Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821 - 1881)
Crime and Punishment
translated by Constance Garnett
THIS WAS a gentleman
no longer young, of a stiff and portly
a cautious and sour countenance. He began by
in the doorway, staring about him with offensive and
as though asking himself what sort of
place he had come
to. Mistrustfully and with an affectation of being
alarmed and almost
affronted, he scanned Raskolnikov's low and
With the same amazement he stared at Raskolnikov,
who lay undressed,
dishevelled, unwashed, on his miserable dirty sofa,
at him. Then with the same deliberation he scrutinised
the uncouth, unkempt
figure and unshaven face of Razumihin, who looked
him boldly and
inquiringly in the face without rising from his seat. A
lasted for a couple of minutes, and then, as might
be expected, some
scene-shifting took place. Reflecting, probably from
unmistakable signs, that he would get nothing in this
by attempting to overawe them, the gentleman softened
somewhat, and civilly,
though with some severity, emphasising every
syllable of his
question, addressed Zossimov:
Raskolnikov, a student, or formerly a student?"
a slight movement, and would have answered, had not
is lying on the sofa! What do you want?"
"what do you want" seemed to cut the ground from the
feet of the pompous
gentleman. He was turning to Razumihin, but
in time and turned to Zossimov again.
Raskolnikov," mumbled Zossimov, nodding towards him. Then
he gave a prolonged
yawn, opening his mouth as wide as possible.
Then he lazily
put his hand into his waistcoat-pocket, pulled out a
huge gold watch
in a round hunter's case, opened it, looked at it
and as slowly and
lazily proceeded to put it back.
lay without speaking, on his back, gazing
'without understanding, at the stranger. Now that
his face was turned
away from the strange flower on the paper, it
was extremely pale
and wore a look of anguish, as though he had just
undergone an agonising
operation or just been taken from the rack. But
the new-comer gradually
began to arouse his attention, then his
wonder, then suspicion
and even alarm. When Zossimov said "This is
he jumped up quickly, sat on the sofa and with an
but weak and breaking, voice articulated:
"Yes, I am
Raskolnikov! What do you want?"
The visitor scrutinised
him and pronounced impressively:
Luzhin. I believe I have reason to hope that my
name is not wholly
unknown to you?"
who had expected something quite different, gazed
blankly and dreamily
at him, making no reply, as though he heard the
name of Pyotr Petrovitch
for the first time.
"Is it possible
that you can up to the present have received no
asked Pyotr Petrovitch, somewhat disconcerted.
In reply Raskolnikov
sank languidly back on the pillow, put his
hands behind his
head and gazed at the ceiling. A look of dismay
came into Luzhin's
face. Zossimov and Razumihin stared at him more
ever, and at last he showed unmistakable signs of
"I had presumed
and calculated," he faltered, "that a letter
posted more than
ten days, if not a fortnight ago..."
"I say, why
are you standing in the doorway?" Razumihin
"If you've something to say, sit down.
Nastasya and you
are so crowded. Nastasya, make room. Here's a
chair, thread your
He moved his chair
back from the table, made a little space
between the table
and his knees, and waited in a rather cramped
position for the
visitor to "thread his way in." The minute was so
chosen that it
was impossible to refuse, and the visitor squeezed
his way through,
hurrying and stumbling. Reaching the chair, he sat
down, looking suspiciously
to be nervous," the latter blurted out. "Rodya has been ill
for the last five
days and delirious for three, but now he is
has got an appetite. This is his doctor, who has just
had a look at him.
I am a comrade of Rodya's, like him, formerly a
student, and now
I am nursing him; so don't you take any notice of us,
but go on with
But shall I not disturb the invalid by my presence and
Pyotr Petrovitch asked of Zossimov.
mumbled Zossimov; "you may amuse him." He yawned again.
"He has been
conscious a long time, since the morning," went on
familiarity seemed so much like unaffected
Pyotr Petrovitch began to be more cheerful, partly,
this shabby and impudent person had introduced
himself as a student.
Razumihin cleared his throat loudly. Luzhin looked at him
right, go on."
had commenced a letter to you while I was sojourning
in her neighbourhood.
On my arrival here I purposely allowed a few
days to elapse
before coming to see you, in order that I might be
fully assured that
you were in full possession of the tidings; but
now, to my astonishment..."
I know!" Raskolnikov cried suddenly with impatient
you are the fiance? I know, and that's enough!"
There was no doubt
about Pyotr Petrovitch's being offended this
time, but he said
nothing. He made a violent effort to understand what
it all meant. There
was a moment's silence.
who had turned a little towards him when he
suddenly staring at him again with marked curiosity,
as though he had
not had a good look at him yet, or as though
something new had
struck him; he rose from his pillow on purpose to
stare at him. There
certainly was something peculiar in Pyotr
appearance, something which seemed to justify the
title of "fiance"
so unceremoniously applied to him. In the first
place, it was evident,
far too much so indeed, that Pyotr Petrovitch
had made eager
use of his few days in the capital to get himself up
and rig himself
out in expectation of his betrothed- a perfectly
innocent and permissible
proceeding, indeed. Even his own, perhaps too
of the agreeable improvement in his
have been forgiven in such circumstances, seeing that
had taken up the role of fiance. All his clothes were
fresh from the
tailor's and were all right, except for being too new
and too distinctly
appropriate. Even the stylish new round hat had the
Pyotr Petrovitch treated it too respectfully and
held it too carefully
in his hands. The exquisite pair of lavender
gloves, real Louvain,
told the same tale, if only from the fact of his
not wearing them,
but carrying them in his hand for show. Light and
predominated in Pyotr Petrovitch's attire. He wore
a charming summer
jacket of a fawn shade, light thin trousers, a
waistcoat of the
same, new and fine linen, a cravat of the lightest
cambric with pink
stripes on it, and the best of it was, this all
suited Pyotr Petrovitch.
His very fresh and even handsome face
than his forty-five years at all times. His dark,
made an agreeable setting on both sides,
about his shining, clean-shaven chin. Even his hair,
touched here and
there with grey, though it had been combed and curled
at a hairdresser's,
did not give him a stupid appearance, as curled
hair usually does,
by inevitably suggesting a German on his
there really was something unpleasing and repulsive in
his rather good-looking
and imposing countenance, it was due to
quite other causes.
After scanning Mr. Luzhin unceremoniously,
malignantly, sank back on the pillow and stared
at the ceiling
But Mr. Luzhin
hardened his heart and seemed to determine to take no
notice of their
"I feel the
greatest regret at finding you in this situation," he
began, again breaking
the silence with an effort. "If I had been aware
of your illness
I should have come earlier. But you know what business
is. I have, too,
a very important legal affair in the Senate, not to
mention other preoccupations
which you may well conjecture. I am
mamma and sister any minute."
a movement and seemed about to speak; his face
showed some excitement.
Pyotr Petrovitch paused, waited, but as
he went on:
I have found a lodging for them on their arrival."
asked Raskolnikov weakly.
here, in Bakaleyev's house."
Voskresensky," put in Razumihin. "There are two storeys
of rooms, let by
a merchant called Yushin; I've been there."
place- filthy, stinking and, what's more, of
Things have happened there, and there are all
sorts of queer
people living there. And I went there about a
It's cheap, though..."
not, of course, find out so much about it, for I am a
stranger in Petersburg
myself," Pyotr Petrovitch replied huffily.
the two rooms are exceedingly clean, and as it is for so
short a time...
I have already taken a permanent, that is, our
he said, addressing Raskolnikov, "and I am having it
done up. And meanwhile
I am myself cramped for room in a lodging
with my friend
Andrey Semyonovitch Lebeziatnikov, in the flat of
it was he who told me of Bakaleyev's house,
said Raskolnikov slowly, as if recalling something.
Semyonovitch Lebeziatnikov, a clerk in the Ministry. Do
you know him?"
I fancied so from your inquiry. I was once his
very nice young man and advanced. I like to meet
young people: one
learns new things from them." Luzhin looked round
hopefully at them
"How do you
mean?" asked Razumihin.
"In the most
serious and essential matters," Pyotr Petrovitch
replied, as though
delighted at the question. "You see, it's ten years
since I visited
Petersburg. All the novelties, reforms, ideas have
reached us in the
provinces, but to see it all more clearly one must
be in Petersburg.
And it's my notion that you observe and learn most
by watching the
younger generation. And I confess I am delighted..."
is a wide one. I may be mistaken, but I fancy I
find clearer views,
more, so to say, criticism, more practicality..."
Zossimov let drop.
There's no practicality." Razumihin flew at him.
is a difficult thing to find; it does not drop down from
heaven. And for
the last two hundred years we have been divorced
from all practical
life. Ideas, if you like, are fermenting," he
said to Pyotr Petrovitch,
"and desire for good exists, though it's
in a childish form,
and honesty you may find, although there are
crowds of brigands.
Anyway, there's no practicality. Practicality goes
agree with you," Pyotr Petrovitch replied, with evident
course, people do get carried away and make mistakes,
but one must have
indulgence; those mistakes are merely evidence of
the cause and of abnormal external environment. If
little has been
done, the time has been but short; of means I will not
speak. It's my
personal view, if you care to know, that something
has been accomplished
already. New valuable ideas, new valuable
works are circulating
in the place of our old dreamy and romantic
is taking a maturer form, many injurious prejudice
have been rooted
up and turned into ridicule.... In a word, we have
cut ourselves off
irrevocably from the past, and that, to my thinking,
is a great thing..."
it by heart to show off Raskolnikov pronounced
asked Pyotr Petrovitch, not catching his words; but he
received no reply.
true," Zossimov hastened to interpose.
so?" Pyotr Petrovitch went on, glancing affably at
must admit," he went on, addressing Razumihin with a
shade of triumph
and superciliousness- he almost added "young man"-
is an advance, or, as they say now, progress in the name
of science and
a commonplace! Hitherto, for instance, if I were told,
'love thy neighbour,'
what came of it?" Pyotr Petrovitch went on,
perhaps with excessive
haste. "It came to my tearing my coat in half
to share with my
neighbour and we both were left half naked. As a
has it, 'catch several hares and you won't catch one.'
Science now tells
us, love yourself before all men, for everything
in the world rests
on self-interest. You love yourself and manage your
own affairs properly
and your coat remains whole. Economic truth
adds that the better
private affairs are organised in society- the
more whole coats,
so to say- the firmer are its foundations and the
better is the common
welfare organised too. Therefore, in acquiring
wealth solely and
exclusively for myself, I am acquiring so to
speak, for all,
and helping to bring to pass my neighbour's getting
a little more than
a torn coat; and that not from private, personal
as a consequence of the general advance. The idea is
simple, but unhappily
it has been a long time reaching us, being
hindered by idealism
and sentimentality. And yet it would seem to want
very little wit
to perceive it..."
I've very little wit myself," Razumihin cut in
so let us drop it. I began this discussion with an
object, but I've
grown so sick during the last three years of this
chattering to amuse
oneself, of this incessant flow of commonplaces,
always the same,
that, by Jove, I blush even when other people talk
like that. You
are in a hurry, no doubt, to exhibit your acquirements;
and I don't blame
you, that's quite pardonable. I only wanted to
find out what sort
of man you are, for so many unscrupulous people
have got hold of
the progressive cause of late and have so distorted
in their own interests
everything they touched, that the whole cause
has been dragged
in the mire. That's enough!"
sir," said Luzhin, affronted, and speaking with
"Do you mean to suggest so unceremoniously that I
"Oh, my dear
sir... how could I?... Come, that's enough,"
and he turned abruptly to Zossimov to continue
had the good sense to accept the disavowal. He made
up his mind to
take leave in another minute or two.
our acquaintance," he said, addressing Raskolnikov, "may,
upon your recovery
and in view of the circumstances of which you are
aware, become closer....
Above all, I hope for your return to
not even turn his head. Pyotr Petrovitch began
getting up from
"One of her
customers must have killed her," Zossimov declared
"Not a doubt
of it," replied Razumihin. "Porfiry doesn't give his
opinion, but is
examining all who have left pledges with her there."
them?" Raskolnikov asked aloud.
he get hold of them?" asked Zossimov.
given the names of some of them, other names are on the
wrappers of the
pledges and some have come forward of themselves."
have been a cunning and practised ruffian! The boldness
of it! The coolness!"
what it wasn't!" interposed Razumihin. "That's what
throws you all
off the scent. But I maintain that he is not cunning,
and probably this was his first crime! The
it was a calculated crime and a cunning criminal
doesn't work. Suppose
him to have been inexperienced, and it's clear
that it was only
a chance that saved him- and chance may do
he did not foresee obstacles, perhaps! And how did he
set to work? He
took jewels worth ten or twenty roubles, stuffing
his pockets with
them, ransacked the old woman's trunk, her rags-
and they found
fifteen hundred roubles, besides notes, in a box in the
top drawer of the
chest! He did not know how to rob; he could only
murder. It was
his first crime, I assure you, his first crime; he lost
his head. And he
got off more by luck than good counsel!"
talking of the murder of the old pawnbroker, I believe?"
put in, addressing Zossimov. He was standing, hat and
gloves in hand,
but before departing he felt disposed to throw off a
few more intellectual
phrases. He was evidently anxious to make a
and his vanity overcame his prudence.
heard of it?"
being in the neighbourhood."
"Do you know
say that; but another circumstance interests me in the
case- the whole
question, so to say. Not to speak of the fact that
crime has been
greatly on the increase among the lower classes
during the last
five years, not to speak of the cases of robbery and
what strikes me as the strangest thing is that in
the higher classes,
too, crime is increasing proportionately. In one
place one hears
of a student's robbing the mail on the high road; in
another place people
of good social position forge false banknotes; in
Moscow of late
a whole gang has been captured who used to forge
and one of the ringleaders was a lecturer in
then our secretary abroad was murdered from some
of gain.... And if this old woman, the pawnbroker,
has been murdered
by some one of a higher class in society- for
pawn gold trinkets- how are we to explain this
of the civilised part of our society?"
many economic changes," put in Zossimov.
we to explain it?" Razumihin caught him up. "It might be
explained by our
"How do you
had your lecturer in Moscow to make to the question why
he was forging
notes? 'Everybody is getting rich one way or another,
so I want to make
haste to get rich too.' I don't remember the exact
words, but the
upshot was that he wants money for nothing, without
waiting or working!
We've grown used to having everything
walking on crutches, to having our food chewed for
us. Then the great
hour struck,* and every man showed himself in his
* The emancipation
of the serfs in 1861 is meant.- TRANSLATOR'S
And so to speak, principles..."
do you worry about it?" Raskolnikov interposed suddenly.
"It's in accordance
with your theory!"
with my theory?"
out logically the theory you were advocating just now,
and it follows
that people may be killed..."
word!" cried Luzhin.
not so," put in Zossimov.
with a white face and twitching upper lip, breathing
a measure in all things," Luzhin went on superciliously.
ideas are not an incitement to murder, and one has but to
"And is it
true," Raskolnikov interposed once more suddenly, again
in a voice quivering
with fury and delight in insulting him, "is it
true that you told
your fiancee... within an hour of her acceptance,
that what pleased
you most... was that she was a beggar... because
it was better to
raise a wife from poverty, so that you may have
over her, and reproach her with your being her
word," Luzhin cried wrathfully and irritably, crimson
"to distort my words in this way! Excuse me, allow
me to assure you
that the report which has reached you, or rather
let me say, has
been conveyed to you, has no foundation in truth,
and I... suspect
who... in a word... this arrow... in a word, your
mamma... She seemed
to me in other things, with all her excellent
qualities, of a
somewhat highflown and romantic way of thinking....
But I was a thousand
miles from supposing that she would misunderstand
things in so fanciful a way.... And indeed...
"I tell you
what," cried Raskolnikov, raising himself on his
pillow and fixing
his piercing, glittering eyes upon him, "I tell
Luzhin stood still, waiting with a defiant and offended
face. Silence lasted
for some seconds.
ever again... you dare to mention a single word... about my
mother... I shall
send you flying downstairs!"
matter with you?" cried Razumihin.
how it is?" Luzhin turned pale and bit his lip. "Let me
tell you, sir,"
he began deliberately, doing his utmost to restrain
himself but breathing
hard, "at the first moment I saw you you were
me, but I remained here on purpose to find out more. I
could forgive a
great deal in a sick man and a connection, but
you... never after
"I am not
ill," cried Raskolnikov.
"Go to hell!"
But Luzhin was
already leaving without finishing his speech,
the table and the chair; Razumihin got up this
time to let him
pass. Without glancing at any one, and not even
nodding to Zossimov,
who had for some time been making signs to him to
let the sick man
alone, he went out, lifting his hat to the level of
his shoulders to
avoid crushing it as he stooped to go out of the
door. And even
the curve of his spine was expressive of the horrible
insult he had received.
you- how could you!" Razumihin said, shaking his head
"Let me alone-
let me alone all of you!" Raskolnikov cried in a
you ever leave off tormenting me? I am not afraid of
you! I am not afraid
of any one, any one now! Get away from me! I want
to be alone, alone,
said Zossimov, nodding to Razumihin.
"But we can't
leave him like this!"
Zossimov repeated insistently, and he went out.
a minute and ran to overtake him.
be worse not to obey him," said Zossimov on the stairs.
matter with him?"
he could get some favourable shock, that's what would do
it! At first he
was better.... You know he has got something on his
mind! Some fixed
idea weighing on him.... I am very much afraid so; he
it's that gentleman, Pyotr Petrovitch. From his
gather he is going to marry his sister, and that he had
received a letter
about it just before his illness...."
the man! he may have upset the case altogether. But
have you noticed,
he takes no interest in anything, he does not
respond to anything
except one point on which he seems excited- that's
Razumihin agreed, "I noticed that, too. He is
It gave him a shock on the day he was ill in
the police office;
more about that this evening and I'll tell you something
interests me very much! In half an hour I'll go and see
him again.... There'll
be no inflammation though."
And I'll wait with Pashenka meantime and will keep watch on
him through Nastasya...."
alone, looked with impatience and misery at
Nastasya, but she
have some tea now?" she asked.
am sleepy! Leave me."
He turned abruptly
to the wall; Nastasya went out.
qu'on fait n'est jamais compris mais seulement loué ou blâmé.
Nietzsche, Gay Science