Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821 - 1881)
Crime and Punishment
translated by Constance Garnett
up, and sat down on the sofa. He waved his hand
weakly to Razumihin
to cut short the flow of warm and incoherent
was addressing to his mother and sister, took them
both by the hand
and for a minute or two gazed from one to the other
His mother was alarmed by his expression. It
revealed an emotion
agonisingly poignant, and at the same time
almost insane. Pulcheria Alexandrovna began to
was pale; her hand trembled in her brother's.
with him," he said in a broken voice, pointing to
till to-morrow; to-morrow everything... Is it
long since you
Rodya," answered Pulcheria Alexandrovna, "the train
was awfully late.
But, Rodya, nothing would induce me to leave you
now! I will spend
the night here, near you..."
me!" he said with a gesture of irritation.
"I will stay
with him," cried Razumihin, "I won't leave him for a
all my visitors! Let them rage to their hearts'
content! My uncle
is presiding there."
can I thank you!" Pulcheria Alexandrovna was beginning,
once more pressing
Razumihin's hands, but Raskolnikov interrupted
have it! I can't have it!" he repeated irritably, "don't
worry me! Enough,
go away... I can't stand it!"
come out of the room at least for a minute," Dounia
whispered in dismay;
"we are distressing him, that's evident."
look at him after three years?" wept Pulcheria
he stopped them again, "you keep interrupting me, and my
ideas get muddled....
Have you seen Luzhin?"
but he knows already of our arrival. We have heard,
Rodya, that Pyotr
Petrovitch was so kind as to visit you today,"
added somewhat timidly.
was so kind... Dounia, I promised Luzhin I'd throw him
told him to go to hell...."
are you saying! Surely, you don't mean to tell us..."
began in alarm, but she stopped, looking at
was looking attentively at her brother, waiting
for what would
come next. Both of them had heard of the quarrel from
Nastasya, so far
as she had succeeded in understanding and reporting
it, and were in
painful perplexity and suspense.
Raskolnikov continued with an effort, "I don't want that
marriage, so at
the first opportunity to-morrow you must refuse
Luzhin, so that
we may never hear his name again."
cried Pulcheria Alexandrovna.
think what you are saying!" Avdotya Romanovna began
immediately checked herself. "You are not fit to talk
now, perhaps; you
are tired," she added gently.
I am delirious? No... You are marrying Luzhin for my
sake. But I won't
accept the sacrifice. And so write a letter before
to-morrow, to refuse
him... Let me read it in the morning and that
will be the end
"That I can't
do!" the girl cried, offended, "what right have
you are hasty, too, be quiet, to-morrow... Don't you
mother interposed in dismay. "Better come away!"
"He is raving,"
Razumihin cried tipsily, "or how would he dare!
To-morrow all this
nonsense will be over... to-day he certainly did
drive him away.
That was so. And Luzhin got angry, too... He made
wanted to show off his learning and he went out
true?" cried Pulcheria Alexandrovna.
till to-morrow, brother," said Dounia compassionately-
"let us go,
mother... Good-bye, Rodya."
"Do you hear,
sister," he repeated after them, making a last effort,
"I am not
delirious; this marriage is- an infamy. Let me act like a
you mustn't... one is enough... and though I am a
scoundrel, I wouldn't
own such a sister. It's me or Luzhin! Go
out of your mind! Despot!" roared Razumihin; but
not and perhaps could not answer. He lay down on the
sofa, and turned
to the wall, utterly exhausted. Avdotya Romanovna
looked with interest
at Razumihin; her black eyes flashed; Razumihin
at her glance.
would induce me to go," she whispered in despair to
will stay somewhere here... escort Dounia home."
everything," Razumihin answered in the same whisper,
"come out on to the stairs, anyway. Nastasya, show
a light! I assure
you," he went on in a half whisper on the stairs-
"that he was
almost beating the doctor and me this afternoon! Do you
doctor himself! Even he gave way and left him, so as
not to irritate
him. I remained downstairs on guard, but he dressed at
once and slipped
off. And he will slip off again if you irritate
him, at this time
of night, and will do himself some mischief...."
Romanovna can't possibly be left in those lodgings
without you. Just
think where you are staying! That blackguard Pyotr
find you better lodgings... But you know I've
had a little to
drink, and that's what makes me... swear; don't mind
go to the landlady here," Pulcheria Alexandrovna insisted,
her to find some corner for Dounia and me for the
night. I can't
leave him like that, I cannot!"
took place on the landing just before the
Nastasya lighted them from a step below. Razumihin
was in extraordinary
excitement. Half an hour earlier, while he was
home, he had indeed talked too freely, but he was
aware of it himself,
and his head was clear in spite of the vast
quantities he had
imbibed. Now he was in a state bordering on ecstasy,
and all that he
had drunk seemed to fly to his head with redoubled
effect. He stood
with the two ladies, seizing both by their hands,
and giving them reasons with astonishing plainness of
speech, and at
almost every word he uttered, probably to emphasize his
arguments, he squeezed
their hands painfully as in a vise. He stared
at Avdotya Romanovna
without the least regard for good manners. They
their hands out of his huge bony paws, but far from
noticing what was
the matter, he drew them all the closer to him. If
they'd told him
to jump head foremost from the staircase, he would
have done it without
thought or hesitation in their service. Though
felt that the young man was really too
eccentric and pinched
her hand too much, in her anxiety over her Rodya
she looked on his
presence as providential and was unwilling to notice
all his peculiarities.
But though Avdotya Romanovna shared her
anxiety, and was
not of timorous disposition, she could not see the
glowing light in
his eyes without wonder and almost alarm. It was only
the unbounded confidence
inspired by Nastasya's account of her
friend, which prevented her from trying to run away
from him, and to
persuade her mother to do the same. She realised,
too, that even
running away was perhaps impossible now. Ten minutes
she was considerably reassured; it was
of Razumihin that he showed his true nature at once,
whatever mood he
might be in, so that people quickly saw the sort of
man they had to
go to the landlady, that's perfect nonsense!" he cried.
"If you stay,
though you are his mother, you'll drive him to a frenzy,
and then goodness
knows what will happen! Listen, I'll tell you what
I'll do: Nastasya
will stay with him now, and I'll conduct you both
home, you can't
be in the streets alone; Petersburg is an awful
place in that way...
But no matter! Then I'll run straight back here
and a quarter of
an hour later, on my word of honour, I'll bring you
news how he is,
whether he is asleep, and all that. Then, listen! Then
I'll run home in
a twinkling- I've a lot of friends there, all
drunk- I'll fetch
Zossimov- that's the doctor who is looking after
him, he is there,
too, but he is not drunk; he is not drunk, he is
never drunk! I'll
drag him to Rodya, and then to you, so that you'll
get two reports
in the hour- from the doctor, you understand, from the
that's a very different thing from my account of
him! If there's
anything wrong, I swear I'll bring you here myself,
but, if it's all
right, you go to bed. And I'll spend the night
here, in the passage,
he won't hear me, and I'll tell Zossimov to
sleep at the landlady's,
to be at hand. Which is better for him: you
or the doctor?
So come home then! But the landlady is out of the
all right for me, but it's out of the question for you:
she wouldn't take
you, for she's... for she's a fool... She'd be
jealous on my account
of Avdotya Romanovna and of you, too, if you
want to know...
of Avdotya Romanovna certainly. She is an
unaccountable character! But I am a fool,
too!... No matter!
Come along! Do you trust me? Come, do you trust
me or not?"
"Let us go,
mother," said Avdotya Romanovna, "he will certainly do
what he has promised.
He has saved Rodya already, and if the doctor
really will consent
to spend the night here, what could be better?"
you... you... understand me, because you are an angel!"
in ecstasy, "let us go! Nastasya! Fly upstairs and sit
with him with a
light; I'll come in a quarter of an hour."
Alexandrovna was not perfectly convinced, she
made no further
resistance. Razumihin gave an arm to each and drew
them down the stairs.
He still made her uneasy, as though he was
competent and good-natured,
was he capable of carrying out his
promise? He seemed
in such a condition....
"Ah, I see
you think I am in such a condition!" Razumihin broke in
upon her thoughts,
guessing them, as he strolled along the pavement
with huge steps,
so that the two ladies could hardly keep up with him,
a fact he did not
observe, however. "Nonsense! That is... I am drunk
like a fool, but
that's not it; I am not drunk from wine. It's
seeing you has
turned my head... But don't mind me! Don't take any
notice: I am talking
nonsense, I am not worthy of you... I am
of you! The minute I've taken you home, I'll pour a
couple of pailfuls
of water over my head in the gutter here, and
then I shall be
all right... If only you knew how I love you both!
Don't laugh, and
don't be angry! You may be angry with any one, but
not with me! I
am his friend, and therefore I am your friend, too, I
want to be... I
had a presentiment... Last year there was a
it wasn't a presentiment really, for you seem to have
fallen from heaven.
And I expect I shan't sleep all night...
Zossimov was afraid
a little time ago that he would go mad... that's
why he mustn't
you say?" cried the mother.
doctor really say that?" asked Avdotya Romanovna, alarmed.
it's not so, not a bit of it. He gave him some medicine, a
powder, I saw it,
and then your coming here.... Ah! It would have been
better if you had
come to-morrow. It's a good thing we went away.
And in an hour
Zossimov himself will report to you about everything.
He is not drunk!
And I shan't be drunk... And what made me get so
they got me into an argument, damn them! I've sworn
never to argue!
They talk such trash! I almost came to blows! I've
left my uncle to
preside. Would you believe, they insist on complete
absence of individualism
and that's just what they relish! Not to be
be as unlike themselves as they can. That's what they
regard as the highest
point of progress. If only their nonsense were
their own, but
as it is..."
Pulcheria Alexandrovna interrupted timidly, but it only
added fuel to the
you think?" shouted Razumihin, louder than ever, "you think
I am attacking
them for talking nonsense? Not a bit! I like them to
That's man's one privilege over all creation. Through
error you come
to the truth! I am a man because I err! You never reach
any truth without
making fourteen mistakes and very likely a hundred
and fourteen. And
a fine thing, too, in its way; but we can't even
make mistakes on
our own account! Talk nonsense, but talk your own
nonsense, and I'll
kiss you for it. To go wrong in one's own way is
better than to
go right in some one else's. In the first case you
are a man, in the
second you're no better than a bird. Truth won't
escape you, but
life can be cramped. There have been examples. And
what are we doing
now? In science, development, thought, invention,
ideals, aims, liberalism,
judgment, experience and everything,
we are still in the preparatory class at
school. We prefer
to live on other people's ideas, it's what we are
used to! Am I right,
am I right?" cried Razumihin, pressing and
shaking the two
I do not know," cried poor Pulcheria Alexandrovna.
though I don't agree with you in everything," added
earnestly and at once uttered a cry, for he squeezed
her hand so painfully.
say yes... well after that you... you..." he cried in a
are a fount of goodness, purity, sense... and
me your hand... you give me yours, too! I want to
kiss your hands
here at once, on my knees..." and he fell on his knees
on the pavement,
fortunately at that time deserted.
I entreat you, what are you doing?" Pulcheria
get up!" said Dounia laughing, though she, too, was upset.
anything till you let me kiss your hands! That's it!
Enough! I get up
and we'll go on! I am a luckless fool, I am
unworthy of you
and drunk... and I am ashamed.... I am not worthy to
love you, but to
do homage to you is the duty of every man who is
not a perfect beast!
And I've done homage.... Here are your
lodgings, and for
that alone Rodya was right in driving your Pyotr
How dare he! how dare he put you in such lodgings!
It's a scandal!
Do you know the sort of people they take in here?
And you his betrothed!
You are his betrothed? Yes, well, then, I'll
tell you, your
fiance is a scoundrel."
Mr. Razumihin, you are forgetting..." Pulcheria
you are right, I did forget myself, I am ashamed of
made haste to apologise. "But... but you can't be angry
with me for speaking
so! For I speak sincerely and not because...
hm, hm! That would
be disgraceful; in fact not because I'm in... hm!
Well, anyway I
won't say why, I daren't.... But we all saw to-day when
he came in that
that man is not of our sort. Not because he had his
hair curled at
the barber's, not because he was in such a hurry to
show his wit, but
because he is a spy, a speculator, because he is a
a buffoon. That's evident. Do you think him clever? No,
he is a fool, a
fool. And is he a match for you? Good heavens! Do
you see, ladies?"
he stopped suddenly on the way upstairs to their
all my friends there are drunk, yet they are all
honest, and though
we do talk a lot of trash, and I do, too, yet we
shall talk our
way to the truth at last, for we are on the right path,
while Pyotr Petrovitch...
is not on the right path. Though I've been
calling them all
sorts of names just now, I do respect them all...
though I don't
respect Zametov, I like him, for he is a puppy, and
that bullock Zossimov,
because he is an honest man and knows his work.
But enough, it's
all said and forgiven. Is it forgiven? Well, then,
let's go on. I
know this corridor, I've been here, there was a scandal
here at Number
3.... Where are you here? Which number? eight? Well,
in for the night, then. Don't let anybody in. In a
quarter of an hour
I'll come back with news, and half an hour later
I'll bring Zossimov,
you'll see! Good-bye, I'll run."
Dounia, what is going to happen?" said Pulcheria
her daughter with anxiety and dismay.
yourself, mother," said Dounia, taking off her hat
and cape. "God
has sent this gentleman to our aid, though he has
come from a drinking
party. We can depend on him, I assure you. And
all that he has
done for Rodya...."
goodness knows whether he will come! How could I
bring myself to
leave Rodya?... And how different, how different I had
fancied our meeting!
How sullen he was, as though not pleased to see
Tears came into
not that, mother. You didn't see, you were crying all
the time. He is
quite unhinged by serious illness- that's the reason."
illness! What will happen, what will happen? And how he
talked to you,
Dounia!" said the mother, looking timidly at her
to read her thoughts and, already half consoled by
up for her brother, which meant that she had already
forgiven him. "I
am sure he will think better of it to-morrow," she
"And I am
sure that he will say the same to-morrow... about that,"
said finally. And, of course, there was no going
beyond that, for
this was a point which Pulcheria Alexandrovna was
afraid to discuss.
Dounia went up and kissed her mother. The latter
her without speaking. Then she sat down to wait
anxiously for Razumihin's
return, timidly watching her daughter who
walked up and down
the room with her arms folded, lost in thought.
This walking up
and down when she was thinking was a habit of
and the mother was always afraid to break in on
mood at such moments.
course, was ridiculous in his sudden drunken
Avdotya Romanovna. Yet apart from his eccentric
people would have thought it justified if they had
seen Avdotya Romanovna,
especially at that moment when she was walking
to and fro with
folded arms, pensive and melancholy. Avdotya Romanovna
good looking; she was tall, strikingly
strong and self-reliant- the latter quality was
apparent in every
gesture, though it did not in the least detract from
the grace and softness
of her movements. In face she resembled her
brother, but she
might be described as really beautiful. Her hair
was dark brown,
a little lighter than her brother's; there was a proud
light in her almost
black eyes and yet at times a look of
She was pale, but it was a healthy pallor; her
face was radiant
with freshness and vigour. Her mouth was rather
small; the full
red lower lip projected a little as did her chin; it
was the only irregularity
in her beautiful face, but it gave it a
and almost haughty expression. Her face was
always more serious
and thoughtful than gay; but how well smiles,
how well youthful,
lighthearted, irresponsible, laughter suited her
face! It was natural
enough that a warm, open, simple-hearted,
honest giant like
Razumihin, who had never seen any one like her and
was not quite sober
at the time, should lose his head immediately.
Besides, as chance
would have it, he saw Dounia for the first time
her love for her brother and her joy at meeting him.
Afterwards he saw
her lower lip quiver with indignation at her
cruel and ungrateful words- and his fate was
He had spoken
the truth, moreover, when he blurted out in his
drunken talk on
the stairs that Praskovya Pavlovna, Raskolnikov's
would be jealous of Pulcheria Alexandrovna as well
as of Avdotya Romanovna
on his account. Although Pulcheria
forty-three, her face still retained traces of her
she looked much younger than her age, indeed, which
is almost always
the case with women who retain serenity of spirit,
pure sincere warmth of heart to old age. We may
add in parenthesis
that to preserve all this is the only means of
to old age. Her hair had begun to grow grey and thin,
there had long
been little crow's foot wrinkles round her eyes, her
cheeks were hollow
and sunken from anxiety and grief, and yet it was a
She was Dounia over again, twenty years older, but
without the projecting
underlip. Pulcheria Alexandrovna was emotional,
but not sentimental,
timid and yielding, but only to a certain
point. She could
give way and accept a great deal even of what was
contrary to her
convictions, but there was a certain barrier fixed
by honesty, principle
and the deepest convictions which nothing
would induce her
minutes after Razumihin's departure, there came two
subdued but hurried
knocks at the door: he had come back.
come in, I haven't time," he hastened to say when the
door was opened.
"He sleeps like a top, soundly, quietly, and God
grant he may sleep
ten hours. Nastasya's with him; I told her not to
leave till I came.
Now I am fetching Zossimov, he will report to you
and then you'd
better turn in; I can see you are too tired to do
And he ran off
down the corridor.
"What a very
competent and... devoted young man!" cried Pulcheria
a splendid person!" Avdotya Romanovna replied with some
her walk up and down the room.
It was nearly
an hour later when they heard footsteps in the
corridor and another
knock at the door. Both women waited this time
on Razumihin's promise; he actually had succeeded
in bringing Zossimov.
Zossimov had agreed at once to desert the
to go to Raskolnikov's, but he came reluctantly and
with the greatest
suspicion to see the ladies, mistrusting Razumihin
in his exhilarated
condition. But his vanity was at once reassured and
flattered; he saw
that they were really expecting him as an oracle. He
stayed just ten
minutes and succeeded in completely convincing and
Alexandrovna. He spoke with marked sympathy,
but with the reserve
and extreme seriousness of a young doctor at an
He did not utter a word on any other subject
and did not display
the slightest desire to enter into more personal
the two ladies. Remarking at his first entrance the
of Avdotya Romanovna, he endeavoured not to notice her
at all during his
visit and addressed himself solely to Pulcheria
this gave him extraordinary inward satisfaction.
He declared that
he thought the invalid at this moment going on very
According to his observations the patient's illness
was due partly
to his unfortunate material surroundings during the
last few months,
but it had partly also a moral origin, "was so to
speak the product
of several material and moral influences, anxieties,
troubles, certain ideas... and so on." Noticing
Avdotya Romanovna was following his words with close
allowed himself to enlarge on this theme. On
anxiously and timidly inquiring as to "some
suspicion of insanity,"
he replied with a composed and candid smile
that his words
had been exaggerated; that certainly the patient had
some fixed idea,
something approaching a monomania- he, Zossimov,
was now particularly
studying this interesting branch of medicine- but
that it must be
recollected that until to-day the patient had been
in delirium and...
and that no doubt the presence of his family
would have a favourable
effect on his recovery and distract his
only all fresh shocks can be avoided," he added
Then he got up, took leave with an impressive and
affable bow, while
blessings, warm gratitude, and entreaties were
showered upon him,
and Avdotya Romanovna spontaneously offered her
hand to him. He
went out exceedingly pleased with his visit and
still more so with
to-morrow; go to bed at once!" Razumihin said in
Zossimov out. "I'll be with you to-morrow
morning as early
as possible with my report."
fetching little girl, Avdotya Romanovna," remarked
licking his lips as they both came out into the
You said fetching?" roared Razumihin and he flew at
Zossimov and seized
him by the throat. "If you ever dare... Do you
you understand?" he shouted, shaking him by the
collar and squeezing
him against the wall. "Do you hear?"
"Let me go,
you drunken devil," said Zossimov, struggling and when
he had let him
go, he stared at him and went off into a sudden guffaw.
facing him in gloomy and earnest reflection.
I am an ass," he observed, sombre as a storm cloud, "but
still... you are
not at all such another. I am not dreaming of any
They walked along
in silence and only when they were close to
Razumihin broke the silence in considerable
he said, "you're a first-rate fellow, but among your other
a loose fish, that, I know, and a dirty one, too. You
are a feeble, nervous
wretch, and a mass of whims, you're getting
fat and lazy and
can't deny yourself anything- and I call that dirty
because it leads
on straight into the dirt. You've let yourself get so
slack that I don't
know how it is you are still a good, even a devoted
doctor. You- a
doctor- sleep on a feather bed and get up at night to
In another three or four years you won't get up for
But hang it all, that's not the point!... You are
going to spend
to-night in the landlady's flat here. (Hard work I've
had to persuade
her!) And I'll be in the kitchen. So here's a chance
for you to get
to know her better.... It's not as you think! There's
not a trace of
anything of the sort, brother...!"
"But I don't
have modesty, brother, silence, bashfulness, a savage
virtue... and yet
she's sighing and melting like wax, simply
melting! Save me
from her, by all that's unholy! She's most
I'll repay you, I'll do anything...."
more violently than ever.
are smitten! But what am I to do with her?"
be much trouble, I assure you. Talk any rot you like to
her, as long as
you sit by her and talk. You're a doctor, too; try
curing her of something.
I swear you won't regret it. She has a piano,
and you know, I
strum a little. I have a song there, a genuine Russian
one: 'I shed hot
tears.' She likes the genuine article- and well, it
all began with
that song; Now you're a regular performer, a maitre,
I assure you, you won't regret it!"
you made her some promise? Something signed? A promise
of marriage, perhaps?"
nothing, absolutely nothing of the kind! Besides she is
not that sort at
all.... Tchebarov tried that...."
"But I can't
drop her like that!"
can't, that's all about it! There's an element of
have you fascinated her?"
fascinated her; perhaps, I was fascinated myself in my
folly. But she
won't care a straw whether it's you or I, so long as
somebody sits beside
her, sighing.... I can't explain the position,
here, you are good at mathematics, and working at it
now... begin teaching
her the integral calculus; upon my soul, I'm not
joking. I'm in
earnest, it'll be just the same to her. She will gaze
at you and sigh
for a whole year together. I talked to her once for
two days at a time
about the Prussian House of Lords (for one must
talk of something)-
she just sighed and perspired! And you mustn't
talk of love- she's
bashful to hysterics- but just let her see you
can't tear yourself
away- that's enough. It's fearfully comfortable;
you're quite at
home, you can read, sit, lie about, write. You may
even venture on
a kiss, if you're careful."
do I want with her?"
"Ach, I can't
make you understand! You see, you are made for each
other! I have often
been reminded of you!... You'll come to it in
the end! So does
it matter whether it's sooner or later? There's the
here, brother,- ach! and not only that! There's
an attraction here-
here you have the end of the world, an
anchorage, a quiet
haven, the navel of the earth, the three fishes
that are the foundation
of the world, the essence of pancakes, of
of the evening samovar, of soft sighs and warm
shawls, and hot
stoves to sleep on- as snug as though you were dead,
and yet you're
alive- the advantages of both at once! Well, hang it,
brother, what stuff
I'm talking, it's bedtime! Listen. I sometimes
wake up at night;
so I'll go in and look at him. But there's no
need, it's all
right. Don't you worry yourself, yet if you like, you
might just look
in once, too. But if you notice anything, delirium
or fever- wake
me at once. But there can't be...."
qu'on fait n'est jamais compris mais seulement loué ou blâmé.
Nietzsche, Gay Science