Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821 - 1881)
Crime and Punishment
translated by Constance Garnett
up next morning at eight o'clock, troubled and
serious. He found
himself confronted with many new and unlooked-for
had never expected that he would ever wake up feeling
like that. He remembered
every detail of the previous day and he
knew that a perfectly
novel experience had befallen him, that he had
received an impression
unlike anything he had known before. At the
same time he recognised
clearly that the dream which had fired his
hopelessly unattainable- so unattainable that he
ashamed of it, and he hastened to pass to the other
cares and difficulties bequeathed him by that "thrice
The most awful
recollection of the previous day was the way he had
shown himself "base
and mean," not only because he had been drunk, but
because he had
taken advantage of the young girl's position to abuse
her fiance in his
stupid jealousy, knowing nothing of their mutual
relations and obligations
and next to nothing of the man himself.
And what right
had he to criticise him in that hasty and unguarded
manner? Who had
asked for his opinion! Was it thinkable that such a
creature as Avdotya
Romanovna would be marrying an unworthy man for
money? So there
must be something in him. The lodgings? But after
all how could he
know the character of the lodgings? He was furnishing
a flat... Foo,
how despicable it all was! And what justification was
it that he was
drunk? Such a stupid excuse was even more degrading! In
wine is truth,
and the truth had all come out, "that is, all the
his coarse and envious heart!" And would such a dream
ever be permissible
to him, Razumihin? What was he beside such a girl-
he, the drunken
noisy braggart of last night? "Was it possible to
imagine so absurd
and cynical a juxtaposition?" Razumihin blushed
the very idea and suddenly the recollection forced
upon him of how he had said last night on the stairs
that the landlady
would be jealous of Avdotya Romanovna... that was
He brought his fist down heavily on the kitchen
stove, hurt his
hand and sent one of the bricks flying.
he muttered to himself a minute later with a feeling of
"of course, all these infamies can never be wiped
out or smoothed
over... and so it's useless even to think of it, and I
must go to them
in silence and do my duty... in silence, too.... and
not ask forgiveness,
and say nothing... for all is lost now!"
And yet as he
dressed he examined his attire more carefully than
usual. He hadn't
another suit- if he had had, perhaps he wouldn't have
put it on. "I
would have made a point of not putting it on." But in
any case he could
not remain a cynic and a dirty sloven; he had no
right to offend
the feelings of others, especially when they were in
need of his assistance
and asking him to see them. He brushed his
His linen was always decent; in that respect he was
He washed that
morning scrupulously- he got some soap from Nastasya-
he washed his hair,
his neck and especially his hands. When it came to
the question whether
to shave his stubby chin or not (Praskovya
Pavlovna had capital
razors that had been left by her late husband),
the question was
angrily answered in the negative. "Let it stay as
it is! What if
they think that I shaved on purpose to...? They
think so! Not on any account!"
worst of it was he was so coarse, so dirty, he had the
manners of a pothouse;
and... and even admitting that he knew he had
some of the essentials
of a gentleman... what was there in that to
be proud of? Every
one ought to be a gentleman and more than that...
and all the same
(he remembered) he, too, had done little things...
not exactly dishonest,
and yet.... and what thoughts he sometimes had;
hm... and to set
all that beside Avdotya Romanovna! Confound it! So be
it! Well, he'd
make a point then of being dirty, greasy, pothouse in
his manners and
he wouldn't care! He'd be worse!"
He was engaged
in such monologues when Zossimov, who had spent the
night in Praskovya
Pavlovna's parlour, came in.
He was going home
and was in a hurry to look at the invalid first.
him that Raskolnikov was sleeping like a
gave orders that they shouldn't wake him and
promised to see
him again about eleven.
"If he is
still at home," he added. "Damn it all! If one can't
control one's patients,
how is one to cure them! Do you know whether
he will go to them,
or whether they are coming here?"
coming, I think," said Razumihin, understanding the object
of the question,
"and they will discuss their family affairs, no
doubt. I'll be
off. You, as the doctor, have more right to be here
"But I am
not a father confessor; I shall come and go away; I've
plenty to do besides
looking after them."
worries me," interposed Razumihin, frowning. "On the
way home I talked
a lot of drunken nonsense to him... all sort of
things... and amongst
them that you were afraid that he... might
the ladies so, too."
"I know it
was stupid! You may beat me if you like! Did you think so
I tell you, how could I think it seriously! You,
him as a monomaniac when you fetched me to
him... and we added
fuel to the fire yesterday, you did, that is, with
your story about
the painter; it was a nice conversation, when he was,
perhaps, mad on
that very point! If only I'd known what happened
then at the police
station and that some wretch... had insulted him
with this suspicion!
Hm... I would not have allowed that
These monomaniacs will make a mountain out
of a molehill...
and see their fancies as solid realities.... As far
as I remember,
it was Zametov's story that cleared up half the mystery
to my mind. Why,
I know one case in which a hypochondriac, a man of
forty, cut the
throat of a little boy of eight, because he couldn't
endure the jokes
he made every day at table! And in this case his
rags, the insolent
police officer, the fever and this suspicion! All
that working upon
a man half frantic with hypochondria, and with his
vanity! That may well have been the
of illness. Well, bother it all!... And, by the way,
that Zametov certainly
is a nice fellow, but hm... he shouldn't have
told all that last
night. He is an awful chatterbox!"
did he tell it to? You and me?"
the way, have you any influence on them, his mother and
sister? Tell them
to be more careful with him to-day...."
get on all right!" Razumihin answered reluctantly.
"Why is he
so set against this Luzhin? A man with money and she
doesn't seem to
dislike him... and they haven't a farthing I
business is it of yours?" Razumihin cried with
can I tell whether they've a farthing? Ask them
yourself and perhaps
you'll find out...."
an ass you are sometimes! Last night's wine has not
gone off yet....
Good-bye; thank your Praskovya Pavlovna from me for
my night's lodging.
She locked herself in, made no reply to my bonjour
through the door;
she was up at seven o'clock, the samovar was taken
in to her from
the kitchen. I was not vouchsafed a personal
At nine o'clock
precisely Razumihin reached the lodgings at
Both ladies were waiting for him with nervous
had risen at seven o'clock or earlier. He entered
looking as black
as night, bowed awkwardly and was at once furious
with himself for
it. He had reckoned without his host: Pulcheria
rushed at him, seized him by both hands and was
them. He glanced timidly at Avdotya Romanovna, but
her proud countenance
wore at that moment an expression of such
gratitude and friendliness,
such complete and unlooked-for respect (in
place of the sneering
looks and ill-disguised contempt he had
it threw him into greater confusion than if he had
been met with abuse.
Fortunately there was a subject for conversation,
and he made haste
to snatch at it.
Hearing that everything
was going well and that Rodya had not yet
Alexandrovna declared that she was glad to hear it,
had something which it was very, very necessary to talk
Then followed an inquiry about breakfast and an
invitation to have
it with them; they had waited to have it with
him. Avdotya Romanovna
rang the bell: it was answered by a ragged
dirty waiter, and
they asked him to bring tea which was served at
last, but in such
a dirty and disorderly way, that the ladies were
vigorously attacked the lodgings, but,
stopped in embarrassment and was greatly
relieved by Pulcheria
Alexandrovna's questions, which showered in a
He talked for
three quarters of an hour, being constantly
their questions, and succeeded in describing to them
all the most important
facts he knew of the last year of Raskolnikov's
with a circumstantial account of his illness. He
many things, which were better omitted, including
the scene at the
police station with all its consequences. They
to his story, and, when he thought he had finished
and satisfied his
listeners, he found that they considered he had
tell me! What do you think...? Excuse me, I still don't
know your name!"
Pulcheria Alexandrovna put in hastily.
like very, very much to know, Dmitri Prokofitch... how
he looks... on
things in general now, that is, how can I explain, what
are his likes and
dislikes? Is he always so irritable? Tell me, if you
can, what are his
hopes and so to say his dreams? Under what
influences is he
now? In a word, I should like..."
how can he answer all that at once?" observed Dounia.
I had not expected to find him in the least like
this, Dmitri Prokofitch!"
answered Razumihin. "I have no mother, but my uncle
comes every year
and almost every time he can scarcely recognise me,
even in appearance,
though he is a clever man; and your three years'
a great deal. What am I to tell you? I have known
Rodion for a year
and a half; he is morose, gloomy, proud and haughty,
and of late- and
perhaps for a long time before- he has been
fanciful. He has a noble nature and a kind heart. He
does not like showing
his feelings and would rather do a cruel thing
than open his heart
freely. Sometimes, though, he is not at all
morbid, but simply
cold and inhumanly callous; it's as though he
between two characters. Sometimes he is fearfully
reserved! He says
he is so busy that everything is a hindrance, and
yet he lies in
bed doing nothing. He doesn't jeer at things, not
because he hasn't
the wit, but as though he hadn't time to waste on
such trifles. He
never listens to what is said to him. He is never
interested in what
interests other people at any given moment. He
thinks very highly
of himself and perhaps he is right. Well, what
more? I think your
arrival will have a most beneficial influence
it may," cried Pulcheria Alexandrovna, distressed by
of her Rodya.
ventured to look more boldly at Avdotya Romanovna at
last. He glanced
at her often while he was talking, but only for a
moment and looked
away again at once. Avdotya Romanovna sat at the
attentively, then got up again and began walking to
and fro with her
arms folded and her lips compressed, occasionally
putting in a question,
without stopping her walk. She had the same
habit of not listening
to what was said. She was wearing a dress of
thin dark stuff
and she had a white transparent scarf round her
soon detected signs of extreme poverty in their
Avdotya Romanovna been dressed like a queen, he felt
that he would not
be afraid of her, but perhaps just because she was
and that he noticed all the misery of her surroundings,
his heart was filled
with dread and he began to be afraid of every
word he uttered,
every gesture he made, which was very trying for a
man who already
us a great deal that is interesting about my
and have told it impartially. I am glad. I
thought that you
were too uncritically devoted to him," observed
with a smile. "I think you are right that he needs a
she added thoughtfully.
say so; but I daresay you are right, only..."
no one and perhaps he never will," Razumihin declared
he is not capable of love?"
"Do you know,
Avdotya Romanovna, you are awfully like your
brother, in everything,
indeed!" he blurted out suddenly to his own
surprise, but remembering
at once what he had just before said of
her brother, he
turned as red as a crab and was overcome with
Romanovna couldn't help laughing when she looked at
both be mistaken about Rodya," Pulcheria Alexandrovna
piqued. "I am not talking of our present
What Pyotr Petrovitch writes in this letter and
what you and I
have supposed may be mistaken, but you can't imagine,
how moody and, so to say, capricious he is. I never
could depend on
what he would do when he was only fifteen. And I am
sure that he might
do something now that nobody else would think of
for instance, do you know how a year and a half ago
he astounded me
and gave me a shock that nearly killed me, when he had
the idea of marrying
that girl- what was her name- his landlady's
hear about that affair?" asked Avdotya Romanovna.
"Do you suppose-"
Pulcheria Alexandrovna continued warmly. "Do you
suppose that my
tears, my entreaties, my illness, my possible death
from grief, our
poverty would have made him pause? No, he would calmly
all obstacles. And yet it isn't that he doesn't
"He has never
spoken a word of that affair to me," Razumihin
"But I did hear something from Praskovya Pavlovna
she is by no means a gossip. And what I heard
certainly was rather
did you hear?" both the ladies asked at once.
very special. I only learned that the marriage, which
only failed to
take place through the girl's death, was not at all
to Praskovya Pavlovna's
liking. They say, too, the girl was not at all
pretty, in fact
I am told positively ugly... and such an invalid...
and queer. But
she seems to have had some good qualities. She must
have had some good
qualities or it's quite inexplicable.... She had no
money either and
he wouldn't have considered her money.... But it's
to judge in such matters."
"I am sure
she was a good girl," Avdotya Romanovna observed briefly.
me, I simply rejoiced at her death. Though I don't know
which of them would
have caused most misery to the other- he to her or
she to him,"
Pulcheria Alexandrovna concluded. Then she began
him about the scene on the previous day with
and continually glancing at Dounia, obviously to
the latter's annoyance.
This incident more than all the rest evidently
caused her uneasiness,
even consternation. Razumihin described it in
detail again, but
this time he added his own conclusions: he openly
for intentionally insulting Pyotr Petrovitch, not
seeking to excuse
him on the score of his illness.
"He had planned
it before his illness," he added.
so, too," Pulcheria Alexandrovna agreed with a dejected
air. But she was
very much surprised at hearing Razumihin express
himself so carefully
and even with a certain respect about Pyotr
Romanovna, too, was struck by it.
is your opinion of Pyotr Petrovitch?" Pulcheria
not resist asking.
"I can have
no other opinion of your daughter's future husband,"
firmly and with warmth, "and I don't say it
simply from vulgar
politeness, but because... simply because Avdotya
Romanovna has of
her own free will deigned to accept this man. If I
spoke so rudely
of him last night, it was because I was disgustingly
drunk and... mad
besides; yes, mad, crazy, I lost my head
this morning I am ashamed of it."
He crimsoned and
ceased speaking. Avdotya Romanovna flushed, but did
not break the silence.
She had not uttered a word from the moment they
began to speak
Without her support
Pulcheria Alexandrovna obviously did not know
what to do. At
last, faltering and continually glancing at her
daughter, she confessed
that she was exceedingly worried by one
Dmitri Prokofitch," she began. "I'll be perfectly open
with Dmitri Prokofitch,
mother," said Avdotya Romanovna emphatically.
what it is," she began in haste, as though the permission
to speak of her
trouble lifted a weight off her mind. "Very early this
morning we got
a note from Pyotr Petrovitch in reply to our letter
arrival. He promised to meet us at the station, you
know; instead of
that he sent a servant to bring us the address of
and to show us the way; and he sent a message that he
would be here himself
this morning. But this morning this note came
from him. You'd
better read it yourself; there is one point in it
which worries me
very much... you will soon see what that is, and...
tell me your candid
opinion, Dmitri Prokofitch! You know Rodya's
than any one and no one can advise us better than you
can. Dounia, I
must tell you, made her decision at once, but I still
don't feel sure
how to act and I... I've been waiting for your
the note which was dated the previous evening and
read as follows:
Pulcheria Alexandrovna, I have the honour to inform you
that owing to unforeseen
obstacles I was rendered unable to meet you
at the railway
station; I sent a very competent person with the same
object in view.
I likewise shall be deprived of the honour of an
you to-morrow morning by business in the Senate that
does not admit
of delay, and also that I may not intrude on your
family circle while
you are meeting your son, and Avdotya Romanovna
her brother. I
shall have the honour of visiting you and paying you my
respects at your
lodgings not later than to-morrow evening at eight
and herewith I venture to present my earnest and, I
may add, imperative
request that Rodion Romanovitch may not be present
at our interview-
as he offered me a gross and unprecedented affront
on the occasion
of my visit to him in his illness yesterday, and,
I desire from you personally an indispensable and
explanation upon a certain point, in regard to which
I wish to learn
your own interpretation. I have the honour to inform
you, in anticipation,
that if, in spite of my request, I meet Rodion
shall be compelled to withdraw immediately and then you
have only yourself
to blame. I write on the assumption that Rodion
appeared so ill at my visit, suddenly recovered two
hours later and
so, being able to leave the house, may visit you also.
I was confirmed
in that belief by the testimony of my own eyes in
the lodging of
a drunken man who was run over and has since died, to
a young woman of notorious behaviour, he gave
on the pretext of the funeral, which gravely
surprised me knowing
what pains you were at to raise that sum.
my special respect to your estimable daughter,
I beg you to accept the respectful homage of
I to do now, Dmitri Prokofitch?" began Pulcheria
weeping. "How can I ask Rodya not to come?
Yesterday he insisted
so earnestly on our refusing Pyotr Petrovitch
and now we are
ordered not to receive Rodya! He will come on purpose
if he knows, and...
what will happen then?"
"Act on Avdotya
Romanovna's decision," Razumihin answered calmly
me! She says... goodness knows what she says, she
her object! She says that it would be best, at
least, not that
it would be best, but that it's absolutely necessary
that Rodya should
make a point of being here at eight o'clock and that
they must meet....
I didn't want even to show him the letter, but to
prevent him from
coming by some stratagem with your help... because he
is so irritable....
Besides I don't understand about that drunkard who
died and that daughter,
and how he could have given the daughter all
the money... which..."
you such sacrifice, mother," put in Avdotya Romanovna.
"He was not
himself yesterday," Razumihin said thoughtfully, "if you
only knew what
he was up to in a restaurant yesterday, though there
was sense in it
too.... Hm! He did say something, as we were going
evening, about a dead man and a girl, but I didn't
understand a word....
But last night, I myself..."
thing, mother, will be for us to go to him ourselves and
there I assure
you we shall see at once what's to be done. Besides,
it's getting late-
good heavens, it's past ten," she cried looking
at a splendid gold
enamelled watch which hung round her neck on a thin
and looked entirely out of keeping with the rest of
her dress. "A
present from her fiance," thought Razumihin.
start, Dounia, we must start," her mother cried in a
will be thinking we are still angry after yesterday, from
our coming so late.
While she said
this she was hurriedly putting on her hat and mantle;
Dounia, too, put
on her things. Her gloves, as Razumihin noticed, were
not merely shabby
but had holes in them, and yet this evident
poverty gave the
two ladies an air of special dignity, which is always
found in people
who know how to wear poor clothes. Razumihin looked
reverently at Dounia
and felt proud of escorting her. "The queen who
mended her stockings
in prison," he thought, "must have looked then
every inch a queen
and even more a queen than at sumptuous banquets
exclaimed Pulcheria Alexandrovna, "little did I think that
I should ever fear
seeing my son, my darling, darling Rodya! I am
Prokofitch," she added, glancing at him timidly.
afraid, mother," said Dounia, kissing her, "better have
faith in him."
I have faith in him, but I haven't slept all night,"
exclaimed the poor
They came out
into the street.
"Do you know,
Dounia, when I dozed a little this morning I dreamed
of Marfa Petrovna...
she was all in white... she came up to me, took
my hand, and shook
her head at me, but so sternly as though she were
Is that a good omen? Oh, dear me! You don't know,
that Marfa Petrovna's dead!"
"No, I didn't
know; who is Marfa Petrovna?"
suddenly; and only fancy..."
mamma," put in Dounia. "He doesn't know who Marfa
don't know? And I was thinking that you knew all about
us. Forgive me,
Dmitri Prokofitch, I don't know what I am thinking
about these last
few days. I look upon you really as a providence
for us, and so
I took it for granted that you knew all about us. I
look on you as
a relation.... Don't be angry with me for saying so.
Dear me, what's
the matter with your right hand? Have you knocked it?"
"Yes, I bruised
it," muttered Razumihin overjoyed.
speak too much from the heart, so that Dounia finds
fault with me....
But, dear me, what a cupboard he lives in! I
he is awake? Does this woman, his landlady, consider it
a room? Listen,
you say he does not like to show his feelings, so
perhaps I shall
annoy him with my... weaknesses? Do advise me,
how am I to treat him? I feel quite distracted, you
him too much about anything if you see him frown!
don't ask him too
much about his health; he doesn't like that."
Prokofitch, how hard it is to be a mother! But here
are the stairs....
What an awful staircase!"
you are quite pale, don't distress yourself, darling," said
her, then with flashing eyes she added: "He ought
to be happy at
seeing you, and you are tormenting yourself so."
peep in and see whether he has waked up."
The ladies slowly
followed Razumihin, who went on before, and when
they reached the
landlady's door on the fourth storey, they noticed
that her door was
a tiny crack open and that two keen black eyes
were watching them
from the darkness within. When their eyes met,
the door was suddenly
shut with such a slam that Pulcheria
qu'on fait n'est jamais compris mais seulement loué ou blâmé.
Nietzsche, Gay Science