Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821 - 1881)
Crime and Punishment
translated by Constance Garnett
already entering the room. He came in looking as
though he had the
utmost difficulty not to burst out laughing again.
Behind him Razumihin
strode in gawky and awkward, shamefaced and red
as a peony, with
an utterly crestfallen and ferocious expression.
His face and whole
figure really were ridiculous at that moment and
Raskolnikov's laughter. Raskolnikov, not waiting for
bowed to Porfiry Petrovitch, who stood in the
middle of the room
looking inquiringly at them. He held out his hand
and shook hands,
still apparently making desperate efforts to subdue
his mirth and utter
a few words to introduce himself. But he had no
in assuming a serious air and muttering something
when he suddenly
glanced again as though accidentally at Razumihin,
and could no longer
control himself: his stifled laughter broke out
the more irresistibly
the more he tried to restrain it. The
with which Razumihin received this
mirth gave the whole scene the appearance of most
genuine fun and
naturalness. Razumihin strengthened this impression as
though on purpose.
fiend," he roared, waving his arm which at once struck
a little round
table with an empty tea-glass on it. Everything was
sent flying and
break chairs, gentlemen? You know it's a loss to the
Petrovitch quoted gaily.
still laughing, with his hand in Porfiry
anxious not to overdo it, awaited the right moment
to put a natural
end to it. Razumihin, completely put to confusion
by upsetting the
table and smashing the glass, gazed gloomily at the
and turned sharply to the window where he stood
looking out with
his back to the company with a fiercely scowling
nothing. Porfiry Petrovitch laughed and was
ready to go on
laughing, but obviously looked for explanations.
Zametov had been
sitting in the corner, but he rose at the visitors'
entrance and was
standing in expectation with a smile on his lips,
though he looked
with surprise and even it seemed incredulity at the
whole scene and
at Raskolnikov with a certain embarrassment. Zametov's
struck Raskolnikov unpleasantly.
to think of that," he thought. "Excuse me, please," he
extreme embarrassment. "Raskolnikov."
"Not at all,
very pleasant to see you... and how pleasantly you've
come in.... Why,
won't he even say good-morning?" Porfiry Petrovitch
nodded at Razumihin.
honour I don't know why he is in such a rage with me. I
only told him as
we came along that he was like Romeo... and proved
it. And that was
all, I think!"
ejaculated Razumihin, without turning round.
have been very grave grounds for it, if he is so furious
at the word,"
sharp lawyer!... Damn you all!" snapped Razumihin, and
out laughing himself, he went up to Porfiry with a
more cheerful face
as though nothing had happened. "That'll do! We are
all fools. To come
to business. This is my friend Rodion Romanovitch
the first place he has heard of you and wants to
make your acquaintance,
and secondly, he has a little matter of
business with you.
Bah! Zametov, what brought you here? Have you met
before? Have you
known each other long?"
this mean?" thought Raskolnikov uneasily.
taken aback, but not very much so.
was at your rooms we met yesterday," he said easily.
"Then I have
been spared the trouble. All last week he was begging
me to introduce
him to you. Porfiry and you have sniffed each other
out without me.
Where is your tobacco?"
was wearing a dressing-gown, very clean linen,
slippers. He was a man of about five and thirty,
short, stout even
to corpulence, and clean shaven. He wore his hair
cut short and had
a large round head, particularly prominent at the
back. His soft,
round, rather snub-nosed face was of a sickly
but had a vigorous and rather ironical expression.
It would have been
good-natured, except for a look in the eyes,
which shone with
a watery, mawkish light under almost white,
The expression of those eyes was strangely out
of keeping with
his somewhat womanish figure, and gave it something
far more serious
than could be guessed at first sight.
As soon as Porfiry
Petrovitch heard that his visitor had a little
matter of business
with him, he begged him to sit down on the sofa and
sat down himself
on the other end, waiting for him to explain his
that careful and over-serious attention which is at
and embarrassing, especially to a stranger, and
especially if what
you are discussing is in your opinion of far too
for such exceptional solemnity. But in brief and
Raskolnikov explained his business clearly and
exactly, and was
so well satisfied with himself that he even succeeded
in taking a good
look at Porfiry. Porfiry Petrovitch did not once take
his eyes off him.
Razumihin, sitting opposite at the same table,
and impatiently, looking from one to the other every
moment with rather
Raskolnikov swore to himself.
to give information to the police," Porfiry replied,
with a most businesslike
air, "that having learnt of this incident,
that is of the
murder, you beg to inform the lawyer in charge of the
case that such
and such things belong to you, and that you desire to
or... but they will write to you."
the point, that at the present moment," Raskolnikov
tried his utmost
to feign embarrassment, "I am not quite in funds...
and even this trifling
sum is beyond me... I only wanted, you see, for
the present to
declare that the things are mine, and that when I
matter," answered Porfiry Petrovitch, receiving his
his pecuniary position coldly, "but you can, if you
prefer, write straight
to me, to say, that having been informed of the
matter, and claiming
such and such as your property, you beg..."
"On an ordinary
sheet of paper?" Raskolnikov interrupted eagerly,
in the financial side of the question.
most ordinary," and suddenly Porfiry Petrovitch looked with
obvious irony at
him, screwing up his eyes and as it were winking at
him. But perhaps
it was Raskolnikov's fancy, for it all lasted but a
moment. There was
certainly something of the sort, Raskolnikov could
have sworn he winked
at him, goodness knows why.
flashed through his mind like lightning.
my troubling you about such trifles," he went on, a
"the things are only worth five roubles, but I
prize them particularly
for the sake of those from whom they came to
me, and I must
confess that I was alarmed when I heard..."
you were so much struck when I mentioned to Zossimov
that Porfiry was
inquiring for every one who had pledges!" Razumihin
put in with obvious
This was really
unbearable. Raskolnikov could not help glancing at
him with a flash
of vindictive anger in his black eyes, but
to be jeering at me, brother?" he said to him, with a
"I dare say I do seem to you absurdly
anxious about such
trash; but you mustn't think me selfish or grasping
for that, and these
two things may be anything but trash in my eyes. I
told you just now
that the silver watch, though it's not worth a cent,
is the only thing
left us of my father's. You may laugh at me, but
my mother is here,"
he turned suddenly to Porfiry, "and if she
turned again hurriedly to Razumihin, carefully making his
"that the watch was lost, she would be in despair!
You know what women
"Not a bit
of it! I didn't mean that at all! Quite the contrary!"
"Was it right?
Was it natural? Did I overdo it?" Raskolnikov asked
himself in a tremor.
"Why did I say that about women?"
mother is with you?" Porfiry Petrovitch inquired.
as though reflecting.
would not in any case be lost," he went on calmly and
have been expecting you here for some time."
And as though
that was a matter of no importance, he carefully
offered the ash-tray
to Razumihin, who was ruthlessly scattering
cigarette ash over
the carpet. Raskolnikov shuddered, but Porfiry
did not seem to
be looking at him, and was still concerned with
him? Why, did you know that he had pledges
addressed himself to Raskolnikov.
the ring and the watch, were wrapped up together,
and on the paper
your name was legibly written in pencil, together
with the date on
which you left them with her..."
you are!" Raskolnikov smiled awkwardly, doing his
very utmost to
look him straight in the face, but he failed, and
"I say that
because I suppose there were a great many pledges...
that it must be
difficult to remember them all.... But you remember
them all so clearly,
Feeble!" he thought. "Why did I add that?"
"But we know
all who had pledges, and you are the only one who
hasn't come forward,"
Porfiry answered with hardly perceptible irony.
been quite well."
that too. I heard, indeed, that you were in great
something. You look pale still."
"I am not
pale at all.... No, I am quite well," Raskolnikov
snapped out rudely
and angrily, completely changing his tone. His
anger was mounting,
he could not repress it. "And in my anger I
shall betray myself,"
flashed through his mind again. "Why are they
well!" Razumihin caught him up. "What next! He was
delirious all yesterday. Would you believe, Porfiry,
as soon as our
backs were turned, he dressed, though he could hardly
stand, and gave
us the slip and went off on a spree somewhere till
all the time! Would you believe it!
You don't say so!" Porfiry shook his head in a
Don't you believe it! But you don't believe it anyway,"
slip in his anger. But Porfiry Petrovitch did not seem
to catch those
could you have gone out if you hadn't been delirious?"
Razumihin got hot
suddenly. "What did you go out for? What was the
object of it? And
why on the sly? Were you in your senses when you did
it? Now that all
danger is over I can speak plainly."
"I was awfully
sick of them yesterday." Raskolnikov addressed
with a smile of insolent defiance, "I ran away from
them to take lodgings
where they wouldn't find me, and took a lot of
money with me.
Mr. Zametov there saw it. I say, Mr. Zametov, was I
sensible or delirious
yesterday; settle our dispute."
He could have
strangled Zametov at that moment, so hated were his
his silence to him.
"In my opinion
you talked sensibly and even artfully, but you were
Zametov pronounced dryly.
Fomitch was telling me to-day," put in Porfiry
he met you very late last night in the lodging of
a man who had been
said Razumihin, "weren't you mad then? You gave your
last penny to the
widow for the funeral. If you wanted to help, give
fifteen or twenty
even, but keep three roubles for yourself at
least, but he flung
away all the twenty-five at once!"
found a treasure somewhere and you know nothing of it? So
that's why I was
liberal yesterday.... Mr. Zametov knows I've found
a treasure! Excuse
us, please, for disturbing you for half an hour
with such trivialities,"
he said turning to Porfiry Petrovitch, with
"We are boring you, aren't we?"
"Oh no, quite
the contrary, quite the contrary! If only you knew how
you interest me!
It's interesting to look on and listen... and I am
really glad you
have come forward at last."
might give us some tea! My throat's dry," cried Razumihin.
idea! Perhaps we will all keep you company. Wouldn't you
more essential before tea?"
went out to order tea.
thoughts were in a whirl. He was in terrible
of it is they don't disguise it; they don't care to stand
on ceremony! And
how if you didn't know me at all, did you come to
talk to Nikodim
Fomitch about me? So they didn't care to hide that
they are tracking
me like a pack of dogs. They simply spit in my
was shaking with rage. "Come, strike me openly, don't play
with me like a
cat with a mouse. It's hardly civil, Porfiry
perhaps I won't allow it! I shall get up and throw the
whole truth in
your ugly faces, and you'll see how I despise you."
He could hardly
breathe. "And what if it's only my fancy? What if I am
mistaken, and through
inexperience I get angry and don't keep up my
nasty part? Perhaps
it's all unintentional. All their phrases are
the usual ones,
but there is something about them.... It all might
be said, but there
is something. Why did he say bluntly, 'With her'?
Why did Zametov
add that I spoke artfully? Why do they speak in that
tone? Yes, the
tone.... Razumihin is sitting here, why does he see
nothing? That innocent
blockhead never does see anything! Feverish
again! Did Porfiry
wink at me just now? Of course it's nonsense!
What could he wink
for? Are they trying to upset my nerves or are they
teasing me? Either
it's ill fancy or they know! Even Zametov is
rude.... Is Zametov
rude? Zametov has changed his mind. I foresaw he
would change his
mind! He is at home here, while it's my first
does not consider him a visitor; sits with his back
to him. They're
as thick as thieves, no doubt, over me! Not a doubt
they were talking
about me before we came. Do they know about the
flat? If only they'd
make haste! When I said that I ran away to take a
flat he let it
pass.... I put that in cleverly about a flat, it may be
of use afterwards....
Delirious, indeed... ha-ha-ha! He knows all
about last night!
He didn't know of my mother's arrival! The hag had
written the date
on in pencil! You are wrong, you won't catch me!
There are no facts...
it's all supposition! You produce facts! The
flat even isn't
a fact but delirium. I know what to say to them.... Do
they know about
the flat? I won't go without finding out. What did I
come for? But my
being angry now, maybe is a fact! Fool, how irritable
I am! Perhaps that's
right; to play the invalid.... He is feeling
me. He will try
to catch me. Why did I come?"
All this flashed
like lightning through his mind.
returned quickly. He became suddenly more jovial.
yesterday, brother, has left my head rather.... And I am
out of sorts altogether,"
he began in quite a different tone, laughing
"Was it interesting?
I left you yesterday at the most interesting
point. Who got
the best of it?"
"Oh, no one,
of course. They got on to everlasting questions,
floated off into
Rodya, what we got on to yesterday. Whether there is
such a thing as
crime. I told you that we talked our heads off."
there strange? It's an everyday social question,"
wasn't put quite like that," observed Porfiry.
that's true," Razumihin agreed at once, getting warm and
hurried as usual.
"Listen, Rodion, and tell us your opinion, I want to
hear it. I was
fighting tooth and nail with them and wanted you to
help me. I told
them you were coming.... It began with the socialist
doctrine. You know
their doctrine; crime is a protest against the
the social organization and nothing more, and nothing
more; no other
wrong there," cried Porfiry Petrovitch; he was noticeably
animated and kept
laughing as he looked at Razumihin which made him
more excited than
is admitted," Razumihin interrupted with heat.
"I am not
wrong. I'll show you their pamphlets. Everything with them
is 'the influence
of environment,' and nothing else. Their favourite
phrase! From which
it follows that, if society is normally
crime will cease at once, since there will be nothing
to protest against
and all men will become righteous in one instant.
Human nature is
not taken into account, it is excluded, it's not
supposed to exist!
They don't recognise that humanity, developing by a
process, will become at last a normal society, but
they believe that
a social system that has come out of some
is going to organise all humanity at once and
make it just and
sinless in an instant, quicker than any living
why they instinctively dislike history, 'nothing but
ugliness and stupidity
in it,' and they explain it all as stupidity!
That's why they
so dislike the living process of life; they don't want
a living soul!
The living soul demands life, the soul won't obey the
rules of mechanics,
the soul is an object of suspicion, the soul is
what they want though it smells of death and can be
made of India-rubber,
at least is not alive, has no will, is servile
and won't revolt!
And it comes in the end to their reducing everything
to the building
of walls and the planning of rooms and passages in a
phalanstery is ready, indeed, but your human nature
is not ready for
the phalanstery- it wants life, it hasn't completed
its vital process,
it's too soon for the graveyard! You can't skip
over nature by
logic. Logic presupposes three possibilities, but there
are millions! Cut
away a million, and reduce it all to the question of
the easiest solution of the problem! It's
and you musn't think about it. That's the great
thing, you mustn't
think! The whole secret of life in two pages of
"Now he is
off, beating the drum! Catch hold of him, do!" laughed
you imagine," he turned to Raskolnikov, "six people
holding forth like
that last night, in one room, with punch as a
brother, you are wrong, environment accounts for a
great deal in crime;
I can assure you of that."
"Oh, I know
it does, but just tell me: a man of forty violates a
child of ten; was
it environment drove him to it?"
speaking, it did," Porfiry observed with
"a crime of that nature may be very well
ascribed to the
influence of environment."
almost in a frenzy. "Oh, if you like," he roared.
to you that your white eyelashes may very well be ascribed
to the Church of
Ivan the Great's being two hundred and fifty feet
high, and I will
prove it clearly, exactly, progressively, and even
with a Liberal
tendency! I undertake to! Will you bet on it?"
hear, please, how he will prove it!"
"He is always
humbugging, confound him," cried Razumihin, jumping up
"What's the use of talking to you! He does all that
on purpose; you
don't know him, Rodion! He took their side
to make fools of them. And the things he said
they were delighted! He can keep it up for a
Last year he persuaded us that he was going into a
monastery: he stuck
to it for two months. Not long ago he took it into
his head to declare
he was going to get married, that he had
for the wedding. He ordered new clothes indeed. We
all began to congratulate
him. There was no bride, nothing, all pure
are wrong! I got the clothes before. It was the new clothes
in fact that made
me think of taking you in."
such a good dissembler?" Raskolnikov asked carelessly.
have supposed it, eh? Wait a bit, I shall take you in,
No, I'll tell you the truth. All these questions
about crime, environment,
children, recall to my mind an article of
yours which interested
me at the time. 'On Crime'... or something of
the sort, I forget
the title, I read it with pleasure two months ago
in the Periodical
In the Periodical Review?" Raskolnikov asked in
certainly did write an article upon a book six months
ago when I left
the university, but I sent it to the Weekly Review."
"But it came
out in the Periodical."
Weekly Review ceased to exist, so that's why it wasn't
printed at the
but when it ceased to exist, the Weekly Review was
the Periodical, and so your article appeared two
months ago in the
latter. Didn't you know?"
might get some money out of them for the article! What a
you are! You lead such a solitary life that you know
nothing of matters
that concern you directly. It's a fact, I assure
I knew nothing about it either!" cried Razumihin.
to-day to the reading-room and ask for the number. Two
months ago? What
was the date? It doesn't matter though, I will find
it. Think of not
you find out that the article was mine? It's only signed
with an initial."
"I only learnt
it by chance, the other day. Through the editor; I
know him.... I
was very much interested."
if I remember, the psychology of a criminal before and
after the crime."
you maintained that the perpetration of a crime is
by illness. Very, very original, but... it was
not that part of
your article that interested me so much, but an
idea at the end
of the article which I regret to say you merely
working it out clearly. There is, if you
recollect, a suggestion
that there are certain persons who can... that
is, not precisely
are able to, but have a perfect right to commit
breaches of morality
and crimes, and that the law is not for them."
at the exaggerated and intentional distortion
of his idea.
do you mean? A right to crime? But not because of the
influence of environment?"
Razumihin inquired with some alarm even.
exactly because of it," answered Porfiry. "In his article
all men are divided
into 'ordinary' and 'extraordinary.' Ordinary
men have to live
in submission, have no right to transgress the law,
you see, they are ordinary. But extraordinary men
have a right to
commit any crime and to transgress the law in any way,
just because they
are extraordinary. That was your idea, if I am not
you mean? That can't be right?" Razumihin muttered in
again. He saw the point at once, and knew where
they wanted to
drive him. He decided to take up the challenge.
quite my contention," he began simply and modestly.
"Yet I admit
that you have stated it almost correctly; perhaps, if you
so." (It almost gave him pleasure to admit this.) "The
is that I don't contend that extraordinary people
are always bound
to commit breaches of morals, as you call it. In
fact, I doubt whether
such an argument could be published. I simply
hinted that an
'extraordinary' man has the right... that is not an
but an inner right to decide in his own conscience
certain obstacles, and only in case it is essential for
the practical fulfilment
of his idea (sometimes, perhaps, of benefit
to the whole of
humanity). You say that my article isn't definite; I
am ready to make
it as clear as I can. Perhaps I am right in
thinking you want
me to; very well. I maintain that if the discoveries
of Kepler and Newton
could not have been made known except by
lives of one, a dozen, a hundred, or more men,
Newton would have
had the right, would indeed have been in duty
bound... to eliminate
the dozen or the hundred men for the sake of
making his discoveries
known to the whole of humanity. But it does not
follow from that
that Newton had a right to murder people right and
left and to steal
every day in the market. Then, I remember, I
maintain in my
article that all... well, legislators and leaders of
men, such as Lycurgus,
Solon, Mahomet, Napoleon, and so on, were all
criminals, from the very fact that, making a new
law, they transgressed
the ancient one, handed down from their
ancestors and held
sacred by the people, and they did not stop short
at bloodshed either,
if that bloodshed- often of innocent persons
in defence of ancient law- were of use to their
cause. It's remarkable,
in fact, that the majority, indeed, of these
leaders of humanity were guilty of terrible carnage.
In short, I maintain
that all great men or even men a little out of
the common, that
is to say capable of giving some new word, must
from their very
nature be criminals- more or less, of course.
hard for them to get out of the common rut; and to
remain in the common
rut is what they can't submit to, from their very
nature again, and
to my mind they ought not, indeed, to submit to
it. You see that
there is nothing particularly new in all that. The
same thing has
been printed and read a thousand times before. As for
my division of
people into ordinary and extraordinary, I acknowledge
that it's somewhat
arbitrary, but I don't insist upon exact numbers. I
only believe in
my leading idea that men are in general divided by a
law of nature into
two categories, inferior (ordinary), that is, so to
say, material that
serves only to reproduce its kind, and men who have
the gift or the
talent to utter a new word. There are, of course,
but the distinguishing features of both
fairly well marked. The first category, generally
speaking, are men
conservative in temperament and law-abiding; they
live under control
and love to be controlled. To my thinking it is
their duty to be
controlled, because that's their vocation, and
there is nothing
humiliating in it for them. The second category all
law; they are destroyers or disposed to destruction
according to their
capacities. The crimes of these men are of course
relative and varied;
for the most part they seek in very varied ways
of the present for the sake of the better. But if such
a one is forced
for the sake of his idea to step over a corpse or wade
he can, I maintain, find within himself, in his
conscience, a sanction
for wading through blood- that depends on the
idea and its dimensions,
note that. It's only in that sense I speak of
their right to
crime in my article (you remember it began with the
There's no need for such anxiety, however; the masses
will scarcely ever
admit this right, they punish them or hang them
(more or less),
and in doing so fulfil quite justly their conservative
vocation. But the
same masses set these criminals on a pedestal in the
and worship them (more or less). The first category is
always the man
of the present, the second the man of the future. The
the world and people it, the second move the world
and lead it to
its goal. Each class has an equal right to exist. In
fact, all have
equal rights with me- and vive la guerre eternelle-
till the New Jerusalem,
believe in the New Jerusalem, do you?"
Raskolnikov answered firmly; as he said these words and
during the whole
preceding tirade he kept his eyes on one spot on
do you believe in God? Excuse my curiosity."
repeated Raskolnikov, raising his eyes to Porfiry.
you believe in Lazarus' rising from the dead?"
"I... I do.
Why do you ask all this?"
say so.... I asked from curiosity. Excuse me. But let
us go back to the
question; they are not always executed. Some, on the
in their lifetime? Oh, yes, some attain their ends in
this life, and
executing other people?"
necessary; indeed, for the most part they do. Your remark
is very witty."
But tell me this: how do you distinguish those
from the ordinary ones? Are there signs at
their birth? I
feel there ought to be more exactitude, more external
the natural anxiety of a practical law-abiding
citizen, but couldn't
they adopt a special uniform, for instance,
couldn't they wear
something, be branded in some way? For you know
if confusion arises
and a member of one category imagines that he
belongs to the
other, begins to 'eliminate obstacles,' as you so
very often happens! That remark is wittier than the
to; but take note that the mistake can only arise in
the first category,
that is among the ordinary people (as I perhaps
them). In spite of their predisposition to
many of them, through a playfulness of nature,
even to the cow, like to imagine themselves
'destroyers,' and to push themselves into the 'new
this quite sincerely. Meanwhile the really new people
are very often
unobserved by them, or even despised as reactionaries
of grovelling tendencies.
But I don't think there is any
here, and you really need not be uneasy for they
never go very far.
Of course, they might have a thrashing sometimes
for letting their
fancy run away with them and to teach them their
place, but no more;
in fact, even this isn't necessary as they
for they are very conscientious: some perform
this service for
one another and others chastise themselves with their
own hands.... They
will impose various public acts of penitence upon
a beautiful and edifying effect; in fact you've
nothing to be uneasy
about.... It's a law of nature."
have certainly set my mind more at rest on that score;
but there's another
thing worries me. Tell me, please, are there
many people who
have the right to kill others, these extraordinary
people? I am ready
to bow down to them, of course, but you must
admit it's alarming
if there are a great many of them, eh?"
needn't worry about that either," Raskolnikov went on in
the same tone.
"People with new ideas, people with the faintest
capacity for saying
something new, are extremely few in number,
so in fact. One thing only is clear, that the
appearance of all
these grades and sub-divisions of men must follow
regularity some law of nature. That law, of course,
is unknown at present,
but I am convinced that it exists, and one
day may become
known. The vast mass of mankind is mere material, and
only exists in
order by some great effort, by some mysterious process,
by means of some
crossing of races and stocks, to bring into the world
at last perhaps
one man out of a thousand with a spark of
in ten thousand perhaps- I speak roughly,
is born with some independence, and with still
one in a hundred thousand. The man of genius is
one of millions,
and the great geniuses, the crown of humanity, appear
on earth perhaps
one in many thousand millions. In fact I have not
peeped into the
retort in which all this takes place. But there
certainly is and
must be a definite law, it cannot be a matter of
you both joking?" Razumihin cried at last. "There you sit,
making fun of one
another. Are you serious, Rodya?"
his pale and almost mournful face and made no
reply. And the
unconcealed, persistent, nervous, and discourteous
sarcasm of Porfiry
seemed strange to Razumihin beside that quiet and
if you are really serious... You are right, of
course, in saying
that it's not new, that it's like what we've read
and heard a thousand
times already; but what is really original in all
this, and is exclusively
your own, to my horror, is that you
in the name of conscience, and, excuse my saying
so, with such fanaticism....
That, I take it, is the point of your
article. But that
sanction of bloodshed by conscience is to my mind...
more terrible than
the official, legal sanction of bloodshed...."
quite right, it is more terrible," Porfiry agreed.
must have exaggerated! There is some mistake, I shall read
it. You can't think
that! I shall read it."
is not in the article, there's only a hint of it," said
Porfiry couldn't sit still. "Your attitude to crime is
pretty clear to
me now, but... excuse me for my impertinence (I am
to be worrying you like this), you see, you've
removed my anxiety
as to the two grades' getting mixed, but... there
are various practical
possibilities that make me uneasy! What if
some man or youth
imagines that he is a Lycurgus or Mahomet- a
future one of course-
and suppose he begins to remove all
has some great enterprise before him and needs
money for it...
and tries to get it... do you see?"
Zametov gave a
sudden guffaw in his corner. Raskolnikov did not even
raise his eyes
"I must admit,"
he went on calmly, "that such cases certainly must
arise. The vain
and foolish are particularly apt to fall into that
snare; young people
see. Well then?"
Raskolnikov smiled in reply; "that's not my fault. So
it is and so it
always will be. He said just now (he nodded at
I sanction bloodshed. Society is too well protected by
criminal investigators, penal servitude.
There's no need
to be uneasy. You have but to catch the thief."
if we do catch him?"
gets what he deserves."
certainly logical. But what of his conscience?"
"Why do you
care about that?"
"If he has
a conscience he will suffer for his mistake. That will be
as well as the prison."
real geniuses," asked Razumihin frowning, "those who have
the right to murder?
Oughtn't they to suffer at all even for the blood
word ought? It's not a matter of permission or prohibition.
He will suffer
if he is sorry for his victim. Pain and suffering are
for a large intelligence and a deep heart. The
really great men
must, I think, have great sadness on earth," he added
dreamily, not in
the tone of the conversation.
He raised his
eyes, looked earnestly at them all, smiled, and took
his cap. He was
too quiet by comparison with his manner at his
entrance, and he
felt this. Every one got up.
may abuse me, be angry with me if you like," Porfiry
again, "but I can't resist. Allow me one little
question (I know
I am troubling you). There is just one little
notion I want to
express, simply that I may not forget it."
tell me your little notion," Raskolnikov stood
waiting, pale and
grave before him.
see... I really don't know how to express it properly....
It's a playful,
psychological idea.... When you were writing your
you couldn't have helped, he-he, fancying
a little, an 'extraordinary' man, uttering a new word
in your sense....
That's so, isn't it?"
Raskolnikov answered contemptuously.
so, could you bring yourself in case of worldly
hardship or for some service to humanity- to overstep
instance, to rob and murder?"
And again he winked
with his left eye, and laughed noiselessly
just as before.
"If I did
I certainly should not tell you," Raskolnikov answered
with defiant and
"No, I was
only interested on account of your article, from a
obvious and insolent that is," Raskolnikov thought with
to observe," he answered dryly, "that I don't consider
myself a Mahomet
or a Napoleon, nor any personage of that kind, and
not being one of
them I cannot tell you how I should act."
don't we all think ourselves Napoleons now in Russia?"
said with alarming familiarity.
betrayed itself in the very intonation of his
it was one of these future Napoleons who did for Alyona
Ivanovna last week?"
Zametov blurted out from the corner.
not speak, but looked firmly and intently at
was scowling gloomily. He seemed before this to
be noticing something.
He looked angrily around. There was a minute of
Raskolnikov turned to go.
going already?" Porfiry said amiably, holding out his
hand with excessive
politeness. "Very, very glad of your acquaintance.
As for your request,
have no uneasiness, write just as I told you, or,
better still, come
to me there yourself in a day or two...
I shall be there at eleven o'clock for certain.
We'll arrange it
all; we'll have a talk. As one of the last to be
there, you might
perhaps be able to tell us something," he added
with a most good-natured
to cross-examine me officially in due form?" Raskolnikov
That's not necessary for the present. You misunderstand
me. I lose no opportunity,
you see, and... I've talked with all who
I obtained evidence from some of them, and you are the
last.... Yes, by
the way," he cried, seemingly suddenly delighted,
"I just remember,
what was I thinking of?" he turned to Razumihin,
talking my ears off about that Nikolay... of course, I know,
I know very well,"
he turned to Raskolnikov, "that the fellow is
innocent, but what
is one to do? We had to trouble Dmitri too.... This
is the point, this
is all: when you went up the stairs it was past
seven, wasn't it?"
answered Raskolnikov, with an unpleasant sensation at the
very moment he
spoke that he need not have said it.
you went upstairs between seven and eight, didn't you see
in a flat that
stood open on a second storey, do you remember, two
workmen or at least
one of them? They were painting there, didn't
you notice them?
It's very, very important for them."
No, I didn't see them," Raskolnikov answered slowly, as
his memory, while at the same instant he was racking
every nerve, almost
swooning with anxiety to conjecture as quickly
as possible where
the trap lay and not to overlook anything. "No, I
didn't see them,
and I don't think I noticed a flat like that open....
But on the fourth
storey" (he had mastered the trap now and was
remember now that some one was moving out of the flat
Ivanovna's.... I remember... I remember it clearly.
Some porters were
carrying out a sofa and they squeezed me against the
wall. But painters...
no, I don't remember that there were any
painters, and I
don't think that there was a flat open anywhere, no,
you mean?" Razumihin shouted suddenly, as though he had
reflected and realised.
"Why, it was on the day of the murder the
painters were at
work, and he was there three days before? What are
"Foo! I have
muddled it!" Porfiry slapped himself on the forehead.
it! This business is turning my brain!" he addressed
apologetically. "It would be such a great thing
for us to find
out whether any one had seen them between seven and
eight at the flat,
so I fancied you could perhaps have told us
quite muddled it."
should be more careful," Razumihin observed grimly.
The last words
were uttered in the passage. Porfiry Petrovitch saw
them to the door
with excessive politeness.
They went out
into the street gloomy and sullen, and for some
steps they did
not say a word. Raskolnikov drew a deep breath.
qu'on fait n'est jamais compris mais seulement loué ou blâmé.
Nietzsche, Gay Science