Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821 - 1881)
Crime and Punishment
translated by Constance Garnett
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
Fearful, despairing cries rose shrilly from the
which he heard every night, indeed, under his window
after two o'clock.
They woke him up now.
drunken men are coming out of the taverns," he thought,
two o'clock," and at once he leaped up, as though some
one had pulled
him from the sofa.
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
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
He rushed to the
window. There was light enough, and he began
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
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
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
in! All out of sight, and the purse too!" he thought
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 hiding-place.
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
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
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.
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
He pulled off
the noose, hurriedly cut it to pieces and threw the
bits among his
linen under the pillow.
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
isn't beginning already! Surely it isn't my punishment
coming upon me?
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
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
were failing, were going to pieces... his reason was
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
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
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
He gathered them
all up in his hands and stood in the middle of
"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
repeated, sitting down on the sofa again, "and at once, this
But his head sank
on the pillow instead. Again the unbearable icy
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
are you dead or alive? He keeps sleeping here!" shouted
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
not at home," said a man's voice.
the porter's voice.... What does he want?"
He jumped up and
sat on the sofa. The beating of his heart was a
can have latched the door?" retorted Nastasya.
to bolting himself in! As if he were worth stealing!
Open, you stupid,
they want? Why the porter? All's discovered. Resist or
open? Come what
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.
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
from the office," he announced, as he gave him the paper.
to the police office, of course. You know which office."
"To the police?...
I tell? You're sent for, so you go."
The man looked
at him attentively, looked round the room and
turned to go away.
ill!" observed Nastasya, not taking her eyes off
him. The porter
turned his head for a moment. "He's been in a fever
no response and held the paper in his hands,
it. "Don't you get up then," Nastasya went on
seeing that he was letting his feet down from the
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
half waking up in his fever, he had grasped all this
tightly in his
hand and so fallen asleep again.
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?"
have some tea! Yes? I'll bring it, there's some left."
going; I'll go at once," he muttered, getting on to his
never get downstairs!"
"As you please."
She followed the
At once he rushed
to the light to examine the sock and the rags.
stains, but not very noticeable; all covered with dirt,
and rubbed and
already discoloured. No one who had no suspicion
anything. Nastasya from a distance could not have
God!" Then with a tremor he broke the seal of the
notice and began
reading; he was a long while reading, before he
was an ordinary summons from the district police
station to appear
that day at half past nine at the office of the
has such a thing happened? I never have anything to do
with the police!
And why just to-day?" he thought in agonising
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
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.
too much for me..." he thought. His legs shook. "From
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
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 pot-houses, again the drunken men, the
and half-broken-down cabs. The sun shone straight in
his eyes, so that
it hurt him to look out of them, and he felt his
head going round-
as a man in a fever is apt to feel when he comes out
into the street
on a bright sunny day.
When he reached
the turning into the street, in an agony of
looked down it... at the house... and at once averted
question me, perhaps I'll simply tell," he thought, as he
drew near the police
The police station
was about a quarter of a mile off. It had
lately been moved
to new rooms on the fourth floor of a new house.
He had been once
for a moment in the old office but long ago.
Turning in at the
gateway, he saw on the right a flight of stairs
which a peasant
was mounting with a book in his hand. "A house-porter,
no doubt; so then,
the office is here," and he began ascending the
stairs on the chance.
He did not want to ask questions of any one.
in, fall on my knees, and confess everything..." he
thought, as he
reached the fourth floor.
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
too, the heat was stifling and there was a sickening
smell of fresh
paint and stale oil from the newly decorated rooms.
a little, he decided to move forward into the next
room. All the rooms
were small and low-pitched. A fearful impatience
drew him on and
on. No one paid attention to him. In the second room
some clerks sat
writing, dressed hardly better than he was, and rather
set. He went up to one of them.
He showed the
notice he had received.
a student?" the man asked, glancing at the notice.
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
be no getting anything out of him, because he has no
interest in anything,"
"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
other, a very stout, buxom woman with a purplish-red,
blotchy face, excessively
smartly dressed with a brooch on her bosom
as big as a saucer,
was standing on one side, apparently waiting for
thrust his notice upon the head clerk. The
at it, said: "Wait a minute," and went on attending
to the lady in
He breathed more
freely. "It can't be that!"
By degrees he
began to regain confidence, he kept urging himself
to have courage
and be calm.
some trifling carelessness, and I may betray
myself! Hm... it's
a pity there's no air here," he added, "it's
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 self-control;
he tried to catch at something and fix his
mind on it, something
quite irrelevant, but he could not succeed in
this at all. Yet
the head clerk greatly interested him, he kept hoping
to see through
him and guess something from his face.
He was a very
young man, about two and twenty, with a dark mobile
face that looked
older than his years. He was fashionably dressed
and foppish, with
his hair parted in the middle, well combed and
pomaded, and wore
a number of rings on his well-scrubbed fingers and a
gold chain on his
waistcoat. He said a couple of words in French to
a foreigner who
was in the room, and said them fairly correctly.
you can sit down," he said casually to the
purple-faced lady, who was still standing as though not
venturing to sit
down, though there was a chair beside her.
said the latter, and softly, with a rustle of silk
she sank into the
chair. Her light blue dress trimmed with white
lace floated about
the table like an air-balloon and filled almost
half the room.
She smelt of scent. But she was obviously embarrassed
at filling half
the room and smelling so strongly of scent; and though
her smile was impudent
as well as cringing, it betrayed evident
The lady in mourning
had done at last, and got up. All at once, with
some noise, an
officer walked in very jauntily, with a peculiar
swing of his shoulders
at each step. He tossed his cockaded cap on the
table and sat down
in an easy-chair. The small lady positively skipped
from her seat on
seeing him, and fell to curtsying in a sort of
ecstasy; but the
officer took not the smallest notice of her, and
she did not venture
to sit down again in his presence. He was the
He had a reddish moustache that stood out
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
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.
recovery of money due, from the student," the head clerk
tearing himself from his papers. "Here!" and
he flung Raskolnikov
a document and pointed out the place. "Read
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.
what time were you directed to appear, sir?" shouted
the assistant superintendent,
seeming for some unknown reason more and
"You are told to come at nine, and now it's twelve!"
was only brought me a quarter of an hour ago,"
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."
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."
superintendent was so furious that for the first
minute he could
only splutter inarticulately. He leaped up from his
You are in a government office. Don't be impudent, sir!"
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
was obviously disconcerted.
your business!" he shouted at last with unnatural
make the declaration demanded of you. Show him.
There is a complaint against you! You don't
pay your debts!
You're a fine bird!"
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.
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
you can pay it, and at the same time an undertaking
not to leave the
capital without payment, and nor to sell or conceal
The creditor is at liberty to sell your property, and
you according to the law."
am not in debt to any one!"
our business. Here, an I.O.U. for a hundred and
legally attested, and due for payment, has been
brought us for
recovery, given by you to the widow of the assessor
months ago, and paid over by the widow Zarnitsyn to
one Mr. Tchebarov.
We therefore summon you hereupon."
is my landlady!"
if she is your landlady?"
The head clerk
looked at him with a condescending smile of
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
He stood, he read, he listened, he answered, he even
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 suppositions or surmises, without doubts and
It was an instant of full, direct, purely
But at that very moment something like a thunderstorm
took place in the
office. The assistant superintendent, still shaken
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
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
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.
the head clerk was beginning anxiously, but
for he knew from experience that the enraged
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.
no sort of noise or fighting in my house, Mr. Captain,"
she pattered all
at once, like peas dropping, speaking Russian
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
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
like a little pig; it was a disgrace. The idea of
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.'"
was an author?"
Captain, and what an ungentlemanly visitor in an
Enough! I have told you already..."
the head clerk repeated significantly.
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 lock-up,
as it is called in polite society. Do you hear? So a
literary man, an
author took five roubles for his coat-tail in an
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
to the respectable family of a civil
wife and daughter. And there was one of them turned
out of a confectioner's
shop the other day. They are like that,
men, students, town-criers... Pfoo! You get along! I
shall look in upon
you myself one day. Then you had better be careful!
Do you hear?"
With hurried deference,
Luise Ivanovna fell to curtsying in all
so curtsied herself to the door. But at the door,
she stumbled backwards
against a good-looking officer with a fresh,
open face and splendid
thick fair whiskers. This was the
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.
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!"
then!" Ilya Petrovitch drawled with gentlemanly
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,
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
and very attractive he is!"
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,
to Raskolnikov. "But you were wrong there; he is a
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...."
a regiment it was, too," cried Ilya Petrovitch, much
gratified at this
agreeable banter, though still sulky.
a sudden desire to say something exceptionally
pleasant to them
all. "Excuse me, Captain," he began easily,
Nikodim Fomitch, "will you enter into my
am ready to ask pardon, if I have been ill-mannered.
I am a poor student,
sick and shattered (shattered was the word he
used) by poverty.
I am not studying, because I cannot keep myself now,
but I shall get
money.... I have a mother and sister in the province
of X. They will
send it to me, and I will pay. My landlady is a
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!..."
is not our business, you know," the head clerk was
I perfectly agree with you. But allow me to explain..."
in again, still addressing Nikodim Fomitch, but trying
his best to address
Ilya Petrovitch also, though the latter
to be rummaging among his papers and to be
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
I liked her, though I was not in love with her... a
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
you for these personal details, sir, we've no time to
Petrovitch interposed roughly and with a note of triumph;
stopped him hotly, though he suddenly found it
me, excuse me. It is for me to explain... how it all
my turn... though I agree with you... it is
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
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
affecting details are no business of ours." Ilya
rudely. "You must give a written undertaking
but as for your
love affairs and all these tragic events, we have
nothing to do with
you are harsh," muttered Nikodim Fomitch, sitting
down at the table
and also beginning to write. He looked a little
said the head clerk to Raskolnikov.
the latter asked, gruffly.
"I will dictate
that the head clerk treated him more casually
after his speech, but strange to say he suddenly
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
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
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
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
life. He had never experienced such a strange and
And what was most agonising- it was more a
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.
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!"
The head clerk
took the paper, and turned to attend to others.
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
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
through his mind. "No, better cast off the burden
But all at once he stood still, rooted to the spot.
was talking eagerly with Ilya Petrovitch, and the
words reached him:
they'll both be released. To begin with, the whole
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
before he went up to the old woman and he left
him at exactly
a quarter to eight. Now just consider..."
me, how do you explain this contradiction? They state
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."
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
and saying: "If I had been there, he would have
jumped out and
killed me with his axe.' He is going to have a
"And no one
saw the murderer?"
well not see him; the house is a regular Noah's Ark,"
said the head clerk,
who was listening.
quite clear," Nikodim Fomitch repeated warmly.
"No, it is
anything but clear," Ilya Petrovitch maintained.
up his hat and walked towards the door, but he
did not reach it....
When he recovered
consciousness, he found himself sitting in a
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.
Are you ill?" Nikodim Fomitch asked, rather sharply.
hardly hold his pen when he was signing," said the head
back in his place, and taking up his work again.
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
muttered Raskolnikov in reply.
go out yesterday?"
did you go, my I ask?"
as a handkerchief, had answered sharply, jerkily,
his black feverish eyes before Ilya Petrovitch's
"He can scarcely
stand upright. And you..." Nikodim Fomitch was
Ilya Petrovitch pronounced rather peculiarly.
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.
then," concluded Ilya Petrovitch, "we will not detain
out. He caught the sound of eager conversation on
and above the rest rose the questioning voice of
In the street, his faintness passed off completely.
there will be a search at once," he repeated to
home. "The brutes! they suspect."
His former terror
mastered him completely again.
qu'on fait n'est jamais compris mais seulement loué ou blâmé.
Nietzsche, Gay Science