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Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821 - 1881)
Crime and Punishment
translated by Constance Garnett

Fyodor Dostoevsky
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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 turn-over tops coming into view each time before the

rest of his person. He wore a full coat and a horribly greasy black

satin waistcoat, with no cravat, and his whole face seemed smeared

with oil like an iron lock. At the counter stood a boy of about

fourteen, and there was another boy somewhat younger who handed

whatever was wanted. On the counter lay some sliced cucumber, some

pieces of dried black bread, and some fish, chopped up small, all

smelling very bad. It was insufferably close, and so heavy with the

fumes of spirits that five minutes in such an atmosphere might well

make a man drunk.

There are chance meetings with strangers that interest us from the

first moment, before a word is spoken. Such was the impression made on

Raskolnikov by the person sitting a little distance from him, who

looked like a retired clerk. The young man often recalled this

impression afterwards, and even ascribed it to presentiment. He looked

repeatedly at the clerk, partly no doubt because the latter was

staring persistently at him, obviously anxious to enter into

conversation. At the other persons in the room, including the

tavern-keeper, the clerk looked as though he were used to their

company, and weary of it, showing a shade of condescending contempt

for them as persons of station and culture inferior to his own, with

whom it would be useless for him to converse. He was a man over fifty,

bald and grizzled, of medium height, and stoutly built. His face,

bloated from continual drinking, was of a yellow, even greenish,

tinge, with swollen eyelids out of which keen reddish eyes gleamed

like little chinks. But there was something very strange in him; there

was a light in his eyes as though of intense feeling- perhaps there

were even thought and intelligence, but at the same time there was a

gleam of something like madness. He was wearing an old and

hopelessly ragged black dress coat, with all its buttons missing

except one, and that one he had buttoned, evidently clinging to this

last trace of respectability. A crumpled shirt front covered with

spots and stains, protruded from his canvas waistcoat. Like a clerk,

he wore no beard, nor moustache, but had been so long unshaven that

his chin looked like a stiff greyish brush. And there was something

respectable and like an official about his manner too. But he was

restless; he ruffled up his hair and from time to time let his head

drop into his hands dejectedly resting his ragged elbows on the

stained and sticky table. At last he looked straight at Raskolnikov,

and said loudly and 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 self-approval. "You've been

a student or have attended some learned institution!... But allow

me...." He got up, staggered, took up his jug and glass, and sat

down beside the young man, facing him a little sideways. He was drunk,

but spoke fluently and boldly, only occasionally losing the thread

of his sentences and drawling his words. He pounced upon Raskolnikov

as greedily as though he too had not spoken to a soul for a month.

"Honoured sir," he began almost with solemnity, "poverty is not a

vice, that's a true saying. Yet I know too that drunkenness is not a

virtue, and that that's even truer. But beggary, honoured sir, beggary

is a vice. In poverty you may still retain your innate nobility of

soul, but in beggary- never- no one. For beggary a man is not chased

out of human society with a stick, he is swept out with a broom, so as

to make it as humiliating as possible; and quite right, too, forasmuch

as in beggary I am ready to be the first to humiliate myself. Hence

the pot-house! Honoured sir, a month ago Mr. Lebeziatnikov gave my

wife a beating, and my wife is a very different matter from me! Do you

understand? Allow me to ask you another question out of simple

curiosity: have you ever spent a night on a hay barge, on the Neva?"

"No, I have not happened to," answered Raskolnikov. "What do you


"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 high-flown speeches from the

habit of frequently entering into conversation with strangers of all

sorts in the tavern. This habit develops into a necessity in some

drunkards, and especially in those who are looked after sharply and

kept in order at home. Hence in the company of other drinkers they try

to justify themselves and even if possible obtain consideration.

"Funny fellow!" pronounced the innkeeper. "And why don't you work,

why aren't you at your duty, if you are in the service?"

"Why am I not at my duty, honoured sir," Marmeladov went on,

addressing himself exclusively to Raskolnikov, as though it had been

he who put that question to him. "Why am I not at my duty? Does not my

heart ache to think what a useless worm I am? A month ago when Mr.

Lebeziatnikov beat my wife with his own hands, and I lay drunk, didn't

I suffer? Excuse me, young man, has it ever happened to you... hm...

well, to petition hopelessly for a loan?"

"Yes, it has. But what do you mean by hopelessly?"

"Hopelessly in the fullest sense, when you know beforehand that

you will get nothing by it. You know, for instance, beforehand with

positive certainty that this man, this most reputable and exemplary

citizen, will on no consideration give you money; and indeed I ask you

why should he? For he knows of course that I shan't pay it back.

From compassion? But Mr. Lebeziatnikov who keeps up with modern

ideas explained the other day that compassion is forbidden nowadays by

science itself, and that that's what is done now in England, where

there is political economy. Why, I ask you, should he give it to me?

And yet though I know beforehand that he won't, I set off to him


"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 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 laughing-stock before

these idle listeners, who indeed know all about it already, but I am

looking for a man of feeling and education. Know then that my wife was

educated in a high-class school for the daughters of noblemen, and

on leaving she danced the shawl dance before the governor and other

personages for which she was presented with a gold medal and a

certificate of merit. The medal... well, the medal of course was sold-

long ago, hm... but the certificate of merit is in her trunk still and

not long ago she showed it to our landlady. And although she is most

continually on bad terms with the landlady, yet she wanted to tell

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 step-mother whilst she was

growing up, I won't speak of. For, though Katerina Ivanovna is full of

generous feelings, she is a spirited lady, irritable and

short-tempered.... Yes. But it's no use going over that! Sonia, as you

may well fancy, has had no education. I did make an effort four

years ago to give her a course of geography and universal history, but

as I was not very well up in those subjects myself and we had no

suitable books, and what books we had... hm, 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 half-dozen linen shirts she made him and drove her roughly

away, stamping and reviling her, on the pretext that the shirt collars

were not made like the pattern and were put in askew. And there are

the little ones hungry.... And Katerina Ivanovna walking up and down

and wringing her hands, her cheeks flushed red, as they always are

in that disease: 'Here you live with us,' says she, 'you eat and drink

and are kept warm and you do nothing to help.' And much she gets to

eat and drink when there is not a crust for the little ones for

three days! I was lying at the time... well, what of it! I was lying

drunk and I heard my Sonia speaking (she is a gentle creature with a

soft little voice... fair hair and such a pale, thin little face). She

said: 'Katerina Ivanovna, am I really to do a thing like that?' And

Darya Frantsovna, a woman of evil character and very well known to the

police, had two or three times tried to get at her through the

landlady. 'And why not?' said Katerina Ivanovna with a jeer, 'you

are something mighty precious to be so careful of!' But don't blame

her, don't blame her, honoured sir, don't blame her! She was not

herself when she spoke, but driven to distraction by her illness and

the crying of the hungry children; and it was said more to wound her

than anything else.... For that's Katerina Ivanovna's character, and

when children cry, even from hunger, she falls to beating them at

once. At six o'clock I saw Sonia get up, put on her kerchief and her

cape, and go out of the room and about nine o'clock she came back. She

walked straight up to Katerina Ivanovna and she laid thirty roubles on

the table before her in silence. She did not utter a word, she did not

even look at her, she simply picked up our big green drap de dames

shawl (we have a shawl, made of drap de dames), put it over her head

and face and lay down on the bed with her face to the wall; only her

little shoulders and her body kept shuddering.... And I went on

lying there, just as before.... And then I saw, young man, I saw

Katerina Ivanovna, in the same silence go up to Sonia's little bed;

she was on her knees all the evening kissing Sonia's feet, and would

not get up, and then they both fell asleep in each other's arms...

together, together... yes... and I... lay 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

evil-intentioned persons- in all which Darya Frantsovna took a leading

part on the pretext that she had been treated with want of respect-

since then my daughter Sofya Semyonovna has been forced to take a

yellow ticket, and owing to that she is unable to go on living with

us. For our landlady, Amalia Fyodorovna would not hear of it (though

she had backed up Darya Frantsovna before) and Mr. Lebeziatnikov

too... hm.... All the trouble between him and Katerina Ivanovna was on

Sonia's account. At first he was for making up to Sonia himself and

then all of a sudden he stood on his dignity: 'how,' said he, 'can a

highly educated man like me live in the same rooms with a girl like

that?' And Katerina Ivanovna would not let it pass, she stood up for

her... and so that's how it happened. And Sonia comes to us now,

mostly after dark; she comforts Katerina Ivanovna and gives her all

she can.... She has a room at the Kapernaumovs, the tailors, she

lodges with them; Kapernaumov is a lame man with a cleft palate and

all of his numerous family have cleft palates too. And his wife,

too, has a cleft palate. They all live in one room, but Sonia has

her own, partitioned off.... Hm... yes... very poor people and all

with cleft palates... yes. Then I got up in the morning, and put on my

rags, lifted up my hands to heaven and set off to his excellency

Ivan 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 to-do there was...!"

Marmeladov stopped again in violent excitement. At that moment a

whole party of revellers already drunk came in from the street, and

the sounds of a hired concertina and the cracked piping voice of a

child of seven singing "The Hamlet" were heard in the entry. The

room was filled with noise. The tavern-keeper and the boys were busy

with the new-comers. Marmeladov paying no attention to the new

arrivals continued his story. He appeared by now to be extremely weak,

but as he became more and more drunk, he became more and more

talkative. The recollection of his recent success in getting the

situation seemed to revive him, and was positively reflected in a sort

of radiance on his face. Raskolnikov 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

shirt-fronts- most magnificent, a uniform, they got up all in splendid

style, for eleven roubles and a half. The first morning I came back

from the office I found Katerina Ivanovna had cooked two courses for

dinner- soup and salt meat with horse radish- which we had never

dreamed of till then. She had not any dresses... none at all, but

she got herself up as though she were going on a visit; and not that

she'd anything to do it with, she smartened herself up with nothing at

all, she'd done her hair nicely, put on a clean collar of some sort,

cuffs, and there she was, quite a different person, she was younger

and better looking. Sonia, my little darling, had only helped with

money 'for the time,' she said, 'it won't do for me to come and see

you too often. After dark maybe when no one can see.' Do you hear,

do you hear? I lay down for a nap after dinner and what do you

think: though Katerina Ivanovna had quarrelled to the last degree with

our landlady Amalia Fyodorovna only a week before, she could not

resist then asking her in to coffee. For two hours they were

sitting, whispering together. 'Semyon Zaharovitch is in the service

again, now, and receiving a salary,' says she, 'and he went himself to

his excellency and his excellency himself came out to him, made all

the others wait and led Semyon Zaharovitch by the hand before

everybody into his study.' Do you hear, do you hear? 'To be sure,'

says he, 'Semyon Zaharovitch, remembering your past services,' says

he, 'and in spite of your propensity to that foolish weakness, since

you promise now and since moreover we've got on badly without you,'

(do you hear, do you hear;) 'and so,' says he, 'I rely now on your

word as a gentleman.' And all that, let me tell you, she has simply

made up for herself, and not simply out of wantonness, for the sake of

bragging; no, she believes it all herself, she amuses herself with her

own fancies, upon my word she does! And I don't blame her for it,

no, I don't blame her!... Six days ago when I brought her my first

earnings in full- twenty-three roubles forty copecks altogether- she

called me her poppet: 'poppet,' said she, 'my little poppet.' And when

we were by ourselves, you understand? You would not think me a beauty,

you would not think much of me as a husband, would you?... Well, she

pinched my cheek 'my little poppet,' 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

pick-me-up! He-he-he!"

"You don't say she gave it to you?" cried one of the new-comers;

he shouted the words and went off into a guffaw.

"This very quart was bought with her money," Marmeladov declared,

addressing himself exclusively to Raskolnikov. "Thirty copecks she

gave me with her own hands, her last, all she had, as I saw.... She

said nothing, she only looked at me without a word.... Not on earth,

but up yonder... they grieve over men, they weep, but they don't blame

them, they don't blame them! But it hurts more, it hurts more when

they don't blame! Thirty copecks yes! And maybe she needs them now,

eh? What do you think, my dear sir? For now she's got to keep up her

appearance. It costs money, that smartness, that special smartness,

you know? Do you understand? And there's pomatum, too, you see, she

must have things; petticoats, starched ones, shoes, too, real jaunty

ones to show off her foot when she has to step over a puddle. Do you

understand, sir, do you understand what all that smartness means?

And here I, her own father, here I took thirty copecks of that money

for a drink! And I am drinking it! And I have already drunk it!

Come, who will have pity on a man like me, eh? Are you sorry for me,

sir, or not? Tell me, sir, are you sorry or not? He-he-he!"

He would have filled his glass, but there was no drink left. The pot

was empty.

"What are you to be pitied for?" shouted the tavern-keeper 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 merry-making I seek but tears and

tribulation!... Do you suppose, you that sell, that this pint of yours

has been sweet to me? It was tribulation I sought at the bottom of it,

tears and tribulation, and have found it, and I have tasted it; but He

will pity us Who has had pity on all men, Who has understood all men

and all things, He is the One. He too is the judge. He will come in

that day and He will ask: 'Where is the daughter who gave herself

for her cross, consumptive step-mother and for the little children

of another? Where is the daughter who had pity upon the filthy

drunkard, her earthly father, undismayed by his beastliness?' And He

will say, 'Come to me! I have already forgiven thee once.... I have

forgiven thee once.... Thy sins which are many are forgiven thee for

thou hast loved much....' And he will forgive my Sonia, He will

forgive, I know it... I felt it in my heart when I was with her just

now! And He will judge and will forgive all, the good and the evil,

the wise and the meek.... And when He has done with all of them,

then He will summon us. 'You too come forth,' He will say, 'Come forth

ye drunkards, come forth, ye weak ones, come forth, ye children of

shame!' And we shall all come forth, without shame and shall stand

before him. And He will say unto us, 'Ye are swine, made in the

Image of the Beast and with his mark; but come ye also!' And the

wise ones and those of understanding will say, 'Oh Lord, why dost Thou

receive these men?' And He will say, 'This is why I receive them, oh

ye wise, this is why I receive them, oh ye of understanding, that

not one of them believed himself to be worthy of this.' And He will

hold out His hands to us and we shall fall down before him... and we

shall weep... and we shall understand all things! Then we shall

understand all!... and all will understand, Katerina Ivanovna

even... she will understand.... Lord, Thy kingdom come!" And he sank

down on the bench exhausted, and helpless, looking at no one,

apparently oblivious of his surroundings and plunged in deep

thought. His words had created a certain impression; there was a

moment of silence; but soon laughter and oaths were heard 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, well-to-do. Lead the way!"

They went in from the yard and up to the fourth storey. The

staircase got darker and darker as they went up. It was nearly

eleven o'clock and although in summer in Petersburg there is no real

night, yet it was quite dark at the top of the stairs.

A grimy little door at the very top of the stairs stood ajar. A very

poor-looking room about ten paces long was lighted up by a candle-end;

the whole of it was visible from the entrance. It was all in disorder,

littered up with rags of all sorts, especially children's garments.

Across the furthest corner was stretched a ragged sheet. Behind it

probably was the bed. There was nothing in the room except two

chairs and a sofa covered with American leather, full of holes, before

which stood an old deal kitchen-table, unpainted and uncovered. At the

edge of the table stood a smoldering tallow-candle in an iron

candlestick. It appeared that the family had a room to themselves, not

part of a room, but their room was practically a passage. The door

leading to the other rooms, or rather cupboards, into which Amalia

Lippevechsel's flat was divided stood half open, and there was

shouting, uproar and laughter within. People seemed to be playing

cards and drinking tea there. Words of the most unceremonious kind

flew out from time to time.

Raskolnikov recognised Katerina Ivanovna at once. She was a rather

tall, slim and graceful woman, terribly emaciated, with magnificent

dark brown hair and with a hectic flush in her cheeks. She was

pacing up and down in her little room, pressing her hands against

her chest; her lips were parched and her breathing came in nervous

broken gasps. Her eyes glittered as in fever and looked about with a

harsh immovable stare. And that consumptive and excited face with

the last flickering light of the candle-end playing upon it made a

sickening impression. She seemed to Raskolnikov about thirty years old

and was certainly a strange wife for Marmeladov.... She had not

heard them and did not notice them coming in. She seemed to be lost in

thought, hearing and seeing nothing. The room was close, but she had

not opened the window; a stench rose from the staircase, but the

door on to the stairs was not closed. From the inner rooms clouds of

tobacco smoke floated in, she kept coughing, but did not close the

door. The youngest child, a girl of six, was asleep, sitting curled up

on the floor with her head on the sofa. A boy a year older stood

crying and shaking in the corner, probably he had just had a

beating. Beside him stood a girl of nine years old, tall and thin,

wearing a thin and ragged chemise with an ancient cashmere pelisse

flung over her bare shoulders, long outgrown and barely reaching her

knees. Her arm, as thin as a stick, was round her brother's neck.

She was trying to comfort him, whispering something to him, and

doing all she could to keep him from whimpering again. At the same

time her large dark eyes, which looked larger still from the

thinness of her frightened face, were watching her mother with

alarm. Marmeladov did not enter the door, but dropped on his knees

in the very doorway, pushing Raskolnikov in front of him. The woman

seeing a stranger stopped indifferently facing him, coming to

herself for a moment and apparently wondering what he had come for.

But evidently she decided that he was going into the next room, as

he had to pass through hers to get there. Taking no further notice

of him, she walked towards the outer door to close it and uttered a

sudden scream on seeing her husband on his knees in the 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 con-so-la-tion, ho-nou-red sir," he called out, shaken to and

fro by his hair and even once striking the ground with his forehead.

The child asleep on the floor woke up, and began to cry. The boy in

the corner losing all control began trembling and screaming and rushed

to his sister in violent terror, almost in a fit. The eldest girl

was shaking like a leaf.

"He's drunk it! he's drunk it all," the poor woman screamed in

despair- "and his clothes are gone! And they are hungry, hungry!"- and

wringing her hands she pointed to the children. "Oh, accursed life!

And you, are you not ashamed?"- she pounced all at once upon

Raskolnikov- "from the tavern! Have been drinking with him? You have

been drinking with him, too! Go away!"

The young man was hastening away without uttering a word. The

inner door was thrown wide open and inquisitive faces were peering

in at it. Coarse laughing faces with pipes and cigarettes and heads

wearing caps thrust themselves in at the doorway. Further in could

be seen figures in dressing gowns flung open, in costumes of

unseemly scantiness, some of them with cards in their hands. They were

particularly diverted, when Marmeladov, dragged about by his hair,

shouted that it was a consolation to him. They even began to come into

the room; at last a sinister shrill outcry was heard: this came from

Amalia Lippevechsel herself pushing her way amongst them and trying to

restore order after her own fashion and for the hundredth time to

frighten the poor woman by ordering her with coarse abuse to clear out

of the room next day. As he went out, Raskolnikov had time to put

his hand into his pocket, to snatch up the coppers he had received

in exchange for his rouble in the tavern and to lay them unnoticed

on the window. Afterwards on the stairs, he changed his mind and would

have gone back.

"What a stupid thing I've done," he thought to himself, "they have

Sonia and I want it myself." But reflecting that it would be

impossible to take it back now and that in any case he would not

have taken it, he dismissed it with a wave of his hand and went back

to his lodging. "Sonia wants pomatum too," he said as he walked

along the street, and he laughed malignantly- "such smartness costs

money.... Hm! And maybe Sonia herself will be bankrupt to-day, for

there is always a risk, hunting big game... digging for gold... then

they would all be without a crust to-morrow except for my money.

Hurrah for Sonia! What a mine they've dug there! And they're making

the most of it! Yes, they are making the most of it! They've wept over

it and grown used to it. Man grows used to everything, the scoundrel!"

He sank into thought.

"And what if I am wrong," he cried suddenly after a moment's

thought. "What if man is not really a scoundrel, man in general, I

mean, the whole race of mankind- then all the rest is prejudice,

simply artificial terrors and there are no barriers and it's all as it

should be."

Ce qu'on fait n'est jamais compris mais seulement loué ou blâmé. Nietzsche, Gay Science

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