left
the country. And, take note, that all my life she held a document over
me, the I.O.U. for thirty thousand roubles, so if I were to elect to
be restive about anything I should be trapped at once! And she would
have done it! Women find nothing incompatible in that.”
“If it hadn’t been for that, would you have given her the slip?”
“I don’t know what to say. It was scarcely the document restrained
me. I didn’t want to go anywhere else. Marfa Petrovna herself
invited me to go abroad, seeing I was bored, but I’ve been abroad
before, and always felt sick there. For no reason, but the sunrise,
the bay of Naples, the sea you look at them and it makes you sad.
What’s most revolting is that one is really sad! No, it’s better at
home. Here at least one blames others for everything and excuses
oneself. I should have gone perhaps on an expedition to the North
Pole, because j’ai le vin mauvais and hate drinking, and there’s
nothing left but wine. I have tried it. But, I say, I’ve been told
Berg is going up in a great balloon next Sunday from the Yusupov
Garden and will take up passengers at a fee. Is it true?”
“Why, would you go up?”
“I… No, oh, no,” muttered Svidrigailov really seeming to be deep
in thought.
“What does he mean? Is he in earnest?” Raskolnikov wondered.
“No, the document didn’t restrain me,” Svidrigailov went on,
meditatively.”It was my own doing, not leaving the country, and
nearly a year ago Marfa Petrovna gave me back the document on my
name day and made me a present of a considerable sum of money, too.
She had a fortune, you know.’You see how I trust you, Arkady
Ivanovitch’ that was actually her expression. You don’t believe she
used it? But do you know I managed the estate quite decently, they
know me in the neighbourhood. I ordered books, too. Marfa Petrovna
at first approved, but afterwards she was afraid of my overstudying.”
“You seem to be missing Marfa Petrovna very much?”
“Missing her? Perhaps. Really, perhaps I am. And, by the way, do you
believe in ghosts?”
“What ghosts?”
“Why, ordinary ghosts.”
“Do you believe in them?”
“Perhaps not, pour vous plaire…. I wouldn’t say no exactly.”
“Do you see them, then?”
Svidrigailov looked at him rather oddly.
“Marfa Petrovna is pleased to visit me,” he said, twisting his mouth
into a strange smile.
“How do you mean ‘she is pleased to visit you’?”
“She has been three times. I saw her first on the very day of the
funeral, an hour after she was buried. It was the day before I left to
come here. The second time was the day before yesterday, at
daybreak, on the journey at the station of Malaya Vishera, and the
third time was two hours ago in the room where I am staying. I was
“Were you awake?”
“Quite awake. I was wide awake every time. She comes, speaks to me
for a minute and goes out at the door always at the door. I can
almost hear her.”
“What made me think that something of the sort must be happening
to you?” Raskolnikov said suddenly.
At the same moment he was surprised at having said it. He was much
“What! Did you think so?” Svidrigailov asked in astonishment.”Did
you really? Didn’t I say that there was something in common between
us, eh?”
“You never said so!” Raskolnikov cried sharply and with heat.
“Didn’t I?”
“I thought I did. When I came in and saw you lying with your eyes
shut, pretending, I said to myself at once ‘here’s the man.'”
“What do you mean by ‘the man?’ What are you talking about?” cried
“What do I mean? I really don’t know….” Svidrigailov muttered
ingenuously, as though he, too, were puzzled.
For a minute they were silent. They stared in each other’s faces.
“That’s all nonsense!” Raskolnikov shouted with vexation.”What does
she say when she comes to you?”
“She! Would you believe it, she talks of the silliest trifles and
man is a strange creature it makes me angry. The first time she
came in (I was tired you know: the funeral service, the funeral
ceremony, the lunch afterwards. At last I was left alone in my
study. I lighted a cigar and began to think), she came in at the door.
‘You’ve been so busy today, Arkady Ivanovitch, you have forgotten
to wind the dining room clock,’ she said. All those seven years I’ve
wound that clock every week, and if I forgot it she would always
remind me. The next day I set off on my way here. I got out at the
station at daybreak; I’d been asleep, tired out, with my eyes half
open, I was drinking some coffee. I looked up and there was suddenly
Marfa Petrovna sitting beside me with a pack of cards in her hands.
‘Shall I tell your fortune for the journey, Arkady Ivanovitch?’ She
was a great hand at telling fortunes. I shall never forgive myself for
not asking her to. I ran away in a fright, and, besides, the bell
rang. I was sitting today, feeling very heavy after a miserable
dinner from a cookshop; I was sitting smoking, all of a sudden Marfa
Petrovna again. She came in very smart in a new green silk dress
with a long train.’Good day, Arkady Ivanovitch! How do you like my
dress? Aniska can’t make like this.'(Aniska was a dressmaker in the
country, one of our former serf girls who had been trained in
Moscow, a pretty wench.) She stood turning round before me. I looked
at the dress, and then I looked carefully, very carefully, at her
face.’I wonder you trouble to come to me about such trifles, Marfa
Petrovna.”Good gracious, you won’t let one disturb you about
anything!’ To tease her I said,’I want to get married, Marfa
Petrovna.”That’s just like you, Arkady Ivanovitch; it does you
very little credit to come looking for a bride when you’ve hardly
buried your wife. And if you could make a good choice, at least, but I
know it won’t be for your happiness or hers, you will only be a
laughingstock to all good people.’ Then she went out and her train
seemed to rustle. Isn’t it nonsense, eh?”
“But perhaps you are telling lies?” Raskolnikov put in.
“I rarely lie,” answered Svidrigailov thoughtfully, apparently not
noticing the rudeness of the question.
“And in the past, have you ever seen ghosts before?”
“Yyes, I have seen them, but only once in my life, six years ago. I
had a serf, Filka; just after his burial I called out forgetting
‘Filka, my pipe!’ He came in and went to the cupboard where my pipes
were. I sat still and thought ‘he is doing it out of revenge,’ because
we had a violent quarrel just before his death.’How dare you come
in with a hole in your elbow,’ I said.’Go away, you scamp!’ He turned
and went out, and never came again. I didn’t tell Marfa Petrovna at
the time. I wanted to have a service sung for him, but I was ashamed.”
“You should go to a doctor.”
“I know I am not well, without your telling me, though I don’t
know what’s wrong; I believe I am five times as strong as you are. I
didn’t ask you whether you believe that ghosts are seen, but whether
you believe that they exist.”
“No, I won’t believe it!” Raskolnikov cried, with positive anger.
“What do people generally say?” muttered Svidrigailov, as though
speaking to himself, looking aside and bowing his head:”They say,
‘You are ill, so what appears to you is only unreal fantasy.’ But
that’s not strictly logical. I agree that ghosts only appear to the
sick, but that only proves that they are unable to appear except to
the sick, not that they don’t exist.”
“Nothing of the sort,” Raskolnikov insisted irritably.
“No? You don’t think so?” Svidrigailov went on, looking at him
deliberately.”But what do you say to this argument (help me with it):
ghosts are as it were shreds and fragments of other worlds, the
beginning of them. A man in health has, of course, no reason to see
them, because he is above all a man of this earth and is bound for the
sake of completeness and order to live only in this life. But as
soon as one is ill, as soon as the normal earthly order of the
organism is broken, one begins to realise the possibility of another
world; and the more seriously ill one is, the closer becomes one’s
contact with that other world, so that as soon as the man dies he
steps straight into that world. I thought of that long ago. If you
believe in a future life, you could believe in that, too.”
“I don’t believe in a future life,” said Raskolnikov.
Svidrigailov sat lost in thought.
“And what if there are only spiders there, or something of that
sort,” he said suddenly.
“He is a madman,” thought Raskolnikov.
“We always imagine eternity as something beyond our conception,
something vast, vast! But why must it be vast? Instead of all that,
what if it’s one little room, like a bathhouse in the country, black
and grimy and spiders in every corner, and that’s all eternity is? I
sometimes fancy it like that.”
“Can it be you can imagine nothing juster and more comforting than
that?” Raskolnikov cried, with a feeling of anguish.
“Juster? And how can we tell, perhaps that is just, and do you
know it’s what I would certainly have made it,” answered Svidrigailov,
with a vague smile.
This horrible answer sent a cold chill through Raskolnikov.
Svidrigailov raised his head, looked at him, and suddenly began
“Only think,” he cried,”half an hour ago we had never seen each
other, we regarded each other as enemies; there is a matter
unsettled between us; we’ve thrown it aside, and away we’ve gone
into the abstract! Wasn’t I right in saying that we were birds of a
“Kindly allow me,” Raskolnikov went on irritably,”to ask you to
explain why you have honoured me with your visit… and… and I am in
a hurry, I have no time to waste. I want to go out.”
“By all means, by all means. Your sister, Avdotya Romanovna, is
going to be married to Mr. Luzhin, Pyotr Petrovitch?”
“Can you refrain from any question about my sister and from
mentioning her name? I can’t understand how you dare utter her name in
my presence, if you really are Svidrigailov.”
“Why, but I’ve come here to speak about her; how can I avoid
mentioning her?”
“Very good, speak, but make haste.”
“I am sure that you must have formed your own opinion of this Mr.
Luzhin, who is a connection of mine through my wife, if you have
only seen him for half an hour, or heard any facts about him. He is no
match for Avdotya Romanovna. I believe Avdotya Romanovna is
sacrificing herself generously and imprudently for the sake of…
for the sake of her family. I fancied from all I had heard of you that
you would be very glad if the match could be broken off without the
sacrifice of worldly advantages. Now I know you personally, I am
convinced of it.”
“All this is very naive… excuse me, I should have said impudent on
your part,” said Raskolnikov.
“You mean to say that I am seeking my own ends. Don’t be uneasy,
Rodion Romanovitch, if I were working for my own advantage, I would
not have spoken out so directly. I am not quite a fool. I will confess
something psychologically curious about that: just now, defending my
love for Avdotya Romanovna, I said I was myself the victim. Well,
let me tell you that I’ve no feeling of love now, not the slightest,
so that I wonder myself indeed, for I really did feel something…”
“Through idleness and depravity,” Raskolnikov put in.
“I certainly am idle and depraved, but your sister has such
qualities that even I could not help being impressed by them. But
that’s all nonsense, as I see myself now.”
“Have you seen that long?”
“I began to be aware of it before, but was only perfectly sure of it
the day before yesterday, almost at the moment I arrived in
Petersburg. I still fancied in Moscow, though, that I was coming to
try to get Avdotya Romanovna’s hand and to cut out Mr. Luzhin.”
“Excuse me for interrupting you; kindly be brief, and come to the
object of your visit. I am in a hurry, I want to go out…”
“With the greatest pleasure. On arriving here and determining on a
certain… journey, I should like to make some necessary preliminary
arrangements. I left my children with an aunt; they are well
provided for; and they have no need of me personally. And a nice
father I should make, too! I have taken nothing but what Marfa
Petrovna gave me a year ago. That’s enough for me. Excuse me, I am
just coming to the point. Before the journey which may come off, I
want to settle Mr. Luzhin, too. It’s not that I detest him so much,
but it was through him I quarrelled with Marfa Petrovna when I learned
that she had dished up this marriage. I want now to see Avdotya
Romanovna through your mediation, and if you like in your presence, to
explain to her that in the first place she will never gain anything
but harm from Mr. Luzhin. Then begging her pardon for all past
unpleasantness, to make her a present of ten thousand roubles and so
assist the rupture with Mr. Luzhin, a rupture to which I believe she
is herself not disinclined, if she could see the way to it.”
“You are certainly mad,” cried Raskolnikov not so much angered as
astonished.”How dare you talk like that!”
“I knew you would scream at me; but in the first place, though I
am not rich, this ten thousand roubles is perfectly free; I have
absolutely no need for it. If Avdotya Romanovna does not accept it,
I shall waste it in some more foolish way. That’s the first thing.
Secondly, my conscience is perfectly easy; I make the offer with no
ulterior motive. You may not believe it, but in the end Avdotya
Romanovna and you will know. The point is, that I did actually cause
your sister, whom I greatly respect, some trouble and
unpleasantness, and so, sincerely regretting it, I want not to
compensate, not to repay her for the unpleasantness, but simply to
do something to her advantage, to show that I am not, after all,
privileged to do nothing but harm. If there were a millionth
fraction of self interest in my offer, I should not have made it so
openly; and I should not have offered her ten thousand only, when five
weeks ago I offered her more, Besides, I may, perhaps, very soon marry
a young lady, and that alone ought to prevent suspicion of any
design on Avdotya Romanovna. In conclusion, let me say that in
marrying Mr. Luzhin, she is taking money just the same, only from
another man. Don’t be angry, Rodion Romanovitch, think it over
coolly and quietly.”
Svidrigailov himself was exceedingly cool and quiet as he was saying
“I beg you to say no more,” said Raskolnikov.”In any case this is
unpardonable impertinence.”
“Not in the least. Then a man may do nothing but harm to his
neighbour in this world, and is prevented from doing the tiniest bit
of good by trivial conventional formalities. That’s absurd. If I died,
for instance, and left that sum to your sister in my will, surely
she wouldn’t refuse it?”
“Very likely she would.”
“Oh, no, indeed. However, if you refuse it, so be it, though ten
thousand roubles is a capital thing to have on occasion. In any case I
beg you to repeat what I have said to Avdotya Romanovna.”
“No, I won’t.”
“In that case, Rodion Romanovitch, I shall be obliged to try and see
her myself and worry her by doing so.”
“And if I do tell her, will you not try to see her?”
“I don’t know really what to say. I should like very much to see her
once more.”
“Don’t hope for it.”
“I’m sorry. But you don’t know me. Perhaps we may become better
“You think we may become friends?”
“And why not?” Svidrigailov said, smiling. He stood up and took
his hat.”I didn’t quite intend to disturb you and I came here without
reckoning on it… though I was very much struck by your face this
“Where did you see me this morning?” Raskolnikov asked uneasily.
“I saw you by chance…. I kept fancying there is something about
you like me…. But don’t be uneasy. I am not intrusive; I used to get
on all right with cardsharpers, and I never bored Prince Svirbey, a
great personage who is a distant relation of mine, and I could write
about Raphael’s Madonna in Madam Prilukov’s album, and I never left
Marfa Petrovna’s side for seven years, and I used to stay the night at
Viazemsky’s house in the Hay Market in the old days, and I may go up
in a balloon with Berg, perhaps.”
“Oh, all right. Are you starting soon on your travels, may I ask?”
“What travels?”
“Why, on that ‘journey’; you spoke of it yourself.”
“A journey? Oh, yes. I did speak of a journey. Well, that’s a wide
subject…. if only you knew what you are asking,” he added, and
gave a sudden, loud, short laugh.”Perhaps I’ll get married instead of
the journey. They’re making a match for me.”
“How have you had time for that?”
“But I am very anxious to see Avdotya Romanovna once. I earnestly
beg it. Well, goodbye for the present. Oh, yes, I have forgotten
something. Tell your sister, Rodion Romanovitch, that Marfa Petrovna
remembered her in her will and left her three thousand rubles.
That’s absolutely certain. Marfa Petrovna arranged it a week before
her death, and it was done in my presence. Avdotya Romanovna will be
able to receive the money in two or three weeks.”
“Are you telling the truth?”
“Yes, tell her. Well, your servant. I am staying very near you.”
As he went out, Svidrigailov ran up against Razumihin in the

Chapter Two

IT WAS nearly eight o’clock. The two young men hurried to
Bakaleyev’s, to arrive before Luzhin.
“Why, who was that?” asked Razumihin, as soon as they were in the
“It was Svidrigailov, that landowner in whose house my sister was
insulted when she was their governess. Through his persecuting her
with his attentions, she was turned out by his wife, Marfa Petrovna.
This Marfa Petrovna begged Dounia’s forgiveness afterwards, and
she’s just died suddenly. It was of her we were talking this
morning. I don’t know why I’m afraid of that man. He came here at once
after his wife’s funeral. He is very strange, and is determined on
doing something…. We must guard Dounia from him… that’s what I
wanted to tell you, do you hear?”
“Guard her! What can he do to harm Avdotya Romanovna? Thank you,
Rodya, for speaking to me like that…. We will, we will guard her.
Where does he live?”
“I don’t know.”
“Why didn’t you ask? What a pity! I’ll find out, though.”
“Did you see him?” asked Raskolnikov after a pause.
“Yes, I noticed him, I noticed him well.”
“You did really see him? You saw him clearly?” Raskolnikov insisted.
“Yes, I remember him perfectly, I should know him in a thousand; I
have a good memory for faces.”
They were silent again.
“Hm!… that’s all right,” muttered Raskolnikov.”Do you know, I
fancied… I keep thinking that it may have been an hallucination.”
“What do you mean? I don’t understand you.”
“Well, you all say,” Raskolnikov went on, twisting his mouth into
a smile,”that I am mad. I thought just now that perhaps I really am
mad, and have only seen a phantom.”
“What do you mean?”
“Why, who can tell? Perhaps I am really mad, and perhaps
everything that happened all these days may be only imagination.”
“Ach, Rodya, you have been upset again!… But what did he say, what
did he come for?”
Raskolnikov did not answer. Razumihin thought a minute.
“Now let me tell you my story,” he began,”I came to you, you were
asleep. Then we had dinner and then I went to Porfiry’s, Zametov was
still with him. I tried to begin, but it was no use. I couldn’t
speak in the right way. They don’t seem to understand and can’t
understand, but are not a bit ashamed. I drew Porfiry to the window,
and began talking to him, but it was still no use. He looked away
and I looked away. At last I shook my fist in his ugly face, and
told him as a cousin I’d brain him. He merely looked at me, I cursed
and came away. That was all. It was very stupid. To Zametov I didn’t
say a word. But, you see, I thought I’d made a mess of it, but as I
went downstairs a brilliant idea struck me: why should we trouble?
Of course if you were in any danger or anything, but why need you
care? You needn’t care a hang for them. We shall have a laugh at
them afterwards, and if I were in your place I’d mystify them more
than ever. How ashamed they’ll be afterwards! Hang them! We can thrash
them afterwards, but let’s laugh at them now!”
“To be sure,” answered Raskolnikov.”But what will you say
tomorrow?” he thought to himself. Strange to say, till that moment it
had never occurred to him to wonder what Razumihin would think when he
knew. As he thought it, Raskolnikov looked at him. Razumihin’s account
of his visit to Porfiry had very little interest for him, so much
had come and gone since then.
In the corridor they came upon Luzhin; he had arrived punctually
at eight, and was looking for the number, so that all three went in
together without greeting or looking at one another. The young men
walked in first, while Pyotr Petrovitch, for good manners, lingered
a little in the passage, taking off his coat. Pulcheria Alexandrovna
came forward at once to greet him in the doorway, Dounia was welcoming
her brother. Pyotr Petrovitch walked in and quite amiably, though with
redoubled dignity, bowed to the ladies. He looked, however, as
though he were a little put out and could not yet recover himself.
Pulcheria Alexandrovna, who seemed also a little embarrassed, hastened
to make them all sit down at the round table where a samovar was
boiling. Dounia and Luzhin were facing one another on opposite sides
of the table. Razumihin and Raskolnikov were facing Pulcheria
Alexandrovna, Razumihin was next to Luzhin and Raskolnikov was
beside his sister.
A moment’s silence followed. Pyotr Petrovitch deliberately drew
out a cambric handkerchief reeking of scent and blew his nose with
an air of a benevolent man who felt himself slighted, and was firmly
resolved to insist on an explanation. In the passage the idea had
occurred to him to keep on his overcoat and walk away, and so give the
two ladies a sharp and emphatic lesson and make them feel the
gravity of the position. But he could not bring himself to do this.
Besides, he could not endure uncertainty and he wanted an explanation:
if his request had been so openly disobeyed, there was something
behind it, and in that case it was better to find it out beforehand;
it rested with him to punish them and there would always be time for
“I trust you had a favourable journey,” he inquired officially of
Pulcheria Alexandrovna.
“Oh, very, Pyotr Petrovitch.”
“I am gratified to hear it. And Avdotya Romanovna is not over
fatigued either?”
“I am young and strong, I don’t get tired, but it was a great strain
for mother,” answered Dounia.
“That’s unavoidable; our national railways are of terrible length.
‘Mother Russia,’ as they say, is a vast country…. In spite of all my
desire to do so, I was unable to meet you yesterday. But I trust all
passed off without inconvenience?”
“Oh, no, Pyotr Petrovitch, it was all terribly disheartening,”
Pulcheria Alexandrovna hastened to declare with peculiar intonation,
“and if Dmitri Prokofitch had not been sent us, I really believe by
God Himself, we should have been utterly lost. Here, he is! Dmitri
Prokofitch Razumihin,” she added, introducing him to Luzhin.
“I had the pleasure… yesterday,” muttered Pyotr Petrovitch with
a hostile glance sidelong at Razumihin; then he scowled and was
Pyotr Petrovitch belonged to that class of persons, on the surface
very polite in society, who make a great point of punctiliousness, but
who, directly they are crossed in anything, are completely
disconcerted, and become more like sacks of flour than elegant and
lively men of society. Again all was silent; Raskolnikov was
obstinately mute, Avdotya Romanovna was unwilling to open the
conversation too soon. Razumihin had nothing to say, so Pulcheria
Alexandrovna was anxious again.
“Marfa Petrovna is dead, have you heard?” she began having
recourse to her leading item of conversation.
“To be sure, I heard so. I was immediately informed, and I have come
to make you acquainted with the fact that Arkady Ivanovitch
Svidrigailov set off in haste for Petersburg immediately after his
wife’s funeral. So at least I have excellent authority for believing.”
“To Petersburg? here?” Dounia asked in alarm and looked at her
“Yes, indeed, and doubtless not without some design, having in
view the rapidity of his departure, and all the circumstances
preceding it.”
“Good heavens! won’t he leave Dounia in peace even here?” cried
Pulcheria Alexandrovna.
“I imagine that neither you nor Avdotya Romanovna have any grounds
for uneasiness, unless, of course, you are yourselves desirous of
getting into communication with him. For my part I am on my guard, and
am now discovering where he is lodging.”
“Oh, Pyotr Petrovitch, you would not believe what a fright you
have given me,” Pulcheria Alexandrovna went on.”I’ve only seen him
twice, but I thought him terrible, terrible! I am convinced that he
was the cause of Marfa Petrovna’s death.”
“It’s impossible to be certain about that. I have precise
information. I do not dispute that he may have contributed to
accelerate the course of events by the moral influence, so to say,
of the affront; but as to the general conduct and moral
characteristics of that personage, I am in agreement with you. I do
not know whether he is well off now, and precisely what Marfa Petrovna
left him; this will be known to me within a very short period; but
no doubt here in Petersburg, if he has any pecuniary resources, he
will relapse at once into his old ways. He is the most depraved, and
abjectly vicious specimen of that class of men. I have considerable
reason to believe that Marfa Petrovna, who was so unfortunate as to
fall in love with him and to pay his debts eight years ago, was of
service to him also in another way. Solely by her exertions and
sacrifices, a criminal charge, involving an element of fantastic and
homicidal brutality for which he might well have been sentenced to
Siberia, was hushed up. That’s the sort of man he is, if you care to
“Good heavens!” cried Pulcheria Alexandrovna. Raskolnikov listened
“Are you speaking the truth when you say that you have good evidence
of this?” Dounia asked sternly and emphatically.
“I only repeat what I was told in secret by Marfa Petrovna. I must
observe that from the legal point of view the case was far from clear.
There was, and I believe still is, living here a woman called
Resslich, a foreigner, who lent small sums of money at interest, and
did other commissions, and with this woman Svidrigailov had for a long
while close and mysterious relations. She had a relation, a niece I
believe, living with her, a deaf and dumb girl of fifteen, or
perhaps not more than fourteen. Resslich hated this girl, and
grudged her every crust; she used to beat her mercilessly. One day the
girl was found hanging in the garret. At the inquest the verdict was
suicide. After the usual proceedings the matter ended, but, later
on, information was given that the child had been… cruelly
outraged by Svidrigailov. It is true, this was not clearly
established, the information was given by another German woman of
loose character whose word could not be trusted; no statement was
actually made to the police, thanks to Marfa Petrovna’s money and
exertions; it did not get beyond gossip. And yet the story is a very
significant one. You heard, no doubt, Avdotya Romanovna, when you were
with them the story of the servant Philip who died of ill treatment he
received six years ago, before the abolition of serfdom.”
“I heard on the contrary that this Philip hanged himself.”
“Quite so, but what drove him, or rather perhaps disposed him, to
suicide, was the systematic persecution and severity of Mr.
“I don’t know that,” answered Dounia, dryly.”I only heard a queer
story that Philip was a sort of hypochondriac, a sort of domestic
philosopher, the servants used to say,’he read himself silly,’ and
that he hanged himself partly on account of Mr. Svidrigailov’s mockery
of him and not his blows. When I was there he behaved well to the
servants, and they were actually fond of him, though they certainly
did blame him for Philip’s death.”
“I perceive, Avdotya Romanovna, that you seem disposed to
undertake his defence all of a sudden,” Luzhin observed, twisting
his lips into an ambiguous smile,”there’s no doubt that he is an
astute man, and insinuating where ladies are concerned, of which Marfa
Petrovna, who has died so strangely, is a terrible instance. My only
desire has been to be of service to you and your mother with my
advice, in view of the renewed efforts which may certainly be
anticipated from him. For my part it’s my firm conviction, that he
will end in a debtor’s prison again. Marfa Petrovna had not the
slightest intention of settling anything substantial on him, having
regard for his children’s interests, and, if she left him anything, it
would only be the merest sufficiency, something insignificant and
ephemeral, which would not last a year for a man of his habits.”
“Pyotr Petrovitch, I beg you,” said Dounia,”say no more of Mr.
Svidrigailov. It makes me miserable.”
“He has just been to see me,” said Raskolnikov, breaking his silence
for the first time.
There were exclamations from all, and they all turned to him. Even
Pyotr Petrovitch was roused.
“An hour and a half ago, he came in when I was asleep, waked me, and
introduced himself,” Raskolnikov continued.”He was fairly cheerful
and at ease, and quite hopes that we shall become friends. He is
particularly anxious by the way, Dounia, for an interview with you, at
which he asked me to assist. He has a proposition to make to you,
and he told me about it. He told me, too, that a week before her death
Marfa Petrovna left you three thousand roubles in her will, Dounia,
and that you can receive the money very shortly.”
“Thank God!” cried Pulcheria Alexandrovna, crossing herself.”Pray
for her soul, Dounia!”
“It’s a fact!” broke from Luzhin.
“Tell us, what more?” Dounia urged Raskolnikov.
“Then he said that he wasn’t rich and all the estate was left to his
children who are now with an aunt, then that he was staying
somewhere not far from me, but where, I don’t know, I didn’t ask….”
“But what, what does he want to propose to Dounia?” cried
Pulcheria Alexandrovna in a fright.”Did he tell you?”
“What was it?”
“I’ll tell you afterwards.”
Raskolnikov ceased speaking and turned his attention to his tea.
Pyotr Petrovitch looked at his watch.
“I am compelled to keep a business engagement, and so I shall not be
in your way,” he added with an air of some pique and he began
getting up.
“Don’t go, Pyotr Petrovitch,” said Dounia,”you intended to spend
the evening. Besides, you wrote yourself that you wanted to have an
explanation with mother.”
“Precisely so, Avdotya Romanovna,” Pyotr Petrovitch answered
impressively, sitting down again, but still holding his hat.”I
certainly desired an explanation with you and your honoured mother
upon a very important point indeed. But as your brother cannot speak
openly in my presence to some proposals of Mr. Svidrigailov, I, too,
do not desire and am not able to speak openly… in the presence of
others… of certain matters of the greatest gravity. Moreover, my
most weighty and urgent request has been disregarded….”
Assuming an aggrieved air, Luzhin relapsed into dignified silence.
“Your request that my brother should not be present at our meeting
was disregarded solely at my instance,” said Dounia.”You wrote that
you had been insulted by my brother; I think that this must be
explained at once, and you must be reconciled. And if Rodya really has
insulted you, then he should and will apologise.”
Pyotr Petrovitch took a stronger line.
“There are insults, Avdotya Romanovna, which no goodwill can make
us forget. There is a line in everything which it is dangerous to
overstep; and when it has been overstepped, there is no return.”
“That wasn’t what I was speaking of exactly, Pyotr Petrovitch,”
Dounia interrupted with some impatience.”Please understand that our
whole future depends now on whether all this is explained and set
right as soon as possible. I tell you frankly at the start that I
cannot look at it in any other light, and if you have the least regard
for me, all this business must be ended today, however hard that
may be. I repeat that if my brother is to blame he will ask your
“I am surprised at your putting the question like that,” said
Luzhin, getting more and more irritated.”Esteeming, and so to say,
adoring you, I may at the same time, very well indeed, be able to
dislike some member of your family. Though I lay claim to the
happiness of your hand, I cannot accept duties incompatible with…”
“Ah, don’t be so ready to take offence, Pyotr Petrovitch,” Dounia
interrupted with feeling,”and be the sensible and generous man I have
always considered, and wish to consider, you to be. I’ve given you a
great promise, I am your betrothed. Trust me in this matter and,
believe me, I shall be capable of judging impartially. My assuming the
part of judge is as much a surprise for my brother as for you. When
I insisted on his coming to our interview today after your letter,
I told him nothing of what I meant to do. Understand that, if you
are not reconciled, I must choose between you it must be either you
or he. That is how the question rests on your side and on his. I don’t
want to be mistaken in my choice, and I must not be. For your sake I
must break off with my brother, for my brother’s sake I must break off
with you. I can find out for certain now whether he is a brother to
me, and I want to know it; and of you, whether I am dear to you,
whether you esteem me, whether you are the husband for me.”
“Avdotya Romanovna,” Luzhin declared huffily,”your words are of too
much consequence to me; I will say more, they are offensive in view of
the position I have the honour to occupy in relation to you. To say
nothing of your strange and offensive setting me on a level with an
impertinent boy, you admit the possibility of breaking your promise to
me. You say ‘you or he,’ showing thereby of how little consequence I
am in your eyes… I cannot let this pass considering the relationship
and… the obligations existing between us.”
“What!” cried Dounia, flushing.”I set your interest beside all that
has hitherto been most precious in my life, what has made up the whole
of my life, and here you are offended at my making too little
account of you.”
Raskolnikov smiled sarcastically, Razumihin fidgeted, but Pyotr
Petrovitch did not accept the reproof; on the contrary, at every
word he became more persistent and irritable, as though he relished
“Love for the future partner of your life, for your husband, ought
to outweigh your love for your brother,” he pronounced
sententiously,”and in any case I cannot be put on the same
level…. Although I said so emphatically that I would not speak
openly in your brother’s presence, nevertheless, I intend now to ask
your honoured mother for a necessary explanation on a point of great
importance closely affecting my dignity. Your son,” he turned to
Pulcheria Alexandrovna,”yesterday in the presence of Mr. Razsudkin
(or… I think that’s it? excuse me I have forgotten your surname,” he
bowed politely to Razumihin)”insulted me by misrepresenting the
idea I expressed to you in a private conversation, drinking coffee,
that is, that marriage with a poor girl who has had experience of
trouble is more advantageous from the conjugal point of view than with
one who has lived in luxury, since it is more profitable for the moral
character. Your son intentionally exaggerated the significance of my
words and made them ridiculous, accusing me of malicious intentions,
and, as far as I could see, relied upon your correspondence with
him. I shall consider myself happy, Pulcheria Alexandrovna, if it is
possible for you to convince me of an opposite conclusion, and thereby
considerately reassure me. Kindly let me know in what terms
precisely you repeated my words in your letter to Rodion Romanovitch.”
“I don’t remember,” faltered Pulcheria Alexandrovna.”I repeated
them as I understood them. I don’t know how Rodya repeated them to
you, perhaps he exaggerated.”
“He could not have exaggerated them, except at your instigation.”
“Pyotr Petrovitch,” Pulcheria Alexandrovna declared with dignity,
“the proof that Dounia and I did not take your words in a very bad
sense is the fact that we are here.”
“Good, mother,” said Dounia approvingly.
“Then this is my fault again,” said Luzhin, aggrieved.
“Well, Pyotr Petrovitch, you keep blaming Rodion, but you yourself
have just written what was false about him,” Pulcheria Alexandrovna
added, gaining courage.
“I don’t remember writing anything false.”
“You wrote,” Raskolnikov said sharply, not turning to Luzhin,
“that I gave money yesterday not to the widow of the man who was
killed, as was the fact, but to his daughter (whom I had never seen
till yesterday). You wrote this to make dissension between me and my
family, and for that object added coarse expressions about the conduct
of a girl whom you don’t know. All that is mean slander.”
“Excuse me, sir,” said Luzhin, quivering with fury.”I enlarged upon
your qualities and conduct in my letter solely in response to your
sister’s and mother’s inquiries how I found you and what impression
you made on me. As for what you’ve alluded to in my letter, be so good
as to point out one word of falsehood, show, that is, that you
didn’t throw away your money, and that there are not worthless persons
in that family, however unfortunate.”
“To my thinking, you with all your virtues are not worth the
little finger of that unfortunate girl at whom you throw stones.”
“Would you go so far then as to let her associate with your mother
and sister?”
“I have done so already, if you care to know. I made her sit down
today with mother and Dounia.”
“Rodya!” cried Pulcheria Alexandrovna. Dounia crimsoned, Razumihin
knitted his brows. Luzhin smiled with lofty sarcasm.
“You may see for yourself, Avdotya Romanovna,” he said,”whether
it is possible for us to agree. I hope now that this question is at an
end, once and for all. I will withdraw, that I may not hinder the
pleasures of family intimacy, and the discussion of secrets.” He got
up from his chair and took his hat.”But in withdrawing, I venture
to request that for the future I may be spared similar meetings,
and, so to say, compromises. I appeal particularly to you, honoured
Pulcheria Alexandrovna, on this subject, the more as my letter was
addressed to you and to no one else.”
Pulcheria Alexandrovna was a little offended.
“You seem to think we are completely under your authority, Pyotr
Petrovitch. Dounia has told you the reason your desire was
disregarded, she had the best intentions. And indeed you write as
though you were laying commands upon me. Are we to consider every
desire of yours as a command? Let me tell you on the contrary that you
ought to show particular delicacy and consideration for us now,
because we have thrown up everything, and have come here relying on
you, and so we are in any case in a sense in your hands.”
“That is not quite true, Pulcheria Alexandrovna, especially at the
present moment, when the news has come of Marfa Petrovna’s legacy,
which seems indeed very apropos, judging from the new tone you take to
me,” he added sarcastically.
“Judging from that remark, we may certainly presume that you were
reckoning on our helplessness,” Dounia observed irritably.
“But now in any case I cannot reckon on it, and I particularly
desire not to hinder your discussion of the secret proposals of Arkady
Ivanovitch Svidrigailov, which he has entrusted to your brother and
which have, I perceive, a great and possibly a very agreeable interest
for you.”
“Good heavens!” cried Pulcheria Alexandrovna.
Razumihin could not sit still on his chair.
“Aren’t you ashamed now, sister?” asked Raskolnikov.
“I am ashamed, Rodya,” said Dounia.”Pyotr Petrovitch, go away,” she
turned to him, white with anger.
Pyotr Petrovitch had apparently not at all expected such a
conclusion. He had too much confidence in himself, in his power and in
the helplessness of his victims. He could not believe it even now.
He turned pale, and his lips quivered.
“Avdotyo Romanovna, if I go out of this door now, after such a
dismissal, then, you may reckon on it, I will never come back.
Consider what you are doing. My word is not to be shaken.”
“What insolence!” cried Dounia, springing up from her seat.”I don’t
want you to come back again.”
“What! So that’s how it stands!” cried Luzhin, utterly unable to the
last moment to believe in the rupture and so completely thrown out
of his reckoning now.”So that’s how it stands! But do you know,
Avdotya Romanovna, that I might protest?”
“What right have you to speak to her like that?” Pulcheria
Alexandrovna intervened hotly.”And what can you protest about? What
rights have you? Am I to give my Dounia to a man like you? Go away,
leave us altogether! We are to blame for having agreed to a wrong
action, and I above all….”
“But you have bound me, Pulcheria Alexandrovna,” Luzhin stormed in a
frenzy,”by your promise, and now you deny it and… besides… I have
been led on account of that into expenses….”
This last complaint was so characteristic of Pyotr Petrovitch,
that Raskolnikov, pale with anger and with the effort of restraining
it, could not help breaking into laughter. But Pulcheria
Alexandrovna was furious.
“Expenses? What expenses? Are you speaking of our trunk? But the
conductor brought it for nothing for you. Mercy on us, we have bound
you! What are you thinking about, Pyotr Petrovitch, it was you bound
us, hand and foot, not we!”
“Enough, mother, no more please,” Avdotya Romanovna implored.”Pyotr
Petrovitch, do be kind and go!”
“I am going, but one last word,” he said, quite unable to control
himself.”Your mamma seems to have entirely forgotten that I made up
my mind to take you, so to speak, after the gossip of the town had
spread all over the district in regard to your reputation.
Disregarding public opinion for your sake and reinstating your
reputation, I certainly might very well reckon on a fitting return,
and might indeed look for gratitude on your part. And my eyes have
only now been opened! I see myself that I may have acted very, very
recklessly in disregarding the universal verdict….”
“Does the fellow want his head smashed?” cried Razumihin, jumping
“You are a mean and spiteful man!” cried Dounia.
“Not a word! Not a movement!” cried Raskolnikov, holding Razumihin
back; then going close up to Luzhin,”Kindly leave the room!” he
said quietly and distinctly,”and not a word more or…”
Pyotr Petrovitch gazed at him for some seconds with a pale face that
worked with anger, then he turned, went out, and rarely has any man
carried away in his heart such vindictive hatred as he felt against
Raskolnikov. Him, and him alone, he blamed for everything. It is
noteworthy that as he went downstairs he still imagined that his
case was perhaps not utterly lost, and that, so far as the ladies were
concerned, all might “very well indeed” be set right again.

Chapter Three

THE FACT was that up to the last moment he had never expected such
an ending; he had been overbearing to the last degree, never
dreaming that two destitute and defenceless women could escape from
his control. This conviction was strengthened by his vanity and
conceit, a conceit to the point of fatuity. Pyotr Petrovitch, who
had made his way up from insignificance, was morbidly given to
selfadmiration, had the highest opinion of his intelligence and
capacities, and sometimes even gloated in solitude over his image in
the glass. But what he loved and valued above all was the money he had
amassed by his labour, and by all sorts of devices: that money made
him the equal of all who had been his superiors.
When he had bitterly reminded Dounia that he had decided to take her
in spite of evil report, Pyotr Petrovitch had spoken with perfect
sincerity and had, indeed, felt genuinely indignant at such “black
ingratitude.” And yet, when he made Dounia his offer, he was fully
aware of the groundlessness of all the gossip. The story had been
everywhere contradicted by Marfa Petrovna, and was by then disbelieved
by all the townspeople, who were warm in Dounia’a defence. And he
would not have denied that he knew all that at the time. Yet he
still thought highly of his own resolution in lifting Dounia to his
level and regarded it as something heroic. In speaking of it to
Dounia, he had let out the secret feeling he cherished and admired,
and he could not understand that others should fail to admire it
too. He had called on Raskolnikov with the feelings of a benefactor
who is about to reap the fruits of his good deeds and to hear
agreeable flattery. And as he went downstairs now, he considered
himself most undeservedly injured and unrecognised.
Dounia was simply essential to him; to do without her was
unthinkable. For many years he had voluptuous dreams of marriage,
but he had gone on waiting and amassing money. He brooded with relish,
in profound secret, over the image of a girl virtuous, poor (she must
be poor), very young, very pretty, of good birth and education, very
timid, one who had suffered much, and was completely humbled before
him, one who would all her life look on him as her saviour, worship
him, admire him and only him. How many scenes, how many amorous
episodes he had imagined on this seductive and playful theme, when his
work was over! And, behold, the dream of so many years was all but
realised; the beauty and education of Avdotya Romanovna had
impressed him; her helpless position had been a great allurement; in
her he had found even more than he dreamed of. Here was a girl of
pride, character, virtue, of education and breeding superior to his
own (he felt that), and this creature would be slavishly grateful
all her life for his heroic condescension, and would humble herself in
the dust before him, and he would have absolute, unbounded power
over her!… Not long before, he had, too, after long reflection and
hesitation, made an important change in his career and was now
entering on a wider circle of business. With this change his cherished
dreams of rising into a higher class of society seemed likely to be
realised…. He was, in fact, determined to try his fortune in
Petersburg. He knew that women could do a very great deal. The
fascination of a charming, virtuous, highly educated woman might
make his way easier, might do wonders in attracting people to him,
throwing an aureole round him, and now everything was in ruins! This
sudden horrible rupture affected him like a clap of thunder; it was
like a hideous joke, an absurdity. He had only been a tiny bit
masterful, had not even time to speak out, had simply made a joke,
been carried away and it had ended so seriously. And, of course, too,
he did love Dounia in his own way; he already possessed her in his
dreams and all at once! No! The next day, the very next day, it
must all be set right, smoothed over, settled. Above all he must crush
that conceited milksop who was the cause of it all. With a sick
feeling he could not help recalling Razumihin too, but, he soon
reassured himself on that score; as though a fellow like that could be
put on a level with him! The man he really dreaded in earnest was
Svidrigailov…. He had, in short, a great deal to attend to….

“No, I, I am more to blame than any one!” said Dounia, kissing and
embracing her mother.”I was tempted by his money, but on my honour,
brother, I had no idea he was such a base man. If I had seen through
him before, nothing would have tempted me! Don’t blame me, brother!”
“God has delivered us! God has delivered us!” Pulcheria Alexandrovna
muttered, but half consciously, as though scarcely able to realise
what had happened.
They were all relieved, and in five minutes they were laughing. Only
now and then Dounia turned white and frowned, remembering what had
passed. Pulcheria Alexandrovna was surprised to find that she, too,
was glad: she had only that morning thought rupture with Luzhin a
terrible misfortune. Razumihin was delighted. He did not yet dare to
express his joy fully, but he was in a fever of excitement as though a
tonweight had fallen off his heart. Now he had the right to devote
his life to them, to serve them…. Anything might happen now! But
he felt afraid to think of further possibilities and dared not let his
imagination range. But Raskolnikov sat still in the same place, almost
sullen and indifferent. Though he had been the most insistent on
getting rid of Luzhin, he seemed now the least concerned at what had
happened. Dounia could not help thinking that he was still angry
with her, and Pulcheria Alexandrovna watched him timidly.
“What did Svidrigailov say to you?” said Dounia, approaching him.
“Yes, yes!” cried Pulcheria Alexandrovna.
Raskolnikov raised his head.
“He wants to make you a present of ten thousand roubles and he
desires to see you once in my presence.”
“See her! On no account!” cried Pulcheria Alexandrovna.”And how
dare he offer her money!”
Then Raskolnikov repeated (rather drily) his conversation with
Svidrigailov, omitting his account of the ghostly visitations of Marfa
Petrovna, wishing to avoid all unnecessary talk.
“What answer did you give him?” asked Dounia.
“At first I said I would not take any message to you. Then he said
that he would do his utmost to obtain an interview with you without my
help. He assured me that his passion for you was a passing
infatuation, now he has no feeling for you. He doesn’t want you to
marry Luzhin…. His talk was altogether rather muddled.”
“How do you explain him to yourself, Rodya? How did he strike you?”
“I must confess I don’t quite understand him. He offers you ten
thousand, and yet says he is not well off. He says he is going away,
and in ten minutes he forgets he has said it. Then he says is he going
to be married and has already fixed on the girl…. No doubt he has
a motive, and probably a bad one. But it’s odd that he should be so
clumsy about it if he had any designs against you…. Of course, I
refused this money on your account, once for all. Altogether, I
thought him very strange…. One might almost think he was mad. But
I may be mistaken; that may only be the part he assumes. The death
of Marfa Petrovna seems to have made a great impression on him.”
“God rest her soul,” exclaimed Pulcheria Alexandrovna.”I shall
always, always pray for her! Where should we be now, Dounia, without
this three thousand! It’s as though it had fallen from heaven! Why,
Rodya, this morning we had only three roubles in our pocket and Dounia
and I were just planning to pawn her watch, so as to avoid borrowing
from that man until he offered help.”
Dounia seemed strangely impressed by Svidrigailov’s offer. She still
stood meditating.
“He has got some terrible plan,” she said in a half whisper to
herself, almost shuddering.
Raskolnikov noticed this disproportionate terror.
“I fancy I shall have to see him more than once again,” he said to
“We will watch him! I will track him out!” cried Razumihin,
vigorously.”I won’t lose sight of him. Rodya has given me leave. He
said to me himself just now.’Take care of my sister.’ Will you give
me leave, too, Avdotya Romanovna?”
Dounia smiled and held out her hand, but the look of anxiety did not
leave her face. Pulcheria Alexandrovna gazed at her timidly, but the
three thousand roubles had obviously a soothing effect on her.
A quarter of an hour later, they were all engaged in a lively
conversation. Even Raskolnikov listened attentively for some time,
though he did not talk. Razumihin was the speaker.
“And why, why should you go away?” he flowed on ecstatically.”And
what are you to do in a little town? The great thing is, you are all
here together and you need one another you do need one another,
believe me. For a time, anyway…. Take me into partnership and I
assure you we’ll plan a capital enterprise. Listen! I’ll explain it
all in detail to you, the whole project! It all flashed into my head
this morning, before anything had happened… I tell you what; I
have an uncle, I must introduce him to you (a most accommodating and
respectable old man). This uncle has got a capital of a thousand
roubles, and he lives on his pension and has no need of that money.
For the last two years he has been bothering me to borrow it from
him and pay him six per cent. interest. I know what that means; he
simply wants to help me. Last year I had no need of it, but this
year I resolved to borrow it as soon as he arrived. Then you lend me
another thousand of your three and we have enough for a start, so
we’ll go into partnership, and what are we going to do?”
Then Razumihin began to unfold his project, and he explained at
length that almost all our publishers and booksellers know nothing
at all of what they are selling, and for that reason they are
usually bad publishers, and that any decent publications pay as a rule
and give a profit, sometimes a considerable one. Razumihin had,
indeed, been dreaming of setting up as a publisher. For the last two
years he had been working in publishers’ offices, and knew three
European languages well, though he had told Raskolnikov six days
before that he was “schwach” in German with an object of persuading
him to take half his translation and half the payment for it. He had
told a lie, then, and Raskolnikov knew he was lying.
“Why, why should we let our chance slip when we have one of the
chief means of success money of our own!” cried Razumihin warmly.”Of
course there will be a lot of work, but we will work, you, Avdotya
Romanovna, I, Rodion…. You get a splendid profit on some books
nowadays! And the great point of the business is that we shall know
just what wants translating, and we shall be translating,
publishing, learning all at once. I can be of use because I have
experience. For nearly two years I’ve been scuttling about among the
publishers, and now I know every detail of their business. You need
not be a saint to make pots, believe me! And why, why should we let
our chance slip! Why, I know and I kept the secret two or three
books which one might get a hundred roubles simply for thinking of
translating and publishing. Indeed, and I would not take five
hundred for the very idea of one of them. And what do you think? If
I were to tell a publisher, I dare say he’d hesitate they are such
blockheads! And as for the business side, printing, paper, selling,
you trust to me, I know my way about. We’ll begin in a small way and
go on to a large. In any case it will get us our living and we shall
get back our capital.”
Dounia’s eyes shone.
“I like what you are saying, Dmitri Prokofitch!” she said.
“I know nothing about it, of course,” put in Pulcheria Alexandrovna,
“it may be a good idea, but again God knows. It’s new and untried.
Of course, we must remain here at least for a time.” She looked at
“What do you think, brother?” said Dounia.
“I think he’s got a very good idea,” he answered.”Of course, it’s
too soon to dream of a publishing firm, but we certainly might bring
out five or six books and be sure of success. I know of one book
myself which would be sure to go well. And as for his being able to
manage it, there’s no doubt about that either. He knows the
business…. But we can talk it over later….”
“Hurrah!” cried Razumihin.”Now, stay, there’s a flat here in this
house, belonging to the same owner. It’s a special flat apart, not
communicating with these lodgings. It’s furnished, rent moderate,
three rooms. Suppose you take them to begin with. I’ll pawn your watch
tomorrow and bring you the money, and everything can be arranged
then. You can all three live together, and Rodya will be with you. But
where are you off to, Rodya?”
“What, Rodya, you are going already?” Pulcheria Alexandrovna asked
in dismay.
“At such a minute?” cried Razumihin.
Dounia looked at her brother with incredulous wonder. He held his
cap in his hand, he was preparing to leave them.
“One would think you were burying me or saying goodbye for ever,”
he said somewhat oddly. He attempted to smile, but it did not turn out
a smile.”But who knows, perhaps it is the last time we shall see each
other…” he let slip accidentally. It was what he was thinking, and
it somehow was uttered aloud.
“What is the matter with you?” cried his mother.
“Where are you going, Rodya?” asked Dounia rather strangely.
“Oh, I’m quite obliged to…” he answered vaguely, as though
hesitating what he would say. But there was a look of sharp
determination in his white face.
“I meant to say… as I was coming here… I meant to tell you,
mother, and you, Dounia, that it would be better for us to part for
a time. I feel ill, I am not at peace…. I will come afterwards, I
will come of myself… when it’s possible, I remember you and love
you…. Leave me, leave me alone. I decided this even before… I’m
absolutely resolved on it. Whatever may come to me, whether I come
to ruin or not, I want to be alone. Forget me altogether, it’s better.
Don’t inquire about me. When I can, I’ll come of myself or… I’ll
send for you. Perhaps it will all come back, but now if you love me,
give me up… else I shall begin to hate you, I feel it…. Goodbye!”
“Good God!” cried Pulcheria Alexandrovna. Both his mother and his
sister were terribly alarmed. Razumihin was also.
“Rodya, Rodya, be reconciled with us! Let us be as before!” cried
his poor mother.
He turned slowly to the door and slowly went out of the room. Dounia
overtook him.
“Brother, what are you doing to mother?” she whispered, her eyes
flashing with indignation.
He looked dully at her.
“No matter, I shall come…. I’m coming,” he muttered in an
undertone, as though not fully conscious of what he was saying, and he
went out of the room.
“Wicked, heartless egoist!” cried Dounia.
“He is insane, but not heartless. He is mad! Don’t you see it?
You’re heartless after that!” Razumihin whispered in her ear,
squeezing her hand tightly.”I shall be back directly,” he shouted
to the horrorstricken mother, and he ran out of the room.
Raskolnikov was waiting for him at the end of the passage.
“I knew you would run after me,” he said.”Go back to them be
with them… be with them tomorrow and always…. I… perhaps I
shall come… if I can. Goodbye.”
And without holding out his hand he walked away.
“But where are you going? What are you doing? What’s the matter with
you? How can you go on like this?” Razumihin muttered, at his wits’
Raskolnikov stopped once more.
“Once for all, never ask me about anything. I have nothing to tell
you. Don’t come to see me. Maybe I’ll come here…. Leave me, but
don’t leave them. Do you understand me?”
It was dark in the corridor, they were standing near the lamp. For a
minute they were looking at one another in silence. Razumihin
remembered that minute all his life. Raskolnikov’s burning and
intent eyes grew more penetrating every moment, piercing into his
soul, into his consciousness. Suddenly Razumihin started. Something
strange, as it were, passed between them…. Some idea, some hint as
it were, slipped, something awful, hideous, and suddenly understood on
both sides…. Razumihin turned pale.
“Do you understand now?” said Raskolnikov, his face twitching
nervously.”Go back, go to them,” he said suddenly, and turning
quickly, he went out of the house.
I will not attempt to describe how Razumihin went back to the
ladies, how he soothed them, how he protested that Rodya needed rest
in his illness, protested that Rodya was sure to come, that he would
come every day, that he was very, very much upset, that he must not be
irritated, that he, Razumihin, would watch over him, would get him a
doctor, the best doctor, a consultation…. In fact from that
evening Razumihin took his place with them as a son and a brother.

Chapter Four

RASKOLNIKOV WENT straight to the house on the canal bank where Sonia
lived. It was an old green house of three storeys. He found the porter
and obtained from him vague directions as to the whereabouts of
Kapernaumov, the tailor. Having found in the corner of the courtyard
the entrance to the dark and narrow staircase, he mounted to the
second floor and came out into a gallery that ran round the whole
second storey over the yard. While he was wandering in the darkness,
uncertain where to turn for Kapernaumov’s door, a door opened three
paces from him; he mechanically took hold of it.
“Who is there?” a woman’s voice asked uneasily.
“It’s I… come to see you,” answered Raskolnikov and he walked into
the tiny entry.
On a broken chair stood a candle in a battered copper candlestick.
“It’s you! Good heavens!” cried Sonia weakly and she stood rooted to
the spot.
“Which is your room? This way?” and Raskolnikov, trying not to
look at her, hastened in.
A minute later Sonia, too, came in with the candle, set down the
candlestick and, completely disconcerted, stood before him
inexpressibly agitated and apparently frightened by his unexpected
visit. The colour rushed suddenly to her pale face and tears came into
her eyes… She felt sick and ashamed and happy, too…. Raskolnikov
turned away quickly and sat on a chair by the table. He scanned the
room in a rapid glance.
It was a large but exceeding lowpitched room, the only one let by
the Kapernaumovs, to whose rooms a closed door led in the wall on
the left. In the opposite side on the right hand wall was another
door, always kept locked. That led to the next flat, which formed a
separate lodging. Sonia’s room looked like a barn; it was a very
irregular quadrangle and this gave it a grotesque appearance. A wall
with three windows looking out on to the canal ran aslant so that
one corner formed a very acute angle, and it was difficult to see in
it without very strong light. The other corner was
disproportionately obtuse. There was scarcely any furniture in the big
room: in the corner on the right was a bedstead, beside it, nearest
the door, a chair. A plain, deal table covered by a blue cloth stood
against the same wall, close to the door into the other flat. Two
rushbottom chairs stood by the table. On the opposite wall near the
acute angle stood a small plain wooden chest of drawers looking, as it
were, lost in a desert. That was all there was in the room. The
yellow, scratched and shabby wallpaper was black in the corners. It
must have been damp and full of fumes in the winter. There was every
sign of poverty; even the bedstead had no curtain.
Sonia looked in silence at her visitor, who was so attentively and
unceremoniously scrutinising her room, and even began at last to
tremble with terror, as though she was standing before her judge and
the arbiter of her destinies.
“I am late…. eleven, isn’t it?” he asked, still not lifting his
“Yes,” muttered Sonia,”oh, yes, it is,” she added, hastily, as
though in that lay her means of escape.”My landlady’s clock has
just struck… I heard it myself….”
“I’ve come to you for the last time,” Raskolnikov went on
gloomily, although this was the first time.”I may perhaps not see you
“Are you… going away?”
“I don’t know… tomorrow….”
“Then you are not coming to Katerina Ivanovna tomorrow?” Sonia’s
voice shook.
“I don’t know. I shall know tomorrow morning…. Never mind that:
I’ve come to say one word….”
He raised his brooding eyes to her and suddenly noticed that he
was sitting down while she was all the while standing before him.
“Why are you standing? Sit down,” he said in a changed voice, gentle
and friendly.
She sat down. He looked kindly and almost compassionately at her.
“How thin you are! What a hand! Quite transparent, like a dead
He took her hand. Sonia smiled faintly.
“I have always been like that,” she said.
“Even when you lived at home?”
“Of course, you were,” he added abruptly and the expression of his
face and the sound of his voice changed again suddenly.
He looked round him once more.
“You rent this room from the Kapernaumovs?”
“They live there, through that door?”
“Yes…. They have another room like this.”
“All in one room?”
“I should be afraid in your room at night,” he observed gloomily.
“They are very good people, very kind,” answered Sonia, who still
seemed bewildered,”and all the furniture, everything… everything is
theirs. And they are very kind and the children, too, often come to
see me.”
“They all stammer, don’t they?”
“Yes…. He stammers and he’s lame. And his wife, too…. It’s not
exactly that she stammers, but she can’t speak plainly. She is a
very kind woman. And he used to be a house serf. And there are seven
children… and it’s only the eldest one that stammers and the
others are simply ill… but they don’t stammer…. But where did
you hear about them?” she added with some surprise.
“Your father told me, then. He told me all about you…. And how you
went out at six o’clock and came back at nine and how Katerina
Ivanovna knelt down by your bed.”
Sonia was confused.
“I fancied I saw him today,” she whispered hesitatingly.
“Father. I was walking in the street, out there at the corner, about
ten o’clock and he seemed to be walking in front. It looked just
like him. I wanted to go to Katerina Ivanovna….”
“You were walking in the streets?”
“Yes,” Sonia whispered abruptly, again overcome with confusion and
looking down.
“Katerina Ivanovna used to beat you, I daresay?”
“Oh no, what are you saying? No!” Sonia looked at him almost with
“You love her, then?”
“Love her? Of course!” said Sonia with plaintive emphasis, and she
clasped her hands in distress.”Ah, you don’t…. If you only knew!
You see, she is quite like a child…. Her mind is quite unhinged, you
see… from sorrow. And how clever she used to be… how generous…
how kind! Ah, you don’t understand, you don’t understand!”
Sonia said this as though in despair, wringing her hands in
excitement and distress. Her pale cheeks flushed, there was a look
of anguish in her eyes. It was clear that she was stirred to the
very depths, that she was longing to speak, to champion, to express
something. A sort of insatiable compassion, if one may so express
it, was reflected in every feature of her face.
“Beat me! how can you? Good heavens, beat me! And if she did beat
me, what then? What of it? You know nothing, nothing about it….
She is so unhappy… ah, how unhappy! And ill…. She is seeking
righteousness, she is pure. She has such faith that there must be
righteousness everywhere and she expects it…. And if you were to
torture her, she wouldn’t do wrong. She doesn’t see that it’s
impossible for people to be righteous and she is angry at it. Like a
child, like a child. She is good!”
“And what will happen to you?”
Sonia looked at him inquiringly.
“They are left on your hands, you see. They were all on your hands
before, though…. And your father came to you to beg for drink. Well,
how will it be now?”
“I don’t know,” Sonia articulated mournfully.
“Will they stay there?”
“I don’t know…. They are in debt for the lodging, but the
landlady, I hear, said today that she wanted to get rid of them,
and Katerina Ivanovna says that she won’t stay another minute.”
“How is it she is so bold? She relies upon you?”
“Oh, no, don’t talk like that…. We are one, we live like one.”
Sonia was agitated again and even angry, as though a canary or some
other little bird were to be angry.”And what could she do? What, what
could she do?” she persisted, getting hot and excited.”And how she
cried today! Her mind is unhinged, haven’t you noticed it? At one
minute she is worrying like a child that everything should be right
tomorrow, the lunch and all that…. Then she is wringing her
hands, spitting blood, weeping, and all at once she will begin
knocking her head against the wall, in despair. Then she will be
comforted again. She builds all her hopes on you; she says that you
will help her now and that she will borrow a little money somewhere
and go to her native town with me and set up a boarding school for the
daughters of gentlemen and take me to superintend it, and we will
begin a new splendid life. And she kisses and hugs me, comforts me,
and you know she has such faith, such faith in her fancies! One
can’t contradict her. And all the day long she has been washing,
cleaning, mending. She dragged the wash tub into the room with her
feeble hands and sank on the bed, gasping for breath. We went this
morning to the shops to buy shoes for Polenka and Lida for theirs
are quite worn out. Only the money we’d reckoned wasn’t enough, not
nearly enough. And she picked out such dear little boots, for she
has taste, you don’t know. And there in the shop she burst out
crying before the shopmen because she hadn’t enough…. Ah, it was sad
to see her….”
“Well, after that I can understand your living like this,”
Raskolnikov said with a bitter smile.
“And aren’t you sorry for them? Aren’t you sorry?” Sonia flew at him
again.”Why, I know, you gave your last penny yourself, though you’d
seen nothing of it, and if you’d seen everything, oh dear! And how
often, how often I’ve brought her to tears! Only last week! Yes, I!
Only a week before his death. I was cruel! And how often I’ve done it!
Ah, I’ve been wretched at the thought of it all day!”
Sonia wrung her hands as she spoke at the pain of remembering it.
“You were cruel?”
“Yes, I I. I went to see them,” she went on, weeping,”and father
said,’read me something, Sonia, my head aches, read to me, here’s a
book.’ He had a book he had got from Andrey Semyonovitch
Lebeziatnikov, he lives there, he always used to get hold of such
funny books. And I said,’I can’t stay,’ as I didn’t want to read, and
I’d gone in chiefly to show Katerina Ivanovna some collars.
Lizaveta, the pedlar, sold me some collars and cuffs cheap, pretty,
new, embroidered ones. Katerina Ivanovna liked them very much; she put
them on and looked at herself in the glass and was delighted with
them.’Make me a present of them, Sonia,’ she said,’please do.’
‘Please do,’ she said, she wanted them so much. And when could she
wear them? They just reminded her of her old happy days. She looked at
herself in the glass, admired herself, and she has no clothes at
all, no things of her own, hasn’t had all these years! And she never
asks any one for anything; she is proud, she’d sooner give away
everything. And these she asked for, she liked them so much. And I was
sorry to give them.’What use are they to you, Katerina Ivanovna?’ I
said. I spoke like that to her, I ought not to have said that! She
gave me such a look. And she was so grieved, so grieved at my refusing
her. And it was so sad to see…. And she was not grieved for the
collars, but for my refusing, I saw that. Ah, if only I could bring it
all back, change it, take back those words! Ah, if I… but it’s
nothing to you!”
“Did you know Lizaveta, the pedlar?”
“Yes…. Did you know her?” Sonia asked with some surprise.
“Katerina Ivanovna is in consumption, rapid consumption; she will
soon die,” said Raskolnikov after a pause, without answering her
“Oh, no, no, no!”
And Sonia unconsciously clutched both his hands, as though imploring
that she should not.
“But it will be better if she does die.”
“No, not better, not at all better!” Sonia unconsciously repeated in
“And the children? What can you do except take them to live with
“Oh, I don’t know,” cried Sonia, almost in despair, and she put
her hands to her head.
It was evident that that idea had very often occurred to her
before and he had only roused it again.
“And, what, if even now, while Katerina Ivanovna is alive, you get
ill and are taken to the hospital, what will happen then?” he
persisted pitilessly.
“How can you? That cannot be!”
And Sonia’s face worked with awful terror.
“Cannot be?” Raskolnikov went on with a harsh smile.”You are not
insured against it, are you? What will happen to them then? They
will be in the street, all of them, she will cough and beg and knock
her head against some wall, as she did today, and the children will
cry…. Then she will fall down, be taken to the police station and to
the hospital, she will die, and the children…”
“Oh, no…. God will not let it be!” broke at last from Sonia’s
overburdened bosom.
She listened, looking imploringly at him, clasping her hands in dumb
entreaty, as though it all depended upon him.
Raskolnikov got up and began to walk about the room. A minute
passed. Sonia was standing with her hands and her head hanging in
terrible dejection.
“And can’t you save? Put by for a rainy day?” he asked, stopping
suddenly before her.
“No,” whispered Sonia.
“Of course not. Have you tried?” he added almost ironically.
“And it didn’t come off! Of course not! No need to ask.”
And again he paced the room. Another minute passed.
“You don’t get money every day?”
Sonia was more confused than ever and colour rushed into her face
“No,” she whispered with a painful effort.
“It will be the same with Polenka, no doubt,” he said suddenly.
“No, no! It can’t be, no!” Sonia cried aloud in desperation, as
though she had been stabbed.”God would not allow anything so awful!”
“He lets others come to it.”
“No, no! God will protect her, God!” she repeated beside herself.
“But, perhaps, there is no God at all,” Raskolnikov answered with
a sort of malignance, laughed and looked at her.
Sonia’s face suddenly changed; a tremor passed over it. She looked
at him with unutterable reproach, tried to say something, but could
not speak and broke into bitter, bitter sobs, hiding her face in her
“You say Katerina Ivanovna’s mind is unhinged; your own mind is
unhinged,” he said after a brief silence.
Five minutes passed. He still paced up and down the room in silence,
not looking at her. At last he went up to her; his eyes glittered.
He put his two hands on her shoulders and looked straight into her
tearful face. His eyes were hard, feverish and piercing, his lips were
twitching. All at once he bent down quickly and dropping to the
ground, kissed her foot. Sonia drew back from him as from a madman.
And certainly he looked like a madman.
“What are you doing to me?” she muttered, turning pale, and a sudden
anguish clutched at her heart.
He stood up at once.
“I did not bow down to you, I bowed down to all the suffering of
humanity,” he said wildly and walked away to the window.”Listen,”
he added, turning to her a minute later.”I said just now to an
insolent man that he was not worth your little finger… and that I
did my sister honour making her sit beside you.”
“Ach, you said that to them! And in her presence?” cried Sonia,
frightened.”Sit down with me! An honour! Why, I’m…
dishonourable…. Ah, why did you say that?”
“It was not because of your dishonour and your sin I said that of
you, but because of your great suffering. But you are a great
sinner, that’s true,” he added almost solemnly,”and your worst sin is
that you have destroyed and betrayed yourself for nothing. Isn’t
that fearful? Isn’t it fearful that you are living in this filth which
you loathe so, and at the same time you know yourself (you’ve only
to open your eyes) that you are not helping any one by it, not
saving any one from anything! Tell me,” he went on almost in a frenzy,
“how this shame and degradation can exist in you side by side with
other, opposite, holy feelings? It would be better, a thousand times
better and wiser to leap into the water and end it all!”
“But what would become of them?” Sonia asked faintly, gazing at
him with eyes of anguish, but not seeming surprised at his suggestion.
Raskolnikov looked strangely at her. He read it all in her face;
so she must have had that thought already, perhaps many times, and
earnestly she had thought out in her despair how to end it and so
earnestly, that now she scarcely wondered at his suggestion. She had
not even noticed the cruelty of his words.(The significance of his
reproaches and his peculiar attitude to her shame she had, of
course, not noticed either, and that, too, was clear to him.) But he
saw how monstrously the thought of her disgraceful, shameful
position was torturing her and had long tortured her.”What, what,” he
thought,”could hitherto have hindered her from putting an end to it?”
Only then he realised what those poor little orphan children and
that pitiful halfcrazy Katerina Ivanovna, knocking her head against
the wall in her consumption, meant for Sonia.
But, nevertheless, it was clear to him again that with her character
and the amount of education she had after all received, she could
not in any case remain so. He was still confronted by the question how
could she have remained so long in that position without going out
of her mind, since she could not bring herself to jump into the water?
Of course he knew that Sonia’s position was an exceptional case,
though unhappily not unique and not infrequent, indeed; but that
very exceptionalness, her tinge of education, her previous life might,
one would have thought, have killed her at the first step on that
revolting path. What held her up surely not depravity? All that
infamy had obviously only touched her mechanically, not one drop of
real depravity had penetrated to her heart; he saw that. He saw
through her as she stood before him….
“There are three ways before her,” he thought,”the canal, the
madhouse, or… at last to sink into deprav