Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821 - 1881)
Crime and Punishment
translated by Constance Garnett
if there has been a search already? What if I find them in
But here was his
room. Nothing and no one in it. No one had peeped
in. Even Nastasya
had not touched it. But heavens! how could he have
left all those
things in the hole?
He rushed to the
corner, slipped his hand under the paper, pulled
the things out
and lined his pockets with them. There were eight
articles in all:
two little boxes with ear-rings or something of the
sort, he hardly
looked to see; then four small leather cases. There
was a chain, too,
merely wrapped in newspaper and something else in
looked like a decoration.... He put them all in the
of his overcoat, and the remaining pocket of his
to conceal them as much as possible. He took the
purse, too. Then
he went out of his room, leaving the door open. He
and resolutely, and though he felt shattered, he had
his senses about
him. He was afraid of pursuit, he was afraid that
in another half-hour,
another quarter of an hour perhaps, instructions
would be issued
for his pursuit, and so at all costs, he must hide all
traces before then.
He must clear everything up while he still had
some 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
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
for a man to go down on purpose, stop, and throw
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
worried and anxious in this dangerous part without
thinking of it
before. And that half-hour he had lost over an
simply because he had thought of it in delirium! He
had become extremely
absent and forgetful and he was aware of it. He
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
And though he felt incapable of clear judgment, the
idea seemed to
him a sound one. But he was not destined to go there.
For coming out
of V___ Prospect towards the square, he saw on the left
a passage leading
between two blank walls to a courtyard. On the right
hand, the blank
unwhitewashed wall of a four-storied house stretched
far into the court;
on the left, a wooden hoarding ran parallel with
it for twenty paces
into the court, and then turned sharply to the
left. Here was
a deserted fenced-off place where rubbish of
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
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
on the hoarding above had been scribbled in chalk
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!"
once more, with his hand already in his pocket, he
the outer wall, between the entrance and the sink, a
big unhewn stone,
weighing perhaps sixty pounds. The other side of the
wall was a street.
He could hear passers-by, always numerous in that
part, but he could
not be seen from the entrance, unless 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,
joy overwhelmed him for an instant, as it had in the
"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
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
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
all!" he thought suddenly, in a fit of ungovernable fury.
"If it has
begun, then it has begun. Hang the new life! Good Lord, how
stupid it is!...
And what lies I told to-day! How despicably I
fawned upon that
wretched Ilya Petrovitch! But that is all folly! What
do I care for them
all, and my fawning upon them! It is not that at
all! It is not
that at all!"
Suddenly he stopped;
a new utterly unexpected and exceedingly simple
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
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...
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
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
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
he did not know what to do, what to attempt. A new
was gaining more and more mastery over him
every moment; this
was an immeasurable, almost physical, repulsion for
him, an obstinate, malignant feeling of hatred.
All who met him
were loathsome to him- he loathed their faces, 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
thought, "why, I have not come to Razumihin of my own
accord! Here it's
the same thing over again.... Very interesting to
know, though; have
I come on purpose or have I simply walked here by
chance? Never mind,
I said the day before yesterday that I would go
and see him the
day after; well, and so I will! Besides I really
cannot go further
He went up to
Razumihin's room on the fifth floor.
The latter was
at home in his garret, busily writing at the
moment, and he
opened the door himself. It was four months since
they had seen each
other. Razumihin was sitting in a ragged
with slippers on his bare feet, unkempt, unshaven and
unwashed. His face
"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.
are seriously ill, do you know that?" He began feeling his
pulled away his hand.
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
up from the sofa. As he had mounted the stairs to
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.
he said abruptly, and walked to the door.
You queer fish."
want to," said the other, again pulling away his hand.
the devil have you come? Are you mad, or what? Why, this
is... almost insulting!
I won't let you go like that."
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
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
have! The very titles are worth the money! You always
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
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
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
somebody has told Heruvimov, that Rousseau was a kind
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
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?"
the German sheets in silence, took the three
roubles and without
a word went out. Razumihin gazed after him in
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
raving, or what?" Razumihin shouted, roused to fury at
farce is this? You'll drive me crazy too... what did you
come to see me
for, damn you?"
want... translation," muttered Raskolnikov from the stairs.
the devil do you want?" shouted Razumihin from above.
descending the staircase in silence.
Where are you living?"
was already stepping into the street. On the
he was roused to full consciousness again by an
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.
I dare say."
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
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.
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
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
The pain from the lash went off, and Raskolnikov forgot
about it; one uneasy
and not quite definite idea occupied him now
stood still, and gazed long and intently into the
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
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
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
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
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
just as quickly and indistinctly, hurrying and
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 topsy-turvy? He could
hear people running
in crowds from all the storeys and all the
heard voices, exclamations, knocking, doors banging.
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...
Good God!" He would have fastened his door with
the latch, but
he could not lift his hand... besides, it would be
gripped his heart like ice, tortured him and numbed
him.... But at
last all this uproar, after continuing about ten
gradually to subside. The landlady was moaning and
Petrovitch was still uttering threats and curses....
But at last he,
too, seemed to be silent, and now he could not be
he have gone away? Good Lord!" Yes, and now the landlady
is going too, still
weeping and moaning... and then her door
the crowd was going from the stairs to their rooms,
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!"
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.
nothing since yesterday, I warrant. You've been
all day, and you're shaking with fever."
what were they beating the landlady for?"
She looked intently
half an hour ago, Ilya Petrovitch, the
on the stairs.... Why was he ill-treating
her like that,
and... why was he here?"
him, silent and frowning, and her scrutiny
lasted a long time.
He felt uneasy, even frightened at her searching
why don't you speak?" he said timidly at last in a weak
blood," she answered at last softly, as though speaking to
blood?" he muttered, growing white and turning
towards the wall.
looked at him without speaking.
been beating the landlady," she declared at last in a
He gazed at her,
hardly able to breathe.
it myself.... I was not asleep... I was sitting up," he
said still more
timidly. "I listened a long while. The
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
you eat something?"
He made no answer.
Nastasya still stood over him, watching him.
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.
qu'on fait n'est jamais compris mais seulement loué ou blâmé.
Nietzsche, Gay Science