Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821 - 1881)
Crime and Punishment
translated by Constance Garnett
IS well, quite well!" Zossimov cried cheerfully as they
He had come in
ten minutes earlier and was sitting in the same place
as before, on the
sofa. Raskolnikov was sitting in the opposite
corner, fully dressed
and carefully washed and combed, as he had not
been for some time
past. The room was immediately crowded, yet
to follow the visitors in and stayed to listen.
was almost well, as compared with his condition
the day before,
but he was still pale, listless, and sombre. He looked
like a wounded
man or one who has undergone some terrible physical
brows were knitted, his lips compressed, his eyes
feverish. He spoke
little and reluctantly, as though performing a
duty, and there
was a restlessness in his movements.
He only wanted
a sling on his arm or a bandage on his finger to
complete the impression
of a man with a painful abscess or a broken
arm. The pale,
sombre face lighted up for a moment when his mother and
but this only gave it a look of more intense
suffering, in place
of its listless dejection. The light soon died
away, but the look
of suffering remained, and Zossimov, watching and
studying his patient
with all the zest of a young doctor beginning
to practise, noticed
in him no joy at the arrival of his mother and
sister, but a sort
of bitter, hidden determination to bear another
hour or two of
inevitable torture. He saw later that almost every word
of the following
conversation seemed to touch on some sore place and
irritate it. But
at the same time he marvelled at the power of
and hiding his feelings in a patient who the
previous day had,
like a monomaniac, fallen into a frenzy at the
"Yes, I see
myself now that I am almost well," said Raskolnikov,
giving his mother
and sister a kiss of welcome which made Pulcheria
at once. "And I don't say this as I did
he said addressing Razumihin, with a friendly pressure
of his hand.
I am quite surprised at him to-day," began Zossimov,
at the ladies' entrance, for he had not succeeded in
keeping up a conversation
with his patient for ten minutes. "In
another three or
four days, if he goes on like this, he will be just
as before, that
is, as he was a month ago, or two... or perhaps even
three. This has
been coming on for a long while.... eh? Confess,
now, that it has
been perhaps your own fault?" he added, with a
as though still afraid of irritating him.
"It is very
possible," answered Raskolnikov coldly.
say, too," continued Zossimov with zest, "that your
depends solely on yourself. Now that one can talk to
you, I should like
to impress upon you that it is essential to avoid
so to speak, fundamental causes tending to produce
your morbid condition:
in that case you will be cured, if not, it will
go from bad to
worse. These fundamental causes I don't know, but
they must be known
to you. You are an intelligent man, and must have
of course. I fancy the first stage of your
with your leaving the university. You must not
be left without
occupation, and so, work and a definite aim set before
you might, I fancy,
be very beneficial."
you are perfectly right.... I will make haste and
return to the university:
and then everything will go smoothly...."
had begun his sage advice partly to make an effect
before the ladies,
was certainly somewhat mystified, when, glancing at
his patient, he
observed unmistakable mockery on his face. This lasted
an instant, however.
Pulcheria Alexandrovna began at once thanking
for his visit to their lodging the previous
saw you last night?" Raskolnikov asked, as though
you have not slept either after your journey."
that was only till two o'clock. Dounia and I never go
to bed before two
know how to thank him either," Raskolnikov went on suddenly
frowning and looking
down. "Setting aside the question of payment-
forgive me for
referring to it (he turned to Zossimov)- I really don't
know what I have
done to deserve such special attention from you! I
simply don't understand
it... and... and... it weighs upon me, indeed,
because I don't
understand it. I tell you so candidly."
irritated." Zossimov forced himself to laugh. "Assume that
you are my first
patient- well- we fellows just beginning to
practise love our
first patients as if they were our children, and
some almost fall
in love with them. And, of course, I am not rich in
"I say nothing
about him," added Raskolnikov, pointing to Razumihin,
has had nothing from me either but insult and trouble."
he is talking! Why, you are in a sentimental mood
to-day, are you?"
If he had had
more penetration he would have seen that there was
no trace of sentimentality
in him, but something indeed quite the
opposite. But Avdotya
Romanovna noticed it. She was intently and
"As for you,
mother, I don't dare to speak," he went on, as though
repeating a lesson
learned by heart. "It is only to-day that I have
been able to realise
a little how distressed you must have been here
for me to come back."
When he had said
this, he suddenly held out his hand to his
without a word. But in this smile there was a flash of
feeling. Dounia caught it at once, and warmly pressed
his hand, overjoyed
and thankful. It was the first time he had
addressed her since
their dispute the previous day. The mother's
face lighted up
with ecstatic happiness at the sight of this
reconciliation. "Yes, that is what I love him
exaggerating it all, muttered to himself, with a
vigorous turn in
his chair. "He has these movements."
well he does it all," the mother was thinking to herself.
impulses he has, and how simply, how delicately he
put an end to all
the misunderstanding with his sister- simply by
holding out his
hand at the right minute and looking at her like
that.... And what
fine eyes he has, and how fine his whole face is!...
He is even better
looking than Dounia.... But, good heavens, what a
suit- how terribly
he's dressed!... Vasya, the messenger boy in
shop, is better dressed! I could rush at him and
hug him... weep
over him- but I am afraid.... Oh, dear, he's so
strange! He's talking
kindly, but I'm afraid! Why, what am I afraid
you wouldn't believe," she began suddenly, in haste to
answer his words
to her, "how unhappy Dounia and I were yesterday! Now
that it's all over
and done with and we are quite happy again- I can
tell you. Fancy,
we ran here almost straight from the train to embrace
you and that woman-
ah, here she is! Good morning, Nastasya!... She
told us at once
that you were lying in a high fever and had just run
away from the doctor
in delirium, and they were looking for you in the
streets. You can't
imagine how we felt! I couldn't help thinking of
the tragic end
of Lieutenant Potanchikov, a friend of your father's-
you can't remember
him, Rodya- who ran out in the same way in a high
fever and fell
into the well in the courtyard and they couldn't pull
him out till next
day. Of course, we exaggerated things. We were on
the point of rushing
to find Pyotr Petrovitch to ask him to help....
Because we were
alone, utterly alone," she said plaintively and
suddenly, recollecting it was still somewhat
dangerous to speak
of Pyotr Petrovitch, although "we are quite happy
Of course it's very annoying...." Raskolnikov muttered
in reply, but with
such a preoccupied and inattentive air that
Dounia gazed at
him in perplexity.
was it I wanted to say," he went on trying to
yes; mother, and you too, Dounia, please don't think
that I didn't mean
to come and see you to-day and was waiting for
you to come first."
you saying, Rodya?" cried Pulcheria Alexandrovna. She,
too, was surprised.
"Is he answering
us as a duty?" Dounia wondered. "Is he being
asking forgiveness as though he were performing a
rite or repeating
just waked up, and wanted to go to you, but was delayed
owing to my clothes;
I forgot yesterday to ask her... Nastasya... to
wash out the blood...
I've only just dressed."
blood?" Pulcheria Alexandrovna asked in alarm.
don't be uneasy. It was when I was wandering about
delirious, I chanced upon a man who had been run
over... a clerk..."
But you remember everything!" Razumihin interrupted.
Raskolnikov answered with special carefulness. "I
even to the slightest detail, and yet- why I did
that and went there
and said that, I can't clearly explain now."
phenomenon," interposed Zossimov, "actions are sometimes
performed in a
masterly and most cunning way, while the direction of
the actions is
deranged and dependent on various morbid impressions-
it's like a dream."
it's a good thing really that he should think me almost a
in perfect health act in the same way too," observed
uneasily at Zossimov.
some truth in your observation," the latter replied. "In
that sense we are
certainly all not infrequently like madmen, but with
the slight difference
that the deranged are somewhat madder, for we
must draw a line.
A normal man, it is true, hardly exists. Among
hundreds of thousands- hardly one is to be met with."
At the word "madman,"
carelessly dropped by Zossimov in his
chatter on his
favourite subject, every one frowned.
seeming not to pay attention, plunged in thought
with a strange
smile on his pale lips. He was still meditating on
about the man who was run over? I interrupted you!"
Raskolnikov seemed to wake up. "Oh... I got spattered with
blood helping to
carry him to his lodging. By the way, mamma, I did an
yesterday. I was literally out of my mind. I gave
away all the money
you sent me... to his wife for the funeral. She's a
widow now, in consumption,
a poor creature... three little children,
in the house... there's a daughter, too... perhaps
you'd have given
it yourself if you'd seen them. But I had no right to
do it I admit,
especially as I knew how you needed the money yourself.
To help others
one must have the right to do it, or else Crevez,
chiens, si vous
n'etes pas contents." He laughed, "That's right, isn't
not," answered Dounia firmly.
too, have ideals," he muttered, looking at her almost
with hatred, and
smiling sarcastically. "I ought to have considered
that's praiseworthy, and it's better for you... and
if you reach a
line you won't overstep, you will be unhappy... and
if you overstep
it, maybe you will be still unhappier.... But all
he added irritably, vexed at being carried away.
"I only meant
to say that I beg your forgiveness, mother," he
Rodya, I am sure that everything you do is very
his mother, delighted.
too sure," he answered, twisting his mouth into a smile.
A silence followed.
There was a certain constraint in all this
in the silence, and in the reconciliation, and in
and all were feeling it.
"It is as
though they were afraid of me," Raskolnikov was thinking
to himself, looking
askance at his mother and sister. Pulcheria
indeed growing more timid the longer she kept silent.
"Yet in their
absence I seemed to love them so much," flashed
through his mind.
"Do you know,
Rodya, Marfa Petrovna is dead," Pulcheria Alexandrovna
on us- Marfa Petrovna Svidrigailov. I wrote you so much
I remember.... So she's dead! Oh, really?" he roused
as if waking up. "What did she die of?"
quite suddenly," Pulcheria Alexandrovna answered
by his curiosity. "On the very day I was sending
you that letter!
Would you believe it, that awful man seems to have
been the cause
of her death. They say he beat her dreadfully."
they on such bad terms?" he asked, addressing his sister.
"Not at all.
Quite the contrary indeed. With her, he was always very
even. In fact, all those seven years of their
married life he
gave way to her, too much so indeed, in many cases.
All of a sudden
he seems to have lost patience."
could not have been so awful if he controlled himself for
seven years? You
seem to be defending him, Dounia?"
he's an awful man! I can imagine nothing more awful!"
almost with a shudder, knitting her brows, and
sinking into thought.
happened in the morning," Pulcheria Alexandrovna went on
directly afterwards she ordered the horses to be
harnessed to drive
to the town immediately after dinner. She always
used to drive to
the town in such cases. She ate a very good dinner, I
always her... habit; and immediately after dinner, so as
not to be late
in starting, she went to the bathhouse.... You see, she
some treatment with baths. They have a cold spring
there, and she
used to bathe in it regularly every day, and no
sooner had she
got into the water when she suddenly had a stroke!"
think so," said Zossimov.
he beat her badly?"
that matter!" put in Dounia.
I don't know why you want to tell us such gossip, mother,"
irritably, as it were in spite of himself.
"Ah, my dear,
I don't know what to talk about," broke from Pulcheria
you all afraid of me?" he asked, with a constrained smile.
true," said Dounia, looking directly and sternly
at her brother.
"Mother was crossing herself with terror as she came
up the stairs."
His face worked,
as though in convulsion.
are you saying, Dounia! Don't be angry, please, Rodya....
Why did you say
that, Dounia?" Pulcheria Alexandrovna began,
see, coming here, I was dreaming all the way, in the
train, how we should
meet, how we should talk over everything
I was so happy, I did not notice the journey! But
what am I saying?
I am happy now.... You should not, Dounia.... I am
happy now- simply
in seeing you, Rodya...."
he muttered in confusion, not looking at her, but
pressing her hand.
"We shall have time to speak freely of everything!"
As he said this,
he was suddenly overwhelmed with confusion and
turned pale. Again
that awful sensation he had known of late passed
with deadly chill
over his soul. Again it became suddenly plain and
him that he had just told a fearful lie- that he
would never now
be able to speak freely of everything- that he would
never again be
able to speak of anything to any one. The anguish of
this thought was
such that for a moment he almost forgot himself. He
got up from his
seat, and not looking at any one walked towards the
you about?" cried Razumihin, clutching him by the arm.
He sat down again,
and began looking about him, in silence. They
were all looking
at him in perplexity.
are you all so dull for?" he shouted, suddenly and quite
say something! What's the use of sitting like
this? Come, do
speak. Let us talk.... We meet together and sit in
I was afraid the same thing as yesterday was beginning
Pulcheria Alexandrovna, crossing herself.
the matter, Rodya?" asked Avdotya Romanovna, distrustfully.
I remembered something," he answered, and suddenly
you remembered something; that's all right!... I was
beginning to think..."
muttered Zossimov, getting up from the sofa.
"It is time
for me to be off. I will look in again perhaps... if I
made his bows, and went out.
excellent man!" observed Pulcheria Alexandrovna.
splendid, well-educated, intelligent,"
suddenly speaking with surprising rapidity, and a
liveliness he had
not shown till then. "I can't remember where I met
him before my illness....
I believe I have met him somewhere-... And
this is a good
man, too," he nodded at Razumihin. "Do you like him,
asked her; and suddenly, for some unknown reason, laughed.
a pig you are," Razumihin protested, blushing in terrible
he got up from his chair. Pulcheria Alexandrovna smiled
faintly, but Raskolnikov
you off to?"
"I must go."
not at all. Stay. Zossimov has gone, so you must. Don't
go. What's the
time? Is it twelve o'clock? What a pretty watch you
have got, Dounia.
But why are you all silent again? I do all the
"It was a
present from Marfa Petrovna," answered Dounia.
"And a very
expensive one!" added Pulcheria Alexandrovna.
a big one! Hardly like a lady's."
"I like that
sort," said Dounia.
"So it is
not a present from her fiance," thought Razumihin, and was
it was Luzhin's present," observed Raskolnikov.
"No, he has
not made Dounia any presents yet."
do you remember, mother, I was in love and wanted to
he said suddenly, looking at his mother, who was
the sudden change of subject and the way he spoke of
exchanged glances with Dounia and Razumihin.
What shall I tell you? I don't remember much indeed.
She was such a
sickly girl," he went on, growing dreamy and looking
down again. "Quite
an invalid. She was fond of giving alms to the
poor, and was always
dreaming of a nunnery, and once she burst into
tears when she
began talking to me about it. Yes, yes, I remember. I
remember very well.
She was an ugly little thing. I really don't
know what drew
me to her then- I think it was because she was always
ill. If she had
been lame or hunchback, I believe I should have
liked her better
still," he smiled dreamily. "Yes, it was a sort of
"No, it was
not only spring delirium," said Dounia, with warm
He fixed a strained
intent look on his sister, but did not hear or
did not understand
her words. Then, completely lost in thought, he got
up, went up to
his mother, kissed her, went back to his place and
her even now?" said Pulcheria Alexandrovna, touched.
Oh, yes.... You ask about her? No... that's all now as it
were, in another
world... and so long ago. And indeed everything
seems somehow far away." He looked attentively at them.
I seem to be looking at you from a thousand miles
away... but, goodness
knows why we are talking of that! And what's the
use of asking about
it," he added with annoyance, and biting his
nails, he fell
into dreamy silence again.
"What a wretched
lodging you have, Rodya! It's like a tomb," said
suddenly breaking the oppressive silence. "I
am sure it's quite
half through your lodging you have become so
he answered, listlessly. "Yes, the lodging had a great
deal to do with
it.... I thought that, too.... If only you knew,
though, what a
strange thing you said just now, mother," he said,
A little more,
and their companionship, this mother and this sister,
with him after
three years' absence, this intimate tone of
face of the utter impossibility of really speaking
would have been beyond his power of endurance. But
there was one urgent
matter which must be settled one way or the other
that day- so he
had decided when he woke. Now he was glad to
remember it, as
a means of escape.
Dounia," he began, gravely and drily, "of course I beg your
pardon for yesterday,
but I consider it my duty to tell you again that
I do not withdraw
from my chief point. It is me or Luzhin. If I am a
must not be. One is enough. If you marry Luzhin, I
cease at once to
look on you as a sister."
It is the same as yesterday again," Pulcheria
mournfully. "And why do you call yourself a
scoundrel? I can't
bear it. You said the same yesterday."
Dounia answered firmly and with the same dryness. "In all
this there is a
mistake on your part. I thought it over at night,
and found out the
mistake. It is all because you seem to fancy I am
to some one and for some one. That is not the
case at all. I
am simply marrying for my own sake, because things
are hard for me.
Though, of course, I shall be glad if I succeed in
being useful to
my family. But that is not the chief motive for my
"She is lying,"
he thought to himself, biting his nails
creature! She won't admit she wants to do it
out of charity!
Too haughty! Oh, base characters! They even love as
though they hate....
Oh, how I... hate them all!"
continued Dounia, "I am marrying Pyotr Petrovitch because
of two evils I
choose the less. I intend to do honestly all he expects
of me, so I am
not deceiving him.... Why did you smile just now?" She,
too, flushed, and
there was a gleam of anger in her eyes.
he asked, with a malignant grin.
limits. Both the manner and form of Pyotr
showed me at once what he wanted. He may, of
course, think too
well of himself, but I hope he esteems me, too....
Why are you laughing
are you blushing again? You are lying, sister. You are
simply from feminine obstinacy, simply to hold
your own against
me.... You cannot respect Luzhin. I have seen him and
talked with him.
So you are selling yourself for money, and so in
any case you are
acting basely, and I am glad at least that you can
blush for it."
"It is not
true. I am not lying," cried Dounia, losing her
would not marry him if I were not convinced that he
esteems me and
thinks highly of me. I would not marry him if I were
not firmly convinced
that I can respect him. Fortunately, I can have
of it this very day... and such a marriage is not a
vileness, as you
say! And even if you were right, if I really had
determined on a
vile action, is it not merciless on your part to speak
to me like that?
Why do you demand of me a heroism that perhaps you
have not either?
It is despotism; it is tyranny. If I ruin any one, it
is only myself....
I am not committing a murder. Why do you look at me
like that? Why
are you so pale? Rodya, darling, what's the matter?"
You have made him faint," cried Pulcheria
nonsense! It's nothing. A little giddiness- not fainting.
You have fainting
on the brain. H'm, yes, what was I saying? Oh,
yes. In what way
will you get convincing proof to-day that you can
respect him, and
that he... esteems you, as you said. I think you said
show Rodya Pyotr Petrovitch's letter," said Dounia.
hands, Pulcheria Alexandrovna gave him the letter. He
took it with great
interest, but, before opening it, he suddenly
looked with a sort
of wonder at Dounia.
"It is strange,"
he said, slowly, as though struck by a new idea.
"What am I
making such a fuss for? What is it all about? Marry whom
He said this as
though to himself, but said it aloud, and looked for
some time at his
sister, as though puzzled. He opened the letter at
last, still with
the same look of strange wonder on his face. Then,
slowly and attentively,
he began reading, and read it through twice.
showed marked anxiety, and all indeed
me," he began, after a short pause, handing the
letter to his mother,
but not addressing any one in particular, "is
that he is a business
man, a lawyer, and his conversation is
and yet he writes such an uneducated letter."
They all started.
They had expected something quite different.
all write like that, you know," Razumihin observed,
him, Rodya. We... consulted him just now," Pulcheria
the jargon of the courts," Razumihin put in. "Legal
documents are written
like that to this day."
it's just legal- business language- not so very
not quite educated- business language!"
makes no secret of the fact that he had a cheap
education, he is
proud indeed of having made his own way," Avdotya
somewhat offended by her brother's tone.
he's proud of it, he has reason, I don't deny it. You seem
to be offended,
sister, at my making only such a frivolous criticism
on the letter,
and to think that I speak of such trifling matters on
purpose to annoy
you. It is quite the contrary, an observation apropos
of the style occurred
to me that is by no means irrelevant as things
stand. There is
one expression, 'blame yourselves' put in very
plainly, and there is besides a threat that he
will go away at
once if I am present. That threat to go away is
equivalent to a
threat to abandon you both if you are disobedient, and
to abandon you
now after summoning you to Petersburg. Well, what do
you think? Can
one resent such an expression from Luzhin, as we should
if he (he pointed
to Razumihin) had written it, or Zossimov, or one of
answered Dounia, with more animation. "I saw clearly that it
was too naively
expressed, and that perhaps he simply has no skill
in writing... that
is a true criticism, brother. I did not expect,
"It is expressed
in legal style, and sounds coarser than perhaps
he intended. But
I must disillusion you a little. There is one
expression in the
letter, one slander about me, and rather a
I gave the money last night to the widow, a woman in
with trouble, and not 'on the pretext of the
funeral,' but simply
to pay for the funeral, and not to the
daughter- a young
woman, as he writes, of notorious behaviour (whom
I saw last night
for the first time in my life)- but to the widow.
In all this I see
a too hasty desire to slander me and to raise
us. It is expressed again in legal jargon, that
is to say, with
a too obvious display of the aim, and with a very
He is a man of intelligence, but to act sensibly,
not enough. It all shows the man and... I don't
think he has a
great esteem for you. I tell you this simply to warn
you, because I
sincerely wish for your good..."
Dounia did not
reply. Her resolution had been taken. She was only
awaiting the evening.
is your decision, Rodya?" asked Pulcheria Alexandrovna,
who was more uneasy
than ever at the sudden, new businesslike tone
of his talk.
Pyotr Petrovitch writes that you are not to be with us this
evening, and that
he will go away if you come. So will you... come?"
course, is not for me to decide, but for you first, if you
are not offended
by such a request; and secondly, by Dounia, if she,
too, is not offended.
I will do what you think best," he added drily.
already decided, and I fully agree with her,"
hastened to declare.
to ask you, Rodya, to urge you not to fail to be with
us at this interview,"
said Dounia. "Will you come?"
"I will ask
you, too, to be with us at eight o'clock," she said,
"Mother, I am inviting him, too."
Dounia. Well, since you have decided," added Pulcheria
be it. I shall feel easier myself. I do not like
deception. Better let us have the whole truth....
may be angry or not, now!"
qu'on fait n'est jamais compris mais seulement loué ou blâmé.
Nietzsche, Gay Science