Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821 - 1881)
Crime and Punishment
translated by Constance Garnett
THE FACT was that
up to the last moment he had never expected such
an ending; he had
been overbearing to the last degree, never
dreaming that two
destitute and defenceless women could escape from
his control. This
conviction was strengthened by his vanity and
conceit, a conceit
to the point of fatuity. Pyotr Petrovitch, who
had made his way
up from insignificance, was morbidly given to
had the highest opinion of his intelligence and
sometimes even gloated in solitude over his image in
the glass. But
what he loved and valued above all was the money he had
amassed by his
labour, and by all sorts of devices: that money made
him the equal of
all who had been his superiors.
When he had bitterly
reminded Dounia that he had decided to take her
in spite of evil
report, Pyotr Petrovitch had spoken with perfect
sincerity and had,
indeed, felt genuinely indignant at such "black
And yet, when he made Dounia his offer, he was fully
aware of the groundlessness
of all the gossip. The story had been
by Marfa Petrovna, and was by then disbelieved
by all the townspeople,
who were warm in Dounia'a defence. And he
would not have
denied that he knew all that at the time. Yet he
still thought highly
of his own resolution in lifting Dounia to his
level and regarded
it as something heroic. In speaking of it to
Dounia, he had
let out the secret feeling he cherished and admired,
and he could not
understand that others should fail to admire it
too. He had called
on Raskolnikov with the feelings of a benefactor
who is about to
reap the fruits of his good deeds and to hear
And as he went downstairs now, he considered
himself most undeservedly
injured and unrecognised.
Dounia was simply
essential to him; to do without her was
many years he had voluptuous dreams of marriage,
but he had gone
on waiting and amassing money. He brooded with relish,
in profound secret,
over the image of a girl- virtuous, poor (she must
be poor), very
young, very pretty, of good birth and education, very
timid, one who
had suffered much, and was completely humbled before
him, one who would
all her life look on him as her saviour, worship
him, admire him
and only him. How many scenes, how many amorous
episodes he had
imagined on this seductive and playful theme, when his
work was over!
And, behold, the dream of so many years was all but
realised; the beauty
and education of Avdotya Romanovna had
her helpless position had been a great allurement; in
her he had found
even more than he dreamed of. Here was a girl of
virtue, of education and breeding superior to his
own (he felt that),
and this creature would be slavishly grateful
all her life for
his heroic condescension, and would humble herself in
the dust before
him, and he would have absolute, unbounded power
over her!... Not
long before, he had, too, after long reflection and
an important change in his career and was now
entering on a wider
circle of business. With this change his cherished
dreams of rising
into a higher class of society seemed likely to be
was, in fact, determined to try his fortune in
knew that women could do a very great deal. The
a charming, virtuous, highly educated woman might
make his way easier,
might do wonders in attracting people to him,
throwing an aureole
round him, and now everything was in ruins! This
rupture affected him like a clap of thunder; it was
like a hideous
joke, an absurdity. He had only been a tiny bit
not even time to speak out, had simply made a joke,
been carried away-
and it had ended so seriously. And, of course, too,
he did love Dounia
in his own way; he already possessed her in his
dreams- and all
at once! No! The next day, the very next day, it
must all be set
right, smoothed over, settled. Above all he must crush
milksop who was the cause of it all. With a sick
feeling he could
not help recalling Razumihin too, but, he soon
on that score; as though a fellow like that could be
put on a level
with him! The man he really dreaded in earnest was
He had, in short, a great deal to attend to....
"No, I, I
am more to blame than any one!" said Dounia, kissing and
embracing her mother.
"I was tempted by his money, but on my honour,
brother, I had
no idea he was such a base man. If I had seen through
him before, nothing
would have tempted me! Don't blame me, brother!"
delivered us! God has delivered us!" Pulcheria Alexandrovna
muttered, but half
consciously, as though scarcely able to realise
what had happened.
They were all
relieved, and in five minutes they were laughing. Only
now and then Dounia
turned white and frowned, remembering what had
Alexandrovna was surprised to find that she, too,
was glad: she had
only that morning thought rupture with Luzhin a
Razumihin was delighted. He did not yet dare to
express his joy
fully, but he was in a fever of excitement as though a
fallen off his heart. Now he had the right to devote
his life to them,
to serve them.... Anything might happen now! But
he felt afraid
to think of further possibilities and dared not let his
But Raskolnikov sat still in the same place, almost
sullen and indifferent.
Though he had been the most insistent on
getting rid of
Luzhin, he seemed now the least concerned at what had
could not help thinking that he was still angry
with her, and Pulcheria
Alexandrovna watched him timidly.
Svidrigailov say to you?" said Dounia, approaching him.
cried Pulcheria Alexandrovna.
to make you a present of ten thousand roubles and he
desires to see
you once in my presence."
On no account!" cried Pulcheria Alexandrovna. "And how
dare he offer her
repeated (rather drily) his conversation with
his account of the ghostly visitations of Marfa
to avoid all unnecessary talk.
did you give him?" asked Dounia.
I said I would not take any message to you. Then he said
that he would do
his utmost to obtain an interview with you without my
help. He assured
me that his passion for you was a passing
he has no feeling for you. He doesn't want you to
His talk was altogether rather muddled."
"How do you
explain him to yourself, Rodya? How did he strike you?"
"I must confess
I don't quite understand him. He offers you ten
thousand, and yet
says he is not well off. He says he is going away,
and in ten minutes
he forgets he has said it. Then he says is he going
to be married and
has already fixed on the girl.... No doubt he has
a motive, and probably
a bad one. But it's odd that he should be so
clumsy about it
if he had any designs against you.... Of course, I
refused this money
on your account, once for all. Altogether, I
thought him very
strange.... One might almost think he was mad. But
I may be mistaken;
that may only be the part he assumes. The death
of Marfa Petrovna
seems to have made a great impression on him."
her soul," exclaimed Pulcheria Alexandrovna. "I shall
pray for her! Where should we be now, Dounia, without
this three thousand!
It's as though it had fallen from heaven! Why,
Rodya, this morning
we had only three roubles in our pocket and Dounia
and I were just
planning to pawn her watch, so as to avoid borrowing
from that man until
he offered help."
strangely impressed by Svidrigailov's offer. She still
"He has got
some terrible plan," she said in a half whisper to
this disproportionate terror.
I shall have to see him more than once again," he said to
watch him! I will track him out!" cried Razumihin,
won't lose sight of him. Rodya has given me leave. He
said to me himself
just now. 'Take care of my sister.' Will you give
me leave, too,
and held out her hand, but the look of anxiety did not
leave her face.
Pulcheria Alexandrovna gazed at her timidly, but the
roubles had obviously a soothing effect on her.
A quarter of an
hour later, they were all engaged in a lively
Raskolnikov listened attentively for some time,
though he did not
talk. Razumihin was the speaker.
why should you go away?" he flowed on ecstatically. "And
what are you to
do in a little town? The great thing is, you are all
here together and
you need one another- you do need one another,
believe me. For
a time, anyway.... Take me into partnership and I
assure you we'll
plan a capital enterprise. Listen! I'll explain it
all in detail to
you, the whole project! It all flashed into my head
this morning, before
anything had happened... I tell you what; I
have an uncle,
I must introduce him to you (a most accommodating and
man). This uncle has got a capital of a thousand
roubles, and he
lives on his pension and has no need of that money.
For the last two
years he has been bothering me to borrow it from
him and pay him
six per cent. interest. I know what that means; he
simply wants to
help me. Last year I had no need of it, but this
year I resolved
to borrow it as soon as he arrived. Then you lend me
of your three and we have enough for a start, so
we'll go into partnership,
and what are we going to do?"
began to unfold his project, and he explained at
length that almost
all our publishers and booksellers know nothing
at all of what
they are selling, and for that reason they are
usually bad publishers,
and that any decent publications pay as a rule
and give a profit,
sometimes a considerable one. Razumihin had,
indeed, been dreaming
of setting up as a publisher. For the last two
years he had been
working in publishers' offices, and knew three
well, though he had told Raskolnikov six days
before that he
was "schwach" in German with an object of persuading
him to take half
his translation and half the payment for it. He had
told a lie, then,
and Raskolnikov knew he was lying.
should we let our chance slip when we have one of the
chief means of
success- money of our own!" cried Razumihin warmly. "Of
course there will
be a lot of work, but we will work, you, Avdotya
Romanovna, I, Rodion....
You get a splendid profit on some books
nowadays! And the
great point of the business is that we shall know
just what wants
translating, and we shall be translating,
all at once. I can be of use because I have
nearly two years I've been scuttling about among the
now I know every detail of their business. You need
not be a saint
to make pots, believe me! And why, why should we let
our chance slip!
Why, I know- and I kept the secret- two or three
books which one
might get a hundred roubles simply for thinking of
publishing. Indeed, and I would not take five
hundred for the
very idea of one of them. And what do you think? If
I were to tell
a publisher, I dare say he'd hesitate- they are such
as for the business side, printing, paper, selling,
you trust to me,
I know my way about. We'll begin in a small way and
go on to a large.
In any case it will get us our living and we shall
get back our capital."
"I like what
you are saying, Dmitri Prokofitch!" she said.
"I know nothing
about it, of course," put in Pulcheria Alexandrovna,
"it may be
a good idea, but again God knows. It's new and untried.
Of course, we must
remain here at least for a time." She looked at
you think, brother?" said Dounia.
he's got a very good idea," he answered. "Of course, it's
too soon to dream
of a publishing firm, but we certainly might bring
out five or six
books and be sure of success. I know of one book
myself which would
be sure to go well. And as for his being able to
manage it, there's
no doubt about that either. He knows the
we can talk it over later...."
cried Razumihin. "Now, stay, there's a flat here in this
to the same owner. It's a special flat apart, not
these lodgings. It's furnished, rent moderate,
three rooms. Suppose
you take them to begin with. I'll pawn your watch
to-morrow and bring
you the money, and everything can be arranged
then. You can all
three live together, and Rodya will be with you. But
where are you off
you are going already?" Pulcheria Alexandrovna asked
a minute?" cried Razumihin.
at her brother with incredulous wonder. He held his
cap in his hand,
he was preparing to leave them.
think you were burying me or saying good-bye for ever,"
he said somewhat
oddly. He attempted to smile, but it did not turn out
a smile. "But
who knows, perhaps it is the last time we shall see each
he let slip accidentally. It was what he was thinking, and
it somehow was
the matter with you?" cried his mother.
you going, Rodya?" asked Dounia rather strangely.
quite obliged to..." he answered vaguely, as though
he would say. But there was a look of sharp
his white face.
to say... as I was coming here... I meant to tell you,
mother, and you,
Dounia, that it would be better for us to part for
a time. I feel
ill, I am not at peace.... I will come afterwards, I
will come of myself...
when it's possible, I remember you and love
you.... Leave me,
leave me alone. I decided this even before... I'm
on it. Whatever may come to me, whether I come
to ruin or not,
I want to be alone. Forget me altogether, it's better.
Don't inquire about
me. When I can, I'll come of myself or... I'll
send for you. Perhaps
it will all come back, but now if you love me,
give me up... else
I shall begin to hate you, I feel it.... Good-bye!"
cried Pulcheria Alexandrovna. Both his mother and his
sister were terribly
alarmed. Razumihin was also.
be reconciled with us! Let us be as before!" cried
his poor mother.
He turned slowly
to the door and slowly went out of the room. Dounia
what are you doing to mother?" she whispered, her eyes
flashing with indignation.
He looked dully
I shall come.... I'm coming," he muttered in an
undertone, as though
not fully conscious of what he was saying, and he
went out of the
heartless egoist!" cried Dounia.
"He is insane,
but not heartless. He is mad! Don't you see it?
after that!" Razumihin whispered in her ear,
squeezing her hand
tightly. "I shall be back directly," he shouted
to the horror-stricken
mother, and he ran out of the room.
waiting for him at the end of the passage.
"I knew you
would run after me," he said. "Go back to them- be
with them... be
with them to-morrow and always.... I... perhaps I
shall come... if
I can. Good-bye."
And without holding
out his hand he walked away.
are you going? What are you doing? What's the matter with
you? How can you
go on like this?" Razumihin muttered, at his wits'
all, never ask me about anything. I have nothing to tell
you. Don't come
to see me. Maybe I'll come here.... Leave me, but
don't leave them.
Do you understand me?"
It was dark in
the corridor, they were standing near the lamp. For a
minute they were
looking at one another in silence. Razumihin
minute all his life. Raskolnikov's burning and
intent eyes grew
more penetrating every moment, piercing into his
soul, into his
consciousness. Suddenly Razumihin started. Something
strange, as it
were, passed between them.... Some idea, some hint as
it were, slipped,
something awful, hideous, and suddenly understood on
Razumihin turned pale.
"Do you understand
now?" said Raskolnikov, his face twitching
back, go to them," he said suddenly, and turning
quickly, he went
out of the house.
I will not attempt
to describe how Razumihin went back to the
ladies, how he
soothed them, how he protested that Rodya needed rest
in his illness,
protested that Rodya was sure to come, that he would
come every day,
that he was very, very much upset, that he must not be
he, Razumihin, would watch over him, would get him a
doctor, the best
doctor, a consultation.... In fact from that
took his place with them as a son and a brother.
qu'on fait n'est jamais compris mais seulement loué ou blâmé.
Nietzsche, Gay Science