Prompted by the very popular map of SF for New Yorkers we posted just a little while ago, @mrsketchee shared this fantasy of a New York-style subway system in SF.
Can you imagine???
In a fantasy world, wouldn’t the western portion of SF be served?
I needed for the fees and I could have earned enough for clothes, boots and food, no doubt. Lessons had turned up at half a rouble. Razumihin works! But I turned sulky and wouldn’t. (Yes, sulkiness, that’s the right word for it!) I sat in my room like a spider. You’ve been in my den, you’ve seen it…. And do you know, Sonia, that low ceilings and tiny rooms cramp the soul and the mind? Ah, how I hated that garret! And yet I wouldn’t go out of it! I wouldn’t on purpose! I didn’t go out for days together, and I wouldn’t work, I wouldn’t even eat, I just lay there doing nothing. If Nastasya brought me anything, I ate it, if she didn’t, I went all day without; I wouldn’t ask, on purpose, from sulkiness! At night I had no light, I lay in the dark and I wouldn’t earn money for candles. I ought to have studied, but I sold my books; and the dust lies an inch thick on the notebooks on my table. I preferred lying still and thinking. And I kept thinking…. And I had dreams all the time, strange dreams of all sorts, no need to describe! Only then I began to fancy that… No, that’s not it! Again I am telling you wrong! You see I kept asking myself then: why am I so stupid that if others are stupid—and I know they are—yet I won’t be wiser? Then I saw, Sonia, that if one waits for everyone to get wiser it will take too long…. Afterwards I understood that that would never come to pass, that men won’t change and that nobody can alter it and that it’s not worth wasting effort over it. Yes, that’s so. That’s the law of their nature, Sonia,… that’s so!… And I know now, Sonia, that whoever is strong in mind and spirit will have power over them. Anyone who is greatly daring is right in their eyes. He who despises most things will be a lawgiver among them and he who dares most of all will be most in the right! So it has been till now and so it will always be. A man must be blind not to see it!”
Though Raskolnikov looked at Sonia as he said this, he no longer cared whether she understood or not. The fever had complete hold of him; he was in a sort of gloomy ecstasy (he certainly had been too long without talking to anyone). Sonia felt that his gloomy creed had become his faith and code.
“I divined then, Sonia,” he went on eagerly, “that power is only vouchsafed to the man who dares to stoop and pick it up. There is only one thing, one thing needful: one has only to dare! Then for the first time in my life an idea took shape in my mind which no one had ever thought of before me, no one! I saw clear as daylight how strange it is that not a single person living in this mad world has had the daring to go straight for it all and send it flying to the devil! I… I wanted to have the daring… and I killed her. I only wanted to have the daring, Sonia! That was the whole cause of it!”
“Oh hush, hush,” cried Sonia, clasping her hands. “You turned away from God and God has smitten you, has given you over to the devil!”
“Then Sonia, when I used to lie there in the dark and all this became clear to me, was it a temptation of the devil, eh?”
“Hush, don’t laugh, blasphemer! You don’t understand, you don’t understand! Oh God! He won’t understand!”
“Hush, Sonia! I am not laughing. I know myself that it was the devil leading me. Hush, Sonia, hush!” he repeated with gloomy insistence. “I know it all, I have thought it all over and over and whispered it all over to myself, lying there in the dark…. I’ve argued it all over with myself, every point of it, and I know it all, all! And how sick, how sick I was then of going over it all! I have kept wanting to forget it and make a new beginning, Sonia, and leave off thinking. And you don’t suppose that I went into it headlong like a fool? I went into it like a wise man, and that was just my destruction. And you mustn’t suppose that I didn’t know, for instance, that if I began to question myself whether I had the right to gain power—I certainly hadn’t the right—or that if I asked myself whether a human being is a louse it proved that it wasn’t so for me, though it might be for a man who would go straight to his goal without asking questions…. If I worried myself all those days, wondering whether Napoleon would have done it or not, I felt clearly of course that I wasn’t Napoleon. I had to endure all the agony of that battle of ideas, Sonia, and I longed to throw it off: I wanted to murder without casuistry, to murder for my own sake, for myself alone! I didn’t want to lie about it even to myself. It wasn’t to help my mother I did the murder—that’s nonsense—I didn’t do the murder to gain wealth and power and to become a benefactor of mankind. Nonsense! I simply did it; I did the murder for myself, for myself alone, and whether I became a benefactor to others, or spent my life like a spider catching men in my web and sucking the life out of men, I couldn’t have cared at that moment…. And it was not the money I wanted, Sonia, when I did it. It was not so much the money I wanted, but something else…. I know it all now…. Understand me! Perhaps I should never have committed a murder again. I wanted to find out something else; it was something else led me on. I wanted to find out then and quickly whether I was a louse like everybody else or a man. Whether I can step over barriers or not, whether I dare stoop to pick up or not, whether I am a trembling creature or whether I have the right…”
“To kill? Have the right to kill?” Sonia clasped her hands.
“Ach, Sonia!” he cried irritably and seemed about to make some retort, but was contemptuously silent. “Don’t interrupt me, Sonia. I want to prove one thing only, that the devil led me on then and he has shown me since that I had not the right to take that path, because I am just such a louse as all the rest. He was mocking me and here I’ve come to you now! Welcome your guest! If I were not a louse, should I have come to you? Listen: when I went then to the old woman’s I only went to try…. You may be sure of that!”
“And you murdered her!”
“But how did I murder her? Is that how men do murders? Do men go to commit a murder as I went then? I will tell you some day how I went! Did I murder the old woman? I murdered myself, not her! I crushed myself once for all, for ever…. But it was the devil that killed that old woman, not I. Enough, enough, Sonia, enough! Let me be!” he cried in a sudden spasm of agony, “let me be!”
He leaned his elbows on his knees and squeezed his head in his hands as in a vise.
“What suffering!” A wail of anguish broke from Sonia.
“Well, what am I to do now?” he asked, suddenly raising his head and looking at her with a face hideously distorted by despair.
“What are you to do?” she cried, jumping up, and her eyes that had been full of tears suddenly began to shine. “Stand up!” (She seized him by the shoulder, he got up, looking at her almost bewildered.) “Go at once, this very minute, stand at the cross-roads, bow down, first kiss the earth which you have defiled and then bow down to all the world and say to all men aloud, ‘I am a murderer!’ Then God will send you life again. Will you go, will you go?” she asked him, trembling all over, snatching his two hands, squeezing them tight in hers and gazing at him with eyes full of fire.
He was amazed at her sudden ecstasy.
“You mean Siberia, Sonia? I must give myself up?” he asked gloomily.
“Suffer and expiate your sin by it, that’s what you must do.”
“No! I am not going to them, Sonia!”
“But how will you go on living? What will you live for?” cried Sonia, “how is it possible now? Why, how can you talk to your mother? (Oh, what will become of them now?) But what am I saying? You have abandoned your mother and your sister already. He has abandoned them already! Oh, God!” she cried, “why, he knows it all himself. How, how can he live by himself! What will become of you now?”
“Don’t be a child, Sonia,” he said softly. “What wrong have I done them? Why should I go to them? What should I say to them? That’s only a phantom…. They destroy men by millions themselves and look on it as a virtue. They are knaves and scoundrels, Sonia! I am not going to them. And what should I say to them—that I murdered her, but did not dare to take the money and hid it under a stone?” he added with a bitter smile. “Why, they would laugh at me, and would call me a fool for not getting it. A coward and a fool! They wouldn’t understand and they don’t deserve to understand. Why should I go to them? I won’t. Don’t be a child, Sonia….”
“It will be too much for you to bear, too much!” she repeated, holding out her hands in despairing supplication.
“Perhaps I’ve been unfair to myself,” he observed gloomily, pondering, “perhaps after all I am a man and not a louse and I’ve been in too great a hurry to condemn myself. I’ll make another fight for it.”
A haughty smile appeared on his lips.
“What a burden to bear! And your whole life, your whole life!”
“I shall get used to it,” he said grimly and thoughtfully. “Listen,” he began a minute later, “stop crying, it’s time to talk of the facts: I’ve come to tell you that the police are after me, on my track….”
“Ach!” Sonia cried in terror.
“Well, why do you cry out? You want me to go to Siberia and now you are frightened? But let me tell you: I shall not give myself up. I shall make a struggle for it and they won’t do anything to me. They’ve no real evidence. Yesterday I was in great danger and believed I was lost; but to-day things are going better. All the facts they know can be explained two ways, that’s to say I can turn their accusations to my credit, do you understand? And I shall, for I’ve learnt my lesson. But they will certainly arrest me. If it had not been for something that happened, they would have done so to-day for certain; perhaps even now they will arrest me to-day…. But that’s no matter, Sonia; they’ll let me out again… for there isn’t any real proof against me, and there won’t be, I give you my word for it. And they can’t convict a man on what they have against me. Enough…. I only tell you that you may know…. I will try to manage somehow to put it to my mother and sister so that they won’t be frightened…. My sister’s future is secure, however, now, I believe… and my mother’s must be too…. Well, that’s all. Be careful, though. Will you come and see me in prison when I am there?”
“Oh, I will, I will.”
They sat side by side, both mournful and dejected, as though they had been cast up by the tempest alone on some deserted shore. He looked at Sonia and felt how great was her love for him, and strange to say he felt it suddenly burdensome and painful to be so loved. Yes, it was a strange and awful sensation! On his way to see Sonia he had felt that all his hopes rested on her; he expected to be rid of at least part of his suffering, and now, when all her heart turned towards him, he suddenly felt that he was immeasurably unhappier than before.
“Sonia,” he said, “you’d better not come and see me when I am in prison.”
Sonia did not answer, she was crying. Several minutes passed.
“Have you a cross on you?” she asked, as though suddenly thinking of it.
He did not at first understand the question.
“No, of course not. Here, take this one, of cypress wood. I have another, a copper one that belonged to Lizaveta. I changed with Lizaveta: she gave me her cross and I gave her my little ikon. I will wear Lizaveta’s now and give you this. Take it… it’s mine! It’s mine, you know,” she begged him. “We will go to suffer together, and together we will bear our cross!”
“Give it me,” said Raskolnikov.
He did not want to hurt her feelings. But immediately he drew back the hand he held out for the cross.
“Not now, Sonia. Better later,” he added to comfort her.
“Yes, yes, better,” she repeated with conviction, “when you go to meet your suffering, then put it on. You will come to me, I’ll put it on you, we will pray and go together.”
At that moment someone knocked three times at the door.
“Sofya Semyonovna, may I come in?” they heard in a very familiar and polite voice.
Sonia rushed to the door in a fright. The flaxen head of Mr. Lebeziatnikov appeared at the door.
Lebeziatnikov looked perturbed.
“I’ve come to you, Sofya Semyonovna,” he began. “Excuse me… I thought I should find you,” he said, addressing Raskolnikov suddenly, “that is, I didn’t mean anything… of that sort… But I just thought… Katerina Ivanovna has gone out of her mind,” he blurted out suddenly, turning from Raskolnikov to Sonia.
“At least it seems so. But… we don’t know what to do, you see! She came back—she seems to have been turned out somewhere, perhaps beaten…. So it seems at least,… She had run to your father’s former chief, she didn’t find him at home: he was dining at some other general’s…. Only fancy, she rushed off there, to the other general’s, and, imagine, she was so persistent that she managed to get the chief to see her, had him fetched out from dinner, it seems. You can imagine what happened. She was turned out, of course; but, according to her own story, she abused him and threw something at him. One may well believe it…. How it is she wasn’t taken up, I can’t understand! Now she is telling everyone, including Amalia Ivanovna; but it’s difficult to understand her, she is screaming and flinging herself about…. Oh yes, she shouts that since everyone has abandoned her, she will take the children and go into the street with a barrel-organ, and the children will sing and dance, and she too, and collect money, and will go every day under the general’s window… ‘to let everyone see well-born children, whose father was an official, begging in the street.’ She keeps beating the children and they are all crying. She is teaching Lida to sing ‘My Village,’ the boy to dance, Polenka the same. She is tearing up all the clothes, and making them little caps like actors; she means to carry a tin basin and make it tinkle, instead of music…. She won’t listen to anything…. Imagine the state of things! It’s beyond anything!”
Lebeziatnikov would have gone on, but Sonia, who had heard him almost breathless, snatched up her cloak and hat, and ran out of the room, putting on her things as she went. Raskolnikov followed her and Lebeziatnikov came after him.
“She has certainly gone mad!” he said to Raskolnikov, as they went out into the street. “I didn’t want to frighten Sofya Semyonovna, so I said ‘it seemed like it,’ but there isn’t a doubt of it. They say that in consumption the tubercles sometimes occur in the brain; it’s a pity I know nothing of medicine. I did try to persuade her, but she wouldn’t listen.”
“Did you talk to her about the tubercles?”
“Not precisely of the tubercles. Besides, she wouldn’t have understood! But what I say is, that if you convince a person logically that he has nothing to cry about, he’ll stop crying. That’s clear. Is it your conviction that he won’t?”
“Life would be too easy if it were so,” answered Raskolnikov.
“Excuse me, excuse me; of course it would be rather difficult for Katerina Ivanovna to understand, but do you know that in Paris they have been conducting serious experiments as to the possibility of curing the insane, simply by logical argument? One professor there, a scientific man of standing, lately dead, believed in the possibility of such treatment. His idea was that there’s nothing really wrong with the physical organism of the insane, and that insanity is, so to say, a logical mistake, an error of judgment, an incorrect view of things. He gradually showed the madman his error and, would you believe it, they say he was successful? But as he made use of douches too, how far success was due to that treatment remains uncertain…. So it seems at least.”
Raskolnikov had long ceased to listen. Reaching the house where he lived, he nodded to Lebeziatnikov and went in at the gate. Lebeziatnikov woke up with a start, looked about him and hurried on.
Raskolnikov went into his little room and stood still in the middle of it. Why had he come back here? He looked at the yellow and tattered paper, at the dust, at his sofa…. From the yard came a loud continuous knocking; someone seemed to be hammering… He went to the window, rose on tiptoe and looked out into the yard for a long time with an air of absorbed attention. But the yard was empty and he could not see who was hammering. In the house on the left he saw some open windows; on the window-sills were pots of sickly-looking geraniums. Linen was hung out of the windows… He knew it all by heart. He turned away and sat down on the sofa.
Never, never had he felt himself so fearfully alone!
Yes, he felt once more that he would perhaps come to hate Sonia, now that he had made her more miserable.
“Why had he gone to her to beg for her tears? What need had he to poison her life? Oh, the meanness of it!”
“I will remain alone,” he said resolutely, “and she shall not come to the prison!”
Five minutes later he raised his head with a strange smile. That was a strange thought.
“Perhaps it really would be better in Siberia,” he thought suddenly.
He could not have said how long he sat there with vague thoughts surging through his mind. All at once the door opened and Dounia came in. At first she stood still and looked at him from the doorway, just as he had done at Sonia; then she came in and sat down in the same place as yesterday, on the chair facing him. He looked silently and almost vacantly at her.
“Don’t be angry, brother; I’ve only come for one minute,” said Dounia.
Her face looked thoughtful but not stern. Her eyes were bright and soft. He saw that she too had come to him with love.
“Brother, now I know all, all. Dmitri Prokofitch has explained and told me everything. They are worrying and persecuting you through a stupid and contemptible suspicion…. Dmitri Prokofitch told me that there is no danger, and that you are wrong in looking upon it with such horror. I don’t think so, and I fully understand how indignant you must be, and that that indignation may have a permanent effect on you. That’s what I am afraid of. As for your cutting yourself off from us, I don’t judge you, I don’t venture to judge you, and forgive me for having blamed you for it. I feel that I too, if I had so great a trouble, should keep away from everyone. I shall tell mother nothing of this, but I shall talk about you continually and shall tell her from you that you will come very soon. Don’t worry about her; I will set her mind at rest; but don’t you try her too much—come once at least; remember that she is your mother. And now I have come simply to say” (Dounia began to get up) “that if you should need me or should need… all my life or anything… call me, and I’ll come. Good-bye!”
She turned abruptly and went towards the door.
“Dounia!” Raskolnikov stopped her and went towards her. “That Razumihin, Dmitri Prokofitch, is a very good fellow.”
Dounia flushed slightly.
“Well?” she asked, waiting a moment.
“He is competent, hardworking, honest and capable of real love…. Good-bye, Dounia.”
Dounia flushed crimson, then suddenly she took alarm.
“But what does it mean, brother? Are we really parting for ever that you… give me such a parting message?”
“Never mind…. Good-bye.”
He turned away, and walked to the window. She stood a moment, looked at him uneasily, and went out troubled.
No, he was not cold to her. There was an instant (the very last one) when he had longed to take her in his arms and say good-bye to her, and even to tell her, but he had not dared even to touch her hand.
“Afterwards she may shudder when she remembers that I embraced her, and will feel that I stole her kiss.”
“And would she stand that test?” he went on a few minutes later to himself. “No, she wouldn’t; girls like that can’t stand things! They never do.”
And he thought of Sonia.
There was a breath of fresh air from the window. The daylight was fading. He took up his cap and went out.
He could not, of course, and would not consider how ill he was. But all this continual anxiety and agony of mind could not but affect him. And if he were not lying in high fever it was perhaps just because this continual inner strain helped to keep him on his legs and in possession of his faculties. But this artificial excitement could not last long.
He wandered aimlessly. The sun was setting. A special form of misery had begun to oppress him of late. There was nothing poignant, nothing acute about it; but there was a feeling of permanence, of eternity about it; it brought a foretaste of hopeless years of this cold leaden misery, a foretaste of an eternity “on a square yard of space.” Towards evening this sensation usually began to weigh on him more heavily.
“With this idiotic, purely physical weakness, depending on the sunset or something, one can’t help doing something stupid! You’ll go to Dounia, as well as to Sonia,” he muttered bitterly.
He heard his name called. He looked round. Lebeziatnikov rushed up to him.
“Only fancy, I’ve been to your room looking for you. Only fancy, she’s carried out her plan, and taken away the children. Sofya Semyonovna and I have had a job to find them. She is rapping on a frying-pan and making the children dance. The children are crying. They keep stopping at the cross-roads and in front of shops; there’s a crowd of fools running after them. Come along!”
“And Sonia?” Raskolnikov asked anxiously, hurrying after Lebeziatnikov.
“Simply frantic. That is, it’s not Sofya Semyonovna’s frantic, but Katerina Ivanovna, though Sofya Semyonova’s frantic too. But Katerina Ivanovna is absolutely frantic. I tell you she is quite mad. They’ll be taken to the police. You can fancy what an effect that will have…. They are on the canal bank, near the bridge now, not far from Sofya Semyonovna’s, quite close.”
On the canal bank near the bridge and not two houses away from the one where Sonia lodged, there was a crowd of people, consisting principally of gutter children. The hoarse broken voice of Katerina Ivanovna could be heard from the bridge, and it certainly was a strange spectacle likely to attract a street crowd. Katerina Ivanovna in her old dress with the green shawl, wearing a torn straw hat, crushed in a hideous way on one side, was really frantic. She was exhausted and breathless. Her wasted consumptive face looked more suffering than ever, and indeed out of doors in the sunshine a consumptive always looks worse than at home. But her excitement did not flag, and every moment her irritation grew more intense. She rushed at the children, shouted at them, coaxed them, told them before the crowd how to dance and what to sing, began explaining to them why it was necessary, and driven to desperation by their not understanding, beat them…. Then she would make a rush at the crowd; if she noticed any decently dressed person stopping to look, she immediately appealed to him to see what these children “from a genteel, one may say aristocratic, house” had been brought to. If she heard laughter or jeering in the crowd, she would rush at once at the scoffers and begin squabbling with them. Some people laughed, others shook their heads, but everyone felt curious at the sight of the madwoman with the frightened children. The frying-pan of which Lebeziatnikov had spoken was not there, at least Raskolnikov did not see it. But instead of rapping on the pan, Katerina Ivanovna began clapping her wasted hands, when she made Lida and Kolya dance and Polenka sing. She too joined in the singing, but broke down at the second note with a fearful cough, which made her curse in despair and even shed tears. What made her most furious was the weeping and terror of Kolya and Lida. Some effort had been made to dress the children up as street singers are dressed. The boy had on a turban made of something red and white to look like a Turk. There had been no costume for Lida; she simply had a red knitted cap, or rather a night cap that had belonged to Marmeladov, decorated with a broken piece of white ostrich feather, which had been Katerina Ivanovna’s grandmother’s and had been preserved as a family possession. Polenka was in her everyday dress; she looked in timid perplexity at her mother, and kept at her side, hiding her tears. She dimly realised her mother’s condition, and looked uneasily about her. She was terribly frightened of the street and the crowd. Sonia followed Katerina Ivanovna, weeping and beseeching her to return home, but Katerina Ivanovna was not to be persuaded.
“Leave off, Sonia, leave off,” she shouted, speaking fast, panting and coughing. “You don’t know what you ask; you are like a child! I’ve told you before that I am not coming back to that drunken German. Let everyone, let all Petersburg see the children begging in the streets, though their father was an honourable man who served all his life in truth and fidelity, and one may say died in the service.” (Katerina Ivanovna had by now invented this fantastic story and thoroughly believed it.) “Let that wretch of a general see it! And you are silly, Sonia: what have we to eat? Tell me that. We have worried you enough, I won’t go on so! Ah, Rodion Romanovitch, is that you?” she cried, seeing Raskolnikov and rushing up to him. “Explain to this silly girl, please, that nothing better could be done! Even organ-grinders earn their living, and everyone will see at once that we are different, that we are an honourable and bereaved family reduced to beggary. And that general will lose his post, you’ll see! We shall perform under his windows every day, and if the Tsar drives by, I’ll fall on my knees, put the children before me, show them to him, and say ‘Defend us father.’ He is the father of the fatherless, he is merciful, he’ll protect us, you’ll see, and that wretch of a general…. Lida, tenez vous droite! Kolya, you’ll dance again. Why are you whimpering? Whimpering again! What are you afraid of, stupid? Goodness, what am I to do with them, Rodion Romanovitch? If you only knew how stupid they are! What’s one to do with such children?”
And she, almost crying herself—which did not stop her uninterrupted, rapid flow of talk—pointed to the crying children. Raskolnikov tried to persuade her to go home, and even said, hoping to work on her vanity, that it was unseemly for her to be wandering about the streets like an organ-grinder, as she was intending to become the principal of a boarding-school.
“A boarding-school, ha-ha-ha! A castle in the air,” cried Katerina Ivanovna, her laugh ending in a cough. “No, Rodion Romanovitch, that dream is over! All have forsaken us!… And that general…. You know, Rodion Romanovitch, I threw an inkpot at him—it happened to be standing in the waiting-room by the paper where you sign your name. I wrote my name, threw it at him and ran away. Oh, the scoundrels, the scoundrels! But enough of them, now I’ll provide for the children myself, I won’t bow down to anybody! She has had to bear enough for us!” she pointed to Sonia. “Polenka, how much have you got? Show me! What, only two farthings! Oh, the mean wretches! They give us nothing, only run after us, putting their tongues out. There, what is that blockhead laughing at?” (She pointed to a man in the crowd.) “It’s all because Kolya here is so stupid; I have such a bother with him. What do you want, Polenka? Tell me in French, parlez-moi français. Why, I’ve taught you, you know some phrases. Else how are you to show that you are of good family, well brought-up children, and not at all like other organ-grinders? We aren’t going to have a Punch and Judy show in the street, but to sing a genteel song…. Ah, yes,… What are we to sing? You keep putting me out, but we… you see, we are standing here, Rodion Romanovitch, to find something to sing and get money, something Kolya can dance to…. For, as you can fancy, our performance is all impromptu…. We must talk it over and rehearse it all thoroughly, and then we shall go to Nevsky, where there are far more people of good society, and we shall be noticed at once. Lida knows ‘My Village’ only, nothing but ‘My Village,’ and everyone sings that. We must sing something far more genteel…. Well, have you thought of anything, Polenka? If only you’d help your mother! My memory’s quite gone, or I should have thought of something. We really can’t sing ‘An Hussar.’ Ah, let us sing in French, ‘Cinq sous,’ I have taught it you, I have taught it you. And as it is in French, people will see at once that you are children of good family, and that will be much more touching…. You might sing ‘Marlborough s’en va-t-en guerre,’ for that’s quite a child’s song and is sung as a lullaby in all the aristocratic houses.
“Marlborough s’en va-t-en guerre Ne sait quand reviendra…” she began singing. “But no, better sing ‘Cinq sous.’ Now, Kolya, your hands on your hips, make haste, and you, Lida, keep turning the other way, and Polenka and I will sing and clap our hands!
“Cinq sous, cinq sous Pour monter notre menage.”
(Cough-cough-cough!) “Set your dress straight, Polenka, it’s slipped down on your shoulders,” she observed, panting from coughing. “Now it’s particularly necessary to behave nicely and genteelly, that all may see that you are well-born children. I said at the time that the bodice should be cut longer, and made of two widths. It was your fault, Sonia, with your advice to make it shorter, and now you see the child is quite deformed by it…. Why, you’re all crying again! What’s the matter, stupids? Come, Kolya, begin. Make haste, make haste! Oh, what an unbearable child!
“Cinq sous, cinq sous.
“A policeman again! What do you want?”
A policeman was indeed forcing his way through the crowd. But at that moment a gentleman in civilian uniform and an overcoat—a solid-looking official of about fifty with a decoration on his neck (which delighted Katerina Ivanovna and had its effect on the policeman)—approached and without a word handed her a green three-rouble note. His face wore a look of genuine sympathy. Katerina Ivanovna took it and gave him a polite, even ceremonious, bow.
“I thank you, honoured sir,” she began loftily. “The causes that have induced us (take the money, Polenka: you see there are generous and honourable people who are ready to help a poor gentlewoman in distress). You see, honoured sir, these orphans of good family—I might even say of aristocratic connections—and that wretch of a general sat eating grouse… and stamped at my disturbing him. ‘Your excellency,’ I said, ‘protect the orphans, for you knew my late husband, Semyon Zaharovitch, and on the very day of his death the basest of scoundrels slandered his only daughter.’… That policeman again! Protect me,” she cried to the official. “Why is that policeman edging up to me? We have only just run away from one of them. What do you want, fool?”
“It’s forbidden in the streets. You mustn’t make a disturbance.”
“It’s you’re making a disturbance. It’s just the same as if I were grinding an organ. What business is it of yours?”
“You have to get a licence for an organ, and you haven’t got one, and in that way you collect a crowd. Where do you lodge?”
“What, a license?” wailed Katerina Ivanovna. “I buried my husband to-day. What need of a license?”
“Calm yourself, madam, calm yourself,” began the official. “Come along; I will escort you…. This is no place for you in the crowd. You are ill.”
“Honoured sir, honoured sir, you don’t know,” screamed Katerina Ivanovna. “We are going to the Nevsky…. Sonia, Sonia! Where is she? She is crying too! What’s the matter with you all? Kolya, Lida, where are you going?” she cried suddenly in alarm. “Oh, silly children! Kolya, Lida, where are they off to?…”
Kolya and Lida, scared out of their wits by the crowd, and their mother’s mad pranks, suddenly seized each other by the hand, and ran off at the sight of the policeman who wanted to take them away somewhere. Weeping and wailing, poor Katerina Ivanovna ran after them. She was a piteous and unseemly spectacle, as she ran, weeping and panting for breath. Sonia and Polenka rushed after them.
“Bring them back, bring them back, Sonia! Oh stupid, ungrateful children!… Polenka! catch them…. It’s for your sakes I…”
She stumbled as she ran and fell down.
“She’s cut herself, she’s bleeding! Oh, dear!” cried Sonia, bending over her.
All ran up and crowded around. Raskolnikov and Lebeziatnikov were the first at her side, the official too hastened up, and behind him the policeman who muttered, “Bother!” with a gesture of impatience, feeling that the job was going to be a troublesome one.
“Pass on! Pass on!” he said to the crowd that pressed forward.
“She’s dying,” someone shouted.
“She’s gone out of her mind,” said another.
“Lord have mercy upon us,” said a woman, crossing herself. “Have they caught the little girl and the boy? They’re being brought back, the elder one’s got them…. Ah, the naughty imps!”
When they examined Katerina Ivanovna carefully, they saw that she had not cut herself against a stone, as Sonia thought, but that the blood that stained the pavement red was from her chest.
“I’ve seen that before,” muttered the official to Raskolnikov and Lebeziatnikov; “that’s consumption; the blood flows and chokes the patient. I saw the same thing with a relative of my own not long ago… nearly a pint of blood, all in a minute…. What’s to be done though? She is dying.”
“This way, this way, to my room!” Sonia implored. “I live here!… See, that house, the second from here…. Come to me, make haste,” she turned from one to the other. “Send for the doctor! Oh, dear!”
Thanks to the official’s efforts, this plan was adopted, the policeman even helping to carry Katerina Ivanovna. She was carried to Sonia’s room, almost unconscious, and laid on the bed. The blood was still flowing, but she seemed to be coming to herself. Raskolnikov, Lebeziatnikov, and the official accompanied Sonia into the room and were followed by the policeman, who first drove back the crowd which followed to the very door. Polenka came in holding Kolya and Lida, who were trembling and weeping. Several persons came in too from the Kapernaumovs’ room; the landlord, a lame one-eyed man of strange appearance with whiskers and hair that stood up like a brush, his wife, a woman with an everlastingly scared expression, and several open-mouthed children with wonder-struck faces. Among these, Svidrigaïlov suddenly made his appearance. Raskolnikov looked at him with surprise, not understanding where he had come from and not having noticed him in the crowd. A doctor and priest wore spoken of. The official whispered to Raskolnikov that he thought it was too late now for the doctor, but he ordered him to be sent for. Kapernaumov ran himself.
Meanwhile Katerina Ivanovna had regained her breath. The bleeding ceased for a time. She looked with sick but intent and penetrating eyes at Sonia, who stood pale and trembling, wiping the sweat from her brow with a handkerchief. At last she asked to be raised. They sat her up on the bed, supporting her on both sides.
“Where are the children?” she said in a faint voice. “You’ve brought them, Polenka? Oh the sillies! Why did you run away…. Och!”
Once more her parched lips were covered with blood. She moved her eyes, looking about her.
“So that’s how you live, Sonia! Never once have I been in your room.”
She looked at her with a face of suffering.
“We have been your ruin, Sonia. Polenka, Lida, Kolya, come here! Well, here they are, Sonia, take them all! I hand them over to you, I’ve had enough! The ball is over.” (Cough!) “Lay me down, let me die in peace.”
They laid her back on the pillow.
“What, the priest? I don’t want him. You haven’t got a rouble to spare. I have no sins. God must forgive me without that. He knows how I have suffered…. And if He won’t forgive me, I don’t care!”
She sank more and more into uneasy delirium. At times she shuddered, turned her eyes from side to side, recognised everyone for a minute, but at once sank into delirium again. Her breathing was hoarse and difficult, there was a sort of rattle in her throat.
“I said to him, your excellency,” she ejaculated, gasping after each word. “That Amalia Ludwigovna, ah! Lida, Kolya, hands on your hips, make haste! Glissez, glissez! pas de basque! Tap with your heels, be a graceful child!
“Du hast Diamanten und Perlen
“What next? That’s the thing to sing.
“Du hast die schonsten Augen Madchen, was willst du mehr?
“What an idea! Was willst du mehr? What things the fool invents! Ah, yes!
“In the heat of midday in the vale of Dagestan.
“Ah, how I loved it! I loved that song to distraction, Polenka! Your father, you know, used to sing it when we were engaged…. Oh those days! Oh that’s the thing for us to sing! How does it go? I’ve forgotten. Remind me! How was it?”
She was violently excited and tried to sit up. At last, in a horribly hoarse, broken voice, she began, shrieking and gasping at every word, with a look of growing terror.
“In the heat of midday!… in the vale!… of Dagestan!… With lead in my breast!…”
“Your excellency!” she wailed suddenly with a heart-rending scream and a flood of tears, “protect the orphans! You have been their father’s guest… one may say aristocratic….” She started, regaining consciousness, and gazed at all with a sort of terror, but at once recognised Sonia.
“Sonia, Sonia!” she articulated softly and caressingly, as though surprised to find her there. “Sonia darling, are you here, too?”
They lifted her up again.
“Enough! It’s over! Farewell, poor thing! I am done for! I am broken!” she cried with vindictive despair, and her head fell heavily back on the pillow.
She sank into unconsciousness again, but this time it did not last long. Her pale, yellow, wasted face dropped back, her mouth fell open, her leg moved convulsively, she gave a deep, deep sigh and died.
Sonia fell upon her, flung her arms about her, and remained motionless with her head pressed to the dead woman’s wasted bosom. Polenka threw herself at her mother’s feet, kissing them and weeping violently. Though Kolya and Lida did not understand what had happened, they had a feeling that it was something terrible; they put their hands on each other’s little shoulders, stared straight at one another and both at once opened their mouths and began screaming. They were both still in their fancy dress; one in a turban, the other in the cap with the ostrich feather.
And how did “the certificate of merit” come to be on the bed beside Katerina Ivanovna? It lay there by the pillow; Raskolnikov saw it.
He walked away to the window. Lebeziatnikov skipped up to him.
“She is dead,” he said.
“Rodion Romanovitch, I must have two words with you,” said Svidrigaïlov, coming up to them.
Lebeziatnikov at once made room for him and delicately withdrew. Svidrigaïlov drew Raskolnikov further away.
“I will undertake all the arrangements, the funeral and that. You know it’s a question of money and, as I told you, I have plenty to spare. I will put those two little ones and Polenka into some good orphan asylum, and I will settle fifteen hundred roubles to be paid to each on coming of age, so that Sofya Semyonovna need have no anxiety about them. And I will pull her out of the mud too, for she is a good girl, isn’t she? So tell Avdotya Romanovna that that is how I am spending her ten thousand.”
“What is your motive for such benevolence?” asked Raskolnikov.
“Ah! you sceptical person!” laughed Svidrigaïlov. “I told you I had no need of that money. Won’t you admit that it’s simply done from humanity? She wasn’t ‘a louse,’ you know” (he pointed to the corner where the dead woman lay), “was she, like some old pawnbroker woman? Come, you’ll agree, is Luzhin to go on living, and doing wicked things or is she to die? And if I didn’t help them, Polenka would go the same way.”
He said this with an air of a sort of gay winking slyness, keeping his eyes fixed on Raskolnikov, who turned white and cold, hearing his own phrases, spoken to Sonia. He quickly stepped back and looked wildly at Svidrigaïlov.
“How do you know?” he whispered, hardly able to breathe.
“Why, I lodge here at Madame Resslich’s, the other side of the wall. Here is Kapernaumov, and there lives Madame Resslich, an old and devoted friend of mine. I am a neighbour.”
“Yes,” continued Svidrigaïlov, shaking with laughter. “I assure you on my honour, dear Rodion Romanovitch, that you have interested me enormously. I told you we should become friends, I foretold it. Well, here we have. And you will see what an accommodating person I am. You’ll see that you can get on with me!”
A strange period began for Raskolnikov: it was as though a fog had fallen upon him and wrapped him in a dreary solitude from which there was no escape. Recalling that period long after, he believed that his mind had been clouded at times, and that it had continued so, with intervals, till the final catastrophe. He was convinced that he had been mistaken about many things at that time, for instance as to the date of certain events. Anyway, when he tried later on to piece his recollections together, he learnt a great deal about himself from what other people told him. He had mixed up incidents and had explained events as due to circumstances which existed only in his imagination. At times he was a prey to agonies of morbid uneasiness, amounting sometimes to panic. But he remembered, too, moments, hours, perhaps whole days, of complete apathy, which came upon him as a reaction from his previous terror and might be compared with the abnormal insensibility, sometimes seen in the dying. He seemed to be trying in that latter stage to escape from a full and clear understanding of his position. Certain essential facts which required immediate consideration were particularly irksome to him. How glad he would have been to be free from some cares, the neglect of which would have threatened him with complete, inevitable ruin.
He was particularly worried about Svidrigaïlov, he might be said to be permanently thinking of Svidrigaïlov. From the time of Svidrigaïlov’s too menacing and unmistakable words in Sonia’s room at the moment of Katerina Ivanovna’s death, the normal working of his mind seemed to break down. But although this new fact caused him extreme uneasiness, Raskolnikov was in no hurry for an explanation of it. At times, finding himself in a solitary and remote part of the town, in some wretched eating-house, sitting alone lost in thought, hardly knowing how he had come there, he suddenly thought of Svidrigaïlov. He recognised suddenly, clearly, and with dismay that he ought at once to come to an understanding with that man and to make what terms he could. Walking outside the city gates one day, he positively fancied that they had fixed a meeting there, that he was waiting for Svidrigaïlov. Another time he woke up before daybreak lying on the ground under some bushes and could not at first understand how he had come there.
But during the two or three days after Katerina Ivanovna’s death, he had two or three times met Svidrigaïlov at Sonia’s lodging, where he had gone aimlessly for a moment. They exchanged a few words and made no reference to the vital subject, as though they were tacitly agreed not to speak of it for a time.
Katerina Ivanovna’s body was still lying in the coffin, Svidrigaïlov was busy making arrangements for the funeral. Sonia too was very busy. At their last meeting Svidrigaïlov informed Raskolnikov that he had made an arrangement, and a very satisfactory one, for Katerina Ivanovna’s children; that he had, through certain connections, succeeded in getting hold of certain personages by whose help the three orphans could be at once placed in very suitable institutions; that the money he had settled on them had been of great assistance, as it is much easier to place orphans with some property than destitute ones. He said something too about Sonia and promised to come himself in a day or two to see Raskolnikov, mentioning that “he would like to consult with him, that there were things they must talk over….”
This conversation took place in the passage on the stairs. Svidrigaïlov looked intently at Raskolnikov and suddenly, after a brief pause, dropping his voice, asked: “But how is it, Rodion Romanovitch; you don’t seem yourself? You look and you listen, but you don’t seem to understand. Cheer up! We’ll talk things over; I am only sorry, I’ve so much to do of my own business and other people’s. Ah, Rodion Romanovitch,” he added suddenly, “what all men need is fresh air, fresh air… more than anything!”
He moved to one side to make way for the priest and server, who were coming up the stairs. They had come for the requiem service. By Svidrigaïlov’s orders it was sung twice a day punctually. Svidrigaïlov went his way. Raskolnikov stood still a moment, thought, and followed the priest into Sonia’s room. He stood at the door. They began quietly, slowly and mournfully singing the service. From his childhood the thought of death and the presence of death had something oppressive and mysteriously awful; and it was long since he had heard the requiem service. And there was something else here as well, too awful and disturbing. He looked at the children: they were all kneeling by the coffin; Polenka was weeping. Behind them Sonia prayed, softly and, as it were, timidly weeping.
“These last two days she hasn’t said a word to me, she hasn’t glanced at me,” Raskolnikov thought suddenly. The sunlight was bright in the room; the incense rose in clouds; the priest read, “Give rest, oh Lord….” Raskolnikov stayed all through the service. As he blessed them and took his leave, the priest looked round strangely. After the service, Raskolnikov went up to Sonia. She took both his hands and let her head sink on his shoulder. This slight friendly gesture bewildered Raskolnikov. It seemed strange to him that there was no trace of repugnance, no trace of disgust, no tremor in her hand. It was the furthest limit of self-abnegation, at least so he interpreted it.
Sonia said nothing. Raskolnikov pressed her hand and went out. He felt very miserable. If it had been possible to escape to some solitude, he would have thought himself lucky, even if he had to spend his whole life there. But although he had almost always been by himself of late, he had never been able to feel alone. Sometimes he walked out of the town on to the high road, once he had even reached a little wood, but the lonelier the place was, the more he seemed to be aware of an uneasy presence near him. It did not frighten him, but greatly annoyed him, so that he made haste to return to the town, to mingle with the crowd, to enter restaurants and taverns, to walk in busy thoroughfares. There he felt easier and even more solitary. One day at dusk he sat for an hour listening to songs in a tavern and he remembered that he positively enjoyed it. But at last he had suddenly felt the same uneasiness again, as though his conscience smote him. “Here I sit listening to singing, is that what I ought to be doing?” he thought. Yet he felt at once that that was not the only cause of his uneasiness; there was something requiring immediate decision, but it was something he could not clearly understand or put into words. It was a hopeless tangle. “No, better the struggle again! Better Porfiry again… or Svidrigaïlov…. Better some challenge again… some attack. Yes, yes!” he thought. He went out of the tavern and rushed away almost at a run. The thought of Dounia and his mother suddenly reduced him almost to a panic. That night he woke up before morning among some bushes in Krestovsky Island, trembling all over with fever; he walked home, and it was early morning when he arrived. After some hours’ sleep the fever left him, but he woke up late, two o’clock in the afternoon.
He remembered that Katerina Ivanovna’s funeral had been fixed for that day, and was glad that he was not present at it. Nastasya brought him some food; he ate and drank with appetite, almost with greediness. His head was fresher and he was calmer than he had been for the last three days. He even felt a passing wonder at his previous attacks of panic.
The door opened and Razumihin came in.
“Ah, he’s eating, then he’s not ill,” said Razumihin. He took a chair and sat down at the table opposite Raskolnikov.
He was troubled and did not attempt to conceal it. He spoke with evident annoyance, but without hurry or raising his voice. He looked as though he had some special fixed determination.
“Listen,” he began resolutely. “As far as I am concerned, you may all go to hell, but from what I see, it’s clear to me that I can’t make head or tail of it; please don’t think I’ve come to ask you questions. I don’t want to know, hang it! If you begin telling me your secrets, I dare say I shouldn’t stay to listen, I should go away cursing. I have only come to find out once for all whether it’s a fact that you are mad? There is a conviction in the air that you are mad or very nearly so. I admit I’ve been disposed to that opinion myself, judging from your stupid, repulsive and quite inexplicable actions, and from your recent behavior to your mother and sister. Only a monster or a madman could treat them as you have; so you must be mad.”
“When did you see them last?”
“Just now. Haven’t you seen them since then? What have you been doing with yourself? Tell me, please. I’ve been to you three times already. Your mother has been seriously ill since yesterday. She had made up her mind to come to you; Avdotya Romanovna tried to prevent her; she wouldn’t hear a word. ‘If he is ill, if his mind is giving way, who can look after him like his mother?’ she said. We all came here together, we couldn’t let her come alone all the way. We kept begging her to be calm. We came in, you weren’t here; she sat down, and stayed ten minutes, while we stood waiting in silence. She got up and said: ‘If he’s gone out, that is, if he is well, and has forgotten his mother, it’s humiliating and unseemly for his mother to stand at his door begging for kindness.’ She returned home and took to her bed; now she is in a fever. ‘I see,’ she said, ‘that he has time for his girl.’ She means by your girl Sofya Semyonovna, your betrothed or your mistress, I don’t know. I went at once to Sofya Semyonovna’s, for I wanted to know what was going on. I looked round, I saw the coffin, the children crying, and Sofya Semyonovna trying them on mourning dresses. No sign of you. I apologised, came away, and reported to Avdotya Romanovna. So that’s all nonsense and you haven’t got a girl; the most likely thing is that you are mad. But here you sit, guzzling boiled beef as though you’d not had a bite for three days. Though as far as that goes, madmen eat too, but though you have not said a word to me yet… you are not mad! That I’d swear! Above all, you are not mad! So you may go to hell, all of you, for there’s some mystery, some secret about it, and I don’t intend to worry my brains over your secrets. So I’ve simply come to swear at you,” he finished, getting up, “to relieve my mind. And I know what to do now.”
“What do you mean to do now?”
“What business is it of yours what I mean to do?”
“You are going in for a drinking bout.”
“How… how did you know?”
“Why, it’s pretty plain.”
Razumihin paused for a minute.
“You always have been a very rational person and you’ve never been mad, never,” he observed suddenly with warmth. “You’re right: I shall drink. Good-bye!”
And he moved to go out.
“I was talking with my sister—the day before yesterday, I think it was—about you, Razumihin.”
“About me! But… where can you have seen her the day before yesterday?” Razumihin stopped short and even turned a little pale.
One could see that his heart was throbbing slowly and violently.
“She came here by herself, sat there and talked to me.”
“What did you say to her… I mean, about me?”
“I told her you were a very good, honest, and industrious man. I didn’t tell her you love her, because she knows that herself.”
“She knows that herself?”
“Well, it’s pretty plain. Wherever I might go, whatever happened to me, you would remain to look after them. I, so to speak, give them into your keeping, Razumihin. I say this because I know quite well how you love her, and am convinced of the purity of your heart. I know that she too may love you and perhaps does love you already. Now decide for yourself, as you know best, whether you need go in for a drinking bout or not.”
“Rodya! You see… well…. Ach, damn it! But where do you mean to go? Of course, if it’s all a secret, never mind…. But I… I shall find out the secret… and I am sure that it must be some ridiculous nonsense and that you’ve made it all up. Anyway you are a capital fellow, a capital fellow!…”
“That was just what I wanted to add, only you interrupted, that that was a very good decision of yours not to find out these secrets. Leave it to time, don’t worry about it. You’ll know it all in time when it must be. Yesterday a man said to me that what a man needs is fresh air, fresh air, fresh air. I mean to go to him directly to find out what he meant by that.”
Razumihin stood lost in thought and excitement, making a silent conclusion.
“He’s a political conspirator! He must be. And he’s on the eve of some desperate step, that’s certain. It can only be that! And… and Dounia knows,” he thought suddenly.
“So Avdotya Romanovna comes to see you,” he said, weighing each syllable, “and you’re going to see a man who says we need more air, and so of course that letter… that too must have something to do with it,” he concluded to himself.
“She got a letter to-day. It upset her very much—very much indeed. Too much so. I began speaking of you, she begged me not to. Then… then she said that perhaps we should very soon have to part… then she began warmly thanking me for something; then she went to her room and locked herself in.”
“She got a letter?” Raskolnikov asked thoughtfully.
“Yes, and you didn’t know? hm…”
They were both silent.
“Good-bye, Rodion. There was a time, brother, when I…. Never mind, good-bye. You see, there was a time…. Well, good-bye! I must be off too. I am not going to drink. There’s no need now…. That’s all stuff!”
He hurried out; but when he had almost closed the door behind him, he suddenly opened it again, and said, looking away:
“Oh, by the way, do you remember that murder, you know Porfiry’s, that old woman? Do you know the murderer has been found, he has confessed and given the proofs. It’s one of those very workmen, the painter, only fancy! Do you remember I defended them here? Would you believe it, all that scene of fighting and laughing with his companions on the stairs while the porter and the two witnesses were going up, he got up on purpose to disarm suspicion. The cunning, the presence of mind of the young dog! One can hardly credit it; but it’s his own explanation, he has confessed it all. And what a fool I was about it! Well, he’s simply a genius of hypocrisy and resourcefulness in disarming the suspicions of the lawyers—so there’s nothing much to wonder at, I suppose! Of course people like that are always possible. And the fact that he couldn’t keep up the character, but confessed, makes him easier to believe in. But what a fool I was! I was frantic on their side!”
“Tell me, please, from whom did you hear that, and why does it interest you so?” Raskolnikov asked with unmistakable agitation.
“What next? You ask me why it interests me!… Well, I heard it from Porfiry, among others… It was from him I heard almost all about it.”
“What… what did he say?” Raskolnikov asked in dismay.
“He gave me a capital explanation of it. Psychologically, after his fashion.”
“He explained it? Explained it himself?”
“Yes, yes; good-bye. I’ll tell you all about it another time, but now I’m busy. There was a time when I fancied… But no matter, another time!… What need is there for me to drink now? You have made me drunk without wine. I am drunk, Rodya! Good-bye, I’m going. I’ll come again very soon.”
He went out.
“He’s a political conspirator, there’s not a doubt about it,” Razumihin decided, as he slowly descended the stairs. “And he’s drawn his sister in; that’s quite, quite in keeping with Avdotya Romanovna’s character. There are interviews between them!… She hinted at it too… So many of her words…. and hints… bear that meaning! And how else can all this tangle be explained? Hm! And I was almost thinking… Good heavens, what I thought! Yes, I took leave of my senses and I wronged him! It was his doing, under the lamp in the corridor that day. Pfoo! What a crude, nasty, vile idea on my part! Nikolay is a brick, for confessing…. And how clear it all is now! His illness then, all his strange actions… before this, in the university, how morose he used to be, how gloomy…. But what’s the meaning now of that letter? There’s something in that, too, perhaps. Whom was it from? I suspect…! No, I must find out!”
He thought of Dounia, realising all he had heard and his heart throbbed, and he suddenly broke into a run.
As soon as Razumihin went out, Raskolnikov got up, turned to the window, walked into one corner and then into another, as though forgetting the smallness of his room, and sat down again on the sofa. He felt, so to speak, renewed; again the struggle, so a means of escape had come.
“Yes, a means of escape had come! It had been too stifling, too cramping, the burden had been too agonising. A lethargy had come upon him at times. From the moment of the scene with Nikolay at Porfiry’s he had been suffocating, penned in without hope of escape. After Nikolay’s confession, on that very day had come the scene with Sonia; his behaviour and his last words had been utterly unlike anything he could have imagined beforehand; he had grown feebler, instantly and fundamentally! And he had agreed at the time with Sonia, he had agreed in his heart he could not go on living alone with such a thing on his mind!
“And Svidrigaïlov was a riddle… He worried him, that was true, but somehow not on the same point. He might still have a struggle to come with Svidrigaïlov. Svidrigaïlov, too, might be a means of escape; but Porfiry was a different matter.
“And so Porfiry himself had explained it to Razumihin, had explained it psychologically. He had begun bringing in his damned psychology again! Porfiry? But to think that Porfiry should for one moment believe that Nikolay was guilty, after what had passed between them before Nikolay’s appearance, after that tête-à-tête interview, which could have only one explanation? (During those days Raskolnikov had often recalled passages in that scene with Porfiry; he could not bear to let his mind rest on it.) Such words, such gestures had passed between them, they had exchanged such glances, things had been said in such a tone and had reached such a pass, that Nikolay, whom Porfiry had seen through at the first word, at the first gesture, could not have shaken his conviction.
“And to think that even Razumihin had begun to suspect! The scene in the corridor under the lamp had produced its effect then. He had rushed to Porfiry…. But what had induced the latter to receive him like that? What had been his object in putting Razumihin off with Nikolay? He must have some plan; there was some design, but what was it? It was true that a long time had passed since that morning—too long a time—and no sight nor sound of Porfiry. Well, that was a bad sign….”
Raskolnikov took his cap and went out of the room, still pondering. It was the first time for a long while that he had felt clear in his mind, at least. “I must settle Svidrigaïlov,” he thought, “and as soon as possible; he, too, seems to be waiting for me to come to him of my own accord.” And at that moment there was such a rush of hate in his weary heart that he might have killed either of those two—Porfiry or Svidrigaïlov. At least he felt that he would be capable of doing it later, if not now.
“We shall see, we shall see,” he repeated to himself.
But no sooner had he opened the door than he stumbled upon Porfiry himself in the passage. He was coming in to see him. Raskolnikov was dumbfounded for a minute, but only for one minute. Strange to say, he was not very much astonished at seeing Porfiry and scarcely afraid of him. He was simply startled, but was quickly, instantly, on his guard. “Perhaps this will mean the end? But how could Porfiry have approached so quietly, like a cat, so that he had heard nothing? Could he have been listening at the door?”
“You didn’t expect a visitor, Rodion Romanovitch,” Porfiry explained, laughing. “I’ve been meaning to look in a long time; I was passing by and thought why not go in for five minutes. Are you going out? I won’t keep you long. Just let me have one cigarette.”
“Sit down, Porfiry Petrovitch, sit down.” Raskolnikov gave his visitor a seat with so pleased and friendly an expression that he would have marvelled at himself, if he could have seen it.
The last moment had come, the last drops had to be drained! So a man will sometimes go through half an hour of mortal terror with a brigand, yet when the knife is at his throat at last, he feels no fear.
Raskolnikov seated himself directly facing Porfiry, and looked at him without flinching. Porfiry screwed up his eyes and began lighting a cigarette.
“Speak, speak,” seemed as though it would burst from Raskolnikov’s heart. “Come, why don’t you speak?”
“Ah these cigarettes!” Porfiry Petrovitch ejaculated at last, having lighted one. “They are pernicious, positively pernicious, and yet I can’t give them up! I cough, I begin to have tickling in my throat and a difficulty in breathing. You know I am a coward, I went lately to Dr. B——n; he always gives at least half an hour to each patient. He positively laughed looking at me; he sounded me: ‘Tobacco’s bad for you,’ he said, ‘your lungs are affected.’ But how am I to give it up? What is there to take its place? I don’t drink, that’s the mischief, he-he-he, that I don’t. Everything is relative, Rodion Romanovitch, everything is relative!”
“Why, he’s playing his professional tricks again,” Raskolnikov thought with disgust. All the circumstances of their last interview suddenly came back to him, and he felt a rush of the feeling that had come upon him then.
“I came to see you the day before yesterday, in the evening; you didn’t know?” Porfiry Petrovitch went on, looking round the room. “I came into this very room. I was passing by, just as I did to-day, and I thought I’d return your call. I walked in as your door was wide open, I looked round, waited and went out without leaving my name with your servant. Don’t you lock your door?”
Raskolnikov’s face grew more and more gloomy. Porfiry seemed to guess his state of mind.
“I’ve come to have it out with you, Rodion Romanovitch, my dear fellow! I owe you an explanation and must give it to you,” he continued with a slight smile, just patting Raskolnikov’s knee.
But almost at the same instant a serious and careworn look came into his face; to his surprise Raskolnikov saw a touch of sadness in it. He had never seen and never suspected such an expression in his face.
“A strange scene passed between us last time we met, Rodion Romanovitch. Our first interview, too, was a strange one; but then… and one thing after another! This is the point: I have perhaps acted unfairly to you; I feel it. Do you remember how we parted? Your nerves were unhinged and your knees were shaking and so were mine. And, you know, our behaviour was unseemly, even ungentlemanly. And yet we are gentlemen, above all, in any case, gentlemen; that must be understood. Do you remember what we came to?… and it was quite indecorous.”
“What is he up to, what does he take me for?” Raskolnikov asked himself in amazement, raising his head and looking with open eyes on Porfiry.
“I’ve decided openness is better between us,” Porfiry Petrovitch went on, turning his head away and dropping his eyes, as though unwilling to disconcert his former victim and as though disdaining his former wiles. “Yes, such suspicions and such scenes cannot continue for long. Nikolay put a stop to it, or I don’t know what we might not have come to. That damned workman was sitting at the time in the next room—can you realise that? You know that, of course; and I am aware that he came to you afterwards. But what you supposed then was not true: I had not sent for anyone, I had made no kind of arrangements. You ask why I hadn’t? What shall I say to you? it had all come upon me so suddenly. I had scarcely sent for the porters (you noticed them as you went out, I dare say). An idea flashed upon me; I was firmly convinced at the time, you see, Rodion Romanovitch. Come, I thought—even if I let one thing slip for a time, I shall get hold of something else—I shan’t lose what I want, anyway. You are nervously irritable, Rodion Romanovitch, by temperament; it’s out of proportion with other qual
is there any way to actually see the station names?
in the fantasy world, BART would actually run.
Keep BART out of Marin
In my fantasy world, the western portion of SF is just sand dunes.
We should be so lucky.
My thoughts exactly!!!!
That would almost make San Francisco a real city.
Why would we want to be “a” city, when San Francisco is already THE City.
San Francisco hasn’t been “The City” is nigh 100 years. Seriously, anyone getting pissy about is exhibit A of our parochialism.
Naw. San Francisco is still The City, and always will be. To claim otherwise is just silly.
This map is silly and clearly from the perspective of someone who knows nothing about transportation planning or engineering.
I’d prefer a Moscow-style subway, thanks.
Heh, I love how someone commented Keep BART of out Marin. How typical of someone from Marin to say, they just want to be totally separated from the “other Bay Area” people because they think they’re so damn special. Whatever, dude, Marin is beautiful, too bad the people are so snobby and uptight.
Pretty sure he was just trolling.
Pretty sure you are wrong.
Well, there you go. I guess that’s what I get for giving you the benefit of the doubt. Instead it turns out that you really are just a fool. *shrug*
How about you stay out of our blogs?
I thought it was one o’ them “snobby and uptight” Mission-ites who like to rant about keeping yuppie invaders out of “their” Mission.
Just cuz people in Marin have money doesn’t mean they are snobby and uptight…. Remember that those are all the successful people that were scarfing down acid in the 60′s which makes them way cooler and open minded than any other brand of wealthy folks in this country…. Ever been to the wealthy parts of Chicago or New York? Or f#cking texas?!! Those are folks with their heads in their asses… If I was paying what it costs to live in Marin, I doubt I’d want to be hackled by vagrants from the city too…. and I live in the city!!!
You can fantasize about the West side being sand dunes all you like, that just means less people will move to the Sunset, fine with me. I love it out here.
Two words: tsunami zone.
Looks like spaghetti on a plate.
anyone ever heard of the Key System?
Why the fuck does Yerba Beuna Island need its own stop, in addition to the one on Treasure Island?
Also, I like the isolated line out by the beach in the Richmond that apparently doesn’t connect to anything else.
They’re two entirely separate lines. If you’re going to be tunnelling under the islands anyway, might as well add a stop.
Better to run them all through one tube (or set of tubes) with a spur to Treasure Island. Boring an actual tunnel under the bay is unnecessary.
Well, if we’re playing flights of fancy, I think there’s an argument to be made for multiple redundant tunnels under the bay.
Right, but multiple redundant crossings would be better off if they were spread out. Put another between OAK and SFO and a third between Fremont and Palo Alto.
BART is already basically doomed with the Warm Springs and Milpitas extensions eventually funneling even more people through the single bay crossing that is already nearly at capacity.
WHY THE FUCK ARE THERE ONLY TWO STOPS IN EAST OAKLAND?
Too many poor people there.
Great post I must say. Simple but yet entertaining and engaging… Keep up the good work.
On an exceptionally hot evening early in July a young man came out of the garret in which he lodged in S. Place and walked slowly, as though in hesitation, towards K. bridge.
He had successfully avoided meeting his landlady on the staircase. His garret was under the roof of a high, five-storied house and was more like a cupboard than a room. The landlady who provided him with garret, dinners, and attendance, lived on the floor below, and every time he went out he was obliged to pass her kitchen, the door of which invariably stood open. And each time he passed, the young man had a sick, frightened feeling, which made him scowl and feel ashamed. He was hopelessly in debt to his landlady, and was afraid of meeting her.
This was not because he was cowardly and abject, quite the contrary; but for some time past he had been in an overstrained irritable condition, verging on hypochondria. He had become so completely absorbed in himself, and isolated from his fellows that he dreaded meeting, not only his landlady, but anyone at all. He was crushed by poverty, but the anxieties of his position had of late ceased to weigh upon him. He had given up attending to matters of practical importance; he had lost all desire to do so. Nothing that any landlady could do had a real terror for him. But to be stopped on the stairs, to be forced to listen to her trivial, irrelevant gossip, to pestering demands for payment, threats and complaints, and to rack his brains for excuses, to prevaricate, to lie—no, rather than that, he would creep down the stairs like a cat and slip out unseen.
This evening, however, on coming out into the street, he became acutely aware of his fears.
“I want to attempt a thing like that and am frightened by these trifles,” he thought, with an odd smile. “Hm… yes, all is in a man’s hands and he lets it all slip from cowardice, that’s an axiom. It would be interesting to know what it is men are most afraid of. Taking a new step, uttering a new word is what they fear most…. But I am talking too much. It’s because I chatter that I do nothing. Or perhaps it is that I chatter because I do nothing. I’ve learned to chatter this last month, lying for days together in my den thinking… of Jack the Giant-killer. Why am I going there now? Am I capable of that? Is that serious? It is not serious at all. It’s simply a fantasy to amuse myself; a plaything! Yes, maybe it is a plaything.”
The heat in the street was terrible: and the airlessness, the bustle and the plaster, scaffolding, bricks, and dust all about him, and that special Petersburg stench, so familiar to all who are unable to get out of town in summer—all worked painfully upon the young man’s already overwrought nerves. The insufferable stench from the pot-houses, which are particularly numerous in that part of the town, and the drunken men whom he met continually, although it was a working day, completed the revolting misery of the picture. An expression of the profoundest disgust gleamed for a moment in the young man’s refined face. He was, by the way, exceptionally handsome, above the average in height, slim, well-built, with beautiful dark eyes and dark brown hair. Soon he sank into deep thought, or more accurately speaking into a complete blankness of mind; he walked along not observing what was about him and not caring to observe it. From time to time, he would mutter something, from the habit of talking to himself, to which he had just confessed. At these moments he would become conscious that his ideas were sometimes in a tangle and that he was very weak; for two days he had scarcely tasted food.
He was so badly dressed that even a man accustomed to shabbiness would have been ashamed to be seen in the street in such rags. In that quarter of the town, however, scarcely any shortcoming in dress would have created surprise. Owing to the proximity of the Hay Market, the number of establishments of bad character, the preponderance of the trading and working class population crowded in these streets and alleys in the heart of Petersburg, types so various were to be seen in the streets that no figure, however queer, would have caused surprise. But there was such accumulated bitterness and contempt in the young man’s heart, that, in spite of all the fastidiousness of youth, he minded his rags least of all in the street. It was a different matter when he met with acquaintances or with former fellow students, whom, indeed, he disliked meeting at any time. And yet when a drunken man who, for some unknown reason, was being taken somewhere in a huge waggon dragged by a heavy dray horse, suddenly shouted at him as he drove past: “Hey there, German hatter” bawling at the top of his voice and pointing at him—the young man stopped suddenly and clutched tremulously at his hat. It was a tall round hat from Zimmerman’s, but completely worn out, rusty with age, all torn and bespattered, brimless and bent on one side in a most unseemly fashion. Not shame, however, but quite another feeling akin to terror had overtaken him.
“I knew it,” he muttered in confusion, “I thought so! That’s the worst of all! Why, a stupid thing like this, the most trivial detail might spoil the whole plan. Yes, my hat is too noticeable…. It looks absurd and that makes it noticeable…. With my rags I ought to wear a cap, any sort of old pancake, but not this grotesque thing. Nobody wears such a hat, it would be noticed a mile off, it would be remembered…. What matters is that people would remember it, and that would give them a clue. For this business one should be as little conspicuous as possible…. Trifles, trifles are what matter! Why, it’s just such trifles that always ruin everything….”
He had not far to go; he knew indeed how many steps it was from the gate of his lodging house: exactly seven hundred and thirty. He had counted them once when he had been lost in dreams. At the time he had put no faith in those dreams and was only tantalising himself by their hideous but daring recklessness. Now, a month later, he had begun to look upon them differently, and, in spite of the monologues in which he jeered at his own impotence and indecision, he had involuntarily come to regard this “hideous” dream as an exploit to be attempted, although he still did not realise this himself. He was positively going now for a “rehearsal” of his project, and at every step his excitement grew more and more violent.
With a sinking heart and a nervous tremor, he went up to a huge house which on one side looked on to the canal, and on the other into the street. This house was let out in tiny tenements and was inhabited by working people of all kinds—tailors, locksmiths, cooks, Germans of sorts, girls picking up a living as best they could, petty clerks, etc. There was a continual coming and going through the two gates and in the two courtyards of the house. Three or four door-keepers were employed on the building. The young man was very glad to meet none of them, and at once slipped unnoticed through the door on the right, and up the staircase. It was a back staircase, dark and narrow, but he was familiar with it already, and knew his way, and he liked all these surroundings: in such darkness even the most inquisitive eyes were not to be dreaded.
“If I am so scared now, what would it be if it somehow came to pass that I were really going to do it?” he could not help asking himself as he reached the fourth storey. There his progress was barred by some porters who were engaged in moving furniture out of a flat. He knew that the flat had been occupied by a German clerk in the civil service, and his family. This German was moving out then, and so the fourth floor on this staircase would be untenanted except by the old woman. “That’s a good thing anyway,” he thought to himself, as he rang the bell of the old woman’s flat. The bell gave a faint tinkle as though it were made of tin and not of copper. The little flats in such houses always have bells that ring like that. He had forgotten the note of that bell, and now its peculiar tinkle seemed to remind him of something and to bring it clearly before him…. He started, his nerves were terribly overstrained by now. In a little while, the door was opened a tiny crack: the old woman eyed her visitor with evident distrust through the crack, and nothing could be seen but her little eyes, glittering in the darkness. But, seeing a number of people on the landing, she grew bolder, and opened the door wide. The young man stepped into the dark entry, which was partitioned off from the tiny kitchen. The old woman stood facing him in silence and looking inquiringly at him. She was a diminutive, withered up old woman of sixty, with sharp malignant eyes and a sharp little nose. Her colourless, somewhat grizzled hair was thickly smeared with oil, and she wore no kerchief over it. Round her thin long neck, which looked like a hen’s leg, was knotted some sort of flannel rag, and, in spite of the heat, there hung flapping on her shoulders, a mangy fur cape, yellow with age. The old woman coughed and groaned at every instant. The young man must have looked at her with a rather peculiar expression, for a gleam of mistrust came into her eyes again.
“Raskolnikov, a student, I came here a month ago,” the young man made haste to mutter, with a half bow, remembering that he ought to be more polite.
“I remember, my good sir, I remember quite well your coming here,” the old woman said distinctly, still keeping her inquiring eyes on his face.
“And here… I am again on the same errand,” Raskolnikov continued, a little disconcerted and surprised at the old woman’s mistrust. “Perhaps she is always like that though, only I did not notice it the other time,” he thought with an uneasy feeling.
The old woman paused, as though hesitating; then stepped on one side, and pointing to the door of the room, she said, letting her visitor pass in front of her:
“Step in, my good sir.”
The little room into which the young man walked, with yellow paper on the walls, geraniums and muslin curtains in the windows, was brightly lighted up at that moment by the setting sun.
“So the sun will shine like this then too!” flashed as it were by chance through Raskolnikov’s mind, and with a rapid glance he scanned everything in the room, trying as far as possible to notice and remember its arrangement. But there was nothing special in the room. The furniture, all very old and of yellow wood, consisted of a sofa with a huge bent wooden back, an oval table in front of the sofa, a dressing-table with a looking-glass fixed on it between the windows, chairs along the walls and two or three half-penny prints in yellow frames, representing German damsels with birds in their hands—that was all. In the corner a light was burning before a small ikon. Everything was very clean; the floor and the furniture were brightly polished; everything shone.
“Lizaveta’s work,” thought the young man. There was not a speck of dust to be seen in the whole flat.
“It’s in the houses of spiteful old widows that one finds such cleanliness,” Raskolnikov thought again, and he stole a curious glance at the cotton curtain over the door leading into another tiny room, in which stood the old woman’s bed and chest of drawers and into which he had never looked before. These two rooms made up the whole flat.
“What do you want?” the old woman said severely, coming into the room and, as before, standing in front of him so as to look him straight in the face.
“I’ve brought something to pawn here,” and he drew out of his pocket an old-fashioned flat silver watch, on the back of which was engraved a globe; the chain was of steel.
“But the time is up for your last pledge. The month was up the day before yesterday.”
“I will bring you the interest for another month; wait a little.”
“But that’s for me to do as I please, my good sir, to wait or to sell your pledge at once.”
“How much will you give me for the watch, Alyona Ivanovna?”
“You come with such trifles, my good sir, it’s scarcely worth anything. I gave you two roubles last time for your ring and one could buy it quite new at a jeweler’s for a rouble and a half.”
“Give me four roubles for it, I shall redeem it, it was my father’s. I shall be getting some money soon.”
“A rouble and a half, and interest in advance, if you like!”
“A rouble and a half!” cried the young man.
“Please yourself”—and the old woman handed him back the watch. The young man took it, and was so angry that he was on the point of going away; but checked himself at once, remembering that there was nowhere else he could go, and that he had had another object also in coming.
“Hand it over,” he said roughly.
The old woman fumbled in her pocket for her keys, and disappeared behind the curtain into the other room. The young man, left standing alone in the middle of the room, listened inquisitively, thinking. He could hear her unlocking the chest of drawers.
“It must be the top drawer,” he reflected. “So she carries the keys in a pocket on the right. All in one bunch on a steel ring…. And there’s one key there, three times as big as all the others, with deep notches; that can’t be the key of the chest of drawers… then there must be some other chest or strong-box… that’s worth knowing. Strong-boxes always have keys like that… but how degrading it all is.”
The old woman came back.
“Here, sir: as we say ten copecks the rouble a month, so I must take fifteen copecks from a rouble and a half for the month in advance. But for the two roubles I lent you before, you owe me now twenty copecks on the same reckoning in advance. That makes thirty-five copecks altogether. So I must give you a rouble and fifteen copecks for the watch. Here it is.”
“What! only a rouble and fifteen copecks now!”
The young man did not dispute it and took the money. He looked at the old woman, and was in no hurry to get away, as though there was still something he wanted to say or to do, but he did not himself quite know what.
“I may be bringing you something else in a day or two, Alyona Ivanovna—a valuable thing—silver—a cigarette-box, as soon as I get it back from a friend…” he broke off in confusion.
“Well, we will talk about it then, sir.”
“Good-bye—are you always at home alone, your sister is not here with you?” He asked her as casually as possible as he went out into the passage.
“What business is she of yours, my good sir?”
“Oh, nothing particular, I simply asked. You are too quick…. Good-day, Alyona Ivanovna.”
Raskolnikov went out in complete confusion. This confusion became more and more intense. As he went down the stairs, he even stopped short, two or three times, as though suddenly struck by some thought. When he was in the street he cried out, “Oh, God, how loathsome it all is! and can I, can I possibly…. No, it’s nonsense, it’s rubbish!” he added resolutely. “And how could such an atrocious thing come into my head? What filthy things my heart is capable of. Yes, filthy above all, disgusting, loathsome, loathsome!—and for a whole month I’ve been….” But no words, no exclamations, could express his agitation. The feeling of intense repulsion, which had begun to oppress and torture his heart while he was on his way to the old woman, had by now reached such a pitch and had taken such a definite form that he did not know what to do with himself to escape from his wretchedness. He walked along the pavement like a drunken man, regardless of the passers-by, and jostling against them, and only came to his senses when he was in the next street. Looking round, he noticed that he was standing close to a tavern which was entered by steps leading from the pavement to the basement. At that instant two drunken men came out at the door, and abusing and supporting one another, they mounted the steps. Without stopping to think, Raskolnikov went down the steps at once. Till that moment he had never been into a tavern, but now he felt giddy and was tormented by a burning thirst. He longed for a drink of cold beer, and attributed his sudden weakness to the want of food. He sat down at a sticky little table in a dark and dirty corner; ordered some beer, and eagerly drank off the first glassful. At once he felt easier; and his thoughts became clear.
“All that’s nonsense,” he said hopefully, “and there is nothing in it all to worry about! It’s simply physical derangement. Just a glass of beer, a piece of dry bread—and in one moment the brain is stronger, the mind is clearer and the will is firm! Phew, how utterly petty it all is!”
But in spite of this scornful reflection, he was by now looking cheerful as though he were suddenly set free from a terrible burden: and he gazed round in a friendly way at the people in the room. But even at that moment he had a dim foreboding that this happier frame of mind was also not normal.
There were few people at the time in the tavern. Besides the two drunken men he had met on the steps, a group consisting of about five men and a girl with a concertina had gone out at the same time. Their departure left the room quiet and rather empty. The persons still in the tavern were a man who appeared to be an artisan, drunk, but not extremely so, sitting before a pot of beer, and his companion, a huge, stout man with a grey beard, in a short full-skirted coat. He was very drunk: and had dropped asleep on the bench; every now and then, he began as though in his sleep, cracking his fingers, with his arms wide apart and the upper part of his body bounding about on the bench, while he hummed some meaningless refrain, trying to recall some such lines as these:
“His wife a year he fondly loved
His wife a—a year he—fondly loved.”
Or suddenly waking up again:
“Walking along the crowded row
He met the one he used to know.”
But no one shared his enjoyment: his silent companion looked with positive hostility and mistrust at all these manifestations. There was another man in the room who looked somewhat like a retired government clerk. He was sitting apart, now and then sipping from his pot and looking round at the company. He, too, appeared to be in some agitation.
Raskolnikov was not used to crowds, and, as we said before, he avoided society of every sort, more especially of late. But now all at once he felt a desire to be with other people. Something new seemed to be taking place within him, and with it he felt a sort of thirst for company. He was so weary after a whole month of concentrated wretchedness and gloomy excitement that he longed to rest, if only for a moment, in some other world, whatever it might be; and, in spite of the filthiness of the surroundings, he was glad now to stay in the tavern.
The master of the establishment was in another room, but he frequently came down some steps into the main room, his jaunty, tarred boots with red turn-over tops coming into view each time before the rest of his person. He wore a full coat and a horribly greasy black satin waistcoat, with no cravat, and his whole face seemed smeared with oil like an iron lock. At the counter stood a boy of about fourteen, and there was another boy somewhat younger who handed whatever was wanted. On the counter lay some sliced cucumber, some pieces of dried black bread, and some fish, chopped up small, all smelling very bad. It was insufferably close, and so heavy with the fumes of spirits that five minutes in such an atmosphere might well make a man drunk.
There are chance meetings with strangers that interest us from the first moment, before a word is spoken. Such was the impression made on Raskolnikov by the person sitting a little distance from him, who looked like a retired clerk. The young man often recalled this impression afterwards, and even ascribed it to presentiment. He looked repeatedly at the clerk, partly no doubt because the latter was staring persistently at him, obviously anxious to enter into conversation. At the other persons in the room, including the tavern-keeper, the clerk looked as though he were used to their company, and weary of it, showing a shade of condescending contempt for them as persons of station and culture inferior to his own, with whom it would be useless for him to converse. He was a man over fifty, bald and grizzled, of medium height, and stoutly built. His face, bloated from continual drinking, was of a yellow, even greenish, tinge, with swollen eyelids out of which keen reddish eyes gleamed like little chinks. But there was something very strange in him; there was a light in his eyes as though of intense feeling—perhaps there were even thought and intelligence, but at the same time there was a gleam of something like madness. He was wearing an old and hopelessly ragged black dress coat, with all its buttons missing except one, and that one he had buttoned, evidently clinging to this last trace of respectability. A crumpled shirt front, covered with spots and stains, protruded from his canvas waistcoat. Like a clerk, he wore no beard, nor moustache, but had been so long unshaven that his chin looked like a stiff greyish brush. And there was something respectable and like an official about his manner too. But he was restless; he ruffled up his hair and from time to time let his head drop into his hands dejectedly resting his ragged elbows on the stained and sticky table. At last he looked straight at Raskolnikov, and said loudly and resolutely:
“May I venture, honoured sir, to engage you in polite conversation? Forasmuch as, though your exterior would not command respect, my experience admonishes me that you are a man of education and not accustomed to drinking. I have always respected education when in conjunction with genuine sentiments, and I am besides a titular counsellor in rank. Marmeladov—such is my name; titular counsellor. I make bold to inquire—have you been in the service?”
“No, I am studying,” answered the young man, somewhat surprised at the grandiloquent style of the speaker and also at being so directly addressed. In spite of the momentary desire he had just been feeling for company of any sort, on being actually spoken to he felt immediately his habitual irritable and uneasy aversion for any stranger who approached or attempted to approach him.
“A student then, or formerly a student,” cried the clerk. “Just what I thought! I’m a man of experience, immense experience, sir,” and he tapped his forehead with his fingers in self-approval. “You’ve been a student or have attended some learned institution!… But allow me….” He got up, staggered, took up his jug and glass, and sat down beside the young man, facing him a little sideways. He was drunk, but spoke fluently and boldly, only occasionally losing the thread of his sentences and drawling his words. He pounced upon Raskolnikov as greedily as though he too had not spoken to a soul for a month.
“Honoured sir,” he began almost with solemnity, “poverty is not a vice, that’s a true saying. Yet I know too that drunkenness is not a virtue, and that that’s even truer. But beggary, honoured sir, beggary is a vice. In poverty you may still retain your innate nobility of soul, but in beggary—never—no one. For beggary a man is not chased out of human society with a stick, he is swept out with a broom, so as to make it as humiliating as possible; and quite right, too, forasmuch as in beggary I am ready to be the first to humiliate myself. Hence the pot-house! Honoured sir, a month ago Mr. Lebeziatnikov gave my wife a beating, and my wife is a very different matter from me! Do you understand? Allow me to ask you another question out of simple curiosity: have you ever spent a night on a hay barge, on the Neva?”
“No, I have not happened to,” answered Raskolnikov. “What do you mean?”
“Well, I’ve just come from one and it’s the fifth night I’ve slept so….” He filled his glass, emptied it and paused. Bits of hay were in fact clinging to his clothes and sticking to his hair. It seemed quite probable that he had not undressed or washed for the last five days. His hands, particularly, were filthy. They were fat and red, with black nails.
His conversation seemed to excite a general though languid interest. The boys at the counter fell to sniggering. The innkeeper came down from the upper room, apparently on purpose to listen to the “funny fellow” and sat down at a little distance, yawning lazily, but with dignity. Evidently Marmeladov was a familiar figure here, and he had most likely acquired his weakness for high-flown speeches from the habit of frequently entering into conversation with strangers of all sorts in the tavern. This habit develops into a necessity in some drunkards, and especially in those who are looked after sharply and kept in order at home. Hence in the company of other drinkers they try to justify themselves and even if possible obtain consideration.
“Funny fellow!” pronounced the innkeeper. “And why don’t you work, why aren’t you at your duty, if you are in the service?”
“Why am I not at my duty, honoured sir,” Marmeladov went on, addressing himself exclusively to Raskolnikov, as though it had been he who put that question to him. “Why am I not at my duty? Does not my heart ache to think what a useless worm I am? A month ago when Mr. Lebeziatnikov beat my wife with his own hands, and I lay drunk, didn’t I suffer? Excuse me, young man, has it ever happened to you… hm… well, to petition hopelessly for a loan?”
“Yes, it has. But what do you mean by hopelessly?”
“Hopelessly in the fullest sense, when you know beforehand that you will get nothing by it. You know, for instance, beforehand with positive certainty that this man, this most reputable and exemplary citizen, will on no consideration give you money; and indeed I ask you why should he? For he knows of course that I shan’t pay it back. From compassion? But Mr. Lebeziatnikov who keeps up with modern ideas explained the other day that compassion is forbidden nowadays by science itself, and that that’s what is done now in England, where there is political economy. Why, I ask you, should he give it to me? And yet though I know beforehand that he won’t, I set off to him and…”
“Why do you go?” put in Raskolnikov.
“Well, when one has no one, nowhere else one can go! For every man must have somewhere to go. Since there are times when one absolutely must go somewhere! When my own daughter first went out with a yellow ticket, then I had to go… (for my daughter has a yellow passport),” he added in parenthesis, looking with a certain uneasiness at the young man. “No matter, sir, no matter!” he went on hurriedly and with apparent composure when both the boys at the counter guffawed and even the innkeeper smiled—”No matter, I am not confounded by the wagging of their heads; for everyone knows everything about it already, and all that is secret is made open. And I accept it all, not with contempt, but with humility. So be it! So be it! ‘Behold the man!’ Excuse me, young man, can you…. No, to put it more strongly and more distinctly; not can you but dare you, looking upon me, assert that I am not a pig?”
The young man did not answer a word.
“Well,” the orator began again stolidly and with even increased dignity, after waiting for the laughter in the room to subside. “Well, so be it, I am a pig, but she is a lady! I have the semblance of a beast, but Katerina Ivanovna, my spouse, is a person of education and an officer’s daughter. Granted, granted, I am a scoundrel, but she is a woman of a noble heart, full of sentiments, refined by education. And yet… oh, if only she felt for me! Honoured sir, honoured sir, you know every man ought to have at least one place where people feel for him! But Katerina Ivanovna, though she is magnanimous, she is unjust…. And yet, although I realise that when she pulls my hair she only does it out of pity—for I repeat without being ashamed, she pulls my hair, young man,” he declared with redoubled dignity, hearing the sniggering again—”but, my God, if she would but once…. But no, no! It’s all in vain and it’s no use talking! No use talking! For more than once, my wish did come true and more than once she has felt for me but… such is my fate and I am a beast by nature!”
“Rather!” assented the innkeeper yawning. Marmeladov struck his fist resolutely on the table.
“Such is my fate! Do you know, sir, do you know, I have sold her very stockings for drink? Not her shoes—that would be more or less in the order of things, but her stockings, her stockings I have sold for drink! Her mohair shawl I sold for drink, a present to her long ago, her own property, not mine; and we live in a cold room and she caught cold this winter and has begun coughing and spitting blood too. We have three little children and Katerina Ivanovna is at work from morning till night; she is scrubbing and cleaning and washing the children, for she’s been used to cleanliness from a child. But her chest is weak and she has a tendency to consumption and I feel it! Do you suppose I don’t feel it? And the more I drink the more I feel it. That’s why I drink too. I try to find sympathy and feeling in drink…. I drink so that I may suffer twice as much!” And as though in despair he laid his head down on the table.
“Young man,” he went on, raising his head again, “in your face I seem to read some trouble of mind. When you came in I read it, and that was why I addressed you at once. For in unfolding to you the story of my life, I do not wish to make myself a laughing-stock before these idle listeners, who indeed know all about it already, but I am looking for a man of feeling and education. Know then that my wife was educated in a high-class school for the daughters of noblemen, and on leaving she danced the shawl dance before the governor and other personages for which she was presented with a gold medal and a certificate of merit. The medal… well, the medal of course was sold—long ago, hm… but the certificate of merit is in her trunk still and not long ago she showed it to our landlady. And although she is most continually on bad terms with the landlady, yet she wanted to tell someone or other of her past honours and of the happy days that are gone. I don’t condemn her for it, I don’t blame her, for the one thing left her is recollection of the past, and all the rest is dust and ashes. Yes, yes, she is a lady of spirit, proud and determined. She scrubs the floors herself and has nothing but black bread to eat, but won’t allow herself to be treated with disrespect. That’s why she would not overlook Mr. Lebeziatnikov’s rudeness to her, and so when he gave her a beating for it, she took to her bed more from the hurt to her feelings than from the blows. She was a widow when I married her, with three children, one smaller than the other. She married her first husband, an infantry officer, for love, and ran away with him from her father’s house. She was exceedingly fond of her husband; but he gave way to cards, got into trouble and with that he died. He used to beat her at the end: and although she paid him back, of which I have authentic documentary evidence, to this day she speaks of him with tears and she throws him up to me; and I am glad, I am glad that, though only in imagination, she should think of herself as having once been happy…. And she was left at his death with three children in a wild and remote district where I happened to be at the time; and she was left in such hopeless poverty that, although I have seen many ups and downs of all sort, I don’t feel equal to describing it even. Her relations had all thrown her off. And she was proud, too, excessively proud…. And then, honoured sir, and then, I, being at the time a widower, with a daughter of fourteen left me by my first wife, offered her my hand, for I could not bear the sight of such suffering. You can judge the extremity of her calamities, that she, a woman of education and culture and distinguished family, should have consented to be my wife. But she did! Weeping and sobbing and wringing her hands, she married me! For she had nowhere to turn! Do you understand, sir, do you understand what it means when you have absolutely nowhere to turn? No, that you don’t understand yet…. And for a whole year, I performed my duties conscientiously and faithfully, and did not touch this” (he tapped the jug with his finger), “for I have feelings. But even so, I could not please her; and then I lost my place too, and that through no fault of mine but through changes in the office; and then I did touch it!… It will be a year and a half ago soon since we found ourselves at last after many wanderings and numerous calamities in this magnificent capital, adorned with innumerable monuments. Here I obtained a situation…. I obtained it and I lost it again. Do you understand? This time it was through my own fault I lost it: for my weakness had come out…. We have now part of a room at Amalia Fyodorovna Lippevechsel’s; and what we live upon and what we pay our rent with, I could not say. There are a lot of people living there besides ourselves. Dirt and disorder, a perfect Bedlam… hm… yes… And meanwhile my daughter by my first wife has grown up; and what my daughter has had to put up with from her step-mother whilst she was growing up, I won’t speak of. For, though Katerina Ivanovna is full of generous feelings, she is a spirited lady, irritable and short-tempered…. Yes. But it’s no use going over that! Sonia, as you may well fancy, has had no education. I did make an effort four years ago to give her a course of geography and universal history, but as I was not very well up in those subjects myself and we had no suitable books, and what books we had… hm, anyway we have not even those now, so all our instruction came to an end. We stopped at Cyrus of Persia. Since she has attained years of maturity, she has read other books of romantic tendency and of late she had read with great interest a book she got through Mr. Lebeziatnikov, Lewes’ Physiology—do you know it?—and even recounted extracts from it to us: and that’s the whole of her education. And now may I venture to address you, honoured sir, on my own account with a private question. Do you suppose that a respectable poor girl can earn much by honest work? Not fifteen farthings a day can she earn, if she is respectable and has no special talent and that without putting her work down for an instant! And what’s more, Ivan Ivanitch Klopstock the civil counsellor—have you heard of him?—has not to this day paid her for the half-dozen linen shirts she made him and drove her roughly away, stamping and reviling her, on the pretext that the shirt collars were not made like the pattern and were put in askew. And there are the little ones hungry…. And Katerina Ivanovna walking up and down and wringing her hands, her cheeks flushed red, as they always are in that disease: ‘Here you live with us,’ says she, ‘you eat and drink and are kept warm and you do nothing to help.’ And much she gets to eat and drink when there is not a crust for the little ones for three days! I was lying at the time… well, what of it! I was lying drunk and I heard my Sonia speaking (she is a gentle creature with a soft little voice… fair hair and such a pale, thin little face). She said: ‘Katerina Ivanovna, am I really to do a thing like that?’ And Darya Frantsovna, a woman of evil character and very well known to the police, had two or three times tried to get at her through the landlady. ‘And why not?’ said Katerina Ivanovna with a jeer, ‘you are something mighty precious to be so careful of!’ But don’t blame her, don’t blame her, honoured sir, don’t blame her! She was not herself when she spoke, but driven to distraction by her illness and the crying of the hungry children; and it was said more to wound her than anything else…. For that’s Katerina Ivanovna’s character, and when children cry, even from hunger, she falls to beating them at once. At six o’clock I saw Sonia get up, put on her kerchief and her cape, and go out of the room and about nine o’clock she came back. She walked straight up to Katerina Ivanovna and she laid thirty roubles on the table before her in silence. She did not utter a word, she did not even look at her, she simply picked up our big green drap de dames shawl (we have a shawl, made of drap de dames), put it over her head and face and lay down on the bed with her face to the wall; only her little shoulders and her body kept shuddering…. And I went on lying there, just as before…. And then I saw, young man, I saw Katerina Ivanovna, in the same silence go up to Sonia’s little bed; she was on her knees all the evening kissing Sonia’s feet, and would not get up, and then they both fell asleep in each other’s arms… together, together… yes… and I… lay drunk.”
Marmeladov stopped short, as though his voice had failed him. Then he hurriedly filled his glass, drank, and cleared his throat.
“Since then, sir,” he went on after a brief pause—”Since then, owing to an unfortunate occurrence and through information given by evil-intentioned persons—in all which Darya Frantsovna took a leading part on the pretext that she had been treated with want of respect—since then my daughter Sofya Semyonovna has been forced to take a yellow ticket, and owing to that she is unable to go on living with us. For our landlady, Amalia Fyodorovna would not hear of it (though she had backed up Darya Frantsovna before) and Mr. Lebeziatnikov too… hm…. All the trouble between him and Katerina Ivanovna was on Sonia’s account. At first he was for making up to Sonia himself and then all of a sudden he stood on his dignity: ‘how,’ said he, ‘can a highly educated man like me live in the same rooms with a girl like that?’ And Katerina Ivanovna would not let it pass, she stood up for her… and so that’s how it happened. And Sonia comes to us now, mostly after dark; she comforts Katerina Ivanovna and gives her all she can…. She has a room at the Kapernaumovs’ the tailors, she lodges with them; Kapernaumov is a lame man with a cleft palate and all of his numerous family have cleft palates too. And his wife, too, has a cleft palate. They all live in one room, but Sonia has her own, partitioned off…. Hm… yes… very poor people and all with cleft palates… yes. Then I got up in the morning, and put on my rags, lifted up my hands to heaven and set off to his excellency Ivan Afanasyvitch. His excellency Ivan Afanasyvitch, do you know him? No? Well, then, it’s a man of God you don’t know. He is wax… wax before the face of the Lord; even as wax melteth!… His eyes were dim when he heard my story. ‘Marmeladov, once already you have deceived my expectations… I’ll take you once more on my own responsibility’—that’s what he said, ‘remember,’ he said, ‘and now you can go.’ I kissed the dust at his feet—in thought only, for in reality he would not have allowed me to do it, being a statesman and a man of modern political and enlightened ideas. I returned home, and when I announced that I’d been taken back into the service and should receive a salary, heavens, what a to-do there was!…”
Marmeladov stopped again in violent excitement. At that moment a whole party of revellers already drunk came in from the street, and the sounds of a hired concertina and the cracked piping voice of a child of seven singing “The Hamlet” were heard in the entry. The room was filled with noise. The tavern-keeper and the boys were busy with the new-comers. Marmeladov paying no attention to the new arrivals continued his story. He appeared by now to be extremely weak, but as he became more and more drunk, he became more and more talkative. The recollection of his recent success in getting the situation seemed to revive him, and was positively reflected in a sort of radiance on his face. Raskolnikov listened attentively.
“That was five weeks ago, sir. Yes…. As soon as Katerina Ivanovna and Sonia heard of it, mercy on us, it was as though I stepped into the kingdom of Heaven. It used to be: you can lie like a beast, nothing but abuse. Now they were walking on tiptoe, hushing the children. ‘Semyon Zaharovitch is tired with his work at the office, he is resting, shh!’ They made me coffee before I went to work and boiled cream for me! They began to get real cream for me, do you hear that? And how they managed to get together the money for a decent outfit—eleven roubles, fifty copecks, I can’t guess. Boots, cotton shirt-fronts—most magnificent, a uniform, they got up all in splendid style, for eleven roubles and a half. The first morning I came back from the office I found Katerina Ivanovna had cooked two courses for dinner—soup and salt meat with horse radish—which we had never dreamed of till then. She had not any dresses… none at all, but she got herself up as though she were going on a visit; and not that she’d anything to do it with, she smartened herself up with nothing at all, she’d done her hair nicely, put on a clean collar of some sort, cuffs, and there she was, quite a different person, she was younger and better looking. Sonia, my little darling, had only helped with money ‘for the time,’ she said, ‘it won’t do for me to come and see you too often. After dark maybe when no one can see.’ Do you hear, do you hear? I lay down for a nap after dinner and what do you think: though Katerina Ivanovna had quarrelled to the last degree with our landlady Amalia Fyodorovna only a week before, she could not resist then asking her in to coffee. For two hours they were sitting, whispering together. ‘Semyon Zaharovitch is in the service again, now, and receiving a salary,’ says she, ‘and he went himself to his excellency and his excellency himself came out to him, made all the others wait and led Semyon Zaharovitch by the hand before everybody into his study.’ Do you hear, do you hear? ‘To be sure,’ says he, ‘Semyon Zaharovitch, remembering your past services,’ says he, ‘and in spite of your propensity to that foolish weakness, since you promise now and since moreover we’ve got on badly without you,’ (do you hear, do you hear;) ‘and so,’ says he, ‘I rely now on your word as a gentleman.’ And all that, let me tell you, she has simply made up for herself, and not simply out of wantonness, for the sake of bragging; no, she believes it all herself, she amuses herself with her own fancies, upon my word she does! And I don’t blame her for it, no, I don’t blame her!… Six days ago when I brought her my first earnings in full—twenty-three roubles forty copecks altogether—she called me her poppet: ‘poppet,’ said she, ‘my little poppet.’ And when we were by ourselves, you understand? You would not think me a beauty, you would not think much of me as a husband, would you?… Well, she pinched my cheek, ‘my little poppet,’ said she.”
Marmeladov broke off, tried to smile, but suddenly his chin began to twitch. He controlled himself however. The tavern, the degraded appearance of the man, the five nights in the hay barge, and the pot of spirits, and yet this poignant love for his wife and children bewildered his listener. Raskolnikov listened intently but with a sick sensation. He felt vexed that he had come here.
“Honoured sir, honoured sir,” cried Marmeladov recovering himself—”Oh, sir, perhaps all this seems a laughing matter to you, as it does to others, and perhaps I am only worrying you with the stupidity of all the trivial details of my home life, but it is not a laughing matter to me. For I can feel it all…. And the whole of that heavenly day of my life and the whole of that evening I passed in fleeting dreams of how I would arrange it all, and how I would dress all the children, and how I should give her rest, and how I should rescue my own daughter from dishonour and restore her to the bosom of her family…. And a great deal more…. Quite excusable, sir. Well, then, sir” (Marmeladov suddenly gave a sort of start, raised his head and gazed intently at his listener) “well, on the very next day after all those dreams, that is to say, exactly five days ago, in the evening, by a cunning trick, like a thief in the night, I stole from Katerina Ivanovna the key of her box, took out what was left of my earnings, how much it was I have forgotten, and now look at me, all of you! It’s the fifth day since I left home, and they are looking for me there and it’s the end of my employment, and my uniform is lying in a tavern on the Egyptian bridge. I exchanged it for the garments I have on… and it’s the end of everything!”
Marmeladov struck his forehead with his fist, clenched his teeth, closed his eyes and leaned heavily with his elbow on the table. But a minute later his face suddenly changed and with a certain assumed slyness and affectation of bravado, he glanced at Raskolnikov, laughed and said:
“This morning I went to see Sonia, I went to ask her for a pick-me-up! He-he-he!”
“You don’t say she gave it to you?” cried one of the new-comers; he shouted the words and went off into a guffaw.
“This very quart was bought with her money,” Marmeladov declared, addressing himself exclusively to Raskolnikov. “Thirty copecks she gave me with her own hands, her last, all she had, as I saw…. She said nothing, she only looked at me without a word…. Not on earth, but up yonder… they grieve over men, they weep, but they don’t blame them, they don’t blame them! But it hurts more, it hurts more when they don’t blame! Thirty copecks yes! And maybe she needs them now, eh? What do you think, my dear sir? For now she’s got to keep up her appearance. It costs money, that smartness, that special smartness, you know? Do you understand? And there’s pomatum, too, you see, she must have things; petticoats, starched ones, shoes, too, real jaunty ones to show off her foot when she has to step over a puddle. Do you understand, sir, do you understand what all that smartness means? And here I, her own father, here I took thirty copecks of that money for a drink! And I am drinking it! And I have already drunk it! Come, who will have pity on a man like me, eh? Are you sorry for me, sir, or not? Tell me, sir, are you sorry or not? He-he-he!”
He would have filled his glass, but there was no drink left. The pot was empty.
“What are you to be pitied for?” shouted the tavern-keeper who was again near them.
Shouts of laughter and even oaths followed. The laughter and the oaths came from those who were listening and also from those who had heard nothing but were simply looking at the figure of the discharged government clerk.
“To be pitied! Why am I to be pitied?” Marmeladov suddenly declaimed, standing up with his arm outstretched, as though he had been only waiting for that question.
“Why am I to be pitied, you say? Yes! there’s nothing to pity me for! I ought to be crucified, crucified on a cross, not pitied! Crucify me, oh judge, crucify me but pity me! And then I will go of myself to be crucified, for it’s not merry-making I seek but tears and tribulation!… Do you suppose, you that sell, that this pint of yours has been sweet to me? It was tribulation I sought at the bottom of it, tears and tribulation, and have found it, and I have tasted it; but He will pity us Who has had pity on all men, Who has understood all men and all things, He is the One, He too is the judge. He will come in that day and He will ask: ‘Where is the daughter who gave herself for her cross, consumptive step-mother and for the little children of another? Where is the daughter who had pity upon the filthy drunkard, her earthly father, undismayed by his beastliness?’ And He will say, ‘Come to me! I have already forgiven thee once…. I have forgiven thee once…. Thy sins which are many are forgiven thee for thou hast loved much….’ And he will forgive my Sonia, He will forgive, I know it… I felt it in my heart when I was with her just now! And He will judge and will forgive all, the good and the evil, the wise and the meek…. And when He has done with all of them, then He will summon us. ‘You too come forth,’ He will say, ‘Come forth ye drunkards, come forth, ye weak ones, come forth, ye children of shame!’ And we shall all come forth, without shame and shall stand before him. And He will say unto us, ‘Ye are swine, made in the Image of the Beast and with his mark; but come ye also!’ And the wise ones and those of understanding will say, ‘Oh Lord, why dost Thou receive these men?’ And He will say, ‘This is why I receive them, oh ye wise, this is why I receive them, oh ye of understanding, that not one of them believed himself to be worthy of this.’ And He will hold out His hands to us and we shall fall down before him… and we shall weep… and we shall understand all things! Then we shall understand all!… and all will understand, Katerina Ivanovna even… she will understand…. Lord, Thy kingdom come!” And he sank down on the bench exhausted, and helpless, looking at no one, apparently oblivious of his surroundings and plunged in deep thought. His words had created a certain impression; there was a moment of silence; but soon laughter and oaths were heard again.
“That’s his notion!”
“Talked himself silly!”
“A fine clerk he is!”
And so on, and so on.
“Let us go, sir,” said Marmeladov all at once, raising his head and addressing Raskolnikov—”come along with me… Kozel’s house, looking into the yard. I’m going to Katerina Ivanovna—time I did.”
Raskolnikov had for some time been wanting to go and he had meant to help him. Marmeladov was much unsteadier on his legs than in his speech and leaned heavily on the young man. They had two or three hundred paces to go. The drunken man was more and more overcome by dismay and confusion as they drew nearer the house.
“It’s not Katerina Ivanovna I am afraid of now,” he muttered in agitation—”and that she will begin pulling my hair. What does my hair matter! Bother my hair! That’s what I say! Indeed it will be better if she does begin pulling it, that’s not what I am afraid of… it’s her eyes I am afraid of… yes, her eyes… the red on her cheeks, too, frightens me… and her breathing too…. Have you noticed how people in that disease breathe… when they are excited? I am frightened of the children’s crying, too…. For if Sonia has not taken them food… I don’t know what’s happened! I don’t know! But blows I am not afraid of…. Know, sir, that such blows are not a pain to me, but even an enjoyment. In fact I can’t get on without it…. It’s better so. Let her strike me, it relieves her heart… it’s better so… There is the house. The house of Kozel, the cabinet-maker… a German, well-to-do. Lead the way!”
They went in from the yard and up to the fourth storey. The staircase got darker and darker as they went up. It was nearly eleven o’clock and although in summer in Petersburg there is no real night, yet it was quite dark at the top of the stairs.
A grimy little door at the very top of the stairs stood ajar. A very poor-looking room about ten paces long was lighted up by a candle-end; the whole of it was visible from the entrance. It was all in disorder, littered up with rags of all sorts, especially children’s garments. Across the furthest corner was stretched a ragged sheet. Behind it probably was the bed. There was nothing in the room except two chairs and a sofa covered with American leather, full of holes, before which stood an old deal kitchen-table, unpainted and uncovered. At the edge of the table stood a smoldering tallow-candle in an iron candlestick. It appeared that the family had a room to themselves, not part of a room, but their room was practically a passage. The door leading to the other rooms, or rather cupboards, into which Amalia Lippevechsel’s flat was divided stood half open, and there was shouting, uproar and laughter within. People seemed to be playing cards and drinking tea there. Words of the most unceremonious kind flew out from time to time.
Raskolnikov recognised Katerina Ivanovna at once. She was a rather tall, slim and graceful woman, terribly emaciated, with magnificent dark brown hair and with a hectic flush in her cheeks. She was pacing up and down in her little room, pressing her hands against her chest; her lips were parched and her breathing came in nervous broken gasps. Her eyes glittered as in fever and looked about with a harsh immovable stare. And that consumptive and excited face with the last flickering light of the candle-end playing upon it made a sickening impression. She seemed to Raskolnikov about thirty years old and was certainly a strange wife for Marmeladov…. She had not heard them and did not notice them coming in. She seemed to be lost in thought, hearing and seeing nothing. The room was close, but she had not opened the window; a stench rose from the staircase, but the door on to the stairs was not closed. From the inner rooms clouds of tobacco smoke floated in, she kept coughing, but did not close the door. The youngest child, a girl of six, was asleep, sitting curled up on the floor with her head on the sofa. A boy a year older stood crying and shaking in the corner, probably he had just had a beating. Beside him stood a girl of nine years old, tall and thin, wearing a thin and ragged chemise with an ancient cashmere pelisse flung over her bare shoulders, long outgrown and barely reaching her knees. Her arm, as thin as a stick, was round her brother’s neck. She was trying to comfort him, whispering something to him, and doing all she could to keep him from whimpering again. At the same time her large dark eyes, which looked larger still from the thinness of her frightened face, were watching her mother with alarm. Marmeladov did not enter the door, but dropped on his knees in the very doorway, pushing Raskolnikov in front of him. The woman seeing a stranger stopped indifferently facing him, coming to herself for a moment and apparently wondering what he had come for. But evidently she decided that he was going into the next room, as he had to pass through hers to get there. Taking no further notice of him, she walked towards the outer door to close it and uttered a sudden scream on seeing her husband on his knees in the doorway.
“Ah!” she cried out in a frenzy, “he has come back! The criminal! the monster!… And where is the money? What’s in your pocket, show me! And your clothes are all different! Where are your clothes? Where is the money! Speak!”
And she fell to searching him. Marmeladov submissively and obediently held up both arms to facilitate the search. Not a farthing was there.
“Where is the money?” she cried—”Mercy on us, can he have drunk it all? There were twelve silver roubles left in the chest!” and in a fury she seized him by the hair and dragged him into the room. Marmeladov seconded her efforts by meekly crawling along on his knees.
“And this is a consolation to me! This does not hurt me, but is a positive con-so-la-tion, ho-nou-red sir,” he called out, shaken to and fro by his hair and even once striking the ground with his forehead. The child asleep on the floor woke up, and began to cry. The boy in the corner losing all control began trembling and screaming and rushed to his sister in violent terror, almost in a fit. The eldest girl was shaking like a leaf.
“He’s drunk it! he’s drunk it all,” the poor woman screamed in despair—”and his clothes are gone! And they are hungry, hungry!”—and wringing her hands she pointed to the children. “Oh, accursed life! And you, are you not ashamed?”—she pounced all at once upon Raskolnikov—”from the tavern! Have you been drinking with him? You have been drinking with him, too! Go away!”
The young man was hastening away without uttering a word. The inner door was thrown wide open and inquisitive faces were peering in at it. Coarse laughing faces with pipes and cigarettes and heads wearing caps thrust themselves in at the doorway. Further in could be seen figures in dressing gowns flung open, in costumes of unseemly scantiness, some of them with cards in their hands. They were particularly diverted, when Marmeladov, dragged about by his hair, shouted that it was a consolation to him. They even began to come into the room; at last a sinister shrill outcry was heard: this came from Amalia Lippevechsel herself pushing her way amongst them and trying to restore order after her own fashion and for the hundredth time to frighten the poor woman by ordering her with coarse abuse to clear out of the room next day. As he went out, Raskolnikov had time to put his hand into his pocket, to snatch up the coppers he had received in exchange for his rouble in the tavern and to lay them unnoticed on the window. Afterwards on the stairs, he changed his mind and would have gone back.
“What a stupid thing I’ve done,” he thought to himself, “they have Sonia and I want it myself.” But reflecting that it would be impossible to take it back now and that in any case he would not have taken it, he dismissed it with a wave of his hand and went back to his lodging. “Sonia wants pomatum too,” he said as he walked along the street, and he laughed malignantly—”such smartness costs money…. Hm! And maybe Sonia herself will be bankrupt to-day, for there is always a risk, hunting big game… digging for gold… then they would all be without a crust to-morrow except for my money. Hurrah for Sonia! What a mine they’ve dug there! And they’re making the most of it! Yes, they are making the most of it! They’ve wept over it and grown used to it. Man grows used to everything, the scoundrel!”
He sank into thought.
“And what if I am wrong,” he cried suddenly after a moment’s thought. “What if man is not really a scoundrel, man in general, I mean, the whole race of mankind—then all the rest is prejudice, simply artificial terrors and there are no barriers and it’s all as it should be.”
He waked up late next day after a broken sleep. But his sleep had not refreshed him; he waked up bilious, irritable, ill-tempered, and looked with hatred at his room. It was a tiny cupboard of a room about six paces in length. It had a poverty-stricken appearance with its dusty yellow paper peeling off the walls, and it was so low-pitched that a man of more than average height was ill at ease in it and felt every moment that he would knock his head against the ceiling. The furniture was in keeping with the room: there were three old chairs, rather rickety; a painted table in the corner on which lay a few manuscripts and books; the dust that lay thick upon them showed that they had been long untouched. A big clumsy sofa occupied almost the whole of one wall and half the floor space of the room; it was once covered with chintz, but was now in rags and served Raskolnikov as a bed. Often he went to sleep on it, as he was, without undressing, without sheets, wrapped in his old student’s overcoat, with his head on one little pillow, under which he heaped up all the linen he had, clean and dirty, by way of a bolster. A little table stood in front of the sofa.
It would have been difficult to sink to a lower ebb of disorder, but to Raskolnikov in his present state of mind this was positively agreeable. He had got completely away from everyone, like a tortoise in its shell, and even the sight of a servant girl who had to wait upon him and looked sometimes into his room made him writhe with nervous irritation. He was in the condition that overtakes some monomaniacs entirely concentrated upon one thing. His landlady had for the last fortnight given up sending him in meals, and he had not yet thought of expostulating with her, though he went without his dinner. Nastasya, the cook and only servant, was rather pleased at the lodger’s mood and had entirely given up sweeping and doing his room, only once a week or so she would stray into his room with a broom. She waked him up that day.
“Get up, why are you asleep?” she called to him. “It’s past nine, I have brought you some tea; will you have a cup? I should think you’re fairly starving?”
Raskolnikov opened his eyes, started and recognised Nastasya.
“From the landlady, eh?” he asked, slowly and with a sickly face sitting up on the sofa.
“From the landlady, indeed!”
She set before him her own cracked teapot full of weak and stale tea and laid two yellow lumps of sugar by the side of it.
“Here, Nastasya, take it please,” he said, fumbling in his pocket (for he had slept in his clothes) and taking out a handful of coppers—”run and buy me a loaf. And get me a little sausage, the cheapest, at the pork-butcher’s.”
“The loaf I’ll fetch you this very minute, but wouldn’t you rather have some cabbage soup instead of sausage? It’s capital soup, yesterday’s. I saved it for you yesterday, but you came in late. It’s fine soup.”
When the soup had been brought, and he had begun upon it, Nastasya sat down beside him on the sofa and began chatting. She was a country peasant-woman and a very talkative one.
“Praskovya Pavlovna means to complain to the police about you,” she said.
“To the police? What does she want?”
“You don’t pay her money and you won’t turn out of the room. That’s what she wants, to be sure.”
“The devil, that’s the last straw,” he muttered, grinding his teeth, “no, that would not suit me… just now. She is a fool,” he added aloud. “I’ll go and talk to her to-day.”
“Fool she is and no mistake, just as I am. But why, if you are so clever, do you lie here like a sack and have nothing to show for it? One time you used to go out, you say, to teach children. But why is it you do nothing now?”
“I am doing…” Raskolnikov began sullenly and reluctantly.
“What are you doing?”
“What sort of work?”
“I am thinking,” he answered seriously after a pause.
Nastasya was overcome with a fit of laughter. She was given to laughter and when anything amused her, she laughed inaudibly, quivering and shaking all over till she felt ill.
“And have you made much money by your thinking?” she managed to articulate at last.
“One can’t go out to give lessons without boots. And I’m sick of it.”
“Don’t quarrel with your bread and butter.”
“They pay so little for lessons. What’s the use of a few coppers?” he answered, reluctantly, as though replying to his own thought.
“And you want to get a fortune all at once?”
He looked at her strangely.
“Yes, I want a fortune,” he answered firmly, after a brief pause.
“Don’t be in such a hurry, you quite frighten me! Shall I get you the loaf or not?”
“As you please.”
“Ah, I forgot! A letter came for you yesterday when you were out.”
“A letter? for me! from whom?”
“I can’t say. I gave three copecks of my own to the postman for it. Will you pay me back?”
“Then bring it to me, for God’s sake, bring it,” cried Raskolnikov greatly excited—”good God!”
A minute later the letter was brought him. That was it: from his mother, from the province of R——. He turned pale when he took it. It was a long while since he had received a letter, but another feeling also suddenly stabbed his heart.
“Nastasya, leave me alone, for goodness’ sake; here are your three copecks, but for goodness’ sake, make haste and go!”
The letter was quivering in his hand; he did not want to open it in her presence; he wanted to be left alone with this letter. When Nastasya had gone out, he lifted it quickly to his lips and kissed it; then he gazed intently at the address, the small, sloping handwriting, so dear and familiar, of the mother who had once taught him to read and write. He delayed; he seemed almost afraid of something. At last he opened it; it was a thick heavy letter, weighing over two ounces, two large sheets of note paper were covered with very small handwriting.
“My dear Rodya,” wrote his mother—”it’s two months since I last had a talk with you by letter which has distressed me and even kept me awake at night, thinking. But I am sure you will not blame me for my inevitable silence. You know how I love you; you are all we have to look to, Dounia and I, you are our all, our one hope, our one stay. What a grief it was to me when I heard that you had given up the university some months ago, for want of means to keep yourself and that you had lost your lessons and your other work! How could I help you out of my hundred and twenty roubles a year pension? The fifteen roubles I sent you four months ago I borrowed, as you know, on security of my pension, from Vassily Ivanovitch Vahrushin a merchant of this town. He is a kind-hearted man and was a friend of your father’s too. But having given him the right to receive the pension, I had to wait till the debt was paid off and that is only just done, so that I’ve been unable to send you anything all this time. But now, thank God, I believe I shall be able to send you something more and in fact we may congratulate ourselves on our good fortune now, of which I hasten to inform you. In the first place, would you have guessed, dear Rodya, that your sister has been living with me for the last six weeks and we shall not be separated in the future. Thank God, her sufferings are over, but I will tell you everything in order, so that you may know just how everything has happened and all that we have hitherto concea
russianriver, your mastery of copy/paste art is unique, mesmerizing and beautiful. It reminds me of a permanent rainbow.
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